The Darwin of the 20th Century
Suddenly somebody rushed into my little hut and said, "Oh, there are a lot of people coming. A lot of soldiers coming." And I said, "Now what?" And I went outside and I could see the ridge that came up from the coast, and the pass was right at the very top of the ridge. There was a column of about -- I think it was 105 people or something like that. There were two white men in uniforms of officers of the Colonial Police Force, and about 20 soldiers, and the rest were porters carrying all their stuff and food and so forth. I still didn't know what it was all about, but I decided to go down in the valley separating my ridge from this coastal ridge. There was a river flowing there, and I went down there, and the leading officer of the other group waded into the river towards me, and he said, "Oh, I'm so glad you're still alive." I said, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed " "Oh," he said, "The soldiers that you sent back to the coast reported that the natives had attacked your camp and had massacred you and all your people there, and 'we,' -- the police soldiers -- 'by shooting all of our ammunition have been able to escape and get down to the coast." They made up that story because they were embarrassed, appearing on the coast when they were supposed to protect me. And, as it appeared, having abandoned me. They had a court-martial later on and so on and so forth. A long story, but anyhow I was also told I had to now immediately return back to the coast. It was just too dangerous. But I knew that there was a lake even further in and even higher up that I'm sure was very interesting. So I totally disobeyed the order from the Dutch Government and I went up to that lake and sure enough discovered a new finch up there and several rare birds that I had never encountered anywhere else in New Guinea. So I had a really marvelous time.
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