Page:A voyage to Abyssinia (Salt).djvu/239
they laid hold of the animal by the horns, threw it down, and proceeded without farther ceremony to the operation. This consisted in cutting out two pieces of flesh from the buttock, near the tail, which together, Mr. Pearce supposed, might weigh about a pound; the pieces so cut out being called "shulada," and composing, as far as I could ascertain, part of the two "glutei maximi," or "larger muscles of the thigh." As soon as they had taken these away, they sewed up the wounds, plaistered them over with cow-dung, and drove the animal forwards, while they divided among their party the still reeking steaks.
They wanted Mr. Pearce to partake of this meat, raw as it came from the cow, but he was too much disgusted with the scene to comply with their offer; though he declared that he was so hungry at the time, that he could without remorse have eaten raw meat, had the animal been killed in the ordinary way; a practice which, I may here observe, he never could before be induced to adopt, notwithstanding its being general throughout the country. The animal, after this barbarous operation, walked somewhat lame, but nevertheless managed to reach the camp without any apparent injury, and, immediately after their arrival, it was killed by the Worari and consumed for their supper.
This practice of cutting out the shulada in cases of extreme necessity, is said very rarely to occur; but the fact of its being occasionally adopted, was certainly placed beyond all doubt, by the testimony of many persons, who declared that they had, likewise, witnessed it, particularly among the Lasta troops. I certainly should not have dwelt so long, or so minutely, on this disgusting transition, which "even the distresses of a soldier cannot warrant," had I not deemed it especially due to the character of Mr. Bruce, to give a faithful account of this particular occurrence, since I have found myself under the necessity of noticing, on several other occasions, his unfortunate deviations from the truth. I may here
- The greatest objection against Mr. Bruce's story appears to be the barbarity of the action, but I am, at this moment, intimately acquainted with two gentlemen who personally witnessed the fact, in England, of a butcher's boy dragging along the grass a Newfound-