Time Magazine Online

Book ID 935

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Time Magazine Online,
Extract Date: 1 Nov 1954

Blood Brother

The Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya was two years old last week. In that bloody stretch of time the Mau Mau have killed or wounded 2,000 loyal Kikuyu natives, 900 African or European soldiers and 27 innocent European civilians. The expensive war against them (present cost: $2,800,000 a month) has resulted in the slaying of 6,741 Mau Mau and the capture of 12,000.

Through the two years of terror, probably no Englishman in Kenya was more sympathetic to the problems and irritations besetting the Kikuyu than sixtyish Arundel Gray Leakey, a resident of Kenya for close to half a century. Like his better-known cousin, L.S.B. Leakey, the world's topmost authority on Kikuyu manners and morals and official interpreter at the trial of Mau Mau Chieftain Jomo Kenyatta, Gray Leakey had been accepted into the Kikuyu tribe as a "blood brother" and spoke the native language as readily as he did English. Refusing to believe that Mau Mau would harm either himself or his family, he never carried a gun as he made the rounds of his lonely farm 100 miles north of Nairobi.

One night a month ago, Gray Leakey was challenged by prowling armed terrorists. In their own dialect, he told them that he was unarmed, turned his back and strolled away. True to his expectations, they let him go unharmed. One evening last fortnight, however, as Leakey, his wife and his stepdaughter Diana Hartley were having supper at the farm, a band of 30 Mau Mau swarmed out of the woods. Mrs. Leakey rushed to the bathroom with her daughter and helped her escape through a trap door into an attic above. Mrs. Leakey herself was too weak to follow. When Diana emerged an hour later, her mother was lying dead on the lawn, cruelly slashed with Mau Mau knives. Gray Leakey was nowhere to be found.

For days after, native and European police by the hundreds combed the jungle searching for Gray Leakey, a diabetic who could scarcely survive four days anywhere without proper medical care. Last week the search was given up. Cousin Leakey took to the air to warn other Kenya whites against such kindness and complacency as that of Arundel Gray Leakey.

Extract ID: 5225