All the blood-curdling yarns I'd absorbed since boyhood came flooding back. Tales of Theodore Roosevelt, Pondoro Taylor, John Hunter, Robert Ruark, Jack O'Connor and all the rest. Tales that made Cape buffalo out to be practically immortal in the face of gunfire -- monstrous black bundles of bestial malignancy, cunning beyond belief and implacable in pursuit of vengeance. Never before in my life had I felt, with a loaded rifle in my hands, anything akin to actual fear in the presence of a wild animal, but the closeness of these nyati made the hair stir on the nape of my neck. The whispered announcement that the herd contained nothing shootable and that we would now quietly retire came as a distinct relief. Fact was, I was not quite ready for Cape buffalo.