Loud cries woke the campaign from sleep. It was October 28, 1872 in the early morning. Captain John Lawson, explorer and brave expedition leader, immediately stood on his feet and fell in front of his tent. The Australian Bailey awakened the forces – a tiger snuck into the camp, caught the porter Abu and dragged him into the woods. Lawson picked up his rifle and chased the predator on top of his crew. Shortly after that they found Abu. Fortunately, he had only suffered a shoulder injury, but he was unharmed. A local resident said anxiously that he hit the tiger with his free hand until he let go.
Lawson later wrote this episode among other great stories on his journey ‘Roaming in New Guinea’ On. The tigers would have attacked him himself. He also saw how others survived such predatory attacks. But Abu Al-Batalo’s struggle certainly led to the most surprising outcome of the Tiger’s attack.
Lawson and his people have had to endure many adventures on their extraordinary journey. The Englishman traveled to the interior of Papua New Guinea, which was still largely unknown to Europeans. And the discoveries he made could not be more impressive: he was the first European to see and ascend the mighty Mount Hercules. He was the first European to wander over the vast lake of Alexandria. He was the first European to come into contact with residents of the interior regions in great danger; Where other explorers roamed the woods for weeks or even months to catch a tiger or shy bird, Lawson discovered new species every day: birds of paradise, oxen, monkeys, spiders, beetles, fish, the tallest tree in the world and of course his patron, the giant island tiger.
Lawson’s travels dazzled his countrymen. His report was published by Chapman and Hall in London in 1875 and became a bestseller. Lawson likely made good money from his book, even if we don’t get exact numbers. No sooner had readers put the book aside until they wanted to hear about his next discoveries. Lawson suddenly became wanted: he was invited by the eminent scholar Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913) of the Royal Society to deliver a lecture. Lawson announced that the Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society had also provided him with representations.
There is only one problem with the entire story: Lawson’s journey was cover to cover. All is pure imagination. There is no Mount Hercules, nor Lake Alexandrina, nor the giant tigers of his Mawla, nor is there a giant elm-like tree.
Many experts quickly realized that what Lawson wanted to see couldn’t be true. In The Times, Geographical Magazine, and in ‘Atheneum’The Journal of the Club of English Academics of the same name has published some devastating reviews of the books. Naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913), who was the first to publish in Europe a paper on New Guinea and after him called the famous Wallace Line, took the pen himself to support Lawson’s claims with a statement in the journal “nature” To oppose. Nothing in Lawson’s descriptions is true. But its readers are not won easily. Everything is listed reasonably and in detail, so the publisher is much appreciated. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy, as writer Henry James (1843-1916) wrote for the magazine “The Nation,” if not all of these miracles existed?