chapter  XI
Pages 18

Seven years ago, when the railway to Salisbury was being built, Beira was an important, hustling, bustling port of entry. Tin huts sprouted in a night like white-ant mushrooms. Even some very nice houses were put up. A veritable boom in real estate took place, and, when you consider that nearly every other shanty was a saloon, and that all did a brisk business, you can get some idea of the cheerful tone that prevailed. To-day, the railway being finished, the boom has collapsed. The Portuguese government has placed such heavy duties on both incoming and outgoing goods that it is said Rhodesia is more cheaply reached via Cape Town. This has stifled commerce. The doors of the shanties hang open, creaking on msty hinges. The decent houses go a-begging for tenants. The saloons still flourish, but not with their former eclat. A man who drinks from despondency IS never so exhilarating as