West With The Night Summary

Beryl Markham

West With The Night

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West With The Night Summary

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West with the Night is a memoir by Beryl Markham. It is set in the early 1900s, and tells of her early life in Kenya, in British East Africa, where she eventually becomes a bush pilot and a history making aviatrix. It is considered a classic work of adventure literature, and was listed in the U.S.A.’s Armed Services Editions. It was ranked as the eighth best adventure book by National Geographic Adventure.

Beryl grew up in the wilderness of Kenya, where he father raised and trained racehorses on their farm. She grew up amongst the native people, and spent her time hunting with a local tribe, fitting in as though she were one of them. On one of these hunts, Beryl was separated from the tribesmen while trying to save her dog from a warthog. The dog was viciously injured and endured a long and difficult recovery, but Beryl was able to kill the hog with her spear.

She also spent much of her time with her father, helping him care for and train horses. There was one horse, in particular, who often fought against Beryl’s attentions, and once threw her to the ground, biting her. Eventually, Beryl was able to win the horse over, and even discovered that, when no one else was watching, the horse served as her protector. Many years later, Beryl’s father gave her a colt that she helped deliver, which proved to be the first stage in her solo career as a horse trainer. Beryl’s father ended up losing his farm after a particularly bad drought, so Beryl made the decision to move to Molo to begin her career. At first, she struggled to convince the other horse owners that a woman could be adequate successful horse trainer, but eventually made history when she became the very first woman in Africa to receive her horse-training license.

While in Molo, Beryl becomes fascinated with her friend, Tom Black, and his many talents. It was at this time that one of her horses miraculously won one of the most prestigious races in the area. It would not be for another several years, when Beryl meets Tom Black again, that she would follow in Tom’s footsteps and he would teach her how to fly.

At one point in the story, Beryl is searching for a fellow pilot who had disappeared with his plane. She ran into an old friend from her childhood, and who reminded her of the shared memories they had together. There was a lion that once attacked Beryl quite badly. The lion had been a neighbor’s pet that she and her father had visited regularly, back when she was only a small child. One day, Beryl was running through the farm, excited and ready to pick some berries that she knew would be ripe, when the lion tried to make a snack out of her. She was bitten on her legs and back, but amazingly survived. The lion was caught and caged for the rest of his life, until the owners finally decided to put the animal down.

Around this time, Beryl’s friend suggested the idea of tracking elephant herds by plane for safari parties. Beryl agreed that this was possible, but only began to scout for elephant herds after her friend was killed in a flying accident. She scouted for the herds for safaris as well as flying mail, passengers, and supplies to different remote areas across Africa.

Later, Tom moved back to England. There, he won the International Air Race, and Beryl decided that she would like to move to England as well. The journey was not easy, however. She flew six thousand miles with her friend, Blix, and suffered many delays. This was because of the Italian government’s tight restrictions on their territories along the African coast. She made it eventually, however, and when she arrived she accepted a bet from a friend. She vowed to be the first person to fly from London to New York, in an east-west direction. A plane was designed and built specially for this journey, and Beryl took off from London on September 4, 1936. She was hours away from winning the bet when the fuel line to her last remaining tank of fuel froze. She was then forced to make a crash landing in Nova Scotia. Even though Beryl was not ultimately successful in her bet, she became a verified hero to many. With the proof of her success in hand, she returned to Kenya to share the glory with her father.Beryl Markham will always be known for her courage and incredible talents.