With all of the commotion, the other guards showed up and figured they should do something. Not knowing what that might be, they all started yelling and screaming, hoping to scare the buffalo away. Unfortunately, this angered the buffalo. He charged the guards from about 25 yards away, which gave them all just enough time to scatter. The buffalo, feeling cheated, looked around for someone else to kill. He saw the rest of us sitting on the deck, under the lights, practically on display just for him, and said, "Yeah, alright."
He was 35 yards away and turning toward us. Some 15 tables' worth of people got up simultaneously and rushed back inside, clogging the French doors. I stayed where I was. But beside me was an earthen vase with Maasai spears thrown in for decoration. I grabbed one. As the buffalo closed in -- ten yards away, eight, nine -- I didn't raise the spear, or prepare to throw it. I'd never held a spear before. I merely stayed still and braced myself like I was in a lacrosse game, getting ready to make a massive tackle. Then the buffalo stopped about three yards away. He skidded to a complete halt, casually turned around, and trotted off into the Serengeti.
"Do you think it was because I held my ground?" I asked later as one of the staff poured me a drink.
"Haha, no," he said. "It was the wall."
I'd forgotten about the three-foot stone wall surrounding the dining area.
"But he could have jumped the wall, right?"