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rescue and retreat of Emin, governor of Equatoria, by Henry Morton Stanley

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Title: In Darkest Africa, Vol. 2; or, The quest, rescue and retreat of Emin, governor of Equatoria

Author: Henry Morton Stanley

Release Date: September 9, 2013 [EBook #43655]

Language: English

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Henry M. Stanley Signature 1890








Vol. II

“I will not cease to go forward until I come to the place where the two seas meet,
though I travel ninety years.”—Koran, chap. xviii., v. 62.

[All rights reserved]

Copyright, 1890, by

Press of J. J. Little & Co.,
Astor Place, New York.



Mr. Bonny and the Zanzibaris—The Zanzibaris’ complaints—Poison of the Manioc—Conversations with Ferajji and Salim—We tell the rear column of the rich plenty of the Nyanza—We wait for Tippu-Tib at Bungangeta Island—Muster of our second journey to the Albert—Mr. Jameson’s letter from Stanley Falls dated August 12th—The flotilla of canoes starts—The Mariri Rapids—Ugarrowwa and Salim bin Mohammed visit me—Tippu-Tib, Major Barttelot and the carriers—Salim bin Mohammed—My answer to Tippu-Tib—Salim and the Manyuema—The settlement of the Batundu—Small-pox among the Madi carriers and the Manyuema—Two insane women—Two more Zanzibari raiders slain—Breach of promises in the Expedition—The Ababua tribe—Wasp Rapids—Ten of our men killed and eaten by natives—Canoe accident at Manginni—Lakki’s raiding party at Mambanga—Feruzi and the bush antelope—Our cook, Jabu, shot dead by a poisoned arrow—Panga Falls—Further casualties by the natives—Nejambi Rapids—The poisoned arrows—Mabengu Rapids—Child-birth on the road—Our sick list—Native affection—A tornado at Little Rapids—Mr. Bonny discovers the village of Bavikai—Remarks about Malaria—Emin Pasha and mosquito curtain—Encounter with the Bavikai natives—A cloud of moths at Hippo Broads—Death of the boy Soudi—Incident at Avaiyabu—Result of vaccinating the Zanzibaris—Zanzibari stung by wasps—Misfortunes at Amiri Rapids—Our casualities—Collecting food prior to march to Avatiko


Ugarrowwa’s old station once more—March to Bunda—We cross the Ituri River—Note written by me opposite the mouth of the Lenda River—We reach the Avatiko plantations—Mr. Bonny measures a pigmy—History and dress of the pigmies—A conversation by gesture—The pigmy’s wife—Monkeys and other animals in the forest—The clearing of Andaki—Our tattered clothes—The Ihuru River—Scarcity of food; Amani’s meals—Uledi searches for food—Missing provisions—We reach Kilonga-Longa’s village again—More deaths—The forest improves for travelling—Skirmish near Andikumu—Story of the pigmies and the box of ammunition—We pass Kakwa Hill—Defeat of a caravan—The last of the Somalis—A heavy shower of rain—Welcome food discovery at Indemau—We bridge the Dui River—A rough muster of the people—A stray goat at our Ngwetza camp—Further capture of dwarfs—We send back to Ngwetza for plantains—Loss of my boy Saburi in the forest—We wonder what has become of the Ngwetza party—My boy Saburi turns up—Starvation Camp—We go in search of the absentees, and meet them in the forest—The Ihuru River—And subsequent arrival at Fort Bodo


Professor Drummond’s statements respecting Africa—Dimensions of the great forest—Vegetation—Insect life—Description of the trees, &c.—Tribes and their food—The primæval forest—The bush proper—The clearings: wonders of vegetable life—The queer feeling of loneliness—A forest tempest—Tropical vegetation along the banks of the Aruwimi—Wasps’ nests—The forest typical of human life—A few secrets of the woods—Game in the forest—Reasons why we did not hunt the animals—Birds—The Simian tribe—Reptiles and insects—The small bees and the beetles—The “jigger”—Night disturbances by falling trees, &c.—The Chimpanzee—The rainiest zone of the earth—The Ituri or Upper Aruwimi—The different tribes and their languages—Their features and customs—Their complexion—Conversation with some captives at Engweddé—The Wambutti dwarfs: their dwellings and mode of living—The Batwa dwarfs—Life in the forest villages—Two Egyptians captured by the dwarfs at Fort Bodo—The poisons used for the arrows—Our treatment for wounds by the arrows—The wild fruits of the forest—Domestic animals—Ailments of the Madis and Zanzibaris—The Congo Railway and the forest products


Our reception at Fort Bodo—Lieut. Stairs’ report of what took place at the Fort during our relief of the rear column—No news of Jephson—Muster of our men—We burn the Fort and advance to find Emin and Jephson—Camp at Kandekoré—Parting words to Lieut. Stairs and Surgeon Parke, who are left in charge of the sick—Mazamboni gives us news of Emin and Jephson—Old Gavira escorts us—Two Wahuma messengers bring letters from Emin and Jephson—Their contents—My replies to the same handed to Chief Mogo for delivery—The Balegga attack us, but, with the help of the Bavira, are repulsed—Mr. Jephson turns up—We talk of Emin—Jephson’s report bearing upon the revolt of the troops of Equatoria, also his views respecting the invasion of the province by the Mahdists, and its results—Emin Pasha sends through Mr. Jephson an answer to my last letter


Lieut. Stairs and his caravan are sent for—Plans regarding the release of Emin from Tunguru—Conversations with Jephson by which I acquire a pretty correct idea of the state of affairs—The rebel officers at Wadelai—They release Emin, and proceed in the s.s. Khedive and Nyanza to our camp at Kavalli—Emin Pasha’s arrival—Stairs and his caravan arrive at Mazamboni’s—Characteristic letter from Jephson, who is sent to bring Emin and his officers from the Lake to Kavalli—Short note from the Pasha—Arrival of Emin Pasha’s caravan—We make a grand display outside our camp—At the grand divan: Selim Bey—Stairs’ column rolls into camp with piles of wealth—Mr. Bonny despatched to the Nyanza to bring up baggage—Text of my message to the rest of the revolted officers at Wadelai—Note from Mr. Bonny—The Greek merchant, Signor Marco, arrives—Suicide of Zanzibari named Mrima—Neighbouring chiefs supply us with carriers—Captain Nelson brings in Emin’s baggage—Arrangements with the chiefs from the Ituri River to the Nyanza—The chief Kabba-Rega—Emin Pasha’s daughter—Selim Bey receives a letter from Fadl-el-Mulla—The Pasha appointed naturalist and meteorologist to the Expedition—The Pasha a Materialist—Dr. Hassan’s arrival—My inspection over the camp—Capt. Casati arrives—Mr. Bonny appears with Awash Effendi and his baggage—The rarest doctor in the world—Discovery of some chimpanzees—The Pasha in his vocation of “collecting”—Measurements of the dwarfs—Why I differ with Emin in the judgment of his men—Various journeys from the camp to the Lake for men and baggage—The Zanzibaris’ complaints of the ringleaders—Hassan Bakari—The Egyptian officers—Interview with Shukri Agha—The flora on the Baregga Hills—The chief of Usiri joins our confederacy—Conversation with Emin regarding Selim Bey and Shukri Agha—Address by me to Stairs, Nelson, Jephson and Parke before Emin Pasha—Their replies—Notices to Selim Bey and Shukri Agha


False reports of strangers at Mazamboni’s—Some of the Pasha’s ivory—Osman Latif Effendi gives me his opinions on the Wadelai officers—My boy Sali as spy in the camp—Capt. Casati’s views of Emin’s departure from his province—Lieut. Stairs makes the first move homeward—Weights of my officers at various places—Ruwenzori visible—The little girl reared by Casati—I act as mediator between Mohammed Effendi, his wife, and Emin—Bilal and Serour—Attempts to steal rifles from the Zanzibari’s huts—We hear of disorder and distress at Wadelai and Mswa—Two propositions made to Emin Pasha—Signal for general muster under arms sounded—Emin’s Arabs are driven to muster by the Zanzibaris—Address to the Egyptians and Soudanese—Lieut. Stairs brings the Pasha’s servants into the square—Serour and three others, being the principal conspirators, placed under guard—Muster of Emin Pasha’s followers—Osman Latif Effendi and his mother—Casati and Emin not on speaking terms—Preparing for the march—Fight with clubs between the Nubian, Omar, and the Zanzibaris—My judgments on the combatants—We leave Kavalli for Zanzibar—The number of our column—Halt in Mazamboni’s territory—I am taken ill with inflammation of the stomach—Dr. Parke’s skilful nursing—I plan in my mind the homeward march—Frequent reports to me of plots in the camp—Lieut. Stairs and forty men capture Rehan and twenty-two deserters who left with our rifles—At a holding of the court it is agreed to hang Rehan—Illness of Surgeon Parke and Mr. Jephson—A packet of letters intended for Wadelai falls into my hands, and from which we learn of an important plot concocted by Emin’s officers—Conversation with Emin Pasha about the same—Shukri Agha arrives in our camp with two followers—Lieut. Stairs buries some ammunition—We continue our march and camp at Bunyambiri—Mazamboni’s services and hospitality—Three soldiers appear with letters from Selim Bey—Their contents—Conversation with the soldiers—They take a letter to Selim Bey from Emin—Ali Effendi and his servants accompany the soldiers back to Selim Bey


The Relief of David Livingstone compared with the Relief of Emin Pasha—Outline of the journey of the Expedition to the first meeting with Emin—Some few points relating to Emin on which we had been misinformed—Our high conception of Emin Pasha—Loyalty of the troops, and Emin’s extreme indecision—Surprise at finding Emin a prisoner on our third return to the Nyanza—What might have been averted by the exercise of a little frankness and less reticence on Emin’s part—Emin’s virtues and noble desires—The Pasha from our point of view—Emin’s rank and position in Khartoum, and gradual rise to Governor of Equatoria—Gordon’s trouble in the Soudan—Emin’s consideration and patience—After 1883 Emin left to his own resources—Emin’s small explorations—Correctness of what the Emperor Hadrian wrote of the Egyptians—The story of Emin’s struggles with the Mahdi’s forces from 1883 to 1885—Dr. Junker takes Emin’s despatches to Zanzibar in 1886—Kabba Rega a declared enemy of Emin—The true position of Emin Pasha prior to his relief by us, showing that good government was impossible—Two documents (one from Osman Digna, and the other from Omar Saleh) received from Sir Francis Grenfell, the Sirdar


Description of the road from Bundegunda—We get a good view of the twin peaks in the Ruwenzori range—March to Utinda—The Pasha’s officers abuse the officer in command: which compels a severe order—Kaibuga urges hostilities against Uhobo—Brush with the enemy: Casati’s servant, Akili, killed—Description of the Ruwenzori range as seen from Mboga—Mr. Jephson still an invalid—The little stowaway named Tukabi—Captain Nelson examines the Semliki for a suitable ferry—We reach the Semliki river: description of the same—Uledi and Saat Tato swim across the river for a canoe—A band of Wara Sura attack us—All safely ferried across the river—In the Awamba forest—Our progress to Baki-kundi—We come across a few Baundwé, forest aborigines—the Egyptians and their followers—Conversation with Emin Pasha—Unexplored parts of Africa—Abundance of food—Ruwenzori from the spur of Ugarama—Two native women give us local information—We find an old man at Batuma—At Bukoko we encounter some Manyuema raiders: their explanation—From Bakokoro we arrive at Mtarega, the foot of the Ruwenzori range—Lieutenant Stairs with some men explore the Mountains of the Moon—Report of Lieutenant Stairs’ experiences—The Semliki valley—The Rami-lulu valley—The perfection of a tropical forest—Villages in the clearing of Ulegga—Submission of a Ukonju chief—Local knowledge from our friends the Wakonju—Description of the Wakonju tribe—The Semliki river—View of Ruwenzori from Mtsora—We enter Muhamba, and next day camp at Karimi—Capture of some fat cattle of Rukara’s—the Zeriba of Rusessé—Our first view of Lake Albert Edward Nyanza


Père Jerome Lobo and the Nile—The chartographers of Homer’s time—Hekatæus’s ideas of Africa—Africa after Hipparchus—The great Ptolemy’s map—Edrisi’s map—Map of the Margarita Philosophica—Map of John Ruysch—Sylvannus’ map—Sebastian Cabot’s map—The arbitrariness of the modern map maker—Map of Constable, Edinburgh—What Hugh Murray says in his book published in 1818—A fine dissertation on the Nile by Father Lobo—Extracts from part of a MS. in the possession of H. E. Ali Pasha Moubarek—Plan of Mount Gumr—A good description of Africa by Scheabeddin—The Nile according to Abdul Hassen Ali—Abu Abd Allah Mohammed on the Nile river


Recent travellers who have failed to see this range—Its classical history—The range of mountains viewed from Pisgah by us in 1887—The twin cones and snowy mountain viewed by us in 1888 and January 1889—Description of the range—The Semliki valley—A fair figurative description of Ruwenzori—The principal drainage of the snowy range—The luxurious productive region known as Awamba forest or the Semliki valley—Shelter from the winds—Curious novelties in plants in Awamba forest—The plains between Mtsora and Muhamba—Changes of climate and vegetation on nearing the hills constituting the southern flank of Ruwenzori—The north-west and west side of Ruwenzori—Emotions raised in us at the sight of Ruwenzori—The reason why so much snow is retained on Ruwenzori—The ascending fields of snow and great tracts of débris—Brief views of the superb Rain Creator or Cloud King—Impression made on all of us by the skyey crests and snowy breasts of Ruwenzori


Importance of maps in books of travels—The time spent over my maps—The dry bed of a lake discovered near Karimi; its computed size—Lessons acquired in this wonderful region—What we learn by observation from the Semliki valley to the basin of the twin lakes—Extensive plain between Rusessé and Katwé—The Zeribas of euphorbia of Wasongora—The raid of the Waganda made eighteen years ago—The grass and water on the wide expanses of flats—The last view and southern face of Ruwenzori—The town of Katwé—The Albert Edward Nyanza—Analysis of the brine obtained from the Salt Lake at Katwé—Surroundings of the Salt Lake—The blood tints of its waters—The larger Salt Lake of Katwé, sometimes called Lake of Mkiyo—The great repute of the Katwé salt—The Lakists of the Albert Edward—Bevwa, on our behalf, makes friends with the natives—Kakuri appears with some Wasongora chiefs—Exploration of the large Katwé lake—Kaiyura’s settlement—Katwé Bay—A black leopard—The native huts at Mukungu—We round an arm of the lake called Beatrice Gulf, and halt at Muhokya—Ambuscade by some of the Wara-Sura, near the Rukoki: we put them to flight—And capture a Mhuma woman—Captain Nelson and men follow up the rear guard of Rukara—Halt at Buruli: our Wakonju and Wasongora friends leave us—Sickness amongst us through bad water—The Nsongi River crossed—Capture of a Wara-Sura—Illness and death among the Egyptians and blacks—Our last engagement with the Wara-Sura at Kavandaré pass—Bulemo-Ruigi places his country at our disposal—The Pasha’s muster roll—Myself and others are smitten down with fever at Katari Settlement—The south side of Lake Albert Edward and rivers feeding the Lake—Our first and last view, also colour of the Lake—What we might have seen if the day had been clearer


The routes to the sea, viâ Uganda, through Ankori, to Ruanda and thence to Tanganika—We decide on the Ankori route—We halt at Kitété, and are welcomed in the name of King Antari—Entertained by Masakuma and his women—A glad message from King Antari’s mother—Two Waganda Christians, named Samuel and Zachariah, appear in camp: Zachariah relates a narrative of astounding events which had occurred in Uganda—Mwanga, King of Uganda; his behaviour—Our people recovering from the fever epidemic—March up the valley between Iwanda and Denny Range—We camp at Wamaganga—Its inhabitants—The Rwizi River crossed—Present from the king’s mother—The feelings of the natives provoked by scandalous practices of some of my men—An incident illustrating the different views men take of things—Halt at the valley of Rusussu—Extract from my diary—We continue our journey down Namianja Valley—The peaceful natives turn on us, but are punished by Prince Uchunku’s men—I go through the rite of blood-brotherhood with Prince Uchunku—The Prince’s wonder at the Maxim gun—A second deputation from the Waganda Christians: my long cross-examination of them: extract from my journal—My answer to the Christians—We enter the valley of Mavona—And come in sight of the Alexandra Valley—The Alexandra Nile


The Wahuma: the exact opposite of the Dwarfs: their descendants—Tribes nearly allied to the true negro type—Tribes of the Nilotic basin—The Herdsmen—The traditions of Unyoro—My experiences of the Wahuma gained while at Kavalli—View of the surrounding country from Kavalli camp—Chiefs Kavalli, Katto, and Gavira, unbosom their wrongs to me—Old Ruguji’s reminiscences—The pasture-land lying between Lake Albert and the forest—The cattle in the district round Kavalli: their milk-yield—Three cases referring to cattle which I am called upon to adjudicate—Household duties of the women—Dress among the Wahuma—Old Egyptian and Ethiopian characteristics preserved among the tribes of the grass-land—Customs, habits, and religion of the tribes—Poor Gaddo suspected of conspiracy against his chief, Kavalli: his death—Diet of the Wahuma—The climate of the region of the grass-land


Ankori and Karagwé under two aspects—Karagwé; and the Alexandra Nile—Mtagata Hot Springs—A baby rhinoceros, captured by the Nubians, shows fight in camp—Disappearance of Wadi Asmani—The Pasha’s opinion of Capt. Casati—Surgeon Parke and the pigmy damsel—Conduct of a boy pigmy—Kibbo-bora loses his wife at the Hot Springs—Arrival at Kufurro—Recent kings of Karagwé—Kiengo and Captain Nelson’s resemblance to “Speke”—The King of Uganda greatly dreaded in Karagwé—Ndagara refuses to let our sick stay in his country—Camp at Uthenga: loss of men through the cold—We throw superfluous articles in Lake Urigi in order to carry the sick—We enter the district of Ihangiro: henceforward our food has to be purchased—the Lake of Urigi—At the village of Mutara, Fath-el-Mullah runs amuck with the natives, and is delivered over to them—The Unyamatundu plateau—Halt at Ngoti: Mwengi their chief—Kajumba’s territory—We obtain a good view of Lake Victoria—The country round Kisaho—Lions and human skulls in the vicinity of our camp—The events of 1888 cleared our track for a peaceful march to the sea—We reach Amranda and Bwanga—The French missionaries and their stations at Usambiro—Arrival at Mr. Mackay’s, the English Mission station—Mr. Mackay and his books—We rest, and replenish our stores, etc.—Messrs. Mackay and Deakes give us a sumptuous dinner previous to our departure—The last letter from Mr. A. M. Mackay, dated January 5, 1890


Missionary work along the shores of the Victoria Nyanza and along the Congo river—The road from Mackay’s Mission—The country at Gengé—Considerable difficulty at preserving the peace at Kungu—Rupture of peace at Ikoma—Capture and release of Monangwa—The Wasukuma warriors attack us, but finally retire—Treachery—The natives follow us from Nera to Seké—We enter the district of Sinyanga; friendship between the natives and our men—Continued aggression of the natives—Heavy tributes—Massacre of caravan—The district of Usongo, and its chief Mittinginya—His surroundings and neighbours—Two French missionaries overtake us—Human skulls at Ikungu—We meet one of Tippu-Tib’s caravans from Zanzibar—Troubled Ugogo—Lieutenant Schmidt welcomes us at the German station of Mpwapwa—Emin Pasha visits the Pères of the French Mission of San Esprit—The Fathers unacquainted with Emin’s repute—Our mails in Africa continually going astray—Contents of some newspaper clippings—Baron von Gravenreuth and others meet us at Msua—Arrival of an Expedition with European provisions, clothing and boots for us—Major Wissman—He and Schmidt take Emin and myself on to Bagamoyo—Dinner and guests at the German officer’s mess house—Major Wissman proposes the healths of the guests; Emin’s and my reply to the same—Emin’s accident—I visit Emin in the hospital—Surgeon Parke’s report—The feeling at Bagamoyo—Embark for Zanzibar—Parting words with Emin Pasha—Illness of Doctor Parke—Emin Pasha enters the service of the German Government—Emin Pasha’s letter to Sir John Kirk—Sudden termination of Emin’s acquaintance with me—Three occasions when I apparently offended Emin—Emin’s fears that he would be unemployed—The British East African Company and Emin—Courtesy and hospitality at Zanzibar—Monies due to the survivors of the Relief Expedition—Tippu-Tib’s agent at Zanzibar, Jaffar Tarya—The Consular Judge grants me an injunction against Jaffar Tarya—At Cairo—Conclusion

A.—Congratulations by Cable received at Zanzibar481
B.—Comparative Tables of Forest and Grass-land Languages    490
C.—Itinerary of the Journeys made in 1887, 1888, 1889496
D.—Balance Sheet, &c., of the Relief Expedition513
General Index515



Portrait of Henry M. Stanley Frontispiece.
(From a Photograph taken at Cairo, March, 1890.)
Swords and Knives of the Ababua22
Entering Andikumu50
The Scouts Discover the Pigmies Carrying away the Case of Ammunition54
Starvation Camp: Serving out Milk and Butter for Broth66
A Page from Mr. Stanley’s Note-Book—Sketch-Maps94
The Pigmies at Home—A Zanzibar Scout Taking Notes104
Address to Rebel Officers at Kavalli148
The Pigmies as Compared with the English Officers, Soudanese, and Zanzibaris152
The Pigmies under the Lens, as Compared to Captain Casati’s Servant Okili164
Climbing the Plateau Slopes170
Rescued Egyptians and Their Families220
Ruwenzori, from Kavalli’s252
Ruwenzori, from Mtsora286
Bird’s-Eye View of Ruwenzori, Lake Albert Edward, and Lake Albert318
Ruwenzori, from Karimi328
Expedition Winding up the Gorge of Karya-Muhoro362
A Page from Mr. Stanley’s Note-Book—Musical Instruments396
Weapons of the Balegga and Wahuma Tribes400
Baby Rhinoceros Showing Fight in Camp406
South-West Extremity of Lake Victoria Nyanza419
Stanley, Emin, and Officers at Usambiro425
Experiences in Usukuma438
Banquet at Msua450
Under the Palms at Bagamoyo454
The Relief Expedition Returning to Zanzibar462
The Faithfuls at Zanzibar474
A Swimming Race after a Bush Antelope25
Dwarf Captive at Avitako41
Bridging the Dui River60
Two-Edged Spears99
Back-Rest and Stool99
Decorated Earthen Pot99
Arrows of the Dwarfs101
Elephant Trap102
A Belle of Bavira130
View of Camp at Kavalli140
Shukri Agha, Commandant of Mswa Station173
Sali, Head-Boy185
An Ancient Egyptian Lady207
Attack by the Wanyoro at Semliki Ferry260
Houses on the Edge of the Forest264
Egyptian Women and Children266
The Tallest Peak of Ruwenzori, from Awamba Forest274
South-West Twin Cones of Ruwenzori—Sketch. By Lieut. Stairs278
[1]Africa in Homer’s World293
“      Map of Hekatæus294
“      Hipparchus, 100 b.c.295
Ptolemy’s Map of Africa, a.d. 150295
Central Africa according to Edrisi, a.d. 1154296
Map of the Margarita Philosophica, a.d. 1503296
“          John Ruysch, a.d. 1508297
Map, Sylvanus', a.d. 1511297
Hieronimus de Verrazano’s Map, a.d. 1529298
Sebastian Cabot’s Map of the World, 16th Century298
The Nile’s Sources According to Geographers of the 16th and 17th Centuries299
Map of the Nile Basin, a.d. 1819301
Mountains of the Moon—Massoudi, 11th Century308
Map of Nile Basin to-day from the Mediterranean to S. Lat. 4°311
View of Ruwenzori from Bakokoro Western Cones326
The Little Salt Lake at Katwé342
Section of a House near Lake Albert Nyanza348
A Village in Ankori361
Expedition Climbing the Rock in the Valley of Ankori362
Musical Instruments of the Balegga399
A Hot Spring, Mtagata406
Lake Urigi415
View from Mackay’s Mission, Lake Victoria428
Rock Hills, Usambiro437
House and Balcony from which Emin Fell454
Sketch of Casket containing the Freedom of the City of London488
Sketch of Casket, the Gift of King Leopold489
A Map of the Route of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition through Africa. In Pocket.
A Map of Emin Pasha’s Province. In Pocket.
Profile Sketch of Ruwenzori and the Valley of the Semliki. Facing page 335





Mr. Bonny and the Zanzibaris—The Zanzibaris’ complaints—Poison of the Manioc—Conversations with Ferajji and Salim—We tell the rear column of the rich plenty of the Nyanza—We wait for Tippu-Tib at Bungangeta Island—Muster of our second journey to the Albert—Mr. Jameson’s letter from Stanley Falls dated August 12th—The flotilla of canoes starts—The Mariri rapids—Ugarrowwa and Salim bin Mohammed visit me—Tippu-Tib, Major Barttelot, and the carriers—Salim bin Mohammed—My answer to Tippu-Tib—Salim and the Manyuema—The settlement of the Batundu—Small-pox among the Madi carriers and the Manyuema—Two insane women—Two more Zanzibari raiders slain—Breach of promises in the Expedition—The Ababua tribe—Wasp Rapids—Ten of our men killed and eaten by natives—Canoe accident at Manginni—Lakki’s raiding party at Mambanga—Feruzi and the bush antelope—Our cook, Jabu, shot dead by a poisoned arrow—Panga Falls—Further casualties by the natives—Nejambi Rapids—The poisoned arrows—Mabengu Rapids—Child-birth on the road—Our sick list—Native affection—A tornado at Little Rapids—Mr. Bonny discovers the village of Bavikai—Remarks about Malaria—Emin Pasha and mosquito curtain—Encounter with the Bavikai natives—A cloud of moths at Hippo Broads—Death of the boy Soudi—Incident at Avaiyabu—Result of vaccinating the Zanzibaris—Zanzibari stung by wasps—Misfortunes at Amiri Rapids—Our casualties—Collecting food prior to march to Avatiko.

Aug. 21.

That uncanny concurrence of circumstances, illustrated by the contents of the last chapter, was recalled to my mind again on the next morning which dawned on us after the arrival of the advance column at Bavabya.

Aug. 21.

In Mr. Bonny’s entry in the log-book will be found mentioned that the Soudanese and Zanzibaris mustered of their own accord to lay their complaints before me.{2} Mr. Bonny, in his official report, had stated it was his intention, “under God’s help, to make the Expedition more successful than it had been hitherto.” By his written report, and his oral accounts, by the brave deliberation of his conduct during the terrible hours of the 19th July, and by the touching fidelity to his duties, as though every circumstance of his life was precisely what it ought to be, Mr. Bonny had leaped at a bound, in my estimation, to a most admiring height. I was sure, also, that Major Barttelot must have discovered remarkable elements of power in him, which, unfortunately for my credit, had been unseen by me. But no sooner had permission been given to the men to speak, than I was amazed at finding himself listening to a confession that the first day’s march to the eastward under Mr. Bonny was to be the signal for his total abandonment by the Zanzibaris.

I gave them a patient hearing. Only sixty seemed in any way likely to survive the trials they had endured out of the 101 or 102 remaining. They all appeared unutterably miserable, many seemed heart-broken, but there were several whose looks suggested a fixed hate, malice, and spite.

“Well, sit down, children,” said I, “and let us talk this matter quietly,” and when they had seated themselves in a semi-circle before me, and our own robust people from the Nyanza had crowded about behind, I addressed them thus:—

“Ah, my poor men, the days of weeping and grieving are over. Dry your tears and be glad. See those stout fellows behind you. They have seen the white Pasha, they have shared his bounties of meat, and milk and millet, and have heard him praise their manliness. They are the people who should weep, but weep for gladness, for every step hence is one step nearer to Zanzibar. We came back from the Nyanza to seek you who were so long lost to us. We have found you, thanks be to God! Now, let bygones be bygones. I cannot restore the dead, but I can rejoice the hearts of the living. Think no more of your sufferings, but live in{3} hope of a brighter future. It was necessary for us to go before you, to clear the road and assist the white man before he perished. We told you all this before we departed from you. You should have remembered our promise that as soon as we had found him whom we sought we should come back with the good news to you. We have kept our word—have you kept yours?

“No, you lost your faith in us. When the runaways from our party returned to you, and they, with gaping mouths, told you what was false to hide their crime of desertion, you listened with wide-open ears, and accepted their tales as truths. Did they bring a letter from any of us? No! but you found silver watches, and Arab cloaks striped with gold in their baggage. Do common carriers find such things in the forest? If they do, then you should have said to them, ‘Come, turn back with us, and show us the place where we may also find such wealth.’ Those carriers had stolen those things from us, and had run away with their booty. You saw these things, and yet you believed that we were all destroyed, that I was shot in seventeen places, and all the white men except one had been killed, and the one remaining had gone to Ujiji! Oh, men of little wit!

“What, nearly 400 Zanzibaris, and six white men, all lost except a few, and those few gone to Ujiji instead of coming to you, their brothers and friends! That is too much for belief. I thought Zanzibaris were wiser men, for truly I have seen wise ones in my time.

“And if I were not dead, how came you to believe that I would forget you, and my white sons whom I left with you. Whither could I go, except to my own children if I were distressed or unable to go on? Was not the fact of our long absence a proof that we were still going on doing our work, since even deserters and thieves had nowhere to flee except back to you?

“Aye, I see well how it has happened unto you. You lay on your backs rotting in camp, and have been brooding and thinking until the jiggers have burrowed into your brains, and Shaitan has caused you to dream of evil and death. You became hardened in mind, and{4} cruel to your own bodies. Instead of going to the little masters, and telling them of your griefs and fears, you have said Mambu Kwa Mungu—it is God’s trouble. Our masters don’t care for us, and we don’t care for them.

“Now, Ferajji, you are a head man, tell me what cause of complaint in particular you have. Did the white men ill-treat you?”

“No, they treated me well; but they were hard on some of the men.”

“How hard, and on whom?”

“On the Zanzibaris, and if they were not chap-a-chap (active).”

“But what did they wish to be chap-a-chap for? Had you important work to do?”

“No, for when the steamer went away there was little to do. Only fixing the earth work, sweep camp, cut fuel, and stand guard at night. But the goee-goees (lazy or useless) would not come when called. Then the white men got impatient, and would call again louder. Then the goee-goees would come slowly—lazily—little by little, and say they had pains in the head, or in the body, back, chest, or feet. Then the masters would get angry, and say it was shamming. Every day it was the same thing.”

“But how could sweeping camp, getting fuel, and standing guard be hard work for 250 people?”

“It was no work at all.”

“Was anybody else punished except the goee goees?”

“No one except the thieves.”

“Did you have many of them?”

“I think all the thieves of Zanzibar joined the ‘journey-makers’ this time.”

“That cannot be, Ferajji, because we had some thieves with us, and there must have been a few left on the coast.”

The audience laugh. Ferajji replied, “That is indeed truth, but we had a great many. Brass rods, cowries, and garments were lost daily. Zanzibaris accused Soudanese, Soudanese accused Somalis, Somalis accused Zanzibaris, and so it went round. Nothing was safe.{5} Put anything under your pillow, roll it under the sleeping-mat, bind it tight, and make it into a headrest, and lo! in the morning it was gone! Indeed, I became afraid my teeth would be stolen next.”

“But those white teeth of yours are not purchased, are they, Ferajji?”

“No, thank Allah, they were born with me, but those who thrive on thieving may well be feared.”

“That is true, Ferajji; but why should they have stolen all the time?”

“Hunger made them steal. Hunger killed the strong lion in the fable, and hunger will kill the best man.”

“Hunger! what are you talking of. Hunger, with all those fields of manioc near here?”

“Manioc, master! Manioc will do for a time, but manioc with sauce is better.”

“Sauce! I don’t understand you, Ferajji?”

“Why, dry manioc—that is manioc with nothing but itself—manioc in the morning, and at noon, and at the sunset meal, and nothing but eternal manioc, with neither salt, nor fish, nor meat, nor oil, nor butter, nor fat of any kind to assist its passage down the gullet, is apt to cloy. Give the appetite something now and then new to smell, or see with the manioc, and the Zanzibari is satisfied. Without that the stomach by-and-by shuts the door, and won’t take anything, and men die.”

“I see, but I left salt in the storeroom. It was to purchase fish, bananas and palm oil that the brass rods, cowries and beads were for.”

“Ah, now you are drawing near the point, master. Sometimes—nay, we were a long time without either.”

“But if they were in the store, surely there must be some reason why they were not given out?”

“We come to the thieves again, who became so active that they sold our axes and bill-hooks, and sold them to the natives for fish. Those who shared in the fish refused to tell who the thieves were, and our rations of cowries and brass rods were stopped.”

“After all, Ferajji, though manioc by itself is very dry eating, it is very good food. Think of it, all the{6} blacks from Banana to Stanley Falls live on it, why should not Zanzibaris of this expedition live on it as they lived during six years on the Congo with me. I cannot see any reason for manioc to kill 100 men in eleven months. Tell me when did the people begin to sicken.”

“There were about a dozen sick when you left, sick of ulcers, bowel and chest complaints. A few recovered; then, in about four weeks, many got very feeble, and some sank lower and thinner until they died, and we buried them. When our friends came up from Bolobo, we thought they looked very different from us at Yambuya. They were stout and strong—we were thin and dying. Then, in another month, the men from Bolobo began to sicken and die, and every few days we buried one, or two, or even three at a time. There was no difference after a while between the Yambuya and Bolobo men.”

“Had you any cholera, small-pox, fever, or dysentery among you?”

“No, the men did not die of any of those things. Perhaps the Somalis and Soudanese did not take kindly to the climate, but it was not the climate that killed the Zanzibaris. Oh——”

“And you say it was not by the stick, or hard work, or cholera, small-pox, fever, dysentery or climate?”

“Nothing of any of those things killed the Zanzibaris.”

“Were they shot, or hanged, poisoned, or drowned?”

“Neither was any of those things done unto them, and a proper and good man was never punished, and we had one day out of seven in the week to ourselves.”

“Now in the name of the Prophet Mohammed—throw your eyesight on these forty men here who sit apart. Look at those big eyes, hollow cheeks, thin necks, and every rib bare to the view. You see them? What has caused those men to be thus?”

“God knows!”

“Yet they are wasting away, man, and they will die.”

“It is true.{7}

“Well, then, give me some idea—of what is killing them?”

“I cannot tell you, master; may be it is their fate to be thus.”

“Bah! God has done His best for you. He has given you eyes, hands to feel, feet to walk, a good stomach to digest your food, and a sense to pilot your path through the world. Don’t say that God made strong men to wither them away in this manner. I must and will find the reason of this out.

“Now, you Salim, the son of Rashid, speak to me. The son of a wise father should know a few wise things. There is Death among you, and I want to find out why. Say, how you and your comrades living in camp for a year can lose more lives than we did during all our journey, through this big forest, despite all the hunger and hard work we met?”

Salim thus urged, replied modestly: “I am not wise, and all the world knows it. I am but a youth, and a porter, who for a little wage has come to gather a little money by carrying my load through Pagan lands. What strength I have I give freely to the owner of the caravan. Bitter things have happened to us while you were away. I have lost a brother since I came here. You must know, sir, that dry manioc and water is not good for a son of Adam. If our friends and relatives have sickened, and died—it must surely be that the manioc has had something to do with it. Thank God, I am well, and still strong, but I have seen the days when I would willingly have sold my freedom for a full meal. Whatsoever tended to fill the void of the stomach I have sought out and have continued to live on day after day, until, praise be to God and the Prophet—you have come back to us. But, sir, all men are not the same—the sense of all men is not equal, and it may be that white men differ one from the other as much as we blacks; for I see that some of them are rich, and some are poor, some attend the engines down in the belly of the ship, and some walk the quarter deck and command.{8}

“Aye, Salim has the gift of speech,” murmured the crowd.

This encouraged Salim, who, clearing his throat, resumed: “There is no doubt that the main fault lies in the manioc. It is a most bitter kind, and the effects of eating it we all know. We know the sickness, the retching, the quaking of the legs, the softening of the muscles, the pain in the head as if it were bound with iron and the earth swimming round the place whereon we stand, and the fall into a deadly faint. I say we have felt all this, and have seen it in others. Some of us have picked up the knack of making it eatable; but there are others who are already too feeble or too lazy to try, or try to care how to live.

“For some time we have been thinking that in every camp of ours there is nothing but graves, and dying and burying. There has been no meat, nor salt, nor dripping, nor gravy. There has been manioc, always manioc, and no more. But if the gullet be dry, what will drive the food down the passage? If the stomach is filled with loathing it requires a little gravy or dripping to make the food palatable.

“We knew that in a few weeks we were to leave here for Stanley Falls, or for up the river, and we had made up our minds to leave the white men’s service—every one of us. There has been death among us, it is here still, and no one knows what is the cause of it. I myself don’t quite believe that it is because we are working for white men, but there are some of us who do. But we were all agreed until you came that we had seen enough of it. There is another thing I wished to say, and that is—we have wondered why we who belong to the Continent should die, and white men who are strangers to it should live. When we were on the Congo and on other journeys it was the white men who died, and not we. Now it is we who die, a hundred blacks for one white. No, master, the cause of death is in the food. The white men had meat of goat, and fowls, and fish; we have had nothing but manioc and therefore died. I have spoken my say.{9}

“Well, it is my turn to talk. I have been listening, and thinking, and everything seems clear to me. You say that manioc was your food at Yambuya, and that it made you sick and your men died?”


“And you say that the men of Bolobo when they come to Yambuya were in good condition?”


“But that afterwards they became sick and died also?”


“What did the men of Bolobo eat when there?”


“Well, what is chikwanga but bread made out of manioc?”

“That is true.”

“Did you make it into bread?”

“Some of us.”

“And some of you have lived. Now the truth of the matter is this. You went out into the fields, and gathered the manioc tubers, the finest and best. And you cut some leaves of manioc and brought them in, to bruise them and make greens. This manioc is of the bitter kind. This bitterness which you taste in it is poison. It would not only kill a few hundreds. It would kill a whole race.

“As you peeled the tubers, you cut raw slices and ate them, you pounded your greens and as ‘kitowêo,’ you ate them also. These are two instances in which you took poison.

“Now the men from Bolobo had bought the manioc bread from the native women. They had steeped the tubers in the river for four or five or six days until the poison had all been washed away, they had then picked the fibres out, dried the mush, and when dry they had made it into good bread. That was what fed the Bolobo men, and fattened them. But the men of Yambuya had scraped their manioc, and cut the roots for drying in the sun, and as they did so they ate many a piece raw, and before the slices were well dried they{10} had eaten some, because they had no reserve of food, and hunger forced them. Even those of you who put your roots to soak in the water ate many a nice-looking bit, and you bruised and cooked your greens to serve with your badly-prepared bread, and men naturally sickened and died of the poison; and the men of Bolobo, when they came up, did like the men of Yambuya, and by-and-by they fell ill and died also. That is the reason why there are a hundred graves at Yambuya, and that is what ails these sick men here. Not one of the white men died, because they had rice, beans, biscuits and meat of fowl and goat. If it were the climate that had killed your friends, the white men less adapted for it would have died first, as they have done on the lower Congo; but neither the climate nor the camp had anything to do with your mortal sickness—the retching, and quaking of the limbs, the vertigo and pain in the head, the weakening of the knees, and the softening of the muscles, the final loathing, and indifference to life—nothing else than the poison of the bitter manioc.

“What you should have done was to have sent two or three daily out of each mess to gather in the manioc in sufficient quantities and steep it in the river, and have always plenty of prepared flour on hand to make porridge or dumplings when hungry. Had you done so, I should have about 200 sleek and strong men ready for travel with me to Zanzibar.

“Now follow what I say to you now. Eat as little of this manioc as you can. Go, gather plenty of it, put it in the river to steep, and while it is soaking eat your fill of bananas and plantains. In a day or two I will move away from here. The sick shall be carried to a big island a few hours distant, and there you will prepare twenty days’ provisions of flour. Those who cannot get sufficient bananas make gratings over the fire, slice your manioc thin, and let them dry till morning; then pound, and make into flour, and eat what is good for white man as well as black. To-morrow, all of you come back again to me, and you will throw away those filthy rags of clothing into the river, and I shall clothe{11} you anew. Meantime, rejoice, and thank God that we have come to save you from the grave.”

We had brought with us a saving salve for all the despair and discontent that wrought confusion in the minds of those who were herded within the pen of Banalya. The influence of the beauty of the grass-land, its wealth of grains and vegetables, and its stores of food had been impressed so vividly upon the minds of our men of the advance column, that the subject-matter of their revelations excited the dullest mind to a lively hope that good times were come again. The men who had feasted their eyes and glutted their appetites in that glorious land were never tired of relating those details which have such a charm for those who know from bitter experience what it is to hunger. As vivid as the word pictures describing the happy region was the rapture of attention paid to them by the poor emaciates who bore on their faces the unhealthy stain of anæmia. To these it seemed an Eden filled with all manner of pleasant things—abundance of food, grain and meat for strength, milk and millet for nourishment. Slight regard was paid by the narrators to the miserable months to be endured before the Eden could be reached, nor did the eager listeners seem to care to sift the narratives. Their imagination was so engrossed with the bright scenes that quite obscured the stern realities to be borne before they could be attained. I listened to the artless prattle of these adult children, sympathised with their enthusiasm, and pitied them with all my soul. “Inshallah!” said the boys from the Nyanza, with fervid emotion, “We shall feast on beef once again, then you will laugh at the days you fed on manioc roots and greens.”

Was it to be doubted that these seductive visions would lead the sickly ones of Banalya from erring thoughts of desertion? Milk and honey, meat and millet, with wages and bounties, were stronger attractions than the dried fish of Stanley Falls, the cane of the Arab master, and a doubtful future.

The cloud that had weighed down the spirits of the men of the rear column so long was now about to be{12} uplifted. But first it was necessary to remove every one from the immediate vicinity of Banalya, the scene of the tragedy and nursery of vicious moods and mischiefs. The couriers sent on the 17th of August with notice of our arrival to Tippu-Tib must have reached him on the 24th of August. I had stated I should wait for him ten days, and even that period was begrudged by the impatient Nyanza men, who had heard with scorn of his calculating dilatoriness. But this delay was not only needed to give another opportunity to Tippu-Tib, but also to enable Mr. Jameson, who was reported to be at Stanley Falls, to join us, and also to reorganise the Expedition, and re-arrange the goods, which had become terribly deranged by the demands of Tippu-Tib, that they should be reduced to suit mere boy carriers.

Aug. 21.

After three days’ halt at the camp we embarked all the sick and goods in the canoes, and proceeded to Bungangeta Island, which we reached in three hours. All the Manyuema carriers proceeded by land to a camp opposite the island. During our stay at Banalya, Ugarrowwa had descended the river from Wasp Rapids and occupied the larger island; we therefore paddled to another higher up, which in some respects was more suitable for us. The land column straggled into the camp opposite during three successive days, but the rear guard, driving the stragglers, did not reach the landing-place until the evening of the 24th, though the distance was but six miles. Mr. Bonny did not reach until the 22nd. The advance column in 1887 had covered the distance in four hours, but meantime the Arabs had destroyed the large settlements, and the marvellously thriving bush had buried ruins, fields, and plantations under accumulated layers of leafy parasites. This short march, protracted over three days, emphasised the necessity that existed for a complete reorganization and thorough overhaul. We had also lost four half-loads and two rifles through absconding Manyuema. On the whole it was a capital test march, and proves, if any further proof was needed beyond the log-book,{13} the utter unruliness of this mob of slaves, which had half-maddened the officers of the rear column. Without Tippu-Tib, or one of his nephews, such a column could not be taken through the broad extents of wildernesses ahead. At this rate of marching we should be 450 days reaching the Albert Nyanza. Messrs. Jameson and Bonny had been forty-three days going ninety miles. The difficulties which our officers met on the road are but slightly glanced at in the log-book, but the patience with which they had met them was never more manifest. We stayed on our breezy island until the 31st August. Cloth, beads, cowries, and brass rods had been distributed at the rate of five doti or twenty yards, three pounds cowries, one pound beads, and fifteen brass rods per man of the Nyanza force, and half as much to the men of the rear column, equal in value to £760 to the Nyanza force, and £283 to the Banalya men. They all deserved equally, but the latter had already a pretty fair kit, whereas the Nyanza men had been clad in goat skins and strips of bark-cloth. This “pocket-money” to each would enable our men to enjoy perfect rest while Ugarrowwa’s 600 people would only be too happy in preparing flour, making manioc cakes and bread—as reserve provisions—for a fair portion of cloth and other articles.

Besides the work of restoring the baggage into order, which needed my personal supervision, I had to write my reports to the Relief Committee, to the London Royal, and Royal Scottish Geographical Societies, who were contributories to the Relief Fund, to hold my palaver with the Manyuema headmen, who one day vowed strictest fidelity, and the next burdened my ear with complaints of their moody-mad men, losses by disease, desertion, thefts of goods, menaces, &c., &c. But my answer to them all was almost similar in terms to that used in my note to Tippu-Tib on the 17th: “If you decline the journey it is well, if you proceed with me it is well also. Exercise your own free will. I do not need you, but if you like to follow me I can make use of you, and will pay you according to the number of{14} loads you carry.” Some of them understood this as implying leave to proceed upon their own business—that of ravaging and marauding—but three head men volunteered to accompany me. I engaged them on the condition that if they followed me of their own will for thirty days I would after that time trust them with loads.

At the muster of the Expedition, August 29th, the roll was made out as follows:—

Zanzibaris capable of carrying goods165 = 283
  Madi carriers57
  Manyuema carriers61
Soudanese and officers21
  Sick, &c. (Zanzibaris)45
Emin Pasha’s soldiers4
Manyuema chiefs, women and followers108
Officers and servant3

List of loads to be carried on 2nd Journey to the Albert:—

Remington ammunition83
Beads in sacks19
Brass wire coils4
Cloth in bales17
Percussion caps4
 230 loadsfor 283 carriers.

There were besides a few extra loads of miscellanea, which, so long as all were carried in canoes, were useful and necessary, such as service ammunition, native provisions, rope, &c., but the above formed the indispensable baggage, when we should start overland. Though we had fifty-three carriers in excess of loads, sickness, wounds, and death would naturally, from the nature of the country and the present physical condition of the rear column, decrease the number greatly, and the time would arrive no doubt when the carriers would{15} only be equal to the loads, and the head men would have to relieve the sick porters. But meantime a very fair chance of life was offered to the sick. For something like sixty days they would be carried in canoes, and fed on plantain flour and garden herbs. Goats and fowls were very scarce, for Ugarrowwa had despoiled both banks. Also the porters would not be called upon to exert their strength in the transport of any burdens. It only remained for individuals to abstain from wild and reckless looting, and seeking untimely fate by excess of zeal and imprudence, to assure us a greater immunity from loss of life on this final journey to the Albert Nyanza than we enjoyed on our first journey.

Aug. 30
Lower Mariri

During our stay out at Bungangeta Island Mr. Jameson’s letter from Stanley Falls arrived dated August 12th. Though the letter stated he purposed to descend to Bangala, the messenger reported that he was likely to proceed to Banana Point, but whether Banana Point or Bangala mattered very little. When he descended from Stanley Falls he deliberately severed himself from the Expedition, and no inducement would tempt me to remain in the neighbourhood of Banalya. I had given my word to the officers at Fort Bodo and to Emin Pasha and the Egyptians that on December 22nd, or thereabouts, I should be in the neighbourhood of Fort Bodo, and by January 16th, or near that date, on the Nyanza. It was natural that we should grieve and deplore the loss of Mr. Jameson to the Expedition, for the log-book entries pleaded powerfully for him, but the fatality that attached itself to the rear column was not to deplete our numbers also, nor should the garrison at Fort Bodo wonder and bewail our long absence, and lose their wits in consequence of our breach of promise. I wrote a letter, however, to Mr. Jameson, wherein I suggested that if he could muster sixty men, and immediately follow our blazed path, which was too broad to be mistaken, he might easily overtake our large column marching in single file through the forest along a road, bristling with obstacles, of sloughs, marshes, creeks and rivers. But, as the reader is aware, though{16} we were ignorant of it, Mr. Jameson had been dead twelve days before my letter was written.

On the 30th August I sent the entire flotilla of canoes—twenty-nine in number, with twelve of Ugarrowwa’s—to transport Mr. Bonny, 239 men and their personal kit, provisions and cooking pots, five miles up river to the landing-place above the Rendi River, with orders to the land column to continue along our track to the next village, and the canoes having discharged their passengers returned to the island.

The next day—thirteen days having elapsed since Tippu-Tib had been communicated with and no reply having been received—we departed from Bungangeta Island on our final journey through the forest land, east. We embarked 225 men, inclusive of canoe crews, feeble and sick, and 275 full loads of between sixty and sixty-five pounds each of expeditionary property, provisions of flour, private kits of the people, &c., and despite a burning sun, which made extempore awnings very necessary, pressed on up river for six hours until we arrived at our old camp below Lower Mariri. On the 1st of September we reached the foot of Mariri Rapids to find that Bonny’s column had passed on to South Mupé. As the unsophisticated Zanzibaris and Manyuema had quite overlooked the device of portage opposite rapids, we had to despatch couriers to South Mupé for men to assist in the transport of loads overland.

On the 2nd we were engaged in poling the canoes through the dangerous river, and in the operation two were capsized. The next day we poled through the upper Mariri Rapids, and at noon we were all assembled at South Mupé.

Sept. 4.

Ugarrowwa had followed us up with his flotilla to collect a little more ivory, and was encamped at Upper Mariri Village. I had finished my hastily written letters to the Royal and Scottish Geographical Societies, and availed myself of his visit to me to request him to see that they were forwarded to England, but during our halt on the 4th September at South Mupé he re-visited me with Salim bin Mohammed, the nephew of Tippu-Tib,{17} so often mentioned in connection with Major Barttelot and Mr. Jameson. This man was of medium height and of slender build, with good and regular Arab features, much marred by the small-pox, and a face that reflected courage and audacity.

Mr. Bonny’s story of him and his malevolence to Major Barttelot personally had led me to imagine that I had misjudged his character, but at this interview I was confirmed in my previous impressions of him and of Tippu-Tib. It was simply this, that both Arabs were quite capable of shedding pagan blood without concern as to its guilt, but would not plan out any cold-blooded conspiracy to murder Arabs or white men for a less cause than revenge. Now as neither had cause to plot the murder of Barttelot, or to conspire for the destruction of the rear column, there ought absolutely to be no grounds for supposing that they had ever imagined such mischiefs. I am not disposed to doubt that Tippu-Tib did send or lead a contingent of carriers in person to the Aruwimi. His excuses for his early return—on the plea that he could not find the camp—may be told to the “Marines.” They prove that he was lukewarm, that he did not care sufficiently for the promised reward, and he ought to have been dropped out of mind. When, however, the young officers pleaded, and entreated, and coaxed him, both he and his nephew saw clearly that the service so eagerly and earnestly desired was worth money, and they raised their price; not out of ill-will, but out of an uncontrollable desire to make more profit. The obligations Tippu was under by contract, the gratitude due me for my assistance, were all forgotten in the keen and sharpened appetite for money. The Major possessed no resources to meet their demands, the worthy uncle and nephew believed that both he and Jameson were rich, and the Expedition to be under the patronage of wealthy men. “Why, then,” say they both with smug complacency, “if they want us so badly, let them pay. Stanley has been good to us, that is true (see the Major’s report), but a man can’t work for his friend for nothing—friendship is too dear at the price”—and so they took{18} another turn of the screw. It was done effectively I admit. If Tippu-Tib appeared a trifle indifferent he knew how to assume it, he knew he would be coaxed to good humour with gifts. If Salim bin Mohammed appeared a little vexed, sour, or talked of wounded susceptibilities, the Major opened his boxes and chose a gay uniform jacket, or sent a forty-five guinea rifle, or a bale of cloth, or a pair of ivory handled revolvers; if Salim bin Massoud his brother-in-law talked a little big, his condescending kindness was secured and stimulated by a rich bounty.

Salim had come in person, he said, to give a verbal reply to my note of the 17th, and he was ordered by his uncle to send couriers immediately back to him with my words.

The Arab’s inability to comprehend the meaning of a legal contract, his litigious and wavering spirit, his settled forgetfulness of words spoken, his facility for breaking promises, and tampering with agreements, his general inveracity, insincerity and dissimulation, as well as his gift of pouring a stream of compliments amid a rain of Mashallahs and Inshallahs, were never better displayed than at this interview. Salim said that Tippu-Tib had sent him to ask what we should do. This, after six letters, one in English and five in Arabic and Swahili, on the 17th!

“Now Salim,” said I, “listen. If I thought you or Tippu-Tib were in any way implicated in the murder of my friend, you would never leave this camp alive. You have only seen hitherto one side of me. But I know and believe from my soul that it was neither you nor Tippu-Tib who caused the death of the Major. Therefore we can speak together as formerly without anger. Tippu-Tib has not injured me beyond what the consul and the Seyyid of Zanzibar can settle easily between them. Into their hands I will commit the case. Tell your uncle that the passage of himself and his ninety-six followers from Zanzibar to Stanley Falls must be paid, that the loss of goods, rifles, powder, and ammunition, the loss of time of this entire expedition will{19} have to be made good. Tell him to do what he likes, but in the end I shall win. He cannot hurt me, but I can hurt him. Tell him to consider these things, and then say whether it would not be better to prove at the last that he was sorry, and that in future he would try to do better. If he would like to try, say, that if he gathers his men, and overtakes me before I cross the expedition over the Ituri in about fifty days hence, he shall have a chance of retrieving my good opinion, and quashing all legal proceedings.”

“Very well, I hear all you say. I shall return to-night to Banalya; Ugarrowwa will lend me canoes. I shall be with Tippu-Tib in eight days, and on the 17th day I shall be back here, on your track. I shall overhaul you before forty days.”

“Good, then,” I said, “we had better utter our last farewells, for we shall not meet again unless we meet at Zanzibar, about eighteen months hence.”


“Because neither you nor Tippu-Tib have the least intention of keeping your word. Your business here has been to order the Manyuema who are with me back to Stanley Falls. But it is perfectly immaterial. Take them back, for once more I say, it is not in your power to hurt me.”

“Inshallah, Inshallah, let your heart rest in peace, we meet in less than forty days, I swear to you.”

Poor Salim! he proceeded straight from my presence to the quarters of the Manyuema headmen, and tempted them to return with him, which, singular to relate, they obstinately declined to do. Salim waxing wrathful, employed menaces, upon hearing which they came to me demanding protection.

Smiling, I said to Salim, “What you promised me just now is true; you have seen me in less than forty days! But what is the meaning of this? These are independent Manyuema chiefs, who were sent by Tippu-Tib to follow us. They are obeying Tippu-Tib in doing so. Let them alone, Salim, there will be less people for you to look after on the road, you know,{20} because you also will follow us. Don’t you see? There, that will do. Come and get into your canoe, otherwise we shall make two marches before you leave here—and you have promised to catch me, you know, in forty days.”

Our move on the 5th was to the large settlement of the Batundu, who owned a flourishing crop of Indian corn, and a splendid plantation of bananas, as yet untouched by any caravan. The rear column men required good feeding to restore them to health, and though meat was unprocurable, bananas and corn were not amiss. Here we halted two days, during which we became aware of certain serious disadvantages resulting from contact with the Manyuema. For these people had contracted the small-pox, and had communicated it to the Madi carriers. Our Zanzibaris were proof against this frightful disease, for we had taken the precautions to vaccinate every member of the expedition on board the Madura, in March, 1887. But on the Madis it began to develop with alarming rapidity. Among the Manyuema were two insane women, or rather, to be quite correct, two women subject to spasms of hysterical exaltation, possessed by “devils,” according to their chiefs, who prevented sleep by their perpetual singing during the night. Probably some such mania for singing at untimely hours was the cause of the Major’s death. If the poor Major had any ear for harmony, their inharmonious and excited madhouse uproar might well have exasperated him.

The female sympathisers of these afflicted ones frequently broke out into strange chorus with them, in the belief that this method had a soothing effect, while any coercive measures for silencing them only exaggerated their curious malady. Whatever influence the chorus may have had on the nerves of the sufferers, on us, who were more tranquil, it was most distressing.

Sept. 5.

At this settlement two Zanzibaris, exceedingly useful, and reckoned among the elect of the force, secretly left camp to make a raid on the Batundu, and were ambushed and slain. This was the manner our most enterprising{21} men became lost to us. One of these two was the leader of the van, and had acted in that capacity since we had departed from Yambuya, June 1887. The sad occasion was an opportunity to impress on the infatuated men for the hundredth time the absurd folly they were guilty of in sacrificing their lives for a goat, in nobly working for months to earn pay and honour by manliness and fidelity, and then bury all in the entrails of cannibals. I had bestowed on them cattle, sheep, goats, fowls, handfuls of silver, and a thousand pounds’ worth of clothes, but none, no, not one, had offered his throat to me to be cut. But for the sake of a goat, at any time day or night the cannibal might kill and then eat them. What monstrous ingratitude! They were instantly penitential. Again they promised to me by Allah! that they would not do so again, and, of course, in a day or two they would forget their promise. It is their way.

But any person who has travelled with the writer thus far will have observed that almost every fatal accident hitherto in this Expedition has been the consequence of a breach of promise. How to adhere to a promise seems to me to be the most difficult of all tasks for every 999,999 men out of every million whom I meet. I confess that these black people who broke their promises so wantonly were the bane of my life, and the cause of continued mental disquietude, and that I condemned them to their own hearing as supremest idiots. Indeed, I have been able to drive from one to three hundred cattle a five hundred mile journey with less trouble and anxiety than as many black men. If we had strung them neck and neck along a lengthy slave-chain they would certainly have suffered a little inconvenience, but then they themselves would be the first to accuse us of cruelty. Not possessing chains, or even rope enough, we had to rely on their promises that they would not break out of camp into the bush on these mad individual enterprises, which invariably resulted in death, but never a promise was kept longer than two days.{22}

Sept. 8.
Elephant Playground.

“Elephant Playground” Camp was our next halting-place, and thence we moved to Wasp Rapids.

I learned from some of Ugarrowwa’s men that inland from Bwamburi are the Ababua tribe, among whom a different style of architecture prevails, the huts being more commodious and comfortable, and plastered, and that to the dwellings are attached wide verandahs. I was also told that their blacksmith’s art was carried to a high standard, and that on every blade of spear, sword, knife, or arrow, considerable decorations were lavished. Some of the tri-bladed and four-bladed knives were shown to me, and they were recognised as characteristic of the Monbuttu and Nyam-Nyam as described by Schweinfurth in his “Artes Africanæ.”

On leaving Wasp Rapids, on the 12th, our canoes carried 198; the land column under Mr. Bonny numbered 262. Being unladen, the trained men arrived in camp before the advance canoe of the flotilla. The road was now distinct and well trodden like ordinary African footpaths.

Sept. 12.

SWORDS AND KNIVES. (From a photograph.)

SWORDS AND KNIVES. (From a photograph.)

On reaching camp, however, the men, under pretence of cutting phrynia leaves to roof their huts, vanished into the forest, eluding the guards, and escaped along a path leading inland. Some of these managed to gain a few fowls, a sheaf or two of sugar-cane, and an abundance of mature plantains, but there were others who met only misfortune. Three Manyuema were killed, and a Lado soldier of the irregulars of Emin Pasha received a broad and sharp spear through his body, which, glancing past the vertebræ, caused a ghastly wound, but fortunately uninjured a vital part. The wounds were sewn up and bandages applied. The rear guard reported that on the road five Manyuema, three Zanzibaris, and one Soudanese were killed and eaten by ghoulish natives who had been hiding while the column was passing, and that these men belonging to the Banalya party had been resting near their hiding-place, when they were suddenly set upon and despatched. It was only five days previously that I had addressed the people publicly on the danger they were incurring by{23} these useless and wholly unnecessary raids. When food was really required, which was once in five days, a foraging party would be sent to cut plantains in such abundance that they sufficed for several days, and twelve hours’ drying over a fire rendered the provisions portable. Their absolute inability to keep their promise, and the absolute impossibility of compelling them to do so, had been the cause of twelve deaths, and the thirteenth person was so seriously wounded that he was in imminent danger of dying. We had the small-pox raging among the Manyuema and Madis, and daily creating havoc among their numbers, and we had this fatal want of discipline, which was utterly irremediable in the forest region. The more vehemently I laboured to correct this disorder in the mob, the more conscious I became that only a death penalty on the raider would stop him; but then when the natives themselves executed infallibly the sentence, there was no necessity for me to do it.

Just above Manginni a canoe was capsized through pure carelessness. With our best divers we proceeded to the scene and recovered every article excepting a box of gunpowder and one of beads. The canoe was broken.

Passing by Mugwye’s, we reached Mambanga, and halted two days to prepare food for the uninhabited wilderness that stretches thence to Engwedde. At this camp Lakki or a “Hundred thousand,” a veritable Jack Cade, loud, noisy, blustering—the courier who in the midst of the midnight fray at Bandeya shouted to his comrades: “These fellows want meat, and meat they shall have, but it will be their own!”—heading a secret raiding party made up of choice friends, and returned twenty-four hours later with a curious and most singular wound from a poisoned arrow. Carbonate of ammonium was injected into the wound, and he was saved, but Lakki was firmly of the opinion that he was indebted to the green tobacco leaves employed to cover it.

Sept. 14.



Sept. 17.
Ngula River.

While preparing our forest camps we were frequently startled at the sudden rush of some small animal resembling a wild goat, which often waited in his covert until almost trodden upon, and then bounded swiftly away,{25} running the gauntlet among hundreds of excited and hungry people, who with gesture, voice, and action attempted to catch it. This time, however, the animal took a flying leap over several canoes lying abreast into the river, and dived under. In an instant there was a desperate pursuit. Man after man leaped head foremost into the river, until its face was darkly dotted with the heads of the frantic swimmers. This mania for meat had approached madness. The poisoned arrow, the razor-sharp spear, and the pot of the cannibal failed to deter them from such raids; they dared all things, and in this instance an entire company had leaped into the river to fight and struggle, and perhaps be drowned, because there was a chance that a small animal that two men would consider as insufficient for a full meal, might be obtained by one man out of fifty. Five canoes were therefore ordered out to assist the madmen. About half a mile below, despite the manœuvres of the animal which dived and swam with all the cunning of savage man, a young fellow named Feruzi clutched it by the neck, and at the same time he was clutched by half-a-dozen fellows, and all must assuredly have been drowned had not the canoes arrived in time, and rescued the tired swimmers. But, alas! for Feruzi, the bush{26} antelope, for such it was, no sooner was slaughtered than a savage rush was made on the meat, and he received only a tiny morsel, which he thrust into his mouth for security.

During the next journey it was the river column that suffered. We were near our old camp at the confluence of the Ngula and the Ituri. A man in the advance canoe was shot in the back with a poisoned arrow. The wound was treated instantly with an injection of carbonate of ammonia, and no ill-effects followed.

The day following, the river column again suffered, and this time the case was as fatal as that caused by a bullet, and almost instantaneous. Jabu, our cook, somewhat indisposed, was sitting in the stern of a canoe while the crew was on shore about forty feet from him, hauling it past a bit of rapids. A bold and crafty native, with fixed arrow before him, steadily approached the vessel and shot a poisoned wooden dart, which penetrated the arm near the shoulders and pierced the base of the throat. The wound was a mere needle-hole puncture, but Jabu had barely time to say “Mahommed!” when he fell back dead.

Our next move was to Panga Falls. On the following day, 20th September, we made a road past the Falls, hauled twenty-seven canoes to the landing-place above, in view of Fort Island and then conveyed all goods and baggage to the camp.

Sept. 21.
Nejambi Rapids.

During our first journey through the neighbourhood we had lost no person through native weapons, but since our first passage the natives had been stimulated into aggressive efforts by the ease with which the reckless improvident black when not controlled by a white man, could be butchered. The deserters from the advance column had furnished the wretches with several meals; the stupid, dense-headed Bakusu under Ugarrowwa had supplied them with victims until the cannibal had discovered that by his woodcraft he could creep upon the unsuspecting men and drive his spear through them as easily as through so many goats. We had lost fourteen{27} men in thirty days. A silly Madi strayed into the bush on the 20th, to collect fuel. A native confronted him and drove his weapon clean through his body. On the 21st a Manyuema woman, fifty paces from our camp, was pierced with a poisoned arrow, and was dead before we could reach her. And, to complete the casualties, a Zanzibari of the rear column succumbed to manioc poison.

Nejambi Rapids was our next camp. As soon as we had arrived and stacked goods, about a hundred men, driven by hunger, started in a body to forage for plantains. We, who remained in camp, had our hands full of work. The twenty-seven canoes required to be hauled, on the next day, past the rapids, and a road had to be cleared, and rattan cables were wanted for each vessel for hauling.

By sunset several of the foragers had returned well rewarded for their enterprise, but many were belated, and, till long past midnight, guns were fired as signals, and the great ivory horns sounded loud blasts which travelled through the glades with continued rolling echoes. About nine p.m., tidings came that two Zanzibaris had been killed by poisoned arrows. An hour later a dead body, that of Ferajji, the humorous head-man, who was cross-examined at Banalya, was brought in. On inspection, the corpse was found studded with beads of perspiration. The arrow wound was a mere pin-hole puncture in upper left arm, but it had proved quite enough. It was said that he walked about an hour after being struck, towards camp, but then cried out for a little rest, as he was faint. During the ten minutes’ rest he died.

Young Hussein bin Juma, of a respectable parentage at Zanzibar, was soon after carried in, and brought to me, not dead, as reported, but in an extremely low condition. I discovered that the arrow had pierced the outer flesh of the right arm, and had entered an inch above the third rib. The arrow was hastily withdrawn and shown to me. It was smeared over with a dark substance like thick coal tar, and emitted a most{28} peculiar odour. The arm was not swollen, but the body wound had caused a considerable tumour, soft to the touch. He said that he had felt exceedingly faint at one time, and that he perspired greatly, but had felt great relief after retching. At present he was languid, and suffered from thirst. After washing well both wounds, five grains of carbonate ammonia were injected into each wound, and a good dose of strong medical brandy was administered.

In ten days young Hussein was quite restored, and went about performing his accustomed duties.

A squad of men returned long after midnight with fowls, plantains, and fortunately without accident. But early in the morning, Tam, a native of Johanna, raving from small-pox, threw himself into the rapids and was drowned. He had declined being vaccinated.

After hauling our canoes overland three-quarters of a mile, we halted a day above the rapids to prepare five days’ rations of flour. The strain of hauling the rotten craft had reduced our flotilla to twenty-two vessels.

Engwedde’s long series of rapids was passed without accident, and thence we moved to Avisibba, and a good march brought us to the camp below Mabengu Rapids, where we had waited so long for the lost column under Jephson in August, 1887.

The next day was a halt, and a strong foraging party was sent over to Itiri to collect food. In the afternoon it returned, bringing several days’ supply of plantains with a few goats and fowls, and for the first time we were able to make soup and distribute meat to the Banalya sick. It was reported to me that the Manyuema had carved a woman most butcherly to allay their strong craving for meat, but the headman assured me that it was utterly false, and I am inclined to believe him, for the Zanzibaris, if they had really detected such a monstrous habit in people who might at any time contaminate their cooking-pots, would have insisted on making a severe example.

Sept. 30.

On the last day of September we moved up to above upper rapids of Avugadu, at which camp we discovered{29} wild oranges. There were also wild mango-trees, if we may trust the flowering and foliage. Red figs of a sweetish flavour were very common, but as their shrunk pedicels possessed no saccharine secretions they were uneatable.

A native woman was delivered of a child on the road. She was seen standing over the tiny atom. The Zanzibaris as they came up crowded around the unusual sight, and one said, “throw the thing into the river out of the way.” “But why should you do that when the infant is alive?” asked another. “Why don’t you see that it is white? it must be some terrible disease I am sure.” “Oh Ignorance, how many evils transpire under thy dark shade.” “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” rushed to my mind, as I looked in wonder at the speakers, who, utterly unconscious that they were committing murder, would have extinguished the little spark of life there and then.

Our anxieties at this period were mainly on the account of those suffering from ulcers. There was one wise little boy of about thirteen called Soudi, who formerly attended on the Major. An injury he had received had caused about four inches of the leg bone to be exposed. We had also fifteen cases of small-pox, who mingled in the freest manner possible with our Zanzibaris, and only the suicide, Tam, had thus far been attacked.

Oct. 1.

On arriving at Avejeli, opposite the Nepoko, the wife of the Manyuema drummer, a prepossessing lassie, went out to the gardens close by to collect herbs. A band of natives were in hiding, and they pierced her with arrows. Seven of them quivered in her body. Her screams attracted attention, and she was hastily brought in, but even as we were about to inject the ammonium she rolled over, raised her arms, and embraced her young husband in the most touching manner, gave a long sigh, and died. “Oh, ye travellers! who belong to that clique who say the Africans know neither love, affection, nor jealousy. What would you have said to this pitiful death-scene?” We had also a Manyuema{30} woman who was a hideous object, a mass of loathsome pustules, emitting an almost unbearable stench, but her husband tended and served her with a surpassing and devoted tenderness. Death, death everywhere, and on every day, and in every shape; but love, supreme love stood like a guardian angel to make death beautiful! Poor unlettered, meek creatures, the humblest of humanity, yet here unseen, and unknown of those who sing of noble sacrifices, of constancy and devotion, proving your brotherhood with us amid the sternest realities by lulling your loved ones to rest with the choicest flowers of love!

On the 2nd of October we moved up to Little Rapids below the confluence of the Ngaiyu with the Ituri, where a tornado visited us, churned up the generally waveless river into careering rollers, that stretched from bank to bank, with a power and force that disturbed the very bed and muddied the stream until it resembled a wild strip of shallow wind-driven sea, beating on an alluvial shore. Our canoes were dashed one against the other until they promised to become matchwood, while the great forest groaned and roared with the agony of the strife, but in half-an-hour the river had resumed its placid and tender face, and the forest stood still as though petrified.

During a halt on the 3rd, Mr. Jameson’s box, containing various trifles belonging to an industrial naturalist, was opened. Books, diaries, and such articles as were worth preserving, were sealed up for transport athwart the continent; the others, unnecessary to a person in civilization, were discarded.

Oct. 3.

Mr. Bonny was despatched with twenty-eight men past the Ngaiyu, to verify my hope that a landing-place I had observed in passing and repassing would lead to the discovery of a road by which I could avoid the devastated wilderness that stretched for nearly 200 miles along the south bank between the Basopo Rapids and Ibwiri. Mr. Bonny, after returning, was pleased to express his surprise at the marvellous dexterity and agility of the scouts, who sprang with the lightness of springing bush antelopes over every kind of impediment,{31} and who in almost every thousand paces gained five hundred ahead of him. A mile and a half from the landing-place on the north bank he had found a fine village surrounded by rich groves of plantains. To this village, called Bavikai, we proceeded more in the hope that we could utilize some road going north-easterly, whence, after sixty miles or so, we could strike on a bee-line course for the Albert.

As the men were being transported across the river opposite the landing-place of the Bavikai on the 4th, I saw a dozen Madis in a terrible condition from the ravages of the small-pox, and crowding them, until they jostled them in admirable unconcern, were some two dozen of the tribe as yet unaffected by the disease. This little fact put me on a line of reflections which, had a first-class shorthand writer been near, might have been of value to other thoughtless persons. Never did ignorance appear to me so foolish. Its utter unsuspectingness was pitiful. Over these human animals I saw the shadow of Death, in the act to strike. But I said to myself, I see the terrible shade over them ready to smite them with the disease which will make them a horror, and finally kill them. When I fall also it will probably be from some momentary thoughtlessness, when I shall either be too absorbed, or too confident to observe the dark shadow impending over me. However, Mambu Kwa Mungu, neither they nor I can avoid our fate.

Among my notes on the 5th of October I find a few remarks about Malaria.

While we have travelled through the forest region we have suffered less from African fevers, than we did in the open country between Mataddi and Stanley Pool.

A long halt in the forest clearings soon reminds us that we are not yet so acclimated as to utterly escape the effects of malaria. But when within the inclosed woods our agues are of a very mild form, soon extinguished by a timely dose of quinine.

On the plateau of Kavalli and Undussuma, Messrs. Jephson, Parke, and myself were successively prostrated{32} by fever, and the average level of the land was over 4500 feet above the sea.

On descending to the Nyanza plain, 2500 feet lower, we were again laid up with fierce attacks.

At Banana Point, which is at sea-level, ague is only too common.

At Boma, 80 feet higher, the ague is more common still.

At Vivi, there were more cases than elsewhere, and the station was about 250 feet higher than Boma, and not a swamp was near it.

At Stanley Pool, about 1100 feet above sea level, fever of a pernicious form was prevalent.

While ascending the Congo with the wind astern we were unusually exempted from ague.

But descending the Upper Congo, facing the wind, we were smitten with most severe forms of it.

While ascending the Aruwimi we seldom thought of African fever, but descending it in canoes, meeting the wind currents, and carried towards it by river-flow and paddle, we were speedily made aware that acclimatisation is slow.

Therefore it is proved that from 0 to 5000 feet above the sea there is no immunity from fever and ague, that over forty miles of lake water between a camp and the other shore are no positive protection; that a thousand miles of river course may serve as a flue to convey malaria in a concentrated form; that if there is a thick screen of primeval forest, or a grove of plantains between the dwelling-place and a large clearing or open country there is only danger of the local malaria around the dwelling, which might be rendered harmless by the slightest attention to the system; but in the open country neither a house nor a tent are sufficient protection, since the air enters by the doors of the house, and under the flaps, and through the ventilators to poison the inmates.

Hence we may infer that trees, tall shrubbery, a high wall or close screen interposed between the dwelling-place and the wind currents will mitigate their malarial{33} influence, and the inmate will only be subjected to local exhalations.

Emin Pasha informed me that he always took a mosquito curtain with him, as he believed that it was an excellent protector against miasmatic exhalations of the night.

Question, might not a respirator attached to a veil, or face screen of muslin, assist in mitigating malarious effects when the traveller finds himself in open regions?

Three companies of forty men each were sent in three different directions to follow the tracks leading from Bavikai. The first soon got entangled in the thick woods bordering the Ngaiyu, and had an engagement with the natives of Bavikai, who were temporarily encamped in the dark recesses, the second followed a path that ran E. by N., and soon met a large force of natives coming from three different villages. One of our men was wounded in the head with a poisoned arrow. The third was perplexed by a network of paths, and tried several of them, but all ended in plantations of plantains and thin bush of late growth, and in the search these men encountered savages well armed and prepared with poisoned darts. We were therefore compelled to recross the river to the south bank, to try again higher up, to avoid the trying labour of tunnelling through the forest.

Oct. 10.
Hippo Broads.

On the 10th the Expedition reached Hippo Broads. On this date we saw a cloud of moths sailing up river, which reached from the water’s face to the topmost height of the forest, say 180 feet, so dense, that before it overtook us we thought that it was a fog, or, as was scarcely possible, a thick fall of lavender-coloured snow. The rate of flight was about three knots an hour. In the dead calm morning air they maintained an even flight, but the slightest breeze from the banks whirled them confusedly about, like light snow particles on a gusty day. Every now and then the countless close packed myriads met a cloud of moth migrants from above river, and the sunbeams glinting and shining on their transparent wing caused them to resemble fire sparks.{34}

Bits of turfy green, cropped close by hippo, which favours this fine reach of river, distinguish the banks near this locality. Many oil palms, some raphia, arums, phrynia, amoma, pepper bushes, &c., denote a very ancient site of a human settlement. My tent was pitched under a small branching fig-tree, which protected it from a glowing Equatorial sun, but the heat reflected from the river’s face mounted up to 87° in the shade at 3 P.M. This unusual heat preceded a tempest, with lightning, startling thunder, and deluging rain.

At the Bafaido Cataract, a woman who fell into our hands informed us that the Medze tribe lived on the other side of the Ngaiyu River and that the Babandi were found on its left bank.

Near Avaiyabu, a lurking native who had been standing behind a leafy screen of parasites depending from the branches of a big tree, suddenly stepped into the path, snatched a little girl belonging to the Manyuema, and drove his double-edged dagger from breast to back, and holding his weapon above his head uttered a furious cry, which might well have been “Death to the invader!”

And at the next camp, Avamberri landing-place, Soudi the wise little boy who had served the Major, while being carried past the rapids to the canoes waiting above, died on the carriers’ shoulders. The enamel covering of the leg-bone had been all destroyed by the virulent ulcer. Since we had left Bungangeta Island, Soudi had been carried and nursed, but want of exercise, and exposure to sun in the canoe and constant rain had weakened his digestion. His constitution had been originally healthy and sound. The little fellow had borne his sufferings bravely, but the reserve medicines were at Bangala, and we could do nothing for him.

On the 18th of October we were at Amiri Rapids, and the second Zanzibari showed symptoms of small-pox. So far we had been remarkably free of the disease, despite the fact that there were from ten to twenty sufferers daily in the camp since arriving at the settlement of the Batundu. Out of 620 Zanzibaris who were ordered to be vaccinated,{35} some few constitutions might possibly have resisted the vaccine; but no more decided proof of the benefits resulting to humanity could be obtained from Jenner’s discovery than were furnished by our Expedition. Among the Manyuema, Madis, and native followers, the epidemic had taken deadly hold, and many a victim had already been tossed into the river weighted with rocks. For this was also a strange necessity we had to resort to, to avoid subsequent exhumation by the natives whom we discovered to be following our tracks for the purpose of feeding on the dead.

One of the Zanzibari headmen while acting as coxswain of a canoe was so stung by wasps at this camp that he despaired of his life, and insisted that his will should be written, wherein he made his brother, then with us, his sole legatee. I conformed to his wish in a clerkly fashion that pleased him well, but I also administered a ten-grain dose of carbonate of ammonium hypodermically, and told him he should reach Zanzibar in spite of the vicious wasps who had so punished him. The next day he was a new man, and boasted that the white man’s medicines could cure everything except death.

Oct. 18.
Amiri Falls.

After moving to the top of Amiri Rapids, a series of misfortunes met us. Some few of the flighty-headed untrained men of the rear-column rushed off to the plantain plantations without a leader or authority, and conducted themselves like children. The natives surrounded them and punished them, wounding three. Two others, one suffering from a palpitation of the heart, and another feeble youth, had left the trail to hide from the rear-guard.

Up to date, we had lost since 1st of September, nine Zanzibaris killed, one from suicide, one from ulcers, and two were missing. Of the Manyuema contingent, fifteen had been killed or had died from small pox, and eighteen Madis had either been killed or had perished from the pest. Total loss, forty-four deaths within forty-nine days.

Oct. 19.
Amiri Falls.

From Amiri Falls to Avatiko was a seven-days’ march{36} through a depopulated country, through a land wholly empty of food. Beyond Avatiko by the new route I proposed to follow, two days would probably transpire before another supply of food could be obtained. This was my estimate, at which with the Zanzibaris of the advance column who were now trained in forest life, we might perform these journeys. If we could obtain no food at Avatiko, then our lot would be hard indeed. Up to within a day’s march of Avatiko, we could employ the canoes in carrying an extra supply of provisions. It would not be impossible to take twenty days’ rations of flour per capita; but a leader to perform such a work must be obeyed. He performs his duties by enjoining on all his followers to remember his words, to take heed of his advice, and do their utmost to conform to his instructions.

On the 20th at dawn, 160 rifles were despatched to the plantations five miles inland from Amiri Falls. The men were told how many days Avatiko was distant, and that they should employ one day in collecting food, in peeling, slicing and drying their plantains in the plantation, so that they could bring from sixty to seventy pounds of food, which when distributed would supply each person with over twenty pounds, equal to ten days’ rations. Experience of them proved to me that the enterprising would carry sufficient to satisfy them with fifteen days’ unstinted food; others, again, despite the warning of death rung in their ears, would not carry more than would suffice them for four days.

On the afternoon of the 21st I was gratified to see that the people had been very successful. How many had followed my advice it was impossible to state. The messes had sent half their numbers to gather the food, and every man had to contribute two handfuls for the officers and sick. It only remained now for the chiefs of the messes to be economical of the food, and the dreaded wilderness might be safely crossed.{37}



Ugarrowwa’s old station once more—March to Bunda—We cross the Ituri River—Note written by me opposite the mouth of the Lenda River—We reach the Avatiko plantations—Mr. Bonny measures a pigmy—History and dress of the pigmies—A conversation by gesture—The pigmy’s wife—Monkeys and other animals in the forest—The clearing of Andaki—Our tattered clothes—The Ihuru River—Scarcity of food; Amani’s meals—Uledi searches for food—Missing provisions—We reach Kilonga-Longa’s village again—More deaths—The forest improves for travelling—Skirmish near Andikumu—Story of the pigmies and the box of ammunition—We pass Kakwa Hill—Defeat of a caravan—The last of the Somalis—A heavy shower of rain—Welcome food discovery at Indemau—We bridge the Dui River—A rough muster of the people—A stray goat at our Ngwetza camp—Further capture of dwarfs—We send back to Ngwetza for plantains—Loss of my boy Saburi in the forest—We wonder what has become of the Ngwetza party—My boy Saburi turns up—Starvation Camp—We go in search of the absentees, and meet them in the forest—The Ihuru River—And subsequent arrival at Fort Bodo.

Oct. 23.
Ugarrowwa’s Station.

The Expedition reached Ugarrowwa’s old station on the 23rd of October, and slept within its deserted huts. In the court of the great house of the chief of the raiders, a crop of rice had grown up, but the birds had picked every grain. Over one hundred people found comfortable shelter in the spacious passages; and had supplies been procurable within a respectable distance, it would not have ill-suited us for a halt of a week; but it was too risky altogether to consume our rations because of the comfort of shelter. It was the centre of a great desolate area, which we were bound by fear of famine to travel through with the utmost speed.

Oct. 24.

The following day we marched to Bunda. The river column received attention from Ugarrowwa’s old subjects, and the Manyuema sprang overboard to avoid the{38} arrows; but the Zanzibaris from the canoe behind leaped ashore, and by a flank attack assisted us to save the bewildered Manyuema, who in their careless happy attitudes in the canoe had offered such tempting targets for the natives.

The Ituri River was now in full flood, for the rains fell daily in copious tropical showers. The streams and creeks flowing into the Ituri from the right bank were deep, which caused the land party excessive worry and distress. No sooner had they crossed one creek up to the waist, than in a few moments another of equal or greater depth had to be waded through. They were perpetually wringing their clothes, and declaiming against the vexatious interruptions. Across the mouths of deeper tributaries the canoes were aligned, and served as floating bridges for the party to cross, while each man was the subject of some jest at his bedraggled appearance. The foremost men were sure to have some wet mud or soapy clay on the boards; the garments of others would be dripping with water, and presently fall after fall would testify to the exceeding slipperiness of the bridge, and would be hailed with uproarious chaff and fun. On this day thirty-two streams were crossed by the land party.

On the 25th, we moved up to a camp, opposite the mouth of the Lenda River. We were making progress, but I came across the following note written that evening. It will be seen later that such congratulations could only have been the outcome of a feeling of temporary pleasure that the day was not far distant when we should see the end to our harder labours.

Oct. 25.
Lenda River.

“I desire to render most hearty thanks that our laborious travels through the forest are drawing to a close. We are about 160 miles to-night from the grass-land; but we shall reduce this figure quickly enough, I hope. Meantime we live in anticipation. We bear the rainy season without a murmur, for after the rain the harvest will be ready for us in the grass-land. We do not curse the mud and reek of this humid land now, though we crossed thirty-two streams yesterday, and{39} the mud banks and flats were sorely trying to the patience. We have a number of minor pleasures in store. It will be a great relief to be delivered from the invasions of the red ants, and to be perfectly secure from their assaults by day and by night. When we have finally dried the soles of our boots and wiped the mildew of the forest off their tops, our dreams will be undisturbed by one enemy at least. While we smart under the bites of the ferocious small bees, and start at the sting of small ants, and writhe under the venom of a hornet, or groan by reason of the sting of a fiendish wasp, or flap away the ever-intrusive butterfly, or dash aside the hurtful tiger slug, or stamp with nervous haste on the advancing greenish centipede, we remind ourselves that these miseries will not be for many days now. A little more patience and then merrier times. We have had four goats since August 17th for meat. We have subsisted mainly on roast plantains. They have served to maintain the soul attached to the body. We are grateful even for this, though our strength is not to be boasted of. We complacently think of the beef, and veal, and mutton diet ahead, garnished with a variety of edibles such as the sweet potato and beans, and millet flour for porridge with milk, and sesamum oil for cooking. Relief also from the constant suspicion, provoked by an animal instinct, that a savage with a sheaf of poisoned arrows is lurking within a few feet of one will be something to be grateful for. The ceaseless anxiety, the tension of watchfulness, to provide food, and guard the people from the dangers that meet their frolics, will be relaxed; and I shall be glad to be able to think better of the world and its inhabitants than the doubtful love I entertain for mankind in the forest.”

Oct. 27.
Lenda River.

We found our camp at Umeni on the 26th, but there were only two small bunches of miniature plantains discovered here, and a raging tornado roared like a legion of demons through the forest, and shook the ancient tree giants to their base, while the dark Ituri was so beswept that it became pallid under the whistling, screaming fury of the squalls.{40}

On the next day we rowed up to below Big Cataract, unloaded the goods, left the canoes in the bushes, shouldered our loads, and marched away after half an hour’s halt only, for five miles inland. We had left the Ituri navigation for the last time.

We entered the Avatiko plantations after three hours’ march on the 28th, and just while the majority of the people was perilously near starvation. They spread over the plantations with the eagerness of famished wolves after prey. Here we stayed two days in foraging and preparing a supply of food.

We had not been long at Avatiko before a couple of pigmies were brought to me. What relation the pair were to one another is not known. The man was young, probably twenty-one. Mr. Bonny conscientiously measured him, and I recorded the notes.

Height, 4 ft.; round head, 20¼ in.; from chin to back top of head, 24¼ in.; round chest, 25½ in.; round abdomen, 27¾ in.; round hips, 22½ in.; round wrist, 4¼ in.; round muscle of left arm, 7½ in.; round ankle, 7 in.; round calf of leg, 7¾ in.; length of index finger, 2 in.; length of right hand, 4 in.; length of foot, 6¼ in.; length of leg, 22 in.; length of back, 18½ in.; arm to tip of finger, 19¾ in.

This was the first full-grown man we had seen. His colour was coppery, the fell over the body was almost furry, being nearly half an inch in length. His head-dress was a bonnet of a priestly form, decorated with a bunch of parrot feathers; it was either a gift or had been stolen. A broad strip of bark cloth covered his nakedness. His hands were very delicate, and attracted attention by their unwashed appearance. He had evidently been employed in peeling plantains.

Oct. 28.

Not one London editor could guess the feelings with which I regarded this mannikin from the solitudes of the vast central African forest. To me he was far more venerable than the Memnonium of Thebes. That little body of his represented the oldest types of primeval man, descended from the outcasts of the earliest ages, the Ishmaels of the primitive race, for{41} ever shunning the haunts of the workers, deprived of the joy and delight of the home hearth, eternally exiled by their vice, to live the life of human beasts in morass and fen and jungle wild. Think of it! Twenty-six centuries ago his ancestors captured the five young Nassamonian explorers, and made merry with them at their villages on the banks of the Niger. Even as long as forty centuries ago they were known as pigmies, and the famous battle between them and the storks was rendered into song. On every map since Hekataeus’ time, 500 years B.C., they have been located in the region of the Mountains of the Moon. When Mesu led the children of Jacob out of Goshen, they reigned over{42} Darkest Africa undisputed lords; they are there yet, while countless dynasties of Egypt and Assyria, Persia, Greece and Rome, have flourished for comparatively brief periods, and expired. And these little people have roamed far and wide during the elapsed centuries. From the Niger banks, with successive waves of larger migrants, they have come hither to pitch their leafy huts in the unknown recesses of the forest. Their kinsmen are known as Bushmen in Cape Colony, as Watwa in the basin of the Lulungu, as Akka in Monbuttu, as Balia by the Mabodé, as Wambutti in the Ihuru basin, and as Batwa under the shadows of the Lunae Montes.



As the gigantic Madis, and tall Soudanese, and tallest Zanzibaris towered above the little man, it was delightful to observe the thoughts within him express themselves with lightning rapidity on his face. The wonderment that filled him, the quick shifting and chilling fears as to his fate, the anxious doubts that possessed him, the hopes that sprang up as he noted humour on the faces, the momentary shades of anxiety, curiosity to know whence these human monsters had come from, what they would do with him eventually; would they kill him, how? by roasting him alive, or plunging him screaming into a vat-like cooking pot? Ach Gott! I hope not, and a slight shake of the head, with a more pallid colour on the lips and a nervous twitch showed what distress he was in. He would do anything to deserve the favour of these big men, just as the young Nassamonians were willing to do 2600 years ago, when his pigmy forefathers pointed their fingers and jabbered at them in the old Nigritian village. So we took him to sit by us, and stroked him on the back, gave him some roast bananas to put into that distended aldermanic abdomen of his, and the pigmy smiled his gratitude. What a cunning rogue he was! how quick-witted! He spoke so eloquently by gesture that he was understood by the dullest of us.

“How far is it to the next village where we can procure food?{43}

He placed the side of his right hand across the left wrist. (More than two days’ march.)

“In what direction?”

He pointed east.

“How far is it to the Ihuru?”

“Oh!” He brought his right hand across his elbow joint—that is double the distance, four days.

“Is there any food north?”

He shook his head.

“Is there any west or north-west?”

He shook his head, and made a motion with his hand as though he were brushing a heap of sand away.


He made the motion with his two hands as though he were holding a gun, and said “Doooo!”

“To be sure the Manyuema have destroyed everything.”

“Are there any ‘Doooo’ in the neighbourhood, now?”

He looked up and smiled with a gush as artful as a London coquette, as if to say, “You know best! Oh! naughty man, why do you chaff me?”

“Will you show us the road to the village where we can get food?”

He nodded his head rapidly, patted his full-moon belly, which meant, “Yes, for there I shall get a full meal; for here”—he smiled disdainfully as he pressed his thumb nail on the first joint of his left index finger—“are plantains only so big, but there they are as big as this,” and he clasped the calf of his leg with two hands.

“Oh, Paradise!” cried the men, “bananas as big as a man’s leg!” The pigmy had contrived to ingratiate himself into every man’s affection. My authority was gone until the story of the monstrous bananas would be disproved. Some of them looked as if they would embrace him, and his face mimicked artless innocence, though he knew perfectly well that, in their opinion, he was only a little lower than an angel.

And all this time, the coppery face of the nut-brown{44} little maid was eloquent with sympathy in the emotions of the male pigmy. Her eyes flashed joy, a subtle spirit glided over her features with the transition of lightning. There were the same tricks of by-play; the same doubts, the same hopes, the same curiosity, the same chilling fear, was felt by the impressionable soul as she divined what feelings moved her kinsman. She was as plump as a thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas goose; her breasts glistened with the sheen of old ivory, and as she stood with clasped hands drooping below—though her body was nude—she was the very picture of young modesty.

The pair were undoubtedly man and woman. In him was a mimicked dignity, as of Adam; in her the womanliness of a miniature Eve. Though their souls were secreted under abnormally thick folds of animalism, and the finer feelings inert and torpid through disuse, they were there for all that. And they suited the wild Eden of Avatiko well enough.

Oct. 28.

Burdened with fresh supplies of dried plantains, and guided by the pigmies, we set out from the abandoned grove of Avatiko E.N.E., crossed the clear stream of Ngoki at noon, and at 3 P.M. were encamped by the brook Epeni. We observed numerous traces of the dwarfs in the wilds which we had traversed, in temporary camps, in the crimson skins of the amoma, which they had flung away after eating the acid fruit, in the cracked shells of nuts, in broken twigs that served as guides to the initiated in their mysteries of woodcraft, in bow-traps by the wayside, in the game-pits sunk here and there at the crossings of game-tracks. The land appeared more romantic than anything we had seen. We had wound around wild amphitheatral basins, foliage rising in terraces one above another, painted in different shades of green, and variegated with masses of crimson flowers, and glistening russet, and the snowdrop flowerets of wild mangoes, or the creamy silk floss of the bombax, and as we looked under a layer of foliage that drooped heavily above us, we saw the sunken basin below, an impervious mass of leafage grouped crown to{45} crown like heaped hills of soft satin cushions, promising luxurious rest. Now and then troops of monkeys bounded with prodigious leaps through the branches, others swinging by long tails a hundred feet above our heads, and with marvellous agility hurling their tiny bodies through the air across yawning chasms, and catching an opposite branch, resting for an instant to take a last survey of our line before burying themselves out of sight in the leafy depths. Ibises screamed to their mates to hurry up to view the column of strangers, and touracos argued with one another with all the guttural harshness of a group of Egyptian fellahs, plantain-eaters, sunbirds, grey parrots, green parroquets, and a few white-collared eagles either darted by or sailed across the leafy gulf, or sat drowsily perched in the haze upon aspiring branches. There was an odour of musk, a fragrance of flowers, perfume of lilies mixed with the acrid scent of tusky boars in the air; there were heaps of elephant refuse, the droppings of bush antelopes, the pungent dung of civets, and simians along the tracks, and we were never long away from the sound of rushing rivulets or falling cascades, sunlight streamed in slanting silver lines and shone over the undergrowth and the thick crops of phrynia, arum, and amoma, until their damp leaves glistened, and the dewdrops were brilliant with light.

And the next day our march underneath the eternal shades was through just such a land, and on the morning of the 1st of November we emerged into the clearing of Andaki, to refresh our souls with the promised fruit of its groves. The plantains were not very large, but they were mature and full, and before an hour had elapsed, the wooden grates were up, and the fruit lay in heaps of slices on the bars over the fire. The word was passed that the first and second day of the month should be employed in preparing as much provisions as every man could carry. We were in N. Lat. 1° 16½′. Kilonga-Longa’s station was in 1° 6′, and Fort Bodo in 1° 20′, so that our course was good.

Nov. 2.

On the second some scouts hunting up the various{46} tracks extending eastward came across two women, one of whom said she knew of a great village to the north where there was food. Another said that Andari lay E.N.E., four days’ march, where there was such a stock of food that Andaki was a mere handful compared with it.

Soon after leaving Andaki, and crossing a broad ridge, we came upon a vast abandoned clearing. Probably a year had elapsed since the people had fled, and their settlements had been consumed with fire, for the banana plants were choked by the voracious undergrowth and wild plants, and the elephants had trampled through and through, and sported for months among the wasted groves, and over the crushed Musa plants, through phrynia flourishing two fathoms deep, and where the stumps of cut trees had sprouted and grown until their tufted tops were joined to one another in one great thick carpet of bush. Through this we carved our way with brandished billhooks and cutlasses; the native women had lost the track, and were bewildered by the wildly luxuriant shrubbery, under which we sweated in the damp hot-house heat, and ploughed our way through the deep green sea, until after ten hours we came to a babbling rillet, and must perforce camp from sheer exhaustion, though we had made but five miles.

Nov. 4.

On the morning of the fourth we resumed the task, to slash, cut, creep and crawl, bore through, in and out, to clamber over logs, tread carefully over gaping rifts in the reeking compost, bend under logs, to tunnel away with might and main, to drive through—a hungry column of men was behind, a wilderness before us—to crash headlong through the plants, veer to the left, and now to the right, to press on and on, to sharpen the weapons on the stones of the brook; to take a hasty drink to satisfy our thirst, and again to the work. Cleave away merrily, boys; sever those creepers; cut those saplings down! No way now? then widen that game hole in the bush clump! Come, strike with billhook and sword, axe and cutlass! We must not die like fools in this demon world! This way and{47} that, through and through, until after sixteen hours we had cut a crooked channel through the awful waste, and stood once more under the lordly crowns of the primeval forest.

Paddy’s traditional patchy clothes was a dress suit compared to mine, as I stood woefully regarding the rents and tatters and threads waving in tassels from my breeches and shirt; and the men smiled, and one said we looked like rats dragged through the teeth of traps, which I thought was not a bad simile. But we had no time for talk; we ate a couple of roast plantains for lunch, and continued our journey, and by 3 P.M. were within half-an-hour of the Ihuru River.

The next day, before it was full daylight, we were filing along an elephant track that ran parallel with the Ihuru, which was at this time one raging series of rapids its whole length, and sounding its unceasing uproar in our ears. Numbers of deep tributaries were waded through; but we maintained a quick pace, owing to the broad track of the elephants, and by the usual hour of the afternoon nine miles had been covered.

Thirteen Zanzibaris of the rear column, and one of the Danagla soldiers of Emin Pasha, had succumbed during the last few days, and I do not know how many Madis and Manyuema.

On the evening of the sixth, after a march of eight miles, I became impressed with the necessity of finding food shortly, unless we were to witness wholesale mortality. Starvation is hard to bear, but when loads must be carried upon empty stomachs, and the marches are long, the least break in the continuity of supply brings with it a train of diseases which soon thins the ranks. Our Nyanza people were provident, and eked their stores with mushrooms and wild fruit; but the feeble manioc-poisoned men of the rear column, Madis and Manyuema, were utterly heedless of advice and example.

A youth named Amani, who looked rather faint, was adjured to tell me the truth about what he had eaten the last two days.

Nov. 6.

“I will,” he said. “My mess had a fair provision{48} of plantain flour that would have kept us with ease two days longer; but Sulimani, who carried it, put it down by the roadside while he went to gather mushrooms. When he returned the food was gone. He says the Manyuema had stolen it. Each one of us then on reaching camp last night set out to hunt for mushrooms, out of which we made a gruel. That is what we had to eat last night for supper. This morning we have fasted, but we are going to hunt up mushrooms again.”

“And what will you eat to-morrow?”

“To-morrow is in the hands of God. I will live in hopes that I shall find something.”

This youth, he was only nineteen, had carried sixty pound of cartridges in the meantime, and would carry it again to-morrow, and the next day, until he dropped, and measured his length with eyes upturned to the dark cope of leaves above, to be left there to mildew and rot; for out of nothing, nothing can be extracted to feed hungry men. He was only a solitary instance of over 400 people.

We reached a Manyuema Camp, and Uledi recognised it as being a place where he had halted during a forage tour to the west of the Ihuru, while he was waiting for Messrs. Jephson and Nelson at Ipoto, and the advance column was journeying to Ibwiri in November, 1887.

On the 7th a halt was ordered, that a column might be sent under Uledi to search the clearing of Andari, six miles N.N.W. of the camp, but over a hundred were so weak that they were unable to go, whereupon the messes were ordered to bring their pots up, and three handfuls of flour were placed in each to make gruel with, that they might have strength to reach the plantation.

On the 8th, about 200 remained silent in camp awaiting the foragers. In the afternoon, perceiving that it was too long a fast to wait for them we served out more plantain flour.

Nov. 9.

On the 9th, the foragers had not arrived. Two men had died in camp. One reeled from the effects of a poisonous fungus, as they came to get another ration of{49} flour for their gruel; their steps were more feeble; the bones of the sternum were fearfully apparent. Three days would find us all perished, but we were hopeful that every minute we should hear the murmur of the returning column.

On the morning of the 10th, anxious for the European provisions which we were carrying for the officers at Fort Bodo, I had them examined, and discovered to my consternation that fifty-seven tins of meat, teas, coffees, milks, were short—had been eaten by the Manyuema. If a look had potency sufficient to blast them, they would have speedily been reduced to ashes. “Dear me, how could the tins have vanished?” asked the chief Sadi. Ah, how? But the provision boxes were taken from his party, and Winchester and Maxim ammunition cases were served instead to them as freight.

At 2 P.M. the column of foragers returned, bringing from three to six days’ provisions, which they had gathered from an abandoned plantation. The bearers had refreshed themselves previous to gathering. Now, in return for my gruel, each member had to refund me one pound of flour, as my reserve store, and one pound for the sick, who were deprived of the power to forage, and who were rejected by the messes. So that in this manner the sick received about eight pounds of flour, or dried plantains, and I owned a reserve of 200 pounds for future use.

Within an hour-and-a-half on the 11th we had reached Kilonga-Longa’s ferry. The natives, fearing a repetition of his raids to the west of the Ihuru, had destroyed every canoe, and thus prevented me from crossing to pay Kilonga-Longa another visit, and to settle some accounts with him. The river was also in flood, and a gaunt and hungry wilderness stretched all round us. There was no other way for it than to follow the Ihuru upward until we could find means to cross to the east, or left side. Our course was now N.E. by N.

Nov. 12.

On the 12th, we followed a track, along which quite a{50} tribe of pigmies must have passed. It was lined with amoma fruit-skins, and shells of nuts, and the crimson rinds of phrynia berries. No wood-beans, or fenessi, or mabungu, are to be found in this region, as on the south bank of Ituri River. On reaching camp, I found that at the ferry, near the native camp at which we starved four days, six people had succumbed—a Madi, from a poisonous fungus, the Lado soldier, who was speared above Wasp Rapids, two Soudanese of the rear-column, a Manyuema boy in the service of Mr. Bonny, and Ibrahim, a fine young Zanzibari, from a poisoned skewer in the foot.

During the 13th the great forest was perceptibly improved for travel. Our elephant and game track had brought us across another track leading easterly from Andari, and both joined presently, developing to a highway much patronised by the pigmy tribes. This we followed for two hours. We could tell where they had stopped to light their pipes, and to crack nuts, and trap game, and halt to gossip. The twigs were broken three feet from the ground, showing that they were snapped by dwarfs. Where it was a little muddy the path showed high delicate insteps, proving their ancient ancestry and aristocratic descent, and small feet not larger than those of young English misses of eight years old. The path improved as we tramped along; it grew a highway of promise. Camps of the dwarfs were numerous. The soil was ochreous, the trees were larger, and towered to magnificent heights.

Nov. 13.



I observed as we filed into camp that it was time to obtain a further supply of food, and rest somewhere, the bearing of the people lacked confidence, their forms were shrinking under the terrible task, and perpetual daily toil and round of marching and hunger. I could have wept at the excess of misfortunes which weighed us daily lower towards the grave; but we had been for so long strained to bear violent vicissitudes, and so frequently afflicted with sights of anguish and suffering, that we were reduced to hear each day’s tale of calamity in sorrowful silence. What losses we had already borne{52}{51} were beyond power of plaint and tear to restore. The morrow’s grief awaited us, as certain as the morrow’s sun; and to dwell upon the sorrowful past was to unfit us for what we had yet to bear.

To make 230 loads equal to the daily lessening number of carriers was a most aggravating task. Not one out of twenty men but made some complaint of a severe ulcer, a headache, or threatened rupture, undefined bodily pains, a whitlow, a thorn in the foot, rheumatism, fever, &c. The loads remained always the same, but the carriers died.

On the 14th, the Expedition, after a six hours’ march, approached Anduta and Andikumu. As the advance guard was pressing in over the logs and débris of the prostrated forest, some arrows flew, and two men fell wounded, and immediately boxes and bales were dropped, and quite a lively skirmish with the tall-hatted natives occurred; but in half-an-hour the main body of the caravan filed in, to find such a store of abnormally large plantains that the ravenous men were in ecstacies.

In extent the clearing was equal to the famous one of Ibwiri. It was situate in the bosom of hills which rose to the east, west and south. Along one of the tracks we saw the blazings of the Manyuema on the trees, and one of the villages was in ruins; but the size of the clearing had baffled the ravaging horde in their attempt to destroy the splendid plantain groves.

On examining the boxes of ammunition before stacking them for the night, it was found that Corporal Dayn Mohammed had not brought his load in, and we ascertained that he had laid it at the base of a big tree near the path. Four headmen were at once ordered to return with the Soudanese Corporal to recover the box.

Nov. 14.

Arriving near the spot, they saw quite a tribe of pigmies, men, women and children, gathered around two pigmy warriors, who were trying to test the weight of the box by the grummet at each end. Our headmen, curious to see what they would do with the box, lay{54} hidden closely, for the eyes of the little people are exceedingly sharp. Every member of the tribe seemed to have some device to suggest, and the little boys hopped about on one leg, spanking their hips in irrepressible delight at the find, and the tiny women carrying their tinier babies at their backs vociferated the traditional wise woman’s counsel. Then a doughty man put a light pole, and laid it through the grummets, and all the small people cheered shrilly with joy at the genius displayed by them in inventing a method for heaving along the weighty case of Remington ammunition. The Hercules and the Milo of the tribe put forth their utmost strength, and raised the box up level with their shoulders, and staggered away into the bush. But just then a harmless shot was fired, and the big men rushed forward with loud shouts, and then began a chase; and one over-fat young fellow of about seventeen was captured and brought to our camp as a prize. We saw the little Jack Horner, too fat by many pounds; but the story belongs to the headmen, who delivered it with infinite humour.

Mr. Bonny was sent to the Ihuru River on the 17th, to examine an old ferry reported to be there, but returned unsuccessful in finding a canoe, but with the information that the river appeared to flow from E.N.E., and was about sixty yards wide, with quiet current, and good depth.

The afternoon of the 14th, 15th and 16th of November, were spent by the people in making amends for their past abstinence. What with boiled, roasted plantains and porridge, they must have consumed an immense number. Probably each man had eaten 140 plantains during the three days.

Nov. 19.



Within a short time after leaving Andikumu on the 19th, we passed through Anduta; and then the column passed by a picturesque hill called Kakwa, over a rough country bristling with immense rock fragments and boulders thickly covered, and surrounded with depths of ferns. Among the rocks near our camp on this date was found a store of corn and bananas,{56}{55} which no doubt belonged to the dwarfs. Had the find occurred a few days previously, there would have been a riotous scramble for them; but now each man was so burdened with his private stores that they regarded it with supreme indifference. The men also so suffered from indigestion after their revel at Andikumu that they were unfit for travel.

A five-mile march was made on the 20th. Since striking the dwarfs’ highway, unlike the loamy soils which absorbed the perpetual rains nearer the Ituri, the path now led through a stiff red clayey country, which retained the rain in pools, and made it soapy and slippery.

At the noonday halt the leader of the van wandered a few hundred yards ahead on the path and encountered a native caravan from Anditoké, N. The natives uttered a howl of surprise at perceiving him, but seeing that he had no weapon, quickly advanced towards him with uplifted spears. But the howl they had raised had been heard by all at the halting-place, and the savages were met in time to save the Zanzibari leader. A skirmish took place, two of the natives were wounded and one was killed, and the effects of the caravan were captured. These effects consisted of iron rings, knobs, bracelets, and anklets, and calamus fibre leg-rings, a few native smith’s tools, and, most singular of all, several unfired Remington cartridges.

The first thought that was suggested was that Fort Bodo had either been evacuated or captured, or that some patrols had been waylaid; but on reflection we settled on the conviction that these cartridges had belonged to some raiding parties of Manyuema, but that originally they were our property.

The travelling powers of the men was noticeably low on the 21st; they still suffered from their late debauch. At noon of this day we were in N. lat. 1° 43′, which proved that, despite every effort to find a path leading eastward we were advancing north.

Nov. 21.

Chama Issa, the last of the Somalis, was reported dead on this day, but at the noon halt I was greatly gratified to see him; his case, being as he was the last of the{58} Somalis, excited great interest. A portion from my own table went to him daily, and two Soudanese were detailed for extra pay to serve, feed, and carry him. Up to the evening of this day thirty-two out of the Banalya rear column had perished. At Banalya I had estimated that about half of the number would not survive. While they were being carried in the canoes there was no call for exertion, but the march overland had been most fatal to the unfortunates.

On the 22nd, soon after the advance had reached camp, a cold and heavy shower of rain fell, which demoralized many in the column; their failing energies and their impoverished systems were not proof against cold. Madis and Zanzibaris dropped their loads in the road, and rushed helter-skelter for the camp. One Madi managed to crawl near my tent, wherein a candle was lit, for in a rainstorm the forest, even in daylight, is as dark as on an ordinary night in the grass-land. Hearing him groan, I issued out with the candle, and found the naked body rigid in the mud, unable to move. As he saw the candle flame his eyes dilated widely, and he attempted to grasp it with his hands. He was at once borne to a fire, and laid within a few inches of it, and with the addition of a pint of hot broth made from the Liebig Company’s extract of meat we restored him to his senses. On the road in front of the rear guard two Madis died, and also one Zanzibari of the rear column stricken instantaneously to death by the intensely cold rain.

We made a march of two hours the next day, and then despatched forty-five choice men ahead to try and obtain meal for the salvation of the Banalya men and the Madis, whose powers were too weak for further effort. The scouts returned within twenty-four hours with a goat, which was at once slaughtered to make thirty gallons of soup. When thickened with two pounds of wheaten flour, the soup made a most welcome meal for over sixty men. We reached Indemau by 10 A.M. on the 25th. The village was situated in a hollow at the base of a mount, and was distant from the Dui branch of the Ihuru six miles.{59}

Nov. 25.

At Indemau the long-enduring members of the Expedition received another respite from total annihilation. The plantain groves were extensive and laden with fruit, and especially with ripe mellow plantains whose fragrance was delicious. But in the same manner that it was impossible to teach these big children to economise their rations, so it was impossible to teach them moderation when they found themselves in the midst of plenty. At Andikumu an army might have been supplied with good wholesome food, but the inordinate voracity of the famished people had been followed by severe indigestion, and at Indemau their intemperate appetites brought on such sickening repletion that we were engaged every morning in listening to their complaints and administering enemata to relieve the congested bodies.

A path from Indemau was discovered, leading across the Dui River; there was another leading to Indeperri, a large settlement about fifteen miles N.E. from Fort Bodo. It had been my original purpose to steer a course through the forest which would take us direct to the grass-land, along a more northerly route than the line of Ipoto and Fort Bodo, after sending a detachment to settle accounts with Kilonga-Longa; but in our endeavour to find a ford or ferry across the Ihuru we had been compelled by the high flood to continue parallel with the river until now. Observation proved us to be in N. lat. 1° 47′ and E. long. 29° 7′ 45″. But the discovery of Remington cartridges among the stores of a native caravan in these unknown parts, and yet within a reasonable distance of Fort Bodo, notwithstanding a rational assurance that Fort Bodo was impregnable and the garrison were now safe with Emin Pasha on the Nyanza, had intruded doubts in my mind which I thought would best be resolved by deflecting our course southward, and sweeping past the old Fort, and seeing with our own eyes what had really occurred. Mr. Bonny was therefore sent with the chief Rashid and sixty men, to build a bridge across the Dui River.

Dec. 1.
Dui River.

After a halt of five days the Expedition marched{60} from Indemau on the 1st of December for the Dui. Mr. Bonny and old Rashid, with their assistants, were putting the finishing touches to the bridge, a work which reflected great credit on all concerned in its construction, but especially on Mr. Bonny. Without halting an instant the column marched across the five branches of the Dui, over a length of rough but substantial woodwork, which measured in the aggregate eighty yards, without a single accident.



On the other side of the Dui we made a rough muster of the people, and discovered that thirty-four of the rear column had died, and that out of sixteen Zanzibaris on the sick list, fourteen were of the Yambuya party, and they all appeared to be in such a condition that a few days only would decide their fate. Every goat and fowl that we could procure were distributed to these poor people in the hope of saving them. We cooked for them; Mr. Bonny was directed to administer medicines daily; we relieved them of every article, excepting their own rations, and yet so wrecked{61} were their systems by what they had endured at Yambuya and Banalya, that a slight abrasion from plants, branches or creepers, developed into a raging ulcer, which in three or four days would be several inches across. Nothing but the comforts and rest obtained in a metropolitan hospital would have arrested this rapid decline.

We made a short march to the small village of Andiuba, and from thence we reached in three hours the large settlement of Addiguhha. On the 4th we reached Ngwetza in four-and-a-half hours, and formed camp outside of the plantain-grove. We had passed through ten villages of the pigmies, but without having seen one of them. The woods were dense, and the undergrowth flourishing. Belts of sloughy mud, disparted by small streams, divided one village from another. It was in just such a locality our camp was pitched on the 4th of December. Presently into the centre of the camp a full uddered goat, with two fine kids four months old, walked, and after a short stare of undisguised surprise at the family, we sprang upon them and secured the undoubted gift of the gods, and sacrificed them. Half-an-hour later we were told that one of the Uchu natives attached to Mr. Bonny had received an arrow in his body, and that the dwarfs had attacked and killed a Manyuema boy. A party was sent to convey the boy’s body into the woods, where it could be buried by his friends, but in the morning the meat had been carried away.

The criers were instructed to proceed through the camp to prepare five days’ provisions of food. Their cries were heard ringing from end to end, and huge loads of material for the wooden grates were brought in, and throughout the 5th the people devoted themselves to the preparation of flour.

Dec. 5.

The next day, as we marched southerly, it was observed that we were following a gradual slope to the river Ihuru. We crossed six broad and sluggish streams, with breadths of mud coloured red by iron; banked by dense nurseries of Raphia Palm and rattan. About 3 P.M. the advance-guard{62} stumbled upon several families of dwarfs, and a capture was made of an old woman, a girl, and a boy of eighteen, besides a stock of bananas, and some fowls. The “old” lady was as strong as a horse apparently, and to the manner of carrying a load of bananas she appeared to be quite accustomed.

The family of little people intimated that they knew the forest well, but they had a strong inclination for an E.N.E. course, which would have taken us away from Fort Bodo. They were therefore sent to the rear, and we swung along S., and by E., sometimes S.S.E., traversed six streams on the 7th, and a similar number on the 8th.

Soon after the headquarters’ tent had been pitched, and the undergrowth of leafy plants had been cleared somewhat, I observed a young fellow stagger; and going up to him I questioned him as to the cause. I was astonished to be told that it was from weakness, and want of food. Have you eaten all your five days’ rations already? No, he had thrown it away because the dwarf captives had said that in one day they would reach a famous place for plantains, the “biggest in the world.”

Upon extending my inquiries it was found that there were at least 150 people in the camp who had likewise followed his example, and discarded superfluous food, and on that day, the 8th, they had nothing. The headmen were called that night to a council, and after being reproached for their reckless conduct, it was resolved that on the next day almost every able-bodied person should return to Ngwetza which we had left on the morning of the 6th. The distance was 19½ hours for the caravan, but as much time was necessarily lost in cutting through the jungly undergrowth, and even now and then in laying a course, the forage party would be able to return to Ngwetza in eleven hours’ travel.

Dec. 5.

On the morning of the 9th, about 200 people started for the plantain groves of Ngwetza, but before departing they contributed about 200 lbs. of plantain flour as a reserve for the sickly ones, and guards of the camp.{63} We were about 130 in number, men, women and pigmies, the majority of whom were already distressed. I gave half-a-cupful of flour to each person for the day, then despatched Mr. Bonny with ten men to find the Ihuru River. According to my calculations, the camp was in N. lat. 1° 27′ 15″, and E. long. 29° 21′ 30″, about nine geographical miles in an air-line north of Fort Bodo, but it was useless to show the chart to men dreading that starvation was again imminent. All they saw was the eternal myriads of trees with a dead black unknown environing the camp round about, shutting out all hope, and a viewless and stern prospect of rigid wood with a dark cope of leaves burying them out of sight of sky and sunshine, as though they lived under a pall. But they knew that the Ihuru was not far from Fort Bodo, and if Mr. Bonny and his men discovered it, some little encouragement would be gained. Mr. Bonny succeeded in finding the river, and blazed a path to it.

For employment’s sake I sat down to recalculate all my observations with exactitude, to correct certain discrepancies that our journeys over the same ground had enabled me to detect; and buried in my Norie, and figures and charts, my mind was fully occupied. But on the 14th my work was done. I lived in hope the next day, with my hearing on the strain for the sound of voices. The people looked miserable, but hopeful. A box of European provisions was opened, a pot of butter and milk were taken out, and a table-spoonful of each dropped into the earthenware pots that were already filled with boiling water. In this manner a thin broth was made which would serve to protract the agony of existence. On the sixth day the pots were again ranged round me in a semi-circle, and in rotation, each cook brought his vessel of hot water to receive his butter and milk, and after being well stirred, marched off with his group to distribute the broth according to measure. A little heartened by the warm liquid they scattered through the woods to hunt up the red berries of the phrynia, and pick up now and then the amomum, whose sour-sweet pulp appeared to quiet the gnawing of the{64} stomach. A mushroom in the course of several hundred yards’ rambling would perhaps fall to the lot of the seeker. But when 130 men have wandered about and about, to and fro, searching for the edibles, the circle widens, and day by day the people had to penetrate further and further away from the camp. And it happened that while searching with eagerness, impelled on and on by the eager stomach, that they were carried some miles away, and they had paid no regard to the course they were going; and when they wished to return to camp they knew not which way to seek it, and two full-grown men and Saburi, a little boy of eight years, did not return. I had a peculiar liking for the small child. His duty was to carry my Winchester, and cartridge pouch. He was usually a dark cherub, round as a roller, strong and sturdy, with an old man’s wisdom within his little boy’s head, and frequently when the caravan was on its mettle, and a fair road before it, I looked back often and often to see how little Saburi trotted steadily after me. Being the rifle-bearer, trained to be at my heels at any strange sound, I deprived myself of many a choice bit to nourish Saburi with, so that his round stomach had drawn a smile from all who looked at him. He looked like a little boy with a keg under his frock. But, alas! in the last few days the keg had collapsed, and he, like all the others, had penetrated into the wilderness of phrynia to search for berries. On this day he was lost.

In the dark the muzzle-loaders of the Manyuema were employed to fire signals. About 9 P.M. we thought we heard the little boy’s voice. The halloo was sounded, and a reply came from the other end of the camp. One of the great ivory horns boomed out its deep sound. Then the cry came from the opposite side. Some of the men said that it must be Saburi’s ghost wailing his death. The picture of the little fellow seeing the dark night come down upon him with its thick darkness in those eerie wilds, with fierce dwarfs prowling about, and wild boar and huge chimpanzee, leopards and cheetahs, with troops of elephants trampling and crashing the crisp{65} phrynia, and great baboons beating hollow trees—everything terrifying, in fact, round about him—depressed us exceedingly. We gave him up for lost.

It had been an awful day. In the afternoon a boy had died. Three persons were lost. The condition of the majority was most disheartening. Some could not stand, but fell down in the effort. These sights began to act on my nerves, until I began to feel not only moral sympathy, but physical as well, as though bodily weakness was infectious.

On my bed that night the thought of the absent men troubled me; but however distasteful was the idea that a terrible misfortune—such as being lost in the woods, or collapsing from hunger before they reached the groves—it became impossible not to regard the darkest view and expect the worst, in order, if possible, to save a remnant of the Expedition that the news might be carried to the Pasha and thence to civilisation some day. I pictured the entire column perished here in this camp, and the Pasha wondering month after month what had become of us, and we corrupting and decaying in this unknown corner in the great forest, and every blaze on the trees healed up, and every trail obliterated within a year, and our burial-place remaining unknown until the end of time. Indeed, it appeared to me as if we were drifting steadily towards just such a fate. Here were about 200 men without food going thirty-five miles to seek it. Not 150 would perhaps reach it; the others would throw themselves, like the Madis, to the ground, to wait, to beg from others, if perchance they returned. If an accident to the 50 bravest men happen, what then? Some are shot down by dwarfs; the larger aborigines attack the others in a body. The men have no leader; they scatter about, they become bewildered, lose their way, or are speared one after another. While we are waiting, ever waiting for people who cannot return, those with me die first by threes, sixes, tens, twenties, and then, like a candle extinguished, we are gone. Nay, something had to be done.

On the sixth day we made the broth as usual, a pot{66} of butter and a pot of milk for 130 people, and the headmen and Mr. Bonny were called to council. On proposing a reverse to the foragers of such a nature as to cause an utter loss of all, they appeared unable to comprehend such a possibility, though folly after folly, madness after madness, had marked every day of my acquaintance with them. The departure of men secretly on raids, and never returning, the leaping of fifty men into the river after a bush antelope, the throwing away of their rations after fifteen months’ experiences of the forest, the reckless rush into guarded plantations, skewering their feet, the inattention they paid to abrasions leaving them to develope into rabid ulcers; the sale of their rifles to men who would have enslaved them all, follies practised by blockheads day after day, week after week; and then to say they could not comprehend the possibility of a fearful disaster. Were not 300 men with three officers lost in the wood for six days? Were not three persons lost close to this camp yesterday and they have not returned? Did I not tell these men that we should all die if they were not back on the fourth day? Was not this the sixth day of their absence? Were there not fifty people close to death now? and much else of the same kind?

By-and-by, the conviction stole on their minds that if by accident we were to remain in camp inactive for three days, we should then be too weak to seek food; and they agreed with me that it would be a wise thing to bury the goods, and set out on our return to Ngwetza to procure food for ourselves. But there was one difficulty. If we buried the goods, and fifty sick men preferred to remain in the camp to following us, should we return to the caché, we should find that the sick had exhumed the goods, and wrecked everything out of pure mischief.



Mr. Bonny then came to the rescue, and offered to stay with ten men in camp, if I provided food for him and the garrison for ten days, the time we decided we should be absent. Food to make a light gruel for so{68}{67} small a number for ten days was not difficult to find. Half a cupful of cornflour per man for thirteen men for ten days was measured, with the addition of four milk biscuits per man each day. A few tins of butter and condensed milk were also set apart to assist the gruel. For those unwilling or unable to follow us to the plantains we could do nothing. What might sustain a small garrison of thirteen men for many days would not save the lives of fifty when they were already so far gone, that only an abundance of digestive plantain flour could possibly save them.

On this morning little Saburi walked into camp quite unconcerned, and fresh as from a happy outing. “Why Saburi! where have you been?” “I lost my way while picking berries, and I wandered about, and near night I came to a track. I saw the marks of the axes, and I said—Lo! this is our road, and I followed it thinking I was coming to camp. But, instead of that, I saw only a big river. It was the Ihuru! Then I found a big hollow tree, and I went into it and slept; and then I came back along the road, and so and so, until I walked in here. That is all.”

We mustered every soul alive in the camp on the morning of the 15th. Sadi, the Manyuema headman, reported fourteen of his people unable to travel; Kibbobora reported his sick brother as being the only person of his party too sick to move; Fundi had a wife and a little boy too weak for the journey. The Expedition was obliged to leave 26. 43 persons verging on dissolution unless food could be procured within twenty-four hours. Assuming a cheery tone, though my heart was well-nigh breaking, I told them to be of good courage, that I was going to hunt up the absentees, who no doubt were gorging themselves; most likely I should find them on the road, in which case they would have to run all the way. “Meantime, pray for my success. God is the only one who can help you!”

Dec. 9.
Starvation Camp.

We set out 1 P.M. on our return journey towards Ngwetza, thirty-five miles distant, with sixty-five men and boys and twelve women. We travelled until night,{70} and then threw ourselves on the ground, scattered about in groups, or singly, each under his own clump of bush, silent and sad, and communing with his own thoughts. Vain was it for me to seek for that sleep which is the “balm of hurt minds.” Too many memories crowded about me; too many dying forms haunted me in the darkness; my lively fancies were too distorted by dread, which painted them with dismal colours; the stark forms lying in links along the path, which we had seen that afternoon in our tramp, were things too solemn for sudden oblivion. The stars could not be seen to seek comfort in their twinkling; the poor hearts around me were too heavy to utter naught but groans of despair; the fires were not lit, for there was no food to cook—my grief was great. Out of the pall-black darkness came out the eerie shapes that haunt the fever-land, that jibe and mock the lonely man, and weave figures of flame, and draw fiery forms in the mantle of the night; and whispers breathed through the heavy air of graves and worms, and forgetfulness; and a demon hinted in the dazed brain that ‘twere better to rest than to think with a sickening heart; and the sough of the wind through the crowns of the thick-black bush seemed to sigh and moan “Lost! lost! lost! Thy labour and grief are in vain. Comfortless days upon days; brave lives are sobbing their last; man after man roll down to the death, to mildew and rot, and thou wilt be left alone!”

“Allah ho Akbar,” was the cry that rang through the gloom, from a man with a breaking heart. The words went pealing along through the dark, and they roused the echoes of “God is great” within me. Why should a Moslem recall a Christian to thoughts of his God? “Ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?” And, lo! worthier thoughts possess the mind, the straining of the eyes through the darkness is relaxed, and the sight is inverted to see dumb witnesses of past mercies on this or that forgotten occasion; one memory begets another, until the{71} stubborn heart is melted, and our needs are laid as upon a tablet before the Great Deliverer.

Towards morning I dozed, to spring up a few hours later as the darkness was fading, and a ghostly light showed the still groups of my companions.

“Up, boys, up! to the plantains! up! Please God we shall have plantains to-day!” This was uttered to cheer the sad hearts. Within a few minutes we had filed away from our earthy couches, and were on the track in the cheerless light of the morning, some hobbling from sores, some limping from ulcers, some staggering from weakness. We had commenced to feel warmed up with the motion of the march, when, hark! I heard a murmur of voices ahead. Little Saburi held the rifle ready, observant of the least sign of the hand, when I saw a great pile of green fruit rising above the broad leaves of the phrynia that obstructed a clear view, and intuitively one divined that this must be the column of foragers advancing to meet us, and in a second of time, the weak, the lame, and the cripple, the limping and moaning people forgot their griefs and their woes, and shouted the grateful chant which goes up of its own accord towards the skies out of the full and sensitive hearts, “Thanks be to God.” Englishman and African, Christian and Pagan, all alike confess Him. He is not here, or there, but everywhere, and the heart of the grateful man confesseth Him.

It needed only one view of the foremost men to have told what the heedless, thoughtless herd had been doing. It was no time for reproaches, however, but to light fires, sit down and roast the green fruit, and get strength for the return, and in an hour we were swinging away back again to Starvation Camp, where we arrived at 2.30 P.M., to be welcomed as only dying men can welcome those who lend the right hand to help them. And all that afternoon young and old, Zanzibari and Manyuema, Soudanese and Madi, forgot their sorrows of the past in the pleasures of the present, and each vowed to be more provident in the future—until the next time.{72}

Dec. 17.
Ihuru River.

On the 17th we reached the Ihuru, and the next day forded the river, and from thence we cut our way through the forest, through bush and plants which were the undergrowth, and early in the afternoon of the 19th we emerged out of the trackless bush, and presently were on the outskirts of the plantations of Fort Bodo, at which all the people admired greatly.

On the 20th we cut a track through the deserted plantations, and after an hour’s hard work reached our well-known road, which had been so often patrolled by us. We soon discovered traces of recent travel, and late foraging in piles of plantain skins near the track; but we could not discover by whom these were made. Probably the natives had retired to their settlements; perhaps the dwarfs were now banqueting on the fat of the land. We approached the end of our broad western military road, and at the turning met some Zanzibari patrols who were as much astonished as we were ourselves at the sudden encounter. Volley after volley soon rang through the silence of the clearing. The fort soon responded, and a stream of frantic men, wild with joy, advanced by leaps and bounds to meet us; and among the first was my dear friend the Doctor, who announced, with eyes dancing with pleasure, “All is well at Fort Bodo.{73}



Professor Drummond’s statements respecting Africa—Dimensions of the great forest—Vegetation—Insect life—Description of the trees, &c.—Tribes and their food—The primæval forest—The bush proper—The clearings: wonders of vegetable life—The queer feeling of loneliness—A forest tempest—Tropical vegetation along the banks of the Aruwimi—Wasps’ nests—The forest typical of human life—A few secrets of the woods—Game in the forest—Reasons why we did not hunt the animals—Birds—The Simian tribe—Reptiles and insects—The small bees and the beetles—The “jigger”—Night disturbances by falling trees, &c.—The Chimpanzee—The rainiest zone of the earth—The Ituri or Upper Aruwimi—The different tribes and their languages—Their features and customs—Their complexion—Conversation with some captives at Engweddé—The Wambutti dwarfs: their dwellings and mode of living—The Batwa dwarfs—Life in the forest villages—Two Egyptians captured by the dwarfs at Fort Bodo—The poisons used for the arrows—Our treatment for wounds by the arrows—The wild fruits of the forest—Domestic animals—Ailments of the Madis and Zanzibaris—The Congo Railway and the forest products.


An English Professor, qualified to write F.R.S.E., F.G.S., after his name, who is a talented writer, and gifted with first-class descriptive powers, while confessing that he was but a “minor traveller, possessing but few assets,” ventured upon the following bold statements respecting Africa:—

“Cover the coast belt with rank yellow grass, dot here and there a palm, scatter through it a few demoralised villages, and stock it with the leopard, the hyena, the crocodile, and the hippopotamus; clothe the mountainous plateaux next, both of them with endless forest, not grand umbrageous forest, like the forests of South America, nor matted jungle like the forests of India, but with thin, rather weak forest, with forest of low trees, whose half-grown trunks and scanty leaves{74} offer no shade from the tropical sun,”—but you will find nothing in all these trees to remind you that you are in the tropics. “Day after day you may wander through these forests with nothing except the climate to remind you where you are * * * * *.” “The fairy labyrinth of ferns and palms, the festoons of climbing plants blocking the paths and scenting the forests with their resplendent flowers, the gorgeous clouds of insects, the gaily plumaged birds, the parraquets, the monkey swinging from his trapeze in the shaded bowers—these are unknown to Africa.”

“Once a week you will see a palm; once in three months the monkeys will cross your path; the flowers on the whole are few, the trees are poor, and, to be honest”—but enough; if this is honest description, the reader had better toss my books aside, for this chapter goes to prove that I differ in toto with the learned Professor’s views respecting tropical Africa.

We have travelled together thus far 1670 miles through the great central African forest, and we can vouch that the above description by Professor Drummond bears no more resemblance to tropical Africa than the tors of Devon, or the moors of Yorkshire, or the downs of Dover represent the smiling scenes of England, of leafy Warwickshire, the gardens of Kent, and the glorious vales of the isle. Nyassaland is not Africa, but itself. Neither can we call the wilderness of Masai Land, or the scrub-covered deserts of Kalahari, or the rolling grass land of Usukuma, or the thin forests of Unyamwezi, or, the ochreous acacia-covered area of Ugogo, anything but sections of a continent that boasts many zones. Africa is about three times greater than Europe in its extent, and is infinitely more varied. You have the desert of deserts in the Sahara, you have the steppes of Eastern Russia in Masai Land and parts of South Africa, you have the Castilian uplands in Unyamwezi, you have the best parts of France represented by Egypt, you have Switzerland in Ukonju and Toro, the Alps in Ruwenzori—you have Brazil in the Congo basin, the Amazon in the Congo River, and its{75} immense forests rivalled by the Central African forest which I am about to describe.

The greatest length of this forest, that is from near Kabambarré in South Manyuema to Bagbomo on the Welle-Makua in West Niam-niam, is 621 miles; its average breadth is 517 miles, which makes a compact square area of 321,057 square miles. This is exclusive of the forest areas separated or penetrated into by campo-like reaches of grass land, or of the broad belts of timber which fill the lower levels of each great river basin like the Lumani, Lulungu, Welle-Mubangi, and the parent river from Bolobo to the Loika River.

The Congo and the Aruwimi rivers enabled us to penetrate this vast area of primeval woods a considerable length. I only mean to treat, therefore, of that portion which extends from Yambuya in 25° 3½′ E. L. to Indesura, 29° 59′ = 326½ English miles in a straight line.

Now let us look at this great forest, not for a scientific analysis of its woods and productions, but to get a real idea of what it is like. It covers such a vast area, it is so varied and yet so uniform in its features, that it would require many books to treat of it properly. Nay, if we regard it too closely, a legion of specialists would be needed. We have no time to examine the buds and the flowers or the fruit, and the many marvels of vegetation, or to regard the fine differences between bark and leaf in the various towering trees around us, or to compare the different exudations in the viscous or vitrified gums, or which drip in milky tears or amber globules, or opaline pastils, or to observe the industrious ants which ascend and descend up and down the tree shafts, whose deep wrinkles of bark are as valleys and ridges to the insect armies, or to wait for the furious struggle which will surely ensue between them and yonder army of red ants. Nor at this time do we care to probe into that mighty mass of dead tree, brown and porous as a sponge, for already it is a mere semblance of a pro{76}strate log. Within it is alive with minute tribes. It would charm an entomologist. Put your ear to it, and you hear a distinct murmurous hum. It is the stir and movement of insect life in many forms, matchless in size, glorious in colour, radiant in livery, rejoicing in their occupations, exultant in their fierce but brief life, most insatiate of their kind, ravaging, foraging, fighting, destroying, building, and swarming everywhere and exploring everything. Lean but your hand on a tree, measure but your length on the ground, seat yourself on a fallen branch, and you will then understand what venom, fury, voracity, and activity breathes around you. Open your notebook, the page attracts a dozen butterflies, a honey-bee hovers over your hand; other forms of bees dash for your eyes; a wasp buzzes in your ear, a huge hornet menaces your face, an army of pismires come marching to your feet. Some are already crawling up, and will presently be digging their scissor-like mandibles in your neck. Woe! woe!

And yet it is all beautiful—but there must be no sitting or lying down on this seething earth. It is not like your pine groves and your dainty woods in England. It is a tropic world, and to enjoy it you must keep slowly moving.

Imagine the whole of France and the Iberian peninsula closely packed with trees varying from 20 to 180 feet high, whose crowns of foliage interlace and prevent any view of sky and sun, and each tree from a few inches to four feet in diameter. Then from tree to tree run cables from two inches to fifteen inches in diameter, up and down in loops and festoons and W’s and badly-formed M’s; fold them round the trees in great tight coils, until they have run up the entire height, like endless anacondas; let them flower and leaf luxuriantly, and mix up above with the foliage of the trees to hide the sun, then from the highest branches let fall the ends of the cables reaching near to the ground by hundreds with frayed extremities, for these represent the air roots of the Epiphytes; let slender cords hang down also in tassels{77} with open thread-work at the ends. Work others through and through these as confusedly as possible, and pendent from branch to branch—with absolute disregard of material, and at every fork and on every horizontal branch plant cabbage-like lichens of the largest kind, and broad spear-leaved plants—these would represent the elephant-eared plant—and orchids and clusters of vegetable marvels, and a drapery of delicate ferns which abound. Now cover tree, branch, twig, and creeper with a thick moss like a green fur. Where the forest is compact as described above, we may not do more than cover the ground closely with a thick crop of phrynia, and amoma, and dwarf bush; but if the lightning, as frequently happens, has severed the crown of a proud tree, and let in the sunlight, or split a giant down to its roots, or scorched it dead, or a tornado has been uprooting a few trees, then the race for air and light has caused a multitude of baby trees to rush upward—crowded, crushing, and treading upon and strangling one another, until the whole is one impervious bush.

But the average forest is a mixture of these scenes. There will probably be groups of fifty trees standing like columns of a cathedral, grey and solemn in the twilight, and in the midst there will be a naked and gaunt patriarch, bleached white, and around it will have grown a young community, each young tree clambering upward to become heir to the area of light and sunshine once occupied by the sire. The law of primogeniture reigns here also.

There is also death from wounds, sickness, decay, hereditary disease and old age, and various accidents thinning the forest, removing the unfit, the weakly, the unadaptable, as among humanity. Let us suppose a tall chief among the giants, like an insolent son of Anak. By a head he lifts himself above his fellows—the monarch of all he surveys; but his pride attracts the lightning, and he becomes shivered to the roots, he topples, declines, and wounds half a dozen other trees in his fall. This is why we see so many tumorous excrescences,{78} great goitrous swellings, and deformed trunks. The parasites again have frequently been outlived by the trees they had half strangled, and the deep marks of their forceful pressure may be traced up to the forks. Some have sickened by intense rivalry of other kinds, and have perished at an immature age; some have grown with a deep crook in their stems, by a prostrate log which had fallen and pressed them obliquely. Some have been injured by branches, fallen during a storm, and dwarfed untimely. Some have been gnawed by rodents, or have been sprained by elephants leaning on them to rub their prurient hides, and ants of all kinds have done infinite mischief. Some have been pecked at by birds, until we see ulcerous sores exuding great globules of gum, and frequently tall and short nomads have tried their axes, spears, and knives, on the trees, and hence we see that decay and death are busy here as with us.

To complete the mental picture of this ruthless forest, the ground should be strewn thickly with half formed humus of rotting twigs, leaves, branches; every few yards there should be a prostrate giant, a reeking compost of rotten fibres, and departed generations of insects, and colonies of ants, half veiled with masses of vines and shrouded by the leafage of a multitude of baby saplings, lengthy briars and calamus in many fathom lengths, and every mile or so there should be muddy streams, stagnant creeks, and shallow pools, green with duckweed, leaves of lotus and lilies, and a greasy green scum composed of millions of finite growths. Then people this vast region of woods with numberless fragments of tribes, who are at war with each other and who live apart from ten to fifty miles in the midst of a prostrate forest, amongst whose ruins they have planted the plantain, banana, manioc, beans, tobacco, colocassia, gourds, melons, &c., and who, in order to make their villages inaccessible, have resorted to every means of defence suggested to wild men by the nature of their lives. They have planted skewers along their paths, and cunningly hidden them under an apparently stray{79} leaf, or on the lee side of a log, by striding over which the naked foot is pierced, and the intruder is either killed from the poison smeared on the tops of the skewers, or lamed for months. They have piled up branches, and have formed abattis of great trees, and they lie in wait behind with sheaves of poisoned arrows, wooden spears hardened in fire, and smeared with poison.

The primeval forest, that is that old growth untouched by man, and left since the earliest time to thrive and die, one age after another, is easily distinguishable from that part which at some time or another afforded shelter for man. The trees are taller and straighter, and of more colossal girth. It has frequently glades presenting little difficulty for travel, the invariable obstructions being the arum, phrynia, and amoma. The ground is firmer and more compact, and the favourite camping ground for the pigmy nomads are located in such places. When the plants and small bushes are cut down, we have an airy, sylvan, and cool temple, delightful for a dwelling.

Then comes the forest which during a few generations has obliterated all evidences of former husbandry. A few of the trees, especially of the soft-wooded kind, have grown to equal height with the ancient patriarchs, but as soon as man abandoned the clearing, hosts of nameless trees, shrubs, and plants have riotously hastened to avail themselves of his absence, and the race for air and light is continued for many years; consequently the undergrowth by the larger quantity of sunshine becomes luxuriant, and there are few places penetrable in it without infinite labour. Among these a variety of palms will be found, especially the Elais and Raphia vinifera.

And after this comes the bush proper, the growth of a few years, which admits no ingress whatever within its shade. We are therefore obliged to tunnel through stifling masses of young vegetation, so matted and tangled together that one fancies it would be easier to travel over the top were it of equal and consistent{80} thickness and level. Vigorous young trees are found imbedded in these solid and compact masses of vegetation, and these support the climbing plants, the vines, and creepers. Under these, after a pathway has been scooped out, the unshod feet are in danger from the thorns, and the sharp cut stalks, which are apt to pierce the feet and lacerate the legs.

This last was the character of the bush mostly near the river. Both banks presented numberless old clearings and abandoned sites; and as the stream was the only means of communication employed by the tribes, the only way of effecting any progress was by laborious cutting.

The clearings which had been abandoned within a year exhibited veritable wonders of vegetable life, of unsurpassed fecundity, and bewildering variety of species. The charred poles of the huts became the supports of climbers whose vivid green leaves soon shrouded the ugliness of desolation, and every upright and stump assumed the appearance of a miniature bower, or a massive piece of columned ruin. As the stumps were frequently twenty feet high, and were often seen in twins, the plants had gravitated across the space between, and after embracing had continued their growth along the length of one another, and had formed in this manner an umbrageous arch, and had twisted themselves in endless lengths around the supports until it became difficult to find what supported such masses of delicate vines. In some instances they had formed lofty twin towers with an arched gateway between, resembling a great ruin of an old castle, and the whole was gay with purple and white flowers. The silvered boles of ancient primeval giants long ago ringed by the axe and doomed to canker and decay, and the great gaunt far-spreading arms and branchlets had been clothed by vines a hundred-fold until they seemed like clouds of vivid green, which, under the influence of sudden gusts, streamed with countless tendrils, or swayed like immense curtains.

When marching along with the column, or encamped{81} for the night, the murmur of voices was not congenial to nourishing any fine sentiments about the forest. We suffered too much hunger, and sustained such protracted misery; we were preyed upon too often in patience, and temper, and forbearance. Our clothes, suited well enough for open country, were no protection against the hostilities of the bush. But if once we absented ourselves from camp, and the voices of the men died away, and we forgot our miseries, and were not absorbed by the sense of the many inconveniences, an awe of the forest rushed upon the soul and filled the mind. The voice sounded with rolling echoes, as in a cathedral. One became conscious of its eerie strangeness, the absence of sunshine, its subdued light, and marvelled at the queer feeling of loneliness, while inquiringly looking around to be assured that this loneliness was no delusion. It was as if one stood amid the inhabitants of another world. We enjoyed life—the one vegetable, the other human. Standing there so massive and colossal, so silent and still, and yet with such solemn severity of majesty, it did seem curious that the two lives, so like in some sense, were yet so incommunicable. It would have suited the fitness of things, I thought, had a wrinkled old patriarch addressed me with the gravity and seriousness of a Methuselah, or an Achillean and powerful bombax, with his buttressed feet planted firm in the ground, had disdainfully demanded my business in that assembly of stately forest kings.

But what thoughts were kindled as we peeped out from an opening in the woods and looked across the darkening river which reflected the advancing tempest, and caught a view of the mighty army of trees—their heights as various as their kind, all rigid in the gloaming, awaiting in stern array the war with the storm. The coming wind has concentrated its terrors for destruction, the forked lightning is seen darting its spears of white flame across the front of infinite hosts of clouds. Out of their depths issues the thunderbolt, and the march of the winds is heard coming to the onset. Suddenly the trees, which have stood still—as{82} in a painted canvas—awaiting the shock with secure tranquillity, are seen to bow their tops in unison, followed by universal swaying and straining as though a wild panic had seized them. They reel this way and that, but they are restrained from flight by sturdy stems and fixed roots, and the strong buttresses which maintain them upright. Pressed backward to a perilous length they recover from the first blow, and dart their heads in furious waves forward, and the glory of the war between the forest and the storm is at its height. Legion after legion of clouds ride over the wind-tost crests, there is a crashing and roaring, a loud soughing and moaning, shrill screaming of squalls, and groaning of countless woods. There are mighty sweeps from the great tree-kings, as though mighty strokes were being dealt; there is a world-wide rustling of foliage, as though in gleeful approval of the vast strength of their sires; there are flashes of pale green light, as the lesser battalions are roused up to the fight by the example of their brave ancients. Our own spirits are aroused by the grand conflict—the Berserker rage is contagious. In our souls we applaud the rush and levelling force of the wind, and for a second are ready to hail the victor; but the magnificent array of the forest champions, with streaming locks, the firmness with which the vast army of trees rise in unison with their leaders, the rapturous quiver of the bush below inspire a belief that they will win if they but persevere. The lightning darts here and there with splendour of light and scathing flame, the thunders explode with deafening crashes, reverberating with terrible sounds among the army of woods, the black clouds roll over and darken the prospect; and as cloud becomes involved within cloud, in the shifting pale light, we have a last view of the wild war, we are stunned by the fury of the tempest, and the royal rage of the forest, when down comes the deluge of tropic rain—which in a short time extinguishes the white heat wrath of the elements, and soothes to stillness the noble anger of the woods.

Along the banks of the Aruwimi, a better idea of{83} tropical vegetation may be obtained than in any part of Africa, outside of the eastern half of the Congo basin. The banks are for the most part low, though no one could guess what height they were, because of the lofty hedges of creeping plants, which cover every inch of ground from the water’s edge to as high as fifty feet above in some places, while immediately behind them rises the black-green forest to the towering height of from 150 to 200 feet above the river. The aspects of the banks vary considerably however. Abandoned sites of human dwellings possess their own peculiar wilderness appearance, the virgin forest its own, and as the soil varies so do its growths.

Lately abandoned clearings will show, besides inordinate density of vegetation, gorgeous flowering sections. Above these will probably rise a few trees with masses of thick, shining leaves, and a profusion of blood-red flowers, whose petals have been showered on the impervious mass of leguminous vines of creepers and shrubs below, and strongly contrast to their own light purple, yellow, or white flowerets. The amoma show snowy flower-goblets, edged with pink; a wild vine will have its light purple; a creeper, with pinnate leaves, though flowerless at the time, will have its foliage tinted auburn; a pepper bush with its red pods, or a wild mango, attracts attention by myriads of bead-like flowerets; or an acacia effuses overpowering fragrance from its snowy buds, or a mimosa with its sweet-smelling yellow blossoms. Different shades of green are presented by ferns, protruding leaves of sword grass, a young Elais palm, or the broad and useful leaf of the phrynium. A young fig-tree, with silver stem, and branching widely, mixes its leaves with those of the tender leaflets of the sensitive plant and the palmate calamus; below is a multitude of nettles, and nettle-leafed plants with stalks and leaves, making a mass of vegetation at once curious and delightful. Perhaps the base of all this intricate and inextricable confusion of plants and impervious hill of verdure and beauty, is a prostrate tree, long ago fallen, fast decaying, black{84} with mould, spread thinly with humus, fungous parasites abounding, and every crack, cranny, and flaw in it nesting all kinds of insatiable insects, from the tiny termite to the black centipede or mammoth beetle.

Further on we see something different. Numberless giant trees, pressing right up to the edge of the river bank, have caused some to grow horizontally to the length of fifty feet over the river. Under their shade a hundred canoes find shelter from a scorching sun. The wood is yellow and hard as iron. To cut one of these trees would require a score of American axes. It bears clusters of fruit which when unripe are russet, and afterwards resemble beautiful damsons. Others of the same species produce a fruit like ripe dates, but neither are edible.

These widely-spreading trees are favourites with the black wasps, to which they attach their pensile nests. Externally the nests are like fancifully cut brown-paper sacks, or a series of such sacks arranged one above another, with frills and ornate cuttings, like the fancy paper grate-covers in English parlours in summer time.

We avoided such trees religiously, and when there was no such terror as a big nest of wasps near, we could rest in comfort and examine the forest at leisure. We first saw besides countless grey columns, thousands of pendent slender threads and wavy lines, loops, festoons, clustered groups and broad breadths of grey mingled with more than studied disorder with darkest depths of green, lightened only by broad damp leaves reflecting stray glints of sunshine or sprays, and a magic dust of softened light perpetually shifting and playing, profound spaces of darkness relieved by a breadth of grey tree trunk, silvered rods of parasites, or fancy grey filigree of vine stems. As we surveyed the whole, the eye caught various crimson dots of phrynia berries, or red knots of amoma fruit, outer fringes of auburn leaves, a cap of a mushroom staring white out of a loose sheaf of delicate ferns, or snowy bits of hard fungi clinging like barnacles to a deeply-wrinkled log; the bright green of orchid{85} leaves, the grey green face of a pendent leaf of an elephant-eared plant—films of moss, tumorous lumps on trees exuding tears of gum, which swarmed with ants, length after length of whiplike calamus—squirming and twisting lianes, and great serpent-like convolvuli, winding in and out by mazy galleries of dark shadows, and emerging triumphant far above to lean their weight on branches, running coils at one place, forming loops at another place, and then stretching loosely their interminable lengths out of sight.

As I have already said, the forest is typical of the life of humanity. No single glance can be taken of it without becoming conscious that decay, and death, and life, are at work there as with us. I never could cast a leisurely look at it but I found myself, unconsciously, wondering at some feature which reminded me of some scene in the civilised world. It has suggested a morning when I went to see the human tide flowing into the city over London Bridge between half-past seven and half-past eight, where I saw the pale, overworked, dwarfed, stoop-shouldered, on their way to their dismal struggle for existence. They were represented here faithfully, in all their youth, vigour, and decrepitude; one is prematurely aged and blanched, another is goitrous, another is organically weak, another is a hunchback, another suffers from poor nutrition, many are pallid from want of air and sunshine, many are supported by their neighbours because of constitutional infirmity, many of them are toppling one over another, as though they were the incurables of a hospital, and you wonder how they exist at all. Some are already dead, and lie buried under heaps of leaves, or are nurseries of bush families and parasites, or are colonised by hordes of destructive insects; some are bleached white by the palsying thunderbolt, or shivered by the levin brand, or quite decapitated; or some old veteran, centuries old, which was born before ever a Christian sailed south of the Equator, is decaying in core and vitals; but the majority have the assurance of insolent youth, with all its grace and elegance of form, the{86} mighty strength of prime life, and the tranquil and silent pride of hoary old aristocrats; and you gather from a view of the whole one indisputable fact—that they are resolved to struggle for existence as long as they may. We see all characters of humanity here, except the martyr and suicide. For sacrifice is not within tree nature, and it may be that they only heard two precepts, “Obedience is better than sacrifice,” and “Live and multiply.”

And as there is nothing so ugly and distasteful to me as the mob of a Derby day, so there is nothing so ugly in forest nature as when I am reminded of it by the visible selfish rush towards the sky in a clearing, after it has been abandoned a few years. Hark! the bell strikes, the race is about to begin. I seem to hear the uproar of the rush, the fierce, heartless jostling and trampling, the cry, “Self for self, the devil take the weakest!” To see the white-hot excitement, the noisy fume and flutter, the curious inequalities of vigour, and the shameless disregard for order and decency!

It is worth pausing also to ask why small incidents in such an out of the way place as the trackless depths of a primeval forest should remind one of thoughts of friends and their homes in England. The melancholy sound of the wind fluttering the leafy world aloft, and the sad rustle of the foliage reminded me vividly of a night spent at —— House, where I passed half the time listening to the dreadful sighing of the rooky grove, which filled my mind with forlornness and discomfort. Here again, as I lay in my tent, were suggested memories of ocean gales, and general cold, pitiful wretchedness, and when the rain fell in an earnest shower and the heavy fall of raindrops roused the deep and funereal dirge that sounded round about me, it seemed to me I heard sad and doleful echoes of sad and unsatisfied longings, and crowds of unworded thoughts, and past aspirations, unbreathed sentiments of love, friendship, and unuttered sympathies advancing with awful distinctness to the sharpened imagination, until one seemed ready to dissolve in tears and gasp{87} sobbingly, “Oh, my friends, the good God is above all, and knows all things!”

These are a few secrets of the woods that one learns in time, even without a mentor in forestry. To know that the Elais palm while requiring moisture requires plenty of sunshine to flourish, that the Raphia palm flourishes best by the sedge-lined swamp and stenchful sewery ooze, that the Calamus palm requires a thick bush for its support, that the Phœnix spinosa thrives best by the waterside, and that the Fan palm is killed by excessive moisture, is not difficult to learn. But for a stranger in tropic woods, accustomed to oak, beech, poplar, and pine, he is somewhat mazed at the unfamiliar leafage above him. By-and-by, however, he can tell at a glance which are the soft and hard woods. There are several families of soft woods, which stand in place of the pine and fir in the tropics, and these have invariably large leaves. It seems to be a rule that the soft woods shall have large leaves, and the hard woods shall have smaller leaves, though they vary according to their degrees of strength and durability. The trees of the Rubiaceæ order, for instance, have leaves almost similar in form and size to the castor-oil plant. The wood is most useful and workable, fit to build fleets of wooden vessels, or to be turned into beautiful domestic utensils—trays, benches, stools, troughs, wooden milk-pots, platters, mugs, spoons, drums, &c. It serves for boarding, ceiling, doors, fences, and palisades. Though it is brittle as cedar it will stand any amount of weather without splitting. There are more than one species of what is known as cotton-wood, but you may know them all by the magnificent buttresses, and their unsurpassed height, by the silver grey of their bark, and by the stiff thorns on their stems, by the white floss of their flowering and grey-green leaves.

Then there is the strong African teak, the camwood, the African mahogany, the green-heart, the lignum vitæ, the everlasting iron-wood, the no less hard yellow wood by the riverside, infinitely harder than an oak; the stink-wood, the ebony, the copal-wood tree with its{88} glossy and burnished foliage, the arborescent wild mango, the small-leaved wild orange, the silver-boled wild fig, the butter tree, the acacia tribes, the stately mpafu, and the thousands of wild fruit-trees, most of which are unknown to me. Therefore, to understand what this truly tropical forest is like you must imagine all these confusedly mixed together, and lashed together by millions of vines, creepers, and giant convolvuli, until a perfect tangle has been formed, and sunshine quite shut out, except a little flickering dust of light here and there to tell you that the sun is out in the sky like a burning lustrous orb.

Considering how many months we were in the forest, the hundreds of miles we travelled through and through it, it is not the least wonder that an accident never befell one of the Expedition from the beginning to the end of our life in it, from the fall of a branch or a tree. Trees have fallen immediately before the van, and directly after the rear guard had passed; they have suddenly crashed to the earth on our flanks, and near the camps, by night as well as by day. The nearest escape we had was soon after we had landed from our boat one day, when a great ruin dropped into the river close to the stern, raising the boat up high with the mound of water raised by it, and spraying the crew who were at work.

Many people have already questioned me respecting the game in the forest. Elephant, buffalo, wild pig, bush antelopes, coneys, gazelles, chimpanzees, baboons, monkeys of all kinds, squirrels, civets, wild cats, genets, zebra—ichneumons, large rodents, are among the few we know to exist within the woods. The branches swarm with birds and bats, the air is alive with their sailing and soaring forms, the river teems with fish and bivalves, oysters and clams; there are few crocodiles and hippopotami also. But we must remember that all the tribes of the forest are naturally the most vicious and degraded of the human race on the face of the earth, though in my opinion they are quite as capable of improvement as the wild Caledonian, and susceptible of{89} transformation into orderly and law-abiding peoples. The forest, however, does not admit of amicable intercourse. Strangers cannot see one another until they suddenly encounter, and are mutually paralysed with surprise at the fact. Instinctively they raise their weapons. One has a sheaf of arrows to kill game, and a poison as deadly as prussic acid; the other has a gun which sends a bullet with such force that the frontal bone is instantly smashed. Supposing that one at least of the parties is so amiable as to allow the other to kill him; his friends would dub him a fool, and nothing has been gained. The dead man’s friends must feel called upon to avenge him, and will hunt the murderer too. Fortunately, these buried peoples contrive to learn news of any strangers, and disappear generally in time before their villages are reached. But how far they have retreated, or how near they may be, is unknown; consequently as they are in the habit of eating what they kill it would not be safe for a small hunting party to set out to search for game. That is one reason why there were no animals hunted.

Secondly, it is not every person who has the gift of finding his way in a forest. A dozen times on a day’s march I had to correct the course of the van. Even such a grand landmark as a river was not sufficient to serve as a guide to the course. Within 200 yards any man in the Expedition, if he were turned about a little, would be bewildered to find his way back to the place whence he started.

Thirdly, a small party would make too much noise in breaking of twigs, in treading upon crisp leaves, in brushing against bush, or in cutting a vine or a creeper to make headway. A wild animal is warned long before the hunters know that it is near them, and bounds away to distant coverts. We have suddenly come across elephants, but when they were within ten yards of us they have crashed their way through a jungle that was impervious to pursuers. As for buffalo and other game, their tracks were very common, but it would have been madness to have pursued them for the above three reasons alone.{90}

Fourthly, we had too serious an object in view, which was to discover food and where we were most likely to get it—not for a small party, but for all.

As for birds, they made clatter enough overhead, but we were in the basement, and they were on the roof of a fifteen-storey house. They could not be seen at all, though their whistlings, warblings, screamings, and hootings were heard everywhere. There were parrots, ibis, touracos, parraquets, sunbirds, swifts, finches, shrikes, whip-poor-wills, hoopoes, owls, guinea fowl, blackbirds, weavers, kingfishers, divers, fish eagles, kites, wagtails, bee-eaters, pipits, sandpipers, cockatoos, hornbills, jays, barbets, woodpeckers, pigeons, and unknown minute tribes, and millions of large and small bats.

The Simian tribe was well represented. I have caught sight of more than a dozen species. I have seen the colobus, dark and grey furred baboons, small black monkeys, galagos and flying squirrels, and others, but not nearer than a hundred yards. Long before we could reach them they had been alarmed by the murmur of the caravan, and commenced the retreat.

We came across a number of reptiles. The Ituri swarms with water snakes of various lengths. They continued to drop frequently very close to our boat, slender green whip-snakes, others lead colour of formidable size; others green, gold and black, six feet long. We saw pythons, puff adders, horned and fanged snakes, while small bush snakes about two feet long often fell victims during the preparation of camps.

Insects would require a whole book. Never have I seen such countless armies and species as during my various marches through this forest. I should consider it infra dig. to refer to those minute creatures after the lavish abuses I, in common with others of the Expedition, have bestowed on them. I recollect but few hours of daylight that I did not express myself unkindly towards them. Those bees, large and small, the wasps, the hordes of moths by night, the house-flies, tsetse, gadflies, gnats, and butterflies by day, the giant beetles,{91} attracted by the light in the tent, sailing through the darkness, and dashing frantically against the canvas, rebounding in their rage from side to side, and all the time hoarsely booming, finally with roars of fury dashing themselves against my book or face, as though they would wreak vengeance on me for some reason; then the swarms of ants peering into my plate, intruding into my washy soup, crawling over my bananas, the crickets that sprang like demons, and fixed themselves in my scalp, or on my forehead; the shrill cicadæ that drove one mad, worse than the peppo-inspired Manyuema women. The Pasha professes to love these tribes, and I confess I have done as much mischief to them as possible.

The small bees of the size of gnats were the most tormenting of all the species; we became acquainted with four. They are of the Mellipona. To read, write, or eat required the devoted services of an attendant to drive them away. The eyes were their favourite points of attack; but the ears and nostrils also were sensitive objects to which they invariably reverted. The donkeys’ legs were stripped bare of hair, because of these pests. The death of one left an odour of bitter almonds on the hand.

The beetles, again, varied from the size of a monstrous two-and-a-half inches in length to an insect that would have bored through the eye of a tailor’s needle. This last when examined through a magnifying glass seemed to be efficiently equipped for troubling humanity. It burrowed into the skin. It could not be discovered by the eyes unless attention was directed by giving a cross rub with the hand, when a pain like the prick of a pin was felt. The natives’ huts were infested with three peculiar species. One burrowed into one’s body, another bored into the rafters and dropped fine sawdust into the soup, another explored among the crisp leaves of the roof and gave one a creeping fear that there were snakes about; a fourth, which was a roaring lion of a beetle, waited until night and then made it impossible to keep a candle lit for a quiet pipe and meditation.{92}


Among the minor unpleasantnesses which we had to endure we may mention the “jigger,” which deposited its eggs under the toenails of the most active men, but which attacked the body of a “goee-goee” and made him a mass of living corruption; the little beetle that dived underneath the skin and pricked one as with a needle; the mellipona bee, that troubled the eyes, and made one almost frantic some days; the small and large ticks that insidiously sucked one’s small store of blood; the wasps, which stung one into a raging fever if some careless idiot touched the tree, or shouted near their haunts; the wild honey-bees, which one day scattered two canoe crews, and punished them so that we had to send a detachment of men to rescue them; the tiger-slug, that dropped from the branches and left his poisonous fur in the pores of the body until one raved from the pain; the red ants, that invaded the camp by night and disturbed our sleep, and attacked the caravan half a score of times on the march, and made the men run faster than if pursued by so many pigmies; the black ants, which infested the trumpet tree, and dropped on us when passing underneath, and gave us all a foretaste of the Inferno; the small ants that invaded every particle of food, which required great care lest we might swallow half a dozen inadvertently, and have the stomach membranes perforated or blistered—small as they were, they were the most troublesome, for in every tunnel made through the bush thousands of them housed themselves upon us, and so bit and stung us that I have seen the pioneers covered with blisters as from nettles; and, of course, there were our old friends the mosquitos in numbers in the greater clearings.

But if we were bitten and stung by pismires and numberless tribes of insects by day, which every one will confess is as bad as being whipped with nettles, the night had also its alarms, terrors, and anxieties. In the dead of night, when the entire caravan was wrapped in slumber, a series of explosions would wake every one. Some tree or another was nightly struck{93} by lightning, and there was a danger that half the camp might be mangled by the fall of one; the sound of the branches during a storm was like the roar of breakers, or the rolling of a surge on the shore. When the rain fell no voice could be heard in the camp, it was like a cataract with its din of falling waters. Each night almost a dead tree fell with startling crackle, and rending and rushing, ending with the sound which shook the earth.

There were trees parting with a decayed member, and the fall of it made the forest echo with its crash as though it were a fusillade of musketry. The night winds swayed the branches and hurled them against each other, amid a chorus of creaking stems, and swinging cables and rustle of leaves. Then there was the never-failing crick of the cricket, and the shriller but not less monotonous piping call of the cicadæ, and the perpetual chorus of frogs; there was the doleful cry of the lemur to his mate, a harsh, rasping cry which made night hideous, and loneliness and darkness repulsive. There was a chimpanzee at solitary exercise amusing himself with striking upon a tree like the little boys at home rattle a stick against the area railings. There were the midnight troops of elephants, who no doubt were only prevented from marching right over us by the scores of fires scattered about the camp.

Considering the number of sokos or chimpanzees in this great forest, it is rather a curious fact that not one of the Expedition saw one alive. My terrier “Randy” hunted them almost every day between Ipoto and Ibwiri, and one time was severely handled. I have heard their notes four several times, and have possessed a couple of their skulls, one of which I gave to the Pasha; the other, that I was obliged to leave at the time, was monstrously large.

In 1887 rain fell during eight days in July, ten days in August, fourteen days in September, fifteen days in October, seventeen days in November, and seven days in December, = seventy-one days. From the 1st of June, 1887, to the 31st of May, 1888, there were 138{94} days, or 569 hours of rain. We could not measure the rain in the forest in any other way than by time. We shall not be far wrong if we estimate this forest to be the rainiest zone on the earth.

For nine months of the year the winds blow from the South Atlantic along the course of the Congo, and up the Aruwimi. They bear the moisture of the sea, and the vapours exhaled by a course of 1400 miles of a river which spreads from half-a-mile to sixteen miles wide, and meeting on their easterly course the cold atmosphere prevailing at the high altitude they descend upon the forest almost every alternate day in copious showers of rain. This forest is also favourably situated to receive the vapours exhaled by Lakes Tanganika, the Albert Edward, and Albert Lakes. While standing in the plain on the verge of the forest, I have seen the two rain clouds, one from the westward and one from the eastward, collide and dissolve in a deluge of rain on Pisgah Mount and the surrounding country. Besides the rains, which lasted ten or twelve hours at a time during our march from Yambuya to Fort Bodo, we had frequent local showers of short duration. When these latter fell we were sure that some lofty hill was in the neighbourhood, which had intercepted a portion of the vapour drifting easterly, and liquified it for the benefit of the neighbourhood. The rear-guard of the caravan was sometimes plunged in misery by a heavy rainfall while the pioneers were enjoying the effects of sunshine above their heads. It occurred at Mabengu Rapids, and at Engweddé. Being in the depths of the forest we could not see any sign of a hill, but such sudden showers betrayed the presence of one in the vicinity. When well away from these localities we would sometimes look behind down a straight stretch of river, and hilly masses 500 feet above the river were revealed to us.



The Ituri or Upper Aruwimi is therefore seldom very low. We have seen it in July about six feet below high-water mark. In October one night it rose a foot; it is highest in November, and lowest in December. But it{96}{95} is a stream that constantly fluctuates, and pours an immense volume of water into the Congo. In length of course it is about 700 miles, rising to the south of that group of hills known as the Travellers’ Group, and called Mounts Speke, Schweinfurth, and Junker. Its basin covers an area of 67,000 square miles.

On the north side of the basin we have heard of the Ababua, Mabodé, Momvu, and the Balessé, to the south are the Bakumu and Baburu. These are the principal tribes, which are subdivided into hundreds of smaller tribes. The language of the Bakumu which is to be found inland east of Stanley Falls, is known as far as Panga Falls, with slight dialectic variations among the Baburu. The language of Momvu is spoken between Panga Falls and the Ngaiyu. East of that we found that the language of the Balessé took us as far as Indenduru, beyond that was a separate and distinct language spoken by the Babusessé. But we found sub-tribes in each section who professed not to understand what was said to them from natives two camps removed from them.

All the tribes from the Atlantic Ocean to East Longitude 30° in the Equatorial region have a distant resemblance of features and customs, but I should place East Longitude 18° as the divisional line of longitude between two families of one original parent race. Across twelve degrees of longitude, we have hundreds of tribes bearing a most close resemblance to one another. What Schweinfurth and Junker, Emin and Casati, have said about the Monbuttu, Niam Niam, and Momvu, may with a few fine shades of difference, be said about the Bangala, the Wyyanzi, the Batomba, the Basoko, the Baburu, the Bakumu, and Balessé. One tribe more compact in organisation may possess a few superior characteristics to one which has suffered misfortunes, and been oppressed by more powerful neighbours, but in the main I see no difference whatever. They own no cattle, but possess sheep, goats, and domestic fowls. One tribe may be more partial to manioc, but they all cultivate the plantain and banana.{98} Their dresses all alike are of bark cloth, their headdresses are nearly similar, though one tribe may be more elaborate in the mode of dressing theirs than another. Some of them practise circumcision, and they are addicted to eating the flesh of their enemies. Their weapons are nearly the same—the broad razor-sharp spear, the double-edged and pointed knife, the curious two-or four-bladed knives, their curved swords; their small bows and short arrows; their stools, benches, and back-rests; their ear-rings, bracelets, armlets and leglets; their great war-drums and little tom-toms, their war-horns; their blacksmiths’ and carpenters’ tools.

In the architecture of their houses there is a great difference; in the tattooing, facial marks, and their upper lip ornaments they also differ; but these are often due to the desire to distinguish tribes, though they do not show a difference of race. If one could travel in a steamer from Equatorville on the Congo to Indesura on the Upper Ituri, and see the various communities on the river banks from the deck, the passengers would be struck, not only by the similarity of dress and equipments, but also of complexion; whereas were a colony of Soudanese, Zanzibaris, Wanyamwezi to be seen accidentally among those communities, the stranger might easily distinguish them as being foreign to the soil.

This region, which embraces twelve degrees of longitude, is mainly forest, though to the west it has several reaches of grass-land, and this fact modifies the complexion considerably. The inhabitants of the true forest are much lighter in colour than those of the grass-land. They are inclined normally to be coppery, while some are as light as Arabs, and others are dark brown, but they are all purely negroid in character. Probably this lightness of colour may be due to a long residence through generations in the forest shades, though it is likely to have been the result of an amalgamation of an originally black and light coloured race. When we cross the limits of the forest and enter the grass-land we at once remark, however, that the tribes are much darker in colour.{99}


SPEARS.       POT.

Among these forest tribes we have observed some singularly prepossessing faces, and we have observed others uncommonly low and degraded. However incorrigibly fierce in temper, detestable in their disposition, and bestial in habits these wild tribes may be to-day, there is not one of them which does not contain germs, and by whose means at some future date civilisation may spread, and with it those manifold blessings inseparable{100} from it. I was much struck with the personal appearance and replies of some captives of Engweddé, with whom, as they knew the language of Momvu, I was able to converse. I asked them if they were in the habit of fighting strangers always. Said they, “What do strangers want from us? we have nothing. We have only plantains, palms, and fish.” “But supposing strangers wished to buy plantains, palm oil, and fish from you, would you sell them?” “We have never seen any strangers before. Each tribe keeps to its own place until it comes to fight with us for some reason.” “Do you always fight your neighbours?” “No; some of our young men go into the woods to hunt game, and they are surprised by our neighbours; then we go to them, and they come to fight us until one party is tired, or one is beaten.” “Well, will you be friends with me if I send you back to your village?” They looked incredulous, and when they were actually escorted out of the camp with cowries in their hands, they simply stood still and refused to go fearing some trap. It seemed incredible to them that they should not be sacrificed. One returned to my tent, and was greeted kindly as an old acquaintance, received a few bananas, deliberately went to a fire and roasted them, weighing in his mind, I suppose, meanwhile, what it all meant; after refreshing himself, he lit his pipe, and walked away with an assumed composure. Three trips past that settlement, and their confidence would have been gained for ever.

Scattered among the Balessé, between Ipoto and Mount Pisgah, and inhabiting the land situated between the Ngaiyu and Ituri Rivers, a region equal in area to about two-thirds of Scotland, are the Wambutti, variously called Batwa, Akka, and Bazungu. These people are undersized nomads, dwarfs, or pigmies, who live in the uncleared virgin forest, and support themselves on game, which they are very expert in catching. They vary in height from three feet to four feet six inches. A full-grown adult male may weigh ninety pounds. They plant their village camps at a distance of from two to{101} three miles around a tribe of agricultural aborigines, the majority of whom are fine stalwart people. A large clearing may have as many as eight, ten, or twelve separate communities of these little people settled around them, numbering in the aggregate from 2,000 to 2,500 souls. With their weapons, little bows and arrows, the points of which are covered thickly with poison, and spears, they kill elephants, buffalo, and antelope. They sink pits, and cunningly cover them with light sticks and leaves, over which they sprinkle earth to disguise from the unsuspecting animals the danger below them. They build a shed-like structure, the roof being suspended with a vine, and spread nuts or ripe plantains underneath, to tempt the chimpanzees, baboons, and other simians within, and by a slight movement, the shed falls, and the animals are captured. Along the tracks of civets, mephitis, ichneumons, and rodents are bow traps fixed, which, in the scurry of the little animals, are snapped and strangle them. Besides the meat and hides to make shields, and furs, and ivory of the slaughtered game, they catch birds to obtain their feathers; they collect honey from the woods, and make poison, all of which they sell to the larger aborigines for plantains, potatoes, tobacco, spears, knives, and arrows. The forest would soon be denuded of game if the pigmies confined themselves to the few square miles around a clearing; they are therefore compelled to move, as soon as it becomes scarce, to other settlements.





They perform other services to the agricultural and{102} larger class of aborigines. They are perfect scouts, and contrive, by their better knowledge of the intricacies of the forest, to obtain early intelligence of the coming of strangers, and to send information to their settled friends. They are thus like voluntary picquets guarding the clearings and settlements. Every road from any direction runs through their camps. Their villages command every cross-way. Against any strange natives, disposed to be aggressive, they would combine with their taller neighbours, and they are{103} by no means despicable allies. When arrows are arrayed against arrows, poison against poison, and craft against craft, probably the party assisted by the pigmies would prevail. Their diminutive size, superior wood-craft, their greater malice, would make formidable opponents. This the agricultural natives thoroughly understand. They would no doubt wish on many occasions that the little people would betake themselves elsewhere, for the settlements are frequently outnumbered by the nomad communities. For small and often inadequate returns of fur and meat, they must allow the pigmies free access to their plantains, groves, and gardens. In a word, no nation on the earth is free from human parasites, and the tribes of the Central African forest have much to bear from these little fierce people who glue themselves to their clearings, flatter them when well fed, but oppress them with their extortions and robberies.

The pigmies arrange their dwellings—low structures of the shape of an oval figure cut lengthways; the doors are from two feet to three feet high, placed at the ends—in a rough circle, the centre of which is left cleared for the residence of the chief and his family, and as a common. About 100 yards in advance of the camp, along every track leading out of it, is placed the sentry-house, just large enough for two little men, with the doorway looking up the track. If we assumed that native caravans ever travelled between Ipoto and Ibwiri, for instance, we should imagine, from our knowledge of these forest people, that the caravan would be mulcted of much of its property by these nomads, whom they would meet in front and rear of each settlement, and as there are ten settlements between the two points, they would have to pay toll twenty times, in tobacco, salt, iron, and rattan, cane ornaments, axes, knives, spears, arrows, adzes, rings, &c. We therefore see how utterly impossible it would be for the Ipoto people to have even heard of Ibwiri, owing to the heavy turnpike tolls and octroi duties that would be demanded of them if they ventured to undertake a long journey of eighty miles. It will{104} also be seen why there is such a diversity of dialects, why captives were utterly ignorant of settlements only twenty miles away from them.

As I have said, there are two species of these pigmies, utterly dissimilar in complexion, conformation of the head, and facial characteristics. Whether Batwa forms one nation and Wambutti another we do not know, but they differ as much from each other as a Turk would from a Scandinavian. The Batwa have longish heads and long narrow faces, reddish, small eyes, set close together, which give them a somewhat ferrety look, sour, anxious, and querulous. The Wambutti have round faces, gazelle-like eyes, set far apart, open foreheads, which give one an impression of undisguised frankness, and are of a rich yellow, ivory complexion. The Wambutti occupy the southern half of the district described, the Batwa the northern, and extend south-easterly to the Awamba forests on both banks of the Semliki River, and east of the Ituri.

The life in their forest villages partakes of the character of the agricultural classes. The women perform all the work of collecting fuel and provisions, and cooking, and the transport of the goods of the community. The men hunt, and fight, and smoke, and conduct the tribal politics. There is always some game in the camp, besides furs and feathers and hides. They have nets for fish and traps for small game to make. The youngsters must always be practising with the bow and arrow, for we have never come across one of their villages without finding several miniature bows and blunt-headed arrows. There must be free use of axes also, for the trees about bear many a mark which could only have been done to try their edge. In every camp we have seen deep incisions in a tree several inches deep, and perhaps 500 yards from the camp a series of diamond cuttings in a root of a tree across the track, which, when seen, informed us that we were approaching a village of the Wambutti pigmies.



Two Egyptians, a corporal and a Cairo boy of fifteen, both light complexioned, were captured near Fort Bodo{106}{105} during my absence, and no one discovered what became of them. It is supposed they were made prisoners, like young Nassamonians of old. I have often wondered what was done to them, and what the feelings of both were—they were devout Mussulmans—after they were taken to the Wambutti’s camp. I fancy they must have been something similar to those of Robert Baker, a sailor, in 1562—

“If cannibals they be
In kind, we do not know,
But if they be, then welcome we,
To pot straightway we goe.
They naked goe likewise,
For shame, we cannot so;
We cannot live after their guise,
Thus naked for to go.
By roots and leaves they live,
As beasts do in the wood:
Among these heathen who can thrive,
On this so wilde a food?”

One of the poisons employed by the tribes of the forest to smear their weapons, in order to make them more deadly, is a dark substance of the colour and consistency of pitch. It is supposed—if native women may be trusted—to be made out of a species of arum, a very common plant, with large leaves, found in any quantity between Fort Bodo and Indesura. Its smell, when fresh, reminds one of the old blister plaster. That it is deadly there can be no doubt. They kill the elephants and other big game with it, as certainly as these animals could be slain with bone-crushing rifles. That they do kill elephants is proved by the vast stores of ivory collected by Ugarrowwa, Kilonga-Longa, and Tippu-Tib, and each adult warrior has a waist-belt, or a shoulder-belt, to suspend his dagger and skinning-knife, and every mother who carries her child and every wife who carries a basket has need of broad forehead-straps, made out of buffalo hide, to bear her load on her back.


The poison is not permitted to be manufactured in a village. It seems to be a necessity, to prevent fatal accidents, that the poison should be prepared in the bush. It is then laid on the iron arrows thickly, and into the splints of the hard wooden arrows.{108}

Another poison is of a pale gluey colour. At Avisibba we discovered several baskets of dried red ants among the rafters, and I conjectured, from their resemblance in colour to the deadly poison which the Avisibbas used, that it must have been made by crushing them into a fine powder, and mixing it with palm oil. If one of these insects can raise a blister on the skin of the size of a groat, what may not the powder of mummied insects of the same species effect? If this pale poison be of this material, one must confess that, in the forest, they possess endless supplies of other insects still worse, such as the long black ants which infest the trumpet tree, a bite from one of which can only be compared to cautery from a red hot iron. But whatever it be, we have great faith in a strong hypodermic injection of carbonate of ammonium, and it may be that stronger doses of morphia than any that I ventured upon might succeed in conquering the fatal tetanic spasms which followed every puncture and preceded death.

When one of these poisons is fresh its consequences are rapid. There is excessive faintness, palpitation of the heart, nausea, pallor, and beads of perspiration break out over the body, and death ensues. One man died within one minute from a mere pin-hole, which pierced the right arm and right breast. A headman died within an hour and a quarter after being shot. A woman died during the time that she was carried a distance of one hundred paces; another woman died within twenty minutes; one man died within three hours; two others died after one hundred hours had elapsed. These various periods indicate that some poisons were fresh and others had become dry. Most of these wounds were sucked and washed and syringed, but evidently some of the poison was left, and caused death.

To render the poison ineffective, a strong emetic should be given, sucking and syringing should be resorted to, and a heavy solution of carbonate of ammonium should be injected into the wound, assuming that the native antidote was unknown.

As there is no grass throughout the forest region, the{109} natives would be put to hard shifts to cover their houses were it not for the invaluable phrynia leaves, which grow everywhere, but most abundantly in the primeval woods. These leaves are from a foot to twenty inches in diameter, are attached to slender straight stalks from three to seven feet high. Both stalks and leaves are useful in the construction of native huts and camps. The fruit is like red cherries, but the rinds are not eaten, though the kernels are often eaten to “deceive the stomach.”

The wild fruits of the forest are various, and having been sustained through so many days of awful famine, it would be well to describe such as we found useful. We owe most to a fine stately tree with small leaves, which grows in large numbers along the south banks of the Ituri between East Long. 28° and 29°. Its fruit lies in pods about ten inches long, and which contain four heart-shaped beans called “makwemé,” an inch and a quarter long by an inch broad and half an inch thick. It has a tough dove-coloured skin which when cut shows a reddish inner skin. When this latter is scraped away the bean may be bruised, mashed, or boiled whole. It is better bruised, because, as the bean is rather leathery, it has a better chance of being cooked to be digestible. The pigmies taught us the art, and it may be well conceived that they have had often need of it to support life during their forest wanderings.

In the neighbourhood of these wood-bean trees grew a bastard bread-fruit called fenessi by the Zanzibaris, the fruit of which is as large as a water-melon. When ripe we found it delightful and wholesome.

On a higher level, as we followed the Ituri up from 1° 6′ to Lat. 1° 47′, we found the spondia or hog-plums, a yellow, fragrant fruit with a large stone. An india-rubber vine produced a pear-shaped fruit which, though of delicious odour, was the cause of much nausea; a fruit also of the size of a crab-apple, with an insipid sweetness about it, assisted to maintain life. Then there were some nuts like horse-chestnuts which we found the pigmies partial to, but we cannot speak very{110} highly of them. Besides the cherry-like berries of the phrynia, the kernels of which were industriously sought after, were the rich red fruit of the amoma, within whose husks is found an acid sweet pulp, and the grains of paradise which were first introduced to England in the year 1815. The berries of the calamus, or rattan, were also eaten, but they were difficult to get. Figs also were tried, but they were not very tempting, though anything to disguise hunger and to “deceive the stomach” found favour. Even the cola nuts were eaten, but more for the sake of expectoration than for the sake of pandering to the digestive organs.

Among other articles to which we were reduced were white ants, slugs—not the tiger-slug—snails, crabs, tortoises, roast field-rats, and the siluroids of the streams.

The domestic animals of the natives were principally confined to a fine breed of goats, dogs—of the usual pariah order, but vari-coloured. We saw only one domestic cat, and that was a brindled animal, and very tame, but kept in a cage.

It struck me as curious that while nearly all the Madis were attacked with guinea worms, which rendered them utterly unfit for work, not one Zanzibari suffered from them. The Madis’ medicine for these was simply oil or fat rubbed over the inflammation, which served to cause the worm to withdraw from the leg. At one time, however, we had fifteen cases of mumps among the Zanzibaris, but they used no medicine except rubbing the swollen face with flour and water. Numbers of Manyuema, natives, and Madis, unvaccinated and uninoculated, fell victims to variola; but only four Zanzibaris were attacked with the disease, only one of which was fatal, and two of them were not so much indisposed as to plead being relieved from duties.

Respecting the productions of the forest I have written at such length in “The Congo and the Founding of its Free State” that it is unnecessary to add any more here. I will only say that when the Congo Railway has been constructed, the products of the great{111} forest will not be the least valuable of the exports of the Congo Independent State. The natives, beginning at Yambuya, will easily be induced to collect the rubber, and when one sensible European has succeeded in teaching them what the countless vines, creepers, and tendrils of their forest can produce, it will not be long before other competitors will invade the silent river, and invoke the aid of other tribes to follow the example of the Baburu.{112}



Our reception at Fort Bodo—Lieut. Stairs’ report of what took place at the Fort during our relief of the rear column—No news of Jephson—Muster of our men—We burn the Fort and advance to find Emin and Jephson—Camp at Kandekoré—Parting words to Lieut. Stairs and Surgeon Parke, who are left in charge of the sick—Mazamboni gives us news of Emin and Jephson—Old Gavira escorts us—Two Wahuma messengers bring letters from Emin and Jephson—Their contents—My replies to the same handed to Chief Mogo for delivery—The Balegga attack us, but, with the help of the Bavira, are repulsed—Mr. Jephson turns up—We talk of Emin—Jephson’s report bearing upon the revolt of the troops of Equatoria, also his views respecting the invasion of the province by the Mahdists, and its results—Emin Pasha sends through Mr. Jephson an answer to my last letter.

Dec. 20.
Fort Bodo.

Those who have read the pitiful tale of the rear column will no doubt be curious to know how we re-entered Fort Bodo, which was only garrisoned with fifty-nine rifles, after six months’ absence. With my heart filled with joy and gratitude I was escorted up the western avenue, glad men leaping around me like spaniels, the Doctor imparting the most cheery news; prosperous fields of corn on either hand, and goodly crops everywhere; fenced squares, a neat village, clean streets, and every one I met—white and black—in perfect health, except a few incurables. Nelson was quite recovered, the dark shadow of the starvation camp was entirely gone, and the former martial tread and manly bearing had been regained; and Stairs, the officer par excellence, was precisely what he ought to have been—the one who always obeyed and meant to obey.

Lieutenant Stairs possessed 24,000 ears of corn in his{113} granary, the plantation was still bearing plantains and sweet potatoes and beans, there was a good crop of tobacco; the stream in the neighbourhood supplied fish—siluroids—and between officers and men there existed the very best of feeling. He had not been free from trouble; troops of elephants had invaded the fort, native plunderers by night had robbed him of stores of tobacco, a mild benevolence had brought on the plantation a host of pygmies, but at once alertness and firmness had made him respected and feared by pigmies, aborigines, and Zanzibaris, and in every wise suggestion his comrades had concurred and aided him. The admirable and welcome letter herewith given speaks for itself—

Fort Bodo, Ibwiri, Central Africa,
21st December, 1888.

H. M. Stanley, Esq.,
Command of Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.


I have the honour to report that, in accordance with your letter of instructions, dated Fort Bodo, June 13th, 1888, I took over the charge of Fort Bodo and its garrison.

The strength of the garrison was then as follows:—Officers, 3; Zanzibaris, 51; Soudanese, 5; Madis, 5; total, 64.

Soon after your departure from Yambuya, the natives in the immediate vicinity became excessively bold and aggressive; gangs of them would come into the plantations nearly every day searching for plantains, and at last a party of them came into the gardens east of the Fort at night-time and made off with a quantity of tobacco and beans. On the night of the 21st August they again attempted to steal more tobacco; this time, however, the sentries were on the alert. The lesson they received had the effect of making the natives less bold, but still our bananas were being taken at a great rate. I now found it necessary to send out three parties of patrols per week; these had as much as they could do to keep out the natives and elephants. If fires were not made every few days the elephants came into the bananas, and would destroy in a single night some acres of plantation.

By November 1st we had got the natives well in hand, and at this time I do not believe a single native camp exists within eight miles of the Fort. Those natives to the S.S.E. of the Fort gave us the most trouble, and were the last to move away from our plantations.

At the end of July we all expected the arrival of Mr. Mounteney Jephson from the Albert Nyanza to relieve the garrison, and convey our goods on to the Lake shore. Day after day, however, passed away, and no sign of him or news from him reaching us made many of the men more and more restless as each day passed. Though most of the men wished to remain at the Fort till relief turned up, either in the shape of Mr. Jephson or yourself, still some eight or ten discontented ones, desirous of reaching the Lake and partaking of the plenty there, were quite ready at any time to desert the loads, the white men, and sick.{114}

Seeing how things stood I treated the men at all times with the greatest leniency, and did whatever I could to make their life at the Fort as easy for them as was possible.

Shortly after the time of Mr. Jephson’s expected arrival, some of the men came to me and asked for a “shauri;” this I granted. At this shauri the following propositions were made by one of the men (Ali Juma), and assented to by almost every one of the Zanzibaris present.

I. To leave the Fort, march on to the Lake by way of Mazamboni’s country, making double trips, and so get on all the loads to the Lake and have plenty of food.

II. Or, to send say fifteen couriers with a letter to the edge of the plain, there to learn if the Bandusuma were still our friends or no; if unfriendly, then to return to the Fort; if friendly, then the couriers would take on the letter to Mr. Jephson, and relief would come.

To the first proposal I replied:—

(1.) Mr. Stanley told me not to move across the plain, whatever else I did, without outside aid.

(2.) Did not Mr. Stanley tell Emin Pasha it was not safe to cross the plains, even should the natives be friendly, without sixty guns?

(3.) We had only thirty strong men, the rest were sick; we should lose our loads and sick men.

We all lived on the best of terms after I had told them we could not desert the Fort. We went on hoeing up the ground and planting corn and other crops, as if we expected a prolonged occupation. On the 1st September a severe hurricane accompanied by hail passed over the Fort, destroying fully 60 per cent. of the standing corn, and wrecking the banana plantations to such an extent that at least a month passed before the trees commenced to send up young shoots. Had it not been for this we should have had great quantities of corn; but as it was I was only able to give each man ten corns per week. The weakly ones, recommended by Dr. Parke, got one cup of shelled corn each per day. At one time we had over thirty men suffering from ulcers, but, through the exertion of Dr. Parke, all their ulcers on your arrival had healed up with the exception of some four.

Eight deaths occurred from the time of your departure up to the 20th December, two were killed by arrows, and two were captured by natives.

In all matters where deliberation was necessary the other officers and myself took part. We were unanimous in our determination to await your arrival, knowing that you were using every endeavour to bring relief to us as speedily as possible.

On the 20th December I handed over the charge of the Fort to you, and on the 21st the goods entrusted to my care.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) W. G. Stairs, Lieut. R.E.

Dec. 21.
Fort Bodo.

We were now left to conjecture what had become of the energetic Jephson, the man of action, who had been nick-named Buburika, or the Cheetah, because he was so quick and eager, and strained at the leash. No small matter would have detained him, even if the{115} Pasha after all thought that a long journey to Fort Bodo was unnecessary.

But the fact that neither had been heard of placed us in a dilemma. We had fifty-five extra loads to carry, over and above the number of carriers, of absolutely necessary property. After a little midnight mental deliberation I resolved to make double marches between Fort Bodo and the Ituri River on the edge of the plains, leave Lieutenant Stairs and officers and sick at the well-furnished clearing of Kandekoré, and march to the Nyanza to search for Emin Pasha and Mr. Mounteney Jephson. This would probably cause me to exceed my original estimate of time by ten days. But what can one do when every plan is thwarted by some unlucky accident or another? Fort Bodo had been reached two days before the stipulated time. If I arrived at the Nyanza by January 26 I should be ten days behind time.

On the 21st of December all this was explained to the men, and that fifty-five men must volunteer to do double duty, but for every camp made by them twice over I should pay for the extra work in cloth. Volunteers responded readily at this, and the difficulty of carrying the extra fifty-five loads of ammunition vanished.

At the muster on the 22nd of December there were present in the Fort—209 Zanzibaris, 17 Soudanese, 1 Somali, 151 Manyuema and followers, 26 Madis, 2 Lados, 6 whites; total 412. Therefore the journey from Banalya to Fort Bodo had cost 106 lives, of whom 38 belonged to the rear column.

On the 23rd we set out from Fort Bodo, and on the next day Captain Nelson, having buried the Pasha’s big demijohn, some broken rifles, &c., set fire to the Fort and joined us.

Jan. 2.

Christmas Day and the day after we foraged for the double journeys, and on the 27th Stairs was pushed forward with one hundred rifles to occupy the ferry at the Ituri River, with orders, after making himself snug, to send back fifty-five men to our Cross Roads camp.{116} Meantime, being very dilapidated in clothing, the Doctor and I tailored to make ourselves respectable for the grass-land.

On the 2nd of January, while waiting for the contingent from Stairs, a Soudanese, gathering fuel only 150 yards from camp, received five arrows in his back, which were extracted after tremendous exertion by the Doctor—two of the arrows being so deeply fixed in bone and muscle that the wounded man was almost raised from the ground. A sixth arrow was found two months later. The man ultimately recovered, to die close to Bagamoyo nearly a year later.

On the next day the fifty-five men returned from Stairs with a note reporting all was well at Ituri, and that he was hopeful of a pacific conclusion to the negotiations with the natives of Kandokoré, and on the 4th of the month at noon we moved from Cross Roads Camp. Six hours’ march on the 5th brought us to West Indenduru. The 6th we reached Central Indenduru, and on the 7th we were in the Bakwuru village at the foot of Pisgah, in view of the grass-land, at which the men of the rear column and the Manyuema were never tired of gazing and wondering. On the 9th we crossed the Ituri River and established a camp in the village of Kandekoré on the east side.

The next day all hands were set to work to make a camp, to clear the bush around, for natives are accustomed to let it grow right up to the eaves of their huts to enable them to retreat unperceived in case of danger.

In the evening after dinner Lieutenant Stairs and Surgeon Parke were called to my tent, and I addressed them as to their duties during my absence. Said I—

“Gentlemen, I have called you to give you a few parting words.

“You know as well as I do that there is a constant unseen influence at work creating an anxiety which has sometimes tempted us to despair. No plan, however clear and intelligible it may be, but is thwarted and reversed. No promises are fulfilled, instructions are disregarded, suggestions are unavailing, and so we are constantly labouring to correct and make amends for this general waywardness which pursues us. We are no sooner out of one difficulty than we are face to face with another, and we are subjected to everlasting stress and strains of appalling physical miseries, and absolute decimation. It is as clear to you as to me why{117} these things are so. They will go on and continue so, unless I can gather the fragments of this Expedition together once and for all, and keep it together, never to be separated again. But each time I have wished to do so, the inability of the men to march, the necessity of hurrying to one place and then to another, keep us eternally detached. After bringing the rear column, and uniting it with the advance, and collecting your garrison at Fort Bodo, we are astonished at this total absence of news from Jephson and the Pasha. Now I cannot manœuvre with a hospital in tow, such as we have with us. At the muster of to-day, after inspection, there were 124 men suffering from ulcers, debility, weakness, dysentery, and much else. They cannot march, they cannot carry. Jephson and the Pasha are perhaps waiting for me. It is now January 10th, I promised to be on the Nyanza again, even if I went as far as Yambuya, by the 16th, I have six days before me. You see how I am pulled this way and that way. If I could trust you to obey me, obey every word literally, that you would not swerve one iota from the path laid down, I could depart from you with confidence, and find out what is the matter with Jephson and the Pasha.”

Jan. 10.

“I don’t see why you should doubt us. I am sure we have always tried to do our very best to please and satisfy you,” replied Stairs.

“That is strictly true, and I am most grateful to you for it. The case of Yambuya seems to be repeated. Our friend Jephson is absent, perhaps dead from fever or from some accident; but why do we not hear from the Pasha? Therefore we surmise that some other trouble has overtaken both. Well, I set out for the Nyanza, and either send or cause to hear the news, or cut my way through Melindwa to behind Mswa Station to discover the cause of this strange silence. Have the Mahdists come up river, and annihilated everybody, or has another Expedition reached them from the East, and they are all too busy attending to them to think of their promise to us? Which is it? No one can answer, but because of this mystery we cannot sit down to let the mystery unfold itself, and I can do nothing towards penetrating it with 124 men, who require a long rest to recover from their fatigues and sicknesses. Therefore I am compelled to trust to you and the doctor, that you will stay here until I know what has happened, whether for one month or two months. I want you to stay here and look after the camp alertly, and I want the doctor to attend to these sick men and cure them, not to stint medicines, but nurse them with good food from morning until night. Do you promise this faithfully, on your words as gentlemen?”

“We do,” replied both warmly.

“Now Doctor, I particularly address myself to you. Stairs will perform all that is required as Superintendent and Governor of the camp, but I look to you mostly. These 124 men are on the sick list, some are but slightly indisposed, and some are in a dreadful state. But they all require attention, and you must give it devotedly. You must see that your worst cases are fed regularly. Three times a day see that their food is prepared, and that it is given to them; trust no man’s word, see to it yourself in person; we want these men to reach home. I warn you solemnly that your ‘flood-tide of opportunity’ has come. Are you ambitious of distinction? Here is your chance; seize it. Your task is clear before you, and you are required to save these men, who will be the means of taking you home, and of your receiving the esteem of all who shall hear of your deeds.

Jan. 10.

“Gentlemen, the causes of failure in this world are that men are unable to see the thing that lies ready at their hands. They look over their work and forget their tasks, in attempting to do what is not wanted.{118} Before I left England I received some hundreds of applications from volunteers to serve with me on this Expedition. They at least believed that they could win what men vulgarly call ‘kudos,’ though I do not believe that one in a thousand of them knew what is the true way to glory. For instance, there are only six whites here in this camp, yet one of the six sought me the other night to request permission to explore the Welle-Mubangi River—of all places in Africa! His duty was clearly before him, and yet he did not see it. His opportunities were unheeded. He cast yearning looks over and above what was right at his feet. He seemed as if wakened out of a dream when I told him that to escort refugees to their homes was a far nobler task than any number of discoveries. On this Expedition there was a man who received a salary for being loyal and devoted to me, yet when there were opportunities for distinguishing himself, he allowed his employer’s baggage to be sent away before his very eyes, and his own rations to be boxed up, and sent out of camp, and he never knew until told that he had lost his opportunities to gain credit, increase of salary, and promotion. I point out your opportunities, therefore hold fast to them with a firm grip; do all you can with might and main to make the most of them. Don’t think of ‘kudos,’ or ‘glory,’ but of your work. All your capital is in that; it will give you great or little profit, as you perform it. Good-night. To-morrow I go to do something, I know not what, and do not care until I hear what it is I have to do. As I will do mine, do yours.”

The next morning, after encouraging remarks to the invalids, we set out from Kandekoré in the territory of the Bakuba, and in forty-five minutes we had emerged out of the bush, to the immense delight and wonder of such of the rear column and Manyuema as had not seen the glorious land before.

On the 12th we reached Bessé, and were well received by our native friends. They informed us that the Pasha was building big houses at Nyamsassi, and the rumour was that he and many followers intended to pass through the land. As we had been very anxious, this piece of good news was hailed with great satisfaction.

Jan. 14.

We camped the day following in a vale a little north of Mukangi, and on the 14th we reached our old camp in Mazamboni’s country. It was not long before Mazamboni, and Katto his brother, and his inseparable cousin Kalengé, appeared, and in reply to our eager questioning, informed us that Jephson had reached Kavalli’s the day before yesterday (12th); that Hailallah, a boy deserter, was in charge of Kavalli, and had grown as tall as a spear. We were also told that Maleju (the Pasha) had despatched ten men to Kavalli’s to obtain{119} news of us, and that he had caused some fields to be cultivated near the lake, and had planted corn for our use. “What a good, thoughtful, kind man he must be!” we mentally remarked.

As Mazamboni presented us with two fat beeves, it was essential that the Zanzibaris, and the Manyuema should be indulged a little after long abstinence from flesh. We accordingly halted on the 15th, and during the day Chief Gavira came in and imparted the intelligence that Jephson had arrived at Katonza’s village three days before with seventeen soldiers; and our people, who were now well supplied with cloth for extra labour, and five doti each from Banalya, besides beads, cowries, and wire, were able to invest in luxuries to their hearts’ content. The Manyuema smiled blandly, and the Zanzibaris had contracted a habit, as they had scented the grass-lands, of crowing, which when once started was imitated by nearly 300 people.

Old Gavira escorted us the next day, on the 16th, the date I should have been on the Nyanza, and by the afternoon we were in one of the old villages which was once burned by us, and which was again clean and new and prosperous, and we welcome and honoured guests, only one long day’s march from the Lake.

Now that we were actually out of the forest, and only one thing more to do—since both the Pasha and Mr. Jephson were on the Lake shore just below us, according to the native—viz., to deliver the ammunition into the Pasha’s hands, and escort a few Egyptians home, Old Gavira had reason to suppose that afternoon that “Bula Matari” was a very amiable person.

Jan. 16.

But at 5 P.M. two Wahuma messengers came with letters from Kavalli’s, and as I read them a creeping feeling came over me which was a complete mental paralysis for the time, and deadened all the sensations except that of unmitigated surprise. When I recovered myself the ears of Jephson and the Pasha must certainly have tingled. I need not criminate myself, however, and any person of any imagination may conceive what I must have felt after he has read the following letters:—{120}

Letter from Emin.

Dufflé, 2nd September, 1888.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Jephson having been obliged to accompany some officers who start to see you, I profit of the occasion to tender you with my best wishes, hearty congratulations for the safe arrival of your Expedition, of which we have heard only by our boys, our letters being rigorously withheld from us. Mr. Jephson, who has been of good help to me, under very trying circumstances, will tell you what has happened, and is likewise able to give you the benefit of his experience, and to make some suggestions, should you decide to come here as people wish. In the case of your coming, you will greatly oblige me by taking measures for the safety of my little girl, about whom I feel most anxious.

Should, however, you decide not to come, that I can only wish you a good and safe return to your country, and at the same time I may be permitted to request you to tender my cordial thanks to your officers and your people, and my heartfelt acknowledgment to those kind hearted benefactors in England by whose generosity the Expedition was started.

Believe me, Dear Sir, to be,
Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) Dr. Emin.

2nd Letter from Emin.

Dufflé, 6, 11, 88.—Since the foregoing was written I have been always a prisoner here. Twice we heard you had come in, but it was not true. Now, the Mahdi’s people having come up, and Rejaf Station having been taken, we may be attacked some day or other, and there seems only a few hours of our escaping. However, we hope yet. To-day I have heard the soldiers from Muggi started yesterday for Rejaf, and if they are defeated, as without any doubt they will be, the Khartoum people will be here very quickly.

Mr. Jephson has acquainted me with the letter he wrote to you, and I think there is nothing to be joined to it.[2]

Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) Dr. Emin.

3rd Letter from Emin.

Tunguru, 21st December, 1888.

Dear Mr. Stanley,

Mr. Jephson having told to you whatever has happened here after we left Dufflé, I refrain from repeating the narrative.[3] Although for a moment there happened a movement in my favour, the officers, elated with their victory, soon were just as bad as they were in the beginning of this comedy. Everyone is now fully decided to leave the country for{121} finding a shelter somewhere. Nobody thinks, however, of going to Egypt, except, perhaps, a few officers and men. I am, nevertheless, not without hope of better days; but I join my entreaties with those of Mr. Jephson asking you to stay where you are, viz., at Kavalli’s, and to send only word of your arrival as quickly as you can.

Chief Mogo, the bearer of this and Mr. Jephson’s letter, has my orders to remain at Kavalli’s until you arrive. He is a good and true fellow, and you will oblige me by looking after him.

With the best wishes for you and all your people,

I am,
Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) Dr. Emin.

Letters of Mr. Jephson.

Dufflé, 7th November, 1888.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to tell you of the position of affairs in this country, and I trust Shukri Aga will be able by some means to deliver this letter to Kavalli in time to warn you to be careful.

On August 18th a rebellion broke out here, and the Pasha and I were made prisoners. The Pasha is a complete prisoner, but I am allowed to go about the station, though my movements are watched. The rebellion has been got up by some half dozen officers and clerks, chiefly Egyptians, and gradually others have joined; some through inclination, but most through fear; the soldiers, with the exception of those at Laboré, have never taken part in it, but have quietly given in to their officers. The two prime promoters of the rebellion were two Egyptians, who we heard afterwards had gone and complained to you at Nsabé. One was the Pasha’s adjutant, Abdul Vaal Effendi, who was formerly concerned in Arabi’s rebellion; the other was Achmet Effendi Mahmoud, a one-eyed clerk. These two and some others, when the Pasha and I were on our way to Rejaf, went about and told the people they had seen you, and that you were only an adventurer, and had not come from Egypt; that the letters you had brought from the Khedive and Nubar Pasha were forgeries; that it was untrue that Khartoum had fallen, and that the Pasha and you had made a plot to take them, their wives and children out of the country, and hand them over to slaves to the English. Such words, in an ignorant and fanatical country like this, acted like fire amongst the people, and the result was a general rebellion, and we were made prisoners.

The rebels then collected officers from the different stations, and held a large meeting here to determine what measures they should take, and all those who did not join in the movement were so insulted and abused, that they were obliged for their own safety to acquiesce in what was done. The Pasha was deposed, and those officers who were suspected of being friendly to him were removed from their posts, and those friendly to the rebels were put in their places. It was decided to take the Pasha away as a prisoner to Rejaf, and some of the worst rebels were even for putting him in irons, but the officers were afraid to put these plans into execution, as the soldiers said they would never permit any one to lay a hand on him. Plans were also made to entrap you when you returned, and strip you of all you had.

Things were in this condition when we were startled by the news that{122} the Mahdi’s people had arrived at Lado with three steamers and nine sandals and nuggars, and had established themselves on the site of the old station. Omar Sale, their general, sent down three peacock dervishes with a letter to the Pasha demanding the instant surrender of the country. The rebel officers seized them and put them in prison, and decided on war. After a few days the Donagla attacked and captured Rejaf, killing five officers and numbers of soldiers, and taking many women and children prisoners, and all the stores and ammunition in the station were lost. The result of this was a general stampede of people from the stations of Bidden, Kirri, and Muggi, who fled with their women and children to Laboré, abandoning almost everything. At Kirri the ammunition was abandoned, and was at once seized by the natives. The Pasha reckons that the Donagla numbers about 1,500.

The officers and a large number of soldiers have returned to Muggi, and intend to make a stand against the Donagla. Our position here is extremely unpleasant, for since this rebellion all is chaos and confusion; there is no head, and half a dozen conflicting orders are given every day, and no one obeys; the rebel officers are wholly unable to control the soldiers. We are daily expecting some catastrophe to happen, for the Baris have joined the Donagla, and if they come down here with a rush nothing can save us. After the fall of Rejaf, the soldiers cursed their officers and said, “If we had obeyed our Governor, and had done what he told us, we should now be safe; he has been a father and a mother to us all these years; but instead of listening to him we listened to you, and now we are lost.”

The officers are all very much frightened at what has happened, and we are now anxiously awaiting your arrival, and desire to leave the country with you, for they are now really persuaded that Khartoum has fallen, and that you have come from the Khedive. The greater part of the officers and all the soldiers wish to reinstate the Pasha in his place, but the Egyptians are afraid that if he is reinstated vengeance will fall on their heads, so they have persuaded the Soudanese officers not to do so. The soldiers refuse to act with their officers, so everything is at a standstill, and nothing is being done for the safety of the station, either in the way of fortifying or provisioning it. We are like rats in a trap; they will neither let us act nor retire, and I fear unless you come very soon you will be too late, and our fate will be like that of the rest of the garrisons of the Soudan. Had this rebellion not happened, the Pasha could have kept the Donagla in check for some time, but as it is he is powerless to act.

I would make the following suggestions concerning your movements when you arrive at Kavalli’s, which, of course, you will only adopt if you think fit.

On your arrival at Kavalli’s, if you have a sufficient force with you, leave all unnecessary loads in charge of some officers and men there, and you yourself come to Nsabé, bringing with you as many men as you can; bring the Soudanese officers, but not the soldiers, with you.

Despatch natives in a canoe to Mswa with a letter in Arabic to Shukri Aga, telling him of your arrival, and telling him you wish to see the Pasha and myself, and write also to the Pasha or myself telling us number of men you have with you; it would, perhaps, be better to write to me, as a letter to him might be confiscated.

On no account have anything to do with people who come to you unaccompanied by either the Pasha or myself, whoever they are, or however fair their words may be. Neither the Pasha nor I think there is the slightest danger now of any attempt to capture you being made, for the people are now fully persuaded you come from Egypt, and they{123} look to you to get them out of their difficulties; still it would be well for you to make your camp strong.

If we are not able to get out of the country, please remember me to my friends. With kindest wishes to yourself and all with you,

I am,
Yours faithfully,
(Signed) A. J. Mounteney Jephson.
To H. M. Stanley, Esq.,
Commander of the Relief Expedition.

Jan. 16.

Wadelai, November 24th, 1888.

My messenger having not yet left Wadelai, I add this postscript, as the Pasha wishes me to send my former letter to you in its entirety, as it gives a fair description of our position at the time I wrote, when we hardly expected to be ever able to get out of the country. Shortly after I had written to you, the soldiers were led by their officers to attempt to retake Rejaf, but the Donagla defeated them, and killed six officers and a large number of soldiers; amongst the officers killed were some of the Pasha’s worst enemies. The soldiers in all the stations were so panic-stricken and angry at what had happened that they declared they would not attempt to fight unless the Pasha was set at liberty; so the rebel officers were obliged to free him and sent us to Wadelai, where he is free to do as he pleases, but at present he has not resumed his authority in the country; he is, I believe, by no means anxious to do so. We hope in a few days to be at Tunguru, a station on the Lake two days by steamer from Nsabé, and I trust when we hear of your arrival that the Pasha himself will be able to come down with me to see you.

Shukri Aga tells us he has everything ready against your arrival, in the shape of cattle, goats, chickens, corn, etc.; he has behaved capitally throughout this rebellion, and is the only chief of station who has been able to stand against the rebels.

Our danger, as far as the Donagla are concerned, is, of course, increased by this last defeat, but our position is in one way better now, for we are further removed from them, and we have now the option of retiring if we please, which we had not before when we were prisoners. We hear that the Donagla have sent steamers down to Khartoum for reinforcements; if so, they cannot be up for another six weeks; meantime I hope that until the reinforcements arrive they will not care to come so far from their base as Wadelai or Tunguru. If they do, it will be all up with us, for the soldiers will never stand against them, and it will be a mere walk over.

These people are not the same sort that the soldiers fought three years ago, but are regular fanatics, and come on with a rush, cutting down men with their long sharp swords and broad spears. Every one is anxiously looking for your arrival, the coming of the Donagla has completely cowed them. Everything now rests on what the Donagla decided on doing. If they follow up their victories and come after us, we are lost, as I said before, for I do not think the people will allow us to retire from the country; but if the Donagla have sent down to Khartoum for reinforcements, and have decided to wait for the arrival of their reinforcements, then we may just manage to get out if you do not come later than the end of December, but it is utterly impossible to foresee what will happen.

A. J. M. J.


Tunguru, December 18th, 1888.

Dear Sir,—

Mogo not having yet started I send a second postscript in order to give you the latest news I can. We are now at Tunguru. On November 25th the Donagla surrounded Dufflé and besieged it for four days, but the soldiers, of whom there were some 500 in the station, managed at last to repulse them, and they retired to Rejaf, which is their headquarters. They have sent down to Khartoum for reinforcements, and doubtless will again attack and take the country when they are strengthened. In our flight from Wadelai I was asked by the officers to destroy our boat lest it should fall into the hands of the Donagla; I therefore broke it up, as we were unable to save it.

Dufflé is being evacuated as fast as possible, and it is the intention of the officers to collect at Wadelai, and to decide on what steps they shall next take. The Pasha is unable to move hand or foot, as there is still a very strong party against him, and the officers are no longer in immediate fear of the Mahdi’s people.

Do not on any account come down to Nsabé, but make your camp at Kavalli’s; send a letter directly you arrive, and as soon as we hear of your arrival I will come down to you. I will not disguise the fact from you that you will have a difficult and dangerous task before you in dealing with the Pasha’s people. I trust you will arrive before the Donagla return, or our case will be desperate.

I am, yours faithfully,
(Signed) A. J. Mounteney Jephson.

My Reply To Mr. Jephson.

Camp at Gavira’s, one day from Nyanza, and one day’s march east
of Mazamboni’s.

January 17th, 1889.

My dear Jephson,—

Your letter of November 7th, 1888, with two postscripts, one dated November 24th, and the other dated December 18th, is to hand and contents noted.

I will not criticise your letter nor discuss any of its contents. I wish to be brief, and promptly act; with that view I present you with a précis of events connected with our journey.

We separated from the Pasha on the 23rd of May last, with the understanding that in about two months you, with or without the Pasha, would start for Fort Bodo with sufficient porters to take the goods at the Fort and convey them to the Nyanza, the Pasha expressing himself anxious to see Mt. Pisgah and our Fort, and, if words may be relied on, he was anxious to assist us in his own relief. We somewhat doubted whether his affairs would permit the Pasha’s absence, but we were assured you would not remain inactive.

It was also understood that the Pasha would erect a small station on Nyamsassi Island as a provision depot, in order that our Expedition might find means of subsistence on arrival at the Lake.

Eight months have elapsed, and not one single promise has been performed.

On the other hand, we, faithful to our promise, departed from the Nyanza Plain May 25th, arrived at Fort Bodo June 8th—fifteen days from the Nyanza. Conveying to Lieutenant Stairs and Captain Nelson {125}your comforting assurances that you would be there in two months, and giving written permission to Stairs and Nelson to evacuate the Fort and accompany you to the Nyanza with the garrison, which, with the Pasha’s soldiers, would have made a strong depôt of Nyamsassi Island, I set out from Fort Bodo on the 16th June to hunt up the Major and his column.

On the morning of the 17th August at 10 A.M., we sighted the rear column at Banalya, ninety miles (English) from Yambuya—592 miles from the Nyanza on the sixty-third day from Fort Bodo, and the eighty-fifth from the Nyanza shore.

I sent my despatches to Stanley Falls and thence to Europe, and on the 31st August commenced my return towards the Nyanza. Two days before the date stated I was at Fort Bodo—December 20th. On the 24th December we moved from Fort Bodo towards the Ituri Ferry. But as your non-arrival at Fort Bodo had left us with a larger number of goods than our force could carry at one time, we had to make double journeys to Fort Bodo and back to the Ituri Ferry, but by the 10th January all that remained of the Expedition, with all its effects, were on this side of the Ituri River, encamped half a mile from the ferry, with abundance of food assured for months. On the 12th January I left Stairs; your absence from the Fort, and the absolute silence respecting you all, made us suspect that serious trouble had broken out. Yesterday your letter, as above stated, came to hand, and its contents explained the trouble.

The difficulties I met at Banalya, are repeated to-day, near the Albert Lake, and nothing can save us now from being overwhelmed by them but a calm and clear decision. If I had hesitated at Banalya very likely I should still be there waiting for Jameson and Ward, with my own men dying by dozens.

Are the Pasha, Casati and yourself to share the same fate? If you are still victims of indecision, then a long good-night to you all. But, while I retain my senses, I must save my Expedition; you may be saved also if you are wise.

In the “High Order” of the Khedive, dated 1st February, 1887, No. 3, to Emin Pasha, a translation of which was handed to me, I find the following words:—

“And since it is our sincerest desire to relieve you with your officers and soldiers from the difficult position you are in, our Government have made up their minds about the manner by which relief from these troubles may be obtained. A mission for the relief has been found, and the command of it given to Mr. Stanley, the famous, &c., &c., &c., and he intends to set out on it with all the necessary provisions for you, so that he may bring you, with your officers and men, to Cairo by the route he may think proper to take. Consequently we have issued this ‘High Order’ to you, and it is sent to you by the hand of Mr. Stanley, to let you know what was being done. As soon as it reaches you convey my best wishes to the officers and men, and you are at full liberty with regard to your leaving for Cairo or your stay there with officers and men.

“Our Government has given a decision for paying your salaries, with that of the officers and men.

“Those who wish to stay there of the officers and men may do so on their own responsibility, and they may not expect any assistance from the Government.

“Try to understand the contents well, and make them well known to all the officers and men, that they may be fully aware of what they are going to do.”

It is precisely what the Khedive says that I wish to say to you. Try{126} and understand all this thoroughly that you may be saved from the effect of indecision, which will be fatal to you all if unheeded.

The first instalment of relief was handed to Emin Pasha on or about the 1st of May, 1888. The second and final instalment of relief is at this camp with us, ready for delivery at any place the Pasha designates, or to any person charged by the Pasha to receive it. If the Pasha fails to receive it, or to decide what shall be done with it I must then decide briefly what I must do.

Our second object in coming here was to receive such at our camp as were disposed to leave Africa, and conduct them home by the nearest and safest route. If there are none disposed to leave Africa our Expedition has no further business in these regions, and will at once retire. Try and understand what all this means. Try and see the utter and final abandonment of all further relief, and the bitter end and fate of those obstinate and misguided people who decline assistance when tendered to them. From the 1st May, 1888, to January 1889, are nine months—so long a time to consider a simple proposition of leaving Africa or staying here!

Therefore, in this official and formal letter accompanying this explanatory note to you, I designate Kavalli’s village as the rendezvous where I am willing to receive those who are desirous of leaving Africa, subject, of course, to any new light thrown upon the complication by a personal interview or a second letter from you.

And now I address myself to you personally. If you consider yourself still a member of the Expedition subject to my orders, then, upon receipt of this letter, you will at once leave for Kavalli’s with such of my men—Binza and the Soudanese—as are willing to obey you, and bring to me the final decision of Emin Pasha and Signor Casati respecting their personal intentions. If I am not at Kavalli’s then, stay there, and send word by letter by means of Kavalli’s messengers to Mpinga, Chief of Gavira, who will transmit the same to Mazamboni’s, when probably I shall receive it. You will understand that it will be a severe strain on Kavalli’s resources to maintain us with provisions longer than six days, and if you are longer than this period we must retire to Mazamboni’s, and finally to our camp on the Ituri Ferry. Otherwise we must seize provisions by force, and any act of violence would cut off and close native communication. This difficulty might have been avoided had the Pasha followed my suggestion of making a depôt at Nyamsassi. The fact that there are provisions at Mswa does not help us at all. There are provisions in Europe also. But unfortunately they are as inaccessible as those of Mswa. We have no boat now to communicate by lake, and you do not mention what has become of the steamers, the Khedive and Nyanza.

I understand that the Pasha has been deposed and is a prisoner. Who, then, is to communicate with me respecting what is to be done? I have no authority to receive communications from the officers—mutineers. It was Emin Pasha and his people I was supposed to relieve. If Emin Pasha was dead, then to his lawful successor in authority. Emin Pasha being alive prevents my receiving a communication from any other person, unless he be designated by the Pasha. Therefore the Pasha, if he be unable to come in person to me at Kavalli’s with a sufficient escort of faithful men, or be unable to appoint some person authorised to receive this relief, it will remain for me to destroy the ammunition so laboriously brought here, and return home.

Finally, if the Pasha’s people are desirous of leaving this part of Africa, and settle in some country not far remote from here, or anywhere bordering the Nyanza (Victoria), or along the route to Zanzibar, I am perfectly ready to assist, besides escorting those willing to go home to{127}

Cairo safely; but I must have clear and definite assertions, followed by prompt action, according to such orders as I shall give for effecting this purpose, or a clear and definite refusal, as we cannot stay here all our lives awaiting people who seem to be not very clear as to what they wish.

Give my best wishes to the Pasha and Signor Casati, and I hope and pray that wisdom may guide them both before it is too late. I long to see you, my dear fellow, and hear from your own lip your story.

Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) Henry M. Stanley.
To A. J. Mounteney Jephson, Esq.

Private Postscript.

Kavalli, January 18th, 1889 3 p.m.

My dear Jephson,—

I now send thirty rifles and three of Kavalli’s men down to the Lake with my letters, with urgent instructions that a canoe should set off and the bearers be rewarded.

I may be able to stay longer than six days here, perhaps for ten days. I will do my best to prolong my stay until you arrive, without rupturing the peace. Our people have a good store of beads, cowries, and cloth, and I notice that the natives trade very readily, which will assist Kavalli’s resources should he get uneasy under our prolonged visit.

Be wise, be quick, and waste no hour of time, and bring Binza and your own Soudanese with you. I have read your letters half-a-dozen times over, but I fail to grasp the situation thoroughly, because in some important details one letter seems to contradict the other. In one you say the Pasha is a close prisoner, while you are allowed a certain amount of liberty; in the other you say that you will come to me as soon as you hear of our arrival here, and “I trust,” you say, “the Pasha will be able to accompany me.” Being prisoners, I fail to see how you could leave Tunguru at all. All this is not very clear to us who are fresh from the bush.

If the Pasha can come, send a courier on your arrival at our old camp on the Lake below here to announce the fact, and I will send a strong detachment to escort him up to the plateau, even to carry him, if he needs it. I feel too exhausted, after my thirteen hundred miles of travel since I parted from you last May, to go down to the Lake again. The Pasha must have some pity on me.

Don’t be alarmed or uneasy on our account; nothing hostile can approach us within twelve miles without my knowing it. I am in the midst of a friendly population, and if I sound the war-note, within four hours I can have two thousand warriors to assist to repel any force disposed to violence. And if it is to be a war of wits, why then I am ready for the cunningest Arab alive.

I wrote above that I read your letters half-a-dozen times, and my opinion of you varies with each reading. Sometimes I fancy you are half Mahdist or Arabist, and then Eminist. I shall be wiser when I see you.

Now don’t you be perverse, but obey; and let my order to you be as a frontlet between the eyes, and all, with God’s gracious help, will end well.

I want to help the Pasha somehow, but he must also help me and credit me. If he wishes to get out of this trouble, I am his most devoted{128} servant and friend; but if he hesitates again, I shall be plunged in wonder and perplexity. I could save a dozen Pashas if they were willing to be saved. I would go on my knees to implore the Pasha to be sensible in his own case. He is wise enough in all things else, except in his own interest. Be kind and good to him for many virtues, but do not you be drawn into that fatal fascination which Soudan territory seems to have for all Europeans of late years. As soon as they touch its ground, they seem to be drawn into a whirlpool, which sucks them in and covers them with its waves. The only way to avoid it is to obey blindly, devotedly, and unquestioningly, all orders from the outside.

The Committee said, “Relieve Emin Pasha with this ammunition. If he wishes to come out, the ammunition will enable him to do so; if he elects to stay, it will be of service to him.” The Khedive said the same thing, and added, “But if the Pasha and his officers wish to stay, they do so on their own responsibility.” Sir Evelyn Baring said the same thing, in clear and decided words; and here I am, after 4,100 miles of travel, with the last instalment of relief. Let him who is authorised to take it, take it. Come; I am ready to lend him all my strength and wit to assist him. But this time there must be no hesitation, but positive yea or nay, and home we go.

Yours very sincerely,
Henry M. Stanley.
A. J. Mounteney Jephson, Esq.

Camp at Mpinga’s, one long march
from the Nyanza, and 10 miles east of Mazamboni’s.

January 17th, 1889.

To His Excellency Emin Pasha,
Governor of the Equatorial Province.


I have the honour to inform you that the second instalment of relief which this Expedition was ordered to convey to you is now in this camp, ready for delivery to any person charged to receive it by you. If you prefer that we should deposit it at Kavalli or at Kyya Nkondo’s, on the Lake, we shall be ready to do so on the receipt of your instructions.

This second instalment of relief consists of sixty-three cases Remington cartridges, twenty-six cases of gunpowder, each 45 lbs. weight; four cases of percussion caps, four bales of goods, one bale of goods for Signor Casati—a gift from myself; two pieces of blue serge, writing-paper, envelopes, blank books, &c.

Having after great difficulty—greater than was anticipated—brought relief to you, I am constrained to officially demand from you receipts for the above goods and relief brought to you, and also a definite answer to the question if you propose to accept our escort and assistance to reach Zanzibar, or if Signor Casati proposes to do so, or whether there are any officers or men disposed to accept of our safe conduct to the sea. In the latter event, I would be obliged to you if you would kindly state how those persons desirous of leaving Africa can be communicated with. I would respectfully suggest that all persons desirous of leaving with me should proceed to and form camp either at Nsabé or at Kyya Nkondo’s on the Lake, with sufficient stores of grain, &c., to support them one month, and that a note should be sent to me informing me of the same viâ Kavalli, whence I soon may receive it. The person in charge of the people at this camp will inform me definitely whether the people are{129} ready to accept of our safe conduct, and, upon being thus informed, I shall be pleased to assume all further charge of them.

If, at the end of twenty days, no news has been heard from you or Mr. Jephson, I cannot hold myself responsible for what may happen. We should be glad to stay at Kavalli’s if we were assured of food, but a large following cannot be maintained there except by exacting contributions by force, which would entirely close our intercourse with the natives, and prevent us from being able to communicate with you.

If grain could be landed at Kyya Nkondo’s by steamer, and left in charge of six or seven of your men, I could, upon being informed of the fact, send a detachment of men to convey it to the plateau. It is only the question of food that creates anxiety. Hence you will perceive that I am under the necessity of requesting you to be very definite and prompt, if you have the power.

If within this period of twenty days you will be able to communicate with me, and inform or suggest to me any way I can make myself useful, or lend effective aid, I promise to strain every effort to perform service to you. Meantime, awaiting your steamer with great anxiety,[4]

I am, your obedient servant,
(Signed) Henry M. Stanley,
Commanding Relief Expedition.

The second day after reaching Kavalli’s, thirty rifles were despatched to the Lake shore with my replies to Emin Pasha and Mr. Jephson. The men delivered the letters to Chief Mogo, and on their return to our camp reported that the chief had departed from Nsabé for Mswa station. During these few days we had received five beeves, six goats, and five days’ rations of Indian corn, beans, sweet potatoes and millet, and further contributions were on the way to camp from the surrounding chiefs.

On the evening of the 21st, notice was brought to me that the Balegga were collecting to attack us, and early the following morning sixty rifles, with 1,500 Bavira and Wahuma were sent to meet them. The forces met on the crest of the mountains overlooking the Lake, and the Balegga, after a sharp resistance, were driven to their countrymen among the subjects of Melindwa, who was the ally of Kabba Rega.{130}

Jan. 23.

The 23rd was spent by all the people of the plain country as a thanksgiving day, and the Bavira women met at the camp to relieve their joy at their deliverance from their inveterate enemy, with dancing and singing, which lasted from 9 A.M. until 3 P.M. Each woman and child in the dance circles was decked with bunches of green leaves in front and rear and was painted with red clay, while their bodies were well smeared with butter. The dance was excellent and exciting and not ungraceful, but the healthy vocal harmony was better. The young warriors circled around the female dancers, and exhibited their dexterity with the spear.



During the following days we had rest and quiet. Contributions of cattle, sheep, goats, fowls and pro{131}visions were supplied daily with great regularity, but on the 5th of February a note came from Jephson, stating that he had arrived on the Lake shore, and a detachment of Zanzibaris was at once sent to escort him to the plateau, the distance being about thirteen miles.

The next day Mr. Jephson himself arrived, and after dinner, in conversing about the Pasha, he summed up, after nine months’ residence with him, all he had learned, in the following words:—

“Sentiment is the Pasha’s worst enemy. No one keeps Emin Pasha back but Emin Pasha himself.” He further said, “I know no more about Emin Pasha’s intentions this minute than you do yourself, and yet we have talked together every day during your absence.” I then asked him to write me a full report of what had taken place, bearing upon the revolt of the troops of Equatoria, and his views respecting the invasion of the Province by the Mahdists, and its results. Mr. Jephson readily complied, and wrote the following:—

Kavalli’s Village, Albert Nyanza,
February 7th, 1889.

Dear Sir,

I have the honour to submit to you the following report of my stay, from May 24th, 1888, up to the present time, with his Excellency Emin Pacha, Mudir of the Equatorial Province.

According to your orders I visited nearly all the stations in the Province, and read the letters from His Highness the Khedive and from His Excellency Nubar Pasha, before all the officers, soldiers, and Egyptian employés in each station and also your own address to the soldiers. After having read, I spoke to the people, and after giving them sufficient time to talk it over amongst themselves, invited them to give me their decision as to whether they elected to accept our safe-conduct to Egypt, or remain in this country.

In every station, with the exception of Laboré, their unanimous answer was “We will follow our mudir wherever he goes.” They all seemed glad that we had come to help them, and said many things indicating their good opinion of their mudir, and spoke in the highest terms of his justice and kindness to them, and of his devotion to them all these years. During the whole of my stay in his country the Pasha has left me perfect liberty to mix with his officers and people, and I was free to converse with them as I pleased.

On reaching Kirri, which is the last station occupied by the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, we stayed before going further, to hear news from Rejaf. The country to the north and west of Kirri is occupied by the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, who have been in open rebellion against the Pasha’s authority for nearly four years. Here the Pasha received a letter from Hamid Aga, the major of the 1st Battalion, begging him not to come on to Rejaf, as the rebels had formed a plan to seize us and take{132} us down to Khartoum, as they believed Government still existed there, and that the news that it had fallen was false. We were therefore obliged to return without visiting the more northern stations.

On our return, whilst reading the letters before the people at Laboré, a soldier stepped out of the ranks and exclaimed, “All that you are saying is a lie, and these letters are forgeries. Khartoum has not fallen. That is the right road to Egypt. We will go by that road only, or will stay and die in this country.”

On the Pasha’s ordering him to be put in prison, the soldiers broke from their ranks and surrounded us, and having loaded their rifles presented them at us. They were generally excited and the utmost uproar prevailed, and for some minutes we expected a general massacre of ourselves and the small number of people with us. However, they gradually cooled down, and asked me afterwards to come and speak with them alone, which I did, and they expressed great regret at what had happened. We have since heard that Surur Aga, the Chief of the Station, had instigated them to act in this way.

A few days afterwards, on our return to Dufflé, August 18th, we found a mutiny had broken out, headed by Fadl el Mulla Aga, the Chief of Fabbo Station, and that the station was in the hands of the mutineers—on our entry we were at once made prisoners. It appears that during our absence certain Egyptians, chief amongst them Abdul Wahab Effendi and Mustapha Effendi el Adjemi, both of whom were sent up here for being concerned in Arabi’s rebellion, together with the clerks Mustapha Effendi Achmet, Achmet Effendi Mahmoud, Sabri Effendi, Tybe Effendi, and several others had in our absence been speaking to the people and circulating letters amongst them, saying it was untrue that Khartoum had fallen, that the letters we had brought from His Highness the Khedive and his Excellency Nubar Pasha were forgeries, that you were only an adventurer and had not come from Egypt, but that you had formed a plot with the Pasha to take all the people out of the country and to hand them over, together with their wives and children, as slaves to the English. They added, in Egypt they had rebelled against His Highness the Khedive himself, so that it was no great matter to rebel against Emin Pasha.

These words raised a storm in the country, and though the soldiers themselves took no active part in the mutiny beyond acting as sentries over us, they allowed their officers to do as they pleased. The head mutineers Fadl el Mulla Aga, Achmet Aga Dinkawi, and Abdul Aga el Opt had them marched to Dufflé and joined the rebellious Egyptians who had invited him to act as their chief. They sent letters to all the stations, telling the officers they had put the mudir and myself in prison, as we had conspired to betray them, and ordered them to come up to Dufflé and attend a meeting, when they would decide what further steps should be taken—they also invited the rebellious officers of the 1st Battalion to act with them.

I was brought up before the mutineers and questioned about the Expedition, and the letter from His Highness was examined and declared by the clerks to be a forgery. The mutineers then proposed to depose the Pasha, and all those who were averse to such a measure were by intimidation at last forced to give in. A letter was handed to him informing him of his deposition, and it was decided that he should be kept a prisoner at Rejaf. I was declared to be free, but to all intents and purposes I was a prisoner, as I was not allowed to leave the station, and all my movements were closely watched. A plan was also formed to entice you into the country, and to rob you of all your guns, ammunition, stores, etc., and then to turn you adrift.

The mutineers then proceeded to form a new Government, and all those{133} officers who were suspected of being friendly to the Pasha were removed from their posts. Soon, however, jealousy and dissensions began to arise amongst them, and after the Pasha’s house and the houses of two or three people supposed to be friendly to him had been looted, things came pretty much to a standstill.

Whilst things were in this state, we suddenly heard, on October 15th, that the Mahdi’s people had arrived in three steamers, and nine sandals and nuggars, at Lado; and on the 17th three dervishes, under a flag of truce, brought a letter from Omar Sale, the commander of the Mahdi’s forces, addressed to the Pasha, promising him a free pardon should he and his people surrender. The letter was opened by the mutineers who decided to fight. On October 21st we heard that the Mahdi’s people, who had been joined by many negroes of the Bari tribe, had attacked and taken Rejaf, and three officers, two clerks, and a great many men had been killed, and all the women and children in the station had been captured. This created a panic, and the officers and soldiers, together with their women and children, abandoned the stations of Bidden, Kirri, and Muggi, and fled in disorder to Laboré; at Kirri they even left the ammunition behind them.

The mutineers on hearing of this disaster determined to send down large reinforcements to Muggi, and soldiers were sent down from all the southern stations to collect there. On October 31st we heard that there were great dissensions amongst the officers at Muggi, and the soldiers had declared they would not fight unless their mudir was set at liberty. On November 15th we heard that the soldiers had marched down to Rejaf, but that on their approaching the station the Mahdi’s people had sallied out and attacked them with a rush; the soldiers made no attempt to fight, but turned at once and fled, leaving their officers behind them. Six officers, and the newly-made Governor of the Province, and some of the worst of the rebels were killed, two more officers were missing, and many soldiers were killed as they fell down exhausted in the flight.

Upon hearing the news, the officers who were friendly to the Pasha, at once pressed the rebel officers to set him at liberty; and they being afraid of the people, set him free and sent us to Wadelai, where the Pasha was most enthusiastically received by the faithful part of the population there—he had been a close prisoner just three months. At last the people believed that Khartoum had fallen and that we had come from Egypt.

After remaining some days at Wadelai and hearing no news from Dufflé, people became very uneasy, and messengers were sent down to Dufflé, on the east bank of the river, to carry letters and to ascertain the reason of the long silence, as we had heard that a large body of the Mahdi’s people were advancing from the west on Wadelai and were only four days distant.

On December 4th, an officer in command of Bora, a small station between Wadelai and Dufflé, came in with his soldiers in great haste, saying they had abandoned their post at Dufflé, Fabbo and all the northern station had fallen, and that the steamers also had been captured and were in the hands of the Mahdi’s people, the natives round the stations had all risen and joined the enemy and had killed our messengers. On hearing this news a council was held, and the officers and soldiers at once decided to abandon and retire to Tunguru, from which place they would ascend the mountains and try to join you at Fort Bodo. I was desired at the council to destroy our boat the Advance, to prevent her falling into the hands of the Mahdi, and, as there was no prospect of saving her, I was reluctantly obliged to do so. On the next day, December 5th, we had all ready for an early start, taking with us only a few bundles of the most necessary things and abandoning everything else.{134} All the ammunition in the storehouses was divided among the soldiers, who at the last moment declared, as they now had plenty of ammunition, they preferred to retire to their own countries—Makraka and the countries round—where they would disperse and live amongst their own people, and that they would desert the Pasha and their officers.

Things, however, seemed desperate, and we hurried on without them—a long, straggling procession, consisting chiefly of Egyptian employés with their wives and families; we were accompanied only by some seven or eight soldiers who remained faithful. Some of our servants were armed with percussion-guns, and we may have mustered some thirty guns amongst us. Immediately on our quitting the station the soldiers entered the houses and looted them.

On December 6th a steamer was seen coming up the river after us, and our people prepared to fire on her; but it turned out that there were some of our own people from Dufflé on board with letters from the Pasha. The letters contained the news that Fabbo had been evacuated, and that the refugees had been able to reach Dufflé in spite of the negroes who had attacked them. Dufflé had been besieged by the Mahdi’s people for four days, and the station itself had been taken and held for some time by a small body of the enemy, who had entered it at night and they had also captured the steamers. They had driven the soldiers, of whom there were some 500, actually out of the station; but they, finding themselves between two fires, had with the energy of despair responded to the entreaties of their officers. Selim Aga Mator, Bellal Aga, Bachil Aga, Burgont, and Suleiman Aga, had re-entered the station and retaken it, and after making a sally, had so punished the enemy that they retired to Rejaf and sent down two steamers to Khartoum for reinforcements.

From all accounts we have since heard the soldiers acted with great cowardice, except at last when they were rendered desperate. In this affray at Dufflé, fourteen officers and a large number of soldiers were killed, and Suleiman Aga was shot by his own men, and has since died. The losses of the enemy were estimated at 250, but probably a third of that number would be nearer the mark, even though the Mahdi’s people fought almost entirely with spears and swords, and the soldiers were armed with Remingtons, and fought behind a ditch and earthworks, but they are such bad shots that their shooting had not much effect.

The officers and soldiers at Wadelai were anxious for the Pasha to return, but after the faithless example the soldiers had shown, when he believed things to be desperate, he preferred to proceed to Tunguru. After this retreat from Wadelai, lasting only two days, I am better able to understand what a difficult and almost impossible task getting the people to Zanzibar will be, should they elect to go with us.

After this retreat from Wadelai, the party against the Pasha, which is again in the ascendant, now that the immediate fear of the Mahdi’s people is removed, have accused him of having invented the whole story of the fall of Dufflé, in order to cut off their retreat and hand them over to the Mahdi, whilst he and the people with him escaped from the country and joined you. They sentenced the Pasha, Casati and myself to death for treachery.

During the Council held eventually at Wadelai by all the officers and soldiers, there was a great amount of quarrelling and discussion, some wishing to stay in the country, and some wishing to follow the Pasha, words ran high, and the contending parties even came to blows. Fadl el Mulla Aga and his party wished to take the Pasha and myself prisoners, and the other party, headed by Selim Aga Mator, wished to join the Pasha and leave the country with him; but though they profess to wish{135} to leave the country, they make no effort whatever to get things ready for the start. If you intend to take them with you, you will have to wait many months before they are ready. Meanwhile the Pasha, Signor Casati and I were waiting at Tunguru, the mutineers having given strict injunctions to the chief of the station to detain us there until further orders.

On January the 26th the Pasha and I got letters from you, dated January 17th and 18th, and obeying the strict order you give me in your letters to start for Kavalli’s immediately on receipt of them, I got ready to start the next day, bringing with me the Pasha’s answer to your letter. Owing to the treachery of some of the Pasha’s people, I was delayed two days in the earlier stage of my journey; but thanks to Shukri Agha, the Chief of Mswa Station, who has remained faithful to the Pasha, and of whose conduct throughout the whole of the last unfortunate five months I cannot speak too highly, I was enabled to induce the natives to bring me in a canoe to Nyamsassi, but as the Lake is so rough and dangerous at this time of the year, it has taken me five days from Mswa to Nyamsassi.

It is impossible to give you any true idea of the state of the country at the present. Sometimes the mutineers are in the ascendant, and sometimes the party for the Pasha. One steamer full of reinforcements for the Mahdi’s people has already arrived at Rejaf, and two more steamers full are shortly expected, reinforcements will also probably soon come in from Bahr el Ghazal, when the Mahdi’s people, turning to revenge their defeat at Dufflé, will most certainly descend on Wadelai with an overpowering force, and will surprise the people in the midst of their quarrels and uncertainty. Tunguru is but two days distant from Wadelai, and the Pasha’s position there, surrounded by people in whom he can place no trust, is dangerous in the extreme, and it is of the utmost importance that he should be relieved with as little delay as possible.

In your letter to me dated January 17th and 18th, you speak rather bitterly of the Pasha and myself having failed to carry out our promises of building a station at Nsabé, garrisoning it and storing it with provisions ready for you on your return to the Nyanza, of having failed to relieve Fort Bodo, and to carry the loads and garrison to the station at Nsabé, and of not having such people as wished to avail themselves of our escort ready at Nsabé, to start with you on your return. The reason we were unable to do so was as follows:—After being away from his country for nearly a month with you at Nsabé, the Pasha had naturally much business to attend to on his return to Wadelai, the seat of Government, and I myself was for nearly a month constantly prostrated by fever, and we were not able to start from Wadelai to visit the northern stations till July.[5]

Having done our work to the north, we were returning with the intention of carrying out our promises to you, when on August 18th, we were taken prisoners, and all authority was taken out of the Pasha’s hands, and we were rendered absolutely powerless to fulfil those promises. We had tried before leaving Wadelai, to start a party to Nsabé to build a{136} station, but the soldiers had refused to obey the order, until they had heard what their brethren in the Northern stations had decided to do. It is very lucky that a station was not built, and the goods and garrison of Fort Bodo removed there, for the rebels would most certainly have seized all our goods, and made the Europeans in charge prisoners.

And this leads me now to say a few words concerning the position of affairs in this country when I entered it on 21st April, 1888. The first battalion had long been in open rebellion against the Pasha’s authority, and had twice attempted to make him prisoner; the second battalion, though professedly loyal, was insubordinate and almost unmanageable, the Pasha possessed only a semblance, a mere rag of authority—and if he required anything of importance to be done he could no longer order, he was obliged to beg his officers to do it.

Now when we were at Nsabé in May ’88, though the Pasha hinted that things were a little difficult in this country, he never revealed to us the true state of things, which was actually desperate; and we had not the slightest idea that any mutiny or discontent was likely to arise amongst his people. We thought—as we and most people in Europe and Egypt had been taught to believe, by the Pasha’s own letters and Dr. Junker’s later information—that all these difficulties arose from events outside his country, whereas in point of fact, his real danger arose from internal dissensions. Thus we were led to place our trust in people who were utterly unworthy of our confidence and help, and who instead of being grateful to us for wishing to help them, have from the very first conspired to plunder the Expedition, and turn us adrift; and had the mutineers in their highly excited state been able to prove one single case of injustice, cruelty or neglect of his people against the Pasha, he would most assuredly have lost his life in this rebellion.

There are of course some people who have remained faithful to the Pasha, and many who have remained neutral, and these chiefly are the people who are willing to come out with us. There are also a great number of Egyptian clerks, many of whom have behaved very badly, but the coming of the Mahdi’s people has so frightened them that they too now wish to come out with us; but in spite of my constant advice to them to move forward, they seem incapable of making any effort to leave the country and concentrate at Nsabé, at which place they would be within our reach—there is absolutely nothing to prevent their doing so, but their own laziness.

The greater part of the people, a large number of Egyptians and most of the Soudanese, are decidedly averse to going to Egypt, and do not wish to leave the country. Most of them have never been to Egypt, but have been recruited from the countries round here. Here they can support a large household, many of the officers have as many as from eighteen to one hundred people, women, children and servants, in their houses, and it is the great ambition of every Soudanese to have as many people as possible in his house, but in Egypt they could only afford to support three or four people on their pay. These things being considered, it is quite natural that they should prefer to remain in their own country.

As to the Pasha’s wish to leave the country, I can say decidedly he is most anxious to go out with us, but under what condition he will consent to come out I can hardly understand. I do not think he quite knows himself, his ideas seem to me to vary so much on the subject; to-day he is ready to start up and go, to-morrow some new idea holds him back. I have had many conversations with him about it, but have never been able to get his unchanging opinion on the subject. After this rebellion I remarked to him, “I presume now that your people have deposed you and put you aside, you do not consider that you have any longer any {137}responsibility or obligation concerning them,” and he answered, “Had they not deposed me I should have felt bound to stand by them and help them in any way I could, but now, I consider I am absolutely free to think only of my personal safety and welfare, and if I get the chance, I shall go out regardless of everything;” and yet only a few days before I left him, he said to me, “I know I am not in any way responsible for these people, but I cannot bear to go out myself first and leave anyone behind me who is desirous of quitting the country. It is mere sentiment I know, and perhaps a sentiment you will not sympathize with, but my enemies at Wadelai would point at me and say to the people, ‘You see he has deserted you.’” These are merely two examples of what passed between us on the subject of his going out with us, but I could quote numbers of things he said, all equally contradictory. Again, too, being somewhat impatient after one of these unsatisfactory conversations, I said, “If even the Expedition does reach any place near you, I shall advise Mr. Stanley to arrest you and carry you off, whether you will or no;” to which he replied, “Well, I shall do nothing to prevent his doing that.” It seems to me, if we are to save him, we must first save him from himself.

Before closing this report, I must bear witness to the fact that in my frequent conversations with all sorts and conditions of the Pasha’s people, most of them spoke of his justice and generosity to them, but they also said, and what I have seen confirms it, that he did not hold his people with a sufficiently firm hand.

The three Soudanese soldiers you left with me as orderlies and my servant Binza return with me, but Mabruki Kassim, the man who was wounded by the buffalo at Nsabé, died two days after you left for Fort Bodo.

I am, dear Sir,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) A. J. Mounteney Jephson.

To H. M. Stanley, Esq.,
Commanding the Relief Expedition.

Mr. Jephson also handed me an official receipt to my formal letter of January 18th, written by Emin Pasha.

January 27th, 1889.

To H. M. Stanley, Esq.,
Commanding the Relief Expedition.


I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your note of January 14th, Camp Undussuma, and of your official letter of January 17th, which came to hand yesterday afternoon. I beg at the same time to be allowed to express my sincere congratulations to you and to your party for the work you performed.

I take note of your offer to deliver to me, or any person appointed by me, the second instalment of goods brought by you, consisting of sixty-three cases of Remington cartridges, twenty-six cases of gunpowder, each 45 lbs. weight, four cases percussion caps, four bales of goods, one bale of goods for Signor Casati—a gift from yourself; two pieces of serge, writing-paper, envelopes, blank-books, &c. As soon as the officers I am awaiting from Wadelai come here, I shall appoint one of them to take charge of these goods, and I shall at the same time instruct him to give you formal receipt for them.{138}

The thirty-one cases of Remington cartridges, which formed the first instalment of goods, have been duly deposited in Government stores.

Concerning your question if Signor Casati and myself propose to accept your escort and assistance to reach Zanzibar, and if there are any officers and men disposed to accept of your safe-conduct to the sea, I have to state that not only Signor Casati and myself would gladly avail us of your help, but that there are lots of people desirous of going out from the far Egypt, as well as for any other convenient place. As these people have been delayed by the deplorable events which have happened during your absence, and as only from a few days they begin to come in, I should entreat you to kindly assist them. I propose to send them to Nyamsassi, and a first party start to-day with Mr. Jephson. Every one of them has provisions enough to last at least for a month.

I beg to tender my thanks for the statement of your movements. As from the day you fixed your movements until the arrival of your letter elapsed nine days; the remainder of the time you kindly gave us, viz., eleven days, will scarcely be sufficient. I cannot, therefore, but thank you for your good intentions, and those of the people who sent you, and I must leave it to you if you can await us, and prefer to start after the twenty days have elapsed.

I fully understand the difficulties of getting food and provisions for your people, and I am very sorry that the short time you have to give me will not be sufficient to send you stores from here.

As Mr. Jephson starts by this steamer, and has kindly promised to hand you this note, I avail myself of the occasion to bear witness to the great help and assistance his presence afforded to me. Under the most trying circumstances he has shown so splendid courage, such unfaltering kindness and patience, that I cannot but wish him every success in life, and thank him for all his forbearance. As probably I shall not see you any more,[6] you will be pleased to inform his relations of my thanks to him and them.

Before concluding, I beg to be permitted to tender anew my most heartfelt thanks to you and to your officers and men, and to ask you to transmit my everlasting gratitude to the kind people who sent you to help us. May God protect you and your party, and give you a happy and speedy homeward march.

I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
{139}(Signed) Dr. Emin Pasha.



Lieut. Stairs and his caravan are sent for—Plans regarding the release of Emin from Tunguru—Conversations with Jephson by which I acquire a pretty correct idea of the state of affairs—The rebel officers at Wadelai—They release Emin, and proceed in the s.s. Khedive and Nyanza to our camp at Kavalli—Emin Pasha’s arrival—Stairs and his caravan arrive at Mazamboni’s—Characteristic letter from Jephson, who is sent to bring Emin and his officers from the Lake to Kavalli—Short note from the Pasha—Arrival of Emin Pasha’s caravan—We make a grand display outside our camp—At the grand divan: Selim Bey—Stairs’ column rolls into camp with piles of wealth—Mr. Bonny despatched to the Nyanza to bring up baggage—Text of my message to the rest of the revolted officers at Wadelai—Note from Mr. Bonny—The Greek merchant, Signor Marco, arrives—Suicide of Zanzibari named Mrima—Neighbouring chiefs supply us with carriers—Captain Nelson brings in Emin’s baggage—Arrangements with the chiefs from the Ituri River to the Nyanza—The chief Kabba-Rega—Emin Pasha’s daughter—Selim Bey receives a letter from Fadl-el-Mulla—The Pasha appointed naturalist and meteorologist to the Expedition—The Pasha a Materialist—Dr. Hassan’s arrival—My inspection over the camp—Capt. Casati arrives—Mr. Bonny appears with Awash Effendi and his baggage—The rarest doctor in the world—Discovery of some chimpanzees—The Pasha in his vocation of “collecting”—Measurements of the dwarfs—Why I differ with Emin in the judgment of his men—Various journeys from the camp to the Lake for men and baggage—The Zanzibaris’ complaints—The ringleaders—Hassan Bakari—The Egyptian officers—Interview with Shukri Agha—The flora on the Baregga Hills—The chief of Usiri joins our confederacy—Conversation with Emin regarding Selim Bey and Shukri Agha—Address by me to Stairs, Nelson, Jephson and Parke before Emin Pasha—Their replies—Notices to Selim Bey and Shukri Agha.

Feb. 7.

On February 7th I decided to send for Lieutenant Stairs and his caravan, and despatched Rashid with thirty-five men to obtain a hundred carriers from Mazamboni to assist the convalescents. My object was to collect the expedition at Kavalli, and send letters in the meantime to Emin Pasha proposing that he should:{140} 1st. Seize a steamer and embark such people as chose to leave Tunguru, and sail for our Lake shore camp. After which we could man her with Zanzibaris, and perform with despatch any further transport service necessary. If this was not practicable, then—

2nd. To march to Mswa station overland, and on arrival to report by canoe that he had done so. If this was not possible.

3rd. Stay at Tunguru, and let me know by Chief Mogo whether he needed a force of rescue.



In which case, on arrival of Lieutenant Stairs, I proposed to march with 300 rifles and 2,000 native auxiliaries through Melindwa to Mswa station, and thence to Tunguru, to employ force for the relief of the Pasha. But it was absolutely necessary that I should be clearly told what the Pasha wished. In his letter of the 27th January there was a disposition to be somewhat lachrymose and melancholic, quite contrary to what was expected in answer to the definite question given in the formal letter of January 17th, “Was he disposed to accept our escort and assistance to reach Zanzibar, or suggest to me any way by which I could make myself{141} useful or lend effective aid.” If he stated his wish decisively then, then I promised “to strain every effort to perform service to him.”

Perceiving that neither my letter to Mr. Jephson—which was intended to be read to the Pasha—nor that my formal letter to himself was understood by him, I proceeded to write one after a purely business style, which I thought the dullest private in his army might understand, but when Jephson heard it read he affected to be aghast at it.

As there was no intention to wound the most super-sensitive susceptibilities of any person—least of all the Pasha—I wrote one after a style which probably Chesterfield himself would have admitted was the proper thing, which my friend Jephson pronounced was “charming,” and “nice,” and “exquisitely sweet,” and on the 8th sent the couriers down to the Lake with it.

Day by day, during conversation with Mr. Jephson—who was, “by the bye,” a pronounced Eminist—I acquired a pretty correct idea of the state of affairs. There was one confirmed habit I observed that Mr. Jephson had contracted during his compulsory residence with the Pasha which provoked a smile, and that was, while saying several crushing things about the Province, he interlarded his clever remarks with—“Well, you know, the poor, dear Pasha! He is a dear old fellow, you know. ‘Pon my word, I can’t help but sympathise with the Pasha, he’s such a dear good man,” &c., &c. They served to illuminate traits of character, and showed that, at all events, Jephson had a kindly heart, and what he had seen and heard only made him esteem the Pasha the more; but when he spoke of the Egyptians, the most portentous vocabulary was requisitioned to load them with abuse—“unmitigated scoundrels, depraved villains, treacherous dogs, unscrupulously vile,” &c., &c. The Egyptians were “animals with foxy natures,” the Soudanese were “brutishly stupid.” One chief clerk had falsified accounts at the Khartoum Arsenal, and had been the recipient of 1,500 stripes with the kourbash;{142} another had been detected making huge profits by mixing powdered charcoal with the gunpowder, and filling Remington cartridges with it. A major had been convicted of trading in Government stores; others had been sent to the Siberia of the Equator as convicts, guilty of various felonies, arson, murder, &c.; others were transported thither for being concerned in Arabi’s rebellion, &c., &c.; and it became clear that whatever sanguine hopes the Pasha had cherished, he must often have distrusted his powers during his constrained intercourse with the penal outcasts placed under him. While there was a reserve of dominating power, and an overshadowing personality of stern justice in the figure of Gordon at Khartoum, the penal serfs were under some control, though Gessi Pasha, even as far back as 1879, was copious in complaints of Emin to Gordon, but when the news spread throughout the Province that Khartoum was taken, and the Governor-General slain, and all traces of Egyptian Government had vanished, the native unruliness of the Egyptians, and brutish stubbornness of the Soudanese found vent, and was manifested in utter disregard to orders, and perverse misconduct. Emin was now a Pasha in name and title only. Government was petrified, order was dead. Some men, in Emin’s place, would have become so disgusted, that after arming themselves with excuses for retreat by overt proofs of contempt of his authority, would have collected a few faithful men, or have retired to some small post like Mswa station at the remote South, reported frankly the events, and have applied for relief and instructions. Others, again, would have exacted performance of duty and discipline to the very end, regardless of consequences. Others, again, would have removed with such as were willing from the arena of perpetual discord, founded an empire or a kingdom, and have applied for assistance from the civilized world, which they would certainly have obtained. Others, like Emin did, would have temporised and hoped. Men, however, reap only what they have sown; as the seed is sown, so will be the harvest.{143}

But while we were discussing the probable decision of the Pasha, and awaiting the arrival of Stairs’s column, events unknown to us were occurring, which decided the matter for us as well as for Emin.

The rebel officers, who were concentrated at Wadelai, while Jephson was on his way to us South of Tunguru, heard of our arrival on the Lake. Report had magnified our forces. We had several hundred Zanzibaris and allies, and we were armed with machine guns and repeating rifles. The Egyptian Government at Khartoum was dead, and in its place was a Khalif, with resistless armies fully established. There were Mahdist agents and traitors among them, the rest were indifferent. Emin was deposed, and a prisoner. To him who hath shall be given. Like a rolling snowball, power, when once established, attracts and grows; an isolated snowdrop melts. Emin was the snowdrop, the Khalif of Khartoum was the growing snowball.

It is easy, therefore, to understand the motives of the officers, who are declared rebels, who have traitors and Mahdists among them to influence their councils, and to predict what the natural outcome will be. They will curry favour with the Khalif by betraying their would-be rescuers and their former Pasha and his white companions into his hands, and win honour and glory by so doing. For the machine guns, repeating rifles and Remingtons, and a batch of white prisoners, the Khalif would reward them handsomely, and promote those chiefly concerned in their delivery to him to honourable and lucrative offices, and endow them with robes of honour. But there is a difficulty. How will they gain access to the camp of their rescuers when they have heard of the Pasha being imprisoned and their friend Jephson having been treated so cruelly? “Nothing easier,” says one; “let us send a deputation to the Pasha to humbly ask forgiveness, and promise to reinstate him in power, and Emin is so good-natured that he will readily condone our offences, and offer to introduce us to his friends as penitents, who, wearied with trouble, only now seek to prove their obedience and loyalty to their{144} great Government. Once in the stranger’s camp, we may see for ourselves what further can be done, and if we then agree to capture the gang of whites and their followers, nothing will be easier, for all white men are soft-headed duffers. At any rate, it is wise to have two ways from which to choose. If the Khalif is relentless, and his Donagla pursue us with that fierceness so characteristic of them, and the door to his mercy is closed, we can fall back upon the camp of the white men, and by apparent obedience disarm all suspicion, make use of them to find us a land of plenty, and suddenly possess ourselves of their arms and ammunition, and either send them adrift as beggars, or slay the whites and make their followers our slaves.”

We can imagine the thunders of applause that greeted this Egyptian son of Beelzebub as he ended his oration. But whether such a speech was made or not, the officers despatched a deputation to the Pasha, of fourteen officers. They kissed Emin’s hands, they expressed humble contrition for their offences, they offered to reinstate him in power as Governor, and they implored him to accompany them to Stanley’s Camp at Kavalli, and to speak for them, and the Pasha gladly acceded to their request. He embarked on board the steamer Khedive; refugees crowded on board with their goods and baggage, and Captain Casati was with them with his following, and the Nyanza likewise was freighted, and with every show of honour the Pasha was brought to Mswa. At this station he met my messengers with my last letter, and having read it, he resumed his voyage to our Lake shore Camp.

While Jephson and I were at dinner on the evening of February 13th, messengers came to us and delivered to us a letter from Emin Pasha.

February 13th, 1889.

To Henry M. Stanley, Esq., Commanding the Relief Expedition.


In answer to your letter of the 7th instant, for which I beg to tender my best thanks, I have the honour to inform you that yesterday, at 3 P.M., I arrived here with my two steamers, carrying a first lot of people{145} desirous to leave this country under your escort. As soon as I have arranged for cover of my people, the steamships have to start for Mswa station, to bring on another lot of people awaiting transport.

With me there are some twelve officers anxious to see you, and only forty soldiers. They have come under my orders to request you to give them some time to bring their brothers—at least, such as are willing to leave—from Wadelai, and I promised them to do my best to assist them. Things having to some extent now changed, you will be able to make them undergo whatever conditions you see fit to impose upon them. To arrange these I shall start from here with the officers for your camp, after having provided for the camp, and if you send carriers I could avail me of some of them.

I hope sincerely that the great difficulties you have had to undergo, and the great sacrifices made by your Expedition in its way to assist us, may be rewarded by a full success in bringing out my people. The wave of insanity which overran the country has subsided, and of such people as are now coming with me we may be sure.

Signor Casati requests me to give his best thanks for your kind remembrance of him.

Permit me to express to you once more my cordial thanks for whatever you have done for us until now, and believe me to be,

Yours very faithfully,
Dr. Emin.

The Pasha evidently believes that his men are still faithful to him. He says: “You will be able to make them undergo whatever conditions you see fit to impose upon them....” “Of such people as are now coming with me you may be sure.”

I hope so, but if one-half of what Jephson says is true, the Pasha must have greater confidence in them than I can command. However, if the “wave of insanity has subsided,” so much the better. All is well that ends well. Jephson will go down to the Lake to-morrow with fifty rifles, to escort the Pasha and his officers to the Plateau. I shall send couriers also to Stairs at Mazamboni’s to bring up his force quickly, that we may be all at hand to impress our rebel friends by the way our wild fantastic warrior-carriers deploy at the word of command.

February 16th.—Received note from Stairs announcing arrival at Mazamboni’s, which states he may arrive on the 17th or 18th instant. He writes: “We were all delighted at the Ituri River Camp at the arrival of your couriers with Chief Rashid, bringing the news that Jephson was with you; but the news about Emin Pasha{146} seemed very black. However, your letter this morning dispels every foreboding, and now we all hope we shall be able to move on with speed towards Zanzibar.”

Goodness, how impatient young men are! I wonder if we shall get away within three months!

Another courier has arrived from Jephson with one of Jephson’s characteristic letters.

Weré Camp, Albert Nyanza, February 15th, 1889.

Dear Sir,—

I reached this camp yesterday, but owing to the natives leading us by a very long road we did not arrive till morning.

We found the Pasha, Casati, Marco, Vita, the apothecary, and several officers and clerks, who had made their camp in a very nice spot about two miles north of our old camp, where we first met the Pasha.

On arriving, after having delivered your letter, and having told and heard the news, I asked the Pasha when he proposed moving. He said he must speak to his officers first. This morning a meeting was called, and it was decided that we should start to-morrow for Kavalli’s, taking two days on the road.

The Pasha will come to see you, will perhaps stay a few days in your camp, and then return and bring up his daughter and the rest of his loads, which amount to about 200, which consist of millet, salt, sesame, &c. The officers will only bring twenty loads, as they are merely coming up to talk with you for bringing up their troops and goods. The clerks bring up all their loads and remain with us.

Both the steamers return to Mswa on the 18th, to bring up the rest of the people and goods from that station, as well as to bring up corn for the supply of the Lake camp.

On the arrival of the steamers at Mswa, the irregulars (some fifty guns) will march overhead to Kavalli’s with such women as are able to walk well, and the steamers, on their return here, will at once take the officers down to Wadelai.

The Pasha has brought sixty tusks of ivory; the surplus will doubtless be useful. Though there is a day’s delay, I do not regret it, as both the Zanzibaris and myself were fairly worn out when we reached here yesterday, and had we started to-day there would, I fear, have been many sore feet. In spite, however, of our fatigue, the Zanzibaris rushed madly into the camp, howling like demons. They went through the usual mad exercises with imaginary enemies, and then drew up in line before the Pasha. The soldiers drew up in correct form and saluted him also. He was very pleased, and asked me to say a few words to them, expressing his thanks to them for all the trials they have gone through to help him, which I did, as well as I was able, in my broken Ki-swa-hili. The Pasha set all the women to grind corn, and I served out two cups apiece to them, the Soudanese, Manyuema, and natives. To-day Saat Tato, the hunter, and another, have brought in two kudu, and a springbok, so that they have plenty to eat. I was much amused to see how the slothful ugly Soudanese stared at the mad antics of the Zanzibaris, with the sort of expression that said, What sort of people can these boisterous, unruly Zanzibaris be?{147}

I find Casati more impossible than ever. I asked him whether he would go with us to-morrow, and he replied he would rather wait. I then asked, “How many loads have you?”

“Oh,” he answered, “you know I have very few things. All my things were taken by Kabba-Rega; perhaps I may want eighty carriers.”

Vita, the apothecary, wants forty carriers, and Marco, the Greek trader, wants sixty, so at this rate our Zanzibaris will be killed between here and Kavalli’s. The Pasha remonstrated with Casati for taking all his grinding-stones, earthen jars, bedsteads for his boys and women, &c., upon which he said:—

“Mr. Stanley has offered to take all our loads.”

These people have no conscience, and would rather load down our long-suffering people than throw away a single load of rubbish which they will eventually be obliged to discard.

Casati, so the Pasha tells me, was averse to their leaving Tunguru, in spite of Shukri Aga’s offer of carriers, and my urgent letter, and did all he could to prevent his coming down here, as he considered it “impolitic.” One internally fumes at the selfishness of these people, and at their inability or aversion from seeing things as they really are.

The rumour of the “white man’s” expedition to Fallibeg has turned out to be, as Clerk Jopson says, “all a bam,” and nothing more has been heard of it.

Casati refuses to move until he has sufficient carriers to take him and all his goods away together. The Pasha is very irritated about it.

The boat (Advance) has been very well mended with bolts just like our own. I am going on board the steamer this evening to get some spanners, and, if possible, some spare bolts. The Pasha has also brought the light oars, which belonged to Gordon’s india-rubber boat, so that we have now the full complement.

The Pasha, Casati, and the officers desire me to send you their greetings.

I am, &c., &c., &c.,
A. J. Mounteney Jephson.

The Pasha, 200 loads! Casati, who has lost everything, eighty loads! Vita, the apothecary, forty loads! Marco, the Greek, sixty loads! = 380 loads for four persons! True, I promised to convey everything up to the Plateau Camp but grinding stones! Well, if I gave such a promise, we must keep it, I suppose. However, there is no harm in Mr. Jephson fuming a little.

From the Pasha the following note was received:—

Dear Sir,—

Mr. Jephson with your people have arrived yesterday, and we propose to start to-morrow morning; I shall therefore have the pleasure to see you the day after to-morrow. My men are very anxious to hear from your own lips that their foolish behaviour in the past will not prevent you from guiding them.{148}

I am greatly obliged for your kindly letter,[7] handed to me by Mr. Jephson, and I hope that my being somewhat African in my moods may not interfere with our friendly relations.

Agree, dear Sir, my best wishes, and believe me to be,
Yours very faithfully,
Dr. Emin.

February 17th.—Emin Pasha’s caravan, consisting of about sixty-five persons, reached this camp about noon. The officers, who are a deputation from the revolted troops at Wadelai, are headed by Selim Bey—promoted to Bey by the Pasha. He is six feet high, large of girth, about fifty years old, black as coal: I am rather inclined to like him. The malignant and deadly conspirator is always lean. I read in this man’s face, indolence, a tendency to pet his animalism. He is a man to be led, not to conspire. Feed him with good things to eat, and plenty to drink, Selim Bey would be faithful. Ah, the sleepy eye of the full-stomached man! This is a man to eat, and sleep, and snore, and play the sluggard in bed, to dawdle slip-shod in the bed-chamber, to call for coffee fifty times a day, and native beer by the gallon; to sip and sip and smile and then to sleep again; and so and so to his grave. The others are lean, of Cassius’ make. Three of them were Egyptians, something of Arabi in their facial mould; the others are black Soudanese.

We made a grand display outside the camp, banners waving, the Zanzibari veterans like a wall of iron on each side of the pathway, the Manyuema auxiliaries with a rough-and-ready look about them, the natives of Kavalli and the neighbourhood in hundreds, banking the formation.

Through the centre of the twin lines the Pasha, small and wiry of figure, like a Professor of Jurisprudence in appearance, despite his fez and white clothes, was escorted to the great square of the camp, and straight to the Barzah.{149}




The officers, in brand new uniforms, rarely aired, evidently created a great sensation. The natives hungrily looked at them, and looked with gaping lips and projected eyes.

At the Barzah house, the Pasha formally introduced these officers. We mutually saluted. We enquired anxiously about each other’s healths, and expressed ourselves mutually gratified that there was no fear of consumption, diabetes, or dysentery troubling us, and that possibly, without fear of these ailments, we might meet on the morrow at a grand divan, whereat each one would be pleased to express his heart’s secret desire.

February 18th.—The grand divan was held to-day. Each person present was arrayed in his best uniform. After an interchange of elegant compliments and coffee had been served, the Pasha was requested to be good enough to enquire of the deputation if they would be pleased to state their errand, or whether they would prefer that I should disclose the object of this gathering from twenty lands near the shores of their Lake.

They expressed through the Pasha, who is admirable as a translator, and who has the art of softening any rigour of speech that a plain Anglo-Saxon might naturally use, that they would be greatly gratified to hear me first.

Feb. 18.

Well, I said, open your ears that the words of truth may enter. The English people, hearing from your late guest, Dr. Junker, that you were in sore distress here, and sadly in need of ammunition to defend yourselves against the infidels and the followers of the false prophet, have collected money, which they entrusted to me to purchase ammunition, and to convey it to you for your needs. But as I was going through Egypt, the Khedive asked me to say to you, if you so desired you might accompany us, but that if you elected to stay here, you were free to act as you thought best; if you chose the latter, he disclaimed all intention of forcing you in any manner. Therefore you will please consult your own wishes entirely, and speak whatever lies hidden in your hearts.{152}

After the Pasha had translated there was a general murmur of “Khweis”—good.

Then Selim Bey, the superior officer, said—

“The Khedive is most gracious and kind. We are His Highness’s most devoted and loyal subjects. We cannot wish to stay here. We hail from Cairo, and we desire nothing better than to visit the land of our breeding again. Far be it from us to wish to stay here. What gain can be obtained here? We are officers and soldiers of His Highness. He has but to command, and we will obey. Those who choose to live among the pagans here will do so. If they are left behind, it is their own fault. We have been deputed by our brothers and friends at Wadelai to ask you to give us only time to embark our families, so that we may assemble together in your camp, and start for home.”

They then produced the following document, the translation of which is as follows:—

“To His Excellency the Envoy of our Great Government, Mr. Stanley.

“When Selim Bey Mator, commander of the troops of this province, came here and told us of the news of your coming, we were greatly rejoiced to learn of your safe arrival in this Province, and our desire to reach our Government has been greatly augmented, and therefore we hope, with the help of God, to be very soon with you, and to inform you of this we have written this letter.

Mabruk Shereef,Lieutenant.    Ali el Kurdi,Lieutenant.
Noor Abd el beinAhmed Sultan
Mustapha AhmedFadl el Mula Bakhit
Halid AbdallahDais el Bint Abdallah
Faraj Sid HamedSaid Ibrahim
Mursal SudanHussein Mohamed,Captain.
Murjan NdeenMurjan Idris
Sabah el HamiMustapha el Adjemi
Bakhit MohamedKher Yusuf es Said
Adeen AhmedMarjan Bakhit
Ismail HusseinSurur Sudan
Mohamed AbduAbdallah Mauzal
Halid MajibFadl el Mulla el Emin
Ahmed IdrisAhmed el Dinkani
Rehan RashidKadi Ahmed
Rikas Hamed en NilSaid Abd es Sid
Halil Sid AhmedBakhit Bergoot,Adjutant Major.
Feraj MohamedBilal Dinkani



I then said: “I have heard with attention what you have spoken. I shall give you a written promise to the{154}{153} effect that you are granted a sufficient time to proceed from here to Wadelai to collect your troops and embark them with your families on board the steamers. It takes five days for a steamer to proceed to Wadelai, and five days to return. I shall give you a reasonable time for this work, and if I see that you are really serious in your intentions, I shall be quite willing to extend the time in order that we may proceed homeward in comfort.”

Selim Bey and his officers answered simultaneously, “We are serious in our intentions, and there is no occasion for delay.” To which I, wholly convinced, readily assented. The meeting terminated. An ox was presented to them and their followers for meat rations; and ten gallons of beer, with loads of sweet potatoes and bananas, were dispatched to their quarters for their entertainment.

At noon, Stairs’ column rolled into camp with piles of wealth—Remington, Maxim and Winchester fixed ammunition, gunpowder, percussion caps, bales of handkerchiefs, white cottons, blue cutch cloths, royal striped robes, beads of all colours, coils of bright wire, &c. &c. There were Zanzibaris, Madis, Lados, Soudanese, Manyuema, Baregga, Bandusuma, dwarfs and giants; in all, 312 carriers.

The stay on the Ituri River had benefited the men greatly. As Surgeon Parke came in, I mentally blessed him, for to this fine display of convalescents he had largely contributed by his devotion.

The camp numbers now over 500 people, and the huts extend on each side of a great open square, 200 yards long by 60 wide. As a fire would be most destructive, a liberal space is preserved between each hut.

Feb. 19.

February 19th.—I have despatched Mr. William Bonny to the Nyanza with thirty rifles and sixty-four Bavira natives, to bring up the baggage of Captain Casati, Signor Marco, the Greek, and Dr. Vita Hassan. I propose sending at intervals a company of men from our camp (which is on top of the plateau, 4,800 feet above the sea level) to the Lake shore, which is about 2,400 above the sea. The journey is a long and tiring{156} day’s march, but the round trip is made within three days. The plateau slope is very steep and stony. I have vowed not to descend it again for any idle purpose. I have already been up and down four times; would as soon undergo shot-drill or the treadmill as undertake it again. Bonny, of course, will be curious to see the Lake, as this is his first visit.

Called Selim Bey and his officers to the Barzah house, and delivered to him my message to the revolted officers at Wadelai.


The officers, Selim Bey, and others, having requested Mr. Stanley to await the arrival of their friends from Wadelai, Mr. Stanley causes his answer to be written down in order to prevent misunderstanding.

Mr. Stanley and his officers having been specially sent by the Khedive as guides to show the road to such people as desired to leave the Equatorial province for Cairo, cannot do otherwise than consent to give such reasonable time as may be required for the assembling of all people willing to depart with him.

It must, however, be positively understood that all men proposing to depart with Mr. Stanley must provide their own means of carriage for themselves, their families, and baggage. No exception can be made except for the Pasha, Captain Casati, and the Greek merchant named Marco, the two last being strangers and not in the Egyptian service.

Therefore all officers and men proposing to depart from this country with Mr. Stanley will be careful to provide such animals and porters as they may need for the transport of their children and goods.

They will also be careful not to burden themselves with superfluous articles; arms, clothing, ammunition, cooking pots, and provisions being the only necessaries needed.

The reserve ammunition, which has been brought from Egypt for the service of the Pasha and his people, is of course at the disposition of the Pasha only, according to the orders of His Highness the Khedive.

Mr. Stanley wishes it to be distinctly understood that he is responsible only for finding the right road, and for provisioning all the people according to the nature of the country.

Mr. Stanley, however, holds himself in honor bound to do all in his power for the comfort, safety, and welfare of Emin Pasha and his people, and to assist his friends in all things to the best of his ability.

On the arrival of this answer before the officers at Wadelai, the officers responsible for the direction of the people will do well to hold a general council, and consider this answer before moving. Such people as believe in their hearts that they have the courage and means to depart from the Equatorial Province will prepare to proceed to this camp as directed by the Pasha. Such people as are doubtful of their power and ability to move, will act as the superiors of the party will decide.

Mr. Stanley, in the meanwhile, will form an advance camp to make ready for the reception of such people as are going out.

At Kavalli’s,   Henry M. Stanley,
February 19th, 1889.   Commanding the Relief Expedition.


Feb. 21.

February 21st.—Chief Katonza on the Lake shore has been sending messengers to the Lake camp to inform Captain Casati that Kabba Regga, King of Unyoro, had seized his cattle on the 19th inst., and that his next objective was Casati’s camp.

What followed may be gleaned from the following note just received from Mr. W. Bonny:—

“At the wish of Signor Casati I send you this note. He is writing his own views to the Pasha. He states that Kabba Regga’s general has a strong force somewhere near, and wishes me to remain another day that you may reinforce me. I have agreed to send a messenger, but decline to remain. I have pointed out to him, that if there is danger, I cannot risk my men unnecessarily. My men will leave with the loads this morning. I have endeavoured to persuade Casati that if he wishes to avoid danger, he can march under our escort to the Plateau. If Kabba Regga’s people meet me on the road I hope to make them learn that they have met some of Stanley’s men.

“Yours, &c.,
W. Bonny.”

The native courier arrived with this news at 2 P.M. The Pasha and officers started immediately for the Lake camp with sixty rifles and sixty natives of the plateau. I do not think there will be any irruption of the Wanyoro into territory protected by us, but it is better to be on the safe side.

February 22nd.—The Greek merchant Signor Marco, a fine manly-looking man much browned by tropic heat, arrived to-day, escorted by Mr. Bonny. Marco has an eye to comfort I see. In his train are domestics bearing parrots, pigeons, bedsteads for himself and harem, heavy Persian carpets, ox-hide mats and enormous baskets, and, oh horror! he has actually brought three hundredweight of stone to serve as grinding stones to reduce his grain to flour, as though the natives here could not lend us any number of grinding stones. He has brought, besides, ten gallon pots to make beer, and to use as water vessels. If all the refugees are similarly encumbered, we shall, I fear, be employed here for months. That was a rash promise of mine to convey all their property. I will wait a little to note if all the officers, clerks, and soldiers expect me to regard stone as baggage.{158}

Feb. 23.

Feb. 23rd.—One of our Zanzibaris named Mrima, impatient at the slow progress towards recovery from a large and painful ulcer, shot himself with a Remington rifle to-day. Poor fellow, I remember him as a cheery, willing, and quick boy.

The Pasha writes me that all is well at the Lake camp.

Feb. 24th.—Sent twenty-five rifles, under headman Wadi Khamis, to escort fifty of Mpinga’s natives as carriers.

I have notified all the chiefs of the various tribes on the plateau that they must supply carriers varying from fifty to one hundred each, according to their strength, to assist me in the transport of the baggage of our guests. Eleven have consented to proceed to the Lake in rotation, provided I protect their people from the brutality of the strangers, who, they say, have been beating their people in the most cruel manner, and making them carry “stones” of too heavy a weight for a man. This is the first time I have heard of this, and will make inquiries immediately.

Feb. 25th.—Captain Nelson, who escorted the Pasha to the Lake the other day, brought in sixty loads of baggage, mostly belonging to the Pasha. I observe an immense number of articles that must necessarily be thrown away. There is an old Saratoga trunk, which was borne by two men. I tried to lift one end of it, and from its weight I should say it contains stones or treasure. What a story that old trunk could tell since it left Cairo. How many poor natives has it killed? How much anguish has it caused? The Zanzibaris smile grimly at the preposterously large size of the boxes they have to carry. They declare there are thousands of such cumbrous articles yet, and that they will be kept here for ten years. The square is littered with sea-chests and clumsy coffin-like coffers, the ten-gallon jars increase in number, and the baskets look bigger and ominously heavy.

Feb. 25.

One man, an Egyptian, named Achmet Effendi, who came up, is about fifty-five years old, bent, thin, feeble,{159} and sick. He is unable to ride a donkey without assistance.

I foresee a terrible mortality, if only sick and feeble men and women propose to undertake the 1,400 miles journey to the sea. Already a large number of small children, from one to eight years old, have arrived. These will have to be carried. By whom?

A Soudanese woman gave birth to a child on the road. Another child is so ill that it cannot survive long.

Lieut. Stairs was despatched with Chief Mwité to stir up his refractory people, who for the last four days have sent us no food.

We have formed a confederacy on the plateau, embracing all the region from the Ituri River to the Nyanza. For protection granted them against marauding Balegga of the mountains and the Warasura Kabba Rega, the chiefs agree to supply us with contributions of grain and cattle, and to surrender the government of the country into my hands, to raise fighting men whenever ordered, and to assist me in invading Unyoro should retaliation for invasion of their soil by the Warasura render it necessary.

Feb. 26th.—An ally of Kabba Rega was attacked this morning, and 125 head of cattle were captured. Much mischief has been done by this man, and already he occupies the country between here and the Pasha’s province, and Kabba Rega relied on him for assistance when the grand struggle between him and the Pasha should begin. Communication is made across the Lake in canoes, and Kabba Rega is well informed of our movements. When we retire from here we shall have to reckon with Kabba Rega. He possesses 1,500 guns; mostly rifles and double-barrelled shot guns, Jocelyn and Starr, Sharp, Henry-Martini, and Snider rifles, and carbines. Having undertaken the serious work of protecting these hundreds of refugees to the sea, I shall enter on the affair with a clear conscience. We will not seek a struggle; the opposing forces are not matched, but there is only one road, and that runs through a portion of Unyoro.{160}

Feb. 27.

Feb. 27th.—Our cattle were driven to pasture this morning, but the calves were most intractable, and created great fun and not a little trouble. We have milk and meat for our sick now.

I hear that Selim Bey and the Egyptian officers departed on the 26th inst. by the steamers Khedive and Nyanza, which brought to the Lake camp from Mswa a large cargo of baggage and several score of fresh refugees.

Emin Pasha reached camp this morning from the Lake. He was accompanied by his daughter, a little girl of six years old, named Ferida, the offspring of an Abyssinian woman. She is extremely pretty, with large, beautiful black eyes.

104 carriers conveyed the Pasha’s luggage and stores of flour, millet, sesamum, honey, and salt.

The head man, Wadi Khamis, who escorted this caravan, reports that one of Selim Bey’s officers stole a Remington rifle and took it with him. This is odd. If these people meditate returning here they should be aware that theft of arms is severely punished.

The Pasha informs me that another mail arrived from Wadelai on the 25th, and that an official letter was handed to Selim Bey from the rebel officers headed by Fadl-el-Mulla, announcing to him that he was deposed from his position as Chief Commander of the Troops, and that he, the Pasha and Casati, were sentenced to death by court-martial. Captain Fadl-el-Mulla has promoted himself on assuming authority to the rank of Bey or Colonel. This is quite in Jack Cade’s style. We must now call him Fadl-el-Mulla Bey.

Feb. 28th.—Sent fifty rifles and seventy-two natives of the Wabiaasi and Ruguji tribes under Lieut. Stairs to the Lake camp to escort another contingent of refugees and convey baggage up to the plateau.

March 1st.—The Pasha, with his own consent, and indeed on his own proposal, has been appointed naturalist and meteorologist to the Expedition. He has accordingly received one aneroid, one max. and min. thermometer, one Bath thermometer, one standard{161} thermometer, two boiling-point thermometers, which, added to his own instruments, equip him completely. No expedition could be so well served as ours will be. He is the most industrious and exact observer that I know.[8]

March 1.

The Pasha is in his proper element as naturalist and meteorologist. He is of the school of Schweinfurth and Holub. His love of science borders on fanaticism. I have attempted to discover during our daily chats whether he was Christian or Moslem, Jew or Pagan, and I rather suspect that he is nothing more than a Materialist. Who can say why votaries of science, though eminently kindly in their social relations, are so angular of character? In my analysis of the scientific nature I am constrained to associate with it, as compared with that of men who are more Christians than scientists, a certain hardness, or rather indelicacy of feeling. They strike me as being somewhat unsympathetic, and capable of only cold friendship, coolly indifferent to the warmer human feelings. I may best express what I mean by saying that I think they are more apt to feel an affection for one’s bleached skull and frame of unsightly bones, than for what is divine within a man. If one talks about the inner beauty, which to some of us is the only beauty worth anything, they are apt to yawn, and to return an apologetic and compassionate smile. They seem to wish you to infer that they have explored the body through and through, and that it is waste of time to discuss what only exists in the imagination.

Sent seventy-two natives of Mpigwa’s tribe under twelve Zanzibaris to Lake camp for baggage.

Up to date 514 loads of baggage have been conveyed from the Lake shore to our camp on the plateau.

March 2nd.—Dr. Vita Hassan, of Tunis, has arrived in charge of Lieut. Stairs, with 122 carriers.

March 3rd.—Mr. Bonny descended to the Nyanza to-day with fifty-two Zanzibaris and forty natives of the tribe of Malai and Mabisé.{162}

March 3.

I went over the camp on an inspection. I find that we have here representatives of Germany, Greece, Tunis, England, Ireland, Italy, America, Egypt, Nubia, Madiland, Monbuttu, Langgo, Bari, Shuli, Zanzibar, Usagara, Useguhha, Udoé, Unyamwezi, Uganda, Unyoro, Bavira, Wahuma, Marungu, Manyuema, Basoko, Usongora, Congo, Arabia, Johanna, Comoro, Madagascar, Somali, Circassia, Turkey!!! besides pigmies from the Great Forest, and giants from the Blue Nile.

The camp is rapidly spreading out into a town. Order is maintained without any trouble. Eighty gallons of milk are served out daily to the sick, and six pounds of beef per week per man, besides flour, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, and bananas with liberal measure.

There must be a fearful consumption of food in the Soudanese camp if one may judge from the quantity of flour that is being ground. From the early morning until late in the afternoon the sound of the grinding stones and the sweet voices of the grinders are heard.

The tribe of Mpigwa arrived with seventy loads from the Lake shore. These came up with Capt. Casati, to whom the baggage belongs.

March 5th.—Mr. Bonny appeared this morning with ninety-four loads of luggage from below. He was accompanied by the Major of the 2nd Battalion, Awash Effendi. I am told all this monstrous pile belongs to him alone. Ninety-four loads represent a weight of 2⅓ tons.

Mr. Mounteney Jephson started for the Nyanza this morning with forty-two Zanzibaris and Manyuema.

During the six weeks we have been here three men and a baby have died.

This Expedition possesses the rarest doctor in the world. No country in Europe can produce his equal in my opinion. There may be many more learned perhaps, more skilful, older, or younger, as the case may be, but the best of them have something to learn from our doctor. He is such a combination of sweetness and simplicity. So unostentatious, so genuinely unobtrusive. We are all bound to him with cords of love. We have seen him do so much out of pure love for his{163} “cases,” that human nature becomes ennobled by this gem. He is tenderness itself. He has saved many lives by his devoted nursing. We see him each day at 8 A.M.. and 5 P.M. with his selectest circle of “sick” around him. None with tender stomach dare approach it. He sits in the centre as though it were a rare perfume. The sloughing ulcers are exposed to view, some fearful to behold, and presenting a spectacle of horror. The doctor smiles and sweetly sniffs the tainted air, handles the swollen limbs, cleanses them from impurity, pours the soothing lotion, cheers the sufferers, binds up the painful wounds, and sends the patient away with a hopeful and gratified look. May the kindly angels record this nobleness and obliterate all else. I greatly honour what is divine in man. This gift of gentleness and exquisite sensibility appeal to the dullest. At Abu-Klea our doctor was great; the wounded had cause to bless him; on the green sward of Kavalli, daily ministering to these suffering blacks, unknowing and unheeding whether any regarded him, our doctor was greater still.

March 5.

March 6th.—Some chimpanzees have been discovered in a grove which fills a deep hollow in the Baregga Hills. The Pasha has shown me a carefully prepared skull of one which he procured near Mswa. It exactly resembles one I picked up at Addiguhha, a village between the two branches of the Ihuru River. The chimpanzee is the “soko” of Livingstone, though he grows to an unusual size in the Congo forest.

During the few days we have been here the Pasha has been indefatigable in adding to his collection of birds, larks, thrushes, finches, bee-eaters, plantain eaters, sunbirds, &c., &c.

The Pasha appears to be extraordinarily happy in this vocation of “collecting.” I have ordered the Zanzibaris to carry every strange insect, bird, and reptile to him. Even vermin do not appear amiss to him. We are rewarded by seeing him happy.

Each morning his clerk Rajab roams around to murder every winged fowl of the air, and every victim of his{164} aim he brings to his master, and then after lovingly patting the dead object he coolly gives the order to skin it. By night we see it suspended, with a stuffing of cotton within, to be in a day or two packed up as a treasure for the British Museum!

March 6.

These “collectors” strike me as being a rare race. Schweinfurth boiled the heads of the slain in Monbuttu once to prepare the skulls for a Berlin museum. Emin Pasha proposes to do the same should we have a brush with the Wanyoro. I suggested to him that the idea was shocking; that possibly the Zanzibaris might object to it. He smiled: “All for science.”

This trait in the scientific man casts some light upon a mystery. I have been attempting to discover the reasons why we two, he and I, differ in our judgments of his men. We have some dwarfs in the camp. The Pasha wished to measure their skulls; I devoted my observations to their inner nature. He proceeded to fold his tape round the circumference of the chest; I wished to study the face. The Pasha wondered at the feel of the body; I marvelled at the quick play of the feelings as revealed in lightning movements of the facial muscles. The Pasha admired the breadth of the frontal bone;[9] I{166}{165} studied the tones of the voice, and watched how beautifully a slight flash of the eye coincided with the slightest twitch of a lip. The Pasha might know to a grain what the body of the pigmy weighed, but I only cared to know what the inner capacity was.



And this is the reason the Pasha and I differ about the characters of his men. He knows their names, their families, their tribes, their customs; and little as I have been with them, I think I know their natures. The Pasha says they are faithful; I declare they are false. He believes that the day he leaves Kavalli they will all follow him to a man; I imagine he will be wofully deceived. He argues that he has known them for thirteen years, and he ought to know better than I who have not known them as many weeks. Very well, let it be so. Time will decide. Nevertheless, these discussions make the days at Kavalli pass smoothly, for the Pasha is an accomplished conversationalist.

March 7th.—Mr. Mounteney Jephson arrived from the Lake shore with Mohammed Emin and family, an Egyptian widow, and four orphan children.

Surgeon Parke was permitted a holiday, to be devoted to leading to the Nyanza fifty-two Zanzibaris, thirty natives, and nineteen Manyuema for conveyance of luggage here.

March 8th.—Uledi, the hero of old days, was despatched with twenty-one carriers to carry loads from the Lake to this camp.

March 9th.—Surgeon Parke has returned with his caravan. “Well, doctor,” said I, “how did you like your holiday?” He smiled. “It may be agreeable as a change, but it is fearful work. I see that the best men are pulled down by that steep long climb up the plateau slope. I hear a great deal of grumbling.”

“I am aware,” I replied, “of what is going on. But what can we do? These people are our guests. We are bound to help them as much as possible. We indeed came here for that purpose. I wish, however, they would leave those stones behind, for even the carriers laugh at the absurd idea of carrying an 80lb. rock such{168} a fearful height. However, when the Zanzibaris are tired of it, they will let me know in some way. Meantime, let us see to how far a point they will push our patience.”

March 9.

March 10th.—This morning as the Zanzibaris mustered for the detail to be picked out for the usual caravan to the Nyanza, they demanded to speak to me. The speaker was applauded every few minutes by the companies as they stood under their respective officers.

“Sir,” said he, “we are tired of this work of carrying rocks, and great double-load boxes, and wooden bedsteads. If we did not think it were a waste of labour we would not speak. Whither can they take the rubbish we have been obliged to carry up here? Will any one man undertake to carry one of those huge coffins a day’s march through the bush? The strongest man in the world would be killed under it. For whom are we doing it? For a set of thankless, heartless people, who profess God with their lips, and know nothing of Him or of the prophet Mohammed—blessed be his name! Besides, what do they think of us? They call us abid—slaves. They think that any one of them can lick ten of us. They say that some day they will take our rifles from us, and make us their slaves. We know enough Arabic to know what they mean, bad as their slang Arabic is. We have come to ask you how long this is to last? If you mean to kill us, who were saved out of the forest, with this ungrateful work, please tell us. We are your servants, and we must do your bidding.”

“It is well,” I replied. “I have heard your speech. I knew you would come to this. But you must have some faith in me. Trust to me. Go on to the Nyanza to-day, and when you return I will explain further.”

Captain Nelson was appointed leader of the caravan of 81 Zanzibaris, Soudanese, and Manyuema, and marched away with them.

I observed that the people declined their rations for the journey, and that they were unmistakably discontented and in an evil mood. Fearing trouble, I sent messengers after Captain Nelson to send me the two who{169} seemed to be the principals under guard back to camp. The Captain on receipt of the order commanded the Soudanese to take them, upon which the fifty Zanzibaris set up a loud yell of defiance, and some cried, “Shoot them all, and let us go to Mazamboni.”

March 10.

The Captain, however, was firm, and insisted on sending them to me, whereupon they said they would all return to camp to protect their friends.

Seeing the caravan return, the signal to muster under arms was given, and the companies were drawn up in position to prevent any sudden manœuvre.

The malcontents were formed in line in the centre, and on looking at them I saw that little was needed to provoke strife. I sympathised with them secretly, but could not overlook such a serious breach of discipline.

“Now, my men,” I said, “obey me at once, and to the letter. He who hesitates is lost. Open your ears and be sharp. ‘Ground arms!’ It was done promptly. ‘Retire four paces to the rear!’ They withdrew quietly. ‘Now, Captain Stairs, march your company to the front, and take possession of the rifles,” which was done.

Captain Nelson was then ordered to make his report as to the cause of the caravan’s return. He pointed out the ringleaders concerned in the outbreak, and those who had cried, “Shoot them all, and let us run to Mazamboni.” These were at once seized and punished. The ringleaders were tied to the flag-staff. The caravan was again entrusted to Captain Nelson, but without arms, and was marched away to its duty.

Near sunset, Hassan Bakari having absented himself without permission, was lightly punished with a cane by the captain of his company. On being released, he rushed in a furious temper to his hut, vowing he would shoot himself. He was caught in the act of preparing his rifle for the deed. Five men were required to restrain him. Hearing the news, I proceeded to the scene, and gently asked the reason of this outburst. He declaimed against the shame which had been put on him, as he was a freeman of good family and was not accustomed to be struck like a slave. Remarks appropriate{170} to his wounded feelings were addressed to him, to which he gratefully responded. His rifle was restored to him with a smile. He did not use it.

March 11th.—Forty-one natives descended to the Nyanza to-day for more baggage. These make a total of 928 men sent down for the same purpose up to date.

March 12th.—“Three O’clock,” the hunter, took a caravan to the Nyanza, consisting of thirty-four Zanzibaris and twenty-five natives.

March 13th.—Lieut. Stairs, R.E., took down to the Lake sixty-three Zanzibaris and Manyuema.

The forty-one natives who left on the 11th inst. returned to-day, bringing with them absolute rubbish—wooden bedsteads, twenty gallon copper pots, and some more flat rocks, which the Soudanese call grinding-stones. They complained that when they objected to carry these heavy, useless weights they were cruelly beaten.

As I have informed the Pasha several times that I cannot allow such rubbish to be carried, and as the Pasha has written to that effect to Osman Latif Effendi, the commander of the Lake shore camp, and his orders are not obeyed, I shall presently have to stop this cruel work.

March 14th.—Twenty-one of the Balegga have offered their services, and have been sent down to the Lake to carry baggage. Total loads up to date, 1,037.

I consider this carrier work to which I have subjected myself, officers, and men, as an essential part of my duty to my guests. They may not be deserving of this sacrifice on our part, but that makes no difference. What I regret is that such severe labour should be incurred uselessly. If any one of them were to express a concern that we were put to so much trouble, most of us would regard it as some compensation. But I have heard nothing which would lead me to believe that they regard this assistance as anything more than their due.



I see the Egyptian officers congregating in special and select groups each day, seated on their mats, smoking cigarettes, and discussing our absolute slavishness. They{172}{171} have an idea that any one of them is better than ten Zanzibaris, but I have not seen any ten of them that could be so useful in Africa as one Zanzibari.

March 14.

March 15th.—Lieut. Stairs appeared with his caravan to-day. He reports that there are 100 people still at the Nyanza Camp, with an immense pile of baggage of the usual useless kind just arrived from Mswa station.



Shukri Agha, commandant of Mswa, has also arrived. At an interview with him, in the presence of the Pasha, I informed him in plain terms that if he expected to retire to the coast he would have to set about it immediately. I told him that I had been amazed at many things since my arrival the third time at the Lake, but{174} the most wonderful thing of all was the utter disregard to instructions and orders manifested by everybody. In May last, ten months ago, they had all been informed of the cause of our coming. They had promised to be ready, and now he, Shukri Agha, had come to us to ask us for instructions, just as though he had never heard anything of the matter. If he, a commandant of a station, and commander of troops, appeared to be so slow to comprehend, how ever was it possible to convey it into the sense of the Soudanese soldier. All I had to say now was, that unless he, Shukri Agha, paid attention to what I said, he would be left behind to take the consequences.

March 15.

“Ah,” says Shukri, “I will go back to Mswa, and the very next day I shall embark the women and children on the steamers, and I shall march with our cattle through Melindwa overland, and we shall all be here in seven days.”

“I shall expect you on the tenth day from this, with your families, soldiers, and cattle.”

The Pasha said to me in the evening, “Shukri Agha has given me his solemn promise that he will obey the orders I have given him to depart from Mswa at once.”

“Did you write them firmly, Pasha, in such a manner that there can be no doubt!”

“Surely, I did so.”

“Do you think he will obey them?”

“Most certainly. What, Shukri Agha! He will be here in ten days without fail, and all his soldiers with him.”

March 16th.—Shukri Agha descended to the Nyanza to-day; also 108 carriers, natives, for baggage.

March 17th.—Twenty-nine natives of Malai’s tribe, and sixteen natives of Bugombi, have been sent to the Nyanza Camp. Total, 1,190 carriers up to date.

The Pasha proceeded this morning to the Baregga Hills for a picnic, and to increase his ornithological and entomological collections. A goat was taken up also to be slaughtered for the lunch. Lieut. Stairs, Mr. Jephson, Captain Nelson, Surgeon Parke, and Mr. Bonny have{175} gone up with quite a following to encourage him to do his best and keep him company.

March 17.

Yesterday Jephson and I had examined the summits of the hills, and in one of the hollows we had discovered tree ferns, standing eight feet high, with stalks eight inches in diameter. We also brought with us a few purple flowering heliotropes, aloes, and rock ferns for the Pasha. All this has inspired him with a desire to investigate the flora for himself.

These hills have an altitude varying from 5,400 to 5,600 feet above the sea. The folds and hollows between these hills are here and there somewhat picturesque, though on account of late grass burnings they are not at their best just now. Each of the hollows has its own clear water rillet, and along their courses are bamboos, tree ferns, small palms, and bush, much of which is in flower. From the lively singing of the birds I heard yesterday, it was thought likely this insatiable collector might be able to add to his store of stuffed giant-larks, thrushes, bee-eaters, sun-birds, large pigeons, &c. Only four specimens were obtained, and the Pasha is not happy.

In a bowl-like basin, rimmed around by rugged and bare rocks, I saw a level terrace a mile and a half long by a mile wide, green as a tennis lawn. Round about the foot of this terrace ran a clear rivulet, through a thick bank of woods, the tops of which just came to the level of the terrace. It has been the nicest site for a mission or a community of white men that I have seen for a long time. The altitude was 5,500 feet above the sea. From the crest of the rocky hills encircling it we may obtain a view covering 3,000 square miles of one of the most gloriously beautiful lands in the world. Pisgah, sixty miles westward, dominates all eminences and ridges in the direction of the forest world; Ruwenzori, 18,000 to 19,000, white with perpetual snow, eighty miles off, bounds the view south; to the east the eye looks far over the country of Unyoro; and north-east lies the length of the Albert Nyanza. On the terrace the picnic was held.{176}

March 18.

March 18th.—The redoubtable Rudimi, chief of Usiri, has at last joined our confederacy. Besides seven head of cattle, seven goats, and an ample store of millet flour and sweet potatoes, he brought me thirty-one carriers. They were immediately sent to the Lake shore camp.

We can now trust these natives to handle any property unguarded. Altogether fifteen chiefs have submitted to our stipulation that they shall cease fighting with one another; that they shall submit all causes of complaint to us, and agree to our decisions. The result is that the Wavira shake hands with the Wasiri, the Balegga, and the Wahuma. The cases are frequently very trivial, but so far our decisions have given satisfaction.

The camp now consists of 339 huts and five tents, exclusive of Kavalli’s village, on the southern side of which our town has grown. There are sometimes as many as 2,000 people in it.

March 21st.—The natives of Melindwa, having made a descent upon Ruguji’s, one of our Wahuma allies, and captured forty head of his cattle, Lieut. Stairs and Mr. Jephson were despatched with Companies 1 and 2, and returned with 310 head of cattle. Ruguji recognised his cattle and received them. The Wahuma are all herdsmen and shepherds. The Wavira devote themselves to agriculture.

March 22nd.—The Pasha, with Mr. Marco, paid a visit to Mpigwa, chief of Nyamsassi, and were well received, returning with large gifts of food.

March 23rd.—Contributions of provisions have come in from many chiefs to-day as an expression of gratitude for the retaliatory raid on Melindwa.

March 26th.—Yesterday afternoon the steamer Nyanza came in with the mails from Wadelai, and carriers came in this morning with them.

Selim Bey writes from Wadelai to the Pasha that he is sure all the rebels will follow him, and that they may be expected at our camp. The Pasha, beaming with joy, came to me and imparted this news, and said, “What{177} did I tell you? You see I was right? I was sure they would all come.”

March 26.

Let us see what this good news amounts to.

Selim Bey left our camp on the 26th February with a promise that I should wait “a reasonable time.” Though the distance is only five days, we will give him eight days. He arrives at Wadelai on the 4th March. He promised solemnly to begin embarking as soon as possible. We will grant him five days for this, considering that such people have no idea of time, and eight days for the voyage from Wadelai to our Lake camp. He should then have arrived on the 17th inst. He has not appeared yet, and in his letters to the Pasha he only states that his intentions are what they were on the 26th February last, viz., to start.

On the 14th of March Shukri Agha, commandant of Mswa, appeared to obtain instructions from the Pasha, and on the 17th Shukri Agha was back again at Mswa station, having received an order to abandon that station and to be here on the 27th. We are now told that Shukri Agha is still at Mswa, and Selim Bey still at Wadelai, and that every order issued by the Pasha has been disregarded, and every promise broken.

I replied to the Pasha that I was only aware of our folly in relying on any promise made by such people, that neither Selim Bey nor probably Shukri Agha had any intention of accompanying us anywhere. Days had passed into weeks, and weeks had grown into months, and years would doubtless elapse before we should leave Africa.

“I must beg leave, Pasha, to impress on you that, besides my duty to you and to your people, I have a duty to perform to the Relief Committee. Every month I stay in Africa costs about £400. I have a duty to perform to my officers. They have their careers in the army to think of—their leave of absence has long ago expired. Then we must think of the Zanzibaris. They will want to return to their homes; they are already waxing impatient. If we had only some proof that Selim Bey and his men had any real intention of leaving{178} Africa, and would furnish this proof by sending a couple of companies of soldiers, and I could see that the soldiers were under control, there would be no difficulty in staying some months more. But if you think that from the 1st of May, 1888, to the end of March, 1889, are eleven months, and that we have been only able to get about forty officers and clerks and their families, and that the baggage of these has required all the carriers on this plateau one month to carry it two days’ march, you will perceive that I have no reason to share in your joy.

“I pray you also to remember, that I have been at great pains to get at the correct state of mind which those officers at Wadelai are in. I have been told most curious things. Major Awash Effendi, of the 2nd Battalion, Osman Latif Effendi, Mohamed the engineer, have told me secretly that neither Selim Bey or Fadl-el-Mulla Bey will leave for Egypt. The former may perhaps come as far as here and settle in this district. But whatever the Wadelai officers may profess to be desirous of doing, I have been warned that I must be on my guard. Nobody places any faith in them except yourself. While believing that you may perhaps be right after all, you must admit that I have the best of reasons for doubting their good intentions. They have revolted three times against you. They captured Mr. Jephson, and in menacing him with rifles they insulted me. They have made it known widely enough that they intended to capture me on my return here. But, Pasha, let me tell you this much: it is not in the power of all the troops of the province to capture me, and before they arrive within rifle-shot of this camp, every officer will be in my power.”

“But what answer shall I give them?” asked the Pasha.

“You had better hear it from the officers yourself. Come, without saying a word to them. I will call them here and ask them in your presence, because they are involved in the question as much as I am myself.”

“Very well,” he replied.{179}

March 26.

A messenger was sent to summon the officers, Stairs, Nelson, Jephson, and Parke, and when they were seated I addressed them:—

“Gentlemen,—Before giving me the benefit of your advice at this important period, let me sum up some facts as they have transpired.

“Emin Pasha has received a mail from Wadelai. Selim Bey, who left the post below here on the 26th February last, with a promise that he would hurry up such people as wished to go to Egypt, writes from Wadelai that the steamers are engaged in transporting some people from Dufflé to Wadelai, that the work of transport between Wadelai and Tunguru will be resumed upon the accomplishment of the other task. When he went away from here, we were informed that he was deposed, and that Emin Pasha and he were sentenced to death by the rebel officers. We now learn that the rebel officers, ten in number, and all their faction, are desirous of proceeding to Egypt; we may suppose, therefore, that Selim Bey’s party is in the ascendant again.

“Shukri Agha, the chief of the Mswa Station—the station nearest to us—paid us a visit there in the middle of March. He was informed on the 16th of March, the day that he departed, that our departure for Zanzibar would positively begin on the 10th of April. He took with him urgent letters for Selim Bey, announcing that fact in unmistakable terms.

“Eight days later we hear that Shukri Agha is still at Mswa, having only sent a few women and children to the Nyanza Camp; yet he and his people might have been here by this if they intended to accompany us.

“Thirty days ago Selim Bey left us with a promise of a reasonable time. The Pasha thought once that twenty days would be a reasonable time. However, we have extended it to forty-four days. Judging by the length of time Selim Bey has already taken, only reaching Tunguru with one-sixteenth of the expected force, I personally am quite prepared to give the Pasha my decision. For you must know, gentlemen, that the Pasha having heard from Selim Bey ‘intelligence so encouraging,’ wishes to know my decision, but I have preferred to call you to answer for me.

“You are aware that our instructions were to carry relief to Emin Pasha, and to escort such as were willing to accompany us to Egypt. We arrived at the Nyanza, and met Emin Pasha in the latter part of April, 1888, just twelve months ago. We handed him his letters from the Khedive and his Government, and also the first instalment of relief, and asked him whether we were to have the pleasure of his company to Zanzibar. He replied that his decision depended on that of his people.

“This was the first adverse news that we received. Instead of meeting with a number of people only too anxious to leave Africa, it was questionable whether there would be any except a few Egyptian clerks. With Major Barttelot so far distant in the rear, we could not wait at the Nyanza for his decision, as that might possibly require months; it would be more profitable to seek and assist the rear column, and by the time we arrived here again, those willing to go to Egypt would be probably impatient to start. We, therefore, leaving Mr. Jephson to convey our message to the Pasha’s troops, returned to the forest region for the rear column, and in nine months were back again on the Nyanza. But instead of discovering a camp of people anxious and ready to depart from Africa, we found no camp at all, but hear that both the Pasha and Mr. Jephson are prisoners, that the Pasha has been in imminent danger of his life from the rebels, and at another time is in danger of being{180} bound on his bedstead and taken to the interior of Makkaraka country. It has been current talk in the Province that we were only a party of conspirators and adventurers, that the letters of the Khedive and Nubar Pasha were forgeries, concocted by the vile Christians, Stanley and Casati, assisted by Mohammed Emin Pasha. So elated have the rebels been by their bloodless victory over the Pasha and Mr. Jephson, that they have confidently boasted of their purpose to entrap me by cajoling words, and strip our Expedition of every article belonging to it, and send us adrift into the wilds to perish. We need not dwell on the ingratitude of these men, or on their intense ignorance and evil natures, but you must bear in mind the facts to guide you to a clear decision.

“We believed when we volunteered for this work that we should be met with open arms. We were received with indifference, until we were lead to doubt whether any people wished to depart. My representative was made a prisoner, menaced with rifles, threats were freely used. The Pasha was deposed, and for three months was a close prisoner. I am told this is the third revolt in the Province. Well, in the face of all this, we have waited nearly twelve months to obtain the few hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children in this camp. As I promised Selim Bey and his officers that I would give a reasonable time, Selim Bey and his officers repeatedly promised to us there should be no delay. The Pasha has already fixed April 10th, which extended their time to forty-four days, sufficient for three round voyages for each steamer. The news brought to-day is not that Selim Bey is close to here, but that he has not started from Wadelai yet.

“In addition to his own friends, who are said to be loyal and obedient to him, he brings the ten rebel officers, and some six hundred or seven hundred soldiers, their faction.

“Remembering the three revolts which these same officers have inspired, their pronounced intentions against this Expedition, their plots and counterplots, the life of conspiracy and smiling treachery they have led, we may well pause to consider what object principally animates them now—that from being ungovernably rebellious against all constituted authority, they have suddenly become obedient and loyal soldiers of the Khedive and his ‘Great Government.’ You must be aware that, exclusive of the thirty-one boxes of ammunition delivered to the Pasha by us in May, 1888, the rebels possess ammunition of the Provincial Government equal to twenty of our cases. We are bound to credit them with intelligence enough to perceive that such a small supply would be fired in an hour’s fighting among so many rifles, and that only a show of submission and apparent loyalty will ensure a further supply from us. Though the Pasha brightens up each time he obtains a plausible letter from these people, strangers like we are may also be forgiven for not readily trusting those men whom they have such good cause to mistrust. Could we have some guarantee of good faith, there could be no objection to delivering to them all they required: that is, with the permission of the Pasha. Can we be certain, however, that if we admit them into this camp as good friends and loyal soldiers of Egypt, they will not rise up some night and possess themselves of all the ammunition, and so deprive us of the power of returning to Zanzibar? It would be a very easy matter for them to do so, after they had acquired the knowledge of the rules of the camp. With our minds filled with Mr. Jephson’s extraordinary revelations of what has been going on in the Province since the closing of the Nile route, beholding the Pasha here before my very eyes, who was lately supposed to have several thousands of people under him, but now without any important following, and bearing in mind the ‘cajoling’ and ‘wiles’ by which we were to be{181} entrapped, I ask you, would we be wise in extending the time of delay beyond the date fixed, that is, the 10th of April?”

The officers one after another replied in the negative.

“There, Pasha,” I said, “you have your answer. We march on the 10th of April.”

The Pasha then asked if we could “in our conscience acquit him of having abandoned his people,” supposing they had not arrived by the 10th of April. We replied, “Most certainly.”

March 27th.—The couriers have left to embark for Wadelai.

They bore the following:

Notice to Selim Bey and the Rebel Officers.

Camp at Kavalli,
March 26th, 1889.

“Salaams,—The Commander of the Relief Expedition having promised to grant a reasonable time for the arrival of such people at this camp as were desirous to quit the country, notifies Selim Bey and his brother officers that this is the 30th day since they departed from the Nyanza Camp for Wadelai to assemble their people.

“The ‘reasonable time’ promised to them has expired to-day.

“However, as the Pasha has requested an extension of time, it is hereby notified to all concerned that the Expedition will make a further halt at this camp of fourteen days from this date, or, in other words, that the Expedition will positively commence the march toward Zanzibar on the morning of the Tenth of April next. All those people not arriving by that date must abide the consequences of their absence on the day of our departure.

Henry M. Stanley.”

Notice to Shukri Agha, Commanding Mswa.

“The Commander of the Relief Expedition hereby announces to the good and loyal officer Shukri Agha, that in order to allow him sufficient time to reach this camp, the Expedition will make a further halt of fourteen days from this date, at this camp, but that on the morning of the tenth day of April next, no matter who or who may not be ready to march on that date, positively no further delay will be granted.

“The Commander of the Expedition, out of sincere affection for Shukri Agha, begs that he will take this last notice into his earnest consideration, and act accordingly,

Henry M. Stanley.”




False reports of strangers at Mazamboni’s—Some of the Pasha’s ivory—Osman Latiff Effendi gives me his opinions on the Wadelai officers—My boy Sali as spy in the camp—Capt. Casati’s views of Emin’s departure from his province—Lieut. Stairs makes the first move homeward—Weights of my officers at various places—Ruwenzori visible—The little girl reared by Casati—I act as mediator between Mohammed Effendi, his wife, and Emin—Bilal and Serour—Attempts to steal rifles from the Zanzibari’s huts—We hear of disorder and distress at Wadelai and Mswa—Two propositions made to Emin Pasha—Signal for general muster under arms sounded—Emin’s Arabs are driven to muster by the Zanzibaris—Address to the Egyptians and Soudanese—Lieut. Stairs brings the Pasha’s servants into the square—Seroor and three others, being the principal conspirators, placed under guard—Muster of Emin Pasha’s followers—Osman Latif Effendi and his mother—Casati and Emin not on speaking terms—Preparing for the march—Fight with clubs between the Nubian, Omar, and the Zanzibaris—My judgments on the combatants—We leave Kavalli for Zanzibar—The number of our column—Halt in Mazamboni’s territory—I am taken ill with inflammation of the stomach—Dr. Parke’s skilful nursing—I plan in my mind the homeward march—Frequent reports to me of plots in the camp—Lieut. Stairs and forty men capture Rehan and twenty-two deserters who left with our rifles—At a holding of the court it is agreed to hang Rehan—Illness of Surgeon Parke and Mr. Jephson—A packet of letters intended for Wadelai falls into my hands, and from which we learn of an important plot concocted by Emin’s officers—Conversation with Emin Pasha about the same—Shukri Agha arrives in our camp with two followers—Lieut. Stairs buries some ammunition—We continue our march and camp at Bunyambiri—Mazamboni’s services and hospitality—Three soldiers appear with letters from Selim Bey—Their contents—Conversation with the soldiers—They take a letter to Selim Bey from Emin—Ali Effendi and his servants accompany the soldiers back to Selim Bey.

March 27.

March 27th.—I heard to-day that strangers, supposed to be Zanzibaris, had arrived at Mazamboni’s. I accordingly despatched Jephson with forty-three rifles to ascertain the truth of this report, for it may be Jameson, accompanied by Salim bin Mohamed and people.{183}

March 29.

March 29th.—Mr. Jephson returned from Undussuma, bringing fifty-six native carriers. There were no strangers. It was a false report. Alas! for Jameson. We all wonder what course he adopted upon receiving my letters.

March 31st.—Captain Nelson arrived in camp from Lake shore, bringing 132 loads. These bring up the total of loads carried from the Lake shore to this camp to 1355. I am told there is nothing left except some large ivories, weighing about 150 pounds each, which we cannot carry. The Pasha brought with him sixty-five tusks, forty-five of which I proposed paying to the Manyuema for their services, but they have declined taking it, as they would prefer the monthly pay paid in goods to them on arriving at the C. M. S. Mission at Msalala.

Osman Latif Effendi, the Lieut.-Governor of the Equatorial Province, came to me this afternoon, and gave me his opinions on the Wadelai officers. He says: “Selim Bey may join us. He is not a bad man. He is fond of beer and indolent. If he comes, he will have about 350 soldiers and officers with him, who form his party. Fadl-el-Mulla Bey is chief of the opposite party. Since they received news that Khartoum had fallen they have cast off all allegiance to the Pasha. That was just before Dr. Junker left. Believing that perhaps they would change their minds upon hearing of you, Emin Pasha proceeded to see them with Mr. Jephson, and both were immediately arrested. Fadl-el-Mulla Bey and his clerk are Mahdists. They hoped to get great honour from the Khalifa for delivering the Pasha up to them. They have had an idea of getting you to visit them, and by sweet words and promising everything, to catch you and send you to Khartoum. If Fadl-el-Mulla Bey comes here with his party, all I can say is that you must be very careful. I am tired of the land and wish to go to Cairo. I want nothing to do with them.”

“What do you think of the people here, Osman Latif?{184}

March 31.

“Awash Effendi would not dare to be left behind. As the Major of the 2nd Battalion he was said to be very severe. They hate him, and would kill him; almost all the others, if Selim Bey came here, and advised them to stop, would prefer living here to going with the Pasha. I and Awash Effendi will follow you. If we died on the road that is the end of it. We should be sure to die here if we stayed.”

“Why do they dislike the Pasha?”

“I do not know, except that Shaitan (the Devil) instigates them. He has been very just, and good to them all, but the more he allows them to do as they please the further their hearts are from him. They say, ‘Oh, let him go on collecting beetles and birds. We don’t want him.’ The Pasha is very happy when he travels, and is able to collect things, and does not trouble himself about the men.”

“Do you think they would have liked him better if he had hanged a few?”

“Perhaps. God knows.”

“Do you think you would have liked him better if he had been severe to you?”

“No, but I should have been more afraid of him.”

“Ah! Yes, of course.”

“But please don’t tell the Pasha I said anything, otherwise he would not forgive me.”

“Have no fear. If you hear what is going on in the camp let me know.”

“Myself and my son are at your service. We shall hear all that goes on, and will let you know.”

I saw Osman Latif proceed soon after to the Pasha’s quarters, and kiss his hands, and bend reverently before him, and immediately I followed, curious to observe. The Pasha sat gravely on his chair, and delivered his orders to Osman Latif with the air of power, and Osman Latif bowed obsequiously after hearing each order, and an innocent stranger might have imagined that one embodied kingly authority and the other slavish obedience. Soon after I departed absorbed in my own thoughts.{185}



March 31.

Sali, my boy, is the cleverest spy in the camp. How he obtains his information I do not know. But he appears to know a great deal more than Osman Latif or Awash Effendi, or any of the young Egyptians. He is in the counsels of the captains. He is intimate with Mohammed, the engineer. He is apparently adored by Capt. Ibrahim Effendi Elham, and his father-in-law, Ali Effendi. Of course he has many subordinate informers to assist. The Zanzibaris are inveterate traders: they always possess something to bargain with. During the preliminaries they shuffle the affairs of the camp, and as they are detailed the traders piece this and that together{186} and pass it over when well digested to Sali, after which I receive the benefit of it. Much naturally is pure gossip, but on the whole it amounts to a sum of solid and valuable information.

I discover that there is a plot to break away completely from the Pasha’s authority. The number of those actually faithful to-day in camp is nine. I am told that they know the Pasha is so unsuspecting that they have but to kiss his hand, and plead forgiveness, and he becomes pliant to any schemer.

When a man becomes the jest of such rogues authority is weak indeed.

Dr. Vita Hassan and Mohammed the engineer say that the Pasha pays great respect to Captain Casati’s opinion. I consider it is a very natural thing that he should respect the opinion of the only European who has been with him between Dr. Junker’s departure and our arrival. When Casati is inclined to presume upon kindness, Mr. Jephson reports that the Pasha knows exactly when to assume the governor.

The Pasha appeared this morning at my tent and informed me that Captain Casati was not well pleased with his departure from the Equatorial Province; that he thought it was his duty to stay.

“Where, Pasha?”

“With my people.”

“What people, please?”

“Why, with my soldiers.”

“Well now, really, I was under the impression that you wrote me some time ago, with your own hand, besides endorsing Mr. Jephson’s letter, that you were a prisoner to your own soldiers, that they had deposed you, that they had threatened to take you in irons, strapped on your bedstead, to Khartoum, and I am sure you know as well as I do what that means.”

“That is true. But you must not think that I am about to change my mind. As I said to you, I leave with you on the 10th of April next. That is settled. I wish, however, you would see Casati about this and talk to him.{187}

“I should be most happy to do so, but my French is wretched, and his is still worse.”

“Oh, if you will send a boy to call me I will come in and be your interpreter.”

What we have gleaned of Casati’s character is generally regarded as a reflection of the Pasha himself. He has not been averse to declaring that he would prefer Africa to Europe. There is some reason in the Pasha seeking an excuse to remain here, but I can find none for Casati, though he has a right to express his preference. But what good purpose can influence either to stay here now I fail to see. When the Pasha possessed force he declined the salary of £1500 a year and £12,000 annual subsidy for the government of his Province: he deferred accepting a somewhat similar post under British auspices until it was too late. The proposal to return home was so displeasing to him that he elected to leave it unanswered until he could learn the wishes of his troops, in the attempt to ascertain which he was deposed, and imprisoned, and is now—let us speak the truth—a fugitive from their power.

But when these two men get together for a social chat, the result is that the Pasha feels depressed, and vexes himself unnecessarily with fears that he may be charged by his rebellious troops with deserting them. Casati feels elated somewhat at having caused these doubts. What Casati’s object is, more than to secure a companion in misery, is to me unknown.

I proceeded to Captain Casati’s quarters, and presently, after an ineffectual effort to be intelligible to him, sent a boy to request the Pasha’s good offices. At once Casati commenced to lecture the Pasha in the name of honour and duty, and to persuade him that he was moralement wrong in abandoning his troops, referring of course to the Pasha’s declared intention of leaving with us on the 10th of April.

“But the Pasha, Captain Casati,” I said, “never had an intention of abandoning his troops, as no person knows better than you. It is these troops who have deposed him, and made him a prisoner from August{188} 18th to February 8th, or thereabouts, nearly six months. They have three times revolted, they have said repeatedly they do not want him, nor will obey him, and they have threatened to kill him. They would probably have sent him to Khartoum before this, had not the mad Danaglas shown what little mercy would have been shown to them.”

“The governor of a fort should never surrender his charge,” replied Casati.

“I quite agree with you in that, if his troops remain faithful to him; but if his troops arrest him, haul down the flag, and open the gates, what can the poor governor do?”

“A captain of a warship should fight his guns to the last.”

“Quite so, but if the crew seize the captain, and put him into the hold in irons, and haul down the flag, what then?”

“No, I do not agree with you,” said the Captain, with emphasis. “The Pasha should remain with his people.”

“But where are his people? The rebels refuse to have anything to do with him except as a prisoner to them. Do you mean to say that the Pasha should return as a prisoner, and be content with that humiliating position?”

“No, certainly not.”

“Perhaps you think that they would relent, and elevate him again to the post of Governor?”

“I cannot say.”

“Do you think they would?”

“It may be.”

“Would you advise the Pasha to trust himself into the power of Fadl-el-Mulla Bey and his officers again?”


“Now, here are your servants. Supposing they lay hold of you one night, and were going to kill you, and you were only saved because your cries attracted your deliverers to the scene. Would you trust your life in their hands again?”


“Supposing your servants came to you this afternoon and told you they would not obey you in the future, and if you insisted on their obedience would shoot you, would you consider yourself as morally bound to command them?”


“Then, my dear Casati, you have answered the Pasha, and what you would not do, the Pasha is not bound to do. Emin Pasha had two duties to perform, one to the Khedive and one to his soldiers. It is because he performed his duty nobly and patiently towards the Khedive that I and my young friends volunteered to help him. The Khedive commands him to abandon the Province, and forwards assistance to him for that purpose. He appeals to his troops and requests them to express their views, whereupon they seize him, menace him with death, and finally imprison him for six months. His answer is given him, which is, ‘For the last time, we have nothing to do with you.’”

Casati was not convinced, and I see that the Pasha is much troubled in mind. They will meet again to-night, and argue the moral aspect of the case again. God knows what their intentions will be to-morrow. Neither of them realise the true state of affairs. I am convinced that their minds are in a bewildered state, as their position would be desperate if we left them to themselves for a few days.

Before retiring for the night the Pasha came to my tent and assured me that he would leave on the 10th of April; that he is certain all the Egyptians in this camp, numbering with their followers about 600, will leave with him. But reports from other quarters prove to me that the Pasha is grossly mistaken. How they will undeceive him I do not know. So far I have not exchanged many words with any of the party, and I have certainly not pretended to have any authority over them. I consider the Pasha as my guest, and the Egyptians as his followers. I supply the whole party with meat and grain, and Surgeon Parke attends to the sick each morning and afternoon.{190}

April 1.

April 1st.—The first move homeward has been made to-day. Lieut. Stairs has been despatched with his company, sixty-one effective rifles, to form advance camp at Mazamboni’s to store contributions, &c., ready for the huge column that will leave here on the 10th instant.

Accompanying him were Major Awash Effendi, Rushti Effendi, and two or three other Egyptians and their followers, also fifty-seven of Mazamboni’s, twenty-nine of Usiri’s, and thirty of Mpinga’s natives. Besides loads of No. 2 Company, these carriers took eighty-eight loads of ammunition, Remington, Winchester, and gunpowder.

Here is a curious table for medical men:

  Weights of Officers at
Fort Bodo in 
the Forest, 
  1887. 1888. 1889. 1889. [10]
Stanley   168 lbs.   135 lbs.   145 lbs.   132 lbs.
Jephson 168 132 150½ 132
Dr. Parke 162 148 170
Major Barttelot 144   —   —
Lt. Stairs 164 143   —
Capt. Nelson 176 140 146
Emin Pasha   —   — 130

April 2nd.—Ruwenzori has been visible the last three days. That snow-covered range has been a most attractive and beautiful sight—pure, dazzling, varying in colours with the hours, with infinite depth of opaline blue all round it, until the sun set and dark night covered the earth. The natives declared it could not be seen because the south hill of the Baregga obstructed the view, but by our levels and triangulations we knew it ought to be seen; and it has been seen. We pointed it out to the natives. They turned and asked, “How did you know it could be seen from here?”

April 3.

April 3rd.—The Pasha is slowly opening his eyes. He came to me this afternoon and related that he had assembled his household of fifty-one souls—servants, guards, orderlies, who have hitherto been attached to{191} him—and had asked them who were willing to accompany him on the 10th of April. All but four declined. The rest say they will wait for their “brethren.”

One of these four faithfuls is one who bluntly stated that he only followed to seize a little girl whom Captain Casati was detaining by force from him, and that after getting possession of her he would return to Kavalli to await his “brethren.”

Upon asking the Pasha what claims Casati had upon the girl—who is intensely black and about five years old—he said that Casati a few years ago had applied to him for a female cook. She had accompanied him to Unyoro while he had represented him in that country. During her service with Casati the female cook gave birth to this child, who was the offspring of a Soudanese soldier. For three years the child was reared by Casati in his house. She became a pet, and with her artless prattle and childish ways she relieved the solitary man’s tedious life. On his expulsion from Unyoro by Rabba Rega and return to the province, the woman was claimed by her husband, and likewise the child, but at the same time he disclaimed paternity. Casati refused to deliver the child up, and has obstinately refused to do so to this day.

The Pasha thinks it possible that the soldier has some sinister intentions respecting Casati, and deplores Casati’s morbid attachment to his servants, male and female. He is disinclined to exercise his authority on Casati, who has been his guest and true friend for many years, but he regrets that his friend will not be advised by him. This conversation occurred between 5.30 to 6.30 P.M.

One hour later, while taking a short stroll before my tent in the moonlight, I heard a fierce brawling voice uttering in Arabic guttural imprecations. Amid the loud, strenuous, and voluble abuse, I distinguished my name and the Pasha’s frequently, with determined splutterings of “Enough—enough—enough!” I heard other voices coaxingly crying, “For the Prophet’s sake.” “Have a little patience.” “Ease your wrath,” and such{192} like, and presently the Pasha’s voice rang out deep and strong “What is the matter there? Peace, I charge you; peace, then,—Well, go and tell Mr. Stanley; his tent is not far off. Go!”

Presently, one Mohammed Effendi, the engineer, a light skinned and not unprepossessing Egyptian, thus challenged, rushed up to me, followed by a large crowd, and poured—that is the term—a story strongly coloured by jealousy and bitter with angry denunciations. His wife, he said, to whom he had been lawfully married at Khartoum, had been allowed by him, on the death of the Abyssinian mother of Ferida, to become nurse to the child. This was thirty months ago. At first his wife could find time not only to perform duty by the child, but also to him, but during the last six months she had become estranged from him, and abused him violently upon every occasion they met. During the last twenty-four hours he had sent over a score of messages to her, each of which she had rejected with increasing scorn. Was this right? Was there no justice for him?

“Really, my friend Mohammed,” I replied, “I have no authority to settle such delicate questions. Have you been to the Pasha? Have you asked him to try and exercise his authority? Seeing that she is a nurse in his household, he is the person you should apply to; not me.”

“Go to him! Why should I go to him? Nay, then, if you will not do me justice, I will either kill myself, or my wife, or the Pasha. I will do one thing sure.”

He departed, storming loudly, so that the entire camp heard his threats.

I had scarcely ceased wondering what all this meant, when a white-robed figure stole up rapidly towards my tent, evidently a female by her dress.

“Who is this?” I asked.

“The wife of Mohammed Effendi.”

“In the name of God why do you choose to come here?{193}

“You must listen to my story, having heard that of Mohammed,” she answered.

“Have you the Pasha’s permission to visit me?”

The permission being granted, the woman was shown into my tent by Mr. Jephson and Dr. Parke.

“Well, speak; my ears are opened.”

The fair one crouched down, and made a mass of white in the darkest corner of the tent, lit as it was by a single candle. A subtle fragrance of Shiraz, or Stamboul oil filled the tent, and a perfectly pure and delightful voice uttered such clear-cut Arabic that I imagined I understood every word. A fortnight’s experience with such a voice would make me an Arabic scholar.

The fair one’s story was to the effect that she disliked her husband most heartily—yea, hated him altogether. He was simply a heathen brute. He was too low to be worthy of her regard. He had robbed, torn her clothes, beaten her, had half split her head one time. No; she would never, never—no, never, &c., &c., have anything to do with him in future.

“Have you finished your story?”


“Serur! Take her back to the Pasha’s house.”

A few seconds elapsed, and the Pasha advanced to the tent and craved an interview. He related that the woman with the husband’s consent had become nurse to his little daughter, for which she received a liberal wage in cloth, which was no sooner paid to her than her husband snatched it away, and shamefully beat her. At her entreaties she obtained the Pasha’s protection even against the husband. He had heard no objections made, and knew nothing of this fury of jealousy until this evening when he heard the wrathy voice of Mohammed denouncing him, and threatening to shoot him. Thereupon he was obliged to ask for my protection, as the fellow might in a fit of madness kill somebody.

“Do you leave this affair in my hands, Pasha?”


“Very well. I will ask you to retire to your quarters, guards will be placed at every entrance leading to them,{194} and I will guarantee the safety of all within. I will call Mohammed and hear his story patiently, and will let you know what arrangements have been made before you sleep.”

The Pasha retired and Mohammed was called.

His story was that having given his wife permission to be nurse to little Ferida, he had no intention of depriving the little girl of her services; he simply wished that his wife should visit him occasionally and prove herself amenable to marital duty.

“If you will conform to a few simple conditions, I will do my best to bring your wife to her senses, but it is necessary you should meet me at the Pasha’s house to-morrow morning and apologise to him for your shocking violence to-night. Now, don’t interrupt me,” I said; “you have been urged to this rude behaviour by your friends, Dr. Vita Hassan, Bassili Effendi, and others to make a scene. Go to your house quietly, and beware you utter no more words to-night. To-morrow morning we shall meet again.”

This evening a mail has arrived from Wadelai, and the letters announce the utmost disorder and the most extraordinary confusion at that station.

April 4th.—At 8 A.M. I proceeded to the Pasha’s house and informed him that I desired to call Mohammed to his presence. He consented, and the man made a most submissive apology, though his angry features belied his professions of penitence. He was then told to state to the Pasha before me upon what conditions he was willing to let the woman continue as nurse. He said he wished his wife to attend on Ferida until she was put to sleep, from the first hour of the morning, that was all, to which the Pasha expressed himself agreeable.

“On the following conditions only, Mohammed, do I agree:—

“1st. Your wife shall attend on Ferida during the daytime.

“2nd. Your wife shall return to your house after sunset.

“3rd. Your wife is not to be beaten or bruised.{195}

“4th. Your wife’s personal property shall remain with the Pasha.

“5th. You shall assist, protect, and watch over your wife while on the march, and allow her on reaching camp to serve Ferida.

“6th. You shall not trouble your wife and distract her with your demands during the day—except in case of your illness.

“7th. The Pasha, in consideration of your wife’s service, shall feed and clothe her, and see that she is carried on the march.”

Both the Pasha and Mohammed agreed.

The woman was then called, and the Pasha translated word for word the above conditions. As she heard them she swept the white muslin from her face, and in the absence of any superior attraction she appeared to me to possess considerable beauty, with splendid large black eyes—a distinctively fine Cairene face. The hut was filled with perfume from her spotless white muslin robe. Under this overdress, she wore a scarlet dress. In the wilds of Africa I never met anything approaching her.

After the conditions had been translated, she interjected a vigorous “Never, never, no, never!” coupled with a free abuse of Mohammed, who stood looking ridiculously angry and jealous. He appealed to me to listen to her.

“Take her to you, Mohammed.”

The man gave the order to her to proceed to his house, which order she contemptuously disregarded.

“She must go to your house now,” I said.

Again Mohammed extended his hand towards her, which she angrily pushed aside. “Never, never, no, never!” she cried fiercely, with flashes of anger from her beautiful gazelle eyes.

“Please to command her departure, Pasha.”

The Pasha delivered the order in his usual deep voice. She remained immovable.

“You see she refuses to go,” said the Pasha. “What can be done?”

“My dear Pasha, we were prepared for a scene. This{196} is exactly what we both knew would happen. Despite her obstinacy, she must—she absolutely must depart with her husband, and we must forbear, whatever happens, unless the man strikes her. Please to command once more, Pasha, that she accompany her own proper husband, or she shall be carried bodily to her home.”

The Pasha did so, and after a second’s hesitation, during which it was clear that she was measuring the strength of two wills, she walked out, taking the sweet fragrance and loveliness of her presence with her.

“After her, Mohammed! but if you strike her with even a feather, she shall become as a stranger to you until you reach Cairo. Let her scold on, man, even until she faints with weariness. Does a man like you fear wind? Be considerate with her for three or four days. She will come round, never fear.”

Ten minutes later Mohammed again made his appearance, and anxiously cried out that she was possessed of a devil and unmanageable, tearing her robes, and pulling at her face as though she would destroy its beauty for ever, &c., &c.

“Quite so, quite so, Mohammed; just what we expected she would do. Go tie her up by the wrists, her hands behind her back, Mohammed. Do it with a smile of confidence, and with soothing words, Mohammed. I know no law to prevent you, Mohammed. She is your own lawful wife, Mohammed. But beware of striking her, for if you do it you are a beast!”

The man went, and, in a matter-of-fact way, tied up the shrewish beauty. Then she shrieked and wailed for half an hour, and the neighbours’ wives came in to comfort her, and begged her to be submissive to her lord, and promised her that her husband would become at once tender and kind if she but showed due obedience. “It is the excess of his love for you,” they said, “that makes him so fierce and angry. If you were only wise, he would become the most docile slave.” Wise wives!

But their combined advice, and the cunning suggestions thrown in, had not so much influence in subduing{197} that raging temper, in my opinion, as her bonds, which made the proud woman appear absurdly helpless before the sneering husband.

At 3 P.M. she sent a pitiful message to me that I would cause her release, but she was sternly told that her voice had no power, nor her beauty any charms for me; that she must appeal to her husband. Accordingly she turned to Mohammed, and meekly implored her lord to go and plead for her, that her bonds pained her, and that she would in future obey him devotedly.

Then Mohammed came, with his face radiant with triumphant emotions, and relieved of those jealous wrinkles which had so disfigured it, and interceded for her release. This was granted, with an advice not to let his fondness become folly; to be commanding in tone, and austerely distant for a few days, otherwise she would regain her lost advantages.

She was permitted to resume her duties in the Pasha’s household. At night she meekly returned to her husband’s house of her own accord. Let us hope that peace will spread her wings over the disturbed family for the future. Amen!

April 5th.—This morning Serour, a boy of Monbuttu land, belonging to the Pasha’s household, informed me that only two of the Pasha’s servants intended to follow him out of this camp. He stated that after the Pasha had questioned his servants, the day before yesterday, they had gone apart and consulted among themselves, and that they had finally resolved to let him depart without them—orderlies, guards, clerks, and servants, all except Bilal and he, Serour.

“But are you sure that you will go with him?”

“I don’t know. If all my friends remain behind, what shall I do alone?”

“Well, then, only Bilal is certain of going?”


April 5.

At 10.30, after the usual morning muster, Sali reported to me that the Zanzibaris were talking of several attempts having been made, in various parts of the camp, to steal rifles from their huts, but that on{198} each occasion the attempt was thwarted by the prompt wakefulness of the people. I was glad to hear that at last the Zanzibaris had learned the importance of securing their rifles close by them at night. There is a general feeling in the camp that something is about to happen. The whispering circles observed each day, the care they take that no outsiders approach too near them, the discovery that the Pasha’s servants had actually informed the Pasha plainly that they would not accompany him, the huge packets of letters that were despatched by the Egyptians to the ever-dilatory Egyptians at Wadelai, the heavy mails that came from Wadelai in return, the insidious warnings of others not to trust in the Egyptians, coupled with the former theft of a rifle by the returning officers, and these bold attempts to steal a few more rifles, all conspired to prove conclusively that between this date and the 10th of April some daring scheme is about to be tried.

Up to this date I have regarded the Pasha and the people as our guests, to be treated with all politeness and consideration, and myself as host and guide merely, except when any matter was thrust and put into my management. For the Pasha personally all of us entertained great respect and sympathy. Not a day has passed without an exhibition of this feeling from myself and officers, but we have been none the less aware that the Pasha’s method fails utterly to constrain obedience. There has not been a single order of any importance obeyed, nor any request regarded. As often as we have observed this we have chafed and regretted that each time we have been emboldened to speak to him he has believed himself infallible in his judgment, from his thirteen years’ experience of them. But now that the Egyptians had begun, from our quiet inoffensive manner, to conceive that the whites were similar to their Pasha, and proposed to accomplish some project involving our rights and liberties, the time was come to act.

I proceeded to the Pasha’s house.

The Pasha, who was putting the final touches to some birds just stuffed by his secretary, pulled himself up{199} with his usual dignity, and gravely prepared himself to listen.

“Emin Pasha,” I said, “last evening couriers arrived from Wadelai and Mswa. They brought a large packet of letters from Selim Bey, Egyptian clerks, and others, and each letter which you received described disorder and distress. There are now half a dozen factions there, each arrayed against the other. One Coptic clerk wrote you that no one seemed to know what he was about, that the soldiers broke into the Government magazines and took out whatever pleased them, that the officers were unable to restrain them, and that Wadelai was like a settlement consisting wholly of madmen; that Selim Bey had not begun to embark his own family yet, that he had but few followers, and that these were altogether unruly.

“Your people here also received many letters from their brethren, and, as though in accordance with this fact, there was an attempt made last night to appropriate our arms. Three separate times they entered the Zanzibari huts and tried to abstract the rifles; but, acting after my instructions, the Zanzibaris tied their rifles to their waists, and when they were pulled, they were wakened, and the intending thieves decamped. While you have been engaged with your collections and studies, I have been observing.

“They have yet five nights before our departure on the 10th inst. The attempt to rob us of our arms of defence failed last night. They will try again, and perhaps succeed, for I credit them with being clever enough, and it is quite clear that they have a design of some kind. Of course, if they succeed in appropriating even one rifle, the punishment will be summary, for I shall then forget what is due to them as your people and my guests. But this is what I wish to avoid. I should be loth to shed their blood, and create scenes of violence, when a better way of safeguarding our arms and ammunition, and effecting a quiet and peaceable departure from here, can be found.

“I propose to you one of two things. Sound the{200} signal to muster all the Arabs and Soudanese with you, and then find out gently who is willing to leave with you. Those who are not willing, I shall order to leave the camp. If they do not obey, then it will be for me to employ compulsion. But as these people despise our Zanzibaris, they may very probably attempt resistance. Well, in a land where there is no appeal but to our fire-arms, it will certainly end violently, and we shall both regret it afterwards.

“The other proposal is much more effective and more bloodless. Do you order your baggage to be packed up quietly, and at dawn my people shall all be ready to escort you to a camp about three miles from here. From that camp we shall issue a request that those who intend following you shall come in and be welcome, but no other person shall approach without permission on pain of death.”

“Hum! May I inform Casati of this?” demanded the Pasha.

“No, sir. Casati is in no danger; they will not hurt him, because he is not their governor or officer. He is only a traveller. He can come the next day, or whenever he is inclined. If he is detained, I will attack the rebel camp and rescue Casati quickly enough.”

The Pasha, while I spoke, shook his head in that melancholy, resigned manner peculiar to him, which has always seemed to me to betray pitiable irresolution.

“You do not like either plan, Pasha, I see. Will you, then, suggest some plan by which I can avoid coming into conflict with these wretched, misguided people, for as certain as daylight, it is impending? In my camp indiscipline and unruliness shall not prevail.”

The Pasha, after a while, replied, “Your plan is not bad, but there is not sufficient time.”

“Why, Pasha, you have told me you have been packing up for the last fifteen days. Do you mean to say that between now and to-morrow morning you cannot finish packing your baggage? In thirty minutes our Expedition can start. If you cannot be awakened to the danger of bloodshed, and you will not accept{201} my plan, nor suggest anything that will relieve us of the necessity of destroying one another, I must at once take measures for the general safety; and should a drop of blood be spilled, it must be upon your head that the guilt of it will lie. Adieu.”

I rose and sounded the signal for general muster under arms. Myself and officers armed, and the Zanzibaris, Manyuema, Soudanese, and natives, seeing us assume our weapons, knew that the case was urgent, and hastened to the square with wonderful celerity. The natives of Kavalli passed the alarm, and some hundreds came rushing up to take their share in what they believed was a coming struggle.

Within five minutes the companies were under arms, and stood attentive along three sides of the great square. The Pasha, seeing that I was in earnest, came out, and begged me to listen to one word.

“Certainly; what is it?” I asked.

“Only tell me what I have to do now.”

“It is too late, Pasha, to adopt the pacific course I suggested to you. The alarm is general now, and therefore I propose to discover for myself this danger, and face it here. Sound the signal, please, for muster of your Arabs before me.”

“Very good,” replied the Pasha, and gave the order to his trumpeter.

We waited ten minutes in silence. Then, perceiving that not much attention was paid to the signal, I requested Mr. Jephson to take No. 1 company, arm the men with clubs and sticks, and drive every Arab, Egyptian, and Soudanese into the square, without regard to rank, to search every house, and drag out every male found within.

The Zanzibaris were deployed across the camp, and, advancing on the run, began to shower blows upon every laggard and dawdler they came across, until the most sceptical was constrained to admit that, when commanded, the Zanzibaris were fit for something better than working as a hamal for a lazy Egyptian and his slave.{202}

For the first time the Egyptians and Soudanese formed a decent line. Not until they had formed it with military exactitude and precision was a word said to them. It was most amusing to see an ordinary Zanzibari carrier straighten with his staff—which he flourished with a grim face—the line of majors, Vakeels, captains, lieutenants, clerks, and storekeepers.

When the line was satisfactory, I stepped up to them and informed them that I heard they wished to fight, that they were eager to try what kind of men the Zanzibaris were. They had seen how well they could work; it would be a pity if they were not able to see how well they could fight.

The Vakeel—Lieutenant-Governor—replied, “But we don’t wish to fight.”

“Then what is this I hear, that one of you is as good as ten of my men, of rifles being stolen, of plots and counterplots each day that you have been here, of your resolve not to follow the Pasha after making us build your houses and collect food for you, and carrying hundreds of loads the last two months up this mountain from the lake, and last night three of our houses were entered, and you laid your hands upon our arms. Speak, and say what it all means.”

“Ah, Pasha, no one of us wishes to fight, and let the thieves, if found, die.”

“If found! Will any thief confess his theft and deliver himself to be shot. Will you, who are all of one mind, betray one another, and submit yourselves to punishment? Do you intend to follow your Pasha?”

“We all do,” they answered.

“Stay. Those who intend following the Pasha form rank on that other side, like soldiers, each in his place.”

At once there was a general and quick movement in regular order; they then turned about and faced me again.

“So! Is there none desirous of staying in this fair land with Selim Bey, where you will be able to make these natives do your work for you, cook, and feed you?{203}

“None, not one. La il Allah il Allah!”

“Why, Pasha, you have been misinformed, surely? These people vow they are all faithful. There is not a traitor here.”

“I do not see my servants and orderlies here,” replied the Pasha.

“Ah, Lieutenant Stairs, please take a party and roust every man out. On the least resistance you know what to do.”

“Right, sir.”

Lieutenant Stairs took his company, gave his orders, and in a few minutes the Pasha’s servants were brought into the square; they were deprived of their rifles and accoutrements.

“Now, Pasha, please ask them severally before me what they intend doing.”

Upon the Pasha asking them, they all replied they were willing to follow their master to the end of the world, excepting one, Seroor.

The Pasha, pointing out Seroor, said, “That is the chief conspirator in my household.”

“Oh, it will only take one cartridge to settle his business.”

“But I hope, for God’s sake, that you will try him first, and not take my word for it.”

“Undoubtedly, my dear Pasha. We invariably give such people a fair trial.”

Seroor was placed under guard with three others whom the Pasha pointed out.

“Now, Pasha, this business having been satisfactorily ended, will you be good enough to tell these officers that the tricks of Wadelai must absolutely cease here, and that in future they are under my command. If I discover any treacherous tricks I shall be compelled to exterminate them utterly. No Mahdist, Arabist, or rebel can breathe in my camp. Those who behave themselves and are obedient to orders will suffer no harm from their fellows or from us. My duty is to lead them to Egypt, and until they arrive in Cairo I will not leave them. Whatever I can do to make them comfortable I will do,{204} but for sedition, and theft of arms, there is only death.”

Muster of Emin Pasha’s Followers, April 5th, 1889.
Name. Loads. Wives. Children. Men. Women. Infants. Total of
Emin Pasha, Governor 51   1 16 15 9 42
Captain Casati, traveller 10     3 8 1 13
Signor Marco, merchant 13 5 4 5 5 3 23
Vita Hassan, apothecary 11   2 7 7 2 19
Osman Effendi Latif, Vakeel              
    His mother              
    " Abdul Rahman, his son, 17 years              
    " Achmed                    " 10 " 11 2 4 3 5 1 17
    " Rejab                         " 5 "              
    " Sadi-eddeen               " 4 "              
Ayoub Effendi (absent), clerk 4     1     1
Achmet Effendi Ibrahim, captain 9 3   3 5 2 14
Abdul Wahid Effendi, captain 8 1   4 3 1 10
Ibrahim Effendi             1
Assinaka, clerk 7     3 7   11
Ali Agha Shamruk, captain 6 1   2 1   5
Rushdi Effendi, clerk 5 2 1 3 4   11
Ibrahim Effendi Telbass, lieutenant 9 2     4   7
Abu Zehr Achmed 5       2 1 4
Ali Effendi, captain              
    Mohammed, his son, 14 years              
    Ibrahim                  " 11 " 20 1 3 9 9   23
    Abdul Hamed         " 6 "              
Mohammed Mutlook, soldier 3       1   2
Awash Effendi, major 17     4 9 1 15
Hamdam, soldier 2   1       2
Mohammed el Arabi, soldier 4       3   4
Sulieman Effendi, 1st lieutenant 12   3 5 5 2 16
Faratch Ago, lieutenant 20 4 5 5 12   27
Mohammed Sulieman, soldier 3 1         2
Bakheet, soldier 2 1 1       3
Azra Effendi, clerk              
    His mother 8 3 2 2 4   13
Rafael Effendi, clerk 5 2 1   1   5
Wasuf Effendi, clerk 6 2   1 2 2 8
Michael Effendi (deceased)              
  His children—              
    Awab boy, 6 years              
    Bushara " 4 "              
    Girghis   " 2 "              
    Fullah  girl, 7 " 10   8 4 8   20
    Mustafia " 10 "              
    Mushtara " 4 "              
    Hamma   " 2 "              
    Beheri     " 4 "              
Abrian Effendi, clerk 9 3 2 7 8 1 22
Awad Effendi, clerk 10 4 5 2 3   15
Abdul Fettah (deceased) 5 1 3   1   6{205}
Mohammed Kher, clerk 5 6 3 2 5 17
Ibrahim Effendi, lieutenant 5 1 1 3
Mohammed Effendi Emin, soldier 8 4 3 8
Hamid Mohammed, soldier 3 1 1 2 5
Yusuf Effendi
Mohammed, his son, 12 years 12 4 4 10 12 32
Kahlil                    " 11 "
Ibrahim, his brother
Rajah Effendi, Pasha’s secretary 7 2 2 2 3 10
Arif Effendi, Pasha’s clerk 5 2 2 3 8
Mabu, soldier 2 1 1 3
Merjan, soldier 1 1
Children of Mohammed Osman—
Ismail, son, 12 years
Bukra, girl, 13 " 4 3 3 2 2 10
Fatima     " 10 "
Kur, sergeant 2 2 2 5
Feruzi, trumpeter 2 1 2
Seeroor Adam, soldier 5 3 2 3 3 12
Ahmed Effendi Reif, storekeeper 3 1 1 3
Ahmed Effendi Ibrahim, clerk 4 1 1 1 4
Abu Scherag, soldier 4 1 1 3
Basili Effendi
Toma Effendi three Coptic
    brothers, clerks
Daoud Effendi
    and two sisters, captains
11 7 10 22
Awari, soldier 3 2 2 5
Farag Hashin, soldier 3 1 1 3
Fathel Mullah, soldier 2 1 2
Ibrahim, soldier 3 1
Shukri Aga (absent), captain
His children—
Achmed, his son, 13 years 15 6 4 4 7 3 24
Juma               " 12 "
Adam              " 14 "
Matyera, interpreter 3 4 1 1 7
  397 82 69 126 182 36 551[11]

The Pasha translated, and the Arabs bowed their{206} assent, and through the Vakeel and two captains, vowed that they would obey their father religiously.

“Good,” I replied; “and now that I assume command, I want to have a list of your names and exact number of your families, and carriers will be allotted to you according to your number, and on the fifth day we leave.”

Poor Pasha! It was as clear as the noonday sun why 10,000 followers had dwindled in number to Bilal, the solitary one! After a patient and scrupulous analysis of the why and wherefore of these events, the result is manifest, and we see the utter unfitness of the scientific student and the man of unsuspecting heart to oppose these fawning, crafty rogues, who have made fraud and perfidy their profession. At the same time, it is not so clear that, had he penetrated their dissimulating wiles, and grappled with these evil men boldly, and crushed the heads of these veterans in falsehood and craft, that his position would have been safer than it was. Each man, however, follows his own nature, and must abide the consequences of his judgment and acts. But all must admit, that what is so far written does infinite credit to his heart.

April 6th.—Sixty-five natives have arrived here, sent by the chief Mazamboni as carriers, to be ready for the 10th instant.

Osman Latif Effendi, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, was once much addicted to inebriety, but of late years he has become a rigid abstainer, and such an absorbed reader of the Koran that not long ago his clothes were aflame before he was aware of it.

April 6.

During the sudden muster of the day before yesterday, and the fierce declaration of my intentions, he became energetic himself, and I found that energy, as well as disease, becomes contagious. He had prepared for an immediate start after us. His mother, an old lady, seventy-five years old, with a million of wrinkles in her ghastly white face, was not very fortunate in her introduction to me, for, while almost at white heat, she threw herself before me in the middle of the square, jabbering in Arabic to me, upon which, with an impatient wave of{207} the hand, I cried, “Get out of this; this is not the place for old women.” She lifted her hands and eyes up skyward, gave a little shriek, and cried, “O Allah!” in such tragic tones that almost destroyed my character. Every one in the square witnessed the limp and shrunk figure, and laughed loudly at the poor old thing as she beat a hasty retreat.

While arranging his eleven loads, consisting of baskets of provisions, carpets, and cooking pots and family bedding, Osman Latif Effendi held the Koran between thumb and finger, and alternately appealed to the Arabic lines, and to the Arab lares and penates in the baskets.



Among the people yesterday I found forty-nine young fellows without arms. As they drew up in line they preferred a request to be armed with rifles. Not knowing their character, I sent to the Pasha to be good enough to give me a list of the most deserving, that they might assist in the defence of the column while on the march, but he begged to be excused, as he did not feel well enough. Poor Casati is not on speaking terms with the{208} Pasha, because of his judgment against him in the matter of the little black girl of the other day, and I suppose the Pasha will not be on speaking terms with me, because of the shock of yesterday.

The march will do them all good. When the Pasha is in presence of Ruwenzori—the Mountains of the Moon—he will recover tone.

April 7th.—The Egyptians are now earnestly preparing for the march. I have ordered every family to have a reserve of at least six days’ provisions on hand at all times, irrespective of the plenty that may be in the vicinity. The Zanzibaris have become at last impressed with the necessity of this, though it required eighteen months most woeful experience and constant instruction to teach them this secret of African travel.

April 8th.—Mazamboni’s natives, who have been gathering here ready for our departure, danced nearly the whole day. The women of the Bavira turned out en masse to exhibit a farewell performance. My vanity induces me to publish the fact that the songs were merely extemporaneous effusions in our honour for having as they say “fixed the country in order.”

This afternoon Omar, sergeant of our Soudanese, created a scene because of some supposed insult to his wife by the Zanzibaris. As the affair waxed serious, the intending combatants were brought to the square and requested, if they would not disperse, to fight the matter out before me as umpire. Now Omar is a splendid specimen of manhood, an excellent soldier and officer, but both he and the cantankerous Zanzibaris were elated above reason by native beer. Omar and his Zanzibari antagonists loudly clamoured for a fight. “With fists or clubs?” “Clubs for men,” shouted the Zanzibaris—a very unfortunate choice for them, as it turned out.

Omar stood like a colossus, with his coat sleeve rolled up. A Zanzibari sprang to the front calling out, “I am Asmani, of Muscati; behold how I will lay low this Nubian!” They made two passes, and Asmani was struck to the ground senseless. He was taken up and placed in charge of Dr. Parke.{209}

April 8.

“Next of ye who feel aggrieved by Omar.” Hajji, a tall Zanzibari, responded, flourished his club, struck deftly one side, but the blow was cleverly caught by Omar, and before he could recover his guard Hajji had measured his length on the greensward. The applause was terrific. There were some 900 people present. Hajji was dragged away like the gored horse in the Plaza de Toros, and sent to the Doctor to be cured of his skull-crack.

“Next;” and at the call bounded a sturdy, active little fellow named Ulaiya—or England. “Ho, my lads, I am England—this Turki soldier shall die!” In his brave confidence he flung his turban away, and exposed his bare head. One, two, three! and, alas, for Ulaiya, the baton of Omar came down on his unprotected cranium with a blow which would have killed a white man, but only caused him to collapse and become too confused for further effort. The sight of the blood streaming down his face infuriated his comrades, and a general rush was made upon Omar, who, before he was rescued, received an extremely sore back from the multitude of blows showered on him, so that victor and vanquished had received adequate punishment, and declared themselves perfectly satisfied that each of their honours had been gratified by the display. After their wounds, they were, however, taken to the guardhouse.

April 9.

April 9th.—This morning the combatants of yesterday were brought before me at muster. Sergeant Omar was informed that, whereas he, being an officer, had allowed himself to indulge in drink, his sentence was that he should carry a box of ammunition while on the march until the Zanzibaris’ heads were healed, and during their retirement from the active list, he, being in the meanwhile, disrated. Three other Soudanese were sentenced to do porter’s duty for a similar period for having drawn steel weapons during the fight with intent to do deadly injury, and one Soudanese received a dozen for putting a cartridge with intent to shoot. Serur, the Monbuttu, servant of the Pasha, with his master’s permission, received two{210} dozen for employing a shovel to strike the combatants, having been inspired by malice for the events of the 5th instant.

Notice was also given that the march towards Zanzibar would commence next morning, which announcement was received with “frantic applause.”

Mpinga, Msiri, Mwité, Malai, Wabiassi, Mazamboni, and Balegga have furnished 350 carriers. They are assembled this evening, dancing, singing, and feasting.

Shukri Agha, Commandant of Mswa, has not arrived yet, though he has sent his children and women.

April 10th.—March from Kavalli’s to Mpinga’s, four hours.

At 7.30 A.M. the column streamed out of camp led by No. 1 company, then followed the Pasha and his people, with their allotted number of carriers.

Roughly the number was as follows—

Plateau natives350
Pasha and people600

There was no disorder or disturbance. The column kept as close order as though it was composed of veterans. The ridges and swells of land were lined with women and children, who sang their farewells to us. Every one was animated and happy.

Captain Nelson, in charge of the rear guard, set fire to the straw town which had seen so many anxious weeks of our life. The fire was splendid; the fearful flames seemed to lick the very sky from where we stood, and the great cloud of black smoke announced to the country round about, even as far as Pisgah, that the Expedition was homeward bound.

April 11th.—Halt.

April 12th.—March to Mazamboni’s, four and a half hours.{211}

April 12.

Continued our journey to the territory of our good friend Mazamboni, but the compact order was much broken. The Pasha’s people straggled over many miles of the road. This will have to be corrected to avoid wholesale casualities. There is no fear in this country, for this is our own, and the natives are in a fair way of becoming civilized.

Lieutenant Stairs was discovered, having made ample provision for the wants of the column, and had nothing but grateful news to deliver to us.

April 13th.—Halt. I write this in bed, am in great pain; Dr. Parke informs me I suffer from sub-acute gastritis, which I judge to be something of an inflammation of the stomach; am under the influence of morphia. Last night about 2 A.M. the first symptoms attacked me. A halt has been ordered, which I fear will be a long one. This compulsory pause will be a forced extension of time to those misguided people of the Equatorial Province who may hear of our departure from Kavalli, and who may take this halt as a further grace offered to them.

April 13.

Now followed, one day after another, days of excessive pain and almost utter weariness of life. The body pined for want of the nourishment that the excoriated stomach invariably rejected. Nothing but milk and water could be taken, and the agony caused by the digestion had to be eased by hypodermic injections of morphia. For the first few days the devoted surgeon enabled me to hope that, through his skilful nursing, I might soon recover, and my mind became active in planning the homeward march, and conceiving every unhappy circumstance attending it, and the necessary measures that should be taken. I supposed Kabba Rega was aware of the retreat of the Pasha and his people, and would do his utmost to oppose our progress, conceded to him in imagination hundreds of rifles, and thousands of spearmen with his allies, who use the long bows of the Wahuma, and fancied that after him we should meet the brave and warlike Wasongora, of whom I had heard in 1875, and then{212} the Wanyankori, with their king named the “Lion,” persecuting the column night and day, and victim after victim dropping from among our living ranks; and then the passage of the Alexandra Nile amid a rain of arrows, to encounter the no less hostile people of Karagwé, assisted by the Waganda, and the column daily decreasing in strength and numbers, until some day, a few, after infinite struggles, would reach Msalala, and tell Mackay, the missionary, the horrible scenes of disaster that had dogged us and finally destroyed us; and lying helpless on my bed, with the murmur of the great camp round about me, all these difficulties, arrayed by the vividness of my imagination, had to be struggled against in some way, and forthwith I lost myself in imaginary scenes of endless fights and strategies along the base of the snowy range, seizing every point of vantage, rushing into a palisaded village, and answering every shot with two of most deadly aim; climbing a hill slope and repelling the enemy with such spleen that they would be glad to cease the persecution. Or at crossing of broad rivers, after a troublous search for the means, the ambuscades protecting the ferry, or forming zeribas with frantic energy, every man and woman assisting, the sharpshooters’ rifles keeping up the incessant and venomous fire; Stairs, Nelson, Jephson, Parke halloing their men with cheering voice, and every one aflame with desire to defend the people entrusted to our charge. Or scenes of combat in the underwood of the tropic forest, utterly heedless of the divine beauty of tropic flowering, cool shades and merry streamlets, and absorbed only in the sanguinary necessities of the moment. I sometimes worked myself into such a pitch of exaltation that a fever came and clouded all, and caused me to babble confusedly, and the Doctor, gently shaking his head, would have to administer an opiate.

Nor were these the only bugbears raised in my dazed mind. Morning after morning came the reports as usual of plots, and seditious circles of men drawing new nets of craft to gain something I knew not what, and{213} pleasing their cruel hearts with foretelling the most ominous events. Many a rumour seemed to be afloat that the rebels were advancing with a soldiery bent on destruction, and the number of those deserting the camp by night grew greater and greater, until I had counted eighty. And then it was told me that someone was most active in disseminating falsehoods and inventions of terrible scenes of starvation wherein nothing but grass would be eaten, and that there was a grand effort to be made, because the effect of these tales was so widespread that something like a panic had seized the people.

The Pasha discovered one of his men as being most industrious at this evil work, and had had him tried and convicted, and sent for a detail of men to shoot him as an example. “No detail of Zanzibaris can be sent,” I managed to whisper to Stairs. “Let the Pasha shoot his guilty man with his own people. If he needs a guard for protection, let him have the men, but we came to save life, not to destroy it.” And as his own people could not be trusted to execute such an order, the man’s life was spared.

Then it was told me that one of the Lieutenant-Governor’s men had shot a friendly native through the head, because the poor fellow had not been quick enough in collecting fuel to please the hard-hearted slave. “Put him in chains,” I said, “but do not kill him. Feed him and fatten him ready for the march. He will do to carry a reserve of ammunition.”

“In a few days there will be few officers left,” said Nelson. “They are all going fast, and our labour has been in vain.” “Let them go,” I replied. “If they do not wish to follow their Pasha, let them alone.”

Then came a report that Rehan had taken with him twenty-two people, with several rifles belonging to us.

“Ah well, Stairs, my dear fellow, pick out forty good men, march to the Nyanza. You will find the rendezvous of these fellows at the Lake Shore camp. Be very wary, and let your capture of them be sudden and thorough, and bring them back. By taking our rifles they have made themselves liable.{214}

April 17.

On the fourth day later Lieutenant Stairs returned, having made an excellent haul of carefully guarded prisoners, among whom was Rehan, the ringleader.

A court of officers was convened, the witnesses were summoned, and from their evidence it was ascertained that his flight was to precede by two days a general exodus of the Soudanese men, women, and children; that it was a part of a deliberate plan to arm themselves at our expense, so that, on the arrival of Selim Bey, who was daily expected, we should be unable to make any prolonged defence. It was proved that he had commenced his seditious practices soon after it was known that I was seriously ill; that he had begun his intrigues by publishing the most audacious statements respecting our cruelties when on the march; how every officer and Soudanese would be laden with crushing loads on their heads, that food would be denied them, and they would be told to feed on grass. The final fall of the Equatorial Government resulted from the scandalous falsehoods of an Egyptian clerk and lieutenant. Officers and soldiers of the Pasha were summoned to bear witness to what they had heard emanating from this man, and a mass of evidence, complete and conclusive, was furnished to prove that Rehan had been guilty of most atrocious practices, subversive of all discipline, and endangering the safety of the Expedition and its charge. It was also proved that Rehan had appropriated several rifles from the Expedition, with the intention of joining Selim Bey, and finally employing our weapons and ammunition against people who had done naught but good and kindness to him and his friends. Thirdly, he was convicted of absconding with several women belonging to the harems of the Egyptian officers. Fourthly, of desertion; and fifthly, of having shot some friendly natives between our camp and the Nyanza, after his flight from camp. The Court resolved that on each specification the man Rehan deserved death.

To my suggestion, that possibly a milder sentence, such as chaining him, or putting him in a forked pole,{215} with a box of ammunition on his head, would be preferable, the Court was immovable; and, reviewing the case carefully, I concurred in the sentence, and ordered that all should assemble to hear the charges, the finding, and the sentence.

I was borne out of my bed into the presence of the people, and though to all present I seemed to be fast drifting into that dark and unknown world whence none return who enter, I found strength to address the doomed man.

“Rehan, we are both before God; but it is written in the book of Fate that you shall precede me to the grave. You are a wicked man, unfit to breathe the air among men. I found you the slave of Awash Effendi, and I made you a freeman, and the equal of any soldier here. I remember when, in the forest, our friends were dying daily from weakness and hunger, I asked you to assist in carrying the ammunition for your Pasha; you freely consented to do so for wages. When the men recovered their strength you were relieved of your load. When you were ill, I looked after you, and supplied you with that which made you well. You knew that all our sufferings were undergone while carrying ammunition for you and your friends. When the work was done, your heart became black, and you have daily sought to do us harm. You have wished to rob us of the means of returning home; you have tried your best, in the malice of your heart, to wrong us; you have vilified us; you have entered the houses of the Egyptians and stolen their women, and you have murdered our native friends who have given us food gratuitously for the last three months; for all of which you deserve death by suspension from that tree. A number of men, who were your friends at one time, have tried your case patiently and fairly, and they answer me with one voice that you shall die.

“Now, I will give you one more chance for life. Look around on these men with whom you have eaten and drunk. If there is any one of them who will plead for you, your life is yours.{216}

“What say you, Soudanese and Zanzibaris? Shall this man have life or death?”

“Death!” came from every voice unanimously.

“Then Yallah rabuna! Depart to God!”

The Soudanese with whom he had gossipped and fraternally lived in the forest briskly stepped forward and seized him, and the Zanzibaris flung the fatal noose around his neck. A man climbed the tree, and tossed the rope to a hundred pair of willing hands, and at the signal marched away, and Rehan was a silent figure hanging between earth and heaven.

“Pass the word, Mr. Stairs, throughout the camp among the Pasha’s people, and bid them come and look at the dead Rehan, that they may think of this serious scene, and please God mend their ways.”

I had a relapse that night, and for days afterwards it appeared to me that little hope was left for me. Then my good doctor was stricken sorely with a pernicious type of fever which has so often proved fatal on the African seaboard of the Atlantic. For many a day he was also an object of anxiety, and the Pasha being a medical practitioner in past times most kindly bestirred himself to assist his friend. Then Mr. Mounteney Jephson fell so seriously ill that one night his life was despaired of. He was said to be in a state of collapse, and our priceless doctor rose from his sick bed and hastened with his men supporting him to the side of his sick comrade, and applied restoratives, and relieved our intense anxieties, and before retiring, he called upon me to relieve my spasms. Thus passed these dreadful days.

On the 29th of April I was able to sit up in bed, and from this date to the 7th of May there was a steady but sure improvement, though the tongue which indicated the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach appeared to be obstinately unpromising.

May 3.

May 3rd.—Two packets of letters were brought to me by natives in the neighbourhood of the Lake shore, and as they were in Arabic I sent them to the Pasha. Presently the Pasha appeared and demanded an interview. When he was seated he informed me that there had{217} been a mistake, for one of the packets was a mail for Wadelai despatched some days ago from our camp, while the other packet was the mail from Wadelai.

As I was not aware of any mail having been sent away since we had arrived at Mazamboni’s, such a packet must have been sent secretly, and most probably with sinister intentions to us. “Therefore, Pasha, as we are evidently in a state of war with your evil-minded people, I beg you will be good enough to open the packet and read a few of those letters to me, for you know everything is fair in war.”

The first letter was from Shukri Agha, and was a kindly letter to his friend Selim Bey. There was not a syllable in it that was otherwise than sterling honesty, and honest hopes of an early meeting.

The second was from Ibrahim Effendi Elham, a captain who was in the camp. It said, “I hope you will send us fifty soldiers as soon as you receive this letter. We have started, and are now waiting for a few days here. I pray you, in the name of God, not to delay sending these men, because if we have them to help us, we can delay the march of the Expedition in many ways, but if you came yourself with 200 soldiers we could obtain all you and I wish. Our friends are anxiously expecting news from you every day. The necessity is urgent.”

“That is a discovery, Pasha! Now are you satisfied that these people are incorrigible traitors?”

“Well, I should not have expected this of Ibrahim Effendi Elham. I have been constantly kind to him. As for Selim Bey, I cannot see what he can want.”

“It is this, Pasha. In reality few of these men wish to go to Egypt. Even Selim Bey, despite all his promises, never intended to proceed to Egypt. They were willing to accompany you until they reached some promising land, where there was abundance of food and cattle, and removed from all fear of the Mahdists; they then would tell you that they were tired of the march, that they would die if they proceeded any farther, and you, after conferring with me, would grant them ammunition,{218} and promise to send some more to them by-and-by. But this ammunition would not be sufficient in their eyes, however liberal you were. Their rifles would be too few, nothing would satisfy them but all the rifles and ammunition and everything we possessed. Wait a moment, Pasha, and I will reveal the whole plot to you.

“After Mr. Jephson received my order last January, of course the news soon spread as far north as your farthest station that I had arrived with all my people and stores. They knew, though they affected to disbelieve it, that the Khedive had sent ammunition to you. But they were clever enough to perceive that they could get nothing from me without an order from you. But as Jephson had fled and conveyed the news of your deposition and imprisonment to me, even an order would scarcely suffice. They therefore, knowing your forgiving disposition, come to you, a deputation of them, to profess regret and penitence; they kiss your hand and promise greatly, which you accept, and as a sign of amity and forgiveness of the past accompany them, and introduce them to me. You ask for a reasonable time for them, and it is granted. But so strong was the temptation, they could not resist stealing a rifle. If they intend to go with us, what do they wish to do with this rifle while steaming on the Lake? Is it not a useless incumbrance to them? I suppose that the varying strength and influence of the factions have delayed them longer than they thought, and we have been saved from proceeding to extremes by their dissensions.

“Since I have heard Mr. Jephson’s story, and your own account which differs but little from his, and the different versions of Awash Effendi, Osman Latif Effendi, and the Zanzibaris, I have long ago made up my mind what to do. These people are not those to whom you may preach and reason with effect, their heads are too dense, and their hearts are too hardened with lying. They can understand only what they feel, and to make such as these feel they must receive hard knocks. When I had thoroughly sounded the depths of their natures my mind{219} began to discover by what method I could master these men. There were half a dozen methods apparently feasible, but at the end of each there was an obstacle in my way.

“You could not guess what that obstacle was, Pasha?”

“No, I cannot.”

“This obstacle that presented itself constantly, at the end of every well-digested method, was yourself.”

“I! How was that?”

“On the 5th of April you ceased to be so, but until then, I could not carry any scheme into execution without reference to you. You were in our eyes the Pasha still. You were the Governor and Commander of these people. I could not propose to you to fight them. You believed in them constantly. Each day you said, ‘They will come, but it never came across your mind to ask yourself, ‘What will they do after they do come, if they find they outnumber us three to one?’ Had they come before the 5th of April, my plan was to separate from you and leave you with them, and form camp, with every detail of defence considered, seven or eight miles from you. All communications were to be by letter, and guides were to be furnished after we had gone in the advance a day’s march, to show you the road to our last camp. No force of any magnitude would be permitted to approach my camp without a fight.

“But after the 5th of April this method was altered. I should have been wrong were I to separate from you, because I had a proof sufficient for myself and officers that you had no people, neither soldiers nor servants; that you were alone. I proposed then as I propose now; should Selim Bey reach us, not to allow Selim Bey, or one single soldier of his force, to approach my camp with arms. Long before they approach us we shall be in position along the track, and if they do not ground arms at command—why, then the consequences will be on their heads. Thus you see that since the 5th of April I have been rather wishing that they would come. I should like nothing better than to bring this{220} unruly mob to the same state of order and discipline they were in before they became infatuated with Arabi, Mahdism, and chronic rebellion. But if they come here they must first be disarmed; their rifles will be packed up into loads, and carried by us. Their camp shall be at least 500 yards from us. Each march that removes them further from Wadelai will assist us in bringing them into a proper frame of mind, and by-and-by their arms will be restored to them, and they will be useful to themselves as well as to us.”

The day following our arrival at Mazamboni’s, Shukri Agha, Commandant of Mswa, had at length appeared. He had started from his station with twenty soldiers. Arriving at Kavalli on the plateau, he had but ten left; on reaching our camp he had but two, his trumpeter and flag-bearer. All the rest had deserted their captain. It is needless to comment on it.

It is now the 7th of May. I hear this evening that there is quite a force at Lake Shore Camp. Preparations for departure have been made during the last four days. We will start to-morrow. We have been in this country since the 18th of January—110 days. If this force proposes to follow us, they can easily overtake such a column as ours, and if they impress me that they are really desirous of accompanying us, we will not be adverse to granting them some more time.

On the 7th of May I requested Lieutenant Stairs to bury twenty-five cases of ammunition in the ground-floor of his house, in order that if the rebel officers appeared and expressed earnest penitence, and begged to be permitted to stay at Mazamboni’s, they might have means of defence. Mr. Stairs performed this duty thoroughly and secretly.

May 8.



May 8th.—As I was too weak to walk more than fifty yards, I was placed in a hammock, and was borne to the front to guide the column. We advanced westward a few miles; then, abandoning our old route to the forest, turned southwards by a well-trodden track, and travelled along the base of the western slope of the group of hills known as Undussuma. We were presently{222}{221} amongst the luxuriant fields, plantain and banana plantations of the village of Bundegunda. The Indian corn and beans were very flourishing, and these extended far into the fields and hollows of the hills, a perfect marvel of exuberant plenty. It made a great and favourable impression upon the Egyptians and their followers, and we even wondered at the prodigious fertility of the soil and the happy condition of the district. One reason for all this extraordinary abundance was the protection and shelter from the cold winds blowing from the Lake.

An hour’s march beyond the limits of the cultivation of Bundegunda, through other fields of equal fertility and productiveness, we formed camp, or rather located ourselves, in the village of Bunyambiri, which Mazamboni had caused to be abandoned for our necessities.

As Mazamboni escorted us with 300 of his own men, and was with us in person, free permission was given to each member of the column to range at will among the plantations and fields. The people thus literally feasted on the ripe fruit of the banana, and the new beans, yams, sweet potatoes, colocassia, &c. In return for his services and hospitality, Mazamboni received forty head of cattle and sixteen tusks of ivory, averaging 52 lbs. each. To my shame, however, the chief complained that his people were being detained as slaves, and Lieutenant Stairs and his brother officers had to escort him round the villages, to discover and restore them to him. This was so very Egyptian, however, to consider every service performed as their due, for some virtues and graces which, though possibly innate in them, remained hidden so long.

In the afternoon three soldiers, accompanied by Ayoub Effendi, an Egyptian clerk, made their appearance with letters from Selim Bey. They bring an extraordinary budget of news, which will bear being related, as it is only one more final proof of how utterly lost to all sense and reason were the officers and soldiers of the Equatorial Province, and how utterly incapable{224} they were to appreciate the nature of their late Pasha and Governor.

They say that Fadl el Mulla Bey and his party appeared for a time to be consenting to all orders received from Emin Pasha and myself through Selim Bey Mator, and apparently busied themselves with the preparations for departure. Selim Bey had transported all the garrison of Dufflé to Wadelai by the steamers Khedive and Nyanza, in doing which he had broken his promise to us, and disregarded the orders to which, when delivered to him, he swore obedience to the letter. It will be remembered that he had been instructed to begin the transport of the people from Wadelai to our Lake Shore camp, that we might assist the people with the luggage to the plateau, while the transport on the Lake by steamers would continue, and at the same time the garrisons of the northernmost stations could march with their families and concentrate at Wadelai. Thus we had idly waited from the 25th February until the 8th May in the neighbourhood of the Lake, a period of ninety-two days, for the appearance of some of them, as a proof that they were really in earnest in their wish to depart with us.

While Selim Bey was thus carrying the troops and their families from the lower stations to Wadelai, he was unwittingly strengthening the force of the opposite faction, that of Fadl el Mulla Bey, and they had no sooner joined their numbers to him than he resolved to throw off the mask. In the dead of night he marched his troops to the magazines, and, possessing himself of all the ammunition stored there, left Wadelai and proceeded north-west to the country of the Makkaraka. When Selim Bey woke next morning, he found his following to consist of 200 officers, soldiers, and clerks, the magazines empty, and no ammunition remaining but the forty rounds per head which had been distributed to his soldiers a few days previously. Bitterly cursing his fate and his misfortune, he commenced embarking his people on board the steamers, and then departed for Mswa, where he arrived on the 22nd of{225} April, to remove south as far as possible from all danger of the Mahdists. He had still abundance of time, if his crass mind could only realise his position. In an hour he could have obtained fuel sufficient from the abandoned station, and might easily have arrived at our Lake Shore camp in nine hours’ steaming. On the 7th May he bethinks himself of our Expedition and of his Pasha, and dictates one letter to us, which when read by us, only provokes a smile.

It says, “We wish to know why you convert Egyptian officers and soldiers into beasts of burden. It has been reported to us that you have cruelly laden all with baggage, and that you convert the soldiers into porters. This is most shameful, and we shall strictly inquire into it.”

Another letter was of very different tenor. It related the treachery of Fadl el Mulla, by whom he had been duped and abandoned, and begging us to wait for him and his people, as absolute ruin stared them in the face. They had but forty cartridges each, and if Kabba Rega attacked them, they must be inevitably destroyed.

The soldiers were called, and they gave us the details. Twenty soldiers had arrived at Mazamboni’s, but only these three had volunteered to follow us. They also pleaded most abjectly for a further delay. The Pasha and I exchanged looks.

“But, my friends,” I asked, “how can we be sure that Selim Bey intends coming after all?”

“He will be sure to do so this time.”

“But why is he waiting at Mswa? Why not have come himself with his steamer to the Lake Shore camp? It is only nine hours’ journey.”

“He heard through some deserters that you had gone on.”

“It might have been easy for him to have overtaken such a big caravan as this, with the few people whom he leads.”

“But everything is going wrong. There are too many counsellors with Selim Bey, and the Egyptian{226} clerks fill his ears with all kinds of stories. He is honest in his wishes to leave the land, but the others bewilder us all with their falsehoods.”

“Well, we cannot stay here to await Selim Bey. I will go on slowly—a couple of hours a day. I must keep these people marching, otherwise the Pasha will be left alone. When we have crossed the Semliki River, we will choose a place on the other side a few days, and then move slowly again for a day or two, and halt. If Selim Bey is serious in his intentions, he will soon overhaul us; and, besides, when we reach the river we will send him a guide that will enable him to travel in four days what will take us twelve days. You will carry a letter from the Pasha to him explaining all this. But you must take care to be kind to the natives, otherwise they will not help you.”

Among our Egyptians there was one called Ali Effendi, a captain, who complained of heart disease. He had been ailing for months. He had nine men and nine women servants, and, in addition to these, twelve carriers were allotted to him. His baggage numbered twenty loads. He could not travel 100 yards; he had also a child of six years that was too small to walk. He required six carriers more, and there was not one to be obtained, unless I authorised levying carriers by force from the natives, an act that would have to be repeated day by day. We persuaded this man to return, as a few days’ march would finish him. As he would not return without his family of fifteen persons, we consigned them to the charge of the couriers of Selim Bey, who would escort him back to their chief.

The guides promised to this dilatory and obtuse Soudanese colonel were despatched, according to promise, with a letter from the Pasha; and though we loitered, and halted, and made short journeys of between one and three hours’ march for a month longer, this was the last communication we had with Selim Bey. What became of him we never discovered, and it is useless to try to conjecture. He was one of those men with whom it was impossible to reason, and upon whose{227} understanding sense has no effect. He was not wicked nor designing, but so stupid that he could only comprehend an order when followed by a menace and weighted with force; but to a man of his rank and native courage, no such order could be given. He was therefore abandoned as a man whom it was impossible to persuade, and still less compel.{228}



The Relief of David Livingstone compared with the Relief of Emin Pasha—Outline of the journey of the Expedition to the first meeting with Emin—Some few points relating to Emin on which we had been misinformed—Our high conception of Emin Pasha—Loyalty of the troops, and Emin’s extreme indecision—Surprise at finding Emin a prisoner on our third return to the Nyanza—What might have been averted by the exercise of a little frankness and less reticence on Emin’s part—Emin’s virtue and noble desires—The Pasha from our point of view—Emin’s rank and position in Khartoum, and gradual rise to Governor of Equatoria—Gordon’s trouble in the Soudan—Emin’s consideration and patience—After 1883 Emin left to his own resources—Emin’s small explorations—Correctness of what the Emperor Hadrian wrote of the Egyptians—The story of Emin’s struggles with the Mahdi’s forces from 1883 to 1885—Dr. Junker takes Emin’s despatches to Zanzibar in 1886—Kabba Rega a declared enemy of Emin—The true position of Emin Pasha prior to his relief by us, showing that good government was impossible—Two documents (one from Osman Digna, and the other from Omar Saleh) received from Sir Francis Grenfell, the Sirdar.

Now that we have actually turned our backs to the Equatoria, and are “homeward bound” with Emin Pasha, Captain Casati, and a few hundreds of fugitives in company, let us look back upon the late events, and try to discover the causes of them, and in what light we may truthfully regard the late governor.

When I was commissioned, while yet a very young man, for the relief of David Livingstone, the missionary, I had no very fixed idea as to what manner of man he was. The newspapers described him as worthy of the Christian world’s best regard; privately men whispered strange things of him. One, that he had married an African princess, and was comfortably domiciled in Africa; another, that he was something of a misanthrope, and would take care to maintain a discreet distance from{229} any European who might be tempted to visit him. Not knowing whom to believe, I proceeded to him with indifference, ready to take umbrage, but I parted from him in tears. The newspapers were right in his case.

In the instance of Emin Pasha, the newspapers, inspired by travellers who were supposed to know him, described a hero, a second Gordon, a tall, military-looking figure, austere in manners, an amateur in many sciences, who, despite the universal misfortune hovering over a large part of North-Central Africa, maintained evenness of mind, tranquillity of soul, and governed men and things so well that he was able to keep the Mahdi and his furious hordes at bay; that he had defeated his generals several times, but that so severe and desperate had been his resistance that he had almost exhausted his means. Like my personal friends, who so generously subscribed the money for this expedition, it filled me with pity to hear all this, as it filled the hearts of such men as Stairs, Jephson, Nelson, Parke, Barttelot, Jameson, and many hundreds of eager applicants for membership. Junker said his danger was imminent; that the Pasha must yield before the overwhelming forces arrayed against him, if not soon relieved. We seemed to feel that it was true. On board the steamer while at sea, and during our journey up the Congo, within the camp at Yambuya, while pressing on through the sullen shades of the endless forest, until we stood on the verge of the plateau—nay, until we stood on the shore of the Nyanza, the one fear that had possessed us was that, notwithstanding every effort, we should be also too late. Then only, when the natives on the Lake side averred, to our eager and insistent enquiries, that they knew of no white man or steamer being on the Lake, were we tempted to utter our suspicions. But it was yet too early to declaim; the overland couriers from Zanzibar might have been delayed, the steamer may have foundered soon after Junker’s departure, and Emin may have been unable to reach the south-west end of the Lake.{230}

After an absence of nearly four months we were again on the Lake shore. There were letters awaiting us from him. He had heard a rumour by accident of our arrival, and had steamed down to the south-west end of the Lake to verify it. It was only nine hours distant from his southernmost station, and this had been his first visit. The effect was excellent, but it was a great pity that he had not conformed to the request sent by couriers at so much expense from Zanzibar. For the mere number of lives saved it would have been better; we will say nothing of the fatigue and suffering endured by us during the four months, for we were vowed to that, and to the uttermost that he would demand and our mission would exact. Still we said nothing.

We were twenty-six days together after the meeting. During this period we discovered that on some few points we had been misinformed. The Pasha was not a tall military figure, nor was he by any means a Gordon. He was simply Emin Pasha, with a greatness peculiar to himself. He was like unto none that we had met before, but he was like unto some, perhaps, that we had read of.

We knew nothing positively detracting from our high conception of him. What we saw was entirely in his favour. We witnessed what we conceived to be a high state of discipline among the troops; we saw the steamers, and the admirable state they were in; we thought we saw evidences of a strong civilising and ruling influence; we obtained specimens of the cloth his people had manufactured out of cotton grown by themselves; we had a plentiful supply of liquor distilled from fermented millet; he was exquisitely clean in person; prim, precise, withal courteous in manner; he was extremely kind and affable, accomplished in literature, an entertaining conversationalist, a devoted physician, an altogether gentle man, whom to know was to admire. Had we parted with him at this time we should have come away from his presence simply charmed with him. No, decidedly he was not a Gordon; he differed greatly from Gordon in some things—as, for example, in his devotion to science, in his careful{231} attention to details, in his liberal and charitable views of men and things, in his high desire to elevate and instruct men in practical usefulness, and his noble hopefulness of the land which was the scene of his efforts.

But while we admired him, a suspicion fixed itself in our minds that there was something inexplicable about him. He sent a clerk and an Egyptian lieutenant to speak with me. To my amazement they roundly abused him. Each word they uttered they emphasized with hate and indescribable scorn.

Then a Soudanese captain related to me the story of a revolt of the 1st Battalion which had taken place soon after Dr. Junker had parted from him. He had fled from their neighbourhood, and had never been near them since. But the 2nd Battalion, 650 rifles, was faithful to him, it was said, so were the irregulars, 3000 in number. These formed a very respectable force. So long as the 2nd Battalion and the irregulars were loyal his position was still firm.

Then the major and several captains of the 2nd Battalion were introduced by him to me. After a while he said to the major, “Now, promise me, before Mr. Stanley, that you will grant me forty men for this little station that Mr. Stanley advises us ought to be built.” That is curious, too, for a Governor, I thought, and, try how I might to avoid reflecting upon it as a trifle, its strangeness reverted often to my mind. But, in the absence of frank information, it remained inexplicable.

Then, again, it struck us all that an extreme indecision marked the Pasha’s conduct. Of course, as we were unable to explain it, our sympathies undoubtedly were with him. We did not consider the 1st Battalion, but if the 2nd Battalion and the irregulars were all loyal to him, and were yet firm in their resolution to remain in the country, it would have required a heart of stone to have abandoned them. That the few Egyptians who were involved in restless intrigue against him wished to go home was of no importance. The Pasha led us to believe that he would be glad of their departure. But if the majority of the troops were loyal, and preferred{232} Equatoria to Egypt, and he loved his work, where then was the cause of indecision?

If Egypt intended to cast him off, what matter need it be to him? Here was this offer of £12,000 annual subsidy, and £1500 salary to reimplace Egypt.

Or if Egypt only was objectionable, and another portion of Equatoria under English auspices would be preferable, there was the alternative with superior advantages of regular communication and certain support.

When speaking of the troops—the 2nd Battalion and irregulars—Emin Pasha was confident in their loyalty, and always stout in his declarations that they would follow him if he elected to serve under English auspices in Equatoria. He also said that it was by far the most preferable offer made to him. Well, then, admitting that the troops are loyal to him, that they would follow him anywhere, and that the offer is agreeable to himself—why this indecision?

We were compelled to retrace that weary journey to Banalya, and returning to Fort Bodo to make double marches thence to the Ituri, and arriving at the Nyanza for the third time, after an absence of eight and a half months, we discovered that the object of our solicitude was a prisoner, and that all the troops reputed loyal, and in whom he had such implicit faith, were rebels, and had deposed him! This news was a painful shock and a grievous surprise to us. But was it a surprise to him?

When we come to glance over his letters, and study them with the knowledge we now have, it transpires that in many of them he hints at troubles and dissensions among his troops, but led by his sanguine optimistic nature they were regarded too slightingly by us. People at home believed that they were but temporary ebullitions of discontent. We in Africa knew only that the 1st Battalion were implicated. Dr. Junker had not even deemed them of sufficient importance to mention—he only expressed a doubt that Emin would abandon his civilising mission and relegate himself to a useless life in Egypt as a retired Pasha, hence the doubt implied in the Khedive’s letter: “You may take{233} advantage of Mr. Stanley’s escort, if you please; if you decline doing so, you remain in Africa on your own responsibility.” But Mr. Jephson, who is associated with Emin during our absence, no sooner finds himself within the military circles of the Province than it strikes him that the Pasha has kept us in ignorance of the “true state of affairs.” The dissatisfaction of Mr. Jephson culminates when he finds himself a prisoner, and finds leisure to ponder upon the unhappy prospect of being paraded through the streets of Khartoum as the Khalifa’s syce, or slave, and my own may be forgiven when I find by indisputable proofs that this might have been averted by the exercise of a little frankness and less reticence on the Pasha’s part.

For had the Pasha informed me that he could not lead his troops to Egypt, nor accept the subsidy and pay offered him, nor accept the position under English auspices, because his troops had long ago cast off all allegiance and had become chronically disloyal, and that he really could not depend upon any one company of them, something else might have been proposed. It could not have been a difficult matter to have attacked every station in detail and reduced one after another to a wholesome dread of authority. It needed only firmness and resolution on the part of the Pasha. Had we begun at Mswa we should have found sixty soldiers led by Shukri Agha, who has as yet not been implicated in any disloyal act. These could have been embarked with our 300 on board the steamer, and we could have advanced upon Tunguru. In thirty minutes that station might have been settled, the disobedient shot, and marching with the prestige of authority and victory, Wadelai would have succumbed without the loss of a man except the ringleaders; and the other stations, hearing of these successive measures, would soon have been so terrified that we should have heard of nothing but capitulation everywhere. The Madhi’s troops being at one end of the line of stations and a resolute column advancing from the other end, these rebels would have had no other option than surrender to one or the other.{234}

But supposing that such a course had been adopted, of what avail, we may well ask, would all this have been? Emin Pasha has been reinstalled in his power and we must of necessity retire. What, then? In a few months he is again in terrible straits for want of resources, and another call for £30,000 and a new expedition is made to be repeated year after year, at immense cost of life and immense sacrifices; for a land so distant from the sea, and surrounded by warlike peoples and other disadvantages, that were its soil of silver dust it would scarcely pay the transport. Yet if Emin Pasha had expressed his desire to embark upon such an enterprise, and been firm in his resolution, it was not for us to question the wisdom of his proceeding, but to lend the right hand and act with good-will.

Was it a delusion on the Pasha’s part, or was it his intention to mislead us? I believe it was the former, caused by his extraordinary optimism and his ready faith in the external show or affectation of obedience. Even the crafty Egyptians had become penetrated with a high sense of their power by the facility with which they gained pardon for offences by ostentatious and obsequious penitence. Is this too harshly worded? Then let me say in plain Anglo-Saxon, that I think his good nature was too prone to forgive, whenever his inordinate self-esteem was gratified. The cunning people knew they had but to express sorrow and grief to make him relent, and to kiss his hands to cause him to forget every wrong. There was therefore too little punishing and too much forgiving. This amiability was extremely susceptible and tender, and the Egyptians made the most of it. The Yakeel had cause to bless it. Awash Effendi, major of the 2nd Battalion, suggested to the rebels, by a letter which I believe the Pasha still possesses, that he should be made the Mudir instead Emin, yet the Pasha never even reproached him. Azra Effendi declared the Khedive’s letter to be forgery, but never a rebuke passed the lips of the Pasha, and Azra was conducted to the sea safely.

The virtues and noble desires for which we must in{235} strict justice commend the man are as great and as creditable to him as those which we cannot attribute to him. Any man striving for the sake of goodness to do what in him lies to deserve the sweet approval of conscience becomes armoured with a happy indifference of all else, and herein lies the Pasha’s merit, and which made his company so grateful to us when the necessity for violent action ceased to vex him. We learned more of his character from his manner than from words. That melancholy shake of the head, the uplifted hand, the composed calm gravity of features, the upturning eyes, and the little shrug, seemed to say to us, “What is the use? You see I am resigned. I am adverse to violence; let it be. Why force them? They surely ought to have seen during these many years that I sought only their welfare. If they reject me, ought I to impose myself and my ideas on them against their will?” He never admitted so much, but we are free to construe these symptoms according to our lights.

It is probable that his steady and loving devotion to certain pursuits tending to increase of knowledge, and the injured eyesight, unfitted him for the exercise of those sterner duties which appeared to us the circumstances of his sphere demanded. But then we cannot blame him because he loved scientific studies more than the duties of government, or because his tastes led him to value the title of M.D. higher than the rank of Pasha, or because he was in danger through a cataract of losing his eyesight altogether. If the page of a book had to be brought within two inches of his face it was physically impossible for him to observe the moods on a man’s face, or to judge whether the eyes flashed scorn or illumined loyalty.

Whatever may have been our own views of what ought to have been done we have always a high respect for him. We cannot, at a moment when his own fate lies trembling on the balance, but admire him when we see him availing himself of every opportunity to increase his store of lacustrine shells, or tropic plants, eager for the possession of a strange bird without regard to its colour or beauty,{236} as ready to examine with interest a new species of rat as he is in the measurements of a human skull. If a great hawk-moth or a strange longicorn, or a typhlops be brought to him, he forthwith forgets the court-martial that is to decide his sentence, and seems to be indifferent whether he is to be summoned to be shot by his soldiery or to be strapped on his angarep to be deported as a prize to the Khalifa at Khartoum. When we learn all this about him, and begin to understand him, though wondering at these strange vagaries of human nature, we are only conscious that the man is worth every sacrifice on our part.

We cannot proceed by force to save him from himself, and rudely awake him out of his dream, without his permission. His position forbids it—our commission does not require it. To us he is only an honoured guest expectant, to whom rudeness is out of place. Without request for help, we are helpless.

From our point of view we observe the Pasha, serene and tranquil, encircled by wrangling rebels, and yet all along apparently unconscious of the atmosphere of perfidy in which he lives—at least more inclined to resignation than resistance. We feel that were we in his place, we would speedily upset every combination against us, and are confident that only one short resolute struggle is necessary to gain freedom and power. But regarding him absorbed in his delusion that the fawning obsequiousness of his perfidious followers and troops means devotion, and seeing him enmeshed by treachery and fraud, and yet so credulous as to believe this to be fidelity, we are struck dumb with amazement, and can but turn our eyes towards one another, questioning and wondering. For it was our misfortune, that, say what we would, we could not inspire in him a sense of our conviction that his case was hopeless, and that his people had cast him off utterly. We could not tell him that his men looked down on him with contempt as a “bird collector,” that they thought he showed more interest in beetles than in men; that they only paid him the externals of homage because they thought he{237} was pleased and satisfied. We could not tell him all this; but Nelson, who hated deceit, would tell him in plain, blunt terms, that he was wrong in his beliefs, and Parke would discourage them; and Jephson would argue with him, and Stairs would give him open proof. But as often as these energetic young Englishmen, out of pure friendship and pity, would attempt to warn him, the Pasha was prompt to extenuate their offences, and excuse the malice exhibited by his officers, and discouraged the efforts of his friends. What each felt on returning from one of these profitless interviews had better be left unwritten.

He would say, “But I know my people better than you can possibly know them. I have thirteen years’ acquaintance with them, against as many weeks that you have.”

The retort which we might have given to him was crushed under a silent fuming, for he was still the Pasha! We might have said, “Aye; but, Pasha, you know, you find more interest in insects than in men. You are interested in the anatomy of a man, we in the soul. You know something of his skull, but we can feel the pulse, and we are certain that your faith in these men is misplaced, and that in the excess of this faith lies folly.”

Yet in the fervour of his belief in their imaginary fidelity, and the warmth of his manner, there was a certain nobility which deterred us from argument. His unwarying trustfulness was not convincing; but it deepened our regard for him, and it may be that he imbued us with a hope that, though invisible to us, there remained some good in them.

We dare not treat these features of a trustful, loving nature like that of Emin Pasha with an insolent levity. He is a man, as I have said, eminently lovable, and were it only for the pleasure we have oftentimes received in his society, he deserves that what may be said of him shall be delivered with charity at least. For the high though impossible hopes entertained by him, and for the strenuous industry with which he endeavoured to{238} realize them, he deserves the greatest honour and respect.

If we will only consider the accident which brought him to Khartoum, and the rank and position he then filled, and the manner he rose from doctor to storekeeper at Lado, to that of Governor of African Equatoria, we need not wonder that his nature and taste remained unchanged. The story of Gordon’s trouble in the Soudan has never been written, and it never will be. Gordon is a name that English people do not care to examine and define too closely. Otherwise, I should like to know why there were so few English officers with him. I should be curious to discover why such as had an opportunity of working with him did not care to protract their stay in the Soudan. I am inclined to believe by my own troubles on the Congo that his must have been great—perhaps greater; that not one of the least of his troubles must have been the difficulty of finding good, fit, serviceable, and willing men. In Emin Pasha he meets with a man who, though a German and a doctor of medicine, is industrious, civil, ready, and obliging. Had I met Emin on the Congo, those qualities would have endeared him to me, as they must have been appreciated by Gordon. Those qualities are much rarer than editors of newspapers imagine. Out of three hundred officers on the Congo, I can only count ten who possessed them, who by mere request would seize on their duties with goodwill, and perform them. How many did Gordon have? Emin was one of the best and truest.

Now Emin loved botanizing, ornithology, entomology, studied geology, made notes upon ethnology, and meteorology, and filled note-book after note-book with his observations, and at the same time did not neglect his correspondence. I know the courtesy with which he would write to the Governor-General. I can imagine how the latter would be pleased with receiving these letters—precise, careful, methodical, and polite. Therefore Emin is pushed on in his African career from storekeeper to chief of station, then envoy to Uganda,{239} then offered a secretaryship, then envoy of Gordon, then vice-king to the astute and subtle Kabba Rega, and finally Governor of Equatoria.

In the course of his promotions, Emin shows he is ambitious. He wants seeds for the fields; he applies to Gordon for them, and his reply is, “I don’t want you for a gardener; I sent you to govern. If you don’t like it, come away.” A proud young Englishman would have taken him at his word, descended the Nile, and parted with Gordon sulkily. Emin sent an apology, and wrote, “Very good, sir.” Later, Emin sent for a photograph apparatus, and receives, “I sent you to the Equatorial Provinces as governor, not as photographer.” Emin says in reply, “Very well, sir. I thank you, sir. I will do my duty.” Nor does he bother the Governor-General with complaints that he never gets his mails in due time, or of the provisions sent there to him. What a valuable man he was! He showed consideration and patience, and Gordon appreciated all this.

By-and-by came trouble. After 1883 he is left to his own resources. The people obey the Governor mechanically, and stations are building, and a quiet progress is evident. They do not know yet how soon that Cromwell at Khartoum may not ascend the Nile to Lado, and examine into the state of affairs with his own eyes. Emin Bey, their Governor, is a very mild ruler; that other one at Khartoum is in the habit of shooting mutineers. Therefore, though there are many Arabists, and many inclined to that new prophet, the Mahdi, among the troops of Emin, they are quiet. But presently news leak that Khartoum is fallen, and Gordon slain, and all power and stern authority prostrate; then comes the upheaval—the revolt of the First Battalion and the flight of Emin to his more faithful Irregulars and the Second Battalion, and finally universal dissolution of the government. But Emin’s tastes and nature remain unchanged.

There are some things, however, I have wondered at in Emin. I have already observed that he was earnest and industrious in making observations upon plants,{240} insects, birds, manners and customs, so that he was well equipped for geographical exploration; but I was somewhat staggered when I learned that he had not explored Lake Albert. He possessed two steamers and two life-boats, and one station at the north-west end of the Lake called Tunguru, and another called Mswa, half-way up the west side; and yet he had never visited the southern end of the Lake, examined the affluent at the south side, sounded the Lake from the north to south and east to west; never visited the Ituri River, which was only two days’ good marching from Mswa. Had he done so he would probably have seen the snowy range and left very little for us to discover in that district. He had been to Monbuttu Land on business of his province, where he had vast stores of ivory treasured; he had sent soldiers to the edge of Turkan territory; he had been twice to Uganda and once to Unyoro; but he had never stepped on board his steamer for a visit to the south end of the Lake until March, 1888, when he came to enquire into a report concerning our arrival, and then he had steamed back again to his stations.

The Emperor Hadrian wrote of the Egyptians that he found them “frivolous and untrustworthy, fluttering at every wave of rumour, and were the most revolutionary, excitable and criminal race in existence.”

Had he been present in our camp during our tedious sojourn at Kavalli’s, could he have written differently? The revolutionary character disclosed to us compel us to endorse this description as perfect truth. “Frivolous” we know them to be to our cost. “Untrustworthy:” were ever men so faithless as these? “Fluttering at every wave of rumour:” our camp bred rumours as the ground bred flies; there were as many as the chirpings of an aviary; the least trifle caused them to flutter like a brood from under the mother bird. A mail from Wadelai caused them to run gadding from one circle to another, from hut to hut, from the highest to the lowest, emulating the cackle of many hens. “Revolutionary:”—“Up with Arabi!” “Vive le{241} Mahdi!” “Hurrah for Fadl el Mullah Bey!” “More power to the elbow of Selim Bey Mator!” and “Down with all Governments!” And thus they proved themselves an excitable, frivolous, untrustworthy, and criminal race which required government by stern force, not by sentiment and love.

But relieved from the dread of due penalty and the coercive arm of the law by the fall of Khartoum and the death of the Governor-General, and recognising that their isolation from Egypt gave them scope to follow their vain imaginings, they were not long before they disclosed their true characters, and revolted against every semblance of authority. Happy was the Pasha, then, that the good record he had won in the memories of his soldiers pleaded against the excesses to which their unprincipled chiefs were inclined, which generally follows the ruin of government.

These were the people—practised in dissimulation, adepts in deceit, and pastured in vice—which this mild-mannered man, this student of science, governed for several years all alone, before any outbreak among them occurred. During this portion of his career as Governor of Equatoria only unqualified praise can be given. The troops were not all seized with the mania prevalent in the Soudan, to uproot every vestige of authority.

To the north, west, and east gathered the Mahdists, barring all escape by the Nile and cutting off all communication with Khartoum. On the 7th of May, 1883, the first disaster occurs. Seventy soldiers are massacred at El-del station who have been sent to reinforce the beleaguered garrison, which, in its turn, is totally destroyed. On the 27th of February, 1884, Lupton, the Governor of Bahr-el-Ghazal, informs him that the rest of the inhabitants had rebelled, and on the 28th of the following month he receives the news of the destruction of General Hicks’s army. On the 8th of April, the news is brought that the tribes of Waddiafen, Elyat, Eofen, Euknah, Kanel, and Fakam were in open rebellion. On the 30th of May he is informed by Lupton Bey, Governor of the Bahr-el-Ghazal, that the{242} Mahdi is within six hours of his headquarters, and had summoned him to surrender his authority and province, and warning him to take immediate steps for his defence. Four days later, Karamalla—who in the meantime, had been appointed Governor of Equatoria by the Mahdi to fill his place—wrote to him to deliver up his province to him. Lupton Bey had already been vanquished. A committee of six officers having debated this serious matter, came to the conclusion that Emin had no other option open to him than to surrender. In order to gain time he expressed his willingness to conform with their decision, and despatched the judge of their province with some other officers with the declaration of his readiness to yield.[12]

But on the departure of the Commission, he set about fortifying the stations in his charge, and prepared for resistance against Karamalla, then fresh from the conquest of the Bahr-el-Ghazal. He concentrated troops from the petty stations in the vicinity at Amadi station, and strengthened that place against the expected attack of that proud chief, and also gathered at headquarters a formidable force. At this critical period he was able to weed out the most forward in their desire for submission to the Mahdi, and to separate the loyal from the disloyal, and vigorous orders were issued that traitors would meet with no mercy at his hands if found communicating with the enemy. Arbeek, Ayak, and Wafi Stations are abandoned, and the troops are gathered at Amadi. The month following witnesses the struggle proceeding. Some of the principal stations are so well defended that the Mahdists suffer repeated losses of chiefs and men, while many of the Government officers have basely abandoned their posts, and take service with Karamalla; but on the 27th February, 1885, a month after the fall of Khartoum, the enemy has surrounded Amadi on all sides, and a brisk siege is maintained.{243} On the first of April, after extraordinary efforts, the fall of Amadi is announced, with great loss of life, ammunition, cannon, small arms, and rockets. After hearing of this disaster, measures are taken for the concentration of the force of the Province along the Nile, in order to secure means of communication with Egypt viâ Zanzibar, and Birri, Kirri, Bedden and Rejaf stations are founded, and out of the soldiers who have managed to escape with life from the many skirmishes and fights in which they were engaged, during 1883, 1884, to this date (April 1885) eight companies of eighty men each are formed, and called the First Battalion, under the command of Major Rehan Agha Ibrahim. On the 1st of June, after the small outlying stations have been abandoned, a sufficient number of officers have been collected to form a second Battalion, under the command of Major Awash Effendi Montazir, to whom was given the command of the southern stations. In his despatch of 1st September, 1885, to the Government of Egypt, we observe near the close of it the first note of discontent with the Major of the First Battalion. He says:

“The other thing that this major has done is his sending 200 soldiers when it was too late and when everything was finished, which thing he did from want of decision and without asking my permission to do so; for if the rebels were strong at first before their capture of guns and ammunition, how much more so were they after that. But these disobediences have become a nature to these persons, &c., &c. But by the help of our merciful and great God, and by the influence of our Government, and by the name of our honourable Sovereign his Highness the Khedive, we were able to preserve the honour of our Government flag up to this date.”

Yes, the honour of the Egyptian flag has been maintained, after the shedding of “rivers of blood,” after the exhibition of noble stout-heartedness, unabated courage, and a prudent Fabian generalship, which dispirited the enemy and animated his troops; he has been able to align his troops in stations well fenced and fortified, so that the struggle may be prolonged until he can hear the wishes of his Highness the Khedive, and sound his plaint in the ears of Europe viâ Zanzibar. It is the story of this brave struggle that enlisted the sympathy of myself and companions, and caused us to press on by{244} the back door of Africa to lend a helping hand, to rescue him if necessary, or to supply him with the means of defence if needed.

In April 1885 he learns “from the poor slave of God, Mohammed El Mahdi, the son of Abdallah,” in a letter to his friend and Governor Karamalla, the son of Sheik Mohammed, to whom may God grant etc., of the death of “that enemy to God—Gordon,” and of the assault and capture of Khartoum, and that all the Soudan from Lado down to Abu Hamad Cataract, is in the hands of the Mahdists, and that from the north no hope of relief may be expected. He examines his prospects and position to the south, east and west. To the east is Kabba Rega, the King of Unyoro, and his tributary chiefs. To him he sends Captain Casati as his representative or ambassador. It is the policy of Kabba Rega to be kind to the Governor. He knew him in past years as an officer of that active vice-king at Khartoum, and was hospitable and friendly to him. He knows not as yet of the wonderful changes that have come over that region of Africa, and is ignorant of the ruin that had overtaken that proud Government which had dictated laws to him. His African mind is too dense to grasp the meaning of this new movement abreast of his territory, and therefore, fearing to displease the Governor, he receives Captain Casati generously and with a grand display of hospitality. By-and-by deserters approach him, cunning Egyptians and treacherous Soudanese, with their arms and ammunition, and bit by bit he discovers the meaning of that fierce struggle, and begins to understand that the Government which he dreaded was a wreck.

On the 2nd of January, 1886, Dr. Junker is taken across the Albert Lake to Kibiro, a port of Unyoro. He is on his way home after years of travel in Monbuttu and the Welle basin. He succeeds in reaching Uganda, and because of his poverty is permitted to embark in a mission boat and proceeds to Usambiro, at the south end of Lake Victoria, and thence to Zanzibar, taking with him the despatches of Emin. It is through this traveller{245} we first learn the real straits that the Pasha is in, and the distresses in prospect for him.

Kabba Rega meanwhile is patient, like an heir-expectant. He knows that eventually he must win. Day by day, week by week, he sits waiting. He affects generosity to the Governor, permits letters to pass and repass between Zanzibar and Equatoria, treats the Ambassador with due consideration, and ostensibly he is a firm friend; so much so, that Emin has “nothing but hearty praises of Kabba Rega.” But about the 13th February, 1888, Kabba Rega wakes up. He hears of an Expedition close to the Nyanza, and native exaggeration has magnified its means and numbers. On or about the same date that the Relief Expedition is looking up and down the waters of the Nyanza for evidences of a white man’s presence in the region, Captain Casati is seized, his house robbed, and himself expelled with every mark of ignominy and almost naked, and from this time forth Kabba Rega is a declared enemy, having first sealed his enmity in the blood of Mohammed Biri, who had been a trusted messenger between Emin and the C.M.S. Mission in Uganda.

To the west there is a great broad white blank, extending from his Province to the Congo, of which absolutely nothing is known. To the south there is a region marked on the map by the same white emptiness, and turn which way he will, with a people unequal to the task of cutting their way out and dreading the unknown, he has no other option than waiting to see the effect of the disclosures of Junker and his own despatches.

But in the meantime he is not idle. By the defeat of the rebels and Mahdists in Makkaraka he has compelled a truce, and is left undisturbed by Karamalla. Beyond Wadelai he has established Tunguru and Mswa stations, and though the First Battalion has long ago cast off his authority, the Second Battalion and the Native Irregulars acknowledge, after their way, his authority. He superintends agriculture, the planting, raising, and manufacture of cotton, travels between station and station, establishes friendship with the{246} surrounding tribes, and by his tact maintains the semblance of good government.

There are some things, however, he cannot do: he cannot undo the evil already done; he cannot eradicate the evil dispositions of his men, nor can he, by only the exercise of temperate justice, appease the evil passions roused by the revolution in the Soudan. He can only postpone the hour of revolt. For against his sole influence are arrayed the influences of the officers of the First Battalion, of the hundreds of Egyptian employés scattered over the whole length of the Province, who, by their insidious counsels, reverse the effect of every measure taken by the Pasha, and palsy every effort made by him. He cannot inaugurate, by the expression of his wish, a new system of dealing with the natives. The system has been established throughout the Soudan of exacting from the natives every species of contribution—herds, flocks, grain, and servants; or, whenever there is scarcity, of proceeding by force of arms and taking what they need from the aborigines. And this need, unfortunately, is insatiable; it has no limit. The officers cannot be limited to a certain number; each has three or four wives, besides concubines, and these require domestic servants for their households. Fadl el Mulla Bey’s household requires a hundred slaves—men, women, boys, and girls. The soldiers require wives, and these also must have servants; and with the growth of the boys into manhood there grows new needs, which the natives must satisfy with their women and children of both sexes.

There are 650 men and officers in the First Battalion, and as many in the Second Battalion. There are about 3,000 Irregulars; there is a little army of clerks, storekeepers, artisans, engineers, captains, and sailors. These must be wived, concubined, and fed by the natives, and in return there is nothing given to them. We hear of 8,000 head of cattle being collected on a raid; the Pasha admitted that 1,600 beeves and cows was the greatest number during his government. But these raids are frequent; each station must have herds of its own, and there are fourteen stations. Shukri Agha,{247} Commandant of Mswa, was indefatigable in making these raids. Of course the Pasha found this state of things in his Province. It was an old-established custom, a custom that weighs with all the weight of fearful oppression on the natives; and, embarrassed as he was by the advance of Karamalla and the disease of rebellion that raged like an epidemic in the hearts of his own subjects, he was powerless to restrain them. But we can understand why the natives, who had been for so many years under Egyptian government, hailed the appearance of the Mahdists, and joined them to exterminate the panic-stricken fugitives from the captured forts of the Province. When the Congo State forgets its duties to its subjects, and sanctions rapine and raiding, we may rest assured that its fall will be as sudden and as certain as that of the Egyptian Government in the Soudan.

I am not concerned in writing the history of this unhappy region, which has been given up for years to be the prey of the vilest passions that human nature is capable of feeling, but by these allusions to what I personally know I am able to interest the reader in the true position of Emin Pasha. This solitary man was engaged in as impossible a task as was that of Gordon when he undertook and set out for Khartoum, in 1884, to rescue the garrisons of the Soudan. He did brave things, but the bravest portion of his story is when this earnest-minded man lives among these lost people, and has to endure seeing his subjects robbed and despoiled whenever any officer apprehends scarcity and resolves upon a raiding expedition. He knows exactly what will happen; he knows there will be indiscriminate shooting and looting, he knows there will be destruction of villages and decimation of the owners; that with the captive herds there will be long files of captive women and children, and a distribution of the spoil; and yet he dares do nothing to thwart these cruel and hard proceedings. How can he? He has no cloth or money to buy food for all his people. What answer can he make when they demand of him what they must do to{248} live? Though the soil is gracious and repays labour, it is useless for him to point to it. They will grow cotton to clothe themselves, and cultivate gardens for kitchen vegetables, because no native understands these things; but grain for bread, and cattle for beef, the natives must yield to people nobler than themselves. He is the only man who can think of this work as a wrong, and as he has no force to compel men to think otherwise, he must needs endure this evil as he endures many others. Good government was therefore impossible. It was founded on blood and spoliation from the very beginning, and, like all other Governments which preceded it, that were created with similar views, it was decreed that it should perish utterly.

As a fitting conclusion to this chapter, I append the following documents received from Sir Francis Grenfell, the Sirdar of Egypt. Those who love to trace effects to causes may find in these documents criminating proofs of that intercourse with the enemy which was maintained by the rebel officers. They explain what I have asserted. They prove conclusively that their object in proceeding to the Pasha at Tunguru, and imploring his forgiveness, promising to reinstate him in power, and begging him to introduce them to me, was for the purpose consummating the vile plot of betraying us into the hands of the Mahdists. Thanks to Jephson, who was “a chiel takin’ notes,” and to the clumsiness of their acts, Omar Saleh did not have the satisfaction of conveying that “other traveller who had come to Emin,” and whom he was so anxious to catch, for exhibition at Khartoum—which he may possibly regret more than I.

Letter from Osman Digna to the Governor-General, Suakim.

“In the name of the Great God, &c.

“This is from Osman Digna to the Christian who is Governor of Suakim. Let me inform you that some time ago Rundle sent me a letter asking me of the man who was Governor in the Equatorial Provinces. On the arrival of the said letter in our hands I sent it at once to the Khalifa, on whom be peace, &c. The Khalifa has sent me the answer, and has informed me that the said Governor of the Equator has fallen into our hands, and is now one of the followers of the Mahdi. The Khalifa sent steamers to the Equator, commanded by one of our chiefs, named Omar Saleh. They reached Lado, and on their arrival{249} they found that the troops of the said Governor, who were composed of military men and officers, had seized the Governor, with a traveller who was with him. They put them in chains and delivered them into the hands of our chief. Now all the province is in our hands, and the inhabitants have submitted to the Mahdi. We have taken the arms and ammunition which were there; we also brought the officers and chief clerk to the Khalifa, who received them kindly, and now they are staying with him. They have handed to him all their banners.

“Therefore, as Rundle wishes to know what has become of this Governor, you tell him of this message.

“I enclose a copy of the letter which our chief in the Equator sent to the Khalifa, and also a copy of that which Tewfik had sent to the said Governor.

“I also send you a dozen rounds of the ammunition, which were brought from the Equator. I praise God for the defeat of the unbeliever, and defeat of the infidels.


“The ammunition sent was Snider ammunition, marked 1869, and is in very good condition. Two letters were enclosed. The first of these is recognised by his Excellency the Sirdar as being the one given to Mr. Stanley by his Highness the Khedive on his departure from Cairo.”

“The second is a copy of a letter of Omar Saleh to the Khalifa, dated 15th October, 1888, and is as follows:—

“We proceeded with the steamers and army, and reached the town of Lado, where Emin, the Mudir of the Equator, is staying, on the 5th Safar, 1306 (10th October, 1888). We must thank the officers and men who made this conquest easy, for they had seized Emin and a traveller who was staying with him, and put them both in chains, refusing to go to Egypt with the Turks.

“Tewfik had sent to Emin one of the travellers; his name is Mr. Stanley. This Mr. Stanley brought with him a letter from Tewfik to Emin, dated 8th Gamad Awal (the date of the Khedive’s letter), telling him to come with Mr. Stanley, and give the rest of the force the option of coming with him or remaining here, as they please.

“The force refused the Turkish orders, and received us gladly. I have found a great deal of ivory and feathers. I am sending with this the officers and Chief Clerk on board the Bordein, commanded by Mohammed Kheir. I am also sending the letter which came from Tewfik to Emin, together with the banners we took from the Turks.

“I have heard that there is another traveller who came to Emin. I am looking out for him, and if he returns I am sure to catch him.

“All the chiefs of the Province, with the inhabitants, are delighted to see us. I have taken all the arms and ammunition. When you have seen the officers and Chief Clerk, and given them the necessary instructions, please send them back, as they will be of great use to me.”

True copy.

(Sd.) T. R. Wingate.
A. A. G. Intell.

W. O.




Description of the road from Bundegunda—We get a good view of the twin peaks in the Ruwenzori range—March to Utinda—The Pasha’s officers abuse the officer in command: which compels a severe order—Kaibuga urges hostilities against Uhobo—Brush with the enemy: Casati’s servant, Akili, killed—Description of the Ruwenzori range as seen from Nboga—Mr. Jephson still an invalid—The little stowaway named Tukabi—Captain Nelson examines the Semliki for a suitable ferry—We reach the Semliki river: description of the same—Uledi and Saat Tato swim across the river for a canoe—A band of Wara Sura attack us—All safely ferried across the river—In the Awamba forest—Our progress to Baki-kundi—We come across a few Baundwé, forest aborigines—The Egyptians and their followers—Conversation with Emin Pasha—Unexplored parts of Africa—Abundance of food—Ruwenzori from the spur of Ugarama—Two native women give us local information—We find an old man at Batuma—At Bukoko we encounter some Manyuema raiders: their explanation—From Bakokoro we arrive at Mtarega, the foot of the Ruwenzori range—Lieut. Stairs with some men explore the Mountains of the Moon—Report of Lieut. Stairs’ experiences—The Semliki valley—The Rami-lulu valley—The perfection of a tropical forest—Villages in the clearing of Ulegga—Submission of a Ukonju chief—Local knowledge from our friends the Wakonju—Description of the Wakonju tribe—The Semliki river—View of Ruwenzori from Mtsora—We enter Muhamba, and next day camp at Karimi—Capture of some fat cattle of Rukara’s—The Zeriba of Rusessé—Our first view of Lake Albert Edward Nyanza.

May 9.

The road to the south, which we now pursued on moving from Bundegunda on the 9th May, skirted the western base of that great bulk of mountain land inhabited by the Balegga, and the Bandussuma of Mazamboni. It crosses cultivated tracts devoted to beans and luxuriant sweet potatoes, yams, colocassia, and sugar-cane; it is hedged thickly with glorious plantains; it is flanked by humble villages, with cone roofs; it is buried under miniature wildernesses of reedy cane; it dips{251} down to clear, limpid rillets, just escaped from the bosom of the tall mountains soaring above; it winds in snaky curves over rich flats of pasture; it runs close to the foot of steep slopes, and then starts off along smoothly-descending spurs. About five miles off to the westward, or on our right hand, the forest, black as night, keeps company with us. We are seldom out of sight of the advancing capes and receding bays of the dark, eternal mass. On our left, in intimate neighbourhood, rise the mighty slopes, steeply receding upward into the greyish blue of an uncertain sky, and far away, in solemn lines, like a colossal battalion of mountains, is ranged the series between each of which are deep ravines, narrow and far-reaching recessions, formed by ceaselessly-murmuring streams.

May 10.

On the morning of this day, Ruwenzori came out from its mantle of clouds and vapours, and showed its groups of peaks and spiny ridges resplendent with shining white snow; the blue beyond was as that of ocean—a purified and spotless translucence. Far to the west, like huge double epaulettes, rose the twin peaks which I had seen in December, 1887, and from the sunk ridge below the easternmost rose sharply the dominating and unsurpassed heights of Ruwenzori proper, a congregation of hoary heads, brilliant in white raiment; and away to the east extended a roughened ridge, like a great vertebra—peak and saddle, isolated mount and hollow, until it passed out of sight behind the distant extremities of the range we were then skirting. And while in constant view of it, as I sat up in the hide hammock suspended between two men, my plan of our future route was sketched. For to the west of the twin peaks, Ruwenzori range either dropped suddenly into a plain or sheered away S.S.W. What I saw was either an angle of a mass or the western extremity. We would aim for the base of the twin peaks, and pursue our course southerly to lands unknown, along the base-line. The guides—for we had many now—pointed with their spears vaguely, and cried out “Ukonju” and (giving a little dab into the air with{252} their spear-points) “Usongora,” meaning that Ukonju was what we saw, and beyond it lay Usongora, invisible.

After halting at Ujungwa we rose next day to march to Utinda, seven miles off. The valley between the Balegga Mountains and the forest seemed to narrow, and the path threatened to take us into troublous depths of spear-grass brakes and fens nourishing reed-cane, when, after crossing the Chai and Aturo streams, and several gushing rivulets, it ran up a lengthy spur of the Balegga Mountains, and took us to a height of 500 feet above the valley.

From this altitude we observed that we had narrowly escaped being buried in the forest again, for it had advanced behind the spur right across the valley, and occupied every inch of lowland. Within its sombre depths the Chai and Aturo rivers and other streams united their currents to form a respectable tributary of the Ituri river.

A little to our left, as we looked south, was a deep basin parted into numerous small arable plots, appertaining to the district of Utinda. Every ravine and hollow seemed choked by long, straggling plantations of plantain and banana. The beans and Indian corn were late, for they were not more than five inches high, while at Bundegunda the crops were quite four feet high and in flower.

The Egyptians reached camp four hours after the advance guard, and the officer in charge of the rear complained bitterly of the abuse that he had received from the Pasha’s officers, some of them jeering at him, making mouths, and daring him to drive them along, which compelled me to issue the following order:—

“Whereas the Expedition must necessarily proceed slowly, and shorten its marches, owing to the promise that we have given Selim Bey, and to the fact that the Egyptians, the Soudanese and their followers are as yet unaccustomed to hard travel and fatigue, and to the fact that I, their guide, am physically too weak to endure more than two or three hours’ exertion of any kind, the officers will please exercise the greatest patience and forbearance, but they must on no account forget the duties peculiar to the rear-guard. They will permit no straggling by the wayside, no looting of villages, no indiscriminate pillaging of plantations, no marauding upon any excuse; and upon any insolence, whether from{254}{253} Egyptian officer, private soldier, or follower, the officer in charge will call his guard and bind the offender, and bring him to me for punishment. If any violence is offered it must be met by such violence as will instantly crush it.”



From the basin of Utinda we ascended past a few cones dominating a ridge which enclosed it on the south and south-east, and, after surmounting two other ridges separated by well-watered valleys, we arrived on the airy upland of grassy Uhobo, 4,900 feet above sea-level. A little later Kaibuga entered into our camp. This chief was of the Wahuma settled among the Balegga, whose grounds overlooked the plain of Kavalli and the south end of the Nyanza, and whose territory extended to the debouchure of the Semliki. He urged active hostilities, as Uhobo belonged to Kabba Rega. Naturally we smiled at this, as we had not seen the semblance of a single enemy, though it is true that the Uhobo natives had disappeared from view at our approach. At this instant a picquet signalled the advance of a column of Kabba Rega’s people armed with guns, and two companies of Zanzibaris were mustered by Lieutenant Stairs and Captain Nelson, the latter of whom had so improved by the diet of Kavalli and Mazamboni that he was fit for any work.

After proceeding about two miles they met the small party of the Pasha’s people carrying the dead body of Captain Casati’s faithful servant Okili, for whom Casati entertained deep affection. He had been shot through the forehead by a rifle-ball. It appears that while the Soudanese had been bathing in a stream south of Uhobo, the column of the Wara Sura happened to be observed marching in a pretty disciplined manner with two flags towards them, and a few minutes later would have surprised them, but the whole party hastily dressed, and, snatching their rifles, opened fire on them. Three of the enemy fell dead, and Okili was shot by the fire that was returned. On the approach of the Zanzibaris the Wara Sura fled, and were pursued for three miles, but no further casualties occurred.

May 12.

A severe rainstorm, lasting seven hours, fell during the{256} night, and in the morning when marching to Mboga we were involved in cloud and mist. As the day advanced, however, Ruwenzori thrust its immense body into view far above the vapours rising from the low Semliki Valley, and every now and then the topmost cones gathered the cloudy fleeces and veiled their white heads from view. As we advanced nearer each day to the range we were surprised that we were not able to discover so much snow as we had seen at Kavalli, but on reflection it became evident that the line of snow became obscured from view by an advanced ridge, which the nearer we approached impeded the view the more. We observed also that the lofty mountain range assumed the form of a crescent; Ajif Mountain forming the northern end and the Twin Peak shoulder to the west the other end; and further, that beyond Ajif, which I estimated at about 6,000 feet above the sea, there was a steady and perceptible rise to the snow line, and then a sudden uplift to the proud height of from 2,000 to 5,000 feet higher, most of which was under snow.

This place of Mboga, were it in any other country than under the Equator in Mid Africa, would afford a splendid view of this unique range. From the Twin Peak angle and up to thirty miles N.N.E. of Ajif the whole of it ought to be in sight in any other clime, but the mist escapes in continuous series or strata from the valley beneath, and floats in fleeting evanescent masses, quite obscuring every other minute the entire outlines. Between this point and the Ruwenzori range lies the deep sunken valley of the Semliki, from twelve to twenty-five miles wide. From a point abreast of Mboga to the edge of the Lake the first glance of it suggests a lake. Indeed, the officers supposed it to be the Albert Lake, and the Soudanese women were immoderately joyous at the sight, and relieved their feelings by shrill lu-lu-lus; but a binocular revealed pale brown grass in its sere, with tiny bushes dotting the plain. To our right, as we looked down the depth of 2,500 feet, there was a dark tongue of acacia bushes deepening into blackness as the forest, which we had{257} left near the Chai River, usurped the entire breadth of the valley.

Mr. Jephson was still an invalid, with a fever which varied from 102° to 105° temperature, ever since the 23rd of April, and at this time he was in rather an anxious state of mind. Like myself, he was much shrunk, and we both looked ill. We halted on the 13th to give rest to invalids and the little children.

To Kiryama, on the 14th, a village situated near the mouth of a deep and narrow valley, and which in old times, when Lake Albert covered the grassy plain and must have been a somewhat picturesque inlet, we made a continuous descent by declining spurs. The soil of the valley was extremely rich, and a copious stream coursed through it to the Semliki. We obtained, at brief intervals, glimpses of Ruwenzori; but had the mist not been so tantalising it would not have been deemed an unwelcome view that we should have had of the magnificent and imposing altitude of 15,500 feet above us.

In the camp of the immense caravan a little boy about eleven years old, named Tukabi, was found. He was what is termed “a stowaway.” While we were at Mazamboni, his father, a subject of Kavalli, had come to appeal for help to recover him. He had attached himself to some Zanzibaris. The boy was delivered up, and his father was charged to observe the young truant carefully. He had disguised himself with some cloth to cover his face, but as he passed my tent I recognised him. He was asked why he deserted his father to join strangers who might be unkind to him. “Because,” he answered, “I prefer my friend to my father.” “Does your father beat you?” “No, but I wish to see the place where these guns come from, and where the thunder medicine (gunpowder) is made.” It was the first time in my experience that an African boy of such a tender age was known to voluntarily abandon his parents. He was a singularly bright little fellow, with very intelligent eyes, and belonged to the Wahuma race.

May 14.

Captain Nelson was despatched to proceed to the Semliki River with 80 rifles, to examine what opportuni{258}ties there might be for crossing the river. He returned after a brilliant march, and reported that the Semliki at the ferry was about eighty or ninety yards wide, swift and deep, with steep banks of from ten to twenty feet high, much subject to undermining by the river; that the canoes had all been removed by Ravidongo, the General of Kabba Rega, who was said to have gathered a large force to oppose our crossing, and also that all the natives of Uhobo, Mboga, and Kiryama districts, were collected across the Semliki River with him, and that it was clear a stout resistance would be made, as the opposite banks were carefully watched; that while they were examining the river a volley had been fired at them, which was fortunately harmless.

May 17.

After a two days’ rest at Kiryama we marched south across the grassy plain to another ferry led by Kaibuga. That which some of us had assumed to be a lake was very firm alluvium and lacustrine deposit, growing a thin crop of innutritious grass, about 18 inches high. As we advanced up the river it sensibly improved; and at the third hour from Kiryama an acacia tree was seen; a little later there were five, then a dozen, wide apart and stunted. At the fourth hour it was quite a thin forest on the left side of the Semliki, while to the right it was a thick impervious and umbrageous tropic forest, and suddenly we were on the bank of the Semliki. At the point we touched the river it was sixty yards wide, with between a four and five-knot current. A little below it widened into 100 yards, a fine, deep, and promising river. Up and down, and opposite, there were broad signs of recent land falls. Its banks consisted of sediment and gravelly débris which could offer no resistance to the strong current when it surged against the base. It washed away great masses from underneath. There was a continual falling of dissolving lumps, as though it was so much snow; then a sudden fall of a two-ton fragment of the superincumbent bank. It was a loopy, and twisting, crooked stream, forming a wide-stretching S in every mile of its course, and its water was of a whitey-brown colour, and weighted with sediment. Out of a{259} tumblerful of the liquid, a fourth of an inch of fine earth would be deposited.

By a good aneroid the altitude of the bank, which was about twenty feet above the river, was 2,388 feet above the sea. Lake Albert by the same aneroid was 2,350 feet. There was a difference indicated of 38 feet. I estimated that we were about thirty English miles from the lake.

As we arrived at the river a canoe was observed floating down rapidly. The alarm had been given, probably, by some natives who had heard our voices, and in their hurry to escape had either purposely cast off their canoe, or had feared to be detained through the necessity of securing it. The village of the Awamba, whence it had floated adrift, was in sight. Men were sent up and down the banks to discover a canoe, and Uledi—always Uledi—sent up soon the good news that he had found one. The caravan proceeded in his direction, and camped in a large but abandoned banana plantation. The canoe was across the river in a small creek, opposite the camping place. By some method it was necessary to obtain it, as one canoe at this time was priceless. The men with the bill-hooks were ordered up to clear twenty yards of bush, and to leave a thin screen between the sharpshooters and the river. Then three or four volleys scoured the position around the canoe, and in the meantime the bold Uledi and Saat Tato, the hunter, swam across, and when near the vessel the firing ceased. In a few seconds they had cut the canoe loose, and were in it, paddling across to our side with all energy. They had gained the centre of the river when the archers rose up and shot the hunter, and at the same time the rifles blazed across. But the canoe was obtained, and Saat Tato, streaming with blood, was attended by Dr. Parke. Fortunately, the broad-bladed arrow had struck the shoulder blade, which saved the vitals. Both the brave fellows were rewarded with $20 worth of cloth on the spot.

May 18.

At 5 P.M. Mr. Bonny performed signal service. He accepted the mission of leading five Soudanese across{260} the Semliki as the vanguard of the Expedition. By sunset there were fifty rifles across the river.



On the 18th the ferriage was resumed at dawn. By noon two more canoes had been discovered by scouts. Staits and Jephson were both very ill of fever, and I was a prematurely old man of ninety in strength and appearance and just able to walk at this time about one hundred yards. Captain Nelson and Surgeon Parke therefore superintended the work of transporting the Expedition across the Semliki. At two o’clock in the afternoon, while the ferrying was briskly proceeding, a body of fifty of the Wara Sura stole up to within 250 yards of the ferry, and fired a volley at the canoes while in mid-river. Iron slugs and lead bullets screamed over the heads of the passengers, and flew along the face of the water, but fortunately there was no harm done. Notwithstanding our admiration at their impudent audacity, a second volley might be more effective, but Captain Nelson sprang from the river-side, and a hundred rifles gathered around him and a chase began. We heard a good deal of volleying, but the chase and{261} retreat were so hot that not a bullet found its purposed billet. However, the Wara Sura discovered that, whatever our intentions might be, we were in strong force, and we understood that they were capable of contriving mischief. In their hurried flight they dropped several as well-made cartridges as could be prepared at Woolwich; and here was a proof also what a nest of traitors there was in the Equatorial Province, for all these articles were of course furnished by the scores of deserters.

By night of the 18th, 669 people had been ferried across. At 3 o’clock of the 19th, 1,168 men, women and children, 610 loads of baggage, 3 canoe loads of sheep and goats, and 235 head of cattle had been taken across. The only loss sustained was a calf, which was drowned. It may he imagined how pleased I was at the brilliant services, activity and care shown by Captain Nelson and Dr. Parke.

A few hours later one of the Pasha’s followers was taken to the surgeon with a fatal arrow-wound. It reminded me of the anxious times I suffered, during the first eighteen months’ experiences with the equally thoughtless Zanzibaris.

On the 20th the Expedition moved through the thick forest, along an extremely sloughy path to a little village removed one and a half hours from the river. We arrived just as the intolerable pests of gnats were at their liveliest. They swarmed into the eyes, nostrils, and ears, in myriads. We thought the uninhabited forest was preferable, but at 9 o’clock the minute tribes retired to rest, and ceased to vex us. There was an odour of stale banana wine and ripe banana refuse, and these probably had attracted the gnats. Two large troughs—equal in size to small canoes—were stationed in the village, in which the natives pressed the ripe fruit and manufactured their wine.

May 20.

For the first time we discovered that the Awamba, whose territory we were now in, understood the art of drying bananas over wooden gratings, for the purpose of making flour. We had often wondered, during our{262} life in the forest region, that natives did not appear to have discovered what invaluable, nourishing, and easily digestible food they possessed in the plantain and banana. All banana lands—Cuba, Brazil, West Indies—seem to me to have been specially remiss on this point. If only the virtues of the flour were publicly known, it is not to be doubted but it would be largely consumed in Europe. For infants, persons of delicate digestion, dyspeptics, and those suffering from temporary derangements of the stomach, the flour, properly prepared, would be of universal demand. During my two attacks of gastritis, a light gruel of this, mixed with milk, was the only matter that could be digested.

On the 22nd we were obliged to march for six hours through quagmire and reeking mud before we were enabled to find a resting-place. The dense forest, while as purely tropical in its luxuriance as any we had travelled, was more discomforting owing to its greater heat and over-abundant moisture. The excessive humidity revealed itself in a thin, opaque, damp haze just above us. In the tree-tops it had already gathered into a mist; above them it was a cloud; so that between us and sunshine we had clouds several miles in thickness, the thick, dark, matted foliage of the forest, then thickening layers of mist, and finally a haze of warm vapour. We therefore picked our way through shallow pool and gluey black mud, under a perpetual dropping of condensed vapour, and by a leaden light that would encourage thoughts of suicide, while bodily distress was evinced by trickling rillets of perspiration.

Emerging into a ruined village, the result of some late raid of the Wara Sura, we threw looks towards Ruwenzori, but the old mountain had disappeared under blue-black clouds that reminded one of brooding tempests. The heights of Mboga were dimly visible, though they were further from us than the stupendous mass behind which the thunder muttered, and whence rain seemed imminent. We began to realize that we were in the centre of a great fermenting vat, and that the exhalations growing out of it concentrated themselves{263} into clouds, and that the latter hung in ever-thickening folds until they floated against the face of Ruwenzori; that they languidly ascended the slants and clung to the summits, until a draught of wind over the snow-crests blew them away and cleared the view.

We passed through an extremely populous district the next day, and travelled only two and a quarter hours to reach Baki Kundi. Flanking the path were familiar features, such as several camps of pigmies, who were here called Watwa.

The distance from the Semliki to these villages wherein we were now encamped is 15½ English miles, which we had taken three days to travel, and two days’ halt in consequence. But slow as this was, and supplied as was the caravan with running streams of good water and unlimited quantities of meat and grain, potatoes, plantains, and ripe fruit, the misery of African travel had been realised to its depths. Mothers had left their little children on the road, and one Egyptian soldier, named Hamdan, had laid down by the wayside and stubbornly refused to move, unwilling to pursue the journey of life further. He had no load to carry, he was not sick, but he—what can be said? He belonged to the donkey breed of humanity; he could not travel, but he could die, and the rear-guard were obliged to leave him. This started a rumour through the camp that the commander of the rear-guard had quietly despatched him.

May 24.

The 24th of May was a halt, and we availed ourselves of it to despatch two companies to trace the paths, that I might obtain a general idea which would best suit our purposes. One company took a road leading slightly east of south, and suddenly came across a few Baundwe, whom we knew for real forest aborigines. This was in itself a discovery, for we had supposed we were still in Utuku, as the east side of the Semliki is called, and which is under Kabba Rega’s rule. The language of the Baundwe was new, but they understood a little Kinyoro, and by this means we learned that Ruwenzori was known to them as Bugombowa, and that the{264} Watwa pigmies and the Wara Sura were their worst enemies, and that the former were scattered through the woods to the W.S.W.

The other company travelled in a S. by W. direction, reached the thin line of open country that divided the immediate base-line of Ruwenzori from the forest. They spoke in raptures of the abundance of food, but stated that the people were hostile and warlike. The arms of the men were similar to those of other forest people, but the women were distinguished for iron collars, to which were suspended small phial-shaped pendants of hollow iron, besides those ending in fine spiral coils at the extremities.



Another short march of two and a quarter hours brought us to a village of thirty-nine round, conical huts, which possessed elaborate doorways, here and there ornamented with triangles painted red and black. The Elais gunieensis palm was very numerous near the village.

May 25.

On the next day we emerged out of the forest, and camped in the strip of grass-land in the village of Ugarama, in N. lat. 0° 45′ 49″ and E. long. 30° 14′ 45″. The path had led along the crests of a narrow, wooded spur, with ravines 200 feet deep on either hand, buried by giant trees. The grass-land here did not produce that{265} short nutritive quality which made Kavalli so pleasant, but was of gigantic spear-grasses, from 6 to 15 feet high.

The Egyptian Hamdan made his reappearance at this camp. Left to himself he had probably discovered it hard to die alone in the lonely woods, and had repented of his folly. By this time we had become fully sensible of the difficulty we should meet each day while these people were under our charge. Low as was my estimation of them before, it had descended far below zero now. Words availed nothing, reason could not penetrate their dense heads. Their custom was to rush at early dawn along the path, and after an hour’s spurt sit down, dawdle, light a fire, and cook, and smoke, and gossip; then, when the rear-guard came up to urge them along, assume sour and discontented looks, and mutter to themselves of the cruelty of the infidels. Almost every day complaints reached me from them respecting Captain Nelson and Lieutenant Stairs. Either one or the other was reported for being exacting and too peremptory. It was tedious work to get them to comprehend that they were obeying orders; that their sole anxiety was to save them from being killed by the natives, or from losing their way; that the earlier they reached camp the better for everybody; that marches of two or three hours would not kill a child even; that while it was our duty to be careful of their lives, it was also our duty to have some regard for the Zanzibaris, who, instead of being two or three hours on the road were obliged to be ten hours, with boxes on their heads; that it was my duty also to see that the white officers were not worn out by being exposed to the rain, and mud, and shivering damp, waiting on people who would not see the benefit of walking four or five miles quickly to camp to enjoy twenty to twenty-one hours’ rest out of the twenty-four. These whining people, who were unable to walk empty-handed two and a half or three hours per day, were yellow Egyptians; a man with a little black pigment in his skin seldom complained, the extreme black and the extreme white never.

The Egyptians and their followers had such a number{266} of infants and young children that when the camp space was at all limited, as on a narrow spur, sleep was scarcely possible. These wee creatures must have possessed irascible natures, for such obstinate and persistent caterwauling never tormented me before. The tiny blacks and sallow yellows rivalled one another with force of lung until long past midnight, then about 3 or 4 A.M. started afresh, woke everyone from slumber, while grunts of discontent at the meeawing chorus would be heard from every quarter.



Our Zanzibaris concluded that though the people of Equatoria might be excellent breeders, they were very poor soldiers. The Egyptians had been so long accustomed to overawe the natives of the Province by their numbers and superior arms, that now their number was somewhat reduced and overmatched by natives, they{267} appeared to be doubtful of reaching peaceful countries; but they were so undisciplined, and yet so imperious, they would speedily convert the most peaceful natives to rancorous foes.

With the Pasha I had a conversation on this date, and I became fully aware that, though polite, he yet smarted under resentment for the explosion of April 5th. But the truth is that the explosion was necessary and unavoidable. Our natures were diametrically opposed. So long as there was no imperative action in prospect we should have been both capable of fully enjoying one another’s society. He was learned and industrious and a gentleman, and I could admire and appreciate his merits. But the conditions of our existence prohibited a too prolonged indulgence in these pleasures. We had not been commissioned to pass our days in Equatoria in scientific talk, nor to hold a protracted conversazione on Lake Albert. The time had come, as appointed, to begin a forward movement. It was not effected without that episode in the square at Kavalli. Now that we were on the journey I discovered to my regret that there were other causes for friction. The Pasha was devoured with a desire to augment his bird collections, and thought that, having come so far to help him, we might “take it easy.” “But we are taking it easy for manifold reasons. The little children, the large number of women burdened with infants, the incapable Egyptians, the hope that Selim Bey will overtake us, the feeble condition of Jephson and myself, and Stairs is far from strong.” “Well, then, take it more easy.” “We have done so; a mile and a half per day is surely easy going.” “Then be easier still.” “Heavens, Pasha, do you wish us to stay here altogether? Then let us make our wills, and resign ourselves to die with our work undone.” The thunder was muttering again, as behind the dark clouds on Ruwenzori, and another explosion was imminent.

May 26.

I knew he was an ardent collector of birds and reptiles and insects, but I did not know that it was a mania with him. He would slay every bird in Africa; he would collect ugly reptiles, and every hideous insect;{268} he would gather every skull until we should become a travelling museum and cemetery, if only carriers could be obtained. But then his people were already developing those rabid ulcers, syphilis had weakened their constitutions, a puncture of a thorn in the face grew into a horrid and sloughy sore; they had pastured on vice and were reaping the consequences. The camps soon became so filthy that they would breed a pestilence, and we should soon become a moving sight to gods and men. Carriers were dying—they were not well treated—and then, why then, we could not move at all by-and-by. He was in Heaven when his secretary, Rajab Effendi, brought him new species; he looked grateful when there was to be a two days’ rest, sad when he heard we should march; and when we should reach a nice place near Ruwenzori, we should stay a week, oh, splendid!

Now, all this made me feel as if we were engaged in a most ungrateful task. As long as life lasts, he will hold me in aversion, and his friends, the Felkins, the Junkers, and Schweinfurths will listen to querulous complaints, but they will never reflect that work in this world must not consist entirely of the storage in museums of skulls, and birds, and insects; that the continent of Africa was never meant by the all-bounteous Creator to be merely a botanical reserve, or an entomological museum.

Every man I saw, giant or dwarf, only deepened the belief that Africa had other claims on man, and every feature of the glorious land only impressed me the more that there was a crying need for immediate relief and assistance from civilisation; that first of all, roads of iron must be built, and that fire and water were essential agencies for transport, more especially on this long-troubled continent than on any other.

Alas! alas! With this grand mountain range within a stone’s throw of our camp—not yet outlined on my map—that other lake we heard so much about from Kaibuga, our Mhuma chief, not yet discovered, the Semliki Valley, with its treasures of woods and vege{269}table productions, not yet explored, and the Semliki River, which was said to connect the upper with the lower lake, not yet traced. To hear about wonderful salt lakes that might supply the world with salt; of large-bodied Wazongora, and numbers of amiable tribes; of the mysterious Wanyavingi, who were said to be descended from white men; to be in the neighbourhood of colossal mountains topped with snow, which I believed to be the lost Mountains of the Moon; to be in a land which could boast of possessing the fabulous fountains de la lune, a veritable land of marvel and mystery, a land of pigmies and tall men reported from of old, and not feel a glad desire to search into the truth of these sayings. He—the Maker who raised those eternal mountains and tapestried their slopes with the mosses, and lichens, and tender herbs, and divided them by myriads of watercourses for the melted snow to run into the fruitful valley, and caused that mighty, limitless forest to clothe it, and its foliage to shine with unfading lustre—surely intended that it should be reserved until the fulness of time for something higher than a nursery for birds and a store-place for reptiles.

The abundance of food in this region was one of the most remarkable features in it. Ten battalions would have needed no commissary to provide their provisions. We had but to pluck and eat. Our scouts reported that on every hand lay plantations abounding in the heaviest clusters of fruit. The native granaries were full of red millet, the huts were stored with Indian corn; in the neighbouring garden plots were yams, sweet potatoes, colocassia, tobacco.

May 27.

From the spur of Ugarama, where we halted on the 27th, we could see that up to 8,000 feet of the slopes they were dotted with several scores of cultivated plots, and that the crooked lines of ravines were green with lengthy banana groves, and that upland and lowland teemed with population and food, and other products. Through a glass we were able to note that a thick forest covered the upper slopes and ridges, with an elevation of 9,000 up to 12,000 feet; and that where there was no{270} cultivation the woods continued down to the base. The wild banana was seen flourishing up to a lofty limit, and graced the slopes denuded of trees, and towered over the tallest grass. The Ruwenzori peaks appeared shrouded by leaden clouds, and the lower mountain ranges played at hide-and-seek under the drifting and shifting masses of white vapour. By aneroid, Ugarama is 2,994 feet; and by boiling point, 2,942 feet above the sea. The immediate range, under whose lee the spur ran out to Ugarama village, was, by triangulation, discovered to be of an altitude of 9,147 feet.

Two women—light-complexioned and very pleasing—who were found in the woods near the village, were able to speak the Kinyoro language. It was from them we learned that we were in Ugarama, in the country of Awamba; that Utuku was a name given to the open country up to the Mississi River and the Lake; that the next district we should reach southerly was Bukoko, where the principal Chief, Sibaliki, of the Awamba, lived; and beyond Bukoko was Butama. That from Ugarama to the north extremity of Bukonju or Ukonju, was one day’s march; that two days thence would take us to Toro, but we should have to cross the mountains; that the king of N. Ukonju was called Ruhandika; that the Wakonju formerly owned vast herds of cattle, but the Wara Sura had swept the herds away. We were also told that if we followed the base line of the big mountains, three days’ march would enable us to reach a country of short grass, wherein goats and sheep were plentiful, and wherein there were a few herds of cattle; but the Wara Sura had raided so many times there that cattle could not be kept. The enemies of the Awamba, who cut down the woods and tilled the ground, were the vicious Watwa pigmies, who made their lives miserable by robbing their plantations, and destroying small parties while at work, or proceeding to market in adjoining districts, while the Wara Sura devastated far and near, and they were in the service of Kabba Rega.

When asked if they ever enjoyed days of sunshine{271} and the snow mountains could be seen clear and bright for three or four days, or a week, or a month, they replied that they had never witnessed so much rain as at this time; and they believed that we had purposely caused this in order the more easily to detect people by the tracks along the paths. They also said that at first they had taken us for Wara Sura; but the large herd of cattle with us disproved that we had taken them from the Awamba, for they possessed none. When we informed them that we had seized them from people who acknowledged Kabba Rega as their chief, they said: “Oh, if our people but knew that, they would bring you everything.” “Well, then, you shall go and tell them that we are friends to everyone who will not close the road. We are going to a far country, and, as we cannot fly, we must use the path; but we never hurt those who do not raise the spear and draw the bow.”

On the 28th we advanced five miles over a series of spurs, and across deep ravines, continuous descents of 200 feet to ravines a few yards across, and opposite ascensions, to a similar height. They were so steep that we were either sliding, or climbing by means of the trees and creepers depending from them; and all this under an unceasing, drizzly rain. The rotting banana stalks and refuse of the fruit created a sickening stench.

The next day’s march of four miles enabled us to reach Butama, after an experience as opposite to the sloughs, mud, rock, descents and ascents of the day before, as a fine path, broad enough for an European’s wide-stepping feet, could well be in Africa. The sandy loam quickly absorbed the rain; the rank reed-grass, except at rare intervals, afforded a sufficient space between, and troops of elephants had tramped the ground hard.

May 29.

An old man, with white hair, and too feeble to flee, had awaited his fate at Butama. On being questioned, he replied that the name of the snow mountains that now were immediately above us at an appalling height, was “Avirika, Aviruka, Avrika, Avruka, Avirika, and Avuruka!” so he rang the changes by pressure of eager{272} questions which he had excited by its relation to Afrika. Upon the Watwa pigmies he was most severe. He charged them with being exceedingly treacherous; that they were in the habit of making friends with chiefs of rich districts by fraudful arts and false professions, and, despite blood-brotherhood, and plighted faith, of suddenly turning upon them and destroying them.

On the 30th we reached Bukoko in four hours’ easy travel, for we marched over a smooth graduated terrace formed by the debris rolled down the slopes of the snow mountain, and scoured by repeated falls of rain to a gentle slope, luxuriant with reed-grass, and wonderfully prolific in edibles, where cultivated. Here and there cropped out a monster boulder, half imbedded in the loam and gravelly soil, which had rolled and thundered wildly down when displaced by some landslip, or detached from its resting-place by a torrential shower.

Bukoko was a large and powerful settlement and an important cluster of villages; but it struck us as we entered it that it had been for several days abandoned, probably as long ago as a month. Its groves seemed endless and most thriving, and weighted with fruit, and tomatoes grew in prodigious plenty.

The scouts, as usual, soon after stacking goods and arranging camp, set out to explore, and in a short time met some people in cotton dresses who were armed with guns, and who fired upon them. We heard the loud boom of percussion muskets, and the sharper crack of rifles, and then there was quiet. Presently the scouts returned to report, and they brought me an Enfield rifle which had been thrown away by the defeated band, two of the men were supposed to be fatally wounded, one was said to be dead. They also brought with them a woman and a boy, who were evidently natives of the country, and could say nothing intelligible.

May 30.

A company of seventy rifles was immediately despatched to reconnoitre further, and in ten minutes there was quite a sustained fusillade, deep booming of muskets against sharp volleys of Remingtons and{273} Winchesters. Soon after two of our men were carried to camp wounded, who reported that the enemy were Wara Sura. The rifles appeared to have pressed the strangers hard; the firing was getting more distant, but in an hour’s time we had two more wounded, and a Zanzibari youth, and a Manyuema youth killed, and almost immediately, as I thought of preparing a strong reinforcement, Uledi and the rifles walked into camp accompanied by the chiefs of the enemy, who turned out to be Manyuema raiders, the followers of Kilonga-Longa!

Their story was that a band of fifty gunmen, accompanied by about 100 spearmen, had crossed the Ituri River, and pushing east had arrived about twenty days ago near the edge of the forest, having crossed the Semliki River, and had, with their usual tactics, commenced raiding when they caught sight of some men with guns whom they guessed to be Wara Sura, and had fired upon them. The strangers had fired in return and killed one of them, wounded another mortally, and four others severely. The rest had fled to their settlement, crying out, “We are finished,” whereupon they had then sent men to be in ambush along the route, while the community at the settlement was repairing its defences. On seeing the head of the party coming along the road, they had fired, killing two and wounding four slightly, but when their friends began to rain bullets on them, they cried out “Who are you?” and were answered that they were Stanley’s men, and firing at once ceased, and an acquaintance ever disastrous to us was then renewed. Though we should have wished to have had a legitimate excuse for annihilating one band of the unconscionable raiders, we could not but accept their apologies for what had clearly been an accident, and gifts were exchanged.

We were told that they had met gangs of the Wara Sura, but had met “bad luck,” and only one small tusk of ivory rewarded their efforts. Ipoto, according to them, was twenty days’ march through the forest from Bukoko.{274}

Ruwenzori was now known as Virika by the Awamba of this district.

Since emerging from the Awamba forest near Ugarama, we had journeyed along a narrow strip, covered with prodigious growth of cane-grass reaching as high as fifteen feet. From eminences it appears to be from three to eight miles wide, separating the deep, dark forest. From the immediate vicinity of the mountain, notwithstanding that the grass was of the height and thickness of bamboo, the path was infinitely better, and we had but to cross one or two ravines and watercourses during a march. A feature of it was the parachute-shaped acacia, which in the neighbourhood of the Nyanza was the only tree visible. Near the forest line this tree disappears, and the vegetation, riotously luxuriant and purely tropical, occupied the rest of the valley.



The streams we had lately crossed were cold mountain torrents with fairly wide beds, showing gravel, sand, cobble stones, specimens of the rocks above, gneiss, porphyry, hornblende, sandstone, steatite, hematite, and granite, with several pumice lumps. Three of the principal rivers, called the Rami, Rubutu, and Singiri, were respectively of the temperatures 68°, 62°, and 65° Fahrenheit.{275}

June 2.

After a halt of two days at Bukoko we marched a distance of eight miles to the village of Banzombé, situate on a narrow, level-topped spur between two deep ravines, on the edge of the forest, which here had crept up to the base-line of the snow mountains. As usual, Ruwenzori was invisible, and I feared we should have little chance of photographing it, or employ any of its lofty peaks to take bearings.

The vapours issuing from the Semliki Valley appeared to be weighed down by pressure from above, judging by the long time required for a mass of ascending vapour to each the summit. The smoke of the camp hung over us like a fog until we were nearly blinded and suffocated.

Our cattle showed signs of fagging out. We now possessed 104 head, and 30 sheep and goats.

On the 3rd of June we reached the little village of Bakokoro, in N. Lat. 0° 37′, and here a Copt, one of four brothers, breathed his last. Three considerable streams had been traversed during the short march of three miles. The temperature of one was 62° Fahrenheit.

Unable to trace a path beyond Bakokoro, trending in the direction we required, we halted on the 4th. Jephson was in a high fever; temperature 105°. Mr. Bonny was also suffering; Stairs had recovered. Captain Nelson was robust and strong, and during these days was doing double duty to endeavour to make up for the long months he had been invalided, from October, 1887, to October, 1888.

Some plantains measured here were seventeen and a half inches in length, and as thick as the fore-arm.

After a short march of two and a half hours, we arrived at Mtarega, situated near the deep gorge of the Rami-Lulu river, as it issued from a deep chasm in the mountains.

June 3.

We had all we desired to possess at this camp. We were within 200 yards from the foot of the Ruwenzori range. Paths were seen leading up the steep slopes; a fine cool river was 200 feet below, rushing through the gorge fresh from the snow tops, 61° Fahrenheit temperature. Bananas, plantains, and yams, and corn and{276} sugar-cane were in the plantations and fields, 200 yards away. Now was the period of exploration, and to make botanical collections. Accordingly I sounded the note to prepare to win immortal renown by scaling the heights of the famous Mountains of the Moon. My strength was so far recovered that I could walk 200 yards. Mr. Jephson regretted to say that the fever had conquered and subdued his sanguine spirit; Captain Nelson was sorry, but really, if there was any practical use in climbing such ruthlessly tall mountains—and he took a solemn look at them, and said, “No, thanks!” Surgeon Parke’s line was amid suffering humanity; Mr. Bonny was in bad luck—an obstinate fever had gripped him, and reduced his limbs to mere sticks. Captain Casati smiled mournfully, and seemed to say, “Look at me, and imagine how far I could go.” But the Pasha’s honour was at stake; he had at all times expressed rapture at the very thought, and this was the critical period in the march of the Expedition, and Stairs took a sly glance at the grim, unconquered heights, and said, “I’ll go, like a shot.” It only remained for me to advise him, to furnish him with instruments, to compare his aneroids with a standard one in camp, and supply the men with many anxious counsels to avoid the cold, and to beware of chills after an ascent.

The night was an agreeable one. The altitude of the camp above the sea was 3,860 feet, and a gentle, cool wind blew all night from the gap of the Rumi-Lulu river. In the morning Stairs departed, and the Pasha accompanied him. But, alas! the Pasha had to yield after a thousand feet, and returned to camp, while Stairs held on his way. The following is the report of his experiences:—

Expedition Camp,
June 8th, 1889.


Early on the morning of the 6th June, accompanied by some forty Zanzibaris, we made a start from the Expedition Camp at the foot-hills of the range, crossed the stream close to a camp, and commenced the ascent of the mountain.

With me I had two aneroids, which together we had previously noted and compared with a standard aneroid remaining in camp under your immediate observation; also a Fahrenheit thermometer.{277}

For the first 900 feet above camp the climbing was fairly good, and our progress was greatly aided by a native track which led up to some huts in the hills. These huts we found to be of the ordinary circular type so common on the plain, but with the difference that bamboo was largely used in their interior construction. Here we found the food of the natives to be maize, bananas, and colocassia roots. On moving away from these huts, we soon left behind us the long rank grass, and entered a patch of low scrubby bush, intermixed with bracken and thorns, making the journey more difficult.

At 8.30 A.M. we came upon some more huts of the same type, and found that the natives had decamped from them some days previously. Here the barometer read 23·58 and 22·85; the thermometer 75° F. On all sides of us we could see Dracænas, and here and there an occasional tree-fern and palm: and, tangled in all shapes on either side of the track, were masses of long bracken. The natives now appeared at different hill-tops and points near by, and did their best to frighten us back down the mountain, by shouting and blowing horns. We, however, kept on our way up the slope, and in a short time they disappeared and gave us very little further trouble.

Of the forest plains, stretching far away below us, we could see nothing, owing to the thick haze; we were thus prevented from seeing the hills to the west and north-west.

At 10 30 A.M., after some sharp climbing, we reached the last settlement of the natives, the cultivation consisting of beans and colocassias, but no bananas. Here the barometer read 22·36; thermometer 84° F. Beyond this settlement was a rough track leading up the spur to the forest; this we followed, but in many places, to get along at all, we had to crawl on our hands and knees, so steep were the slopes.

At 11 A.M. we reached this forest and found it to be one of bamboos, at first open, and then getting denser as we ascended. We had noticed a complete and sudden change in the air from that we had just passed through. It became much cooler and more pure and refreshing, and all went along at a faster rate and with lighter hearts. Now that the Zanzibaris had come so far, they all appeared anxious to ascend as high as possible, and began to chaff each other as to who should bring down the biggest load of the “white stuff” on the top of the mountain. At 12.40 P.M. we emerged from the bamboos and sat down on a grassy spot to eat our lunch. Barometers, 21·10 and 27·95/100. Thermometer, 70° F. Ahead of us, and rising in one even slope, stood a peak, in altitude 1200 feet higher than we were. This we now started to climb, and after going up it a short distance, came upon the tree-heaths. Some of these bushes must have been 20 feet high, and, as we had to cut our way foot by foot through them, our progress was necessarily slow and very fatiguing to those ahead.

At 3.15 P.M. we halted among the heaths for a few moments to regain our breath. Here and there were patches of inferior bamboos, almost every stem having holes in it, made by some boring insect and quite destroying its usefulness. Under foot was a thick spongy carpet of wet moss, and the heaths on all sides of us, we noticed, were covered with “old man’s beard” (Usnea). We found great numbers of blue violets and lichens, and from this spot I brought away some specimens of plants for the Pasha to classify. A general feeling of cold dampness prevailed: in spite of our exertions in climbing, we all felt the cold mist very much. It is this continual mist clinging to the hill-tops that no doubt causes all the vegetation to be so heavily charged with moisture and makes the ground under foot somewhat slippery.

Shortly after 4 P.M. we halted among some high heaths for camp.{278} Breaking down the largest bushes we made rough shelters for ourselves, collected what firewood we could find, and in other ways made ready for the night. Firewood, however, was scarce, owing to the wood being so wet that it would not burn. In consequence of this, the lightly-clad Zanzibaris felt the cold very much, though the altitude was only about 8,500 feet. On turning in the thermometer registered 60° F. From camp I got a view of the peaks ahead, and it was now that I began to fear that we should not be able to reach the snow. Ahead of us, lying directly in our path, were three enormous ravines; at the bottom of at least two of these there was dense bush. Over these we should have to travel and cut our way through the bush. It would then resolve itself into a question of time as to whether we could reach the summit or not. I determined to go on in the morning, and see exactly what difficulties lay before us, and if these could be surmounted in a reasonable time, to go on as far as we possibly could.



On the morning of the 7th, selecting some of the best men, and sending the others down the mountain, we started off again upwards, the climbing being similar to that we experienced yesterday afternoon. The night had been bitterly cold, and some of the men complained of fever, but all were in good spirits, and quite ready to go on. About 10 A.M. we were stopped by the first of the ravines mentioned above. On looking at this I saw that it would take a long time to cross, and there were ahead of it still two others. We now got our first glimpse of a snow peak, distance about two and a half miles, and I judged it would take us still a day and a half to reach this, the nearest snow. To attempt{279} it, therefore, would only end disastrously, unprovided as we were with food and some better clothing for two of the men. I therefore decided to return, trusting all the time that at some future camp a better opportunity of making an ascent would present itself, and the summit be reached. Across this ravine was a bare rocky peak, very clearly defined and known to us as the south-west of the “Twin Cones.” The upper part of this was devoid of vegetation, the steep beds of rock only allowing a few grasses and heaths in one or two spots to exist.

The greatest altitude reached by us, after being worked out and all connections applied, was about 10,677 feet above the sea. The altitude of the snow peak above this would probably be about 6,000 feet, making the mountain, say, 16,600 feet high. This, though, is not the highest peak in the Ruwenzori cluster. With the aid of a field-glass I could make out the form of the mountain-top perfectly. The extreme top of the peak is crowned with an irregular mass of jagged and precipitous rock, and has a distinct crater-like form. I could see through a gap in the near side a corresponding rim or edge on the farther of the same formation and altitude. From this crown of rock, the big peak slopes to the eastward at a slope of about 25° until shut out from view by an intervening peak; but to the west the slope is much steeper. Of the snow, the greater mass lay on that slope directly nearest us, covering the slope wherever its inclination was not too great. The largest bed of snow would cover a space measuring about 600 by 300 feet, and of such a depth that in only two spots did the black rock crop out above its surface. Smaller patches of snow extended well down into the ravine; the height from the lowest snow to the summit of the peak would be about 1200 feet or 1000 feet. To the E.N.E. our horizon was bounded by the spur which, standing directly behind our main camp, and mounting abruptly, takes a curve in a horizontal plane and centres on to the snow peak. Again that spur which lay south of us also radiated from the two highest peaks. This would seem to be the general form of the mountain, namely, that the large spurs radiate from the snow-peaks as a centre, and spread out to the plains below. This formation on the west side of the mountain would cause the streams to flow from the centre, and flow on, gradually separating from each other until they reached the plains below. Thence they turn to W.N.W., or trace their courses along the bottom spurs of the range and run into the Semliki River, and on to the Albert Nyanza. Of the second snow-peak, which we have seen on former occasions, I could see nothing, owing to the “Twin Cones” intervening. This peak is merely the termination, I should think, of the snowy range we saw when at Kavalli, and has a greater elevation, if so, than the peak we endeavoured to ascend. Many things go to show that the existence of these peaks is due to volcanic causes. The greatest proof that this is so lies in the numbers of conical peaks clustering round the central mass on the western side. These minor cones have been formed by the central volcano getting blocked in its crater, owing to the pressure of its gases not being sufficient to throw out the rock and lava from its interior; and consequently the gases, seeking for weak spots, have burst through the earth’s crust and thus been the means of forming these minor cones that now exist. Of animal life on the mountain we saw almost nothing. That game of some sort exists is plain from the number of pitfalls we saw on the road-sides, and from the fact of our finding small nooses in the natives’ huts, such as those used for taking ground game.

We heard the cries of an ape in a ravine, and saw several dull, greyish-brown birds like stonechats, but beyond these nothing.

We found blueberries and blackberries at an altitude of 10,000 feet{280} and over, and I have been able to hand over to the Pasha some specimens for his collections, the generic names of which he has kindly given me, and which are attached below. That I could not manage to reach the snow and bring back some as evidence of our work, I regret very much; but to have proceeded onwards to the mountain under the conditions in which we were situated, I felt would be worse than useless, and though all of us were keen and ready to go on, I gave the order to return. I then read off the large aneroid, and found the hand stood at 19·90. I set the index-pin directly opposite to the hand, and we started down hill. At 3 P.M. on the 7th, I reached you, it having taken four and a half hours of marching from the “Twin Cones.”

I have the honour to be, &c.,
(Signed) W. G. Stairs, Lieut. R.E.

P.S.—The following are the generic names of the plants collected by me, as named by the Pasha:—

1.Clematis. 14.Sonchus.27.Asplenium.
2.Viola.15.Erica arborea.28.Aspidium.
6.Elycina (?).19.Mochosma.32.Marchantia.
10.Pencedanum.23.Anthistiria.36.Tree fern—unknown.
11.Gnaphalium.24.Adiantum.37.One fern
12.Helichrysum.25.Pellia.38.One polypodium
13.Senecio.26.Pteris aquilina.

Might we have been able to obtain a view over the Semliki Valley we should have enjoyed one of exceeding interest. But we were unable to see more through the thick sluggish mist than that, wide as it may be, it is covered with a deep forest. The mist soared over the whole in irregular streams or in one heavy mass, which gave it the aspect of an inverted sky. Sometimes for a brief period a faint image of endless woods loomed out, but the mist streamed upward through the foliage as though a multitude of great geysers emitted vapours of hot steam. In the immediate foreground it was not difficult to distinguish elevations and depressions, or round basin-like hollows filled with the light-green forests of banana groves.

One of the Twin Cones was visible a few hundred yards from camp, and after a careful measurement with alta-azimuth it was found to be 12,070 feet.{281}

June 5.

After a halt of three days we struck camp, descended the precipitous walls of the gorge of the Rami-lulu, and, traversing the narrow level, shortly ascended up the equally wall-like slope on the other side, discovering a fact which, but for the ascent and descent, we might not have thought of, namely, that the Rami-lulu had channelled this deep ditch through a terrace formed of the washings and scourings of soil off the slopes. It was a débris, consisting of earth, rock, boulders, and gravel, which had been washed down the gap and accompanied by landslips of so great a magnitude as to have choked up the course of the river and formed quite an extensive and elevated tract, but the Rami-lulu had eventually furrowed and grooved itself deeply through, and so the great bank of material lies cut in two, to the depth of 200 feet, sufficiently instructive.

At early dawn a Madi chief was speared by a bold native. About a mile from Mtarega the grassy strip to which we had clung in preference was ended, the forest had marched across the breadth of the Semliki Valley, and had absorbed the Ruwenzori slopes to a height of seven thousand feet above us, and whether we would or no, we had to enter the doleful shades again. But then the perfection of a tropical forest was around us. It even eclipsed the Ituri Valley in the variety of plants and general sappiness. There were clumps of palms, there were giant tree-ferns, there were wild bananas, and tall, stately trees all coated with thick green moss from top to root, impenetrable thickets of broad-leafed plants, and beads of moisture everywhere, besides tiny rillets oozing out every few yards from under the matted tangle of vivid green and bedewed undergrowth. It was the best specimen of a tropical conservatory I had ever seen. It could not be excelled if art had lent its aid to improve nature. In every tree-fork and along the great horizontal branches grew the loveliest ferns and lichens; the elephant ear by the dozen, the orchids in close fellowship, and the bright green moss had formed soft circular cushions about them, and on almost every fibre there trembled a clear water-drop, and{282} everything was bathed by a most humid atmosphere. The reason of all this was not far to seek; there were three hot-water springs, the temperature of which was 102°. This tract of forest was also in the cosiest fold of the snow mountains, and whatever heat a hot sun furnished on this place was long retained.

We camped in a dry spot in this forest, and the next day, after marching a distance of six and a quarter miles, we emerged out of it into the superb clearing of Ulegga, and sought shelter in a straggling village within a bow-shot reach of the mountains. Banana groves clothed the slopes and ran up the ravines, and were ranged along the base line, and extended out in deep frondiose groves far into the Semliki Valley. There were bananas everywhere; and there was no lack of tobacco, or of Indian corn, or of two kinds of beans, or of yams, and colocassia.

We entered into this district suspicious and suspecting; the death of the Madi chief had impressed us that we should not be too confident, and that vigilance was necessary day and night. At the first village the advance guard encountered men who unhesitatingly resented their intrusion, and began hostilities, and this had created an impression that an important effort would be made. Wherever we looked there were villages, and if courage aided numbers the people were capable of an obstinate resistance. So we pressed bands of armed men up to the mountains, and the skirmishing was brisk, but at 4 P.M. Matyera, a Bari interpreter among the Pasha’s followers, managed to get speech of a few natives, and succeeded in inducing the chief to consent to peace. He came in and said that he had come to throw himself at our feet to be slain or saved. The trumpeters sounded to cease firing, and within two minutes there was a dead silence.

This chief and his friends were the first representatives of Ukonju we had seen, and the devoted mission of the chief instantly won our sympathy and admiration. I was rather disappointed in their appearance, however, though needlessly upon reflection. There is no reason, save a fancy, why I should have expected those{283} mountaineers familiar with mountain altitudes to be lighter in complexion than the people in the Semliki and Ituri Valley forests; but the truth is, they are much darker than even the Zanzibaris. Supposing a people dwelt around a base line of the Swiss Alps, and an irresistible army of Scandinavians swept up to them, the aboriginal inhabitants would naturally take refuge up the mountains, and in the same manner these dark-complexioned people of the true negroid type found themselves unable to resist the invasions of the Indo-African Wachwezi and the coppery-faced tribes of the forest, and sought shelter in the hills, and recesses of the Equatorial Alps, and round about them ebbed and flowed the paler tribes, and so the Wakonju were confined to their mountains.

June 10.

During our march to Mtsora on the next day we crossed five streams, which, descending from the mountains, flowed to the Semliki. One of these was of considerable volume and called the Butahu River, the temperature of which was 57° Fahrenheit.

At Mtsora we received in a short time a good local knowledge from the Wakonju who were now our friends. I learned the following items of interest.

We were told that a few miles north of here was an arm of the upper lake which we had heard so much about, and which I discovered in January, 1876. They call it the Ingezi, which in Kinyoro, means river, swamp, or small lake. The Ruweru, or lake, was two days’ march south.

They also called it the Nyanza; and when I asked its name, they replied, Muta-Nzige, and some of them knew of three Muta-Nziges—the “Muta-Nzige,” of Unyoro, the “Muta-Nzige,” of Usongora, the “Muta-Nzige,” of Uganda.

As for Nyanzas, the number became perplexing. There is the Nyanza of Unyoro, the Nyanza of Usongora; the Nyanza of Unyampaka; the Nyanza of Toro; the Nyanza Semliki; the Nyanza Unyavingi; the Nyanza of Karagwé; and the Nyanza of Uganda. So that a river of any importance feeding a lake, becomes a{284} Nyanza, a large bay becomes a Nyanza; a small lake, or a greater, is known as a Nyanza, or Ruweru.

June 11.

Those semi-Ethiopic peoples who were known to us at Kavalli, as the Wahuma, Waima, Wawitu, Wachwezi, were now called Waiyana, Wanyavingi, Wasongora, and Wanyankori.

Ruwenzori, called already Bugombowa, Avirika, and Viruka, by the forest tribes, became now known as the Ruwenzu-ru-ru, or Ruwenjura, according as a native might be able to articulate.

The Butahu River separates Ulegga from Uringa.

The Wara-Sura were gathered under Rukara, a general of Kabba Rega, King of Unyoro. Some of these ferocious raiders were said to be stationed at the ferry of Waiyana, a few miles north of here. The Wakonju offered to assist us to drive them out of the land.

We were told that Rukara’s headquarters were at Katwé, a town near the Salt Lakes, which are somewhat to the south.

That on the western bank of the Semliki are the tribes Wakovi and Wasoki, and that there are also Watwa pigmies.

We were informed that Usongora and Toro had submitted to Kabba Rega; but the inhabitants of the lake islands refused to promise allegiance, and it was said Kakuri, the chief, had applied to the Wanyavingi and Wanyankori for assistance against Kabba Rega. We were promised the submission of all the Wakonju and Wasangora if we entered into treaty or agreement with them, and I accepted the offer.

The Wakonju people are round-headed, broad faced, and of medium size. They affect circlets manufactured of calamus fibre, very slender, and covering the ankles by hundreds. They also wear a large number on the upper arm. The chiefs also are distinguished by heavy copper or brass wristlets. The women’s neck decorations consist of heavy iron rings coiled spirally at the ends. On the slopes of the mountain, I am told, is found much fine crystal quartz.

At the entrance of almost every village in Ukonju{285} may be seen a miniature tent, with a very small doorway, before which the natives place a banana or an egg. A tradition exists that Mikonju, the founder of the tribe who first cleared the forest, and planted bananas, initiated this custom to prevent theft. It is a tithe offered to the fetish or spirit to remind it that they wish their banana groves, or the eggs whence issue fowls, protected.

On the 12th of June I despatched Lieutenant Stairs, with sixty rifles and a number of Wakonju guides, to proceed to the Semliki, and satisfy all doubts about it; and on the next day he returned, having been favourably received by the natives, who tendered their submission, and accompanied our officer to the river explaining to him every matter of interest. He found it forty-two yards wide, and ten feet deep, sunk between banks of fifty and sixty feet high, and with a current of three miles per hour. After tasting and looking at it, and questioning all the natives who could impart information, he concluded that:—I. Because of the unbroken appearance of the range westward, which has faced the Ruwenzori range ever since leaving the Albert; II. Because of the peculiar grey, muddy colour; III. Because of the peculiar flavour, which is slightly saline, and “unsatisfying,” like that of the Albert Lake; IV. Because of the unanimous statement of the natives that it flows a little west of north, then north, then north-easterly to the Lake of Unyoro, which is the Albert; V. Because of the positive assurance of one native traveller, who is acquainted with the river along its course, from its exit out of one lake to its entering into the other; the Semliki river leaves the upper lake, takes a winding course, with a strong inclination to the western range, when, after turning to the north-east, it gradually draws nearer the Ruwenzori range, flows through Awamba forest and Utuku into the Albert Nyanza.

From an anthill near Mtsora, I observed that from W.N.W., a mile away, commenced a plain, which was a duplicate of that which had so deceived the Egyptians, and caused them to hail it as their lake, and that it{286} extended southerly, and appeared as though it were the bed of a lake from which the waters had recently receded. The Semliki, which had drained it dry, was now from 50 to 60 feet below the crest of its banks. The slopes, consisting of lacustrine deposits, grey loam, and sand, could offer no resistance to a three-mile current, and if it were not for certain reefs, formed by the bed-rock under the surface of the lacustrine deposit, it is not to be doubted that such a river would soon drain the upper lake. The forest ran across from side to side of the valley, a dark barrier, in very opposite contrast to the bleached grass which the nitrous old bed of the lake nourished.

June 12.

We had a magnificent view of Ruwenzori just before sunset one evening during our halt in Mtsora. A large field of snow, and snow-peaks beyond the foremost line, appeared in view. During the whole day our eyes had rested on a long line of dark and solemn spurs, their summits buried in leaden mist; but soon after 5 P.M. the upper extremities of those spurs loomed up one after another, and a great line of mountain shoulders stood out; then peak after peak struggled from behind night-black clouds into sight, until at last the snowy range, immense and beautiful, a perfect picture of beautiful and majestic desolateness, drew all eyes and riveted attention, while every face seemed awed. The natives told us that the meaning of the word Ruwenzori means the Rain-Maker, or Cloud King.

On the 14th of June, escorted by a large following of Wakonju, we marched four and a half hours, and entered Muhamba, in Usongora. Soon after leaving Mtsora we had descended into the grassy plains, which had been within a calculable period a portion of the bed of the lake we were now approaching. About half way, we passed a respectable tributary of the Semliki, called the Rwimi, which separates Ukonju from Usongora. One of the streams we crossed soon after issued from a hot-spring.

June 15.



The next day, an hour’s march from Muhamba, we left the plain and commenced the ascent of the{288}{287} mountains, as the range declining towards the south forms a lengthened hilly promontory, dividing Usongora into western and eastern divisions, lying on either side of it, and both being in past times covered by the lake. After an ascent of about 1,500 feet, a world of hills rose before us, and a view worthy of memory would have been obtained but for the eternal mist covering the grander ranges. Still, it was a fascinating sight, and one that in the time to come will be often painted and sketched and described. It reminded me greatly of the lower Alps, as viewed from Berne, though these successive ranges of African Alps are much higher; but the white-headed mountain kings rose far above these even, and at this time were hidden in the murky clouds. Having crossed the promontory, we descended 300 feet, and, crossing a profound and narrow valley, camped at Karimi.

At 5.15 P.M. the mists and fogs were blown away from the crowns of Ruwenzori, and for once we enjoyed the best view obtained yet, a description of which must be referred to in another chapter. The photographic apparatus was up in a short time, to perpetuate one of the rarest sights in the world, of one of the grandest views that Africa can furnish.

June 16.

On the 16th June, after a long march of four and three-quarter hours, we arrived at the zeriba of Rusessé. We descended from Karimi about 700 feet to the plain of Eastern Usongora, and an hour later we came to Ruverahi River, 40 feet wide, and a foot deep; an ice-cold stream, clear as crystal and fresh from the snows. Ruwenzori was all the morning in sight, a bright vision of mountain beauty and glory. As we approached Rusessé a Msongora herdsman, in the employ of Rukara, the General of the Wara-Sura, came across the plain, and informed us that he could direct us to one of Rukara’s herds. We availed ourselves of his kind offices, which he was performing as a patriot son of the soil tyrannised over and devastated by Rukara; and fifty rifles were sent with him, and in fifteen minutes we were in possession of a fine herd of twenty-five fat cattle, which we{290} drove without incident with our one hundred head to the zeriba of Rusessé. From a bank of cattle-dung, so high as to be like a great earthwork round about the village, we gained our first view of the Albert Edward Nyanza, at a distance of three miles.{291}



Père Jerome Lobo and the Nile—The chartographers of Homer’s time—Hekatæus’s ideas of Africa—Africa after Hipparchus—The great Ptolemy’s map—Edrisi’s map—Map of the Margarita Philosophica—Map of John Ruysch—Sylvannus’ Map—Sebastian Cabot’s map—The arbitrariness of the modern map-maker—Map of Constable, Edinburgh—What Hugh Murray says in his book published in 1818—A fine dissertation on the Nile by Father Lobo—Extracts from part of a MS. in the possession of H. E. Ali Pasha Moubarek—Plan of Mount Gumr—A good description of Africa by Scheabeddin—The Nile according to Abdul Hassen Ali—Abu Abd Allah Mohammed on the Nile river.

The Nile.

Every reader of this chapter will agree with Père Jerome Lobo, of the Company of Jesus, who wrote in the 16th century, that “it is not difficult, after having found the sources of the Nile, and of the rivers that run into it, to resolve the question as to its origin—a question that has caused so much anxiety to ancient and modern authors, because they were looking for that which could not be discovered in their heads, by which they were lost in vain thoughts and reasonings.”

For the complacent satisfaction of those who have not undergone the harassing anxieties attending the exploration of the countries in the region of the Nile sources, and who would prefer to content themselves with reading about them at home before a sparkling fire and under the light of the parlour lamp, I beg to present them with a few copies of ancient maps, from Homer’s time, forty centuries ago, down to those whence we derived instruction in African geography. They will observe with pleasure that we have not much to boast of; that the ancient travellers, geographers, and{292} authors had a very fair idea whence the Nile issued, that they had heard of the Lunae Montes, and the triple lakes, and of the springs which gave birth to the famous river of Egypt. We only claim to have barred for a time the periodic flights of these interesting features of Africa, from 10° north latitude to as far as 20° south latitude, and from east to west Africa, and to have located with reasonable precision the grand old Mountains of the Moon, and the Albertine and Victorine sources of the Nile. And for a time only! For “what profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”

What the chartographers of Homer’s time illustrated of geographical knowledge succeeding chartographers effaced, and what they in their turn sketched was expunged by those who came after them. In vain explorers sweated under the burning sun, and endured the fatigues and privations of arduous travel: in vain did they endeavour to give form to their discoveries, for in a few years the ruthless map-maker obliterated all away. Cast your eyes over these series of small maps, and witness for yourselves what this tribe has done to destroy every discovery, and to render labour and knowledge vain. There is a chartographer living, the chiefest sinner alive. In 1875, I found a bay at the north-east end of Lake Victoria. A large and mountainous island, capacious enough to supply 20,000 people with its products of food, blocked the entrance from the lake into it, but there is a winding strait at either end of sufficient depth and width to enable an Atlantic liner to steam in boldly. The bay has been{293} wiped out, the great island has been shifted elsewhere, and the picturesque channels are not in existence on his latest maps, and they will not be restored until some other traveller, years hence, replaces them as they stood in 1875. And young travellers are known to chuckle with malicious pleasure at all this, forgetful of what old Solomon said in the olden time: “There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”

Africa in Homer’s World.

Africa in Homer’s World.

So, though it is some satisfaction to be able to vindicate the more ancient geographers to some extent, I publish at the end of the series of old maps the small chart which illustrates what we have verified during our late travels. I do it with the painful consciousness that some stupid English or German map-maker within the next ten years may, from spleen and ignorance, shift the basin 300 or 400 miles farther east or west, north or south, and entirely expunge our labours. However, I am comforted that on some shelf of the British Museum will be found a copy of ‘In Darkest Africa,’ which shall contain these maps, and that I have a chance of being brought forth as an honest witness of the truth, in the same manner as I cite the learned geographers of the olden time to the confusion of the map-makers of the nineteenth century.{294}

In the little sketch of ‘Homer’s World,’ which I have taken the liberty of copying, with a few others, from Judge Daly’s[13] learned and valuable contribution to the knowledge of ancient geography, it will be seen that the Nile is traced up to an immense range of mountains, beyond which are located the pigmies.

Five centuries later a celebrated traveller called Hekatæus illustrates his ideas of Africa in a map given below. Though he had visited Egypt, it is quite clear that not many new discoveries had been made. According to him the great Egyptian river takes its rise at the southern extremity of Africa, where the pigmies live.



The next map of Africa that I wish to introduce for inspection is by the “greatest astronomer of antiquity,” Hipparchus, who lived 100 years B.C. His sketch contains three distinct lakes, but situate far north of the equator.

Here follows the great Ptolemy, the Ravenstein or Justas Perthes of his period. Some new light has been thrown by his predecessors, and he has revised and embellished what was known. He has removed the sources of the Nile, with scientific confidence, far south of the equator, and given to the easternmost lake the name of Coloe Palus.{295}



A thousand years elapse, and bring us to Edrisi, an Arab geographer, 1154 A.D. Some little information has been gained in the meanwhile of the Dark Interior. The Mountains of the Moon are prominent now, but several degrees south of the equator. Two of the lakes discharge their surplus waters to a third lake, which is north, whence the Nile issues, flowing northward towards Egypt. We see in it the results of geographical conferences, and many inquiries from ivory traders.



Four centuries later we see, by the following map, that the lakes have changed their position. Ambitious chartographers have been eliciting information from the latest traveller. They do not seem to be so well ac{296}quainted with the distant region around the Nile sources as those ancients preceding Edrisi. Nevertheless, the latest travellers must know best.

Central Africa according to Edrisi. 1154 a.d.

Central Africa according to Edrisi. 1154 a.d.

But in the short space of five years new light has been thrown again, or is it the mere vagary of a chartographer? Lo! the “Mountains of the Moon” are restored many degrees below the equator, but there are only two lakes south of the equator, while the third has travelled to an immense distance north of the line.



Within three years Africa seems to have been battered{297} out of shape somewhat. The three lakes have been attracted to one another; between two of the lakes the Mountains of the Moon begin to take form and rank. The Mons Lunæ are evidently increasing in height and length. As Topsy might have said, “specs they have grown some.”










In the following map we see a reproduction of Sebastian Cabot’s map in the sixteenth century. I have{299} omitted the pictures of elephants and crocodiles, great emperors and dwarfs, which are freely scattered over the map with somewhat odd taste. The three lakes have arranged themselves in line again, and the Mountains of the Moon are picturesquely banked at the top head of all the streams, but the continent evidently suggests unsteadiness generally, judging from the form of it.

That from the sixteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century very little further knowledge respecting the sources of the Nile was known may be proved by the map of my school-days, which follows. There is a distinct retrogression by the determined stupidity of the map-maker. All that we had gathered since the days of old Homer down to the seventeenth century—all the lakes are swept away—the Mountains of the Moon run from about 5° to about 10° north of the equator, and extend from Long. 20° to the Gulf of Aden. We simply owe our ignorance to the map-makers. We no sooner discover some natural feature than it is removed in a next issue.



The Nile.

The arbitrariness of the modern map-maker is as bad as that of his predecessors. In a late German map, for instance, considered to be the best in Germany, there is{300} a large bay removed altogether from the Victoria Nyanza, and a straight line, drawn by pure caprice, usurps the place of a very interesting and much indented coastline, explored by me in 1875. Speke’s Lake Urigi is jostled to the east, shunted to the north; Ukerewe is utterly out of order, and the Tanganika has a great bay named after a person who had followed in the steps of six preceding investigators. Lake Leopold II. narrowly escaped being sponged out because two Germans, Kund (?) and Tappenbeck, had lost their way, and could not find it; but in the meantime an English missionary visited it, and it was left in peace. English map-makers are quite as capricious.

This map, for instance, which has made such cruel and wicked changes of Homer, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and others, was published by Constable in 1819, in a fit of aggravated biliousness no doubt.

Hugh Murray, a compiler of African travels, published in London, 1818, a book called an ‘Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Africa,’ and as he has been an industrious collator of testimony which the best authors of twenty centuries could furnish, I avail myself of his assistance. He says:

“Herodotus shows himself to have known the course of the Nile higher probably than it has been traced by any modern European.

“From Elephantine at the southern extremity of Egypt (Assouan) to Meroe, the capital of Ethiopia, was a journey of fifty-two days, and from thence an equal distance to the country of Automolos, or exiles,[14] making in all a hundred and four days’ journey. The regions deeper in the interior were known to him only by the very short narrative of the ‘Excursion of the Nassamones.’ The river to which the travellers were carried flowing to the eastward is believed to have been the Niger, though Herodotus conceived it to be the Nile. As it was proved by this data to proceed from the west, it appeared natural that this river was one of the main branches.

“Eratosthenes compared Africa to a trapezium, of which the Mediterranean coast formed one side, the Nile another, the southern coast the longest side, and the western coast the shortest side. So little were the ancients aware of its extent that Pliny pronounced it to be the least of the continents, and inferior to Europe. Upon the Nile, therefore, they measured the habitable world of Africa, and fixed its limit at the highest known point to which that river had been ascended. This is assigned about three thousand stadia (three or four hundred miles){301} beyond Meroe. They seem to have been fully aware of two great rivers rising from lakes and called the Astaboras and Astapus, of which the latter (White Nile) flows from the lake to the south, is swelled to a great height by summer rains and forms then almost the main body of the Nile.

MAP of the NILE BASIN. 1819. A.D.

MAP of the NILE BASIN. 1819. A.D.

“Equal in fame with the Geographical School of Eratosthenes was that of Ptolemy. This school displays an increase of actual knowledge which was not, however, always accompanied by sounder views respecting undiscovered regions. Ptolemy appears to have been the first who formed a correct idea of the whole course of the Nile, and assigns to its fountains a place in the vast range of the Mountains of the Moon. But he places his Ethiopia interior much further south beyond the equator, nearly in the latitude of Raptum” (Kilwa?).


The Prior of Neuville les Dames et de Prevessin, who published extracts from Father Lobo, the Portuguese Jesuit, launches into a fine dissertation on the Nile, some portions of which are as follows:—

“The greatest men of antiquity have passionately endeavoured to discover the sources of the Nile, imagining, after a career of conquest, that this discovery was only needed to consummate their glory. Cambyses lost many people and much time in this search.”

“When Alexander the Great consulted the oracle of Jupiter of Ammon the first thing he desired to know was whence the Nile sprang, and having camped on the Indus he believed that he had at last succeeded.”

“Ptolemy Philadelphia waged war on Ethiopia with a view to ascend the Nile. He took the town of Axum, as may be seen by the inscriptions that Cosmos Indoplustes has preserved, which he copied during the reign of Emperor Justin I.”

“Lucan makes Cæsar say in his ‘Pharsalia,’ that he would readily abandon the design of warring against his country could he be happy enough to see the primal fountains of the Nile:

“‘Nihil est quod noscere malim,
Quam fluvii causas per sæcula tanta latentes,
Ignotumque caput: spes sit mihi certa videndi
Niliacos fontes; bellum civile relinquam.’”

“Nero was animated by the same thirst for glory, for he despatched armies to make this discovery, but the report submitted to him removed all hope of success.”

“The ancients therefore, searching in vain for the sources of the Nile, attempted to conceal their ignorance by mysteries, and they related them in fables. Even the interpreters of Holy Scripture were not exempt from this defect, as they knew no other lands on Ethiopia than that of Africa; they thought that Gihon, mentioned in Genesis, was the Nile, not being able to go against the Scriptures, where it is said that the Gihon has its spring in the terrestrial paradise, and it waters the land of Chus; it passes through under the seas and under the earth to reappear in Ethiopia. How many clever men have endeavoured to clear up these fables? and how many different systems were got up? The Bishop of Avranches supports, in his ‘Treatise of the Terrestrial Paradise,’ that the Gihon is an easternly branch of the Euphrates, which flows from the country of Eden and passes along the country of Chus, now the Cheezeslam. He adds that Homer makes out that it descends from Jupiter, and calls it Δητετἡ; this is what has caused Plautus to say, in speaking of a river, which he does not name, that it has its source in heaven and under the throne of Jupiter. The Egyptians, Ethiopians, Abyssinians, Gymnosophists, after making out this river to be a divinity, have thought themselves obliged to maintain the old errors—even the most absurd ones. Therefore we should not be astonished, after the poets having attributed a heavenly origin to the Nile, if the Egyptians, who owe the fertility of their country to it, have built temples, have erected altars, have established festivals in its honour, finally, if they have adored it under the name of Osiris.”

“The Jews and the Mohammedans, who are far from each other in idolatry, have thought that the waters of the Nile were holy and blessed, and the Agaus, who live in the environs of the sources of this river,{303} although instructed in the Christian religion, still offer sacrifices; so that obstinacy and vanity support the superstitions and the idolatries that ignorance has introduced.”

“The Nile has changed its name, according to the times and places: ‘Nec ante Nilus, quam se totum aquis concordibus rursus junxit. Sic quoque etiamnum Siris, ut ante, nominatus per aliquos in totum Homero Ægyptus, aliisque Triton.’ Pliny does not say, as some others have said, that it was the Nile which at first had the name of ‘Egypt,’ but it has given it to the countries it watered while running into the sea, or it is called so after the name of the country, as rivers are ordinarily called after the name of the countries they pass through. Hesychius pretends that the Nile was at first called Egypt, and that it is this river which has given its name to the country: Αἱγυπτος, ὁ Νεἱλος ὁ ποταμὁς ἁχ’ οὑ καἱ ἡ χαρἁ ὑπὁ τος νεωτεροὑς Αἱγυπτος ἑπωνομασμἑνος (Ægyptus, Nilus fluvius à quo regio à recentioribus Ægyptus est appellata). Egypt, nevertheless, is not the first name under which it was known; before it was called Oceanus, afterwards Aetus or Aquila, then Ægyptus, and from thence it was called Triton, on account of these three names; finally, it is known now by the Greeks as well as the Latins by the name of Nile. According to Pliny it takes the name of Syris by passing through the country of Syene. The Egyptians, who think themselves indebted to it for the fecundity of their country and for all its products, have called it the Saviour, the Sun, the God, sometimes the Father. In the Ethiopian language, as used by the learned, it is called Gejon, and he believes that it may have been called so after the name of Gihon, of which Moses speaks in his description of the terrestrial paradise, where he says, ‘Et nomen fluvii fecundi Gihon: ipse qui circumit omnem terram Æthiopiæ.’ Vatable, in explaining the word Kuseh or Æthiopia, says that this must mean the Eastern Ethiopia, ‘de Æthiopia Orientali intelligit.’ The Nile or the Gejon do not environ the whole of Ethiopia or the whole of Abyssinia, but merely a portion, which is the kingdom of Goyam.”

“It will easily be seen shortly how many false hypotheses, how many false reasonings, have been made on the subject; however, there are still people so obstinate of the antiquity, that they will not put faith in those who have been on the spot, and who, having witnessed with their own eyes, could efface what the ancients had written about them. It was difficult and even impossible in following the course of the Nile to go up to its source; those who undertook it were always stopped by the cataracts, and despairing that neither they themselves or others could succeed, they invented a thousand stories. Let us add that neither the Greeks nor the Romans, who are the only ones from whom we have borrowed all our knowledge, have ever carried their arms to that side; who have not even heard spoken of so many barbarous nations who live along this great river; that the land where the Nile springs from, and all those in its environs, are only inhabited by savage and barbarous people; that to arrive there terrible mountains will have to be crossed, impenetrable forests, deserts full of wild beasts, who hardly find there anything to live on. If, however, those who have made so many attempts to discover the source of the Nile had gone though the Red Sea they might with less trouble and expense found what they were looking for.”

After hearing what the ancients said and thought of the sources of the Nile, let us see what we are able to gather from the Arabs:

The following are extracts from part of a manuscript,{304} in the possession of H. E. Ali Pasha Moubarek, the present Minister of Public Instruction, Egypt. The name of the compiler is not given; only the date, 1098 A.H. = 1686 A.D. They are translated by Mr. Vandyck, teacher of English in the Government Schools, Cairo.

“Abu el Fadel, son of Kadama, says in his book, ‘that all rivers in inhabited countries are 228 in number. Some flow like the Nile, from south to north, some flow from east to west, and some flow from north to south, and some flow in more than one of these directions, like the Euphrates and the Gihon.’ He further says, ‘As for the Nile, it starts from the Mountains of Gumr (Kamar) beyond the equator, from a source from which flow ten rivers, every five of these flowing into a separate lake, then from each one of these two lakes two rivers flow out; then all four of these rivers flow into one great lake in the first zone, and from this great lake flows out the Nile.”

“The author of the book called ‘The Explorer’s Desire,’ says that ‘this lake is called the Lake of Likuri,[15] from the name of a tribe in the Soudan who live around the lake, and are very barbarous, and cannibals. From this lake flows out the river Garna, and the Abyssinian river. After leaving this lake, the Nile traverses the country of Likuri, then the country of Mennan—another Soudanese tribe—between Khartoum and Nubia.’”

“On reaching Dongola, the metropolis of Nubia, it goes to the west, and then reaches the second zone. Here the banks are inhabited by the Nuba, and the river has many large cultivated islands with cities and villages, and the boats of the Nuba reach to this point coming downward, whilst the boats of Upper Egypt reach that far going upwards. There are there rugged rocks which prevent the ships from passing except at high Nile. It then flows northward, and passes east of Assouan, in Upper Egypt. It then passes between two mountain chains which border Egyptian territory, east and west, until it reaches Fostat; thence it flows a day’s journey, and then divides into two branches, the one emptying into the Mediterranean at Damietta, and is called the eastern river, and the other, which is the main Nile, passes on, and empties into the Mediterranean at Rosetta, and is called the western branch.”

“The length of the Nile from its source is 3,748 parasangs. It is said that it flows through uninhabited country for four months, and through the Soudanese territory two months, and through Moslem territory one month. No other river goes on increasing while the other rivers are at their lowest, except the Nile, for it rises in the dry season, when the sun is in the constellation Cancer, Leo and Ceres.”

“It is said that this river has tributaries. Some say that its rise is caused by snows melted in summer, and according to the quantity of snowfall will be the greater or lesser rise. Others say that the rise is caused by the different direction of the winds; that is to say, that when the north wind blows strongly, it stirs up the Mediterranean, and pushes the waters thereof backwards so that it overflows the land; and when{305} the south wind blows the Mediterranean ceases to storm, and the waters that were dammed up flow away again.”

“Others say that the rise is caused by fountains upon its banks, that have been seen by travellers who have reached to the highest point.”

“Others say that the Nile flows from snowy mountains, and they are the mountains called Kaf. That it passes through the Green Sea, and over gold and silver and emerald and ruby mines, flowing on ad infinitum until it reaches the lake of the Zingh (Zanzibar), and they say were it not to enter into the salt sea and be mixed up with the waters thereof, it could not be drunk for great sweetness.”

“There is a difference of opinion as to the derivation of the word ‘Gumr.’ Some say it ought to be pronounced ‘Kamar,’ which means the moon, but the traveller, Ti Tarshi, says that it was called by that name because ‘the eye is dazzled by the great brightness.’ This mountain, the Gumr, extends eastward and westward into uninhabited territory on both sides. Indeed, this whole chain is uninhabited on the southern slope. This chain has peaks rising up into the air, and other peaks lower. Some have said that certain people have reached these mountains, and ascended them and looked over to the other side, where they saw a sea with troubled waters, dark as night, this sea being traversed by a white stream, bright as day, which enters the mountains from the north, and passes by the grave of the Great Hermes, and Hermes is the prophet Idrisi (Enoch).”

“It is said that Idrisi there built a dome. Some say that people have ascended the mountain, and one of them began to laugh and clap his hands,[16] and threw himself down on the further side of the mountain. The others were afraid of being seized with the same fit, and so came back. It is said that those who saw it, saw bright snows like white silver glistening with light.[17] Whoever looked at them became attracted, and stuck to them until they died, and this science is called ‘Human Magnetism.’”

“It is said that a certain king sent an expedition to discover the Nile sources, and they reached copper mountains, and when the sun rose, the rays reflected were so strong that they were burnt. Others say that these people arrived at bright mountains like crystal, and when the rays of the sun were reflected they burnt them. Others say that Mount Gumr is a mountain on an island which is called by this same name. Opposite to it is the land of Serendib,[18] four months’ journey in length and twenty days’ journey in breadth, and that from this mountain comes the bird called gimre.”

“The author of the book called the ‘Mirror of Ages,’ says, ‘Hameed, son of Biktiari, has stated that the fountain which is the first of all the fountains is in Mount Gumr. From this fountain start ten rivers, one of which is the Nile. They say that the Nile traverses the first zone, then passes into the second zone, and that the length of it from the source to the Mediterranean is 3,000 parasangs. Some have thought that these fountains are the cause of the rise, whereas others say—and this is the most probable—that the cause is the abundance of rain and torrents in Abyssinia and Nubia, and that the delay in the rise reaching Egypt is on account of the great distance. All other rivers flow to the{306} south, whereas it flows northward, and like it, Orontes in North Syria near Hamath.’

“Ti Farshi says that ‘some astronomers state that the Nile comes from beyond the equator 11½°, and then flows on to Damietta and Alexandria at 30° lat. N. They say from its source to its mouth are 142⅓° nearly, hence the length would be 8614⅓ miles with all its meanderings. It meanders eastward and westward greatly.’

“Achmed, son of Ti Farshi, in his book of the description of the Nile, says, ‘historians relate that Adam bequeathed the Nile unto Seth his son, and it remained in the possession of these children of prophecy and of religion, and they came down to Egypt (or Cairo) and it was then called Lul, so they came and dwelt upon the mountains. After them came a son Kinaan, then his son Mahaleel, and then his son Yaoud, and then his son Hamu and his son Hermes—that is Idrisi the prophet.[19] Idrisi began to reduce the land to law and order. The Nile used to come flowing down upon them, and they would escape from it to the high mountains and to elevated land until the river fell, then they would plant whatever country was left bare. Idrisi gathered the people of Egypt and went with them to the first stream of the Nile,[20] and there adjusted the levelling of the land and of the water by lowering the high land and raising the low land and other things according to the science of astronomy and surveying. Idrisi was the first person who spoke and wrote books upon these sciences. He then went to the land of Abyssinia and Nubia, and gathered the people, and extended the distance of the flow of the Nile, or reduced it according to the swiftness or sluggishness of the stream. He even calculated the volume of the water and the rate of flow. He is the first man who regulated the flow of the Nile to Egypt. It is said that in the days of Am Kaam, one of the Kings of Egypt, Idrisi was taken up to Heaven, and he prophesied the coming of the flood, so he remained the other side of the equator and there built a palace on the slopes of Mount Gumr.[21] He built it of copper, and made eighty-five statues of copper, the waters of the Nile flowing out through the mouths of these statues and then flowing into a great lake and thence to Egypt.’

“Idyar el Wadi says, ‘the length of the Nile is two months’ journey in Moslem territory, and four months’ journey in uninhabited country. That its source is from Mount Gumr beyond the equator, and that it flows to the light coming out of the river of darkness, and flows by the base of Mount Gumr.’

“Mohammed, the Prophet of God, says:—

“‘The Nile comes out of the Garden of Paradise, and if you were to examine it when it comes out, you would find in it leaves of Paradise.’

“King Am Kaam, mentioned above, is Hermes I. The devils carried him to this mountain, which is called Gumr, and there he saw how the Nile flows out of the Black Sea and enters into the mountain of Gumr. King Am Kaam built on the slopes of the mountain a palace having eighty-five statues, to which he collected all the water that flows from this mountain, conducting it in vaulted conduits until the water reaches the statues and flows out of their mouths in measured quantities and calculated cubic contents. It thence flows in many rivers until it reaches{307} the Great Central Lake.[22] Round this lake is the country of the Soudan and their great city Garma. In this great lake is a mountain which traverses it, going out of the lake and extending north-west.[23] From this mountain the Nile flows on a month’s journey and then it divides in the land of Nubia, one division going to the far west, and in this branch is the greater part of the country called the Soudan—whilst the other is the branch which flows down to the land of Egypt, and beyond Assouan it divides into four branches and thus flows into the sea at Damietta and Alexandria. It is said that three of these branches flow into the Mediterranean, whereas the fourth branch flows into the Salt Lake and thence to Alexandria.

“It is said that the rivers Sihon, Gihon, the Nile and the Euphrates, all start from a green jasper dome from a mountain, and that this mountain is near the Dark Sea.[24] That the waters are sweeter than honey, and more fragrant than musk, but that the waters are changed in the course of the flow.

“Sheikh Izz Edin, son of Ibn Gamar, says in his book on medicine (and I have copied from the autograph manuscript), that the source of the Nile is from Mount Gumr beyond the equator by 11° and 20′. From this mountain start ten rivers from various sources, each five of which flow into a great round lake, which is distant from the extreme uninhabited country of the west by 57°, and from the equator 7° and 31′ to the south, and these two lakes are equal, the diameter of each being 5°. Out of each one of these two lakes flow two rivers which empty into one great lake in the first zone. It is distant from the uninhabited country of the west by 53° and 30′. It is distant north of the equator 2°. Each one of these four rivers empties itself separately into this great lake, and from it comes out one single river, and this is the Nile. It passes through the country to Nubia, and joins another river, whose source is from another part near the equator, from a great round lake whose diameter is 3°, and which is distant from the confines of inhabited country on the west of 71°.

“After it has passed the city of Cairo, it reaches a town called Shatanuf, where it divides into two rivers, both of which flow into the salt sea, one of these branches being called the Rosetta River, and the other the Damietta River. This river reaches to Mansoura, and there branches off from it the river called Ashmun, which empties into a lake there, and the remainder flows into the salt sea near Damietta, and here I give a plan of Mount Gumr.

“The historian El Gahez, in his description of countries, says that ‘the source of the river of Sindh[25] and the river Nile is from one place,’ and that he came to this conclusion because ‘the two rivers rise at the same time, and because the crocodile is found in them both,’ and that ‘the kind of land-cultivation upon both is the same.’ The historian Mashi, in his ‘History of Egypt,’ says that in the country of Tegala is a Soudanese tribe of the same name in whose land gold crops up, and that in their land the Nile splits and becomes two rivers, the one branch being the Nile of Egypt, and the other being green, which flows eastward and traverses the salt sea to the landing of Sindh, and this is the river called Meharaam.{308}

“The lake into which the water flows is called Biliha.[26] Part of the Nile flows to the Soudan country, then passes to the east of Kussed, and then flows along one of the mountains of this country and comes out at the equator. Then it passes out from a lake there, and continues going westward to the country of Laknur, and thence northwards until it flows into the great ocean. Then it flows to the country of Abyssinia, and thence to the country of the Soudan, and then to the east of Dongola, until it comes upon the cataracts of Assouan, thence it flows into the Mediterranean.



“Makrisi says, ‘There is no difference of opinion. The Nile comes from Mount Gumr.’ Makrisi also says that ‘Merka-Eel, the son of Doobar-Eel, the son of Garabat, the son of Asfusan, the son of Adam, on coming to Egypt with a number of the tribe of Arabat, settled in Egypt and there built the city of Assus and other cities, and they dug the Nile until they led the water down to them, because, before that time, it did not flow regularly, but used to spread out over the land unto the country of King Mekronsé of Nuba. They regulated the course of the Nile and drew from it various streams to their different cities which they had{309} built. They also led one stream to the city of Susan, then after the world came out of the flood, and when time rolled on until the days of Berdashir, the son of Bzar, the son of Ham, the son of Noah, the flow of the Nile was again regulated a second time, after it had been completely ruined by the flood.’ But the historian Ibn Wasifsha says, ‘when Berdashir ruled—and he is the first who became a priest and who practised magic and used to render himself invisible—he sent the Prince Hermes to the great Lake,[27] whence the waters of the Nile flow. It is also said that he regulated the stream, because formerly it used to overflow in some places and not in others.’

“As for the place where are the copper statues, it contains fifty-eight figures, and Hermes collected to these figures the water that flows out of the Nile, conducting the water to them by vaulted conduits and aqueducts, so that the water would flow to the figures and then come out from Mount Gumr, and thence flow from under the wall, and then pass out through the mouths of these figures. He regulated and measured the quantity of water flowing out, so as to allow to flow out that amount which is required for the land of Egypt, viz., that it should rise only to eighteen cubits, each cubit having thirty-two digits. Were it not for this the Nile would swamp all the countries that it passes through.

“El Welid, the son of Romah the Amalekite, was enabled to go to discover the sources of the Nile. He occupied three years in preparing for his expedition, and then started with a large army, destroying every tribe he came upon. He passed through the tribes of the Soudan, and through the gold country, and there he saw golden sticks sprouting out. He continued journeying until he reached the great Lake,[28] unto which the Nile flows coming from the rivers which flow out from under Mount Gumr. He went on until he reached the Temple of the Sun, and passed it until he reached Mount Gumr or Kamar, which is a high mountain. He says that it is called Mount Gumr because the moon does not shine except upon it because it is outside of the Equator.[29] He saw the Nile flowing out from under Mount Gumr and coming down from the rivers of Mount Kaf. After the river traverses the Equator it is joined by waters from a stream coming from the region of Tekraan[30] in India, and this fountain starts from under Mount Gumr and flows in that direction. It is said that the river Tekraan is like the Nile. It rises and falls at the same time, and has in it crocodiles and fishes resembling those in the Nile.

“Some people have said that when they were there they saw neither sun nor moon, but the only light was the light of the most merciful God like the light of the sun.

“Other explorers have said that the four rivers, Gihon, Sihon, the Euphrates, and the Nile arise from one source—from a dome in the gold country, which is beyond the dark sea, and that that country is a part of the regions of Paradise, and that the dome is of jasper. They also say that Hyad, one of the children of Ees, prayed God to show him the extreme end of the Nile. God gave him power to do this, and he traversed the dark river, walking upon it with his feet over the water which did not stick to his feet, until he entered that dome. This legend I have taken from El Makrisi’s book.”

The best description that I have been able to discover{310} is by Scheabeddin, an Arab geographer who wrote about 1400 A.D. He says:—

“The Isle of Mogreb (Africa) is in the midst of the seas which water it on all sides. To the east it is bounded by the sea of Kulzum (Red Sea); to the south and west by the ocean of which God only knows the extent and limits; to the north it has for limits the sea of Kharz, which is that by which the Franks came into the Holy Land, by landing on the coast of Syria.

“In the midst of the Isle of Mogreb are the deserts of the negroes, which separate the country of the negroes from that of the Berbers. In this isle is also the source of that great river which has not its equal upon the earth. It comes from the mountain of the moon which lies beyond the equator. Many sources come from this mountain and unite in a great lake. From this lake comes the Nile, the greatest and most beautiful of the rivers of all the earth. Many rivers derived from this great river water Nubia, and the country of the Djenawa. This river cuts horizontally the equator, traverses Abyssinia, the country of Kuku, comes to Syene, cuts Egypt throughout its whole length and throws itself into the sea between Tunis and Damietta.”

Abdul Hassan Ali, ibu el Hasseyn, ibu Ali el Massoudé, born at Baghdad, and who came to Egypt 955 A.D., where he closed his accounts with the world, and brought his many travels to an end, writes:—

“I have seen in a geography a plan of the Nile flowing from the Mountains of the Moon—Jebel Kumr.

“The waters burst forth from twelve springs and flow into two lakes like unto the ponds of Bussora. After leaving these lakes, the waters re-unite, and flow down through a sandy and mountainous country.

“The course of the Nile is through that part of the Soudan near the country of the Zenj (Zanzibar).”

As I finished the transcription of these interesting old legends, I said in my heart: “As it happened unto the ancient authors, so it will happen unto me. Why was I then more wise? I considered all travail, and every right work—that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. Therefore I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun is grievous unto me—for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

The following was kindly translated by His Excellency Count de Landburg, the Consul-General at Cairo for Sweden and Norway.



“Chams ed-din Abu Abd Allah Mohammed ed Dimachgê (born 1256 A.D., Dec. 1336 (31)), in his geography, Mukhbat ed-dahr fê Ajaîb al-barr wal{311}bahr, edited by Professor Mehren, St. Petersburg, 1866, says (p. 88), in the chapter dealing with the four rivers of Paradise:—

The scholars say about this, that the Egyptian river called the Nile is the river of Nubia. Its springs are in the Mountains of the Moon, which divide the inhabited land to the south of the equator, and that on the outside from the southern unknown countries, whereof there is no information. The number of its springs are ten rivers, running with haste in ten valleys between high trees and compact sands. The distance between the longest off situated occidental is about fifteen days, and they all together flow into two large lakes, the distance between these being four days. The extension of the oriental lake with all its islands and mountains is rather four days to him that passes around it, and the extension of the occidental is about five days to him that passes around it, and in both these lakes, and in the land that lies between the streams above mentioned, are the wild Sudan tribes, whose nature resembles to that of the beasts. They do eat whomsoever they assault, and he that catches anybody of another tribe, kills him and eats him, as the game eaten. The situation of these lakes is from 50-56° longitude from the springs of the river, and from 6-7° latitude on the south of the equator. The Oriental lake is called Kúkû and Tamim es-Sudanese, and the occidental Damâdim and Galjûr and Hajami. Farther issue from each of these two lakes{312} four rivers, running through populated valleys, where the Sudanese have their settlements. These rivers are flowing near the equator until 7° latitude, and flow all together into one long and large lake, which is called Jawas and el Jamia (Arab: the ‘Collector'), and which is called also Kûri[31] of the Sudanese. Its circuit is about six days with the islands Jawas and Kûri, inhabited by the Sudanese. From this lake issue three big rivers. The one flows towards the west, and is called Rhâna; another, turning to the south, flows to the east, and is called ed Damadim, or the Magid Shu of the Negroes, and the third is the river of Nubia, and is called the Nile. Its course is to the north until it flows into the Mediterranean, as the river Damâdim flows into the Southern Sea, and the Rhâna river into the Western Ocean.”




Recent travellers who have failed to see this range—Its classical history—The range of mountains viewed from Pisgah by us in 1887—The twin cones and snowy mountain viewed by us in 1888 and January 1889—Description of the range—The Semliki valley—A fair figurative description of Ruwenzori—The principal drainage of the snowy range—The luxurious productive region known as Awamba forest or the Semliki valley—Shelter from the winds—Curious novelties in plants in Awamba forest—The plains between Mtsora and Muhamba—Changes of climate and vegetation on nearing the hills constituting the southern flank of Ruwenzori—The north-west and west side of Ruwenzori—Emotions raised in us at the sight of Ruwenzori—The reason why so much snow is retained on Ruwenzori—The ascending fields of snow and great tracts of débris—Brief views of the superb Rain-Creator or Cloud-King—Impression made on all of us by the skyey crests and snowy breasts of Ruwenzori.


After the stories of the days of old, let us proceed to depict the Ruwenzori range—which is the modern African term among the principal tribes of the Lake regions for what was called Montes Lunae or Mons Lune by the classical and European geographers, and by the Arab compilers of travels as Jebel Kumr—Gumr, or Kammar—the Mountains of the Moon—as it was seen by us. Several centuries have passed away since it was last seen by any one capable of communicating an intelligent account of his travels, and it may be many years will elapse before it is again seen by any English-speaking explorer. The Nile route is closed for many a day to come: the advance of the Manyuema, already spreading out far along the West like an immense line of skirmishers, destroying and slaying as they march eastward and northward, renders it very doubtful whether subsistence would be found for an Expedition from the west; the ferocity and number of the Wara Sura, and{314} the treacherous character of the Wanyoro, make it very certain that only a powerful force can ever be able to pass through Toro; and the shifting events transpiring in Uganda, which influence Uddu and Ankori, suggest a doubt, whether, in defiance of Uganda, the south-east route would be practicable; and the eastern route also presents serious difficulties. For these, as well as for other reasons, such as the failure of so many modern travellers—Sir Samuel and Lady Baker, Gessi Pasha, Mason Bey in 1877, our own Expedition in 1887, and Emin Pasha in 1888—to see what ought to have been seen, it is quite necessary that a more detailed description should be given of this range.

It is quite a mysterious fact that from the localities reached by Sir Samuel Baker, Ruwenzori ought to have been as visible as St. Paul’s dome from Westminster Bridge. And any person steaming round the Lake Albert, as Gessi Pasha and Mason Bey did, would be within easy view of the snow mountains—provided, of course, that they were not obscured by the dense clouds and depths of mist under which for about 300 days of the year the great mountain range veils its colossal crown.

Then, again, its classical history: the fables that have been woven about it; its relation to the dear old Nile, the time-honoured Nile—the Nile of the Pharaohs, of Joseph, Moses, and the Prophets; its being the source whence so many springs of the Nile issue—its being the creator of the “Sea of Darkness,” Lake Albert Edward, from whose bosom the Semliki—Nile to the West, and the infant Kafur to the East—emerge, to feed the Albert on one hand and the Victoria Nile on the other; the very mountain before whose shrine Alexander and Cæsar would have worshipped—if the poets may be believed; its rare appearance out of the night-black clouds; its sudden and mysterious apparition on a large portion of that “illimitable lake” of a modern traveller; its quaint title—the Mountains of the Moon, so often sought in vain; its massive and rugged grandeur, and immense altitude: all these explain why Ruwenzori{315} demands more than a brief notice. Who that has gazed on the Bernese Oberland for the first time will ever forget the impression? In my twenty-two years of African travel both discovery and spectacle were unique, and its total unexpectedness of appearance, as well as its own interesting character and history, appeal to me to describe as clearly as possible, and with some detail, what we saw.

While proceeding towards Lake Albert, in December, 1887, we obtained a view from Pisgah of a long range of mountains, wooded to the summits, which we estimated to be about 7,000 to 8,000 feet in height. It lay from S.E. to S. On returning from the Lake, the same month, two enormous truncate cones suddenly appeared into view, bearing S. ½ . They might, we believed, be between 10,000 and 12,000 feet high. They were called the Twin Cones, and we thought them remarkable features. The sight of them suggested that in their neighbourhood, or between them and the Gordon Bennett Mountain, would be found an interesting country.

When returning to the Nyanza for the second time in April, 1888, the Twin Cones were invisible; but on the 25th of May, 1888, when scarcely two hours’ march from the Lake beach, lo! a stupendous snowy mountain appeared, bearing 215° magnetic—an almost square-browed central mass—about thirty miles in length, and quite covered with snow; situate between two great ridges of about 5,000 feet less elevation, which extended to about thirty miles on either side of it. On that day it was visible for hours. On surmounting the table-land, the next day or so, it had disappeared. Not a trace of either Twin Cones or Snowy Mountain was in view.

On returning for the third time to the Nyanza, in January, 1889, and during our long stay at Kavalli for two and a half months, it was unseen, until suddenly casting our eyes, as usual, towards that point where it ought to be visible, the entire length of the range burst out of the cloudy darkness, and gratified over a{316} thousand pairs of anxious eyes that fixed their gaze upon the singular and magnificent scene.

The upper part of the range, now divided distinctly into many square-browed peaks, seemed poised aloft in a void of surprising clearness, domed by a dark blue heaven as clear and spotless as crystal, and a broad zone of milk-white mist enfolding it in the middle caused it to resemble a spectral mountain isle sailing in mid-air—to realize a dream of an Isle of the Blest. As the sun descended westerly the misty zone drifted away, and the floating apparition became fixed to nether regions of mountain slopes, and the sharply-cut outlines and broader details might be easily traced through the binoculars. Though we were nearly eighty miles off, we could even see ridgy fringes and tufted clumps of trees, resting on broad ledges, or on mountain spires, or coping some turret-like crag, which leaned over profound depths below. We even agreed that the colour of the bare rock casques fronting the glare of the sun, and which were aligned against the lucent blue beyond, were of a purplish brown. We saw that the side presented to our view was singularly steep and probably unscaleable, and that though the snowy fields seemed to be mere patches, yet many feathery stretches descended far below the summit of a bare ridge which intervened between the central range and the Balegga Hills, twelve miles from us, over whose summit, Ruwenzori, sixty-five miles further, loomed large and grand.

It will then be understood that a transparent atmosphere is very rare in this region, and that had our stay been as short as that of previous travellers, Ruwenzori might have remained longer unknown.

While we were advancing southward along the western flanks of Mazamboni’s, and the Balegga Hills, during the month of May, 1889, the great snowy range was frequently, almost daily, visible—not in its entirety, but by fits and starts, a peak here, a mountain shoulder there, with sometimes only a dim visage of the crowns, and at other times the lower parts only in view. The snow gleamed white out of a dark and cloudy frame, or{317} the flanks, dark as night, loomed like storm-clouds, boding rain and squalls. At rare periods the whole appeared with a brilliant sharp-cut clearness that was very useful to us to map our future route.

Yet all this time we scarcely understood its character, and not until we had crossed the Semliki river, and had traversed a great portion of the dense and tall woods, which thrive in the hothouse atmosphere of the Semliki Valley, had we any intelligent comprehension of it.

The average European reader will perfectly understand the character of the Semliki Valley and the flanking ranges, if I were to say that its average breadth is about the distance from Dover to Calais, and that in length it would cover the distance between Dover and Plymouth, or from Dunkirk to St. Malo in France. For the English side we have the Balegga hills and rolling plateau from 3,000 to 3,500 feet above the valley. On the opposite side we have heights ranging from 3,000 to 15,500 feet above it. Now, Ruwenzori occupies about ninety miles of the eastern line of mountains, and projects like an enormous bastion of an unconquerable fortress, commanding on the north-east the approaches by the Albert Nyanza and Semliki Valley, and on its southern side the whole basin of the Albert Edward Lake. To a passenger on board one of the Lake Albert steamers proceeding south, this great bastion, on a clear day, would seem to be a range running east and west; to a traveller from the south it would appear as barring all passage north. To one looking at it from the Balegga, or western plateau, it would appear as if the slowly rising table-land of Unyoro was but the glacis of the mountain range. Its western face appears to be so precipitous as to be unscaleable, and its southern side to be a series of traverses and ridges descending one below the other to the Albert Edward Lake. While its eastern face presents a rugged and more broken aspect, lesser bastions project out of the range, and is further defended by isolated outlying forts like Gordon Bennett Mountain, 14,000 to 15,000 feet high, and the Mackinnon{318} Mountain of similar height. That would be a fair figurative description of Ruwenzori.

The principal drainage of the snowy range is to the west, down into the Semliki River, and south to the Albert Edward Lake. The Katonga flowing into Lake Victoria, and the Kafur into the Victoria Nile, are both fed from the eastern face of Ruwenzori. The Mississi River, emptying into Lake Albert direct, rises from the northern extremity of the mountains.

During our journey southward, through the Semliki Valley and along the shores of the Albert Edward, I counted sixty-two streams which descended from Ruwenzori alone, the most important being the Rami, Rubutu, Singiri, Ramilulu, Butahu, Rusirubi, Rwimi rivers, descending to the Semliki River; and the Ruverahi, Nyamagasani, Unyamwambi, Rukoki, Nsongi and Rusango rivers, pouring into the Albert Edward.

By boiling point the upper lake was ascertained to be at an altitude of 3,307 feet, and Lake Albert at 2,350 feet above the sea; thus making a difference of level of 957 feet for about 150 miles of river. Therefore, besides a strong current which we observed, and rapids, the Semliki River must have a considerable number of great cataracts in its course from lake to lake.

The Semliki Valley is noted for its hot-house character only for some forty miles. That portion of it exposed to the sweep of the gales from Lake Albert seems to have but a sour soil, for the yield of it is an acrid grass, rejected by cattle, and thin forests of acacia; but between this and the portion of exposed lake to the upper end is a soil so rich and so productive that would rival the best soils in the world. The natives have long ago discovered this fact, for they have gathered in multitudes of small tribes to clear the thick forest and plant their banana and plantain stalks. One can scarcely travel a mile in any direction without coming across a luxuriant, heavy-fruited plantain grove. In no part of Africa may be seen such abundance of food, not even in Uganda. Ten such columns as I led might{320}{319} have revelled in abundance. The plantain fruit, when mature, measured from twelve to eighteen inches in length, and thick as the fore-arm of an ordinary man.



It occupied us sixteen days to traverse this rich forest region, generally distinguished by the name of Awamba, after the tribe, and during that time we had ten separate rainfalls, several of them lasting over nine hours, while it thundered daily. Besides this, when we issued out of the forest, and clung to the grassy foot of the range, at a few hundred feet of altitude above it, we observed that, as far as we could see, the forest extended unbroken, except by the numerous banana plantations. There were many lateral depressions, marking the courses of the streams, but few elevations of any importance, but over the whole slowly sailed the snow-white mist in broad, irregular streams; these, in a few moments, became joined into a universal mass, which to us, looking down upon it, resembled an inverted sky. All this was very annoying to us as curious sightseers, anxious to know the strange world we were in; but it furnished suggestions as to the reason why this part was so especially prolific, and why Ruwenzori was so coy. No winds could cool this portion of the valley, or waft the vapours away and clear the atmosphere from an entire corner of the compass, owing to the extent and great height of Ruwenzori. The great mountain intercepted every breeze from east round to south, and prevented the everlasting exhalations of the valley from being blown in that direction, but, on their reaching the intense cold above, distilled them, and rediffused them in copious showers of rain. From north to west the northern range of mountains obstructed the free passage of the winds, and assisted to maintain that equable heat of the valley that was necessary for the fostering of that marvellous vegetation. In every camp of this region the smoke hung over us like a pall, smarting the eyes and half suffocating us. In such a Nature’s conservatory as the Semliki Valley, buried under its own perpetual warm exhalations, vegetation, as a matter of course, finding every favourable element{322} therein necessary for its growth and nourishment, grows in riotous profusion. Where the humus is deep we find a tall and stately forest, with an impervious underwood of young trees, bound together and sometimes altogether hidden by countless climbing vines and robust plants; where the humus is thinner, as near the foot of the range, dense crops of cane-grass, from ten to fifteen feet in height, flourish luxuriant and impenetrable. Every tree-stem has its green robe of soft moss, dripping with dew, and each tree-fern or horizontal branch has its orchids, or broad elephant-eared plant. Every rock is clothed with lichens, and if but the slightest hollow is found in it, there will be seen a multitude of tropic plants crowding every inch. In short, everywhere, except upon the perpendicular face of a late-moved boulder, vegetation thrives of every variety of greenness, form, and character.

About a day before we finally issued out of the forest region we were made still further aware what curious novelties in plants a natural conservatory can produce. Between Mtarega and Ulegga we were astonished at the huge girth of the wild banana plant, some of them being eighteen inches in diameter two feet above the ground. The fronds were gathered at the top of the stalk like an artificial bouquet, but presently spread out, two feet wide and ten feet in length, forming graceful curves and a most cooling shade, the leaves circling the flowers, which were like great rosettes with drooping tassels. There seemed to be no limit to the altitude at which these wild bananas grew, though we observed that their number on the mountain slopes became more limited above 8,000 feet. The tree-ferns, reaching as high as thirty feet from the ground, presented themselves in a series of narrow groves along the moist hollows or near banks of streamlets, while an untold variety of smaller ferns grew in their neighbourhood, as though they were determined to prove their relationship to the giants of the fern family. Then the calamus, climbing from one tall tree to another with resolute grasp, next attracted our attention. In the neighbourhood of{323} such fern-groves the trees were veritable giants, the orchids in their forks were most numerous, and the elephant-eared lichen studded the horizontal branches, while every tree was draped with soft green moss, beaded with dew, and seemed sodden through excess of moisture.

Though the forest region ends as we enter Ulegga, the interval between it and Mtsora is so devoted to cultivation by the natives that it is only at the latter place that we become fully aware that we have entered a new region. Looking towards the W.N.W. we see the commencement of a brown grassy plain, the very duplicate of that extending round the southern end of Lake Albert. In appearance it is as flat as though the level bottom of a lake had just appeared in view and continues thus to the Albert Edward Nyanza.

Between Mtsora and Muhamha we travelled along the edge of the low plain or ancient bed of the northern portion of the Southern Nyanza, but soon after leaving the last village we began to breast the mountains in order to avoid the circuitous route along the plain round the promontory of Sangwé-Mirembé.

As we journeyed towards the south-west over these hills we observed that in the same manner as a change had come over the character of the Semliki Valley the slopes of Ruwenzori had also undergone a similar change. Instead of the thick forests which climbed up the lower slopes and covered the ravines, and wild bananas and wonderful ferneries, and general sappiness and luxuriance of the various species of vegetation, pastoral grass waved on every slope and crest, while a healthful cool breeze caused us to bless our fortune in having parted from the close, heated and moist atmosphere of the Semliki.

But in two days’ march we observed that there was another change. We were in a much drier climate, and the superficial aspect of the country was much as might be expected from a comparatively rainless district—it was that of a worn-out and scorched country. The grass was void of succulency and nutriment. The slopes of the rounded hills presented grooves of a brick-dust{324} colour; here and there grew a stunted tree with wrinkled and distorted branches and ugly olive-green leaves, too surely denoting that the best of the soil had been scoured away or consumed by annual conflagrations, that vegetable life was derived under precarious circumstances despite the copious showers of the rainy season. As these hills, which constitute the southern flank of Ruwenzori, present themselves, the plains below, between their base and Lake Albert Edward, share their meagre, famished, treeless, and uninteresting character. Though the vegetation differs, the gum-trees, such as the acacia, the rigid black euphorbia, the milk weed, are indications of a lean soil and salt-effusing earth, and in reality such is the character of the bed of the receded Nyanza.

In brief words, the north-west and west sides of Ruwenzori, blessed with almost daily rains and with ever-fresh dews, enjoy perpetual spring and are robed in eternal verdure; the south and south-west sides have their well-defined seasons of rain and drought, and if seen during the dry season, no greater contrast can be imagined than these opposing views of nature’s youth and nature’s decay.

There are many doubtless, like myself, who, while gazing upon any ancient work, be it an Egyptian Pyramid or Sphynx, be it an Athenian Parthenon, Palmyrene sun temple, Persepolitan palace, or even an old English castle, will readily confess to feeling a peculiar emotion at the sight. The venerableness of it, which time only can give, its associations with men long ago gathered to their fathers, the builders and inhabiters now quite forgotten, appeal to a certain sympathy in the living. For its history there is a vague yearning; its age awakens something like exultation that we little mortals can build such time-defying structures. But more powerful and higher is that emotion which is roused at the sight of a hoary old mountain like this of Ruwenzori, which we know to be countless thousands of years old. When we think how long it required the melted snow to carve out these{325} ravines, hundreds of fathoms deep, through the rocky cone of the range, or the ages required to spread out the débris from its sides and bosom to cover the Semliki Valley and the Nyanza plains, we are struck dumb at the immeasurableness of the interval between that age when Ruwenzori rose aloft into being; and in reply to the still small voice which seems to ask—“Where wast thou when the foundations of the earth were laid? Declare if thou hast understanding,” we become possessed with a wholesome awe, and can but feel a cheerful faith that it was good for us to have seen it.

Another emotion is that inspired by the thought that in one of the darkest corners of the earth, shrouded by perpetual mist, brooding under the eternal storm-clouds, surrounded by darkness and mystery, there has been hidden to this day a giant among mountains, the melting snow of whose tops has been for some fifty centuries most vital to the peoples of Egypt. Imagine to what a God the reverently-inclined primal nations would have exalted this mountain, which from such a far-away region as this contributed so copiously to their beneficent and sacred Nile. And this thought of the beneficent Nile brings on another. In fancy we look down along that crooked silver vein to where it disports and spreads out to infuse new life to Egypt near the Pyramids, some 4000 miles away, where we beheld populous swarms of men—Arabs, Copts, Fellahs, Negroes, Turks, Greeks, Italians, Frenchmen, English, Germans, and Americans—bustling, jostling, or lounging; and we feel a pardonable pride in being able to inform them for the first time that much of the sweet water they drink, and whose virtues they so often exalt, issues from the deep and extensive snow-beds of Ruwenzori or Ruwenjura—“the Cloud-King.”



Though from the nearest point to the central range we were distant eight English miles in an air line, during the few brief clear views obtained by us, especially that from Bakokoro, examination through a good binocular informed us of the reason why so much snow was retained on Ruwenzori. As will be seen from the various sketches{326} of the profile, the summit of the range is broken up into many sharp triangular casques or narrow saddle-shaped ridges. Each casque, separately examined, seems to be a miniature copy of the whole range, and dented by the elements, time and weather, wind, rain, frost, and snow, and every side of Ruwenzori appears to represent, though in an acuter degree, the multitudinous irregularities of slopes and crests so characteristic of its mighty neighbours which lie nearest to us, and are fully exposed to the naked eye. Mostly all these triangular casque-like tops of the range are so precipitous that, despite the everlasting snowfalls hardened by the icy winds blowing over their exposed sides and summits, very little snow is{327} seen; but about 300 feet below, as may be estimated, ground more adapted for the retention of the snow is found, which in some parts is so extensive as to represent a vast field. Below this, however, another deep precipice exposes its brown walls, and at the foot of it spreads out another great field of snow joined here and there by sloping ground, and this explains why the side of the range presented to view is not uniformly covered with snow, and why the fields are broken up by the brown patches. For quite 3,000 feet from the summit, as may be seen most clearly from the view obtained from Karimi, there is illustrated a great snowy continent enclosing numerous brown islands.

Naturally where the crests are so steep and naked, and where the walls of the precipices are so lofty, the rough weather to which they are exposed contributes to their dismantling and ruinous crumbling. Fragments of rock and tons of rocky dust and particles tumble from above on the compressed snow-bed below, which imperceptibly moves through the influence of thawing and undermining of the bed by the trickling water, downwards towards the valley a league below. As it descends the thaw increases, and the movement of the snow-bed is more rapid, until, arriving in the neighbourhood of tropic heat, or buried in a great cloud of tepid vapour from the valley beneath, there is a sudden dissolution of the snow, and the rocky fragments, débris and dust, borne by the snow, are hurled downward, crashing through the ravines and over the slopes, until they are arrested in the valley by some obstruction, and form a bank near the debouchure of a ravine, or are scattered over many an acre below the smooth slope of a hill.

Sometimes these ascending fields of snow, by the velocity of their movements, grinding and dragging power, weight and compactness of their bodies, cause extensive landslips, when tracts of wood and bush are borne sheer down, with all the soil which nourished them, to the bed rock, from which it will be evident that enormous masses of material, consisting of boulders, rock fragments, pebbles, gravel, sand trees, plants, and{328} soil, are precipitated from the countless mountain slopes and ravine sides into the valley of the Semliki.

In front of the Rami-lulu River from the mountain there has been at one time some such disastrous pouring of the ruins of a mountain side, so sudden that the river was blocked, the tract there covered about six square miles. Since that time the Rami-lulu has ploughed down to the former solid rock-bed, and now flows between two very steep banks 200 feet high, whence we can imagine the thickness of the débris.

Between Ugarama and Bukoko we discovered a very fertile tract close to the base of the mountain slope, prodigiously prolific in its melons, pumpkins, sugar-cane and millet; the subsoil is principally gravel and sand mixed with a rich dark loam, but the immense number of large boulders imbedded and half buried in the earth is a striking feature, and point to glacial influence.

Between Bukoko and the mountains three miles away, and stretching along their base southward for five or six miles, is another great tract consisting of just such débris as the side of a mountain would naturally consist in, but being principally of loose matter, it has assumed through a long period of rainfalls a tolerably smooth gradated surface.

If we consider these circumstances as occurring periodically since the upheaval of the great range, and that mighty subsidence which created the wide and deep gulf now embraced by the Albert Edward Nyanza, the Semliki Valley, and Lake Albert, we need not greatly wonder that Ruwenzori now is but the skeleton of what it was originally: “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Its head has been shorn of much of its glory of amplitude; its shoulders have been worn and abraded, through its side scores of streams have channeled deep, and the ribs of it now stand, not bare and denuded, but marking indisputably what wearing and battering it has experienced since it was born out of fire. Slowly but surely the mountain is retiring to the place whence it came. A few ages hence the Albert Edward Nyanza will be a great plain, and at a later period Lake Albert{330}{329} will share the same fate. Geographers of that far-off epoch will then rub their eyes should they chance to discover the outlines of the two Nyanzas and intervening valley as they were described in 1889.



On most days, the early hours of morning ushered into view a long, solemn, and stupendous mass, dark as night, the summits of which appeared to approach very closely to the cloudless grey sky. But as toward the east the fast-coming day changed the grey to gold, faint bars of white clouds became visible above, and simultaneously along the base of the range there rose stealthily a long line of fleecy mist. This was presently drawn within gaping valleys and fissures in the slopes, wherein it ascended with the upward draught in rolling masses along the slants of their crooked windings, gathering consistency and density as they ascended, yet changing their shapes every instant. Detached portions floated to the right and left, to attract unto them the straying and scattered mists issuing one by one from profound recesses of the chasms. Then, united in a long swaying line, robing the legions of hill shoulders, they issued into view from every flaw and gap in the slope, and ranged in order, it appeared as though the intention was to rally round the immense white range above. As the mist, now dense and deep, began to feel the movement of the air in the higher altitude, its motion became quicker, more sudden in assuming new forms, and out of the upper ravines a host of restless, rolling white companies joined the main line, the foremost surging boldly ahead and leading the way, irresistibly, skyward.

By the time the sun is but a fourth of an hour above the eastern horizon, and is beginning to expose the beauties that lie hid in snow-beds upon high mountain-tops, and is playfully lavishing rainbow colours around their borders and valances, lo! insensibly, as it were, the mist, now formidably thick and broad, with bold and numerous vanguards, has approached the snow, and rivals it in dazzling whiteness; and presently, receiving full in its front the clear and strong sunshine, excels it{332} in glory of colour and gilding, and soon after rides over the snow and the purple pinnacles of the range in splendid triumph. But as minute after minute adds more mass to the mist, and the fermenting Semliki Valley, with exhaustless power, pours forth army after army, which hasten to join the upper ranks extended motionless along the slopes and over every proud alpine crest, the mist loses its beauty and splendour of colouring, and becomes like a leaden-coloured fog, until finally, so great has been the accumulation, it becomes black and terrible as a tempest cloud, and thus rests during the entire day, and frequently until far into the night. Sometimes, however, a half-hour or so before sunset, the cloud is blown away, and peak after peak, crest after crest, snowy fields and mountain shoulders emerge in full glory into light, and again we have a short but glorious view before night falls and covers Ruwenzori with a still darker mantle.

These brief—too brief—views of the superb Rain-Creator or Cloud-King, as the Wakonju fondly termed their mist-shrouded mountains, fill the gazer with a feeling as though a glimpse of celestial splendour was obtained. While it lasted, I have observed the rapt faces of whites and blacks set fixed and uplifted in speechless wonder towards that upper region of cold brightness and perfect peace, so high above mortal reach, so holily tranquil and restful, of such immaculate and stainless purity, that thought and desire of expression were altogether too deep for utterance. What stranger contrast could there be than our own nether world of torrid temperature, eternally green sappy plants, and never-fading luxuriance and verdure, with its savagery and war-alarms, and deep stains of blood-red sin, to that lofty mountain king, clad in its pure white raiment of snow, surrounded by myriads of dark mountains, low as bending worshippers before the throne of a monarch, on whose cold white face were inscribed “Infinity and Everlasting!” These moments of supreme feeling are memorable for the utter abstraction of the mind from all that is sordid and{333} ignoble, and its utter absorption in the presence of unreachable loftiness, indescribable majesty, and constraining it not only to reverentially admire, but to adore in silence, the image of the Eternal. Never can a man be so fit for Heaven as during such moments, for however scornful and insolent he may have been at other times, he now has become as a little child, filled with wonder and reverence before what he has conceived to be sublime and Divine. We had been strangers for many months to the indulgence of any thought of this character. Our senses, between the hours of sleeping and waking, had been occupied by the imperious and imminent necessities of each hour, which required unrelaxing vigilance and forethought. It is true we had been touched with the view from the mount called Pisgah of that universal extent of forest, spreading out on all sides but one, to many hundreds of miles; we had been elated into hysteria when, after five months’ immurement in the depths of forest wilds, we once again trod upon green grass, and enjoyed open and unlimited views of our surroundings—luxuriant vales, varying hill-forms on all sides, rolling plains over which the long spring grass seemed to race and leap in gladness before the cooling gale; we had admired the broad sweep and the silvered face of Lake Albert, and enjoyed a period of intense rejoicing when we knew we had reached, after infinite trials, the bourne and limit of our journeyings; but the desire and involuntary act of worship were never provoked, nor the emotions stirred so deeply, as when we suddenly looked up and beheld the skyey crests and snowy breasts of Ruwenzori uplifted into an inaccessible altitude, so like what our conceptions might be of a celestial castle, with dominating battlement, and leagues upon leagues of unscaleable walls.{334}



Importance of maps in books of travels—The time spent over my maps—The dry bed of a lake discovered near Karimi; its computed size—Lessons acquired in this wonderful region—What we learn by observation from the Semliki valley to the basin of the twin lakes—Extensive plain between Rusessé and Katwé—The Zeribas of euphorbia of Wasongora—The raid of the Waganda made eighteen years ago—The grass and water on the wide expanses of flats—The last view and southern face of Ruwenzori—The town of Katwé—The Albert Edward Nyanza—Analysis of the brine obtained from the Salt Lake at Katwé—Surroundings of the Salt Lake—The blood tints of its waters—The larger Salt Lake of Katwé, sometimes called Lake of Mkiyo—The great repute of Katwé salt—The Lakists of the Albert Edward: Bevwa, on our behalf, makes friends with the natives—Kakuri appears with some Wasongora chiefs—Exploration of the large Katwé lake—Kaiyura’s settlement—Katwé Bay—A black leopard—The native huts at Mukungu—We round an arm of the lake, called Beatrice Gulf, and halt at Muhokya—Ambuscade by some of the Wara-Sura near the Rukoki: we put them to flight—And capture a Mhuma woman—Captain Nelson and men follow up the rearguard of Rukara—Halt at Buruli: our Wakonju and Wasongora friends leave us—Sickness amongst us through bad water—The Nsongi river crossed—Capture of a Wara-Sura—Illness and death among the Egyptians and blacks—Our last engagement with the Wara-Sura at Kavandaré pass—Bulemo-Ruigi places his country at our disposal—The Pasha’s muster-roll—Myself and others are smitten down with fever at Katari Settlement—The south side of Lake Albert Edward and rivers feeding the Lake—Our first and last view, also colour of the Lake—What we might have seen if the day had been clearer.

June 15.



Critics are in the habit of omitting almost all mention of maps when attached to books of travel. This is not quite fair. Mine have cost me more labour than the note-taking, literary work, sketching, and photographing combined. In the aggregate, the winding of the three chronometers daily for nearly three years, the 300 sets of observations, the calculation of all these observations, the mapping of the positions, tracing of rivers, and shading of mountain ranges, the number of compass{335}bearings taken, the boiling of the thermometers, the records of the varying of the aneroids, the computing of heights, and the notes of temperature, all of which are necessary for a good map, have cost me no less than 780 hours of honest work, which, say at six hours per day, would make 130 working days. If there were no maps accompanying books of this kind it would scarcely be possible to comprehend what was described, and the narrative would become intolerably dry. I relegate the dryness to the maps, by which I am relieved from tedious description, at the same time that they minister to my desire of being clear, and are beautiful, necessary, and interesting features of the book; and I am firmly convinced that with a glance at the profile map of Ruwenzori, the Semliki Valley, and Lakes Albert Edward and Albert, the reader will know more of the grand physical features of this region than he knew of the surroundings of Lake Michigan.

As we descend from Karimi to the basin of the Albert Edward the first thing we become conscious of is that we are treading the dry bed of a lake. We do not require a gifted geologist to tell us that. Five feet of rise to the lake would increase its extent five miles to the north and five miles to the south. Fifty feet of rise would restore the lake to its old time-honoured condition, when its waves rolled over the pebbled beach under the shadows of the forest near Mtsora. We find that we really needed to pay this visit to the shores of the Albert Edward to thoroughly understand the physical changes which have, within the last few hundred years, diminished the former spacious lake to its present circumscribed limits. We should be liable to censure and severe criticism if we attempted to fix a hard and fast date to the period when Lake Albert extended to the forest of Awamba from the north, and Lake Albert Edward extended from the south over the plain of Makara to the southern edge of the forest. But it does not need a clever mathematician to calculate the number of years which have elapsed since the Semliki channeled its bed deep enough to drain the Makara plain. It is easily computable. The nitrous,{336} saline, and acrid properties deposited over the plain by the receding lake have not been thoroughly scoured out yet. The grass is nutritious enough for the hardy cattle, the dark euphorbia, the acacia, and thorn-bush find along the edges of the plain a little thin humus of decayed grass; but nine-tenths of it is grassy plain, and the tropic forest of Awamba cannot advance its borders. The case is the same on the southern plain of the Albert. We find there a stretch of plain twenty miles long devoted to poor grass, fatal to cattle; then we find eight miles crossed with a thin forest of parachute acacias, with here and there an euphorbia, and then we are in the old, old forest.

At every leisure hour my mind reverted to the lessons which I was acquiring in this wonderful region. Time was when Ruwenzori did not exist. It was grassy upland, extending from Unyoro to the Balegga plateau. Then came the upheaval at a remote period; Ruwenzori was raised to the clouds, and a yawning abyss 250 miles long and thirty miles broad lay S.W. and N.E. The tropic rains fell for ages; they filled the abyss to overflowing with water, and in time it found an outlet through what is known under the modern name of Equatoria. The outflowing water washed the earth away along its course, down to the bed-rock, and for countless ages, through every second of time, it has been scouring it away, atom by atom, to form Lower Egypt and fill the Mediterranean, and in the meantime the bottom of the abyss has been silting up with the sediment and débris of Ruwenzori, with the remains of uncountable generations of fish, with unnumbered centuries of dead vegetation, until now, with the wearing away of the dykes of rock and reefs in the course of the White Nile, two lakes have been formed; and other dykes of rock appeared between the lakes, first as clusters of islets, then covered with grass; finally, they caught the soil brought down by glaciers, moraines have connected rock to rock, and have formed a valley marvellous in its growth of tropic forest, and on each side of this forest there are plains undergoing the slow process of crystalline transformation,{337} and on their lake borders you see yet an intermediate stage in the daily increasing mud, and animal and vegetable life add to the height of it, and presently it will be firm dry ground. Now dip a punting-pole into the shallows at the south end of Lake Albert, and the pole drops into five feet of ooze. It is the sediment borne down from the slopes of Ruwenzori by the tributaries into the Semliki, and thence by the Semliki into the still waters of the lake. And if we sound the depths of Lake Albert Edward, the pole drops through four or five feet of grey mud, to which are attached thousands of mica flakes and comminuted scales and pulverized bones of fish, which emit an overpowering stench. And atom by atom the bed-rock between the forest of Awamba and the Lake Albert Edward is being eroded and scoured away, until, by-and-by, the lake will have become dry land, and through the centre of it will meander the Semliki, having gathered the tributaries from Ruwenzori, the Ankori, and Ruanda uplands, to itself; and in the course of time, when the nitrous and acrid properties have been well scoured off the plain, and the humus has thickened, the forest of Awamba will advance by degrees, and its trees will exude oil and gum, and bear goodly fruit for the uses of man. That is, in brief, what we learn by observation from the Semliki Valley and the basin of the twin lakes, and what will be confirmed during our journey over the tracts of lake-bed between Rusessé and Unyampaka.

June 16.

Between Rusessé and Katwé is an extensive plain, dipping down in a succession of low terraces to the Nyama-gazani River, and covered with pasture grass. This terraced plain is remarkable for its growth of euphorbia, which have been planted by generations of Wasongora to form zeribas to protect their herds from beasts of prey and for defence against the archers and spearmen of predatory tribes, and which thickly dot the plains everywhere. Many of these euphorbia, that stood in circles round the clustered huts, were venerable patriarchs, quite five centuries old; hence we assume that the Wasongora have been estab{338}lished in this region for a long time, and that they formed a powerful nation until the Waganda and Wanyoro, furnished with guns and rifles by Arabs, came sweeping through the land on their periodic raids. Readers of ‘Through the Dark Continent’ will remember the story of the Katekiro’s raid, that must have occurred about eighteen years ago, and of the reported marvels said to have been met by the host, as they travelled through a great plain where there were geysers spouting mud, hot springs, intolerable thirst, immense loss of life, ruthless conflicts between the native tribe and the Waganda, and bad water that killed hundreds. We are now on the land which witnessed the raid of the Waganda, and which then despoiled of its splendid herds of cattle. Since that time Kabba Rega, with the aid of his musket-armed Wara-Sura, has occupied the land, usurped the government of the country, and has possessed himself of every cow. Captain Casati has informed me that he once witnessed the return of the raiders from Wasongora, and saw the many thousands of cattle which they had taken.

The wide expanses of flats, white with efflorescing natron, teeming with hot springs and muddy geysers, turned out to be pure exaggerations of an imaginative boy, and nothing of all the horrors expected have we seen except perhaps a dreary monotony of level and uniformity of surface features, grass fallen into the sere through drought, and tufts of rigid euphorbia, so characteristic of poor soil. The silence of the plain is due to the wholesale expatriation of the tribe; thirst, because, as we near the Lake borders, the tributaries lie far apart; sickness, from the habit of people drinking the stagnant liquid found in pits.

The grass of the plain grieved us sorely while travelling through it. The stalks grew to the height of three feet, and its spikelets pierced through the thickest clothing, and clung to every garment as we passed by, and became very irritating and troublesome.

The two best views obtained of Ruwenzori have been those obtained from Karimi, up a long, narrow valley,{339} and from the plain near the Nyama-gazani River. The last was the farewell view, the great mountain having suddenly cast its cloudy garments aside to gratify us once more. In rank above rank the mountainous ridges rose until they culminated in Ruwenzori. From the south it looks like a range of about thirty miles in length, with as many blunt-topped peaks, separated from each other by deep hollows. Up to this time we had estimated the height as about 17,000 feet, but the revelation of the southern face, shrouded with far-descending fields of deep and pure snow, exalted it 1,500 feet higher in the general opinion. I seized this opportunity to photograph the scene, that other eyes might view the most characteristic image of Ruwenzori. Here and there may be seen, as in the pencil sketches, the dark patches, showing the more precipitous portions of the slopes, which are too steep for the accumulation of snow. The greater exhibition of snow on the southern face is due to the lesser height of the intervening ridges, which on the north side shut out from view the snowy range.

A few miles beyond the Nyama-gazani River, which is forty feet wide and a foot deep, clear as crystal and beautifully cool, we entered the town of Katwé, the headquarters of Rukara, the commanding chief of the Wara-Sura. He and his troops had left the town the night before, and evidently in such haste that he was unable to transport the grain away.

The town of Katwé must have contained a large population, probably 2,000. As the surrounding country was only adapted for the rearing of cattle, the population was supported by the sale of the salt of the two salt lakes near it. It was quite a congeries of zeribas of euphorbia, connected one with another by mazy lanes of cane hedges and inclosures.

It is situated on a narrow grassy ridge between the salt lake of Katwé and a spacious bay of the Albert Edward Nyanza. In length the ridge is about two miles, and in breadth half a mile from the shore of one lake to the other.{340}

June 17.

By boiling point the Albert Edward Nyanza is 3,307 feet, the crest of the grassy ridge of Katwé is 3,461 feet, and the Salt Lake is 3,265 feet above the sea. So that the summit of the ridge was 154 feet above the Salt Lake and 112 feet higher than the Albert Edward Lake, and the difference of level between the two lakes was 42 feet. The town is situated 0° 8′ 15″ south of the Equator.



After seeing to the distribution of corn, I proceeded across the ridge, and descending a stiff slope, almost cliffy in its upper part, after 154 feet of a descent, came to the dark sandy shore of the Salt Lake of Katwé, at a place where there were piles of salt-cakes lying about. The temperature of the water was 78·4° Fahrenheit; a narrow thread of sulphurous water indicated 84°. Its flavour was that of very strong brine.[32] Where the sand{341} had been scooped cut into hollow beds, and the water of the lake had been permitted to flow in, evaporation had left a bed of crystal salt of rocky hardness, compacted and cemented together like coarse quartz. The appearance of these beds at a distance was like frozen pools. When not disturbed by the salt-gatherers, the shore is ringed around with Ukindu palms, scrubby bush, reedy cane, euphorbia, aloetic plants; and at Mkiyo, a small{342} village inhabited by salt-workers, there is a small grove of bananas, and a few fields of Indian corn and Eleusine coracana. Thus, though the lake has a singularly dead and lonely appearance, the narrow belt of verdure below the cliffy walls which encompass it, is a relief. Immediately behind this greenness of plants and bush, the precipitous slopes rise in a series of horizontal beds of grey compacted deposit, whitened at various places by thin incrustations of salt. There are also chalky-looking patches here and there, one of which, on being examined, proved to be of stalagmite. In one of these I found a{343} large tusk of ivory, bones of small animals, teeth, and shells of about the size of cockles. There were several of these stalagmite beds around the lake.

One remarkable peculiarity of the lake was the blood tints of its water, or of some deposit in it. On looking into the water I saw that this deposit floated, like congealed blood, on and below the surface. A man at my request stepped in, and at random; the water was up to his knees, and bending down soon brought up a solid cake of coarse-grained crystallised salt, and underneath it was a blood-red tinge. This reddish viscous stuff gives the lake, when looked at from the crest of Katwé ridge, a purple appearance, as though a crimson dye had been mixed with it.

Hundreds of dead butterflies of various colours strewed the beach. There was not a fish seen in its waters, though its border seems to be a favourite haunt for herons, storks, pelican, egrets.

The larger Salt Lake of Katwé, sometimes called Lake of Mkiyo, from the village of that name, is about three miles long, and ranges from half to three-quarters of a mile in width, and about three feet deep. The smaller lake is in a round grassy basin about two miles east, and is a round shallow pool half-a-mile across.

Every one acquainted with the above facts will at once perceive that these salt basins are portions of the original lake occupying sunken hollows, which were left isolated by the recession of the waters of the Albert Edward Lake, and that evaporation has reduced the former sweet waters into this strong brine.

Salt is a valuable article, eagerly sought after by the tribes round about. The reputation of this deposit had reached Kavalli, where I first heard of the greater Salt Lake as “Katto.” Flotillas of canoes come from Makara, Ukonju, Unyampaka, Ankori and Ruanda, loaded with grain, to barter for this article. Caravans arrive from eastern Ukonju, north Usongora, Toro and Uhaiyana, to trade millet, bark cloth, beans, peas, tullabun or eleusine, sesame, iron tools, weapons, &c., for it. The islanders of Lake Albert Edward freight their little vessels with{344} the commodity, and with dried fish make voyages to the western and southern shores, and find it profitable to carry on this exchange of produce. The possession of Katwé town, which commands the lakes, is a cause of great jealousy. The Wasongora owned it formerly, then Antari of Ankori. Kakuri, the island chief, became heir to it, when finally Kabba Rega heard of the rich deposits, and despatched Rukara to occupy the town.

Our march into Ukonju had instantly caused the Wara-Sura to evacuate the plain of Makara, and our approach to Katwé had caused a speedy flight of Rukara and his army of musketeers and spearmen. Wakonju, to the number of 150 men in our camp, and Wasongora were joining, and supplying us with information gratuitously.

In the afternoon of the first day’s arrival at Katwé we saw a flotilla of canoes approaching from an island distant about three miles from the shore. The crews were cautious enough to keep just within hail. We were told that they had been sent by Kakuri to ascertain what strangers were those who had frightened Rukara and his Wara-Sura from the land, for they had done good service to Kakuri and “all the world” by their acts. We replied in a suitable manner, but they professed to disbelieve us. They finally said that if we “burned the town of Katwé they would accept it as a proof that we were not Wara-Sura.” Accordingly, the villages near the shore were fired, and the crews cheered the act loudly.

The speaker said “I believe you to be of the Wanyavingi now. Sleep in peace, and to-morrow Kakuri shall come with gifts to give you welcome.”

Then Bevwa, chief of our Wakonju, stood on a canoe which was in the lake and asked, “Ah, you children of Kakuri, the great chief of the sea, do you remember Kwaru-Kwanzi, who lent Kakuri’s sons the spears to defend the land from the Wara-Sura robbers. Lo! Kwara-Kwanzi, a true son of the Wanyavingi, is here again. Rejoice, my friends, Rukara and his thieves have fled, and all the land will rise as one man to follow in pursuit of them.”

The crews clapped hands, applauding, and half-a-dozen{345} little drums were beaten. Then the principal speaker of the islanders said, “Kakuri is a man who has not had a tooth drawn yet, and he is not going to have one drawn by any Mrasura alive. We have caught a dozen Wara Sura as they were flying from Makara because of these strangers. Kakuri will see that they die before the sun sets, and to-morrow he will see the chief of the strangers face to face.”

When they had paddled away, Bevwa was questioned as to these Wanyavingi. What were they? Were they a tribe?

Then Bevwa looked hard at me and said—

“Why do you ask? Do you not know that we believe you to be of the Wanyavingi? Who but the Wanyavingi and Wachwezi are of your colour?

“What, are they white people like us?”

“They have no clothes like you, nor do they wear anything on their feet like you, but they are tall big men, with long noses and a pale colour, who came, as I heard from our old men, from somewhere beyond Ruwenzori, and you came from that direction; therefore must be of the Wanyavingi.”

“But where do they live?”

“Ruanda, and Ruanda is a great country, stretching round from east of south to S.S.W. Their spears are innumerable, and their bows stand higher than I. The king of Usongora, Nyika, was an Myavingi. There are some men in these parts whom Kabba Rega cannot conquer, and those are in Ruanda; even the King of Uganda will not venture there.”

When Kakuri appeared next morning he brought us gifts, several fish, goats, bananas and beans. Some Wasongora chiefs were with him, who offered to accompany us, in the hope that we should fall in with some of the bands, as we journeyed towards Toro and Uhaiyana. The island chief was a physically fine man, but not differing in complexion from the dark Wakonju; while the Wasongora were as like in features to the finest of the Somali types and Wa-galla as though they were of the same race.{346}

June 18.

Kakuri was requested to bring his canoe in the afternoon, and freight them with salt to deposit on his island, as I would have to continue my journey eastward in a day or two. Therefore all the afternoon about 100 islanders were busy transporting salt to Kakuri Island, and the Wakonju who followed us did a good business by assisting them. They walked into the lake to a distance of 100 yards, the depth being up to their knees, and stooping down, conveyed great cakes of the crystallized salt to the shore, and across the ridge to the canoes in the Albert Edward Lake.

Having found a cumbrous and heavy canoe, but somewhat large, on the 19th, it was manned with twelve men, and I set out to explore. At about 11 A.M. I had got to a distance of eight miles, and halted in front of Kaiyura’s settlement, which consisted of eighty-one large huts, and was rich in goats and sheep. Kaiyura is a Msongora, who so far remained unconquered by the Wara-Sura. The craft that we were voyaging was too clumsy and lopsided to venture far out into the lake, for with the slightest breeze the water leaped in, but I was quite a mile from the shore during most of the trip, and the lead was cast every few minutes, but the deepest water I obtained was fifteen feet, while it sank over three feet in a soft ooze. About 400 yards from the shore a long sounding pole was used, and each time it dropped four feet into the ooze, which emitted a most horrible stench, like that of a sewer, when it came out.

In the early part of the day the face of the Lake was as smooth as a mirror, of a grey-green colour. The shore was remarkable for the great number of butterflies, and many floated dead on the surface of the water.

There were two islands standing in the middle of Katwé Bay, and rising about 100 feet above the water. One of them was distinguished for a chalky-coloured cliff. They contained large settlements, and were evidently well populated.

On returning to Katwé I saw a great black leopard about 250 yards off, just retreating from the Lake side, where he had been slaking his thirst. He disappeared{347} before we could paddle the unwieldy craft nearer the shore.

June 19.

The only advantage I derived from my day’s exploration was the complete survey of the bay, and obtaining a view beyond the headland of Kaiyura into the chaotic and formless void. The haze was as thick as a fog, and nothing could be distinguished further than three miles.

On the 20th of June the Expedition marched out from Katwé, and escorted by a large number of Wasongora chiefs and herdsmen, and our Wakonju friends, filed to the eastward, along a path that skirted the greater Salt Lake, and dipped down into the grassy round basin of the lesser briny lake. Surmounting the ridge eastward of the basin, we descended into a great plain, which evidently had but recently been covered with the waters of the Albert Edward. Pools still existed, and narrowed tongues of swamp, until, after a march of eighteen and a half miles, we arrived at Mukungu, in Unyampaka, of Toro, Chief Kassessé, whose name was made familiar to me in January 1876.

Opposite the half-dozen zeribas of Mukungu was the long low island called Irangara. The narrow arm of the Lake, about 150 yards across, wound around it, and between the Islands of Katero, Kateribba, and four or five others east of Irangara, with great floating masses of pistia plants. Far across through the mist over the islands loomed the highlands of Uhaiyana, and to the south we had the faintest image of Kitagwenda, Chief Ruigi, and I knew then that we stood west of the arm of the Lake we had called Beatrice Gulf.

June 20.

The cattle had been driven across into the Island of Irangara, everything of value had been deported away, and a monstrous herd had but lately left Mukungu for Buruli, urged to fast travel by the retreating Rukara and his army. The huts of the chiefs showed that these people of Mukungu were advanced in the arts of ornamental architecture. A house which the Pasha occupied was one of the most ornate I had seen. The hut was twenty feet in height and about twenty-five feet in diameter, with a doorway brilliant in colouring{348} like a rude imitation of the stucco work of primitive Egyptians. The doorway was ample—six feet high and six feet wide, with a neat arched approach. Plastered partitions divided the interiors into segments of circles, in which were sunk triangles and diamond figures, lines of triangles surmounting lines of diamonds, the whole pointed in red and black. One division before the wide doorway was intended as a hall of audience—behind the gaily-decorated partition was the family bed-chamber; to the right were segments of the circle devoted to the children.



Every zeriba, besides being protected by an impenetrable hedge of thorn-bush, had within a circular dyke of cow-dung, rising five feet high. These great circular heaps of refuse and dung were frequently met in Usongora, and will remain for a century to indicate the site of the settlements, when village and generation after generation have disappeared.

The river-like arms of the Lake, now narrowing and broadening, swarmed with egrets, ducks, geese, ibis, heron, storks, pelicans, snipes, kingfishers, divers, and other water-birds.

June 21.

The next day we followed the track of Rukara and his army and droves, and made a westerly and then northerly course to round the prolonged arm of{349} the Lake called Beatrice Gulf. A few years ago it must have spread to a great distance. The plain was perfectly flat, and long reaching, shallow, tongues of water projected far inland, which we had to cross. As we advanced north, the hills of Toro appeared in view, and having approached them we turned north-easterly, and after a march of eleven miles, halted at Muhokya, a small village, equidistant from the Lake and Mountain. The scouts in ranging around the outskirts, captured a deserter from Rukara’s army, who informed us that the Wara Sura were at Buruli.

On the 22nd we continued our march, a plain, level as a billiard table, lay spread to our right, about forty feet below a terrace, over which we were travelling, and the south-eastern flank of Ruwenzori range lay to our left, projected into capes, terminated mostly by conical hills, with spacious land bays, reaching far inland, between. We crossed these little streams and two considerable rivers, the Unyamwambi and Rukoki, the first being plentifully strewn with large round cobblestones, smooth and polished from the powerful rolling they had received by the impetuous torrent.

June 22.

Arriving near the Rukoki, whose banks were hidden by a tall growth of reedy cane, the vanguard suddenly received a volley from a large number of musketeers, hidden in the thick brake. The Wasongora and Wakonju were, unfortunately, in the van, leading the way, and these fell into a heap in the river, their sharp spears as they frantically struggled in their fright, more dangerous to us than the concealed enemy. However, the loads were dropped, and in a few minutes we had two full companies charging through the brake with admirable unconcern, just in time to see the rear guard of the Wara-Sura breaking out of their coverts. Some lively firing followed, but wars with natives require cavalry, for every person seems to be on the perpetual run, either advancing or in retreat. Some of the Wara-Sura fled south, some ran up the mountains to avoid the pellets of our rifles. After seeing them all in full flight, the companies returned, and we lifted our loads and resumed our{350} march to Buruli, whose extensive groves of banana plantations soon appeared in view, and promised a rare supply of food.

Just before reaching the ambuscade we had passed a slaughtered goat, that had been laid across the path, around which had been placed a score or so of yellow tomato-like fruit, the product of a very common bush. We all knew that it implied we had better beware of vengeance, but the natives, confident in us, had not hesitated to advance; nevertheless the ambuscade was a great shock to them.

In the afternoon the Wara-Sura were pursued by scouts, and ascertained to be joining their scattered parties, and proceeding on an E.N.E. course across the plain. The scouts, unable to contain themselves, sent a few bullets after them, lending an impulsion to their flight. Their baggage was thrown away; the sticks were seen being applied to their prisoners, until several, frantic with fear and pain, threw their loads away, and deserted to the arms of the scouts. Many articles were picked up of great use that were discarded by the fugitives, and among the prisoners was an Mhuma woman, of very pleasing appearance, who gave us much information respecting Rukara and his vast herds of cattle.

Early next morning Captain Nelson was despatched with one hundred rifles, and fifty Wakonju and Wasongora spearmen to follow up the rear-guard of Rukara, and if possible overtake the enemy. He followed them for twelve miles, and perceiving no signs of them returned again to Buruli, which we reached well after sunset, after a most brilliant march.

I was told of two hot springs being some miles off, one being near a place called Iwanda, N. by E. from Buruli, the other, “hot enough to cook bananas,” N. E. near Luajimba.

June 22.

We halted two days at Buruli, as we had performed some splendid marching on the plains. The paths were good, broad, clear of thorns, stones, roots, red ants, and all obstructions. At the same time, when abundant food{351} offered, it was unwise to press the people. Before leaving this prosperous settlement, our Wakonju and Wasongora friends begged permission to retire. Each chief and elder received our gifts, and departed to our regret. Bevwa and his Wakonju were now eighty-five miles distant from their homes, and their good nature, and their willingness and unobtrusiveness, had quite won our hearts.

A march of twelve miles took us on the 25th across a very flat plain, level as a bowling-green, intersected by five streams, and broad tongues of swamp, until about half-way it heaved up in gentle undulations, alternated by breadths of grassy plain. Thick forests of acacia crested these land swells, and on the edges of the subsident flats grew three species of euphorbia, stout fan palms, a few borassus, and Ukindu palms. A little after noon we camped in a forest an hour’s march from the Nsongi River.

It had evidently been often used as camping ground by Wara-Sura bands and Toro caravans bound for the Salt Lakes, and as water was far, the tired cooks used the water from some pits that had been excavated by thirsty native travellers. This water created terrible sickness amongst us.

The next day we crossed the Nsongi, a river fifty feet wide and thirty inches deep, and immediately after we began to ascend to the lofty uplands of Uhaiyana, which form, with Eastern Toro, Kitagwenda, and Ankori, the eastern wall of the basin of the Lake Albert Edward. We encamped near noon on a broad plainlike terrace at Kawandaré in Uhaiyana, 3,990 feet above the sea, and about 680 feet above the Lake.

The Wara-Sura were on the alert, and commenced from the hill-tops, but as the advance rushed to attack they decamped, leaving one stout prisoner in our hands, who was captured in the act of throwing a spear by one of the scouts who had crept behind him.

June 26.

On first reaching the terrace we had passed through Kakonya and its prosperous fields of white millet, sesamum, beans, and sweet potatoes. Karamulli, a most{352} important settlement lies E. by N. an hour’s journey from Kakonya.

Soon after arriving in camp Yusuf Effendi, an Egyptian officer, died from an indurated liver. This, I believe, was the sixth death among the Egyptians. They had led such a fearful life of debauchery and licence in their province that few of them had any stamina remaining, and they broke down under what was only a moderate exercise to the Zanzibaris.

The effects of the water drank from the pits the day before commenced to be manifested on reaching the camp—that is, in twenty-four hours. Over thirty cases of ague had been developed among the Zanzibaris, two of the European officers were prostrated, and I myself felt approaching symptoms. The Pasha’s followers were reeling with sickness, and it was reported that several were missing besides Manyuema.

On the 27th a halt was ordered. Lieutenant Stairs was sent back with his company to endeavour to recover some of the lost people. Some passed him on the road attempting to overtake the column. One woman belonging to one of the Pasha’s followers was found speared through the body. He arrived in time to save a Manyuema from sharing the same fate. These utterly reckless people had acquired the art of evading the rear column by throwing themselves into the grass and lying still until the officer and his party had passed.

Altogether the sick cases had increased to 200. Egyptians, blacks of Zanzibar, Soudan, and Manyuema were moaning and sorrowing over their sufferings. The Pasha, Dr. Parke, and Mr. Jephson had also succumbed to severe attacks.

On the 28th, led by one of the Wara-Sura prisoners, we made a short march past the range of Kavandaré. The advance and main body of the column filed through the pass unmolested, but the rear guard was fiercely attacked, though the enemy turned to flight when the repeating rifles began to respond in earnest, and this proved our last engagement with Kabba Rega’s rovers called Wara-Sura.{353}

June 29.

We reached Chamlirikwa the next day, having meantime descended to the level terrace at the foot of the eastern walls of the Albert Edward basin, and on July 1st arrived at Kasunga-Nyanza in Eastern Unyampaka, a place known to us in January, 1876, when I sent a body of Waganda to search for canoes for the purpose of crossing the Lake then discovered. Bulemo-Ruigi, the king, having heard our praises sounded by the islanders of Kakuri, who had meanwhile crossed the Lake before us, despatched messengers to place his country at our disposal with free privileges of eating whatever gardens, fields, or plantations offered, only asking that we would be good enough not to cut down banana stalks, to which moderate request we willingly consented.

The Pasha on this day sent me his muster-roll for the beginning of the month, which was as follows:—

44officers, heads of families, and clerks.
90married women and concubines.
223guards, soldiers, orderlies, and servants.

On the 3rd of July we entered Katari settlement, in Ankori, on the borders of the Lake. At the camp of the 28th of June symptoms of fever developed, and numbered me among those smitten down with the sickness, which raged like a pest through all ranks, regardless of age, colour, or sex, and I remained till the 2nd of July as prostrated with it as any person. Having laid every one low, it then attacked Captain Nelson, who now was the hardiest amongst us. It took its course of shivering, nausea, and high fever, irrespective of medicine, and after three or four days of grievous suffering, left us dazed and bewildered. But though nearly every person had suffered, not one fatal case had occurred.

July 3.

From the camp of the 28th, above which was visible Mt. Edwin Arnold, we skirted the base of the upland, and two days later entered the country of Kitagwenda. By Unyampaka E. is intended the Lake{354} shore of Kitagwenda. The entire distance thence to Katari in Ankori is an almost unbroken line of banana plantations skirting the shore of the Lake, and fields of Indian corn, sugar-cane, eleusine, and holcus, which lie behind them inland, which are the properties of the owners of the half-dozen salt markets dotting the coast. The mountainous upland looms parallel with the Lake with many a bold headland at the distance, varying from three to six miles.

We have thus travelled along the north, the north-west, and eastern coasts of Lake Albert Edward. We have had abundant opportunities of hearing about the south and western sides, but we have illustrated our information on the carefully-prepared map accompanying these volumes. The south side of the Lake, much of which we have viewed from commanding heights such as Kiteté, is of the same character as the flat plains of Usongora, and extends between twenty and thirty miles to the base of the uplands of Mpororo and Usongora. Kakuri’s canoe-men have been frequent voyagers to the various ports belonging to Ruanda and to the western countries, and all around the Lake, and they inform me that the shores are very flat, more extensive to the south than even to the north, and more to the west than to the east. No rivers of any great importance feed the Albert Edward Lake, though there are several which are from twenty to fifty feet wide and two feet deep. The largest is said to be the Mpanga and the Nsongi. This being so, the most important river from the south cannot have a winding course of more than sixty miles, so that the farthest reach of the Albertine sources of the Nile cannot extend further than 1° 10′ south latitude.

Our first view, as well as the last, of Lake Albert Edward, was utterly unlike any view we ever had before of land or water of a new region. For all other virgin scenes were seen through a more or less clear atmosphere, and we saw the various effects of sunshine, and were delighted with the charms which distance lends. On this, however, we gazed through fluffy, slightly waving strata of vapours of unknown depth,{355} and through this thick opaque veil the lake appeared like dusty quicksilver, or a sheet of lustreless silver, bounded by vague shadowy outlines of a tawny-faced land. It was most unsatisfying in every way. We could neither define distance, form, or figure, estimate height of land-crests above the water, or depth of lake; we could ascribe no just limit to the extent of the expanse, nor venture to say whether it was an inland ocean or a shallow pond. The haze, or rather cloud, hung over it like a grey pall. We sighed for rain to clear the atmosphere, and the rain fell; but, instead of thickened haze, there came a fog as dark as that which distracts London on a November day.

The natural colour of the lake is of a light sea-green colour, but at a short distance from the shore it is converted by the unfriendly mist into that of pallid grey, or sackcloth. There is neither sunshine nor sparkle, but a dead opacity, struggling through a measureless depth of mist. If we attempted to peer under or through it, to get a peep at the mysterious water, we were struck with the suggestion of chaos at the sight of the pallid surface, brooding under the trembling and seething atmosphere. It realised perfectly the description that “in the beginning the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” This idea was strengthened when we looked up to examine the composition of this vaporous mist, and to ascertain whether we might call it haze, mist, or fog. The eyes were fascinated with the clouds of fantastic and formless phantasms, the eerie figures, flakes, films, globules, and frayed or wormlike threads, swimming and floating and drifting in such numberless multitudes that one fancied he could catch a handful. In the delirium of fevers I have seen such shapes, like wriggling animalculæ, shifting their forms with the rapidity of thought, and swiftly evolving into strange amorphous figures before the dazed senses. More generally, and speaking plainly, the atmosphere seemed crowded with shadowy, elongated organisms, the most frequent bearing a rough resemblance to squirming tadpoles. While look{356}ing at the dim image of an island about three miles from the shore, it was observed that the image deepened, or got more befogged, as a thinner or thicker horizontal stratum of these atmospheric shapes subsided downward or floated upward; and following this with a fixed sight, I could see a vibration of it as clearly as of a stream of sunbeams. From the crest of a grassy ridge and the crown of a tall hill, and the sad grey beach, I tried to resolve what was imaged but three miles away, and to ascertain whether it was tawny land, or grey water, or ashen sky, but all in vain. I needed but to hear the distant strains of a dirge to cause me to imagine that one of Kakuri’s canoes out yonder on the windless lake was a funereal barge, slowly gliding with its freight of dead explorers to the gloomy bourne from whence never an explorer returned.

And oh! what might have been seen had we but known one of those marvellously clear days, with the deep purified azure and that dazzling transparency of ether so common to New York! We might have set some picture before the world from these never-known lands as never painter painted. We might have been able to show the lake, with its tender blue colour, here broadening nobly, there enfolding with its sparkling white arms clusters of tropic isles, or projecting long silvery tongues of blazing water into the spacious meadowy flats, curving everywhere in rounded bays, or extending along flowing shore-lines, under the shadows of impending plateau walls, and flotillas of canoes gliding over its bright bosom to give it life, and broad green bands of marsh grasses, palms, plantains, waving crops of sugar-cane, and umbrageous globes of foliage, to give beauty to its borders. And from point to point round about the compass we could have shown the irregularly circular line of lofty uplands, their proud hill bosses rising high into the clear air, and their mountainous promontories, with their domed crowns projected far into the basin, or receding into deep folds half enclosing fair valleys, and the silver threads of streams shooting in arrowy flights down the cliffy{357} steeps; broad bands of vivid green grass, and spaces of deep green forest, alternating with frowning grey or white precipices, and far northward the horizon bounded by the Alps of Ruwenzori, a league in height above the lake, beautiful in their pure white garments of snow, entrancingly picturesque in their congregation of peaks and battalions of mountain satellites ranged gloriously against the crystalline sky.

But alas! alas! In vain we turned our yearning eyes and longing looks in their direction. The Mountains of the Moon lay ever slumbering in their cloudy tents, and the lake which gave birth to the Albertine Nile remained ever brooding under the impenetrable and loveless mist.{358}



The routes to the sea, viâ Uganda, through Ankori, to Ruanda, and thence to Tanganika—We decide on the Ankori route—We halt at Kitété, and are welcomed in the name of King Antari—Entertained by Masakuma and his women—A glad message from King Antari’s mother—Two Waganda Christians, named Samuel and Zachariah, appear in camp: Zachariah relates a narrative of astounding events which had occurred in Uganda—Mwanga, King of Uganda; his behaviour—Our people recovering from the fever epidemic—March up the valley between Iwanda and Denny Range—We camp at Wamaganga—Its inhabitants—The Rwizi Eiver crossed—Present from the king’s mother—The feelings of the natives provoked by scandalous practices of some of my men—An incident illustrating the different views men take of things—Halt at the valley of Rusussu—Extract from my diary—We continue our journey down Namianja Valley—The peaceful natives turn on us, but are punished by Prince Uchunku’s men—I go through the rite of blood-brotherhood with Prince Uchunku—The Prince’s wonder at the Maxim gun—A second deputation from the Waganda Christians: my long cross-examination of them: extract from my journal—My answer to the Christians—We enter the valley of Mavona—And come in sight of the Alexandra Valley—The Alexandra Nile.

On the evening of July 3rd the officers of the Expedition were summoned to my friend to assist me in the decision as to which of the following routes we should adopt for our seaward march. They were told thus:—

“Gentlemen,—We are met to decide which route we shall choose to travel to reach the sea. You deserve to have a voice in the decision. I will give you impartially what may be said for or against each.

July 3.

“I. As to the route viâ Uganda along my old road to the mouth of the Katonga. If, as in the old days, the king was friendly, I could take the Expedition to Dumo, on the Victoria Lake, and I would find means to{359} borrow his canoes to transport us to Kavirondo, whence, after preparing live stock and grain, we could start for Kikuyu, and thence to Mombasa. But Mwanga is not Mtesa; the murderer of Bishop Hannington can be no friend of ours. If we proceeded to Uganda, we should have two alternatives before us; to fight, or give up our arms. If we did either we should only have undergone all this trouble to uselessly sacrifice those whom we have in our charge.

“II. As to the route southerly direct through Ankori. In 1876 Antari, the king, paid tribute to the King of Uganda. He pays it still, no doubt. Scores of Waganda must be at the capital. They are clever enough to hope that they would win favour of Mwanga if they could get a few hundred rifles and ammunition for him. What they may not be able to effect by fraud they may attempt to do by force. Long before we reached the Alexandra Nile, a force of Waganda and Wanyankori would have arrested our flight, and a decisive struggle would take place. Antari himself is well able to prevent us marching through his territory, for by my estimate he must be able to muster 200,000 spears, in case of an invasion. 10,000 spears would be quite enough to stop our little force. What he will do no one knows. With fifty Zanzibaris I could find my way through the wilderness. With 600 such people as the Pasha has with him attached to us the wilderness is impossible. We must, therefore, be prepared for the worst.

“III. The two first routes lead up those plateau walls that you see close by. The third and last skirts for a day’s march the base, and then proceeds south to Ruanda, and through it to Uzigé and the Tanganika, whence we could send messengers to Ujiji, or to Kavalla, to bring canoes or boats to us. We could then proceed homeward from Ujiji viâ Unyanyembé to Zanzibar, or to the south end of the Lake Tanganika, and thence to Nyassa, and so down the Shire and Zambezi to Quilimane. But long before we could reach the Tanganika every art that we know will have been well tested. I{360} know that it is almost a proverb with the Arab that it is easier to get into Ruanda than to get out of it. An Arab caravan went there about eighteen years ago, and never returned. Mohammed, the brother of Tippu-Tib, has tried to penetrate Ruanda with 600 guns, and failed. I do not think there is force enough in Ruanda to stop us, and if there were no other road, of course there would be no debating as to what we should do, but go straight ahead. It is an interesting country, and I should like to see its interesting king and people. But it is a long journey.

“Thus you have the shortest road viâ Lake Victoria and Kavirondo, but with the Waganda, with whom we must reckon. You have the next shortest road, viâ Ankori and Karagwé, but with Waganda and Ankori combined. You have the longest route through Ruanda.”

After an animated discussion it was concluded to refer it to me, upon which the Ankori route was elected.

Accordingly instructions were issued to prepare five days’ provisions, that from the free provisions obtained from the Nyanza we might be well into Ankori before beginning the distribution of beads and cloth to about 1000 people, and also permission to assist themselves gratuitously was withdrawn, and the criers were sent through the camp proclaiming in the several languages that any person detected robbing plantations, or convicted of looting villages, would be made a public example.

July 4.

On the morning of the 4th we turned our backs to the Albert Edward Nyanza, and followed a road leading east of south over the plain. In about an hour the level flat assumed a rolling character freely sprinkled over with bush clumps and a few trees. An hour’s experience of this kind brought us to the base of the first line of hills, thence up one ascent after another until noon, when we halted at Kitété, having gained a thousand feet of altitude. We were received kindly, and welcomed in the name of the King Antari. Messengers had{361} arrived almost simultaneously from Masakuma, the Governor of the Lake Province of Ankori, that we should be received with all hospitality and honour, and brought by degrees to him. Consequently, such is the power of emissaries from authority, the villagers were ordered out of their houses with cries of “Room for the guests of Antari! Room for the friends of Masukuma! Ha, villains, don’t you hear? Out with you, bag and baggage!” and so forth, the messengers every now and then taking sly glances at us to note if we admired the style of the thing. We had not been long in Ankori before we grasped the situation thoroughly. Ankori was the king’s property. The people we should have to deal with were only the governors, called Wakungu, and the king, his mother, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, &c. Ankori was a copy of Uganda.



From Kitété a considerable portion of the south-east extremity of Lake Albert Edward appeared in view. We were a thousand feet above it. The sun shone strongly, and for once we obtained about a ten-mile view{362} through the mist. From 312½° to 324° magnetic, the flats below were penetrated with long-reaching inlets of the lake, surrounding numbers of little low islets. To 17½° magnetic rose Nsinda Mountain, 2500 feet above the lake; and behind, at the distance of three miles, rose the range of Kinya-magara; and on the eastern side of a deep valley separating it from the uplands of Ankori rose the western face, precipitous and gray, the frowning walls of the Denny range.



Our course on the 5th was a steady ascent, E.N.E., to Kibwiga, at the foot of the Denny range, Nsinda Mountain now bearing N.N.W. Opposite to the village was Kinya-magara mountain. In the triangular{364}{363} valley between these mountains the first herds of the Wanyankori were discovered.



July 7.

We travelled in very close and compact order on the 7th up the pass between the ranges of Kinya-magara and Denny, and having gained the altitude of 6160 feet, the summit of Kinya-magara, and felt uncommonly chilled by the cold winds, we descended 800 feet down the eastern slope of the range to the chief village of Masakuma, the Governor of the Lake Province of Ankori.

We found Masakuma to be a genial old fellow. With all our doings with the Wara-Sura he was well acquainted, and at a great and ceremonious meeting in the afternoon he insisted that we should tell our story, that his sub-chiefs and elders might hear how the Wanyoro were beaten at Mboga, Utuku, Awamba, Ukonju, Usongora, and were clean swept from Toro. “There,” said he, “that is the way the thieves of Unyoro should be driven from all the lands which they have plundered. Ah, if we had only known what brave work was being done we should have gone as far as Mruli with you,” which sentiment was loudly applauded.

The women of the chief then came out dressed with bead-worked caps and bead tassels, and a thick roll of necklaces and broad breast-ornaments of neat bead-work, and paid us the visit of ceremony. We had to undergo many fine compliments for the good work we had accomplished, and they begged us to accept their expressions of gratitude. “Ankori is your own country in future. No subject of Antari will refuse the right hand of fellowship, for you proved yourselves to be true Wanyavingi.”

July 8.

Then the elders, grey-haired, feeble men, smitten with age, and in their dotage advanced, and said, with the two hands spread out, palm upward, “We greet you gladly. We see to-day, for the first time, what our fathers never saw, the real Wachwezi, and the true Wanyavingi. Look on them, oh people; they are those who made Kabba Rega run. These are they of whom we heard that the Wara-Sura at the sight of them showed{366} their backs, and fled as though they had wings to their feet.”

Little did we anticipate such a reception as this from Ankori when we debated, on the evening of July 3rd, what road we should take. And though the terms Wachwezi and Wanyavingi did not seem to be very euphonious, they were clearly titles of honour, and were accompanied with an admiring regard from the chief Masakuma to the half-nude slave women, who carried water and performed chores all day.

On the following day over 300 bunches of bananas and several pots of banana wine were brought us as our rations during our stay. Deputations from the neighbouring settlements also came, and the story of the chase of the Wara-Sura, and the deliverance of the Salt Lakes were retold them by Masakuma, and we were publicly thanked again for our services. Indeed, considering how many tribes were affected by our interference, we were not surprised at the general joy manifested. The story was the “open sesame” to the riveted attention and affection of the Wanyankori.

Near sunset the runners despatched to the capital reappeared with a message from the king’s mother, which, though diplomatic, was well understood by us. It ran as follows:—

“Masakuma will furnish you with guides to show you the road to Karagwé. Food will be given you at every camp so long as you are in Ankori. Goats and cattle will be freely given to you. Travel in peace. The king’s mother is ill now, but she hopes she will be well enough to receive you when you again revisit the land. For from to-day the land is yours, and all that is in it. Antari, the king, is absent on a war, and as the king’s mother is ill and confined to her bed, there is none worthy to receive you.”

July 10.

It appeared that at the capital our prowess and numbers had been exaggerated, from the reports of Bevwa and Kakuri; our long column in single file was also imposing. The terrible Maxim machine gun also contributed a moral influence, and the fact that the{367} Wanyoro, or Wara-Sura, had been chased out of so many countries, and that Ruigi, King of Kitagwenda, had also spoken in our favour, coupled with the nature of the service which had caused so many canoe cargoes of salt to be disposed of at small cost; and, therefore, though the royal family were disposed to be cordial and kind, they were not wholly without fear that the party which had marched through southern Unyoro might in some manner be a danger to Ankori.

Poor king’s mother; had she known how secretly glad I was with the best message that I received in all Africa, she need not have entertained any anxiety respecting the manner in which her message would be received. For though we were tolerably well supplied with native cloth and beads, we were poor in gifts worthy of royalty of such pretensions as those of Ankori.

The country is said to be infested with lions and leopards, but we had heard nothing of them during the night. A hyæna, however, broke into our campfold on the first night at Masakuma’s, and dragged away a goat.

Two days’ short marches of four and three-quarters and three hours respectively, enabled us to reach Katara on the 11th of July. Our road had led through a long winding valley, the Denny range on our right and the Ivanda on our left. The streamlets we now crossed were the sources of the Rusango, which, flowing north towards the Edwin Arnold Mt., meet the Mpanga flowing south from the Gordon Bennett and Mackinnon Cones. The Mpanga we crossed as we marched parallel with the eastern shore of the Lake Albert Edward.

Soon after arrival in camp two Waganda Christians named Samuel and Zachariah, with an important following, appeared by the permission of Antari. After greeting us, they said they wished to impart some information if I could grant them a quiet hour. Expectant of the usual praises of their king Mwanga, which every loyal Mganda, as I knew him, was very prone to utter, we deferred the interview until evening. They delivered a{368} packet of gunpowder and percussion caps, the property of a Manyuema, to me, which they had picked up on the road. This act was in their favour, and I laid it down near my chair, but within a few minutes it had been abstracted by a light-fingered Moslem.

When evening came Zachariah took upon himself to relate a narrative of astonishing events which had occurred in Uganda last year. King Mwanga, the son of Mtesa, had proceeded from bad to worse, until the native Mohammedans had united with the Christians, who are called “Amasia,” to depose the cruel tyrant because of his ruthless executions. The Christians were induced to join the Mohammedans—proselytes of the Arab traders—unanimously, not only because of Mwanga’s butcheries of their co-religionists, but because he had recently meditated a wholesale massacre of them. He had ordered a large number of goats to be carried on an island, and he had invited the Christians to embark in his canoes for their capture. Had they accepted his invitation, his intention had been to withdraw the vessels after the disembarkation, and to allow them to subsist on the goats, and afterwards starve. But one of the pages betrayed his purposes, and warned the Christian chiefs of the king’s design. Consequently they declined to be present.

The union of these two parties in the kingdom of Uganda was soon followed by a successful attempt to depose him. Mwanga resisted for a time with such as were faithful to him, but as his capitals, Rubaga and Ulagalla, were taken, he was constrained to leave the country. He departed in canoes to the south of Lake Victoria, and took refuge with Said bin Saif alias Kipanda, a trader, and an old acquaintance of mine in 1871, who was settled in Usukuma. Said, the Arab, however, ill-treated the dethroned king, and he secretly fled again, and sought the protection of the French missionaries at Bukumbi. Previous to this it appears that both English and French missionaries had been expelled from Uganda by Mwanga, and deprived of all their property except their underclothing. The{369} French settled themselves at Bukumbi, and the English at Makolo’s, in Usambiro, at the extreme south end of Lake Victoria.

After Mwanga’s departure from Uganda, the victorious Moslem and Christian proselytes elected Kiwewa for their king. Matters proceeded smoothly for a time, until it was discovered that the Moslem party were endeavouring to excite hostility against the Christians in the mind of the new King. They were heard to insinuate that, as England was ruled by a queen, that the Christians intended to elevate one of Mtesa’s daughters on the throne occupied by Kiwewa. This king then leaned to the Moslems, and abandoned the Christians, but they were pleased to express their doubts of his attachment to them and their faith, and would not be assured of it unless he formally underwent the ceremony of circumcision. The necessity of this Kiwewa affected not to understand, and it was then resolved by the Moslems to operate on him by force, and twelve Watongoli (colonels) were chosen to perform the operation. Among these colonels was my gossip, Sabadu, to whom I was indebted for the traditional history of Uganda. Kiwewa was informed of their purpose, and filled his house with armed men, who, as the colonels entered the house, were seized and speared one by one. The alarm soon spread through the capital, and an assault was instantly made on the palace and its court, and in the strife Kiwewa was taken and slain.

The rebels then elected Karema to be King of Uganda, who was a brother of the slain Kiwewa and the deposed Mwanga, and he was the present occupant of the throne.

The Christians had repeatedly attacked Karema’s forces, and had maintained their cause well, sometimes successfully; but at the fourth battle they were sorely defeated, and the survivors had fled to Ankori to seek refuge with Antari, who, it was thought, would not disdain the assistance of such a force of fighting men in his various troubles with Mpororo and Ruanda. There were now about 2,500 Christians at Ankori’s capital, and about 2,000 scattered in Uddu.{370}

Having heard that Mwanga had become a Christian, and been baptised by the French missionaries during his stay with them in Bukumbi, the Christians tendered their allegiance to him, and he came to Uddu to see them, in company with an English trader named Stokes; but, as the means of retaking the throne were small, Mwanga took possession of an island not far from the Murchison Bay, and there he remains with about 250 guns, while Stokes, it is believed, had returned to the coast with ivory to purchase rifles and ammunition at Zanzibar in the cause of Mwanga. Up to this date the mainland of Uganda was under Karema, while the islands recognised Mwanga, and the entire flotilla of Uganda, mustering several hundred canoes, was at the disposition of the latter.

They then informed me that their appearance in my camp was due to the fact that while at the capital they had heard of the arrival of white men, and they had been sent by their compatriots to solicit our assistance to recover the throne of Uganda for Mwanga.

Now, as this king had won an unenviable reputation for his excesses, debaucheries, his executions of Christians in the most vile and barbarous manner, and as he was guilty of causing Luba, of Usoga, to murder Bishop Hannington and massacre over sixty of his poor Zanzibari followers, though the story of Zachariah and Samuel was clear enough, and no doubt true, there were strong reasons why I could not at once place implicit credence in the conversion and penitence of Mwanga, or even accept with perfect faith the revelations of the converts. I had too intimate a knowledge of the fraudulent duplicity of Waganda, and their remarkable gifts for dissimulation, to rush at this prospective adventure; and even if I were inclined to accept the mission of reinstating Mwanga, the unfulfilled duties of escorting the Pasha, and his friend Casati, and the Egyptians, and their followers to the sea prohibited all thoughts of it. But to African natives it is not so easy to explain why their impulsive wishes cannot be gratified; and if{371} Kiganda nature remained anything similar to what I was acquainted with in 1876, the Waganda were quite capable of intriguing with Antari to interrupt my march. No readers of my chapters on the Waganda in ‘Through the Dark Continent’ will doubt this statement. I therefore informed Zachariah and Samuel that I should think of the matter, and give them my final answer on reaching some place near the Alexandra Nile, where supplies of food could be found sufficient for the party which I should be obliged to leave behind in the event of my conforming to their wish, and that it would be well for them to go back to the Waganda, ascertain where Mwanga was at that time, and whether there was any news of Mr. Stokes.

At Katara, Mohammed Kher, an Egyptian officer, died. Abdul Wahid Effendi had chosen to remain behind at Kitega, and Ibrahim Telbass and his followers had, after starting from Kitega, vanished into the tall grass, and, it may be presumed, had returned to remain with his sick countryman.

Our people were now recovered somewhat from that epidemic of fevers which had prostrated so many of us. But the Pasha, Captain Casati, Lieutenant Stairs, and Mr. Jephson were the principal sufferers during these days. The night before we had slept at an altitude of 5,750 feet above the sea. The long Denny Range was 700 feet higher, and on this morning I observed that there was hoar frost on the ground, and during this day’s march we had discovered blackberries on the road bushes, a fruit I had not seen for two decades.

July 11.

On a third march up the valley we had followed between Iwanda and Denny Range; we reached its extremity, and, crossing a narrow neck of land, descended into the basin of the Rwizi. By degrees the misty atmosphere of this region was clearing, and we could now see about five miles distance, and the contour of the pastoral plateau of Ankori. It was not by any means at its best. It was well into the droughty season. The dry season had commenced two months{372} previously. Hilly range, steep cone, hummock, and plain were clothed with grass ripe for fire. The herds were numerous, and all as fat as prize cattle. In the valley between the Denny and Iwanda ranges, we had passed over 4,000 cattle of the long-horned species. The basin of the Rwizi, which we were now in, and which was the heart of Ankori, possessed scores of herds.

We camped at Wamaganga on the 11th. Its inhabitants consist of Watusi herdsmen and Wanyankori agriculturists. They represent the two classes into which the people of Ankori are divided, and, indeed, all the tribes of the pastoral regions, from the Ituri grass-land to Unyanyembe, and from the western shores of the Victoria Lake to the Tanganika. The Watusi women wore necklaces of copper bells, and to their ankles were attached circlets of small iron bells. The language was that of Unyoro, but there was a slight dialectic difference, and in their vocabulary they had an expressive word for gratitude. “Kasingi” was frequently used in this sense.

One of our men, whom we greatly regretted, died at this place of illness which ended in paralysis, and another, a Nubian, disappeared into the tall grass and was lost.

On the 12th we marched along the Rwizi, and after an hour and a half crossed the stream, which had now spread into a swamp a mile wide, overgrown with a flourishing jungle of papyrus. Our drove of cattle was lessened by twenty-four head in crossing this swamp. An hour’s distance from the terrible swamp we camped in the settlement of Kasari.

The King’s mother sent us four head, and the King three head of cattle and a splendid tusk of ivory, with a kindly message that he hoped he and I would become allied by blood-brotherhood. Among the messengers employed was a prince of the blood-royal of Usongora, a son of King Nyika, as pure a specimen of Ethiopic descent as could be wished. The messengers were charged to escort us with all honour, and to provide for our hospitable entertainment on the way.{373}

July 12.

Though it is very economical to be the guest of a powerful African king, it has its disadvantages, for the subjects become sour and discontented at the great tax on their resources. They contrive to vex us with complaints, some of which are fabricated. Our men also, emboldened by their privileges, assume far more than they deserve, or are entitled to in strict justice. They seized the milk of the Wanyankori, and it is considered to be a great offence for a person who is accustomed to eat vegetables to put his lips to a milk vessel, and a person who cooks his food is regarded as unfit to touch one, as it causes the death of cattle and other ill effects. Seven of our men were charged with these awful crimes, and the herdsmen, who are as litigious as the Aden Somalis, came in a white heat to prefer their complaints. It cost me some inconvenience to judge the people and soothe the wounded feelings provoked by such scandalous practices.

On the 14th we arrived at Nyamatoso, a large and prosperous settlement, situated at the northern base of the Ruampara range, when orders were issued to provide seven days’ rations of banana flour, because of the abundance of this fruit in the vicinity.

Mpororo is S.S.W. from this place. A few years ago Antari advanced and invaded it, and after several sanguinary encounters the people and their king became tributary to him. Ruanda begins from a line drawn to the W.S.W., and is ruled over by King Kigeri. Not much information could be gleaned respecting it, excepting that it was a large country, described as equal from Nyamatoso to Kafurro. The people were reported to be numerous and warlike, allowing no strangers to enter, or if they enter are not allowed to depart.

July 14.

One of our officers, feeble from many fever attacks, animadverted fiercely against the Wanyankori on this day, and I repeat this incident to illustrate the different views men take of things, and how small events prejudice them against a race. He said, “Yesterday you know the sun was scorchingly hot, and the heat, the{374} long march, and a slight fever, made me feel as if I would give anything for a drink of cool water. I came to that little village on the plain, and I asked a man, who was insolently regarding us, and standing before the door of his hut, to give me a little water to drink. Do you think he did so? He pointed to the swamp, and with his spear to the black ooze, as if to say, ‘There you are, help yourself to what you want!’ How can you call these people a fine race? I don’t understand where you get your ideas from. Is that fine, to refuse a man a drink of water? If that man had what he deserved—ah, well, it is no use talking.”

“My dear good fellow,” I answered, “have a little patience, and I will show you another view that might be taken of that man. Have you lost your pocket mirror? If you have, I will lend you mine, and you will see a most ungracious face, garnished with bristles, something like a thin copy of William de la Marck unshaved, half starved, and sick. Your eyes appear smaller than ever, and look lustreless and dead. Your lanky body is clothed in rags. When you were in London I was charmed with your appearance. Adonis was nothing to you, but now, alas! excuse me, we have all a most disgraceful appearance; but you, when you have a fever! Well, look in a glass, and examine yourself! Now this native saw such a man, with such an unlovely aspect, coming to him. How did you ask him? Did you give him one of your charming smiles, that would make a buffalo pause in his charge; I doubt it. You were tired, feverish, thirsty—you said imperiously, ‘Give me a drink of water,'—and your manner added—‘instantly or——.’ Why should he, a freeman, before his own doorway obey such a command? He did not know you from Adam, and probably your appearance suggested it would not be pleasant to cultivate your acquaintance. Are you going to join the clique of travellers who can never recognise the good that is in Africa and the Africans? To your utter confusion, unfortunate man, let me tell you the story of an occurrence that happened{375} yesterday to one of your own personal friends. The man of whom he tells the story was probably a brother or a cousin of this same individual who has incurred your severe displeasure.

“This officer had a bad attack of fever; he was seized with a vertigo, he reeled, and sank in the grass by the wayside. The rear guard commander saw him not, and passed him by, little thinking a sick comrade lay fainting and almost unconscious near him. By-and-by a native warrior came armed with spear, bow, and arrows. He saw there was something in the grass. He went to the spot and saw one of our officers, helplessly lying before him. If he were a brute he might have driven that sharp spear of his into him, and we should have lost one of our number. But this man, listen, did nothing of the kind; and though he had never heard the story of the kindly Samaritan, went away, and in half-an-hour returned with a half-gallon, gourd filled with fresh and cool milk, and gave it to him to drink, and in a short time our friend rose up strengthened, and marched to camp to tell me the kindly story. No Red Cross official he; to the kindly sentiments of charity and mercy dinned into the ears of the English race for sixteen centuries he was an utter stranger. This is not like that English missionary who refused that Dutch captain, of whom we have heard, the drink of water, and therefore the race that can show one instance of such human kindness deserves to be called a fine race. Do you doubt the story? Here is our friend; ask him yourself.

“Besides, think of the hospitality we receive from them. A thousand men subsisting freely and gratuitously on the produce of their plantations, and their fields; plantains, beans, millet, sweet potatoes for food, tobacco to smoke, and a free road, without levy of tax or blackmail! How do you know that that man had not been vexed by many things before you came? Perhaps some of our men had gibed at him in scorn, or looted his house, or threatened his family just before you came. Come, try again. Go into any of these villages{376} about here. Ask kindly and smilingly for anything—milk, butter, or tobacco—and I will guarantee you will not be refused.

“And remember again, this country has only lately been conquered by Antari. I am told that the king took forty women belonging to the chiefs hereabouts, and distributed them as gifts to his bravest warriors, and that all the principal chiefs were afterwards killed, and I do not wonder that they resent the king laying such a tax upon them as the provisioning of this multitude with us, and if you will observe the conduct of the king’s messengers you will find that it is very tyrannical and overbearing, and very little calculated to increase their estimation of us.”

The Expedition proceeded up a pass in the pastoral range of mountains called Ruampara, the western end of which I think abuts the line of hills that bound the Albert Edward basin, and divides the basin of the Rwizi from the Alexandra Nile, and after crossing several airy mountain tops, descended into the bowl-like valley of Rusussu, whence rises the stream Namianja. Here we halted three days to refresh the people.

Under date the 20th of July I find the following note in my diary:—

“This morning the fever that laid me low passed away. I have been a little premature in saying that we were recovering from the ill effects of that Usongora pit-water. No sooner is one of us well than another is prostrated. The Pasha and I have been now three times down with severe fever at the same time. Stairs’ fever left him yesterday. Bonny’s temperature has been normal the last two days. Casati fell ill on the 17th, was abed all day on the 18th, and was up on the 19th. This is the way we exist now. There are constant relapses into fever, with two or three days of insecure health in the interval. Khamis Wadi Nassib has also died of paralysis; and a Nubian has disappeared.

“Four Egyptian officers have begged me, on account of their increasing ulcers, to be permitted to stay in Ankori. As we are already loaded with sick whites and other Egyptians, feeble old women and children, I am obliged to yield to their entreaties, and they and their families will therefore stay here. As I expect the Heir-apparent of Ankori daily to go through the process of blood-brotherhood, I will be able to provide for their comfort.

July 20.

“It is a peculiar climate, this of Ankori. The cold gusty winds sweeping from E. to S.E., and then N.E., create chest affections; there is universal coughing, catarrhs, headaches; the great variation between{377} maximum and minimum temperature makes us all unusually feverish. Yet I remember, in Jan., 1876, my followers and myself were healthy and vigorous while crossing North Ankori, and my private journals contain no notes like these I jot down daily. Perhaps this excessive sickness is owing to the season, or to that deadly pit-water, or it may be our cooks employ the black water of the Rwizi, which drains a putrefying compost. It is the winter season now, whereas January is spring.

“Dangers have less charms for the ear than distance creates for the eye. The former is too often exaggerated out of all proportion to the reality by the unrestrained tongue, while the latter, though often hiding the hideousness of ravines, and the inaccessibility of mountains or abysmal depths, glozes the whole with grace, flowing contours, and smooth lines. We have frequently found it to be so on this Expedition, and I fear the Egyptians who have disappeared from the column, un-recommended by us, will find the dangers far more real than they imagined would be the case as we repeated our frequent warnings.”

On the 21st we resumed our march, and proceeded to follow a road that ran down the valley parallel with the Namianja. Thistles of unusual size, some sunflowers, and blackberry bushes lined the path. The stream has three sources, a tiny thread of sweet water rising from a ferny recess, a pool of nitrous and sulphurous water, and a little pond of strong alkaline water. At the end of three hours’ march the stream was 5 feet wide, but its flavour was not much improved. Banana plantations alternated with cattle-folds along the path.

The next day we started at dawn to continue our journey down the Namianja Valley, which is narrow and winding, with spacious plats in the crooked lines of mountains. In an hour we turned sharply from E. by N. to S.E. by S. down another valley. Herd after herd of the finest and fattest cattle met us as they were driven from their zeribas to graze on the rich hay-like grass, which was green in moist places. After a short time the course deflected more eastward, until we gained the entrance of a defile, which we entered, to ascend in half an hour the bare breast of a rocky hill. Surmounting the naked hill, we crossed its narrow summit, and descended at once its southerly side, into a basin prosperous with banana plantations, pasture, and herds, and took refuge from the glaring and scorching sun in Viaruha village.

July 21.

The rear-guard were disconcerted on leaving Namianja{378} Valley by the hitherto peaceful natives turning out suddenly en masse with war-cries, and with very menacing gestures. They advanced to the attack twice, without, however, doing more than levelling their spears and threatening to launch them. On the third advance, conceiving that the guard must be terribly frightened by their numbers, they shot some eight or ten arrows, at which the Commander ordered a few harmless shots to be fired, and this sufficed to send them scampering with loud cries up the hills.

Close behind the rear-guard, but unknown to them, were advancing Uchunku, the Prince Royal of Ankori, and his escort of musketeers and spearmen, and a second deputation from the Waganda Christians. The Prince, in obedience to his father, was on his way to our camp to exchange blood and form a treaty with me. The Prince, hearing the shots, demanded to know the reason, and some of the Wahuma herdsmen, who had been spectators of the hostile play, explained, upon which the musketeers were sent in chase, killed two of the Wanyankori, and disarmed twenty of them.

At 2 P.M. Prince Uchunku and escort reached Viaruha, and instantly requested an interview. He was a sweet-faced, gentle looking boy of about thirteen or fourteen years old, a true Mhuma with the Abyssinian features. He was accompanied by his governor, or guardian, an officer in command of the spearmen and carbine-armed guards of the Prince. He gave us two large steers; one had such massive and long horns, that made it but a poor traveller, and had to be slaughtered for beef. The usual friendly speeches were exchanged, and after he had fairly satisfied his curiosity with viewing the strange sights in camp, it was arranged that the ceremony should take place on the next day.

On the 23rd the ceremony passed off with considerable éclat. The Zanzibaris, Soudanese, and Manyuemas were all under arms ready to salute the Prince with a few discharges from their rifles, at the face of the hill, about{379} 400 yards away. The Maxim was also in order to assist with its automatic action.

July 23.

The rite of blood brotherhood began with the laying of a Persian carpet, upon which the Prince and I took our seats cross-legged, with left hands clasped across the knees. The Professors of the Art advanced, and made an incision in each left arm, and then each Professor took a small portion of butter, and two leaflets, which served as platters, mixed it with our blood, and then exchanging the leaves, our foreheads were rubbed with the mixture. The ceremony was thus relieved of the repulsiveness which accompanies it when performed among the Congo tribes. Then the Prince, who was now my young brother, took me by the hand into my hut to smile and to look pleased. His young heart was made glad with some choice Cairene cloths, a necklace contributed by the Egyptian women and the Pasha, of fine large beads, which captured his affection by storm. His governor received a cow, and the guardsmen received an ox to feast themselves with beef, and the Prince had, in his turn, to give a fine goat to our Professor, for these offices, even in Congo land, are in high honour, and must receive handsome fees.

The rifles then fired five rounds each, to the boy’s great admiration, but the showers of the Maxim and the cloud of dust raised by the bullets on the face of the opposite hill simply sent him into ecstasies, and to prevent him crying his soul out in rapture, he laid his hand firmly over his mouth. Opinions differed as to the reason of his covering his mouth, and even in jest it is not good to be untruthful, but some said that he feared his fine teeth would be snapped in pieces by excessive chattering in terror, but I firmly maintain that it was from childlike wonder and pleasure.

At any rate, I was publicly recognised as a son of Ankori, to be hereafter permitted to range at will throughout the dominions of Antari, with right of residence, and free access to every plantation in the kingdom. Furthermore, the Prince swore in his father’s name, for so he was commanded, that all white men entering{380} Ankori must have a recommendation from me, and then such kindness would be shown to them as would be shown to me personally. Only the cattle, goats, and weapons were exempted as private property, over which the king even has no right, except when they belong to criminals.

With the Prince of Ankori was a second deputation from the Waganda Christians. The result of my long cross-examination of them I embodied in the following entry in my journal:—

“I feared I first heard of the expulsion of the missionaries from Uganda that they had been inconsiderate, and impulsive, and acted regardless of consequences, that though their conduct was strictly upright and according to their code, their narrowness and want of sympathy had caused them to commit errors of judgment; but the Christian converts gave them an excellent character, and repeated much of the good advice Mr. Mackay had bestowed on them, which were undoubted proofs that though the yoke of Mwanga was exceedingly heavy to them, the missionaries had in this abstained from meddling in the politics of the country. Something like £50,000 must have been expended on this mission since it was established. Were the story of it truthfully written it would contain in itself all that is needed to guide those interested in it. The tragic deaths of Smith, O’Neil, Penrose, and Bishop Hannington, the mortal diseases which cut off Dr. Smith, and, as Zachariah tells me, two more, one of whom is called Bishop, the almost fruitless residence in Uganda of Messrs. Wilson, Pearson, and Felkin, the splendid successes of Mackay, and the industry and devotion of Ashe and Gordon. The history of these gentlemen’s labours, successes, and failures could not be penned without immediate comprehensiveness of the causes which led some to triumph, where wisdom was exhibited, and rashness failed.

“No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven. No man having accepted trust can in honour do otherwise than continue in that trust until victory is assured. I suppose, as the note of retreat had been sounded before I left Africa, the council of the Christian Mission Society will order Mr. Mackay to withdraw now. I hope not. The expulsion of the missionaries and the dispersion of their Christian flocks would strike any one else, looking at it from a layman’s point of view, as the dawn of the day of victory. The shouts of triumph uttered by the Mohammedans now in power should not dishearten, but should inspire them to nobler and wiser efforts, to persevere patiently and unremittingly. No great cause, no great work, or great enterprise was ever successful without perfect faith that it was worthy of unwearying effort and strenuous striving.

“Out of the 4,000 or 5,000 converts reported by Zachariah and Samuel now in Ankori and Uddu, let us assume as 2,000 being due to the labours of Mackay and his worthy associates. At £50,000, each convert would appear to have cost £25. I am not one of those who would always appeal to the state for help in such a crisis as this, but to those able to spare out of great wealth, and who yet answer that they must attend to{381} those at home first, I would give the reply of the wise Gentile woman—‘True, Lord, but the dogs pick up crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’

“The success of the mission to Nyanza is proved by the sacrifices of the converts, by their determined resistance to the tyrant, by their successful deposition of him. I have read somewhere that the recognition of belligerents is not permissible until it is proved that they can hold their own. If this be so the Waganda converts have proved that the mission was a success, and a most remarkable success. The missionaries were compelled to bore deep down, and after that the element sprang up spontaneously. After years of baffling and unpromising work the converts flocked spontaneously to the new church of Equatorial Africa. Princes and peasants, chiefs and warriors came forward to be instructed in the Christian religion, and to be taught the arts of reading and writing, and to be the proud possessors of printed books in their own language, treating of the Author of salvation and His sufferings on behalf of humanity.

“The progress of this religion became alarming to the Mohammedans and their native sympathisers, but it was not until the death of the politic Mtesa that they could venture upon any plan to thwart its growth. The accession of a boy-prince to the throne, and the vices, banghi-smoking, drunkenness, and licentiousness, disclosed the means whereby the Christians might be suppressed, and the Moslems with a low, mean craftiness, and charged with concentrated malice, were not slow to avail themselves of their opportunities. The young king, despite the reputable character the whites had won from all classes of the people, now regarded them with thoughts foully perverted by unmeasured slander. To his distorted view the missionaries were men banded together for the undermining of his authority, for sapping the affections and loyalty of his subjects, and for presently occupying the whole of Uganda. These various expeditions, which as every one knew were roaming over the country, now in Masai-land, presently in Usoga, then again in Usukuma and Unyamwezi, the quarrels on the coast between Seyyid Barghash and the Germans, the presence of war-ships at Zanzibar, the little colonies of Germans studding the coast lands—what else could all these movements aim at but the forcible conquest of Africa? Hence an era of persecution was initiated by the order to burn and slay; hence the auto-da-fé in Uganda, the murder of Bishop Hannington, and the massacre of his caravan in Usogo, the doom that ever seemed to be imminent over the head of the faithful and patient Mackay, and the menaced suspension of mission work. When the Christians had scattered into their hiding places, and the jealousy of the Moslems had cooled, the young King merged into an intolerable despot, and murdered indiscriminately. Many an eminent person in the land fell a victim to his suspicions, and was ordered to be either clubbed to death or strangled. It was then the Mohammedans, fearing for their own lives, solicited the aid of the Christians, and the tyrant was compelled to flee the kingdom to find leisure to repent during his Lake voyages, and finally to submit to be baptised.”[33]


Zachariah and Samuel were now informed that, owing to the impossibility of leaving my charge, they had better trust to Mr. Stokes and Mr. Mackay, and that if I could explain matters to their English friends I would surely do so. Then, seeing that I was resolved on departure, five of the Christians begged to be permitted to accompany me to the sea, which permission was readily granted.

On the 24th, after winding in and out of several valleys, between various pastoral ranges, which were black from recent fires, as the grass everywhere was white with age and drought, we entered the valley of Mavona, to descend gradually amid a thin forest of acacia sprinkled with euphorbia, milkweed, thistles, and tall aloetic plants. The settlement of Mavona produced abundantly quite a variety of garden produce, such as peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, manioc, cucumbers, banigalls, bananas, and plantain.

The next day, continuing down the Mavona valley for four and a half hours, we suddenly came in sight of the Alexandra valley, and found that the long line of hills which winded S.S.E. was on the Karagwé side of the river. At this season the features of the land on both sides are very forbidding, and unrelieved by any patch of cultivation, and rendered more so by the fires, which have transformed every valley and hill into wastes of black ashes and desolateness.

During the 26th and 27th we were ferried across the{383} river in four double sets of most uncouth canoes, and then the Ankori escort, the Waganda converts, were dismissed, having satisfied Antari, and each of our friends with such gifts as won their professions of gratitude.

The Alexandra Nile at this place was about 125 yards wide, and an average depth of nine feet, flowing three knots per hour in the centre.{384}



The Wahuma: the exact opposite of the Dwarfs: their descendants—Tribes nearly allied to the true negro type—Tribes of the Nilotic basin—The Herdsmen—The traditions of Unyoro—My experiences of the Wahuma gained while at Kavalli—View of the surrounding country from Kavalli camp—Chiefs Kavalli, Katto, and Gavira unbosom their wrongs to me—Old Ruguji’s reminiscences—The pasture-land lying between Lake Albert and the forest—The cattle in the district round Kavalli: their milk-yield—Three cases referring to cattle which I am called upon to adjudicate—Household duties of the women—Dress among the Wahuma—Old Egyptian and Ethiopian characteristics preserved among the tribes of the grass-land—Customs, habits, and religion of the tribes—Poor Gaddo suspected of conspiracy against his chief, Kavalli: his death—Diet of the Wahuma—The climate of the region of the grass-land.


The Wahuma are the most interesting people, next to the Pigmies in all Central Africa. Some philological nidderings have classed them under the generic name Bantu, and every traveller ambitious of being comprehended among the scientific, adds his testimony and influence to perpetuate this most unscientific term. Bantu is an Inner African word of which the translation is Men. We are therefore asked seriously to accept it as a solemn fact, upon scientific authority, that the Wahuma, like the Pigmies, are men.

The Wahuma are the exact opposite of the dwarfs. The latter are undersized nomads, adapted by their habits to forest life; the former are tall, finely-formed men, with almost European features, adapted from immemorial custom and second nature to life in pastoral lands only. Reverse their localities, and they pine and die. Take the Pigmies out of their arboreal{385} recesses and perpetual twilight, and from their vegetable diet, and plant them on a grass-land open to the winds and the sunshine, feed them on beef and grain, and milk as you may, and they shrink with the cold and exposure, refuse their meat, and droop to death. On the other hand, deport the Wahuma into the woods, and supply them with the finest vegetables, and always with plenty of food, and the result is, that they get depressed, their fine brown-black colour changes into ashen gray, the proud haughty carriage is lost, they contract an aspect of misery, and die in despair and weariness. Yet these two opposites of humanity are called Bantu, or men, a term which is perfectly meaningless, and yet as old as the story of the Creation. In North America we see to-day Esquimaux, English, Irish, German, French and Spanish Americans, and Indians, and, after the scientific manner, we should call them Bantu. Interest in the various human families is not roused by comprehending them under such unphilosophical terms.

The Wahuma are true descendants of the Semitic tribes, or communities, which emigrated from Asia across the Red Sea and settled on the coast, and in the uplands of Abyssinia, once known as Ethiopia. From this great centre more than a third of the inhabitants of Inner Africa have had their origin. As they pressed southward and conquered the negro tribes, miscegenation produced a mixture of races; the Semitic became tainted with negro blood, the half-caste tribes inter-married again with the primitive race, and became still more degraded in feature and form, and in the course of ages lost almost all traces of their extraction from the Asiatic peoples. If a traveller only bears this fact in mind, and commences his researches from the Cape of Good Hope, he will be able easily, as he marches northward, to separate the less adulterated tribes from those who are so nearly allied to the true negro type as to bear classification as negroid. The kinky, woolly hair is common to all; but even in this there are shades of difference from that which is coarse almost as horse-hair,{386} to that which rivals silken floss for fineness. The study of the hair may, however, be left; the great and engrossing study being the Caucasian faces under the negro hair. From among the Kaffirs, Zulus, Matabeles, Basutos, Bechuanas, or any other of the fierce South African tribes, select an ordinary specimen of those splendidly-formed tribes so ruthlessly denominated as negroes, and plant him near a West African, or Congoese, or Gabonese type, and place a Hindu between them, and having been once started on the right trail of discovery, you will at once perceive that the features of the Kaffir are a subtle amalgamation of the Hindu and West African types; but if we take a Mhuma of mature age, the relation to the Hindu will still more readily appear. Advancing across the Zambezi towards the watershed of the Congo and Loangwa, we observe among the tribes a confusion of types, which may be classed indifferently as being an intermediate family between the West African and the Kaffir; an improvement on the former, but not quite up to the standard of the latter. If we extend our travels east or west we will find this to be a far-spreading type. It embraces the Babisa, Barua, Balunda, and the tribes of the entire Congo basin; and to the eastward, Wachunga, Wafipa, Wakawendi, Wakonongo, Wanyamwezi, and Wasukuma. Among them, every now and then, we will be struck with the close resemblance of minor tribal communities to the finest Zulus, and near the eastern littoral we will see negroid West Africans reproduced in the Waiau, Wasagara, Wangindo, and the blacks of Zanzibar. When we return from the East Coast to the uplands bordering the Tanganika, and advance north as far as Ujiji, we will see the stature and facial type much improved. Through Ujiji we enter Urundi, and there is again a visible improvement. If we go east a few days we enter Uhha, and we are in the presence of twin-brothers of Zululand—tall, warlike creatures, with Caucasian heads and faces, but dyed darkly with the sable pigment. If we go east{387} a little further, among those mixtures of pure negroes, with Kaffir type of ancient Ukalaganza, now called Usumbwa, we see a tall, graceful-looking herdsman with European features, but dark in colour. If we ask him what he is, he will tell us his occupation is herding cattle, and that he is a Mtusi, of the Watusi tribe. “Is there any country, then, called Utusi?” and he will answer “No; but he came from the north.” We advance to the north, and we find ourselves travelling along the spine of pastoral upland. We are in the Nilotic basin. Every streamlet trends easterly to a great inland sea called now the Victoria Nyanza, or westerly to the Albert Edward Nyanza. This upland embraces Ruanda, Karagwé, Mpororo, Ankori, Ihangiro, Uhaiya, and Uzongora, and all these tribes inhabiting those countries possess cattle; but the people are not all herdsmen. Many among them are devoted to agriculture. After journeying hither and thither, we are impressed with the fact that all those occupied with tending cattle are similar to that graceful Mtusi whom we met in Usumbwa, and who vaguely pointed to the north as his original home, and that all the agriculturists are as negroid in feature as any thick-lipped West Coast African. By dwelling among them, we also learn that the herdsmen regard those who till the soil with as much contempt as a London banking clerk would view the farm labourer. Still advancing to the north we behold an immense snowy range. It is an impassable barrier; we deflect our march to the west, and find this Mtusi type numerous, and stretching up to the foot of the mountains, and to dense, impenetrable forests unfit for the herding of cattle; and at once the Caucasian type ceases, and the negroid features, either coppery, black, or mixed complexion—the flat nose, the sunken ridge, and the projecting of the lower part of the face—are dumb witnesses that here the wave of superior races was arrested. We retrace our steps, ascend to the upland and skirt the snowy range eastward, and over a splendid grazing country called Toro, Uhaiyana, and Unyoro, we see the fine-featured herdsmen again{388} in numbers attending their vast herds, and the dark flat-nosed negroid tilling the land with hoes, as we saw them further south. After passing the snowy range on its northern extremity, we proceed west across the flat grassy valley of the Semliki to other grassy uplands parallel with Unyoro, but separated from it by the Albert Nyanza; and over this pastoral region are living together, but each strictly adhering to his own pursuit, the herdsmen and the tillers of the soil. During our travels from Usumbwa the herdsmen have changed their names from Watusi to Wanyambu, Wahuma, Waima, Wawitu, and Wachwezi. That is, they have accepted these titles in the main from the agricultural class, but whether in Ankori, or among the Balegga and Bavira, or dwelling with the Waganda or in Unyoro, they call themselves Watusi, Wahuma, or Wachwezi. In Karagwé, Ankori, or Usongora, they are the dominating classes. Their descendants sit in the seat of power in Ihangiro, Uhaiya, Uganda, and Unyoro; but the people of these countries are an admixture of the Zulu and West African tribes, and therefore they are more devoted to agriculture. When, as for instance, tribes such as Waganda, Wasoga, and Wakuri have been left to grow up and increase in power and prosperity, we have but to look at the sea-like expanse of the Victoria Nyanza, and we see the reason of it. No further progress was possible, and the wave of migration passed westward and eastward, and overlapped these tribes, and in their progress southward dropped a few members by the way, to become absorbed by the members of the agricultural class, and to lose their distinctive characteristics.

As the traditions of Unyoro report that the Wachwezi came from the eastern bank of the Victoria Nile, we will cross that river, and we find that between us and Abyssinia there are no grand physical features such as great lakes or continuous ranges to bar the migration to the south of barbarous multitudes; that the soil is poor and the climate dry, and pasture unpromising, and that all the tribes are devoted to the rearing of{389} cattle; that the indigenous races, such as we see in the Congo basin and near the littoral of east Africa, disparted by the waves of migrating peoples on their course south, have been so thoroughly extinguished by the superior Indo-African race that the vast area of the upland from the Victoria Nile to the Gulf of Aden simply repeats its long-established types, which we may call Galla, Abyssinian, Ethiopic, or Indo-African.[34] This too brief outline will serve to prepare the reader for knowing something more of the Wahuma, the true descendants of these Ethiopians, who have for fifty centuries been pouring over the continent of Africa east and west of the Victoria Nyanza in search of pasture, and while doing so have formed superior tribes and nations along their course, from the Gulf of Aden to the Cape of Good Hope—a vast improvement on the old primitive races of Africa.

I propose to illustrate the Wahuma by our experiences with those who recognised Kavalli as chief.

Looking westward from Kavalli’s we had a prospect of over 1,000 square miles. Though fairly populous in parts, the view was so immense that it suggested little of human presence except in the immediate foreground. Compared to the mountainous ridges and great swells of land, what were a few clusters of straw-coloured cotes, with generous spaces between showing the small arable plots of the Bavira soil-tillers? During the earlier days of our residence at Kavalli we{390} enjoyed the free, uninterrupted, limitless view of pasture-land, swelling ridge, bold mountain, isolated hill, subsiding valleys, and extending levels. Undisturbed by anxiety from want of food, and satisfied with our diet of grass-land esculents and nourishing meat, it was exhilarating to the nerves to watch the countless grass blades stoop in broad waves before the gusty winds from the Nyanza, and see them roll and swerve in currents of varying green, after our long forest life.

Kavalli’s zeriba, wherein he herded his cattle and flocks every night, was in the centre of a gentle slope of turfy green. Constant browsing by the swarming herds of himself and Wahuma neighbours kept the grass short, and gave us unobstructed views and walks over delicious pasture. Even the tiny chicklings attendant on the mother hen might be numbered at a bowshot’s distance. Every few yards or so there rose an ant-hill from 3 to 12 feet high. They served happily enough for the herdsmen to keep watch over their herds and flocks of sheep and goats, and those near the kraals were the resort of the elders and gossips to discuss the events of the period. There at such times, in low converse with Kavalli and his aged men, I gained large insight into the local histories of the villages and tribes about him. Indeed, no more suitable spot could be found, for before us were mapped out nearly threescore districts.

Far to the west rose Pisgah, throned high above a hundred leagues of dark forest-land, and every yard of its contour distinct in delineation against the reddening sky. Lifted in lone majesty, a sombre mass, it attracted the attention in every pause of the conversation. From Pisgah, which to Kavalli was the end of the world, all beyond being fable and night, he would direct our gaze to Kimberri’s cones, a day’s march N.N.W. to the lofty peak of Kuka seen just behind, and then to the massy square-browed mount of Duki, and the flats below occupied by the Balungwa, of whose numerous herds he had much to say; and to Kavalli, be it remembered, there{391} was no subject so worthy of talk as cattle. To the south of west a range of grassy mountains rose in Mazamboni’s country, and extending in a seemingly unbroken line to the verge of the gulf occupied by the Albert Lake, and its bordering plains, valleys, and terraces. The westerly portion is governed by Mazamboni, the easterly by Chief Komubi. The plain extending from the mountains as far as Kavalli is called Uzanza, and is occupied by the agricultural Bavira, who came originally from behind Duki, in the neighbourhood of Kuka Peak. Between Kavalli and Kimberri a great cantle of the plain is owned by warlike Musiri and his people.

Having dealt with the main feature of the land, Kavalli proceeds to unbosom himself. He is in danger of his life from Kadongo, who is an ally of Kabba-Rega, and he has an enemy in Katonza. Some years ago Kavalli possessed a village near the Nyanza, where his fishermen lived. Kadongo envied him the fine possession, and with Katonza and some raiders of Unyoro set upon Kavalli, burned his village, slew many of his people, and despoiled him of all his cattle in one night. Kavalli fled to Melindwa, and after awhile he returned to live with the Bavira, and by scraping a bit here and there, and making good bargains, he can show about eighty head of cattle to-day. He has received warning, however, that Kadongo will attack him again.

No sooner has Kavalli ceased his graphic recital wrongs endured, than Katto and Kalengé—Mazamboni’s brother and cousin—begin to detail the wrongs inflicted on them by Musiri. A brother and a sister, several relatives, and many friends have been slaughtered by relentless Musiri. The stories are given circumstantially with expressive action, and heighten the atrocious conduct of Musiri.

Then Gavira begins to relate how the Balegga of Mutundu, and Musiri, have ill-treated him. According to him, what few herds escaped the rapacious Wara-Sura during their periodic raids have been often thinned by the nocturnal cattle-lifters of Mutundu and Musiri,{392} who steal alternately from him. “Ah,” says Gavira, “to-day it is the Wara-Sura, to-morrow it is Musiri, the day after Mutundu; we are continually flying to the hills from somebody.”

Yet, gazing on the wonderfully pleasant scene of green grass-land before us, with not a cloud in the sky, and a drowsy restfulness everywhere, who could have supposed this Arcadia-like land was disturbed by contentions, enmities, and wars?

Most of the Wahuma now west of the Albert came from Unyoro, as they fled from the avaricious tyranny and avarice of its kings.

Old Ruguji, for instance, who is next neighbour to Kavalli, and whose forty head of cattle we rescued for him from Melindwa, was born in Unyoro, and remembers his great-grandfather, who must have been born about 1750 A.D. When he was ten years old (1829) Kuguji remembered Chowambi, father of Kamrasi, the father of Kabba Rega, sending to his great-grandfather for cattle. “At that time the Semliki River flowed into a large lagoon, called Katera, on the south-east side of the Lake. The Waganda were often prevented from crossing over to the Balegga countries because of those lagoons, but since the lagoons have been filled with mud, and the Semliki falls into the Lake, and as Kamrasi wanted cattle continually, and one day he took all, I took my women and children, when I was a young man, and came over here.”

“Have you had peace here, Ruguji?”

“See my scars; I have things to remind me of the Balegga and Melindwa, Musiri and the Wara-Sura. The Bavira also came from Kukaland, and they asked our permission while we were feeding our herds to come and live with us, but they have the big head also, and some day there will be trouble with them.”

The pasture-land lying between Lake Albert and the forest was subjected to much denudation by rain. Though the bosses of hills, ridges, dykes, bear an approximately uniform level, the intermediate ground varies greatly—it is highest of course as it approaches{393} the Albert, and lowest towards the Ituri river, which drains nearly the whole of the area. It would be difficult, however, to find an absolutely level tract of any respectable extent, though a cursory view of it might decide otherwise. It is a complicated system of slope and counter-slope, supplying scores of tributary rivulets, brooks and stream, belonging to some main feeder of the Ituri.

The nature of the soil, being a loose sandy loam—loosened still more by hosts of burrowing beetles, which do the office of moles and earthworms—offers no resistance to the perpetual denuding of the surface by frequent furious and long-lasting rainstorms, despite its rich crops of grass. A visit to one of the streams after a rainstorm reveals how rapid is the process of destruction; and if we follow one of these smaller streams to the confluence with the main tributary, we shall see yet greater proofs of the havoc created in the face of the apparently smooth swells of land than would appear at first possible by a few hours’ heavy rain.

In the district in view from Kavalli I have estimated that the entire number of cattle cannot exceed 4,000 head. They are almost equal in size to English oxen, and are of a humpless breed, very different from the species south and east of Lake Victoria. The horns are of medium length, though there are some few distinguished for unusual length of their horns. The bulls, however, were well developed in the hump. The cattle of Usongora and Unyoro are mostly all of a hornless and humpless breed, and principally of a fawn colour; while those of Ankori have immensely long horns, and their hides are of variegated hue. It is said that the cattle are made hornless by burning them with fire, with a view to enable them to penetrate jungles. The owners mark their cattle on the ears with one or several cuts, by piercing or excision at the ends.

Kavalli informed me that large numbers of cattle are sometimes poisoned by plants, if they happened to be driven somewhere not generally haunted by them. Repeated burnings of the grass, however, render the{394} herbage innocuous. The plains in the neighbourhood of the Lake are very fatal to the herds. In fifteen days a disease develops, with a running at the nostrils; the milk dries up, the coats begin to stare, the animal refuses to eat, and dies.

The old Wahuma have good veterinary knowledge perhaps, but many of their practices would not bear repeating. I wished to have some butter made with my ration of milk, and sent to borrow a churning gourd, and after the operation directed the servants to wash the vessel; but this produced a storm of reproaches. They believed water in the vessel to injure the cattle. Nor will they permit a person who eats cooked food to put his lips to any pot, basin, or gourd that is used in contact with their cows.

The sound of the churning was heard daily in a hut near my tent, and the operation was performed in a somewhat similar style to agitating a punkah, the milk gourd being suspended to the rafter of a house.

The milk yield of the cattle is very small considering the size of the cattle and the abundance of pasturage. The best milker does not furnish more than half a gallon per diem. Kavalli’s boys and young men were employed in milking our cattle. They invariably lashed the hind legs together, and brought the calf to its mother’s head; one hand held the wooden vessel and the other milked, and they appeared to leave but little for the hungry calves. The goats often gave us as much milk as an ordinary cow, but I have never observed that the natives cared for the fair supply they might have obtained from these useful animals.

Though a woman is as much a chattel in these lands as any article their lords may own, and is priced at from one to five head of cattle, she is held in honour and esteem, and she possesses rights which may not be overlooked with impunity. The dower stock may have been surrendered to the father, but if she be ill used she can easily contrive at some time to return to her parents, and before she be restored the husband must repurchase her, and as cattle are valuable, he is likely to bridle his{395} temper. Besides, there is the discomfort of the cold hearth, and the chilly arrangement of the household, which soon serve to subdue the tyrant.

I was requested to adjudicate a case relating to marriage custom, between Kavalli on the one hand, owner of a slave girl, and Katonza, a Mhuma chief. The latter had sought Kavalli’s girl in marriage, and had paid two cows for her out of three that had been fixed as the price. Kavalli therefore detained the bride of Katonza, and this detention was the cause of his grievance. The price was not denied, and Katonza offered a plea that he feared the girl might not be surrendered by Kavalli if he paid the third cow. He was requested to put the cow into court, and in this manner the bride was forthcoming.

Kavalli brought another case to me for consideration. He was already five times married, and he desired a sixth wife. He had purchased her from the tribe of Bugombi, and her parents, having heard something to his prejudice, wished to compel a double payment, and would not deliver her to him. Whereupon I suggested to Kavalli that by giving another cow and a calf the matter might be arranged.

The next case that I had to judge was somewhat difficult. Chief Mpigwa having appeared at the Barza (Durbar), a man stepped up to complain of him, because he withheld two cows that belonged to his tribe. Mpigwa explained that the man had married a girl belonging to his tribe and had paid two cows for her, that she had gone to his house, and in course of time had become a mother, and had borne three children to her husband. The man died, whereupon his tribe accused the woman of having contrived his death by witchcraft, and drove her home to her parents. Mpigwa received her into the tribe with her children, and now the object of complaint was the restoration of the two cows to the husband’s tribe. “Was it fair,” asked Mpigwa, “after a woman had become the mother of three children in the tribe to demand the cattle back again after the husband’s death, when they had sent the woman and her infants away of{396} their own accord?” The decision upheld Mpigwa in his views, as such conduct was not only heartless and mean, but tended to bring the honoured custom of marriage contracts into contempt.

The women have control within the house, and over the products of the dairy and the field. It is the man’s duty to build the house, tend and milk the cattle, repair the fence, and provide the clothing, which is naturally scanty; but it is the woman who cultivates the field, makes the butter, and does the marketing. Butter and milk must be purchased from her, as well as the provisions. It is an universal custom in Africa.

The dress of the men consists generally of a single goat-skin, which depends from the left shoulder. It is varied with antelope-hide with the hair scraped off, excepting a margin of three or four inches wide round the borders. The wives are clothed with cow-hides, which are often beautifully tanned and soft: slave women, in the absence of a goat-skin, wear a strip of leather round the waist, from which a narrow piece of bark cloth depends in front and back, or a very limited apron. Girls up to a marriageable age travel about publicly in complete nudity, while boys over ten years old are rarely seen without a kid-skin, aping the adult: on occasions of rejoicing each woman bears in her girdle at the back a bunch of green leaves, corn or sugar-cane leaves, or a piece of banana frond.

The favourite wives of chiefs, or “medicine women,” “witches,” are also entitled like the great chiefs to wear a leopard-skin, or in lieu of that, cat or monkey-skins. It seems to be a pretty general idea that leopard or lion skins prove rank and dignity. If a stranger expresses a doubt that a chief is only a person of low rank, he points to his leopard-skin and asks, “How can I possess this, then?”





In looking over Wilkinson’s ‘Ancient Egyptians’ the other day I was much struck with the conservative character of the African, for among the engravings I recognize in plate 459 the form of dress most common among the Wahuma, Watusi, Wanyambu, Wahha,{398}{397} Warundi, and Wanyavingi, and which were in vogue thirty-five centuries ago among the black peoples who paid tribute to the Pharaohs. The musical instruments also, such as are figured in plates 135, 136—a specimen of which is in the British Museum—we discovered among the Balegga and Wahuma, and in 1876 among the Basoga. The hafts of knives, the grooves in the blades and their form, the triangular decorations in plaster in their houses, or on their shields, bark clothes, boxes, cooking utensils, and in their weapons, spears, bows, and clubs; in their mundus, which are similar in form to the old pole-axe of the Egyptians, in the curved head-rests, their ivory and wooden spoons; in their eared sandals, which no Mhuma would travel without; in their partiality to certain colours, such as red, black, and yellow; in their baskets for carrying their infants; in their reed flutes; in the long walking-staffs; in the{400} mode of expressing their grief, by wailing, beating their breasts, and their gestures expressive of being inconsolable; in their sad, melancholy songs; and in a hundred other customs and habits, I see that old Egyptian and Ethiopian characteristics are faithfully preserved among the tribes of the grass-land.

The boys have games similar to those of “marbles” and ball and backgammon with us. As the ancients bore their watering-pots for irrigating their fields, so the Wahuma convey the milk to their chiefs; and the oil of their castor berries, and butter, serve to perpetuate the custom of old antiquity in their ablutions; and in the respect paid to the elders and their chiefs by the modern youth of Inner Africa may be observed that reverence which was so often inculcated in the olden time. These people, having no literature, and undisturbed by advent of superior influences among them, have only learned what has been communicated to them by their parents, who had received from their progenitors such few functions and customs as were necessary for existence and preservation of their particular tribal distinctions. Thus the unlettered tribes of these long unknown regions are discovered to be practising such customs, habits and precepts, as must have distinguished the ancestors of the founders of the Pyramids in the dark prehistoric ages of Egypt.

No traces of any religion can be found among the Wahuma. They believe most thoroughly in the existence of an evil influence in the form of a man, who exists in uninhabited places as a wooded, darksome gorge, or large extent of reedy brake, but that he can be propitiated by gifts; therefore the lucky hunter leaves a portion of the meat, which he tosses, however, as he would to a dog, or he places an egg, or a small banana, or a kid-skin, at the door of the miniature dwelling which is always found at the entrance to the zeriba.

Every person wears a charm around the neck, or arm, or waist. They believe in “evil eyes” and omens, but are not so superstitious as the Waganda, probably because they are so scattered. Witchcraft is dreaded,{401} and the punishment of a suspected person follows swiftly.



Poor Gaddo, a good-looking, faithful young fellow who accompanied Mr. Jephson as lake pilot to Mswa Station soon after his return to Kavalli’s village, was suspected of conspiring against his chief. Gaddo came to me and reported that he was in danger, and he was advised to remain in my camp until we should leave. The elders proceeded with a fowl to a distance of about a hundred yards beyond the camp, and opened the breast. They were seen whispering together over what they had discovered, and it was presently known that the jury had found Gaddo guilty of evil practices against Kavalli, and this was doom. As Gaddo was as guiltless as the babe unborn, a messenger was sent to the chief to say that if he were injured Kavalli would be held responsible. Yet Gaddo felt so uncomfortable in the vicinity of the village, as public opinion had already condemned him, that he sought to escape to Katonza’s by the lake, but on the brow of the plateau fate found him. It was reported circumstantially that while standing on a rock he had fallen over and broken his neck. It was very sad to hear the young wife and children and sisters wailing for the dead, and Kavalli was markedly good and amiable in those days.

The diet of the Wahuma is principally milk. The sale of their butter and hides now and then enables them to purchase sweet potatoes, millet, and bananas, but it is with a peculiar pride they say they are not “hoemen.” The sorghum of the tribes around them is of the red variety. The Indian corn, or maize, is of an inferior quality. It is planted in the latter part of February at the same period as the beans. In two months the latter are fit to be eaten. A month later the corn comes into ear, and in the fourth month it is mature. In September the millet is sown and is ripe for cutting in February. Every village owns extensive tracts planted with sweet potatoes, and along the edges of their plantain groves they grow colocassia, or helmia; but the latter are not favourites with strangers, as{403} ignorance in the art of cooking them leaves them nauseous.

The “malwa,” or beer, is from fermented millet and ripe bananas. It is in great demand, and a chief’s greatest business in life appears to be paying visits to his friends round about, for the purpose of exhausting their malwa pots. Fortunately, it is not very potent, and is scarcely strong enough to do more than inspire a happy convivial feeling.

The climate of the region is agreeable. Five hours’ work per day can be performed, even out-door, without discomfort from excessive heat, and three days out of seven during the whole of daylight, because of the frequent clouded state of the sky. When, however, the sky is exposed, the sun shines with a burning fervour that makes men seek the shelter of their cool huts. The higher portions of the grass-land—as at Kavalli’s, in the Balegga Hills, and on the summit of the Ankori pastoral ranges—range from 4,500 to 6,500 feet above the sea, and large extents of Toro and Southern Unyoro as high as 10,000, and promise to be agreeable lands for European settlers when means are provided to convey them there. When that time arrives they will find amiable, quiet, and friendly neighbours in that fine-featured race, of which the best type are the Wahuma, with whom we have never exchanged angry words, and who bring up vividly to the mind the traits of those blameless people with whom the gods deigned to banquet once a year upon the heights of Ethiopia.{404}



Ankori and Karagwé under two aspects—Karagwé; and the Alexandra Nile—Mtagata Hot Springs—A baby rhinoceros, captured by the Nubians, shows fight in camp—Disappearance of Wadi Asmani—The Pasha’s opinion of Captain Casati—Surgeon Parke and the pigmy damsel—Conduct of a boy pigmy—Kibbo-bora loses his wife at the Hot Springs—Arrival at Kufarro—Recent kings of Karagwé—Kiengo and Captain Nelson’s resemblance to “Speke”—The King of Uganda greatly dreaded in Karagwé—Ndagara refuses to let our sick stay in his country—Camp at Uthenga: loss of men through the cold—We throw superfluous articles in Lake Urigi in order to carry the sick—We enter the district of Ihangiro: henceforward our food has to be purchased—The Lake of Urigi—At the village of Mutara, Fath-el-Mullah runs amuck with the natives, and is delivered over to them—The Unyamatundu plateau—Halt at Ngoti: Mwengi their chief—Kajumba’s territory—We obtain a good view of Lake Victoria—The country round Kisaho—Lions and human skulls in the vicinity of our camp—The events of 1888 cleared our track for a peaceful march to the sea—We reach Amranda and Bwanga—The French missionaries and their stations at Usambiro—Arrival at Mr. Mackay’s, the English Mission station—Mr. Mackay and his books—We rest, and replenish our stores, etc.—Messrs. Mackay and Deakes give us a sumptuous dinner previous to our departure—The last letter from Mr. A. M. Mackay, dated January 5, 1890.

July 28.

A stranger entering Ankori or Karagwé in the dry season, and taking a casual view around, and seeing only vast spaces made black with fire, and lines and massive outcroppings of grey rock, long mountainous ridges heaving one after another, all burnt up, and scorched to seeming desolateness, would be apt to exclaim impatiently, “Show me one beauty spot on the face of it!” This man is an old acquaintance of mine. He is a spleeny, querulous, joyless fellow, of thin blood and aching liver. He will go to the Congo, or to East Africa, or to Bechuanaland, and standing on an {405}ant-heap, he will ask with a sneer, “Do you call this Africa? Pho!” Nevertheless, within three weeks after the fire which burnt the sere grass, and gave the land an aspect of desolation, the young grass is waving merrily, exulting in its youth, and beauty, and greenness over mountain summit, slope, and valley, and these two pasture-lands, renowned for the breeding of their cattle, really look beautiful. I have seen them now under two aspects. To Ankori I give the preference. In it are mighty extents of plain stretching in a hazy, billowy manner, broken up here and there by humpy eminences, pap-like hills, and dwarfish mounts, divided by tributaries of the Alexandra like the Rwizi, or by feeders of the Albert Edward like the Rusango, and all within curving lines of grand grass-covered ranges, which separate one broad river basin from another. It seems as though all this was arranged after some cunning plan, to meet the exigencies of exclusive tribes. The plan has been defeated, however, for Antari reigns over the basins of the Rwizi, the Namianja, the Rusango, and many another stream, despite the mountainous dyke, and of late years he has annexed Mpororo country, and if his power were equal to his ambition he would probably annex Karagwé, and Koki, and Uddu, down to the Victoria Lake.

We are now in Karagwé. The Alexandra Nile—drawing its waters from Ruanda, Mpororo, to the west; and from north, Uhha; and north-east, Urundi and Kishakka—runs north along the western frontier of Karagwé, and reaching Ankori, turns sharply round to eastward to empty into the Victorian Sea; and as we leave its narrow valley, and ascend gradually upward, along one of those sloping narrow troughs so characteristic of this part of Central Africa, we camp at Unyakatera, below a mountain ridge of that name, and like the view obtained from that summit two score of times repeated, is all Karagwé. It is a system of deep narrow valleys running between long narrow ranges as far as the eye can reach. In the north of Karagwé they are drained by small streams which flow into the Alexandra.{406}

July 29.

The second day’s travel was terminated when we reached Mtagata hot springs, which I have already described in ‘Through the Dark Continent.’

A HOT SPRING, MTAGATA. (From a Photograph.)

A HOT SPRING, MTAGATA. (From a Photograph.)



Soon after reaching the camp our Nubians set out to hunt, for the land is famous for rhinoceros, and being good shots, they dropped four of these huge beasts, and captured a baby, which they brought to us. We tied the baby, which was as large as a prize boar, to a tree, and he fully showed what combativeness there was in his nature. Sometimes he mistook the tree for an enemy, and rushed to the attack, battering it with its horny nose until, perceiving that the tree obstinately resisted him, he would halt to reconnoitre it, as though he had the{408}{407} intention of assaulting it by another method; but at such times some wicked Zanzibari boys prodded him in the hams with a reed cane, and uttering a startling squeal of rage he would dash at the offenders to the length of his tether. He seemed to me to be the stupidest, most ireful, intractable little beastie that ever I had met. Feeling himself restrained by the cord, he felt sure it must be the tree that was teasing him, and he would make another dash at it with such vehemence that sent him on his haunches; prodded, pricked in the rear, he squealed again, and swinging round with wonderful activity, he would start headlong, to be flung on his back by the rope; until at last, feeling that it would be only misery to him to be carried to the coast, he was consigned to the butcher and his assistants.

On the march of July 31st to Kirurumo, Wadi Asmani, a Zanzibari headman, laid his rifle and box on the path, and disappeared without a word of parting or warning to any person, with nearly thirty months’ pay due to him, while in perfect condition of body and at peace with all the world.

July 31.

Captain Casati was placed in a hammock and carried on account of increasing weakness. The Pasha visited me, and related his opinion that Casati was a curious man. Said he: “I have just come from seeing my friend Casati; I found him lying on some grass, and the sunshine pouring on his bare head with such heat that, even with my topee, I suffered inconvenience. He has four women, besides two Manyuema and his young man from our province. I asked him why he did not make his people build him a shelter with banana leaves, for there were some within forty yards of him. He replied, ‘I have no servants.’ I then said to him, ‘Why did you not send for the bath-tub I promised you? You should avail yourself of these hot springs.’ ‘True,'he replied, ‘but I have no people.’ ‘But you have four stout female servants that I know of.’ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘but I don’t like to ask them to do anything lest they should say I work them like slaves.{410} They are widows, you know, and their husbands are dead, etc.’”

The young pigmy damsel who had been with us for over a year began to show symptoms of chronic ill health, and was left with the chief of Kirurumo. The little thing had performed devoted service to Surgeon Parke, who had quite won her heart with those soft gentle tones of his that made everybody smile affectionately on the Doctor. She used to be the guardian of his tent, and whenever the Doctor had to absent himself for his duties she crouched at the door, faithful as a spaniel, and would permit no intruder to approach the doorway. She performed her work in the most unobtrusive manner, and she was the only one of her sex who did not abuse the privileges we generally concede to women in the camp. On the road she carried the Doctor’s satchel, and on nearing the resting-place she was as industrious as a bee in collecting fuel, and preparing the Surgeon’s cheering cup of tea, which after patient teaching she learned was necessary for his well-being. There was a little fellow of her tribe attached to another of the officers, who never spoke a word to mortal being except to his master, was one of the first to gain camp, collect the fuel, and make his fire. Though loaded on the march he never appeared fatigued or worried, and never gave any trouble. Sometimes when by his industry he had collected a stock of fuel, and a big callous-hearted ruffian took it from the boy, he would show his distress by his looks, but presently gathering courage he would abandon it and collect another pile, as though time was too precious to waste in useless argument over the inevitable. And thus the Pigmies showed by their conduct that they were related to all that was best and noble in human nature.

Kibbo-bora, a headman of the Manyuema, lost his wife at the Hot Springs, and so great was his grief that he had to be restrained lest he should commit suicide. Sitting apart in the gorge of Mtagata he howled his laments during twenty-four hours, and his followers formed a chorus to respond to his mournful cries.{411} None of us had much sleep that night, and thus we became involuntarily partakers of his woe. It was several days before the poor fellow recovered from the shock.

Continuing our journey along those grassy ridges which run parallel to deep narrow valleys in a S.S.E. and N.N.W. direction, almost invariably across the breadth of Karagwé and Ruanda to the westward, in three marches we arrived at Kafurro, a settlement that was once a favourite resort of Arab traders.

As in Uganda, changes have taken place in Karagwé. Mtesa, first made known to us by Captains Speke and Grant, has departed to the great majority, and within fourteen years Mwanga, Kiwewa, Karema, and again Mwanga, have sat on Mtesa’s throne. Rumanika, the gentle pagan, a characteristic Mhuma, has gone too, to sleep only a little more peacefully than he had lived. And after him came Kyensi, his eldest son, who reigned only nine months. Then followed Kakoko, another son, who usurped the throne and reigned for three years, and during that time slew seventeen brothers, and put out the eyes of Luajumba, his youngest brother. Then Ka-chikonju went in unto Kakoko as he lay on his bedstead sodden with malwa, and drove his sharp spear twice through his breast, and relieved the land of the tyrant. The same month Hamed bin Ibrahim, who had lived in Karagwé many years trading in ivory, was murdered by his son, Syed bin Hamed. The successor of Kakoko to the rights and prerogatives of King of Karagwé is Ndagara, or Unyagumbwa, for he has two names, who was now in his sixteenth year, and as the son of Kyensi was the rightful heir.

Aug. 3.

The welcome extended to us through Ankori was extended to the Expedition in our journey through Karagwé. On the road to Kafurro we had been permitted to help ourselves to bananas and plantains, and as soon as Ndagara was officially informed of our arrival, he despatched to camp a sufficient supply of bananas, an ox, fowls, malwa, and some loads of beans, sweet potatoes, and grain. In return I made him a{412} present of a Winchester, and a couple of coils of wire.

Kiengo, also the old guide of Speke and Grant, who accompanied them from Unyanyembé to Unyoro, sent us an ox, bananas, fowls, and milk; and to Captain Nelson, because he bore some resemblance to “Speki,” he gave a fat broad-tailed sheep, and the only tax we had to pay was that on our patience while listening to his reminiscences of “Speki,” which he was never tired of repeating.

The King of Uganda is greatly dreaded in Karagwé. Before Mwanga was deposed no stranger could pass through the land without obtaining his sanction. The Waganda, after the death of Rumanika, had carried matters with such a high hand that they also taxed Ndagara’s Arab guests with the same freedom as they would have exacted toll in Uganda. Two years before our arrival the Waganda were in force at Ndagara’s capital, and at Kitangulé to command the ferries across the Alexandra Nile. They found Bakari, a coast trader, occupying the place of Hamed Ibrahim at Kafurro, and demanded from him twenty guns and twenty kegs of powder, which he refused on the ground that he was a guest of the King of Karagwé, and not of the King of Uganda; whereupon he and his principal men were shot forthwith. Considering these things it is not likely we should have had a peaceful passage through Karagwé had we adopted this route for the relief of Emin, with such quantities of ammunition and rifles as would have made Uganda so intractable that nothing but a great military force would have been able to bring its king to reason.

It was clearly demonstrated what hold Uganda maintained in Karagwé, when in obedience to a request from twenty-six of the Pasha’s people that I should obtain permission of Ndagara for them to remain in the land until they were cured of their ulcers, I sent word to the king that we had several men and women unable to travel through excessive illness. Ndagara returned a reply stating that on no consideration would he permit{413} the people to stay, as if it once reached the ears of the King of Uganda that he allowed strangers to stay in his country, he would be so exasperated that he would not only send a force to kill the strangers, but that Karagwé would be ruined. His reply was given to the Pasha, and he explained and argued with his wearied and sick followers, but, as he said, they were resolved to stay, as they had only a choice of deaths, and as we were already cruelly loaded, there was no help for it.

From Kafurro we moved to Rozaka on the 7th, and the next day marched over dreary wastes of sere grass, in valley and on mountain. The morning was very gloomy and threatened rain, and after we had filed along a tall ridge in the face of a bitter and chilly wind, a drizzly sleet commenced to fall, which paralysed the Pasha’s followers. The rearguard advancing after the column saw symptoms of collapse among many cases, and its commander, Captain Nelson, ordered a halt, and directed his men to make fires, but before the freezing people could reach the warmth, many fell down and stiffened, and becoming powerless had to be carried to the fires and shampooed by the Zanzibaris, when they soon recovered. Five, however, had perished from the cold before the hard-worked rearguard could reach them. The head of the column, five miles ahead of the rearguard, had spurred forward to gain shelter in the banana groves of Uthenga basin, utterly beyond recall, as the habit of the Egyptians and their followers was to dawdle along the road and place as much as a mile or two between them and the porters, who by long experience had learned that it was best to hurry to camp and be relieved of their burdens.

Aug. 10.
Urigi Lake.

On the 10th we left Uthenga, and crossing two mountain ridges descended 800 feet to the narrow basin at the head of Urigi Lake, then traversed the ancient bed, and winding along a road followed the east shore line of the lake. On reaching camp, opposite to where the lake was about a mile wide, we slaughtered nine head of cattle for meat rations, and tossed two boxes of Remington ammunition into the water. We{414} had already relieved ourselves of African curios from the forest lands, and of every superfluous article. We were now beginning to relieve ourselves of the ammunition, to carry the sick refugees from the Equatorial Province.

On the 11th we passed out of Karagwé territory, and because of the complimentary introductions from Ndagara we were welcomed in Ihangiro, and were escorted from village to village until we halted at Kavari. But here was the end of the free living. Every grain and banana would have to be purchased henceforward. From the Albert Nyanza to this first important district in Ihangiro, nearly 600 miles, the Expedition had been supplied gratuitously and abundantly. It now behoved us to distribute to each man, woman, and child in the Expedition supplies of beads of various colours, red, white, blue, brown, and pink, of porcelain and glass, and each person would barter these currencies for food as he or she pleased. To people who were accustomed to eat five days’ provisions in one day, it was imprudent to give more than four or five days’ ration beads at a time. Had we given each person a month’s allowance, which would have been a vast relief to our burdened carriers, and a saving of some sick people’s lives—as we should have been enabled to have carried more of them in hammocks—nine-tenths of our followers would have expended their ration monies in purchasing only a little grain, but vast quantities of malwa, fowls, and goats, and in ten days they would have applied for more beads or cloth, and the Expedition would have been halted, completely beggared.

Aug. 11.
Urigi Lake.

The Lake of Urigi is pretty when seen from Useni or Kavari. At this season its hilly frame is all brown, with little dots of dark green bush scattered here and there; the water was of a light blue owing to a bright blue sky. Its receding waters have left great extents of flat plain on the sides and around the bays running far inland into valleys. Its shores and waters are favourite haunts of birds, from cranes, herons, and pelicans, to the small black Parra Africana, egrets{415} and waders, which find excellent feeding over the large spaces near the extremities and shore line of bays, covered with close-packed growths of Pistia stratiotes plants, until they resemble green lawns from a little distance off. Hippos abound, and, unfortunately, armies of black mosquitoes. The eastern shore we found to be littered with bones of slain animals, for the lions and hyenas, it is said, kill much game. A large supply of fish is found in the lake, but they are infested with guinea worm—at least those which we purchased were deemed quite uneatable from that cause. The lake measures about twenty-five miles in length by from one to three miles wide, and is sunk about 1200 feet below the average level of the bare grassy hills around it.



Aug. 12.

From Kavari we journeyed along the lake shore to Mutara. No sooner had we arrived than native men, women, and children visited us to barter their surplus provisions of grain, honey, fish, malwa, fowls, and bananas. The hard-headed Soudanese proceeded to the village of Mutara, a mile off, and, unduly oblivious of the orders given the day before when the beads were{416} distributed, commenced to loot the village, more especially for malwa and beans. In a country where not the least obstacle is placed in the way of travellers, and where they might purchase anything of the product of the land for cash value, as much surprise would be manifested as in Cairo or London at the sight of a mob of men looting stores and markets. Consequently the natives expostulated, and demanded to know what this conduct implied. For answer, a Soudanese, Fathel Mullah, loaded his Remington and shot one man dead, another in the jaw, and another in the leg. As this was perfectly inexplicable to the natives, instead of avenging themselves there and then, a body of fifty of them came to the camp as an orderly deputation, to demand an explanation of me. The story appeared so incredible that I sent an officer with them to see the dead man and wounded, and the officer on his return reported that the story was true. Then every man in the Expedition was mustered, the rolls were called, Zanzibaris, Soudanese, Manyuema, Egyptians, and their followers, and the natives were requested to walk all round the rude square, and point out the man who had entered their village to run amuck while the women were bartering in the camp, and after going searchingly about, five of them pointed at Fathel Mullah. As this was not sufficient evidence even, the question was addressed to the Soudanese, and his comrade Sururu stepped out and described the circumstance that a native had tried to prevent him taking a pot of malwa, whereupon, calling him Abid and Kelb—slave and dog—he shot him dead, and fired three or four times at others indiscriminately.

“The man is yours—you can take him; but if you will sell him for cattle, cloth, wire, beads, or anything else, I will buy him.”

“No, no, no, no; we don’t sell our people; not for a hundred cattle would we part with him.”

“But what good will his blood be to you? You can’t eat him; he will not work for you. Take five cattle for him.{417}

Aug. 13.

“No, no, no, no. We want him, for he has slain a chief man in our village, and perhaps the others will die also. We will take him.”

“Take him, then; he does not belong to me, and has no right in my camp.”

He was marched away, and we never knew what became of him.

On the next day we struck away more easterly from Lake Urigi, over rough stony ground, which was waterless and uninhabited, with numerous ant-hills covered with sickly and dwarfed bush, a thin forest of miserable acacia spreading out on either hand, leafless, decaying, and dead. Within two hours we reached the base of Unya-Matundu plateau, and, as the morning was yet early, we ascended to the summit, 1,200 feet above Lake Urigi, travelled an hour over a rolling surface of pasture land, through prosperous fields and scattered settlements, and halted at Ngoti after four and a half hours’ march.

Mwengi, the chief, was a gigantic young Mhuma, tall as a guardsman, but quiet and possessed, and his people obeyed him with alacrity. We therefore halted to do a day’s bartering. A fine bunch of bananas could be purchased for ten cowries, and as eight cowries constituted a day’s ration allowance, no one could possibly complain of insufficient food.

An hour’s march beyond Ngoti we began to descend the eastern face of the plateau, and 900 feet below reached a rolling plain covered with leafless and sickly acacia, and were in the country of Uzinja.

Aug. 15.

We halted after five hours in Kimwani or Kizinga—Chief Kajumba’s territory. The chief was another tall person of the Wahuma breed, at the time suffering from ophthalmia. When the Waganda invaded his territory a year ago he fled to Unya-Ruwamba, the Urigi district of Ihangiro, and hid himself on an island in the lake, whence, after paying a tribute of cattle to Uganda, he was permitted to return to his own land as a subject of Mwanga, but to find his banana groves cut down and the land well cleaned of every product. For the{418} protection afforded him in his distress, Ihangiro claims Kimwani as a district attached to it. Kassasura, King of Usui, having invaded Kimwani and captured Kajumba and held him a prisoner for two months, also lays claim to his allegiance.

Kajumba, was liberal to us, as he sent us eighty-one bunches of bananas, one goat, and two pots of malwa. As he was on the verge of senility, he was inclined to be despotic and querulous, and it may be imagined that perhaps a small caravan would be differently treated.

Accompanied by guides from Kimwani we set out southward, and three miles beyond Kajumba’s we obtained a charming view of Lake Victoria and the islands Ikuta, Majinga, Soswa, Rumondo, and distant Mysomé, and near noon we camped at Nyamagoju, at the south-west extremity of an arm of the lake which receives the Lohugati, a periodical stream draining East Usui.

The next day’s march was along a plain which extended from Nyamagoju to another lake arm, at whose extremity we camped at a village called Kisaho. Our route each day now was across flat extents of land, from which the Lake had within twenty-five years or so receded. They are covered over with low bush, which at this season is leafless. The ground is dry, streamless, hard-baked and cracked, and shows a nitrous efflorescence in many places. To our right, as the land rises, on ridges over fifty feet above the Lake, we find a thin dwarf forest; at a hundred feet elevation we see respectable trees, and grasses become more nutritious.

Aug. 20.



We cut across a broad cape-like formation of land and passed from the bay of Kisaho to a bay near Itari on the 20th, and from the summit of a high ridge near the latter place I perceived by compass bearings and solar observation, that we were much south of the south-west coast line, as marked on my map in “Through the Dark Continent.” From this elevated ridge could be seen the long series of islands overlapping one another, which, in our flight from the ferocious natives{420}{419} of Bumbiré in 1875, without oars, had been left unexplored, and which, therefore, I had sketched as mainland.

We find that the Wazinja call the Victoria Nyanza Muta Nzigé, as the Wanyoro call the Albert Lake Muta Nzigé, and the Wasongora and Wanyankori call the Albert Edward by the same name.

On leaving Itari we were made aware of lions having paid the vicinity of our camp a visit by a dead zebra which had just been killed. We were also astonished at the number of human skulls about, and when we asked the guides the cause, we were informed that at Itari the Wazinja endeavoured to oppose the Waganda during their late invasion. It may be that the Wazinja deserved the cruel visitation. It is well known that Usui needs a lesson like it. The last caprice of Kasasura has been to halt a caravan of 150 guns.

As we reflected on the various events which appear to have occurred in this region in 1887, the Waganda in force in Karagwé, audacious and insolent, and shooting Arab traders, and invading Uzinja, and from Kishakka to the Victoria Lake the land one seething area of strife and bloodshed, it struck us that the events of 1888, the deposition of Mwanga, the revolution and counter-revolution, were simply clearing our track for a peaceful march to the sea.

It became impressed on us as we travelled over these dry, waterless plains, with their nakedness scarcely hidden by dwarf acacia, and hardy euphorbias, that the forest people were utterly unfit to be taken out of their arboreal homes. Half of those who had accompanied us we had been obliged to leave behind, and yet there had been no want of either food or water. In the same manner the Somalis, Soudanese, Madis, or Baris, when taken into the forest, soon became joyless, dull, and moping, and died. And yet I have read in affectedly learned books that Africa was only fit for the Africans!

Aug. 21.

To my great surprise, and indeed delight, the Lake extended to 2° 48′ south latitude, which we ascertained{422} on reaching Amranda on the 21st. The highest elevation reached since leaving Nyamaagoju has not been higher than 50 feet above the Lake, while immense tracts of as yet poor flat country have been left bare by the recession of its waters, and until many a season yet of rains has scoured the nitre out of these plains they must remain mean and unproductive.

By a gradual rise from Amranda southward we escape after a few miles out of the unlovely plains to older land producing a better quality of timber. Before we were 100 feet above the Lake a visible improvement had taken place, the acacia had disappeared, and the myombo, a tree whose bark is useful for native cloth and for boxes, and which might be adapted for canoes, flourished everywhere. At Bwanga, the next village, the language of the Wahuma, which we had heard continually since leaving the Albert Nyanza, ceases, and the Unyamwezi interpreters had now to be employed, which fact the sceptical Zanzibaris hailed as being evidence that we were approaching Pwani (the coast).

And now we had to turn east, straight for the Mission House, which we began to hear of as being in Usambiro. From Bwanga to Uyombi is a march of 6¾ hours, thence another, Kamwaga, of 5 hours, thence to Umpeté, 5 hours, and from thence to the abandoned French Mission Station in Usambiro in 6 hours. In the centre of the circular palisade was a neat church, and above the roof of it was a simple cross, which instantly suggested Christ and Civilization, words and thoughts to which I fear most of us had been strangers for many months.

Aug. 27.

The French Missionaries, we must admit, are not to be excelled in the art of building Stations and developing an appearance of comfort and prettiness out of the most unpromising materials. Those who have travelled the last three or four hundred miles with us will have seen that I have been almost indifferent to the face of the land. We had traversed it during the dry season, when it is difficult to find one acre out of a million{423} worth looking at, and yet equal to the unloveliest of all was that occupied by this handsome Mission Station. There were three rows of low earth-covered structures, forming three sides of a spacious square, and in each row were four or five chambers neatly plastered within and without with grey clay. Midway between the houses were the church, excellently built out of materials in the vicinity; an inner circle of palisades surrounded the civilized quarters, and an outer circle protected the village of the proselytes. Nothing could be better, considering that the myombo forest close by, and the soil around them, furnished the materials, than the plan and execution of it. One realised how patiently and with what love they must have laboured. There were two faults in the place, however, which, had their faith not been so great, they would have known before building. The natives were cantankerous, hard-hearted, worldly Wanyamwezi, and there was no water, and before they had quite completed the Station, the signal for retreat and abandonment was given.

Aug. 27.

The next day, having already sent messengers ahead, that we might not take Mr. Mackay, of the Church Missionary Society, by surprise, we arrived in view of the English Mission, which was built in the middle of what appeared to be no better than a grey waste, on ground gently sloping from curious heaps of big boulders, or enormous blocks thrown higgledy-piggledy to the height of a respectable hill down to a marshy flat green with its dense crops of papyrus, beyond which we saw a gleam of a line of water produced from an inlet of the Victoria Nyanza. We were approaching the Mission by a waggon track, and presently we came to the waggon itself, a simple thing on wooden wheels, for carrying timber for building. There was not a green thing in view except in the marsh; the aspect was cheerless and melancholy, grass all dead, trees either shrunk, withered, or dead, at least there was not the promise of a bud anywhere, which was of course entirely due to the dry season. When we were about half a mile off a gentleman of small stature, with a rich brown beard{424} and brown hair, dressed in white linen and a grey Tyrolese hat, advanced to meet us.

“And so you are Mr. Mackay? Mwanga did not get you, then, this time? What experiences you must have had with that man. But you look so well one would say you had been to England lately.”

“Oh, no, this is my twelfth year. Mwanga permitted me to leave, and the Rev. Cyril Gordon took my place, but not for long, since they were all shortly after expelled from Uganda.”

Talking thus we entered the circle of tall poles within which the Mission Station was built. There were signs of labour, and constant unwearying patience, sweating under a hot sun, a steadfast determination to do something to keep the mind employed, and never let idleness find them with folded hands brooding over the unloveliness, lest despair might seize them, and cause them to avail themselves of the speediest means of ending their misery. There was a big, solid workshop in the yard filled with machinery and tools, a launch’s boiler was being prepared by the blacksmiths, a big canoe was outside repairing; there were sawpits, and large logs of hard timber, there were great stacks of palisade poles, in a corner of an outer yard was a cattle-fold and a goat-pen, fowls by the score pecked at microscopic grains, and out of the European quarter there trooped out a number of little boys and big boys looking uncommonly sleek and happy; and quiet labourers came up to bid us, with hats off, “Good Morning.” Now if there is anything on God’s earth better calculated than work to make men happy, it must be with some peculiar dispositions the knowledge that their work is ended. Hence, when I entered the Mission House my soul was possessed with some such feeling as this; at any rate before my mission was terminated the welcome we received promised rest and relief.



I was ushered into the room of a substantial clay structure, the walls about two feet thick, evenly plastered, and garnished with missionary pictures and {426}{425}placards. There were four separate ranges of shelves filled with choice, useful books. “Allah ho Akbar,” replied Hassan, his Zanzibari head-man, to me; “books! Mackay has thousands of books, in the dining-room, bedroom, the church, everywhere. Books! ah, loads upon loads of them!” And while I was sipping real coffee, and eating home-made bread and butter for the first time for thirty months, I thoroughly sympathised with Mackay’s love of books. But it becomes quite clear why, amongst so many books, and children, and outdoor work, Mackay cannot find leisure to brood and become morbid, and think of “drearinesses, wildernesses, despair and loneliness.” A clever writer lately wrote a book about a man who spent much time in Africa, which from beginning to end is a long-drawn wail. It would have cured both writer and hero of all moping to have seen the manner of Mackay’s life. He has no time to fret and groan and weep, and God knows if ever man had reason to think of “graves and worms and oblivion,” and to be doleful and lonely and sad, Mackay had, when, after murdering his Bishop, and burning his pupils, and strangling his converts, and clubbing to death his dark friends, Mwanga turned his eye of death on him. And yet the little man met it with calm blue eyes that never winked. To see one man of this kind, working day after day for twelve years bravely, and without a syllable of complaint or a moan amid the “wildernesses,” and to hear him lead his little flock to show forth God’s loving kindness in the morning, and His faithfulness every night, is worth going a long journey, for the moral courage and contentment that one derives from it.

We stayed at the Mission Station from the 28th of August to the morning of the 17th of September, and on the Europeans of the Expedition the effect of regular diet and well-cooked food, of amiable society and perfect restfulness, was marvellous.

We were rich in goods of all kinds, for in Mr. Mackay’s keeping since Mr. Stokes brought them from the coast in 1888, we possessed about 200 loads of bulky currency and forty loads of preserved provisions.{428} Thirty loads of cloth were instantly distributed among the people on account, at cost price, that each man might make amends during our rest for any late privations. We had also fourteen pack-donkeys, which were delivered to the Pasha’s followers, and the Pasha, Casati, and myself, were able to purchase riding asses from the French Missionaries at Bukumbi, who were good enough to visit us with valuable gifts of garden produce. From their stores our officers were enabled to purchase very necessary outfits, such as boots, slippers, shirts, and hats, which made them presentable once more.



We were also able to obtain about twenty carriers, to assist in the carriage of goods, that more of our Zanzibaris might be detailed for hammock service; and yet after a stay of nineteen days, with as much food as they could eat, and as great a variety as the country—by{429} no means badly stocked—could provide, when they were mustered for the march the day before leaving Makolo’s, there were over one hundred people who complained of asthma, chest, spleen, liver, or lumbar pains, and declared they could not travel.

The evening before the day we resumed our journey for the sea Messrs. Mackay and Deakes, the only two members of the Mission at present at Makolo’s (Messrs. Gordon and Walker having just departed for Uganda before we arrived) gave us a sumptuous dinner, roast beef, roast fowl, stews, rice and curry, plum-pudding, and a bottle of medical wine. And as is the custom in civilised lands, speeches terminated the banquet. It fell to my share to propose the health of Emin Pasha, and to Mr. Mackay to propose mine, and there was no member then present who was not the recipient of most friendly wishes on the part of everybody else, delivered, as I thoroughly believe, in perfect sincerity.

The last letter from Mr. A. M. Mackay.

January 5th, 1890.

My very dear Sir,

“I have no less than three valuable letters from you, viz., two dated Usongo, and one from Ugogo. The last arrived here on 1st December.

“Since the French priests passed this way to overtake your Expedition, I have not sent off a post to the coast.

“I was most pleased to hear of your satisfactory progress; and doubtless you are, by this time, comfortably housed in civilized territory, and enjoying a more than well-earned rest after the fatigues and privations of African travel. If any man merits the congratulations of Europe, certainly you do. But you will likely soon be sick of being fêted everywhere, and in disgust, retire into some out-of-the-way corner to write the full account of your remarkable adventures. What a strange loneliness hung about this place—physically and mentally—after you left, goes without saying. The looked-for mail did not come; only the carriers returned from Kisokwé, on October 23rd, without any letters from the coast. Although on December 1st we got a batch of letters, but no papers or magazines. These will come some time.

“Deakes has been a good deal unwell, but now fully recovered, while the commencement of the rains has laid up nearly all my colony of Baganda with protracted low fever. Your man, Ali bin Said, died on September 27th, and one of the Pasha’s whites, Mohammed Arabi, died on October 20th. The others, eight in number, have all fully recovered, and are at work.

“I have fitted up my steam engine, and find pumps complete, and also riveted the boiler, both outer shell and firebox. The boiler has been a{430} serious job, as fourteen years of knocking about have thrown every plate out of shape, besides turning the iron, originally of ‘Best’ brand, with a brittle, steely sort of thing, which determined to crack on the first touch of a hammer. But by carefully annealing the whole, I have succeeded. I am now rigging up a steam saw-mill, to cut up the planks for the new boat. The rough boat, or transformed canoe, which you saw here in progress, is now nearly finished, and should have been completed some time ago; but I have not been able to look after it, owing to occupation at other work, including printing for Buganda.

“You will have heard that, after severe fighting, the Christians defeated Kalema and his Arab party, and have replaced Mwanga on the throne. They have taken possession of all the chieftainships for themselves, equally dividing them between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. An active young fellow named Kagwa Apollo, a pupil of my own, is now the Katekiro.

“Mwanga is altogether in the hands of the new Christian chiefs, and they do not seem likely to allow him to have his own way any more. Five of the Frenchmen, including their Bishops, are now there, while our Mission is represented by only Walker and Gordon.

“I can hear nothing of the I. B. E. A. Co., except the old report of February from Zanzibar, that they were at Ulu. They seem to require a man of determination and pluck at their head; and my joy will be great when I hear of your undertaking to put their affairs on a sound footing. I am glad to hear of Mr. Mackinnon being knighted. He well deserves the honour. I have written to his agents in Zanzibar, explaining the absurdity of their acceding to Germany’s wish to draw the boundary-line west of this Lake, along the 1st parallel of S. Lat., as that would cut the kingdom of Buganda into two halves; for Karagwé, Usui, and Usinja, as far south as Serombo, are actually part of Buganda, being tributary to it. No paper delimitation, made in Berlin or London, can ever remove these states from their allegiance to Buganda. Therefore, there need be little jealousy about the matter. The only fair boundary-line that I can see would be from this end of the long creek (Smith Sound) diagonally S.W. to the intersection of the 4th parallel with the 32nd degree of E. long., and then straight west to Bikani on the Tanganika.

“Many chiefs to the S.W. have been visiting here personally, and others sending; and I mean to send these letters their way to Uyin, as the wretched Nindo people are too grasping for my taste.

“I sent cloth, etc., to Nindo, to redeem your rifle taken from your messenger; but the rascally Mwanangwa has stuck to both ransom and rifle, under pretext of some quarrel with Stokes; so I give that crew a wide berth.

“I hear, on good authority, that the Banyoro, whom you fought, were not a chance raiding gang, but Kabba-Rega’s own army, which he sent expressly to check your advance. He was so terrified at the defeat of his troops that he took refuge on an island in the Albert Lake. Mwanga sent here a deputation, a month after you left, craving your assistance.

“The Arabs seem now completely discomfited, and have fled from Nagu. Said bin Saif’s (Kipanda) dhow, with a cargo of guns and kegs of powder, was captured by Mwanga’s people, and the vessel destroyed. Sunguru’s likewise. Stokes’ boat is, at this moment, the only one on the Lake. The Eleanor I have cut up, as being too rotten for further use, but hope soon to launch the other boat, which may do good service till I get the steam launch afloat.

“I have no definite news of the coast. I only heard of the re-establishment of the Germans at Mpwapwa. Surely, they will learn wisdom in{431} time, but hitherto, they have made a sorry hash of matters. I only hope they and the English will keep the gunpowder out. In no other way will they ever be able to exercise any control on the chiefs in the Interior.

“‘To be, or not to be; that is the question.’ Is it to be a track to the Lake or not? I see in you the only hope for this region, in your getting Sir W. Mackinnon to see the matter in its true light. I would not give sixpence for all the Company will do in half a century to come, unless they join the Lake with the coast by a line, let it be at first ever so rough. When they have got that, they will have broken the backbone of native cantankerousness.

“Very many thanks for your kindness in proposing to leave the theodolite for me at Kisokwe. I hope it will come this far in safety. I shall value it doubly as a souvenir from your hands.

“With very best wishes,
“Believe me ever,
“My dear Sir,
“Yours faithfully,
(Signed) “A. M. Mackay.

H. M. Stanley, Esq.”

To my great grief, I learn that Mr. Mackay, the best missionary since Livingstone, died about the beginning of February. Like Livingstone, he declined to return, though I strongly urged him to accompany us to the coast.{432}



Missionary work along the shores of the Victoria Nyanza and along the Congo River—The road from Mackay’s Mission—The country at Gengé—Considerable difficulty at preserving the peace at Kungu—Rupture of peace at Ikoma—Capture and release of Monangwa—The Wasukuma warriors attack us, but finally retire—Treachery—The natives follow us from Nera to Seké—We enter the district of Sinyanga: friendship between the natives and our men—Continued aggression of the natives—Heavy tributes—Massacre of a caravan—The district of Usongo, and its chief Mittinginya—His surroundings and neighbours—Two French missionaries overtake us—Human skulls at Ikungu—We meet one of Tippu-Tib’s caravans from Zanzibar—Troubled Ugogo—Lieut. Schmidt welcomes us at the German station of Mpwapwa—Emin Pasha visits the Pères of the French mission of San Esprit—The Fathers unacquainted with Emin’s repute—Our mails in Africa continually going astray—Contents of some newspaper clippings—Baron von Gravenreuth and others meet us at Msua—Arrival of an Expedition with European provisions, clothing and boots for us—Major Wissman—He and Schmidt take Emin and myself on to Bagamoyo—Dinner and guests at the German officers’ mess-house—Major Wissman proposes the healths of the guests; Emin’s and my reply to the same—Emin’s accident—I visit Emin in the hospital—Surgeon Parke’s report—The feeling at Bagamoyo—Embark for Zanzibar—Parting words with Emin Pasha—Illness of Doctor Parke—Emin Pasha enters the service of the German Government—Emin Pasha’s letter to Sir John Kirk—Sudden termination of Emin’s acquaintance with me—Three occasions when I apparently offended Emin—Emin’s fears that he would be unemployed—The British East African Company and Emin—Courtesy and hospitality at Zanzibar—Moneys due to the survivors of the Relief Expedition—Tippu-Tib’s agent at Zanzibar, Jaffar Tarya—The Consular Judge grants me an injunction against Jaffar Tarya—At Cairo—Conclusion.

Sept. 16.
Sept. 17.

It is fifteen years ago this month since I first saw this Victorian Sea, and launched my boat on its waters, and sailed along the shores, peering into the bays and creeks, and mapping out the area. Six months later those two journals, the “Daily Telegraph” and “New York Herald{433}” published the fact to every person who could afford the small sum of one penny, that the greatest Lake of Africa had been explored, and that at the north end of the Lake there was an African King ruling three millions of cleanly people, who cried out that he was in darkness and required light. And some good men heard the cry, and responded to it nobly. They sent missionaries to the King, and for years they taught him and his people, at first with little success, but by-and-by some of the seed fell upon good soil, and it took root and flourished, and despite the tares and the thistles and rank grasses that grew in the virgin soil, there was a good harvest.

In turning towards the sea, the thought came across my mind that elsewhere on the Congo, for 1400 miles from the western ocean, it had been permitted to me to float the steamers along that river, and build the Stations on its banks, which in 1887 were to be of great service to me to carry myself and my followers along the great river, and to offer shelter where we should meet with welcome and hospitality in the same manner, as this Missionary Station, which we were about to leave, had received us in 1889 with honour and regard. Truly I felt inclined to use the metaphor of the Preacher, and to admit that the bread I had cast upon the waters had returned to me abundantly after many days.

I do not propose to linger long over the lands intervening between Lake Victoria and Bagamoyo. I have already described them, and it is needless to repeat what is already written.

Sept. 18.

The road from Mackay’s Mission takes a south-easterly direction in order to cross the little stream, which as it approaches the creek at the south-eastward of Lake Victoria forms a swamp about five yards wide. It then turns northerly, runs parallel with the creek a little way, and then strikes easterly over a low plain, where the soil seems to be so poor as to grow a grass not much higher than rock moss. The 500 yards wide swamp reminded me that the French missionaries, since their settlement near the Lake at Bukumbi, have ascertained{434} that the Lake is now three feet lower than when they first settled here—that is about eleven years ago—that Ukerewé is no longer an island but is a peninsula. If this be true, and there is no reason to doubt it, and assuming that the decrease of the Lake has been uniform, a decrease of fifty feet in the Lake has required 183 years. At the time when Frederick the Great was crowned King of Prussia Lake Victoria must have been over 40,000 square miles in extent. It covers now, by this last discovery at the south-western extremity of the Lake, as near as I am able to measure it 26,900 square miles.

The appearance of the country at Gengé, which had steadily improved since leaving the neighbourhood of Makolo inlet, suggested to our coloured people that the missionaries had not made a wise choice in settling in Usambiro. They did not reflect that the more populous a district in Usukuma, or Unyamwezi is, it becomes less tenable to poor missionaries, that the taxes, demands, and blackmail of the headstrong and bumptious chief would soon be so onerous that starvation would be imminent and the oppression unbearable.

Sept. 20.

As, for instance, we reached Ikoma on the 20th. At Gengé and at Kungu we had considerable difficulty in preserving the peace. The path was beset by howling mobs, who came up dancing and uttering war-cries. This mattered very little, but some demon of a youth was mischievous enough to push both parties into a wordy war about whether we were cannibals or not. They took the cicatrices on the Soudanese’s features as proof that they were maneaters, and maneaters had no business in their country. But while something like a camp was being formed, though bush was scarce, and grass was not to be discovered, there came a follower of the Egyptians, a sinister-looking object; an arrow had pierced his arm, his head was gashed with an axe, he had been robbed of his clothes and allowance of cloth at Zanzibar, and his rifle. Two words were only needed to have amply revenged him. We pocketed it, and many another insult that day, and the next we marched{435} to Ikoma, the residential district of the chief, and naturally, being the seat of power, it was four times more populous.

Our business at Ikoma was very simple. Mr. Mackay had informed us that Mr. Stokes, the English ivory trader, had a station there, that the principal chief, Malissa, was his friend, and that at this station Mr. Stokes had a supply of European provisions—biscuits, butter, ham, bacon, &c.—that he wished to dispose of. Well, we were ten Europeans in number, every one of whom was blessed with devouring appetites. We agreed to call that way and purchase them at any cost, and Mr. Mackay furnished us with two Zanzibari guides. Therefore, though the Kungu natives had been dangerously insolent, we thought that at Malissa’s, the friend of Stokes, we should be asked to overlook the matter, as being mere noisy ebullitions of a few intractable youths.

Before us, in the centre of a plain which three or four centuries ago, perhaps, was covered with the waters of Lake Victoria, there rose what must have been once a hilly island, but now the soil had been thoroughly scoured away, and left the frame of the island only in ridges of grey gneissic rock, and ruined heaps of monoliths and boulders and vast rock fragments, and under the shadow, and between these in narrow levels, were grouped a population of about 5000 people; and within sound of musket-shot, or blare of horn, or ringing cries, were congeries of hamlets out on the plain round about this natural fortress, and each hamlet surrounded by its own milk-weed hedge. In the plain west of the isleted rock-heaps, I counted twenty-three separate herds of cattle, besides flocks of sheep and goats, and we concluded that Ikoma was prosperous, and secure in its vast population and its impregnable rock-piles.

As we drew near there came scores of sleek and merry youths and girls, who kept laughing and giggling and romping about us like healthy, guileless young creatures, enjoying their youth and life. We travelled up a smooth easy pass flanked by piles of rocks rising to 200 feet above us, which narrowed somewhat as we approached{436} the chief’s village. Presently a multitude of warriors came forward on the double quick towards us, making a brave display of feathers, shining spears, and floating robes, and drew up in front of the column to drive it back. They were heard shrilly screaming and sputtering their orders to the guides, who were telling them that we were only a caravan—friends of Stokes and Malissa; but the madmen drowned every word with storms of cries, and menaced the guides and men of the advance. I walked up to ascertain what was the matter, and I became an object to some fellows, who raced at me with levelled spears. One man seized my rifle; two Zanzibaris came up to my assistance, and tore the rifle from his hands; bows were drawn, and spears were lifted; two of our men were wounded, and in a second we were engaged in clearing the crowd away. In this close mêlée about ten lives were lost, and a Monangwa was captured. After this burst of hostility there would be no chance of purchasing provisions, and as the rocks had already begun to be lined with musketeers and bowmen, we had to withdraw as quickly as possible from the pass, and form camp somewhere before we should be overwhelmed.

We found a pool of water near the end of the loose rock ridges; a huge monolith or two stood upright like Druids’ stones outside. We completed the circle with bales and boxes, and grassy huts, and camped to wait the upshot.

From our camp we could see the ancient bed of the Lake spreading out for a distance of many miles. Every half-mile or so there was a large cluster of hamlets, each separated from the other by hedges of milk-weed. The plain separating these clusters was common pasture ground, and had been cropped by hungry herds as low as stone moss. On our way to the camp a herd of cattle had been captured, but they had been released; we had a Monangwa in our hands, and we asked him what all this was about. He could not, or he would not, answer. We clothed him in fine cloths, and sent him away to tell Malissa that we were white men, friends of Stokes,{437} that we had many Wasukuma porters in our caravan, and that we had no intention of fighting anybody, but of going to the coast as quickly as possible. The chief was escorted within a quarter of a mile of Malissa’s village, and released. He did not return, but during the day there were several efforts made to annoy us, until at 4 P.M., from the north, east and south, appeared three separate multitudes, for a great effort. It was then the machine-gun was prepared.



The Wasukuma swayed closer up, but cautiously, and, it appeared to me, reluctantly. In front of the mob coming from the south were several skirmishers, who pranced forward to within 300 yards. One of the skirmishers was dropped, and the machine showered about a hundred and fifty rounds in their direction.{438} Not one of the natives was hit, but the great range and bullet shower was enough. They fled; a company was sent out to meet the eastern mob, another was sent to threaten the crowd to the north, and the Wasukuma yielded and finally retired. Only one native was killed out of this demonstration made by probably 2000 warriors.

We had other things to do than fight Wasukuma, and therefore on the 21st we resumed the coastward march. We had been disappointed in obtaining those provisions of ham and bacon, and Malissa had lost his gifts of cloth which we had made ready for him.

We were not long on the march before the entire population of Urima seemed to be gathering on our flanks, and at 8 A.M. a dash was made on the column. There was not much necessity of telling the Egyptians and their followers to keep close together. Nothing could be better than their behaviour for our purpose. They were gathered in a close packed mob. In front of them were two companies, and in rear was the rearguard, Bonny’s Soudanese, and Shukri Agha’s company. The Wasukuma could make no impression whatever on the column had they been treble their number, and yet they seemed to be so sure that in some manner they would be able to do something. But we continued on our way, pursued on flank and in rear until noon, when we reached Muanza, on the edge of Jordan’s Nullah, which was a crooked rift in the old lacustrine deposit forty yards wide and thirty feet deep, whence water was obtained from pits in the sand.



As the natives hovered round us we thought that we should make another trial to cause them to abate their fierce rancour, and we sent Poli-Poli, the chief Wasukuma guide, to talk to him. Poli-Poli literally means, “Go gently, gently.” An hour’s crying out from a distance succeeded in inducing a Monangwa and four of his men to approach and enter our camp, and the camp was so absorbed with this arrival and prospect of a happy termination to the “war.” While we were exchanging tokens of good will and professions of peace, and{440}{439} cutting out some cloth for them, as an earnest of our intentions, the Wasukuma had been allowed to approach. The Monangwa, and his friends had left my tent about five minutes, perfectly satisfied apparently, when I heard about fifty rifle shots fired in volleys. Running out I found that the enemy was right among us. One of our men was dying from a spear wound, our goats were in full flight, being driven away on the run, the bottom of the nullah was covered with leaping forms. We had a very narrow escape from serious loss; but seven natives were killed within ten yards of the camp, the treacherous Monangwa received a bullet in the shoulder and lost his cloth, and we recovered our goats.

We marched on the next morning at the usual hour; the villages were arranged on each side of our track in one continued series, and the population of S. Nera turned out en masse. But the natives confined themselves to following us in a dense column stretching for quite two miles, every now and then firing at us from heavily loaded muskets. For three hours we continued in this manner, until as we were about leaving Nera, and entering Mamara, they uttered a series of war-cries, and made another effort. Dropping our loads we raced towards them, and in a minute’s time they were on the full trot in retreat. We lifted our loads and resumed our journey; but the natives presently re-collected, and followed us on the flanks as far as Seké—a fatiguing march of six hours.

On the 23rd we proceeded from N. Seké to Seke Kwikuru, or Seke the capital, vast crowds hanging on our flanks as before. Though we knew that trifling mercies, such as we were able to show, seldom made any impression on tribes quivering under extraordinary excitement and rage for battle, nevertheless we abstained from needlessly augmenting this causeless madness against us, and only halted a few minutes to repel a rush.

Sept. 22.

We were all in sad want of water and rest. Our cattle and riding animals had not been watered for two{442} days, and at Seké the water was brackish and scarce. The sun was at its hottest. Our faces were baked and cracking. The grass was so short that the cattle were feeding upon the roots to obtain subsistence.

The next day was a halt. The natives appeared to within 800 yards of our camp; but after a few shots they dispersed, and we were left to enjoy the first rest gained after seven days’ continuous travel and fighting.

Entering Sinyanga on the 25th, we were welcomed with “lu-lu-lus” by the women, and as they had heard all about our “little war” with Usukuma, every elder we met expressed a hope that we had cleared the wicked people out, for they were always a cursed lot, bothering travellers and strangers.

As we marched from one petty district to another, each independent from the other, governed by its own chief and council of elders, exclusive from its own peculiar customs, habits, or passion, varying differently from the other according to the age, intelligence, and disposition of the chief, our duties and rule of conduct varied. We moved through petty spheres, wherein our duties varied according to the demands made upon us. Here was the small district of Sinyanga with a population not exceeding 2000. The chief and his headmen were as proud of their little state as any monarch and his senate might be of an empire. The chief was conscious of weakness, and that imprudent aggressiveness would prove speedy ruin; but he exacted his dues all the same. We paid them freely and with kindly words. The chief reciprocated the kindness, returned a gift to mark his pleasure, then his people flocked to the camp to exchange their grain and produce for cloth and beads, during which many a friendship and brotherly act was formed between the natives and our men.

Sept. 25.

In Urima and Nera again, even on its frontiers, they pounced down on us like wolves, with war-cries and insulting by-plays. Our flanks were thronged with hooting warriors and jeering youths and fleering girls; they annoyed us by gestures, wounded our sense of hearing by shrill insolent screams and savage taunts.{443} All this may be borne with equanimity. Words do not hurt, but it makes us circumspect and reticent. When we arrive in camp the mobs are greater; a knot of lusty long-legged youths hang about the tents, flourish their weapons, blow their shrill war-flutes, and artfully pursue a cunning system of annoyance. All this is due to the belief that our forbearance means fear. They look around and see their numbers fourfold more than our own. They whisper to one another like village louts and bullies, “What a pity that we can’t kick up a row. Ah, if there was, I would soon make myself master of that cloth, or that gun, or the things in those boxes, &c., &c.” The chief is carried away by this consuming desire, and relying upon the assurances that it would be an easy matter to make a row and find an excuse, he commits himself to some imprudent scheme, and, when too late, mourns the failure but not the event. They cannot plead ignorance as the new tribes can. Fifteen years ago I travelled through Usukuma, paying no more than ten or twelve cloths to any chief, and receiving a good ox or a couple of goats in return. Since that time, however, missionary after missionary, both English and French, and Arab caravans have made Usukuma a highway to the Victoria Lake. The tributes have been raised by the chief to 300 doti—£90 per petty district. To three petty districts the French missionaries were compelled to pay 900 doti of cloth—£270. £270 sterling on three days’ journey! These cloths will purchase guns which will make them still more formidable to missionaries, and the result will be in a few years that a small tribal chief will demand every scrap of cloth in the caravan, and will halt it until it is paid, as Usui stopped a caravan of 150 guns.

Sept. 25.

Khambi Mbya—a nickname of an Arab who camped in Nera two years ago—was homeward bound from Uganda with his ivory. The tribute had been paid. A little personal dispute followed soon after between a woman of the camp, and a herdsman at a pool, as to whether the woman should take water first, or the{444} cattle. The herdsman raised the war-cry, which resulted in the massacre of every man, woman, and child in the caravan.

Messrs. Ashe and Walker, C.M.S. missionaries, were seized, I am told, by one of these petty chiefs, and detained until they were ransomed by Mackay. Mr. Stokes, who is compelled by his business of trading in ivory, like many an Arab trader before him, to be patient and long-suffering, must have experienced many unhappy moments when he saw his carriers dropping their bales and flying before a noisy mob of bullies. The French missionaries have abandoned Usambiro Station, and taken their residence in Bukumbi. Mr. Mackay has left Msalala, and built a station at Makolo’s. If these natives possessed any sense, or could have been touched by shame after being so generously treated and honoured by these missionaries, they would not drive them away by extortion and oppression.

On the 4th of October we arrived at Stokes’ boma, in the country of his friend Mittinginya. The king’s capital lies about three-fourths of a mile to the south-east, and is a square enclosure of wattle and mud. Bullets might be rained against the walls for weeks without disastrous effects to those within, and provided the defenders had fuel, food, and water sufficient, and were properly vigilant, these fort-like structures would be impregnable except against cannon. The district of Usongo, of which Mittinginya is chief, is studded pretty thickly with these structures, and excepting the stubborn old baobab no bush or plant obstructs the view between each tembé.

Oct. 4.

The chief has the faculty of getting embroiled with his neighbours, or his neighbours must be unusually quarrelsome, or they mutually suffer from an innate restlessness which drives them one against the other with angry muskets. To the north is a chief called Simba, to the west he has the people of Uyogu, behind these he has Kapera and his allies the Watuta or Wangoni,—Equatorial Zulus; to the south the predatory Wataturu, descendants of Somalis; to the north-east{445} Wandui; and we accidentally stumbled into this hornet’s nest of angry tribes, led to do it by reports of Mittinginya’s good nature, and in the hope that we should be able to obtain a few carriers for our ever-wailing Egyptians.

To emphasize the visible unrest here, the chief has invited a horde of wild Masai from the district of Lyteri, west of Kilima-Njaro, to assist him in his ambitious projects. The Masai had already distinguished themselves against the Watuta-Zulus; the Wanduis had become as dumb-dogs. Seeing quiet strangers owning donkeys, the Masai quietly made themselves masters of four, which however they were compelled to return, and after eight days’ halt we were able to leave Stokes’s friend with his hornets humming round him, with twenty fresh carriers to carry the ulcerous Egyptians without being implicated in any feud.

On the 17th we entered Ikungu, where we were overtaken by two French missionaries, Pères Girault and Schintze,[35] who were invalids—it was said, homeward bound and were desirous of availing themselves of our escort to the sea.

Oct. 17.

Around the milk-weed hedges that surrounded the chief’s village were over a hundred human skulls, while innumerable fragments strewed the vicinity. Inquiring what calamity had occurred, I was told they were the remains of a tribe of Wanyaturu, over 400 strong, who had fled to Ikungu from Ituru, in the hope of saving themselves from famine. What articles they had{446} brought with them were soon sold for food which they consumed, and then they sold their children and their wives, and when they had nothing left they died. The children were of mulatto colour, and very superior to the sable urchins of Unyamwezi.

We met a caravan from Zanzibar at this place belonging to Tippu-Tib, and the Manyuema reported that the coast war between the Germans and Coast Arabs was still proceeding, but that the Germans had commenced to be victorious.

On the 26th we entered Muhalala, and by the 8th of November we had passed through Ugogo. There is no country in Africa that has excited greater interest in me than this. It is a ferment of trouble and distraction, and a vermin of petty annoyances beset the travellers from day to day while in it. No natives know so well how to aggrieve and be unpleasant to travellers. One would think there was a school somewhere in Ugogo to teach low cunning and vicious malice to the chiefs, who are masters in foxy-craft. Nineteen years ago I looked at this land and people with desiring eyes. I saw in it a field worth some effort to reclaim. In six months I felt sure Ugogo could be made lovely and orderly, a blessing to the inhabitants and to strangers, without any very great expense or trouble; it would become a pleasant highway of human intercourse with far-away peoples, productive of wealth to the natives, and comfort to caravans. I learned on arrival in Ugogo that I was for ever debarred from the hope. It is to be the destiny of the Germans to carry out this work, and I envy them. It is the worst news of all that I shall never be able to drain this cesspool of iniquitous passion, and extinguish the insolence of Wagogo chiefs, and make the land clean, healthy, and even beautiful of view. While my best wishes will accompany German efforts, my mind is clouded with a doubt that it ever will be that fair land of rest and welcome I had dreamed of making it.

Oct. 26.

Two days beyond Ugogo we entered the German Station of Mpwapwa, and were welcomed by Lieutenant{447} Rochus Schmidt, who had arrived about a month previous, escorted by Major Wissman, who was said to be the Imperial Commissary of German East Africa. He had already erected a stone breastwork around his little camp, which contained 100 Zulus, on a commanding but windy spot that must needs be fatal to many a white officer whose misfortune it may be to be appointed Military Commandant of Mpwapwa.

The Rev. Mr. Price paid us a visit, and among other benefits resulting from his presence we obtained a year’s issue of the ‘Weekly Times.’ In turning over the pages of the voluminous history of the past year, I was impressed by nothing more than by the smoothness and easy groove in which events were running, without jar or sensible vibration. The hum of their travel seemed to be like that which we hear on a drowsy summer’s day at a country house in England, remote from the roll of street traffic and the thundering rush of express trains. A distant murmuring sound of railway waggons gliding over a pair of rails impresses the dull ear, amid the quiet and repose, that the world is spinning safely along without rack or tear. England was still at anchor amidst the silver seas; the Empire was where it ought to be; Europe was amusing herself with peaceful drill, and America was gathering her splendid harvests, and filling the Treasury cellars with gold ingots and silver bricks.

Oct. 26.

On the 13th, accompanied by Lieutenant Schmidt, the Expedition, about 700 strong, moved from Mpwapwa towards the coast, and five days later exchanged the parched aspect of the thorny wilderness of the interior for one that was fragrant with the perfume of lilies, and pleasant with the verdure of spring. After a two hours’ march from Muini Usagara, we defiled out of the Mukondokwa Valley, and emerged into the plain of the Makata, the sight of which, with its green grass and pleasant shady trees and many groups of villages, after four months of droughty views, roused the enthusiasm of each of our officers. A Père from the French Mission near Ferahani, established near the base of the mountains,{448} brought us a few welcome articles with their compliments and good wishes.

At Vianzi, two marches later, supplies reached us from Major Wissman. They consisted of such assortments of provisions that only an explorer of experience would have known would be most appreciated, and in such prodigal abundance that our camp tables hence to the coast were loaded with luxuries.

On the 23rd we arrived at Simbamwenni, which is a town surrounded with a mud wall enclosing about 400 conical houses. During the next day’s halt Lieut. Schmidt escorted Emin Pasha to see the good Pères of the French Mission of San Esprit, who have commenced to work at Morogoro with the same earnest thoroughness that has made their establishment at Bagamoyo so famous. They have planted oranges, mangoes, plantains, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee, and almost all fruits known in tropical lands, and have led a clear and bounteous stream of water through their little estate.

Lieutenant Schmidt informed me that he was somewhat taken aback at the fact that the Fathers, in their intense devotion to their own religious duties, were unacquainted with the repute of his illustrious companion. A Père had asked him in a whisper, after eyeing the Pasha in wonder, “Can he speak anything but Arabic?” and was astounded when he heard, with that warmth so characteristic of young straightforward German officers, that he could not only speak Arabic, but could speak French, English, German, Turkish, Italian and Greek, with easy fluency, and that he was German by birth.

“Indeed! And is his expedition commercial, scientific, or military?”

Then Lieutenant Schmidt, all amazed at the extraordinary seclusion of the pious recluse, had to relate the whole story, and for the first time he knew what business had brought me on my third visit to this region.

Nov. 24.

The Pasha, who enjoyed the relation of the story, was asked to be comforted, and for his solace I related how{449} I had been introduced by a Canon of Westminster Abbey to a well-known bishop—as one who had done some good work on the Congo. The bishop hesitated a minute, and then said blandly, “Ah, indeed, how very interesting! But pray tell me where is the Congo.” But sometimes laymen were found to be as ignorant of Africa as bishops, as for instance the British Cabinet Minister, who, receiving a commercial deputation from Manchester, relating to some grievances on the Niger, calmly pointed the speaker to a map of Africa, and asked him to be good enough to show the river in which the great city of Manchester appeared to be so interested.

On the 27th we arrived at Ungerengeri, and for the first time we received a few letters. Never had any such fatality attended mails in Africa as had attended ours. Three several times I had requested our friends to despatch our letters to Msalala, south end of Lake Victoria, bearing legibly a superscription to the effect that they were “to be left until called for.” Bushels of mails had been sent, and every packet but one, containing three letters, had been lost in Unyoro, Uganda, and Bushiri, an opponent of Major Wissman, had captured others.

Among many newspaper clippings received, was one which was a tissue of perverted truths. It appeared to have been sent from Zanzibar by a native clerk in a telegram. It read as follows:

Zanzibar, June 12th, 1889.

“Stanley is reported to have arrived in Ururi, where he rested a few days. He returned to Lake Victoria, leaving behind him fifty-six sick men and forty-four rifles. Many of the sick had died. Shortly after Mitchell arrived and took away the rifles. Stanley was reported to have suffered serious losses from sickness and want of food. Later Stanley came himself. Emin Pasha is reported to be in Unyara, north-east of Lake Victoria, fifteen days’ march. Stanley having picked up all the men who were left, returned to Emin after having given a letter to the writer to convey to the Agent-General of the Company.”

Nov. 27.

The précis of the intelligence received having been doctored by a writer at Zanzibar, rendered the message still more unintelligible. The intelligence was received{450} at Zanzibar by an agent of the ivory raider, Ugarrowwa, and was intended to read thus:

“Stanley has arrived on the Ituri (River). He proceeded on his way to Lake Albert after leaving fifty-six sick men and forty-four rifles with me. Most of these sick men died a short time afterwards.

“Mazinga (Lieut. Stairs) came here and took away the rifles. I was informed that Stanley suffered serious losses from sickness and famine. Finally Stanley came here in person.

“Emin Pasha is reported to be in Unyoro, north-east, a fifteen-days’ march from here (Ugarrowwa’s Station). Stanley having picked up all the men who were left (of the rear column), returned to Emin, having given a letter to me to give the Consul-General. (Ugarrowwa was anxious to obtain a letter of introduction to the Consul, he being known at Zanzibar as Uledi Balyuz, or the Consul’s Uledi, in contradistinction to other Uledis, who are as common as Smiths in England.”)

What with atrocities on the Aruwimi; Stanley’s death by seventeen arrows; communications from an officer of the Congo Free State; letters from missionaries and engineers; Osman Digna’s report of the capture of Emin Pasha and another white man; invasions of the Soudan by a white Pasha, &c., there is a good reason why English editors should be not a little perplexed. However, “All is well that ends well.”

While halting at Msua, the Baron von Gravenreuth arrived, with 100 soldiers. The Baron is a dashing soldier, fond of the excitement of battle-strife, and in his attacks on the zeribas of the coast Arabs has displayed considerable skill. It was most amusing to hear him remind me how he had once applied to me for advice respecting equipment and conduct in Africa, and that I had paternally advised him to read ‘The Congo and the Founding of its Free State,’ “an advice—I may tell you now—I followed, and I am glad of it.”

Nov. 28.



Soon after appeared two correspondents of American newspapers, one of whom was Mr. Thomas Stevens, and the other Mr. Edmund Vizetelly, representing the ‘New York Herald.’ The last-named gentleman brought us quite a number of well-selected articles for personal comfort and some provisions, by request of Mr. James Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of the Journal in whose service I had undertaken two previous expeditions into Africa, and had accompanied Sir Robert Napier into{452}{451} Abyssinia in 1867 and 1868, and Sir Garnet Wolseley into Ashantee in 1873 and 1874.

Two marches from Msua an expedition from the Imperial British East African Company arrived in our camp, conveying for our use 170 porter-loads of rice, and twenty-five cases of European provisions, clothing and boots, so that each person in the column received twenty-two pounds of rice, besides rations of salt, sugar, jams and biscuits.

The evening of December 3rd, as we were conversing in the moonlight, the sound of a cannon was heard. It was the evening gun at Zanzibar, and the Zanzibaris set up ear-piercing cries of joy at that which announced to them that the long journey across the Continent was drawing near its close, and the Egyptians and their followers echoed the shouts as the conviction dawned on them that within the next twenty-four hours they should see the ocean, on which with all comfort and leisure they would be borne to the land of Egypt and to their future homes.

Dec. 4.

On arriving at the ferry of the Kingani River, Major Wissman came across to meet us, and for the first time I had the honour of being introduced to a colleague who had first distinguished himself, at the headquarters of the Kasai River, in the service of the International Association, while I was building stations along the main river. On reaching the right bank of the Kingani we found some horses saddled, and turning over the command of the column to Lieut. Stairs, Emin Pasha and myself were conducted by Major Wissman and Lieut. Schmidt to Bagamoyo. Within the coast-town we found the streets decorated handsomely with palm branches, and received the congratulations of Banian and Hindu citizens, and of many a brave German officer who had shared the fatigues and dangers of the arduous campaign, which Wissman was prosecuting with such well deserved success, against the Arab malcontents of German East Africa. Presently rounding a corner of the street we came in view of the battery square in front of Wissman’s headquarters, and on our left, close{454} at hand, was the softly undulating Indian Sea, one great expanse of purified blue. “There, Pasha,” I said. “We are at home!”





“Yes, thank God,” he replied. At the same time, the battery thundered the salute in his honour, and{456}{455} announced to the war-ships at anchor that Emin, the Governor of Equatoria, had arrived at Bagamoyo.

We dismounted at the door of the mess-house of the German officers, and were conducted upstairs to a long and broad verandah about forty-five by twenty-five feet, which had been converted into a palmy bower, gaily decorated with palm branches and German flags. Several round tables were spread, and on a wide buffet was arranged a sumptuous lunch, of which our appetites enabled us to partake fearlessly; but dubious of the effects of fine champagne after such long absence, I diluted it largely with Sauerbrunn water. The Pasha was never gayer than on this afternoon, when surrounded by his friends and countrymen he replied to their thousand eager questions respecting the life he had endured during his long exile in Africa.

At four o’clock the column filed in, making a brave show. The people were conducted to huts ready constructed near the beach, and as the carriers dropped their loads and the long train of hammocks deposited their grievous burdens of sick men and women, and poor children for the last time on the ground, they, like myself, must have felt profound relief and understood to the full what this arrival by the shore of the sea meant.

At 7.30 P.M. the banquet was to take place. As we mounted the stairs to the broad verandah, the Pasha was met, having just left the lunch table to dress for dinner. We assembled in the palmy bower, thirty-four persons all told—English Vice-Consul, Mr. Churchill, German Consul, and Italian Consul, Captain Brackenbury, of H.M.S. Turquoise, and Commander T. Mackenzie Fraser, of H.M.S. Somali; the Consular Judge, Captains Foss and Hirschberg, of the German warships Sperber and Schwalbe, Officers of the Imperial Commissary’s Staff, Emin Pasha, Captain Casati, Captain Nelson, Lieutenant Stairs, Surgeon Parke, Mr. Jephson, Mr. Bonny, Pères Etienne and Schmidt of the Bagamoyo Mission, Pères Girault and Schinze of the Algerian Mission, Officers of the German East Africa Co., Baron St. Paul Illaire, and others; Mr.{458} W. H. W. Nicoll of the Imperial British East Africa, Captain of the Commissary’s Flotilla, &c. &c. The band of the Schwalbe was in attendance to give éclat to what was a very superb affair for Bagamoyo.

The guests having assembled, Major Wissman led the way to the long banqueting-room, into which the central room of the house had been converted on the occasion. While we were feasting within, the Zanzibaris—tireless creatures—were celebrating the close of a troublous period in the street just below the verandah, with animal energy vented in active dance and hearty chorus. The banquet included the usual number of dishes. I am utterly powerless to describe it. To me it appeared wonderful for Bagamoyo. From extreme sensitive delicacy I omitted to inquire of Wissman where he obtained his chef, and how it all was managed. Without a particle of exaggeration the dinner was a triumph. The wines were choice and well selected and iced, and had it not been for the Sauerbrunn close at hand in unstinted quantity, which rendered them innocuous by liberal dilution, I should soon have been incompetent to speak of their merits. I had almost forgotten the ceremony which follows banquets; but as the time drew near 9 o’clock, and the music was hushed and Major Wissman rose to his feet, a presentiment possessed me, that with benevolent tolerance of any untowardness manifest during our late mission, he aimed at proposing to the company that they should join him in drinking, to the good healths of the guests Emin Pasha, Captain Casati, Mr. Stanley and the officers of the Expedition which had concluded its labours by its arrival in the port of German East Africa that day. As I supposed, so the gallant Major spoke, in well-measured phrases, with genuine kindness and incomparable cordiality; and the company rose to their feet to emphasize the sentiments with hearty hurrahs.

The principles of my reply were first, that I was unaware that Emin Pasha was a German when I offered my services to carry relief to him; that our thoughts were mainly of a brave Governor in difficulties,{459} guarding his province with a tenacity, courage and wisdom, against the assaults of ferocious fanatics who had already eradicated every vestige of civilization from the Soudan. Secondly, that as it had been proved by former expeditions that success was only gained by hearty good will, unwearied effort, and uttermost striving, my companions and myself, like men animated with one mind, had devoted ungrudgingly every fibre, and all our strength, morally and physically, to accomplish the purpose for which we set out. And thirdly, that as the world educated men to become indifferent to its praise or censure, that as neither perfection nor devotion ensured its favour, as misfortune insured its contempt, success its envy or hate, and that as an individual might be won by sacrifice, but that no individual possessed merit or could command fortune enough to win the admiration of all—the safest plan was to seek the approval of one’s conscience; and fourthly, that though we had but proposed, it was God who had disposed events as He saw fit. “Emin is here, Casati is here. I and my friends are all here; wherefore we confess that we have a perfect and wholesome joy in knowing that, for a season at least, the daily march and its fatigues are at an end.”

The Pasha’s speech, delivered with finished elocution,—clear, distinct, and grammatical—and a deep, resonant voice, took the company with an agreeable surprise, and was mainly an outpouring of gratitude to the generous English people who had thought of him, to his German countrymen for their kind reception of him, and to His Imperial Majesty Wilhelm II. for his gracious message of welcome and congratulation.

An effusive gladness pervaded the company. If there were several whose hearts overflowed with undisguised pleasure at the thought that a period of restfulness was to begin with the morning’s sun—others rejoiced from a pure and generous sympathy. But the Pasha was supremely gay and happy. He was seen wandering from one end of the table to the other, now bending over Père Etienne; then exchanging innocent{460} gaiety with Surgeon Parke, and many others; while I was absorbed in listening to Wissman’s oral account of the events of the East Coast War. Presently Sali, my boy-steward, suddenly whispered in my ear that the Pasha had fallen down, which I took to mean “stumbled over a chair,” but perceiving that I did not accept it as a serious incident, he added, “he has fallen over the verandah wall into the street and is dangerously hurt.”

The banquet was forgotten. Sali led me down the stairs to the street, and at a spot removed about twenty feet from the place where he had fallen there were two little pools of blood. The accident seems to have occurred within fifteen minutes after the delivery of his speech, and some minutes must have elapsed before I was informed, for the Pasha had been dragged away, and water had been poured over the head of the unconscious man, and then he had been borne to the German Hospital, and the native dance and song had continued undisturbed.

Hastening after my guide, with my mind oppressed by this sudden transition from gaiety to gloom, from joy to grief, from the upright figure glowing with pleasure, and radiant with joy to the silent form on the verge of the grave, I reached the hospital, and at the door met a German officer who with uplifted hands revealed the impressions gathered from his view of the unfortunate man. Guided upstairs, I was shown to a bed surrounded by an anxious-looking group. On obtaining a view, I saw the Pasha’s form half undressed extended on the bed, wet bandages passed over the right side of the head and right eye. A corner of the wetted lint was lifted up, and I saw that the right eye was closed by a great lump formed by swollen tissues, and discovered that the lint was crimson with blood oozing from the ear. No one seemed to be able to give an exact account of how the accident happened, but the general impression seemed to be that the Pasha, who was half-blind, and had been so for the last two years, had moved somewhat too briskly{461} towards the verandah, or balcony wall of that “palmy bower” wherein we had lunched, to look at the happy natives dancing in the moonlight, and misjudging its height, had leaned over suddenly and too far, and before he had recovered his balance had toppled on to the zinc shed, over the sidewalk and into the street, a fall of about fourteen feet from the edge of the shed. Lieut. Rochus Schmidt had instantly been informed, and hurrying into the street, found the Pasha unconscious, and had attempted to rouse him by pouring cold water over his head, and failing in this had him conveyed to the hospital.

Next morning Surgeon Parke reported to me that the Pasha had remained completely unconscious until near dawn, and that though the accident was undoubtedly a serious one, it need not be considered dangerous, as he had examined him, and could discover no fracture of the skull, the blood from the ear having issued from injured arteries, and that provided no inflammation supervened he might be easily removed within ten days. The Pasha was much bruised on his right side and back, and was in a most painful condition.

Two German surgeons from the war-ships, however, announced that after a careful examination they had come to the conclusion that the Pasha’s condition was most dangerous, that there was an unmistakable fracture near the base of the skull, and that only 20 per cent. of such cases ever recovered.

There was not one European at Bagamoyo but felt extremely grieved at the sad event that had wrecked the general joy. The feeling was much deeper than soldiers will permit themselves to manifest. Outwardly there was no manifestation; inwardly men were shocked that his first day’s greeting among his countrymen and friends should have proved so disastrous to him after fourteen years’ absence from them. What the Emir Karamallah and his fanatics, a hundred barbarous negro tribes, conspirators, and rebel soldiery, and fourteen years of Equatorial heat had failed to effect, an innocent hospitality had nearly succeeded in doing. At{462} the very moment he might well have said, Soul, enjoy thyself! behold, the shadow of the grave is thrust across their vision. This extremely dismal prospect and immediate blighting of joy made men chary of speech, and solemnly wonder at the mishap.

On the 6th of December our people were embarked on board H.M.S. Somali and three of Major Wissmann’s steamers, and at 9 A.M. a fleet, consisting of H.M.S. Turquoise, Capt. Brackenbury, with Lieut. Stairs, Major Wissmann, Messrs. Jephson and Bonny on board, the Sperber, Capt. Foss, with myself, Capt. Nelson, and four Algerian Perês, the Schwalbe, Capt. Hirschberg, H.M.S. Somali, Commander Fraser, and three vessels of Wissmann’s steam flotilla, after lifting anchor, formed line, and proceeded towards the island of Zanzibar. The sea a clear blue, paling into a diluted green over reefs which flanked the course, was lovely, and as the gentle wind met us, we respired deep draughts of air free from taint and miasma. Oh! the deep relief I felt that this was the end of that continual rising in the morning with a hundred moaning and despairing invalids wailing their helplessness and imploring for help, of those daily scenes of disease, suffering, and unmitigable misery, and of the diurnal torture to which the long-enduring caravan had been subjected during what seemed now to have been an age of hideous troubles far beyond the range of anything we had anticipated when we so lightheartedly accepted the mission of relieving the Governor of Equatoria.

Dec. 6.



Now let me for a moment speak proudly. Knowing what my companions and I know, we have this certain satisfaction, that let envy, malice, and jealousy provoke men to say what they will, the acutest cross-examination of witnesses in a court of justice would elicit nothing more, so far as we are concerned, than a fuller recognition and higher appreciation of the sacrifice and earnestness of the endeavour which we freely and gratuitously gave to assist Emin Pasha and Captain Casati, and their few hundreds of followers. Money time, years, strength, health, life, anything and every{464}{463}thing—freely, kindly, and devotedly—without even giving one thought to a reward, which, whatever its character might be, would be utterly inadequate as compensation. To one like me, what are banquets? A crust of bread, a chop, and a cup of tea, is a feast to one who, for the best part of twenty-three years, has had the satisfaction of eating a shilling’s worth of food a day. Receptions! they are the very honours I would wish to fly from, as I profess myself slow of speech, and Nature has not fitted me with a disposition to enjoy them. Medals! I cannot wear them; the pleasure of looking at them is even denied me by my continual absence. What then? Nothing. No honour or reward, however great, can be equal to that subtle satisfaction that a man feels when he can point to his work and say, “See, now, the task I promised you to perform with all loyalty and honesty, with might and main, to the utmost of my ability, and God willing, is to-day finished.” Say, is it well and truly done? And when the employer shall confess that “it is well and done,” can there be any recompense higher than that to one’s inward self?

In the morning I had paid a visit to Emin Pasha. He was in great trouble and pain. “Well, Pasha,” I said. “I hope you don’t mean to admit the possibility that you are to die here, do you?” “Oh! no. I am not so bad as that,” and he shook his head.

“By what I have seen, Pasha, I am entirely of same opinion. A person with a fractured head could not move his head after that manner.[36] Good-bye. Dr. Parke will remain with you until dismissed by you, and I hope to hear good news from him daily.” We shook hands and I withdrew.

It may be curious, but it is true. Emin Pasha, who breathed a cosmopolitan spirit while he was in the Interior, and who professed broad views, became different in a few days. Only one day before we reached{466} Bagamoyo I had said to him, “Within a short time, Pasha, you will be among your countrymen; but while you glow with pride and pleasure at being once more amongst them, do not forget that they were English people who first heard your cries in the days of gloom; that it was English money which enabled these young English gentlemen to rescue you from Khartoum.”

“Never; have no fear of that,” replied the Pasha.

Dr. Parke bore up, I am told, against much unpleasantness. But finally, falling ill himself, to the peril of his life he was conveyed to the French hospital in Zanzibar, where he lay as hopeless a case almost as Emin Pasha immediately after his accident. Happily he recovered from the severe illness that he had incurred while watching at the Pasha’s bedside.

The reports were more and more unsatisfactory from Bagamoyo, and finally I despatched my boy-steward Sali, who returned from his visit to the Pasha protesting that he had been threatened with a short shrift if he ever visited Bagamoyo again; and never message or note did I receive from Emin, the late Governor of Equatoria.

While writing this concluding chapter there appeared the announcement that Emin Pasha had entered the service of the German Government in East Africa. It was the conviction that he would do this that had caused me to remind him on the 4th of December, that it was English money which had enabled our Expedition to proceed to his relief and rescue. That he has ultimately elected to serve Germany in preference to England appears perfectly natural, and yet the mere announcement surprised a great many of his warmest and most disinterested friends, among whom we may number ourselves.

For among the copies of letters relating to Emin Pasha, and the objects of our Expedi