Wandering a little in afternoon ; took nourishment (Brand
and milk and water). Pulse 86, and fairly good. Sat with him
nearly all day. Self feeling better, but still seedy. Waganda
Wa-Islam impertinent : claim province of Mugema, and say they
won't work for king. Selim Bey wrote to me on subject.
25th May.â€”R. P. temp. 101Â° at 6 a.m. and 101 -4Â° but steady;
about 100 - 8Â° all day till 9 P.M., up to 101Â°; pulse weaker and
wandering a good deal. Pulse rose to 100; Moffat arrived
and consulted with Baxter : gave some champagne. Saw Selim
Bey ; pointed out the Wa-Islam not his business, he quite
26/A May. â€” R. P. dreadfully weak and wandering all day,
talking in Swahili a great deal ; got no sleep all night, and very
restless all day : temperature a shade better, varied only from
101-2Â° to 100-6Â°, till at 8.30 P.M. it went down to 99-8Â° ; he had
some sensible moments. Pulse rose to 120; he spoke to me
sensibly at 4 P.M. Wrote officially to Owen, explaining situation
as clearly as possible, got stores and Maxim gun ready to send out
to him. Self bad head all day.
THE MISSION TO UGANDA
27th May. â€” Raymond's temperature not bad â€” about 100Â° to
lOO^ ; but pulse weaker, bas risen to 130; breathing very-
laboured and rapid ; had been given bromide, but without effect;
has had no sleep for over two days now. Berkeley, Villiers,
Rhodes, and Moffat had relieved each other through night; all
report that he was restless, with quickened breathing and wander-
ing. Rhodes and Moffat with him all morning. I had to work.
CAPTAIN RAYMOND PORTAL S GRAVE.
At 1.30 P.M. I relieved Rhodes and thought R. looked
worse. Temperature at 1 rose to 102Â°, and at 2 to 103Â°; gave
him egg beaten in milk ; he very quiet and motionless ; at 4
temp, had risen to 104Â° and soon after to 105Â°; pulse and
heart weaker. Moffat sponged him all over with cold water ;
temperature fell to 104 , 2Â°; weakness and difficulty of breathing
increased. Gave hypodermic injection of carbonate of ammonia
twice, but no effect perceptible. Dr! Baxter came. We prayed.
All over about 5.30, quite quietly â€” motionless. Frank under-
took to see to everything. He is more than kind and tactful.
FUNERAL OF CAPTAIN PORTAL 241
28th May, Sunday. â€” Funeral was at 7.30 a.m. Frank had
arranged everything : officers in full dress, four on each side ;
firing party of Soudanese battalion under Arthur. Went to
English church at Namirembe j Bishop Tucker officiated; all
done quietly and well. Kind letter from Bishop Tucker. De-
cided to start Tuesday morning.
Extract from a Letter from Sir Gerald Portal
to Lady Alice Portal
Kampala, 2S(7i May 1893.
As you know, Baymond was sent out with Boddy
Owen to the Toru country in the west. He was to have been
sent back from there with a lot of Soudanese soldiers whom Owen
was commissioned to enlist and send in to Kampala. (It is quite
twelve to fourteen days' journey to where they were.)
On the 16th of May I happened to have come up here for a
day from Port Alice â€” (the new headquarters 22 miles off) â€” and
we received a note from Baymond saying he had started two
days before, but was feeling very ill indeed, and feared that he
might knock up on the way. As bad luck would have it, our
doctor, Moffat, was quite a cripple from these infernal " jiggers,"
and could not put a foot to the ground, so he could not go ; but
I at once sent Villiers to meet B., with a pony and with every
sort of comfort and medicine we could think of and scrape
together. Villiers himself, poor man, was suffering from bad
ulcers on the feet, also from "jiggers," but most pluckily limped
off. Three clays later there came a note from Villiers, saying
that he had met Baymond with all his party, but that B.'s
condition alarmed him, and he asked for further help and advice.
Luckily the Mission doctor had just returned from a journey that
night, and though himself with ulcerated feet, at once most
kindly consented to limp off and meet B. and Villiers. Bhodes
and I had in the meantime had to return to Port Alice, whither
Ave wanted B. brought, as it is a thousand times healthier than
this hole, Kampala. However, by Dr. Baxter's (Mission doctor)
advice they brought B. here, as it was a little nearer, and when he
arrived Berkeley sent word to me (who was expecting him at
Port Alice) to say that he was here, with a good deal of fever,
242 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
but nothing alarming, though a great deal knocked up by the
journey, and that I need not come in : this was on the 20th.
However, Rhodes and I determined to come to Kampala, and
started at daybreak on the 21st. I was a good deal out of sorts,
and had had fever and headaches myself for nearly a week
previously, so that 22-mile walk over hills and swamps that
day nearly knocked me up altogether, but Frankie helped me
along and kept on giving me whisky, and so we arrived somehow
late that night. I found Raymond comfortably in bed looking
much pulled down, but perfectly conscious, temperature falling
from 103Â° to 102Â°, and in no pain. He knew me, and we spoke a
little, but he was very drowsy, and I was half oft* my head my-
self, so Dr. Baxter turned me out and sent me to bed. The
doctor was not anxious then at all.
Next day, 22nd, R. continued about the same, varying
from 102Â° to 103Â° ; he was quite sensible, and talked occasionally
to me. I sat with him all day, except for a few hours when I
had to see King Mwanga and some chiefs on business.
On the 23rd R.'s temperature went down to 101Â°, and
then to 100Â°, and every one was beginning to think it was all
right, but it rose again to 102Â° in the evening. I was with him
all day, and he talked quite sensibly, and even cheerfully, though
of course that was discouraged as much as possible. At
night they would not let me stay, as I had been feeling very
seedy, and had been over 100Â° and 101Â° myself all these days,
and had bad heads every day.
On the 24th R. remained about the same, fever a little
lower, but he was evidently a little weaker, though he took all
the nourishment given him and his pulse was fairly good. He
began to wander rather in the afternoon.
On the 25th still the same, though another very slight fall
in his temperature ; his weakness was great, and he talked a
good deal in a delirious way, but he was often quite lucid and
quiet, and knew me, and, in fact, if he was spoken to he always
came to himself. Dr. Moffat arrived on this day ; we had
managed to borrow a pony to send for him. He was rather
alarmed by R.'s general weakness, and they began to give
champagne and stimulants.
The 26th, the weakness was very alarming, and both heart
DEATH OF CAPTAIN PORTAL 243
and pulse were very feeble and rapid. R. was wandering
all day, talking chiefly in Swahili, but in the evening about
4.30 he was conscious for a moment and knew me, and spoke to
me quite quietly ; after that he soon became very restless again.
We all had great hopes still, as the fever was again less, and in
the evening at 8 o'clock the temperature dropped for the first
time to below 100Â°.
On the 27th the temperature was not at all bad, about 100Â°
and 100iÂ° till mid-day, but his heart and pulse were painfully
feeble, and his breathing was very rapid and distressed ; he was
quite unconscious ever since he had spoken to me the day before.
At 2 o'clock the thermometer showed his temperature had
suddenly run up to 102Â°; we gave him some brandy and eggs
beaten up in milk, which he swallowed. Then Moffat went to
lie down and get some rest, and left me Avith R. alone
again. R. was quite quiet, but his weakness was evidently
growing rapidly. "When I took the temperature again it had
risen to 103Â°, so I called Moffat, who was evidently seriously
alarmed. It soon after, at 4 o'clock, rose to 104Â°, and in less
than half an hour to 105Â°; breathing very rapid and difficult.
We then sponged him all over with cold water, which sometimes
in desperate cases has a magical effect, but now it only brought
it down a quarter of a degree. We gave champagne, which had
no effect. Moffat tried strong injections subcutaneously, but it
was evidently near the end. At 5.30 it was all over, quite
quietly, and without a sign, except that the rapid, laboured
breathing suddenly ceased. I am afraid I broke down altogether
then ; but the doctor went away and left me alone. Some time
after Frankie came in and made me come away. He was so
gentle and full of tact, and very much upset himself. He saw
to all arrangements and everything. I cannot say how he
helped. I felt I could not do anything. The funeral was this
morning at the Protestant church. Bishop Tucker officiated.
It was a military one, with a company of the Soudanese battalion.
It has all been so miserable, I can hardly realise it all yet. It
does seem so hard that it should be Raymond, the strongest and
most active of all, who only wanted an opportunity to show
what he really was, and who up here among a picked lot of
officers had already proved himself far and away the best of
244 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
them all. He was a different man here from in England, and
was working hard and cheerfully all day. And it was my
responsibility that brought him up here at all ; that may be a
selfish feeling, but it seems to make it all weigh much heavier. 1
I am going to give this to Bishop Tucker, who starts to cross
the Lake this week, and is going down by the German route.
He may get down before our runners from Kikuyu.
Frank, Berkeley, Villiers, and I leave this place at daybreak
the day after to-morrow, and it will be something to be on the
road again instead of staying still.
There is another letter written, many weeks later
during the journey home, to Lady Charlotte Portal,
in which Sir Gerald, on the eve, as lie believed, of
returning to Uganda, tells over again the sad story
which he had deferred writing home until the news
had been broken. Here is a characteristic extract: â€”
The Mission doctor and I had prayed for him by his bed-
side at about 4 that afternoon. I fear I broke down com-
pletely then, and they put me to bed. I was very weak from
the daily fever myself. He was buried at the Protestant church.
The Bishop read the service, and volleys were fired by the
escort of troops. I am sending a pencil sketch of the grave
most kindly made for me by the Bishop.
The Bishop wrote a most kind letter, pointing out that a
death like this, in doing his duty and trying to bring light to
this unhappy country, was far nobler than one on the field of
Two days afterwards I left Uganda. Going up there again
the evening before, I met the Bishop, and Ave knelt by the grave
while he prayed for help and comfort to you and all at home.
That is all I have to say. I can't tell you how dreadful it
has been to me up here, â€” feeling that he came here at my
1 A letter from Sir Gerald Portal to the editor of the same date, which
contains matter entirely similar to the ahove extract, assigns malarial fever
as the caiise of Captain Portal's death.
FINAL ARRANGEMENTS 245
instance and my responsibility. He was by far the best of all
here, and would have really made his mark and got deserved
The only thing I am glad of is that Raymond and I were
never so much together in our lives, nor so close together in
every way, as during these last four months.
29th May. â€” Busy day working and finishing up everything.
Mwanga came in and signed treaty at 4 P.M. Had rather a
stormy interview with Mohammedans in Mwanga's presence
about their attitude ; told them clearly they had no right to
further territory, and must work for king ; warned chiefs they
would be held responsible. Went to say good-bye to Bishop
Tucker, and arranged with him about his sending two telegrams
for me if he gets to coast before us.
30th May. â€” Started from Kampala 8.15, with about 130
porters, 30 soldiers, and nearly 30 women, most of whom are to
be left at Wakoli's.
March of 7h miles ; self very tired and utterly beat.
Berkeley left behind at Kampala to catch us at Bandu.
31st May. â€” Berkeley arrived 5.45 p.m., having marched from
Kampala, 23 miles, in 7 hours.
The return journey â€” Difficulties of the march during the rainy
season â€” Trouble in Ugandaâ€” Illness of Colonel Rhodes â€” Selim
Bey is handed over to the Commissioner â€” Arrival at Kikuyu â€”
Death of Selim Bey.
On leaving; Uganda it was Sir Gerald Portal's intention
to follow the track by which he had come as far as
Kikuyu, and thence to send off with all speed to the
coast, by the established route, such of his despatches
as were already completed. From Kikuyu he would
then himself, accompanied by Colonel Rhodes, march
in a northerly and somewhat westerly direction,
passing through hitherto unexplored country, with
the object of striking the upper waters of the river
Tana, and of thus ascertaining whether its course,
which was known to be navigable with difficulty up
to a certain point, offered any prospect of providing
an alternative road to Uganda. With a view to
facilitating their movements I had, in accordance
with Sir Gerald's wishes, taken steps to despatch up
stream to a place called Hameye, in the neighbourhood
of which they expected to strike the river, a number
of native canoes sufficient to convey the whole party
from there to the coast by water. Circumstances,
THE RETURN JOURNEY 247
however, delayed their journey, as will be seen farther
on, and the departure of the canoes after many weeks
of waiting added greatly to their difficulties. It is
this journey at first through new country, and
subsequently down the Tana, as it is described in
the Diary and in letters, which it is most especially
valuable to place permanently on record. The inter-
vening notes, faithfully recorded day by day, of the
journey between Kampala and Kikuyu, cover precisely
the same ground as the latter chapters of the written
narrative, and the road presents no new features
beyond the increased difficulty of travelling, caused
by the prevalence of the "great rains," which had
now swollen streams into torrents, and converted
muddy hollows into breast-high marshes. I therefore
propose to extract from the Diary, during this stage,
only such entries as appear to have any special
interest, either as illustrating the character of the
writer, or as bearing upon the nature of the country
and its inhabitants : â€”
3rd June. â€” Two Zanzibari soldiers with letter from Zschatsch,
saying Waganda still raiding all over Usoga : sent them on
with note to Macdonald, advising him to fine Mwanga half his
tribute ; and said that I would tell all Usoga chiefs to catch
and tie up all Waganda, and send them to officer at Wakoli's,
who would flog them.
4/A June, Sunday. â€” Lubwa's ferry : halted in shamba 7.45.
Lubwa came to meet us in red coat. Went on 8.45 over hill
with lovely view all over Usoga, and back over whole Napoleon
Gulf : on by beautiful shady paths, full of thousands of the
most beautiful butterflies of every size and colour, to Lubwa's
chief village ; did not halt, but went on to his son's a mile
farther, where better camping ground. Lubwa came : gave two
243 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
bullocks, six goats, six fowls, lot of eggs, and also a good shield.
Told him station to be moved to his place with a European :
he delighted. Also told him to settle all small cases among
his people. He promised to build us ten canoes. Terrific
8th June. â€” Mtanda's. Eeceived letters from Macdonald say-
ing Owen in difficulty. Five Swahilis from Salt Lake, sent as
messengers to Manyema, taken prisoners by them. Kabarega
has cut him off from forts one and two. Shukri killed ; his
position threatened. Wrote fully to Macdonald on subject, and
said we would wait at Mumia's till 21st for news, and return
9th June. â€” For three hours to-day marched through swarms
of locusts, sometimes in thousands on path, sometimes thinner.
They eat all grass and corn (wembe), but do not touch the
bananas. Two hours into Kavirondo they suddenly ceased.
12th June. â€” Between Tunga's and Tindi's. Very wet long
grass. At 6.45 reached strong running river, very deep, forty
yards wide. In middle a rude weir of stakes. Waded up to
middle to these, then great scramble across with ten men ;
found it impossible for men to carry loads across : so lined
whole bridge (?weir) with men shoulder to shoulder hanging
on to stakes, and passed loads from hand to hand, with relays
of men at my end to wade waist deep rest of way to dry land.
Much against expectation, nothing lost except one Snider rifle
and some porters' goods. Pony swam across and got stuck,
nearly drowned on landing side. Donkey refused, and got
jammed against weir : pulled along by main force. Men swam
across with cows, sheep, and goats. All over in three hours.
This passage is typical of an almost daily experience
on the march through this region during the rainy
season, and the crossing of these swollen rivers always
involved a delay of some three hours. On the 14th
the caravan arrived once more at Mumia's.
The following extract from a letter addressed by
the Commissioner to Lady Alice Portal, dated the
SERIOUS NEWS 249
14th of June, gives a consecutive narrative of recent
events : â€”
My movements and plans are again unsettled by news which
has followed us from Uganda. To begin at the beginning : I
managed to finish up all work and business at Kampala, and
left Captain Macdonald in charge, and gave him all necessary in-
structions, and started with Frankie and Villiers on the 30th ;
Berkeley staying back to finish some work for me, and caught us
up two days later. I was still rather seedy with fever and
heads, and the doctor hustled me off. Before going I went for
the last time to see Baymond's grave at the Protestant church,
and got Bishop Tucker, who sketches beautifully, to make a
drawing of it for mother. Frank also took a photo. I was
awfully knocked up,by the first few days' marches, and, unluckily,
a pony which Frank and I have bought between us for the
exorbitant price of Â£130 was so weak and ill, and such a scare-
crow, that he could not be ridden. I may at once say that both
the pony and I are much better, and practically all right.
Well, after five clays we crossed the Nile. We had divided
into two parties, as I wanted to see a big chief, so Berkeley and
I went one way with Arthur (who accompanied us for a week),
and left Frank to conduct the main body of men with Villiers.
We crossed at a place where it was three miles wide ; it was a
most beautiful spot, like the best of the Italian lakes, only
prettier. Here all my men (fifty) and ourselves got into
ten native canoes and raced across ; the whole thing was like a
perfect scene in a panorama.
In Usoga (at Wakoli's) I halted for a clear clay for rest, and
to arrange matters about those useless Zanzibar soldiers who
were in garrison there, and of whom I am taking 120 with
me, and leaving fifty behind. Frank and Villiers joined us
there ; the latter shot an elephant on the way.
Next day we marched ten miles, and then we were overtaken
by runners from Macdonald at Kampala with rather bad news.
He writes and asks advice. I have written fully my views, but
added that if he found the situation getting really serious I
would come back to Uganda, and that I would wait at Mumia's
(here) till the 21st for his letters and for the latest news, and
250 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
would be guided by that. So after all I am not yet clear of
that country. If I have to go back I shall go just with a few
porters for my own things, and shall send on the caravan with
the others to the coast. Frank says he would rather come back
with me, and so does Villiers ; but I don't know if that will be
necessary. In any case I "will send Berkeley and Foaker to the
coast with all Zanzibar soldiers. I devoutly hope we don't have
to go back. The journey here from Kampala, 170 miles, has
been most disagreeable. The rains have scarcely ceased, and
the whole country is a vast swamp. One day, for instance, I
was for three hours up to my waist in water, with blazing sun
overhead, getting the men and loads across a difficult and
swollen river. Later in the same day Ave had to walk more
than a mile in horrible-smelling black mud and water up to our
middles, and then suddenly I in front found myself in up to my
chin. I sounded with a long stick, and found that the next step
the water would be about two feet above my head. And this
has been the sort of thing every day, especially for the last
week. When not actually in swamp and water and black mud,
we are forcing our way through high grass usually two or three
feet above our heads, which wets us to the skin in a minute.
Again and again our pony has been all but drowned in the
swamp, and as for the sheep and goats and bullocks which we
are taking for food, it is a marvel how they have got across
alive. We have been fortunate in not having rain during the
morning while actually on the march, but we have usually had
terrific storms with thunder and lightning towards evening,
which makes the whole camp wet and miserable, and the tents
awfully heavy to carry. I have been making very early starts,
and usually have a big drum beaten to rouse the camp at 4.30,
so that we get the tents packed, and can actually march with
the first streak of dawn. I have told you very little about
Uganda itself, and now I think of it, you know nothing of all
that happened since I wrote to you about the 10th of April.
Well, there is not much to say, and now I hate the whole place
so since poor Raymond's death that I hate even writing about
it. I had a very hard-worked time there. I moved the head-
quarters from that close, unhealthy, and altogether hateful spot
Kampala to a lovely place on the Lake ; two great grassy hills,
like the Kingsclere Downs, rising almost straight out of the
water ; and a view over the Lake like over the sea dotted with
a dozen islands. I put the European quarters on the highest hill,
and the Soudanese troops on the lower one, and we marked out
all the streets and divisions, giving each man a small compound,
and established a market-place, and cut great wide roads in every
direction. Before I left there was already quite a neat town of
about 1000 inhabitants, ten times more healthy than at Kam-
pala, and I left the officers there engaged in marking out allot-
ments for each soldier to grow corn, potatoes, etc., Avhich the
Soudanese love doing. The name of the whole settlement is
Port Alice. During the last fortnight I was busy with my
final big Eeport, which you will see published sooner or later,
I suppose. It is very curious on this journey, that after leaving
Kampala all through Uganda and Usoga (ten days), one never
sees a soul who is not dressed in cotton or bark-cloth from head
to foot ; then in one day across the frontier into Kavirondo,
we find people nearly quite black, and not a shred of
clothing of any kind or sort on man, woman, or child, except an
occasional string of pink beads round the neck or waist, and
perhaps a bracelet or anklet of brass or iron wire.
Whether I go forward or back, the rest here for a few days
will do me good, and make me thoroughly fit. It is very hot
to-day. I am writing in shirt-sleeves rolled up, and about
2,000,000 flies in my tent, but by night it is quite cool, and I
sleep under two blankets. Frank Ehodes is our doctor on this
journey, and is now in front of me applying ointments and
dressings to all sorts of repulsive sores and wounds on a lot
of porters. Villiers looks after the mess and the books, and
the stores and firewood, candles, etc.
Instead of remaining at Mumia's, it was decided
that they should press on to the Kabras Hills, there
to await the expected mail from Captain Macdonald,
as the higher country seemed likely to afford a more
appropriate halting-place than the damp and running
hollows at this season of the year. In the second
254 THE MISSION TO UGANDA
Kabras camp on the 19th the Commissioner suffered
from a return of his old attack of fever, and his
servant Hutchisson also bep-an to sicken. On the
24th all the party were well enough to push on, and
messengers from Captain Macdonald having brought
in a report that the situation in Toru had improved,
they were able to pitch their camp by the Guaso
Masa, which was much swollen by the rains, and
running with a very rapid stream.
Sunday, 25th June. â€” Guaso Masa Camp. â€” At midnight