Henry M. Stanley.

How I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley online

. (page 12 of 38)
Online LibraryHenry M. StanleyHow I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley → online text (page 12 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

a halt of an hour, in foul hours more we arrived at Mukondoku Proper.
This extremity of Ugogo is most populous, The villages which surround
the central tembe, where the Sultan Swaruru lives, amount to thirty-six.
The people who flocked from these to see the wonderful men whose faces
were white, who wore the most wonderful things on their persons, and
possessed the most wonderful weapons; guns which "bum-bummed" as fast as
you could count on your fingers, formed such a mob of howling savages,
that I for an instant thought there was something besides mere curiosity
which caused such commotion, and attracted such numbers to the roadside.
Halting, I asked what was the matter, and what they wanted, and why they
made such noise? One burly rascal, taking my words for a declaration of
hostilities, promptly drew his bow, but as prompt as he had fixed his
arrow my faithful Winchester with thirteen shots in the magazine was
ready and at the shoulder, and but waited to see the arrow fly to pour
the leaden messengers of death into the crowd. But the crowd vanished as
quickly as they had come, leaving the burly Thersites, and two or three
irresolute fellows of his tribe, standing within pistol range of my
levelled rifle. Such a sudden dispersion of the mob which, but a moment
before, was overwhelming in numbers, caused me to lower my rifle, and
to indulge in a hearty laugh at the disgraceful flight of the
men-destroyers. The Arabs, who were as much alarmed at their boisterous
obtrusiveness, now came up to patch a truce, in which they succeeded to
everybody's satisfaction. A few words of explanation, and the mob came
back in greater numbers than before; and the Thersites who had been the
cause of the momentary disturbance was obliged to retire abashed before
the pressure of public opinion. A chief now came up, whom I afterwards
learned was the second man to Swaruru, and lectured the people upon
their treatment of the "White Stranger."

"Know ye not, Wagogo," shouted he, "that this Musungu is a sultan
(mtemi - a most high title). He has not come to Ugogo like the Wakonongo
(Arabs), to trade in ivory, but to see us, and give presents. Why do you
molest him and his people? Let them pass in peace. If you wish to see
him, draw near, but do not mock him. The first of you who creates a
disturbance, let him beware; our great mtemi shall know how you treat
his friends." This little bit of oratorical effort on the part of the
chief was translated to me there and then by the old Sheik Thani; which
having understood, I bade the Sheikh inform the chief that, after I had
rested, I should like him to visit me in my tent.

Having arrived at the khambi, which always surrounds some great baobab
in Ugogo, at the distance of about half a mile from the tembe of the
Sultan, the Wagogo pressed in such great numbers to the camp that Sheikh
Thani resolved to make an effort to stop or mitigate the nuisance.
Dressing himself in his best clothes, he went to appeal to the Sultan
for protection against his people. The Sultan was very much inebriated,
and was pleased to say, "What is it you want, you thief? You have come
to steal my ivory or my cloth. Go away, thief!" But the sensible
chief, whose voice had just been heard reproaching the people for their
treatment of the Wasungu, beckoned to Thani to come out of the tembe,
and then proceeded with him towards the khambi.

The camp was in a great uproar; the curious Wagogo monopolized almost
every foot of ground; there was no room to turn anywhere. The Wanyamwezi
were quarreling with the Wagogo, the Wasawahili servants were clamoring
loud that the Wagogo pressed down their tents, and that the property
of the masters was in danger; while I, busy on my diary within my tent,
cared not how great was the noise and confusion outside as long as it
confined itself to the Wagogo, Wanyamwezi, and Wangwana.

The presence of the chief in the camp was followed by a deep silence
that I was prevailed upon to go outside to see what had caused it. The
chief's words were few, and to the point. He said, "To your tembes,
Wagogo - to your tembes! Why, do you come to trouble the Wakonongo: What
have you to do with them? To your tembes: go! Each Mgogo found in the
khambi without meal, without cattle to sell, shall pay to the mtemi
cloth or cows. Away with you!" Saying which, he snatched up a stick and
drove the hundreds out of the khambi, who were as obedient to him as so
many children. During the two days we halted at Mukondoku we saw no more
of the mob, and there was peace.

The muhongo of the Sultan Swaruru was settled with few words. The chief
who acted for the Sultan as his prime minister having been "made glad"
with a doti of Rehani Ulyah from me, accepted the usual tribute of six
doti, only one of which was of first-class cloth.

There remained but one more sultan to whom muhongo must be paid after
Mukondoku, and this was the Sultan of Kiwyeh, whose reputation was so
bad that owners of property who had control over their pagazis seldom
passed by Kiwyeh, preferring the hardships of long marches through
the wilderness to the rudeness and exorbitant demands of the chief of
Kiwyeh. But the pagazis, on whom no burden or responsibility fell save
that of carrying their loads, who could use their legs and show clean
heels in the case of a hostile outbreak, preferred the march to Kiwyeh
to enduring thirst and the fatigue of a terekeza. Often the preference
of the pagazis won the day, when their employers were timid, irresolute
men, like Sheikh Hamed.

The 7th of June was the day fixed for our departure from Mukondoku, so
the day before, the Arabs came to my tent to counsel with me as to
the route we should adopt. On calling together the kirangozis of the
respective caravans and veteran Wanyamwezi pagazis, we learned there
were three roads leading from Mukondoku to Uyanzi. The first was the
southern road, and the one generally adopted, for the reasons already
stated, and led by Kiwyeh. To this Hamed raised objections. "The Sultan
was bad," he said; "he sometimes charged a caravan twenty doti; our
caravan would have to pay about sixty doti. The Kiwyeh road would not do
at all. Besides," he added, "we have to make a terekeza to reach Kiwyeh,
and then we will not reach it before the day after to-morrow." The
second was the central road. We should arrive at Munieka on the morrow;
the day after would be a terekeza from Mabunguru Nullah to a camp near
Unyambogi; two hours the next day would bring us to Kiti, where there
was plenty of water and food. As neither of the kirangozis or Arabs
knew this road, and its description came from one of my ancient pagazis,
Hamed said he did not like to trust the guidance of such a large caravan
in the hands of an old Mnyamwezi, and would therefore prefer to hear
about the third road, before rendering his decision. The third road was
the northern. It led past numerous villages of the Wagogo for the first
two hours; then we should strike a jungle; and a three hours' march
would then bring us to Simbo, where there was water, but no village.
Starting early next morning, we would travel six hours when we would
arrive at a pool of water. Here taking a short rest, an afternoon march
of five hours would bring us within three hours of another village. As
this last road was known to many, Hamed said, "Sheikh Thani, tell the
Sahib that I think this is the best road." Sheikh Thani was told, after
he had informed me that, as I had marched with them through Ugogo, if
they decided upon going by Simbo, my caravan would follow.

Immediately after the discussion among the principals respecting the
merits of the several routes, arose a discussion among the pagazis which
resulted in an obstinate clamor against the Simbo road, for its long
terekeza and scant prospects of water, the dislike to the Simbo road
communicated itself to all the caravans, and soon it was magnified by
reports of a wilderness reaching from Simbo to Kusuri, where there was
neither food nor water to be obtained. Hamed's pagazis, and those of
the Arab servants, rose in a body and declared they could not go on that
march, and if Hamed insisted upon adopting it they would put their packs
down and leave him to carry them himself.

Hamed Kimiani, as he was styled by the Arabs, rushed up to Sheikh Thani,
and declared that he must take the Kiwyeh road, otherwise his pagazis
would all desert. Thani replied that all the roads were the same to him,
that wherever Hamed chose to go, he would follow. They then came to my
tent, and informed me of the determination at which the Wanyamwezi had
arrived. Calling my veteran Mnyamwezi, who had given me the favourable
report once more to my tent, I bade him give a correct account of the
Kiti road. It was so favourable that my reply to Hamed was, that I
was the master of my caravan, that it was to go wherever I told the
kirangozi, not where the pagazis chose; that when I told them to halt
they must halt, and when I commanded a march, a march should be made;
and that as I fed them well and did not overwork them, I should like to
see the pagazi or soldier that disobeyed me. "You made up your mind just
now that you would take the Simbo road, and we were agreed upon it, now
your pagazis say they will take, the Kiwyeh road, or desert. Go on the
Kiwyeh road and pay twenty doti muhongo. I and my caravan to-morrow
morning will take the Kiti road, and when you find me in Unyanyembe one
day ahead of you, you will be sorry you did not take the same road."

This resolution of mine had the effect of again changing the current of
Hamed's thoughts, for he instantly said, "That is the best road after
all, and as the Sahib is determined to go on it, and we have all
travelled together through the bad land of the Wagogo, Inshallah! let us
all go the same way," and Thani=-good old man - not objecting, and Hamed
having decided, they both joyfully went out of the tent to communicate
the news.

On the 7th the caravans - apparently unanimous that the Kiti road was to
be taken - were led as usual by Hamed's kirangozi. We had barely gone a
mile before I perceived that we had left the Simbo road, had taken the
direction of Kiti, and, by a cunning detour, were now fast approaching
the defile of the mountain ridge before us, which admitted access to the
higher plateau of Kiwyeh. Instantly halting my caravan, I summoned the
veteran who had travelled by Kiti, and asked him whether we were not
going towards Kiwyeh. He replied that we were. Calling my pagazis
together, I bade Bombay tell them that the Musuugu never changed his
mind; that as I had said my caravan should march by Kiti; to Kiti it
must go whether the Arabs followed or not. I then ordered the veteran
to take up his load and show the kirangozi the proper road to Kiti.
The Wanyamwezi pagazis put down their bales, and then there was every
indication of a mutiny. The Wangwana soldiers were next ordered to load
their guns and to flank the caravan, and shoot the first pagazis
who made an attempt to run away. Dismounting, I seized my whip, and,
advancing towards the first pagazi who had put down his load, I motioned
to him to take up his load and march. It was unnecessary to proceed
further; without an exception, all marched away obediently after the
kirangozi. I was about bidding farewell to Thani, and Hamed, when Thani
said, "Stop a bit, Sahib; I have had enough of this child's play; I come
with you," and his caravan was turned after mine. Hamed's caravan was by
this time close to the defile, and he himself was a full mile behind
it, weeping like a child at what he was pleased to call our desertion of
him. Pitying his strait - for he was almost beside himself as thoughts
of Kiwyeh's sultan, his extortion and rudeness, swept across his mind - I
advised him to run after his caravan, and tell it, as all the rest had
taken the other road, to think of the Sultan of Kiwyeh. Before reaching
the Kiti defile I was aware that Hamed's caravan was following us.

The ascent of the ridge was rugged and steep, thorns of the prickliest
nature punished us severely, the _acacia horrida_ was here more horrid
than usual, the gums stretched out their branches, and entangled the
loads, the mimosa with its umbrella-like top served to shade us from the
sun, but impeded a rapid advance. Steep outcrops of syenite and granite,
worn smooth by many feet, had to be climbed over, rugged terraces of
earth and rock had to be ascended, and distant shots resounding through
the forest added to the alarm and general discontent, and had I not
been immediately behind my caravan, watchful of every manoeuvre, my
Wanyamwezi had deserted to a man. Though the height we ascended was
barely 800 feet above the salina we had just left, the ascent occupied
two hours.

Having surmounted the plateau and the worst difficulties, we had a fair
road comparatively, which ran through jungle, forest, and small open
tracts, which in three hours more brought us to Munieka, a small
village, surrounded by a clearing richly cultivated by a colony of
subjects of Swaruru of Mukondoku.

By the time we had arrived at camp everybody had recovered his good
humour and content except Hamed. Thani's men happened to set his tent
too close to Hamed's tree, around which his bales were stacked. Whether
the little Sheikh imagined honest old Thani capable of stealing one is
not known, but it is certain that he stormed and raved about the near
neighbourhood of his best friend's tent, until Thani ordered its removal
a hundred yards off. This proceeding even, it seems, did not satisfy
Hamed, for it was quite midnight - as Thani said - when Hamed came, and
kissing his hands and feet, on his knees implored forgiveness, which of
course Thani, being the soul of good-nature, and as large-hearted as any
man, willingly gave. Hamed was not satisfied, however, until, with the
aid of his slaves, he had transported his friend's tent to where it had
at first been pitched.

The water at Munieka was obtained from a deep depression in a hump of
syenite, and was as clear as crystal, and' cold as ice-water - a luxury
we had not experienced since leaving Simbamwenni.

We were now on the borders of Uyanzi, or, as it is better known,
"Magunda Mkali " - the Hot-ground, or Hot-field. We had passed the
village populated by Wagogo, and were about to shake the dust of Ugogo
from our feet. We had entered Ugogo full of hopes, believing it a
most pleasant land - a land flowing with milk and honey. We had been
grievously disappointed; it proved to be a land of gall and bitterness,
full of trouble and vexation of spirit, where danger was imminent at
every step - where we were exposed to the caprice of inebriated sultans.
Is it a wonder, then, that all felt happy at such a moment? With the
prospect before us of what was believed by many to be a real wilderness,
our ardor was not abated, but was rather strengthened. The wilderness in
Africa proves to be, in many instances, more friendly than the populated
country. The kirangozi blew his kudu horn much more merrily on this
morning than he was accustomed to do while in Ugogo. We were about to
enter Magunda Mkali. At 9 A.M., three hours after leaving Munieka, and
two hours since we had left the extreme limits of Ugogo, we were halted
at Mabunguru Nullah. The Nullah runs southwesterly after leaving its
source in the chain of hills dividing Ugogo from Magunda Mkali. During
the rainy season it must be nearly impassable, owing to the excessive
slope of its bed. Traces of the force of the torrent are seen in the
syenite and basalt boulders which encumber the course. Their rugged
angles are worn smooth, and deep basins are excavated where the bed is
of the rock, which in the dry season serve as reservoirs. Though the
water contained in them has a slimy and greenish appearance, and is well
populated with frogs, it is by no means unpalatable.

At noon we resumed our march, the Wanyamwezi cheering, shouting, and
singing, the Wangwana soldiers, servants, and pagazis vieing with them
in volume of voice and noise-making the dim forest through which we were
now passing resonant with their voices.

The scenery was much more picturesque than any we had yet seen since
leaving Bagamoyo. The ground rose into grander waves - hills cropped out
here and there - great castles of syenite appeared, giving a strange and
weird appearance to the forest. From a distance it would almost seem as
if we were approaching a bit of England as it must have appeared during
feudalism; the rocks assumed such strange fantastic shapes. Now they
were round boulders raised one above another, apparently susceptible to
every breath of wind; anon, they towered like blunt-pointed obelisks,
taller than the tallest trees; again they assumed the shape of mighty
waves, vitrified; here, they were a small heap of fractured and riven
rock; there, they rose to the grandeur of hills.

By 5 P.M. we had travelled twenty miles, and the signal was sounded for
a halt. At 1 A.M., the moon being up, Hamed's horn and voice were heard
throughout the silent camp awaking his pagazis for the march. Evidently
Sheikh Hamed was gone stark mad, otherwise why should he be so frantic
for the march at such an early hour? The dew was falling heavily,
and chilled one like frost; and an ominous murmur of deep discontent
responded to the early call on all sides. Presuming, however, that he
had obtained better information than we had, Sheikh Thani and I resolved
to be governed as the events proved him to be right or wrong.

As all were discontented, this night, march was performed in deep
silence. The thermometer was at 53°, we being about 4,500 feet above the
level of the sea. The pagazis, almost naked, walked quickly in order
to keep warm, and by so doing many a sore foot was made by stumbling
against obtrusive roots and rocks, and treading on thorns. At 3 A.M. we
arrived at the village of Unyambogi, where we threw ourselves down to
rest and sleep until dawn should reveal what else was in store for the
hard-dealt-with caravans.

It was broad daylight when I awoke; the sun was flaring his hot beams in
my face. Sheikh Thani came soon after to inform me that Hamed had gone
to Kiti two hours since; but he, when asked to accompany him, positively
refused, exclaiming against it as folly, and utterly unnecessary. When
my advice was asked by Thani, I voted the whole thing as sheer nonsense;
and, in turn, asked him what a terekeza was for? Was it not an afternoon
march to enable caravans to reach water and food? Thani replied than it
was. I then asked him if there was no water or food to be obtained in
Unyambogi. Thani replied that he had not taken pains to inquire, but
was told by the villagers that there was an abundance of matamia, hindi,
maweri, sheep; goats, and chickens in their village at cheap prices,
such as were not known in Ugogo.

"Well, then," said I, "if Hamed wants to be a fool, and kill his
pagazis, why should we? I have as much cause for haste as Sheikh Hamed;
but Unyanyembe is far yet, and I am not going to endanger my property by
playing the madman."

As Thani had reported, we found an abundance of provisions at the
village, and good sweet water from some pits close by. A sheep cost one
chukka; six chickens were also purchased at that price; six measures of
matama, maweri, or hindi, were procurable for the same sum; in short, we
were coming, at last, into the land of plenty.

On the 10th June we arrived at Kiti after a journey of four hours and a
half, where we found the irrepressible Hamed halted in sore trouble.
He who would be a Caesar, proved to be an irresolute Antony. He had
to sorrow over the death of a favourite slave girl, the loss of five
dish-dashes (Arab shirts), silvered-sleeve and gold-embroidered jackets,
with which he had thought to enter Unyanyembe in state, as became a
merchant of his standing, which had disappeared with three absconding
servants, besides copper trays, rice, and pilau dishes, and two bales of
cloth with runaway Wangwana pagazis. Selim, my Arab servant, asked him,
"What are you doing here, Sheikh Hamed? I thought you were well on the
road to Unyanyembe." Said he, "Could I leave Thani, my friend, behind?"

Kiti abounded in cattle and grain, and we were able to obtain food at
easy rates. The Wakimbu, emigrants from Ukimbu, near Urori, are a quiet
race, preferring the peaceful arts of agriculture to war; of tending
their flocks to conquest. At the least rumor of war they remove their
property and family, and emigrate to the distant wilderness, where they
begin to clear the land, and to hunt the elephant for his ivory. Yet we
found them to be a fine race, and well armed, and seemingly capable,
by their numbers and arms, to compete with any tribe. But here, as
elsewhere, disunion makes them weak. They are mere small colonies, each
colony ruled by its own chief; whereas, were they united, they might
make a very respectable front before an enemy.

Our next destination was Msalalo, distant fifteen miles from Kiti.
Hamed, after vainly searching for his runaways and the valuable property
he had lost, followed us, and tried once more, when he saw us encamped
at Msalalo, to pass us; but his pagazis failed him, the march having
been so long.

Welled Ngaraiso was reached on the 15th, after a three and a half hours'
march. It is a flourishing little place, where provisions were almost
twice as cheap as they were at Unyambogi. Two hours' march south is
Jiweh la Mkoa, on the old road, towards which the road which we have
been travelling since leaving Bagamoyo was now rapidly leading.

Unyanyembe being near, the pagazis and soldiers having behaved
excellently during the lengthy marches we had lately made, I purchased
a bullock for three doti, and had it slaughtered for their special
benefit. I also gave each a khete of red beads to indulge his appetite
for whatever little luxury the country afforded. Milk and honey were
plentiful, and three frasilah of sweet potatoes were bought for a
shukka, equal to about 40 cents of our money.

The 13th June brought us to the last village of Magunda Mkali, in the
district of Jiweh la Singa, after a short march of eight miles and
three-quarters. Kusuri - so called by the Arabs - is called Konsuli by the
Wakimbu who inhabit it. This is, however, but one instance out of many
where the Arabs have misnamed or corrupted the native names of villages
and districts.

Between Ngaraiso and Kusuri we passed the village of Kirurumo, now a
thriving place, with many a thriving village near it. As we passed it,
the people came out to greet the Musungu, whose advent had been so long
heralded by his loud-mouthed caravans, and whose soldiers had helped
them win the day in a battle against their fractious brothers of Jiweh
la Mkoa.

A little further on we came across a large khambi, occupied by Sultan
bin Mohammed, an Omani Arab of high descent, who, as soon as he was
notified of my approach, came out to welcome me, and invite me to his
khambi. As his harem lodged in his tent, of course I was not invited
thither; but a carpet outside was ready for his visitor. After the usual
questions had been asked about my health, the news of the road, the
latest from Zanzibar and Oman, he asked me if I had much cloth with
me. This was a question often asked by owners of down caravans, and
the reason of it is that the Arabs, in their anxiety to make as much
as possible of their cloth at the ivory ports on the Tanganika and
elsewhere, are liable to forget that they should retain a portion for
the down marches. As, indeed, I had but a bale left of the quantity of
cloth retained for provisioning my party on the road, when outfitting my
caravans on the coast, I could unblushingly reply in the negative.

I halted a day at Kusuri to give my caravan a rest, after its long
series of marches, before venturing on the two days' march through the
uninhabited wilderness that separates the district of Jiweh la Singa
Uyanzi from the district of Tura in Unyanyembe. Hamed preceded,
promising to give Sayd bin Salim notice of my coming, and to request him
to provide a tembe for me.

On the 15th, having ascertained that Sheikh Thani would be detained
several days at Kusuri, owing to the excessive number of his people who
were laid up with that dreadful plague of East Africa, the small-pox, I
bade him farewell, and my caravan struck out of Kusuri once more for the
wilderness and the jungle. A little before noon we halted at the Khambi
of Mgongo Tembo, or the Elephant's Back - so called from a wave of rock
whose back, stained into dark brownness by atmospheric influences, is

Online LibraryHenry M. StanleyHow I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley → online text (page 12 of 38)