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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

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supposed by the natives to resemble the blue-brown back of this monster
of the forest. My caravan had quite an argument with me here, as to
whether we should make the terekeza on this day or on the next. The
majority was of the opinion that the next day would be the best for
a terekeza; but I, being the "bana," consulting my own interests,
insisted, not without a flourish or two of my whip, that the terekeza
should be made on this day.

Mgongo Tembo, when Burton and Speke passed by, was a promising
settlement, cultivating many a fair acre of ground. But two years ago
war broke out, for some bold act of its people upon caravans, and the
Arabs came from Unyanyembe with their Wangwana servants, attacked them,
burnt the villages, and laid waste the work of years. Since that time
Mgongo Tembo has been but blackened wrecks of houses, and the fields a
sprouting jungle.

A cluster of date palm-trees, overtopping a dense grove close to the
mtoni of Mgongo Tembo, revived my recollections of Egypt. The banks of
the stream, with their verdant foliage, presented a strange contrast to
the brown and dry appearance of the jungle which lay on either side.

At 1 P.M. we resumed our loads and walking staffs, and in a short time
were en route for the Ngwhalah Mtoni, distant eight and three-quarter
miles from the khambi. The sun was hot; like a globe of living, seething
flame, it flared its heat full on our heads; then as it descended
towards the west, scorched the air before it was inhaled by the lungs
which craved it. Gourds of water were emptied speedily to quench the
fierce heat that burned the throat and lungs. One pagazi, stricken
heavily with the small-pox, succumbed, and threw himself down on the
roadside to die. We never saw him afterwards, for the progress of a
caravan on a terekeza, is something like that of a ship in a hurricane.
The caravan must proceed - woe befall him who lags behind, for hunger and
thirst will overtake him - so must a ship drive before the fierce gale to
escape foundering - woe befall him who falls overboard!

An abundance of water, good, sweet, and cool, was found in the bed of
the mtoni in deep stony reservoirs. Here also the traces of furious
torrents were clearly visible as at Mabunguru.

The Nghwhalah commences in Ubanarama to the north - a country famous for
its fine breed of donkeys - and after running south, south-south-west,
crosses the Unyanyembe road, from which point it has more of a westerly
turn.

On the 16th we arrived at Madedita, so called from a village which
was, but is now no more. Madedita is twelve and a half miles from the
Nghwhalah Mtoni. A pool of good water a few hundred yards from the
roadside is the only supply caravans can obtain, nearer than Tura in
Unyamwezi. The tsetse or chufwa-fly, as called by the Wasawahili, stung
us dreadfully, which is a sign that large game visit the pool sometimes,
but must not be mistaken for an indication that there is any in the
immediate neighbourhood of the water. A single pool so often frequented
by passing caravans, which must of necessity halt here, could not be
often visited by the animals of the forest, who are shy in this part of
Africa of the haunts of man.

At dawn the neat day we were on the road striding at a quicker pace
than on most days, since we were about to quit Magunda Mali for the more
populated and better land of Unyamwezi. The forest held its own for
a wearisomely long time, but at the end of two hours it thinned, then
dwarfed into low jungle, and finally vanished altogether, and we
had arrived on the soil of Unyamwezi, with a broad plain, swelling,
subsiding, and receding in lengthy and grand undulations in our front
to one indefinite horizontal line which purpled in the far distance. The
view consisted of fields of grain ripening, which followed the contour
of the plain, and which rustled merrily before the morning breeze that
came laden with the chills of Usagara.

At 8 A.M. we had arrived at the frontier village of Unyamwezi, Eastern
Tura, which we invaded without any regard to the disposition of the few
inhabitants who lived there. Here we found Nondo, a runaway of Speke's,
one of those who had sided with Baraka against Bombay, who, desiring to
engage himself with me, was engaging enough to furnish honey and sherbet
to his former companions, and lastly to the pagazis. It was only a
short breathing pause we made here, having another hour's march to reach
Central Tura.

The road from Eastern Tura led through vast fields of millet, Indian
corn, holcus sorghum, maweri, or panicum, or bajri, as called by
the Arabs; gardens of sweet potatoes, large tracts of cucumbers,
water-melons, mush-melons, and pea-nuts which grew in the deep furrows
between the ridges of the holcus.

Some broad-leafed plantain plants were also seen in the neighbourhood of
the villages, which as we advanced became very numerous. The villages of
the Wakimbu are like those of the Wagogo, square, flat-roofed, enclosing
an open area, which is sometimes divided into three or four parts by
fences or matama stalks.

At central Tura, where we encamped, we had evidence enough of the
rascality of the Wakimbu of Tura. Hamed, who, despite his efforts to
reach Unyanyembe in time to sell his cloths before other Arabs came with
cloth supplies, was unable to compel his pagazis to the double march
every day, was also encamped at Central Tura, together with the Arab
servants who preferred Hamed's imbecile haste to Thani's cautious
advance. Our first night in Unyamwezi was very exciting indeed. The
Musungu's camp was visited by two crawling thieves, but they were soon
made aware by the portentous click of a trigger that the white man's
camp was well guarded.

Hamed's camp was next visited; but here also the restlessness of
the owner frustrated their attempts, for he was pacing backwards and
forwards through his camp, with a loaded gun in his hand; and the
thieves were obliged to relinquish the chance of stealing any of his
bales. From Hamed's they proceeded to Hassan's camp (one of the Arab
servants), where they were successful enough to reach and lay hold of a
couple of bales; but, unfortunately, they made a noise, which awoke the
vigilant and quick-eared slave, who snatched his loaded musket, and in a
moment had shot one of them through the heart. Such were our experiences
of the Wakimbu of Tura.

On the 18th the three caravans, Hamed's, Hassan's, and my own, left Tura
by a road which zig-zagged towards all points through the tall matama
fields. In an hour's time we had passed Tura Perro, or Western Tura, and
had entered the forest again, whence the Wakimbu of Tura obtain their
honey, and where they excavate deep traps for the elephants with which
the forest is said to abound. An hour's march from Western Tura brought
us to a ziwa, or pond. There were two, situated in the midst of a small
open mbuga, or plain, which, even at this late season, was yet soft
from the water which overflows it during the rainy season. After resting
three hours, we started on the terekeza, or afternoon march.

It was one and the same forest that we had entered soon after leaving
Western Tura, that we travelled through until we reached the Kwala
Mtoni, or, as Burton has misnamed it on his map, "Kwale." The water of
this mtoni is contained in large ponds, or deep depressions in the wide
and crooked gully of Kwala. In these ponds a species of mud-fish, was
found, off one of which I made a meal, by no means to be despised by one
who had not tasted fish since leaving Bagamoyo. Probably, if I had my
choice, being, when occasion demands it, rather fastidious in my tastes,
I would not select the mud-fish.

From Tura to the Kwala Mtoni is seventeen and a half miles, a distance
which, however easy it may be traversed once a fortnight, assumes a
prodigious length when one has to travel it almost every other day,
at least, so my pagazis, soldiers, and followers found it, and their
murmurs were very loud when I ordered the signal to be sounded on the
march. Abdul Kader, the tailor who had attached himself to me, as a
man ready-handed at all things, from mending a pair of pants, making
a delicate entremets, or shooting an elephant, but whom the interior
proved to be the weakliest of the weakly, unfit for anything except
eating and drinking - -almost succumbed on this march.

Long ago the little stock of goods which Abdul had brought from Zanzibar
folded in a pocket-handkerchief, and with which he was about to buy
ivory and slaves, and make his fortune in the famed land of Unyamwezi,
had disappeared with the great eminent hopes he had built on them, like
those of Alnaschar the unfortunate owner of crockery in the Arabian
tale. He came to me as we prepared for the march, with a most dolorous
tale about his approaching death, which he felt in his bones, and
weary back: his legs would barely hold him up; in short, he had utterly
collapsed - would I take mercy on him, and let him depart? The cause of
this extraordinary request, so unlike the spirit with which he had left
Zanzibar, eager to possess the ivory and slaves of Unyamwezi, was that
on the last long march, two of my donkeys being dead, I had ordered that
the two saddles which they had carried should be Abdul Kader's load
to Unyanyembe. The weight of the saddles was 16 lbs., as the spring
balance-scale indicated, yet Abdul Kader became weary of life, as,
he counted the long marches that intervened between the mtoni and
Unyanyembe. On the ground he fell prone, to kiss my feet, begging me in
the name of God to permit him to depart.

As I had had some experience of Hindoos, Malabarese, and coolies
in Abyssinia, I knew exactly how to deal with a case like this.
Unhesitatingly I granted the request as soon as asked, for as much
tired as Abdul Kader said he was of life, I was with Abdul Kader's
worthlessness. But the Hindi did not want to be left in the jungle, he
said, but, after arriving in Unyanyembe. "Oh," said I, "then you must
reach Unyanyembe first; in the meanwhile you will carry those saddles
there for the food which you must eat."

As the march to Rubuga was eighteen and three-quarter miles, the pagazis
walked fast and long without resting.

Rubuga, in the days of Burton, according to his book, was a prosperous
district. Even when we passed, the evidences of wealth and prosperity
which it possessed formerly, were plain enough in the wide extent of its
grain fields, which stretched to the right and left of the Unyanyembe
road for many a mile. But they were only evidences of what once were
numerous villages, a well-cultivated and populous district, rich in
herds of cattle and stores of grain. All the villages are burnt down,
the people have been driven north three or four days from Rubuga, the
cattle were taken by force, the grain fields were left standing, to be
overgrown with jungle and rank weeds. We passed village after village
that had been burnt, and were mere blackened heaps of charred timber and
smoked clay; field after field of grain ripe years ago was yet standing
in the midst of a crop of gums and thorns, mimosa and kolquall.

We arrived at the village, occupied by about sixty Wangwana, who have
settled here to make a living by buying and selling ivory. Food is
provided for them in the deserted fields of the people of Rubuga. We
were very tired and heated from the long march, but the pagazis had all
arrived by 3 p.m.

At the Wangwana village we met Amer bin Sultan, the very type of an
old Arab sheikh, such as we read of in books, with a snowy beard, and
a clean reverend face, who was returning to Zanzibar after a ten years'
residence in Unyanyembe. He presented me with a goat; and a goatskin
full of rice; a most acceptable gift in a place where a goat costs five
cloths.

After a day's halt at Rubuga, during which I despatched soldiers
to notify Sheikh Sayd bin Salim and Sheikh bin Nasib, the two chief
dignitaries of Unyanyembe, of my coming, on the 21st of June we resumed
the march for Kigwa, distant five hours. The road ran through another
forest similar to that which separated Tura from Rubuga, the country
rapidly sloping as we proceeded westward. Kigwa we found to have been
visited by the same vengeance which rendered Rubuga such a waste.

The next day, after a three and a half hours' rapid march, we crossed
the mtoni - which was no mtoni - separating Kigwa from Unyanyembe
district, and after a short halt to quench our thirst, in three and a
half hours more arrived at Shiza. It was a most delightful march, though
a long one, for its picturesqueness of scenery which every few minutes
was revealed, and the proofs we everywhere saw of the peaceable and
industrious disposition of the people. A short half hour from Shiza we
beheld the undulating plain wherein the Arabs have chosen to situate the
central depot which commands such wide and extensive field of trade. The
lowing of cattle and the bleating of the goats and sheep were everywhere
heard, giving the country a happy, pastoral aspect.

The Sultan of Shiza desired me to celebrate my arrival in Unyanyembe,
with a five-gallon jar of pombe, which he brought for that purpose.

As the pombe was but stale ale in taste, and milk and water in colour,
after drinking a small glassful I passed it to the delighted soldiers
and pagazis. At my request the Sultan brought a fine fat bullock, for
which he accepted four and a half doti of Merikani. The bullock was
immediately slaughtered and served out to the caravan as a farewell
feast.

No one slept much that night, and long before the dawn the fires were
lit, and great steaks were broiling, that their stomachs might rejoice
before parting with the Musungu, whose bounty they had so often tasted.
Six rounds of powder were served to each soldier and pagazi who owned
a gun, to fire away when we should be near the Arab houses. The meanest
pagazi had his best cloth about his loins, and some were exceedingly
brave in gorgeous Ulyah "Coombeesa Poonga" and crimson "Jawah," the
glossy "Rehani," and the neat "Dabwani." The soldiers were mustered in
new tarbooshes, and the long white shirts of the Mrima and the Island.
For this was the great and happy day which had been on our tongues ever
since quitting the coast, for which we had made those noted marches
latterly - one hundred and seventy-eight and a half miles in sixteen
days, including pauses - something over eleven miles a day.

The signal sounded and the caravan was joyfully off with banners flying,
and trumpets and horns blaring. A short two and a half hours' march
brought us within sight of Kwikuru, which is about two miles south of
Tabora, the main Arab town; on the outside of which we saw a long line
of men in clean shirts, whereat we opened our charged batteries, and
fired a volley of small arms such as Kwikuru seldom heard before. The
pagazis closed up and adopted the swagger of veterans: the soldiers
blazed away uninterruptedly, while I, seeing that the Arabs were
advancing towards me, left the ranks, and held out my hand, which was
immediately grasped by Sheikh Sayd bin Salim, and then by about two
dozen people, and thus our entrée into Unyanyembe was effected.



CHAPTER VIII. - MY LIFE AND TROUBLES DURING MY RESIDENCE IN UNYAS
NYEMBE. I BECOME ENGAGED IN A WAR.


I received a noiseless ovation as I walked side by side with the
governor, Sayd bin Salim, towards his tembe in Kwikuru, or the capital.
The Wanyamwezi pagazis were out by hundreds, the warriors of Mkasiwa,
the sultan, hovered around their chief, the children were seen between
the legs of their parents, even infants, a few months old, slung over
their mothers' backs, all paid the tribute due to my colour, with one
grand concentrated stare. The only persons who talked with me were the
Arabs, and aged Mkasiwa, ruler of Unyanyembe.

Sayd bin Salim's house was at the north-western corner of the inclosure,
a stockaded boma of Kwikuru. We had tea made in a silver tea-pot, and a
bountiful supply of "dampers" were smoking under a silver cover; and
to this repast I was invited. When a man has walked eight miles or so
without any breakfast, and a hot tropical sun has been shining on him
for three or four hours, he is apt to do justice to a meal, especially
if his appetite is healthy. I think I astonished the governor by the
dexterous way in which I managed to consume eleven cups of his aromatic
concoction of an Assam herb, and the easy effortless style with which
I demolished his high tower of "slap jacks," that but a minute or so
smoked hotly under their silver cover.

For the meal, I thanked the Sheikh, as only an earnest and sincerely
hungry man, now satisfied, could thank him. Even if I had not spoken, my
gratified looks had well informed him, under what obligations I had been
laid to him.

Out came my pipe and tobacco-pouch.

"My friendly Sheikh, wilt thou smoke?"

"No, thanks! Arabs never smoke."

"Oh, if you don't, perhaps you would not object to me smoking, in order
to assist digestion?"

"Ngema - good - go on, master."

Then began the questions, the gossipy, curious, serious, light
questions:

"How came the master?

"By the Mpwapwa road."

"It is good. Was the Makata bad?"

"Very bad."

"What news from Zanzibar?"

"Good; Syed Toorkee has possession of Muscat, and Azim bin Ghis was
slain in the streets."

"Is this true, Wallahi?" (by God.)

"It is true."

"Heh-heh-h! This is news!" - stroking his beard.

"Have you heard, master, of Suleiman bin Ali?"

"Yes, the Bombay governor sent him to Zanzibar, in a man-of-war, and
Suleiman bin Ali now lies in the gurayza (fort)."

"Heh, that is very good."

"Did you have to pay much tribute to the Wagogo?"

"Eight times; Hamed Kimiani wished me to go by Kiwyeh, but I declined,
and struck through the forest to Munieka. Hamed and Thani thought it
better to follow me, than brave Kiwyeh by themselves."

"Where is that Hajji Abdullah (Captain Burton) that came here, and
Spiki?" (Speke.)

"Hajji Abdullah! What Hajji Abdullah? Ah! Sheikh Burton we call him. Oh,
he is a great man now; a balyuz (a consul) at El Scham" (Damascus.)

"Heh-heh; balyuz! Heh, at El Scham! Is not that near Betlem el Kuds?"
(Jerusalem.)

"Yes, about four days. Spiki is dead. He shot himself by accident."

"Ah, ah, Wallah (by God), but this is bad news. Spiki dead? Mash-Allah!
Ough, he was a good man - a good man! Dead!"

"But where is this Kazeh, Sheikh Sayd?"

"Kazeh? Kazeh? I never heard the name before."

"But you were with Burton, and Speke, at Kazeh; you lived there several
months, when you were all stopping in Unyanyembe; it must be close here;
somewhere. Where did Hajji Abdullah and Spiki live when they were in
Unyanyembe? Was it not in Musa Mzuri's house?"

"That was in Tabora."

"Well, then, where is Kazeh? I have never seen the man yet who could
tell me where that place is, and yet the three white men have that word
down, as the name of the place they lived at when you were with them.
You must know where it is."

"Wallahi, bana, I never heard the name; but stop, Kazeh, in Kinyamwezi,
means 'kingdom.' Perhaps they gave that name to the place they stopped
at. But then, I used to call the first house Sny bin Amer's house, and
Speke lived at Musa Mzuri's house, but both houses, as well as all the
rest, are in Tabora."

"Thank you, sheikh. I should like to go and look after my people; they
must all be wanting food."

"I shall go with you to show you your house. The tembe is in Kwihara,
only an hour's walk from Tabora."

On leaving Kwikuru we crossed a low ridge, and soon saw Kwihara
lying between two low ranges of hills, the northernmost of which was
terminated westward by the round fortress-like hill of Zimbili. There
was a cold glare of intense sunshine over the valley, probably the
effect of an universal bleakness or an autumnal ripeness of the grass,
unrelieved by any depth of colour to vary the universal sameness. The
hills were bleached, or seemed to be, under that dazzling sunshine,
and clearest atmosphere. The corn had long been cut, and there lay the
stubble, and fields, - a browny-white expanse; the houses were of mud,
and their fiat roofs were of mud, and the mud was of a browny-whiteness;
the huts were thatched, and the stockades around them of barked timber,
and these were of a browny whiteness. The cold, fierce, sickly wind from
the mountains of Usagara sent a deadly chill to our very marrows, yet
the intense sunshiny glare never changed, a black cow or two, or a tall
tree here and there, caught the eye for a moment, but they never made
one forget that the first impression of Kwihara was as of a picture
without colour, or of food without taste; and if one looked up, there
was a sky of a pale blue, spotless, and of an awful serenity.

As I approached the tembe of Sayd bin Salim, Sheikh bin Nasib and other
great Arabs joined us. Before the great door of the tembe the men had
stacked the bales, and piled the boxes, and were using their tongues
at a furious rate, relating to the chiefs and soldiers of the first,
second, and fourth caravans the many events which had befallen them, and
which seemed to them the only things worth relating. Outside of their
own limited circles they evidently cared for nothing. Then the several
chiefs of the other caravans had in turn to relate their experiences
of the road; and the noise of tongues was loud and furious. But as we
approached, all this loud-sounding gabble ceased, and my caravan chiefs
and guides rushed to me to hail me as "master," and to salute me as
their friend. One fellow, faithful Baruti, threw himself at my feet, the
others fired their guns and acted like madmen suddenly become frenzied,
and a general cry of "welcome" was heard on all sides.

"Walk in, master, this is your house, now; here are your men's quarters;
here you will receive the great Arabs, here is the cook-house; here is
the store-house; here is the prison for the refractory; here are
your white man's apartments; and these are your own: see, here is the
bedroom, here is the gun-room, bath-room, &c.;" so Sheikh Sayd talked,
as he showed me the several places.

On my honour, it was a most comfortable place, this, in Central Africa.
One could almost wax poetic, but we will keep such ambitious ideas for
a future day. Just now, however, we must have the goods stored, and the
little army of carriers paid off and disbanded.

Bombay was ordered to unlock the strong store-room, to pile the bales
in regular tiers, the beads in rows one above another, and the wire in
a separate place. The boats, canvas, &c., were to be placed high above
reach of white ants, and the boxes of ammunition and powder kegs were to
be stored in the gun-room, out of reach of danger. Then a bale of cloth
was opened, and each carrier was rewarded according to his merits, that
each of them might proceed home to his friends and neighbours, and tell
them how much better the white man behaved than the Arabs.

The reports of the leaders of the first, second, and fourth caravans
were then received, their separate stores inspected, and the details and
events of their marches heard. The first caravan had been engaged in
a war at Kirurumo, and had come out of the fight successful, and had
reached Unyanyembe without loss of anything. The second had shot a thief
in the forest between Pembera Pereh and Kididimo; the fourth had lost a
bale in the jungle of Marenga Mkali, and the porter who carried it had
received a "very sore head" from a knob stick wielded by one of the
thieves, who prowl about the jungle near the frontier of Ugogo. I was
delighted to find that their misfortunes were no more, and each leader
was then and there rewarded with one handsome cloth, and five doti of
Merikani.

Just as I began to feel hungry again, came several slaves in succession,
bearing trays full of good things from the Arabs; first an enormous dish
of rice, with a bowlful of curried chicken, another with a dozen huge
wheaten cakes, another with a plateful of smoking hot crullers, another
with papaws, another with pomegranates and lemons; after these came
men driving five fat hump backed oxen, eight sheep, and ten goats, and
another man with a dozen chickens, and a dozen fresh eggs. This was
real, practical, noble courtesy, munificent hospitality, which quite
took my gratitude by storm.

My people, now reduced to twenty-five, were as delighted at the prodigal
plenitude visible on my tables and in my yard, as I was myself. And as I
saw their eyes light up at the unctuous anticipations presented to them
by their riotous fancies, I ordered a bullock to be slaughtered and



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 13 of 38)