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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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 15 of 38)
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whatever befel us.

Long before we reached Umanda, I was in my hammock in the paroxysms of
a fierce attack of intermittent fever, which did not leave me until late
that night.

At Umanda, six hours from Mfuto, our warriors bedaubed themselves with
the medicine which the wise men had manufactured for them - a compound
of matama flour mixed with the juices of a herb whose virtues were only
known to the Waganga of the Wanyamwezi.

At 6 A.M. on the 4th of August we were once more prepared for the road,
but before we were marched out of the village, the "manneno," or speech,
was delivered by the orator of the Wanyamwezi:

"Words! words! words! Listen, sons of Mkasiwa, children of Unyamwezi!
the journey is before you, the thieves of the forest are waiting; yes,
they are thieves, they cut up your caravans, they steal your ivory, they
murder your women. Behold, the Arabs are with you, El Wali of the Arab
sultan, and the white man are with you. Go, the son of Mkasiwa is with
you; fight; kill, take slaves, take cloth, take cattle, kill, eat, and
fill yourselves! Go!"

A loud, wild shout followed this bold harangue, the gates of the
village were thrown open, and blue, red, and white-robed soldiers were
bounding upward like so many gymnasts; firing their guns incessantly, in
order to encourage themselves with noise, or to strike terror into the
hearts of those who awaited us within the strong enclosure of Zimbizo,
Sultan Kolongo's place.

As Zimbizo was distant only five hours from Umanda, at 11 A.M. we came
in view of it. We halted on the verge of the cultivated area around it
and its neighbours within the shadow of the forest. Strict orders had
been given by the several chiefs to their respective commands not to
fire, until they were within shooting distance of the boma.

Khamis bin Abdullah crept through the forest to the west of the village.
The Wanyamwezi took their position before the main gateway, aided by the
forces of Soud the son of Sayd on the right, and the son of Habib on
the left, Abdullah, Mussoud, myself, and others made ready to attack
the eastern gates, which arrangement effectually shut them in, with the
exception of the northern side.

Suddenly, a volley opened on us as we emerged from the forest along the
Unyanyembe road, in the direction they had been anticipating the sight
of an enemy, and immediately the attacking forces began their firing in
most splendid style. There were some ludicrous scenes of men pretending
to fire, then jumping off to one side, then forward, then backward,
with the agility of hopping frogs, but the battle was none the less in
earnest. The breech-loaders of my men swallowed my metallic cartridges
much faster than I liked to see; but happily there was a lull in the
firing, and we were rushing into the village from the west, the south,
the north, through the gates and over the tall palings that surrounded
the village, like so many Merry Andrews; and the poor villagers were
flying from the enclosure towards the mountains, through the northern
gate, pursued by the fleetest runners of our force, and pelted in the
back by bullets from breech-loaders and shot-guns.

The village was strongly defended, and not more than twenty dead
bodies were found in it, the strong thick wooden paling having afforded
excellent protection against our bullets.

From Zimbizo, after having left a sufficient force within, we sallied
out, and in an hour had cleared the neighbourhood of the enemy, having
captured two other villages, which we committed to the flames, after
gutting them of all valuables. A few tusks of ivory, and about fifty
slaves, besides an abundance of grain, composed the "loot," which fell
to the lot of the Arabs.

On the 5th, a detachment of Arabs and slaves, seven hundred strong,
scoured the surrounding country, and carried fire and devastation up to
the boma of Wilyankuru.

On the 6th, Soud bin Sayd and about twenty other young Arabs led a force
of five hundred men against Wilyankuru itself, where it was supposed
Mirambo was living. Another party went out towards the low wooded hills,
a short distance north of Zimbizo, near which place they surprised a
youthful forest thief asleep, whose head they stretched backwards, and
cut it off as though he were a goat or a sheep. Another party sallied
out southward, and defeated a party of Mirambo's "bush-whackers," news
of which came to our ears at noon.

In the morning I had gone to Sayd bin Salim's tembe, to represent to him
how necessary it was to burn the long grass in the forest of Zimbizo,
lest it might hide any of the enemy; but soon afterwards I had been
struck down with another attack of intermittent fever, and was obliged
to turn in and cover myself with blankets to produce perspiration; but
not, however, till I had ordered Shaw and Bombay not to permit any of my
men to leave the camp. But I was told soon afterwards by Selim that more
than one half had gone to the attack on Wilyankuru with Soud bin Sayd.

About 6 P.M. the entire camp of Zimbizo was electrified with the news
that all the Arabs who had accompanied Soud bin Sayd had been killed;
and that more than one-half of his party had been slain. Some of my own
men returned, and from them I learned that Uledi, Grant's former valet,
Mabruki Khatalabu (Killer of his father), Mabruki (the Little), Baruti
of Useguhha, and Ferahan had been killed. I learned also that they had
succeeded in capturing Wilyankuru in a very short time, that Mirambo
and his son were there, that as they succeeded in effecting an entrance,
Mirambo had collected his men, and after leaving the village, had formed
an ambush in the grass, on each side of the road, between Wilyankuru and
Zimbizo, and that as the attacking party were returning home laden with
over a hundred tusks of ivory, and sixty bales of cloth, and two or
three hundred slaves, Mirambo's men suddenly rose up on each side of
them, and stabbed them with their spears. The brave Soud had fired his
double-barrelled gun and shot two men, and was in the act of loading
again when a spear was launched, which penetrated through and through
him: all the other Arabs shared the same fate. This sudden attack from
an enemy they believed to be conquered so demoralized the party that,
dropping their spoil, each man took to his heels, and after making
a wide detour through the woods, returned to Zimbizo to repeat the
dolorous tale.

The effect of this defeat is indescribable. It was impossible to sleep,
from the shrieks of the women whose husbands had fallen. All night they
howled their lamentations, and sometimes might be heard the groans of
the wounded who had contrived to crawl through the grass unperceived by
the enemy. Fugitives were continually coming in throughout the night,
but none of my men who were reported to be dead, were ever heard of

The 7th was a day of distrust, sorrow, and retreat; the Arabs accused
one another for urging war without expending all peaceful means first.
There were stormy councils of war held, wherein were some who proposed
to return at once to Unyanyembe, and keep within their own houses; and
Khamis bin Abdullah raved, like an insulted monarch, against the abject
cowardice of his compatriots. These stormy meetings and propositions
to retreat were soon known throughout the camp, and assisted more than
anything else to demoralize completely the combined forces of Wanyamwezi
and slaves. I sent Bombay to Sayd bin Salim to advise him not to think
of retreat, as it would only be inviting Mirambo to carry the war to

After, despatching Bombay with this message, I fell asleep, but about
1.30 P.M. I was awakened by Selim saying, "Master, get up, they are all
running away, and Khamis bin Abdullah is himself going."

With the aid of Selim I dressed myself, and staggered towards the door.
My first view was of Thani bin Abdullah being dragged away, who, when he
caught sight of me, shouted out "Bana - quick - Mirambo is coming." He
was then turning to run, and putting on his jacket, with his eyes almost
starting out of their sockets with terror. Khamis bin Abdullah was also
about departing, he being the last Arab to leave. Two of my men were
following him; these Selim was ordered to force back with a revolver.
Shaw was saddling his donkey with my own saddle, preparatory to giving
me the slip, and leaving me in the lurch to the tender mercies of
Mirambo. There were only Bombay, Mabruki Speke, Chanda who was coolly
eating his dinner, Mabruk Unyauyembe, Mtamani, Juma, and Sarmean - -only
seven out of fifty. All the others had deserted, and were by this time
far away, except Uledi (Manwa Sera) and Zaidi, whom Selim brought back
at the point of a loaded revolver. Selim was then told to saddle my
donkey, and Bombay to assist Shaw to saddle his own. In a few moments we
were on the road, the men ever looking back for the coming enemy; they
belabored the donkeys to some purpose, for they went at a hard trot,
which caused me intense pain. I would gladly have lain down to die, but
life was sweet, and I had not yet given up all hope of being able to
preserve it to the full and final accomplishment of my mission. My mind
was actively at work planning and contriving during the long lonely
hours of night, which we employed to reach Mfuto, whither I found the
Arabs had retreated. In the night Shaw tumbled off his donkey, and would
not rise, though implored to do so. As I did not despair myself, so I
did not intend that Shaw should despair. He was lifted on his animal,
and a man was placed on each side of him to assist him; thus we rode
through the darkness. At midnight we reached Mfuto safely, and were at
once admitted into the village, from which we had issued so valiantly,
but to which we were now returned so ignominiously.

I found all my men had arrived here before dark. Ulimengo, the bold
guide who had exulted in his weapons and in our numbers, and was so
sanguine of victory, had performed the eleven hours' march in six hours;
sturdy Chowpereh, whom I regarded as the faithfullest of my people, had
arrived only half an hour later than Ulimengo; and frisky Khamisi, the
dandy - the orator - the rampant demagogue - yes - he had come third; and
Speke's "Faithfuls" had proved as cowardly as any poor "nigger" of them
all. Only Selim was faithful.

I asked Selim, "Why did you not also run away, and leave your master to

"Oh, sir," said the Arab boy, naively, "I was afraid you would whip me."


It never occurred to the Arab magnates that I had cause of complaint
against them, or that I had a right to feel aggrieved at their conduct,
for the base desertion of an ally, who had, as a duty to friendship,
taken up arms for their sake. Their "salaams" the next morning after the
retreat, were given as if nothing had transpired to mar the good feeling
that had existed between us.

They were hardly seated, however, before I began to inform them that as
the war was only between them and Mirambo, and that as I was afraid, if
they were accustomed to run away after every little check, that the war
might last a much longer time than I could afford to lose; and that
as they had deserted their wounded on the field, and left their sick
friends to take care of themselves, they must not consider me in the
light of an ally any more. "I am satisfied," said I, "having seen your
mode of fighting, that the war will not be ended in so short a time as
you think it will. It took you five years, I hear, to conquer and kill
Manwa Sera, you will certainly not conquer Mirambo in less than a year.*
I am a white man, accustomed to wars after a different style, I know
something about fighting, but I never saw people run away from an
encampment like ours at Zimbizo for such slight cause as you had. By
running away, you have invited Mirambo to follow you to Unyanyembe; you
may be sure he will come." __________________ * The same war is still
raging, April, 1874. __________________

The Arabs protested one after another that they had not intended to
have left me, but the Wanyamwezi of Mkasiwa had shouted out that the
"Musungu" was gone, and the cry had caused a panic among their people,
which it was impossible to allay.

Later that day the Arabs continued their retreat to Tabora; which
is twenty-two miles distant from Mfuto. I determined to proceed more
leisurely, and on the second day after the flight from Zimbizo, the
Expedition, with all the stores and baggage, marched back to Masangi,
and on the third day to Kwihara.

The following extracts from my Diary will serve to show better than
anything else, my feelings and thoughts about this time, after our
disgraceful retreat:

Kwihara. Friday, 11th August, 1871. - Arrived to-day from Zimbili,
village of Bomboma's. I am quite disappointed and almost disheartened.
But I have one consolation, I have done my duty by the Arabs, a duty I
thought I owed to the kindness they received me with, now, however, the
duty is discharged, and I am free to pursue my own course. I feel
happy, for some reasons, that the duty has been paid at such a slight
sacrifice. Of course if I had lost my life in this enterprise, I should
have been justly punished. But apart from my duty to the consideration
with which the Arabs had received me, was the necessity of trying every
method of reaching Livingstone. This road which the war with Mirambo has
closed, is only a month's march from this place, and, if the road could
be opened with my aid, sooner than without it, why should I refuse my
aid? The attempt has been made for the second time to Ujiji - both have
failed. I am going to try another route; to attempt to go by the north
would be folly. Mirambo's mother and people, and the Wasui, are between
me and Ujiji, without including the Watuta, who are his allies, and
robbers. The southern route seems to be the most practicable one.
Very few people know anything of the country south; those whom I have
questioned concerning it speak of "want of water" and robber Wazavira,
as serious obstacles; they also say that the settlements are few and far

But before I can venture to try this new route, I have to employ a new
set of men, as those whom I took to Mfuto consider their engagements at
an end, and the fact of five of their number being killed rather damps
their ardor for travelling. It is useless to hope that Wanyamwezi can
be engaged, because it is against their custom to go with caravans, as
carriers, during war time. My position is most serious. I have a good
excuse for returning to the coast, but my conscience will not permit me
to do so, after so much money has been expended, and so much confidence
has been placed in me. In fact, I feel I must die sooner than return.

Saturday, August 12th. - My men, as I supposed they would, have gone;
they said that I engaged them to go, to Ujiji by Mirambo's road. I have
only thirteen left.

With this small body of men, whither can I go? I have over one hundred
loads in the storeroom. Livingstone's caravan is also here; his goods
consist of seventeen bales of cloth, twelve boxes, and six bags of
beads. His men are luxuriating upon the best the country affords.

If Livingstone is at Ujiji, he is now locked up with small means of
escape. I may consider myself also locked up at Unyamyembe, and I
suppose cannot go to Ujiji until this war with Mirambo is settled.
Livingstone cannot get his goods, for they are here with mine. He cannot
return to Zanzibar, and the road to the Nile is blocked up. He might,
if he has men and stores, possibly reach Baker by travelling northwards,
through Urundi, thence through Ruanda, Karagwah, Uganda, Unyoro, and
Ubari to Gondokoro. Pagazis he cannot obtain, for the sources whence a
supply might be obtained are closed. It is an erroneous supposition to
think that Livingstone, any more than any other energetic man of his
calibre, can travel through Africa without some sort of an escort, and a
durable supply of marketable cloth and beads.

I was told to-day by a man that when Livingstone was coming from Nyassa
Lake towards the Tanganika (the very time that people thought him
murdered) he was met by Sayd bin Omar's caravan, which was bound for
Ulamba. He was travelling with Mohammed bin Gharib. This Arab, who was
coming from Urunga, met Livingstone at Chi-cumbi's, or Kwa-chi-kumbi's,
country, and travelled with him afterwards, I hear, to Manyuema or
Manyema. Manyuema is forty marches from the north of Nyassa. Livingstone
was walking; he was dressed in American sheeting. He had lost all his
cloth in Lake Liemba while crossing it in a boat. He had three canoes
with him; in one he put his cloth, another he loaded with his boxes and
some of his men, into the third he went himself with two servants and
two fishermen. The boat with his cloth was upset. On leaving Nyassa,
Livingstone went to Ubisa, thence to Uemba, thence to Urungu.
Livingstone wore a cap. He had a breech-loading double-barreled rifle
with him, which fired fulminating balls. He was also armed with two
revolvers. The Wahiyow with Livingstone told this man that their master
had many men with him at first, but that several had deserted him.

August 13th. - A caravan came in to-day from the seacoast. They reported
that William L. Farquhar, whom I left sick at Mpwapwa, Usagara, and
his cook, were dead. Farquhar, I was told, died a few days after I had
entered Ugogo, his cook died a few weeks later. My first impulse was for
revenge. I believed that Leukole had played me false, and had poisoned
him, or that he had been murdered in some other manner; but a personal
interview with the Msawahili who brought the news informing me that
Farquhar had succumbed to his dreadful illness has done away with that
suspicion. So far as I could understand him, Farquhar had in the morning
declared himself well enough to proceed, but in attempting to rise, had
fallen backward and died. I was also told that the Wasagara, possessing
some superstitious notions respecting the dead, had ordered Jako to
take the body out for burial, that Jako, not being able to carry it,
had dragged the body to the jungle, and there left it naked without the
slightest covering of earth, or anything else.

"There is one of us gone, Shaw, my boy! Who will be the next?" I
remarked that night to my companion.

August 14th. - Wrote some letters to Zanzibar. Shaw was taken very ill
last night.

August 19th. Saturday. - My soldiers are employed stringing beads.
Shaw is still a-bed. We hear that Mirambo is coming to Unyanyembe.
A detachment of Arabs and their slaves have started this morning to
possess themselves of the powder left there by the redoubtable Sheikh
Sayd bin Salim, the commander-in-chief of the Arab settlements.

August 21st. Monday. - Shaw still sick. One hundred fundo of beads have
been strung. The Arabs are preparing for another sally against Mirambo.
The advance of Mirambo upon Unyanyembe was denied by Sayd bin Salim,
this morning.

August 22nd. - We were stringing beads this morning, when, about 10 A.M.,
we heard a continued firing from the direction of Tabora. Rushing out
from our work to the front door facing Tabora, we heard considerable
volleying, and scattered firing, plainly; and ascending to the top of my
tembe, I saw with my glasses the smoke of the guns. Some of my men
who were sent on to ascertain the cause came running back with the
information that Mirambo had attacked Tabora with over two thousand men,
and that a force of over one thousand Watuta, who had allied themselves
with him for the sake of plunder, had come suddenly upon Tabora,
attacking from opposite directions.

Later in the day, or about noon, watching the low saddle over which we
could see Tabora, we saw it crowded with fugitives from that settlement,
who were rushing to our settlement at Kwihara for protection. From these
people we heard the sad information that the noble Khamis bin Abdullah,
his little protege, Khamis, Mohammed bin Abdullah, Ibrahim bin Rashid,
and Sayf, the son of Ali, the son of Sheikh, the son of Nasib, had been

When I inquired into the details of the attack, and the manner of the
death of these Arabs, I was told that after the first firing which
warned the inhabitants of Tabora that the enemy was upon them, Khamis
bin Abdullah and some of the principal Arabs who happened to be with
him had ascended to the roof of his tembe, and with his spyglass he had
looked towards the direction of the firing. To his great astonishment he
saw the plain around Tabora filled with approaching savages, and about
two miles off, near Kazima, a tent pitched, which he knew to belong to
Mirambo, from its having been presented to that chief by the Arabs of
Tabora when they were on good terms with him.

Khamis bin Abdullah descended to his house saying, "Let us go to meet
him. Arm yourselves, my friends, and come with me." His friends advised
him strongly sat to go out of his tembe; for so long as each Arab kept
to his tembe they were more than a match for the Ruga Ruga and the
Watuta together. But Khamis broke out impatiently with, "Would you
advise us to stop in our tembes, for fear of this Mshensi (pagan)? Who
goes with me?" His little protege, Khamis, son of a dead friend, asked
to be allowed to be his gun-bearer. Mohammed bin Abdulluh, Ibrahim bin
Rashid, and Sayf, the son of Ali, young Arabs of good families, who were
proud to live with the noble Khamis, also offered to go with him. After
hastily arming eighty of his slaves, contrary to the advice of his
prudent friends, he sallied out, and was soon face to face with his
cunning and determined enemy Mirambo. This chief, upon seeing the Arabs
advance towards him, gave orders to retreat slowly. Khamis, deceived by
this, rushed on with his friends after them. Suddenly Mirambo ordered
his men to advance upon them in a body, and at the sight of the
precipitate rush upon their party, Khamis's slaves incontinently took to
their heels, never even deigning to cast a glance behind them, leaving
their master to the fate which was now overtaking him. The savages
surrounded the five Arabs, and though several of them fell before the
Arabs' fire, continued to shoot at the little party, until Khamis bin
Abdullah received a bullet in the leg, which brought him to his knees,
and, for the first time, to the knowledge that his slaves had deserted
him. Though wounded, the brave man continued shooting, but he soon
afterwards received a bullet through the heart. Little Khamis, upon
seeing his adopted father's fall, exclaimed: "My father Khamis is dead,
I will die with him," and continued fighting until he received, shortly
after, his death wound. In a few minutes there was not one Arab left

Late at night some more particulars arrived of this tragic scene. I was
told by people who saw the bodies, that the body of Khamis bin Abdullah,
who was a fine noble, brave, portly man, was found with the skin of his
forehead, the beard and skin of the lower part of his face, the fore
part of the nose, the fat over the stomach and abdomen, and, lastly, a
bit from each heel, cut off, by the savage allies of Mirambo. And in
the same condition were found the bodies of his adopted son and fallen
friends. The flesh and skin thus taken from the bodies was taken, of
course, by the waganga or medicine men, to make what they deem to be
the most powerful potion of all to enable men to be strong against their
enemies. This potion is mixed up with their ugali and rice, and is taken
in this manner with the most perfect confidence in its efficacy, as
an invulnerable protection against bullets and missiles of all

It was a most sorry scene to witness from our excited settlement at
Kwihara, almost the whole of Tabora in flames, and to see the hundreds
of people crowding into Kwihara.

Perceiving that my people were willing to stand by me, I made
preparations for defence by boring loopholes for muskets into the
stout clay walls of my tembe. They were made so quickly, and seemed so
admirably adapted for the efficient defence of the tembe, that my men
got quite brave, and Wangwana refugees with guns in their hands, driven
out of Tabora, asked to be admitted into our tembe to assist in its
defence. Livingstone's men were also collected, and invited to help
defend their master's goods against Mirambo's supposed attack. By night
I had one hundred and fifty armed men in my courtyard, stationed at
every possible point where an attack might be expected. To-morrow
Mirambo has threatened that he will come to Kwihara. I hope he will

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 15 of 38)