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 17 of 38)
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soon cooled his hot choler, but brought down on my head a loud chorus
of remonstrances from my pretended Arab friends - "Now, master, don't,
don't - stop it, master: the poor man knows better than you what he and
you may expect on the road you are now taking."

If anything was better calculated to put me in a rage than Bombay's
insolence before a crowd it was this gratuitous interference with what
I considered my own especial business; but I restrained myself, though I
told them, in a loud voice, that I did not choose to be interfered with,
unless they wished to quarrel with me.

"No, no, bana," they all exclaimed; "we do not wish to quarrel with you.
In the name of God! go on your way in peace."

"Fare you well, then," said I, shaking hands with them.

"Farewell, master, farewell. We wish you, we are sure, all success, and
God be with you, and guide you!"


A parting salute was fired; the flags were raised up by the guides, each
pagazi rushed for his load, and in a short time, with songs and shouts,
the head of the Expedition had filed round the western end of my tembe
along the road to Ugunda.

"Now, Mr. Shaw, I am waiting, sir. Mount your donkey, if you cannot

"Please, Mr. Stanley, I am afraid I cannot go."


"I don't know, I am sure. I feel very weak."

"So am I weak. It was but late last night, as you know, that the fever
left me. Don't back out before these Arabs; remember you are a white
man. Here, Selim, Mabruki, Bombay, help Mr. Shaw on his donkey, and walk
by him."

"Oh, bana, bans," said the Arabs, "don't take him. Do you not see he is

"You keep away; nothing will prevent me from taking him. He shall go."

"Go on, Bombay."

The last of my party had gone. The tembe, so lately a busy scene, had
already assumed a naked, desolate appearance. I turned towards the
Arabs, lifted my hat, and said again, "Farewell," then faced about
for the south, followed by my four young gun-bearers, Selim, Kalulu,
Majwara, and Belali.

After half an hour's march the scenery became more animated. Shaw began
to be amused. Bombay had forgotten our quarrel, and assured me, if I
could pass Mirambo's country, I should "catch the Tanganika;" Mabruki
Burton also believed we should. Selim was glad to leave Unyanyembe,
where he had suffered so much from fever; and there was a something in
the bold aspect of the hills which cropped upward - above fair valleys,
that enlivened and encouraged me to proceed.

In an hour and a half, we arrived at our camp in the Kinyamwezi village
of Mkwenkwe, the birthplace - of our famous chanter Maganga.

My tent was pitched, the goods were stored in one of the tembes; but
one-half the men had returned to Kwihara, to take one more embrace of
their wives and concubines.

Towards night I was attacked once again with the intermittent fever.
Before morning it had departed, leaving me terribly prostrated with
weakness. I had heard the men conversing with each other over their
camp-fires upon the probable prospects of the next day. It was a
question with them whether I should continue the march. Mostly all were
of opinion that, since the master was sick, there would be no march. A
superlative obstinacy, however, impelled me on, merely to spite their
supine souls; but when I sallied out of my tent to call them to get
ready, I found that at least twenty were missing; and Livingstone's
letter-carrier, "Kaif-Halek" - or, How-do-ye-do? - had not arrived with
Dr. Livingstone's letter-bag.

Selecting twenty of the strongest and faithfulest men I despatched them
back to Unyanyembe in search of the missing men; and Selim was sent to
Sheikh bin Nasib to borrow, or buy, a long slave-chain.

Towards night my twenty detectives returned with nine of the missing
men. The Wajiji had deserted in a body, and they could not be found.
Selim also returned with a strong chain, capable of imprisoning within
the collars attached to it at least ten men. Kaif-Halek also appeared
with the letter-bag which he was to convey to Livingstone under my
escort. The men were then addressed, and the slave-chain exhibited
to them. I told them that I was the first white man who had taken a
slave-chain with him on his travels; but, as they were all so frightened
of accompanying me, I was obliged to make use of it, as it was the only
means of keeping them together. The good need never fear being chained
by me - only the deserters, the thieves, who received their hire and
presents, guns and ammunition, and then ran away.

I would not put any one this time in chains; but whoever deserted after
this day, I should halt, and not continue the march till I found him,
after which he should march to Ujiji with the slave-chain round
his neck. "Do you hear?" - "Yes," was the answer. "Do you
understand?" - "Yes."

We broke up camp at 6 P.M., and took the road for Inesuka, at which
place we arrived at 8 P.M.

When we were about commencing the march the next morning, it was
discovered that two more had deserted. Baraka and Bombay were at once
despatched to Unyanyembe to bring back the two missing men - Asmani and
Kingaru - with orders not to return without them. This was the third
time that the latter had deserted, as the reader may remember. While the
pursuit was being effected we halted at the village of Inesuka, more for
the sake of Shaw than any one else.

In the evening the incorrigible deserters were brought back, and, as I
had threatened, were well flogged and chained, to secure them against
further temptation. Bombay and Baraka had a picturesque story to relate
of the capture; and, as I was in an exceedingly good humour, their
services were rewarded with a fine cloth each.

On the following morning another carrier had absconded, taking with
him his hire of fifteen new cloths and a gun but to halt anywhere
near Unyanyembe any longer was a danger that could be avoided only by
travelling without stoppages towards the southern jungle-lands. It will
be remembered I had in my train the redoubtable Abdul Kader, the tailor,
he who had started from Bagamoyo with such bright anticipations of the
wealth of ivory to be obtained in the great interior of Africa. On this
morning, daunted by the reports of the dangers ahead, Abdul Kader
craved to be discharged. He vowed he was sick, and unable to proceed any
further. As I was pretty well tired of him, I paid him off in cloth, and
permitted him to go.

About half way to Kasegera Mabruk Saleem was suddenly taken sick. I
treated him with a grain of calomel, and a couple of ounces of brandy.
As he was unable to walk, I furnished him with a donkey. Another man
named Zaidi was ill with a rheumatic fever; and Shaw tumbled twice off
the animal he was riding, and required an infinite amount of coaxing to
mount again. Verily, my expedition was pursued by adverse fortunes,
and it seemed as if the Fates had determined upon our return. It really
appeared as if everything was going to wreck and ruin. If I were only
fifteen days from Unyanyembe, thought I, I should be saved!

Kasegera was a scene of rejoicing the afternoon and evening of our
arrival. Absentees had just returned from the coast, and the youths were
brave in their gaudy bedizenment, their new barsatis, their soharis, and
long cloths of bright new kaniki, with which they had adorned themselves
behind some bush before they had suddenly appeared dressed in all this
finery. The women "Hi-hi'ed" like maenads, and the "Lu-lu-lu'ing" was
loud, frequent, and fervent the whole of that afternoon. Sylphlike
damsels looked up to the youthful heroes with intensest admiration
on their features; old women coddled and fondled them; staff-using,
stooping-backed patriarchs blessed them. This is fame in Unyamwezi! All
the fortunate youths had to use their tongues until the wee hours of
next morning had arrived, relating all the wonders they had seen near
the Great Sea, and in the "Unguja," the island of Zanzibar; of how they
saw great white men's ships, and numbers of white men, of their perils
and trials during their journey through the land of the fierce Wagogo,
and divers other facts, with which the reader and I are by this time
well acquainted.

On the 24th we struck camp, and marched through a forest of imbiti wood
in a S.S.W. direction, and in about three hours came to Kigandu.

On arriving before this village, which is governed by a daughter of
Mkasiwa, we were informed we could not enter unless we paid toll. As we
would not pay toll, we were compelled to camp in a ruined, rat-infested
boma, situated a mile to the left of Kigandu, being well scolded by the
cowardly natives for deserting Mkasiwa in his hour of extremity. We were
accused of running away from the war.

Almost on the threshold of our camp Shaw, in endeavouring to dismount,
lost his stirrups, and fell prone on his face. The foolish fellow
actually, laid on the ground in the hot sun a full hour; and when I
coldly asked him if he did not feel rather uncomfortable, he sat up, and
wept like a child.

"Do you wish to go back, Mr. Shaw?"

"If you please. I do not believe I can go any farther; and if you would
only be kind enough, I should like to return very much."

"Well, Mr. Shaw, I have come to the conclusion that it is best, you
should return. My patience is worn out. I have endeavoured faithfully to
lift you above these petty miseries which you nourish so devotedly. You
are simply suffering from hypochondria. You imagine yourself sick,
and nothing, evidently, will persuade you that you are not. Mark my
words - to return to Unyanyembe, is to DIE! Should you happen to fall
sick in Kwihara who knows how to administer medicine to you? Supposing
you are delirious, how can any of the soldiers know what you want, or
what is beneficial and necessary for you? Once again, I repeat, if you
return, you DIE!"

"Ah, dear me; I wish I had never ventured to come! I thought life in
Africa was so different from this. I would rather go back if you will
permit me."

The next day was a halt, and arrangements were made for the
transportation of Shaw back to Kwihara. A strong litter was made, and
four stout pagazis were hired at Kigandu to carry him. Bread was baked,
a canteen was filled with cold tea, and a leg of a kid was roasted for
his sustenance while on the road.

The night before we parted we spent together. Shaw played some tunes on
an accordion which I had purchased for him at Zanzibar; but, though
it was only a miserable ten-dollar affair, I thought the homely tunes
evoked from the instrument that night were divine melodies. The last
tune played before retiring was "Home, sweet Home."

The morning of the 27th we were all up early: There was considerable vis
in our movements. A long, long march lay before us that day; but then
I was to leave behind all the sick and ailing. Only those who were
healthy, and could march fast and long, were to accompany me. Mabruk
Saleem I left in charge of a native doctor, who was to medicate him for
a gift of cloth which I gave him in advance.

The horn sounded to get ready. Shaw was lifted in his litter on the
shoulders of his carriers. My men formed two ranks; the flags were
lifted; and between these two living rows, and under those bright
streamers, which were to float over the waters of the Tanganika before
he should see them again, Shaw was borne away towards the north; while
we filed off to the south, with quicker and more elastic steps, as if we
felt an incubus had been taken from us.

We ascended a ridge bristling with syenite boulders of massive size,
appearing above a forest of dwarf trees. The view which we saw was
similar to that we had often seen elsewhere. An illimitable forest
stretching in grand waves far beyond the ken of vision - ridges,
forest-clad, rising gently one above another until they receded in the
dim purple-blue distance - with a warm haze floating above them, which,
though clear enough in our neighbourhood, became impenetrably blue in
the far distance. Woods, woods, woods, leafy branches, foliage globes,
or parachutes, green, brown, or sere in colour, forests one above
another, rising, falling, and receding - a very leafy ocean. The horizon,
at all points, presents the same view, there may be an indistinct
outline of a hill far away, or here and there a tall tree higher than
the rest conspicuous in its outlines against the translucent sky - with
this exception it is the same - the same clear sky dropping into the
depths of the forest, the same outlines, the same forest, the same
horizon, day after day, week after week; we hurry to the summit of a
ridge, expectant of a change, but the wearied eyes, after wandering over
the vast expanse, return to the immediate surroundings, satiated with
the eversameness of such scenes. Carlyle, somewhere in his writings,
says, that though the Vatican is great, it is but the chip of an
eggshell compared to the star-fretted dome where Arcturus and Orion
glance for ever; and I say that, though the grove of Central Park, New
York, is grand compared to the thin groves seen in other great cities,
that though the Windsor and the New Forests may be very fine and noble
in England, yet they are but fagots of sticks compared to these eternal
forests of Unyamwezi.

We marched three hours, and then halted for refreshments. I perceived
that the people were very tired, not yet inured to a series of long
marches, or rather, not in proper trim for earnest, hard work after our
long rest in Kwihara. When we resumed our march again there were several
manifestations of bad temper and weariness. But a few good-natured
remarks about their laziness put them on their mettle, and we reached
Ugunda at 2 P.M. after another four hours' spurt.

Ugunda is a very large village in the district of Ugunda, which adjoins
the southern frontier of Unyanyembe. The village probably numbers four
hundred families, or two thousand souls. It is well protected by a tall
and strong palisade of three-inch timber. Stages have been erected at
intervals above the palisades with miniature embrasures in the timber,
for the muskets of the sharpshooters, who take refuge within these
box-like stages to pick out the chiefs of an attacking force. An inner
ditch, with the sand or soil thrown up three or four feet high against
the palings, serves as protection for the main body of the defenders,
who kneel in the ditch, and are thus enabled to withstand a very large
force. For a mile or two outside the village all obstructions are
cleared, and the besieged are thus warned by sharp-eyed watchers to
be prepared for the defence before the enemy approaches within
musket range. Mirambo withdrew his force of robbers from before this
strongly-defended village after two or three ineffectual attempts to
storm it, and the Wagunda have been congratulating themselves ever
since, upon having driven away the boldest marauder that Unyamwezi has
seen for generations.

The Wagunda have about three thousand acres under cultivation around
their principal village, and this area suffices to produce sufficient
grain not only for their own consumption, but also for the many caravans
which pass by this way for Ufipa and Marungu.

However brave the Wagunda may be within the strong enclosure with which
they have surrounded their principal village, they are not exempt from
the feeling of insecurity which fills the soul of a Mnyamwezi during
war-time. At this place the caravans are accustomed to recruit their
numbers from the swarms of pagazis who volunteer to accompany them to
the distant ivory regions south; but I could not induce a soul to follow
me, so great was their fear of Mirambo and his Ruga-Raga. They were also
full of rumors of wars ahead. It was asserted that Mbogo was advancing
towards Ugunda with a thousand Wakonongo, that the Wazavira had attacked
a caravan four months previously, that Simba was scouring the country
with a band of ferocious mercenaries, and much more of the same nature
and to the same intent.

On the 28th we arrived at a small snug village embosomed within the
forest called Benta, three hours and a quarter from Ugunda. The road led
through the cornfields of the Wagunda, and then entered the clearings
around the villages of Kisari, within one of which we found the
proprietor of a caravan who was drumming up carriers for Ufipa. He had
been halted here two months, and he made strenuous exertions to induce
my men to join his caravan, a proceeding that did not tend to promote
harmony between us. A few days afterwards I found, on my return, that
he had given up the idea of proceeding south. Leaving Kisari, we marched
through a thin jungle of black jack, over sun-cracked ground with here
and there a dried-up pool, the bottom of which was well tramped by
elephant and rhinoceros. Buffalo and zebra tracks were now frequent, and
we were buoyed up with the hope that before long we should meet game.

Benta was well supplied with Indian corn and a grain which the natives
called choroko, which I take to be vetches. I purchased a large supply
of choroko for my own personal use, as I found it to be a most healthy
food. The corn was stored on the flat roofs of the tembes in huge boxes
made out of the bark of the mtundu-tree. The largest box I have ever
seen in Africa was seen here. It might be taken for a Titan's hat-box;
it was seven feet in diameter, and ten feet in height.

On the 29th, after travelling in a S.W. by S. direction, we reached
Kikuru. The march lasted for five hours over sun-cracked plains, growing
the black jack, and ebony, and dwarf shrubs, above which numerous
ant-hills of light chalky-coloured earth appeared like sand dunes.

The mukunguru, a Kisawahili term for fever, is frequent in this region
of extensive forests and flat plains, owing to the imperfect drainage
provided by nature for them. In the dry season there is nothing very
offensive in the view of the country. The burnt grass gives rather a
sombre aspect to the country, covered with the hard-baked tracks of
animals which haunt these plains during the latter part of the rainy
season. In the forest numbers of trees lie about in the last stages of
decay, and working away with might and main on the prostrate trunks may
be seen numberless insects of various species. Impalpably, however, the
poison of the dead and decaying vegetation is inhaled into the system
with a result sometimes as fatal as that which is said to arise from the
vicinity of the Upas-tree.

The first evil results experienced from the presence of malaria are
confined bowels and an oppressive languor, excessive drowsiness, and
a constant disposition to yawn. The tongue assumes a yellowish, sickly
hue, coloured almost to blackness; even the teeth become yellow, and
are coated with an offensive matter. The eyes of the patient sparkle
lustrously, and become suffused with water. These are sure symptoms of
the incipient fever which shortly will rage through the system.

Sometimes this fever is preceded by a violent shaking fit, during which
period blankets may be heaped on the patient's form, with but little
amelioration of the deadly chill he feels. It is then succeeded by an
unusually severe headache, with excessive pains about the loins and
spinal column, which presently will spread over the shoulder-blades,
and, running up the neck, find a final lodgment in the back and front
of the head. Usually, however, the fever is not preceded by a chill,
but after languor and torpitude have seized him, with excessive heat and
throbbing temples, the loin and spinal column ache, and raging thirst
soon possesses him. The brain becomes crowded with strange fancies,
which sometimes assume most hideous shapes. Before the darkened vision
of the suffering man, float in a seething atmosphere, figures of created
and uncreated reptiles, which are metamorphosed every instant into
stranger shapes and designs, growing every moment more confused, more
complicated, more hideous and terrible. Unable to bear longer the
distracting scene, he makes an effort and opens, his eyes, and dissolves
the delirious dream, only, however, to glide again unconsciously
into another dream-land where another unreal inferno is dioramically
revealed, and new agonies suffered. Oh! the many many hours, that I have
groaned under the terrible incubi which the fits of real delirium evoke.
Oh! the racking anguish of body that a traveller in Africa must
undergo! Oh! the spite, the fretfulness, the vexation which the horrible
phantasmagoria of diabolisms induce! The utmost patience fails to
appease, the most industrious attendance fails to gratify, the deepest
humility displeases. During these terrible transitions, which induce
fierce distraction, Job himself would become irritable, insanely
furious, and choleric. A man in such a state regards himself as the
focus of all miseries. When recovered, he feels chastened, becomes
urbane and ludicrously amiable, he conjures up fictitious delights from
all things which, but yesterday, possessed for him such awful portentous
aspects. His men he regards with love and friendship; whatever is trite
he views with ecstasy. Nature appears charming; in the dead woods and
monotonous forest his mind becomes overwhelmed with delight. I speak
for myself, as a careful analysation of the attack, in all its severe,
plaintive, and silly phases, appeared to me. I used to amuse myself
with taking notes of the humorous and the terrible, the fantastic and
exaggerated pictures that were presented to me - even while suffering the
paroxysms induced by fever.

We arrived at a large pool, known as the Ziwani, after a four hours'
march in a S.S.W. direction, the 1st of October. We discovered an old
half-burnt khambi, sheltered by a magnificent mkuyu (sycamore), the
giant of the forests of Unyamwezi, which after an hour we transformed
into a splendid camp.

If I recollect rightly, the stem of the tree measured thirty-eight
feet in circumference. It is the finest tree of its kind I have seen
in Africa. A regiment might with perfect ease have reposed under this
enormous dome of foliage during a noon halt. The diameter of the shadow
it cast on the ground was one hundred and twenty feet. The healthful
vigor that I was enjoying about this time enabled me to regard my
surroundings admiringly. A feeling of comfort and perfect contentment
took possession of me, such as I knew not while fretting at Unyanyembe,
wearing my life away in inactivity. I talked with my people as to my
friends and equals. We argued with each other about our prospects in
quite a companionable, sociable vein.

When daylight was dying, and the sun was sinking down rapidly over the
western horizon, vividly painting the sky with the colours of gold
and silver, saffron, and opal, when its rays and gorgeous tints were
reflected upon the tops of the everlasting forest, with the quiet and
holy calm of heaven resting upon all around, and infusing even into the
untutored minds of those about me the exquisite enjoyments of such a
life as we were now leading in the depths of a great expanse of forest,
the only and sole human occupants of it - this was the time, after our
day's work was ended, and the camp was in a state of perfect security,
when we all would produce our pipes, and could best enjoy the labors
which we had performed, and the contentment which follows a work well

Outside nothing is heard beyond the cry of a stray florican, or
guinea-fowl, which has lost her mate, or the hoarse croaking of the
frogs in the pool hard by, or the song of the crickets which seems to
lull the day to rest; inside our camp are heard the gurgles of the
gourd pipes as the men inhale the blue ether, which I also love. I am
contented and happy, stretched on my carpet under the dome of living
foliage, smoking my short meerschaum, indulging in thoughts - despite the
beauty of the still grey light of the sky; and of the air of serenity
which prevails around - of home and friends in distant America, and these
thoughts soon change to my work - yet incomplete - to the man who to me is
yet a myth, who, for all I know, may be dead, or may be near or far from
me tramping through just such a forest, whose tops I see bound the
view outside my camp. We are both on the same soil, perhaps in the same
forest - who knows? - yet is he to me so far removed that he might as well
be in his own little cottage of Ulva. Though I am even now ignorant
of his very existence, yet I feel a certain complacency, a certain
satisfaction which would be difficult to describe. Why is man so feeble,
and weak, that he must tramp, tramp hundreds of miles to satisfy
the doubts his impatient and uncurbed mind feels? Why cannot my form

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 17 of 38)