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 21 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 21 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ravine, with mountain heights looming above us a thousand feet high.
This ravine we followed, winding around in all directions, but which
gradually widened, however, into a broad plain, with a western trend.
The road, leaving this, struck across a low ridge to the north; and we
were in view of deserted settlements where the villages were built on
frowning castellated masses of rock. Near an upright mass of rock over
seventy feet high, and about fifty yards in diameter, which dwarfed the
gigantic sycamore close to it, we made our camp, after five hours and
thirty minutes' continuous and rapid marching.

The people were very hungry; they had eaten every scrap of meat, and
every grain they possessed, twenty hours before, and there was no
immediate prospect of food. I had but a pound and a half of flour
left, and this would not have sufficed to begin to feed a force of over
forty-five people; but I had something like thirty pounds of tea, and
twenty pounds of sugar left, and I at once, as soon as we arrived at
camp, ordered every kettle to be filled and placed on the fire, and then
made tea for all; giving each man a quart of a hot, grateful beverage;
well sweetened. Parties stole out also into the depths: of the jungle
to search for wild fruit, and soon returned laden with baskets of the
wood-peach and tamarind fruit, which though it did not satisfy, relieved
them. That night, before going to sleep, the Wangwana set up a loud
prayer to "Allah" to give them food.

We rose betimes in the morning, determined to travel on until food
could be procured, or we dropped down from sheer fatigue and weakness.
Rhinoceros' tracks abounded, and buffalo seemed to be plentiful, but
we never beheld a living thing. We crossed scores of short steeps,
and descended as often into the depths of dry, stony gullies, and then
finally entered a valley, bounded on one side by a triangular mountain
with perpendicular sides, and on the other by a bold group, a triplet
of hills. While marching down this valley - which soon changed its dry,
bleached aspect to a vivid green - we saw a forest in the distance, and
shortly found ourselves in corn-fields. Looking keenly around for a
village, we descried it on the summit of the lofty triangular hill on
our right. A loud exultant shout was raised at the discovery. The men
threw down their packs, and began to clamour for food. Volunteers were
asked to come forward to take cloth, and scale the heights to obtain
it from the village, at any price. While three or four sallied off we
rested on the ground, quite worn out. In about an hour the foraging
party returned with the glorious tidings that food was plentiful;
that the village we saw was called, "Welled Nzogera's" - the son of
Nzogera - by which, of course, we knew that we were in Uvinza, Nzogera
being the principal chief in Uvinza. We were further informed that
Nzogera, the father, was at war with Lokanda-Mire, about some salt-pans
in the valley of the Malagarazi, and that it would be difficult to go
to Ujiji by the usual road, owing to this war; but, for a consideration,
the son of Nzogera was willing to supply us with guides, who would take
us safely, by a northern road, to Ujiji.

Everything auguring well for our prospects, we encamped to enjoy the
good cheer, for which our troubles and privations, during the transit of
the Ukawendi forests and jungles, had well prepared us.

I am now going to extract from my Diary of the march, as, without its
aid, I deem it impossible to relate fully our various experiences, so as
to show them properly as they occurred to us; and as these extracts
were written and recorded at the close of each day, they possess more
interest, in my opinion, than a cold relation of facts, now toned down
in memory.

October 31st. Tuesday. - Our road led E.N.E. for a considerable time
after leaving the base of the triangular mountain whereon the son of
Nzogera has established his stronghold, in order to avoid a deep and
impassable portion of marsh, that stood between us and the direct route
to the Malagarazi River. The valley sloped rapidly to this marsh, which
received in its broad bosom the drainage of three extensive ranges. Soon
we turned our faces northwest, and prepared to cross the marsh; and
the guides informed us, as we halted on its eastern bank, of a terrible
catastrophe which occurred a few yards above where we were preparing to
cross. They told of an Arab and his caravan, consisting of thirty-five
slaves, who had suddenly sunk out of sight, and who were never more
heard of. This marsh, as it appeared to us, presented a breadth of some
hundreds of yards, on which grew a close network of grass, with much
decayed matter mixed up with it. In the centre of this, and underneath
it, ran a broad, deep, and rapid stream. As the guides proceeded across,
the men stole after them with cautious footsteps. As they arrived near
the centre we began to see this unstable grassy bridge, so curiously
provided by nature for us, move up and down in heavy languid
undulations, like the swell of the sea after a storm. Where the two
asses of the Expedition moved, the grassy waves rose a foot high; but
suddenly one unfortunate animal plunged his feet through, and as he was
unable to rise, he soon made a deep hollow, which was rapidly filling
with water. With the aid of ten men, however, we were enabled to lift
him bodily up and land him on a firmer part, and guiding them both
across rapidly, the entire caravan crossed without accident.

On arriving at the other side, we struck off to the north, and
found ourselves in a delightful country, in every way suitable for
agriculturists. Great rocks rose here and there, but in their fissures
rose stately trees, under whose umbrage nestled the villages of the
people. We found the various village elders greedy for cloth, but the
presence of the younger son of Nzogera's men restrained their propensity
for extortion. Goats and sheep were remarkably cheap, and in good
condition; and, consequently, to celebrate our arrival near the
Malagarazi, a flock of eight goats was slaughtered, and distributed to
the men.

November 1st. - Striking north-west, after leaving our camp, and
descending the slope of a mountain, we soon beheld the anxiously
looked-for Malagarazi, a narrow but deep stream, flowing through a
valley pent in by lofty mountains. Fish-eating birds lined the trees on
its banks; villages were thickly scattered about. Food was abundant and

After travelling along the left bank of the river a few miles, we
arrived at the settlements recognizing Kiala as their ruler. I
had anticipated we should be able at once to cross the river, but
difficulties arose. We were told to camp, before any negotiations could
be entered into. When we demurred, we were informed we might cross the
river if we wished, but we should not be assisted by any Mvinza.

Being compelled to halt for this day, the tent was pitched in the middle
of one of the villages, and the bales were stored in one of the huts,
with four soldiers to guard them. After despatching an embassy to Kiala,
eldest son of the great chief Nzogera, to request permission to cross
the river as a peaceable caravan, Kiala sent word that the white man
should cross his river after the payment of fifty-six cloths! Fifty-six
cloths signified a bale nearly!

Here was another opportunity for diplomacy. Bombay and Asmani were
empowered to treat with Kiala about the honga, but it was not to exceed
twenty-five doti. At 6 A.M., having spoken for seven hours, the two men
returned, with the demand for thirteen doti for Nzogera, and ten doti
for Kiala. Poor Bombay was hoarse, but Asmani still smiled; and I
relented, congratulating myself that the preposterous demand, which was
simply robbery, was no worse.

Three hours later another demand was made. Kiala had been visited by a
couple of chiefs from his father; and the chiefs being told that a white
man was at the ferry, put in a claim for a couple of guns and a keg of
gunpowder. But here my patience was exhausted, and I declared that
they should have to take them by force, for I would never consent to be
robbed and despoiled after any such fashion.

Until 11 P.M., Bombay and Asmani were negotiating about this extra
demand, arguing, quarreling, threatening, until Bombay declared they
would talk him mad if it lasted much longer. I told Bombay to take two
cloths, one for each chief, and, if they did not consider it enough,
then I should fight. The present was taken, and the negotiations were
terminated at midnight.

November 2nd. - Ihata Island, one and a half hour west of Kiala's. We
arrived before the Island of Ihata, on the left bank of the Malagarazi,
at 5 p.m.; the morning having been wasted in puerile talk with the owner
of the canoes at the ferry. The final demand for ferriage across was
eight yards of cloth and four fundo* of sami-sami, or red beads; which
was at once paid. Four men, with their loads, were permitted to cross in
the small, unshapely, and cranky canoes. When the boatmen had discharged
their canoes of their passengers and cargoes, they were ordered to halt
on the other side, and, to my astonishment, another demand was made. The
ferrymen had found that two fundo of these were of short measure, and
two fundo more must be paid, otherwise the contract for ferrying us
across would be considered null and void. So two fundo more were
added, but not without demur and much "talk," which in these lands is

** 4 fundo == 40 necklaces; 1 fundo being 10 necklaces.

Three times the canoes went backwards and forwards, when, lo! another
demand was made, with the usual clamour and fierce wordy dispute; this
time for five khete # for the man who guided us to the ferry, a shukka
of cloth for a babbler, who had attached himself to the old-womanish
Jumah, who did nothing but babble and increase the clamor. These demands
were also settled.

# Necklaces.

About sunset we endeavoured to cross the donkeys. "Simba," a fine wild
Kinyamwezi donkey, went in first, with a rope attached to his neck.
He had arrived at the middle of the stream when we saw him begin to
struggle - a crocodile had seized him by the throat. The poor animal's
struggles were terrific. Chowpereh was dragging on the rope with all his
might, but to no use, for the donkey sank, and we saw no more of him.
The depth of the river at this place was about fifteen feet. We had
seen the light-brown heads, the glittering eyes, and the ridgy backs,
hovering about the vicinity, but we had never thought that the reptiles
would advance so near such an exciting scene as the vicinity of the
ferry presented during the crossing. Saddened a little by this loss, we
resumed our work, and by 7 P.M. we were all across, excepting Bombay and
the only donkey now left, which was to be brought across in the morning,
when the crocodiles should have deserted the river.

November 3rd. - What contention have we not been a witness to these last
three days! What anxiety have we not suffered ever since our arrival in
Uvinza! The Wavinza are worse than the Wagogo, and their greed is
more insatiable. We got the donkey across with the aid of a mganga, or
medicine man, who spat some chewed leaves of a tree which grows close
to the stream over him. He informed me he could cross the river at any
time, day or night, after rubbing his body with these chewed leaves,
which he believed to be a most potent medicine.

About 10 A.M. appeared from the direction of Ujiji a caravan of eighty
Waguhha, a tribe which occupies a tract of country on the south-western
side of the Lake Tanganika. We asked the news, and were told a white man
had just arrived at Ujiji from Manyuema. This news startled us all.

"A white man?" we asked.

"Yes, a white man," they replied.

"How is he dressed?"

"Like the master," they answered, referring to me.

"Is he young, or old?"

"He is old. He has white hair on his face, and is sick."

"Where has he come from?"

"From a very far country away beyond Uguhha, called Manyuema."

"Indeed! and is he stopping at Ujiji now?"

"Yes, we saw him about eight days ago."

"Do you think he will stop there until we see him?"

"Sigue" (don't know).

"Was he ever at Ujiji before?"

"Yes, he went away a long time ago."

Hurrah! This is Livingstone! He must be Livingstone! He can be no other;
but still; - he may be some one else - some one from the West Coast - or
perhaps he is Baker! No; Baker has no white hair on his face. But we
must now march quick, lest he hears we are coming, and runs away.

I addressed my men, and asked them if they were willing to march to
Ujiji without a single halt, and then promised them, if they acceded to
my wishes, two doti each man. All answered in the affirmative, almost as
much rejoiced as I was myself. But I was madly rejoiced; intensely eager
to resolve the burning question, "Is it Dr. David Livingstone?" God
grant me patience, but I do wish there was a railroad, or, at least,
horses in this country.

We set out at once from the banks of the Malagarazi, accompanied by two
guides furnished us by Usenge, the old man of the ferry, who, now that
we had crossed, showed himself more amiably disposed to us. We arrived
at the village of Isinga, Sultan Katalambula, after a little over an
hour's march across a saline plain, but which as we advanced into the
interior became fertile and productive.

November 4th. - Started early with great caution, maintaining deep
silence. The guides were sent forward, one two hundred yards ahead of
the other, that we might be warned in time. The first part of the march
was through a thin jungle of dwarf trees, which got thinner and thinner
until finally it vanished altogether, and we had entered Uhha - a plain
country. Villages were visible by the score among the tall bleached
stalks of dourra and maize. Sometimes three, sometimes five, ten, or
twenty beehive-shaped huts formed a village. The Wahha were evidently
living in perfect security, for not one village amongst them all was
surrounded with the customary defence of an African village. A narrow
dry ditch formed the only boundary between Uhha and Uvinza. On entering
Uhha, all danger from Makumbi vanished.

We halted at Kawanga, the chief of which lost no time in making us
understand that he was the great Mutware of Kimenyi under the king, and
that he was the tribute gatherer for his Kiha majesty. He declared that
he was the only one in Kimenyi - an eastern division of Uhha - who could
demand tribute; and that it would be very satisfactory to him, and a
saving of trouble to ourselves, if we settled his claim of twelve doti
of good cloths at once. We did not think it the best way of proceeding,
knowing as we did the character of the native African; so we at once
proceeded to diminish this demand; but, after six hours' hot argument,
the Mutware only reduced it by two. This claim was then settled, upon
the understanding that we should be allowed to travel through Uhha as
far as the Rusugi River without being further mulcted.

November 5th. - Leaving Kawanga early in the morning and continuing our
march over the boundless plains, which were bleached white by the hot
equatorial sun, we were marching westward full of pleasant anticipations
that we were nearing the end of our troubles, joyfully congratulating
ourselves that within five days we should see that which I had come so
far from civilisation, and through so many difficulties, to see, and
were about passing a cluster of villages, with all the confidence which
men possess against whom no one had further claim or a word to say, when
I noticed two men darting from a group of natives who were watching
us, and running towards the head of the Expedition, with the object,
evidently, of preventing further progress.

The caravan stopped, and I walked forward to ascertain the cause from
the two natives. I was greeted politely by the two Wahha with the
usual "Yambos," and was then asked, "Why does the white man pass by the
village of the King of Uhha without salutation and a gift? Does not
the white man know there lives a king in Uhha, to whom the Wangwana and
Arabs pay something for right of passage?"

"Why, we paid last night to the chief of Kawanga, who informed us that
he was the man deputed by the King of Uhha to collect the toll."

"How much did you pay?"

"Ten doti of good cloth."

"Are you sure?"

"Quite sure. If you ask him, he will tell you so."

"Well," said one of the Wahha, a fine, handsome, intelligent-looking
youth, "it is our duty to the king to halt you here until we find out
the truth of this. Will you walk to our village, and rest yourselves
under the shade of our trees until we can send messengers to Kawanga?"

"No; the sun is but an hour high, and we have far to travel; but, in
order to show you we do not seek to pass through your country without
doing that which is right, we will rest where we now stand, and we will
send with your messengers two of our soldiers, who will show you the man
to whom we paid the cloth."

The messengers departed; but, in the meantime, the handsome youth, who
turned out to be the nephew of the King, whispered some order to a lad,
who immediately hastened away, with the speed of an antelope, to the
cluster of villages which we had just passed. The result of this errand,
as we saw in a short time, was the approach of a body of warriors, about
fifty in number, headed by a tall, fine-looking man, who was dressed in
a crimson robe called Joho, two ends of which were tied in a knot over
the left shoulder; a new piece of American sheeting was folded like a
turban around his head, and a large curved piece of polished ivory was
suspended to his neck. He and his people were all armed with spears, and
bows and arrows, and their advance was marked with a deliberation that
showed they felt confidence in any issue that might transpire.

We were halted on the eastern side of the Pombwe stream, near the
village of Lukomo, in Kimenyi, Uhha. The gorgeously-dressed chief was
a remarkable man in appearance. His face was oval in form, high
cheek-bones, eyes deeply sunk, a prominent and bold forehead, a fine
nose, and a well-cut mouth; he was tall in figure, and perfectly

When near to us, he hailed me with the words,

"Yambo, bana? - How do you do, master?" in quite a cordial tone.

I replied cordially also, "Yambo, mutware? - How do you do, chief?"

We, myself and men, interchanged "Yambos" with his warriors; and there
was nothing in our first introduction to indicate that the meeting was
of a hostile character.

The chief seated himself, his haunches resting on his heels, laying down
his bow and arrows by his side; his men did likewise.

I seated myself on a bale, and each of my men sat down on their loads,
forming quite a semicircle. The Wahha slightly outnumbered my party;
but, while they were only armed with bows and arrows, spears, and
knob-sticks, we were armed with rifles, muskets, revolvers, pistols, and

All were seated, and deep silence was maintained by the assembly. The
great plains around us were as still in this bright noon as if they were
deserted of all living creatures. Then the chief spoke:

"I am Mionvu, the great Mutware of Kimenyi, and am next to the King, who
lives yonder," pointing to a large village near some naked hills about
ten miles to the north. "I have come to talk with the white man. It has
always been the custom of the Arabs and the Wangwana to make a present
to the King when they pass through his country. Does not the white man
mean to pay the King's dues? Why does the white man halt in the road?
Why will he not enter the village of Lukomo, where there is food and
shade - where we can discuss this thing quietly? Does the white man mean
to fight? I know well he is stronger than we are. His men have guns, and
the Wahha have but bows and arrows, and spears; but Uhha is large, and
our villages are many. Let him look about him everywhere - all is Uhha,
and our country extends much further than he can see or walk in a day.
The King of Uhha is strong; yet he wishes friendship only with the white
man. Will the white man have war or peace?"

A deep murmur of assent followed this speech of Mionvu from his people,
and disapprobation, blended with a certain uneasiness; from my men. When
about replying, the words of General Sherman, which I heard him utter to
the chiefs of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes at North Platte, in 1867,
came to my mind; and something of their spirit I embodied in my reply to
Mionvu, Mutware of Kimenyi.

"Mionvu, the great Mutware, asks me if I have come for war. When did
Mionvu ever hear of white men warring against black men? Mionvu must
understand that the white men are different from the black. White men do
not leave their country to fight the black people, neither do they
come here to buy ivory or slaves. They come to make friends with black
people; they come to search for rivers; and lakes, and mountains; they
come to discover what countries, what peoples, what rivers, what lakes,
what forests, what plains, what mountains and hills are in your country;
to know the different animals that are in the land of the black people,
that, when they go back, they may tell the white kings, and men, and
children, what they have seen and heard in the land so far from them.
The white people are different from the Arabs and Wangwana; the white
people know everything, and are very strong. When they fight, the Arabs
and the Wangwana run away. We have great guns which thunder, and when
they shoot the earth trembles; we have guns which carry bullets further
than you can see: even with these little things" (pointing to my
revolvers) "I could kill ten men quicker than you could count. We are
stronger than the Wahha. Mionvu has spoken the truth, yet we do not wish
to fight. I could kill Mionvu now, yet I talk to him as to a friend. I
wish to be a friend to Mionvu, and to all black people. Will Mionvu say
what I can do for him?"

As these words were translated to him - imperfectly, I suppose, but
still, intelligibly - the face of the Wahha showed how well they
appreciated them. Once or twice I thought I detected something like
fear, but my assertions that I desired peace and friendship with them
soon obliterated all such feelings.

Mionvu replied:

"The white man tells me he is friendly. Why does he not come to our
village? Why does he stop on the road? The sun is hot. Mionvu will not
speak here any more. If the white man is a friend he will come to the

"We must stop now. It is noon. You have broken our march. We will go and
camp in your village," I said, at the same time rising and pointing to
the men to take up their loads.

We were compelled to camp; there was no help for it; the messengers had
not returned from Kawanga. Having arrived in his village, Mionvu had
cast himself at full length under the scanty shade afforded by a few
trees within the boma. About 2 P.M. the messengers returned, saying it
was true the chief of Kawanga had taken ten cloths; not, however for the
King of Uhha, but for himself!

Mionvu, who evidently was keen-witted, and knew perfectly what he was
about, now roused himself, and began to make miniature faggots of thin
canes, ten in each faggot, and shortly he presented ten of these small
bundles, which together contained one hundred, to me, saying each stick
represented a cloth, and the amount of the "honga" required by the King
of Uhha was ONE HUNDRED CLOTHS! - nearly two bales!

Recovering from our astonishment, which was almost indescribable, we
offered TEN.

"Ten! to the King of Uhha! Impossible. You do not stir from Lukomo until
you pay us one hundred!" exclaimed Mionvu, in a significant manner.

I returned no answer, but went to my hut, which Mionvu had cleared for
my use, and Bombay, Asmani, Mabruki, and Chowpereh were invited - to come
to me for consultation. Upon my asking them if we could not fight our
way through Uhha, they became terror-stricken, and Bombay, in imploring
accents, asked me to think well what I was about to do, because it was
useless to enter on a war with the Wahha. "Uhha is all a plain country;
we cannot hide anywhere. Every village will rise all about us, and how
can forty-five men fight thousands of people? They would kill us all in
a few minutes, and how would you ever reach Ujiji if you died? Think of
it, my dear master, and do not throw your life away for a few rags of

"Well, but, Bombay, this is robbery. Shall we submit to be robbed? Shall
we give this fellow everything he asks? He might as well ask me for all

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 21 of 38)