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 22 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 22 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the cloth, and all my guns, without letting him see that we can fight. I
can kill Mionvu and his principal men myself, and you can slay all those
howlers out there without much trouble. If Mionvu and his principal were
dead we should not be troubled much, and we could strike south to the
Mala-garazi, and go west to Ujiji."

"No, no, dear master, don't think of it for a moment. If we went
neat the Malagarazi we should come across Lokanda-Mira."

"Well, then, we will go north."

"Up that way Uhha extends far; and beyond Uhha are the Watuta."

"Well, then, say what we shall do. We must do something; but we
must not be robbed."

"Pay Mionvu what he asks, and let us go away from here. This is
the last place we shall have to pay. And in four days we shall be
in Ujiji."

"Did Mionvu tell you that this is the last time we would have to

"He did, indeed."

"What do you say, Asmani? Shall we fight or pay?" Asmani's
face wore the usual smile, but he replied,

"I am afraid we must pay. This is positively the last time."

"And you, Chowpereh?"

"Pay, bana; it is better to get along quietly in this country.
If we were strong enough they would pay us. Ah, if we had only
two hundred guns, how these Wahha would run!"

"What do you say, Mabruki?"

"Ah, master, dear master; it is very hard, and these people are
great robbers. I would like to chop their heads off, all; so I
would. But you had better pay. This is the last time; and what
are one hundred cloths to you?"

"Well, then, Bombay and Asmani, go to Mionvu, and offer him twenty.
If he will not take twenty, give him thirty. If he refuses thirty,
give him forty; then go up to eighty, slowly. Make plenty of talk;
not one doti more. I swear to you I will shoot Mionvu if he demands
more than eighty. Go, and remember to be wise."

I will cut the matter short. At 9 P.M. sixty-four doti were
handed over to Mionvu, for the King of Uhha; six doti for
himself, and five doti for his sub; altogether seventy-five doti -
a bale and a quarter! No sooner had we paid than they began to
fight amongst themselves over the booty, and I was in hopes that
the factions would proceed to battle, that I might have good excuse
for leaving them, and plunging south to the jungle that I believed
existed there, by which means, under its friendly cover, we might
strike west. But no, it was only a verbose war, which portended
nothing more than a noisy clamor.

November 6th. - At dawn we were on the road, very silent and sad.
Our stock of cloth was much diminished; we had nine bales left,
sufficient to have taken us to the Atlantic Ocean - aided by the
beads, which were yet untouched - if we practised economy. If I
met many more like Mionvu I had not enough to take me to Ujiji,
and, though we were said to be so near, Livingstone seemed to me
to be just as far as ever.

We crossed the Pombwe, and then struck across a slowly-undulating
plain rising gradually to mountains on our right, and on our left
sinking towards the valley of the Malagarazi, which river was
about twenty miles away. Villages rose to our view everywhere.
Food was cheap, milk was plentiful, and the butter good.

After a four hours' march, we crossed the Kanengi River, and
entered the boma of Kahirigi, inhabited by several Watusi and Wahha.
Here, we were told, lived the King of Uhha's brother. This
announcement was anything but welcome, and I began to suspect I had
fallen into another hornets' nest. We had not rested two hours
before two Wangwana entered my tent, who were slaves of Thani bin
Abdullah, our dandified friend of Unyanyembe. These men came, on
the part of the king's brother, to claim the HONGA! The king's
brother, demanded thirty doti! Half a bale! Merciful Providence!
What shall I do?

We had been told by Mionvu that the honga of Uhha was settled - and
now here is another demand from the King's brother! It is the
second time the lie has been told, and we have twice been deceived.
We shall be deceived no more.

These two men informed us there were five more chiefs, living but
two hours from each other, who would exact tribute, or black-mail,
like those we had seen. Knowing this much, I felt a certain calm.
It was far better to know the worst at once. Five more chiefs with
their demands would assuredly ruin us. In view of which, what is
to be done? How am I to reach Livingstone, without being beggared?

Dismissing the men, I called Bombay, and told him to assist Asmani
in settling the honga - "as cheaply as possible." I then lit my
pipe, put on the cap of consideration, and began to think. Within
half an hour, I had made a plan, which was to be attempted to be
put in execution that very night.

I summoned the two slaves of Thani bin Abdullah, after the honga
had been settled to everybody's satisfaction - though the profoundest
casuistries and diplomatic arguments failed to reduce it lower than
twenty-six doti - and began asking them about the possibility of
evading the tribute-taking Wahha ahead.

This rather astonished them at first, and they declared it to be
impossible; but, finally, after being pressed, they replied, that
one of their number should guide us at midnight, or a little after,
into the jungle which grew on the frontiers of Uhha and Uvinza. By
keeping a direct west course through this jungle until we came to
Ukaranga we might be enabled - we were told - to travel through Uhha
without further trouble. If I were willing to pay the guide
twelve doti, and if I were able to impose silence on my people
while passing through the sleeping village, the guide was positive
I could reach Ujiji without paying another doti. It is needless to
add, that I accepted the proffered assistance at such a price with

But there was much to be done. Provisions were to be purchased,
sufficient to last four days, for the tramp through the jungle,
and men were at once sent with cloth to purchase grain at any price.
Fortune favoured us, for before 8 P.M. we had enough for six days.

November 7th. - I did not go to sleep at all last night, but a
little after midnight, as the moon was beginning to show itself,
by gangs of four, the men stole quietly out of the village; and
by 3 A.M. the entire Expedition was outside the boma, and not the
slightest alarm had been made. After a signal to the new guide,
the Expedition began to move in a southern direction along the
right bank of the Kanengi River. After an hour's march in this
direction, we struck west, across the grassy plain, and maintained
it, despite the obstacles we encountered, which were sore enough to
naked men. The bright moon lighted our path: dark clouds now and
then cast immense long shadows over the deserted and silent plains,
and the moonbeans were almost obscured, and at such times our
position seemed awful -

Till the moon.
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

Bravely toiled the men, without murmur, though their legs were
bleeding from the cruel grass. "Ambrosial morn" at last appeared,
with all its beautiful and lovely features. Heaven was born anew
to us, with comforting omens and cheery promise. The men, though
fatigued at the unusual travel, sped forward with quicker, pace as
daylight broke, until, at 8 A.M., we sighted the swift Rusugi River,
when a halt was ordered in a clump of jungle near it, for breakfast
and rest. Both banks of the river were alive with buffalo, eland,
and antelope, but, though the sight was very tempting, we did not
fire, because we dared not. The report of a gun would have alarmed
the whole country. I preferred my coffee, and the contentment which
my mind experienced at our success.

An hour after we had rested, some natives, carrying salt from the
Malagarazi, were seen coming up the right bank of the river. When
abreast of our hiding-place, they detected us, and dropping their
salt-bags, they took to their heels at once, shouting out as they
ran, to alarm some villages that appeared about four miles north of
us. The men were immediately ordered to take up their loads, and
in a few minutes we had crossed the Rusugi, and were making direct
for a bamboo jungle that appeared in our front. On, on, we kept
steadily until, at 1 P.M., we sighted the little lake of Musunya,
as wearied as possible with our nine hours march.

Lake Musunya is one of the many circular basins found in this part
of Uhha. There was quite a group of them. The more correct term
of these lakes would be immense pools. In the Masika season, Lake
Musunya must extend to three or four miles in length by two in breadth.
It swarms with hippopotami, and its shores abound with noble game.

We were very quiet, as may be imagined, in our bivouac; neither
tent nor hut was raised, nor was fire kindled, so that, in case of
pursuit, we could move off without delay. I kept my Winchester
rifle (the gift of my friend Mr. Morris, and a rare gift it was
for such a crisis) with its magazine full, and two hundred
cartridges in a bag slung over my shoulders. Each soldier's gun
was also ready and loaded, and we retired to sleep our fatigues
off with a feeling of perfect security.

November 8th. - Long before dawn appeared, we were on the march, and,
as daylight broke, we emerged from the bamboo jungle, and struck
across the naked plain of Uhha, once more passing several large
pools by the way - far-embracing prospects of undulating country,
with here and there a characteristic clump of trees relieving the
general nudity of the whole. Hour after hour we toiled on,
across the rolling land waves, the sun shining with all its wonted
African fervor, but with its heat slightly tempered by the
welcome breezes, which came laden with the fragrance of young
grass, and perfume of strange flowers of various hues, that flecked
the otherwise pale-green sheet which extended so far around us.

We arrived at the Rugufu River - not the Ukawendi Rugufu, but the
northern stream of that name, a tributary of the Malagarazi. It
was a broad shallow stream, and sluggish, with an almost imperceptible
flow south-west. While we halted in the deep shade afforded by a
dense clump of jungle, close to the right bank, resting awhile before
continuing our journey. I distinctly heard a sound as of distant
thunder in the west. Upon asking if it were thunder, I was told it
was Kabogo.

"Kabogo? what is that?"

"It is a great mountain on the other side of the Tanganika, full
of deep holes, into which the water rolls; and when there is wind
on the Tanganika, there is a sound like mvuha (thunder). Many
boats have been lost there, and it is a custom with Arabs and
natives to throw cloth - Merikani and Kaniki - and especially white
(Merikani) beads, to appease the mulungu (god) of the lake.
Those who throw beads generally get past without trouble,
but those who do not throw beads into the lake get lost, and are
drowned. Oh, it is a dreadful place!" This story was told me by
the ever-smiling guide Asmani, and was corroborated by other
former mariners of the lake whom I had with me.

At the least, this place where we halted for dinner, on the banks
of the Rugufu River, is eighteen and a half hours, or forty-six
miles, from Ujiji; and, as Kabogo is said to be near Uguhha, it
must be over sixty miles from Ujiji; therefore the sound of the
thundering surf, which is said to roll into the caves of Kabogo,
was heard by us at a distance of over one hundred miles away from

Continuing our journey for three hours longer, through thin
forests, over extensive beds of primitive rock, among fields of
large boulders thickly strewn about, passing by numerous herds
of buffalo, giraffe, and zebra, over a quaking quagmire which
resembled peat, we arrived at the small stream of Sunuzzi, to a
camping place only a mile removed from a large settlement of Wahha.
But we were buried in the depths of a great forest - no road was in
the vicinity, no noise was made, deep silence was preserved; nor
were fires lit. We might therefore rest tranquilly secure, certain
that we should not be disturbed. To-morrow morning the kirangozi
has promised we shall be out of Uhha, and if we travel on to
Niamtaga, in Ukaranga, the same day, the next day would see us
in Ujiji.

Patience, my soul! A few hours more, then the end of all this
will be known! I shall be face to face with that "white man with
the white hairs on his face, whoever he is!"

November 9th. - Two hours before dawn we left our camp on the Sunuzzi
River, and struck through the forest in a north-by-west direction,
having muzzled our goats previously, lest, by their bleating, they
might betray us. This was a mistake which might have ended
tragically, for just as the eastern sky began to assume a pale
greyish tint, we emerged from the jungle on the high road. The
guide thought we had passed Uhha, and set up a shout which was
echoed by every member of the caravan, and marched onward with
new vigor and increased energy, when plump we came to the outskirts
of a village, the inhabitants of which were beginning to stir.
Silence was called for at once, and the Expedition halted
immediately. I walked forward to the front to advise with the guide.
He did not know what to do. There was no time to consider, so I
ordered the goats to be slaughtered and left on the road, and the
guide to push on boldly through the village. The chickens also had
their throats cut; after which the Expedition resumed the march
quickly and silently, led by the guide, who had orders to plunge
into the jungle south of the road. I stayed until the last man
had disappeared; then, after preparing my Winchester, brought up
the rear, followed by my gunbearers with their stock of ammunition.
As we were about disappearing beyond the last hut, a man darted out
of his hut, and uttered an exclamation of alarm, and loud voices
were heard as if in dispute. But in a short time we were in the
depths of the jungle, hurrying away from the road in a southern
direction, and edging slightly westward. Once I thought we were
pursued, and I halted behind a tree to check our foes if they
persisted in following us; but a few minutes proved to me that we
were not pursued, After half-an-hour's march we again turned our
faces westward. It was broad daylight now, and our eyes were
delighted with most picturesque and sequestered little valleys,
where wild fruit-trees grew, and rare flowers blossomed, and
tiny brooks tumbled over polished pebbles - where all was bright
and beautiful - until, finally, wading through one pretty pure
streamlet, whose soft murmurs we took for a gentle welcome, we
passed the boundary of wicked Uhha, and had entered Ukaranga! -
an event that was hailed with extravagant shouts of joy.

Presently we found the smooth road, and we trod gaily with
elastic steps, with limbs quickened for the march which we all
knew to be drawing near its end. What cared we now for the
difficulties we had encountered - for the rough and cruel forests,
for the thorny thickets and hurtful grass, for the jangle of all
savagedom, of which we had been the joyless audience! To-morrow!
Ay, the great day draws nigh, and we may well laugh and sing while
in this triumphant mood. We have been sorely tried; we have been
angry with each other when vexed by troubles, but we forget all
these now, and there is no face but is radiant with the happiness
we have all deserved.

We made a short halt at noon, for rest and refreshment. I was
shown the hills from which the Tanganika could be seen, which
bounded the valley of the Liuche on the east. I could not contain
myself at the sight of them. Even with this short halt I was
restless and unsatisfied. We resumed the march again. I spurred
my men forward with the promise that to-morrow should see their reward.

We were in sight of the villages of the Wakaranga; the people
caught sight of us, and manifested considerable excitement. I sent
men ahead to reassure them, and they came forward to greet us. This
was so new and welcome to us, so different from the turbulent Wavinza
and the black-mailers of Uhha, that we were melted. But we had
no time to loiter by the way to indulge our joy. I was impelled onward
by my almost uncontrollable feelings. I wished to resolve my doubts
and fears. Was HE still there? Had HE heard of my coming? Would HE

How beautiful Ukaranga appears! The green hills are crowned by
clusters of straw-thatched cones. The hills rise and fall; here
denuded and cultivated, there in pasturage, here timbered, yonder
swarming with huts. The country has somewhat the aspect of Maryland.

We cross the Mkuti, a glorious little river! We ascend the opposite
bank, and stride through the forest like men who have done a deed
of which they may be proud. We have already travelled nine hours,
and the sun is sinking rapidly towards the west; yet, apparently,
we are not fatigued.

We reach the outskirts of Niamtaga, and we hear drums beat. The
people are flying into the woods; they desert their villages, for
they take us to be Ruga-Ruga - the forest thieves of Mirambo, who,
after conquering the Arabs of Unyanyembe, are coming to fight the
Arabs of Ujiji. Even the King flies from his village, and every
man, woman, and child, terror-stricken, follows him. We enter
into it and quietly take possession. Finally, the word is bruited
about that we are Wangwana, from Unyanyembe.

"Well, then, is Mirambo dead?" they ask.

"No," we answer.

"Well, how did you come to Ukaranga?"

"By way of Ukonongo, Ukawendi, and Uhha."

"Oh - hi-le!" Then they laugh heartily at their fright, and begin
to make excuses. The King is introduced to me, and he says he had
only gone to the woods in order to attack us again - he meant to have
come back and killed us all, if we had been Ruga-Ruga. But then we
know the poor King was terribly frightened, and would never have
dared to return, had we been RugaRuga - not he. We are not, however,
in a mood to quarrel with him about an idiomatic phrase peculiar
to him, but rather take him by the hand and shake it well, and say
we are so very glad to see him. And he shares in our pleasure,
and immediately three of the fattest sheep, pots of beer, flour,
and honey are brought to us as a gift, and I make him happier still
with two of the finest cloths I have in my bales; and thus a
friendly pact is entered into between us.

While I write my Diary of this day's proceedings, I tell my
servant to lay out my new flannel suit, to oil my boots, to
chalk my helmet, and fold a new puggaree around it, that I may
make as presentable an appearance as possible before the white
man with the grey beard, and before the Arabs of Ujiji; for the
clothes I have worn through jungle and forest are in tatters.
Good-night; only let one day come again, and we shall see what
we shall see.

November 10th. Friday. - The 236th day from Bagamoyo on the Sea,
and the 51st day from Unyanyembe. General direction to Ujiji,
west-by-south. Time of march, six hours.

It is a happy, glorious morning. The air is fresh and cool.
The sky lovingly smiles on the earth and her children. The deep
woods are crowned in bright vernal leafage; the water of the Mkuti,
rushing under the emerald shade afforded by the bearded banks,
seems to challenge us for the race to Ujiji, with its continuous

We are all outside the village cane fence, every man of us looking
as spruce, as neat, and happy as when we embarked on the dhows at
Zanzibar, which seems to us to have been ages ago - we have witnessed
and experienced so much.


"Ay Wallah, ay Wallah, bana yango!" and the lighthearted braves
stride away at a rate which must soon bring us within view of
Ujiji. We ascend a hill overgrown with bamboo, descend into a
ravine through which dashes an impetuous little torrent, ascend
another short hill, then, along a smooth footpath running across
the slope of a long ridge, we push on as only eager, lighthearted
men can do.

In two hours I am warned to prepare for a view of the Tanganika,
for, from the top of a steep mountain the kirangozi says I can see
it. I almost vent the feeling of my heart in cries. But wait, we
must behold it first. And we press forward and up the hill
breathlessly, lest the grand scene hasten away. We are at last on
the summit. Ah! not yet can it be seen. A little further on - just
yonder, oh! there it is - a silvery gleam. I merely catch sight of
it between the trees, and - but here it is at last! True - THE TANGANIKA!
and there are the blue-black mountains of Ugoma and Ukaramba. An
immense broad sheet, a burnished bed of silver - lucid canopy of
blue above - lofty mountains are its valances, palm forests form its
fringes! The Tanganika! - Hurrah! and the men respond to the
exultant cry of the Anglo-Saxon with the lungs of Stentors, and the
great forests and the hills seem to share in our triumph.

"Was this the place where Burton and Speke stood, Bombay, when they
saw the lake first?"

"I don't remember, master; it was somewhere about here, I think."

"Poor fellows! The one was half-paralyzed, the other half-blind,"
said Sir Roderick Murchison, when he described Burton and Spoke's
arrival in view of the Tanganika.

And I? Well, I am so happy that, were I quite paralyzed and
blinded, I think that at this supreme moment I could take up my
bed and walk, and all blindness would cease at once. Fortunately,
however, I am quite well; I have not suffered a day's sickness
since the day I left Unyanyembe. How much would Shaw be willing
to give to be in my place now? Who is happiest - he revelling in
the luxuries of Unyanyembe, or I, standing on the summit of this
mountain, looking down with glad eyes and proud heart on the

We are descending the western slope of the mountain, with the
valley of the Liuche before us. Something like an hour before
noon we have gained the thick matete brake, which grows on both
banks of the river; we wade through the clear stream, arrive on
the other side, emerge out of the brake, and the gardens of the
Wajiji are around us - a perfect marvel of vegetable wealth.
Details escape my hasty and partial observation. I am almost
overpowered with my own emotions. I notice the graceful palms,
neat plots, green with vegetable plants, and small villages
surrounded with frail fences of the matete-cane.

We push on rapidly, lest the news of our coming might reach the
people of Ujiji before we come in sight, and are ready for them.
We halt at a little brook, then ascend the long slope of a naked
ridge, the very last of the myriads we have crossed. This alone
prevents us from seeing the lake in all its vastness. We arrive
at the summit, travel across and arrive at its western rim, and -
pause, reader - the port of Ujiji is below us, embowered in the
palms, only five hundred yards from us!

At this grand moment we do not think of the hundreds of miles we
have marched, or of the hundreds of hills that we have ascended
and descended, or of the many forests we have traversed, or of the
jungles and thickets that annoyed us, or of the fervid salt plains
that blistered our feet, or of the hot suns that scorched us, nor
of the dangers and difficulties, now happily surmounted!

At last the sublime hour has arrived; - our dreams, our hopes, and
anticipations are now about to be realised! Our hearts and our
feelings are with our eyes, as we peer into the palms and try to
make out in which hut or house lives the "white man with the grey
beard" we heard about when we were at the Malagarazi.

"Unfurl the flags, and load your guns!"

"We will, master, we will, master!" respond the men eagerly.

"One, two, three, - fire!"

A volley from nearly fifty guns roars like a salute from a
battery of artillery: we shall note its effect presently on
the peaceful-looking village below.

"Now, kirangozi, hold the white man's flag up high, and let the
Zanzibar flag bring up the rear. And you men keep close together,
and keep firing until we halt in the market-place, or before the
white man's house. You have said to me often that you could smell
the fish of the Tanganika - I can smell the fish of the Tanganika

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 22 of 38)