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 27 of 38)
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beautiful, the market place must possess considerable attractions for
the male sex. It was on such a day amidst such a scene, that Tagamoyo,
a half-caste Arab, with his armed slave escort, commenced an
indiscriminate massacre by firing volley after volley into the dense
mass of human beings. It is supposed that there were about 2,000
present, and at the first sound of the firing these poor people all made
a rush for their canoes. In the fearful hurry to avoid being shot, the
canoes were paddled away by the first fortunate few who got possession
of them; those that were not so fortunate sprang into the deep waters
of the Lualaba, and though many of them became an easy prey to the
voracious crocodiles which swarmed to the scene, the majority received
their deaths from the bullets of the merciless Tagamoyo and his
villanous band. The Doctor believes, as do the Arabs themselves, that
about 400 people, mostly women and children, lost their lives, while
many more were made slaves. This outrage is only one of many such he has
unwillingly witnessed, and he is utterly unable to describe the feelings
of loathing he feels for the inhuman perpetrators.

Slaves from Manyuema command a higher price than those of any other
country, because of their fine forms and general docility. The women,
the Doctor said repeatedly, are remarkably pretty creatures, and have
nothing, except the hair, in common with the negroes of the West
Coast. They are of very light colour, have fine noses, well-cut and not
over-full lips, while the prognathous jaw is uncommon. These women are
eagerly sought after as wives by the half-castes of the East Coast, and
even the pure Omani Arabs do not disdain to take them in marriage.

To the north of Manyuema, Livingstone came to the light-complexioned
race, of the colour of Portuguese, or our own Louisiana quadroons,
who are very fine people, and singularly remarkable for commercial
"'cuteness" and sagacity. The women are expert divers for oysters, which
are found in great abundance in the Lualaba.

Rua, at a place called Katanga, is rich in copper. The copper-mines of
this place have been worked for ages. In the bed of a stream, gold has
been found, washed down in pencil-shaped pieces or in particles as large
as split peas. Two Arabs have gone thither to prospect for this metal;
but, as they are ignorant of the art of gulch-mining, it is scarcely
possible that they will succeed. From these highly important and
interesting discoveries, Dr. Livingstone was turned back, when almost
on the threshold of success, by the positive refusal of his men to
accompany him further. They were afraid to go on unless accompanied by
a large force of men; and, as these were not procurable in Manyuema, the
Doctor reluctantly turned his face towards Ujiji.

It was a long and weary road back. The journey had now no interest for
him. He had travelled the road before when going westward, full of high
hopes and aspirations, impatient to reach the goal which promised
him rest from his labors - now, returning unsuccessful, baffled, and
thwarted, when almost in sight of the end, and having to travel the same
path back on foot, with disappointed expectations and defeated hopes
preying on his mind, no wonder that the old brave spirit almost
succumbed, and the strong constitution almost went to wreck.

Livingstone arrived at Ujiji, October 16th, almost at death's door. On
the way he had been trying to cheer himself up, since he had found it
impossible to contend against the obstinacy of his men, with, "It won't
take long; five or six months more; it matters not since it cannot be
helped. I have got my goods in Ujiji, and can hire other people, and
make a new start again." These are the words and hopes by which he tried
to delude himself into the idea that all would be right yet; but imagine
the shock he must have suffered, when he found that the man to whom was
entrusted his goods for safe keeping had sold every bale for ivory.

The evening of the day Livingstone had returned to Ujiji, Susi and
Chuma, two of his most faithful men, were seen crying bitterly. The
Doctor asked of them what ailed them, and was then informed, for the
first time, of the evil tidings that awaited him.

Said they, "All our things are sold, sir; Sherif has sold everything for

Later in the evening, Sherif came to see him, and shamelessly offered
his hand, but Livingstone repulsed him, saying he could not shake hands
with a thief. As an excuse, Sherif said he had divined on the Koran, and
that this had told him the Hakim (Arabic for Doctor) was dead.

Livingstone was now destitute; he had just enough to keep him and his
men alive for about a month, when he would be forced to beg from the

The Doctor further stated, that when Speke gives the altitude of the
Tanganika at only 1,800 feet above the sea, Speke must have fallen into
that error by a frequent writing of the Anne Domini, a mere slip of
the pen; for the altitude, as he makes it out, is 2,800 feet by boiling
point, and a little over 3,000 feet by barometer.

The Doctor's complaints were many because slaves were sent to him, in
charge of goods, after he had so often implored the people at Zanzibar
to send him freemen. A very little effort on the part of those entrusted
with the despatch of supplies to him might have enabled them to procure
good and faithful freemen; but if they contented themselves, upon the
receipt of a letter from Dr. Livingstone, with sending to Ludha Damji
for men, it is no longer a matter of wonder that dishonest and incapable
slaves were sent forward. It is no new fact that the Doctor has
discovered when he states that a negro freeman is a hundred times
more capable and trustworthy than a slave. Centuries ago Eumaeus, the
herdsman, said to Ulysses:

Jove fixed it certain, that whatever day Makes man a slave, takes half
his worth away.

We passed several happy days at Ujiji, and it was time we were now
preparing for our cruise on the Tanganika. Livingstone was improving
every day under the different diet which my cook furnished him. I could
give him no such suppers as that which Jupiter and Mercury received at
the cottage of Baucis and Philemon. We had no berries of chaste Minerva,
pickled cherries, endive, radishes, dried figs, dates, fragrant apples,
and grapes; but we had cheese, and butter which I made myself, new-laid
eggs, chickens, roast mutton, fish from the lake, rich curds and cream,
wine from the Guinea-palm, egg-plants, cucumbers, sweet potatoes,
pea-nuts, and beans, white honey from Ukaranga, luscious singwe - a
plum-like fruit - from the forests of Ujiji, and corn scones and dampers,
in place of wheaten bread.

During the noontide heats we sat under our veranda discussing our
various projects, and in the early morning and evening we sought the
shores of the lake - promenading up and down the beach to breathe the
cool breezes which ruffled the surface of the water, and rolled the
unquiet surf far up on the smooth and whitened shore.

It was the dry season, and we had most lovely weather; the temperature
never was over 80 degrees in the shade.

The market-place overlooking the broad silver water afforded us
amusement and instruction. Representatives of most of the tribes
dwelling near the lake were daily found there. There were the
agricultural and pastoral Wajiji, with their flocks and herds; there
were the fishermen from Ukaranga and Kaole, from beyond Bangwe, and
even from Urundi, with their whitebait, which they called dogara, the
silurus, the perch, and other fish; there were the palm-oil merchants,
principally from Ujiji and Urundi, with great five-gallon pots full of
reddish oil, of the consistency of butter; there were the salt merchants
from the salt-plains of Uvinza and Uhha; there were the ivory merchants
from Uvira and Usowa; there were the canoe-makers from Ugoma and Urundi;
there were the cheap-Jack pedlers from Zanzibar, selling flimsy prints,
and brokers exchanging blue mutunda beads for sami-sami, and sungomazzi,
and sofi. The sofi beads are like pieces of thick clay-pipe stem
about half an inch long, and are in great demand here. Here were found
Waguhha, Wamanyuema, Wagoma, Wavira, Wasige, Warundi, Wajiji, Waha,
Wavinza, Wasowa, Wangwana, Wakawendi, Arabs, and Wasawahili, engaged in
noisy chaffer and barter. Bareheaded, and almost barebodied, the youths
made love to the dark-skinned and woolly-headed Phyllises, who knew not
how to blush at the ardent gaze of love, as their white sisters; old
matrons gossiped, as the old women do everywhere; the children played,
and laughed, and struggled, as children of our own lands; and the old
men, leaning on their spears or bows, were just as garrulous in the
Place de Ujiji as aged elders in other climes.


"I distinctly deny that 'any misleading by my instructions from the
Royal Geographical Society as to the position of the White Nile' made me
unconscious of the vast importance of ascertaining the direction of
the Rusizi River. The fact is, we did our best to reach it, and we
failed." - Burton's Zanzibar.

"The universal testimony of the natives to the Rusizi River being an
influent is the most conclusive argument that it does run out of the
lake." - Speke.

"I therefore claim for Lake Tanganika the honour of being the
SOUTHERNMOST RESERVOIR OF THE NILE, until some more positive evidence,
by actual observation, shall otherwise determine it." - Findlay, R.G.S.

Had Livingstone and myself, after making up our minds to visit the
northern head of the Lake Tanganika, been compelled by the absurd
demands or fears of a crew of Wajiji to return to Unyanyembe without
having resolved the problem of the Rusizi River, we had surely deserved
to be greeted by everybody at home with a universal giggling and
cackling. But Capt. Burton's failure to settle it, by engaging Wajiji,
and that ridiculous savage chief Kannena, had warned us of the negative
assistance we could expect from such people for the solution of a
geographical problem. We had enough good sailors with us, who were
entirely under our commands. Could we but procure the loan of a canoe,
we thought all might be well.

Upon application to Sayd bin Majid, he at once generously permitted us
to use his canoe for any service for which we might require it. After
engaging two Wajiji guides at two doti each, we prepared to sail from
the port of Ujiji, in about a week or so after my entrance into Ujiji.

I have already stated how it was that the Doctor and I undertook the
exploration of the northern half of the Tanganika and the River Rusizi,
about which so much had been said and written.

Before embarking on this enterprise, Dr. Livingstone had not definitely
made up his mind which course he should take, as his position was truly
deplorable. His servants consisted of Susi, Chumah, Hamoydah, Gardner,
and Halimah, the female cook and wife of Hamoydah; to these was added
Kaif-Halek, the man whom I compelled to follow me from Unyanyembe to
deliver the Livingstone letters to his master.

Whither could Dr. Livingstone march with these few men, and the few
table-cloths and beads that remained to him from the store squandered by
the imbecile Sherif? This was a puzzling question. Had Dr. Livingstone
been in good health, his usual hardihood and indomitable spirit had
answered it in a summary way. He might have borrowed some cloth from
Sayd bin Majid at an exorbitant price, sufficient to bring him to
Unyanyembe and the sea-coast. But how long would he have been compelled
to sit down at Ujiji, waiting and waiting for the goods that were said
to be at Unyanyembe, a prey to high expectations, hoping day after day
that the war would end - hoping week after week to hear that his goods
were coming? Who knows how long his weak health had borne up against the
several disappointments to which he would be subjected?

Though it was with all due deference to Dr. Livingstone's vast
experience as a traveller, I made bold to suggest the following courses
to him, either of which he could adopt:

Ist. To go home, and take the rest he so well deserved and, as he
appeared then, to be so much in need of.

2nd. To proceed to Unyanyembe, receive his goods, and enlist pagazis
sufficient to enable him to travel anywhere, either to Manyuema or
Rua, and settle the Nile problem, which he said he was in a fair way of

3rd. To proceed to Unyanyembe, receive his caravan, enlist men, and try
to join Sir Samuel Baker, either by going to Muanza, and sailing through
Ukerewe or Victoria N'Yanza in my boats - which I should put up - to
Mtesa's palace at Uganda, thus passing by Mirambo and Swaruru of Usui,
who would rob him if he took the usual caravan road to Uganda; thence
from Mtesa to Kamrasi, King of Unyoro, where he would of course hear
of the great white man who was said to be with a large force of men at

4th. To proceed to Unyanyembe, receive his caravan, enlist men, and
return to Ujiji, and back to Manyuema by way of Uguhha.

5th. To proceed by way of the Rusizi through Ruanda, and so on to Itara,
Unyoro, and Baker.

For either course, whichever he thought most expedient, I and my men
would assist him as escort and carriers, to the best of our ability. If
he should elect to go home, I informed him I should be proud to escort
him, and consider myself subject to his commands - travelling only when
he desired, and camping only when he gave the word.

6th. The last course which I suggested to him, was to permit me to
escort him to Unyanyembe, where he could receive his own goods, and
where I could deliver up to him a large supply of first-class cloth and
beads, guns and ammunition, cooking utensils, clothing, boats, tents,
&c., and where he could rest in a comfortable house, while I would hurry
down to the coast, organise a new expedition composed of fifty or sixty
faithful men, well armed, by whom I could send an additional supply of
needful luxuries in the shape of creature comforts.

After long consideration, he resolved to adopt the last course, as it
appeared to him to be the most feasible one, and the best, though he did
not hesitate to comment upon the unaccountable apathy of his agent at
Zanzibar, which had caused him so much trouble and vexation, and weary
marching of hundreds of miles.

Our ship - though nothing more than a cranky canoe hollowed out of
a noble mvule tree of Ugoma - was an African Argo bound on a nobler
enterprise than its famous Grecian prototype. We were bound upon no
mercenary errand, after no Golden Fleece, but perhaps to discover a
highway for commerce which should bring the ships of the Nile up to
Ujiji, Usowa, and far Marungu. We did not know what we might discover
on our voyage to the northern head of the Tanganika; we supposed that we
should find the Rusizi to be an effluent of the Tanganika, flowing down
to the Albert or the Victoria N'Yanza. We were told by natives and Arabs
that the Rusizi ran out of the lake.

Sayd bin Majid had stated that his canoe would carry twenty-five men,
and 3,500 lbs. of ivory. Acting upon this information, we embarked
twenty-five men, several of whom had stored away bags of salt for the
purposes of trade with the natives; but upon pushing off from the shore
near Ujiji, we discovered the boat was too heavily laden, and was down
to the gunwale. Returning in-shore, we disembarked six men, and unloaded
the bags of salt, which left us with sixteen rowers, Selim, Ferajji the
cook, and the two Wajiji guides.

Having thus properly trimmed our boat we again pushed off, and steered
her head for Bangwe Island, which was distant four or five miles from
the Bunder of Ujiji. While passing this island the guides informed us
that the Arabs and Wajiji took shelter on it during an incursion of
the Watuta - which took place some years ago - when they came and invaded
Ujiji, and massacred several of the inhabitants. Those who took refuge
on the island were the only persons who escaped the fire and sword with
which the Watuta had visited Ujiji.

After passing the island and following the various bends and
indentations of the shore, we came in sight of the magnificent bay of
Kigoma, which strikes one at once as being an excellent harbor from the
variable winds which blow over the Tanganika. About 10 A.M. we drew in
towards the village of Kigoma, as the east wind was then rising, and
threatened to drive us to sea. With those travelling parties who are
not in much hurry Kigoma is always the first port for canoes bound north
from Ujiji. The next morning at dawn we struck tent, stowed baggage,
cooked, and drank coffee, and set off northward again.

The lake was quite calm; its waters, of a dark-green colour, reflected
the serene blue sky above. The hippopotami came up to breathe in
alarmingly close proximity to our canoe, and then plunged their heads
again, as if they were playing hide-and-seek with us. Arriving opposite
the high wooded hills of Bemba, and being a mile from shore, we thought
it a good opportunity to sound the depth of the water, whose colour
seemed to indicate great depth. We found thirty-five fathoms at this

Our canoeing of this day was made close in-shore, with a range of hills,
beautifully wooded and clothed with green grass, sloping abruptly,
almost precipitously, into the depths of the fresh-water sea, towering
immediately above us, and as we rounded the several capes or points,
roused high expectations of some new wonder, or some exquisite picture
being revealed as the deep folds disclosed themselves to us. Nor were
we disappointed. The wooded hills with a wealth of boscage of beautiful
trees, many of which were in bloom, and crowned with floral glory,
exhaling an indescribably sweet fragrance, lifting their heads in varied
contour - one pyramidal, another a truncated cone; one table-topped,
another ridgy, like the steep roof of a church; one a glorious
heave with an even outline, another jagged and savage-interested us
considerably; and the pretty pictures, exquisitely pretty, at the head
of the several bays, evoked many an exclamation of admiration. It was
the most natural thing in the world that I should feel deepest
admiration for these successive pictures of quiet scenic beauty, but the
Doctor had quite as much to say about them as I had myself, though, as
one might imagine, satiated with pictures of this kind far more
beautiful - far more wonderful - he should long ago have expended all his
powers of admiring scenes in nature.

From Bagamoyo to Ujiji I had seen nothing to compare to them - none
of these fishing settlements under the shade of a grove of palms and
plantains, banians and mimosa, with cassava gardens to the right and
left of palmy forests, and patches of luxuriant grain looking down upon
a quiet bay, whose calm waters at the early morn reflected the beauties
of the hills which sheltered them from the rough and boisterous tempests
that so often blew without.

The fishermen evidently think themselves comfortably situated. The lake
affords them all the fish they require, more than enough to eat, and
the industrious a great deal to sell. The steep slopes of the hills,
cultivated by the housewives, contribute plenty of grain, such as dourra
and Indian corn, besides cassava, ground-nuts or peanuts, and sweet
potatoes. The palm trees afford oil, and the plantains an abundance of
delicious fruit. The ravines and deep gullies supply them with the tall
shapely trees from which they cut out their canoes. Nature has supplied
them bountifully with all that a man's heart or stomach can desire. It
is while looking at what seems both externally and internally complete
and perfect happiness that the thought occurs - how must these people
sigh, when driven across the dreary wilderness that intervenes between
the lake country and the sea-coast, for such homes as these! - those
unfortunates who, bought by the Arabs for a couple of doti, are taken
away to Zanzibar to pick cloves, or do hamal work!

As we drew near Niasanga, our second camp, the comparison between the
noble array of picturesque hills and receding coves, with their pastoral
and agricultural scenes, and the shores of old Pontus, was very great.
A few minutes before we hauled our canoe ashore, two little incidents
occurred. I shot an enormous dog-faced monkey, which measured from nose
to end of tail 4 feet 9 inches; the face was 8 1/2 inches long, its body
weighed about 100 lbs. It had no mane or tuft at end of tail, but the
body was covered with long wiry hair. Numbers of these specimens were
seen, as well as of the active cat-headed and long-tailed smaller ones.
The other was the sight of a large lizard, about 2 ft. 6 in. long, which
waddled into cover before we had well noticed it. The Doctor thought it
to be the Monitor terrestris.

We encamped under a banian tree; our surroundings were the now
light-grey waters of the Tanganika, an amphitheatral range of hills, and
the village of Niasanga, situated at the mouth of the rivulet Niasanga,
with its grove of palms, thicket of plantains, and plots of grain and
cassava fields. Near our tent were about half-a-dozen canoes, large and
small, belonging to the villagers. Our tent door fronted the glorious
expanse of fresh water, inviting the breeze, and the views of distant
Ugoma and Ukaramba, and the Island of Muzimu, whose ridges appeared of
a deep-blue colour. At our feet were the clean and well-washed pebbles,
borne upward into tiny lines and heaps by the restless surf. A search
amongst these would reveal to us the material of the mountain heaps
which rose behind and on our right and left; there was schist,
conglomerate sandstone, a hard white clay, an ochreish clay containing
much iron, polished quartz, &c. Looking out of our tent, we could see a
line on each side of us of thick tall reeds, which form something like
a hedge between the beach and the cultivated area around Niasanga.
Among birds seen here, the most noted were the merry wagtails, which are
regarded as good omens and messengers of peace by the natives, and any
harm done unto them is quickly resented, and is fineable. Except to the
mischievously inclined, they offer no inducement to commit violence. On
landing, they flew to meet us, balancing themselves in the air in
front, within easy reach of our hands. The other birds were crows,
turtle-doves, fish-hawks, kingfishers, ibis nigra and ibis religiosa,
flocks of whydah birds, geese, darters, paddy birds, kites, and eagles.

At this place the Doctor suffered from dysentery - it is his only weak
point, he says; and, as I afterwards found, it is a frequent complaint
with him. Whatever disturbed his mind, or any irregularity in eating,
was sure to end in an attack of dysentery, which had lately become of a
chronic character.

The third day of our journey on the Tanganika brought us to Zassi
River and village, after a four hours' pull. Along the line of road
the mountains rose 2,000 and 2,500 feet above the waters of the lake.
I imagined the scenery getting more picturesque and animated at every
step, and thought it by far lovelier than anything seen near Lake George
or on the Hudson. The cosy nooks at the head of the many small bays
constitute most admirable pictures, filled in as they are with the
ever-beautiful feathery palms and broad green plantain fronds. These
nooks have all been taken possession of by fishermen, and their
conically beehive-shaped huts always peep from under the frondage. The
shores are thus extremely populous; every terrace, small plateau, and
bit of level ground is occupied.

Zassi is easily known by a group of conical hills which rise near by,
and are called Kirassa. Opposite to these, at the distance of about a
mile from shore, we sounded, and obtained 35 fathoms, as on the previous
day. Getting out a mile further, I let go the whole length of my line,
115 fathoms, and obtained no bottom. In drawing it up again the line
parted, and I lost the lead, with three-fourths of the line. The Doctor
stated, apropos of this, that he had sounded opposite the lofty Kabogo,
south of Ujiji, and obtained the great depth of 300 fathoms. He also
lost his lead and 100 fathoms of his line, but he had nearly 900 fathoms
left, and this was in the canoes. We hope to use this long sounding line
in going across from the eastern to the western shore.

On the fourth day we arrived at Nyabigma, a sandy island in Urundi.
We had passed the boundary line between Ujiji and Urundi half-an-hour

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 27 of 38)