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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 29 of 38)
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black servant, Susi, who taking possession of his blankets, and folding
them about himself most selfishly, was occupying almost the whole bed.
The Doctor, with that gentleness characteristic of him, instead of
taking a rod, had contented himself with slapping Susi on the back,
saying, "Get up, Susi, will you? You are in my bed. How dare you, sir,
get drunk in this way, after I have told you so often not to. Get up.
You won't? Take that, and that, and that." Still Susi slept and grunted;
so the slapping continued, until even Susi's thick hide began to feel
it, and he was thoroughly awakened to the sense of his want of devotion
and sympathy for his master in the usurping of even his master's bed.
Susi looked very much crestfallen after this exposé of his infirmity
before the "little master," as I was called.

The next day at dusk - Mukamba having come to bid us good-bye, and
requested that as soon as we reached his brother Ruhinga, whose country
was at the head of the lake, we would send our canoe back for him, and
that in the meanwhile we should leave two of our men with him, with
their guns, to help defend him in case Warumashanya should attack him
as soon as we were gone - we embarked and pulled across. In nine hours we
had arrived at the head of the lake in Mugihewa, the country of Ruhinga;
Mukamba's elder brother. In looking back to where we had come from we
perceived that we had made a diagonal cut across from south-east to
north-west, instead of having made a direct east and west course; or,
in other words, from Mugere - which was at least ten miles from the
northernmost point of the eastern shore - we had come to Mugihewa,
situated at the northernmost point of the western shore. Had we
continued along the eastern shore, and so round the northern side of the
lake, we should have passed by Mukanigi, the country of Warumashanya,
and Usumbura of Simveh, his ally and friend. But by making a diagonal
course, as just described, we had arrived at the extreme head of the
lake without any difficulty.

The country in which we now found ourselves, Mugihewa, is situated in
the delta of the Rusizi River. It is an extremely flat country, the
highest part of which is not ten feet above the lake, with numerous
depressions in it overgrown with the rankest of matete-grass and the
tallest of papyrus, and pond-like hollows, filled with stagnant water,
which emit malaria wholesale. Large herds of cattle are reared on it;
for where the ground is not covered with marshy plants it produces rich,
sweet grass. The sheep and goats, especially the former, are always in
good condition; and though they are not to be compared with English
or American sheep, they are the finest I have seen in Africa. Numerous
villages are seen on this land because the intervening spaces are not
occupied with the rank and luxuriant jungle common in other parts of
Africa. Were it not for the Euphorbia kolquall of Abyssinia - which some
chief has caused to be planted as a defence round the villages - one
might see from one end of Mugihewa to the other. The waters along the
head of the lake, from the western to the eastern shores, swarm with
crocodiles. From the banks, I counted ten heads of crocodiles, and the
Rusizi, we were told, was full of them.

Ruhinga, who came to see us soon after we had taken up our quarters
in his village, was a most amiable man, who always contrived to see
something that excited his risibility; though older by five or six years
perhaps - he said he was a hundred years old - than Mukamba, he was not
half so dignified, nor regarded with so much admiration by his people
as his younger brother. Ruhinga had a better knowledge, however, of the
country than Mukamba, and an admirable memory, and was able to impart
his knowledge of the country intelligently. After he had done the
honours as chief to us - presented us with an ox and a sheep, milk
and honey - we were not backward in endeavouring to elicit as much
information as possible out of him.

The summary of the information derived from Ruhinga may be stated as
follows:

The country bordering the head of the lake from Urundi proper, on the
eastern shore, to Uvira on the western, is divided into the following
districts: 1st. Mugere, governed by Mukamba, through which issued into
the lake the small rivers of Mugere and Mpanda. 2nd. Mukanigi, governed
by Warumashanya, which occupied the whole of the north-eastern head
of the lake, through which issued into the lake the small rivers of
Karindwa and Mugera wa Kanigi. 3rd. On the eastern half of the district,
at the head of the lake, was Usumbura, governed by Simveh, ally and
friend of Warumashanya, extending to the eastern bank of the Rusizi.
4th. Commencing from the western bank of the Rusizi, to the extreme
north-western head of the lake, was Mugihewa - Ruhinga's country. 5th.
From Uvira on the west, running north past Mugihewa, and overlapping it
on the north side as far as the hills of Chamati, was Ruwenga, also a
country governed by Mukamba. Beyond Ruwenga, from the hills of Chamati
to the Ruanda River, was the country of Chamati. West of Ruwenga,
comprising all the mountains for two days' journey in that direction,
was Uashi. These are the smaller sub-divisions of what is commonly known
as Ruwenga and Usige. Ruwenga comprises the countries of Ruwenga and
Mugihewa; Usige, the countries of Usumbura, Mukanigi, and Mugere. But
all these countries are only part and parcel of Urundi, which comprises
all that country bordering the lake from Mshala River, on the eastern
shore, to Uvira, on the western, extending over ten days' journey
direct north from the head of the lake, and one month in a northeastern
direction to Murukuko, the capital of Mwezi, Sultan of all Urundi.
Direct north of Urundi is Ruanda; also a very large country.

The Rusizi River - according to Ruhinga - rose near a lake called Kivo,
which he said is as long as from Mugihawa to Mugere, and as broad as
from Mugihewa to Warumashanya's country, or, say eighteen miles in
length by about eight in breadth. The lake is surrounded by mountains
on the western and northern sides: on the south-western side of one of
these mountains issues the Rusizi - at first a small rapid stream; but as
it proceeds towards the lake it receives the rivers Kagunissi, Kaburan,
Mohira, Nyamagana, Nyakagunda, Ruviro, Rofubu, Kavimvira, Myove, Ruhuha,
Mukindu, Sange, Rubirizi, Kiriba, and, lastly, the Ruanda River, which
seems to be the largest of them all. Kivo Lake is so called from the
country in which it is situated. On one side is Mutumbi (probably
the Utumbi of Speke and Baker), on the west is Ruanda; on the east is
Urundi. The name of the chief of Kivo is Kwansibura.

After so many minute details about the River Rusizi, it only remained
for us to see it. On the second morning of our arrival at Mugihewa we
mustered ten strong paddlers, and set out to explore the head of the
lake and the mouth of the Rusizi. We found that the northern head of
the lake was indented with seven broad bays, each from one and a half to
three miles broad; that long broad spits of sand, overgrown with matete,
separated each bay from the other. The first, starting from west to
east, at the broadest part, to the extreme southern point of Mugihewa,
was about three miles broad, and served as a line of demarcation between
Mukamba's district of Ruwenga and Mugihewa of Ruhinga; it was also two
miles deep. The second bay was a mile from the southern extremity of
Mugihewa to Ruhinga's village at the head of the bay, and it was a mile
across to another spit of sand which was terminated by a small island.
The third bay stretched for nearly a mile to a long spit, at the end of
which was another island, one and a quarter mile in length, and was the
western side of the fourth bay, at the head of which was the delta
of the Rusizi. This fourth bay, at its base, was about three miles
in depth, and penetrated half a mile further inland than any other.
Soundings indicated six feet deep, and the same depth was kept to within
a few hundred yards of the principal mouth of the Rusizi. The current
was very sluggish; not more than a mile an hour. Though we constantly
kept our binocular searching for the river, we could not see the main
channel until within 200 yards of it, and then only by watching by what
outlet the fishing; canoes came out. The bay at this point had narrowed
from two miles to about 200 yards in breadth. Inviting a canoe to show
us the way, a small flotilla of canoes preceded us, from the sheer
curiosity of their owners. We followed, and in a few minutes were
ascending the stream, which was very rapid, though but about ten yards
wide, and very shallow; not more than two feet deep. We ascended about
half a mile, the current being very strong, from six to eight miles an
hour, and quite far enough to observe the nature of the stream at its
embouchure. We could see that it widened and spread out in a myriad of
channels, rushing by isolated clumps of sedge and matete grass; and that
it had the appearance of a swamp. We had ascended the central, or main
channel. The western channel was about eight yards broad. We observed,
after we had returned to the bay, that the easternmost channel was about
six yards broad, and about ten feet deep, but very sluggish. We had
thus examined each of its three mouths, and settled all doubts as to
the Rusizi being an effluent or influent. It was not necessary to ascend
higher, there being nothing about the river itself to repay exploration
of it.

The question, "Was the Rusizi an effluent or an influent?" was answered
for ever. There was now no doubt any more on that point. In size it was
not to be compared with the Malagarazi River, neither is it, or can
it be, navigable for anything but the smallest canoes. The only thing
remarkable about it is that it abounds in crocodiles, but not one
hippopotamus was seen; which may be taken as another evidence of
its shallowness. The bays to the east of the Rusizi are of the same
conformation as those on the west. Carefully judging from the width of
the several bays from point to point, and of the several spits which
separate them, the breadth of the lake may be said to be about twelve
or fourteen miles. Had we contented ourselves with simply looking at
the conformation, and the meeting of the eastern and western ranges, we
should have said that the lake ended in a point, as Captain Speke has
sketched it on his map. But its exploration dissolved that idea. Chamati
Hill is the extreme northern termination of the western range, and
seems, upon a superficial examination, to abut against the Ramata
mountains of the eastern range, which are opposite Chamati; but a valley
about a mile in breadth separates the two ranges, and through this
valley the Rusizi flows towards the lake.* Though Chamati terminates
the western range, the eastern range continues for miles beyond,
north-westerly. After its issue from this broad gorge, the Rusizi runs
seemingly in a broad and mighty stream, through a wide alluvial plain,
its own formation, in a hundred channels, until, approaching the
lake, it flows into it by three channels only, as above described.
______________ * After the patient investigation of the North end of the
Lake, and satisfying ourselves by personal observation that the Rusizi
ran into the Lake, the native rumor which Sir Samuel Baker brought home
that the Tanganika and the Albert N'Yanza have a water connection still
finds many believers! ______________

I should not omit to state here, that though the Doctor and I have had
to contend against the strong current of the Rusizi River, as it flowed
swift and strong INTO the Tanganika, the Doctor still adheres to the
conviction that, whatever part the Rusizi plays, there must be an outlet
to the Tanganika somewhere, from the fact that all fresh-water lakes
have outlets, The Doctor is able to state his opinions and reasons far
better than I can find for him; and, lest I misconstrue the subject,
I shall leave it until he has an opportunity to explain them himself;
which his great knowledge of Africa will enable him to do with
advantage.

One thing is evident to me, and I believe to the Doctor, that Sir Samuel
Baker will have to curtail the Albert N'Yanza by one, if not two degrees
of latitude. That well-known traveller has drawn his lake far into the
territory of the Warundi, while Ruanda has been placed on the eastern
side; whereas a large portion of it, if not all, should be placed north
of what he has designated on his map as Usige. The information of such
an intelligent man as Ruhinga is not to be despised; for, if Lake Albert
came within a hundred miles of the Tanganika, he would surely have heard
of its existence, even if he had not seen it himself. Originally he came
from Mutumbi, and he has travelled from that country into Mugihewa, the
district he now governs. He has seen Mwezi, the great King of Urundi,
and describes him as a man about forty years old, and as a very good
man.

Our work was now done; there was nothing more to detain us at Mugihewa.
Ruhinga had been exceedingly kind, and given us one ox after another to
butcher and eat. Mukamba had done the same. Their women had supplied us
with an abundance of milk and butter, and we had now bounteous supplies
of both.

The Doctor had taken a series of observations for latitude and
longitude; and Mugihewa was made out to be in 3 degrees 19 minutes S.
latitude.

On the 7th December, early in the morning, we left Mugihewa, and rowing
past the southern extremity of the Katangara Islands, we approached the
highlands of Uashi near the boundary line between Mukamba's country and
Uvira. The boundary line is supposed to be a wide ravine, in the depths
of which is a grove of tall, beautiful, and straight-stemmed trees, out
of which the natives make their canoes.

Passing Kanyamabengu River, which issues into the lake close to the
market-ground of Kirabula, the extreme point of Burton and Speke's
explorations of the Tanganika, we steered south along the western shore
of the lake for half an hour longer to Kavimba, where we halted to cook
breakfast.

The village where lived Mruta, the King of Uvira, was in sight of our
encampment, and as we observed parties of men ascending and descending
the mountains much more often than we thought augured good to ourselves,
we determined to continue on our course south. Besides, there was a
party of disconsolate-looking Wajiji here, who had been plundered only a
few days before our arrival, for attempting, as the Wavira believed, to
evade the honga payment. Such facts as these, and our knowledge of the
general state of insecurity in the country, resulting from the many wars
in which the districts of the Tanganika were engaged, determined us not
to halt at Kavimba.

We embarked quickly in our boat before the Wavira had collected
themselves, and headed south against a strong gale, which came driving
down on us from the south-west. After a hard pull of about two hours in
the teeth of the storm, which was rapidly rising, we pointed the head
of the boat into a little quiet cove, almost hidden in tall reeds, and
disembarked for the night.

Cognizant of the dangers which surrounded us, knowing, that savage
and implacable man was the worst enemy we had to fear, we employed our
utmost energies in the construction of a stout fence of thorn bushes,
and then sat down to supper after our work was done, and turned in to
sleep; but not before we had posted watchmen to guard our canoe, lest
the daring thieves of Uvira might abstract it, in which case we should
have been in a pretty plight, and in most unenviable distress.

At daybreak, leaving Kukumba Point after our humble breakfast of coffee,
cheese, and dourra cakes was despatched, we steered south once more.
Our fires had attracted the notice of the sharp-eyed and suspicious
fishermen of Kukumba; but our precautions and the vigilant watch we
had set before retiring, had proved an effectual safeguard against the
Kivira thieves.

The western shores of the lake as we proceeded were loftier, and more
bold than the wooded heights of Urundi and bearded knolls of Ujiji. A
back ridge - the vanguard of the mountains which rise beyond - disclosed
itself between the serrated tops of the front line of mountains, which
rose to a height of from 2,500 to 3,000 feet above the lake. Within the
folds of the front line of mountains rise isolated hills of considerable
magnitude, precipitous and abrupt, but scenically very picturesque.
The greater part of these hills have the rounded and smooth top, or
are tabularly summited. The ridge enfolding these hills shoots out, at
intervals, promontorial projections of gradual sloping outlines, which
on the map I have designated capes, or points. When rounding these
points, up went our compasses for the taking of bearings, and observing
the directions of all prominent objects of interest. Often these capes
are formed by the alluvial plains, through which we may be sure a river
will be found flowing. These pretty alluvial plains, enfolded on the
south, the west, and the north by a grand mountain arc, present
most luxurious and enchanting scenery. The vegetation seems to be of
spontaneous growth. Groups of the Elaeis Guineansis palm embowering some
dun-brown village; an array of majestic, superb growth of mvule trees;
a broad extent covered with vivid green sorghum stalks; parachute-like
tops of mimosa; a line of white sand, on which native canoes are
drawn far above the reach of the plangent, uneasy surf; fishermen idly
reclining in the shade of a tree; - these are the scenes which reveal
themselves to us as we voyage in our canoe on the Tanganika. When
wearied with the romance of wild tropic scenes such as these, we have
but to lift our eyes to the great mountain tops looming darkly and
grandly on our right; to watch the light pencilling of the cirrus,
brushing their summits, as it is drifted toward the north by the rising
wind: to watch the changing forms which the clouds assume, from the
fleecy horizontal bars of the cirrus, to the denser, gloomier cumulus,
prognosticator of storm and rain, which soon settles into a portentous
group - Alps above Alps, one above another - and we know the storm which
was brewing is at hand, and that it is time to seek shelter.

Passing Muikamba, we saw several groves of the tall mvule tree. As
far as Bemba the Wabembe occupy the mountain summits, while the Wavira
cultivate the alluvial plains along the base and lower slopes of
the mountain. At Bemba we halted to take in pieces of pipe-clay, in
accordance with the superstition of the Wajiji, who thought us certain
of safe passage and good fortune if we complied with the ancient custom.

Passing Ngovi, we came to a deep bend, which curved off to Cape Kabogi
at the distance of ten miles. About two-thirds of the way we arrived
at a group of islets, three in number, all very steep and rocky; the
largest about 300 feet in length at the base, and about 200 feet
in breadth. Here we made preparations to halt for the night. The
inhabitants of the island were a gorgeously-feathered old cock, which
was kept as a propitiatory offering to the spirit of the island, a
sickly yellow-looking thrush, a hammer-headed stork, and two fish-hawks,
who, finding we had taken possession of what had been religiously
reserved for them, took flight to the most western island, where from
their perches they continued to eye us most solemnly. As these islands
were with difficulty pronounced by us as Kavunvweh, the Doctor, seeing
that they were the only objects we were likely to discover, named
them the "'New York Herald' Islets;" and, in confirmation of the
new designation given them, shook hands with me upon it. Careful
dead-reckoning settled them to be in lat. 3 degrees 41 minutes S.

The summit of the largest island was well adapted to take bearings, and
we improved the opportunity, as most extensive views of the broad
and lengthy lake and surrounding lines of imposing mountains were
attainable. The Ramata Hills were clearly visible, and bore N.N.E.
from it; Katanga Cape, S.E. by S.; Sentakeyi, E.S.E.; Magala, E. by N.;
south-western point of Muzimu bore S., northern point of Muzimu island,
S.S.E.

At dawn on the 9th December we prepared to resume our voyage. Once or
twice in the night we had been visited by fishermen, but our anxious
watchfulness prevented any marauding. It seemed to me, however, that
the people of the opposite shore, who were our visitors, were eagerly
watching an opportunity to pounce upon our canoe, or take us bodily for
a prey; and our men were considerably affected by these thoughts, if we
may judge from the hearty good-will with which they rowed away from our
late encampment.

Arriving at Cape Kabogi, we came to the territory of the Wasansi. We
knew we were abreast of a different tribe by the greeting "Moholo,"
which a group of fishermen gave us; as that of the Wavira was "Wake,"
like that of Urundi, Usige, and Uhha.

We soon sighted Cape Luvumba - a sloping projection of a mountain ridge
which shot far into the lake. As a storm was brewing, we steered for a
snug little cove that appeared before a village; and, drawing our canoe
from the water, began to set the tent, and make other preparations for
passing the night.

As the natives appeared quiet and civil enough, we saw no reason to
suspect that they entertained any hostility to Arabs and Wangwana.
Accordingly we had our breakfast cooked, and as usual laid down for an
afternoon nap. I soon fell asleep, and was dreaming away in my tent, in
happy oblivion of the strife and contention that had risen since I had
gone to sleep, when I heard a voice hailing me with, "Master, master!
get up, quick. Here is a fight going to begin!" I sprang up, and
snatching my revolver belt from the gun-stand, walked outside. Surely,
there appeared to be considerable animus between the several factions;
between a noisy, vindictive-looking set of natives of the one part, and
our people of the other part. Seven or eight of our people had taken
refuge behind the canoe, and had their loaded guns half pointing at the
passionate mob, which was momentarily increasing in numbers, but I could
not see the Doctor anywhere.

"Where is the Doctor?" I asked.

"He has gone over that hill, sir, with his compass," said Selim.

"Anybody with him?"

"Susi and Chumah."

"You, Bombay, send two men off to warn the Doctor, and tell him to hurry
up here."

But just at this period the Doctor and his two men appeared on the
brow of the hill, looking down in a most complacent manner upon the
serio-comic scene that the little basin wherein we were encamped
presented. For, indeed, despite the serious aspect of it, there was much
that was comical blended with it - in a naked young man who - perfectly
drunk, barely able to stand on his feet - was beating the ground with his
only loin-cloth, screaming and storming away like a madman; declaring
by this, and by that, in his own choice language, that no Mgwana or Arab
should halt one moment on the sacred soil of Usansi. His father, the
Sultan, was as inebriated as himself, though not quite so violent in his
behaviour. In the meantime the Doctor arrived upon the scene, and Selim
had slipped my Winchester rifle, with the magazine full of cartridges,
into my hand. The Doctor calmly asked what was the matter, and was
answered by the Wajiji guides that the people wished us to leave, as
they were on hostile terms with the Arabs, because the eldest son of the
Sultan of Muzimu, the large island nearly opposite, had been beaten to
death by a Baluch, named Khamis, at Ujiji, because the young fellow had
dared look into his harem, and ever since peace had been broken between
the Wasansi and Arabs.

After consulting with the guides, the Doctor and I came to the
conclusion that it were better that we should endeavour to pacify
the Sultan by a present, rather than take offence at a drunken boy's
extravagant freak. In his insane fury he had attempted to slash at
one of my men with a billhook he carried. This had been taken as a
declaration of hostilities, and the soldiers were ready enough to engage
in war; but there was no necessity to commence fighting with a drunken
mob, who could have been cleared off the ground with our revolvers alone
had we desired it.

The Doctor, baring his arm, said to them that he was not a Mgwana, or an
Arab; but a white man; that Arabs and Wangwana had no such colour as we
had. We were white men, different people altogether from those whom they
were accustomed to see: that no black men had ever suffered injury



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 29 of 38)