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 32 of 38)
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provender, and hushed the most truculent knaves with a warning not to
tempt my patience too much, lest we came to angry blows; and then
struck away east by north through the forest, with the almost exhausted
Expedition dragging itself weakly and painfully behind me. It was a most
desperate position certainly, and I pitied the poor people far more than
they pitied themselves; and though I fumed and stormed in their presence
when they were disposed to lie down and give up, never was a man
further from doing them injury. I was too proud of them; but under the
circumstances it was dangerous - nay, suicidal - to appear doubtful or
dubious of the road. The mere fact that I still held on my way according
to the Doctor's little pearly monitor (the compass) had a grand moral
effect on them, and though they demurred in plaintive terms and with
pinched faces, they followed my footsteps with a trustfulness which
quite affected me.

For long miles we trudged over smooth sloping sward, with a vision of
forest and park-land beauty on our right and left, and in front of us
such as is rarely seen. At a pace that soon left the main body of the
Expedition far behind, I strode on with a few gallant fellows, who,
despite their heavy loads, kept pace with me. After a couple of hours we
were ascending the easy slope of a ridge, which promised to decide in
a few minutes the truth or the inaccuracy of my chart. Presently we
arrived at the eastern edge of the ridge, and about five miles away, and
1,000 feet below the high plateau on which we stood, we distinguished
the valley of Imrera!

By noon we were in our old camp. The natives gathered round, bringing
supplies of food, and to congratulate us upon having gone to Ujiji
and returned. But it was long before the last member of the Expedition
arrived. The Doctor's feet were very sore, bleeding from the weary
march. His shoes were in a very worn-out state, and he had so cut and
slashed them with a knife to ease his blistered feet, that any man of
our force would have refused them as a gift, no matter how ambitious he
might be to encase his feet a la Wasungu.

Asmani, the guide, was very much taken aback when he discovered that the
tiny compass knew the way better than he did, and he declared it as his
solemn opinion that it could not lie. He suffered much in reputation
from having contested the palm with the "little thing," and ever
afterwards his boasted knowledge of the country was considerably

After halting a day to recruit ourselves, we continued our journey on
the 18th January, 1872, towards Unyanyembe. A few miles beyond Imrera,
Asmani lost the road again, and I was obliged to show it to him, by
which I gained additional honour and credit as a leader and guide. My
shoes were very bad, and it was difficult to decide whose were the worst
in condition, the Doctor's or mine. A great change had come upon the
face of the land since I had passed northward en route to Ujiji. The
wild grapes now hung in clusters along the road; the corn ears were
advanced enough to pluck and roast for food; the various plants shed
their flowers; and the deep woods and grasses of the country were
greener than ever.

On the 19th we arrived at Mpokwa's deserted village. The Doctor's feet
were very much chafed and sore by the marching. He had walked on foot
all the way from Urimba, though he owned a donkey; while I, considerably
to my shame be it said, had ridden occasionally to husband my strength,
that I might be enabled to hunt after arrival at camp.

Two huts were cleared for our use, but, just as we had made ourselves
comfortable, our sharp-eyed fellows had discovered several herds of game
in the plain west of Mpokwa. Hastily devouring a morsel of corn-bread
with coffee, I hastened away, with Bilali for a gunbearer, taking
with me the famous Reilly rifle of the Doctor and a supply of Fraser's
shells. After plunging through a deep stream, and getting wet again,
and pushing my way through a dense brake, I arrived at a thin belt of
forest, through which I was obliged to crawl, and, in half an hour, I
had arrived within one hundred and forty yards of a group of zebras,
which were playfully biting each other under the shade of a large tree.
Suddenly rising up, I attracted their attention; but the true old rifle
was at my shoulder, and "crack - crack" went both barrels, and two fine
zebras, a male and female, fell dead under the tree where they had
stood. In a few seconds their throats were cut, and after giving the
signal of my success, I was soon surrounded by a dozen of my men, who
gave utterance to their delight by fulsome compliments to the merits of
the rifle, though very few to me. When I returned to camp with the meat
I received the congratulations of the Doctor, which I valued far higher,
as he knew from long experience what shooting was.

When the eatable portions of the two zebras were hung to the scale, we
found, according to the Doctor's own figures, that we had 719 lbs. of
good meat, which, divided among forty-four men, gave a little over
16 lbs. to each person. Bombay, especially, was very happy, as he had
dreamed a dream wherein I figured prominently as shooting animals down
right and left; and, when he had seen me depart with that wonderful
Reilly rifle he had not entertained a doubt of my success, and,
accordingly, had commanded the men to be ready to go after me, as soon
as they should hear the reports of the gun.

The following is quoted from my Diary:

January 20th, 1872. - To-day was a halt. On going out for a hunt I saw
a herd of eleven giraffes. After crossing Mpokwa stream I succeeded in
getting within one hundred and fifty yards of one of them, and fired at
it; but, though it was wounded, I did not succeed in dropping it, though
I desired the skin of one of them very much.

In the afternoon I went out to the east of the village, and came to a
herd of six giraffes. I wounded one of them, but it got off, despite my

What remarkable creatures they are! How beautiful their large limpid
eyes! I could have declared on oath that both shots had been a success,
but they sheered off with the stately movements of a clipper about to
tack. When they ran they had an ungainly, dislocated motion, somewhat
like the contortions of an Indian nautch or a Theban danseuse - a dreamy,
undulating movement, which even the tail, with its long fringe of black
hair, seemed to partake of.

The Doctor, who knew how to console an ardent but disappointed young
hunter, attributed my non-success to shooting with leaden balls, which
were too soft to penetrate the thick hide of the giraffes, and advised
me to melt my zinc canteens with which to harden the lead. It was
not the first time that I had cause to think the Doctor an admirable
travelling companion; none knew so well how to console one for bad luck
none knew so well how to elevate one in his own mind. If I killed a
zebra, did not his friend Oswell - the South African hunter - and himself
long ago come to the conclusion that zebra meat was the finest in
Africa? If I shot a buffalo cow, she was sure to be the best of her
kind, and her horns were worth while carrying home as specimens; and was
she not fat? If I returned without anything, the game was very wild, or
the people had made a noise, and the game had been frightened; and who
could stalk animals already alarmed? Indeed, he was a most considerate
companion, and, knowing him to be literally truthful, I was proud of his
praise when successful, and when I failed I was easily consoled.

Ibrahim, the old pagazi whose feelings had been so lacerated in
Ukawendi, when his ancient kibuyu broke, before leaving Ujiji invested
his cloth in a slave from Manyuema, who bore the name of "Ulimengo,"
which signifies the "World." As we approached Mpokwa, Ulimengo absconded
with all his master's property, consisting of a few cloths and a bag of
salt, which he had thought of taking to Unyanyembe for trade. Ibrahim
was inconsolable, and he kept lamenting his loss daily in such
lugubrious tones that the people, instead of sympathizing, laughed at
him. I asked him why he purchased such a slave, and, while he was with
him, why he did not feed him? Replied he, tartly, "Was he not my slave?
Was not the cloth with which I bought him mine? If the cloth was my own,
could I not purchase what I liked? Why do you talk so?"

Ibrahim's heart was made glad this evening by the return of Ulimengo
with the salt and the cloth, and the one-eyed old man danced with his
great joy, and came in all haste to impart to me the glad news. "Lo,
the 'World' has come back. Sure. My salt and my cloth are with him also.
Sure." To which I replied, that he had better feed him in future, as
slaves required food as well as their masters.

From 10 P.M. to midnight the Doctor was employed in taking observations
from the star Canopus, the result of which was that he ascertained
Mpokwa, district of Utanda, Ukonongo, to be in S. latitude 6 degrees 18
minutes 40 seconds. On comparing it with its position as laid down in my
map by dead reckoning, I found we differed by three miles; I having laid
it down at 6 degrees 15 minutes south latitude.

The day following was a halt. The Doctor's feet were so inflamed and
sore that he could not bear his shoes on. My heels were also raw, and I
viciously cut large circles out of my shoes to enable me to move about.

Having converted my zinc canteens into bullets, and provided myself with
a butcher and gun-bearer, I set out for the lovely park-land and plain
west of Mpokwa stream, with the laudable resolution to obtain something;
and seeing nothing in the plain, I crossed over a ridge, and came to
a broad basin covered with tall grass, with clumps here and there of
hyphene palm, with a stray mimosa or so scattered about. Nibbling off
the branches of the latter, I saw a group of giraffes, and then
began stalking them through the grass, taking advantage of the tall
grass-grown ant-hills that I might approach the wary beasts before their
great eyes could discover me. I contrived to come within 175 yards, by
means of one of these curious hummocks; but beyond it no man could crawl
without being observed - the grass was so thin and short. I took a long
breath, wiped my perspiring brow, and sat down for a while; my black
assistants also, like myself, were almost breathless with the exertion,
and the high expectations roused by the near presence of the royal
beasts. I toyed lovingly with the heavy Reilly, saw to my cartridges,
and then stood up and turned, with my rifle ready; took one good, long,
steady aim; then lowered it again to arrange the sights, lifted it up
once more - dropped it. A giraffe half turned his body; for the last time
I lifted it, took one quick sight at the region of the heart, and
fired. He staggered, reeled, then made a short gallop; but the blood was
spouting from the wound in a thick stream, and before he had gone 200
yards he came to a dead halt, with his ears drawn back, and allowed
me to come within twenty yards of him, when, receiving a zinc bullet
through the head, he fell dead.

"Allah ho, akhbar!" cried Khamisi, my butcher, fervently. "This is meat,

I was rather saddened than otherwise at seeing the noble animal
stretched before me. If I could have given him his life back I think
I should have done so. I thought it a great pity that such splendid
animals, so well adapted for the service of man in Africa, could not
be converted to some other use than that of food. Horses, mules, and
donkeys died in these sickly regions; but what a blessing for Africa
would it be if we could tame the giraffes and zebras for the use of
explorers and traders! Mounted on a zebra, a man would be enabled to
reach Ujiji in one month from Bagamoyo; whereas it took me over seven
months to travel that distance!

The dead giraffe measured 16 feet 9 inches from his right fore-hoof to
the top of his head, and was one of the largest size, though some have
been found to measure over 17 feet. He was spotted all over with large
black, nearly round, patches.

I left Khamisi in charge of the dead beast, while I returned to camp
to send off men to cut it up, and convey the meat to our village. But
Khamisi climbed a tree for fear of the lions, and the vultures settled
on it, so that when the men arrived on the spot, the eyes, the tongue,
and a great part of the posteriors were eaten up. What remained weighed
as follows, when brought in and hung to the scales:

1 hind leg.... 134 lbs.

1 " .... 136 "

1 fore leg.... 160 "

I " .... 160 "

Ribs...... 158 "

Neck...... 74 "

Rump...... 87 "

Breast..... 46 "

Liver..... 20 "

Lungs..... 12 "

Heart..... 6 "

Total weight of eatable portions.. 993 lbs.

Skin and head, 181 lbs.

The three days following I suffered from a severe attack of fever, and
was unable to stir from bed. I applied my usual remedies for it, which
consisted of colocynth and quinine; but experience has shown me that
an excessive use of the same cathartic weakens its effect, and that it
would be well for travellers to take with them different medicines to
cause proper action in the liver, such as colocynth, calomel, resin
of jalap, Epsom salts; and that no quinine should be taken until such
medicines shall have prepared the system for its reception.

The Doctor's prescription for fever consists of 3 grains of resin of
jalap, and 2 grains of calomel, with tincture of cardamoms put in just
enough to prevent irritation of the stomach - made into the form of a
pill - which is to be taken as soon as one begins to feel the excessive
languor and weariness which is the sure forerunner of the African type
of fever. An hour or two later a cup of coffee, unsugared and without
milk, ought to be taken, to cause a quicker action. The Doctor
also thinks that quinine should be taken with the pill; but my
experience - though it weighs nothing against what he has endured - has
proved to me that quinine is useless until after the medicine has taken
effect. My stomach could never bear quinine unless subsequent to
the cathartic. A well-known missionary at Constantinople recommends
travellers to take 3 grains of tartar-emetic for the ejection of the
bilious matter in the stomach; but the reverend doctor possibly forgets
that much more of the system is disorganized than the stomach; and
though in one or two cases of a slight attack, this remedy may have
proved successful, it is altogether too violent for an enfeebled man in
Africa. I have treated myself faithfully after this method three or
four times; but I could not conscientiously recommend it. For cases of
urticaria, I could recommend taking 3 grains of tartar-emetic; but then
a stomach-pump would answer the purpose as well.

On the 27th we set out for Misonghi. About half-way I saw the head of
the Expedition on the run, and the motive seemed to be communicated
quickly, man after man, to those behind, until my donkey commenced to
kick, and lash behind with his heels. In a second, I was made aware of
the cause of this excitement, by a cloud of wild bees buzzing about
my head, three or four of which settled on my face, and stung me
frightfully. We raced madly for about half a mile, behaving in as wild a
manner as the poor bestung animals.

As this was an unusually long march, I doubted if the Doctor could march
it, because his feet were so sore, so I determined to send four men
back with the kitanda; but the stout old hero refused to be carried, and
walked all the way to camp after a march of eighteen miles. He had been
stung dreadfully in the head and in the face; the bees had settled in
handfuls in his hair; but, after partaking of a cup of warm tea and some
food, he was as cheerful as if he had never travelled a mile.

At Mrera, Central Ukonongo, we halted a day to grind grain, and
to prepare the provision we should need during the transit of the
wilderness between Mrera and Manyara.

On the 31st of January, at Mwaru, Sultan Ka-mirambo, we met a caravan
under the leadership of a slave of Sayd bin Habib, who came to visit us
in our camp, which was hidden in a thick clump of jungle. After he was
seated, and had taken his coffee, I asked,

"What is thy news, my friend, that thou bast brought from Unyanyembe?"

"My news is good, master."

"How goes the war?"

"Ah, Mirambo is where? He eats the hides even. He is famished. Sayd bin
Habib, my master, hath possession of Kirira. The Arabs are thundering at
the gates of Wilyankuru. Sayd bin Majid, who came from Ujiji to Usagozi
in twenty days, hath taken and slain 'Moto' (Fire), the King. Simba
of Kasera hath taken up arms for the defence of his father, Mkasiwa of
Unyanyembe. The chief of Ugunda hath sent five hundred men to the field.
Ough - Mirambo is where? In a month he will be dead of hunger."

"Great and good news truly, my friend."

"Yes-in the name of God."

"And whither art thou bound with thy caravan?"

"Sayd, the son of Majid, who came from Ujiji, hath told us of the road
that the white man took, that he had arrived at Ujiji safely, and that
he was on his way back to Unyanyembe. So we have thought that if the
white man could go there, we could also. Lo, the Arabs come by the
hundred by the white man's road, to get the ivory from Ujiji.

"I am that white man."



"Why it was reported that you were dead - that you fought with the

"Ah, my friend, these are the words of Njara, the son of Khamis. See"
(pointing to Livingstone), "this is the white man, my father *, whom I
saw at Ujiji. He is going with me to Unyanyembe to get his cloth, after
which he will return to the great waters."

* It is a courteous custom in Africa to address elderly
people as "Baba," (Father.)

"Wonderful! - thou sayest truly."

"What has thou to tell me of the white man at Unyanyembe?"

"Which white man?"

"The white man I left in the house of Sayd, the son of Salim - my
house - at Kwihara."

"He is dead."



"You do not mean to say the white man is dead?"

"True - he is dead."

"How long ago?"

"Many months now."

"What did he die of?"

"Homa (fever)."

"Any more of my people dead?"

"I know not."

"Enough." I looked sympathetically at the Doctor, and he replied,

"I told you so. When you described him to me as a drunken man, I knew he
could not live. Men who have been habitual drunkards cannot live in
this country, any more than men who have become slaves to other vices.
I attribute the deaths that occurred in my expedition on the Zambezi to
much the same cause."

"Ah, Doctor, there are two of us gone. I shall be the third, if this
fever lasts much longer."

"Oh no, not at all. If you would have died from fever, you would have
died at Ujiji when you had that severe attack of remittent. Don't think
of it. Your fever now is only the result of exposure to wet. I never
travel during the wet season. This time I have travelled because I was
anxious, and I did not wish to detain you at Ujiji."

"Well, there is nothing like a good friend at one's back in this country
to encourage him, and keep his spirits up. Poor Shaw! I am sorry - very
sorry for him. How many times have I not endeavoured to cheer him up!
But there was no life in him. And among the last words I said to him,
before parting, were, 'Remember, if you return to Unyanyembe, you die!'"

We also obtained news from the chief of Sayd bin Habib's caravan that
several packets of letters and newspapers, and boxes, had arrived for me
from Zanzibar by my messengers and Arabs; that Selim, the son of Sheikh
Hashid of Zanzibar, was amongst the latest arrivals in Unyanyembe. The
Doctor also reminded me with the utmost good-nature that, according to
his accounts, he had a stock of jellies and crackers, soups, fish, and
potted ham, besides cheese, awaiting him in Unyanyembe, and that he
would be delighted to share his good things; whereupon I was greatly
cheered, and, during the repeated attacks of fever I suffered about this
time, my imagination loved to dwell upon the luxuries at Unyanyembe.
I pictured myself devouring the hams and crackers and jellies like a
madman. I lived on my raving fancies. My poor vexed brain rioted on such
homely things as wheaten bread and butter, hams, bacon, caviare, and I
would have thought no price too high to pay for them. Though so far
away and out of the pale of Europe and America, it was a pleasure to
me, during the _athumia_ or despondency into which I was plunged by ever
recurring fevers, to dwell upon them. I wondered that people who had
access to such luxuries should ever get sick, and become tired of life.
I thought that if a wheaten loaf with a nice pat of fresh butter were
presented to me, I would be able, though dying, to spring up and dance a
wild fandango.

Though we lacked the good things of this life above named, we possessed
salted giraffe and pickled zebra tongues; we had ugali made by Halimah
herself; we had sweet potatoes, tea, coffee, dampers, or slap jacks; but
I was tired of them. My enfeebled stomach, harrowed and irritated with
medicinal compounds, with ipecac, colocynth, tartar-emetic, quinine,
and such things, protested against the coarse food. "Oh, for a wheaten
loaf!" my soul cried in agony. "Five hundred dollars for one loaf of

The Doctor, somehow or another, despite the incessant rain, the dew,
fog, and drizzle, the marching, and sore feet, ate like a hero, and I
manfully, sternly, resolved to imitate the persevering attention he paid
to the welfare of his gastric powers; but I miserably failed.

Dr. Livingstone possesses all the attainments of a traveller. His
knowledge is great about everything concerning Africa - the rocks, the
trees, the fruits, and their virtues, are known to him. He is also full
of philosophic reflections upon ethnological matter. With camp-craft,
with its cunning devices, he is au fait. His bed is luxurious as a
spring mattress. Each night he has it made under his own supervision.
First, he has two straight poles cut, three or four inches in diameter;
which are laid parallel one with another, at the distance of two feet;
across these poles are laid short sticks, saplings, three feet long,
and over them is laid a thick pile of grass; then comes a piece of
waterproof canvas and blankets - and thus a bed has been improvised fit
for a king.

It was at Livingstone's instigation I purchased milch goats, by which,
since leaving Ujiji, we have had a supply of fresh milk for our tea
and coffee three times a day. Apropos of this, we are great drinkers of
these welcome stimulants; we seldom halt drinking until we have each
had six or seven cups. We have also been able to provide ourselves with
music, which, though harsh, is better than none. I mean the musical
screech of parrots from Manyuema.

Half-way between Mwaru - Kamirambo's village - and the deserted Tongoni of
Ukamba, I carved the Doctor's initials and my own on a large tree, with
the date February 2nd. I have been twice guilty of this in Africa once
when we were famishing in Southern Uvinza I inscribed the date, my
initials, and the word "Starving," in large letters on the trunk of a

In passing through the forest of Ukamba, we saw the bleached skull of
an unfortunate victim to the privations of travel. Referring to it, the
Doctor remarked that he could never pass through an African forest, with
its solemn stillness and serenity, without wishing to be buried quietly
under the dead leaves, where he would be sure to rest undisturbed. In
England there was no elbow-room, the graves were often desecrated; and
ever since he had buried his wife in the woods of Shupanga he had sighed
for just such a spot, where his weary bones would receive the eternal
rest they coveted.

The same evening, when the tent door was down, and the interior was made
cheerful by the light of a paraffin candle, the Doctor related to me
some incidents respecting the career and the death of his eldest son,
Robert. Readers of Livingstone's first book, 'South Africa,' without
which no boy should be, will probably recollect the dying Sebituane's
regard for the little boy "Robert." Mrs. Livingstone and family were
taken to the Cape of Good Hope, and thence sent to England, where Robert
was put in the charge of a tutor; but wearied of inactivity, when he
was about eighteen, he left Scotland and came to Natal, whence he
endeavoured to reach his father. Unsuccessful in his attempt, he took
ship and sailed for New York, and enlisted in the Northern Army, in a
New Hampshire regiment of Volunteers, discarding his own name of Robert

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 32 of 38)