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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is performed in the following manner: - We cut a doti, or four yards
of Merikani, ordinarily sold at Zanzibar for $2.75 the piece of thirty
yards, and spread out. We take a piece or bolt of good Merikani, and
instead of the double fold given it by the Nashua and Salem mills, we
fold it into three parts, by which the folds have a breadth of a foot;
this piece forms the first layer, and will weigh nine pounds; the second
layer consists of six pieces of Kaniki, a blue stuff similar to the
blouse stuff of France, and the blue jeans of America, though much
lighter; the third layer is formed of the second piece of Merikani, the
fourth of six more pieces of Kaniki, the fifth of Merikani, the sixth
of Kaniki as before, and the seventh and last of Merikani. We have thus
four pieces of Merikani, which weigh 36 lbs., and 18 pieces of Kaniki
weighing also 36 lbs., making a total of 72 lbs., or a little more than
two frasilahs; the cloth is then folded singly over these layers, each
corner tied to another. A bundle of coir-rope is then brought, and two
men, provided with a wooden mallet for beating and pressing the bale,
proceed to tie it up with as much nicety as sailors serve down rigging.

When complete, a bale is a solid mass three feet and a half long, a
foot deep, and a foot wide. Of these bales I had to convey eighty-two to
Unyanyembe, forty of which consisted solely of the Merikani and Kaniki.
The other forty-two contained the Merikani and coloured cloths, which
latter were to serve as honga or tribute cloths, and to engage another
set of pagazis from Unyanyembe to Ujiji, and from Ujiji to the regions

The fifteenth day asked of me by Ali bin Salim for the procuring of the
pagazis passed by, and there was not the ghost of a pagazi in my camp.
I sent Mabruki the Bullheaded to Ali bin Salim, to convey my salaams and
express a hope that he had kept his word. In half an hour's time Mabruki
returned with the reply of the Arab, that in a few days he would be able
to collect them all; but, added Mabruki, slyly, "Bana, I don't believe
him. He said aloud to himself, in my hearing, 'Why should I get the
Musungu pagazis? Seyd Burghash did not send a letter to me, but to the
Jemadar. Why should I trouble myself about him? Let Seyd Burghash write
me a letter to that purpose, and I will procure them within two days."'

To my mind this was a time for action: Ali bin Salim should see that it
was ill trifling with a white man in earnest to start. I rode down to
his house to ask him what he meant.

His reply was, Mabruki had told a lie as black as his face. He had never
said anything approaching to such a thing. He was willing to become my
slave - to become a pagazi himself. But here I stopped the voluble Ali,
and informed him that I could not think of employing him in the capacity
of a pagazi, neither could I find it in my heart to trouble Seyd
Burghash to write a direct letter to him, or to require of a man who
had deceived me once, as Ali bin Salim had, any service of any nature
whatsoever. It would be better, therefore, if Ali bin Salim would stay
away from my camp, and not enter it either in person or by proxy.

I had lost fifteen days, for Jemadar Sadur, at Kaole, had never stirred
from his fortified house in that village in my service, save to pay a
visit, after the receipt of the Sultan's letter. Naranji, custom-house
agent at Kaoie, solely under the thumb of the great Ludha Damji, had
not responded to Ludha's worded request that he would procure pagazis,
except with winks, nods, and promises, and it is but just stated how I
fared at the hands of Ali bin Salim. In this extremity I remembered the
promise made to me by the great merchant of Zanzibar - Tarya Topan - a
Mohammedan Hindi - that he would furnish me with a letter to a young man
named Soor Hadji Palloo, who was said to be the best man in Bagamoyo to
procure a supply of pagazis.

I despatched my Arab interpreter by a dhow to Zanzibar, with a very
earnest request to Capt. Webb that he would procure from Tarya Topan the
introductory letter so long delayed. It was the last card in my hand.

On the third day the Arab returned, bringing with him not only the
letter to Soor Hadji Palloo, but an abundance of good things from
the ever-hospitable house of Mr. Webb. In a very short time after the
receipt of his letter, the eminent young man Soor Hadji Palloo came to
visit me, and informed me he had been requested by Tarya Topan to hire
for me one hundred and forty pagazis to Unyanyembe in the shortest time
possible. This he said would be very expensive, for there were scores
of Arabs and Wasawabili merchants on the look out for every caravan that
came in from the interior, and they paid 20 doti, or 80 yards of cloth,
to each pagazi. Not willing or able to pay more, many of these merchants
had been waiting as long as six months before they could get their
quota. "If you," continued he, "desire to depart quickly, you must pay
from 25 to 40 doti, and I can send you off before one month is ended."
In reply, I said, "Here are my cloths for pagazis to the amount of
$1,750, or 3,500 doti, sufficient to give one hundred and forty men 25
doti each. The most I am willing to pay is 25 doti: send one hundred and
forty pagazis to Unyanyembe with my cloth and wire, and I will make
your heart glad with the richest present you have ever received." With a
refreshing naivete, the "young man" said he did not want any present,
he would get me my quota of pagazis, and then I could tell the "Wasungu"
what a good "young man" he was, and consequently the benefit he would
receive would be an increase of business. He closed his reply with the
astounding remark that he had ten pagazis at his house already, and if I
would be good enough to have four bales of cloth, two bags of beads,
and twenty coils of wire carried to his house, the pagazis could leave
Bagamoyo the next day, under charge of three soldiers.

"For," he remarked, "it is much better and cheaper to send many small
caravans than one large one. Large caravans invite attack, or are
delayed by avaricious chiefs upon the most trivial pretexts, while small
ones pass by without notice."

The bales and the beads were duly carried to Soor Hadji Palloo's house,
and the day passed with me in mentally congratulating myself upon my
good fortune, in complimenting the young Hindi's talents for business,
the greatness and influence of Tarya Topan, and the goodness of Mr.
Webb in thus hastening my departure from Bagamoyo. I mentally vowed a
handsome present, and a great puff in my book, to Soor Hadji Palloo, and
it was with a glad heart that I prepared these soldiers for their march
to Unyayembe.

The task of preparing the first caravan for the Unyanyembe road informed
me upon several things that have escaped the notice of my predecessors
in East Africa, a timely knowledge of which would have been of infinite
service to me at Zanzibar, in the purchase and selection of sufficient
and proper cloth.

The setting out of the first caravan enlightened me also on the subject
of honga, or tribute. Tribute had to be packed by itself, all of
choice cloth; for the chiefs, besides being avaricious, are also very
fastidious. They will not accept the flimsy cloth of the pagazi, but
a royal and exceedingly high-priced dabwani, Ismahili, Rehani, or a
Sohari, or dotis of crimson broad cloth. The tribute for the first
caravan cost $25. Having more than one hundred and forty pagazis to
despatch, this tribute money would finally amount to $330 in gold, with
a minimum of 25c. on each dollar. Ponder on this, O traveller! I lay
bare these facts for your special instruction.

But before my first caravan was destined to part company with me,
Soor Hadji Palloo - worthy young man - and I were to come to a definite
understanding about money matters. The morning appointed for departure
Soor Hadji Palloo came to my hut and presented his bill, with all the
gravity of innocence, for supplying the pagazis with twenty-five doti
each as their hire to Unyanyembe, begging immediate payment in money.
Words fail to express the astonishment I naturally felt, that this
sharp-looking young man should so soon have forgotten the verbal
contract entered into between him and myself the morning previous, which
was to the effect that out of the three thousand doti stored in my tent,
and bought expressly for pagazi hire, each and every man hired for me
as carriers from Bagamoyo to Unyanyembe, should be paid out of the store
there in my tent, when I asked if he remembered the contract, he replied
in the affirmative: his reasons for breaking it so soon were, that he
wished to sell his cloths, not mine, and for his cloths he should want
money, not an exchange. But I gave him to comprehend that as he was
procuring pagazis for me, he was to pay my pagazis with my cloths; that
all the money I expected to pay him, should be just such a sum I thought
adequate for his trouble as my agent, and that only on those terms
should he act for me in this or any other matter, and that the "Musungu"
was not accustomed to eat his words.

The preceding paragraph embodies many more words than are contained
in it. It embodies a dialogue of an hour, an angry altercation of
half-an-hour's duration, a vow taken on the part of Soor Hadji Palloo,
that if I did not take his cloths he should not touch my business, many
tears, entreaties, woeful penitence, and much else, all of which were
responded to with, "Do as I want you to do, or do nothing." Finally came
relief, and a happy ending. Soor Hadji Palloo went away with a bright
face, taking with him the three soldiers' posho (food), and honga
(tribute) for the caravan. Well for me that it ended so, and that
subsequent quarrels of a similar nature terminated so peaceably,
otherwise I doubt whether my departure from Bagamoyo would have happened
so early as it did. While I am on this theme, and as it really engrossed
every moment of my time at Bagamoyo, I may as well be more explicit
regarding Boor Hadji Palloo and his connection with my business.

Boor Hadji Palloo was a smart young man of business, energetic, quick at
mental calculation, and seemed to be born for a successful salesman. His
eyes were never idle; they wandered over every part of my person, over
the tent, the bed, the guns, the clothes, and having swung clear round,
began the silent circle over again. His fingers were never at rest, they
had a fidgety, nervous action at their tips, constantly in the act of
feeling something; while in the act of talking to me, he would lean over
and feel the texture of the cloth of my trousers, my coat, or my shoes
or socks: then he would feel his own light jamdani shirt or dabwain
loin-cloth, until his eyes casually resting upon a novelty, his body
would lean forward, and his arm was stretched out with the willing
fingers. His jaws also were in perpetual motion, caused by vile habits
he had acquired of chewing betel-nut and lime, and sometimes tobacco and
lime. They gave out a sound similar to that of a young shoat, in the
act of sucking. He was a pious Mohammedan, and observed the external
courtesies and ceremonies of the true believers. He would affably greet
me, take off his shoes, enter my tent protesting he was not fit to sit
in my presence, and after being seated, would begin his ever-crooked
errand. Of honesty, literal and practical honesty, this youth knew
nothing; to the pure truth he was an utter stranger; the falsehoods he
had uttered during his short life seemed already to have quenched the
bold gaze of innocence from his eyes, to have banished the colour of
truthfulness from his features, to have transformed him - yet a stripling
of twenty - into a most accomplished rascal, and consummate expert in

During the six weeks I encamped at Bagamoyo, waiting for my quota of
men, this lad of twenty gave me very much trouble. He was found out half
a dozen times a day in dishonesty, yet was in no way abashed by it. He
would send in his account of the cloths supplied to the pagazis, stating
them to be 25 paid to each; on sending a man to inquire I would find the
greatest number to have been 20, and the smallest 12. Soor Hadji Palloo
described the cloths to be of first-class quality, Ulyah cloths, worth
in the market four times more than the ordinary quality given to the
pagazis, yet a personal examination would prove them to be the flimsiest
goods sold, such as American sheeting 2 1/2 feet broad, and worth $2.75
per 30 yards a piece at Zanzibar, or the most inferior Kaniki, which is
generally sold at $9 per score. He would personally come to my camp
and demand 40 lbs. of Sami-Sami, Merikani, and Bubu beads for posho,
or caravan rations; an inspection of their store before departure from
their first camp from Bagamoyo would show a deficiency ranging from 5
to 30 lbs. Moreover, he cheated in cash-money, such as demanding $4 for
crossing the Kingani Ferry for every ten pagazis, when the fare was $2
for the same number; and an unconscionable number of pice (copper coins
equal in value to 3/4 of a cent) were required for posho. It was every
day for four weeks that this system of roguery was carried out. Each day
conceived a dozen new schemes; every instant of his time he seemed to
be devising how to plunder, until I was fairly at my wits' end how to
thwart him. Exposure before a crowd of his fellows brought no blush of
shame to his sallow cheeks; he would listen with a mere shrug of the
shoulders and that was all, which I might interpret any way it pleased
me. A threat to reduce his present had no effect; a bird in the hand was
certainly worth two in the bush for him, so ten dollars' worth of goods
stolen and in his actual possession was of more intrinsic value than the
promise of $20 in a few days, though it was that of a white man.

Readers will of course ask themselves why I did not, after the first
discovery of these shameless proceedings, close my business with him,
to which I make reply, that I could not do without him unless his equal
were forthcoming, that I never felt so thoroughly dependent on any one
man as I did upon him; without his or his duplicate's aid, I must have
stayed at Bagamoyo at least six months, at the end of which time the
Expedition would have become valueless, the rumour of it having been
blown abroad to the four winds. It was immediate departure that was
essential to my success - departure from Bagamoyo - after which it might
be possible for me to control my own future in a great measure.

These troubles were the greatest that I could at this time imagine.
I have already stated that I had $1,750 worth of pagazis' clothes,
or 3,500 doti, stored in my tent, and above what my bales contained.
Calculating one hundred and forty pagazis at 25 doti each, I supposed I
had enough, yet, though I had been trying to teach the young Hindi that
the Musungu was not a fool, nor blind to his pilfering tricks, though
the 3,500 doti were all spent; though I had only obtained one hundred
and thirty pagazis at 25 doti each, which in the aggregate amounted to
3,200 doti: Soor Hadji Palloo's bill was $1,400 cash extra. His plea was
that he had furnished Ulyah clothes for Muhongo 240 doti, equal in value
to 960 of my doti, that the money was spent in ferry pice, in presents
to chiefs of caravans of tents, guns, red broad cloth, in presents to
people on the Mrima (coast) to induce them to hunt up pagazis. Upon this
exhibition of most ruthless cheating I waxed indignant, and declared to
him that if he did not run over his bill and correct it, he should go
without a pice.

But before the bill could be put into proper shape, my words, threats,
and promises falling heedlessly on a stony brain, a man, Kanjee by name,
from the store of Tarya Topan, of Zanzibar, had to come over, when the
bill was finally reduced to $738. Without any disrespect to Tarya Topan,
I am unable to decide which is the most accomplished rascal, Kanjee,
or young Soor Hadji Palloo; in the words of a white man who knows them
both, "there is not the splitting of a straw between them." Kanjee is
deep and sly, Soor Hadji Palloo is bold and incorrigible. But peace be
to them both, may their shaven heads never be covered with the troublous
crown I wore at Bagamoyo!

My dear friendly reader, do not think, if I speak out my mind in this
or in any other chapter upon matters seemingly trivial and unimportant,
that seeming such they should be left unmentioned. Every tittle related
is a fact, and to knew facts is to receive knowledge.

How could I ever recite my experience to you if I did not enter upon
these miserable details, which sorely distract the stranger upon his
first arrival? Had I been a Government official, I had but wagged my
finger and my quota of pagazis had been furnished me within a week; but
as an individual arriving without the graces of official recognition,
armed with no Government influence, I had to be patient, bide my time,
and chew the cud of irritation quietly, but the bread I ate was not all
sour, as this was.

The white men, Farquhar and Shaw, were kept steadily at work upon
water-proof tents of hemp canvas, for I perceived, by the premonitory
showers of rain that marked the approach of the Masika that an ordinary
tent of light cloth would subject myself to damp and my goods to mildew,
and while there was time to rectify all errors that had crept into my
plans through ignorance or over haste, I thought it was not wise to
permit things to rectify themselves. Now that I have returned uninjured
in health, though I have suffered the attacks of twenty-three fevers
within the short space of thirteen months; I must confess I owe my life,
first, to the mercy of God; secondly, to the enthusiasm for my work,
which animated me from the beginning to the end; thirdly, to having
never ruined my constitution by indulgence in vice and intemperance;
fourthly, to the energy of my nature; fifthly, to a native hopefulness
which never died; and, sixthly, to having furnished myself with a
capacious water and damp proof canvas house. And here, if my experience
may be of value, I would suggest that travellers, instead of submitting
their better judgment to the caprices of a tent-maker, who will
endeavour to pass off a handsomely made fabric of his own, which is
unsuited to all climes, to use his own judgment, and get the best and
strongest that money will buy. In the end it will prove the cheapest,
and perhaps be the means of saving his life.

On one point I failed, and lest new and young travellers fall into the
same error which marred much of my enjoyment, this paragraph is written.
One must be extremely careful in his choice of weapons, whether for
sport or defence. A traveller should have at least three different
kinds of guns. One should be a fowling-piece, the second should be
a double-barrelled rifle, No. 10 or 12, the third should be a
magazine-rifle, for defence. For the fowling-piece I would suggest No.
12 bore, with barrels at least four feet in length. For the rifle for
larger game, I would point out, with due deference to old sportsmen, of
course, that the best guns for African game are the English Lancaster
and Reilly rifles; and for a fighting weapon, I maintain that the
best yet invented is the American Winchester repeating rifle, or the
"sixteen, shooter" as it is called, supplied with the London Eley's
ammunition. If I suggest as a fighting weapon the American Winchester, I
do not mean that the traveller need take it for the purpose of offence,
but as the beat means of efficient defence, to save his own life against
African banditti, when attacked, a thing likely to happen any time.

I met a young man soon after returning from the interior, who declared
his conviction that the "Express," rifle was the most perfect weapon
ever invented to destroy African game. Very possibly the young man may
be right, and that the "Express" rifle is all he declares it to be, but
he had never practised with it against African game, and as I had
never tried it, I could not combat his assertion: but I could relate
my experiences with weapons, having all the penetrating powers of the
"Express," and could inform him that though the bullets penetrated
through the animals, they almost always failed to bring down the game at
the first fire. On the other hand, I could inform him, that during
the time I travelled with Dr. Livingstone the Doctor lent me his heavy
Reilly rifle with which I seldom failed to bring an animal or two home
to the camp, and that I found the Fraser shell answer all purposes for
which it was intended. The feats related by Capt. Speke and Sir Samuel
Baker are no longer matter of wonderment to the young sportsman, when
he has a Lancaster or a Reilly in his hand. After very few trials he can
imitate them, if not excel their Leeds, provided he has a steady hand.
And it is to forward this end that this paragraph is written. African
game require "bone-crushers;" for any ordinary carbine possesses
sufficient penetrative qualities, yet has not he disabling qualities
which a gun must possess to be useful in the hands of an African

I had not been long at Bagamoyo before I went over to Mussoudi's
camp, to visit the "Livingstone caravan" which the British Consul
had despatched on the first day of November, 1870, to the relief of
Livingstone. The number of packages was thirty-five, which required as
many men to convey them to Unyanyembe. The men chosen to escort this
caravan were composed of Johannese and Wahiyow, seven in number. Out of
the seven, four were slaves. They lived in clover here - thoughtless of
the errand they had been sent upon, and careless of the consequences.
What these men were doing at Bagamoyo all this time I never could
conceive, except indulging their own vicious propensities. It would
be nonsense to say there were no pagazis; because I know there were
at least fifteen caravans which had started for the interior since the
Ramadan (December 15th, 1870). Yet Livingstone's caravan had arrived at
this little town of Bagamoyo November 2nd, and here it had been lying
until the 10th February, in all, 100 days, for lack of the limited
number of thirty-five pagazis, a number that might be procured within
two days through consular influence.

Bagamoyo has a most enjoyable climate. It is far preferable in every
sense to that of Zanzibar. We were able to sleep in the open air, and
rose refreshed and healthy each morning, to enjoy our matutinal bath in
the sea; and by the time the sun had risen we were engaged in various
preparations for our departure for the interior. Our days were enlivened
by visits from the Arabs who were also bound for Unyanyembe; by comical
scenes in the camp; sometimes by court-martials held on the refractory;
by a boxing-match between Farquhar and Shaw, necessitating my prudent
interference when they waxed too wroth; by a hunting excursion now and
then to the Kingani plain and river; by social conversation with the
old Jemadar and his band of Baluches, who were never tired of warning me
that the Masika was at hand, and of advising me that my best course was
to hurry on before the season for travelling expired.

Among the employees with the Expedition were two Hindi and two Goanese.
They had conceived the idea that the African interior was an El Dorado,
the ground of which was strewn over with ivory tusks, and they had
clubbed together; while their imaginations were thus heated, to embark
in a little enterprise of their own. Their names were Jako, Abdul Kader,
Bunder Salaam, and Aranselar; Jako engaged in my service, as carpenter
and general help; Abdul Kader as a tailor, Bunder Salaam as cook, and
Aranselar as chief butler.

But Aranselar, with an intuitive eye, foresaw that I was likely to prove
a vigorous employer, and while there was yet time he devoted most of
it to conceive how it were possible to withdraw from the engagement. He
received permission upon asking for it to go to Zanzibar to visit his
friends. Two days afterwards I was informed he had blown his right eye
out, and received a medical confirmation of the fact, and note of the
extent of the injury, from Dr. Christie, the physician to His Highness
Seyd Burghash. His compatriots I imagined were about planning the same
thing, but a peremptory command to abstain from such folly, issued after
they had received their advance-pay, sufficed to check any sinister
designs they may have formed.

A groom was caught stealing from the bales, one night, and the chase
after him into the country until he vanished out of sight into the
jungle, was one of the most agreeable diversions which occurred to wear

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 4 of 38)