Josiah Tyler.

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travelers northwesterly into the first deep valley they had
Been since leaving Kolobeng. The guides sent by Katema
here started on their return home.

On reaching the village of a chief named Kabinje in the
evening, he sent Livingstone a present of tobacco and


" When we wished to move on, Kabinje refused a guide
to the next village because he was at war with it ; but, after
much persuasion, he consented, provided that the guide
should be allowed to return as soon as he came in sight of the
enemy's village. This we felt to be a misfortune, as the peo-
ple all suspect a man who comes telling his own tale ; but
there being no help for it, we went on, and found the head
man of a village on the rivulet Kalomba, called Kangenke, a
very different man from what his enemy represented. We
found, too, that the idea of buying and selling took the
place of giving for friendship. As I had nothing with
which to purchase food except a parcel of beads which
were preserved for worse times, I began to fear that we
should be compelled to suffer more from hunger than we had
done. The people demanded gunpowder for everything; so
money was of no value whatever. Gold is quite unknown ;
it is thought to be brass ; trade is carried on by barter alone.

" Kangenke promptly furnished guides in the morning ; so
we went briskly on a short distance, and came to a part of
the Kasye, Kasai, or Loke, where he had appointed two
canoes to convey us across. This is a most beautiful river,
and very much like the Clyde in Scotland. The slope of
the valley down to the stream is about five hundred yards,
and finely wooded. It is perhaps, one hundred yards broad,
and was winding slowly from side to side in the beautiful
green glen, in a course to the north and northeast. In both
the directions from which it came and to which it went, it
seemed to be alternately embowered in sylvan vegetation, or
rich meadows covered with tall grass. The men pointed out
its course, and said :

"A MAN, A TUSK, OB AN OX." 217

"'Though you sail along it for months, you will turn
without seeing the end of it.' "

While at the ford of the Kasai a knife was purposely
dropped by one of the natives, and found by one of Living-
stone's young men. The owner charged that it was stolen
from him, and would not receive it back unless accompanied
by a heavy fine. The lad offered beads, but they were
refused with scorn ; and he was obliged to give a costly shell
which he wore as an ornament around his neck.

" I felt annoyed at the imposition, but the order we
invariably followed in crossing a river, forced me to submit.
The head of the party remained to be ferried over last ; so if
I had not come to terms, I would have been, as I always was
in crossing rivers which we could not swim, completely in the
power of the enemy."

On the 29th the travelers approached the village of
Katende. Here one of the guides caught a mole and two
mice for his supper, and no other animals were to be seen.

" Katende sent for me on the day following our arrival,
and, being quite willing to visit him, I walked, for this
purpose, about three miles from our encampment. When
we approached the village we were desired to enter a hut,
and, as it was raining at the time, we did so. After a long
time spent in giving arid receiving messages from the great
man, we were told that he wanted either a man, a tusk, beads,
copper rings, or a shell, as payment for leave to pass through
his country. No one, we were assured, was allowed that
liberty, or even to behold him, without something of the
sort being presented. Having humbly explained our cir-
cumstances, and that he could not expect to ' catch a humble
cow by the horns,' we were told to go home, and he would
speak again to us next day."

The next day Livingstone sent Katende, as a present, an
old shirt, which was accepted, and guides and provisions
were promised. But after waiting two days in a heavy rain,
the travelers proceeded.

" Passing onward without seeing Katende, we crossed a


small rivulet, by which we had encamped, and after two
hours came to another, the Totelo, which was somewhat larger,
and had a bridge over it. At the farther end of this structure
stood a negro, who demanded fees. He said the bridge was
his ; the path his ; the guides were his children ; and if we
did not pay him he would prevent farther progress. This
piece of civilization I was not prepared to meet, and stood a
few seconds looking at our bold toll-keeper, when one of
my men took off three copper bracelets, which paid for the
whole party. The negro was a better man than he at first
seemed, for he immediately went to his garden and brought
us some leaves of tobacco as a present.

"In the afternoon we came to another stream, with a
bridge over it. The men had to swim off to each end of the
bridge, and when on it were breast deep ; some preferred
holding on by the tails of the oxen, the whole way across.
I intended to do this too ; but, riding to the deep part, before
I could dismount and 5 seize the helm the ox dashed off with
his companions, and his body sank so deep -that I failed in
my attempt even to catch the blanket belt, and if I pulled
the bridle the ox seemed as if he would come backward upon
me, so I struck out for the opposite bank alone. My poor
fellows were dreadfully alarmed when they saw me parted
from the cattle, and about twenty of them made a simulta-
neous rush into the water for my rescue, and just as I reached
the opposite bank one seized my arm, and another threw his
around my body.

"Some had leaped off the bridge, and allowed their cloaks
to float down stream. Part of my goods, abandoned in the
hurry, were brought up from the bottom after I was safe.
Great was the pleasure expressed when they found that I
could swim, like themselves, without a tail."

Having reached the village of Njambi, one of the chiefs of
the Chiboque, an ox was killed, and some of it sent as a
present to Njambi. He returned thanks, and promised to
send food.

Next morning he sent some meal, and demanded either a


man, an ox, a gun, powder, cloth, or a shell, and threatened
to prevent their further progress if he was refused.

" About midday, Njambi collected all his people, and sur-
rounded our encampment. Their object was evidently to
plunder us of everything. My men seized their javelins, and
stood on the defensive, while the Chiboque had drawn their
swords, and brandished them with great fury. Some even
pointed their guns at me, and nodded to each other, as much
as to say,

" ' This is the way we shall do with him.'

" I sat on my carnp-stool, with my double-barreled gun
across my knees, and invited the chief to be seated also. When
he and his counselors had sat down on the ground in front
of me, I asked what crime we had committed that he had
come armed in that way. He replied that one of my men,
Pitsane, while sitting at the fire that morning, had, in spit-
ting, allowed a small quantity of the saliva to fall on the leg
of one of his men, and this ' guilt ' he wanted to be settled
by the fine of a man, ox, or gun. Pitsarie admitted the fact
of a little saliva having fallen on the Chiboque, and in proof
of its being a pure accident, mentioned that he had given the
man a piece of meat, by way of making friends, just before
it happened, and wiped it off with his hand as soon as it fell.

" In reference to a man being given, I declared that we
were all ready to die, rather than give up one of our number
to be a slave ; that my men might as well give me as I give
one of them, for we were all free men.

" ' Then you can give the gun with which the ox was

"As we heard some of his people remarking even now
that we had only ' five guns,' we declined, on the ground
that, as they were intent on plundering us, giving a gun would
be helping them to do so.

" This they denied, saying they wanted the customary
tribute only. I asked what right they had to demand pay-
ment for leave to tread on the ground of God, our commoa
Father. If we trod on their gardens, we would pay, but not


for marching on land which was still God's and not theirs.
They did not attempt to controvert this, because it is in
accordance with their own ideas, but reverted again to the
pretended crime of the saliva.

" My men now entreated me to give something ; and after
asking the chief if he really thought the affair of the spitting
a matter of guilt, and receiving an answer in the affirmative,
I gave him one of my shirts. The young Chiboque were
dissatisfied, and began shouting and brandishing their swords
for a greater fine.

" As Pitsane felt that he had been the cause of this disagree-
able affair, he asked me to add something else. I gave a
bunch of beads, but the counselors objected this time, so I
added a large handkerchief. The more I yielded, the more
unreasonable their demands became, and at every fresh
demand a shout was raised by the armed party, and a rush
made around us with brandishing of arms. One young man
made a charge at my head from behind, but 1 quickly brought
round the muzzle of my gun to his mouth, and he retreated.
I pointed him out to the chief, and he ordered him to retire
a little. I felt anxious to avoid the effusion of blood ; and
though sure of being able, with my Makololo, who had been
drilled by Sebituane, to drive off twice the number of our
assailants, though now a large body, and well armed with
spears, swords, arrows and guns, I strove to avoid actual

" My men were quite unprepared for this exhibition, but
behaved with admirable coolness. The chief and counselors,
by accepting my invitation to be seated, had placed themselves
in a trap, for my men very quietly surrounded them, and
made them feel that there was no chance of escaping their
spears. I then said that, as one thing after another had failed
to satisfy them, it was evident that they wanted to fight, while
we only wanted to pass peaceably through the country ; that
they must begin first, and bear the guilt before God: we
would not fight till they had struck the first blow. I then
sat silent for some time. It was rather trying for me, because


I knew that the Chiboque would aim at the white man first ;
but I was careful not to appear flurried, and, having four bar-
rels ready for instant action, looked quietly at the savage
scene around.

" The Chiboque at last put the matter before us in this

" ' You come among us in a new way, and say you are quite
friendly : how can we know it unless you give us some of
your food, and you take some of ours \ If you give us an
ox, we will give you whatever you may wish, and then we
shall be friends.'

" In accordance with the entreaties of my men, I gave an
ox ; and when asked what I should like in return, mentioned
food as the thing which we most needed. In the evening,
Njambi sent us a very small basket of meal, and two or three
pounds of the flesh of our own ox, with the apology that he
had no fowls, and very little of any other food."

On Saturday, the llth of March, Livingstone reached a
small village, where he was quite ill. Here a mutiny began
to show itself among some of his men, who thought he had
been partial in distributing beads.

" On Sunday the mutineers were making a terrible din in
preparing a skin they had procured. I requested them twice,
by the man who attended me, to be more quiet, as the noise
pained me ; but as they paid no attention to this civil request,
I put out my head, and, repeating it myself, was answered
by an impudent laugh. Knowing that discipline would be
at an end if this mutiny were not quelled, and that our lives
'depended on vigorously upholding authority, I seized a dou-
ble-barreled pistol, and darted forth from the domicile, look-
ing, I suppose, so savage as to put them to a precipitous flight.
As some remained within hearing, I told them that I must
maintain discipline, though at the expense of some of their
limbs ; so long as we traveled together they must remember
that I was master, and not they. There being but little room
to doubt my determination, they became very obedient, and


never afterward gave me any trouble, or imagined that they
had any right to my property.

" ~L3th. "We went forward some miles, but were brought
to a stand by the severity of my fever on the banks of a
branch of the Loajima, another tributary of the Kasai. I was
in a state of partial coma until late at night, when it became
necessary for me to go out ; and I was surprised to find that
my men had built a little stockade, and some of them took
their spears and acted as a guard. I found that we were sur-
rounded by enemies, and a party of Chiboque lay near the
gateway, after having preferred the demand of ' a man, an ox,
a gun, or a tusk.' "

After long negotiations with the messengers of the chief, as
there was no help for it without bloodshed, Livingstone gave
them a tired riding ox, although the late chief mutineer
objected, and armed himself and stood at the gateway,
declaring that he would rather die than see his father
imposed on.

''We prepared for defense by marching in a compact body,
and allowing no one to straggle far behind the others. We
marched through many miles of gloomy forest in gloomier
silence, but nothing disturbed us. We came to a village, and
found all the men absent, the guides thought, in the forest,
with their countrymen. I was too ill to care much whether
we were attacked or not. Though a pouring rain came on,
as we were all anxious to get away out of a bad neighborhood,
we proceeded. The thick atmosphere prevented my seeing
the creeping plants in time to avoid them ; so Pitsane, Moho-
risi, and I, who alone were mounted, were often caught ; and
as there is no stopping the oxen when they have the prospect
of giving the rider a tumble, we came frequently to the

" In addition to these mishaps, Sinbad went off at a plung-
ing gallop, the bridle broke, and I came down backward on
the crown of my head. lie gave me a kick on the thigh at
the same time. I felt none the worse for this rough treat-
ment, but would not recommend it to others as a palliative in


cases of fever ! This last attack of fever was so obstinate that
it reduced me almost to a skeleton."

Coming to a ford, some hostile natives with guns and iron-
headed arrows refused passage, but Livingstone moved on
without heeding them to the edge of a forest, for protection
in case of attack, which appeared imminent. At this junc-
ture a venerable negro came up and invited them to be seated,
and after a talk, he invited them to his village. It was a
small one, embowered in lofty evergreen trees hung with fine
festoons of creepers. Here the same demand of payment for
leave to pass was made as by the other Chiboque. A valua-
ble shell, beads, shirts etc., were offered, but nothing would
do but an ox, which was accordingly given.

" One of the oxen offered was rejected because he had lost
part of his tail, as they thought it had been cut off and witch-
craft medicine inserted ; and some mirth was excited by my
proposing to raise a similar objection to all the oxen we still
had in our possession. The remaining four soon presented a
singular shortness of their caudal extremities, and we were no
more troubled by the demand for an ox.

"Tonga Panza's sons agreed to act as guides into the terri-
tory of the Portuguese if I would give them the shell given me
by Shinte. I was strongly averse to this, and especially to
give it beforehand, but yielded to the entreaty of my people
to appear as if showing confidence in these hopeful youths.
They urged that they wished to leave the shell with their
wives, as a sort of payment to them for enduring their hus-
bands' absence so long. Having delivered the precious shell,
we went west-by-north to the River Chikapa. We were fer-
ried over in a canoe, made out of a single piece of bark sewed
together at the ends, and having sticks placed it it at different
parts to act as ribs.

" One could detect, in passing, the variety of character
found among the owners of gardens and villages. Some vil-
lages were the picture of neatness. We entered others envoi'
oped in a wilderness of weeds, so high that, when sitting on
ox-back in the village, we could only see the tops of the huts.


If we entered at midday, the owners would come lazily forth,
pipe in hand, and leisurely puff away in dreamy indifference.

"In some villages weeds are not allowed to grow ; cotton,
tobacco, and different plants used as relishes are planted round
the huts ; fowls are kept in cages, and the gardens present the
pleasant spectacle of different kinds of grain and pulse at vari-
ous periods of their growth. I sometimes admired the one
class, and at times wished I could have taken the world easy
for a time like the other. Every village swarms with chil-
dren, who turn out to see the white man pass, and run along
with strange cries and antics ; some run up trees to get a good
view : all are agile climbers throughout Londa. At friendly
villages they have scampered alongside our party for miles at
a time.

" We usually made a little hedge around our sheds ; crowds
of women came to the entrance of it, with children on their
backs, and long pipes in their mouths, gazing at us for hours.
The men, rather than disturb them, crawled through a hole
in the hedge, and it was common to hear a man running off
to say to them, ' I am going to tell my mamma to come and
see the white man's oxen.'

" On Sunday, April 2d, we rested beside a small stream, and
our hunger being now very severe, from having lived on
manioc alone since leaving lonza Panza's, we slaughtered one
of our four remaining oxen.

" Sansawe, the chief of a portion of the Bashinje, having
sent the usual formal demand for a man, an ox, or a tusk,
spoke very contemptuously of the poor things we offered him
instead. We told his messengers that the tusks were Sekele-
tu's: everything was gone except my instruments, which
could be of no use to them whatever. One of them begged
some meat, and, when it was refused, said to my men, ' You
may as well give it, for we shall take all after we have killed
you to-morrow.' The more humbly we spoke, the more
insolent the Bashinje became, till at last we were all feeling
savage and sulky, but continued to speak as civilly as we
could. They are fond of argument, and when I denied their


right to demand tribute from a white man, who did not trade
in slaves, an old white-headed negro put rather a posing
question :

" ' You know that God has placed chiefs among us whom
we ought to support. How is it that you, who have a book
that tells you about him, do not come forward at once to pay
this chief tribute like every one else ?'

" I replied by asking, ' How could I know that this was a
chief, who had allowed me to remain a day and a half near
him without giving me any thing to eat ?' This, which to the
uninitiated may seem sophistry, was to the Central Africans
quite a rational question, for he at once admitted that food
ought to have been sent, and added that probably his chief
was only making it ready for me, and that it would come

" As soon as day dawned we were astir, and, setting off in
a drizzling rain, passed close to the village. This rain proba-
bly damped the ardor of the robbers. We, however, expect-
ed to be fired upon from every clump of trees, or from some
of the rocky hillocks among which we were passing ; and it
was only after two hours' march that we began to breathe
freely, and my men remarked, in thankfulness,

" ' "We are children of Jesus.' "



OX the 13th, of April Livingstone reached Cassange, in
Angola, the farthest inland station of the Portuguese
in AV r estern Africa. Here lived about forty Portuguese tra-
ders, all of whom were officers in the militia, and many of
them had become rich by sending native traders with goods,
to trade in the interior.

" I made my entrance in a somewhat forlorn state as to
clothing among our Portuguese allies. The first gentleman
I met in the village asked if I had a passport, and said it was
necessary to take me before the authorities. As I was in the
same state of mind in which individuals are who commit a
petty depredation in order to obtain the shelter and food of a
prison, I gladly accompanied him to the house of the com-
mandant Senhor de Silva Rego. Having shown my passport
he politely asked me to supper. Captain Antonio Neves
then kindly invited me to take up my abode in his house.
Next morning this generous man arrayed me in decent cloth-
ing, and continued during the whole period of my stay to
treat me as if I had been his brother. I feel duly grateful to
him for his disinterested kindness.

" As I always preferred to appear in my own proper char-
acter, I was an object of curiosity to these hospitable Portu-
guese. They evidently looked upon me as an agent of the
English government, engaged in some new movement for the
suppression of slavery. They could not divine what a " mis-
eionario" had to do with the latitudes and longitudes, which



I was intent on observing. When we became a little famil-
iar, the questions put were rather amusing : ' Is it common
for missionaries to be doctors ?' ' Are you a doctor of medicine
and a ' doutor mathematico' too ? You must be more than a
missionary to know how to calculate the longitude ! Come,
tell us at once what rank you hold in the English army.'

" They may have given credit to my reason for wearing the
moustache, as that explains why men have beards and women
have none ; but that which puzzled many besides my Cassange
friends was the anomaly of my being a ' sacerdote,' with a wife
and four children ! I usually got rid of the last question by
putting another : ' Is it not better to have children with a wife,
than to have children without a wife ?' But all were most
kind and hospitable ; and as one of their festivals was near,
they invited me to partake of the feast.

" As far as a traveler could judge they seemed to be polite
and willing to aid each other. They had neither doctor,
apothecary, school, nor priest, and when ill trust to each other
and to Providence.

" None of these gentlemen had Portuguese wives. They
usually come to Africa in order to make a little money and
return to Lisbon. It is common for them to have families by
native women. Instances, so common in the South, in which
half-caste children are abandoned, are here extremely rare.
They are acknowledged at table, and provided for by their
fathers as if European. The colored clerks of the merchants
sit at the same table with their employers without any embar-
rassment. The civil manners of superiors to inferiors is prob-
ably the result of the position they occupy a few whites
among thousands of blacks ; but nowhere else in Africa is
there so much good-will between Europeans and natives as

" The anniversary of the Resurrection of our Saviour was
observed on the 16th of April as a day of rejoicing, though
the Portuguese have no priest at Cassange. The colored
population dressed up a figure intended to represent Judas
Iscariot, and paraded him on a riding-ox about the village ;


sneers and maledictions were freely bestowed on the poor
wretch thus represented. The slaves and free colored popu-
lation, dressed in their gayest clothing, made visits to all the
principal merchants, and wishing them ' a good feast ' expected
a present in return.

" As the traders of Cassange were the first white men we
had come to, we sold the tusks belonging to Sekeletu, which
had been brought to test the difference of prices in the Mako-
lolo and white men's country. The result was highly satis-
factory to my companions, as the Portuguese give much
larger prices for ivory than traders from the Cape can possi-
bly give, who labor under the disadvantage of considerable
overland expenses and ruinous restrictions. Two muskets,
three small barrels of gunpowder, and English calico and
baize sufficient to clothe my whole party, with large bunches
of beads, all for one tusk, were quite delightful to those who
had been accustomed to give two tusks for one gun. With
another tusk we procured calico, which here is the chief cur-

Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 14 of 51)