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Freeland by Theodor Hertzka

Part 2 out of 9

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camp) 'we shall look upon it as an attack. I have spoken.'

The _el-moran_ went away with as much quiet dignity as they had exhibited
when they approached us. The number in sight had meantime increased to
nearly 2,000 men, who were arranged in tolerably good military order. When
they received our answer, they raised a not unmusical war-cry and,
extending their lances, hurried forward with a quick step. We sat still by
the side of our cooking-vessels as if the affair did not concern us, until
the foremost of the _el-moran_ had reached the specified bush. Johnston
then caused the signal to be blown; quick as lightning we were in the
saddle, and, with the elephants in our midst, we galloped towards the
_el-moran_, whilst a quick fire with blank-cartridge opened upon them and
our artillery began to play. The effect was not less drastic than it had
been in the case of the followers of Mdango. The arrogant assailants beat a
noisy retreat, and--an unheard-of disgrace for fighting _el-moran_--many of
them let fall their lances and shields in the panic. The whole body of them
fled until they were completely out of our view; but we went back to our
cooking-utensils, where we found Mdango's followers and adherents, who had
been inactive spectators of the scene, convulsed with laughter. We invited
them within our fenced camp, where we loaded each man with presents. First
Mdango was rewarded for his diplomatic services with a bright-coloured
gold-embroidered robe of honour (where, in speaking of presents, 'gold' is
mentioned--which the Central African neither knows nor values--spurious
metal must be understood), a silver watch, a white-metal knife, fork, and
spoon, and several tin plates. The using of the last-named articles must
have been very difficult to him at first; but it ought to be stated that
his watch continued to go well, and on special occasions he made use of his
knife and fork with a great deal of dignity.

Other Masai notables were honoured with choice presents, though not so
extravagantly as the much-envied Mdango. All the _el-moran_
received--besides strings of pearls and kerchiefs for their girls--the
much-coveted red breeches; each married man a coloured mantle; and every
woman, married or single, who honoured our camp with a visit was made glad
by gifts of pictures, pearls, and all kinds of bronze and glass
knickknacks. It took about fifty of us several hours to distribute these
presents. It was difficult to keep order in this surging mass of excited
and chattering men and women. It was almost sunset before the last of the
Masai men left our camp, whilst the prettiest of the girls and women showed
no inclination to return to their household gods.

Under the pretence of doing honour to our new friends, but really in order
to show that, when necessary, our weapons could strike as well as make a
noise, we ordered a grand parade for the next forenoon. At this there were
present, not merely our adherents, but also most of our assailants of
yesterday. The latter were shy and confused, like whipped children; but
they were attracted both by curiosity and by the hope of yet winning the
favour of the magnanimous _mussungus_ (whites). After manoeuvring for about
half an hour, we gave a platoon fire with ball-cartridge at a fixed target;
and then one of our sharpshooters smashed ten eggs thrown up in rapid
succession--a feat which won enthusiastic applause from the _el-moran_.
Even the ringleaders of yesterday's opponents, when this first part of the
play was over, declared that it would be madness to fight with such
antagonists; they saw clearly that we could have blown them all into the
air yesterday in ten minutes. The artillery portion of the spectacle
produced a still greater effect. About a mile and a quarter from our camp
Johnston had improvised several good-sized block-houses of heavy timber
covered with brushwood and dry grass, and had placed in them a quantity of
explosives. These structures, which were really of a substantial character,
were now subjected to a fire of grenades and rockets; and it can be readily
imagined that the ascending flames, the crackling of the falling timbers,
and the explosion of the enclosed fireworks, would strongly impress the
Masai. But the terrible fascination reached its climax when Johnston
brought into play a mine and an electric communication which had been
prepared during the night, and by means of which a hut stored with
fireworks was sent into the air. The Masai were now convinced that a
movement of our hands was sufficient alone to blow into the air any
enemies, however numerous they might be; and from that time to offer
violent resistance to us appeared to them as useless as to offer it to
supernatural powers.

When we saw that they were thus sufficiently prepared, we proceeded to
conclude our alliance of peace and friendship. First of all, however,
Johnston announced to the abashed and silently retreating victims of
yesterday's sham fight that we whites had forgiven them, that in the solemn
act now beginning we wished to look upon none but contented faces, and that
therefore they were to have presents given them. When this had been
announced, Johnston required the kraals--seventeen from Lytokitok and four
from Kapté were represented--each to nominate the _leitunu_ and _leigonani_
of its _el-moran_ and two of its _el-morun_ to draw up the contract with
us. The choice of these was soon finished, and an hour later the
deliberations--in which on our side only Johnston, myself, and six officers
took part--were opened by all sorts of ceremonies. First there were several
speeches, in which on our side were set forth the advantages which the
Masai would derive from our settling in their midst or on their frontiers;
and on the side of the Masai orators assurances of admiration and affection
for their white friends played the principal _rôle_. Then Johnston laid the
several points of the contract before them, as follows:

1. The Masai shall preserve unbroken peace and friendship towards us and
our allies, who are the inhabitants of Duruma, Teita, Taveta, Chala, and

2. The Masai shall on no pretence whatever demand _hongo_ (tribute) from
any caravan conducted by white men; but promise on the contrary to assist
by all means in their power the progress of such caravans, particularly in
furnishing them, as far as their supplies allow, with provisions at a fair

3. The Masai shall, when required by us at any time, place at our disposal
any number of _el-moran_ to act as escort or sentinels, yielding military
obedience to us during the period of their service with us.

4. In return we bind ourselves to recognise the Masai as our friends, to
protect them in their rights, and to aid them against foreign attacks.

5. The _el-moran_ of all the tribes in alliance with us shall receive every
man yearly two pair of good cotton trousers and fifty strings of glass
pearls to be chosen by themselves, or, if they wish, other articles of like
value. The _el-morun_ shall receive every man a cotton mantle; the
_leitunus_ and _leigonanis_ trousers, pearls, and mantle.

6. The _el-moran_ who shall be called out for active service among us shall
every one receive, besides full rations in flesh and milk, a daily payment
of five strings of pearls, or their value.

These conditions, which were received by the Masai present with signs of
undisguised satisfaction, were confirmed with great solemnity by the
symbolic ceremony of blood-fraternisation between the contracting parties.
As the multitude, who stood looking on at a respectful distance, greeted
the conditions, when read to them, with loud shouts of joy, we knew that
the public opinion of Lytokitok and of a portion of Kapté was completely

We told our new allies that it was our intention to pass Matumbato and
Kapté on our way to the Naivacha lake, to admit to the alliance as many as
possible of the Masai tribes dwelling on our route, and then proceed to the
Kenia either by Kikuyu or by Lykipia. To facilitate our entering into
friendly relations with the tribes through whose territories we should
pass, we asked for a company of fifty _el-moran_ to precede us under the
leadership of our friend Mdango, who had risen very high in the estimation
of his countrymen. Our request was granted, and Mdango felt no little
flattered by the choice which had fallen on him. The fifty _el-moran_ whom
we asked for grew to be above five hundred, for the younger warriors
contended among themselves for the honour of serving us. The Masai advised
us not to take the route by Kikuyu. The Wa-Kikuyu are not a Masai tribe,
but belong to quite a different race, and have from time immemorial been at
feud with the Masai. They were described to us as at once treacherous,
cowardly, and cruel, as people without truthfulness and fidelity, and with
whom an honourable alliance was impossible. But as we had already learnt,
in our civilised home, how much reliance is to be placed on the opinions
held of each other by antagonistic nations, the above description produced
no effect upon our minds beyond that of convincing us that the Wa-Kikuyu
and the Masai were hereditary foes. That we were correct in our scepticism
the result showed. Mdango was informed that we should adhere to our
original purpose. He was to precede us by forced marches, if possible to
the frontiers of Lykipia, then turn and await us on the east shore of the
Naivasha lake, where, in three weeks' time, we hoped to hold the great
_shauri_ with the Masai tribes which he would then have got together and
won over to our wishes. As to the Wa-Kikuyu who occupied the territory to
the east of Naivasha, we ourselves would arrange with them.

Mdango left next morning, while we remained until the 1st of June at
Miveruni, on the north side of the Kilimanjaro. The news of what had
happened had reached the neighbouring Useri, whose inhabitants--hitherto
living in constant feud with the Masai--now came in great numbers, under
the leadership of their Sultan, to visit us, and to be convinced of the
truth of what they had heard. They brought gifts for both ourselves and the
Masai, the gifts for the latter being tokens of their pleasure at the
ending of their feud. We received fifty cows and fifty bulls; the Masai
half the number. This gift suggested to the Masai elders the idea of
sending messengers with greetings from us, and with assurances of peace
henceforth, to the Chaga, Wa-Taveta, Wa-Teita, and Wa-Duruma; which
embassy, as we learnt afterwards, returned six weeks later so richly
rewarded that the inhabitants of Lytokitok gained more in presents than
they had ever gained in booty by their raids. And as these presents were
repeated annually, though not to so great an amount, the peace was in this
respect alone a very good stroke of business for our new friends. But the
tribes which had formerly suffered from the Masai when on the war-path
profited still more from the peace, for they were henceforth able to
pasture their cattle in security and to till their fields, whilst
previously just the most fertile districts had been left untilled through
dread of the Masai.

As we were abundantly supplied with flesh and milk (for the Masai had given
us presents in return in the shape of fine cattle), we begged the Sultan of
Useri--who, of course, was not left unrewarded for his friendliness--to
hold his presents in his own keeping until we needed them. We intended to
use the cattle he offered us for the great caravans that would follow. For
the same purpose, we also left in charge of our Masai friends in Miveruni
three hundred and sixty head of cattle which we had not used of their
presents. We were not dependent upon our cattle for meat, as the chase
supplied us with an incredible abundance of the choicest dainties. For
instance, in three hours I shot six antelopes of different kinds, two
zebras, and one rhinoceros; and as our camp contained many far better
sportsmen than I am, it may be imagined how easy a matter it was to
provision us. In fact, though unnecessary slaughter was avoided as much as
possible, and our better sportsmen tried their skill upon only the game
that was very rare or very difficult to bring down, we could not ourselves
consume the booty brought home, but every day presented carcases of game to
our guest-friends. In particular, we shot rhinoceroses, with which the
country swarmed, solely for the use of our blacks, who were passionately
fond of certain portions of those animals, whilst no portion is palatable
to Europeans except in extreme need. When we were on the march it was often
necessary to kill these animals, because they--the only wild animals that
do it in Central Africa--have the inconvenient habit of attacking and
breaking through the caravans when they discover their neighbourhood by
means of the wind. This happened almost daily during the whole of our
journey, though only once a serious result followed, when a driver was
badly wounded and an ass was tossed and gored. But the inconvenience caused
by these attacks was always considerable, and we thought it better to shoot
the mischievous uncouth fellows rather than allow them an opportunity of
running down a man or a beast.

We had hitherto seen only isolated footprints of elephants, but on the
northern declivities of the Kilimanjaro we found elephants in great
numbers, though not in such enormous herds as we were to meet with later in
the Kenia districts. They were the noble game to which the more fastidious
of our sportsmen confined their attentions, without, however, achieving any
great success; for the elephants here were both shy and fierce, having
evidently been closely hunted by the ivory-seekers. It was necessary to
exercise extreme caution; and thus it was that only three of our best and
most venturesome hunters succeeded in killing one each, the flesh of which
was handed over to the blacks, whilst the small quantity of ivory found its
way into our treasury. _A propos_ of hunting, it may be mentioned here that
the lions, which were met with everywhere on our journey in great numbers,
sometimes in companies of as many as fifteen individuals, afforded the
least dangerous and generally the least successful sport. The lion of
Equatorial Africa is a very different animal from his North African
congener. He equals him in size and probably in strength, but in the
presence of man he is shyer and even timid. These lions will not attack
even a child; in fact, the natives chase them fearlessly with their
insignificant weapons when the lions fall upon their herds. All the many
lions upon which our huntsmen came made off quickly, and, even if wounded,
showed fight only when their retreat was cut off; in short, they are
cowards in every respect. The reason for this is to be sought in the great
abundance of their prey. As the table is always furnished for the 'king of
beasts,' and he need not run any danger or put forth any great effort in
order to satisfy his wants, he carefully avoids every creature that appears
seriously to threaten his safety. The buffalo, which is certainly the most
dangerous of all African wild beasts, is attacked by lions only when the
buffalo is alone and the lions are many in company.

At four in the morning of the 1st of June we left Miveruni. A march of
several hours placed the last of the woodland belts of the Kilima
foot-hills behind us, and we entered upon the bare plains of the Ngiri
desert. The road through these and past the Limgerining hills by the high
plateau of Matumbato offered little that was noteworthy. On the 6th of June
we reached the hills of Kapté, along whose western declivities we passed at
a height of from 4,000 to 5,500 feet above the sea. On our left, beneath
us, were the monotonous plains of Dogilani, stretching farther than the eye
could reach, and on our right the Kapté hills, rising to a height of nearly
10,000 feet, their sides showing mostly rich, grassy, park-like land, and
their summits clothed with dark forests. Numerous streamlets, here and
there forming picturesque waterfalls, fell noisily down, uniting in the
Dogilani country into larger streams, which, as far as the eye could follow
them, all took their course westward to fall into the Victoria Nyanza, the
largest of all the great lakes of Central Africa. All the tribes on our way
received us as old friends, even those with whom we had not previously
contracted alliance. They had all heard the wonderful story of the white
men who wished to settle amongst them, and who were at once so mighty and
so generous. Mdango's invitation to the _shauri_ at the Naivasha lake had
everywhere been gladly received; multitudes were already on their way, and
others joined us or promised to follow. There was no mention at all of
_hongo_; in short, our game was won in all parts of the country.

On the 12th we reached the confines of the Kikuyu country, along which our
further route to the Naivasha led. The evil reports of the knavish, hateful
character of this people were repeated to us in a yet stronger form by the
Kapté Masai, their immediate neighbours. But we had in the meantime
received from another source a very different representation. Our two
ladies had with them an Andorobbo girl whom they had taken into their
service in Taveta. The Andorobbo are a race of hunters who, without settled
residence, are to be met with throughout the whole of the enormous region
between the Victoria Nyanza and the Zanzibar coast. Sakemba--as the girl of
eighteen was called--belonged to a tribe of this race that hunted elephants
in the districts at the foot of the Kenia to the north of Kikuyu. She had
been stolen two years before by the Masai, who had sold her to a Swahili
caravan, with which she had gone to Taveta. The girl had an invincible
longing for her home--a rare thing among these races; and as it was known
that my sister and Miss Ellen were awaiting a caravan that was going on to
the Kenia, the girl appealed to them to buy her from her master and take
her back to her home, where her relatives would gladly pay the cost in
elephants' teeth. Touched by the importunity of the girl, Clara and Miss
Fox bought her of her master, gave her her liberty, and engaged to take her
with them. The girl was very intelligent, and was well-informed concerning
the affairs of her native country. She had heard in Miveruni what evil
reports the Masai gave of the Wa-Kikuyu, and she took the first opportunity
of assuring her protectresses that the case was not nearly so bad as it was
made to appear. The Masai and the Wa-Kikuyu were old foes, and, as they
consequently did each other all the harm they could, they ascribed every
conceivable vice to each other. It was true that the Wa Kikuyu would rather
fight in ambush than in the open field, and they certainly were not so
brave as the Masai; but they were treacherous and cruel only to their
enemies, while those who had won their confidence could as safely rely upon
them as upon the members of any other nation. The Andorobbo would much
rather have dealings with the Wa-Kikuyu than with the Masai, because the
former were much more peaceable and less overbearing than the latter. Our
direct route to the Kenia lay through Kikuyu, whilst the route through
Lykipia would have taken at least six days longer on account of the
_détour_ we should have to make around the Aberdare range of hills.

As we had no reason to question the trustworthiness of this report, the
last--and to us most important--part of which was confirmed by a glance at
the map, we resolved at any rate to attempt the route through Kikuyu.
Therefore, whilst the greater part of the expedition continued to pursue,
under Johnston's guidance, the northerly route to the Naivasha lake, I with
fifty men and a quantity of baggage went easterly by the frontier place,
Ngongo-a-Bagas. My intention was to take with me merely Sakemba as one
acquainted with the country and the people, and to leave the two ladies in
Johnston's care until my return. But my sister declared that she would not
leave me on any account; and as the Andorobbo girl belonged to the women
and not to me, and moreover asserted that there would be absolutely no
danger for the women, since it had been from time immemorial an unbroken
custom for the Masai and the Wa-Kikuyu to respect each other's women in
time of war--an assurance which was confirmed on all hands, even by the
Masai themselves--my sister and Miss Ellen became members of our party.

As soon as we entered the territory of Kikuyu we found ourselves in
luxuriant shady forests, which however could by no means be said to be
'impenetrable,' but were rather remarkable for being in very many places
cut through by broad passages, which had the appearance of having been made
by some skilful gardener for the convenience and recreation of
pleasure-seekers. These ways were not perfectly straight, but as a rule
they went in a certain definite direction. In breadth they varied from
three to twenty feet; at places they broadened out into considerable
clearings which, like the narrower ways, were clothed with a very fine and
close short grass, and were deliciously shady and cool. The origin of these
ways was, and is, an enigma to me. On each side of them there was underwood
between the stems of the tall trees. At places this underwood was very
thick, and we could plainly see that dark figures followed us on both
sides, watching all our movements, and evidently not quite sure as to what
our intentions were. The fact that we came from the hostile Masailand might
have excited mistrust, for we proceeded in this way a couple of hours
without an actual meeting between ourselves and any of our unknown escort.

An end had to be put to this, for some unforeseen accident might lead to a
misunderstanding followed by hostilities. So I asked Sakemba if she dared
to go alone among the Wa-Kikuyu. 'Why not?' asked she. 'It would be as safe
as for me to go into the hut of my parents.' I therefore ordered a halt,
and the Andorobbo girl went fearlessly towards the bushes where she knew
the Wa-Kikuyu to be, and at once disappeared. In half an hour she returned
accompanied by several Wa-Kikuyu women, who were sent to test the truth of
Sakemba's story--that is, to see whether we were, with the exception of a
few drivers, all whites, and whether--which would be the most certain proof
of our pacific intentions--there were really two white women among us.
Uncertain rumours about us had already reached the ears of the Wa-Kikuyu;
but, as these reports had come through the hostile Masai, the Wa-Kikuyu had
not known how much to believe. But the deputation of women opened up
friendly relations between us; a few lavishly bestowed trinkets soon won us
the hearts and the confidence of the black fair ones. Our visitors did not
waste time in returning to the men, but signalled and called the latter to
come to them, with the result that we were immediately surrounded by
hundreds of admiring and astonished Wa-Kikuyu.

I went among them, accompanied only by an interpreter, and asked where
their sultan and elders were. Sultan had they none, was the answer--they
were independent men; their elders were present among them. 'Then let us at
once hold a _shauri_, for I have something of importance to tell you.' No
African can resist a request to hold a _shauri_; so we immediately sat down
in a circle, and I was able to make known my wishes. First, I told them of
our victory over the Masai, and how we had forced them to preserve peace
with us and with all our allies, I also told them of our subsequent
generosity. I then assured them that we also wished to have the Wa-Kikuyu
as our allies, which would result in peace between them and the Masai, and
would bring great benefit to them from us. We asked for nothing, however,
in return but a friendly reception and an unmolested passage through their
territory. If they refused, we would force them to grant it, as we did the
Masai. 'Look here'--I took a repeating-rifle in my hand--'this thing hits
at any distance;' and I gave it to one of our best marksmen and pointed to
a vulture which sat upon a tree a little more than three hundred yards off.
The shot was heard, and the vulture fell down mortally wounded. The
Wa-Kikuyu showed signs of being about to run away, although they had
occasionally heard the reports of guns in their conflicts with Swahili
caravans. What frightened them was not the noise, but the certainty of the
aim. However, they were soon reassured, and I went on: 'We not only always
hit with our weapons, but we can shoot without cessation.' I had this
assertion demonstrated to them by a rapid succession of ten shots; and
again my hearers were seized with a horrible fright. 'We have fifty such
things here, a hundred and fifty more among the Masai, and many many
thousands where we come from. Besides, we carry with us the most dangerous
medicines--all to be used only against those who attack us. But we have
costly presents for those who are friendly towards us.' Then I ordered to
be opened a bale of various wares which had been specially packed for such
an occasion, and I said: 'This belongs to you, that you may remember the
hour in which you saw us for the first time. No one shall say, "I sat with
the white men and held _shauri_ with them, and my hands remained empty." If
you wish to know how liberally we deal with those who become our allies, go
and ask the Masai.'

The effect of this address, and still more of the openly displayed
presents, left nothing to be desired. The distribution of the presents gave
rise to a tremendous scramble among our future friends; but when this was
over--fortunately without any serious mischief--we were overwhelmed with
extravagant asseverations of affection and zealous service. First we were
invited to honour with our presence their huts, so ingeniously concealed in
the forest thickets, an invitation which we readily accepted. We were
careful, however, to take up our quarters in a commanding position, and to
keep ourselves well together. I also directed that several of our people
should, without attracting attention, keep constant watch. I left the
baggage in charge of four gigantic mastiffs which we had brought with us.
The former part of these precautions proved to be quite unnecessary; no one
harboured any evil design against us, and the anxious timidity which the
Wa-Kikuyu at first so manifestly showed quickly yielded to the most
complete confidence, in which change of attitude, it may be incidentally
remarked, the women led the way. On the other hand, it proved to be
extremely advisable to keep watch over the baggage. Desperate cries of
'Murder!' and 'Help!' were soon heard from a Wa-Kikuyu boy, who, thinking
our baggage was unwatched, had crept near it with a knife, but was very
cleverly fixed by one of the mastiffs. We released him, frightened nearly
to death, but otherwise quite unhurt, out of the clutches of the powerful
animal; and we were troubled by no further attempt upon our baggage.

The next morning we asked our hosts to accompany us a few days' march
further into the interior of the country in the direction of the Kenia, and
to invite as many of their associated tribes as they could communicate with
in so short a time to meet us in a _shauri_, since we desired to contract
with them a firm alliance. This was readily promised, and so for two days
we were accompanied by several hundred Wa-Kikuyu through the magnificent
forest, in which the flora vied with the fauna in beauty and multiplicity
of species. The Wa-Kikuyu entertained us in a truly extravagant manner,
without accepting payment for anything. We were literally overloaded with
milk, honey, butter, all kinds of flesh and fowl, _mtama_ cakes, bananas,
sweet potatoes, yams, and a great choice of very delicious fruits. We
wondered whence this inexhaustible abundance, particularly of wild fruits,
came; for in the forest clearings which we had passed through pasturage and
agriculture were evidently only subordinate industries. At the end of the
second day's march, however, the riddle was solved; for when we had reached
the considerable river called the Guaso Amboni, which falls into the Indian
Ocean, we found spreading out before us farther than the eye could reach a
high plateau which, so far as we could see, had the character of an open
park-land, bearing, especially where it touched the forest we had just
left, all the indications of a very highly developed agriculture. Here was
evidently the source of the Kikuyu's inexhaustible corn supply. Far in the
northern horizon we saw a large blue mountain-range, at least 50 or 60
miles distant, which our guides and Sakemba said was the Kenia range. They
assured us that from where we were there could be seen in clear weather the
snowy peak of the principal mountain; but at that time it was hidden by

Here, then, lay before us the goal of our wanderings, and powerful emotion
seized us all as we, though only at a great distance, for the first time
looked upon our future home. The Kenia peak, however, remained wrapped in
clouds during the two days of our stay on the eastern outskirts of the
Kikuyu forest. We made our halt in a charming grove of gigantic bread-fruit
trees, where the Wa-Kikuyu placed their huts gratuitously at our disposal.
The place is called Semba, and had been selected as the meeting-place of
the great _shauri_. We found a great number of natives already assembled
there; and on the next day everything was arranged and confirmed between us
to our mutual satisfaction. Thus we were able to start on our return march
on the 16th of June. We did not go over the Ngongo, but followed a
tributary of the Amboni to its source--more than 7,000 feet above the
sea--and then dropped abruptly down from the edge of the Kikuyu tableland
and went direct to the Naivasha, which we reached on the evening of the
19th. We were somewhat exhausted, but otherwise in good condition and in
excellent spirits. We had discovered that we should be able to reach the
Kenia a good week earlier than would have been possible by the originally
chosen route through Lykipia.

The Naivasha is a beautiful lake in the midst of picturesque ranges of
hills, the highest points of which reach 6,500 feet. The lake has a
superficies of about thirty square miles, and its characteristic feature is
a fabulous wealth in feathered game of all kinds. Here Johnston had made
all the necessary preparations for the great feast of peace and joy which
we purposed to give the Masai. The news that they had henceforth to reckon
the Wa-Kikuyu also among our friends was received by the _el-moran_ with
mixed feelings; but they submitted to the arrangement without murmuring,
and at the feast, in which fifty of the principal men among the Wa Kikuyu
who had accompanied us took part, the new friendship between the two races
was more firmly established.

The feast consisted of a two days' great carousing, at which we provided
enormous quantities of flesh, baked food, fruits, and punch for not less
than 6,000 guests, without reckoning women and children. The chief feature
consisted of some splendid fireworks. During these two days 150 fat young
bulls, 260 antelopes of various kinds, 25 giraffes, innumerable feathered
game, and an enormous quantity of vegetables were consumed. The punch was
brewed in 100 vessels, each holding above six gallons, and each filled on
the average four times. Nevertheless, this colossal hospitality--apart from
the fireworks--cost us nothing at all. The cattle were presents, and indeed
were a part of the number brought to us by numerous tribes as tokens of
grateful esteem; the game we had, of course, not bought, but shot; and the
vegetables were here, on the borders of Kikuyu, so cheap that the price may
be regarded as merely nominal. As to the punch, the chief ingredient,
rum--fortunately not a home production in Masailand and Kikuyuland--our
experts had made on the spot, without touching the nearly exhausted supply
we had brought with us. For among our other machinery there was a still.
This was unpacked, wild-growing sugar-cane was to be had in abundance, and
hence we had rum in plenty. Care was taken that the process was not so
watched by the natives as to be learnt by them, for we did not wish to
introduce among our neighbours that curse of negroland, the rum-bottle. The
hot punch which we served out to them did not contain more than one part of
rum to ten of water; yet nearly three hundred gallons of this noble spirit
had to be used in the improvised bowls during the two days of the feast.
The jubilation, particularly during the letting-off of the fireworks, was
indescribable; and when finally, after silence had been obtained by
flourish of trumpets, we had it proclaimed by strong-voiced heralds that
the nation of the Masai were invited by us to be our guests at the same
place every year on the 19th and 20th of June, the people nearly tore us to
pieces out of pure delight.

The 21st of June was devoted to rest after the fatigues of the feast, and
to the arrangement of the baggage; on the 22nd the march to Kikuyu was
begun. To avoid taking the sumpter beasts over the steep acclivities of the
hills that skirted the Naivasha valley, we turned back towards
Ngongo-a-Bagas, which we reached on the 24th. Here we decided to establish
an express communication with the sea, in order that the news of our
arrival at our goal, which we expected to reach in a few days, might be
carried as quickly as possible to Mombasa, and thence to the committee of
the International Free Society. From Mombasa to Ngongo our engineers had
measured 500 miles; we had done the distance in 38 days--from May 5 to June
12--of which, however, only 27 were real marching days. We calculated that
our Arab horses, if put to the strain for only one day, could easily cover
more than 60 miles in the day, and that therefore the whole distance could
be covered in eight stages of a day each. Therefore sixteen of our best
riders, with twenty-four of the best-winded racers, were ordered back.
These couriers were directed to distribute themselves in twos at distances
of about sixty miles--where the roads were bad a little less, and where
they were good a little more. As baggage, besides their weapons and
ammunition, they were furnished with merely so much of European necessaries
and of articles for barter on the way as could be easily carried by the
eight supernumerary horses, which were at the same time to serve as a
reserve. For the rest we could safely rely upon their being received with
open arms and hospitably entertained by the natives they might meet with
along the route we had taken. A similar service of couriers was established
between Ngongo and the Kenia; as this latter distance was about 120 miles
it was covered by two stages. Thus there was a total of ten stages, and it
was anticipated that news from Kenia would reach Mombasa in ten days--an
anticipation which proved to be correct.

The march through the forest-land of Kikuyu, which was entered on the 25th,
was marked by no noteworthy incident. When, early on the morning of the
27th, we reached the open, we found ourselves at first in a thick fog,
which was inconvenient to us Caucasians merely in so far as it hid the view
from us; but our Swahili people, who had never before experienced a
temperature of 53° Fahr. in connection with a damp atmosphere, had their
teeth set chattering. To the northerners, and particularly to the
mountaineers among us, there was something suggestive of home in the
rolling masses of fog permeated with the balmy odours of the trees and
shrubs. About eight A.M. there suddenly sprang up a light warm breeze from
the north; the fog broke with magical rapidity, and before us lay, in the
brilliant sunshine, a landscape, the overpowering grandeur of which mocks
description. Behind us and on our left was the marvellous forest which we
had not long since left; right in front of us was a gently sloping stretch
of country in which emerald meadows alternated with dark banana-groves and
small patches of waving corn. The ground was everywhere covered with
brilliant flowers, whose sweet perfume was wafted towards us in rich
abundance by the genial breeze. Here and there were scattered small groups
of tall palms, some gigantic wide-spreading fig-trees, planes, and
sycamores; and numerous herds of different kinds of wild animals gave life
to the scene. Here frolicked a troop of zebras; there grazed quietly some
giraffes and delicate antelopes; on the left two uncouth rhinoceroses
chased each other, grunting; about 1,100 yards from us a score of elephants
were making their way towards the forest; and at a greater distance still
some hundreds of buffaloes were trotting towards the same goal.

This splendid country stretched out of sight towards the east and the
south-east, traversed by the broad silver band of the Guaso Amboni, which,
some five miles off, and perhaps at a level of above 300 feet below where
we were standing, flowed towards the east, and, so far as we could see,
received at least a dozen small tributaries from sources on both of the
enclosing slopes. The tributaries springing from the Kikuyu forest on the
southern side--on which we were--are the smaller; those from the northern
side are incomparably more copious, for their source is the Kenia range.
This giant among the mountains of Africa, which covers an area of nearly
800 square miles and rises to a height of nearly 20,000 feet, now--despite
the 50 miles between us and that--showed itself to our intoxicated gaze as
an enormous icefield with two crystalline peaks sharply projected against
the dark firmament.

Even the Swahili, who are generally indifferent to the beauties of nature,
broke out into deafening shouts of delight; but we whites stood in
speechless rapture, silently pressed each other's hands, and not a few
furtively brushed a tear from the eye. The Land of Promise lay before us,
more beautiful, grander, than we had dared to dream--the cradle of a happy
future for us and, if our hopes and wishes were not vain, for the latest
generations of mankind.

From thence onward it was as if our feet and the feet of our beasts had
wings. The pure invigorating air of this beautiful tableland, freshened by
the winds from the Kenia, the pleasant road over the soft short grass, and
the sumptuous and easily obtained provisions, enabled us to make our daily
marches longer than we had yet done. On the evening of the 27th we crossed
the eastern boundary of Kikuyu, where we had to lay in large stores of
provisions, because we then entered a district where the only population
consisted of a few nomadic Andorobbo. As far as we could see, the country
resembled a garden, but man had not yet taken possession of this paradise.
The 28th and the greater part of the 29th found us marching through flowery
meadows and picturesque little woodlands, and crossing murmuring brooks and
streams of considerable size; but the only living things we met with were
giraffes, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, and
ostriches, with hippopotamuses and flamingoes on the river banks. Most of
these creatures were so tame that they scarcely got out of our way, and
several overbold zebras accompanied us for some distance, neighing and
capering as they went along. On the afternoon of the 29th we entered the
thick highland forest, which stretched before us farther than we could see,
and through the dense underwood of which the axe of our pioneers had to cut
us a way. The ground had been gradually ascending for two days--that is,
ever since we had left the Amboni--and it now became steeper; we had
reached the foot of the Kenia mountain. The forest zone proved to be of
comparatively small breadth, and on the morning of the 30th we emerged from
it again into open undulating park-land. When we had scaled one of the
heights in front of us, there lay before us, almost within reach of our
hands, the Kenia in all the icy magnificence of its glacier-world.

We had reached our goal!


It was eight weeks since we had left Mombasa, a shorter time than had ever
been taken by any caravan in Equatorial Africa to cover a distance of more
than 600 miles. During the whole time we had all been, with unimportant
exceptions, in good health. There had been seven cases of fever among us
whites, caused by the chills that followed sudden storms of rain; the fever
in all these cases disappeared again in from two to eight days, and left no
evil results. Twice a number of cases of colic occurred among both whites
and blacks, on both occasions resulting simply from gastronomic excesses,
first in Teita and then at the Naivasha lake; and these were also cured,
without evil results, by the use of tartar emetic. These sanitary
conditions, exceptionally favourable for African journeys, even in the
healthy highlands, were the result of the judicious marching arrangements,
and, particularly among us whites, of the care taken to provide for all the
customary requirements of civilised men. Tea, coffee, cocoa, meat extract,
cognac to use with bad water, light wine for the evening meals, tobacco,
and cigars, were always abundantly within reach; our mackintoshes and
waterproof boots while marching, and the waterproof tents in camp,
protected us from the wet--the chief source of fever; and we were assisted
to bear our lesser privations and inconveniences by our zeal for our task,
and not least by the fine balmy air which, from Teita onwards, we almost
always breathed. Our saddle-horses and sumpter beasts also were, by the
nourishing feed and the judicious treatment which they received, enabled to
bear well the heavy labours of the march.

I cannot forbear expressing the opinion that the heavy losses of other
caravans, which sometimes lose all their beasts in a few days, are to be
ascribed less to the climate or to the--in the lowlands, certainly very
troublesome--insect pests, than to the utter inexperience of the Swahili in
the treatment of animals. Had we relied merely upon our blacks, we should
have left most of our beasts, and certainly all our horses, on the road to
feed the vultures and hyenas. The horses would never have been allowed to
cool before they drank, they never would have been properly groomed, if we
had not continually insisted upon these things being done, and given a good
example by attending to our saddle-horses ourselves. That the 'white
gentleman' attended to his horse's wants before he attended to his own
wrought such an effect upon the Swahili that at last their care for their
beasts developed into a kind of tenderness. The consequence was that during
the whole journey we lost only one camel, three horses, and five asses--and
of these last only two died of disease, the other three having been killed
by wild beasts. Of the dogs, we lost three by wild beasts--one by a
rhinoceros, and two by buffaloes.

From the moment of our arrival at the Kenia, the conduct of the expedition
devolved into my hands. My first care on the next morning was to despatch
to our friends in Europe my detailed journal of the events which had
already happened, together with a brief closing report. In the latter I
stated that we could undertake to have everything ready for the reception
of many thousands of our brethren by the next harvest--that is, according
to the African calendar, by the end of October. We could also undertake to
get finished a road suitable for slow-going vehicles from Mombasa to Kenia
by the end of September at the latest, with draught oxen in sufficient
number. I asked the managers of the Society, on their part, to have a
sufficient number of suitable waggons constructed in good time; and I, on
my part, engaged that, from and after the first of October, any number of
duly announced immigrant members should be conveyed to their new home
safely and with as little inconvenience as was possible under the
circumstances. In conclusion, I asked them to send at once several
hundredweight of different kinds of goods, accompanied by a new troop of
vigorous young members.

The two couriers with this despatch--the couriers had always to ride in
twos--started before dawn on the 1st of July; punctually on the 10th the
despatch was in Mombasa, on the 11th at Zanzibar; on the same day the
committee received my report by telegraph from our agents in Zanzibar, and
the journal, which went by mail-ship, they received twenty days later. On
the evening of the 11th the reply reached Zanzibar; and on the 22nd I was
myself able to read to my deeply affected brethren these first tidings from
our distant friends. The message was very brief: 'Thanks for the joyful
news; membership more than 10,000; waggons, for ten persons and twenty
hundredweight load each, ordered as per request, will begin to reach
Mombasa by the end of September; 260 horsemen, with 300 sumpter beasts, and
800 cwt. of goods start end of July. Send news as often as possible.' I had
already anticipated the wish expressed in the last sentence, for not less
than five further despatches had been sent off between the 6th and the 21st
of July. What they contained will be best learnt from the following
narrative of our experiences and our labours; and from this time forward a
distinction has to be made between the work of preparing the new home on
the Kenia and the arrangements necessary for keeping up and improving our
communication with the coast.

On the evening of the last day of June we had pitched our camp on the bank
of a considerable stream, the largest we had yet seen. Its breadth is from
thirty to forty yards, and its depth from one to three yards. The water is
clear and cool, but its current is strikingly sluggish. It flows from
north-west to south-east, through a trough-like plateau about eighteen
miles long, which bends, crescent-shaped, round the foot-hills of the
Kenia. The greatest breadth of this plateau in the middle is nearly nine
miles, whilst it narrows at the west end to less than a mile, and at the
east end to two miles and a half. This trough-like area of about 100 square
miles consists entirely of rich grass-land, with numerous small groves of
palms, bananas, and sycamores. It is bounded on the south by the grassy
hills which we had crossed over, on the west by abrupt rocky walls, on the
north partly by dark forest-hills, and partly by barren lofty rocks which
hide from view the main part of the Kenia lying behind them. On the east,
between the hills to the south and the rocks to the north, there is an
opening through which the stream finds its outlet by a waterfall of above
300 feet, and the thunder and plashing of which were audible at the great
distance at which we were. This river, which was later found to be the
upper course of the Dana, entering the Indian Ocean on the Witu coast,
enters our plateau by a narrow gate of rocks through which we were not at
first able to pass. From the north, down the declivities of the foot-hills
of the Kenia, four larger and many smaller streams hurry to the Dana, and
in their course through their rocky basins form a number of more or less
picturesque cascades. The height of this large park-like plateau above the
sea-level, measured at its lowest point--the stream-bed--is nearly 6,000

Whilst we were engaged in the detailed examination of this lofty plateau, I
sent out several expeditions, whose duty it was to penetrate as far as
possible into the Kenia range, in order to find elevated points from which
to make exact observations of the form and character of the district lying
around us. For though the country immediately about us charmed us so much,
yet I would not definitively decide to lay the foundation-stone of our
first settlement until I had obtained at least a superficial view of the
whole region of the Kenia. The information which Sakemba was able to give
us was but little, and insufficient. We were therefore much delighted when
eight natives, whom we recognised as Andorobbo, showed themselves before
our camp. They had seen our camp-fires on the previous night, and now
wished to see who we were, Sakemba, who went out to them, quickly inspired
them with confidence, and we now had the best guides we could have wished
for. With Sakemba's help we soon informed them of our first
purpose--namely, to send out eight different expeditions, each under the
guidance of an Andorobbo. The first expedition returned on the evening of
the same day, and the last at the end of a week, and all with tolerably
exhaustive reports.

Not one of the expeditions had got near the summit of the Kenia.
Nevertheless, grand views had been obtained from various easily accessible
points of the main body of the mountain, some of them at an altitude of
above 10,000 feet. It had been found that the side of the Kenia best
adapted to the rearing of stock and to agriculture was that by which we had
approached it. To the eastward and northward were large stretches of what
appeared to be very fertile land; but that on the east was very monotonous,
and lacked the not merely picturesque, but also practically advantageous,
diversity of open country and forest, hill and plain, which we found in the
south. On the north the country was too damp; and on the west there spread
out an endless extent of forest broken by only a small quantity of open
ground. It might all be converted into most productive cultivated land at a
later date; but, at the outset, soil that was ready for use was naturally
to be preferred. The inner portions of the mountain district before us were
filled with wooded hills and rocks traversed by numberless valleys and
gorges. These foot-hills reached on all sides close to the abruptly rising
central mass of the Kenia; only in the south-west, about three miles from
the western end of our plateau, did the foot-hills retire to make room for
an extensive open valley-basin, in the middle of which was a lake, the
outflow from which was the Dana. Our experts estimated the superficies of
this valley at nearly sixty square miles; and all agreed that it was very
fertile, and that its situation made it a veritable miracle of beauty. The
best way into this valley was through the gorge by which the Dana flowed;
but, so long as we were without suitable boats, we were obliged to enter
the valley not directly from our plateau, but by a circuitous route through
a small valley to the south.

I received this report on the morning of the 3rd of July. Next day, without
waiting for the return of two of the expeditions which were still absent, I
started for this much-lauded lake and valley. The indicated route, which
proved to be, in fact, a very practicable one, led from our camp to the
western end of the plateau, then bending towards the south and skirting a
small, rocky, wooded hill, it entered a narrow valley leading in a
northerly direction. This valley opened into the Dana gorge, which is here
neither so narrow nor so impassable as at its opening into the plateau.
Following this gorge upwards, in an hour we found ourselves suddenly
standing in the sought-for valley.

The view was perfectly indescribable. Imagine an amphitheatre of almost
geometrical regularity, about eleven miles long by seven miles and a half
broad, the semicircle bounded by a series of gently rising wooded hills
from 300 to 500 feet high, with a background formed by the abrupt and
rugged precipices and cloud-piercing snowy summit of the Kenia. This
majestic amphitheatre is occupied on the side nearest to the Kenia by a
clear deep-blue lake; on the other side by a flowery park-land and meadows.
The whole suggests an arena in which a grand piece, that may be called 'The
Cascades of the Kenia Glaciers,' is being performed to an auditory
consisting of innumerable elephants, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. At an
inaccessible height above, numberless veins of water, kissed by the
dazzling sunlight, spring from the blue-green shimmering crevasses. Foaming
and sparkling--now shattered into vapour reflecting all the hues of the
rainbow, now forming sheets of polished whiteness--they rush downwards with
ever increasing mass and tumult, until at length they are all united into
one great torrent which, with a thundering roar plainly audible in a
favourable wind six miles away, hurries from its glacier home towards the
precipitous rocks. There the whole colossal mass of water--which a few
miles off forms the Dana river--falls perpendicularly down from a height of
1,640 feet, so dashed into vapour-dust as to form a great rainbow-cloud.
The stream suddenly disappears in mid-air, and the eye seeks in vain to
track its course against the background of dark glistening cliffs until,
more than 1,600 feet below, the masses of falling vapour are again
collected into flowing water, thence, with the noise and foam of many
smaller cascades, to reach the lake by circuitous routes.

Speechless with delight, we gazed long at this unparalleled natural
miracle, whose grandeur and beauty words cannot describe. The eye eagerly
took in the flood of light and glittering colour, and the ear the noise of
the water pealing down from a fabulous height; the breast greedily inhaled
as a cordial the odorous air which was wafted through this enchanted
valley. The woman who was with us--Ellen Fox--was the first to find words.
Like a prophetess in an ecstasy, she looked long at the play of the water;
then, suddenly, as a stronger breath of wind completely dissipated the
vaporous veil of the waterfall, which just before had formed a waving,
sabre-like, shimmering band, she cried, 'Behold, the flaming sword of the
archangel, guarding the gate of Paradise, has vanished at our approach! Let
us call this place Eden!'

The name Eden was unanimously adopted. That this valley must be our future
place of abode was at once decided by all of us. A more careful examination
showed its superficies to be over sixty-two square miles. Allowing thirteen
miles for the elliptical lake stretching out under the Kenia cliffs, and
fifteen miles for the woods which clothed the heights around the valley,
there remained above thirty miles of open park-land surrounding the lake,
except where the Kenia cliffs touched the water, stretching in narrow
strips to the Kenia on the north-east, and broadening on the other sides to
from 1,100 yards to four miles. The glacier-water forming the Dana entered
the valley on the north-west, and left it on the south-east. The water,
which was not so cold when it entered the lake as might have been expected,
rapidly acquired a higher temperature in the lake; on hot days the lake
rose to 75° Fahr. Other streams fall into the lake, some of them from the
Kenia cliffs, and others from the various hills which surround the valley.
We counted not less than eleven such streams, among them a hot one with a
temperature of 125° Fahr.

Naturally we had not been idle during the four days which preceded our
discovery of Eden Vale. On the 1st of July, a few hours after the couriers
with the first despatches, the expeditions appointed to establish regular
communication with Mombasa were sent off. There were two such expeditions:
one, under Demestre and three other engineers, had to construct the road;
and the other, under Johnston, had to procure the draught oxen--of which it
was estimated about 5,000 would be required--and to arrange for the
provisioning of the whole distance. To the first expedition were allotted
twenty of our members and two hundred of our Swahili men, with a train of
fifty draught beasts; with Johnston went merely ten of ourselves, twenty
draught beasts, and ten sheep-dogs. How these expeditions accomplished
their tasks shall be told later.

I had now sent away altogether 58 of our own people, 200 Swahili men, and
181 saddle and draught beasts, besides having lost nine of the latter by
death during the journey. I had, therefore, now with me at the Kenia 149
whites, 80 Swahili, and 475 beasts, besides the dogs and the elephants. In
addition to the above, we were offered the services of several hundred of
the Wa-Kikuyu, who had followed us. Of these latter I retained 150 of the
most capable; the others, in charge of five of ourselves, I sent back at
once to their home, with the commission to purchase and send on to the
Kenia 800 strong draught oxen, 150 cows, 400 oxen for slaughter, and
several thousand hundredweight of various kinds of corn and food. Having
attended to these things, I allotted and gave out to the most suitable
hands the many different kinds of work which had first to be done. One of
our workmen had charge of the forge and smithy, another the saw-mill, with,
of course, the requisite assistance. A special section was told off for the
tree-felling, and another section had to get ready and complete the
agricultural implements. One of the engineers who remained at the Kenia was
appointed, with one hundred blacks under him, to construct the requisite
means of communication in the settlement--particularly to build bridges
over the Dana.

On the 5th of July we shifted our settlement to Eden Vale. The ground was
exactly measured, and on the shores of the lake the future town was marked
out, with its streets, open spaces, public buildings, and places of
recreation. In this projected town we allowed space for 25,000 family
houses, each with a considerable garden; and this covered thirteen square
miles. Outside of the building area--which could be afterwards enlarged at
pleasure--2,500 acres were selected for temporary cultivation, and
irrigated with a network of small canals; as soon as possible it was to be
fenced in to protect it against the incursions of the numberless wild
animals that swarmed around it, as well as from our domestic animals which,
though shut up at night in a strong pen, were allowed during the day, when
they were not in use, to pasture in the open country under the care of some
of the Swahili men and the dogs.

In the meantime, the saw-mill, which had been set up in the Dana plateau,
hard by the river, and had for its motive-power one of the rapid streams
that came down from the hills, had begun its work. The first timber which
it cut up was used in the construction of two large flat boats, in which
the transportation of the building timber up the river to the Eden lake was
at once begun. A few weeks later, on the shores of the lake, there had
arisen forty spacious wooden buildings, into which we whites removed from
the confined camp-tents we had previously occupied. The negroes preferred
to remain in the grass huts which they had made for themselves in the
shelter of a little wood. By this time the cattle were also furnished with
their pen, which was high and strong enough to offer an insurmountable
obstacle to any invasion by quadrupeds. In this pen there was room for
about two thousand beasts, and it was, moreover, provided with a covered
space for protection against rain.

By the 9th of July, our smiths, wheelwrights, and carpenters had converted
ten of the ploughshares we had brought with us into ploughs, and by the
same date the first consignment of cattle had come in from Kikuyu--120 oxen
and 50 cows, together with 200 sheep and a large quantity of poultry.
Ploughing was at once attempted, under the direction of our agriculturists.
The Kikuyu oxen struggled a little against the yoke, and at first they
could not be made to keep in the furrow; but in three days we were able to
work them with ease in teams of eight to a plough. This expenditure of
force was necessary, as the black fat soil, matted by the thick virgin
turf, was extremely difficult to break up. At first it was necessary to
have a driver to every pair of oxen, and the furrows were not so straight
as if ploughed by long-domesticated oxen; but at any rate the ground was
broken up, and in a comparatively short time the beasts got accustomed to
their work and went through it most satisfactorily. On the 15th of July a
fresh arrival of oxen brought fifteen more ploughs into use; and again on
the 20th. By the end of the month, with these forty ploughs, some 750 acres
had been broken up. This was at once harrowed and prepared for the seed. It
was then sown with what seed-corn we had brought with us--chiefly wheat and
barley--supplemented to the extent of about three-fourths by African wheat
and _mtama_ corn. The ground was then rolled again, and the work was
finished in the second half of August. The whole of the cultivated area was
then hedged in, and we cheerfully greeted the beginning of the shorter
rainy season.

In the meantime a garden--provisionally of about twenty-five acres--had
been laid out, a little farther from the precincts of the town than the
arable land; for whilst the latter could easily be removed farther away as
the town increased, it was necessary to find for the garden as permanent a
site as possible--one therefore that lay outside of the range of the growth
of the town. As we had among us no less than eighteen skilled gardeners,
and as these had as much assistance as they required from the Swahili and
Wa-Kikuyu, the twenty-five acres were in a few months planted with the
choicest kinds of fruits and berries, vegetables, flowers--in short, with
all kinds of useful and ornamental plants which we had brought from our old
homes, had collected on our way, or had met with in the neighbourhoods in
which we had settled. The garden also was covered with a network of
irrigating canals, and enclosed against unwelcome intruders by a high and
strong fence.

Against accidental inroads of monkeys there was no other protection than
the vigilance of our dogs and the guns of the gardeners. A war of
annihilation was therefore begun against the monkeys of the whole district,
of which there were untold legions in the woods that girdled Eden Vale and
in some small groves in the vale itself. While we shot other animals only
when we needed their flesh, the monkeys were destroyed wherever they showed
themselves in the neighbourhood of Eden Vale; and very soon the cunning
creatures began carefully to avoid the inhospitable valley, whilst outside
of it they retained their former daring. Several other animals were also
excluded from the general law of mercy, and that even more rigorously than
the monkeys, which were proscribed only within the boundaries of the
valley. These animals were leopards and lions, against which we organised,
whenever we had time, serious hunting expeditions. After a few months these
animals entirely disappeared from the whole district; and subsequently they
almost voluntarily forsook all the districts into which we penetrated with
our weapons and with our noisy activity. They have room enough elsewhere,
and hold it to be unnecessary to expose their skin to the bullets of white
men. On the other hand, we did not molest the hyenas; the harm which they
now and then did by the theft of a sheep was more than compensated for by
their usefulness as devourers of carrion. They are shy, cowardly beasts,
which do not readily attack anything that is alive; but in the character of
unwearied sanitary police they scour field and forest for dead animals. In
the list of beasts not to be spared stood at first the hippopotamuses,
which haunted the Eden lake and the Dana in large herds. We should have had
nothing to object to in these uncouth brutes if they had not molested our
boats and behaved aggressively towards our bathers. But, after our shells
had somewhat lessened their number, and in particular after certain
uncommonly daring old fellows had been disposed of, the rest acquired
respect for us and kept at a distance whenever they saw a man; we then
relaxed our severity, and for the time contented ourselves with keeping
them out of Eden Vale. But of course we showed no mercy to the numberless
crocodiles that infested the lake and the river. We attacked these with
bullet and spear, with hook and poison, day and night, in every conceivable
way; for we were anxious that our women and children, when they came,
should be able to bathe in the refreshing waters without endangering their
precious limbs. As the district which these animals frequented was in the
present case a very circumscribed one--fresh individuals could come neither
down from the Kenia nor over the waterfall at the end of the great
plateau--we soon succeeded in so thinning their numbers that only a few
examples were left, the destruction of which we handed over to our
Andorobbo huntsmen, whom we furnished with weapons for this Purpose, and to
whom we offered a large premium for every crocodile slain in the Eden lake
or in the Dana above the waterfall. As a fact, before the arrival of the
first caravan of immigrants, the last crocodile had disappeared from Eden
Vale and from the basin of the Dana.

Agriculture, gardening, and the chase had not absorbed all the strength at
our disposal. We were at the same time busy constructing a number of
practicable roads round the lake, along the river-bank to the east end of
the plateau, and a number of branches from this main road to different
parts of our district. It must not be imagined that these roads were works
of art--they were merely fieldways, which, however, made it possible to
carry about considerable loads without the expenditure of an enormous
amount of force. In three places the Dana was bridged over for vehicular
traffic, and in two others for foot traffic. Only in two places was much
work required--at the end of the gorge through which the Dana passed from
Eden Vale into the great plateau, and at a place where the Kenia cliffs
touched the lake. At these places several cubic yards of rock had to be
blown away, in order to make room for a road.

As in the meanwhile neither wheelwrights nor smiths had been standing
still, when the roads were ready there were also ready for use upon them a
number of stout waggons and barrows.

The construction of the flour-mill demanded a greater expenditure of
labour. The mill was fixed on the upper course of the Dana, 1,100 yards
above the entrance of the river into the Eden lake, and was furnished with
ten complete sets of machinery. The site was chosen because just above
there was a strong rapid, while below the Dana flowed calmly with a very
trifling fall until it reached the great cataract. Thus we had, through the
whole of the provisionally occupied district, a splendid waterway to the
mill, and yet for the mill we could take advantage of the rapid flow of the
upper Dana. We had brought from Europe the more complicated and delicate
parts of this mill; but the wheels, shafts, and the ten millstones we
manufactured ourselves. This mill--which was provisionally constructed of
wood only--was ready by the end of September, thanks to the additional
assistance of the two instalments of members which had reached us in the
early part of the same month.

I have already mentioned that, as soon as we had reached the Kenia, I asked
our committee for fresh supplies and a fresh body of pioneers; and that the
committee had informed me that at the end of July there would start an
expedition of 260 horsemen and 800 cwt. of goods upon 300 beasts. This
expedition reached Mombasa on the 18th of August. Then it divided into two
groups: one group, containing the most adventurous 145 horsemen, started at
once on the 18th of August with fifty very lightly loaded led-horses--the
whole of the 300 sumpter beasts were horses--without taking with them a
single native except an interpreter. They relied upon the assistance of
those of our men who were constructing the roads, and of the population
friendly to us; but they were at the same time resolved to bear without
murmuring any deprivations and fatigue that might await them. A forced ride
of twenty days, with only a one day's rest at Taveta, brought these brave
fellows among us on the 9th of September. Five horses had died, seven
others had to be left behind knocked up; they themselves, however, all
reached us, except one who had broken his leg in a fall, and was left in
good hands in Miveruni, somewhat exhausted, but otherwise in good
condition. The newly arrived joined us heartily in our work two days after.
The 115 others reached us ten days later, with 250 sumpter horses and 100
Swahili drivers. The greater part of the goods they had given to Johnston
on the way, who met with them at Useri, where he had been eagerly awaiting
them. The articles brought to us at the Kenia--in all something over 300
cwt.--contained a quantity of tools and machinery; these, and especially
the considerable addition of workmen, contributed in no small degree to
expedite our various works.

The flour-mill was--as has been stated--ready by the end of September. It
at once found abundant employment. It is true that our harvest was not yet
gathered in; but we had been gradually purchasing different kinds of
grain--to the amount of 10,000 cwt.--of the Wa-Kikuyu, and had stored it
near the lake in granaries, for which the saw-mill had supplied the
building material. All this grain was ground by the end of October; and,
even if our harvest had failed, the first few thousands of those who were
coming would not have had to suffer hunger.

But our harvest did not fail. A few weeks after the beginning of the hot
season--which begins in October--the fertile soil, which had been
continuously kept moist by our system of irrigation, blessed us with a crop
that mocked all European conceptions. Every grain sowed yielded on an
average a hundred and twenty fold. Our 750 acres yielded 42,000 cwt. of
different kinds of grain, for each haulm ended, not in single lean ears,
but in thick heavy bunches of ears--our European wheat and barley not less
than the African kinds. We had fortunately made ample preparation for the
work of the harvest. Before the end of August a machine-factory had been
erected a few hundred yards above the flour-mill. Water-power was used, and
the work of manufacture began at once. Partly of materials brought with us,
but mainly of materials prepared by ourselves, we had constructed several
reaping-machines and two threshing-machines, worked by horse-power.

Our factories were able to produce these machines because our geologists
had discovered, among other valuable mineral treasures, iron and coal in
our district. The coal lay in one of the foot-hills of the Kenia, on the
Dana plateau, nearly two miles from the river; the iron in one of the
foot-hills which the Dana in its upper course had cut through, a mile and a
quarter above Eden Yale. The coal was moderately good anthracite, and the
iron ore was a rich forty-percent. ferro-manganese. A smelting and refining
furnace, as well as an iron-works, were at once put up near the source of
the iron; they were of a, primitive and provisional character, but they
sufficed to supply us with serviceable cast and wrought iron, and thus to
make us at once independent of the supplies brought from Europe. We now
possessed a small but independent iron industry, and this enabled us to
gather in and work up within a few weeks the unexpectedly rich harvest.

A further use which we immediately made of our increased powers of
production was to put up two new saw-mills and a brewery. The saw-mills
were needed to supply material for the shelter of the continually
increasing stream of fresh arrivals; and the brewery was intended to serve
as a means of agreeably surprising the new-comers with a welcome draught of
a familiar beverage with which most of them would be sorry to dispense. As
soon as the barley was cut and threshed, it was malted. Our gardeners had
grown hops of very acceptable quality on the sides of the Kenia foot-hills;
and soon a cool cellar, made by utilising some natural caverns, was filled
with casks of the noble drink.

By the end of October we were able to contemplate our four months' labours
with a restful satisfaction. Six hundred neat block-houses awaited as many
families; 50,000 cwt. of corn and flour, copious supplies of cattle for
slaughter and draught, building material and tools, were ready for the
food, shelter, and equipment of many thousands of members. The garden had
been not less successfully cultivated, and its dainty gifts were already
beginning to be enjoyed. Our own garden-produce did not, as yet, suffice to
cover our anticipated requirements; but it continued to be supplemented by
a brisk barter trade with the Wa-Kikuyu. For these natives we had
established a regular weekly market in Eden Vale, which several hundreds of
them attended, bringing with them their goods upon ox-carts, the use of
which we had introduced among them and had made possible by means of the
roads our engineers had constructed through their country. Since we had set
up our iron-works, the Wa-Kikuyu came to us principally for iron either in
a raw condition or made up into tools. For this they at first bartered
cattle and vegetables; afterwards, when we no longer needed these things,
they offered mainly ivory, of which we had already acquired 138 tons,
partly through our trade with the Wa-Kikuyu and the Andorobbo, and partly
as the fruits of our own hunting. For ivory is as cheap here as
blackberries; the Wa-Kikuyu and the Andorobbo are glad to buy our wrought
iron for double its weight in the material which is so valuable in the
West. An iron implement, whether hammer, nail, or knife, is exchanged for
from ten to twenty times its weight in ivory. Thus almost the whole cost of
our expedition was already covered by our ivory--the cattle and provisions,
the implements and machinery, not to speak of the land, being thrown in


Whilst we at the Kenia were thus busily preparing a comfortable home for
our brethren who were expected from the Old World, our colleagues, under
the direction of Demestre and Johnston, were working not less successfully
on the tasks allotted to them.

Demestre had nothing to do with the construction of roads within the Kenia
district; his work began with the great forests that girdled this district.
The execution of the work from thence to the boundary between Kikuyu and
Masailand, at Ngongo, he deputed to the engineer Frank, an American; the
second section, from Ngongo to Masimani in Masailand, midway between Ngongo
and Taveta, was allotted to the engineer Möllendorf, a German; the third
section, from Masimani to Taveta, to Lermanoff, a Russian, as his name
shows; the last and most difficult section, from Taveta to Mombasa,
including two of the worst deserts, Demestre reserved to himself. To each
of the four sections five whites were appointed. His 200 Swahili,
strengthened by double that number of Wa-Kikuyu hired on the march through
their land, Demestre divided between the first two sections, allotting 50
Swahili and 300 Wa-Kikuyu to the first in Kikuyuland, and 150 Swahili and
100 Wa-Kikuyu to the second in Masailand. The third section was organised
from Taveta. Lermanoff and a companion rode thither from Kenia, by making
use of our courier-stages, in six days. He engaged 100 Swahili men in
Taveta--where Swahili caravans are always to be met with--and 250 natives
in Useri and Chaga. In the meantime his four colleagues had arrived and
brought with them the pack-horses allotted to his--as to each--section; and
the work from Taveta to Useri was begun on the 15th of July. Demestre also
made use of the courier-stages, and rode, with no other breaks than
night-rests, first to Teita, where he hired 400 Wa-Teita, whom he at once
set to work, under the direction of one of his colleagues, upon the road
between Teita and Taveta. He then hastened on to Mombasa, and by the 20th
of July he was able to put 500 people of the coast upon the most difficult
part of the work--the road from Mombasa to Teita.

The work to be done in all cases was threefold. First, in the places where
there was a deficiency of water--of which places there were several in the
lower sections, particularly in the deserts of Duruma, Teita, and
Ngiri--wells had to be dug and, where there was no spring-water, cisterns
made capacious enough to supply water sufficient not merely for the workmen
during the construction of the road, but afterwards for the men and cattle
of the caravans that passed that way. As there occur in Equatorial Africa
at all seasons of the year heavy storms of rain, which in the so-called hot
season are only much less frequent than in the so-called rainy season,
there was no danger that large cisterns draining the rain-water from a
sufficiently wide area would be exhausted even in the hot months; but the
cisterns had to be protected from the direct rays of the sun as well as
from impurities. The former was effected by providing the cisterns with
covering and shelter; the second by making the rain-water filter through
layers, several yards thick, of sand and gravel. The natural water-holes,
which are found in all deserts, but which dry up in times of protracted
drought, indicated the spots where it would be most practicable to
construct cisterns, for such spots were naturally the lowest points. The
larger of these water-holes needed only to be deepened, the evaporation of
the water guarded against, and the cisterns surrounded by the
above-mentioned natural filter, and the work was then finished. Of these in
the different sections twenty five were dug, with a depth of from nine to
sixteen yards and a diameter of from two to nine yards. Of ordinary wells
with spring-water thirty-nine were made. Each of these artificial supplies
of water was placed under the protection of a watchman.

In the second place, there was the road-making itself. In general, the
route which the expedition had taken from Mombasa to the Kenia was chosen,
and merely freed from obstacles and widened to twice its original width
where it led through bush. But at certain places, particularly where steep
heights had to be traversed, it was necessary to look for a fresh and less
hilly track. That several bridges had to be built scarcely need be

The third part of the work consisted in the erection of primitive houses of
shelter, at suitable places, for both men and cattle. Accommodation for
several hundred men, pens for cattle, and storehouses for provisions, were
constructed at sixty-five stations, at distances varying from seven to
twelve miles.

These works were all completed between Mombasa and Teita by the end of
September, and in all the other sections fourteen days later. The workmen,
however, were not discharged, as a part of them were required for guarding
and maintaining the road and buildings, and another part found occupation
in the transport service on the newly made highway. The cost of
construction for the whole by no means small undertaking was 14,500£, half
of which went in wages and half in rations; the material used in the work
cost nothing.

By this time Johnston had completed the purchase of the draught-beasts
required for the transport service, and had organised the commissariat of
the caravans. His Masai friends procured for him in a few weeks the
originally ordered 5,000 head of cattle; and as every despatch from the
committee of the Free Society reported a larger and larger number of
members on their way to the settlement, our order was increased to 9,000,
exclusive of the 750 head of cattle, the unused remnant of our presents
which we had left behind us in Useri and Masailand. As the committee had
reason to anticipate that by the end of October the number of members
intending at once to join the colony would reach 20,000, they had enlarged
their orders for waggons to 1,000, and announced that fact to us in the
course of September. Therefore, as every waggon--which weighed 14 cwt., and
would carry ten persons, with 20 cwt. of luggage--would require four yoke
of oxen, the total number of draught-oxen needed would be 8,000, in
addition to a reserve of 200 head, and 1,550 oxen and cows for slaughter.
Johnston received this message on the southern frontier of Masailand, and,
as there was not time to return, he had to complete his provisioning in the
districts of Kilima and Teita. Nevertheless he succeeded in collecting the
full number of cattle and distributing them along the sixty-five stages
between Mombasa and the Kenia without materially raising prices by his
purchases in these favoured districts. He bought 8,500 oxen and 500 cows,
and the cost--including the travelling expenses and wages of the buyers and
drivers--amounted to no more than 8,650£--that is, the goods which we
bartered for them had cost us this amount. Each head of cattle cost on the
average a little over eight shillings, half of which represented incidental
expenses, the bare selling price being less than four shillings a head.

Johnston so arranged the transport service that every day twenty-five
waggons left Mombasa, and at every one of the sixty-five stations found
fresh draught-oxen ready. Arrived at Eden Vale, the waggons had to return
to Mombasa in the same manner. By this simple and practical arrangement,
all the waggons were kept constantly in motion between Mombasa and the
Kenia, whilst the draught-oxen merely moved to and fro in fixed teams
between neighbouring stations. In this way 250 persons could be conveyed
every day, and to convey 20,000--the total number of members reported by
the committee--would require eighty days, unless some of them made the
journey on horseback.

The waggons constructed in England, America, and Germany arrived punctually
at Mombasa. They were in every respect models of skilful construction,
solidly and yet, in proportion to their size, lightly built, affording many
conveniences without sacrificing simplicity. Each one accommodated ten
persons with sitting space in the day and with good sleeping space at
night. By a very simple alteration of the seats, room could be made for ten
persons--four above and six beneath. Strong springs made the riding easy, a
movable leathern covering gave shelter from rain or sun, and the mattrasses
which served as beds at night were by day so buckled on the under-side of
the leathern covering as to afford double protection against the heat of
the sun. Accommodation for the baggage was provided in a similarly
practical manner.

The first ship, with 900 members, arrived on the 30th of September. This
ship, like all that followed, was the property of the Society. Anticipating
that the stream of emigrants would not soon cease, would probably continue
to increase, and desirous to keep the transportation of the emigrants as
much as possible in their hands, the Society had bought twelve large,
swift-sailing steamships, averaging 3,500 tons burden, and had had them
adapted to their purpose. They could do this without overstraining their
resources; for, though the 940,000£ which these twelve steamers cost
exceeded the amount actually in hand, the Society could safely reckon that
the deficit would soon be made good by the contributions of new members, to
accommodate whom the vessels and all the other provisions were intended. In
fact, by the middle of September the number of members exceeded 20,000, and
the property of the Society had grown to 750,000£. Of this amount, however,
150,000£ had been spent independently of the purchase of the ships, and a
similar amount would in the immediate future be required for the general
purposes of the Society; thus less than half of the cost of the ships was
in hand and available for payment. But the sellers readily gave the Society
credit, and handed over the vessels without delay, even before any money
was paid. They risked nothing by this, for the Society's executive were
fully justified in calculating that the future income from new members
would be at least 100,000£ a month, while the Society's property was quite
worth all the money they had hitherto spent upon it.

The chief thing, however, was that people were getting to have more and
more faith in the success of the Society's undertaking, and to look upon
that undertaking as representative of the great commonwealth of the future.
Several governments already offered their assistance to the committee, who
accepted those offers only so far as they afforded a moral support. A
number of scientific and other public associations took a most lively
interest in the aims of the Society. For example, the Geographical
Societies of London and Rome gave, the one 4,000£ and the other 50,000
lires, merely stipulating in return that a periodical report should be sent
to them of all the scientifically interesting experiences of the Society.
That the business world should also interest themselves in the Society's
doings is not surprising. For the vessels which had been bought the Society
made an immediate payment of forty per cent., and undertook to pay the
remainder within three years. The whole was, however, paid off before the
end of the second year.

The ships thus bought were employed to convey the emigrant members from
Trieste to Mombasa. As each vessel carried from 900 to 1,000 passengers,
while the waggons could convey 200 persons daily from Mombasa to the
settlement, it was necessary that two ships should reach Mombasa per week;
it being assumed that a part of the emigrants would prefer to travel from
Mombasa on horseback. And as the average length of a voyage to Mombasa and
back was thirty-five days, the twelve vessels were sufficient to maintain a
continuous service, with an occasional extra voyage for the transport of
goods, particularly of horses. There was no distinction of class on board
the vessels of the Society; no fee was taken from anyone, either for
transport or for board during the whole voyage, and everyone was therefore
obliged to be content with the same kind of accommodation, which certainly
was not deficient in comfort. On deck were large dining-rooms and rooms for
social intercourse; below deck was a small sleeping-cabin for each family,
comfortably fitted up and admirably ventilated. The members were received
on board in the order in which they had entered the Society, the earlier
members thus having the priority. Of course it was optional for any member
to make the voyage on any ship not belonging to the Society, without losing
his place in the list of claimants when he arrived at Mombasa.

At Mombasa everyone was at liberty to continue his journey either on
horseback or in a waggon. The horsemen might either accompany the caravans
or ride in advance in such stages as they pleased, only the horses must be
changed regularly at the sixty-five stations, provision being made for a
sufficient supply of horses. The travellers in waggons had, moreover, the
option of going on night and day uninterruptedly, pausing only to effect
the necessary changes of oxen; or of travelling more deliberately, halting
as long as they pleased at the midday or the night stations. In the former
case they could, in favourable weather, reach Eden Vale in fourteen days,
or even less; in the latter case twenty days or more would be spent on the

All the arrangements were perfectly carried out. There was no hitch
anywhere. The commissariat left nothing to be desired. An escort of ten
Masai, which Johnston had organised for each station, kept guard against
wild beasts during the night journeys, and had to serve as auxiliaries in
any difficulty; while four commissioners sent from among our members, and
located respectively at Teita, Taveta, Miveruni, and Ngongo, superintended
the whole. The natives greeted the first train of waggons with jubilant
astonishment, but received all with the greatest friendliness and
helpfulness. Particularly the Wa-Taveta, the Sultan of Useri, and the Masai
tribes did not fail to overwhelm our travellers with proofs of their
respect and love for the white brethren who had 'settled on the great

The first new arrivals--among them our beloved master--entered Eden Valley
on the 14th of October; they were followed by an uninterrupted series of
fresh companies. But, before the story of this new era in the history of
our undertaking is told, a brief account must be given of what had been
taking place at the Kenia.

As early as August, a numerous deputation of Masai tribes from Lykipia--the
country to the north-west of the Kenia--and from the districts between the
Naivasha and the Baringo lakes, arrived at Eden Vale offering friendship,
and asking to be admitted into the alliance between us and the other Masai.
This very affecting request was made with evident consciousness of its
importance, and the granting of it certainly placed us under new and heavy
obligations. Yet I granted it without a moment's hesitation, and my act
received the approval of all the members. For the pacification of the most
quarrelsome and unquestionably the bravest of all the tribes of the
equatorial zone was not too dearly bought by the sacrifice of a few
thousand pounds sterling per annum. We now had a satisfactory guarantee
that civilisation would gradually develop in these regions, which had
hitherto been cursed by incessant feuds and pillage; that we should be able
so to educate the black and brown natives that they would become more and
more useful associates in our great work; and that, in proportion as we
taught them to create prosperity and luxury for themselves, we should be
increasing the sources of our own prosperity. So I addressed to the brown
warriors a flattering panegyric, declared myself touched by the friendly
sentiments they had expressed, and promised with all speed to send an
embassy to them in order to conclude the treaty of alliance and to do them
honour. They were sent away richly laden with presents; and they on their
part had not come empty-handed, for they brought with them a hundred choice
beasts, and two hundred fat-tailed sheep. Johnston, whom I at once informed
of the incident, undertook the fulfilment of the promise I had given. I
have already stated that for this purpose he provided himself with a full
supply of the necessary goods from the baggage of the expedition which he
met with in September on its way to the Kenia. When his task in the
road-stages was finished, he started, about the beginning of October, for
the Naivasha lake, and went thence through the extensive and, for the most
part, exceedingly fertile high plateau--6,000 feet above the sea--which,
bounded by hills from 3,300 to 6,600 feet higher, contains the elevated
lakes of Masailand--namely, not only the Naivasha lake, the marvellous
Elmeteita lake, and the salt lake of Nakuro, but also a series of smaller
basins. On the 20th of October he reached the Baringo lake, on the northern
limit of Masailand, a lake that covers 77 square miles in a depression of
the land not more than 2,500 feet above the sea. Thence, in a westerly
direction, he went over ground, rising again, past the grand Thomson Falls,
through the wooded and well-watered Lykipia, and in the second week of
November he reached us at the Kenia, having on the way contracted alliance
with all the Masai tribes through whose lands he had passed, as well as
with the 'Njemps' at the Baringo lake.

In the next place an account has to be given of the successful attempts
made, at the instigation of our two ladies, to tame several of the wild
animals indigenous to the Kenia. The idea was originated by Miss Fox, who
in the first instance wished merely to provide pleasure for the women and
children of the expected new arrivals. Miss Fox won over my sister, a great
friend to animals, to this idea; and so they hired several Andorobbo and
Wa-Kikuyu to capture monkeys and parrots, of which in Eden Vale there were
several very charming species. The attempts to tame these creatures were
successful beyond expectation--so much so that after a few weeks the
captives, when let loose, voluntarily followed their mistresses. This
excited the ambition of both of the ladies, and the Andorobbo were
commissioned to capture some specimens of a particularly pretty species of
antelope, which our naturalists decided to be a variety of the tufted
antelope (_Cephalophus rufilatus_), which is almost peculiar to Western
Africa. This attempt was also successful. It is true that the old animals
proved to be so shy and intractable that they were at last allowed to go
free; but several young ones became attached to their guardians with
surprising rapidity, and followed them like dogs. These antelopes are not
larger than a medium-sized sheep, and the young ones in particular look
exceedingly pretty with their red tufts, and disport themselves like frisky
kids. Miss Ellen and my sister soon had about them a whole menagerie of
antelopes, monkeys, and parrots, trained to perform all sorts of tricks for
the delectation of the children who were expected.

Thus matters stood when one of the elephant-keepers whom Miss Ellen had
brought with her to the Kenia, and who had given up all thoughts of
returning to their home, ventured to ask his 'mistress'--for the Indians
could not accustom themselves to the idea that they were perfectly
independent men--whether she would not like an elephant-baby also as a pet?
Receiving an affirmative answer, he undertook to capture one or more, if he
were allowed to go with the four elephants and their keepers into the woods
for a few days. As Miss Ellen had allowed her elephants to be employed in
the building operations, where these interesting colossi were of invaluable
service, and as the work could not be interrupted for the sake of a
plaything, she told the Indian that she would forego her wish, or at least
would wait until the elephants could be more easily spared from the work.
The Indian went away, but the idea that his beloved mistress should be
deprived of anything that would--as he had at once perceived--have given
her great pleasure, roused him out of his customary fatalistic indolence.
He brooded over the matter for a couple of days, and on the third he
appeared with the proposal to make good the loss of time occasioned by the
temporary absence of the four elephants by capturing, with the aid of the
other Cornaks, not only a young elephant, but also several old elephants,
and training them for work. 'But African elephants cannot be trained like
the Indian ones,' objected Miss Ellen. The Indian ventured to question
this, and his seven colleagues were all of his opinion. Elephants were
elephants; they would like to see an animal with a trunk that they could
not tame in a few weeks if he only got into their hands. 'If it is really
so, why have you not said so before; for you must have seen what good use
can be made of elephants here?' asked the American, and received for answer
merely a laconic 'Because you have not asked us.'

Miss Ellen did not know what to do. The idea of furnishing the colony of
Eden Vale with herds of tame elephants--for if these animals could be
tamed, there might as well be thousands as one--did not allow her to rest.
On the other hand, she remembered to have read, in her natural-history
studies, that African elephants were untameable. We all, when she asked us,
were obliged to affirm that there were no tame elephants anywhere in
Africa. She thought over this problem until she began to grow melancholy;
evidently she was anxious that a trial should be made. But the Indians
insisted upon the impossibility of capturing wild elephants without the
assistance of the tame ones; and she shrank the more from using the latter
in a doubtful attempt at a time when work urgently required doing, because
the tame elephants were her own property, and therefore the decision
depended entirely upon herself. Just then our zoologist, Signor Michaele
Faënze, returned from a long excursion to the central mass of the Kenia;
and when Miss Fox took him into her confidence, he at once sided with the
Indians. He admitted that, as a matter of fact, there were no tame African
elephants; but he maintained that this was simply because the Africans had
forgotten how to make the noble beast serviceable to man. The reason did
not lie in the character of the African elephant, for in the days of the
Romans trained elephants were as well known in Africa as in Asia. They
should let the Indians make an attempt; if the latter understood their
business they would succeed as well in Africa as in India.

And so it turned out. The eight Cornaks with their four elephants went into
the neighbouring forests; and when, as soon happened, they had found a herd
of wild elephants, they did with them exactly as they had learnt to do at
home. The tame elephants were sent without their attendants into the midst
of the herd of wild ones, by whom they were at first greeted with some
signs of surprise, but were ultimately received into companionship. The
crafty animals then fixed their attention upon the leader of the herd, the
strongest and handsomest bull, caressed him, whisked the flies off him, but
in the meantime bound, with some strong cord they had taken with them, one
of his legs to a stout tree. Having done this, they uttered their cry of
alarm--a sharp trumpet-like sound--and ran off as if they had discovered
some danger. On this signal, the Indians rushed forward with loud cries and
the firing of guns, and thus caused the whole herd to rush off after the
tame elephants. The poor prisoner, of course, could not run off with the
rest, desperately as he strained at the ropes; and the Indians allowed him
to stamp and trumpet, without for a while troubling themselves about him.
Their next care was to follow the track of the escaped herd. In the course
of an hour they had again crept up to it, to find that in the meantime the
four tame elephants had repeated the same trick with a new victim, which
was also fettered and then left in the same manner. In the course of the
day three more elephants shared the same fate; and by that time the herd
appeared to have grown suspicious, for their betrayers returned alone to
their keepers.

Now first was a visit paid to the five captives, among whom was a female
with a yearling about the size of a half-grown calf. The tame elephants
went straight to the captives straining at the ropes, and bound their
fore-feet tightly together. This was not done without furious resistance on
the part of the betrayed beasts; but this resistance was overcome in a most
brutal way by strokes of the trunk and by bites. Thereupon the merciless
captors busied themselves removing from within their victims' reach
everything that is pleasant to an elephant's palate--grass, bushes, and
tree-twigs; and what their trunks could not do they enabled the keepers to
do with axe and hatchet by dragging the captives down upon their sides.

When night came, all five captives were securely bound and deprived of
every possibility of getting food. They were watched, however, to secure
them from being attacked by lions or leopards. The next morning the tame
elephants again visited their captive brethren one after the other, helped
the fallen ones to get up--which was not effected without a good deal of
thrashing and pushing--and then again left them to their fate.

This went on for three days; the poor captives suffered from hunger and
thirst, and received barbarous blows from their treacherous brethren
whenever the latter came near them. By the fourth day they had become so
weak and subdued that they no longer roared, but pitifully moaned when
their tormentors approached, which nevertheless fell upon them fiercely
with trunk and teeth. Now a rescuing angel appeared to them, in human form.
An Indian, with threatening actions and several noisy blows, drove the
captors from their victim, and offered to the latter a vessel of water. If
the wild elephant, struck with astonishment, took time to survey the
situation, the tragi-comedy was over--the beast was tamed. For, in this
case, he would, after a little hesitation, accept the proffered drink, and
then a little food; he could afterwards be fed and watered without danger,
and, under the escort of the tame elephants, led home for further training.
If, on the contrary, the sight of the man maddened him--as was the case
with three out of the five--the thrashing-and-hunger treatment had to be
continued until the elephant began to understand that release from his
situation could be afforded only by the terrible biped.

At last all the captives submitted to their fate. The only danger in this
process consists in the necessity, on the part of the hunter, of relying
upon the accuracy of his judgment concerning the captive's character when
he first approaches him. It is true that the tame elephants stand by
observant and ready to help; but as a single thrust of the tusk of an
enraged animal may be fatal, the business requires a great deal of courage
and presence of mind. However, the Indians asserted that anyone only
partially accustomed to the ways of elephants could tell with certainty
from the look of the animal what he meant to do; it was therefore necessary
merely to take the precaution not to get very close to a captive elephant
before reading in his eye submission to the inevitable, and then there was
nothing to fear.

After an absence of six days, the expedition returned with the five
captives, which were certainly not yet trained and serviceable for work,
but were so far tame that they quietly allowed themselves to be shut up,
fed, watered, and taught. In the course of another fortnight they were
ready for use in all kinds of work, particularly when they had one of the
veterans by their side. Miss Ellen had a double triumph: she possessed a
charming baby elephant, which was certainly a little too clumsy for a
lap-dog, but was nevertheless as droll a creature as could be, and soon
made itself the acknowledged favourite of all Eden Vale; and she had
besides opened out for the Society an inexhaustible source of very valuable
motive power, of which no one would have thought but for her.

From that time forth we actively carried on the capture of elephants, so
that in a little while the elephant was the chief draught-beast in the
Kenia, and could be employed wherever heavy weights had to be removed to
short distances or to places inaccessible to waggons.

This successful experiment with the elephants suggested to us the taming of
other animals, for purposes, not merely of pleasure, but of utility. The
first attempt was made upon the zebra, and was successful. Though the old
animals were useless, the foals, when captured quite young, were tolerably
tractable and not particularly shy; and in the second generation our tame
zebras were not distinguishable from the best mules, except in colour.
Ostriches and giraffes came next in the order of our domestic animals; but
our trainers achieved their greatest triumph in taming the African buffalo.
This is the most vicious, uncontrollable, and dangerous of all African
beasts; and yet it was so thoroughly domesticated that in the course of
years it completely supplanted the common ox as a draught-beast. The bulls
that had grown up in a wild condition were, and remained, perfect devils;
but the captured cows could be so thoroughly domesticated that they would
eat out of their attendants' hands, and the buffaloes bred in a state of
domestication exhibited exactly the same character as the ordinary domestic
cattle. The bulls, especially when old, continued to be somewhat
unreliable; but the cows and oxen, on the other hand, were as gentle and
docile as any ruminant could be. They were never valued among us as milch
kine--for, though their milk was rich, it was not great in quantity--but
they were incomparable as draught-beasts. They were higher by half a foot
than the largest domestic cattle; they measured two feet across the
shoulders, and their horns were too thick at the base to be spanned by two
hands. No load was too heavy for these gigantic beasts; two buffaloes would
keep up their steady pace with a load that would soon have disabled four
ordinary oxen. They bore hunger, thirst, heat, and rain better than their
long-domesticated kindred; in short, they proved themselves invaluable in a
country where good roads were not everywhere to be found.

The third incident--But this really concerns only me personally, and
belongs to this narrative merely so far as it relates to the mode of life
and the social conditions of Eden Vale. It will therefore be best if I next
tell how we lived, what our habits were, and how we worked in the new home,
before the arrival of the main body of our brethren.


The colonists in Eden Vale looked upon me--the Society's plenipotentiary,
who had organised our expedition to the Kenia and procured the necessary
means--as their president in the full sense of the word: I might have
commanded and I should have been obeyed. But, on the other hand, I acted
not only in harmony with my own inclination, but also according to the
evident intention of the committee, when I assumed merely the position of
president of an association of men who had power to manage their own
affairs. Whenever it was possible, I consulted my colleagues previous to
making any arrangements, and acted in accordance with the will of the
majority; and only in the most urgent cases, or when orders had to be given
to persons who were absent, did I act independently. The distribution of
the work to different groups was made by arrangement between all the
members concerned, and the superintendents of the several branches of work
were elected by their special colleagues. Though in all essential matters
the views and proposals of myself and of those more particularly in my
confidence were always carried out (so that if in what I have written I
had, for brevity's sake, said 'I arranged,' 'I designed,' it would have
been essentially correct), yet this was due entirely to the fact that my
confidants were the intellectual leaders of the colony, and the others
voluntarily subordinated themselves to them. Moreover, we all knew that the
present was only a provisional arrangement. In the meanwhile, no one worked
for himself; all that we produced belonged not to the producer, not even to
the whole of the producers, but to the undertaking upon the common property
of which we were, in return, all living. In a word, the Free Society which
we wished to found was not yet founded--it was in process of forming; and
for the time we were, in reference to it, nothing more than persons
employed according to the old custom, and differed from ordinary
wage-earners simply in the fact that it was left to ourselves to decide
what we should keep for our own maintenance and what we should set apart as
the employer's share of the gains. If any evil-intentioned colleague had
compelled me to do so, I not only had the right, but was resolved, to
assume the attitude of the 'plenipotentiary.' That I was able to avoid
doing this contributed no little to heighten the mutual pleasure we all
experienced, and very materially facilitated the transition to the ultimate
form of our organisation; but this did not alter the fact that our life and
work, both on the journey and at the Kenia, were carried on under the
social forms of the old system.

During this period the hours of work, whether of overseer or simple
workman, white or negro, at Eden Vale were alike for all--from 5 A.M. to 10
A.M. and from 4 P.M. to 6 P.M.; only in the harvest-time were one or two
hours added. All work ceased on Sundays.

The order of the day was as follows: We rose about 4 A.M. and took a bath
in Eden Lake, where several bathing houses had been constructed. The
washing and repairing of clothes was attended to--under the superintendence
of a member who was an expert in such matters--by a band of Swahili, to
whom this work was allotted as their sole duty. We wore every day the
clothes which had been cleansed on the previous day, and which were brought
to the owner in the course of the day to be ready for him in the morning.
After the toilet came the breakfast, the preparation of which, as well as
of all the other meals, was also the special duty of a particular band of
Swahili. In initiating them into the mysteries of French cookery my sister
was of great service. This first breakfast consisted, according to
individual taste, of tea, chocolate, coffee--black or _au lait_--milk, or
some kind of soup; to these might be added, according to choice, butter,
cheese, honey, eggs, cold meat, with some kind of bread or cake. After this
first breakfast came work until 8, followed by a second breakfast,
consisting of some kind of substantial hot food--omelets, fish, or roast
meat--with bread, also cheese and fruits; the drinks were either the
delicious spring-water of our hills, or the very refreshing and agreeable
banana-wine made by the natives. Fifteen or twenty minutes were usually
spent over this breakfast, and work followed until 10 A.M. Then came the
long midday rest, when most of us, particularly in the hotter months, took
a second bath in the lake, followed by private recreation, reading,
conversation, or games. As a rule, the heat in this part of the day was
great; in the hot season the thermometer frequently measured 95° Fahr. in
the shade. It is true that the heat out of doors was prevented from
becoming unendurable by cool breezes, which, in fine weather, blew
regularly between 11 A.M. and 5 P.M. from the Kenia, and these breezes were
the stronger the hotter the day; but it was most agreeable and most
conducive to health to spend the midday hours under cover. At 1 P.M. the
principal meal was taken, consisting of soup, a course of meat or fish with
vegetables, sweet pastry, and fruit of many kinds, with banana-wine or,
when our brewery had been set to work, beer. The meal over, some would
sleep for half an hour, and the rest of the time would be filled up with
conversation, reading, and games. When the fiercest heat was over, the two
hours of afternoon work would be gone through. After this a few indulged in
a third and hasty bath. At 7 P.M. a meal similar to the first breakfast was
taken, out of doors if it did not rain, and in large companies. It should
be stated that, with reference to the meals and to all other means of
refreshment, everyone could choose what and how much he pleased. It was
only in the matter of alcoholic drinks that there was any restriction, and
that for easily understood reasons. Later, when everyone acted for himself,
even in this matter there was perfect liberty; but so long as we were under
the then existing obligations to the Society it was necessary to observe
restrictions for the sake of the negroes.

The evenings were generally devoted to music. We had some very skilful
musicians, an excellent orchestra of wind and string instruments numbering
forty-five performers, and a fine choir; and these performed whenever the
weather permitted. The air would grow cool two or three hours after sunset;
on some nights the thermometer would measure over 70° Fahr., but it
occasionally sank to less than 60° Fahr., so that the night-rest was always

Sundays were given up to recreation and instruction: excursions into the
adjoining woods, hunting expeditions, concerts, public lectures, addresses,

The block-houses in which we dwelt were intended to serve each family as a
future--though merely provisional--home. Each stood in a garden of 1,200
square yards; and with its six rooms--living-room, kitchen, and four
bedrooms--covered 150 square yards. At this time each such house was
occupied by four of us; to the two women and Sakemba--the latter had been
visited by her parents and their family, and had induced them to put up
their grass hat in Eden Vale--a separate house was of course allotted.

This last arrangement, however, did not please my sister at all. During the
journey she had yielded to the necessity of being separated from me, the
darling ward given into her charge by our sainted mother. Arrived at Eden
Vale, she expected to resume her old rights of guardianship and domestic
superintendence; but she found herself prevented from carrying out her
wishes by her duty towards a second, who in the meantime had become a
favourite with her--namely, Miss Fox. She could not possibly leave this
young woman alone among so many men; but as little could she bring us both
into the same house, though in her eyes we were mere children. What would
her friends in Paris have said to that? I spent all my leisure time in the
women's house, whither I was unconsciously more and more strongly
attracted, not less by the young American's conversation--which was a
piquant mixture of animated controversy and unaffected chatter--than by her
harp-playing and her clear alto voice. But this did not satisfy sister
Clara, who at last hit upon the plan of marrying us. Our common
'foolishness'--that is, our social ideas--made us, she thought, mutually
suitable; and though, in her opinion, we should make a pair entirely
lacking in sound domestic common sense, _she_ was there to think and act
for both of us.

Having once conceived this purpose, she, as a prudent and discreet person
who rightly foresaw that in this matter she could not expect implicit
obedience from either Miss Fox or myself, placed us under close
observation. Though she was peculiarly lacking in personal experience in
matters of love, yet, by means merely of that delicate sensibility peculiar
to woman, she made the startling discovery that we were already over head
and ears in love with each other. At first she was so astonished at this
discovery that she would not believe her own eyes. But the thing was too
clear to make mistake possible. We two lovers had ourselves not the
remotest suspicion of our condition; but to anyone who knew Miss Fox so
well as several months of unbroken companionship with the open-hearted and
ingenuous young American had enabled my sister to do, there could be no
difficulty in understanding what was the matter when a young woman, who had
hitherto lived only for her ideals, freedom and justice, whose idol had
been humanity, but who had shown no interest in any individual man apart
from the ideas to which he devoted himself, was thrown into confusion as
often as she heard the footsteps of a certain man, and in her confidential
intercourse with my sister, instead of talking of the grandeur of our
principles, preferred to talk of the excellences of him who in Eden Vale
was the leading exponent of those principles. As to my own feelings, sister
Clara knew too well that hitherto woman had interested me merely on account
of her position in human society not to feel as if scales had fallen from
her eyes when one day, after long and devotedly watching Miss Fox as she
was busying herself about something, I broke out with the words, 'Is not
every movement of that girl music?'

So my sister took us each aside and told us we must marry. But she met with
a check from both of us. On hearing of the proposal, Miss Ellen, though she
became alternately crimson and pale, at once exclaimed that she would
rather die than marry me. 'Would not those arrogant men who deny us women
any sense of the ideal, any capacity for real effort, and look upon us as
the slaves of our egoistic impulses--would they not triumphantly assert
that my pretended enthusiasm for our social undertaking was merely passion
for a man; that it was not for the sake of an idea, but for the sake of a
man, that I had run off to Equatorial Africa? No--I don't love your
brother--I shall never love, still less marry!' This heroic apostrophe was,
however, followed by a flood of tears, which, when sister Clara wished to
interpret them in my favour, were declared to be signs of emotion at the
offensive suspicion. I received the proposal in a similar way. When Clara
hinted to me that I was in love with Miss Fox, I laughed at her heartily,
and declared that what she took to be symptoms of my passion were merely
signs of psychological interest in a woman who was capable of a genuine
enthusiasm for abstract ideas.

But a motherly sister who has once conceived the purpose of getting her
brother--and her female friend as well--married, is not so easily driven
from the field: at least, not when she has such good and manifold grounds
to adhere to her intention. As she could not gain her end in a direct way,
she tried a circuitous one--not a new one, but one often tried: she made us
both jealous. She told each of us in confidence that she had given up her
'stupid plan,' as the other party was no longer free. As she slily added to
me that she had devised her project merely to be able to come into my house
with my young wife and to resume her motherly care over me, and as this was
evidently the truth, I also gave credence to the invention that Ellen had
left a betrothed lover in America, who was about to appear in Eden Vale.
'Only think, Ellen never made this confession until I approached her with
my plan of getting her married! It is very lucky that you, my boy, care
nothing for the sly little creature; it would have been a pretty business
if you had set your heart upon Ellen!'

I declared myself perfectly satisfied with this turn of affairs; but at the
same time I felt as if a knife had pierced my heart. Suddenly my love stood
clear and distinct before my mind's eye--a glowing boundless passion, such
as he only can feel whose heart has remained six-and-twenty years
untouched. It seemed to me an unalterable certainty that, though I might
still live and struggle, I could never more enjoy life and life's battles!
But was my fate so certain and inevitable? Was it not possible to drive
from the field this lover who had exposed his betrothed to all the dangers
of an adventurous journey, to all the temptations of her unprotected
condition, and who was now about to appear and snatch the bliss from my
Eden? Was it at all conceivable that Ellen--this Ellen--such as I had known
her for months, would love such a wretched fellow? Away to her, to learn
the truth at any price!

I rushed over to the neighbouring house. There in the meantime my sister
had been telling a similar tale to Ellen. She had, she said to Ellen,
conceived the idea of making us man and wife; and therefore, in the hope
that my wooing would overcome her (Ellen's) resistance, she had also told
me of her plan; and when I hesitated she had urged it more strongly, until
at last I had confessed that, unknown to her, I had become betrothed in
Europe. The bride would reach Eden Vale with the next party that
arrived.... Clara had got so far when my appearance interrupted the story.

Deadly pale, Ellen turned towards me. She tried to speak, but her voice
failed her. My half-sad, half-angry inquiry after the American betrothed
first gave her speech. In a moment she found the key to the situation--that
I loved her, and that my sister had deceived us both. What followed can be
easily imagined. Thus it came to pass that Ellen was my betrothed when Dr.
Strahl arrived at Eden Vale; and this is the third incident which I was
about to narrate above.

Whether the joy with which I for the first time pressed to my heart the
woman of my love was greater than that with which I welcomed the friend of
my soul, the idol of my intellect, to the earthly paradise to which he had
shown us the way--this I cannot venture to decide.

When, in the eyes of my revered friend, as he looked upon our new home and
the strongly pulsing joyous life that already filled it, I saw tears of
joy, and in those tears a sure guarantee of immediate success, I was not
seized with such an extravagant delight--almost more than the breast which
felt it for the first time could bear--as I felt a few days before when my
beloved revealed to me the secret of her heart. But when my hair shall have
grown white and my back shall be bent with years, and the recollection of
those lover's kisses may no longer drive my blood so feverishly through my
veins as to-day, yet the thought of the hour in which, hand in hand with my
friend, I experienced the proud pure joy of having accomplished the first
and most difficult step towards the redemption of our suffering
disinherited brethren out of the tortures of many thousands of years of
bondage--the thought of that hour will never lose its bliss-inspiring power
as long as I am among the living.

Long, long stood the master on the heights above Eden Vale, eagerly taking
in every detail of the charming picture. Then, turning to us standing
around him he asked if we had given a name to the country that stretched
out before us on all sides, and which was to be our home. When I said that
we had not, and added that to him, who had given words to the idea that had
led us hither, also belonged the office of finding a word for the country
in which that idea was to be realised, he cried out: 'Freedom will find its
birthplace in this country; FREELAND we will name it.'



We now resume the thread of our narrative where Ney's journal left off.

With the President there had arrived in Eden Vale three members of the
executive committee; five others followed a few days after with the first
waggon-caravan from Mombasa; so that, including Ney, Johnston, and Demestre
(the last of whom had been co-opted at the suggestion of the two former),
twelve were now in Freeland. As hie committee at that time consisted of
fifteen members, there still remained three at a distance, of whom one was
in London, another at Trieste, and the third at Mombasa, at which places
they were for the present to act as the committee's authorised agents in
the foreign affairs of the Society. Their duty was to receive fresh
members, to collect and provisionally to have charge of the funds, and to
superintend the emigrations to Eden Vale.

Their instructions respecting applications for membership were to receive
every applicant who was not a relapsed criminal, and who could read and
write. The former condition needs no justification. We had an unqualified
confidence in the ennobling influence of our social reforms, because those
reforms removed the motive that impelled to most vices; we were perfectly
satisfied that Freeland would produce no criminals, and would even, if it
were not beyond the bounds of possibility, wean from vice those who had
been previously made criminals by misery and ignorance; but we wished, in
the beginning, to avoid being swamped by bad elements, and, in view of the
excusable attempts of certain States to rid themselves in some way or
another of their relapsed criminals, we were compelled to exercise caution.

It may seem a greater hardship that the perfectly illiterate were excluded.
But this was a necessary requirement of our programme. We wished to
transfer the right of the absolute free self-control of the individual to
the domain of labour from that of the relation of servitude which had
existed for thousands of years. We wished to transform the worker who had
been dependent upon his employer for his bread into the independent
producer acting at his own risk in free association with free colleagues.
It follows, as a matter of course, that in this our work we could use only
such workers as were raised above at least the lowest stage of brutality
and ignorance. That we thus excluded the most miserable of the miserable,
is true; but, apart from the fact that generally the ignorant man lacks a
clear consciousness of his misfortune and degradation, and his sufferings
are therefore, as a rule, rather of a physical than of a moral nature, we
could not allow ourselves to be so led astray by pity as to endanger the
success of our work. The ignorant man _must_ be under authority; and as it
was not our purpose to educate our members gradually to become free
producers, but to introduce them immediately to a system of free
production, we were compelled to protect ourselves against ignorance as
well as against crime.

Should it, on the other hand, be contended that ability to read and write
is of itself by no means a sufficient evidence of the possession of that
degree of culture and intelligence which must be presupposed in men who are
to exercise control over their own work, the answer is that for such a
purpose a very high degree of intelligence is certainly requisite, yet not
in all, but only in a relatively not large number of the workers, who thus
organise themselves, whilst the majority need not possess more than that
moderate amount of mental capacity and mental training which is enough to
enable them to look after their own interests. When a hundred or a thousand
workers unite to work for their common profit and at their common risk, it
is not every one of them that can or need have the abilities requisite to
organise and superintend this common production--it is merely necessary
that a very few possess this higher degree of intelligence; whilst it is
enough for the majority that they are able rightly to judge what ought to
be and is the result of the production in common, and what characteristics
those must possess in whose hands the guardianship of the common interest
is placed. But just here is the knowledge of letters absolutely
indispensable, for it is the printed word alone which makes man and his
judgment independent of the accidental influences of immediate surroundings
and first opens his mind to instruction. It will later on be seen in how
large a measure the most comprehensive publicity of all the proceedings
connected with this productive activity--a publicity possible only through
writing and print--contributed to the success of our work.

Of course these two conditions which applicants for membership had to
satisfy had from the beginning been insisted upon by the committee, and the
second condition at first very strictly so. It had been found, however,
that the intellectual level of most of the applicants was surprisingly
high. In the main, from among the class of manual labourers it was only the
_élite_, who in any numbers interested themselves in our undertaking; and
as, when the membership had gone beyond 20,000, a slight leaven of
ignorance could not be very dangerous, the committee contented itself with
requiring that the application should be made in the applicant's own

The number of applicants--women and children are always reckoned
in--continued to increase, particularly after the publication of the first
report of the settlement of the colony at the Kenia. When the
committee--with the exception of the delegates left behind--embarked at
Trieste, the rate of increase of members had reached 1,200 weekly; three
months later it had risen to 1,800 weekly. The European agents had to
register the new members--as had previously been done with the old
members--carefully, according to sex, age, and calling, and at every
opportunity to despatch the lists to Freeland; they had also to organise
and superintend the transport to Mombasa, which in all cases was
gratuitous; and they were authorised to pay all necessary expenses, in case
of need even to buy new ships, subject to subsequent examination and
approval of the accounts. It was also the duty of the agents to advise and
help the members when they were preparing for the journey; and they had
authority to give material assistance to needy comrades. The members'
contributions showed a tendency to increase similar to that of the number
of members. It was evident that the interest in and the understanding of
the character of our undertaking grew not merely among the working classes,
but also among the wealthy; the weekly addition to the funds increased from
20,000£ at the end of September to 30,000£ at the end of December. These
funds, after payment of the expenses incurred by the agents, were under the
control of the committee, whose executive organ, however, in this respect
also, for the payment of debts incurred outside of Freeland, were the
delegates who had been left behind.

On the 20th of October the committee held its first sitting in Eden Vale,
for the purpose of drawing up such rules as were required to regulate the
constitution of the free associations that were henceforth to be
responsible for all production in Freeland. Hitherto the sittings of the
committee had been so far public that every member of the Society had
access to them, and this was to continue to be the case; but a provisional
regulation was now adopted by which the audience might take part in the
proceedings, though simply as consultative members. This regulation was to
be in force until the press could perform its news-spreading and
controlling functions. At the same time it was found that, whilst the
committee had long been unanimous in holding that the Society's
programme--that is, the organisation of production upon the basis of
absolute individual independence on the one hand, and the securing to every
worker the full and undiminished produce of his work on the other
hand--should be carried out as soon as the committee had reached the new
home, a part of the members of the Society still wished to continue the
provisional organisation for at least a few months. In favour of this it
was alleged that the executive knew best what were the needs as well as the
capabilities of the gradually assembling community; the colonists should be
allowed time to become accustomed to their new conditions and to acquire
confidence in themselves; the committee had hitherto exhibited so much
discretion in all their measures, that it was their duty to keep for some
time longer the absolute direction of affairs in their own hands. It was
particularly the members who had just arrived in Eden Vale who exhibited
this dread of immediate and absolute independence. They thought they should
not be able at once to act wisely for themselves; it would be cruel to
pitch them as it were head-over-heels into the water, forcing upon them the
alternative of swimming or sinking, when they themselves did not know
whether they could swim or not. Ney, as the director of the works at the
Kenia, was especially importuned by these faint hearted ones to manage
their affairs for them, and not to force upon them an independence for
which they did not yet feel themselves qualified.

The committee were prepared for this demand, and had no difficulty in
dispelling the fears thus expressed. In the first place, the timid members
were made to understand that to continue production as the common
undertaking of the whole community after the Society, as such, had settled
in Freeland, would be sheer Communism. The 200 pioneers of the first
expedition, and the 260 of the second, were simply functionaries appointed
by the Society, whose relation to the Society was not altered in the least
by the fact that they were at the Kenia, while the committee were in
Europe. The pioneers were well aware of this before they left the Old
World. But the case was different with all who now came to the settlement.
Those who came now were not the officials, but the members of the Society;
they did not come to do something at the bidding of the Society, but to
work on their own account on the basis of the Society's principles of
organisation. We had therefore no further right to utilise the first comers
for the benefit of those who came after them. Even if we had such a right,
it would be a fatal mistake to exercise it. For those that came now were no
longer the carefully selected small band with whom we formerly had to do,
but persons who, though influenced by one great common idea, were yet a
thoroughly heterogeneous crowd accidentally thrown together, whom it would
be a very dangerous experiment to entrust with an anti-egoistic system of
production. The first 400 were--at least, in their character of
workers--mainly men of one mould, similar in their capacities and in their
requirements; the few leaders found ready obedience because no one

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