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The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile by Sir Samuel White Baker

Part 4 out of 9

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people regarded me as we do the Polar bear at the Zoological Gardens,
who begins to feel happy on the worst day in our English winter.

We returned home by a different route, not being able to find the path
in the trackless state of the country during the storm. There were in
some places unmistakeable evidences of the presence of elephants, and I
resolved to visit the spot again. I returned to the tent at 4 P.M.
satisfied that sport was to be had.

On my arrival at camp I found the natives very excited at the appearance
of rain, which they firmly believed had been called specially by their
chief. All were busy preparing their molotes (iron hoes), fitting new
handles, and getting everything ready for the periodical sowing of their

The handles of the molotes are extremely long, from seven to ten feet,
and the instrument being shaped like a miner's spade (heart-shaped), is
used like a Dutch hoe, and is an effective tool in ground that has been
cleared, but is very unfitted for preparing fresh soil. Iron ore of good
quality exists on the surface throughout this country.

The Latookas, like the Baris, are excellent blacksmiths, producing a
result that would astonish an English workman, considering the rough
nature of their tools, which are confined to a hammer, anvil, and tongs;
the latter formed of a cleft-stick of green wood, while the two former
are stones of various sizes. Their bellows consist of two pots about a
foot deep; from the bottom of each is an earthenware pipe about two feet
long, the points of which are inserted in a charcoal fire. The mouths of
the pots are covered with very pliable leather, loose and well greased;
in the centre of each leather covering is an upright stick about four
feet long, and the bellows-blower works these rapidly with a
perpendicular motion, thus producing a strong blast. The natives are
exceedingly particular in the shape of their molotes, and invariably
prove them by balancing them on their heads and ringing them by a blow
with the finger.

The Latookas being much engaged in preparing for cultivation, I had some
difficulty in arranging a hunting party; my men abhorred the idea of
elephant hunting, or of anything else that required hard work and
included danger. However, I succeeded in engaging Adda, the third chief
of Latooka, and several natives, to act as my guides, and I made my
arrangements for a stated day.

On the 17th of April I started at 5 A.M. with my three horses and two
camels, the latter carrying water and food. After a march of two or
three hours through the beautiful hunting-grounds formed by the valley
of Latooka, with its alternate prairies and jungles, I came upon the
tracks of rhinoceros, giraffes, and elephants, and shortly moved a
rhinoceros, but could get no shot, owing to the thick bush in which he
started and disappeared quicker than I could dismount. After a short
circuit in search of the rhinoceros, we came upon a large herd of
buffaloes, but at the same moment we heard elephants trumpeting at the
foot of the mountains. Not wishing to fire, lest the great game should
be disturbed, I contented myself with riding after the buffaloes,
wonderfully followed on foot by Adda, who ran like a deer, and almost
kept up with my horse, hurling his three lances successively at the
buffaloes, but without success. I had left the camels in an open plain,
and returning from the gallop after the buffaloes, I saw the men on the
camels beckoning to me in great excitement.

Cantering towards them, they explained that a herd of bull elephants had
just crossed an open space, and had passed into the jungle beyond. There
was evidently abundance of game; and calling my men together, I told
them to keep close to me with the spare horses and rifles, while I sent
the Latookas ahead to look out for the elephants: we followed at a short

In about ten minutes we saw the Latookas hurrying towards us, and almost
immediately after, I saw two enormous bull elephants with splendid tusks
about a hundred yards from us, apparently the leaders of an approaching
herd. The ground was exceedingly favourable, being tolerably open, and
yet with sufficient bush to afford a slight cover. Presently, several
elephants appeared and joined the two leaders--there was evidently a
considerable number in the herd, and I was on the point of dismounting
to take the first shot on foot, when the Latookas, too eager, approached
the herd: their red and blue helmets at once attracted the attention of
the elephants, and a tremendous rush took place, the whole herd closing
together and tearing off at full speed. "Follow me!" I hallooed to my
men, and touching my horse with the spur, I intended to dash into the
midst of the herd. Just at that instant, in his start, my horse slipped
and fell suddenly upon his side, falling upon my right leg and thus
pinning me to the ground. He was not up to my weight, and releasing
myself, I immediately mounted my old Abyssinian hunter, "Tetel," and
followed the tracks of the elephants at full speed, accompanied by two
of the Latookas, who ran like hounds. Galloping through the green but
thornless bush, I soon came in sight of a grand bull elephant, steaming
along like a locomotive engine straight before me.

Digging in the spurs, I was soon within twenty yards of him; but the
ground was so unfavourable, being full of buffalo holes, that I could
not pass him. In about a quarter of an hour, after a careful chase over
deep ruts and gullies concealed in high grass, I arrived at a level
space, and shooting ahead, I gave him a shoulder shot with the Reilly
No. 10 rifle. I saw the wound in a good place, but the bull rushed along
all the quicker, and again we came into bad ground that made it unwise
to close. However, on the first opportunity I made a dash by him, and
fired my left-hand barrel at full gallop. He slackened his speed, but I
could not halt to reload, lest I should lose sight of him in the high
grass and bush.

Not a man was with me to hand a spare rifle. My cowardly fellows,
although light-weights and well mounted, were nowhere; the natives were
outrun, as of course was Richarn, who, not being a good rider, had
preferred to hunt on foot. In vain I shouted for the men; and I followed
the elephant with an empty rifle for about ten minutes, until he
suddenly turned round, and stood facing me in an open spot in grass
about nine or ten feet high. "Tetel" was a grand horse for elephants,
not having the slightest fear, and standing fire like a rock, never even
starting under the discharge of the heaviest charge of powder. I now
commenced reloading, when presently one of my men, Yaseen, came up upon
"Filfil." Taking a spare gun from him, I rode rapidly past the elephant,
and suddenly reining up, I made a good shot exactly behind the
bladebone. With a shrill scream, the elephant charged down upon me like
a steam-engine. In went the spurs. "Tetel" knew his work, and away he
went over the ruts and gullies, the high dry grass whistling in my ears
as we shot along at full speed, closely followed by the enraged bull for
about two hundred yards.

The elephant then halted; and turning the horse's head, I again faced
him and reloaded. I thought he was dying, as he stood with trunk
drooping, and ears closely pressed back upon his neck. Just at this
moment I heard the rush of elephants advancing through the green bush
upon the rising ground above the hollow formed by the open space of high
withered grass in which we were standing facing each other. My man
Yaseen had bolted with his fleet horse at the first charge, and was not
to be seen. Presently, the rushing sound increased, and the heads of a
closely packed herd of about eighteen elephants showed above the low
bushes, and they broke cover, bearing down directly upon me, both I and
my horse being unobserved in the high grass. I never saw a more lovely
sight; they were all bulls with immense tusks. Waiting until they were
within twenty yards of me, I galloped straight at them, giving a yell
that turned them. Away they rushed up the hill, but at so great a pace,
that upon the rutty and broken ground I could not overtake them, and
they completely distanced me. Tetel, although a wonderfully steady
hunter, was an uncommonly slow horse, but upon this day he appeared to
be slower than usual, and I was not at the time aware that he was
seriously ill. By following three elephants separated from the herd I
came up to them by a short cut, and singling out a fellow with enormous
tusks, I rode straight at him. Finding himself overhauled, he charged me
with such quickness and followed me up so far, that it was with the
greatest difficulty that I cleared him. When he turned, I at once
returned to the attack; but he entered a thick thorny jungle through
which no horse could follow, and I failed to obtain a shot.

I was looking for a path through which I could penetrate the bush, when
I suddenly heard natives shouting in the direction where I had left the
wounded bull. Galloping towards the spot, I met a few scattered natives;
among others, Adda. After shouting for some time, at length Yaseen
appeared upon my horse Filfil; he had fled as usual when he saw the
troop of elephants advancing, and no one knows how far he had ridden
before he thought it safe to look behind him. With two mounted gun-
bearers and five others on foot I had been entirely deserted through the
cowardice of my men. The elephant that I had left as dying, was gone.
One of the Latookas had followed upon his tracks, and we heard this
fellow shouting in the distance. I soon overtook him, and he led rapidly
upon the track through thick bushes and high grass. In about a quarter
of an hour we came up with the elephant; he was standing in bush, facing
us at about fifty yards' distance, and immediately perceiving us, he
gave a saucy jerk with his head, and charged most determinedly. It was
exceedingly difficult to escape, owing to the bushes which impeded the
horse, while the elephant crushed them like cobwebs: however, by turning
my horse sharp round a tree, I managed to evade him after a chase of
about a hundred and fifty yards. Disappearing in the jungle after his
charge, I immediately followed him. The ground was hard, and so trodden
by elephants that it was difficult to single out the track. There was no
blood upon the ground, but only on the trees every now and then, where
he had rubbed past them in his retreat. After nearly two hours passed in
slowly following upon his path, we suddenly broke cover and saw him
travelling very quietly through an extensive plain of high grass. The
ground was gently inclining upwards on either side the plain, but the
level was a mass of deep, hardened ruts, over which no horse could
gallop. Knowing my friend's character, I rode up the rising ground to
reconnoitre: I found it tolerably clear of holes, and far superior to
the rutty bottom. My two mounted gun-bearers had now joined me, and far
from enjoying the sport, they were almost green with fright, when I
ordered them to keep close to me and to advance.

I wanted them to attract the elephant's attention, so as to enable me to
obtain a good shoulder shot. Riding along the open plain, I at length
arrived within about fifty yards of the bull, when he slowly turned.
Reining "Tetel" up, I immediately fired a steady shot at the shoulder
with the Reilly No. 10:--for a moment he fell upon his knees, but,
recovering with wonderful quickness, he was in full charge upon me.
Fortunately I had inspected my ground previous to the attack, and away I
went up the inclination to my right, the spurs hard at work, and the
elephant screaming with rage, GAINING on me. My horse felt as though
made of wood, and clumsily rolled along in a sort of cow-gallop;--in
vain I dug the spurs into his flanks, and urged him by rein and voice;
not an extra stride could I get out of him, and he reeled along as
though thoroughly exhausted, plunging in and out of the buffalo holes
instead of jumping them. Hamed was on my horse "Mouse," who went three
to "Tetel's" one, and instead of endeavouring to divert the elephant's
attention, he shot ahead, and thought of nothing but getting out of the
way. Yaseen, on "Filfil," had fled in another direction; thus I had the
pleasure of being hunted down upon a sick and disabled horse. I kept
looking round, thinking that the elephant would give in:--we had been
running for nearly half a mile, and the brute was overhauling me so fast
that he was within ten or twelve yards of the horse's tail, with his
trunk stretched out to catch him. Screaming like the whistle of an
engine, he fortunately so frightened the horse that he went his best,
although badly, and I turned him suddenly down the hill and doubled back
like a hare. The elephant turned up the hill, and entering the jungle he
relinquished the chase, when another hundred yards' run would have
bagged me.

In a life's experience in elephant-hunting, I never was hunted for such
a distance. Great as were Tetel's good qualities for pluck and
steadiness, he had exhibited such distress and want of speed, that I was
sure he failed through some sudden malady. I immediately dismounted, and
the horse laid down, as I thought, to die.

Whistling loudly, I at length recalled Hamed, who had still continued
his rapid flight without once looking back, although the elephant was
out of sight. Yaseen was, of course, nowhere; but after a quarter of an
hour's shouting and whistling, he reappeared, and I mounted Filfil,
ordering Tetel to be led home.

The sun had just sunk, and the two Latookas who now joined me refused to
go farther on the tracks, saying, that the elephant must die during the
night, and that they would find him in the morning. We were at least ten
miles from camp; I therefore fired a shot to collect my scattered men,
and in about half an hour we all joined together, except the camels and
their drivers, that we had left miles behind.

No one had tasted food since the previous day, nor had I drunk water,
although the sun had been burning hot; I now obtained some muddy rain
water from a puddle, and we went towards home, where we arrived at
half-past eight, every one tired with the day's work. The camels came
into camp about an hour later.

My men were all now wonderfully brave; each had some story of a narrow
escape, and several declared that the elephants had run over them, but
fortunately without putting their feet upon them.

The news spread through the town that the elephant was killed; and, long
before daybreak on the following morning, masses of natives had started
for the jungles, where they found him lying dead. Accordingly, they
stole his magnificent tusks, which they carried to the town of Wakkala,
and confessed to taking all the flesh, but laid the blame of the ivory
theft upon the Wakkala tribe.

There was no redress. The questions of a right of game are ever prolific
of bad blood, and it was necessary in this instance to treat the matter
lightly. Accordingly, the natives requested me to go out and shoot them
another elephant: on the condition of obtaining the meat, they were
ready to join in any hunting expedition.

The elephants in Central Africa have very superior tusks to those of
Abyssinia. I had shot a considerable number in the Base country on the
frontier of Abyssinia, and few tusks were above 30 1bs. weight; those in
the neighbourhood of the White Nile average about 50 1bs. for each tusk
of a bull elephant, while those of the females are generally about 10
lbs. I have seen monster tusks of 160 lbs., and one was in the
possession of a trader, Mons. P., that weighed 172 1bs.

It is seldom that a pair of tusks are alike. As a man uses the right
hand in preference to the left, so the elephant works with a particular
tusk, which is termed by the traders "el Hadam" (the servant); this is
naturally, more worn than the other, and is usually about ten pounds
lighter: frequently it is broken, as the elephant uses it as a lever to
uproot trees and to tear up the roots of various bushes upon which he

The African elephant is not only entirely different from the Indian
species in his habits, but he also differs in form.

There are three distinguishing peculiarities. The back of the African
elephant is concave, that of the Indian is convex; the ear of the
African is enormous, entirely covering the shoulder when thrown back,
while the ear of the Indian variety is comparatively small. The head of
the African has a convex front, the top of the skull sloping back at a
rapid inclination, while the head of the Indian elephant exposes a flat
surface a little above the trunk.

The average size of the African elephant is larger than those of Ceylon,
although I have occasionally shot monster rogues in the latter country,
equal to anything that I have seen in Africa. The average height of
female elephants in Ceylon is about 7 ft. 10 in. at the shoulder, and
that of the males is about 9 ft.; but the usual height of the African
variety I have found, by actual measurement, of females to be 9 ft.,
while that of the bills is 10 ft. 6 in. Thus the females of the African
are equal to the males of Ceylon.

They also differ materially in their habits. In Ceylon, the elephant
seeks the shade of thick forests at the rising of the sun, in which he
rests until about 5 P.M., when he wanders forth upon the plains. In
Africa, the country being generally more open, the elephant remains
throughout the day either beneath a solitary tree, or exposed to the sun
in the vast prairies, where the thick grass attains a height of from
nine to twelve feet. The general food of the African elephant consists
of the foliage of trees, especially of mimosas. In Ceylon, although
there are many trees that serve as food, the elephant nevertheless is an
extensive grass-feeder. The African variety, being almost exclusively a
tree-feeder, requires his tusks to assist him in procuring food. Many of
the mimosas are flat-headed, about thirty feet high, and the richer
portion of the foliage confined to the crown; thus the elephant, not
being able to reach to so great a height, must overturn the tree to
procure the coveted food. The destruction caused by a herd of African
elephants in a mimosa forest is extraordinary; and I have seen trees
uprooted of so large a size, that I am convinced no single elephant
could have overturned them. I have measured trees four feet six inches
in circumference, and about thirty feet high, uprooted by elephants. The
natives have assured me that they mutually assist each other, and that
several engage together in the work of overturning a large tree. None of
the mimosas have tap-roots; thus the powerful tusks of the elephants,
applied as crowbars at the roots, while others pull at the branches with
their trunks, will effect the destruction of a tree so large as to
appear invulnerable. The Ceylon elephant rarely possessing tusks, cannot
destroy a tree thicker than the thigh of an ordinary man.

In Ceylon, I have seldom met old bulls in parties--they are generally
single or remain in pairs; but, in Africa, large herds are met with,
consisting entirely of bulls. I have frequently seen sixteen or twenty
splendid bulls together, presenting a show of ivory most exciting to a
hunter. The females in Africa congregate in vast herds of many hundreds,
while in Ceylon the herds seldom average more than ten.

The elephant is by far the most formidable of all animals, and the
African variety is more dangerous than the Indian, as it is next to
impossible to kill it by the forehead shot. The head is so peculiarly
formed, that the ball either passes over the brain, or lodges in the
immensely solid bones and cartilages that contain the roots of the
tusks. I have measured certainly a hundred bull tusks, and I have found
them buried in the head a depth of 24 inches. One large tusk, that
measured 7 ft. 8 in. in length, and 22 inches in girth, was imbedded in
the head a depth of 31 inches. This will convey an idea of the enormous
size of the head, and of the strength of bone and cartilage required to
hold in position so great a weight, and to resist the strain when the
tusk is used as a lever to uproot trees.

The brain of an African elephant rests upon a plate of bone exactly
above the roots of the upper grinders; it is thus wonderfully protected
from a front shot, as it lies so low that the ball passes above it when
the elephant raises his head, which he invariably does when in anger,
until close to the object of his attack.

The character of the country naturally influences the habits of the
animals: thus, Africa being more generally open than the forest-clad
Ceylon, the elephant is more accustomed to activity, and is much faster
than the Ceylon variety. Being an old elephant-hunter of the latter
island, I was exceedingly interested in the question of variety of
species, and I had always held the opinion that the African elephant
might be killed with the same facility as that of Ceylon, by the
forehead shot, provided that a sufficient charge of powder were used to
penetrate the extra thickness of the head. I have found, by much
experience, that I was entirely wrong, and that, although by CHANCE an
African elephant may be killed by the front shot, it is the exception to
the rule. The danger of the sport is, accordingly, much increased, as it
is next to impossible to kill the elephant when in full charge, and the
only hope of safety consists in turning him by a continuous fire with
heavy guns: this cannot always be effected.

I had a powerful pair of No. 10 polygroove rifles, made by Reilly of
Oxford Street; they weighed fifteen pounds, and carried seven drachms of
powder without a disagreeable recoil. The bullet was a blunt cone, one
and a half diameter of the bore, and I used a mixture of nine-tenths
lead and one-tenth quicksilver for the hardening of the projectile. This
is superior to all mixtures for that purpose, as it combines hardness
with extra weight; the lead must be melted in a pot by itself to a red
heat, and the proportion of quicksilver must be added a ladle-full at a
time, and stirred quickly with a piece of iron just in sufficient
quantity to make three or four bullets. If the quicksilver is subjected
to a red heat in the large lead-pot, it will evaporate. The only
successful forehead shot that I made at an African elephant was shortly
after my arrival in the Abyssinian territory on the Settite river; this
was in thick thorny jungle, and an elephant from the herd charged with
such good intention, that had she not been stopped, she must have caught
one of the party. When within about five yards of the muzzle, I killed
her dead by a forehead shot with a hardened bullet as described, from a
Reilly No. 10 rifle, and we subsequently recovered the bullet in the

This extraordinary penetration led me to suppose that I should always
succeed as I had done in Ceylon, and I have frequently stood the charge
of an African elephant until close upon me, determined to give the
forehead shot a fair trial, but I have ALWAYS failed, except in the
instance now mentioned; it must also be borne in mind that the elephant
was a female, with a head far inferior in size and solidity to that of
the male.

The temple shot, and that behind the ear, are equally fatal in Africa as
in Ceylon, provided the hunter can approach within ten or twelve yards;
but altogether the hunting is far more difficult, as the character of
the country does not admit of an approach sufficiently close to
guarantee a successful shot. In the forests of Ceylon an elephant can be
stalked to within a few paces, and the shot is seldom fired at a greater
distance than ten yards: thus accuracy of aim is insured; but in the
open ground of Africa, an elephant can seldom be approached within fifty
yards, and should he charge the hunter, escape is most difficult. I
never found African elephants in good jungle, except once, and on that
occasion I shot five, quite as quickly as we should kill them in Ceylon.

The character of the sport must vary according to the character of the
country; thus there may be parts of Africa at variance with my
description. I only relate my own experience.

Among other weapons, I had an extraordinary rifle that carried a
half-pound percussion shell--this instrument of torture to the hunter
was not sufficiently heavy for the weight of the projectile; it only
weighed twenty pounds: thus, with a charge of ten drachms of powder,
behind a HALF-POUND shell, the recoil was so terrific, that I was spun
round like a weathercock in a hurricane. I really dreaded my own rifle,
although I had been accustomed to heavy charges of powder and severe
recoil for many years.

None of my men could fire it, and it was looked upon with a species of
awe, and was named "Jenna el Mootfah" (child of a cannon) by the Arabs,
which being far too long a name for practice, I christened it the
"Baby;" and the scream of this "Baby," loaded with a half-pound shell,
was always fatal. It was far too severe, and I very seldom fired it, but
it is a curious fact, that I never fired a shot with that rifle without
bagging: the entire practice, during several years, was confined to
about twenty shots. I was afraid to use it; but now and then it was
absolutely necessary that it should be cleaned, after lying for months
loaded. On such occasions my men had the gratification of firing it, and
the explosion was always accompanied by two men falling on their backs
(one having propped up the shooter), and the "Baby" flying some yards
behind them. This rifle was made by Holland, of Bond Street, and I could
highly recommend it for Goliath of Gath, but not for men of A.D. 1866.

The natives of Central Africa generally hunt the elephant for the sake
of the flesh, and prior to the commencement of the White Nile trade by
the Arabs, and the discovery of the Upper White Nile to the 5 degrees N.
lat. by the expedition sent by Mehemet Ali Pasha, the tusks were
considered as worthless, and were treated as bones. The death of an
elephant is a grand affair for the natives, as it supplies flesh for an
enormous number of people, also fat, which is the great desire of all
savages for internal and external purposes. There are various methods of
killing them. Pitfalls are the most common, but the wary old bulls are
seldom caught in this manner.

The position chosen for the pit is, almost without exception, in the
vicinity of a drinking place, and the natives exhibit a great amount of
cunning in felling trees across the usual run of the elephants, and
sometimes cutting an open pit across the path, so as to direct the
elephant by such obstacles into the path of snares. The pits are usually
about twelve feet long, and three feet broad, by nine deep; these are
artfully made, decreasing towards the bottom to the breadth of a foot.
The general elephant route to the drinking place being blocked up, the
animals are diverted by a treacherous path towards the water, the route
intersected by numerous pits, all of which are carefully concealed by
sticks and straw, the latter being usually strewn with elephants' dung
to create a natural effect.

Should an elephant, during the night, fall through the deceitful
surface, his foot becomes jammed in the bottom of the narrow grave, and
he labours shoulder deep, with two feet in the pitfall so fixed that
extrication is impossible. Should one animal be thus caught, a sudden
panic seizes the rest of the herd, and in their hasty retreat one or
more are generally victims to the numerous pits in the vicinity. The old
bulls never approach a watering place rapidly, but carefully listen for
danger, and then slowly advance with their warning trunks stretched to
the path before them; the delicate nerves of the proboscis at once
detect the hidden snare, and the victims to pitfalls are the members of
large herds who, eager to push forward incautiously, put their "foot
into it," like shareholders in bubble companies. Once helpless in the
pit, they are easily killed with lances.

The great elephant hunting season is in January, when the high prairies
are parched and reduced to straw. At such a time, should a large herd of
animals be discovered, the natives of the entire district collect
together to the number of perhaps a thousand men; surrounding the
elephants by embracing a considerable tract of country, they fire the
grass at a given signal. In a few minutes the unconscious elephants are
surrounded by a circle of fire, which, however distant, must eventually
close in upon them. The men advance with the fire, which rages to the
height of twenty or thirty feet. At length the elephants, alarmed by the
volumes of smoke and the roaring of the flames, mingled with the shouts
of the hunters, attempt an escape. They are hemmed in on every
side--wherever they rush, they are met by an impassable barrier of
flames and smoke, so stifling, that they are forced to retreat.
Meanwhile the fatal circle is decreasing; buffaloes and antelopes,
likewise doomed to a horrible fate, crowd panic stricken to the centre
of the encircled ring, and the raging fire sweeps over all. Burnt and
blinded by fire and smoke, the animals are now attacked by the savage
crowd of hunters, excited by the helplessness of the unfortunate
elephants thus miserably sacrificed, and they fall under countless
spears. This destructive method of hunting ruins the game of that part
of Africa, and so scarce are the antelopes, that, in a day's journey, a
dozen head are seldom seen in the open prairie.

The next method of hunting is perfectly legitimate. Should many
elephants be in the neighbourhood, the natives post about a hundred men
in as many large trees; these men are armed with heavy lances specially
adapted to the sport, with blades about eighteen inches long and three
inches broad. The elephants are driven by a great number of men towards
the trees in which the spearmen are posted, and those that pass
sufficiently near are speared between the shoulders. The spear being
driven deep into the animal, creates a frightful wound, as the tough
handle, striking against the intervening branches of trees, acts as a
lever, and works the long blade of the spear within the elephant,
cutting to such an extent that he soon drops from exhaustion.

The best and only really great elephant-hunters of the White Nile are
the Bagara Arabs, on about the 13 degree N. lat. These men hunt on
horseback, and kill the elephant in fair fight with their spears.

The lance is about fourteen feet long, of male bamboo; the blade is
about fourteen inches long by nearly three inches broad; this is as
sharp as a razor. Two men, thus armed and mounted, form the hunting
party. Should they discover a herd, they ride up to the finest tusker
and single him from the others. One man now leads the way, and the
elephant, finding himself pressed, immediately charges the horse. There
is much art required in leading the elephant, who follows the horse with
great determination, and the rider adapts his pace so as to keep his
horse so near the elephant that his attention is entirely absorbed with
the hope of catching him. The other hunter should by this tine have
followed close to the elephant's heels, and, dismounting when at full
gallop with wonderful dexterity, he plunges his spear with both hands
into the elephant about two feet below the junction of the tail, and
with all his force he drives the spear about eight feet into his
abdomen, and withdraws it immediately. Should he be successful in his
stab, he remounts his horse and flies, or does his best to escape on
foot, should he not have time to mount, as the elephant generally turns
to pursue him. His comrade immediately turns his horse, and, dashing at
the elephant, in his turn dismounts, and drives his lance deep into his

Generally, if the first thrust is scientifically given, the bowels
protrude to such an extent that the elephant is at once disabled. Two
good hunters will frequently kill several out of one herd; but in this
dangerous hand-to-hand fight the hunter is often the victim. Hunting
the elephant on horseback is certainly far less dangerous than on foot,
but although the speed of the horse is undoubtedly superior, the chase
generally takes place upon ground so disadvantageous, that he is liable
to fall, in which case there is little chance for either animal or
rider. So savage are the natural instincts of Africans, that they attend
only to the destruction of the elephant, and never attempt its



Ibrahim returned from Gondokoro, bringing with him a large supply of
ammunition. A wounded man of Chenooda's people also arrived, the sole
relic of the fight with the Latookas; he had been left for dead, but had
recovered, and for days and nights he had wandered about the country, in
thirst and hunger, hiding like a wild beast from the sight of human
beings, his guilty conscience marking every Latooka as an enemy. As a
proof of the superiority of the natives to the Khartoumers, he had at
length been met by some Latookas, and not only was well treated and fed
by their women, but they had guided him to Ibrahim's camp.

The black man is a curious anomaly, the good and bad points of human
nature bursting forth without any arrangement, like the flowers and
thorns of his own wilderness. A creature of impulse, seldom actuated by
reflection, the black man astounds by his complete obtuseness, and as
suddenly confounds you by an unexpected exhibition of sympathy. From a
long experience with African savages, I think it is as absurd to condemn
the negro in toto, as it is preposterous to compare his intellectual
capacity with that of the white man. It is unfortunately the fashion for
one party to uphold the negro as a superior being, while the other
denies him the common powers of reason. So great a difference of opinion
has ever existed upon the intrinsic value of the negro, that the very
perplexity of the question is a proof that he is altogether a distinct
variety. So long as it is generally considered that the negro and the
white man are to be governed by the same laws and guided by the same
management, so long will the former remain a thorn in the side of every
community to which he may unhappily belong. When the horse and the ass
shall be found to match in double harness, the white man and the African
black will pull together under the same regime. It is the grand error of
equalizing that which is unequal, that has lowered the negro character,
and made the black man a reproach.

In his savage home, what is the African? Certainly bad; but not so bad
as white men would (I believe) be under similar circumstances. He is
acted upon by the bad passions inherent in human nature, but there is no
exaggerated vice, such as is found in civilized countries. The strong
takes from the weak, one tribe fights the other--do not perhaps we in
Europe?--these are the legitimate acts of independent tribes, authorized
by their chiefs. They mutually enslave each other--how long is it since
America and WE OURSELVES ceased to be slaveholders? He is callous and
ungrateful--in Europe is there no ingratitude?

He is cunning and a liar by nature--in Europe is all truth and
sincerity? Why should the black man not be equal to the white? He is as
powerful in frame, a why should he not be as exalted in mind?

In childhood I believe the negro to be in advance, in intellectual
quickness, of the white child of a similar age, but the mind does not
expand--it promises fruit, but does not ripen; and the negro man has
grown in body, but not advanced in intellect.

The puppy of three months old is superior in intellect to a child of the
same age, but the mind of the child expands, while that of the dog has
arrived at its limit. The chicken of the common fowl has sufficient
power and instinct to run in search of food the moment that it leaves
the egg, while the young of the eagle lies helpless in its nest; but the
young eagle outstrips the chicken in the course of time. The earth
presents a wonderful example of variety in all classes of the human
race, the animal and vegetable kingdoms. People, beasts, and plants
belonging to distinct classes, exhibit special qualities and
peculiarities. The existence of many hundred varieties of dogs cannot
interfere with the fact that they belong to one genus: the greyhound,
pug, bloodhound, pointer, poodle, mastiff, and toy terrier, are all as
entirely different in their peculiar instincts as are the varieties of
the human race. The different fruits and flowers continue the
example;--the wild grapes of the forest are grapes, but although they
belong to the same class, they are distinct from the luscious
"Muscatel;" and the wild dog-rose of the hedge, although of the same
class, is inferior to the moss-rose of the garden.

From fruits and flowers we may turn to insect life, and, watch the air
teeming with varieties of the same species, the thousands of butterflies
and beetles, the many members of each class varying in instincts and
peculiarities. Fishes, and even shellfish, all exhibit the same
arrangement,--that every group is divided into varieties all differing
from each other, and each distinguished by some peculiar excellence or

In the great system of creation that divided races and subdivided them
according to mysterious laws, apportioning special qualities to each,
the varieties of the human race exhibit certain characters and
qualifications which adapt them for specific localities. The natural
character of those races will not alter with a change of locality, but
the instincts of each race will be developed in any country where they
may be located. Thus, the English are as English in Australia, India,
and America, as they are in England, and in every locality they exhibit
the industry and energy of their native land; even so the African will
remain negro in all his natural instincts, although transplanted to
other soils; and those natural instincts being a love of idleness and
savagedom, he will assuredly relapse into an idle and savage state,
unless specially governed and forced to industry.

The history of the negro has proved the correctness of this theory. In
no instance has he evinced other than a retrogression, when once freed
from restraint. Like a horse without harness, he runs wild, but, if
harnessed, no animal is more useful. Unfortunately, this is contrary to
public opinion in England, where the vox populi assumes the right of
dictation upon matters and men in which it has had no experience. The
English insist upon their own weights and measures as the scales for
human excellence, and it has been decreed by the multitude,
inexperienced in the negro personally, that he has been a badly-treated
brother; that he is a worthy member of the human family, placed in an
inferior position through the prejudice and ignorance of the white man,
with whom he should be upon equality.

The negro has been, and still is, thoroughly misunderstood. However
severely we may condemn the horrible system of slavery, the results of
emancipation have proved that the negro does not appreciate the
blessings of freedom, nor does he show the slightest feeling of
gratitude to the hand that broke the rivets of his fetters. His narrow
mind cannot embrace that feeling of pure philanthropy that first
prompted England to declare herself against slavery, and he only regards
the antislavery movement as a proof of his own importance. In his
limited horizon he is himself the important object, and, as a sequence
to his self-conceit, he imagines that the whole world is at issue
concerning the black man. The negro, therefore, being the important
question, must be an important person, and he conducts himself
accordingly--he is far too great a man to work. Upon this point his
natural character exhibits itself most determinedly. Accordingly, he
resists any attempt at coercion; being free, his first impulse is to
claim an equality with those whom he lately served, and to usurp a
dignity with absurd pretensions, that must inevitably insure the disgust
of the white community. Ill-will thus engendered, a hatred and jealousy
is established between the two races, combined with the errors that in
such conditions must arise upon both sides. The final question remains,
Why was the negro first introduced into our colonies--and to America?

The SUN is the great arbitrator between the white and the black man.
There are productions necessary to civilized countries, that can alone
be cultivated in tropical climates, where the white man cannot live if
exposed to labour in the sun. Thus, such fertile countries as the West
Indies and portions of America being without a native population, the
negro was originally imported as a slave to fulfil the conditions of a
labourer. In his own country he was a wild savage, and enslaved his
brother man; he thus became a victim to his own system; to the
institution of slavery that is indigenous to the soil of Africa, and
currently reported, but that has ever been the peculiar characteristic
of African tribes.

In his state of slavery the negro was compelled to work, and, through
his labour, every country prospered where he had been introduced. He was
suddenly freed; and from that moment he refused to work, and instead of
being a useful member of society, he not only became a useless burden to
the community, but a plotter and intriguer, imbued with a deadly hatred
to the white man who had generously declared him free.

Now, as the negro was originally imported as a labourer, but now refuses
to labour, it is self-evident that he is a lamentable failure. Either he
must be compelled to work, by some stringent law against vagrancy, or
those beautiful countries that prospered under the conditions of negro
forced industry must yield to ruin, under negro freedom and idle
independence. For an example of the results look to St. Domingo!

Under peculiar guidance, and subject to a certain restraint, the negro
may be an important and most useful being; but if treated as an
Englishman, he will affect the vices but none of the virtues of
civilization, and his natural good qualities will be lost in his
attempts to become a "white man."

Revenons a nos moutons noirs. It was amusing to watch the change that
took place in a slave that had been civilized (?) by the slave-traders.
Among their parties there were many blacks who had been captured, and
who enjoyed the life of slave-hunting--nothing appeared so easy as to
become professional in cattle razzias and kidnapping human beings, and
the first act of the slave was to procure a slave for himself! All the
best slave-hunters, and the boldest and most energetic scoundrels, were
the negroes who had at one time themselves been kidnapped. These fellows
aped a great and ridiculous importance. On the march they would seldom
condescend to carry their own guns; a little slave boy invariably
attended to his master, keeping close to his heels, and trotting along
on foot during a long march, carrying a musket much longer than himself:
a woman generally carried a basket with a cooking-pot, and a gourd of
water and provisions, while a hired native carried the soldier's change
of clothes and oxhide upon which he slept. Thus the man who had been
kidnapped became the kidnapper, and the slave became the master, the
only difference between him and the Arab being an absurd notion of his
own dignity. It was in vain that I attempted to reason with them against
the principles of slavery: they thought it wrong when they were
themselves the sufferers, but were always ready to indulge in it when
the preponderance of power lay upon their side.

Among Ibrahim's people, there was a black named Ibrahimawa. This fellow
was a native of Bornu, and had been taken when a boy of twelve years old
and sold at Constantinople; he formerly belonged to Mehemet Ali Pasha;
he had been to London and Paris, and during the Crimean war he was at
Kertch. Altogether he was a great traveller, and he had a natural taste
for geography and botany, that marked him as a wonderful exception to
the average of the party. He had run away from his master in Egypt, and
had been vagabondizing about in Khartoum in handsome clothes,
negro-like, persuading himself that the public admired him, and thought
that he was a Bey. Having soon run through his money, he had engaged
himself to Koorshid Aga to serve in his White Nile expedition.

He was an excellent example of the natural instincts of the negro
remaining intact under all circumstances. Although remarkably superior
to his associates, his small stock of knowledge was combined with such
an exaggerated conceit, that he was to me a perpetual source of
amusement, while he was positively hated by his comrades, both by Arabs
and blacks, for his overbearing behaviour. Having seen many countries,
he was excessively fond of recounting his adventures, all of which had
so strong a colouring of the "Arabian Nights," that he might have been
the original "Sinbad the Sailor." His natural talent for geography was
really extraordinary; he would frequently pay me a visit, and spend
hours in drawing maps with a stick upon the sand, of the countries he
had visited, and especially of the Mediterranean, and the course from
Egypt and Constantinople to England. Unfortunately, some long story was
attached to every principal point of the voyage. The descriptions most
interesting to me were those connected with the west bank of the White
Nile, as he had served some years with the trading party, and had
penetrated through the Makkarika, a cannibal tribe, to about two hundred
miles west of Gondokoro. Both he and many of Ibrahim's party had been
frequent witnesses to acts of cannibalism, during their residence among
the Makkarikas. They described these cannibals as remarkably good
people, but possessing a peculiar taste for dogs and human flesh. They
accompanied the trading party in their razzias, and invariably ate the
bodies of the slain. The traders complained that they were bad
associates, as they insisted upon killing and eating the children which
the party wished to secure as slaves: their custom was to catch a child
by its ankles, and to dash its head against the ground; thus killed,
they opened the abdomen, extracted the stomach and intestines, and tying
the two ankles to the neck they carried the body by slinging it over the
shoulder, and thus returned to camp, where they divided it by
quartering, and boiled it in a large pot. Another man in my own service
had been a witness to a horrible act of cannibalism at Gondokoro.

The traders had arrived with their ivory from the West, together with a
great number of slaves; the porters who carried the ivory being
Makkarikas. One of the slave girls attempted to escape, and her
proprietor immediately fired at her with his musket, and she fell
wounded; the ball had struck her in the side. The girl was remarkably
fat, and from the wound, a large lump of yellow fat exuded. No sooner
had she fallen, than the Makkarikas rushed upon her in a crowd, and
seizing the fat, they tore it from the wound in handfuls, the girl being
still alive, while the crowd were quarrelling for the disgusting prize.
Others killed her with a lance, and at once divided her by cutting off
the head, and splitting the body with their lances, used as knives,
cutting longitudinally from between the legs along the spine to the

Many slave women and their children who witnessed this scene, rushed
panic-stricken from the spot and took refuge in the trees. The
Makkarikas seeing them in flight, were excited to give chase, and
pulling the children from their refuge among the branches, they killed
several, and in a short time a great feast was prepared for the whole
party. My man, Mahommed, who was an eyewitness, declared that he could
not eat his dinner for three days, so great was his disgust at this
horrible feast.

Although my camp was entirely separate from that of Ibrahim, I was
dreadfully pestered by his people, who, knowing that I was well supplied
with many articles of which they were in need, came begging to my tent
from morning till evening daily. To refuse was to insult them; and as my
chance of success in the exploration unfortunately depended upon my not
offending the traders I was obliged to be coldly civil, and nothing was
refused them. Hardly a day passed without broken guns being brought to
me for repair; and having earned an unenviable celebrity as a gunsmith,
added to my possession of the requisite tools, I really had no rest, and
I was kept almost constantly at work.

One day Ibrahim was seized with a dangerous fever, and was supposed to
be dying. Again I was in request: and seeing that he was in a state of
partial collapse, attended with the distressing symptoms of want of
action of the heart, so frequently fatal at this stage of the disease, I
restored him by a very powerful stimulant, and thereby gained renown as
a physician, which, although useful was extremely annoying, as my tent
was daily thronged with patients, all of whom expected miraculous cures
for the most incurable diseases.

In this manner I gained a certain influence over the people, but I was
constantly subjected to excessive annoyances and disgust, occasioned by
the conduct of their party towards the Latookas. The latter were
extremely unwise, being very independent and ready to take offence on
the slightest pretext, and the Turks, being now 140 strong, had no fear,
and there appeared every probability of hostilities. I was engaged in
erecting huts, and in securing my camp; and although I offered high
payment, I could not prevail on the natives to work regularly. They
invariably stipulated that they were to receive their beads before they
commenced work, in which case they, with few exceptions, absconded with
their advanced payment.

One day a native behaved in a similar manner to the Turks; he was,
accordingly, caught, and unmercifully beaten. Half an hour after, the
nogara beat, and was answered by distant drums from the adjacent
villages. In about an hour, several thousand armed men, with shields,
were collected within half a mile of the Turks' camp, to avenge the
insult that had been offered to one of their tribe. However, the Turks'
drum beat, and their whole force drew up to their flag under arms
outside their zareeba, and offered a determined front. I extract the
following entry from my journal. "These Turks are delightful neighbours;
they will create a row, and I shall be dragged into it in self-defence,
as the natives will distinguish no difference in a scrimmage, although
they draw favourable comparisons between me and the Turks in times of
peace. Not a native came to work at the huts today; I therefore sent for
the two chiefs, Commoro and Moy, and had a long talk with them. They
said that 'no Latooka should be beaten by common fellows like the
traders' men; that I was a great chief, and that if I chose to beat them
they would be content.' I gave them advice to keep quiet, and not to
quarrel about trifles, as the Turks would assuredly destroy the country
should a fight commence.

"At the same time, I told them that they did not treat me properly: they
came to me in times of difficulty as a mediator, but although they knew
I had always paid well for everything, they gave me no supplies, and I
was obliged to shoot game for my daily food, although they possessed
such enormous herds of cattle; neither could I procure materials or
workpeople to complete my camp. The parley terminated with an
understanding that they were to supply me with everything, and that they
would put a stop to the intended fight. In the evening a goat was
brought, and a number of men appeared with grass and wood for sale for

The following day, some of my people went to a neighbouring village to
purchase corn, but the natives insulted them, refusing to sell, saying
that "we should die of hunger, as no one should either give or sell us
anything." This conduct must induce hostilities, as the Turks are too
powerful to be insulted. I am rather anxious lest some expedition may
entail the departure of the entire Turkish party, when the Latookas may
seize the opportunity of attacking my innocents. The latter are now so
thoroughly broken to my severe laws, "thou shalt not take slaves;
neither cattle; nor fire a shot unless in self-defence," that they are
resigned to the ignoble lot of minding the donkeys, and guarding the

Latooka was in a very disturbed state, and the excitement of the people
was increasing daily. Two of my men went into the town to buy grass,
and, without any provocation, they were surrounded by the natives, and
the gun of one man was wrested from him; the other, after a tussle, in
which he lost his ramrod, beat a hasty retreat. A number of the soldiers
immediately collected, and I sent to the chief to demand the restoration
of the gun, which was returned that evening. I could literally procure
nothing without the greatest annoyance and trouble.

My men, by their mutiny and desertion at Gondokoro, had reduced a
well-armed expedition to a mere remnant, dependent upon the company of a
band of robbers for the means of advancing through the country. Instead
of travelling as I had arranged, at the head of forty-five well-armed
men, I had a miserable fifteen cowardly curs, who were employed in
driving the baggage animals; thus they would be helpless in the event of
an attack upon the road. I accordingly proposed to make a depot at
Latooka, and to travel with only twelve donkeys and the lightest
baggage. It was a continual trial of temper and wounded pride. To give
up the expedition was easy, but to succeed at that period appeared
hopeless; and success could only be accomplished by the greatest
patience, perseverance, and most careful tact and management of all
parties. It was most galling to be a hanger-on to this company of
traders, who tolerated me for the sake of presents, but who hated me in
their hearts.

One afternoon some natives suddenly arrived from a country named Obbo
with presents from their chief for the Turks, and also for me. Ibrahim
received several tusks while I received an iron hoe (molote), as the
news had already extended to that country, "that a white man was in
Latooka, who wanted neither slaves nor ivory." The natives reported,
that a quantity of ivory existed in their country, and Ibrahim
determined to take a few men and pay it a visit, as the people were said
to be extremely friendly. I requested the leader to point out the exact
position of Obbo, which I found to be S.W. That was precisely the
direction that I had wished to take; thus an unexpected opportunity
presented itself, and I determined to start without delay. On the 2d of
May, 1863, at 9 A.M. we left Latooka, delighted to change the scene of
inaction. I left five men in charge of my camp and effects, begging
Commoro the chief to look after their safety, and telling him that I had
no fear of trusting all to his care. Savages will seldom deceive you if
thus placed upon their honour, this happy fact being one of the bright
rays in their darkness, and an instance of the anomalous character of
the African.

The route lay across the park-like valley of Latooka for about eighteen
miles, by which time we reached the base of the mountain chain. There
was no other path than the native track, which led over a low range of
granite rocks, forming a ridge about four hundred feet high. It was with
the greatest difficulty that the loaded donkeys could be hoisted over
the numerous blocks of granite that formed an irregular flight of steps,
like the ascent of the great pyramid; however, by pulling at their ears,
and pushing behind, all except one succeeded in gaining the summit; he
was abandoned on the pass.

We were now in the heart of the mountains, and a beautiful valley, well
wooded and about six miles in width, lay before us, forming the basin of
the Kanieti river that we had formerly crossed at Wakkala, between
Ellyria and Latooka.

Fording this stream in a rapid current, we crossed with difficulty, the
donkeys wetting all their loads. This was of no great consequence, as a
violent storm suddenly overtook us and soaked everyone as thoroughly as
the donkeys' packs. A few wild plantains afforded leaves which we
endeavoured to use as screens, but the rain-drops were far too heavy for
such feeble protection. Within a mile of the river we determined to
bivouac, as the evening had arrived, and in such weather an advance was
out of the question. The tent having been left at Latooka, there was no
help for it, and we were obliged to rest contented with our position
upon about an acre of clean rock plateau upon which we lighted an
enormous fire, and crouched shivering round the blaze. No grass was cut
for the animals, as the men had been too busy in collecting firewood
sufficient to last throughout the night. Some fowls that we had brought
from Latooka had been drowned by the rain; thus my Mahommedan followers
refused to eat them, as their throats had not been cut. Not being so
scrupulous, and wonderfully hungry in the cold rain, Mrs. Baker and I
converted them into a stew, and then took refuge, wet and miserable,
under our untanned ox-hides until the following morning. Although an
ox-hide is not waterproof, it will keep out a considerable amount of
wet; but when thoroughly saturated, it is about as comfortable as any
other wet leather, with the additional charm of an exceedingly
disagreeable raw smell, very attractive to hyenas. The night being dark,
several men thus lost their leather bags that they had left upon the

At 6 A.M., having passed a most uncomfortable night, we started, and
after a march of about two miles I was made extremely anxious for the
donkeys, by being assured that it was necessary to ascend a most
precipitous granite hill, at least seven hundred feet high, that rose
exactly before us, and upon the very summit of which was perched a large
village. There was no help by means of porters; we led our horses with
difficulty up the steep face of the rock--fortunately they had never
been shod, thus their firm hoofs obtained a hold where an iron shoe
would have slipped; and after extreme difficulty and a most tedious
struggle, we found our party all assembled on the flat summit. From this
elevated point we had a superb view of the surrounding country, and I
took the compass bearing of the Latooka mountain Gebel Lafeet, N. 45
degrees east. The natives of the village that we had now reached had
nothing to sell but a few beans, therefore without further delay we
commenced the descent upon the opposite side, and at 2.40 P.M. we
reached the base, the horses and donkeys having scrambled over the large
blocks of stone with the greatest labour. At the foot of the hill the
country was park-like and well wooded, although there was no very large
timber. Here the grass was two feet high and growing rapidly, while at
Latooka all was barren. Halted at 5.20 P.M. on the banks of a small
running stream, a tributary to the Kanieti. The night being fine we
slept well; and the next morning at 6 A.M. we commenced the most lovely
march that I have ever made in Africa. Winding through the very bosom of
the mountains, well covered with forest until the bare granite peaks
towered above all vegetation to the height of about 5,000 feet, we
continued through narrow valleys bordered by abrupt spurs of the
mountains from 1,700 to 2,000 feet high. On the peak of each was a
village; evidently these impregnable positions were chosen for security.
At length the great ascent was to be made, and for two hours we toiled
up a steep zigzag pass. The air was most invigorating; beautiful wild
flowers, some of which were highly scented, ornamented the route, and
innumerable wild grape-vines hung in festoons from tree to tree. We were
now in an elevated country on the range of mountains dividing the lower
lands of Latooka from the high lands of Obbo. We arrived at the summit
of the pass about 2,500 feet above the Latooka valley. In addition to
the wild flowers were numerous fruits, all good; especially a variety of
custard apple, and a full-flavoured yellow plum. The grapes were in most
promising bunches, but unripe. The scenery was very fine; to the east
and southeast, masses of high mountains, while to the west and south
were vast tracts of park-like country of intense green. In this elevated
region the season was much farther advanced than in Latooka;-this was
the mountain range upon which I had formerly observed that the storms
had concentrated; here the rainy season had been in full play for
months, while in Latooka everything was parched. The grass on the west
side of the pass was full six feet high. Although the ascent had
occupied about two hours, the descent on the west side was a mere
trifle, and was effected in about fifteen minutes--we were on an
elevated plateau that formed the watershed between the east and west.

After a march of about twelve miles from the top of the pass, we arrived
at the chief village of Obbo. The rain fell in torrents, and, soaked to
the skin, we crawled into a dirty hut. This village was forty miles S.W.
of Tarrangolle, my head-quarters in Latooka.

The natives of Obbo are entirely different to the Latookas, both in
language and appearance. They are not quite naked, except when going to
war, on which occasion they are painted in stripes of red and yellow;
but their usual covering is the skin of an antelope or goat, slung like
a mantle across the shoulders. Their faces are well formed, with
peculiarly fine-shaped noses. The headdress of the Obbo is remarkably
neat, the woolly hair being matted and worked with thread into a flat
form like a beaver's tail, and bound with a fine edge of raw hide to
keep it in shape. This, like the head-dress of Latooka, requires many
years to complete.

From Obbo to the Southeast all is mountainous, the highest points of the
chain rising to an elevation of four or five thousand feet above the
general level of the country; to the south, although there are no actual
mountains, but merely a few isolated hills, the country distinctly

The entire drainage is to the west and north-west, in which direction
there is a very perceptible inclination. The vegetation of Obbo, and the
whole of the west side of the mountain range, is different from that
upon the east side; the soil is exceedingly rich, producing an abundance
of Guinea grass, with which the plains are covered. This country
produces nine varieties of yams, many of which grow wild in the forests.
There is one most peculiar species, called by the natives "Collolollo,"
that I had not met with in other countries. This variety produces
several tubers at the root, and also upon the stalk; it does not spread
upon the ground, like most of the vines that characterise the yams, but
it climbs upon trees or upon any object that may tempt its tendrils.
From every bud upon the stalk of this vine springs a bulb, somewhat
kidney-shaped; this increases until, when ripe, it attains the average
size of a potato.

So prolific is this plant, that one vine will produce about 150 yams:
they are covered with a fine skin of a greenish brown, and are in
flavour nearly equal to a potato, but rather waxy.

There are many good wild fruits, including one very similar to a walnut
in its green shell; the flesh of this has a remarkably fine flavour, and
the nut within exactly resembles a horse-chestnut in size and fine
mahogany colour. This nut is roasted, and, when ground and boiled, a
species of fat or butter is skimmed from the surface of the water: this
is much prized by the natives, and is used for rubbing their bodies,
being considered as the best of all fats for the skin; it is also eaten.

Among the best of the wild fruits is one resembling raisins; this grows
in clusters upon a large tree. Also a bright yellow fruit, as large as a
Muscat grape, and several varieties of plums. None of these are produced
in Latooka. Ground-nuts are also in abundance in the forests; these are
not like the well-known African ground-nut of the west coast, but are
contained in an excessively hard shell. A fine quality of flax grows
wild, but the twine generally used by the natives is made from the fibre
of a species of aloe. Tobacco grows to an extraordinary size, and is
prepared similarly to that of the Ellyria tribe.

When ripe, the leaves are pounded in a mortar and reduced to a pulp; the
mass is then placed in a conical mould of wood, and pressed. It remains
in this until dry, when it presents the shape of a loaf of sugar, and is
perfectly hard. The tobacco of the Ellyria tribe is shaped into cheeses,
and frequently adulterated with cowdung. I had never smoked until my
arrival in Obbo, but having suffered much from fever, and the country
being excessively damp, I commenced with Obbo pipes and tobacco.

Every tribe has a distinct pattern of pipe; those of the Bari have wide
trumpet-shaped mouths; the Latooka are long and narrow; and the Obbo
smaller and the neatest. All their pottery is badly burned, and
excessively fragile if wet. The water jars are well formed, although the
potter's wheel is quite unknown, and the circular form is obtained
entirely by the hand. Throughout the tribes of the White Nile, the
articles of pottery are limited to the tobacco-pipe and the water-jar:
all other utensils are formed either of wood, or of gourd shells.

By observation, 1 determined the latitude of my camp at Obbo to be 4
degrees 02' N., 32 degrees 31' long. E., and the general elevation of
the country 3,674 feet above the sea, the temperature about 76 degrees
F. The altitude of Latooka was 2,236 feet above the sea level: thus we
were, at Obbo, upon an elevated plateau, 1,438 feet above the general
level of the country on the east of the mountain range. The climate
would be healthy were the country sufficiently populated to war
successfully against nature; but the rainfall continuing during ten
months of the year, from February to the end of November, and the soil
being extremely fertile, the increase of vegetation is too rapid, and
the scanty population are hemmed in and overpowered by superabundant
herbage. This mass of foliage, and grasses of ten feet in height
interwoven with creeping plants and wild grape-vines, is perfectly
impenetrable to man, and forms a vast jungle, inhabited by elephants,
rhinoceros, and buffaloes, whose ponderous strength alone can overcome
it. There are few antelopes, as those animals dislike the grass jungles,
in which they have no protection against the lion or the leopard, as
such beasts of prey can approach them unseen. In the month of January
the grass is sufficiently dry to burn, but even at that period there is
a quantity of fresh green grass growing between the withered stems; thus
the firing of the prairies does not absolutely clear the country, but
merely consumes the dry matter, and leaves a ruin of charred herbage,
rendered so tough by the burning, that it is quite impossible to ride
without cutting the skin from the horse's shins and shoulders.
Altogether, it is a most uninteresting country, as there is no
possibility of traversing it except by the narrow footpaths made by the

The chief of Obbo came to meet us with several of his head men. He was
an extraordinary-looking man, about fifty-eight or sixty years of age;
but, far from possessing the dignity usually belonging to a grey head,
he acted the buffoon for our amusement, and might have been a clown in a

The heavy storm having cleared, the nogaras beat, and our entertaining
friend determined upon a grand dance; pipes and flutes were soon heard
gathering from all quarters, horns brayed, and numbers of men and women
began to collect in crowds, while old Katchiba, the chief, in a state of
great excitement, gave orders for the entertainment.

About a hundred men formed a circle; each man held in his left hand a
small cup-shaped drum, formed of hollowed wood, one end only being
perforated, and this was covered with the skin of the elephant's ear,
tightly stretched. In the centre of the circle was the chief dancer, who
wore, suspended from his shoulders, an immense drum, also covered with
the elephant's ear. The dance commenced by all singing remarkably well a
wild but agreeable tune in chorus, the big drum directing the time, and
the whole of the little drums striking at certain periods with such
admirable precision, that the effect was that of a single instrument.
The dancing was most vigorous, and far superior to anything that I had
seen among either, Arabs or savages, the figures varying continually,
and ending with a "grand galop" in double circles, at a tremendous pace,
the inner ring revolving in a contrary direction to the outer; the
effect of this was excellent.

Although the men of Obbo wear a skin slung across their shoulders and
loins, the women are almost naked, and, instead of wearing the leather
apron and tail of the Latookas, they are contented with a slight fringe
of leather shreds, about four inches long by two broad, suspended from a
belt. The unmarried girls are entirely naked; or, if they are
sufficiently rich in finery, they wear three or four strings of small
white beads, about three inches in length, as a covering. The old ladies
are antiquated Eves, whose dress consists of a string round the waist,
in which is stuck a bunch of green leaves, the stalk uppermost. I have
seen a few of the young girls that were prudes indulge in such garments;
but they did not appear to be fashionable, and were adopted faute de
mieux. One great advantage was possessed by this costume,--it was always
clean and fresh, and the nearest bush (if not thorny) provided a clean
petticoat. When in the society of these very simple and in demeanour
ALWAYS MODEST Eves, I could not help reflecting upon the Mosaical
description of our first parents, "and they sewed fig-leaves together."

Some of the Obbo women were very pretty. The caste of feature was
entirely different to that of the Latookas, and a striking peculiarity
was displayed in the finely arched noses of many of the natives, which
strongly reminded one of the Somauli tribes. It was impossible to
conjecture their origin, as they had neither traditions nor ideas of
their past history.

The language is that of the Madi. There are three distinct
languages--the Bari, the Latooka, and the Madi, the latter country
extending south of Obbo. A few of the words, most commonly in use, will
exemplify them :--

Obbo. Latooka. Bari.

Water. Fee. Cari. Feeum.
Fire. Mite. Nyeme. Keemang.
The Sun. T'sean. Narlong. Karlong.
A Cow. Decang. Nyeten. Kittan.
A Goat. Decan. Nyene. Eddeen.
Milk. T'sarck. Nalle. Le.
A Fowl. Gweno. Nakome. Chokkore.

The Obbo natives were a great and agreeable change after the Latookas,
as they never asked for presents. Although the old chief, Katchiba,
behaved more like a clown than a king, he was much respected by his
people. He holds his authority over his subjects as general rain maker
and sorcerer. Should a subject displease him, or refuse him a gift, he
curses his goats and fowls, or threatens to wither his crops, and the
fear of these inflictions reduces the discontented. There are no
specific taxes, but he occasionally makes a call upon the country for a
certain number of goats and supplies. These are generally given, as
Katchiba is a knowing old diplomatist, and he tunes his demands with
great judgment. Thus, should there be a lack of rain, or too much, at
the season for sowing the crops, he takes the opportunity of calling his
subjects together and explaining to them how much he regrets that their
conduct has compelled him to afflict them with unfavourable weather, but
that it is their own fault. If they are so greedy and so stingy that
they will not supply him properly, how can they expect him to think of
their interests? He must have goats and corn. "No goats, no rain; that's
our contract, my friends," says Katchiba. "Do as you like. I can wait; I
hope you can." Should his people complain of too much rain, he threatens
to pour storms and lightning upon them for ever, unless they bring him
so many hundred baskets of corn, &c. &c. Thus he holds his sway.

No man would think of starting upon a journey without the blessing of
the old chief; and a peculiar "hocus pocus" is considered as necessary
from the magic hands of Katchiba that shall charm the traveller, and
preserve him from all danger of wild animals upon the road. In case of
sickness he is called in, not as M.D. in our acceptation, but as "doctor
of magic," and he charms both the hut and the patient against death,
with the fluctuating results that must attend professionals even in
sorcery. His subjects have the most thorough confidence in his power;
and so great is his reputation that distant tribes frequently consult
him, and beg his assistance as a magician. In this manner does old
Katchiba hold his sway over his savage, but credulous people; and so
long has he imposed upon the public that I believe he has at length
imposed upon himself, and that he really believes he has the power of
sorcery, notwithstanding repeated failures. In order to propitiate him,
his people frequently present him with the prettiest of their daughters;
and so constantly is he receiving additions to his domestic circle that
he has been obliged to extend his establishment to prevent domestic
fracas among the ladies. He has accordingly hit upon the practical
expedient of keeping a certain number of wives in each of his villages:
thus, when he makes a journey through his territory, he is always at
home. This multiplicity of wives has been so successful that Katchiba
has one hundred and sixteen children living--another proof of sorcery
in the eyes of his people. One of his wives had no children, and she
came to me to apply for medicine to correct some evil influence that had
lowered her in her husband's estimation. The poor woman was in great
distress, and complained that Katchiba was very cruel to her because she
had been unable to make an addition to his family, but that she was sure
I possessed some charm that would raise her to the standard of his other
wives. I could not bet rid of her until I gave her the first pill that
came to hand from my medicine chest, and with this she went away

Katchiba was so completely established in his country, not only as a
magician, but as "pere de famille," that every one of his villages was
governed by one of his sons; thus the entire government was a family
affair. The sons of course believed in their father's power of sorcery,
and their influence as head men of their villages increased the prestige
of the parent. Although without an idea of a Supreme Being, the whole
country bowed down to sorcery. It is a curious distinction between faith
and credulity;--these savages, utterly devoid of belief in a Deity,
and without a vestige of superstition, believed most devotedly that the
general affairs of life and the control of the elements were in the
hands of their old chief, and therefore they served him--not with a
feeling of love, neither with a trace of religion, but with that
material instinct that always influences the savage; they propitiated
him for the sake of what they could obtain. It is thus almost
unconquerable feeling, ever present in the savage mind, that renders his
conversion difficult; he will believe in nothing, unless he can obtain
some specific benefit from the object of his belief.

Savages can be ruled by two powers--"force," and "humbug;" accordingly,
these are the instruments made use of by those in authority: where the
"force" is wanting, "humbug" is the weapon as a "pis aller." Katchiba
having no physical force, adopted cunning, and the black art controlled
the savage minds of his subjects. Strange does it appear, that these
uncivilized inhabitants of Central Africa should, although devoid of
religion, believe implicitly in sorcery; giving a power to man
superhuman, although acknowledging nothing more than human. Practical
and useful magic is all that is esteemed by the savage, the higher
branches would be unappreciated; and spirit-rapping and mediums are
reserved for the civilized (?) of England, who would convert the black
savages of Africa.

Notwithstanding his magic, Katchiba was not a bad man: he was remarkably
civil, and very proud at my having paid him a visit. He gave me much
information regarding the country, but assured me that I should not be
able to travel south for many months, as it would be quite impossible to
cross the Asua river during the rainy season; he therefore proposed that
I should form a camp at Obbo, and reside there until the rains should
cease. It was now May, thus I was invited to postpone my advance south
until December.

I determined to make a reconnaissance south towards the dreaded Asua,
or, as the Obbo people pronounced it, the Achua river, and to return to
my fixed camp. Accordingly I arranged to leave Mrs. Baker at Obbo with a
guard of eight men, while I should proceed south without baggage,
excepting a change of clothes and a cooking pot. Katchiba promised to
take the greatest care of her, and to supply her with all she might
require; offering to become personally responsible for her safety; he
agreed to place a spell upon the door of our hut, that nothing evil
should enter it during my absence. It was a snug little dwelling, about
nine feet in diameter, and perfectly round; the floor well cemented with
cow-dung and clay, and the walls about four feet six inches in height,
formed of mud and sticks, likewise polished off with cow-dung. The door
had enlarged, and it was now a very imposing entrance of about four feet
high, and a great contrast to the surrounding hut or dog-kennel with two
feet height of doorway.

On the 7th of May I started with three men, and taking a course south, I
rode through a most lovely country, within five miles of the base, and
parallel with the chain of the Madi mountains. There was abundance of
beautiful flowers, especially of orchidaceous plants; the country was
exceedingly park-like and well wooded, but generally overgrown with
grass then about six feet high. After riding for about fourteen miles,
one of the guides ran back, and reported elephants to be on the road a
little in advance. One of my mounted men offered to accompany me should
I wish to hunt them. I had no faith in my man, but I rode forward, and
shortly observed a herd of ten bull elephants standing together about
sixty yards from the path. The grass was high, but I rode through it to
within about forty yards before I was observed; they immediately dashed
away, and I followed for about a mile at a trot, the ground being so
full of holes and covered with fallen trees concealed in the high grass,
that I did not like to close until I should arrive in a more favourable
spot. At length I shot at full gallop past an immense fellow, with tusks
about five feet projecting from his jaws, and reining up, I fired with a
Reilly No. 10 at the shoulder. He charged straight into me at the sound
of the shot. My horse, Filfil, was utterly unfit for a hunter, as he
went perfectly mad at the report of a gun fired from his back, and at
the moment of the discharge he reared perpendicularly; the weight, and
the recoil of the rifle, added to the sudden rearing of the horse,
unseated me, and I fell, rifle in hand, backwards over his hind-quarters
at the moment the elephant rushed in full charge upon the horse. Away
went "Filfil," leaving me upon the ground in a most inglorious position;
and, fortunately, the grass being high, the elephant lost sight of me
and followed the horse instead of giving me his attention.

My horse was lost; my man had never even accompanied me, having lagged
behind at the very commencement of the hunt. I had lost my rifle in the
high grass, as I had been forced to make a short run from the spot
before I knew that the elephant had followed the horse; thus I was
nearly an hour before I found it, and also my azimuth compass that had
fallen from my belt pouch. After much shouting and whistling, my mounted
man arrived, and making him dismount, I rode my little horse Mouse, and
returned to the path. My horse Filfil was lost. As a rule, hunting
during the march should be avoided, and I had now paid dearly for the

I reached the Atabbi river about eighteen miles from Obbo. This is a
fine perennial stream flowing from the Madi mountains towards the west,
forming an affluent of the Asua river. There was a good ford, with a
hard gravel and rocky bottom, over which the horse partly waded and
occasionally swam. There were fresh tracks of immense herds of elephants
with which the country abounded, and I heard them trumpeting in the

Ascending rising ground in perfectly open prairie on the opposite side
of Atabbi, I saw a dense herd of about two hundred elephants--they were
about a mile distant, and were moving slowly through the high grass.
Just as I was riding along the path watching the immense herd, a Tetel
(hartebeest) sprang from the grass in which he had been concealed, and
fortunately he galloped across a small open space, where the high grass
had been destroyed by the elephants. A quick shot from the little
Fletcher 24 rifle doubled him up; but, recovering himself almost
immediately, he was just disappearing when a shot from the left-hand
barrel broke his back, to the intense delight of my people. We
accordingly bivouacked for the night, and the fires were soon blazing
upon a dry plateau of granite rock about seventy feet square that I had
chosen for a resting-place. In the saucer-shaped hollows of the rock was
good clear water from the rain of the preceding day; thus we had all the
luxuries that could be desired--fire, food, and water. I seldom used a
bedstead unless in camp; thus my couch was quickly and simply made upon
the hard rock, softened by the addition of an armful of green boughs,
upon which I laid an untanned ox-hide, and spread my Scotch plaid. My
cap formed my pillow, and my handy little Fletcher rifle lay by my side
beneath the plaid, together with my hunting knife; these faithful
friends were never out of reach either by night or day.

The cap was a solid piece of architecture, as may be supposed from its
strength to resist the weight of the head when used as a pillow. It was
made by an Arab woman in Khartoum, according to my own plan; the
substance was about half an inch thick of dome palm leaves very neatly
twisted and sewn together. Having a flat top, and a peak both before and
behind, the whole affair was covered with tanned leather, while a
curtain of the same material protected the back of the neck from the
sun. A strong chin strap secured the cap upon the head, and the "tout
ensemble" formed a very effective roof, completely sun-proof. Many
people might have objected to the weight, but I found it no
disadvantage, and the cap being tolerably waterproof, I packed my
cartouche pouch and belt within it when inverted at night to form a
pillow; this was an exceedingly practical arrangement, as in case of an
alarm I rose from my couch armed, capped and belted, at a moment's

On the following morning I started at daybreak, and after a march of
about thirteen miles through the same park-like and uninhabited country
as that of the preceding day, I reached the country of Farajoke, and
arrived at the foot of a rocky hill, upon the summit of which was a
large village. I was met by the chief and several of his people leading
a goat, which was presented to me, and killed immediately as an
offering, close to the feet of my horse. The chief carried a fowl,
holding it by the legs, with its head downwards; he approached my horse,
and stroked his fore-feet with the fowl, and then made a circle around
him by dragging it upon the ground; my feet were then stroked with the
fowl in the same manner as those of the horse, and I was requested to
stoop, so as to enable him to wave the bird around my head; this
completed, it was also waved round my horse's head, who showed his
appreciation of the ceremony by rearing and lashing out behind, to the
great discomfiture of the natives. The fowl did not appear to have
enjoyed itself during the operation; but a knife put an end to its
troubles, as, the ceremony of welcome being completed, the bird was
sacrificed and handed to my headman. I was now conducted to the village.
It was defended by a high bamboo fence, and was miserably dirty, forming
a great contrast to the clean dwellings of the Bari and Latooka tribes.
The hill upon which the village was built was about eighty feet above
the general level of the country, and afforded a fine view of the
surrounding landscape. On the east was the chain of Madi mountains, the
base well wooded, while to the south all was fine open pasturage of
sweet herbage, about a foot high, a totally different grass to the rank
vegetation we had passed through. The country was undulating, and every
rise was crowned by a village. Although the name of the district is
Farajoke, it is comprised in the extensive country of Sooli, together
with the Shoggo and Madi tribes, all towns being under the command of
petty chiefs. The general elevation of the country was 3,966 feet above
the sea-level, 292 feet higher than Obbo.

The chief of Farajoke, observing me engaged in taking bearings with the
compass, was anxious to know my object, which being explained, he
volunteered all information respecting the country, and assured me that
it would be quite impossible to cross the Asua during the rainy season,
as it was a violent torrent, rushing over a rocky bed with such
impetuosity, that no one would venture to swim it. There was nothing to
be done at this season, and however trying to the patience, there was no
alternative. Farajoke was within three days' hard marching of Faloro,
the station of Debono, that had always been my projected head-quarters;
thus I was well advanced upon my intended route, and had the season been
propitious, I could have proceeded with my baggage animals without

The loss of my horse "Filfil" was a severe blow in this wild region,
where beasts of burthen were unknown, and I had slight hopes of his
recovery, as lions were plentiful in the country between Obbo and
Farajoke; however, I offered a reward of beads and bracelets, and a
number of natives were sent by the chief to scour the jungles. There was
little use in remaining at Farajoke, therefore I returned to Obbo with
my men and donkeys, accomplishing the whole distance (thirty miles) in
one day. I was very anxious about Mrs. Baker, who had been the
representative of the expedition at Obbo during my absence. Upon my
approach through the forest, my well-known whistle was immediately
answered by the appearance of the boy Saat, who, without any greeting,
immediately rushed to the hut to give the intelligence that "Master was

I found my wife looking remarkably well, and regularly installed "at
home." Several fat sheep were tied by the legs to pegs in front of the
hut; a number of fowls were pecking around the entrance, and my wife
awaited me on the threshold with a large pumpkin shell containing about
a gallon of native beer. "Dulce domum," although but a mud hut, the
loving welcome made it happier than a palace; and that draught of beer,
or fermented mud, or whatever trash it might be compared with in
England, how delicious it seemed after a journey of thirty miles in the
broiling sun! and the fat sheep and the fowls all looked so luxurious.
Alas!--for destiny--my arrival cut short the existence of one being;
what was joy to some was death to a sheep, and in a few moments the
fattest was slain in honour of master's return, and my men were busily
employed in preparing it for a general feast.

Numbers of people gathered round me: foremost among them was the old
chief Katchiba, whose self-satisfied countenance exhibited an extreme
purity of conscience in having adhered to his promise to act as guardian
during my absence. Mrs. Baker gave him an excellent character; he had
taken the greatest care of her, and had supplied all the luxuries that
had so much excited my appetite on the first coup d'oeil of my home. He
had been so mindful of his responsibility, that he had placed some of
his own sons as sentries over the hut both by day and night.

I accordingly made him a present of many beads and bracelets, and a few
odds and ends, that threw him into ecstacies: he had weak eyes, and the
most valued present was a pair of sun-goggles, which I fitted on his
head, to his intense delight, and exhibited in a looking-glass--this
being likewise added to his gifts. I noticed that he was very stiff in
the back, and he told me that he had had a bad fall during my absence.
My wife explained the affair. He had come to her to declare his
intention of procuring fowls for her from some distant village; but,
said he, "My people are not very good, and perhaps they will say that
they have none; but if you will lend me a horse, I will ride there, and
the effect will impose upon them so much, that they will not dare to
refuse me." Now, Katchiba was not a good walker, and his usual way of
travelling was upon the back of a very strong subject, precisely as
children are wont to ride "pic-a-back." He generally had two or three
spare men, who alternately acted as guides and ponies, while one of his
wives invariably accompanied him, bearing a large jar of beer, with
which it was said that the old chief refreshed himself so copiously
during the journey, that it sometimes became necessary for two men to
carry him instead of one. This may have been merely a scandalous report
in Obbo; however, it appeared that Katchiba was ready for a start, as
usual accompanied by a Hebe with a jar of beer. Confident in his powers
as a rider across country on a man, he considered that he could easily
ride a horse. It was in vain that my wife had protested, and had
prophesied a broken neck should he attempt to bestride the hitherto
unknown animal: to ride he was determined.

Accordingly my horse Tetel was brought, and Katchiba was assisted upon
his back. The horse recognising an awkward hand, did not move a step.
"Now then," said Katchiba, "go on!" but Tetel, not understanding the
Obbo language, was perfectly ignorant of his rider's wishes. "Why won't
he go?" inquired Katchiba. "Touch him with your stick," cried one of my
men; and acting upon the suggestion, the old sorcerer gave him a
tremendous whack with his staff. This was immediately responded to by
Tetel, who, quite unused to such eccentricities, gave a vigorous kick,
the effect of which was to convert the sorcerer into a spread eagle,
flying over his head, and landing very heavily upon the ground, amidst a
roar of laughter from my men, in which I am afraid Mrs. Baker was rude
enough to join. The crest-fallen Katchiba was assisted upon his legs,
and feeling rather stunned, he surveyed the horse with great
astonishment; but his natural instincts soon prompted him to call for
the jar of beer, and after a long draught from the mighty cup, he
regained his courage, and expressed an opinion that the horse was "too
high, as it was a long way to tumble down;" he therefore requested one
of the "little horses;" these were the donkeys. Accordingly he was
mounted on a donkey, and held on by two men, one on either side. Thus he
started most satisfactorily and exceedingly proud. On his return the
following day, he said that the villagers had given him the fowls
immediately, as he had told them that he had thirty Turks staying with
him on a visit, and that they would burn and plunder the country unless
they were immediately supplied. He considered this trifling deviation
from fact as a great stroke of diplomacy in procuring the fowls.

Six days after the loss of my horse, I was delighted to see him brought
back by the natives safe and well. They had hunted through an immense
tract of country, and had found him grazing. He was naturally a most
vicious horse, and the natives were afraid to touch him; they had
accordingly driven him before them until they gained the path, which he
then gladly followed. The saddle was in its place, but my sword was

The rains were terrific; the mornings were invariably fine, but the
clouds gathered upon the mountains soon after noon and ended daily in a
perfect deluge. Not being able to proceed south, I determined to return
to my head-quarters at Latooka, and to wait for the dry season. I had
made the reconnaissance to Farajoke, in latitude 3 degrees 32', and I
saw my way clear for the future, provided my animals should remain in
good condition. Accordingly, on the 21st of May, we started for Latooka
in company with Ibrahim and his men, who were thoroughly sick of the
Obbo climate.

Before parting, a ceremony had to be performed by Katchiba. His brother
was to be our guide, and he was to receive power to control the elements
as deputy-magician during the journey, lest we should be wetted by the
storms, and the torrents should be so swollen as to be impassable.

With great solemnity Katchiba broke a branch from a tree, upon the
leaves of which he spat in several places. This branch, thus blessed
with holy water, was laid upon the ground, and a fowl was dragged around
it by the chief; and our horses were then operated on precisely in the
same manner as had been enacted at Farajoke. This ceremony completed, he
handed the branch to his brother (our guide), who received it with much
gravity, in addition to a magic whistle of antelope's horn that he
suspended from his neck. All the natives wore whistles similar in
appearance, being simply small horns in which they blew, the sound of
which was considered either to attract or to drive away rain, at the
option of the whistler. No whistle was supposed to be effective unless
it had been blessed by the great magician Katchiba. The ceremony being
over, all commenced whistling with all their might; and taking leave of
Katchiba, with an assurance that we should again return, we started
amidst a din of "toot too too-ing" upon our journey. Having an immense
supply of ammunition at Latooka, I left about 200 lbs. of shot and ball
with Katchiba; therefore my donkeys had but little to carry, and we
travelled easily.

That night we bivouacked at the foot of the east-side of the pass at
about half-past five. Ibrahimawa, the Bornu man whom I have already
described as the amateur botanist, had become my great ally in searching
for all that was curious and interesting. Proud of his knowledge of wild
plants, no sooner was the march ended than he commenced a search in the
jungles for something esculent.

We were in a deep gorge on a steep knoll bounded by a ravine about sixty
feet of perpendicular depth, at the bottom of which flowed a torrent.
This was an excellent spot for a camp, as no guards were necessary upon
the side thus protected. Bordering the ravine were a number of fine
trees covered with a thorny stem creeper, with leaves much resembling
those of a species of yam. These were at once pronounced by Ibrahimawa
to be a perfect god-send, and after a few minutes' grubbing he produced
a basketful of fine-looking yams. In an instant this display of food
attracted a crowd of hungry people, including those of Ibrahim and my
own men, who, not being botanists, had left the search for food to
Ibrahimawa, but who determined to share the tempting results. A rush was
made at his basket, which was emptied on the instant; and I am sorry to
confess that the black angel Saat was one of the first to seize three or
four of the largest yams, which he most unceremoniously put in a pot and
deliberately cooked as though he had been the botanical discoverer. How
often the original discoverer suffers, while others benefit from his
labours! Ibrahimawa, the scientific botanist, was left without a yam,
after all his labour of grubbing up a basketful. Pots were boiling in
all directions, and a feast in store for the hungry men who had marched
twenty miles without eating since the morning.

The yams were cooked; but I did not like the look of them, and seeing
that the multitude were ready, I determined to reserve a few for our own
eating should they be generally pronounced good. The men ate them
voraciously. Hardly ten minutes had elapsed from the commencement of the
feast when first one and then another disappeared, and from a distance I
heard a smothered but unmistakeable sound, that reminded me of the
lurching effect of a channel steamer upon a crowd of passengers.
Presently the boy Saat showed symptoms of distress, and vanished from
our presence; and all those that had dined off Ibrahimawa's botanical
specimens were suffering from a most powerful "vomi-purgatif." The
angels that watch over scientific botanists had preserved Ibrahimawa
from all evil. He had discovered the yams, and the men had stolen them
from him; they enjoyed the fruits, while he gained an experience
invaluable at their expense. I was quite contented to have waited until
others had tried them before I made the experiment. Many of the yam
tribe are poisonous; there is one variety much liked at Obbo, but which
is deadly in its effects should it be eaten without a certain
preparation. It is first scraped, and then soaked in a running stream
for a fortnight. It is then cut into thin slices, and dried in the sun
until quite crisp; by this means it is rendered harmless. The dried
slices are stored for use; and they are generally pounded in a mortar
into flour, and used as a kind of porridge.

The sickness of the people continued for about an hour, during which
time all kinds of invectives were hurled against Ibrahimawa, and his
botany was termed a gigantic humbug. From that day he was very mild in
his botanical conversation.

On the following morning we crossed the last range of rocky hills, and
descended to the Latooka valley. Up to this point, we had seen no game;
but we had now arrived in the game country, and shortly after our
descent from the rocks we saw a herd of about twenty Tetel (hartebeest).
Unfortunately, just as I dismounted for the purpose of stalking them,
the red flags of the Turks attracted the attention of a large party of
baboons, who were sitting on the rocks, and they commenced their hoarse
cry of alarm, and immediately disturbed the Tetel. One of the men, in
revenge, fired a long shot at a great male, who was sitting alone upon a
high rock, and by chance the ball struck him in the head. He was an
immense specimen of the Cynocephalus, about as large as a mastiff, but
with a long brown mane like that of the lion. This mane is much prized
by the natives as an ornament. He was immediately skinned, and the hide
was cut into long strips about three inches broad: the portion of mane
adhering had the appearance of a fringe; each strip was worn as a scarf;
thus one skin will produce about eight or ten ornaments.

I sent my men to camp, and, accompanied by Richarn, mounted on my horse
"Mouse," I rode through the park-like ground in quest of game. I saw
varieties of antelopes, including the rare and beautiful maharif; but
all were so wild, and the ground so open, that I could not get a shot.
This was the more annoying, as the maharif was an antelope that I
believed to be a new species. It had often disappointed me; for although
I had frequently seen them on the south-west frontier of Abyssinia, I
had never been able to procure one, owing to their extreme shyness, and
to the fact of their inhabiting open plains, where stalking was
impossible. I had frequently examined them with a telescope, and had
thus formed an intimate acquaintance with their peculiarities. The
maharif is very similar to the roan antelope of South Africa, but is
mouse colour, with black and white stripes upon the face. The horns are
exactly those of the roan antelope, very massive and corrugated, bending
backwards to the shoulders. The withers are extremely high, which give a
peculiarly heavy appearance to the shoulders, much heightened by a large
and stiff black mane like that of a hog-maned horse. I have a pair of
horns in my possession that I obtained through the assistance of a lion,
who killed the maharif while drinking near my tent; unfortunately, the
skin was torn to pieces, and the horns and skull were all that remained.

Failing, as usual, in my endeavours to obtain a shot, I made a
considerable circuit, and shortly observed the tall heads of giraffes
towering over the low mimosas. There is no animal in nature so
picturesque in his native haunts as the giraffe. His food consists of
the leaves of trees, some qualities forming special attractions,
especially the varieties of the mimosa, which, being low, permit an
extensive view to his telescopic eyes. He has a great objection to high
forests. The immense height of the giraffe gives him a peculiar
advantage, as he can command an extraordinary range of vision, and
thereby be warned against the approach of his two great enemies, man and
the lion. No animal is more difficult to stalk than the giraffe, and the
most certain method of hunting is that pursued by the Hamran Arabs, on
the frontiers of Abyssinia, who ride him down and hamstring him with the
broadsword at full gallop. A good horse is required, as, although the
gait of a giraffe appears excessively awkward from the fact of his
moving the fore and hind legs of one side simultaneously, he attains a
great pace, owing to the length of his stride, and his bounding trot is
more than a match for any but a superior horse.

The hoof is as beautifully proportioned as that of the smallest gazelle,
and his lengthy legs and short back give him every advantage for speed
and endurance. There is a rule to be observed in hunting the giraffe on
horseback: the instant he starts, he must be pressed--it is the speed
that tells upon him, and the spurs must be at work at the very
commencement of the hunt, and the horse pressed along at his best pace;
it must be a race at top speed from the start, but, should the giraffe
be allowed the slightest advantage for the first five minutes, the race
will be against the horse.

I was riding "Filfil," my best horse for speed, but utterly useless for
the gun. I had a common regulation-sword hanging on my saddle in lieu of
the long Arab broadsword that I had lost at Obbo, and starting at full
gallop at the same instant as the giraffes, away we went over the
beautiful park. Unfortunately Richarn was a bad rider, and I, being
encumbered with a rifle, had no power to use the sword. I accordingly
trusted to ride them down and to get a shot, but I felt that the
unsteadiness of my horse would render it very uncertain. The wind
whistled in my ears as we flew along over the open plain. The grass was
not more than a foot high, and the ground hard; the giraffes about four
hundred yards distant steaming along, and raising a cloud of dust from
the dry earth, as on this side of the mountains there had been no rain.
Filfil was a contradiction; he loved a hunt and had no fear of wild
animals, but he went mad at the sound of a gun. Seeing the magnificent
herd of about fifteen giraffes before him, the horse entered into the
excitement and needed no spur--down a slight hollow, flying over the dry
buffalo holes, now over a dry watercourse and up the incline on the
other side--then again on the level, and the dust in my eyes from the
cloud raised by the giraffes showed that we were gaining in the race;
misericordia!--low jungle lay before us--the giraffes gained it, and
spurring forward through a perfect cloud of dust now within a hundred
yards of the game we shot through the thorny bushes. In another minute
or two I was close up, and a splendid bull giraffe was crashing before
me like a locomotive obelisk through the mimosas, bending the elastic
boughs before him in his irresistible rush, which sprang back with a
force that would have upset both horse and rider had I not carefully
kept my distance. The jungle seemed alive with the crowd of orange red,
the herd was now on every side, as I pressed the great bull before me.
Oh for an open plain! I was helpless to attack, and it required the
greatest attention to keep up the pace through the thick mimosas without
dashing against their stems and branches. The jungle became thicker, and
although I was in the middle of the herd and within ten yards of several
giraffes, I could do nothing. A mass of thick and tangled thorns now
received them, and closed over the hardly-contested race--I was beaten.

Never mind, it was a good hunt--first-rate--but where was my camp? It
was nearly dark, and I could just distinguish the pass in the distance,
by which we had descended the mountain; thus I knew the direction but I
had ridden about three miles, and it would be dark before I could
return. However, I followed the heel tracks of the herd of giraffes.
Richarn was nowhere. Although I had lost the race, and was disappointed,
I now consoled myself that it was all for the best; had I killed a
giraffe at that hour and distance from camp, what good would it have
been? I was quite alone; thus who could have found it during the night?
and before morning it would have been devoured by lions and hyenas;
inoffensive and beautiful creatures, what a sin it appeared to destroy
them uselessly! With these consoling and practical reflections I
continued my way, until a branch of hooked thorn fixing in my nose
disturbed the train of ideas and persuaded me that it was very dark, and
that I had lost my way, as I could no longer distinguish either the
tracks of the giraffes or the position of the mountains. Accordingly I
fired my rifle as a signal, and soon after I heard a distant report in
reply, and the blaze of a fire shot up suddenly in the distance on the
side of the mountain. With the help of this beacon I reached the spot
where our people were bivouacked; they had lighted the beacon on a rock
about fifty feet above the level, as although some twenty or thirty
fires were blazing, they had been obscured by the intervening jungle. I
found both my wife and my men in an argumentative state as to the
propriety of my remaining alone so late in the jungle; however, I also
found dinner ready; the angareps (stretcher bedsteads) arranged by a
most comfortable blazing fire, and a glance at the star-lit heavens
assured me of a fine night--what more can man wish for?--wife, welcome,
food, fire, and fine weather?

The bivouac in the wilderness has many charms; there is a complete
independence--the sentries are posted, the animals picketed and fed, and
the fires arranged in a complete circle around the entire party--men,
animals, and luggage all within the fiery ring; the sentries alone being
on the outside. There is a species of ironwood that is very inflammable,
and being oily, it burns like a torch; this grew in great quantities,
and the numerous fires fed with this vigorous fuel enlivened the bivouac
with a continual blaze. My men were busy, baking their bread. On such
occasions an oven is dispensed with. A prodigious fire is made while the
dough is being prepared; this, when well moistened, is formed into a
cake about two feet in diameter, but not thicker than two inches. The
fire being in a fit state of glowing ash, a large hole is scraped in the
centre, in which the flat cake is laid, and the red-hot embers are raked
over it; thus buried it will bake in about twenty minutes, but the dough
must be exceedingly moist or it will burn to a cinder.

On the following day we arrived at Latooka, where I found everything in
good order at the depot, and the European vegetables that I had sown
were all above ground. Commoro and a number of people came to meet us.

There had been but little rain at Latooka since we left, although it had
been raining heavily at Obbo daily, and there was no difference in the
dry sandy plain that surrounded the town, neither was there any
pasturage for the animals except at a great distance.

The day after my arrival, Filfil was taken ill and died in a few hours.
Tetel had been out of condition ever since the day of his failure during
the elephant hunt, and he now refused his food. Sickness rapidly spread
through my animals; five donkeys died within a few days, and the
remainder looked poor. Two of my camels died suddenly, having eaten the
poison-bush. Within a few days of this disaster my good old hunter and
companion of all my former sports in the Base country, Tetel, died.
These terrible blows to my expedition were most satisfactory to the
Latookas, who ate the donkeys and other animals the moment they died. It
was a race between the natives and the vultures as to who should be
first to profit by my losses.

Not only were the animals sick, but my wife was laid up with a violent
attack of gastric fever, and I was also suffering from daily attacks of
ague. The small-pox broke out among the Turks. Several people died; and,
to make matters worse, they insisted upon inoculating themselves and all
their slaves; thus the whole camp was reeking with this horrible

Fortunately my camp was separate and to windward. I strictly forbade my
men to inoculate themselves, and no case of the disease occurred among
my people, but it spread throughout the country. Small-pox is a scourge
among the tribes of Central Africa, and it occasionally sweeps through
the country and decimates the population.

Among the natives of Obbo, who had accompanied us to Latooka, was a man
named Wani, who had formerly travelled far to the south, and had offered
to conduct Ibrahim to a country rich in ivory that had never been
visited by a trader: this man had accordingly been engaged as guide arid
interpreter. In an examination of Wani I discovered that the
cowrie-shells were brought from a place called "Magungo." This name I
had previously heard mentioned by the natives, but I could obtain no
clue to its position. It was most important that I should discover the
exact route by which the cowries arrived from the south, as it would be
my guide to that direction. The information that I received from Wani at
Latooka was excessively vague, and upon most slender data I founded my
conclusions so carefully that my subsequent discoveries have rendered
most interesting the first scent of the position which I eventually
followed with success. I accordingly extract, verbatim, from my journal
the note written by me at Latooka on the 26th of May, 1863, when I first
received the clue to the Albert N'yanza: "I have had a long examination
of Wani, the guide and interpreter, respecting the country of Magungo.
Loggo, the Bari interpreter, has always described Magungo as being on a
large river, and I have concluded that it must be the Asua; but, upon
cross-examination, I find he has used the word 'Bahr' (in Arabic
signifying river or sea) instead of 'Birke' (lake). This important error
being discovered gives a new feature to the geography of this part."

According to his description, Magungo is situated on a lake so large
that no one knows its limits. Its breadth is such that, if you journey
two days east and the same distance west, there is no land visible on
either quarter, while to the south its direction is utterly unknown.
Large vessels arrive at Magungo from distant and unknown parts, bringing
cowrie-shells and beads in exchange for ivory. Upon these vessels white
men have been seen. All the cowrie-shells used in Latooka and the
neighbouring countries are supplied by these vessels, but none have
arrived for the last two years.

"His description of distance places Magungo on about the 2 degrees N.
lat. The lake can be no other than the 'N'yanza,' which, if the position
of Magungo be correct, extends much farther north than Speke had
supposed. The 'white men' must be Arab traders who bring cowries from
Zanzibar. I shall take the first opportunity to push for Magungo. I
imagine that country belongs to Kamrasi's brother, as Wani says the king
has a brother who is king of a powerful country on the west bank of the
Nile but that they are ever at war with each other.

"I examined another native who had been to Magungo to purchase Simbi
(the cowrie-shell); he says that a white man formerly arrived there
annually, and brought a donkey with him in a boat; that he disembarked
his donkey and rode about the country, dealing with the natives, and
bartering cowries and brass-coil bracelets. This man had no firearms,
but wore a sword. The king of Magungo was called 'Cherrybambi.'"

This information was the first clue to the facts that I subsequently
established, and the account of the white men (Arabs) arriving at
Magungo was confirmed by the people of that country twelve months after
I obtained this vague information at Latooka.

Arabs, being simply brown, are called WHITE men by the blacks of these
countries. I was called a VERY white man as a distinction, but I have
frequently been obliged to take off my shirt to exhibit the difference
of colour between myself and my men, as my face was brown.



On the 30th May, about an hour before daybreak, I was awoke by a rattle
of musketry, which continued some time in irregular volleys, and
subsided into a well-sustained and steady fire in single shots. On
leaving my hut, I found the camp of Koorshid's people almost empty,
while my own men were climbing on the roofs of their huts to obtain a
view towards the west. Nothing was in sight, although the firing still
continued at a distance of about a mile, apparently on the other side of
a belt of trees. I now heard that Koorshid's people had started at
between three and four o'clock that morning, by Commoro's request, to
attack a neighbouring town that had been somewhat rebellious. The firing
continued for about two hours, when it suddenly ceased, and I shortly
saw with a telescope the Turks' red ensign emerge from the forest, and
we heard the roll of their drum, mingled with the lowing of oxen and the
bleating of sheep. Upon nearer approach, I remarked a considerable body
of men, and a large herd of cattle and sheep driven by a number of
Latookas, while a knot of Turks carried something heavy in their arms.

They soon arrived, with about 2,000 head of cattle and sheep; but they
had lost one of their men, killed in the fight, and his body they
carried home for interment. It happened to be about the best man of the
party; really a very civil fellow, and altogether rather a pleasant
robber. At Commoro's instigation, the Turks had attacked the town of
Kayala; but the Latookas had fought so well, that the Turks found it
impossible to capture the town, which was, as usual, protected by
iron-wood palisades, upon which their bullets harmlessly flattened. Not
only the Latooka men had fought well, but their women broke up their
grinding-stones and defended the entrance by pelting their assailants
with the fragments; several of the Turks were wounded by the stones
thrown with such force by these brawny Amazons that some of the
gun-barrels were indented. Many of these brave women had been shot by
the dastardly Turks, and one was in the act of being carried off by the
"pleasant robber," when a native, running to her rescue, drove his spear
through his chest and killed him on the spot. Unfortunately for the
Latookas, some of their cattle had left the town to pasture just before
the attack took place; these were captured by the Turks, but not one
hostile foot had been able to penetrate their town. On the following day
the party were busily engaged in dividing the spoil, one third belonging
to the men as a bonus, while the remainder were the property of the
traders' establishment, or "Meri" (government), as they term the
proprietor. This portion was to be sent to Obbo as a place of security
and good pasturage, and the men were to engage in other razzias in
Latooka, and to collect a large number of cattle to be driven south to
exchange for ivory. Koorshid's camp was a scene of continual uproar, the
men quarrelling over the division of the spoil.

Journal--June 2nd.--The Turks are now busy buying and selling, each man
disposing of his share of the stolen cattle according to his wants: one
exchanges a cow to the natives for corn and meat; another slaughters an
ox, and retails small portions for merissa (beer), fowls, &c., the
natives flocking to the camp like vultures scenting flesh; others
reserve their cattle for the purpose of purchasing the daughters of the
natives for slaves under the name of wives, whom they will eventually
sell in Khartoum for from twenty to thirty dollars each. My men look on
in dismay at the happiness of their neighbours: like

"A Peri weeping at the gate
Of Eden, stood disconsolate,"

so may they be seen regarding the adjoining paradise, where meat is in
profusion, sweetened by being stolen; but, alas! their cruel master does
not permit them these innocent enjoyments.

Everything may be obtained for cattle as payment in this country. The
natives are now hard at work making zareebas (kraals) for the cattle
stolen from their own tribe and immediate neighbours, for the sake of
two or three bullocks as remuneration to be divided among more than a
hundred men. They are not deserving of sympathy; they are worse than
vultures, being devoid of harmony even in the same tribe. The chiefs
have no real control; and a small district, containing four or five
towns, club together and pillage the neighbouring province. It is not
surprising that the robber traders of the Nile turn this spirit of
discord to their own advantage, and league themselves with one chief, to
rob another, whom they eventually plunder in his turn. The natives say
that sixty-five men and women were killed in the attack upon Kayala. All
the Latookas consider it a great disgrace that the Turks fired upon
women. Among all tribes, from Gondokoro to Obbo, a woman is respected,
even in time of war. Thus, they are employed as spies, and become
exceedingly dangerous; nevertheless, there is a general understanding
that no woman shall be killed. The origin of this humane distinction
arises, I imagine, from their scarcity. Where polygamy is in force,
women should be too dear to kill; the price of a girl being from five to
ten cows, her death is equal to the actual loss of that number.

Fortunately for my party, who were not cattle lifters, there was the
usual abundance of game, and I could always supply myself and people
with delicious wild ducks and geese. We never were tired of this light
food as we varied their preparation. Sometimes I was able to procure a
goat, on which occasion a grand dish was made, the paunch being arranged
as a Scotch "haggis" of wild fowls' livers and flesh minced, with the
usual additions. My garden was flourishing; we had onions, beans,
melons, yams, lettuce, and radishes, which had quickly responded to
several invigorating showers; the temperature was 85 degrees F in the
shade during the hottest hours of the day, and 72 degrees F at night.

Salt is not procurable in Latooka; the natives seldom use it, as it is
excessively difficult to make it in any quantity from the only two
sources that will produce it; the best is made from goat's dung; this is
reduced ashes, and saturated; the water is then strained off, and
evaporated by boiling. Another quality is made of peculiar grass, with a
thick fleshy stem, something like sugarcane; the ashes of this produce
salt, but by no means pure. The chief of Latooka would eat a handful of
salt greedily that I gave him from my large supply, and I could purchase
supplies with this article better than with beads.

On the 4th of June, Ibrahim and eighty-five men started for Obbo in
charge of about 400 cows and 1,000 goats. Shortly after their departure,
a violent thunder-storm, attended with a deluge of rain, swept over the
country, and flooded the Latooka river and the various pools that formed
my game-preserves.

I looked forward to good duck-shooting on the morrow, as a heavy storm
was certain to be followed by large arrivals.

On the morning of the 5th, I was out at an early hour, and in a very
short time I killed eight ducks and geese. There was a certain pool
surrounded by a small marsh within half a mile of my camp, that formed
the greatest attraction to the wild fowl. There were two hegleek trees
in this marsh; and it was merely necessary to stand beneath the shelter
of either to insure good sport, as the ducks continually arrived at the

I was just entering into the sport with all my heart, when I heard a
shot fired in the Turks' camp, followed by loud yells, and I observed a
crowd of Latookas rushing from the camp towards their town. In a few
moments later, I heard the Turks' drum, and I saw people running to and
fro, and the Latookas assembling from the neighbourhood with lances and
shields, as though preparing for a fray. I had only two men with me, and
being nearly half a mile from camp, I thought it advisable to hasten
towards the spot, lest some contretemps should take place before my
arrival. Accordingly I hurried over the open plain, and shortly reached
my camp. I found my wife arranging the men at their posts, fearing a
disturbance. They had seen me hastening towards them, and I now went to
the Turks' camp, that was close by, and inquired the cause of alarm.

Never was I more disgusted. Already the vultures were swooping in
circles above some object outside the camp. It appeared that a native of
Kayala (the town lately attacked by the Turks) had visited Tarrangolle
to inquire after a missing cow. The chiefs, Moy and Commoro, brought him
to the Turks' camp, merely to prove that he had no evil intention. No
sooner was it announced that he was a native of Kayala than the Turks
declared he was a spy, and condemned him to be shot. The two chiefs, Moy
and Commoro, feeling themselves compromised by having brought the man
into such danger unwittingly, threw themselves before him, and declared
that no harm should befall him, as he belonged to them. Tearing them
away by the combined force of many men, the prisoner was immediately
bound, and led forth by his bloodthirsty murderers to death. "Shoot the
spy!" was hardly pronounced, when a villain stepped forward, and placing
the muzzle of his musket close to his left breast, he fired.

The man dropped dead, thus murdered in cold blood. The natives rushed in
crowds from the spot, naturally supposing that a general massacre would
follow so unprovoked an outrage. The body was dragged by the heels a few
paces outside the camp, and the vultures were its sextons within a few
minutes of the death.

It was with difficulty that I could restrain my temper under such
revolting circumstances. I felt that at an unlooked-for moment I might
be compromised in some serious outbreak of the natives, caused by the
brutal acts of the traders. Already it was declared unsafe to venture
out shooting without ten or twelve armed men as escort.

A mixture of cowardice and brutality, the traders' party became
exceedingly timid, as a report was current that the inhabitants of
Kayala intended to ally themselves to those of Tarrangolle, and to
attack the Turks in their camp. I accordingly strengthened my position

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