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

Part 5 out of 9

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by building a tower of palisades, that entirely commanded all approaches
to my zareeba.

Latooka was already spoiled by the Turks: it was now difficult to
procure flour and milk for beads, as the traders' people, since the
attack on Kayala, had commenced the system of purchasing all supplies
with either goats or beef, which having been stolen, was their cheapest
medium of exchange. Although rich in beads and copper, I was actually
poor, as I could not obtain supplies. Accordingly I allowanced my men
two pounds of beads monthly, and they went to distant villages and
purchased their own provisions independently of me.

On the 11th June, at 7.20 A.M., there was a curious phenomenon; the sky
was perfectly clear, but we were startled by a noise like the sudden
explosion of a mine, or the roar of heavy cannon, almost immediately
repeated. It appeared to have originated among the mountains, about
sixteen miles distant due south of my camp. I could only account for
this occurrence by the supposition that an immense mass of the granite
rock might have detached itself from a high mountain, and, in falling to
the valley, it might have bounded from a projection on the mountain's
side, and thus have caused a double report.

June 13.---I shot ten ducks and geese before breakfast, including one of
the large black and white geese with the crimson head and neck. On my
return to camp I weighed this--exactly eleven pounds; this goose has on
either pinion-joint a sharp, horny spur, an inch in length. During my
morning stroll I met hundreds of natives running excitedly with shields
and spears towards Adda's village: they were going to steal the cattle
from a village about four miles distant; thus there will be a fight in
the course of the day. The Latooka stream is now full, and has the
appearance of a permanent river carrying a considerable body of water to
the Sobat.

I met with two thieves while duck-shooting this morning--the one an
eagle, and the other a native. The beautiful white-throated fish-eagle
may generally be seen perched upon a bough overhanging the stream, ready
for any prey that may offer. This morning I shot two ducks right and
left as they flew down the course of the river---one fell dead in the
water, but the other, badly hit, fluttered along the surface for some
distance, and was immediately chased and seized by a fish-eagle which,
quite reckless of the gun, had been watching the sport from a high tree,
and evinced a desire to share the results. My men, not to be done out of
their breakfast, gave chase, shouting and yelling to frighten the eagle,
and one of them having a gun loaded with buckshot, fired, and the
whirr-r of the charge induced the eagle to drop the duck, which was
triumphantly seized by the man.

The other thief was a native. I fired a long shot at a drake; the bird
flew a considerable distance and towered, falling about a quarter of a
mile distant. A Latooka was hoeing close to where it fell, and we
distinctly saw him pick up the bird and run to a bush, in which he hid
it: upon our arrival he continued his work as though nothing had
happened, and denied all knowledge of it: he was accordingly led by the
ear to the bush, where we found the duck carefully secreted.

June 14.---The natives lost one man killed in the fight yesterday,
therefore the night was passed in singing and dancing.

The country is drying up; although the stream is full there is no rain
in Latooka, the water in the river being the eastern drainage of the
Obbo mountains, where it rains daily.

Ibrahimawa, the Bornu man, alias "Sinbad the Sailor," the great
traveller, amuses and bores me daily with his long and wonderful stories
of his travels. The style of his narratives may be conjectured from the
following extracts: "There was a country adjoining Bornu, where the king
was so fat and heavy that he could not walk, until the doctors OPENED
HIS BELLY AND CUT THE FAT OUT, which operation was repeated annually."

He described another country as a perfect Paradise, where no one ever
drank anything so inferior as water. This country was so wealthy that
the poorest man could drink merissa (beer). He illustrated the general
intoxication by saying, that "after 3 P.M. no one was sober, throughout
the country, and from that hour the cows, goats, and fowls WERE ALL
DRUNK, as they drank the merissa left in the jars by their owners, who
were all asleep."

He knew all about England, having been a servant, on a Turkish frigate
that was sent to Gravesend. He described an evening entertainment most
vividly. He had been to a ball at an "English Pasha's in Blackwall," and
had succeeded wonderfully with some charming English ladies excessively
"decollete," upon whom he felt sure he had left a lasting impression, as
several had fallen in love with him on the spot, supposing him to be a

Such were instances of life and recollections of Ibrahimawa, the Bornu.

On June 16, Koorshid's people returned from Obbo. Ibrahim and a few men
had remained there, and distrusting the warlike spirit of the Latookas,
he now recalled the entire establishment from Tarrangolle, intending to
make a station at the more peaceful country of Obbo. An extract from my
journal on that day explains my feelings: "This is most annoying; I had
arranged my camp and garden, &c. for the wet season, and I must now
leave everything, as it is impossible to remain in this country with my
small force alone; the natives have become so bad (since the cattle
razzia) that a considerable armed party is obliged to go to the stream
for water. It is remarkably pleasant travelling in the vicinity of the
traders;--they convert every country into a wasp's nest;--they have
neither plan of action nor determination, and I, being unfortunately
dependent upon their movements, am more like a donkey than an explorer,
that is saddled and ridden away at a moment's notice. About sixty
natives of Obbo accompanied the men sent by Ibrahim to carry the
effects;--I require at least fifty, as so many of my transport animals
are dead." Nothing can exceed the laziness and dogged indolence of my
men; I have only four who are worth having,---Richarn, Hamed, Sali, and

All the men in either camp were discontented at the order to move, as
they had made themselves comfortable, expecting to remain in Latooka
during the wet season. The two chiefs, Moy and Commoro, found themselves
in a dilemma, as they had allied themselves with the Turks in the attack
upon the neighbouring town, depending upon them for future support; they
were now left in the lurch, and felt themselves hardly a match for their
enemies. A few extracts from my journal will close our sojourn at

"June 18th.--The white ants are a curse upon the country; although the
hut is swept daily and their galleries destroyed, they rebuild
everything during the night, scaling the supports to the roof and
entering the thatch. Articles of leather or wood are the first devoured.
The rapidity with which they repair their galleries is wonderful; all
their work is carried on with cement; the earth is contained in their
stomachs, and this being mixed with some glutinous matter they deposit
it as bees do their wax. Although the earth of this country if tempered
for house-building will crumble in the rain, the hills of the white ants
remain solid and waterproof, owing to the glue in the cement. I have
seen three varieties of white ants--the largest about the size of a
small wasp: this does not attack dwellings, but subsists upon fallen
trees. The second variety is not so large; this species seldom enters
buildings. The third is the greatest pest: this is the smallest, but
thick and juicy;--the earth is literally alive with them, nor is there
one square foot of ground free from them in Latooka.

"June 19th.--Had a bad attack of fever yesterday that has been hanging
about me for some days. Weighed all the luggage and packed the stores in
loads of fifty pounds each for the natives to carry.

"June 20th.--Busy making new ropes from the bark of a mimosa; all hands
at work, as we start the day after to-morrow. My loss in animals makes a
difference of twenty-three porters' loads. I shall take forty natives as
the bad roads will necessitate light loads for the donkeys. I have now
only fourteen donkeys; these are in good condition, and would thrive,
were not the birds so destructive by pecking sores upon their backs.
These sores would heal quickly by the application of gunpowder, but the
birds irritate and enlarge them until the animal, is rendered useless. I
have lost two donkeys simply from the attacks of these birds;--the only
remaining camel and some of the donkeys I have covered with jackets made
of tent-cloth.

"June 21st.--Nil.

"June 22d.--We were awoke last night by a report from the sentry that
natives were prowling around the camp;--I accordingly posted three
additional guards. At a little after 2 A.m. a shot was fired, followed
by two others in quick succession, and a sound as of many feet running
quickly was heard passing the entrance of the camp. I was up in a
moment, and my men were quickly under arms: the Turks' drum beat, and
their camp (that was contiguous to mine) was alive with men, but all was
darkness. I lighted my policeman's lantern, that was always kept ready
trimmed, and I soon arrived at the spot where the shot had been fired.
The natives had been endeavouring to steal the cattle from the Turks'
kraal, and favoured by the darkness they had commenced burrowing with
the intention of removing the thorn bushes that formed the fence.
Unfortunately for the thieves, they were unaware that there were
watchers in the kraal among the cattle: it was a pitch dark night, and
nothing could be distinguished; but the attention of one of the sentries
was attracted by the snorting and stamping of the goats, that evidently
denoted the presence of something uncommon. He then perceived close to
him, on the other side the hedge, a dark object crouching, and others
standing, and he heard the bushes moving as though some one was at work
to remove them. He immediately fired; and the sound of a rush of men in
retreat induced both him and the other sentry to repeat the shot. By the
light of the lantern we now searched the place, and discovered the body
of a native lying close to the fence just above a considerable hole that
he had scraped beneath the thorns, in order to extract the stems that
were buried in the ground, and thus by drawing away the bushes he would
have effected an entrance. He had commenced operations exactly opposite
the sentry, and the musket being loaded with mould-shot, he had received
the contents at close quarters. Although he had tempted fate and met
with deserved misfortune, it was most disgusting to witness the
brutality of the Turks, who, tying ropes to the ankles, dragged the body
to the entrance of the camp, and wished for amusement to drive their
bayonets through the chest.

"Although dying, the man was not dead: a shot had entered one eye,
knocking it out; several had entered the face, chest, and thighs, as he
was in a stooping position when the gun was fired. I would not allow him
to be mutilated, and after groaning in agony for some time, he died. The
traders' people immediately amputated the hands at the wrists, to detach
the copper bracelets, while others cut off his helmet of beads, and the
body was very considerately dragged close to the entrance of my camp.

"June 22nd.--Finding that the disgusting Turks had deposited the dead
body almost at my door, I had it removed a couple of hundred yards to
leeward. The various birds of prey immediately collected--buzzards,
vultures, crows, and the great Marabou stork. I observed a great
bare-necked vulture almost succeed in turning the body over by pulling
at the flesh of the arm at the opposite side to that where it stood. I
have noticed that birds of prey invariably commence their attack upon
the eyes, inner portions of the thighs, and beneath the arms, before
they devour the coarser portions. In a few hours a well-picked skeleton
was all that was left of the Latooka."

We were to start on the following day. My wife was dangerously ill with
bilious fever, and was unable to stand, and I endeavoured to persuade
the traders' party to postpone their departure for a few days. They
would not hear of such a proposal; they had so irritated the Latookas
that they feared an attack, and their captain, or vakeel, Ibrahim, had
ordered them immediately to vacate the country. This was a most awkward
position for me. The traders had induced the hostility of the country,
and I should bear the brunt of it should I remain behind alone. Without
their presence I should be unable to procure porters, as the natives
would not accompany my feeble party, especially as I could offer them no
other payment but beads or copper. The rains had commenced within the
last few days at Latooka, and on the route towards Obbo we should
encounter continual storms. We were to march by a long and circuitous
route to avoid the rocky passes that would be dangerous in the present
spirit of the country, especially as the traders possessed large herds
that must accompany the party. They allowed five days' march for the
distance to Obbo by the intended route. This was not an alluring
programme for the week's entertainment, with my wife almost in a dying
state! However, I set to work, and fitted an angarep with arched hoops
from end to end, so as to form a frame like the cap of a wagon. This I
covered with two waterproof Abyssinian tanned hides securely strapped;
and lashing two long poles parallel to the sides of the angarep, I
formed an excellent palanquin. In this she was assisted, and we started
on 23d June.

Our joint parties consisted of about three hundred men. On arrival at
the base of the mountains, instead of crossing them as before, we
skirted the chain to the northwest, and then rounding through a natural
gap, we ascended gradually towards the south.

On the fifth day we were, at 5 A.M., within twelve miles of Obbo, and we
bivouacked on a huge mass of granite on the side of a hill, forming an
inclining plateau of about an acre. The natives who accompanied us were
immediately ordered to clear the grass from the insterstices of the
rocks, and hardly had they commenced when a slight disturbance, among
some loose stones that were being removed, showed that something was
wrong. In an instant lances and stones were hurled at some object by the
crowd, and upon my arrival I saw the most horrid monster that I have
ever experienced. I immediately pinned his head to the ground and
severed it at one blow with my hunting-knife, damaging the keen edge of
my favourite weapon upon the hard rock. It was a puff adder of the most
extraordinary dimensions. I then fetched my measuring-tape from the
game-bag, in which it was always at hand. Although the snake was only 5
ft. 4 in. in length it was slightly above 15 inches in girth. The tail
was, as usual in poisonous snakes, extremely blunt, and the head
perfectly fiat, and about 2 1/2 inches broad, but unfortunately during
my short absence to fetch the measure the natives had crushed it with a
rock. They had thus destroyed it as a specimen, and had broken three of
the teeth, but I counted eight, and secured five poison-fangs, the two
most prominent being nearly an inch in length. The poison-fangs of
snakes are artfully contrived by some diabolical freak of nature as
pointed tubes, through which the poison is injected into the base of the
wound inflicted. The extreme point of the fang is solid, and is so
finely sharpened that beneath a powerful microscope it is perfectly
smooth, although the point of the finest needle is rough. A short
distance above the solid point of the fang the surface of the tube
appears as though cut away, like the first cut of a quill in forming a
pen: through this aperture the poison is injected.

Hardly had I secured the fangs, when a tremendous clap of thunder shook
the earth and echoed from rock to rock among the high mountains, that
rose abruptly on our left within a mile. Again the lightning flashed,
and almost simultaneously, a deafening peal roared from the black cloud
above us, just as I was kneeling over the archenemy to skin him. He
looked so Satanic with his flat head, and minute cold grey eye, and
scaly hide, with the lightning flashing and the thunder roaring around
him; I felt like St. Dunstan with the devil, and skinned him. The
natives and also my men were horrified, as they would not touch any
portion of such a snake with their hands: even its skin was supposed by
these people to be noxious. Down came the rain; I believe it could not
have rained harder. Mrs. Baker in the palanquin was fortunately like a
snail in her shell; but I had nothing for protection except an oxhide:
throwing myself upon my angarep I drew it over me. The natives had
already lighted prodigious fires, and all crowded around the blaze; but
what would have been the Great Fire of London in that storm?

In half an hour the fire was out; such a deluge fell that the ravine
that was dry when we first bivouacked, was now an impassable torrent. My
oxhide had become tripe, and my angarep, being covered with a mat, was
some inches deep in water. Throwing away the mat, the pond escaped
through the sieve-like network, but left me drenched. Throughout the
night it poured. We had been wet through every day during the journey
from Latooka, but the nights had been fine; this was superlative misery
to all. At length it ceased--morning dawned; we could not procure fire,
as everything was saturated, and we started on our march through forest
and high reeking grass. By this circuitous route from Latooka we avoided
all difficult passes, as the ground on the west side of the chain of
mountains ascended rapidly but regularly to Obbo. On arrival at my
former hut I found a great change; the grass was at least ten feet high,
and my little camp was concealed in the rank vegetation. Old Katchiba
came to meet us, but brought nothing, as he said the Turks had eaten up
the country. An extract from my journal, dated July 1, explains the
misery of our position.

"This Obbo country is now a land of starvation. The natives refuse to
supply provision for beads; nor will they barter anything unless in
exchange for flesh. This is the curse that the Turks have brought upon
the country by stealing cattle and throwing them away wholesale. We have
literally nothing to eat except tullaboon, a small bitter grain used in
lieu of corn by the natives: there is no game; if it existed, shooting
would be impossible, as the grass is impenetrable. I hear that the Turks
intend to make a razzia on the Shoggo country near Farajoke; thus they
will stir up a wasp's nest for me wherever I go, and render it
impossible for my small party to proceed alone, or even to remain in
peace. I shall be truly thankful to quit this abominable land; in my
experience I never saw such scoundrels as Africa produces--the natives
of the Soudan being worse than all. It is impossible to make a servant
of any of these people; the apathy, indolence, dishonesty combined with
dirtiness, are beyond description; and their abhorrence of anything like
order increases their natural dislike to Europeans. I have not one man
even approaching to a servant; the animals are neglected, therefore they
die. And were I to die they would rejoice, as they would immediately
join Koorshid's people in cattle stealing and slave hunting;--charming
followers in the time of danger! Such men destroy all pleasure, and
render exploration a mere toil. No one can imagine the hardships and
annoyances to which we are subject, with the additional disgust of being
somewhat dependent upon the traders' band of robbers. For this miserable
situation my vakeel is entirely responsible; had my original escort been
faithful, I should have been entirely independent, and could with my
transport animals have penetrated far south before the commencement of
the rainy season. Altogether I am thoroughly sick of this expedition,
but I shall plod onwards with dogged obstinacy; God only knows the end.
I shall be grateful should the day ever arrive once more to see Old

Both my wife and I were excessively ill with bilious fever, and neither
could assist the other. The old chief, Katchiba, hearing that we were
dying, came to charm us with some magic spell. He found us lying
helpless, and he immediately procured a small branch of a tree, and
filling his mouth with water, he squirted it over the leaves and about
the floor of the hut; he then waved the branch around my wife's head,
also around mine, and completed the ceremony by sticking it in the
thatch above the doorway; he told us we should now get better, and
perfectly: satisfied, he took his leave. The hut was swarming with rats
and white ants, the former racing over our bodies during the night, and
burrowing through the floor, filling our only room with mounds like
molehills. As fast as we stopped the holes, others were made with
determined perseverance. Having a supply of arsenic, I gave them an
entertainment, the effect being disagreeable to all parties, as the rats
died in their holes, and created a horrible effluvium, while fresh hosts
took the place of the departed. Now and then a snake would be seen
gliding within the thatch, having taken shelter from the pouring rain.
The smallpox was raging throughout the country, and the natives were
dying like flies in winter. The country was extremely unhealthy, owing
to the constant rain and the rank herbage, which prevented a free
circulation of air, and from the extreme damp induced fevers. The
temperature was 65 degrees Fahr. at night, and 72 degrees during the
day; dense clouds obscured the sun for many days, and the air was
reeking with moisture. In the evening it was always necessary to keep a
blazing fire within the hut, as the floor and walls were wet and chilly.

The wet herbage disagreed with my baggage animals.

Innumerable flies appeared, including the Tsetse, and in a few weeks the
donkeys had no hair left, either on their ears or legs; they drooped
and died one by one. It was in vain that I erected sheds, and lighted
fires; nothing would protect them from the flies. The moment the fires
were lit, the animals would rush wildly into the smoke, from which
nothing would drive them, and in the clouds of imaginary protection they
would remain all day, refusing food. On the 16th of July my last horse,
Mouse, died; he had a very long tail, for which I obtained A COW IN
EXCHANGE. Nothing was prized so highly as horse's tails, the hairs being
used for stringing beads, and also for making tufts as ornaments, to be
suspended from the elbows. It was highly fashionable in Obbo for the men
to wear such tufts, formed of the bushy ends of cow's-tails. It was also
"the thing" to wear six or eight polished rings of iron, fastened so
tightly round the throat as to almost choke the wearer, somewhat
resembling dog-collars.

On 18th July, the natives held a great consultation, and ended with a
war-dance; they were all painted in various patterns, with red ochre and
white pipe-clay; their heads adorned with very tasteful ornaments of
cowrie-shells, surmounted by plumes of ostrich-feathers, which drooped
over the back of the neck. After the dance, the old chief addressed them
in a long and vehement speech; he was followed by several other
speakers, all of whom were remarkably fluent, and the resolution of the
meeting was declared "that the nogaras were to be beaten, and men
collected to accompany the Turks on a razzia in the Madi country."

Ibrahim started with 120 armed men and a mass of Obbo people on the
marauding expedition.

On the following day Katchiba came to see us, bringing a present of
flour. I gave him a tin plate, a wooden spoon, the last of the tea-cups,
and a tinsel paper of mother-of-pearl shirt buttons, which took his
fancy so immensely, that my wife was begged to suspend it from his neck
like a medal. He was really a very good old fellow--by far the best I
have seen in Africa. He was very suspicious of the Turks, who, he said,
would ultimately ruin him, as, by attacking the Madi tribe, they would
become his enemies, and invade Obbo when the Turks should leave. Cattle
were of very little use in his country, as the flies would kill them; he
had tried all his magic art, but it was of no avail against the flies;
my donkeys would all assuredly die. He said that the losses inflicted
upon the various tribes by the Turks were ruinous, as their chief means
of subsistence was destroyed; without cattle they could procure no
wives; milk, their principle diet, was denied them, and they were driven
to despair; thus they would fight for their cattle, although they would
allow their families to be carried off without resistance; cattle would
procure another family, but if the animals were stolen, there would be
no remedy.

Flies by day, rats and innumerable bugs by night, heavy dew, daily rain,
and impenetrable reeking grass rendered Obbo a prison about as
disagreeable as could exist.

The many months of tiresome inaction that I was forced to remain in this
position, I will not venture to inflict upon the reader, but I will
content myself with extracts from my journal from time to time, that
will exhibit the general character of the situation.

"Aug. 2d.--Several of my men have fever; the boy, Saat, upon receiving a
dose of calomel, asked, `whether he was to swallow the paper in which it
was wrapped?' This is not the first time that I have been asked the same
question by my men. Saat feels the ennui of Obbo, and finds it difficult
to amuse himself; he has accordingly become so far scientific, that he
has investigated the machinery of two of my watches, both of which he
has destroyed. I am now reduced to one watch, the solitary survivor of
four that formed my original family of timekeepers. Having commenced as
a drummer, Saat feels the loss of his drum that was smashed by the
camel; he accordingly keeps his hand in by practising upon anything that
he can adapt to that purpose, the sacred kettle inverted, and a tin cup,
having been drummed until the one became leaky, and the bottom of the
other disappeared.

"Saat and the black woman are, unfortunately, enemies, and the monotony
of the establishment is sometimes broken by a stand-up fight between him
and his vicious antagonist, Gaddum Her. The latter has received a
practical proof that the boy is growing strong, as I found him the other
day improving her style of beauty by sitting astride upon her stomach,
and punching her eyes with his fists, as she lay upon the ground
furrowing Saat's fat cheeks with her very dirty nails. It is only fair
to the boy to say that Gaddum Her is always the aggressor.

"It is absurd to see the self-importance of the miserable cut-throats
belonging to Koorshid's party, who, far too great to act as common
soldiers, swagger about with little slave-boys in attendance, who carry
their muskets. I often compare the hard lot of our honest poor in
England with that of these scoundrels, whose courage consists in
plundering and murdering defenceless natives, while the robbers fatten
on the spoil. I am most anxious to see whether the English Government
will take active notice of the White Nile trade, or whether diplomacy
will confine them to simple protest and correspondence, to be silenced
by a promise from the Egyptian Government to put a stop to the present
atrocities. The Egyptian Government will of course promise, and, as
usual with Turks, will never perform. On the other hand, the savages are
themselves bad; one tribe welcomes the Turks as allies against their
neighbours, and sees no crime in murder, provided the result be
'cattle.' This, of course, produces general confusion."

"AUG. 6TH.--The difficulties of procuring provisions are most serious:
the only method of purchasing flour is as follows. The natives will not
sell it for anything but flesh; to purchase an ox, I require molotes
(hoes): to obtain molotes I must sell my clothes and shoes to the
traders' men. The ox is then driven to a distant village, and is there
slaughtered, and the flesh being divided into about a hundred small
portions, my men sit upon the ground with three large baskets, into
which are emptied minute baskets of flour as the natives produce them,
one in exchange for each parcel of meat. This tedious process is a
specimen of Central African difficulties in the simple act of purchasing
flour. The Obbo natives are similar to the Bari in some of their habits.
I have had great difficulty in breaking my cowkeeper of his disgusting
custom of washing the milk bowl with cow's urine, and even mixing some
with the milk; he declares that unless he washes his hands with such
water before milking, the cow will lose her milk. This filthy custom is
unaccountable. The Obbo natives wash out their mouths with their own
urine. This habit may have originated in the total absence of salt in
their country. The Latookas, on the contrary, are very clean, and milk
could be purchased in their own vessels without fear."

"Aug. 8th--Having killed a fat ox, the men are busily engaged in
boiling down the fat. Care should be taken to sprinkle a few drops of
water in the pot when the fat is supposed to be sufficiently boiled;
should it hiss, as though poured upon melted lead, it is ready; but if
it be silent, the fat is not sufficiently boiled, and it will not keep.

"Three runaway female slaves were captured by Koorshid's people this
morning, two of whom were brutally treated. On the whole the female
slaves are well kept when very young, but well thrashed when the black
bloom of youth has passed."

"Aug. 11th.--At this season immense beetles are at work in vast
numbers, walking off with every species of dung, by forming it into
balls as large as small apples, and rolling them away with their hind
legs, while they walk backwards by means of the forelegs. Should a ball
of dung roll into a deep rut, I have frequently seen another beetle come
to the assistance of the proprietor of the ball, and quarrel for its
possession after their joint labours have raised it to the level.

"This species was the holy scarabaeus of the ancient Egyptians; it
appears shortly after the commencement of the wet season, its labours
continuing until the cessation of the rains, at which time it
disappears. Was it not worshipped by the ancients as the harbinger of
the high Nile? The existence of Lower Egypt depending upon the annual
inundation, the rise of the river was observed with general anxiety. The
beetle appears at the commencement of the rise in the river level, and
from its great size and extraordinary activity in clearing the earth
from all kinds of ordure, its presence is remarkable. Appearing at the
season of the flood, may not the ancients have imagined some connexion
between the beetle and the river, and have considered it sacred as the
HARBINGER of the inundation?

"There is a wild bean in this country, the blossom of which has a
delicious perfume of violets. I regret that I have not a supply of paper
for botanical specimens, as many beautiful flowers appeared at the
commencement of the rains. Few thorns and no gums form a strong contrast
to the Soudan, where nearly every tree and shrub is armed."

"AUG. 13TH.--I had a long examination of a slave woman, Bacheeta,
belonging to one of Koorshid's men. She had been sent two years ago by
the king, Kamrasi, from Unyoro, as a spy among the traders, with orders
to attract them to the country if appearances were favourable, but to
return with a report should they be dangerous people.

"On her arrival at Faloro, Debono's people captured her, and she was
eventually sold to her present owner. She speaks Arabic, having learnt
it from the traders' people. She declares that Magungo, the place of
which I have heard so much, is only four days' hard marching for a
native, direct from Faloro, but eight days' for the Turks; and that it
is equi-distant from Faloro and from Kamrasi's capital in Unyoro. She
had heard of the Luta N'zige, as reported to Speke, but she knew it only
by the name of 'Kara-wootan-N'zige.'

"She corroborated the accounts I had formerly received, of large boats
arriving with Arabs at Magungo, and she described the lake as a 'white
sheet as far as the eye could reach.' She particularized it as a
peculiar water, that was unlike other waters, as it would 'come up to a
water-jar, if put upon the shore, and carry it away and break it.' By
this description I understood 'waves.' She also described the 'Gondokoro
river,' or White Nile, as flowing into and out of the lake, and she
spoke of a 'great roar of water that fell from the sky.'

"I trust I may succeed in reaching this lake: if not, my entire time,
labour, and expenditure will have been wasted, as I throw sport entirely
aside for the sake of this exploration. Were I to think of shooting in
preference to exploring, I could have excellent sport on the Atabbi
river during the dry season, as also on the Kanieti, in the vicinity of
Wakkala; but I must neglect all but the great object, and push on to
Kamrasi's capital, and from thence to the lake. My great anxiety lies in
the conduct of Koorshid's party; should they make razzias south, I shall
be ruined, as my men will be afraid to advance through a disturbed
country. I MUST keep on good terms with the chief of the party, as I
depend upon him for an interpreter and porters.

"My plan is to prevail on Ibrahim to commence an ivory trade in
Kamrasi's country that might be legitimately conducted, instead of the
present atrocious system of robbery and murder. I like Koorshid, as he
is a bold-spoken robber instead of acting the hypocrite like the other
traders of Khartoum; thus, as he was the only man that was civil to me,
I would do him a good turn could I establish an honest trade between
Kamrasi and himself; at the same time, I should have the advantage of
his party as escort to the desired country. The case commercially lies
as follows:--

"Kamrasi's country, Unyoro, is a virgin land, where beads are hardly
known, and where the king is the despotic ruler, whose word is law. All
trade would be conducted through him alone, in the shape of presents, he
giving elephants' tusks, while, in return, Koorshid would send him beads
and various articles annually. Koorshid would thus be the sole trader
with Kamrasi according to White Nile rules, and the abominable system of
cattle robbery would be avoided.

"The great difficulty attending trade in a distant country is the want
of means of transport, one tribe, being generally hostile to the
adjoining, fears to afford porters beyond the frontier. If I can prove
that the Lake Luta N'zige is one source of the Nile with a navigable
junction, I can at once do away with the great difficulty, and open up a
direct trade for Koorshid. The Lake is in Kamrasi's own dominions: thus
he will have no fear in supplying porters to deliver the ivory at a
depot that might be established, either on the lake or at its junction
with the Nile. A vessel should be built upon the lake, to trade with the
surrounding coasts, and to receive the ivory from the depot. This vessel
would then descend from the lake to the While Nile, to the head of the
cataracts, where a camp should be formed, from which, in a few days'
march, the ivory would reach Gondokoro.

"A large trade might thus be established, as not only Unyoro would
supply ivory, but the lake would open the navigation to the very heart
of Africa. The advantage of dealing with Kamrasi direct would be great,
as he is not a mere savage, demanding beads and bracelets; but he would
receive printed cottons, and goods of various kinds, by which means the
ivory would be obtained at a merely nominal rate. The depot on the Luta
N'zige should be a general store, at which the vessel ascending from the
station above the cataracts would deliver the various goods from
Gondokoro, and from this store the goods would be disseminated
throughout the countries bordering the lake by means of vessels.

"The only drawback to this honest trade would be the general hatred of
anything honest by the Khartoumers; the charms of cattle razzias and
slave-hunting, with the attendant murders, attract these villanous
cut-throats to the White Nile expeditions, and I fear it would be
difficult to raise the number of armed men required for safety, were
legitimate trade the sole object of the ivory hunter.

"Even in Obbo, I believe that printed calicoes, red woollen shirts,
blankets, &c. would purchase ivory. The elevation of this country being
upwards of 3,600 feet, the nights are cold, and even the day is cold
during the wet season; thus clothing is required; this we see in the
first rudiments of covering, the skins of beasts used by the natives;
the Obbo people being the first tribe that adopts a particle of clothing
from the Shillook country (lat. 10 degrees) throughout the entire course
of the White Nile to this latitude (4 degrees 02 minutes). Kamrasi's
tribe are well covered, and farther south, towards Zanzibar, all tribes
are clothed more or less; thus Obbo is the clothing frontier, where the
climate has first prompted the savage to cover himself, while in the hot
lowlands he remains in a state of nakedness. Where clothing is required,
English manufacturers would find a market in exchange for ivory; thus
from this point a fair trade might be commenced.

"From Farajoke, in the Sooli country, lat. 3 degrees 33 minutes, up to
this date the most southern limit of my explorations, the lake is about
nine or ten days' march in a direct course; but such a route is
impossible, owing to Debono's establishment occupying the intervening
country, and the rules of the traders forbid a trespass upon their
assumed territory. Koorshid's men would refuse to advance by that route;
my men, if alone, will be afraid to travel, and will find some excuse
for not proceeding; from the very outset they have been an absolute
burthen upon me, receiving a monthly allowance of two pounds of beads
per head for doing literally nothing, after having ruined the
independence of my expedition by their mutiny at Gondokoro."

"AUG. 23d.--My last camel died to-day; thus all my horses and camels
are dead, and only eight donkeys remain out of twenty-one; most of these
will die, if not all. There can be no doubt that the excessive wet in
all the food, owing to the constant rain and dew, is the principal cause
of disease. The camels, horses, and donkeys of the Soudan, all thrive in
the hot dry air of that country, and are unsuited for this damp climate.

"Had I been without transport animals, my expedition could not have left
Gondokoro, as there was no possibility of procuring porters. I had
always expected that my animals would die, but I had hoped they would
have carried me to the equator: this they would have accomplished during
the two months of comparative dry weather following my arrival at
Gondokoro, had not the mutiny thwarted all my plans, and thrown me into
the wet season. My animals have delivered me at Obbo, and have died in
inaction, instead of wearing out upon the road. Had I been able to start
direct from Gondokoro, as I had intended, my animals would have
delivered me in Kamrasi's country before the arrival of the heavy rains.

"There is an excellent species of gourd in Obbo; it is pear-shaped,
about ten inches long, and seven in diameter, with a white skin, and
warts upon the surface; this is the most delicate and the best-flavoured
that I have ever eaten.

"There are two varieties of castor-oil plant in this country--one with a
purple stem and bright red veins in the leaves, that is remarkably
handsome. Also a wild plantain, with a crimson stem to the leaf; this
does not grow to the height of the common plantain, but is simply a
plume of leaves springing from the ground without a parent stem."

"Aug. 30th.--Mrs. Baker and I made a morning call for the first time
upon old Katchiba by his express desire. His courtyard was cemented and
clean, about a hundred feet in diameter, surrounded by palisades, which
were overgrown with gourds and the climbing yam, Collolollo. There were
several large huts in the inclosure, belonging to his wives; he received
us very politely, and begged us to enter his principal residence; it was
simply arranged, being the usual circular hut, but about twenty-five
feet in diameter.

"Creeping on all fours through the narrow doorway, we found ourselves in
the presence of one of his wives, who was preparing merissa. The
furniture of the apartment was practical, and quite in accordance with
the taste of the old chief, as the whole establishment appeared to be
devoted to brewing merissa. There were several immense jars capable of
holding about thirty gallons: some of these were devoted to beer, while
one was reserved to contain little presents that he had received from
ourselves and the Turks, including a much-esteemed red flannel shirt:
these recherche objects were packed in the jar, and covered by a smaller
vessel inverted on the mouth to protect them from rats and white ants.
Two or three well-prepared ox-hides were spread upon the ground; and he
requested Mrs. Baker to sit on his right hand, while I sat upon the
left. Thus satisfactorily arranged, he called for some merissa, which
his wife immediately brought in an immense gourd-shell, and both my wife
and I having drunk, he took a long draught, and finished the gourd.

"The delightful old sorcerer, determined to entertain us, called for his
rababa: a species of harp was handed to him; this was formed of a hollow
base and an upright piece of wood, from which descended eight strings.
Some time was expended in carefully tuning his instrument, which, being
completed, he asked, 'if he should sing?' Fully prepared for something
comic, we begged him to begin. He sang a most plaintive and remarkably
wild, but pleasing air, accompanying himself perfectly on his harp,
producing the best music that I had ever heard among savages. In fact,
music and dancing were old Katchiba's delight, especially if combined
with deep potations.

"His song over, he rose from his seat and departed, but presently
reappeared leading a sheep by a string, which he begged us to accept. I
thanked him for his attention, but I assured him that we had not paid
him a visit with the expectation of receiving a present, and that we
could not think of accepting it, as we had simply called upon him as
friends; he accordingly handed the sheep to his wife, and shortly after
we rose to depart. Having effected an exit by creeping through the
doorway, he led us both by the hand in a most friendly way for about a
hundred yards on our path, and took leave most gracefully, expressing a
hope that we should frequently come to see him.

"On our return home we found the sheep waiting for us; determined not to
be refused, he had sent it on before us. I accordingly returned him a
most gorgeous necklace of the most valuable beads, and gave the native
who had brought the sheep a present for himself and wife; thus all
parties were satisfied, and the sheep was immediately killed for dinner.

"The following morning Katchiba appeared at my door with a large red
flag made of a piece of cotton cloth that the Turks had given him; he
was accompanied by two men beating large drums, and a third playing a
kind of clarionet: this playing at soldiers was an imitation of the
Turks. He was in great spirits, being perfectly delighted with the
necklace I had sent him."

"Oct. 6th.--I have examined my only remaining donkey: he is a picture of
misery--eyes and nose running, coat staring, and he is about to start to
join his departed comrades; he has packed up for his last journey. With
his loose skin hanging to his withered frame he looked like the British
lion on the shield over the door of the Khartoum consulate. In that
artistic effort the lion was equally lean and ragged, having perhaps
been thus represented by the artist as a pictorial allusion to the
smallness of the Consul's pay; the illustration over the shabby gateway
utters, 'Behold my leanness! 150l. per annum!'

"I feel a touch of the poetic stealing over me when I look at my
departing donkey. 'I never loved a dear gazelle,' &c.: but the practical
question, 'Who is to carry the portmanteau?' remains unanswered. I do
not believe the Turks have any intention of going to Kamrasi's country;
they are afraid, as they have heard that he is a powerful king, and they
fear the restrictions that power will place upon their felonious
propensities. In that case I shall go on without them; but they have
deceived me, by borrowing 165 lbs. of beads which they cannot repay;
this puts me to much inconvenience. The Asua river is still impassable,
according to native reports; this will, prevent a general advance south.
Should the rains cease, the river will fall rapidly, and I shall make a
forward move and escape this prison of high grass and inaction."

"Oct. 11th.--Lions roaring every night, but not visible. I set my men to
work to construct a fortified camp, a simple oblong of palisades with
two flanking projections at opposite angles to command all approaches;
the lazy scoundrels are sulky in consequence. Their daily occupation is
drinking merissa, sleeping, and strumming on the rababa, while that of
the black women is quarrelling--one ebony sister insulting the other by
telling her that she is as 'black as the kettle,' and recommending her,
'to eat poison.'"

"Oct. 17th.--I expect an attack of fever tomorrow or next day, as I
understand from constant and painful experiences every step of this
insidious disease. For some days one feels a certain uneasiness of
spirits difficult to explain; no peculiar symptom is observed until a
day or two before the attack, when great lassitude is felt, with a
desire to sleep. Rheumatic pains in the loins, back, and joints of the
limbs are accompanied by a sense of great weakness. A cold fit comes on
very quickly; this is so severe that it almost immediately affects the
stomach, producing painful vomiting with severe retching. The eyes are
heavy and painful, the head hot and aching, the extremities pale and
cold, pulse very weak, and about fifty-six beats per minute; the action
of the heart distressingly weak, with total prostration of strength.
This shivering and vomiting continues for about two hours, attended with
great difficulty of breathing. The hot stage then comes on, the retching
still continuing, with the difficulty of breathing, intense weakness and
restlessness for about an hour and a half, which, should the remedies be
successful, terminate in profuse perspiration and sleep. The attack
ends, leaving the stomach in a dreadful state of weakness. The fever is
remittent, the attack returning almost at the same hour every two days,
and reducing the patient rapidly to a mere skeleton; the stomach refuses
to act, and death ensues. Any severe action of the mind, such as grief
or anger, is almost certain to be succeeded by fever in this country. My
stock of quinine is reduced to a few grains, and my work lies before me;
my cattle are all dead. We are both weakened by repeated fever, and
travelling must be on foot."



For months we dragged on a miserable existence at Obbo, wrecked by
fever; the quinine exhausted; thus the disease worried me almost to
death, returning at intervals of a few days. Fortunately my wife did not
suffer so much as I did. I had nevertheless prepared for the journey
south; and as travelling on foot would have been impossible in our weak
state, I had purchased and trained three oxen in lieu of horses. They
were named "Beef," "Steaks," and "Suet." "Beef" was a magnificent
animal, but having been bitten by the flies, he so lost his condition
that I changed his name to "Bones." We were ready to start, and the
natives reported that early in January the Asua would be fordable. I had
arranged with Ibrahim that he should supply me with porters for payment
in copper bracelets, and that he should accompany me with one hundred
men to Kamrasi's country (Unyoro), on condition that he would restrain
his people from all misdemeanours, and that they should be entirely
subservient to me. It was the month of December, and during the nine
months that I had been in correspondence with his party I had succeeded
in acquiring an extraordinary influence. Although my camp was nearly
three-quarters of a mile from their zareeba, I had been besieged daily
for many months for everything that was wanted; my camp was a kind of
general store that appeared to be inexhaustible. I gave all that I had
with a good grace, and thereby gained the goodwill of the robbers,
especially as my large medicine chest contained a supply of drugs that
rendered me in their eyes a physician of the first importance. I had
been very successful with my patients; and the medicines that I
generally used being those which produced a very decided effect, both
the Turks and natives considered them with perfect faith. There was
seldom any difficulty in prognosticating the effect of tartar emetic,
and this became the favourite drug that was applied for almost daily; a
dose of three grains enchanting the patient, who always advertised my
fame by saying, "He told me I should be sick, and, by Allah! there was
no mistake about it." Accordingly there was a great run upon the tartar
emetic. Many people in Debono's camp had died, including several of my
deserters who had joined them. News was brought that, in three separate
fights with the natives, my deserters had been killed on every occasion,
and my men and those of Ibrahim unhesitatingly declared it was the "hand
of God." None of Ibrahim's men had died since we left Latooka. One man,
who had been badly wounded by a lance thrust through his abdomen, I
successfully treated; the trading party, who would at one time gladly
have exterminated me, now exclaimed, "What shall we do when the Sowar
(traveller) leaves the country?" Mrs. Baker had been exceedingly kind
to the women and children of both the traders and natives, and together
we had created so favourable an impression that we were always referred
to as umpires in every dispute. My own men, although indolent, were so
completely disciplined that they would not have dared to disobey an
order, and they looked back upon their former mutinous conduct with
surprise at their own audacity, and declared that they feared to return
to Khartoum, as they were sure that I should not forgive them.

I had promised Ibrahim that I would use my influence with the King of
Unyoro to procure him the ivory of that country;--I had a good supply
of beads, while Ibrahim had none; thus he was dependent upon me for
opening the road. Everything looked fair, and had I been strong and well
I should have enjoyed the future prospect; but I was weak and almost
useless, and weighed down with anxiety lest I might die and my wife
would be left alone.

The rains had ceased, and the wild grapes were ripe the natives brought
them in great quantities in exchange for a few beads. They were in
extremely large bunches, invariably black, and of a good size, but not
juicy--the flavour was good, and they were most refreshing, and
certainly benefited my health. I pressed about two hundred pounds of
grapes in the large sponging bath, but procured so little juice, and
that so thick, that winemaking proved a failure; it fermented, and we
drank it, but it was not wine. One day, hearing a great noise of voices
and blowing of horns in the direction of Katchiba's residence, I sent to
inquire the cause. The old chief himself appeared very angry and
excited. He said, that his people were very bad, that they had been
making a great noise and finding fault with him because he had not
supplied them with a few showers, as they wanted to sow their crop of
tullaboon. There had been no rain for about a fortnight.

"Well," I replied, "you are the rainmaker; why don't you give your
people rain?" "Give my people rain!" said Katchiba. "I give them rain if
they don't give me goats? You don't know my people; if I am fool enough
to give them rain before they give me the goats, they would let me
starve! No, no! let them wait--if they don't bring me supplies of corn,
goats, fowls, yams, merissa, and all that I require, not one drop of
rain shall ever fall again in Obbo! Impudent brutes are my people! Do
you know, they have positively threatened to kill me unless I bring the
rain? They shan't have a drop; I will wither the crops, and bring a
plague upon their flocks. I'll teach these rascals to insult me!"

With all this bluster, I saw that old Katchiba was in a great dilemma,
and that he would give anything for a shower, but that he did not know
how to get out of the scrape. It was a common freak of the tribes to
sacrifice the rainmaker, should he be unsuccessful. He suddenly altered
his tone, and asked, "Have you any rain in your country?" I replied that
we had, every now and then. "How do you bring it? Are you a rainmaker?"
I told him that no one believed in rainmakers in our country, but that
we understood how to bottle lightning (meaning electricity). "I don't
keep mine in bottles, but I have a houseful of thunder and lightning,"
he most coolly replied; "but if you can bottle lightning you must
understand rainmaking.

"What do you think of the weather today?" I immediately saw the drift of
the cunning old Katchiba; he wanted professional advice. I replied,
that he must know all about it, as he was a regular rainmaker. "Of
course I do," he answered, "but I want to know what YOU think of it."
"Well," I said, "I don't think we shall have any steady rain, but I
think we may have a heavy shower in about four days." (I said this as I
had observed fleecy clouds gathering daily in the afternoon). "Just my
opinion!" said Katchiba, delighted; "in four or perhaps in five days I
intend to give them one shower; just one shower; yes, I'll just step
down to them now, and tell the rascals, that if they will bring me some
goats by this evening, and some corn tomorrow morning, I will give them
in four or five days just one shower." To give effect to his declaration
he gave several toots upon his magic whistle. "Do you use whistles in
your country?" inquired Katchiba. I only replied by giving so shrill and
deafening a whistle on my fingers that Katchiba stopped his ears; and
relapsing into a smile of admiration he took a glance at the sky from
the doorway to see if any sudden effect bad been produced. "Whistle
again," he said; and once more I performed like the whistle of a
locomotive. "That will do, we shall have it," said the cunning old
rainmaker; and proud of having so knowingly obtained "counsel's opinion"
on his case, he toddled off to his impatient subjects.

In a few days a sudden storm of rain and violent thunder added to
Katchiba's renown, and after the shower, horns were blowing and nogaras
were beating in honour of their chief. Entre nous, my whistle was
considered infallible.

The natives were busy sowing the new crop just as the last crop was
ripening. It did not appear likely that they would reap much for their
labour, as the elephants, having an accurate knowledge of the season,
visited their fields nightly, and devoured and trampled the greater
portion. I had been too ill to think of shooting, as there was no other
method than to watch in the tullaboon fields at night; the high grass in
which the elephants harboured being impenetrable. Feeling a little
better I took my men to the field about a mile from the village, and dug
a hole, in which I intended to watch.

That night I took Richarn, and we sat together in our narrow grave.
There was no sound throughout the night. I was well wrapped up in a
Scotch plaid, but an attack of ague came on, and I shivered as though in
Lapland. I had several rifles in the grave; among others the "Baby,"
that carried a half-pound explosive shell. At about 4 A.M. I heard the
distant trumpet of an elephant, and I immediately ordered Richarn to
watch, and to report to me their arrival. It was extremely dark, but
Richarn presently sank slowly down, and whispered, "Here they are!"

Taking the "Baby," I quietly rose, and listening attentively, I could
distinctly hear the elephants tearing off the heads of the tullaboon,
and crunching the crisp grain. I could distinguish the dark forms of the
herd about thirty paces from me, but much too indistinct for a shot. I
stood with my elbows resting on the edge of the hole, and the heavy
rifle balanced, waiting for an opportunity. I had a papersight arranged
for night shooting, and I several times tried to get the line of an
elephant's shoulder, but to no purpose; I could distinguish the sight
clearly, but not the elephant. As I was watching the herd I suddenly
heard a trumpet close to my left, and I perceived an elephant quickly
walking exactly towards my grave. I waited with the rifle at my shoulder
until he was within about twelve paces; I then whistled, and he stopped,
and turned quickly, exposing his side. Taking the line of the foreleg, I
fired at the shoulder. The tremendous flash and smoke of ten drachms of
powder completely blinded me, and the sudden reaction of darkness
increased the obscurity. I could distinguish nothing; but I heard a
heavy fall, and a few moments after I could hear a rustling in the grass
as the herd of elephants retreated into the grass jungles. Richarn
declared that the elephant had fallen; but I again heard a rustling in
the high grass jungle within eighty yards of me, and this sound
continued in the same place. I accordingly concluded that the elephant
was very badly wounded, and that he could not move from the spot.
Nothing could be seen.

At length the birds began to chirp, and the "blacksmith" (as I named one
of the first to wake, whose two sharp ringing notes exactly resemble the
blows of a hammer upon an anvil) told me that it was nearly daybreak.
The grey of morning had just appeared when I heard voices, and I saw
Mrs. Baker coming along the field with a party of men, whom she had
brought down from the village with knives and axes. She had heard the
roar of the heavy rifle, and knowing the "Baby's" scream, and the usual
fatal effects, she had considered the elephant as bagged. The natives
had also heard the report, and people began to accumulate from all
quarters for the sake of the flesh. The elephant was not dead, but was
standing about ten yards within the grass jungle; however, in a short
time a heavy fall sounded his knell, and the crowd rushed in. He was a
fine bull, and before I allowed him to be cut up, I sent for the
measuring tape; the result being as follows:

From tip of trunk to fleshy end of tail . . . 26 feet 0.5 inches
Height from shoulder to forefoot in a perpendicular line 10 ft 6.5 in
Girth of forefoot .. . . . . . . . . . 4 ft 10.25 in
Length of one tusk in the curve . . . . . . . 6 ft 6 in
Ditto of fellow tusk (el Hadam, the servant) . . . . 5 ft 11 in
Weight of tusks, 80 lbs. and 69 lbs. = 149 lbs.

The ridiculous accounts that I have read, stating that the height of
elephants attains FIFTEEN feet, is simply laughable ignorance. A
difference of a foot in an elephant's height is enormous; he appears a
giant among his lesser comrades. Observe the difference between a horse
sixteen hands high and a pony of thirteen hands, and the difference of a
foot in the height of a quadruped is exemplified. The word being given,
the crowd rushed upon the elephant, and about three hundred people were
attacking the carcase with knives and lances. About a dozen men were
working inside as though in a tunnel; they had chosen this locality as
being near to the fat, which was greatly coveted.

A few days later I attempted to set fire to the grass jungle, but it
would not burn thoroughly, leaving scorched stems that were rendered
still tougher by the fire. On the following evening I took a stroll over
the burnt ground to look for game. No elephants had visited the spot;
but as I was walking along expecting nothing, up jumped a wild boar and
sow from the entrance of a large hole of the Manis, or great scaled
anteater. Being thus taken by surprise, the boar very imprudently
charged me, and was immediately knocked over dead by a shot through the
spine from the little Fletcher rifle, while the left-hand barrel rolled
over his companion, who almost immediately recovered and disappeared in
the grass jungle; however, there was pork for those who liked it, and I
went to the camp and sent a number of natives to bring it home. The Obbo
people were delighted, as it was their favourite game, but none of my
people would touch the unclean animal. The wild pigs of this country
live underground; they take possession of the holes made by the Manis:
these they enlarge and form cool and secure retreats.

A bad attack of fever laid me up until the 31st of December. On the
first day of January, 1864, I was hardly able to stand, and was nearly
worn out at the very time that I required my strength, as we were to
start south in a few days.

Although my quinine had been long since exhausted, I had reserved ten
grains to enable me to start in case the fever should attack me at the
time of departure. I now swallowed my last dose, and on 3d January, I
find the following note in my journal: "All ready for a start tomorrow.
I trust the year 1864 will bring better luck than the past, that having
been the most annoying that I have ever experienced, and full of fever.
I hope now to reach Kamrasi's country in a fortnight, and to obtain
guides from him direct to the lake. My Latooka, to whom I have been very
kind, has absconded: there is no difference in any of these savages; if
hungry, they will fawn upon you, and when filled, they will desert. I
believe that ten years' residence in the Soudan and this country would
spoil an Angel, and would turn the best heart to stone."

It was difficult to procure porters, therefore I left all my effects at
my camp in charge of two of my men, and I determined to travel light,
without the tent, and to take little beyond ammunition and cooking
utensils. Ibrahim left forty-five men in his zareeba, and on the 5th of
January we started. Mrs. Baker rode her ox, but my animal being very
shy, I ordered him to be driven for about a mile with the others to
accustom him to the crowd: not approving of the expedition, he bolted
into the high grass with my English saddle, and I never saw him again.
In my weak state I had to walk. We had not gone far when a large fly
fastened upon Mrs. Baker's ox, just by his tail, the effect of which was
to produce so sudden a kick and plunge, that he threw her to the ground
and hurt her considerably: she accordingly changed the animal, and rode
a splendid ox that Ibrahim very civilly offered. I had to walk to the
Atabbi, about eighteen miles, which, although a pleasant stroll when in
good health, I found rather fatiguing. We bivouacked on the south bank
of the Atabbi.

The next morning, after a walk of about eight miles, I purchased of one
of the Turks the best ox that I have ever ridden, at the price of a
double-barrelled gun---it was a great relief to be well mounted, as I
was quite unfit for a journey on foot.

At 4.30 P.m. we arrived at one of the villages of Farajoke. The
character of the country had entirely changed; instead of the rank and
superabundant vegetation of Obbo, we were in a beautiful open country,
naturally drained by its undulating character, and abounding in most
beautiful low pasturage. Vast herds of cattle belonged to the different
villages, but these had all been driven to concealment, as the report
had been received that the Turks were approaching. The country was
thickly populated, but the natives appeared very mistrustful; the Turks
immediately entered the villages, and ransacked the granaries for corn,
digging up the yams, and helping themselves to everything as though
quite at home. I was on a beautiful grass sward on the gentle slope of a
hill: here I arranged to bivouac for the night.

In three days' march from this point through beautiful park-like
country, we arrived at the Asua river. The entire route from Farajoke
had been a gentle descent, and I found this point of the Asua in lat N.
3 degrees 12 minutes to be 2,875 feet above the sea level, 1,091 feet
lower than Farajoke. The river was a hundred and twenty paces broad, and
from the bed to the top of the perpendicular banks was about fifteen
feet. At this season it was almost dry, and a narrow channel of about
six inches deep flowed through the centre of the otherwise exhausted
river. The bed was much obstructed by rocks, and the inclination was so
rapid that I could readily conceive the impossibility of crossing it
during the rains. It formed the great drain of the country, all its
waters flowing to the Nile, but during the dry months it was most
insignificant. The country between Farajoke and the Asua, although
lovely, was very thinly populated, and the only villages that I saw were
built upon low hills of bare granite, which lay in huge piles of
disjointed fragments.

On arrival at the river, while the men were washing in the clear stream,
I took a rifle and strolled along the margin; I shortly observed a herd
of the beautiful Mehedehet antelopes feeding upon the rich but low grass
of a sandbank in the very centre of the river. Stalking them to within a
hundred and twenty paces they obtained my wind, and, ceasing to graze,
they gazed intently at me. I was on the high bank among the bushes, and
I immediately picked out the biggest, and fired, missing my mark. All
dashed away except the animal at which I fired, who stood in uncertainty
for a few moments, when the second barrel of the Fletcher 24 rifle
knocked him over, striking him through the neck. Hearing the quick
double shot, my people came running to the spot, accompanied by a number
of the native porters, and were rejoiced to find a good supply of meat;
the antelope weighed about five hundred pounds, and was sufficient to
afford a good dinner for the whole party.

The Mehedehet is about 13 hands high, with rough, brown hair like the
Samber deer of India. Our resting-place was on the dry, rocky bed of the
river, close to the edge of the shallow but clear stream that rippled
over the uneven surface. Some beautiful tamarind trees afforded a most
agreeable shade, and altogether it was a charming place to bivouac.
Although at Obbo the grass was not sufficiently dry to burn, in this
country it was reduced to a crisp straw, and I immediately set fire to
the prairies; the wind was strong, and we had a grand blaze, the flames
crackling and leaping about thirty feet high, and sweeping along with so
mad a fury that within an hour the entire country was a continuous line
of fire. Not a trace of vegetation remained behind; the country appeared
as though covered with a pall of black velvet. Returning from my work, I
found my camping place well arranged--beds prepared, and a good dinner
ready of antelope soup and cutlets. On waking the next morning, I found
that the Turks had all disappeared during the night, and that I was
alone with my people. It was shortly explained that they had departed to
attack some village, to which they were guided by some natives who had
accompanied them from Farajoke.

I accordingly took my rifle and strolled along the margin of the river
to look for game, accompanied by two of my porters. Although it was a
most likely country, being a natural park well timbered, with a river
flowing through the midst, there was a great scarcity of wild animals.
At length, in crossing a ravine that had stopped the progress of the
fire, an antelope (water buck) jumped out of a hollow, and, rushing
through the high grass, he exposed himself for an instant in crossing
the summit of a bare knoll, and received a ball from the little Fletcher
in the hindquarters. Although badly wounded, he was too nimble for my
natives, who chased him with their spears for about a quarter of a mile.
These fellows tracked him beautifully, and we at length found him hiding
in a deep pool in the river, and he was immediately dispatched.

After a long walk, during which I did not obtain another shot, I
returned to my resting-place, and, refreshed by a bathe in the cool
river, I slept as sound as though in the most luxurious bed in England.
On the following morning I went out early, and shot a small species of
antelope; and shortly after my return to breakfast, the Turks' party
arrived, bringing with them about three hundred head of cattle that they
had captured from the Madi tribe. They did not seem at all in good
spirits, and I shortly heard that they had lost their standard-bearer,
killed in the fight, and that the flag had been in great peril, and had
been saved by the courage of a young Bari slave. The ensign was
separated from the main party, and was attacked by four natives, who
killed the bearer, and snatched away the flag: this would inevitably
have been lost, had not the Bari boy of about fifteen shot the foremost
native dead with a pistol, and, snatching the flag from his hands, ran
with it towards the Turks, some of whom coming up at that instant, the
natives did not think it wise to pursue their advantage. A number of
slaves had been captured; among others, several young children, one of
whom was an infant. These unfortunate women and children, excepting the
infant, were all tied by the neck with a long leathern thong, so as to
form a living chain, and guards were set over them to prevent escape.

The Bari natives would make good soldiers, as they are far more
courageous than most of the savage tribes. The best men among the party
of Ibrahim are Baris; among them is a boy named Arnout; he is the
drummer, and he once saved his master in a fight by suddenly presenting
his drumstick like a pistol at several natives, who had attacked him
while unloaded. The natives, seeing the determined attitude of the boy,
and thinking that the drumstick was a firearm, ran off. We started at
daybreak on 13th January, and, ascending the whole way, we reached
Shooa, in latitude 3 degrees 4 minutes. The route throughout had been of
the same parklike character, interspersed with occasional hills of fine
granite, piled in the enormous blocks so characteristic of that stone.

Shooa was a lovely place. A fine granite mountain ascended in one block
in a sheer precipice for about 800 feet from its base, perfectly abrupt
on the eastern side, while the other portions of the mountain were
covered with fine forest trees, and picturesquely dotted over with
villages. This country formed a natural park, remarkably well watered by
numerous rivulets, ornamented with fine timber, and interspersed with
numerous high rocks of granite, which from a distance produced the
effect of ruined castles.

The pasturage was of a superior quality, and of the same description as
that of Farajoke. The country being undulating, there was a small brook
in every valley that formed a natural drain. Accordingly, the more
elevated land was remarkably dry and healthy. On arrival at the foot of
the abrupt mountain, we camped beneath an immense india-rubber tree,
that afforded a delightful shade, from which elevated spot we had a
superb view of the surrounding country, and could see the position of
Debono's camp, about twenty-five miles to the west by north, at the foot
of the Faloro hills.

By Casella's thermometer, I determined the altitude of Shooa to be 3,877
feet--1,002 feet above the Asua river, and 89 feet lower than
Farajoke. These observations of the thermometer agreed with the natural
appearance of the country, the Asua river forming the main drain in a
deep valley, into which innumerable rivulets convey the drainage from
both north and south. Accordingly, the Asua, receiving the Atabbi river,
which is the main drain of the western face of the Madi mountains, and
the entire drainage of the Madi and Shooa countries, together with that
of extensive countries to the east of Shooa, including the rivers Chombi
and Udat, from Lira and Umiro, it becomes a tremendous torrent so long
as the rains continue, and conveys a grand volume of water to the Nile;
but the inclination of all these countries tending rapidly to the
northwest, the bed of the Asua river partakes of the general incline,
and so quickly empties after the cessation of the rains that it becomes
nil as a river. By the mean of several observations I determined the
latitude of Shooa 3 degrees 04 minutes, longitude 32 degrees 04 minutes

We were now about twelve miles south of Debono's outpost, Faloro. The
whole of the Shooa country was assumed to belong to Mahommed Wat-el-Mek,
the vakeel of Debono, and we had passed the ashes of several villages
that had been burnt and plundered by these people between Farajoke and
this point; the entire country had been laid waste.

There was no great chief at Shooa; each village had a separate headman;
formerly the population had occupied the lower ground, but since the
Turks had been established at Faloro and had plundered the neighbouring
tribes, the natives had forsaken their villages and had located
themselves among the mountains for security. It was the intention of
Ibrahim to break through the rules accepted by the White Nile traders,
and to establish himself at Shooa, which, although claimed by Debono's
people, would form an excellent point d'appui for operations towards the
unknown south.

Shooa was "flowing with milk and honey;" fowls, butter, goats, were in
abundance and ridiculously cheap; beads were of great value, as few had
ever reached that country. The women flocked to see Mrs. Baker, bringing
presents of milk and flour, and receiving beads and bracelets in return.
The people were precisely the same as those of Obbo and Farajoke in
language and appearance, exceedingly mild in their manner, and anxious
to be on good terms.

The cultivation in this country was superior to anything that I had seen
farther north; large quantities of sesame were grown and carefully
harvested, the crop being gathered and arranged in oblong frames about
twenty feet long by twelve high. These were inclined at an angle of
about sixty--the pods of the sesame plants on one face, so that the
frames resembled enormous brushes. In this manner the crop was dried
previous to being stored in the granaries. Of the latter there were two
kinds---the wicker-work smeared with cow dung, supported on four posts,
with a thatched roof; and a simple contrivance by fixing a stout pole
about twenty feet long perpendicularly in the earth. About four feet
from the ground a bundle of strong and long reeds are tied tightly round
the pole; hoops of wicker-work are then bound round them at intervals
until they assume the form of an inverted umbrella half expanded; this
being filled with grain, fresh reeds are added, until the work has
extended to within a few feet of the top of the pole; the whole is then
capped with reeds securely strapped: the entire granary has the
appearance of a cigar, but thicker in proportion about the middle.

Two days after our arrival at Shooa, the whole of our Obbo porters
absconded: they had heard that we were bound for Kamrasi's country, and
having received exaggerated accounts of his power from the Shooa people,
they had determined upon retreat: thus we were at once unable to
proceed, unless we could procure porters from Shooa. This was
exceedingly difficult, as Kamrasi was well known here, and was not
loved. His country was known as "Quanda," and I at once recognised the
corruption of Speke's "Uganda." The slave woman, "Bacheeta," who had
formerly given me in Obbo so much information concerning Kamrasi's
country, was to be our interpreter; but we also had the luck to discover
a lad who had formerly been employed by Mahommed in Faloro, who also
spoke the language of Quanda, and had learnt a little Arabic. I now
discovered that the slave woman Bacheeta had formerly been in the
service of a chief named Sali, who had been killed by Kamrasi. Sali was
a friend of Rionga (Kamrasi's greatest enemy), and I had been warned by
Speke not to set foot upon Rionga's territory, or all travelling in
Unyoro would be cut off. I plainly saw that Bacheeta was in favour of
Rionga, as a friend of the murdered Sali, by whom she had had two
children, and that she would most likely tamper with the guide, and that
we should be led to Rionga instead of to Kamrasi. There were "wheels
within wheels." It was now reported that in the past year, immediately
after the departure of Speke and Grant from Gondokoro, when Debono's
people had left me in the manner already described, they had marched
direct to Rionga, allied themselves to him, crossed the Nile with his
people, and had attacked Kamrasi's country, killing about three hundred
of his men, and capturing many slaves. I now understood why they had
deceived me at Gondokoro; they had obtained information of the country
from Speke's people, and had made use of it by immediately attacking
Kamrasi in conjunction with Rionga.

This would be a pleasant introduction for me on entering Unyoro, as
almost immediately after the departure of Speke and Grant, Kamrasi had
been invaded by the very people into whose hands his messengers had
delivered them, when they were guided from Unyoro to the Turks' station
at Faloro; he would naturally have considered that the Turks had been
sent by Speke to attack him; thus the road appeared closed to all
exploration, through the atrocities of Debono's people.

Many of Ibrahim's men, at hearing this intelligence, refused to proceed
to Unyoro. Fortunately for me, Ibrahim had been extremely unlucky in
procuring ivory; the year had almost passed away, and he had a mere
nothing with which to return to Gondokoro. I impressed upon him how
enraged Koorshid would be should he return with such a trifle; already
his own men declared that he was neglecting razzias, because he was to
receive a present from me if we reached Unyoro; this they would report
to his master (Koorshid), and it would be believed should he fail in
securing ivory. I guaranteed him 100 cantars (10,000 lbs.) if he would
push on at all hazards with me to Kamrasi, and secure me porters from
Shooa. Ibrahim behaved remarkably well. For some time past I had
acquired a great influence over him, and he depended so thoroughly upon
my opinion that he declared himself ready to do all that I suggested.
Accordingly I desired him to call his men together, and to leave in
Shooa all those who were disinclined to follow us.

At once I arranged for a start, lest some fresh idea should enter the
ever-suspicious brains of our followers, and mar the expedition.

It was difficult to procure porters, and I abandoned all that was not
indispensable--our last few pounds of rice and coffee, and even the
great sponging-bath, that emblem of civilization that had been clung to
even when the tent had been left behind.

On the 18th January, 1864, we left Shooa. The pure air of that country
had invigorated us, and I was so improved in strength, that I enjoyed
the excitement of the launch into unknown lands. The Turks knew nothing
of the route south, and I accordingly took the lead of the entire party.
I had come to a distinct understanding with Ibrahim that Kamrasi's
country should belong to ME; not an act of felony would be permitted;
all were to be under my government, and I would insure him at least 100
cantars of tusks.

Eight miles of agreeable march through the usual parklike country
brought us to the village of Fatiko, situated upon a splendid plateau of
rock upon elevated ground with beautiful granite cliffs, bordering a
level tableland of fine grass that would have formed a racecourse. The
high rocks were covered with natives, perched upon the outline like a
flock of ravens.

We halted to rest under some fine trees growing among large isolated
blocks of granite and gneiss. In a short time the natives assembled
around us: they were wonderfully friendly, and insisted upon a personal
introduction to both myself and Mrs. Baker. We were thus compelled to
hold a levee; not the passive and cold ceremony of Europe, but a most
active undertaking, as each native that was introduced performed the
salaam of his country, by seizing both my hands and raising my arms
three times to their full stretch above my head. After about one hundred
Fatikos had been thus gratified by our submission to this infliction,
and our arms had been subjected to at least three hundred stretches
each, I gave the order to saddle the oxen immediately, and we escaped a
further proof of Fatiko affection that was already preparing, as masses
of natives were streaming down the rocks hurrying to be introduced.
Notwithstanding the fatigue of the ceremony, I took a great fancy to
these poor people: they had prepared a quantity of merissa and a sheep
for our lunch, which they begged us to remain and enjoy before we
started; but the pumping action of half a village not yet gratified by a
presentation was too much; and, mounting our oxen, with aching shoulders
we bade adieu to Fatiko.

Descending the picturesque rocky hill of Fatiko, we entered upon a
totally distinct country. We had now before us an interminable sea of
prairies, covering to the horizon a series of gentle undulations
inclining from east to west. There were no trees except the dolape
palms; these were scattered at long intervals in the bright yellow
surface of high grass. The path was narrow, but good, and after an
hour's march we halted for the night on the banks of a deep and clear
stream, the Un-y-ame;--this stream is perennial, and receiving many
rivulets from Shooa, it forms a considerable torrent during the rainy
season, and joins the Nile in N. lat. 3 degrees 32 minutes at the limit
reached by Signor Miani, 1859, the first traveller who ever attained a
point so far south in Nile explorations from Egypt. There was no wood
for fires, neither dung of animals; thus without fuel we went supperless
to bed. Although the sun was painfully hot during the day, the nights
were so cold (about 55 degrees F) that we could hardly sleep.

For two days we marched through high dry grass, (about ten feet), when a
clear night allowed an observation, and the meridian altitude of Capella
gave latitude 2 degrees 45 minutes 37 seconds. In this interminable sea
of prairie it was interesting to watch our progress south. On the
following day our guide lost the road; a large herd of elephants had
obscured it by trampling hundreds of paths in all directions. The wind
was strong from the north, and I proposed to clear the country to the
south by firing the prairies. There were numerous deep swamps in the
bottoms between the undulations, and upon arrival at one of these green
dells we fired the grass on the opposite side. In a few minutes it
roared before us, and we enjoyed the grand sight of the boundless
prairies blazing like infernal regions, and rapidly clearing a path
south. Flocks of buzzards and the beautiful varieties of flycatchers
thronged to the dense smoke to prey upon the innumerable insects that
endeavoured to escape from the approaching fire.

In about an hour we marched over the black and smoking ground, every now
and then meeting dead stumps of palm trees blazing; until we at length
reached another swamp. There the fire had terminated in its course
south, being stopped by the high green reeds, and it was raging to the
east and west. Again the tedious operation had to be performed, and the
grass was fired in many places on the opposite side of the swamp, while
we waited until the cleared way was sufficiently cool to allow the
march. We were perfectly black, as the wind brought showers of ashes
that fell like snow, but turned us into Ethiopians. I had led the way on
foot from the hour we left Fatiko, as, the country being uninhabited for
five days' march between that place and Kamrasi's, the men had more
faith in my steering by the compass than they had in the native guide. I
felt sure that we were being deceived, and that the woman Bacheeta had
directed the guide to take us to Rionga's. Accordingly that night, when
Canopus was in the meridian, I asked our conductor to point by a star
the direction of Karuma Falls. He immediately pointed to Canopus, which
I knew by Speke's map should be the direction of Rionga's islands, and I
charged him with the deceit. He appeared very much astonished, and asked
me "why I wanted a guide if I knew the way?" confessing that Karuma
Falls were "a little to the east of the star." I thanked Speke and Grant
at that moment, and upon many other occasions, for the map they had so
generously given me! It has been my greatest satisfaction to have
completed their great discovery, and to bear testimony to the
correctness of their map and general observations.

The march was exceedingly fatiguing: there was a swamp at least every
half hour during the day, at each of which we had the greatest
difficulty in driving the oxen, who were above the girths in mud. One
swamp was so deep that we had to carry the luggage piecemeal on an
angarep by about twelve men, and my wife being subjected to the same
operation was too heavy, and the people returned with her as
impracticable. I accordingly volunteered for service, and carried her on
my back; but when in the middle of the swamp, the tenacious bottom gave
way, and I sank, and remained immoveably fixed, while she floundered
froglike in the muddy water. I was extricated by the united efforts of
several men, and she was landed by being dragged through the swamp. We
marched for upwards of ten hours per day, so great were the delays in
crossing the morasses and in clearing off the grass jungle by burning.

On the fourth day we left the prairies, and entered a noble forest; this
was also so choked with high grass that it was impossible to proceed
without burning the country in advance. There had been no semblance of a
path for some time; and the only signs of game that we had seen were the
tracks of elephants and a large herd of buffaloes, the fire having
scared all wild animals from the neighbourhood. An attack of fever
seized me suddenly, and I was obliged to lie down for four or five hours
under a tree until the fit had passed away, when, weak and good for
nothing, I again mounted my ox and rode on. On the 22d January, from an
elevated position in the forest at sunrise, we saw a cloud of fog
hanging in a distant valley, which betokened the presence of the
Somerset river. The guide assured us that we should reach the river that
day. I extract the note from my journal on that occasion:

"Marched, 6h. 20m., reaching the Somerset river, or Victoria White Nile.
I never made so tedious a journey, owing to the delays of grass,
streams, and deep swamps, but since we gained the forest these obstacles
were not so numerous. Many tracks of elephants, rhinoceros, and
buffaloes; but we saw nothing. Halted about eighty feet above the river;
altitude above sea level, by observation, 3,864 ft. I went to the river
to see if the other side was inhabited; saw two villages on an island;
the natives came across in a canoe, bringing the BROTHER OF RIONGA with
them; the guide, as I had feared during the journey, has deceived us,
and taken us direct to Rionga's country. On the north side the river all
is uninhabited forest, full of buffalo and elephant pitfalls, into which
three of our cattle have already fallen, including my beautiful riding
ox, which is thus so sprained as to be rendered useless. "The natives at
first supposed we were Mahommed Wat-el-Mek's people, but finding their
mistake they would give no information, merely saying that the lake was
not far from here. They said 'they were friends of Mahommed's people who
attacked Kamrasi, and Rionga being his enemy became their ally.' I must
now be very careful, lest the news should reach Kamrasi that I am in
Rionga's country, which would cut off all chance of travelling in
Unyoro. "The slave woman, Bacheeta, secretly instructed the guide to
lead us to Rionga instead of to Kamrasi, precisely as I had suspected.
The Karuma Falls are a day's march east of this, at which point we must
cross the river. Obtained a clear observation of Capella, meridian
altitude showing latitude 2 degrees 18 minutes N."

We could get no supplies from Rionga's people, who returned to their
island after their conference with Bacheeta, promising to send us some
plantains and a basket of flour; but upon gaining their secure retreat
they shouted, "that we might go to Kamrasi if we liked, but that we
should receive no assistance from them." Early in the morning we started
for Karuma. This part of the forest was perfectly open, as the grass had
been burnt by the natives about three weeks ago, and the young shoots of
the vines were appearing from the scorched roots; among other plants was
an abundance of the prickly asparagus, of which I collected a basketful.
Nothing could exceed the beauty of the march. Our course through the
noble forest was parallel with the river, that roared beneath us on our
right in a succession of rapids and falls between high cliffs covered
with groves of bananas and varieties of palms, including the graceful
wild date---the certain sign of either marsh or river. The Victoria Nile
or Somerset river was about 150 yards wide; the cliffs on the south side
were higher than those upon the north, being about 150 feet above the
river. These heights were thronged with natives, who had collected from
the numerous villages that ornamented the cliffs situated among groves
of plantains; they were armed with spears and shields; the population
ran parallel to our line of march, shouting and gesticulating as though
daring us to cross the river.

After a most enjoyable march through the exciting scene of the glorious
river crashing over innumerable falls--and in many places ornamented
with rocky islands, upon which were villages and plantain groves--we at
length approached the Karuma Falls, close to the village of Atada above
the ferry. The heights were crowded with natives, and a canoe was sent
across to within parleying distance of our side, as the roar of the
rapids prevented our voices from being heard except at a short distance.
Bacheeta now explained, that SPEKE'S BROTHER had arrived from his
country to pay Kamrasi a visit, and had brought him valuable presents."

"Why has he brought so many men with him?" inquired the people from the

"There are so many presents for the M'Kamma (King) that he has many men
to carry them," shouted Bacheeta.

"Let us look at him!" cried the headman in the boat: having prepared for
the introduction by changing my clothes in a grove of plantains for my
dressing room, and altering my costume to a tweed suit, something
similar to that worn by Speke, I climbed up a high and almost
perpendicular rock that formed a natural pinnacle on the face of the
cliff, and, waving my cap to the crowd on the opposite side, I looked
almost as imposing as Nelson in Trafalgar Square.

I instructed Bacheeta, who climbed up the giddy height after me, to
shout to the people that an English lady, my wife, had also arrived, and
that we wished immediately to be presented to the king and his family,
as we had come to thank him for his kind treatment of Speke and Grant,
who had arrived safe in their own county. Upon this being explained and
repeated several times, the canoe approached the shore.

I ordered all our people to retire, and to conceal themselves among the
plantains, that the natives might not be startled by so imposing a
force, while Mrs. Baker and I advanced alone to meet Kamrasi's people,
who were men of some importance. Upon landing through the high reeds,
they immediately recognized the similarity of my beard and general
complexion to that of Speke; and their welcome was at once displayed by
the most extravagant dancing and gesticulating with lances and shields,
as though intending to attack, rushing at me with the points of their
lances thrust close to my face, and shouting and singing in great

I made each of them a present of a bead necklace, and explained to them
my wish that there should be no delay in my presentation to Kamrasi, as
Speke had complained that he bad been kept waiting fifteen days before
the king had condescended to see him; that, if this occurred, no
Englishman would ever visit him, as such a reception would be considered
an insult. The headman replied that he felt sure I was not an impostor;
but that very shortly after the departure of Speke and Grant in the
previous year, a number of people had arrived in their name, introducing
themselves as their greatest friends: they had been ferried across the
river, and well received by Kamrasi's orders, and had been presented
with ivory, slaves, and leopard skins, as tokens of friendship; but they
had departed, and suddenly returned with Rionga's people, and had
attacked the village in which they had been so well received; and upon
the country being assembled to resist them, about three hundred of
Kamrasi's men had been killed in the fight. The king had therefore given
orders that, upon pain of death, no stranger should cross the river. He
continued: that when they saw our people marching along the bank of the
river, they imagined them to be the same party that had attacked them
formerly, and they were prepared to resist them, and had sent on a
messenger to Kamrasi, who was three days' march from Karuma, at his
capital M'rooli; until they received a reply, it would be impossible to
allow us to enter the country. He promised to despatch another messenger
immediately to inform the king who we were, but that we must certainly
wait until his return. I explained that we had nothing to eat, and that
it would be very inconvenient to remain in such a spot; that I
considered the suspicion displayed was exceedingly unfair, as they must
see that my wife and I were white people like Speke and Grant, whereas
those who had deceived them were of a totally different race, all being
either black or brown.

I told him that it did not much matter; that I had very beautiful
presents intended for Kamrasi; but that another great king would be only
too glad to accept them, without throwing obstacles in my way. I should
accordingly return with my presents.

At the same time I ordered a handsome Persian carpet, about fifteen feet
square, to be displayed as one of the presents intended for the king.
The gorgeous colours, as the carpet was unfolded, produced a general
exclamation before the effect of astonishment wore off, I had a basket
unpacked, and displayed upon a cloth a heap of superb necklaces, that we
had prepared while at Obbo, of the choicest beads, many as large as
marbles, and glittering with every colour of the rainbow. The garden of
jewels of Aladdin's wonderful lamp could not have produced more enticing
fruit. Beads were extremely rare in Kamrasi's land; the few that existed
had arrived from Zanzibar, and all that I exhibited were entirely new
varieties. I explained that I had many other presents, but that it was
not necessary to unpack them, as we were about to return with them to
visit another king, who lived some days' journey distant. "Don't go;
don't go away," said the headman and his companions. "Kamrasi will--."

Here an unmistakeable pantomimic action explained their meaning better
than words; throwing their heads well back, they sawed across their
throats with their forefingers, making horrible grimaces, indicative of
the cutting of throats. I could not resist laughing at the terror that
my threat of returning with the presents had created, they explained,
that Kamrasi would not only kill them, but would destroy the entire
village of Atada should we return without visiting him, but that he
would perhaps punish them in precisely the same manner should they ferry
us across without special orders. "Please yourselves," I replied; "if my
party is not ferried across by the time the sum reaches that spot on the
heavens (pointing to the position it would occupy at about 3 P.M.), I
shall return." In a state of great excitement they promised to hold a
conference on the other side, and to see what arrangements could be
made. They returned to Atada, leaving the whole party, including
Ibrahim, exceedingly disconcerted--having nothing to eat, an impassable
river before them, and five days' march of uninhabited wilderness in
their rear.

Karuma Falls were about three hundred yards to our left as we faced
Atada; they were very insignificant, not exceeding five feet in height,
but curiously regular, as a ridge of rock over which they fell extended
like a wall across the river. The falls were exactly at the bend of the
river, which, from that point, turned suddenly to the west. The whole
day passed in shouting and gesticulating our peaceful intentions to the
crowd assembled on the heights on the opposite side of the river, but
the boat did not return until long after the time appointed; even then
the natives would only approach sufficiently near to be heard, but
nothing would induce them to land. They explained, that there was a
division of opinion among the people on the other side; some were in
favour of receiving us, but the greater number were of opinion that we
intended hostilities; therefore we must wait until orders could be sent
from the king.

To assure the people of our peaceful intentions, I begged them to take
Mrs. Baker and myself ALONE, and to leave the armed party on this side
of the river until a reply should be received from Kamrasi. At this
suggestion the boat immediately returned to the other side.

The day passed away, and as the sun set we perceived the canoe again
paddling across the river; this time it approached direct, and the same
people landed that had received the necklaces in the morning. They said
that they had held a conference with the headman, and that they had
agreed to receive my wife and myself, but no other person. I replied,
that my servants must accompany us, as we were quite as great personages
as Kamrasi, and could not possibly travel without attendants. To this
they demurred; therefore I dropped the subject, and proposed to load the
canoe with all the presents intended for Kamrasi. There was no objection
to this, and I ordered Richarn, Saat, and Ibrahim to get into the canoe
to stow away the luggage as it should be handed to them, but on no
account to leave the boat. I had already prepared everything in
readiness; and a bundle of rifles tied up in a large blanket, and 500
rounds of ball cartridge, were unconsciously received on board as
PRESENTS. I had instructed Ibrahim to accompany us as my servant, as he
was better than most of the men in the event of a row; and I had given
orders, that in case of a preconcerted signal being given, the whole
force should swim the river, supporting themselves and guns upon bundles
of papyrus rush.

The men thought us perfectly mad, and declared that we should be
murdered immediately when on the other side; however, they prepared for
crossing the river in case of treachery.

At the last moment, when the boat was about to leave the shore, two of
the best men jumped in with their guns; however, the natives positively
refused to start; therefore, to avoid suspicion, I ordered them to
retire, but I left word that on the morrow I would send the canoe across
with supplies, and that one or two men should endeavour to accompany the
boat to our side on every trip.

It was quite dark when we started. The canoe was formed of a large
hollow tree, capable of holding twenty people, and the natives paddled
us across the rapid current just below the falls. A large fire was
blazing upon the opposite shore, on a level with the river, to guide us
to the landing place. Gliding through a narrow passage in the reeds, we
touched the shore and landed upon a slippery rock, close to the fire,
amidst a crowd of people, who immediately struck up a deafening welcome
with horns and flageolets, and marched us up the steep face of the rocky
cliff through a dark grove of bananas. Torches led the way, followed by
a long file of spearmen; then came the noisy band and ourselves--I
towing my wife up the precipitous path, while my few attendants followed
behind with a number of natives who had volunteered to carry the

On arrival at the top of the cliff, we were about 180 feet above the
river, and after a walk of about a quarter of a mile, we were
triumphantly led into the heart of the village, and halted in a small
courtyard in front of the headman's residence.

Keedja waited to receive us by a blazing fire. Not having had anything
to eat, we were uncommonly hungry, and to our great delight a basketful
of ripe plantains was presented to us; these were the first that I had
seen for many years. A gourd bottle of plantain wine was offered, and
immediately emptied; it resembled extremely poor cider. We were now
surrounded by a mass of natives, no longer the naked savages to whom we
had been accustomed, but well-dressed men, wearing robes of bark cloth,
arranged in various fashions, generally like the Arab "tope," or the
Roman toga. Several of the headmen now explained to us the atrocious
treachery of Debono's men, who had been welcomed as friends of Speke and
Grant, but who had repaid the hospitality by plundering and massacreing
their hosts. I assured them that no one would be more wroth than Speke
when I should make him aware of the manner in which his name had been
used, and that I should make a point of reporting the circumstance to
the British Government. At the same time I advised them not to trust any
but white people, should others arrive in my name, or in those of Speke
and Grant. I upheld their character as that of Englishmen, and I begged
them to state "if ever they had deceived them?" They replied, that
"there could not be better men." I answered, "You MUST trust me, as I
trust entirely in you, and have placed myself in your hands; but if you
have ever had cause to mistrust a white man, kill me at once!--either
kill me, or trust in me; but let there be no suspicions."

They seemed much pleased with the conversation, and a man stepped
forward and showed me a small string of blue beads that Speke had given
him for ferrying him across the river. This little souvenir of my old
friend was most interesting; after a year's wandering and many
difficulties, this was the first time that I had actually come upon his
track. Many people told me that they had known Speke and Grant; the
former bore the name of "Mollegge" (the bearded one), while Grant had
been named "Masanga" (the elephant's tusk), owing to his height. The
latter had been wounded at Lucknow during the Indian mutiny, and I spoke
to the people of the loss of his finger; this crowned my success, as
they knew without doubt that I had seen him. It was late, therefore I
begged the crowd to depart, but to send a messenger the first thing in
the morning to inform Kamrasi who we were, and to beg him to permit us
to visit him without loss of time.

A bundle of straw was laid on the ground for Mrs. Baker and myself, and,
in lieu of other beds, the ground was our resting place. It was bitterly
cold that night, as the guns were packed up in the large blanket, and,
not wishing to expose them, we were contented with a Scotch plaid each.
Ibrahim, Saat, and Richarn watched by turns. On the following morning an
immense crowd of native thronged to see us. There was a very beautiful
tree about a hundred yards from the village, capable of shading upwards
of a thousand men, and I proposed that we should sit beneath this
protection and hold a conference. The headman of the village gave us a
large hut with a grand doorway of about seven feet high, of which my
wife took possession, while I joined the crowd at the tree. There were
about six hundred men seated respectfully on the ground around me, while
I sat with my back to the huge knotty trunk, with Ibrahim and Richarn at
a few paces distant.

The subject of conversation was merely a repetition that of the
preceding night, with the simple addition some questions respecting the
lake. Not a man would give the slightest information; the only reply,
upon my forcing the question, was the pantomime already described, by
passing the forefinger across the throat, and exclaiming "Kamrasi!" The
entire population was tongue-locked.

I tried the children; to no purpose, they were all dumb. White-headed
old men I questioned as to the distance of the lake from this point:
they replied, "We are children, ask the old people who know the
country." Never was freemasonry more secret than the land of Unyoro. It
was useless to persevere. I therefore changed the subject by saying that
our people were starving on the other side, and that provisions must be
sent immediately. In all savage countries the most trifling demand
requires much talking. They said that provisions were scarce, and that
until Kamrasi should give the order, they could give no supplies.
Understanding most thoroughly the natural instincts of the natives, I
told them that I must send the canoe across to fetch three oxen that I
wished to slaughter. The bait took at once, and several men ran for the
canoe, and we sent one of our black women across with a message to the
people that three men, with their guns and ammunition, were to accompany
the canoe and guide three oxen across by swimming them with ropes tied
to their horns. These were the riding oxen of some of the men that it
was necessary to slaughter, to exchange the flesh for flour and other

Hardly had the few boatmen departed, than some one shouted suddenly, and
the entire crowd sprang to their feet and rushed towards the hut where I
had left Mrs. Baker. For the moment I thought that the hut was on fire,
and I joined the crowd and arrived at the doorway, where I found a
tremendous press to see some extraordinary sight. Everyone was squeezing
for the best place; and, driving them on one side, I found the wonder
that had excited their curiosity. The hut being very dark, my wife had
employed her solitude during my conference with the natives in dressing
her hair at the doorway, which, being very long and blonde, was suddenly
noticed by some natives--a shout was given, the rush described had taken
place, and the hut was literally mobbed by the crowd of savages eager to
see the extraordinary novelty. The Gorilla would not make a greater stir
in London streets than we appeared to create at Atada.

The oxen shortly arrived; one was immediately killed, and the flesh
divided into numerous small portions arranged upon the hide.

Blonde hair and white people immediately lost their attractions, and the
crowd turned their attention to beef--we gave them to understand that
we required flour, beans, and sweet potatoes in exchange.

The market soon went briskly, and whole rows of girls and women arrived,
bringing baskets filled with the desired provisions. The women were
neatly dressed in short petticoats with a double skirt-many exposed the
bosom, while others wore a piece of bark cloth arranged as a plaid
across the chest and shoulders. This cloth is the produce of a species
of fig tree, the bark of which is stripped off in large pieces and then
soaked in water and beaten with a mallet: in appearance it much
resembles corduroy, and is the colour of tanned leather; the finer
qualities are peculiarly soft to the touch, as though of woven cotton.
Every garden is full of this species of tree, as their cultivation is
necessary for the supply of clothing; when a man takes a wife he plants
a certain number of trees, that are to be the tailors of the expected

The market being closed, the canoe was laden with provisions, and sent
across to our hungry people on the other side the river.

The difference between the Unyoro people and the tribes we had hitherto
seen was most striking. On the north side of the river the natives were
either stark naked, or wore a mere apology for clothing in the shape of
a skin slung across their shoulders: the river appeared to be the limit
of utter savagedom, and the people of Unyoro considered the indecency of
nakedness precisely in the same light as among Europeans.

The northern district of Unyoro at Karuma is called Chopi, the language
being the same as the Madi, and different to the southern and central
portions of the kingdom. The people are distinct in their type, but they
have the woolly hair of negroes, like all other tribes of the White

By astronomical observation I determined the latitude of Atada at Karuma
Falls, 2 degrees 15 minutes; and by Casella's thermometer, the altitude
of the river level above the sea 3,996 feet.

After the disgusting naked tribes that we had been travelling amongst
for more than twelve months, it was a delightful change to find
ourselves in comparative civilization: this was evinced not only in the
decency of clothing, but also in the manufactures of the country. The
blacksmiths were exceedingly clever, and used iron hammers instead of
stone; they drew fine wire from the thick copper and brass wire that
they received from Zanzibar; their bellows were the same as those used
by the more savage tribes--but the greatest proof of their superior
civilization was exhibited in their pottery.

Nearly all savages have some idea of earthenware; but the scale of
advancement of a country between savagedom and civilization may
generally be determined by the example of its pottery. The Chinese, who
were as civilized as they are at the present day at a period when the
English were barbarians, were ever celebrated for the manufacture of
porcelain, and the difference between savages and civilized countries is
always thus exemplified; the savage makes earthenware, but the civilized
make porcelain--thus the gradations from the rudest earthenware will
mark the improvement in the scale of civilization. The prime utensil of
the African savage is the gourd; the shell of which is the bowl
presented to him by nature as the first idea from which he is to model.
Nature, adapting herself to the requirements of animals and man, appears
in these savage countries to yield abundantly much that savage man can
want. Gourds with exceedingly strong shells not only grow wild, which if
divided in halves afford bowls, but great and quaint varieties form
natural bottles of all sizes, from the tiny phial to the demijohn
containing five gallons. The most savage tribes content themselves with
the productions of nature, confining their manufacture to a coarse and
half-baked jar for carrying water; but the semi-savage, like those of
Unyoro, affords an example of the first step towards manufacturing art,
by the fact of COPYING FROM NATURE: the utter savage makes use of
nature--the gourd is his utensil; and the more advanced natives of
Unyoro adopt it as the model for their pottery. They make a fine quality
of jet black earthenware, producing excellent tobacco-pipes most finely
worked in imitation of the small egg-shaped gourd; of the same
earthenware they make extremely pretty bowls, and also bottles copied
from the varieties of the bottle gourds: thus, in this humble art, we
see the first effort of the human mind in manufactures, in taking nature
for a model; precisely as the beautiful Corinthian capital originated in
a design from a basket of flowers.

A few extracts from my journal will describe the delay at Atada:--

"JAN. 26th, 1864.--The huts are very large, about 20 feet in diameter,
made entirely of reeds and straw, and very lofty, looking in the
interior like huge inverted baskets, beehive shaped, very different to
the dog-kennels of the more northern tribes. We received a message today
that we were not to expect Kamrasi, as 'great men were never in a hurry
to pay visits.' None of the principal chiefs have yet appeared. Kidgwiga
is expected today; but people are flocking in from the country to see
the white lady. It is very trying to the patience to wait here until it
pleases these almighty niggers to permit our people to cross the river."

"JAN. 27th.--Time passing fruitlessly while every day is valuable. The
rains will, I fear, commence before my work is completed; and the Asua
river, if flooded, will cut off my return to Gondokoro. In this district
there is a large population and extensive cultivation. There are many
trees resembling the Vacoua of Mauritius, but the leaves are of a
different texture, producing a species of flax. Every day there is a
report that the headman, sent by Kamrasi, is on the road; but I see no
signs of him."

"JAN. 28th.--Reports brought that Kamrasi has sent his headman with a
large force, including some of Speke's deserters. They are to inspect
me, and report whether I am really a white man and an Englishman. If so,
I believe we are to proceed; if not, I suppose we are to be
exterminated. Lest there should be any mistake I have taken all
necessary precautions; but, having only eight men on this side the
river, I shall be certain to lose my baggage in the event of a
disturbance, as no one could transport it to the canoe."

"JAN. 29th.--Plantains, sweet potatoes, and eggs supplied in great
quantities. The natives are much amused at our trying the eggs in water
before purchase. Plantains, three for one small bead. The headman is
expected today. A polite message arrived last night from Kamrasi
inviting us to his capital, and apologizing for being unable to come in
person. This morning the force, sent by Kamrasi, is reported to be
within an hour's march of Atada. "In midday the headman arrived with a
great number of men, accompanied by three of Speke's deserters, one of
whom has been created a chief by Kamrasi, and presented with two wives.

"I received them standing; and after thorough inspection I was
pronounced to be 'Speke's own brother,' and all were satisfied. However,
the business was not yet over: plenty of talk, and another delay of four
days, was declared necessary until the king should reply to the
satisfactory message about to be sent. Losing all patience, I stormed,
declaring Kamrasi to be mere dust; while a white man was a king in
comparison. I ordered all my luggage to be conveyed immediately to the
canoe, and declared that I would return immediately to my own country;
that I did not wish to see any one so utterly devoid of manners as
Kamrasi, and that no other white man would ever visit his kingdom.

"The effect was magical! I rose hastily to depart. The chiefs implored,
declaring that Kamrasi would kill them all if I retreated: to prevent
which misfortune they secretly instructed the canoe to be removed. I was
in a great rage; and about 400 natives, who were present, scattered in
all quarters, thinking that there would be a serious quarrel. I told the
chiefs that nothing should stop me, and that I would seize the canoe by
force unless my whole party should be brought over from the opposite
side that instant. This was agreed upon. One of Ibrahim's men exchanged
and drank blood from the arm of Speke's deserter, who was Kamrasi's
representative; and peace thus firmly established, several canoes were
at once employed, and sixty of our men were brought across the river
before sunset. The natives had nevertheless taken the precaution to send
all their women away from the village."

"JAN. 30th.--This morning all remaining men and baggage were brought
across the river, and supplies were brought in large quantities for
sale. We are to march tomorrow direct to Kamrasi's capital; they say he
will give me a guide to the lake.

"The natives of this country are particularly neat in all they do; they
never bring anything to sell unless carefully packed in the neatest
parcels, generally formed of the bark of the plantain, and sometimes of
the inner portions of reeds stripped into snow-white stalks, which are
bound round the parcels with the utmost care. Should the plantain cider,
'maroua,' be brought in a jar, the mouth is neatly covered with a
fringe-like mat of these clean white rushes split into shreds. Not even
tobacco is brought for sale unless most carefully packed. During a
journey, a pretty, bottle-shaped, long-necked gourd is carried with a
store of plantain cider: the mouth of the bottle is stopped with a
bundle of the white rush shreds, through which a reed is inserted that
reaches to the bottom: thus the drink can be sucked up during the march
without the necessity of halting; nor is it possible to spill it by the
movement of walking.

"The natives prepare the skins of goats very beautifully, making them as
soft as chamois leather; these they cut into squares, and sew together
as neatly as would be effected by a European tailor, converting them
into mantles which are prized far more highly than bark cloth, on
account of their durability: they manufacture their own needles, not by
boring the eye, but by sharpening the end into a fine point and turning
it over, the extremity being hammered into a small cut in the body of
the needle to prevent it from catching.

"Clothes of all kinds are in great demand here, and would be accepted to
any amount in exchange for ivory. Beads are extremely valuable, and
would purchase ivory in large quantities, but the country would, in a
few years, become overstocked. Clothes being perishable articles would
always be in demand to supply those worn out; but beads, being
imperishable, very soon glut the market. Here is, as I had always
anticipated, an opportunity for commencing legitimate trade."

"JAN. 31st.--Throngs of natives arrived to carry our luggage GRATIS by
the king's orders. Started at 7 A.M. and marched ten miles and a half
parallel with the Nile, south; the country thickly populated, and much
cultivated with sesame, sweet potatoes, beans, tullaboon, dhurra, Indian
corn, and plantains.

"The native porters relieved each other at every village, fresh men
being always in readiness on the road. The river is here on a level with
the country, having no high banks; thus there is a great fall from
Karuma towards the west. Halted in a grove of plantains near a village.
The plantains of this country are much higher than those of Ceylon, and
the stems are black, rising to 25 or 30 feet. The chief of the district
came to meet us, and insisted upon our remaining at his village today
and tomorrow to 'eat and drink,' or Kamrasi would kill him; thus we are
delayed when time is precious. The chief's name is 'Matta-Goomi.' There
is now no secret about the lake. Both he and all the natives say that
the Luta N'zige lake is larger than the Victoria N'yanza, and that both
lakes are fed by rivers from the great mountain Bartooma. Is that
mountain the M'fumbiro of Speke? the difference of name being local.
According to the position of the mountain pointed out by the chief, it
bears from this spot S. 45 degrees W. Latitude of this place by meridian
altitude of Capella, 2 degrees 5 minutes 32 seconds.

"F. (my wife) taken seriously ill with bilious fever."

"FEB. 1st.--F. dreadfully ill; all the natives have turned out of their
villages, leaving their huts and gardens at our disposal. This is the
custom of the country should the king give orders that a visitor is to
be conducted through his dominions.

"The natives of Unyoro have a very superior implement to the molote used
among the northern tribes; it is an extremely powerful hoe, fitted upon
a handle, similar to those used on the sugar estates in the West Indies,
but the blade is heart-shaped: with these they cultivate the ground very
deep for their beds of sweet potatoes. The temperature during the day
ranges from 80 degrees to 84 degrees, and at night it is cold, 56
degrees to 58 degrees Fahr. It is very unhealthy, owing to the proximity
of the river."

"FEB. 2d.--Marched five miles. F. carried in a litter, very ill. I fell
ill likewise. Halted."

"FEB. 3d.--F. very ill. Carried her four miles and halted."

"FEB. 4th.--F. most seriously ill. Started at 7:30 A.M., she being
carried in a litter; but I also fell ill upon the road, and having been
held on my ox by two men for some time, I at length fell in their arms,
and was laid under a tree for about five hours; getting better, I rode
for two hours, course south. Mountains in view to south and southeast,
about ten miles distant. The country, forest interspersed with villages:
the Somerset generally parallel to the route. There are no tamarinds in
this neighbourhood, nor any other acid fruit; thus one is sorely pressed
in the hours of fever. One of the black women servants, Fadeela, is
dying of fever."

"FEB. 5th.--F. (Mrs. Baker) so ill, that even the litter is too much
for her. Heaven help us in this country! The altitude of the river level
above the sea at this point is 4,056 feet."

"Feb. 6th.--F. slightly better. Started at 7 A.M. The country the same
as usual. Halted at a village after a short march of three miles and a
half. Here we are detained for a day while a message is sent to Kamrasi.
Tomorrow, I believe, we are to arrive at the capital of the tyrant. He
sent me a message today, that the houses he had prepared for me had been
destroyed by fire, and to beg me to wait until he should have completed
others. The truth is, he is afraid of our large party, and he delays us
in every manner possible, in order to receive daily reports of our
behaviour on the road. Latitude by observation at this point, 1 degree
50 minutes 47 seconds N."

"FEB. 7th.--Detained here for a day. I never saw natives so filthy in
their dwellings as the people of Unyoro. Goats and fowls share the but
with the owner, which, being littered down with straw, is a mere
cattle-shed, redolent of man and beast. The natives sleep upon a mass of
straw, upon a raised platform, this at night being covered with a
dressed skin. Yesterday the natives brought coffee in small quantities
to sell. They have no idea of using it as a drink, but simply chew it
raw as a stimulant. It is a small and finely-shaped grain, with a good
flavour. It is brought from the country of Utumbi, about a degree south
of this spot."

"FEB. 8th.--Marched eight miles due south. The river makes a long bend
to E.N.E., and this morning's march formed the chord of the arc. Halted;
again delayed for the day, as we are not far from the capital, and a
messenger must be sent to the king for instructions before we proceed. I
never saw such abject cowardice as the redoubted Kamrasi exhibits.
Debono's vakeel having made a razzia upon his frontier has so cowed him,
that he has now left his residence, and retreated to the other side of a
river, from which point he sends false messages to delay our advance as
much as possible. There is a total absence of dignity in his behaviour;
no great man is sent to parley, but the king receives contradictory
reports from the many-tongued natives that have utterly perplexed him.
He is told by some that we are the same people that came with Ras-Galla
(Debono's captain), and he has neither the courage to repel or to

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