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

Part 8 out of 9

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planted outside the village,--not knowing the intention of the unusual
gathering. It shortly transpired that Kamrasi had heard of the escape of
Kalloe, and, enraged at the loss of his prey, he had immediately started
about a thousand men in pursuit.

In the evening I heard that he had been captured. I sent to Kamrasi
directly, to beg him to postpone his execution, as I wished to speak
with him on the following morning.

At sunrise I started, and found the king sitting in his but, while
Kalloe was lying under a plantain tree perfectly resigned, with his leg
in the Kamrasi shoe--a block of wood of about four feet long and ten
inches thick (the rough trunk of a tree); his left foot had been thrust
through a small hole in the log, while a peg driven through at right
angles just above the instep effectually secured the prisoner. This was
a favourite punishment of the king; the prisoner might thus languish
until released by death; it was impossible to sit up, and difficult to
lie down, the log having to be adjusted by an attendant according to the
movement of the body. I told Kamrasi that as I had saved him from the
attack of the Turks at Kisoona he must grant me a favour, and spare
Kalloe's life: this request, to my astonishment, he at once granted,
[A few days afterwards he shot Kalloe with his own hands.] and
added, that he should only keep him in the "shoe" for a few days, until
his people should bring him a hundred cows as a fine, in which case he
should release him. I had no faith in his promise, as I had before heard
that it was his practice to put the shoe upon any rich man in order to
extract a fine, upon the payment of which the unfortunate prisoner was
on some occasions killed instead of liberated. However, I had done all
in my power; and had Kalloe been a man of determination, he could have
saved himself by trusting implicitly to me. As I returned to the camp, I
could not help reflecting on the ingratitude I had experienced among all
the natives; on many occasions I had exerted myself to benefit others in
whom I had no personal interest, but in no single instance had I ever
received even a look of gratitude.

Two days after this occurrence I ordered the boy Saat to go as usual in
search of supplies to the neighbouring villages; but as he was starting,
Ibrahim advised him to wait a little, as something was wrong, and it
would be dangerous to go alone. A few minutes later, I heard three shots
fired in rapid succession at about three-quarters of a mile distant. The
Turks and my men immediately thronged outside the village, which
position being on a hill, we had a panoramic view of the surrounding

We shortly perceived a number of men, including a few of the Turks'
party, approaching from an opposite hill, carrying something heavy in
their arms. With the telescope I distinguished a mat on which some
object of weight was laboriously supported, the bearers grasping the
corners in their hands. "One of our people is killed!" murmured one
Turk. "Perhaps it's only a native," said another. "Who would trouble
himself to carry a black fellow home!" exclaimed a third. The mystery
was soon cleared by the arrival of the party with the dead body of one
of Kamrasi's headmen; one ball had struck him through the chest, another
through the right arm, and the third had passed through the body from
side to side. He had been shot by some Bari slaves who acted as soldiers
belonging to the Turks' party. It appeared that the deceased had
formerly sent seventy elephants' tusks to the people of Mahommed
Wat-el-Mek against the orders of Kamrasi, who had prohibited the export
of ivory from his kingdom, as he had agreed to deal exclusively with
Ibrahim. The culprit was therefore condemned to death, but having some
powerful adherents in his village, Kamrasi had thought it advisable to
employ the Turks to shoot him; this task they gladly accepted, as they
were minus seventy tusks through his conduct. Without my knowledge, a
small party had started in open daylight to his village close to our
camp, and on attempting to enter the fence, several lances were thrown
at the Turks; the deceased rushed from the hut attempting to escape, and
was immediately shot dead by three of the Bari soldiers. The hands were
then (as usual in all these countries) amputated at the wrists, in order
to detach the copper bracelets; the body being dragged about two hundred
paces from the village, was suspended by the neck to a branch of the
tamarind tree. All the slave women (about seventy) and children were
then driven down to the spot by the Turks to view the body as it swung
from the branch; when thoroughly horrified by the sight, they were
threatened to be served precisely in a similar manner should they ever
attempt to escape.

Superlatively brutal as this appeared, I could not help reflecting that
our public executions in England convey a similar moral; the only
difference being in the conduct of the women; the savages having to be
DRIVEN to the sight as witnesses, while European females throng
curiously to such disgusting exhibitions. A few minutes after the
departure of the crowd, the tree was covered with vultures, all watching
the prospective feast. [The woman Bacheeta ran away, and we never saw
her again. Some time after, we heard that she had escaped to Fowooka's
people, fearing to be left by us, as we had promised, in Chopi.]

In the evening Kamrasi sent a number of women and children as presents
to Ibrahim: altogether he had given him seventy-two slaves in addition
to those captured in the various wars. There never was a more supreme
despot than the king Kamrasi--not only the property, but the families
of his subjects were at his disposal; he boasted that "all belonged to
him." Thus, when disposed to be liberal, he took from others and
bestowed upon his favourites; should any sufferer complain, there were
no lawyer's costs, but the "shoe," or death. His power depended upon a
perfect system of espionage, by which he obtained a knowledge of all
that passed throughout his kingdom; that being divided into numerous
small districts, each governed by a chief, who was responsible for the
acts committed within his jurisdiction, the government was wonderfully
simplified. Should a complaint be made against a governor, he was
summoned before the king; if guilty, death, or the "shoe!" To be
suspected of rebellion, was to die. A bodyguard of about 500 men, who
were allowed to pillage the country at discretion, secured the power of
the king, as with this organized force always at hand he could pounce
upon the suspected and extinguish them at once: thus the tyrant held his
sway over a population so timid that they yielded tamely to his
oppression. Having now allied himself to the Turks, he had conceived the
most ambitious views of conquering Uganda, and of restoring the ancient
kingdom of Kitwara; but the total absence of physical courage will
utterly frustrate such plans for extension, and Kamrasi the Cruel will
never be known as Kamrasi the Conqueror.



It was the middle of November--not the wretched month that chills even
the recollection of Old England, but the last of the ten months of rain
that causes the wonderful vegetation of the fertile soil in Equatorial
Africa. The Turks were ready to return to Shooa, and I longed for the
change from this brutal country to the still wilder but less bloody
tribe of Madi, to the north.

The quantity of ivory in camp was so large that we required 700 porters
to carry both tusks and provisions, &c. for the five days' march through
uninhabited country. Kamrasi came to see us before we parted; he had
provided the requisite porters. We were to start on the following day;
he arrived with the Blissett rifle that had been given him by Speke. He
told me that he was sorry we were going; and he was much distressed that
he had burst his rifle!--he had hammered a large bullet in the endeavour
to fit the bore; and the lump of lead having stuck in the middle, he had
fired his rifle and split the barrel, which being of remarkably good
metal had simply opened. He told me that it did not matter so very much
after all, as he had neither powder nor ball (this was false, as Ibrahim
had just given him a quantity), therefore his rifle would have been
useless if sound; but he added, "You are now going home, where you can
obtain all you require, therefore you will want for nothing; give me,
before you leave, the little double-barrelled rifle that YOU PROMISED
me, and a supply of ammunition!" To the last moment he was determined to
persevere in his demand, and, if possible, to obtain my handy little
Fletcher 24 rifle, that had been demanded and refused ever since my
residence in his country. I was equally persistent in my refusal,
telling him that there were many dangers on the road, and I could not
travel unarmed.

On the following morning our people crossed the river: this was a
tedious operation, as our party consisted of about 700 porters and
eighty armed men: Ibrahim had arranged to leave thirty men with Kamrasi
to protect him from the M'was until he should return in the following
season, when he promised to bring him a great variety of presents. By 4
P.M. the whole party had crossed the river with ivory and baggage. We
now brought up the rear, and descended some fine crags of granite to the
water's edge; there were several large canoes in attendance, one of
which we occupied, and, landing on the opposite shore, we climbed up the
steep ascent and looked back upon Unyoro, in which we had passed ten
months of wretchedness. It had poured with rain on the preceding day,
and the natives had constructed a rough camp of grass huts.

On the break of day on the 17th November we started. It would be tedious
to describe the journey, as, although by a different route, it was
through the same country that we had traversed on our arrival from
Shooa. After the first day's march we quitted the forest and entered
upon the great prairies. I was astonished to find after several days'
journey a great difference in the dryness of the climate. In Unyoro we
had left the grass an intense green, the rain having been frequent: here
it was nearly dry, and in many places it had been burnt by the native
hunting parties. From some elevated points in the route I could
distinctly make out the outline of the mountains running from the Albert
lake to the north, on the west bank of the Nile; these would hardly have
been observed by a person who was ignorant of their existence, as the
grass was so high that I had to ascend a white ant-hill to look for
them; they were about sixty miles distant, and my men, who knew them
well, pointed them out to their companions.

The entire party, including women and children, amounted to about 1,000
people. Although they had abundance of flour, there was no meat, and the
grass being high there was no chance of game. On the fourth day only I
saw a herd of about twenty tetel (hartebeest) in an open space that had
been recently burnt. We were both riding upon oxen that I had purchased
of Ibrahim, and we were about a mile ahead of the flag in the hope of
getting a shot; dismounting from my animal, I stalked the game down a
ravine, but upon reaching the point that I had resolved upon for the
shot, I found the herd had moved their position to about 250 paces from
me. They were all looking at me, as they had been disturbed by the oxen
and the boy Saat in the distance. Dinner depended on the shot. There was
a leafless bush singed by the recent fire; upon a branch of this I took
a rest, but just as I was going to fire they moved off--a clean miss!
--whizz went the bullet over them, but so close to the ears of one that
it shook its head as though stung by a wasp, and capered round and
round; the others stood perfectly still, gazing at the oxen in the
distance. Crack went the left-hand barrel of the little Fletcher 24,
and down went a tetel like a lump of lead, before the satisfactory sound
of the bullet returned from the distance. Off went the herd, leaving a
fine beast kicking on the ground. It was shot through the spine, and
some of the native porters, having witnessed the sport from a great
distance, threw down their loads and came racing towards the meat like a
pack of wolves scenting blood. In a few minutes the prize was divided,
while a good portion was carried by Saat for our own use; the tetel,
weighing about 500 lbs. vanished among the crowd in a few minutes.

On the fifth day's march from the Victoria Nile we arrived at Shooa; the
change was delightful after the wet and dense vegetation of Unyoro: the
country was dry, and the grass low and of fine quality. We took
possession of our camp, that had already been prepared for us in a large
courtyard well cemented with cow-dung and clay, and fenced with a strong
row of palisades. A large tree grew in the centre. Several hits were
erected for interpreters and servants, and a tolerably commodious hut,
the roof overgrown with pumpkins, was arranged for our mansion.

That evening the native women crowded to our camp to welcome my wife
home, and to dance in honour of our return; for which exhibition they
expected a present of a cow.

Much to my satisfaction, I found that my first-rate riding ox that had
been lamed during the previous year by falling into a pitfall, and had
been returned to Shooa, was perfectly recovered; thus I had a good mount
for my journey to Gondokoro.

Some months were passed at Shooa, during which I occupied my time by
rambling about the neighbourhood, ascending the mountain, making
duplicates of my maps, and gathering information, all of which was
simply a corroboration of what I had heard before, excepting from the
East. The Turks had discovered a new country called Lira, about thirty
miles from Shooa; the natives were reported as extremely friendly, and
their country as wonderfully fertile and rich in ivory. Many of the
people were located in the Turks' camp; they were the same type as the
Madi, but wore their hair in a different form: it was woven into a thick
felt, which covered the shoulders, and extended as low upon the back as
the shoulderblade.

They were not particular about wearing false hair, but were happy to
receive subscriptions from any source; in case of death the hair of the
deceased was immediately cut off and shared among his friends to be
added to their felt. When in full dress (the men being naked) this mass
of felt was plastered thickly with a bluish clay, so as to form an even
surface; this was most elaborately worked with the point of a thorn, so
as to resemble the cuttings of a file: white pipe-clay was then arranged
in patterns on the surface, while an ornament made of either an
antelope's or giraffe's sinew was stuck in the extremity and turned up
for about a foot in length. This when dry was as stiff as horn, and the
tip was ornamented with a tuft of fur--the tip of a leopard's tail
being highly prized.

I am not aware that any Lord Chancellor of England or any member of the
English bar has ever penetrated to Central Africa, therefore the origin
of the fashion and the similarity in the wigs is most extraordinary; a
well-blacked barrister in full wig and nothing else would thoroughly
impersonate a native of Lira. The tribe of Lira was governed by a chief;
but he had no more real authority than any of the petty chiefs who ruled
the various portions of the Madi country. Throughout the tribes
excepting the kingdom of Unyoro, the chiefs had very little actual
power, and so uncertain was their tenure of office that the rule seldom
remained two generations in one family. On the death of the father, the
numerous sons generally quarrelled for his property and for the right of
succession, ending in open war, and in dividing the flocks and herds,
each settling in a separate district and becoming a petty chief; thus
there was no union throughout the country, and consequently great
weakness. The people of Lira were fighting with their friends the
Langgos--those of Shooa with the natives of Fatiko; nor were there two
neighbouring tribes that were at peace. It was natural that such
unprincipled parties as the Khartoum traders should turn this general
discord to their own advantage; thus within the ten months that I had
been absent from Shooa a great change had taken place in the
neighbourhood. The rival parties of Koorshid and Debono, under their
respective leaders, Ibrahim and Mahommed Wat-el-Mek, had leagued
themselves with contending tribes, and the utter ruin of the country was
the consequence. For many miles' circuit from Shooa, the blackened ruins
of villages and deserted fields bore witness to the devastation
committed; cattle that were formerly in thousands, had been driven off,
and the beautiful district that had once been most fertile was reduced
to a wilderness. By these wholesale acts of robbery and destruction the
Turks had damaged their own interests, as the greater number of the
natives had fled to other countries; thus it was most difficult to
obtain porters to convey the ivory to Gondokoro. The people of the
country had been so spoiled by the payment in cows instead of beads for
the most trifling services, that they now refused to serve as porters to
Gondokoro under a payment of four cows each; thus, as 1,000 men were
required, 4,000 cows were necessary as payment. Accordingly razzia must
be made.

Upon several expeditions, the Turks realized about 2,000 cows; the
natives had become alert, and had driven off their herds to inaccessible
mountains. Debono's people at their camp, about twenty-five miles
distant, were even in a worse position than Ibrahim; they had so
exasperated the natives by their brutal conduct, that tribes formerly
hostile to each other now coalesced and combined to thwart the Turks by
declining to act as porters; thus their supply of ivory could not be
transported to Gondokoro. This led to extra violence on the part of the
Turks, until at last the chief of Faloro (Werdella) declared open war,
and suddenly driving off the Turks' cattle, he retired to the mountains,
from whence he sent an impertinent message inviting Mahommed to try to
rescue them.

This act of insolence united the rival trading parties against Werdella:
those of Ibrahim and Mahommed agreed to join in an attack upon his
village. They started with a force of about 300 armed men, and arriving
at the foot of the mountains at about 4 A.M. they divided their force
into two parties of 150 men each, and ascended the rocky hill upon two
sides, intending to surprise the village on one side, while the natives
and their herds would be intercepted in their flight upon the other.

The chief, Werdella, was well experienced in the affairs of the Turks,
as he had been for two or three years engaged with them in many razzias
upon the adjoining tribes--he had learnt to shoot while acting as
their ally, and having received as presents two muskets, and two brace
of pistols from Debono's nephew Amabile, he thought it advisable to
supply himself with ammunition; he had therefore employed his people to
steal a box of 500 cart ridges and a parcel containing 10,000 percussion
caps from Mahommed's camp. Werdella was a remarkably plucky fellow; and
thus strengthened by powder and ball, and knowing the character of the
Turks, he resolved to fight.

Hardly had the Turks' party of 150 men advanced half way up the mountain
path in their stealthy manner of attempting a surprise, when they were
assailed by a shower of arrows, and the leader who carried the flag fell
dead at the report of a musket fired from behind a rock. Startled at
this unexpected attack, the Turks' party recoiled, leaving their flag
upon the ground by the dead standard-bearer. Before they had time to
recover from their first panic, another shot was fired from the same
shelter at a distance of about thirty paces, and the brains of one of
the Turks' party were splattered over his comrades, as the ball took the
top of his head completely off. Three Bagara Arabs, first-rate elephant
hunters, who were with the Turks, now rushed forward and saved the flag
and a box of ammunition that the porter had thrown down in his flight.
These Arabs, whose courage was of a different class to that of the
traders' party, endeavoured to rally the panic-stricken Turks, but just
as they were feebly and irresolutely advancing, another shot rang from
the same fatal rock, and a man who carried a box of cartridges fell
dead. This was far too hot for the traders' people, who usually had it
all their own way, being alone possessed of firearms. A disgraceful
flight took place, but Werdella was again too much for them. On their
arrival at the bottom of the hill, they ran round the base to join the
other division of their party; this effected, they were consulting
together as to retreat or advance, when close above their heads from an
overhanging rock another shot was fired, and a man dropped, shot through
the chest. The head of Werdella was distinctly seen grinning in triumph;
--the whole party fired at him! "He's down!" was shouted, as the head
disappeared;--a puff of smoke from the rock, and a shriek from one of
the Turks at the sound of another musket shot from the same spot,
settled the question; a man fell mortally wounded. Four men were shot
dead, and one was brought home by the crestfallen party to die in two or
three days; five shots had been fired, and five killed, by one native
armed with two guns against 300 men. "Bravo, Werdella!" I exclaimed, as
the beaten party returned to camp and Ibrahim described the fight. He
deserved the Victoria Cross. This defeat completely cowed the cowardly
Turks; nor would any persuasions on the part of Ibrahim induce them to
make another razzia within the territory of the redoubted chief,

During the absence of the traders' party upon various expeditions, about
fifty men were left in their camp as headquarters. Nothing could exceed
the brutality of the people; they had erected stills, and produced a
powerful corn spirit from the native merissa; their entire time was
passed in gambling, drinking, and fighting, both by night and day. The
natives were ill-treated, their female slaves and children brutally
ill-used, and the entire camp was a mere slice from the infernal
regions. My portion of the camp being a secluded courtyard, we were
fortunately independent.

On one occasion a razzia had been made; and although unsuccessful in
cattle, it had been productive in slaves. Among the captives was a
pretty young girl of about fifteen; she had been sold by auction in the
camp, as usual, the day after the return from the razzia, and had fallen
to the lot of one of the men. Some days after her capture, a native from
the village that had been plundered confidently arrived at the camp with
the intention of offering ivory for her ransom. Hardly had he entered
the gateway, when the girl, who was sitting at the door of her owner's
hut, caught sight of him, and springing to her feet, she ran as fast as
her chained ankles would allow her, and threw herself in his arms,
exclaiming, "My father!" It was her father, who had thus risked his life
in the enemy's camp to ransom his child.

The men who were witnesses to this scene immediately rushed upon the
unfortunate man, tore him from his daughter, and bound him tightly with

While this was enacting, I happened to be in my hut; thus I was not an
eye-witness. About an hour later, I called some of my men to assist me
in cleaning some rifles. Hardly had we commenced, when three shots were
fired within a hundred paces of my hut. My men exclaimed, "They have
shot the Abid (native)!" "What native?" I inquired. They then related
the story I have just described. Brutal as these bloodthirsty villains
were, I could hardly believe in so cold-blooded a murder. I immediately
sent my people and the boy Saat to verify it; they returned with the
report that the wretched father was sitting on the ground, bound to a
tree, dead; shot by three balls.

I must do Ibrahim the justice to explain that he was not in the camp;
had he been present, this murder would not have been committed, as he
scrupulously avoided any such acts in my vicinity. A few days later, a
girl about sixteen, and her mother, who were slaves, were missing; they
had escaped. The hue and cry was at once raised. Ibrahimawa, the
"Sinbad" of Bornu, who had himself been a slave, was the most
indefatigable slave-hunter. He and a party at once started upon the
tracks of the fugitives. They did not return until the following day;
but where was the runaway who could escape from so true a bloodhound?
The young girl and her mother were led into camp tied together by the
neck, and were immediately condemned to be hanged. I happened to be
present, as, knowing the whole affair, I had been anxiously awaiting the
result. I took this opportunity of explaining to the Turks that I would
use any force to prevent such an act, and that I would report the names
of all those to the Egyptian authorities who should commit any murder
that I could prove; neither would I permit the two captives to be
flogged--they were accordingly pardoned. [It will be observed that at
this period of the expedition I had acquired an extraordinary influence
over the people, that enabled me to exert an authority which saved the
lives of many unfortunate creatures who would otherwise have been

There was among the slaves a woman who had been captured in the attack
upon Fowooka. This woman I have already mentioned as having a very
beautiful boy, who at the time of the capture was a little more than a
year old.

So determined was her character, that she had run away five times with
her child, but on every occasion she had been recaptured, after having
suffered much by hunger and thirst in endeavouring to find her way back
to Unyoro through the uninhabited wilderness between Shooa and Karuma.
On the last occasion of her capture, the Turks had decided upon her
being incorrigible, therefore she had received 144 blows with the
coorbatch (hippopotamus whip), and had been sold separately from her
child to the party belonging to Mahommed Wat-el-Mek. Little Abbai had
always been a great pet of Mrs. Baker's, and the unfortunate child being
now motherless, he was naturally adopted, and led a most happy life.
Although much under two years old, he was quite equal in precocity to a
European child of three; in form and strength he was a young Hercules,
and, although so young, he would frequently follow me out shooting for
two or three miles, and return home with a guinea-fowl hanging over his
shoulder, or his hands full of pigeons. Abbai became very civilized; he
was taught to make a Turkish "salaam" upon receiving a present, and to
wash his hands both before and after his meals. He had the greatest
objection to eat alone, and he generally invited three or four friends
of about his own age to dine with him; on such occasions, a large wooden
bowl, about twenty inches in diameter, was filled with soup and
porridge, around which steaming dish the young party sat, happier in
their slavery than kings in power. There were two lovely girls of three
and eight years of age that belonged to Ibrahim; these were not black,
but of the same dark brown tint as Kamrasi and many of the Unyoro
people. Their mother was also there, and their history being most
pitiable, they were always allowed free access to our hut and the dinner
bowl. These two girls were the daughters of Owine, one of the great
chiefs who were allied with Fowooka against Kamrasi. After the defeat of
Fowooka, Owine and many of his people with their families quitted the
country, and forming an alliance with Mahommed Wat-el-Mek, they settled
in the neighbourhood of his camp at Faloro, and built a village. For
some time they were on the best terms, but some cattle of the Turks
being missed, suspicion fell upon the new settlers. The men of
Mahommed's party desired that they might be expelled, and Mahommed, in a
fit of drunken fury, at once ordered them to be MASSACRED. His men,
eager for murder and plunder, immediately started upon their bloody
errand, and surrounding the unsuspecting colony, they fired the huts and
killed EVERY MAN, including the chief, Owine; capturing the women and
children as slaves. Ibrahim had received the mother and two girls as
presents from Mahommed Wat-el-Mek. As the two rival companies had been
forced to fraternize, owing to the now generally hostile attitude of the
surrounding tribes, the leaders had become wonderfully polite,
exchanging presents, getting drunk together upon raw spirits, and
behaving in a brotherly manner--according to their ideas of
fraternity. There was a peculiar charm in the association with children
in this land of hardened hearts and savage natures: there is a time in
the life of the most savage animal when infancy is free from the fierce
instincts of race; even the lion's whelp will fondle the hand that it
would tear in riper years: thus, separated in this land of horrors from
all civilization, and forced by hard necessity into the vicinity of all
that was brutal and disgusting, it was an indescribable relief to be
surrounded by those who were yet innocent, and who clung in their
forsaken state to those who looked upon them with pity. We had now six
little dependents, none of whom could ever belong to us, as they were
all slaves, but who were well looked after by my wife; fed, amused, and
kept clean. The boy Abbai was the greatest favourite, as, having neither
father nor mother, he claimed the greatest care: he was well washed
every morning, and then to his great delight smeared all over from head
to toes with red ochre and grease, with a cock's feather stuck in his
woolly pate. He was then a most charming pet savage, and his toilette
completed, he invariably sat next to his mistress, drinking a
gourd-shell of hot milk, while I smoked my early morning pipe beneath
the tree. I made bows and arrows for my boys, and taught them to shoot
at a mark, a large pumpkin being carved into a man's head to excite
their aim. Thus the days were passed until the evening; at that time a
large fire was lighted to create a blaze, drums were collected, and
after dinner a grand dance was kept up by the children, until the young
Abbai ended regularly by creeping under my wife's chair, and falling
sound asleep: from this protected spot he was carried to his mat,
wrapped up in a piece of old flannel (the best cloth we had), in which
he slept till morning. Poor little Abbai! I often wonder what will be
his fate, and whether in his dreams he recalls the few months of
happiness that brightened his earliest days of slavery.

Although we were in good health in Shooa, many of the men were ill,
suffering generally from headache; also from ulcerated legs;--the
latter was a peculiar disease, as the ulcer generally commenced upon the
ankle bone and extended to such a degree that the patient was rendered
incapable of walking. The treatment for headache among all the savage
tribes was a simple cauterization of the forehead in spots burnt with a
hot iron close to the roots of the hair. The natives declared that the
water was unwholesome from the small stream at the foot of the hill and
that all those who drank from the well were in good health. I went down
to examine the spring, which I found beautifully clear, while the
appearance of the stream was quite sufficient to explain the opposite
quality. As I was walking quietly along the bank, I saw a bright ray of
light in the grass upon the opposite side; in another moment I perceived
the head of a crocodile which was concealed in the grass, the brightness
of the sun's reflection upon the eye having attracted my attention. A
shot with the little 24 rifle struck just above the eye and killed it;
--it was a female, from which we extracted several large eggs, all with
hard shells.

The shooting that I had while at Shooa was confined to antelopes; of
these there was no variety excepting waterbuck and hartebeest. Whenever
I shot an animal the Shooa natives would invariably cut its throat, and
drink the hot blood as it gushed from the artery. In this neighbourhood
there was a great scarcity of game the natives of Lira described their
country as teeming with elephants and rhinoceros; a fine horn of the
latter they brought with them to Shooa. There is only one variety of
rhinoceros that I have met with in the portions of Africa that I have
visited: this is the two-horned, a very exact sketch of which I made of
the head of one that I cut off after I had shot it. This two-horned
black rhinoceros is extremely vicious. I have remarked that they almost
invariably charge any enemy that they smell, but do not see; they
generally retreat if they observe the object before obtaining the wind.

In my rambles in search of game, I found two varieties of cotton growing
indigenous to the country: one with a yellow blossom was so short in the
staple as to be worthless, but the other (a red blossom) produced a fine
quality that was detached with extreme ease from the seeds. A sample of
this variety I brought to England, and deposited the seed at the Royal
Botanical Gardens at Kew. A large quantity was reported to be grown at
Lira, some of which was brought me by the chief; this was the inferior
kind. I sketched the old chief of Lira, who when in full dress wore a
curious ornament of cowrie shells upon his felt wig that gave him a most
comical appearance, as he looked like the caricature of an English
judge. The Turks had extended their excursions in their search for
ivory, and they returned from an expedition sixty miles east of Shooa,
bringing with them two donkeys that they had obtained from the natives.
This was an interesting event, as for nearly two years I had heard from
the natives of Latooka, and from those of Unyoro, that donkeys existed
in a country to the east. These animals were the same in appearance as
those of the Soudan; the natives never rode, but simply used them to
transport wood from the forest to their villages; the people were
reported as the same in language and appearance as the Lira tribe.



The hour of deliverance from our long sojourn in Central Africa was at
hand; it was the month of February, and the boats would be at Gondokoro.
The Turks had packed their ivory; the large tusks were fastened to poles
to be carried by two men, and the camp was a perfect mass of this
valuable material. I counted 609 loads of upwards of 50 lbs. each;
thirty-one loads were lying at an outstation: therefore the total
results of the ivory campaign during the last twelve months were about
32,000 lbs., equal to about 9,630 pounds when delivered in Egypt. This
was a perfect fortune for Koorshid.

We were ready to start. My baggage was so unimportant that I was
prepared to forsake everything, and to march straight for Gondokoro
independently with my own men; but this the Turks assured me was
impracticable, as the country was so hostile in advance that we must of
necessity have some fighting on the road; the Bari tribe would dispute
our right to pass through their territory.

The porters were all engaged to transport the ivory, but I observed that
the greater number were in mourning for either lost friends or cattle,
having ropes twisted round their necks and waists, as marks of sorrow.

About 800 men received payment of cattle in advance; the next day they
had all absconded with their cows, having departed during the night.
This was a planned affair to "spoil the Egyptians:" a combination had
been entered into some months before by the Madi and Shooa tribes, to
receive payment and to abscond, but to leave the Turks helpless to
remove their stock of ivory. The people of Mahommed Wat-el-Mek were in a
similar dilemma; not a tusk could be delivered at Gondokoro.

This was not my affair. The greater portion of Ibrahim's immense store
of ivory had been given to him by Kamrasi; I had guaranteed him a
hundred cantars (10,000 lbs.) should he quit Obbo and proceed to the
unknown south; in addition to a large quantity that he had collected and
delivered at Gondokoro in the past year, he had now more than three
times that amount. Although Kamrasi had on many occasions offered the
ivory to me, I had studiously avoided the acceptance of a single tusk,
as I wished the Turks to believe that I would not mix myself up with
trade in any form, and that my expedition had purely the one object that
I had explained to Ibrahim when I first won him over on the road to
Ellyria more than two years ago, "the discovery of the Albert lake."
With a certain number of presents of first class forty-guinea rifles and
guns, &c. &c., to Ibrahim, I declared my intention of starting for
Gondokoro. My trifling articles of baggage were packed: a few of the
Lira natives were to act as porters, as, although the ivory could not be
transported, it was necessary for Ibrahim to send a strong party to
Gondokoro to procure ammunition and the usual supplies forwarded
annually from Khartoum; the Lira people who carried my luggage would act
as return porters.

The day arrived for our departure; the oxen were saddled and we were
ready to start. Crowds of people came to say "goodbye," but, dispensing
with the hand-kissing of the Turks who were to remain in camp, we
prepared for our journey towards HOME. Far away although it was, every
step would bring us nearer. Nevertheless there were ties even in this
wild spot, where all was savage and unfeeling--ties that were painful
to sever, and that caused a sincere regret to both of us when we saw our
little flock of unfortunate slave children crying at the idea of
separation. In this moral desert, where all humanized feelings were
withered and parched like the sands of the Soudan, the guilelessness of
the children had been welcomed like springs of water, as the only
refreshing feature in a land of sin and darkness. "Where are you going?"
cried poor little Abbai in the broken Arabic that we had taught him.
"Take me with you, Sitty!" (lady), and he followed us down the path, as
we regretfully left our proteges, with his fists tucked into his eyes,
weeping from his heart, although for his own mother he had not shed a
tear. We could not take him with us;--he belonged to Ibrahim; and had I
purchased the child to rescue him from his hard lot and to rear him as a
civilized being, I might have been charged with slave dealing. With
heavy hearts we saw him taken up in the arms of a woman and carried back
to camp, to prevent him from following our party, that had now started.

We had turned our backs fairly upon the south, and we now travelled for
several days through most beautiful park-like lands, crossing twice the
Un-y-Ame stream, that rises in the country between Shooa and Unyoro, and
arriving at the point of junction of this river with the Nile, in
latitude 3 degrees 32 minutes N. On the north bank of the Un-y-Ame,
about three miles from the embouchure of that river where it flows into
the Nile, the tamarind tree was shown me that forms the limit of Signor
Miani's journey from Gondokoro, the extreme point reached by any
traveller from the north until the date of my expedition. This tree bore
the name of "Shedder-el-Sowar" (the traveller's tree), by which it was
known to the traders' parties. Several of the men belonging to Ibrahim,
also Mahommed Wat-el-Mek, the vakeel of Debono's people, had accompanied
Signor Miani on his expedition to this spot. Loggo, the Bari
interpreter, who had constantly acted for me during two years, happened
to have been the interpreter of Signor Miani; he confessed to me how he
had been compelled by his master's escort to deceive him, by pretending
that a combined attack was to be made upon them by the natives.

Upon this excuse, Miani's men refused to proceed, and determined to turn
back to Gondokoro; thus ended his expedition. I regarded the tree that
marked the limit of his journey with much sympathy. I remembered how I
had formerly contended with similar difficulties, and how heartbreaking
it would have been to have returned, baffled by the misconduct of my own
people, when the determination of my heart urged me forward to the
south; thus I appreciated the disappointment that so enterprising a
traveller must have felt in sorrowfully cutting his name upon the tree,
and leaving it as a record of misfortune.

With a just tribute to the perseverance that had carried him farther
than any European traveller had penetrated before him, we continued our
route over a most beautiful park of verdant grass, diversified by
splendid tamarind trees, the dark foliage of which afforded harbour for
great numbers of the brilliant yellow-breasted pigeon. We shortly
ascended a rocky mountain by a stony and difficult pass, and upon
arrival at the summit, about 800 feet above the Nile, which lay in front
at about two miles' distance, we halted to enjoy the magnificent view.
"Hurrah for the old Nile!" I exclaimed, as I revelled in the scene
before me: here it was, fresh from its great parent, the Albert lake, in
all the grandeur of Africa's mightiest river. From our elevated point we
looked down upon a broad sheet of unbroken water, winding through marshy
ground, flowing from W.S.W. The actual breadth of clear water,
independent of the marsh and reedy banks, was about 400 yards, but, as
usual in the deep and flat portions of the White Nile, the great extent
of reeds growing in deep water rendered any estimate of the positive
width extremely vague. We could discern the course of this great river
for about twenty miles, and distinctly, trace the line of mountains on
the west bank that we had seen at about sixty miles' distance when on
the route from Karuma to Shooa; the commencement of this chain we had
seen when at Magungo, forming the Koshi frontier of the Nile. The
country opposite to the point on which we now stood was Koshi, which,
forming the west bank of the Nile, extended the entire way to the Albert
lake. The country that we occupied was Madi, which extended as the east
bank of the Nile to the angle of the Victoria Nile (or Somerset river)
junction opposite Magungo. These two countries, Koshi and Madi, we had
seen from Magungo when we had viewed the exit of the Nile from the lake,
as though a tail-like continuation of the water, until lost in the
distance of the interminable valley of high reeds. Having, from Magungo,
in lat. 2 degrees l6 minutes, looked upon the course of the river far to
the north, and from the high pass, our present point, in lat. 3 degrees
34 min. N., we now comprised an extensive view of the river to the
south; the extremities of the limits of view from north and south would
almost meet, and leave a mere trifle of a few miles not actually

Exactly opposite the summit of the pass from which we now scanned the
country, rose the precipitous mountain known as Gebel Kookoo, which rose
to a height of about 2,500 feet above the level of the Nile, and formed
the prominent feature of a chain which bordered the west bank of the
Nile with few breaks to the north, until within thirty miles of
Gondokoro. The pass upon which we stood was the southern extremity of a
range of high rocky hills that formed the east cliff of the Nile; thus
the broad and noble stream that arrived from the Albert lake in a sheet
of unbroken water received the Un-y-Ame river, and then suddenly entered
the pass between the two chains of hills,--Gebel Kookoo on the west,
and the ridge that we now occupied upon the east. The mouth of the
Un-y-Ame river was the limit of navigation from the Albert lake. As far
as the eye could reach to the southwest, the country was dead flat and
marshy throughout the course of the river; this appearance proving the
correctness of the information I had received from the natives of
Unyoro, and from Kamrasi himself, that the Nile was navigable for some
days' journey from the Albert lake. Precisely the same information had
been given to Speke, and the river level at this point showed by his
thermometer so great a difference between that of Karuma, that he had
concluded the fall of 1,000 feet must exist between the foot of Karuma
Falls and the Albert lake; this, as already described, I proved to be
1,275 feet.

It would be impossible to describe the calm enjoyment of the scene from
this elevated pass, from which we confirmed the results of our own
labours and of Speke's well-reflected suggestions. We were now on the
track by which he and Gant had returned; but I believe they had rounded
the foot of the hill that we had ascended; the two routes led to the
same point, as our course brought us at right angles with the Nile that
flowed beneath us. Descending the pass through a thorny jungle, we
arrived at the river, and turning suddenly to the north, we followed its
course for about a mile, and then bivouacked for the evening. The Nile,
having entered the valley between Gebel Kookoo and the western range,
was no longer the calm river that we had seen to the south: numerous
rocky islands blocked its course, and mud-banks covered with papyrus
rush so obstructed the stream that the river widened to about a
mile,---this width was composed of numerous channels, varying in breadth
between the obstructing rock and island. Upon one of the rush-covered
islands a herd of elephants was discovered, almost concealed by the
height of the vegetation. As they approached the edge of the water and
became exposed, I tried about twenty shots at them with the Fletcher
rifle, sighted to 600 yards, but in no instance could I either touch or
disturb them by the bullets;---this will afford some idea of the width
of the river, the island appearing to be in the middle of the stream.

A short distance below this spot, the Nile rapidly contracted, and at
length became a roaring torrent, passing through a narrow gorge between
perpendicular cliffs, with a tremendous current. In some places the
great river was pent up between rocks, which confined it to a width of
about 120 yards, through such channels the rush of water was terrific,
but to a casual observer approaching from the north, the volume of the
Nile would have been underrated, unless calculated by the velocity of
the stream.

From this point we followed the bank of the Nile over a difficult route,
down steep ravines and up precipitous crags, by a winding path along the
foot of the range of syenite hills that hemmed in the river on the west
bank. Several considerable waterfalls added to the grandeur of the pass,
through which for many miles the angry Nile chafed and roared like a
lion in its confined den.

At length we arrived at a steep descent, and dismounting from our oxen
after a walk of about a quarter of a mile over rough stones, we reached
the Asua river, about a quarter of a mile above its junction with the
Nile. The bed was rocky; but although the Atabbi had subscribed its
waters above the point where we now crossed, there was merely a trifling
stream occupying about a quarter of the river's bed, with a current of
about two and a half miles an hour. Crossing this on foot, the water in
the deepest part reached to the middle of my thighs. The Asua river, as
already described at the time that I crossed it on the route from
Farajoke to Shooa, is a mountain torrent formidable during the rains;
quickly flooding and quickly emptying from its rapid inclination, it is
exhausted during the dry season.

The crossing of this river was a signal for extra precaution in the
arrangement of our march: we had entered the territory of the ever
hostile Bari tribe; we had been already warned that we could not pass to
Gondokoro without being attacked.

We slept on the road, about seven miles to the north of the Asua. On the
following morning we started. The route led over a fine country parallel
with the Nile, that still continued in a rockbound channel on the west
of the march. Throughout the route from the Un-y-Ame junction, the soil
had been wretchedly poor, a mass of rock and decomposed granite forming
a sand that quickly parched during the dry season. The level of the
country being about 200 feet above the Nile, deep gullies cut the route
at right angles, forming the natural drains to the river.

In these ravines grew dense thickets of bamboos. Having no native guide,
but trusting solely to the traders' people, who had travelled frequently
by this route, we lost the path, and shortly became entangled amongst
the numerous ravines. At length we passed a village, around which were
assembled a number of natives. Having regained the route, we observed
the natives appearing in various directions, and as quickly disappearing
only to gather in our front in increased numbers. Their movements
exciting suspicion, in a country where every man was an enemy, our party
closed together;--we threw out an advance guard,--ten men on either
flank,--the porters, ammunition, and effects in the centre; while
about ten men brought up the rear. Before us lay two low rocky hills
covered with trees, high grass, and brushwood, in which I distinctly
observed the bright red forms of natives painted according to the custom
of the Bari tribe.

We were evidently in for a fight. The path lay in a gorge between the
low rocky hills in advance. My wife dismounted from her ox, and walked
at the head of our party with me, Saat following behind with the gun
that he usually carried, while the men drove several riding-oxen in the
centre. Hardly had we entered the pass, when--whizz went an arrow over
our heads. This was the signal for a repeated discharge. The natives ran
among the rocks with the agility of monkeys, and showed a considerable
amount of daring in standing within about eighty yards upon the ridge,
and taking steady shots at us with their poisoned arrows. The flanking
parties now opened fire, and what with the bad shooting of both the
escort and the native archers, no one was wounded on either side for the
first ten minutes. The rattle of musketry, and the wild appearance of
the naked vermilion-coloured savages, as they leapt along the craggy
ridge, twanging their bows at us with evil but ineffectual intent, was a
charming picture of African life and manners. Fortunately the branches
of numerous trees and intervening clumps of bamboo frustrated the good
intentions of the arrows, as they glanced from their aim; and although
some fell among our party, we were as yet unscathed. One of the enemy,
who was most probably a chief, distinguished himself in particular, by
advancing to within about fifty yards, and standing on a rock, he
deliberately shot five or six arrows, all of which missed their mark;
the men dodged them as they arrived in their uncertain flight: the speed
of the arrows was so inferior, owing to the stiffness of the bows, that
nothing was easier than to evade them. Any halt was unnecessary. We
continued our march through the gorge, the men keeping up an unremitting
fire until we entered upon a tract of high grass and forest; this being
perfectly dry, it would have been easy to set it on fire, as the enemy
were to leeward; but although the rustling in the grass betokened the
presence of a great number of men, they were invisible. In a few minutes
we emerged in a clearing, where corn had been planted; this was a
favourable position for a decisive attack upon the natives, who now
closed up. Throwing out skirmishers, with orders that they were to cover
themselves behind the trunks of trees, the Baris were driven back. One
was now shot through the body, and fell; but recovering, he ran with his
comrades, and fell dead after a few yards.

What casualties had happened during the passage of the gorge I cannot
say, but the enemy were now utterly discomfited. I had not fired a shot,
as the whole affair was perfect child's play, and any one who could
shoot would have settled the fortune of the day by half a dozen shots;
but both the traders' people and my men were "shooters, but not
hitters." We now bivouacked on the field for the night.

During the march on the following day, the natives watched us at a
distance, following in great numbers parallel with our route, but
fearing to attack. The country was perfectly open, being a succession of
fine downs of low grass, with few trees, where any attack against our
guns would have been madness.

In the evening we arrived at two small deserted villages; these, like
most in the Bari country, were circular, and surrounded by a live and
impenetrable fence of euphorbia, having only one entrance. The traders'
people camped in one, while I took up my quarters in the other. The sun
had sunk, and the night being pitch dark, we had a glorious fire, around
which we placed our angareps opposite the narrow entrance of the camp,
about ten yards distant. I stationed Richarn as sentry outside the
gateway, as he was the most dependable of my men, and I thought it
extremely probable that we might be attacked during the night: three
other sentries I placed on guard at various stations. Dinner being
concluded, Mrs. Baker lay down on her angarep for the night. I drew the
balls from a double No. 10 smooth bore, and loaded with cartridge
containing each twenty large-mould shot (about a hundred to the pound);
putting this under my pillow I went to sleep. Hardly had I begun to
rest, when my men woke me, saying that the camp was surrounded by
natives. Upon inquiry I found this to be correct; it was so dark that
they could not be seen without stooping to the ground and looking along
the surface. I ordered the sentries not to fire unless hostilities
should commence on the side of the natives, and in no case to draw
trigger without a challenge.

Returning to the angarep I lay down, and not wishing to sleep, I smoked
my long Unyoro pipe. In about ten minutes--bang! went a shot, quickly
followed by another from the sentry at the entrance of the camp. Quietly
rising from my bed, I found Richarn reloading at his post. "What is it,
Richarn?" I asked. "They are shooting arrows into the camp, aiming at
the fire, in hopes of hitting you who are sleeping there," said Richarn.
"I watched one fellow," he continued, "as I heard the twang of his bow
four times. At each shot I heard an arrow strike the ground between me
and you, therefore I fired at him, and I think he is down. Do you see
that black object lying on the ground?" I saw something a little blacker
than the surrounding darkness, but it could not be distinguished.
Leaving Richarn with orders not to move from his post, but to keep a
good look-out until relieved by the next watch, I again went to sleep.

Before break of day, just as the grey dawn slightly improved the
darkness, I visited the sentry; he was at his post, and reported that he
thought the archer of the preceding night was dead, as he had heard a
sound proceeding from the dark object on the ground after I had left. In
a few minutes it was sufficiently light to distinguish the body of a
roan lying about thirty paces from the camp entrance. Upon examination,
he proved to be a Bari: his bow was in his hand, and two or three arrows
were lying by his side; thirteen mould shot had struck him dead; one had
cut through the bow. We now searched the camp for arrows, and as it
became light we picked up four in various places, some within a few feet
of our beds, and all horribly barbed and poisoned, that the deceased had
shot into the camp gateway.

This was the last attack during our journey. We marched well, generally
accomplishing fifteen miles of latitude daily from this point, as the
road was good and well known to our guides. The country was generally
poor, but beautifully diversified with large trees, the tamarind
predominating. Passing through the small but thickly-populated and
friendly little province of Moir, in a few days we sighted the
well-known mountain Belignan, that we had formerly passed on its eastern
side when we had started on our uncertain path from Gondokoro upwards of
two years ago. The mountain of Belignan was now N.E. from our point of

We had a splendid view of the Ellyria Mountain, and of the distant cone,
Gebel el Assul (Honey Mountain) between Ellyria and Obbo. All these
curiously-shaped crags and peaks were well known to us, and we welcomed
them as old friends after a long absence; they had been our companions
in times of doubt and anxiety, when success in our undertaking appeared
hopeless. At noon on the following day, as we were as usual marching
parallel with the Nile, the river, having made a slight bend to the
west, swept round, and approached within half a mile of our path; the
small conical mountain, Regiaf, within twelve miles of Gondokoro, was on
our left, rising from the west bank of the river. We felt almost at home
again, and marching until sunset, we bivouacked within three miles of
Gondokoro. That night we were full of speculations. Would a boat be
waiting for us with supplies and letters? The morning anxiously looked
forward to at length arrived. We started;--the English flag had been
mounted on a fine straight bamboo with a new lance head specially
arranged for the arrival at Gondokoro. My men felt proud, as they would
march in as conquerors;--according to White Nile ideas such a journey
could not have been accomplished with so small a party. Long before
Ibrahim's men were ready to start, our oxen were saddled and we were
off, longing to hasten into Gondokoro and to find a comfortable vessel
with a few luxuries and the post from England. Never had the oxen
travelled so fast as on that morning;--the flag led the way, and the
men in excellent spirits followed at double quick pace. "I see the masts
of the vessels!" exclaimed the boy Saat. "El hambd el Illah!" (Thank
God!) shouted the men. "Hurrah!" said I--"Three cheers for Old England
and the Sources of the Nile! Hurrah!" and my men joined me in the wild,
and to their ears savage, English yell. "Now for a salute! Fire away all
your powder, if you like, my lads, and let the people know that we're
alive!" This was all that was required to complete the happiness of my
people, and loading and firing as fast as possible, we approached near
to Gondokoro. Presently we saw the Turkish flag emerge from Gondokoro at
about a quarter of a mile distant, followed by a number of the traders'
people, who waited to receive us. On our arrival, they immediately
approached and fired salutes with ball cartridge, as usual advancing
close to us and discharging their guns into the ground at our feet. One
of my servants, Mahomet, was riding an ox, and an old friend of his in
the crowd happening to recognise him, immediately advanced, and saluted
him by firing his gun into the earth directly beneath the belly of the
ox he was riding;--the effect produced made the crowd and ourselves
explode with laughter. The nervous ox, terrified at the sudden discharge
between his legs, gave a tremendous kick, and continued madly kicking
and plunging, until Mahomet was pitched over his head and lay sprawling
on the ground;--this scene terminated the expedition.

Dismounting from our tired oxen, our first inquiry was concerning boats
and letters. What was the reply? Neither boats, letters, supplies, nor
any intelligence of friends or the civilized world! We had long since
been given up as dead by the inhabitants of Khartoum, and by all those
who understood the difficulties and dangers of the country. We were told
that some people had suggested that we might possibly have gone to
Zanzibar, but the general opinion was that we had all been killed. At
this cold and barren reply, I felt almost choked. We had looked forward
to arriving at Gondokoro as to a home; we had expected that a boat would
have been sent on the chance of finding us, as I had left money in the
hands of an agent in Khartoum--but there was literally nothing to
receive us, and we were helpless to return. We had worked for years in
misery, such as I have but faintly described, to overcome the
difficulties of this hitherto unconquerable exploration; we had
succeeded--and what was the result? Not even a letter from home to
welcome us if alive! As I sat beneath a tree and looked down upon the
glorious Nile that flowed a few yards beneath my feet, I pondered upon
the value of my toil. I had traced the river to its great Albert source,
and as the mighty stream glided before me, the mystery that had ever
shrouded its origin was dissolved. I no longer looked upon its waters
with a feeling approaching to awe for I knew its home, and had visited
its cradle. Had I overrated the importance of the discovery? and had I
wasted some of the best years of my life to obtain a shadow? I recalled
to recollection the practical question of Commoro, the chief of Latooka,
--"Suppose you get to the great lake, what will you do with it? What
will be the good of it? If you find that the large river does flow from
it, what then?"



The various trading parties were assembled in Gondokoro with a total of
about three thousand slaves; but there was consternation depicted upon
every countenance. Only three boats had arrived from Khartoum--one
diahbiah and two noggurs--these belonged to Koorshid Aga. The resume of
news from Khartoum was as follows:--

"Orders had been received by the Egyptian authorities from the European
Governments to suppress the slave-trade. Four steamers had arrived at
Khartoum from Cairo. Two of these vessels had ascended the White Nile,
and had captured many slavers; their crews were imprisoned, and had been
subjected to the bastinado and torture;--the captured slaves had been
appropriated by the Egyptian authorities.

"It would be impossible to deliver slaves to the Soudan this season, as
an Egyptian regiment had been stationed in the Shillook country, and
steamers were cruising to intercept the boats from the interior in their
descent to Khartoum;--thus the army of slaves then at Gondokoro would
be utterly worthless.

"The plague was raging at Khartoum, and had killed 15,000 people;--many
of the boats' crews had died on their passage from Khartoum to Gondokoro
of this disease, which had even broken out in the station where we then
were: people died daily.

"The White Nile was dammed up by a freak of nature, and the crews of
thirty vessels had been occupied five weeks in cutting a ditch through
the obstruction, wide enough to admit the passage of boats."

Such was the intelligence received by the latest arrival from Khartoum.
No boats having been sent for me, I engaged the diahbiah that had
arrived for Koorshid's ivory;--this would return empty, as no ivory
could be delivered at Gondokoro. The prospect was pleasant, as many men
had died of the plague on board our vessel during the voyage from
Khartoum; thus we should be subject to a visitation of this fearful
complaint as a wind-up to the difficulties we had passed through during
our long exile in Central Africa. I ordered the vessel to be thoroughly
scrubbed with boiling water and sand, after which it was fumigated with
several pounds of tobacco, burnt within the cabin.

Three days were employed in ferrying the slaves across the river in the
two noggurs, or barges, as they must be returned to their respective
stations. I rejoiced at the total discomfiture of the traders, and,
observing a cloud of smoke far distant to the north, I spread the alarm
that a steamer was approaching from Khartoum! Such was the consternation
of the traders' parties at the bare idea of such an occurrence that they
prepared for immediate flight into the interior, as they expected to be
captured by Government troops sent from Khartoum to suppress the
slave-trade. Profiting by this nervous state of affairs, I induced them
to allow the boat to start immediately, and we concluded all our
arrangements, contracting for the diahbiah at 4,000 piastres (40
pounds). The plague having broken out at Gondokoro, the victims among
the natives were dragged to the edge of the cliff and thrown into the
river;--it is impossible to describe the horrible effluvium produced by
the crowds of slaves that had been confined upon the limited area of the
station. At length the happy moment arrived that we were to quit the
miserable spot. The boat was ready to start--we were all on board, and
Ibrahim and his people came to say good-bye. It is only justice to
Ibrahim to say, that, although he had been my great enemy when at
Gondokoro in 1863, he had always behaved well since peace was
established at Ellyria; and, although by nature and profession a
slave-hunter, like others of the White Nile, he had frequently yielded
to my interference to save the lives of natives who would otherwise have
been massacred without pity.

I had gained an extraordinary influence over all these ruffianly people.
Everything that I had promised them had been more than performed; all
that I had foretold had been curiously realized. They now acknowledged
how often I had assured them that the slave-trade would be suppressed by
the interference of European powers, and the present ruin of their trade
was the result; they all believed that I was the cause, by having
written from Gondokoro to the Consul-general of Egypt in 1863, when the
traders had threatened to drive me back. Far from retaliating upon me,
they were completely cowed. The report had been spread throughout
Gondokoro by Ibrahim and his people that their wonderful success in
ivory hunting was chiefly due to me; that their sick had been cured;
that good luck had attended their party; that disaster had befallen all
who had been against me; and that no one had suffered wrong at our
hands. With the resignation of Mahommedans they yielded to their
destiny, apparently without any ill-feeling against us. Crowds lined the
cliff and the high ground by the old ruins of the mission station to see
us depart. We pushed off from shore into the powerful current; the
English flag that had accompanied us all through our wanderings now
fluttered proudly from the masthead unsullied by defeat, and amidst the
rattle of musketry we glided rapidly down the river, and soon lost sight
of Gondokoro.

What were our feelings at that moment? Overflowing with gratitude to a
Divine Providence that had supported us in sickness, and guided us
through all dangers. There had been moments of hopelessness and despair;
days of misery, when the future had appeared dark and fatal; but we had
been strengthened in our weakness, and led, when apparently lost, by an
unseen hand. I felt no triumph, but with a feeling of calm contentment
and satisfaction we floated down the Nile. My great joy was in the
meeting that I contemplated with Speke in England, I had so thoroughly
completed the task we had agreed upon.

Silently and easily we floated down the river; the oars keeping us in
midstream. The endless marshes no longer looked so mournful as we glided
rapidly past, and descended the current against which we had so
arduously laboured on our ascent to Gondokoro. As we thus proceeded on
our voyage through the monotonous marshes and vast herds of hippopotami
that at this season thronged the river, I had ample leisure to write my
letters for England, to be posted on arrival at Khartoum, and to look
back upon the results of the last few years. The Nile, cleared of its
mystery, resolves itself into comparative simplicity. The actual basin
of the Nile is included between about the 22 degree and 39 degree East
longitude, and from 3 degrees South to 13 degrees North latitude. The
drainage of that vast area is monopolized by the Egyptian river. The
Victoria and Albert lakes, the two great equatorial reservoirs, are the
recipients of all affluents south of the Equator; the Albert lake being
the grand reservoir in which are concentrated the entire waters from the
south, in addition to tributaries from the Blue Mountains from the north
of the Equator. The Albert N'yanza is the great basin of the Nile: the
distinction between that and the Victoria N'yanza is, that the Victoria
is a reservoir receiving the eastern affluents, and it becomes a
starting point or the most elevated SOURCE at the point where the river
issues from it at the Ripon Falls: the Albert is a reservoir not only
receiving the western and southern affluents direct from the Blue
Mountains, but it also receives the supply from the Victoria and from
the entire equatorial Nile basin. The Nile as it issues from the Albert
N'yanza is the ENTIRE Nile; prior to its birth from the Albert lake it
is NOT the entire Nile. A glance at the map will at once exemplify the
relative value of the two great lakes. The Victoria gathers all the
waters on the eastern side and sheds them into the northern extremity of
the Albert: while the latter, from its character and position, is the
direct channel of the Nile that receives all waters that belong to the
equatorial Nile basin. Thus the Victoria is the first SOURCE; but from
the Albert the river issues at once as the great White Nile.

It is not my intention to claim a higher value for my discovery than is
justly due, neither would I diminish in any way the lustre of the
achievements of Speke and Grant; it has ever been my object to confirm
and support their discoveries, and to add my voice to the chorus of
praise that they have so justly merited. A great geographical fact has
through our joint labours been most thoroughly established by the
discovery of the sources of the Nile. I lay down upon the map exactly
what I saw, and what I gathered from information afforded by the natives
most carefully examined.

My exploration confirms all that was asserted by Speke and Grant: they
traced the country from Zanzibar to the northern watershed of Africa,
commencing at about 3 degrees South latitude, at the southern extremity
of the Victoria N'yanza. They subsequently determined the river at the
Ripon Falls flowing from that lake to be the highest source of the Nile.
They had a perfect right to arrive at this conclusion from the data then
afforded. They traced the river for a considerable distance to Karuma
Falls, in lat. 2 degrees 15 minutes N.; and they subsequently met the
Nile in lat. 3 degrees 32 minutes N. They had heard that it flowed into
the Luta N'zige, and that it issued from it; thus they were correct in
all their investigations, which my discoveries have confirmed. Their
general description of the country was perfect, but not having visited
the lake heard of as the Luta N'zige, they could not possibly have been
aware of the vast importance of that great reservoir in the Nile system.
The task of exploring that extraordinary feature having been
accomplished, the geographical question of the sources of the Nile is
explained. Ptolemy had described the Nile sources as emanating from two
great lakes that received the snows of the mountains of Ethiopia. There
are many ancient maps existing upon which these lakes are marked as
positive: although there is a wide error in the latitude, the fact
remains, that two great lakes were reported to exist in Equatorial
Africa fed by the torrents from lofty mountains, and that from these
reservoirs two streams issued, the conjunction of which formed the Nile.
The general principle was correct, although the detail was wrong. There
can be little doubt that trade had been carried on between the Arabs
from the Red Sea and the coast opposite Zanzibar in ancient times, and
that the people engaged in such enterprise had penetrated so far into
the interior as to have obtained a knowledge of the existence of the two
reservoirs; thus may the geographical information originally have been
brought into Egypt.

The rainfall to within 3 degrees north of the Equator extends over ten
months, commencing in February and terminating in the end of November.
The heaviest rains fall from April till the end of August; during the
latter two months of this season the rivers are at their maximum: at
other times the climate is about as uncertain as that of England; but
the rain is of the heavy character usual in the tropics. Thus the rivers
are constant throughout the year, and the Albert lake continues at a
high level, affording a steady volume of water to the Nile. On the map
given to me by Captain Speke he has marked the Victoria Nile below the
Ripon Falls as the Somerset river. As I have made a point of adhering to
all native names as given by him upon that map, I also adhere to the
name Somerset river for that portion of the Nile between the Victoria
and the Albert Lakes; this must be understood as Speke's VICTORIA NILE
source; bearing the name of Somerset, no confusion will arise in
speaking of the Nile, which would otherwise be ambiguous, as the same
name would apply to two distinct rivers--the one emanating from the
Victoria and flowing into the Albert; the other the entire river Nile as
it leaves the Albert lake. The White Nile, fed as described by the great
reservoirs supplied by the rains of equatorial districts, receives the
following tributaries:

From the East bank--The Asua, important from 15th April till 15th
November: dry after that date.

From West bank--The Ye, third class; full from 15th April till 15th

From West bank--Another small river, third class; full from 15th April
till 15th November.

Ditto--The Bahr el Gazal; little or no water supplied by this river.

From East bank--The Sobat, first class; full from June to December.

The Bahr Giraffe I omit, as it is admitted by the natives to be a branch
of the White Nile that leaves the main river at the Aliab country and
reunites in lat. 9 degrees 25 minutes between the Bahr el Gazal and the
Sobat. The latter river (Sobat) is the most powerful affluent of the
White Nile, and is probably fed by many tributaries from the Galla
country about Kaffa, in addition to receiving the rivers from the Bari
and Latooka countries. I consider that the Sobat must be supplied by
considerable streams from totally distinct countries east and south,
having a rainfall at different seasons, as it is bank-full at the end of
December, when the southern rivers (the Asua, &c.) are extremely low.
North from the Sobat, the White Nile has no other tributaries until it
is joined by the Blue Nile at Khartoum, and by its last affluent the
Atbara in lat. 17 degrees 37 minutes. These two great mountain streams
flooding suddenly in the end of June, fed by the rains of Abyssinia,
raise the volume of the Nile to an extent that causes the inundations of
Lower Egypt.

The basin of the Nile being thus understood, let us reflect upon the
natural resources of the vast surface of fertile soil that is comprised
in that portion of Central Africa. It is difficult to believe that so
magnificent a soil and so enormous an extent of country is destined to
remain for ever in savagedom, and yet it is hard to argue on the
possibility of improvement in a portion of the world inhabited by
savages whose happiness consists in idleness or warfare. The advantages
are few, the drawbacks many. The immense distance from the seacoast
would render impossible the transport of any merchandise unless of
extreme value, as the expenses would be insupportable. The natural
productions are nil, excepting ivory. The soil being fertile and the
climate favourable to cultivation, all tropical produce would thrive;
cotton, coffee, and the sugarcane are indigenous; but although both
climate and soil are favourable, the conditions necessary to successful
enterprise are wanting--the population is scanty, and the material of
the very worst; the people vicious and idle. The climate, although
favourable for agriculture, is adverse to the European constitution;
thus colonization would be out of the question. What can be done with so
hopeless a prospect? Where the climate is fatal to Europeans, from
whence shall civilization be imported? The heart of Africa is so
completely secluded from the world, and the means of communication are
so difficult, that although fertile, its geographical position debars
that vast extent of country from improvement: thus shut out from
civilization it has become an area for unbridled atrocities, as
exemplified in the acts of the ivory traders.

Difficult and almost impossible is the task before the Missionary. The
Austrian Mission has failed, and the stations have been forsaken; their
pious labour was hopeless, and the devoted priests died upon their
barren field. What curse lies so heavily upon Africa and bows her down
beneath all other nations? It is the infernal traffic in slaves--a trade
so hideous, that the heart of every slave and owner becomes deformed,
and shrinks like a withered limb incapable of action. The natural love
of offspring, shared with the human race by the most savage beast,
ceases to warm the heart of the wretched slave. Why should the mother
love her child, if it is born to become the PROPERTY of her owner?--to
be SOLD as soon as it can exist without the mother's care. Why should
the girl be modest, when she knows that she is the actual PROPERTY, the
slave, of every purchaser? Slavery murders the sacred feeling of love,
that blessing that cheers the lot of the poorest man, that spell that
binds him to his wife, and child, and home. Love cannot exist with
slavery--the mind becomes brutalized to an extent that freezes all those
tender feelings that Nature has implanted in the human heart to separate
it from the beast; and the mind, despoiled of all noble instincts,
descends to hopeless brutality. Thus is Africa accursed: nor can she be
raised to any scale approaching to civilization until the slave-trade
shall be totally suppressed. The first step necessary to the improvement
of the savage tribes of the White Nile is the annihilation of the
slave-trade. Until this be effected, no legitimate commerce can be
established; neither is there an opening for missionary enterprise--the
country is sealed and closed against all improvement.

Nothing would be easier than to suppress this infamous traffic, were the
European Powers in earnest. Egypt is in favour of slavery. I have never
seen a Government official who did not in argument uphold slavery as an
institution absolutely necessary to Egypt, thus any demonstration made
against the slave-trade by the Government of that country will be simply
a pro forma movement to blind the European Powers. Their eyes thus
closed, and the question shelved, the trade will resume its channel.
Were the reports of European consuls supported by their respective
Governments, and were the consuls themselves empowered to seize vessels
laden with slaves, and to liberate gangs of slaves when upon a land
journey, that abominable traffic could not exist. The hands of the
European consuls are tied, and jealousies interwoven with the Turkish
question act as a bar to united action on the part of Europe; no Power
cares to be the first to disturb the muddy pool. The Austrian consul at
Khartoum, Herr Natterer, told me, in 1862, that he had vainly reported
the atrocities of the slave-trade to his Government--NO REPLY HAD BEEN
RECEIVED to his report. Every European Government KNOWS that the
slave-trade is carried on to an immense extent in Upper Egypt, and that
the Red Sea is the great Slave Lake by which these unfortunate creatures
are transported to Arabia and to Suez--but the jealousies concerning
Egypt muzzle each European Power. Should one move, the other would
interfere to counteract undue influence in Egypt. Thus is immunity
insured to the villanous actors in the trade. Who can prosecute a slave
trader of the White Nile? What legal evidence can be produced from
Central Africa to secure a conviction in an English Court of Law? The
English consul (Mr. Petherick) arrested a Maltese, the nephew of
Debono;--the charge could not be legally supported. Thus are the consuls
fettered, and their acts nullified by the impossibility of producing
reliable evidence;--the facts are patent; but who can prove them

Stop the White Nile trade; prohibit the departure of any vessels from
Khartoum for the south, and let the Egyptian Government grant a
concession to a company for the White Nile, subject to certain
conditions, and to a special supervision. (There are already four
steamers at Khartoum.) Establish a military post of 200 men at
Gondokoro; an equal number below the Shillook tribe in 13 degrees
latitude, and, with two steamers cruising on the river, not a slave
could descend the White Nile.

Should the slave-trade be suppressed, there will be a good opening for
the ivory trade; the conflicting trading parties being withdrawn, and
the interest of the trade exhibited by a single company, the natives
would no longer be able to barter ivory for cattle; thus they would be
forced to accept other goods in exchange. The newly-discovered Albert
lake opens the centre of Africa to navigation. Steamers ascend from
Khartoum to Gondokoro in latitude 4 degrees 55'. Seven days' march south
from that station the navigable portion of the Nile is reached, where
vessels can ascend direct to the Albert lake--thus an enormous extent
of country is opened to navigation, and Manchester goods and various
other articles would find a ready market in exchange for ivory, at a
prodigious profit, as in those newly-discovered regions ivory has a
merely nominal value. Beyond this commencement of honest trade, I cannot
offer a suggestion, as no produce of the country except ivory could
afford the expense of transport to Europe. IF Africa is to be civilized,
it must be effected by commerce, which, once established, will open the
way for missionary labour; but all ideas of commerce, improvement, and
the advancement of the African race that philanthropy could suggest must
be discarded until the traffic in slaves shall have ceased to exist.

Should the slave-trade be suppressed, a field would be opened, the
extent of which I will not attempt to suggest, as the future would
depend upon the good government of countries now devoted to savage
anarchy and confusion.

Any Government that would insure security would be the greatest
blessing, as the perpetual hostilities among the various tribes prevent
an extension of cultivation. The sower knows not who will reap, thus he
limits his crop to his bare necessities.

The ethnology of Central Africa is completely beyond my depth. The
natives not only are ignorant of writing, but they are without
traditions--their thoughts are as entirely engrossed by their daily
wants as those of animals; thus there is no clue to the distant past;
history has no existence. This is much to be deplored, as peculiarities
are specific in the type of several tribes both in physical appearance
and in language. The Dinka; Bari; Latooka; Madi; and Unyoro or Kitwara,
are distinct languages on the east of the Nile, comprising an extent of
country from about 12 degrees north to the Equator.

The Makkarika have also a distinct language, and I was informed in
Kamrasi's country, that the Malegga, on the west of the Albert lake,
speak a different tongue to that of Kitwara (or Unyoro)--this may
possibly be the same as the Makkarika, of which I have had no experience
by comparison. Accepting the fact of five distinct languages from the
Equator to 12 degrees N. lat., it would appear by analogy that Central
Africa is divided into numerous countries and tribes, distinct from each
other in language and physical conformation, whose origin is perfectly
obscure. Whether the man of Central Africa be pre-Adamite is impossible
to determine; but the idea is suggested by the following data. The
historical origin of man, or Adam, commences with a knowledge of God.

Throughout the history of the world from the creation of Adam, God is
connected with mankind in every creed, whether worshipped as the
universal sublime Spirit of omnipotence, or shaped by the forms of
idolatry into representations of a deity. From the creation of Adam,
mankind has acknowledged its inferiority, and must bow down and worship
either the true God or a graven image; or something that is in heaven or
in earth. The world, as we accept that term, was always actuated by a
natural religious instinct. Cut off from that world, lost in the
mysterious distance that shrouded the origin of the Egyptian Nile, were
races unknown, that had never reckoned in the great sum of
history--races that we have brought to light, whose existence had been
hidden from mankind, and that now appear before us like the fossil bones
of antediluvian animals. Are they vestiges of what existed in a
pre-Adamite creation?

The geological formation of Central Africa is primitive; showing an
altitude above the sea-level averaging nearly 4,000 feet. This elevated
portion of the globe, built up in great part of granitic sandstone
rocks, has never been submerged, nor does it appear to have undergone
any changes, either volcanic or by the action of water. Time, working
through countless ages with the slow but certain instrument of
atmospheric influence, has rounded the surface and split into fragments
the granite rocks, leaving a sandy base of disintegrated portions, while
in other cases the mountains show as hard and undecayed a surface as
though fresh from Nature's foundry. Central Africa never having been
submerged, the animals and races must be as old, and may be older, than
any upon the earth.

No geological change having occurred in ages long anterior to man, as
shown by Sir R. I. Murchison theoretically so far back as the year 1852,
when Central Africa was utterly unknown, it is natural to suppose that
the races that exist upon that surface should be unaltered from their
origin. That origin may date from a period so distant, that it preceded
the Adamite creation. Historic man believes in a Divinity; the tribes of
Central Africa know no God. Are they of our Adamite race? The equatorial
portion of Africa at the Nile sources has an average altitude above the
sea-level of about 4,000 feet; this elevated plateau forms the base of a
range of mountains, that I imagine extends, like the vertebrae of an
animal, from east to west, shedding a drainage to the north and south.
Should this hypothesis be correct, the southern watershed would fill the
Tanganika lake: while farther to the west another lake, supplied by the
southern drainage, may form the head of the river Congo. On the north a
similar system may drain into the Niger and Lake Tchad: thus the
Victoria and the Albert lakes, being the two great reservoirs or sources
of the Nile, may be the first of a system of African equatorial lakes
fed by the northern and southern drainage of the mountain range, and
supplying all the principal rivers of Africa from the great equatorial
rainfall. The fact of the centre of Africa at the Nile sources being
about 4,000 feet above the ocean, independently of high mountains rising
from that level, suggests that the drainage of the Equator from the
central and elevated portion must find its way to the lower level and
reach the sea. Wherever high mountain ranges exist, there must also be
depressions; those situated in an equatorial rainfall must receive the
drainage from the high lands and become lakes, the overflow of which
must form the sources of rivers, precisely as exemplified in the sources
of the Nile from the Victoria and the Albert lakes.

The fact that Sir Roderick Murchison, as a geologist, laid down a theory
of the existence of a chain of lakes upon an elevated plateau in Central
Africa, which theory has been now in great measure confirmed by actual
inspection, induces me to quote an extract from his address at the
anniversary meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, 23d May, 1864. In
that address, he expressed opinions upon the geological structure and
the races of Central Africa, which preceded those that I formed when at
the Albert lake. It is with intense interest that I have read the
following extract since my return to England:--

"In former addresses, I suggested that the interior mass and central
portions of Africa constituting a great plateau occupied by lakes and
marshes from which the waters escaped by cracks or depressions in the
subtending older rocks, had been in that condition during an enormously
long period. I have recently been enabled, through the apposite
discovery of Dr. Kirk, the companion of Livingstone, not only to fortify
my conjecture of 1852, but greatly to extend the inferences concerning
the long period of time during which the central parts of Africa have
remained in their present condition, save their degradation by ordinary
atmospheric agencies. My view, as given to this Society in 1852, was
mainly founded on the original and admirable geological researches of
Mr. Bain in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope. It was, that, inasmuch
as in the secondary or mesozoic age of geologists, the northern interior
of that country was occupied by great lakes and marshes, as proved by
the fossil reptile discovered by Bain, and named Dicynodon by Owen, such
it has remained for countless ages, even up to the present day. The
succeeding journeys into the interior, of Livingstone, Thornton and
Kirk, Burton and Speke, and Speke and Grant, have all tended to
strengthen me in the belief that Southern Africa has not undergone any
of those great submarine depressions which have so largely affected
Europe, Asia, and America, during the secondary, tertiary, and quasi
modern periods.

"The discovery of Dr. Kirk has confirmed my conclusion. On the banks of
an affluent of the Zambesi, that gentleman collected certain bones,
apparently carried down in watery drifts from inland positions, which
remains have been so fossilized as to have all the appearance of
antiquity which fossils of a tertiary or older age usually present. One
of these is a portion of the vertebral column and sacrum of a buffalo,
undistinguishable from that of the Cape buffalo; another is a fragment
of a crocodile, and another of a water-tortoise, both undistinguishable
from the forms of those animals now living. Together with these, Dr.
Kirk found numerous bones of antelopes and other animals, which, though
in a fossil condition, all belonged, as he assured me, to species now
living in South Africa.

"On the other hand, none of our explorers, including Mr. Bain, who has
diligently worked as a geologist, have detected in the interior any
limestones containing marine fossil remains, which would have proved
that South Africa had, like other regions, been depressed into oceanic
conditions, and re-elevated. On the contrary, in addition to old
granitic and other igneous rocks, all explorers find only either
innumerable undulations of sandstones, schistose, and quartzose rocks,
or such tufaceous and ferruginous deposits as would naturally occur in
countries long occupied by lakes and exuberant jungles, separated from
each other by sandy hills, scarcely any other calcareous rocks being
found except tufas formed by the deposition of landsprings. It is true
that there are marine tertiary formations on the coasts (around the Cape
Colony, near the mouth of the Zambesi opposite Mozambique, and again on
the coasts of Mombas opposite Zanzibar), and that these have been raised
up into low-coast ranges, followed by rocks of igneous origin. But in
penetrating into the true interior, the traveller takes a final leave of
all such formations; and in advancing to the heart of the continent, he
traverses a vast region which, to all appearance, has ever been under
terrestrial and lacustrine conditions only. Judging, indeed, from all
the evidences as yet collected, the interior of South Africa has
remained in that condition since the period of the secondary rocks of
geologists! Yet, whilst none of our countrymen found any evidences of
old marine remains, Captain Speke brought from one of the ridges which
lay between the coast and the lake Victoria N'yanza a fossil shell,
which, though larger in size, is undistinguishable from the Achatina
perdix now flourishing in South Africa. Again, whilst Bain found fossil
plants in his reptiliferous strata north of the Cape, and Livingstone
and Thornton discovered coal in sandstone, with fossil plants, like
those of our old coal of Europe and America,--yet both these mesozoic
and palaeozoic remains are terrestrial, and are not associated with
marine limestones, indicative of those oscillations of the land which
are so common in other countries.

"It is further to be observed, that the surface of this vast interior is
entirely exempt from the coarse superficial drift that encumbers so many
countries, as derived from lofty mountain-chains from which either
glaciers or great torrential streams have descended. In this respect, it
is also equally unlike those plains of Germany, Poland, and Northern
Russia, which were sea-bottoms when floating icebergs melted and dropped
the loads of stone which they were transporting from Scandinavia and

"In truth, therefore, the inner portion of Southern Africa is, in this
respect, as far as I know, geologically unique in the long conservation
of ancient terrestrial conditions. This inference is further supported
by the concomitant absence, throughout the larger portion of all this
vast area, i.e. south of the Equator, of any of those volcanic rocks
which are so often associated with oscillations of the terra firma
["Although Kilimandjaro is to a great extent igneous and volcanic, there
is nothing to prove it has been in activity during the historic era."]

"With the exception of the true volcanic hills of the Cameroons recently
described by Burton, on the west coast, a little to the north of the
Equator, and which possibly may advance southwards towards the Gaboon
country, nothing is known of the presence of any similar foci of
sub-aerial eruption all round the coasts of Africa south of the Equator.
If the elements for the production of them had existed, the coast-line
is precisely that on which we should expect to find such volcanic vents,
if we judge by the analogy of all volcanic regions where the habitual
igneous eruptions are not distant from the sea, or from great internal
masses of water. The absence, then, both on the coasts and in the
interior, of any eruptive rocks which can have been thrown up under the
atmosphere since the period when the tertiary rocks began to be
accumulated, is in concurrence with all the physical data as yet got
together. These demonstrate that, although the geologist finds here none
of those characters of lithological structure and curiously diversified
organic remains which enable him to fix the epochs of succession in the
crust of the earth in other quarters of the globe, the interior of South
Africa is unquestionably a grand type of a region which has preserved
its ancient terrestrial conditions during a very long period, unaffected
by any changes except those which are dependent on atmospheric and
meteoric influences.

"If, then, the lower animals and plants of this vast country have gone
on unchanged for a very long period, may we infer that its human
inhabitants are of like antiquity? If so, the Negro may claim as old a
lineage as the Caucasian or Mongolian races. In the absence of any
decisive fact, I forbear, at present, to speculate on this point; but
as, amid the fossil specimens procured by Livingstone and Kirk, there
are fragments of pottery made by human hands, we must wait until some
zealous explorer of Southern Africa shall distinctly bring forward
proofs that the manufactured articles are of the same age as the fossil
bones. In other words, we still require from Africa the same proofs of
the existence of links which bind together the sciences of Geology and
Archaeology which have recently been developed in Europe. Now, if the
unquestioned works of man should be found to be coeval with the remains
of fossilized existing animals in Southern Africa, the travelled
geographer, who has convinced himself of the ancient condition of its
surface, must admit, however unwillingly, that although the black man is
of such very remote antiquity, he has been very stationary in
civilization and in attaining the arts of life, if he be compared with
the Caucasian, the Mongolian, the Red Indian of America, or even with
the aborigines of Polynesia." ("The most remarkable proof of the
inferiority of the Negro, when compared with the Asiatic, is, that
whilst the latter has domesticated the elephant for ages, and rendered
it highly useful to man, the Negro has only slaughtered the animal to
obtain food or ivory.")



We continued our voyage down the Nile, at times scudding along with a
fair wind and stream, when a straight portion of the river allowed our
men respite from the oars. This was the termination of the dry season,
in this latitude 7 degrees (end of March);--thus, although the river
was nearly level with the banks, the marshes were tolerably firm, and in
the dryer portions the reeds had been burnt off by the natives. In one
of these cleared places we descried a vast herd of antelopes, numbering
several thousands. The males were black, and carried fine horns, while
the females were reddish-brown and without horns. Never having shot this
species, I landed from the boat, which I ordered to wait in a sheltered
nook, while, accompanied by the boy Saat and Richarn, I took the little
Fletcher 24 rifle and commenced a stalk.

The antelopes did not evince their usual shyness, and with a tolerable
amount of patience I succeeded in getting within about 120 paces of two
splendid black bucks that were separated from the herd;--a patch of
half-burnt reeds afforded a good covering point. The left-hand buck was
in a good position for a shoulder shot, standing with his flank exposed,
but with his head turned towards me. At the crack of the rifle he sprang
upon his hind legs,--gave two or three convulsive bounds, and fell. His
companion went off at full speed, and the left-hand barrel unfortunately
broke his hind leg, as the half-burnt reeds hindered a correct aim.
Reloading, while my men bled the dead buck, I fired a long shot at the
dense mass of antelopes who were now in full retreat at about 600 yards'
distance crowded together in thousands. I heard, or fancied I heard, the
ball strike some object, and as the herd passed on, a reddish object
remained behind that we could hardly distinguish, but on nearer approach
I found a doe lying dead--she had been by chance struck by the ball
through the neck at this great distance. The game being at full speed in
retreat, my sport would have been over had we not at that moment heard
shouts and yells exactly ahead of the vast herd of antelopes. At once
they halted, and we perceived a number of natives, armed with spears and
bows, who had intercepted the herd in their retreat, and who now turned
them by their shouts exactly towards us. The herd came on at full speed;
but seeing us, they slightly altered their line, and rushed along,
thundering over the ground almost in single file, thus occupying a
continuous line of about half a mile in length. Running towards them at
right angles for about a quarter of a mile, I at length arrived at a
white ant-hill about ten feet high; behind this I took my stand within
about seventy yards of the string of antelopes that were filing by at
full gallop. I waited for a buck with fine horns. Several passed, but I
observed better heads in their rear;--they came bounding along.
"Crack!" went the rifle; and a fine buck pitched upon his head. Again
the little Fletcher spoke, and down went another within ten yards of the
first. "A spare gun, Richarn!" and Oswell's Purdey was slipped into my
hand. "Only one barrel is loaded," said Richarn. I saw a splendid buck
coming along with a doe by his side;--she protected him from the shot
as they came on at right angles with the gun; but knowing that the ball
would go through her and reach him on the other side, I fired at her
shoulder,--she fell dead to the shot, but he went off scatheless. I now
found that Richarn had loaded the gun with twenty mould shot instead of
ball;--these were confined in a cartridge, and had killed her on the

I had thus bagged five antelopes; and, cutting off the heads of the
bucks, we left the bodies for the natives, who were anxiously watching
us from a distance, but afraid to approach. The antelope first shot that
was nearer to the boat, we dragged on board, with the assistance of ten
or twelve men. The buck was rather larger than an average
donkey;--colour, black, with a white patch across the withers;--a white
crown to the head; white round the eyes; chest black, but belly white;
the horns about two feet four inches long, and bending gracefully

A few days after this incident we arrived at the junction of the Bahr el
Gazal, and turning sharp to the east, we looked forward to arriving at
the extraordinary obstruction that since our passage in 1863 had dammed
the White Nile.

There was considerable danger in the descent of the river upon nearing
this peculiar dam, as the stream plunged below it by a subterranean
channel with a rush like a cataract. A large diahbiah laden with ivory
had been carried beneath the dam on her descent from Gondokoro in the
previous year, and had never been seen afterwards. I ordered the reis to
have the anchor in readiness, and two powerful hawsers; should we arrive
in the evening, he was to secure the vessel to the bank, and not to
attempt the passage through the canal until the following morning. We
anchored about half a mile above the dam.

This part of the Nile is boundless marsh, portions of which were at this
season terra firma. The river ran from west to east; the south bank was
actual ground covered with mimosas, but to the north and west the flat
marsh covered with high weeds was interminable.

At daybreak we manned the oars and floated down the rapid stream. In a
few minutes we heard the rush of water, and we saw the dam stretching
across the river before us. The marsh being firm, our men immediately
jumped out on the left bank and manned the hawsers--one fastened from
the stern, the other from the bow; this arrangement prevented the boat
from turning broadside on to the dam, by which accident the shipwrecked
diahbiah had been lost. As we approached the dam, I perceived the canal
or ditch that had been cut by the crews of the vessels that had ascended
the river; it was about ten feet wide, and would barely allow the
passage of our diahbiah. This canal was already choked with masses of
floating vegetation and natural rafts of reeds and mud that the river
carried with it, the accumulation of which had originally formed the

Having secured the vessel by carrying out an anchor astern and burying
it on the marsh, while a rope fastened from the bow to the high reeds
kept her stern to the stream, all hands jumped into the canal and
commenced dragging out the entangled masses of weeds, reeds, ambatch
wood, grass, and mud that had choked the entrance. Half a day was thus
passed, at the expiration of which time we towed our vessel safely into
the ditch, where she lay out of danger. It was necessary to discharge
all cargo from the boat, in order to reduce her draught of water. This
tedious operation completed, and many bushels of corn being piled upon
mats spread upon the reeds beaten flat, we endeavoured to push her along
the canal. Although the obstruction was annoying it was a most
interesting object.

The river had suddenly disappeared: there was apparently an end to the
White Nile. The dam was about three-quarters of a mile wide; it was
perfectly firm, and was already overgrown with high reeds and grass,
thus forming a continuation of the surrounding country. Many of the
traders' people had died of the plague at this spot during the delay of
some weeks in cutting the canal; the graves of these dead were upon the
dam. The bottom of the canal that had been cut through the dam was
perfectly firm, composed of sand, mud, and interwoven decaying
vegetation. The river arrived with great force at the abrupt edge of the
obstruction, bringing with it all kinds of trash and large floating
islands. None of these objects hitched against the edge, but the instant
they struck they dived under and disappeared. It was in this manner that
the vessel had been lost--having missed the narrow entrance to the
canal, she had struck the dam stem on; the force of the current
immediately turned her broadside against the obstruction; the floating
islands and masses of vegetation brought down by the river were heaped
against her, and heeling over on her side she was sucked bodily under
and carried beneath the dam; her crew had time to save themselves by
leaping upon the firm barrier that had wrecked their ship. The boatmen
told me that dead hippopotami had been found on the other side, that had
been carried under the dam and drowned.

Two days' hard work from morning till night brought us through the
canal, and we once more found ourselves on the open Nile on the other
side of the dam. The river was in that spot perfectly clean; not a
vestige of floating vegetation could be seen upon its waters; in its
subterranean passage it had passed through a natural sieve, leaving all
foreign matter behind to add to the bulk of the already stupendous work.

All before us was clear and plain sailing. For some days two or three
of our men had been complaining of severe headache, giddiness, and
violent pains in the spine and between the shoulders. I had been anxious
when at Gondokoro concerning the vessel, as many persons had died on
board of the plague during the voyage from Khartoum. The men assured me
that the most fatal symptom was violent bleeding from the nose; in such
cases no one had been known to recover. One of the boatmen, who had been
ailing for some days, suddenly went to the side of the vessel and hung
his head over the river; his nose was bleeding!

Another of my men, Yaseen, was ill; his uncle, my vakeel, came to me
with a report that "his nose was bleeding violently!" Several other men
fell ill: they lay helplessly about the deck in low muttering delirium,
their eyes as yellow as orange-peel. In two or three days the vessel was
so horribly offensive as to be unbearable; THE PLAGUE HAD BROKEN OUT! We
floated past the river Sobat junction; the wind was fair from the south,
thus fortunately we in the stern were to windward of the crew. Yaseen
died; he was one who had bled at the nose. We stopped to bury him. The
funeral hastily arranged, we again set sail. Mahommed died; he had bled
at the nose. Another burial. Once more we set sail and hurried down the
Nile. Several men were ill, but the dreaded symptom had not appeared. I
had given each man a strong dose of calomel at the commencement of the
disease; I could do nothing more, as my medicines were exhausted. All
night we could hear the sick, muttering and raving in delirium, but from
years of association with disagreeables we had no fear of the infection.
One morning the boy Saat came to me with his head bound up, and
complained of severe pain in the back and limbs, with all the usual
symptoms of plague: in the afternoon I saw him leaning over the ship's
side; his nose was bleeding violently! At night he was delirious. On the
following morning he was raving, and on the vessel stopping to collect
firewood he threw himself into the river to cool the burning fever that
consumed him. His eyes were suffused with blood, which, blended with a
yellow as deep as the yolk of egg, gave a horrible appearance to his
face, that was already so drawn and changed as to be hardly recognised.
Poor Saat! the faithful boy that we had adopted, and who had formed so
bright an exception to the dark character of his race, was now a victim
to this horrible disease. He was a fine strong lad of nearly fifteen,
and he now lay helplessly on his mat, and cast wistful glances at the
face of his mistress as she gave him a cup of cold water mixed with a
few lumps of sugar that we had obtained from the traders at Gondokoro.

We arrived at Fashoder, in the Shillook country, where the Egyptian
Government had formed a camp of a thousand men to take possession of the
country. We were well received and hospitably entertained by Osman Bey,
to whom our thanks are due for the first civilized reception after years
of savagedom. At Fashoder we procured lentils, rice, and dates, which
were to us great luxuries, and would be a blessing to the plague-smitten
boy, as we could now make some soup. Goats we had purchased in the Shir
country for molotes (iron hoes) that we had received in exchange for
corn at Gondokoro from Koorshid's agent who was responsible for the
supply I had left in depot. We left Fashoder, and continued our voyage
towards Khartoum.

Saat grew worse and worse: nothing would relieve the unfortunate boy
from the burning torture of that frightful disease. He never slept, but
night and day he muttered in delirium, breaking the monotony of his
malady by occasionally howling like a wild animal. Richarn won my heart
by his careful nursing of the boy, who had been his companion through
years of hardship. We arrived at the village of Wat Shely, only three
days from Khartoum. Saat was dying. The night passed, and I expected
that all would be over before sunrise; but as morning dawned a change
had taken place,--the burning fever had left him, and although raised
blotches had broken out upon his chest and various parts of his body, he
appeared much better. We now gave him stimulants; a tea-spoonful of
araki that we had bought at Fashoder was administered every ten minutes
on a lump of sugar. This he crunched in his mouth, while he gazed at my
wife with an expression of affection, but he could not speak. I had him
well washed and dressed in clean clothes, that had been kept most
carefully during the voyage, to be worn on our entree to Khartoum. He
was laid down to sleep upon a clean mat, and my wife gave him a lump of
sugar to moisten his mouth and relieve his thickly-furred tongue. His
pulse was very weak, and his skin cold. "Poor Saat," said my wife, "his
life hangs upon a thread. We must nurse him most carefully; should he
have a relapse, nothing will save him." An hour passed, and he slept.
Karka, the fat, good-natured slave woman, quietly went to his side:
gently taking him by the ankles and knees, she stretched his legs into a
straight position, and laid his arms parallel with his sides. She then
covered his face with a cloth, one of the few rags that we still
possessed. "Does he sleep still?" we asked. The tears ran down the
cheeks of the savage but good-hearted Karka, as she sobbed, "He is

We stopped the boat. It was a sandy shore; the banks were high, and a
clump of mimosas grew above high water-mark. It was there that we dug
his grave. My men worked silently and sadly, for all loved Saat: he had
been so good and true, that even their hard hearts had learnt to respect
his honesty. We laid him in his grave on the desert shore, beneath the
grove of trees. Again the sail was set, and, filled by the breeze, it
carried us away from the dreary spot where we had sorrowfully left all
that was good and faithful. It was a happy end--most merciful, as he had
been taken from a land of iniquity in all the purity of a child
converted from Paganism to Christianity. He had lived and died in our
service a good Christian. Our voyage was nearly over, and we looked
forward to home and friends, but we had still fatigues before us: poor
Saat had reached his home and rest. Two faithful followers we had
buried,--Johann Schmidt at the commencement of the voyage, and Saat at
its termination.

A few miles from this spot, a head wind delayed us for several days.
Losing patience, I engaged camels from the Arabs; and riding the whole
day, we reached Khartoum about half an hour after sunset on the 5th of
May, 1865.

On the following morning we were welcomed by the entire European
population of Khartoum, to whom are due my warmest thanks for many kind
attentions. We were kindly offered a house by Monsieur Lombrosio, the
manager of the Khartoum branch of the "Oriental and Egyptian Trading

I now heard the distressing news of the death of my poor friend
Speke. I could not realize the truth of this melancholy report
until I read the details of his fatal accident in the appendix of
a French translation of his work. It was but a sad consolation
that I could confirm his discoveries, and bear witness to the
tenacity and perseverance with which he had led his party through
the untrodden path of Africa to the first Nile source. This
being the close of the expedition, I wish it to be distinctly
understood how thoroughly I support the credit of Speke and Grant
for their discovery of the first and most
elevated source of the Nile in the great Victoria N'yanza.

Although I call the river between the two lakes the "Somerset," as
it was named by Speke upon the map he gave to me, I must repeat
that it is positively the Victoria Nile, and the name "Somerset"
is only used to distinguish it, in my description, from the entire
Nile that issues from the Albert N'yanza.

Whether the volume of water added by the latter lake be greater than
that supplied by the Victoria, the fact remains unaltered: the Victoria
is the highest and first-discovered source; the Albert is the second
source, but the ENTIRE RESERVOIR of the Nile waters. I use the term
SOURCE as applying to each reservoir as a head or main starting-point of
the river. I am quite aware that it is a debated point among
geographers, whether a lake can be called a SOURCE, as it owes its
origin to one or many rivers; but, as the innumerable torrents of the
mountainous regions of Central Africa pour into these great reservoirs,
it would be impossible to give preference to any individual stream. Such
a theory would become a source of great confusion, and the Nile sources
might remain forever undecided; a thousand future travellers might
return, each with his particular source in his portfolio, some stream of
insignificant magnitude being pushed forward as the true origin of the

I found few letters awaiting me at Khartoum: all the European population
of the place had long ago given us up for lost. It was my wish to start
without delay direct for England, but there were extraordinary
difficulties in this wretched country of the Soudan. A drought of two
years had created a famine throughout the land, attended by a cattle and
camel plague, that had destroyed so many camels that all commerce was
stagnated. No merchandise could be transported from Khartoum; thus no
purchases could be made by the traders in the interior: the country,
always wretched, was ruined. The plague, or a malignant typhus, had run
riot in Khartoum: out of 4,000 black troops, only a remnant below 400
remained alive!

This frightful malady, that had visited our boat, had revelled in the
filth and crowded alleys of the Soudan capital.

The Blue Nile was so low that even the noggurs drawing three feet of
water could not descend the river. Thus, the camels being dead, and the
river impassable, no corn could be brought from Sennaar and Watmedene:
there was a famine in Khartoum--neither fodder for animals, nor food for
man. Being unable to procure either camels or boats, I was compelled to
wait at Khartoum until the Nile should rise sufficiently to enable us to
pass the cataracts between that town and Berber.
[The want of water in the Blue Nile, as here described, exemplifies the
theory that Lower Egypt owes its existence during the greater portion of
the year entirely to the volume of the White Nile.]

We remained two months at Khartoum. During this time we were subjected
to intense heat and constant dust-storms, attended with a general plague
of boils. Verily, the plagues of Egypt remain to this day in the Soudan.
On the 26th June, we had the most extraordinary dust-storm that had ever
been seen by the inhabitants. I was sitting in the courtyard of my
agent's house at about 4:30 P.M.: there was no wind, and the sun was as
bright as usual in this cloudless sky, when suddenly a gloom was cast
over all,--a dull yellow glare pervaded the atmosphere. Knowing that
this effect portended a dust-storm, and that the present calm would be
followed by a hurricane of wind, I rose to go home, intending to secure
the shutters. Hardly had I risen, when I saw approaching, from the S.W.
apparently, a solid range of immense brown mountains, high in air. So
rapid was the passage of this extraordinary phenomenon, that in a few
minutes we were in actual pitchy darkness. At first there was no wind,
and the peculiar calm gave an oppressive character to the event. We were
in "a darkness that might be felt." Suddenly the wind arrived, but not
with the violence that I had expected. There were two persons with me,
Michael Latfalla, my agent, and Monsieur Lombrosio. So intense was the
darkness, that we tried to distinguish our hands placed close before our
eyes;--not even an outline could be seen. This lasted for upwards of
twenty minutes: it then rapidly passed away, and the sun shone as
before; but we had FELT the darkness that Moses had inflicted upon the

The Egyptian Government had, it appeared, been pressed by some of the
European Powers to take measures for the suppression of the slave-trade:
a steamer had accordingly been ordered to capture all vessels laden
with this in famous cargo. Two vessels had been seized and brought to
Khartoum, containing 850 human beings!--packed together like anchovies,
the living and the dying festering together, and the dead lying beneath
them. European eye-witnesses assured me that the disembarking of this
frightful cargo could not be adequately described. The slaves were in a
state of starvation, having had nothing to eat for several days. They
were landed in Khartoum; the dead and many of the dying were tied by the
ankles, and dragged along the ground by donkeys through the streets. The
most malignant typhus, or plague, had been engendered among this mass of
filth and misery, thus closely packed together. Upon landing, the women
were divided by the Egyptian authorities among the soldiers. These
creatures brought the plague to Khartoum, which, like a curse visited
upon this country of slavery and abomination, spread like a fire
throughout the town, and consumed the regiments that had received this
horrible legacy from the dying cargo of slaves. Among others captured by
the authorities on a charge of slave-trading was an Austrian subject,
who was then in the custody of the consul. A French gentleman, Monsieur
Garnier, had been sent to Khartoum by the French Consulate of Alexandria
on a special inquiry into the slave-trade; he was devoting himself to
the subject with much energy.

While at Khartoum I happened to find Mahommed Her! the vakeel of
Chenooda's party, who had instigated lily men to mutiny at Latooka, and
had taken my deserters into his employ. I had promised to make an
example of this fellow; I therefore had him arrested, and brought before
the Divan. With extreme effrontery, he denied having had anything to do
with the affair, adding to his denial all knowledge of the total
destruction of his party and of my mutineers by the Latookas. Having a
crowd of witnesses in my own men, and others that I had found in
Khartoum who had belonged to Koorshid's party at that time, his
barefaced lie was exposed, and he was convicted. I determined that he
should be punished, as an example that would insure respect to any
future English traveller in those regions. My men, and all those with
whom I had been connected, had been accustomed to rely most implicitly
upon all that I had promised, and the punishment of this man had been an
expressed determination.

I went to the Divan and demanded that he should be flogged. Omer Bey was
then Governor of the Soudan, in the place of Moosa Pasha deceased. He
sat upon the divan, in the large hall of justice by the river. Motioning
me to take a seat by his side, and handing me his pipe, he called the
officer in waiting, and gave the necessary orders. In a few minutes the
prisoner was led into the hall, attended by eight soldiers. One man
carried a strong pole about seven feet long, in the centre of which was
a double chain, riveted through in a loop. The prisoner was immediately
thrown down with his face to the ground, while two men stretched out his
arms and sat upon them; his feet were then placed within the loop of the
chain, and the pole being twisted round until firmly secured, it was
raised from the ground sufficiently to expose the soles of the feet. Two
men with powerful hippopotamus whips stood, one on either side. The
prisoner thus secured, the order was given. The whips were most
scientifically applied, rind after the first five dozen, the
slave-hunting scoundrel howled most lustily for mercy. How often had he
flogged unfortunate slave women to excess, and what murders had that
wretch committed, who now howled for mercy! I begged Omer Bey to stop
the punishment at 150 lashes, and to explain to him publicly in the
divan, that he was thus punished for attempting to thwart the expedition
of an English traveller, by instigating my escort to mutiny.

This affair over--all my accounts paid--and my men dismissed with their
hands full of money,--I was ready to start for Egypt. The Nile rose
sufficiently to enable the passage of the cataracts, and on the 30th
June we took leave of all friends in Khartoum, and of my very kind
agent, Michael Latfalla, well known as Hallil el Shami, who had most
generously cashed all my bills on Cairo without charging a fraction of
exchange. On the morning of 1st July, we sailed from Khartoum to Berber.

On approaching the fine basalt hills through which the river passes
during its course from Khartoum, I was surprised to see the great Nile
contracted to a trifling width of from eighty to a hundred and twenty
yards. Walled by high cliffs of basalt upon either side, the vast volume
of the Nile flows grandly through this romantic pass, the water boiling
up in curling eddies, showing that rocky obstructions exist in its
profound depths below.

Our voyage was very nearly terminated at the passage of the cataracts.
Many skeletons of wrecked vessels lay upon the rocks in various places:
as we were flying along in full sail before a heavy gale of wind,
descending a cataract, we struck upon a sandbank--fortunately not upon a
rock, or we should have gone to pieces like a glass bottle. The
tremendous force of the stream, running at the rate of about ten or
twelve miles per hour, immediately drove the vessel broadside upon the
bank. About sixty yards below us was a ridge of rocks, upon which it
appeared certain that we must be driven should we quit the bank upon
which we were stranded. The reis and crew, as usual in such cases, lost
their heads. I emptied a large waterproof portmanteau, and tied it
together with ropes, so as to form a life-buoy for my wife and Richarn,
neither of whom could swim; the maps, journals, and observations, I
packed in an iron box, which I fastened with a tow-line to the
portmanteau. It appeared that we were to wind up the expedition with
shipwreck, and thus lose my entire collection of hunting spoils. Having
completed the preparations for escape, I took command of the vessel, and
silenced the chattering crew.

My first order was to lay out an anchor up stream.

This was done: the water was shallow, and the great weight of the
anchor, carried on the shoulders of two men, enabled them to resist the
current, and to wade hip-deep about forty yards up the stream upon the

Thus secured, I ordered the crew to haul upon the cable. The great force
of the current bearing upon the broadside of the vessel, while her head
was anchored up stream, bore her gradually round. All hands were now
employed in clearing away the sand, and deepening a passage: loosen ing
the sand with their hands and feet, the powerful rapids carried it away.
For five hours we remained in this position, the boat cracking, and half
filled with water however, we stopped the leak caused by the strain upon
her timbers, and having, after much labour, cleared a channel in the
narrow sandbank, the moment arrived to slip the cable, hoist the sail,
and trust to the heavy gale of wind from the west to clear the rocks,
that lay within a few yards of us to the north. "Let go!" and, all being
prepared, the sail was loosened, and filling in the strong gale with a
loud report, the head of the vessel swung round with the force of wind
and stream. Away we flew! For an instant we grated on some hard
substance: we stood upon the deck, watching the rocks exactly before us,
with the rapids roaring loudly around our boat as she rushed upon what
looked like certain destruction. Another moment, and we passed within a
few inches of the rocks within the boiling surf. Hurrah! we are all
right! We swept by the danger, and flew along the rapids, hurrying

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