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EXTRACTS FROM JOURNAL.
him at night. 'Have you been for porters ?' 'Yes, there and back.' I laughed at this cool assertion, and asked, “How many did you get?' 'Four are coming in the morning. This was too much, as all the Seedees satisfied me that he had never been out of the place; I therefore ordered him to receive two dozen. Rehan (cook) said, 'I won't give it. “You must,' I said ; but ultimately the matter was settled by Manua running away, all the Seedees after him! (Manua afterwards became a great friend of mine, as he knew the names and uses of every plant and tree in the country.)
“11th.—Yesterday sent a note to Speke, but find the bearer did not start, because he had a Wezee lady in tow. Verily these Africans are a self-pleasing and most trying set. Two men off for porters. My leader reported sick. Manua (the man I ordered to be flogged yesterday) not to be found. Four porters arrive, but won't start till to-morrow, as they feel tired!
“12th.-Start three loads ; fourth man not present; he had gone away to sleep in another village. Ten men came in from camp ahead to carry away my remaining traps. Sultan demands a present, , but on consulting my men, we all agreed that as he had already got eight fathoms of cloth, a large quantity of beads, some gunpowder, and had lost four cows placed in his charge, no more was necessary for him. At this decision he struck my porters and drove them out of his village, and seized some cases of ammunition and a rifle. The quarrel was made worse by the drunkenness of my chief interpreter, Rehan, who in this state threw his gun and accoutrements at my feet, spat upon one of my men, and gave his
EXTRACTS FROM JOURNAL.
support to the sultan. After bearing these insults, and seeing the powder, &c., recovered, I walked outside the village and sat down, feeling sick, sore at heart, and exhausted from the detestable strife, but thankful to God that I had so much command of temper. A servant reported that he and another must sleep that night with their loads in the village, as security for my paying some cloth and beads. Anything to get away, and I marched to
advanced camp, eight miles off, regretting that I had not bid adieu to the sultana.
“13th.—Sent back the cloths to the sultan by Uledi. So jolly and civilised-like to have a note brought me by three or four Seedees from Speke, wanting me up sharp! Uledi returned at sunset, having satisfied the sultan. Said, Rehan, and Baraka sent word they would be up in the morning ; so like an African's system of procrastination, winning the mornings and evenings from us, and saying the day is too hot to move.
“14th.--March three miles to a wretched village. A number of men hanging on for hire; one man promised for Karague, and backed out of it because I frightened him by writing his name down. Tried to make an afternoon march, but no one would stir; besides, three loads were behind. “15th.—Under
outside the village by six A.M. ; eight loads still on the ground, no porters to carry them, and loads in the rear belonging to men sleeping in other villages. Every day seems to be won from
Countermand the march till the afternoon; a panic had struck the porters. The Watuta are at the next ground from camp. I took the chief porter,
WE ARE ATTACKED.
walked there and back, 20 miles, by 3} P.M., and found this much-dreaded tribe had left that morning.
“16th.-Having aroused my camp, a noisy conversation soon began with some strange armed men, who had been sent by Sultan Myonga to insist on my visiting him with my caravan; but as I saw yesterday that his residence was completely out of my route, and as Speke had laid down that no further present should be made to him, his 'soldiers' were told this; but, at the turn to their master's village, they planted their spears in defiance, and dared us to proceed by any but their way. We laughed at them, and held on our road for seven miles, when out of some thick cover came a howling of voices. I was about the third from the head of
my Indian file, when a troop of about two hundred, with assigais, bows and arrows, burst upon us, springing over the ground like cats. Passing the van, apparently without any intention of molesting us, or showing their colours, no one stopped even to look at them; but of a sudden they broke in upon the centre of our line, and, with uplifted assigais and shouts, frightened the porters to give up their loads and fly, if they could escape the hands of the ruffians who were pulling their clothes and beads from them. Seeing my goods carried off, I tried, without bloodshed, to prevent it; for they were too numerous to attack, as I had but one of my gun-men and two natives. On searching for others, I found Rehan with rifle at full cock, defending two loads against five of the men. He had been told by Manua that he was 'a fool to think of the loads; fly for your life !' but the property, he said, was his life. On making for the village of the Sultan Myonga to seek redress, I was
OUR PORTERS DESERT.
told not to fear; all would be returned me: 'to go and reside in the village of his son, where all would be brought. On proceeding thither I found that the natives had dressed themselves out in the stolen clothes of our men.
I felt like a prisoner ; my bright hopes were wrecked; and they all laughed at me as I stood amongst the mob of insolent marauders jeering and exulting at their triumph. Very little at that moment would have set things in a blaze ; but though honour was dear, the safety of the expedition was so also, and one false step would have endangered it. They threatened, presenting assigais at my breast; but though I was defenceless, my rifle in its case resting harmlessly on my shoulder, they did not venture to strike, but scattered over the place.
Fifteen of my 55 loads were returned during the day; 15 of 56 porters reappeared ; two Wezees were reported killed, but instead of finding even a trace of them, I came upon three others concealed in the grass with their loads. Myonga was said to be infuriated at his people ; he had cut off the hand of one of his men, and promised that all, except the property of my porters, should be restored. The following night the sultan sent, saying everything in his possession had been given up, but by my account there were still wanting six bead-loads, some cloth, my teapot, looking-glass, basin, pewter mug, a saw, a goat, &c. Every load was partially plundered; our most private keepings had been ruthlessly handled ; and cases were destroyed by rocks and stones in trying to break them open. My porters, who had received their full hire to Karague, deserted; the march was delayed; and we had all been dishonoured. On making
NEGOTIATING WITH MYONGA.
this representation to the sultan, he expressed great sympathy at first, saying, 'Your property will all be restored, and you shall have men from me to convey your goods to Karague. This was a mere ruse. In four days after the attack I was in a position, by aid sent me from Speke, to march ahead; but the Wezees said, 'If you attempt a forced march, and leave without obtaining the sultan's permission, we will run away.' In reply to my request to be allowed to leave his country, saying I was satisfied with having recovered so much, he very coolly replied, 'I want no present from you, but must have your Seedees with their guns to aid me in an attack against a neighbour of mine.' But though two of my men volunteered to go, intending to escape from him during the night, the proposal seemed preposterous; and, to settle the affair, a scarlet blanket was taken from my bedding and sent to the sultan, along with some other cloths. These were returned contemptuously, with a message that I must aid him with men and guns.
The Seedees would not hear of my going to see this ruffian of a sultan, neither could they manage
him themselves; their remonstrances and pleadings had become stale. The natives in the mean time were boisterous, refusing our bead coinage. I tried to make use of my rifle in the jungles, but failed to get anything. In my rounds I only saw the brutality of the people towards travellers in pouncing upon a party of four women and two men, demanding their bows and arrows, which I saved by interference. Again, the coarse fellows struck so brutally a donkey which Speke had with him on his former journey to Lake Nyanza, that the animal, then in foal, died. For this no re