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THE SHORES OF THE LAKE.
of their own, they never hesitated to seize what they could. In the same way the Karague race of Wanyambo, now that they were of our party in the strange land of Uganda, were the most expert of thieves, making travelling painful and annoying from the cries of the sufferers. On inquiring of an officer whether such plunder was permitted by the king, he replied that the order was that the natives should quit their houses as soon as a guest came into the country, and take to the hill-tops. Numerous instances of this were observed, and on my wandering up a hill to beckon them back, they retired as we approached. On this occasion I had an instance of the taste of the Waganda race. The sun was setting (it was the 13th of May 1862), when one of them, having pointed out to me the various directions of the countries around us, quickly turned, and eagerly directed my attention to the full moon rising out of the Victoria Nyanza, sending its glittering rays over the beautiful placid waters. Here was a lover of the picturesque !
On the slopes looking towards the lake the climate was delightful, quite English ; only once, in a confined valley, did the temperature show a great heat-viz., 97, falling during the night, with the cold damp air, to 50°. We had showers, on an average, almost every third day between 15th April and 19th May, and but one severe N.E. storm of wind and rain. On the 14th of May, our Seedees predicted that no rain would fall if Dr Kiengo's magic horn of an antelope were placed in the sun ; “for," said they, “is not the M'ganga out? No rain ever falls when it is in the open.” Sure enough, when rain was threatened, the horn was taken in to prevent its getting wet. The
contents of these idol horns must be renewed periodically, as the charm within them is supposed to live or have power only for a certain period of time. Some other superstitions were observed on this route :
-By the path a pole was stuck into the ground, with a large land-shell or some relic on the end of it; or the same relic was placed on the tallest branch of a tree. In the same way that we sometimes place a horse-shoe behind our front door, they hang a small charm of rush and feathers, or have a magic wand in the house. The Waganda had anklets of seeds, wood, &c., which were supposed to keep away snake bites ; but few or no snakes were seen. Their other charms and ornaments consisted of tiaras of the abrus seeds, tiaras of large snowberries, necklaces of the scarlet amomum fruit, tusks of the wild boar, horn-tips of antelope, and a square or kidney-shaped pendant round the neck, covered with the skin of a serpent.
The industry and wealth of the Wazeewa or Mohia (a race mentioned in the Karague chapter), amongst whom our camp was pitched for a few days, was very marked. Some of them had migrated from the right to the left bank of the Kitangule, and were now cultivators under the king of Uganda, bringing all the grains of the country for barter into our camp. They seemed a very cleanly race, using little or no grease pomade on their bodies, and never sitting down unless some grass or leaves were placed between them and the ground. Many of their bark-cloths were coloured red crimson, having zigzag marks of black upon them. They dressed their cow-skins very beautifully, placing them stretched on a huge upright square frame to be thinned by scraping with a hatchet; this was observed in Bog
weh also. One chief amongst them came to see me, leading his fat brindled dog, partly of bull-dog extraction. He wore a silvery roan-coloured cow-skin down his back, and slung from the neck-a most handsome garb, almost lustrous, and of which he seemed
very proud. Their women were comely; and although they had an objection to allow me to drink out of their gurrahs or earthen jars of water, one of them, while her husband, an officer in the king's service, was absent, wished to accompany me on the march ; but even this pleasure had to be declined, and the pretty Wazeewa had to console herself, as many others did, without even a lock of my straight hair, which was the wonder of them all. These people paid great attention to their plantain orchards. The bunches sometimes contained 200 large fruit, bending the stems, which had to be supported by a forked stick or ropes. On the fruit being ripe the tree is cut down, to permit the growth of the young shoot, which comes from the parent root. All the groves are of bare-poled single trees, which makes the fruit much finer than if the trees were allowed to grow in clusters; and should the leafstalk droop too much from the trunk, the natives ban
up to prevent rain from beating into the heart of the tree. They use large circular trays, four feet across, made of osiers, and covered with cow-dung, for drying their grain in the sun. An article of diet not seen before was locusts; a number of them were brought in by a woman to be roasted as food. They were one inch long, had two pairs of wings, and antennæ 1ļ inches long. White ants also, when young and freshly fledged, were caught in a framework placed over their mound of earth, to be eaten by the people.
A WOMAN MADE PRISONER.
In concluding these remarks upon the country lying between the two rivers Kitangule and Katonga, which is occupied by Wanyambo, Wanyoro, Wazeewa, and Waganda, it may be mentioned that “Khass Uganda,” or Uganda proper, has yet to be reached when the Katonga river is crossed ; and as the dwellings, domestic and wild animals, &c., had nothing about them peculiar, we shall not stop to describe them, but cross the arm of the lake at the mouth of the above river.
Letters from Speke announced that the king of Uganda, as well as himself, were impatient for my arrival, and that I was expected to come by water. The king, he said, now dressed in English clothes, and our men were regularly supported by him. Uganda, however, was not a land of milk and honey. Grain could not be had to make bread, and I was, if possible, to lay in stores of flour and pease among the Wazeewa people.
By sunrise of the 20th May 1862, I had packed and was ready to cross the equator at Katonga Bay. Seeing a new face seated apart from, but within sight of, Mariboo's little wife, for the sake of speaking to the downcast-looking creature I advanced and asked her the way out of camp; she suckled an infant, was very pretty, with deep black round eyes, and she smilingly gave the information. She was so interesting that on getting into camp for the day I inquired her history. She had been captured by my Waganda the previous day, and was now their prisoner, for our party was strong, and her relatives, had they come to claim her, would also have been made slaves. She had not been brought into camp: we never again saw her, and my Seedees told me she must have been sold, as the Wa
CROSS THE BAY OF KATONGA.
ganda would never give her up for nothing, or they might have killed her.
On the 20th of May, as I sat on a height admiring the beautiful Katonga Bay, one mile across, and looking at the sweep of richly-wooded land on its other side, with hills in the background, the king of Uganda's order arrived that I was to proceed to his capital by land, and the pleasure I had long anticipated of being conveyed by water was doomed to disappointment. My heart sank within me. I descended, however, to the edge of the bay, where our men were amusing themselves, and where five or six canoes were ready for the party. The Waganda and our Seedees got into them to splash and duck each other. The fowls belonging to the ferryman were seized and killed previous to crossing over, because, if the hippopotamus heard them crow, the canoes would be upset! Hours of larking were spent, and at last fourteen of us, with ten loads, sat in my canoe of four paddles, and we emerged from the winding channel of tall rushes into the bay; here we were joined by two other canoes, all well laden. Racing commenced, the paddlers facing to the front, scooping the water with all their might as they sat on the sides of the canoe, and, for a marvel, not splashing us, for three-quarters of a mile over rippled water. Here, for the first time, I met with a plant whose leaves looked very beautiful in the water, growing by those of the lily of the Nile-namely, the Trapa natans, the roots of which the Waganda eat. There was no shore to land at; a floating mass of tangled grasses prevented the further progress of the canoe, and we had to jump out into the water. One leg went down four feet to hard sand, while the other