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DECAPITATION OF TWO MURDERERS.
tied nor handcuffed, and guarded carelessly by a few jesting soldiers. The Sultan's order to proceed with the execution not having arrived, a considerable delay occurred, during which the most intelligent-looking of the two prisoners stated to me that he had committed the act when in a state of unconsciousness! A jail official here announced that the Sultan wished the sahib to give the order, and I informed Colonel Rigby of the circumstance. He at once saw through the timidity of the Sultan, and said, as the sentence had been passed weeks ago, he could give no orders about it. Returning to the place of execution, where both men still sat, we found the mob had increased. An Arab boldly asked me, “Why should two men suffer for one white?" On my remarking that “ Sooner or later the men must suffer—the sun was broiling over the poor creatures' heads—would it not be charity to go on with the execution ?" the reply was, “They are mere animals, and have no feeling." Still no one would give the order. Again the Sultan was applied to. A rush was now rudely made on the crowd by half-a-dozen handsomely-dressed Arabs, brandishing their shields and swords. I thought it was a rescue, but kept my place; and it appeared they only wanted to get up to the prisoners, around whom every one laughed heartily at the momentary panic. Here one of the guard with whom I had been conversing laid hold of my arm, and, followed by a noisy drummer, the prisoners, and mob, we pushed on for a dozen yards, and stopped in an open space where some cows were lying. A twig of grass pinioned each man, and they were made to sit on the ground,
speaking calmly, while the crowd, all crushing around, joked as if at a holiday rout. Another delay occurred; no one had given the order. On being asked, “ Might it commence ?” I replied, “ Yes, certainly; proceed.” The executioner at once took his place, drew his sword, weighed it in his hand, threw up his sleeves, and slipped his feet out of his shoes, while the dense mass all seemed breathless. The executioner was a small man, respectably dressed, looking like an Indian “Nubbeebux." The prisoners sat three yards apart, one slightly in advance of the other. The foremost was then ordered to bend his head, when, with one stroke, the back of his neck was cut to the vertebræ ; he fell forward, and lay breathing steadily, with his right cheek in his own blood, without a sound or struggle. The executioner, after wiping his sword on the loin-cloth of the dying man, coolly felt its edge. The other victim had seen all, and never moved nor spoke. The same horrible scene was again enacted, but with a different result; the man jerked upwards from his squatting position, and fell back on his left side, with no sound nor after-struggle. Both appeared as if in a sweet sleep; two chickens hopped on the still quivering bodies, and the cows in the open space lay undisturbed. I left the spot, hoping never to witness such another scene; but I had the satisfaction of feeling that justice was carried out, and that had I not been present those murderers would have escaped punishment, owing to the effeminacy and timidity of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Their accomplices, each with a cleft log on his neck, were taken to witness the bodies : they were to
CROSS TO THE MAINLAND.
have a free pardon, and to be sent back to their homes.
We had now a great deal to do in preparing for a three years' journey, in taking observations and working them out. For the benefit of photographers, I may mention that the “ developer” succeeded. It was given me by Mr Apothecary Frost, E.I.C.S.
The Sultan very kindly ordered that we should proceed across to the mainland of Africa (only forty miles) in his corvette, the Secundra Shah, commanded by Captain Mahomed Camese. We sailed on the anniversary of Havelock's entry into Lucknow, the 25th September. The wind was ahead; our crew, a rough set of African lads; sandbanks were about; and after splitting our maintop-sail, and many oaths (strange to say, in English) from the native commander, trying to put things to rights, we put back for the night, anchoring close to where we started. The commodore, an Arab gentleman, came on board to see what accident had happened. He remained in charge, and early next morning, taking us as far as Choomba Island, returned in an open boat. The passage to the seaport of Bagomoyo was made in ten hours, but before we could land there was a row of three miles’ shallow water, near the end of which two fine stout fellows came splashing through the water, shouldered me from the boat, and bore me like a child, nolens volens, in triumph over to the dry shore. These were our own “Seedee boys,” or Africans, and they gave us a warm greeting. Everything was reported by Sheikh, the Arab in native charge, as ready for a start. We tried to march on the 1st October, but the trashy
THE MARCH DELAYED.
bazaar—all its flints, fish, rice, grog, and sixpenny accordions, not worth more than ten pounds—had too many attractions for our men; and we did not get away till the following day, after having drunk success to the expedition in a bottle of Colonel
champagne, and seen our kind host into his boat on his return to Zanzibar.
JOURNEY TO KAZEH, 500 MILES IN THE INTERIOR—ESCORT AND
CASUALTIES ON THE MARCH— CROSS THE EAST AFRICAN CHAIN INTO UGOGO—CLIMATE AND DISEASES OF KAZEH—AGRICULTURE AND PRODUCTS—WILD ANIMALS, BIRDS, AND FISHFOUR NATIVE RACES, THE WAZARAMO, WASAGARA, WAGOGO, AND WANYAMUEZI.
On the 2d of October 1860, we started from Bagomoyo on the East African coast for Kazeh, 500 miles in the interior of Africa, latitude 5° south. The party consisted of the following:
Captain Speke, commanding.
Grant, second in command.
Middleton, Speke's valet.