THE LAST JOURNALS OF DAVID LIVINGSTONE, IN CENTRAL AFRICA, FROM 1865 TO HIS DEATH.
Continued by a Narrative of His Last Moments and Sufferings, Obtained from His Faithful Servants Chuma and Susi,
HORACE WALLER, F.R.G.S., Rector Of Twywell, Northampton.
IN TWO VOLUMES.—VOL. I. [1866-1868]
With Portrait, Maps, and Illustrations.
London: John Murray, Albemarle Street.
In the midst of the universal sorrow caused by the intelligence that Dr. Livingstone had lost his life at the furthest point to which he had penetrated in his search for the true sources of the Nile, a faint hope was indulged that some of his journals might survive the disaster: this hope, I rejoice to say, has been realized beyond the most sanguine expectations.
It is due, in the first place, to his native attendants, whose faithfulness has placed his last writings at our disposal, and also to the reader, before he launches forth upon a series of travels and scientific geographical records of the most extraordinary character, to say that in the following narrative of seven years' continuous work and new discovery no break whatever occurs.
We have not to deplore the loss, by accident or carelessness, of a single entry, from the time of Livingstone's departure from Zanzibar in the beginning of 1866 to the day when his note-book dropped from his hand in the village of Ilala at the end of April, 1873.
I trust it will not be uninteresting if I preface the history with a few words on the nature of these journals and writings as they have come to hand from Central Africa.
It will be remembered that when Mr. Stanley returned to England in 1872, Dr. Livingstone entrusted to his care a very large Letts' diary, sealed up and consigned to the safe keeping of his daughter, Miss Agnes Livingstone. Upon the confirmation of the worst news, this book was examined and found to contain a considerable portion of the notes which her father made during his travels previous to the time of Mr. Stanley's meeting him.
The Doctor's custom was always to have metallic note-books in use, in which the day's jottings were recorded. When time and opportunity served, the larger volume was posted up with scrupulous care.
It seems, however, that in the last three or four years of his life this excellent rule had to give way to the toils of travel and the exhaustion of most distressing illnesses. Whilst in the Manyuema country he ran out of note-books, ink, and pencils, and had to resort to shifts which at first made it a very debateable point whether the most diligent attempt at deciphering would suceeed after all. Such pocket-books as remained at this period of his travels were utilized to the last inch of paper. In some of them we find lunar observations, the names of rivers, and the heights of hills advancing towards the middle from one end, whilst from the other the itinerary grows day by day, interspersed with map routes of the march, botanical notes, and carefully made drawings. But in the mean time the middle portion of the book was filling up with calculations, private memoranda, words intended for vocabularies, and extracts from books, whilst here and there the stain of a pressed flower causes indistinctness; yet the thread of the narrative runs throughout. Noting but his invariable habit of constantly repeating the month and year obviates hopeless confusion. Nor is this all; for pocket-books gave out at last, and old newspapers, yellow with African damp, were sewn together, and his notes were written across the type with a substitute for ink made from the juice of a tree. To Miss Livingstone and to the Rev. C.A. Alington I am very much indebted for help in the laborious task of deciphering this portion of the Doctor's journals. Their knowledge of his handwriting, their perseverance, coupled with good eyes and a strong magnifying-glass, at last made their task a complete success.
In comparing this great mass of material with the journal brought home by Mr. Stanley, one finds that a great deal of most interesting matter can be added. It would seem that in the hurry of writing and copying despatches previous to his companion's departure, the Doctor rapidly entered up as much from his note-books as time and space permitted.
Most fortunately, he still carried the greater part of these original notes till the time of his death, so that they were forthcoming when his effects were subsequently saved.
This brings us to the second instalment of the journals, for we have thus acknowledged the first to have reached us on Mr. Stanley's return.
When the battered tin travelling-case, which was with Livingstone to the last, was opened at the Foreign Office in the spring of this year, not only were these valuable papers disclosed which I have mentioned, but it was found also that Livingstone had kept a copious journal during his stay at Unyanyembe in some copy-books, and that when his stock of note-books was replenished a daily record of his subsequent travels had been made.
It was with fear and trembling that one looked to see whether all had been saved or only part, but with satisfaction and thankfulness I have subsequently discovered that his men preserved every single line, besides his maps, which now come to light for the first time.
Thus much on the material of the diaries: it remains to say a few words on the Map which accompanies these journals. It has been compiled from Dr. Livingstone's original drawings and note-books, with the corrections and additions he made from time to time as the work of exploration progressed, and the details of physical geography became clearer to him. The compiler, Mr. John Bolton, implicitly following the original outline of the drawing as far as possible, has honestly endeavoured to give such a rendering of the entire work, as the Doctor would have done had he lived to return home, and superintend the construction; and I take this opportunity of expressing my sincere gratification that Mr. Bolton's rare technical skill, scientific knowledge, and unwearying labour have been available for the purpose.
Amongst almost the last words that Livingstone wrote, I find an unfinished letter to myself, in which he gives me very clear and explicit directions concerning the geographical notes he had previously sent home, and I am but carrying out the sacred duty which is attached to a last wish when I call attention to the fact, that he particularly desired in this letter that no positions gathered from his observations for latitude and longitude, nor for the levels of the Lakes, &c., should be considered correct till Sir Thomas Maclear had examined them. The position of Casembe's town, and of a point near Pambette at the S.E., and of Lake Liemba (Tanganyika), have been computed and corrected by Sir T. Maclear and Dr. Mann. The observations for latitude were taken at short intervals, and where it has been possible to test them they have been found very correct, but I repeat that until the imprimatur of his old friend at the Cape of Good Hope stands over the whole of Livingstone's work, the map must be accepted as open to further corrections.
The journey from Kabwabwata to Mparru has been inserted entirely from notes, as the traveller was too ill to mark the route: this is the only instance in all his wanderings where he failed to give some indication on his map of the nature of the ground over which he passed. The journey front Mikindany Bay to Lake Nyassa has also been laid down from his journal and latitudes in consequence of the section of this part of his route (which he left at Ujiji) not having arrived in England at this date. It will be observed that the outline of Lake Nyassa differs from that on any published map: it has been drawn from the original exploratory survey of its southern shores made by Dr. Livingstone in 1861-3. For some reason this original plan was not adhered to by a former draughtsman, but the Lake has here been restored to a more accurate bearing and position.
How often shall we see in the pages of this concluding chapter of his life, that unwavering determination which was pre-eminently the great characteristic of David Livingstone!
Naturally endowed with unusual endurance, able to concentrate faculties of no ordinary kind upon whatever he took in hand, and with a dread of exaggeration which at times almost militated against the importance of some of his greatest discoveries, it may be doubted if ever Geographer went forth strengthened with so much true power. Let us add to these a sincere trust that slavery, the "great open sore of the world," as he called it, might under God's good guidance receive healing at his hands; a fervent hope that others would follow him after he had removed those difficulties which are comprised in a profound ignorance of the physical features of a new country, and we have the marching orders of him who left us in August 1865 never to return alive.
Privileged to enjoy his near personal friendship for a considerable period in Africa, and also at home, it has been easy to trace—more especially from correspondence with him of late years—that Livingstone wanted just some such gigantic problem as that which he attacked at the last to measure his strength against: that he finally overrated and overtaxed it I think all must admit.
He had not sufficiently allowed for an old wound which his constitution received whilst battling with dysentery and fever, on his celebrated journey across Africa, and this finally sapped his vital powers, and, through the irritation of exhaustion, insidiously clouded much of his happiness.
Many of his old friends were filled with anxiety when they found that he intended to continue the investigation of the Nile sources, for the letters sent home by Mr. Stanley raised the liveliest apprehensions, which, alas! soon proved themselves well grounded.
The reader must be warned that, however versed in books of African travel he may be, the very novelty of his situation amongst these pages will render him liable perhaps to a danger which a timely word may avert. Truly it may be said he has an embarras de richesses! To follow an explorer who by his individual exertions has filled up a great space in the map of Africa, who has not only been the first to set foot on the shores of vast inland seas, but who, with the simple appliances of his bodily stature for a sounding pole and his stalwart stride for a measuring tape, lays down new rivers by the hundreds, is a task calculated to stagger him. It may be provoking to find Livingstone busily engaged in bargaining for a canoe upon the shores of Bangweolo, much as he would have secured a boat on his own native Clyde; but it was not in his nature to be subject to those paroxysms in which travellers too often indite their discoveries and descriptions.
At the same time these journals will be found to contain innumerable notes on the habits of animals, birds, and fishes, many of them probably new species, and on phenomena in every direction which the keen eye searched out as the great traveller moved amongst some of the grandest scenes of this beautiful world: it may be doubted if ever eye so keen was backed by so much perseverance to shield it from a mere superficial habit of noticing. Let his adventures speak for themselves.
Amongst the greatest facts recorded here the Geographer will perceive that the Doctor has placed it beyond doubt that Lake Nyassa belongs to a totally distinct system of waters to that which holds Lake Tanganyika, and the rivers running north and west. He was too sagacious to venture the surmise that Tanganyika has a subterranean outlet without having duly weighed the probabilities in the scale with his elaborate observations: the idea gathers force when we remember that in the case of limestone cliffs, water so often succeeds in breaking bounds by boring through the solid rock. No more interesting problem is left to solve, and we shall yet learn whether, through the caverns of Western Kabogo, this Lake adds its waters to the vast northerly flow of rivers we now read of for the first time, and which are undoubtedly amongst the largest in the world.
I cannot close these remarks without stating how much obliged I am to Mr. James Young, F.R.S., of Kelly, for having ensured the presence of the Doctor's men, Chuma and Susi. Ever ready to serve his old friend Livingstone, he took care that they should be at my elbow so long as I required them to help me amidst the pile of MSS. and maps. Their knowledge of the countries they travelled in is most remarkable, and from constantly aiding their master by putting questions to the natives respecting the course of rivers, &c., I found them actual geographers of no mean attainments. In one instance, when in doubt concerning a particular watershed, to my surprise Susi returned a few hours afterwards with a plan of the whole system of rivers in the region under examination, and I found his sketch tally well with the Doctor's map. Known to me previously for years on the Zambesi and Shire it was a pleasure to have them with me for four months. Amongst other good services they have aided the artist by reproducing the exact facsimile of the hut in which Dr. Livingstone expired, besides making models of the "kitanda" on which he was carried, and of the village in which his body lay for fourteen days.
I need not add what ready and valuable assistance I have derived from the Doctor's old companion Dr. Kirk wherever I have found it necessary to apply to him; some of the illustrations are more particularly owing to his kindness.
It only remains to say that it has been thought advisable to retain all the strictly scientific matter found in Dr. Livingstone's journals for future publication. When one sees that a register of the daily rainfall was kept throughout, that the temperature was continually recorded, and that barometrical and hypsometrical observations were made with unflagging thoroughness of purpose year in and year out, it is obvious that an accumulated mass of information remains for the meteorologist to deal with separately, which alone must engross many months of labour.
A constant sense of great responsibility has been mine throughout this task, for one cannot doubt that much of the future welfare of distant tribes and races depends upon Livingstone obtaining through these records a distinct hearing for their woes, their misery, and above all for their willingness to welcome men drawn towards them by motives like his.
At the same time memory and affection have not failed to bring back vividly the man, the traveller, and the friend. May that which he has said in his journals suffer neither loss of interest nor depth of meaning at the compiler's hands.
TWYWELL RECTORY, THRAPSTON, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. Nov. 2, 1874.
 Attached to Mr. Stanford's staff.
 In February last this section of the map (as we suppose), together with some of the Doctor's papers, was sent off from Ujiji by Lieutenant Cameron. Nothing, however, had arrived on the 22nd September at Zanzibar, and H.M. Consul, Captain Prideaux, entertained serious doubts at that time whether they would ever come to hand. All Livingstone's journals were saved through other instrumentality, as I have shown.
Arrival at Zanzibar. Hearty reception by Said Majid, the sultan. Murder of Baron van der Decken. The slave-market. Preparations for starting to the interior. Embarkation in H.M.S. Penguin and dhow. Rovuma Bay impracticable. Disembarks at Mikindany. Joy at travelling once more. Trouble with sepoys. Camels attacked by tsetse fly, and by sepoys. Jungle sappers. Meets old enemies. The Makonde. Lake Nangandi. Gum-copal diggings.
Effect of Pioneer's former visit. The poodle Chitane. Result of tsetse bites. Death of camels and buffaloes. Disaffection of followers. Disputed right of ferry. Mazitu raids. An old friend. Severe privations. The River Loendi. Sepoys mutiny. Dr. Roscher. Desolation. Tattooing. Ornamental teeth. Singular custom. Death of the Nassick boy, Richard. A sad reminiscence.
Horrors of the slave-trader's track. System of cultivation. Pottery. Special exorcising. Death of the last mule. Rescue of Chirikaloma's wife. Brutalities of the slave-drivers. Mtarika's. Desperate march to Mtaka's. Meets Arab caravans. Dismay of slavers. Dismissal of sepoys. Mataka. The Waiyau metropolis. Great hospitality and good feeling. Mataka restores stolen cattle. Life with the chief. Beauty of country and healthiness of climate. The Waiyau people and their peculiarities. Regrets at the abandonment of Bishop Mackenzie's plans.
Geology and description of the Waiyau land. Leaves Mataka's. The Nyumbo plant. Native iron-foundry. Blacksmiths. Makes for the Lake Nyassa. Delight at seeing the Lake once more. The Manganja or Nyassa tribe. Arab slave crossing. Unable to procure passage across. The Kungu fly. Fear of the English amongst slavers. Lake shore. Blue ink. Chitane changes colour. The Nsaka fish. Makalaose drinks beer. The Sanjika fish. London antiquities. Lake rivers. Mukate's. Lake Pamalombe. Mponda's. A slave gang. Wikatani discovers his relatives and remains.
Crosses Cape Maclear. The havildar demoralised. The discomfited chief. Reaches Marenga's town. The earth-sponge. Description of Marenga's town. Rumours of Mazitu. Musa and the Johanna men desert. Reaches Kimsusa's. His delight at seeing the Doctor once more. The fat ram. Kimsusa relates his experience of Livingstone's advice. Chuma finds relatives. Kimsusa solves the transport difficulty nobly. Another old fishing acquaintance. Description of the people and country on the west of the Lake. The Kanthundas. Kauma. Iron-smelting. An African Sir Colin Campbell. Milandos.
Progress northwards. An African forest. Destruction by Mazitu. Native salutations. A disagreeable chief. On the watershed between the Lake and the Loangwa River. Extensive iron-workings. An old Nimrod. The Bua River. Lovely scenery. Difficulties of transport. Chilobe. An African Pythoness. Enlists two Waiyou bearers. Ill. The Chitella bean. Rains set in. Arrives at the Loangwa.
Crosses the Loangwa. Distressing march. The king-hunter. Great hunger. Christmas feast necessarily postponed. Loss of goats. Honey-hunters. A meal at last. The Babisa. The Mazitu again. Chitembo's. End of 1866. The new year. The northern brim of the great Loangwa Valley. Accident to chronometers. Meal gives out. Escape from a Cobra capella. Pushes for the Chambeze. Death of Chitane. Great pinch for food. Disastrous loss of medicine chest. Bead currency. Babisa. The Chambeze. Reaches Chitapangwa's town. Meets Arab traders from Zanzibar. Sends off letters. Chitapangwa and his people. Complications.
Chitapangwa's parting oath. Course laid for Lake Tanganyika. Moamba's village. Another watershed. The Babemba tribe. Ill with fever. Threatening attitude of Chibue's people. Continued illness. Reaches cliffs overhanging Lake Liemba. Extreme beauty of the scene. Dangerous fit of insensibility. Leaves the Lake. Pernambuco cotton. Rumours of war between Arabs and Nsama. Reaches Chitimba's village. Presents Sultan's letter to principal Arab, Hamees. The war in Itawa. Geography of the Arabs. Ivory traders and slave-dealers. Appeal to the Koran. Gleans intelligence of the Wasongo, to the eastward, and their chief, Merere. Hamees sets out against Nsama. Tedious sojourn. Departure for Ponda. Native cupping.
Peace negotiations with Nsama. Geographical gleanings. Curious spider. Reaches the River Lofu. Arrives at Nsama's. Hamees marries the daughter of Nsama. Flight of the bride. Conflagration in Arab quarters. Anxious to visit Lake Moero. Arab burial. Serious illness. Continues journey. Slave-traders on the march. Reaches Moero. Description of the Lake. Information concerning the Chambeze and Luapula. Hears of Lake Bemba. Visits spot of Dr. Lacerda's death. Casembe apprised of Livingstone's approach. Meets Mohamad Bogharib. Lakelet Mofwe. Arrives at Casembe's town.
Grand reception of the traveller. Casembe and his wife. Long stay in the town. Goes to explore Moero. Despatch to Lord Clarendon, with notes on recent travels. Illness at the end of 1867. Further exploration of Lake Moero. Flooded plains. The River Luao. Visits Kabwabwata. Joy of Arabs at Mohamad bin Salleh's freedom. Again ill with fever. Stories of underground dwellings.
Riot in the camp. Mohamad's account of his long imprisonment. Superstitions about children's teeth. Concerning dreams. News of Lake Chowambe. Life of the Arab slavers. The Katanga gold supply. Muabo. Ascent of the Rua Mountains. Syde bin Habib. Birthday, 19th March, 1868. Hostility of Mpweto. Contemplates visiting Lake Bemba. Nile sources. Men desert. The shores of Moero. Visits Fungafunga. Return to Casembe's. Obstructiveness of "Cropped-ears." Accounts of Pereira and Dr. Lacerda. Major Monteiro. The line of Casembes. Casembe explains the connection of the Lakes and the Luapula. Queen Moaeri. Arab sacrifice. Kapika gets rid of his wife.
Prepares to examine Lake Bemba. Starts from Casembe's 11th June, 1868. Dead leopard. Moenampanda's reception. The River Luongo. Weird death-song of slaves. The forest grave. Lake Bemba changed to Lake Bangweolo. Chikumbi's. The Imbozhwa people. Kombokombo's stockade. Mazitu difficulties. Discovers Lake Bangweolo on 18th July, 1868. The Lake Chief Mapuni. Description of the Lake. Prepares to navigate it. Embarks for Lifunge Island. Immense size of Lake. Reaches Mpabala Island. Strange dream. Fears of canoe men. Return to shore. March back. Sends letters. Meets Banyamwezi. Reviews recent explorations at length. Disturbed state of country.
Cataracts of the Kalongosi. Passage of the river disputed. Leeches and method of detaching them. Syde bin Habib's slaves escape. Enormous collection of tusks. Ill. Theory of the Nile sources. Tribute to Miss Tinne. Notes on climate. Separation of Lake Nyassa from the Nile system. Observations on Victoria Nyanza. Slaves dying. Repentant deserters. Mohamad Bogharib. Enraged Imbozhwa. An attack. Narrow escape. Renewed attack. A parley. Help arrives. Bin Juma. March from the Imbozhwa country. Slaves escape. Burial of Syde bin Habib's brother. Singular custom. An elephant killed. Native game-laws. Rumour of Baker's Expedition. Christmas dinners.
[DR. LIVINGSTONE, though no artist, had acquired a practice of making rude sketches of scenes and objects, which have furnished material for the Engravers in the Illustrations for this book.]
1. PORTRAIT OF DR. LIVINGSTONE. (From a Photograph by ANNAN) 2. SLAVERS REVENGING THEIR LOSSES 3. SLAVES ABANDONED 4. CHITAPANGWA RECEIVING DR. LIVINGSTONE 5. THE VILLAGE ON LAKE LIEMBA—TANGANYIKA 6. THE ARRIVAL OF HAMEES' BRIDE 7. DISCOVERY OF LAKE BANGWEOLO
1. DR. LIVINGSTONE'S HOUSE, ZANZIBAR 2. DHOW USED FOR TRANSPORT OF DR. LIVINGSTONE'S CAMELS 3. A THORN-CLIMBER 4. TOMAHAWK AND AXE 5. CARVED DOOR, ZANZIBAR 6. TATTOO OF MATAMBWE 7. IMITATION OF BASKET-WORK IN POTTERY 8. DIGGING-STICK WEIGHTED WITH ROUND STONE 9. MANGANJA AND MACHINGA WOMEN 10. TATOO ON WOMEN 11. CARVED STOOL MADE OF A SINGLE WOODEN BLOCK 12. WOMEN'S TEETH HOLLOWED OUT 13. MODE OF FORGING HOES 14. MALLET FOR SEPARATING FIBRES OF BARK 15. THE CHIEF CHITAPANGWA 16. CHITAPANGWA'S WIVES 17. FILED TEETH OF QUEEN MOAeH 18. A FOREST GRAVE
GENERAL MAP OF DR. LIVINGSTONE'S OWN DISCOVERIES
Arrival at Zanzibar. Hearty reception by Said Majid, the Sultan. Murder of Baron van der Decken. The slave-market. Preparations for starting to the interior. Embarkation in H.M.S. Penguin and dhow. Rovuma Bay impracticable. Disembarks at Mikindany. Joy at travelling once more. Trouble with sepoys. Camels attacked by tsetse fly, and by sepoys. Jungle sappers. Meets old enemies. The Makonde. Lake Nangandi. Gum-copal diggings.
ZANZIBAR, 28th January, 1866.—After a passage of twenty-three days from Bombay we arrived at this island in the Thule, which was one of Captain Sherard Osborne's late Chinese fleet, and now a present from the Bombay Government to the Sultan of Zanzibar. I was honoured with the commission to make the formal presentation, and this was intended by H.E. the Governor-in-Council to show in how much estimation I was held, and thereby induce the Sultan to forward my enterprise. The letter to his Highness was a commendatory epistle in my favour, for which consideration on the part of Sir Bartle Frere I feel deeply grateful. It runs as follows:—
TO HIS HIGHNESS SEJUEL MAJID, SULTAN OF ZANZIBAR.
"YOUR HIGHNESS,—I trust that this will find you in the enjoyment of health and happiness.
"I have requested my friend, Dr. David Livingstone, who is already personally well and favourably known to your Highness, to convey to you the assurance of the continual friendship and goodwill of Her Majesty's Government in India.
"Your Highness is already aware of the benevolent objects of Dr. Livingstone's life and labours, and I feel assured that your Highness will continue to him the favour and protection which you have already shown to him on former occasions, and that your Highness will direct every aid to be given him within your Highness's dominions which may tend to further the philanthropic designs to which he has devoted himself, and which, as your Highness is aware, are viewed with the warmest interest by Her Majesty's Government both in India and England.
"I trust your Highness will favour me with continued accounts of your good health and welfare.
"I remain, your Highness's sincere friend,
(Signed) "H.B.E. FRERE.
"BOMBAY CASTLE, 2nd January, 1866."
When we arrived Dr. Seward, the Acting Consul, was absent at the Seychelles on account of serious failure of health: Mr. Schultz, however, was representing him, but he too was at the time away. Dr. Seward was expected back daily, and he did arrive on the 31st. I requested a private interview with the Sultan, and on the following day (29th) called and told him the nature of my commission to his Highness. He was very gracious, and seemed pleased with the gift, as well he might, for the Thule is fitted up in the most gorgeous manner. We asked a few days to put her in perfect order, and this being the Ramadan, or fasting month, he was all the more willing to defer a visit to the vessel.
Dr. Seward arranged to have an audience with the Sultan, to carry out his instructions, which were to present me in a formal manner; Captain Bradshaw of the Wasp, with Captain Leatham of the Vigilant, and Bishop Tozer, were to accompany us in full dress, but the Sultan had a toothache and gumboil, and could not receive us; he, however, placed one of his houses at my disposal, and appointed a man who speaks English to furnish board for my men and me, and also for Captain Brebner, of the Thule, and his men.
6th February, 1866.—The Sultan being still unable to come, partly on account of toothache and partly on account of Ramadan, he sent his commodore, Captain Abdullah, to receive the Thule. When the English flag was hauled down in the Thule, it went up to the mainmast of the Iskander Shah, and was saluted by twenty-one guns; then the Wasp saluted the Arab flag with an equal number, which honour being duly acknowledged by a second royal salute from the Iskander Shah, Captain Abdullah's frigate, the ceremony ended.
Next day, the 7th, we were received by the Sultan, and through his interpreter, I told him that his friend, the Governor of Bombay, had lately visited the South Mahratta Princes, and had pressed on them the necessity of education; the world was moving on, and those who neglected to acquire knowledge would soon find that power slipped through their fingers, and that the Bombay Government, in presenting his Highness with a portion of steam power, showed its desire to impart one of the greatest improvements of modern times, not desiring to monopolize power, but hoping to lift up others with themselves, and I wished him to live a hundred years and enjoy all happiness. The idea was borrowed partly from Sir Bartle Frere's addresses, because I thought it would have more weight if he heard a little from that source than if it emanated from myself. He was very anxious that Captain Brebner and his men, in returning to India, should take a passage from him in the Nadir Shah, one of his men-of-war, and though he had already placed his things aboard the Vigilant, to proceed to Seychelles, and thence to Bombay, we persuaded Captain Brebner to accept his Highness's hospitality. He had evidently set his heart on sending them back with suitable honours, and an hour after consent was given to go by the Nadir Shah, he signed an order for the money to fit her out.
11th February, 1866.—One of the foremost subjects that naturally occupied my mind here was the sad loss of the Baron van der Decken, on the River Juba, or Aljib. The first intimation of the unfortunate termination of his explorations was the appearance of Lieutenant von Schich at this place, who had left without knowing whether his leader were dead or alive, but an attack had been made on the encampment which had been planned after the steamer struck the rocks and filled, and two of the Europeans were killed. The attacking party came from the direction in which the Baron and Dr. Link went, and three men of note in it were slain. Von Schich went back from Zanzibar to Brava to ascertain the fate of the Baron, and meanwhile several native sailors from Zanzibar had been allowed to escape from the scene of confusion to Brava.
18th February, 1866.—All the Europeans went to pay visits of congratulation to his Highness the Sultan upon the conclusion of the Ramadan, when sweetmeats were placed before us. He desired me to thank the Governor of Bombay for his magnificent gift, and to state that although he would like to have me always with him, yet he would show me the same favour in Africa which he had done here: he added that the Thule was at my service to take me to the Rovuma whenever I wished to leave. I replied that nothing had been wanting on his part; he had done more than I expected, and I was sure that his Excellency the Governor would be delighted to hear that the vessel promoted his health and prosperity; nothing would delight him more than this. He said that he meant to go out in her on Wednesday next (20th): Bishop Tozer, Captain Fraser, Dr. Steere, and all the English were present. The sepoys came in and did obeisance; and I pointed out the Nassick lads as those who had been rescued from slavery, educated, and sent back to their own country by the Governor. Surely he must see that some people in the world act from other than selfish motives.
In the afternoon Sheikh Sulieman, his secretary, came with a letter for the Governor, to be conveyed by Lieutenant Brebner, I.N., in the Nadir Shah, which is to sail to-morrow. He offered money to the lieutenant, but this could not be heard of for a moment.
The translation of the letter is as follows, and is an answer to that which I brought.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR OF BOMBAY.
"... The end of my desire is to know ever that your Excellency's health is good. As for me—your friend—I am very well.
"Your honoured letter borne by Dr. Livingstone duly reached me, and all that you said about him I understood.
"I will show him respect, give him honour, and help him in all his affairs; and that I have already done this, I trust he will tell you.
"I hope you will let me rest in your heart, and that you will send me many letters.
"If you need anything I shall be glad, and will give it.
"Your sincere friend,
"MAJID BIN SAID.
"Dated 2nd Shaul, 1282 (18th February, 1866)."
2nd March, 1866.—A northern dhow came in with slaves; when this was reported to the Sultan he ordered it to be burned, and we saw this done from the window of the Consulate; but he has very little power over Northern Arabs. He has shown a little vigour of late. He wished to raise a revenue by a charge of 10 per cent. on all articles brought into town for sale, but this is clearly contrary to treaty, which provides that no monopoly shall be permitted, and no dues save that of 5 per cent. import duty. The French Consul bullies him: indeed the French system of dealing with the natives is well expressed by that word; no wonder they cannot gain influence among them: the greatest power they exercise is by lending their flag to slaving dhows, so that it covers that nefarious traffic.
The stench arising from a mile and a half or two square miles of exposed sea beach, which is the general depository of the filth of the town, is quite horrible. At night it is so gross or crass one might cut out a slice and manure a garden with it: it might be called Stinkibar rather than Zanzibar. No one can long enjoy good health here.
On visiting the slave-market I found about 300 slaves exposed for sale, the greater part of whom came from Lake Nyassa and the Shire River; I am so familiar with the peculiar faces and markings or tattooings, that I expect them to recognize me. Indeed one woman said that she had heard of our passing up Lake Nyassa in a boat, but she did not see me: others came from Chipeta, S.W. of the Lake. All who have grown up seem ashamed at being hawked about for sale. The teeth are examined, the cloth lifted up to examine the lower limbs, and a stick is thrown for the slave to bring, and thus exhibit his paces. Some are dragged through the crowd by the hand, and the price called out incessantly: most of the purchasers were Northern Arabs and Persians. This is the period when the Sultan's people may not carry slaves coastwise; but they simply cannot, for the wind is against them. Many of the dhows leave for Madagascar, and thence come back to complete their cargoes.
The Arabs are said to treat their slaves kindly, and this also may be said of native masters; the reason is, master and slave partake of the general indolence, but the lot of the slave does not improve with the general progress in civilization. While no great disparity of rank exists, his energies are little tasked, but when society advances, wants multiply; and to supply these the slave's lot grows harder. The distance between master and man increases as the lust of gain is developed, hence we can hope for no improvement in the slave's condition, unless the master returns to or remains in barbarism.
6th March, 1866.—Rains have begun now that the sun is overhead. We expect the Penguin daily to come from Johanna, and take us to the Rovuma. It is an unwholesome place; six of my men have fever; few retain health long, and considering the lowness of the island, and the absence of sanitary regulations in the town, it is not to be wondered at. The Sultan has little power, being only the successor to the captain of the horde of Arabs who came down and overran the island and maritime coasts of the adjacent continent. He is called only Said or Syed, never Sultan; and they can boast of choosing a new one if he does not suit them. Some coins were found in digging here which have Cufic inscriptions, and are about 900 years old. The island is low; the highest parts may not be more than 150 feet above the sea; it is of a coral formation, with sandstone conglomerate. Most of the plants are African, but clove-trees, mangoes, and cocoa-nut groves give a luxuriant South Sea Island look to the whole scenery.
We visited an old man to-day, the richest in Zanzibar, who is to give me letters to his friends at Tanganyika, and I am trying to get a depot of goods for provisions formed there, so that when I reach it I may not be destitute.
18th March, 1866.—I have arranged with Koorje, a Banian, who farms the custom-house revenue here, to send a supply of beads, cloth, flour, tea, coffee, and sugar, to Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika. The Arab there, with whom one of Koorje's people will remain in charge of the goods, is called Thani bin Suelim.
Yesterday we went to take leave of the Sultan, and to thank him for all his kindness to me and my men, which has indeed been very great. He offered me men to go with me, and another letter if I wished it. He looks very ill.
I have received very great kindness during my stay from Dr. and Mrs. Seward. They have done everything for me in their power: may God Almighty return it all abundantly into their bosoms, in the way that He best can. Dr. Seward's views of the policy pursued here I have no doubt are the right ones; in fact, the only ones which can be looked back to with satisfaction, or that have probability of success among a race of Pariah Arabs.
The Penguin came a few days ago, and Lieutenant Garforth in command agrees to take me down to the Rovuma River, and land me there. I have a dhow to take my animals: six camels, three buffaloes, and a calf, two mules, and four donkeys. I have thirteen Sepoys, ten Johanna men, nine Nassick boys, two Shupanga men, and two Wayaus, Wekatani and Chuma.
[It may be well to point out that several of these men had previously been employed by Dr. Livingstone on the Zambesi and Shire; thus Musa, the Johanna man, was a sailor on the Lady Nyassa, whilst Susi and Amoda were engaged at Shupanga to cut wood for the Pioneer. The two Waiyau lads, Wakatani and Chuma, were liberated from the slavers by the Doctor and Bishop Mackenzie in 1861, and lived for three years with the Mission party at Chibisa's before they were engaged by Livingstone. The Nassick lads were entire strangers, and were trained in India.]
19th March, 1866.—We start this morning at 10 A.M. I trust that the Most High may prosper me in this work, granting me influence in the eyes of the heathen, and helping me to make my intercourse beneficial to them.
22nd March, 1866.—We reached Rovuma Bay to-day, and anchored about two miles from the mouth of the river, in five fathoms. I went up the left bank to see if the gullies which formerly ran into the bay had altered, so as to allow camels to cross them: they seemed to have become shallower. There was no wind for the dhow, and as for the man-of-war towing her, it was out of the question. On the 23rd the cutter did try to tow the dhow, but without success, as a strong tide runs constantly out of the river at this season. A squall came up from the S.E., which would have taken the dhow in, but the master was on board the Penguin, and said he had no large sail. I got him off to his vessel, but the wind died away before we could reach the mouth of the river.
24th March, 1866.—I went to the dhow, and there being no wind I left orders with the captain to go up the right bank should a breeze arise. Mr. Fane, midshipman, accompanied me up the left bank above, to see if we could lead the camels along in the water. Near the point where the river first makes a little bend to the north, we landed and found three formidable gullies, and jungle so thick with bush, date-palms, twining bamboo, and hooked thorns, that one could scarcely get along. Further inland it was sticky mud, thickly planted over with mangrove roots and gullies in whose soft banks one sank over the ankles. No camels could have moved, and men with extreme difficulty might struggle through; but we never could have made an available road. We came to a she-hippopotamus lying in a ditch, which did not cover her; Mr. Fane fired into her head, and she was so upset that she nearly fell backward in plunging up the opposite bank: her calf was killed, and was like sucking-pig, though in appearance as large as a full-grown sow.
We now saw that the dhow had a good breeze, and she came up along the right bank and grounded at least a mile from the spot where the mangroves ceased. The hills, about two hundred feet high, begin about two or three miles above that, and they looked invitingly green and cool. My companion and I went from the dhow inland, to see if the mangroves gave way, to a more walkable country, but the swamp covered over thickly with mangroves only became worse the farther we receded from the river. The whole is flooded at high tides, and had we landed all the men we should have been laid up with fever ere we could have attained the higher land, which on the right bank bounds the line of vision, and the first part of which lies so near. I thought I had better land on the sand belt on the left of Rovuma Bay, and then explore and get information from the natives, none of whom had as yet come near us, so I ordered the dhow to come down to the spot next day, and went on board the Penguin. Lieutenant Garforth was excessively kind, and though this is his best time for cruising in the North, he most patiently agreed to wait and help me to land.
24th March, 1866.—During the night it occurred to me that we should be in a mess if after exploration and information from the natives we could find no path, and when I mentioned this, Lieutenant Garforth suggested that we should proceed to Kilwa, so at 5 A.M. I went up to the dhow with Mr. Fane, and told the captain that we were going there. He was loud in his protestations against this, and strongly recommended the port of Mikindany, as quite near to Rovuma, Nyassa, and the country I wished to visit, besides being a good landing-place, and the finest port on the coast. Thither we went, and on the same evening landed all our animals in Mikindany bay, which lies only twenty-five miles N. of Rovuma. The Penguin then left.
The Rovuma is quite altered from what it was when first we visited it. It is probable that the freshets form banks inside the mouth, which are washed out into the deep bay, and this periodical formation probably has prevented the Arabs from using the Rovuma as a port of shipment. It is not likely that Mr. May would have made a mistake if the middle were as shoal as now: he found soundings of three fathoms or more.
25th March, 1866.—I hired a house for four dollars a month and landed all our goods from the dhow. The bay gives off a narrow channel, about 500 yards wide and 200 yards long, the middle is deep, but the sides are coral reefs and shoal: the deep part seems about 100 yards wide. Outside in the Bay of Mikindany there is no anchorage except on the edge of the reef where the Penguin got seven fathoms, but further in it was only two fathoms. The inner bay is called Pemba, not Pimlea, as erroneously printed in the charts of Owen. It is deep and quite sheltered; another of a similar round form lies somewhat to the south: this bay may be two miles square.
The cattle are all very much the worse for being knocked about in the dhow. We began to prepare saddles of a very strong tree called Ntibwe, which is also used for making the hooked spear with which hippopotami are killed—the hook is very strong and tough; I applied also for twenty carriers and a Banian engaged to get them as soon as possible. The people have no cattle here, they are half-caste Arabs mostly, and quite civil to us.
26th March, 1866.—A few of the Nassick boys have the slave spirit pretty strongly; it goes deepest in those who have the darkest skins. Two Gallah men are the most intelligent and hardworking among them; some look on work with indifference when others are the actors.
Now that I am on the point of starting on another trip into Africa I feel quite exhilarated: when one travels with the specific object in view of ameliorating the condition of the natives every act becomes ennobled.
Whether exchanging the customary civilities, or arriving at a village, accepting a night's lodging, purchasing food for the party, asking for information, or answering polite African enquiries as to our objects in travelling, we begin to spread a knowledge of that people by whose agency their land will yet become enlightened and freed from the slave-trade.
The mere animal pleasure of travelling in a wild unexplored country is very great. When on lands of a couple of thousand feet elevation, brisk exercise imparts elasticity to the muscles, fresh and healthy blood circulates through the brain, the mind works well, the eye is clear, the step is firm, and a day's exertion always makes the evening's repose thoroughly enjoyable.
We have usually the stimulus of remote chances of danger either from beasts or men. Our sympathies are drawn out towards our humble hardy companions by a community of interests, and, it may be, of perils, which make us all friends. Nothing but the most pitiable puerility would lead any manly heart to make their inferiority a theme for self-exaltation; however, that is often done, as if with the vague idea that we can, by magnifying their deficiencies, demonstrate our immaculate perfections.
The effect of travel on a man whose heart is in the right place is that the mind is made more self-reliant: it becomes more confident of its own resources—there is greater presence of mind. The body is soon well-knit; the muscles of the limbs grow as hard as a board, and seem to have no fat; the countenance is bronzed, and there is no dyspepsia. Africa is a most wonderful country for appetite, and it is only when one gloats over marrow bones or elephant's feet that indigestion is possible. No doubt much toil is involved, and fatigue of which travellers in the more temperate climes can form but a faint conception; but the sweat of one's brow is no longer a curse when one works for God: it proves a tonic to the system, and is actually a blessing. No one can truly appreciate the charm of repose unless he has undergone severe exertion.
27th March, 1866.—The point of land which on the north side of the entrance to the harbour narrows it to about 300 yards is alone called Pemba; the other parts have different names. Looking northwards from the point, the first hundred yards has ninety square houses of wattled daub; a ruin (a mosque) has been built of lime and coral. The whole point is coral, and the soil is red, and covered over with dense tropical vegetation, in which the baobab is conspicuous. Dhows at present come in with ease by the easterly wind which blows in the evening, and leave next morning, the land wind taking them out.
While the camels and other animals are getting over their fatigues and bad bruises, we are making camels' saddles, and repairing those of the mules and buffaloes. Oysters abound on all the rocks and on the trees over which the tide flows: they are small, but much relished by the people.
The Arabs here are a wretched lot physically—thin, washed-out creatures—many with bleared eyes.
29-30th March, 1866.—- This harbour has somewhat the shape of a bent bow or the spade on a playing-card, the shaft of the arrow being the entrance in; the passage is very deep, but not more than 100 yards wide, and it goes in nearly S.W.; inside it is deep and quite secure, and protected from all winds. The lands westward rise at once to about 200 feet, and John, a hill, is the landmark by which it is best known in coming along the coast—so say the Arabs. The people have no cattle, but say there are no tsetse flies: they have not been long here, i.e. under the present system; but a ruin on the northern peninsula or face of the entrance, built of stone and lime—Arab-fashion, and others on the north-west, show that the place has been known and used of old. The adjacent country has large game at different water pools, and as the whole country is somewhat elevated it probably is healthy. There is very little mangrove, but another enclosed piece of water to the south of this probably has more. The language of the people here is Swaheli; they trade a little in gum-copal and Orchilla weed. An agent of the Zanzibar custom-house presides over the customs, which are very small, and a jemidar acknowledging the Sultan is the chief authority; but the people are little superior to the natives whom they have displaced. The jemidar has been very civil to me, and gives me two guides to go on to Adonde, but no carriers can be hired. Water is found in wells in the coral rock which underlies the whole place.
4th April, 1866.—When about to start from Pemba, at the entrance to the other side of the bay one of our buffaloes gored a donkey so badly that he had to be shot: we cut off the tips of the offender's horns, on the principle of "locking the stable-door when the steed is stolen," and marched. We came to level spots devoid of vegetation, and hard on the surface, but a deposit of water below allowed the camels to sink up to their bodies through the crust. Hauling them out, we got along to the jemidar's house, which is built of coral and lime. Hamesh was profuse in his professions of desire to serve, but gave a shabby hut which let in rain and wind. I slept one night in it, and it was unbearable, so I asked the jemidar to allow me to sleep in his court-room, where many of the sepoys were: he consented, but when I went refused; then, being an excitable, nervous Arab, he took fright, mustered all his men, amounting to about fifteen, with matchlocks; ran off, saying he was going to kill a lion; came back, shook hands nervously with me, vowing it was a man who would not obey him, "it was not you."
Our goods were all out in the street, bound on the pack-saddles, so at night we took the ordinary precaution of setting a guard. This excited our dignitary, and after dark all his men were again mustered with matches lighted. I took no notice of him, and after he had spent a good deal of talk, which we could hear, he called Musa and asked what I meant. The explanations of Musa had the effect of sending him to bed, and in the morning, when I learned how much I had most unintentionally disturbed him, I told him that I was sorry, but it did not occur to me to tell him about an ordinary precaution against thieves. He thought he had given me a crushing reply when he said with vehemence, "But there are no thieves here." I did not know till afterwards that he and others had done me an ill turn in saying that no carriers could be hired from the independent tribes adjacent. They are low-coast Arabs, three-quarters African, and, as usual, possess the bad without the good qualities of both parents. Many of them came and begged brandy, and laughed when they remarked that they could drink it in secret but not openly; they have not, however, introduced it as an article of trade, as we Christians have done on the West Coast.
6th April, 1866.—We made a short march round to the south-west side of the Lake, and spent the night at a village in that direction. There are six villages dotted round the inner harbour, and the population may amount to 250 or 300 souls—coast Arabs and their slaves; the southern portion of the harbour is deep, from ten to fourteen fathoms, but the north-western part is shoal and rocky. Very little is done in the way of trade; some sorghum, sem-sem seed, gum-copal, and orchilla weed, constitute the commerce of the port: I saw two Banian traders settled here.
7th April, 1866.—Went about south from Kindany with a Somalie guide, named Ben Ali or Bon Ali, a good-looking obliging man, who was to get twenty dollars to take us up to Ngomano. Our path lay in a valley, with well-wooded heights on each side, but the grass towered over our heads, and gave the sensation of smothering, whilst the sun beat down on our heads very fiercely, and there was not a breath of air stirring. Not understanding camels, I had to trust to the sepoys who overloaded them, and before we had accomplished our march of about seven miles they were knocked up.
8th April, 1866.—We spent the Sunday at a village called Nyangedi. Here on the evening of the 7th April our buffaloes and camels were first bitten by the tsetse fly. We had passed through some pieces of dense jungle which, though they offered no obstruction to foot-passengers, but rather an agreeable shade, had to be cut for the tall camels, and fortunately we found the Makonde of this village glad to engage themselves by the day either as woodcutters or carriers. We had left many things with the jemidar from an idea that no carriers could be procured. I lightened the camels, and had a party of woodcutters to heighten and widen the path in the dense jungle into which we now penetrated. Every now and then we emerged on open spaces, where the Makonde have cleared gardens for sorghum, maize, and cassava. The people were very much more taken up with the camels and buffaloes than with me. They are all independent of each other, and no paramount chief exists. Their foreheads may be called compact, narrow, and rather low; the alae nasi expanded laterally; lips full, not excessively thick; limbs and body well formed; hands and feet small; colour dark and light-brown; height middle size, and bearing independent.
10th April, 1866.—We reached a village called Narri, lat. 10 deg. 23' 14" S. Many of the men had touches of fever. I gave medicine to eleven of them, and next morning all were better. Food is abundant and cheap. Our course is nearly south, and in "wadys," from which, following the trade-road, we often ascend the heights, and then from the villages, which are on the higher land, we descend to another on the same wady. No running water is seen; the people depend on wells for a supply.
11th April, 1866.—At Tandahara we were still ascending as we went south; the soil is very fertile, with a good admixture of sand in it, but no rocks are visible. Very heavy crops of maize and sorghum are raised, and the cassava bushes are seven feet in height. The bamboos are cleared off them, spread over the space to be cultivated and burned to serve as manure. Iron is very scarce, for many of the men appear with wooden spears; they find none here, but in some spots where an ooze issued from the soil iron rust appeared. At each of the villages where we spent a night we presented a fathom of calico, and the headman always gave a fowl or two, and a basket of rice or maize. The Makonde dialect is quite different from Swaheli, but from their intercourse with the coast Arabs many of the people here have acquired a knowledge of Swaheli.
12th April, 1866.—On starting we found the jungle so dense that the people thought "there was no cutting it:" it continued upwards of three miles. The trees are not large, but so closely planted together that a great deal of labour was required to widen and heighten the path: where bamboos prevail they have starved out the woody trees. The reason why the trees are not large is because all the spaces we passed over were formerly garden ground before the Makonde had been thinned by the slave-trade. As soon as a garden is deserted, a thick crop of trees of the same sorts as those formerly cut down springs up, and here the process of woody trees starving out their fellows, and occupying the land without dense scrub below, has not had time to work itself out. Many are mere poles, and so intertwined with climbers as to present the appearance of a ship's ropes and cables shaken in among them, and many have woody stems as thick as an eleven-inch hawser. One species may be likened to the scabbard of a dragoon's sword, but along the middle of the flat side runs a ridge, from which springs up every few inches a bunch of inch-long straight sharp thorns. It hangs straight for a couple of yards, but as if it could not give its thorns a fair chance of mischief, it suddenly bends on itself, and all its cruel points are now at right angles to what they were before. Darwin's observation shows a great deal of what looks like instinct in these climbers. This species seems to be eager for mischief; its tangled limbs hang out ready to inflict injury on all passers-by. Another climber is so tough it is not to be broken by the fingers; another appears at its root as a young tree, but it has the straggling habits of its class, as may be seen by its cords stretched some fifty or sixty feet off; it is often two inches in diameter; you cut it through at one part and find it reappear forty yards off.
Another climber is like the leaf of an aloe, but convoluted as strangely as shavings from the plane of a carpenter. It is dark green in colour, and when its bark is taken off it is beautifully striated beneath, lighter and darker green, like the rings of growth on wood; still another is a thin string with a succession of large knobs, and another has its bark pinched up all round at intervals so as to present a great many cutting edges. One sort need scarcely be mentioned, in which all along its length are strong bent hooks, placed in a way that will hold one if it can but grapple with him, for that is very common and not like those mentioned, which the rather seem to be stragglers from the carboniferous period of geologists, when Pachydermata wriggled unscathed among tangled masses worse than these. We employed about ten jolly young Makonde to deal with these prehistoric plants in their own way, for they are accustomed to clearing spaces for gardens, and went at the work with a will, using tomahawks well adapted for the work. They whittled away right manfully, taking an axe when any trees had to be cut. Their pay, arranged beforehand, was to be one yard of calico per day: this is not much, seeing we are still so near the sea-coast. Climbers and young trees melted before them like a cloud before the sun! Many more would have worked than we employed, but we used the precaution of taking the names of those engaged. The tall men became exhausted soonest, while the shorter men worked vigorously still—but a couple of days' hard work seemed to tell on the best of them. It is doubtful if any but meat-eating people can stand long-continued labour without exhaustion: the Chinese may be an exception. When French navvies were first employed they could not do a tithe of the work of our English ones; but when the French were fed in the same style as the English, they performed equally well. Here the Makonde have rarely the chance of a good feed of meat: it is only when one of them is fortunate enough to spear a wild hog or an antelope that they know this luxury; if a fowl is eaten they get but a taste of it with their porridge.
13th April, 1866.—We now began to descend the northern slope down to the Rovuma, and a glimpse could occasionally be had of the country; it seemed covered with great masses of dark green forest, but the undulations occasionally looked like hills, and here and there a Sterculia had put on yellow foliage in anticipation of the coming winter. More frequently our vision was circumscribed to a few yards till our merry woodcutters made for us the pleasant scene of a long vista fit for camels to pass: as a whole, the jungle would have made the authors of the natty little hints to travellers smile at their own productions, good enough, perhaps, where one has an open country with trees and hills; by which to take bearings, estimate distances, see that one point is on the same latitude, another on the same longitude with such another, and all to be laid down fair and square with protractor and compass, but so long as we remained within the vegetation, that is fed by the moisture from the Indian Ocean, the steamy, smothering air, and dank, rank, luxuriant vegetation made me feel, like it, struggling for existence,—and no more capable of taking bearings than if I had been in a hogshead and observing through the bunghole!
An old Monyinko headman presented a goat and asked if the sepoys wished to cut its throat: the Johannees, being of a different sect of Mahometans, wanted to cut it in some other way than their Indian co-religionists: then ensued a fierce dispute as to who was of the right sort of Moslem! It was interesting to see that not Christians alone, but other nations feel keenly on religious subjects.
I saw rocks of grey sandstone (like that which overlies coal) and the Rovuma in the distance. Didi is the name of a village whose headsman, Chombokea, is said to be a doctor; all the headmen pretend or are really doctors; however one, Fundindomba, came after me for medicine for himself.
14th April, 1866.—To-day we succeeded in reaching the Rovuma, where some very red cliffs appear on the opposite heights, and close by where it is marked on the map that the Pioneer turned back in 1861. Here we rested on Sunday 15th.
16th April, 1866.—Our course now lay westwards, along the side of that ragged outline of table-land, which we had formerly seen from the river as flanking both sides. There it appeared a range of hills shutting in Rovuma, here we had spurs jutting out towards the river, and valleys retiring from a mile to three miles inland. Sometimes we wended our way round them, sometimes rose over and descended their western sides, and then a great deal of wood-cutting was required. The path is not straight, but from one village to another. We came perpetually on gardens, and remarked that rice was sown among the other grain; there must be a good deal of moisture at other times to admit of this succeeding: at present the crops were suffering for want of rain. We could purchase plenty of rice for the sepoys, and well it was so, for the supply which was to last till we arrived at Ngomano was finished on the 13th. An old doctor, with our food awaiting, presented me with two large bags of rice and his wife husked it for us.
17th April, 1866.—I had to leave the camels in the hands of the sepoys: I ordered them to bring as little luggage as possible, and the Havildar assured me that two buffaloes were amply sufficient to carry all they would bring. I now find that they have more than full loads for two buffaloes, two mules, and two donkeys; but when these animals fall down under them, they assure me with so much positiveness that they are not overloaded, that I have to be silent, or only, as I have several times done before, express the opinion that they will kill these animals. This observation on my part leads them to hide their things in the packs of the camels, which also are over-burdened. I fear that my experiment with the tsetse will be vitiated, but no symptoms yet occur in any of the camels except weariness. The sun is very sharp; it scorches. Nearly all the sepoys had fever, but it is easily cured; they never required to stop marching, and we cannot make over four or five miles a day, which movement aids in the cure. In all cases of fever removal from the spot of attack should be made: after the fever among the sepoys, the Nassick boys took their turn along with the Johannees.
18th April, 1866.—Ben Ali misled us away up to the north in spite of my protest, when we turned in that direction; he declared that was the proper path. We had much wood-cutting, and found that our course that day and next was to enable him to visit and return from one of his wives—a comely Makonde woman! He brought her to call on me, and I had to be polite to the lady, though we lost a day by the zigzag. This is one way by which the Arabs gain influence; a great many very light-coloured people are strewed among the Makonde, but only one of these had the Arab hair. On asking Ali whether any attempts had been made by Arabs to convert those with whom they enter into such intimate relationships, he replied that the Makonde had no idea of a Deity—no one could teach them, though Makonde slaves when taken to the coast and elsewhere were made Mahometans. Since the slave-trade was introduced this tribe has much diminished in numbers, and one village makes war upon another and kidnaps, but no religious teaching has been attempted. The Arabs come down to the native ways, and make no efforts to raise the natives to theirs; it is better that it is so, for the coast Arab's manners and morals would be no improvement on the pagan African!
19th April, 1866.—We were led up over a hill again, and on to the level of the plateau (where the evaporation is greater than in the valley), and tasted water of an agreeable coldness for the first time this journey. The people, especially the women, are very rude, and the men very eager to be employed as woodcutters. Very merry they are at it, and every now and then one raises a cheerful shout, in which all join. I suppose they are urged on by a desire to please their wives with a little clothing. The higher up the Rovuma we ascend the people are more and more tattooed on the face, and on all parts of the body. The teeth are filed to points, and huge lip-rings are worn by the women; some few Mabeha men from the south side of the river have lip-rings too.
20th April, 1866.—A Johanna man allowed the camels to trespass and destroy a man's tobacco patch: the owner would not allow us after this to pass through his rice-field, in which the route lay. I examined the damage, and made the Johanna man pay a yard of calico for it, which set matters all right.
Tsetse are biting the buffaloes again. Elephants, hippopotami, and pigs are the only game here, but we see none: the tsetse feed on them. In the low meadow land, from one to three miles broad, which lies along both banks, we have brackish pools, and one, a large one, which we passed, called Wrongwe, had much fish, and salt is got from it.
21st April, 1866.—After a great deal of cutting we reached the valley of Mehambwe to spend Sunday, all glad that it had come round again. Here some men came to our camp from Ndonde, who report that an invasion of Mazitu had three months ago swept away all the food out of the country, and they are now obliged to send in every direction for provisions. When saluting, they catch each other's hands and say, "Ai! Ai!" but the general mode (introduced, probably by the Arabs) is to take hold of the right hand, and say, "Marhaba" (welcome).
A wall-eyed ill-looking fellow, who helped to urge on the attack on our first visit in 1861, and the man to whom I gave cloth to prevent a collision, came about us disguised in a jacket. I knew him well, but said nothing to him.
23rd April, 1866.—When we marched this morning we passed the spot where an animal had been burned in the fire, and on enquiry I found that it is the custom when a leopard is killed to take off the skin and consume the carcase thus, because the Makonde do not eat it. The reason they gave for not eating flesh which is freely eaten by other tribes, is that the leopard devours men; this shows the opposite of an inclination to cannibalism.
All the rocks we had seen showed that the plateau consists of grey sandstone, capped by a ferruginous sandy conglomerate. We now came to blocks of silicified wood lying on the surface; it is so like recent wood, that no one who has not handled it would conceive it to be stone and not wood: the outer surface preserves the grain or woody fibre, the inner is generally silica.
Buffaloes bitten by tsetse again show no bad effects from it: one mule is, however, dull and out of health; I thought that this might be the effect of the bite till I found that his back was so strained that he could not stoop to drink, and could only eat the tops of the grasses. An ox would have been ill in two days after the biting on the 7th.
A carrier stole a shirt, and went off unsuspected; when the loss was ascertained, the man's companions tracked him with Ben Ali by night, got him in his hut, and then collected the headmen of the village, who fined him about four times the value of what had been stolen. They came back in the morning without seeming to think that they had done aught to be commended; this was the only case of theft we had noticed, and the treatment showed a natural sense of justice.
24th April, 1866.—We had showers occasionally, but at night all the men were under cover of screens. The fevers were speedily cured; no day was lost by sickness, but we could not march more than a few miles, owing to the slowness of the sepoys; they are a heavy drag on us, and of no possible use, except when acting as sentries at night.
When in the way between Kendany and Rovuma, I observed a plant here, called Mandare, the root of which is in taste and appearance like a waxy potato; I saw it once before at the falls below the Barotse Valley, in the middle of the continent; it had been brought there by an emigrant, who led out the water for irrigation, and it still maintained its place in the soil. Would this not prove valuable in the soil of India? I find that it is not cultivated further up the country of the Makonde, but I shall get Ali to secure some for Bombay.
25th April, 1866.—A serpent bit Jack, our dog, above the eye, the upper eyelid swelled very much, but no other symptoms appeared, and next day all swelling was gone; the serpent was either harmless, or the quantity of poison injected very small. The pace of the camels is distressingly slow, and it suits the sepoys to make it still slower than natural by sitting down to smoke and eat. The grass is high and ground under it damp and steamy.
26th April, 1866.—On the 25th we reached Narri, and resolved to wait the next day and buy food, as it is not so plentiful in front; the people are eager traders in meal, fowls, eggs, and honey; the women are very rude. Yesterday I caught a sepoy, Pando, belabouring a camel with a big stick as thick as any part of his arm, the path being narrow, it could not get out of his way; I shouted to him to desist; he did not know I was in sight, to-day the effect of the bad usage is seen in the animal being quite unable to move its leg: inflammation has set up in the hip-joint. I am afraid that several bruises which have festered on the camels, and were to me unaccountable, have been wilfully bestowed. This same Pando and another left Zanzibar drunk: he then stole a pair of socks from me, and has otherwise been perfectly useless, even a pimple on his leg was an excuse for doing nothing for many days. We had to leave this camel at Narri under charge of the headman.
28th April, 1866.—The hills on the north now retire out of our sight. A gap in the southern plateau gives passage to a small river, which arises in a lakelet of some size, eight or ten miles inland: the river and lakelet are both called Nangadi; the latter is so broad that men cannot be distinguished, even by the keen eyes of the natives on the other side: it is very deep, and abounds in large fish; the people who live there are Mabiha. A few miles above this gap the southern highland falls away, and there are lakelets on marshes, also abounding in fish, an uninhabited space next succeeds, and then we have the Matambwe country, which extends up to Ngomano. The Matambwe seem to be a branch of the Makonde, and a very large one: their country extends a long way south, and is well stocked with elephants and gum-copal trees.
They speak a language slightly different from that of the Makonde, but they understand them. The Matambwe women are, according to Ali, very dark, but very comely, though they do wear the lip-ring. They carry their ivory, gum-copal, and slaves to Ibo or Wibo.
29th April, 1866.—We spend Sunday, the 29th, on the banks of the Rovuma, at a village called Nachuchu, nearly opposite Konayumba, the first of the Matambwe, whose chief is called Kimbembe. Ali draws a very dark picture of the Makonde. He says they know nothing of a Deity, they pray to their mothers when in distress or dying; know nothing of a future state, nor have they any religion except a belief in medicine; and every headsman is a doctor. No Arab has ever tried to convert them, but occasionally a slave taken to the coast has been circumcised in order to be clean; some of them pray, and say they know not the ordeal or muavi. The Nassick boys failed me when I tried to communicate some knowledge through them. They say they do not understand the Makonde language, though some told me that they came from Ndonde's, which is the head-quarters of the Makonde. Ali says that the Makonde blame witches for disease and death; when one of a village dies, the whole population departs, saying "that is a bad spot." They are said to have been notorious for fines, but an awe has come over them, and no complaints have been made, though our animals in passing the gardens have broken a good deal of corn. Ali says they fear the English. This is an answer to my prayer for influence on the minds of the heathen. I regret that I cannot speak to them that good of His name which I ought.
I went with the Makonde to see a specimen of the gum-copal tree in the vicinity of this village. The leaves are in pairs, glossy green, with the veins a little raised on both face and back; the smaller branches diverge from the same point: the fruit, of which we saw the shells, seems to be a nut; some animal had in eating them cut them through. The bark of the tree is of a light ash colour; the gum was oozing from the bark at wounded places, and it drops on the ground from branches; it is thus that insects are probably imbedded in the gum-copal. The people dig in the vicinity of modern trees in the belief that the more ancient trees which dropped their gum before it became an article of commerce must have stood there. "In digging, none may be found on one day but God (Mungu) may give it to us on the next." To this all the Makonde present assented, and showed me the consciousness of His existence was present in their minds. The Makonde get the gum in large quantities, and this attracts the coast Arabs, who remain a long time in the country purchasing it. Hernia humoralis abounds; it is ascribed to beer-drinking.
30th April, 1866.—Many ulcers burst forth on the camels; some seem old dhow bruises. They come back from pasture, bleeding in a way that no rubbing against a tree would account for. I am sorry to suspect foul play: the buffaloes and mules are badly used, but I cannot be always near to prevent it.
Bhang is not smoked, but tobacco is: the people have no sheep or goats; only fowls, pigeons, and Muscovy ducks are seen. Honey is very cheap; a good large pot of about a gallon, with four fowls, was given for two yards of calico. Buffaloes again bitten by tsetse, and by another fly exactly like the house-fly, but having a straight hard proboscis instead of a soft one; other large flies make the blood run. The tsetse does not disturb the buffaloes, but these others and the smaller flies do. The tsetse seem to like the camel best; from these they are gorged with blood—they do not seem to care for the mules and donkeys.
 Dhow is the name given to the coasting vessel of East Africa and the Indian Ocean.
 The Commander of H.M.S. Pioneer in 1861.
 Those who have read the accounts given by African travellers will remember that the bites inflicted by two or three of these small flies will visually lay the foundation of a sickness which destroys oxen, horses, and dogs in a few weeks.
 Dr. Livingstone was anxious to try camels and Indian buffaloes in a tsetse country to see the effect upon them.
 This refers to an attack made upon the boats of the Pioneer when the Doctor was exploring the River Rovuma in 1861.
 A species of hemp.
Effect of Pioneer's former visit. The poodle Chitane. Result of tsetse bites. Death of camels and buffaloes. Disaffection of followers. Disputed right of ferry. Mazitu raids. An old friend. Severe privations. The River Loendi. Sepoys mutiny. Dr. Roscher. Desolation. Tattooing. Ornamental teeth. Singular custom. Death of the Nassick boy, Richard. A sad reminiscence.
1st May, 1866.—We now came along through a country comparatively free of wood, and we could move on without perpetual cutting and clearing. It is beautiful to get a good glimpse out on the surrounding scenery, though it still seems nearly all covered with great masses of umbrageous foliage, mostly of a dark green colour, for nearly all of the individual trees possess dark glossy leaves like laurel. We passed a gigantic specimen of the Kumbe, or gum-copal tree. Kumba means to dig. Changkumbe, or things dug, is the name of the gum; the Arabs call it "sandaruse." Did the people give the name Kumbe to the tree after the value of the gum became known to them? The Malole, from the fine grained wood of which all the bows are made, had shed its fruit on the ground; it looks inviting to the eye—an oblong peach-looking thing, with a number of seeds inside, but it is eaten by maggots only.
When we came to Ntande's village, we found it enclosed in a strong stockade, from a fear of attack by Mabiha, who come across the river and steal their women when going to draw water: this is for the Ibo market. They offered to pull down their stockade and let us in if we would remain over-night, but we declined. Before reaching Ntande we passed the ruins of two villages; the owners were the attacking party when we ascended the Rovuma in 1862. I have still the old sail, with four bullet-holes through it, made by the shots which they fired after we had given cloth and got assurances of friendship. The father and son of this village were the two men seen by the second boat preparing to shoot; the fire of her crew struck the father on the chin and the son on the head. It may have been for the best that the English are thus known as people who can hit hard when unjustly attacked, as we on this occasion most certainly were: never was a murderous assault more unjustly made or less provoked. They had left their villages and gone up over the highlands away from the river to their ambush whilst their women came to look at us.
2nd May, 1866.—Mountains again approach us, and we pass one which was noticed in our first ascent from its resemblance to a table mountain. It is 600 or 800 feet high, and called Liparu: the plateau now becomes mountainous, giving forth a perennial stream which comes down from its western base and forms a lagoon on the meadow-land that flanks the Rovuma. The trees which love these perpetual streams spread their roots all over the surface of the boggy banks, and make a firm surface, but at spots one may sink a yard deep. We had to fill up these deep ditches with branches and leaves, unload the animals, and lead them across. We spent the night on the banks of the Liparu, and then proceeded on our way.
3rd May, 1866.—We rested in a Makoa village, the head of which was an old woman. The Makoa or Makoane are known by a half-moon figure tattooed on their foreheads or elsewhere. Our poodle dog Chitane chased the dogs of this village with unrelenting fury, his fierce looks inspired terror among the wretched pariah dogs of a yellow and white colour, and those looks were entirely owing to its being difficult to distinguish at which end his head or tail lay. He enjoyed the chase of the yelping curs immensely, but if one of them had turned he would have bolted the other way.
A motherly-looking woman came forward and offered me some meal; this was when we were in the act of departing: others had given food to the men and no return had been made. I told her to send it on by her husband, and I would purchase it, but it would have been better to have accepted it: some give merely out of kindly feeling and with no prospect of a return.
Many of the Makoa men have their faces thickly tattooed in double, raised lines of about half an inch in length. After the incisions are made charcoal is rubbed in and the flesh pressed out, so that all the cuts are raised above the level of the surface. It gives them rather a hideous look, and a good deal of that fierceness which our kings and chiefs of old put on whilst having their portraits taken.
4th May, 1866.—The stream, embowered in perpetual shade and overspread with the roots of water-loving, broad-leaved trees, we found to be called Nkonya. The spot of our encampment was an island formed by a branch of it parting and re-entering it again: the owner had used it for rice.
The buffaloes were bitten again by tsetse on 2nd, and also to-day, from the bites of other flies (which look much more formidable than tsetse), blood of arterial colour flows down; this symptom I never saw before, but when we slaughtered an ox which had been tsetse bitten, we observed that the blood had the arterial hue. The cow has inflammation of one eye, and a swelling on the right lumbar portion of the pelvis: the grey buffalo has been sick, but this I attribute to unmerciful loading; for his back is hurt: the camels do not seem to feel the fly, though they get weaker from the horrid running sores upon them and hard work. There are no symptoms of tsetse in mules or donkeys, but one mule has had his shoulder sprained, and he cannot stoop to eat or drink.
We saw the last of the flanking range on the north. The country in front is plain, with a few detached granitic peaks shot up. The Makoa in large numbers live at the end of the range in a place called Nyuchi. At Nyamba, a village where we spent the night of the 5th, was a doctoress and rain-maker, who presented a large basket of soroko, or, as they call it in India, "mung," and a fowl. She is tall and well made, with fine limbs and feet, and was profusely tattooed all over; even her hips and buttocks had their elaborate markings: no shame is felt in exposing these parts.
A good deal of salt is made by lixiviation of the soil and evaporating by fire. The head woman had a tame khanga tole or tufted guinea-fowl, with bluish instead of white spots.
In passing along westwards after leaving the end of the range, we came first of all on sandstone hardened by fire; then masses of granite, as if in that had been contained the igneous agency of partial metamorphosis; it had also lifted up the sandstone, so as to cause a dip to the east. Then the syenite or granite seemed as if it had been melted, for it was all in striae, which striae, as they do elsewhere, run east and west. With the change in geological structure we get a different vegetation. Instead of the laurel-leaved trees of various kinds, we have African ebonies, acacias, and mimosae: the grass is shorter and more sparse, and we can move along without wood-cutting. We were now opposite a hill on the south called Simba, a lion, from its supposed resemblance to that animal. A large Mabiha population live there, and make raids occasionally over to this side for slaves.
6th May, 1866.—Tsetse again. The animals look drowsy. The cow's eye is dimmed; when punctured, the skin emits a stream of scarlet blood. The people hereabouts seem intelligent and respectful. At service a man began to talk, but when I said, "Ku soma Mlungu,"—"we wish to pray to God," he desisted. It would be interesting to know what the ideas of these men are, and to ascertain what they have gained in their communings with nature during the ages past. They do not give the idea of that boisterous wickedness and disregard of life which we read of in our own dark ages, but I have no one to translate, although I can understand much of what is said on common topics chiefly from knowing other dialects.
7th May, 1866.—A camel died during the night, and the grey buffalo is in convulsions this morning. The cruelty of these sepoys vitiates my experiment, and I quite expect many camels, one buffalo, and one mule to die yet; they sit down and smoke and eat, leaving the animals loaded in the sun. If I am not with them, it is a constant dawdling; they are evidently unwilling to exert themselves, they cannot carry their belts and bags, and their powers of eating and vomiting are astounding. The Makonde villages are remarkably clean, but no sooner do we pass a night in one than the fellows make it filthy. The climate does give a sharp appetite, but these sepoys indulge it till relieved by vomiting and purging. First of all they breakfast, then an hour afterwards they are sitting eating the pocketfuls of corn maize they have stolen and brought for the purpose, whilst I have to go ahead, otherwise we may be misled into a zigzag course to see Ali's friends; and if I remain behind to keep the sepoys on the move, it deprives me of all the pleasure of travelling. We have not averaged four miles a day in a straight line, yet the animals have often been kept in the sun for eight hours at a stretch. When we get up at 4 A.M. we cannot get under weigh before 8 o'clock. Sepoys are a mistake.
7th May, 1866.—We are now opposite a mountain called Nabungala, which resembles from the north-east an elephant lying down. Another camel, a very good one, died on the way: its shiverings and convulsions are not at all like what we observed in horses and oxen killed by tsetse, but such may lie the cause, however. The only symptom pointing to the tsetse is the arterial-looking blood, but we never saw it ooze from the skin after the bite of the gad-fly as we do now.
8th May, 1866.—We arrived at a village called Jponde, or Liponde, which lies opposite a granitic hill on the other-side of the river (where we spent a night on our boat trip), called Nakapuri; this is rather odd, for the words are not Makonde but Sichuana, and signify goat's horn, from the projections jutting out from the rest of the mass. I left the havildar, sepoys, and Nassick boys here in order to make a forced march forward, where no food is to be had, and send either to the south or westwards for supplies, so that after they have rested the animals and themselves five days they may come. One mule is very ill; one buffalo drowsy and exhausted; one camel a mere skeleton from bad sores; and another has an enormous hole at the point of the pelvis, which sticks out at the side. I suspect that this was made maliciously, for he came from the field bleeding profusely; no tree would have perforated a round hole in this way. I take all the goods and leave only the sepoys' luggage, which is enough for all the animals now.
9th May, 1866.—I went on with the Johanna men and twenty-four carriers, for it was a pleasure to get away from the sepoys and Nassick boys; the two combined to overload the animals. I told them repeatedly that they would kill them, but no sooner had I adjusted the burdens and turned my back than they put on all their things. It was however such continual vexation to contend with the sneaking spirit, that I gave up annoying myself by seeing matters, though I felt certain that the animals would all be killed. We did at least eight miles pleasantly well, and slept at Moedaa village. The rocks are still syenite. We passed a valley with the large thorny acacias of which canoes are often made, and a euphorbiaceous tree, with seed-vessels as large as mandarin oranges, with three seeds inside. We were now in a country which, in addition to the Mazitu invasion, was suffering from one of those inexplicable droughts to which limited and sometimes large portions of this country are subject. It had not been nearly so severe on the opposite or south side, and thither too the Mazitu had not penetrated. Rushes, which plagued us nearer the coast, are not observed now; the grass is all crisp and yellow; many of the plants are dead, and leaves are fallen off the trees as if winter had begun. The ground is covered with open forest, with here and there thick jungle on the banks of the streams. All the rivulets we have passed are mere mountain torrents filled with sand, in which the people dig for water.
We passed the spot where an Arab called Birkal was asked payment for leave to pass. After two and a half days' parley he fought, killed two Makonde, and mortally wounded a headman, which settled the matter; no fresh demand has been made. Ali's brother also resisted the same sort of demand, fought several times, or until three Makonde and two of his people were killed; they then made peace, and no other exactions have been made.
11th May, 1866.—We now found a difficulty in getting our carriers along, on account of exhaustion from want of food. In going up a sand stream called Nyede, we saw that all moist spots had been planted with maize and beans, so the loss caused by the Mazitu, who swept the land like a cloud of locusts, will not be attended by much actual starvation. We met a runaway woman: she was seized by Ali, and it was plain that he expected a reward for his pains. He thought she was a slave, but a quarter of a mile off was the village she had left, and it being doubtful if she were a runaway at all, the would-be fugitive slave-capture turned out a failure.
12th May, 1866.—About 4' E.N.E. of Matawatawa, or Nyamatolole, our former turning point.
13th May, 1866.—We halted at a village at Matawatawa. A pleasant-looking lady, with her face profusely tattooed, came forward with a bunch of sweet reed, or Sorghum saceliaratum, and laid it at my feet, saying, "I met you here before," pointing to the spot on the river where we turned. I remember her coming then, and that I asked the boat to wait while she went to bring us a basket of food, and I think it was given to Chiko, and no return made. It is sheer kindliness that prompts them sometimes, though occasionally people do make presents with a view of getting a larger one in return: it is pleasant to find that it is not always so. She had a quiet, dignified manner, both in talking and walking, and I now gave her a small looking-glass, and she went and brought me her only fowl and a basket of cucumber-seeds, from which oil is made; from the amount of oily matter they contain thov are nutritious when roasted and eaten as nuts. She made an apology, saying they were hungry times at present. I gave her a cloth, and so parted with Kanangone, or, as her name may be spelled, Kananone. The carriers were very useless from hunger, and we could not buy anything for them; for the country is all dried up, and covered sparsely with mimosas and thorny acacias.
14th May, 1866.—I could not get the carriers on more than an hour and three-quarters: men tire very soon on empty stomachs. We had reached the village of Hassane, opposite to a conical hill named Chisulwe, which is on the south side of the river, and evidently of igneous origin. It is tree-covered, while the granite always shows lumps of naked rock. All about lie great patches of beautiful dolomite. It may have been formed by baking of the tufa, which in this country seems always to have been poured out with water after volcanic action. Hassane's daughter was just lifting a pot of French beans, boiled in their pods, off the fire when we entered the village, these he presented to me, and when I invited him to partake, he replied that he was at home and would get something, while I was a stranger on a journey. He, like all the other headmen, is a reputed doctor, and his wife, a stout old lady, a doctoress; he had never married any wife but this one, and he had four children, all of whom lived with their parents. We employed one of his sons to go to the south side and purchase food, sending at the same time some carriers to buy for themselves. The siroko and rice bought by Hassane's son we deposited with him for the party behind, when they should arrive. The amount of terror the Mazitu inspire cannot be realized by us. They shake their shields and the people fly like stricken deer. I observed that a child would not go a few yards for necessary purposes unless grandmother stood in sight. Matumora, as the Arabs call the chief at Ngomano, gave them a warm reception, and killed several of them: this probably induced them to retire.
15th and 16th May, 1866.—Miserably short marches from hunger, and I sympathise with the poor fellows. Those sent to buy food for themselves on the south bank were misled by a talkative fellow named Chikungu, and went off north, where we knew nothing could be had. His object was to get paid for three days, while they only loitered here. I suppose hunger has taken the spirit out of them; but I told them that a day in which no work was done did not count: they admitted this. We pay about two feet of calico per day, and a fathom or six feet for three days' carriage.
17th May, 1866.—With very empty stomachs they came on a few miles and proposed to cross to the south side; as this involved crossing the Luendi too, I at first objected, but in hopes that we might get food for them we consented, and were taken over in two very small canoes. I sent Ali and Musa meanwhile to the south to try and get some food. I got a little green sorghum for them and paid them off. These are the little troubles of travelling, and scarce worth mentioning. A granitic peak now appears about 15' off, to the W.S.W. It is called Chihoka.
18th May, 1866.—At our crossing place metamorphic rocks of a chocolate colour stood on edge; and in the country round we have patches of dolomite, sometimes as white as marble. The country is all dry: grass and leaves crisp and yellow. Though so arid now, yet the great abundance of the dried stalks of a water-loving plant, a sort of herbaceous acacia, with green pea-shaped flowers, proves that at other times it is damp enough. The marks of people's feet floundering in slush, but now baked, show that the country can be sloppy.
The headman of the village where we spent the night of 17th is a martyr to rheumatism. He asked for medicine, and when I gave some he asked me to give it to him out of my own hand. He presented me with a basket of siroko and of green sorghum as a fee, of which I was very glad, for my own party were suffering, and I had to share out the little portion of flour I had reserved to myself.
19th May, 1866.—Coming on with what carriers we could find at the crossing place, we reached the confluence without seeing it; and Matumora being about two miles up the Loendi, we sent over to him for aid. He came over this morning early,—a tall, well-made man, with a somewhat severe expression of countenance, from a number of wrinkles on his forehead. He took us over the Loendi, which is decidedly the parent stream of the Rovuma, though that as it comes from the west still retains the name Loendi from the south-west here, and is from 150 to 200 yards wide, while the Rovuma above Matawatawa is from 200 to 250, full of islands, rocks, and sandbanks. The Loendi has the same character. We can see the confluence from where we cross about 2' to the north. Both rivers are rapid, shoal, and sandy; small canoes are used on them, and the people pride themselves on their skilful management: in this the women seem in no way inferior to the men.
In looking up the Loendi we see a large granitic peak called Nkanje, some 20 miles off, and beyond it the dim outline of distant highlands, in which seams of coal are exposed. Pieces of the mineral are found in Loendi's sands.
Matumora has a good character in the country, and many flee to him from oppression. He was very polite; sitting on the right bank till all the goods were carried over, then coming in the same canoe wifn me himself, he opened a fish basket in a weir and gave me the contents, and subsequently a little green sorghum. He literally has lost all his corn, for he was obliged to flee with his people to Marumba, a rocky island in Rovuma, about six miles above Matawatawa. He says that both Loendi and Rovuma come out of Lake Nyassa; a boat could not ascend, however, because many waterfalls are in their course: it is strange if all this is a myth. Matumora asked if the people through whose country I had come would preserve the peace I wished. He says he has been assailed on all sides by slave-hunters: he alone has never hunted for captives: if the people in front should attack me he would come and fight them: finally he had never seen a European before (Dr. Roscher travelled as an Arab), nor could I learn where Likumbu at Ngomano lives; it was with him that Roscher is said to have left his goods.