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A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries
by David Livingstone
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Strong easterly winds blow daily from noon till midnight, and continue till the October or November rains set in. Whirlwinds, raising huge pillars of smoke from burning grass and weeds, are common in the forenoon. We were nearly caught in an immense one. It crossed about twenty yards in front of us, the wind apparently rushing into it from all points of the compass. Whirling round and round in great eddies, it swept up hundreds of feet into the air a continuous dense dark cloud of the black pulverized soil, mixed with dried grass, off the plain. Herds of the new antelopes, lechwe, and poku, with the kokong, or gnus, and zebras stood gazing at us as we passed. The mirage lifted them at times halfway to the clouds, and twisted them and the clumps of palms into strange unearthly forms. The extensive and rich level plains by the banks, along the sides of which we paddled, would support a vast population, and might be easily irrigated from the Zambesi. If watered, they would yield crops all the year round, and never suffer loss by drought. The hippopotamus is killed here with long lance-like spears. We saw two men, in a light canoe, stealing noiselessly down on one of these animals thought to be asleep; but it was on the alert, and they had quickly to retreat. Comparatively few of these animals now remain between Sesheke and the Falls, and they are uncommonly wary, as it is certain death for one to be caught napping in the daytime.

On the 18th we entered Sesheke. The old town, now in ruins, stands on the left bank of the river. The people have built another on the same side, a quarter of a mile higher up, since their headman Moriantsiane was put to death for bewitching the chief with leprosy. Sekeletu was on the right bank, near a number of temporary huts. A man hailed us from the chiefs quarters, and requested us to rest under the old Kotla, or public meeting-place tree. A young Makololo, with the large thighs which Zulus and most of this tribe have, crossed over to receive orders from the chief, who had not shown himself to the people since he was affected with leprosy. On returning he ran for Mokele, the headman of the new town, who, after going over to Sekeletu, came back and conducted us to a small but good hut, and afterwards brought us a fine fat ox, as a present from the chief. "This is a time of hunger," he said, "and we have no meat, but we expect some soon from the Barotse Valley." We were entirely out of food when we reached Sesheke. Never was better meat than that of the ox Sekeletu sent, and infinitely above the flesh of all kinds of game is beef!

A constant stream of visitors rolled in on us the day after our arrival. Several of them, who had suffered affliction during the Doctor's absence, seemed to be much affected on seeing him again. All were in low spirits. A severe drought had cut off the crops, and destroyed the pasture of Linyanti, and the people were scattered over the country in search of wild fruits, and the hospitality of those whose ground-nuts (Arachis hypogoea) had not failed. Sekeletu's leprosy brought troops of evils in its train. Believing himself bewitched, he had suspected a number of his chief men, and had put some, with their families, to death; others had fled to distant tribes, and were living in exile. The chief had shut himself up, and allowed no one to come into his presence but his uncle Mamire. Ponwane, who had been as "head and eyes" to him, had just died; evidence, he thought, of the potent spells of those who hated all who loved the chief. The country was suffering grievously, and Sebituane's grand empire was crumbling to pieces. A large body of young Barotse had revolted and fled to the north; killing a man by the way, in order to put a blood-feud between Masiko, the chief to whom they were going, and Sekeletu. The Batoka under Sinamane, and Muemba, were independent, and Mashotlane at the Falls was setting Sekeletu's authority virtually at defiance. Sebituane's wise policy in treating the conquered tribes on equal terms with his own Makololo, as all children of the chief, and equally eligible to the highest honours, had been abandoned by his son, who married none but Makololo women, and appointed to office none but Makololo men. He had become unpopular among the black tribes, conquered by the spear but more effectually won by the subsequent wise and just government of his father.

Strange rumours were afloat respecting the unseen Sekeletu; his fingers were said to have grown like eagle's claws, and his face so frightfully distorted that no one could recognize him. Some had begun to hint that he might not really be the son of the great Sebituane, the founder of the nation, strong in battle, and wise in the affairs of state. "In the days of the Great Lion" (Sebituane), said his only sister, Moriantsiane's widow, whose husband Sekeletu had killed, "we had chiefs and little chiefs and elders to carry on the government, and the great chief, Sebituane, knew them all, and everything they did, and the whole country was wisely ruled; but now Sekeletu knows nothing of what his underlings do, and they care not for him, and the Makololo power is fast passing away." {3}

The native doctors had given the case of Sekeletu up. They could not cure him, and pronounced the disease incurable. An old doctress from the Manyeti tribe had come to see what she could do for him, and on her skill he now hung his last hopes. She allowed no one to see him, except his mother and uncle, making entire seclusion from society an essential condition of the much longed-for cure. He sent, notwithstanding, for the Doctor; and on the following day we all three were permitted to see him. He was sitting in a covered wagon, which was enclosed by a high wall of close-set reeds; his face was only slightly disfigured by the thickening of the skin in parts, where the leprosy had passed over it; and the only peculiarity about his hands was the extreme length of his finger-nails, which, however, was nothing very much out of the way, as all the Makololo gentlemen wear them uncommonly long. He has the quiet, unassuming manners of his father, Sebituane, speaks distinctly, in a low pleasant voice, and appears to be a sensible man, except perhaps on the subject of his having been bewitched; and in this, when alluded to, he exhibits as firm a belief as if it were his monomania. "Moriantsiane, my aunt's husband, tried the bewitching medicine first on his wife, and she is leprous, and so is her head-servant; then, seeing that it succeeded, he gave me a stronger dose in the cooked flesh of a goat, and I have had the disease ever since. They have lately killed Ponwane, and, as you see, are now killing me." Ponwane had died of fever a short time previously. Sekeletu asked us for medicine and medical attendance, but we did not like to take the case out of the hands of the female physician already employed, it being bad policy to appear to undervalue any of the profession; and she, being anxious to go on with her remedies, said "she had not given him up yet, but would try for another month; if he was not cured by that time, then she would hand him over to the white doctors." But we intended to leave the country before a month was up; so Mamire, with others, induced the old lady to suspend her treatment for a little. She remained, as the doctors stipulated, in the chief's establishment, and on full pay.

Sekeletu was told plainly that the disease was unknown in our country, and was thought exceedingly obstinate of cure; that we did not believe in his being bewitched, and we were willing to do all we could to help him. This was a case for disinterested benevolence; no pay was expected, but considerable risk incurred; yet we could not decline it, as we had the trading in horses. Having, however, none of the medicines usually employed in skin diseases with us, we tried the local application of lunar caustic, and hydriodate of potash internally; and with such gratifying results, that Mamire wished the patient to be smeared all over with a solution of lunar caustic, which he believed to be of the same nature as the blistering fluid formerly applied to his own knee by Mr. Oswell. Its power he considered irresistible, and he would fain have had anything like it tried on Sekeletu.

It was a time of great scarcity and hunger, but Sekeletu treated us hospitably, preparing tea for us at every visit we paid him. With the tea we had excellent American biscuit and preserved fruits, which had been brought to him all the way from Benguela. The fruits he most relished were those preserved in their own juices; plums, apples, pears, strawberries, and peaches, which we have seen only among Portuguese and Spaniards. It made us anxious to plant the fruit-tree seeds we had brought, and all were pleased with the idea of having these same fruits in their own country.

Mokele, the headman of Sesheke, and Sebituane's sister, Manchunyane, were ordered to provide us with food, as Sekeletu's wives, to whom this duty properly belonged, were at Linyanti. We found a black trader from the West Coast, and some Griqua traders from the South, both in search of ivory. Ivory is dear at Sesheke; but cheaper in the Batoka country, from Sinamane's to the Kafue, than anywhere else. The trader from Benguela took orders for goods for his next year's trip, and offered to bring tea, coffee, and sugar at cent. per cent. prices. As, in consequence of a hint formerly given, the Makololo had secured all the ivory in the Batoga country to the east, by purchasing it with hoes, the Benguela traders found it unprofitable to go thither for slaves. They assured us that without ivory the trade in slaves did not pay. In this way, and by the orders of Sekeletu, an extensive slave-mart was closed. These orders were never infringed except secretly. We discovered only two or three cases of their infraction.

Sekeletu was well pleased with the various articles we brought for him, and inquired if a ship could not bring his sugar-mill and the other goods we had been obliged to leave behind at Tette. On hearing that there was a possibility of a powerful steamer ascending as far as Sinamane's, but never above the Grand Victoria Falls, he asked, with charming simplicity, if a cannon could not blow away the Falls, so as to allow the vessel to come up to Sesheke.

To save the tribe from breaking up, by the continual loss of real Makololo, it ought at once to remove to the healthy Batoka highlands, near the Kafue. Fully aware of this, Sekeletu remarked that all his people, save two, were convinced that, if they remained in the lowlands, a few years would suffice to cut off all the real Makololo; they came originally from the healthy South, near the confluence of the Likwa and Namagari, where fever is almost unknown, and its ravages had been as frightful among them here, as amongst Europeans on the Coast. Sebituane's sister described its first appearance among the tribe, after their settling in the Barotse Valley on the Zambesi. Many of them were seized with a shivering sickness, as if from excessive cold; they had never seen the like before. They made great fires, and laid the shivering wretches down before them; but, pile on wood as they might, they could not raise heat enough to drive the cold out of the bodies of the sufferers, and they shivered on till they died. But, though all preferred the highlands, they were afraid to go there, lest the Matebele should come and rob them of their much-loved cattle. Sebituane, with all his veterans, could not withstand that enemy; and how could they be resisted, now that most of the brave warriors were dead? The young men would break, and run away the moment they saw the terrible Matebele, being as much afraid of them as the black conquered tribes are of the Makololo. "But if the Doctor and his wife," said the chiefs and counsellors, "would come and live with us, we would remove to the highlands at once, as Moselekatse would not attack a place where the daughter of his friend, Moffat, was living."

The Makololo are by far the most intelligent and enterprising of the tribes we have met. None but brave and daring men remained long with Sebituane, his stern discipline soon eradicated cowardice from his army. Death was the inevitable doom of the coward. If the chief saw a man running away from the fight, he rushed after him with amazing speed, and cut him down; or waited till he returned to the town, and then summoned the deserter into his presence. "You did not wish to die on the field, you wished to die at home, did you? you shall have your wish!" and he was instantly led off and executed. The present race of young men are inferior in most respects to their fathers. The old Makololo had many manly virtues; they were truthful, and never stole, excepting in what they considered the honourable way of lifting cattle in fair fight. But this can hardly be said of their sons; who, having been brought up among the subjected tribes, have acquired some of the vices peculiar to a menial and degraded race. A few of the old Makololo cautioned us not to leave any of our property exposed, as the blacks were great thieves; and some of our own men advised us to be on our guard, as the Makololo also would steal. A very few trifling articles were stolen by a young Makololo; and he, on being spoken to on the subject, showed great ingenuity in excusing himself, by a plausible and untruthful story. The Makololo of old were hard workers, and did not consider labour as beneath them; but their sons never work, regarding it as fit only for the Mashona and Makalaka servants. Sebituane, seeing that the rival tribes had the advantage over his, in knowing how to manage canoes, had his warriors taught to navigate; and his own son, with his companions, paddled the chief's canoe. All the dishes, baskets, stools, and canoes are made by the black tribes called Manyeti and Matlotlora. The houses are built by the women and servants. The Makololo women are vastly superior to any we have yet seen. They are of a light warm brown complexion, have pleasant countenances, and are remarkably quick of apprehension. They dress neatly, wearing a kilt and mantle, and have many ornaments. Sebituane's sister, the head lady of Sesheke, wore eighteen solid brass rings, as thick as one's finger, on each leg, and three of copper under each knee; nineteen brass rings on her left arm, and eight of brass and copper on her right, also a large ivory ring above each elbow. She had a pretty bead necklace, and a bead sash encircled her waist. The weight of the bright brass rings round her legs impeded her walking, and chafed her ankles; but, as it was the fashion, she did not mind the inconvenience, and guarded against the pain by putting soft rag round the lower rings.

Justice appears upon the whole to be pretty fairly administered among the Makololo. A headman took some beads and a blanket from one of his men who had been with us; the matter was brought before the chief, and he immediately ordered the goods to be restored, and decreed, moreover, that no headman should take the property of the men who had returned. In theory, all the goods brought back belonged to the chief; the men laid them at his feet, and made a formal offer of them all; he looked at the articles, and told the men to keep them. This is almost invariably the case. Tuba Mokoro, however, fearing lest Sekeletu might take a fancy to some of his best goods, exhibited only a few of his old and least valuable acquisitions. Masakasa had little to show; he had committed some breach of native law in one of the villages on the way, and paid a heavy fine rather than have the matter brought to the Doctor's ears. Each carrier is entitled to a portion of the goods in his bundle, though purchased by the chief's ivory, and they never hesitate to claim their rights; but no wages can be demanded from the chief, if he fails to respond to the first application.

Our men, accustomed to our ways, thought that the English system of paying a man for his labour was the only correct one, and some even said it would be better to live under a government where life and labour were more secure and valuable than here. While with us, they always conducted themselves with propriety during Divine service, and not only maintained decorum themselves, but insisted on other natives who might be present doing the same. When Moshobotwane, the Batoka chief, came on one occasion with a number of his men, they listened in silence to the reading of the Bible in the Makololo tongue; but, as soon as we all knelt down to pray, they commenced a vigorous clapping of hands, their mode of asking a favour. Our indignant Makololo soon silenced their noisy accompaniment, and looked with great contempt on this display of ignorance. Nearly all our men had learned to repeat the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed in their own language, and felt rather proud of being able to do so; and when they reached home, they liked to recite them to groups of admiring friends. Their ideas of right and wrong differ in no respect from our own, except in their professed inability to see how it can be improper for a man to have more than one wife. A year or two ago several of the wives of those who had been absent with us petitioned the chief for leave to marry again. They thought that it was of no use waiting any longer, their husbands must be dead; but Sekeletu refused permission; he himself had bet a number of oxen that the Doctor would return with their husbands, and he had promised the absent men that their wives should be kept for them. The impatient spouses had therefore to wait a little longer. Some of them, however, eloped with other men; the wife of Mantlanyane, for instance, ran off and left his little boy among strangers. Mantlanyane was very angry when he heard of it, not that he cared much about her deserting him, for he had two other wives at Tette, but he was indignant at her abandoning his boy.



CHAPTER VIII.

Life amongst the Makololo—Return journey—Native hospitality—A canoe voyage on the Zambesi.

While we were at Sesheke, an ox was killed by a crocodile; a man found the carcass floating in the river, and appropriated the meat. When the owner heard of this, he requested him to come before the chief, as he meant to complain of him; rather than go, the delinquent settled the matter by giving one of his own oxen in lieu of the lost one. A headman from near Linyanti came with a complaint that all his people had run off, owing to the "hunger." Sekeletu said, "You must not be left to grow lean alone, some of them must come back to you." He had thus an order to compel their return, if he chose to put it in force. Families frequently leave their own headman and flee to another village, and sometimes a whole village decamps by night, leaving the headman by himself. Sekeletu rarely interfered with the liberty of the subject to choose his own headman, and, as it is often the fault of the latter which causes the people to depart, it is punishment enough for him to be left alone. Flagrant disobedience to the chief's orders is punished with death. A Moshubia man was ordered to cut some reeds for Sekeletu: he went off, and hid himself for two days instead. For this he was doomed to die, and was carried in a canoe to the middle of the river, choked, and tossed into the stream. The spectators hooted the executioners, calling out to them that they too would soon be carried out and strangled. Occasionally when a man is sent to beat an offender, he tells him his object, returns, and assures the chief he has nearly killed him. The transgressor then keeps for a while out of sight, and the matter is forgotten. The river here teems with monstrous crocodiles, and women are frequently, while drawing water, carried off by these reptiles.

We met a venerable warrior, sole survivor, probably, of the Mantatee host which threatened to invade the colony in 1824. He retained a vivid recollection of their encounter with the Griquas: "As we looked at the men and horses, puffs of smoke arose, and some of us dropped down dead!" "Never saw anything like it in my life, a man's brains lying in one place and his body in another!" They could not understand what was killing them; a ball struck a man's shield at an angle; knocked his arm out of joint at the shoulder; and leaving a mark, or burn, as he said, on the shield, killed another man close by. We saw the man with his shoulder still dislocated. Sebetuane was present at the fight, and had an exalted opinion of the power of white people ever afterwards.

The ancient costume of the Makololo consisted of the skin of a lamb, kid, jackal, ocelot, or other small animal, worn round and below the loins: and in cold weather a kaross, or skin mantle, was thrown over the shoulders. The kaross is now laid aside, and the young men of fashion wear a monkey-jacket and a skin round the hips; but no trousers, waistcoat, or shirt. The river and lake tribes are in general very cleanly, bathing several times a day. The Makololo women use water rather sparingly, rubbing themselves with melted butter instead: this keeps off parasites, but gives their clothes a rancid odour. One stage of civilization often leads of necessity to another—the possession of clothes creates a demand for soap; give a man a needle, and he is soon back to you for thread.

This being a time of mourning, on account of the illness of the chief, the men were negligent of their persons, they did not cut their hair, or have merry dances, or carry spear and shield when they walked abroad. The wife of Pitsane was busy making a large hut, while we were in the town: she informed us that the men left house-building entirely to the women and servants. A round tower of stakes and reeds, nine or ten feet high, is raised and plastered; a floor is next made of soft tufa, or ant-hill material and cowdung. This plaster prevents the poisonous insects, called tumpans, whose bite causes fever in some, and painful sores in all, from harbouring in the cracks or soil. The roof, which is much larger in diameter than the tower, is made on the ground, and then, many persons assisting, lifted up and placed on the tower, and thatched. A plastered reed fence is next built up to meet the outer part of the roof, which still projects a little over this fence, and a space of three feet remains between it and the tower. We slept in this space, instead of in the tower, as the inner door of the hut we occupied was uncomfortably small, being only nineteen inches high, and twenty-two inches wide at the floor. A foot from the bottom it measured seventeen inches in breadth, and close to the top only twelve inches, so it was a difficult matter to get through it. The tower has no light or ventilation, except through this small door. The reason a lady assigned for having the doors so very small was to keep out the mice!

The children have merry times, especially in the cool of the evening. One of their games consists of a little girl being carried on the shoulders of two others. She sits with outstretched arms, as they walk about with her, and all the rest clap their hands, and stopping before each hut sing pretty airs, some beating time on their little kilts of cowskin, others making a curious humming sound between the songs. Excepting this and the skipping-rope, the play of the girls consists in imitation of the serious work of their mothers, building little huts, making small pots, and cooking, pounding corn in miniature mortars, or hoeing tiny gardens. The boys play with spears of reeds pointed with wood, and small shields, or bows and arrows; or amuse themselves in making little cattle-pens, or in moulding cattle in clay; they show great ingenuity in the imitation of various-shaped horns. Some too are said to use slings, but as soon as they can watch the goats, or calves, they are sent to the field. We saw many boys riding on the calves they had in charge, but this is an innovation since the arrival of the English with their horses. Tselane, one of the ladies, on observing Dr. Livingstone noting observations on the wet and dry bulb thermometers, thought that he too was engaged in play; for on receiving no reply to her question, which was rather difficult to answer, as the native tongue has no scientific terms, she said with roguish glee, "Poor thing, playing like a little child!"

Like other Africans, the Makololo have great faith in the power of medicine; they believe that there is an especial medicine for every ill that flesh is heir to. Mamire is anxious to have children; he has six wives, and only one boy, and he begs earnestly for "child medicine." The mother of Sekeletu came from the Barotse Valley to see her son. Thinks she has lost flesh since Dr. Livingstone was here before, and asks for "the medicine of fatness." The Makololo consider plumpness an essential part of beauty in women, but the extreme stoutness, mentioned by Captain Speke, in the north, would be considered hideous here, for the men have been overheard speaking of a lady whom we call "inclined to embonpoint," as "fat unto ugliness."

Two packages from the Kuruman, containing letters and newspapers, reached Linyanti previous to our arrival, and Sekeletu, not knowing when we were coming, left them there; but now at once sent a messenger for them. This man returned on the seventh day, having travelled 240 geographical miles. One of the packages was too heavy for him, and he left it behind. As the Doctor wished to get some more medicine and papers out of the wagon left at Linyanti in 1853, he decided upon going thither himself. The chief gave him his own horse, now about twelve years old, and some men. He found everything in his wagon as safe as when he left it seven years before. The headmen, Mosale and Pekonyane, received him cordially, and lamented that they had so little to offer him. Oh! had he only arrived the year previous, when there was abundance of milk and corn and beer.

Very early the next morning the old town-crier, Ma-Pulenyane, of his own accord made a public proclamation, which, in the perfect stillness of the town long before dawn, was striking: "I have dreamed! I have dreamed! I have dreamed! Thou Mosale and thou Pekonyane, my lords, be not faint- hearted, nor let your hearts be sore, but believe all the words of Monare (the Doctor) for his heart is white as milk towards the Makololo. I dreamed that he was coming, and that the tribe would live, if you prayed to God and give heed to the word of Monare." Ma-Pulenyane showed Dr. Livingstone the burying-place where poor Helmore and seven others were laid, distinguishing those whom he had put to rest, and those for whom Mafale had performed that last office. Nothing whatever marked the spot, and with the native idea of hiding the dead, it was said, "it will soon be all overgrown with bushes, for no one will cultivate there." None but Ma-Pulenyane approached the place, the others stood at a respectful distance; they invariably avoid everything connected with the dead, and no such thing as taking portions of human bodies to make charms of, as is the custom further north, has ever been known among the Makololo.

Sekeletu's health improved greatly during our visit, the melancholy foreboding left his spirits, and he became cheerful, but resolutely refused to leave his den, and appear in public till he was perfectly cured, and had regained what he considered his good looks. He also feared lest some of those who had bewitched him originally might still be among the people, and neutralize our remedies. {4}

As we expected another steamer to be at Kongone in November, it was impossible for us to remain in Sesheke more than one month. Before our departure, the chief and his principal men expressed in a formal manner their great desire to have English people settled on the Batoka highlands. At one time he proposed to go as far as Phori, in order to select a place of residence; but as he afterwards saw reasons for remaining where he was, till his cure was completed, he gave orders to those sent with us, in the event of our getting, on our return, past the rapids near Tette, not to bring us to Sesheke, but to send forward a messenger, and he with the whole tribe would come to us. Dr. Kirk being of the same age, Sekeletu was particularly anxious that he should come and live with him. He said that he would cut off a section of the country for the special use of the English; and on being told that in all probability their descendants would cause disturbance in his country, he replied, "These would be only domestic feuds, and of no importance." The great extent of uncultivated land on the cool and now unpeopled highlands has but to be seen to convince the spectator how much room there is, and to spare, for a vastly greater population than ever, in our day, can be congregated there.

On the last occasion of our holding Divine service at Sesheke, the men were invited to converse on the subject on which they had been addressed. So many of them had died since we were here before, that not much probability existed of our all meeting again, and this had naturally led to the subject of a future state. They replied that they did not wish to offend the speaker, but they could not believe that all the dead would rise again: "Can those who have been killed in the field and devoured by the vultures; or those who have been eaten by the hyenas or lions; or those who have been tossed into the river, and eaten by more than one crocodile,—can they all be raised again to life?" They were told that men could take a leaden bullet, change it into a salt (acetate of lead), which could be dissolved as completely in water as our bodies in the stomachs of animals, and then reconvert it into lead; or that the bullet could be transformed into the red and white paint of our wagons, and again be reconverted into the original lead; and that if men exactly like themselves could do so much, how much more could He do who has made the eye to see, and the ear to hear! We added, however, that we believed in a resurrection, not because we understood how it would be brought about, but because our Heavenly Father assured us of it in His Book. The reference to the truth of the Book and its Author seems always to have more influence on the native mind than the cleverness of the illustration. The knowledge of the people is scanty, but their reasoning is generally clear as far as their information goes.

We left Sesheke on the 17th September, 1860, convoyed by Pitsane and Leshore with their men. Pitsane was ordered by Sekeletu to make a hedge round the garden at the Falls, to protect the seeds we had brought; and also to collect some of the tobacco tribute below the Falls. Leshore, besides acting as a sort of guard of honour to us, was sent on a diplomatic mission to Sinamane. No tribute was exacted by Sekeletu from Sinamane; but, as he had sent in his adhesion, he was expected to act as a guard in case of the Matebele wishing to cross and attack the Makololo. As we intended to purchase canoes of Sinamane in which to descend the river, Leshore was to commend us to whatever help this Batoka chief could render. It must be confessed that Leshore's men, who were all of the black subject tribes, really needed to be viewed by us in the most charitable light; for Leshore, on entering any village, called out to the inhabitants, "Look out for your property, and see that my thieves don't steal it."

Two young Makololo with their Batoka servants accompanied us to see if Kebrabasa could be surmounted, and to bring a supply of medicine for Sekeletu's leprosy; and half a dozen able canoe-men, under Mobito, who had previously gone with Dr. Livingstone to Loanda, were sent to help us in our river navigation. Some men on foot drove six oxen which Sekeletu had given us as provisions for the journey. It was, as before remarked, a time of scarcity; and, considering the dearth of food, our treatment had been liberal.

By day the canoe-men are accustomed to keep close under the river's bank from fear of the hippopotami; by night, however, they keep in the middle of the stream, as then those animals are usually close to the bank on their way to their grazing grounds. Our progress was considerably impeded by the high winds, which at this season of the year begin about eight in the morning, and blow strongly up the river all day. The canoes were poor leaky affairs, and so low in parts of the gunwale, that the paddlers were afraid to follow the channel when it crossed the river, lest the waves might swamp us. A rough sea is dreaded by all these inland canoe-men; but though timid, they are by no means unskilful at their work. The ocean rather astonished them afterwards; and also the admirable way that the Nyassa men managed their canoes on a rough lake, and even amongst the breakers, where no small boat could possibly live.

On the night of the 17th we slept on the left bank of the Majeele, after having had all the men ferried across. An ox was slaughtered, and not an ounce of it was left next morning. Our two young Makololo companions, Maloka and Ramakukane, having never travelled before, naturally clung to some of the luxuries they had been accustomed to at home. When they lay down to sleep, their servants were called to spread their blankets over their august persons, not forgetting their feet. This seems to be the duty of the Makololo wife to her husband, and strangers sometimes receive the honour. One of our party, having wandered, slept at the village of Nambowe. When he laid down, to his surprise two of Nambowe's wives came at once, and carefully and kindly spread his kaross over him.

A beautiful silvery fish with reddish fins, called Ngwesi, is very abundant in the river; large ones weigh fifteen or twenty pounds each. Its teeth are exposed, and so arranged that, when they meet, the edges cut a hook like nippers. The Ngwesi seems to be a very ravenous fish. It often gulps down the Konokono, a fish armed with serrated bones more than an inch in length in the pectoral and dorsal fins, which, fitting into a notch at the roots, can be put by the fish on full cock or straight out,—they cannot be folded down, without its will, and even break in resisting. The name "Konokono," elbow-elbow, is given it from a resemblance its extended fins are supposed to bear to a man's elbows stuck out from his body. It often performs the little trick of cocking its fins in the stomach of the Ngwesi, and, the elbows piercing its enemy's sides, he is frequently found floating dead. The fin bones seem to have an acrid secretion on them, for the wound they make is excessively painful. The Konokono barks distinctly when landed with the hook. Our canoe-men invariably picked up every dead fish they saw on the surface of the water, however far gone. An unfragrant odour was no objection; the fish was boiled and eaten, and the water drunk as soup. It is a curious fact that many of the Africans keep fish as we do woodcocks, until they are extremely offensive, before they consider them fit to eat. Our paddlers informed us on our way down that iguanas lay their eggs in July and August, and crocodiles in September. The eggs remain a month or two under the sand where they are laid, and the young come out when the rains have fairly commenced. The canoe-men were quite positive that crocodiles frequently stun men by striking them with their tails, and then squat on them till they are drowned. We once caught a young crocodile, which certainly did use its tail to inflict sharp blows, and led us to conclude that the native opinion is correct. They believed also that, if a person shuts the beast's eyes, it lets go its hold. Crocodiles have been known to unite and kill a large one of their own species and eat it. Some fishermen throw the bones of the fish into the river but in most of the fishing villages there are heaps of them in various places. The villagers can walk over them without getting them into their feet; but the Makololo, from having softer soles, are unable to do so. The explanation offered was, that the fishermen have a medicine against fish-bones, but that they will not reveal it to the Makololo.

We spent a night on Mparira island, which is four miles long and about one mile broad. Mokompa, the headman, was away hunting elephants. His wife sent for him on our arrival, and he returned next morning before we left. Taking advantage of the long-continued drought, he had set fire to the reeds between the Chobe and Zambesi, in such a manner as to drive the game out at one corner, where his men laid in wait with their spears. He had killed five elephants and three buffaloes, wounding several others which escaped.

On our land party coming up, we were told that the oxen were bitten by the tsetse: they could see a great difference in their looks. One was already eaten, and they now wished to slaughter another. A third fell into a buffalo-pit next day, so our stock was soon reduced.

The Batoka chief, Moshobotwane, again treated us with his usual hospitality, giving us an ox, some meal, and milk. We took another view of the grand Mosi-oa-tunya, and planted a quantity of seeds in the garden on the island; but, as no one will renew the hedge, the hippopotami will, doubtless, soon destroy what we planted. Mashotlane assisted us. So much power was allowed to this under-chief, that he appeared as if he had cast off the authority of Sekeletu altogether. He did not show much courtesy to his messengers; instead of giving them food, as is customary, he took the meat out of a pot in their presence, and handed it to his own followers. This may have been because Sekeletu's men bore an order to him to remove to Linyanti. He had not only insulted Baldwin, but had also driven away the Griqua traders; but this may all end in nothing. Some of the natives here, and at Sesheke, know a few of the low tricks of more civilized traders. A pot of milk was brought to us one evening, which was more indebted to the Zambesi than to any cow. Baskets of fine- looking white meal, elsewhere, had occasionally the lower half filled with bran. Eggs are always a perilous investment. The native idea of a good egg differs as widely from our own as is possible on such a trifling subject. An egg is eaten here with apparent relish, though an embryo chick be inside.

We left Mosi-oa-tunya on the 27th, and slept close to the village of Bakwini. It is built on a ridge of loose red soil, which produces great crops of mapira and ground-nuts; many magnificent mosibe-trees stand near the village. Machimisi, the headman of the village, possesses a herd of cattle and a large heart; he kept us company for a couple of days to guide us on our way.

We had heard a good deal of a stronghold some miles below the Falls, called Kalunda. Our return path was much nearer the Zambesi than that of our ascent,—in fact, as near as the rough country would allow,—but we left it twice before we reached Sinamane's, in order to see Kalunda and a Fall called Moomba, or Moamba. The Makololo had once dispossessed the Batoka of Kalunda, but we could not see the fissure, or whatever it is, that rendered it a place of security, as it was on the southern bank. The crack of the Great Falls was here continued: the rocks are the same as further up, but perhaps less weather-worn—and now partially stratified in great thick masses. The country through which we were travelling was covered with a cindery-looking volcanic tufa, and might be called "Katakaumena."

The description we received of the Moamba Falls seemed to promise something grand. They were said to send up "smoke" in the wet season, like Mosi-oa-tunya; but when we looked down into the cleft, in which the dark-green narrow river still rolls, we saw, about 800 or 1000 feet below us, what, after Mosi-oa-tunya, seemed two insignificant cataracts. It was evident that Pitsane, observing our delight at the Victoria Falls, wished to increase our pleasure by a second wonder. One Mosi-oa-tunya, however, is quite enough for a continent.

We had now an opportunity of seeing more of the Batoka, than we had on the highland route to our north. They did not wait till the evening before offering food to the strangers. The aged wife of the headman of a hamlet, where we rested at midday, at once kindled a fire, and put on the cooking-pot to make porridge. Both men and women are to be distinguished by greater roundness of feature than the other natives, and the custom of knocking out the upper front teeth gives at once a distinctive character to the face. Their colour attests the greater altitude of the country in which many of them formerly lived. Some, however, are as dark as the Bashubia and Barotse of the great valley to their west, in which stands Sesheke, formerly the capital of the Balui, or Bashubia.

The assertion may seem strange, yet it is none the less true, that in all the tribes we have visited we never saw a really black person. Different shades of brown prevail, and often with a bright bronze tint, which no painter, except Mr. Angus, seems able to catch. Those who inhabit elevated, dry situations, and who are not obliged to work much in the sun, are frequently of a light warm brown, "dark but comely." Darkness of colour is probably partly caused by the sun, and partly by something in the climate or soil which we do not yet know. We see something of the same sort in trout and other fish which take their colour from the ponds or streams in which they live. The members of our party were much less embrowned by free exposure to the sun for years than Dr. Livingstone and his family were by passing once from Kuruman to Cape Town, a journey which occupied only a couple of months.

We encamped on the Kalomo, on the 1st of October, and found the weather very much warmer than when we crossed this stream in August. At 3 p.m. the thermometer, four feet from the ground, was 101 degrees in the shade; the wet bulb only 61 degrees: a difference of 40 degrees. Yet, notwithstanding this extreme dryness of the atmosphere, without a drop of rain having fallen for months, and scarcely any dew, many of the shrubs and trees were putting forth fresh leaves of various hues, while others made a profuse display of lovely blossoms.

Two old and very savage buffaloes were shot for our companions on the 3rd October. Our Volunteers may feel an interest in knowing that balls sometimes have but little effect: one buffalo fell, on receiving a Jacob's shell; it was hit again twice, and lost a large amount of blood; and yet it sprang up, and charged a native, who, by great agility, had just time to climb a tree, before the maddened beast struck it, battering- ram fashion, hard enough almost to have split both head and tree. It paused a few seconds—drew back several paces—glared up at the man—and then dashed at the tree again and again, as if determined to shake him out of it. It took two more Jacob's shells, and five other large solid rifle-balls to finish the beast at last. These old surly buffaloes had been wandering about in a sort of miserable fellowship; their skins were diseased and scabby, as if leprous, and their horns atrophied or worn down to stumps—the first was killed outright, by one Jacob's shell, the second died hard. There is so much difference in the tenacity of life in wounded animals of the same species, that the inquiry is suggested where the seat of life can be?—We have seen a buffalo live long enough, after a large bullet had passed right through the heart, to allow firm adherent clots to be formed in the two holes.

One day's journey above Sinamane's, a mass of mountain called Gorongue, or Golongwe, is said to cross the river, and the rent through which the river passes is, by native report, quite fearful to behold. The country round it is so rocky, that our companions dreaded the fatigue, and were not much to blame, if, as is probably the case, the way be worse than that over which we travelled. As we trudged along over the black slag- like rocks, the almost leafless trees affording no shade, the heat was quite as great as Europeans could bear. It was 102 degrees in the shade, and a thermometer placed under the tongue or armpit showed that our blood was 99.5 degrees, or 1.5 degrees hotter than that of the natives, which stood at 98 degrees. Our shoes, however, enable us to pass over the hot burning soil better than they can. Many of those who wear sandals have corns on the sides of the feet, and on the heels, where the straps pass. We have seen instances, too, where neither sandals nor shoes were worn, of corns on the soles of the feet. It is, moreover, not at all uncommon to see toes cocked up, as if pressed out of their proper places; at home, we should have unhesitatingly ascribed this to the vicious fashions perversely followed by our shoemakers.

On the 5th, after crossing some hills, we rested at the village of Simariango. The bellows of the blacksmith here were somewhat different from the common goatskin bags, and more like those seen in Madagascar. They consisted of two wooden vessels, like a lady's bandbox of small dimensions, the upper ends of which were covered with leather, and looked something like the heads of drums, except that the leather bagged in the centre. They were fitted with long nozzles, through which the air was driven by working the loose covering of the tops up and down by means of a small piece of wood attached to their centres. The blacksmith said that tin was obtained from a people in the north, called Marendi, and that he had made it into bracelets; we had never heard before of tin being found in the country.

Our course then lay down the bed of a rivulet, called Mapatizia, in which there was much calc spar, with calcareous schist, and then the Tette grey sandstone, which usually overlies coal. On the 6th we arrived at the islet Chilombe, belonging to Sinamane, where the Zambesi runs broad and smooth again, and were well received by Sinamane himself. Never was Sunday more welcome to the weary than this, the last we were to spend with our convoy.

We now saw many good-looking young men and women. The dresses of the ladies are identical with those of Nubian women in Upper Egypt. To a belt on the waist a great number of strings are attached to hang all round the person. These fringes are about six or eight inches long. The matrons wear in addition a skin cut like the tails of the coatee formerly worn by our dragoons. The younger girls wear the waist-belt exhibited in the woodcut, ornamented with shells, and have the fringes only in front. Marauding parties of Batoka, calling themselves Makololo, have for some time had a wholesome dread of Sinamane's "long spears." Before going to Tette our Batoka friend, Masakasa, was one of a party that came to steal some of the young women; but Sinamane, to their utter astonishment, attacked them so furiously that the survivors barely escaped with their lives. Masakasa had to flee so fast that he threw away his shield, his spear, and his clothes, and returned home a wiser and a sadder man.

Sinamane's people cultivate large quantities of tobacco, which they manufacture into balls for the Makololo market. Twenty balls, weighing about three-quarters of a pound each, are sold for a hoe. The tobacco is planted on low moist spots on the banks of the Zambesi; and was in flower at the time we were there, in October. Sinamane's people appear to have abundance of food, and are all in good condition. He could sell us only two of his canoes; but lent us three more to carry us as far as Moemba's, where he thought others might be purchased. They were manned by his own canoe-men, who were to bring them back. The river is about 250 yards wide, and flows serenely between high banks towards the North-east. Below Sinamane's the banks are often worn down fifty feet, and composed of shingle and gravel of igneous rocks, sometimes set in a ferruginous matrix. The bottom is all gravel and shingle, how formed we cannot imagine, unless in pot-holes in the deep fissure above. The bottom above the Falls, save a few rocks close by them, is generally sandy or of soft tufa. Every damp spot is covered with maize, pumpkins, water-melons, tobacco, and hemp. There is a pretty numerous Batoka population on both sides of the river. As we sailed slowly down, the people saluted us from the banks, by clapping their hands. A headman even hailed us, and brought a generous present of corn and pumpkins.

Moemba owns a rich island, called Mosanga, a mile in length, on which his village stands. He has the reputation of being a brave warrior, and is certainly a great talker; but he gave us strangers something better than a stream of words. We received a handsome present of corn, and the fattest goat we had ever seen; it resembled mutton. His people were as liberal as their chief. They brought two large baskets of corn, and a lot of tobacco, as a sort of general contribution to the travellers. One of Sinamane's canoe-men, after trying to get his pay, deserted here, and went back before the stipulated time, with the story, that the Englishman had stolen the canoes. Shortly after sunrise next morning, Sinamane came into the village with fifty of his "long spears," evidently determined to retake his property by force; he saw at a glance that his man had deceived him. Moemba rallied him for coming on a wildgoose chase. "Here are your canoes left with me, your men have all been paid, and the Englishmen are now asking me to sell my canoes." Sinamane said little to us; only observing that he had been deceived by his follower. A single remark of his chief's caused the foolish fellow to leave suddenly, evidently much frightened and crestfallen. Sinamane had been very kind to us, and, as he was looking on when we gave our present to Moemba, we made him also an additional offering of some beads, and parted good friends. Moemba, having heard that we had called the people of Sinamane together to tell them about our Saviour's mission to man, and to pray with them, associated the idea of Sunday with the meeting, and, before anything of the sort was proposed, came and asked that he and his people might be "sundayed" as well as his neighbours; and be given a little seed wheat, and fruit-tree seeds; with which request of course we very willingly complied. The idea of praying direct to the Supreme Being, though not quite new to all, seems to strike their minds so forcibly that it will not be forgotten. Sinamane said that he prayed to God, Morungo, and made drink-offerings to him. Though he had heard of us, he had never seen white men before.

Beautiful crowned cranes, named from their note "ma-wang," were seen daily, and were beginning to pair. Large flocks of spur-winged geese, or machikwe, were common. This goose is said to lay her eggs in March. We saw also pairs of Egyptian geese, as well as a few of the knob-nosed, or, as they are called in India, combed geese. When the Egyptian geese, as at the present time, have young, the goslings keep so steadily in the wake of their mother, that they look as if they were a part of her tail; and both parents, when on land, simulate lameness quite as well as our plovers, to draw off pursuers. The ostrich also adopts the lapwing fashion, but no quadrupeds do: they show fight to defend their young instead. In some places the steep banks were dotted with the holes which lead into the nests of bee-eaters. These birds came out in hundreds as we passed. When the red-breasted species settle on the trees, they give them the appearance of being covered with red foliage.

On the morning of the 12th October we passed through a wild, hilly country, with fine wooded scenery on both sides, but thinly inhabited. The largest trees were usually thorny acacias, of great size and beautiful forms. As we sailed by several villages without touching, the people became alarmed, and ran along the banks, spears in hand. We employed one to go forward and tell Mpande of our coming. This allayed their fears, and we went ashore, and took breakfast near the large island with two villages on it, opposite the mouth of the Zungwe, where we had left the Zambesi on our way up. Mpande was sorry that he had no canoes of his own to sell, but he would lend us two. He gave us cooked pumpkins and a water-melon. His servant had lateral curvature of the spine. We have often seen cases of humpback, but this was the only case of this kind of curvature we had met with. Mpande accompanied us himself in his own vessel, till we had an opportunity of purchasing a fine large canoe elsewhere. We paid what was considered a large price for it: twelve strings of blue cut glass neck beads, an equal number of large blue ones of the size of marbles, and two yards of grey calico. Had the beads been coarser, they would have been more valued, because such were in fashion. Before concluding the bargain the owner said "his bowels yearned for his canoe, and we must give a little more to stop their yearning." This was irresistible. The trading party of Sequasha, which we now met, had purchased ten large new canoes for six strings of cheap coarse white beads each, or their equivalent, four yards of calico, and had bought for the merest trifle ivory enough to load them all. They were driving a trade in slaves also, which was something new in this part of Africa, and likely soon to change the character of the inhabitants. These men had been living in clover, and were uncommonly fat and plump. When sent to trade, slaves wisely never stint themselves of beer or anything else, which their master's goods can buy.

The temperature of the Zambesi had increased 10 degrees since August, being now 80 degrees. The air was as high as 96 degrees after sunset; and, the vicinity of the water being the coolest part, we usually made our beds close by the river's brink, though there in danger of crocodiles. Africa differs from India in the air always becoming cool and refreshing long before the sun returns, and there can be no doubt that we can in this country bear exposure to the sun, which would be fatal in India. It is probably owing to the greater dryness of the African atmosphere that sunstroke is so rarely met with. In twenty-two years Dr. Livingstone never met or heard of a single case, though the protective head-dresses of India are rarely seen.

When the water is nearly at its lowest, we occasionally meet with small rapids which are probably not in existence during the rest of the year. Having slept opposite the rivulet Bume, which comes from the south, we passed the island of Nakansalo, and went down the rapids of the same name on the 17th, and came on the morning of the 19th to the more serious ones of Nakabele, at the entrance to Kariba. The Makololo guided the canoes admirably through the opening in the dyke. When we entered the gorge we came on upwards of thirty hippopotami: a bank near the entrance stretches two-thirds across the narrowed river, and in the still place behind it they were swimming about. Several were in the channel, and our canoe-men were afraid to venture down among them, because, as they affirm, there is commonly an ill-natured one in a herd, which takes a malignant pleasure in upsetting canoes. Two or three boys on the rocks opposite amused themselves by throwing stones at the frightened animals, and hit several on the head. It would have been no difficult matter to have shot the whole herd. We fired a few shots to drive them off; the balls often glance off the skull, and no more harm is done than when a schoolboy gets a bloody nose; we killed one, which floated away down the rapid current, followed by a number of men on the bank. A native called to us from the left bank, and said that a man on his side knew how to pray to the Kariba gods, and advised us to hire him to pray for our safety, while we were going down the rapids, or we should certainly all be drowned. No one ever risked his life in Kariba without first paying the river-doctor, or priest, for his prayers. Our men asked if there was a cataract in front, but he declined giving any information; they were not on his side of the river; if they would come over, then he might be able to tell them. We crossed, but he went off to the village. We then landed and walked over the hills to have a look at Karaba before trusting our canoes in it. The current was strong, and there was broken water in some places, but the channel was nearly straight, and had no cataract, so we determined to risk it. Our men visited the village while we were gone, and were treated to beer and tobacco. The priest who knows how to pray to the god that rules the rapids followed us with several of his friends, and they were rather surprised to see us pass down in safety, without the aid of his intercession. The natives who followed the dead hippopotamus caught it a couple of miles below, and, having made it fast to a rock, were sitting waiting for us on the bank beside the dead animal. As there was a considerable current there, and the rocky banks were unfit for our beds, we took the hippopotamus in tow, telling the villagers to follow, and we would give them most of the meat. The crocodiles tugged so hard at the carcass, that we were soon obliged to cast it adrift, to float down in the current, to avoid upsetting the canoe. We had to go on so far before finding a suitable spot to spend the night in, that the natives concluded we did not intend to share the meat with them, and returned to the village. We slept two nights at the place where the hippopotamus was cut up. The crocodiles had a busy time of it in the dark, tearing away at what was left in the river, and thrashing the water furiously with their powerful tails. The hills on both sides of Kariba are much like those of Kebrabasa, the strata tilted and twisted in every direction, with no level ground.

Although the hills confine the Zambesi within a narrow channel for a number of miles, there are no rapids beyond those near the entrance. The river is smooth and apparently very deep. Only one single human being was seen in the gorge, the country being too rough for culture. Some rocks in the water, near the outlet of Kariba, at a distance look like a fort; and such large masses dislocated, bent, and even twisted to a remarkable degree, at once attest some tremendous upheaving and convulsive action of nature, which probably caused Kebrabasa, Kariba, and the Victoria Falls to assume their present forms; it took place after the formation of the coal, that mineral having then been tilted up. We have probably nothing equal to it in the present quiet operations of nature.

On emerging we pitched our camp by a small stream, the Pendele, a few miles below the gorge. The Palabi mountain stands on the western side of the lower end of the Kariba strait; the range to which it belongs crosses the river, and runs to the south-east. Chikumbula, a hospitable old headman, under Nchomokela, the paramount chief of a large district, whom we did not see, brought us next morning a great basket of meal, and four fowls, with some beer, and a cake of salt, "to make it taste good." Chikumbula said that the elephants plagued them, by eating up the cotton- plants; but his people seem to be well off.

A few days before we came, they caught three buffaloes in pitfalls in one night, and, unable to eat them all, left one to rot. During the night the wind changed and blew from the dead buffalo to our sleeping-place; and a hungry lion, not at all dainty in his food, stirred up the putrid mass, and growled and gloated over his feast, to the disturbance of our slumbers. Game of all kinds is in most extraordinary abundance, especially from this point to below the Kafue, and so it is on Moselekatso's side, where there are no inhabitants. The drought drives all the game to the river to drink. An hour's walk on the right bank, morning or evening, reveals a country swarming with wild animals: vast herds of pallahs, many waterbucks, koodoos, buffaloes, wild pigs, elands, zebras, and monkeys appear; francolins, guinea-fowls, and myriads of turtledoves attract the eye in the covers, with the fresh spoor of elephants and rhinoceroses, which had been at the river during the night. Every few miles we came upon a school of hippopotami, asleep on some shallow sandbank; their bodies, nearly all out of the water, appeared like masses of black rock in the river. When these animals are hunted much, they become proportionably wary, but here no hunter ever troubles them, and they repose in security, always however taking the precaution of sleeping just above the deep channel, into which they can plunge when alarmed. When a shot is fired into a sleeping herd, all start up on their feet, and stare with peculiar stolid looks of hippopotamic surprise, and wait for another shot before dashing into deep water. A few miles below Chikumbula's we saw a white hippopotamus in a herd. Our men had never seen one like it before. It was of a pinkish white, exactly like the colour of the Albino. It seemed to be the father of a number of others, for there were many marked with large light patches. The so-called white elephant is just such a pinkish Albino as this hippopotamus. A few miles above Kariba we observed that, in two small hamlets, many of the inhabitants had a similar affection of the skin. The same influence appeared to have affected man and beast. A dark coloured hippopotamus stood alone, as if expelled from the herd, and bit the water, shaking his head from side to side in a most frantic manner. When the female has twins, she is said to kill one of them.

We touched at the beautiful tree-covered island of Kalabi, opposite where Tuba-mokoro lectured the lion in our way up. The ancestors of the people who now inhabit this island possessed cattle. The tsetse has taken possession of the country since "the beeves were lifted." No one knows where these insects breed; at a certain season all disappear, and as suddenly come back, no one knows whence. The natives are such close observers of nature, that their ignorance in this case surprised us. A solitary hippopotamus had selected the little bay in which we landed, and where the women drew water, for his dwelling-place. Pretty little lizards, with light blue and red tails, run among the rocks, catching flies and other insects. These harmless—though to new-comers repulsive—creatures sometimes perform good service to man, by eating great numbers of the destructive white ants.

At noon on the 24th October, we found Sequasha in a village below the Kafue, with the main body of his people. He said that 210 elephants had been killed during his trip; many of his men being excellent hunters. The numbers of animals we saw renders this possible. He reported that, after reaching the Kafue, he went northwards into the country of the Zulus, whose ancestors formerly migrated from the south and set up a sort of Republican form of government. Sequasha is the greatest Portuguese traveller we ever became acquainted with, and he boasts that he is able to speak a dozen different dialects; yet, unfortunately, he can give but a very meagre account of the countries and people he has seen, and his statements are not very much to be relied on. But considering the influence among which he has been reared, and the want of the means of education at Tette, it is a wonder that he possesses the good traits that he sometimes exhibits. Among his wares were several cheap American clocks; a useless investment rather, for a part of Africa where no one cares for the artificial measurement of time. These clocks got him into trouble among the Banyai: he set them all agoing in the presence of a chief, who became frightened at the strange sounds they made, and looked upon them as so many witchcraft agencies at work to bring all manner of evils upon himself and his people. Sequasha, it was decided, had been guilty of a milando, or crime, and he had to pay a heavy fine of cloth and beads for his exhibition. He alluded to our having heard that he had killed Mpangwe, and he denied having actually done so; but in his absence his name had got mixed up in the affair, in consequence of his slaves, while drinking beer one night with Namakusuru, the man who succeeded Mpangwe, saying that they would kill the chief for him. His partner had not thought of this when we saw him on the way up, for he tried to excuse the murder, by saying that now they had put the right man into the chieftainship.

After three hours' sail, on the morning of the 29th, the river was narrowed again by the mountains of Mburuma, called Karivua, into one channel, and another rapid dimly appeared. It was formed by two currents guided by rocks to the centre. In going down it, the men sent by Sekeletu behaved very nobly. The canoes entered without previous survey, and the huge jobbling waves of mid-current began at once to fill them. With great presence of mind, and without a moment's hesitation, two men lightened each by jumping overboard; they then ordered a Botoka man to do the same, as "the white men must be saved." "I cannot swim," said the Batoka. "Jump out, then, and hold on to the canoe;" which he instantly did. Swimming alongside, they guided the swamping canoes down the swift current to the foot of the rapid, and then ran them ashore to bale them out. A boat could have passed down safely, but our canoes were not a foot above the water at the gunwales.

Thanks to the bravery of these poor fellows, nothing was lost, although everything was well soaked. This rapid is nearly opposite the west end of the Mburuma mountains or Karivua. Another soon begins below it. They are said to be all smoothed over when the river rises. The canoes had to be unloaded at this the worst rapid, and the goods carried about a hundred yards. By taking the time in which a piece of stick floated past 100 feet, we found the current to be running six knots, by far the greatest velocity noted in the river. As the men were bringing the last canoe down close to the shore, the stern swung round into the current, and all except one man let go, rather than be dragged off. He clung to the bow, and was swept out into the middle of the stream. Having held on when he ought to have let go, he next put his life in jeopardy by letting go when he ought to have held on; and was in a few seconds swallowed up by a fearful whirlpool. His comrades launched out a canoe below, and caught him as he rose the third time to the surface, and saved him, though much exhausted and very cold.

The scenery of this pass reminded us of Kebrabasa, although it is much inferior. A band of the same black shining glaze runs along the rocks about two feet from the water's edge. There was not a blade of grass on some of the hills, it being the end of the usual dry season succeeding a previous severe drought; yet the hill-sides were dotted over with beautiful green trees. A few antelopes were seen on the rugged slopes, where some people too appeared lying down, taking a cup of beer. The Karivua narrows are about thirty miles in length. They end at the mountain Roganora. Two rocks, twelve or fifteen feet above the water at the time we were there, may in flood be covered and dangerous. Our chief danger was the wind, a very slight ripple being sufficient to swamp canoes.



CHAPTER IX.

The waterbuck—Disaster in Kebrabasa rapids—The "Ma Robert" founders—Arrival of the "Pioneer" and Bishop Mackenzie's party—Portuguese slave-trade—Interference and liberation.

We arrived at Zumbo, at the mouth of the Loangwa, on the 1st of November. The water being scarcely up to the knee, our land party waded this river with ease. A buffalo was shot on an island opposite Pangola's, the ball lodging in the spleen. It was found to have been wounded in the same organ previously, for an iron bullet was imbedded in it, and the wound entirely healed. A great deal of the plant Pistia stratiotes was seen floating in the river. Many people inhabit the right bank about this part, yet the game is very abundant.

As we were taking our breakfast on the morning of the 2nd, the Mambo Kazai, of whom we knew nothing, and his men came with their muskets and large powder-horns to levy a fine, and obtain payment for the wood we used in cooking. But on our replying to his demand that we were English, "Oh! are you?" he said; "I thought you were Bazungu (Portuguese). They are the people I take payments from:" and he apologized for his mistake. Bazungu, or Azungu, is a term applied to all foreigners of a light colour, and to Arabs; even to trading slaves if clothed; it probably means foreigners, or visitors,—from zunga, to visit or wander,—and the Portuguese were the only foreigners these men had ever seen. As we had no desire to pass for people of that nation—quite the contrary—we usually made a broad line of demarcation by saying that we were English, and the English neither bought, sold, nor held black people as slaves, but wished to put a stop to the slave-trade altogether.

We called upon our friend, Mpende, in passing. He provided a hut for us, with new mats spread on the floor. Having told him that we were hurrying on because the rains were near, "Are they near?" eagerly inquired an old counsellor, "and are we to have plenty of rain this year?" We could only say that it was about the usual time for the rains to commence; and that there were the usual indications in great abundance of clouds floating westwards, but that we knew nothing more than they did themselves.

The hippopotami are more wary here than higher up, as the natives hunt them with guns. Having shot one on a shallow sandbank, our men undertook to bring it over to the left bank, in order to cut it up with greater ease. It was a fine fat one, and all rejoiced in the hope of eating the fat for butter, with our hard dry cakes of native meal. Our cook was sent over to cut a choice piece for dinner, but returned with the astonishing intelligence that the carcass was gone. They had been hoodwinked, and were very much ashamed of themselves. A number of Banyai came to assist in rolling it ashore, and asserted that it was all shallow water. They rolled it over and over towards the land, and, finding the rope we had made fast to it, as they said, an encumbrance, it was unloosed. All were shouting and talking as loud as they could bawl, when suddenly our expected feast plumped into a deep hole, as the Banyai intended it should do. When sinking, all the Makololo jumped in after it. One caught frantically at the tail; another grasped a foot; a third seized the hip; "but, by Sebituane, it would go down in spite of all that we could do." Instead of a fat hippopotamus we had only a lean fowl for dinner, and were glad enough to get even that. The hippopotamus, however, floated during the night, and was found about a mile below. The Banyai then assembled on the bank, and disputed our right to the beast: "It might have been shot by somebody else." Our men took a little of it and then left it, rather than come into collision with them.

A fine waterbuck was shot in the Kakolole narrows, at Mount Manyerere; it dropped beside the creek where it was feeding; an enormous crocodile, that had been watching it at the moment, seized and dragged it into the water, which was not very deep. The mortally wounded animal made a desperate plunge, and hauling the crocodile several yards tore itself out of the hideous jaws. To escape the hunter, the waterbuck jumped into the river, and was swimming across, when another crocodile gave chase, but a ball soon sent it to the bottom. The waterbuck swam a little longer, the fine head dropped, the body turned over, and one of the canoes dragged it ashore. Below Kakolole, and still at the base of Manyerere mountain, several coal-seams, not noticed on our ascent, were now seen to crop out on the right bank of the Zambesi.

Chitora, of Chicova, treated us with his former hospitality. Our men were all much pleased with his kindness, and certainly did not look upon it as a proof of weakness. They meant to return his friendliness when they came this way on a marauding expedition to eat the sheep of the Banyai, for insulting them in the affair of the hippopotamus; they would then send word to Chitora not to run away, for they, being his friends, would do such a good-hearted man no harm.

We entered Kebrabasa rapids, at the east end of Chicova, in the canoes, and went down a number of miles, until the river narrowed into a groove of fifty or sixty yards wide, of which we have already spoken in describing the flood-bed and channel of low water. The navigation then became difficult and dangerous. A fifteen feet fall of the water in our absence had developed many cataracts. Two of our canoes passed safely down a narrow channel, which, bifurcating, had an ugly whirlpool at the rocky partition between the two branches, the deep hole in the whirls at times opening and then shutting. The Doctor's canoe came next, and seemed to be drifting broadside into the open vortex, in spite of the utmost exertions of the paddlers. The rest were expecting to have to pull to the rescue; the men saying, "Look where these people are going!—look, look!"—when a loud crash burst on our ears. Dr. Kirk's canoe was dashed on a projection of the perpendicular rocks, by a sudden and mysterious boiling up of the river, which occurs at irregular intervals. Dr. Kirk was seen resisting the sucking-down action of the water, which must have been fifteen fathoms deep, and raising himself by his arms on to the ledge, while his steersman, holding on to the same rocks, saved the canoe; but nearly all its contents were swept away down the stream. Dr. Livingstone's canoe, meanwhile, which had distracted the men's attention, was saved by the cavity in the whirlpool filling up as the frightful eddy was reached. A few of the things in Dr. Kirk's canoe were left; but all that was valuable, including a chronometer, a barometer, and, to our great sorrow, his notes of the journey and botanical drawings of the fruit-trees of the interior, perished.

We now left the river, and proceeded on foot, sorry that we had not done so the day before. The men were thoroughly frightened, they had never seen such perilous navigation. They would carry all the loads, rather than risk Kebrabasa any longer; but the fatigue of a day's march over the hot rocks and burning sand changed their tune before night; and then they regretted having left the canoes; they thought they should have dragged them past the dangerous places, and then launched them again. One of the two donkeys died from exhaustion near the Luia. Though the men eat zebras and quaggas, blood relations of the donkey, they were shocked at the idea of eating the ass; "it would be like eating man himself, because the donkey lives with man, and is his bosom companion." We met two large trading parties of Tette slaves on their way to Zumbo, leading, to be sold for ivory, a number of Manganja women, with ropes round their necks, and all made fast to one long rope.

Panzo, the headman of the village east of Kebrabasa, received us with great kindness. After the usual salutation he went up the hill, and, in a loud voice, called across the valley to the women of several hamlets to cook supper for us. About eight in the evening he returned, followed by a procession of women, bringing the food. There were eight dishes of nsima, or porridge, six of different sorts of very good wild vegetables, with dishes of beans and fowls; all deliciously well cooked, and scrupulously clean. The wooden dishes were nearly as white as the meal itself: food also was brought for our men. Ripe mangoes, which usually indicate the vicinity of the Portuguese, were found on the 21st November; and we reached Tette early on the 23rd, having been absent a little over six months.

The two English sailors, left in charge of the steamer, were well, had behaved well, and had enjoyed excellent health all the time we were away. Their farm had been a failure. We left a few sheep, to be slaughtered when they wished for fresh meat, and two dozen fowls. Purchasing more, they soon had double the number of the latter, and anticipated a good supply of eggs; but they also bought two monkeys, and they ate all the eggs. A hippopotamus came up one night, and laid waste their vegetable garden; the sheep broke into their cotton patch, when it was in flower, and ate it all, except the stems; then the crocodiles carried off the sheep, and the natives stole the fowls. Nor were they more successful as gun-smiths: a Portuguese trader, having an exalted opinion of the ingenuity of English sailors, showed them a double-barrelled rifle, and inquired if they could put on the browning, which had rusted off. "I think I knows how," said one, whose father was a blacksmith, "it's very easy; you have only to put the barrels in the fire." A great fire of wood was made on shore, and the unlucky barrels put over it, to secure the handsome rifle colour. To Jack's utter amazement the barrels came asunder. To get out of the scrape, his companion and he stuck the pieces together with resin, and sent it to the owner, with the message, "It was all they could do for it, and they would not charge him anything for the job!" They had also invented an original mode of settling a bargain; having ascertained the market price of provisions, they paid that, but no more. If the traders refused to leave the ship till the price was increased, a chameleon, of which the natives have a mortal dread, was brought out of the cabin; and the moment the natives saw the creature, they at once sprang overboard. The chameleon settled every dispute in a twinkling.

But besides their good-humoured intercourse, they showed humanity worthy of English sailors. A terrible scream roused them up one night, and they pushed off in a boat to the rescue. A crocodile had caught a woman, and was dragging her across a shallow sandbank. Just as they came up to her, she gave a fearful shriek: the horrid reptile had snapped off her leg at the knee. They took her on board, bandaged the limb as well as they could, and, not thinking of any better way of showing their sympathy, gave her a glass of rum, and carried her to a hut in the village. Next morning they found the bandages torn off, and the unfortunate creature left to die. "I believe," remarked Rowe, one of the sailors, "her master was angry with us for saving her life, seeing as how she had lost her leg."

The Zambesi being unusually low, we remained at Tette till it rose a little, and then left on the 3rd of December for the Kongone. It was hard work to keep the vessel afloat; indeed, we never expected her to remain above water. New leaks broke out every day; the engine pump gave way; the bridge broke down; three compartments filled at night; except the cabin and front compartment all was flooded; and in a few days we were assured by Rowe that "she can't be worse than she is, sir." He and Hutchins had spent much of their time, while we were away, in patching her bottom, puddling it with clay, and shoring it, and it was chiefly to please them that we again attempted to make use of her. We had long been fully convinced that the steel plates were thoroughly unsuitable. On the morning of the 21st the uncomfortable "Asthmatic" grounded on a sandbank and filled. She could neither be emptied nor got off. The river rose during the night, and all that was visible of the worn-out craft next day was about six feet of her two masts. Most of the property we had on board was saved; and we spent the Christmas of 1860 encamped on the island of Chimba. Canoes were sent for from Senna; and we reached it on the 27th, to be again hospitably entertained by our friend, Senhor Ferrao.

We reached the Kongone on the 4th of January, 1861. A flagstaff and a Custom-house had been erected during our absence; a hut, also, for a black lance-corporal and three privates. By the kind permission of the lance-corporal, who came to see us as soon as he had got into his trousers and shirt, we took up our quarters in the Custom-house, which, like the other buildings, is a small square floorless hut of mangrove stakes overlaid with reeds. The soldiers complained of hunger, they had nothing to eat but a little mapira, and were making palm wine to deaden their cravings. While waiting for a ship, we had leisure to read the newspapers and periodicals we found in the mail which was waiting our arrival at Tette. Several were a year and a half old.

Our provisions began to run short; and towards the end of the month there was nothing left but a little bad biscuit and a few ounces of sugar. Coffee and tea were expended, but scarcely missed, as our sailors discovered a pretty good substitute in roasted mapira. Fresh meat was obtained in abundance from our antelope preserves on the large island made by a creek between the Kongone and East Luabo.

In this focus of decaying vegetation, nothing is so much to be dreaded as inactivity. We had, therefore, to find what exercise and amusement we could, when hunting was not required, in peering about in the fetid swamps; to have gone mooning about, in listless idleness, would have ensured fever in its worst form, and probably with fatal results.

A curious little blenny-fish swarms in the numerous creeks which intersect the mangrove topes. When alarmed, it hurries across the surface of the water in a series of leaps. It may be considered amphibious, as it lives as much out of the water as in it, and its most busy time is during low water. Then it appears on the sand or mud, near the little pools left by the retiring tide; it raises itself on its pectoral fins into something of a standing attitude, and with its large projecting eyes keeps a sharp look-out for the light-coloured fly, on which it feeds. Should the fly alight at too great a distance for even a second leap, the blenny moves slowly towards it like a cat to its prey, or like a jumping spider; and, as soon as it gets within two or three inches of the insect, by a sudden spring contrives to pop its underset mouth directly over the unlucky victim. He is, moreover, a pugnacious little fellow; and rather prolonged fights may be observed between him and his brethren. One, in fleeing from an apparent danger, jumped into a pool a foot square, which the other evidently regarded as his by right of prior discovery; in a twinkling the owner, with eyes flashing fury, and with dorsal fin bristling up in rage, dashed at the intruding foe. The fight waxed furious, no tempest in a teapot ever equalled the storm of that miniature sea. The warriors were now in the water, and anon out of it, for the battle raged on sea and shore. They struck hard, they bit each other; until, becoming exhausted, they seized each other by the jaws like two bull-dogs, then paused for breath, and at it again as fiercely as before, until the combat ended by the precipitate retreat of the invader.

The muddy ground under the mangrove-trees is covered with soldier-crabs, which quickly slink into their holes on any symptom of danger. When the ebbing tide retires, myriads of minute crabs emerge from their underground quarters, and begin to work like so many busy bees. Soon many miles of the smooth sand become rough with the results of their labour. They are toiling for their daily bread: a round bit of moist sand appears at the little labourer's mouth, and is quickly brushed off by one of the claws; a second bit follows the first; and another, and still another come as fast as they can be laid aside. As these pellets accumulate, the crab moves sideways, and the work continues. The first impression one receives is, that the little creature has swallowed a great deal of sand, and is getting rid of it as speedily as possible: a habit he indulges in of darting into his hole at intervals, as if for fresh supplies, tends to strengthen this idea; but the size of the heaps formed in a few seconds shows that this cannot be the case, and leads to the impression that, although not readily seen, at the distance at which he chooses to keep the observer, yet that possibly he raises the sand to his mouth, where whatever animalcule it may contain is sifted out of it, and the remainder rejected in the manner described. At times the larger species of crabs perform a sort of concert; and from each subterranean abode strange sounds arise, as if, in imitation of the songsters of the groves, for very joy they sang!

We found some natives pounding the woody stems of a poisonous climbing- plant (Dirca palustris) called Busungu, or poison, which grows abundantly in the swamps. When a good quantity was bruised, it was tied up in bundles. The stream above and below was obstructed with bushes, and with a sort of rinsing motion the poison was diffused through the water. Many fish were soon affected, swain in shore, and died, others were only stupefied. The plant has pink, pea-shaped blossoms, and smooth, pointed, glossy leaves, and the brown bark is covered with minute white points. The knowledge of it might prove of use to a shipwrecked party by enabling them to catch the fish.

The poison is said to be deleterious to man if the water is drunk; but not when the fish is cooked. The Busungu is repulsive to some insects, and is smeared round the shoots of the palm-trees to prevent the ants from getting into the palm wine while it is dropping from the tops of the palm-trees into the little pots suspended to collect it.

We were in the habit of walking from our beds into the salt water at sunrise, for a bath, till a large crocodile appeared at the bathing-place, and from that time forth we took our dip in the sea, away from the harbour, about midday. This is said to be unwholesome, but we did not find it so. It is certainly better not to bathe in the mornings, when the air is colder than the water—for then, on returning to the cooler air, one is apt to get a chill and fever. In the mouth of the river, many saw-fish are found. Rowe saw one while bathing—caught it by the tail, and shoved it, "snout on," ashore. The saw is from a foot to eighteen inches long. We never heard of any one being wounded by this fish; nor, though it goes hundreds of miles up the river in fresh water, could we learn that it was eaten by the people. The hippopotami delighted to spend the day among the breakers, and seemed to enjoy the fun as much as we did.

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