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Freeland - A Social Anticipation
by Theodor Hertzka
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In less than half an hour we had forty-three prisoners, and the whole of the booty was in our possession. We should not have succeeded so completely in freeing the Duruma women and children had these not been fettered in such a way as to make it impossible for them to run quickly. For when these poor creatures saw and heard the fighting and the noise, they made desperate attempts to follow the fleeing Masai. The children behaved more sensibly, for, though they were much alarmed by the firing and the rockets, they gave us and our dogs—which performed excellent service in this affair—little difficulty in driving them into our camp.

The captured Masai were fine daring-looking fellows, and maintained a considerable degree of self-composure in spite of their intense alarm and of their expectation of immediate execution. Fortunately there was among them their leitunu, or chief and absolute leader of the party—a bronze Apollo standing 6 ft. 6 in. high. He looked as if he would like to thrust his sime, or short sword, into his own breast when the Wa-Duruma, who had begun to collect about us, ventured to mock at him and his people and to shout aloud for their death. Johnston most emphatically refused this demand. Speaking loudly enough for the prisoners to hear, he explained that the Masai were to become our allies; we had simply punished them for the wrong they had done. Did they—the Duruma—imagine that we needed their help, or the help of anyone, to slay the Masai if we wished to slay them? Had they not seen that we fired into the air, when a few well-aimed shots from our mighty machines would have sufficed to tear all the Masai in pieces? Then, in order to show the Duruma—but still more the Masai—the truth of these words, which had been listened to with shuddering and without the slightest trace of scepticism, Johnston directed a full volley of all our guns and rockets upon a dilapidated straw-thatched round hut about 1,100 yards off. The hut was completely smashed, and at once burst into flames—a spectacle which made a most powerful impression upon the savages.

'Now go,' said Johnston to the Wa-Duruma, pretending not to notice how intently our prisoners listened and looked on, 'and take your women, children, and cattle, which we have set free, and leave the Masai in peace. We will see to it that they do not trouble you in future. But do not forget that in a few weeks the Masai also will be our allies.'

The Wa-Duruma obeyed, but they did not quite know what to make of this business. When they were gone away, Johnston ordered their weapons to be given back to the captive Masai, whom he commanded to go away, telling them that in at most two weeks' time he expected to visit Lytokitok, the south-eastern frontier district of Masailand; and that it was in order to inform them of this that he had had them brought before him. But instead of at once taking advantage of this permission to go away, the el-moran (as the Masai warriors are called) lingered where they were; and at last Mdango, their leitunu, stepped forward and explained that it would be certain death for such a small band of Masai, separated from their own people, to seek to get home through Durumaland in its present agitated condition; and if they must die, they would esteem it a greater honour to die by the hand of so mighty a white leibon (magician) than to be slain by the cowardly Wa-Duruma or Wa-Teita. As it was our intention to visit their country very soon, we willingly permitted them to accompany us.

Johnston's face beamed with delight at this auspicious beginning; but towards the Masai he maintained a demeanour of absolute calm, and declared in a dignified tone that what they asked was a great favour, and one of which their previous behaviour had shown them to be so little worthy that before he could give them a definite answer he must hold a shauri (council) of his people. Leaving them standing where they were, he called aside some twenty of us who were on horseback near him, and told us the substance of the conversation. 'Of course, we will accede to the request of the leitunu, who, judging from the large number of el-moran that follow him, must be one of their most influential men. If he is completely won over, he will bring over his countrymen with him. So now I will inform him of the result of our council.'

'Listen,' said he, turning to Mdango; 'we have decided to accede to your request, for your brethren in Lytokitok shall not be able to say that we have exposed you to a dishonourable death. But as we have directed our weapons against you, though without shedding of blood, our customs forbid us to admit you as guests to our camp and our table before you have fully atoned for the outrage by which you have displeased us. This atonement will have been made when each of you has contracted blood-brotherhood with him who took you prisoner. Will you do this, and will you honourably keep your word?'

The el-moran very readily assented to this. Hereupon another council was held among ourselves, and this was followed by the fraternisation— according to the peculiar customs of the Masai—of the forty-three prisoners with their captors; and we thereby gained forty-three allies who—as Johnston assured us—would be hewed in pieces before they would allow any harm to happen to us if they could prevent it.

By this time it was nine o'clock, and, as the day promised to be glowing hot, we had no desire to set foot upon the burning Duruma desert until the sun was below the horizon. We therefore retired to our camp, which had not been left by the sumpter beasts, and then we prepared our midday meal. In honour of our bloodless victory, we prepared an unusually sumptuous repast of flesh and milk—the only food of the Masai el-moran—followed by an enormous bowl of rum, honey, lemons, and hot water, which was heartily relished by our people, but which threw the Masai into a state of ecstasy. The ecstasy knew no bounds when, the punch being drunk, the forty-three blood-brethren were severally adorned with red breeches as a tribute of friendship. The leitunu himself received an extra gift in the form of a gold-embroidered scarlet mantle.

The Duruma desert, which we entered about five o'clock, is quite uninhabited, and during the dry months has the bad repute of being almost absolutely without water. Now, however, immediately after the rainy season, we found a sufficient quantity of tolerably good water in the many ground-fissures and well-like natural pits, often two or three yards deep. But we suffered so much from the heat before sunset, that we sacrificed our night-rest in making a forced march to Taro, a good-sized pool formed by the collected rain-water. We reached this towards morning, and rested here for half a day—that is, we did not start again until the evening, husbanding our strength for the worst part of the way, which was yet to come. From this point the water-holes became less frequent, and the landscape particularly cheerless—monotonous stony expanses alternating with hideous thorn-thickets. Yet both men and beasts held out bravely through those three miserable days, and on the 12th of May we reached in good condition, though wetted to the skin by a sudden and unexpected downpour of rain, the charming country of the Wa-Teita on the fine Ndara range of hills.

We here experienced for the first time the ravishing splendour of the equatorial highlands. The Ndara range reaches a height of 5,000 feet and is covered from summit to base with a luxuriant vegetation; a number of silvery brooks and streams murmur and roar down its sides to the valleys; and the view from favourably situated points is most charming. As we rested here a whole day, most of us used the opportunity to make excursions through the marvellous scenery, being most courteously guided about by several Englishmen who had settled here for missionary and business purposes. I could not penetrate so far as I wished into the tangle of delicious shadowy valleys and hills which surrounded us, because I had to arrange for the provisioning of the caravan both in Teita and for the desert districts between Teita and the Kilimanjaro. But my more fortunate companions scaled the neighbouring heights, spent the night either on or just below the summits, refreshed themselves with the cool mountain air, and came back intoxicated with all the beauty they had enjoyed. Even at the foot of the Teita hills it was scarcely less charming. The bath under one of the splashing waterfalls, fanned by the mild air and odours of evening, would ever have been one of the pleasantest recollections of my life, if Africa had not offered me still more glorious natural scenes.

We spent the 14th and 15th in leisurely marches through this paradise, in which a rich booty in giraffes and various kinds of antelopes fell to our huntsmen. Everywhere we concluded friendly alliances with the tribes and their chiefs, and sealed our alliances with presents. During the two following days we worked our way through the uninhabited—but therefore the richer in game—desert of Taveta, which in fact is not so bad as its reputation; and on the afternoon of the 17th we approached the cool forests of the foot-hills of the Kilima, where a strange surprise was hi store for us.

When we were a few miles from Taveta and—as is customary in Africa—had announced the arrival of our caravan by a salvo from our guns, Johnston and I, riding at the head of the train, saw a man galloping towards us with loose rein, in whom we at once recognised the leader of our advance-guard, Engineer Demestre. The haste with which he galloped towards us at first gave us some anxiety; but his smiling face soon showed us that it was no ill-luck which brought him to us. He signalled to me from a distance, and cried as he checked his horse in front of us: 'Your sister and Miss Fox are in Taveta.'

Both Johnston and I must have made most absurd grimaces at this unexpected announcement, for Demestre broke out into uproarious laughter, in which at last we joined. Then he told us that, on the previous evening, when he and his party arrived at Taveta, the two ladies had accosted him in the streets as unconcernedly as if it were a casual meeting at home, had altogether ignored the slight they had received, and, when asked, had told him in an indifferent tone that they had travelled hither from Aden, whence they started on the 30th of April—therefore while we were waiting at Mombasa—to Zanzibar, whence, after a short stay, they went to Pangani and, taking the route by Mkumbara and the Jipe lake, reached Taveta on the 14th of May. They were accompanied by their servant and friend, Sam—a worthy old negro who was Miss Fox's constant attendant—and four elephants upon which they rode, to the boundless astonishment of the negroes. They were quite comfortable in Taveta. 'Miss Clara sends greetings, and bids me tell you that she longs to press you to her sisterly heart.'

When I saw that Demestre was not joking I put spurs to my horse, and in a few minutes found myself in a shady, bowery woodland road which led from the open country into Taveta. Soon after I saw the two ladies, one of whom ran towards me with outstretched arms and, almost before I had touched the ground, warmly embraced me, she weeping aloud the while. After the first storm of emotion was over, I tried to get from my sister a fuller account of her appearance here among the savages; but I failed, for as often as the good creature began her story it was interrupted by her tears and her expressions of joy at seeing me again, as well as by thoughts of all the dangers from which I—heedless boy!—had been preserved by nothing but my good luck. In the meantime Miss Fox had come up to us. She returned my greeting with a slight tinge of sarcasm, but none the less cordially; and I at length learned from her all that I wished to know.

I found that the two, at their very first meeting, had come to an understanding and decided upon the principal features of their plot, reserving the arrangement of details until we had left Europe. My sister had found in Miss Fox the energy and the possession of the requisite pecuniary means for the independent undertaking of an expedition, against the will of the men; and Miss Fox had found in my sister the companion and elder protectress, without whom even she would have shrunk from such a bold enterprise. As Miss Fox was exactly informed of all our plans, she was able to copy them in her own arrangements. She procured what she needed from the manufacturers and brokers from whom we got our provisions, articles of barter, and travelling necessaries. Like us, she substituted sumpter beasts for pagazis; only, in order to be original in at least one point, she chose elephants instead of horses, camels, or asses. She inferred that, as elephants—though hitherto untamed—abounded in all the districts to which we were going, Indian elephants would thrive well throughout Equatorial Africa. A business friend of her late father's in Calcutta bought for her four fine specimens of these pachyderms, and sent them with eight experienced keepers and attendants to Aden, whence she took them with her to Zanzibar. Here several guides and interpreters were hired; and, in order not to come into collision with us too near the coast, she chose the route by Pangani. The curiosity of the natives was here and there a little troublesome; but, thanks mainly to the courteous attentions of the German agents stationed in Mkumbana, Membe, and Taveta, the expedition had not met with the slightest mishap. On their arrival at Taveta they had at once dismissed their Swahili, and intended to join our expedition with the elephants and Indians—unless we insisted on leaving them behind us alone in Taveta.

What was to be done under such circumstances? It followed as a matter of course that the two Amazons must henceforth form a part of our expedition; and, to tell the truth, I knew not how to be angry with either my sister or Miss Fox for their persistency. The worst dangers might be considered as averted by the affair with the Masai in Duruma; the difficulties of the journey were, as the result showed, no more than women could easily brave. Therefore I gave myself up without anxiety to the joy of the unexpected reunion. I was gratified to note also that the other members of the expedition welcomed this addition to our numbers. So the elephants with their fair burdens—for it may be added in passing that my sister, notwithstanding her thirty-eight years, still retains her good looks—had their place assigned to them in our caravan.

We bade farewell to our Masai friends outside Taveta. They were commissioned to inform their countrymen that we should reach the frontier of Lytokitok in eight or ten days, and that it was our intention to go through the whole of Masailand in order to find a locality suitable for our permanent settlement. This settlement of ours would be in the highest degree profitable to the race in whose neighbourhood we should build our dwellings, as we should make such race rich and invincible by any of their foes. We should force no one to receive us and give us land, although we possessed—as they were convinced—sufficient power to do so; and many thousands of our brethren were only awaiting a message from us to come and join us. If, however, a free passage were not peaceably granted to us through any territory, we knew how to force it. We finally made our blood-brethren solemnly engage to bring as many tribes as possible into alliance with us, especially those who dwelt on the route to the Naivasha lake, our route to the Kenia mountain; and we parted with mutual expressions of good will. They had shown themselves most agreeable fellows, and as parting mementos we gave them a number of what in their eyes were very valuable presents for their beloved ones—the so-called 'Dittos'—such as brass wire, brass bracelets and rings with imitation stones, hand-mirrors, strings of glass pearls, cotton articles, and ribbons. These gifts, which in Europe had not cost 20L altogether, were—as we afterwards had occasion to prove—worth among the Masai as much as a hundred fat oxen; and the el-moran were struck dumb with our generosity. But in their eyes Johnston's final gift was beyond all price—a cavalry sabre with iron sheath and a good Solingen blade for each of the departing heroes. To give ocular demonstration of the quality of these weapons, Johnston got a Belgian, skilled in such feats, to cut through at one stroke the strongest of the Masai spears, the head of which was nearly five inches broad. He then showed to the astonished warriors the still undamaged sword-blade. 'So do our simes cut,' he said, 'when used in righteous battle; but beware of drawing them in pillage or murder, for they will then shatter in your hands as glass and bring evil upon your heads.' We then gave them a friendly salute, and they were soon out of sight.

We stayed in Taveta five days to give our animals rest after their trying marches, and to refresh ourselves with the indescribable charms of this country, which surpassed in pleasantness and tropical splendour, as well as in the grandeur of the mountain-ranges, anything we had hitherto seen. We wished also, with the assistance of the German agents settled here and in the neighbouring Moshi, to complete our equipment for the rest of the journey. These gentlemen, and not less the friendly natives, readily gave us information as to what wares were then in special demand in Masailand; and as we happened to have very few of a kind of blue pearls just then fashionable among the Dittos, and not a single piece of a sort of cotton cloth prized as a great novelty, we bought in Taveta several beast-loads of these valuables.

In our excursions from Taveta we saw for the first time the Kilimanjaro mountain in all its overpowering majesty. Rising abruptly more than 13,000 feet above the surrounding high land, this double-peaked giant reaches an altitude of 19,000 feet above the sea, and bears upon its broad massive back a stretch of snow with which in impressiveness neither the glaciers of our European Alps nor, in a certain sense, those of the Andes and the Himalayas, can compare. For nowhere else upon our earth does nature present such a strong and sudden contrast between the most luxuriant and exuberant tropical vegetation and the horrid chilling waste of broken precipices and eternal ice as here in Equatorial Africa. The flora and fauna at the foot of the Himalayas, for example, are scarcely less gorgeous than in the wooded and well-watered country around Taveta; but while the snow-covered peaks of the mountain-range of Central Asia rise hundreds of miles away from the foot of the mountains, and it is therefore not possible to enjoy the two kinds of scenery together, heightened by contrast, here one can, from under the shade of a wild banana or mango-palm, count with a good telescope the unfathomable glacier-crevasses—so palpably near is the world of eternal ice to that of eternal summer. And what a summer!—a summer that preserves its richest treasures of beauty and fruitfulness without relaxing our nerves by its hot breath. These shady yet cheerful forests, these crystal streams leaping everywhere through the flower-perfumed land, these balmy airs which almost uninterruptedly float down from the near icefields, and on their way through the mountain-gorges and higher valleys get laden with the spicy breath of flowers,—all this must be seen and enjoyed in order to know what Taveta is.

This favoured land produces a superabundance of material enjoyments of a tangible kind. Fat cattle, sheep and goats, poultry, dainty fishes from the Jipe lake and the Lumi river, specially dainty game of a thousand kinds from the banks of the smaller mountain-streams which flow down the sides of the Kilimanjaro, satisfy the most insatiable longing for flesh food. The vegetable kingdom pours forth not less lavishly from its horn of plenty a supply of almost all the wild and cultivated fruits and garden-produce of the tropics. At the same time everything is so cheap that the most extravagant glutton could not exceed a daily consumption costing more than a penny or two, even should the courteous and hospitable Wa-Taveta accept payment at all—which, however, they seldom did from us. It is true that the fame of our heroic deeds against the Masai had gone before us, and particularly the assurance that we had delivered Taveta from these unwelcome guests, who, it is true, had hitherto been kept away on every attack by the impenetrable forest fastnesses of Kilima, but whose neighbourhood was nevertheless very troublesome. Besides, our hands were ever open to the men of Taveta, and still more generously to the women. European goods of all kinds, articles of clothing, primitive ornaments, and especially a selection of photographs and Munich coloured picture-sheets, won the hearts of our black hosts, so that when, on the morning of the 23rd of May, we at last set out on our way, we were as sorry to leave this splendid woodland district as the Wa-Taveta were to lose us. These good simple-minded men accompanied us over their frontier; and many of the by no means ill-looking Taveta girls, who had lost their hearts to their white or their Swahili guests, shed bitter tears, and told their woe preferably to our two ladies, who fortunately did not understand a word of these effusive demonstrations of the Tavetan female heart. Prudery is an unknown thing in Equatorial Africa; and the Taveta fair ones would have been as little able to understand why anyone should think it wrong to open one's heart to a guest as their white sisters would have been to conceive of the possibility of talking freely and in all innocence of such matters without giving the least offence to friends and relatives.



CHAPTER IV

There are two routes from Taveta to Masailand, one leading westward past Kilima through the territory of the Wa-Kwafi, the other along the eastern slopes of the mountain through the lands occupied by the various tribes of the Wa-Chaga.

Both routes pass through fertile and pleasant country; but we chose the latter, because just then the Wa-Kwafi were at war with the Masai, and we wished to avoid getting mixed up with any affair that did not concern us. Moreover, we preferred to have dealings with the quiet and pacific Wa-Chaga rather than with the swaggering Wa-Kwafi. By short day-marches we went on past the wildly romantic Chala lake, shut in by dark perpendicular rocks, through the wooded hillsides of Rombo and over the tableland of Useri. On our way we crossed three considerable streams which unite to form the Tzavo river. We also came upon numberless springs which sent their water down from Kilima in all directions to irrigate the park-like meadows and the well-cultivated fields of the natives. All along our route we exchanged gifts and contracted alliances of friendship At times the chase was engaged in, furnishing us with a great number of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and rhinoceroses.

On the 28th of May we reached the frontier of Lytokitok, the south-eastern boundary of Masailand. As we crossed the Rongei stream we met our friend Mdango, accompanied by a large number of his warriors. His report was gratifying. He had given his message, not only to the elders and warriors of his own tribe, but to all the tribes from Lytokitok to the frontiers of Kapte, and had invited them to a great shauri at the Minyenye hill, half a day's march from the frontier in the direction of the Useri. The invitation had been numerously accepted by both el-morun and el-morani.e. married men and warriors—the latter attending to the number of above 3,000 men; and two days before they had been in consultation from morning until evening. The result was the unanimous resolve to permit us to pass through; but they had not yet agreed whether to insist upon the payment of the customary hongo, or tribute, exacted from trade-caravans, or to await our spontaneous liberality. Indeed, difficulties still stood in the way of a permanent alliance of friendship with us, and it was mainly the majority of the el-moran who wanted to treat us as strangers passing through Masailand were generally treated—that is, to exhibit towards us a violent, arrogant, and extortionate demeanour. They refused to believe in our great power, since we had not killed even one Masai warrior, but had sent home in good condition all who had fought against us, except sixteen—who had, however, been killed by the Wa-Duruma and the Wa Teita, and not by us. This party advanced the opinion that Mdango and his men had fled from us out of childish alarm, which assertion nearly led to a sanguinary encounter between the deeply incensed accused and their accusers. Since, however, even the latter admitted that we must be very good fellows, inasmuch as we had in no way abused our victory, they were, as already stated, not disinclined graciously to permit our passage through their country. And since Mdango consoled himself with the reflection that we could best dispose of the braggarts who laughed at him, he had restrained himself, and told the other party they had better meet us and try to frighten us; he and his would remain neutral notwithstanding the blood-brotherhood he had contracted with us, but he would have nothing to do with compelling us to pay tribute. All his six hundred warriors would adhere to him, and nearly as many el-moran from other tribes; the married men—the el-morun—were, almost without exception, favourable to us. Thus stood affairs, and we had to prepare ourselves to meet, hi a few hours, some 2,000 el-moran, to whom we must either pay heavy tribute or play the same game as we had played with him and his in Duruma. Moreover, he gave us plainly to understand that a few sharp shots from the cannons, or, still better, a few rockets, would not be amiss.

Johnston rejected this counsel of revenge, which was unworthy of a blood-brother of white men, and pacified him by promising that the boasters should be thoroughly shamed, and that the laughers in Masailand should be those of Mdango's party. Thereupon Johnston very quietly made his preparations. The sumpter beasts and their drivers occupied the well-fenced camp prepared by our advance-guard; we whites, on the contrary, placed ourselves conspicuously in the shade of some large isolated sycamores, with our saddled horses a few yards behind us, where were also the limbered-up guns and rocket-battery. Even the four elephants, which Johnston had accustomed to fire in Taveta, had a role assigned to them in this burlesque, and they were therefore sent with their attendants to feed in the shade of a small wood close at hand. When all this was arranged, we settled down quietly to our cooking, and did not allow ourselves to be disturbed when the first band of el-moran became visible. Our apparent indifference perplexed them, and while still a mile and a quarter from us they held a consultation. Then a deputation of ten of their young warriors approached, the rest of the band awaiting their companions who had not yet appeared. The messengers addressed us with great dignity, and, after they had been referred to Johnston as our leitunu, asked us what we wanted.

'An unmolested passage through your country, and friendship with you,' was the answer.

Would we pay tribute?

'Our brother Mdango has told you that for our friends we have rich presents, but these presents are given voluntarily or for services rendered. We have weapons for our foes, but tribute for no one.'

The el-moran replied with dignity, but haughtily, that it was not the custom of the country to allow travellers to pass through as they pleased; we must either pay what was demanded, or fight.

'Friends, consider well what you are doing. We do not wish to fight, but to keep the peace and become your brethren. Go back to your kraals, and be careful not to molest us. Tell this to your young warriors. If you go away, we will take that as an indication of your friendly disposition, and there shall no harm come to you. But if you come beyond that bush' (here Johnston pointed to a small wood, a little over two hundred yards away from our camp) 'we shall look upon it as an attack. I have spoken.'

The el-moran went away with as much quiet dignity as they had exhibited when they approached us. The number in sight had meantime increased to nearly 2,000 men, who were arranged in tolerably good military order. When they received our answer, they raised a not unmusical war-cry and, extending their lances, hurried forward with a quick step. We sat still by the side of our cooking-vessels as if the affair did not concern us, until the foremost of the el-moran had reached the specified bush. Johnston then caused the signal to be blown; quick as lightning we were in the saddle, and, with the elephants in our midst, we galloped towards the el-moran, whilst a quick fire with blank-cartridge opened upon them and our artillery began to play. The effect was not less drastic than it had been in the case of the followers of Mdango. The arrogant assailants beat a noisy retreat, and—an unheard-of disgrace for fighting el-moran—many of them let fall their lances and shields in the panic. The whole body of them fled until they were completely out of our view; but we went back to our cooking-utensils, where we found Mdango's followers and adherents, who had been inactive spectators of the scene, convulsed with laughter. We invited them within our fenced camp, where we loaded each man with presents. First Mdango was rewarded for his diplomatic services with a bright-coloured gold-embroidered robe of honour (where, in speaking of presents, 'gold' is mentioned—which the Central African neither knows nor values—spurious metal must be understood), a silver watch, a white-metal knife, fork, and spoon, and several tin plates. The using of the last-named articles must have been very difficult to him at first; but it ought to be stated that his watch continued to go well, and on special occasions he made use of his knife and fork with a great deal of dignity.

Other Masai notables were honoured with choice presents, though not so extravagantly as the much-envied Mdango. All the el-moran received—besides strings of pearls and kerchiefs for their girls—the much-coveted red breeches; each married man a coloured mantle; and every woman, married or single, who honoured our camp with a visit was made glad by gifts of pictures, pearls, and all kinds of bronze and glass knickknacks. It took about fifty of us several hours to distribute these presents. It was difficult to keep order in this surging mass of excited and chattering men and women. It was almost sunset before the last of the Masai men left our camp, whilst the prettiest of the girls and women showed no inclination to return to their household gods.

Under the pretence of doing honour to our new friends, but really in order to show that, when necessary, our weapons could strike as well as make a noise, we ordered a grand parade for the next forenoon. At this there were present, not merely our adherents, but also most of our assailants of yesterday. The latter were shy and confused, like whipped children; but they were attracted both by curiosity and by the hope of yet winning the favour of the magnanimous mussungus (whites). After manoeuvring for about half an hour, we gave a platoon fire with ball-cartridge at a fixed target; and then one of our sharpshooters smashed ten eggs thrown up in rapid succession—a feat which won enthusiastic applause from the el-moran. Even the ringleaders of yesterday's opponents, when this first part of the play was over, declared that it would be madness to fight with such antagonists; they saw clearly that we could have blown them all into the air yesterday in ten minutes. The artillery portion of the spectacle produced a still greater effect. About a mile and a quarter from our camp Johnston had improvised several good-sized block-houses of heavy timber covered with brushwood and dry grass, and had placed in them a quantity of explosives. These structures, which were really of a substantial character, were now subjected to a fire of grenades and rockets; and it can be readily imagined that the ascending flames, the crackling of the falling timbers, and the explosion of the enclosed fireworks, would strongly impress the Masai. But the terrible fascination reached its climax when Johnston brought into play a mine and an electric communication which had been prepared during the night, and by means of which a hut stored with fireworks was sent into the air. The Masai were now convinced that a movement of our hands was sufficient alone to blow into the air any enemies, however numerous they might be; and from that time to offer violent resistance to us appeared to them as useless as to offer it to supernatural powers.

When we saw that they were thus sufficiently prepared, we proceeded to conclude our alliance of peace and friendship. First of all, however, Johnston announced to the abashed and silently retreating victims of yesterday's sham fight that we whites had forgiven them, that in the solemn act now beginning we wished to look upon none but contented faces, and that therefore they were to have presents given them. When this had been announced, Johnston required the kraals—seventeen from Lytokitok and four from Kapte were represented—each to nominate the leitunu and leigonani of its el-moran and two of its el-morun to draw up the contract with us. The choice of these was soon finished, and an hour later the deliberations—in which on our side only Johnston, myself, and six officers took part—were opened by all sorts of ceremonies. First there were several speeches, in which on our side were set forth the advantages which the Masai would derive from our settling in their midst or on their frontiers; and on the side of the Masai orators assurances of admiration and affection for their white friends played the principal role. Then Johnston laid the several points of the contract before them, as follows:

1. The Masai shall preserve unbroken peace and friendship towards us and our allies, who are the inhabitants of Duruma, Teita, Taveta, Chala, and Useri.

2. The Masai shall on no pretence whatever demand hongo (tribute) from any caravan conducted by white men; but promise on the contrary to assist by all means in their power the progress of such caravans, particularly in furnishing them, as far as their supplies allow, with provisions at a fair price.

3. The Masai shall, when required by us at any time, place at our disposal any number of el-moran to act as escort or sentinels, yielding military obedience to us during the period of their service with us.

4. In return we bind ourselves to recognise the Masai as our friends, to protect them in their rights, and to aid them against foreign attacks.

5. The el-moran of all the tribes in alliance with us shall receive every man yearly two pair of good cotton trousers and fifty strings of glass pearls to be chosen by themselves, or, if they wish, other articles of like value. The el-morun shall receive every man a cotton mantle; the leitunus and leigonanis trousers, pearls, and mantle.

6. The el-moran who shall be called out for active service among us shall every one receive, besides full rations in flesh and milk, a daily payment of five strings of pearls, or their value.

These conditions, which were received by the Masai present with signs of undisguised satisfaction, were confirmed with great solemnity by the symbolic ceremony of blood-fraternisation between the contracting parties. As the multitude, who stood looking on at a respectful distance, greeted the conditions, when read to them, with loud shouts of joy, we knew that the public opinion of Lytokitok and of a portion of Kapte was completely won.

We told our new allies that it was our intention to pass Matumbato and Kapte on our way to the Naivacha lake, to admit to the alliance as many as possible of the Masai tribes dwelling on our route, and then proceed to the Kenia either by Kikuyu or by Lykipia. To facilitate our entering into friendly relations with the tribes through whose territories we should pass, we asked for a company of fifty el-moran to precede us under the leadership of our friend Mdango, who had risen very high in the estimation of his countrymen. Our request was granted, and Mdango felt no little flattered by the choice which had fallen on him. The fifty el-moran whom we asked for grew to be above five hundred, for the younger warriors contended among themselves for the honour of serving us. The Masai advised us not to take the route by Kikuyu. The Wa-Kikuyu are not a Masai tribe, but belong to quite a different race, and have from time immemorial been at feud with the Masai. They were described to us as at once treacherous, cowardly, and cruel, as people without truthfulness and fidelity, and with whom an honourable alliance was impossible. But as we had already learnt, in our civilised home, how much reliance is to be placed on the opinions held of each other by antagonistic nations, the above description produced no effect upon our minds beyond that of convincing us that the Wa-Kikuyu and the Masai were hereditary foes. That we were correct in our scepticism the result showed. Mdango was informed that we should adhere to our original purpose. He was to precede us by forced marches, if possible to the frontiers of Lykipia, then turn and await us on the east shore of the Naivasha lake, where, in three weeks' time, we hoped to hold the great shauri with the Masai tribes which he would then have got together and won over to our wishes. As to the Wa-Kikuyu who occupied the territory to the east of Naivasha, we ourselves would arrange with them.

Mdango left next morning, while we remained until the 1st of June at Miveruni, on the north side of the Kilimanjaro. The news of what had happened had reached the neighbouring Useri, whose inhabitants—hitherto living in constant feud with the Masai—now came in great numbers, under the leadership of their Sultan, to visit us, and to be convinced of the truth of what they had heard. They brought gifts for both ourselves and the Masai, the gifts for the latter being tokens of their pleasure at the ending of their feud. We received fifty cows and fifty bulls; the Masai half the number. This gift suggested to the Masai elders the idea of sending messengers with greetings from us, and with assurances of peace henceforth, to the Chaga, Wa-Taveta, Wa-Teita, and Wa-Duruma; which embassy, as we learnt afterwards, returned six weeks later so richly rewarded that the inhabitants of Lytokitok gained more in presents than they had ever gained in booty by their raids. And as these presents were repeated annually, though not to so great an amount, the peace was in this respect alone a very good stroke of business for our new friends. But the tribes which had formerly suffered from the Masai when on the war-path profited still more from the peace, for they were henceforth able to pasture their cattle in security and to till their fields, whilst previously just the most fertile districts had been left untilled through dread of the Masai.

As we were abundantly supplied with flesh and milk (for the Masai had given us presents in return in the shape of fine cattle), we begged the Sultan of Useri—who, of course, was not left unrewarded for his friendliness—to hold his presents in his own keeping until we needed them. We intended to use the cattle he offered us for the great caravans that would follow. For the same purpose, we also left in charge of our Masai friends in Miveruni three hundred and sixty head of cattle which we had not used of their presents. We were not dependent upon our cattle for meat, as the chase supplied us with an incredible abundance of the choicest dainties. For instance, in three hours I shot six antelopes of different kinds, two zebras, and one rhinoceros; and as our camp contained many far better sportsmen than I am, it may be imagined how easy a matter it was to provision us. In fact, though unnecessary slaughter was avoided as much as possible, and our better sportsmen tried their skill upon only the game that was very rare or very difficult to bring down, we could not ourselves consume the booty brought home, but every day presented carcases of game to our guest-friends. In particular, we shot rhinoceroses, with which the country swarmed, solely for the use of our blacks, who were passionately fond of certain portions of those animals, whilst no portion is palatable to Europeans except in extreme need. When we were on the march it was often necessary to kill these animals, because they—the only wild animals that do it in Central Africa—have the inconvenient habit of attacking and breaking through the caravans when they discover their neighbourhood by means of the wind. This happened almost daily during the whole of our journey, though only once a serious result followed, when a driver was badly wounded and an ass was tossed and gored. But the inconvenience caused by these attacks was always considerable, and we thought it better to shoot the mischievous uncouth fellows rather than allow them an opportunity of running down a man or a beast.

We had hitherto seen only isolated footprints of elephants, but on the northern declivities of the Kilimanjaro we found elephants in great numbers, though not in such enormous herds as we were to meet with later in the Kenia districts. They were the noble game to which the more fastidious of our sportsmen confined their attentions, without, however, achieving any great success; for the elephants here were both shy and fierce, having evidently been closely hunted by the ivory-seekers. It was necessary to exercise extreme caution; and thus it was that only three of our best and most venturesome hunters succeeded in killing one each, the flesh of which was handed over to the blacks, whilst the small quantity of ivory found its way into our treasury. A propos of hunting, it may be mentioned here that the lions, which were met with everywhere on our journey in great numbers, sometimes in companies of as many as fifteen individuals, afforded the least dangerous and generally the least successful sport. The lion of Equatorial Africa is a very different animal from his North African congener. He equals him in size and probably in strength, but in the presence of man he is shyer and even timid. These lions will not attack even a child; in fact, the natives chase them fearlessly with their insignificant weapons when the lions fall upon their herds. All the many lions upon which our huntsmen came made off quickly, and, even if wounded, showed fight only when their retreat was cut off; in short, they are cowards in every respect. The reason for this is to be sought in the great abundance of their prey. As the table is always furnished for the 'king of beasts,' and he need not run any danger or put forth any great effort in order to satisfy his wants, he carefully avoids every creature that appears seriously to threaten his safety. The buffalo, which is certainly the most dangerous of all African wild beasts, is attacked by lions only when the buffalo is alone and the lions are many in company.

At four in the morning of the 1st of June we left Miveruni. A march of several hours placed the last of the woodland belts of the Kilima foot-hills behind us, and we entered upon the bare plains of the Ngiri desert. The road through these and past the Limgerining hills by the high plateau of Matumbato offered little that was noteworthy. On the 6th of June we reached the hills of Kapte, along whose western declivities we passed at a height of from 4,000 to 5,500 feet above the sea. On our left, beneath us, were the monotonous plains of Dogilani, stretching farther than the eye could reach, and on our right the Kapte hills, rising to a height of nearly 10,000 feet, their sides showing mostly rich, grassy, park-like land, and their summits clothed with dark forests. Numerous streamlets, here and there forming picturesque waterfalls, fell noisily down, uniting in the Dogilani country into larger streams, which, as far as the eye could follow them, all took their course westward to fall into the Victoria Nyanza, the largest of all the great lakes of Central Africa. All the tribes on our way received us as old friends, even those with whom we had not previously contracted alliance. They had all heard the wonderful story of the white men who wished to settle amongst them, and who were at once so mighty and so generous. Mdango's invitation to the shauri at the Naivasha lake had everywhere been gladly received; multitudes were already on their way, and others joined us or promised to follow. There was no mention at all of hongo; in short, our game was won in all parts of the country.

On the 12th we reached the confines of the Kikuyu country, along which our further route to the Naivasha led. The evil reports of the knavish, hateful character of this people were repeated to us in a yet stronger form by the Kapte Masai, their immediate neighbours. But we had in the meantime received from another source a very different representation. Our two ladies had with them an Andorobbo girl whom they had taken into their service in Taveta. The Andorobbo are a race of hunters who, without settled residence, are to be met with throughout the whole of the enormous region between the Victoria Nyanza and the Zanzibar coast. Sakemba—as the girl of eighteen was called—belonged to a tribe of this race that hunted elephants in the districts at the foot of the Kenia to the north of Kikuyu. She had been stolen two years before by the Masai, who had sold her to a Swahili caravan, with which she had gone to Taveta. The girl had an invincible longing for her home—a rare thing among these races; and as it was known that my sister and Miss Ellen were awaiting a caravan that was going on to the Kenia, the girl appealed to them to buy her from her master and take her back to her home, where her relatives would gladly pay the cost in elephants' teeth. Touched by the importunity of the girl, Clara and Miss Fox bought her of her master, gave her her liberty, and engaged to take her with them. The girl was very intelligent, and was well-informed concerning the affairs of her native country. She had heard in Miveruni what evil reports the Masai gave of the Wa-Kikuyu, and she took the first opportunity of assuring her protectresses that the case was not nearly so bad as it was made to appear. The Masai and the Wa-Kikuyu were old foes, and, as they consequently did each other all the harm they could, they ascribed every conceivable vice to each other. It was true that the Wa Kikuyu would rather fight in ambush than in the open field, and they certainly were not so brave as the Masai; but they were treacherous and cruel only to their enemies, while those who had won their confidence could as safely rely upon them as upon the members of any other nation. The Andorobbo would much rather have dealings with the Wa-Kikuyu than with the Masai, because the former were much more peaceable and less overbearing than the latter. Our direct route to the Kenia lay through Kikuyu, whilst the route through Lykipia would have taken at least six days longer on account of the detour we should have to make around the Aberdare range of hills.

As we had no reason to question the trustworthiness of this report, the last—and to us most important—part of which was confirmed by a glance at the map, we resolved at any rate to attempt the route through Kikuyu. Therefore, whilst the greater part of the expedition continued to pursue, under Johnston's guidance, the northerly route to the Naivasha lake, I with fifty men and a quantity of baggage went easterly by the frontier place, Ngongo-a-Bagas. My intention was to take with me merely Sakemba as one acquainted with the country and the people, and to leave the two ladies in Johnston's care until my return. But my sister declared that she would not leave me on any account; and as the Andorobbo girl belonged to the women and not to me, and moreover asserted that there would be absolutely no danger for the women, since it had been from time immemorial an unbroken custom for the Masai and the Wa-Kikuyu to respect each other's women in time of war—an assurance which was confirmed on all hands, even by the Masai themselves—my sister and Miss Ellen became members of our party.

As soon as we entered the territory of Kikuyu we found ourselves in luxuriant shady forests, which however could by no means be said to be 'impenetrable,' but were rather remarkable for being in very many places cut through by broad passages, which had the appearance of having been made by some skilful gardener for the convenience and recreation of pleasure-seekers. These ways were not perfectly straight, but as a rule they went in a certain definite direction. In breadth they varied from three to twenty feet; at places they broadened out into considerable clearings which, like the narrower ways, were clothed with a very fine and close short grass, and were deliciously shady and cool. The origin of these ways was, and is, an enigma to me. On each side of them there was underwood between the stems of the tall trees. At places this underwood was very thick, and we could plainly see that dark figures followed us on both sides, watching all our movements, and evidently not quite sure as to what our intentions were. The fact that we came from the hostile Masailand might have excited mistrust, for we proceeded in this way a couple of hours without an actual meeting between ourselves and any of our unknown escort.

An end had to be put to this, for some unforeseen accident might lead to a misunderstanding followed by hostilities. So I asked Sakemba if she dared to go alone among the Wa-Kikuyu. 'Why not?' asked she. 'It would be as safe as for me to go into the hut of my parents.' I therefore ordered a halt, and the Andorobbo girl went fearlessly towards the bushes where she knew the Wa-Kikuyu to be, and at once disappeared. In half an hour she returned accompanied by several Wa-Kikuyu women, who were sent to test the truth of Sakemba's story—that is, to see whether we were, with the exception of a few drivers, all whites, and whether—which would be the most certain proof of our pacific intentions—there were really two white women among us. Uncertain rumours about us had already reached the ears of the Wa-Kikuyu; but, as these reports had come through the hostile Masai, the Wa-Kikuyu had not known how much to believe. But the deputation of women opened up friendly relations between us; a few lavishly bestowed trinkets soon won us the hearts and the confidence of the black fair ones. Our visitors did not waste time in returning to the men, but signalled and called the latter to come to them, with the result that we were immediately surrounded by hundreds of admiring and astonished Wa-Kikuyu.

I went among them, accompanied only by an interpreter, and asked where their sultan and elders were. Sultan had they none, was the answer—they were independent men; their elders were present among them. 'Then let us at once hold a shauri, for I have something of importance to tell you.' No African can resist a request to hold a shauri; so we immediately sat down in a circle, and I was able to make known my wishes. First, I told them of our victory over the Masai, and how we had forced them to preserve peace with us and with all our allies, I also told them of our subsequent generosity. I then assured them that we also wished to have the Wa-Kikuyu as our allies, which would result in peace between them and the Masai, and would bring great benefit to them from us. We asked for nothing, however, in return but a friendly reception and an unmolested passage through their territory. If they refused, we would force them to grant it, as we did the Masai. 'Look here'—I took a repeating-rifle in my hand—'this thing hits at any distance;' and I gave it to one of our best marksmen and pointed to a vulture which sat upon a tree a little more than three hundred yards off. The shot was heard, and the vulture fell down mortally wounded. The Wa-Kikuyu showed signs of being about to run away, although they had occasionally heard the reports of guns in their conflicts with Swahili caravans. What frightened them was not the noise, but the certainty of the aim. However, they were soon reassured, and I went on: 'We not only always hit with our weapons, but we can shoot without cessation.' I had this assertion demonstrated to them by a rapid succession of ten shots; and again my hearers were seized with a horrible fright. 'We have fifty such things here, a hundred and fifty more among the Masai, and many many thousands where we come from. Besides, we carry with us the most dangerous medicines—all to be used only against those who attack us. But we have costly presents for those who are friendly towards us.' Then I ordered to be opened a bale of various wares which had been specially packed for such an occasion, and I said: 'This belongs to you, that you may remember the hour in which you saw us for the first time. No one shall say, "I sat with the white men and held shauri with them, and my hands remained empty." If you wish to know how liberally we deal with those who become our allies, go and ask the Masai.'

The effect of this address, and still more of the openly displayed presents, left nothing to be desired. The distribution of the presents gave rise to a tremendous scramble among our future friends; but when this was over—fortunately without any serious mischief—we were overwhelmed with extravagant asseverations of affection and zealous service. First we were invited to honour with our presence their huts, so ingeniously concealed in the forest thickets, an invitation which we readily accepted. We were careful, however, to take up our quarters in a commanding position, and to keep ourselves well together. I also directed that several of our people should, without attracting attention, keep constant watch. I left the baggage in charge of four gigantic mastiffs which we had brought with us. The former part of these precautions proved to be quite unnecessary; no one harboured any evil design against us, and the anxious timidity which the Wa-Kikuyu at first so manifestly showed quickly yielded to the most complete confidence, in which change of attitude, it may be incidentally remarked, the women led the way. On the other hand, it proved to be extremely advisable to keep watch over the baggage. Desperate cries of 'Murder!' and 'Help!' were soon heard from a Wa-Kikuyu boy, who, thinking our baggage was unwatched, had crept near it with a knife, but was very cleverly fixed by one of the mastiffs. We released him, frightened nearly to death, but otherwise quite unhurt, out of the clutches of the powerful animal; and we were troubled by no further attempt upon our baggage.

The next morning we asked our hosts to accompany us a few days' march further into the interior of the country in the direction of the Kenia, and to invite as many of their associated tribes as they could communicate with in so short a time to meet us in a shauri, since we desired to contract with them a firm alliance. This was readily promised, and so for two days we were accompanied by several hundred Wa-Kikuyu through the magnificent forest, in which the flora vied with the fauna in beauty and multiplicity of species. The Wa-Kikuyu entertained us in a truly extravagant manner, without accepting payment for anything. We were literally overloaded with milk, honey, butter, all kinds of flesh and fowl, mtama cakes, bananas, sweet potatoes, yams, and a great choice of very delicious fruits. We wondered whence this inexhaustible abundance, particularly of wild fruits, came; for in the forest clearings which we had passed through pasturage and agriculture were evidently only subordinate industries. At the end of the second day's march, however, the riddle was solved; for when we had reached the considerable river called the Guaso Amboni, which falls into the Indian Ocean, we found spreading out before us farther than the eye could reach a high plateau which, so far as we could see, had the character of an open park-land, bearing, especially where it touched the forest we had just left, all the indications of a very highly developed agriculture. Here was evidently the source of the Kikuyu's inexhaustible corn supply. Far in the northern horizon we saw a large blue mountain-range, at least 50 or 60 miles distant, which our guides and Sakemba said was the Kenia range. They assured us that from where we were there could be seen in clear weather the snowy peak of the principal mountain; but at that time it was hidden by clouds.

Here, then, lay before us the goal of our wanderings, and powerful emotion seized us all as we, though only at a great distance, for the first time looked upon our future home. The Kenia peak, however, remained wrapped in clouds during the two days of our stay on the eastern outskirts of the Kikuyu forest. We made our halt in a charming grove of gigantic bread-fruit trees, where the Wa-Kikuyu placed their huts gratuitously at our disposal. The place is called Semba, and had been selected as the meeting-place of the great shauri. We found a great number of natives already assembled there; and on the next day everything was arranged and confirmed between us to our mutual satisfaction. Thus we were able to start on our return march on the 16th of June. We did not go over the Ngongo, but followed a tributary of the Amboni to its source—more than 7,000 feet above the sea—and then dropped abruptly down from the edge of the Kikuyu tableland and went direct to the Naivasha, which we reached on the evening of the 19th. We were somewhat exhausted, but otherwise in good condition and in excellent spirits. We had discovered that we should be able to reach the Kenia a good week earlier than would have been possible by the originally chosen route through Lykipia.

The Naivasha is a beautiful lake in the midst of picturesque ranges of hills, the highest points of which reach 6,500 feet. The lake has a superficies of about thirty square miles, and its characteristic feature is a fabulous wealth in feathered game of all kinds. Here Johnston had made all the necessary preparations for the great feast of peace and joy which we purposed to give the Masai. The news that they had henceforth to reckon the Wa-Kikuyu also among our friends was received by the el-moran with mixed feelings; but they submitted to the arrangement without murmuring, and at the feast, in which fifty of the principal men among the Wa Kikuyu who had accompanied us took part, the new friendship between the two races was more firmly established.

The feast consisted of a two days' great carousing, at which we provided enormous quantities of flesh, baked food, fruits, and punch for not less than 6,000 guests, without reckoning women and children. The chief feature consisted of some splendid fireworks. During these two days 150 fat young bulls, 260 antelopes of various kinds, 25 giraffes, innumerable feathered game, and an enormous quantity of vegetables were consumed. The punch was brewed in 100 vessels, each holding above six gallons, and each filled on the average four times. Nevertheless, this colossal hospitality—apart from the fireworks—cost us nothing at all. The cattle were presents, and indeed were a part of the number brought to us by numerous tribes as tokens of grateful esteem; the game we had, of course, not bought, but shot; and the vegetables were here, on the borders of Kikuyu, so cheap that the price may be regarded as merely nominal. As to the punch, the chief ingredient, rum—fortunately not a home production in Masailand and Kikuyuland—our experts had made on the spot, without touching the nearly exhausted supply we had brought with us. For among our other machinery there was a still. This was unpacked, wild-growing sugar-cane was to be had in abundance, and hence we had rum in plenty. Care was taken that the process was not so watched by the natives as to be learnt by them, for we did not wish to introduce among our neighbours that curse of negroland, the rum-bottle. The hot punch which we served out to them did not contain more than one part of rum to ten of water; yet nearly three hundred gallons of this noble spirit had to be used in the improvised bowls during the two days of the feast. The jubilation, particularly during the letting-off of the fireworks, was indescribable; and when finally, after silence had been obtained by flourish of trumpets, we had it proclaimed by strong-voiced heralds that the nation of the Masai were invited by us to be our guests at the same place every year on the 19th and 20th of June, the people nearly tore us to pieces out of pure delight.

The 21st of June was devoted to rest after the fatigues of the feast, and to the arrangement of the baggage; on the 22nd the march to Kikuyu was begun. To avoid taking the sumpter beasts over the steep acclivities of the hills that skirted the Naivasha valley, we turned back towards Ngongo-a-Bagas, which we reached on the 24th. Here we decided to establish an express communication with the sea, in order that the news of our arrival at our goal, which we expected to reach in a few days, might be carried as quickly as possible to Mombasa, and thence to the committee of the International Free Society. From Mombasa to Ngongo our engineers had measured 500 miles; we had done the distance in 38 days—from May 5 to June 12—of which, however, only 27 were real marching days. We calculated that our Arab horses, if put to the strain for only one day, could easily cover more than 60 miles in the day, and that therefore the whole distance could be covered in eight stages of a day each. Therefore sixteen of our best riders, with twenty-four of the best-winded racers, were ordered back. These couriers were directed to distribute themselves in twos at distances of about sixty miles—where the roads were bad a little less, and where they were good a little more. As baggage, besides their weapons and ammunition, they were furnished with merely so much of European necessaries and of articles for barter on the way as could be easily carried by the eight supernumerary horses, which were at the same time to serve as a reserve. For the rest we could safely rely upon their being received with open arms and hospitably entertained by the natives they might meet with along the route we had taken. A similar service of couriers was established between Ngongo and the Kenia; as this latter distance was about 120 miles it was covered by two stages. Thus there was a total of ten stages, and it was anticipated that news from Kenia would reach Mombasa in ten days—an anticipation which proved to be correct.

The march through the forest-land of Kikuyu, which was entered on the 25th, was marked by no noteworthy incident. When, early on the morning of the 27th, we reached the open, we found ourselves at first in a thick fog, which was inconvenient to us Caucasians merely in so far as it hid the view from us; but our Swahili people, who had never before experienced a temperature of 53 deg. Fahr. in connection with a damp atmosphere, had their teeth set chattering. To the northerners, and particularly to the mountaineers among us, there was something suggestive of home in the rolling masses of fog permeated with the balmy odours of the trees and shrubs. About eight A.M. there suddenly sprang up a light warm breeze from the north; the fog broke with magical rapidity, and before us lay, in the brilliant sunshine, a landscape, the overpowering grandeur of which mocks description. Behind us and on our left was the marvellous forest which we had not long since left; right in front of us was a gently sloping stretch of country in which emerald meadows alternated with dark banana-groves and small patches of waving corn. The ground was everywhere covered with brilliant flowers, whose sweet perfume was wafted towards us in rich abundance by the genial breeze. Here and there were scattered small groups of tall palms, some gigantic wide-spreading fig-trees, planes, and sycamores; and numerous herds of different kinds of wild animals gave life to the scene. Here frolicked a troop of zebras; there grazed quietly some giraffes and delicate antelopes; on the left two uncouth rhinoceroses chased each other, grunting; about 1,100 yards from us a score of elephants were making their way towards the forest; and at a greater distance still some hundreds of buffaloes were trotting towards the same goal.

This splendid country stretched out of sight towards the east and the south-east, traversed by the broad silver band of the Guaso Amboni, which, some five miles off, and perhaps at a level of above 300 feet below where we were standing, flowed towards the east, and, so far as we could see, received at least a dozen small tributaries from sources on both of the enclosing slopes. The tributaries springing from the Kikuyu forest on the southern side—on which we were—are the smaller; those from the northern side are incomparably more copious, for their source is the Kenia range. This giant among the mountains of Africa, which covers an area of nearly 800 square miles and rises to a height of nearly 20,000 feet, now—despite the 50 miles between us and that—showed itself to our intoxicated gaze as an enormous icefield with two crystalline peaks sharply projected against the dark firmament.

Even the Swahili, who are generally indifferent to the beauties of nature, broke out into deafening shouts of delight; but we whites stood in speechless rapture, silently pressed each other's hands, and not a few furtively brushed a tear from the eye. The Land of Promise lay before us, more beautiful, grander, than we had dared to dream—the cradle of a happy future for us and, if our hopes and wishes were not vain, for the latest generations of mankind.

From thence onward it was as if our feet and the feet of our beasts had wings. The pure invigorating air of this beautiful tableland, freshened by the winds from the Kenia, the pleasant road over the soft short grass, and the sumptuous and easily obtained provisions, enabled us to make our daily marches longer than we had yet done. On the evening of the 27th we crossed the eastern boundary of Kikuyu, where we had to lay in large stores of provisions, because we then entered a district where the only population consisted of a few nomadic Andorobbo. As far as we could see, the country resembled a garden, but man had not yet taken possession of this paradise. The 28th and the greater part of the 29th found us marching through flowery meadows and picturesque little woodlands, and crossing murmuring brooks and streams of considerable size; but the only living things we met with were giraffes, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, and ostriches, with hippopotamuses and flamingoes on the river banks. Most of these creatures were so tame that they scarcely got out of our way, and several overbold zebras accompanied us for some distance, neighing and capering as they went along. On the afternoon of the 29th we entered the thick highland forest, which stretched before us farther than we could see, and through the dense underwood of which the axe of our pioneers had to cut us a way. The ground had been gradually ascending for two days—that is, ever since we had left the Amboni—and it now became steeper; we had reached the foot of the Kenia mountain. The forest zone proved to be of comparatively small breadth, and on the morning of the 30th we emerged from it again into open undulating park-land. When we had scaled one of the heights in front of us, there lay before us, almost within reach of our hands, the Kenia in all the icy magnificence of its glacier-world.

We had reached our goal!



CHAPTER V

It was eight weeks since we had left Mombasa, a shorter time than had ever been taken by any caravan in Equatorial Africa to cover a distance of more than 600 miles. During the whole time we had all been, with unimportant exceptions, in good health. There had been seven cases of fever among us whites, caused by the chills that followed sudden storms of rain; the fever in all these cases disappeared again in from two to eight days, and left no evil results. Twice a number of cases of colic occurred among both whites and blacks, on both occasions resulting simply from gastronomic excesses, first in Teita and then at the Naivasha lake; and these were also cured, without evil results, by the use of tartar emetic. These sanitary conditions, exceptionally favourable for African journeys, even in the healthy highlands, were the result of the judicious marching arrangements, and, particularly among us whites, of the care taken to provide for all the customary requirements of civilised men. Tea, coffee, cocoa, meat extract, cognac to use with bad water, light wine for the evening meals, tobacco, and cigars, were always abundantly within reach; our mackintoshes and waterproof boots while marching, and the waterproof tents in camp, protected us from the wet—the chief source of fever; and we were assisted to bear our lesser privations and inconveniences by our zeal for our task, and not least by the fine balmy air which, from Teita onwards, we almost always breathed. Our saddle-horses and sumpter beasts also were, by the nourishing feed and the judicious treatment which they received, enabled to bear well the heavy labours of the march.

I cannot forbear expressing the opinion that the heavy losses of other caravans, which sometimes lose all their beasts in a few days, are to be ascribed less to the climate or to the—in the lowlands, certainly very troublesome—insect pests, than to the utter inexperience of the Swahili in the treatment of animals. Had we relied merely upon our blacks, we should have left most of our beasts, and certainly all our horses, on the road to feed the vultures and hyenas. The horses would never have been allowed to cool before they drank, they never would have been properly groomed, if we had not continually insisted upon these things being done, and given a good example by attending to our saddle-horses ourselves. That the 'white gentleman' attended to his horse's wants before he attended to his own wrought such an effect upon the Swahili that at last their care for their beasts developed into a kind of tenderness. The consequence was that during the whole journey we lost only one camel, three horses, and five asses—and of these last only two died of disease, the other three having been killed by wild beasts. Of the dogs, we lost three by wild beasts—one by a rhinoceros, and two by buffaloes.

From the moment of our arrival at the Kenia, the conduct of the expedition devolved into my hands. My first care on the next morning was to despatch to our friends in Europe my detailed journal of the events which had already happened, together with a brief closing report. In the latter I stated that we could undertake to have everything ready for the reception of many thousands of our brethren by the next harvest—that is, according to the African calendar, by the end of October. We could also undertake to get finished a road suitable for slow-going vehicles from Mombasa to Kenia by the end of September at the latest, with draught oxen in sufficient number. I asked the managers of the Society, on their part, to have a sufficient number of suitable waggons constructed in good time; and I, on my part, engaged that, from and after the first of October, any number of duly announced immigrant members should be conveyed to their new home safely and with as little inconvenience as was possible under the circumstances. In conclusion, I asked them to send at once several hundredweight of different kinds of goods, accompanied by a new troop of vigorous young members.

The two couriers with this despatch—the couriers had always to ride in twos—started before dawn on the 1st of July; punctually on the 10th the despatch was in Mombasa, on the 11th at Zanzibar; on the same day the committee received my report by telegraph from our agents in Zanzibar, and the journal, which went by mail-ship, they received twenty days later. On the evening of the 11th the reply reached Zanzibar; and on the 22nd I was myself able to read to my deeply affected brethren these first tidings from our distant friends. The message was very brief: 'Thanks for the joyful news; membership more than 10,000; waggons, for ten persons and twenty hundredweight load each, ordered as per request, will begin to reach Mombasa by the end of September; 260 horsemen, with 300 sumpter beasts, and 800 cwt. of goods start end of July. Send news as often as possible.' I had already anticipated the wish expressed in the last sentence, for not less than five further despatches had been sent off between the 6th and the 21st of July. What they contained will be best learnt from the following narrative of our experiences and our labours; and from this time forward a distinction has to be made between the work of preparing the new home on the Kenia and the arrangements necessary for keeping up and improving our communication with the coast.

On the evening of the last day of June we had pitched our camp on the bank of a considerable stream, the largest we had yet seen. Its breadth is from thirty to forty yards, and its depth from one to three yards. The water is clear and cool, but its current is strikingly sluggish. It flows from north-west to south-east, through a trough-like plateau about eighteen miles long, which bends, crescent-shaped, round the foot-hills of the Kenia. The greatest breadth of this plateau in the middle is nearly nine miles, whilst it narrows at the west end to less than a mile, and at the east end to two miles and a half. This trough-like area of about 100 square miles consists entirely of rich grass-land, with numerous small groves of palms, bananas, and sycamores. It is bounded on the south by the grassy hills which we had crossed over, on the west by abrupt rocky walls, on the north partly by dark forest-hills, and partly by barren lofty rocks which hide from view the main part of the Kenia lying behind them. On the east, between the hills to the south and the rocks to the north, there is an opening through which the stream finds its outlet by a waterfall of above 300 feet, and the thunder and plashing of which were audible at the great distance at which we were. This river, which was later found to be the upper course of the Dana, entering the Indian Ocean on the Witu coast, enters our plateau by a narrow gate of rocks through which we were not at first able to pass. From the north, down the declivities of the foot-hills of the Kenia, four larger and many smaller streams hurry to the Dana, and in their course through their rocky basins form a number of more or less picturesque cascades. The height of this large park-like plateau above the sea-level, measured at its lowest point—the stream-bed—is nearly 6,000 feet.

Whilst we were engaged in the detailed examination of this lofty plateau, I sent out several expeditions, whose duty it was to penetrate as far as possible into the Kenia range, in order to find elevated points from which to make exact observations of the form and character of the district lying around us. For though the country immediately about us charmed us so much, yet I would not definitively decide to lay the foundation-stone of our first settlement until I had obtained at least a superficial view of the whole region of the Kenia. The information which Sakemba was able to give us was but little, and insufficient. We were therefore much delighted when eight natives, whom we recognised as Andorobbo, showed themselves before our camp. They had seen our camp-fires on the previous night, and now wished to see who we were, Sakemba, who went out to them, quickly inspired them with confidence, and we now had the best guides we could have wished for. With Sakemba's help we soon informed them of our first purpose—namely, to send out eight different expeditions, each under the guidance of an Andorobbo. The first expedition returned on the evening of the same day, and the last at the end of a week, and all with tolerably exhaustive reports.

Not one of the expeditions had got near the summit of the Kenia. Nevertheless, grand views had been obtained from various easily accessible points of the main body of the mountain, some of them at an altitude of above 10,000 feet. It had been found that the side of the Kenia best adapted to the rearing of stock and to agriculture was that by which we had approached it. To the eastward and northward were large stretches of what appeared to be very fertile land; but that on the east was very monotonous, and lacked the not merely picturesque, but also practically advantageous, diversity of open country and forest, hill and plain, which we found in the south. On the north the country was too damp; and on the west there spread out an endless extent of forest broken by only a small quantity of open ground. It might all be converted into most productive cultivated land at a later date; but, at the outset, soil that was ready for use was naturally to be preferred. The inner portions of the mountain district before us were filled with wooded hills and rocks traversed by numberless valleys and gorges. These foot-hills reached on all sides close to the abruptly rising central mass of the Kenia; only in the south-west, about three miles from the western end of our plateau, did the foot-hills retire to make room for an extensive open valley-basin, in the middle of which was a lake, the outflow from which was the Dana. Our experts estimated the superficies of this valley at nearly sixty square miles; and all agreed that it was very fertile, and that its situation made it a veritable miracle of beauty. The best way into this valley was through the gorge by which the Dana flowed; but, so long as we were without suitable boats, we were obliged to enter the valley not directly from our plateau, but by a circuitous route through a small valley to the south.

I received this report on the morning of the 3rd of July. Next day, without waiting for the return of two of the expeditions which were still absent, I started for this much-lauded lake and valley. The indicated route, which proved to be, in fact, a very practicable one, led from our camp to the western end of the plateau, then bending towards the south and skirting a small, rocky, wooded hill, it entered a narrow valley leading in a northerly direction. This valley opened into the Dana gorge, which is here neither so narrow nor so impassable as at its opening into the plateau. Following this gorge upwards, in an hour we found ourselves suddenly standing in the sought-for valley.

The view was perfectly indescribable. Imagine an amphitheatre of almost geometrical regularity, about eleven miles long by seven miles and a half broad, the semicircle bounded by a series of gently rising wooded hills from 300 to 500 feet high, with a background formed by the abrupt and rugged precipices and cloud-piercing snowy summit of the Kenia. This majestic amphitheatre is occupied on the side nearest to the Kenia by a clear deep-blue lake; on the other side by a flowery park-land and meadows. The whole suggests an arena in which a grand piece, that may be called 'The Cascades of the Kenia Glaciers,' is being performed to an auditory consisting of innumerable elephants, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. At an inaccessible height above, numberless veins of water, kissed by the dazzling sunlight, spring from the blue-green shimmering crevasses. Foaming and sparkling—now shattered into vapour reflecting all the hues of the rainbow, now forming sheets of polished whiteness—they rush downwards with ever increasing mass and tumult, until at length they are all united into one great torrent which, with a thundering roar plainly audible in a favourable wind six miles away, hurries from its glacier home towards the precipitous rocks. There the whole colossal mass of water—which a few miles off forms the Dana river—falls perpendicularly down from a height of 1,640 feet, so dashed into vapour-dust as to form a great rainbow-cloud. The stream suddenly disappears in mid-air, and the eye seeks in vain to track its course against the background of dark glistening cliffs until, more than 1,600 feet below, the masses of falling vapour are again collected into flowing water, thence, with the noise and foam of many smaller cascades, to reach the lake by circuitous routes.

Speechless with delight, we gazed long at this unparalleled natural miracle, whose grandeur and beauty words cannot describe. The eye eagerly took in the flood of light and glittering colour, and the ear the noise of the water pealing down from a fabulous height; the breast greedily inhaled as a cordial the odorous air which was wafted through this enchanted valley. The woman who was with us—Ellen Fox—was the first to find words. Like a prophetess in an ecstasy, she looked long at the play of the water; then, suddenly, as a stronger breath of wind completely dissipated the vaporous veil of the waterfall, which just before had formed a waving, sabre-like, shimmering band, she cried, 'Behold, the flaming sword of the archangel, guarding the gate of Paradise, has vanished at our approach! Let us call this place Eden!'

The name Eden was unanimously adopted. That this valley must be our future place of abode was at once decided by all of us. A more careful examination showed its superficies to be over sixty-two square miles. Allowing thirteen miles for the elliptical lake stretching out under the Kenia cliffs, and fifteen miles for the woods which clothed the heights around the valley, there remained above thirty miles of open park-land surrounding the lake, except where the Kenia cliffs touched the water, stretching in narrow strips to the Kenia on the north-east, and broadening on the other sides to from 1,100 yards to four miles. The glacier-water forming the Dana entered the valley on the north-west, and left it on the south-east. The water, which was not so cold when it entered the lake as might have been expected, rapidly acquired a higher temperature in the lake; on hot days the lake rose to 75 deg. Fahr. Other streams fall into the lake, some of them from the Kenia cliffs, and others from the various hills which surround the valley. We counted not less than eleven such streams, among them a hot one with a temperature of 125 deg. Fahr.

Naturally we had not been idle during the four days which preceded our discovery of Eden Vale. On the 1st of July, a few hours after the couriers with the first despatches, the expeditions appointed to establish regular communication with Mombasa were sent off. There were two such expeditions: one, under Demestre and three other engineers, had to construct the road; and the other, under Johnston, had to procure the draught oxen—of which it was estimated about 5,000 would be required—and to arrange for the provisioning of the whole distance. To the first expedition were allotted twenty of our members and two hundred of our Swahili men, with a train of fifty draught beasts; with Johnston went merely ten of ourselves, twenty draught beasts, and ten sheep-dogs. How these expeditions accomplished their tasks shall be told later.

I had now sent away altogether 58 of our own people, 200 Swahili men, and 181 saddle and draught beasts, besides having lost nine of the latter by death during the journey. I had, therefore, now with me at the Kenia 149 whites, 80 Swahili, and 475 beasts, besides the dogs and the elephants. In addition to the above, we were offered the services of several hundred of the Wa-Kikuyu, who had followed us. Of these latter I retained 150 of the most capable; the others, in charge of five of ourselves, I sent back at once to their home, with the commission to purchase and send on to the Kenia 800 strong draught oxen, 150 cows, 400 oxen for slaughter, and several thousand hundredweight of various kinds of corn and food. Having attended to these things, I allotted and gave out to the most suitable hands the many different kinds of work which had first to be done. One of our workmen had charge of the forge and smithy, another the saw-mill, with, of course, the requisite assistance. A special section was told off for the tree-felling, and another section had to get ready and complete the agricultural implements. One of the engineers who remained at the Kenia was appointed, with one hundred blacks under him, to construct the requisite means of communication in the settlement—particularly to build bridges over the Dana.

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