At 5 P.M., on the 7th of May, 1872, the dhow which conveyed my Expedition back to Zanzibar arrived in the harbor, and the men, delighted to find themselves once more so near their homes, fired volley after volley, the American flag was hoisted up, and we soon saw the house-roofs and wharves lined with spectators, many of whom were Europeans, with glasses levelled at us.
We drew ashore slowly; but a boat putting off to take us to land, we stepped into it, and I was soon in presence of my friend the Consul, who heartily welcomed me back to Zanzibar; and soon after was introduced to the Rev. Charles New, who was but a day or two previous to my arrival an important member of the English Search Expedition — a small, slight man in appearance, who, though he looked weakly, had a fund of energy or nervousness in him which was almost too great for such a body. He also heartily congratulated me.
After a bounteous dinner, to which I did justice in a manner that astonished my new friends, Lieut. Dawson called to see me, and said:
“Mr. Stanley, let me congratulate you, sir.”
Lieut. Dawson then went on to state how he envied me my success; how I had “taken the wind out of his sails” (a nautical phrase similar to that used by Lieut. Henn); how, when he heard from my men that Dr. Livingstone had been found, he at once crossed over from Bagamoyo to Zanzibar, and, after a short talk with Dr. Kirk, at once resigned.
“But do you not think, Mr. Dawson, you have been rather too hasty in tendering your resignation, from the more verbal report of my men?”
“Perhaps,” said he; “but I heard that Mr. Webb had received a letter from you, and that you and Livingstone had discovered that the Rusizi ran into the lake — that you had the Doctor’s letters and despatches with you.”
“Yes; but you acquired all this information from my men; you have seen nothing yourself. You have therefore resigned before you had personal evidence of the fact.”
“Well, Dr. Livingstone is relieved and found, as Mr. Henn tells me, is he not?”
“Yes, that is true enough. He is well supplied; he only requires a few little luxuries, which I am going to send him by an expedition of fifty freemen. Dr. Livingstone is found and relieved, most certainly; and I have all the letters and despatches which he could possibly send to his friends.”
“But don’t you think I did perfectly right?”
“Hardly — though, perhaps, it would come to the same thing in the end. Any more cloth and beads than he has already would be an incumbrance. Still, you have your orders from the Royal Geographical Society. I have not seen those yet, and I am not prepared to judge what your best course would have been. But I think you did wrong in resigning before you saw me; for then you would have had, probably, a legitimate excuse for resigning. I should have held on to the Expedition until I had consulted with those who sent me; though, in such an event as this, the order would be, perhaps, to ‘Come home.’”
“As it has turned out, though, don’t you think I did right?”
“Most certainly it would be useless for you to go to search for and relieve Livingstone now, because he has already been sought, found, and relieved; but perhaps you had other orders.”
“Only, if I went into the country, I was then to direct my attention to exploration; but the primary object having been forestalled by you, I am compelled to return home. The Admiralty granted me leave of absence only for the search, and never said anything about exploration.”
That evening I despatched a boy over to the English Consulate with letters from the great traveller for Dr. Kirk and Mr. Oswell Livingstone.
I was greeted warmly by the American and German residents, who could not have shown warmer feeling than if Dr. Livingstone had been a near and dear relation of their own. Capt. H. A. Fraser and Dr. James Christie were also loud in their praises. It seems that both of these gentlemen had attempted to despatch a private expedition to the relief of their countryman, but through some means it had failed. They had contributed the sum of $500 to effect this laudable object; but the man to whom they had entrusted its command had been engaged by another for a different purpose, at a higher sum. But, instead of feeling annoyed that I had performed what they had intended to do, they were among my most enthusiastic admirers.
The next day I received a call from Dr. Kirk, who warmly congratulated me upon my success. Bishop Tozer also came, and thanked me for tie service I had rendered to Dr. Livingstone.
On this day I also discharged my men, and re-engaged twenty of them to return to the “Great Master.” Bombay, though in the interior he had scorned the idea of money rewards, and though he had systematically, in my greatest need, endeavoured to baffle me in every way, received, besides his pay, a present of $50, and each man, according to his merits, from $20 to $50. For this was a day to bury all animosities, and condone all offences. They, poor people, had only acted according to their nature, and I remembered that from Ujiji to the coast they had all behaved admirably.
I saw I was terribly emaciated and changed when I presented myself before a full-length mirror. All confirmed my opinion that I was much older in my appearance, and that my hair had become grey. Capt. Fraser had said, when I hailed him, “You have the advantage of me, sir!” and until I mentioned my name he did not know me. Even then he jocosely remarked that he believed that it was another Tichborne affair. I was so different that identity was almost lost, even during the short period of thirteen months; that is, from March 23rd, 1871, to May 7th, 1872.
Lieut. Henn the morning after my arrival formally resigned, and the Expedition was from this time in the hands of Mr. Oswell Livingstone, who made up his mind to sell the stores, retaining such as would be useful to his father.
After disbanding my Expedition, I set about preparing another, according to Dr. Livingstone’s request. What the English Expedition lacked I purchased out of the money advanced by Mr. Oswell Livingstone. The guns, fifty in number, were also furnished out of the stores of the English Expedition by him; and so were the ammunition, the honga cloth, for the tribute to the Wagogo, and the cloth for provisioning the force. Mr. Livingstone worked hard in the interests of his father and assisted me to the utmost of his ability. He delivered over to me, to be packed up, ‘Nautical Almanacs’ for 1872, 1873, 1874; also a chronometer, which formerly belonged to Dr. Livingstone. All these things, besides a journal, envelopes, note-books, writing-paper, medicines, canned fruits and fish, a little wine, some tea, cutlery and table ware, newspapers, and private letters and despatches, were packed up in air-tight tin boxes, as well as 100 lbs. of fine American flour, and some boxes of soda biscuits.
Until the 19th of May it was understood that Mr. Oswell Livingstone would take charge of the caravan to his father; but about this date he changed his mind, and surprised me with a note stating he had decided not to go to Unyanyembe, for reasons he thought just and sufficient.
Under these circumstances, my duty was to follow out the instructions of Dr. Livingstone, in procuring a good and efficient leader to take charge of the caravan as far as Unyanyembe.
In a few hours I succeeded in obtaining an Arab highly recommended from Sheikh Hashid, whom I engaged at an advance of $100. The young Arab, though not remarkably bright, seemed honest and able, but I left his further employment after reaching Unyanyembe to Dr. Livingstone, who would be able to decide then whether he was quite trustworthy.
The next day I collected the men of the new Livingstone Expedition together, and as it was dangerous to allow them to wander about the city, I locked them up in a courtyard, and fed them there, until every soul, fifty seven in number, answered to their names.
In the meantime, through the American Consul’s assistance, I obtained the services of Johari, the chief dragoman of the American Consulate, who was charged with the conduct of the party across the inundated plain of the Kingani, and who was enjoined on no account to return until the Expedition had started on its march from the western bank of the Kingani River. Mr. Oswell Livingstone generously paid him a douceur for the promise of doing his work thoroughly.
A dhow having been brought to anchor before the American Consulate, I then addressed my old companions, saying, “You are now about to return to Unyanyembe, to the ‘Great Master’. You know him; you know he is a good man, and has a kind heart. He is different from me; he will not beat you, as I have done. But you know I have rewarded you all — how I have made you all rich in cloth and money. You know how, when you behaved yourselves well, I was your friend. I gave you plenty to eat and plenty to wear. When you were sick I looked after you. If I was so good to you, the ‘Great Master’ will be much more so. He has a pleasant voice, and speaks kind. When did you ever see him lift his hand against an offender? When you were wicked, he did not speak to you in anger — he spoke to you in tones of sorrow. Now, will you promise me that you will follow him — do what he tells you, obey him in all things, and not desert him?”
“We will, we will, my master!” they all cried, fervently.
“Then there is one thing more. I want to shake hands with you all before you go — and we part for ever;” and they all rushed up at once, and a vigorous shake was interchanged with each man.
“Now, let every man take up his load!”
In a short time I marched them out into the street, and to the beach; saw them all on board, and the canvas hoisted, and the dhow speeding westward on her way to Bagamoyo.
I felt strange and lonely, somehow. My dark friends, who had travelled over so many hundreds of miles, and shared so many dangers with me, were gone, and I— was left behind. How many of their friendly faces shall I see again?
On the 29th, the steamer ‘Africa,’ belonging to the German Consulate, was chartered by a party of five of us, and we departed from Zanzibar to Seychelles, with the good wishes of almost all the European residents on the island.
We arrived at Seychelles on the 9th of June, about twelve hours after the French mail had departed for Aden. As there is only monthly communication between Mahe (Seychelles) and Aden, we were compelled to remain on the island of Mahe one month.
My life in Mahe is among the most agreeable things connected with my return from Africa. I found my companions estimable gentlemen, and true Christians. Mr. Livingstone exhibited many amiable traits of character, and proved himself to be a studious, thoughtful, earnest man. When at last the French steamer came from Mauritius, there was not one of our party who did not regret leaving the beautiful island, and the hospitable British officers who were stationed there. The Civil Commissioner, Mr. Hales Franklyn, and Dr. Brooks, did their utmost to welcome the wanderer, and I take this opportunity to acknowledge the many civilities I personally received from them.
At Aden, the passengers from the south were transferred on board the French mail steamer, the ‘Mei-kong,’ en route from China to Marseilles. At the latter port I was received with open arms by Dr. Hosmer and the representative of the ‘Daily Telegraph,’ and was then told how men regarded the results of the Expedition; but it was not until I arrived in England that I realised it.
Mr. Bennett, who originated and sustained the enterprise, now crowned it by one of the most generous acts that could be conceived. I had promised Dr. Livingstone, that twenty-four hours after I saw his letters to Mr. Bennett published in the London journals, I would post his letters to his family and friends in England. In order to permit me to keep my plighted word, and in order that there might be no delay in the delivery of his family letters, Mr. Bennett’s agent telegraphed to New York the ‘Herald’ letters I had received from Dr. Livingstone at an expense of nearly £2,000.
And now, dear reader, the time has come for you and I to part. Let us hope that it is not final. A traveller finds himself compelled to repeat the regretful parting word often. During the career recorded in the foregoing book, I have bidden many farewells; to the Wagogo, with their fierce effrontery; to Mionvu, whose blackmailing once so affected me; to the Wavinza, whose noisy clatter promised to provoke dire hostilities; to the inhospitable Warundi; to the Arab slave-traders and half-castes; to all fevers, remittent, and intermittent; to the sloughs and swamps of Makata; to the brackish waters and howling wastes; to my own dusky friends and followers, and to the hero-traveller and Christian gentleman, David Livingstone. It is with kindliest wishes to all who have followed my footsteps on these pages that I repeat once more — Farewell.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:54