The isle of Zanzibar with its groves of cocoa-nut, mango, clove, and cinnamon, and its sentinel islets of Chumbi and French, with its whitewashed city and jack-fruit odor, with its harbor and ships that tread the deep, faded slowly from view, and looking westward, the African continent rose, a similar bank of green verdure to that which had just receded till it was a mere sinuous line above the horizon, looming in a northerly direction to the sublimity of a mountain chain. The distance across from Zanzibar to Bagamoyo may be about twenty-five miles, yet it took the dull and lazy dhows ten hours before they dropped anchor on the top of the coral reef plainly visible a few feet below the surface of the water, within a hundred yards of the beach.
The newly-enlisted soldiers, fond of noise and excitement, discharged repeated salvos by way of a salute to the mixed crowd of Arabs, Banyans, and Wasawahili, who stood on the beach to receive the Musungu (white man), which they did with a general stare and a chorus of “Yambo, bana?” (how are you, master?)
In our own land the meeting with a large crowd is rather a tedious operation, as our independent citizens insist on an interlacing of fingers, and a vigorous shaking thereof before their pride is satisfied, and the peaceful manifestation endorsed; but on this beach, well lined with spectators, a response of “Yambo, bana!” sufficed, except with one who of all there was acknowledged the greatest, and who, claiming, like all great men, individual attention, came forward to exchange another “Yambo!” on his own behalf, and to shake hands. This personage with a long trailing turban, was Jemadar Esau, commander of the Zanzibar force of soldiers, police, or Baluch gendarmes stationed at Bagamoyo. He had accompanied Speke and Grant a good distance into the interior, and they had rewarded him liberally. He took upon himself the responsibility of assisting in the debarkation of the Expedition, and unworthy as was his appearance, disgraceful as he was in his filth, I here commend him for his influence over the rabble to all future East African travellers.
Foremost among those who welcomed us was a Father of the Society of St.-Esprit, who with other Jesuits, under Father Superior Horner, have established a missionary post of considerable influence and merit at Bagamoyo. We were invited to partake of the hospitality of the Mission, to take our meals there, and, should we desire it, to pitch our camp on their grounds. But however strong the geniality of the welcome and sincere the heartiness of the invitation, I am one of those who prefer independence to dependence if it is possible. Besides, my sense of the obligation between host and guest had just had a fine edge put upon it by the delicate forbearance of my kind host at Zanzibar, who had betrayed no sign of impatience at the trouble I was only too conscious of having caused him. I therefore informed the hospitable Padre, that only for one night could I suffer myself to be enticed from my camp.
I selected a house near the western outskirts of the town, where there is a large open square through which the road from Unyanyembe enters. Had I been at Bagamoyo a month, I could not have bettered my location. My tents were pitched fronting the tembe (house) I had chosen, enclosing a small square, where business could be transacted, bales looked over, examined, and marked, free from the intrusion of curious sightseers. After driving the twenty-seven animals of the Expedition into the enclosure in the rear of the house, storing the bales of goods, and placing a cordon of soldiers round, I proceeded to the Jesuit Mission, to a late dinner, being tired and ravenous, leaving the newly-formed camp in charge of the white men and Capt. Bombay.
The Mission is distant from the town a good half mile, to the north of it; it is quite a village of itself, numbering some fifteen or sixteen houses. There are more than ten padres engaged in the establishment, and as many sisters, and all find plenty of occupation in educing from native crania the fire of intelligence. Truth compels me to state that they are very successful, having over two hundred pupils, boys and girls, in the Mission, and, from the oldest to the youngest, they show the impress of the useful education they have received.
The dinner furnished to the padres and their guest consisted of as many plats as a first-class hotel in Paris usually supplies, and cooked with nearly as much skill, though the surroundings were by no means equal. I feel assured also that the padres, besides being tasteful in their potages and entrees, do not stultify their ideas for lack of that element which Horace, Hafiz, and Byron have praised so much. The champagne — think of champagne Cliquot in East Africa! — Lafitte, La Rose, Burgundy, and Bordeaux were of first-rate quality, and the meek and lowly eyes of the fathers were not a little brightened under the vinous influence. Ah! those fathers understand life, and appreciate its duration. Their festive board drives the African jungle fever from their doors, while it soothes the gloom and isolation which strike one with awe, as one emerges from the lighted room and plunges into the depths of the darkness of an African night, enlivened only by the wearying monotone of the frogs and crickets, and the distant ululation of the hyena. It requires somewhat above human effort, unaided by the ruby liquid that cheers, to be always suave and polite amid the dismalities of native life in Africa.
After the evening meal, which replenished my failing strength, and for which I felt the intensest gratitude, the most advanced of the pupils came forward, to the number of twenty, with brass instruments, thus forming a full band of music. It rather astonished me to hear instrumental sounds issue forth in harmony from such woolly-headed youngsters; to hear well-known French music at this isolated port, to hear negro boys, that a few months ago knew nothing beyond the traditions of their ignorant mothers, stand forth and chant Parisian songs about French valor and glory, with all the sangfroid of gamins from the purlieus of Saint–Antoine.
I had a most refreshing night’s rest, and at dawn I sought out my camp, with a will to enjoy the new life now commencing. On counting the animals, two donkeys were missing; and on taking notes of my African moneys, one coil of No. 6 wire was not to be found. Everybody had evidently fallen on the ground to sleep, oblivious of the fact that on the coast there are many dishonest prowlers at night. Soldiers were despatched to search through the town and neighbourhood, and Jemadar Esau was apprised of our loss, and stimulated to discover the animals by the promise of a reward. Before night one of the missing donkeys was found outside the town nibbling at manioc-leaves, but the other animal and the coil of wire were never found.
Among my visitors this first day at Bagamoyo was Ali bin Salim, a brother of the famous Sayd bin Salim, formerly Ras Kafilah to Burton and Speke, and subsequently to Speke and Grant. His salaams were very profuse, and moreover, his brother was to be my agent in Unyamwezi, so that I did not hesitate to accept his offer of assistance. But, alas, for my white face and too trustful nature! this Ali bin Salim turned out to be a snake in the grass, a very sore thorn in my side. I was invited to his comfortable house to partake of coffee. I went there: the coffee was good though sugarless, his promises were many, but they proved valueless. Said he to me, “I am your friend; I wish to serve you., what can I do for you?” Replied I, “I am obliged to you, I need a good friend who, knowing the language and Customs of the Wanyamwezi, can procure me the pagazis I need and send me off quickly. Your brother is acquainted with the Wasungu (white men), and knows that what they promise they make good. Get me a hundred and forty pagazis and I will pay you your price.” With unctuous courtesy, the reptile I was now warmly nourishing; said, “I do not want anything from you, my friend, for such a slight service, rest content and quiet; you shall not stop here fifteen days. To-morrow morning I will come and overhaul your bales to see what is needed.” I bade him good morning, elated with the happy thought that I was soon to tread the Unyanyembe road.
The reader must be made acquainted with two good and sufficient reasons why I was to devote all my energy to lead the Expedition as quickly as possible from Bagamoyo.
First, I wished to reach Ujiji before the news reached Livingstone that I was in search of him, for my impression of him was that he was a man who would try to put as much distance as possible between us, rather than make an effort to shorten it, and I should have my long journey for nothing.
Second, the Masika, or rainy season, would soon be on me, which, if it caught me at Bagamoyo, would prevent my departure until it was over, which meant a delay of forty days, and exaggerated as the rains were by all men with whom I came in contact, it rained every day for forty days without intermission. This I knew was a thing to dread; for I had my memory stored with all kinds of rainy unpleasantnesses. For instance, there was the rain of Virginia and its concomitant horrors — wetness, mildew, agues, rheumatics, and such like; then there were the English rains, a miserable drizzle causing the blue devils; then the rainy season of Abyssinia with the flood-gates of the firmament opened, and an universal down-pour of rain, enough to submerge half a continent in a few hours; lastly, there was the pelting monsoon of India, a steady shut-inhouse kind of rain. To which of these rains should I compare this dreadful Masika of East Africa? Did not Burton write much about black mud in Uzaramo? Well, a country whose surface soil is called black mud in fine weather, what can it be called when forty days’ rain beat on it, and feet of pagazis and donkeys make paste of it? These were natural reflections, induced by the circumstances of the hour, and I found myself much exercised in mind in consequence.
Ali bin Salim, true to his promise, visited my camp on the morrow, with a very important air, and after looking at the pile of cloth bales, informed me that I must have them covered with mat-bags. He said he would send a man to have them measured, but he enjoined me not to make any bargain for the bags, as he would make it all right.
While awaiting with commendable patience the 140 pagazis promised by Ali bin Salim we were all employed upon everything that thought could suggest needful for crossing the sickly maritime region, so that we might make the transit before the terrible fever could unnerve us, and make us joyless. A short experience at Bagamoya showed us what we lacked, what was superfluous, and what was necessary. We were visited one night by a squall, accompanied by furious rain. I had $1,500 worth of pagazi cloth in my tent. In the morning I looked and lo! the drilling had let in rain like a sieve, and every yard of cloth was wet. It occupied two days afterwards to dry the cloths, and fold them again. The drill-tent was condemned, and a No. 5 hemp-canvas tent at onto prepared. After which I felt convinced that my cloth bales, and one year’s ammunition, were safe, and that I could defy the Masika.
In the hurry of departure from Zanzibar, and in my ignorance of how bales should be made, I had submitted to the better judgment and ripe experience of one Jetta, a commission merchant, to prepare my bales for carriage. Jetta did not weigh the bales as he made them up, but piled the Merikani, Kaniki, Barsati, Jamdani, Joho, Ismahili, in alternate layers, and roped the same into bales. One or two pagazis came to my camp and began to chaffer; they wished to see the bales first, before they would make a final bargain. They tried to raise them up — ugh! ugh! it was of no use, and withdrew. A fine Salter’s spring balance was hung up, and a bale suspended to the hook; the finger indicated 105 lbs. or 3 frasilah, which was just 35 lbs. or one frasilah overweight. Upon putting all the bales to this test, I perceived that Jetta’s guess-work, with all his experience, had caused considerable trouble to me.
The soldiers were set to work to reopen and repack, which latter task is performed in the following manner:— We cut a doti, or four yards of Merikani, ordinarily sold at Zanzibar for $2.75 the piece of thirty yards, and spread out. We take a piece or bolt of good Merikani, and instead of the double fold given it by the Nashua and Salem mills, we fold it into three parts, by which the folds have a breadth of a foot; this piece forms the first layer, and will weigh nine pounds; the second layer consists of six pieces of Kaniki, a blue stuff similar to the blouse stuff of France, and th blue jeans of America, though much lighter; the third layer is formed of the second piece of Merikani, the fourth of six more pieces of Kaniki, the fifth of Merikani, the sixth of Kaniki as before, and the seventh and last of Merikani. We have thus four pieces of Merikani, which weigh 36 lbs., and 18 pieces of Kaniki weighing also 36 lbs., making a total of 72 lbs., or a little more than two frasilahs; the cloth is then folded singly over these layers, each corner tied to another. A bundle of coir-rope is then brought, and two men, provided with a wooden mallet for beating and pressing the bale, proceed to tie it up with as much nicety as sailors serve down rigging.
When complete, a bale is a solid mass three feet and a half long, a foot deep, and a foot wide. Of these bales I had to convey eighty-two to Unyanyembe, forty of which consisted solely of the Merikani and Kaniki. The other forty-two contained the Merikani and coloured cloths, which latter were to serve as honga or tribute cloths, and to engage another set of pagazis from Unyanyembe to Ujiji, and from Ujiji to the regions beyond.
The fifteenth day asked of me by Ali bin Salim for the procuring of the pagazis passed by, and there was not the ghost of a pagazi in my camp. I sent Mabruki the Bullheaded to Ali bin Salim, to convey my salaams and express a hope that he had kept his word. In half an hour’s time Mabruki returned with the reply of the Arab, that in a few days he would be able to collect them all; but, added Mabruki, slyly, “Bana, I don’t believe him. He said aloud to himself, in my hearing, ‘Why should I get the Musungu pagazis? Seyd Burghash did not send a letter to me, but to the Jemadar. Why should I trouble myself about him? Let Seyd Burghash write me a letter to that purpose, and I will procure them within two days.”’
To my mind this was a time for action: Ali bin Salim should see that it was ill trifling with a white man in earnest to start. I rode down to his house to ask him what he meant.
His reply was, Mabruki had told a lie as black as his face. He had never said anything approaching to such a thing. He was willing to become my slave — to become a pagazi himself. But here I stopped the voluble Ali, and informed him that I could not think of employing him in the capacity of a pagazi, neither could I find it in my heart to trouble Seyd Burghash to write a direct letter to him, or to require of a man who had deceived me once, as Ali bin Salim had, any service of any nature whatsoever. It would be better, therefore, if Ali bin Salim would stay away from my camp, and not enter it either in person or by proxy.
I had lost fifteen days, for Jemadar Sadur, at Kaole, had never stirred from his fortified house in that village in my service, save to pay a visit, after the receipt of the Sultan’s letter. Naranji, custom-house agent at Kaoie, solely under the thumb of the great Ludha Damji, had not responded to Ludha’s worded request that he would procure pagazis, except with winks, nods, and promises, and it is but just stated how I fared at the hands of Ali bin Salim. In this extremity I remembered the promise made to me by the great merchant of Zanzibar — Tarya Topan — a Mohammedan Hindi — that he would furnish me with a letter to a young man named Soor Hadji Palloo, who was said to be the best man in Bagamoyo to procure a supply of pagazis.
I despatched my Arab interpreter by a dhow to Zanzibar, with a very earnest request to Capt. Webb that he would procure from Tarya Topan the introductory letter so long delayed. It was the last card in my hand.
On the third day the Arab returned, bringing with him not only the letter to Soor Hadji Palloo, but an abundance of good things from the ever-hospitable house of Mr. Webb. In a very short time after the receipt of his letter, the eminent young man Soor Hadji Palloo came to visit me, and informed me he had been requested by Tarya Topan to hire for me one hundred and forty pagazis to Unyanyembe in the shortest time possible. This he said would be very expensive, for there were scores of Arabs and Wasawabili merchants on the look out for every caravan that came in from the interior, and they paid 20 doti, or 80 yards of cloth, to each pagazi. Not willing or able to pay more, many of these merchants had been waiting as long as six months before they could get their quota. “If you,” continued he, “desire to depart quickly, you must pay from 25 to 40 doti, and I can send you off before one month is ended. “In reply, I said, “Here are my cloths for pagazis to the amount of $1,750, or 3,500 doti, sufficient to give one hundred and forty men 25 doti each. The most I am willing to pay is 25 doti: send one hundred and forty pagazis to Unyanyembe with my cloth and wire, and I will make your heart glad with the richest present you have ever received.” With a refreshing naivete, the “young man” said he did not want any present, he would get me my quota of pagazis, and then I could tell the “Wasungu” what a good “young man” he was, and consequently the benefit he would receive would be an increase of business. He closed his reply with the astounding remark that he had ten pagazis at his house already, and if I would be good enough to have four bales of cloth, two bags of beads, and twenty coils of wire carried to his house, the pagazis could leave Bagamoyo the next day, under charge of three soldiers.
“For, he remarked, “it is much better and cheaper to send many small caravans than one large one. Large caravans invite attack, or are delayed by avaricious chiefs upon the most trivial pretexts, while small ones pass by without notice.”
The bales and the beads were duly carried to Soor Hadji Palloo’s house, and the day passed with me in mentally congratulating myself upon my good fortune, in complimenting the young Hindi’s talents for business, the greatness and influence of Tarya Topan, and the goodness of Mr. Webb in thus hastening my departure from Bagamoyo. I mentally vowed a handsome present, and a great puff in my book, to Soor Hadji Palloo, and it was with a glad heart that I prepared these soldiers for their march to Unyayembe.
The task of preparing the first caravan for the Unyanyembe road informed me upon several things that have escaped the notice of my predecessors in East Africa, a timely knowledge of which would have been of infinite service to me at Zanzibar, in the purchase and selection of sufficient and proper cloth.
The setting out of the first caravan enlightened me also on the subject of honga, or tribute. Tribute had to be packed by itself, all of choice cloth; for the chiefs, besides being avaricious, are also very fastidious. They will not accept the flimsy cloth of the pagazi, but a royal and exceedingly high-priced dabwani, Ismahili, Rehani, or a Sohari, or dotis of crimson broad cloth. The tribute for the first caravan cost $25. Having more than one hundred and forty pagazis to despatch, this tribute money would finally amount to $330 in gold, with a minimum of 25c. on each dollar. Ponder on this, O traveller! I lay bare these facts for your special instruction.
But before my first caravan was destined to part company with me, Soor Hadji Palloo — worthy young man — and I were to come to a definite understanding about money matters. The morning appointed for departure Soor Hadji Palloo came to my hut and presented his bill, with all the gravity of innocence, for supplying the pagazis with twenty-five doti each as their hire to Unyanyembe, begging immediate payment in money. Words fail to express the astonishment I naturally felt, that this sharp-looking young man should so soon have forgotten the verbal contract entered into between him and myself the morning previous, which was to the effect that out of the three thousand doti stored in my tent, and bought expressly for pagazi hire, each and every man hired for me as carriers from Bagamoyo to Unyanyembe, should be paid out of the store there in my tent. when I asked if he remembered the contract, he replied in the affirmative: his reasons for breaking it so soon were, that he wished to sell his cloths, not mine, and for his cloths he should want money, not an exchange. But I gave him to comprehend that as he was procuring pagazis for me, he was to pay my pagazis with my cloths; that all the money I expected to pay him, should be just such a sum I thought adequate for his trouble as my agent, and that only on those terms should he act for me in this or any other matter, and that the “Musungu” was not accustomed to eat his words.
The preceding paragraph embodies many more words than are contained in it. It embodies a dialogue of an hour, an angry altercation of half-an-hour’s duration, a vow taken on the part of Soor Hadji Palloo, that if I did not take his cloths he should not touch my business, many tears, entreaties, woeful penitence, and much else, all of which were responded to with, “Do as I want you to do, or do nothing. “Finally came relief, and a happy ending. Soor Hadji Palloo went away with a bright face, taking with him the three soldiers’ posho (food), and honga (tribute) for the caravan. Well for me that it ended so, and that subsequent quarrels of a similar nature terminated so peaceably, otherwise I doubt whether my departure from Bagamoyo would have happened so early as it did. While I am on this theme, and as it really engrossed every moment of my time at Bagamoyo, I may as well be more explicit regarding Boor Hadji Palloo and his connection with my business.
Soor Hadji Palloo was a smart young man of business, energetic, quick at mental calculation, and seemed to be born for a successful salesman. His eyes were never idle; they wandered over every part of my person, over the tent, the bed, the guns, the clothes, and having swung clear round, began the silent circle over again. His fingers were never at rest, they had a fidgety, nervous action at their tips, constantly in the act of feeling something; while in the act of talking to me, he would lean over and feel the texture of the cloth of my trousers, my coat, or my shoes or socks: then he would feel his own light jamdani shirt or dabwain loin-cloth, until his eyes casually resting upon a novelty, his body would lean forward, and his arm was stretched out with the willing fingers. His jaws also were in perpetual motion, caused by vile habits he had acquired of chewing betel-nut and lime, and sometimes tobacco and lime. They gave out a sound similar to that of a young shoat, in the act of sucking. He was a pious Mohammedan, and observed the external courtesies and ceremonies of the true believers. He would affably greet me, take off his shoes, enter my tent protesting he was not fit to sit in my presence, and after being seated, would begin his ever-crooked errand. Of honesty, literal and practical honesty, this youth knew nothing; to the pure truth he was an utter stranger; the falsehoods he had uttered during his short life seemed already to have quenched the bold gaze of innocence from his eyes, to have banished the colour of truthfulness from his features, to have transformed him — yet a stripling of twenty — into a most accomplished rascal, and consummate expert in dishonesty.
During the six weeks I encamped at Bagamoyo, waiting for my quota of men, this lad of twenty gave me very much trouble. He was found out half a dozen times a day in dishonesty, yet was in no way abashed by it. He would send in his account of the cloths supplied to the pagazis, stating them to be 25 paid to each; on sending a man to inquire I would find the greatest number to have been 20, and the smallest 12. Soor Hadji Palloo described the cloths to be of first-class quality, Ulyah cloths, worth in the market four times more than the ordinary quality given to the pagazis, yet a personal examination would prove them to be the flimsiest goods sold, such as American sheeting 2 1/2 feet broad, and worth $2.75 per 30 yards a piece at Zanzibar, or the most inferior Kaniki, which is generally sold at $9 per score. He would personally come to my camp and demand 40 lbs. of Sami–Sami, Merikani, and Bubu beads for posho, or caravan rations; an inspection of their store before departure from their first camp from Bagamoyo would show a deficiency ranging from 5 to 30 lbs. Moreover, he cheated in cash-money, such as demanding $4 for crossing the Kingani Ferry for every ten pagazis, when the fare was $2 for the same number; and an unconscionable number of pice (copper coins equal in value to 3/4 of a cent) were required for posho. It was every day for four weeks that this system of roguery was carried out. Each day conceived a dozen new schemes; every instant of his time he seemed to be devising how to plunder, until I was fairly at my wits’ end how to thwart him. Exposure before a crowd of his fellows brought no blush of shame to his sallow cheeks; he would listen with a mere shrug of the shoulders and that was all, which I might interpret any way it pleased me. A threat to reduce his present had no effect; a bird in the hand was certainly worth two in the bush for him, so ten dollars’ worth of goods stolen and in his actual possession was of more intrinsic value than the promise of $20 in a few days, though it was that of a white man.
Readers will of course ask themselves why I did not, after the first discovery of these shameless proceedings, close my business with him, to which I make reply, that I could not do without him unless his equal were forthcoming, that I never felt so thoroughly dependent on any one man as I did upon him; without his or his duplicate’s aid, I must have stayed at Bagamoyo at least six months, at the end of which time the Expedition would have become valueless, the rumour of it having been blown abroad to the four winds. It was immediate departure that was essential to my success — departure from Bagamoyo — after which it might be possible for me to control my own future in a great measure.
These troubles were the greatest that I could at this time imagine. I have already stated that I had $1,750 worth of pagazis’ clothes, or 3,500 doti, stored in my tent, and above what my bales contained. Calculating one hundred and forty pagazis at 25 doti each, I supposed I had enough, yet, though I had been trying to teach the young Hindi that the Musungu was not a fool, nor blind to his pilfering tricks, though the 3,500 doti were all spent; though I had only obtained one hundred and thirty pagazis at 25 doti each, which in the aggregate amounted to 3,200 doti: Soor Hadji Palloo’s bill was $1,400 cash extra. His plea was that he had furnished Ulyah clothes for Muhongo 240 doti, equal in value to 960 of my doti, that the money was spent in ferry pice, in presents to chiefs of caravans of tents, guns, red broad cloth, in presents to people on the Mrima (coast) to induce them to hunt up pagazis. Upon this exhibition of most ruthless cheating I waxed indignant, and declared to him that if he did not run over his bill and correct it, he should go without a pice.
But before the bill could be put into proper shape, my words, threats, and promises falling heedlessly on a stony brain, a man, Kanjee by name, from the store of Tarya Topan, of Zanzibar, had to come over, when the bill was finally reduced to $738. Without any disrespect to Tarya Topan, I am unable to decide which is the most accomplished rascal, Kanjee, or young Soor Hadji Palloo; in the words of a white man who knows them both, “there is not the splitting of a straw between them.” Kanjee is deep and sly, Soor Hadji Palloo is bold and incorrigible. But peace be to them both, may their shaven heads never be covered with the troublous crown I wore at Bagamoyo!
My dear friendly reader, do not think, if I speak out my mind in this or in any other chapter upon matters seemingly trivial and unimportant, that seeming such they should be left unmentioned. Every tittle related is a fact, and to knew facts is to receive knowledge.
How could I ever recite my experience to you if I did not enter upon these miserable details, which sorely distract the stranger upon his first arrival? Had I been a Government official, I had but wagged my finger and my quota of pagazis had been furnished me within a week; but as an individual arriving without the graces of official recognition, armed with no Government influence, I had to be patient, bide my time, and chew the cud of irritation quietly, but the bread I ate was not all sour, as this was.
The white men, Farquhar and Shaw, were kept steadily at work upon water-proof tents of hemp canvas, for I perceived, by the premonitory showers of rain that marked the approach of the Masika that an ordinary tent of light cloth would subject myself to damp and my goods to mildew, and while there was time to rectify all errors that had crept into my plans through ignorance or over haste, I thought it was not wise to permit things to rectify themselves. Now that I have returned uninjured in health, though I have suffered the attacks of twenty-three fevers within the short space of thirteen months; I must confess I owe my life, first, to the mercy of God; secondly, to the enthusiasm for my work, which animated me from the beginning to the end; thirdly, to having never ruined my constitution by indulgence in vice and intemperance; fourthly, to the energy of my nature; fifthly, to a native hopefulness which never died; and, sixthly, to having furnished myself with a capacious water and damp proof canvas house. And here, if my experience may be of value, I would suggest that travellers, instead of submitting their better judgment to the caprices of a tent-maker, who will endeavour to pass off a handsomely made fabric of his own, which is unsuited to all climes, to use his own judgment, and get the best and strongest that money will buy. In the end it will prove the cheapest, and perhaps be the means of saving his life.
On one point I failed,, and lest new and young travellers fall into the same error which marred much of my enjoyment, this paragraph is written. One must be extremely careful in his choice of weapons, whether for sport or defence. A traveller should have at least three different kinds of guns. One should be a fowling-piece, the second should be a double-barrelled rifle, No. 10 or 12, the third should be a magazine-rifle, for defence. For the fowling-piece I would suggest No. 12 bore, with barrels at least four feet in length. For the rifle for larger game, I would point out, with due deference to old sportsmen, of course, that the best guns for African game are the English Lancaster and Reilly rifles; and for a fighting weapon, I maintain that the best yet invented is the American Winchester repeating rifle, or the “sixteen, shooter” as it is called, supplied with the London Eley’s ammunition. If I suggest as a fighting weapon the American Winchester, I do not mean that the traveller need take it for the purpose of offence, but as the beat means of efficient defence, to save his own life against African banditti, when attacked, a thing likely to happen any time.
I met a young man soon after returning from the interior, who declared his conviction that the “Express,” rifle was the most perfect weapon ever invented to destroy African game. Very possibly the young man may be right, and that the “Express ” rifle is all he declares it to be, but he had never practised with it against African game, and as I had never tried it, I could not combat his assertion: but I could relate my experiences with weapons, having all the penetrating powers of the “Express,” and could inform him that though the bullets penetrated through the animals, they almost always failed to bring down the game at the first fire. On the other hand, I could inform him, that during the time I travelled with Dr. Livingstone the Doctor lent me his heavy Reilly rifle with which I seldom failed to bring an animal or two home to the camp, and that I found the Fraser shell answer all purposes for which it was intended. The feats related by Capt. Speke and Sir Samuel Baker are no longer matter of wonderment to the young ]sportsman, when he has a Lancaster or a Reilly in his hand. After very few trials he can imitate them, if not excel their Leeds, provided he has a steady hand. And it is to forward this end that this paragraph is written. African game require “bone-crushers;” for any ordinary carbine possesses sufficient penetrative qualities, yet has not he disabling qualities which a gun must possess to be useful in the hands of an African explorer.
I had not been long at Bagamoyo before I went over to Mussoudi’s camp, to visit the “Livingstone caravan” which the British Consul had despatched on the first day of November, 1870, to the relief of Livingstone. The number of packages was thirty-five, which required as many men to convey them to Unyanyembe. The men chosen to escort this caravan were composed of Johannese and Wahiyow, seven in number. Out of the seven, four were slaves. They lived in clover here — thoughtless of the errand they had been sent upon, and careless of the consequences. What these men were doing at Bagamoyo all this time I never could conceive, except indulging their own vicious propensities. It would be nonsense to say there were no pagazis; because I know there were at least fifteen caravans which had started for the interior since the Ramadan (December 15th, 1870). Yet Livingstone’s caravan had arrived at this little town of Bagamoyo November 2nd, and here it had been lying until the 10th February, in all, 100 days, for lack of the limited number of thirty-five pagazis, a number that might be procured within two days through consular influence.
Bagamoyo has a most enjoyable climate. It is far preferable in every sense to that of Zanzibar. We were able to sleep in the open air, and rose refreshed and healthy each morning, to enjoy our matutinal bath in the sea; and by the time the sun had risen we were engaged in various preparations for our departure for the interior. Our days were enlivened by visits from the Arabs who were also bound for Unyanyembe; by comical scenes in the camp; sometimes by court-martials held on the refractory; by a boxing-match between Farquhar and Shaw, necessitating my prudent interference when they waxed too wroth; by a hunting excursion now and then to the Kingani plain and river; by social conversation with the old Jemadar and his band of Baluches, who were never tired of warning me that the Masika was at hand, and of advising me that my best course was to hurry on before the season for travelling expired.
Among the employees with the Expedition were two Hindi and two Goanese. They had conceived the idea that the African interior was an El Dorado, the ground of which was strewn over with ivory tusks, and they had clubbed together; while their imaginations were thus heated, to embark in a little enterprise of their own. Their names were Jako, Abdul Kader, Bunder Salaam, and Aranselar; Jako engaged in my service, as carpenter and general help; Abdul Kader as a tailor, Bunder Salaam as cook, and Aranselar as chief butler.
But Aranselar, with an intuitive eye, foresaw that I was likely to prove a vigorous employer, and while there was yet time he devoted most of it to conceive how it were possible to withdraw from the engagement. He received permission upon asking for it to go to Zanzibar to visit his friends. Two days afterwards I was informed he had blown his right eye out, and received a medical confirmation of the fact, and note of the extent of the injury, from Dr. Christie, the physician to His Highness Seyd Burghash. His compatriots I imagined were about planning the same thing, but a peremptory command to abstain from such folly, issued after they had received their advance-pay, sufficed to check any sinister designs they may have formed.
A groom was caught stealing from the bales, one night, and the chase after him into the country until he vanished out of sight into the jungle, was one of the most agreeable diversions which occurred to wear away the interval employed in preparing for the march.
I had now despatched four caravans into the interior, and the fifth, which was to carry the boats and boxes, personal luggage, and a few cloth and bead loads, was ready to be led by myself. The following is the order of departure of the caravans.
1871. Feb. 6. — Expedition arrived at Bagamoyo.
1871. Feb. 18. — First caravan departs with twenty-four pagazis and three soldiers.
1871. Feb. 21. — Second caravan departs with twenty-eight pagazis, two chiefs, and two soldiers.
1871. Feb. 25. — Third caravan departs with twenty-two pagazis, ten donkeys, one white man, one cook, and three soldiers.
1871. March. 11. — Fourth caravan departs with fifty-five pagazis, two chiefs, and three soldiers.
1871. March. 21. — Fifth caravan departs with twenty-eight pagazis, twelve soldiers, two white men, one tailor, one cook, one interpreter, one gun-bearer, seventeen asses, two horses, and one dog.
Total number, inclusive of all souls, comprised in caravans connected with the “New York Herald’ Expedition,” 192.
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