A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries: And of the Discovery of the Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa (1858-1864)

Part 5 out of 7

forthwith be attacked. Compliance with their request led to an event
which might have been attended by very serious consequences. Dr.
Livingstone got separated from the party in the boat for four days.
Having taken the first morning's journey along with them, and
directing the boat to call for him in a bay in sight, both parties
proceeded north. In an hour Dr. Livingstone and his party struck
inland, on approaching the foot of the mountains which rise abruptly
from the lake. Supposing that they had heard of a path behind the
high range which there forms the shore, those in the boat held on
their course; but it soon began to blow so fresh that they had to run
ashore for safety. While delayed a couple of hours, two men were
sent up the hills to look for the land party, but they could see
nothing of them, and the boat party sailed as soon as it was safe to
put to sea, with the conviction that the missing ones would regain
the lake in front.

In a short time a small island or mass of rocks was passed, on which
were a number of armed Mazitu with some young women, apparently their
wives. The headman said that he had been wounded in the foot by
Mankambira, and that they were staying there till he could walk to
his chief, who lived over the hills. They had several large canoes,
and it was evident that this was a nest of lake pirates, who sallied
out by night to kill and plunder. They reported a path behind the
hills, and, the crew being reassured, the boat sailed on. A few
miles further, another and still larger band of pirates were fallen
in with, and hundreds of crows and kites hovered over and round the
rocks on which they lived. Dr. Kirk and Charles Livingstone, though
ordered in a voice of authority to come ashore, kept on their course.
A number of canoes then shot out from the rocks and chased them. One
with nine strong paddlers persevered for some time after all the
others gave up the chase. A good breeze, however, enabled the gig to
get away from them with ease. After sailing twelve or fifteen miles,
north of the point where Dr. Livingstone had left them, it was
decided that he must be behind; but no sooner had the boat's head
been turned south, than another gale compelled her to seek shelter in
a bay. Here a number of wretched fugitives from the slave-trade on
the opposite shore of the lake were found; the original inhabitants
of the place had all been swept off the year before by the Mazitu.
In the deserted gardens beautiful cotton was seen growing, much of it
had the staple an inch and a half long, and of very fine quality.
Some of the plants were uncommonly large, deserving to be ranked with

On their trying to purchase food, the natives had nothing to sell
except a little dried cassava-root, and a few fish: and they
demanded two yards of calico for the head only of a large fish. When
the gale admitted of their return, their former pursuers tried to
draw them ashore by asserting that they had quantities of ivory for
sale. Owing to a succession of gales, it was the fourth day from
parting that the boat was found by Dr. Livingstone, who was coming on
in search of it with only two of his companions.

After proceeding a short distance up the path in which they had been
lost sight of, they learned that it would take several days to go
round the mountains, and rejoin the lake; and they therefore turned
down to the bay, expecting to find the boat, but only saw it
disappearing away to the north. They pushed on as briskly as
possible after it, but the mountain flank which forms the coast
proved excessively tedious and fatiguing; travelling all day, the
distance made, in a straight line, was under five miles. As soon as
day dawned, the march was resumed; and, after hearing at the first
inhabited rock that their companions had passed it the day before, a
goat was slaughtered out of the four which they had with them, when
suddenly, to the evident consternation of the men, seven Mazitu
appeared armed with spears and shields, with their heads dressed
fantastically with feathers. To hold a parley, Dr. Livingstone and
Moloka, a Makololo man who spoke Zulu, went unarmed to meet them. On
Dr. Livingstone approaching them, they ordered him to stop, and sit
down in the sun, while they sat in the shade. No, no!" was the
reply, "if you sit in the shade, so will we." They then rattled
their shields with their clubs, a proceeding which usually inspires
terror; but Moloka remarked, "It is not the first time we have heard
shields rattled." And all sat down together. They asked for a
present, to show their chief that they had actually met strangers--
something as evidence of having seen men who were not Arabs. And
they were requested in turn to take these strangers to the boat, or
to their chief. All the goods were in the boat, and to show that no
present such as they wanted was in his pockets, Dr. Livingstone
emptied them, turning out, among other things, a note-book: thinking
it was a pistol they started up, and said, "Put that in again." The
younger men then became boisterous, and demanded a goat. That could
not be spared, as they were the sole provisions. When they insisted,
they were asked how many of the party they had killed, that they thus
began to divide the spoil; this evidently made them ashamed. The
elders were more reasonable; they dreaded treachery, and were as much
afraid of Dr. Livingstone and his party as his men were of them; for
on leaving they sped away up the hills like frightened deer. One of
them, and probably the leader, was married, as seen by portions of
his hair sewn into a ring; all were observed by their teeth to be
people of the country, who had been incorporated into the Zulu tribe.

The way still led over a succession of steep ridges with ravines of
from 500 to 1000 feet in depth; some of the sides had to be scaled on
hands and knees, and no sooner was the top reached than the descent
began again. Each ravine had a running stream; and the whole
country, though so very rugged, had all been cultivated, and densely
peopled. Many banana-trees, uncared for patches of corn, and Congo-
bean bushes attested former cultivation. The population had all been
swept away; ruined villages, broken utensils, and human skeletons,
met with at every turn, told a sad tale. So numerous were the slain,
that it was thought the inhabitants had been slaughtered in
consequence of having made raids on the Zulus for cattle.

Continuing the journey that night as long as light served, they slept
unconsciously on the edge of a deep precipice, without fire, lest the
Mazitu should see it. Next morning most of the men were tired out,
the dread of the apparition of the day before tending probably to
increase the lameness of which they complained. When told, however,
that all might return to Mankambira's save two, Moloka and Charlie,
they would not, till assured that the act would not be considered one
of cowardice. Giving them one of the goats as provision, another was
slaughtered for the remainder of the party who, having found on the
rocks a canoe which had belonged to one of the deserted villages,
determined to put to sea again; but the craft was very small, and the
remaining goat, spite of many a threat of having its throat cut,
jumped and rolled about so, as nearly to capsize it; so Dr.
Livingstone took to the shore again, and after another night spent
without fire, except just for cooking, was delighted to see the boat
coming back.

We pulled that day to Mankambira's, a distance that on shore, with
the most heartbreaking toil, had taken three days to travel. This
was the last latitude taken, 11 degrees 44 minutes S. The boat had
gone about 24 minutes further to the north, the land party probably
half that distance, but fever prevented the instruments being used.
Dr. Kirk and Charles Livingstone were therefore furthest up the lake,
and they saw about 20 minutes beyond their turning-point, say into
the tenth degree of south latitude. From the heights of at least a
thousand feet, over which the land party toiled, the dark mountain
masses on both sides of the lake were seen closing in. At this
elevation the view extended at least as far as that from the boats,
and it is believed the end of the lake lies on the southern borders
of 10 degrees, or the northern limits of 11 degrees south latitude.

Elephants are numerous on the borders of the lake, and surprisingly
tame, being often found close to the villages. Hippopotami swarm
very much at their ease in the creeks and lagoons, and herds are
sometimes seen in the lake itself. Their tameness arises from the
fact that poisoned arrows have no effect on either elephant or
hippopotamus. Five of each were shot for food during our journey.
Two of the elephants were females, and had only a single tusk apiece,
and were each killed by the first shot. It is always a case of
famine or satiety when depending on the rifle for food--a glut of
meat or none at all. Most frequently it is scanty fare, except when
game is abundant, as it is far up the Zambesi. We had one morning
two hippopotami and an elephant, perhaps in all some eight tons of
meat, and two days after the last of a few sardines only for dinner.

One morning when sailing past a pretty thickly-inhabited part, we
were surprised at seeing nine large bull-elephants standing near the
beach quietly flapping their gigantic ears. Glad of an opportunity
of getting some fresh meat, we landed and fired into one. They all
retreated into a marshy piece of ground between two villages. Our
men gave chase, and fired into the herd. Standing on a sand hummock,
we could see the bleeding animals throwing showers of water with
their trunks over their backs. The herd was soon driven back upon
us, and a wounded one turned to bay. Yet neither this one, nor any
of the others, ever attempted to charge. Having broken his legs with
a rifle-ball, we fired into him at forty yards as rapidly as we could
load and discharge the rifles. He simply shook his head at each
shot, and received at least sixty Enfield balls before he fell. Our
excellent sailor from the north of Ireland happened to fire the last,
and, as soon as he saw the animal fall, he turned with an air of
triumph to the Doctor and exclaimed, "It was MY shot that done it,

In a few minutes upwards of a thousand natives were round the
prostrate king of beasts; and, after our men had taken all they
wanted, an invitation was given to the villagers to take the
remainder. They rushed at it like hungry hyenas, and in an
incredibly short time every inch of it was carried off. It was only
by knowing that the meat would all be used that we felt justified in
the slaughter of this noble creature. The tusks weighed 62 lbs.
each. A large amount of ivory might be obtained from the people of
Nyassa, and we were frequently told of their having it in their huts.

While detained by a storm on the 17th October at the mouth of the
Kaombe, we were visited by several men belonging to an Arab who had
been for fourteen years in the interior at Katanga's, south of
Cazembe's. They had just brought down ivory, malachite, copper
rings, and slaves to exchange for cloth at the lake. The malachite
was said to be dug out of a large vein on the side of a hill near
Katanga's. They knew Lake Tanganyika well, but had not heard of the
Zambesi. They spoke quite positively, saying that the water of Lake
Tanganyika flowed out by the opposite end to that of Nyassa. As they
had seen neither of the overflows, we took it simply as a piece of
Arab geography. We passed their establishment of long sheds next
day, and were satisfied that the Arabs must be driving a good trade.

The Lake slave-trade was going on at a terrible rate. Two
enterprising Arabs had built a dhow, and were running her, crowded
with slaves, regularly across the Lake. We were told she sailed the
day before we reached their head-quarters. This establishment is in
the latitude of the Portuguese slave-exporting town of Iboe, and
partly supplies that vile market; but the greater number of the
slaves go to Kilwa. We did not see much evidence of a wish to
barter. Some ivory was offered for sale; but the chief traffic was
in human chattels. Would that we could give a comprehensive account
of the horrors of the slave-trade, with an approximation to the
number of lives it yearly destroys! for we feel sure that were even
half the truth told and recognized, the feelings of men would be so
thoroughly roused, that this devilish traffic in human flesh would be
put down at all risks; but neither we, nor any one else, have the
statistics necessary for a work of this kind. Let us state what we
do know of one portion of Africa, and then every reader who believes
our tale can apply the ratio of the known misery to find out the
unknown. We were informed by Colonel Rigby, late H.M. Political
Agent, and Consul at Zanzibar, that 19,000 slaves from this Nyassa
country alone pass annually through the Custom-house of that island.
This is exclusive of course of those sent to Portuguese slave-ports.
Let it not be supposed for an instant that this number, 19,000,
represents all the victims. Those taken out of the country are but a
very small section of the sufferers. We never realized the atrocious
nature of the traffic, until we saw it at the fountain-head. There
truly "Satan has his seat." Besides those actually captured,
thousands are killed and die of their wounds and famine, driven from
their villages by the slave raid proper. Thousands perish in
internecine war waged for slaves with their own clansmen and
neighbours, slain by the lust of gain, which is stimulated, be it
remembered always, by the slave purchasers of Cuba and elsewhere.
The many skeletons we have seen, amongst rocks and woods, by the
little pools, and along the paths of the wilderness, attest the awful
sacrifice of human life, which must be attributed, directly or
indirectly, to this trade of hell. We would ask our countrymen to
believe us when we say, as we conscientiously can, that it is our
deliberate opinion, from what we know and have seen, that not one-
fifth of the victims of the slave-trade ever become slaves. Taking
the Shire Valley as an average, we should say not even one-tenth
arrive at their destination. As the system, therefore, involves such
an awful waste of human life,--or shall we say of human labour?--and
moreover tends directly to perpetuate the barbarism of those who
remain in the country, the argument for the continuance of this
wasteful course because, forsooth, a fraction of the enslaved may
find good masters, seems of no great value. This reasoning, if not
the result of ignorance, may be of maudlin philanthropy. A small
armed steamer on Lake Nyassa could easily, by exercising a control,
and furnishing goods in exchange for ivory and other products, break
the neck of this infamous traffic in that quarter; for nearly all
must cross the Lake or the Upper Shire.

Our exploration of the Lake extended from the 2nd September to the
27th October, 1861; and, having expended or lost most of the goods we
had brought, it was necessary to go back to the ship. When near the
southern end, on our return, we were told that a very large slave-
party had just crossed to the eastern side. We heard the fire of
three guns in the evening, and judged by the report that they must be
at least six-pounders. They were said to belong to an Ajawa chief
named Mukata.

In descending the Shire, we found concealed in the broad belt of
papyrus round the lakelet Pamalombe, into which the river expands, a
number of Manganja families who had been driven from their homes by
the Ajawa raids. So thickly did the papyrus grow, that when beat
down it supported their small temporary huts, though when they walked
from one hut to another, it heaved and bent beneath their feet as
thin ice does at home.

A dense and impenetrable forest of the papyrus was left standing
between them and the land, and no one passing by on the same side
would ever have suspected that human beings lived there. They came
to this spot from the south by means of their canoes, which enabled
them to obtain a living from the fine fish which abound in the
lakelet. They had a large quantity of excellent salt sewed up in
bark, some of which we bought, our own having run out. We anchored
for the night off their floating camp, and were visited by myriads of
mosquitoes. Some of the natives show a love of country quite
surprising. We saw fugitives on the mountains, in the north of the
lake, who were persisting in clinging to the haunts of their boyhood
and youth, in spite of starvation and the continual danger of being
put to death by the Mazitu.

A few miles below the lakelet is the last of the great slave-
crossings. Since the Ajawa invasion the villages on the left bank
had been abandoned, and the people, as we saw in our ascent, were
living on the right or western bank.

As we were resting for a few minutes opposite the valuable fishery at
Movunguti, a young effeminate-looking man from some sea-coast tribe
came in great state to have a look at us. He walked under a large
umbrella, and was followed by five handsome damsels gaily dressed and
adorned with a view to attract purchasers. One was carrying his pipe
for smoking bang, here called "chamba;" another his bow and arrows; a
third his battle-axe; a fourth one of his robes; while the last was
ready to take his umbrella when he felt tired. This show of his
merchandise was to excite the cupidity of any chief who had ivory,
and may be called the lawful way of carrying on the slave-trade.
What proportion it bears to the other ways in which we have seen this
traffic pursued, we never found means of forming a judgment. He sat
and looked at us for a few minutes, the young ladies kneeling behind
him; and having satisfied himself that we were not likely to be
customers, he departed.

On our first trip we met, at the landing opposite this place, a
middle-aged woman of considerable intelligence, and possessing more
knowledge of the country than any of the men. Our first definite
information about Lake Nyassa was obtained from her. Seeing us
taking notes, she remarked that she had been to the sea, and had
there seen white men writing. She had seen camels also, probably
among the Arabs. She was the only Manganja woman we ever met who was
ashamed of wearing the "pelele," or lip-ring. She retired to her
hut, took it out, and kept her hand before her mouth to hide the
hideous hole in the lip while conversing with us. All the villagers
respected her, and even the headmen took a secondary place in her
presence. On inquiring for her now, we found that she was dead. We
never obtained sufficient materials to estimate the relative
mortality of the highlands and lowlands; but, from many very old
white-headed blacks having been seen on the highlands, we think it
probable that even native races are longer lived the higher their
dwelling-places are.

We landed below at Mikena's and took observations for longitude, to
verify those taken two years before. The village was deserted,
Mikena and his people having fled to the other side of the river. A
few had come across this morning to work in their old gardens. After
completing the observations we had breakfast; and, as the last of the
things were being carried into the boat, a Manganja man came running
down to his canoe, crying out, "The Ajawa have just killed my
comrade!" We shoved off, and in two minutes the advanced guard of a
large marauding party were standing with their muskets on the spot
where we had taken breakfast. They were evidently surprised at
seeing us there, and halted; as did also the main body of perhaps a
thousand men. "Kill them," cried the Manganja; "they are going up to
the hills to kill the English," meaning the missionaries we had left
at Magomero. But having no prospect of friendly communication with
them, nor confidence in Manganja's testimony, we proceeded down the
river; leaving the Ajawa sitting under a large baobab, and the
Manganja cursing them most energetically across the river.

On our way up, we had seen that the people of Zimika had taken refuge
on a long island in the Shire, where they had placed stores of grain
to prevent it falling into the hands of the Ajawa; supposing
afterwards that the invasion and war were past, they had removed back
again to the mainland on the east, and were living in fancied
security. On approaching the chief's village, which was built in the
midst of a beautiful grove of lofty wild-fig and palm trees, sounds
of revelry fell upon our ears. The people were having a merry time--
drumming, dancing, and drinking beer--while a powerful enemy was
close at hand, bringing death or slavery to every one in the village.
One of our men called out to several who came to the bank to look at
us, that the Ajawa were coming and were even now at Mikena's village;
but they were dazed with drinking, and took no notice of the warning.

Crowds of carriers offered their services after we left the river.
Several sets of them placed so much confidence in us, as to decline
receiving payment at the end of the first day; they wished to work
another day, and so receive both days' wages in one piece. The young
headman of a new village himself came on with his men. The march was
a pretty long one, and one of the men proposed to lay the burdens
down beside a hut a mile or more from the next village. The headman
scolded the fellow for his meanness in wishing to get rid of our
goods where we could not procure carriers, and made him carry them
on. The village, at the foot of the cataracts, had increased very
much in size and wealth since we passed it on our way up. A number
of large new huts had been built; and the people had a good stock of
cloth and beads. We could not account for this sudden prosperity,
until we saw some fine large canoes, instead of the two old, leaky
things which lay there before. This had become a crossing-place for
the slaves that the Portuguese agents were carrying to Tette, because
they were afraid to take them across nearer to where the ship lay,
about seven miles off. Nothing was more disheartening than this
conduct of the Manganja, in profiting by the entire breaking up of
their nation.

We reached the ship on the 8th of November, 1861, in a very weak
condition, having suffered more from hunger than on any previous
trip. Heavy rains commenced on the 9th, and continued several days;
the river rose rapidly, and became highly discoloured. Bishop
Mackenzie came down to the ship on the 14th, with some of the
"Pioneer's" men, who had been at Magomero for the benefit of their
health, and also for the purpose of assisting the Mission. The
Bishop appeared to be in excellent spirits, and thought that the
future promised fair for peace and usefulness. The Ajawa having been
defeated and driven off while we were on the Lake, had sent word that
they desired to live at peace with the English. Many of the Manganja
had settled round Magomero, in order to be under the protection of
the Bishop; and it was hoped that the slave-trade would soon cease in
the highlands, and the people be left in the secure enjoyment of
their industry. The Mission, it was also anticipated, might soon
become, to a considerable degree, self-supporting, and raise certain
kinds of food, like the Portuguese of Senna and Quillimane. Mr.
Burrup, an energetic young man, had arrived at Chibisa's the day
before the Bishop, having come up the Shire in a canoe. A surgeon
and a lay brother followed behind in another canoe. The "Pioneer's"
draught being too much for the upper part of the Shire, it was not
deemed advisable to bring her up, on the next trip, further than the
Ruo; the Bishop, therefore, resolved to explore the country from
Magomero to the mouth of that river, and to meet the ship with his
sisters and Mrs. Burrup, in January. This was arranged before
parting, and then the good Bishop and Burrup, whom we were never to
meet again, left us; they gave and received three hearty English
cheers as they went to the shore, and we steamed off.

The rains ceased on the 14th, and the waters of the Shire fell, even
more rapidly than they had risen. A shoal, twenty miles below
Chibisa's, checked our further progress, and we lay there five weary
weeks, till the permanent rise of the river took place. During this
detention, with a large marsh on each side, the first death occurred
in the Expedition which had now been three-and-a-half years in the
country. The carpenter's mate, a fine healthy young man, was seized
with fever. The usual remedies had no effect; he died suddenly while
we were at evening prayers, and was buried on shore. He came out in
the "Pioneer," and, with the exception of a slight touch of fever at
the mouth of the Rovuma, had enjoyed perfect health all the time he
had been with us. The Portuguese are of opinion that the European
who has immunity from this disease for any length of time after he
enters the country is more likely to be cut off by it when it does
come, than the man who has it frequently at first.

The rains became pretty general towards the close of December, and
the Shire was in flood in the beginning of January, 1862. At our
wooding-place, a mile above the Ruo, the water was three feet higher
than it was when we were here in June; and on the night of the 6th it
rose eighteen inches more, and swept down an immense amount of
brushwood and logs which swarmed with beetles and the two kinds of
shells which are common all over the African continent. Natives in
canoes were busy spearing fish in the meadows and creeks, and
appeared to be taking them in great numbers. Spur-winged geese, and
others of the knob-nosed species, took advantage of the low gardens
being flooded, and came to pilfer the beans. As we passed the Ruo,
on the 7th, and saw nothing of the Bishop, we concluded that he had
heard from his surgeon of our detention, and had deferred his
journey. He arrived there five days after, on the 12th.

After paying our Senna men, as they wished to go home, we landed them
here. All were keen traders, and had invested largely in native
iron-hoes, axes, and ornaments. Many of the hoes and spears had been
taken from the slaving parties whose captives we liberated; for on
these occasions our Senna friends were always uncommonly zealous and
active. The remainder had been purchased with the old clothes we had
given them and their store of hippopotamus meat: they had no fear of
losing them, or of being punished for aiding us. The system, in
which they had been trained, had eradicated the idea of personal
responsibility from their minds. The Portuguese slaveholders would
blame the English alone, they said; they were our servants at the
time. No white man on board could purchase so cheaply as these men
could. Many a time had their eloquence persuaded a native trader to
sell for a bit of dirty worn cloth things for which he had, but a
little before, refused twice the amount of clean new calico.
"Scissors" being troubled with a cough at night, received a present
of a quilted coverlet, which had seen a good deal of service. A few
days afterwards, a good chance of investing in hoes offering itself,
he ripped off both sides, tore them into a dozen pieces, and
purchased about a dozen hoes with them.

We entered the Zambesi on the 11th of January, and steamed down
towards the coast, taking the side on which we had come up; but the
channel had changed to the other side during the summer, as it
sometimes does, and we soon grounded. A Portuguese gentleman,
formerly a lieutenant in the army, and now living on Sangwisa, one of
the islands of the Zambesi, came over with his slaves, to aid us in
getting the ship off. He said frankly, that his people were all
great thieves, and we must be on our guard not to leave anything
about. He next made a short speech to his men, told them he knew
what thieves they were, but implored them not to steal from us, as we
would give them a present of cloth when the work was done. "The
natives of this country," he remarked to us, "think only of three
things, what they shall eat and drink, how many wives they can have,
and what they may steal from their master, if not how they may murder
him." He always slept with a loaded musket by his side. This
opinion may apply to slaves, but decidedly does not in our experience
apply to freemen. We paid his men for helping us, and believe that
even they, being paid, stole nothing from us. Our friend farms
pretty extensively the large island called Sangwisa,--lent him for
nothing by Senhor Ferrao,--and raises large quantities of mapira and
beans, and also beautiful white rice, grown from seed brought a few
years ago from South Carolina. He furnished us with some, which was
very acceptable; for though not in absolute want, we were living on
beans, salt pork, and fowls, all the biscuit and flour on board
having been expended.

We fully expected that the owners of the captives we had liberated
would show their displeasure, at least by their tongues; but they
seemed ashamed; only one ventured a remark, and he, in the course of
common conversation, said, with a smile, "You took the Governor's
slaves, didn't you?" "Yes, we did free several gangs that we met in
the Manganja country." The Portuguese of Tette, from the Governor
downwards, were extensively engaged in slaving. The trade is partly
internal and partly external: they send some of the captives, and
those bought, into the interior, up the Zambesi: some of these we
actually met on their way up the river. The young women were sold
there for ivory: an ordinary-looking one brought two arrobas, sixty-
four pounds weight, and an extra beauty brought twice that amount.
The men and boys were kept as carriers, to take the ivory down from
the interior to Tette, or were retained on farms on the Zambesi,
ready for export if a slaver should call: of this last mode of
slaving we were witnesses also. The slaves were sent down the river
chained, and in large canoes. This went on openly at Tette, and more
especially so while the French "Free Emigration" system was in full
operation. This double mode of disposing of the captives pays better
than the single system of sending them down to the coast for
exportation. One merchant at Tette, with whom we were well
acquainted, sent into the interior three hundred Manganja women to be
sold for ivory, and another sent a hundred and fifty.


Arrival of H.M.S. "Gorgon"--Dr. Livingstone's new steamer and Mrs.
Livingstone--Death of Mrs. Livingstone--Voyage to Johanna and the
Rovuma--An attack upon the "Pioneer's" boats.

We anchored on the Great Luabo mouth of the Zambesi, because wood was
much more easily obtained there than at the Kongone.

On the 30th, H.M.S. "Gorgon" arrived, towing the brig which brought
Mrs. Livingstone, some ladies about to join their relatives in the
Universities' Mission, and the twenty-four sections of a new iron
steamer intended for the navigation of Lake Nyassa. The "Pioneer"
steamed out, and towed the brig into the Kongone harbour. The new
steamer was called the "Lady of the Lake," or the "Lady Nyassa," and
as much as could be carried of her in one trip was placed, by the
help of the officers and men of the "Gorgon," on board the "Pioneer,"
and the two large paddle-box boats of H.M.'s ship. We steamed off
for Ruo on the 10th of February, having on board Captain Wilson, with
a number of his officers and men to help us to discharge the cargo.
Our progress up was distressingly slow. The river was in flood, and
we had a three-knot current against us in many places. These delays
kept us six months in the delta, instead of, as we anticipated, only
six days; for, finding it impossible to carry the sections up to the
Ruo without great loss of time, it was thought best to land them at
Shupanga, and, putting the hull of the "Lady Nyassa" together there,
to tow her up to the foot of the Murchison Cataracts.

A few days before the "Pioneer" reached Shupanga, Captain Wilson,
seeing the hopeless state of affairs, generously resolved to hasten
with the Mission ladies up to those who, we thought, were anxiously
awaiting their arrival, and therefore started in his gig for the Ruo,
taking Miss Mackenzie, Mrs. Burrup, and his surgeon, Dr. Ramsay.
They were accompanied by Dr. Kirk and Mr. Sewell, paymaster of the
"Gorgon," in the whale-boat of the "Lady Nyassa." As our slow-paced-
launch, "Ma Robert," had formerly gone up to the foot of the
cataracts in nine days' steaming, it was supposed that the boats
might easily reach the expected meeting-place at the Ruo in a week;
but the Shire was now in flood, and in its most rapid state; and they
were longer in getting up about half the distance, than it was hoped
they would be in the whole navigable part of the river. They could
hear nothing of the Bishop from the chief of the island, Malo, at the
mouth of the Ruo. "No white man had ever come to his village," he
said. They proceeded on to Chibisa's, suffering terribly from
mosquitoes at night. Their toil in stemming the rapid current made
them estimate the distance, by the windings, as nearer 300 than 200
miles. The Makololo who had remained at Chibisa's told them the sad
news of the death of the good Bishop and of Mr. Burrup. Other
information received there awakened fresh anxiety on behalf of the
survivors; so, leaving the ladies with Dr. Ramsay and the Makololo,
Captain Wilson and Dr. Kirk went up the hills, in hopes of being able
to render assistance, and on the way they met some of the Mission
party at Soche's. The excessive fatigue that our friends had
undergone in the voyage up to Chibisa's in no wise deterred them from
this further attempt for the benefit of their countrymen, but the
fresh labour, with diminished rations, was too much for their
strength. They were reduced to a diet of native beans and an
occasional fowl. Both became very ill of fever, Captain Wilson so
dangerously that his fellow-sufferer lost all hopes of his recovery.
His strong able-bodied cockswain did good service in cheerfully
carrying his much-loved Commander, and they managed to return to the
boat, and brought the two bereaved and sorrow-stricken ladies back to
the "Pioneer."

We learnt that the Bishop, wishing to find a shorter route down to
the Shire, had sent two men to explore the country between Magomero
and the junction of the Ruo; and in December Messrs. Proctor and
Scudamore, with a number of Manganja carriers, left Magomero for the
same purpose. They were to go close to Mount Choro, and then skirt
the Elephant Marsh, with Mount Clarendon on their left. Their guides
seem to have led them away to the east, instead of south; to the
upper waters of the Ruo in the Shirwa valley, instead of to its
mouth. Entering an Anguru slave-trading village, they soon began to
suspect that the people meant mischief, and just before sunset a
woman told some of their men that if they slept there they would all
be killed. On their preparing to leave, the Anguru followed them and
shot their arrows at the retreating party. Two of the carriers were
captured, and all the goods were taken by these robbers. An arrow-
head struck deep into the stock of Proctor's gun; and the two
missionaries, barely escaping with their lives, swam a deep river at
night, and returned to Magomero famished and exhausted.

The wives of the captive carriers came to the Bishop day after day
weeping and imploring him to rescue their husbands from slavery. The
men had been caught while in his service, no one else could be
entreated; there was no public law nor any power superior to his own,
to which an appeal could be made; for in him Church and State were,
in the disorganized state of the country, virtually united. It
seemed to him to be clearly his duty to try and rescue these
kidnapped members of the Mission family. He accordingly invited the
veteran Makololo to go with him on this somewhat hazardous errand.
Nothing could have been proposed to them which they would have liked
better, and they went with alacrity to eat the sheep of the Anguru,
only regretting that the enemy did not keep cattle as well. Had the
matter been left entirely in their hands, they would have made a
clean sweep of that part of the country; but the Bishop restrained
them, and went in an open manner, thus commending the measure to all
the natives, as one of justice. This deliberation, however, gave the
delinquents a chance of escape.

The missionaries were successful; the offending village was burned,
and a few sheep and goats were secured which could not be considered
other than a very mild punishment for the offence committed; the
headman, Muana-somba, afraid to retain the prisoners any longer,
forthwith liberated them, and they returned to their homes. This
incident took place at the time we were at the Ruo and during the
rains, and proved very trying to the health of the missionaries; they
were frequently wetted, and had hardly any food but roasted maize.
Mr. Scudamore was never well afterwards. Directly on their return to
Magomero, the Bishop and Mr. Burrup, both suffering from diarrhoea in
consequence of wet, hunger, and exposure, started for Chibisa's to go
down to the Ruo by the Shire. So fully did the Bishop expect a
renewal of the soaking wet from which he had just returned, that on
leaving Magomero he walked through the stream. The rivulets were so
swollen that it took five days to do a journey that would otherwise
have occupied only two days and a half.

None of the Manganja being willing to take them down the river during
the flood, three Makololo canoe-men agreed to go with them. After
paddling till near sunset, they decided to stop and sleep on shore;
but the mosquitoes were so numerous that they insisted on going on
again; the Bishop, being a week behind the time he had engaged to be
at the Ruo, reluctantly consented, and in the darkness the canoe was
upset in one of the strong eddies or whirlpools, which suddenly boil
up in flood time near the outgoing branches of the river; clothing,
medicines, tea, coffee, and sugar were all lost. Wet and weary, and
tormented by mosquitoes, they lay in the canoe till morning dawned,
and then proceeded to Malo, an island at the mouth of the Ruo, where
the Bishop was at once seized with fever.

Had they been in their usual health, they would doubtless have pushed
on to Shupanga, or to the ship; but fever rapidly prostrates the
energies, and induces a drowsy stupor, from which, if not roused by
medicine, the patient gradually sinks into the sleep of death. Still
mindful, however, of his office, the Bishop consoled himself by
thinking that he might gain the friendship of the chief, which would
be of essential service to him in his future labours. That heartless
man, however, probably suspicious of all foreigners from the
knowledge he had acquired of white slave-traders, wanted to turn the
dying Bishop out of the hut, as he required it for his corn, but
yielded to the expostulations of the Makololo. Day after day for
three weeks did these faithful fellows remain beside his mat on the
floor; till, without medicine or even proper food, he died. They dug
his grave on the edge of the deep dark forest where the natives
buried their dead. Mr. Burrup, himself far gone with dysentery,
staggered from the hut, and, as in the dusk of evening they committed
the Bishop's body to the grave, repeated from memory portions of our
beautiful service for the Burial of the Dead--"earth to earth, ashes
to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection
of the dead through our Lord Jesus Christ." And in this sad way
ended the earthly career of one, of whom it can safely be said that
for unselfish goodness of heart, and earnest devotion to the noble
work he had undertaken, none of the commendations of his friends can
exceed the reality. The grave in which his body rests is about a
hundred yards from the confluence of the Ruo, on the left bank of the
Shire, and opposite the island of Malo. The Makololo then took Mr.
Burrup up in the canoe as far as they could, and, making a litter of
branches, carried him themselves, or got others to carry him, all the
way back to his countrymen at Magomero. They hurried him on lest he
should die in their hands, and blame be attached to them. Soon after
his return he expired, from the disease which was on him when he
started to meet his wife.

Captain Wilson arrived at Shupanga on the 11th of March, having been
three weeks on the Shire. On the 15th the "Pioneer" steamed down to
the Kongone. The "Gorgon" had been driven out to sea in a gale, and
had gone to Johanna for provisions, and it was the 2nd of April
before she returned. It was fortunate for us that she had obtained a
supply, as our provisions were exhausted, and we had to buy some from
the master of the brig. The "Gorgon" left for the Cape on the 4th,
taking all, except one, of the Mission party who had come in January.
We take this opportunity of expressing our heartfelt gratitude to the
gallant Captain I. C. Wilson and his officers for innumerable acts of
kindness and hearty co-operation. Our warmest thanks are also due to
Captain R. B. Oldfield and the other officers from the Admiral
downwards, and we beg to assure them that nothing could be more
encouraging to us in our difficulties and trials, than the knowledge
that we possessed their friendship and sympathy in our labours.

The Rev. James Stewart, of the Free Church of Scotland, arrived in
the "Gorgon." He had wisely come out to inspect the country, before
deciding on the formation of a Mission in the interior. To this
object he devoted many months of earnest labour. This Mission was
intended to embrace both the industrial and the religious element;
and as the route by the Zambesi and Shire forms the only one at
present known, with but a couple of days' land journey to the
highlands, which stretch to an unknown distance into the continent,
and as no jealousy was likely to be excited in the mind of a man of
Bishop Mackenzie's enlarged views--there being moreover room for
hundreds of Missions--we gladly extended the little aid in our power
to an envoy from the energetic body above mentioned, but recommended
him to examine the field with his own eyes.

During our subsequent detention at Shupanga, he proceeded as far up
the Shire as the Upper Cataracts, and saw the mere remnants of that
dense population, which we at first had found living in peace and
plenty, but which was now scattered and destroyed by famine and
slave-hunting. The land, which both before and after we found so
fair and fruitful, was burned up by a severe drought; in fact, it was
at its very worst. With most praiseworthy energy, and in spite of
occasional attacks of fever, he then ascended the Zambesi as far as
Kebrabasa; and, what may be of interest to some, compared it, in
parts, to the Danube. His estimate of the highlands would naturally
be lower than ours. The main drawbacks in his opinion, however, were
the slave-trade, and the power allowed the effete Portuguese of
shutting up the country from all except a few convicts of their own
nation. The time of his coming was inopportune; the disasters which,
from inexperience, had befallen the Mission of the Universities, had
a depressing effect on the minds of many at home, and rendered a new
attempt unadvisable; though, had the Scotch perseverance and energy
been introduced, it is highly probable that they would have reacted,
most beneficially, on the zeal of our English brethren, and desertion
would never have been heard of. After examining the country, Mr.
Stewart descended the Zambesi in the beginning of the following year,
and proceeded homewards with his report, by Mosambique and the Cape.

On the 7th of April we had only one man fit for duty; all the rest
were down with fever, or with the vile spirit secretly sold to them
by the Portuguese officer of customs, in spite of our earnest request
to him to refrain from the pernicious traffic.

We started on the 11th for Shupanga with another load of the "Lady
Nyassa." As we steamed up the delta, we observed many of the natives
wearing strips of palm-leaf, the signs of sickness and mourning; for
they too suffer from fever. This is the unhealthy season; the rains
are over, and the hot sun draws up malaria from the decayed
vegetation; disease seemed peculiarly severe this year. On our way
up we met Mr. Waller, who had come from Magomero for provisions; the
missionaries were suffering severely from want of food; the liberated
people were starving, and dying of diarrhoea, and loathsome sores.
The Ajawa, stimulated in their slave raids by supplies of ammunition
and cloth from the Portuguese, had destroyed the large crops of the
past year; a drought had followed, and little or no food could be
bought. With his usual energy, Mr. Waller hired canoes, loaded them
with stores, and took them up the long weary way to Chibisa's.
Before he arrived he was informed that the Mission of the
Universities, now deprived of its brave leader, had retired from the
highlands down to the Low Shire Valley. This appeared to us, who
knew the danger of leading a sedentary life, the greatest mistake
they could have made, and was the result of no other counsel or
responsibility than their own. Waller would have reascended at once
to the higher altitude, but various objections stood in the way. The
loss of poor Scudamore and Dickinson, in this low-lying situation,
but added to the regret that the highlands had not received a fair

When the news of the Bishop's unfortunate collisions with the
natives, and of his untimely end, reached England, much blame was
imputed to him. The policy, which with the formal sanction of all
his companions he had adopted, being directly contrary to the advice
which Dr. Livingstone tendered, and to the assurances of the
peaceable nature of the Mission which the Doctor had given to the
natives, a friendly disapproval of a bishop's engaging in war was
ventured on, when we met him at Chibisa's in November. But when we
found his conduct regarded with so much bitterness in England,
whether from a disposition to "stand by the down man," or from having
an intimate knowledge of the peculiar circumstances of the country in
which he was placed, or from the thorough confidence which intimacy
caused us to repose in his genuine piety, and devout service of God,
we came to think much more leniently of his proceedings, than his
assailants did. He never seemed to doubt but that he had done his
duty; and throughout he had always been supported by his associates.

The question whether a Bishop, in the event of his flock being torn
from his bosom, may make war to rescue them, requires serious
consideration. It seems to narrow itself into whether a Christian
man may lawfully use the civil power or the sword at all in defensive
war, as police or otherwise. We would do almost anything to avoid a
collision with degraded natives; but in case of an invasion--our
blood boils at the very thought of our wives, daughters, or sisters
being touched--we, as men with human feelings, would unhesitatingly
fight to the death, with all the fury in our power.

The good Bishop was as intensely averse to using arms, before he met
the slave-hunters, as any man in England. In the course he pursued
he may have made a mistake, but it is a mistake which very few
Englishmen on meeting bands of helpless captives, or members of his
family in bonds, would have failed to commit likewise.

During unhealthy April, the fever was more severe in Shupanga and
Mazaro than usual. We had several cases on board--they were quickly
cured, but, from our being in the delta, as quickly returned. About
the middle of the month Mrs. Livingstone was prostrated by this
disease; and it was accompanied by obstinate vomiting. Nothing is
yet known that can allay this distressing symptom, which of course
renders medicine of no avail, as it is instantly rejected. She
received whatever medical aid could be rendered from Dr. Kirk, but
became unconscious, and her eyes were closed in the sleep of death as
the sunset on the evening of the Christian Sabbath, the 27th April,
1862. A coffin was made during the night, a grave was dug next day
under the branches of the great baobab-tree, and with sympathizing
hearts the little band of his countrymen assisted the bereaved
husband in burying his dead. At his request, the Rev. James Stewart
read the burial-service; and the seamen kindly volunteered to mount
guard for some nights at the spot where her body rests in hope.
Those who are not aware how this brave, good, English wife made a
delightful home at Kolobeng, a thousand miles inland from the Cape,
and as the daughter of Moffat and a Christian lady exercised most
beneficial influence over the rude tribes of the interior, may wonder
that she should have braved the dangers and toils of this down-
trodden land. She knew them all, and, in the disinterested and
dutiful attempt to renew her labours, was called to her rest instead.
"Fiat, Domine, voluntas tua!"

On the 5th of May Dr. Kirk and Charles Livingstone started in the
boat for Tette, in order to see the property of the Expedition
brought down in canoes. They took four Mazaro canoe-men to manage
the boat, and a white sailor to cook for them; but, unfortunately, he
caught fever the very day after leaving the ship, and was ill most of
the trip; so they had to cook for themselves, and to take care of him

We now proceeded with preparations for the launch of the "Lady
Nyassa." Ground was levelled on the bank at Shupanga, for the
purpose of arranging the compartments in order: she was placed on
palm-trees which were brought from a place lower down the river for
ways, and the engineer and his assistants were soon busily engaged;
about a fortnight after they were all brought from Kongone, the
sections were screwed together. The blacks are more addicted to
stealing where slavery exists than elsewhere. We were annoyed by
thieves who carried off the iron screw-bolts, but were gratified to
find that strychnine saved us from the man-thief as well as the
hyena-thief. A hyena was killed by it, and after the natives saw the
dead animal and knew how we had destroyed it, they concluded that it
was not safe to steal from men who possessed a medicine so powerful.
The half-caste, who kept Shupanga-house, said he wished to have some
to give to the Zulus, of whom he was mortally afraid, and to whom he
had to pay an unwilling tribute.

The "Pioneer" made several trips to the Kongone, and returned with
the last load on the 12th of June. On the 23rd the "Lady Nyassa" was
safely launched, the work of putting her together having been
interrupted by fever and dysentery, and many other causes which it
would only weary the reader to narrate in detail. Natives from all
parts of the country came to see the launch, most of them quite
certain that, being made of iron, she must go to the bottom as soon
as she entered the water. Earnest discussions had taken place among
them with regard to the propriety of using iron for ship-building.
The majority affirmed that it would never answer. They said, "If we
put a hoe into the water, or the smallest bit of iron, it sinks
immediately. How then can such a mass of iron float? it must go to
the bottom." The minority answered that this might be true with
them, but white men had medicine for everything. "They could even
make a woman, all except the speaking; look at that one on the
figure-head of the vessel." The unbelievers were astonished, and
could hardly believe their eyes, when they saw the ship float lightly
and gracefully on the river, instead of going to the bottom, as they
so confidently predicted. "Truly," they said, "these men have
powerful medicine."

Birds are numerous on the Shupanga estate. Some kinds remain all the
year round, while many others are there only for a few months.
Flocks of green pigeons come in April to feed on the young fruit of
the wild fig-trees, which is also eaten by a large species of bat in
the evenings. The pretty little black weaver, with yellow shoulders,
appears to enjoy life intensely after assuming his wooing dress. A
hearty breakfast is eaten in the mornings and then come the hours for
making merry. A select party of three or four perch on the bushes
which skirt a small grassy plain, and cheer themselves with the music
of their own quiet and self-complacent song. A playful performance
on the wind succeeds. Expanding his soft velvet-like plumage, one
glides with quivering pinions to the centre of the open space,
singing as he flies, then turns with a rapid whirring sound from his
wings--somewhat like a child's rattle--and returns to his place
again. One by one the others perform the same feat, and continue the
sport for hours, striving which can produce the loudest brattle while
turning. These games are only played during the season of courting
and of the gay feathers; the merriment seems never to be thought of
while the bird wears his winter suit of sober brown.

We received two mules from the Cape to aid us in transporting the
pieces of the "Lady Nyassa" past the cataracts and landed them at
Shupanga, but they soon perished. A Portuguese gentleman kindly
informed us, AFTER both the mules were dead, that he knew they would
die; for the land there had been often tried, and nothing would live
on it--not even a pig. He said he had not told us so before, because
he did not like to appear officious!

By the time everything had been placed on board the "Lady Nyassa,"
the waters of the Zambesi and the Shire had fallen so low that it was
useless to attempt taking her up to the cataracts before the rains in
December. Draught oxen and provisions also were required, and could
not be obtained nearer than the Island of Johanna. The Portuguese,
without refusing positively to let trade enter the Zambesi, threw
impediments in the way; they only wanted a small duty! They were
about to establish a river police, and rearrange the Crown lands,
which have long since become Zulu lands; meanwhile they were making
the Zambesi, by slaving, of no value to any one.

The Rovuma, which was reported to come from Lake Nyassa, being out of
their claims and a free river, we determined to explore it in our
boats immediately on our return from Johanna, for which place, after
some delay at the Kongone, in repairing engines, paddle-wheel, and
rudder, we sailed on the 6th of August. A store of naval provisions
had been formed on a hulk in Pomone Bay of that island for the supply
of the cruisers, and was in charge of Mr. Sunley, the Consul, from
whom we always received the kindest attentions and assistance. He
now obliged us by parting with six oxen, trained for his own use in
sugar-making. Though sadly hampered in his undertaking by being
obliged to employ slave labour, he has by indomitable energy overcome
obstacles under which most persons would have sunk. He has done all
that under the circumstances could be done to infuse a desire for
freedom, by paying regular wages; and has established a large
factory, and brought 300 acres of rich soil under cultivation with
sugar-cane. We trust he will realize the fortune which he so well
deserves to earn. Had Mr. Sunley performed the same experiment on
the mainland, where people would have flocked to him for the wages he
now gives, he would certainly have inaugurated a new era on the East
Coast of Africa. On a small island where the slaveholders have
complete power over the slaves, and where there is no free soil such
as is everywhere met with in Africa, the experiment ought not to be
repeated. Were Mr. Sunley commencing again, it should neither be in
Zanzibar nor Johanna, but on African soil, where, if even a slave is
ill-treated, he can easily by flight become free. On an island under
native rule a joint manufacture by Arabs and Englishmen might only
mean that the latter were to escape the odium of flogging the slaves.

On leaving Johanna and our oxen for a time, H.M.S. "Orestes" towed us
thence to the mouth of the Rovuma at the beginning of September.
Captain Gardner, her commander, and several of his officers,
accompanied us up the river for two days in the gig and cutter. The
water was unusually low, and it was rather dull work for a few hours
in the morning; but the scene became livelier and more animated when
the breeze began to blow. Our four boats they swept on under full
sail, the men on the look out in the gig and cutter calling, "Port,
sir!" "Starboard, sir!" "As you go, sir!" while the black men in
the bows of the others shouted the practical equivalents, "Pagombe!
Pagombe!" "Enda quete!" "Berane! Berane!" Presently the leading-
boat touches on a sandbank; down comes the fluttering sail; the men
jump out to shove her off, and the other boats, shunning the
obstruction, shoot on ahead to be brought up each in its turn by
mistaking a sandbank for the channel, which had often but a very
little depth of water.

A drowsy herd of hippopotami were suddenly startled by a score of
rifle-shots, and stared in amazement at the strange objects which had
invaded their peaceful domains, until a few more bullets compelled
them to seek refuge at the bottom of the deep pool, near which they
had been quietly reposing. On our return, one of the herd
retaliated. He followed the boat, came up under it, and twice tried
to tear the bottom out of it; but fortunately it was too flat for his
jaws to get a good grip, so he merely damaged one of the planks with
his tusks, though he lifted the boat right up, with ten men and a ton
of ebony in it.

We slept, one of the two nights Captain Gardner was with us, opposite
the lakelet Chidia, which is connected with the river in flood time,
and is nearly surrounded by hills some 500 or 600 feet high, dotted
over with trees. A few small groups of huts stood on the hill-sides,
with gardens off which the usual native produce had been reaped. The
people did not seem much alarmed by the presence of the large party
which had drawn up on the sandbanks below their dwellings. There is
abundance of large ebony in the neighbourhood. The pretty little
antelope (Cephalophus caeruleus), about the size of a hare, seemed to
abound, as many of their skins were offered for sale. Neat figured
date-leaf mats of various colours are woven here, the different dyes
being obtained from the barks of trees. Cattle could not live on the
banks of the Rovuma on account of the tsetse, which are found from
near the mouth, up as far as we could take the boats. The navigation
did not improve as we ascended; snags, brought down by the floods,
were common, and left in the channel on the sudden subsidence of the
water. In many places, where the river divided into two or three
channels, there was not water enough in any of them for a boat
drawing three feet, so we had to drag ours over the shoals; but we
saw the river at its very lowest, and it may be years before it is so
dried up again.

The valley of the Rovuma, bounded on each side by a range of
highlands, is from two to four miles in width, and comes in a pretty
straight course from the W.S.W.; but the channel of the river is
winding, and now at its lowest zigzagged so perversely, that
frequently the boats had to pass over three miles to make one in a
straight line. With a full stream it must of course be much easier
work. Few natives were seen during the first week. Their villages
are concealed in the thick jungle on the hill-sides, for protection
from marauding slave-parties. Not much of interest was observed on
this part of the silent and shallow river. Though feeling convinced
that it was unfit for navigation, except for eight months of the
year, we pushed on, resolved to see if, further inland, the accounts
we had received from different naval officers of its great
capabilities would prove correct; or if, by communication with Lake
Nyassa, even the upper part could be turned to account. Our
exploration showed us that the greatest precaution is required in
those who visit new countries.

The reports we received from gentlemen, who had entered the river and
were well qualified to judge, were that the Rovuma was infinitely
superior to the Zambesi, in the absence of any bar at its mouth, in
its greater volume of water, and in the beauty of the adjacent lands.
We probably came at a different season from that in which they
visited it, and our account ought to be taken with theirs to arrive
at the truth. It might be available as a highway for commerce during
three quarters of each year; but casual visitors, like ourselves and
others, are all ill able to decide. The absence of animal life was
remarkable. Occasionally we saw pairs of the stately jabirus, or
adjutant-looking marabouts, wading among the shoals, and spur-winged
geese, and other water-fowl, but there was scarcely a crocodile or a
hippopotamus to be seen.

At the end of the first week, an old man called at our camp, and said
he would send a present from his village, which was up among the
hills. He appeared next morning with a number of his people,
bringing meal, cassava-root, and yams. The language differs
considerably from that on the Zambesi, but it is of the same family.
The people are Makonde, and are on friendly terms with the Mabiha,
and the Makoa, who live south of the Rovuma. When taking a walk up
the slopes of the north bank, we found a great variety of trees we
had seen nowhere else. Those usually met with far inland seem here
to approach the coast. African ebony, generally named mpingu, is
abundant within eight miles of the sea; it attains a larger size, and
has more of the interior black wood than usual. A good timber tree
called mosoko is also found; and we saw half-caste Arabs near the
coast cutting up a large log of it into planks. Before reaching the
top of the rise we were in a forest of bamboos. On the plateau
above, large patches were cleared and cultivated. A man invited us
to take a cup of beer; on our complying with his request, the fear
previously shown by the bystanders vanished. Our Mazaro men could
hardly understand what they said. Some of them waded in the river
and caught a curious fish in holes in the claybank. Its ventral fin
is peculiar, being unusually large, and of a circular shape, like
boys' playthings called "suckers." We were told that this fish is
found also in the Zambesi, and is called Chirire. Though all its
fins are large, it is asserted that it rarely ventures out into the
stream, but remains near its hole, where it is readily caught by the

The Zambesi men thoroughly understood the characteristic marks of
deep or shallow water, and showed great skill in finding out the
proper channel. The Molimo is the steersman at the helm, the
Mokadamo is the head canoe-man, and he stands erect on the bows with
a long pole in his hands, and directs the steersman where to go,
aiding the rudder, if necessary, with his pole. The others preferred
to stand and punt our boat, rather than row with our long oars, being
able to shove her ahead faster than they could pull her. They are
accustomed to short paddles. Our Mokadamo was affected with moon-
blindness, and could not see at all at night. His comrades then led
him about, and handed him his food. They thought that it was only
because his eyes rested all night, that he could see the channel so
well by day. At difficult places the Mokadamo sometimes, however,
made mistakes, and ran us aground; and the others, evidently imbued
with the spirit of resistance to constituted authority, and led by
Joao an aspirant for the office, jeered him for his stupidity. "Was
he asleep? Why did he allow the boat to come there? Could he not
see the channel was somewhere else?" At last the Mokadamo threw down
the pole in disgust, and told Joao he might be a Mokadamo himself.
The office was accepted with alacrity; but in a few minutes he too
ran us into a worse difficulty than his predecessor ever did, and was
at once disrated amidst the derision of his comrades.

On the 16th September, we arrived at the inhabited island of
Kichokomane. The usual way of approaching an unknown people is to
call out in a cheerful tone "Malonda!" Things for sale, or do you
want to sell anything? If we can obtain a man from the last village,
he is employed, though only useful in explaining to the next that we
come in a friendly way. The people here were shy of us at first, and
could not be induced to sell any food; until a woman, more
adventurous than the rest, sold us a fowl. This opened the market,
and crowds came with fowls and meal, far beyond our wants. The women
are as ugly as those on Lake Nyassa, for who can be handsome wearing
the pelele, or upper-lip ring, of large dimensions? We were once
surprised to see young men wearing the pelele, and were told that in
the tribe of the Mabiha, on the south bank, men as well as women wore

Along the left bank, above Kichokomane, is an exceedingly fertile
plain, nearly two miles broad, and studded with a number of deserted
villages. The inhabitants were living in temporary huts on low naked
sandbanks; and we found this to be the case as far as we went. They
leave most of their property and food behind, because they are not
afraid of these being stolen, but only fear being stolen themselves.
The great slave-route from Nyassa to Kilwa passes to N.E. from S.W.,
just beyond them; and it is dangerous to remain in their villages at
this time of year, when the kidnappers are abroad. In one of the
temporary villages, we saw, in passing, two human heads lying on the
ground. We slept a couple of miles above this village.

Before sunrise next morning, a large party armed with bows and arrows
and muskets came to the camp, two or three of them having a fowl
each, which we refused to purchase, having bought enough the day
before. They followed us all the morning, and after breakfast those
on the left bank swam across and joined the main party on the other
side. It was evidently their intention to attack us at a chosen
spot, where we had to pass close to a high bank, but their plan was
frustrated by a stiff breeze sweeping the boat past, before the
majority could get to the place. They disappeared then, but came out
again ahead of us, on a high wooded bank, walking rapidly to the
bend, near which we were obliged to sail. An arrow was shot at the
foremost boat; and seeing the force at the bend, we pushed out from
the side, as far as the shoal water would permit, and tried to bring
them to a parley, by declaring that we had not come to fight, but to
see the river. "Why did you fire a gun, a little while ago?" they
asked. "We shot a large puff-adder, to prevent it from killing men;
you may see it lying dead on the beach." With great courage, our
Mokadamo waded to within thirty yards of the bank, and spoke with
much earnestness, assuring them that we were a peaceable party, and
had not come for war, but to see the river. We were friends, and our
countrymen bought cotton and ivory, and wished to come and trade with
them. All we wanted was to go up quietly to look at the river, and
then return to the sea. While he was talking with those on the
shore, the old rogue, who appeared to be the ringleader, stole up the
bank, and with a dozen others, waded across to the island, near which
the boats lay, and came down behind us. Wild with excitement, they
rushed into the water, and danced in our rear, with drawn bows,
taking aim, and making various savage gesticulations. Their leader
urged them to get behind some snags, and then shoot at us. The party
on the bank in front had many muskets--and those of them, who had
bows, held them with arrows ready set in the bowstrings. They had a
mass of thick bush and trees behind them, into which they could in a
moment dart, after discharging their muskets and arrows, and be
completely hidden from our sight; a circumstance that always gives
people who use bows and arrows the greatest confidence.
Notwithstanding these demonstrations, we were exceedingly loath to
come to blows. We spent a full half-hour exposed at any moment to be
struck by a bullet or poisoned arrow. We explained that we were
better armed than they were, and had plenty of ammunition, the
suspected want of which often inspires them with courage, but that we
did not wish to shed the blood of the children of the same Great
Father with ourselves; that if we must fight, the guilt would be all

This being a common mode of expostulation among themselves, we so far
succeeded, that with great persuasion the leader and others laid down
their arms, and waded over from the bank to the boats to talk the
matter over. "This was their river; they did not allow white men to
use it. We must pay toll for leave to pass." It was somewhat
humiliating to do so, but it was pay or fight; and, rather than
fight, we submitted to the humiliation of paying for their
friendship, and gave them thirty yards of cloth. They pledged
themselves to be our friends ever afterwards, and said they would
have food cooked for us on our return. We then hoisted sail, and
proceeded, glad that the affair had been amicably settled. Those on
shore walked up to the bend above to look at the boat, as we
supposed; but the moment she was abreast of them, they gave us a
volley of musket-balls and poisoned arrows, without a word of
warning. Fortunately we were so near, that all the arrows passed
clear over us, but four musket-balls went through the sail just above
our heads. All our assailants bolted into the bushes and long grass
the instant after firing, save two, one of whom was about to
discharge a musket and the other an arrow, when arrested by the fire
of the second boat. Not one of them showed their faces again, till
we were a thousand yards away. A few shots were then fired over
their heads, to give them an idea of the range of our rifles, and
they all fled into the woods. Those on the sandbank rushed off too,
with the utmost speed; but as they had not shot at us, we did not
molest them, and they went off safely with their cloth. They
probably expected to kill one of our number, and in the confusion rob
the boats. It is only where the people are slavers that the natives
of this part of Africa are bloodthirsty.

These people have a bad name in the country in front, even among
their own tribe. A slave-trading Arab we met above, thinking we were
then on our way down the river, advised us not to land at the
villages, but to stay in the boats, as the inhabitants were
treacherous, and attacked at once, without any warning or
provocation. Our experience of their conduct fully confirmed the
truth of what he said. There was no trade on the river where they
lived, but beyond that part there was a brisk canoe-trade in rice and
salt; those further in the interior cultivating rice, and sending it
down the river to be exchanged for salt, which is extracted from the
earth in certain places on the banks. Our assailants hardly
anticipated resistance, and told a neighbouring chief that, if they
had known who we were, they would not have attacked English, who can
"bite hard." They offered no molestations on our way down, though we
were an hour in passing their village. Our canoe-men plucked up
courage on finding that we had come off unhurt. One of them, named
Chiku, acknowledging that he had been terribly frightened, said.
"His fear was not the kind which makes a man jump overboard and run
away; but that which brings the heart up to the mouth, and renders
the man powerless, and no more able to fight than a woman."

In the country of Chonga Michi, about 80 or 90 miles up the river, we
found decent people, though of the same tribe, who treated strangers
with civility. A body of Makoa had come from their own country in
the south, and settled here. The Makoa are known by a cicatrice in
the forehead shaped like the new moon with the horns turned
downwards. The tribe possesses all the country west of Mosambique;
and they will not allow any of the Portuguese to pass into their
country more than two hours' distance from the fort. A hill some ten
or twelve miles distant, called Pau, has been visited during the
present generation only by one Portuguese and one English officer,
and this visit was accomplished only by the influence of the private
friendship of a chief for this Portuguese gentleman. Our allies have
occupied the Fort of Mosambique for three hundred years, but in this,
as in all other cases, have no power further than they can see from a

The Makoa chief, Matingula, was hospitable and communicative, telling
us all he knew of the river and country beyond. He had been once to
Iboe and once at Mosambique with slaves. Our men understood his
language easily. A useless musket he had bought at one of the above
places was offered us for a little cloth. Having received a present
of food from him, a railway rug was handed to him: he looked at it--
had never seen cloth like that before--did not approve of it, and
would rather have cotton cloth. "But this will keep you warm at
night."--"Oh, I do not wish to be kept warm at night."--We gave him a
bit of cotton cloth, not one-third the value of the rug, but it was
more highly prized. His people refused to sell their fowls for our
splendid prints and drab cloths. They had probably been taken in
with gaudy-patterned sham prints before. They preferred a very
cheap, plain, blue stuff of which they had experience. A great
quantity of excellent honey is collected all along the river, by bark
hives being placed for the bees on the high trees on both banks.
Large pots of it, very good and clear, were offered in exchange for a
very little cloth. No wax was brought for sale; there being no
market for this commodity, it is probably thrown away as useless.

At Michi we lose the tableland which, up to this point, bounds the
view on both sides of the river, as it were, with ranges of flat-
topped hills, 600 or 800 feet high; and to this plateau a level
fertile plain succeeds, on which stand detached granite hills. That
portion of the tableland on the right bank seems to bend away to the
south, still preserving the appearance of a hill range. The height
opposite extends a few miles further west, and then branches off in a
northerly direction. A few small pieces of coal were picked up on
the sandbanks, showing that this useful mineral exists on the Rovuma,
or on some of its tributaries: the natives know that it will burn.
At the lakelet Chidia, we noticed the same sandstone rock, with
fossil wood on it, which we have on the Zambesi, and knew to be a
sure evidence of coal beneath. We mentioned this at the time to
Captain Gardner, and our finding coal now seemed a verification of
what we then said; the coal-field probably extends from the Zambesi
to the Rovuma, if not beyond it. Some of the rocks lower down have
the permanent water-line three feet above the present height of the

A few miles west of the Makoa of Matingula, we came again among the
Makonde, but now of good repute. War and slavery have driven them to
seek refuge on the sand-banks. A venerable-looking old man hailed us
as we passed, and asked us if we were going by without speaking. We
landed, and he laid down his gun and came to us; he was accompanied
by his brother, who shook hands with every one in the boat, as he had
seen people do at Kilwa. "Then you have seen white men before?" we
said. "Yes," replied the polite African, "but never people of your
quality." These men were very black, and wore but little clothing.
A young woman, dressed in the highest style of Makonde fashion,
punting as dexterously as a man could, brought a canoe full of girls
to see us. She wore an ornamental head-dress of red beads tied to
her hair on one side of her head, a necklace of fine beads of various
colours, two bright figured brass bracelets on her left arm, and
scarcely a farthing's worth of cloth, though it was at its cheapest.

As we pushed on westwards, we found that the river makes a little
southing, and some reaches were deeper than any near the sea; but
when we had ascended about 140 miles by the river's course from the
sea, soft tufa rocks began to appear; ten miles beyond, the river
became more narrow and rocky, and when, according to our measurement,
we had ascended 156 miles, our further progress was arrested. We
were rather less than two degrees in a straight line from the Coast.
The incidents worth noticing were but few: seven canoes with loads
of salt and rice kept company with us for some days, and the further
we went inland, the more civil the people became.

When we came to a stand, just below the island of Nyamatolo, Long. 38
degrees 36 minutes E., and Lat. 11 degrees 53 minutes, the river was
narrow, and full of rocks. Near the island there is a rocky rapid
with narrow passages fit only for native canoes; the fall is small,
and the banks quite low; but these rocks were an effectual barrier to
all further progress in boats. Previous reports represented the
navigable part of this river as extending to the distance of a
month's sail from its mouth; we found that, at the ordinary heights
of the water, a boat might reach the obstructions which seem peculiar
to all African rivers in six or eight days. The Rovuma is remarkable
for the high lands that flank it for some eighty miles from the
ocean. The cataracts of other rivers occur in mountains, those of
the Rovuma are found in a level part, with hills only in the
distance. Far away in the west and north we could see high blue
heights, probably of igneous origin from their forms, rising out of a

The distance from Ngomano, a spot thirty miles further up, to the
Arab crossing-places of Lake Nyassa Tsenga or Kotakota was said to be
twelve days. The way we had discovered to Lake Nyassa by Murchison's
Cataracts had so much less land carriage, that we considered it best
to take our steamer thither, by the route in which we were well
known, instead of working where we were strangers; and accordingly we
made up our minds to return.

The natives reported a worse place above our turning-point--the
passage being still narrower than this. An Arab, they said, once
built a boat above the rapids, and sent it down full of slaves; but
it was broken to pieces in these upper narrows. Many still
maintained that the Rovuma came from Nyassa, and that it is very
narrow as it issues out of the lake. One man declared that he had
seen it with his own eyes as it left the lake, and seemed displeased
at being cross-questioned, as if we doubted his veracity.

More satisfactory information, as it appeared to us, was obtained
from others. Two days, or thirty miles, beyond where we turned back,
the Rovuma is joined by the Liende, which, coming from the south-
west, rises in the mountains on the east side of Nyassa. The great
slave route to Kilwa runs up the banks of this river, which is only
ankle-deep at the dry season of the year. The Rovuma itself comes
from the W.N.W., and after the traveller passes the confluence of the
Liende at Ngomano or "meeting-place," the chief of which part is
named Ndonde, he finds the river narrow, and the people Ajawa.

Crocodiles in the Rovuma have a sorry time of it. Never before were
reptiles so persecuted and snubbed. They are hunted with spears, and
spring traps are set for them. If one of them enters an inviting
pool after fish, he soon finds a fence thrown round it, and a spring
trap set in the only path out of the enclosure. Their flesh is
eaten, and relished. The banks, on which the female lays her eggs by
night, are carefully searched by day, and all the eggs dug out and
devoured. The fish-hawk makes havoc among the few young ones that
escape their other enemies. Our men were constantly on the look-out
for crocodiles' nests. One was found containing thirty-five newly-
laid eggs, and they declared that the crocodile would lay as many
more the second night in another place. The eggs were a foot deep in
the sand on the top of a bank ten feet high. The animal digs a hole
with its foot, covers the eggs, and leaves them till the river rises
over the nest in about three months afterwards, when she comes back,
and assists the young ones out. We once saw opposite Tette young
crocodiles in December, swimming beside an island in company with an
old one. The yolk of the egg is nearly as white as the real white.
In taste they resemble hen's eggs with perhaps a smack of custard,
and would be as highly relished by whites as by blacks, were it not
for their unsavoury origin in men-eaters.

Hunting the Senze (Aulacodus Swindernianus), an animal the size of a
large cat, but in shape more like a pig, was the chief business of
men and boys as we passed the reedy banks and low islands. They set
fire to a mass of reeds, and, armed with sticks, spears, bows and
arrows, stand in groups guarding the outlets through which the seared
Senze may run from the approaching flames. Dark dense volumes of
impenetrable smoke now roll over on the lee side of the islet, and
shroud the hunters. At times vast sheets of lurid flames bursting
forth, roaring, crackling and exploding, leap wildly far above the
tall reeds. Out rush the terrified animals, and amid the smoke are
seen the excited hunters dancing about with frantic gesticulations,
and hurling stick, spear, and arrow at their burned out victims.
Kites hover over the smoke, ready to pounce on the mantis and locusts
as they spring from the fire. Small crows and hundreds of swallows
are on eager wing, darting into the smoke and out again, seizing
fugitive flies. Scores of insects, in their haste to escape from the
fire, jump into the river, and the active fish enjoy a rare feast.

We returned to the "Pioneer" on the 9th of October, having been away
one month. The ship's company had used distilled water, a condenser
having been sent out from England; and there had not been a single
case of sickness on board since we left, though there were so many
cases of fever the few days she lay in the same spot last year. Our
boat party drank the water of the river, and the three white sailors,
who had never been in an African river before, had some slight
attacks of fever.


Return to the Zambesi--Bishop Mackenzie's grave--Frightful scenes
with crocodiles--Death of Mr. Thornton--African poisons--Recall of
the Expedition.

We put to sea on the 18th of October, and, again touching at Johanna,
obtained a crew of Johanna men and some oxen, and sailed for the
Zambesi; but our fuel failing before we reached it, and the wind
being contrary, we ran into Quillimane for wood.

Quillimane must have been built solely for the sake of carrying on
the slave-trade, for no man in his senses would ever have dreamed of
placing a village on such a low, muddy, fever-haunted, and mosquito-
swarming site, had it not been for the facilities it afforded for
slaving. The bar may at springs and floods be easily crossed by
sailing-vessels, but, being far from the land, it is always dangerous
for boats. Slaves, under the name of "free emigrants," have gone by
thousands from Quillimane, during the last six years, to the ports a
little to the south, particularly to Massangano. Some excellent
brick-houses still stand in the place, and the owners are generous
and hospitable: among them our good friend, Colonel Nunez. His
disinterested kindness to us and to all our countrymen can never be
forgotten. He is a noble example of what energy and uprightness may
accomplish even here. He came out as a cabin-boy, and, without a
single friend to help him, he has persevered in an honourable course
until he is the richest man on the East Coast. When Dr. Livingstone
came down the Zambesi in 1856, Colonel Nunez was the chief of the
only four honourable, trustworthy men in the country. But while he
has risen a whole herd has sunk, making loud lamentations, through
puffs of cigar-smoke, over negro laziness; they might add, their own.

All agricultural enterprise is virtually discouraged by Quillimane
Government. A man must purchase a permit from the Governor, when he
wishes to visit his country farm; and this tax, in a country where
labour is unpopular, causes the farms to be almost entirely left in
the hands of a head slave, who makes returns to his master as
interest or honesty prompts him. A passport must also be bought
whenever a man wishes to go up the river to Mazaro, Senna, or Tette,
or even to reside for a month at Quillimane. With a soil and a
climate well suited for the growth of the cane, abundance of slave
labour, and water communication to any market in the world, they have
never made their own sugar. All they use is imported from Bombay.
"The people of Quillimane have no enterprise," said a young European
Portuguese, "they do nothing, and are always wasting their time in
suffering, or in recovering from fever."

We entered the Zambesi about the end of November and found it
unusually low, so we did not get up to Shupanga till the 19th of
December. The friends of our Mazaro men, who had now become good
sailors and very attentive servants, turned out and gave them a
hearty welcome back from the perils of the sea: they had begun to
fear that they would never return. We hired them at a sixteen-yard
piece of cloth a month--about ten shillings' worth, the Portuguese
market-price of the cloth being then sevenpence halfpenny a yard,--
and paid them five pieces each, for four-and-a-half months' work. A
merchant at the same time paid other Mazaro men three pieces for
seven months, and they were with him in the interior. If the
merchants do not prosper, it is not because labour is dear, but
because it is scarce, and because they are so eager on every occasion
to sell the workmen out of the country. Our men had also received
quantities of good clothes from the sailors of the "Pioneer" and of
the "Orestes," and were now regarded by their neighbours and by
themselves as men of importance. Never before had they possessed so
much wealth: they believed that they might settle in life, being now
of sufficient standing to warrant their entering the married state;
and a wife and a hut were among their first investments. Sixteen
yards were paid to the wife's parents, and a hut cost four yards. We
should have liked to have kept them in the ship, for they were well-
behaved and had learned a great deal of the work required. Though
they would not themselves go again, they engaged others for us; and
brought twice as many as we could take, of their brothers and
cousins, who were eager to join the ship and go with us up the Shire,
or anywhere else. They all agreed to take half-pay until they too
had learned to work; and we found no scarcity of labour, though all
that could be exported is now out of the country.

There had been a drought of unusual severity during the past season
in the country between Lupata and Kebrabasa, and it had extended
north-east to the Manganja highlands. All the Tette slaves, except a
very few household ones, had been driven away by hunger, and were now
far off in the woods, and wherever wild fruit, or the prospect of
obtaining anything whatever to keep the breath of life in them, was
to be found. Their masters were said never to expect to see them
again. There have been two years of great hunger at Tette since we
have been in the country, and a famine like the present prevailed in
1854, when thousands died of starvation. If men like the Cape
farmers owned this country, their energy and enterprise would soon
render the crops independent of rain. There being plenty of slope or
fall, the land could be easily irrigated from the Zambesi and its
tributary streams. A Portuguese colony can never prosper: it is
used as a penal settlement, and everything must be done military
fashion. "What do I care for this country?" said the most
enterprising of the Tette merchants, "all I want is to make money as
soon possible, and then go to Bombay and enjoy it." All business at
Tette was now suspended. Carriers could not be found to take the
goods into the interior, and the merchants could barely obtain food
for their own families. At Mazaro more rain had fallen, and a
tolerable crop followed. The people of Shupanga were collecting and
drying different wild fruits, nearly all of which are far from
palatable to a European taste. The root of a small creeper called
"bise" is dug up and eaten. In appearance it is not unlike the small
white sweet potato, and has a little of the flavour of our potato.
It would be very good, if it were only a little larger. From another
tuber, called "ulanga," very good starch can be made. A few miles
from Shupanga there is an abundance of large game, but the people
here, though fond enough of meat, are not a hunting race, and seldom
kill any.

The Shire having risen, we steamed off on the 10th of January, 1863,
with the "Lady Nyassa" in tow. It was not long before we came upon
the ravages of the notorious Mariano. The survivors of a small
hamlet, at the foot of Morambala, were in a state of starvation,
having lost their food by one of his marauding parties. The women
were in the fields collecting insects, roots, wild fruits, and
whatever could be eaten, in order to drag on their lives, if
possible, till the next crop should be ripe. Two canoes passed us,
that had been robbed by Mariano's band of everything they had in
them; the owners were gathering palm-nuts for their subsistence.
They wore palm-leaf aprons, as the robbers had stripped them of their
clothing and ornaments. Dead bodies floated past us daily, and in
the mornings the paddles had to be cleared of corpses, caught by the
floats during the night. For scores of miles the entire population
of the valley was swept away by this scourge Mariano, who is again,
as he was before, the great Portuguese slave-agent. It made the
heart ache to see the widespread desolation; the river-banks, once so
populous, all silent; the villages burned down, and an oppressive
stillness reigning where formerly crowds of eager sellers appeared
with the various products of their industry. Here and there might be
seen on the bank a small dreary deserted shed, where had sat, day
after day, a starving fisherman, until the rising waters drove the
fish from their wonted haunts, and left him to die. Tingane had been
defeated; his people had been killed, kidnapped, and forced to flee
from their villages. There were a few wretched survivors in a
village above the Ruo; but the majority of the population was dead.
The sight and smell of dead bodies was everywhere. Many skeletons
lay beside the path, where in their weakness they had fallen and
expired. Ghastly living forms of boys and girls, with dull dead
eyes, were crouching beside some of the huts. A few more miserable
days of their terrible hunger, and they would be with the dead.

Oppressed with the shocking scenes around, we visited the Bishop's
grave; and though it matters little where a good Christian's ashes
rest, yet it was with sadness that we thought over the hopes which
had clustered around him, as he left the classic grounds of
Cambridge, all now buried in this wild place. How it would have torn
his kindly heart to witness the sights we now were forced to see!

In giving vent to the natural feelings of regret, that a man so
eminently endowed and learned, as was Bishop Mackenzie, should have
been so soon cut off, some have expressed an opinion that it was
wrong to use an instrument so valuable MERELY to convert the heathen.
If the attempt is to be made at all, it is "penny wise and pound
foolish" to employ any but the very best men, and those who are
specially educated for the work. An ordinary clergyman, however well
suited for a parish, will not, without special training, make a
Missionary; and as to their comparative usefulness, it is like that
of the man who builds an hospital, as compared with that of the
surgeon who in after years only administers for a time the remedies
which the founder had provided in perpetuity. Had the Bishop
succeeded in introducing Christianity, his converts might have been
few, but they would have formed a continuous roll for all time to

The Shire fell two feet, before we reached the shallow crossing where
we had formerly such difficulty, and we had now two ships to take up.
A hippopotamus was shot two miles above a bank on which the ship lay
a fortnight: it floated in three hours. As the boat was towing it
down, the crocodiles were attracted by the dead beast, and several
shots had to be fired to keep them off. The bullet had not entered
the brain of the animal, but driven a splinter of bone into it. A
little moisture with some gas issued from the wound, and this was all
that could tell the crocodiles down the stream of a dead
hippopotamus; and yet they came up from miles below. Their sense of
smell must be as acute as their hearing; both are quite
extraordinary. Dozens fed on the meat we left. Our Krooman, Jumbo,
used to assert that the crocodile never eats fresh meat, but always
keeps it till it is high and tender--and the stronger it smells the
better he likes it. There seems to be some truth in this. They can
swallow but small pieces at a time, and find it difficult to tear
fresh meat. In the act of swallowing, which is like that of a dog,
the head is raised out of the water. We tried to catch some, and one
was soon hooked; it required half-a-dozen hands to haul him up the
river, and the shark-hook straightened, and he got away. A large
iron hook was next made, but, as the creatures could not swallow it,
their jaws soon pressed it straight--and our crocodile-fishing was a
failure. As one might expect,--from the power even of a salmon--the
tug of a crocodile was terribly strong.

The corpse of a boy floated past the ship; a monstrous crocodile
rushed at it with the speed of a greyhound, caught it and shook it,
as a terrier dog does a rat. Others dashed at the prey, each with
his powerful tail causing the water to churn and froth, as he
furiously tore off a piece. In a few seconds it was all gone. The
sight was frightful to behold. The Shire swarmed with crocodiles; we
counted sixty-seven of these repulsive reptiles on a single bank, but
they are not as fierce as they are in some rivers. "Crocodiles,"
says Captain Tuckey, "are so plentiful in the Congo, near the rapids,
and so frequently carry off the women, who at daylight go down to the
river for water, that, while they are filling their calabashes, one
of the party is usually employed in throwing large stones into the
water outside." Here, either a calabash on a long pole is used in
drawing water, or a fence is planted. The natives eat the crocodile,
but to us the idea of tasting the musky-scented, fishy-looking flesh
carried the idea of cannibalism. Humboldt remarks, that in South
America the alligators of some rivers are more dangerous than in
others. Alligators differ from crocodiles in the fourth or canine
tooth going into a hole or socket in the upper jaw, while in the
crocodile it fits into a notch. The forefoot of the crocodile has
five toes not webbed, the hindfoot has four toes which are webbed; in
the alligator the web is altogether wanting. They are so much alike
that they would no doubt breed together.

One of the crocodiles which was shot had a piece snapped off the end
of his tail, another had lost a forefoot in fighting; we saw actual
leeches between the teeth, such as are mentioned by Herodotus, but we
never witnessed the plover picking them out. Their greater
fierceness in one part of the country than another is doubtless owing
to a scarcity of fish; in fact, Captain Tuckey says, of that part of
the Congo, mentioned above, "There are no fish here but catfish," and
we found that the lake crocodiles, living in clear water, and with
plenty of fish, scarcely ever attacked man. The Shire teems with
fish of many different kinds. The only time, as already remarked,
when its crocodiles are particularly to be dreaded, is when the river
is in flood. Then the fish are driven from their usual haunts, and
no game comes down to the river to drink, water being abundant in
pools inland. Hunger now impels the crocodile to lie in wait for the
women who come to draw water, and on the Zambesi numbers are carried
off every year. The danger is not so great at other seasons; though
it is never safe to bathe, or to stoop to drink, where one cannot see
the bottom, especially in the evening. One of the Makololo ran down
in the dusk of the river; and, as he was busy tossing the water to
his mouth with his hand, in the manner peculiar to the natives, a
crocodile rose suddenly from the bottom, and caught him by the hand.
The limb of a tree was fortunately within reach, and he had presence
of mind to lay hold of it. Both tugged and pulled; the crocodile for
his dinner, and the man for dear life. For a time it appeared
doubtful whether a dinner or a life was to be sacrificed; but the man
held on, and the monster let the hand go, leaving the deep marks of
his ugly teeth in it.

During our detention, in expectation of the permanent rise of the
river in March, Dr. Kirk and Mr. C. Livingstone collected numbers of
the wading-birds of the marshes--and made pleasant additions to our
salted provisions, in geese, ducks, and hippopotamus flesh. One of
the comb or knob-nosed geese, on being strangled in order to have its
skin preserved without injury, continued to breathe audibly by the
broken humerus, or wing-bone, and other means had to be adopted to
put it out of pain. This was as if a man on the gallows were to
continue to breathe by a broken armbone, and afforded us an
illustration of the fact, that in birds, the vital air penetrates
every part of the interior of their bodies. The breath passes
through and round about the lungs--bathes the surfaces of the
viscera, and enters the cavities of the bones; it even penetrates
into some spaces between the muscles of the neck--and thus not only
is the most perfect oxygenation of the blood secured, but, the
temperature of the blood being very high, the air in every part is
rarefied, and the great lightness and vigour provided for, that the
habits of birds require. Several birds were found by Dr. Kirk to
have marrow in the tibiae, though these bones are generally described
as hollow.

During the period of our detention on the shallow part of the river
in March, Mr. Thornton came up to us from Shupanga: he had, as
before narrated, left the Expedition in 1859, and joined Baron van
der Decken, in the journey to Kilimanjaro, when, by an ascent of the
mountain to the height of 8000 feet, it was first proved to be
covered with perpetual snow, and the previous information respecting
it, given by the Church of England Missionaries, Krapf and Rebman,
confirmed. It is now well known that the Baron subsequently ascended
the Kilimanjaro to 14,000 feet, and ascertained its highest peak to
be at least 20,000 feet above the sea. Mr. Thornton made the map of
the first journey, at Shupanga, from materials collected when with
the Baron; and when that work was accomplished, followed us. He was
then directed to examine geologically the Cataract district, but not
to expose himself to contact with the Ajawa until the feelings of
that tribe should be ascertained.

The members of Bishop Mackenzie's party, on the loss of their head,
fell back from Magomero on the highlands, to Chibisa's, in the low-
lying Shire Valley; and Thornton, finding them suffering from want of
animal food, kindly volunteered to go across thence to Tette, and
bring a supply of goats and sheep. We were not aware of this step,
to which the generosity of his nature prompted him, till two days
after he had started. In addition to securing supplies for the
Universities' Mission, he brought some for the Expedition, and took
bearings, by which he hoped to connect his former work at Tette with
the mountains in the Shire district. The toil of this journey was
too much for his strength, as with the addition of great scarcity of
water, it had been for that of Dr. Kirk and Rae, and he returned in a
sadly haggard and exhausted condition; diarrhoea supervened, and that
ended in dysentery and fever, which terminated fatally on the 21st of
April, 1863. He received the unremitting attentions of Dr. Kirk, and
Dr. Meller, surgeon of the "Pioneer," during the fortnight of his
illness; and as he had suffered very little from fever, or any other
disease, in Africa, we had entertained strong hopes that his youth
and unimpaired constitution would have carried him through. During
the night of the 20th his mind wandered so much, that we could not
ascertain his last wishes; and on the morning of the 21st, to our
great sorrow, he died. He was buried on the 22nd, near a large tree
on the right bank of the Shire, about five hundred yards from the
lowest of the Murchison Cataracts--and close to a rivulet, at which
the "Lady Nyassa" and "Pioneer" lay.

No words can convey an adequate idea of the scene of widespread
desolation which the once pleasant Shire Valley now presented.
Instead of smiling villages and crowds of people coming with things
for sale, scarcely a soul was to be seen; and, when by chance one
lighted on a native, his frame bore the impress of hunger, and his
countenance the look of a cringing broken-spiritedness. A drought
had visited the land after the slave-hunting panic swept over it.
Had it been possible to conceive the thorough depopulation which had
ensued, we should have avoided coming up the river. Large masses of
the people had fled down to the Shire, only anxious to get the river
between them and their enemies. Most of the food had been left
behind; and famine and starvation had cut off so many, that the
remainder were too few to bury the dead. The corpses we saw floating
down the river were only a remnant of those that had perished, whom
their friends, from weakness, could not bury, nor over-gorged
crocodiles devour. It is true that famine caused a great portion of
this waste of human life: but the slave-trade must be deemed the
chief agent in the ruin, because, as we were informed, in former
droughts all the people flocked from the hills down to the marshes,
which are capable of yielding crops of maize in less than three
months, at any time of the year, and now they were afraid to do so.
A few, encouraged by the Mission in the attempt to cultivate, had
their little patches robbed as successive swarms of fugitives came
from the hills. Who can blame these outcasts from house and home for
stealing to save their wretched lives, or wonder that the owners
protected the little all, on which their own lives depended, with
club and spear? We were informed by Mr. Waller of the dreadful
blight which had befallen the once smiling Shire Valley. His words,
though strong, failed to impress us with the reality. In fact, they
were received, as some may accept our own, as tinged with
exaggeration; but when our eyes beheld the last mere driblets of this
cup of woe, we for the first time felt that the enormous wrongs
inflicted on our fellow-men by slaving are beyond exaggeration.

Wherever we took a walk, human skeletons were seen in every
direction, and it was painfully interesting to observe the different
postures in which the poor wretches had breathed their last. A whole
heap had been thrown down a slope behind a village, where the
fugitives often crossed the river from the east; and in one hut of
the same village no fewer than twenty drums had been collected,
probably the ferryman's fees. Many had ended their misery under
shady trees--others under projecting crags in the hills--while others
lay in their huts, with closed doors, which when opened disclosed the
mouldering corpse with the poor rags round the loins--the skull
fallen off the pillow--the little skeleton of the child, that had
perished first, rolled up in a mat between two large skeletons. The
sight of this desert, but eighteen months ago a well peopled valley,
now literally strewn with human bones, forced the conviction upon us,
that the destruction of human life in the middle passage, however
great, constitutes but a small portion of the waste, and made us feel
that unless the slave-trade--that monster iniquity, which has so long
brooded over Africa--is put down, lawful commerce cannot be

We believed that, if it were possible to get a steamer upon the Lake,
we could by her means put a check on the slavers from the East Coast;
and aid more effectually still in the suppression of the slave-trade,
by introducing, by way of the Rovuma, a lawful traffic in ivory. We
therefore unscrewed the "Lady Nyassa" at a rivulet about five hundred
yards below the first cataract, and began to make a road over the
thirty-five or forty miles of land portage, by which to carry her up
piecemeal. After mature consideration, we could not imagine a more
noble work of benevolence, than thus to introduce light and liberty
into a quarter of this fair earth, which human lust has converted
into the nearest possible resemblance of what we conceive the
infernal regions to be--and we sacrificed much of our private
resources as an offering for the promotion of so good a cause.

The chief part of the labour of road-making consisted in cutting down
trees and removing stones. The country being covered with open
forest, a small tree had to be cut about every fifty or sixty yards.
The land near the river was so very much intersected by ravines, that
search had to be made, a mile from its banks, for more level ground.
Experienced Hottentot drivers would have taken Cape wagons without
any other trouble than that of occasionally cutting down a tree. No
tsetse infested this district, and the cattle brought from Johanna
flourished on the abundant pasture. The first half-mile of road led
up, by a gradual slope, to an altitude of two hundred feet above the
ship, and a sensible difference of climate was felt even there. For
the remainder of the distance the height increased,--till, at the
uppermost cataract, we were more than 1200 feet above the sea. The
country here, having recovered from the effects of the drought, was
bright with young green woodland, and mountains of the same
refreshing hue. But the absence of the crowds, which had attended us
as we carried up the boat, when the women followed us for miles with
fine meal, vegetables, and fat fowls for sale, and the boys were ever
ready for a little job--and the oppressive stillness bore heavily on
our spirits. The Portuguese of Tette had very effectually removed
our labourers. Not an ounce of fresh provisions could be obtained,
except what could be shot, and even the food for our native crew had
to be brought one hundred and fifty miles from the Zambesi.

The diet of salt provisions and preserved meats without vegetables,
with the depression of spirits caused by seeing how effectually a few
wretched convicts, aided by the connivance of officials, of whom
better might have been hoped, could counteract our best efforts, and
turn intended good to certain evil, brought on attacks of dysentery,
which went the round of the Expedition--and, Dr. Kirk and Charles
Livingstone having suffered most severely, it was deemed advisable
that they should go home. This measure was necessary, though much to
the regret of all--for having done so much, they were naturally
anxious to be present, when, by the establishing ourselves on the
Lake, all our efforts should be crowned with success. After it had
been decided that these two officers, and all the whites who could be
spared, should be sent down to the sea for a passage to England, Dr.
Livingstone was seized in May with a severe attack of dysentery,
which continued for a month, and reduced him to a shadow. Dr. Kirk
kindly remained in attendance till the worst was passed. The parting
took place on the 19th of May.

After a few miles of road were completed, and the oxen broken in, we
resolved to try and render ourselves independent of the south for
fresh provisions, by going in a boat up the Shire, above the
Cataracts, to the tribes at the foot of Lake Nyassa, who were still
untouched by the Ajawa invasion. In furtherance of this plan Dr.
Livingstone and Mr. Rae determined to walk up to examine, and, if
need be, mend the boat which had been left two seasons previously
hung up to the limb of a large shady tree, before attempting to carry
another past the Cataracts. The "Pioneer," which was to be left in
charge of our active and most trustworthy gunner, Mr. Edward D.
Young, R.N., was thoroughly roofed over with euphorbia branches and
grass, so as completely to protect her decks from the sun: she also
received daily a due amount of man-of-war scrubbing and washing; and,
besides having everything put in shipshape fashion, was every evening
swung out into the middle of the river, for the sake of the greater
amount of air which circulated there. In addition to their daily
routine work of the ship, the three stokers, one sailor, and one
carpenter--now our complement--were encouraged to hunt for guinea-
fowl, which in June, when the water inland is dried up, come in large
flocks to the river's banks, and roost on the trees at night.
Everything that can be done to keep mind and body employed tends to
prevent fever.

While we were employed in these operations, some of the poor starved
people about had been in the habit of crossing the river, and reaping
the self-sown mapira, in the old gardens of their countrymen. In the
afternoon of the 9th, a canoe came floating down empty, and shortly
after a woman was seen swimming near the other side, which was about
two hundred yards distant from us. Our native crew manned the boat,
and rescued her; when brought on board, she was found to have an
arrow-head, eight or ten inches long, in her back, below the ribs,
and slanting up through the diaphragm and left lung, towards the
heart--she had been shot from behind when stooping. Air was coming
out of the wound, and, there being but an inch of the barbed arrow-
head visible, it was thought better not to run the risk of her dying
under the operation necessary for its removal; so we carried her up
to her own hut. One of her relatives was less scrupulous, for he cut
out the arrow and part of the lung. Mr. Young sent her occasionally
portions of native corn, and strange to say found that she not only
became well, but stout. The constitution of these people seems to
have a wonderful power of self-repair--and it could be no slight
privation which had cut off the many thousands that we saw dead
around us.

We regretted that, in consequence of Dr. Meller having now sole
medical charge, we could not have his company in our projected trip;
but he found employment in botany and natural history, after the
annual sickly season of March, April, and May was over; and his
constant presence was not so much required at the ship. Later in the
year, when he could be well spared, he went down the river to take up
an appointment he had been offered in Madagascar; but unfortunately
was so severely tried by illness while detained at the coast, that
for nearly two years he was not able to turn his abilities as a
naturalist to account by proceeding to that island. We have no doubt
but he will yet distinguish himself in that untrodden field.

On the 16th of June we started for the Upper Cataracts, with a mule-
cart, our road lying a distance of a mile west from the river. We
saw many of the deserted dwellings of the people who formerly came to
us; and were very much struck by the extent of land under
cultivation, though that, compared with the whole country, is very
small. Large patches of mapira continued to grow,--as it is said it
does from the roots for three years. The mapira was mixed with tall
bushes of the Congo-bean, castor-oil plants, and cotton. The largest
patch of this kind we paced, and found it to be six hundred and
thirty paces on one side--the rest were from one acre to three, and
many not more than one-third of an acre. The cotton--of very
superior quality--was now dropping off the bushes, to be left to rot-
-there was no one to gather what would have been of so much value in
Lancashire. The huts, in the different villages we entered, were
standing quite perfect. The mortars for pounding corn--the stones
for grinding it--the water and beer pots--the empty corn-safes and
kitchen utensils, were all untouched; and most of the doors were
shut, as if the starving owners had gone out to wander in search of
roots or fruits in the forest, and had never returned. When opened,
several huts revealed a ghastly sight of human skeletons. Some were
seen in such unnatural positions, as to give the idea that they had
expired in a faint, when trying to reach something to allay the
gnawings of hunger.

We took several of the men as far as the Mukuru-Madse for the sake of
the change of air and for occupation, and also to secure for the
ships a supply of buffalo meat--as those animals were reported to be
in abundance on that stream. But though it was evident from the
tracks that the report was true, it was impossible to get a glimpse
of them. The grass being taller than we were, and pretty thickly
planted, they always knew of our approach before we saw them. And
the first intimation we had of their being near was the sound they
made in rushing over the stones, breaking the branches, and knocking
their horns against each other. Once, when seeking a ford for the
cart, at sunrise, we saw a herd slowly wending up the hill-side from
the water. Sending for a rifle, and stalking with intense eagerness
for a fat beefsteak, instead of our usual fare of salted provisions,
we got so near that we could hear the bulls uttering their hoarse
deep low, but could see nothing except the mass of yellow grass in
front; suddenly the buffalo-birds sounded their alarm-whistle, and
away dashed the troop, and we got sight of neither birds nor beasts.
This would be no country for a sportsman except when the grass is
short. The animals are wary, from the dread they have of the
poisoned arrows. Those of the natives who do hunt are deeply imbued
with the hunting spirit, and follow the game with a stealthy
perseverance and cunning, quite extraordinary. The arrow making no
noise, the herd is followed up until the poison takes effect, and the
wounded animal falls out. It is then patiently watched till it
drops--a portion of meat round the wound is cut away, and all the
rest eaten.

Poisoned arrows are made in two pieces. An iron barb is firmly
fastened to one end of a small wand of wood, ten inches or a foot
long, the other end of which, fined down to a long point, is nicely
fitted, though not otherwise secured, in the hollow of the reed,
which forms the arrow shaft. The wood immediately below the iron
head is smeared with the poison. When the arrow is shot into an
animal, the reed either falls to the ground at once, or is very soon
brushed off by the bushes; but the iron barb and poisoned upper part
of the wood remain in the wound. If made in one piece, the arrow
would often be torn out, head and all, by the long shaft catching in
the underwood, or striking against trees. The poison used here, and
called kombi, is obtained from a species of strophanthus, and is very
virulent. Dr. Kirk found by an accidental experiment on himself that
it acts by lowering the pulse. In using his tooth-brush, which had
been in a pocket containing a little of the poison, he noticed a
bitter taste, but attributed it to his having sometimes used, the
handle in taking quinine. Though the quantity was small, it
immediately showed its power by lowering his pulse which at the time
had been raised by a cold, and next day he was perfectly restored.
Not much can be inferred from a single case of this kind, but it is
possible that the kombi may turn out a valuable remedy; and as
Professor Sharpey has conducted a series of experiments with this
substance, we look with interest for the results. An alkaloid has
been obtained from it similar to strychnine. There is no doubt that
all kinds of wild animals die from the effects of poisoned arrows,
except the elephant and hippopotamus. The amount of poison that this
little weapon can convey into their systems being too small to kill
those huge beasts, the hunters resort to the beam trap instead.

Another kind of poison was met with on Lake Nyassa, which was said to
be used exclusively for killing men. It was put on small wooden
arrow-heads, and carefully protected by a piece of maize-leaf tied
round it. It caused numbness of the tongue when the smallest
particle was tasted. The Bushmen of the northern part of the
Kalahari were seen applying the entrails of a small caterpillar which
they termed 'Nga to their arrows. This venom was declared to be so
powerful in producing delirium, that a man in dying returned in
imagination to a state of infancy, and would call for his mother's
breast. Lions when shot with it are said to perish in agonies. The
poisonous ingredient in this case may be derived from the plant on
which the caterpillar feeds. It is difficult to conceive by what
sort of experiments the properties of these poisons, known for
generations, were proved. Probably the animal instincts, which have
become so obtuse by civilization, that children in England eat the
berries of the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) without
suspicion, were in the early uncivilized state much more keen. In
some points instinct is still retained among savages. It is related
that in the celebrated voyage of the French navigator, Bougainville,
a young lady, who had assumed the male attire, performed all the hard
duties incident to the calling of a common sailor; and, even as
servant to the geologist, carried a bag of stones and specimens over
hills and dales without a complaint, and without having her sex
suspected by her associates; but on landing among the savages of one
of the South Sea Islands, she was instantly recognized as a female.
They began to show their impressions in a way that compelled her to
confess her sex, and throw herself on the protection of the
commander, which of course was granted. In like manner, the earlier
portions of the human family may have had their instincts as to
plants more highly developed than any of their descendants--if indeed
much more knowledge than we usually suppose be not the effect of
direct revelation from above.

The Mukuru-Madse has a deep rocky bed. The water is generally about
four feet deep, and fifteen or twenty yards broad. Before reaching
it, we passed five or six gullies; but beyond it the country, for two
or three miles from the river, was comparatively smooth. The long
grass was overrunning all the native paths, and one species (sanu),
which has a sharp barbed seed a quarter of an inch in length, enters
every pore of woollen clothing and highly irritates the skin. From
its hard, sharp point a series of minute barbs are laid back, and
give the seed a hold wherever it enters: the slightest touch gives
it an entering motion, and the little hooks prevent its working out.
These seeds are so abundant in some spots, that the inside of the
stocking becomes worse than the roughest hair shirt. It is, however,
an excellent self-sower, and fine fodder; it rises to the height of
common meadow-grass in England, and would be a capital plant for
spreading over a new country not so abundantly supplied with grasses
as this is.

We have sometimes noticed two or three leaves together pierced
through by these seeds, and thus made, as it were, into wings to
carry them to any soil suited to their growth.

We always follow the native paths, though they are generally not more
than fifteen inches broad, and so often have deep little holes in
them, made for the purpose of setting traps for small animals, and
are so much obscured by the long grass, that one has to keep one's
eyes on the ground more than is pleasant. In spite, however, of all
drawbacks, it is vastly more easy to travel on these tracks than to
go straight over uncultivated ground, or virgin forest. A path
usually leads to some village, though sometimes it turns out to be a
mere game track leading nowhere.

In going north, we came into a part called Mpemba where Chibisa was
owned as chief, but the people did not know that he had been
assassinated by the Portuguese Terera. A great deal of grain was
lying round the hut, where we spent the night. Very large numbers of
turtledoves feasted undisturbed on the tall stalked mapira ears, and
we easily secured plenty of fine fat guinea-fowls--now allowed to
feed leisurely in the deserted gardens. The reason assigned for all
this listless improvidence was "There are no women to grind the corn-
-all are dead."

The cotton patches in all cases seemed to have been so well cared
for, and kept so free of weeds formerly, that, though now untended,
but few weeds had sprung up; and the bushes were thus preserved in
the annual grass burnings. Many baobab-trees grow in different
spots, and the few people seen were using the white pulp found
between the seeds to make a pleasant subacid drink.

On passing Malango, near the uppermost cataract, not a soul was to be
seen; but, as we rested opposite a beautiful tree-covered island, the
merry voices of children at play fell on our ears--the parents had
fled thither for protection from the slave-hunting Ajawa, still urged
on by the occasional visits of the Portuguese agents from Tette. The
Ajawa, instead of passing below the Cataracts, now avoided us, and
crossed over to the east side near to the tree on which we had hung
the boat. Those of the Manganja, to whom we could make ourselves
known, readily came to us; but the majority had lost all confidence
in themselves, in each other, and in every one else. The boat had
been burned about three months previously, and the Manganja were very
anxious that we should believe that this had been the act of the
Ajawa; but on scanning the spot we saw that it was more likely to
have caught fire in the grass-burning of the country. Had we
intended to be so long in returning to it, we should have hoisted it
bottom upwards; for, as it was, it is probable that a quantity of
dried leaves lay inside, and a spark ignited the whole. All the
trees within fifty yards were scorched and killed, and the nails,
iron, and copper sheathing, all lay undisturbed beneath. Had the
Ajawa done the deed, they would have taken away the copper and iron.

Our hopes of rendering ourselves independent of the south for


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