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´╗┐Title: In the Wilds of Africa
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "In the Wilds of Africa" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

In the Wilds of Africa, by W.H.G. Kingston.

The hero of the book gets himself a job on board of a vessel, which has
a number of misfortunes.  She loses several officers, then her captain
dies, leaving a totally unsuitable officer, Kydd, in charge.  Finally
she runs aground near the shore, where the natives slay some of the
crew.  They leave the ship on a raft, Kydd being on one, and our hero
and many other passengers on a second.  The latter is picked up by a
fine-looking vessel, that proves to be a Portuguese slaver.  They are
attacked by a British man-of-war on slaver-patrol, but manage to get
away from her.  They go up a river to a village where, it appears, the
vessel is to pick up a fresh supply of slaves.  Our heroes ask if they
can be put ashore here, which is agreed to.  From here on the
story runs fast, as our hero and the others travel through "The Wilds
of Africa".

It is quite a long book, and it makes a good audiobook.




A dense mist hung over the ocean; the sky above our heads was of a grey
tint; the water below our feet of the colour of lead.  Not a ripple
disturbed its mirror-like surface, except when now and then a covey of
flying fish leaped forth to escape from their pursuers, or it was clove
by the fin of a marauding shark.  We knew that we were not far off the
coast of Africa, some few degrees to the south of the Equator; but how
near we were we could not tell, for the calm had continued for several
days, and a strong current, setting to the eastward, had been rapidly
drifting us toward the shore.

Notwithstanding that the sun was obscured, his rays found means of
heating the atmosphere, so that we felt much as if we were surrounded by
a hot damp blanket.

I had already made a trip to the West Indies, and two to this terrible
coast; and as I had escaped without an attack of yellow fever, or
cholera, when the Liverpool owners of the brig _Osprey_--commanded by
Captain Page, an old African trader--offered me a berth as supercargo, I
willingly accepted it.  We were bound out to the Cape of Good Hope, but
had arranged to touch at two or three places on the coast, to trade and
land passengers.  Among other places we were to call at Saint Paul de
Loando, to land a Portuguese gentleman, Senhor Silva, and his black
servant Ramaon.  Our object in trading was to obtain palm-oil,
bees'-wax, gold dust, and ivory, in exchange for Manchester and
Birmingham goods; and for this purpose we had already visited several
places on the coast, picking up such quantities as could be obtained at
each of them.  We had not, however, escaped without the usual penalty
African traders have to pay--two of our men having died of fever, and
two others, besides the captain, being sick of it.  The first mate,
Giles Gritton, and another man, had been washed overboard in a heavy
gale we encountered on the other side of the Equator, and we were now,
therefore, somewhat short-handed.  The first mate was a great loss, for
he was an excellent seaman and a first-rate fellow, which is more than
could be said of the second mate, Simon Kydd.  How he came to be
appointed mate seemed unaccountable; unless, as he was related to the
owners, interest might have obtained for him what his own merits
certainly would not.  Taking him at his own value, he had few superiors,
if any equals.

I felt much for Captain Page.  He took the loss of his first mate
greatly to heart, and thus the incapacity of the second contributed
considerably to increase his malady.  Day after day he grew worse, and I
began to fear much that his illness would end fatally.  He was as good
and kind a man as ever lived, and an excellent sailor.

I had not been knocking about the ocean altogether with my eyes shut,
and had managed to pick up a fair amount of nautical knowledge.  I did
not intrude it unnecessarily; I had a notion that I was regarded with a
somewhat jealous eye by those who considered me a mere landsman.  I
certainly understood more about navigation than Mr Kydd, but that is
not saying much.  There were few things which I could not do, from
handing, reefing, and steering, to turning in a dead-eye, and setting up
the rigging; and few situations in which the fickle winds and waves were
likely to place a ship with which I was not prepared to contend.  Blow
high or blow low, I felt myself at home on the ocean.  My father had
objected to my becoming a sailor, and had placed me in his
counting-house.  The sedentary life of a clerk was, however, not to my
taste, and I was very glad to abdicate my seat on the high stool on
every decent pretext.  Still I had done my duty when there, and my
conscience was at rest on that score.  Misfortunes overtook my father's
house; speculations were entered into which proved unsuccessful; and his
long-established and highly-esteemed firm got into inextricable
difficulties.  In vain he and his partners struggled to maintain their
credit.  The final crash came, and although my mother's marriage
settlement saved the family from penury, he had no capital with which to
recommence business.  I was too young to take his place.  One of his
partners died broken-hearted, and he had not the energy left to
undertake the onerous duties he would have been called upon to perform.
He and my mother and sisters retired to a modest cottage in Cheshire;
while his boys, of whom I was the third, had to seek their fortunes in
the world.  He had done his duty by us.  He had given us a good
education, and ever striven to instil into our minds the principles of
true religion and honour.  I shall never forget his parting advice when
I started on my first expedition.  "Ever trust in God, Andrew," he said.
"Recollect that you were `bought with a price,' and `are not your own.'
You have no business to follow your own fancies, or to gratify any of
the propensities fallen nature possesses, even though we do possess
them, notwithstanding what the devil and the world may say to the
contrary.  God has given you a body, but ever remember that he has given
you a mind to regulate that body.  To the animals he has given bodies,
and indued them with instincts which we may say are unerring; whereas
man's mind, in consequence of sin, is prone to err; but then again, in
his mercy, he has enabled man to seek for strength from above to
counteract the effects of sin, and so to regulate his mind that it may
properly guide the body.  I have no faith in high principles, unless
those high principles are kept in order by a higher influence.
Therefore, Andrew, read your Bible daily for guidance; go daily to the
throne of grace for enlightenment and direction, that you may keep your
high principles bright and ever fit for action.  Do not trust your
feelings; they may mislead you.  Do not trust the world or your
companions; they may prove faithless monitors or guides.  Do not trust,
as people say, `manfully to yourself.'  Self often proves treacherous."
More to the same effect my father said.  I have given briefly his
observations.  I did my best to carry out his counsel; and through it
gained the calmness and courage with which I encountered difficulties
and dangers which would otherwise have appalled and overwhelmed me.  I
was never addicted to talking to my companions of myself, or my
principles and feelings; and I sometimes blame myself for not
endeavouring more perseveringly to inculcate on others those principles
which I knew to be so true and valuable.  I now mention the subject,
because I can say on paper what my lips have often refused to utter.
But I have said enough about myself.

We had several other passengers on board, who, notwithstanding the risks
which they knew must be encountered on the African coast, had, for the
sake of seeing the country, come on board with the intention of
proceeding on to Cape Town, to which, as I said, we were ultimately
bound.  I will mention first Captain Stanley Hyslop, a near relation of
mine, a nephew of my mother's.  He was a military officer, and having
sold out of the service, was going to settle in the Cape Colony, where
his parents already were.  He was accompanied by two younger brothers.
David was one of the nicest fellows I ever met.  He had been educated as
a surgeon, and purposed practising in the country.  The youngest,
Leonard, or Leo, as we always called him, was an amusing little chap,
always thinking funny things and saying them, and yet there was a
simplicity about him which was very attractive.  He had been sent to
school in England, but being considered somewhat delicate--not,
certainly, that he looked so--it was recommended that he should return
to breathe his native air at the Cape.  David was also, I should say, an
enthusiastic naturalist, and the hope of increasing his knowledge at the
places we might visit, had, besides his regard for me, induced him to
take his passage on board the _Osprey_, just as his brother expected to
get a few days sporting while the brig remained at anchor.  I had seen
but little of Stanley, but for David I had always felt a warm regard.

There were, however, two other members of the family, in one of whom, at
all events, I must own I felt still more interested, although I knew
that it would not do for me in my present situation to exhibit my
feelings.  My cousin, Kate Hyslop, was a very pretty, engaging girl, who
had a short time before left school.  She was also full of spirit, while
she was right-minded and sweet-tempered.  Her younger sister, Isabella,
or Bella as she was called, was quite a little girl.  She also had been
at school; but her parents naturally could not bear to have her left
behind, and so Kate had undertaken to complete her education; and from
the time we sailed she was most assiduous in her attempts to do so.
Sometimes I fancied she gave her almost too much teaching.  When her
brother, however, made a remark to that effect, she answered that it was
important not to lose time, as opportunities might be wanting by-and-by;
and when once they arrived in the colony, she knew that there would be
so many interruptions and hindrances, and she might have so many other
duties to perform, that Bella might not get the due amount of knowledge
she wished her to possess.  Blow high or blow low, Kate always made
Bella learn her lessons.  Sometimes holding on by the leg of a table in
the cabin during a gale, there the two sisters would be found with their
books.  Both were capital sailors, as people say--that is, they were
never ill at sea; so that they were not inconvenienced as most other
people would have been by the tossing and tumbling of the stout brig.

They were attended by an old negro, Peter Timbo by name, who was the
most watchful of guardians.  He was the captain's servant, and had
always accompanied him in his shooting expeditions when he was before
staying at the Cape.  Timbo, also, from what I heard him say, knew more
about his native country than any one on board.  He was born at some
distance from the sea, not far from the Equator.  When he was just
growing into manhood, his village had been attacked by another tribe,
and he, with several companions in misfortune, had been carried off to
the coast.  He was there shipped on board a Portuguese slaver, which,
venturing to the north of the line, was chased and captured by a British
man-of-war.  Timbo, having a fancy for a sea life, and being an active,
intelligent fellow, had been allowed to enter on board her.  After
serving for some years, he had been discharged at the Cape; where, after
following several pursuits, he had become a servant to my uncle and
aunt, Mr and Mrs Hyslop.  Peter was loquacious and ever merry, and it
was pleasant to hear him give way to one of his hearty laughs.  He had
thick lips, a huge flattish nose, and somewhat high head, covered with
thick curling wool, now beginning to show signs of turning grey.
Although he understood English perfectly, he still spoke it in a
somewhat negro fashion, which often gave piquancy to his expressions;
but from the way his master treated him, and from the affectionate care
he seemed to take of the younger members of the family, it was evident
that he must be a worthy man, notwithstanding his want of personal

"Ah, Massa Andrew, we nebber know as kind God does what is good for us,"
he remarked to me one day.  "I bery sorryful when slaver people carry me
off from my home in Pongo country.  I t'ink I go to die, dat dere was no
God to look after poor black fellow.  I know only of Fetish, and I
afraid of Fetish.  Den I get among white men, and I see and hear much
dat is bad, and still I t'ink dere is no God.  Den years pass by, and I
hear of de merciful Saviour, who die for me; and I say, `Dat is just
what I want,' and I learn to be Christian.  But I will tell you anoder
day more about myself; I now go to get ready de cabin dinner."

I told Timbo that I should keep him to his promise, as I was much
interested in the short account he had given of himself.

We had four other passengers--Mr John and Mr Charles Rowley, and Miss
Julia Rowley their sister, who seemed very nice people, but they kept
themselves rather aloof from me, as well as from the mate, though they
were friendly enough with the passengers, whom they considered their
equals.  The last person I need name was a young Irishman, Mr Terence
O'Brien, who was of no profession that I could find out, but proposed
settling as a colonist at the Cape.  I have thus at once run off a brief
description of my companions, of the last mentioned of whom, at that
time, I knew comparatively little.  Having said thus much of them, I
will continue the thread of my narrative.

"How is the weather, Andrew?" said Captain Page as I went into his
cabin.  We had the skylight off, to let in as much air as possible, but
yet it felt hot and stifling.  He was very pale.  His lips were of a
bluish tinge, and his eyes were sunken and dim.  On a locker close by
him sat a young boy with a book before him, from which he was in vain
endeavouring to read.  I saw that Natty had been crying, for tears
bedewed the page.  He was the captain's only son.  His mother was dead,
and rather than leave him on shore to the care of strangers, his father
had brought him on this African voyage.  "It was a choice of two evils,"
he said to me one day.  "The boy's constitution is good, and we must not
let him be exposed to the night air or hot suns up the rivers, and he
will probably stand the climate better than most of us."  Such indeed
had been the case, and Natty had been well, and had until now been full
of life and spirits--the favourite of all on board.  He and my young
cousin Leonard soon struck up a friendship, and were of course always
together.  For once Natty had left his friend to remain by the side of
his father.  The captain had been speaking to him, for his voice ceased
as I appeared.

I replied to the captain's question, "No signs of a change, Captain
Page.  We hove the lead, but found no bottom.  We must still be some
distance off the coast."

"I trust so," was the answer.  "Heave the lead every quarter of an hour,
and let me know when we are in soundings.  Take another cast at once,
and then come back."

I told the mate.  "Why, I did so not twenty minutes ago," he answered.
"What does the old man want us to do it again for?"

"The captain knows this coast well, Mr Kydd," I answered.  "We may be
thankful to get an anchor to hold as soon as we get into shallow water."

Seeing the mate did not seem disposed to obey, I took the lead, and
calling to two of the hands, prepared to heave it.

"No, no," observed Kydd, "that is my work;" and taking the lead from me,
hove it carelessly.  "No bottom," he answered; "I should think not,
indeed, out here."

It appeared to me that as the line ran out the whole length, he could
not be mistaken.  Returning to the cabin, I made my report to the
captain.  "Andrew," he said, "sit down; I want to have a few words with
you.  I am going to that haven whence I shall never come back.  I feel
that I shall not hold on much longer to life.  I have not been a
successful man, and leave my boy but ill-provided for.  As to my
friends, there are none that I can think of who are able to help him;
and the few acquaintances I have who could do so, I cannot trust.  The
thought of what will become of my orphan boy weighs heavily on me.
Andrew, you are young and healthy, and may Heaven preserve your life for
many years!  I have no great claim on you, but Andrew, as you hope
Heaven will watch over you, do you keep an eye on my boy.  Do for him
the best you can.  I have seen enough of you to know that you will act
wisely and kindly.  I do not desire to have him pampered and spoiled by
riches, if I could give them, but I cannot bear the thought of his being
left friendless and in poverty to fight his way through this often hard
and cruel world.  You will see to this, Andrew?  I am sure you will."

"I will, Captain Page; I promise you," I answered, and I took his cold
clammy hand.

Poor Natty was all this time sobbing violently.  The truth that he was
going to lose his father burst upon him, and that father had ever been
kind and indulgent.

"That is well, that is well," murmured Captain Page.  "I trust to you to
be his human protector, and to One"--and he turned his eyes upward--"who
will ever be a Friend of the fatherless."

The captain said a good deal more, and made various arrangements about
Natty.  Desiring me to get some papers from his desk, he showed me how I
could obtain the little property he was likely to leave.

"I wish I could see the brig safely brought to an anchor," he observed
after a long silence.  "It is a nasty coast at best.  With a breeze we
could work off it, but while this calm lasts we cannot help ourselves
from being carried wherever the current takes us, till we get into water
shoal enough for anchoring.  I shall be happier when once we can bring
up, for if we do not, we may, when we little expect it, be driven on
shore; and let me tell you, Andrew, what with the surf and the sharks,
few of us are likely to escape with our lives.  I know this coast well,
and a sandy beach, exposed to the whole sweep of the Atlantic, is even
more dangerous than a rocky shore.  It must be time again to heave the
lead.  Go on deck, Andrew, and see how things are."

I found the passengers seated under an awning, which the mate had rigged
at their request.  He himself was walking up and down the deck, coming
the officer in fine style, and endeavouring to make himself agreeable to
the young ladies.  He evidently anticipated the moment when he should
have the command; indeed, he seemed to fancy himself the master already.
When I told him that the captain desired me again to heave the lead, he
appeared not to hear me, but continued talking to Miss Rowley with the
insinuating air he knew so well how to assume.  Miss Hyslop took but
little notice of him when he addressed her, and turned away, giving her
attention to Bella's lessons, or going on with any work she might have
in hand, for she never was a moment idle.  She was admirably fitted for
colonial life; indeed, I may say, for any position in which she might be
placed.  If she had become a duchess, she would not have been an idle
one.--I again addressed Mr Kydd.  I told him that the captain wished to
have the lead hove.

"The old man is always issuing his orders through you, Mr Crawford," he
answered at length, in a scornful tone.  "I know, I should think, what
ought to be done, and I will do it.  And I beg you will not interrupt me
when I am talking to ladies."  He added the last sentence in a whisper,
sufficiently loud, however, for Miss Rowley to hear him.

"As the captain has been too ill to take an observation for some time, I
suppose that you know our correct longitude, Mr Kydd.  He, at all
events, considers that we are close in with the African coast; and, as
you are aware, it would be a terrible thing to have the brig cast on one
of the sandbanks which lie off it," I remarked.

"No fear of that," he answered scornfully.  "We shall have a breeze
soon, probably, and then we will stand to the westward, and run down to
the latitude of Loando.  We are not many degrees from that, at all

"The captain is a good seaman, and he has his reasons for ordering the
lead to be hove," I answered.  "If the calm continues, he wishes us to
anchor as soon as the water shoals sufficiently."

"Shoals sufficiently!" repeated the mate, in the same scornful tone; "we
have no line on board to reach the bottom, I'll warrant."  The mate
unintentionally spoke loud enough for the gentlemen to hear him.

"Come, Mr Kydd, I suppose you intend to obey the captain's orders,"
said Captain Hyslop, coming up to where we were standing.  "It seems to
me that he has good reason for giving them."

"I believe, sir, that I am chief officer of the _Osprey_, and that I
know my duty," said the mate.  "It is not customary for passengers to
interfere with the navigation of the ship."

"Certainly not, sir," answered Stanley; "but I trust all on board will
obey the captain's orders while he is able to give them."

"That will not be for long," muttered the mate in an undertone.  "I
intend to do what is necessary, and I do not see that there is any use
to keep heaving the lead out here almost in mid-ocean."

"But are we in mid-ocean, Mr Kydd?  The captain considers that we are
close in with the coast," remarked Stanley.

"Faith, there is going to be a row," I heard Terence O'Brien exclaim to
young Mr Rowley.  "See!  I would like to be after giving them a poke.
It would be rare fun."

"It would not be rare fun if the captain is right," was the answer.

"Am I to report to Captain Page that you decline heaving the lead, Mr
Kydd?"  I said at length, seeing that he made no movement to obey the

"Do as you like, Mr Crawford.  I am not going to be dictated to by any
man on board," replied the mate in an obstinate tone.

"The captain is _very_ ill, as you know, and I fear your conduct will
greatly vex him and tend to aggravate his disease," I said, still
unwilling to return below.  "I hope you will let me heave the lead if
you will not do it yourself."

"Are you hired to navigate this ship, or am I?" he said in an angry
tone, turning round to me.  "I am chief officer, and unless the captain
comes on deck to give his commands, I intend to do as I think fit.  If
you touch the lead, I shall consider it an act of mutiny, and order the
crew to put you in irons."

I did not wish to bring things to extremities, and yet I could not bring
myself to tell the captain how the mate was behaving.  I waited, but
waited in vain, to see whether he would change his mind.  He still stood
with his hands in his pockets, casting defiant looks around.  I was in
hopes that Stanley and the other gentlemen would interfere; but they
remained silent, though somewhat astonished at the mate's behaviour.  At
last, finding there was no help for it, I went back to the cabin.

"I am sorry to say, Captain Page, that Mr Kydd seems to consider that
there is no necessity for heaving the lead, and refuses to do so at
present," I said on entering.  "I will do anything you wish, and again
carry your orders if you desire me."

"I must go on deck myself then," said the captain, attempting to rise.
"Help me on with my clothes, Andrew.  I feel very weak, but if he forces
me to it, I must go."  I assisted the captain to dress, with the help of
Natty.  "Here, give me your arm, Andrew; it is a stronger one than poor
Natty's.  I must do it, though it kills me."

I felt the poor captain tremble all over as I helped him along to the
companion-ladder.  He climbed up with the greatest difficulty; indeed,
without my assistance he could not have got along.  He at length reached
the deck.  He could scarcely stand, and was obliged to hold on by the
companion-hatch.  His face was pale as death.  His white hair hung down
on each side of his forehead, over which the skin seemed stretched like
thin parchment.  His lips had lost all colour, and his blue eyes, as he
gazed around, had an unnatural brightness.

"Mr Kydd," he said, "you have compelled me at a severe cost to come up
on deck.  I order you to heave the lead.  And, men," he cried out,
"assist the mate to carry out my orders."

Kydd was now obliged to obey.  Going to the chains, he hove the lead.  I
looked over the side to watch him, and saw by the way the line slackened
that bottom was found.  Just at that moment I heard some one cry out,
"See! see!  What is the matter with the captain?"  I ran aft.  He had
fallen to the deck.  "Oh, father, father! speak to me!" cried Natty, who
was by his side.  I lifted up the old man's head.  David Hyslop had
hastened to him, and was kneeling on the deck holding his hand.  "He has
swooned," he said.  "He should not have left his bed."

"Can you do anything for him?"

"We will carry him below, but I fear the worst," he whispered.

Just then the sails of the brig gave a loud, thundering flap, and yet
there was no wind; but I felt that a huge wave coming along the ocean
had passed under her.  The passengers looked at each other with an
expression of dismay in their countenances, not knowing what was next
going to happen; while David and I, with the assistance of Stanley and
Mr Rowley, began to carry the captain down below.  Not without
difficulty, as he was somewhat heavy, we placed him on his bed.  David
again felt his pulse.

"It is all over, I fear," he said in a low voice, so that Natty could
not hear.  "Bring a glass!  I cannot feel his heart beating."  His
brother brought a small glass from their sisters' cabin, and David held
it over Captain Page's mouth, and again felt his heart.  "He is gone,"
he said.  "No human skill can restore him."

Natty, who had been standing outside, now sprang into the cabin.  "Oh,
tell me!" he said, looking imploringly up at David, "tell me!--is my
father likely to get better?  Why will he not speak to me?"

David did not reply, but made a sign to me to lead him out of the cabin.
I saw my cousin close the old man's eyes as I took Natty by the hand
and led him to the main cabin.  I thought I would tell him at once what
had happened; but a choking sensation came into my throat, and I could
not utter a word.

"Is father not getting better," he asked, after a time.  "Why did he not
speak to me just now?"

"I am afraid he is not getting better," I replied; "but come on deck."
The idea struck me that I would get one of the young ladies to speak to
him, as they would tell him of his loss with more gentleness than any
one else.  When we reached the deck he saw Leo, who ran up to him, and
took him aft to show him a large shark he had been watching swimming
about close astern.  I seized the opportunity of speaking to Miss
Rowley, and told her what had happened.

"Oh, no, no; I am sure I cannot speak to the child.  I should not know
what to say," she answered.  "Just tell him yourself.  I do not suppose
boys are likely to be much affected by such an occurrence."

I could not help giving her a look expressive of the surprise and pain I
felt.  Could that elegant young lady be so heartless and indifferent to
the sorrow of others?  My cousin Kate was sitting a little further off,
out of hearing of her brother and Natty.

"The captain is dead," I said, in a low voice; "but his poor boy does
not know it."

"Is the kind old man really gone?" she exclaimed, looking up into my
face, and a tear starting into her eye.  "Oh, how sad for poor Natty!
But he must be told; and yet he will feel it dreadfully."

"Will you tell him then, Kate?"  I asked.  "It is necessary to do so at
once, and yet it is hard to wound his feelings."

"Yes," she said; "I will try, even though it would greatly pain me.  Yes
yes!" she continued.  "Come here, Natty, and sit down by me.--You need
not be afraid, Andrew, I will speak gently to him."

I was sure she would.  Her sweet countenance showed me how much she felt
for the boy.  I did not hear what she said, but she took his hand, and
looked kindly into his face.  He saw the tears in her eyes as she went
on talking, and then, at length, he seemed to comprehend the truth, and
began to sob violently.  I saw her take both his hands, and cast on him
a look of sympathy, of more avail just then than any words she could
have uttered.  Directly after he started up, as if to run to the cabin
where his dead father lay; but she held him back by gentle force; and
then he sat quiet, and sobbed and sobbed as if his young heart would
break; and she again began to speak so soothingly to him, looking so
kindly into his face, her tears falling fast, that I knew he was gaining
the comfort he needed.

The mate meantime, hearing what had happened, went into the cabin, as if
to satisfy himself.  When he returned on deck, I saw that he could
scarcely conceal his satisfaction as he looked about with an air of

"Men," he said--for the crew had come up, a rumour having reached them
of what had occurred--"I am now captain of this brig, and you will have
to obey my orders.  You understand me.  I am not going to have any of
the nonsense we had before; what I say I'll have done, and if there's
any slackness, look out for squalls."

Captain Page, I should have said, had been accustomed to have prayers
every morning and service on Sunday--a practice not common, I am sorry
to say, in those days aboard merchantmen.  The good old customs of our
forefathers had long been given up, when, rough as seamen might have
been, there were far more God-fearing men among them than at present; so
I have read.  I am afraid Kydd alluded to this practice of the
captain's, as well as to the kind and gentle way in which he ruled his
crew.  The men touched their hats in recognition of his authority, but I
saw from the looks they cast at him, that they held him in very
different estimation to their late master.  A stricter captain, perhaps,
might have kept them in better order.  Many of them were somewhat rough
hands; but still his kindness had won their hearts, and, rough as they
were, they now showed unmistakable signs of sorrow for his death.

When the mate ceased speaking, and turned aft with a conceited air, I
saw them talking together, and casting no very complimentary looks
towards him.  The old boatswain, indeed, Jeremiah Barker, took but
little pains to conceal his indignation.  No sooner was the mate's back
turned than he lifted up his fist with a threatening gesture, which made
me fear greatly for the future discipline of the ship.  As to
expostulating with a fellow like Kydd, I knew it would be utterly
useless; and I was afraid that even if Stanley or the other gentlemen
spoke to him, he would be as little likely to attend to them as to me.

I must confess that the captain's death and this conduct of Kydd made me
forget altogether the almost dying injunctions of the former to anchor
as soon as we got into shallow water.  The latter also seemed entirely
to have forgotten that we were already in soundings.

"Well, sir," he said, coming up to Stanley, "I suppose we must see about
getting the old man buried.  I am no hand at preaching or praying, and
so I will ask you to read the funeral service.  We will do all things
ship-shape and right."

"Why, sir," exclaimed Stanley, in a tone of indignation, "the poor man's
breath is scarcely out of his body!  You would not throw him overboard
at once surely!"

"We have to manage that sort of thing pretty sharply out in these
latitudes," answered Kydd.  "I shall be wanting his cabin, too; and as
it may be two or three days before we reach Loando, we cannot have him
buried on shore.  We are not far off that place, and I hope we shall be
able to get an observation in a short time, and see exactly where we

"You are now master of the vessel, and I shall not interfere with your
authority," said Stanley; "but I think it would be more decent to wait
as long as we can for the sake of the poor little boy there.  When his
feelings are more calm he would like to see his dead father."

"Oh, certainly, sir, as you please, as you please," said the mate,
turning away.  "I will give you another hour to indulge your fancy, but
I have no maudlin feelings of that sort."

If the look of unutterable disgust which passed over my cousin's
countenance could have made Kydd ashamed of himself, he would have hid
his face; but he continued pacing the deck and turning his head about as
if considering which order he should next issue.  I saw Kate at length
take Natty down into the captain's cabin, and I thought it best to allow
her and the boy to be alone there together at that sad moment.  The
boatswain then came aft and said that he and the crew wished to see
their late captain.

"What is that for?" asked Kydd, and I thought he was going to refuse the

"He was our friend, and we would like to have a last look at his kind
face," answered the boatswain.

"Well, if the passengers do not mind your going into the cabin, I do
not," said the mate, turning aside.

Perhaps he did not quite like the expression of old Barker's
countenance.  I led the way into the cabin, and the crew came, one by
one, following the boatswain.  "Well, you was an honest, kind man as
ever lived, and that's more than can be said of him who has stepped into
your shoes," said old Barker, apostrophising the captain.  "He is less
of a sailor than your little finger was; and as to sense, he has not as
much as was in your thumb-nail."  The remarks of the other men, as they
passed by, were still less complimentary to the new master; and had he
heard them, he might well have doubted his power of keeping his crew in
order.  I felt, indeed, very anxious, for though I had thought very
little of Kydd, I was not aware how he was despised and detested by the

I more than ever wished that a breeze would spring up, that they might
have something to do, and that we might get away from this dangerous
part of the coast.  The calm, however, still continued, and at length
the time came for lowering our late captain into his ocean grave.  The
sailmaker came aft with the boatswain to superintend the operation of
enclosing him in a hammock, into which they fastened a pig of iron

"Them sharks shan't have him, nohow," observed the sailmaker; "for
though the bottom may be a long way off, he will reach it pretty
quickly, and lie quiet there till the day when we all come up from the
land or sea--it will not then matter where we have lain in the
meantime--to answer for ourselves.  I only wish I was as sure to give as
good an account of myself as he is."

"Be quick there!" cried the mate from the deck.  "There is a breeze
coming up, I have a notion, and we shall have to trim sails.  I wish to
get this business over first."

Kate had been keeping Natty by her side while this was going forward.
Two of the other men now came below and assisted to carry the captain's
body on deck, where my cousin Stanley had got his prayer-book, and stood
ready.  The old boatswain had thrown a flag over the body, now placed on
a plank, one end of which projected out of a port.  While the funeral
service of the Church of England was read, not a sound was heard except
the unrepressed sobs which burst from poor Natty's bosom, and the
creaking of the yards and blocks as the brig moved imperceptibly from
side to side.  Then came the dull, sullen sound of a plunge, as, old
Barker lifting up the end of the plank, the body slid off into the
water.  As I looked over the side I could see the white shrouded figure
descending into the depths of ocean.  Just as it disappeared, I caught
sight of the dark form of a huge shark gliding towards it; but I had
hopes that it had sunk far below the creature's reach before he could
seize it.

"Stow away that plank," said the mate, the instant the captain's body
had been launched overboard.  "I wish this breeze would come, though,"
he added, glancing round.

Still he gave no orders to heave the lead, as the late captain had
advised.  I knew well enough that to remind him would only make him less
likely to do it, so I said nothing, though I kept looking over into the
water to see if there was any change of colour which might be produced
by our getting nearer the land.  Now again came one of those sullen
flaps of the sails, showing that though we might seem to be at rest, the
vessel was occasionally moved by no gentle force; and I could
distinguish, as I looked eastward, a smooth undulation which seemed
rolling away in that direction.  Still the sky remained obscured as
before, and a gauze-like mist hung over the ocean.  The atmosphere felt
hotter and more oppressive than ever.  The passengers remained on deck,
for the cabins were almost unbearable.  The ladies were trying to read
or work, but Kate alone continued to ply her active fingers.  Miss
Rowley scarcely turned a page, while little Bella kept looking with her
large blue eyes at poor Natty, who sat with his head resting on his
hands, utterly unable to recover himself.  As I looked over the side I
observed that the undulations I have spoken of became more and more
frequent, on each occasion, as they passed, giving the brig a slow
shake, and making the sails flap loudly as before.  The crew were
talking together, and, led by old Barker, were ranging the cable for
anchoring, Mr Kydd having disappeared below.  Suddenly he returned on

"Who ordered you to do that?" he exclaimed in an angry tone.  "Did I
tell you I was going to bring the ship to an anchor?"

"No, sir," answered the boatswain; "but any one who is acquainted with
these parts must know that it is the only thing to be done to save the
brig and our lives.  For who can tell that we may not be ashore any

"You are a mutinous rascal," exclaimed Kydd.  "I will not allow the brig
to be brought to an anchor till I see fit.  We are fifty miles off the
coast, and more than that, perhaps."

"What, with fifty fathom only under our keel!" exclaimed the boatswain.
"What is the meaning, too, of these breakers away in the south-east?
Mr Kydd, we must anchor, and you ought to know it."

I looked out in the direction towards which the boatswain pointed.  The
sun was already sinking into the ocean, and his rays lighted up a line
of foam, or what looked like it, in the south-east.

Kydd, on the boatswain's remark, broke out into a furious passion, and,
hurrying into his cabin, appeared again with a brace of pistols in his
hand.  Placing them in his belt, he walked the deck, muttering
incoherently to himself.  No one interfered.  I felt unwilling to go
below, though the steward called me to supper.  The sun had long
disappeared--the moon rose, and shed a bright silvery light upon the
ocean.  It was perfectly calm; and as, on looking round, I could see no
breakers, nor hear their sound, I at length turned in.  I was too
anxious, however, to sleep long.  On going on deck and again looking
out, there I saw, not a quarter of a mile off a black ledge of rocks
rising some feet out of the water.  The brig was drifting by them at a
rate which showed how strong a current was running.  What was my
surprise to see a boat coming off from the rock.  "What is that?"  I

"Why, I have treated one mutinous rascal as I intend to treat you if you
follow his example," answered Kydd, who heard my question.

I was too much astonished to speak.  After pacing the deck for a few
minutes I went below to consult with Stanley.

"We must put him under arrest," he said at length.  "But go on deck and
learn how the men take the proceeding."

On my return I found the boat alongside.  The crew climbed on board.
Could they really have executed so barbarous an order!  Great was my
relief to find the boatswain among them.

"You rascals, I ordered you to land him on these rocks!" exclaimed Kydd,
when he caught sight of the old man.

"So we did; and he ordered us to take him off again," answered one of
the crew.  "We have as good a right to obey him as you, Mr Kydd.  If
you was to die, like the captain and first mate, he's the only officer
left to take charge of the brig."

Kydd was a coward.  This answer silenced him, and without uttering a
word he went below.

The passengers assembled at breakfast the next morning with anxious
faces.  They knew that something was very wrong, but could not exactly
tell what.  The calm continued.  A thick mist hung over the ocean as on
the previous day, the rocks were no longer in sight, the vessel floated
tranquilly on the treacherous waters.  Kydd had completely recovered
himself.  He had the awning spread, and with a smiling countenance
invited the passengers to come on deck, and tried to make himself
agreeable to Miss Rowley.  Some time thus passed.  At last I saw the
boatswain and several of the men coming up.

"Mr Kydd," said the former, "I have to ask you whether you intend to
anchor, and try to keep the ship out of danger or not?"

"Not till the land is in sight, and I see the necessity," answered Kydd
quite calmly.  He said nothing more for a minute or so.  Then suddenly
he exclaimed in a furious tone, "But I am not going to be dictated to by
a set of mutinous scoundrels."  I need not repeat all his words.

Just at that moment I heard that peculiar low, suppressed roar which a
seaman knows so well to indicate breakers I begged the mate to listen,
telling him what I had heard, but he was deaf to reason, and declared he
would only anchor when he saw fit.  He seemed to have gone out of his
mind, and I felt that I should be justified in assisting the crew in
putting him under restraint; but he was in reality as much in his senses
as ever, though under the influence of his passion and obstinacy.  Just
at that moment another roller came in toward the brig from the westward,
and the next instant all on deck were almost thrown off their feet.  A
blow was felt which made her shake fore and aft, and the water, which
had hitherto not even rippled against her side, now broke over her in a
shower of spray.  The passengers started up.  Kate clasped her little
sister round the neck, and seized the arm of her brother David, who was
standing near her.  "What is the matter? what has happened?" shrieked
out Miss Rowley in an attitude expressive of her terror.

"We are on shore," cried some of the men; "that is what has happened."

Such was too truly the case.  The old captain's warnings had been
neglected, and his prognostications were thus terribly fulfilled.



Boastful as the mate had been, he turned deadly pale as he saw the
dangerous position in which the brig was placed.  When, however, she lay
quiet--the sea not again breaking over her--he recovered himself.  The
crew meantime, led by Barker, had gone aloft, without his orders, to
furl sails, the first thing under the circumstances to be done.

"Get the boats out," he said at length.  His voice had lost its usual
authoritative tone.  "We must warp the vessel off."

"No easy matter to do that," observed the boatswain.  "I know what these
banks are made of, and it will be a hard job to find holding ground.
Which way will you haul her off, sir?"

"The way she came on," answered the mate.  "That was sideways, I have a
notion," observed old Barker.  "You will not get her off so."

I soon saw, by the manner the brig lay over, that Barker was right; but
without sounding round her, it was impossible to judge properly what to
do.  I suggested that this was the first thing to be done.  "Give your
advice when it is asked, Mr Crawford," said Kydd, walking up and down
the deck.  "Be smart there with the boats!"

While he was speaking, another wave came rolling in and struck the
vessel with greater force than the former one, breaking over the fore
part of the deck.

"We must get the boats over to the starboard side," said Barker (the
vessel's head was to the north).  "They will be stove in if we attempt
to lower them on the outer side."

"What are you afraid of, man?" exclaimed Kydd.  "Why, the sea is as
smooth as a mill-pond between these rollers.  Am I to be obeyed, or am I
not?  Here, lower this boat first.  We will have her round on the other
side before the next roller comes in."

Several of the men hastened to obey him.  The boat was cleared, and two
of the crew jumping into her, she was lowered.  Just, however, as she
reached the water, before the others could follow, another far heavier
roller came gliding towards us.  "In board for your lives, lads!"  I
cried out, but the men either did not hear me or despised the warning.
The wave struck the boat and dashed it with tremendous force against the
counter, sweeping them off towards the shore.  They held out their hands
imploring assistance.

"If we get the starboard-quarter boat lowered we shall be in time to
save them, Mr Kydd," I said; and without waiting for his reply, Barker
and I, with Jack Handspike, assisted by some of the gentlemen, lowered
the boat.  Scarcely, however, had we seized the oars, when we heard a
loud shriek, and one of the poor fellows disappeared beneath the
surface.  A shark had taken him.  The other, who was at a little
distance, saw his companion's fate, and cried out to us to make haste.
We pulled away as hard as we could lay our backs to the oars, old Barker
steering.  But just before we reached the man, his arms were thrown up,
and down he sank.  He, too, had become the prey of one of the rapacious
monsters of the deep.  We now returned on board, the boat remaining
perfectly quit on the starboard side.  No attempt had been made in the
meantime to sound round the vessel.  I offered to do it.

"I have made up my mind to haul her off astern," answered Kydd.  "We
will carry a kedge out in that direction."

"As you please," I said.  "It may be right, but it may be the wrong

"It is my way, at all events," was the petulant reply.

It was necessary to get the long-boat into the water to carry out the
kedge.  Before this could be done, she had to be cleared of all sorts of
articles stowed in her.  It took us some time.  The fate of their
companions had thrown a damp over the spirits of the men, and they did
not work with their ordinary activity.  I could not help looking out
seaward now and then, thinking that heavier rollers might be coming in,
when our position would be truly dangerous.  Where we were all this time
we could not ascertain,--whether we were on a sandbank at a distance
from the coast, or on the coast itself.  In either case the danger was
great.  At last we got a kedge out right astern, and the crew manned the
capstan.  They worked away for some time.  It seemed to me that the
anchor was coming home.  I was sure of it indeed, for not an inch did
the vessel move.  I meantime had got hold of the hand-lead, and hove it
ahead.  There was ample water there, at all events, for the brig to
float.  I then ran with it aft and dropped it over the taffrail.  The
water was evidently much shallower at that end of the ship.  We had been
working away all that time, therefore, to haul her still faster on to
the bank.  I was determined not to stand this any longer.

"Perhaps, Mr Kydd, you will try the depth of the water astern as well
as ahead," I said; "and it strikes me that if we were to attempt to haul
her off the other way, we might have a better chance of success."

"Leave that to me," he answered in the same tone as before.

"Round with the pauls, my lads," he sung out.  "We will soon have her

"I am not going to step another foot round the capstan without I know
that we are trying to haul off the right way," said Barker, who
overheard what I had said.

This remark made the mate furious.  The men followed Barker's example.
Mr Kydd swore and stamped about the deck, declaring that there was a

"No mutiny, sir," answered old Barker; "but our lives are worth as much
to us as yours is to you."

"Take that then!" cried the mate, rushing forward toward the old man and
striking him a blow which brought him to the deck.  "Who is going to
oppose me now?"

I thought the boatswain was killed, for he lay motionless.  The crew,
indignant at the way one they looked upon as their friend was treated,
threw down the pauls, and refused to work any longer.  Jack Handspike
alone remained firm in entreating them to obey orders.  "Mr Kydd is now
master of the ship, and if we do not obey him, whom are we to obey?" he

While the dispute was going on, the passengers taking no part in it, the
mist which had hitherto hung over the sea slowly lifted, and looking to
the eastward I saw a line of coast, fringed with mangrove bushes, and
blue mountains rising in the distance.  "The land! the land! we are all
right!" cried some of the crew.  "I for one am not going to stop here
and be bullied by an ignorant greenhorn!" cried one.  "Nor I," exclaimed
another.  "Well, mates, let us take the old boatswain, who was our
friend at all times, and see what is to be got on shore.  Would any of
you ladies and gentlemen like to come with us?"

Captain Hyslop now stepped forward.  "My men," he said, "I know what you
are likely to find on yonder coast, and I entreat you to remain on board
till we see if we can get the brig off.  The probabilities are that the
boat will be upset in the surf as you attempt to land, and if not, when
you get on shore there are savage people, who are as likely as not to
murder you immediately."

"Oh, that's all humbug!" cried one of the men, "just to make us remain.
Mates, are we to go, or are we to stop and get abused by this ignorant

The crew, one and all, with the exception of Handspike, were in a state
of mutiny.  I spoke to them, but they would not listen to me.  "Well,
you may go with us," they said, "but go we will.  We do not want to
leave anybody behind."  Without attempting even to bring the anchor on
board, they lifted the still insensible boatswain into the boat, and in
spite of the entreaties of the ladies and Stanley's warnings, shoved
off.  Kydd not till then seemed to recollect that he had pistols in his
belt.  Drawing one, he senselessly fired, but the men were too far off
to be injured.  They answered with loud laughs and gestures of derision,
and away they pulled.  We had now only one boat left, and she was too
small to weigh the anchor.  I begged Stanley and David and one of the
Mr Rowleys to come with me in her, however, to sound round the vessel.
Kydd by this time was almost beside himself with rage, and did not
interfere with us.  We found, as I suspected, that the brig had driven
broadside on to a long sandbank, an eighth of a mile in width, but how
long we could not tell, for the water was deep on the outer or port side
of the vessel; ahead it was also sufficiently deep to float her; and
should the wind come off shore, I was in great hopes that we might yet
forge her off.  Astern, however, the water was far more shallow; and,
indeed, the senseless efforts which Kydd had made had contributed to
drag her still further on.  It all depended, however, upon the wind
coming from the eastward.  A westerly wind must inevitably prove our
destruction, as with the sea which broke against her in that perfect
calm, it was clear that the breeze would have the effect of driving her
further on, and sending the sea completely over her.  Our position was a
truly fearful one.  Stanley, however, who was no seaman, did not seem to
dread it so much, but Handspike and Timbo fully agreed with me that we
should be prepared for the worst.  Deserted by the crew, even should the
wind come off the shore, we could with difficulty make sail, and then it
would be a hard matter to navigate the vessel.  We only, hoped, however,
that they would return on finding the unattractive appearance of the
coast.  The mist clearing away to the west, the rays of the sun glanced
almost horizontally across the waters, over which they cast a ruddy
glow, showing us the boat just as she reached the shore, I went aloft
with a spy-glass to watch her, and could make out a number of dark
figures hurrying down to the beach.  She stopped for some time when at
no great distance, and the people in her seemed to be holding a
conversation with those on shore.  She then pulled on, and directly
afterwards I saw her surrounded by the dark figures, who seemed to be
running her up the beach.  Presently, to my horror, I perceived some of
the crew running, and the blacks apparently pursuing them.  Now one was
struck down, now another.  It was too evident that the infatuated men
were being murdered by the savages.  Soon all pursuit ceased; and here
and there I could see figures stretched their length and motionless on
the sand.  Then I made out a crowd of blacks dancing and leaping, so it
seemed to me, round the boat.  A new alarm seized me.  I was afraid that
they might attempt to come off, and treat us as they had done the crew.
Anxious to watch them, I did not descend till the shades of night, which
rapidly came on, hid them from my sight.  I then returned on deck, and
taking Stanley and David aside, told them what had occurred.

"We must defend ourselves to the last," he answered, "if they do come.
It will be better to die fighting than let them get on board.  What do
you advise?"

"We have nearly a dozen muskets," I said, "and with our two guns we may
make a stout defence.  I do not think they would wish to encounter our
firearms, even though they possibly have some themselves."

"I am afraid that fellow Kydd will be of no use to us," observed
Stanley.  "He seems beside himself.  We will hear what Timbo says,
however.  He knows more of these people than any of us."

Timbo was standing at no great distance, and Stanley called him up.  I
told him what I had seen.

"Not surprised," he observed.  "De white men make dem slave, and so when
dey catch de white men dey kill dem.  Dat's it; but dey no come off at
night.  No fear of dat.  Dey t'ink we one slaver; and if we fired a gun,
dey no come off at all."

This information was cheering, as we thought we could rely on Timbo's

"Would you consent to go on shore and gain their friendship?"  I asked.
"If they know that we are not their enemies, they may possibly be
disposed to help us; for as to getting off the brig, I fear greatly it
is not to be done."

He hesitated.  "Yes," he said at length; "I go to-morrow morning.  I
talk deir lingo; and if dey come from up de country, as I t'ink, I make
friends wid dem."

I agreed to accompany him, with David and the younger Mr Rowley.
Darkness at length came on; and as the mist settled once more over the
ocean we were unable to see many fathoms on either side of the vessel.
We made these arrangements without consulting Kydd, for his conduct had
been such that we felt it would be useless: indeed, when I looked round
I could not distinguish him on deck.  All this time the brig lay
tolerably quiet, for though the sea every now and then struck her, and I
feared sent her even more on to the bank, yet it did not break over
sufficiently to wash anybody off the deck; the after part, indeed,
remained perfectly dry.  Here the ladies had collected, with the two
boys, while the five gentlemen passengers, Jack Handspike, Timbo, and I,
busied ourselves in getting up the muskets and ammunition for them and
the guns.  "We are going to fire," I heard Stanley say, and soon
afterwards Timbo appeared with a hot poker from the galley fire, and our
guns were discharged in succession.  "Dat keep de niggers away," he
observed, returning to the galley.  I was surprised that Kydd made no
inquiry when the guns were fired.  As I was going aft I saw a figure
come up the companion-hatch.  I could make out that he had a number of
packages under his arm.  I was sure it was the mate, and my suspicions
were aroused, though I could scarcely tell what he was going to do.  I
pointed him out to Stanley, who was standing near the mainmast.  "We
will follow him, at all events," he answered.  As we got aft we saw him
leaning over the quarter, and evidently engaged in hauling up the boat.

"Mr Kydd, what are you about?" exclaimed Stanley, seizing him by the
arm.  "Are you going to leave the brig?"

"I am captain, and who dares question me?" was the answer.

"You shall not deprive us of our only boat, at all events," said
Stanley.  "If you leave the vessel, it must be on a raft, or swim for

Kydd made no answer, but continued leaning over the side.  We saw that
he was dropping something into the boat.  It seemed that he was about at
that instant to throw himself over, when Stanley seized him and dragged
him back.  As he did so Kydd let go the painter, and before I could
spring forward and seize it, the boat had drifted away from the vessel I
would have jumped overboard and swam to her--I was on the point of doing
so--when David, who had followed us, stopped me.

"Stay, Andrew!" he exclaimed.  "We are surrounded by sharks.  I saw
three just before dark.  You would be their prey in an instant."

Meantime Kydd was struggling with Stanley, who however quickly
overpowered him.

"I was not going to take the boat," said Kydd, "whatever you may fancy.
I am captain of this vessel, and I have a right to do what I like.  It
was through your fault that the boat got away, and you are answerable
for that.  Let me go, I say!"

Stanley released Kydd, who slunk away without uttering another word.

"This is not a time for disputes," said my cousin.  "We must be ready
for resistance should the blacks come off to us; though I hope that
Timbo is right in supposing that they will not venture from the shore
till daylight."

So short a time did the occurrence I have described take, that the
ladies were scarcely aware of what was happening till it was over.

"What is the matter, Stanley?" asked Kate.

"Nothing to alarm you, my dear sister.  I trust all will yet be well.
There is every sign of the calm continuing; and perhaps in the morning,
when the wind comes off the land, we may get the brig afloat.  What do
you say, Andrew?"

"I hope we may," I answered, "as she has not struck very hard."

"Had not you and Bella better go below, Kate, with Miss Rowley, and Leo
and Natty will attend on you!  We men must remain on deck to do what is
necessary should any fresh emergency arise."

Kate begged to remain also, but David, and the Rowleys joining him,
persuaded the young ladies at length to retire to the cabin.  Timbo
followed them to light the cabin lamp, and I saw them, as I looked
through the skylight, seated at the table, Kate having a large book
before her, which I recognised as the old captain's Bible.  She was
reading from it to her companions, the two boys and Bella listening with
earnest looks, though Miss Rowley seemed to be too much alarmed to pay
any attention.  The young Irishman and the two Rowleys now exerted
themselves as much as the rest of us in making preparations to defend
the vessel.

"If there were boarding-nettings, we should find them useful," said
Stanley.  "Mr Kydd, have you any on board?"

"No, sir," was the answer.  "We do not carry such things; and, for my
part, I think all this preparation is useless.  The blacks are not
likely to come off to attack us, and if they do, we could very soon
drive them back again."

"If we are properly prepared we may," said my cousin; and we all
continued the work we had in hand.

Besides the firearms we had a few ship's cutlasses; and at Timbo's
suggestion we fastened all the knives and axes we could find to some
long spars, to use them as boarding-pikes.  We ran lines also along the
sides between the rigging to answer in a measure the purpose of
boarding-nettings; and before the morning broke, we were as well
prepared as we could expect to be to resist an attack.  We were looking
out for the rising sun, when I felt a light wind fan my cheek.  I said
nothing, but again I felt it blow stronger.

"We shall have the wind off the shore soon," I cried out, "and we must
be ready to trim sails to make the most of it."

"Who is issuing orders on board this vessel?"  I heard Kydd exclaim.
"Mr Crawford, I am the man to say what is to be done."

"If you will tell us what to do, we will take good care to do it,"
Stanley said to me, in a low voice.  "There is little use in listening
to that fellow."

The breeze came stronger and stronger; and by the time the first streaks
of early dawn appeared over the land, there was a strongish breeze
blowing, hot, and smelling of the arid sand and damp mangrove marshes.

"Faith, there is but little of the spices of Araby," I heard Terence
O'Brien observe to one of his friends.

"Those who know how to handle ropes, come and help me to trim the
sails," exclaimed Kydd.  "Handspike, you are the only man under my
orders.  You go to the helm."

We all set to work to trim the sails.  Senhor Silva and his servant, who
had hitherto not done much, now joined with a will.  The canvas blew
out, and the yards creaked and strained, but not an inch was the vessel
moved.  Kydd then ordered us to run fore and aft; but the light weight
of a few people on board the stout brig produced no perceptible effect.

"Had we the boat, and could we carry an anchor out, we might get the
brig off," I observed to Stanley.  "But, I fear, now it is hopeless,
unless, indeed, we were to build a raft.  With that we may do something,
though there will be no slight risk in the undertaking."

"If you think it can be done, _we_ will do it," said Stanley.

"Certainly," I said, "it is our only chance."

"Then it shall be done," he exclaimed.  "Mr Kydd, we wish to build a
raft to carry out the anchor."

Kydd was about to reply, but the captain's look silenced him.  All hands
now set to work to collect all the spare spars and planks to be found.
We got up also a number of small casks from below, in which palm-oil was
to be stowed; and this assisted us greatly.

"Massa," said Timbo, coming up to Stanley, "me t'ink it better to have
two raft.  Suppose no get de brig off, den we want dem _to get away_.
Suppose de niggers come off, den what we do?  We not stay here for

"A wise suggestion, Timbo," said his master.  "Crawford, will you
undertake to build another raft?  Mr Kydd seems busy with the one

Senhor Silva and his servant had, they told us, once assisted in
building a raft to escape from a wreck, and were well able to lend a
hand.  While the rest of the party were collecting materials, I went
aloft, anxious to see what the negroes on shore were about.  The mist
which usually hangs over the land at early dawn had by this time
disappeared.  With my glass I could distinguish the boat on the beach,
and a number of people moving about.  As, however, they did not seem
preparing to launch her, I hoped that we might have time, at all events,
to get our rafts ready; and quickly again descended with the
satisfactory intelligence.  Believing that there was but little prospect
of getting the vessel off, we did not scruple to use the hatches and
bulkheads, and, indeed, to rip off the inner planking.  It would
require, we saw, two rafts of considerable size to carry so many people
with any degree of safety even in smooth water.  Still, what other
prospect had we of saving our lives?  I had not for a moment allowed my
mind to dwell more than I could help on our too possible fate; indeed,
it would almost have unmanned me to contemplate the hardships to which
the young ladies must inevitably be exposed even at the best.  However,
we were doing all that men could do under the circumstances, and that
kept up our spirits.  Kydd had become somewhat humbled by this time, and
worked away like the rest of us, without taking any leading part;
indeed, several of the rest of the party were far more expert in
constructing the rafts than he was.

The water, as I said, remained smooth inside of us.  We now set to work
to launch our rafts.  Kydd took charge of the one forward; I of the
after one, at the construction of which I had assisted.  Having cut away
the bulwarks, we worked them over the side with the capstan bars, and
then lowered them as gently as we could with ropes.  Mine, I found, was
somewhat the largest, and floated higher than the other out of the
water.  We had now to fit masts and sails to them.  Fortunately there
was a number of spare oars on board, so that our time was not occupied
in making fresh ones.  I however thought it well to have one long one to
serve as a mast.  The important business of provisioning our rafts had
next to be attended to.  We first got up four water-casks, which we
secured in the centre of the raft.  Round them we formed a strong
railing, with a raised platform, on which a few of the party could sit
well out of the water, which I feared, as soon as there was any sea,
would wash over the main part.

I saw Kydd hurrying on with his preparations.  "Now, Miss Rowley," he
said, "I hope you will entrust yourself to my charge.  I ought to know
better how to manage a raft than those landsmen," and he cast a glance
at me; "and I promise to take good care of you and your brothers."

I did not hear what the young lady said, but directly afterwards I saw
her being lowered down on to Kydd's raft.  Her brothers and the young
Irishman followed.

"Come, Handspike; we want you," sung out Kydd, standing up on the raft.

"No, no," answered Handspike.  "The landsmen, as you say, will want my
help, and I must go aboard the other."

While this was going on, I saw that Timbo had gone aloft.  Presently he
came gliding down by a backstay on deck.  "Quick! quick!  Massa Andrew,"
he exclaimed.  "No time to lose!  De niggers coming off in de boat!  If
we stop and fight, dey take away de rafts.  If we sail off, dey come
aboard vessel, and stop and steal and get drunk, and we get away."

Kydd overheard him.  "Shove off!" he cried out to his companions.  They
obeyed him; and immediately the raft was clear of the vessel, he began
to hoist his sail.

"Stop! stop!"  I cried out.  "Take more of our party on board!  Senhor
Silva and his servant will go with you!"

He paid no attention to my shouts, but continued hoisting his sail,
though I saw the gentlemen on board were expostulating with him.

"We must all go, then, on the one raft," I said.  "I trust it will hold
us, although it was treacherous of the mate to go away, leaving the
party thus unequally divided."

"I am sorry our friends are under no better charge," said Stanley.
"But, Andrew, we are ready to place ourselves under your and Handspike's
guidance.  Timbo, too, will be of no slight service; so that we need not
complain of what has occurred.  We have no time to lose, though."

Jack and Timbo now going on to the raft, assisted the rest of the party
to descend.  I was the last to leave the unfortunate brig.  As I looked
round I did not see Natty.  "Where can he be?"  I exclaimed.  I sprang
up the side.  My young charge had fallen on the deck, and lay concealed
from those on the raft by the bulwarks in the fore part of the vessel.
"Hold on for a moment," I cried out; "I will bring him down to you."  I
lifted the poor boy up in my arms.  A falling block or spar, I
conjectured, had struck his head and stunned him.  Had I not discovered
his absence, how dreadful would have been his fate left alone on board
the brig.  To my great joy he soon recovered.  Jack Handspike received
him in his arms as I lowered him down, and I following, without delay we
shoved off, and passed under the brig's stern.  The blacks could not see
what was occurring, and would therefore, I hoped, not hurry themselves
in coming off, so that we might have a considerable start of them should
they pursue us.  The raft was, as may be supposed, deeper in the water
than I could have wished; at the same time, in that smooth sea, it was
well capable of supporting us all.  My hope was that we should be picked
up by some cruiser or passing merchant vessel, and that we might not
have long to remain on it.  Still, the risk was a fearful one, but it
seemed better than venturing to the shore after we had discovered the
savage disposition of the natives.  If they had murdered the seamen,
there was no reason to suppose that we should escape the same treatment.

The mate's raft, being lighter, had already got a considerable distance
ahead.  Our sail, however, was larger than his; and as we had hands
enough to lower it quickly, we could venture to carry it longer in the
increasing breeze.  We got out the oars also, which contributed to urge
the raft through the water.  We thus, in a short time, had nearly
overtaken the mate and his companions.  Few of us spoke much.  We were
all too anxious for talking.  Senhor Silva advised that we should alter
our course, as soon as we had got out of sight of the brig, to the
southward, hoping that we might be picked up by some vessel bound to
Loando, the nearest European settlement on the coast.  One thing was
certain, that should the wind shift to the eastward we should have no
choice, but should be compelled to run back for the land.

We had placed Kate and Bella on the most secure part of the raft, with
the two boys, while we spread a piece of awning, which projected a
little way over their heads, thus affording them some shelter from the
hot rays of the sun.  The water remained smooth, and was bright and
clear; and could we have forgotten that it might at any moment be tossed
into huge waves, there was little to give us a sense of danger.  Jack
Handspike was at the helm, and tended the sheets while the rest of us
pulled; I kept an eye on the halliards, ready to let go should the
breeze increase too much for our sail.  We had brought a telescope,
through which, every now and then, I took a glance astern to ascertain
whether the negroes had reached the brig.  We were gradually getting to
a distance from her, so that our white sails would have looked almost
like specks on the ocean, unless seen through a spy-glass, and those
that remained on board we hoped the savages would not know how to use.
Presently I saw the bright flash of a gun, and, a few seconds after, the
sound came booming across the water; then, once more looking through the
glass, I caught sight of several dark objects moving above the bulwarks.
There was no doubt that the blacks must have reached the vessel; but
whether or not they had discovered us remained uncertain.  All we could
do was to use our best exertions in getting away from them, by rowing as
hard as we could and keeping our sails spread to the breeze.  By this
time we had come abreast of the other raft.  I hailed her and told what
I had seen.

"Never fear," cried out Kydd.  "We will drive them back if they do

He exhibited several muskets which he had placed on his raft.  We also
had taken a couple, and a small quantity of ammunition.

We had got some little way ahead of the other raft, when I proposed
hauling down the sail, not to run away from her.  I was about to do so,
when the wind, which had hitherto been getting somewhat lighter, fell
altogether, and we were left on a perfect sea of glass, the other raft
being about a quarter of a mile away from us.  The heat was very great;
and as we had been rowing all day, we felt scarcely capable of further
exertion.  We had also, we hoped, got beyond the reach of the negroes,
as it was not likely they would follow us so far out to sea.  Timbo
asserted that they were black fellows from the interior, as he did not
think the coast natives would have murdered the crew.  As we had brought
an ample supply of provisions, we took our meals regularly.  Timbo had
provided a small charcoal stove, with which we could boil water, and
make our tea and coffee--a great luxury under the circumstances.  We
had, however, to economise our fuel, of which there was but a small
quantity.  Considering all things, our spirits rose wonderfully; and I
believe every one of us hoped before long to fall in with a vessel and
be taken on board.

"Our friends on the other raft seem to be making themselves merry,"
observed Stanley.  "Listen.  They are singing!"

So indeed they were.  The sound of their voices, though so far off,
reached us across the smooth water.  We had brought some cloaks, with
which we wrapped the young ladies up; and they lay down on the platform
I have described, under the awning, to sleep, the remainder of us
dividing ourselves into watches.  The watch below, as we called it,
placed themselves on the other side of the platform, to seek such rest
as could be found.  I know, when it was my turn to lie down, I slept as
soundly as I had ever done in my life.  The two boys lay down close
together; but during the night I heard poor Natty sobbing.  He had
awoke, it seemed, and recollected his loss.  It was sad to hear him in
the still silence of the night out there on the ocean.  Poor fellow! he
at length sobbed himself to sleep again.

I woke up, feeling a gentle moving of the raft, and, rising to my feet,
found that the night wind had again come off the shore, though it seemed
rather more to the northward than before.  We again hoisted the sail, as
we were not far enough out to be in the track of any traders.

The night at length came to an end; and when the dawn once more broke,
we found the same mist as on the two previous mornings hanging over the
ocean.  The young ladies and the boy were still sleeping.  We looked
round, but could nowhere discover our companions.  That was, however,
what might be expected, as the mist greatly circumscribed our view.  I
was standing by Timbo's side.

"I fear dis calm weader not last much longer," he observed to me.  "I
hope we soon get aboard ship; for if it come on to blow, den we in bad

"We must pray to Heaven to protect us," I said.

"Yes, Massa Andrew.  If Heaben no protect us, den it be bery, bery bad

"We must not, however, alarm the young ladies," I observed; "so do not
express your fears, but let us pray that a vessel may be sent to relieve
us.  Now, I think we had better prepare breakfast.  It will cheer our

Soon after this Kate and little Bella appeared from under their awning.

"My father would have had prayers, I think," said Natty to me, in a low

"He would, I am sure; and so will we," I answered; and before going to
our meal, we offered up a prayer to Heaven for our protection, and Kate
read a chapter from her Bible, which she had not forgotten to bring.

The hours after this sped slowly on.  Once more the mist lifted.  We
looked round for the raft.  It was nowhere to be seen.

"I trust no accident has happened to it," said Stanley.  "It would be a
sad fate for the Rowleys and that pretty girl."

I could not suppose this, and yet I could not account for its
disappearance should Kydd have continued steering the course we had
agreed on.  On sweeping the horizon with my glass, I made out a small
sail in the distance to the southward.  It was, however, so far off,
that, in consequence of the slight mist which still remained, I could
not be certain whether it was the topgallant sail of some ship rising
above the water or the bow-sail of the raft.  I gave the glass to Jack

"To my mind it is the raft," he said.  "The lighter sails of a large
vessel would not look so clear as that does."

If Jack was right, there could be no doubt that the mate had purposely
altered his course for the sake of getting away from us.  I could not
help thinking that he was fully capable of such treachery.  Soon after
this, again sweeping the horizon with the glass, my eye fell on the
topsails of a vessel far away to the north-west.  I pointed it out to
Jack, and both he and Timbo were of opinion that she was standing toward
us on a wind, and that if we continued running as we were doing, she
would before long be up with us.



Our spirits, which had naturally been at a low ebb, were greatly cheered
by the sight of the strange sail.  She had evidently a strong breeze
with her, stronger than we should like when it reached us, as it
probably would do before long.  Already, indeed, it had freshened, and
the sea had got up considerably.  This made us more than ever anxious to
be seen and taken on board.  Gradually her topsails rose above the
horizon.  We watched her anxiously.  Although we were not seen, Timbo
and Leo could not resist an impulse to stand up and wave towards the
stranger.  She was standing steadily to the southward, gradually edging
in towards the land.  Our hopes increased of cutting her off.  We made
her out to be a large topsail schooner--a rakish-looking craft.  Nearer
and nearer she drew.  Still she came on so fast that we began to fear
that we should not get sufficiently to the westward to be seen, for
though we could make her out clearly, and could now see her hull, we
were so low in the water, that unless those on board were keeping a
bright look-out, they might easily pass us.

"What do you think, Timbo?  Shall we get up with her?" asked Stanley.

"Not quite sure, massa.  If dey look dis way, den dey see us; but if dey
not look dis way, den dey pass to westward one mile or perhaps two

At length Jack Handspike gave a loud shout.  The schooner was coming up
to the wind.  Her foretopsail was thrown aback, and she lay hove-to.
"We are seen!  We are seen!" we exclaimed, one after the other.
Presently a boat was lowered; she came gliding over the water towards
us.  As she approached we saw that she had a crew of dark, swarthy men,
evidently not English.  They hailed us in a foreign language.  Senhor
Silva replied, and a short conversation ensued.

"They are my countrymen," he said, for he spoke English well.  "The
schooner is, I understand, a Portuguese man-of-war, and you will be
kindly treated on board."

"We are indeed fortunate," said Stanley.

"Oh! say rather that God has been very merciful to us," said Kate,
looking out towards the beautiful vessel which rose and fell on the fast
increasing seas at no great distance from us.

"The officer desires to know whether you would like to be towed on board
or would prefer getting into the boat," said Senhor Silva.

I was naturally anxious to preserve the raft, and begged that we might
be towed; but Stanley requested that his sisters and the boys, at all
events, should be taken into the boat.  Senhor Silva joined them.  We
now proceeded rapidly towards the vessel.  I saw Timbo and Jack eyeing
her narrowly.

"She seems to be a fine man-of-war schooner," I observed, "and a craft
of which the slavers must have no little dread.  We thought the _Osprey_
a clipper, but yonder schooner, I suspect, could easily have walked
round her."

"Not know 'xactly," observed Timbo.  "She may be man-of-war schooner,
but she very like some slavers I have seen."

"Senhor Silva surely must know," I observed, "and he told us positively
that she was a man-of-war."

When we got near the schooner the boat cast-off, Senhor Silva saying
that he would go on board, and send her back for us.

"I wish I had gone with them," observed Stanley on hearing this.  "I do
not like their appearing on board a strange vessel without David or me
to protect them."

"Oh, but Leo will do that," said David.  "He is quite escort enough for
them till we can get alongside."

As we approached still nearer the schooner we hauled down our sail.  In
a short time the boat returned and towed us alongside.  The crew of the
stranger were looking out eagerly at us over the bulwarks, and ropes
were now thrown to assist us in getting on deck.  An officer stood at
the gangway and politely welcomed Stanley, Senhor Silva who stood by
interpreting for him.  Kate was seated on a chair, with Bella by her

"Oh, they are very kind and polite," she said to her brother as soon as
he went up to her.  "This is indeed a fine man-of-war."

She was certainly a remarkably fine vessel, and I saw that she mounted
six broadside guns and a long gun forward; but as I had not been on
board many English men-of-war, and never any foreigners, I was not well
able to judge of her.  She had a numerous crew, of every colour and
shade, from the fair European down to the dark tint of the darkest
African.  Our stores and the various articles we brought on the raft
were now hoisted on board, and the structure which had cost us so much
pains to build was cast adrift.  The officers, I observed, all wore
jackets and straw caps, which I fancied was not usual for officers of
men-of-war; but probably on account of the heat of the climate the usual
custom was departed from.  Senhor Silva and the captain of the schooner
were walking up and down the deck conversing eagerly.  At length Senhor
Silva stopped as he was passing me, and said, "I have found an old
friend in the captain of the _Andorinha_ (the _Sea Swallow_), and we are
happy to meet each other again.  He begs that you and our other friends
will consider yourselves as welcome and honoured guests on board.  I
have told him that we have lost sight of the other raft, and he promises
to keep a look-out for her.  He has already given directions to have
cabins prepared for you, and begs that you will make yourself as
thoroughly at home as possible."

This was indeed satisfactory news.  Timbo, Jack, and Ramaon were sent
forward, where they were well received by the crew; for although Jack
could not make himself understood, nor understand what was said, Ramaon
was always ready to interpret for him.  The wind, which had been for
some time increasing, now blew half a gale, and we had great reason to
be thankful that we had got on board so fine a craft.  The captain
insisted on giving up his cabin to Kate and Bella, and Stanley and David
had another prepared close to them, while a third was devoted to the
accommodation of Senhor Silva and I, the two boys being placed in
another rather more forward.  Not only were we comfortably accommodated,
but a handsome dinner was, soon after we got on board, placed on the
table.  The captain announced himself as Senhor Marques da Costa.  He
was very polite, and a good-looking man, though somewhat dark even for a
Portuguese.  This, I concluded, arose from having been a long time on
the coast.  He understood but little English, so we had to carry on our
conversation chiefly through our friend Senhor Silva.  He, however,
never seemed tired of interpreting for us.  When the captain heard that
we wished to proceed to the Cape, he expressed his regret that his
duties required him to remain on the coast.  He could not, he said,
indeed promise to land us, for some little time, at Loando, but he
begged to assure us that we were heartily welcome on board.  Several of
the officers sang very well, and after dinner guitars were produced, and
they sang numbers of their national songs: somewhat die-away sort of
melodies I thought them, but Kate said they were very pretty, and
expressed a wish to learn the guitar.  Directly one of the officers
undertook to instruct her, and presented her with a handsome instrument,
which he said he hoped she would keep in remembrance of her visit to the
_Andorinha_.  The time thus passed very pleasantly on board.  Still
having some doubts from what Timbo had said about the vessel, I asked
Jack, whom I met the next morning, what he thought of her.

"Well, sir," he answered, "the people seem a free-and-easy set, rather
fond of gambling--but that's the way with these foreigners; and most of
them wear long ugly knives stuck in their belts, which is not the
fashion with English seamen; but these Portuguese are odd fellows, and
that is how I accounts for it."

With Timbo I had no opportunity for some time of speaking.  Next morning
I saw that the Portuguese flag was flying from the schooner's peak,
while a pennant waved from her mast-head.  Certainly the officers did
their best to amuse their fair guests and us.  Next day, after dinner,
some of the men were called aft to dance their national dances, but I
can't say much for them.  I saw that one or two of the men were always
aloft on the look-out, and while the crew were engaged as I have before
described, one of the look-outs gave a shout from aloft, and presently
two of the officers went up the rigging with glasses at their backs.  I
saw them looking eagerly to the southward.  Presently they returned on
deck and reported their observations to the captain.  The breeze, which
had before been fresh, had by degrees been falling, and now failing us
altogether, the schooner lay becalmed with her sails flapping against
the masts.  From this I concluded that a sail had been sighted--a slaver
possibly.  The officers continued talking together, while one of them,
who had gone aloft, remained there, his eye constantly fixed in the
direction in which I supposed he had seen the stranger.  I was about to
go aloft with my spy-glass, when Senhor Silva came on deck.

"The captain says that passengers going up the rigging will interfere
with the duty of the ship," he observed; "you must remain on deck."

I thought this was very odd, but of course obeyed.  The schooner lay
without moving on the calm ocean.  Some time passed.  The officers
continued pacing the deck, looking even more anxious, I fancied, than
before.  At length, as I swept the horizon with my telescope, I observed
a white sail rising above it.  I looked again, and made out the royals
and part of the topgallant-sails of a square-rigged vessel.  I shut up
my glass quickly, however, as I saw the captain looking somewhat angrily
towards me.

"You had better go below," said Senhor Silva, coming up to me.  "Ask no
questions, and do not say what you have seen.  It will be better for you
to do as I advise, and before long I will explain matters to you."

As I had no inclination to go below, I begged to be excused doing so;
indeed, I was anxious to learn the character of the stranger, and to
observe what was going forward.

"Well, do as you like," said Senhor Silva; "but I tell you your presence
on deck may possibly annoy our friends."

The stranger approached rapidly, bringing up the breeze with her.
Presently the captain issued some orders to his crew, and a number of
them went aloft with buckets of water, with which they drenched the
upper sails.  In a short time some cat's-paws began to play over the
ocean, our royals swelled out to the breeze, and the helm being put up,
we stood away to the northward.  Still the vessel in the south-west,
having far more wind, quickly overhauled us.  Our lower sails were now
wetted, and every inch of canvas the schooner could carry was packed on
her.  I soon discovered that, instead of pursuing, we were pursued by
the stranger.  This, if the schooner we were aboard was a man-of-war,
seemed unaccountable.  Portugal was at peace, so I fancied, with all the
world; besides which, the stranger did not appear very much larger than
the schooner--a craft which, if she was of the character Senhor Silva
had asserted, was not likely to run away.  In a short time I made out
the stranger to be a brig with taunt masts and square yards--remarkably
like a man-of-war.  As she drew nearer I saw, to my astonishment, the
glorious old flag of England waving from her peak.  I looked and looked
again.  I could not be mistaken.  The schooner, now beginning to feel
the wind, made rapid way through the water; which, stirred up into
wavelets, hissed and bubbled under her bows as her stem clove a passage
through it.  Faster and faster we went, as the breeze, which had now
overtaken us, increased, and, filling our sails, made the yards and
masts crack and crack again.  The countenances of the officers, as they
saw the speed at which we were going, brightened considerably, and I saw
them smiling as they gazed astern at our pursuer.  Presently a puff of
smoke issued from the bows of the brig, and the sound of a gun was heard
across the ocean.  Another and another followed.  The Portuguese only
laughed, and made mocking gestures towards the brig.  I was glad that
Kate and her brothers were below, for they naturally would have been
anxious at seeing what was going forward.  The _Andorinha_ was
undoubtedly a fast craft, and there seemed little probability, if the
breeze continued, of the brig overhauling us.  That she was a British
man-of-war, I had no longer any doubt.  What then could be the schooner?
It was now late in the day, and I saw that there was every probability
of her escaping.  Still, unless she was a slaver, I could not account
for the anxiety of her crew to avoid communication with the British
man-of-war.  The Portuguese crew made every effort to keep ahead, by
throwing water on the sails as soon as they dried.  Sails were also
rigged close down to the water on either side, and several of the crew
went below with shot, which they slung in hammocks in the hold, under
the idea, I believe, that their weight, as the vessel pitched into the
seas, would urge her forward.  Two of the officers were at the helm
steering her, every now and then exchanging remarks as to the best
course to be pursued.  The brig, I saw, was also doing her utmost to
come up with us, and had also rigged out studdingsails on either side,
with lighter sails above the royals, often called sky-scrapers, as well
as sails hanging from the lower studding-sail booms.  The Portuguese
colours were flying at the peak of the schooner, but I observed that the
pennants had been hauled down.  Again the brig fired, but without any
other effect than making the captain utter a low scornful laugh, and
drawing from the crew gestures of contempt.  When I first saw the brig I
had hopes that we should be able to get aboard her; for, polite as
Senhor Silva and the Portuguese captain were, I could not help wishing,
for my fair cousins' sakes at all events, that we were in better

Night was drawing on.  It threatened to be dark, for there was no moon,
and I saw the mist rising which so often hangs over the water in those
latitudes, near the coast.  Still, astern I could distinguish the brig
standing on in our wake with all the sail she had hitherto carried, in
spite of the still increasing breeze.  The Portuguese captain and his
officers stood carefully watching their spars strained to the utmost by
the almost cracking canvas, every now and then glancing astern at their
pursuer.  I kept my eye fixed on her.  Now it seemed to _me_ that she
was again coming up with us.  My hopes revived that she would bring the
schooner to, and settle the doubts as to her character.  As I was
looking at her, I saw what looked like a vast cloud floating away from
her mast-head.  Some of the Portuguese saw it too, and cheered loudly.
Her topgallant-sails, if not her topsails, had been blown away, probably
with their respective masts; but the thickening gloom prevented us
seeing the exact nature of the damage she had received.  The Portuguese
no longer feared being overtaken, but still they continued standing on
as before.  A few minutes afterwards we altogether lost sight of the
brig.  The mist, as I expected, came on, and at length the steward
announcing supper, being very hungry, I went below to partake of it.
The Portuguese captain and Senhor Silva were in very good spirits, and
courteous as usual.  I had said nothing about the brig, and was about to
mention her appearance when Senhor Silva stopped me.

"There is no use talking about that matter, Mr Crawford," he observed.
"The young ladies will not be interested by it, and--you understand me--
I will explain matters by-and-by."

Of course after this I said nothing, and we all parted, when we retired
to our berths, very good friends.  The next day no sail was in sight.
My cousins were on deck, and the officers treated them with the same
attention as at first.  With Timbo I had not exchanged words, but I got
an opportunity at last of speaking to Jack Handspike without being
observed.  I asked him if he had seen the man-of-war brig, and what he
thought of the matter.

"Yes, I did see her, and a rum thing I thought it for another man-of-war
of a friendly nation to run away from her.  To tell you the truth, Mr
Crawford, I have a notion that this here craft--"

What he was going to say I could not tell, for at that moment one of the
Portuguese officers passing, took my arm, and led me to where Senhor
Silva was standing.

"Our friends do not like to see you talking to your people," he observed
in an undertone.  "Remember they do not know who we are, and they have
some suspicion as to our character."

I thought the excuse a poor one, but yet was unwilling to give any
offence, and therefore refrained from again addressing either Jack or
the black.

For two days the schooner continued out of sight of land; but the third
morning when I came on deck I found that she had been headed in towards
it, and as soon as the sea-breeze commenced she ran in under all sail
towards the mouth of a river which opened out ahead of us.  On either
side were dense woods of mangroves, appearing to grow directly out of
the water, while on our starboard hand was a glittering sandbank, and
stretching across the river appeared a line of white breakers, which I
fancied must completely bar our ingress.  David came on deck at that
moment.  I pointed them out to him.  "Surely we cannot be going in
there?" he said.  Just then Senhor Silva came up to us and said the
captain begged that we and all idlers would go below, as we were about
to cross the bar, and that as occasionally the seas broke on board in so
doing, it might be dangerous to remain on deck.  We could but obey.
What could take us into the river?  I wondered.  Presently I felt the
vessel rise to a sea, then she pitched into it, then rose again, and in
a few minutes she was gliding on in smooth water.  I thought we must be
inside the river, but again I felt her rise and once more pitch two or
three times, then again she glided on as before.  From this I knew that
we must have passed over two bars, such as are frequently found at the
mouths of the rivers on the west coast of Africa.  "What can the vessel
be about?" said David.  I could not enlighten him; and at length,
wishing to satisfy our curiosity, we made our way on deck.  We were
running up the river, with thick woods on either side.  It had the
appearance of a long lake, for we had already lost sight of the sea,
though I knew by the current in which direction it was.  In a short time
we caught sight of a number of low cottages and sheds standing in a
cleared space at a little distance from the banks.  The crew sprang
aloft and furled sails, and in a few minutes the schooner was brought to
an anchor.  Several canoes now came alongside, and in one of them was a
fat black fellow with a cocked hat and red jacket, and a piece of stuff
which looked very like an old flannel petticoat fastened round his
waist.  The captain bowed very politely to him, as did his officers, and
he returned the salute in the same fashion.  I asked Senhor Silva who he

"Oh, he is King Mungo," he said; "a very important person in these
regions.  The schooner has come here on a diplomatic mission, and though
he is an ugly-looking savage, we must treat him with every respect."

After the first greetings were over the captain ushered King Mungo and
three of his sable attendants, dressed in old nankeen jackets and tarry
trousers, into the cabin.  Kate's astonishment was naturally very great
when she saw them.  His majesty bowed to her with profound respect; and
I saw him afterwards, whenever he had the opportunity, casting glances
of admiration at her.  Senhor Silva accounted to Captain Hyslop, as he
had done to me, for our entering the river.

"If we are to wait any time, I should like to go ashore and see the
nature of the country," said Stanley.  "We shall probably be able to get
a little sport."

Senhor Silva hesitated, and then addressed the Portuguese captain.
"King Mungo declines to guarantee your safety, and without that it would
be madness to go into the interior," he answered.

"But we can keep along the banks of the river, and we may find some
sport there," said Stanley.

Again Senhor Silva brought forward many reasons for this being
inadvisable.  "To say the truth," he added, "as I before explained to
our young friend here, my countrymen do not altogether trust us, and it
would not be wise to offend them."

This answer did not satisfy Stanley, but he made no remark.  Wine and
spirits were now placed on the table.  His majesty, I observed, after
taking a glass or two of the former, applied himself with warm interest
to the latter beverage, which soon produced a visible effect.  His eyes
rolled, and he began to talk away in a thick, husky voice.  Senhor Silva
again whispered a few words to Stanley, who thereon recommended Kate and
Bella to retire to their cabin.  It now appeared to me that the captain
and King Mungo were warmly engaged in bargaining, judging by their
gestures and way of speaking.  The captain pressed more spirits on his
guest.  He would, it seemed, have continued drinking till he was unable
to move, had not one of his attendants whispered in his ear, and at
length snatched the glass out of his hand.  The bargaining now once more
went on, and seemed to be concluded to the satisfaction of both parties.
At length his majesty rose, and supported by his attendants, made his
way on deck, whence he was lowered in no very dignified state into his
canoe.  He was followed on shore by the captain and two of his officers,
and a boat's crew well-armed.  I observed that the schooner's guns were
run over to the side nearest the village, which they thus completely
commanded.  As he was shoving off Stanley begged that he and I might be
allowed to accompany him.  David evidently wished to go, but told me
that he would remain for the protection of his sisters.

"I do not quite like the look of things," he said; "and take care that
you and my brother do not go far from the shore."

I said I would be cautious, and persuade Stanley to follow his advice.
Scarcely had we landed when there appeared, coming through the woods, a
long line of men, women, and children, walking one behind the other.  As
they drew nearer I saw that they were bound together with rough ropes
fastened tightly to their necks by collars.  At intervals at their sides
walked several savage-looking blacks, with muskets on their shoulders
and thick whips in their hands.  There were a dozen or more huts built
of bamboo, the walls and roofs covered with the leaves of the palm-tree.
Some were of good size, from twenty to fifty feet in length, and of
considerable breadth.  At the further end of the village was another,
three or four times the size of the largest.  Stanley and I made our way
towards it, but the disagreeable odour which proceeded from it as we
approached almost drove us back.  We persevered, however, and on looking
through the door our indignation was excited to find that it was full of
human beings--a dense mass, packed almost as closely as they could
exist.  They were sitting down in rows, and on a nearer examination we
discovered, to our horror, that they were secured to long bars which ran
across the building.  Below were rough benches on which they might sit,
but they could only move a foot or two to the right hand or the left.
There were men, women, and children.  Many of the poor little creatures
were crying bitterly, while their mothers were moaning and weeping, as
they tried to comfort them.  Some of the men were trying to sing, as if
to show indifference to their sufferings, but the greater number sat
supporting their heads on their knees, with looks expressive of despair.
Outside were several savage-looking negroes armed with muskets, who
every now and then took glances through openings in the side into the
interior, to observe, apparently, if any of the prisoners were trying to

"Why, these poor beings must be slaves; and, Andrew, the schooner must
be a slaver," exclaimed my cousin.

"There is no doubt about the matter," I answered.  "I have for some time
suspected it; nay, I was almost certain of the fact when she ran away
from the English man-of-war.  What do you advise, Stanley?"

"That we leave her immediately," he answered.

"But where are we to go?"  I asked.

"Anywhere, rather than remain on board so abominable a craft," he

"That may be very difficult, if not impossible," I remarked.  "We cannot
leave her in this place, and I am afraid that the captain would not
venture near any English settlement to land us."

"We must try him, however," he said.  "We must bribe him.  I would pay
any amount I can command to be quit of her."

We agreed to keep Kate in ignorance as long as possible.  Just then two
white men appeared on horseback, swarthy, ill-looking fellows, one tall
and thin, and the other short and paunchy, both dressed alike in
wide-brimmed straw hats and nankeen jackets and trousers.  We found that
they were the principal slave-dealers on the coast, having, as we
afterwards discovered, several barracoons at numerous other stations,
and parties constantly engaged in capturing and purchasing slaves.  The
party of slaves who had just arrived were made to halt, and sit down on
the ground under the shade of the barracoons.  After this several men
opened the front of the building, and led out the slaves, linking them
together as the others had been.  In this state they were marched down
to the water's edge, where two dozen or more large canoes had collected.
As soon as these were filled they pulled away towards the schooner.  I
counted the blacks as they passed, and at least two hundred human
beings, including several small children, were carried on board the
vessel.  The captain of the slaver touched me on the shoulder and
pointed to the boat, signifying that we were to return on board.  We of
course obeyed--indeed, what else could we do!--though we intended to beg
Senhor Silva to request him to land us at the nearest European
settlement, either Portuguese or French, if he would not take us to an
English one, which, of course, we could scarcely expect him to do.

As soon as we reached the vessel the anchor was hove up, and, towed by
several boats and canoes, she proceeded down towards the bar.  We found
our friends in great agitation on board on discovering the character of
the vessel.  Kate was almost in tears.

"Poor creatures!  Where are they going to carry them to in that dark
hold?  Why, there is scarcely room I should think for one hundred,
instead of the number who have been placed below."

"They are but a small portion, I fear, of his intended cargo," I
answered.  "From what I have heard, many more than those who have
already been brought on board will be stowed away.  A large vessel like
this will carry between five and six hundred human beings.  I trust,
however, that the captain is more humane, and will be content with those
he has already obtained."

"I wish we could manage to let them go again," said Leo.  "What right
have people to carry off their fellow-creatures, even though they are
blacks.  I am sure they did not come willingly, for I saw many of them
crying, and refusing, till they were beaten, to go down into the hold."

"If you could think of a plan, I would help you," said Natty.  "I wish
we could manage to restore them to their friends and to their native

I was pleased to see this feeling in the boys, although it was hopeless;
for, unless captured by a cruiser, the poor blacks were not likely ever
again to visit their native land, or to set foot on shore until they had
reached the coast of Brazil.  I had seen something of the slave-trade on
my former visits to Africa, and was well acquainted with the whole

When crossing the bar, we were all as before ordered below.  The wind
was blowing off the land, and with a strong breeze we dashed through the
breakers.  I felt by the way the vessel pitched that they were of some
height, and I confess I was glad when at length I found that she was
well outside, and once more gliding through the waters of the Atlantic.
Stanley now addressed Senhor Silva, and begged him to urge the captain
to land us at the nearest European settlement.

"I will do what I can," was the answer; "but I am sorry to tell you
that, as we have all now been let into too many of his secrets, he
purposes carrying us across to the Brazils."

This information made Stanley _very_ indignant.

"My friend," said Senhor Silva, "there is no use exhibiting any anger;
but if you will leave matters in my hands I will do the best I can for

I can scarcely describe the horror and annoyance we all felt on finding
out the character of the vessel we were on board.  During all hours of
the day and night, but especially at night, the cries and groans of the
unfortunate slaves reached our ears.  Once my curiosity induced me to
look into the hold, but the horrible odour which proceeded from it, and
the sight of those upturned faces, expressive of suffering and despair,
prevented me ever again desiring to witness the sight.

Once more we were close in with the land.  Senhor Silva came to us in
the cabin.  "I am glad to say that I have made arrangements with the
captain to land you," he said.  "There is another barracoon near this,
from whence more slaves are to be brought off, and if you wish at once
to go on shore you can be conveyed there.  A heavy surf is however
setting on the beach, and I am afraid that there is some risk.  It is a
wild place, too, and you will probably have many hardships to endure
before you can reach any European settlement."

"Oh, we would go through anything, so as to get out of this vessel!"
exclaimed Kate.  The same sentiment was echoed by the rest of us.

"I fully sympathise with you," said Senhor Silva, "and will inform the
captain of your determination.  I will lose no time, lest he should
change his mind.  He knows that I hate this traffic in which he is
engaged as much as you do."

We at once prepared to quit the slaver, and on going on deck found the
boat alongside.  The captain and his officers were collected at the
gangway to bid us farewell, but we could with difficulty restrain our
feelings of abhorrence in spite of the politeness with which they
treated us.  Notwithstanding the unprepossessing appearance of the
shore, we thankfully hurried into the boat.  Timbo and Jack followed us.
Ramaon stood on the deck.  His master called to him.  He replied in

"The scoundrel!" said Senhor Silva.  "He has been tempted to turn
slaver, and tells me he has entered aboard the vessel as a seaman.  I am
well rid of him then."

I was glad to hear these expressions from our friend, because I was
afraid, from his intimacy with the slave captain, that he himself was
engaged in the traffic.  The slaver remained hove-to while we pulled
towards the shore.  As I saw the heavy surf breaking ahead of us, I felt
great anxiety for what might occur.  The boat, however, was a large one,
and the coxswain was an old seaman, who seemed calm and collected as he
stood up and surveyed the breakers through which we had to pass.  The
crew kept their eyes fixed on him as they pulled on.  Now we rose to the
summit of a sea; now they stopped rowing; now again they urged the boat
forward, bending to their oars with might and main.  On we dashed.  The
waters foamed on either side.  A huge sea came rolling up astern.  Once
more we stopped and allowed it to break ahead of us.  Again the helmsman
urged the crew to pull away.  We dashed on, and the next instant rushed
up on the sandy shore.  Some twenty or more blacks were there to receive
us, and dashing into the water, they seized the boat and dragged her up,
and before another sea broke we were high up on the beach.  The crew
assisted us to run forward, Stanley helping Kate, while David took
little Bella in his arms, and sprang over the bows on to the sand.  The
rest of us followed, Jack catching hold of Natty and Timbo of Leo, and
carrying them up out of reach of the water.  I saw Senhor Silva putting
some money into the hands of the coxswain.  "Now," he said, "we are on
shore, we must consult what is next to be done."  Our clothing, and the
small amount of articles we had saved from the wreck, together with
numerous packages brought by Senhor Silva, were next handed out and
piled together high up on the beach.  A little way off we saw a few huts
and a large barracoon, similar to those on the banks of the river from
which the slaves had been embarked.  On the shore were hauled up a
number of canoes.  Scarcely had we landed when a troop of slaves were
seen issuing from the barracoon, and led by their captors down to the
beach.  Several were put on board the boat, which at once shoved off and
pulled for the schooner.  The canoes were now launched, and in each a
dozen or more negroes were embarked.  The boat passed through the surf
in safety; then one canoe followed, then another.  The third had
scarcely left the shore when a huge sea came rolling in.  We trembled
for the unhappy beings on board.  Those who were paddling her must have
seen their danger; but their only hope of escape was to paddle on.  It
was vain, however.  The sea struck her, and in an instant over she went,
and all those on board were thrown into the raging surf.  The crew,
accustomed to the water, struck out for their lives, swimming to the
nearest canoe ahead; but the unfortunate slaves, unable to swim, were
quickly engulfed.  Some cried out for help; but others sank without a
struggle, perhaps glad thus to terminate their miseries.  Out of all
those on board the canoe, which must have contained some twenty human
beings, only three or four escaped.  One reached the shore; the others
were taken on board by the canoes ahead.  Notwithstanding this the
remainder shoved off, and passing through the surf, put their cargoes on
board.  They then returned, and the schooner, letting draw her head
sheets, stood out to sea.



We sat on the shore under the shade of some tall trees on the outskirts
of the forest, which came down in an apparently impenetrable mass nearly
to the coast.  Our eyes were turned towards the slave-schooner, which
now, under all sail, was standing on, with her freight of living
merchandise, at a distance from the shore.  We were thankful to be out
of her; yet our position was a trying one.  We could not tell what
dangers and difficulties were before us.  In front was the dark rolling
sea, which broke in masses of foam at our feet; behind us was the thick
forest, through which on one hand a creek had forced its way into the
ocean, though its mouth was impassable for boats on account of a
sandbank which ran across it; while on the other side was a clear space,
in which stood the barracoons and huts of the native slave-dealers.  The
blacks had taken little notice of us, leaving us to our own devices,
probably, till we might be compelled to appeal to them for assistance.
Close to us were piled up the articles we had saved from the wreck, as
well as others which Senhor Silva had purchased from the captain for his
own and our use.

We had been silent for some minutes.  "What is to be done, Stanley?"
said David at length.  "Are we to proceed to the north, or south; and
how are we to travel?  We cannot carry all those things, that is

"It must depend on whereabouts we are, the direction in which we
proceed," answered Stanley.  "The slave captain took good care to keep
us in the dark as to that point; but perhaps Senhor Silva can inform

"Indeed, my friend, I am sorry to say I cannot," said the Portuguese.
"It is only now that I breathe freely, and can assure you that although
I appeared on friendly terms with the captain of yonder vessel, I hate
the work in which he is engaged as much as you do; and though by a heavy
bribe I induced him to land us, he would not tell me where he purposed
putting us on shore, lest we might reach some settlement, and give
notice of his being on the coast before he can leave it altogether for
South America.  Though he has already four hundred slaves on board, he
will probably, if he can find them, take two or three hundred more
before he considers he has his full cargo."

"Dreadful!" exclaimed Kate.  "I would rather go through any dangers on
shore than have remained longer on board that terrible vessel."

"So would I," said Bella.  "I fancy I still hear the cries of those poor
little black children."  Timbo and Jack shook their fists at the vessel.

"Oh yes; Natty and I often talked of how we could set them free!"
exclaimed Leo; "and only wished that the English man-of-war would come
and catch them.  If I become a sailor, I would rather be engaged in
hunting slavers and liberating the poor blacks than in fighting
Frenchmen, or any other enemies."

"One thing I would advise is, that we leave this coast and proceed to
the highlands in the interior," observed Senhor Silva.  "You saw that
range of blue mountains as we approached the shore, though they are now
hidden by the trees?  They form the Serra do Crystal.  They are but
thinly inhabited, and though travelling along them will be rougher work
than on the plains, yet we shall enjoy fresh breezes and a more healthy
climate than down below."

"To the mountains, then, in the first place let us proceed," said
Stanley, springing to his feet.  "After that we can decide which way to
take; but, for my own part, I should prefer moving towards the south.
We shall be going homewards, and may be better able to send a message to
our friends at the Cape.  It is a long distance, but we shall, no doubt,
hear from them if we have patience, and, in the meantime, maintain
ourselves in the most healthy region we can find.  There is, at all
events, no lack of game, and we shall probably be able to obtain fruit
and vegetables sufficient for our wants."

"An excellent plan!" exclaimed David.  "We shall thus be able to add
largely to our knowledge of natural history; and if Kate and Bella do
not object to live a savage life for so many months, I think we can make
our stay not only satisfactory, but in many respects delightful."

"I am glad to do whatever you wish, my brothers," said Kate; "and I
think I shall enjoy the life you propose very much.  I wish I had a few
more books to teach Bella from; but we must make the most of those we
have: and I will undertake to cook for you and tend the house, for I
suppose you do not intend living out in the woods all the time?"

"Oh no, no," said David.  "Wherever we settle to remain we must at once
build a house, where you and Bella can live in comfort, and where we can
stow our stores and collections of natural history."

Of course I agreed to my cousin's plan; and, indeed, I thought it, under
all circumstances, the most advisable.  Even should we reach one of the
Portuguese settlements, we might not be able to find a vessel to carry
us to the Cape; besides which, they are mostly unhealthy, and it would
be far better travelling along the mountains than having to spend any
length of time at one of them.  I was afraid, however, that Senhor Silva
would not so readily agree to this plan, as he might be anxious to reach
Loando.  I was relieved when I heard him say--

"Well, my friends, I approve of your proposal; but we must not wait here
an hour longer than is necessary.  At night we shall find unhealthy
vapours rise from yonder river, and the sooner, therefore, we get away
from its banks the better."

"But we have no horses or waggons to carry our goods," I observed,
looking at the pile of property before me.  "Even if each of us were to
take a heavy package, we could not carry it."

"I will see to that," said Senhor Silva.  "I think I can secure the
services of some of those negroes, although they may not be willing to
venture far into the country.  Mr Crawford, will you come with me, and
we will see what can be done?"

I started up with my gun in my hand, for I did not like the appearance
of the black savages.  I remembered the way the poor crew of the
_Osprey_ had been treated, and thought it possible, if we were taken
unawares, that we might meet the same fate.

"The case is very different here," said Senhor Silva in reply to my
remark as we walked along.  "Those poor men fell victims to the
treachery not so much of the blacks, as of some of the white slavers who
had but a short time before curried off a number of their kindred and
friends.  I heard the story on board the schooner.  They had enticed
them down to the coast on pretence of trading, and then surrounding
them, had captured some forty or fifty of their number, and carried them
off on board their ship.  Those who had escaped, very naturally vowed
vengeance against the first white men they might meet, of course not
distinguishing between English and Portuguese.  Thus the unfortunate
crew of the brig became their victims.  They would, had we landed before
they had had time to ask questions, very probably have put us all to
death.  We have had, indeed, a providential escape."

We found that the slave-dealers and most of their followers had already
taken their departure--probably to avoid rendering us any assistance.
They had only come down to the coast to embark their captives, and had
gone back again, my companion supposed, to obtain a fresh supply.  We
found, however, about a dozen men, who came out when Senhor Silva called
them in their own language.  When he assured them that we were friends,
and that we would treat them honestly, they agreed, without hesitation,
to act as our bearers as far as the Crystal Mountains.  Beyond them they
declined going, saying that they had enemies on the other side who would
certainly, if they found them, kill them, or carry them off as slaves,
or, they added, "very likely eat us, for they are terrible cannibals."
As soon as the arrangement was made, they all came leaping and hooting
and rushing against each other, like a set of school-boys unexpectedly
let loose for a half holiday, or a party of sailors on shore after a
long cruise.

While the blacks were arranging our property into fit packages for
carrying, the two boys and I accompanied David to the mouth of the
river, which, as I said, was lined with mangrove bushes, a ledge of
rocks which ran out some way enabling us to get a view up the stream.
We had thus an opportunity of examining those curious trees.
Innumerable roots rose out of the water, lifting the trunk far above it,
and from its upper part shot off numerous branches with bright green
foliage, which grew in radiated tufts at their ends.  Many of them were
bespangled with large gaily-coloured flowers, giving them a far more
attractive appearance than could be supposed, considering the dark,
slimy mud out of which they grew.  From the branches and trunk, again,
hung down numberless pendulous roots, which had struck into the ground,
of all thicknesses--some mere thin ropes, others the size of a man's
leg--thus appearing as if the tree was supported by artificial poles
stuck into the ground.  David told me that the seeds germinate on the
branches, when, having gained a considerable length, they fall down into
the soft mud, burying themselves by means of their sharp points, and
soon taking root, spring upwards again towards the parent tree.  Thus
the mangrove forms an almost impenetrable barrier along the banks of the
rivers.  On the other side of the stream, indeed, we saw that they had
advanced a considerable distance into the ocean, their mighty roots
being able to stem even the waves of the Atlantic.  Near where we stood
the ground was rather more open, and we saw the black mud covered with
numberless marine animals, sea-urchins, _holothuria_, or sea-slugs,
crabs, and several other creatures, many of brilliant hues, which
contrasted curiously with the dark mud over which they were crawling.
The roots of the trees were also covered with mussels, oysters, and
other Crustacea.  But the most curious creature was a small fish which I
had before seen, called by sailors Jumping Johnny.  David called him a
close-eyed gudgeon (_periophthalmus_).  He was of the oddest shape, and
went jumping about sometimes like a frog, and sometimes gliding in an
awkward manner over the mud.  We were watching one of them when Leo
cried out, "Why, the fish is climbing the tree--see, see!"  And so in
reality he was, working his way up by means of his pectoral fins, David
supposed in search of some of the minute Crustacea which clung to the
roots.  Jumping Johnny, having eaten as much as he could swallow, or
slipping off by accident, fell back into the mud, when we saw issuing
sideways from under the roots a huge crab.  David said he was of the
_Grapsus_ family.  Suddenly he gave a spring, and seized the unfortunate
Johnny in his vice-like gripe, and instantly began to make his dinner
off the incautious fish, who, as Leo said, would have been wiser if he
had kept in the water, and not attempted to imitate the habits of a
terrestrial animal.

As we looked up the stream we saw numerous birds feeding along the
banks.  Among them were tall flamingoes, rose-coloured spoonbills,
snow-white egrets, and countless other water-fowl.

"I am glad we have been able to witness this scene here," said David,
"where we can benefit by the sea-breeze; for such deadly miasmas rise
from these mangrove swamps, that the further we keep off from them the

While we were watching we saw a canoe, paddled by half a dozen blacks,
dart out from the mouth of a creek which had been concealed by the thick
trees.  We drew back, not knowing whether the people in the canoes might
prove friends or foes.  Another followed at a little distance, and
proceeded up the stream.  They were impelled by paddles with broad
blades; and the sound of voices reached our ears as if they were

"I do not think they can be enemies, or they would not be so merry,"
said Natty.

"I hope not," I observed.

"If we could stop them we might hire their canoes to convey us up the

"It might be dangerous to do so," said David, "on two accounts: they
might prove treacherous, and the miasmas rising from the stream might
also possibly give some of us fever.  I think we had better let them go
on their way, and proceed as Senhor Silva proposed."

Returning, we found the party ready to start.  We told Senhor Silva
about the canoes.

"I think you did wisely to let them go," he remarked.  "Unless we were
under the protection of their chief man, or king, as he is called, we
could not tell how they might behave.  We must use great caution in our
intercourse with these people.  When we have shown them that we are
friends, and desire to do them all the good in our power, we, I hope,
shall find them faithful; but they have become so debased by their
intercourse with the white people, and especially, I am sorry to say,
with my countrymen, who often deal treacherously with them, that they
cannot be depended on.  They in return, as might naturally be supposed,
cheat and deceive the whites in every way."

Our path first led through the forest near the banks of the river, of
which we occasionally got glimpses.  It was here of considerable width,
bordered by mangrove bushes.  In one or two places there were wide flats
covered with reeds.  Suddenly, as we passed a point of the river, I saw
drawn up what had much the appearance, at the first glance, of a
regiment of soldiers, with red coats and white trousers.

"Why, where can those men have come from?"  I cried out.

David, who was near me, burst into a laugh, in which his sisters and the
boys joined.  "Why, Andrew, those are birds," he answered.  "A regiment,
true enough, but of flamingoes; and see! they are in line, and will
quickly march away as we approach."

A second glance showed me that he was right; and a very curious
appearance they had.

"See! there is the sentinel."

As he spoke, one of the birds nearest to us issued a sound like that of
a trumpet, which was taken up by the remainder; and the whole troop,
expanding their flaming wings, rose with loud clamours into the air,
flying up the stream.  We went on, and cutting off a bend in the river,
again met it; and here our bearers declared that they must stop and
rest.  We accordingly encamped, though Senhor Silva warned us that we
must remain but a short time, as we wished to reach some higher ground
before dark.  A fire was lighted for cooking; and while our meal was
preparing, David and I, with the two boys, went down nearer the banks to
see what was to be seen.  We observed on the marshy ground a little way
off a high mound, and creeping along, that we might not disturb the
numerous birds which covered the banks or sat on the trees around, we
caught sight of another mound, with a flamingo seated on the top of it,
her long legs, instead of being tucked up as those of most birds would
have been, literally astraddle on it.

"That is one of their nests," whispered David.  "The bird is a hen
sitting on her eggs.  Depend upon it, the troop is not far off.  See,
see! there are many others along the banks.  What a funny appearance
they have."

Presently a flash of red appeared in the blue sky, and looking up, we
saw what might be described as a great fiery triangle in the air
sweeping down towards us.  On it came, greatly diminishing its rate, and
we then saw that it was composed of flamingoes.  They hovered for a
moment, then flew round and round, following one another, and gradually
approached the marsh, on which they alighted.  Immediately they arranged
themselves as we had before seen them, in long lines, when several
marched off on either side to act as sentinels, while the rest commenced
fishing.  We could see them arching their necks and digging their long
bills into the ground, while they stirred up the mud with their webbed
feet, in order to procure, as David told us, the water-insects on which
they subsist.  They, however, were not the only visitors to the river.
The tide was low, and on every mud-bank or exposed spot countless
numbers of birds were collected--numerous kinds of gulls, herons, and
long-legged cranes--besides which, on the trees were perched thousands
of white birds, looking at a distance like shining white flowers.  They
were the _egretta flavirostris_.  Vast flocks of huge pelicans were
swimming along the stream, dipping their enormous bills into the water,
and each time bringing up a fish.  They have enormous pouches, capable
of containing many pounds of their finny prey.

"Could we kill one or two we should get a good supply of fish for
supper," said David; "for the pelican stows them away in his pouch,
where they remain not only undigested, but perfectly fresh, and not till
it is full does he commence his meal.  However, as we have no canoe,
even were we to kill one we could not get him."

While we were looking on, a huge bird, descending from the sky, it
seemed, pounced down into the water, quickly rising again with a large
fish in his mouth.

"Ah, that fellow is the fishing-eagle of Africa--the _Halicetus
vocifer_" said David.  "His piercing eye observed his prey when he was
yet far up in the air.  See how like a meteor he descended on it!  Now
he flies away to yonder rock; and there, see! he has begun to tear his
fish to pieces.  How quickly he has finished it--and listen to that
curious shriek he is uttering, and how oddly he moves his head and neck.
It is answered from those other rocks.  The birds are calling to each
other, and from this the fishing-eagle has gained his name of _vocifer_"
Leo was for shouting and making them fly off.  "No, no; let them feed,"
said David.  "We have frightened the flamingo once; and how would you
like to be disturbed in your dinner?  We must get Kate to come and look
at them."

While we were watching the birds, an enormous head emerged from the
water at a short distance from us.  Leo and Natty, who were a little in
front, started back, Leo exclaiming, "What can it be?  What a terrific
monster!"  A huge body rising after the head, the creature swam slowly
up the stream.

"Why, that must be a hippopotamus," observed David, watching the
creature in his usual calm way.

"It looks to me the size of an elephant," exclaimed Leo.  "Run, run,
run!  If he were to attack us he would swallow us up in a mouthful."

"I do not think it has even noticed us," said David.  "It will be time
enough to run when the creature lands.  See! there is another."

As he spoke, a second and then a third hippopotamus appeared, following
the first.  The creatures, indeed, had truly terrific countenances;
their backs in the water looking, as Leo had declared, nearly as large
as those of elephants.

"But see, there are some other creatures nearer!" cried Natty.  "Oh,
what are they?  What fearful jaws!"

He pointed to the bank close below us, and there we saw, just scrambling
out of the water, three huge crocodiles.  There was no mistaking them.
We knew at once by their long snouts and terrific jaws, their scaly
backs and lizard-like tails, their short legs and savage eyes.  They
seemed in no way afraid of the hippopotami, which they kept watching as
they swam by.

"I little expected to get a sight of these monsters," said David.  "But
see! they take no notice of us, and we need not be afraid of them."

I had my gun, and instinctively levelled at the head of the nearest

"Do not fire," said David.  "Even if you were to kill the beast we could
not get him, and it would be cruel to slaughter him without any object
in view.  He intends us no harm; we ought to allow him to enjoy the
existence the Creator has given him."

The hippopotami swam by and dived, and presently we saw them rise to the
surface with a quantity of weeds in their mouths, which they chewed
leisurely as they swam on.  The crocodiles meantime crawled up on the
bank and lay basking in the sun, enjoying its warmth, and looking at
that time, at all events, as if they had no evil intentions.  It was a
curious scene, and gave us an idea of the vast amount of animal life to
be met with in that region.

"I think it would frighten Kate, brave as she is, to see those huge
monsters," said Leo.

"Oh, no," answered David.  "Bella might be somewhat alarmed; but I am
sure Kate would be as much interested as we are in witnessing this
curious sight.  We will get her to come, but warn her beforehand what
she is to expect."

We accordingly hastened back to the camp, but found we had been so long
absent that it was now time to proceed; and the bearers taking up their
loads, we continued our march.  Senhor Silva assured Kate and Bella they
need not be disappointed at missing a sight of the flamingoes, as they
would have many opportunities of seeing troops of those magnificent
birds, which are found in vast numbers throughout that region.

The woods as we proceeded appeared full of life.  Birds flitted among
the boughs, and monkeys of all sorts sprang here and there, chattering
and hooting as we passed.  Soon after this we emerged from the wood and
entered a beautiful prairie--a natural clearing covered with grass or
low shrubs and flowers.  As yet we had fallen in with no inhabitants.
"Oh, but see!" exclaimed Leo.  "There are some huts ahead.  Shall we go
and pay the people a visit?"  The boys ran on.  I thought Senhor Silva
would have called them back, but he allowed them to proceed.  At all
events, he knew that if the huts were inhabited, the people were likely
to prove friendly.  The boys stopped before the seeming huts, and began
to examine them.  We saw them walking round and round, and they then
finally climbed to the top of one of them.  After apparently satisfying
their curiosity, they came back towards us.

"They are not huts," exclaimed Natty, "but curious mounds, three or four
times as high as we are."

"What do you say to those mounds or clay-built domes being the houses of
ants, and built entirely by themselves?" said Senhor Silva.

As we approached we saw a dozen or more such mounds, scattered about at
short distances from each other.  Having got to a secure distance from
the last, two of our bearers put down their loads, and advancing towards
it with the poles they carried, began to attack it with heavy blows,
knocking off one of the small turrets on the side.  Instantly a white
ant was seen to appear through the opening thus made, apparently
surveying the damage done.  Immediately afterwards, hundreds of other
ants came to the spot, each carrying a small lump of clay, with which
they began to repair the damage; and even for the short time we
remained, they had made some progress.  We could discover, however, no
outlet or opening in the mound; nor, except at the hole made by our
bearers, were any ants seen.  We, however, could not remain to watch the
progress of the work.  Just as we were going, one of our bearers, much
to my regret, commenced a still more furious attack on the citadel,
exposing the whole centre to view, when it appeared crowded with
thousands and tens of thousands--so it seemed--of ants, who issued forth
with pincers stretched out, evidently intending to attack us.  David
caught up one of the ants to examine it; but we were all too glad
hurriedly to make our escape.  We found the creature, on examining it,
to be a quarter of an inch in length, with a flat hard head, terminating
in a pair of sharp horizontal pincers, something like the claws of a

Several, who, in spite of our flight, caught hold of us, bit very hard,
and did not fail to draw blood.  Senhor Silva, as we marched on, gave us
a very interesting account of these white ants, with the habits of which
he was well acquainted, as he told us he had had one of the mounds cut
completely in two, so as to examine the interior.  The under part alone
of the mound is inhabited by the ants; the upper portion serving as a
roof to keep the lower warm and moist for hatching the eggs.  His
description put me somewhat in mind of the Pyramids of Egypt.  The
larger portion is solid.  In the centre, just above the ground, is the
chief cell, the residence of the queen and her husband.  Round this
royal chamber is found a whole labyrinth of small rooms, inhabited by
the soldiers and workmen.  The space between them and the outer wall of
the building is used partly for store-rooms and partly for the purpose
of nurseries.  A subterranean passage leads from a distance to the very
centre of the building.  It is cylindrical, and lined with cement.  On
reaching under the bottom of the fortress, it branches out in numerous
small passages, ascending the outer shell in a spiral manner, winding
round the whole of the building to the summit, and intersecting numerous
galleries one above the other, full of cells.  The outer end of the
great gallery, by which the mound is approached, also branches off into
numerous small ones, so as to allow a passage into it from various
directions.  As the ants cannot climb a perpendicular wall without
difficulty, all their ascents are gradual.  It is through this great
passage that they convey the clay, wood, water, and provisions to their

To give you a correct idea of the way these curious mounds are built and
stocked with inhabitants, I should tell you that the perfect termites
are seen at certain seasons in vast quantities covering the earth, each
having four narrow wings folded on each other.  They are instantly set
upon by their enemies--reptiles of all sorts, and numerous birds--who
eat such quantities, that out of many thousands but few pairs escape
destruction.  There are besides them in their fortress vast numbers of
labourers, who only issue forth with caution to obtain provisions and
materials for their abodes.  When these discover a couple of the perfect
termites who have escaped destruction, they elect them as their
sovereigns, and escorting them to a hollow in the earth which they at
once form, they establish a new community.  Here they commence building,
forming a central chamber in which the royal pair are ensconced; while
they go on with their work, building the galleries and passages which
have been described, till the mound has reached the dimensions of those
we have seen.  The king in a short time dies, but his consort goes on
increasing in bulk till she attains the enormous length of three inches,
and a width in proportion.  She now commences laying her eggs, at the
rate, it is said, of nearly sixty in a minute.  This often continues
night and day for two years, in which time fifty million eggs have been
laid.  These are conveyed by the indefatigable labourers to the
nurseries, which are thus all filled.  When hatched, they are provided
with food by the labourers.  There is another class, the soldiers.
These are distinguished by the size of their heads, and their long and
sharp jaws, with which they bravely attack any intruders.  When any
unwary creature appears to attack their abode, first one comes out to
see what is the matter.  He summons others, and directly afterwards vast
numbers issue forth, doing battle with the greatest courage.  When any
of them are knocked over, instantly recovering themselves, they return
to the assault with a bravery and courage surpassed by no other creature
in creation.  The labourers meantime are exerting themselves to the
utmost to repair the damages which have been effected in their fortress.
Those who have watched their proceedings state that in a single night
they will repair a gallery, which has been injured, of three or four
yards in length.  We were thankful that in our attack on the termites'
fortress we had escaped with only a few bites; but probably had we
remained longer in their neighbourhood we should have received far more
severe injuries.

Travelling on for several days, we emerged into some open ground, where
we prepared to encamp.  We selected a spot somewhat above the plain, and
our bearers at once set to work to cut down poles.  These they planted
in circles, and interwove them with branches of palm-trees, forming
walls which afforded sufficient shelter from the night wind; then
bringing the tops close together, they thatched them over with leaves of
the same tree.  We of course all assisted, and in a short time a number
of small circular huts were formed sufficient to accommodate the whole
of the party.  A quantity of wood was collected, to keep up blazing
fires to preserve us from the attacks of wild beasts.  We were at a
sufficient distance, however, from the skirts of the forest, not to be
taken totally unawares.  Still, it was considered necessary to place
guards round the camp, two of our party and two of the blacks remaining
on the watch all night.  Before darkness closed in, we saw numbers of
monkeys in the trees, watching us with curious looks, leaping from bough
to bough, and chattering and grinning, wondering apparently who the
strangers could be who had thus ventured into their domain.  The two
girls had a hut to themselves.  We had formed a second wall of sticks
round it, so that should any wild beast approach unseen, it could not
force an entrance, which Senhor Silva told us had sometimes occurred.
The moon rose in an unclouded sky, and cast a mild light over the scene.
In the distance were the lofty mountains, on either side the dark
woods, and far away to the west was the ocean we had left behind.  It
was a beautiful scene, such as I had not expected to witness in that
region, and we were all more than ever thankful that we had escaped from
the slaver.  Still, I could not banish from my mind the spectacle I had
witnessed on board, and my thoughts went back to the unhappy beings
crowded on the slave-deck of that fearful craft.  I was reminded that we
were in Africa by the cries which proceeded ever and anon from the
surrounding forest.  Now there was a loud roar, with a suppressed
muttering, which it would be hard to describe, and which I afterwards
learned to distinguish as the voice of the monarch of the woods; not
that he often ventures here, for his rule is disputed by the tremendous
gorilla, the creature who had only a short time before been discovered
in this region.  We were, however, we concluded, on the most southern
verge of his territory, and we therefore scarcely expected to encounter
one.  We kept our fires blazing through the night, and thus avoided any
attacks from lions or panthers, or any other wild beasts.

The morning broke brightly, though we could see the mist hanging over
the far distant coast.  Birds flew about among the trees and across the
prairie in all directions, uttering their varied notes; and the monkeys
came forth, skipping from bough to bough, muttering and shrieking at us
as on the previous evening, as if they had not as yet satisfied their
curiosity.  While Kate, assisted by Timbo and Jack, prepared breakfast,
I accompanied Stanley and David, with the two boys, to shoot some birds
for our next meal.  I had heard so much of serpents and wild beasts,
that I expected every instant to see a snake wriggling its way through
the grass, and about to fasten its fangs in our legs, or to twine its
fearful coils round our bodies.  I could not help also looking anxiously
at every bush, expecting to have a lion or a panther spring out on us,
David acknowledged that he had a similar feeling.  Stanley, however,
laughed at our apprehensions, assuring us that snakes were not nearly so
common as were supposed, or how could the almost naked blacks make their
way through the country, though he acknowledged that lions and panthers
were in some places justly dreaded; "But then," he observed, "we can the
more easily defend ourselves against them.  A well-aimed bullet will
settle the fiercest lion we have to encounter."

We had good sport, and shot several varieties of birds.  Among them was
a partridge, of a grey colour; and David said that they were its loud
calls we had heard in the forest the evening before, summoning its mate.
He had observed them sleeping side by side on a branch of a tree where
they have their home, and the bird which was first there did not cease
calling till its mate arrived.  We also shot several parrots, of a
species known as the African damask parrot.  They are pretty birds, and
their habits are very interesting.  Had we not positively required them
for food, I should have been unwilling to kill them.  We had seen
numbers flying towards a stream which ran into the river we had passed
on the previous evening.  They there assembled, making a great deal of
noise, and huddled and rolled over each other, frolicking together, and
dipping their feet into the water, so as to sprinkle it over the whole
of their bodies.  Having enjoyed an ample bath and amused themselves for
a time, they flew off to the forest whence they came.  There we saw them
sitting on the branches, cleaning their feathers.  The operation over,
they flew off in pairs, each pair seeking its own nest or
roosting-place, separate from the others.  David said that this species
is noted for conjugal affection, for they never separate till one or the
other dies, and the survivor then pines to death for its mate.  The boys
were very anxious to catch one alive for Bella, but we could not succeed
in so doing.  Coming near a dead tree, we saw several hollows, evidently
formed by art.  Leo climbed up to one of them, and putting in his hand,
drew out a beautiful little bird, with a throat and breast of a glossy
blue-black, having a scarlet head and a line of canary-yellow running
from above the eyes along the neck.  The back also, which was black, was
covered with yellow spots.  Here David brought his knowledge to bear;
and said, from its habits, he should call it the carpenter bird.  When
the birds pair, they fix on a tree, the wood of which has been
sufficiently softened by age to enable them to work upon it with their
bills.  They then take out a circular opening, about two inches in
diameter and about two deep.  Next they dig perpendicularly down for
about four inches, the last hollow made serving as their nest.  They
line it softly, and the female, laying her eggs, is able to hatch them
without much risk of an attack from birds of prey.

"I suppose monkeys do not eat birds," observed Leo; "or I suspect our
little friend would very soon be pulled out of its nest."

"Just as you have done, Leo," observed Stanley; "and probably the poor
little bird took you for a chimpanzee, or perhaps even for a gorilla."

"But neither chimpanzees nor gorillas eat animal food," observed David.
"They live upon roots, fruits, and leaves; and do not amuse themselves
by bird-nesting."

I need not mention the other birds we shot, but, pretty well loaded, we
returned with our prizes to the camp.  Breakfast over, we packed up and
proceeded on our journey, leaving our huts for the occupation of the
next comers.



We travelled on for two days, and still the mountains were not reached;
but they grew higher and clearer as we advanced, and we had hopes of
getting to them at last.  My young cousins bore the journey wonderfully
well.  When we came to difficult places, her brothers and I helped Kate
along, making a seat for her with our joined hands.  We could thus make
but slow progress, and she entreated us to allow her to walk, declaring
that she was not at all fatigued; while Timbo or Jack carried Bella on
their back, and with long sticks in their hands trudged on merrily.  We
caught sight of several wild animals.  On two or three occasions
buffaloes crossed our path, but at too great a distance for a shot.  We
killed, however, a wild boar, which afforded a fine meal for our party.
Natty and I were a little in advance, when we came to a large village of
white ants, such as I have before described.  We were examining them,
when I saw a troop of gazelles come bounding across the prairie towards
us.  The wind blew from them to us, and as we were behind the hill, they
did not observe us.  Our larder at the time was ill-supplied, and so I
was anxious to kill one.  I rested my gun on one of the turrets of the
hill.  I was not much of a shot, but I was improving.  The herd came by
within thirty yards of us.  Just then the leader caught sight of the
rest of the party, who were coming up.  I saw that I must now fire, or
lose my chance.  I took aim at the nearest--a doe, with her young one by
her side.  The mother escaped, but the little creature fell to the
ground.  In spite of my hunger I felt almost sorry for what I had done,
when, running forward, the dying animal turned up its large languishing
eyes towards me as it stretched out its limbs quite dead.  I am afraid
it was but a clumsy shot at best, as I ought to have killed the larger
animal.  Natty and I, placing it on my pole between our shoulders, bore
it in triumph to our friends, who received us with shouts of
satisfaction.  Stanley also shot a beautiful little squirrel and a
number of birds--indeed, a good sportsman in health, with a supply of
ammunition, need never, in that part of Africa, be without abundance of
animal food; but some of the natives, who have no firearms and are very
improvident, often suffer from famine even in that land of abundance.

The buffalo of Tropical Africa--_Bos brachicheros_--is about the size of
an English ox.  His hair is thin and red, and he has sharp and long
hoofs, his ears being fringed with soft silky hair.  His chief ornaments
are his horns, which gracefully bend backwards.  In shape he is somewhat
between a cow and an antelope.  A herd feeding at a distance had very
much the appearance of English cattle grazing in a meadow.  They differ
greatly from the Cape buffalo, to be met with further south.

Evening was approaching, when the head man of our bearers spoke to
Senhor Silva, who instantly called a halt.  The black's quick ears had
detected sounds in the distance.  "He thinks there are elephants out
there," said Senhor Silva, pointing ahead.  We were then in a
thinly-wooded country, and a charge from those monsters would have been
dangerous.  We saw, however, a clump of trees on one side, behind which
Senhor Silva advised that we should take post till we had ascertained
the state of the case.  The blacks were eager for us to attack them,
hoping to enjoy a feast off the huge bodies of any we might kill.  As it
might expose the young ladies to danger should we do so, even Stanley
resolved to let them pass by unmolested.  I have not yet mentioned the
leader or head man of the bearers.  His name, he told Senhor Silva, was
Chickango; but Jack and Timbo called him the Chicken.  He was an
enormous fellow, and ugly even for an African; but there was a
good-humoured, contented expression in his countenance, which won our
confidence.  His costume was a striped shirt, and a pair of almost
legless trousers; while on the top of his high head he wore a little
battered straw hat, such as seamen manufacture for themselves on board
ship--indeed, his whole costume had evidently been that of a seaman,
exchanged, probably, for some articles which he had to dispose of.
Chickango, signing to us to remain behind the clump of trees, advanced
towards the spot where he expected to find the elephants.  Suddenly he
threw up his arms, and began shouting at the top of his voice.  His
cries were answered by similar shouts from a distance; and presently,
beckoning to us to come on, he hurried towards the spot whence they
proceeded.  Passing through a belt of wood, we came in sight of an
encampment of blacks seated round their fires.  There were upwards of
one hundred human beings--men, women, and children.  A few of the men
were dressed in cast-off European garments, with rings round their arms
and legs, their woolly heads being mostly uncovered.  Chickango
advancing, explained, we concluded, who we were; and we received a
hearty welcome from the party.  The chief, an old man, sat in their
centre, attended by his wives.  He was distinguished from his companions
by an old battered cocked hat, ornamented with beads.  He wore, besides,
a checked shirt and a regular Scotch kilt, which had somehow or other
found its way into his territory.  Senhor Silva then explained to us,
through Chickango, that he and his party had come from a considerable
distance up the country, where they had gone to collect _caoutchouc_, or
india-rubber, the packages of which lay piled up near the centre of the
camp.  They had collected it some distance up the country, where the
vines which produce it grow in considerable quantities.  In South
America it is obtained from a tree; but in Africa from a creeper of
great length, with very few leaves growing on it, and those only at its
extremity.  They are broad, dark green, and lance shaped.  The larger
vines are often five inches in diameter at the base, with a rough brown
bark.  The mode of obtaining it is to make an incision in the bark, but
not in the wood, and through it the milky sap exudes.  A small peg Is
then fixed in each hole to prevent its closing, and a cup or calabash
secured underneath.  When this is full, a number of them are carried to
the camp, where the substance is spread in thin coatings upon moulds of
clay, and dried layer after layer over a fire.  When perfectly dry, the
clay mould is broken and the clay extracted from the interior.  The
_caoutchouc_, though originally white, becomes black from the smoke to
which it is exposed while drying.  It is in this state brought down to
the coast and sold to the traders.

"Oh yes," said David.  "This is the material with which Mr Mackintosh
makes his waterproof coats.  He found that it could be re-dissolved in
petroleum; and by covering two pieces of woollen or cotton stuff with
the liquid, and uniting them by a strong pressure, he formed a material
through which no water can penetrate.  Some time afterwards, Messrs.
Handcock and Broding discovered that, by the addition of a small
quantity of sulphur to the _caoutchouc_, it acquired the property of
retaining the same consistency in every temperature without losing its
elasticity.  A further discovery was made by Mr Goodyear, who, by
adding about twenty per cent of sulphur, converted it into so hard a
substance that all sorts of articles can be manufactured from it for
which tortoise-shell had hitherto been chiefly used--indeed, it is
difficult to say what cannot be made out of it."

Besides india-rubber, the blacks had several huge lumps of ebony and a
small number of elephants' tusks, which they had either purchased from
other natives further in the interior, or were carrying down to the
coast to sell for the original owners on commission.  The ebony was
brought from the hilly country, where alone the ebony-tree grows.  It is
one of the finest and most graceful of African trees.  The trunk, five
or six feet in diameter at the base, rises to the height of fifty or
sixty feet, when fine heavy boughs branch forth, with large dark green
and long and pointed leaves hanging in clusters.  Next to the bark is a
white sap wood, and within that the black wood.  This does not appear
till the tree has reached a growth of two or three feet in diameter, so
that young trees are not cut down.  The trunk and even the branches of
the mature tree become hollow.  It generally grows in clumps of three or
four together, scattered about the forest.

Nearly all the negro tribes on this part of the coast have the spirit of
trade strongly implanted in them; and I cannot help thinking that it is
so for the purpose of ultimately bringing about their civilisation,
which the nefarious slave-trade has so long retarded.  That trade is one
of the sins which lies at England's door, and she should endeavour to
make amends for the crime, by using every means in her power for the
spread of Christianity and civilisation among the long benighted
Africans.  We observed that the men, women, and children were very busy
in the camp--the women cooking and making arrangements for the night,
while the children were collecting firewood from the neighbouring
thickets.  Poor little creatures, I was afraid that some of them might
be carried off by panthers or other beasts of prey who might be prowling
about in the neighbourhood; but their parents seemed to have no such
fear.  We were anxious to obtain some more bearers to carry Kate and
Bella, as also to assist us in conveying our goods up the mountain.
Chickango undertook to make the arrangements, and after a good deal of
talking with the chief and then with the people, he pointed out four
young men who expressed themselves ready to accompany us.  These
arrangements being made, we encamped on a somewhat higher spot a short
distance from our friends, and soon had huts built such as I have before
described.  Though we heard the cries of wild beasts in the forest, none
ventured near us, as we kept up blazing fires all night.

Next morning, even before our party were stirring, the old chief and his
followers were on foot, preparing to continue their march towards the
sea-coast.  The men, however, sat still, with their bows in their hands,
talking to each other while the women were employed in packing up their
goods in baskets, which they suspended at their backs, with their
children in many instances on the top of them.  All the elder children
also had burdens, but the men walked along with a haughty air, carrying
nothing but their arms in their hands.  Saluting us with loud cries,
they proceeded towards the west.

We meantime had been employed in packing up, but instead of making Kate
and Bella carry burdens, we prepared a litter to carry them.  Passing
through a dense forest, we saw before us the mountain range we hoped
soon to gain.  Near the banks of the stream we passed a grove of curious
trees with short stems, on either side of which projected huge long
leaves with feather-like branches on the top.  Amid them was an immense
number of clusters of nuts, each larger than a pigeon's egg.  Chickango
ordered one of the men to climb up and bring down a cluster when he saw
us looking at them.  On pressing the nuts even with our fingers, a
quantity of oil exuded; and Senhor Silva told us that the tree was the
_Cocos butyracea_, the oil extracted from which is exported in large
quantities from the neighbouring rivers, chiefly to Liverpool.  We
calculated that the tree had fully eight hundred nuts on it; and as each
contains a considerable quantity of oil, it may be supposed how large an
amount a single tree produces.  I had seen something of the trade on my
former visit to the coast, when I was at the Bonny river.  We took
chiefly English manufactures to exchange for the oil, and a few bales of
glass beads from Germany.  On entering the river we covered in the deck
with a mat roofing, to protect us from the sun and the tropical showers;
but before we could begin trading we had to pay a heavy duty to the old
king of the territory, of muskets, powder, tobacco, calicoes, woollen
caps, and, what he valued still more, several dozens of rum.  The
dealers then made their appearance, and received advances of goods to
purchase oil in the interior, for the Bonny itself does not produce the
oil.  Our next business was to erect a cask-house on shore, in which to
prepare the puncheons for the reception of the oil.  This was brought
down in small quantities by the traders; and it took us nearly four
months to obtain about eight hundred puncheons, which our vessel
carried.  The palm-oil or _pulla_, when brought to us, was of a rich
orange colour, and of the consistency of honey.  To my surprise, the
morning after the first quantity arrived I found a basin full of it on
the breakfast-table, and learned that it was the custom to eat it
instead of butter; and very delicious it was.  By the time it reaches
England, it has, however, obtained a disagreeable taste, totally
different from what it possesses when fresh.  The palm-oil is about the
most valuable production of this part of Africa; and the natives are
beginning to discover that its collection is far more profitable to them
than the slave-trade.

To return to my narrative: we encamped at a short distance from the
thick wood, by the side of the stream I spoke of, hoping early next
morning to begin our ascent of the mountains.  We might have proceeded
further, but the spot was so tempting, that, although we had a couple of
hours of daylight, we agreed to stop where we were.  The blacks soon had
the huts erected and fires lighted--an operation they would not have
undertaken had their wives been present to do it for them.  As we were
all very hungry, we immediately commenced our evening meal, some birds
we had shot not taking long to cook; while we had a good supply of
biscuits, which we had brought, with tea as our beverage.

"This is just such a pic-nic as we had in our last holidays," said
Bella, looking round with a smiling countenance.  "You remember, Leo, it
was by the side of a stream; and you went and caught some fish, and we
had them cooked before the fire."

"Oh yes; and I will try and get some fish now," said Leo.  "Natty, you
will come and fish with me as soon as supper is over."

To this, of course, Natty agreed; and Jack produced a ball of twine,
while I fortunately had some fish-hooks in my pocket, which I brought
from the wreck.  While we were laughing and talking, suddenly a loud
roar reached our ears, which made Kate start and little Bella turn pale,
while a loud hollow sound, as if a drum had been beaten, followed the
roar.  Leo declared it was more like distant thunder.  Our blacks
started to their feet, many of them with looks of terror, uttering the
word--Ngula.  Stanley seized his gun.  "That must be a gorilla!" he
exclaimed, examining the lock.

"I hope so," cried David.  "It would be worth coming here to see the

"No doubt about its being a gorilla," said Senhor Silva, "but you must
be cautious how you approach him.  Chickango says he will go with you.
He is a good hunter; and, I judge by his looks, a brave fellow."

The ugly black nodded his head, and pointing to the forest, advanced
towards it.  David and I also took our guns.

"Now be steady," said Stanley.  "I will fire first, and if I fail to
kill him, David, do you fire; and, Senhor Silva, tell our black friend
that he must make the third shot; and Andrew, you must act as a reserve
in case of accidents,--but I hope not to miss him."

Stanley and David kept together, while the black and I advanced a little
on one side.  Turning my head for an instant, I saw Leo and Natty
following us.  I signed to them to go back, but they seemed resolved to
take a share in the expected fight.  Each was armed with a long pike,
which I knew would have been of about as much use as a tooth-pick should
they be attacked by the creature.  We made our way between large
boulders to the edge of the forest, which seemed almost too thick to be
penetrated.  I had never felt so excited.  My sensations were something
like those, I fancy, of a soldier going into his first battle; but from
what I had heard of the gorilla, I knew him to be almost as formidable
an antagonist as the best armed man.  For some time as we advanced into
the forest there was a perfect silence, yet we were certain that the
monster could not be far off.  The trees grew closer and closer
together; and as the edge of the forest was turned towards the east, we
soon found ourselves shrouded in a thick gloom.  Still, so eager were we
to meet the beast, that, instead of halting, as might have been wiser,
we continued to push onwards.  Suddenly a terrific roar was heard
proceeding from a spot not many paces ahead.  Had it not been uttered,
we might have gone close up to the creature without perceiving him.
Just then we saw the branches waving to and fro, and a huge monster
moving on all fours appeared amidst them.  Suddenly he rose up on his
hind-legs, holding on to a bough with one hand, and then striking his
breast, from which a loud hollow sound came forth.  He uttered another
terrific roar, and grinned fiercely at us.  "Oh, what a terrible giant!"
I heard Leo exclaim behind me.  I dared not turn my head or speak to
urge the boys to run back.  My attention was rivetted on the huge
gorilla, for I now saw before me that monster of the African woods.
Again he uttered a fearful roar, and beating his breast and gnashing his
teeth, he began to move towards us.  He was not many paces from Stanley,
who was a little in advance.  "Steady, friends!" cried our leader.  I
held my breath with anxiety; for should my cousin's gun miss fire, it
seemed impossible for him to escape being seized by the tremendous
creature.  Then I saw his rifle raised to his shoulder.  There was a
flash, which lighted up the monster's face and the surrounding branches,
and then with a terrific roar I saw it spring forward.  Just as I
dreaded that Stanley was about to be seized by its sharp claws it
stopped, and, with a groan almost human, fell forwards on its face,
crashing amidst the bushes, and rolled over on the ground.  Even then I
expected to see it rise again and attack us, but the bullet had gone
through its huge chest; and though it made several convulsive struggles,
by the time we reached it it lay perfectly quiet.  Chickango struck it
with his spear, but it did not move, and then he plunged it into its

"Have you really killed him?" cried Natty and Leo, running up to us.
"We would have fought him, that we would!" exclaimed Leo, jumping on the
gorilla's body.

Chickango at the same time seized one of its huge paws, and pulled and
shook it violently, and then set up a triumphant shout as a compliment
to Stanley on his victory.

"I wish we could carry him to the camp," said Leo.  "It would show Kate
and Bella that they need no longer be afraid of the monster."

"I expect a sight of it would not much tend to allay their fears," said
David, "for it would rather show them what sort of fierce beasts we may
expect to find in our neighbourhood."

"What! do you mean to say there are any more of them?" exclaimed Natty.
"When Senhor Silva was talking about him the other day, he called him
the king of the forest; and so I fancied, of course, that he had no

"Where he exists we shall probably find others," said David; "though
their habitation does not reach further south than we now are: indeed, I
did not expect to meet them in this latitude.  They chiefly inhabit the
country about the Gaboon and other rivers to the north of us."

We found, on measuring the gorilla, that it was within a few inches of
six feet in height, while the muscular development of its arms and
breast showed that it could have seized the whole of us in its claws,
and torn us to pieces without difficulty; but the art of man and the
death-dealing rifle were more than a match for it.  Still, as it lay
extended on the ground, I could not help feeling as if we had killed
some human being--a wild man of the woods, who might, under proper
treatment, have been tamed and civilised.  David laughed when I made
some remark to that effect.

"I suspect, if we were to catch a baby gorilla, and feed it on milk, and
bring it up in a nursery, it would prove almost as savage and fierce as
this creature," he answered.  "He can feed himself and fight in defence
of his liberty, but he could never make a coat to cover his bade, or
light a fire to warm himself, though he might have seen it done a
hundred times.  There is no real relationship between a man and an ape,
however much similarity there maybe between the outer form and the
skeleton.  In man there is the mind, which, even in the most debased and
savage, is capable of improvement, and the soul, which nothing can
destroy.  In the ape there is instinct, and a certain power of imitation
which looks like mind, but which, even in the tamest, goes no further.
The most enlightened mode of instruction and the utmost patience will
never teach an ape to read or talk; while we know that human beings who
have been born deaf and blind and dumb have, by a wonderful process,
been instructed in many of the glorious truths which can give joy and
satisfaction to the soul of man."

As it was already late, and it would delay us greatly should we attempt
to carry it to the camp, we agreed to leave the gorilla where it lay and
return for it the next morning.  We saw Chickango cautiously looking
behind him as we turned our backs on the forest; and he gave us to
understand by his gestures that he was afraid a lion or leopard, or some
other wild beast, might be following us.

My cousins came out to meet us on our return.  The roars of the gorilla
had aroused unusual fears in their hearts, and our absence had been so
prolonged that they had become anxious for our safety.  We kept a strict
watch all night; for although we did not again hear the gorilla--indeed,
had there been one in the neighbourhood, he would by that time have gone
to rest--the sounds of other wild animals frequently reached our ears.

We were up early next morning--the instant there was light--for Kate had
made us promise to show her the gorilla.  "I may never have an
opportunity of seeing another," she said.  "I should like to be able to
say when we get to the Cape that I have actually beheld one in his
native wilds."

As neither Jack nor Timbo exhibited such curiosity, we left them in
charge of the camp with the black men, to pack up, while we proceeded
towards the forest.  We advanced cautiously, Stanley and I going ahead,
with David and Senhor Silva on either side of the young ladies, and the
boys bringing up the rear, Chickango acting as scout, a little in
advance on one side of us.  Every now and then we halted, whenever we
observed the branches disturbed.  Now a huge ape of the ordinary species
might be seen grinning down upon us, and then scampering off among the
boughs; or a troop of monkeys would come chattering above our heads, not
so easily put to flight.  Birds of gay plumage flitted before us from
bough to bough; and a huge snake, which had been coiled round a branch,
giving a hiss at us, went off among the underwood into the depths of the

"And now, girls, be prepared for a sight of Leo's giant of the woods,"
said Stanley, turning round when we approached the spot where he had
killed the gorilla.  "But, hillo! the ground looks alive."

The trunk of a tree lay near.  By climbing on it we got a view of the
spot where the gorilla had fallen; but, as we looked towards it,
scarcely a particle of the monster could be seen.  The skin was there
and the huge bones and monstrous skull, but nearly all the flesh had
been eaten away by myriads of ants, which swarmed about it.  So engaged
were they in their work of destruction, that they did not attack us.

"Why, they must be drivers," said David, "the _bashikouay_, as the
natives call them.  They have gained their English name by driving every
other species of the animal creation out of their way."

They were not much larger than the common English ant, of a dark brown
colour.  David, jumping down, caught one, and showed us that he had a
sharp head, terminating in a pair of horizontal nippers--very like those
of the warrior ants.  In taking one up another had caught hold of his
little finger, and gave it a nip which drew blood.  Senhor Silva told us
that they usually traverse the country by day and night, in trains
nearly half a mile long, though only a few inches wide, and, as it
passes under the grass, presents the appearance of a huge snake.  They
also, like the warrior ants, have soldiers who march by the side of the
regular column, and the instant any danger appears hurry forward, when
the column is either halted or turned backward.  Should the difficulty
be removed, it again advances.  One of their most curious proceedings is
the formation by the soldiers of a perfect arch, into which thousands of
them weave their bodies, expanding across the whole width of a path
where danger is apprehended.  Under the arch the females and the
labourers who bear the larva; then pass in comparative safety.  It is
formed in the following manner.  One ant stands upright, and then
another climbs up and interlocks its feet with the fore-feet of the
first, and then another climbs up, somewhat in the fashion of acrobats.
Another couple form the base of the arch on the opposite side, and then
others, stretching themselves longways, form what may be called
transverse beams, to keep the two sides connected.  When thus formed,
the creatures hold together so tenaciously, that the whole could be
lifted off the ground without breaking.  If attacked, they spread
themselves on the ground over a space of thirty or more feet, across
which neither man nor beast can pass with impunity.  It is difficult to
force a horse through them; and a dog will never venture, unless the
space is sufficiently narrow to enable him to cross by a bound.  He
knows well that, should he fall, they would set upon him; and, before
many hours were over, in spite of his strength, entirely consume him.
They have been known to attack horses and cattle shut up in a confined
space, and to reduce them to skeletons in less than a couple of days.
They sometimes enter a dwelling-house through a small hole, and
literally take possession, proceeding across the floor, over the walls
and ceilings.  "When I resided in the Brazils," said Senhor Silva, as we
stood surveying the ants at work, "I was one morning seated at breakfast
with my wife and little boy, when I heard outside the house a great
commotion, and in rushed a black servant carrying the cage of our
favourite parrot in one hand and grasping a number of pet fowls in the
other; while our negro girl, hurrying in from another direction, and
catching up the lapdog, cried out, `See! they come--they come!  Fly,
senhor.  Fly, my dear mistress--fly, or you will all be eaten up.'
Looking down to the ground, towards which she was directing her alarmed
gaze, I saw that it was covered by countless numbers of white ants,
which came swarming in through a small hole in the wall.  I can only
liken the appearance of the insects to a stream of water suddenly
bursting into the house, so rapidly did they make their way through the
opening.  It was too late to think of stopping it, for the room was in a
few seconds full of them.  My wife, taking the advice of the girl,
seized our boy by the hand and fled into the garden.  I followed
quickly, for already I felt the ants biting at my feet.  Not for some
hours were we able to return, when we found that our invaders had
devoured every particle of food in the house.  They did us, however, an
essential service, by destroying all the mice and cockroaches, as well
as other insects which they encountered, so that on that account we were
much obliged to them; but there are many instances on record of their
destroying human beings unable to move on account of sickness, and with
no one to assist them.  Formerly, it is said that criminals secured by
shackles were laid in their way; happily, however, this terrible custom
no longer exists, even among the most savage tribes.  They, in most
cases, as in ours, effectually rid a house of mice, and take but few
minutes to devour one, leaving only its bones and hair."

We were glad to leave the wonderful insects to their repast on the dead
gorilla, and, returning to our camp, found out bearers ready for

We toiled on all day, ascending the sides of the mountain range.  Now we
had to plunge into a valley thickly covered with trees, and then to
ascend the opposite side, now to proceed along the edge of lofty
precipices.  Sometimes the ascent was so steep that we were obliged to
use our hands as well as our long poles to make our way up it.  I was
thankful that bearers had been provided for the young ladies; for
although they had spirit enough to attempt whatever we did, yet they
must inevitably have been much fatigued had they been compelled to walk.
Leo and Natty, however, trudged on bravely in our midst; and often
indeed, when ascending steep places, took the lead.  Chickango, who knew
the way, having often before traversed it, was of great use.  He also
kept a watchful eye on either side of the path, especially when we were
crossing valleys, lest a leopard or lion might spring out on us, or any
huge serpent might lie across our path.  At length we reached a lofty
plateau, or table-land, which Chickango informed Senhor Silva extended a
long way to the south.  Over this, therefore, we resolved to travel,
till we could find a suitable spot in which to fix our abode.  We
purposed remaining there till we could send a messenger towards the Cape
Colony, hoping that he might fall in with either traders or explorers or
missionaries, several of whom were settled in Damara or Namaqua land.
The further we travelled south, the cooler and more healthy we should
find the climate.  We had no wish, either, to remain longer than
necessary in the gorilla region.



Several days had passed away.  Our progress had, of necessity, been
slow; but it was a satisfaction to feel that we were going towards the
south, and getting nearer to where we might hope to meet with
assistance.  We had all kept our health, and even my young cousins
seemed in no way to have suffered; indeed, they looked stronger and
better than they were when they landed.  Our bearers, however, had for
some time shown a disinclination to proceed.  They told Senhor Silva
that they had come further than they had bargained for, and evidently
began to doubt our intentions.  They knew very well that their
countrymen were carried off in great numbers by the whites; and stories
had been told them about the cruelties practised by those white men, and
that they even collect people merely to slaughter and eat them.
Although they did not perhaps suspect us of such intentions, yet
altogether, in spite of the bribes we had to offer them, they thought it
wiser to return to their own people.  Senhor Silva promised them that as
soon as we could find a spot on which to settle, if they did not wish to
remain with us, they should be paid and allowed to depart.

Chickango and Timbo had by this time become great friends.  They were
able to converse freely together; and Timbo told me that he was doing
his utmost to instruct his countryman.

"Timbo tell de Chicken all about England and Cape Town, and de oder
countries of de world, and de big ships, and de rich white men; and,
more dan dat, I tell him dat he got soul, and dat white man and black
man hab de same God; and if he stay wid us, we treat him like one
broder.  You see, I no t'ink he go away now."

Not without the greatest difficulty, however, could Chickango persuade
his countrymen to proceed further with us.  The hills over which we were
travelling were covered thickly with wood, so that often we could see
but a short distance either on one side or the other.  Now and then we
came to openings, whence we looked down on the wide-spreading country on
either side, partly hilly or undulating, and then stretching away in an
even plain, intersected by rivers, till lost to sight.  Stanley and
Senhor Silva, with their guns, were ranging the country on either side.

"Listen!" cried David, who was walking by my side.  "What noise is

I listened.

"It sounds like the roar of breakers on a rocky shore," I observed.

"No," he said; "it must be a waterfall."

Hurrying on, we saw before us a wide lake-like expanse on one side, and
on the other a cloud of spray floating in the air.  As we drew nearer, a
broad stream appeared, rushing over a ledge of rocks and falling into a
deep chasm below, after which it ran towards the south and east.

"This would be a grand place to settle on," said David.  "Where there is
water in this region we are sure to find abundance of game; and it will
assist us in defending ourselves against any attacks of the natives,
should they prove hostile."

I agreed with David, and we anxiously looked out for the appearance of
Stanley and Senhor Silva, to learn whether they were of the same
opinion.  When Kate and Bella overtook us, they were delighted with the
scene, and agreed that it was just the place where they should like to

In a short time Stanley arrived.  He was as well pleased as we were with
the appearance of the country around.  Senhor Silva had no objection to
fixing our abode there, though he would have preferred moving on, in the
hope before long of reaching Portuguese territory.  Chickango, however,
assured us that the country to the south was more difficult to pass over
than that we had traversed, and that without men to carry our provisions
and goods we could not perform the journey.  The matter was settled by
our bearers refusing to proceed further.  Senhor Silva asked Chickango
whether he intended to return with his people or to remain with us.  He
hesitated; then he seized Senhor Silva's hands, and gave rapid utterance
to an harangue.

"He say we good people, he stop.  He my broder now.  Hurrah!" exclaimed

Although Chickango had resolved to remain with us, he could only induce
his countrymen to delay their departure for a few days, in order to
assist us in putting up our huts.  They at once set to work to construct
our usual shelter for the night, which would serve until we could erect
a more permanent abode.  We fixed upon a spot considerably raised above
the head waters of the stream, which would defend us on one side from
wild beasts, while the ground sloping downwards on the other would
enable us to fortify it against either human beings, or lions or
leopards.  Those creatures will, without difficulty, leap over the
highest fences; and if erected on level ground, no ordinary means are
capable of keeping them out.  I should observe that there are no tigers
in Africa; their absence, however, as Leo remarked, being more agreeable
than their company.  Stanley and Senhor Silva had been very successful
in their hunt, and had brought back a good supply of birds and young
deer, besides three or four smaller animals.

By Chickango's advice, we built our huts in the fashion of his people--
that is to say, facing each other, so as to form a street, with their
backs to the outside of our little fortress.  As the river side was
altogether enclosed, one strong door at the other end was sufficient for
all the houses.  For the sake of air, however, we built our huts
separate from each other, and we thus had windows on all sides.  The
poles were of bamboo, and the walls strong pieces of bark, secured by
ropes composed of creepers.  The framework roofing was also formed of
bamboos, with thick palm-leaves at the top, kept down by ropes.  At the
inner end was a shed for cooking; and our street was sufficiently wide
to enable us to light a fire at night in the centre, to prevent the
unwelcome intrusion of wild beasts.  Our habitation, though not very
imposing, was sufficiently strong to keep out the wet and rain, and, at
the same time, was tolerably cool.

The two young ladies had one house to themselves; Stanley, David, and
Senhor Silva another; the boys and I a third; Timbo and Chickango had
one to themselves; and Jack was left alone in his glory, he taking a
small one at the entrance, and having charge of the gate.

"You may depend upon me," he said.  "I will always sleep with one eye
open; and if any strange black fellows come near us, or any savage
beasts, I will be up and have a crack at them before they know where
they are."

The bearers, having performed their contract very much to our
satisfaction, received from Senhor Silva a piece of calico, a knife, and
some tobacco, as their payment, with a few beads for their wives, either
present or prospective, with which they seemed highly pleased.  When
they were about to take their departure, Chickango addressed them.  What
he said we did not understand, but the result was that they agreed to
stop two or three days longer and assist us in hunting, whereby they
themselves were to benefit by a share of the spoil.  They remained at
night in the huts they had previously occupied, while we took possession
of our new abode.  Besides our sleeping houses, there was a large one
intended for what Leo called our banqueting-hall.  In the centre we
constructed a long table, at which we could all sit, with two chairs at
the end for the ladies, Stanley, as our chief, having his seat between
them, somewhat in the fashion of ancient days, Jack and the two blacks
taking their places at the further one.  Our bed-places were formed of
bamboos raised from the ground.  Senhor Silva politely devoted some of
his calico to making curtains for those of the young ladies.  He had
also brought some mosquito-curtains, which he presented to them; for we
found that even in that higher region we were not free from those pests
of a hot climate.

As I gazed round our new location, I could not help wishing that it was
the permanent abode of civilised men.  Far as the eye could reach,
forest and prairie stretched away into the interior, capable of
supporting a dense population; and from the health we had hitherto
enjoyed, I saw no reason why even whites should not inhabit it; or, at
all events, a civilised black community might there, I hoped, be some
day established.

As soon as our black friends had agreed to remain, they set off, headed
by Chickango, for the purpose of exploring the banks of the stream, to
ascertain in what direction we should commence our hunt the following
day.  They had not been long absent, when Chickango came hurrying back
in a state of excitement, and called to Senhor Silva.

"They have discovered an hippopotamus higher up the stream, and beg that
we will go out at once and assist in killing it."

"What! can they wish to eat one of those ugly brutes?" said Leo.  "If
they are like those we saw the other day, it will be a hard matter to
kill them."

"Nothing comes amiss to them," said Senhor Silva; "and we must not
disappoint them."

Senhor Silva, with Stanley and Chickango, accordingly started off, the
two boys and I accompanying them to see the sport.  Chickango led us
some way up the stream, where, on a rock among the trees which lined the
island in the centre, we saw a huge monster.  He turned his eyes towards
us; but from the indifference with which he regarded our approach, it
was evident that he was unaccustomed to the sight of man Chickango
shouted out.

"What does he say?" asked Stanley.

"It is an hippopotamus.  You must fire, and hit him under the ear, and
you are sure to kill him," said Senhor Silva.  "The blacks want the
creature for food, and you must not disappoint them."

The water by the side of the banks above the fall was shallow, flowing
amongst numerous rocks.  Stanley carried a long pistol in his belt.

"Here, take my gun," he said.  "I can hit the creature with this; and if
I fall, it will not be of so much consequence."

Springing forward, he levelled his pistol, and the huge beast rolled
over into the water and was carried down the stream.  The report,
however, brought out several others from among the trees on the river's
bank.  They came swimming down towards the fall.  I was surprised they
did not make towards us, and could not help feeling anxious for
Stanley's safety.  He stood his ground, however.  Two or three had
passed before he had again loaded.  He then took aim at a third.  He
missed!  The whole, herd now made for the falls.  The body of the first
rolled over and over, but the others plunged downwards in a way which
showed that they were well accustomed to the feat; and we saw them
swimming down the centre to the lower part of the stream.  As the last
was passing, Stanley took steady aim, and by the way the creature moved,
it was evident that it was severely wounded.

The blacks now shouted out again, and led the way down to the lower part
of the waterfall.  We all followed.  How they proposed getting the
bodies of the hippopotami out of the river I could not tell, and fully
expected that they would soon be lost to sight.  There was, however, an
eddy, which probably the blacks had observed, and into this both the
huge animals were drawn.  Still they were at a considerable distance
from the land.  The blacks, as soon as they reached the banks, began
cutting away at a grove of reeds, a species of palmyra.  As soon as they
were cut, a layer was thrown on the surface of the water.  Another layer
was placed crossways on this; and so on, till the raft was of sufficient
thickness to bear the party.  No binding was required, as the reeds were
thus sufficiently united for the purpose.  With some long poles and some
rattan vines cut from the forest, three hunters embarked.  Throwing
their ropes round the head of the first animal they got up to, they soon
towed it ashore, where their companions secured it, while they shoved
off for the other.  The second was scarcely dead, though unable to
defend itself.  They secured it to the raft, when it gave a convulsive
struggle, and then opened its enormous jaws, which were certainly big
enough to swallow one of the men at a mouthful.  It was its last effort,
however, for it merely grasped the edge of the raft, and the blacks,
shoving on, soon brought it to land.

I had now, for the first time, an opportunity of examining an
hippopotamus thoroughly.  It is a most singular looking animal, which
may be described as intermediate between an overgrown hog and a high-fed
bull, without horns and with cropped ears.  It has an enormous head.
Each of its jaws is armed with two formidable tusks, and those in the
lower, which are the largest, are nearly two feet in length.  The
nostrils, ears, and huge eyes are placed on nearly the same plane, thus
allowing the animal to make use of its three senses and of respiration,
at the same time exposing but a very small part of its body.  It is but
little inferior in size to the elephant, though its legs are very much
shorter; indeed, the belly in the full-grown one almost touches the
ground.  The hoofs are divided into four parts, unconnected by
membranes.  By this means it is able to spread out its clumsy-looking
toes, and to walk at a quick pace even through mud or in very deep
water.  The skin is from one to two inches thick, and completely
bullet-proof, except behind the ear and near the eye, where it is
thinner; and it has a few hairs only on the muzzle, the edge of the
ears, and tail.  When out of the water it is of a purple-brown hue.  In
the young animal it is somewhat of a clay yellow, and under the belly of
almost a roseate hue; but seen in a clear pool it is a sort of dark
blue, or light Indian-ink hue.  As we looked at its head we agreed that
few animals have more hideous or terrific countenances.

"Why, he would swallow Natty and me up at a mouthful," said Leo, as he
tried to lift up the jaws of one of the huge animals.

"Take care! he will bite!" cried out Natty; and Leo, letting his stick
drop, sprang back with an expression of horror in his countenance which
made us all laugh.

We left the blacks cutting up their prizes, for which, through
Chickango, they expressed themselves duly grateful to Stanley.

We found that the young ladies, aided by Timbo, had prepared a sumptuous
repast of wild-fowl and venison, to which we now added some hippopotamus
steaks.  The meat was somewhat coarse-grained, but tasted not unlike
beef.  Our black friends consumed it eagerly.  During supper we
discussed our plans for the future.  Chickango assured Senhor Silva that
he hoped to obtain a messenger to proceed to the south, although he
himself would not venture to go alone.  He took his meals with us;
indeed he was, in many respects, a civilised black.  He knew perfectly
well how to behave at table; and used his knife and one of the wooden
forks Jack and Timbo had manufactured with perfect ease.

At length our black friends, loaded with as much hippopotamus-meat as
they could carry, in addition to the various articles they had received
as payment, took their departure.  We should have been better pleased
had they continued with us, as we might then have proceeded further
south without the assistance of strangers.

I have hitherto said very little about Natty Page.  He had greatly
recovered his spirits after the loss of his father, and now showed that
there was a great deal in him.  He and Leo and little Bella were the
life of our party.  They, happily, were not troubled with thoughts of
the difficulties and dangers before us, and enjoyed the present to the

"Do you not think, Andrew," said Natty to me, "that if we were to build
a canoe we could explore the river and make our way to the south far
more easily than by land?  Meantime, it would assist us in our hunting
expeditions; and we should be able to go fishing or shooting birds,
although I should not much like to meet with any of those fierce
monsters the captain killed the other day."

"An excellent idea, Natty," I answered.  "I will propose it to Captain
Hyslop, and I am sure he will agree with you."

Stanley was well pleased with the suggestion, and it was at once agreed
that we should carry it into execution.

"I, however, never built a canoe, and should scarcely know how to set
about it, although I understand the management of one thoroughly," said
Stanley.  "I must trust, therefore, to others."

"No fear, captain," observed Timbo.  "Jack, Chickango, and I soon do de
work.  First t'ing find big tree; and Senhor Silva got axes, so we soon
cut it down."

Before the day was over we found a large tree, not more than three
hundred yards from the bank of the river, which was likely to answer our
purpose.  The trunk was perfectly straight, the wood soft, and about
twelve feet in circumference.  The axes our Portuguese friend had among
his stores were, however, rather small for the purpose; but yet, if
carefully used, we hoped, with perseverance, to have the tree felled in
the course of a day.  Jack Handspike undertook to act as chief
architect, although Chickango and Timbo, I suspect, knew more about the
actual work than he did.

"Now, boys," he sung out, "the first thing we have got to do is to place
the craft in the right position for launching, so just see that the tree
falls towards the river."

Senhor Silva interpreted Jack's remark to Chickango.  He nodded, and
forthwith cut from the surrounding trees a number of vines, as creepers
of all sorts are called.  These, with my aid and that of the two boys,
he formed into a strong rope.  He then mounted the tree by throwing a
band round it and his waist, till he reached the branches, carrying the
end of the rope with him.  This he secured to the top.  Descending, he
made signs to us to carry it to a distance towards the river, where he
secured the opposite end to another tree.

Jack and Timbo, who were expert axe-men, then began cutting away near
the ground.  First they made a deep notch on the river side, scoring the
tree all round.  David and I stood by ready to take their places, while
Stanley and Senhor Silva went in search of game.

"But what are we to do?" exclaimed Leo.  "We do not want to be idle!"

"No, young masters, nor need you," said Jack.  "We shall want spars and
oars, so do you go and look out for some small trees fit to make them
out of, and cut them down."

"That will be capital," cried Natty.  "We will soon have a mast and yard
ready for you, and as many paddles as we can pull."

The young ladies, meantime, remained in the house, that Kate might teach
Bella, and, when the lessons were over, get dinner ready for us.  We
worked away with a will, the sound of the axes never ceasing, for as
soon as Jack and Timbo were tired, David and I stepped into their

"See, we shall soon have the trunk through!" cried Jack.  "Run and help
Chickango, and haul away as hard as you can.  We will have the tree down
in a jiffy in that clear space."

We gave a loud cheer as we saw the tall tree bending towards us, and
hauling with all our might as we ran from it, down it came with a crash.
Then, as if it had been some huge creature with long feelers ready to
seize hold of us, we lashed at the branches with our axes, and began
hacking away at them.  We had now to cut off a piece of the trunk of
sufficient length for the canoe.  Jack wanted to make it thirty feet
long; but Timbo advised that it should not be more than twenty feet,
that it might be the more easily managed in the stream.  As we had no
saw, this had to be done with our axes, and, of course, occupied more
than half as much time as getting down the trunk.  The boughs, also, had
to be cut up and cleared away, that we might have an open road to the
river.  By the time this was done night had come on, while hunger made
us all ready to return to the house.

The boys were very proud of the tree they had cut down for a mast.  They
had barked it completely, and shaped it partially, and now came towards
us bearing it on their shoulders in triumph.

"Do you not think we might saw the thick end off?" cried Leo, after he
had gone a little way with us.  "It is wonderfully heavy, I can assure
you, and I do not think so long a mast can be required."

"Better cut it in half at once and make two masts," said Natty.  "It is
somewhat heavy to carry up to the top of the hill."

"Come, young masters, I see what it is you want," said Jack.  "You have
cut down the spar, and done it well, and you think that stronger men
ought to carry it.  Timbo and I will relieve you of it, and you may run
on ahead and say we are coming."

However, the boys, after all, were not very willing to give up the spar
of which they were so proud, and carried it on a little way further in
spite of their friends' offers.  At length Jack quietly put his shoulder
under one end, and Timbo took the other, and fairly lifted it off their
backs.  It was high time, for their knees were beginning to shake, and
their faces looked very red with their exertions.  The mast was indeed a
great deal too long for the canoe, and required more than a third cut

We found that the young ladies had, as usual, made ample preparation for
our supper, and Kate had found time to give Bella her usual lessons.
Her instruction was imparted certainly under difficulties.  Her only
books were a Bible, a small History of England, a Johnson's Dictionary,
and a work on natural history.  The latter was especially useful to all
of us, as it gave a very fair account of many of the animals we were
likely to meet with.  Senhor Silva had laid in a good stock of paper,
pens, and ink.  Kate herself was so well acquainted with geography, that
she was able to draw maps, and teach her sister without difficulty.
History, too, she seemed to have at her fingers' ends, so that Bella not
only learned about England, but most other countries in the world.

Next day we all went back to our work.  We began first to shape the
outside of the canoe--a task we performed with our axes, and at this
four could work at once.  By Jack's advice we planed off the upper side
of the tree, so that the plan of the canoe could be drawn off on it by
exact measurements.  We first drew a straight line down the centre, and
from this measured off the two sides with the greatest care.  In the
game way the stem and stern were measured with a plumb-line.  We then
turned the log over, and having levelled that side, marked off the keel,
thus having it truly in the centre.  Natty and Leo had remained to
assist in turning over the log.

"Why, that is exactly how I should cut out a model-boat!" exclaimed Leo.
"If we had a saw we could shape the bows and stern much more easily,
just as I always used to do."

"But you see, young gentleman, we must make use of what tools we have,"
observed Jack.  "By sticking at it, I dare say we shall not be as long
cutting out this here canoe as you would have been making a little

"Let me see," said Leo.  "No; I remember it took me a good month before
I got it ready for painting, and even then, I own, from some
unaccountable cause, it was somewhat lopsided."

"Maybe you did not use the plumb-line, Master Leo," observed Jack.  "You
see there is nothing like that for getting things perpendicular, though
I cannot say exactly the reason why."

"There I have you, Jack, then," said Leo.  "It is on account of the
centre of gravitation, and a weight let down on the earth always falls
perpendicularly to the plane of the earth."

"That may be philosophy, as you call it, Master Leo, but I cannot say as
how I am much wiser than I was; only you will see we will get our canoe
to sit fairly on the water--neither heeling over to one side nor

Having got all our measurements correct, we once more put the canoe on
an even keel, and then commenced chopping away round the intended
gunwale, so as to have the upper works done first.  By Jack's advice she
was sharp at both ends, like a whale-boat, that we might the better back
out of danger if necessary.

"Come, you are getting on so fast with the canoe, that we shall not have
the spars ready if we do not set to work," said Natty.  "Come along,
Leo;" and the boys ran off with their axes on their shoulders in high

They had not been gone long when we heard their voices crying out,
"Come, come!--quick, quick!"  Stanley, David, and I hurried on with our
guns, which we kept ready for use, and soon reached the boys.  They were
too excited at first to speak.  "A wild man!" cried Leo.  "A
fierce-looking fellow!  I thought he was going to run after us, but he
did not, and I do not know if he is still there."

"But was he a wild man?" said Natty.  "He was walking along on all
fours, and then he went up a tree.  If he had been a man I do not think
he would have done that."

"Probably he was a big ape," said David; "another gorilla."

"No, no; not a gorilla," answered Natty; "but I think he was an ape.  He
was not so big as the fearful one the captain killed and the ants ate;
but he is a big fellow, notwithstanding."

This account of course excited our curiosity, and we all hurried on,
hoping to find the creature which the boys had seen.  They led us some
way into the forest.

"We shall frighten him if we make a noise," whispered Natty.

"But I say he is a wild man, and I do not think he will be frightened,"
said Leo.  "Only take care; if he has companions they may rush out and
surprise us."

"Whether man or beast, we will be cautious," said Stanley, advancing in
woodland fashion, concealing himself as much as possible behind the
trunks and undergrowth.

The boys kept close to his side.  Presently they stopped, and pointed to
a tree standing by itself in a little open glade.  The lowest branch was
about twenty feet from the ground, and on looking up we saw spread above
it a curious roof of leaves like an umbrella, while seated on a branch
with one arm round the tree was a huge ape.  His feet were resting on
the stump of a lower branch, while his head was so completely covered by
the roof of his nest that it almost looked like a Chinaman's huge hat.
Presently we heard him give a peculiar sound, something like
"hew"--"hew," which was answered from a little distance, and looking
round, we discovered another roof with an ape seated under it.  We
guessed that it was the female, by her having a funny-looking young ape
clinging to her, which she held, as a nurse does a baby, in one arm.  We
had advanced so cautiously that neither of the animals saw us.  They
were smaller than the gorilla; the hair seemed blacker and longer, and
more glossy.

"Do not kill the creatures," said David.  "They will do us no harm, and
we do not want them for food."

This remark was made just in time to save the life of the old ape, at
whom Stanley was aiming.

"You are right," he answered.  "I should like to know more about them,

"Perhaps Chickango or Timbo can tell us," answered David.

As it was not far off, the boys agreed to go and get them, while we
watched the spot.  Before long the two blacks came creeping up.
Chickango watched them for a little time.  Then he spoke to Timbo, who
whispered to us:

"He say dat is _Nshiego Mbouve_.  He got bald head, wide mouth, round
chin, and--see! beard like one old man!  He not nearly so strong as
gorilla.  Dey stay dere; no fear, not run away now."

With this information we returned to the canoe.  Timbo advised the boys
to keep at a distance from the animals; for should they discover that
they were watched, they might come down and attack them.  Being somewhat
tired with our work, and having made considerable progress, we retired
earlier than usual to the Castle; for such was the name we had given our
abode.  Chickango and Timbo, however, remained behind, keeping their
guns with them, and saying that they would give a few more touches to
the canoe.

We had scarcely reached the house when we heard a distant shot.  Leo and
Natty, who had just given an account of the animal they had seen to the
young ladies, and were still somewhat excited, ran out to ascertain who
had fired.  We heard them shouting out--

"There they are! and they're bringing a little chap along with them!"

"It is a young ape," cried Natty.

"No; I tell you it is a small savage--a boy," exclaimed Leo.  "See! why,
he is walking along!"

This announcement, as may be supposed, made us all rush to the door.
Sure enough, the two blacks were seen dragging along a young ape with a
handkerchief tied over its head; and even then it was turning first on
one side and then on the other, endeavouring to bite its captors.

"I am afraid they must have killed the old one," said David, "or they
would not have caught that young creature.  That must be the little ape
we saw with its mother.  No, we did not tell them to let the animals
alone; and they do not understand the humane feelings which, at all
events, ought to influence us.  They probably were surprised we did not
kill the creatures at once."

The blacks now came up with their prize.

"We killed de big mother," said Timbo.  "Chickango say he go back and
fetch her when we make fast de little one, which we bring as playmate
for Missy Kate and Bella."

"I doubt if the young ladies will be pleased with their intended
companion," observed David.

"Oh, but he will do as a chum for us!" cried Leo.  "He is a brave little
chap; I like the spirit he shows, doing his best to bite you."

The young nshiego was at once secured in Chickango's hut, for he
undertook to take charge of the creature and tame it.  David, hearing
that the mother was shot, was eager to go and examine her.  We
accordingly all set off with some poles on which to convey the body.  We
found on measuring it that it was about four feet high.  The skin was
black, and many parts of the body were covered with thin blackish hair.
It was a far less powerful animal than the gorilla, though its arms were
rather longer in proportion to its size.  One of its characteristics was
its bald head.  Its mouth was wider, and the nose less prominent than
that of the gorilla.  We found nothing but leaves in its inside, which
were apparently the food on which it lives.  Our young doctor was
anxious to secure its skin; and the blacks wished to have its flesh for
eating, but to this even Jack demurred.

"No, no!" exclaimed Jack.  "I would as lief almost eat one of your

This made Timbo very indignant.

"Dis beast no man," he exclaimed; "no mind, no soul.  Why not eat him?
Chickango say he bery good food."

It was finally agreed that Chickango should cook it outside the Castle,
if he wished it, and that he and Timbo should be welcome to feast off
it.  Senhor Silva and David's curiosity prompted them to taste some of
the animal, which they declared to be very delicate, and not unlike
venison.  They, however, were very unwilling that Kate and Bella should
hear of it.

"You know we eat small monkeys without scruple, and I cannot therefore
see why we should not eat the flesh of a big one; in reality, I suspect
it is the best of the two," observed the young doctor.

Our amusement for some time every evening was endeavouring to civilise
our young prisoner, the little nshiego.  Leo at once called him Chico,
because Chickango had caught him, and _chico_ in Spanish means "little."

The mother's skin had been drying on some trees outside the Castle.  No
sooner was it brought in than the creature recognised it, and, running
towards it, placed its hands on the head, and finding that it did not
move, broke out into a plaintive cry which sounded like "Ooye! ooye!
ooye!" and then it looked up in our faces as if seeking for
commiseration.  At length it ran up to the doctor, and appeared to
appeal to him to restore its mother.  Jack, who stood by, watched it
with an eye of pity.  The little creature seemed to understand his
feelings; and at length the sailor took it in his arms and caressed it,
while Timbo carried off the skin and hid it in his hut.  Chico after
this always seemed to consider Jack his particular friend.  In a few
days it became perfectly tame, and showed no inclination to run away.  I
shall have more to say about Chico by-and-by.

The canoe was progressing.  The boys had cut their spars in a very
creditable way, and now commenced chopping out boards of sufficient
width for the paddles.  They had, however, ample time for exploring the
neighbourhood.  The morning after the capture of Chico they had gone out
at an early hour, when, just as we were beginning breakfast, we heard
their shouts proceeding from the higher ground up the stream.  We ran
out, thinking something was the matter.

"We have seen two huge baboons," exclaimed Leo.  "If we had had a gun,
we should have killed one of them, at all events."

David and I accompanied the boys along the banks of the river for some
distance, when they said we must be near the spot; and directly
afterwards we saw two creatures, one seated on a fallen trunk on the top
of the cliff, gazing out over the stream.  I examined them with my
glass, which I then handed to David.

"Those are baboons," he said.  "Their faces more resemble those of dogs
than of monkeys; and hideous-looking monsters they are.  It was
fortunate you boys did not encounter them.  You must take care and not
go unarmed so far from our Castle."

"I should say they were nearly as large as gorillas."

"Now the sun is shining on them, I can see their huge black faces.  That
big fellow on the trunk has a hide of reddish brown colour, though his
head is shaded with light red, and his limbs are of a fawn colour.  He
is, I suspect, the _Gynocephalus anerbis_.  See! he is sitting down,
scowling round him maliciously, as if in search of an enemy, or
meditating on his own bad deeds.  They always move over the ground on
all fours, and often descend in numbers on a plantation, and carry off
all the fruits they can lay hands on.  We must take care to keep them at
a distance, for from what I have heard they are as daring as the
gorilla, and, though not so powerful, more mischievous."

"Let us see if we cannot frighten them," said Leo; and before we could
stop him, he rushed out, clapping his hands and shrieking loudly.

The baboons gazed at us with looks of astonishment, when several others,
scrambling out from the neighbouring rocks, assembled in a body.  They
seemed to be consulting together whether they should advance, when Leo
and Natty again shouted.  This seemed to decide them; and they began,
instead of running away, to approach us in a menacing attitude.  I now
saw it was time to fire.  I took aim, and hit the leader.  He stopped
for an instant, and, giving forth a loud cry between a bark and a roar,
turned round, and with his companions made off into the rugged country
up the river.  I must say I was very glad thus to be rid of them; for
although I had often seen baboons in captivity, when I thought them
disgusting-looking creatures, in their wild state as they had just
exhibited themselves they looked ferocious and terrible in the extreme.

David told us they often go hunting in packs like wolves, and on those
occasions do not hesitate to attack the largest wild animals.  Sometimes
they will assault even elephants, while they without hesitation
encounter the leopard and hyena.  The leopard, however, retaliates, and
when he finds one alone springs on it, and seldom fails to come off the

The mandrills are another species of baboon who inhabit this region.
They are remarkable for the brilliancy and variety of their colour.
Often their cheeks are striped with violet, scarlet, blue, and purple,
which looks not unlike artificial tattooing; the nose is blood-red; the
loins, which are almost bare, are of a violet-blue colour, gradually
verging into a bright blood-red; the tail is short, and carried erect.
Though very fierce in their wild state, they are more easily tamed than
the other baboons.  I had seen one in a London menagerie, who went by
the name of Jelly, and who really knew how to behave himself, as he
could sit upon a chair, and drink out of a pewter can, and smoke a pipe
as if he enjoyed it.

Every day we met with various small monkeys in whole troops, skipping
about the trees, and looking down upon us wherever we went.  Kate was
much alarmed when she heard of the boys' encounter with the baboons, and
entreated them in future not to go from the Castle without a third
person well-armed.

"But," said Leo, "give me a gun or Stanley's pistols, and I will fight
as well as anybody."

"And I will back him up," said Natty.

"Yes; but Leo might miss the wild beast, and you might hit Leo, and so I
am afraid you would have a very unsatisfactory account to give of
yourself when you got home," said Stanley.

"By which observation, Captain Hyslop, I conclude you are descended from
an Irishman," observed Senhor Silva; "for if Natty was to kill Leo, and
a wild beast was to carry off Natty, I do not see how they could come
and give an account of themselves."

"Had poor Terence O'Brien uttered the expression, I should not have been
surprised," said Kate, laughing at her brother.  "But I hope such a
dreadful event will not occur, and that Leo and Natty will be content
not to make use of firearms till they are a little more accustomed to

"There I have you, sister," said Stanley.  "How are they to be
accustomed to them unless they use them?  Well, as we are brother and
sister, it is not surprising that you should make such a remark; and I
believe our dear mother comes from Ireland, which I suppose will fully
account for the same.  However, in my opinion, the sooner the boys learn
to use firearms, under the circumstances in which we are placed, the
better.  It is very important that boys should learn to swim, ride, and
row, if they are to go out into the world.  I must give them regular
shooting lessons.  They will then be able to use their guns to advantage
when called upon to do so."

As soon as breakfast was over we hurried down to the canoe.  The outside
was now completed, and there was ample work for all hands in cutting out
the inside.  We commenced with axes, clearing away as much of the wood
as we could.  When this was done, we lighted a fire.  We had some pieces
of bar iron: these were made red hot, and we were thus able to smooth
away the parts the axe could not so well reach.



We were working away at the canoe: the boys keeping the fire up; the
rest of us heating the irons and burning out the inside; Jack amusing
himself and us by singing a sea-song to the tune of "Come, cheer up, my
lads;" while Chickango was indulging himself in shouting a native ditty
of which we could neither make out the words nor very clearly the
tune,--it had reference, I fancy, to our canoe-building, to which he was
wishing all manner of success.  Suddenly a loud, trumpeting sound
saluted our ears; and looking round to ascertain whence it came, we saw
far away in the forest a huge elephant, which we naturally concluded had
been attracted by our voices.  He stood whisking his ears and holding
his trunk out in a somewhat threatening manner.  Our guns stood against
the trees at some little distance.  Chickango gave a warning shout.

"Hide behind the trees, or climb up the nearest you can reach," said
Senhor Silva.

Stanley seemed in no way disposed to follow this advice, but rushed to
his gun.

"Come, boys! come with me," cried Jack, "and we will be up a tree."

Timbo followed Jack and the two boys.  Jack sprang up to a low bough of
a tree, and then, stooping down, with Timbo's aid helped up the boys.
David had some time before this gone back to the Castle to remain with
his sisters.  Senhor Silva also seized his gun, and ran off to a
distance.  Chickango rushed behind a stout tree; whilst I, seizing my
weapon, stood by Stanley's side.  Just then I recollected that it was
only loaded with small shot, which, of course, would not have been of
the slightest avail against the monstrous animal.  Again the elephant
sent forth a loud trumpeting, and rushed towards us.  Stanley took aim
and fired, but whether the animal was struck or not we could not tell:
at all events, it came rushing on furiously towards us.

"Fly behind a tree!" cried my cousin, suiting the action to the word;
but the elephant had his eye fixed on me, and scarcely had I reached the
trunk of the one I had selected when he was close to me on the other
side.  Confused by the fearful noise he made, I knew not which way to
turn.  He seemed in no way disposed to quit me.  He kept dodging round
and round the tree.  "Run to the next tree!"  I heard Stanley cry out.
"You may get up it and escape him!"  Glancing over my shoulder, I saw
that the boughs were low down, and being a good climber, I had fair
hopes of success.  It seemed my only prospect of escaping a fearful
death.  I watched my opportunity, and when the elephant was on the other
side of the big tree, I ran to the next, and springing to a bough,
caught it, and soon swung myself up to the next.  He caught sight of me,
however, shrieking and trumpeting with rage.  Even now I did not feel
that I was out of his reach.  I had just time to scramble up to the
boughs above my head, when he was close under the tree.  As I did so my
cap fell off.  I knew that the animal could reach to a great height with
his trunk, and did not feel secure till I had clambered up to one still
higher.  I was then able to look down on my assailant, when I saw that
he had seized my cap as it fell; and that probably saved my leg being
seized by his trunk, for he could without difficulty have reached it.  I
could only hope that my cousin would in the meantime be able to reload
and kill the creature.

I looked round, but could not see him.  Presently I observed two young
elephants coming out of the bush, when the old one, giving a glance up
at me to see that I was safe, ran towards them and began fondling them
with his trunk; the infant monsters (for they were as big as cart
horses) returning his caresses with their own proboscises.  What had
become of my friends I could not tell.  Every instant I expected to hear
the sound of Stanley's rifle, but it was silent.  I now began to fear
that some accident had happened to him, for I was very sure that he
would not have deserted me.  Jack and the boys were, I hoped, safe; and
I knew that the blacks could very well take care of themselves.  At all
events, I thought, Senhor Silva will return--though, to be sure, he is
no sportsman, and may not wish to encounter the elephant.  By degrees
the elephant's anger seemed to abate, and he stood whisking his tail and
flapping his ears, playing with his young charges.  Still I knew very
well that should I venture down, his anger would revive, and he would
rush at me as before.  I determined, therefore, to wait patiently till
my friends could come to my rescue.

As I was looking round, trying to discover where Jack and the boys had
got to, I saw the head of a negro moving among the brushwood.  I thought
it must be that of Chickango; but presently I caught sight of another
and then another creeping along like serpents, now moving slowly, now
more rapidly.  I concluded that their leader had his eye on the
elephant, as whenever he stopped they stopped, so that they could
scarcely be distinguished on the ground.  Each man carried a large spear
in his hand.  They increased in numbers, approaching from all quarters.
It was evident that they had tracked the elephant, and at length closed
in on him.  They were fierce-looking warriors, and I could only hope
that they might prove friendly, as from their numbers they would have
been awkward people to deal with as enemies.  I expected every moment
that the elephant would discover them, for I thought, by the way he
stopped and looked about, that he was aware that danger was near.  The
hunters, however, remained perfectly still, and I could scarcely have
believed that some fifty or more human beings were close to me, ready in
an instant to spring up into active exertion.  I anxiously watched their
proceedings, keeping my eye on the man I supposed to be their leader.
Once more I saw him stealthily moving on; then suddenly springing up
from behind a tree, he darted his spear with tremendous force right into
the elephant's neck, and before the creature could look round, had again
disappeared behind the tree.  The young elephants had caught sight of
their assailants, but instead of flying, rushed up again to their
guardian, one of them intertwining its trunk round his neck.  And now
from every side the hunters started up.  Spear after spear was darted
into the elephant's back, till it literally bristled with shafts.
Whenever the creature turned round, he was met by new assailants, while
the young ones were meantime untouched.  The hunters probably knew that
they would fall easy victims when their guardian was killed.  The poor
creature turned round and round, apparently to defend its young charges
from the spears of its assailants.  Its life-blood was now flowing fast.
When the blacks observed this, they continued to plunge more and more
weapons into his body.  The young ones turned round, and, I thought,
cast reproachful, if not angry, glances at the assailants of their
guardian.  Fresh hunters kept coming up, and discharging their weapons,
again retreated under shelter.  At length the poor elephant could no
longer move.  Its huge head and trunk fell slowly down, then sinking on
his knees, fell gradually over on one side.  The poor young elephants
were quickly despatched; and the hunters came rushing up, shouting and
singing over their prizes.  The chief then stuck a club into the ground,
with a hideous-looking figure carved on the top of it.  On this they all
joined hands and began dancing and shouting more furiously than before,
going round and round their prey.  The chief and others then brought
pieces of the meat, which they placed before the idol.  This I now knew
to be a _fetish_, as all idols as well as charms are called throughout
Negro-land.  I was afraid every instant that I should be seen.  Hitherto
there had been little risk of that, as they were all so eagerly engaged
in their assault on the elephant.  I supposed that my friends must have
seen the hunters; at all events their loud shouts would now make their
presence known.

Presently one of the hunters looking up caught sight of me in the tree.
I thought he would have fallen back with astonishment.  The spear he was
holding in his hand dropped to the ground, his hand sank by his side,
and he kept gazing up, rolling the large white balls of his eyes round
and round as if he was going off in a fit.  His exclamation drew the
attention of his companions to me.  Many of them seemed as much
astonished, exhibiting their surprise in various grotesque ways.  What
they took me for I could not tell; probably some strange animal or a
spirit of the woods.  The latter was, I believe, the case.  I made signs
to them that I wished to be their friend, putting my hand out as if to
shake theirs, and then began slowly to descend the tree.  Still they did
not seem to have made up their minds whether they would wish for a
nearer acquaintance.  I tried to explain to them, however, that I had
got up the tree to avoid the elephant, and as they had killed it, for
which I was much obliged to them, I could now come down without fear.
Whether they understood my signs I could not tell, but by degrees I saw
that their fears were somewhat quelled.  Stopping at each branch to make
signs, I at length reached the lowest, when once more stretching out my
hand I dropped to the ground, and, in as composed a way as I could,
walked into their midst.  They possibly had never seen a white man
before, and looked at me with as much astonishment as an European who
had never heard of the existence of negroes would have looked at them.
They now crowded round me, and began to examine my dress.  Some put
their hands on my face and rubbed it, as if expecting the white colour
to come off.  Others examined my hands, while one fierce-looking fellow
poked his fingers through my hair.

Familiarity, it is said, breeds contempt; and when I found that they
were making these advances, I feared that, instead of looking upon me as
some superior being as they at first did they might at length ill-treat
me.  One of them found my cap, which the elephant had thrown to the
ground.  After examining it and putting it on my head, he instantly
pulled it off again and clapped it on his own woolly pate.  The chief
hunter next seemed disposed to take possession of my jacket.  I knew it
would not do to show any signs of fear, so rushing at the man who had
taken my cap, I seized it from his head and held it tightly in one hand,
while I resisted the efforts of the chief to draw off my coat.  Having
satisfied their curiosity for the present, they at length left me alone,
and returned to the carcases of the elephants.

Their first care was to cut off the tusks of the old elephant which were
of great size.  This done, they gave vent to their exultation in loud
shouts, and then set to work to cut up the flesh.  They seemed to prefer
the young ones, the flesh of which was divided among the whole party.
They next assailed the larger beast, when each man was loaded with as
much as he could carry.  This work occupied some time.

Considering that it would be wise to take my departure, I was on the
point of doing so, when several of the blacks seized me by the arms, and
making me understand that I was to accompany them, pointed to a huge
piece of elephant flesh, which they signified it would be my duty to
carry.  This was more than I had bargained for, and I positively refused
to go with them.  They now began to move off, and two or three attempted
to drag me along.  I shouted at the top of my voice, resisting with all
my power, "Help!--help!--Jack!--Timbo!--Chickango!"  I had got some way,
and was afraid I should be carried off as a captive, when I heard a
shout at a little distance, and presently saw Timbo and Chickango
running towards us.  They were followed by Jack, Stanley, and David, the
two boys bringing up the rear.  The hunters, when they saw my friends
advancing, faced about, looking at them with glances of astonishment.  I
heard them all talking together, seemingly asking each other who these
strangers could be.  They had recovered their spears, which, still red
with the blood of the elephants, they held in their hands, ready to dart
at Timbo and Chickango.  Seeing this, my friends halted, and placing
their muskets on the ground, held up their hands as a sign of peace,
addressing their countrymen, who quickly replied, turning their glances
every now and then at me.  Again Timbo spoke to them, and this time with
greater effect than at first.  The expressions of anger and fear which I
had observed in their countenances gradually wore off, and they looked
with a more kindly expression towards me.  Presently they turned the
points of their spears to the ground, when my two friends advancing,
took the chief by the hand, and immediately those who held me brought me
to the front.  Chickango, who had taken up the thread of the discourse,
went on speaking very vehemently, and advancing, led me out of the
throng.  Timbo immediately seized my hand.  "Go away--quick now, Massa
Andrew.  Perhaps dey change deir mind.  See! here come de captain and
Senhor Silva, and de t'ree young gentlemen.  Dese niggers t'ink you
white spirit, and no dare hurt you."

By this time the rest of our party had come up, and great was the
surprise of the hunters when Senhor Silva addressed them in a language
they could understand.  I do not know exactly what account he gave of
us, but the result was that we were all in a short time shaking hands,
and apparently the best of friends.  They even begged that we would
accept of some of the flesh of the elephants they had killed--to be sure
it was part of what they themselves could not carry off.  Our new
friends now invited us to visit them at their village, which was
situated on the summit of a hill about four or five miles off, but so
surrounded by woods that we had not seen it.

From their wild looks and manners, we were not sorry when at length they
took their departure.  Timbo called them Bakeles, and gave no very
flattering description of them.  We were thankful that they had not
caught sight of our canoe.  They might prove friendly, but should they,
as was possible, attempt to molest us, it might be advisable to leave
their neighbourhood, when we should certainly have a better chance of
escaping by water than by land.

"Then we had better have another craft built without delay," observed
Jack, who heard Stanley make a remark to this effect.  "And now that we
know how to set about it, we should get another built much quicker than
the last."

On reaching the Castle we found the young ladies greatly alarmed at our
absence.  Senhor Silva, it appeared, had rushed back and called out
David, telling him to come without delay to our assistance.  Some of us
were up trees, besieged by an elephant, and he could not tell what had
become of the captain and the rest of us.  Stanley had, it appeared,
lost his bag of bullets, and had made off to where we were working at
the canoe to find them.  This had prevented him from firing at the
elephant; and not being able to find his ammunition, he also had gone
back to the Castle, from which he found David issuing with a rifle and
some bullets.  Soon afterwards they were met by Timbo and Chickango, who
also had observed the approach of the hunters, and had advised them not
to show themselves till the elephant was killed and they were in good
humour after their victory.  Jack and the boys had in the meantime
remained up the tree, and, like me, had been watching all that was
taking place.  When they saw that I was made prisoner, they had slipped
down, and, unperceived, had hastened to the Castle for assistance.
Kate, on hearing the account given of the savages, strongly urged us to
commence our journey without delay to the south.

"But you see, miss," observed Jack, "it will take us some time to build
another boat, and it may be that we shall become good friends with these
people before then.  Timbo says that if we know how to manage them, we
shall be able to get on very well, and maybe we shall do them a good
turn, and they will help us."

Our first canoe was now completed, and we lost no time in commencing a

"It would be as well, I think," said Senhor Silva, "after we have cut
down another tree, to take the bull by the horns, and visit these people
at once.  If we show confidence in them they are less likely to injure
us, and, at all events, we can be on our guard against any treachery
they may meditate.  I know these native tribes well.  If we show that we
do not fear them and are prepared to resist aggression, they will seldom
venture on an attack."

The knowledge that we had a number of natives in our neighbourhood, who
might possibly be evil-affected, greatly changed the sense of security
we had hitherto enjoyed.  Although, as far as we were aware, they had
not found out the Castle, they might do so at any moment, and come and
attack us.  We agreed, therefore, never to leave it in future without
defenders.  We accordingly formed ourselves into two parties.  While one
went out hunting, or exploring, or working at the canoe, the other was
to remain in the fortress for its protection.

Stanley, who always considered it best to meet danger in the face, or,
as our Portuguese friend had said, "to take the bull by the horns," was
anxious forthwith to pay a visit to our neighbours.  He begged Senhor
Silva to accompany him, and chose myself and Chickango to be of the
party; while David, Timbo, and Jack, with the two boys, were left to
protect the young ladies.  To increase the strength of our fort, we had
driven stout poles all round it, and formed what Jack called ports along
the walls, through which our muskets could be fired.

"Do not be afraid, Stanley," said Leo, as we were preparing to set off.
"If the blacks come, we will render a good account of them.  Natty and I
can now fire a musket as well as any of you, and we have been teaching
Kate and Bella.  We will beat them off, depend on it."

"I do not think the blacks will come," said Natty; "but if they do, I
think we ought to fight.  There is no doubt about that."

Natty was always more quiet in his remarks than his friend, but I felt
sure there was quite as much mettle in him.  With our guns on our
shoulders, our friends cheering us, we marched down the hill towards the
negro village.  Senhor Silva had brought a couple of swords, one of
which he wore, and the other Stanley had girded to his side, while
Chickango and I carried spears.  Stanley had in addition his pistols
stuck in his belt.  Altogether we presented a tolerably warlike
appearance, sufficient, we hoped, to make the savages treat us with
respect.  After proceeding for some distance we found a native path,
which, Chickango said, led to the village.  He and I by this time were
able to converse pretty well, I having learned some of his language, and
he having picked up a good many words of English.  We did not always, to
be sure, understand what each other said, but we made out our meaning by
signs when words failed us.  An open space at the foot of the hill,
where plantains were growing, showed us that we were near the village,
though it was so completely concealed by trees that not till we were
actually at the gates did we discover it.  It consisted of a long street
of huts, the doors facing each other, with the blank walls on the
outside; very similar indeed to those we had constructed, though ours
was on a much smaller scale.  At each end were gates, which were now
left open.  Several men came rushing out, with their spears poised, as
we approached, but on Chickango addressing them, they lowered their
weapons, and gave us a friendly greeting.  Their skins were somewhat
lighter than the coast natives.  They were a tolerably good-looking race
for Africans.  Their only dress was a piece of matting worn round the
loins, and their ornaments, necklaces formed of the teeth of wild
animals, and rings round their arms and legs.  The women whom we saw had
a number of these rings, while their hair was dressed in various ways
with no little care.  Nearly all the people had, slung over their
shoulders, a grass-cloth bag or purse, very neatly made, in which they
carried various articles.  The chief had neat grass-cloth mats spread
for us, and taking his seat on one, he begged us to sit down on the
others.  Senhor Silva then presented him with some tobacco, greatly to
his delight, and be instantly produced some well-carved pipes, when,
fire being brought, he commenced smoking with evident satisfaction.  It
is curious that savages in both the eastern and western hemispheres
should so delight in the much-abused weed.  As we sat smoking the
calumet of peace--for such we hoped it would prove--the chief informed
us that he had been residing at that spot about a couple of years, but
added: "I fear we shall soon have to move towards the coast, for already
we hear that the fierce Pangwes are advancing in this direction; and
unless you white men will help us, we cannot hope to oppose them."  He
described the Pangwes as a terrible people, and great warriors.  "It is
said that they eat up all the enemies they kill," he added, shuddering
as he spoke.  "Such may be our fate; for as they come not only in
hundreds but in thousands, we cannot hope to withstand them."

Senhor Silva replied, that although we, as visitors to their country,
could not interfere in their quarrels, yet we should be glad to
negotiate with their enemies should they make their appearance.

The chief laughed at the notion.  "You might as well attempt to turn the
torrent of yonder river," he answered, "as to try and induce the savage
Pangwes to turn aside from any undertaking on which they have resolved.
There is only one thing they understand, and that is the argument which
your muskets can hold.  If you wish to aid us, you must come with them
and plenty of ammunition, and you may then make the Pangwes turn aside
to some other district."

I need not further describe our interview, but it ended in a most
satisfactory manner, the Bakeles promising to be our friends, and to
help us should we require their aid.  Having concluded our visit, we
took our leave, and commenced our return homewards.  As we made our way
through the forest we saw vast numbers of apes playing about the trees,
and kept a bright look-out on either side lest we should come suddenly
upon a lion or leopard--an animal still more to be dreaded, on account
of the distance it can spring.  We trusted to the guidance of Chickango,
for alone I doubt whether we should have been able to find our way.  As
we were moving along, suddenly, from among the leaves of a palm, I
caught sight of an odd-looking face peering out at us, and apparently
examining us with much curiosity.  The nose was white, and a thick
fringe of white hair surrounded the cheeks.  The face was black, and the
body was of a dark colour, stunted hair covering the top of the head.  I
could not help bursting out into a fit of laughter at the odd look of
the creature, for it reminded me of an old woman.  It was unlike any ape
I had before seen.  Hearing the noise, it turned up its eyes with a look
of astonishment, and then springing to the nearest branch, ran off,
twirling its long tail, into the depths of the forest.  As we agreed not
to kill any animal uselessly, we let it go without firing a shot; for we
were too far off from home to carry it with us.  It would have been
useless to collect objects of natural history, except very small ones,
as we could not have conveyed them with us on the long journey we
expected soon to make.

We were slowly making our way through the forest, keeping our guns ready
to fire at a moment's notice, when, in the thick shade of some closely
growing trees, we caught sight of another huge ape, with a young one by
its side.  At the first glance I fancied it was a gorilla, but the
second showed me that it was a differently formed animal, and not nearly
so large as that monster of the woods.  The mother and infant were
gambolling together; the young one tumbling head over heels, then
leaping on its mother's shoulders, then rolling about the ground, while
she turned it over and over, apparently to the little creature's great
delight.  We all stopped, and concealing ourselves behind some thick
brushwood, watched the creatures.

"There you see a very curious animal," said Senhor Silva to me.  "That
is what you call in Europe a chimpanzee."

The old animal had an intensely black face, while that of its young one
was yellow.  It was between four and five feet in height.  Suddenly it
stood up on its legs and walked a few paces, stooping somewhat like an
old man.  The position it assumed enabled it to look at us, when, with a
sudden cry, it seized its young one in its arms, and sprang up the
nearest tree, exhibiting a wonderful agility.  I should have had no
heart to shoot the creature, and I was glad to see Stanley, though he
instinctively lifted his piece to his shoulder, drop it again.

"No," he said; "we must let the mother and child live.  David must go
without the specimen.  We could not carry even the skin home, and one
young monkey as a pet is enough.  So Master Chico shall have no rival."

We had not gone far when we met with two paths leading through the
thickest part of the forest, both of which we concluded would conduct us

"If you and Chickango will take one, Senhor Silva and I will take the
other," said Stanley.  "We shall have better prospect of sport, and two
guns are sufficient to contend with either lions or panthers."

We accordingly separated, I taking the path to the right.

When passing through an African forest, it is necessary for a man to
keep his eyes about him in every direction.  The path I was following
led to an open space, which had been used as a plantation by the
natives, I guessed, by finding a few plantains growing on it.  Passing
across it, we discovered another path, which led further into the
forest.  "Dis no man path," observed Chickango.  "Elephant make it."  I
had no doubt he was right from the appearance of the opening, the boughs
on either side being broken down, and the ground being trampled by the
feet of large animals.  Though I might have been somewhat proud of
"bagging" an elephant, as Stanley would have called it, I had no great
wish to encounter one.  Still, as from the direction I judged the path
to take, by observing the way the sun's rays penetrated the thick
foliage, I thought it would lead us homeward, I did not like to turn
back.  We therefore proceeded along it.  Elephants are tolerable
road-makers, as wherever they can get through an army may follow.

We went on for about an hour, till we were in a denser forest than I had
yet seen.  Creepers innumerable hung down from the boughs, twisting
round them, and forming a complete network in all directions; while huge
fern-leaved plants covered the ground, waving gracefully above our
heads.  We were in a complete labyrinth of shrubs, plants, and creepers,
out of which alone I could certainly never have extricated myself.  "No
fear, me find a way," said Chickango, "while sun up," and he pointed to
a small opening above our heads, through which the sky could be seen.
We went on a little way; but it appeared to me that we were getting more
and more involved in the mazes of the forest.  I looked at Chickango.
He had always been faithful.  I could not suppose that he now intended
treachery; and yet could he have had any private communication with the
natives we had been visiting, and agreed to deliver the white men dead
or alive into their hands?  I was following close behind him, for often
there was not room for us to walk two abreast, I should say to creep
rather, in and among the underwood.  Suddenly he turned round and
touched me on the arm, making a significant gesture to be silent.  Then
he crept slowly on, crouching down close to the ground.  I followed his
example as well as I could, though it was difficult to get on in that
attitude.  Presently he stopped, as did I, behind the crooked trunk of a
half-dead tree, and listening, I heard a loud flapping noise as if some
machinery were at work.  Then rising a little from my cover, I observed
a high brown back, looking like some vast mound among the foliage.  It
soon began to move, and the head and ears of an enormous elephant came
into view.  It appeared to me that the creature's eye was turned towards
us.  If so, I could not but expect that he would quickly come to
ascertain who were the pigmy intruders into his domain.  Chickango kept
crouching down watching the creature.  I fancied I heard a noise on my
left side, and glancing in that direction, I saw another huge head with
a trunk lifted above it.  Had I been an experienced hunter, I might have
known how to act.  I was afraid of speaking and asking Chickango what he
advised, lest the elephant might hear us.  Even now I could not but
suppose that we were perceived.  Presently Chickango sprang to his feet
and took aim at the creature's head.  I expected to see it roll over,
but some white splinters which flew from an intervening branch told me
that the bullet had been turned aside, though I fancied even then it
must have struck the animal.  Instantly its trunk was lifted up, and,
with a tremendous trumpeting which made the forest ring, and a loud
tramping of his heavy feet, he dashed towards us.  I felt that our lives
depended upon the accuracy of my aim.  It was my first shot at an
elephant, and let any one fancy how the mighty animal must appear in a
rage, and it may be supposed that my aim was not likely to be very
steady.  I fired when he was about a dozen paces off.  A practised
sportsman might have waited longer.  If my bullet took effect it did not
stop his charge, for on he came directly at us.  Chickango sprang on one
side.  I attempted to follow his example by springing on the other.  As
I did so my gun caught in a creeper, which suddenly whisked it from my
hand.  I dared not stop to recover it.  The creature's huge tusks were
aimed at me, I thought, and I expected the next instant to be pierced
through or crushed to death, or to find myself tossed high in air by his
trunk; but, blind with rage, and somewhat puzzled by two enemies, he ran
his trunk against the stump of the tree with such force as to pierce the
rotten wood through and through.  Over it came with a crash; but so
firmly fixed, that for a moment he could not shake it off, while the
dust from the rotten wood fell into his eyes.  His companion, meantime,
was trumpeting away furiously, and advancing towards us, but Chickango
and I were concealed from him by the thick wood.  Other trumpetings were
heard at the same time, which showed us that he had other companions
besides the one we had seen.  I had not forgotten the way I had escaped
the previous day, and glancing round, I saw a thick-stemmed tree
directly behind me.  I darted round it; while Chickango concealed
himself behind another.  Our assailant, meantime, disconcerted by the
piece of the tree still clinging to his tusks, went crashing on through
the underwood till he had got to a considerable distance from us.  His
nearest companion, fortunately a female, followed him.  "Load, massa,
load!" cried Chickango to me.  Alas!  I dared not move to recover my
gun, and felt that my only chance of safety till I could do so and
reload was to keep behind the tree.  The male elephant, having cleared
his tusks of the rotten wood, lifted up his trunk, and began trumpeting
away as a signal of defiance, which was echoed by his other companions
in the neighbourhood.  Chickango advanced towards him cautiously as
before.  Once more he lifted his weapon and fired; but, to my horror, I
saw the creature again dash forward.  The black, though a bad shot, was
active of foot, and sprang behind a tree.  The other elephant now came
rushing forward; while at the same moment I heard another trumpeting
sound close behind me, and saw, to my dismay, the vast heads of numerous
male elephants, their huge tusks and trunks towering above the
underwood.  The various movements I had made brought me back to the
neighbourhood of the spot where the elephant had made his first charge,
when I caught sight of my gun at a little distance.  I dashed forward
and seized it.  The attempt was dangerous, for the elephants were coming
towards me.  In doing so I lost sight of Chickango; but I was sure from
his previous conduct that he would not desert me.  I again retreated
towards the nearest large trunk I could see, though all the intervening
space, it must be understood, was filled with fallen trees, and
creepers, and saplings, intertwined as I have before described.  To stay
there, however, I saw would be more dangerous than to take to flight, as
with so many assailants, sagacious and cunning in the extreme, I should
at once have been surrounded; and as to climbing a tree, as I had before
done, that was impossible, as no branches were within reach.  I had no
time either to reload my piece.  I therefore ran, or rather I scrambled,
among the boughs as fast as I could get along.  Probably it was
fortunate my gun was not loaded, as I could scarcely have prevented the
lock catching in the creepers through which I made my way.  For some
seconds I thought the creatures were at fault, for I saw them standing
still, looking about for me.  It was sharp work.  I did not profess to
be an elephant hunter, but I could not help feeling that I was, at all
events, now being hunted by the elephants.  Still I persevered, but I
dreaded every moment to find myself caught by a creeper, or my head in a
noose, and then to see the monsters rush towards me.

The big elephant and his companion whom I had at first met with now
again espied me, and, trumpeting and shrieking, came dashing through the
woods towards me, tearing down the branches, and trampling the young
saplings under foot.  Once I stopped and began to load my gun, but again
the elephants advanced, and I feared that I should not have time to do
so before they were upon me.  I continued to retreat in the same
uncomfortable way as before, scrambling over the fallen trunks, and
expecting to see every moment a huge boa, or some venomous snake, dart
out from among them.  I was thus scrambling on, endeavouring to increase
my speed, when one of the dangers I dreaded occurred.  I slipped, and my
foot catching in a creeper, held me firmly, while I fell forward amid
the tangled mass of creepers, out of which I could by no efforts release
myself.  I struggled in vain.  The trumpetings and cries of the
elephants sounded loudly in my ears.  Just as I had given myself up for
lost, a shot whistled over my head.  The nearest animal staggered
forward till he was within half-a-dozen paces of me.  Another and
another shot followed.  One of them appeared to have been equally
successful with the first, for another elephant, turning round as if to
move off, sank hopelessly on the ground.  Loud shouts followed, and
presently I saw my cousin and Senhor Silva forcing their way through the
forest, while Chickango darted out from behind a tree where he had taken
post, and fired, just at the moment to save my life.  The other
elephants, frightened by the sound, lifted up their trunks and rushed
back into the forest, the crashing sound of falling boughs and the loud
tramp of their feet showing the direction they had taken.

Two male elephants with fine tusks, and a cow, were the result of our
adventure.  The tusks were too valuable to be left, so we immediately
set to work to cut them from the heads of the animals.

"Pity Bakeles no know of dis," said Chickango.  "Dey come and have great
feast, and t'ank us."

Stanley and our Portuguese friend told me that they had been directed
towards the spot on hearing our first shot, and that then the trumpeting
of the elephants had reached their ears.  This had made them hurry
forward to our assistance.  I was thankful that they had arrived thus
opportunely, or I believe that my adventures in Africa would have been
terminated.  The weight of the tusks was considerable.  We slung them,
however, on two poles, and carried them between us, though darkness had
set in before we reached the Castle, and we felt not a little anxious
lest some lurking wild beast might spring out on us--an event very
likely to happen in an African forest at night.  We, however, reached
home in safety, and gave an account of our adventures.  Our visit to the
Bakeles village excited great interest; but when I came to describe our
adventure with the elephants, I saw Kate and Bella's colour go.

"Oh, Andrew!" exclaimed Kate, "how dreadful it would have been had the
elephants reached you!  How providential it was that Stanley and Senhor
Silva arrived in time to save your life!"

David and his sister both expressed a wish to visit the Bakeles.

"I am not quite certain that that would be wise," observed Stanley.  "At
present they look upon us as a party of warriors who may be gone
to-morrow; but if they see young people, they will think we have come to
settle, and may perhaps be disposed to try and get rid of us."

Kate was very glad to hear that we had let the chimpanzee go.

"I wish, though, that you had brought the young one home; we could very
well have taken care of it, and Chico would like to have a playmate,"
exclaimed Bella.

"Possibly Chico and Chim might have quarrelled instead of played
together," observed Senhor Silva; "and I suspect you will find Chico
sufficient to look after."

Senhor Silva, though accustomed to the climate, was not so strong as
most of us, and the morning after our long expedition he was unable to
rise from his couch.  David said he had a bad attack of fever; and as
the day wore on, he became delirious, and caused us great anxiety.  He
had endeared himself to us by his kind and unpresuming manners; besides
which we knew that he would be very useful in enabling us to travel
through the country--indeed, without his aid the difficulties of
accomplishing the journey would be very great.  Anxious as we were, we
could not all of us remain at home.  David therefore stayed behind with
the two girls to attend on our sick friend, and Stanley begged me to
accompany him on a shooting expedition with Chickango, while Jack,
Timbo, and the two boys continued working on the second canoe.  We were
anxious to shoot some pigeons and small game for our larder; though I
suspect Stanley would have been better pleased to come across some of
the larger animals of the forest.  We had bagged a good many birds, when
a beautiful little gazelle came bounding across our path.  It put me in
mind of an Italian greyhound, only it had a longer neck and was somewhat
larger.  I was quite sorry when Chickango, firing, knocked it over.  It
was, however, a welcome addition to our game bag.  He called it Ncheri.
It was the most elegant little creature I met with in Africa among the
numberless beautiful animals which abound in the regions we passed

We were at the time proceeding along the foot of a hill.  Scarcely had
he fired, when a loud trumpeting was heard, and directly afterwards we
saw a negro rushing through the underwood, followed by a huge elephant.
"Up! up the hill!" cried Chickango, suiting the action to the word.  I
followed, for as we were wishing to kill birds alone, my gun was loaded
only with small shot.  The elephant made towards us.  The negro stranger
came bounding on.  Chickango and I had got some way up the hill, but
Stanley, who stood his ground, was engaged in ramming home a bullet.
The elephant had all the time been keeping one eye on the black and one
on us.  When I thought he was on the point of seizing my cousin, he
suddenly turned on his first assailant.  The black darted to a tree,
when the elephant, seizing him with his trunk, threw him with tremendous
force to the ground.  This enabled Stanley to spring up after us; and
the hill being very steep, with rolling stones, we hoped that we were
there safe from the attacks of the now infuriated beast.  It cast a
glance at the unfortunate black, who was endeavouring to crawl away
along the ground.  Again the elephant was about to seize him with his
trunk, and in an instant would have crushed him to death, when Stanley,
raising his gun, fired, and struck the creature in the most vulnerable
part--behind the ear.  The ball must have entered the brain, for,
sinking down instantly, it rolled over, and, we thought, must have
killed the black by its weight.  We hurried down, hoping that there
might yet be time to save the poor fellow's life, regardless at the
moment of our victory, which, with hunters in general, would have been a
cause of triumph.  As we got round, we found that the black had narrowly
escaped being crushed to death; indeed, as it was, his legs appeared to
lie almost under the monster's back.  We drew him out, however, and to
our satisfaction found that he was still breathing.  Chickango said that
he belonged to the Bakeles, and was probably a chief hunter among them.
As, however, we were much nearer our own abode than their village,
Stanley and I agreed to carry him with us, somewhat, I fancied, to
Chickango's astonishment.  "Oh! he black fellow, he die; what use
carry?" he remarked.  Of course we kept to our own opinion, hoping that
with David's skill the poor man might recover.  He was unable to speak,
and was indeed apparently unconscious.

"Had my rifle been loaded with ball, I should have saved that poor
fellow the last fearful crush; and in future we must not go without one
or two of our fowling-pieces loaded with ball," observed Stanley,
ramming down a bullet into his rifle.

Chickango and I did the same.  We then constructed a rough litter, on
which we placed the injured negro.  We bore him along, my cousin and
Chickango carrying the head and I the feet part of the litter.  We found
the weight considerable, especially over the rough ground we had to
traverse, but the life of a fellow-creature depended upon our
perseverance.  Chickango carefully noted the spot where the elephant
lay, that we might return as soon as possible for some of the meat and
the tusks, which were very large.  We reached the spot where our friends
were cutting out the canoe just as they were about to leave it, and we
were thankful to have their assistance in carrying the stranger.  Kate
got a great fright seeing us coming, thinking that one of our party had
been killed.  David instantly applied himself to examining the hurts of
the negro.  He found that his left arm had been broken, and the ribs on
the same side severely crushed.  "The injuries might be serious for a
European," he observed; "but the blood of an African, unheated by the
climate, escapes inflammation, and I have hopes that he may recover."
Senhor Silva had recovered his senses, though still very weak, and when
I went to see him, he expressed his gratitude for the attention with
which David and the young ladies had treated him.  Chickango was very
eager to set out immediately, in order to bring in the elephant's tusks
and some meat, but Stanley considered that it was too late in the day,
and put off the expedition till the following morning.

We were somewhat later in starting than we had intended--Jack and Timbo
accompanying Stanley, Chickango, and I.  We carried baskets and ropes,
to bring with us the ivory and a supply of meat.  On reaching the spot,
however, where the huge monster lay, we found that others had been
before us.  The tusks were gone, and a portion of the flesh.
Innumerable birds of prey, also, were tearing away at it, or seated on
the surrounding trees devouring the pieces they had carried off, while
several hyenas, already gorged, crept sulkily away, doubting whether
they should attack us or not.  The spectacle was almost ghastly, and it
showed how soon a mountain of flesh might disappear in that region.
Chickango was greatly disappointed, as not a particle of flesh which he
could touch remained, while, of course, we regretted the loss of the
valuable tusks.  On our way back, we caught sight of a number of
beautiful little monkeys skipping about in the trees.  Chickango called
them oshingui.  They were the smallest I ever saw.  Below the trees
where they had their abode ran a small stream; and Chickango told me
they were very fond of water, and were never found at a distance from
it.  On the same trees, and playing with them, were numerous birds,
called monkey-birds from their apparent attachment to those creatures.
We saw another very beautiful little bird, with an extremely long
flowing tail of pure milk-white.  It had a crest on its head of a
greenish black, and its breast was of the same colour, while lower down
the feathers were of an ashy brown.  Snow-white feathers on the back
rose up, like those of the birds of paradise, to which it had a strong
resemblance.  Soon after this I saw some creatures on the ground, and
catching hold of one of them, I found that it was an enormous ant of a
greenish white colour, with a head of a reddish black.  The fangs were
so powerful that when I put my fingers to them, they literally tore a
piece of flesh out.

"Why, these creatures would eat us all up, if we were to encounter them
as we did those the other day," I remarked.

"No fear, massa," answered Timbo.  "Dey no come in same way.  Dey no go
into house, no climb tree, and only just a few hundred or t'ousand march

It was satisfactory to hear this, for really I felt that should an army
invade us, we might have more reason to dread them than the blacks
themselves.  I was not sorry to miss the elephant flesh, for I had not
forgotten the tough morsels we had placed between our teeth when
presented to us by the friendly blacks soon after we landed.



Our first canoe had been ready to launch for some days, and we were
eager to try it.  We had, however, to cut a road through the brushwood
down to the river's bank before we could do so.  This task accomplished,
placing it on rollers, the boys assisting, we easily dragged it down to
the water.  "There, Master Leo, I told you she would not be lopsided,"
exclaimed Jack.  "Not she; see! she sits on the water like a duck; and
them paddles will send her pretty briskly through it, depend on that."

We all jumped in, and eagerly paddled about, well pleased with the
success of our undertaking.  Though capacious, however, it was evident
that she would not carry the whole of our party and luggage, and I was
glad therefore that our second canoe was nearly completed.

"We will have races!" cried Leo; "Natty shall steer one, and I the
other.  Won't it be fun!"

The boys, taking the paddles, showed by the way they handled them that
they would soon be able to manage her.  They wished, indeed, to start at
once down the river, but as it was already getting late, we were
compelled to return to the shore.  We found a secure place where we
could conceal the canoe under some bushes, and having done so, returned
homewards.  Senhor Silva was somewhat better, and the strange negro had
sufficiently recovered to speak.  He told Chickango that he belonged, as
we supposed, to the village we had visited, that his name was Igubo, and
that he had the reputation of being one of the best hunters of the
tribe.  "And so I am," he added; "but had it not been for my white
friend there, I should have been slain at last by my huge enemy, of
whose brothers I have killed so many."  Though he could have had but a
glance at Stanley he recognised him at once, and begged Chickango to
thank him for saving his life.

The next day the boys were very eager to go out in the canoe.  "No, no,
young gentlemen, time enough by-and-by," said Jack.  "You come and help
Timbo and I to finish off the other, and we will get on with it while
the Captain and Mr Crawford take a cruise."

"But, I say, we have not settled what they are to be called," exclaimed
Leo, as we walked along.

"I have been thinking about that," said Natty.  "What do you say to
calling one the _Panther_, and the other the _Leopard_?  They are proper
names for this part of the world."

"And so would be the _Crocodile_ and _Hippopotamus_," said Leo; "and as
they are water animals, those names would be more suitable."

"But they are not pretty names," argued Natty.  "Would not the _Giraffe_
and _Gazelle_ be better?"

"We ought to have got Kate and Bella down to name them," exclaimed Leo.

"Come, what do you say, Mr Crawford?" said Natty.  "Do not you consider
the _Giraffe_ and _Gazelle_ are two pretty names?"

"They are prettier than the others," I replied, "though they are not
quite so appropriate perhaps; but as all sorts of names are given to
vessels, I do not know why our canoes should not have the prettiest
names we can find."

At last Leo came round to Natty's opinion, and it was agreed that our
two canoes should be called after the names he proposed, the first
launched being called the _Giraffe_.  The boys, I saw, were very anxious
to accompany us, but still they went away with a good grace with Jack
and Timbo.  We hoped to obtain a good supply of wild-fowl, and perhaps
to shoot some larger game from the banks.  Though I had my gun with me,
I assisted Chickango in paddling the canoe, while Stanley sat with his
gun ready to shoot whatever might appear.  We had knocked over a good
many wild-fowl, which made us wish that we had a dog with us to bring
them out, as we had a good deal of trouble in rowing after them.  At
length Stanley shot a beautiful flamingo, which went away paddling down
the stream at a great rate.  We pursued.  We were not far from the
banks, when suddenly I felt so tremendous a shock, that I thought we
must have run on a rock, and immediately afterwards a huge head appeared
above the water and dashed towards us.  The hippopotamus, for such it
was, and a very large one, seized the boat by the gunwale, and
threatened to overturn her.  At the same moment several other monsters
rose with their snouts above the water.  I felt that we should have a
poor chance of escaping if the canoe was upset, for I thought that the
monsters would immediately make at us and tear us to pieces, or swallow
us whole, for their mouths seemed large enough to take any one of us
down at a gulp.  I seized my gun, as did my cousin, who sprang to his
feet, and levelled his piece at the monster's head.  "Fire! massa, fire!
or he upset boat and kill all we," cried Chickango, leaping up to the
bow of the boat, and holding up his hands with a look of horror.  I
heard the wood crunching under the creature's teeth.  Stanley, who never
lost his presence of mind, balancing himself in the bow of the boat,
took aim, and at the moment I expected to find the boat dragged under,
and probably we ourselves attacked by the other monsters, he fired.  The
bullet struck the creature in its most vital part, near the ear, and
penetrated the brain.  It opened its huge jaws and sank back into the
water, beneath which it disappeared, while its companions, alarmed by
the report, swam off, leaving us unmolested.

There we were, floating calmly on the stream, and I could scarcely
believe that an instant before we were engaged in a fearful encounter.
The canoe, however, gave evidence of the power of the creature's teeth,
for part of the gunwale, though it was of considerable thickness, was
literally crunched up.  Several holes were made in the bottom, through
which the water was running.  We soon had out our knives and set to work
to plug the latter, which we quickly did, before much water had rushed
in, and that was soon bailed out with our hats.  Our canoe had received
too much damage to allow us to continue our voyage, and we therefore
paddled back, hoping that we might never again be engaged in a similar

"You see, young gentlemen, it's just as well you did not go in the
canoe," observed Jack, when he saw what had happened.  "Why, that
creature would have bitten you in two if he had caught you in his jaws
just as easily as you would crack a nut.  It will take us a pretty time
to repair this damage.  However, it is as well matters are no worse.
Take my advice, in future we will go cruising in company, and if a beast
like that munches up one canoe, we shall at all events have the other to
get home in."

As most of the next day was spent in repairing the canoe, we did not go
off in her.  The young ladies I found had become very anxious for a
change.  Bella complained much of not being allowed to run about outside
the Castle by herself.

"Could not you find me some pretty animal to ride upon?" she said.  "I
have seen many passing along in the distance, and if you could catch a
couple you could soon tame them, and then Kate and I could ride about
with you wherever you go."

"What were the animals like?" asked Stanley.

"Something like horses, or perhaps large donkeys, but they galloped
along so fast that I could not very well distinguish them," she

"They must have been zebras or quaggas," said David; "though, if Bella
has seen them, I do not know how we could have missed them."

"Because we have been up on the height and can look over the country,
while you have been either busy inside or down in the valley," answered
Bella.  "Is not that a good reason?"

"I am afraid, however, that even if we were to catch a quagga for you,
we should have a hard task to tame it," said David; "but we will try
what we can do; perhaps, however, we shall find some other animal which
will answer the purpose.  What do you think of an ox?  They are used
more to the south, and make very good steeds, though a little difficult
to guide perhaps."

"I will tell you what!" exclaimed Leo.  "If the rest will not go to the
south, what do you say to starting off with Natty and I, and we will
have an independent expedition, and take Chico with us.  Natty and I
will paddle and you shall steer, and Chico can sit in the bows and keep
a look-out ahead.  What do you say to that, old fellow?"

The ape had at that moment entered the room, and walked up to Leo, whom
he looked upon as his especial playmate, though he seemed to consider
Jack his chief protector.

I was glad to find that Senhor Silva was improving.  Our negro guest was
also much better, and seemed anxious to return to his people.  His wives
and children would be looking for him, and he thought he could very well
make his way through the forest to his home.  David, however, persuaded
him to stay a few days longer, till his arm and ribs were properly set.

Two weeks passed away without any unusual occurrence.  The other canoe
was now finished and ready for launching, but the heat of the weather
prevented us from willingly making any exertion, and had it not been for
the necessity of procuring food, on many days we should not have left
the house.  We discovered at a little distance the remains of a deserted
village, and outside it grew a number of plantains, as well as pumpkins,
and other fruit, which, although not so good as those carefully
cultivated, were very valuable.  We also found many wild fruits growing
in the forest; pine-apples, especially, were very fine, and there were
nuts of various sorts.  Chickango discovered a quantity of ground or
pea-nuts, which, though bitter, and somewhat unpalatable, were very
nutritious, and he and Timbo ate them readily.

At length our guest was well enough to take his departure.  His two
countrymen accompanied him for some distance, and Senhor Silva had
generously given him several articles which he valued highly--a few
yards of cotton, a knife, and some tobacco were among them.  He begged
Timbo and Chickango to express his gratitude, and I really believe, from
the expression of his countenance, that he felt it.

Two days after this, early in the morning, we were surprised to see him
approaching the Castle.  I went out to meet him.  He took my hands, and
looked into my face with an imploring glance, which showed that he was
much distressed, and then accompanied me into the Castle.  The moment he
saw David he ran up to him, and then pointed in the direction of his own
home.  Then he ran to Leo and Natty, and stroked their heads, as if he
was weeping over them.  Timbo, who had been in the cook-house, now came
out, and having exchanged a few words, Timbo said, "Igubo got home,
found children bery ill; want doctor come cure them."

This was plain enough.  "Tell him I will go gladly," said David; "but
either you or Chickango must accompany me to interpret."

"I will bear you company also," I said.  "I feel sure we can trust to
him, but his people may not be so well disposed, and if we all three go
armed we may make them respect us."

Directly breakfast was over we set out, greatly to Igubo's satisfaction.
He hurried along, leading us through elephant tracks, till we reached a
path formed by the natives which led to the village.  Igubo conducted us
immediately to his house, round which a number of people were collected,
and inside was a man with his face painted and his hair dressed out with
strange ornaments, performing all sorts of antics.

"Dat de fetish man," said Timbo.  "He do no good.  He t'ink he enchant
de sick children.  He one 'postor."

"Little doubt about that," I observed; "but we must take care not to
offend him.  But you tell them that white man's doctor has come, and
that if he will go and carry on his incantations outside we will go
inside and try ours, and there can be no doubt that the two working
together will produce more effect than one alone."

"You no t'ink dat, Massa Andrew," said Timbo, looking up in my face.
"No, I only tell dem he go out, we go in.  White man know how to cure
children better dan de black."

We found two fine boys about twelve and fourteen years old, both in a
raging fever.  David, I should have said, had come provided with a few
medicines, which he thought most likely to be of use, and he now sent
all the people out of the house except the mother of the boys and our
friend.  "Tell him," he said to Timbo, "that he must get me some pure
water."  This was easily procured from a stream which came rushing down
the side of the mountain at no great distance.  David gave each of the
boys a cooling draught, and made their parents understand that they were
to take no food except such as he ordered.  He watched by the children
till they at length fell into a profound sleep, charging Igubo not to
allow anybody to enter the house.  David then proposed that we should
take a turn through the village, of which we had not seen much on our
previous visit.  I need not again describe the village.  We had not got
far when we met several slaves bringing us a number of fowls, some
bunches of plantains, and baskets of cassava.  These they placed at our
feet with a message from the chief to say that we were welcome, for he
had heard of our brave deeds.  We of course received them, and they were
carried to a sort of verandah in front of Igubo's house, while through
Timbo we returned our thanks to the chief.  He himself soon afterwards
made his appearance, followed by several attendants.  Unless by his
anklets and necklace, and the rich tattooing on his breast, he was not
to be distinguished from the rest of the people.  His only clothing was
a piece of fine matting, worn round the waist in the form of a kilt.

David was unwilling to leave the boys, and we therefore consented to
remain till the following day.  They were then somewhat better, but when
we proposed going their father entreated that we would remain.  David
explained that he was wanted at home, that one of our party was sick,
and that if Igubo would follow his directions the boys would probably

"Dat's de bery t'ing dey will not do," said Timbo.  "He say, if you go,
de boys go too.  We make carriage and take dem."

"The best thing, probably, that can be done," said David; and we
accordingly agreed to let the boys be brought with us.

The litters were soon constructed, and were by David's advice covered
over thickly with branches of trees, so as completely to shade them from
the heat of the sun.  Eight stout fellows undertook to carry them, and
all things being ready, we bade farewell to the chief, who, however,
seemed rather angry at our departure.

"He no good man," said Timbo, as we came away.  "Better go dan stay.  I
find out he take elephant's tusks and de meat de oder day, but he no
tell us, lest we ask to have dem again."

We considered it wise not to say anything about the elephant's tusks,
and, glad to get out of the village, we proceeded homewards.

"Whom have you brought?" exclaimed Leo, when he saw us arrive.

When we told him, he and Natty expressed themselves well pleased at
having some companions.  "We will look after them," said Leo.

"And I will teach them to read," exclaimed Natty.  "I hope they will not
want to be going away, though.  We must nurse them in the meantime, and
try and get them well."

"Poor little fellows," said the ever kind Kate, when she saw them.  "We
will do all we can for them, though they look very ill."

The eyes and cheeks of the young negroes were sadly sunk, for fever
makes the same ravages in their frames as it does in those of white
people.  The father, though he saw his boys in safe keeping, still
seemed unwilling to leave them.  He had done what was quite contrary to
the customs of his people, and he told Timbo he was afraid, if he was
long absent, that the rest of his family might be ill-treated.  He
accordingly, after looking affectionately at them, and expressing his
thanks to us all, but to David especially, took his departure.  I should
have said that we brought away the presents made to us, which proved a
welcome addition to our bill of fare.



"When are we to see the _Giraffe_ and _Gazelle_ launched, and to have
our promised excursion on the river?" asked Kate, the evening after
Igubo had left us.

"Oh do, Stanley!" cried Bella.  "It is cruel to keep us so long shut up
like captive princesses in your Castle, and as the natives are friendly
and you can avoid the hippopotami, there can be no danger."

"The _Gazelle_ is not yet launched," answered Stanley; "but as soon as
she is in the water you can come and see her."

"Oh, but we should like to see her at once, and help you to launch her,"
said Kate.  "If you will start to-morrow morning as soon as it is
daylight and the air is still cool, we will accompany you."

The young ladies gained their object, and we were all on foot even
before the sun had risen, ready to set out.  They would not wait for
breakfast, but insisted on carrying provisions and a kettle to boil our
tea.  David wished to remain to look after his patients, and Senhor
Silva was not yet sufficiently strong to bear us company.

"Remember we are to paddle your canoe, girls," cried Leo; "and Andrew
will steer for us; and if Timbo will come with a musket or spear, to do
battle with any hippopotami or other river monsters, we will allow him
to go also."

As we had the rollers with which we had launched the other canoe, and
the road had already been cut, the labour of dragging the _Gazelle_ to
the water was much less than it had been in the former case.  We all
cheered as she was launched into the water.

"May you bound over the waters of the river as your namesake does over
the prairie," exclaimed Bella; "and carry us safely to the south, there
to end your existence in a respected old age!"

"Bravo, Bella!" cried Leo, clapping his hands.  "You have uttered my
speech to perfection, and now you shall have the pleasure of the first
paddle our new craft has made.  Come, Andrew, come, Timbo, we will lose
no time; we can get back for breakfast."

The _Gazelle_ floated even more gracefully than her sister canoe.  The
boys jumped in with their paddles, and Timbo and I holding her to the
bank while the ladies stepped in, we followed them, the black taking his
place in the bow with another paddle, and I sitting in the stern and
steering with a fourth.  Chickango and Jack were in the other canoe, and
were soon after us.

"Come, let us have a race; we will beat you!" cried Leo, flourishing his
paddle; and Natty seconded him, though he saw very well that Timbo and I
were really doing most of the work.

We pulled rapidly down the stream, startling numerous birds, some with
beautiful plumage, greatly to the delight of Bella.  We had not gone
far, when a huge head appeared near the bank.

"Oh, what a monster!" exclaimed Bella, shrieking with alarm.  "That must
be one of those dreadful river-horses which so nearly ate you all up the
other day."

"Oh no; he only nearly bit the boat in two," said Natty; "and we will
not let him come near you now."

"We will keep out of his way, at all events," I observed, turning the
canoe round.

Stanley just then fired at a water-fowl, and immediately several dark
heads rose above the water to see what was the matter, and a huge
monster, not hitherto perceived, came rolling off the bank; but he, as
well as his companions, quickly disappeared beneath the surface.
Remembering what had before occurred, I could not help dreading that one
of them might rise up and strike the bottom of our canoe.

"Don't you think we had better go on shore?" said Bella, looking back on
the spot where the river-horses had appeared.  "Kate, you will want to
be there some time before Stanley, to get the breakfast ready."

Little Bella's courage had evidently oozed away.  However, as I knew it
was possible that one of the hippopotami might strike us, we paddled up
the stream as fast as we could go.  Soon afterwards I caught sight of
another creature resting on a sandbank, with a hideous long snout and a
scaly tail and short thick legs.  It was a monstrous crocodile.

"Oh do, Andrew, make haste and get on shore!" exclaimed Bella.  "What a
horrible creature!  I did not expect to meet with such monsters."

I tried to comfort her by assuring her that the crocodile would not
attack us, and would more likely swim away than follow us.  On landing,
we hauled up the canoe, and then commenced collecting sticks for a fire.
Kate's kettle was soon hissing merrily, suspended by a high tripod over
the fire, and by the time the provisions were spread, Stanley and his
companions had arrived.  While we were so engaged, we saw, approaching
among the trees, a black man, with a shield on one arm and a spear held
in the other hand.  His arms and part of his body were tattooed in
curious lines.  Round his neck he wore a necklace of alligator's teeth,
while his hair was so dressed as to form a long tail behind, and his
beard was twisted into two curious horns, which stuck out from his chin.
Round his loins was the skin of a wild beast, and at his side a broad
short sword in a sheath; a sort of cross-bow hung at his back, with a
quiver full of small arrows.  Altogether, with the shield and spear I
have mentioned, he looked a formidable warrior to those who were not
possessed of firearms.  The shield, though capable of turning the darts
and spears of his equally savage foes, would have availed him little
against a modern rifle ball.

Bella eyed the warrior with a glance of terror.

"Do not be afraid," said Natty, placing himself before her.  "Leo and I
will fight for you."

"Yes, even though there were an hundred such fellows," said Leo.  "He
looks very different from our friend Igubo.  I wonder what he has come

Chickango advancing, a conversation ensued which lasted some minutes.
The countenance of the warrior fell.  We saw him glancing now over one
shoulder, now over the other.  Then suddenly he turned, and without
uttering another word, ran off as fast as his legs could carry him
through the forest.  Chickango, who had his rifle in his hand, raised
it.  Stanley shouted to him not to fire, and while he hesitated, the
stranger had darted behind the trees.  The black returned, uttering
words which, though incomprehensible to us, showed that he was very
angry.  At length, when somewhat calmed, Timbo, who had been unable
himself to understand what was said, learned from him that the stranger
was one of a band of Pangwes who were advancing towards the territory of
the Bakeles.  He had come, apparently unaware that there were
inhabitants so near.  He had first begun to threaten us with the
vengeance of his people should we oppose their progress; but on
Chickango telling him that a large number of Bakeles were in the
neighbourhood, and that, should his people venture to come that way,
they would speedily be driven back and destroyed, he had become alarmed,
and so, in spite of his boasting, afraid of being captured, had taken to
flight.  Still the account which Chickango gave of these Pangwes made us
very anxious.  The people of his tribe, he said, had for long been at
war with them, and had frequently been defeated.  They had come from a
long way off in the interior, and year after year had been advancing
towards the coast.  They were not only fierce and cruel warriors, but
cannibals, and capable of committing every atrocity.

"What do you think about it all?" said Stanley to Timbo, who had been
interpreting Chickango's account.

"Dog dat bark not always bite, massa," answered the black.  "Me t'ink
dat dey see our rifles and run away."

"I am of Timbo's opinion," I could not help observing.  "However, we
must send and let our friends at the village know of the approach of
their enemies; but unless we are attacked, we must on every account
avoid fighting.  The sooner we can embark and proceed on our voyage the

"I believe you are right, Andrew," observed Stanley; "but still I do not
like the thought of running away; besides, we cannot leave those two
black boys to the mercy of the savages, though if we carry them with us,
their father will not know what has become of them."

"I tell you what I do, massa," answered Timbo; "I go and tell Igubo that
he come and fetch dem, and den we send out scout to know what de Pangwes
are doing."

Our further boating for the day was, of course, put an end to; and
having concealed the canoes in the thick brushwood which grew down to
the river's bank, we proceeded homewards, with the exception of Timbo,
who hastened off to the Bakeles village.

Senhor Silva looked very grave when he heard what had occurred.  "Those
Pangwes are fierce fellows," he said, "from what I know of them; and
though they may not venture to come within range of our firearms, yet
they may surround us and starve us out.  We shall act wisely if we at
once prepare for our voyage, and commence it as soon as Timbo returns."

"But about these two boys, what shall we do with them?" asked David.

"I am afraid their fate must be a sad one," was the answer, "whether
their father comes for them or not.  If he takes them away, they will
probably fall into the hands of their enemies; or if they are left here,
they are too likely to perish from hunger."

"Oh, then let us take them with us," said Kate, and little Bella echoed
her words.  "Surely the canoes are large enough to carry them, and it
would be terrible to leave them to die."

"They shall have part of my share of food," said Bella.

"And mine and mine," added Leo and Natty.

"I would rather leave Chico behind," said Leo, "though I am afraid those
dreadful savages would eat him."

"Oh, we must carry him too," said Natty; "for I am sure when we stop at
night he will be able to forage for himself; he will find out roots and
fruit when very often we are not able to discover them."

We did not spend much more time in talking.  It was arranged that we
should start immediately on the return of Timbo.  We therefore at once
set to work to pack up our goods and to collect all the provisions we
had in store to carry with us.  As we could not tell into what regions
the river might carry us it was important to kill some game and to
collect as many plantains as we could carry off from the deserted
village.  Chickango and the two boys undertook to set off for the latter
object, while Stanley and I went out with our guns into the woods.  We
were unusually successful, and in an hour had bagged as many pigeons and
other birds as we could carry.  We found, as we neared the Castle, Natty
and Leo staggering on under a load of plantains.

"We shall have no fear of starving now, at all events!" cried Leo, "for
Chickango has got as many more.  As we came along, however, he started
off to the top of the hill, where we understood him to say he could get
a sight of the Bakeles village, and I suppose that he will be soon with

We were disappointed on our arrival at finding that Timbo had not

"I am afraid that some accident has happened to the poor fellow," said
Stanley; "or he may have been incautious, and fallen into the hands of
the savages."

David and Jack had been so well employed, that, with the assistance of
the young ladies, everything was prepared for a start.

"I wish that we could be off," said David; "but we must not leave our
faithful Timbo behind."

"Well, if you will all go down to the boats, I will remain here and
bring him up as soon as he comes," said Natty.  "We shall thus gain

"No, no; I cannot let you do that," I said.  "I will remain, and you
must go."

Natty, however, positively refused, and Stanley had to exert his
authority, as our leader, to make him accompany them.  Very unwillingly,
he at length consented to do so, provided I promised, should Timbo not
appear in the course of an hour, to follow them.  The matter was
arranged, and our party were taking up the loads they proposed to carry,
when Chickango made his appearance among us.  His countenance expressed
alarm, and he was too much agitated to explain himself.  At length
Senhor Silva understood him to say that, on looking towards the Bakeles
village, he had seen smoke ascending--that it grew thicker and thicker,
and then flames burst forth, and he was convinced the whole village was
on fire.

"Depend upon it, the Pangwes have done this," he observed; "and, flushed
with their victory, they will very soon march to attack us.  We must
either prepare ourselves to stand a siege, or lose no time in escaping."

"Then let us at once commence our march," said the captain; "but,
Andrew, I do not like that you should run the risk of falling into the
hands of these savages, which you will do if you remain behind."

"I know my way down to the river so well," I answered, "that I can
easily join you should I see them approaching, and I will, meantime,
keep a look-out from the height above the fort.  Depend upon it, they
have too much respect for our firearms to venture an attack, unless with
their whole body.  At all events, some time must elapse before they can
be here.  My only anxiety is about Timbo, should he have fallen into
their hands."

"You will promise, Andrew, not to remain more than an hour?" said Kate,
as she and Bella, each carrying a load proportionate to their strength,
went out of the fort.  "We shall be very anxious till you join us."

I watched the party as they descended the hill.  I did not think the
young ladies had much cause to regret leaving the place; but still they
turned a glance behind them, as if they were quitting it with sorrow.
Though difficulties and dangers might be before them, still I hoped that
they were on their way to a more civilised and healthy climate.  In the
hurry of departure Chico had been forgotten, for he was quietly snoozing
in his usual corner of Jack's hut.  Leo and Natty had already left the
fort, when they discovered that he was not with them.  "Chico, Chico!"
they both cried out, and hearing his name called, he ran out, and sprang
up upon Jack's shoulder, who had already got as much as he could well
carry.  Nothing, however, would shake Master Chico off.  I could not
help thinking even at that moment of Sinbad the Sailor, and the Old Man
of the Sea.  "Well, I suppose if you will not walk, I must carry you,"
exclaimed Jack; and away he went after the rest, Chico glancing about
him with a look of surprise at the sudden exodus of his friends.

As soon as they were gone, I closed the gates and climbed out of a
window in the back of the fort.  This I did, that should the Pangwes
arrive, they might not discover the flight of our party, and might spend
some time in making preparations for the attack.  I then ascended the
hill, with my telescope, which I had retained, but could see no one
moving in any of the open places I could command.  In the distance,
however, I observed dense clouds of smoke and bright flames ascending
above the forest, which I was sure must proceed from the village we had
visited.  What was the fate of the unfortunate inhabitants?  I knew too
well the way that negro warriors are accustomed to treat those they
conquer, and I could not help picturing to myself the horrid spectacle
of women and children murdered, and those who had escaped slaughter
carried off to be sold as slaves to the cruel dealers in human flesh,
and, more than that, in the hearts and souls of their fellow-creatures.
I looked at my watch.  I calculated how long it would take my friends to
reach the canoes.  I was thankful when I felt sure they must have had
time to get on board, and thus to be in comparative safety.  Time went
slowly on.  I kept looking at my watch, but still Timbo did not appear.
The hour had nearly passed.

At length, with great regret.  I descended the rock, and took my way
towards the river.  I had just passed the Castle, when I caught sight of
two figures moving towards me among the trees below.  They might be
scouts of the enemy.  I hesitated what to do.  Concealing myself behind
some brushwood, I lifted my glass to examine them.  Great was my
satisfaction when I saw that one of them was Timbo; the other was a
negro whom he was assisting along, and who appeared to be wounded.  I
hurried down to meet them.  Timbo, when he saw me, made a sign to me not
to shout, pointing behind him to make me understand that he was pursued.
As I approached, I saw the negro was Igubo.  He recognised me, and it
seemed to revive his strength.  Without stopping to inquire what had
occurred, I took his arm, and assisted Timbo in hurrying him on towards
the river's bank.  When he found this, he made a significant gesture
towards the Castle.  "He ask for his sons," whispered Timbo.  "Tell him
they are both safe, I hope, in the canoes."  A gleam of satisfaction
passed over the countenance of the wounded man, and he made fresh
efforts to struggle on.

We had great reason to hurry, for ever and anon I could hear the shouts
of the savages in the woods behind us, though still they appeared to be
at some distance.  Blood was flowing from Igubo's side.  I fortunately
had a handkerchief, and in spite of the necessity for haste, I insisted
on stopping to bind up the wound.  I was afraid that otherwise he would
bleed to death.  We gained by it, indeed, for he was afterwards able to
move more rapidly, and the flow of blood appeared almost staunched.  As
we approached the river I caught sight of two figures among the bushes
and tall reeds which lined the bank.  Could our enemies have got ahead
of us?  Presently we saw one of the figures dart out from their
concealment, and then, to my satisfaction, I recognised Leo.  He and
Natty soon came running towards us.  They had been on the watch, it
appeared, having grown anxious at my non-appearance.  The rest of the
party were seated in the canoes.  We assisted the wounded man into the
one in which David was, with the two young ladies and Jack.  A place had
been left for me there also.  Igubo, not seeing his boys in it, uttered
an expression of disappointment.  We lifted him up, however, and showed
that they were in the other canoe.  When satisfied, he submitted to have
his wounds more completely and scientifically bound up than I had been
able to do.  Meantime Jack had taken the steering-oar, while Timbo and I
seized the paddles.  A few hurried words from Timbo explained to Stanley
what had happened, and without further delay we shoved off from the
bank, and began to make the best of our way down the stream.  Natty had
come into my canoe, while Stanley called Leo into his.  Mine was the
_Gazelle_.  It was the best of the two, the other having been injured by
the hippopotamus.  Stanley had placed his sisters in it, trusting rather
to Jack's seamanship than to his own.  His canoe being the lightest, he
took the lead, that he might give timely notice to us should any
sandbanks be encountered in our course, and, what were perhaps more to
be dreaded, any wild rapids, down which it might be dangerous to
proceed.  Chico had seated himself in the bow of the canoe, as if he had
been placed there to keep a look-out.  Natty had taken a paddle, and
Kate begged that she might use another till her brother had finished
attending to poor Igubo's wounds.

Not till we had got a little way down could I ask Timbo what had
occurred.  "Oh, Massa Andrew," he answered, "me no like talk about it.
De Pangwes come, and stay hid in de night close to de village, and just
before de sun get up,--de sun dat is so bright and good, make de trees
grow, and cheer de heart of man,--dey steal out wid de sharp sword and
de spear, and de moment de Bakeles open de gate, rush in and kill all de
women, children, and old men; and some stay outside and kill dose dat
run away, and catch de young men and knock dem down, and tie deir hands,
and take away to de slave-dealers.  Igubo jump over de wall, and kill
two or t'ree who came after him; and dough dey stuck de spear in his
side, he get away.  As I got near de village I hear de cries, and know
too well what dey mean; so I hide, for I fear if I run dey see me and
follow; but when I found Igubo drop down just near where I was, I rushed
out and lift him up and bring him along; and de Pangwes just den no see
us, because some young men who had got swords and bows and arrows 'tack
dem, and fight bravely; but dey all killed, and den de Pangwes set fire
to de village, and you know de rest."

Timbo had scarcely finished his account when he shouted out, "See, see!
Dere dey are!  Dey come dis way!"

We had all been so busy in paddling the canoe and watching our leader
that we had not looked either to the right hand or the left.  Stanley,
for the same reason, had not seen what was taking place on shore.  We
now saw a large body of black warriors shaking their spears, and beating
them against their shields, as they rushed on towards the bank of the
river.  They had evidently the intention of stopping us.

"On, on!" cried Stanley.  "Put your best strength into your strokes; the
river is broader a little way down, and we may escape their arrows and
spears if they attack us."

"Don't you think, sir, we had better get a broadside ready and give it
them?" exclaimed Jack.  "They are more likely to treat us with respect
if we show that we are well-armed."

"I would advise you not to fire unless hard-pressed," said Senhor Silva.
"We will show our muskets, but they are fierce warriors, and even
should a few be killed, the rest would not be daunted, and would
probably pursue us till a more narrow part of the river is reached, when
they might overwhelm us with their spears and poisoned arrows."

"Let me now take the paddle, Kate," said David, who had placed Igubo at
the bottom of the canoe, resting his head on a bundle.  "My arm is
stronger than yours, my sister, and in case the savages attack us, you
and Bella must lie down at the bottom of the canoe."

The canoes glided rapidly down the stream, making the water hiss and
bubble under their bows.  Had we not had the two helpless girls to
protect, the adventure would have been an exciting one, which few of us
would have objected to go through.  The Pangwes, shouting and shrieking,
and shaking their spears and shields, had now reached the banks of the
river.  It seemed scarcely possible that we could escape them.  Not,
however, till David had again and again pressed them, would his sisters
consent to place themselves in greater safety at the bottom of the
canoe.  The crew of Stanley's canoe plied their paddles vigorously, and
kept just ahead of us.  We needed no exhortation from him to follow
their example.

We had now got almost abreast of where the savages were standing.  Every
instant I expected to see them draw their bows, with those deadly
poisoned shafts; or hurl their spears, which I knew too well could reach
to a great distance.  I saw Timbo eyeing them very calmly.

"If we were to fire a broadside into them now, it would soon put them to
flight," cried Jack.

We, however, kept on without apparently noticing them.  As we
approached, they increased their shouts.  Some of their chiefs seemed to
be going among them, urging them to rush into the stream.  Happily the
river was here much wider than above us, and continued so for some
distance down.  A sandbank appeared in the middle.  We trusted that a
channel might be found on the right side of it, away from where the
savages stood.  We now saw several men with swords in their hands, urged
by their chiefs, rush into the stream.

"See, see!" cried Timbo; "what are those creatures on the sandbank?"

I looked ahead, and there observed eight or ten large alligators and
several small ones basking on the sandbank.  Our approach somewhat
startled them; and off they slid into the water, swimming towards the
bank where the Pangwes were collected.  They apparently caught sight of
them at the same time.  One of the leading swimmers at that instant
threw up his arms, and, uttering a shriek, was drawn down under the
water.  The others, seeing the fate of their companion, turned round,
and, in spite of the shouts and exhortations of their chiefs, swam back
to the shore.  The alligators pursued them, and two others were carried
down before they could reach the banks.  So eager were the monsters that
we saw their snouts rising above the water even at the very bank, when
hundreds of spears were darted at them.  Aimed in a hurry, the missiles
probably glided off their scaly sides.  We could not discover whether
any were killed.

Now the Pangwes, finding that their attempt to cut us off had failed,
began hurling their spears at us, and sending showers of light arrows,
many of which fell fearfully close to the canoe.  Some stuck in the
sandbank, inside of which we were making our way.  It showed us the
danger of having to pass our enemies where the river became narrower.
The only advantage we should there possess would be the greater rapidity
of the current.  We continued to ply our paddles with might and main.
Now we had passed the sandbank, and a wide extent of water lay between
us and the negro army.  They, however, appeared to have discovered that
should we get far ahead we might escape them altogether; and we saw a
large body moving away to the southward.  We could not help fearing that
there might be some bend in the river, or narrow passage, where they
might still hope to cut us off.  Our utmost efforts must be exerted,
therefore, to gain the place before they could reach it.  There was
still another danger.  We might ground on one of the sandbanks, or some
point might project from the western side and compel us to go round
nearer to the eastern bank.  I, of course, kept these thoughts to
myself, and did my utmost to send the canoe along, and to keep up the
spirits of my companions.

"If we get within reach of them," sung out Stanley from his canoe, as he
saw them moving along the bank of the river, "we must instantly take to
our arms and give them a volley.  It will not do to let any of their
arrows come near us."

"Ay, ay," I answered.  "Our muskets are, I believe, all loaded."

"All right, sir," said Jack.  "I loaded them before I placed them in the
canoe, and I do not think those black fellows will stand a taste of our

Poor little Bella looked very much frightened when she heard us talk of

"They will not fire unless there is absolute necessity for it," I heard
Kate say to her.  "You know, Bella, it will only be done if we have to
defend ourselves."

The current was so strong and our canoes moved so swiftly that we were
quickly leaving the main body of Pangwes.  We heard their shouts of rage
and disappointment as they saw us escaping them.  Horrid as were those
shrieks and cries, they of course only made us paddle the harder; but
still I felt anxious lest the smaller body I have spoken of might
outstrip us.

"Suppose the Pangwes try to cut us off at another place, could we not
haul our canoes up and make our escape overland?" exclaimed Natty,
showing that he had understood the reason of the movement we had

"We might escape them, certainly, for the moment," I answered; "but we
could not proceed on our journey without our canoes."

"But we might return and get them, or drag them overland," he observed.

"That would be a task, I fear, too great for our strength," I said.
"But your suggestion, Natty, is worthy of consideration, if we are

I told Stanley what Natty had said.

"I hope we shall not be obliged to do that," he answered.  "Paddle away,
lads; we shall soon, I hope, see the last of them."

On we went, the river now making its way through a thick forest, the
trees coming down to the very water's edge; now again it opened, and low
prairie land was seen on the eastern side.  The level appearance of the
country made me fear that the river might make some bend such as I
supposed our enemies were attempting to reach.  The banks were, however,
too high to enable us to see to a distance.  At any moment they might
appear on the shore.  At length the banks became somewhat lower, and,
standing up, I caught sight of a body of men hurrying across the
prairie.  They were, however, at a considerable distance behind us; and
now it evidently depended on whether we should reach the supposed narrow
place before them or not.  I had often read of heroines; but as I looked
at the calm countenance of Kate, showing that she was resolved to go
through all danger without flinching, I could not help thinking that she
deserved especially to be ranked as one.

I could see as I gazed over the plain, besides the negro army, numerous
animals scampering across it, put to flight by their appearance--herds
of quaggas, zebras, buffaloes, and various sorts of deer, the lofty
heads of a troop of giraffes appearing above them all.  Innumerable
birds flew amid the boughs of the trees, and wild-fowl rose from the
sedgy shores, or gazed at us from the mud-banks as we shot by.  Here and
there a huge hippopotamus raised his head, and gazed with his ferocious
eyes, wondering what new creatures had invaded his territory; while
scaly alligators lay basking in the sun, or swam about seeking some
creature to devour.

"If we get clear of the savages we shall have no fear of starving,"
observed Natty, as he saw the herds of wild animals I have described.

"You are right, Natty," said Jack; "and as to getting clear of them,
there is no doubt about that."

"I have been praying that we may escape them," said Natty; "and that
makes me think we shall."

"Right again, Massa Natty," observed Timbo.  "It great t'ing to know dat
we have got One to take care of us when we can no take care of
ourselves.  He hear de little boy prayer just as much as de big man."

Had Timbo joined us at an earlier hour, we might have escaped the
dangers to which we were exposed; but still I was thankful that we had
got him with us.  As I looked ahead I saw that the river was making a
bend towards the east.  It was what I had dreaded; but the danger--if
danger there was--must be run.  Again I asked Stanley whether he thought
it would be wise to haul up the canoes, and try to escape overland,
should the river be too narrow to enable us to keep out of the range of
the poisoned arrows of our enemies.

"That must be our last resource," he answered.  "We must first try the
effect of our firearms.  Their blood be upon their own heads, if we kill
any.  I have no wish to injure any of them, even though they may be
seeking our lives, if we can by any possibility avoid it."

I felt much as Stanley did.  To desert the canoes would be to expose the
young ladies to fearful fatigue and danger, and was to be avoided by
every means.

We now entered into the reach I had expected to find.  It was, however,
as broad as the part we had lately passed through.  We took the centre
of the stream rather than cut off the angle, lest our enemies might be
concealed on the bank.  And now, going along it for some distance, we
rounded another point projecting from the west, and found ourselves in a
still broader part.  It was somewhat shallow, we judged by the numerous
little islands and banks which rose above its surface.

"Hark!" said Natty, suddenly; "don't you hear the roar of water?"

I listened, and felt convinced that some waterfall or rapid was near us.
I shouted to Stanley.  We ceased paddling for an instant.

"It may be a cataract," he answered; "but I have hopes that it is simply
the sound of rapids.  If so, we may pass through them."

"A dangerous experiment!" observed David.

"It depends upon their character," answered his brother, from the other

"But, without a pilot, would it be possible?"

"We must land and survey them first," shouted Stanley, "We shall have no
difficulty in doing that; and if we cannot pass them, we must try and
drag the canoes over the land.  That, at all events, can be done."

We found as we proceeded that the roar of waters increased; and there
could be no doubt, from the way the river ran, that a rapid was before
us.  We went on till the water was already beginning to bubble and hiss.
The bank on our right afforded tolerably easy landing; so, running the
canoes to it, we secured them to some trees which grew close down to the
water.  Stanley sprang out, and called to Timbo to accompany him.

"We shall be able to judge whether we can safely pass through them," he
said.  "I will be back quickly.  Yes, we will take our rifles; we may
find them necessary."

He said this as Senhor Silva handed them out of the canoe.  They were
soon out of sight among the thick underwood which grew near the banks.
It is very different, I should say, from the underwood in England;
composed rather of huge leaves, reeds of enormous height, and other
plants of the Tropics.  The opposite side was also covered with wood, so
that we were unable to ascertain whether the Pangwes were in the
neighbourhood or not.  We were, however, so much concealed by the
foliage among which our canoes were moored, that an enemy might have
passed on the opposite bank without perceiving us.  We waited anxiously
for the return of Stanley and Timbo.  At length they appeared.

"We can do it," Stanley exclaimed.  "The water is rapid but clear, and
we may easily steer our way clear of the huge boulders through which it

Once more we shoved off.  Each man screwed up his nerves for the trial;
for no slight trial it would prove--of that I was certain.

"Stanley is so cool and calm," observed Kate, "I have no fear."

His canoe led.  In a few minutes we were in the strength of the current.
On we glided, like arrows from a bow.  We had little else to do than to
guide our canoes.  Still we kept paddling, so that we might the more
easily, if it were possible, turn aside from any danger ahead.  Now a
huge boulder rose up on one side; now we darted through a passage which
only afforded room for the canoes to pass.  Now the water ran smoothly
without a bubble; now it hissed and foamed as it passed over a shallower
bed.  There was an excitement in the scene which made our spirits rise.
I felt almost inclined to shout at times as we dashed on.  Yet an
instant's carelessness might have proved our destruction.  We appeared
to be descending a steep hill of water at times; now wavelets rose on
either side, and threatened to leap into the boat.

Our eyes were fixed on our leader's canoe, and his on the water ahead,
through which he was to guide us.  For one moment I cast my eyes on the
eastern shore, and was sorry that I had done so, for there I saw a
number of dark forms collected just below the rapids.  What they were
about I had not time to observe.  I said nothing; it would be time
enough when we had shot the rapids.  On, on we went.  We were in a sea
of foam, the water roaring, bubbling, and hissing.  I feared that
Stanley's skill could scarcely carry the canoe through; but he had noted
the point, and his experience told him that there was sufficient depth.
Now a wave washed aboard on one side, now on the other, now came hissing
over our bows; but we dashed through them, and I saw before us a calm
and lake-like expanse.  In another instant we were free of the rapids,
and floating calmly on the lower portion of the river.

Once more I cast my eyes to the spot where I had seen the blacks.  They
were our enemies; of that I had no doubt.  I pointed them out to

"What can they be about?" he asked.

Timbo looked at them.  "Building rafts," he answered.  "Dey are shoving
off even now.  Dey knew we must come dis way, and hoped to cut us off.
But hurrah! hurrah! we got down sooner dan dey!"

Several rafts of reeds, such as I before described, were shoved off from
the bank.  We did not stop to examine them; but plying our paddles with
might and main, we continued our course towards the point where we
believed the river made its exit out of the lake.



The savages on the raft, which had already got some way out into the
lake, saluted us with showers of arrows; but, happily, we were too far
off for them to reach us.  Already our arms ached with our long paddle,
but it was no time to rest.  We knew not whether, vindictive as they
appeared, they would attempt to pursue us, or whether others might not
have gone further down along the margin of the lake, with the hope of
even yet intercepting us at the narrow part which we saw.  Evening was
approaching, and the difficulties of the navigation, should the night
prove dark, would be greater.

"I see some objects on the left bank," cried Natty.  "Never fear, we
will slip by them," said Jack.  "To my eyes they have got four legs, and
will not hurt us."

We speedily neared the point where the lake-like expanse narrowed into
the proportions of a river.  The creatures seen by Natty were now
discovered to be a herd of zebras, which had come down to the river's
bank to drink.  They gazed at us as we passed with a look of
astonishment; but, though they kept moving here and there, as if asking
each other what we could be, they did not take to flight, but continued
scampering round and round as horses do in a field, stopping every now
and then to take another look at us.  They quickly, however, returned to
the water, for they probably knew that unless they made haste they would
be interrupted by some of their remorseless foes--lions, panthers, or
hyenas--which might come down to the same spot to quench their thirst
before setting forth on their nightly rambles in search of prey.  They
were beautiful and graceful creatures, very unlike the poor patient ass
with which we are acquainted in England, and accustomed to associate
with everything that is stupid and obstinate.  Yet the zebra and the ass
are nearly related; indeed, the former is classed by naturalists as an
ass.  I shall have more to say about them by-and-by.

Evening was rapidly drawing to a close.  Still, although the alarm which
the zebras had caused us when first indistinctly seen had subsided, we
thought it possible that some of our savage foes might still be on the
watch for us further down the stream, or, should we land and rest, that
they might overtake us before we again got under weigh.  "It's wisest,
according to my notions, to keep well ahead of an enemy if you have to
run from him, and as close as you can to his heels if you have to chase
him, till he hauls down his flag!" exclaimed Jack, vigorously plying his
paddle.  "What do you say, Mr Crawford?"

I heartily agreed with him.  The thought of what would be the fate of my
young relatives would have nerved my arm for even greater exertions than
we were called on to make.  We still, therefore, continued paddling, in
spite of our fatigue, with might and main, anxious to put as many
leagues as possible between ourselves and our enemies before we stopped.
The sun set in a glorious glow of ruddy light on our right, shedding a
hue over the tops of some lofty hills which appeared on the opposite
bank.  The stream increased in rapidity; but still, as far as we could
see, was free from danger.  There was yet sufficient light from the sky,
though it could not be called twilight, to enable us to continue our

"If the navigation is as open as at present, we will continue on for
another hour," shouted Stanley.  "We shall then be safe from the
savages, and may have a quiet rest, I hope, after our day's work."

"Ay, ay, sir," answered Jack from our canoe.  "We have not worn our arms
off yet; though, if you don't mind stopping, maybe the ladies would like
a bit of pigeon and a bite of plantain."

"Oh, no, no," exclaimed Kate.  "Do not stop for our sakes, if you are
not tired.  We feel no hunger, and would rather not delay a moment till
you think it safe."

We accordingly paddled on.  By degrees the glow faded from the sky, and
darkness settled down over the landscape.  Still Stanley continued
leading.  Presently I saw on our left a silvery arch rising over the
hills.  It increased rapidly, and soon the full moon rose in the sky,
shedding its light over the waters.

"We do not get sight of such a moon as that in old England," cried out
Leo from the other canoe.  "It is often there more like a patch of red
putty stuck on to a wall; but see! this looks like a mighty globe of
pure fire floating in the heavens."  So indeed it did.

"Do not be disparaging our good old English moons," cried out Natty.
"You forget the harvest moon; and, though it is not quite like this, it
is a very beautiful object to gaze at, and useful to those who have to
carry home the full-loaded waggons of corn."

Our spirits were rising as we felt we were escaping from the danger we
had encountered.  I hoped, too, our hearts were grateful.  The bright
light of the moon now enabled us to proceed with almost as much ease as
during the day.  As we sped on, however, we saw numerous animals on the
banks coming down to drink; but we passed them too rapidly to ascertain
what they were.  I think we must have continued paddling on two hours
longer, rather than one.  Stanley seemed unwilling, so long as we could
move our arms, to stop; indeed, the cool air of night renewed our
strength; and, for my part, I felt that I could have gone on till
daylight, if necessary, for the sake of securing the safety of the young
girls depending on us for protection.

At length the ground on our right rose considerably above the plain.  "I
think I see an island ahead," cried Stanley.  "If so, it may suit us for
a bivouac, and may be more secure than the mainland."  As we went on we
found that he was right.  The island appeared to be about four or five
hundred yards in circumference, with numerous trees growing on it, which
would afford us the means of forming huts, and give us wood for our
fires besides.  Fortunately, we had no need of provisions, as we had an
abundance in the canoes.  We took the passage on the west side, and,
going to the further end of the island, found a small bay, into which we
steered the canoes.

"We must act the part of invaders and drive out any previous occupants,"
observed Stanley as he stepped on shore.  "Kate and Bella and the two
boys, with the wounded black and his sons, must remain in the canoes
till we can find a safe place for encamping.  David will stay behind for
your protection.  Now, my friends, we will advance into the interior."

At the word we all stepped on shore.  There was a small extent of open
ground extending a few yards from the water's edge.  This would, at all
events, afford us space for our encampment.  Had it been a dark night,
we should have run a considerable risk if any savage animals existed on
the island; but during moonlight neither lions nor panthers will assail
a man, unless hard-pressed by hunger.  We had our axes in our belts, and
were thus able to clear our way over the rocky ground among the
underwood and trees, mostly growing wide apart.  As we advanced, we
shouted to each other, now one now another firing his gun and stopping
to reload.  Suddenly a loud splash told us that some animal had leaped
into the water.  Now another was heard, and in a short time we reached
the northern end of the island, having completely passed over it.  We
were satisfied that whatever creatures had been there had taken their
departure, and we now returned to prepare for our encampment.  In the
meantime, we found that David and the boys had been landing the
provisions.  We had all become pretty expert in cutting down trees; and,
as many of those in our neighbourhood were small, we soon had a
sufficient number to make a small hut for Kate and Bella.  This was
erected with a rapidity which would have astonished people at home.  As
there was no fear of rain, we were not very particular as to the roof;
and the abundance of vines enabled us quickly to weave a network round
it, through which no panther, nor even a lion, could force its way.
Less substantial structures were erected for the rest of the party.  The
boys were busy in collecting dry wood for the fires; and in scarcely
more than half an hour we had formed a village which might have served
us for many weeks if necessary, provided the weather remained dry.  The
two young blacks had, in the meantime, under the superintendence of
Kate, been preparing our supper.  She insisted that she was in no degree
tired, and would not be idle.  Igubo sat up, with his back supported
against a bale, giving directions to his sons.  A number of birds were
forthwith roasting before the fire, while an ample supply of plantains
were being baked on the ashes.  Our cookery was of necessity somewhat
rough, but we were grateful to those who prepared our food, and I could
not help fancying it tasted better done by their hands.  A sufficient
amount of wood had been collected to keep up four good fires during the
night One was placed on the river side, to scare any animals which might
approach from the water; one at either end of the camp; and one on the
forest side, though we hoped that we had driven off all enemies from our
island.  As soon as supper was over, Stanley recommended all hands to
retire to rest.

"But, massa," said Timbo, "we escape great danger; sure we t'ank Him who
preserved us."

"Indeed we ought to do so," said Kate; "and we are thankful to you,
Timbo, for reminding us."

"I am sure my father would," I heard Natty say to Leo.

Stanley took a pace or two up and down, and then turning to Timbo, said,
"You are right, old friend; but it would be somewhat out of my way, I am
sorry to say.  David, I must ask you to take the lead."

The young doctor, though full of talent, felt, I saw, a diffidence under
the circumstances; but, mustering courage, he undertook to lead us in
prayer; and with expressions which came, I am sure, from his heart, he
returned thanks to the God of mercy for our preservation from the great
dangers we had passed, and implored protection for the future.  I heard
Natty, who was kneeling near me, repeat his words with deep earnestness;
and I was sure also that Kate and little Bella were pouring out their
hearts in prayer.  Though Timbo was the only African who could join us,
the others were, I believe, greatly impressed with the scene, which, I
had reason to know, was never forgotten by them.

Chickango and I had been appointed to keep the first watch, while Senhor
Silva and Jack were to relieve us.  In a short time the rest of our
party were fast asleep, with the exception of David, who, as soon as his
sisters had entered their hut, drove some stakes round the entrance, so
that even a snake could not find its way in.  After pacing up and down
for some time with my gun in my hand, I told Chickango I would try and
make my way to the other side of the island, as a full moon shining down
among the trees enabled me to do without much difficulty.  Its beams
shed a silvery light on the water, which flowed calmly by.  I soon
reached a spot whence I could see the opposite shore, across a channel
which divided the island from the mainland.  As I stood there, I fancied
I saw creatures moving along the banks, then I discovered five or six
elephants approaching the water.  They came to the edge, and, dipping in
their trunks, poured the cool liquid down their throats.  Presently a
herd of giraffes came with a swinging trot across the ground, their
heads moving about from side to side as they swung forward their long
legs.  They appeared, however, rather cautious of approaching till their
more powerful companions had quenched their thirst.  Just then, from a
point a little on one side, several smaller animals made their way down
to the bank; and, as they drew nearer, I discovered them to be a male
and female lion, with their whelps.  They stood watching the elephants,
now and then uttering a low angry sound, yet never breaking into a roar.
I stood rivetted to the spot, thankful that we had chosen the island
for our encampment; for had we been on the mainland, we must have found
our post untenable.  They were, however, not the only visitors to the
water.  A huge rhinoceros, which I recognised by the horn on his nose,
advanced with a heavy tread; and several buffaloes, and other animals
which I took to be wild boars, joined the assemblage.  The elephants, it
appeared to me, kept the other animals in awe, for all stood at a
distance from each other, slaking their thirst after the burning heat of
the day.  Many, probably, had come from a distance to seek for water.
The giraffes were the only ones which continued in motion, they
evidently being unwilling to approach while their savage enemies the
lions were in the neighbourhood.  Fortunately for them, I was not
possessed with the instincts of a hunter, or I should probably have shot
one of the lions; the female especially, as she kept looking at the
elephant, with her cubs by her side, offering me a mark which I could
not well have missed; but, in the first place, I should have disturbed
my friends, and then I thought to myself, "Why should I kill one of
these creatures, which are but following their natural instincts? and,
as they are not likely to attack us, no good can be attained."

At length I thought that Chickango would fancy some accident had
happened, and might be induced to leave his post to search for me.  I
therefore returned to the camp.  I had nearly reached it when I fancied
I heard a sound behind me.  I turned round, an indefinite feeling of
horror suddenly seizing me.  I called to Chickango: he sprang forward.
At that instant I saw a huge creature creeping along through the
underwood.  Chickango was by my side.  He raised his gun, and gave a
loud shout.  The animal sprang up a tree.  He fired, and a large panther
fell to the ground.  The rest of the party, starting from their beds,
came hurrying up.  The creature was not quite dead, but a blow from the
negro's axe quickly finished it.  My friends congratulated me on my
narrow escape; and indeed I was thankful that I had been again
preserved.  The creature must have remained on the island.  Probably the
moonlight prevented it springing on me at once, as it might easily have

It was some time before quiet was restored to the camp.  David hurried
back to assure his sisters that there was no danger; for they had
naturally been alarmed by the shot, and the cries of the party as they
sprang up from their sleep.  The adventure made us increase the number
of our fires on that side of the camp; while Stanley, declaring he had
had sleep enough, joined us on the watch.  As may be supposed, I felt no
inclination to make another trip about the island by myself, lest a
companion of the animal we had killed might take a fancy to spring upon
me.  I must confess I was very glad when Timbo and Senhor Silva came to
relieve me; but nothing could induce Stanley again to lie down.

No sooner had I placed my head upon the bale of goods which served me as
a pillow, than I was fast asleep.  I was aroused by Natty's voice--

"Oh see, Mr Crawford!--it is worth looking at.  The sun has just

I sprang to my feet, and found all the camp already up.  The sun at that
instant was showing its upper edge above the mountains, looking like an
arch of fire, tinting the distant mountains with a soft tinge of the
same hue, and casting a ruddy glow over the broad stream which flowed at
our feet; while the whole sky was covered with a rich orange glow,
deepening towards the horizon into the brightest vermilion.

"We will lose no time in proceeding on our voyage," said Stanley; "so
the sooner we can get through our breakfast the better."

As the fire was ready, the water was soon boiling, and we contented
ourselves with the cold meat and plantain which had been cooked on the
previous night.  The canoes were immediately reladen; and quickly
embarking, we once more commenced our voyage down the stream.  As we
opened the wider part, we looked northward along the banks, but could
discover no signs of our enemies; and we hoped, therefore, that we had
completely distanced them.  The number of animals which we saw on the
banks showed us that we were not likely to meet with many inhabitants.
This was satisfactory, as we could not tell how they might be disposed
towards us.  Although the heat was great, our spirits felt lighter in
the belief that we should meet with no enemies: and we continued
paddling along, Chico standing as before in the bows of the canoe; the
boys, as usual, joking with each other; while Jack every now and then
burst into one of his sea-songs, an entertainment with which he had not
indulged us since we were engaged in building the canoes.  The
_Giraffe_, as before, took the lead.  We paddled more leisurely than on
the previous day, as we should soon have worn ourselves out had we
continued the exertion we had then gone through.  Thus, in spite of the
heat, we were able to continue on for some hours.

We landed at noon on the western bank, where a group of trees afforded
us shade, which we greatly needed; indeed, the heat of the sun had
become so great that we could scarcely have continued longer exposed to
its rays.  We as before beat the bushes in the neighbourhood to
ascertain that no animal lurked among them, and then lighted a fire to
cook our dinner.  As may be supposed, the birds that had been killed on
the previous morning were no longer fit for English palates; but our
black friends, without ceremony, consumed them.  We had therefore to
wait until we had killed some fresh game.

Stanley, Senhor Silva, Timbo, and I took up our guns to proceed inland.
The scenery on the banks was very beautiful, the trees not growing in
dense masses, but scattered in groups, like those in a gentleman's park
in England.  Beautiful flowers covered the open spaces.  Among some of
the groups of trees we observed the orchilla weed hanging from the
branches.  This is one of the exports of Africa, and is used as a dye
stuff.  There was a beautiful little shrub which Chickango called the
_mullah_.  It bore a yellow fruit.  He gathered several--which he said
were good to eat--and we found them full of seeds, like a custard-apple,
with a sweet taste.  A larger tree was covered with white blossoms,
their fragrance reminding me of the hawthorn at home; but the flowers of
these were as large as dog-roses and the fruit the size of big marbles.
Chickango pointed to the flowers; not so much to admire them, as because
numerous bees were sucking their sweets.  "Dere! dere!"--and he pointed
out several hollows in the neighbouring trees.  "Me come back, and get
for eat," he said.  From another shrub--which our companion called the
_mogametsa_--he picked a quantity of fruit, which had the appearance of
a bean with pulp round it.

"Why," cried Leo, as he tasted the _mogametsa_, "it is just like
sponge-cake--capital stuff!  We must take a quantity to the camp."

Another very nice fruit was the _maioa_, which grew abundantly on low
bushes.  Indeed, we found a number of edible bulbs and bushes.  Among
them I must not forget to mention the _mamosho_ and _milo_.  The latter
is a sort of medlar, which all hands pronounced delicious.  Indeed,
there was no fear of our starving in this region.  There were great
numbers of birds also; but I will describe them by-and-by.

Troops of animals passed us, among which the giraffe was conspicuous.
We were just emerging from the wood, when we saw a single giraffe
following a large herd at a distance, having from some cause been
separated from his companions.  On he went, swinging his tall head from
side to side to keep time with the motion of his legs, which put me in
mind of the way spiders move.  He was passing a clump of trees, when a
terrific roar reached our ears.  The poor animal attempted to increase
his pace; but before he could do so, a huge lion sprang from a thicket,
and with one bound alighted on the giraffe's back.

"It is too far off for a bullet to reach him," observed Stanley, "or I
would try to rescue the giraffe by killing the lion."

"It would be useless, for I suspect the giraffe's fate is sealed," said
Senhor Silva.  "The grip with which the lion seized his neck is
sufficient to end his days.  In spite of the giraffe's strength, the
king of the forest will soon have him down."

The giraffe continued his course, going away from us, so that our chance
of shooting the lion decreased.  Still we pushed on, hoping that the
terrified animal might turn, and bring his murderer closer to us.  On he
went, however, uttering cries of terror, the rest of the herd scampering
off at full speed, which soon carried them away from their unfortunate
companion.  The life-blood was flowing fast from the giraffe's neck; but
he struggled on in spite of the immense weight of the creature on his
back and the agony he must have been suffering.  In vain he reared up--
in vain he struggled.  Presently we saw him sink to the ground, when the
savage beast flew at his neck, and soon finished his sufferings.

"Take care," said Senhor Silva; "we must not approach too near, for if
we attempt to dispute his prey with the lion, it will make him more
savage than ever."

"Our guns will settle that question," answered Stanley, still hurrying

I kept by his side, and the boys followed.  Not till we were within
fifty paces did the lion perceive us.  He was then standing over his
prey, which he had already begun to rend.  Raising his head, with his
claws on the carcase, he eyed us fiercely, sending forth terrific growls
of anger.  Still he did not move and Stanley had now an opportunity of
taking steady aim.  Still we advanced nearer.  The lion perceiving this,
with a roar which even now rings in my ears, gave a bound towards us.  I
raised my rifle and fired; but my arm must have trembled, and I confess
I felt little able to take steady aim: the ball only grazed the lion's
head.  He was now within a dozen paces of us.  Leo and David were
standing a little on one side.  Stanley raised his gun.  He fired; but,
to my horror, no explosion followed.

"Now! now!" he cried out.

The boys saw what had happened, and both, levelling their pieces, fired.
The lion gave a bound in the air, and fell backward.  "Hurrah! hurrah!"
shouted Leo and Natty; "we have killed the lion!"

"No; it was my shot did it," cried Leo.

"It was mine," exclaimed Natty; "I am sure."

"You both had the honour," exclaimed Stanley, as he knelt over the
monster's head.  "Here are two shot holes, and either would have killed

As may be supposed, the boys' triumph was very great.  Chickango,
however, was better pleased with the giraffe.

"Here meat enough for one week," he exclaimed, as he began to cut away
into the giraffe's flesh.

As we had no prejudice in taking an animal killed immediately before our
eyes, though we might have objected to it had we found it dead, we all
assisted Chickango in cutting up the animal, each of us taking as much
as we could possibly carry.

"You stay here," he said.  "Take care no oder lion come.  I go call
oders;" and loading himself with twice as much as we could have
attempted to carry, he hurried back to the camp.

The rest of the party soon arrived; and we had now an ample supply of
food for several days, if it would keep so long.  Not delaying to kill
any birds, as the rest of the party were waiting for their dinner, we
hurried back to the camp.  We found that Timbo had not been idle, and
had caught several fish, which were of good size, and pronounced
wholesome.  We found Igubo's sons--the eldest of whom was called Mango
and the other Paulo--creeping along the banks at a little distance down
the river.

"They are after something," observed Jack, "for they have been making a
couple of harpoons; and they seem to know pretty well what they are

Presently we saw a creature which at a distance looked like a young
crocodile leap off the shore into the water.  Mango's harpoon was
rapidly darted at it; and he was now seen hauling up the creature, which
was struggling to escape.  He and his brother soon despatched it with
blows on the head, and, leaving it on the bank, crept on a little
further.  Presently another creature was harpooned in the same way by
Paulo; and they now came back looking highly pleased, and dragging the
reptiles after them.  They were about three feet long, with a high ridge
running along their backs, and with hideous heads.

"Bery good eat," exclaimed Chickango when he saw the little monsters.

"What!" cried out Leo; "you do not mean to say you would eat those
hideous creatures?"

"I suspect we shall have no objection to do so," said David.  "They are
varanians, a species of water-lizard, very similar to the iguanas of the
New World, which are considered great delicacies.  Ugly as they look,
they are perfectly harmless."

The fires were already lighted, and without loss of time young Mango and
Paulo set to work to skin their prizes.  Chickango stewed a portion of
them in our big pan.  The flesh looked remarkably white and nice.  First
I took a piece; David followed; then Leo put in his wooden fork.

"Why, it is capital!" he exclaimed.  "Kate, you must have some.  Bella,
I am sure you will like it."

In fact, in a short time we were all partaking of the varaniad meat,
which we preferred to that of the giraffe.  We had a dessert of great
variety, if not to be compared to some of our English fruits; but we
were very thankful to get such nice and wholesome food.  The fruits,
indeed, were particularly cooling and pleasant to the palate.
Chickango, who had disappeared, soon came back with a quantity of honey,
which he had taken from the hollows in the trees we had seen on our
shooting expedition.  It was, as may be supposed, a welcome addition to
our repast.

We were still seated at our meal, when a low rumbling noise reached our
ears.  It continued for some time, and looking out towards the east,
whence it appeared to come, we saw dark clouds collecting.  Presently
vivid flashes of lightning darted forth, and reiterated roars came
pealing through the air.  "We must get shelter up immediately," cried
Senhor Silva, "or the young ladies will be wet through; and our goods
may suffer too."  The canoes had been well secured to trunks of trees,
though not unladen.  We immediately got out the axes, and commenced
cutting down the smaller saplings and straight branches of trees as
rapidly as we could.  These we placed on the side of the bank, covering
our rude hut over with large leaves and heavy boughs on the top, which
we secured by rattans to prevent their being blown away.  Everything
that could be injured by rain was immediately brought up, leaving room
for the young ladies and poor Igubo in the centre.

"Oh, we can perch ourselves on the top of the baggage," cried Leo.
"There will be room then for all hands inside."

While we were working away the clouds came rushing on over the sky, the
flashes of lightning becoming every instant more vivid and frequent.  I
had hitherto seen nothing like it on shore.  The most vivid flashes of
forked lightning darted from the clouds, apparently playing round the
summits of the taller trees, and then descending, went zigzagging along
over the ground.  Others were seen traversing the river in all
directions.  It was a grand but terrific scene.  The blacks looked
alarmed, and poor Chico chattered as if he would shake his teeth out,
and clung to Jack's neck for protection.  The thunder roared and rattled
louder and louder, till we could scarcely hear each other speak; while
sometimes the whole atmosphere seemed filled with flame.  Presently huge
drops began to fall.  They came thicker and thicker, till they splashed
down upon the river, throwing up miniature waterspouts all over it.  The
roar of the splashing and pattering was quite deafening.  The wind, too,
howled through the trees, which threatened to come down upon our heads,
though we had placed our hut as far from them as possible.  In a few
minutes the water, which had been perfectly clear, became thick and
muddy, and branches of trees and logs of wood were seen floating down
the stream.

"We should be thankful that we are safe on land," said David.  "Will
this last long, Senhor Silva?"

"Sometimes such storms are over in half an hour," was the answer; "but
they may last for a couple of days.  Should this do so, we may
congratulate ourselves on having the canoes to escape in, for the river
may speedily swell, and cover the very spot where we are sitting."

This was not satisfactory news; at the same time, it was better to know
of the probability of such an occurrence, that we might be prepared for
it.  The river was rising--that was evident--and now flowed down in
waves which would have been almost sufficient to swamp our canoes; while
torrents of water came rushing down the banks, and threatening every
instant to sweep away our hut.  Happily we had formed it on a little
elevation on the bank, so that the stream turned on either side, and the
risk was therefore lessened.  Fiercer and fiercer raged the storm.  The
waters increased rapidly.  It seemed as if the very clouds were emptying
themselves upon the earth.

"I hope we are not going to have another deluge," exclaimed Leo.

"Of course not," answered Natty.  "Don't you know that one is never to
occur again?  To be sure, this river may overflow its banks, but we have
our canoes to get away in if it does."

I was afraid little Bella would be alarmed, but she kept gazing up at
her sister, and seeing her countenance calm and tranquil, sat contented
by her side, without speaking, however.  In spite of the rain, I every
now and then put my head out to ascertain that the canoes were safe; for
as the waters rushed down, I was afraid lest the stumps to which they
were fastened might be carried away.  So thick was the rain that we
could scarcely see across to the other side.  Suddenly, as if by word of
command, it ceased; and though the thunder continued to rattle towards
the west, and flashes still issued from the clouds in the east, all
quickly became serene.  The sun burst forth again upon our heads, and
the leaves of the trees and shrubs glittered for a few minutes as if
covered with diamonds, though the sun rapidly dried up the moisture.
The hut had become very hot, and I was just going out of it, when I saw
the head of an animal crawling out from a neighbouring bush.  At first I
thought it was some creature, till I saw a long body following.  It was
a huge serpent.  It came wriggling over the ground directly towards the
hut.  "Ondara!" shouted Chickango; "shoot! shoot!"  Stanley sprang down
from his seat, and aimed at the monster's head.  I did the same.  The
creature, after convulsively twisting and turning itself into huge
coils, lay still.  We hurried down to examine it.  On measuring it, we
found that it was upwards of fifteen feet in length.  David examined the
head, and pronounced it to be venomous.

"Yes, indeed," said Senhor Silva.  "It is the largest of all venomous
serpents, and if the stories told of it are true, so virulent is the
poison that it causes almost instantaneous death."

We had reason to be thankful that we had escaped the two dangers.  As we
were anxious to proceed on our voyage, having now an ample supply of
provisions, we once more embarked.  I was afraid, from the thickness of
the water, that we should have difficulty in avoiding any banks in our
course; but it very soon cleared, and we proceeded as before.

As we were paddling along a sudden sickness seized me.  Whether it was
from over-exerting myself, or from the heat of the sun, I could not
tell.  Still I tried to go on.  At length I felt my paddle slip from my
hand.  Natty had just time to catch it, and to save me from falling
forward on my face.  I was placed in the bottom of the canoe, alongside
poor Igubo, and knew no more.

For days and days I lay in an unconscious state, utterly unable to move
or speak or think.

Some time after this I had a dreamy consciousness of existence, but
often for hours together I knew nothing of what was occurring.  I felt
myself now and then lifted out of the canoe.  I knew that David was
attending me, and at other times a sweet face bending over me, and fair
hands holding a fan and driving away the flies.  Once I heard Natty
whispering, "Oh, he will die! he will die!"

"I pray Heaven he may not," was the answer; "and David thinks he will
get through it.  But he is very ill."

Then again I fell off into a dreamy state.  Now and then I knew I was on
shore, and once more on the water.  I was conscious of the movement of
the canoe, but what was happening round me I could not tell.  I heard
shots fired, and then strange voices shouting and shrieking, but I could
not utter a word, nor could I understand what was said to me.  After a
time the power of thought came back, and I knew when it was day and when
it was night, and I was able to discover that many days and nights had
passed away.  Still I could not ask questions.  An awning had been
placed over the stern of the canoe, under which I lay.  I remember
seeing Igubo paddling away, as strong as the rest of the party, and
though there was the mark of the wound in his side, it was perfectly
healed.  This showed me that a considerable time must have elapsed since
I had been attacked.  I discovered also that we were ascending a stream,
but even then I could not speak.  Shortly after this I felt myself
lifted up and placed on a sort of palanquin, and carried along over the
ground.  I knew that I was remaining for some time, and that my little
cousin Bella was sitting by my side fanning my face, and now and then
moistening my lips, or giving me a slight portion of food.  After that,
I was once more lifted into the canoe.  The river must have been far
narrower than any we had passed through, for even as I lay in the bottom
of the canoe I could see the trees on either side.

I had a relapse.  I knew nothing more till one day I opened my eyes, and
saw my cousin Kate seated near me, and Bella on a low stool at my side,
with a book before her.  Kate was working away most assiduously, as was
her wont.  Not far off in a corner sat Chico, as busily, though not so
usefully, employed in cracking nuts.  We were in a large airy hut,
formed, as far as I could see, very much after the fashion of those we
had before constructed.  I was so placed as to be in the shade, and at
the same time to obtain as much air as possible.  I heard the voices of
Leo and Natty at a little distance.  They were engaged in some work, I
concluded, and were laughing and talking merrily.  I tried to speak, and
I must have uttered a sound, for instantly Bella sprang up, and, casting
her bright eyes on me, ran to her sister.  "Oh, he is awake, and looks
as if he knew me!" she exclaimed.  Kate cautiously approached, and I saw
her looking down upon me with an eye of pity and interest.

"Are you better, Andrew?" she whispered.

"Yes, thank you," I could just utter in a low voice, "much better."  I
wanted to say more, but could not.

"Leo!  Leo!" she cried out, "call David! he will be so glad to hear that
Andrew has returned to consciousness."

I could just catch sight of the boys running past the hut.

"Where are we? what has happened?"  I asked.

"Oh, that would take too long to tell you," answered Kate.  "You have
been very ill for several weeks, and we have all been mercifully
preserved from many dangers.  You shall know all about it by-and-by.  We
are safe now, I hope, and Stanley has sent for assistance; but I must
not talk more now."



Thanks to David's skill, and the preservation of the medicine-chest,
under God's providence, I gradually recovered my strength.  Several days
passed, however, after the one I have mentioned when I returned to
consciousness, before I could converse, or David would allow me to
listen to a narrative of the events which had occurred since I was taken
ill.  My friends were employed in building huts and a stockade on a high
hill which they had selected as a location to remain at till means of
proceeding to the south could be procured.  It was some hundred miles to
the north of Walfish Bay, the nearest point where Europeans were

The first day I could sit up (I remember it well), Kate was by my side.
A fresh breeze blew in at the open door of our hut, cooling my fevered
brow.  How beautiful all nature looked.  We could gaze over a wide
expanse of country, with blue hills on the left, and thick forests
gradually breaking into scattered clumps of trees, and an open prairie
reaching to the horizon towards the south.  Below us I saw an extensive
lake with a river flowing into it.

"There," said Kate, "is the stream down which we came to this spot.  How
thankful I was when we reached it, for David said he had no hope of your
recovery till we could find a resting-place, with pure air and a more
bracing climate than we were passing through.  It was dreadful to have
you exposed so long to the damp night air, and the miasmas which arose
from the river; but we are in safety now, and I try to forget all the
dangers and anxiety we endured.  It may be many weeks or months before
we can again set out; but by that time, David says he hopes you will be
thoroughly restored to health, and we shall be able to journey on with
light hearts, and, I hope, find friends to welcome us at the end."

"Oh, yes, dear Andrew," exclaimed Bella.  "You have no idea how
frightened we often were; for we thought if the savages had stopped us
or taken us away from you, that you would certainly have died.
Sometimes we thought you were dead, you were so quiet and pale; but when
you are well again, we shall not mind anything."

"Hush, hush!" said Kate, "we must not talk to Andrew of what has passed.
All is well now.  Stanley is delighted with the place.  There is an
extraordinary abundance of game of all sorts, as he calls the wild
animals which rove over those plains.  Sometimes we can see from here
herds of buffaloes, and cameleopards, zebras, and all sorts of deer and
quaggas; and there are savage animals too--lions, rhinoceroses, and
leopards, and elephants; indeed, he will not allow the boys to go far by
themselves lest they should be attacked."

"No, indeed," said Bella; "for though Stanley does not always tell us
his adventures, I suspect he has some narrow escapes.  In the river and
lake, too, there is an immense number of hippopotami and crocodiles.
The boys went down to bathe soon after we arrived, and had a fright,
which will prevent them ever doing it again.  They were both in the
water when a huge crocodile darted across towards them, and they had
just time to scramble out and run away, leaving their clothes behind
them, when Jack and Timbo, who were fortunately near, rushed down and
drove the creature off."

"It was indeed a mercy they were not seized," said Kate.  "But we must
not talk more to you now, Andrew.  Stanley says he could not have wished
to go to a finer spot, and it is only necessary to be cautious to avoid
danger from any of them."

"Ah, here come the boys, and they have got a beautiful little animal
between them.  What can it be?" exclaimed Bella.  "See, it has got small
horns, and looks a graceful creature."

"It must be an antelope of some sort," said Kate; "but they will tell

The boys, who were coming up the hill, soon reached the hut.  "We have
got a koodoo!  It is for you, Bella," they exclaimed in the same breath.
"Chickango and Igubo caught it this morning, and have given it to us;
but we are to take great care of it.  See, it is already almost tame,
but if we were to let it go it would soon be off."  Kate made a sign to
them.  They both stopped and looked eagerly at me.

"O Andrew, how glad I am to see you sit up," cried Natty, on discovering
that I knew them.  "We were very unhappy about you; but now you will
soon be yourself again, and till you are well enough to go about, our
koodoo will give you plenty of employment, for Chickango says he
requires careful nursing, just like one baby.  We are to feed him with
milk, and in a little time he will become as tame as Chico, though he
will not play so many funny tricks, perhaps."

The little koodoo, when brought up to Kate and Bella, allowed itself to
be stroked, and put out its tongue and licked their hands, though I saw
from its startled eye and the tremor in its slender legs that it was as
yet far from happy in its captivity.  In a short time David came in, and
after he had congratulated me on my improved looks, examined the little

"Yes, indeed, it is a pretty creature," he observed; "but the full-grown
one is still more beautiful.  I saw several two mornings ago, which had
taken shelter during the night in a thick wood which clothes the side of
the hill at a short distance from this, and as they did not perceive me,
I was able to observe them at leisure.  The female is without horns, but
the male has magnificent spiral ones upwards of three feet in length,
which rise erect from his exquisitely-formed head, and give him an air
of nobility and independence.  The animal is about four feet high at the
shoulder, and the general colour is a reddish grey, marked with white
bars over the neck and croop.  When walking slowly its action is very
graceful.  While watching the beautiful creatures I caught sight of a
leopard lurking in the neighbourhood.  I fired just in time to save the
life of one towards which he was stealing.  I missed the leopard, for I
was at a considerable distance; but the report frightened the koodoos,
and away they went, leaping over bushes, stones, and all impediments at
a rapid rate, while the savage beast stole off, vowing vengeance,
probably, against me for having disappointed him of his morning meal.
The koodoo lives chiefly on buds and leaves and the young shoots of
trees and bushes, and it is said that he is capable of going a long time
without water.  He is of a very timid disposition, but I am told,
however, that when hotly pressed or wounded, he will sometimes face
about and attack his pursuer.  But we must now see about getting food
for our young captive.  We were, fortunately, on our way here, able to
purchase half-a-dozen goats from some natives who had brought them from
the south, and we must devote the milk of one of them to him."

"But how can you make him drink it?" asked Bella.

"Just as we give it to babies," said David, laughing.  "I will make a
sucking-bottle for him.  It can very easily be done.  See! that small
gourd hanging up will answer the purpose.  I will fasten a piece of
linen and a small quill in the mouth, and we will try the little

"I will go and milk the goat," cried Leo, rushing out.  "You come and
help me, Natty, though."

Meantime David prepared the bottle, and in a few minutes Leo returned
with a calabash full of milk.

"It is lucky I went," said Natty, "for the goat had refused to be milked
at this hour, and had knocked Leo over."

"Yes, and she would have knocked you over, too, if I had not held her
legs," said Leo.  "However, we managed it."

"Why, how did you do that?" asked David.

"Oh, we tied her hind-legs to a post on one side and her fore-legs to
another, and I held the head while Natty milked," said Leo.  "Poor
goat!" observed Kate.  "I suspect she will not allow you to play that
trick again."

The bottle was filled, and no sooner was it put to the little koodoo's
lips than the creature began pulling away in a very satisfactory manner,
every now and then giving a butt at it as it might have done when
obtaining milk from its mother.  It satisfied us, however, that there
would be but little difficulty in bringing up the creature.  Chico had
eagerly watched the operation from his corner in the hut, though he did
not approach the new comer.  As soon as the deer had done with the
bottle, David hung it up, when the monkey, fancying himself unobserved,
instantly made for it, and, greatly to our amusement, applied it to his
own lips, and began sucking away till he had drained it dry.  He then
quietly attempted to hang it up again, though in this he failed, and the
bottle fell to the ground.

"We cannot afford to give you milk.  Master Chico," said David; "but I
will soon cure you of that trick."  Saying this, he went to his
medicine-chest, which stood near, and having filled the bottle with
water, put in a little powder, which he shook up.  He then returned the
bottle to its usual place.

"Now, take care, Master Chico, what you are about," he observed.  "You
are not to touch that bottle, recollect."

Chico looked at the bottle with longing eyes for an instant, then turned
away, as if it was a matter of perfect indifference to him.  In a short
time he came down, and began to examine the little stranger, who seemed,
however, in no way pleased with his presence.

"Oh, we will soon make you good friends," said Natty.  "I hope we shall
have a happy family before long.  Do you know, Andrew, we have already
got several creatures, and have managed to tame many of them, so that
they feed on the hill-side in view of the hut, and come back at night
regularly, for fear of wild beasts."

"Now, boys," said David, "we have talked with Andrew long enough, and I
think we must leave him to Kate's care again.  Your chattering is too
exciting, and he has not got strong yet."

"Oh, but we will be very quiet, and merely listen to him, if he is
inclined to talk," said Leo.

"That is the very thing I do not wish him to do," observed David.

"I feel quite strong," I said.  "Pray do not send the boys away unless
they wish to go."

However, the doctor was inexorable.  While we were speaking, Chico had
stolen back to his corner.  Presently I saw Leo eyeing him, and hiding
his face for fear of laughing.

Chico by degrees made his way up to the bottle, and slily unhooking it,
put the spout to his lips and began tugging away with might and main.
Presently casting it from him, with a loud chattering he rushed back to
his corner spluttering and spitting vehemently.  Leo now gave way to his
laughter, in which all the party joined.  Even Kate could not resist
laughing, nor could I, though my merriment was somewhat faint, I
suspect.  Chico looked indignantly at us, as if he did not at all like
being made fun of.

"I told you," said David, holding up his finger, "if you would drink
from that bottle you would repent it."

He now took the bottle, and offered the contents to Leo and Natty, which
they naturally refusing, he emptied it, and washed it out thoroughly.
"It is quite clean now for Master Koodoo," he observed.

"Now, boys, take off your new pet, and try how quickly, by gentle
treatment, you can tame it."

"I must ask Chickango and Igubo to get me one," exclaimed Bella.  "I
should like to have a beautiful creature like that for a pet, and I am
sure I could soon make it love me."

"That must depend on whether one happens to jump into a pit," said Leo.
"That was the way this one was caught.  The mother managed to scramble
out, but was shot while attempting to help her young one."

"Yes, and it seemed very cruel to kill the creature at such a moment.  I
should not like to have done it," observed Natty.

"That I am sure of," whispered Bella.  "Natty would never wish to hurt
any creature."

The boys now led off the little koodoo.  Stanley soon afterwards
arrived, followed by Jack, with some beautiful birds and several
rock-rabbits which they had shot.  They congratulated me warmly on being
so much better.  I caught sight also of Timbo, Igubo, and his two sons.

"What has become of Chickango?"  I asked, afraid, from not seeing him,
that some accident had happened.

"The faithful fellow has gone to Walfish Bay with Senhor Silva," said
Stanley.  "We attempted in vain to find a native who would carry our
message, and at last our Portuguese friend, though knowing the fearful
risks he will run, undertook the journey, when Chickango insisted on
accompanying him."

"Well, Mr Crawford, I am main glad you are getting well again,"
exclaimed Jack, when the rest of the party had retired.  "I would have
given my right hand for your sake, and often when I thought you were
going to slip your cable, I was ready to burst out a-crying; but, as
Timbo says, God is very merciful, and now I hope you will come round
pretty quickly, since you have weathered the worst point, where, so to
speak, there were most rocks and shallows, and are now in smooth water."

I saw Timbo watching at a distance, and as soon as Jack had gone, he too
came up.

"Oh, Massa Crawford, it do my heart good to see your eye bright again,
and colour come back to de cheek.  Me now no fear.  You soon all right.
I pray God night and day dat you get well, dat I do, and I go on praying
still, for God hear de prayer of de black fellow, just as he hear de
white man.  Oh, Massa Crawford, it a great t'ing to be able to pray.  If
I no do dat I t'ink my heart sink down to the bottom of de river where
de crocodiles crawl about; but when I pray it rise up just like a bird
wid de big wings, and fly up, up, up into de blue sky."

I thanked Timbo warmly for his regard, but still more for the prayers he
had offered up; and I felt as sure as he did that they had not been
disregarded.  My father's exhortation, I am glad to say, often came back
to my mind.  It was very delightful lying there in the shade, with the
beautiful landscape and its countless numbers of inhabitants, and
listening to Kate reading the Bible, in which we often came to passages,
some peculiarly applicable to our position--so it appeared to me--others
describing the wonders of God's works which we saw displayed before us,
and his love and mercy to man.

In a few days I had so much recovered that my friends insisted on
carrying me down to take an excursion on the lake.  The day was cool,
for a fresh breeze played over the water.  Leo and Natty begged to have
the pleasure of paddling me.

"And we will go too, shall we not?" cried Bella to her sister.  I was
glad to find that Kate consented.

"And I must go to look after you," said David, "and Timbo will stay at
home to take care of the house."

"Very well, if I go as captain," said Jack; "but I cannot let you go and
run your noses into the mouth of a hippopotamus or alligator, either of
which, I have a notion, you would be likely to do."

Stanley and the two black boys had gone off in the _Giraffe_, as he
wished to shoot.  I wished to walk down, but found, on attempting it,
that I could not; indeed, I had become so thin that I was no great
weight for my friends to carry.  As soon as we had taken our places in
the canoe, we shoved off.  I was able to sit up and enjoy the scenery.
To the west rose the lofty hills on the side of which our village was
placed, for so I think I must call it, while on the left were woods with
fine trees, and here and there a break through which the broad prairie
could be seen extending as far as the eye could reach towards the south.
We got glimpses of numerous animals moving in and about the woods, and
some scampering over the plain.  It was already late in the day when we
embarked.  As the weather was fine and the lake perfectly calm, we
paddled down the centre to enjoy the greater purity of the air, away
from the banks.  The trip was so enjoyable that we were tempted to go
further, perhaps, than was prudent.  At length, unwillingly, David
begged Jack to turn the canoe's head homewards.  As we were paddling
along, we caught sight of Stanley's canoe entering a creek out of the

"Oh, see, see!" cried Bella, "what thousands of animals!  I never saw so
many collected together."

Such indeed was the case.  On the point nearest the lake some twenty or
more huge buffaloes were standing drinking at the stream.  Further on a
whole herd of quaggas had come down, while through the woods could be
seen the graceful horns of a troop of koodoos and other deer, though it
was difficult to distinguish them among the trees.  But we were more
immediately interested with the numerous birds we were passing.  It
would be difficult to describe them all; but David, who was a good
ornithologist, told us their names.  Amongst them was one which seemed
to run about on the surface employed in catching insects.  It had long
thin legs, and extremely long toes, which enabled it to stand on the
floating lotus leaves and other aquatic plants invisible to our eyes.  A
lotus leaf, not six inches in diameter, was sufficient to support its
spread-out toes, just as snow-shoes enable a heavy man to get over the
soft snow.  It was the _Parra Africana_.  Then there were numbers of the
pretty little wader, which looked exactly as if it was standing on
stilts, from the length of its legs, while its bill appeared to be bent
upwards, instead of downwards, as Leo declared it ought to be.  David
called it an _avocet_.  "See," said David, "the use of its bill!"  It
was wading in a shallow; and the form of its beak enabled it to dig up
insects out of the soft sand far more easily than if it had been
straight.  We saw vast numbers of the large black goose walking about
slowly and feeding.  It had a strong black spur on the shoulder, with
which it can defend its young.  David told us that it forms its nests in
ant-hills, and, of course, eats up the inhabitants.  Among the several
varieties of geese was the Egyptian or _Chenalopex Aegyptiaca_.  It flew
along over the surface, but appeared unable to rise.  It would have been
impossible to count the ducks which sat on the banks.  Stanley fired
among them, and almost filled his canoe with a few shots, as he
afterwards told us.  He had killed in one shot nearly twenty ducks and a
couple of geese.  But they were only some of the smaller birds.  Further
up were spoonbills with nearly white plumage; a tribe of stately
flamingoes, such as I have before described; numbers of the
_demoiselle_--an extremely graceful and elegant--looking bird--and a
light blue crane, and another crane with light blue and white neck.  We
must have counted fifty or more specimens of the _Ibis religiosa_, and
vast flocks of the large white pelican, which came following each other
in a long-extended line, rising and falling as they flew.  David cried
out that they looked as if they were all fastened together like a thick
rope made to move like a serpent.  There were also innumerable plovers,
snipes, curlews, herons, and other smaller birds.  A number of those
strange birds, the scissor-bills, were flying about near a sandbank on
one side.  They had snow-white breasts, black coats, and red beaks.  We
observed the hollows in which their nests were placed in the sandbanks,
for they made no attempt to conceal them.  "What brave little chaps they
are!" exclaimed Leo.  "See!"  Some crows had approached as he spoke,
when the scissor-bills flew after them and drove them off.  As we drew
near, however, the crows took to flight, when the little scissor-bills
hung down one of their wings, and limped off, pretending to be lame.
This trick did not, however, save the life of one of them, at which
David fired for the sake of examining it.  On getting the bird into the
canoe, we found the lower mandible almost as thin as a carving-knife.
The bird places it on the surface of the water as it skims along, and
scoops up any minute insects which it meets with in its course.  Its
wings being very long, and kept above the level of its body, it can
continue thus flying on for a considerable time, till it has supplied
itself with an ample meal.

"By feeding at night, it probably escapes being snapped up by some
hungry crocodile, which it would be if it fed thus close to the water in
the day-time," observed David.  "The scissor-bill has great affection
for its young, as indeed have most water-birds."

On another bank we saw a number of pretty little bee-eaters congregated
together.  The bank was perforated with hundreds of holes conducting to
their nests.  As we passed by they flew out in clouds, darting about our
heads.  Then there were speckled kingfishers, and also beautiful little
blue and orange kingfishers, which we saw dash down like shots into the
water searching for their prey.  There were sand-martins something like
those seen in England; and from the trees also, as we passed under the
banks, rose flocks of green pigeons.  I must, however, bring my account
of the feathered tribes we encountered in our trip to an end.  Stanley's
gun soon created dismay and astonishment among them, and often the air,
as he fired, seemed literally filled with birds.  The zebras and quaggas
started off and took shelter in the woods; but the buffaloes more firmly
stood their ground, eyeing us with astonishment, and evidently not
understanding the effect which a bullet would produce should it hit one
of them.  Suddenly too, from out of the water rose several huge heads of
hippopotami, which made Bella cry out with dismay, for though we were by
this time well accustomed to them, she had never got over her alarm at
seeing the monsters.

"Oh, let us paddle away from those dreadful creatures!" she exclaimed.
"I am sure they are going to swim after us.  See, see!  Oh, how horrible
if they should seize Stanley's boat!  They are between him and us.  He
will never be able to come back."

"Do not be afraid, Miss Bella," said Jack.  "The captain will give a
good account of them.  A bullet would soon send any one of them to the

Jack, however, shouted out to Stanley, and pointed to the hippopotami.
He had by this time got his canoe so full of birds that he could
scarcely carry more, and he now came paddling after us, utterly
regardless of the monsters.  As he passed by, though they gazed at him
with their savage eyes, and mouths half open, they did not attempt to
approach; and the blacks continued to shout and shriek to keep them at a
respectful distance.  Stanley, having put specimens of the birds he had
shot into our canoe till we could scarcely receive more, went back to
knock over, as he said, a further supply, while we paddled homewards.
David had now plenty of occupation in examining our prizes, while the
boys paddled slowly onwards, assisted by Jack, who not only paddled, but
steered also.  We found Timbo waiting for us at the landing-place with
the litter to carry me.  He had a gun over his shoulder, and appeared to
be keeping a bright look-out on every side, shouting every now and then
at the top of his voice.

"What is it, Timbo?" asked David.

"Me see big lion!" he answered.  "He mean mischief.  Just now roar and
roar again.  He would like carry off Massa Andrew, but we no let him."

"Oh, never fear," cried Jack.  "We will keep the biggest lion at bay if
he should come near us, and will give him a shot which will make him
wish he had kept away."

"The lion is not likely to come near us when he sees so many people,"
said David; "but we will be on our guard against his approach."

I was immediately lifted on to the palanquin, and Jack and Timbo carried
me up towards the house.  All hands loaded themselves at the same time
with birds, and Kate and Bella fastened as many at their backs as they
could carry.  Even then they were obliged to leave many behind for a
second trip.  David and Leo walked by the side of Bella, while Natty led
the way.  We had got halfway up the hill, when, from a thicket at some
distance, a loud roar proceeded, and we saw the head of an enormous lion
appearing from among the bushes.

"Roar away, old fellow," cried Jack.  "It will be the worse for you if
you come here."

"Shall I fire?  I might kill him," said David.

"No, massa, no," answered Timbo.  "If you hit him he come on in great
rage.  He now only angry because he dare not come near.  Each time he
roar we roar back, and dat keep him away;" and Timbo setting the
example, the whole party set up a loud shout, with the exception of
Kate.  Little Bella, however, made her shrill voice distinctly heard.
For my own part, I could not have attempted to shout.  It showed me how
prostrate I had been, for even now I had difficulty in slightly raising
my voice.

Our shouting brought Chico to the door.  As soon as he saw us he came
hopping down the hill; but the next time the lion roared he gave a
spring backwards, and turning round, rushed back into the hut.

"We must go down and warn the captain," said Jack; "for if he does not
know that the lion is in the neighbourhood, the beast may surprise him;
and, at all events, he will want assistance in bringing up the birds."

"We will go, then," said Leo and Natty; and they set off together.

David, in the meantime, secured our cattle-pen, which probably had
attracted the lion to the spot.  At each side of the entrance a circular
hut had been built, answering the purpose of the gateway towers of a
castle.  Igubo and his two boys occupied one of them, and Jack and Timbo
the other.  They were built of reeds closely bound together, and the
doors were of the same material.  These were strong enough to resist the
attack of any wild beast, and were always kept closely shut at night.  I
felt somewhat tired after my day's excursion; but some supper my kind
cousins soon prepared restored my strength.  They had got ready a more
substantial meal for Stanley and his attendants, who now arrived.

"What do you think, Mr David?"  I heard Jack exclaim.  "If a big
alligator has not got into the canoe and eaten up all the birds while we
were away!  It is fortunate we brought up as many as we did.  However,
the captain has got enough and to spare."

"We will be even wid him," said Timbo.  "Igubo say he kill alligator.
If he find him he get dem all back to-night."

"Tell him he had better not make the attempt," said Jack, "or maybe the
lion will pick him up on his way to the river.  We must give a good
account of the brute to-morrow, or he will be doing us mischief."

There was ample work that evening in plucking the birds and in salting
down the larger number.  I should have mentioned that a salt spring had
been found on the side of the mountain; without it, indeed, I doubt if
we should have been able to remain at the place, for we had already
finished our supply of that necessary article.

There was no necessity to warn the rest to secure their doors at night.
One man, it was agreed, should keep watch, as it was very likely the
lion would attempt to get into the cattle-pen.  As I lay asleep in my
hut the roar of the lion entered into my dreams.  Sometimes I thought he
was flying at Kate, and I was in vain endeavouring to defend her.  Once
he had carried off Natty; and I saw Leo, his namesake, seated on his
back and digging a spear into him.  At last I started up, and was sure
the sounds I heard were real, and no mere fancies of the brain.  The
whole of the inmates of our camp were on foot, and I heard them calling
to each other.  Presently there was a shot, followed by another
tremendous roar.

"Can you see him?"  I heard Stanley cry out.

"No, sir; he has made off," answered Jack.

"I thought I hit him," exclaimed Stanley.

"T'ink not," said Timbo.  "He no like sound of gun."

After a time they all went back to the huts.  I think I said I slept in
David's, for he acted as my nurse throughout my illness, and no one
could have been more gentle and kind.  Next morning Stanley and the boys
hurried out to see if there were any marks of blood; but none were
discovered, and it was therefore plain that the lion could not have been

My companions had not been idle, I found, for they had cultivated a
considerable piece of ground, and enclosed it, on one side of the
cattle-pen.  People in England have little notion how rapidly fruits
come to perfection in the Tropics, where the account of Jonah's gourd is
completely realised.  Thus, in time, we had all sorts of vegetables,
which contributed greatly to keep my companions in health, and to
restore my strength.  Stanley's gun also supplied us amply with animal
food of the greatest variety, so that we were never on short allowance.
Igubo and his sons were expert fishermen, and caught as many fish as we
required.  There were often more than we could eat fresh; the remainder
were sun or smoke-dried, and, hung up, kept for a considerable time.
The fishermen had to be careful not to fall into the jaws of crocodiles,
who were constantly on the watch; and thus they often had to beat a
rapid retreat to escape from the monsters.

Up to the time I am speaking of we had received no visits from the
inhabitants, but Stanley, in his more extensive shooting excursions, had
fallen in with a few, though the nearest village was about four miles
off.  It was situated in a valley to the north of us.  The people
appeared peaceably disposed.  They seldom or never ventured far from
their homes, having the means of supporting life and abundance of game
round them.  They also cultivated the soil sufficiently to obtain enough
vegetables for their wants.  Stanley had won their friendship by making
them presents of birds and some animals, and in return they begged him
to accept a supply of manioc, which Mango and Paulo brought to us.  They
look upon it as their staff of life, and as it is produced with very
little labour, it well suits their habits.  Stanley described the
plantation which surrounded the village.  The plants, he told me, grow
to the height of six feet, and the leaves are often cooked as a
vegetable; indeed, every part is useful.  The roots are about four
inches in diameter and eighteen long.  To cultivate it the earth is
formed into beds about three feet broad and one in height, and into
these pieces of the stalk are placed about four feet apart.  In about
eight months, or sometimes rather more, the roots are fit to eat.  There
are two sorts, I ought to say.  One is sweet and wholesome, and fit to
eat when dried, and can at once be beaten into flour for making bread or
cakes; the other is bitter, and contains poison, but is more quickly fit
for food than the sweet sort.  To get rid of the poison it is placed for
four days in water, when it becomes partly decomposed.  It is then taken
out, stripped of the skin, and exposed to the sun.  When thus dried it
is easily pounded into a fine white meal.  It is then prepared for food
as ordinary porridge is made, by having boiling water poured upon it by
one person, while another stirs it round till it is thoroughly mixed.
Our black companions were very fond of it; but while we could obtain
more substantial food, few of our party would condescend to eat it,
except now and then as a change.  The poison is of so volatile a nature
that it is quickly got rid of by heat.  Timbo made the meal into thin
cakes, which, when baked on an iron plate, were pronounced very good.
David told us that it was called cassava, as well as manioc, and that
its scientific name was _Jatropha manihot_.  After a few trials he
contrived to manufacture a kind of starch, which I had often seen in
England under the name of tapioca.  He was delighted when he succeeded
in producing it, and Kate at once made some very nice puddings from it,
by mixing it with honey to give it flavour.

We obtained also from the village some yam roots, which had greatly the
taste of potatoes, though of a closer texture.  They also were placed in
the sun to dry before being cooked, and we found by putting them in dry
sand that they would keep well for a considerable time.  The yam is the
root of a climbing plant which David called the _Dioscoreo-sativa_.  It
had tender stems, eighteen to twenty feet in length, and sharp-pointed
leaves on long foot stalks.  From the base of the roots are spikes of
small flowers.  The roots are black and palmated, and about a foot in
breadth.  Within they are white, but externally of a very dark brown
colour.  Besides this another sort was brought to us a little time
afterwards, called the _Dioscoreo-alata_, very much larger than the
former.  Some, indeed, were fully three feet long, and weighed nearly
thirty pounds.

"How it would delight an Irishman's heart to see a potato as big as this
root!" exclaimed Leo.  "It would be a hard matter, however, to find a
pot big enough to boil it in, or to steam it afterwards, to make it



The boys were continually asking Timbo and Igubo when they were going to
catch them another pet.  They were with me one day when the two men
arrived loaded with the flesh of an animal which Stanley had shot.
"What is that?"  I asked.

"He bery good eat," was the answer; "like a little horse."

"But what is it called in England?"  I inquired.  "Him zebra," he
answered; "mark over back.  We cooky for supper."

"I wish Stanley had caught him alive," said Leo.  "Now, Timbo, cannot
you manage to get a young one for us, or a couple, and then we could
break them in, and make them carry us."

"Him no carry no one," answered Timbo.  "He wild.  Kick off, even dough
you stick on like Chico."

"But we could soon teach Chico to ride it.  I suspect that it would
puzzle even a zebra to kick him off."

"We will try," said Timbo.  "We go and make many pitfalls; but take
care, Massa Natty, you no tumble in when tiger or leopard dere."

I found that the men had already dug some pitfalls, though hitherto,
excepting a koodoo, nothing had been caught in them.

Next morning they set off to visit the pits, accompanied by the boys.
In rather more than an hour they came back, Leo and Natty dragging a
beautiful little animal between them, while the two men brought the head
and skin and a quantity of meat of another.  David, who was with me, ran
out to meet them.

"They have got a gemsbok!" he exclaimed; "one of the most interesting of
the antelope tribe.  It is known also as the oryx."

"How did you catch it?" he asked.

"We found it in the pit!" exclaimed the boys at once; "the mother and
the young one.  Poor little creature.  The mother fought so furiously
that the men were obliged to kill her, and not till then could we get
the young one out.  But it will make a capital playmate for the koodoo."

"It is very hungry," said David.  "We will try if it will take some

While Leo and Natty ran off to milk a goat, the men held the little
animal, which, though it trembled, made no attempt to escape.  David
examined the head of the larger one.  It had beautiful horns, nearly
three feet in length, slightly curving backwards, and of a shiny black
colour, and very slender.  The mane and tail were very like those of a
horse, while the shape of the head and the colour were those of an ass,
the legs and feet, however, showing it to be an antelope.  Both the
horns were so exactly equal that I could fancy a person taking a side
view of the animal might imagine them to be one and the same; and David
said that the gemsbok has often therefore been supposed, by those who
have seen it at a distance only, to be the unicorn which the ancients
believed to exist.  The little calf was of a reddish cream colour, and
was so small that the horns had scarcely yet appeared.  Timbo told us
that the gemsboks were generally seen in small herds.  Probably this one
and its calf had been separated from their companions, as no others had
been taken.  It is one of the swiftest quadrupeds of Africa, indeed its
speed is almost equal to that of the horse.  Herds of them are generally
found in districts devoid of water, as they can go a long time without
drinking, having receptacles in their inside somewhat like those of a
camel, though much smaller, for retaining fluid.

As soon as the milk was brought David tried to feed the little creature
with a spoon instead of the bottle, and after a few attempts it
willingly swallowed the milk.  He then applied the bottle to its mouth,
and as soon as it found out its contents it sucked it eagerly; he had
hopes, therefore, of being able to bring it up.  Kate and Bella,
summoned by the boys, now came in to inspect their new pet.  It allowed
Bella to stroke it and pet it without evincing any fear, and when she
fastened a handkerchief round its neck it followed her willingly.

"What a dear little creature!" she exclaimed.  "We must give it a name,
though.  I do not think gemsbok is pretty.  I like oryx better."

"I am afraid, however, when he gets his horns he will prove rather a
dangerous companion," observed David, looking at the head of the larger
animal which lay on the ground outside the hut.  "It will fearlessly
encounter the most savage animals of the desert, and instances have
occurred where it has succeeded in killing even a lion or tiger which
had incautiously sprung on its dagger-like weapon of defence."

"Oh, it will be a long time before those grow!" said Leo.  "We can pad
them, or cut off their tips, and then it can hurt no one, even in play."

Stanley and the two black boys were out hunting, and in the evening they
appeared, the boys carrying slung on two poles an animal which we saw at
once was alive.

"Why, it is a little horse!" cried Leo, running down the hill.  "The
zebra we have been so longing for!" exclaimed Natty.

They soon arrived at the encampment, Stanley highly delighted with his
prize.  It was curious that the two animals they had been so long
wishing for should have been taken on the same day.

"He has given us a great deal of trouble," said Stanley, as the little
creature was brought up to be inspected by the girls and I.  "I doubt if
we shall ever make him reconciled to captivity.  He struggled and kicked
so much that we had great difficulty in getting hold of him, and as to
making him come along with us, that was impossible.  The harder we
pulled one way the more determined he was to go another, and at length
Mango suggested that we should sling him as you see, and he could then
no longer help himself.  But it was no easy matter to get him into the

The little zebra was somewhat more clumsily shaped than a pony's colt,
and about the size of one three or four weeks old.  A pen had been built
for the koodoo, and into this the two animals were now introduced.
Koodoo gazed at them with looks of astonishment, but in a short time ran
up to the little oryx and seemed to welcome it.

"I do not know whether they understand each other's language," said
Bella, "but it strikes me koodoo is telling little oryx that he is very
well treated, and recommending him to be reconciled to his fate."

The zebra, however, would not go near them, and whenever they approached
ran off round and round the pen.  In a short time it became hungry, and
David, accompanied by Timbo, with a calabash of milk, went in to try and
feed it.  Timbo had some difficulty in catching it, for whenever he drew
near it kicked out viciously, and then scampered off.  It was, however,
at length caught, and though at first when David tried to put the milk
into its mouth it kept its teeth closed just as as a child does when
medicine is offered it, it at length allowed some to be poured down its

I was now sufficiently recovered to walk about the camp with the aid of
a stick.  Sometimes Kate and Bella assisted to support me, and when Leo
and Natty were within they were always ready to offer me their arms.  We
never ventured to leave the camp without a guard; for since the first
visit of the lion I have described to our neighbourhood we had
frequently heard his roar, although he had not ventured to come nearer.
Our life, indeed, was not altogether free from anxiety, for we could not
hide from ourselves the danger which the hunters especially ran from
wild beasts, nor could we be certain either that the natives in the
neighbourhood might not some day prove treacherous.  Stanley, grown bold
by immunity, increased the length of his expeditions, and frequently did
not return till after nightfall.  One day he went out accompanied by
Igubo and his two sons, leaving the rest of us to work in the garden and
to keep watch over the camp.

"How long shall you remain away?" asked Kate.  "It makes us feel so
anxious when you are absent."

"You can dispense with our protection for a couple of nights, I hope, at
all events," he answered.  "We have no enemies to fear; and, in truth,
two nights spent in the wilds at a time are sufficient to satisfy even
my love of sport.  If we had waggons to carry our provisions, and horses
to ride, the case might be different; but even if we get the game we
cannot bring it back, so you may rely on our reappearance at the time I

I did not see them in the morning, as they went away before I had risen.
Stanley had been absent two days, when, as the weather was cool, the
boys begged me and their sisters to come down and take a paddle on the
lake.  I was able, I thought, to walk down and back again with their
assistance, and as David thought I should benefit by the amusement, he
advised me to go, Timbo remaining, while Jack went as captain.  Chico,
as usual, accompanied us, and hopping into the canoe, took his seat in
the bows.  As we paddled along we had abundance of matter to interest
us, in the numerous birds which skimmed along the water or sat perched
on the trees.  Bella pointed out some beautiful turtle-doves, which were
sitting happily on their nests above the water gently uttering their low
coos to each other.  Not far off we espied an ibis perched on the stump
of a tree, shattered probably by lightning.

"I should like to bring her down for her impertinence," cried Leo.
"Listen to her loud `Wa--wa--wa.'  She is trying to drown the voices of
your favourites, Bella."

Though we passed close by, the ibis seemed in no way disposed to move,
but continued shouting "Wa--wa--wa."  However, she was not allowed to
cry alone, for near her sat three fish-hawks piping away in the same
fashion.  Leo was about to stop and take a shot at one of them, but Kate
intreated him to let the bird alone, and we rowed on, leaving him and
his companions piping away to their hearts' content.  Presently we saw a
moderately-sized bird, like a plover, darting here and there, and
uttering a peculiar sound.  "Tine--tine--tine," cried Leo; "what is that
you say?"  Presently a white-necked raven, which was sitting on a stump
some way down, flew off, shrieking with fear, as the plover pursued it.

"Well, that is a coward," said Leo.  "He is running away from a bird
half his size."

"Very wise," observed Jack.  "Timbo, when he was out with me the other
day, told me they call him the `hammering iron,' on account of his
`Tine--tine--tine' cry.  But it is not his cry which makes the raven fly
off.  He has got a sharp spur on his shoulder, just like that on the
heel of a cock, and he could dig it into the raven, and soon draw its

On went the plover to a bank a little way ahead, where it pitched on
what we thought at that distance was a log of wood.  As we paddled up
the seeming log turned into a huge crocodile basking in the sun.

"Stop paddling," I cried to the boys.  "Let us see what the plover is

It ran along the back of the reptile, but stopped on the top of its
snout, and then with perfect fearlessness actually flew down into its
gaping mouth.  I then recollected an account I had read of a bird on the
Nile of that description, which is known by the name of siksak--the
trochilus.  It is stated by two or three credible witnesses that it
performs the part of tooth-picker to the monster.  Whether it was so
occupied or not we could not tell, but presently the crocodile appeared
to rouse itself up and to crawl towards the water, into which he
plunged, diving down out of sight.

"There goes Master Tine--tine--tine flying away.  I suppose he will go
and warn his other friends," said Jack.  "That is his business, so Timbo
says; and when these birds are about you can never get a shot at a

As we continued paddling on we were convinced that they had been warned
of our approach, for they all betook themselves to the water long before
we got near them.  Proceeding we reached a part of the river where the
banks were steep and composed of sand.  Presently we saw a creature
crawling out of the water, and making its way up the bank.

"What creature can that be?" asked Natty.

"A water-turtle!"  I exclaimed; for I recognised it from the
descriptions I had seen of it.

Presently it came to a steep part of the bank, and as it was climbing up
it fell, and lay helpless on its back.

"We will make prize of him," cried Jack.  "Paddle away, boys."

We were soon up to the bank, when Jack sprang out of the canoe, and
before the turtle could recover itself he had seized it in his arms and
placed it in the bottom of the canoe.  There the creature lay utterly
helpless.  While the canoe's bows were on the shore, Chico, who had got
tired of sitting so long in one position, made a spring on to the land
to pick some fruit which grew on a low bush at no great distance.  The
boys were so interested in watching the turtle that, without seeing that
Chico was absent, they shoved off, and had already got to some little
distance when they discovered that we had left one of our company
behind.  Chico, having filled his paws with fruit, ran down the bank.

"Hillo, old fellow!" exclaimed Jack, "we will come in for you."

The current, however, just then took the canoe's head, and we drifted
some way down before we could turn back.  At that instant we saw a
ripple in the water, and presently the huge head of a crocodile was
projected above it.  The monster darted forward; and poor Chico, before
he was aware of his danger, was seized by its huge jaws.  In vain we
cried out and shrieked at the top of our voices.  The crocodile had got
hold of its prey.  Chico struggled, but he was as helpless as a mouse in
the fangs of a cat.  "Oh, save him, save him!" shrieked out Bella; but
it was too late.  Though the boys paddled with might and main, before
they reached the shore the crocodile sank beneath the surface, dragging
the poor ape with him.  A little circle alone marked the spot where it
had gone down.

"There is one who will pay you off for that," cried Jack, looking into
the water as if in search of the crocodile.  "When Igubo hears of it he
will be after you, depend on it."

We all felt sad at the loss of our pet, and much as we had enjoyed the
early part of the trip, it certainly spoiled the pleasure of the

"Poor Chico!" exclaimed Natty every now and then.  "I little thought you
would come to so untimely an end."

Bella cried outright, and Kate could scarcely restrain her feelings.  We
now proceeded back to the landing-place, and Jack and the boys having
drawn up the canoe to the spot where she usually lay concealed, we
commenced our return home.  My young cousins and Natty assisted me up
the hill.  We had got to about half the distance, when a loud roar came
from the thicket I have before mentioned.  "Roar away!" cried Jack, "you
will not frighten us."  Bella, and even Kate, could not, however, help
trembling at the sound; indeed, there is something peculiarly terrific
in the cry of the lion in his native wilds.  I trusted that he would
confine himself to roaring, and not attempt to approach nearer.  The
boys and Jack looked to their guns.

"We will be ready for him if he dares to show his face," cried Jack.
"Now, you young gentlemen fire first, if he looks as if he was going to
attack us.  I will keep my fire in case you miss."

The lion, however, allowed us to gain our home, where we found David and
Timbo looking out for us, and ready to fire at the beast should he

"But where Chico?" cried Timbo when he saw us.  Jack told him what had
happened.  "When I tell Igubo, he soon punish crocodile," he said.
"Igubo great crocodile hunter."

"But what have you there, Jack?" asked David, as he saw the turtle which
Jack had brought up on his back.  "Well, you have indeed a prize, for
the turtle will be a pleasant addition to our bill of fare."

When the girls went to their hut, we examined the water-turtle, which
Timbo and Jack at once prepared for cooking.  Opening it, we found that
it had upwards of thirty eggs in its body.  The shells were flexible,
and the same size at both ends, like those of the crocodile.

"Dis make one bery fine dish," said Timbo, "and de liber is first-rate.
We hab it ready for when de captain come back."

"We must leave the charge of cooking it to you," said David, "for I
doubt whether my sisters will understand the art so well."

Part of the turtle was cooked, and supper made ready, but still our
friends did not appear.  Night drew on, and we became somewhat anxious.
At last David advised his sisters to take supper and to return to their
hut, while we sat up waiting for the party.  Hour after hour passed by,
and still they did not appear.  At last David insisted on the boys and I
going to bed, while he and Jack and Timbo kept watch.  Every now and
then we could hear the roar of the lion in the distance, replied to by
their loud shouts to scare him away.  I could only hope that my cousins
were asleep: as for myself, I could not close my eyes.  Not a breath of
wind was stirring, not a sound was heard except that ominous roar which
occasionally broke the silence of night.  At length David came in,
pretty well tired out, and lay down, saying that Jack had undertaken to
keep the morning watch.  I also, in spite of my anxiety, at last fell
asleep.  I awoke suddenly with the sound of the lion's roar in my ears.
It seemed far louder and dearer than before.  Could it be fancy?  The
morning light was streaming in through an opening over the door, which
we had left to admit air.  Again I heard that fearful roar.  I started
up, for it seemed to be in the very midst of our camp.  I thought of my
young cousins and the boys, who were likely enough to have gone out
early.  I sprang to the opening, and there I saw, in the very midst of
the cattle-yard, an enormous lion, his head lifted up proudly, while his
huge paws were placed on one of the animals he had struck down.  Never
had I seen so magnificent a creature--his vast mane covering his neck
and shoulders, while his tail waved to and fro as a signal of defiance,
looking up as if he saw an enemy approaching.  The other animals,
terror-stricken, were trying to force their way out of the yard.  I
could see no one.  What had become of Jack and Timbo I could not tell.
They could not have deserted their posts, for both had given too many
proofs of courage to make me suppose so.  Calling to David, who was yet
sleeping soundly, I seized my gun; but when I returned, the lion had
gone, with the animal he had struck down.  David and I rushed out of the
hut.  At that moment there were several shots.  Looking out in the
direction from which the roars had previously come, I saw the lion
bounding away along the hill, still apparently unwounded.

"Has he gone? has he gone?"  I heard Leo and Natty shouting out.  "Yes,
yes! and he has carried off our little gemsbok!"

"But where are Jack and Timbo?"  I asked.  "How was it they let the
creature come in?"

"They heard some shots in the distance, and thinking that they were
fired as signals by Stanley and his party, they were just setting off to
meet them, and the lion must have taken that opportunity of coming into
our camp.  They had not got far, and must have caught sight of the lion
as he was making his escape.  It is a mercy the girls are safe!"

As they were speaking, Jack and Timbo came back.  "Well, I never did
think he was going to play us so scurvy a trick," exclaimed Jack, "or we
would not have left the camp.  But what do you fancy those shots can
mean, Mr Crawford?"

Both David and I agreed, however, that they were probably fired by
Stanley or his companions, either at some animals, or as a signal to
give us notice of their return; and we therefore begged Jack and Timbo
to proceed as they had purposed, while we remained on the watch for the
lion, should he venture to come back.  Kate and Bella now came out of
their hut, and great was their grief at hearing of the loss of one of
their pets--the most promising, indeed, of all, for in a few days it had
become so thoroughly tame, that it would follow them about like a lamb.
They, like us, had been kept awake the greater part of the night, and,
owing to this, had not been aroused by the sound of the lion's voice;
indeed, the events I have described occupied less time than I have taken
to write them.  The boys now employed themselves in collecting the
trembling animals, who had not yet recovered from the fright which the
appearance of their dread enemy had given them.  The little koodoo and
zebra had, however, been safe in their pen, or they would probably have
run off, and we should have seen no more of them.

"I did not fancy that a lion could have leaped so high a palisade," said
David; "but I see we must take other measures to secure our camp for the
future.  I believe that even a lion cannot break through an enclosure of
prickly-pear, and I propose that as soon as Stanley comes back we all
set to work to surround our camp with a thick line of it; and if we
fasten a fringe of its sharp leaves to the top of our fence, we shall be
able to bid defiance to either lion or leopard.  I doubt, indeed, if
elephants, or even human beings, would willingly assail such a
fortification as ours will then be."

I fully agreed with David, and we settled that we would immediately set
to work and collect the cactus plants which grew in abundance on the

"They will be very hungry when they do come back," said Kate, "and
therefore, Bella, you and I will prepare breakfast for them forthwith."

David and I assisted them in getting the repast ready, and our anxiety
was shortly relieved by Leo running in exclaiming that Stanley and all
hands were coming up the hill.  "They have got no end of game," he
added--"birds and beasts enough to feed us all for a month to come, if
we were in Siberia and could freeze the meat and keep it till we want
it, instead of being in the middle of Africa.  Unless we can salt it
pretty quickly, however, it will not be fit for much by to-morrow

Having thus delivered himself, he ran out again, and down the hill.  In
a short time our friends arrived, pretty well tired out, however, for
they had been to a long distance, and found it impossible to reach home
the night they had intended.  They had therefore encamped a few miles
off, and started again at dawn.  The shots we had heard had, as we
supposed, been fired by them to give us notice of their approach.  They
had pushed on without stopping for breakfast, and were duly grateful to
Kate and Bella for enabling them thus speedily to satisfy their hunger.

Stanley said he had a long account to give us of their adventures.  They
had fallen in with a native village, the inhabitants of which appeared
to be inclined to be friendly, and had invited them to join in a grand
hunting expedition.  "I will tell you all about it as soon as I have
eaten something," said Stanley.  "But what is this I hear of a visit
from a lion?  Did the brute actually dare to leap into the midst of our
camp and carry off one of its inmates?  It shall not be the fault of my
rifle if he does not pay dearly for his freak before another sun rises."



We were, of course, eager to hear Stanley's adventures.

"Finding the day tolerably cool, though I doubt if our friends in
England would have called it so, we pushed on further south than we have
ever gone before," said Stanley.  "The country, though wooded in parts,
was generally open, and we had little difficulty in making our way
across the prairie.  I have never seen such large herds of buffaloes,
zebras, gnus, rhinoceroses, and giraffes.  Had we been mounted, we
should have had no difficulty in coming up with them, but on foot it was
a very different matter.  Often, as we got up to them, almost within
range of our rifles, they were off again, leaving us standing alone,
without a hope of overtaking them.  As the sun rose higher and grew
hotter, the buffaloes and rhinoceroses retired to their coverts, as did
many of the other animals, the zebras and giraffes alone defying the
sun's rays.  I now hoped, by keeping under shelter of the woods, we
might the more easily surprise some of the animals we were in search of.
Before proceeding further, however, I proposed that we should open our
wallets and dine; and having selected a shady spot under tree at a
little distance from the forest, where there was probability of our
being surprised by any prowling leopard or hungry lion, we formed our
noonday camp.  We had not sat long, when Mango came in and told us that
he had seen the head of a buffalo projecting from the forest at some
little distance, and that he was sure there must be several there.  I
had been so annoyed at not killing anything, that, without finishing my
dinner, I set off with Mango to try and reach the spot unobserved by our
expected prey.  We at once got under shelter of the wood, and worked our
way along through the borders of the forest, hoping to get up to the
spot without disturbing the herd.  Mango at length made me understand by
signs that we had now reached the place where he had seen the buffalo.
I can tell you they are very different animals from those we met with
further to the north.  These are pictures of brute strength and
ferocity, their horns, short and curling, but pointed like daggers,
meeting at the roots, where they form a thick mass, serving as a helmet
to the animal.  I was afraid of coming suddenly upon them, for I knew
that if startled they would be off before I could obtain a shot.  Mango
was positive that we were near them.  He suggested at last that we
should climb a tree, whence we might survey the neighbourhood.  Finding
one, we mounted it, and when I had got a steady footing, I looked round
me, hoping to discover the animals.  Not a living creature, however,
stirred.  At last my companion pointed out some dark objects just seen
indistinctly through the thick foliage.  They were the backs of the
buffaloes, I had little doubt.  I fired, but nothing moved, and I could
not help supposing that I had mistaken some large stone for a living
creature.  To settle the matter, I again loaded and fired.  At the
report of the gun, half-a-dozen superb male buffaloes sprang to their
feet, and, tossing their heads, sniffed the air for a few seconds, and
darted off through the wood.  My companion and I immediately descended
the tree and I made chase in the hopes of coming up with them by
following their tracks.  We proceeded for some little way along the
borders of the forest, when Mango stopping, pointed ahead, and I saw a
vast herd of buffaloes--there might have been nearly three hundred of
them--suddenly rushing out of the wood, overthrowing and stamping down
every object they met with in their headlong course.  We rushed back
towards the wood, where alone we could hope for safety.  A portion of it
projected some way at an angle from that part whence the buffaloes had
issued.  They espied us, however, and came tearing on across the open.
We dashed in among the underwood, but before we had got far they were at
our heels.  Two savage brutes led the way.  The horns of the first were
almost into poor Mango.  A tree with low branches was near me.  It would
afford us the only prospect of safety.  Had I stopped for a moment to
fire, it would have been too late, and it might not have served to turn
them in their course.  I sprang to the tree, helping up the boy, who had
barely time to get out of the way of the leader's horns, when the herd
rushed by us.  I turned round and fired, but having to cling to the
tree, I had great difficulty in taking aim.  The effect of the report
was to bring the whole herd to a halt, and, facing round, they
confronted us in one dark and formidable phalanx, as if they had
resolved to besiege us in our tree.  I remembered the way you, Andrew,
had been caught by the elephant, and I fancied that the buffaloes were
about to treat us in the same manner.  One or two buffaloes might have
been disposed of, but we had not ammunition sufficient to kill one half
of our assailants, even should each bullet lay one low.  They kept
looking at us with savage glances, as if determined to punish us for our
audacity.  They looked, indeed, as if they could very easily have
brought the tree in which we were perched down to the ground; and so
they might, if they had known how to do it.  I, however, resolved to try
the effect of a few shots.  I fired one, and felt sure I had hit the
animal--a large bull--but he did not move.  Again and again I fired,
but, strange as it may seem, neither he nor any of the herd moved a
foot, though they eyed me and my companion all the time with an ominous
look, as if resolving how they should treat us.  Every moment I expected
them to charge.  Suddenly, as I was about to fire for the fourth or
fifth time, the whole herd, wheeling about with a curious shriek rather
than a bellow, their heads lowered to the ground, and their tails
swishing to and fro vehemently over their backs, off they set at a
furious pace, which made the very ground tremble under their feet.
Mango and I were left to follow them if we chose, or return to camp.  We
did the latter.  I must confess I felt somewhat ashamed of my want of
success when I resumed my seat by the fire.  I consoled myself, however,
with a couple of pigeons which Igubo had in the meantime roasted.
Though we saw vast quantities of game of all sorts, we were equally
unsuccessful, and at length I proposed to return, when Igubo pointed out
some smoke rising over a belt of forest which appeared before us.  He
said that he was sure it arose from a native village, and as I was
anxious to make the acquaintance of our neighbours, I resolved to push
forward and visit them.  I sent Igubo on ahead to win the confidence of
the people by showing them that he was unarmed.  He soon made a signal
to us to come on, and I found him and the chief man apparently on the
most friendly terms.  The chief, a remarkably stout black, wore a scanty
petticoat, with a fillet of crocodile's teeth round his head, a similar
ornament on his neck, and bracelets on his arms.  He was attended by a
drummer, who, as I approached, beat with might and main to do me honour.
His followers were armed with shields made of reeds, very cleverly
woven, sufficiently long to protect the whole body and legs, and about
three feet broad.  At their backs hung quivers of iron-headed arrows,
and two short broadswords were slung to their sides.  The chief invited
us into his hut.  It was of good size, with a verandah in front.  In a
short time his wife and her attendants brought a large mess of manioc
flour and some pieces of cooked meat, but what it was I did not at first
inquire.  After eating some, Igubo told me that it was zebra's flesh.
In a hut opposite the chief's house, I observed the figure of an animal.
On examining it I found that it was formed of grass, plastered over
with soft clay.  The eyes consisted of two cowrie shells; and a number
of bristles, which appeared to be taken from elephants' tails, formed a
sort of frill round the neck.  It was more like a crocodile than any
other animal; but Igubo inquiring, was told that it was a lion, though
certainly it was very little like the king of beasts.  On further
inquiries, I found that it was the principal idol, or fetish, of the
inhabitants, and that when the chief or any of the people are ill, their
fetish men, or priests, assemble before it, and pray and beat drums,
either to propitiate it or to arouse its attention, that it may drive
away the evil spirits which they believe are the cause of the malady."

"Poor people, dey know no better," observed Timbo; for, with the
privilege of an old servant, he did not scruple to join in our
conversation at all times.  "I go and talk to dem and tell dem better
t'ings.  I tell dem dat dere is one God who lubs dem, and when dey are
ill dat dey pray to him.  Dat he hear dem, when de fetish hab no ears to
hear, and no way to do dem good."

"Oh yes, Timbo," said Natty, "I should like to go with you to those poor
savages.  It is sad to think that they should be so ignorant.  I am sure
it is our duty to try to tell them the truth."

"Yes, Massa Natty, we will go, please God," cried Timbo, looking at
Natty with a glance of approbation.

"Timbo and I must beg your pardon for interrupting you, Captain Hyslop,"
said Natty.  "Pray go on."

"Unfortunately, I could not understand their language sufficiently well
to enter into such matters," observed Stanley.  "I was going to say that
their village was surrounded by palisades, very similar to those we have
seen.  The people were clothed in even more scanty garments than usual.
On finding that we came without any hostile intentions, and were more
likely to give than receive of them, they cordially welcomed us.  They
were in a state of commotion, nearly the whole village being prepared to
turn out on a grand hunt.  When they understood that we also were
hunters, they invited us to accompany them.  They had been forming for
some time past a huge trap, called a _hopo_, about three or four miles
away, near a stream in the neighbourhood, at which large numbers of game
were accustomed to assemble.  As the narrow end was toward the village,
we were able to examine it on our way.  The hopo consists of two hedges
formed of stakes and boughs driven into the ground at a considerable
distance from each other, toward the end opening into the wild part of
the country where animals are likely to be found, and closing in toward
each other till they almost approach.  They then form a narrow passage,
some sixty yards long, at the end of which a pit is dug, eight or ten
feet deep, and fifteen or more in length and breadth.  We found that
trunks of trees were laid across the two ends, to prevent the animals
which leap in from scrambling out again, which they would otherwise very
easily do.  The pit itself was also surrounded by high palisades, bound
together by cross-pieces.  Thus it formed a complete trap, from which it
seemed almost impossible that any animals which have once entered could
escape.  The hole was likewise covered over with a sort of matting of
green rushes, which concealed the pit below.  As I and my dark-skinned
companions proceeded along the hedge, I thought we should never come to
the end of it.  I calculated, indeed, that the hedges were upwards of a
mile long, and the same distance apart at their extremities.  The
hunters now extended themselves, each man keeping within sight of the
other, forming a circle round the broad entrance of the hopo of four or
five miles in extent, thus surrounding a large area.  I could see within
it immense numbers of animals, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, gnus,
pallas, rhinoceroses, hartbeests, and, indeed, all sorts of deer, large
and small.  At a signal from their chief, which was passed along the
line, they began to close in, shouting and shrieking at the top of their
voices.  On we went, the semicircle gradually decreasing, till we were
within speaking distance of each other; and every mile we advanced the
animals appeared to grow thicker and thicker, and I could count a dozen
or more creatures of different species in sight at the same moment.  Now
a herd of a dozen buffaloes, now twenty zebras and as many cameleopards
might be seen scampering over the plain, followed by numerous steinboks
or koodoos, graceful oryxes or hartbeests leaping and bounding away
before them.  Now and then some of the animals would turn round and
charge their pursuers, who fled on either side, darting their spears and
often transfixing them.  The zebras were amongst the most difficult to
drive in.  They seemed aware of their danger, and now one, open-mouthed,
would charge at a hunter, who had to defend himself with his shield; and
then a whole herd would break away, and, dashing through the cordon,
gallop back to their native wilds.  Still numbers were driven on.
Buffaloes and giraffes were flying together, all fancying that they were
escaping a common danger, while rushing on to destruction.  At last the
hedges of the hopo were reached, and on the outer side numerous hunters
were stationed, shouting, and shrieking, and shaking their spears and
shields, still further to increase the confusion of the terror-stricken
animals.  When any of them approached the hedge, a well-aimed spear was
planted in their sides, the cries of the stricken animals increasing the
terror of the rest.  On pressed the hunters, driving the game closer and
closer together, till, pressed up in one dense mass, even the most wary
could no longer attempt to turn and fly.  Fearful was the din of the
shrieks and shouts which rent the welkin.  The leading animals dashed
madly forward, thinking to escape from their foes behind.  The remainder
followed, unable to see over the heads of those in front, but hoping
that they had found a way to escape.

"By Igubo's advice, I had gone on the outside; for, in truth, the line
of hunters which pressed on through the hopo was exposed to no little
danger from the maddened beasts, which even now occasionally turning
round, dashed through them, and the greatest activity alone could have
saved the men from being trampled on by the terrified animals.  Now a
huge buffalo would leap into the pit through the slender covering of
rushes; now a tall giraffe would go toppling over; an active koodoo or
gemsbok would spring over their heads, to fall hopelessly into the same
trap.  In a short time the whole pit was filled with a living, moving,
struggling mass of animals, fearful to look at.  The savage hunters,
wild with excitement, were spearing with relentless eagerness the poor
creatures, those below being borne down by the weight of their hapless
fellows who brought up the rear.  A beautiful koodoo was among the
latter.  On it came, leaping away, having escaped the spears of its
enemies.  It reached the fatal pit.  I could not help feeling an
interest in the creature.  Would it too be added to the victims?  It
hesitated not a moment, but bounding over the beams, seemed scarcely to
touch the animals below, as with a spring it cleared the opposite side.
In vain the hunters darted their spears.  Off it dashed like the wind,
and the satisfaction I felt at its escape made some amends to me for the
misery and suffering I had beheld.  I literally turned sick with horror,
and hope I may never witness such a scene again.  The savages, however,
seemed to consider it magnificent sport, and stood over the pit plunging
their spears into any animal which appeared moving.  So far I was
thankful, as it put them out of their misery.  The hunters did not
altogether escape.  Some got severe kicks; several had been knocked over
and trampled on, in spite of their activity.  They had succeeded,
however, in driving upwards of forty animals into the pit; for, of
course, of those which had been first assembled, a large number had
escaped, while a good many had been speared to death before reaching it,
and others had escaped into the wilds with spears in their sides, there
in most instances to die miserably.  Their success put our new friends
in excellent humour.  They shouted, and shrieked, and danced as they
hauled up the animals one by one out of the hopo, and eagerly commenced
cutting them up and dividing the flesh.  All was meat for their pots--
the zebra and giraffe, as well as the buffalo and deer.

"It was nearly evening before the work was over.  They pressed us to
remain to see another on the following day, but I had had enough of it,
and more than enough, indeed.  I do not know how the case would have
been if I had been very hungry and wanted food.  Probably I might have
experienced some of the satisfaction which our savage friends did.
Igubo and his sons were highly delighted at the number of animals
caught, at the same time he acknowledged that the way among his own
people of catching game was far less cruel.  Further to the north, large
nets are spread round the trunks of trees, towards which the animals are
driven, much in the manner I have just described.  The nets, however,
only serve for smaller animals, as large ones would break through them.
People are stationed behind the trees to spear any creature of larger
size which seems likely to break the nets.

"Our friends pressed on us some of the meat, which, as we had a few
articles to give in exchange, we accepted, and parted very excellent

"As I had no wish to spend a night in their huts, we pushed on as far as
we could homewards, and did not stop while a ray of sunlight enabled us
to see our way.  We were pretty well tired with our day's exertions, but
it was necessary to light fires, not only to cook our supper, but to
guard ourselves against visits from any of the lions or hyenas which
might be prowling about.  We all therefore set to work to collect wood
as fast as we could.  While thus employed, I heard young Mango cry out;
but on looking round in the direction where I had last seen him, he was
nowhere visible.  A dread seized me that a lion had carried him off; but
again I heard him cry out, and on hurrying forward I was very nearly
going head over heels into a deep pit, into which he had fallen.  I
shouted out to Igubo, who came to my assistance; and with the help of
our belts we hauled him up.  Mango's chief alarm had arisen from the
dread of finding some animal at the bottom.  I was very glad, when we
drew him up, to discover that, excepting a few slight bruises, he was
none the worse for his tumble.

"As may be supposed, we were cautious after this how we moved about, for
we well knew that where one pit-fall had been formed, probably many more
existed in the neighbourhood.  We were glad when at last we had
collected a sufficient supply of wood to last us through the night; and
I almost fell asleep while putting the meat and cassava bread into my
mouth.  We had placed our packs by our sides, using some logs of timber
for our pillows.  Igubo had promised to keep the first watch; and so he
did, I have no doubt, to the best of his ability.  When, however, I at
length awoke, I saw the fire very low, though there was just flame
enough to cast its light on a creature stealthily creeping up towards
us.  I expected the next instant to be engaged in deadly combat with a
panther or a lion.  I sprang to my feet, seizing my rifle and calling to
my companions.  The next moment I saw that the creature was a jackal,
and scarcely worthy of a shot.  Still undaunted, he was on the point of
seizing one of the packs nearest to him, when I hove a log of wood at
his head.  On this he beat a retreat, uttering a mocking shout of
laughter--so it seemed to me--and quickly disappeared.  The alarm he had
caused prevented us wishing again to go to sleep; and well it was we did
not, for directly afterwards the roar of a lion broke the silence of
night.  Igubo threw more logs on the five, and as the flames burst up we
saw two or three huge monsters stalking round us, but afraid to
approach.  Now they came near enough for the light of the fire to shine
on them; but directly afterwards, even before I could get my rifle ready
to shoot, they had disappeared in the dark shades of the surrounding
trees or bushes.

"As soon as it was daylight, we once more commenced our march.  We had
not gone far, when the two boys, who were a little in advance, came
rushing back with countenances of dismay, to let us understand that they
had suddenly come upon some huge beast which was on the point of
springing on them.  We advanced, in consequence, cautiously, expecting
every moment to meet the monster.  In a short time we caught sight of a
gigantic tiger-wolf, or spotted hyena, sitting under a bush, and
growling fiercely at us.  I raised my rifle to fire, expecting the beast
to spring; but it sat without moving.  On getting nearer, what was my
horror to see that his forepaws and the skin and flesh of the legs had
been gnawed away!  Still he showed his savage nature by endeavouring to
crawl towards us.  To put an end to his sufferings, I fired at his head,
when he sank to the ground; and Igubo, running up to him, seized him by
the tail, and struck him several times with his knife, though it was not
until after repeated blows that an end was put to the creature's
existence.  How he had been thus mangled, I could not at first
understand, till Igubo asserted that it had been done by a lion; that
probably they had quarrelled over their prey, and that then the lion had
attacked him and mangled him in the dreadful manner I have described.
Had we not found him, he would certainly have died miserably in the
course of another day or two, and very likely have fallen a victim to an
army of soldier-ants.

"We met with several other adventures during the day, and managed
somehow or other to lose our way, or we should have reached home before
nightfall.  Contrary to our intentions, we had therefore to camp out for
another night.  We had an ample supply of food, but no water could be
found, and we had little more than a couple of pints to divide among us,
which, though it might have been sufficient to supply an old lady with a
cup of tea, was but little to satisfy the thirsty throats of travellers
in this burning clime."

When Stanley heard of the attack made by the lion on our camp, he
declared that he must set out at once and put a stop to his
depredations.  After a consultation, however, with Igubo, he agreed to
wait till the evening, when they supposed the lion would go down to a
spot near the river to drink.  It was a small creek, rather, where the
banks were sufficiently low and hard to allow the animals to reach the
water without difficulty, which they could not do at many places along
the borders of the lake on account of the wide fringe of reeds and thick
underwood which encircled it.

"Is the gemsbok the only animal we have lost?"

"Oh no, indeed," cried Leo.  "Poor Chico is gone!"

"What I did the lion carry him off?" asked Stanley.

"Oh no.  A horrid monster of a crocodile," answered Leo.  "I wish we
could punish the brute."

Igubo seemed to understand what was said.  "I do it," he remarked.

"Yes," said Timbo; "he say he kill crocodile; no 'fraid of crocodile!"

How he was going to manage it, however, he did not inform us.

As may be supposed, Stanley dropped to sleep over his breakfast, and was
glad directly afterwards to go to bed.  Igubo and his boys followed his
example; but after a few hours' rest, they again appeared, as fresh as
if they had not been undergoing severe exertion for a couple of days
under an African sun.

"You come and see Igubo kill de crocodile," I heard Timbo say to Leo and

Igubo had provided himself with a piece of one of the animals which he
had brought home, and which had become no longer eatable.  He had
fastened it to the end of a long rope, and his sons carried it down to
the water.  Timbo and Jack, with the two boys, set off after them; and,
taking my rifle, I followed to see what would happen.

On reaching the river, Igubo threw in the meat as far as he could,
fastening the end of the rope to the trunk of a tree.  Then, on his
making a sign to us to hide ourselves, we retired behind some bushes.
In a short time the rope was violently tugged, and Igubo, throwing off
his scanty garments, drew his sharp knife from its sheath, and sprang
into the water.  I could not refrain from crying out, and entreating him
to come back; but he paid no heed to me, and swam on.  Presently he
disappeared, and I felt horror-struck at the thought that a crocodile
had seized him; but directly afterwards the snout of the huge monster
appeared above the water, Igubo rising at the same time directly behind
it.  The creature, instead of attempting to turn, made towards the bank,
at a short distance off.  Igubo followed; and I saw his hand raised, and
his dagger descended into the side of the creature.  Still the crocodile
did not attempt to turn, but directly afterwards reaching the bank,
climbed up it.  Igubo followed, and again plunged his knife into the
monster's side.  Every instant I expected to see him seized by its
terrific jaws; but the creature seemed terror-stricken, and made no
attempt at defence.  Again and again the black plunged in his knife,
while the crocodile vainly endeavoured to escape.  The next instant
Igubo was on its back, and the creature lay without moving.  A few
minutes only had passed.  It opened its vast jaws, each time more
languidly than before, till at length it sank down, and, after a few
struggles, was evidently dead.  Igubo, springing up, flourished his
knife over his head in triumph.  Jack, running to the canoe, began to
launch it.  We all jumped in, and paddled off to the bank, Timbo
bringing the rope with him.  We fastened it round the crocodile's neck,
and towed the body in triumph to the shore, up which we hauled it.

"Igubo say we find eggs not far off," said Timbo.

Mango and his brother, at a sign from their father, began at once
hunting about, and in a short time called us to them.  There was a large
hole in the bank concealed by overhanging bushes.  It was full of eggs,
about the size of those of a goose.  On counting them we found no less
than sixty.  The shell was white and partially elastic, both ends being
exactly the same size.  The nest was about four yards from the water.  A
pathway led up to it; and Igubo told Timbo, that after the crocodile has
deposited her eggs, she covers them up with about four feet of earth,
and returns afterwards to clear it away, and to assist the young out of
the shells.  After this, she leads them to the water, where she leaves
them to catch small fish for themselves.  At a little distance was
another nest, from which the inmates had just been set free; and on a
sandbank a little way down we caught sight of a number of the little
monsters crawling about.  They appeared in no way afraid of us as we
approached, and Mango and his brother speared several.  They were about
ten inches long, with yellow eyes, the pupil being merely a
perpendicular slit.  They were marked with transverse stripes of pale
green and brown, about half an inch in width.  Savage little monsters
they were, too; for though their teeth were but partly developed, they
turned round and bit at the weapon darted at them, uttering at the same
time a sharp yelp like that of a small puppy when it first tries to
bark.  Igubo could not say whether the mother crocodile eats up her
young occasionally, though, from the savage character of the creature, I
should think it very likely that she does, if pressed by hunger.  As is
well-known, the _Ichneumon_ has the reputation on the banks of the Nile
of killing young crocodiles; but Igubo did not know whether they ever do
so in this part of the world.  He and his boys collected all the eggs
they could find, declaring that they were excellent for eating.  They
however told us that they should only consume the yoke, as the white of
the egg does not coagulate.  When it is known what a vast number of eggs
a crocodile lays, it may be supposed that the simplest way of getting
rid of the creatures is to destroy them before they are hatched.  It
would seem almost hopeless to attempt to exterminate them by killing
only the old ones.  However, I fancy they have a good many enemies, and
that a large number of the young do not grow up.  As we were walking
along the bank, we saw, close to the water, a young crocodile just
making his way into it; and Mango, leaping down, captured the little
creature.  Even then it showed its disposition by attempting to bite his
fingers.  On examining it, we found a portion of yoke, almost the size
of a hen's egg, fastened by a membrane to the abdomen; and when we
afterwards carried it up to David, he told us that he had no doubt it
was left there as a supply of nourishment, to enable the creature to
support existence till it was strong enough to catch fish for itself.
Igubo declared that they caught the fish by means of their broad scaly
tails.  The eggs, I should say, had a strong internal membrane, and a
small quantity only of lime in their composition.

We had some difficulty in inducing our friends to believe the account we
gave them of Igubo's exploit.  He however undertook, if they were not
satisfied, to kill a crocodile in the same way another day.

"Oh! pray tell him not to make the attempt!" exclaimed Kate.  "It is far
too perilous; and though he may succeed once or twice, some day another
crocodile may come in support of its companion and carry him off."

Igubo only laughed when this was said to him.  He had killed crocodiles
in that way since he was a boy, and there was no reason why he should
not do so as long as he was able to swim.

While speaking of crocodiles, I should observe that the family of huge
saurians, to which the monsters belong, is divided into three genera:
_Alligator_ is peculiar to America; _Crocodilus_ is common both to the
Old and New World; while a third, _Gavialis_, is found in the Ganges and
other rivers on the continent of India.  They differ in appearance from
each other, but their habits in most respects are similar.  The true
crocodile, however, frequents occasionally the mouths of large rivers
where the salt water enters, and it has been known to swim between
different islands at considerable distances from each other.  I believe
that at the commencement of my journal I have sometimes inadvertently
written alligator instead of crocodile, when speaking of the monsters we
encountered so frequently.



Again during the night the roar of the lion was heard.  It put Stanley
in a perfect fever; but David persuaded him not to go out and attempt to
shoot the creature, as he was completely knocked up by the exertion of
the previous days.  The rest of us employed our time in collecting the
prickly-pear for fortifying our post, as David had proposed.  It was no
easy matter, however, to cut the plants down.

"If we were to throw a rope over them, and draw the leaves on one side,
we might do it," said Natty.  "A good suggestion," I observed.

We carried it out.  While the grown-up members of the party cut down the
armed plants, the boys with ropes dragged them in large bundles up to
the camp, round which we began to form with them a broad belt.  It was
hard work; but as there were numerous plants growing about, we had not
far to go.  We were encouraged to persevere by the assurance that our
fortress would thus be almost impregnable to the attacks of wild
animals.  We yet further secured it by driving in stakes pointed at both
ends outside the belt, which thus answered the purpose of a dry ditch,
only it was more difficult even than a ditch would have been for
unprotected feet to cross over.

At daylight next morning we continued our work, and had made
considerable progress before the heat of the sun compelled us for a time
to knock off.  We had three fires lighted in the centre of our yard, and
this probably prevented the lion making another attack, which he might
otherwise have done.  I was now so far recovered that I was able to
accompany David and the boys on short shooting excursions.  Although I
never took pleasure in slaughtering animals for mere sport, yet it was
necessary to kill them for the sake of supplying ourselves with food.
The hills above the house swarmed with rock-rabbits, with which we could
at all times plentifully supply our table.  I had gone out the following
morning with the two boys, keeping, of course, a careful look-out, lest
a lion might still be in the neighbourhood, when Leo cried out, pointing
to a rock above us--

"See, see! what a curious lump of feathers is up there!"

"What you suppose to be a lump of feathers has, I suspect, a head and
wings and claws attached to them," said David.  "If I mistake not, that
is a _bacha_, a sort of falcon.  Probably he is on the look-out for
rock-rabbits, and he is hiding his head between his shoulders and
crouching down that they may not discover him, but his sharp eyes are
watching every movement of his prey.  Before long, if we remain quiet,
we shall see him pounce down on one of them should they venture out of
their holes.  The Dutch, I remember, call these rock-rabbits
_klipdachs_.  Poor creatures, they have good reason to be on their guard
against the bacha.  While he is there we are not likely to get a shot at
one, for, cunning as he is, depend upon it some of the older ones have
found out that he is in the neighbourhood."

We watched for some time.  Now and then we saw a klipdach pop out of its
hole, but presently draw back again, having caught sight of its powerful
foe.  Now another would come out, but hide away in its cave very
quickly.  Still the bacha remained without moving.  He knew that in time
the poor silly little klipdachs would grow careless, and, anxious for a
game at play, would get too far from their homes to skip back before he
could be down upon them.  Presently what David said took place.  First
one klipdach appeared, and then another began running about or nibbling
the grass close to the rocks, but it was clear that they were watching
the bacha all the time.  Still he did not move, and they began to run
further and further out into the open ground.  Then two or three came
out together, and began leaping and frisking about.  Presently the
hitherto immovable bacha leaped off the rock, spreading wide its huge
wings, and like a flash of lightning from a thunder-cloud darted down on
a klipdach on which it had fixed its keen eye.  In vain the unfortunate
klipdach attempted to leap away.  The bacha had cunningly noted the road
it came.  In an instant it was in its claws, the poor little creature
screaming with terror.  So rapid was its flight, that even if we had
wished it we could not have killed the bird.  Off it went to the
pinnacle of the rock from whence it had descended, and there began
tearing its prey, which, happily, it soon must have put out of pain.
Though we waited some minutes, not another klipdach appeared, and we had
to go on some considerable way before we again caught sight of any of
the little creatures.

"Well," said David, "I do not know that it can matter much to the poor
klipdachs whether they are shot by us or caught by the bacha, but at all
events we will put them out of their suffering as soon as possible.  Yet
I do not think we ought to throw stones at him.  He follows his nature,
we follow ours."

After shooting as many rabbits as we required (by-the-by, their
scientific name, David told me, is _Hyrax capensis_), we made a circuit,
and took our way home along the plain.  Leo and Natty were a little in
advance, when they came running back saying they had seen a big snake,
but before they could shoot it it had got away.  Whether venomous or
not, of course they could not tell, but Leo declared that, from its
appearance, he was nearly certain it was so.  It was a somewhat sandy
open spot, though a few bushes were near, among which we supposed the
snake had hid itself.  We of course advanced carefully, when presently
in the distance we saw running over the ground a couple of
curious-looking birds, with long legs and a remarkable crest, which Leo
declared looked like a lawyer's wig.  We hid ourselves behind a bush,
and the birds, not seeing us, came boldly on.  On a nearer approach
David pointed out some feathers which seemed to stick out behind the

"They must be secretary birds," he whispered; "known as the
_Serpentarius cristatus_.  They are determined enemies of serpents, and
will attack the most venomous without fear.  The secretary bird is so
called on account of that crest at the back of his head, which looks
something like a pen stuck behind the ear.  One might suppose, on
account of his long legs, that he should be classed among the cranes and
storks, but his curved beak and internal organisation show that he
belongs to the falcon tribe.  His feet are incapable of grasping, and
thus he runs along as we see over the sandy ground with a speed which
enables him to overtake the most active reptiles."

Presently we saw the birds dart off, and in another instant a large
snake rose up before them.  One stood still, while the other gave battle
to the reptile.  The serpent made every attempt to get back to its home,
but the bird each time sprang before it with an active leap, and cut off
its retreat.  Whenever the serpent turned, the bird again placed itself
in its front.  At length the reptile, as if determined to try what
courage would do, raised up its head, which swelled with rage, and
displayed its menacing throat and inflamed eyes, hissing fiercely.  No
human being would have wished at that moment to have encountered it.
For an instant the bird stopped, but it was not for want of courage; and
spreading out its wings, it covered itself with one of them, while with
the other, which was armed with horny protuberances like little clubs,
it struck the serpent a blow which knocked it over.  Again and again the
serpent rose to receive the same treatment, till at length it lay quiet
on the grass.  The bird instantly flew upon it, and with one stroke of
its powerful bill laid open its skull, and then immediately pressing it
to the ground with its feet, held it fast.  We were unable to see
whether it swallowed the head or not, for its companion catching sight
of us, they ran off with their prey to devour it at their leisure.

Curiously enough, we were to make the acquaintance of yet another bird
before we got home; for, proceeding onwards, we caught sight of a zebra
coming towards us.  It advanced but slowly, now stopping, now moving on
a little way.  When it caught sight of us it turned round and attempted
to go back.  We then saw that a shaft was sticking in its side, from
which the life-blood was flowing.  It went on a little way, and then
down it sank on the ground.  We had no doubt that it was one of the
creatures which had been speared at the hopo hunt when Stanley was
present, and having escaped, had wandered thus far from its usual
haunts.  Scarcely had it disappeared, when we saw coming from a distance
a large flight of crows, who with loud croakings descended to the
ground.  Presently a number of kites and buzzards approached from far
and near, though an instant before not a bird was to be seen, and
alighted on the same spot.  We hurried on, wishing to get a sight of the
spectacle; but before we got up, David pointed out, high above us in the
air, a huge bird, which came wheeling round in a spiral line, seemingly
out of the sky, towards the same spot.

"I know that fellow," he said; "he is an _oricus_.  He builds his nest
far up among the mountains, in the fissures of rocks.  He equals in size
the famed condor of America, and if we could kill one, we should find
that across the wings when expanded he measures ten feet.  No bird is
bolder in flight.  At daybreak he left his aerie, and mounting in the
sky far beyond the reach of human vision, watched with telescopic eye
the creatures wandering on the earth's surface.  That poor zebra was
seen by him probably long ago, and he knew well that he must shortly
become his prey."

While David was speaking, numerous other oricus descended like the
first.  Their common name is the sociable vulture--_Vultur oricularis_.
By the time we got up to the spot, the poor zebra was half torn to
pieces by their powerful claws.  The oricus having satisfied their
hunger, and carried off what they required for their young, the buzzards
approached, followed in a short time by the crows, who quickly denuded
the bones of flesh.

On reaching home, we found that a stranger had arrived from the nearest
village to the north of us, which Stanley had once visited.  He came
with a sad story.  A young child had strayed out from the village the
previous morning, and had been carried off by a lion, and the father and
another man, going in search of the animal, had not since returned; but
evident signs had been discovered that they also had been killed.  A
panic had seized the people, and they had sent to ask our assistance to
destroy their fierce assailant with our guns.  They knew well, from the
way the lions attacked them, that they were accustomed to human flesh,
which, when once a lion has tasted, it is said, he will always attempt
again to obtain.  The poor people declared that there would be no safety
for them unless the lions were killed, for night after night they would
come, and no one would be able to go beyond their enclosures without the
risk of being seized.  The difficulty was to find the lions, for they
were as cunning as ferocious, and the blacks declared that, by eating
men's flesh, they had obtained some of the sense of human beings.

"We will soon put that to the test," said Stanley, jumping up.  "Tell
him, Igubo, if he will go with you and I, and show us where we can fall
in with the lion, we will soon give an account of him."

The stranger expressed his gratitude, and Igubo at once consented to
accompany Stanley.  I confess I felt somewhat unwilling that he should
go, for he would thus completely put himself in the power of the
strangers, of whose honesty we had had no proof.  Igubo, however, fully
believed them faithful, and would, I was sure, not desert him.  I
proposed that we should all go out in the day-time, and attempt to fall
in with the lion man-eaters; but the stranger black said that would be
useless, as they were sure to keep out of the way.  He knew, however, he
told us, of a spot which they were likely to visit in the early part of
the night.  It was a pool in a small stream which ran into the river,
where numerous wild animals came to drink.

"But, dear Stanley, what is the use of you exposing yourself thus at
night," said Kate.  "The lions will surely visit the village, and could
you not shoot them when they come?  At the spot the stranger speaks of,
you will be surrounded by ferocious creatures, and though you may kill
one or two of them, the others may set upon you, and your life may be

Stanley laughed at the notion.

"In the first place, dear sister, the lions will not show themselves
till some unfortunate person passes," he said.  "Thus I might have to
wait day after day without killing one.  Now, our friend here declares
that every night they go down to the water, so that I am sure to meet
them.  Let us manage it, and do not be afraid.  We shall return in
safety, and probably have been of service to these poor people, by
getting rid of their savage enemies."

"Oh! let us accompany you," cried Leo and Natty.  "We will take care of
Stanley," said Leo; "so do not be afraid, Kate."

"Thank you; but the man-eaters might carry one of you off," answered
Stanley; "so I must decline your company.  I would rather have my two
black-skinned friends as companions, for depend upon it they know more
about the matter than any one else."

"Massa," said Timbo, "I ever go out shooting wid you.  I no take care of

"Yes, indeed you have," answered Stanley; "but I want you now to stay at
home and look after the camp.  If there is any risk, it is better that
one should run it than both."

This answer satisfied Timbo, and Stanley having partaken of the supper
which Kate and Bella insisted on preparing for him, set off with Igubo
and the stranger.  They carried the two best rifles, with a supply of
powder and bullets.  I found that Jack and Timbo had been busily
employed in manufacturing a sort of infernal machine for the destruction
of wild beasts.  They had selected a musket with a large bore, and they
proposed using this as a sort of spring-gun.  Jack told me that while we
had been away, a huge hyena had been seen in the neighbourhood, and as
they are cunning animals and not easily overtaken, they thought it would
be the best way of getting rid of so dangerous a neighbour.  There was
still sufficient light by the time they had finished preparing the gun
to plant it in the neighbourhood.  The boys and I accompanied them out.
Timbo selected two trees, to which they lashed the gun in an almost
horizontal position, the muzzle only pointing slightly upwards.  A piece
of wood about six inches long was fastened to the gun stock so as to
move easily backwards and forwards.  A piece of string connected the
lower part of this with the trigger.  To the upper end a long piece of
cord was fastened, which was carried through one of the empty ram-rod
tubes, and then tied to a lump of flesh, fastened round the muzzle of
the gun.  As can thus easily be understood, an animal seizing the flesh
pulls the lever which draws the trigger, and at the same moment that it
has the meat in its mouth, the probabilities are that its brains will be
blown out.  However, that it should not take the meat sideways, or come
behind it and thus escape, Timbo formed a fence round the spot, leaving
only a narrow opening just in front of the muzzle of the gun.

"Now," said Timbo, "here are five bits of meat to tempt de hyena to come
up to de trap.  You go dere, you go dere, you go dere;" and we all, as
he pointed out, went in different directions round the spot to some
distance, and then dragged the tainted meat up towards the trap.  "Now,
we go home; and to-morrow morning we find hyena dead," he said.

It was indeed time, as darkness was coming on, and it was just possible
that the hyena might prefer one of us to the bait which we had so kindly
left for him.  Scarcely, however, had we reached home, when a loud
report was heard.

"If dat hyena, I bery glad we did come away," said Timbo; "but we not go
now.  Perhaps other hyenas dere.  We kill anoder to-morrow night."

It was quite dark when we got home.  Our anxiety for the return of
Stanley prevented any of us from going to bed.  Three hours had passed
away since nightfall, and still he did not make his appearance.  I saw
that Kate was becoming very anxious--indeed I could not help feeling so
myself.  At last I proposed to Timbo that we should go out and try and
find him.

"Dat I will, Massa Andrew," he answered.  "Dough he not let me go wid
him, he no say dat I not to come afterwards."

With our rifles in our hands, and our long knives at our belts, we
sallied forth.

"Thank you, Andrew," said Kate, as I was going out.  "I cannot help
fearing that some accident may have happened to Stanley, and you will do
your utmost to find him.  I am sure you will."

Timbo, who had several times accompanied his master to the village I
have spoken of, was tolerably certain of the direction we should take.
As we walked on, feeling our way in difficult places with the long poles
we carried in our hands, our ears were assailed by the screeching of
night-birds and the occasional roars and mutterings of wild beasts.  A
feeling of awe gradually crept over me, produced by the wild sounds and
the peculiar scenery through which we were passing.  On one side rose
the hills, with dark rocks cropping out amidst the thick foliage; while,
on the other, the river flowed by with a murmuring sound, reflecting the
bright stars from the dark sky overhead.  Far away to the right were
sombre forests, with openings here and there, across which phantom forms
were seen flitting to and fro, though so indistinct were they that we
could not tell what animals they might be.

"I t'ink we get near where de captain come to shoot," said Timbo in a
low voice.  "We go slow now, and take care dat no lion or 'noceros see

We moved on, but could hear no sounds.  Presently we saw, a little way
below us, the stream of which we were in search.

"Can the captain have left it, and passed us on the way?"  I whispered
to Timbo.  We were now close down to the stream.  "What is that?"  I
asked, pointing to a huge mass on the opposite side.  "Surely there lies
the body of an elephant; and what are those creatures near us on the

"Dey leopards," whispered limbo.  "De captain hab been here and killed
dem, no doubt about dat."

Just as he was speaking, emerging from a clump of low wood, there
appeared directly before us a magnificent lion.  The creature stopped
and lifted up his head, moving his tail slowly to and fro, as if about
to spring forward.  Now he crept on and on.  Presently he uttered a loud
roar.  I stepped back, instinctively bringing my rifle to my shoulder;
but at that moment there was the flash of a gun, and a loud report came,
apparently out of the ground close in front of us, and the huge lion
sprang high up into the air.  Scarcely, however, had the report ceased
echoing in our ears, than from another clump, a little way on our right,
I caught sight of an enormous rhinoceros, who seemed at that moment to
have discovered that he had an enemy close to him.  I felt sure it was
Stanley who had fired.  I shouted out to him.  He answered me, "All
right!" not apparently perceiving the approach of a new assailant.  On
dashed the huge rhinoceros, dipping his snout, as he descended into the
water, beneath the surface, his eyes alone remaining above it.  He was
making directly for where I supposed Stanley lay hid.  There was no time
for him to reload, and I felt sure that the monster would gore him or
trample over his body.  I had never prided myself on my shooting, but I
felt now or never was the time to take steady aim, or the life of my
cousin might be sacrificed, while Timbo and I, indeed, were placed in no
little danger.  Aiming at the creature's head, near its left eye, I
fired.  Instantly it rose up, uttering a loud bellow, but still came
floundering on across the stream.  "Up, Stanley, up!"  I shouted out.
"Timbo, do you fire, or the captain may be killed!"  Timbo drew his
trigger.  Again the creature was hit, but still his progress was not
stopped.  Wading or swimming, it had just reached the bank, close to
where Stanley lay.  Again I shrieked out to him.  He was attempting to
reload without getting up, for which, indeed, he had not time.  In
another instant I expected to see the sharp horn of the rhinoceros
plunged into his side, when it suddenly stopped and rolled over into the

"A capital night's sport!" exclaimed Stanley, springing up, his nerves
in no way shaken by the fearful danger he had gone through--for I fully
believe that had he missed the lion, which was on the point of springing
on him, he must have been killed; and had we not been near to defend him
from the rhinoceros, nothing could have saved him.  Just as Stanley had
finished loading his gun, a loud roar echoed through the woods, and we
saw, coming out from behind the back of the elephant, another large
lion.  We could almost distinguish the grin on his features as he stood
shaking his head, but yet not daring to approach.  The ferocious beast,
which we concluded from his size was one of the man-eaters, advanced
boldly towards us.  He seemed about to spring, and might have reached us
across the stream with a bound, when Stanley, raising his rifle, fired,
and the lion rolled over, shot through the heart.  Igubo and the other
black, uttering shouts of triumph, came running up.  They had been
concealed in a pit at a little distance, where it appeared that they
also had shot a lion and a leopard.

"Why you go so far off?" said Timbo, when he saw them.  "Is dis de way
to look after de captain?  Captain, you kill Miss Kate and Miss Bella
wid fright if you go away like dis."  Timbo had evidently scarcely
recovered his alarm at the risk his master had run.

"Well, well, Timbo," answered Stanley; "you see we have done our duty
and performed our promise.  Three man-eaters lie dead, and I hope we may
bag the remainder before many days are over."

The blacks were very anxious to get us all to go to their village, that
they might treat us with honour, and thank us for the services we had
rendered, and for the ample supply of meat which our success had
procured.  Not being hard-pressed ourselves, we begged them to accept
the whole of it, with the exception of a small quantity of the
rhinoceros meat, which they undertook to bring up the following day.  I
urged Stanley, however, to come back, to relieve Kate of her anxiety;
and telling our new friends that we would come and see them another day,
we returned homewards.  Having reloaded our guns, we took our way along
the banks of the river.  I was a little in advance, when I put my foot
upon what I thought was the log of a tree, when what was my horror to
see stretched out before me the long head and scaly body of a huge
crocodile!  I stopped; for though the creature could not instantly turn
round, he might first knock me over with his powerful tail, and then
have time, before I could recover myself, to wear ship, as Jack would
have called it, and seize me in his fearful jaws.  The thought that he
might do this flashed across me, but I kept my presence of mind, and
raising my rifle, levelled it at his ear.  I fired, and without a
struggle the creature turned on one side, and lay perfectly still.
Timbo was instantly up with me.

"Me kill him well, Massa Andrew!" he exclaimed.  "You no do dat, him gib
ugly bite."

As we had no wish to have any crocodiles' meat (although the natives
have no objection to eat it), we hurried homewards.

"There they come!--there they come!" we heard Leo and Natty shouting
out; and they brought torches down the hill to give us welcome.  My kind
cousin had not gone to bed, but insisted upon sitting up to prepare a
meal for us all, as she declared (which was indeed the case) that we
should be very hungry.  Not till then did Stanley give us an account of
his adventures.

"The first thing we did," he said, "was to dig some shallow pits, with
boughs over them, in which we could conceal ourselves from the beasts
which might approach the stream.  We saw by the spoors that numerous
animals were accustomed to come there.  For some reason, however, none
appeared at first, except hyenas and jackals, which came round staring
and laughing at us in the most impudent manner.  We threw stones at
them, but this only tended to increase their mockery.  At length I
hurled a lump of wood at the head of one of them, which, hitting him on
the nose, made him cry out, and the whole scampered off as fast as their
logs could carry them.  They were, I hoped, the forerunners of more
noble brutes.  I was not disappointed, for in a short time the ground
shook with the heavy tramp of elephants hurrying down to the water.
Nearer and nearer they came.  At length I could set their dark
phantom-like forms moving amid the trees.  Next their shapes were
distinguishable, and then an enormous elephant stood out in bold relief
against the sky.  Another and another followed, till the bank of the
river was lined with them.  They could easily have crossed the stream,
had they been so disposed, when few people would have given much for my
life or that of my companions.  I felt a little nervous, I confess, but
soon recovered my presence of mind.  I raised my gun to take aim at
their leader, who stood conspicuously forth from among his fellows.  Of
course, Kate, you will say I was very wrong to think of shooting him,
but I could not help it.  I allowed them to go on drinking, which they
did, dipping their trunks into the water, and pouring it down their
throats.  I hesitated even now, however, about firing, lest I might warn
the lions, whom I most particularly wished to destroy.  Suddenly they
all began to move off, and I was afraid that I should miss the chance of
hitting one.  I therefore gave a low whistle, which immediately
attracted their attention.  Once more turning round, they slightly
raised their huge ears, and moved their trunks in eccentric circles
through the air, as if they wished to ascertain the cause of the strange
noise they had heard.  I could resist no longer, but pulling my trigger,
the loud thud of the bullet as it struck the animal's head showed me I
had hit him fairly.  He turned round, and staggered back a few paces.  I
was afraid that I might not have mortally wounded him.  I fired my other
barrel behind his ear, and without a struggle he sank down dead, the
other elephants going off into the forest at a great rate, uttering
notes of terror.  I was about to rush forward across the stream to
examine him, when my companions urged me to remain quiet; and in a short
time I saw a leopard stealing over the ground.  Then another came.  I
shot one with one barrel, and one with the other; but still the object
of our hunt, if so it could be called, was not accomplished.  Some time
passed away, when I saw a creature moving towards me; and soon, as it
came out of the darkness of the forest, I distinguished a fine lion.  I
let it get quite close before I fired.  I drew my trigger.  The brute
turned round and bounded off, and I thought that it had escaped me,
though the loud and peculiar roar it uttered made me hope that it was
mortally wounded.  Still Igubo urged me to remain quiet, and after some
time another lion came.  It seemed as if he was about to spring across
the stream towards me.  It was the one I shot just as Andrew arrived.
The rest he has told you."

"Oh, brother, I wish you would not undertake such dangerous
expeditions!" exclaimed Kate, when Stanley had finished.

"But surely, my dear sister, in this case I was fighting in a good
cause," said Stanley, laughing.  "If we have rid the country of these
man-eaters, we shall have rendered an essential service to our
neighbours, and the blacks, I hope, will show their gratitude."

We soon retired to rest, and slept more soundly than we had done for
many nights, though we kept a guard as usual, as our fortification was
not entirely completed.  The next morning we set to work to finish it,
and by noon had entirely surrounded it with an impenetrable hedge.  It
took us some time longer to fasten the prickly branches to the top of
our fence.  While we were at work, a party of blacks arrived from the
village, bringing with them a large quantity of elephant and rhinoceros
flesh.  They came to thank our chief, they said, for the service he had
done them, though they feared that there were still other lions in the
neighbourhood.  Stanley promised to do his best to look out for them,
should any again appear.

The young koodoo was by this time completely tamed, and even the little
zebra had lost all fear, and would come up when called by Kate or Bella
to be fed, and allow itself to be stroked and petted by them; but when
any blacks came near it, it would scamper off and kick out with its
heels, or, if they pursued it, would turn round and try to bite them.

"I am sure it would let me ride it," said Bella, "if we could make a
saddle to fit its back."

"I think I could do that for you, Miss Bella," said Jack; "but it might
be a hard job to put it on."

"If you will make the saddle and bridle, I will try to put them on,"
repeated Bella.

We had no lack of skins, which I should have said Timbo and Jack
employed themselves in dressing.  Out of these, the former, who was very
ingenious, in a short time contrived to make a very respectable-looking
side-saddle.  We had some iron wire, with which he formed a bit, as also
a stirrup.  Bella was highly delighted when he produced it completed.
She, meantime, had allowed no one but herself to feed the little
creature, and every day when she did so she threw a piece of hide over
its back.  In a little time she placed a still larger hide on the
animal, till it was thoroughly accustomed to the weight, and seemed in
no way to mind it.  To introduce the bit into its mouth was a more
difficult task.  However, it allowed her one day to slip it in, after it
had been eating; and she kept it there for some time, leading it by the
bridle about the yard.

"Now bring me the saddle, Jack," she cried out.  "I am sure it will let
me put it on its back."

Jack brought it, and the zebra stood perfectly still while he tightened
the girths.  Next to Kate and Bella, Jack was evidently the zebra's
favourite, and it never seemed to object to his playing with it.

"Now lift me up, Jack," said Bella; "and I am sure it will let you lead
it about."

In a short time the little creature seemed perfectly contented with its
new employment, and Bella was able to ride it round and round the yard,
without its showing any wish to throw her off.  The koodoo ran by her
side, every now and then looking round into the zebra's face, as much as
to ask how he liked it.  She, however, did not try it too far; and after
riding about for half an hour or so, she jumped off its back, and
relieved it of its saddle, patting its head and talking to it all the
time.  She then, leading it back to its pen, took off its bridle and
gave it some more food.  The following day she tried it in the same way;
and though at first it seemed rather disinclined to allow the bit to be
put into its mouth, after she had coaxed it, and talked to it for some
time, it allowed her to put it in; and Jack again bringing out the
saddle, it went through the duty of the previous day.

"I think now," said Bella, "if we have to make a journey, that I shall
have a steed ready to carry me.  I wish, Kate, we could find an animal
for you."

"No fear about dat, Miss Bella," said Timbo.  "If we no get horses we
get oxen, and dey do better dan any other animal in dis country."

Timbo had been making inquiries, it appeared, about the natives further
to the south, and had been told that at some distance there were herds
of oxen, which the people were accustomed to ride.  This gave us hopes
that we might be able to procure some, and that we might proceed on our
journey without waiting for Senhor Silva and Chickango.  As yet no news
had been received from them, though we were now in daily expectation of
the arrival of a messenger whom they had promised if possible to send
back to us, with an account of their progress.  Our days were beginning
to grow somewhat monotonous, from the fact that we had no great
difficulty in supplying ourselves with food, and were unwilling to go
out and kill creatures merely for the sake of amusement.  Stanley made a
second excursion to assist our friends in the northern village, and
succeeded in killing two more lions, which the people declared were



Leo and Natty had been frequently begging me to accompany them to visit
our friends to the south.

We agreed that we should greatly shorten the land journey by proceeding
along the lake, and landing at a spot on its borders nearest the
village, which we thought we could then reach in a few hours' march.
Stanley had no objection to our going, provided we did not remain away
more than three or four days.  Mango was to accompany us as interpreter.
From the experience we had had of the natives, we hoped that the
garrison, though thus decreased, was still sufficient for the protection
of our fortress, especially as the lions and leopards had for some time
kept at a distance, finding out, probably, that we possessed ample means
for their destruction.  It is extraordinary what instinct wild animals
exhibit, and how soon they desert a neighbourhood where they are
frequently attacked.  It is said that even hippopotami and crocodiles
become more wary after being hunted; and though in the wilder districts
they come out fearlessly to feed or to bask on the sandbanks, when
hunters come to the neighbourhood they learn to conceal themselves in
their watery retreats, and will only show their nostrils and eyes above
the surface, keeping always in the most secluded parts.

The boys were greatly pleased at being allowed to take the proposed
expedition.  They made wallets to carry their food at their backs, and
the articles they proposed to present to the natives, or to exchange for
meat and other provisions should we not be able to supply ourselves.
The village we were to visit, we learned from Igubo, was called Kabomba,
and he seemed to consider it a very important place.  To be sure, as Leo
observed, he had never been in London, or even at Cape Town, so it was
not surprising that he should look upon it with respect.

Our preparations were soon completed.  Igubo gave his son charge to
behave well, and to bring no discredit upon his white friends.  Kate
urged us all to take care of ourselves, and not to run into unnecessary
danger.  The whole party accompanied us down to the canoe.  We had
chosen the _Gazelle_, as the best of the two.  As the wind was fair, we
hoisted our sail and steered merrily down the river towards the lake.
We had no difficulty, as we passed along, in supplying ourselves with
food.  Wild ducks of all sorts abounded.  Among them were numbers of the
Egyptian goose.  We saw several of them ahead, and made chase.  Being
heavy of wing, we found they could not rise out of the water, and we
caught four or five with our hands as we passed by.  A little further on
we neared a bank on which a large flock of ducks were seated.  Leo and I
fired at the same time, and on landing we picked up a dozen ducks and
three geese which we had knocked over.  Among them was a large black
goose, which we saw in great numbers walking slowly about and picking up
their food.  The specimen we killed had a small black spur on its
shoulder--as has the armed plover--and as strong as that on the heel of
a cock; but the birds, it is said, never use them except in defence of
their young.  They are said always to choose ant-hills for their nests.
The ants cannot hurt the eggs, and the material of which the hills are
composed assists probably in hatching the eggs, as the sand does those
of the ostrich.

I had hitherto held very little conversation with Mango.  He had,
however, picked up enough English to make himself understood, and during
this trip I was able to ascertain some of his peculiar notions.

We kept for some time along the north shore of the lake.  We were
nearing a point when we saw a beautiful water-antelope, known under the
name of _mochose_.  Before I could stop him, Leo had lifted his rifle
and fired.  The poor animal was hit, and, as is always the case, instead
of flying along the shore, leaped into the water and began to swim
across the lake.  We immediately made chase, for though we had ducks
enough for food, venison was not to be despised.  I saw Mango waving his
hands and muttering in a peculiar manner.  The mochose swam well, but we
soon gained upon it; and I was anxious to put it out of its sufferings,
for a red mark which appeared in its wake showed that it must have been
badly wounded.  Just as we neared it, a long snout projected above the
water.  It was that of a crocodile.  The next instant the poor mochose
and the hideous monster sank together.  Mango uttered an expression of
disappointment; and when I questioned him, he said that he had been
praying to his fetish, who was himself a crocodile, that we might obtain
the venison, but that the fetish would not hear him.

"That is a curious sort of religion," observed Leo; "for to my certain
knowledge he and his father and brother supped off the crocodile Igubo
killed the other day, and still he worships the beast."

I have not before mentioned it, but we had tasted the flesh Leo spoke
of.  It had a strong musky odour, which did not tempt us to try it
again; though I do not know what we should have done had we been pressed
by hunger.  In a short time we came to a wide bay, across which we
stood.  The wind was fresh, and we flew rapidly over the water.  The
pure air raised our spirits, and we anticipated an interesting visit to
our Kabomba friends.  Mango pointed to a spot some way ahead, where he
thought we might land; but at the same time said that if we continued
further, we might possibly have a still shorter land journey to the

"It would be a pity to leave the canoe, as long as we can sail along so
pleasantly," said Leo.  "Do, Andrew, let us follow his suggestion."

As I saw no objection to it, we stood on down the lake.  The breeze was
increasing.  I took two reefs in our sail, but still it was as much as
the canoe could bear.  Suddenly a strong blast came sweeping over the
lake.  I shouted to Natty, who was at the halliards.  Almost before the
words were out of my mouth, he had let them go.  It was fortunate that
he did so, or the canoe must inevitably have been upset.  As it was, she
heeled over so much that we took in a quantity of water.  We set to work
to bail it out; but the wind from that moment blew stronger and
stronger, and in a few minutes the whole lake, which had hitherto been
so calm, was covered with foaming seas.  They increased every instant,
and I saw that it would be dangerous to expose our light canoe broadside
to them.  Even as it was, they continued breaking over the sides, and it
required active bailing to free her from water.  Our only course,
therefore, to escape being swamped, was to keep her directly before the
gale.  This carried us further and further down the lake, and drove us
also off from the north shore.  I told Natty and Leo to get out the
paddles, while we set Mango to bail.  We thus ran before the seas, and
kept the canoe tolerably free from water.  Night was approaching, and
still there was no cessation of the gale.  We could only see the land
dimly on our right side, while we flew on, surrounded by the hissing and
foaming waters.  Much depended, I knew, on my steering well.  The
slightest carelessness might have allowed the canoe to broach to, when
she must inevitably have been upset.  Even had we clung to her, we
should have lost our provisions, and we might have been picked up by
some crocodile exploring the deeper water in search of prey; for I could
not tell whether the monsters did not swim occasionally thus far from
land.  The boys plied their paddles energetically, as if they fancied
our safety depended upon their exertions.  Seeing this, I told them not
to exhaust their strength, as it was only necessary to keep the paddles
going sufficiently to assist me in steering the canoe.  I tried to
pierce the gloom ahead, but nothing could be seen but the troubled
waters.  It was different to any scene we had yet witnessed, for
hitherto the lake had been calm as glass, unless when occasionally a
ripple played over its surface.

"I say, Andrew, I wonder whether we are ever coming to an end of this?"
exclaimed Leo.  "If we go on at this rate, we shall be hundreds of miles
away from Kate and the rest, and they will not know what has become of

"Not quite so far as that, I fancy," said Natty.  "We must pray to be
preserved, and hope for the best.  I do not think we can do anything but
that just now."

"Right, Natty," I said.  "Do our best, and hope for the best.  That is a
right principle, and people who act thus are seldom led far wrong.
Storms, in these latitudes, though they are very violent, do not last
for any length of time; and I hope we may soon fall in with some island,
under which we may take shelter."

"Suppose, though, we run against it.  What shall we do then?" asked Leo.

"We must jump out and haul the boat up," answered Natty.  "The shore is
not dangerous like that of the sea-coast, and we shall have no great
difficulty in saving ourselves, even if we are driven on it."

"We need not talk of such a contingency," I remarked.  "I hope we may
keep clear of all dangers till the gale drops, or till daylight

Though I said this, I could not help feeling very anxious, particularly
at the thought of being driven so far from home, for I knew that Kate
would become alarmed should we not return at the time we proposed.
Still we kept on; but often as I bent my head forward, trying to make
out any object ahead, nothing could I see but the curling waves as
before.  I had no idea that the lake was so long, and expected every
minute to find that we were approaching the end of it.  Still on and on
we went.  Hour after hour passed by, and I calculated that morning must
be approaching.  The gale still increased, and as the light canoe flew
over the foaming seas I dreaded every instant that they would break on
board.  She behaved beautifully, however, and though occasionally the
top of a wave tumbled over her, we took in no great amount of water.  At
length, as I cast my eye towards the east, a faint light appeared in the
sky.  I hailed it as the harbinger of morning.  At the same time the
wind began to fall, and in a few minutes had evidently greatly
decreased.  I began to hope that our dangers were coming to an end, and
that we should only have the trouble of paddling back again without
visiting our Kabomba friends.

"I see the shore!" cried Leo, "on my right hand."

"And I see it on the left!" exclaimed Natty.

Just then Mango, who had been sitting quiet at the bottom of the canoe,
lifted up his head as if listening, and then pointed to the south
evidently in a state of alarm.  He uttered a few words, but what he
meant to say I could not make out.  There was still so much sea that I
was afraid of hauling the boat up: to attempt to reach the north shore.
I therefore stood on as before, and in a short time found that we were
entering either a narrow part of the lake or the commencement of a river
flowing out of it, and I hoped every instant to reach some point where
we could safely land.  We had stood on some little way further, when I
began to suspect, by the rapid way we passed the land, that we must have
a strong current with us as well as the wind.  Scarcely had I made this
discovery when the loud roar of waters reached my ears.  It was the
deep, solemn sound which proceeds from a cataract.  Now for the first
time the truth broke on me.  We were in a rapid current, which was
hastily hurrying us on towards a waterfall.  Not a moment was to be
lost.  I told the boys to lower the sail and to endeavour to get the
canoe's head round so as to pull in for the shore; for as to making any
way against the current and the wind combined, that I knew was
impossible.  They did their utmost, I helping them with my steering
paddle, and Mango working away with a spare one; but still so heavy were
the waves that they threatened every instant to capsize us, and I saw
that we were being carried down almost as rapidly as before.  In vain we
paddled.  We appeared to make no way.  "Hope for the best, hope for the
best!" cried Natty, exerting himself to the utmost.  The perilous
position in which we were placed pressed heavily on my mind.  The loud
roar of the cataract sounded louder and louder, and as daylight
increased I made out in the distance a cloud of spray rising in the air.
Down it there appeared every probability we should be carried, and what
hope was there then of our escaping with life?  I looked anxiously round
on every side, and at length the increasing light revealed a small
island a little way further down the stream.  I trusted that by our
exertions we might reach it.  We continued straining every nerve.
Rapidly the canoe was borne down sideways towards it.  "A few strokes
more and we shall be there," I cried out.  "Work away, boys, work away."
In spite of our exertions down glided the canoe, and the end of the
island was passed.  Still, we might reach some part of the side of the
island.  Had I been alone I might almost have leaped on shore.  The
moment was a fearfully anxious one.  I could distinguish the southern
end of the island.  If we failed to reach that we must be lost.  Trees
overhung the banks.  I gave a few more desperate strokes, and drove the
canoe forward till her bows just touched the shore.  "Leap out!"  I
cried.  The canoe swung round.  Natty seized the branch of a tree which
hung down close to him, and swung himself up.  I thought Leo and Mango
had done the same, for I saw Leo clinging to a branch of a tree, and the
black springing with the painter in his hand towards the shore.  I
therefore, seizing my gun and ammunition, leaped to the bank.  What was
my horror the next instant to see Leo fall back into the boat, the
branch he had caught hold of breaking, and the black boy still holding
on to the painter floating after the canoe.  Leo seemed scarcely
conscious of his own danger, but rushing to Mango, assisted to drag him
in.  My impulse was to spring into the water and try to regain the
canoe, but just then Natty's voice reached me, crying, "Oh, help me,
Andrew! help me!" and I saw that, though clinging to a branch, he could
not manage, laden as he was, to climb along it so as to gain the shore
in safety.  I hurried to assist him, my heart sinking at the thought of
what would become of Leo and Mango.  I clambered along the tree, and at
length got hold of Natty, but it required some caution to prevent us
both falling off into the water.  I got him, however, safe on shore, and
then we hurried together to the south point, anxiously looking for the
canoe.  Leo and his companion had got out their paddles, and were
working away in what appeared an utterly vain attempt to reach the north
bank before the canoe would be hurried down the cataract.  Natty wrung
his hands in despair.

"Oh, how could it have happened?" he exclaimed, "I would have done
anything rather than let Leo go.  What is to be done? what is to be

I had no consolation to offer him.  Still the increasing light showed me
that there were other islands intervening between the falls and the one
we were on.  It was barely possible, however, that the canoe would drift
against one of them.  We stood watching them with the deepest anxiety as
the canoe was carried further and further down the current.  Already she
appeared to be in the rapids, from her quicker movement; and gliding
faster and faster away, she soon was almost out of sight.  It must be
understood that there was a considerable distance between us and the
cloud of vapour which I supposed to mark the situation of the fall.  At
length the canoe was hid from us altogether by a tree-covered island;
but whether Leo and his companion had managed to reach it or not we were
left in fearful doubt.  It was some time before I could rouse myself.
Poor Natty sat down on the ground with his head resting on his hands,
completely overcome.

"But perhaps, after all, they may not have been lost!" he exclaimed,
starting up, "and they may manage to tow the canoe along the bank of the
river and come back to us.  What do you think?"

"I dare not offer an opinion," I answered.  "It is possible, just
possible, and we must hope for the best."

Still we waited, looking in the direction we had last seen the two boys,
anxiously hoping that they might reappear; but in vain.  At length I
began to feel somewhat faint, and Natty at last exclaimed, "Oh, I am so
hungry!"  It recalled us to the necessity of trying to find something on
which we could support life.  The island was so small, that had any
birds been on it they would have flown away when we landed.  I had,
fortunately, a tinder-box in my pocket, so that we might light a fire if
we could find anything to cook.  At length Natty discovered a small
fruit like a plum, growing on a tree covered with dark green leaves.  He
called me to it, and on examining it it struck me that it must be the
_moyela_, which David had found near the banks of the river only a day
or two before.  This would at all events assist to satisfy the pangs of
hunger, though it might not do to support us.  I helped Natty up the
tree, and he threw down to me as many as we thought we should require.
We then sat down on the ground and discussed them, but the recollection
of Leo made us too sad to talk.

"I am very thirsty," said Natty, "and must get a draught of water."

He went to the shore, and was stooping down to fill his hand full, when
at that instant I saw a ripple in the water rapidly approaching.  I had
just time to spring up and pull him violently back, when a huge snout
projected above the surface.  The monster, startled by the fearful
shriek Natty set up, and the loud cries I uttered, did not venture to
approach, and slunk back again beneath the surface.  I confess I was
completely unnerved, and stood trembling all over, while Natty would
have sunk to the ground had I not supported him.  It was some minutes
before I recovered.

"I must not again run the risk of being caught like that.  I ought to
have remembered the crocodiles," he said at last.  "But I say, Andrew,
don't you think it very likely that the creature may have its nest
somewhere about the island?  I will have a hunt."

Forthwith we began poking about in all directions with pieces of
bamboo--a small grove of which grew on the island.

"Here is a hole," cried Natty at length, "and full of eggs, too.  We
will pay the crocodile off now for the fright he gave us."

I confess at first I could scarcely bring myself to think of eating
crocodile's eggs.  Natty had no such scruple.  We filled our hats, and
brought them to the beach, where, clearing away the grass to prevent an
accident, we soon had a fire burning.  As we had no pot to boil our
eggs, we put them into the fire to roast, stirring them round and round
with a stick.  In spite of my repugnance, so excessive was my hunger
that as soon as we thought the eggs were done, and Natty had pulled them
out, I cracked one.  The yolk alone had set, but that looked tolerably
tempting; and on putting it to my mouth I could scarcely distinguish it,
except by a peculiar flavour, from the yolk of a bird's egg.  A couple,
however, satisfied me.

"They will last the longer for not being too nice," observed Natty; "and
we do not know how long we may have to stay here."

"We must think of means of getting away," I said; "for it is not likely
that any canoes will pass by, and it is very certain that we must not
attempt to swim on shore, though, were it only for the distance, I think
I could do it, and carry you on my back."

"No, no, indeed!" exclaimed Natty.  "We have had experience already of
what would be our fate if we ventured into the water.  But do you not
think that the captain will come to look for us in the _Giraffe_ when we
do not return?  He will never give us up without a search."

"But you forget," I said, "our friends do not expect us back for two or
three days, so that they will not think of setting out till after that
time, when they find we do not return."

"And what shall we do in the meantime?"

Although an idea had occurred to me by which we could reach the shore,
yet it was so perilous that I thought as long as we could find food on
the island it might be prudent to stay there without attempting it.  The
day passed slowly away, and as evening approached I bethought me that we
should wish to sleep.

"But what if a crocodile comes and picks us off?" said Natty.  "That
will not be pleasant."

"Too true," I said.  "Then we must try and form a house in the trees."

There were not many on the island.  We selected one with wide-spreading
branches, into which we could without difficulty climb.

"But when we are there," said Natty, "how are we to sleep?  As we cannot
cling on like birds or monkeys, we should tumble off, for certain.  I
have it, though.  Let us build a platform of bamboo; you have your
hatchet, and we can soon form one large enough to hold us both."

The idea I thought excellent, and immediately set to work to cut down a
good supply of bamboos.  As I cut them I handed them up to Natty, who
fastened the ends with flexible creepers, of which there was an
abundance around us.  Before it was dark we had formed a flooring about
six feet long and as many broad.  We now climbed up, and sat ourselves
down to contemplate our performance.

"Suppose no canoe passes, how shall we ever be able to get from this,"
said Natty.  "We are not going to live here for ever, I hope."

"I have thought of forming a reed raft, on which we can ferry ourselves
across the narrowest part of the stream towards the north shore."

"But surely the current will carry us down?" he observed justly.

"I have thought of that; we must wait till a strong wind blows up the
river, and then I have hopes that it will keep back the waters of the
lake and probably greatly lessen the current.  If so, and we can
manufacture a mat sail, I think we shall be able to reach the nearest
bank.  It is dangerous, I grant, but I see no other way."

"Nor do I, indeed," he said; "but, by-the-by, I left our eggs near the
river, and probably the mother crocodile will come to look for them and
carry them off."

Without waiting for my reply he climbed down the tree, and was soon back
again with our provisions.  "I think I saw a snout just coming out of
the water," he remarked; "and a minute later the creature would have got
hold of them, I fancy.  I did not stop to look a second time, however,
for I was afraid that it would have caught me had I delayed."

"I am very glad you have brought the eggs, and still more that you
escaped the monster.  It is evident that we must be careful not to stand
carelessly by the side of the bank, or go into the water," I answered.
We were silent for some time.

"I think we should have prayers," I heard Natty observe.  "Will you say
them, Andrew?"

"Gladly," I replied; and to the best of my power I offered up a prayer
for protection before we lay down to sleep.  I was soon in the land of
dreams, for I was thoroughly tired with the exertion I had gone through
during the previous day.  I was awaked by feeling Natty touch my arm.

"Look down there, Andrew," he whispered.  "See! it is just as well we
are safe up in the tree!"

As I cast my eyes down on the ground below us, I saw three huge
crocodiles crawling slowly about; and though they generally take their
food in the water, I had no doubt that they would not have objected to
seize us for their suppers had they found us unprepared for resistance.
It was rather difficult to go to sleep again with the knowledge that
such creatures were in our vicinity.  However, after watching them for a
time, I felt my eyes closing, and shortly forgot all about them and
everything else present.  When I awoke the sun was shining through the
branches of the trees.  The crocodiles had disappeared, the wind was
light, the sky blue, and the smooth water shone in the beams of the
rising luminary of day.  Voices reached my ears.  A faint hope rose in
my heart that they might proceed from Leo and Mango.  I quickly
descended the tree, and made my way to the edge of the island on the
side whence they appeared to come.  There I saw, at some distance, a
canoe with four blacks in her, engaged in combat with a hippopotamus.
One of them, standing up, was about to plunge his spear into the
animal's neck.  Several more animals were standing on the nearest
reed-covered bank, while the heads of others protruded from among the
reeds in the distance.  Here was a means of escape, if we could make the
blacks hear, and they were inclined to assist us.  I called to Natty,
who, descending the tree, was soon by my side.  We shouted with might
and main, but the blacks were so eagerly engaged in attacking the
hippopotamus that they did not hear us.  The monster, as he received the
wound in his neck, turned round and attempted to seize the canoe; but
the blacks, plying the paddles quickly, got out of his way, holding him,
however, by a rope attached to the spear.  Spear after spear was darted
into his neck; and in a short time the blacks, taking him in tow,
dragged him on shore, where, in spite of his struggles, they hauled him
up, and several other people hurrying down to the bank, soon despatched
him with their clubs.  No sooner had they done so, than they set up loud
shouts, and began dancing away in frantic joy at their success.  I
thought this was a favourable opportunity for again trying to attract
their attention.  We shouted and shouted, but still they did not hear

"I think, Andrew, you must fire your gun.  They will hear that, at all
events," said Natty.

I was about to do as he suggested; but then the question arose in my
mind, whether we should be better off with the savages than we were by
ourselves.  Still, should we lose this opportunity of getting to the
mainland, another might not occur.  At length I fired.  The effect was
curious.  The blacks ceased dancing, and looked about them with glances
of astonishment.  Presently five of them leaped into the canoe, and
having pulled out from the shore, so as to allow the current to carry
them directly towards it, began cautiously paddling down to the island.
They, of course, knew its strength, and the necessity for care.  As they
approached, Natty and I each took a branch in our hands and waved it,
hoping that they would understand it as a signal of friendship.  As they
drew near they stopped rowing, and gazed at us with looks of curiosity.
I again waved to them, and showing them my gun, I placed it by my side,
that they might understand I had no intention of using it.  Except the
usual small waist-cloth, the strangers had no clothing, though the man
who sat in the stern guiding the canoe had a few ornaments about his
head and on his neck, which showed that he was a chief.  They began
jabbering away to us, but of course we could not understand a word they
said.  I replied to them, therefore, by signs that we wished to be
ferried over to the opposite shore.  Natty fortunately recollected just
then that he had a few beads, a clasp-knife, and one or two articles
which he had put into his wallet just as we were coming away.  He showed
these to signify that we would pay them for the service they might
render us.  They seemed to understand our signs, and beckoned to us to
step into the canoe, carefully turning her round, so that they might
instantly paddle off again up the stream.  We stepping in, they shoved
off, exerting themselves to the utmost to stem the current.  We made,
however, but little way.  As their backs were turned towards us, I could
only judge of their disposition by watching the countenance of their
chief.  It was not particularly prepossessing, and the exertions he was
making added not a little to its natural ugliness.  He seemed to be
regarding us with looks of intense curiosity, as if he had never before
seen white people.  After paddling along for a considerable time with
the greatest exertion, they suddenly turned the canoe round and paddled
across the current towards the shore.  At length we got into a counter
eddy, and now without difficulty they made way; the people who had been
surrounding the hippopotamus running down along the bank to look at us.
We soon reached a place where we could land, but for some minutes we
were kept in the boat, while the tribe collected on the high banks above
us, grinning down and gazing at us much as we should at a wild beast in
its den in the Zoological Gardens.  They were, I think, the ugliest
savages we had yet met with.

"Well, I do declare I think poor Chico was a beauty to them," exclaimed
Natty, as he looked up at them squatting in all sorts of attitudes on
the bank.  The women, (I must not call them the fair sex), were even
less attractive than their lords and masters.  Two or three of them had
huge necklaces hanging down over their breasts and rings round their
arms, which in no way added to their beauty.  Some of them carried
children slung to their backs by straps of buffalo hides, and the little
creatures, as they looked down upon us, grinned from ear to ear, though,
when their mothers approached nearer than they liked, they set up the
most terrific cries, such as I should have thought no human beings could
have uttered.  At last the canoe-men allowed us to land, when the female
portion of the spectators hurriedly retreated, as if we were some wild
creatures likely to do them harm.  My first object was to inquire
whether they could give us any information about Leo and Mango; but they
only shook their heads, and we could not tell what that intended to
signify.  I explained to them, as well as I could, that we had come in a
canoe, which, with our companions in it, had been drifted down towards
the cataract.  Each time they only replied as before, with an ominous
shake of the head.  Their countenances brightened a little as I
distributed among them the articles which Natty had brought, giving the
chief a knife and a double allowance of beads.  Some who had been in the
background, and had not received any, now pressed forward, and looked
very indignant when we showed them that we had no more to give.  I now
made signs to them that we wished to go down the banks to try and
ascertain what had become of the canoe; but they put themselves before
us, and intimated that they did not wish us to move to a distance.  "But
we must go, and we will go!" cried Natty.  "We must find out what has
become of Leo, and the whole tribe together shall not stop me!"  It
struck me, however, that probably they wished to cut up the hippopotamus
and distribute it among the people; and that perhaps after this
operation they might be willing to accompany us.  Without hesitation,
therefore, we walked along the bank towards the spot where the creature
had been drawn ashore.  I concluded that I was right, by seeing the
chief and several men instantly begin to attack the monster.  In a short
time they had it skinned and cut up, each one taking a portion.  The
chief took none himself, but several men, whom I supposed to be slaves,
were laden with larger portions than any of the rest, which, I have no
doubt, were his share.  This done, I again signified our wish to go down
the banks to look for the canoe; and at length, greatly to my
satisfaction, the chief and six of his companions began to move in that
direction.  Natty and I hurried on as fast as we could walk, though,
indeed, had we not restrained our eagerness, we should soon have got
ahead of our companions.  The distance to the falls was far greater than
I had supposed, for after we had gone some way we could still see the
cloud of mist rising above them.  When we got abreast of the islands to
the south of the one we had landed on, we examined them narrowly; but no
sign of the canoe could we discover.  It was difficult, however, at all
times to see across the river, on account of the thick wood which in
many places fringed the banks and overhung the water.  "Oh, they cannot
be lost! they cannot be lost!"  Natty exclaimed every now and then.  I
could only reply, I hoped not; and still, as I saw the rapid current
rushing by, I dreaded to find my worst apprehensions fulfilled.

At length we got near the edge of the cataract.  A dark ledge of rocks
ran, it appeared, across the stream, some rising high above the water,
which flowed with terrific force between them.  There was, however, from
the western shore on which we stood a point which ran out for some
distance, and within this the water circled round, forming a back eddy.
My only hope was, from not having seen the canoe on any of the islands,
that she might have drifted into this eddy.  We searched the shore on
every side, but nowhere was she to be seen.  That she could possibly
have floated down the cataract without turning over, I feared was
impossible.  We, however, continued our way, not without difficulty,
till we reached the lower level, and looking back, saw the stream
rushing over its rocky bed, making a fall and leaping madly downwards to
a depth of fifty or sixty feet, where it bubbled and foamed in a vast
caldron, which sent up unceasing clouds of spray high into the air.
Then after a time it began to flow more calmly, till it went gliding on
as if fatigued by its hurried course.  We now more narrowly examined the
banks, not with any hope of finding our companions, but in the
possibility that the canoe might have been drifted on shore, and that we
might thus ascertain to a certainty their fate.

We went on till we readied another stream which ran into the main river.
Here our companions placed themselves before us, and signified that we
must go no further.  I could only conjecture that they looked upon it as
the border of their territory, and were afraid that should we pass it we
should attempt to make our escape.  I saw them looking out eagerly over
the country beyond the stream, as if to ascertain whether any enemies
were in the neighbourhood.  They then signed to us that we must
accompany them back again.  As we returned we still continued examining
the banks, in case we might have passed any spot where the canoe could
be drawn up.  We had not gone far when Natty, who had run through a
narrow pathway leading down to the water, exclaimed, "Here, here!
Andrew.  I think I see the canoe a little way up the bank!  Come and
look!"  I hastened to him.  There, under some bushes at the end of a
little point some few hundred yards from us, I saw an object which
looked very like a canoe.  Still, it might be that of some of the
natives.  We marked it well, and then hastened up again along the bank,
examining the bushes that we might discover if there was any path
through them.  We searched about, however, for some time before we could
find a pathway.  At length one appeared, and Natty darting down it, made
his way towards the water as last as he could run.  It was like the
former one, formed, I concluded, by elephants or rhinoceroses to reach
their evening drinking-place.  There was the canoe.  The paddles,
however, and everything in her, had been taken way.  My heart beat with
satisfaction and gratitude.  Leo and Mango had escaped destruction in
the cataract; but what, then, had become of them?  We could discover no
trace or sign, nothing whatever to give us any clue to their fate.



"What can have become of them?" exclaimed Natty for the twentieth time
as we stood examining the canoe.  "But here come the blacks.  Perhaps
they will find out."

The chief and several of his followers assembled round the canoe, and
began to talk eagerly to each other.  They arrived at length at some
conclusion, but what it was we could not divine.  Then they examined the
ground round, and seemed to discover certain marks, as one called the
other to look at them.  Then away they ran up the path, and began
beating about in the surrounding wood.  They came back shaking their
heads, and when we by signs asked them what had happened, they pointed
to the south.

"Depend upon it, Andrew," exclaimed Natty, "Leo and Mango have gone in
that direction.  Let us set off after them."

"I will try and make the blacks understand that we intend to do so," I

I succeeded in explaining my wishes; but the blacks only shook their
woolly pates, and made signs that if we did, we should be knocked on the
head, or that daggers would be stuck into us.

"Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!" cried Natty, "can that have been the fate of Leo
and Mango?"

"I hope not," I said.  "If anybody has carried them off, they would not
have done so for the sake of killing them.  What I suspect is, that the
neighbouring tribe is at war with our present friends, and that they
happened to be making a raid into the country, and falling in with Leo
and Mango, carried them off captives.  It was evident from the signs
these people made to us that they did not wish us to cross the stream,
which they probably considered the boundary line between their territory
and that of the tribe with which they are at war.  I may be mistaken,
but we must try and return as soon as possible, and let Timbo and Igubo
know what has occurred.  If we can ascertain from them to what place Leo
and Mango have been carried, we must lose no time in endeavouring to
release them."

"Oh yes," said Natty, "I am nearly sure they must have been carried away
prisoners, or they would have come up the river and endeavoured to
release us, as I said they would do."

When, however, I explained to the chief that we wished to return to the
part of the country from whence we had come, I found that he had no
intention of letting us go.  Still I hoped, of course, that we might
find the means of escaping.  At present, indeed, as we had no food, we
were not unwilling to accompany the chief to his village, to which by
signs he invited us.  As we walked along I saw him eyeing my gun.  I
showed it him, holding it, however, pretty tightly, lest he should think
fit to appropriate it.  I saw by the way he looked at the weapon, that
he was unacquainted with its use.  First he examined the lock, and then
put the muzzle to his eye and looked down the barrel.  I hoped that
before long, by means of my gun, I might be able to gain the respect of
the people.  I determined, therefore, not to fire until a favourable
opportunity should occur.  I in the meantime took great care that no one
should wrest the weapon out of my hands.  The people as we went along
gathered round us, some coming up and touching our clothes, others
putting their hands on our faces, evidently unable to understand the
light colour of our skins.  When the people began to press too closely
round, the chief ordered them angrily to keep at a distance; and some
still persevering, he swung his spear round and round, hitting them,
without much ceremony, either on their shins or heads, when they quickly
retreated to a more respectful distance.

I was very glad when at length the village appeared in sight.  It was
situated on the borders of a small gulf, I will call it, or the mouth of
a stream near the lake, surrounded by a belt of elegant fan-palms and a
number of gigantic wild fruit trees.  Beyond it the lake was seen
extending far as the eye could reach, though in some places the water
was concealed from sight by vast masses of reeds and rushes of every
shade and hue, several beautiful little islands being dotted over it,
adorned with the richest vegetation, its many beauties heightened by the
brilliant rays of a tropical sun, somewhat softened by the silvery mist
which rose from the lake.  The village was very similar in character to
that which Stanley had visited,--so I concluded from his description.  A
plentiful repast was placed before us by the chief's wife and her
attendants soon after we arrived.  The principal dish consisted of
hippopotamus flesh, but there were plantains and cassava porridge, with
an abundance of wild fruits, the best of which was the moshoma, both
fresh and dried.  We had seen the tree growing outside the village.  It
grows to a great height.  The trunk was beautifully straight, and the
branches did not begin to spread out till very nearly at the summit.
The fruit can thus only be gathered when it falls to the ground.  It is
then collected and exposed to the sun for some time.  After it has been
dried it is pounded in a mortar, when it is fit for use.  In that state
it will keep for some time.  It is generally mixed with water, and made
into a sort of jelly, which tastes and looks not unlike honey.  It is
especially useful for giving a flavour to the otherwise tasteless
cassava porridge.

The chief seemed very well disposed towards us, and now, as the day was
drawing to a close, he pointed to some mats in a corner of his hut, and
signified that we might sleep there.  Having been in exercise all the
day, in spite of our anxiety we slept very soundly.  The village was
astir at an early hour.  Though the appearance of the people was not
attractive, they were more civilised than I had expected, and in the
neighbourhood of the village we saw a wide extent of fairly cultivated
ground.  A bowl of cassava porridge, sweetened with moshoma, was placed
before us for our morning meal, and Natty and I did ample justice to it.
We now thought that we might let the chief know we were in a hurry to
go away, but he shook his head, saying that that could not be.  What his
object was in keeping us we were unable to comprehend.  It was very
evident that he had made up his mind we should stay with him, for some
time at least.  The more we urged him to allow us to take our departure,
the more determined he seemed to keep us.  At last I thought it wise to
give up the point for the present.  We were allowed, however, to walk
about, but were always accompanied by either the chief himself, or four
or five of his attendants armed with spears, or bows and arrows.  Some
of the latter were blunt-headed, and others were barbed, and, I
suspected, poisoned.  We found a party of them setting out for the
forest at a short distance, and wishing to see what they were about, we
accompanied them.  We found them engaged in making what we afterwards
discovered to be bee-hives.  They first took off the bark of some small
trees, fifteen or eighteen inches in diameter and about five feet in
width.  They managed this by making two incisions right round, the trunk
five feet apart.  A longitudinal slit from one to the other enabled them
to detach the bark from the trunk.  The bark immediately assumed the
shape it had before, and where the slit was made it was sewn together
again with the fibre of a tree called the _motuia_.  It thus formed a
wooden cylinder.  A top and bottom were next fixed in it, formed of
grass rope, the lower one having a hole in the centre for the ingress
and egress of the bees.  When the hives, as I shall call them, were
completed, they carried them off, and placed them high up in lofty trees
in different parts of the forest.  The bees which were flying about
seeking habitations soon discovered them, and even while we were there
some were already taken possession of.  A piece of cloth was tied round
the trunk of each tree, which, when I came to inquire about the matter,
I learned was looked upon as a charm, and was sufficient to prevent any
thieves robbing the hives.  In the woods a number of beautiful yellow
birds were flying about, some of which I afterwards saw in cages in the
house of the chief and several of his people.  The cages were very
neatly made, and had traps on the tops to entice their still free
companions.  The chief called the birds _cabazo_, and I found that they
were a species of canary.  They fed them on a plant called the _lotsa_,
of which they cultivate a considerable quantity for food, and wild
canaries come and help themselves, much as sparrows do to the seeds
which the gardeners have sown at home.  I saw also several tame pigeons.
Early in the morning numerous other little songsters were chirruping
merrily away, some singing quite as loudly as our English thrushes; and
one, the king-hunter, _Halcyon senegalensis_, makes a clear whirring
sound like that of a whistle with a pea in it.  As we were returning,
suddenly we saw streaming out of a hole innumerable flying creatures.
They formed a dense column.  Out they came; there seemed to be no end of
them.  No sooner did our companions catch sight of them than they made
chase.  As the insects began to scatter, they appeared like snow-flakes
floating about in the air.  They were, I suspected, white ants.  After
flying a considerable distance they alighted on the ground, when, as we
watched them, they bent up their tails, unhooked their wings, and began
immediately digging away with wonderful rapidity into the earth.  They
had good need of haste, for birds were seen assembling from all
quarters, numerous hawks being among them, who began snapping them up
with the greatest avidity.  The natives, too, immediately set to work to
collect them, giving them a pinch and putting them into baskets which
they carried at their sides.  They were quite as eager to obtain them as
the birds were.  On picking some of them up I found that they were fully
half an inch long, as thick as a crow-quill, and very fat.  One I caught
had its wings on, and fancying from the ease with which its fellows got
rid of these appendages themselves that I could help it, I made the
attempt, but the wings appeared to me as if hooked into the body, and I
tore away a piece of the flesh at the same time.  As long as an ant was
to be found, the natives continued picking them up; and I suspect, out
of the whole brood but a small number could have reached places of
safety beneath the earth.

Our companions hurried home with their prizes, when they immediately
lighted fires, and roasted the ants, much as they might have done
chestnuts.  All hands gathered round and ate them eagerly, evidently
considering them among the greatest of delicacies.  When they saw us
watching them, they offered us some.  "No, no," said Natty; "I do not
know what I may do, but I have not come to that yet."  The chief, who
had the larger share brought to him, sat on the ground, rolling his eyes
round as he dropped insect after insect into his mouth, evidently
enjoying the repast, and seemed to look with an eye of pity on us when
we declined partaking of it.

Soon after this we observed a number of the men dressing themselves up
in a curious manner.  Some had covered their heads with caps made of the
skins of water-antelopes, with the horns still attached, part of the
skin hanging down over their shoulders so as to conceal the upper part
of their bodies.  Others had manufactured the heads and beaks and long
necks of white cranes into coverings for their heads.  Carrying their
bows and arrows in their hands, and quivers and darts at their backs,
they set forth to the bank of the lake.  We watched them crawling along
amid the reeds, their heads alone being visible, and looking very like
the animals they intended to represent.  I could see in the distance on
a sedgy bank several dark objects, which I guessed were crocodiles.  The
hunters approached them cautiously, now stopping, just as an antelope or
crane would do to feed, now advancing again, now stopping, till they had
got within bow-shot of the creatures.  Then, quickly raising their
weapons, they let fly at the same moment.  The result at that distance I
could not ascertain, but it appeared to me that, although I saw some
movement among the objects, yet two or more remained on the bank.  The
hunters rushed on, now careless of exhibiting themselves, and in a short
time returned with some of the flesh of the creatures they had killed.
They immediately set out again, and as I watched to ascertain the
direction they took, I saw in the far distance several buffaloes going
down to drink at the lake.  They were not back till dark; but, from the
quantity of buffalo flesh they brought with them, I had no doubt they
had killed one or two of the animals.  Their plump cheeks and bodies
showed that they had an abundance of food; and they were liberal in
bestowing on us as much as we could desire.

Our friends remained for a couple of days, enjoying, after the African
fashion, the abundance of food they had collected.  Whenever we
signified our wish to depart, the chief, as before, strenuously opposed
it.  In vain I protested against being detained, and made signs that we
were determined to go, whether he wished it or not.  This made him very
angry, and from his manner when he left us, we feared that, should we
really make the attempt, he would use force to prevent us.  We
therefore, as other people have done, had to yield to circumstances, and
to make the best of our position.  At last we agreed that we would
appear to be contented with our lot, so as, if possible, to throw our
captors off their guard.  They were the most active and persevering
hunters of any people we had yet met with.  The morning after the last
piece of buffalo flesh had been eaten (it had been rather too high for
our stomachs), we found that they were preparing to set off on a hunting
expedition, and we were not sorry to find that they expected us to
accompany them.  I carried my gun: I should have said I never let it out
of my hand by day, and always placed it under my mat by night, that no
one might take it from me.  The chief, I fancy, looked upon it as my
fetish, and certainly regarded it with considerable awe.  Whether or not
he had discovered that it had made the noise he had heard, I could not
as yet ascertain.  Among the hunters was a young man, whom we found to
be the chief's son.  He was one of the best-looking of the tribe, though
that is not saying much for him.  He was, however, good-natured, and
seemed inclined to make friends of us.  We therefore kept by his side.
About thirty hunters set out, headed by the young chief.  They were
armed with long spears and bundles of javelins, on which they appeared
to depend for killing their prey, trusting to their activity and the
knowledge of the animals they might attack to get out of their way.  We
passed through the wood we had before visited, and continued across an
open prairie till we arrived at a forest of considerable size, extending
on either hand as far as the eye could reach.  The band at once entered
it, spreading themselves out so as to beat a large part of the wood, but
yet continuing within call, if not always within sight of each other.
Natty and I followed the young chief.  After proceeding some way one of
the men came up, and presently we saw that they were all closing in
towards a point a little way ahead.  As we advanced I saw, just over the
bushes, the back of a large white rhinoceros.  The monster had come
there probably to enjoy the shade of the wood.  It seemed to be alone.
The men all approached cautiously, concealing themselves under the
brushwood till they were close upon the creature, then, starting up,
they hurled their darts at it.  The rhinoceros started forward, pursued
by the hunters, the young chief taking the lead.  Suddenly the creature
seemed to stagger forward.  Its front feet had sunk into a hole or
artificial pit, I could not ascertain which.  As it did so, instead of
struggling, it remained perfectly quiet.  At this juncture the young
chief, with his spear in his hand, leaped on the animal's back,
intending apparently to plunge the spear into its head behind the ear.
At that moment it suddenly reared itself up, and before our friend could
leap off again began tearing away at a rapid rate through the forest.
He clung to his seat in a wonderful way.  His spear, however, before he
could strike it into the animal's neck, was hurled by a bough from his
hand.  The hunters pursued, shrieking loudly through fear of the life of
their young chief.  I too dreaded lest he should be thrown off, when the
animal would too probably turn round upon him, and, before assistance
could arrive, might transfix him with its terrible horn.  I was also
afraid to fire, lest I might wound the young man.  His companions
followed, shrieking and shouting as fast as they could.  Natty and I
followed after, but could not make way through the thick and tangled
underwood so rapidly as the blacks.  We were therefore left behind.
Presently the rhinoceros turned, and came tearing towards us, forcing
its way through the underwood.  Still the black kept his seat, when the
rhinoceros, swerving on one side, passed under the bough of a tree, and
in the same manner that he had lost his spear he himself was hurled to
the ground.  He attempted to rise, but his ankle had apparently been
sprained, and before he had gone many paces down he fell.  The enraged
creature seemed aware that it had got rid of its rider.  It stopped, and
eyeing him with a savage glance, rushed towards him with its horn
pointed at his body.  Now, I felt, was the time for me to fire, or the
young man would certainly be killed.  I had, providentially, a rest for
my gun, and pulling the trigger, my bullet hit the rhinoceros directly
behind the ear.  The impetus it had gained sent it on several paces.  A
loud shriek rent the air; but just before it reached the young chief
over it fell, and lay perfectly still.  We ran forward to help up our
young friend.  He glanced up in my countenance with a look which showed
that he was grateful for the service I had rendered him.  He then took
my hand and pressed it to his lips.  In a few minutes the rest of the
hunters came up, when he addressed them, and, I concluded, was telling
them what I had done.  I certainly never fired a shot with so much
satisfaction.  The men came round Natty and I, their whole demeanour
completely changed, evidently looking upon us as heroes worthy of
renown, while some begged to examine the wonderful weapon which had done
the deed.

As soon as the hunters had cut up the rhinoceros, we returned in triumph
to the village.  The chief showed that he appreciated the service I had
rendered him in saving the life of his son by warmly embracing us--a
ceremony, by-the-by, with which we would gladly have dispensed.  We were
now, instead of being looked upon as prisoners at large, treated with
every consideration; and when I signified that the only reward we
required was to be allowed to return to our homes, I understood him to
beg that we would remain one day longer, when he would accompany us as
far as he could venture to go.

I suspected that his tribe were at war with their neighbours, as scouts
were constantly coming and going, and that this was the reason why he
could not accompany us in our search for Leo and Mango.  We would gladly
at once have set off to look for them; but when we showed a wish to go
to the south, he made us understand that they were already carried a
long way off, and that, coming from his village, we should be looked
upon as enemies, and probably murdered.  This we thought so likely, that
we agreed it would be prudent to return home to obtain the assistance of
our friends.

There was a grand feast at night on the flesh of the rhinoceros, and
dancing and singing were kept up till a late hour--an amusement we would
willingly have avoided.

Natty and I talked over the possibility of returning in the canoe, but
there were no paddles; and we could scarcely have propelled her, even
had we made some.  We begged the chief to take care of her till our
return, and this he promised, as far as we could understand, faithfully
to do.

Next morning we again expressed our anxiety to set off, but the chief
showed no inclination to let us go; and each time that we pressed him,
he signified that we must remain a little longer.  We were the less
unwilling to do this, in the hope that we might, in the meantime, gain
some news of Leo and Mango, and we once more urged the chief to try and
discover where they were.  He let us understand that he wanted first to
have another hunt, and that I must bring my gun to assist him.  I, of
course, expressed my readiness to comply with his wishes, but resolved
not to expend much of our powder, as we should require it on our return
home.  We were allowed to wander about the village wherever we liked,
but we observed that all the time we were carefully watched.  The women
and children always started up with looks of astonishment when we came
near them, the young ones running away, frightened at our white skins,
just as European children would be alarmed at the sudden appearance of a
black man among them.  On the outskirts of the village, near the river,
we came upon a group of people employed in burning large quantities of a
coarse-looking rush and stalks of a plant which I had seen growing in a
marsh near at hand.  I had, the day before, by chance tasted the water
in the march, and found it slightly brackish.  On examining the
proceedings of the people, I found that they were employed in
manufacturing salt.  Before them were a number of funnel-shaped baskets
formed of grass rope.  These were filled with the ashes, and water being
poured into them, percolated through the basket-work into calabashes
placed below to receive it.  They were then put out in the sun, and the
water evaporating, left a small amount of salt in each.  Although there
was not a sufficient quantity for salting fish or meat, the supply was
ample for ordinary use, and we were glad to purchase some with a few
beads which we had remaining in our pockets.  Amply supplied as we are
in England with that necessary article, we can scarcely appreciate its
value in a country where it is not to be obtained without great
difficulty.  Natty and I agreed to husband our little stock carefully,
as for the last few days we had felt the want of it when eating
rhinoceros flesh.  We had observed several animals coming down to this
salt marsh to chew the coarse grass or to lick up the salt collected on
the reeds.

As we were walking along we heard the chief calling to us, and found
that he was prepared to set out on his proposed expedition.  We saw as
we proceeded many large animals in the distance, but they had evidently
learned caution from the attacks made on them by the natives, and would
not approach the village.  As we appeared they took to flight, keeping
always a long way out of range of our companions' arrows.  Once I got
near a rhinoceros, but was unwilling to fire without feeling tolerably
sure of hitting the animal, as I had determined not to throw away a shot
if I could help it.  At length we got into a region where we could
obtain cover among low bushes, and occasionally clumps of trees.  The
natives took advantage of this, and hiding themselves under bushes,
clumps of tall reeds or grass, proceeded for some distance.  Natty and I
followed their example.  At last I saw, a little way from a grove of
trees, a herd of cameleopards quietly feeding.  The blacks lay like logs
of wood on the ground, every now and then creeping slowly on when the
heads of the animals were turned away from them.  Still they were too
far off for me to make sure of a shot.  I saw, a little way on, a
solitary bush.  I thought if I could reach it I might be able to bring
down one of the nearest giraffes.  The natives watched me eagerly as,
trailing my gun after me, I cautiously approached the bush.  I was very
anxious to kill an animal, in order still further to establish our
credit, hoping thereby also more speedily to obtain permission to
depart.  I could not help constantly thinking of the alarm our prolonged
absence would cause our friends.

As I crept on I saw the giraffes turning their heads, raised high in
air, now in one direction, now in the other, as if they suspected
danger.  I should have said that they were near a small grove of trees,
from the branches of which some of the herd were plucking the leaves.
This grove had partly concealed our party, or we should not have
approached so easily.  I had never prided myself on being a sportsman;
but I had steady nerves, and of late had given good practice to my eye,
and thoroughly knew the range of my rifle.  The bush was gained.  A
large bull cameleopard stood the nearest, every now and then turning his
head to pluck a bunch of leaves from a branch which no other animal
could have reached, but still apparently on the watch for danger.  I
raised myself on my knee, and lifting my rifle, took a steady aim at his
breast.  At the report the whole herd moved off, swinging their legs
over the plain at a rapid rate.  I thought that I must have missed, and
yet my bullet seemed to strike the creature at whom I had aimed.  Away
he went with the rest.  Before, however, he had proceeded fifty yards
down he suddenly fell, and lay prostrate on the earth.  The blacks, with
loud shrieks and shouts, rose from their hiding-places and darted
forward, and in a few minutes the wounded giraffe was surrounded by a
band of dancing, shrieking, shouting blacks, delighted at the thought of
the meal he was about to afford them.  Natty and I stood at a little
distance, when suddenly we saw the giraffe raise his neck high above the
heads of the shrieking band.  Presently out went his legs, and the chief
and his followers were seen scattered here and there on every side, some
prostrate on the ground, others scampering off to avoid the fury of the
kicks of the dying animal.  I thought some of them must have been
killed.  It was his last effort, however, and again sinking down, he lay
perfectly quiet.  The blacks picked themselves up, showing that at all
events no mortal injury had been done, and again assembled round the
body of the animal, though keeping at a more cautious distance till they
had ascertained that he was really dead.  On finding this to be the
case, they sprang on the body, and began hacking away at it with their
knives, till, in a short time, it presented nothing but a mass of
mutilated flesh.  The chief seemed highly delighted at our success, and
I took the opportunity of again urging him to allow us to go, trying to
make him understand that I would return, if he wished it, with
companions who were still better able to kill game for him than I was.

As a large portion of the day had been expended, without attempting to
seek for more game the chief led us back to the village.

"What do you think he will do?" asked Natty as we walked along.  "If he
will not let us go willingly, I propose that we take French leave, as
Leo would say, and I do not think he will attempt to stop us by force."

At a little distance from the village there stood, under a grove of
trees, a hideous idol, at the top of a stout post.  It was elaborately
carved, representing rather the face of an ape than that of a man, and
covered with red, yellow, and black paint.  The hunters placed some of
the meat of the giraffe before it, on a block of stone; but only a small
quantity, and that of the least valuable parts.  I guessed by this that
they had no great respect for their idol.  "Poor people," said Natty,
"perhaps they guess that they can cheat even it, and that it will not be
able to distinguish between the best and worst parts."  Natty and I were
also tempted to stop.  He made signs to the chief, touching his own
ears, and then shaking his head and pointing to the ears of the idol, to
signify that it could not hear.  Then he pointed to its mouth, and in
the same way tried to explain that it could not eat the meat placed
before it.  Then he touched its head, to show that it could not
understand.  We fancied that the chief comprehended his meaning, for he
laughed, and cast a contemptuous look at the ugly block.  Although he
did this, however, in our presence, it is possible that he still had
some superstitious fear of the idol, or of the evil spirit it might have
been intended to represent.

"The poor Africans have no knowledge of the powerful, kind, and merciful
God," observed Natty.  "The beings to whom they pay respect they believe
to be malign spirits, who will do them harm if they do not attempt to
propitiate them by gifts and observances."

I may observe here that we never paid the slightest respect to the negro
idols, and never were treated worse in consequence; indeed, I believe
that they would have despised us if we had done so, for though they may
fancy that their idols have something to do with them, they believe that
they have no power over the white men.

There was great rejoicing in the village on the arrival of the flesh of
the giraffe, the greater portion of which was consumed long before the
night was over.  While seated with the chief, I again asked him to let
us go, and he seemed to intimate that he would do so the following
morning.  While we were at supper, Natty proposed that we should hide as
much food as would last us for the following day.  "A good idea," I
observed.  The pockets of our shooting-jackets were capacious.  Whenever
the chief was looking another way, we contrived to slip in large pieces
of meat and cassava cake, besides pieces of plantain.  They made
somewhat of a mess in our pockets, but we could not be particular.  As
the chief consumed double as much as we hid away he was not surprised at
the rapid disappearance of the food, and had not observed our manoeuvre.

Natty and I lay down to rest, hoping that before another sunset we might
be far on our way homewards.



I awoke just as day broke, and roused up Natty.

"Where are we?" he exclaimed.  "Oh, I was dreaming, and so happy!"

"We have realities before us," I remarked.  "Are you prepared for

"Yes, yes," he whispered; "by all means.  Probably the people, after
their debauch, will sleep soundly, and we may get some way before we are

We put on our jackets, which we had placed at our sides, having slept
covered up with mats provided for us.  We then cautiously pushed open
the reed-formed door, and stood looking out up and down the street of
the village.  The stars were still twinkling overhead, though gradually
growing dimmer as the grey light of morning advanced.  I carefully
marked the course we were to take, and observing all the doors closed,
we now sallied forth, and crept cautiously along towards the end of the
street which opened out in the direction of our home.  Every moment we
expected to be pursued.  If we were, we agreed to put a bold face on the
matter, and to claim the right of departing.  Fortunately the
inhabitants, from having sat up the greater part of the night eating,
were sound asleep, and we hoped that our night would not be discovered
till we were a considerable distance on the road.  We stole on, treading
as lightly as possible in the centre of the street.  We could hear loud
snores proceeding from some of the huts.  The sound gave us confidence.
It also showed us how easily a native village might be surprised by
enemies.  The careless, thoughtless people seemed to have forgotten that
they were at war with their neighbours.  We reached the end of the
street.  There was a gateway, but the gate was closed.  On examining it
we found that it might be easily opened; but I feared that while we were
doing so the proper guards might pounce out on us.  They too had left
their posts, and we were reassured by hearing loud snores coming forth
from a hut close at hand.  I did not like to leave the gate open.  Natty
whispered to me that he thought he could climb over it.  There was no
great difficulty in doing that; the only fear was that on dropping on
the other side we might be heard.  However, there was no time to be
lost.  I helped Natty up, and he scrambled down without making any noise
on the opposite side.  I followed, and reached the top.  I might without
danger have dropped down, but, for the reason I have mentioned, I
thought it better to lower myself gradually.  My foot, however, slipped
when halfway, and the wood-work creaked loudly, while the noise I made
in falling would, I feared, arouse the sleeping guard.  We stopped for a
minute.  Still the snoring sounds came loud as before.  There was no
necessity for further delay.  We therefore, walking as noiselessly as we
could, hurried on towards the north-west.  We followed a well-beaten
path, which I had before noted as leading in the direction we wished to
go.  As soon as we had got far enough from the village to make it
unlikely that our footsteps would be heard, we began running, I leading,
and Natty following close at my heels.  I had been a good runner, but
was out of practice.  Natty, however, was very active, and easily kept
up with me.  We ran on for an hour or more without stopping, till we
were bathed in perspiration, and I felt that I could not go much further
without rest.

"Do stop," said Natty.  "Even if the blacks discovered our escape
directly after we left the village, it must be some time before they can
overtake us."

"You are right," I answered; "a little rest will enable us to go faster

We sat down under a wide-spreading tree.  The shade was pleasant; for
the sun, which had already shot up high into the heavens, sent down his
rays with great force.  The air was full of life.  Insects were buzzing
about, and gaily-decked parrots flew from bough to bough, while the
monkeys came out of their leafy covers and looked down upon us with
astonishment.  We took the opportunity of eating some of the food we had
brought in our pockets.  It was not very nice, but it satisfied our
hunger.  I was soon ready to proceed.  Natty, however, urged me to rest
a little longer, thinking that I should be over-fatigued by such unusual

"Come along," I said; "the further we are off, the less likely our
friends at the village will be to insist on our returning with them."

We went on as before.  Sometimes a snake glided across our path, but
quickly got out of our way, more frightened at us than we were at seeing
it.  Now we heard a rustling in the underwood, and a panther or hyena
dashed away amid the foliage without thinking of attacking us.  We had
gone on at a slower pace than at first, when, by the appearance of the
sun in the sky, I saw that it must be noon.  I now once more called a
halt, for I felt tired myself, and was afraid that Natty must be equally
so.  We had for some time been crossing the open prairie, steering, by
the sun and the distant line of mountain, as I hoped in the right
direction.  Before us lay a thick wood.  Natty proposed that we should
take shelter within it, as, even should the natives closely pursue us,
we might there have the prospect of remaining concealed while they
passed by.

"I am afraid that you have scarcely yet recovered your strength
sufficiently to march on all day without rest," said Natty; "and as I
could not find my way without you, I hope, for my sake as well as yours,
that you will stop for an hour or so here."

This argument prevailed with me; for I was so anxious to reach home, and
felt so strong, that I should have gone on till night would prevent us
from proceeding further.  We accordingly entered the wood, and after
making our way a short distance into it, came to a small open spot, free
of trees or thick underwood.

"I propose that we build a hut of boughs here," said Natty.  "We can
take our turns to go to sleep in it, and it will help to guard us
against the attacks of lions or other beasts."

With our axes we cut down a sufficient number of boughs to form a
shelter, and having planted them close together, a hut was formed which
would, I hoped, afford us ample protection.  As the sun struck down into
the woodland glade with great force, we took our seats within the hut
for the sake of the shade, and discussed a further portion of our
provisions.  I saw that Natty was very sleepy, though he was trying his
utmost to keep awake.  I therefore told him to lie down, and that I
would watch.  Finding a branch of a tree torn off, perhaps by lightning,
I chopped a piece of sufficient length to serve as a pillow, and having
examined it carefully to see that no scorpion or other stinging insect
lurked within, I placed it under his head, and sat down at the entrance
of our leafy bower to keep watch, with my gun by my side, ready for
action at a moment's notice.  I felt somewhat drowsy, but made every
effort to arouse myself, feeling the importance of keeping awake.
Presently I heard a slight rustling, as if some animal was moving among
the bushes near me; but without shifting my position I could see
nothing.  Then I heard a sound as if creatures were nibbling grass or
leaves.  This made me sure that no savage beast caused the sounds, and I
sat quiet, expecting soon to discover what creatures they were.
Presently two beautiful fawns came in sight.  They did not perceive me,
but went on quietly grazing, unconscious of the presence of one of their
many enemies.  At length they came full before me.  "Shall I fire?"  I
asked myself.  "One of them would afford us ample food till we could
reach home."  I was afraid, however, that should I move to raise my
rifle, and get into a better position for taking aim, they would
instantly be off, and bound into the thicket before I could even fire.
While I was considering (though sportsmen may laugh at me, I own I was
unwilling to kill one of the beautiful creatures), another, of a very
different character, appeared on the scene.  Suddenly I caught sight of
a pair of glaring eyes amid the thick gloom of the thicket on my left.
I saw a large tiger-looking animal of a fawn colour, the back variegated
with round black spots.  I guessed at once that the creature was a
_cheetah_, or hunting leopard, and thought it was lying in wait for the
deer till they should approach within distance of its spring.  I had no
idea, however, that it could make so prodigious a bound as it at that
moment did; for scarcely had I seen it, when it sprang out of its
ambush, and alighted on the unfortunate buck, which it struck down with
one tremendous blow.  Seizing my rifle, and throwing myself on my knee,
I took a steady aim, and the ball entered the cheetah's head.  It sprang
up, dragging its prey with it, but instantly sank down, and rolled over
dead.  Natty sprang to his feet at the report.  The cheetah had settled
the question whether the buck should die, for the poor creature was so
mangled, though not killed outright, that we saw it would be a mercy to
put it out of its sufferings.  This we immediately did.  Its more
fortunate companion had escaped into the open ground.

We lost no time in cutting up our prize, for the meat we had brought
with us was already scarcely fit to eat, and we both confessed to
feeling very hungry again.

"We may as well light a fire and cook it," I said.  "We must take care,
however, not to set the wood in a blaze."

There was ample fuel about, and choosing a spot where the grass was
green, and did not readily burn, we piled up the sticks we collected.  I
had a tinder-box and matches in my wallet, and thus we soon had a good
fire burning.  In a short time we had some pieces of venison roasting in
woodland fashion on forked sticks before the fire.

Having selected the best parts of the venison, and wrapped them up in
leaves to carry with us, we recommenced our meal on the portion we had
cooked.  The salt we had purchased a few days before was now
particularly acceptable, and we both had meat, we hoped, sufficient to
sustain us for many hours.  Now greatly refreshed, we prepared to
proceed on our journey.  We first put out the fire, however, that there
might be no risk of setting the forest in a blaze.

"We must leave the cheetah and the rest of the deer to the birds and
beasts of prey which are sure to visit it before long," I observed.
"And now, Natty, let us be off."

Scarcely had I uttered the words when he touched my arm.  "Stay," he
said; "I am sure I heard voices in the distance."

We listened.  There could be no doubt of it.  The sounds drew nearer.
The tones were very similar to those we had heard during our stay at the

"They must be our late friends come to look after us," I observed.  "If
we are discovered, we will put a good face on the matter."

"Would it not be better to go and meet them at once, and present them
with the game we have killed?" said Natty.

I agreed with him; and peering out from our shelter, I recognised the
chief and his son, with a band of followers.  Loading ourselves,
therefore, with as much venison as we could carry, we sallied boldly
forth, and were soon face to face with our late hosts.  Their look of
astonishment when they saw us and the meat we carried was very great.
By the expression of their countenances, however, we saw that they were
not offended.  As far as we could understand, the chief only reproached
us for going away without bidding him farewell.  I felt myself somewhat
embarrassed, for I could not help seeing that he had intended to let us
go as he promised.  We showed that we had enough meat for ourselves, and
presented him with the larger portion.  Having done this, we led him and
his companions to the spot where the cheetah and the remainder of the
deer lay.  His companions quickly cut up the cheetah as we had done the
deer, and divided the flesh among them.  We then pointed in the
direction we wished to go, and the chief taking my hand, and his son
Natty's, we proceeded onwards in the most friendly way.  At length my
conductor came to a full stop, and, looking me in the face, seemed again
to be reproaching me for having left his village by stealth.  I tried,
as before, to explain that we were in a hurry to reach our friends; and
as he had detained us longer than we wished, we were afraid he might
still keep us prisoners.  Whether I was right in my conjectures as to
his meaning, I am not quite certain.  He, at all events, showed that he
was friendly disposed towards us.

He now signified that he could go no further, and, pointing ahead,
intimated that we should find enemies in our path if we went direct.  He
then, pointing to the left, advised us, as I understood him, to make a
circuit so as to avoid the danger.  Having satisfied himself that we
clearly understood his advice, he and his son warmly shook our hands,
their followers imitating their example.  Such a shaking of hands I had
never before gone through.  I observed as I turned away that there was
an expression of sorrow in their countenances, which arose partly,
perhaps, from parting with us, and partly from the dangers which they
apprehended we should have to encounter.

We now took our way to the south-west, skirting the edge of the forest,
which appeared to extend towards the lake.  We had not gone far, when,
turning round, I saw the young chief stopping and gazing at us.  When he
found that he was observed, leaving his party, he darted after us, and
once more took our hands, pressing them warmly, intimating that if his
father would give him leave he would accompany us.  His father's voice,
however, called him back, and, with a look of regret, he again left us.

"At all events," observed Natty, "we must acknowledge that gratitude can
exist in the breasts of these Africans."

"It does certainly in that of our friend," I said.  "They generally have
a very different character bestowed on them."

As long as the blacks remained in sight, we could see the young chief
every now and then turning and casting lingering glances towards us.

We now pushed on, hoping to find some secure place where we might pass
the night.  We were fortunate in finding a tree with wide-spreading
branches, radiating so closely from a common centre that they formed a
wide and secure platform on which we could rest without fear of falling
off.  We climbed up as soon as we had supped, and passed the night in
perfect quiet.

I need not mention the incidents of the two following days.  We were
cheered as we trudged on with the expectation of soon rejoining our

It struck me, on the third day of our journey, as we walked on, that
Natty was less inclined to speak than usual; and looking at his face, I
saw that he was deadly pale.  He did not complain, however.  I asked him
if anything was the matter.  He said no; he only felt a little fatigued,
and thought that he should be revived by a night's rest.  I proposed
that we should stop at once; but to this he would not consent, declaring
that he was well able to get on as long as daylight lasted.

The country though which we passed was similar to what I have already
described.  We proceeded in as direct a line as we could steer, keeping
the distant hills on our right, instead of going towards them.

I proposed the following day to begin circling round more directly for
them, as I hoped that we had now gone far enough south to avoid the
village against which the chief and his son had warned us.  I should not
have hesitated, however, to have gone amongst the people, had I not
feared that we might be detained by them as we had been by their

The forest as we advanced grew thinner, and we found the trees at length
standing so widely apart that we could see the plain beyond them.  As
the wood might afford us more shelter than the open plain, and the sun
was already sinking towards the blue hills in the distance, we agreed to
halt.  As I saw that Natty was not able to exert himself, I bade him sit
down while I cut branches to form a hut, and collected wood for a fire.
As I could not tell what wild animals might be roaming about around us,
I determined to make our hut sufficiently strong to resist an attack.

I selected a tree of a considerable diameter, which served as a back to
the hut.  I stuck the uprights in the soft ground among the roots.
There were plenty of vines, with which I bound the cross-pieces to the
trunk and to the uprights.  The intervening spaces I filled up with
light perpendicular poles.  While I was gathering a further supply, I
found that Natty had interwoven them with branches and vines, thus
forming tolerably substantial walls.  Some of the boughs thrown over the
top served for a roof, which, however, would not have kept out a
tropical shower; but there was no fear, we thought, of rain.  Darkness
was now coming rapidly on, but I had not yet a sufficient supply of wood
to keep up our fire all the night; and I told Natty to make it up and
light it while I went to collect more broken branches, of which there
were numbers lying about, torn off probably by a hurricane.  While I was
engaged, I saw the fire blaze up, and hoped that Natty would have some
venison roasted by the time I had finished my work.  Having brought a
couple of loads and placed them down by the side of the hut, I went away
for a third.  I had got as many branches as I could carry, and returned
with them towards our encampment, expecting to hear Natty hail me as I
drew near; but as I approached the fire I could not distinguish him.  I
called, but no answer came.  My heart sank within me.  I was afraid that
some accident had happened.  Again and again I called.  Throwing down
the branches, I hurried on towards the hut, when what was my grief to
see him extended on the ground at the entrance, and some little way from
the fire!  I knelt down by his side and put my hand to his heart.  It
beat, though feebly.  I examined him, but could find no wound.  He had
swooned, apparently from exhaustion.  Our waterbottles were full, as we
had replenished them at the last stream we passed, knowing that we might
afterwards have to go many miles without finding more.  His whole dress
was so loose that there was no necessity to undo any part of it; but I
sprinkled his face with water, and then poured a few drops down his
throat.  Still he lay without moving.

"Natty, my dear Natty, what has happened to you?  Speak to me!  Speak!"
I could not help exclaiming.

I had no stimulant, no medicine of any sort.  I must trust, I knew,
alone to Nature, or rather, I should say, to the kind Being who directs
its laws.  To Him I looked up and prayed that my young friend might
recover.  Forgetting everything but Natty, I continued kneeling, holding
his head on my arm.  At length, by the light of the fire, as night came
on, I saw his eyes opening.

"Push on, Andrew," he whispered; "we may still keep ahead of them!  I
will run as fast as you do!"

I saw that his mind was wandering.  Then he heaved a deep sigh.

"Are you better, Natty?"  I asked.

"Oh yes.  Where am I?" he asked, staring about him.

I told him I thought he had fainted, and begged that he would take some
food and then lie down.  He had already torn off some of the leaves from
the boughs, and had made a sufficient bed for us; but, of course, we
intended that only one should sleep at a time.

At length, to my great joy, he was able to sit up by himself on the
ground.  Finding this, I went to the fire to get the venison, which had
been left roasting before it.  As may be supposed, it was somewhat
burned, but I was able to cut as many small slices from it as he could
eat.  After tasting a piece, he said, "Do you take it, Andrew.  I do not
think I want it."  I pressed him, however; and in a little time he was
able to make a tolerable meal.  I then placed him inside the hut,
telling him that I would sit up and keep watch till it was his turn, of
course intending to let him sleep on the whole of the night, if he could
do so.

I then made up the fire, finished the piece of burned venison, and sat
myself down in front of the hut.  I looked in several times, and was
thankful at length to find that Natty was asleep, I felt a strong
inclination to sleep also, and had the greatest difficulty in keeping
myself awake.  Whenever I felt myself nodding, I got up and walked
about; but I was tired, and certainly required rest.  At last I did what
many a sentinel has done under similar circumstances.  Though believing
I was quite awake, I fell fast asleep.  Even in my dreams I thought I
was getting up, walking about, and then sitting down again, and then
going to look in at Natty.  Then I thought I made up the fire.  I was
somewhat surprised that it did not blaze as readily as before.  By this
time I was fast asleep.  At length I thought I went in to look at Natty
again, when what was my horror not to find him.

I awoke, to find myself leaning against the entrance at the end of our
hut.  The fire was very low, a few glowing embers alone remaining.  The
night was dark.  As I looked round me, trying to open my eyes wide, what
was my dismay to see numerous pairs of shining orbs gazing at me through
the gloom!  That they were the eyes of wild beasts I was convinced,
though of what description I could not tell.  The usual night sounds of
an African forest alone reached my ears.  The eyes seemed to be drawing
nearer and nearer; and now suddenly a chorus of loud sharp barks and
snarls burst forth, and by the faint light cast by the fire I could see
a number of animals approaching the spot.  I now guessed that they were
wild dogs, a species of hyena, which hunt in packs like wolves; or
perhaps true hyenas, and would prove, I dreaded, formidable assailants.
Through the gloom I saw just then another body, which I guessed was a
second pack arriving, thus causing the angry remonstrances of the first.
A pile of firewood lay near me.  I threw some of the sticks on my fire,
hoping, if it blazed up, they would not attempt to pass it.  My gun I
had ready by my side; but as I could only kill one at a time, I was
afraid, should I begin the assault, I should find it a hard matter to
drive them off.  I did not like to wake Natty; indeed, in his weak state
he would have been of little assistance.  The effect of throwing the
sticks on the fire was, at first, to dull it, and I was afraid I had put
it out altogether.  This made the creatures draw still nearer.  I rose
to my feet and stood at the door of the hut, resolving, should they
come, to defend my young companion to the last.  If they seized me, I
knew that my fate and his would be sealed.  The brutes kept rushing
backwards and forwards within a few yards of the fire, growling and
yelping furiously.  I was surprised that the noise did not awake Natty.
His sleep, doubtless, was produced by utter exhaustion.  I was afraid,
however, that if I fired, Natty would be startled.  I therefore called
out to him, "Do not be alarmed when you hear the report of my rifle!
Natty!  Natty! awake!"  I called out several times.  I began to fear
that he was senseless, or even that worse had happened.  "Natty! my dear
Natty! what is the matter?"  I again shouted out.

The effect of my voice was what I had not expected, for my savage
assailants on hearing it began to retreat to a more respectful distance.
I thought that I might venture to enter the hut to see what was the
matter with Natty.  The brutes, however, directly I was silent, again
came on.  I was relieved too by hearing Natty ask, "What is it all
about, Andrew?  Have you found Leo and Mango?  I have been dreaming
about them so much."  Greatly relieved, I replied that some wild animals
were in the neighbourhood, and that I was going to fire at them; and
once more I turned my face towards our enemies.

The brutes were again drawing nearer.  Advancing a pace or two to the
fire, I gave it a kick with my foot.  This made the flames leap up.  By
their light I saw that a fresh actor had come upon the stage and
attracted the attention of the savage brutes.  A huge serpent had
crawled out from among the bushes.  It sprang upon one of the dogs,
which immediately, writhing in agony, sank on the ground.  Instead of
taking to flight, however, they rushed at the creature, one of them
seizing it by the back, but not before one or two others were bitten.
The rest then set on it, and tearing it to pieces, quickly devoured the
greater portion, leaving the head, on account I concluded of the venom
it contained.  Not satisfied with their victory over the snake, they
once more advanced towards me with hideous growls and yelps.  Seeing
that it would be dangerous to allow them to approach nearer, I took aim
at a large animal, which appeared to be the leader of the pack.  I
knocked him over, and he lay struggling on the ground yelping loudly.
His companions came round him, and gave me time to reload.  I did not
wish to expend my ammunition uselessly, so, stooping down, I seized a
burning stick, giving another poke to the fire as I did so, and then
waved the brand round and round, shouting loudly in a gruff voice, and
ordering the dogs to be off.  Though they did not understand what I
said, the tone of my voice had the effect I desired; and, greatly to my
relief, barking and yelping, they scampered away, I shouting after them.
The animal I had shot kicked his last as they disappeared in the gloom
of the night, and I hoped that I was rid of them.

Having thrown some more sticks on the fire, I went back to Natty.  I
felt his hand; it appeared very feverish, and I was still more alarmed
by hearing the incoherent expressions he uttered.  Weary as I was, I
could not venture again to go to sleep.  I sat down, therefore, by the
side of my poor young companion, moistening his fevered lips every now
and then with water, and bathing his forehead.  Still it was with the
greatest difficulty I could keep my eyes open.  Sometimes I got up and
walked about in front of the hut, and threw a few more sticks on the
fire.  I myself, it must be remembered, had scarcely recovered from my
illness.  Having again made up the fire, increasing it to nearly double
the size, I once more sat down by Natty's side.  I talked aloud, and
kept pinching myself, in the hope that by so doing I might keep awake.
But exhausted nature at length had its way--my head dropped on my bosom,
and I was asleep, so soundly indeed, that I doubt if the loudest noise
would have aroused me.

In spite of my intentions, I must have had some hours' sleep.  I was
awaked by a bright light striking my eyes, and opening them, they were
dazzled by the almost horizontal rays of the rising sun coming across
the plain.  My ears were assailed also by a loud barking and yelping,
and I saw close to me the pack of savage dogs which had paid me a visit
the night before, setting furiously on the body of their companion whom
I had shot.  The light of the sun had awaked me in time, or they might
have made an attack on the hut before I was ready for their reception.
I let them devour their companion, which they speedily did, leaving not
a particle of skin or bone behind them; one running off with one piece,
and one with another.  The remainder, disappointed of their share of the
prey, then turned their savage eyes towards me.  Once more I shouted
loudly, and taking off my jacket, waved it at them.  Again, to my
satisfaction, off the creatures scampered; and I hoped that I had seen
the last of them.  They had not touched the bodies of their companions
bitten by the serpent, which had already become putrid.  As I dragged
the carcases to a distance, I felt thankful that the dogs had visited
us, as, had they not come when they did, the snake might have found its
way to the hut, and bitten Natty or me.  I could not tell its species,
but thought that it was probably the same which had made its appearance
on the island when we were escaping from the Pangwes.



On re-entering the hut I found that Natty was still sleeping; but his
slumbers were greatly troubled, and he had evidently much fever on him.
Oh, how I wished that David had been with us; for, with all my anxiety,
I did not know how to treat him.  One thing was certain, he was utterly
unable to travel.  I was unwilling even to go out of sight of the hut,
lest some wild beast might in the meantime come near it.  I must do so,
however, before long, I saw; for our slender stock of water was already
almost exhausted, and cold water, I felt sure, was absolutely necessary
for him.  In what direction I was most likely to find it I could not
tell.  The last stream we crossed was some distance back, and I might
have to go a long way across the plain before coming to another; indeed,
in no direction did the appearance of the country indicate a stream or
fountain.  This thought caused me the greatest anxiety.  I would have
endured any amount of thirst, I thought, rather than not give Natty what
he required.  I remembered that the orphan boy was committed to my
charge by his father, and as a father would treat his son, so was I
bound to treat him.

After sitting by his side for some time and eating a slender breakfast,
I took my gun and walked about the hut, now going in one direction, now
in the other, in the hope of finding indications of water.  Perhaps, I
thought, I may kill a parrot or pigeon, or some other bird, which may be
more palatable to him than stronger meat.  I went further and further,
but still could find no signs of water.  While I was at the furthest
point the dread seized me, that although the hut was in sight some
creature might have stolen in, and I hurried back, dreading to find my
fears realised.  Not till I had entered the hut and knelt down by his
side was I satisfied that he was safe.  He was still sleeping, and I
hoped he might thereby recover his strength.  After sitting for some
time by his side, I again got up and cut a number of boughs.  These I
stuck in round the entrance, so that no creature could possibly get in.
I now ventured to go rather further from the hut, but could not bring
myself to lose sight of the tree under which it was situated.  I
continued looking about for birds; for though I saw some at a distance,
I could not get near enough to be certain of a shot; and as I said
before, I could not venture to throw any of my ammunition away.  I was
beginning to feel very thirsty, and had recourse to chewing leaves,
hoping that it would relieve me.  It had, however, but little effect.
At last, greatly out of spirits, I returned to the hut.  Natty awoke as
I pulled aside the boughs.  He scarcely seemed to know me, however.  I
gave him a little water, and I thought, after taking it, he looked
rather better, so I gave him more.  I had been sitting by his side for
some time, when I heard him whisper--"You had better go on, Andrew; I
will follow by-and-by, but do not stop for me."

"That will never do," I answered, thankful to hear him speak.  "You will
get well shortly, and then we will go on together."

"I will try to go with you now," he said, trying to rise; but he sank
back immediately, unable to lift himself from the ground.  He uttered a
sigh on discovering his weakness.

I passed the remainder of the day as I had the commencement.  As I saw
evening approaching I collected a large supply of broken branches to
serve as firewood, and then made up a semicircular heap, which I
intended to keep blazing all the night.  I was sorry that I had not
slept during the day, that I might the more easily keep awake while on
my watch.  I took some supper, though, in consequence of the thirst from
which I was suffering, I felt little disposed to eat; but still I was
unwilling to exhaust our water by drinking more than a few drops.  I
knew that the next day I must inevitably go in search of some.  My young
companion's life might depend upon my finding it.  To avoid the risk of
being surprised should I fall asleep, after I had lighted the fire and
seen that it blazed up thoroughly, I took my seat inside the hut, and
secured the boughs as before.  In spite of my resolution to keep awake,
I had not been seated on the ground more than an hour or so before I
felt sleep stealing over me.  At length I tried to arouse myself.  I was
completely overpowered, though I still retained a consciousness of where
I was, and of the necessity of being on my guard.  Suddenly I awoke,
feeling an undefined dread.  I could hear Natty breathing, but all was
dark inside the hut.  On looking out I discovered that I must have been
asleep for some time, for the fire was entirely extinguished.  I sprang
up, leaving my gun on the ground.  My first impulse was to re-light the
fire.  I hurriedly felt about for the sticks, which I had placed on one
side, and carried them to the spot where the fire had been burning.  I
placed them as before in a semicircle.  Finding that I could not strike
the light in the open air, I retired into the hut to do so.  Whilst thus
employed I fancied I heard some creature moving over the ground.  I got
the match lighted, and then set fire to the bundle of twigs which I had
collected.  With these in my hand, I went to the pile of wood.  I tried
to light it.  At last I set it on fire in one place.  I was then moving
round to another, when I saw at about twenty paces off a dark object
creeping slowly towards me.  On it came; and while blowing away at the
wood to cause it to ignite, I began to distinguish the outlines of a
huge lion.  In a few seconds the savage monster might be upon me.
Already he was near enough, I thought, to make his spring with fatal
effect.  I knew that my chief safety would depend on the fire blazing up
quickly.  Taking the torch, therefore, and mustering all the nerve I
possessed, I tried to light the pile at another spot between the two
which were already beginning to burn, though feebly.  Now I bent down
and blew, now looked up towards the lion.  To my horror, I saw him
crouching down, and slowly creeping towards me.  I knew he was doing so
preparatory to making his tremendous spring.  Just then a breeze fanned
my cheek.  It came stronger and stronger, and up blazed the fire.  The
lion stopped.  Giving a stir to the fire as I passed along it, I rushed
back to my hut and seized my gun.  As the fire blazed up the monster
gave a tremendous roar of rage and disappointment, but still held his
ground.  The sound awoke Natty, who asked, in a trembling voice, what
was the matter.  "Remain quiet," I answered.  "We have an unwelcome
visitor, but I hope to drive him away."  Again the lion roared and
lashed his tail, but he could not bring himself to dash through the
fire, though he must have seen me moving about on the other side of it.
I stood up with my gun, which I had loaded with a bullet, hoping to hit
him should he make a spring.  Still he did not move; and remembering the
effects of my shouts the night before, I suddenly rushed towards the
fire, kicking it about, so as to make the flames rise up more briskly
than before, and at the same time shouting out at the top of my voice.
The lion roared in return.  The louder he roared, the more wildly I
shouted and shrieked; and then, seizing a number of burning sticks, I
sprang over the fire towards him.  The effect was satisfactory, for,
turning round, away he bounded into the darkness, whilst I shouted out,
"Victory! victory!"  I had heard that if lions are thus met by a bold
front, they often prove cowardly; and I hoped, therefore, that my
visitor would not return.  I now made up the fire, and went back to
Natty.  I found him trembling with alarm, but in other respects far more
like himself than he had been all the day.  This raised my hopes of his
recovery.  I gave him a little water and a few mouthfuls of cassava; and
I was glad to find that in a short time he again dropped off to sleep.
As may be supposed, I had no inclination, after my encounter with the
lion, again to close my eyes.  Should Natty be better in the morning, I
resolved to start off at an early hour in search of water.  I was
therefore thankful when the cheering light of day again returned.  I
gave Natty some more food, and almost the last drops of water we
possessed.  I had a small drinking-cup; into this I poured the
remainder, and told him to husband it carefully.

"I must go out, Natty, and try and find some more," I said.  "I will
imprison you as securely as I can, and you must try to wait patiently
till I return.  I will not be absent a moment longer than I can help."

Natty looked anxiously up at me.  "Is it absolutely necessary?" he

"Yes, indeed," I said; "but I hope that before long I shall find what we
want, and in a day or two you will be able to accompany me home."

"I will try to get well; but it is not my fault, Andrew.  I would walk
if I could," he said, in a faint tone.

I was not content with merely closing the entrance, but getting some
strong vines, I intertwined them round the walls and then got some large
boughs, and placed them over the whole building.  I trusted that thus no
animal could possibly enter.  I knew that sufficient air would be
obtained through the roof.  All that I could do was to pray, for his
sake and my own, that I might return in safety to him.

"Good-bye, Natty," I said, when I had finished the work.  "Keep up your
spirits, my boy.  I hope soon to be back; but if I do not come as
quickly as you expect, do not be alarmed.  I may have to go some way for

My wisest course perhaps was to have gone back to the last stream we had
passed; but then I could not have returned the same night to our hut,
and what would poor Natty have done all that time without me?  I
therefore determined to push on in an opposite direction, hoping that I
might meet with a fountain or rivulet.  On and on I went.  The sun, as
he rose in the sky, grew hotter and hotter.  I had not a drop of water
to cool my dry tongue.  I had never before really known the feeling of
want of water.  I had been very thirsty; but now the whole inside of my
mouth and throat seemed to consist of a dry horny substance, or as if I
had swallowed some of the contents of a dust-bin.  Still on and on I
went.  I hoped by continuing in a direct course that I should obtain
water more speedily.

A considerable portion of the day had passed away.  The sun had attained
its greatest heat, when I thought I saw in the distance a line of trees,
which I felt sure indicated the presence of water.  I pushed on more
eagerly, but as I advanced they changed their outline, and suddenly
disappeared.  All I could see before me was a low line of grass and
bushes, which had evidently been magnified by a mirage into the
proportion of lofty trees.  I went on, but continued to be deceived time
after time in the same way.  In every direction the mirage danced on the
plain.  I found that in reality the range of my vision was restricted to
a very moderate distance.  Suddenly a herd of animals appeared, lifted
completely up in the air.  They were deer of some species.  I hoped by
killing one that I might somewhat quench my raging thirst with its
blood, but before I had got up to where I had seen them they had
scampered off.  At length I saw what I felt sure was a pool of water.
Eagerly I hurried towards it.  It was a long way off, I thought; but I
was willing to go any distance for the wished-for fluid, hoping that my
sufferings would find relief, and that I might return before nightfall
to my young companion.  I was confirmed in my opinion by catching sight
of several gnus going in the same direction.  "They are going there to
drink," I thought; and I felt ready even to encounter lions or any other
savage beasts for the sake of the water.  The gnus did not perceive me,
as they were to windward.  There was, however, so little wind that I had
to wet my finger and hold it up to discover the point from which it
came.  I hoped that I should be able to get close up to the animals.
Now they stopped and fed, now they moved on again slowly.  Presently I
saw them stop, when they began switching their tails, and sniffing the
air, and scraping the earth impatiently with their hoofs.  As I was
concealed by the ground, which here was sufficiently uneven for the
purpose, I did not think that they could have discovered me.  Presently
I was startled by the fierce growl of some animal at no great distance.
I stopped; and looking round, I saw to my horror a huge lion and lioness
at a short way off, just above me.  It was evident that they had been
following the gnus, who had only at that instant begun to suspect their
presence.  The lion must at the same time have discovered me, and
uttered the roar which I had heard, while his companion was still
creeping on after the gnus.  I stopped and knelt down, holding my rifle
ready to fire should the lion approach me.  Still there was the lioness,
and being sure that the report of my gun would attract her even should I
kill the lion, I determined not to fire till it was absolutely
necessary.  The growl which the lion uttered at seeing me must have been
heard by the gnus, which now set off at a rapid pace to escape from
their pursuers.  The lioness darted forward in pursuit, and the lion,
uttering a few more savage roars at me, turned round and followed her.
I was free from their company for the moment, but the knowledge that
they were in the neighbourhood added greatly to my anxiety.  I could not
help fearing, too, that they or others might find their way to poor
Natty's hut during my absence.  I had for the moment forgotten my
thirst, but now again the sufferings I had been enduring returned, and I
turned my eyes once more towards the spot where I had seen the pond.
Both the gnus and the lions had disappeared.  I went on, thinking that I
must soon reach the water.  After hurrying on till I felt ready to drop,
I found myself standing on an extent of hard-baked earth, while the
glittering pool I had hoped to reach had disappeared.  I looked round.
Similar pools appeared in various places on the very ground I had come
over.  I knew therefore that they were but deceptions caused by the
mirage.  What had become of the lions I could not tell.  I only hoped
that the gnus had led them a long chase, and that they were far away
from me.

Wearied out, I sat down under the shade of a rock, which just sheltered
my head and shoulders.  My spirits were sinking.  I began to fear that I
had death alone to expect as a termination to my sufferings.  And poor
Natty, he would die too; for weak from fever, and unable to help
himself, he must inevitably be starved.  "I will go back and die with
him," I exclaimed.  "While a particle of strength remains, I will push
on.  I cannot let him suffer alone!"  While these thoughts were passing
through my mind, I saw some birds flying through the air, uttering as
they went a soft melodious cry, which sounded somewhat like "Pretty
dear! pretty dear!"  I watched them anxiously.  They were too far off
for me to hit them, but I judged from their flight that they were a
species of partridge which I had before seen.  They came from the
south-east, directing their course towards the north-west.  Presently I
observed, as I watched them anxiously, that they neared the ground, and
then seemed to me settling down at no great distance off.

I remembered having heard that springs have been discovered by
travellers in the desert by watching the flight of birds, and I hoped
that these were on their way to some fountain.  I arose, and hurried on
as fast as my weakness would allow in the direction they had taken.
Still I could not help dreading that I might be again disappointed.  I
caught sight at length of some rocks, on the other side of which they
had disappeared.  The rocks rose high above the dry, hard ground.  As
yet there was no indication of water.  My heart sunk within me, but I
persevered.  I had not strength to climb the rocks, which rose high up
before me, but I circled round them.  I got to the other side, when my
eyes were gladdened by the sight of green herbage and luxuriant shrubs,
which I knew delight in water.  Hurrying on, I saw beneath the rocks a
calm, clear crystal pool.  Oh, how delighted I felt!  But on getting to
the edge I found that the water was too far below me to be easily
reached.  I scrambled along the rocks, till at length I discovered a
spot which appeared not more than a foot or two above the water.  I
reached it at length, and throwing myself on the ground, bent over till
I could clip my hands in the pure liquid.  I eagerly lapped it up.  I
felt that I could never drink enough.  By degrees my parched tongue and
mouth began to feel cool, and I rose like another person.  After resting
a few minutes, I filled my water-bottle.  Evening was approaching, but I
could not bear the thought of leaving Natty all the night without
attempting to return to him.  Once more I drank my fill.  While
drinking, I saw several other flights of birds arrive at the water.  A
covey of them pitched thickly on a rock near me.  They would afford
valuable nourishment to my young friend.  I withdrew the bullet from my
rifle and loaded it with small shot.  It was an ungrateful act I was
about to perpetrate, I confess; I thought so even at the time.  The
birds, too, seemed fearless of me.  I raised my gun and fired.  Greatly
to my delight, I saw three lying on the rock, and two others fluttering
near.  I hurried forward to secure them.  Scarcely had I done so when,
looking round, I saw a lion and lioness--probably the same which had
pursued the gnus--approaching the pool.  Strange to say, I felt but
little fear of them.  Still I thought it unwise to stand in their path
should they be on their way to drink, as I had no doubt they were.  I
accordingly scrambled along the rock to a high point, whence I could
look down upon them as they passed.  On seeing me they stopped, and
seemed to be consulting together whether they should attack me.  "I will
be ready for you, old fellows," I said aloud, as I reloaded my rifle and
carefully rammed down the bullet.  "If you do not interfere with me, I
will let you enjoy your draught unmolested; but if you attack me, look
out for the consequences--Ha! ha! ha!"  My own voice struck my ear as
strangely loud and wild.  The effect was to make the lions decide on
letting me alone; and while they went on towards the water, I scrambled
down from the rock, and began to make the best of my way towards where I
had left Natty.

I hurried on, though I scarcely expected to reach the hut before dark.
Still I hoped that even at night I might find my way.  I will not say
that I was very sanguine about it, as the mirage had deceived me, and
often made objects appeal very different to what they really were.  The
sun in a short time sunk behind me.  Still, as long as I could move over
the ground, I determined to persevere.  I was keeping, I believed, in a
direct line.  At length the stars came out, and the moon rose and shed
her pale light over the scene.  I knew that lions and other wild beasts
will seldom attack a person while the moon is shining.  This encouraged
me to proceed.  The stars, whose brilliancy even the moon could scarcely
dim, assisted me in steering my course.  I own, however, that now and
then I cast an anxious look over my shoulder, lest the lion and the
lioness might be following me.  Where the ground was open I hoped that I
might be able to discover them, should they approach; but in some places
it was rocky, scattered over with thick bushes, within which beasts of
prey might lurk.  I was somewhat heavily laden, with my water-bottle and
birds.  While suffering from thirst I had no inclination to eat, but now
I began to feel the pangs of hunger, and my knees trembled from the
exertion I had been for so long making.  I therefore sat down with my
back against a tree to rest, and to eat the few mouthfuls I had in my
pocket.  I scarcely knew till then how tired I was.  Anxious as I was to
get on, I yet could not help indulging in a short rest.  "I shall be
able to move the faster after it," I thought to myself.  Whilst thus
sitting and meditating, what was my dismay to see the two lions stalk
slowly up to me, while behind them appeared a vast troop of the savage
dogs I had encountered on the previous night!  I felt spell-bound--
unable to fly, or even to move.  The lions whisked their tails and
ground their teeth as they uttered low savage growls, while the dogs
kept barking and yelping behind them.  Nearer and nearer they drew.  In
vain I tried to lift my rifle and have one shot for my life.  No; I
could not even do that.  There I sat.  In another moment their sharp
fangs would be planted in my throat.  Suddenly I gave a start.  The
whole panorama of savage eyes and the two central monsters disappeared,
and to my infinite relief I found that I had been asleep, and that the
whole was a phantom of my brain.  I really think I must have slept some
time, for after I had recovered from the alarm into which my dream had
thrown me, I felt sufficiently strong to resume my journey.  As long as
the moon shone, it was far pleasanter travelling at night than in the
day.  Again I went on, but still I could not help acknowledging to
myself that I might very likely after all not be on the right road.
Still I should not gain it by hesitation, and I tried to make up my mind
to be prepared for a disappointment, should I be mistaken.  I was doing
my best; I could do no more.  At length I saw in the distance a line of
dark trees, which I hoped was the wood on the borders of which our hut
was situated.  As I marked the outline, I stepped on with more elastic
tread, thinking of the delight my reappearance would give my poor young
companion.  As I was thus walking on, I felt my foot sink into the
earth, and before I could recover myself I fell flat on my face.  I
quickly sprang up, for the thought seized me that I might have stepped
into the hole of some snake, and that in another instant he might be
issuing out to attack me.  I ran on for some paces, when I stopped and
looked back, but nothing appeared.  Not till then did I discover that I
had sprained my ankle.  It might be a slight matter under ordinary
circumstances, but, in my case, if it stopped my walking it might be
serious.  It pained me considerably, still I found that I could walk.  I
went on, but soon began to limp.  There was no elasticity in my step
now.  My great consolation was that I was near Natty, for I was sure the
wood I saw was that I had left in the morning.  The pain had damped my
spirits, and I now began to fear that perhaps after all Natty had grown
worse, or that some wild beasts had found out our hut, and managed to
penetrate into the interior.  I was wrong to allow these thoughts to
enter my mind, I know, but under my circumstances it was but natural.
At length I caught sight, under a tree, of what in the moonlight looked
like a mound.  It was our hut; but just then I observed several objects
moving about round it, and as I drew near a loud barking and yelping
saluted my ears.  I rushed forward.  "Those brutes of dogs have found
out Natty!"  I exclaimed.  Even then I thought that I might be too late
to save him.  Shouting out in a stern, strong voice, which I had found
successful before, I ordered them to depart, waving my gun with furious
gestures before me.  The dogs saw me, and began to retreat; but some of
them, I thought, seemed to come out of the very hut itself.  "Natty!
Natty!"  I cried out, "are you safe?  Tell me! oh, tell me!"

I got no answer, but the barking and yelping might have drowned Natty's
voice.  I dashed frantically forward.  I could not fire without the risk
of sending the ball through the hut I doubted, indeed, whether the sound
of my rifle would have much effect on them.  The yelping, barking pack
retired as I advanced.  "Natty, Natty, speak to me!"  I again cried out.

My heart bounded with joy when a faint voice proceeded from within.  "O
Andrew! have you really come?  I was afraid you must have been killed."

"I am all safe," I answered; "but I must drive these brutes to a
distance before I come to you."

There was a good supply of sticks.  I hastily drew them together, and
lighting a match, quickly had a brisk fire burning.  The light and my
shouts finally drove off the pack, and I now ventured to open the
entrance to our hut.  Natty was sitting up.  He pointed to his mouth.  I
hastily poured out some of the water, and gave him an ample draught; and
then I sank down on the ground, overcome with fatigue and the pain which
my sprained ankle gave me.  I recovered sufficiently, however, to
exchange a few sentences with him, when he told me of the anxiety he had
been suffering, and of the dread he had had that the dogs would force
their way into the hut.  I then briefly narrated my adventures.  He
seemed, I thought, somewhat better.  Having secured the entrance, I lay
down by his side, and, in spite of the pain I was suffering from, was
soon asleep.



A whole day had passed away.  Although I husbanded our water with the
greatest care, I could not expect it to last beyond a second day.  Still
my ankle gave me great pain, and I felt utterly unable to walk.  Natty,
too, was far too weak to proceed on our journey.  The fever, however,
had subsided, and he required less water than at first.  Still, it was
almost as necessary for him as food, and I did not like to stint him.
Though suffering from thirst myself, aggravated by pain, I refrained
from taking more than a few drops at a time.  I did everything I could
think of to restore strength to my limb.

"I am afraid there is only one thing, Andrew, will do it; and that is
perfect rest," observed Natty at last.

I did not like to alarm him by telling him of my anxiety about water;
but as I sat on the ground with my poor sick friend by my side, darker
forebodings than had ever yet assailed me oppressed my mind.  It might
be many days before Natty would be able to move, and if I could not go
to the fountain to procure water, we must both die of thirst.

Two more days passed away, and when I lay down to sleep, scarcely a pint
of water remained.  I had remained perfectly quiet all day, hoping that
the long rest would cure the sprain.  I had made the hut so secure, I
did not think it necessary to light a fire outside.  On again rising, I
put my foot to the ground.  Oh, how thankful I felt when I found that it
gave me but little pain, and that I could walk without difficulty!  I
told Natty that I would go back at once for water, leaving him our
scanty stock, and the remainder of our birds after I had satisfied my
hunger.  The flesh, however, though roasted and dried, was scarcely

"Will you not let me go with you, Andrew?" he said.  "I think I could
walk as far, if I rested now and then."

He male the attempt, but sank back again on the ground.  I persuaded him
to have patience, and to remain quiet; and closing the hut even more
carefully than before, with the thickest sticks I could find, I set off
on my expedition.  Though at first I walked with pain, I got on better
than I expected.  The air was cool, for the sun was not yet above the
horizon, and I hoped to get to the fountain in time to kill some birds
collected there for their morning draught.  The way, I trusted, would
appear shorter than at night, and I believed that I well knew the
direction I should take.  My feet were, however, very weary, and the
rocks were not yet in sight.  I was weak from want of food, and soon
became as thirsty as on the previous occasion.  I was anxious, too, for
I could not be quite certain that I was on the right way.  How I longed
for a beaten track which would lead me without fail to the fountain!  It
would have made all the difference to me.  I could have endured double
the fatigue had I been sure that I should arrive at the spot at last.
At length I caught sight of a flight of birds winging their way over my
head in the direction I was going.  This gave me more confidence, and I
now pushed on with greater energy.  At length I saw the rocks before me,
and flights of birds rising in the air, and flying off in different
directions.  I was afraid that I should be too late to shoot any; though
I might obtain water, food would be wanting.  Just as I reached the
rocks, I saw a covey apparently about to take wing.  I fired, and four
lay on the rocks fluttering about.  I rushed forward to seize them,
when, to my horror, I saw my old enemies the lion and lioness just
taking their departure from the water!  I had already got some way up
the rock.  It was better to lose the birds than my life; so I stopped,
faced my foes, and began loading my rifle.  The brutes looked at me with
astonishment, as much as to ask how I dared come into their territory
again.  I replied by ramming down the bullet.  "If you will go your way,
I will let you alone," I shouted out; "but if not, beware of this leaden
pill!"  The lion seemed to understand me, and looked at the lioness; and
then, perhaps considering discretion the better part of valour, began
leisurely to walk away from the fountain.  I shouted after them, to show
them that I was not alarmed; and, greatly to my satisfaction, they at
length disappeared in the distance.  I secured the birds, which were
unable to fly, and then eagerly hurried down to the water.  I drank my
fill, and sitting down, bathed my burning feet.  The water seemed to
give strength to my ankle.  Having filled my bottle and rested a while,
I felt so much better that I determined to take a swim, hoping thus
entirely to recruit my strength.  Never have I so much enjoyed a bath.
On getting out, however, I felt so hungry that I was compelled to light
a fire and cook one of the birds.  I could not have proceeded on my
journey without it, though anxious to get back as soon as possible to
Natty.  Thus thoroughly recruited, I again set off, looking about, as I
went along, in the hope of finding some other animal to shoot for food.
Though I saw many at a distance, I could not get sufficiently near one
to have a fair shot.

It was late in the day before I got back, and when I shouted to Natty,
as I drew near the hut, he answered me in a stronger voice than before.
I soon had the bottle of water to his lips, a fire alight, and a
partridge cooking.  Enough of the day remained to allow me to search
about for wild fruits and roots which might assist our meal.  I could
now leave him without fear; invariably, however, closing the hut when I
went out.  I was successful in finding some fruits such as I have before
described, and returned well satisfied to the hut.  Natty declared that
he felt able to sit outside by the fire to take his supper.  He crawled
without my assistance to the entrance.  After he had taken his seat, as
I happened to look inside, I saw the leaves on which he had been lying
moving slowly.  Presently the hideous, black, swollen-looking head of a
snake emerged from under the leaves, its bright eyes glaring at us.  In
another instant I believed that it would spring at Natty or me.  Without
speaking, greatly to his alarm, I threw him on one side, and then,
seizing a heavy stick which lay at hand, I rushed at the creature and
struck it a blow with all my force on the head.  It had the effect of
knocking it over; and before it could recover itself, I dealt it another
blow on the tail.  Poor Natty, not seeing what I was doing, thought I
had gone mad, I believe.  I repeated my blows, till I felt sure that the
creature was dead.  I now dragged it out by the tail, prepared, should
it give signs of life, to renew my attack.  As I brought it into the
light, I saw that it was a black variety of the puff adder, which is
among the most poisonous serpents of Africa.  It is said that if a
person is bitten by it, death ensues within an hour.  To make sure, I
threw the body into the fire.  Not till then did Natty sufficiently
recover the effects of his fall and alarm to see what had occurred, and
to be aware of the fearful danger in which we had both been placed; for
had the creature come out while we were sitting together in the hut,
unable to defend ourselves in so narrow a space, nothing could have
prevented one of us being bitten.

We sat for some time before we could begin our meal, and we did not fail
to return thanks for our merciful deliverance from danger.  We naturally
talked about what we should have done had either of us been bitten.  It
was a subject which I had discussed with David on several occasions, for
we had had a great fear of the bites of serpents when we first arrived
in the country.  However, we had hitherto met so few, that we had lost
all alarm about them.

"If you had been bitten, I should have tried to cut away the flesh
immediately round the wound, and sucked the blood," Natty said to me;
and from the look of affection he gave me, I was sure that he would
without hesitation have made the attempt.

"I should have first tied a ligature above the wounded part, so as to
prevent the venom spreading," I observed.  "Had we been with David, we
might have found remedies in his medicine-chest.  It is said that _eau
de luce_ is often effectual.  Five drops are administered to the patient
in a glass of water every ten minutes till the poison is counteracted.
It is also applied externally.  I have heard that Dutch farmers attempt
to counteract the effects of serpents' bites by making an incision in
the breast of a living fowl, and applying it to the bitten part.  If the
poison is very deadly, the bird becomes drowsy, droops its head, and
dies.  It is then replaced by a second, and so on till the bird no
longer shows signs of suffering, when the patient is considered out of
danger.  A frog is sometimes applied in the same way; and turtle blood,
prepared by drying, when applied to the wound produced by a venomous
serpent or a poisoned arrow, is supposed to be efficacious.  The wounded
person takes a couple of pinches of the dried blood internally, and also
applies some of it to the wound.  It is said also that the Brahmins in
India manufacture a stone which has the virtue of counteracting the
poison of serpents.  They alone possess the secret, which they will not
divulge.  The stone is applied to the wound, to which it sticks closely
without any bandage, and drinks in the poison till it can receive no
more.  It is then placed in milk, that it may purge itself of the
poison, and is again applied to the wound, till it has drawn out the
whole of the poison."

"Yes," observed Natty, "I remember hearing of those stories; but David
said they were merely pieces of the bone of some animal, made into an
oval shape, and burned round the edges.  If they have any power in
drawing out poison, it is in consequence of being porous; and he said he
believed any substance made up of capillary tubes, such as common
sponge, would be equally efficacious.  After all, I believe that my
remedy is the only one on which dependence can be placed, except,
perhaps, the immediate application of _eau de luce_, and of course, when
a person is bitten by a snake, in rare instances only is he able to
obtain any."

As may be supposed, we hunted about the hut thoroughly before lying
down, in case any other snakes might have crawled in; and I stopped up
every crevice by which I thought it possible the one I had killed could
have entered.

Natty was so much better by the time our last supply of water was nearly
finished, that I no longer refused to let him accompany me to the
fountain, intending to proceed from thence towards our ultimate
destination.  Clouds had gathered in the sky, and the air was cooler
than it had been for some time, as we set out.  I insisted on his
frequently stopping, and wished him to allow me to carry him at
intervals; but to this he would not consent.  We each of us had a long
stick in our hands to support our steps, and I assisted him on with my
arm.  Our progress was, however, but slow; for in spite of his efforts,
I saw that he was still very weak.  Thus it was not until the sun was
already sinking before us in the west that we got within sight of the
fountain.  We had exhausted our water, and I was anxious to get a
further supply before the night closed in.  Again I begged Natty to let
me take him on my back, for I thought it would rest him, and enable us
to get on faster.  At last he consented, and though he was but a light
weight for his age, reduced as he was by sickness, yet I found, after
proceeding a couple of hundred yards or so, that I was myself beginning
to get fatigued.  Perhaps he discovered this, by finding the slower pace
at which I was going, and he insisted on again getting down, declaring
that he was much rested by the ride.  Giving him my arm, therefore, we
again pushed on.  The dark rocks which surrounded the fountain now rose
up clearly before us.  I looked round carefully, but could see no trace
of the lions.  We reached the spot, and soon I had the satisfaction of
seeing Natty swallowing an ample draught of water.  I then took some
myself, and filled our bottle.  I felt a longing to take another swim,
but afraid that the lions might come upon us while I was in the water, I
refrained.  I was fortunate in killing five more birds, out of a covey
which rose just as we sat down by the water's brink.

Having rested for some time by the side of the pond, we continued our
journey.  We saw herds of animals in the distance--gemsboks, steinboks,
gnus, and cameleopards--but they were too far off to enable me to get a
shot at any of them.  We stopped frequently, for Natty was unable to
proceed without doing so.  Thus the day had come nearly to a close
before we had made much progress.  I was looking out anxiously for some
spot where we might camp for the night, when I saw on our right what
appeared to be the fallen trunk of some giant of a former forest, for no
other trees were near it.

"I dare say we may there find shelter," I observed, pointing it out to

"But see!" he said, "there are some animals moving about round it."

As we got nearer, I saw several heads rising among the roots and fallen
branches.  They appeared to me to be hyenas, or hyena-dogs, similar to
the pack which had visited us.  They, however, with their ears pricked
forward, were so eager in watching some object on the opposite side of
them that they did not perceive us.  We were thus able to move on
without being discovered.  Presently we perceived what had occupied
their attention; for the leaders of a herd of buffaloes appeared in
sight, going along a shallow valley on the other side of the fallen
tree.  Even at that distance we could hear the hollow sound of their
feet as they dashed over the ground.  On they went with their heads
lowered, and tails in the air, faster and faster, a regular stampedo.
What had caused their flight we could not ascertain.  Whether it was
alarm at some danger behind them, or whether they were driven by an
impulse which sometimes makes the bovine race dash headlong over the
ground without any apparent cause, we could not tell.

"One thing I am very thankful for," observed Natty,--"that we are not in
their way, or we should have but a poor chance of escaping them.
Perhaps the dogs expect one of them to fall, and are looking out for a

"At all events, we must take care not to allow ourselves to be attacked
instead of them," I observed.  "I am far from certain indeed that they
are dogs.  They appear to me larger, and rather more like hyenas.  I
suspect that they are spotted hyenas, which are among the fiercest of
the race; and though I believe they seldom attack a man on his guard, I
do not know what they might do if they found us asleep.  They are said
to have an especial liking for human flesh, and I know that in some
parts where they are numerous, they frequently carry off the children
from villages.  I have heard it said that they will even steal
noiselessly into a hut at night, and drag a sleeping child from under
its mother's kaross or rug, so that the first intimation she has of what
has occurred is from the cry of her infant as it is borne away in the
jaws of the monster.  They will sometimes break into villages, leaping
over high palings; and so great is their strength, that they will carry
off any animal they find loose.  In one respect, however, they are of
use, as they act as scavengers, and clear the neighbourhood of villages
of the carrion which they find scattered about.  This makes it necessary
to protect graves, by raising over them piles of thorns, or of the
prickly-pear, as they will otherwise scrape away the earth to reach the
newly-interred corpse."

"Horrid creatures!" said Natty, shuddering.  "I do not think I could go
to sleep if I thought that any were likely to pay us a visit."

"I do not know that they would be more formidable than the dogs we have
already encountered," I remarked.  "Indeed, I believe these dogs are
their cousins, if not their brethren; for though complete dogs, as to
the character of their skulls and teeth, they have, like the hyenas,
only four toes on the front feet.  However, I hope we may be able to
take precautions which will guard us from any annoyance those brutes out
there are likely to offer, should they be hyenas or simply hyena-dogs,
such as the visitors to our late camp.  There is a wood, I see, on the
left; we must try and push through it, and build our house on the other

On went the herd of buffaloes, and were soon lost to sight across the
plain.  As we went on, I looked back every now and then to see if the
hyenas were following us; but though I fancied that their heads were
turned in our direction, they perhaps could not make out what we were,
and at all events remained in their fortress.  I should have preferred,
however, being further off from them at night.  While preparing our
camp, the sky gave indications, I feared, of a coming storm.  I
therefore made the roof of our hut thicker than usual, in the hope of
keeping out the water should the rain come down.  In spite of my fears,
neither did the storm break, nor did we receive a visit during the night
from our canine neighbours.  Natty was greatly fatigued by his long
journey; and from the way he talked in his sleep, I was afraid that the
fever had again returned on him.  This made me resolve, should he not be
better in the morning, to remain there another day.  My worst
apprehensions were fulfilled.  But still it was satisfactory to be near
the water, so that I might obtain as much as we required.

We remained two whole days.  Though we several times heard the roars of
the lions, I did not see them.  Each day I made a trip to the pool, and
took a refreshing bath, which greatly restored my strength.  Natty
declared that he was now ready to proceed.  Having obtained in the
evening some more birds from my preserve, as I called it, we went on in
the morning in the same direction as before.  Natty, however, was still
very weak, and I saw that the next day we should make but little
progress.  We were now again in a completely open plain, the only trees
being far away in the horizon, though the mountains rose up in the
north-west, towards which we were proceeding.  The signs of a storm
again appeared, and I was afraid that it would break upon us where no
shelter could be obtained.  Push on therefore we must, as long as Natty
could continue moving.  I gave him a lift every now and then, very much
against his will; indeed, it was only by persuading him that we could
thus get on faster, that he would allow me to carry him.  Soon the wind
began to blow in fitful gusts, and heavy drops of rain fell.  I
constantly looked behind me, dreading every instant that the deluge
would burst upon us.  "It will kill poor Natty, I fear," I could not
help saying to myself.  Presently the rain began to descend more
heavily, and clouds collected, and flashes of lightning darting from
them went zigzagging over the ground.  Just then I caught sight in the
distance of what looked like a low clump of trees.  I directed our
course towards it, taking Natty up and running along as fast as I could
move.  Although I well knew that it is dangerous to take shelter in a
thunderstorm under a tree, I hoped to be able to obtain wood and leaves
to build a hut by which Natty, at all events, might be partly sheltered.
I saw, as I got nearer, that the grove consisted chiefly of one
enormous tree, from the branches of which descended numerous slight
stalks, apparently supporting them as they spread out on every side over
the ground.  I now recognised a magnificent specimen of the baobab-tree,
of immense girth, and with numerous branches and almost countless
offshoots.  On one side was a Guinea-palm, its graceful fan-like
branches rising from a centre stalk--a mere liliputian plant it looked
in comparison to its lofty neighbour.  On the other side was an acacia,
the size of an ordinary oak, though a little way off I took it for a
diminutive shrub.  A very few other trees only were scattered about.
Getting still nearer, I observed a hollow in the trunk of the
baobab-tree--a wooden cavern, capable of containing a dozen or more
persons.  Remembering to have heard that the baobab does not attract
lightning, I made my way towards it, resolving to take shelter within.
I hurried to the mouth, and looking in, was thankful to find that it
contained no inhabitants.  Here, at all events, we might rest secure
from the storm.

Putting Natty down, I examined the interior to see that no snakes lurked
in the crevices of the wood.  I could discover none: so I cleared out a
spot where Natty could rest more at ease; and as the wood and leaves
under the tree were still dry, I collected a sufficient supply of both--
one to form our couch, and the other for our fire.  The rain had begun
to pour down in torrents outside, but within the trunk we were
completely sheltered.  As there was ample room to light a fire inside, I
soon had one, and some of our birds roasting before it.  Natty agreed
that we were better lodged than we had been since we left home.  There
we sat watching the storm, which howled and raged outside.  The rain
came down literally in a deluge.

The tree in which we had taken shelter was evidently of great age.  I
have since heard that some people suppose that the patriarchs of these
trees may have been alive before the Flood.  The natives cut off and
pound the bark, from which they thus obtain the fibres for making a
strong and fine cord.  Although the bark of many of the trees near their
villages is completely torn off in a way that would destroy any other
tree, the baobab does not suffer, but throws out a new bark as often as
the old one is cut off.  Trees are either exogenous--that is to say,
grow by means of successive layers on the outside; or they endogenous--
which means that they are increased by layers in the inside.  Thus, in
the latter, when the hollow is full the growth is stopped, and the tree
dies.  The first class suffers most severely by any injury affecting the
bark; the second, by an injury in the inside.  Now the baobab, from
possessing all these qualities, may have the bark torn off, and may be
completely hollow, and yet continue to flourish.  The cause of this is,
that each of the lamina possesses a vitality of its own, the sap rising
through every part of it.  I had seen some trees, from which the natives
had so often stripped the bark that the lower part was two or three
inches in diameter less than the higher portion which they could not
reach.  The wood was of a particularly spongy and soft nature; and I was
able to cut off enough with my knife to assist in keeping our fire

The storm still continued raging without, the wind howling among the
branches above our heads, although we sat secure as in a mansion of
granite.  I was not free, however, from anxiety; for it occurred to me
that I might be mistaken as to the tree we were in not attracting the
lightning, and that the account I had heard about it might be incorrect.
I did not, however, express my misgivings to Natty.  He, poor lad,
looked very pale and ill, and I regretted having allowed him to walk so
far; indeed, I felt it would have been better to have remained at our
former abode a couple of days more, or even longer, although it might
have made one or more journeys to the fountain necessary.  I determined,
therefore, to secure the entrance, and make the inside of the tree as
comfortable as I could for him, and to remain there till he was better
able to proceed.

The rain continued to come down in torrents; the thunder roared, and the
lightning flashed vividly.  I was afraid that the fine weather was
breaking up, and that the rainy season was about to begin.  This would
make travelling more difficult than before, and give Natty less chance
of recovery.  I made up my mind, however, to be resigned to whatever
might occur, and to do my best.  Courageous as Natty generally was, he
at length became alarmed at the loud roaring of the thunder, and the
fearful crashing sound which ever and anon reached our ears as the
electric fluid, darting from the clouds, came zigzagging through the
air, and snake-like darted over the ground, sometimes, it seemed, within
a few yards of the tree.  I did my best to reassure him, and was
thankful that it was daylight, for the storm would have appeared even
more terrific at night.

Although there were no large inhabitants in our woody cavern, I
discovered several insects.  The ground inside it was covered with
earth, and almost level.  I observed a large reddish spider running in
and out with wonderful rapidity among the uneven parts of the wood.  Now
it darted out on a small insect, and quickly devoured it; immediately
setting forth again in search of another, which it pounced upon in the
same energetic way.  I had seldom seen so large and hideous-looking a
spider, and felt a horror lest it should come near us.  It moved so
quickly that I in vain attempted to reach it.  Presently I saw it run
along the ground, when it entered a small hole which I had not before
observed.  Though I had exactly marked the spot, I in vain searched for
it.  After a time I saw the earth lifting, and out came the spider
again.  I sprang down to the spot, and there I found a small circular
substance, of a pure, silky white, like paper, about the size of a
shilling.  On touching it, I discovered that it was a regular trap-door
with a hinge, and, on turning it down, that the outside was coated with
earth, so exactly like that in which the hole was made, that when shut
it was impossible to discover it.  I observed inside a substance which I
took to be eggs; and I had little doubt, therefore, that this was the
nest of the spider I had seen.  I pointed it out to Natty, who was,
however, too weak to feel inclined to rise and examine it; and when I
again looked, I could nowhere discover the hole, and the spider had
disappeared.  I could not help having an uncomfortable feeling that the
creature might come out again and attack us.  But I may as well say here
that it did not do so; and on making inquiries since, I found that
though people are often frightened at its appearance, it has never been
known to do any harm.  There is another spider which builds a regular
nest with a lid, and attaches it to a wall or the branch of a tree.
Whether it is of the same species as the one I have described or not, I
am uncertain.  There are spiders in Africa which are said to inflict
poisonous wounds.  One is a very large, black, hairy creature, fully an
inch and a quarter long, and three-quarters of an inch broad.  It has a
process at the end of its front claws like that of a scorpion's tail,
out of which poison, when it is pressed, is seen to ooze.  I have also
observed another spider, which can leap a distance of several inches on
its prey.  When alarmed by my approach, I have seen one spring nearly a
foot away.

The thunder, which had for some time been roaring louder and louder, at
length gradually began to grow less frequent and more faint, and by
degrees rolled further and further away, though its mutterings were
still heard in the distance.  The rain ceased, and the bright rays of
the western sun penetrated beneath the wide-spreading branches of our
baobab-tree.  The change raised my spirits, and the air already felt
cooler and more refreshing.



The bright rays of the sun, which streamed into the hollow tree, had a
good effect upon Natty; and feeling that I could leave him, I proposed
cutting some stakes with which to secure ourselves during the night from
the attacks which wandering beasts of prey might be inclined to make on
us.  Taking my hatchet, I accordingly went out and set to work.  I
easily cut a sufficient number of stakes for the purpose from the
branches of the neighbouring trees.  I should have been better off with
a good supply of nails; but as they were wanting, I had to do without
them.  Pointing the stakes, I drove them into the ground just inside the
mouth of the hollow, placing other pieces crossways, and jamming them as
I best could into the sides of the entrance.  I left only a small hole,
through which I could just creep in and out.  I made the grating so high
that I hoped no panther or lion could leap over it.  I had gone to the
outer edge of the grove to get some firewood, and was returning by a
path through which I had not yet passed, it being already dusk, when
suddenly I found my face covered with what I can only describe as a long
veil; while just at my nose I saw a horrid monster, of a bright yellow
colour, with long legs and claws, struggling violently, and in its
fright I thought it would scratch out my eyes.  I rushed forward,
throwing down my load, and dashing into our cavern, entreated Natty to
relieve me from my fearful tormentor.  Even he, ill as he was, could
scarcely help laughing at my alarmed countenance.  The spider--for such
the creature was--was as much frightened as I was, and crawled away in a
great hurry before we could kill him, the instant Natty had assisted me
in tearing off part of its web.  It took some time to clear my face of
the remainder, and several minutes passed before I could entirely
recover my equanimity.  I had seen such webs before, but had never run
tilt against them.  This was suspended between two of the stalks of the
baobab-tree, in a perpendicular position, by lines the thickness of
coarse thread.  The fibres of which it was composed radiated from a
central point, where the creature was lying in wait for its prey, when
it found the tip of my nose instead of an unwary moth or butterfly.  The
web was about a yard in diameter, so that it completely enveloped my
face and head.  Though very disagreeable to me, the occurrence, I really
believe, did Natty good.  It was pleasant to hear even a faint shout of
laughter from him.

The spider I have mentioned is a solitary individual: but I have seen
others which live in society; and industrious creatures they are, too,
for their webs frequently cover the entire trunk of a tree, so as
literally to conceal it from view.  I have seen a bush in the same way
completely covered up, as if a table-cloth had been thrown over it.

I was thankful we had so secure a house, for I saw that Natty could not
possibly proceed for some time.  I therefore made up my mind to remain
where we were till he was better, even though it might involve the delay
of a whole week.  My chief anxiety arose from the small amount of
ammunition I now possessed.  Should that fail me, I could not tell how I
might obtain food.  Water I had in abundance; that was one comfort.  The
immediate neighbourhood of the baobab-tree afforded neither roots nor
fruits; so even as it was I must visit the fountain, or go to a yet
further distance, to obtain food.  Notwithstanding the interruption I
have described, I had time to collect some leaves for Natty's bed, and a
supply of firewood, in case I might find it necessary to light a fire.

Several times during the night the distant roars of lions and other wild
beasts reached my ears; but as none were near, I went to sleep without
any unusual feeling of anxiety.  In the morning, however, I found the
marks of a lion's feet in the soil, made soft by the rain, just outside
the tree.  Probably he had come up to our sleeping-place; but, finding
the entrance barred against him, had not attempted to make his way in.
I was thankful that I had guarded it securely.

I am obliged to make a long story short.  Three days passed by, during
which there was a storm and a fall of rain.  I went to the fountain for
water, and shot more birds, and made expeditions in the neighbourhood of
the grove; but Natty continued so weak that I did not like to leave him
for any length of time by himself.  I was one day attracted by a mound a
little way off, which I suspected to be an ant-hill.  On approaching it,
I found that such was the case; but it was ornamented in such a way as I
had never seen one of those curious nests adorned before.  It was
covered with enormous mushrooms.  They were perfectly white, their tops
nearly eighteen inches in diameter.  They looked very tempting; and on
examining them, I found that they were genuine mushrooms.  I ate a
piece, which was very palatable, and I accordingly slung several over my
back to carry home: they would, I hoped, prove useful to eat with our
roasted partridges.  Not far off was another ant-hill, and on this were
growing a number of other mushrooms.  Some were of a brilliant red, and
others of a dull light blue.  I examined them; but from their
consistency and general appearance, I was afraid of eating them lest
they might prove poisonous, for such I knew is the character ordinarily
of coloured fungi.  I carried a couple home, however, to show to Natty;
but he agreed with me that it would be unwise to eat them.

Another day, when further from home than usual, I saw before me a
lagoon, in which water-plants were already rising up.  I was convinced,
however, that it had only been filled by the late rains.  From its
appearance, it was probably not more than a few inches deep in any part.
As I passed by I observed some odd-looking black lumps on the top of
some tall stalks of grass, which rose above the level of the surrounding
edges.  I was tempted by curiosity to examine one of them.  It was about
the size of my thumb; and as I held it it broke, when what was my
surprise to see emerge from it a whole army of ants, which began to
attack me furiously!  I brushed them quickly off, though their bite was
not particularly severe.  On examining others of the black lumps, I
found them inhabited in the same way; and I now came to the conclusion
that the ants which had their usual abodes in the dry season underground
on the spot, taught by experience that at a certain season it would be
covered by water, built these aerial abodes in order to secure for
themselves a refuge as soon as the waters should flood the ground around
them.  Many of these houses were as large as I have described, but
others were considerably smaller, though all built of the same material
and in the same firm manner.  Taking up one by the stalk, I carried it
home to show to Natty.  He declared that he thought some of our black
friends would swallow them, if baked, as a delicious mouthful.  I
carried it out again, and stuck the stalk in the ground, when I saw the
inhabitants crawling down, evidently under the belief that the waters
had subsided, and that they might now descend into their subterranean

I need scarcely say that I looked out anxiously all the day in the hope
that Stanley or some of our other friends might pass in that direction
on a hunting expedition.  Natty asked how it was they had not come to
look for us.  I accounted for it from their naturally supposing that if
we had not lost our lives, we were detained somewhere on the lake, and
that they would therefore search for us there.

Natty grew no worse, but still he did not appear to gain strength.
Often he urged me to set off without him; but to this I would not
consent.  The journey might occupy me two or even three days, and it
would take as long a time to return to him.  "No," I replied; "until you
are well enough to move, I will stay by you."  I thought that if I could
but procure some variety of food, he might improve faster; but I had now
only five or six charges of powder left, and I was anxious to preserve
these for any emergency.  One of my fears was, that from so frequently
shooting the birds in the neighbourhood of the pool, they might grow
wary of me.  However, they did not appear to be more alarmed when I came
near them than at first.  Sometimes I went in the evening, sometimes in
the morning, and never failed to bring down three or four birds.  I
think that I must have frightened away the lions, for I never saw them
again, though I heard their roars in the distance.  I suspect that they
waited to visit the pool till they saw me take my departure.

I was one day about half a mile from the baobab-tree, when I saw,
perched on a bush near me, a little bird about the size of a chaffinch,
of a light grey colour.  It seemed in no way afraid of me, but continued
chattering and twittering in a state of great excitement.  Then it got
up and flew backwards and forwards before me, apparently endeavouring to
attract my attention.  As I approached it flew on a little in front.  I
followed it.  On seeing this, it went on and on in a wavy course, a few
yards before me, alighting every now and then on a bush, and looking
back to see if I was still following, all the time keeping up an
incessant twitter.  Though I had no idea at the time of its object, I
continued following it.  At length I saw a short distance ahead the huge
trunk of a fallen tree.  The bird appeared still more excited; and when
I happened to turn aside, apparently to take an opposite direction, it
came flying back, and twittering louder than before, trying, I was sure,
to make me turn in the direction of the tree.  I accordingly did so,
when, satisfied, the bird went on as before.  It now hovered for a
moment over a part of the trunk at which it pointed with its bill, and
it then turned and pitched on the top of a decayed branch which rose in
the air out of the trunk, and fluttered its wings and twittered still
more violently than ever.  There it sat while I examined the trunk.  I
was not long in discovering a hollow surrounded by wax, and the idea at
once occurred to me that this was a bees' nest, and that the bird was
the honey-bird of which I had heard.  On a further examination I was
convinced that I was right.  I therefore collected a number of dried
leaves and twigs, in order to light a fire, and with the smoke to drive
the bees from their habitation.  I also manufactured some torches, which
might assist me in the operation, and would, I hoped, enable me to
defend myself should the bees take to flight and attack me.  As soon as
I had got everything ready, I lighted a fire under the nest, and taking
a torch, waved it about in front of it.  No bees came out, and I began
to fancy that the nest must be empty.  After a time, however, on looking
in, I found that the effect of the smoke had been to stupify the bees.
I therefore, without fear, began to cut out the nest.  It consisted of
cells of wax full of honey.  The difficulty was to carry it.  However,
as the wax was tolerably hard, I tied it up in a large handkerchief I
fortunately had in my pocket, in which I hoped at all events to be able
to carry home a good quantity of honey for poor Natty, trusting that it
would be beneficial to his health.  While employed in putting it up, I
observed the honey-bird fluttering about in a state of great agitation
close to me.  "Oh, I almost forgot you," I said, turning to the bird.
"You deserve some honey;" and accordingly, taking some from the nest, I
placed it on the trunk of the fallen tree.  Instantly the bird dashed
down, and began eating it with evident delight.  As soon as he had
finished the portion I had bestowed on him, he rose and began fluttering
about as before in front of me.  I whistled to him, to try and induce
him to come with me, but I have since heard that whistling encourages
the bird, and makes him more eager to go off in search of another nest.
"As you will not come with me, I must go and see what you want now," I
said to the bird, following the way he led.  In vain I whistled.  On he
went in a wavy course, as before, directly in front of me.  I rather
doubted, however, should he lead me to another honeycomb, whether I
could carry it.  Still, I did not like to miss the opportunity of
obtaining what might prove so valuable.  I therefore went on in the
direction the honey-bird led.  I could not help thinking of tales I had
read in my boyhood of kind fairies or good spirits leading travellers
who had lost their way to some enchanted castle, where a comfortable
couch and an ample banquet was prepared for them.  Perhaps the
honey-bird may have been the origin of such tales.  Sometimes, indeed,
an evil fairy has appeared, and beguiled thoughtless travellers to their
destruction.  After the conduct of my honey-bird I had no doubt about
his good intentions.  I had gone on for twenty minutes or more, when the
bird pitched on the bough of another decayed tree still standing
upright.  Seeing me approach, it began fluttering about, and pointing
its beak towards a hole some way above my head.  "I should have thought
you might have known I could not reach that," I said, looking up at him.
"However, I will do my best to accomplish the feat."  The quickest way,
I thought, would be to build a platform on which to stand whilst cutting
out the honey.  I accordingly chopped down some stout poles and drove
them into the earth, securing cross-pieces with vines to the trunk.  I
thus formed an erection similar to a builder's scaffolding, and now
climbing to the top, I made another small platform directly under the
entrance to the nest.  I then proceeded as before, by burning leaves and
twigs, and having thoroughly smoked the unfortunate bees, took
possession of their habitation and store of food.  With this further
supply I descended, and having given the honey-bird a share, put the
remainder into the handkerchief.  I had to make it more capacious, by
fastening a number of vines round it, so as to form a sort of basket.
"Well, Master Honey-bird, if you will lead me to another nest, I think I
could manage to carry it in this fashion," I said to my little
conductor, who seemed to understand me, and off he flew as merrily as
before.  This time he did not appear quite so steady in his course.
Suddenly he made his way towards a small wood which I saw in the
distance.  I followed him, and every now and then he stopped and looked
back to see if I was coming.  It was a tiring walk, for the sun struck
down with unusual heat after the rain, and I began to think that I
should have acted more wisely had I returned at once with my sweet
stores.  Still, I did not wish to disappoint the honey-bird, as I was in
hopes he would on another day be on the look-out for me, and help me to
get a further quantity when we might need it.

At last the wood was reached, when, making his way into it, I saw him
pitch on a bough as before; but the trees were small, and I could see
none round likely to contain a cavity in which bees would have formed a
nest.  Still, I thought I would examine the spot, supposing that perhaps
some decayed trunk of a fallen tree might lie beneath.  I was advancing
rapidly, when, to my horror, I saw before me a pair of glaring eyes, and
there stood within the thicket an enormous lion with a huge mane.  The
king of beasts had just aroused himself apparently from his noonday
rest, and was stretching himself, wondering who the bold intruder could
be who had ventured into his domains.  I gazed at the lion, and the lion
gazed at me.  I know I did not like the appearance of the monstrous
brute.  My rifle was loaded with ball, but still I dreaded lest, should
I fire and not kill him outright, he might yet attack me.  I therefore,
keeping my face towards him, slowly retired, hoping earnestly that he
would go to sleep again, and allow me to retreat unmolested.  Still,
from his attitude, I had some doubts whether or not he was going to
spring at me.  I dared not take my eye off him, for I knew that my best
prospect of escaping was to continue facing him boldly.  I suspect that
he had gone into the wood to indulge in a nap, after having taken a full
meal off some unfortunate gnu or antelope.  I was very thankful when I
at length managed to get to the edge of the wood without stumbling.  I
continued to retreat backwards, however, after this, fearing lest the
lion might pounce out upon me.  Every moment I expected to see his
enormous head and shaggy mane appear amid the bushes.  It would have
been a very grand sight, but a very disagreeable one.  As I retreated
through the wood the treacherous honey-bird flew out also, twittering as
before, just as if he had not played me a scurvy trick.  "What, do you
not like the last honeycomb I showed you?" he seemed to say.  I began to
think that he was an evil spirit instead of a kind fairy; but yet,
perhaps, after all, he was as much astonished at finding a lion instead
of a honeycomb as I was.  At all events, he appeared regardless of the
danger into which he had led me, and not aware that I might have shot
him dead in a moment.  I could not at the time account for the trick he
had played me; but I have since heard that such is not at all an
uncommon occurrence, and that honey-birds frequently take the natives
who are in pursuit of honey in the same way up to some savage monster.

Having got to a considerable distance from the wood, I ventured to turn
round and walk forwards, at the same time very frequently casting
anxious glances over my shoulder to ascertain whether the lion was
coming in pursuit of me.  In vain the honey-bird tried to draw me off on
one side.  I declined after this accompanying my little friend any

I had taken the bearings of the baobab-tree grove, so that I could
easily find it.  When at length I reached it Natty was in a state of
great agitation at my long absence, but was delighted with the delicious
honey I had brought him.

"Perhaps the honey-birds want to have the wild beasts killed, and are
not aware that when people are only in search of honey they are not
prepared to encounter a lion or a rhinoceros," he remarked, when I
described my adventure.

He might have been incredulous about my account, but I showed him the
honey-bird, which had perched on a branch near us; and, as soon as I
took out the honey, down it came and ate some of it with the greatest
confidence.  I then felt convinced, from his unsuspicious behaviour,
that he had had no intention of leading me into danger.

We immediately ate some of the honey spread on the mushrooms.  I wished
that I could find some means of stewing those curious productions of
nature, for they would he, I was sure, a valuable addition to our fare.
Poor Natty still continued very weak.  I did my best to forage for him,
but, in spite of my exertions, the only food I could procure was not
satisfactory for a sick person.  As to leaving him, the more I thought
of it the more dangerous for him did it appear.  Even were there nothing
to apprehend from the attacks of wild beasts, he was too weak to obtain
even water for himself, and we had no means of preserving the food I
obtained for any length of time.  I should not have cared so much for
myself, but I felt all the time how alarmed our friends would be on our
account, besides which I felt very anxious to go in search of Leo and
his companion.  We had reason to be thankful that we were in so
sheltered a spot, as for several days in succession violent storms burst
over us, heavy downfalls of rain flooding the lower ground in our

My honey-bird led me in the interval to more bees' nests, and I got an
ample supply of mushrooms; but they, as may be supposed, were not
sufficient to support life.  The birds, getting an abundance of water
elsewhere, no longer visited the pool, and I became greatly afraid of

One day I had gone to the ant-hill in search of mushrooms, when I saw a
troop of gnus coming across the plain.  As they advanced towards me I
remained stationary, hiding myself from them by the hill.  I got my
rifle ready to fire, earnestly hoping that my aim would be steady.  On
came the herd, frisking and prancing, till they got within thirty yards
of where I lay concealed.  They scented danger, I fancied, for they
began to look about, and seemed ready to dart off in an opposite
direction.  I selected the nearest, and fired.  I could scarcely say how
delighted I was when over rolled the creature.  He got up, however, and
even then would, I was afraid, escape me.  I dashed forward, and drawing
my axe, struck him on one of the hind-legs.  Down he fell, and in
another instant I had deprived him of life.  I now understood the
feelings of a famished hunter.  Without a moment's delay I began to cut
up the animal, and loaded myself with as much of the best parts of the
meat as I could carry.  The remainder I left for the birds and beasts of
prey, and hurried back with my prize to Natty.  I selected as much as I
thought we could consume while it remained eatable.  The rest I cut into
thin strips, and hung them up to the boughs outside our cavern.  Natty
meantime made up a fire, with which we roasted a good portion.  I felt
no longer surprised at the way I had seen the blacks feed, so ravenous
did the smell of the roasted meat make me.

"Don't you think that if we were to smoke some flesh it would keep
longer?" observed Natty.

I followed his suggestion, and from the way it dried I was in hopes that
the experiment would be successful.  I was about to return for the
remainder of the meat, to dry it in this way, when the rein came down.

Notwithstanding the more substantial food Natty had now got, he was
still too weak to walk any distance.  The flesh of the gnu, with the
honey and mushrooms, enabled us to subsist in tolerable plenty for a
week.  The portions I had smoked and dried, at the end of that time
became almost uneatable, and I saw that I must succeed in killing
another animal, or that we should starve.  That night I was awaked from
sleep by hearing a low cry of distress.  The dreadful thought seized me
that a hyena had come into our cavern and carried off Natty.  I
anxiously put out my hands, and to my relief found that he was on his
bed, breathing quietly.  Then I thought that he must have cried out in
his sleep.  But again that low wail of distress reached my ears.  It is
some human being, I thought to myself, attacked by wild beasts, or
fallen into a lagoon; indeed, it sounded exactly like the cry of a
person in danger of drowning.  Perhaps it may be one of our friends come
in search of us.  Again it came through the night air.  I could bear it
no longer, for I was certain that a fellow-creature was in danger.  I
awoke Natty.  "Do not be alarmed," I said; "I hear some one calling for
help.  I must go out and see what I can do, but I will be back
presently.  Remain quiet till my return!"  Seizing my rifle, and feeling
the lock to ascertain that it was all right, I hurried out in the
direction from whence the sounds came.  Again that plaintive cry reached
my ear.  I thought I heard the very words,--"Come, come!  Help, help!"
I dashed forward, for I knew the ground thoroughly.  It could not be a
person drowning, for there was no lagoon in that direction.  As I
advanced the wails became lower and lower, and sobs alone reached me.  I
was afraid that I was too late to render help.  Presently, bending down,
to be more certain of the direction I should take, I saw against the
dark sky the outline of a lion.  His claws were on his prey, and his
tail was moving round.  "He has killed the man, I fear," I thought.
Still, regardless of the danger I was running, and urged by an impulse I
could not resist, I rushed forward, ready to fire should the lion
advance towards me.  I shouted at the top of my voice.  I went on till I
was within a dozen yards of the brute, and then once more raised a loud
and determined shout.  As I did so he turned his head, and then uttering
a loud growl, slowly stalked away, and disappeared behind some bushes at
a little distance.  I hurried to the spot he had quitted, but instead of
a human being, I saw before me an animal stretched lifeless on the
ground.  On feeling the head, I discovered that it had no horns, and
then, taking one of the hoofs in my hand, I found that it was either a
zebra or quagga.  To leave it there would be to ensure its being carried
off by its destroyer.  I therefore set to work as well as I could in the
dark, and cut off the flesh, looking up cautiously every minute, as may
be supposed, to ascertain whether the lion was coming back to reclaim
his prey.  The necessity of obtaining food only could have induced me to
run so terrible a risk, for I could scarcely suppose that the monarch of
the woods would allow me thus before his face to carry off his prize.
He did not appear, however.  I supposed that, never having before
encountered a human being, he was more alarmed by my appearance than I
had been by his.  Perhaps he took me for a gorilla, which the lion is
said to hold in wholesome fear.

I now hastened back to Natty.  The lion must have returned and carried
off the portions I left him, for the next morning not a particle of the
zebra could I discover.  Still, it was not pleasant to know that he was
in our neighbourhood.  I treated the flesh of the zebra as I had done
that of the gnu, although it was not quite so palatable.

The following day we were seated at our dinner, when, looking out, I saw
a troop of zebras trotting by, stopping occasionally to feed, and then
again moving on.  I remarked especially a young zebra following them at
a short distance.  They passed close to the thicket in which I had seen
the lion disappear.  "If the old fellow is there," I observed to Natty,
"I should not be surprised were he to rush out and seize one of them."
Scarcely had I spoken when the whole herd began frisking about, and
scampering here and there.  Just then I heard a loud roar, and, as I had
been surmising might possibly occur, out dashed a grey old lion towards
the little zebra.  I had instinctively seized my rifle.  "You shall not
kill that pretty little beast if I can help it," I exclaimed.  But the
lion seemed determined that he would do so in spite of me.  In another
instant he was up to the zebra, and had struck him with one of his paws,
which threw it staggering some paces from me.  He was evidently, I saw,
an old fellow, unable to leap as a young lion does.  I ran forward, and
before he had again come up with the little zebra, I had levelled my
rifle and fired.  The ball hit him in the head, and over he rolled.
Greatly to my astonishment, the little zebra, instead of attempting to
escape, rose to his feet, and, looking at me for a moment, came trotting
towards me.  "I am sure I know you," I exclaimed.  "You are Bella's
little pet."  The poor little creature was very much hurt, but not, I
hoped, maimed altogether.  From the way he came up to me, I had not the
slightest doubt that my conjecture was right; for when I held out my
hand, he put his nose into it, and seemed to recognise me as a friend.
He looked very thin, but as I examined him I was sure that he was an old
acquaintance.  The lion, meantime, giving a few struggles, fell over
perfectly dead.  Putting my handkerchief round the zebra's neck, I led
him up to our tree.  Great was Natty's delight at seeing him.

"O Andrew," he exclaimed, "now there is a way for us to rejoin our
friends.  Though you cannot carry me so far, Zebra, I am sure, can; and
as soon as he is well, we will set out."

As there was ample room for the little animal inside our cavern, I
brought him in, and closed the entrance.  Having washed his side, I
bound it up with a handkerchief, when the bleeding stopped.  The rain
had brought up an abundance of grass.  I went out and cut some, which he
readily ate out of my hand.  Having done this, I went back to examine
the lion.  I found the mane thickly streaked with grey; and on examining
his huge mouth, I discovered that the teeth were completely worn away,
while his claws were broken and blunted.  This accounted for the escape
of the little zebra I had heard that when lions in their old age can no
longer kill the prey to which they have been accustomed, they lie in
wait for the young of animals, or take to robbing the poultry-yards of
the natives, attacking their goats, and sometimes, indeed, try to carry
off women and children.  It was the consciousness, probably, of his
weakness which made the old fellow so easily render up his prey to me on
a former occasion.  In spite of his age and probable toughness, I was
tempted to see if I could get any steaks out of him, to form a supply of
food should our stock of meat not be sufficient to last us till we could
get home.  I cut off a few pounds; but the smell of the flesh at last
made me desist, thinking that neither Natty nor I would be able to eat
it, either smoked or dried.  I had thrown it down, indeed, but still I
thought it might be wiser to secure some; so I took up what I had cut
off, and returned with it to the tree.  Without telling Natty, I lighted
a fire, and cutting it into strips, hung it up to the branches, so that
it might be thickly enveloped in smoke.  By giving the little zebra
plenty of grass, in three or four days he had entirely recovered from
his injury.  Natty also said that he felt better, and was sure he could
undertake the journey homeward.



On a bright morning, as soon as we had breakfasted, I mounted Natty on
the zebra's back, and leading him with my handkerchief, set off in the
direction of our home.  I had manufactured some baskets, in which I
stowed the honeycombs and the remaining portion of our meat, with
several large white mushrooms.  I hoped we might find provisions on our
way; at the same time, as I had only three or four charges of powder
left, I did not think it wise to abandon what we possessed.  The little
zebra bore Natty very willingly, but, unaccustomed to the burden on its
back, could only proceed at a slower pace than I could have walked.
However, I was very thankful to have this means of conveyance for my
young friend.  The sun came down with great heat, and I began to fear he
would suffer from it.  Accordingly I steered a course towards a clump of
trees, where he might rest under the shade.  I placed him on the ground,
and told him to hold the zebra, which, I was afraid, might, following
the wild instincts of its nature, scamper off.  I then cut a stick and
several boughs with large leaves, with which I manufactured a parasol to
shelter him as we walked along.  He was very grateful for the shade, and
begged that I would make it sufficiently large to shelter my head also.
This I accordingly did.  I should have said that I had doubled up my
jacket and placed it on the zebra's back for a saddle.  I made also, out
of some vines, a pair of stirrups, which enabled Natty to ride more at

Having taken some dinner, we again pushed on.  I was greatly
disappointed when, as the evening began to close in, I found that we
were still at a considerable distance from the hill which we were
anxious to reach.  Just as I had finished our hut, it occurred to me
that should we leave the zebra tethered outside, it might very likely
attract either lions or hyenas, or other wild beasts of prey.  I
accordingly cut down a large number of stakes, with which I formed an
enclosure by the side of the hut.  I covered it also with a tolerably
strong roof, lest any animal might leap over the walls.  The little
creature had, I suspect, learned so severe a lesson during his
wanderings with his kindred, that he seemed fully to understand the
necessity for these arrangements.  At all events, when I led him in he
was perfectly quiet and contented, especially when I gave him as much
grass as he could require.  I also made up a large fire outside our hut,
and although I did not attempt to keep awake all the night, I was able
to rouse myself from time to time to throw on enough wood to keep it
alive.  Although I heard the sounds of animals in the distance, the fire
prevented them from making an attack on us.

The next morning we again started.  Natty looked somewhat better; but
when, in order to relieve the little zebra, he got off and attempted to
walk, he was unable to proceed many paces, and made no objection when I
again put him on the animal's back.

Our pet was tamed entirely by gentleness and kindness, or it would have
remained as wild and savage as its fellows.  I believe there are no
animals which cannot be made subject to man, provided they are treated
in the right way.  I have often wished that our horses and asses in
England were treated more gently.  I am sure they would be more faithful
and useful animals than they often prove when subjected to a contrary

As we proceeded, we began to recognise more clearly the outline of the
hills on which we had so long lived.  Still, however, we were at a
considerable distance, and I soon saw that, at the slow rate we were
proceeding, another day must elapse before we could reach them.  The
arrangements of the previous night were repeated with similar success.
We now hoped to reach our destination early in the afternoon.  Once more
the lake appeared in sight, the stream running into it, the woods on the
other side, and the well-known hill, though we were much too far off to
distinguish our village.  The little zebra seemed to know it also, for
he hastened his pace.  We were anticipating the delight our reappearance
would give our friends, though then the thought came across us of the
disappointment they would feel at not seeing Leo.  "But perhaps," said
Natty, "they have gone in search of him, and discovered him and brought
him back, and we shall find him all well; oh, how joyful that will be!"
As we reached the hill I could not resist the temptation of firing off
my rifle, to attract the attention of our friends, and give them notice
of our coming.  No one, however, appeared; still I was sure they must
have heard the report.  We wound our way up the hill, when we came to a
point where I expected to see the huts; but no trace of them could I
discover.  The grass was green from the recent rains; the trees waved on
the hill-side as before; but the huts, the habitations of our friends,
where were they?  I shouted out, but no answer came.  My heart sank
within me.  I could no longer restrain my anxiety, and telling Natty to
follow slowly, I rushed up the hill.  There, on the spot where the huts
had stood, were heaps of charred timber.  I felt faint and sick!  What
had become of our friends!  I scarcely dared to search about, lest I
might find some dreadful traces of their death.  Oh no, no!  It is
impossible!  The dear, energetic, gentle Kate--such could not have been
her fate!  And sweet little Bella too!  Still, I could not resist the
temptation to search about.  There were no traces of human beings.  I
saw, too, by the way the grass had sprung up, that some time must have
passed since the fire took place.  I roused myself as I saw Natty
approaching.  I was afraid of what the effect might be on him, and
hurried down the hill to prepare him for the scene; indeed, I thought it
might be better to turn the zebra's head, and let him proceed down the
mountain again.  Still, I did not like to leave the spot without a
further examination.

"I should like to look at it," said Natty, when I told him.  "I cannot
believe that they are lost; and perhaps by an examination we may
discover something to guide us in our future proceedings."

The little zebra did not object to come up the hill, but when he reached
the black spot where the house had stood, he stopped, gazing at it, and
I thought trembled.

"It seems to me," said Natty, after remaining silent for a minute or
two, "that the zebra must have made his escape when the huts were on
fire, and the other animals were set free.  Oh!  I do--I do hope that
our friends escaped!  I will not believe that they did not!"

I would not let Natty quit the zebra, but allowed him to sit down on a
stone, holding the rein, while I examined the ruins in the
neighbourhood.  Though I searched carefully in every direction, not a
trace of any sort could I discover.  Everything they had must have been
destroyed or carried off by them I trusted that the latter was the case.

"It is of no use, Natty," I said at last.  "Here they are not, and we
must go in search of them."

"What do you think, Andrew?" said Natty.  "Perhaps they have gone to
Kabomba, where the people know the captain and Timbo, and would, I am
sure, receive them kindly."

"I trust you are right, Natty," I said; "and we will set off there

Without loss of time we descended the hill.  I had spent so much time,
however, in examining the ruins, that we could get but a little distance
before it grew dark.  I made our camp as usual, and had only finished a
hut sufficient to hold Natty before darkness overtook us.  I made up a
good fire, also, and hoped by tethering the zebra close to the hut, that
no wild beast would injure him during the night.  There was little fear
of my fire going out, for my anxiety concerning our friends kept me
awake.  Over and over again I thought of all sorts of accidents which
might have happened.  We had but little food remaining, and all but my
last charge of powder was expended.  Still, my anxiety about our friends
prevented me thinking of our own condition.

We travelled on all next day, and I began to fear that we must have
passed the village.  Just, however, as the sun was about to set, his
rays lighted up the tops of some huts in the distance.  We made towards
them, though still doubtful whether they were those of Kabomba or not.
Perhaps the inhabitants had themselves attacked and destroyed our
friends.  I had often heard of the treachery of the natives, and these
might be as bad as others.

"Still, we must hazard everything for the sake of ascertaining the
truth."  I said to Natty.

"Oh yes, yes," he answered.  "I do not fear them; and after all, Andrew,
they can but kill us; and if they have killed our friends, were it not
wrong, I should almost wish that they would kill us."

As we got nearer to the side of the village I had no longer any doubt
that it was the one Stanley had visited.  That we might not take the
inhabitants by surprise, as I drew near I shouted out, and presently
several people appeared at the chief entrance.  As soon as they saw us
they came running forward.  Among them was an old man, whom, by his
appearance, I took to be the chief.  He had no weapon, and as he drew
near, his countenance, which wore a friendly expression, reassured me.
I therefore hastened on, leading the zebra, to meet him.  He took my
hands in his, and looking into my face, seemed to be inquiring whence we
came.  Then he seized Natty's hands and stroked his face, and exhibited
every sign of regard.  He cast, however, an astonished gaze at the
zebra, and was evidently greatly surprised at seeing the docility of the

"At all events, you see, they are friends," said Natty.  "I do hope they
can give us some account of the rest."

We were quickly conducted inside the village.  The chief led us to his
house.  He then seemed to inquire what we would do with the little
zebra, and pointed to a small enclosure on one side.  I begged that it
might be placed within it, and signified that I should be glad if it
could be supplied with grass.  Immediately several people set out with
knives, I concluded for the purpose of cutting the grass.  My
disappointment was great, however, at not seeing any of our friends, and
by all the signs I could think of I inquired of the chief what had
become of them.  I could get no satisfactory reply to my questions, and
I could not help supposing that the chief had some reason for not
informing me.  We were taken at once into his house, and in a short time
food was placed before us.  How delicious the plantains and cassava
tasted, and some well-dressed venison.  As soon as our hunger was
satisfied I again began to inquire by signs about our friends.  A
stranger coming in might have supposed that I was performing some
pantomimic play for his especial amusement.  He, however, seemed greatly
puzzled, and I concluded of course that I had not the right talent for
my purpose.  At length a sign of intelligence came over his countenance,
and he now in return made a variety of gestures, which I must own were
considerably more clear than mine.  He first pointed to the north, and
held up his fingers, counting the number of people of whom our party
consisted.  He then got up and ran across the room, and next opened his
arms, and seemed to be receiving some phantom guests.  He then lay down
on the ground and pretended to be asleep, and got up seven times; by
which I understood that they had come and remained at the village that
number of days.  He next pointed southward, and seemed to be mourning,
as if regretting that they had taken their departure.  I now told Natty
I was sure our friends had come to the village, and after stopping a few
days had proceeded to the south.  The chief seemed to understand that
Natty was ill, and he and his wives did their best to arrange a
comfortable bed for him with mats placed over dried grass strewed on the
ground.  I hoped that after a day's rest he would be able again to set
forward, as I wished to lose no time in following our friends.  I spoke
of my intention to Natty.

"Can you think of doing so without first trying to find Leo?" he said.
"Perhaps our new friends here will assist us."

"If you were better able to undergo the fatigue I would," I said; "but I
wish first to place you in safety."

"Oh, do not think of that," he answered, "leave me here.  The people
seem so friendly, that I am sure they will take care of me; and though I
wish very much indeed to go with you, I am sure I should only be an
impediment to your progress."

I immediately set to work to try and make the chief understand that two
of our party were in captivity somewhere in the east or south-east, and
that I wished to go in search of them.  I was nearly sure that he
understood me, and with some hopes of setting off next day I lay down to
get a sounder sleep than I might possibly enjoy for many days to come.

The next morning, when I again entered on the subject, he appeared to be
unwilling to accede to my wishes.  I was indeed not sorry to rest
another day and night, hoping that in the meantime something might occur
to assist my project.  I remembered the account Stanley had given of the
idol like a crocodile which he had seen.  Curiosity prompted me to
search for it as I walked about the village.  The chief divined my
object, and, taking my arm, led me into a hut, where on the ground lay a
number of fragments of plaster, wicker-work, and hair.  On these he
stamped, and then turned away with a contemptuous glance, touching his
ears and eyes, and then shaking his head, as much as to say that the
idol could neither hear nor see.  From several other signs he made, I
came to the conclusion that Timbo had carried out his project, and at
all events succeeded in showing the blacks the falsity of their wretched
faith.  I had hopes, too, that he had also planted the germs of a purer
one in their minds.  It was on that and other accounts very vexatious
being so utterly unable to exchange ideas with them.  One thing was
certain,--they were disposed to treat Natty and I with the greatest
kindness.  At last, by perseverance, I made the chief understand what I
wanted, and he signified his readiness to assist me.  I showed him also
that I wished him to take care of Natty while I was away.  At this he
seemed highly pleased, and brought his son--a boy of about Natty's age--
to show that he would be his companion, and that he would take as good
care of him as he would of his own children.  To show his still greater
readiness to assist me, he brought a number of articles which had
evidently been left by our friends, I could not make out whether as
gifts or not.  He signified that we might ransom Leo with them if he was
detained as a prisoner.  These, and sufficient provisions to last me for
several days, I placed on the back of the zebra.  The load, though not
very heavy, was as much as I thought it could carry.

I was doubtful whether I should venture to go alone, or obtain some
attendants.  If they proved faithful they would be of great use,
otherwise I would rather have trusted to my own energy and watchfulness.
The matter was settled by the chief bringing up three young men, whom
he signified were to accompany me.  They were armed with shields, bows
and arrows, and spears; but these might alarm their countrymen, and I
knew I must depend for success only on pacific measures.  It cost me a
good deal to part with Natty.  He looked so sorrowful when I bid him

"But you will bring back Leo; I know you will," he said.  "I cannot help
thinking he is not very far off."

Just as I was parting the chief brought me a prize, which, in my
circumstances, was of the greatest value.  It was a powder-horn full of
fine powder.  I could not help fancying it must have been left behind by
accident.  It was certainly, however, not the one which Stanley had been
in the habit of using.

I think I have before said that the zebra would not allow any of the
blacks to come near him.  I was therefore obliged to lead him myself,
they following at a little distance behind.  He then went on readily
enough: but the moment they came near his heels, he flung out in a way
which made them always keep at a respectful distance.

I must give a very brief account of my journey.  It required a good deal
of calculation to direct my course.  I had first to consider the
position of the village where Natty and I had remained so long near the
lake.  It was some distance to the south-east of this that I might hope
to find Leo, and yet at no very great distance, otherwise my former
hosts would not have refused to go beyond the stream, at which it will
be remembered we turned back.  The journey might, I thought, occupy me
three or four days, if I could manage to steer a direct course for it.
The weather was now again fine, so we camped out at night, lighting the
usual watch-fires; and I lay down on the ground with the zebra tethered
near me.  We saw two or three villages in the distance; but I understood
from my companions that they were sure no white men were there, or they
would have heard of it.  At length, at the end of a four days' journey,
a village appeared directly before us, situated on some rising ground.
It was in the direction where, by my calculations, I thought it possible
the one would be found to which Leo had been carried.  A number of goats
were feeding on the side of the hill, and below my eyes were gladdened
by the sight of some horned cattle, which, by their movements, were
evidently tame.

My companions now made signs to me that I might go on alone, as they did
not feel disposed to trust themselves within the village until they had
ascertained the disposition of the inhabitants.  Leading the zebra, I
therefore walked on till I came in sight of a gate at the end of the
principal street, if I may so call it, it being always remembered that
the houses were only reed huts, and the gates were composed of rough
poles.  As I neared it several people issued forth with javelins in
their hands, and, vociferating loudly, rushed towards me.  My gun was
slung at my back, so I held up my hands to show that I had no intention
of attacking them.  On this they somewhat slackened their pace, though
they still held their weapons in a threatening manner.  I knew that my
best chance of safety was to advance boldly without showing any sign of
fear.  This had the desired effect, and they now came on in a more
friendly manner.  They showed signs of astonishment at seeing the zebra
in my company, and, I observed, paid me more respect from believing that
I had the power of taming an animal so generally untameable.  We were
still at some little distance from the gates, when another person came
out.  Seeing me, he rushed forward, and breaking through the people who
surrounded me, threw himself at my feet.  Greatly to my delight I
recognised young Mango.  Tears dropped from his eyes as he took my

"O massa, so glad! so glad!" he exclaimed, showing that he had not
forgotten his small knowledge of English.

"And Leo?"  I asked, taking him by the hand; "where is he?"

"Gone! gone!" he answered.

My heart sank as I heard this.

"What! dead?"  I exclaimed, the thought of the grief his death would
cause his sisters and Natty, indeed all of us, coming into my mind.

I was greatly relieved when Mango answered--

"No, massa, not dead; but gone away," and he pointed south.

"What I did any one come to take him away, or did he go all alone?"

"Yes, massa, all alone," said Mango.  "He run away.  Dey catchy me, and
bring back."

This was indeed disappointing.  Still, I hoped that he might reach some
place of safety, or that possibly I might find him.  On making further
inquiries of Mango, I ascertained that he had started only two days
before.  Then I thought, perhaps he has gone towards Kabomba; I may
actually have passed him on the road.

The inhabitants now conducted me into the village, accompanied by Mango,
and I was led before the chief.  He was an enormously fat man, and was
seated on a pile of matting in a sort of verandah in front of his abode,
and supported by a number of women, whom I took to be his wives.
Determined not to be treated as a prisoner, I went up at once and shook
him by the hand, and told Mango to explain that I had come from a
distance to look for a young countryman, and that my people would be
very angry if any injury had happened to him.  The chief was evidently
not addicted to making long speeches, indeed it was with difficulty he
brought out his words.  Mango interpreted what he said.  He declared
that he had no intention of injuring the white boy; that his people had
found him and his companion some time back, and that he had since fed
him and taken good care of him, and that of his own accord he had run

"Yes," added Mango, "what he say true; but when we want go away, he no
let us, so Massa Leo run.  He got rifle and powder, too, and dis make
old rogue here wish keepy."

I concluded from this that Leo's case had been very similar to ours, and
as my anxiety about him had somewhat decreased, I began to fear that the
fat chief would detain me in his place.  I therefore assumed a still
more authoritative air, and declared that though my people were very
much obliged to the chief for taking care of our friends, they would be
very angry at his having detained them longer than they wished.

"Tell him I insist upon their letting you go immediately, and if they do
so, I am prepared to make them a present; but that if not, I shall fight
my way out of the place on the back of my wonderful steed there"--
pointing to the zebra--"and very likely return and burn their village to
the ground."

"Bery good," said Mango; and he began to interpret my address, adding, I
suspect, not a few threats and boastings of his own.

The effect, at all events, was to make the old chief and his attendants
treat me with great civility.  His wives hurried off to prepare a
banquet, and I was allowed to proceed through the village with Mango as
my guide.  I led the zebra all the time, for the little animal showed a
great disinclination to leave me, or to go nearer the blacks than he
could help; indeed, when any of them drew near, as was his usual custom,
he struck out with his heels right and left at them, or, if they
appeared in front, he ran forward and tried to bite them.  He, however,
appeared to recognise Mango, and though he would not allow him to touch
his head, yet he showed no hostility when he came near.

By the time the banquet--which consisted of a variety of dishes of the
meat of several wild animals--was over, it was almost dark.  I had no
doubt my attendants would camp out in the neighbourhood of the village,
and I therefore told the chief that I would take my departure,
accompanied by Mango, and camp with them, to be ready to start on the
following morning.  I found, however, that he had no intention of
letting me go so easily, and insisted that I must pass the night in his
village.  Seeing how matters stood, I said that I had no objection to do
this, but that I must have a house to myself, where my zebra would
obtain accommodation, as I could not be parted from the animal; and that
I wanted Mango also to attend on me.  There is an old saying, "There is
nothing like asking for a thing one wants," and I found the advantage of
so doing; for my request, after the chief had consulted his wives, was
granted.  This arrangement being made, I told Mango to inform the chief
that I required a supply of green grass for my animal.  This also was
brought me before night.  I asked Mango whether he thought the chief
intended to detain us.  He did not think so; but expressed himself ready
to try and get out of the village during the night, if I thought it
advisable.  I discovered, on further questioning him, that he and Leo
had heard of the appearance of some white people at the distance of
three or four days' journey off, towards the south-west, and though the
account was not very exact, from that moment Leo had determined to make
his escape.  He arranged that if they could not get off together he
should go first, and leave marks to show his route.  Mango was to
follow, or should he be prevented, Leo promised that he would return
with his friends to his rescue.

"But, massa," added Mango, "long way walky.  Dey got cows, big horns,
for ridey.  Me steal one for massa."

Perhaps I am making Mango speak even more clearly than he really did;
but he made me understand his meaning by the help of words and signs.

"No," I replied.  "I shall be very glad to buy one of their animals,
though they must suppose it is for you to ride, and not for me, as they
now believe that I could not possibly require any other steed beside my

While I remained in the hut, I sent Mango to the chief with an offer to
buy an ox, provided he would bring several to the village early in the
morning for me to choose from.  Mango shortly returned to say that the
chief agreed to my proposal; indeed, the old man was probably, as most
Africans are, perfectly ready to do a stroke of business, particularly
as Mango had told him that I was willing to pay a good price for the



I need not enter into the particulars of my purchase.  The transaction
was soon completed.  I had brought articles sufficient, I hoped, to
ransom both Leo and Mango.  I told the chief that, although I did not
consider myself bound to pay him anything for releasing Mango, yet I
would make him a present in consideration of the kind treatment which he
and my young countryman had experienced.  All parties seemed well
pleased, especially when I offered a further sum for some provisions--
cassava, plantains, antelope flesh, and dried elephant meat--which I
intended for my attendants, whom I hoped to meet in the valley below.

In case the fickle negroes should change their mind, I hurried off as
soon as I possibly could without exciting their undue suspicions, and
was glad to find that no one followed us.  We took our way down the hill
to a spot where I left my three attendants, but they were nowhere to be
seen.  There was their camp-fire, but it had long gone out; and I
supposed that, having been alarmed, they had taken to flight.  I hoped
to come up with them further on.  Still, no traces could I see of the
deserters.  As I had made up my mind to search for Leo before returning
to Kabomba, I gave up the pursuit, and turned on one side for the
purpose of intersecting the course I concluded, from Mango's account,
that he had taken.

Leo had promised to make crosses on trees, and where no trees existed to
cut the same mark on the grass, or to arrange stones in a like form, or
to stick little crosses into the ground, to show his course.  "I always
thought that Leo had his wits about him, and this proves it!"  I
exclaimed, though Mango probably did not understand me.  We accordingly
examined the ground on either side as we went along.  I could still see
in the far distance the outlines of the village, and, judging by the
sun, I calculated that it was about north-east of us, while I hoped by
travelling south-west to come up with my young friend.

We had been searching for some time, and at Mango's suggestion I had
mounted the ox.  I have not before described the animal.  It was
clean-limbed, almost white, with long pointed horns projecting
horizontally from its head; a thoroughly tame and tractable animal.  It
went on at a steady pace, sufficient to keep Mango and the zebra at a
trot.  We were searching carefully as we went for Leo's promised
indication of his route, when Mango suddenly started off, and running a
few paces, lifted up a small cross, formed of two pieces of wood,
fastened together by the material of which the natives make their mats.
Mango's delight was excessive.  "See I see!" he exclaimed.  "We now
find--we now find Massa Leo!" and running on ahead, he lifted up a
second cross made in the same way.  The arms of both of them were
pointing in the direction which we supposed Leo had taken.  This fact
also showed his forethought, for if a single cross only had been left,
we should have had to search about perhaps for a long time before
ascertaining his route.  We now went on with more confidence.  From the
start he had had, I feared it would be some time before we could come up
with him.  Still, as he had his rifle and provisions to carry, I knew
that he could not proceed as fast as we were doing.  We travelled on
till nightfall, when we tethered the animals with some rope which Mango
had brought, lighted our fires, and made a slight shelter from the wind.
As the weather was clear, there was no necessity for building a
substantial hut.  Having unloaded the zebra, I placed the packages under
my head as a pillow, keeping my rifle as usual by my side, and told
Mango that we would watch alternately during the night.  I gave him the
first watch, with directions to call me after a couple of hours,
intending to allow him a longer rest than I took myself.  I was awoke by
a loud roar sounding in my ears.  It was the well-known voice of a lion.
I started up.  So did Mango, for he had been asleep.  A few glowing
embers of the fire alone remained.  I had seized my rifle instinctively,
and with it in my hand looked around on every side.  The ox stood near,
though trembling violently; but the little zebra was nowhere to be seen.
I caught sight, however, of the massive form of a lion bounding over
the ground.  The zebra, I hoped, had escaped, though the lion might be
pursuing it, and I resolved to try and save the life of our little pet.
I fired, and believed that I had hit the savage brute, for it stopped
and growled more furiously than before.  Meantime Mango was employed in
throwing sticks on the fire, blowing with might and main to make them
blaze up.  The lion drew nearer.  Again I fired, but missed.  There
might be scarcely time to reload before the lion would be upon me.  I
hurriedly began to do so.  I never more eagerly rammed down a charge.
Still the lion came on.  Mango piled on more sticks, and blew and blew
harder than ever, as if his existence depended on it.  So, perhaps, it
did, for had the lion made a spring, and had I again missed him, Mango's
life must have been sacrificed.  Just then the fire blazed up.
Fortunately the sticks were very dry.  A few bounds would have brought
the savage brute up to us.  I shouted, and so did Mango, with might and
main.  I refrained, however, from firing till the lion had approached
nearer, for should I not kill him outright, he might, in spite of the
fire, rush towards us.  On he came roaring, but slowly, afraid of the
flames.  Once more he stopped.  He dared not face them.  Greatly to my
relief, he then turned round and moved off, roaring furiously.  Fearing
that he might still pursue the zebra, which I hoped had escaped, and
might, after making a circuit, come back to us, I raised my rifle and
fired again.  I fancied I could hear the thud of the bullet as it struck
the lion behind the shoulder.  Fearful were the roars he uttered; but
defeated, he stalked off, evidently having had enough of the fight.
Mango, who had been thoroughly alarmed, seemed very penitent for having
gone to sleep.  There was no necessity to point out to him the danger we
had been in, in consequence.  He tried to say he would never do so
again.  At last I persuaded him to lie down and rest, while I sat up.  I
kept looking round, in the hope of seeing the zebra trot up to us, but
when the morning came our little pet had not returned.

I had begun to cook our breakfast even before daylight, that we might
lose no time in starting, so as to take advantage of the cool air of the
early day.  We had not gone far when we came to a small cross made of
stones on the ground.  It revived my spirits, for it was the sign that
Leo had passed that way.  Then again the fear came across me that the
lion which had scented us out might have attacked him.  During the day
we passed several other crosses, some cut, as he had promised, in the
trees; but the greater number were composed, as were the first we had
seen, of sticks.  It took a shorter time to erect them than to cut the
marks on the trees or the grass, or even to make crosses of stones on
the ground.  Frequently during the day I turned back, in the hope of
seeing the zebra following us, but I was disappointed.

The next night passed away, and then another, and Mango kept wide awake
during his watch.  Leo must have pushed on well, for still the crosses
appeared.  We came on all the spots where he had slept--his lean-to or
hut, with the ashes of his fire before it; and generally midway between
them a black patch alone, where he had stopped to cook his mid-day meal.
We found the feathers of several birds which he had shot.  It was
evident, indeed, that he had exercised all the sagacity of an
experienced hunter--remarkable in one so young.  I was very thankful
that I had an animal to ride, for the heat and the constant exertion I
was undergoing tried me greatly.

On the third day we still found Leo's crosses, but several were out of
the straight line.  The country had become open, similar in character to
that which I had passed over with Natty.  Hitherto we had found springs
affording sufficient water for ourselves and the ox.  Now, however, we
had to go a long way without meeting with any, though we carried enough
in our bottle for ourselves, and a small quantity for the patient ox.
Travelling on, I saw something lying on the ground a short distance off.
I pointed it out to Mango, who ran towards it, and returned with a
knapsack.  "Yes," he said in a sorrowful tone, "dis Massa Leo's."  I
recognised it indeed as the one Leo had with him.  Fatigue alone could
have made him throw it aside; and perhaps, hoping soon to reach the
Europeans of whom he had heard, he would no longer encumber himself with
it.  Securing it to the ox's back, we went on still more eagerly,
looking carefully about on every side.  I expected every moment to
overtake Leo.  We went on for another mile or more, when to my dismay we
found his rifle on the ground.  That he certainly would not have thrown
away unless greatly overcome by fatigue.  Still, perhaps, he might have
had no powder, and found it a useless encumbrance.  I, however, dreaded
that, weak as he must have been before he would quit his knapsack and
rifle, he might have fallen an easy victim to some beast of prey.
Though we looked anxiously about, we could see nothing of him.
Presently Mango, who had gone ahead of me, began running very fast.  I
pushed on to overtake him, when I saw, lying on the ground, a human
form, by the side of which Mango had thrown himself.  Could it be Leo?
I urged the ox into a gallop, and did not stop till I reached the spot.
My worst apprehensions were fulfilled.  There lay Leo extended on the

"Is he dead?"  I exclaimed, in a faltering voice.

"Hope not, massa," answered Mango, looking up; "he 'till breathes."

The words somewhat relieved my fears, and throwing myself from the ox, I
knelt down by his side.  My first care was to pour some water down his
throat, then to bathe his temples; to treat him, indeed, as I had Natty
under similar circumstances.  I cannot express my thankfulness when I
saw him at length open his eyes.  He gazed at me with a look of
surprise, but he was still too weak to speak.  He pointed to his lips,
and I gave him more water.  It was necessary to get him at once into the
shade, for, exposed to the hot sun, it was scarcely possible that he
could regain his strength.  Mango accordingly lifted him up on the ox's
back, and I supporting him in my arms, he urged the animal on towards a
wood we saw in the distance.  Leo was still too weak to speak, but he
recognised me, and a grateful look lighted up his eyes as he gazed at my
face.  As I thought he might understand me, I briefly narrated some of
my adventures in search of him, of course not telling him my anxiety
about his sisters and brothers.  How thankful I felt that I had come in
time to save him, for it was evident that he would not have survived
many hours lying out on the exposed plain.  I was now doubtful whether
we should proceed on in the same course we had been steering, or turn
away to the west in search of Kabomba, where, I felt sure, he would be
well taken care of.  I should have to go there at all events for Natty,
even if we could gain certain tidings that our friends were further
south.  Presently Leo's lips moved, and I heard him whispering, "On! on
as before!  You will find them, I am sure!"  This decided me.  Still, I
resolved to rest at the nearest wood we could reach.  I was thankful
when at length we arrived at one--a little oasis in the desert.  What
was still more satisfactory, within it appeared a small pool, a bright
stream rushing out of the bank on its side.  We had tethered the ox.
While Mango sat by Leo's side bathing his temples and wetting his lips,
I was busily employed in collecting wood for our hut.  Suddenly the
sound of animals rushing across the plain reached my ears.  I looked up,
and saw a troop of giraffes galloping at full speed, and, closely
following them, two horsemen.  On they dashed!  Shouting at the top of
my voice, I called again and again.  I rushed to the ox, in the vain
hope of overtaking them.  Even at that distance I fancied I recognised
Stanley, though his companion's figure I did not know.  Just as I was
about to mount, there came tearing after them, as if in pursuit, a large
herd of buffaloes, among which appeared several huge rhinoceroses.  It
seemed as if they were in pursuit of the horsemen.  Another herd of
buffaloes came out of the wood opposite, and stopping, gazed a few
moments before joining the chase.  The whole passed by like creatures in
a dream.  I saw at once that it would be impossible to catch up the
horsemen; besides which, I should have run a great chance of being gored
to death by the rhinoceroses or buffaloes.  On they went, tearing across
the plain.  Poor Leo lifted up his head.

Just then Mango called to me.  "He say he sure dey're friends," said
Mango.  "We go after dem."

"Not just yet," I answered; "but it is a great satisfaction to have seen
them, for it shows that they must be encamped not far off, though in
which direction it is hard to say."

Had I been alone, I should certainly have followed; but it would have
killed Leo to move.  I therefore remained encamped, hoping that he would
soon be sufficiently recovered to proceed.  In a short time not an
animal was to be seen.  However, the incident greatly raised my spirits,
especially as Leo was evidently getting better.  Mango and I therefore
went on building a hut, and collecting wood for a fire.  We meantime
propped up Leo with the baggage and some piles of wood.  While thus
employed, I saw a couple of parrots on a bough near, and fortunately
killed them; and by the time our fire was burned up, Mango had plucked
them, and they were soon roasting before it.

Night came on; but Leo was very restless, and declared that he could not
sleep.  I did everything I could to soothe him, but in vain.  At length
the moon rose and lighted up the whole landscape.  "Me t'ink good time
go on," said Mango.  I thought so too; indeed, I had become very anxious
about Leo.  The camp, I hoped, was at no great distance, and I thought
it would be better to obtain assistance for him, rather than take a long
rest and have to travel during the heat of the day.  Accordingly,
rousing our patient ox, which had lain down near the fire after cropping
the abundant grass, I mounted and lifted Leo up, holding him in my arms.
Mango carried my rifle, and led the animal, that I might be more at
liberty to support my young friend.  On we went over the plain.  We had
gone some distance, when I felt Leo resting more heavily on my arm.  I
asked him what was the matter.  He did not answer.  I feared that he had
fainted.  Telling Mango to stop, we bathed his temples, and I poured a
few drops of water down his throat.  I had no other remedy.  It slightly
revived him, for he opened his eyes and spoke a few words; but his
condition made me more than ever anxious to discover the camp, if such
was indeed to be found.  I had already gone through a great deal of
anxiety, but nothing to equal what I suffered at present.  It seemed so
sad to think that Leo might die when succour was so near at hand.
Eager, however, as I was to proceed, Leo's condition prevented me from
allowing the ox to go out of a steady walk.  Still, even thus, without
any jolting, he got quickly over the ground.  On and on we went, looking
about in every direction for the light of a fire which might indicate
the situation of the wished-for camp.  I say wished-for, for I was not
certain that our friends were actually in the neighbourhood.  Perhaps
the horsemen I had seen had come from a considerable distance, and were
in light hunting order, with merely saddle-bags to hold their provisions
and ammunition.  If so, they could render us, even if we should fall in
with them, but little assistance.  These thoughts passed through my mind
as we proceeded, while I formed a variety of plans, to be carried out
according to any emergency which might arise.  As the moon was bright, I
had no fear of an attack from wild beasts.

We had gone on for about three hours, when Mango stopped.  "See, massa,
see!" he exclaimed.  I looked ahead, and observed a ruddy glow in the
sky.  The ox at the same time poked out his head, as if he also saw
something that interested him.  Presently the light increased, and I
could distinctly make out fires burning in the distance.  "If those are
campfires, they must have been lighted by a somewhat large party," I
observed.  The further we advanced, the more distinct did the fires
become.  We proceeded eagerly.  At length, to my surprise, the ox seemed
unwilling to move on.  In spite of Mango's coaxing voice, it proceeded
more and more slowly.  At length I could distinguish not only the fires,
but objects moving about; a waggon and numerous oxen tethered near, and
horses and men, gradually came in sight.  Then the barking of dogs
reached our ears.  This made me still more surprised at the
unwillingness of the ox to proceed.  Then I distinguished some water, on
which the light of the fire was reflected.  Between us and it, however,
several dark objects appeared.  In vain Mango now tried to urge on the
ox.  He stopped altogether.  "Ah, massa, look dere!" he exclaimed in a
terrified tone.  He had cause for alarm.  The fires just then blazing up
more completely, exhibited the dark outlines of several lions and other
creatures, which I took to be hyenas, standing on our side of the
stream, watching the camp, while the dogs we had heard ran backwards and
forwards, barking at them from the opposite side.  My fear now was that
the savage brutes might turn and attack us.  Even if they did not do so,
it might take us some time to find a ford and get round to the camp,
unless we could make the travellers hear us and come to our assistance.
Mango and I shouted again and again with all our might.  Though our
friends might not have heard our voices, the wild beasts did, for
suddenly turning round, the whole pack, with angry roars, came bounding
towards us.



It was a nervous thing to stand in front of a dozen or more lions and
hyenas bounding over the plain.  I thought the ox would have bolted, in
spite of Mango's efforts to hold him.  To fly would have been more
dangerous than standing still, so we remained firm, and shouted our
utmost.  The moon, which had before been behind a cloud, came out
brightly, when the savage creatures, awed, if not terrified, by our
cries, separated as they approached us, and bounded off on either hand
into the wilds.  The ox, recovering from his alarm, no longer refused to
move on.

Reaching the banks of the stream, we again cried out, hoping to attract
the attention of the travellers.

"Who are you?  What is it you want?" shouted a voice from the other

"Andrew Crawford and Leonard Hyslop with the black Mango.  We want to
cross the river and join you," I shouted in return.

"Welcome! welcome!  Move to the right!  There is an easy passage.  We
will go that way and show you.  Captain Hyslop and several of his party
are here."  The last words which reached my ears were the first certain
intimation I had that my cousin Stanley was in the camp near us.  I
earnestly hoped that his sisters and David were there also.  As we rode
along we heard a number of voices, and saw men with torches moving
rapidly along the side of the stream.  Presently we came to a somewhat
wider part, where the banks were very low, and where I should have
expected to find a ford.  At the same time several people were seen with
torches crossing it.  We went on to meet them, Mango leading the ox,
which advanced without hesitation.  We were already in the water when I
heard Stanley's voice.

"Andrew, my dear fellow, is it you? and have you really brought poor
Leo?" he exclaimed.  "We had given you all up for lost!"

"I have brought him," I said; "but where is David?"

"He is in the camp; but having turned in, I suppose was not dressed in
time to join us," he replied.

We had not time to exchange many words while crossing the stream; but as
soon as we had got safe on dry ground I gave him a brief account of our
adventures, and expressed my anxiety to have Leo placed under David's
care without delay.

"And Kate and Bella!"  I asked.  "Are they with you, and well?"

"Yes, I am thankful to say so," he answered, "though they have had to go
through much hardship, no little danger, and great fatigue; indeed, I do
not know what would have occurred had not our friend Silva, and a party
he had collected, arrived sooner than we expected.  He had fallen in
with a trader making an exploring expedition further north than any of
his calling have hitherto reached, and, offering him a handsome
remuneration, induced him to come on with his waggon and several good
horses, in the hope of meeting us.  The trader--Donald Fraser by name, a
Scotchman--having got into this unknown region, would not consent to
proceed further, and was on the point of turning south again, when Silva
induced him to remain another week, while Chickango went on to try and
get tidings of us.  We had, meantime, started south, and happily fell in
with him, when reduced to extremities, about two days' journey from the
camp.  I am not surprised at our friend Donald's unwillingness to
proceed, for he had fallen in with some rough customers, who were more
likely to rob him of his goods than pay for them.  However, by the
exertion of the diplomatic talents of our friend Silva, they got free,
and now, I am thankful to say, we are all well, and ready to march
southward.  Kate and Bella have been dreadfully cut up about Leo's loss,
and yours, too, Andrew.  But what has become of Natty?  I hope the poor
boy is not dead?"

I satisfied Stanley on that point.

"We must go back, then, for him at once," he remarked.  "Though the
Kabomba people may treat him well, we must not desert the poor lad."

By this time we had reached the camp.  Although the rest of the party
had been asleep, they had been aroused, and now appeared out of their
respective huts to receive us.  Kate and Bella greeted me kindly, but
were too much occupied with poor Leo to exchange more than a few words.
He was at once carried into their hut, where David went to attend to
him.  Senhor Silva, Jack, Timbo, and the other blacks, greeted me

"So glad, Massa Andrew, you come back; so glad," exclaimed Timbo.  "Me
pray always for you.  Neber t'ought you lost.  Knew you come back some
day, dough me not den know de way."

Though I felt somewhat fatigued, my friends insisted on getting a
substantial supper ready; and the relief I felt from the idea that my
cares had now come to an end, contributed to give me a good appetite.  I
was introduced to Mr Donald Fraser, a tall, gaunt, red-haired

"I am very glad to welcome you, Mr Andrew Crawford," he said, putting
out his horny-palmed hand.  "You come from the North, I know, by your
name, and you are none the less welcome so far from the old country, out
in these southern and heathenish lands.  Your stout arm and rifle will
be a pleasant addition, too, to our party; for they are rough fellows we
are travelling amongst, and I shouldn't be surprised if we had to fight
our way out from their midst."

"My father came from Scotland, and though I have never been in it, I
love the country for his sake," I answered.  "Though I hope we shall
have no fighting, I am ready to take my part if we have to defend

"No doubt you would, Mr Crawford," he said.  "We are men of peace, and
should never wish to fight, unless in cases of urgent necessity.  I
hope, now you are come, we shall begin our journey southward forthwith."

"I am afraid not, Mr Fraser," said Stanley.  "My brother, who has just
arrived, will scarcely yet be able to move, and we have a young friend,
I find, lying ill at a village some days' journey to the north of us;
and until we get him we cannot leave this spot."

This information did not seem very palatable to our friend Donald; but
after taking a glass of real Glenlivet, a flask of which stood in our
midst, his countenance relaxed.

"Ay, to be sure.  I had once a young brother of my own, a delicate boy.
I had few else to love in the world.  He is gone; but I know how you
feel about this little fellow; we must not risk his life.  And the other
lad, the son of poor Captain Page--I knew him--made a voyage aboard his
ship--and should like to do the boy a good turn for his sake.  I don't
greatly esteem the gratitude of this world, and yet it's pleasant to
have the opportunity of repaying a debt for kindness received."

I was glad to hear these remarks, and trusting that Natty would find a
friend in Mr Fraser, I lay down to enjoy a sounder rest than I had for
very long obtained.

Leo was much better in the morning, and David told me that though he was
seriously ill, yet he trusted that he would shortly regain sufficient
strength to travel.  I begged of Stanley that he would allow me to
accompany him to convey Natty to the camp.  To this he willingly agreed,
and it was arranged that Timbo was to take a third horse and act as
interpreter, and that we were to travel during the bright moonlight
hours of night.

I was anxious to set off immediately; but the horses were so tired with
their hunting expedition of the previous day, that Stanley considered it
was necessary to give them a couple of days' rest before they would be
fit to start.

"When did you ride last, Mr Crawford?" inquired Donald Fraser of me the
following morning.  "Because it strikes me that, unless you are a good
horseman, you'll be little fit to take the journey the captain proposes,
at the rate he goes over the ground."

I confessed that some years had passed since I had mounted a horse,
though in my father's prosperous days I had owned one, and was then a
fair rider.

"Well, then, we'll just take a canter across the plain this afternoon.
It will not tire the horses, and it will help to get your muscles into
play for the exertion you'll have to make by-and-by," he said.

I was very glad to accept his offer.  After dinner, with our rifles at
our backs--to be ready for any lion, panther, elephant, or rhinoceros
which might cross our path--we set out for an hour's ride towards the
south, Stanley cautioning us not to go far and fatigue the horses.

"Never fear, captain," answered Mr Fraser.  "We'll just go far enough
to stretch our steeds' legs, and see how our young friend here sticks to
his saddle."

As we rode along my companion gave me many valuable hints with regard to
the journey I was about to undertake.

"Keep your horse well in hand," he observed, "your eyes about you, and
your ears open; never press him unnecessarily; and then, should you meet
a lion or be attacked by savages, you will be ready for action, and do
what in my opinion is the wisest thing under such circumstances--get out
of their way."

We had not gone far when an exclamation of pleasure burst from Donald,
and I saw to the southward a vast herd of springboks crossing from east
to west.  Numerous as were the wild animals we had met with, I had never
seen so many of one species together.  They formed an immense herd
extending for a full mile across our path, and, as far as we could
judge, of the same width.  On they went, bounding and leaping.  "On!
on!" cried my companion, forgetting all about our tired steeds; and
putting spurs to the flanks of his, away he galloped, calling on me to
keep up with him.  The wary animals saw us coming, and, apprehending
danger, immediately began to scour over the plain, turning, however, to
the south-west.  This placed us directly behind them.  They would lead
us a long chase, of that there was no doubt; but Donald was too eager to
think of letting them escape.  Mile after mile was passed over.  We were
approaching the herd.  They now, however, began to scatter to the right
and left, though still keeping in considerable bodies.  We followed the
centre one.  At length we found ourselves in a rocky country, which
compelled us to turn aside.  Twice Donald fired, and each time brought
down an animal.  I also killed one; but could with difficulty rein in my
horse while I reloaded my rifle.  Away the springboks went, leaping over
the rocks with wonderful agility.  We had been gradually ascending, when
Donald disappeared among the rocks and trees to the right, and shortly
afterwards I found myself going down the somewhat steep side of a hill,
with a number of springboks directly ahead of me.  I again fired, but
missed, when I stopped to reload; and just then looking up, I saw a high
precipice, towards which several of the springboks were making.  Rushing
on, regardless of the height of the cliff, they leaped over it.  I
thought they must have broken their legs; but they alighted unhurt.
Just then I saw Donald coming on at full speed, directly after another
herd.  They, too, made for the precipice.  I shouted out to him, fearing
that he might not see it, and that he and his horse would fall over and
be killed.  I shouted and waved again and again.  Just before he reached
the edge he saw me, and though he could not have heard what I said, he
guessed there was danger, and reined in his steed; not, however, till
they were both on the point of rushing over.  Scrambling up the hill, I
rejoined him.  He had killed four antelopes--a welcome supply for our
camp.  We might have slaughtered many more, but those we had got we
could not carry home.  Gutting up four animals, we loaded our horses
with the meat, and then drew the remaining two into a hollow of a rock,
and filled up the entrance with stones and sand, hoping to send for them
in the evening.

The springboks are so called from their wonderful agility.  They are
found in all parts of Southern Africa, and are more numerous than any
other variety of the antelope.  In form they are very graceful--not
unlike the lovely gazelle of the north of Africa.

We had a somewhat fatiguing trudge towards the camp, though we had less
to complain of than our steeds.  The supply of venison was very welcome,
though I was afraid, in consequence of our long chase, the intended
journey might be delayed another day.  Donald complimented me on my
horsemanship; indeed, I had not been five minutes in the saddle before I
found myself perfectly at home.  I was somewhat stiff, I must confess;
but the horses were not much the worse for their unexpected gallop.  We
therefore prepared to set off the following afternoon.

No time was lost in sending for the rest of the venison, which the
hyenas would soon have found out had it been allowed to remain during
the night.  Late in the evening Chickango and one of the Hottentots, who
had been sent to bring it in, returned.  As they were approaching the
camp, one of the oxen, which had been allowed to feed for a moment, was
seen suddenly to stop, and begin to roar with pain, its countenance
exhibiting the utmost helplessness.  I, with others, ran forward to see
what was the matter, supposing that it must have been bitten by some
venomous insect or snake.  Donald soon followed, when, telling the men
to hold the poor ox's mouth, he took out of it a curious woody-looking
substance, covered with sharp thorns.

"The poor creature has got this seed-vessel of the grapple plant into
his mouth," he said, exhibiting it.  "I suspect that any of you who had
taken the same between your jaws would have roared too, if not so

He told us that if an animal lies down upon these seed-vessels, they
stick to his skin, so that he cannot possibly get rid of them.  David,
who examined it, said it came from the plant _Uncaria procumbens_; or
grapple plant.

I had gone out the next morning soon after sunrise to look round the
camp, when I saw several birds of a greyish colour, about the size of a
common thrush.  Their notes, too, reminded me, as they sang their
morning song, of the mistletoe thrush.  Presently they flew off
together, some way up the stream.  Turning round, I saw Chickango,
Igubo, and several of Mr Fraser's blacks following, with guns in their
hands, accompanied by a pack of dogs.  I pointed out the birds to them.
"'Noceros not far off," observed Chickango.  Presently we saw the birds
pitch behind a neighbouring bush, and getting on one side of it, what
was my surprise to find that they were standing on the back of a huge
rhinoceros, sticking their bills into his head, and even into his ears,
and uttering a loud harsh grating cry.  The rhinoceros, we could see
even at that distance, was a huge white monster, with a couple of horns,
a short one placed on the head behind the front, and pointed--a
formidable looking weapon.  The object, probably, of these
rhinoceros-birds, as they may be called, in thus pitching on his body,
was to feed upon the ticks, and other parasitic insects, which swarm
upon those animals.  They also attend upon the hippopotamus, and,
whether intentionally or not I cannot say, often thus give him warning
of danger.  Presently up rose the rhinoceros and looked about him.  I,
unfortunately, not intending to go far from the camp, had left my rifle
behind.  The dogs at that instant started off, rushing with loud barks
towards the monster.  They had better have kept at a distance, for,
lowering his head, he caught the first which leaped towards him on his
horn, and threw him back dead among the reeds.  Then, turning round, he
charged directly towards us.  The unarmed blacks immediately took to the
water.  Unable to escape by flight, I thought that my last moments had
come; but, providentially, the dogs attracting his attention, diverted
it from me.  Chickango, rifle in hand, boldly ran up to face the
monster, who at that instant seemed to catch sight of the waggon and
cattle in the distance.  He probably thought it an enemy worthy of his
courage, for, to my great horror and dismay, in spite of our shouts and
the barking of the dogs, he rushed off towards it.  I could only hope
that our friends saw him coming, though when I left the camp they were
still asleep.  I thought he would have struck Chickango, who was
directly in his course; but the active black sprang out of his way, and
then turning round, fired at his head.  Though I was sure the bullet had
struck, yet it did not stop his course.  On he dashed towards the
waggon.  I shouted and shouted to Stanley, hoping that he might possibly
hear my voice.  In vain.  The brute went on, and seemed to be almost in
the midst of the camp.  Aiming directly at the waggon, he struck it,
and, heavy as it was, so great was the impetus of his huge body that he
sent it on several feet.  Fortunately he came against it in the rear,
otherwise it must inevitably have been upset.  Just then another shot
was fired, and, greatly to my relief, over rolled the huge creature.
Never have I heard such shouting, barking, and yelping of dogs, as
immediately arose.

When I got to the camp I found our friends, as may be supposed, in a
state of no small alarm; but that quickly subsided, and the blacks
especially gave way to their delight at the prospect of so bountiful a
supply of meat as the creature's carcass would afford them.  We
calculated that it was fully equal to three good-sized oxen.  It was an
enormous creature.  David likened it to an immense grey hog shorn of its
bristles.  With the exception of a tuft at the extremity of the ears and
tail, it had no hair on its body.  Its eyes were absurdly small; indeed,
at a little distance one could scarcely see them.  We agreed that, what
with its giant body, misshapen head, ungainly legs and feet, and
absurdly small eyes, it was, according to our notions, the very image of
ugliness.  Next to the elephant, the white rhinoceros is the largest
animal in existence, and scarcely inferior to it in strength, as this
one had proved by the way in which it pushed on the huge waggon.
Notwithstanding its ungainly appearance, it had shown us how active it
could be, by the way it had turned about when assailed by the dogs, and
the rapid charge it made towards the camp; indeed, I believe even a fast
horse, with a rider on his back, could only keep pace with it.  Senhor
Silva told us it cannot go long without water, and it is, therefore,
always found in the neighbourhood of some pond or fountain, which it
seeks at least once during the day, both to quench its thirst and to
wallow in the mud, in which amusement it delights.  Probably it is thus
able to get rid of the insects which cling to its hide.  We measured the
animal, and found that it was nearly sixteen feet in length, from the
snout to the end of the tail, and twelve feet in circumference.  It is
said to attain the age of one hundred years; indeed, judging from its
horns, the old fellow we killed must have been nearly as old.  The body
was long and thick; the belly hanging nearly to the ground, and of great
size.  Its legs were short, round, and very strong; and its hoofs were
divided into three parts, each pointing forward.  The head was
especially large, the ears long and erect, and its small eyes deeply
sunk.  The horns of the rhinoceros are composed of a mass of fine
longitudinal threads, forming a hard solid substance, not secured to the
skull, but merely attached to the skin.  They rest, however, on a bony
protuberance near the nostrils.  The white rhinoceros, of which I have
been speaking, has an extraordinary prolongation of the head, which we
found to be nearly one-third of the length of the whole body.  Its nose
was square, and the after horn of considerable length.  The horn of the
black rhinoceros is much shorter, and the animal itself is smaller than
the white species.  There are, however, four species of rhinoceros--two
black, or of a dark colour; and two of a whitish hue.  The black is
supposed to be of a wilder and more morose disposition than the white.
It has a peculiar upper lip, which is capable of extension, and is
extremely pliable, so that it can move it from side to side, and twist
it round a stick.  It in this way collects its food, and carries it to
its mouth, making use of it somewhat as an elephant does his trunk.  The
black species are very fierce, and probably, next to the buffalo, are
the most dangerous beasts in Southern Africa to encounter; for the lion
gives notice of his approach by his roar, and can easily be driven off,
while even the elephant is less pertinacious in assailing an enemy.

Senhor Silva said he had heard of rhinoceroses with three horns, but he
had never seen them, and rather doubted their existence.  One species
known as the cobaba has a front horn frequently upwards of four feet in
length, pointing slightly forward from the snout, at an angle of 45
degrees.  It can easily be conceived how fearful is a charge from an
animal with such a weapon, active and determined as it is.  Although the
rhinoceros sees but badly, it has a peculiarly acute sense of hearing
and smell.  It winds an enemy at a great distance; but the hunter may
approach to leeward of it within a few paces, if he walks with care,
without being discovered, though at the same time any noise will
instantly arouse it.  Ugly as the rhinoceros is, the female is a very
affectionate mother, and guards her young with the tenderest care.  The
calf also clings to its dam; and Senhor Silva told us that he had seen a
calf watching by the side of the carcass two days after the mother had
been killed.  Until aroused, the rhinoceros looks the most stupid and
inoffensive of animals; but woe betide the unwary traveller who offends
him!  If on horseback, he will have to scamper for his life; if on foot,
his only chance of safety is to climb a tree, or hide on the opposite
side of the thick trunk of one.  A lion will never attack a rhinoceros,
and slinks out of his way if he meets one.  Even the elephant avoids an
encounter, if he can, with so formidable an opponent, who, careless of
the blows of his trunk or the thrusts of his tusks, will charge him with
his sharp horn, and pierce him to the heart.

Senhor Silva told us that he once saw a battle between a large male
elephant and a rhinoceros, when, after an encounter of some minutes, the
elephant, who had at first shown great courage and activity, turned tail
and fled, the blood flowing from the wounds he had received.  He once
also saw a battle between four enormous rhinoceroses.  Again and again
they charged each other, uttering the most horrible grunts, and digging
their horns into each other's sides.  So fiercely engaged were the
monsters, that they did not observe the approach of his hunters, who
succeeded in killing two of them, while the others escaped.  Those
killed were utterly unfit for food, their flesh being quite rotten from
the wounds they had received on previous occasions.

The black rhinoceros feeds on a species of thorn known in Cape Colony as
wait-a-bit, which gives it a somewhat acrid and bitter flavour.  The
white species, however, feeds chiefly on grass.  The flesh has in
consequence a pleasant taste, and is usually very fat.  A high polish
can be given to the horns of the rhinoceros, and they are valuable
articles of commerce.  They fetch, indeed, half as much as common
elephant ivory.  They are formed into drinking-cups, handles for swords,
ramrods for rifles, and are used for many other purposes.

"When you speak of drinking-cups," said David to our Portuguese friend,
who had given us this account, "I have heard that they are believed to
possess the virtue of detecting poison.  It is said that if wine is
poured into them it forthwith rises and bubbles up as if it were
boiling; and if poison is mixed with it, immediately the cup splits.  It
is said, also, that if poison by itself is poured into one of these
cups, that the cup will instantly fly to pieces.  I confess, however,
that I am inclined to doubt that such is the case."

"I also have no belief in the account," remarked Senhor Silva.

The ordinary way of killing the rhinoceros is to stalk him either when
feeding or asleep.  By approaching to leeward, a good shot will kill him
before he moves.  Some hunters prefer hiding themselves in huts or pits,
as he comes to drink in the stream at the morning or evening.
Sometimes, however, the animals are taken in pitfalls, such as are used
to capture elephants or other large game.  Englishmen (for I have not
heard of any one else who has done so) occasionally hunt the rhinoceros
on horseback.  Though their horses have been able to keep up with the
chase, the infuriated beasts have been known to charge the hunter.  In
two instances I heard of, the horses were completely run through by the
creature's horns; and, in two others, the unfortunate huntsmen
themselves were killed, being fearfully gored by the savage brutes.

I was very anxious to set off to bring back Natty; and in the afternoon
Stanley pronounced the horses fit to proceed.  Mr Donald Fraser
proposed accompanying us; but when Stanley promised to try and induce
some of the blacks to come south and trade with him, he abandoned his
intentions, hoping to do a stroke of business in the meantime with any
natives who might come to the camp.  Timbo therefore took the third
horse, and I mounted the one he would have ridden.  They were all three
fine strong animals, fleet and active; and we hoped on their backs to
bid defiance to any human beings or wild beasts we might encounter.
Stanley did not fail to urge on those who remained behind the importance
of keeping bright fires burning round the camp at night, and being ever
on the watch, lest the wild beasts we had encountered might be tempted
to swim across the stream and attack either them or the oxen.

"Do you, my dear brother, be careful of yourself," said Kate, as she
wished us good-bye.  "You seem to forget that though you have attacked
so many of them successfully, some day they may turn round and treat you
in the same way."



Though, after the wild life I had been so long living, I would gladly
have remained behind in the society of my young cousins, I was so
anxious to learn how Natty was going on that I felt very glad when I
found myself in the saddle, with saddle-bags well stored with
rhinoceros' meat and other eatables, and my rifle by my side.  We had
tethers for our horses, hooks for cutting grass for them, and axes for
supplying ourselves with firewood to keep up blazing fires at night.

As we rode along, Stanley gave me fuller details of the attack which had
been made on our village, and which had resulted in the party being
compelled to quit it and seek safety at Kabomba.  Soon after we had left
our home on our unfortunate expedition, Timbo had set off to Kabomba, in
the hope, as he said, of telling the natives about the Bible, showing
them how much superior is the white man's religion to their foolish
idolatry.  They had listened more readily than he had expected; and his
great wish now was to return there at some future day with missionaries,
who might teach them to read about the matter themselves.  He had just
got back, when one morning Jack Handspike, who was on guard, observed a
body of blacks approaching.  At first he thought that they were the
villagers for whose benefit Stanley had killed the man-eating lions.
They, however, very soon exhibited their hostile intentions, by letting
fly a shower of arrows into the enclosure.  Happily no one was hit.
Jack instantly roused the inmates, and fired his rifle at their
assailants, while Stanley and the rest seized their arms and rushed out
to defend the fortress.  Their assailants were, however, too well
acquainted with its construction, and were now seen rushing on, each man
with a torch in his hand.  These they threw among the prickly-pear
hedge, which, dried by the hot sun, was as combustible as tinder.  In an
instant the whole was in a blaze.  Stanley had collected his party, each
one being loaded with as much property as could be carried.  Then,
sallying forth, they fired a volley, which drove the blacks to a
distance.  They were thus able to secure several of their animals, and
to save a few more of their effects.  They now retreated to some rising
ground, where they witnessed the utter destruction of our habitation.
The blacks had probably not expected so brave a defence.  They once more
came on; but a volley killed three of their number, and the rest,
disappointed of their expected plunder, took to flight.  Timbo on this
urged Stanley to set out without delay for Kabomba.  They were happily
able to reach it, though my young cousins had undergone great fatigue on
the journey.  After a stay of a week at Kabomba, they had received
information that a party of white travellers had appeared at some
distance to the south.  Scarcely expecting that Senhor Silva could have
returned so soon, they set off in the hope of falling in with the
strangers, accompanied by an escort of the Kabomba people, who were
anxious to show their gratitude by guarding them on their way.  They had
fallen in, as I have mentioned, with Chickango, and arrived safely at
Donald Fraser's camp.  Timbo supposed that the attack had been made by a
tribe from the border of the lake, who had heard of the wealth possessed
by the white men.  It occurred to me that they had possibly come from
the very village which our friends had advised us to avoid; and such I
found was the ease.  Had we fallen into their hands, our fate would have
been sealed.

Soon after leaving the camp, we saw before us a grove of tall
palm-trees.  At first they appeared to form a part of an extensive wood.
As we drew nearer, we discovered that the trees grew at considerable
distances from each other.  They were tall and extremely graceful, each
branch having the appearance of a beautiful fan; and as the wind waved
them to and fro, the effect was peculiarly pleasing.  They are known as
"fan-palms"--the most beautiful, perhaps, of their tribe.  We found
fruit growing on them about the size of an apple, of a deep brown
colour.  Timbo begged us to stop, and he would try and get some.  He
accordingly climbed up one of the trees, helping himself with a band
round his waist, and soon came down with a number of the fruit.  They
contained kernels as hard as a stone, which put us in mind of vegetable
ivory.  We found the fruit very palatable and refreshing.  Most of the
trees, however, were so tall, that it was evident the fruit could not be
obtained without difficulty.  I should have said we took a couple of
dogs with us which had attached themselves to Stanley.  They might prove
useful at night in giving us warning of the approach of any wild beast;
and we were therefore glad of their company.  The country was tolerably
open, but in some parts we had to pass through dense forests.  In most
of these, however, we could generally find an elephant path from one
side to the other, always broad enough to allow two horsemen to ride
abreast.  Frequently Stanley rode ahead; while I rode alongside Timbo,
who was more communicative than my cousin.  He, I have already said, was
a man rather of action than words; and would, for an hour together, ride
without speaking, unless something attracted his attention.  He had gone
some way ahead, with the two dogs at his side; we following at a little
distance, though, of course, always keeping him in sight.  Timbo was
recounting, with considerable animation, some of the adventures of his
youth, when suddenly his narrative was interrupted by a loud trumpeting
sound, and we saw Stanley wheel round and gallop towards us.  At the
same moment, a huge elephant, the largest monster I ever saw, with trunk
projected, vast ears spread-out, and tail erect, burst from the thicket,
and in hot haste pursued my cousin.

"Fly! fly!" shouted Stanley; "gallop off for your lives!"  We required
no second order to obey him.  Stanley was looking round at the monster;
but, situated as he was in a pathway between thick trees, among which he
could not force a passage, he was unable to fire.  Flight was our only
resource.  We were already deep in the forest, and I had remarked no
other way except the one by which we had come.  Had we stopped and
attempted to fire, we might too likely have shot Stanley, who was
directly between us and the elephant.  Had we missed, Stanley would
certainly have been trampled upon; and so probably should we, as by the
delay we should have impeded his progress, and prevented him from
escaping.  Very unwillingly, therefore, we turned our horses' heads and
galloped on, hoping to keep ahead of him.  His horse was, fortunately,
the fleetest and strongest animal of the three.  It seemed also to know
its danger, and flew along over the ground at a rapid rate; but still
the cumbrous monster came as fast, trumpeting and shrieking with rage.
His huge feet almost touched the horse's hinder hoofs, so it seemed;
while his trunk, in the glance I had got of him, appeared to be about to
descend upon Stanley's head.  So dangerous was the position in which he
was placed, that I scarcely dared hope he would escape.  "On! on!" he
shouted.  "On! on!" we shrieked in return, trying to urge forward our
steeds at a little faster rate.  The dogs, aware of their danger,
scampered off, with tongues hanging out, watching for an opening in the
thicket through which they might bolt.  We had passed over several
fallen trees and other impediments in the path; and I dreaded lest,
coming against such, our horses might stumble.  Now a trunk appeared
before us.  Our horses leaped boldly over it.  I hoped that Stanley's
would follow, and that it might offer some impediment to the elephant.
Glancing for a moment anxiously round over my shoulder, I saw that the
monster had also got over it without stopping.  Could we once gain the
open country, I knew that we should have a better prospect of escaping;
because by separating the elephant would hesitate which to pursue, and
while he followed one of us, the others would be able to fire at him.
Still we had a considerable distance to go, for I calculated that we had
penetrated a mile or more into the forest.  It was indeed a gallop for
life, and the elephant seemed determined to wreak his fury on us.  What
had offended him so much it was difficult to say--perhaps the sight of a
horse, strange probably to him.

I think I have mentioned that when a troop of elephants are passing
leisurely onwards, feeding as they go, their footfall is unheard; but
when angry, the case is very different.  The monster seemed to make the
very ground quake beneath his feet, as he came trumpeting on behind us,
adding, not a little, I suspect, to the terror of our horses, which,
with manes and tails streaming out, like some demon-pursued steeds of
German legend, dashed through the wood.  There was no need of whip or
spur to urge them on.  How thankful I felt when at length, under the
tall arched trees, I caught sight of the open plain!  Still our steeds
dashed on.  I turned my head to learn how it fared with Stanley.  He was
sitting his horse as composedly as ever, though the elephant was close
behind him.  "Andrew, turn to the right!--Timbo, keep ahead!" he
shouted.  We obeyed, and the elephant dashed out of the cover.  The huge
animal was coming on at even greater speed than at first, in no way out
of breath with its long and tremendous charge.  Stanley wheeled his
horse to the left, while the elephant dashed forward, and seeing Timbo,
pursued him.  This was exactly what Stanley wanted.  Again wheeling his
horse, he followed, keeping on the quarter of the animal.  I saw he was
getting his rifle ready to fire.  I imitated his example.  The dogs,
too, breaking from the cover, came in pursuit, and assisted us.  With
difficulty could Stanley curb in his horse.  The elephant, hearing
noises behind him, stopped.  The instant he did so, Stanley's rifle was
at his shoulder.  There was a report, and the animal, a moment before so
terror-inspiring by its bulk and powers of destruction, sank upon the
grass.  Its trunk fell, its mighty limbs stretched out, and before one
of the yelping dogs could reach it, life was extinct.

Our escape had indeed been providential.  It was some minutes before
Timbo could rein in his horse, and we had to shout and shout to him to
return.  At length, however, he arrived, and was as delighted as we were
to see our enemy overcome.

Timbo proposed that we should return to the camp and get our friends to
come and carry off the tusks and flesh; but as I was anxious to get
assistance for Natty as soon as possible, I begged Stanley to proceed,
hoping that we might find the tusks on our way back.

"Dat bery unlikely," said Timbo; "but we cut dem out and hide dem, and
den if black fellows come to take de meat, dey no find de tusks."

We accordingly set to work to cut out the tusks, which Timbo then hid in
the wood and covered them up with branches.  I asked Stanley whether we
should proceed by the pathway, or take the route outside the forest.

"There is but little fear of our encountering another fellow like the
one we have killed," he answered.  "He was evidently a solitary beast,
by his savage disposition: and the chances are we shall get through
without further interruption.  If not, we can but have another gallop
for it, Andrew.  I rather enjoyed mine; though, to be sure, it was a
neck or nothing affair."

This was the chief difficulty we met on our journey.  We formed our camp
at night, as we had proposed.  With the aid of the dogs and the
watch-fires, we were uninterrupted, although the roars of lions were
heard in the distance, and we had visits from jackals and hyena-dogs,
who came prowling round, attracted by the scent of our roasting meat;
Stanley's unerring rifle supplying us amply with game.  We had a
pleasant addition one day in a large bustard which he shot.  Though very
abundant, the bird is shy, so that a good sportsman alone can hope to
kill it.  It weighed about fifteen pounds.  The flesh was very tender
and palatable, and we agreed that it was the best flavoured of the game
birds we had met with.  After each day's journey, Timbo generally went
in search of small game or birds' eggs, of which he brought us a
plentiful supply; so that we lived in abundance.

At length we recognised the reed-covered habitations of our Kabomba
friends, the whole population apparently turning out to welcome us.  The
chief men, and those who had accompanied Stanley to the camp, hurried
forward to grasp his hands, while the rest stood at a distance, gazing
at the strange animals which our horses appeared to them; indeed, those
only who had been to the camp had ever seen a horse before.  Our first
inquiries were, of course, for Natty.

"Chief say better, but not like walk much," answered Timbo.

"Beg them to let me see him at once," I said, riding on.

It was difficult, however, to get through the dense mass who came to
shake our hands and embrace Timbo--a ceremony to which they knew we
objected.  At length we reached the chief's house, at the entrance of
which Natty was standing.  Poor fellow! he still looked very pale and
thin, and I was afraid from his appearance that his days were numbered.

"I shall get better now you have come for me," he said, looking up in my
face.  "I have been so longing for your return, and began to dread that
some accident had happened.  Do not be anxious about me, Andrew.  I
know--I am sure I shall get better."

I trusted so.  "The food on which he has been living probably has not
suited him," I thought; "and when he is placed under David's care, he
may begin to improve."  This hope prevented my spirits sinking, as they
would otherwise have done.  We told the Kabomba people that we were
anxious to return immediately to our friends; and as I saw that it would
be dangerous for Natty to ride behind one of us, as we had proposed, I
begged the chief to allow some of his young men to carry him.  To this
he agreed; and forthwith I set to work, aided by Timbo, to form a
litter.  There were plenty of bamboos in the neighbourhood, and with
these we constructed a light and very convenient conveyance, with a
roof, back, and sides.  The greater part was formed of bamboo, and
matting served as a cover to keep off the sun's rays in the day-time,
and the damp at night.  We then had to train some bearers; for the
people were unaccustomed to bear loads in the way a litter must be
carried.  Timbo employed his time, when not assisting me, in addressing
his countrymen.  When I asked him if he had succeeded in impressing on
their minds any gospel truths--"Yes," he said; "I sow leetle seed, but
it grow up and bear fruit some of dese days.  No fear; dat seed I sow
nebber rot."

Among the inhabitants of the village I recognised my three faithless
attendants.  The chief expressed himself very much ashamed at their
having deserted me.  They excused themselves by saying that they thought
I had been made prisoner, and that they had run away to avoid sharing my
fate.  I replied that I was _very_ glad they had got home safely, and
that I harboured no ill-will towards them.

"I tell dem dat Christians ought to do good to deir enemies, so dey
understand why you no beg de chief to kill dem," observed Timbo.

At break of day we commenced our return journey.  Our style of
travelling was very different from what it had been during my former
adventures.  We had bearers for Natty, and also a party of armed men
with shields and spears as a body-guard, and others carrying provisions,
while we ourselves were mounted on strong steeds.  For most of the time
I rode near Natty, anxious to keep up his spirits.  Now and then Timbo
took my place.  Stanley generally rode ahead; as, however, we had to
proceed slowly, he frequently started off with the dogs to get some
sport.  He was, as usual, successful, and kept our pots well supplied.
I told him he must look out, and not be caught by another rogue

"No fear of that," he answered.  "I keep my eye about me; and, in truth,
I should rather enjoy being again chased.  It is but fair, considering
how fond I am of hunting animals, that I should occasionally be hunted
in return."

We had accomplished four days of our journey, when, early in the
morning, Stanley was riding some distance ahead, and Timbo and I were
keeping at the side of Natty's litter.  Natty was, I hoped, decidedly
better.  He was able to walk about every evening in the cool, and would
sit at the camp-fire and join in conversation as well as any of us.  We
were passing along the edge of a wood, of which there were several
scattered about in sight, though the country was generally open.  A
shorter way might have been found, perhaps, through the wood; but our
black friends declined entering it, declaring that many lions lurked
there, and urging us to be on the watch for them.

"I only wish some of them would come out," observed Stanley.  "I should
like to carry home the hide of one, for I have lost all those I have

Stanley, as I have said, was a little in advance, keeping close to the
wood, looking apparently into it in search of game, for he was as good a
shot on horseback as on foot.  Presently I saw his horse swerve on one
side.  With whip and spur he brought the animal again up to the wood.
Just then there was a fearful roar.  The horse again started on one
side, the suddenness of his movement almost unseating his rider, whose
cap was knocked off.  The next moment a huge lion, breaking cover,
sprang out of the wood with a tremendous bound, and alighted on the back
of the horse, grasping Stanley with one of his tremendous claws.
Stanley, leaning over his horse's neck to avoid him, in vain attempted
with his rifle to beat off the savage brute.  To gallop to his rescue
was the impulse of the moment.  In another instant my cousin might be
killed; for had he once been dragged from his horse, nothing could have
prevented the lion seizing him between his powerful jaws, wide open at
that moment to grasp him.  The risk Stanley had run in the adventure
with the elephant seemed as nothing compared to the awful danger in
which he was now placed.  Our horses, though not unaccustomed to carry
their riders in chase of lions, trembled in every limb.  The frightened
blacks were about to fly, leaving Natty on the ground.  I shouted to
them to come back, when Timbo and I spurred on our horses towards my
cousin.  He caught sight of us coming.

"Fire! fire!" he shouted.  "Kill the brute!  Never mind though you hit

I sprang from my horse, and just as I got my rifle to my shoulder,
Stanley, with the lion still clinging to him, dashed by.  It was not a
moment to hesitate.  If I failed to hit the lion, my cousin must be
killed.  I fired, and he and the lion fell from the back of the horse.
My heart felt sick, for I thought he had been killed.  The horse, freed
from the grasp of the mighty brute, galloped off across the plain.  My
cousin lay on the ground, and I saw that the lion's paw was still on
him.  I instantly began to reload.  Timbo in the meantime had come up.
What was my horror to see the lion, though wounded, working his way on
towards Stanley's body.  I was afraid if I now fired of hitting him.
Without a moment's delay Timbo bravely rushed forward, shouting loudly,
when the lion, raising himself on his fore-feet, and crouching down,
prepared to make his deadly spring.  Timbo stood firm as a rock.  I
fired.  For an instant I saw the lion in the air; but the next he rolled
over, not two feet from the brave black.  I rushed up to Stanley.  As I
approached, he lifted himself on his arm, greatly to my relief.

"He nearly did for me; but I believe I am less hurt than I supposed!" he

However, even as he spoke, he sank back again.  I knelt down by his
side.  The lion's claws had inflicted a fearful wound on his shoulder,
and his hip also appeared to be greatly torn.  Timbo, having ascertained
that the lion was dead, now came up to assist me in supporting his
master.  Fortunately we had brought some spirits.  I shouted to the
blacks to come on with Natty and our goods, and as soon as possible
poured a good portion of spirits and water down Stanley's throat.  Natty
had got out of his palanquin and came towards us.  Some of the blacks
had, in the meantime, gone off to catch the horses.  Poor Natty's
concern was very great at seeing what had occurred.

"O Captain Hyslop, you must be put into my litter!" he said; "I am sure
I shall be able to ride, for I feel quite strong now."

This indeed seemed the only way of conveying Stanley.

"But suppose I go on, and bring up Massa David," said Timbo.  "Dat is de
best t'ing."

I agreed with him.  Having washed Stanley's wounds, and bound them up as
well as I was able, with Timbo's assistance, we placed him in the
litter; while Natty mounted my horse, I agreeing to walk by his side.
The blacks having caught the horses, Timbo set off, leading Stanley's
steed, in order that David might ride back on it to his brother's
assistance.  We then proceeded at a somewhat slower pace than before,
the bearers finding a great difference between my strongly-built cousin
and poor young Natty.  As may be supposed, we kept a very strict watch
at night, lest we might be visited by another lion.  Stanley did his
utmost to keep up his spirits; but from the fearful laceration he had
suffered, his nervous system was greatly shaken, and he often relapsed
into a state almost of unconsciousness.  Natty, however, with the air
and exercise, recovered his strength, and every day looked better.  I
was very thankful when, towards the end of the next day, I caught sight
of two objects moving over the plain towards us.  Gradually, as they
approached, I made out two horsemen, and in a little time David and
Timbo galloped up to our camp.  Timbo's anxiety about his master had
probably made him describe the wound as worse than it was, and David was
in a state of great agitation when he arrived.  He, however, after
examining his brother's hurts, expressed a hope that they would soon get
well, and complimented me greatly on the way I had treated him.  Still,
I was very glad that David had arrived; for, in consequence of the
constant state of stupor into which Stanley had fallen, I began to feel
very anxious about him.

We continued to travel on at a very slow pace, as Stanley could not bear
any shaking.  Three days more therefore passed away before we came in
sight of the camp.

I had never before seen my cousin Kate so much out of spirits, and it
was not till two or three days after our arrival, when Stanley was found
to be progressing favourably, that she was at all herself again.  To me,
however, she was always kind and gentle.



In spite of Mr Donald Fraser's expostulations, Senhor Silva would not
consent to break up the camp till Stanley was in a fit state to travel.
The honest trader, however, had no cause to complain, for he was driving
a brisk trade, not only with our friends from Kabomba, but with the
people of a number of neighbouring villages.  Some he visited in a light
cart, which accompanied the waggons, and a considerable number came to
us.  We had not forgotten the elephant's tusks, which Timbo had hid, and
as soon as he believed his master was out of danger, he set off with one
of the horses to bring them into camp.  The elephant itself had long
since disappeared, its skeleton alone whitened the prairie; but the
tusks were safe, and were safely bestowed in the waggon, in part payment
of our debt.

One morning our oxen, which were feeding near, suddenly started off in
every direction, leaping, twisting, and turning about, and cutting the
most ridiculous capers.  They looked as if they had been seized with
Saint-Vitus's-dance.  On running towards them I discovered that a large
flock of birds were clinging to their backs--three or four on each
animal.  Having my gun in my hand, I shot one, when I found that it was
the same bird which I had seen on the back of the rhinoceros.  Senhor
Silva, who arrived laughing heartily at the commotion among our animals,
told me that the bird is called the _Buphaga Africana_.  Its object in
thus taking possession of the backs of the cattle is for the purpose of
feeding on the ticks with which they are covered.  They have
particularly long claws and elastic tails, which enable them thus to
cling to the hide, and to search every part of the beast, in spite of
its efforts to get rid of them.  When animals are accustomed to these
birds they appear rather grateful for the visitation; but Mr Fraser's
oxen had apparently never experienced a similar visitation, and were
therefore considerably astonished at being thus unceremoniously
assailed.  By degrees, however, when they found that they could not
throw them off, and that nothing very terrible happened, the oxen
remained quiet, and were probably much more comfortable from being
delivered from their parasitic pests.

The necessity of supplying our camp with meat compelled us frequently to
go out shooting.  We greatly missed, on these occasions, Stanley's
unerring rifle.  Our party generally consisted of Senhor Silva, Timbo,
and myself; but sometimes Mr Fraser took Senhor Silva's place; and he
was, I must say, the best shot of the party.  We had been unsuccessful,
however, on several occasions, and though there was no famine in the
camp, we had very little meat fit to eat; while our black attendants
were beginning to grumble greatly at being placed on short commons.
This made us more than ever anxious to get some game.  We had scoured
the country towards the south for some distance, and falling in with no
animals, we were induced to proceed further off than usual.  The country
over which we were passing was a fine undulating plain.  Now and then
there were dips of sufficient depth to conceal us from each other, for
we rode apart in order to cover a wider extent of ground.  My companions
were not in sight.  I had reached a slight elevation, when I saw in the
distance a herd of large animals.  At first I took them for buffaloes;
but their movements soon convinced me that they were of the antelope
species.  The wind fortunately came from them, and I determined, without
waiting for my friends, to endeavour to bring one of them down.  I
galloped on, till, to my delight, I saw before me an immense herd of the
large eland, as they are called, or, more properly speaking, "cana."  In
stature they are equal to a good-sized horse.  Their horns are long and
spiral.  The form of the creatures before me was massive, their tails
terminating in tufts.  I had never possessed much of the spirit of a
hunter; but the necessity of obtaining food made me as eager as any
professional hunter could be to bring down one of the fine animals.  I
put spurs to my horse, and galloped on, getting my rifle ready in the
meantime to fire immediately I could obtain a fair shot.  The creatures
for some time did not see me, and not till I was close upon them did
they take the alarm.  Near me was a fine large buck.  I had seldom fired
from horseback; but my animal was steady, and I determined to make the
attempt.  I took aim, and, greatly to my satisfaction, struck the
creature near the shoulder, and over he went.  Seeing that he was
utterly disabled, I dismounted from my horse, and gave him a merciful
thrust, which deprived him of life.  Immediately reloading, I again
leaped on my horse's back, and made chase after the herd, which had now
got to some distance.  However, I found that I was coming up fast with
them, and in a short time another fat animal lay rolling on the turf.

Wishing for the assistance of my companions in cutting up my prize, I
rode to the nearest height in the hope of seeing them.  I cast my eyes
round in every direction.  They were nowhere visible.  I began to fear
that they had gone in a different direction.  I shouted with all my
might, thinking that one or the other of them might be concealed in some
hollow, and that my voice might reach them.  I could only carry a part
of the elands.  After waiting awhile, I rode back to where I had killed
the last.  Already several birds of prey were hovering about.  I scared
them off, however, by my shouts; and then passing the bridle of my horse
round my arm, I began in a very unscientific way to dismember the noble
beast I had killed.  I did not like the employment; at the same time, it
was necessary to secure the meat.  I had been for some time thus
employed, when I heard the sound of wings close above me, and looking
up, saw, with a feeling of no small alarm, a flight of kites hovering
near my head.  My horse, too, not liking their appearance, started back;
and not without reason, for they might quickly have torn out his eyes
with their powerful beaks and claws.  I shouted, and waved and clapped
my hands.  They retired to a short distance, but only to come on again
with renewed fierceness, seizing pieces of the meat and flying off with
them.  I determined, however, not to be defeated; and standing by the
body of the eland, struck out right and left with my knife.  Some
literally fell back on the ground, spreading out their wings and talons
and opening their beaks to defend themselves.  My determined onslaught
on them, however, compelled the first batch to beat a retreat; but
another immediately took their place, pouncing down as the others had
done on the carcass.  I knocked over two or three, and the second party
retreated, a third, strange to say, immediately afterwards coming on to
the attack; but they had become so wary that I was unable to reach them.
Still, as they kept about me, I expected every moment that they would
assail my head, and I could not help feeling how fearful would be my
position if they did so.  At last I determined to try the effect of my
rifle, which I had not loaded after my last shot--a neglect which might
have proved extremely disastrous had any savage beast appeared.  I
loaded with shot.  In consequence of my shouts and cries, and repeated
blows made at the birds, they retired once more to a short distance.
The next time they approached I fired into their midst, and a couple
fell to the ground, and others were wounded.  Still the army kept their
ground.  Seeing the effects of the first shot, I loaded again, and as
they came hovering close to me, I fired once more, with the same
success.  Greatly to my satisfaction, on discovering that they could not
obtain their feast without greater loss than it was worth, the whole
army flew off, not appearing to stop while they remained in sight.

Thus being rid of my unwelcome visitors, I returned to my occupation;
remembering, however, first to reload my rifle with ball, lest a hyena,
panther, or lion might scent the dead eland and come to banquet off it.
I had some leathern straps with me for the purpose of securing any
animal I might kill, and with these I fastened to my saddle as much meat
as my horse could carry.  I was sorry to leave any part behind, knowing
how much it was wanted in the camp.  I now turned the horse's head
towards the camp, intending to pass by the eland I had shot.  As I
approached, I saw some objects moving over the ground towards it.  At
that distance I could not tell what they were.  They might be lions or
panthers.  If lions, I might probably have to do battle for my prize.  I
could not help thinking, too, of the way Stanley had been handled.  It
was not impossible that they would attack me, and get me and my horse,
and the meat into the bargain.  Knowing that on such occasions boldness
is always the best policy, I rode forward, and in a short time
distinguished three spotted hyenas stealing up towards the body of the
eland.  I determined to prevent them having their feast, or spoil it if
I could not.  So eager were they to seize their prize that they did not
notice me.  As they drew nearer they hastened their pace, and then made
a dash at the carcass.  At that moment, putting spurs to my horse, I
dashed on towards them shouting and shrieking.  They received me with
loud snarls, appearing in no way disposed to take their departure.  Not
till I got close up to them did they retreat, snarling and grinning
horribly at me.  The scent of the meat had undoubtedly sharpened their
appetites, and they certainly looked capable of making a spring and
trying to carry away some of the joints.  On this I charged them, and
they retreated still further off.

I saw that unless I could find my friends, we should have no prospect of
saving any of the meat.  I therefore looked round again, and thinking
that the sound of my rifle might attract them, I fired it at the nearest
brute.  Over the animal fell, and his companions scampered off to avoid
a similar fate.  As there was no object in delaying longer, I once more
directed my horse's head towards the camp.  Not till I had got to some
distance did I catch sight of Donald Fraser and Timbo.  They instantly
galloped back, in the hope of being in time to secure the venison, and I
proceeded at a slow pace, which the heavy weight my horse carried made
necessary.  I was still at some little distance when they overtook me,
saying they had been too late.  A number of birds and beasts of prey had
set on the carcass, and devoured the greater portion.  However, the
supply I brought was doubly welcome.  As it would only afford enough
food for a day's consumption, we agreed to set out again immediately, in
the hope of falling in with another herd of elands.  The importance of
obtaining food was very great.  Mr Fraser's attendants were already
grumbling at their short allowance, and he was afraid that they would
desert him, and leave us to make our way alone.  He also was glad of an
excuse for moving southward.  We had been out a considerable part of the
day without being able to get up to any herd, though we saw one or two
in the distance.  I was talking to my companions, when, looking up, I
saw before us what seemed like a dark cloud moving through the air at no
great distance above the earth.

"What can that be?"  I exclaimed, pointing it out to Mr Fraser.

"I will tell you presently," he said.  "I fear it bodes us no good!"

The cloud, as I may call it, now seemed to rise higher in the air, in
the same compact body as it at first appeared.  Then it suddenly sank
and dispersed into smaller portions.  Now again it united, again to
spread and to rise, very much with the appearance of huge columns of
sand whirled up by the wind.  On it came towards us.

"I will tell you what it is now," said Mr Fraser.  "That is a flight of
locusts.  Woe betide the spot they select as a resting-place!"

As he spoke it appeared as if a heavy snow-storm had begun, for the
locusts, as they alighted on the ground, looked exactly like huge
snow-flakes.  Several thousands might have fallen round us; still the
whole mass seemed in no way diminished, and on they flew, the noise of
their wings sounding like that produced by a gale of wind whistling
through the rigging of a ship at anchor.  On and on we rode, but still
the mighty mass of winged insects advanced.  Far as the eye could reach,
they appeared hovering in the air.  We pushed on for some miles, hoping
to get beyond them; but the same dark cloud appeared before us.  Not an
animal was to be seen.  We turned to the left and galloped on, but still
could not get clear of the mighty column.

"There will be small chance of our meeting with any game to-day, I
suspect," observed Donald, pulling up and looking round him.  "It will
fare hard, too, with our poor cattle, I am thinking, for these hungry
creatures will make sad havoc in the camp if they pitch on it, and the
surrounding country too."

Still, I urged that by pushing on we might fall in with a herd of deer,
one or more of which would pay us for our long ride, and supply our
larder with the much-needed flesh.  We rode forward, hoping yet to fall
in with some game.  Still we were as unsuccessful as at first.  We had
gone some distance, when we came upon masses of creatures of a reddish
colour with dark markings.  In some places they covered the ground in
layers two or three inches thick.  Mr Fraser told me they were the
larvae of the locusts, which the Dutch people at the Cape call
_voet-gangers_--literally, foot-goers.  Some were seen hopping among the
grass, devouring it with extraordinary rapidity.

"What do you think, Mr Crawford, of the fruit on those bushes?" said
Donald to me, pointing to some shrubs, from which hung what I took to be
clusters of magnificent fruit.

Hiding forward, I plucked some.  My astonishment was great to find that
they were merely the larva; of the locusts hanging to the boughs.  So
thickly did they cover the branches, that they literally bowed them down
to the ground.  He told me that these creatures are especially dreaded
by the colonists, as it is impossible to stop their progress, and they
eat up every green thing in their way.  They cross rivers or pools; for
though the leaders are drowned, the others pass over the bridge thus
formed by their bodies.  Even fires, which are sometimes lighted in the
hope of stopping their progress, are put out by the countless masses
which crawl over them.

It was dark before we reached the camp.  We rode together, keeping a
sharp look-out, in case we might have been followed by any prowling
inhabitant of the wilds.  As we drew near the camp, a bright blaze
appeared from one side to the other, and I could not help being alarmed
at the thought that the waggon and tents, surrounded by dry grass, might
have caught fire.  Mr Fraser, however, quickly calmed my fears.

"Our people, I suspect, are having a feast," he observed.  "It is an ill
wind that blows no one good; and if the locusts have eaten up the
cattle's fodder, our people are engaged in eating up the locusts."

On entering the camp, we found all the blacks busily employed round the
large fires which they had lighted.  They were scraping together vast
quantities of locusts which, passing through the flames, had scorched
their wings, and fallen helplessly to the ground.  Even Senhor Silva,
and David, and the boys, were engaged in the work.  In a short time they
had collected enormous heaps of the insects, when the blacks began to
roast and eat them as if they were the most delicate morsels.  If they
would support existence, there was no fear of our starving.  I was
tempted to taste some, but cannot say that I found them very palatable.
As soon as the fires had burned low, the blacks set to work to dry the
locusts in the hot ashes.  Then obtaining some large flat stones from
the river, they ground a number between them into powder, which they
stowed away in all the receptacles capable of holding it.

Next morning, by daybreak, the neighbourhood of the camp was beset by
numberless birds, among which I distinguished storks and kites, and soon
perceived that they were employed in gobbling up the locusts.  The most
numerous, however, were small birds about the size of swallows.  Mr
Fraser told me this was a species of thrush which constantly follows the
locusts, and is said even to build its nest and rear its young in their
midst.  He called it by its Dutch name--_Springhaan oogel_.  David said
he knew it as the locust bird.  We shot a number; and though we were not
tempted to feed on locusts, we had no objection to breakfast off the
result of our sport.  The fires had partly saved the camp itself;
fortunately so, for the locusts will not only eat grass, but every
animal produce which comes in their way.  Leathern thongs, even boots,
shoes, and bags, have been destroyed by them.  I saw a number also
feeding on their own companions, which we had trampled on as we passed
through them.  No sooner had the warm rays of the sun been cast across
the plain, than, with a loud whirring sound, the locusts rose in the
air.  Notwithstanding the number which had been destroyed, the mass
appeared in no way diminished in size.  Onwards they flew to their
unknown destination; but what a scene of desolation met our eyes across
the country on which they had rested!  For miles, as Donald had feared,
not a blade of grass was to be seen.  As far as the eye could reach,
where the evening before the ground had been green and smiling, it now
looked brown and parched up, as if a fierce fire had passed over it.

"If we cannot move from here, we must just make up our minds to remain
for ever," observed Donald, "for without food--and not a particle of
grass do I see in any direction--the poor cattle will soon be starved to
death.  We must see Senhor Silva and your cousin David, and hear what
they say."

Soon afterwards we were joined by David, and in reply to Mr Fraser's
remarks, he said he hoped that Stanley was sufficiently recovered to
bear the fatigue of travelling in the waggon.  I undertook to arrange a
bed slung from the roof, by which any jolting might be avoided.  Calling
Jack Handspike to my assistance, we soon contrived a comfortable cot for
my cousin.

Meantime every arrangement was made for starting.  The oxen were
harnessed to the huge machine; Kate and Bella took their seats by the
side of their brother.  The word was given to move on.  The Hottentot
drivers smacked their huge whips, and the lumbering waggon was put in
motion.  Natty and Leo had greatly recovered; but that they might not be
fatigued, room was also made for them inside.  Donald and Senhor Silva
mounted their horses, and David and I agreed to take one between us.
When he rode, I was to walk, or mount an ox.  The rest of the party
proceeded on foot, or on the oxen.  Far as the eye could reach, nothing
but brown earth and leafless shrubs and trees could be seen; the
ravaging hordes of locusts had cleared off every particle of verdure
from the ground.  North and south, east and west, the country had become
a barren wilderness.  The prospect for our poor oxen was a melancholy
one.  We could only push on therefore as fast as they could travel, in
the hope of speedily getting beyond the ravaged country.  Our friend
Donald looked very grave.  All day long we travelled on.  The cattle
began to show signs of thirst.  We ourselves were also suffering from
want of water, as we were afraid of exhausting the small supply we had
brought in our bottles.  At length some rocks appeared ahead, near which
Donald told us was a pool.  The cattle seemed to be aware of it, and
eagerly moved on; but as we got near, no bright gleam, such as gladdens
the sight of the thirsty traveller, played on the spot.  On arriving at
it, a mass of locusts and their larvae were alone visible, completely
filling the space where the water should have been.

Our men immediately set to work, and literally dug them out and threw
them in masses on the shore.  We ourselves could not have drunk a drop.
The pool seemed filled with a thick, muddy, and putrid liquid.  The
cattle, however, when let loose, rushed down to it and drank eagerly,
though I was afraid it would produce disease among them.  Poor
creatures! if there was nourishment in it, it was the only food they
got; for that night we had to camp without water for ourselves or fodder
for them.



Many days had passed by, during which the usual incidents of African
travel had occurred; but I need not stop to describe them, except to say
that Mr Fraser had been successful in killing several elephants, which
he did for the sake of their tusks, and also in purchasing a large
quantity of ivory from the natives who visited our camp to trade, or
inhabited the villages near which we passed.  Thus he had no reason to
complain of the long journey he had made to rescue us, although we were
not the less inclined to be grateful to him.

The country ravaged by the locusts had been passed at last, but not till
our cattle were almost starved, and we and they had suffered greatly
from want of water.  The dried and pounded locusts had assisted to
support our people, but we were now greatly in want of provisions.
Stanley had borne the journey remarkably well, and was rapidly
recovering from the hurts inflicted upon him by the lion; while Leo and
Natty were completely themselves again.  Stanley was very anxious once
more to mount his horse and to assist in hunting, in order to supply the
camp with food; but of this David would not hear, and declared that it
would be equivalent to fratricide if he allowed it.  Donald, Timbo, and
I, and sometimes Senhor Silva, therefore scoured the country in every
direction in search of game.  Donald and I were riding on ahead one day,
when he observed on a bush a fly somewhat smaller than the common
blue-bottle fly--so annoying to the butcher--but with rather longer
wings.  Begging me to hold his horse, he jumped off and caught it.
Instantly leaping into his saddle, he told me to turn and ride for my
life, with an expression of consternation in his countenance which made
me fancy that he had suddenly gone out of his mind.  However, as we rode
on he explained that the fly which he held in his fingers was the tsetse
fly (David called it the _Glossina morsitans_), and that it was more
dangerous to cattle and horses than all the lions and snakes in the
country.  Fortunately our horses had not been bitten by it.  He told me
that had such been the case their death would have been certain.  It
attacks, however, only domesticated animals, for wild beasts range over
the country infested by it with impunity; while human beings are
scarcely more annoyed by it than they are by flea-bites.  It is confined
to certain localities, and is never known to shift its haunts.  He told
me that it was found generally in the bush or among reeds.  Though the
insect is small, yet the poison it contains is of so virulent a nature
that its bite is as deadly to horses and oxen as that of the most
venomous serpent.  Donald said he had ample reason to be afraid of it,
for on one occasion, not believing in its power to injure him, he had
attempted to pass through a district infested by it, when he lost all
his oxen and horses, and very nearly his own life and that of his
companions.  They were in a wild and uninhabited district, and were
barely able to secure provisions and water sufficient to support
themselves, till they could obtain assistance.  He said that four or
five flies were sufficient to kill a full-grown ox.  The animal,
however, does not die so rapidly as when bitten by a snake.  Sometimes,
indeed, it exists for some weeks or months afterwards, gradually losing
its strength, and perishing ultimately of exhaustion.  Frequently,
however, oxen die, especially should rain fall, soon after they are
bitten.  In the case of one of his horses which had been bitten, the
head and body swelled, its eyes became so swollen that it could not see,
and it was painful to hear it neighing for its companions, who stood
close to it while feeding.  A remarkable feature with regard to the
poison of the tsetse is that calves, and other young sucking animals,
are safe so long as they suck; but it has been remarked that dogs though
reared on milk die if bitten, while a dog which was reared on the meat
of game accompanied his master when hunting in the districts infested by
the fly without suffering.

We had now entered a far more desolate-looking country than any we had
yet passed through.  Vast sandy plains extended round us, broken here
and there by clumps of low bushes or coarse long grass, with occasional
patches of more nutritious verdure, from which our oxen plucked their
scanty meals.  Still, occasionally, herds of deer passed us in the
distance, but they were so wary that we could not approach them.  The
open nature of the country made stalking in the ordinary way impossible.
Every night, however, Donald, accompanied by Timbo, spent two or three
hours, and sometimes longer, in lying in ambush, hoping to get a shot at
a passing animal, but their success had hitherto not been sufficient to
supply us with as much meat as we required.  Water too was very scarce.
We had been travelling slowly all day, when our cattle began to move on
with greater rapidity than before, evidently believing that water was
near.  Donald was riding ahead, looking about him, when suddenly he and
his horse disappeared.  I was at no great distance behind him, and
before I could pull up I was very nearly following.  I found that he had
slid down into a large sand-well, some twenty feet in diameter at the
top, and upwards of twelve feet in depth.  As soon as he was extricated
from the pit, the men were called with spades to clear it out.  However,
after digging some time, no water flowed into it, though the bottom
became thoroughly moist.  We fortunately had some long reeds with us.
These were sunk into the sand, and immediately water began to rise.  We
quickly got enough to quench the thirst of the people, but we had to
wait some time before a supply could be procured for the cattle.  As
soon as water had been given to the horses, Timbo set out in search of
game.  We were as unfortunate as we had usually been of late.  Perhaps
this might have arisen from our want of skill.  Donald was an inferior
hunter to Stanley, and had he been well, we should have met with more
success.  Timbo was riding near me, when I found him eagerly examining
the sand on one side.  Without saying a word he jumped from his horse,
and began scraping away.  Presently he produced a huge egg, then
another, and another.

"Dere!" he exclaimed; "we no want food now.  See, here are anoder dozen!
Dey eggs of ostrich!"

I looked into the nest, and saw that the eggs were arranged with their
ends uppermost, to occupy, I concluded, as small a space as possible.

"But, Timbo," I said, "do you think they are fresh, for otherwise I fear
they would be of little use?"

"Oh yes," he said; "de hen-ostrich only just laid dem.  See! see! dere
she is, too, watching us!"

At that moment a loud roar saluted my ears.  Instantly unslinging my
rifle, I prepared to fire, believing that a lion was about to attack us,
so similar was the voice to that of the king of beasts in a rage; but on
looking round I could see no lion, but instead I caught sight, in the
distance, of a huge long-necked bird, which I knew must be an ostrich,
evidently observing with anxiety the visit we were paying to her nest.
She had gone away, Timbo said, to feed, or otherwise we should probably
have found her sitting, as the flamingoes do, with her legs astraddle
above it.  The poor bird did not attempt to fly, and accordingly gave us
time to secure the eggs in a way which we hoped would prevent their
being broken.  Donald had by this time come up, and telling Timbo to
take charge of the eggs, started with me in chase of the ostrich.  As we
approached the bird, under the idea perhaps of leading us from her eggs,
or alarmed, more probably, she set off at full speed.  It seemed
hopeless, however, to me that we should ever catch her.  Away she flew,
at first with small strides, increasing every instant, and extending her
wings like sails.  Her feet scarcely seemed to touch the ground, and yet
we could see huge stones thrown up behind her, flying into the air.
"On, lad! on!" shouted Donald.  "We will weary her out this hot day.
She will slacken her pace soon, and we may turn her maybe towards Timbo,
if we do not run her down."  Instead of pursuing directly in the wake of
the bird, he turned on one side and I on the other; and at length she
began, as he had expected, to slacken her tremendous speed.  We were now
moving up on parallel lines at some distance from her.  At length we got
ahead, when the bird, wheeling round, started back towards her nest.
"Hurrah!" shouted Donald, "she is ours now!"  Again we followed the
mighty bird, never for a moment allowing her to stop.  It seemed a
question whether she or our horses would have to give in first.  At
length a patch of the candelabra-shaped tree euphorbia appeared in
sight, and the hard-pressed ostrich darted towards it, endeavouring, it
seemed, to force her way through.  Pressing on, we were soon close to
her, when Donald, raising his rifle, fired, and the bird fell over.  I
was galloping up, when he called to me.  "Stand back!  You might as well
get near a dying lion!  A kick from one of her feet would break your
horse's leg, and kill you, if you got within her reach."  In a few
minutes the bird ceased to move, and jumping from our horses we
approached.  The ostrich must have been nearly eight feet in height, the
feathers being of an ashy brown colour, slightly fringed with white.
And now, for the first time, I saw those magnificent large plumes of
beautiful white feathers which form the wings and tail of the bird.
These the trader immediately began to pluck out with the greatest care,
and having done so, secured them to our backs, where they were likely to
be free from injury.  He called me to assist him in hoisting the body up
on his horse.  It must have weighed upwards of two hundred pounds, no
slight addition to the burden his tired steed had to bear.

On reaching Timbo we found that he had discovered another nest of eggs.
With these I loaded myself, and well satisfied with our prizes we
returned to the camp.  "No starve now, Massa Andrew!" said Timbo, as he
gave an affectionate glance at the huge eggs.  As we rode up David and
the two boys saluted us with shouts of laughter, at the extraordinary
appearance we cut with the ostrich feathers sticking above our
shoulders.  Donald, I found, claimed them as his own property, and I did
not wish to dispute the point, though I should have liked to have
presented one to Kate and Bella.  I could only hope to capture another
bird without assistance.  As soon as we had deposited our burdens, Timbo
set to work to prepare the eggs.  His process was a simple one.  First,
having made a hole at the end of the egg, he introduced into it salt,
pepper, flour, and one or two other ingredients.  He then shook the egg
thoroughly, so as to mix what he had put in, as well as the white and
yolk.  He then placed the eggs he had thus prepared in the hot ashes,
where they were soon perfectly baked.  Meantime the other blacks, having
skinned the bird, had cut it up, and began to roast it.  We all quickly
assembled round our usual supper-table--a cloth spread under an awning
which projected a short distance from the waggon.  The ostrich
egg-omelets were pronounced excellent.  Although it is said that the
ostrich egg, prepared in the way I have described, is equal to that of
two dozen common fowl eggs, Mr Donald Fraser managed to eat a couple;
while I found no difficulty in swallowing the greater part of one of
them.  David, Kate, and Bella, however, expressed themselves perfectly
satisfied with a single one divided among them.

As we were seated at our supper, various anecdotes were told of the
ostrich.  Donald said he had seen the Bushmen stalk them much in the
same way that we had seen the blacks further north stalk the buffalo.
The Bushman stuffs the head and neck of the ostrich, into which he
introduces a stick, forming a sort of mantle for his shoulders with the
feathers, so as greatly to resemble the bird.  As his legs are black and
the ostrich's white, he paints his legs with white, and taking his bow
and arrow in his hand, sets off for the chase.  It is extraordinary how
admirably he mimics the ostrich--now stops, as if to feed, then turns
his head as if keeping a look-out for enemies.  Now he walks along
slowly, then trots, just as the ostrich does, till he gets within
bow-shot.  With seldom erring aim he then pulls his bow.  Instead of
following the bird he has struck, however, when the others run away, he
runs also.  Should any wary old bird suspect that all is not right, and
come towards him, he endeavours to escape; but if the bird approaches
him, to avoid a stroke of its claws, or a blow from its wing, he
sometimes throws off his disguise, which he leaves on the ground, and
runs away to a distance to be prepared to pull his bow.  He generally
uses poisoned arrows, dipped in the milky juice of the tree euphorbia.
A slight wound from his weapon quickly brings the ostrich to the ground.
Formerly, he told us, it was supposed that the ostrich left its eggs to
be hatched in the sand by the heat of the sun, as cold-blooded reptiles
are known to do, but this is not the case.  The hen-ostrich sits upon
her eggs with great care, and as soon as the young are hatched, provides
them with nourishment; and as broken eggs are generally found outside
the nest, it is supposed that she keeps a certain number unhatched, that
she may feed the young birds on them.  She generally hatches about a
dozen eggs; but the Hottentots play her a trick to induce her to lay a
larger number.  As soon as they find out a nest, they watch till the
bird has left it to go in search of food, and then scrape out with a
long stick two or three at a time.  On returning and finding the number
she expected deficient, she lays enough to supply their place, and thus
goes on from day to day, till she has laid upwards of forty in the
season.  Timbo asserted that not only does man wage war against the
ostrich, but that a white vulture is particularly fond of her eggs.  As
his beak is not sufficiently strong to break the shell, he seizes a
large stone between his talons, and soaring with it high into the air,
gets over the nest; he then lets it drop upon the eggs, seldom failing
to break a sufficient number to afford himself a repast.  The young
ostriches, when they emerge from the nest, are about the size of
pullets.  They are quickly able to follow the mother, who supplies them
for a considerable time with food.  Their colour is a kind of pepper and
salt, resembling the gravel and sand of the plain over which they roam;
so that it is with the greatest difficulty they can be seen by the
hunter, even when close to them.  They are clothed with a kind of
prickly stubble, which is neither down nor feathers, and which probably
defends them from the coarse vegetation and gravel which covers the
region where they exist.  The Romans called the ostrich the _Struthio
camelus_, in consequence of its resemblance in many respects to the
camel of the desert.  The ostrich, like the camel, is able, from the
formation of its interior, to exist for a long time without water,
feeding on the stunted and dried herbage of the desert.  Its foot is
formed curiously, like that of the camel; and it has also excrescences
on its breast, on which it leans whilst sleeping.  To complete the
likeness, it has the same muscular neck, which rises high above the
plain, and enables it to perceive the approach of an enemy, while its
body is out of sight.

We had already witnessed the care which a hen-ostrich takes of her nest,
and Donald told us that one day he was riding along, when he came near a
bird evidently sitting.  She remained quiet till he advanced, when
instantly she sprang up and rushed towards him, hissing violently.  When
he turned round, she retreated a dozen paces or so; but directly he rode
on she again rushed after him, endeavouring by her hisses to frighten
him off.

"Did you kill her, Mr Fraser, after her exhibition of maternal

"I did," was the answer; "and got her feathers and her eggs, and I and
my people ate her up afterwards.  Necessity has no law, I know; and if a
trader in these regions were to give way to sentiment, he might have to
go back with an empty waggon."

The ostrich has, properly speaking, only the rudiments of wings, which
are utterly unable to lift it off the ground.  It is, however, those
magnificent white plumes in the tail and wings which assist it to run at
the rapid rate I have described.  Both male and female possess these
white plumes.  The body of the male differs from that of the female.  It
is of a deep glossy black, among which a few whitish feathers are
mingled, but only visible when the plumage is ruffled.

While we were still talking about the ostrich, Leo started up,
exclaiming, "See! see! there is one just outside the camp.  Run for your
gun, Andrew.  You may get a shot at it."

There, sure enough, was an object moving slowly towards us, apparently
utterly fearless of the fire.  Now it began to run exactly as the
ostrich does.  Now it stopped and bent its head as if to feed.
Presently it stretched out its neck, and a loud roar, which sounded very
like that of a lion, burst from its throat.

"Do not fire, Mr Crawford," exclaimed Donald; "for if you do, you will
be apt to hit a friend;" and he and Stanley burst into a loud laugh,
echoed by Timbo and some of the black boys near us, and directly
afterwards the seeming ostrich came trotting merrily into the camp.
Some of Donald's servants had been amusing themselves in forming such a
disguise as I have already described, with the hope of catching a bird
or more by means of it on the following day.

While the waggon proceeded onwards the next morning, our friend Donald
again set out, accompanied this time by Chickango, to assist him in
carrying home any game he might procure.  They were to proceed on a line
parallel with the caravan, while we ranged at a further distance.  We
went some little way together.  We were about to separate, when,
standing up, I caught sight of what I took to be the head of an ostrich
in the distance, and we rode towards it.  We had not got far when Donald
exclaimed, "There is another!  I hope there may be a family of them!"
Directly afterwards we saw the female bird scampering away, and the male
following at some little distance.

"I see no young birds," I observed.  "I think you must have been

"They are there, though, notwithstanding," observed my companion.  "I
know it by the way they run.  Depend upon it, they would be going twice
as fast as that if they were alone."

Putting our horses to their utmost speed, we at length nearly overtook
the ostriches; and then I saw a number of little brown duckling-looking
birds following at the heels of the female ostrich.  Greatly to my
surprise, the male ostrich at this moment stopped short, and then
wheeling round, darted off on one side.  As we were anxious to obtain
the young as well as the mother, we continued our pursuit of her.  On
this he once more put on his utmost speed; but instead of going in a
straight line, kept wheeling round and round us, using every effort to
attract our attention.  Instead of increasing, he decreased his circles,
till he got within twenty yards of me, when, to my surprise, over he
fell on the ground, and began to struggle desperately, and I thought he
would easily be our prize.  I therefore dashed forward; but quick as
lightning he was on his legs again, running off in an opposite direction
to that which the hen had taken.  "You follow him, and I will go after
the other," exclaimed Donald, perhaps thinking, from some remarks that I
had made, that I should not have the heart to knock over the mother and
her young brood.  I had ridden some way in chase of the male ostrich,
when a bird appeared in the distance, towards which he immediately
directed his course, fancying, perhaps, that it was his own hen and her
young ones.  He was a long way ahead of me, and I had lost all hope of
overtaking him, for my horse was already beginning to pant with
exertion, when the report of a rifle came from the direction where I saw
the other bird, and immediately my chase rolled over on the sand, the
stranger rushing towards him, while three black heads appeared from some
low rocks a little way beyond.  Poor fellow!  He deserved a better fate!
The stranger bird turned out to be one of Donald's Hottentots, who,
with his companions, had been fortunately in the right direction to
intercept him.  I insisted on appropriating the tail of the bird,
asserting that the Hottentots would not have killed him had I not chased
him up to them.

My horse being by this time well tired, we set off to overtake the
waggon.  Late in the day Donald arrived with the hen-ostrich over his
saddle, his back and head ornamented with the feathers, and half a dozen
young birds hanging from the crupper.

"Well, he does cut a curious figure!" exclaimed Leo, who saw Donald
approaching.  "If I had seen him for the first time, I should have taken
him to be a fledged centaur--a mixture of man, quadruped, and bird."

Donald was inclined to claim the feathers I had appropriated; but Senhor
Silva coming to my support, it was agreed that they were mine by right
of conquest; and I had the satisfaction of presenting them to my fair
cousins--the first trophies of the chase which I had deemed worthy of
their acceptance.

We obtained, during the following days, a further supply of ostrich
eggs, which, with the birds we had killed, gave us as much food as we
required.  We found it, when moving forward, very necessary to be
careful not to deviate from the right course.  Frequently over the
country where there were no tracks, and often no landmarks, this was
very difficult.  Often it was a long day's journey from one fountain or
pool to the next spot where water could be procured, and we knew well
that without the necessary supply we and our cattle would suffer
severely, even if we did not lose them altogether, in which case we
should be involved in their destruction.  Though I much enjoyed my
gallops over the country, I was very thankful when Stanley was once more
able to mount his horse; and I had, in consequence, generally to proceed
on the back of one of the riding oxen, with Natty or Leo behind me.  We
were now able to carry far more water than usual.  I should have said
that the ostrich eggs were never broken.  Their contents were extracted
through a hole in one end, and were carefully surrounded by a
basket-work of reeds, thus forming complete, and tolerably strong,
bottles.  At each fountain we came to they were re-filled.

"We have a long day's journey before us," observed Mr Fraser one
morning as we were inspanning, as the colonists call yoking, the oxen to
the waggon; "and I wish I was sure that we should find water at the end
of it.  We have not enough left for the oxen, as we must keep all we
have for the horses and ourselves."

He looked graver than usual, and not without reason.  The heat was very
great, and we had a wide extent of country before us, the soil
consisting of light-coloured soft sand, which appeared incapable of
producing any green thing for the support of animals.  Pass it, however,
we must, as it extended right across our path to the south, far away to
the east, from the very coast of the Atlantic.  Notwithstanding this,
our party were in good spirits, from feeling that we were now making
steady progress towards home.

"We have encountered so many dangers, and escaped them, that we should
not mistrust the willingness of the kind hand of Providence to protect
us to the end of our journey," observed Kate.

Her calm confidence gave us all courage, and we resolved not to allow
any anticipation of evil to oppress us.  Kate had never relaxed in her
resolution to instruct Bella under all difficulties, and the greater
part of the day they sat in the waggon with their books before them, or
their work in their hands, labouring away as diligently as they would
have done in their home in the colony.  Leo and Natty were far more
idle, though they occasionally took their seats near the young ladies,
and either read to them, or listened to their reading.  The Bible was
their chief book, and happily its stores are inexhaustible.  The other
works they had read over and over again, till they declared that they
could no longer look at them with patience.  The heat was so great, that
we were compelled to camp during the middle of the day, finding that we
could make more progress by travelling early in the morning and again in
the evening.

We had travelled on since daylight, when a group of trees, which are
found here and there even on the desert, gladdened our eyes.  We unyoked
our weary oxen beneath them, and sought such shelter as their branches
would afford; but not a drop or sign of water was to be seen round them.
It seemed surprising how they could exist in that arid spot.  Fires
were lighted to cook the remnant of our provisions, though they also had
fallen very short.  We were seated at our meal, when Stanley started up,
exclaiming, "We must have some of those fellows!  Who will come with
me?"  He pointed eastward--the quarter whence the wind blew--and there I
saw, moving slowly over the plain, and cropping the scanty herbage as
they went, a large herd of antelopes.

"I will," I said, "if I can have a horse."

"You shall have mine," said Senhor Silva.

"I must go with you!" exclaimed Donald Fraser, gulping down the largest
part of the contents of an ostrich egg.

Donald having giving directions for the caravan to move on, and
appointed their halting--place, we mounted our horses, intending to meet
it there at night, and galloped off towards the herd.  I imitated my
companions' attitude of leaning down, so as to conceal my head as much
as possible, that we might get near without alarming the herd, keeping
to leeward.  Some time passed before they were aware of our approach.

"They are hartbeests," said Donald, "and will give us a good chase; but
we may get within shot of them at last."

There was no shelter which would enable us to stalk them, and we
therefore had to trust to their not taking alarm at the appearance of
our horses.  We rode on and on, and every instant I expected to see them
start off, and scamper away fleet as the wind.  They were noble-looking
animals, with large horns rising on a line with their foreheads, and
then bending curiously backwards.  We rode on till we got within a
hundred yards of them, when a wary old buck caught sight of us, and,
suspicious of evil, gave the alarm to his companions.

"On, boys, on!" cried Donald, who had been watching for their expected
start to put his horse at full speed.  On we dashed, the hartbeests
going away directly from the camp.  They kept close together, somewhat
impeding each other.  They were now thoroughly alarmed, and away they
went at a speed which it at first appeared would make it utterly
impossible for us to come up with them.  Not so, however, thought
Stanley and Donald Fraser.  Our horses seemed to enter into our wishes,
and exerted themselves to the utmost.  On kept the herd, throwing the
dust up behind them, which rose in the air like clouds of smoke.  After
an hour's flight they began to slacken their speed, while our horses,
urged on by our spurs, redoubled theirs.  At last we got within a
hundred yards of the hard-pressed herd.  Stanley quickly threw himself
from his horse, and firing, a fine buck flew up into the air; and the
next moment, parting from the main body of the herd, darted off to the
right; while Donald, aiming at another animal, brought it to the ground.
I fired directly afterwards; but so excited had I become by the chase
and ride, that I suspect my bullet flew over the heads of the animals.

"Mount and ride after that fellow, Andrew!" exclaimed Stanley, pointing
to the hartbeest he had wounded.

I did as he directed me, while he and Donald Fraser, throwing themselves
on their horses, again made chase after the herd.  The wounded animal
fled away by itself, and though evidently, by the flow of blood from its
side, severely hurt, it yet continued springing forward at a rapid rate.
Determined not to let it go, I urged on my horse in pursuit.  At
length, greatly to my satisfaction, for my horse was nearly done up,
over the hartbeest rolled; and, springing from my saddle, I put an end
to its sufferings.  When I looked round, neither the herd nor my
companions were to be seen.  A long chase in that hot sun had made me
very thirsty, and not a drop of water had I with me.  I was hungry too,
for I had only just begun my breakfast; though, if content to eat raw
meat, I had the means of satisfying my appetite.  The animal was so
heavy that I could not lift it on my horse; and yet I did not like to
leave it to be devoured by hyenas and jackals, or other beasts of prey,
which it would, I knew, inevitably be very shortly, should I go away.  I
therefore waited and waited, hoping to see my companions return.  I
thought I remembered pretty accurately the direction I had come; but the
clump of trees was but a small object to guide me over that extensive
plain, on which, too, I knew that similar clumps existed.  At length,
not seeing my friends, I decided to load my horse with a portion of the
antelope, and to try and find my way back to the camp.  I had, as I
mentioned, suffered greatly from thirst before, but it did not equal the
pain I was now enduring.  Not only did my mouth and throat feel dried
up, but my whole stomach; and faint and hungry as I was, though I had an
abundance of food with me, and might have collected grass and twigs
enough to cook a portion, yet I could not swallow a particle.  I felt
growing weaker and weaker, and my head became so dizzy and my eyes so
dim that I could not distinguish objects clearly before me.  I began to
fear that I had received a sunstroke, for the heat was greater than any
I had yet experienced.  I knew the fatal effects which might follow.
Still, I managed to stick to my horse and ride on.

I had gone a considerable distance, and was trying to discover the
wished-for clump of trees, when my eyes fell on a glittering pool of
water, some way off to the left.  I had not forgotten my experience when
before wandering in search of water; but I was convinced that I could
not be mistaken.  By its side I saw several clumps of trees, and could
even distinguish their reflection on the calm surface of the lake.  The
spectacle revived my spirits, and I urged on my horse, hoping soon to
quench my thirst, and put an end to the suffering I was enduring.  He
too seemed equally eager to reach the lake.  I was surprised that Donald
had not known of it, as he certainly would have moved there instead of
pushing on to the well, where he had doubts of finding water.  I confess
that had any one told me that what I saw before me was not water, I
should have trusted my own senses rather than his assertion, and still
gone on towards it.  Bitter, therefore, was my disappointment, when in a
short time I found myself standing on the margin of what I took to be a
lake, but which was merely a dry basin incrusted with saline particles,
which gave it, with the assistance of the existing mirage, thus exactly
the appearance of water.  I turned away, suffering even more than before
from the fearful thirst which oppressed me.  Still, I had been aroused,
and I hoped to be able to return to the camp before being quite
overcome.  After going some distance, however, my spirits again sank,
and I could scarcely sit my horse.  In another moment I believe I should
have fallen, when I saw a plant trailing along the ground, with large
leaves, and among them a large melon-like fruit.  Yes, there before me
was a water-melon!  I threw myself from my horse, and eagerly taking out
my knife, cut a huge slice.  Oh! how deliciously cool and refreshing it
was!  I let the juice trickle over my throat and down my mouth.  I felt
that I could never eat enough of it; it seemed to cool me even far more
rapidly than water would have done.  I did not forget my poor steed.  He
put down his head towards the fruit, part of which lay on the ground;
and he seemed to relish it quite as much as I did.  Having eaten my fill
of the melon, I felt greatly relieved.  My horse, too, had leisure to
devour as much as he would.  After riding on a little distance, I saw
another fruit of the same appearance.  I felt an inclination for a
further supply; for when once the throat has become so dry as mine was,
the sensation of thirst very quickly returns.  I cut a slice, but the
first mouthful I took made me throw it from me.  It was perfectly
bitter; so bitter, that even had I not tasted the previous one.  I do
not think I could have eaten it.  My horse also, after licking it,
refused to eat it.  I tried another; that was equally bitter.  I cut a
third and a fourth; they had the same unpleasant taste.  My horse also
refused to touch them.  I began to fancy that I had discovered the only
sweet one.  Still I persevered, and soon came upon another which was as
delicious as the first.  Three or four others were of the same
character.  My horse eagerly devoured them.  Though loaded with meat, I
could not refrain from adding several water-melons to my burden; and,
thoroughly revived, set off in good spirits towards the camp.



I rode on and on, but still saw no signs of the camp.  Had it not been
for the water-melons, I must inevitably have perished.  Darkness came
down over the dreary waste, making it appear still more desolate.  I
trusted that my steed would find his way to the camp, for I could no
longer direct him with any degree of certainty.  The stars shone
brightly overhead; yet, as I did not know the exact bearings of the
camp, they would only enable me to keep a direct line, and that might
lead me far on one side or the other.  Still, I should be prevented from
going round in a circle, as travellers who have lost their way are apt
to do, to find themselves after many hours at the spot from which they
started.  Every now and then I stood up in my stirrups, looking out
eagerly for the camp-fire.  Not a glimmer of light could I see.  Dangers
beset me also, I knew--old sand-wells and pitfalls might be in my path.
Lions also, attracted by the smell of the meat I carried, might follow
and seize me.  I kept my rifle and hunting-knife ready for immediate
use, while I cast an anxious look round me, every moment trying to
pierce the gloom, lest some beast of prey might be stealthily
approaching.  It was a trying time.  It would have been worse had I been
suffering as before from thirst.  At last I began to fear that I must
have passed the camp altogether.  I determined to halt, and was looking
about for a bush or some rock or slight elevation under which I might
form my camp, when I found my horse's fore-feet sinking into the ground.
I had great difficulty in keeping my seat; but immediately rearing up,
he sprang forward.  The effort was vain, however, for his feet alighted
only on treacherous ground, and down he sank into a large cavity.  I
made an attempt to spring off his back, but the ground gave way, and I
found myself sinking down with him several feet below the surface.  He
kicked and plunged, and very nearly struck me.  I managed, however, once
more to get upon his back; and in a short time, finding that his efforts
to get out were hopeless, he remained quiet.  I had fallen into one of
the holes I had dreaded.  Even if I could get out myself, there was no
chance of extricating my horse, and I should have to find my way to the
camp on foot.  The loss, too, of the horse would be a serious matter.  I
was as likely also to be attacked by a lion or hyena as I should have
been on the level ground; for though the wild beast, if he got in, might
not be able to get out again, I should nevertheless become his prey.
The poor horse could with difficulty stand, and every now and then tried
to change his uncomfortable position.  To relieve him, I got off and
stood as well as I was able, keeping my rifle ready for immediate use.

Time went slowly by.  Though tired and even drowsy, I could not have
gone to sleep, even had I wished it, in my uncomfortable position.  I
could see the stars overhead; but how deep down I was I could not well
judge.  It was a depth, I feared, from which I should have great
difficulty, even in daylight, in scrambling out.  Now and then, indeed,
the dread came over me that I should be unable to do so; for the sides
were of such soft sand that when I attempted to climb up it gave way
below my feet, while there was sand alone at which I could grasp.  I
passed my time in devising plans for getting out; but I could not help
acknowledging that the best of them were not likely to succeed.  I might
scrape the sand down, and thus, filling up the hollow, gradually rise to
the surface; but there was danger of the mass above my head sliding down
and overwhelming me.

These unpleasant reflections were presenting themselves to my mind, when
I saw, against the sky, a huge head projecting over the edge.  I could
not be mistaken.  It was that of a lion.  In another instant he might
spring down upon me.  My only hope of escape was to fire immediately,
and drive him off.  Even then I dreaded that he might topple over when
shot, and destroy me in his dying struggles.  I raised my rifle and
fired.  A fearful roar was the answer to the sound of my piece.
Scarcely daring to look up, I began loading again as rapidly as I could;
for even then I feared that the monster would spring down.  Roar
succeeded roar.  It seemed to me that it was echoed far and near by
other lions.  I waited for some time, but still no creature appeared.  I
began to hope that my shot had driven them away.

Once more I began to suffer from thirst; and cutting up a water-melon, I
took part of it myself, and gave a portion to my poor steed, who showed
his gratitude by licking my hand.  I waited for some time, wishing for
the return of day.  Except when my horse made a movement, not a sound
for many minutes together reached me.  Then the distant roar of a lion
might be heard, or the barks of hyenas or jackals.  Suddenly I heard the
sound of feet, as if a troop of antelopes was passing by.  I hoped that
they might not inadvertently tumble in on me.  To scare them away I
began to shout.  I kept on, raising my voice to the utmost.  To my
surprise a shout came in return.

"Hillo!  Where are you?"

I recognised Stanley's voice.  I soon let him know.  Presently I saw his
head and Donald's projecting over the pit.

"A bad job for the horse, though we may soon get you out.  But you must
be almost dead of thirst, lad, as we pretty nearly are," observed

I told them of the water-melons I had found, and that I still had some

"Then hand them up, lad! hand them up!" cried Donald.  "We shall have
more strength to haul you up afterwards."

While he was speaking, he let down the tether-ropes.  I fastened the
water-melons to them.

"You will excuse us, Andrew," said Stanley, "if we satisfy our thirst
before getting you up.  You know from experience what it is."

Not waiting for my reply, their heads were in the melons, I suspected,
before many seconds had passed.  They did not keep me waiting long; but
the next time the rope came down I fastened the meat to it.  This was
hauled up, Donald uttering exclamations of satisfaction at seeing it.
By the aid of the rope I very quickly scrambled out; and as I did so I
felt thankful that assistance had come, for from the depth of the hole
and the nature of the sides I saw that I should not have got out without
assistance.  They had come upon the remains of the hartbeest, but had
not discovered any water-melons, and their horses were, therefore,
scarcely able to proceed.  Even the small supply of the watery fruit we
were able to give the poor animals greatly relieved them.

The next question was, how to get my horse up.  I volunteered to descend
again.  With the aid of the tethers and all the straps we could muster,
we managed to get a rope of sufficient length round his shoulders, so as
to leave his limbs free, that he might help himself as much as possible.
We then shuffled down the sand, making him leap up on it as it fell;
and at length, by hard work, once more we got him on level ground.

My horse was heavily laden, but my friends remarked that could they have
exchanged some of the meat for water-melons they would gladly have done
so.  We, however, could discover none on the ground over which we
passed.  Fortunately they knew the bearings of the camp, and at length
its fires appeared in sight.  I was surprised to find in reality how
short a time I had been in the pit; for I supposed I had passed the
greater part of the night there.

We found our friends bitterly disappointed at having discovered no
water, as they had expected, at their halting-place.  Every one was
complaining,--even Kate and Bella; for even the supply intended for the
young ladies had been exhausted.  My tidings of the water-melons was
joyfully received; and it was arranged that a party should set out with
oxen and baskets at daylight.  I lay down, as did Stanley and Donald, to
obtain a little sleep.  I was to lead the party, as I fancied I knew the
direction where I had found the juicy fruit.  When Senhor Silva heard
the account I gave, he expressed a hope that we should find not only an
abundance of melons, but a root which he called _Jeroshua_, which grows
in the desert, and is of an excessively juicy nature.

While the waggons proceeded on southward, Senhor Silva and I scoured the
plain in one direction, keeping sight of the oxen with the panniers,
that we might summon them directly we discovered what we were in search
of.  Before going far, we saw the ground turned up as if some animal had
been digging with its horns.  Near it was a small plant, the stalk about
the thickness of a crow's quill.  It had apparently been broken off, and
the root to which it had been attached had been consumed.  Not far off,
however, we saw several similar plants; and Igubo--who accompanied us
with a spade--and the other blacks, who were not far off, were directed
to dig.  They had got down a little more than a foot, when a large
tuber, twice the size of the ordinary turnip, was discovered; and the
rind being removed, we found it to consist of a mass of cellular tissue,
filled with fluid like the root I have mentioned.  We eagerly put it to
our mouths, and found it deliciously cool.  The poor oxen, as soon as it
was given to them, ate it eagerly.  We loaded one with the roots, and
sent it on to overtake the caravan.

Senhor Silva said there was another root, of a similar nature, in other
parts of the desert, called the _mokuri_.  The tubers are far larger.
It is a herbaceous creeper.  The stem, rising out of the ground, sends
out its branches horizontally to a distance of a yard or more on either
side.  They deposit underground a number of tubers, much larger than the
first I have mentioned.  The natives, when seeking them, strike the
ground with a stone, and discover by the difference of sound when one is
beneath the spot.

In half an hour, great was our delight to see the ground covered in all
directions with the water-melons of which we were in search.  Igubo and
his sons, who had never before seen any, instantly set upon them.  They
spat out the first, with wry faces.  They had seized upon a bitter one.
The other blacks, more cautious, ran along, cutting a small piece off
with their knives, tasting each in succession, leaving the bitter and
only cutting the sweet.

As we had not more than a load for one buffalo, we pushed on further,
hoping to find a larger supply.  After going a few yards, I saw Donald,
who was in front, standing up in his stirrups.  On getting up with him,
he pointed ahead, when we saw in the distance what looked like a number
of black mounds.

"A troop of elephants!" he exclaimed.  "But it will be no easy matter to
get near enough for a shot in this open plain."

Riding on a little further, the elephants came more closely in sight;
and near them were a number of rhinoceroses.  It was soon evident that
they were busily employed; and Senhor Silva said he had no doubt that
they were eating the water-melons, a number of which probably grew

Eager as Donald was to obtain the tusks, we declined assisting him in so
dangerous an undertaking.  Turning southward to return to the caravan,
we shortly afterwards caught sight of three lions, and a whole troop of
hyenas and jackals, apparently quenching their thirst with the same
juicy fruit.  Scarcely had we lost sight of them, when several herds of
antelopes appeared, scattered widely over the plain.  They also were
evidently feeding on the melons.  We fortunately, however, fell in with
a small patch of the fruit which had not yet been attacked, and were
thus able to load our oxen.  Continuing our course across the desert, we
supported ourselves entirely by the watery fruit I have described.

We were pushing towards a village near a fountain, where Donald expected
to find an ample supply of water.  He and I were riding ahead.  At
length some circular, beehive-looking huts appeared in sight, with a few
people moving about in front of them.  The men were armed with spear and
buckler, and wore the usual waist-cloth in front, and ornaments on their
heads and arms.  Several, when they saw us, came forward, and began to
shake their spears and vociferate loudly.  Before we could understand
their meaning, they were joined by a tall oldish-looking man, who seemed
to be their chief.  After he had made a long harangue, Donald answered
him; but I saw by his gestures and those of his followers that no
satisfactory arrangement had been arrived at.  Donald began to lose

"The fellows guess the strait we are in, and refuse to give or sell us
water," he exclaimed, "unless I deliver to them six of my best oxen,
four muskets, and I do not know how many articles besides.  I have told
them I will do nothing of the sort; and we shall soon see that they will
come down in their demands.  They know the country we have come through,
and probably think we are harder up for water than is the case."

The chief waited to see if we would accede to his demands; and Donald
replied that as we could do very well without water they would get
nothing, whereas we would have paid them liberally for what we took.
Saying this, we turned round our horses and rode off.  We had not got
far when several arrows came whistling after us.  Fortunately none
struck us or our horses, for if they had, as they probably were
poisoned, the result would have been serious.  As we turned our heads
for an instant, we saw a large number of people collecting from numerous
huts scattered about in all directions.  "We hastened back to the
caravan to prepare for defence; for the natives, it seemed, were too
likely to attack us.  Stanley at once proposed encamping and erecting a
stockade, within which we might defend ourselves."

"Oh yes!" exclaimed Leo, "we could easily drive them off, as we should
have done the natives of the north."

"But," observed Natty, "suppose they besiege us, what are we to do for

"You are right, Natty," said Stanley.  "It would be better generalship
to pass their village and try to gain another fountain further on."

This, indeed, was our only secure course; for though our own blacks
would certainly have fought well, Donald could not depend on his
followers, who, he said, had shown the white feather on more than one

We therefore, instead of camping, as we had proposed, turned somewhat to
the east, so as to leave the inhospitable village on our left hand,
hoping to get a considerable distance to the south of it before
daybreak.  The country was tolerably level, and the moon was high enough
to give us sufficient light to find our way.  It was the first night we
had attempted to travel without stopping, but it was absolutely
necessary to do so to carry out our object.  A battle with the natives
was on every account to be avoided.  Stanley and I rode as scouts on
either hand, while Donald kept ahead to explore the way.  We hoped thus
to avoid being taken by surprise.  We could see numerous animals moving
around us.  Once a vast herd of elephants hove in sight, another time
one of buffaloes, while antelopes of various species bounded off as we
came near.  We could hear occasionally the muttering sound of lions and
the cry of hyenas.  Several, indeed, followed us, but as they did not
approach, we refrained from firing at them, lest the sound of our rifles
might betray our position, Timbo and Chickango brought up the rear on
oxen, with directions only to fire in the case of any large body of
natives being seen following, or should a wild beast threaten to attack
them.  Thus we travelled on hour after hour.  We halted only once, to
give the oxen some water-melons or leroshua roots, and to take a little
food and water-melon ourselves, I found that Kate and Bella had become
very anxious, because one of the Hottentot boys, who spoke a little
English, had been telling them all sorts of stories of the ferocity of
the natives, and of the way they had attacked travellers and carried off
their oxen.  Donald, on hearing this, soundly rated the lad, assuring
the ladies that, as he had never been in that part of the country
before, he could know nothing of the matter.

After a short rest we again pushed on.  The sun at length rose above the
dry plain, shedding a brilliant glow of crimson over the whole eastern
horizon, and lighting up the summits of the bare rocks, and clumps of
trees here and there, with a red tinge.  I could not help dreading, with
the prospect of a burning day before us, that water might not be found.
At length we arrived at one of the sand-wells I have before described.
We eagerly rushed into it, and sank our reeds, in the hope of obtaining
water.  It came, but at a slow rate, which promised but a scanty supply
for our thirsty cattle, even though we might obtain enough for our own
wants.  The blacks quenched their thirst by sucking narrow reeds, which
they ran into the sand.  Donald, after examining it, gave orders to them
to dig, in the hope of obtaining a larger quantity.  The result of the
operation was satisfactory, and we accordingly resolved to encamp there
for a day or two, till our cattle had obtained enough water to last them
till we could get across the desert.  There was an abundance of grass,
growing in tufts, and a small group of trees near us, which would afford
us shade and firewood.  Stanley also hoped to kill some game.  The poor
cattle had to wait, though, till our horses had the water they required.

Leo and Natty had been amusing themselves outside the camp.  "Here; see
what we have got!" cried Leo, returning after they had wandered to a
short distance.  "Hillo!" he exclaimed, turning round as I went out to
meet them.  "Why, it was a long creature just now; and see, it has
turned into a ball; and a big ball it is!"

The ball of which Leo spoke was covered with large black scales,
somewhat the size and shape of the husk of the artichoke, which
overlapped each other in a very curious and beautiful manner.  David
quickly solved the mystery of the scaly ball.  Being allowed to remain
quiet for a few minutes, it unrolled itself, when it was seen to possess
a head and a broad tail, likewise covered with scales.  He pronounced it
to be one of the manides or scaly ant-eaters--a rare animal, and seldom
seen.  It had a long extensile tongue, furnished with a glutinous mucous
for securing its insect food.  It was entirely destitute of teeth, so
that it was evident it must suck in the creatures it caught, and swallow
them whole.

David said that the manides are very inoffensive animals; that they live
solely on ants and termites.  They burrow to a great depth in the
ground.  For this, as also for extracting their food from ant-hills and
decayed wood, we found that the creature's feet were armed with powerful
claws, which it could double up when walking.

"We are getting into a thorny district," observed Donald, who had joined
us, "very different to the thornless one we have passed through.  What
do you think of this?" he observed, stooping down and picking up a round
disc with a sharp thorn in the centre.  "Suppose this was to run into a
poor animal's foot; it would take him months to get it out, even if he
did not become lame for life."

Soon after we camped Donald started off on a hunt by himself.  He had
not been gone long when we saw him returning from the north, with a
gemsbok, or oryx, as I have before called it, across his saddle.
Considering the weight he carried, he came pressing on at a rapid rate.
He was not a man much given to exhibiting his feelings, but I saw that
something was the matter.

"Quick, lads!" he exclaimed.  "We must get ready to defend our camp
without loss of time.  I thought as I rode along that I would just take
a look at our inhospitable friends, and see what they were about.  When
I had got halfway between this and their village, I caught sight of a
large number of them stealing along across the plain.  I think they must
have seen me, or perhaps they took me for a cameleopard or ostrich; for
I only showed for a moment behind an ant-hill, then quickly again got
under cover to reconnoitre them.  There are some two or three hundred
fellows at least, and by the way they were marching I am very certain
that they intend to attack us.  I had just shot this oryx, and I had no
wish to leave it for them, or I might have been here sooner; but there
is time to get ready, if we are sharp about it."

Stanley, on hearing this, was in his element.  He immediately ordered
out all hands to cut down the smaller trees from the group I spoke of,
to form palisades.  The waggons and carts were placed on one side, while
palisades were fixed all round, and strong cross-beams secured to them.
This done, we set to work to throw up an embankment, which, with the
light sand, was easily accomplished, the upright posts keeping it in its
place.  We thus, in a wonderfully short time, had a little fortress
which might have stood a siege against men armed with muskets.  As we
hoped our expected assailants had no firearms among them, we felt no
apprehension as to the result.  The chief danger was that they might try
to starve us out, which there was a possibility of their doing should
they persevere in surrounding us.  We were working away till long after
dark by the light of our fires.  Scouts were sent out, but came back
after some time stating that they could see nothing of the enemy.  At
length Stanley expressed his belief that Donald had been mistaken; at
which our friend bristled up.  No, he was certain he had seen an army of
blacks; probably, however, when they caught sight of him, they might
have thought better of the matter.

"But perhaps they were merely on a hunting expedition," said David, "or
collecting water-melons."

"They were keeping too close together for hunting; and as they were
following in our track, they would have found neither water-melons nor
water-roots," answered Donald.  "Do not be too sure that they will not
come yet.  These people, as I fancy you have experienced, like to take
their enemies by surprise; and they will not come on in broad daylight
with tom-toms and shouts, depend on that.  It would be well that those
who have the morning watch should keep a bright look-out, or we may be
attacked when we least expect it."

Donald's advice was not thrown away on me.  I had just relieved Stanley,
who had taken what would at sea be called the middle watch, Jack and
Timbo being my companions.  The night was perfectly still.  I could hear
the low muttering of lions in the far distance, with an occasional roar
as some other creature approached to dispute their prey with them.  Now
and then the trumpeting of elephants reached me, probably on their way
to some distant fountain, or in search of roots or water-melons.  I
thought it was almost impossible that any enemies could approach without
being discovered.  Still, I had been too well accustomed to discipline
at sea not to keep as bright a look-out as I should have done had I
known they were near.  I was standing with Timbo on the north side of
the fort, when he asked me to let him go out to a little distance.

"If dey come, dey come soon; and we no see dem till dey close to de
wall," he whispered.

Trusting to his judgment, I willingly let him do as he proposed.  He
accordingly slipped over the palisade on one side, and I could barely
distinguish him as he crept along over the ground towards the north.  He
was soon lost to sight.  Jack and I kept anxiously looking out for his
return.  I felt little alarm about the natives, but I was afraid that
some prowling beast might attack him.  I must have waited half an hour
or more, when I distinguished a long object crawling along on the
ground.  In the gloom I could not make out whether it was Timbo, or a
panther perhaps, or a huge snake, so noiselessly and stealthily did it
approach.  It made, however, for the side of the fort, and in a short
time Timbo came up to me, having been admitted by Jack through the
sally-port in the rear.

"Dey come!" he whispered.  "Dey no see me, dough.  Dey t'ink dey find us
all asleep.  I go call de captain and de rest, and de black fellows; and
we all get ready, and lie down and snore loud; and den, when de enemy
come, we jump up wid loud shout, and dey run away."

Timbo's plan of action was simple, and I hoped might prove effective; so
I begged him to carry it out.  In a few seconds all our party, crawling
out from their huts, or from beneath the waggon or lean-tos, assembled
noiselessly, and took up their station at the palisades, kneeling down
so as not to be seen by those approaching.  Thus we all remained ready
for the attack.  Some time passed away, and no enemy appeared; and I
could not help suspecting that Timbo might by some means have been
mistaken.  He, however, was positive that he had seen the enemy, and was
rather indignant at my supposing that he could have been deceived.  We
kept watching on every side, not knowing on which the blacks, if they
really were coming, might make their attack.  At length I saw an object
moving along the ground, exactly as Timbo had approached the fort; then
another and another appeared.  I found that Timbo had seen them too, and
immediately he managed to give the information to our companions, when,
somewhat to my amusement, a loud chorus of snores ascended from all
parts of the camp.  "Dat good," he whispered to me; "dey t'ink we all
sleepy.  Now, see!"

As he spoke, we could distinguish several black figures crawling on the
ground close up to the fort.  They stopped and listened, then rising to
their feet, ran back to their companions, who yet, we supposed, remained
concealed in the neighbouring bushes and long grass.  Fearing, probably,
that the snoring garrison might awake, the whole array of blacks now
advanced, crouching down close to the ground, and had we not been
watching for them, they might easily have got close up without being
discovered.  They advanced in a semicircle, closing gradually in on the
fort.  We lay still as death.  The dogs, I should have said, had been
muzzled, and stowed away under the waggon, where they remained quiet.
Closer and closer the blacks advanced.  "Dey t'ink dey climb over and we
not know," whispered Timbo.  "Now, see!"

We let the blacks get close to the palisades.  They were touching them,
expecting without difficulty to climb over, when at a word from Stanley
up we all started, firing directly in their faces.  The result was even
more satisfactory than we could have anticipated, for in an instant the
front ranks rushed away, knocking down those behind them in their
terror, when the whole army instantly took to flight.  The two boys gave
vent to loud hurrahs, which were taken up by the rest of our party, when
Kate and Bella, who had not been told of what was likely to take place,
came rushing out of their tent to inquire what had occurred.  We soon
found, however, that we were not to gain so easy a victory as we had
hoped.  The blacks, recovering from their fright, and not acquainted
with the effects our firearms were able to produce at a distance, once
more assembled, and advanced bravely to the attack.  We were
consequently compelled to give them a volley, but except from the rifles
of two or three of our best shots, very few of our bullets took effect.
Seeing that we were not to be taken by surprise, the enemy again
retired.  We were in hopes that they had gone off altogether.  To
ascertain whether this was the case, Timbo volunteered once more to go
out.  He soon returned, saying that they had only retired under shelter,
and from the sounds he had heard, he suspected that they proposed making
another attack.  We waited anxiously till daybreak.  On looking out, we
saw numerous blacks moving among the bushes.  Then a large body
appeared, apparently assembling to hold a consultation.  After a time
they separated, dividing into several small bodies.  These marched
forward, and posted themselves at equal distances round the camp.  It
was now clear that, having failed in their expectation of taking us by
surprise, they had resolved on starving us out.  Fortunately they could
not interfere with our water, or they would have done so; indeed, they
might possibly not have been aware of the supply we were gradually
obtaining from the well.

The day passed away, but our pertinacious enemies made no signs of
moving.  Of course they kept us on the alert all night, not knowing at
what moment they might again attack us.  On the second day things began
to look serious; for though we had water, provisions were growing
scarce.  Donald began to talk of cutting our way through the enemy; but
as they could assail us at their pleasure as we marched along, this
would have been a dangerous proceeding.

"It must be done," he said at last; "if we remain here another day we
shall starve, and it is better to run the risk of fighting than to do

We had at length obtained a sufficient supply of water for the cattle,
and had we been unmolested, we might now with confidence proceed on to
the next fountain, after which Donald hoped to find each day a
sufficient supply of water.  Stanley however proposed, instead of
risking an attack while moving on, to sally out with horse and foot and
drive the enemy away.  He, with Senhor Silva and Donald, were to form
the cavalry, and I was to lead a party of infantry, consisting of Jack,
Chickango, Igubo and his two sons, and four of Donald's Hottentots.

"We must go too, then!" exclaimed Leo, when he heard the proposal.

"No," answered Stanley.  "I have no doubt of your bravery, but you will
show it better by remaining to assist David and Timbo in garrisoning the
fort."  After some hesitation Donald agreed to this plan.

At length, as evening drew on, the blacks appeared in greater numbers
than before.  Instead of allowing them to approach, however, we opened a
warm fire upon them, when even at a considerable distance.  This seemed
to astonish them, as probably they were not aware that our bullets would
reach so far, and once more they retreated under cover.  Scarcely had
they gone, when Donald gave us the unsatisfactory information that one
meal alone remained for the party in the camp.

"Then, my friends," said Stanley, "let us lose no time in making our
retreat.  We may get to a long distance before the blacks discover that
we have left the fort; and if they follow us, we must turn round and
drive them off."

The necessity of moving was so obvious, that no time was lost in
preparing to start.  The waggons were laden, the oxen yoked.  The usual
fires were lighted, to deceive the enemy.  Then in perfect silence we
quitted the camp, Stanley and I bringing up the rear, and Timbo and Jack
and four other men, well-armed, on foot.  We moved on slowly; for
neither we, our horses, nor cattle were capable of much exertion.  Every
now and then Stanley halted and faced round to ascertain whether we were
pursued; but some hours passed by, and we began to hope that the enemy
had retreated before we commenced our march, or had not ventured to
follow us.  We knew well, however, that if the blacks did pursue us,
they would come on stealthily, so that we should have but a short time
to prepare for their reception.  Leo and Natty were persuaded to remain
in the waggon with their guns loaded, ready to do battle for Kate and
Bella; while Donald had put arms into the hands of the most trustworthy
of his men, who promised to fight bravely should we be attacked.
However, he confessed that he had no confidence in their valour.  After
riding for some time at a distance from the waggon we once more joined
them, hoping that we should be able to proceed without molestation.

I was very thankful when the sun rose; and though his beams were likely
to be somewhat hot, they greatly cheered our spirits.  I was on the
point, at Stanley's request, of riding on to ask Donald Fraser when he
proposed to camp, when, looking round, I saw away to the north, on the
summit of an elevation we had passed over, a dark line moving towards
us.  I pointed it out to Stanley.

"It is the blacks!  There can be no doubt about that," he answered.  "We
must be prepared for them.  I did not suppose they would have ventured
so far in pursuit."

"I say, Andrew, we must drive these fellows off, and have done with
them," said Leo.  "You will see how Natty and I will fight!"

I was sure from his determined look that he would be as good as his
word, and that Natty would not be less courageous, though he made no
remark.  Stanley had given orders that not a shot was to be fired till
he issued the word of command.  We were standing in expectation of
receiving it, when Timbo shouted out, "See! see! some horsemen come dis
way!"  We looked towards the west--the direction in which he pointed--
where, under a cloud of dust, a herd of buffaloes were seen scampering
across the plain, with several horsemen in close pursuit.  On they came
directly towards our black enemies, who did not perceive them till they
were within a distance of four or five hundred yards.  The herd of
buffaloes dashed madly forward into the very midst of the blacks, whom
they scattered in every direction.  Numbers were knocked over.  The
rest, taken by surprise, attempted to escape by flight.  Instantly
Stanley threw himself upon his horse and galloped forward, shouting to
the hunters.  The buffaloes meantime continued their charge wherever
they saw the negroes assembled, and in a few minutes swept half round
the circle, raising the siege in the most effectual manner.  Stanley's
shouts soon attracted the attention of the hunters.  A few words from
him explained the state of affairs, and together they charged towards
the remainder of the black army, who had hitherto stood their ground.
The latter, without even stopping to draw their bows, took to flight
towards the north, still followed, in the most extraordinary manner, by
the buffaloes, who rushed in and out among them, urged on by the shouts
and cries of the hunters in the rear.  In a few minutes not a black was
to be seen, except those who had been knocked over by the infuriated
animals.  All this time the only shots fired had been at the buffaloes,
three of whom lay dead on the ground.  At length the herd, after
pursuing the blacks for a considerable distance, turned off to the east,
leaving us possessors of the field.

As we were hurrying out to welcome the strangers, we saw Stanley warmly
shaking hands with them, when what was my surprise as they rode up to
recognise the Messrs. Rowley and Terence O'Brien!

"We will tell you all about it," said the latter, as we warmly shook
hands.  "But don't you know him?" and he pointed to the fourth horseman.

I could scarcely believe my eyes, when my friend, the worthy first mate
of the _Osprey_--whom I thought had long been numbered with the dead--
jumped off his steed and took me by the hand.

"I have not a very long yarn to spin," he said, "though it is a somewhat
wonderful one.  When I was washed off the deck, I found near me a
topmast, which had probably been carried away and cut adrift from some
craft ahead of us.  I clung on to it, and was picked up a day or two
afterwards by a vessel which had to touch at Walfish Bay on her way to
the Cape.  Finding a party settled there on a whaling speculation, I
agreed to remain.  However, after some time, as few whales were to be
caught, I determined to go on to the Cape.  Just as I was about to sail,
I received an invitation from a gentleman--Mr Ramsay--about to start
into the interior on a hunting and trading expedition, to accompany him
as an assistant.  The life he proposed to lead was a new one to me; but
I had had enough of salt water, and after a little consideration
accepted it.  Who should arrive directly afterwards but our friends
here, who, after having been cast on shore and gone through all sorts of
adventures as they travelled down the coast from the north, had at
length reached Walfish Bay.  But they will give you an account of
themselves.  Do not ask, though, about their poor sister," he whispered.
"She is gone!  Died soon after they landed; and that wretched fellow
Kydd, he was washed off the raft in passing through the surf.  These
three young men alone remained, with scarce a rag on their backs, and
not a sixpence in the world.  They were therefore very glad to accept
the offer made to them by my friend, to assist him in shooting
elephants, and rhinoceroses, and other game.  From what I have seen of
them, they are better suited to that sort of work than the steady
business of a colonist.  We have now been out six months, and are on the
point of turning westward; indeed, had the buffaloes not led us in this
direction, we should not have come further to the east.  The prospect of
the desert is not over-inviting, and for my part, I have had enough of
hunting.  I have run a narrow chance of being killed a score of times by
lions and elephants, not to speak of rhinoceroses and buffaloes, hyenas
and snakes, and I do not know what other creatures.  When my engagement
is over, I have made up my mind not to accept another of the same sort,
but to stick to the sea as long as I am fit for work, or till I can save
enough to enable me to settle down in a snug cottage in old England."

After the hint I had received from my friend Gritton, I forebore to make
too minute inquiries of the Rowleys as to their adventures.  Terence
O'Brien, however, gave me most of the particulars.  They had undergone a
fearful amount of suffering even before they were cast ashore, and a
still greater amount afterwards.  It is surprising, indeed, that poor
Miss Rowley should have survived so long on the raft; and we all,
indeed, had cause to be thankful that we had been preserved from similar

As soon as part of the buffalo flesh had been divided among our
half-famished party, and had been cooked and eaten, we inspanned and
pushed on to join Mr Ramsay's caravan.  Though there was little chance
of our being pursued by the hostile natives, I was very thankful when at
length the fires of his camp appeared in sight.  Terence O'Brien had
galloped on to announce our coming, and he now came up with loud whoops
and cries, followed by most of his party, from whom we received the
warmest welcome.  We had still, however, a long journey before us; but
the road was known, the fountains were within moderate distances of each
other, and the natives were friendly.  Mr Ramsay had been successful
both in hunting and trading, and the large piles of huge elephant and
hippopotamus tusks, lion and panther skins, and other articles, rather
excited Donald Fraser's envy.  "However," he observed to me, as he
looked at his fellow-trader's well-filled waggons, "I have had the
satisfaction of rescuing you and your friends, Mr Crawford, out of as
dangerous a position as travellers in Africa can well be placed in, and
I have no reason to complain of the liberality of your generous friend,
Senhor Silva."

We at length reached Walfish Bay, where we found a vessel, the _Flying
Fish_, just on the point of sailing for the Cape.  The Rowleys and
Terence O'Brien were, however, so enamoured of their hunting life, that
they determined to start off into the wilds again on their own account.
Our kind, noble-minded, and generous friend, Senhor Silva, here bade us
good-bye, intending to wait for a vessel which was expected to call in
on her way to Saint Paul de Loando.  He shook my hand warmly.

"I am a widower, as you know, and I had a hope, I confess, which I must
not speak of, for I see that it is vain," he said.  "You will think of
me, and so will your sweet cousin, I trust, sometimes; and I shall be
truly glad to hear of your happiness."

We all embarked on board the _Flying Fish_, hoping at length, after all
our adventures, to reach our destination in safety.  I had made up my
mind to settle on shore, and assist my cousins in cultivating their
farm.  Perhaps my cousin Kate had something to do with my resolution.
At all events, when I proposed it she appeared very well pleased.

Leo, when he heard of it, exclaimed, "Oh, how delightful! because then,
Andrew, you will not carry Natty away, as I was afraid you might have
done; and he and I can manage to get on so capitally together.  We have
formed all sorts of plans already, and I only hope that you may marry
Kate, and he, by-and-by, can marry Sheila; and then we shall all be
brothers, `and live happily together to the end of our days,' as the
story books say."

Though our voyage was a pleasant one, I was very thankful when at length
the lofty height of Table Mountain appeared ahead, covered with its
table-cloth, and we dropped our anchor off Cape Town.  We had still a
long journey before us; but at length the anxiety which my uncle and
aunt had been so long suffering on account of the non-appearance of
their children was relieved by our safe arrival at their farm.

After a few days' rest, we all set to work on the special duties
apportioned us.  Kate did not neglect Bella's education, even though in
the course of the following year she became the mistress of a house of
her own, of which I was the master.  David settled down as the medical
man of the district.  Stanley, though he occasionally went out hunting,
became a first-rate farmer, ably assisted by Timbo, Chickango, and Igubo
and his two sons, who expressed no desire to return to their part of
Africa.  Jack Handspike accompanied Mr Gritton to sea, but lately came
back again, saying that he had had enough of it, and was determined
henceforth to plough the land instead of the ocean.  I may say of myself
and of all my friends indeed, that "whatsoever our hands find to do, we
do it with all our might," humbly endeavouring to serve God in our daily
walk in life, and thereby enjoy that true happiness which even in this
world can be obtained by those who know the right way to seek it.


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