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´╗┐Title: Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa
Author: Livingstone, David, 1813-1873
Language: English
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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 "Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa" ***

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Also called, Travels and Researches in South Africa;

or, Journeys and Researches in South Africa.

By David Livingstone

[British (Scot) Missionary and Explorer--1813-1873.]

   the original was typed in (manually) twice and electronically compared.
   Italicized words or phrases are CAPITALIZED.

   David Livingstone was born in Scotland, received his medical degree from
   the University of Glasgow, and was sent to South Africa by the London
   Missionary Society. Circumstances led him to try to meet the material
   needs as well as the spiritual needs of the people he went to, and while
   promoting trade and trying to end slavery, he became the first European
   to cross the continent of Africa, which story is related in this book.
   Two appendixes have been added to this etext, one of which is simply
   notes on the minor changes made to make this etext more readable, (old
   vs. new forms of words, names, etc.); the other is a review from the
   February, 1858 edition of Harper's Magazine, which is included both for
   those readers who want to see a brief synopsis, and more importantly to
   give an example of how Livingstone's accomplishments were seen in
   his own time. The unnamed reviewer was by no means as enlightened as
   Livingstone, yet he was not entirely in the dark, either.

   The casual reader, who may not be familiar with the historical period,
   should note that a few things that Livingstone wrote, which might be
   seen as racist by today's standards, was not considered so in his
   own time. Livingstone simply uses the terms and the science of his
   day--these were no doubt flawed, as is also seen elsewhere, in his
   references to malaria, for example. Which all goes to show that it was
   the science of the day which was flawed, and not so much Livingstone.

   I will also add that the Rev. Livingstone has a fine sense of humour,
   which I hope the reader will enjoy. His description of a Makololo dance
   is classic.

   Lastly, I will note that what I love most about Livingstone's
   descriptions is not only that he was not polluted by the racism of his
   day, but that he was not polluted by the anti-racism of our own. He
   states things as he sees them, and notes that the Africans are, like all
   other men, a curious mixture of good and evil. This, to me, demonstrates
   his good faith better than any other description could. You see, David
   Livingstone does not write about Africa as a missionary, nor as an
   explorer, nor yet as a scientist, but as a man meeting fellow men. I
   hope you will enjoy his writings as much as I did.

   Alan R. Light

   Monroe, N.C., 1997.]


Including a Sketch of Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of
Africa, and a Journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the West
Coast; Thence Across the Continent, Down the River Zambesi, to the
Eastern Ocean.

By David Livingstone, LL.D., D.C.L., Fellow of the Faculty of Physicians
and Surgeons, Glasgow; Corresponding Member of the Geographical and
Statistical Society of New York; Gold Medalist and Corresponding Member
of the Royal Geographical Societies of London and Paris F.S.A., Etc.,




President Royal Geographical Society, F.R.S., V.P.G.S.,

Corr. Inst. of France, and Member of the Academies of St. Petersburg,

Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brussels, Etc.,

This Work

is affectionately offered as a Token of Gratitude for the kind interest
he has always taken in the Author's pursuits and welfare; and to express
admiration of his eminent scientific attainments, nowhere more strongly
evidenced than by the striking hypothesis respecting the physical
conformation of the African continent, promulgated in his Presidential
Address to the Royal Geographic Society in 1852, and verified three
years afterward by the Author of these Travels.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE. London, Oct., 1857.


When honored with a special meeting of welcome by the Royal Geographical
Society a few days after my arrival in London in December last, Sir
Roderick Murchison, the President, invited me to give the world a
narrative of my travels; and at a similar meeting of the Directors of
the London Missionary Society I publicly stated my intention of sending
a book to the press, instead of making many of those public appearances
which were urged upon me. The preparation of this narrative* has
taken much longer time than, from my inexperience in authorship, I had

   * Several attempts having been made to impose upon the public,
   as mine, spurious narratives of my travels, I beg to tender my
   thanks to the editors of the 'Times' and of the 'Athenaeum'
   for aiding to expose them, and to the booksellers of London
   for refusing to SUBSCRIBE for any copies.

Greater smoothness of diction and a saving of time might have been
secured by the employment of a person accustomed to compilation; but my
journals having been kept for my own private purposes, no one else
could have made use of them, or have entered with intelligence into the
circumstances in which I was placed in Africa, far from any European
companion. Those who have never carried a book through the press
can form no idea of the amount of toil it involves. The process has
increased my respect for authors and authoresses a thousand-fold.

I can not refrain from referring, with sentiments of admiration
and gratitude, to my friend Thomas Maclear, Esq., the accomplished
Astronomer Royal at the Cape. I shall never cease to remember his
instructions and help with real gratitude. The intercourse I had the
privilege to enjoy at the Observatory enabled me to form an idea of the
almost infinite variety of acquirements necessary to form a true and
great astronomer, and I was led to the conviction that it will be long
before the world becomes overstocked with accomplished members of that
profession. Let them be always honored according to their deserts; and
long may Maclear, Herschel, Airy, and others live to make known the
wonders and glory of creation, and to aid in rendering the pathway of
the world safe to mariners, and the dark places of the earth open to

I beg to offer my hearty thanks to my friend Sir Roderick Murchison,
and also to Dr. Norton Shaw, the secretary of the Royal Geographical
Society, for aiding my researches by every means in their power.

His faithful majesty Don Pedro V., having kindly sent out orders to
support my late companions until my return, relieved my mind of anxiety
on their account. But for this act of liberality, I should certainly
have been compelled to leave England in May last; and it has afforded me
the pleasure of traveling over, in imagination, every scene again,
and recalling the feelings which actuated me at the time. I have much
pleasure in acknowledging my deep obligations to the hospitality and
kindness of the Portuguese on many occasions.

I have not entered into the early labors, trials, and successes of the
missionaries who preceded me in the Bechuana country, because that has
been done by the much abler pen of my father-in-law, Rev. Robert Moffat,
of Kuruman, who has been an energetic and devoted actor in the scene for
upward of forty years. A slight sketch only is given of my own attempts,
and the chief part of the book is taken up with a detail of the efforts
made to open up a new field north of the Bechuana country to the
sympathies of Christendom. The prospects there disclosed are fairer than
I anticipated, and the capabilities of the new region lead me to hope
that by the production of the raw materials of our manufactures, African
and English interests will become more closely linked than heretofore,
that both countries will be eventually benefited, and that the cause of
freedom throughout the world will in some measure be promoted.

Dr. Hooker, of Kew, has had the kindness to name and classify for me,
as far as possible, some of the new botanical specimens which I brought
over; Dr. Andrew Smith (himself an African traveler) has aided me in
the zoology; and Captain Need has laid open for my use his portfolio
of African sketches, for all which acts of liberality my thanks are
deservedly due, as well as to my brother, who has rendered me willing
aid as an amanuensis.

Although I can not profess to be a draughtsman, I brought home with me
a few rough diagram-sketches, from one of which the view of the Falls of
the Zambesi has been prepared by a more experienced artist.

October, 1857.


   Introduction. Personal Sketch--Highland Ancestors--Family
   Traditions--Grandfather removes to the Lowlands--Parents--
   Early Labors and Efforts--Evening School--Love of Reading--
   Religious Impressions--Medical Education--Youthful Travels--
   Geology--Mental Discipline--Study in Glasgow--London
   Missionary Society--Native Village--Medical Diploma--
   Theological Studies--Departure for Africa--No Claim to
   Literary Accomplishments.

   Chapter 1. The Bakwain Country--Study of the Language--Native
   Ideas regarding Comets--Mabotsa Station--A Lion Encounter--
   Virus of the Teeth of Lions--Names of the Bechuana Tribes--
   Sechele--His Ancestors--Obtains the Chieftainship--His
   Marriage and Government--The Kotla--First public Religious
   Services--Sechele's Questions--He Learns to Read--Novel mode
   for Converting his Tribe--Surprise at their Indifference--
   Polygamy--Baptism of Sechele--Opposition of the Natives--
   Purchase Land at Chonuane--Relations with the People--Their
   Intelligence--Prolonged Drought--Consequent Trials--Rain-
   medicine--God's Word blamed--Native Reasoning--Rain-maker--
   Dispute between Rain Doctor and Medical Doctor--The Hunting
   Hopo--Salt or animal Food a necessary of Life--Duties of a

   Chapter 2. The Boers--Their Treatment of the Natives--Seizure
   of native Children for Slaves--English Traders--Alarm of the
   Boers--Native Espionage--The Tale of the Cannon--The Boers
   threaten Sechele--In violation of Treaty, they stop English
   Traders and expel Missionaries--They attack the Bakwains--
   Their Mode of Fighting--The Natives killed and the School-
   children carried into Slavery--Destruction of English
   Property--African Housebuilding and Housekeeping--Mode of
   Spending the Day--Scarcity of Food--Locusts--Edible Frogs--
   Scavenger Beetle--Continued Hostility of the Boers--The
   Journey north--Preparations--Fellow-travelers--The Kalahari
   Desert--Vegetation--Watermelons--The Inhabitants--The Bushmen-
  -Their nomad Mode of Life--Appearance--The Bakalahari--Their
   Love for Agriculture and for domestic Animals--Timid
   Character--Mode of obtaining Water--Female Water-suckers--The
   Desert--Water hidden.

   Chapter 3. Departure from Kolobeng, 1st June, 1849--
   Companions--Our Route--Abundance of Grass--Serotli, a Fountain
   in the Desert--Mode of digging Wells--The Eland--Animals of
   the Desert--The Hyaena--The Chief Sekomi--Dangers--The
   wandering Guide--Cross Purposes--Slow Progress--Want of Water--
   Capture of a Bushwoman--The Salt-pan at Nchokotsa--The
   Mirage--Reach the River Zouga--The Quakers of Africa--
   Discovery of Lake Ngami, 1st August, 1849--Its Extent--Small
   Depth of Water--Position as the Reservoir of a great River
   System--The Bamangwato and their Chief--Desire to visit
   Sebituane, the Chief of the Makololo--Refusal of Lechulatebe
   to furnish us with Guides--Resolve to return to the Cape--The
   Banks of the Zouga--Pitfalls--Trees of the District--
   Elephants--New Species of Antelope--Fish in the Zouga.

   Chapter 4. Leave Kolobeng again for the Country of Sebituane--
   Reach the Zouga--The Tsetse--A Party of Englishmen--Death of
   Mr. Rider--Obtain Guides--Children fall sick with Fever--
   Relinquish the Attempt to reach Sebituane--Mr. Oswell's
   Elephant-hunting--Return to Kolobeng--Make a third Start
   thence--Reach Nchokotsa--Salt-pans--"Links", or Springs--
   Bushmen--Our Guide Shobo--The Banajoa--An ugly Chief--The
   Tsetse--Bite fatal to domestic Animals, but harmless to wild
   Animals and Man--Operation of the Poison--Losses caused by it--
   The Makololo--Our Meeting with Sebituane--Sketch of his
   Career--His Courage and Conquests--Manoeuvres of the Batoka--
   He outwits them--His Wars with the Matebele--Predictions of a
   native Prophet--Successes of the Makololo--Renewed Attacks of
   the Matebele--The Island of Loyelo--Defeat of the Matebele--
   Sebituane's Policy--His Kindness to Strangers and to the Poor--
   His sudden Illness and Death--Succeeded by his Daughter--Her
   Friendliness to us--Discovery, in June, 1851, of the Zambesi
   flowing in the Centre of the Continent--Its Size--The Mambari--
   The Slave-trade--Determine to send Family to England--Return
   to the Cape in April, 1852--Safe Transit through the Caffre
   Country during Hostilities--Need of a "Special Correspondent"
   --Kindness of the London Missionary Society--Assistance
   afforded by the Astronomer Royal at the Cape.

   Chapter 5. Start in June, 1852, on the last and longest
   Journey from Cape Town--Companions--Wagon-traveling--Physical
   Divisions of Africa--The Eastern, Central, and Western Zones--
   The Kalahari Desert--Its Vegetation--Increasing Value of the
   Interior for Colonization--Our Route--Dutch Boers--Their
   Habits--Sterile Appearance of the District--Failure of Grass--
   Succeeded by other Plants--Vines--Animals--The Boers as
   Farmers--Migration of Springbucks--Wariness of Animals--The
   Orange River--Territory of the Griquas and Bechuanas--The
   Griquas--The Chief Waterboer--His wise and energetic
   Government--His Fidelity--Ill-considered Measures of the
   Colonial Government in regard to Supplies of Gunpowder--
   Success of the Missionaries among the Griquas and Bechuanas--
   Manifest Improvement of the native Character--Dress of the
   Natives--A full-dress Costume--A Native's Description of the
   Natives--Articles of Commerce in the Country of the Bechuanas--
   Their Unwillingness to learn, and Readiness to criticise.

   Chapter 6. Kuruman--Its fine Fountain--Vegetation of the
   District--Remains of ancient Forests--Vegetable Poison--The
   Bible translated by Mr. Moffat--Capabilities of the Language--
   Christianity among the Natives--The Missionaries should extend
   their Labors more beyond the Cape Colony--Model Christians--
   Disgraceful Attack of the Boers on the Bakwains--Letter from
   Sechele--Details of the Attack--Numbers of School-children
   carried away into Slavery--Destruction of House and Property
   at Kolobeng--The Boers vow Vengeance against me--Consequent
   Difficulty of getting Servants to accompany me on my Journey--
   Start in November, 1852--Meet Sechele on his way to England to
   obtain Redress from the Queen--He is unable to proceed beyond
   the Cape--Meet Mr. Macabe on his Return from Lake Ngami--The
   hot Wind of the Desert--Electric State of the Atmosphere--
   Flock of Swifts--Reach Litubaruba--The Cave Lepelole--
   Superstitions regarding it--Impoverished State of the
   Bakwains--Retaliation on the Boers--Slavery--Attachment of the
   Bechuanas to Children--Hydrophobia unknown--Diseases of the
   Bakwains few in number--Yearly Epidemics--Hasty Burials--
   Ophthalmia--Native Doctors--Knowledge of Surgery at a very low
   Ebb--Little Attendance given to Women at their Confinements--
   The "Child Medicine"--Salubrity of the Climate well adapted
   for Invalids suffering from pulmonary Complaints.

   Chapter 7. Departure from the Country of the Bakwains--Large
   black Ant--Land Tortoises--Diseases of wild Animals--Habits of
   old Lions--Cowardice of the Lion--Its Dread of a Snare--Major
   Vardon's Note--The Roar of the Lion resembles the Cry of the
   Ostrich--Seldom attacks full-grown Animals--Buffaloes and
   Lions--Mice--Serpents--Treading on one--Venomous and harmless
   Varieties--Fascination--Sekomi's Ideas of Honesty--Ceremony of
   the Sechu for Boys--The Boyale for young Women--Bamangwato
   Hills--The Unicorn's Pass--The Country beyond--Grain--Scarcity
   of Water--Honorable Conduct of English Gentlemen--Gordon
   Cumming's hunting Adventures--A Word of Advice for young
   Sportsmen--Bushwomen drawing Water--Ostrich--Silly Habit--

   Chapter 8. Effects of Missionary Efforts--Belief in the Deity--
   Ideas of the Bakwains on Religion--Departure from their
   Country--Salt-pans--Sour Curd--Nchokotsa--Bitter Waters--
   Thirst suffered by the wild Animals--Wanton Cruelty in
   Hunting--Ntwetwe--Mowana-trees--Their extraordinary Vitality--
   The Mopane-tree--The Morala--The Bushmen--Their Superstitions--
   Elephant-hunting--Superiority of civilized over barbarous
   Sportsmen--The Chief Kaisa--His Fear of Responsibility--Beauty
   of the Country at Unku--The Mohonono Bush--Severe Labor in
   cutting our Way--Party seized with Fever--Escape of our
   Cattle--Bakwain Mode of recapturing them--Vagaries of sick
   Servants--Discovery of grape-bearing Vines--An Ant-eater--
   Difficulty of passing through the Forest--Sickness of my
   Companion--The Bushmen--Their Mode of destroying Lions--
   Poisons--The solitary Hill--A picturesque Valley--Beauty of
   the Country--Arrive at the Sanshureh River--The flooded
   Prairies--A pontooning Expedition--A night Bivouac--The Chobe--
   Arrive at the Village of Moremi--Surprise of the Makololo at
   our sudden Appearance--Cross the Chobe on our way to Linyanti.

   Chapter 9. Reception at Linyanti--The court Herald--Sekeletu
   obtains the Chieftainship from his Sister--Mpepe's Plot--
   Slave-trading Mambari--Their sudden Flight--Sekeletu narrowly
   escapes Assassination--Execution of Mpepe--The Courts of Law--
   Mode of trying Offenses--Sekeletu's Reason for not learning to
   read the Bible--The Disposition made of the Wives of a
   deceased Chief--Makololo Women--They work but little--Employ
   Serfs--Their Drink, Dress, and Ornaments--Public Religious
   Services in the Kotla--Unfavorable Associations of the place--
   Native Doctors--Proposals to teach the Makololo to read--
   Sekeletu's Present--Reason for accepting it--Trading in Ivory--
   Accidental Fire--Presents for Sekeletu--Two Breeds of native
   Cattle--Ornamenting the Cattle--The Women and the Looking-
   glass--Mode of preparing the Skins of Oxen for Mantles and for
   Shields--Throwing the Spear.

   Chapter 10. The Fever--Its Symptoms--Remedies of the native
   Doctors--Hospitality of Sekeletu and his People--One of their
   Reasons for Polygamy--They cultivate largely--The Makalaka or
   subject Tribes--Sebituane's Policy respecting them--Their
   Affection for him--Products of the Soil--Instrument of
   Culture--The Tribute--Distributed by the Chief--A warlike
   Demonstration--Lechulatebe's Provocations--The Makololo
   determine to punish him--The Bechuanas--Meaning of the Term--
   Three Divisions of the great Family of South Africans.

   Chapter 11. Departure from Linyanti for Sesheke--Level
   Country--Ant-hills--Wild Date-trees--Appearance of our
   Attendants on the March--The Chief's Guard--They attempt to
   ride on Ox-back--Vast Herds of the new Antelopes, Leches, and
   Nakongs--The native way of hunting them--Reception at the
   Villages--Presents of Beer and Milk--Eating with the Hand--The
   Chief provides the Oxen for Slaughter--Social Mode of Eating--
   The Sugar-cane--Sekeletu's novel Test of Character--
   Cleanliness of Makololo Huts--Their Construction and
   Appearance--The Beds--Cross the Leeambye--Aspect of this part
   of the Country--The small Antelope Tianyane unknown in the
   South--Hunting on foot--An Eland.

   Chapter 12. Procure Canoes and ascend the Leeambye--Beautiful
   Islands--Winter Landscape--Industry and Skill of the Banyeti--
   Rapids--Falls of Gonye--Tradition--Annual Inundations--
   Fertility of the great Barotse Valley--Execution of two
   Conspirators--The Slave-dealer's Stockade--Naliele, the
   Capital, built on an artificial Mound--Santuru, a great
   Hunter--The Barotse Method of commemorating any remarkable
   Event--Better Treatment of Women--More religious Feeling--
   Belief in a future State, and in the Existence of spiritual
   Beings--Gardens--Fish, Fruit, and Game--Proceed to the Limits
   of the Barotse Country--Sekeletu provides Rowers and a Herald--
   The River and Vicinity--Hippopotamus-hunters--No healthy
   Location--Determine to go to Loanda--Buffaloes, Elands, and
   Lions above Libonta--Interview with the Mambari--Two Arabs
   from Zanzibar--Their Opinion of the Portuguese and the English
   --Reach the Town of Ma-Sekeletu--Joy of the People at the
   first Visit of their Chief--Return to Sesheke--Heathenism.

   Chapter 13. Preliminary Arrangements for the Journey--A Picho--
   Twenty-seven Men appointed to accompany me to the West--
   Eagerness of the Makololo for direct Trade with the Coast--
   Effects of Fever--A Makololo Question--The lost Journal--
   Reflections--The Outfit for the Journey--11th November, 1853,
   leave Linyanti, and embark on the Chobe--Dangerous
   Hippopotami--Banks of Chobe--Trees--The Course of the River--
   The Island Mparia at the Confluence of the Chobe and the
   Leeambye--Anecdote--Ascend the Leeambye--A Makalaka Mother
   defies the Authority of the Makololo Head Man at Sesheke--
   Punishment of Thieves--Observance of the new Moon--Public
   Addresses at Sesheke--Attention of the People--Results--
   Proceed up the River--The Fruit which yields 'Nux vomica'--
   Other Fruits--The Rapids--Birds--Fish--Hippopotami and their

   Chapter 14. Increasing Beauty of the Country--Mode of spending
   the Day--The People and the Falls of Gonye--A Makololo Foray--
   A second prevented, and Captives delivered up--Politeness and
   Liberality of the People--The Rains--Present of Oxen--The
   fugitive Barotse--Sekobinyane's Misgovernment--Bee-eaters and
   other Birds--Fresh-water Sponges--Current--Death from a Lion's
   Bite at Libonta--Continued Kindness--Arrangements for spending
   the Night during the Journey--Cooking and Washing--Abundance
   of animal Life--Different Species of Birds--Water-fowl--
   Egyptian Geese--Alligators--Narrow Escape of one of my Men--
   Superstitious Feelings respecting the Alligator--Large Game--
   The most vulnerable Spot--Gun Medicine--A Sunday--Birds of
   Song--Depravity; its Treatment--Wild Fruits--Green Pigeons--
   Shoals of Fish--Hippopotami.

   Chapter 15. Message to Masiko, the Barotse Chief, regarding
   the Captives--Navigation of the Leeambye--Capabilities of this
   District--The Leeba--Flowers and Bees--Buffalo-hunt--Field for
   a Botanist--Young Alligators; their savage Nature--Suspicion
   of the Balonda--Sekelenke's Present--A Man and his two Wives--
   Hunters--Message from Manenko, a female Chief--Mambari
   Traders--A Dream--Sheakondo and his People--Teeth-filing--
   Desire for Butter--Interview with Nyamoana, another female
   Chief--Court Etiquette--Hair versus Wool--Increase of
   Superstition--Arrival of Manenko; her Appearance and Husband--
   Mode of Salutation--Anklets--Embassy, with a Present from
   Masiko--Roast Beef--Manioc--Magic Lantern--Manenko an
   accomplished Scold:  compels us to wait--Unsuccessful Zebra-

   Chapter 16. Nyamoana's Present--Charms--Manenko's pedestrian
   Powers--An Idol--Balonda Arms--Rain--Hunger--Palisades--Dense
   Forests--Artificial Beehives--Mushrooms--Villagers lend the
   Roofs of their Houses--Divination and Idols--Manenko's Whims--
   A night Alarm--Shinte's Messengers and Present--The proper
   Way to approach a Village--A Merman--Enter Shinte's Town:  its
   Appearance--Meet two half-caste Slave-traders--The Makololo
   scorn them--The Balonda real Negroes--Grand Reception from
   Shinte--His Kotla--Ceremony of Introduction--The Orators--
   Women--Musicians and Musical Instruments--A disagreeable
   Request--Private Interviews with Shinte--Give him an Ox--
   Fertility of Soil--Manenko's new Hut--Conversation with
   Shinte--Kolimbota's Proposal--Balonda's Punctiliousness--
   Selling Children--Kidnapping--Shinte's Offer of a Slave--Magic
   Lantern--Alarm of Women--Delay--Sambanza returns intoxicated--
   The last and greatest Proof of Shinte's Friendship.

   Chapter 17. Leave Shinte--Manioc Gardens--Mode of preparing
   the poisonous kind--Its general Use--Presents of Food--
   Punctiliousness of the Balonda--Their Idols and Superstition--
   Dress of the Balonda--Villages beyond Lonaje--Cazembe--Our
   Guides and the Makololo--Night Rains--Inquiries for English
   cotton Goods--Intemese's Fiction--Visit from an old Man--
   Theft--Industry of our Guide--Loss of Pontoon--Plains covered
   with Water--Affection of the Balonda for their Mothers--A
   Night on an Island--The Grass on the Plains--Source of the
   Rivers--Loan of the Roofs of Huts--A Halt--Fertility of the
   Country through which the Lokalueje flows--Omnivorous Fish--
   Natives' Mode of catching them--The Village of a Half-brother
   of Katema, his Speech and Present--Our Guide's Perversity--
   Mozenkwa's pleasant Home and Family--Clear Water of the
   flooded Rivers--A Messenger from Katema--Quendende's Village:
   his Kindness--Crop of Wool--Meet People from the Town of
   Matiamvo--Fireside Talk--Matiamvo's Character and Conduct--
   Presentation at Katema's Court: his Present, good Sense, and
   Appearance--Interview on the following Day--Cattle--A Feast
   and a Makololo Dance--Arrest of a Fugitive--Dignified old
   Courtier--Katema's lax Government--Cold Wind from the North--
   Canaries and other singing Birds--Spiders, their Nests and
   Webs--Lake Dilolo--Tradition--Sagacity of Ants.

   Chapter 18. The Watershed between the northern and southern
   Rivers--A deep Valley--Rustic Bridge--Fountains on the Slopes
   of the Valleys--Village of Kabinje--Good Effects of the Belief
   in the Power of Charms--Demand for Gunpowder and English
   Calico--The Kasai--Vexatious Trick--Want of Food--No Game--
   Katende's unreasonable Demand--A grave Offense--Toll-bridge
   Keeper--Greedy Guides--Flooded Valleys--Swim the Nyuana Loke--
   Prompt Kindness of my Men--Makololo Remarks on the rich
   uncultivated Valleys--Difference in the Color of Africans--
   Reach a Village of the Chiboque--The Head Man's impudent
   Message--Surrounds our Encampment with his Warriors--The
   Pretense--Their Demand--Prospect of a Fight--Way in which it
   was averted--Change our Path--Summer--Fever--Beehives and the
   Honey-guide--Instinct of Trees--Climbers--The Ox Sinbad--
   Absence of Thorns in the Forests--Plant peculiar to a forsaken
   Garden--Bad Guides--Insubordination suppressed--Beset by
   Enemies--A Robber Party--More Troubles--Detained by Ionga
   Panza--His Village--Annoyed by Bangala Traders--My Men
   discouraged--Their Determination and Precaution.

   Chapter 19. Guides prepaid--Bark Canoes--Deserted by Guides--
   Mistakes respecting the Coanza--Feelings of freed Slaves--
   Gardens and Villages--Native Traders--A Grave--Valley of the
   Quango--Bamboo--White Larvae used as Food--Bashinje Insolence--
   A posing Question--The Chief Sansawe--His Hostility--Pass him
   safely--The River Quango--Chief's mode of dressing his Hair--
   Opposition--Opportune Aid by Cypriano--His generous
   Hospitality--Ability of Half-castes to read and write--Books
   and Images--Marauding Party burned in the Grass--Arrive at
   Cassange--A good Supper--Kindness of Captain Neves--
   Portuguese Curiosity and Questions--Anniversary of the
   Resurrection--No Prejudice against Color--Country around
   Cassange--Sell Sekeletu's Ivory--Makololo's Surprise at the
   high Price obtained--Proposal to return Home, and Reasons--
   Soldier-guide--Hill Kasala--Tala Mungongo, Village of--
   Civility of Basongo--True Negroes--A Field of Wheat--Carriers--
   Sleeping-places--Fever--Enter District of Ambaca--Good Fruits
   of Jesuit Teaching--The 'Tampan'; its Bite--Universal
   Hospitality of the Portuguese--A Tale of the Mambari--
   Exhilarating Effects of Highland Scenery--District of Golungo
   Alto--Want of good Roads--Fertility--Forests of gigantic
   Timber--Native Carpenters--Coffee Estate--Sterility of Country
   near the Coast--Mosquitoes--Fears of the Makololo--Welcome by
   Mr. Gabriel to Loanda.

   Chapter 20. Continued Sickness--Kindness of the Bishop of
   Angola and her Majesty's Officers--Mr. Gabriel's unwearied
   Hospitality--Serious Deportment of the Makololo--They visit
   Ships of War--Politeness of the Officers and Men--The Makololo
   attend Mass in the Cathedral--Their Remarks--Find Employment
   in collecting Firewood and unloading Coal--Their superior
   Judgment respecting Goods--Beneficial Influence of the Bishop
   of Angola--The City of St. Paul de Loanda--The Harbor--Custom-
   house--No English Merchants--Sincerity of the Portuguese
   Government in suppressing the Slave-trade--Convict Soldiers--
   Presents from Bishop and Merchants for Sekeletu--Outfit--Leave
   Loanda 20th September, 1854--Accompanied by Mr. Gabriel as far
   as Icollo i Bengo--Sugar Manufactory--Geology of this part of
   the Country--Women spinning Cotton--Its Price--Native Weavers--
   Market-places--Cazengo; its Coffee Plantations--South
   American Trees--Ruins of Iron Foundry--Native Miners--The
   Banks of the Lucalla--Cottages with Stages--Tobacco-plants--
   Town of Massangano--Sugar and Rice--Superior District for
   Cotton--Portuguese Merchants and foreign Enterprise--Ruins--
   The Fort and its ancient Guns--Former Importance of
   Massangano--Fires--The Tribe Kisama--Peculiar Variety of
   Domestic Fowl--Coffee Plantations--Return to Golungo Alto--
   Self-complacency of the Makololo--Fever--Jaundice--Insanity.

   Chapter 21. Visit a deserted Convent--Favorable Report of
   Jesuits and their Teaching--Gradations of native Society--
   Punishment of Thieves--Palm-toddy; its baneful Effects--
   Freemasons--Marriages and Funerals--Litigation--Mr. Canto's
   Illness--Bad Behavior of his Slaves--An Entertainment--Ideas
   on Free Labor--Loss of American Cotton-seed--Abundance of
   Cotton in the country--Sickness of Sekeletu's Horse--Eclipse
   of the Sun--Insects which distill Water--Experiments with
   them--Proceed to Ambaca--Sickly Season--Office of Commandant--
   Punishment of official Delinquents--Present from Mr. Schut of
   Loanda--Visit Pungo Andongo--Its good Pasturage, Grain, Fruit,
   etc.--The Fort and columnar Rocks--The Queen of Jinga--
   Salubrity of Pungo Andongo--Price of a Slave--A Merchant-
   prince--His Hospitality--Hear of the Loss of my Papers in
   "Forerunner"--Narrow Escape from an Alligator--Ancient Burial-
   places--Neglect of Agriculture in Angola--Manioc the staple
   Product--Its Cheapness--Sickness--Friendly Visit from a
   colored Priest--The Prince of Congo--No Priests in the
   Interior of Angola.

   Chapter 22. Leave Pungo Andongo--Extent of Portuguese Power--
   Meet Traders and Carriers--Red Ants; their fierce Attack;
   Usefulness; Numbers--Descend the Heights of Tala Mungongo--
   Fruit-trees in the Valley of Cassange--Edible Muscle--Birds--
   Cassange Village--Quinine and Cathory--Sickness of Captain
   Neves' Infant--A Diviner thrashed--Death of the Child--
   Mourning--Loss of Life from the Ordeal--Wide-spread
   Superstitions--The Chieftainship--Charms--Receive Copies of
   the "Times"--Trading Pombeiros--Present for Matiamvo--Fever
   after westerly Winds--Capabilities of Angola for producing the
   raw Materials of English Manufacture--Trading Parties with
   Ivory--More Fever--A Hyaena's Choice--Makololo Opinion of the
   Portuguese--Cypriano's Debt--A Funeral--Dread of disembodied
   Spirits--Beautiful Morning Scenes--Crossing the Quango--
   Ambakistas called "The Jews of Angola"--Fashions of the
   Bashinje--Approach the Village of Sansawe--His Idea of
   Dignity--The Pombeiros' Present--Long Detention--A Blow on the
   Beard--Attacked in a Forest--Sudden Conversion of a fighting
   Chief to Peace Principles by means of a Revolver--No Blood
   shed in consequence--Rate of Traveling--Slave Women--Way of
   addressing Slaves--Their thievish Propensities--Feeders of the
   Congo or Zaire--Obliged to refuse Presents--Cross the Loajima--
   Appearance of People; Hair Fashions.

   Chapter 23. Make a Detour southward--Peculiarities of the
   Inhabitants--Scarcity of Animals--Forests--Geological
   Structure of the Country--Abundance and Cheapness of Food near
   the Chihombo--A Slave lost--The Makololo Opinion of
   Slaveholders--Funeral Obsequies in Cabango--Send a Sketch of
   the Country to Mr. Gabriel--Native Information respecting the
   Kasai and Quango--The Trade with Luba--Drainage of Londa--
   Report of Matiamvo's Country and Government--Senhor Faria's
   Present to a Chief--The Balonda Mode of spending Time--
   Faithless Guide--Makololo lament the Ignorance of the Balonda--
   Eagerness of the Villagers for Trade--Civility of a Female
   Chief--The Chief Bango and his People--Refuse to eat Beef--
   Ambition of Africans to have a Village--Winters in the
   Interior--Spring at Kolobeng--White Ants:  "Never could desire
   to eat any thing better"--Young Herbage and Animals--Valley of
   the Loembwe--The white Man a Hobgoblin--Specimen of
   Quarreling--Eager Desire for Calico--Want of Clothing at
   Kawawa's--Funeral Observances--Agreeable Intercourse with
   Kawawa--His impudent Demand--Unpleasant Parting--Kawawa tries
   to prevent our crossing the River Kasai--Stratagem.

   Chapter 24. Level Plains--Vultures and other Birds--Diversity
   of Color in Flowers of the same Species--The Sundew--Twenty-
   seventh Attack of Fever--A River which flows in opposite
   Directions--Lake Dilolo the Watershed between the Atlantic and
   Indian Oceans--Position of Rocks--Sir Roderick Murchison's
   Explanation--Characteristics of the Rainy Season in connection
   with the Floods of the Zambesi and the Nile--Probable Reason
   of Difference in Amount of Rain South and North of the
   Equator--Arab Reports of Region east of Londa--Probable
   Watershed of the Zambesi and the Nile--Lake Dilolo--Reach
   Katema's Town:  his renewed Hospitality; desire to appear like
   a White Man; ludicrous Departure--Jackdaws--Ford southern
   Branch of Lake Dilolo--Small Fish--Project for a Makololo
   Village near the Confluence of the Leeba and the Leeambye--
   Hearty Welcome from Shinte--Kolimbota's Wound--Plant-seeds and
   Fruit-trees brought from Angola--Masiko and Limboa's Quarrel--
   Nyamoana now a Widow--Purchase Canoes and descend the Leeba--
   Herds of wild Animals on its Banks--Unsuccessful Buffalo-
   hunt--Frogs--Sinbad and the Tsetse--Dispatch a Message to
   Manenko--Arrival of her Husband Sambanza--The Ceremony called
   Kasendi--Unexpected Fee for performing a surgical Operation--
   Social Condition of the Tribes--Desertion of Mboenga--
   Stratagem of Mambowe Hunters--Water-turtles--Charged by a
   Buffalo--Reception from the People of Libonta--Explain the
   Causes of our long Delay--Pitsane's Speech--Thanksgiving
   Services--Appearance of my "Braves"--Wonderful Kindness of the

   Chapter 25. Colony of Birds called Linkololo--The Village of
   Chitlane--Murder of Mpololo's Daughter--Execution of the
   Murderer and his Wife--My Companions find that their Wives
   have married other Husbands--Sunday--A Party from Masiko--
   Freedom of Speech--Canoe struck by a Hippopotamus--Gonye--
   Appearance of Trees at the end of Winter--Murky Atmosphere--
   Surprising Amount of organic Life--Hornets--The Packages
   forwarded by Mr. Moffat--Makololo Suspicions and Reply to the
   Matebele who brought them--Convey the Goods to an Island and
   build a Hut over them--Ascertain that Sir R. Murchison had
   recognized the true Form of African Continent--Arrival at
   Linyanti--A grand Picho--Shrewd Inquiry--Sekeletu in his
   Uniform--A Trading-party sent to Loanda with Ivory--Mr.
   Gabriel's Kindness to them--Difficulties in Trading--Two
   Makololo Forays during our Absence--Report of the Country to
   the N.E.--Death of influential Men--The Makololo desire to be
   nearer the Market--Opinions upon a Change of Residence--
   Climate of Barotse Valley--Diseases--Author's Fevers not a
   fair Criterion in the Matter--The Interior an inviting Field
   for the Philanthropist--Consultations about a Path to the East
   Coast--Decide on descending North Bank of Zambesi--Wait for
   the Rainy Season--Native way of spending Time during the
   period of greatest Heat--Favorable Opening for Missionary
   Enterprise--Ben Habib wishes to marry--A Maiden's Choice--
   Sekeletu's Hospitality--Sulphureted Hydrogen and Malaria--
   Conversations with Makololo--Their moral Character and
   Conduct--Sekeletu wishes to purchase a Sugar-mill, etc.--The
   Donkeys--Influence among the Natives--"Food fit for a Chief"--
   Parting Words of Mamire--Motibe's Excuses.

   Chapter 26. Departure from Linyanti--A Thunder-storm--An Act
   of genuine Kindness--Fitted out a second time by the Makololo--
   Sail down the Leeambye--Sekote's Kotla and human Skulls; his
   Grave adorned with Elephants' Tusks--Victoria Falls--Native
   Names--Columns of Vapor--Gigantic Crack--Wear of the Rocks--
   Shrines of the Barimo--"The Pestle of the Gods"--Second Visit
   to the Falls--Island Garden--Store-house Island--Native
   Diviners--A European Diviner--Makololo Foray--Marauder to be
   fined--Mambari--Makololo wish to stop Mambari Slave-trading--
   Part with Sekeletu--Night Traveling--River Lekone--Ancient
   fresh-water Lakes--Formation of Lake Ngami--Native Traditions--
   Drainage of the Great Valley--Native Reports of the Country
   to the North--Maps--Moyara's Village--Savage Customs of the
   Batoka--A Chain of Trading Stations--Remedy against Tsetse--
   "The Well of Joy"--First Traces of Trade with Europeans--
   Knocking out the front Teeth--Facetious Explanation--
   Degradation of the Batoka--Description of the Traveling Party--
   Cross the Unguesi--Geological Formation--Ruins of a large
   Town--Productions of the Soil similar to those in Angola--
   Abundance of Fruit.

   Chapter 27. Low Hills--Black Soldier-Ants; their Cannibalism--
   The Plasterer and its Chloroform--White Ants; their
   Usefulness--Mutokwane-smoking; its Effects--Border Territory--
   Healthy Table-lands--Geological Formation--Cicadae--Trees--
   Flowers--River Kalomo--Physical Conformation of Country--
   Ridges, sanatoria--A wounded Buffalo assisted--Buffalo-bird--
   Rhinoceros-bird--Leaders of Herds--The Honey-guide--The White
   Mountain--Mozuma River--Sebituane's old Home--Hostile Village--
   Prophetic Phrensy--Food of the Elephant--Ant-hills--Friendly
   Batoka--Clothing despised--Method of Salutation--Wild Fruits--
   The Captive released--Longings for Peace--Pingola's Conquests--
   The Village of Monze--Aspect of the Country--Visit from the
   Chief Monze and his Wife--Central healthy Locations--Friendly
   Feelings of the People in reference to a white Resident--
   Fertility of the Soil--Bashukulompo Mode of dressing their
   Hair--Gratitude of the Prisoner we released--Kindness and
   Remarks of Monze's Sister--Dip of the Rocks--Vegetation--
   Generosity of the Inhabitants--Their Anxiety for Medicine--
   Hooping-cough--Birds and Rain.

   Chapter 28. Beautiful Valley--Buffalo--My young Men kill two
   Elephants--The Hunt--Mode of measuring Height of live
   Elephants--Wild Animals smaller here than in the South, though
   their Food is more abundant--The Elephant a dainty Feeder--
   Semalembue--His Presents--Joy in prospect of living in Peace--
   Trade--His People's way of wearing their Hair--Their Mode of
   Salutation--Old Encampment--Sebituane's former Residence--Ford
   of Kafue--Hippopotami--Hills and Villages--Geological
   Formation--Prodigious Quantities of large Game--Their
   Tameness--Rains--Less Sickness than in the Journey to Loanda--
   Reason--Charge from an Elephant--Vast Amount of animal Life on
   the Zambesi--Water of River discolored--An Island with
   Buffaloes and Men on it--Native Devices for killing Game--
   Tsetse now in Country--Agricultural Industry--An Albino
   murdered by his Mother--"Guilty of Tlolo"--Women who make
   their Mouths "like those of Ducks"--First Symptom of the
   Slave-trade on this side--Selole's Hostility--An armed Party
   hoaxed--An Italian Marauder slain--Elephant's Tenacity of
   Life--A Word to young Sportsmen--Mr. Oswell's Adventure with
   an Elephant; narrow Escape--Mburuma's Village--Suspicious
   Conduct of his People--Guides attempt to detain us--The
   Village and People of Ma Mburuma--Character our Guides give of

   Chapter 29. Confluence of Loangwa and Zambesi--Hostile
   Appearances--Ruins of a Church--Turmoil of Spirit--Cross the
   River--Friendly Parting--Ruins of stone Houses--The Situation
   of Zumbo for Commerce--Pleasant Gardens--Dr. Lacerda's Visit
   to Cazembe--Pereira's Statement--Unsuccessful Attempt to
   establish Trade with the People of Cazembe--One of my Men
   tossed by a Buffalo--Meet a Man with Jacket and Hat on--Hear
   of the Portuguese and native War--Holms and Terraces on the
   Banks of a River--Dancing for Corn--Beautiful Country--
   Mpende's Hostility--Incantations--A Fight anticipated--Courage
   and Remarks of my Men--Visit from two old Councilors of
   Mpende--Their Opinion of the English--Mpende concludes not to
   fight us--His subsequent Friendship--Aids us to cross the
   River--The Country--Sweet Potatoes--Bakwain Theory of Rain
   confirmed--Thunder without Clouds--Desertion of one of my Men--
   Other Natives' Ideas of the English--Dalama (gold)--
   Inhabitants dislike Slave-buyers--Meet native Traders with
   American Calico--Game-laws--Elephant Medicine--Salt from the
   Sand--Fertility of Soil--Spotted Hyaena--Liberality and
   Politeness of the People--Presents--A stingy white Trader--
   Natives' Remarks about him--Effect on their Minds--Rain and
   Wind now from an opposite Direction--Scarcity of Fuel--Trees
   for Boat-building--Boroma--Freshets--Leave the River--Chicova,
   its Geological Features--Small Rapid near Tete--Loquacious
   Guide--Nyampungo, the Rain-charmer--An old Man--No Silver--
   Gold-washing--No Cattle.

   Chapter 30. An Elephant-hunt--Offering and Prayers to the
   Barimo for Success--Native Mode of Expression--Working of
   Game-laws--A Feast--Laughing Hyaenas--Numerous Insects--
   Curious Notes of Birds of Song--Caterpillars--Butterflies--
   Silica--The Fruit Makoronga and Elephants--Rhinoceros
   Adventure--Korwe Bird--Its Nest--A real Confinement--Honey and
   Beeswax--Superstitious Reverence for the Lion--Slow Traveling--
   Grapes--The Ue--Monina's Village--Native Names--Government of
   the Banyai--Electing a Chief--Youths instructed in "Bonyai"--
   Suspected of Falsehood--War-dance--Insanity and Disappearance
   of Monahin--Fruitless Search--Monina's Sympathy--The Sand-
   river Tangwe--The Ordeal Muavi: its Victims--An unreasonable
   Man--"Woman's Rights"--Presents--Temperance--A winding Course
   to shun Villages--Banyai Complexion and Hair--Mushrooms--The
   Tubers, Mokuri--The Tree Shekabakadzi--Face of the Country--
   Pot-holes--Pursued by a Party of Natives--Unpleasant Threat--
   Aroused by a Company of Soldiers--A civilized Breakfast--
   Arrival at Tete.

   Chapter 31. Kind Reception from the Commandant--His Generosity
   to my Men--The Village of Tete--The Population--Distilled
   Spirits--The Fort--Cause of the Decadence of Portuguese Power--
   Former Trade--Slaves employed in Gold-washing--Slave-trade
   drained the Country of Laborers--The Rebel Nyaude's Stockade--
   He burns Tete--Kisaka's Revolt and Ravages--Extensive Field of
   Sugar-cane--The Commandant's good Reputation among the
   Natives--Providential Guidance--Seams of Coal--A hot Spring--
   Picturesque Country--Water-carriage to the Coal-fields--
   Workmen's Wages--Exports--Price of Provisions--Visit Gold-
   washings--The Process of obtaining the precious Metal--Coal
   within a Gold-field--Present from Major Sicard--Natives raise
   Wheat, etc.--Liberality of the Commandant--Geographical
   Information from Senhor Candido--Earthquakes--Native Ideas of
   a Supreme Being--Also of the Immortality and Transmigration of
   Souls--Fondness for Display at Funerals--Trade Restrictions--
   Former Jesuit Establishment--State of Religion and Education
   at Tete--Inundation of the Zambesi--Cotton cultivated--The
   fibrous Plants Conge and Buaze--Detained by Fever--The
   Kumbanzo Bark--Native Medicines--Iron, its Quality--Hear of
   Famine at Kilimane--Death of a Portuguese Lady--The Funeral--
   Disinterested Kindness of the Portuguese.

   Chapter 32. Leave Tete and proceed down the River--Pass the
   Stockade of Bonga--Gorge of Lupata--"Spine of the World"--
   Width of River--Islands--War Drum at Shiramba--Canoe
   Navigation--Reach Senna--Its ruinous State--Landeens levy
   Fines upon the Inhabitants--Cowardice of native Militia--State
   of the Revenue--No direct Trade with Portugal--Attempts to
   revive the Trade of Eastern Africa--Country round Senna--
   Gorongozo, a Jesuit Station--Manica, the best Gold Region in
   Eastern Africa--Boat-building at Senna--Our Departure--Capture
   of a Rebel Stockade--Plants Alfacinya and Njefu at the
   Confluence of the Shire--Landeen Opinion of the Whites--
   Mazaro, the point reached by Captain Parker--His Opinion
   respecting the Navigation of the River from this to the Ocean--
   Lieutenant Hoskins' Remarks on the same subject--Fever, its
   Effects--Kindly received into the House of Colonel Nunes at
   Kilimane--Forethought of Captain Nolloth and Dr. Walsh--Joy
   imbittered--Deep Obligations to the Earl of Clarendon, etc.--
   On developing Resources of the Interior--Desirableness of
   Missionary Societies selecting healthy Stations--Arrangements
   on leaving my Men--Retrospect--Probable Influence of the
   Discoveries on Slavery--Supply of Cotton, Sugar, etc., by Free
   Labor--Commercial Stations--Development of the Resources of
   Africa a Work of Time--Site of Kilimane--Unhealthiness--Death
   of a shipwrecked Crew from Fever--The Captain saved by
   Quinine--Arrival of H. M. Brig "Frolic"--Anxiety of one of my
   Men to go to England--Rough Passage in the Boats to the Ship--
   Sekwebu's Alarm--Sail for Mauritius--Sekwebu on board; he
   becomes insane; drowns himself--Kindness of Major-General C.
   M. Hay--Escape Shipwreck--Reach Home.

   Appendix.--Latitudes and Longitudes of Positions.

   Appendix.--Book Review in Harper's New Monthly Magazine,
   February, 1858.

   Appendix.--Notes to etext.


Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa.



Personal Sketch--Highland Ancestors--Family Traditions--Grandfather
removes to the Lowlands--Parents--Early Labors and Efforts
--Evening School--Love of Reading--Religious Impressions--Medical
Education--Youthful Travels--Geology--Mental Discipline--Study
in Glasgow--London Missionary Society--Native Village--Medical
Diploma--Theological Studies--Departure for Africa--No Claim to Literary

My own inclination would lead me to say as little as possible about
myself; but several friends, in whose judgment I have confidence, have
suggested that, as the reader likes to know something about the author,
a short account of his origin and early life would lend additional
interest to this book. Such is my excuse for the following egotism; and,
if an apology be necessary for giving a genealogy, I find it in the fact
that it is not very long, and contains only one incident of which I have
reason to be proud.

Our great-grandfather fell at the battle of Culloden, fighting for the
old line of kings; and our grandfather was a small farmer in Ulva,
where my father was born. It is one of that cluster of the Hebrides thus
alluded to by Walter Scott:

   "And Ulva dark, and Colonsay,
   And all the group of islets gay
   That guard famed Staffa round."*

   * Lord of the Isles, canto 4.

Our grandfather was intimately acquainted with all the traditionary
legends which that great writer has since made use of in the "Tales of a
Grandfather" and other works. As a boy I remember listening to him with
delight, for his memory was stored with a never-ending stock of stories,
many of which were wonderfully like those I have since heard while
sitting by the African evening fires. Our grandmother, too, used to
sing Gaelic songs, some of which, as she believed, had been composed by
captive islanders languishing hopelessly among the Turks.

Grandfather could give particulars of the lives of his ancestors for
six generations of the family before him; and the only point of the
tradition I feel proud of is this: One of these poor hardy islanders
was renowned in the district for great wisdom and prudence; and it is
related that, when he was on his death-bed, he called all his children
around him and said, "Now, in my lifetime, I have searched most
carefully through all the traditions I could find of our family, and
I never could discover that there was a dishonest man among our
forefathers. If, therefore, any of you or any of your children should
take to dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in our blood: it
does not belong to you. I leave this precept with you: Be honest." If,
therefore, in the following pages I fall into any errors, I hope they
will be dealt with as honest mistakes, and not as indicating that I have
forgotten our ancient motto. This event took place at a time when the
Highlanders, according to Macaulay, were much like the Cape Caffres,
and any one, it was said, could escape punishment for cattle-stealing by
presenting a share of the plunder to his chieftain. Our ancestors were
Roman Catholics; they were made Protestants by the laird coming round
with a man having a yellow staff, which would seem to have attracted
more attention than his teaching, for the new religion went long
afterward, perhaps it does so still, by the name of "the religion of the
yellow stick".

Finding his farm in Ulva insufficient to support a numerous family, my
grandfather removed to Blantyre Works, a large cotton manufactory on
the beautiful Clyde, above Glasgow; and his sons, having had the best
education the Hebrides afforded, were gladly received as clerks by
the proprietors, Monteith and Co. He himself, highly esteemed for his
unflinching honesty, was employed in the conveyance of large sums of
money from Glasgow to the works, and in old age was, according to the
custom of that company, pensioned off, so as to spend his declining
years in ease and comfort.

Our uncles all entered his majesty's service during the last French
war, either as soldiers or sailors; but my father remained at home, and,
though too conscientious ever to become rich as a small tea-dealer, by
his kindliness of manner and winning ways he made the heart-strings
of his children twine around him as firmly as if he had possessed, and
could have bestowed upon them, every worldly advantage. He reared
his children in connection with the Kirk of Scotland--a religious
establishment which has been an incalculable blessing to that
country--but he afterward left it, and during the last twenty years of
his life held the office of deacon of an independent church in Hamilton,
and deserved my lasting gratitude and homage for presenting me, from
my infancy, with a continuously consistent pious example, such as that
ideal of which is so beautifully and truthfully portrayed in Burns's
"Cottar's Saturday Night". He died in February, 1856, in peaceful hope
of that mercy which we all expect through the death of our Lord and
Savior. I was at the time on my way below Zumbo, expecting no greater
pleasure in this country than sitting by our cottage fire and telling
him my travels. I revere his memory.

The earliest recollection of my mother recalls a picture so often seen
among the Scottish poor--that of the anxious housewife striving to
make both ends meet. At the age of ten I was put into the factory as a
"piecer", to aid by my earnings in lessening her anxiety. With a part of
my first week's wages I purchased Ruddiman's "Rudiments of Latin",
and pursued the study of that language for many years afterward, with
unabated ardor, at an evening school, which met between the hours of
eight and ten. The dictionary part of my labors was followed up till
twelve o'clock, or later, if my mother did not interfere by jumping up
and snatching the books out of my hands. I had to be back in the
factory by six in the morning, and continue my work, with intervals for
breakfast and dinner, till eight o'clock at night. I read in this way
many of the classical authors, and knew Virgil and Horace better at
sixteen than I do now. Our schoolmaster--happily still alive--was
supported in part by the company; he was attentive and kind, and so
moderate in his charges that all who wished for education might have
obtained it. Many availed themselves of the privilege; and some of my
schoolfellows now rank in positions far above what they appeared ever
likely to come to when in the village school. If such a system were
established in England, it would prove a never-ending blessing to the

In reading, every thing that I could lay my hands on was devoured except
novels. Scientific works and books of travels were my especial delight;
though my father, believing, with many of his time who ought to have
known better, that the former were inimical to religion, would have
preferred to have seen me poring over the "Cloud of Witnesses", or
Boston's "Fourfold State". Our difference of opinion reached the point
of open rebellion on my part, and his last application of the rod was
on my refusal to peruse Wilberforce's "Practical Christianity". This
dislike to dry doctrinal reading, and to religious reading of every
sort, continued for years afterward; but having lighted on those
admirable works of Dr. Thomas Dick, "The Philosophy of Religion" and
"The Philosophy of a Future State", it was gratifying to find my own
ideas, that religion and science are not hostile, but friendly to each
other, fully proved and enforced.

Great pains had been taken by my parents to instill the doctrines of
Christianity into my mind, and I had no difficulty in understanding the
theory of our free salvation by the atonement of our Savior, but it was
only about this time that I really began to feel the necessity and value
of a personal application of the provisions of that atonement to my own
case. The change was like what may be supposed would take place were it
possible to cure a case of "color blindness". The perfect freeness with
which the pardon of all our guilt is offered in God's book drew forth
feelings of affectionate love to Him who bought us with his blood, and
a sense of deep obligation to Him for his mercy has influenced, in some
small measure, my conduct ever since. But I shall not again refer to
the inner spiritual life which I believe then began, nor do I intend to
specify with any prominence the evangelistic labors to which the love of
Christ has since impelled me. This book will speak, not so much of what
has been done, as of what still remains to be performed, before the
Gospel can be said to be preached to all nations.

In the glow of love which Christianity inspires, I soon resolved to
devote my life to the alleviation of human misery. Turning this idea
over in my mind, I felt that to be a pioneer of Christianity in China
might lead to the material benefit of some portions of that immense
empire; and therefore set myself to obtain a medical education, in order
to be qualified for that enterprise.

In recognizing the plants pointed out in my first medical book, that
extraordinary old work on astrological medicine, Culpeper's "Herbal",
I had the guidance of a book on the plants of Lanarkshire, by Patrick.
Limited as my time was, I found opportunities to scour the whole
country-side, "collecting simples". Deep and anxious were my studies on
the still deeper and more perplexing profundities of astrology, and I
believe I got as far into that abyss of phantasies as my author said he
dared to lead me. It seemed perilous ground to tread on farther, for the
dark hint seemed to my youthful mind to loom toward "selling soul and
body to the devil", as the price of the unfathomable knowledge of the
stars. These excursions, often in company with brothers, one now in
Canada, and the other a clergyman in the United States, gratified my
intense love of nature; and though we generally returned so unmercifully
hungry and fatigued that the embryo parson shed tears, yet we
discovered, to us, so many new and interesting things, that he was
always as eager to join us next time as he was the last.

On one of these exploring tours we entered a limestone quarry--long
before geology was so popular as it is now. It is impossible to describe
the delight and wonder with which I began to collect the shells found
in the carboniferous limestone which crops out in High Blantyre and
Cambuslang. A quarry-man, seeing a little boy so engaged, looked with
that pitying eye which the benevolent assume when viewing the insane.
Addressing him with, "How ever did these shells come into these rocks?"
"When God made the rocks, he made the shells in them," was the damping
reply. What a deal of trouble geologists might have saved themselves by
adopting the Turk-like philosophy of this Scotchman!

My reading while at work was carried on by placing the book on a portion
of the spinning-jenny, so that I could catch sentence after sentence as
I passed at my work; I thus kept up a pretty constant study undisturbed
by the roar of the machinery. To this part of my education I owe my
present power of completely abstracting the mind from surrounding
noises, so as to read and write with perfect comfort amid the play
of children or near the dancing and songs of savages. The toil of
cotton-spinning, to which I was promoted in my nineteenth year, was
excessively severe on a slim, loose-jointed lad, but it was well paid
for; and it enabled me to support myself while attending medical and
Greek classes in Glasgow in winter, as also the divinity lectures of Dr.
Wardlaw, by working with my hands in summer. I never received a farthing
of aid from any one, and should have accomplished my project of going to
China as a medical missionary, in the course of time, by my own efforts,
had not some friends advised my joining the London Missionary Society
on account of its perfectly unsectarian character. It "sends neither
Episcopacy, nor Presbyterianism, nor Independency, but the Gospel of
Christ to the heathen." This exactly agreed with my ideas of what a
missionary society ought to do; but it was not without a pang that I
offered myself, for it was not quite agreeable to one accustomed to work
his own way to become in a measure dependent on others; and I would not
have been much put about though my offer had been rejected.

Looking back now on that life of toil, I can not but feel thankful
that it formed such a material part of my early education; and, were
it possible, I should like to begin life over again in the same lowly
style, and to pass through the same hardy training.

Time and travel have not effaced the feelings of respect I imbibed for
the humble inhabitants of my native village. For morality, honesty,
and intelligence, they were, in general, good specimens of the Scottish
poor. In a population of more than two thousand souls, we had, of
course, a variety of character. In addition to the common run of men,
there were some characters of sterling worth and ability, who exerted
a most beneficial influence on the children and youth of the place by
imparting gratuitous religious instruction.* Much intelligent interest
was felt by the villagers in all public questions, and they furnished a
proof that the possession of the means of education did not render them
an unsafe portion of the population. They felt kindly toward each other,
and much respected those of the neighboring gentry who, like the late
Lord Douglas, placed some confidence in their sense of honor. Through
the kindness of that nobleman, the poorest among us could stroll at
pleasure over the ancient domains of Bothwell, and other spots hallowed
by the venerable associations of which our school-books and local
traditions made us well aware; and few of us could view the dear
memorials of the past without feeling that these carefully kept
monuments were our own. The masses of the working-people of Scotland
have read history, and are no revolutionary levelers. They rejoice in
the memories of "Wallace and Bruce and a' the lave," who are still much
revered as the former champions of freedom. And while foreigners imagine
that we want the spirit only to overturn capitalists and aristocracy, we
are content to respect our laws till we can change them, and hate those
stupid revolutions which might sweep away time-honored institutions,
dear alike to rich and poor.

   * The reader will pardon my mentioning the names of two of
   these most worthy men--David Hogg, who addressed me on his
   death-bed with the words, "Now, lad, make religion the every-
   day business of your life, and not a thing of fits and starts;
   for if you do not, temptation and other things will get the
   better of you;" and Thomas Burke, an old Forty-second
   Peninsula soldier, who has been incessant and never weary in
   good works for about forty years. I was delighted to find him
   still alive; men like these are an honor to their country and

Having finished the medical curriculum and presented a thesis on a
subject which required the use of the stethoscope for its diagnosis, I
unwittingly procured for myself an examination rather more severe
and prolonged than usual among examining bodies. The reason was, that
between me and the examiners a slight difference of opinion existed as
to whether this instrument could do what was asserted. The wiser
plan would have been to have had no opinion of my own. However, I was
admitted a Licentiate of Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons. It was
with unfeigned delight I became a member of a profession which is
pre-eminently devoted to practical benevolence, and which with unwearied
energy pursues from age to age its endeavors to lessen human woe.

But though now qualified for my original plan, the opium war was then
raging, and it was deemed inexpedient for me to proceed to China. I had
fondly hoped to have gained access to that then closed empire by means
of the healing art; but there being no prospect of an early peace with
the Chinese, and as another inviting field was opening out through the
labors of Mr. Moffat, I was induced to turn my thoughts to Africa; and
after a more extended course of theological training in England than
I had enjoyed in Glasgow, I embarked for Africa in 1840, and, after a
voyage of three months, reached Cape Town. Spending but a short time
there, I started for the interior by going round to Algoa Bay, and soon
proceeded inland, and have spent the following sixteen years of my
life, namely, from 1840 to 1856, in medical and missionary labors there
without cost to the inhabitants.

As to those literary qualifications which are acquired by habits of
writing, and which are so important to an author, my African life has
not only not been favorable to the growth of such accomplishments, but
quite the reverse; it has made composition irksome and laborious. I
think I would rather cross the African continent again than undertake to
write another book. It is far easier to travel than to write about it.
I intended on going to Africa to continue my studies; but as I could not
brook the idea of simply entering into other men's labors made ready to
my hands, I entailed on myself, in addition to teaching, manual labor
in building and other handicraft work, which made me generally as much
exhausted and unfit for study in the evenings as ever I had been when
a cotton-spinner. The want of time for self-improvement was the only
source of regret that I experienced during my African career. The
reader, remembering this, will make allowances for the mere gropings for
light of a student who has the vanity to think himself "not yet too old
to learn". More precise information on several subjects has necessarily
been omitted in a popular work like the present; but I hope to give such
details to the scientific reader through some other channel.

Chapter 1.

The Bakwain Country--Study of the Language--Native Ideas regarding
Comets--Mabotsa Station--A Lion Encounter--Virus of the Teeth of
Lions--Names of the Bechuana Tribes--Sechele--His Ancestors--Obtains
the Chieftainship--His Marriage and Government--The Kotla--First public
Religious Services--Sechele's Questions--He Learns to Read--Novel
mode for Converting his Tribe--Surprise at their Indifference--
Polygamy--Baptism of Sechele--Opposition of the Natives--Purchase Land
at Chonuane--Relations with the People--Their Intelligence--Prolonged
Drought--Consequent Trials--Rain-medicine--God's Word blamed--Native
Reasoning--Rain-maker--Dispute between Rain Doctor and Medical
Doctor--The Hunting Hopo--Salt or animal Food a necessary of
Life--Duties of a Missionary.

The general instructions I received from the Directors of the London
Missionary Society led me, as soon as I reached Kuruman or Lattakoo,
then, as it is now, their farthest inland station from the Cape, to turn
my attention to the north. Without waiting longer at Kuruman than was
necessary to recruit the oxen, which were pretty well tired by the long
journey from Algoa Bay, I proceeded, in company with another missionary,
to the Bakuena or Bakwain country, and found Sechele, with his tribe,
located at Shokuane. We shortly after retraced our steps to Kuruman; but
as the objects in view were by no means to be attained by a temporary
excursion of this sort, I determined to make a fresh start into the
interior as soon as possible. Accordingly, after resting three months at
Kuruman, which is a kind of head station in the country, I returned to
a spot about fifteen miles south of Shokuane, called Lepelole (now
Litubaruba). Here, in order to obtain an accurate knowledge of the
language, I cut myself off from all European society for about six
months, and gained by this ordeal an insight into the habits, ways of
thinking, laws, and language of that section of the Bechuanas called
Bakwains, which has proved of incalculable advantage in my intercourse
with them ever since.

In this second journey to Lepelole--so called from a cavern of that
name--I began preparations for a settlement, by making a canal to
irrigate gardens, from a stream then flowing copiously, but now quite
dry. When these preparations were well advanced, I went northward to
visit the Bakaa and Bamangwato, and the Makalaka, living between 22
Degrees and 23 Degrees south latitude. The Bakaa Mountains had been
visited before by a trader, who, with his people, all perished from
fever. In going round the northern part of these basaltic hills near
Letloche I was only ten days distant from the lower part of the Zouga,
which passed by the same name as Lake Ngami;* and I might then (in 1842)
have discovered that lake, had discovery alone been my object. Most part
of this journey beyond Shokuane was performed on foot, in consequence
of the draught oxen having become sick. Some of my companions who had
recently joined us, and did not know that I understood a little of their
speech, were overheard by me discussing my appearance and powers: "He
is not strong; he is quite slim, and only appears stout because he puts
himself into those bags (trowsers); he will soon knock up." This caused
my Highland blood to rise, and made me despise the fatigue of keeping
them all at the top of their speed for days together, and until I heard
them expressing proper opinions of my pedestrian powers.

   * Several words in the African languages begin with the ringing sound
   heard in the end of the word "comING".  If the reader puts an 'i'
   to the beginning of the name of the lake, as Ingami,
   and then sounds the 'i' as little as possible, he will have
   the correct pronunciation.  The Spanish n [ny] is employed
   to denote this sound, and Ngami is spelt nyami--naka means a tusk,
   nyaka a doctor.  Every vowel is sounded in all native words,
   and the emphasis in pronunciation is put upon the penultimate.

Returning to Kuruman, in order to bring my luggage to our proposed
settlement, I was followed by the news that the tribe of Bakwains,
who had shown themselves so friendly toward me, had been driven from
Lepelole by the Barolongs, so that my prospects for the time of forming
a settlement there were at an end. One of those periodical outbreaks
of war, which seem to have occurred from time immemorial, for the
possession of cattle, had burst forth in the land, and had so changed
the relations of the tribes to each other, that I was obliged to set out
anew to look for a suitable locality for a mission station.

In going north again, a comet blazed on our sight, exciting the
wonder of every tribe we visited. That of 1816 had been followed by an
irruption of the Matebele, the most cruel enemies the Bechuanas ever
knew, and this they thought might portend something as bad, or it might
only foreshadow the death of some great chief. On this subject of comets
I knew little more than they did themselves, but I had that confidence
in a kind, overruling Providence, which makes such a difference between
Christians and both the ancient and modern heathen.

As some of the Bamangwato people had accompanied me to Kuruman, I was
obliged to restore them and their goods to their chief Sekomi. This made
a journey to the residence of that chief again necessary, and, for the
first time, I performed a distance of some hundred miles on ox-back.

Returning toward Kuruman, I selected the beautiful valley of Mabotsa
(lat. 25d 14' south, long. 26d 30'?) as the site of a missionary
station, and thither I removed in 1843. Here an occurrence took place
concerning which I have frequently been questioned in England, and
which, but for the importunities of friends, I meant to have kept in
store to tell my children when in my dotage. The Bakatla of the village
Mabotsa were much troubled by lions, which leaped into the cattle-pens
by night, and destroyed their cows. They even attacked the herds in open
day. This was so unusual an occurrence that the people believed that
they were bewitched--"given," as they said, "into the power of the lions
by a neighboring tribe." They went once to attack the animals, but,
being rather a cowardly people compared to Bechuanas in general on such
occasions, they returned without killing any.

It is well known that if one of a troop of lions is killed, the others
take the hint and leave that part of the country. So, the next time the
herds were attacked, I went with the people, in order to encourage them
to rid themselves of the annoyance by destroying one of the marauders.
We found the lions on a small hill about a quarter of a mile in length,
and covered with trees. A circle of men was formed round it, and they
gradually closed up, ascending pretty near to each other. Being down
below on the plain with a native schoolmaster, named Mebalwe, a most
excellent man, I saw one of the lions sitting on a piece of rock within
the now closed circle of men. Mebalwe fired at him before I could, and
the ball struck the rock on which the animal was sitting. He bit at
the spot struck, as a dog does at a stick or stone thrown at him; then
leaping away, broke through the opening circle and escaped unhurt. The
men were afraid to attack him, perhaps on account of their belief in
witchcraft. When the circle was re-formed, we saw two other lions in
it; but we were afraid to fire lest we should strike the men, and they
allowed the beasts to burst through also. If the Bakatla had acted
according to the custom of the country, they would have speared the
lions in their attempt to get out. Seeing we could not get them to kill
one of the lions, we bent our footsteps toward the village; in going
round the end of the hill, however, I saw one of the beasts sitting on
a piece of rock as before, but this time he had a little bush in front.
Being about thirty yards off, I took a good aim at his body through the
bush, and fired both barrels into it. The men then called out, "He is
shot, he is shot!" Others cried, "He has been shot by another man too;
let us go to him!" I did not see any one else shoot at him, but I saw
the lion's tail erected in anger behind the bush, and, turning to the
people, said, "Stop a little, till I load again." When in the act of
ramming down the bullets, I heard a shout. Starting, and looking half
round, I saw the lion just in the act of springing upon me. I was upon
a little height; he caught my shoulder as he sprang, and we both came to
the ground below together. Growling horribly close to my ear, he shook
me as a terrier dog does a rat. The shock produced a stupor similar to
that which seems to be felt by a mouse after the first shake of the cat.
It caused a sort of dreaminess, in which there was no sense of pain nor
feeling of terror, though quite conscious of all that was happening.
It was like what patients partially under the influence of chloroform
describe, who see all the operation, but feel not the knife. This
singular condition was not the result of any mental process. The shake
annihilated fear, and allowed no sense of horror in looking round at the
beast. This peculiar state is probably produced in all animals killed
by the carnivora; and if so, is a merciful provision by our benevolent
Creator for lessening the pain of death. Turning round to relieve myself
of the weight, as he had one paw on the back of my head, I saw his eyes
directed to Mebalwe, who was trying to shoot him at a distance of ten
or fifteen yards. His gun, a flint one, missed fire in both barrels; the
lion immediately left me, and, attacking Mebalwe, bit his thigh. Another
man, whose life I had saved before, after he had been tossed by a
buffalo, attempted to spear the lion while he was biting Mebalwe. He
left Mebalwe and caught this man by the shoulder, but at that moment the
bullets he had received took effect, and he fell down dead. The whole
was the work of a few moments, and must have been his paroxysms of
dying rage. In order to take out the charm from him, the Bakatla on the
following day made a huge bonfire over the carcass, which was declared
to be that of the largest lion they had ever seen. Besides crunching the
bone into splinters, he left eleven teeth wounds on the upper part of my

A wound from this animal's tooth resembles a gun-shot wound; it is
generally followed by a great deal of sloughing and discharge, and pains
are felt in the part periodically ever afterward. I had on a tartan
jacket on the occasion, and I believe that it wiped off all the virus
from the teeth that pierced the flesh, for my two companions in this
affray have both suffered from the peculiar pains, while I have escaped
with only the inconvenience of a false joint in my limb. The man whose
shoulder was wounded showed me his wound actually burst forth afresh on
the same month of the following year. This curious point deserves the
attention of inquirers.

The different Bechuana tribes are named after certain animals, showing
probably that in former times they were addicted to animal-worship like
the ancient Egyptians. The term Bakatla means "they of the monkey";
Bakuena, "they of the alligator"; Batlapi, "they of the fish": each
tribe having a superstitious dread of the animal after which it is
called. They also use the word "bina", to dance, in reference to the
custom of thus naming themselves, so that, when you wish to ascertain
what tribe they belong to, you say, "What do you dance?" It would seem
as if that had been a part of the worship of old. A tribe never eats the
animal which is its namesake, using the term "ila", hate or dread, in
reference to killing it. We find traces of many ancient tribes in the
country in individual members of those now extinct, as the Batau, "they
of the lion"; the Banoga, "they of the serpent"; though no such tribes
now exist. The use of the personal pronoun they, Ba-Ma, Wa, Va or Ova,
Am-Ki, &c., prevails very extensively in the names of tribes in Africa.
A single individual is indicated by the terms Mo or Le. Thus Mokwain is
a single person of the Bakwain tribe, and Lekoa is a single white man or
Englishman--Makoa being Englishmen.

I attached myself to the tribe called Bakuena or Bakwains, the chief of
which, named Sechele, was then living with his people at a place called
Shokuane. I was from the first struck by his intelligence, and by
the marked manner in which we both felt drawn to each other. As this
remarkable man has not only embraced Christianity, but expounds its
doctrines to his people, I will here give a brief sketch of his career.

His great-grandfather Mochoasele was a great traveler, and the first
that ever told the Bakwains of the existence of white men. In his
father's lifetime two white travelers, whom I suppose to have been Dr.
Cowan and Captain Donovan, passed through the country (in 1808), and,
descending the River Limpopo, were, with their party, all cut off by
fever. The rain-makers there, fearing lest their wagons might drive away
the rain, ordered them to be thrown into the river. This is the true
account of the end of that expedition, as related to me by the son of
the chief at whose village they perished. He remembered, when a boy,
eating part of one of the horses, and said it tasted like zebra's flesh.
Thus they were not killed by the Bangwaketse, as reported, for they
passed the Bakwains all well. The Bakwains were then rich in cattle; and
as one of the many evidences of the desiccation of the country, streams
are pointed out where thousands and thousands of cattle formerly drank,
but in which water now never flows, and where a single herd could not
find fluid for its support.

When Sechele was still a boy, his father, also called Mochoasele, was
murdered by his own people for taking to himself the wives of his
rich under-chiefs. The children being spared, their friends invited
Sebituane, the chief of the Makololo, who was then in those parts, to
reinstate them in the chieftainship. Sebituane surrounded the town
of the Bakwains by night; and just as it began to dawn, his herald
proclaimed in a loud voice that he had come to revenge the death of
Mochoasele. This was followed by Sebituane's people beating loudly on
their shields all round the town. The panic was tremendous, and the rush
like that from a theatre on fire, while the Makololo used their javelins
on the terrified Bakwains with a dexterity which they alone can employ.
Sebituane had given orders to his men to spare the sons of the chief;
and one of them, meeting Sechele, put him in ward by giving him such a
blow on the head with a club as to render him insensible. The usurper
was put to death; and Sechele, reinstated in his chieftainship, felt
much attached to Sebituane. The circumstances here noticed ultimately
led me, as will be seen by-and-by, into the new, well-watered country to
which this same Sebituane had preceded me by many years.

Sechele married the daughters of three of his under-chiefs, who had, on
account of their blood relationship, stood by him in his adversity. This
is one of the modes adopted for cementing the allegiance of a tribe. The
government is patriarchal, each man being, by virtue of paternity, chief
of his own children. They build their huts around his, and the greater
the number of children, the more his importance increases. Hence
children are esteemed one of the greatest blessings, and are always
treated kindly. Near the centre of each circle of huts there is a spot
called a "kotla", with a fireplace; here they work, eat, or sit and
gossip over the news of the day. A poor man attaches himself to the
kotla of a rich one, and is considered a child of the latter. An
under-chief has a number of these circles around his; and the collection
of kotlas around the great one in the middle of the whole, that of the
principal chief, constitutes the town. The circle of huts immediately
around the kotla of the chief is composed of the huts of his wives and
those of his blood relations. He attaches the under-chiefs to himself
and his government by marrying, as Sechele did, their daughters, or
inducing his brothers to do so. They are fond of the relationship to
great families. If you meet a party of strangers, and the head man's
relationship to some uncle of a certain chief is not at once proclaimed
by his attendants, you may hear him whispering, "Tell him who I am."
This usually involves a counting on the fingers of a part of his
genealogical tree, and ends in the important announcement that the head
of the party is half-cousin to some well-known ruler.

Sechele was thus seated in his chieftainship when I made his
acquaintance. On the first occasion in which I ever attempted to hold
a public religious service, he remarked that it was the custom of his
nation, when any new subject was brought before them, to put questions
on it; and he begged me to allow him to do the same in this case. On
expressing my entire willingness to answer his questions, he inquired if
my forefathers knew of a future judgment. I replied in the affirmative,
and began to describe the scene of the "great white throne, and Him who
shall sit on it, from whose face the heaven and earth shall flee away,"
&c. He said, "You startle me: these words make all my bones to shake; I
have no more strength in me; but my forefathers were living at the same
time yours were, and how is it that they did not send them word about
these terrible things sooner? They all passed away into darkness
without knowing whither they were going." I got out of the difficulty
by explaining the geographical barriers in the North, and the gradual
spread of knowledge from the South, to which we first had access by
means of ships; and I expressed my belief that, as Christ had said,
the whole world would yet be enlightened by the Gospel. Pointing to the
great Kalahari desert, he said, "You never can cross that country to the
tribes beyond; it is utterly impossible even for us black men, except in
certain seasons, when more than the usual supply of rain falls, and
an extraordinary growth of watermelons follows. Even we who know the
country would certainly perish without them." Reasserting my belief
in the words of Christ, we parted; and it will be seen farther on that
Sechele himself assisted me in crossing that desert which had previously
proved an insurmountable barrier to so many adventurers.

As soon as he had an opportunity of learning, he set himself to read
with such close application that, from being comparatively thin, the
effect of having been fond of the chase, he became quite corpulent from
want of exercise. Mr. Oswell gave him his first lesson in figures, and
he acquired the alphabet on the first day of my residence at Chonuane.
He was by no means an ordinary specimen of the people, for I never went
into the town but I was pressed to hear him read some chapters of the
Bible. Isaiah was a great favorite with him; and he was wont to use the
same phrase nearly which the professor of Greek at Glasgow, Sir D.
K. Sandford, once used respecting the Apostle Paul, when reading his
speeches in the Acts: "He was a fine fellow, that Paul!" "He was a fine
man, that Isaiah; he knew how to speak." Sechele invariably offered me
something to eat on every occasion of my visiting him.

Seeing me anxious that his people should believe the words of Christ, he
once said, "Do you imagine these people will ever believe by your merely
talking to them? I can make them do nothing except by thrashing them;
and if you like, I shall call my head men, and with our litupa (whips of
rhinoceros hide) we will soon make them all believe together." The idea
of using entreaty and persuasion to subjects to become Christians--whose
opinion on no other matter would he condescend to ask--was especially
surprising to him. He considered that they ought only to be too happy to
embrace Christianity at his command. During the space of two years and
a half he continued to profess to his people his full conviction of the
truth of Christianity; and in all discussions on the subject he took
that side, acting at the same time in an upright manner in all the
relations of life. He felt the difficulties of his situation long before
I did, and often said, "Oh, I wish you had come to this country before
I became entangled in the meshes of our customs!" In fact, he could not
get rid of his superfluous wives, without appearing to be ungrateful to
their parents, who had done so much for him in his adversity.

In the hope that others would be induced to join him in his attachment
to Christianity, he asked me to begin family worship with him in
his house. I did so; and by-and-by was surprised to hear how well he
conducted the prayer in his own simple and beautiful style, for he was
quite a master of his own language. At this time we were suffering from
the effects of a drought, which will be described further on, and none
except his family, whom he ordered to attend, came near his meeting.
"In former times," said he, "when a chief was fond of hunting, all
his people got dogs, and became fond of hunting too. If he was fond of
dancing or music, all showed a liking to these amusements too. If the
chief loved beer, they all rejoiced in strong drink. But in this case
it is different. I love the Word of God, and not one of my brethren will
join me." One reason why we had no volunteer hypocrites was the hunger
from drought, which was associated in their minds with the presence of
Christian instruction; and hypocrisy is not prone to profess a creed
which seems to insure an empty stomach.

Sechele continued to make a consistent profession for about three years;
and perceiving at last some of the difficulties of his case, and also
feeling compassion for the poor women, who were by far the best of our
scholars, I had no desire that he should be in any hurry to make a
full profession by baptism, and putting away all his wives but one. His
principal wife, too, was about the most unlikely subject in the tribe
ever to become any thing else than an out-and-out greasy disciple of
the old school. She has since become greatly altered, I hear, for the
better; but again and again have I seen Sechele send her out of church
to put her gown on, and away she would go with her lips shot out, the
very picture of unutterable disgust at his new-fangled notions.

When he at last applied for baptism, I simply asked him how he, having
the Bible in his hand, and able to read it, thought he ought to act. He
went home, gave each of his superfluous wives new clothing, and all his
own goods, which they had been accustomed to keep in their huts for him,
and sent them to their parents with an intimation that he had no fault
to find with them, but that in parting with them he wished to follow
the will of God. On the day on which he and his children were baptized,
great numbers came to see the ceremony. Some thought, from a stupid
calumny circulated by enemies to Christianity in the south, that the
converts would be made to drink an infusion of "dead men's brains",
and were astonished to find that water only was used at baptism. Seeing
several of the old men actually in tears during the service, I asked
them afterward the cause of their weeping; they were crying to see their
father, as the Scotch remark over a case of suicide, "SO FAR LEFT TO
HIMSELF". They seemed to think that I had thrown the glamour over him,
and that he had become mine. Here commenced an opposition which we had
not previously experienced. All the friends of the divorced wives became
the opponents of our religion. The attendance at school and church
diminished to very few besides the chief's own family. They all treated
us still with respectful kindness, but to Sechele himself they said
things which, as he often remarked, had they ventured on in former
times, would have cost them their lives. It was trying, after all we had
done, to see our labors so little appreciated; but we had sown the good
seed, and have no doubt but it will yet spring up, though we may not
live to see the fruits.

Leaving this sketch of the chief, I proceed to give an equally rapid one
of our dealing with his people, the Bakena, or Bakwains. A small piece
of land, sufficient for a garden, was purchased when we first went to
live with them, though that was scarcely necessary in a country where
the idea of buying land was quite new. It was expected that a request
for a suitable spot would have been made, and that we should have
proceeded to occupy it as any other member of the tribe would. But we
explained to them that we wished to avoid any cause of future dispute
when land had become more valuable; or when a foolish chief began to
reign, and we had erected large or expensive buildings, he might wish
to claim the whole. These reasons were considered satisfactory. About 5
Pounds worth of goods were given for a piece of land, and an arrangement
was come to that a similar piece should be allotted to any other
missionary, at any other place to which the tribe might remove. The
particulars of the sale sounded strangely in the ears of the tribe, but
were nevertheless readily agreed to.

In our relations with this people we were simply strangers exercising
no authority or control whatever. Our influence depended entirely on
persuasion; and having taught them by kind conversation as well as by
public instruction, I expected them to do what their own sense of right
and wrong dictated. We never wished them to do right merely because it
would be pleasing to us, nor thought ourselves to blame when they did
wrong, although we were quite aware of the absurd idea to that effect.
We saw that our teaching did good to the general mind of the people by
bringing new and better motives into play. Five instances are positively
known to me in which, by our influence on public opinion, war was
prevented; and where, in individual cases, we failed, the people did
no worse than they did before we came into the country. In general they
were slow, like all the African people hereafter to be described, in
coming to a decision on religious subjects; but in questions affecting
their worldly affairs they were keenly alive to their own interests.
They might be called stupid in matters which had not come within the
sphere of their observation, but in other things they showed more
intelligence than is to be met with in our own uneducated peasantry.
They are remarkably accurate in their knowledge of cattle, sheep, and
goats, knowing exactly the kind of pasturage suited to each; and
they select with great judgment the varieties of soil best suited to
different kinds of grain. They are also familiar with the habits of wild
animals, and in general are well up in the maxims which embody their
ideas of political wisdom.

The place where we first settled with the Bakwains is called Chonuane,
and it happened to be visited, during the first year of our residence
there, by one of those droughts which occur from time to time in even
the most favored districts of Africa.

The belief in the gift or power of RAIN-MAKING is one of the most
deeply-rooted articles of faith in this country. The chief Sechele was
himself a noted rain-doctor, and believed in it implicitly. He has often
assured me that he found it more difficult to give up his faith in that
than in any thing else which Christianity required him to abjure. I
pointed out to him that the only feasible way of watering the gardens
was to select some good, never-failing river, make a canal, and irrigate
the adjacent lands. This suggestion was immediately adopted, and soon
the whole tribe was on the move to the Kolobeng, a stream about forty
miles distant. The experiment succeeded admirably during the first
year. The Bakwains made the canal and dam in exchange for my labor in
assisting to build a square house for their chief. They also built their
own school under my superintendence. Our house at the River Kolobeng,
which gave a name to the settlement, was the third which I had reared
with my own hands. A native smith taught me to weld iron; and having
improved by scraps of information in that line from Mr. Moffat, and also
in carpentering and gardening, I was becoming handy at almost any trade,
besides doctoring and preaching; and as my wife could make candles,
soap, and clothes, we came nearly up to what may be considered as
indispensable in the accomplishments of a missionary family in Central
Africa, namely, the husband to be a jack-of-all-trades without doors,
and the wife a maid-of-all-work within. But in our second year again no
rain fell. In the third the same extraordinary drought followed. Indeed,
not ten inches of water fell during these two years, and the Kolobeng
ran dry; so many fish were killed that the hyaenas from the whole
country round collected to the feast, and were unable to finish the
putrid masses. A large old alligator, which had never been known to
commit any depredations, was found left high and dry in the mud among
the victims. The fourth year was equally unpropitious, the fall of rain
being insufficient to bring the grain to maturity. Nothing could be more
trying. We dug down in the bed of the river deeper and deeper as the
water receded, striving to get a little to keep the fruit-trees alive
for better times, but in vain. Needles lying out of doors for months did
not rust; and a mixture of sulphuric acid and water, used in a galvanic
battery, parted with all its water to the air, instead of imbibing more
from it, as it would have done in England. The leaves of indigenous
trees were all drooping, soft, and shriveled, though not dead; and those
of the mimosae were closed at midday, the same as they are at night.
In the midst of this dreary drought, it was wonderful to see those tiny
creatures, the ants, running about with their accustomed vivacity. I put
the bulb of a thermometer three inches under the soil, in the sun, at
midday, and found the mercury to stand at 132 Deg. to 134 Deg.; and if
certain kinds of beetles were placed on the surface, they ran about
a few seconds and expired. But this broiling heat only augmented the
activity of the long-legged black ants: they never tire; their organs of
motion seem endowed with the same power as is ascribed by physiologists
to the muscles of the human heart, by which that part of the frame never
becomes fatigued, and which may be imparted to all our bodily organs in
that higher sphere to which we fondly hope to rise. Where do these
ants get their moisture? Our house was built on a hard ferruginous
conglomerate, in order to be out of the way of the white ant, but they
came in despite the precaution; and not only were they, in this sultry
weather, able individually to moisten soil to the consistency of mortar
for the formation of galleries, which, in their way of working, is done
by night (so that they are screened from the observation of birds by day
in passing and repassing toward any vegetable matter they may wish to
devour), but, when their inner chambers were laid open, these were also
surprisingly humid. Yet there was no dew, and, the house being placed on
a rock, they could have no subterranean passage to the bed of the river,
which ran about three hundred yards below the hill. Can it be that they
have the power of combining the oxygen and hydrogen of their vegetable
food by vital force so as to form water?*

   * When we come to Angola, I shall describe an insect there
   which distills several pints of water every night.

Rain, however, would not fall. The Bakwains believed that I had bound
Sechele with some magic spell, and I received deputations, in the
evenings, of the old counselors, entreating me to allow him to make only
a few showers: "The corn will die if you refuse, and we shall become
scattered. Only let him make rain this once, and we shall all, men,
women, and children, come to the school, and sing and pray as long as
you please." It was in vain to protest that I wished Sechele to act just
according to his own ideas of what was right, as he found the law laid
down in the Bible, and it was distressing to appear hard-hearted to
them. The clouds often collected promisingly over us, and rolling
thunder seemed to portend refreshing showers, but next morning the
sun would rise in a clear, cloudless sky; indeed, even these lowering
appearances were less frequent by far than days of sunshine are in

The natives, finding it irksome to sit and wait helplessly until God
gives them rain from heaven, entertain the more comfortable idea that
they can help themselves by a variety of preparations, such as
charcoal made of burned bats, inspissated renal deposit of the mountain
cony--'Hyrax capensis'--(which, by the way, is used, in the form of
pills, as a good antispasmodic, under the name of "stone-sweat"*), the
internal parts of different animals--as jackals' livers, baboons' and
lions' hearts, and hairy calculi from the bowels of old cows--serpents'
skins and vertebrae, and every kind of tuber, bulb, root, and plant
to be found in the country. Although you disbelieve their efficacy
in charming the clouds to pour out their refreshing treasures, yet,
conscious that civility is useful every where, you kindly state that
you think they are mistaken as to their power. The rain-doctor selects a
particular bulbous root, pounds it, and administers a cold infusion to
a sheep, which in five minutes afterward expires in convulsions. Part of
the same bulb is converted into smoke, and ascends toward the sky;
rain follows in a day or two. The inference is obvious. Were we as much
harassed by droughts, the logic would be irresistible in England in

   * The name arises from its being always voided on one spot,
   in the manner practiced by others of the rhinocerontine family;
   and, by the action of the sun, it becomes a black, pitchy substance.

As the Bakwains believed that there must be some connection between
the presence of "God's Word" in their town and these successive and
distressing droughts, they looked with no good will at the church bell,
but still they invariably treated us with kindness and respect. I am not
aware of ever having had an enemy in the tribe. The only avowed cause of
dislike was expressed by a very influential and sensible man, the uncle
of Sechele. "We like you as well as if you had been born among us; you
are the only white man we can become familiar with (thoaela); but we
wish you to give up that everlasting preaching and praying; we can not
become familiar with that at all. You see we never get rain, while those
tribes who never pray as we do obtain abundance." This was a fact; and
we often saw it raining on the hills ten miles off, while it would not
look at us "even with one eye". If the Prince of the power of the air
had no hand in scorching us up, I fear I often gave him the credit of
doing so.

As for the rain-makers, they carried the sympathies of the people along
with them, and not without reason. With the following arguments they
were all acquainted, and in order to understand their force, we must
place ourselves in their position, and believe, as they do, that all
medicines act by a mysterious charm. The term for cure may be translated
"charm" ('alaha').

MEDICAL DOCTOR. Hail, friend! How very many medicines you have about you
this morning! Why, you have every medicine in the country here.

RAIN DOCTOR. Very true, my friend; and I ought; for the whole country
needs the rain which I am making.

M. D. So you really believe that you can command the clouds? I think
that can be done by God alone.

R. D. We both believe the very same thing. It is God that makes the
rain, but I pray to him by means of these medicines, and, the rain
coming, of course it is then mine. It was I who made it for the Bakwains
for many years, when they were at Shokuane; through my wisdom, too,
their women became fat and shining. Ask them; they will tell you the
same as I do.

M. D. But we are distinctly told in the parting words of our Savior that
we can pray to God acceptably in his name alone, and not by means of

R. D. Truly! but God told us differently. He made black men first, and
did not love us as he did the white men. He made you beautiful, and gave
you clothing, and guns, and gunpowder, and horses, and wagons, and many
other things about which we know nothing. But toward us he had no heart.
He gave us nothing except the assegai, and cattle, and rain-making; and
he did not give us hearts like yours. We never love each other. Other
tribes place medicines about our country to prevent the rain, so that we
may be dispersed by hunger, and go to them, and augment their power. We
must dissolve their charms by our medicines. God has given us one little
thing, which you know nothing of. He has given us the knowledge of
certain medicines by which we can make rain. WE do not despise those
things which you possess, though we are ignorant of them. We don't
understand your book, yet we don't despise it. YOU ought not to despise
our little knowledge, though you are ignorant of it.

M. D. I don't despise what I am ignorant of; I only think you are
mistaken in saying that you have medicines which can influence the rain
at all.

R. D. That's just the way people speak when they talk on a subject of
which they have no knowledge. When we first opened our eyes, we found
our forefathers making rain, and we follow in their footsteps. You, who
send to Kuruman for corn, and irrigate your garden, may do without rain;
WE can not manage in that way. If we had no rain, the cattle would have
no pasture, the cows give no milk, our children become lean and die, our
wives run away to other tribes who do make rain and have corn, and the
whole tribe become dispersed and lost; our fire would go out.

M. D. I quite agree with you as to the value of the rain; but you can
not charm the clouds by medicines. You wait till you see the clouds
come, then you use your medicines, and take the credit which belongs to
God only.

R. D. I use my medicines, and you employ yours; we are both doctors, and
doctors are not deceivers. You give a patient medicine. Sometimes God is
pleased to heal him by means of your medicine; sometimes not--he dies.
When he is cured, you take the credit of what God does. I do the same.
Sometimes God grants us rain, sometimes not. When he does, we take the
credit of the charm. When a patient dies, you don't give up trust in
your medicine, neither do I when rain fails. If you wish me to leave off
my medicines, why continue your own?

M. D. I give medicine to living creatures within my reach, and can see
the effects, though no cure follows; you pretend to charm the clouds,
which are so far above us that your medicines never reach them. The
clouds usually lie in one direction, and your smoke goes in another. God
alone can command the clouds. Only try and wait patiently; God will give
us rain without your medicines.

R. D. Mahala-ma-kapa-a-a!! Well, I always thought white men were wise
till this morning. Who ever thought of making trial of starvation? Is
death pleasant, then?

M. D. Could you make it rain on one spot and not on another?

R. D. I wouldn't think of trying. I like to see the whole country green,
and all the people glad; the women clapping their hands, and giving me
their ornaments for thankfulness, and lullilooing for joy.

M. D. I think you deceive both them and yourself.

R. D. Well, then, there is a pair of us (meaning both are rogues).

The above is only a specimen of their way of reasoning, in which, when
the language is well understood, they are perceived to be remarkably
acute. These arguments are generally known, and I never succeeded in
convincing a single individual of their fallacy, though I tried to do
so in every way I could think of. Their faith in medicines as charms is
unbounded. The general effect of argument is to produce the impression
that you are not anxious for rain at all; and it is very undesirable
to allow the idea to spread that you do not take a generous interest
in their welfare. An angry opponent of rain-making in a tribe would be
looked upon as were some Greek merchants in England during the Russian

The conduct of the people during this long-continued drought was
remarkably good. The women parted with most of their ornaments to
purchase corn from more fortunate tribes. The children scoured the
country in search of the numerous bulbs and roots which can sustain
life, and the men engaged in hunting. Very great numbers of the large
game, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, tsessebes, kamas or hartebeests,
kokongs or gnus, pallahs, rhinoceroses, etc., congregated at some
fountains near Kolobeng, and the trap called "hopo" was constructed,
in the lands adjacent, for their destruction. The hopo consists of two
hedges in the form of the letter V, which are very high and thick near
the angle. Instead of the hedges being joined there, they are made to
form a lane of about fifty yards in length, at the extremity of which
a pit is formed, six or eight feet deep, and about twelve or fifteen in
breadth and length. Trunks of trees are laid across the margins of the
pit, and more especially over that nearest the lane where the animals
are expected to leap in, and over that farthest from the lane where it
is supposed they will attempt to escape after they are in. The trees
form an overlapping border, and render escape almost impossible. The
whole is carefully decked with short green rushes, making the pit like
a concealed pitfall. As the hedges are frequently about a mile long, and
about as much apart at their extremities, a tribe making a circle three
or four miles round the country adjacent to the opening, and gradually
closing up, are almost sure to inclose a large body of game. Driving it
up with shouts to the narrow part of the hopo, men secreted there throw
their javelins into the affrighted herds, and on the animals rush to the
opening presented at the converging hedges, and into the pit, till that
is full of a living mass. Some escape by running over the others, as
a Smithfield market-dog does over the sheep's backs. It is a frightful
scene. The men, wild with excitement, spear the lovely animals with mad
delight; others of the poor creatures, borne down by the weight of their
dead and dying companions, every now and then make the whole mass heave
in their smothering agonies.

The Bakwains often killed between sixty and seventy head of large game
at the different hopos in a single week; and as every one, both rich and
poor, partook of the prey, the meat counteracted the bad effects of an
exclusively vegetable diet. When the poor, who had no salt, were forced
to live entirely on roots, they were often troubled with indigestion.
Such cases we had frequent opportunities of seeing at other times, for,
the district being destitute of salt, the rich alone could afford to
buy it. The native doctors, aware of the cause of the malady, usually
prescribed some of that ingredient with their medicines. The doctors
themselves had none, so the poor resorted to us for aid. We took the
hint, and henceforth cured the disease by giving a teaspoonful of salt,
minus the other remedies. Either milk or meat had the same effect,
though not so rapidly as salt. Long afterward, when I was myself
deprived of salt for four months, at two distinct periods, I felt no
desire for that condiment, but I was plagued by very great longing for
the above articles of food. This continued as long as I was confined
to an exclusively vegetable diet, and when I procured a meal of flesh,
though boiled in perfectly fresh rain-water, it tasted as pleasantly
saltish as if slightly impregnated with the condiment. Milk or meat,
obtained in however small quantities, removed entirely the excessive
longing and dreaming about roasted ribs of fat oxen, and bowls of cool
thick milk gurgling forth from the big-bellied calabashes; and I could
then understand the thankfulness to Mrs. L. often expressed by poor
Bakwain women, in the interesting condition, for a very little of

In addition to other adverse influences, the general uncertainty, though
not absolute want of food, and the necessity of frequent absence for the
purpose of either hunting game or collecting roots and fruits, proved
a serious barrier to the progress of the people in knowledge. Our own
education in England is carried on at the comfortable breakfast and
dinner table, and by the cosy fire, as well as in the church and school.
Few English people with stomachs painfully empty would be decorous at
church any more than they are when these organs are overcharged. Ragged
schools would have been a failure had not the teachers wisely provided
food for the body as well as food for the mind; and not only must we
show a friendly interest in the bodily comfort of the objects of our
sympathy as a Christian duty, but we can no more hope for healthy
feelings among the poor, either at home or abroad, without feeding them
into them, than we can hope to see an ordinary working-bee reared into a
queen-mother by the ordinary food of the hive.

Sending the Gospel to the heathen must, if this view be correct, include
much more than is implied in the usual picture of a missionary, namely,
a man going about with a Bible under his arm. The promotion of commerce
ought to be specially attended to, as this, more speedily than any thing
else, demolishes that sense of isolation which heathenism engenders,
and makes the tribes feel themselves mutually dependent on, and mutually
beneficial to each other. With a view to this, the missionaries at
Kuruman got permission from the government for a trader to reside at
the station, and a considerable trade has been the result; the trader
himself has become rich enough to retire with a competence. Those laws
which still prevent free commercial intercourse among the civilized
nations seem to be nothing else but the remains of our own heathenism.
My observations on this subject make me extremely desirous to promote
the preparation of the raw materials of European manufactures in Africa,
for by that means we may not only put a stop to the slave-trade, but
introduce the negro family into the body corporate of nations, no one
member of which can suffer without the others suffering with it. Success
in this, in both Eastern and Western Africa, would lead, in the course
of time, to a much larger diffusion of the blessings of civilization
than efforts exclusively spiritual and educational confined to any one
small tribe. These, however, it would of course be extremely desirable
to carry on at the same time at large central and healthy stations, for
neither civilization nor Christianity can be promoted alone. In fact,
they are inseparable.

Chapter 2.

The Boers--Their Treatment of the Natives--Seizure of native Children
for Slaves--English Traders--Alarm of the Boers--Native Espionage--The
Tale of the Cannon--The Boers threaten Sechele--In violation of Treaty,
they stop English Traders and expel Missionaries--They attack
the Bakwains--Their Mode of Fighting--The Natives killed and
the School-children carried into Slavery--Destruction of English
Property--African Housebuilding and Housekeeping--Mode of Spending
the Day--Scarcity of Food--Locusts--Edible Frogs--Scavenger
Beetle--Continued Hostility of the Boers--The Journey
north--Preparations--Fellow-travelers--The Kalahari Desert--
Vegetation--Watermelons--The Inhabitants--The Bushmen--Their nomad Mode
of Life--Appearance--The Bakalahari--Their Love for Agriculture and
for domestic Animals--Timid Character--Mode of obtaining Water--Female
Water-suckers--The Desert--Water hidden.

Another adverse influence with which the mission had to contend was
the vicinity of the Boers of the Cashan Mountains, otherwise named
"Magaliesberg". These are not to be counfounded with the Cape colonists,
who sometimes pass by the name. The word Boer simply means "farmer", and
is not synonymous with our word boor. Indeed, to the Boers generally
the latter term would be quite inappropriate, for they are a sober,
industrious, and most hospitable body of peasantry. Those, however, who
have fled from English law on various pretexts, and have been joined
by English deserters and every other variety of bad character in their
distant localities, are unfortunately of a very different stamp. The
great objection many of the Boers had, and still have, to English law,
is that it makes no distinction between black men and white. They
felt aggrieved by their supposed losses in the emancipation of their
Hottentot slaves, and determined to erect themselves into a republic, in
which they might pursue, without molestation, the "proper treatment of
the blacks". It is almost needless to add that the "proper treatment"
has always contained in it the essential element of slavery, namely,
compulsory unpaid labor.

One section of this body, under the late Mr. Hendrick Potgeiter,
penetrated the interior as far as the Cashan Mountains, whence a Zulu
or Caffre chief, named Mosilikatze, had been expelled by the well-known
Caffre Dingaan; and a glad welcome was given them by the Bechuana
tribes, who had just escaped the hard sway of that cruel chieftain. They
came with the prestige of white men and deliverers; but the Bechuanas
soon found, as they expressed it, "that Mosilikatze was cruel to his
enemies, and kind to those he conquered; but that the Boers destroyed
their enemies, and made slaves of their friends." The tribes who still
retain the semblance of independence are forced to perform all the labor
of the fields, such as manuring the land, weeding, reaping, building,
making dams and canals, and at the same time to support themselves.
I have myself been an eye-witness of Boers coming to a village, and,
according to their usual custom, demanding twenty or thirty women to
weed their gardens, and have seen these women proceed to the scene of
unrequited toil, carrying their own food on their heads, their children
on their backs, and instruments of labor on their shoulders. Nor have
the Boers any wish to conceal the meanness of thus employing unpaid
labor; on the contrary, every one of them, from Mr. Potgeiter and Mr.
Gert Krieger, the commandants, downward, lauded his own humanity and
justice in making such an equitable regulation. "We make the people work
for us, in consideration of allowing them to live in our country."

I can appeal to the Commandant Krieger if the foregoing is not a fair
and impartial statement of the views of himself and his people. I am
sensible of no mental bias toward or against these Boers; and during the
several journeys I made to the poor enslaved tribes, I never avoided
the whites, but tried to cure and did administer remedies to their sick,
without money and without price. It is due to them to state that I was
invariably treated with respect; but it is most unfortunate that
they should have been left by their own Church for so many years to
deteriorate and become as degraded as the blacks, whom the stupid
prejudice against color leads them to detest.

This new species of slavery which they have adopted serves to supply the
lack of field-labor only. The demand for domestic servants must be met
by forays on tribes which have good supplies of cattle. The Portuguese
can quote instances in which blacks become so degraded by the love of
strong drink as actually to sell themselves; but never in any one case,
within the memory of man, has a Bechuana chief sold any of his people,
or a Bechuana man his child. Hence the necessity for a foray to seize
children. And those individual Boers who would not engage in it for the
sake of slaves can seldom resist the two-fold plea of a well-told
story of an intended uprising of the devoted tribe, and the prospect of
handsome pay in the division of the captured cattle besides.

It is difficult for a person in a civilized country to conceive that
any body of men possessing the common attributes of humanity (and these
Boers are by no means destitute of the better feelings of our nature)
should with one accord set out, after loading their own wives and
children with caresses, and proceed to shoot down in cold blood men
and women, of a different color, it is true, but possessed of domestic
feelings and affections equal to their own. I saw and conversed with
children in the houses of Boers who had, by their own and their masters'
account, been captured, and in several instances I traced the parents
of these unfortunates, though the plan approved by the long-headed among
the burghers is to take children so young that they soon forget their
parents and their native language also. It was long before I could give
credit to the tales of bloodshed told by native witnesses, and had I
received no other testimony but theirs I should probably have continued
skeptical to this day as to the truth of the accounts; but when I found
the Boers themselves, some bewailing and denouncing, others glorying in
the bloody scenes in which they had been themselves the actors, I was
compelled to admit the validity of the testimony, and try to account for
the cruel anomaly. They are all traditionally religious, tracing their
descent from some of the best men (Huguenots and Dutch) the world ever
saw. Hence they claim to themselves the title of "Christians", and all
the colored race are "black property" or "creatures". They being the
chosen people of God, the heathen are given to them for an inheritance,
and they are the rod of divine vengeance on the heathen, as were the
Jews of old. Living in the midst of a native population much larger than
themselves, and at fountains removed many miles from each other, they
feel somewhat in the same insecure position as do the Americans in
the Southern States. The first question put by them to strangers is
respecting peace; and when they receive reports from disaffected or
envious natives against any tribe, the case assumes all the appearance
and proportions of a regular insurrection. Severe measures then appear
to the most mildly disposed among them as imperatively called for, and,
however bloody the massacre that follows, no qualms of conscience ensue:
it is a dire necessity for the sake of peace. Indeed, the late Mr.
Hendrick Potgeiter most devoutly believed himself to be the great
peacemaker of the country.

But how is it that the natives, being so vastly superior in numbers to
the Boers, do not rise and annihilate them? The people among whom they
live are Bechuanas, not Caffres, though no one would ever learn that
distinction from a Boer; and history does not contain one single
instance in which the Bechuanas, even those of them who possess
fire-arms, have attacked either the Boers or the English. If there is
such an instance, I am certain it is not generally known, either beyond
or in the Cape Colony. They have defended themselves when attacked, as
in the case of Sechele, but have never engaged in offensive war with
Europeans. We have a very different tale to tell of the Caffres, and the
difference has always been so evident to these border Boers that, ever
since those "magnificent savages"* obtained possession of fire-arms, not
one Boer has ever attempted to settle in Caffreland, or even face them
as an enemy in the field. The Boers have generally manifested a marked
antipathy to any thing but "long-shot" warfare, and, sidling away in
their emigrations toward the more effeminate Bechuanas, have left their
quarrels with the Caffres to be settled by the English, and their wars
to be paid for by English gold.

   * The "United Service Journal" so styles them.

The Bakwains at Kolobeng had the spectacle of various tribes enslaved
before their eyes--the Bakatla, the Batlokua, the Bahukeng, the
Bamosetla, and two other tribes of Bakwains were all groaning under
the oppression of unrequited labor. This would not have been felt as so
great an evil but that the young men of those tribes, anxious to obtain
cattle, the only means of rising to respectability and importance among
their own people, were in the habit of sallying forth, like our Irish
and Highland reapers, to procure work in the Cape Colony. After laboring
there three or four years, in building stone dikes and dams for the
Dutch farmers, they were well content if at the end of that time they
could return with as many cows. On presenting one to their chief, they
ranked as respectable men in the tribe ever afterward. These volunteers
were highly esteemed among the Dutch, under the name of Mantatees. They
were paid at the rate of one shilling a day and a large loaf of bread
between six of them. Numbers of them, who had formerly seen me about
twelve hundred miles inland from the Cape, recognized me with the loud
laughter of joy when I was passing them at their work in the Roggefelt
and Bokkefelt, within a few days of Cape Town. I conversed with them and
with elders of the Dutch Church, for whom they were working, and found
that the system was thoroughly satisfactory to both parties. I do not
believe that there is one Boer, in the Cashan or Magaliesberg country,
who would deny that a law was made, in consequence of this labor passing
to the colony, to deprive these laborers of their hardly-earned cattle,
for the very cogent reason that, "if they want to work, let them work
for us their masters," though boasting that in their case it would not
be paid for. I can never cease to be most unfeignedly thankful that I
was not born in a land of slaves. No one can understand the effect of
the unutterable meanness of the slave-system on the minds of those
who, but for the strange obliquity which prevents them from feeling the
degradation of not being gentlemen enough to pay for services rendered,
would be equal in virtue to ourselves. Fraud becomes as natural to them
as "paying one's way" is to the rest of mankind.

Wherever a missionary lives, traders are sure to come; they are mutually
dependent, and each aids in the work of the other; but experience shows
that the two employments can not very well be combined in the same
person. Such a combination would not be morally wrong, for nothing would
be more fair, and apostolical too, than that the man who devotes
his time to the spiritual welfare of a people should derive temporal
advantage from upright commerce, which traders, who aim exclusively at
their own enrichment, modestly imagine ought to be left to them. But,
though it is right for missionaries to trade, the present system of
missions renders it inexpedient to spend time in so doing. No missionary
with whom I ever came in contact, traded; and while the traders, whom
we introduced and rendered secure in the country, waxed rich, the
missionaries have invariably remained poor, and have died so. The
Jesuits, in Africa at least, were wiser in their generation than we;
theirs were large, influential communities, proceeding on the system of
turning the abilities of every brother into that channel in which he
was most likely to excel; one, fond of natural history, was allowed to
follow his bent; another, fond of literature, found leisure to pursue
his studies; and he who was great in barter was sent in search of ivory
and gold-dust; so that while in the course of performing the religious
acts of his mission to distant tribes, he found the means of aiding
effectually the brethren whom he had left in the central settlement.* We
Protestants, with the comfortable conviction of superiority, have sent
out missionaries with a bare subsistence only, and are unsparing in our
laudations of some for not being worldly-minded whom our niggardliness
made to live as did the prodigal son. I do not speak of myself, nor need
I to do so, but for that very reason I feel at liberty to interpose a
word in behalf of others. I have before my mind at this moment facts and
instances which warrant my putting the case in this way: The command to
"go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" must be
obeyed by Christians either personally or by substitute. Now it is quite
possible to find men whose love for the heathen and devotion to the work
will make them ready to go forth on the terms "bare subsistence", but
what can be thought of the justice, to say nothing of the generosity,
of Christians and churches who not only work their substitutes at the
lowest terms, but regard what they give as charity! The matter is the
more grave in respect to the Protestant missionary, who may have a wife
and family. The fact is, there are many cases in which it is right,
virtuous, and praiseworthy for a man to sacrifice every thing for a
great object, but in which it would be very wrong for others, interested
in the object as much as he, to suffer or accept the sacrifice, if they
can prevent it.

   * The Dutch clergy, too, are not wanting in worldly wisdom. A
   fountain is bought, and the lands which it can irrigate
   parceled out and let to villagers.  As they increase in
   numbers, the rents rise and the church becomes rich.  With 200
   Pounds per annum in addition from government, the salary
   amounts to 400 or 500 Pounds a year. The clergymen then preach
   abstinence from politics as a Christian duty. It is quite
   clear that, with 400 Pounds a year, but little else except
   pure spirituality is required.

English traders sold those articles which the Boers most dread, namely,
arms and ammunition; and when the number of guns amounted to five, so
much alarm was excited among our neighbors that an expedition of several
hundred Boers was seriously planned to deprive the Bakwains of their
guns. Knowing that the latter would rather have fled to the Kalahari
Desert than deliver up their weapons and become slaves, I proceeded to
the commandant, Mr. Gert Krieger, and, representing the evils of any
such expedition, prevailed upon him to defer it; but that point being
granted, the Boer wished to gain another, which was that I should act as
a spy over the Bakwains.

I explained the impossibility of my complying with his wish, even though
my principles as an Englishman had not stood in the way, by referring to
an instance in which Sechele had gone with his whole force to punish
an under-chief without my knowledge. This man, whose name was Kake,
rebelled, and was led on in his rebellion by his father-in-law, who
had been regicide in the case of Sechele's father. Several of those who
remained faithful to that chief were maltreated by Kake while passing
to the Desert in search of skins. We had just come to live with the
Bakwains when this happened, and Sechele consulted me. I advised mild
measures, but the messengers he sent to Kake were taunted with the
words, "He only pretends to wish to follow the advice of the teacher:
Sechele is a coward; let him come and fight if he dare." The next
time the offense was repeated, Sechele told me he was going to hunt
elephants; and as I knew the system of espionage which prevails among
all the tribes, I never made inquiries that would convey the opinion
that I distrusted them. I gave credit to his statement. He asked
the loan of a black-metal pot to cook with, as theirs of pottery are
brittle. I gave it and a handful of salt, and desired him to send back
two tit-bits, the proboscis and fore-foot of the elephant. He set off,
and I heard nothing more until we saw the Bakwains carrying home their
wounded, and heard some of the women uttering the loud wail of sorrow
for the dead, and others pealing forth the clear scream of victory. It
was then clear that Sechele had attacked and driven away the rebel.

Mentioning this to the commandant in proof of the impossibility of
granting his request, I had soon an example how quickly a story can grow
among idle people. The five guns were, within one month, multiplied into
a tale of five hundred, and the cooking-pot, now in a museum at Cape
Town, was magnified into a cannon; "I had myself confessed to the loan."
Where the five hundred guns came from, it was easy to divine; for,
knowing that I used a sextant, my connection with government was a
thing of course; and, as I must know all her majesty's counsels, I was
questioned on the subject of the indistinct rumors which had reached
them of Lord Rosse's telescope. "What right has your government to
set up that large glass at the Cape to look after us behind the Cashan

Many of the Boers visited us afterward at Kolobeng, some for medical
advice, and others to trade in those very articles which their own laws
and policy forbid. When I happened to stumble upon any of them in the
town, with his muskets and powder displayed, he would begin an apology,
on the ground that he was a poor man, etc., which I always cut short by
frankly saying that I had nothing to do with either the Boers or their
laws. Many attempts were made during these visits to elicit the truth
about the guns and cannon; and ignorant of the system of espionage which
prevails, eager inquiries were made by them among those who could jabber
a little Dutch. It is noticeable that the system of espionage is as well
developed among the savage tribes as in Austria or Russia. It is a proof
of barbarism. Every man in a tribe feels himself bound to tell the
chief every thing that comes to his knowledge, and, when questioned by
a stranger, either gives answers which exhibit the utmost stupidity, or
such as he knows will be agreeable to his chief. I believe that in this
way have arisen tales of their inability to count more than ten, as
was asserted of the Bechuanas about the very time when Sechele's father
counted out one thousand head of cattle as a beginning of the stock of
his young son.

In the present case, Sechele, knowing every question put to his people,
asked me how they ought to answer. My reply was, "Tell the truth." Every
one then declared that no cannon existed there; and our friends, judging
the answer by what they themselves would in the circumstances have
said, were confirmed in the opinion that the Bakwains actually possessed
artillery. This was in some degree beneficial to us, inasmuch as fear
prevented any foray in our direction for eight years. During that time
no winter passed without one or two tribes in the East country being
plundered of both cattle and children by the Boers. The plan pursued
is the following: one or two friendly tribes are forced to accompany a
party of mounted Boers, and these expeditions can be got up only in the
winter, when horses may be used without danger of being lost by disease.
When they reach the tribe to be attacked, the friendly natives are
ranged in front, to form, as they say, "a shield"; the Boers then coolly
fire over their heads till the devoted people flee and leave cattle,
wives, and children to the captors. This was done in nine cases during
my residence in the interior, and on no occasion was a drop of Boer's
blood shed. News of these deeds spread quickly among the Bakwains, and
letters were repeatedly sent by the Boers to Sechele, ordering him to
come and surrender himself as their vassal, and stop English traders
from proceeding into the country with fire-arms for sale. But the
discovery of Lake Ngami, hereafter to be described, made the traders
come in five-fold greater numbers, and Sechele replied, "I was made an
independent chief and placed here by God, and not by you. I was never
conquered by Mosilikatze, as those tribes whom you rule over; and the
English are my friends. I get every thing I wish from them. I can not
hinder them from going where they like." Those who are old enough to
remember the threatened invasion of our own island may understand the
effect which the constant danger of a Boerish invasion had on the
minds of the Bakwains; but no others can conceive how worrying were the
messages and threats from the endless self-constituted authorities of
the Magaliesberg Boers; and when to all this harassing annoyance was
added the scarcity produced by the drought, we could not wonder at,
though we felt sorry for, their indisposition to receive instruction.

The myth of the black pot assumed serious proportions. I attempted to
benefit the tribes among the Boers of Magaliesberg by placing native
teachers at different points. "You must teach the blacks," said Mr.
Hendrick Potgeiter, the commandant in chief, "that they are not equal
to us." Other Boers told me, "I might as well teach the baboons on the
rocks as the Africans," but declined the test which I proposed, namely,
to examine whether they or my native attendants could read best. Two of
their clergymen came to baptize the children of the Boers; so, supposing
these good men would assist me in overcoming the repugnance of their
flock to the education of the blacks, I called on them; but my visit
ended in a 'ruse' practiced by the Boerish commandant, whereby I was
led, by professions of the greatest friendship, to retire to Kolobeng,
while a letter passed me by another way to the other missionaries in
the south, demanding my instant recall "for lending a cannon to their
enemies." The colonial government was also gravely informed that the
story was true, and I came to be looked upon as a most suspicious
character in consequence.

These notices of the Boers are not intended to produce a sneer at their
ignorance, but to excite the compassion of their friends. They are
perpetually talking about their laws; but practically theirs is only the
law of the strongest. The Bechuanas could never understand the changes
which took place in their commandants. "Why, one can never know who is
the chief among these Boers. Like the Bushmen, they have no king--they
must be the Bushmen of the English." The idea that any tribe of men
could be so senseless as not to have an hereditary chief was so absurd
to these people, that, in order not to appear equally stupid, I was
obliged to tell them that we English were so anxious to preserve the
royal blood, that we had made a young lady our chief. This seemed to
them a most convincing proof of our sound sense. We shall see farther on
the confidence my account of our queen inspired.

The Boers, encouraged by the accession of Mr. Pretorius, determined at
last to put a stop to English traders going past Kolobeng, by dispersing
the tribe of Bakwains, and expelling all the missionaries. Sir George
Cathcart proclaimed the independence of the Boers, the best thing that
could have been done had they been between us and the Caffres. A treaty
was entered into with these Boers; an article for the free passage of
Englishmen to the country beyond, and also another, that no slavery
should be allowed in the independent territory, were duly inserted, as
expressive of the views of her majesty's government at home. "But what
about the missionaries?" inquired the Boers. "YOU MAY DO AS YOU PLEASE
WITH THEM," is said to have been the answer of the "Commissioner". This
remark, if uttered at all, was probably made in joke: designing men,
however, circulated it, and caused the general belief in its accuracy
which now prevails all over the country, and doubtless led to the
destruction of three mission stations immediately after. The Boers, four
hundred in number, were sent by the late Mr. Pretorius to attack the
Bakwains in 1852. Boasting that the English had given up all the blacks
into their power, and had agreed to aid them in their subjugation by
preventing all supplies of ammunition from coming into the Bechuana
country, they assaulted the Bakwains, and, besides killing a
considerable number of adults, carried off two hundred of our school
children into slavery. The natives under Sechele defended themselves
till the approach of night enabled them to flee to the mountains; and
having in that defense killed a number of the enemy, the very first
ever slain in this country by Bechuanas, I received the credit of having
taught the tribe to kill Boers! My house, which had stood perfectly
secure for years under the protection of the natives, was plundered in
revenge. English gentlemen, who had come in the footsteps of Mr. Cumming
to hunt in the country beyond, and had deposited large quantities of
stores in the same keeping, and upward of eighty head of cattle as
relays for the return journeys, were robbed of all, and, when they came
back to Kolobeng, found the skeletons of the guardians strewed all over
the place. The books of a good library--my solace in our solitude--were
not taken away, but handfuls of the leaves were torn out and scattered
over the place. My stock of medicines was smashed; and all our furniture
and clothing carried off and sold at public auction to pay the expenses
of the foray.

I do not mention these things by way of making a pitiful wail over my
losses, nor in order to excite commiseration; for, though I do feel
sorry for the loss of lexicons, dictionaries, &c., which had been the
companions of my boyhood, yet, after all, the plundering only set me
entirely free for my expedition to the north, and I have never since had
a moment's concern for any thing I left behind. The Boers resolved to
shut up the interior, and I determined to open the country, and we shall
see who have been most successful in resolution, they or I.

A short sketch of African housekeeping may not prove uninteresting to
the reader. The entire absence of shops led us to make every thing we
needed from the raw materials. You want bricks to build a house, and
must forthwith proceed to the field, cut down a tree, and saw it into
planks to make the brick-moulds; the materials for doors and windows,
too, are standing in the forest; and, if you want to be respected by
the natives, a house of decent dimensions, costing an immense amount of
manual labor, must be built. The people can not assist you much; for,
though most willing to labor for wages, the Bakwains have a curious
inability to make or put things square: like all Bechuanas, their
dwellings are made round. In the case of three large houses, erected by
myself at different times, every brick and stick had to be put square by
my own right hand.

Having got the meal ground, the wife proceeds to make it into bread; an
extempore oven is often constructed by scooping out a large hole in an
anthill, and using a slab of stone for a door. Another plan, which might
be adopted by the Australians to produce something better than their
"dampers", is to make a good fire on a level piece of ground, and,
when the ground is thoroughly heated, place the dough in a small,
short-handled frying-pan, or simply on the hot ashes; invert any sort of
metal pot over it, draw the ashes around, and then make a small fire
on the top. Dough, mixed with a little leaven from a former baking, and
allowed to stand an hour or two in the sun, will by this process become
excellent bread.

We made our own butter, a jar serving as a churn; and our own candles
by means of moulds; and soap was procured from the ashes of the plant
salsola, or from wood-ashes, which in Africa contain so little alkaline
matter that the boiling of successive leys has to be continued for
a month or six weeks before the fat is saponified. There is not much
hardship in being almost entirely dependent on ourselves; there is
something of the feeling which must have animated Alexander Selkirk on
seeing conveniences springing up before him from his own ingenuity; and
married life is all the sweeter when so many comforts emanate directly
from the thrifty striving housewife's hands.

To some it may appear quite a romantic mode of life; it is one of active
benevolence, such as the good may enjoy at home. Take a single day as
a sample of the whole. We rose early, because, however hot the day may
have been, the evening, night, and morning at Kolobeng were deliciously
refreshing; cool is not the word, where you have neither an increase of
cold nor heat to desire, and where you can sit out till midnight with no
fear of coughs or rheumatism. After family worship and breakfast between
six and seven, we went to keep school for all who would attend--men,
women, and children being all invited. School over at eleven o'clock,
while the missionary's wife was occupied in domestic matters, the
missionary himself had some manual labor as a smith, carpenter, or
gardener, according to whatever was needed for ourselves or for the
people; if for the latter, they worked for us in the garden, or at some
other employment; skilled labor was thus exchanged for the unskilled.
After dinner and an hour's rest, the wife attended her infant-school,
which the young, who were left by their parents entirely to their own
caprice, liked amazingly, and generally mustered a hundred strong; or
she varied that with a sewing-school, having classes of girls to learn
the art; this, too, was equally well relished. During the day every
operation must be superintended, and both husband and wife must labor
till the sun declines. After sunset the husband went into the town to
converse with any one willing to do so, sometimes on general subjects,
at other times on religion. On three nights of the week, as soon as the
milking of the cows was over and it had become dark, we had a public
religious service, and one of instruction on secular subjects, aided
by pictures and specimens. These services were diversified by attending
upon the sick and prescribing for them, giving food, and otherwise
assisting the poor and wretched. We tried to gain their affections by
attending to the wants of the body. The smallest acts of friendship, an
obliging word and civil look, are, as St. Xavier thought, no despicable
part of the missionary armor. Nor ought the good opinion of the most
abject to be uncared for, when politeness may secure it. Their good
word in the aggregate forms a reputation which may be well employed
in procuring favor for the Gospel. Show kind attention to the reckless
opponents of Christianity on the bed of sickness and pain, and they
never can become your personal enemies. Here, if any where, love begets

When at Kolobeng, during the droughts we were entirely dependent on
Kuruman for supplies of corn. Once we were reduced to living on bran,
to convert which into fine meal we had to grind it three times over. We
were much in want of animal food, which seems to be a greater necessary
of life there than vegetarians would imagine. Being alone, we could
not divide the butcher-meat of a slaughtered animal with a prospect
of getting a return with regularity. Sechele had, by right of
chieftainship, the breast of every animal slaughtered either at home or
abroad, and he most obligingly sent us a liberal share during the whole
period of our sojourn. But these supplies were necessarily so irregular
that we were sometimes fain to accept a dish of locusts. These are quite
a blessing in the country, so much so that the RAIN-DOCTORS sometimes
promised to bring them by their incantations. The locusts are strongly
vegetable in taste, the flavor varying with the plants on which they
feed. There is a physiological reason why locusts and honey should be
eaten together. Some are roasted and pounded into meal, which, eaten
with a little salt, is palatable. It will keep thus for months. Boiled,
they are disagreeable; but when they are roasted I should much prefer
locusts to shrimps, though I would avoid both if possible.

In traveling we sometimes suffered considerably from scarcity of meat,
though not from absolute want of food. This was felt more especially by
my children; and the natives, to show their sympathy, often gave them
a large kind of caterpillar, which they seemed to relish; these insects
could not be unwholesome, for the natives devoured them in large
quantities themselves.

Another article of which our children partook with eagerness was a very
large frog, called "Matlametlo".*

   * The Pyxicephalus adspersus of Dr. Smith.
   Length of head and body, 5-1/2 inches;
   fore legs, 3 inches;
   hind legs, 6 inches.
   Width of head posteriorly, 3 inches;
   of body, 4-1/2 inches.

These enormous frogs, which, when cooked, look like chickens, are
supposed by the natives to fall down from thunder-clouds, because after
a heavy thunder-shower the pools, which are filled and retain water a
few days, become instantly alive with this loud-croaking, pugnacious
game. This phenomenon takes place in the driest parts of the desert, and
in places where, to an ordinary observer, there is not a sign of life.
Having been once benighted in a district of the Kalahari where there
was no prospect of getting water for our cattle for a day or two, I
was surprised to hear in the fine still evening the croaking of frogs.
Walking out until I was certain that the musicians were between me
and our fire, I found that they could be merry on nothing else but
a prospect of rain. From the Bushmen I afterward learned that the
matlametlo makes a hole at the root of certain bushes, and there
ensconces himself during the months of drought. As he seldom emerges, a
large variety of spider takes advantage of the hole, and makes its
web across the orifice. He is thus furnished with a window and screen
gratis; and no one but a Bushman would think of searching beneath
a spider's web for a frog. They completely eluded my search on the
occasion referred to; and as they rush forth into the hollows filled by
the thunder-shower when the rain is actually falling, and the Bechuanas
are cowering under their skin garments, the sudden chorus struck up
simultaneously from all sides seems to indicate a descent from the

The presence of these matlametlo in the desert in a time of drought was
rather a disappointment, for I had been accustomed to suppose that the
note was always emitted by them when they were chin-deep in water. Their
music was always regarded in other spots as the most pleasant sound that
met the ear after crossing portions of the thirsty desert; and I could
fully appreciate the sympathy for these animals shown by Aesop, himself
an African, in his fable of the "Boys and the Frogs".

It is remarkable that attempts have not been made to any extent to
domesticate some of the noble and useful creatures of Africa in England.
The eland, which is the most magnificent of all antelopes, would
grace the parks of our nobility more than deer. This animal, from the
excellence of its flesh, would be appropriate to our own country; and as
there is also a splendid esculent frog nearly as large as a chicken, it
would no doubt tend to perpetuate the present alliance if we made a gift
of that to France.

The scavenger beetle is one of the most useful of all insects, as it
effectually answers the object indicated by the name. Where they abound,
as at Kuruman, the villages are sweet and clean, for no sooner are
animal excretions dropped than, attracted by the scent, the scavengers
are heard coming booming up the wind. They roll away the droppings of
cattle at once, in round pieces often as large as billiard-balls; and
when they reach a place proper by its softness for the deposit of their
eggs and the safety of their young, they dig the soil out from beneath
the ball till they have quite let it down and covered it: they then lay
their eggs within the mass. While the larvae are growing, they devour
the inside of the ball before coming above ground to begin the world for
themselves. The beetles with their gigantic balls look like Atlas with
the world on his back; only they go backward, and, with their heads
down, push with the hind legs, as if a boy should roll a snow-ball with
his legs while standing on his head. As we recommend the eland to John
Bull, and the gigantic frog to France, we can confidently recommend this
beetle to the dirty Italian towns and our own Sanitary Commissioners.

In trying to benefit the tribes living under the Boers of the Cashan
Mountains, I twice performed a journey of about three hundred miles to
the eastward of Kolobeng. Sechele had become so obnoxious to the Boers
that, though anxious to accompany me in my journey, he dared not
trust himself among them. This did not arise from the crime of
cattle-stealing; for that crime, so common among the Caffres, was never
charged against his tribe, nor, indeed, against any Bechuana tribe. It
is, in fact, unknown in the country, except during actual warfare. His
independence and love of the English were his only faults. In my last
journey there, of about two hundred miles, on parting at the River
Marikwe he gave me two servants, "to be," as he said, "his arms to serve
me," and expressed regret that he could not come himself. "Suppose we
went north," I said, "would you come?" He then told me the story
of Sebituane having saved his life, and expatiated on the far-famed
generosity of that really great man. This was the first time I had
thought of crossing the Desert to Lake Ngami.

The conduct of the Boers, who, as will be remembered, had sent a letter
designed to procure my removal out of the country, and their well-known
settled policy which I have already described, became more fully
developed on this than on any former occasion. When I spoke to Mr.
Hendrick Potgeiter of the danger of hindering the Gospel of Christ among
these poor savages, he became greatly excited, and called one of his
followers to answer me. He threatened to attack any tribe that might
receive a native teacher, yet he promised to use his influence to
prevent those under him from throwing obstacles in our way. I could
perceive plainly that nothing more could be done in that direction, so I
commenced collecting all the information I could about the desert, with
the intention of crossing it, if possible. Sekomi, the chief of the
Bamangwato, was acquainted with a route which he kept carefully to
himself, because the Lake country abounded in ivory, and he drew large
quantities thence periodically at but small cost to himself.

Sechele, who valued highly every thing European, and was always fully
alive to his own interest, was naturally anxious to get a share of that
inviting field. He was most anxious to visit Sebituane too, partly,
perhaps, from a wish to show off his new acquirements, but chiefly, I
believe, from having very exalted ideas of the benefits he would derive
from the liberality of that renowned chieftain. In age and family
Sechele is the elder and superior of Sekomi; for when the original
tribe broke up into Bamangwato, Bangwaketse, and Bakwains, the Bakwains
retained the hereditary chieftainship; so their chief, Sechele,
possesses certain advantages over Sekomi, the chief of the Bamangwato.
If the two were traveling or hunting together, Sechele would take, by
right, the heads of the game shot by Sekomi.

There are several vestiges, besides, of very ancient partitions and
lordships of tribes. The elder brother of Sechele's father, becoming
blind, gave over the chieftainship to Sechele's father. The descendants
of this man pay no tribute to Sechele, though he is the actual ruler,
and superior to the head of that family; and Sechele, while in every
other respect supreme, calls him Kosi, or Chief. The other tribes will
not begin to eat the early pumpkins of a new crop until they hear that
the Bahurutse have "bitten it", and there is a public ceremony on the
occasion--the son of the chief being the first to taste of the new

Sechele, by my advice, sent men to Sekomi, asking leave for me to pass
along his path, accompanying the request with the present of an ox.
Sekomi's mother, who possesses great influence over him, refused
permission, because she had not been propitiated. This produced a
fresh message; and the most honorable man in the Bakwain tribe, next to
Sechele, was sent with an ox for both Sekomi and his mother. This, too,
was met by refusal. It was said, "The Matebele, the mortal enemies of
the Bechuanas, are in the direction of the lake, and, should they kill
the white man, we shall incur great blame from all his nation."

The exact position of the Lake Ngami had, for half a century at least,
been correctly pointed out by the natives, who had visited it when rains
were more copious in the Desert than in more recent times, and many
attempts had been made to reach it by passing through the Desert in the
direction indicated; but it was found impossible, even for Griquas,
who, having some Bushman blood in them, may be supposed more capable of
enduring thirst than Europeans. It was clear, then, that our only chance
of success was by going round, instead of through, the Desert. The best
time for the attempt would have been about the end of the rainy season,
in March or April, for then we should have been likely to meet with
pools of rain-water, which always dry up during the rainless winter. I
communicated my intention to an African traveler, Colonel Steele, then
aid-de-camp to the Marquis of Tweedale at Madras, and he made it known
to two other gentlemen, whose friendship we had gained during their
African travel, namely, Major Vardon and Mr. Oswell. All of these
gentlemen were so enamored with African hunting and African discovery
that the two former must have envied the latter his good fortune in
being able to leave India to undertake afresh the pleasures and pains of
desert life. I believe Mr. Oswell came from his high position at a very
considerable pecuniary sacrifice, and with no other end in view but to
extend the boundaries of geographical knowledge. Before I knew of his
coming, I had arranged that the payment for the guides furnished by
Sechele should be the loan of my wagon, to bring back whatever ivory he
might obtain from the chief at the lake. When, at last, Mr. Oswell came,
bringing Mr. Murray with him, he undertook to defray the entire expenses
of the guides, and fully executed his generous intention.

Sechele himself would have come with us, but, fearing that the
much-talked-of assault of the Boers might take place during our absence,
and blame be attached to me for taking him away, I dissuaded him against
it by saying that he knew Mr. Oswell "would be as determined as himself
to get through the Desert."

Before narrating the incidents of this journey, I may give some account
of the great Kalahari Desert, in order that the reader may understand in
some degree the nature of the difficulties we had to encounter.

The space from the Orange River in the south, lat. 29 Degrees, to Lake
Ngami in the north, and from about 24 Degrees east long. to near the
west coast, has been called a desert simply because it contains no
running water, and very little water in wells. It is by no means
destitute of vegetation and inhabitants, for it is covered with grass
and a great variety of creeping plants; besides which there are
large patches of bushes, and even trees. It is remarkably flat, but
interesected in different parts by the beds of ancient rivers; and
prodigious herds of certain antelopes, which require little or no water,
roam over the trackless plains. The inhabitants, Bushmen and Bakalahari,
prey on the game and on the countless rodentia and small species of
the feline race which subsist on these. In general, the soil is
light-colored soft sand, nearly pure silica. The beds of the ancient
rivers contain much alluvial soil; and as that is baked hard by the
burning sun, rain-water stands in pools in some of them for several
months in the year.

The quantity of grass which grows on this remarkable region is
astonishing, even to those who are familiar with India. It usually rises
in tufts with bare spaces between, or the intervals are occupied by
creeping plants, which, having their roots buried far beneath the soil,
feel little the effects of the scorching sun. The number of these which
have tuberous roots is very great; and their structure is intended to
supply nutriment and moisture, when, during the long droughts, they
can be obtained nowhere else. Here we have an example of a plant, not
generally tuber-bearing, becoming so under circumstances where that
appendage is necessary to act as a reservoir for preserving its life;
and the same thing occurs in Angola to a species of grape-bearing vine,
which is so furnished for the same purpose. The plant to which I
at present refer is one of the cucurbitaceae, which bears a small,
scarlet-colored, eatable cucumber. Another plant, named Leroshua, is
a blessing to the inhabitants of the Desert. We see a small plant with
linear leaves, and a stalk not thicker than a crow's quill; on digging
down a foot or eighteen inches beneath, we come to a tuber, often as
large as the head of a young child; when the rind is removed, we find it
to be a mass of cellular tissue, filled with fluid much like that in a
young turnip. Owing to the depth beneath the soil at which it is found,
it is generally deliciously cool and refreshing. Another kind, named
Mokuri, is seen in other parts of the country, where long-continued
heat parches the soil. This plant is an herbaceous creeper, and deposits
under ground a number of tubers, some as large as a man's head, at spots
in a circle a yard or more, horizontally, from the stem. The natives
strike the ground on the circumference of the circle with stones, till,
by hearing a difference of sound, they know the water-bearing tuber to
be beneath. They then dig down a foot or so, and find it.

But the most surprising plant of the Desert is the "Kengwe or Keme"
('Cucumis caffer'), the watermelon. In years when more than the usual
quantity of rain falls, vast tracts of the country are literally covered
with these melons; this was the case annually when the fall of rain was
greater than it is now, and the Bakwains sent trading parties every year
to the lake. It happens commonly once every ten or eleven years, and
for the last three times its occurrence has coincided with an
extraordinarily wet season. Then animals of every sort and name,
including man, rejoice in the rich supply. The elephant, true lord of
the forest, revels in this fruit, and so do the different species of
rhinoceros, although naturally so diverse in their choice of pasture.
The various kinds of antelopes feed on them with equal avidity, and
lions, hyaenas, jackals, and mice, all seem to know and appreciate the
common blessing. These melons are not, however, all of them eatable;
some are sweet, and others so bitter that the whole are named by the
Boers the "bitter watermelon". The natives select them by striking
one melon after another with a hatchet, and applying the tongue to the
gashes. They thus readily distinguish between the bitter and sweet.
The bitter are deleterious, but the sweet are quite wholesome. This
peculiarity of one species of plant bearing both sweet and bitter fruits
occurs also in a red, eatable cucumber, often met with in the country.
It is about four inches long, and about an inch and a half in diameter.
It is of a bright scarlet color when ripe. Many are bitter, others quite
sweet. Even melons in a garden may be made bitter by a few bitter kengwe
in the vicinity. The bees convey the pollen from one to the other.

The human inhabitants of this tract of country consist of Bushmen and
Bakalahari. The former are probably the aborigines of the southern
portion of the continent, the latter the remnants of the first
emigration of Bechuanas. The Bushmen live in the Desert from choice, the
Bakalahari from compulsion, and both possess an intense love of liberty.
The Bushmen are exceptions in language, race, habits, and appearance.
They are the only real nomads in the country; they never cultivate
the soil, nor rear any domestic animal save wretched dogs. They are so
intimately acquainted with the habits of the game that they follow them
in their migrations, and prey upon them from place to place, and thus
prove as complete a check upon their inordinate increase as the other
carnivora. The chief subsistence of the Bushmen is the flesh of game,
but that is eked out by what the women collect of roots and beans, and
fruits of the Desert. Those who inhabit the hot sandy plains of the
Desert possess generally thin, wiry forms, capable of great exertion and
of severe privations. Many are of low stature, though not dwarfish;
the specimens brought to Europe have been selected, like costermongers'
dogs, on account of their extreme ugliness; consequently, English
ideas of the whole tribe are formed in the same way as if the ugliest
specimens of the English were exhibited in Africa as characteristic of
the entire British nation. That they are like baboons is in some degree
true, just as these and other simiae are in some points frightfully

The Bakalahari are traditionally reported to be the oldest of the
Bechuana tribes, and they are said to have possessed enormous herds of
the large horned cattle mentioned by Bruce, until they were despoiled
of them and driven into the Desert by a fresh migration of their own
nation. Living ever since on the same plains with the Bushmen, subjected
to the same influences of climate, enduring the same thirst, and
subsisting on similar food for centuries, they seem to supply a standing
proof that locality is not always sufficient of itself to account for
difference in races. The Bakalahari retain in undying vigor the Bechuana
love for agriculture and domestic animals. They hoe their gardens
annually, though often all they can hope for is a supply of melons and
pumpkins. And they carefully rear small herds of goats, though I have
seen them lift water for them out of small wells with a bit of ostrich
egg-shell, or by spoonfuls. They generally attach themselves to
influential men in the different Bechuana tribes living adjacent to
their desert home, in order to obtain supplies of spears, knives,
tobacco, and dogs, in exchange for the skins of the animals they may
kill. These are small carnivora of the feline species, including two
species of jackal, the dark and the golden; the former, "motlose"
('Megalotis capensis' or 'Cape fennec'), has the warmest fur the country
yields; the latter, "pukuye" ('Canis mesomelas' and 'C. aureus'), is
very handsome when made into the skin mantle called kaross. Next in
value follow the "tsipa" or small ocelot ('Felis nigripes'), the "tuane"
or lynx, the wild cat, the spotted cat, and other small animals. Great
numbers of 'puti' ('duiker') and 'puruhuru' ('steinbuck') skins are got
too, besides those of lions, leopards, panthers, and hyaenas. During the
time I was in the Bechuana country, between twenty and thirty thousand
skins were made up into karosses; part of them were worn by the
inhabitants, and part sold to traders: many, I believe, find their way
to China. The Bakwains bought tobacco from the eastern tribes, then
purchased skins with it from the Bakalahari, tanned them, and sewed them
into karosses, then went south to purchase heifer-calves with them, cows
being the highest form of riches known, as I have often noticed from
their asking "if Queen Victoria had many cows." The compact they
enter into is mutually beneficial, but injustice and wrong are often
perpetrated by one tribe of Bechuanas going among the Bakalahari of
another tribe, and compelling them to deliver up the skins which they
may be keeping for their friends. They are a timid race, and in bodily
development often resemble the aborigines of Australia. They have thin
legs and arms, and large, protruding abdomens, caused by the coarse,
indigestible food they eat. Their children's eyes lack lustre. I never
saw them at play. A few Bechuanas may go into a village of Bakalahari,
and domineer over the whole with impunity; but when these same
adventurers meet the Bushmen, they are fain to change their manners
to fawning sycophancy; they know that, if the request for tobacco is
refused, these free sons of the Desert may settle the point as to its
possession by a poisoned arrow.

The dread of visits from Bechuanas of strange tribes causes the
Bakalahari to choose their residences far from water; and they not
unfrequently hide their supplies by filling the pits with sand and
making a fire over the spot. When they wish to draw water for use, the
women come with twenty or thirty of their water-vessels in a bag or net
on their backs. These water-vessels consist of ostrich egg-shells, with
a hole in the end of each, such as would admit one's finger. The women
tie a bunch of grass to one end of a reed about two feet long, and
insert it in a hole dug as deep as the arm will reach; then ram down
the wet sand firmly round it. Applying the mouth to the free end of
the reed, they form a vacuum in the grass beneath, in which the water
collects, and in a short time rises into the mouth. An egg-shell is
placed on the ground alongside the reed, some inches below the mouth of
the sucker. A straw guides the water into the hole of the vessel, as
she draws mouthful after mouthful from below. The water is made to pass
along the outside, not through the straw. If any one will attempt to
squirt water into a bottle placed some distance below his mouth, he will
soon perceive the wisdom of the Bushwoman's contrivance for giving the
stream direction by means of a straw. The whole stock of water is thus
passed through the woman's mouth as a pump, and, when taken home,
is carefully buried. I have come into villages where, had we acted a
domineering part, and rummaged every hut, we should have found nothing;
but by sitting down quietly, and waiting with patience until the
villagers were led to form a favorable opinion of us, a woman would
bring out a shellful of the precious fluid from I know not where.

The so-called Desert, it may be observed, is by no means a useless
tract of country. Besides supporting multitudes of both small and large
animals, it sends something to the market of the world, and has proved
a refuge to many a fugitive tribe--to the Bakalahari first, and to the
other Bechuanas in turn--as their lands were overrun by the tribe of
true Caffres, called Matebele. The Bakwains, the Bangwaketze, and the
Bamangwato all fled thither; and the Matebele marauders, who came from
the well-watered east, perished by hundreds in their attempts to follow
them. One of the Bangwaketze chiefs, more wily than the rest, sent false
guides to lead them on a track where, for hundreds of miles, not a drop
of water could be found, and they perished in consequence. Many Bakwains
perished too. Their old men, who could have told us ancient stories,
perished in these flights. An intelligent Mokwain related to me how the
Bushmen effectually balked a party of his tribe which lighted on their
village in a state of burning thirst. Believing, as he said, that
nothing human could subsist without water, they demanded some, but were
coolly told by these Bushmen that they had none, and never drank any.
Expecting to find them out, they resolved to watch them night and day.
They persevered for some days, thinking that at last the water must
come forth; but, notwithstanding their watchfulness, kept alive by most
tormenting thirst, the Bakwains were compelled to exclaim, "Yak! yak!
these are not men; let us go." Probably the Bushmen had been subsisting
on a store hidden under ground, which had eluded the vigilance of their

Chapter 3.

Departure from Kolobeng, 1st June, 1849--Companions--Our Route--
Abundance of Grass--Serotli, a Fountain in the Desert--Mode of
digging Wells--The Eland--Animals of the Desert--The Hyaena--The
Chief Sekomi--Dangers--The wandering Guide--Cross Purposes--Slow
Progress--Want of Water--Capture of a Bushwoman--The Salt-pan
at Nchokotsa--The Mirage--Reach the River Zouga--The Quakers of
Africa--Discovery of Lake Ngami, 1st August, 1849--Its Extent--Small
Depth of Water--Position as the Reservoir of a great River System--The
Bamangwato and their Chief--Desire to visit Sebituane, the Chief of the
Makololo--Refusal of Lechulatebe to furnish us with Guides--Resolve
to return to the Cape--The Banks of the Zouga--Pitfalls--Trees of the
District--Elephants--New Species of Antelope--Fish in the Zouga.

Such was the desert which we were now preparing to cross--a region
formerly of terror to the Bechuanas from the numbers of serpents which
infested it and fed on the different kinds of mice, and from the intense
thirst which these people often endured when their water-vessels were
insufficient for the distances to be traveled over before reaching the

Just before the arrival of my companions, a party of the people of the
lake came to Kolobeng, stating that they were sent by Lechulatebe,
the chief, to ask me to visit that country. They brought such flaming
accounts of the quantities of ivory to be found there (cattle-pens
made of elephants' tusks of enormous size, &c.), that the guides of the
Bakwains were quite as eager to succeed in reaching the lake as any one
of us could desire. This was fortunate, as we knew the way the strangers
had come was impassable for wagons.

Messrs. Oswell and Murray came at the end of May, and we all made a
fair start for the unknown region on the 1st of June, 1849. Proceeding
northward, and passing through a range of tree-covered hills to
Shokuane, formerly the residence of the Bakwains, we soon after entered
on the high road to the Bamangwato, which lies generally in the bed of
an ancient river or wady that must formerly have flowed N. to S. The
adjacent country is perfectly flat, but covered with open forest and
bush, with abundance of grass; the trees generally are a kind of acacia
called "Monato", which appears a little to the south of this region, and
is common as far as Angola. A large caterpillar, called "Nato", feeds by
night on the leaves of these trees, and comes down by day to bury itself
at the root in the sand, in order to escape the piercing rays of the
sun. The people dig for it there, and are fond of it when roasted, on
account of its pleasant vegetable taste. When about to pass into the
chrysalis state, it buries itself in the soil, and is sometimes
sought for as food even then. If left undisturbed, it comes forth as a
beautiful butterfly: the transmutation was sometimes employed by me with
good effect when speaking with the natives, as an illustration of our
own great change and resurrection.

The soil is sandy, and there are here and there indications that at
spots which now afford no water whatever there were formerly wells and
cattle stations.

Boatlanama, our next station, is a lovely spot in the otherwise dry
region. The wells from which we had to lift out the water for our cattle
are deep, but they were well filled. A few villages of Bakalahari were
found near them, and great numbers of pallahs, springbucks, Guinea-fowl,
and small monkeys.

Lopepe came next. This place afforded another proof of the desiccation
of the country. The first time I passed it, Lopepe was a large pool with
a stream flowing out of it to the south; now it was with difficulty we
could get our cattle watered by digging down in the bottom of a well.

At Mashue--where we found a never-failing supply of pure water in a
sandstone rocky hollow--we left the road to the Bamangwato hills, and
struck away to the north into the Desert. Having watered the cattle at
a well called Lobotani, about N.W. of Bamangwato, we next proceeded to
a real Kalahari fountain, called Serotli. The country around is covered
with bushes and trees of a kind of leguminosae, with lilac flowers. The
soil is soft white sand, very trying to the strength of the oxen, as
the wheels sink into it over the felloes and drag heavily. At Serotli we
found only a few hollows like those made by the buffalo and rhinoceros
when they roll themselves in the mud. In a corner of one of these there
appeared water, which would have been quickly lapped up by our dogs, had
we not driven them away. And yet this was all the apparent supply for
some eighty oxen, twenty horses, and about a score of men. Our guide,
Ramotobi, who had spent his youth in the Desert, declared that, though
appearances were against us, there was plenty of water at hand. We
had our misgivings, for the spades were soon produced; but our guides,
despising such new-fangled aid, began in good earnest to scrape out the
sand with their hands. The only water we had any promise of for the next
seventy miles--that is, for a journey of three days with the wagons--was
to be got here. By the aid of both spades and fingers two of the holes
were cleared out, so as to form pits six feet deep and about as many
broad. Our guides were especially earnest in their injunctions to us not
to break through the hard stratum of sand at the bottom, because they
knew, if it were broken through, "the water would go away." They are
quite correct, for the water seems to lie on this flooring of incipient
sandstone. The value of the advice was proved in the case of an
Englishman whose wits were none of the brightest, who, disregarding
it, dug through the sandy stratum in the wells at Mohotluani: the water
immediately flowed away downward, and the well became useless. When
we came to the stratum, we found that the water flowed in on all sides
close to the line where the soft sand came in contact with it. Allowing
it to collect, we had enough for the horses that evening; but as there
was not sufficient for the oxen, we sent them back to Lobotani, where,
after thirsting four full days (ninety-six hours), they got a good
supply. The horses were kept by us as necessary to procure game for the
sustenance of our numerous party. Next morning we found the water
had flowed in faster than at first, as it invariably does in these
reservoirs, owing to the passages widening by the flow. Large quantities
of the sand come into the well with the water, and in the course of a
few days the supply, which may be equal to the wants of a few men
only, becomes sufficient for oxen as well. In these sucking-places the
Bakalahari get their supplies; and as they are generally in the hollows
of ancient river-beds, they are probably the deposits from rains
gravitating thither; in some cases they may be the actual fountains,
which, though formerly supplying the river's flow, now no longer rise to
the surface.

Here, though the water was perfectly inaccessible to elands, large
numbers of these fine animals fed around us; and, when killed, they
were not only in good condition, but their stomachs actually contained
considerable quantities of water.

I examined carefully the whole alimentary canal, in order to see if
there were any peculiarity which might account for the fact that this
animal can subsist for months together without drinking, but found
nothing. Other animals, such as the duiker ('Cephalopus mergens')
or puti (of the Bechuanas), the steinbuck ('Tragulus rupestris') or
puruhuru, the gemsbuck ('Oryx capensis') or kukama, and the porcupine
('Hystrix cristata'), are all able to subsist without water for many
months at a time by living on bulbs and tubers containing moisture. They
have sharp-pointed hoofs well adapted for digging, and there is little
difficulty in comprehending their mode of subsistence. Some animals,
on the other hand, are never seen but in the vicinity of water. The
presence of the rhinoceros, of the buffalo and gnu ('Catoblepas gnu'),
of the giraffe, the zebra, and pallah ('Antilope melampus'), is always
a certain indication of water being within a distance of seven or
eight miles; but one may see hundreds of elands ('Boselaphus oreas'),
gemsbuck, the tolo or koodoo ('Strepsiceros capensis'), also springbucks
('Gazella euchore') and ostriches, without being warranted thereby in
inferring the presence of water within thirty or forty miles. Indeed,
the sleek, fat condition of the eland in such circumstances would not
remove the apprehension of perishing by thirst from the mind of even a
native. I believe, however, that these animals can subsist only where
there is some moisture in the vegetation on which they feed; for in one
year of unusual drought we saw herds of elands and flocks of ostriches
crowding to the Zouga from the Desert, and very many of the latter were
killed in pitfalls on the banks. As long as there is any sap in the
pasturage they seldom need water. But should a traveler see the "spoor"
of a rhinoceros, or buffalo, or zebra, he would at once follow it up,
well assured that before he had gone many miles he would certainly reach

In the evening of our second day at Serotli, a hyaena, appearing
suddenly among the grass, succeeded in raising a panic among our cattle.
This false mode of attack is the plan which this cowardly animal always
adopts. His courage resembles closely that of a turkey-cock. He will
bite, if an animal is running away; but if the animal stand still, so
does he. Seventeen of our draught oxen ran away, and in their flight
went right into the hands of Sekomi, whom, from his being unfriendly to
our success, we had no particular wish to see. Cattle-stealing, such as
in the circumstances might have occurred in Caffraria, is here unknown;
so Sekomi sent back our oxen, and a message strongly dissuading us
against attempting the Desert. "Where are you going? You will be killed
by the sun and thirst, and then all the white men will blame me for not
saving you." This was backed by a private message from his mother. "Why
do you pass me? I always made the people collect to hear the word that
you have got. What guilt have I, that you pass without looking at me?"
We replied by assuring the messengers that the white men would attribute
our deaths to our own stupidity and "hard-headedness" (tlogo, e thata),
"as we did not intend to allow our companions and guides to return till
they had put us into our graves." We sent a handsome present to Sekomi,
and a promise that, if he allowed the Bakalahari to keep the wells open
for us, we would repeat the gift on our return.

After exhausting all his eloquence in fruitless attempts to persuade us
to return, the under-chief, who headed the party of Sekomi's messengers,
inquired, "Who is taking them?" Looking round, he exclaimed, with a face
expressive of the most unfeigned disgust, "It is Ramotobi!" Our guide
belonged to Sekomi's tribe, but had fled to Sechele; as fugitives in
this country are always well received, and may even afterward visit the
tribe from which they had escaped, Ramotobi was in no danger, though
doing that which he knew to be directly opposed to the interests of his
own chief and tribe.

All around Serotli the country is perfectly flat, and composed of
soft white sand. There is a peculiar glare of bright sunlight from a
cloudless sky over the whole scene; and one clump of trees and bushes,
with open spaces between, looks so exactly like another, that if you
leave the wells, and walk a quarter of a mile in any direction, it is
difficult to return. Oswell and Murray went out on one occasion to get
an eland, and were accompanied by one of the Bakalahari. The perfect
sameness of the country caused even this son of the Desert to lose his
way; a most puzzling conversation forthwith ensued between them and
their guide. One of the most common phrases of the people is "Kia
itumela", I thank you, or I am pleased; and the gentlemen were both
quite familiar with it, and with the word "metse", water. But there is a
word very similar in sound, "Kia timela", I am wandering; its perfect
is "Ki timetse", I have wandered. The party had been roaming about,
perfectly lost, till the sun went down; and, through their mistaking the
verb "wander" for "to be pleased", and "water", the colloquy went on at
intervals during the whole bitterly cold night in somewhat the following

"Where are the wagons?"

REAL ANSWER. "I don't know. I have wandered. I never wandered before. I
am quite lost."

SUPPOSED ANSWER. "I don't know. I want water. I am glad, I am quite
pleased. I am thankful to you."

"Take us to the wagons, and you will get plenty of water."

REAL ANSWER (looking vacantly around). "How did I wander? Perhaps the
well is there, perhaps not. I don't know. I have wandered."

SUPPOSED ANSWER. "Something about thanks; he says he is pleased, and
mentions water again." The guide's vacant stare while trying to remember
is thought to indicate mental imbecility, and the repeated thanks were
supposed to indicate a wish to deprecate their wrath.

"Well, Livingstone HAS played us a pretty trick, giving us in charge of
an idiot. Catch us trusting him again. What can this fellow mean by his
thanks and talk about water? Oh, you born fool! take us to the wagons,
and you will get both meat and water. Wouldn't a thrashing bring him to
his senses again?" "No, no, for then he will run away, and we shall be
worse off than we are now."

The hunters regained the wagons next day by their own sagacity, which
becomes wonderfully quickened by a sojourn in the Desert; and we enjoyed
a hearty laugh on the explanation of their midnight colloquies. Frequent
mistakes of this kind occur. A man may tell his interpreter to say that
he is a member of the family of the chief of the white men; "YES, YOU
SPEAK LIKE A CHIEF," is the reply, meaning, as they explain it, that a
chief may talk nonsense without any one daring to contradict him.
They probably have ascertained, from that same interpreter, that this
relative of the white chief is very poor, having scarcely any thing in
his wagon.

I sometimes felt annoyed at the low estimation in which some of my
hunting friends were held; for, believing that the chase is eminently
conducive to the formation of a brave and noble character, and that the
contest with wild beasts is well adapted for fostering that coolness
in emergencies, and active presence of mind, which we all admire, I
was naturally anxious that a higher estimate of my countrymen should be
formed in the native mind. "Have these hunters, who come so far and
work so hard, no meat at home?"--"Why, these men are rich, and could
slaughter oxen every day of their lives."--"And yet they come here, and
endure so much thirst for the sake of this dry meat, none of which is
equal to beef?"--"Yes, it is for the sake of play besides" (the idea of
sport not being in the language). This produces a laugh, as much as to
say, "Ah! you know better;" or, "Your friends are fools." When they can
get a man to kill large quantities of game for them, whatever HE may
think of himself or of his achievements, THEY pride themselves in having
adroitly turned to good account the folly of an itinerant butcher.

The water having at last flowed into the wells we had dug in sufficient
quantity to allow a good drink to all our cattle, we departed from
Serotli in the afternoon; but as the sun, even in winter, which it now
was, is always very powerful by day, the wagons were dragged but slowly
through the deep, heavy sand, and we advanced only six miles before
sunset. We could only travel in the mornings and evenings, as a single
day in the hot sun and heavy sand would have knocked up the oxen. Next
day we passed Pepacheu (white tufa), a hollow lined with tufa, in which
water sometimes stands, but it was now dry; and at night our trocheamer*
showed that we had made but twenty-five miles from Serotli.

   * This is an instrument which, when fastened on the wagon-wheel,
   records the number of revolutions made.  By multiplying this number
   by the circumference of the wheel, the actual distance traveled over
   is at once ascertained.

Ramotobi was angry at the slowness of our progress, and told us that,
as the next water was three days in front, if we traveled so slowly we
should never get there at all. The utmost endeavors of the servants,
cracking their whips, screaming and beating, got only nineteen miles out
of the poor beasts. We had thus proceeded forty-four miles from Serotli;
and the oxen were more exhausted by the soft nature of the country, and
the thirst, than if they had traveled double the distance over a hard
road containing supplies of water: we had, as far as we could judge,
still thirty miles more of the same dry work before us. At this season
the grass becomes so dry as to crumble to powder in the hands; so
the poor beasts stood wearily chewing, without taking a single fresh
mouthful, and lowing painfully at the smell of water in our vessels in
the wagons. We were all determined to succeed; so we endeavored to save
the horses by sending them forward with the guide, as a means of making
a desperate effort in case the oxen should fail. Murray went forward
with them, while Oswell and I remained to bring the wagons on their
trail as far as the cattle could drag them, intending then to send the
oxen forward too.

The horses walked quickly away from us; but, on the morning of the third
day, when we imagined the steeds must be near the water, we discovered
them just alongside the wagons. The guide, having come across the fresh
footprints of some Bushmen who had gone in an opposite direction to that
which we wished to go, turned aside to follow them. An antelope had been
ensnared in one of the Bushmen's pitfalls. Murray followed Ramotobi most
trustingly along the Bushmen's spoor, though that led them away from
the water we were in search of; witnessed the operation of slaughtering,
skinning, and cutting up the antelope; and then, after a hard day's
toil, found himself close upon the wagons! The knowledge still retained
by Ramotobi of the trackless waste of scrub, through which we were now
passing, seemed admirable. For sixty or seventy miles beyond Serotli,
one clump of bushes and trees seemed exactly like another; but, as we
walked together this morning, he remarked, "When we come to that hollow
we shall light upon the highway of Sekomi; and beyond that again
lies the River Mokoko;" which, though we passed along it, I could not
perceive to be a river-bed at all.

After breakfast, some of the men, who had gone forward on a little path
with some footprints of water-loving animals upon it, returned with the
joyful tidings of "metse", water, exhibiting the mud on their knees in
confirmation of the news being true. It does one's heart good to see the
thirsty oxen rush into a pool of delicious rain-water, as this was. In
they dash until the water is deep enough to be nearly level with their
throat, and then they stand drawing slowly in the long, refreshing
mouthfuls, until their formerly collapsed sides distend as if they would
burst. So much do they imbibe, that a sudden jerk, when they come out on
the bank, makes some of the water run out again from their mouths; but,
as they have been days without food too, they very soon commence to
graze, and of grass there is always abundance every where. This pool was
called Mathuluani; and thankful we were to have obtained so welcome a
supply of water.

After giving the cattle a rest at this spot, we proceeded down the dry
bed of the River Mokoko. The name refers to the water-bearing stratum
before alluded to; and in this ancient bed it bears enough of water
to admit of permanent wells in several parts of it. We had now the
assurance from Ramotobi that we should suffer no more from thirst. Twice
we found rain-water in the Mokoko before we reached Mokokonyani, where
the water, generally below ground elsewhere, comes to the surface in a
bed of tufa. The adjacent country is all covered with low, thorny scrub,
with grass, and here and there clumps of the "wait-a-bit thorn", or
'Acacia detinens'. At Lotlakani (a little reed), another spring three
miles farther down, we met with the first Palmyra trees which we had
seen in South Africa; they were twenty-six in number.

The ancient Mokoko must have been joined by other rivers below this, for
it becomes very broad, and spreads out into a large lake, of which the
lake we were now in search of formed but a very small part. We observed
that, wherever an ant-eater had made his hole, shells were thrown out
with the earth, identical with those now alive in the lake.

When we left the Mokoko, Ramotobi seemed, for the first time, to be at a
loss as to which direction to take. He had passed only once away to the
west of the Mokoko, the scenes of his boyhood. Mr. Oswell, while riding
in front of the wagons, happened to spy a Bushwoman running away in a
bent position, in order to escape observation. Thinking it to be a
lion, he galloped up to her. She thought herself captured, and began to
deliver up her poor little property, consisting of a few traps made of
cords; but, when I explained that we only wanted water, and would pay
her if she led us to it, she consented to conduct us to a spring. It was
then late in the afternoon, but she walked briskly before our horses for
eight miles, and showed us the water of Nchokotsa. After leading us to
the water, she wished to go away home, if indeed she had any--she had
fled from a party of her countrymen, and was now living far from all
others with her husband--but as it was now dark, we wished her to
remain. As she believed herself still a captive, we thought she might
slip away by night; so, in order that she should not go away with the
impression that we were dishonest, we gave her a piece of meat and a
good large bunch of beads; at the sight of the latter she burst into a
merry laugh, and remained without suspicion.

At Nchokotsa we came upon the first of a great number of salt-pans,
covered with an efflorescence of lime, probably the nitrate. A thick
belt of mopane-trees (a 'Bauhinia') hides this salt-pan, which is twenty
miles in circumference, entirely from the view of a person coming from
the southeast; and, at the time the pan burst upon our view, the setting
sun was casting a beautiful blue haze over the white incrustations,
making the whole look exactly like a lake. Oswell threw his hat up
in the air at the sight, and shouted out a huzza which made the poor
Bushwoman and the Bakwains think him mad. I was a little behind him, and
was as completely deceived by it as he; but, as we had agreed to allow
each other to behold the lake at the same instant, I felt a little
chagrined that he had, unintentionally, got the first glance. We had
no idea that the long-looked-for lake was still more than three hundred
miles distant. One reason of our mistake was, that the River Zouga was
often spoken of by the same name as the lake, viz., Noka ea Batletli
("River of the Batletli").

The mirage on these salinas was marvelous. It is never, I believe,
seen in perfection, except over such saline incrustations. Here not a
particle of imagination was necessary for realizing the exact picture
of large collections of water; the waves danced along above, and the
shadows of the trees were vividly reflected beneath the surface in such
an admirable manner, that the loose cattle, whose thirst had not been
slaked sufficiently by the very brackish water of Nchokotsa, with the
horses, dogs, and even the Hottentots ran off toward the deceitful
pools. A herd of zebras in the mirage looked so exactly like elephants
that Oswell began to saddle a horse in order to hunt them; but a sort
of break in the haze dispelled the illusion. Looking to the west and
northwest from Nchokotsa, we could see columns of black smoke, exactly
like those from a steam-engine, rising to the clouds, and were assured
that these arose from the burning reeds of the Noka ea Batletli.

On the 4th of July we went forward on horseback toward what we supposed
to be the lake, and again and again did we seem to see it; but at last
we came to the veritable water of the Zouga, and found it to be a river
running to the N.E. A village of Bakurutse lay on the opposite bank;
these live among Batletli, a tribe having a click in their language, and
who were found by Sebituane to possess large herds of the great horned
cattle. They seem allied to the Hottentot family. Mr. Oswell, in
trying to cross the river, got his horse bogged in the swampy bank. Two
Bakwains and I managed to get over by wading beside a fishing-weir. The
people were friendly, and informed us that this water came out of the
Ngami. This news gladdened all our hearts, for we now felt certain of
reaching our goal. We might, they said, be a moon on the way; but we had
the River Zouga at our feet, and by following it we should at last reach
the broad water.

Next day, when we were quite disposed to be friendly with every one,
two of the Bamangwato, who had been sent on before us by Sekomi to drive
away all the Bushmen and Bakalahari from our path, so that they should
not assist or guide us, came and sat down by our fire. We had seen their
footsteps fresh in the way, and they had watched our slow movements
forward, and wondered to see how we, without any Bushmen, found our way
to the waters. This was the first time they had seen Ramotobi. "You have
reached the river now," said they; and we, quite disposed to laugh at
having won the game, felt no ill-will to any one. They seemed to feel
no enmity to us either; but, after an apparently friendly conversation,
proceeded to fulfill to the last the instructions of their chief.
Ascending the Zouga in our front, they circulated the report that our
object was to plunder all the tribes living on the river and lake; but
when they had got half way up the river, the principal man sickened of
fever, turned back some distance, and died. His death had a good effect,
for the villagers connected it with the injury he was attempting to do
to us. They all saw through Sekomi's reasons for wishing us to fail in
our attempt; and though they came to us at first armed, kind and fair
treatment soon produced perfect confidence.

When we had gone up the bank of this beautiful river about ninety-six
miles from the point where we first struck it, and understood that we
were still a considerable distance from the Ngami, we left all the oxen
and wagons, except Mr. Oswell's, which was the smallest, and one team,
at Ngabisane, in the hope that they would be recruited for the home
journey, while we made a push for the lake. The Bechuana chief of the
Lake region, who had sent men to Sechele, now sent orders to all the
people on the river to assist us, and we were received by the Bakoba,
whose language clearly shows that they bear an affinity to the tribes
in the north. They call themselves Bayeiye, i.e., men; but the Bechuanas
call them Bakoba, which contains somewhat of the idea of slaves. They
have never been known to fight, and, indeed, have a tradition that their
forefathers, in their first essays at war, made their bows of the Palma
Christi, and, when these broke, they gave up fighting altogether. They
have invariably submitted to the rule of every horde which has overrun
the countries adjacent to the rivers on which they specially love to
dwell. They are thus the Quakers of the body politic in Africa.

A long time after the period of our visit, the chief of the Lake,
thinking to make soldiers of them, took the trouble to furnish them
with shields. "Ah! we never had these before; that is the reason we have
always succumbed. Now we will fight." But a marauding party came from
the Makololo, and our "Friends" at once paddled quickly, night and day,
down the Zouga, never daring to look behind them till they reached the
end of the river, at the point where we first saw it.

The canoes of these inland sailors are truly primitive craft: they are
hollowed out of the trunks of single trees by means of iron adzes; and
if the tree has a bend, so has the canoe. I liked the frank and manly
bearing of these men, and, instead of sitting in the wagon, preferred a
seat in one of the canoes. I found they regarded their rude vessels
as the Arab does his camel. They have always fires in them, and prefer
sleeping in them while on a journey to spending the night on shore. "On
land you have lions," say they, "serpents, hyaenas, and your enemies;
but in your canoe, behind a bank of reed, nothing can harm you." Their
submissive disposition leads to their villages being frequently visited
by hungry strangers. We had a pot on the fire in the canoe by the way,
and when we drew near the villages devoured the contents. When fully
satisfied ourselves, I found we could all look upon any intruders with
perfect complacency, and show the pot in proof of having devoured the
last morsel.

While ascending in this way the beautifully-wooded river, we came to a
large stream flowing into it. This was the River Tamunak'le. I inquired
whence it came. "Oh, from a country full of rivers--so many no one
can tell their number--and full of large trees." This was the first
confirmation of statements I had heard from the Bakwains who had
been with Sebituane, that the country beyond was not "the large sandy
plateau" of the philosophers. The prospect of a highway capable of being
traversed by boats to an entirely unexplored and very populous region,
grew from that time forward stronger and stronger in my mind; so much so
that, when we actually came to the lake, this idea occupied such a large
portion of my mental vision that the actual discovery seemed of but
little importance. I find I wrote, when the emotions caused by the
magnificent prospects of the new country were first awakened in my
breast, that they "might subject me to the charge of enthusiasm, a
charge which I wished I deserved, as nothing good or great had ever been
accomplished in the world without it."*

   * Letters published by the Royal Geographical Society.
   Read 11th February and 8th April, 1850.

Twelve days after our departure from the wagons at Ngabisane we came to
the northeast end of Lake Ngami; and on the 1st of August, 1849, we
went down together to the broad part, and, for the first time, this
fine-looking sheet of water was beheld by Europeans. The direction of
the lake seemed to be N.N.E. and S.S.W. by compass. The southern portion
is said to bend round to the west, and to receive the Teoughe from the
north at its northwest extremity. We could detect no horizon where we
stood looking S.S.W., nor could we form any idea of the extent of the
lake, except from the reports of the inhabitants of the district; and,
as they professed to go round it in three days, allowing twenty-five
miles a day would make it seventy-five, or less than seventy
geographical miles in circumference. Other guesses have been made since
as to its circumference, ranging between seventy and one hundred miles.
It is shallow, for I subsequently saw a native punting his canoe over
seven or eight miles of the northeast end; it can never, therefore,
be of much value as a commercial highway. In fact, during the months
preceding the annual supply of water from the north, the lake is so
shallow that it is with difficulty cattle can approach the water through
the boggy, reedy banks. These are low on all sides, but on the west
there is a space devoid of trees, showing that the waters have retired
thence at no very ancient date. This is another of the proofs of
desiccation met with so abundantly throughout the whole country. A
number of dead trees lie on this space, some of them imbedded in the
mud, right in the water. We were informed by the Bayeiye, who live on
the lake, that when the annual inundation begins, not only trees of
great size, but antelopes, as the springbuck and tsessebe ('Acronotus
lunata'), are swept down by its rushing waters; the trees are gradually
driven by the winds to the opposite side, and become imbedded in mud.

The water of the lake is perfectly fresh when full, but brackish when
low; and that coming down the Tamunak'le we found to be so clear, cold,
and soft, the higher we ascended, that the idea of melting snow was
suggested to our minds. We found this region, with regard to that from
which we had come, to be clearly a hollow, the lowest point being
Lake Kumadau; the point of the ebullition of water, as shown by one of
Newman's barometric thermometers, was only between 207-1/2 Deg. and 206
Deg., giving an elevation of not much more than two thousand feet above
the level of the sea. We had descended above two thousand feet in coming
to it from Kolobeng. It is the southern and lowest part of the great
river system beyond, in which large tracts of country are inundated
annually by tropical rains, hereafter to be described. A little of that
water, which in the countries farther north produces inundation, comes
as far south as 20d 20', the latitude of the upper end of the lake,
and instead of flooding the country, falls into the lake as into a
reservoir. It begins to flow down the Embarrah, which divides into the
rivers Tzo and Teoughe. The Tzo divides into the Tamunak'le and Mababe;
the Tamunak'le discharges itself into the Zouga, and the Teoughe into
the lake. The flow begins either in March or April, and the descending
waters find the channels of all these rivers dried out, except in
certain pools in their beds, which have long dry spaces between them.
The lake itself is very low. The Zouga is but a prolongation of the
Tamunak'le, and an arm of the lake reaches up to the point where the
one ends and the other begins. The last is narrow and shallow, while the
Zouga is broad and deep. The narrow arm of the lake, which on the map
looks like a continuation of the Zouga, has never been observed to flow
either way. It is as stagnant as the lake itself.

The Teoughe and Tamunak'le, being essentially the same river, and
receiving their supplies from the same source (the Embarrah or Varra),
can never outrun each other. If either could, or if the Teoughe could
fill the lake--a thing which has never happened in modern times--then
this little arm would prove a convenient escapement to prevent
inundation. If the lake ever becomes lower than the bed of the Zouga, a
little of the water of the Tamunak'le might flow into it instead of down
the Zouga; we should then have the phenomenon of a river flowing two
ways; but this has never been observed to take place here, and it is
doubtful if it ever can occur in this locality. The Zouga is broad and
deep when it leaves the Tamunak'le, but becomes gradually narrower as
you descend about two hundred miles; there it flows into Kumadau, a
small lake about three or four miles broad and twelve long. The water,
which higher up begins to flow in April, does not make much progress in
filling this lake till the end of June. In September the rivers cease
to flow. When the supply has been more than usually abundant, a little
water flows beyond Kumadau, in the bed first seen by us on the 4th of
July; if the quantity were larger, it might go further in the dry rocky
bed of the Zouga, since seen still further to the east. The water
supply of this part of the river system, as will be more fully explained
further on, takes place in channels prepared for a much more copious
flow. It resembles a deserted Eastern garden, where all the embankments
and canals for irrigation can be traced, but where, the main dam and
sluices having been allowed to get out of repair, only a small portion
can be laid under water. In the case of the Zouga the channel is
perfect, but water enough to fill the whole channel never comes down;
and before it finds its way much beyond Kumadau, the upper supply ceases
to run and the rest becomes evaporated. The higher parts of its bed even
are much broader and more capacious than the lower toward Kumadau. The
water is not absorbed so much as lost in filling up an empty channel,
from which it is to be removed by the air and sun. There is, I am
convinced, no such thing in the country as a river running into sand and
becoming lost. The phenomenon, so convenient for geographers, haunted
my fancy for years; but I have failed in discovering any thing except a
most insignificant approach to it.

My chief object in coming to the lake was to visit Sebituane, the great
chief of the Makololo, who was reported to live some two hundred miles
beyond. We had now come to a half-tribe of the Bamangwato, called
Batauana. Their chief was a young man named Lechulatebe. Sebituane
had conquered his father Moremi, and Lechulatebe received part of his
education while a captive among the Bayeiye. His uncle, a sensible
man, ransomed him; and, having collected a number of families together,
abdicated the chieftainship in favor of his nephew. As Lechulatebe had
just come into power, he imagined that the proper way of showing his
abilities was to act directly contrary to every thing that his uncle
advised. When we came, the uncle recommended him to treat us handsomely,
therefore the hopeful youth presented us with a goat only. It ought to
have been an ox. So I proposed to my companions to loose the animal
and let him go, as a hint to his master. They, however, did not wish to
insult him. I, being more of a native, and familiar with their customs,
knew that this shabby present was an insult to us. We wished to purchase
some goats or oxen; Lechulatebe offered us elephants' tusks. "No, we can
not eat these; we want something to fill our stomachs." "Neither can I;
but I hear you white men are all very fond of these bones, so I offer
them; I want to put the goats into my own stomach." A trader, who
accompanied us, was then purchasing ivory at the rate of ten good large
tusks for a musket worth thirteen shillings. They were called "bones";
and I myself saw eight instances in which the tusks had been left to rot
with the other bones where the elephant fell. The Batauana never had
a chance of a market before; but, in less than two years after our
discovery, not a man of them could be found who was not keenly alive to
the great value of the article.

On the day after our arrival at the lake, I applied to Lechulatebe for
guides to Sebituane. As he was much afraid of that chief, he objected,
fearing lest other white men should go thither also, and give Sebituane
guns; whereas, if the traders came to him alone, the possession of
fire-arms would give him such a superiority that Sebituane would be
afraid of him. It was in vain to explain that I would inculcate peace
between them--that Sebituane had been a father to him and Sechele, and
was as anxious to see me as he, Lechulatebe, had been. He offered to
give me as much ivory as I needed without going to that chief; but when
I refused to take any, he unwillingly consented to give me guides. Next
day, however, when Oswell and I were prepared to start, with the horses
only, we received a senseless refusal; and like Sekomi, who had thrown
obstacles in our way, he sent men to the Bayeiye with orders to refuse
us a passage across the river. Trying hard to form a raft at a narrow
part, I worked many hours in the water; but the dry wood was so
worm-eaten it would not bear the weight of a single person. I was not
then aware of the number of alligators which exist in the Zouga, and
never think of my labor in the water without feeling thankful that I
escaped their jaws. The season was now far advanced; and as Mr. Oswell,
with his wonted generous feelings, volunteered, on the spot, to go
down to the Cape and bring up a boat, we resolved to make our way south

Coming down the Zouga, we had now time to look at its banks. These are
very beautiful, resembling closely many parts of the River Clyde above
Glasgow. The formation is soft calcareous tufa, such as forms the bottom
of all this basin. The banks are perpendicular on the side to which
the water swings, and sloping and grassy on the other. The slopes are
selected for the pitfalls designed by the Bayeiye to entrap the animals
as they come to drink. These are about seven or eight feet deep, three
or four feet wide at the mouth, and gradually decrease till they are
only about a foot wide at the bottom. The mouth is an oblong square (the
only square thing made by the Bechuanas, for every thing else is round),
and the long diameter at the surface is about equal to the depth. The
decreasing width toward the bottom is intended to make the animal wedge
himself more firmly in by his weight and struggles. The pitfalls are
usually in pairs, with a wall a foot thick left uncut between the ends
of each, so that if the beast, when it feels its fore legs descending,
should try to save itself from going in altogether by striding the hind
legs, he would spring forward and leap into the second with a force
which insures the fall of his whole body into the trap. They are covered
with great care. All the excavated earth is removed to a distance, so as
not to excite suspicion in the minds of the animals. Reeds and grass are
laid across the top; above this the sand is thrown, and watered so as to
appear exactly like the rest of the spot. Some of our party plumped into
these pitfalls more than once, even when in search of them, in order to
open them to prevent the loss of our cattle. If an ox sees a hole, he
carefully avoids it; and old elephants have been known to precede the
herd and whisk off the coverings of the pitfalls on each side all the
way down to the water. We have known instances in which the old among
these sagacious animals have actually lifted the young out of the trap.

The trees which adorn the banks are magnificent. Two enormous baobabs
('Adansonia digitata'), or mowanas, grow near its confluence with the
lake where we took the observations for the latitude (20d 20' S.). We
were unable to ascertain the longitude of the lake, as our watches were
useless; it may be between 22 Deg. and 23 Deg. E. The largest of the two
baobabs was 76 feet in girth. The palmyra appears here and there among
trees not met with in the south. The mokuchong, or moshoma, bears an
edible fruit of indifferent quality, but the tree itself would be a fine
specimen of arboreal beauty in any part of the world. The trunk is often
converted into canoes. The motsouri, which bears a pink plum containing
a pleasant acid juice, resembles an orange-tree in its dark evergreen
foliage, and a cypress in its form. It was now winter-time, and we saw
nothing of the flora. The plants and bushes were dry; but wild indigo
abounded, as indeed it does over large tracts of Africa. It is called
mohetolo, or the "changer", by the boys, who dye their ornaments of
straw with the juice. There are two kinds of cotton in the country, and
the Mashona, who convert it into cloth, dye it blue with this plant.

We found the elephants in prodigious numbers on the southern bank. They
come to drink by night, and after having slaked their thirst--in doing
which they throw large quantities of water over themselves, and are
heard, while enjoying the refreshment, screaming with delight--they
evince their horror of pitfalls by setting off in a straight line to the
desert, and never diverge till they are eight or ten miles off. They are
smaller here than in the countries farther south. At the Limpopo,
for instance, they are upward of twelve feet high; here, only eleven:
farther north we shall find them nine feet only. The koodoo, or tolo,
seemed smaller, too, than those we had been accustomed to see. We
saw specimens of the kuabaoba, or straight-horned rhinoceros ('R.
Oswellii'), which is a variety of the white ('R. simus'); and we found
that, from the horn being projected downward, it did not obstruct the
line of vision, so that this species is able to be much more wary than
its neighbors.

We discovered an entirely new species of antelope, called leche or
lechwi. It is a beautiful water-antelope of a light brownish-yellow
color. Its horns--exactly like those of the 'Aigoceros ellipsiprimnus',
the waterbuck, or tumogo, of the Bechuanas--rise from the head with
a slight bend backward, then curve forward at the points. The chest,
belly, and orbits are nearly white, the front of the legs and ankles
deep brown. From the horns, along the nape to the withers, the male has
a small mane of the same yellowish color with the rest of the skin, and
the tail has a tuft of black hair. It is never found a mile from water;
islets in marshes and rivers are its favorite haunts, and it is quite
unknown except in the central humid basin of Africa. Having a good deal
of curiosity, it presents a noble appearance as it stands gazing, with
head erect, at the approaching stranger. When it resolves to decamp, it
lowers its head, and lays its horns down to a level with the withers;
it then begins with a waddling trot, which ends in its galloping and
springing over bushes like the pallahs. It invariably runs to the water,
and crosses it by a succession of bounds, each of which appears to be
from the bottom. We thought the flesh good at first, but soon got tired
of it.

Great shoals of excellent fish come down annually with the access of
waters. The mullet ('Mugil Africanus') is the most abundant. They are
caught in nets.

The 'Glanis siluris', a large, broad-headed fish, without scales, and
barbed--called by the natives "mosala"--attains an enormous size and
fatness. They are caught so large that when a man carries one over his
shoulder the tail reaches the ground. It is a vegetable feeder, and in
many of its habits resembles the eel. Like most lophoid fishes, it has
the power of retaining a large quantity of water in a part of its great
head, so that it can leave the river, and even be buried in the mud of
dried-up pools, without being destroyed. Another fish closely resembling
this, and named 'Clarias capensis' by Dr. Smith, is widely diffused
throughout the interior, and often leaves the rivers for the sake of
feeding in pools. As these dry up, large numbers of them are entrapped
by the people. A water-snake, yellow-spotted and dark brown, is often
seen swimming along with its head above the water: it is quite harmless,
and is relished as food by the Bayeiye.

They mention ten kinds of fish in their river; and, in their songs of
praise to the Zouga, say, "The messenger sent in haste is always forced
to spend the night on the way by the abundance of food you place before
him." The Bayeiye live much on fish, which is quite an abomination to
the Bechuanas of the south; and they catch them in large numbers by
means of nets made of the fine, strong fibres of the hibiscus, which
grows abundantly in all moist places. Their float-ropes are made of
the ife, or, as it is now called, the 'Sanseviere Angolensis', a
flag-looking plant, having a very strong fibre, that abounds from
Kolobeng to Angola; and the floats themselves are pieces of a
water-plant containing valves at each joint, which retain the air in
cells about an inch long. The mode of knotting the nets is identical
with our own.

They also spear the fish with javelins having a light handle, which
readily floats on the surface. They show great dexterity in harpooning
the hippopotamus; and, the barbed blade of the spear being attached to
a rope made of the young leaves of the palmyra, the animal can not
rid himself of the canoe, attached to him in whale fashion, except by
smashing it, which he not unfrequently does by his teeth or by a stroke
of his hind foot.

On returning to the Bakurutse, we found that their canoes for fishing
were simply large bundles of reeds tied together. Such a canoe would
be a ready extemporaneous pontoon for crossing any river that had reedy

Chapter 4.

Leave Kolobeng again for the Country of Sebituane--Reach the Zouga--
The Tsetse--A Party of Englishmen--Death of Mr. Rider--Obtain
Guides--Children fall sick with Fever--Relinquish the Attempt to reach
Sebituane--Mr. Oswell's Elephant-hunting--Return to Kolobeng--Make
a third Start thence--Reach Nchokotsa--Salt-pans--"Links", or
Springs--Bushmen--Our Guide Shobo--The Banajoa--An ugly Chief--The
Tsetse--Bite fatal to domestic Animals, but harmless to wild Animals
and Man--Operation of the Poison--Losses caused by it--The Makololo--
Our Meeting with Sebituane--Sketch of his Career--His Courage and
Conquests--Manoeuvres of the Batoka--He outwits them--His Wars with
the Matebele--Predictions of a native Prophet--Successes of the
Makololo--Renewed Attacks of the Matebele--The Island of Loyelo--Defeat
of the Matebele--Sebituane's Policy--His Kindness to Strangers and to
the Poor--His sudden Illness and Death--Succeeded by his Daughter--Her
Friendliness to us--Discovery, in June, 1851, of the Zambesi flowing
in the Centre of the Continent--Its Size--The Mambari--The
Slave-trade--Determine to send Family to England--Return to the Cape
in April, 1852--Safe Transit through the Caffre Country during
Hostilities--Need of a "Special Correspondent"--Kindness of the London
Missionary Society--Assistance afforded by the Astronomer Royal at the

Having returned to Kolobeng, I remained there till April, 1850, and then
left in company with Mrs. Livingstone, our three children, and the chief
Sechele--who had now bought a wagon of his own--in order to go across
the Zouga at its lower end, with the intention of proceeding up the
northern bank till we gained the Tamunak'le, and of then ascending that
river to visit Sebituane in the north. Sekomi had given orders to fill
up the wells which we had dug with so much labor at Serotli, so we took
the more eastern route through the Bamangwato town and by Letloche. That
chief asked why I had avoided him in our former journeys. I replied that
my reason was that I knew he did not wish me to go to the lake, and I
did not want to quarrel with him. "Well," he said, "you beat me then,
and I am content."

Parting with Sechele at the ford, as he was eager to visit Lechulatebe,
we went along the northern woody bank of the Zouga with great labor,
having to cut down very many trees to allow the wagons to pass. Our
losses by oxen falling into pitfalls were very heavy. The Bayeiye kindly
opened the pits when they knew of our approach; but when that was not
the case, we could blame no one on finding an established custom of the
country inimical to our interests. On approaching the confluence of the
Tamunak'le we were informed that the fly called tsetse* abounded on its
banks. This was a barrier we never expected to meet; and, as it might
have brought our wagons to a complete stand-still in a wilderness, where
no supplies for the children could be obtained, we were reluctantly
compelled to recross the Zouga.

   * 'Glossina morsitans', the first specimens of which were
   brought to England in 1848 by my friend Major Vardon, from the
   banks of the Limpopo.

From the Bayeiye we learned that a party of Englishmen, who had come to
the lake in search of ivory, were all laid low by fever, so we traveled
hastily down about sixty miles to render what aid was in our power.
We were grieved to find, as we came near, that Mr. Alfred Rider, an
enterprising young artist who had come to make sketches of this country
and of the lake immediately after its discovery, had died of fever
before our arrival; but by the aid of medicines and such comforts as
could be made by the only English lady who ever visited the lake, the
others happily recovered. The unfinished drawing of Lake Ngami was made
by Mr. Rider just before his death, and has been kindly lent for this
work by his bereaved mother.

Sechele used all his powers of eloquence with Lechulatebe to induce him
to furnish guides that I might be able to visit Sebituane on ox-back,
while Mrs. Livingstone and the children remained at Lake Ngami. He
yielded at last. I had a very superior London-made gun, the gift of
Lieutenant Arkwright, on which I placed the greatest value, both
on account of the donor and the impossibility of my replacing it.
Lechulatebe fell violently in love with it, and offered whatever
number of elephants' tusks I might ask for it. I too was enamored with
Sebituane; and as he promised in addition that he would furnish Mrs.
Livingstone with meat all the time of my absence, his arguments made me
part with the gun. Though he had no ivory at the time to pay me, I felt
the piece would be well spent on those terms, and delivered it to him.
All being ready for our departure, I took Mrs. Livingstone about six
miles from the town, that she might have a peep at the broad part of the
lake. Next morning we had other work to do than part, for our little boy
and girl were seized with fever. On the day following, all our servants
were down too with the same complaint. As nothing is better in these
cases than change of place, I was forced to give up the hope of seeing
Sebituane that year; so, leaving my gun as part payment for guides next
year, we started for the pure air of the Desert.

Some mistake had happened in the arrangement with Mr. Oswell, for we met
him on the Zouga on our return, and he devoted the rest of this season
to elephant-hunting, at which the natives universally declare he is the
greatest adept that ever came into the country. He hunted without dogs.
It is remarkable that this lordly animal is so completely harassed by
the presence of a few yelping curs as to be quite incapable of attending
to man. He makes awkward attempts to crush them by falling on his knees;
and sometimes places his forehead against a tree ten inches in diameter;
glancing on one side of the tree and then on the other, he pushes it
down before him, as if he thought thereby to catch his enemies. The only
danger the huntsman has to apprehend is the dogs running toward him, and
thereby leading the elephant to their master. Mr. Oswell has been known
to kill four large old male elephants a day. The value of the ivory in
these cases would be one hundred guineas. We had reason to be proud of
his success, for the inhabitants conceived from it a very high idea of
English courage; and when they wished to flatter me would say, "If you
were not a missionary you would just be like Oswell; you would not hunt
with dogs either." When, in 1852, we came to the Cape, my black coat
eleven years out of fashion, and without a penny of salary to draw,
we found that Mr. Oswell had most generously ordered an outfit for the
half-naked children, which cost about 200 Pounds, and presented it to
us, saying he thought Mrs. Livingstone had a right to the game of her
own preserves.

Foiled in this second attempt to reach Sebituane, we returned again to
Kolobeng, whither we were soon followed by a number of messengers from
that chief himself. When he heard of our attempts to visit him, he
dispatched three detachments of his men with thirteen brown cows to
Lechulatebe, thirteen white cows to Sekomi, and thirteen black cows to
Sechele, with a request to each to assist the white men to reach him.
Their policy, however, was to keep him out of view, and act as his
agents in purchasing with his ivory the goods he wanted. This is
thoroughly African; and that continent being without friths and arms
of the sea, the tribes in the centre have always been debarred from
European intercourse by its universal prevalence among all the people
around the coasts.

Before setting out on our third journey to Sebituane, it was necessary
to visit Kuruman; and Sechele, eager, for the sake of the commission
thereon, to get the ivory of that chief into his own hands, allowed all
the messengers to leave before our return. Sekomi, however, was more
than usually gracious, and even furnished us with a guide, but no one
knew the path beyond Nchokotsa which we intended to follow. When we
reached that point, we found that the main spring of the gun of another
of his men, who was well acquainted with the Bushmen, through whose
country we should pass, had opportunely broken. I never undertook
to mend a gun with greater zest than this; for, under promise of his
guidance, we went to the north instead of westward. All the other guides
were most liberally rewarded by Mr. Oswell.

We passed quickly over a hard country, which is perfectly flat. A little
soil lying on calcareous tufa, over a tract of several hundreds of
miles, supports a vegetation of fine sweet short grass, and mopane and
baobab trees. On several parts of this we found large salt-pans, one
of which, Ntwetwe, is fifteen miles broad and one hundred long. The
latitude might have been taken on its horizon as well as upon the sea.

Although these curious spots seem perfectly level, all those in this
direction have a gentle slope to the northeast: thither the rain-water,
which sometimes covers them, gently gravitates. This, it may be
recollected, is the direction of the Zouga. The salt dissolved in
the water has by this means all been transferred to one pan in that
direction, named Chuantsa; on it we see a cake of salt and lime an inch
and a half thick. All the others have an efflorescence of lime and one
of the nitrates only, and some are covered thickly with shells. These
shells are identical with those of the mollusca of Lake Ngami and the
Zouga. There are three varieties, spiral, univalve, and bivalve.

In every salt-pan in the country there is a spring of water on one side.
I can remember no exception to this rule. The water of these springs is
brackish, and contains the nitrate of soda. In one instance there are
two springs, and one more saltish than the other. If this supply came
from beds of rock salt the water would not be drinkable, as it generally
is, and in some instances, where the salt contained in the pan in which
these springs appear has been removed by human agency, no fresh deposit
occurs. It is therefore probable that these deposits of salt are the
remains of the very slightly brackish lakes of antiquity, large portions
of which must have been dried out in the general desiccation. We see an
instance in Lake Ngami, which, when low, becomes brackish, and this view
seems supported by the fact that the largest quantities of salt have
been found in the deepest hollows or lowest valleys, which have no
outlet or outgoing gorge; and a fountain, about thirty miles south of
the Bamangwato--the temperature of which is upward of 100 Deg.--while
strongly impregnated with pure salt, being on a flat part of the
country, is accompanied by no deposit.

When these deposits occur in a flat tufaceous country like the present,
a large space is devoid of vegetation, on account of the nitrates
dissolving the tufa, and keeping it in a state unfavorable to the growth
of plants.

We found a great number of wells in this tufa. A place called
Matlomagan-yana, or the "Links", is quite a chain of these never-failing
springs. As they occasionally become full in seasons when no rain
falls, and resemble somewhat in this respect the rivers we have already
mentioned, it is probable they receive some water by percolation from
the river system in the country beyond. Among these links we found many
families of Bushmen; and, unlike those on the plains of the Kalahari,
who are generally of short stature and light yellow color, these were
tall, strapping fellows, of dark complexion. Heat alone does not produce
blackness of skin, but heat with moisture seems to insure the deepest

One of these Bushmen, named Shobo, consented to be our guide over the
waste between these springs and the country of Sebituane. Shobo gave us
no hope of water in less than a month. Providentially, however, we came
sooner than we expected to some supplies of rain-water in a chain of
pools. It is impossible to convey an idea of the dreary scene on which
we entered after leaving this spot: the only vegetation was a low scrub
in deep sand; not a bird or insect enlivened the landscape. It was,
without exception, the most uninviting prospect I ever beheld; and,
to make matters worse, our guide Shobo wandered on the second day. We
coaxed him on at night, but he went to all points of the compass on the
trails of elephants which had been here in the rainy season, and then
would sit down in the path, and in his broken Sichuana say, "No water,
all country only; Shobo sleeps; he breaks down; country only;" and then
coolly curl himself up and go to sleep. The oxen were terribly fatigued
and thirsty; and on the morning of the fourth day, Shobo, after
professing ignorance of every thing, vanished altogether. We went on in
the direction in which we last saw him, and about eleven o'clock began
to see birds; then the trail of a rhinoceros. At this we unyoked the
oxen, and they, apparently knowing the sign, rushed along to find the
water in the River Mahabe, which comes from the Tamunak'le, and lay to
the west of us. The supply of water in the wagons had been wasted by one
of our servants, and by the afternoon only a small portion remained for
the children. This was a bitterly anxious night; and next morning the
less there was of water, the more thirsty the little rogues became. The
idea of their perishing before our eyes was terrible. It would almost
have been a relief to me to have been reproached with being the entire
cause of the catastrophe; but not one syllable of upbraiding was uttered
by their mother, though the tearful eye told the agony within. In the
afternoon of the fifth day, to our inexpressible relief, some of the men
returned with a supply of that fluid of which we had never before felt
the true value.

The cattle, in rushing along to the water in the Mahabe, probably
crossed a small patch of trees containing tsetse, an insect which was
shortly to become a perfect pest to us. Shobo had found his way to the
Bayeiye, and appeared, when we came up to the river, at the head of a
party; and, as he wished to show his importance before his friends, he
walked up boldly and commanded our whole cavalcade to stop, and to bring
forth fire and tobacco, while he coolly sat down and smoked his pipe. It
was such an inimitably natural way of showing off, that we all stopped
to admire the acting, and, though he had left us previously in the
lurch, we all liked Shobo, a fine specimen of that wonderful people, the

Next day we came to a village of Banajoa, a tribe which extends far to
the eastward. They were living on the borders of a marsh in which the
Mahabe terminates. They had lost their crop of corn ('Holcus sorghum'),
and now subsisted almost entirely on the root called "tsitla", a kind of
aroidoea, which contains a very large quantity of sweet-tasted starch.
When dried, pounded into meal, and allowed to ferment, it forms a not
unpleasant article of food. The women shave all the hair off their
heads, and seem darker than the Bechuanas. Their huts were built on
poles, and a fire is made beneath by night, in order that the smoke may
drive away the mosquitoes, which abound on the Mababe and Tamunak'le
more than in any other part of the country. The head man of this
village, Majane, seemed a little wanting in ability, but had had wit
enough to promote a younger member of the family to the office. This
person, the most like the ugly negro of the tobacconists' shops I ever
saw, was called Moroa Majane, or son of Majane, and proved an active
guide across the River Sonta, and to the banks of the Chobe, in the
country of Sebituane. We had come through another tsetse district
by night, and at once passed our cattle over to the northern bank to
preserve them from its ravages.

A few remarks on the Tsetse, or 'Glossina morsitans', may here be
appropriate. It is not much larger than the common house-fly, and is
nearly of the same brown color as the common honey-bee; the after part
of the body has three or four yellow bars across it; the wings project
beyond this part considerably, and it is remarkably alert, avoiding
most dexterously all attempts to capture it with the hand at common
temperatures; in the cool of the mornings and evenings it is less agile.
Its peculiar buzz when once heard can never be forgotten by the traveler
whose means of locomotion are domestic animals; for it is well known
that the bite of this poisonous insect is certain death to the ox,
horse, and dog. In this journey, though we were not aware of any great
number having at any time lighted on our cattle, we lost forty-three
fine oxen by its bite. We watched the animals carefully, and believe
that not a score of flies were ever upon them.

A most remarkable feature in the bite of the tsetse is its perfect
harmlessness in man and wild animals, and even calves, so long as they
continue to suck the cows. We never experienced the slightest injury
from them ourselves, personally, although we lived two months in their
HABITAT, which was in this case as sharply defined as in many others,
for the south bank of the Chobe was infested by them, and the northern
bank, where our cattle were placed, only fifty yards distant, contained
not a single specimen. This was the more remarkable, as we often saw
natives carrying over raw meat to the opposite bank with many tsetse
settled upon it.

The poison does not seem to be injected by a sting, or by ova placed
beneath the skin; for, when one is allowed to feed freely on the hand,
it is seen to insert the middle prong of three portions, into which the
proboscis divides, somewhat deeply into the true skin; it then draws it
out a little way, and it assumes a crimson color as the mandibles come
into brisk operation. The previously shrunken belly swells out, and,
if left undisturbed, the fly quietly departs when it is full. A slight
itching irritation follows, but not more than in the bite of a mosquito.
In the ox this same bite produces no more immediate effects than in man.
It does not startle him as the gad-fly does; but a few days afterward
the following symptoms supervene: the eye and nose begin to run, the
coat stares as if the animal were cold, a swelling appears under the
jaw, and sometimes at the navel; and, though the animal continues to
graze, emaciation commences, accompanied with a peculiar flaccidity
of the muscles, and this proceeds unchecked until, perhaps months
afterward, purging comes on, and the animal, no longer able to graze,
perishes in a state of extreme exhaustion. Those which are in good
condition often perish soon after the bite is inflicted with staggering
and blindness, as if the brain were affected by it. Sudden changes of
temperature produced by falls of rain seem to hasten the progress of the
complaint; but, in general, the emaciation goes on uninterruptedly for
months, and, do what we will, the poor animals perish miserably.

When opened, the cellular tissue on the surface of the body beneath the
skin is seen to be injected with air, as if a quantity of soap-bubbles
were scattered over it, or a dishonest, awkward butcher had been trying
to make it look fat. The fat is of a greenish-yellow color and of an
oily consistence. All the muscles are flabby, and the heart often so
soft that the fingers may be made to meet through it. The lungs and
liver partake of the disease. The stomach and bowels are pale and empty,
and the gall-bladder is distended with bile.

These symptoms seem to indicate what is probably the case, a poison in
the blood, the germ of which enters when the proboscis is inserted to
draw blood. The poison-germ, contained in a bulb at the root of
the proboscis, seems capable, although very minute in quantity, of
reproducing itself, for the blood after death by tsetse is very small
in quantity, and scarcely stains the hands in dissection. I shall
have by-and-by to mention another insect, which by the same operation
produces in the human subject both vomiting and purging.

The mule, ass, and goat enjoy the same immunity from the tsetse as man
and the game. Many large tribes on the Zambesi can keep no domestic
animals except the goat, in consequence of the scourge existing in their
country. Our children were frequently bitten, yet suffered no harm; and
we saw around us numbers of zebras, buffaloes, pigs, pallahs and other
antelopes, feeding quietly in the very habitat of the tsetse, yet as
undisturbed by its bite as oxen are when they first receive the fatal
poison. There is not so much difference in the natures of the horse
and zebra, the buffalo and ox, the sheep and antelope, as to afford
any satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon. Is a man not as much
a domestic animal as a dog? The curious feature in the case, that dogs
perish though fed on milk, whereas the calves escape so long as they
continue sucking, made us imagine that the mischief might be produced by
some plant in the locality, and not by tsetse; but Major Vardon, of the
Madras Army, settled that point by riding a horse up to a small hill
infested by the insect without allowing him time to graze, and, though
he only remained long enough to take a view of the country and catch
some specimens of tsetse on the animal, in ten days afterward the horse
was dead.

The well-known disgust which the tsetse shows to animal excreta, as
exhibited when a village is placed in its habitat, has been observed and
turned to account by some of the doctors. They mix droppings of animals,
human milk, and some medicines together, and smear the animals that are
about to pass through a tsetse district; but this, though it proves a
preventive at the time, is not permanent. There is no cure yet known for
the disease. A careless herdsman allowing a large number of cattle to
wander into a tsetse district loses all except the calves; and Sebituane
once lost nearly the entire cattle of his tribe, very many thousands,
by unwittingly coming under its influence. Inoculation does not insure
immunity, as animals which have been slightly bitten in one year may
perish by a greater number of bites in the next; but it is probable that
with the increase of guns the game will perish, as has happened in
the south, and the tsetse, deprived of food, may become extinct
simultaneously with the larger animals.

The Makololo whom we met on the Chobe were delighted to see us; and as
their chief Sebituane was about twenty miles down the river, Mr. Oswell
and I proceeded in canoes to his temporary residence. He had come from
the Barotse town of Naliele down to Sesheke as soon as he heard of white
men being in search of him, and now came one hundred miles more to
bid us welcome into his country. He was upon an island, with all his
principal men around him, and engaged in singing when we arrived. It
was more like church music than the sing-song ee ee ee, ae ae ae, of
the Bechuanas of the south, and they continued the tune for some
seconds after we approached. We informed him of the difficulties we had
encountered, and how glad we were that they were all at an end by at
last reaching his presence. He signified his own joy, and added, "Your
cattle are all bitten by the tsetse, and will certainly die; but never
mind, I have oxen, and will give you as many as you need." We, in our
ignorance, then thought that as so few tsetse had bitten them no great
mischief would follow. He then presented us with an ox and a jar of
honey as food, and handed us over to the care of Mahale, who had headed
the party to Kolobeng, and would now fain appropriate to himself the
whole credit of our coming. Prepared skins of oxen, as soft as cloth,
were given to cover us through the night; and, as nothing could be
returned to this chief, Mahale became the owner of them. Long before it
was day Sebituane came, and sitting down by the fire, which was
lighted for our benefit behind the hedge where we lay, he narrated the
difficulties he had himself experienced, when a young man, in crossing
that same desert which we had mastered long afterward. As he has been
most remarkable in his career, and was unquestionably the greatest man
in all that country, a short sketch of his life may prove interesting to
the reader.

Sebituane was about forty-five years of age; of a tall and wiry form,
an olive or coffee-and-milk color, and slightly bald; in manner cool
and collected, and more frank in his answers than any other chief I ever
met. He was the greatest warrior ever heard of beyond the colony; for,
unlike Mosilikatse, Dingaan, and others, he always led his men
into battle himself. When he saw the enemy, he felt the edge of his
battle-axe, and said, "Aha! it is sharp, and whoever turns his back on
the enemy will feel its edge." So fleet of foot was he, that all his
people knew there was no escape for the coward, as any such would be
cut down without mercy. In some instances of skulking he allowed the
individual to return home; then calling him, he would say, "Ah! you
prefer dying at home to dying in the field, do you? You shall have your
desire." This was the signal for his immediate execution.

He came from the country near the sources of the Likwa and Namagari
rivers in the south, so we met him eight hundred or nine hundred miles
from his birth-place. He was not the son of a chief, though related
closely to the reigning family of the Basutu; and when, in an attack by
Sikonyele, the tribe was driven out of one part, Sebituane was one in
that immense horde of savages driven back by the Griquas from Kuruman in
1824.* He then fled to the north with an insignificant party of men and
cattle. At Melita the Bangwaketse collected the Bakwains, Bakatla, and
Bahurutse, to "eat them up". Placing his men in front, and the women
behind the cattle, he routed the whole of his enemies at one blow.
Having thus conquered Makabe, the chief of the Bangwaketse, he took
immediate possession of his town and all his goods.

   * See an account of this affair in Moffat's "Missionary
   Enterprise in Africa".

Sebituane subsequently settled at the place called Litubaruba, where
Sechele now dwells, and his people suffered severely in one of those
unrecorded attacks by white men, in which murder is committed and
materials laid up in the conscience for a future judgment.

A great variety of fortune followed him in the northern part of the
Bechuana country; twice he lost all his cattle by the attacks of the
Matabele, but always kept his people together, and retook more than he
lost. He then crossed the Desert by nearly the same path that we did.
He had captured a guide, and, as it was necessary to travel by night in
order to reach water, the guide took advantage of this and gave him the
slip. After marching till morning, and going as they thought right,
they found themselves on the trail of the day before. Many of his
cattle burst away from him in the phrensy of thirst, and rushed back
to Serotli, then a large piece of water, and to Mashue and Lopepe, the
habitations of their original owners. He stocked himself again among the
Batletli, on Lake Kumadau, whose herds were of the large-horned species
of cattle.* Conquering all around the lake, he heard of white men living
at the west coast; and, haunted by what seems to have been the dream
of his whole life, a desire to have intercourse with the white man, he
passed away to the southwest, into the parts opened up lately by Messrs.
Galton and Andersson. There, suffering intensely from thirst, he and
his party came to a small well. He decided that the men, not the cattle,
should drink it, the former being of most value, as they could fight
for more should these be lost. In the morning they found the cattle had
escaped to the Damaras.

   * We found the Batauana in possession of this breed when we
   discovered Lake Ngami.  One of these horns, brought to England
   by Major Vardon, will hold no less than twenty-one imperial
   pints of water; and a pair, brought by Mr. Oswell, and now in
   the possession of Colonel Steele, measures from tip to tip
   eight and a half feet.

Returning to the north poorer than he started, he ascended the Teoughe
to the hill Sorila, and crossed over a swampy country to the eastward.
Pursuing his course onward to the low-lying basin of the Leeambye, he
saw that it presented no attraction to a pastoral tribe like his, so
he moved down that river among the Bashubia and Batoka, who were
then living in all their glory. His narrative resembled closely the
"Commentaries of Caesar", and the history of the British in India. He
was always forced to attack the different tribes, and to this day his
men justify every step he took as perfectly just and right. The
Batoka lived on large islands in the Leeambye or Zambesi, and, feeling
perfectly secure in their fastnesses, often allured fugitive or
wandering tribes on to uninhabited islets on pretense of ferrying them
across, and there left them to perish for the sake of their goods.
Sekomi, the chief of the Bamangwato, was, when a child, in danger of
meeting this fate; but a man still living had compassion on him, and
enabled his mother to escape with him by night. The river is so large
that the sharpest eye can not tell the difference between an island and
the bend of the opposite bank; but Sebituane, with his usual foresight,
requested the island chief who ferried him across to take his seat in
the canoe with him, and detained him by his side till all his people
and cattle were safely landed. The whole Batoka country was then densely
peopled, and they had a curious taste for ornamenting their villages
with the skulls of strangers. When Sebituane appeared near the great
falls, an immense army collected to make trophies of the Makololo
skulls; but, instead of succeeding in this, they gave him a good excuse
for conquering them, and capturing so many cattle that his people were
quite incapable of taking any note of the sheep and goats. He overran
all the high lands toward the Kafue, and settled in what is called a
pastoral country, of gently undulating plains, covered with short grass
and but little forest. The Makololo have never lost their love for this
fine, healthy region.

But the Matebele, a Caffre or Zulu tribe, under Mosilikatse, crossed
the Zambesi, and, attacking Sebituane in this choice spot, captured
his cattle and women. Rallying his men, he followed and recaptured the
whole. A fresh attack was also repulsed, and Sebituane thought of going
farther down the Zambesi, to the country of the white men. He had an
idea, whence imbibed I never could learn, that if he had a cannon he
might live in peace. He had led a life of war, yet no one apparently
desired peace more than he did. A prophet induced him to turn his
face again to the westward. This man, by name Tlapane, was called a
"senoga"--one who holds intercourse with the gods. He probably had
a touch of insanity, for he was in the habit of retiring no one knew
whither, but perhaps into some cave, to remain in a hypnotic or mesmeric
state until the moon was full. Then, returning to the tribe quite
emaciated, he excited himself, as others do who pretend to the prophetic
AFFLATUS, until he was in a state of ecstasy. These pretended prophets
commence their operations by violent action of the voluntary muscles.
Stamping, leaping, and shouting in a peculiarly violent manner, or
beating the ground with a club, they induce a kind of fit, and while
in it pretend that their utterances are unknown to themselves. Tlapane,
pointing eastward, said, "There, Sebituane, I behold a fire: shun it;
it is a fire which may scorch thee. The gods say, go not thither."
Then, turning to the west, he said, "I see a city and a nation of black
men--men of the water; their cattle are red; thine own tribe, Sebituane,
is perishing, and will be all consumed; thou wilt govern black men,
and, when thy warriors have captured red cattle, let not the owners be
killed; they are thy future tribe--they are thy city; let them be spared
to cause thee to build. And thou, Ramosinii, thy village will perish
utterly. If Mokari removes from that village he will perish first, and
thou, Ramosinii, wilt be the last to die." Concerning himself he added,
"The gods have caused other men to drink water, but to me they have
given bitter water of the chukuru (rhinoceros). They call me away
myself. I can not stay much longer."

This vaticination, which loses much in the translation, I have given
rather fully, as it shows an observant mind. The policy recommended was
wise, and the deaths of the "senoga" and of the two men he had named,
added to the destruction of their village, having all happened soon
after, it is not wonderful that Sebituane followed implicitly the
warning voice. The fire pointed to was evidently the Portuguese
fire-arms, of which he must have heard. The black men referred to were
the Barotse, or, as they term themselves, Baloiana; and Sebituane spared
their chiefs, even though they attacked him first. He had ascended the
Barotse valley, but was pursued by the Matebele, as Mosilikatse never
could forgive his former defeats. They came up the river in a very large
body. Sebituane placed some goats on one of the large islands of the
Zambesi as a bait to the warriors, and some men in canoes to co-operate
in the manoeuvre. When they were all ferried over to the island, the
canoes were removed, and the Matebele found themselves completely in a
trap, being perfectly unable to swim. They subsisted for some time on
the roots of grass after the goats were eaten, but gradually became so
emaciated that, when the Makololo landed, they had only to perform the
part of executioners on the adults, and to adopt the rest into their own
tribe. Afterward Mosilikatse was goaded on by his warriors to revenge
this loss; so he sent an immense army, carrying canoes with them, in
order that no such mishap might occur again. Sebituane had by this time
incorporated the Barotse, and taught his young men to manage canoes; so
he went from island to island, and watched the Matebele on the main land
so closely that they could not use their canoes to cross the river any
where without parting their forces. At last all the Makololo and their
cattle were collected on the island of Loyelo, and lay all around,
keeping watch night and day over the enemy. After some time spent in
this way, Sebituane went in a canoe toward them, and, addressing them by
an interpreter, asked why they wished to kill him; he had never attacked
them, never harmed their chief: "Au!" he continued, "the guilt is on
your side." The Matebele made no reply; but the Makololo next day saw
the canoes they had carried so far lying smashed, and the owners gone.
They returned toward their own country, and fever, famine, and
the Batoka completed their destruction; only five men returned to

Sebituane had now not only conquered all the black tribes over an
immense tract of country, but had made himself dreaded even by the
terrible Mosilikatse. He never could trust this ferocious chief,
however; and, as the Batoka on the islands had been guilty of ferrying
his enemies across the Zambesi, he made a rapid descent upon them,
and swept them all out of their island fastnesses. He thus unwittingly
performed a good service to the country by completely breaking down the
old system which prevented trade from penetrating into the great central
valley. Of the chiefs who escaped, he said, "They love Mosilikatse, let
them live with him: the Zambesi is my line of defense;" and men were
placed all along it as sentinels. When he heard of our wish to visit
him, he did all he could to assist our approach. Sechele, Sekomi, and
Lechulatebe owed their lives to his clemency; and the latter might have
paid dearly for his obstructiveness. Sebituane knew every thing that
happened in the country, for he had the art of gaining the affections
both of his own people and of strangers. When a party of poor men came
to his town to sell their hoes or skins, no matter how ungainly they
might be, he soon knew them all. A company of these indigent strangers,
sitting far apart from the Makololo gentlemen around the chief, would be
surprised to see him come alone to them, and, sitting down, inquire if
they were hungry. He would order an attendant to bring meal, milk, and
honey, and, mixing them in their sight, in order to remove any suspicion
from their minds, make them feast, perhaps for the first time in their
lives, on a lordly dish. Delighted beyond measure with his affability
and liberality, they felt their hearts warm toward him, and gave him
all the information in their power; and as he never allowed a party of
strangers to go away without giving every one of them, servants and all,
a present, his praises were sounded far and wide. "He has a heart! he is
wise!" were the usual expressions we heard before we saw him.

He was much pleased with the proof of confidence we had shown in
bringing our children, and promised to take us to see his country, so
that we might choose a part in which to locate ourselves. Our plan was,
that I should remain in the pursuit of my objects as a missionary, while
Mr. Oswell explored the Zambesi to the east. Poor Sebituane, however,
just after realizing what he had so long ardently desired, fell sick of
inflammation of the lungs, which originated in and extended from an old
wound got at Melita. I saw his danger, but, being a stranger, I feared
to treat him medically, lest, in the event of his death, I should be
blamed by his people. I mentioned this to one of his doctors, who said,
"Your fear is prudent and wise; this people would blame you." He had
been cured of this complaint, during the year before, by the Barotse
making a large number of free incisions in the chest. The Makololo
doctors, on the other hand, now scarcely cut the skin. On the Sunday
afternoon in which he died, when our usual religious service was over, I
visited him with my little boy Robert. "Come near," said Sebituane, "and
see if I am any longer a man. I am done." He was thus sensible of the
dangerous nature of his disease, so I ventured to assent, and added a
single sentence regarding hope after death. "Why do you speak of death?"
said one of a relay of fresh doctors; "Sebituane will never die." If I
had persisted, the impression would have been produced that by speaking
about it I wished him to die. After sitting with him some time, and
commending him to the mercy of God, I rose to depart, when the dying
chieftain, raising himself up a little from his prone position, called
a servant, and said, "Take Robert to Maunku (one of his wives), and tell
her to give him some milk." These were the last words of Sebituane.

We were not informed of his death until the next day. The burial of a
Bechuana chief takes place in his cattle-pen, and all the cattle are
driven for an hour or two around and over the grave, so that it may be
quite obliterated. We went and spoke to the people, advising them to
keep together and support the heir. They took this kindly; and in turn
told us not to be alarmed, for they would not think of ascribing the
death of their chief to us; that Sebituane had just gone the way of his
fathers; and though the father had gone, he had left children, and they
hoped that we would be as friendly to his children as we intended to
have been to himself.

He was decidedly the best specimen of a native chief I ever met. I
never felt so much grieved by the loss of a black man before; and it was
impossible not to follow him in thought into the world of which he had
just heard before he was called away, and to realize somewhat of the
feelings of those who pray for the dead. The deep, dark question of what
is to become of such as he, must, however, be left where we find it,
believing that, assuredly, the "Judge of all the earth will do right."

At Sebituane's death the chieftainship devolved, as her father intended,
on a daughter named Ma-mochisane. He had promised to show us his country
and to select a suitable locality for our residence. We had now to look
to the daughter, who was living twelve days to the north, at Naliele.
We were obliged, therefore, to remain until a message came from her;
and when it did, she gave us perfect liberty to visit any part of the
country we chose. Mr. Oswell and I then proceeded one hundred and thirty
miles to the northeast, to Sesheke; and in the end of June, 1851, we
were rewarded by the discovery of the Zambesi, in the centre of the
continent. This was a most important point, for that river was not
previously known to exist there at all. The Portuguese maps all
represent it as rising far to the east of where we now were; and if
ever any thing like a chain of trading stations had existed across
the country between the latitudes 12 Deg. and 18 Deg. south, this
magnificent portion of the river must have been known before. We saw it
at the end of the dry season, at the time when the river is about at its
lowest, and yet there was a breadth of from three hundred to six hundred
yards of deep flowing water. Mr. Oswell said he had never seen such a
fine river, even in India. At the period of its annual inundation it
rises fully twenty feet in perpendicular height, and floods fifteen or
twenty miles of lands adjacent to its banks.

The country over which we had traveled from the Chobe was perfectly
flat, except where there were large ant-hills, or the remains of former
ones, which had left mounds a few feet high. These are generally covered
with wild date-trees and palmyras, and in some parts there are forests
of mimosae and mopane. Occasionally the country between the Chobe and
Zambesi is flooded, and there are large patches of swamps lying near the
Chobe or on its banks. The Makololo were living among these swamps for
the sake of the protection the deep reedy rivers afforded them against
their enemies.

Now, in reference to a suitable locality for a settlement for myself,
I could not conscientiously ask them to abandon their defenses for my
convenience alone. The healthy districts were defenseless, and the safe
localities were so deleterious to human life, that the original Basutos
had nearly all been cut off by the fever; I therefore feared to subject
my family to the scourge.

As we were the very first white men the inhabitants had ever seen, we
were visited by prodigious numbers. Among the first who came to see us
was a gentleman who appeared in a gaudy dressing-gown of printed calico.
Many of the Makololo, besides, had garments of blue, green, and red
baize, and also of printed cottons; on inquiry, we learned that these
had been purchased, in exchange for boys, from a tribe called Mambari,
which is situated near Bihe. This tribe began the slave-trade with
Sebituane only in 1850, and but for the unwillingness of Lechulatebe
to allow us to pass, we should have been with Sebituane in time to have
prevented it from commencing at all. The Mambari visited in ancient
times the chief of the Barotse, whom Sebituane conquered, and he refused
to allow any one to sell a child. They never came back again till 1850;
and as they had a number of old Portuguese guns marked "Legitimo
de Braga", which Sebituane thought would be excellent in any future
invasion of Matebele, he offered to purchase them with cattle or ivory,
but the Mambari refused every thing except boys about fourteen years of
age. The Makololo declare they never heard of people being bought and
sold till then, and disliked it, but the desire to possess the guns
prevailed, and eight old guns were exchanged for as many boys; these
were not their own children, but captives of the black races they had
conquered. I have never known in Africa an instance of a parent selling
his own offspring. The Makololo were afterward incited to make a foray
against some tribes to the eastward; the Mambari bargaining to use their
guns in the attack for the captives they might take, and the Makololo
were to have all the cattle. They went off with at least two hundred
slaves that year. During this foray the Makololo met some Arabs from
Zanzibar, who presented them with three English muskets, and in return
received about thirty of their captives.

In talking with my companions over these matters, the idea was suggested
that, if the slave-market were supplied with articles of European
manufacture by legitimate commerce, the trade in slaves would become
impossible. It seemed more feasible to give the goods, for which the
people now part with their servants, in exchange for ivory and other
products of the country, and thus prevent the trade at the beginning,
than to try to put a stop to it at any of the subsequent steps. This
could only be effected by establishing a highway from the coast into the
centre of the country.

As there was no hope of the Boers allowing the peaceable instruction
of the natives at Kolobeng, I at once resolved to save my family from
exposure to this unhealthy region by sending them to England, and
to return alone, with a view to exploring the country in search of a
healthy district that might prove a centre of civilization, and open up
the interior by a path to either the east or west coast. This resolution
led me down to the Cape in April, 1852, being the first time during
eleven years that I had visited the scenes of civilization. Our route
to Cape Town led us to pass through the centre of the colony during
the twentieth month of a Caffre war; and if those who periodically pay
enormous sums for these inglorious affairs wish to know how our little
unprotected party could quietly travel through the heart of the colony
to the capital with as little sense or sign of danger as if we had been
in England, they must engage a "'Times' Special Correspondent" for
the next outbreak to explain where the money goes, and who have been
benefited by the blood and treasure expended.

Having placed my family on board a homeward-bound ship, and promised
to rejoin them in two years, we parted, for, as it subsequently proved,
nearly five years. The Directors of the London Missionary Society
signified their cordial approval of my project by leaving the matter
entirely to my own discretion; and I have much pleasure in acknowledging
my obligations to the gentlemen composing that body for always acting in
an enlightened spirit, and with as much liberality as their constitution
would allow.

I have the like pleasure in confessing my thankfulness to the Astronomer
Royal at the Cape, Thomas Maclear, Esq., for enabling me to recall
the little astronomical knowledge which constant manual labor and the
engrossing nature of missionary duties had effaced from my memory,
and in adding much that I did not know before. The promise he made on
parting, that he would examine and correct all my observations, had
more effect in making me persevere in overcoming the difficulties of an
unassisted solitary observer than any thing else; so whatever credit may
be attached to the geographical positions laid down in my route must
be attributed to the voluntary aid of the excellent and laborious
astronomer of the Cape observatory.

Having given the reader as rapid a sketch as possible of events which
attracted notice between 1840 and 1852, I now proceed to narrate the
incidents of the last and longest journey of all, performed in 1852-6.

Chapter 5.

Start in June, 1852, on the last and longest Journey from Cape Town--
Companions--Wagon-traveling--Physical Divisions of Africa--The
Eastern, Central, and Western Zones--The Kalahari Desert--Its
Vegetation--Increasing Value of the Interior for Colonization--
Our Route--Dutch Boers--Their Habits--Sterile Appearance of
the District--Failure of Grass--Succeeded by other Plants--
Vines--Animals--The Boers as Farmers--Migration of Springbucks--
Wariness of Animals--The Orange River--Territory of the Griquas and
Bechuanas--The Griquas--The Chief Waterboer--His wise and energetic
Government--His Fidelity--Ill-considered Measures of the Colonial
Government in regard to Supplies of Gunpowder--Success of the
Missionaries among the Griquas and Bechuanas--Manifest Improvement of
the native Character--Dress of the Natives--A full-dress Costume--A
Native's Description of the Natives--Articles of Commerce in the
Country of the Bechuanas--Their Unwillingness to learn, and Readiness
to criticise.

Having sent my family home to England, I started in the beginning of
June, 1852, on my last journey from Cape Town. This journey extended
from the southern extremity of the continent to St. Paul de Loando, the
capital of Angola, on the west coast, and thence across South Central
Africa in an oblique direction to Kilimane (Quilimane) in Eastern
Africa. I proceeded in the usual conveyance of the country, the heavy,
lumbering Cape wagon drawn by ten oxen, and was accompanied by two
Christian Bechuanas from Kuruman--than whom I never saw better servants
any where--by two Bakwain men, and two young girls, who, having come as
nurses with our children to the Cape, were returning to their home at
Kolobeng. Wagon-traveling in Africa has been so often described that
I need say no more than that it is a prolonged system of picnicking,
excellent for the health, and agreeable to those who are not
over-fastidious about trifles, and who delight in being in the open air.

Our route to the north lay near the centre of the cone-shaped mass of
land which constitutes the promontory of the Cape. If we suppose this
cone to be divided into three zones or longitudinal bands, we find each
presenting distinct peculiarities of climate, physical appearance and
population. These are more marked beyond than within the colony. At
some points one district seems to be continued in and to merge into the
other, but the general dissimilarity warrants the division, as an aid to
memory. The eastern zone is often furnished with mountains, well wooded
with evergreen succulent trees, on which neither fire nor droughts can
have the smallest effect ('Strelitzia', 'Zamia horrida', 'Portulacaria
afra', 'Schotia speciosa', 'Euphorbias', and 'Aloes arborescens');
and its seaboard gorges are clad with gigantic timber. It is also
comparatively well watered with streams and flowing rivers. The annual
supply of rain is considerable, and the inhabitants (Caffres or Zulus)
are tall, muscular, and well made; they are shrewd, energetic, and
brave; altogether they merit the character given them by military
authorities, of being "magnificent savages". Their splendid physical
development and form of skull show that, but for the black skin and
woolly hair, they would take rank among the foremost Europeans.

The next division, that which embraces the centre of the continent,
can scarcely be called hilly, for what hills there are are very low.
It consists for the most part of extensive, slightly undulating plains.
There are no lofty mountains, but few springs, and still fewer flowing
streams. Rain is far from abundant, and droughts may be expected every
few years. Without artificial irrigation no European grain can be
raised, and the inhabitants (Bechuanas), though evidently of the same
stock, originally, with those already mentioned, and closely resembling
them in being an agricultural as well as a pastoral people, are a
comparatively timid race, and inferior to the Caffres in physical

The western division is still more level than the middle one, being
rugged only near the coast. It includes the great plain called
the Kalahari Desert, which is remarkable for little water and very
considerable vegetation.

The reason, probably, why so little rain falls on this extensive
plain is that the prevailing winds of most of the interior country
are easterly, with a little southing. The moisture taken up by the
atmosphere from the Indian Ocean is deposited on the eastern hilly
slope; and when the moving mass of air reaches its greatest elevation,
it is then on the verge of the great valley, or, as in the case of
the Kalahari, the great heated inland plains; there, meeting with the
rarefied air of that hot, dry surface, the ascending heat gives it
greater capacity for retaining all its remaining humidity, and few
showers can be given to the middle and western lands in consequence of
the increased hygrometric power.

This is the same phenomenon, on a gigantic scale, as that which takes
place on Table Mountain, at the Cape, in what is called the spreading of
the "table-cloth". The southeast wind causes a mass of air, equal to
the diameter of the mountain, suddenly to ascend at least three thousand
feet; the dilatation produced by altitude, with its attendant cold,
causes the immediate formation of a cloud on the summit; the water in
the atmosphere becomes visible; successive masses of gliding-up and
passing-over air cause the continual formation of clouds, but the top of
the vapory mass, or "table-cloth", is level, and seemingly motionless;
on the lee side, however, the thick volumes of vapor curl over and
descend, but when they reach the point below, where greater density and
higher temperature impart enlarged capacity for carrying water, they
entirely disappear.

Now if, instead of a hollow on the lee side of Table Mountain, we had
an elevated heated plain, the clouds which curl over that side, and
disappear as they do at present when a "southeaster" is blowing, might
deposit some moisture on the windward ascent and top; but the heat would
then impart the increased capacity the air now receives at the lower
level in its descent to leeward, and, instead of an extended country
with a flora of the 'Disa grandiflora', 'gladiolus', 'rushes', and
'lichens', which now appear on Table Mountain, we should have only the
hardy vegetation of the Kalahari.

Why there should be so much vegetation on the Kalahari may be explained
by the geological formation of the country. There is a rim or fringe of
ancient rocks round a great central valley, which, dipping inward, form
a basin, the bottom of which is composed of the oldest silurian rocks.
This basin has been burst through and filled up in many parts by
eruptive traps and breccias, which often bear in their substances
angular fragments of the more ancient rocks, as shown in the fossils
they contain. Now, though large areas have been so dislocated that but
little trace of the original valley formation appears, it is highly
probable that the basin shape prevails over large tracts of the country;
and as the strata on the slopes, where most of the rain falls, dip in
toward the centre, they probably guide water beneath the plains but
ill supplied with moisture from the clouds. The phenomenon of stagnant
fountains becoming by a new and deeper outlet never-failing streams may
be confirmatory of the view that water is conveyed from the sides of the
country into the bottom of the central valley; and it is not beyond
the bounds of possibility that the wonderful river system in the north,
which, if native information be correct, causes a considerable increase
of water in the springs called Matlomagan-yana (the Links), extends its
fertilizing influence beneath the plains of the Kalahari.

The peculiar formation of the country may explain why there is such
a difference in the vegetation between the 20th and 30th parallels of
latitude in South Africa and the same latitudes in Central Australia.
The want of vegetation is as true of some parts too in the centre of
South America as of Australia; and the cause of the difference holds out
a probability for the success of artesian wells in extensive tracts of
Africa now unpeopled solely on account of the want of surface water.
We may be allowed to speculate a little at least on the fact of much
greater vegetation, which, from whatever source it comes, presents for
South Africa prospects of future greatness which we can not hope for
in Central Australia. As the interior districts of the Cape Colony
are daily becoming of higher value, offering to honest industry a fair
remuneration for capital, and having a climate unequaled in salubrity
for consumptive patients, I should unhesitatingly recommend any farmer
at all afraid of that complaint in his family to try this colony. With
the means of education already possessed, and the onward and upward
movement of the Cape population, he need entertain no apprehensions of
his family sinking into barbarism.

The route we at this time followed ran along the middle, or skirted the
western zone before alluded to, until we reached the latitude of Lake
Ngami, where a totally different country begins. While in the colony,
we passed through districts inhabited by the descendants of Dutch and
French refugees who had fled from religious persecution. Those living
near the capital differ but little from the middle classes in
English counties, and are distinguished by public spirit and general
intelligence; while those situated far from the centres of civilization
are less informed, but are a body of frugal, industrious, and hospitable
peasantry. A most efficient system of public instruction was established
in the time of Governor Sir George Napier, on a plan drawn up in a great
measure by that accomplished philosopher, Sir John Herschel. The system
had to contend with less sectarian rancor than elsewhere; indeed, until
quite recently, that spirit, except in a mild form, was unknown.

The population here described ought not to be confounded with some
Boers who fled from British rule on account of the emancipation of their
Hottentot slaves, and perhaps never would have been so had not every now
and then some Rip Van Winkle started forth at the Cape to justify in the
public prints the deeds of blood and slave-hunting in the far interior.
It is therefore not to be wondered at if the whole race is confounded
and held in low estimation by those who do not know the real composition
of the Cape community.

Population among the Boers increases rapidly; they marry soon, are
seldom sterile, and continue to have children late. I once met a worthy
matron whose husband thought it right to imitate the conduct of Abraham
while Sarah was barren; she evidently agreed in the propriety of the
measure, for she was pleased to hear the children by a mother of what
has been thought an inferior race address her as their mother. Orphans
are never allowed to remain long destitute; and instances are frequent
in which a tender-hearted farmer has adopted a fatherless child, and
when it came of age portioned it as his own.

Two centuries of the South African climate have not had much effect upon
the physical condition of the Boers. They are a shade darker, or
rather ruddier, than Europeans, and are never cadaverous-looking, as
descendants of Europeans are said to be elsewhere. There is a tendency
to the development of steatopyga, so characteristic of Arabs and other
African tribes; and it is probable that the interior Boers in another
century will become in color what the learned imagine our progenitors,
Adam and Eve, to have been.

The parts of the colony through which we passed were of sterile aspect;
and, as the present winter had been preceded by a severe drought,
many farmers had lost two thirds of their stock. The landscape was
uninviting; the hills, destitute of trees, were of a dark brown color,
and the scanty vegetation on the plains made me feel that they deserved
the name of Desert more than the Kalahari. When first taken possession
of, these parts are said to have been covered with a coating of grass,
but that has disappeared with the antelopes which fed upon it, and
a crop of mesembryanthemums and crassulas occupies its place. It is
curious to observe how, in nature, organizations the most dissimilar
are mutually dependent on each other for their perpetuation. Here the
original grasses were dependent for dissemination on the grass-feeding
animals, which scattered the seeds. When, by the death of the antelopes,
no fresh sowing was made, the African droughts proved too much for
this form of vegetation. But even this contingency was foreseen by
the Omniscient One; for, as we may now observe in the Kalahari Desert,
another family of plants, the mesembryanthemums, stood ready to
neutralize the aridity which must otherwise have followed. This family
of plants possesses seed-vessels which remain firmly shut on their
contents while the soil is hot and dry, and thus preserve the vegetative
power intact during the highest heat of the torrid sun; but when rain
falls, the seed-vessel opens and sheds its contents just when there is
the greatest probability of their vegetating. In other plants heat and
drought cause the seed-vessels to burst and shed their charge.

One of this family is edible ('Mesembryanthemum edule'); another
possesses a tuberous root, which may be eaten raw; and all are furnished
with thick, fleshy leaves, having pores capable of imbibing and
retaining moisture from a very dry atmosphere and soil, so that, if
a leaf is broken during a period of the greatest drought, it shows
abundant circulating sap. The plants of this family are found much
farther north, but the great abundance of the grasses prevents them from
making any show. There, however, they stand ready to fill up any gap
which may occur in the present prevailing vegetation; and should the
grasses disappear, animal life would not necessarily be destroyed,
because a reserve supply, equivalent to a fresh act of creative power,
has been provided.

One of this family, 'M. turbiniforme', is so colored as to blend in well
with the hue of the soil and stones around it; and a 'gryllus' of the
same color feeds on it. In the case of the insect, the peculiar color
is given as compensation for the deficiency of the powers of motion to
enable it to elude the notice of birds. The continuation of the species
is here the end in view. In the case of the plant the same device is
adopted for a sort of double end, viz., perpetuation of the plant by
hiding it from animals, with the view that ultimately its extensive
appearance will sustain that race.

As this new vegetation is better adapted for sheep and goats in a dry
country than grass, the Boers supplant the latter by imitating the
process by which graminivorous antelopes have so abundantly disseminated
the seed of grasses. A few wagon-loads of mesembryanthemum plants, in
seed, are brought to a farm covered with a scanty crop of coarse grass,
and placed on a spot to which the sheep have access in the evenings. As
they eat a little every night, the seeds are dropped over the grazing
grounds in this simple way, with a regularity which could not be matched
except at the cost of an immense amount of labor. The place becomes in
the course of a few years a sheep-farm, as these animals thrive on such
herbage. As already mentioned, some plants of this family are furnished
with an additional contrivance for withstanding droughts, viz.,
oblong tubers, which, buried deep enough beneath the soil for complete
protection from the scorching sun, serve as reservoirs of sap and
nutriment during those rainless periods which recur perpetually in even
the most favored spots of Africa. I have adverted to this peculiarity
as often seen in the vegetation of the Desert; and, though rather out of
place, it may be well--while noticing a clever imitation of one
process in nature by the Cape farmers--to suggest another for their
consideration. The country beyond south lat. 18 Deg. abounds in three
varieties of grape-bearing vines, and one of these is furnished with
oblong tubers every three or four inches along the horizontal root.
They resemble closely those of the asparagus. This increase of power to
withstand the effects of climate might prove of value in the more arid
parts of the Cape colony, grapes being well known to be an excellent
restorative in the debility produced by heat: by ingrafting, or by some
of those curious manipulations which we read of in books on gardening, a
variety might be secured better adapted to the country than the foreign
vines at present cultivated. The Americans find that some of their
native vines yield wines superior to those made from the very best
imported vines from France and Portugal. What a boon a vine of the sort
contemplated would have been to a Rhenish missionary I met at a part in
the west of the colony called Ebenezer, whose children had never seen
flowers, though old enough to talk about them!

The slow pace at which we wound our way through the colony made almost
any subject interesting. The attention is attracted to the names
of different places, because they indicate the former existence of
buffaloes, elands, and elephants, which are now to be found only
hundreds of miles beyond. A few blesbucks ('Antilope pygarga'), gnus,
bluebucks ('A. cerulea'), steinbucks, and the ostrich ('Struthio
camelus'), continue, like the Bushmen, to maintain a precarious
existence when all the rest are gone. The elephant, the most sagacious,
flees the sound of fire-arms first; the gnu and ostrich, the most wary
and the most stupid, last. The first emigrants found the Hottentots in
possession of prodigious herds of fine cattle, but no horses, asses, or
camels. The original cattle, which may still be seen in some parts of
the frontier, must have been brought south from the north-northeast,
for from this point the natives universally ascribe their original
migration. They brought cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs; why not the
horse, the delight of savage hordes? Horses thrive well in the Cape
Colony when imported. Naturalists point out certain mountain ranges
as limiting the habitat of certain classes of animals; but there is
no Cordillera in Africa to answer that purpose, there being no visible
barrier between the northeastern Arabs and the Hottentot tribes to
prevent the different hordes, as they felt their way southward, from
indulging their taste for the possession of this noble animal.

I am here led to notice an invisible barrier, more insurmountable than
mountain ranges, but which is not opposed to the southern progress of
cattle, goats, and sheep. The tsetse would prove a barrier only until
its well-defined habitat was known, but the disease passing under the
term of horse-sickness (peripneumonia) exists in such virulence over
nearly seven degrees of latitude that no precaution would be sufficient
to save these animals. The horse is so liable to this disease, that only
by great care in stabling can he be kept any where between 20 Deg.
and 27 Deg. S. during the time between December and April. The winter,
beginning in the latter month, is the only period in which Englishmen
can hunt on horseback, and they are in danger of losing all their studs
some months before December. To this disease the horse is especially
exposed, and it is almost always fatal. One attack, however, seems to
secure immunity from a second. Cattle, too, are subject to it, but only
at intervals of a few, sometimes many years; but it never makes a clean
sweep of the whole cattle of a village, as it would do of a troop of
fifty horses. This barrier, then, seems to explain the absence of the
horse among the Hottentots, though it is not opposed to the southern
migration of cattle, sheep, and goats.

When the flesh of animals that have died of this disease is eaten, it
causes a malignant carbuncle, which, when it appears over any important
organ, proves rapidly fatal. It is more especially dangerous over the
pit of the stomach. The effects of the poison have been experienced
by missionaries who had eaten properly cooked food, the flesh of sheep
really but not visibly affected by the disease. The virus in the flesh
of the animal is destroyed neither by boiling nor roasting. This fact,
of which we have had innumerable examples, shows the superiority of
experiments on a large scale to those of acute and able physiologists
and chemists in the laboratory, for a well known physician of Paris,
after careful investigation, considered that the virus in such cases was
completely neutralized by boiling.

This disease attacks wild animals too. During our residence at Chonuan
great numbers of tolos, or koodoos, were attracted to the gardens of the
Bakwains, abandoned at the usual period of harvest because there was no
prospect of the corn ('Holcus sorghum') bearing that year. The koodoo is
remarkably fond of the green stalks of this kind of millet. Free feeding
produced that state of fatness favorable for the development of this
disease, and no fewer than twenty-five died on the hill opposite our
house. Great numbers of gnus and zebras perished from the same cause,
but the mortality produced no sensible diminution in the numbers of the
game, any more than the deaths of many of the Bakwains who persisted,
in spite of every remonstrance, in eating the dead meat, caused any
sensible decrease in the strength of the tribe.

The farms of the Boers consist generally of a small patch of cultivated
land in the midst of some miles of pasturage. They are thus less an
agricultural than a pastoral people. Each farm must have its fountain;
and where no such supply of water exists, the government lands are
unsalable. An acre in England is thus generally more valuable than a
square mile in Africa. But the country is prosperous, and capable of
great improvement. The industry of the Boers augurs well for the future
formation of dams and tanks, and for the greater fruitfulness that would
certainly follow.

As cattle and sheep farmers the colonists are very successful. Larger
and larger quantities of wool are produced annually, and the value of
colonial farms increases year by year. But the system requires that
with the increase of the population there should be an extension of
territory. Wide as the country is, and thinly inhabited, the farmers
feel it to be too limited, and they are gradually spreading to the
north. This movement proves prejudicial to the country behind, for
labor, which would be directed to the improvement of the colony, is
withdrawn and expended in a mode of life little adapted to the exercise
of industrial habits. That, however, does not much concern the rest of
mankind. Nor does it seem much of an evil for men who cultivate the soil
to claim a right to appropriate lands for tillage which other men only
hunt over, provided some compensation for the loss of sustenance be
awarded. The original idea of a title seems to have been that "subduing"
or cultivating gave that right. But this rather Chartist principle must
be received with limitations, for its recognition in England would lead
to the seizure of all our broad ancestral acres by those who are
willing to cultivate them. And, in the case under consideration, the
encroachments lead at once to less land being put under the plow than
is subjected to the native hoe, for it is a fact that the Basutos and
Zulus, or Caffres of Natal, cultivate largely, and undersell our farmers
wherever they have a fair field and no favor.

Before we came to the Orange River we saw the last portion of a
migration of springbucks ('Gazella euchore', or tsepe). They come from
the great Kalahari Desert, and, when first seen after crossing the
colonial boundary, are said often to exceed forty thousand in number. I
can not give an estimate of their numbers, for they appear spread over
a vast expanse of country, and make a quivering motion as they feed, and
move, and toss their graceful horns. They feed chiefly on grass; and as
they come from the north about the time when the grass most abounds,
it can not be want of food that prompts the movement. Nor is it want of
water, for this antelope is one of the most abstemious in that respect.
Their nature prompts them to seek as their favorite haunts level plains
with short grass, where they may be able to watch the approach of an
enemy. The Bakalahari take advantage of this feeling, and burn off large
patches of grass, not only to attract the game by the new crop when it
comes up, but also to form bare spots for the springbuck to range over.

It is not the springbuck alone that manifests this feeling. When oxen
are taken into a country of high grass, they are much more ready to be
startled; their sense of danger is increased by the increased power
of concealment afforded to an enemy by such cover, and they will often
start off in terror at the ill-defined outlines of each other. The
springbuck, possessing this feeling in an intense degree, and being
eminently gregarious, becomes uneasy as the grass of the Kalahari
becomes tall. The vegetation being more sparse in the more arid south,
naturally induces the different herds to turn in that direction. As they
advance and increase in numbers, the pasturage becomes more scarce; it
is still more so the further they go, until they are at last obliged, in
order to obtain the means of subsistence, to cross the Orange River, and
become the pest of the sheep-farmer in a country which contains scarcely
any of their favorite grassy food. If they light on a field of wheat
in their way, an army of locusts could not make a cleaner sweep of the
whole than they will do. It is questionable whether they ever return, as
they have never been seen as a returning body. Many perish from want of
food, the country to which they have migrated being unable to support
them; the rest become scattered over the colony; and in such a
wide country there is no lack of room for all. It is probable that,
notwithstanding the continued destruction by fire-arms, they will
continue long to hold their place.

On crossing the Orange River we come into independent territory
inhabited by Griquas and Bechuanas. By Griquas is meant any mixed race
sprung from natives and Europeans. Those in question were of Dutch
extraction, through association with Hottentot and Bushwomen.
Half-castes of the first generation consider themselves superior to
those of the second, and all possess in some degree the characteristics
of both parents. They were governed for many years by an elected chief,
named Waterboer, who, by treaty, received a small sum per annum from
the colonial government for the support of schools in his country, and
proved a most efficient guard of our northwest boundary. Cattle-stealing
was totally unknown during the whole period of this able chief's
reign; and he actually drove back, single-handed, a formidable force of
marauding Mantatees that threatened to invade the colony.* But for that
brave Christian man, Waterboer, there is every human probability that
the northwest would have given the colonists as much trouble as the
eastern frontier; for large numbers among the original Griquas had
as little scruple about robbing farmers of cattle as the Caffres are
reputed to have. On the election of Waterboer to the chieftainship,
he distinctly declared THAT NO MARAUDING SHOULD BE ALLOWED. As the
government of none of these tribes is despotic, some of his principal
men, in spite of this declaration, plundered some villages of Corannas
living to the south of the Orange River. He immediately seized six of
the ringleaders, and, though the step put his own position in jeopardy,
he summoned his council, tried, condemned, and publicly executed the
whole six. This produced an insurrection, and the insurgents twice
attacked his capital, Griqua Town, with the intention of deposing him;
but he bravely defeated both attempts, and from that day forth, during
his long reign of thirty years, not a single plundering expedition ever
left his territory. Having witnessed the deleterious effects of the
introduction of ardent spirits among his people, he, with characteristic
energy, decreed that any Boer or Griqua bringing brandy into the country
should have his property in ardent spirits confiscated and poured out on
the ground. The Griqua chiefs living farther east were unable to carry
this law into effect as he did, hence the greater facility with which
Boers in that direction got the Griquas to part with their farms.

   * For an account of this, see Moffat's "Scenes and Labors in
   South Africa".

Ten years after he was firmly established in power he entered into a
treaty with the colonial government, and during the twenty years which
followed not a single charge was ever brought against either him or
his people; on the contrary, his faithful adherence to the stipulated
provisions elicited numerous expressions of approbation from successive
governments. A late governor, however, of whom it is impossible to speak
without respect, in a paroxysm of generalship which might have been
good, had it not been totally inappropriate to the case, set about
conciliating a band of rebellious British subjects (Boers), who murdered
the Honorable Captain Murray, by proclaiming their independence while
still in open rebellion, and not only abrogated the treaty with the
Griquas, but engaged to stop the long-accustomed supplies of gunpowder
for the defense of the frontier, and even to prevent them from
purchasing it for their own defense by lawful trade.

If it had been necessary to prevent supplies of ammunition from finding
their way into the country, as it probably was, one might imagine that
the exception should not have been made in favor of either Boers or
Caffres, our openly-avowed enemies; but, nevertheless, the exception was
made, and is still continued in favor of the Boers, while the Bechuanas
and Griquas, our constant friends, are debarred from obtaining a
single ounce for either defense or trade; indeed, such was the state of
ignorance as to the relation of the border tribes with the English, even
at Cape Town, that the magistrates, though willing to aid my researches,
were sorely afraid to allow me to purchase more than ten pounds of
gunpowder, lest the Bechuanas should take it from me by force. As it
turned out, I actually left more than that quantity for upward of two
years in an open box in my wagon at Linyanti.

The lamented Sir George Cathcart, apparently unconscious of what he was
doing, entered into a treaty with the Transvaal Boers, in which articles
were introduced for the free passage of English traders to the north,
and for the entire prohibition of slavery in the free state. Then passed
the "gunpowder ordinance", by which the Bechuanas, whom alone the Boers
dare attempt to enslave, were rendered quite defenseless. The Boers
never attempt to fight with Caffres, nor to settle in Caffreland. We
still continue to observe the treaty. The Boers never did, and
never intended to abide by its provisions; for, immediately on the
proclamation of their independence, a slave-hunt was undertaken against
the Bechuanas of Sechele by four hundred Boers, under Mr. Peit Scholz,
and the plan was adopted which had been cherished in their hearts
ever since the emancipation of the Hottentots. Thus, from unfortunate
ignorance of the country he had to govern, an able and sagacious
governor adopted a policy proper and wise had it been in front of our
enemies, but altogether inappropriate for our friends against whom it
has been applied. Such an error could not have been committed by a man
of local knowledge and experience, such as that noble of colonial birth,
Sir Andries Stockenstrom; and such instances of confounding friend and
foe, in the innocent belief of thereby promoting colonial interests,
will probably lead the Cape community, the chief part of which by no
means feels its interest to lie in the degradation of the native tribes,
to assert the right of choosing their own governors. This, with colonial
representation in the Imperial Parliament, in addition to the local
self-government already so liberally conceded, would undoubtedly secure
the perpetual union of the colony to the English crown.

Many hundreds of both Griquas and Bechuanas have become Christians and
partially civilized through the teaching of English missionaries. My
first impressions of the progress made were that the accounts of the
effects of the Gospel among them had been too highly colored. I expected
a higher degree of Christian simplicity and purity than exists either
among them or among ourselves. I was not anxious for a deeper insight
in detecting shams than others, but I expected character, such as
we imagine the primitive disciples had--and was disappointed.* When,
however, I passed on to the true heathen in the countries beyond the
sphere of missionary influence, and could compare the people there with
the Christian natives, I came to the conclusion that, if the question
were examined in the most rigidly severe or scientific way, the change
effected by the missionary movement would be considered unquestionably

   * The popular notion, however, of the primitive Church is
   perhaps not very accurate.  Those societies especially which
   consisted of converted Gentiles--men who had been accustomed
   to the vices and immoralities of heathenism--were certainly
   any thing but pure.  In spite of their conversion, some of
   them carried the stains and vestiges of their former state
   with them when they passed from the temple to the church.  If
   the instructed and civilized Greek did not all at once rise
   out of his former self, and understand and realize the high
   ideal of his new faith, we should be careful, in judging of
   the work of missionaries among savage tribes, not to apply to
   their converts tests and standards of too great severity. If
   the scoffing Lucian's account of the impostor Peregrinus may
   be believed, we find a church probably planted by the apostles
   manifesting less intelligence even than modern missionary
   churches.  Peregrinus, a notoriously wicked man, was elected
   to the chief place among them, while Romish priests, backed by
   the power of France, could not find a place at all in the
   mission churches of Tahiti and Madagascar.

We can not fairly compare these poor people with ourselves, who have an
atmosphere of Christianity and enlightened public opinion, the growth of
centuries, around us, to influence our deportment; but let any one
from the natural and proper point of view behold the public morality of
Griqua Town, Kuruman, Likatlong, and other villages, and remember what
even London was a century ago, and he must confess that the Christian
mode of treating aborigines is incomparably the best.

The Griquas and Bechuanas were in former times clad much like the
Caffres, if such a word may be used where there is scarcely any clothing
at all. A bunch of leather strings about eighteen inches long hung from
the lady's waist in front, and a prepared skin of a sheep or antelope
covered the shoulders, leaving the breast and abdomen bare: the men wore
a patch of skin, about the size of the crown of one's hat, which barely
served for the purposes of decency, and a mantle exactly like that
of the women. To assist in protecting the pores of the skin from the
influence of the sun by day and of the cold by night, all smeared
themselves with a mixture of fat and ochre; the head was anointed with
pounded blue mica schist mixed with fat; and the fine particles of
shining mica, falling on the body and on strings of beads and brass
rings, were considered as highly ornamental, and fit for the most
fastidious dandy. Now these same people come to church in decent though
poor clothing, and behave with a decorum certainly superior to what
seems to have been the case in the time of Mr. Samuel Pepys in London.
Sunday is well observed, and, even in localities where no missionary
lives, religious meetings are regularly held, and children and adults
taught to read by the more advanced of their own fellow-countrymen; and
no one is allowed to make a profession of faith by baptism unless he
knows how to read, and understands the nature of the Christian religion.

The Bechuana Mission has been so far successful that, when coming from
the interior, we always felt, on reaching Kuruman, that we had returned
to civilized life. But I would not give any one to understand by this
that they are model Christians--we can not claim to be model Christians
ourselves--or even in any degree superior to the members of our country
churches. They are more stingy and greedy than the poor at home; but in
many respects the two are exactly alike. On asking an intelligent chief
what he thought of them, he replied, "You white men have no idea of how
wicked we are; we know each other better than you; some feign belief to
ingratiate themselves with the missionaries; some profess Christianity
because they like the new system, which gives so much more importance to
the poor, and desire that the old system may pass away; and the rest--a
pretty large number--profess because they are really true believers."
This testimony may be considered as very nearly correct.

There is not much prospect of this country ever producing much of the
materials of commerce except wool. At present the chief articles of
trade are karosses or mantles--the skins of which they are composed come
from the Desert; next to them, ivory, the quantity of which can not
now be great, inasmuch as the means of shooting elephants is sedulously
debarred entrance into the country. A few skins and horns, and some
cattle, make up the remainder of the exports. English goods, sugar, tea,
and coffee are the articles received in exchange. All the natives
of these parts soon become remarkably fond of coffee. The acme of
respectability among the Bechuanas is the possession of cattle and
a wagon. It is remarkable that, though these latter require frequent
repairs, none of the Bechuanas have ever learned to mend them. Forges
and tools have been at their service, and teachers willing to aid them,
but, beyond putting together a camp-stool, no effort has ever been made
to acquire a knowledge of the trades. They observe most carefully a
missionary at work until they understand whether a tire is well welded
or not, and then pronounce upon its merits with great emphasis, but
there their ambition rests satisfied. It is the same peculiarity among
ourselves which leads us in other matters, such as book-making, to
attain the excellence of fault-finding without the wit to indite a page.
It was in vain I tried to indoctrinate the Bechuanas with the idea
that criticism did not imply any superiority over the workman, or even
equality with him.

Chapter 6.

Kuruman--Its fine Fountain--Vegetation of the District--Remains
of ancient Forests--Vegetable Poison--The Bible translated by
Mr. Moffat--Capabilities of the Language--Christianity among the
Natives--The Missionaries should extend their Labors more beyond the
Cape Colony--Model Christians--Disgraceful Attack of the Boers on
the Bakwains--Letter from Sechele--Details of the Attack--Numbers of
School-children carried away into Slavery--Destruction of House and
Property at Kolobeng--The Boers vow Vengeance against me--Consequent
Difficulty of getting Servants to accompany me on my Journey--Start in
November, 1852--Meet Sechele on his way to England to obtain Redress
from the Queen--He is unable to proceed beyond the Cape--Meet Mr.
Macabe on his Return from Lake Ngami--The hot Wind of the
Desert--Electric State of the Atmosphere--Flock of Swifts--Reach
Litubaruba--The Cave Lepelole--Superstitions regarding it--Impoverished
State of the Bakwains--Retaliation on the Boers--Slavery--Attachment
of the Bechuanas to Children--Hydrophobia unknown--Diseases of
the Bakwains few in number--Yearly Epidemics--Hasty
Burials--Ophthalmia--Native Doctors--Knowledge of Surgery at a very low
Ebb--Little Attendance given to Women at their Confinements--The "Child
Medicine"--Salubrity of the Climate well adapted for Invalids suffering
from pulmonary Complaints.

The permanence of the station called Kuruman depends entirely on the
fine ever-flowing fountain of that name. It comes from beneath the
trap-rock, of which I shall have to speak when describing the geology of
the entire country; and as it usually issues at a temperature of 72 Deg.
Fahr., it probably comes from the old silurian schists, which formed the
bottom of the great primeval valley of the continent. I could not detect
any diminution in the flow of this gushing fountain during my residence
in the country; but when Mr. Moffat first attempted a settlement here,
thirty-five years ago, he made a dam six or seven miles below the
present one, and led out the stream for irrigation, where not a drop of
the fountain-water ever now flows. Other parts, fourteen miles below the
Kuruman gardens, are pointed out as having contained, within the memory
of people now living, hippopotami, and pools sufficient to drown both
men and cattle. This failure of water must be chiefly ascribed to the
general desiccation of the country, but partly also to the amount of
irrigation carried on along both banks of the stream at the mission
station. This latter circumstance would have more weight were it not
coincident with the failure of fountains over a wide extent of country.

Without at present entering minutely into this feature of the climate,
it may be remarked that the Kuruman district presents evidence of
this dry southern region having, at no very distant date, been as well
watered as the country north of Lake Ngami is now. Ancient river-beds
and water-courses abound, and the very eyes of fountains long since
dried up may be seen, in which the flow of centuries has worn these
orifices from a slit to an oval form, having on their sides the tufa
so abundantly deposited from these primitive waters; and just where the
splashings, made when the stream fell on the rock below, may be supposed
to have reached and evaporated, the same phenomenon appears. Many of
these failing fountains no longer flow, because the brink over which
they ran is now too high, or because the elevation of the western side
of the country lifts the land away from the water supply below; but let
a cutting be made from a lower level than the brink, and through it to
a part below the surface of the water, and water flows perennially.
Several of these ancient fountains have been resuscitated by the
Bechuanas near Kuruman, who occasionally show their feelings of
self-esteem by laboring for months at deep cuttings, which, having
once begun, they feel bound in honor to persevere in, though told by a
missionary that they can never force water to run up hill.

It is interesting to observe the industry of many Boers in this region
in making long and deep canals from lower levels up to spots destitute
of the slightest indication of water existing beneath except a few
rushes and a peculiar kind of coarse, reddish-colored grass growing in a
hollow, which anciently must have been the eye of a fountain, but is now
filled up with soft tufa. In other instances, the indication of water
below consists of the rushes growing on a long, sandy ridge a foot or
two in height instead of in a furrow. A deep transverse cutting made
through the higher part of this is rewarded by a stream of running
water. The reason why the ground covering this water is higher than the
rest of the locality is that the winds carry quantities of fine dust and
sand about the country, and hedges, bushes, and trees cause its deposit.
The rushes in this case perform the part of the hedges, and the moisture
rising as dew by night fixes the sand securely among the roots, and a
height, instead of a hollow, is the result. While on this subject it may
be added that there is no perennial fountain in this part of the
country except those that come from beneath the quartzose trap, which
constitutes the "filling up" of the ancient valley; and as the water
supply seems to rest on the old silurian schists which form its bottom,
it is highly probable that Artesian wells would in several places
perform the part which these deep cuttings now do.

The aspect of this part of the country during most of the year is of a
light yellow color; for some months during the rainy season it is of a
pleasant green mixed with yellow. Ranges of hills appear in the west,
but east of them we find hundreds of miles of grass-covered plains.
Large patches of these flats are covered with white calcareous tufa
resting on perfectly horizontal strata of trap. There the vegetation
consists of fine grass growing in tufts among low bushes of the
"wait-a-bit" thorn ('Acacia detinens'), with its annoying fish-hook-like
spines. Where these rocks do not appear on the surface, the soil
consists of yellow sand and tall, coarse grasses, growing among
berry-yielding bushes, named moretloa ('Grewia flava') and mohatla
('Tarchonanthus'), which has enough of aromatic resinous matter to burn
brightly, though perfectly green. In more sheltered spots we come
on clumps of the white-thorned mimosa ('Acacia horrida', also 'A.
atomiphylla'), and great abundance of wild sage ('Salvia Africana'), and
various leguminosae, ixias, and large-flowering bulbs: the 'Amaryllis
toxicaria' and 'A. Brunsvigia multiflora' (the former a poisonous bulb)
yield in the decayed lamellae a soft, silky down, a good material for
stuffing mattresses.

In some few parts of the country the remains of ancient forests of wild
olive-trees ('Olea similis') and of the camel-thorn ('Acacia giraffe')
are still to be met with; but when these are leveled in the proximity of
a Bechuana village, no young trees spring up to take their places. This
is not because the wood has a growth so slow as not to be appreciable
in its increase during the short period that it can be observed by man,
which might be supposed from its being so excessively hard; for having
measured a young tree of this species growing in the corner of Mr.
Moffat's garden near the water, I found that it increased at the rate
of a quarter of an inch in diameter annually during a number of years.
Moreover, the larger specimens, which now find few or no successors, if
they had more rain in their youth, can not be above two or three hundred
years old.

It is probable that this is the tree of which the Ark of the Covenant
and the Tabernacle were constructed, as it is reported to be found where
the Israelites were at the time these were made. It is an imperishable
wood, while that usually pointed out as the "shittim" (or 'Acacia
nilotica') soon decays and wants beauty.

In association with it we always observe a curious plant, named
ngotuane, which bears such a profusion of fine yellow strong-scented
flowers as quite to perfume the air. This plant forms a remarkable
exception to the general rule, that nearly all the plants in the dry
parts of Africa are scentless, or emit only a disagreeable odor. It,
moreover, contains an active poison; a French gentleman, having imbibed
a mouthful or two of an infusion of its flowers as tea, found himself
rendered nearly powerless. Vinegar has the peculiar property of
rendering this poison perfectly inert, whether in or out of the body.
When mixed with vinegar, the poison may be drunk with safety, while, if
only tasted by itself, it causes a burning sensation in the throat.
This gentleman described the action of the vinegar, when he was nearly
deprived of power by the poison imbibed, to have been as if electricity
had run along his nerves as soon as he had taken a single glassful.
The cure was instantaneous and complete. I had always to regret want of
opportunity for investigating this remarkable and yet controllable agent
on the nervous system. Its usual proximity to camel-thorn-trees may be
accounted for by the PROBABILITY that the giraffe, which feeds on this
tree, MAY make use of the plant as a medicine.

During the period of my visit at Kuruman, Mr. Moffat, who has been a
missionary in Africa during upward of forty years, and is well known by
his interesting work, "Scenes and Labors in South Africa", was busily
engaged in carrying through the press, with which his station is
furnished, the Bible in the language of the Bechuanas, which is called
Sichuana. This has been a work of immense labor; and as he was the first
to reduce their speech to a written form, and has had his attention
directed to the study for at least thirty years, he may be supposed to
be better adapted for the task than any man living. Some idea of the
copiousness of the language may be formed from the fact that even he
never spends a week at his work without discovering new words; the
phenomenon, therefore, of any man who, after a few months' or years'
study of a native tongue, cackles forth a torrent of vocables, may well
be wondered at, if it is meant to convey instruction. In my own case,
though I have had as much intercourse with the purest idiom as most
Englishmen, and have studied the language carefully, yet I can never
utter an important statement without doing so very slowly, and repeating
it too, lest the foreign accent, which is distinctly perceptible in all
Europeans, should render the sense unintelligible. In this I follow the
example of the Bechuana orators, who, on important matters, always speak
slowly, deliberately, and with reiteration. The capabilities of this
language may be inferred from the fact that the Pentateuch is fully
expressed in Mr. Moffat's translation in fewer words than in the Greek
Septuagint, and in a very considerably smaller number than in our
own English version. The language is, however, so simple in its
construction, that its copiousness by no means requires the explanation
that the people have fallen from a former state of civilization and
culture. Language seems to be an attribute of the human mind and
thought; and the inflections, various as they are in the most barbarous
tongues, as that of the Bushmen, are probably only proofs of the
race being human, and endowed with the power of thinking; the fuller
development of language taking place as the improvement of our other
faculties goes on. It is fortunate that the translation of the Bible has
been effected before the language became adulterated with half-uttered
foreign words, and while those who have heard the eloquence of the
native assemblies are still living; for the young, who are brought up
in our schools, know less of the language than the missionaries; and
Europeans born in the country, while possessed of the idiom perfectly,
if not otherwise educated, can not be referred to for explanation of any
uncommon word. A person who acted as interpreter to Sir George Cathcart
actually told his excellency that the language of the Basutos was not
capable of expressing the substance of a chief's diplomatic paper, while
every one acquainted with Moshesh, the chief who sent it, well knows
that he could in his own tongue have expressed it without study all over
again in three or four different ways. The interpreter could scarcely
have done as much in English.

This language both rich and poor speak correctly; there is no vulgar
style; but children have a 'patois' of their own, using many words in
their play which men would scorn to repeat. The Bamapela have adopted
a click into their dialect, and a large infusion of the ringing "ny",
which seems to have been for the purpose of preventing others from
understanding them.

The fact of the complete translation of the Bible at a station seven
hundred miles inland from the Cape naturally suggests the question
whether it is likely to be permanently useful, and whether Christianity,
as planted by modern missions, is likely to retain its vitality without
constant supplies of foreign teaching? It would certainly be no cause
for congratulation if the Bechuana Bible seemed at all likely to meet
the fate of Elliot's Choctaw version, a specimen of which may be seen in
the library of one of the American colleges--as God's word in a language
which no living tongue can articulate, nor living mortal understand; but
a better destiny seems in store for this, for the Sichuana language has
been introduced into the new country beyond Lake Ngami. There it is the
court language, and will take a stranger any where through a district
larger than France. The Bechuanas, moreover, in all probability possess
that imperishability which forms so remarkable a feature in the entire
African race.

When converts are made from heathenism by modern missionaries, it
becomes an interesting question whether their faith possesses
the elements of permanence, or is only an exotic too tender for
self-propagation when the fostering care of the foreign cultivators
is withdrawn. If neither habits of self-reliance are cultivated, nor
opportunities given for the exercise of that virtue, the most promising
converts are apt to become like spoiled children. In Madagascar, a few
Christians were left with nothing but the Bible in their hands; and
though exposed to persecution, and even death itself, as the penalty of
adherence to their profession, they increased ten-fold in numbers, and
are, if possible, more decided believers now than they were when, by
an edict of the queen of that island, the missionaries ceased their

In South Africa such an experiment could not be made, for such a variety
of Christian sects have followed the footsteps of the London Missionary
Society's successful career, that converts of one denomination, if left
to their own resources, are eagerly adopted by another, and are thus
more likely to become spoiled than trained to the manly Christian

Another element of weakness in this part of the missionary field is the
fact of the missionary societies considering the Cape Colony itself as
a proper sphere for their peculiar operations. In addition to a
well-organized and efficient Dutch Reformed Established Church, and
schools for secular instruction, maintained by government, in every
village of any extent in the colony, we have a number of other sects,
as the Wesleyans, Episcopalians, Moravians, all piously laboring at the
same good work. Now it is deeply to be regretted that so much honest
zeal should be so lavishly expended in a district wherein there is so
little scope for success. When we hear an agent of one sect urging his
friends at home to aid him quickly to occupy some unimportant nook,
because, if it is not speedily laid hold of, he will "not have room for
the sole of his foot," one can not help longing that both he and his
friends would direct their noble aspirations to the millions of untaught
heathen in the regions beyond, and no longer continue to convert the
extremity of the continent into, as it were, a dam of benevolence.

I would earnestly recommend all young missionaries to go at once to the
real heathen, and never to be content with what has been made ready
to their hands by men of greater enterprise. The idea of making model
Christians of the young need not be entertained by any one who is
secretly convinced, as most men who know their own hearts are, that he
is not a model Christian himself. The Israelitish slaves brought out of
Egypt by Moses were not converted and elevated in one generation, though
under the direct teaching of God himself. Notwithstanding the numbers of
miracles he wrought, a generation had to be cut off because of
unbelief. Our own elevation, also, has been the work of centuries, and,
remembering this, we should not indulge in overwrought expectations as
to the elevation which those who have inherited the degradation of ages
may attain in our day. The principle might even be adopted by missionary
societies, that one ordinary missionary's lifetime of teaching should
be considered an ample supply of foreign teaching for any tribe in a
thinly-peopled country, for some never will receive the Gospel at all,
while in other parts, when Christianity is once planted, the work is
sure to go on. A missionary is soon known to be supported by his friends
at home; and though the salary is but a bare subsistence, to Africans
it seems an enormous sum; and, being unable to appreciate the motives
by which he is actuated, they consider themselves entitled to various
services at his hands, and defrauded if these are not duly rendered.
This feeling is all the stronger when a young man, instead of going
boldly to the real heathen, settles down in a comfortable house and
garden prepared by those into whose labors he has entered. A remedy for
this evil might be found in appropriating the houses and gardens raised
by the missionaries' hands to their own families. It is ridiculous
to call such places as Kuruman, for instance, "Missionary Society's
property". This beautiful station was made what it is, not by English
money, but by the sweat and toil of fathers whose children have,
notwithstanding, no place on earth which they can call a home. The
Society's operations may be transferred to the north, and then the
strong-built mission premises become the home of a Boer, and the stately
stone church his cattle-pen. This place has been what the monasteries
of Europe are said to have been when pure. The monks did not disdain to
hold the plow. They introduced fruit-trees, flowers, and vegetables, in
addition to teaching and emancipating the serfs. Their monasteries were
mission stations, which resembled ours in being dispensaries for the
sick, almshouses for the poor, and nurseries of learning. Can we learn
nothing from them in their prosperity as the schools of Europe, and see
naught in their history but the pollution and laziness of their decay?
Can our wise men tell us why the former mission stations (primitive
monasteries) were self-supporting, rich, and flourishing as pioneers of
civilization and agriculture, from which we even now reap benefits, and
modern mission stations are mere pauper establishments, without that
permanence or ability to be self-supporting which they possessed?

Protestant missionaries of every denomination in South Africa all agree
in one point, that no mere profession of Christianity is sufficient
to entitle the converts to the Christian name. They are all anxious to
place the Bible in the hands of the natives, and, with ability to
read that, there can be little doubt as to the future. We believe
Christianity to be divine, and equal to all it has to perform; then let
the good seed be widely sown, and, no matter to what sect the converts
may belong, the harvest will be glorious. Let nothing that I have
said be interpreted as indicative of feelings inimical to any body
of Christians, for I never, as a missionary, felt myself to be either
Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Independent, or called upon in any way
to love one denomination less than another. My earnest desire is, that
those who really have the best interests of the heathen at heart should
go to them; and assuredly, in Africa at least, self-denying labors among
real heathen will not fail to be appreciated. Christians have never yet
dealt fairly by the heathen and been disappointed.

When Sechele understood that we could no longer remain with him
at Kolobeng, he sent his children to Mr. Moffat, at Kuruman, for
instruction in all the knowledge of the white men. Mr. Moffat very
liberally received at once an accession of five to his family, with
their attendants.

Having been detained at Kuruman about a fortnight by the breaking of a
wagon-wheel, I was thus providentially prevented from being present
at the attack of the Boers on the Bakwains, news of which was brought,
about the end of that time, by Masebele, the wife of Sechele. She had
herself been hidden in a cleft of a rock, over which a number of Boers
were firing. Her infant began to cry, and, terrified lest this should
attract the attention of the men, the muzzles of whose guns appeared at
every discharge over her head, she took off her armlets as playthings
to quiet the child. She brought Mr. Moffat a letter, which tells its own
tale. Nearly literally translated it was as follows:

"Friend of my heart's love, and of all the confidence of my heart, I
am Sechele. I am undone by the Boers, who attacked me, though I had no
guilt with them. They demanded that I should be in their kingdom, and
I refused. They demanded that I should prevent the English and Griquas
from passing (northward). I replied, These are my friends, and I can
prevent no one (of them). They came on Saturday, and I besought them not
to fight on Sunday, and they assented. They began on Monday morning at
twilight, and fired with all their might, and burned the town with fire,
and scattered us. They killed sixty of my people, and captured women,
and children, and men. And the mother of Baleriling (a former wife of
Sechele) they also took prisoner. They took all the cattle and all the
goods of the Bakwains; and the house of Livingstone they plundered,
taking away all his goods. The number of wagons they had was
eighty-five, and a cannon; and after they had stolen my own wagon and
that of Macabe, then the number of their wagons (counting the cannon
as one) was eighty-eight. All the goods of the hunters (certain English
gentlemen hunting and exploring in the north) were burned in the town;
and of the Boers were killed twenty-eight. Yes, my beloved friend, now
my wife goes to see the children, and Kobus Hae will convey her to you.
I am, SECHELE, The Son of Mochoasele."

This statement is in exact accordance with the account given by
the native teacher Mebalwe, and also that sent by some of the Boers
themselves to the public colonial papers. The crime of cattle-stealing,
of which we hear so much near Caffreland, was never alleged against
these people, and, if a single case had occurred when I was in the
country, I must have heard of it, and would at once say so. But the only
crime imputed in the papers was that "Sechele was getting too saucy."
The demand made for his subjection and service in preventing the English
traders passing to the north was kept out of view.

Very soon after Pretorius had sent the marauding party against Kolobeng,
he was called away to the tribunal of infinite justice. His policy is
justified by the Boers generally from the instructions given to the
Jewish warriors in Deuteronomy 20:10-14. Hence, when he died, the
obituary notice ended with "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." I
wish he had not "forbidden us to preach unto the Gentiles that they may
be saved."

The report of this outrage on the Bakwains, coupled with denunciations
against myself for having, as it was alleged, taught them to kill Boers,
produced such a panic in the country, that I could not engage a single
servant to accompany me to the north. I have already alluded to their
mode of warfare, and in all previous Boerish forays the killing had all
been on one side; now, however, that a tribe where an Englishman had
lived had begun to shed THEIR blood as well, it was considered the
strongest presumptive evidence against me. Loud vows of vengeance were
uttered against my head, and threats of instant pursuit by a large party
on horseback, should I dare to go into or beyond their country; and as
these were coupled with the declaration that the English government
had given over the whole of the native tribes to their rule, and would
assist in their entire subjection by preventing fire-arms and ammunition
from entering the country, except for the use of the Boers, it was not
to be wondered at that I was detained for months at Kuruman from sheer
inability to get wagon-drivers. The English name, from being honored and
respected all over the country, had become somewhat more than suspected;
and as the policy of depriving those friendly tribes of the means of
defense was represented by the Boers as proof positive of the wish of
the English that they should be subjugated, the conduct of a government
which these tribes always thought the paragon of justice and friendship
was rendered totally incomprehensible to them; they could neither defend
themselves against their enemies, nor shoot the animals in the produce
of which we wished them to trade.

At last I found three servants willing to risk a journey to the north;
and a man of color named George Fleming, who had generously been
assisted by Mr. H. E. Rutherford, a mercantile gentleman of Cape Town,
to endeavor to establish a trade with the Makololo, had also managed
to get a similar number; we accordingly left Kuruman on the 20th of
November, and proceeded on our journey. Our servants were the worst
possible specimens of those who imbibe the vices without the virtues of
Europeans, but we had no choice, and were glad to get away on any terms.

When we reached Motito, forty miles off, we met Sechele on his way, as
he said, "to the Queen of England." Two of his own children, and their
mother, a former wife, were among the captives seized by the Boers; and
being strongly imbued with the then very prevalent notion of England's
justice and generosity, he thought that in consequence of the violated
treaty he had a fair case to lay before her majesty. He employed all his
eloquence and powers of persuasion to induce me to accompany him, but I
excused myself on the ground that my arrangements were already made
for exploring the north. On explaining the difficulties of the way,
and endeavoring to dissuade him from the attempt, on account of the
knowledge I possessed of the governor's policy, he put the pointed
question, "Will the queen not listen to me, supposing I should reach
her?" I replied, "I believe she would listen, but the difficulty is
to get to her." "Well, I shall reach her," expressed his final
determination. Others explained the difficulties more fully, but nothing
could shake his resolution. When he reached Bloemfontein he found the
English army just returning from a battle with the Basutos, in which
both parties claimed the victory, and both were glad that a second
engagement was not tried. Our officers invited Sechele to dine with
them, heard his story, and collected a handsome sum of money to enable
him to pursue his journey to England. The commander refrained from
noticing him, as a single word in favor of the restoration of the
children of Sechele would have been a virtual confession of the failure
of his own policy at the very outset. Sechele proceeded as far as the
Cape; but his resources being there expended, he was obliged to return
to his own country, one thousand miles distant, without accomplishing
the object of his journey.

On his return he adopted a mode of punishment which he had seen in the
colony, namely, making criminals work on the public roads. And he has
since, I am informed, made himself the missionary to his own people.
He is tall, rather corpulent, and has more of the negro feature than
common, but has large eyes. He is very dark, and his people swear by
"Black Sechele". He has great intelligence, reads well, and is a fluent
speaker. Great numbers of the tribes formerly living under the Boers
have taken refuge under his sway, and he is now greater in power than he
was before the attack on Kolobeng.

Having parted with Sechele, we skirted along the Kalahari Desert, and
sometimes within its borders, giving the Boers a wide berth. A
larger fall of rain than usual had occurred in 1852, and that was the
completion of a cycle of eleven or twelve years, at which the same
phenomenon is reported to have happened on three occasions. An unusually
large crop of melons had appeared in consequence. We had the pleasure
of meeting with Mr. J. Macabe returning from Lake Ngami, which he had
succeeded in reaching by going right across the Desert from a point
a little to the south of Kolobeng. The accounts of the abundance of
watermelons were amply confirmed by this energetic traveler; for, having
these in vast quantities, his cattle subsisted on the fluid contained in
them for a period of no less than twenty-one days; and when at last
they reached a supply of water, they did not seem to care much about it.
Coming to the lake from the southeast, he crossed the Teoughe, and went
round the northern part of it, and is the only European traveler who had
actually seen it all. His estimate of the extent of the lake is higher
than that given by Mr. Oswell and myself, or from about ninety to one
hundred miles in circumference. Before the lake was discovered, Macabe
wrote a letter in one of the Cape papers recommending a certain route
as likely to lead to it. The Transvaal Boers fined him 500 dollars for
writing about "ouze felt", OUR country, and imprisoned him, too, till
the fine was paid. I now learned from his own lips that the public
report of this is true. Mr. Macabe's companion, Mahar, was mistaken by a
tribe of Barolongs for a Boer, and shot as he approached their village.
When Macabe came up and explained that he was an Englishman, they
expressed the utmost regret, and helped to bury him. This was the first
case in recent times of an Englishman being slain by the Bechuanas.
We afterward heard that there had been some fighting between these
Barolongs and the Boers, and that there had been capturing of cattle on
both sides. If this was true, I can only say that it was the first time
that I ever heard of cattle being taken by Bechuanas. This was a Caffre
war in stage the second; the third stage in the development is when both
sides are equally well armed and afraid of each other; the fourth, when
the English take up a quarrel not their own, and the Boers slip out of
the fray.

Two other English gentlemen crossed and recrossed the Desert about the
same time, and nearly in the same direction. On returning, one of them,
Captain Shelley, while riding forward on horseback, lost himself, and
was obliged to find his way alone to Kuruman, some hundreds of miles
distant. Reaching that station shirtless, and as brown as a Griqua,
he was taken for one by Mrs. Moffat, and was received by her with a
salutation in Dutch, that being the language spoken by this people.
His sufferings must have been far more severe than any we endured. The
result of the exertions of both Shelley and Macabe is to prove that
the general view of the Desert always given by the natives has been
substantially correct.

Occasionally, during the very dry seasons which succeed our winter and
precede our rains, a hot wind blows over the Desert from north to south.
It feels somewhat as if it came from an oven, and seldom blows longer at
a time than three days. It resembles in its effects the harmattan of the
north of Africa, and at the time the missionaries first settled in the
country, thirty-five years ago, it came loaded with fine reddish-colored
sand. Though no longer accompanied by sand, it is so devoid of moisture
as to cause the wood of the best seasoned English boxes and furniture to
shrink, so that every wooden article not made in the country is warped.
The verls of ramrods made in England are loosened, and on returning to
Europe fasten again. This wind is in such an electric state that a bunch
of ostrich feathers held a few seconds against it becomes as strongly
charged as if attached to a powerful electrical machine, and clasps the
advancing hand with a sharp crackling sound.

When this hot wind is blowing, and even at other times, the peculiarly
strong electrical state of the atmosphere causes the movement of a
native in his kaross to produce therein a stream of small sparks. The
first time I noticed this appearance was while a chief was traveling
with me in my wagon. Seeing part of the fur of his mantle, which was
exposed to slight friction by the movement of the wagon, assume quite
a luminous appearance, I rubbed it smartly with the hand, and found it
readily gave out bright sparks, accompanied with distinct cracks. "Don't
you see this?" said I. "The white men did not show us this," he replied;
"we had it long before white men came into the country, we and our
forefathers of old." Unfortunately, I never inquired the name which they
gave to this appearance, but I have no doubt there is one for it in the
language. Otto von Guerrike is said, by Baron Humboldt, to have been the
first that ever observed this effect in Europe, but the phenomenon had
been familiar to the Bechuanas for ages. Nothing came of that, however,
for they viewed the sight as if with the eyes of an ox. The human mind
has remained here as stagnant to the present day, in reference to the
physical operations of the universe, as it once did in England. No
science has been developed, and few questions are ever discussed except
those which have an intimate connection with the wants of the stomach.

Very large flocks of swifts ('Cypselus apus') were observed flying over
the plains north of Kuruman. I counted a stream of them, which, by the
time it took to pass toward the reeds of that valley, must have numbered
upward of four thousand. Only a few of these birds breed at any time in
this country. I have often observed them, and noticed that there was no
appearance of their having paired; there was no chasing of each other,
nor any playing together. There are several other birds which continue
in flocks, and move about like wandering gipsies, even during the
breeding season, which in this country happens in the intervals between
the cold and hot seasons, cold acting somewhat in the same way here
as the genial warmth of spring does in Europe. Are these the migratory
birds of Europe, which return there to breed and rear their young?

On the 31st of December, 1852, we reached the town of Sechele, called,
from the part of the range on which it is situated, Litubaruba. Near
the village there exists a cave named Lepelole; it is an interesting
evidence of the former existence of a gushing fountain. No one dared to
enter the Lohaheng, or cave, for it was the common belief that it was
the habitation of the Deity. As we never had a holiday from January to
December, and our Sundays were the periods of our greatest exertions in
teaching, I projected an excursion into the cave on a week-day to see
the god of the Bakwains. The old men said that every one who went in
remained there forever, adding, "If the teacher is so mad as to kill
himself, let him do so alone, we shall not be to blame." The declaration
of Sechele, that he would follow where I led, produced the greatest
consternation. It is curious that in all their pretended dreams or
visions of their god he has always a crooked leg, like the Egyptian
Thau. Supposing that those who were reported to have perished in this
cave had fallen over some precipice, we went well provided with lights,
ladder, lines, &c.; but it turned out to be only an open cave, with
an entrance about ten feet square, which contracts into two water-worn
branches, ending in round orifices through which the water once flowed.
The only inhabitants it seems ever to have had were baboons. I left
at the end of the upper branch one of Father Mathew's leaden teetotal

I never saw the Bakwains looking so haggard and lean as at this time.
Most of their cattle had been swept away by the Boers, together with
about eighty fine draught oxen; and much provision left with them by
two officers, Captains Codrington and Webb, to serve for their return
journey south, had been carried off also. On their return these officers
found the skeletons of the Bakwains where they expected to find their
own goods. All the corn, clothing, and furniture of the people, too,
had been consumed in the flames which the Boers had forced the subject
tribes to apply to the town during the fight, so that its inhabitants
were now literally starving.

Sechele had given orders to his people not to commit any act of revenge
pending his visit to the Queen of England; but some of the young men
ventured to go to meet a party of Boers returning from hunting, and,
as the Boers became terrified and ran off, they brought their wagons to
Litubaruba. This seems to have given the main body of Boers an idea that
the Bakwains meant to begin a guerrilla war upon them. This "Caffre war"
was, however, only in embryo, and not near that stage of development in
which the natives have found out that the hide-and-seek system is the
most successful.

The Boers, in alarm, sent four of their number to ask for peace! I,
being present, heard the condition: "Sechele's children must be restored
to him." I never saw men so completely and unconsciously in a trap as
these four Boers were. Strong parties of armed Bakwains occupied every
pass in the hills and gorges around; and had they not promised much more
than they intended, or did perform, that day would have been their last.
The commandant Scholz had appropriated the children of Sechele to be his
own domestic slaves. I was present when one little boy, Khari, son of
Sechele, was returned to his mother; the child had been allowed to
roll into the fire, and there were three large unbound open sores on
different parts of his body. His mother and the women received him with
a flood of silent tears.

Slavery is said to be mild and tender-hearted in some places. The Boers
assert that they are the best of masters, and that, if the English had
possessed the Hottentot slaves, they would have received much worse
treatment than they did: what that would have been it is difficult to
imagine. I took down the names of some scores of boys and girls, many of
whom I knew as our scholars; but I could not comfort the weeping mothers
by any hope of their ever returning from slavery.

The Bechuanas are universally much attached to children. A little child
toddling near a party of men while they are eating is sure to get
a handful of the food. This love of children may arise, in a great
measure, from the patriarchal system under which they dwell. Every
little stranger forms an increase of property to the whole community,
and is duly reported to the chief--boys being more welcome than girls.
The parents take the name of the child, and often address their children
as Ma (mother), or Ra (father). Our eldest boy being named Robert, Mrs.
Livingstone was, after his birth, always addressed as Ma-Robert, instead
of Mary, her Christian name.

I have examined several cases in which a grandmother has taken upon
herself to suckle a grandchild. Masina of Kuruman had no children after
the birth of her daughter Sina, and had no milk after Sina was weaned,
an event which usually is deferred till the child is two or three years
old. Sina married when she was seventeen or eighteen, and had twins;
Masina, after at least fifteen years' interval since she had suckled
a child, took possession of one of them, applied it to her breast, and
milk flowed, so that she was able to nurse the child entirely. Masina
was at this time at least forty years of age. I have witnessed several
other cases analogous to this. A grandmother of forty, or even less,
for they become withered at an early age, when left at home with a young
child, applies it to her own shriveled breast, and milk soon follows.
In some cases, as that of Ma-bogosing, the chief wife of Mahure, who was
about thirty-five years of age, the child was not entirely dependent on
the grandmother's breast, as the mother suckled it too. I had witnessed
the production of milk so frequently by the simple application of the
lips of the child, that I was not therefore surprised when told by
the Portuguese in Eastern Africa of a native doctor who, by applying
a poultice of the pounded larvae of hornets to the breast of a woman,
aided by the attempts of the child, could bring back the milk. Is it not
possible that the story in the "Cloud of Witnesses" of a man, during the
time of persecution in Scotland, putting his child to his own breast,
and finding, to the astonishment of the whole country, that milk
followed the act, may have been literally true? It was regarded and is
quoted as a miracle; but the feelings of the father toward the child of
a murdered mother must have been as nearly as possible analogous to the
maternal feeling; and, as anatomists declare the structure of both
male and female breasts to be identical, there is nothing physically
impossible in the alleged result. The illustrious Baron Humboldt quotes
an instance of the male breast yielding milk; and, though I am not
conscious of being over-credulous, the strange instances I have examined
in the opposite sex make me believe that there is no error in that
philosopher's statement.

The Boers know from experience that adult captives may as well be
left alone, for escape is so easy in a wild country that no
fugitive-slave-law can come into operation; they therefore adopt the
system of seizing only the youngest children, in order that these may
forget their parents and remain in perpetual bondage. I have seen mere
infants in their houses repeatedly. This fact was formerly denied; and
the only thing which was wanting to make the previous denial of the
practice of slavery and slave-hunting by the Transvaal Boers no longer
necessary was the declaration of their independence.

In conversation with some of my friends here I learned that Maleke, a
chief of the Bakwains, who formerly lived on the hill Litubaruba, had
been killed by the bite of a mad dog. My curiosity was strongly excited
by this statement, as rabies is so rare in this country. I never heard
of another case, and could not satisfy myself that even this was real
hydrophobia. While I was at Mabotsa, some dogs became affected by a
disease which led them to run about in an incoherent state; but I doubt
whether it was any thing but an affection of the brain. No individual
or animal got the complaint by inoculation from the animals' teeth;
and from all that I could hear, the prevailing idea of hydrophobia not
existing within the tropics seems to be quite correct.

The diseases known among the Bakwains are remarkably few. There is
no consumption nor scrofula, and insanity and hydrocephalus are rare.
Cancer and cholera are quite unknown. Small-pox and measles passed
through the country about twenty years ago, and committed great ravages;
but, though the former has since broken out on the coast repeatedly,
neither disease has since traveled inland. For small-pox, the natives
employed, in some parts, inoculation in the forehead with some animal
deposit; in other parts, they employed the matter of the small-pox
itself; and in one village they seem to have selected a virulent case
for the matter used in the operation, for nearly all the village was
swept off by the disease in a malignant confluent form. Where the idea
came from I can not conceive. It was practiced by the Bakwains at a
time when they had no intercourse, direct or indirect, with the southern
missionaries. They all adopt readily the use of vaccine virus when it is
brought within their reach.

A certain loathsome disease, which decimates the North American Indians,
and threatens extirpation to the South Sea Islanders, dies out in the
interior of Africa without the aid of medicine; and the Bangwaketse, who
brought it from the west coast, lost it when they came into their own
land southwest of Kolobeng. It seems incapable of permanence in any form
in persons of pure African blood any where in the centre of the country.
In persons of mixed blood it is otherwise; and the virulence of the
secondary symptoms seemed to be, in all the cases that came under my
care, in exact proportion to the greater or less amount of European
blood in the patient. Among the Corannas and Griquas of mixed breed it
produces the same ravages as in Europe; among half-blood Portuguese it
is equally frightful in its inroads on the system; but in the pure Negro
of the central parts it is quite incapable of permanence. Among the
Barotse I found a disease called manassah, which closely resembles that
of the 'foeda mulier' of history.

Equally unknown is stone in the bladder and gravel. I never met with a
case, though the waters are often so strongly impregnated with sulphate
of lime that kettles quickly become incrusted internally with the salt;
and some of my patients, who were troubled with indigestion, believed
that their stomachs had got into the same condition. This freedom from
calculi would appear to be remarkable in the negro race, even in the
United States; for seldom indeed have the most famed lithotomists there
ever operated on a negro.

The diseases most prevalent are the following: pneumonia, produced
by sudden changes of temperature, and other inflammations, as of the
bowels, stomach, and pleura; rheumatism; disease of the heart--but these
become rare as the people adopt the European dress--various forms of
indigestion and ophthalmia; hooping-cough comes frequently; and every
year the period preceding the rains is marked by some sort of epidemic.
Sometimes it is general ophthalmia, resembling closely the Egyptian. In
another year it is a kind of diarrhoea, which nothing will cure until
there is a fall of rain, and any thing acts as a charm after that.
One year the epidemic period was marked by a disease which looked like
pneumonia, but had the peculiar symptom strongly developed of great pain
in the seventh cervical process. Many persons died of it, after being
in a comatose state for many hours or days before their decease. No
inspection of the body being ever allowed by these people, and the place
of sepulture being carefully concealed, I had to rest satisfied with
conjecture. Frequently the Bakwains buried their dead in the huts where
they died, for fear lest the witches (Baloi) should disinter their
friends, and use some part of the body in their fiendish arts. Scarcely
is the breath out of the body when the unfortunate patient is hurried
away to be buried. An ant-eater's hole is often selected, in order to
save the trouble of digging a grave. On two occasions while I was there
this hasty burial was followed by the return home of the men, who had
been buried alive, to their affrighted relatives. They had recovered,
while in their graves, from prolonged swoons.

In ophthalmia the doctors cup on the temples, and apply to the eyes the
pungent smoke of certain roots, the patient, at the same time, taking
strong draughts of it up his nostrils. We found the solution of nitrate
of silver, two or three grains to the ounce of rain-water, answer
the same end so much more effectually, that every morning numbers
of patients crowded round our house for the collyrium. It is a good
preventive of an acute attack when poured into the eyes as soon as
the pain begins, and might prove valuable for travelers. Cupping is
performed with the horn of a goat or antelope, having a little hole
pierced in the small end. In some cases a small piece of wax is
attached, and a temporary hole made through it to the horn. When the
air is well withdrawn, and kept out by touching the orifice, at every
inspiration, with the point of the tongue, the wax is at last pressed
together with the teeth, and the little hole in it closed up, leaving a
vacuum within the horn for the blood to flow from the already scarified
parts. The edges of the horn applied to the surface are wetted, and
cupping is well performed, though the doctor occasionally, by separating
the fibrine from the blood in a basin of water by his side, and
exhibiting it, pretends that he has extracted something more than blood.
He can thus explain the rationale of the cure by his own art, and the
ocular demonstration given is well appreciated.

Those doctors who have inherited their profession as an heirloom
from their fathers and grandfathers generally possess some valuable
knowledge, the result of long and close observation; but if a man can
not say that the medical art is in his family, he may be considered
a quack. With the regular practitioners I always remained on the best
terms, by refraining from appearing to doubt their skill in the presence
of their patients. Any explanation in private was thankfully received
by them, and wrong treatment changed into something more reasonable with
cordial good-will, if no one but the doctor and myself were present at
the conversation. English medicines were eagerly asked for and accepted
by all; and we always found medical knowledge an important aid in
convincing the people that we were really anxious for their welfare.
We can not accuse them of ingratitude; in fact, we shall remember the
kindness of the Bakwains to us as long as we live.

The surgical knowledge of the native doctors is rather at a low ebb. No
one ever attempted to remove a tumor except by external applications.
Those with which the natives are chiefly troubled are fatty and fibrous
tumors; and as they all have the 'vis medicatrix naturae' in remarkable
activity, I safely removed an immense number. In illustration of their
want of surgical knowledge may be mentioned the case of a man who had a
tumor as large as a child's head. This was situated on the nape of his
neck, and prevented his walking straight. He applied to his chief, and
he got some famous strange doctor from the East Coast to cure him. He
and his assistants attempted to dissolve it by kindling on it a little
fire made of a few small pieces of medicinal roots. I removed it for
him, and he always walked with his head much more erect than he needed
to do ever afterward. Both men and women submit to an operation without
wincing, or any of that shouting which caused young students to faint in
the operating theatre before the introduction of chloroform. The women
pride themselves on their ability to bear pain. A mother will address
her little girl, from whose foot a thorn is to be extracted, with, "Now,
ma, you are a woman; a woman does not cry." A man scorns to shed tears.
When we were passing one of the deep wells in the Kalahari, a boy,
the son of an aged father, had been drowned in it while playing on its
brink. When all hope was gone, the father uttered an exceedingly great
and bitter cry. It was sorrow without hope. This was the only instance I
ever met with of a man weeping in this country.

Their ideas on obstetrics are equally unscientific, and a medical man
going near a woman at her confinement appeared to them more out of place
than a female medical student appears to us in a dissecting-room. A case
of twins, however, happening, and the ointment of all the doctors of
the town proving utterly insufficient to effect the relief which a few
seconds of English art afforded, the prejudice vanished at once. As it
would have been out of the question for me to have entered upon this
branch of the profession--as indeed it would be inexpedient for any
medical man to devote himself exclusively, in a thinly-peopled country,
to the practice of medicine--I thereafter reserved myself for the
difficult cases only, and had the satisfaction of often conferring great
benefits on poor women in their hour of sorrow. The poor creatures are
often placed in a little hut built for the purpose, and are left without
any assistance whatever, and the numbers of umbilical herniae which are
met with in consequence is very great. The women suffer less at their
confinement than is the case in civilized countries; perhaps from their
treating it, not as a disease, but as an operation of nature, requiring
no change of diet except a feast of meat and abundance of fresh air. The
husband on these occasions is bound to slaughter for his lady an ox, or
goat, or sheep, according to his means.

My knowledge in the above line procured for me great fame in a
department in which I could lay no claim to merit. A woman came a
distance of one hundred miles for relief in a complaint which seemed to
have baffled the native doctors; a complete cure was the result. Some
twelve months after she returned to her husband, she bore a son. Her
husband having previously reproached her for being barren, she sent me a
handsome present, and proclaimed all over the country that I possessed
a medicine for the cure of sterility. The consequence was, that I was
teased with applications from husbands and wives from all parts of the
country. Some came upward of two hundred miles to purchase the great
boon, and it was in vain for me to explain that I had only cured the
disease of the other case. The more I denied, the higher their offers
rose; they would give any money for the "child medicine"; and it was
really heart-rending to hear the earnest entreaty, and see the tearful
eye, which spoke the intense desire for offspring: "I am getting old;
you see gray hairs here and there on my head, and I have no child; you
know how Bechuana husbands cast their old wives away; what can I do? I
have no child to bring water to me when I am sick," etc.

The whole of the country adjacent to the Desert, from Kuruman to
Kolobeng, or Litubaruba, and beyond up to the latitude of Lake Ngami, is
remarkable for its great salubrity of climate. Not only the natives, but
Europeans whose constitutions have been impaired by an Indian climate,
find the tract of country indicated both healthy and restorative. The
health and longevity of the missionaries have always been fair, though
mission-work is not very conducive to either elsewhere. Cases have been
known in which patients have come from the coast with complaints closely
resembling, if they were not actually, those of consumption; and they
have recovered by the influence of the climate alone. It must always be
borne in mind that the climate near the coast, from which we received
such very favorable reports of the health of the British troops, is
actually inferior for persons suffering from pulmonary complaints to
that of any part not subjected to the influence of sea-air. I have
never seen the beneficial effects of the inland climate on persons of
shattered constitutions, nor heard their high praises of the benefit
they have derived from traveling, without wishing that its bracing
effects should become more extensively known in England. No one who
has visited the region I have above mentioned fails to remember with
pleasure the wild, healthful gipsy life of wagon-traveling.

A considerable proportion of animal diet seems requisite here.
Independent of the want of salt, we required meat in as large
quantity daily as we do in England, and no bad effects, in the way of
biliousness, followed the free use of flesh, as in other hot climates. A
vegetable diet causes acidity and heartburn.

Mr. Oswell thought this climate much superior to that of Peru, as far as
pleasure is concerned; the want of instruments unfortunately prevented
my obtaining accurate scientific data for the medical world on this
subject; and were it not for the great expense of such a trip, I should
have no hesitation in recommending the borders of the Kalahari Desert as
admirably suited for all patients having pulmonary complaints. It is
the complete antipodes to our cold, damp, English climate. The winter
is perfectly dry; and as not a drop of rain falls during that period,
namely, from the beginning of May to the end of August, damp and cold
are never combined. However hot the day may have been at Kolobeng--and
the thermometer sometimes rose, previous to a fall of rain, up to 96
Deg. in the coolest part of our house--yet the atmosphere never has that
steamy feeling nor those debilitating effects so well known in India
and on the coast of Africa itself. In the evenings the air becomes
deliciously cool, and a pleasant refreshing night follows the hottest
day. The greatest heat ever felt is not so oppressive as it is when
there is much humidity in the air; and the great evaporation consequent
on a fall of rain makes the rainy season the most agreeable for
traveling. Nothing can exceed the balmy feeling of the evenings and
mornings during the whole year. You wish for an increase neither of
cold nor heat; and you can sit out of doors till midnight without ever
thinking of colds or rheumatism; or you may sleep out at night, looking
up to the moon till you fall asleep, without a thought or sign of
moon-blindness. Indeed, during many months there is scarcely any dew.

Chapter 7.

Departure from the Country of the Bakwains--Large black Ant--Land
Tortoises--Diseases of wild Animals--Habits of old Lions--Cowardice of
the Lion--Its Dread of a Snare--Major Vardon's Note--The Roar of
the Lion resembles the Cry of the Ostrich--Seldom attacks full-grown
Animals--Buffaloes and Lions--Mice--Serpents--Treading on
one--Venomous and harmless Varieties--Fascination--Sekomi's Ideas
of Honesty--Ceremony of the Sechu for Boys--The Boyale for
young Women--Bamangwato Hills--The Unicorn's Pass--The Country
beyond--Grain--Scarcity of Water--Honorable Conduct of English
Gentlemen--Gordon Cumming's hunting Adventures--A Word of Advice
for young Sportsmen--Bushwomen drawing Water--Ostrich--Silly

Having remained five days with the wretched Bakwains, seeing the effects
of war, of which only a very inadequate idea can ever be formed by those
who have not been eye-witnesses of its miseries, we prepared to depart
on the 15th of January, 1853. Several dogs, in better condition by far
than any of the people, had taken up their residence at the water. No
one would own them; there they had remained, and, coming on the trail
of the people, long after their departure from the scene of conflict, it
was plain they had

"Held o'er the dead their carnival."

Hence the disgust with which they were viewed.

On our way from Khopong, along the ancient river-bed which forms the
pathway to Boatlanama, I found a species of cactus, being the third I
have seen in the country, namely, one in the colony with a bright red
flower, one at Lake Ngami, the flower of which was liver-colored, and
the present one, flower unknown. That the plant is uncommon may be
inferred from the fact that the Bakwains find so much difficulty in
recognizing the plant again after having once seen it, that they believe
it has the power of changing its locality.

On the 21st of January we reached the wells of Boatlanama, and found
them for the first time empty. Lopepe, which I had formerly seen a
stream running from a large reedy pool, was also dry. The hot salt
spring of Serinane, east of Lopepe, being undrinkable, we pushed on to
Mashue for its delicious waters. In traveling through this country, the
olfactory nerves are frequently excited by a strong disagreeable odor.
This is caused by a large jet-black ant named "Leshonya". It is nearly
an inch in length, and emits a pungent smell when alarmed, in the same
manner as the skunk. The scent must be as volatile as ether, for, on
irritating the insect with a stick six feet long, the odor is instantly

Occasionally we lighted upon land tortoises, which, with their unlaid
eggs, make a very agreeable dish. We saw many of their trails leading
to the salt fountain; they must have come great distances for this
health-giving article. In lieu thereof they often devour wood-ashes. It
is wonderful how this reptile holds its place in the country. When seen,
it never escapes. The young are taken for the sake of their shells;
these are made into boxes, which, filled with sweet-smelling roots, the
women hang around their persons. When older it is used as food, and the
shell converted into a rude basin to hold food or water. It owes its
continuance neither to speed nor cunning. Its color, yellow and dark
brown, is well adapted, by its similarity to the surrounding grass
and brushwood, to render it indistinguishable; and, though it makes an
awkward attempt to run on the approach of man, its trust is in its bony
covering, from which even the teeth of a hyaena glance off foiled. When
this long-lived creature is about to deposit her eggs, she lets herself
into the ground by throwing the earth up round her shell, until only
the top is visible; then covering up the eggs, she leaves them until the
rains begin to fall and the fresh herbage appears; the young ones then
come out, their shells still quite soft, and, unattended by their dam,
begin the world for themselves. Their food is tender grass and a plant
named thotona, and they frequently resort to heaps of ashes and places
containing efflorescence of the nitrates for the salts these contain.

Inquiries among the Bushmen and Bakalahari, who are intimately
acquainted with the habits of the game, lead to the belief that many
diseases prevail among wild animals. I have seen the kokong or gnu, kama
or hartebeest, the tsessebe, kukama, and the giraffe, so mangy as to be
uneatable even by the natives. Reference has already been made to the
peripneumonia which cuts off horses, tolos or koodoos. Great numbers
also of zebras are found dead with masses of foam at the nostrils,
exactly as occurs in the common "horse-sickness". The production of the
malignant carbuncle called kuatsi, or selonda, by the flesh when eaten,
is another proof of the disease of the tame and wild being identical.
I once found a buffalo blind from ophthalmia standing by the fountain
Otse; when he attempted to run he lifted up his feet in the manner
peculiar to blind animals. The rhinoceros has often worms on the
conjunction of his eyes; but these are not the cause of the dimness of
vision which will make him charge past a man who has wounded him, if
he stands perfectly still, in the belief that his enemy is a tree.
It probably arises from the horn being in the line of vision, for the
variety named kuabaoba, which has a straight horn directed downward away
from that line, possesses acute eyesight, and is much more wary.

All the wild animals are subject to intestinal worms besides. I have
observed bunches of a tape-like thread and short worms of enlarged sizes
in the rhinoceros. The zebra and elephants are seldom without them, and
a thread-worm may often be seen under the peritoneum of these animals.
Short red larvae, which convey a stinging sensation to the hand, are
seen clustering round the orifice of the windpipe (trachea) of this
animal at the back of the throat; others are seen in the frontal sinus
of antelopes; and curious flat, leech-like worms, with black eyes, are
found in the stomachs of leches. The zebra, giraffe, eland, and kukama
have been seen mere skeletons from decay of their teeth as well as from

The carnivora, too, become diseased and mangy; lions become lean and
perish miserably by reason of the decay of the teeth. When a lion
becomes too old to catch game, he frequently takes to killing goats in
the villages; a woman or child happening to go out at night falls a prey
too; and as this is his only source of subsistence now, he continues it.
From this circumstance has arisen the idea that the lion, when he has
once tasted human flesh, loves it better than any other. A man-eater is
invariably an old lion; and when he overcomes his fear of man so far as
to come to villages for goats, the people remark, "His teeth are worn,
he will soon kill men." They at once acknowledge the necessity of
instant action, and turn out to kill him. When living far away from
population, or when, as is the case in some parts, he entertains a
wholesome dread of the Bushmen and Bakalahari, as soon as either disease
or old age overtakes him, he begins to catch mice and other small
rodents, and even to eat grass; the natives, observing undigested
vegetable matter in his droppings, follow up his trail in the certainty
of finding him scarcely able to move under some tree, and dispatch him
without difficulty. The grass may have been eaten as medicine, as is
observed in dogs.

That the fear of man often remains excessively strong in the carnivora
is proved from well-authenticated cases in which the lioness, in the
vicinity of towns where the large game had been unexpectedly driven
away by fire-arms, has been known to assuage the paroxysms of hunger by
devouring her own young. It must be added, that, though the effluvium
which is left by the footsteps of man is in general sufficient to induce
lions to avoid a village, there are exceptions; so many came about our
half-deserted houses at Chonuane while we were in the act of removing
to Kolobeng, that the natives who remained with Mrs. Livingstone were
terrified to stir out of doors in the evenings. Bitches, also, have been
known to be guilty of the horridly unnatural act of eating their
own young, probably from the great desire for animal food, which is
experienced by the inhabitants as well.

When a lion is met in the daytime, a circumstance by no means unfrequent
to travelers in these parts, if preconceived notions do not lead them
to expect something very "noble" or "majestic", they will see merely an
animal somewhat larger than the biggest dog they ever saw, and partaking
very strongly of the canine features; the face is not much like the
usual drawings of a lion, the nose being prolonged like a dog's; not
exactly such as our painters make it--though they might learn better at
the Zoological Gardens--their ideas of majesty being usually shown by
making their lions' faces like old women in nightcaps. When encountered
in the daytime, the lion stands a second or two, gazing, then turns
slowly round, and walks as slowly away for a dozen paces, looking over
his shoulder; then begins to trot, and, when he thinks himself out of
sight, bounds off like a greyhound. By day there is not, as a rule, the
smallest danger of lions which are not molested attacking man, nor
even on a clear moonlight night, except when they possess the breeding
storgh* (natural affection); this makes them brave almost any danger;
and if a man happens to cross to the windward of them, both lion and
lioness will rush at him, in the manner of a bitch with whelps. This
does not often happen, as I only became aware of two or three instances
of it. In one case a man, passing where the wind blew from him to the
animals, was bitten before he could climb a tree; and occasionally a man
on horseback has been caught by the leg under the same circumstances. So
general, however, is the sense of security on moonlight nights, that we
seldom tied up our oxen, but let them lie loose by the wagons; while on
a dark, rainy night, if a lion is in the neighborhood, he is almost sure
to venture to kill an ox. His approach is always stealthy, except when
wounded; and any appearance of a trap is enough to cause him to refrain
from making the last spring. This seems characteristic of the feline
species; when a goat is picketed in India for the purpose of enabling
the huntsmen to shoot a tiger by night, if on a plain, he would whip off
the animal so quickly by a stroke of the paw that no one could take aim;
to obviate this, a small pit is dug, and the goat is picketed to a stake
in the bottom; a small stone is tied in the ear of the goat, which makes
him cry the whole night. When the tiger sees the appearance of a trap,
he walks round and round the pit, and allows the hunter, who is lying in
wait, to have a fair shot.

   * (Greek) sigma-tau-omicron-rho-gamma-eta.

When a lion is very hungry, and lying in wait, the sight of an animal
may make him commence stalking it. In one case a man, while stealthily
crawling towards a rhinoceros, happened to glance behind him, and found
to his horror a lion STALKING HIM; he only escaped by springing up a
tree like a cat. At Lopepe a lioness sprang on the after quarter of Mr.
Oswell's horse, and when we came up to him we found the marks of the
claws on the horse, and a scratch on Mr. O.'s hand. The horse, on
feeling the lion on him, sprang away, and the rider, caught by a
wait-a-bit thorn, was brought to the ground and rendered insensible.
His dogs saved him. Another English gentleman (Captain Codrington) was
surprised in the same way, though not hunting the lion at the time,
but turning round he shot him dead in the neck. By accident a horse
belonging to Codrington ran away, but was stopped by the bridle catching
a stump; there he remained a prisoner two days, and when found the whole
space around was marked by the footprints of lions. They had evidently
been afraid to attack the haltered horse from fear that it was a trap.
Two lions came up by night to within three yards of oxen tied to a
wagon, and a sheep tied to a tree, and stood roaring, but afraid to make
a spring. On another occasion one of our party was lying sound asleep
and unconscious of danger between two natives behind a bush at Mashue;
the fire was nearly out at their feet in consequence of all being
completely tired out by the fatigues of the previous day; a lion came up
to within three yards of the fire, and there commenced roaring instead
of making a spring: the fact of their riding-ox being tied to the bush
was the only reason the lion had for not following his instinct, and
making a meal of flesh. He then stood on a knoll three hundred yards
distant, and roared all night, and continued his growling as the party
moved off by daylight next morning.

Nothing that I ever learned of the lion would lead me to attribute to
it either the ferocious or noble character ascribed to it elsewhere. It
possesses none of the nobility of the Newfoundland or St. Bernard dogs.
With respect to its great strength there can be no doubt. The immense
masses of muscle around its jaws, shoulders, and forearms proclaim
tremendous force. They would seem, however, to be inferior in power to
those of the Indian tiger. Most of those feats of strength that I have
seen performed by lions, such as the taking away of an ox, were not
carrying, but dragging or trailing the carcass along the ground: they
have sprung on some occasions on to the hind-quarters of a horse, but no
one has ever seen them on the withers of a giraffe. They do not mount on
the hind-quarters of an eland even, but try to tear him down with their
claws. Messrs. Oswell and Vardon once saw three lions endeavoring to
drag down a buffalo, and they were unable to do so for a time, though he
was then mortally wounded by a two-ounce ball.*

   * This singular encounter, in the words of an eye-witness,
   happened as follows:

   "My South African Journal is now before me, and I have got
   hold of the account of the lion and buffalo affair; here it
   is: '15th September, 1846.  Oswell and I were riding this
   afternoon along the banks of the Limpopo, when a waterbuck
   started in front of us. I dismounted, and was following it
   through the jungle, when three buffaloes got up, and, after
   going a little distance, stood still, and the nearest bull
   turned round and looked at me. A ball from the two-ouncer
   crashed into his shoulder, and they all three made off.
   Oswell and I followed as soon as I had reloaded, and when we
   were in sight of the buffalo, and gaining on him at every
   stride, three lions leaped on the unfortunate brute; he
   bellowed most lustily as he kept up a kind of running fight,
   but he was, of course, soon overpowered and pulled down. We
   had a fine view of the struggle, and saw the lions on their
   hind legs tearing away with teeth and claws in most ferocious
   style.  We crept up within thirty yards, and, kneeling down,
   blazed away at the lions. My rifle was a single barrel, and I
   had no spare gun. One lion fell dead almost ON the buffalo; he
   had merely time to turn toward us, seize a bush with his
   teeth, and drop dead with the stick in his jaws.  The second
   made off immediately; and the third raised his head, coolly
   looked round for a moment, then went on tearing and biting at
   the carcass as hard as ever. We retired a short distance to
   load, then again advanced and fired. The lion made off, but a
   ball that he received OUGHT to have stopped him, as it went
   clean through his shoulder-blade.  He was followed up and
   killed, after having charged several times.  Both lions were
   males. It is not often that one BAGS a brace of lions and a
   bull buffalo in about ten minutes.  It was an exciting
   adventure, and I shall never forget it.'

   "Such, my dear Livingstone, is the plain unvarnished account.
   The buffalo had, of course, gone close to where the lions were
   lying down for the day; and they, seeing him lame and
   bleeding, thought the opportunity too good a one to be lost.

   "Ever yours, Frank Vardon."

In general the lion seizes the animal he is attacking by the flank near
the hind leg, or by the throat below the jaw. It is questionable whether
he ever attempts to seize an animal by the withers. The flank is the
most common point of attack, and that is the part he begins to feast
on first. The natives and lions are very similar in their tastes in the
selection of tit-bits: an eland may be seen disemboweled by a lion so
completely that he scarcely seems cut up at all. The bowels and fatty
parts form a full meal for even the largest lion. The jackal comes
sniffing about, and sometimes suffers for his temerity by a stroke from
the lion's paw laying him dead. When gorged, the lion falls fast asleep,
and is then easily dispatched. Hunting a lion with dogs involves very
little danger as compared with hunting the Indian tiger, because the
dogs bring him out of cover and make him stand at bay, giving the hunter
plenty of time for a good deliberate shot.

Where game is abundant, there you may expect lions in proportionately
large numbers. They are never seen in herds, but six or eight, probably
one family, occasionally hunt together. One is in much more danger of
being run over when walking in the streets of London, than he is of
being devoured by lions in Africa, unless engaged in hunting the animal.
Indeed, nothing that I have seen or heard about lions would constitute a
barrier in the way of men of ordinary courage and enterprise.

The same feeling which has induced the modern painter to caricature the
lion, has led the sentimentalist to consider the lion's roar the most
terrific of all earthly sounds. We hear of the "majestic roar of the
king of beasts." It is, indeed, well calculated to inspire fear if
you hear it in combination with the tremendously loud thunder of that
country, on a night so pitchy dark that every flash of the intensely
vivid lightning leaves you with the impression of stone-blindness, while
the rain pours down so fast that your fire goes out, leaving you without
the protection of even a tree, or the chance of your gun going off.
But when you are in a comfortable house or wagon, the case is very
different, and you hear the roar of the lion without any awe or alarm.
The silly ostrich makes a noise as loud, yet he never was feared by man.
To talk of the majestic roar of the lion is mere majestic twaddle. On
my mentioning this fact some years ago, the assertion was doubted, so I
have been careful ever since to inquire the opinions of Europeans, who
have heard both, if they could detect any difference between the roar
of a lion and that of an ostrich; the invariable answer was, that they
could not when the animal was at any distance. The natives assert that
they can detect a variation between the commencement of the noise of
each. There is, it must be admitted, considerable difference between
the singing noise of a lion when full, and his deep, gruff growl when
hungry. In general the lion's voice seems to come deeper from the chest
than that of the ostrich, but to this day I can distinguish between them
with certainty only by knowing that the ostrich roars by day and the
lion by night.

The African lion is of a tawny color, like that of some mastiffs. The
mane in the male is large, and gives the idea of great power. In some
lions the ends of the hair of the mane are black; these go by the name
of black-maned lions, though as a whole all look of the yellow tawny
color. At the time of the discovery of the lake, Messrs. Oswell and
Wilson shot two specimens of another variety. One was an old lion, whose
teeth were mere stumps, and his claws worn quite blunt; the other was
full grown, in the prime of life, with white, perfect teeth; both were
entirely destitute of mane. The lions in the country near the lake give
tongue less than those further south. We scarcely ever heard them roar
at all.

The lion has other checks on inordinate increase besides man. He seldom
attacks full-grown animals; but frequently, when a buffalo calf is
caught by him, the cow rushes to the rescue, and a toss from her often
kills him. One we found was killed thus; and on the Leeambye another,
which died near Sesheke, had all the appearance of having received his
death-blow from a buffalo. It is questionable if a single lion ever
attacks a full-grown buffalo. The amount of roaring heard at night, on
occasions when a buffalo is killed, seems to indicate there are always
more than one lion engaged in the onslaught.

On the plain, south of Sebituane's ford, a herd of buffaloes kept a
number of lions from their young by the males turning their heads to
the enemy. The young and the cows were in the rear. One toss from a bull
would kill the strongest lion that ever breathed. I have been informed
that in one part of India even the tame buffaloes feel their superiority
to some wild animals, for they have been seen to chase a tiger up the
hills, bellowing as if they enjoyed the sport. Lions never go near any
elephants except the calves, which, when young, are sometimes torn
by them; every living thing retires before the lordly elephant, yet a
full-grown one would be an easier prey than the rhinoceros; the lion
rushes off at the mere sight of this latter beast.

In the country adjacent to Mashue great numbers of different kinds of
mice exist. The ground is often so undermined with their burrows that
the foot sinks in at every step. Little haycocks, about two feet high,
and rather more than that in breadth, are made by one variety of these
little creatures. The same thing is done in regions annually covered
with snow for obvious purposes, but it is difficult here to divine the
reason of the haymaking in the climate of Africa.*

   * 'Euryotis unisulcatus' (F. Cuvier), 'Mus pumelio' (Spar.),
   and 'Mus lehocla' (Smith), all possess this habit in a greater
   or less degree.  The first-named may be seen escaping danger
   with its young hanging to the after-part of its body.

Wherever mice abound, serpents may be expected, for the one preys on
the other. A cat in a house is therefore a good preventive against
the entrance of these noxious reptiles. Occasionally, however,
notwithstanding every precaution, they do find their way in, but even
the most venomous sorts bite only when put in bodily fear themselves, or
when trodden upon, or when the sexes come together. I once found a coil
of serpents' skins, made by a number of them twisting together in the
manner described by the Druids of old. When in the country, one feels
nothing of that alarm and loathing which we may experience when sitting
in a comfortable English room reading about them; yet they are nasty
things, and we seem to have an instinctive feeling against them. In
making the door for our Mabotsa house, I happened to leave a small
hole at the corner below. Early one morning a man came to call for some
article I had promised. I at once went to the door, and, it being dark,
trod on a serpent. The moment I felt the cold scaly skin twine round a
part of my leg, my latent instinct was roused, and I jumped up higher
than I ever did before or hope to do again, shaking the reptile off
in the leap. I probably trod on it near the head, and so prevented it
biting me, but did not stop to examine.

Some of the serpents are particularly venomous. One was killed at
Kolobeng of a dark brown, nearly black color, 8 feet 3 inches long. This
species (picakholu) is so copiously supplied with poison that, when a
number of dogs attack it, the first bitten dies almost instantaneously,
the second in about five minutes, the third in an hour or so, while
the fourth may live several hours. In a cattle-pen it produces great
mischief in the same way. The one we killed at Kolobeng continued to
distill clear poison from the fangs for hours after its head was cut
off. This was probably that which passes by the name of the "spitting
serpent", which is believed to be able to eject its poison into the eyes
when the wind favors its forcible expiration. They all require water,
and come long distances to the Zouga, and other rivers and pools, in
search of it. We have another dangerous serpent, the puff adder, and
several vipers. One, named by the inhabitants "Noga-put-sane", or
serpent of a kid, utters a cry by night exactly like the bleating of
that animal. I heard one at a spot where no kid could possibly have
been. It is supposed by the natives to lure travelers to itself by this
bleating. Several varieties, when alarmed, emit a peculiar odor, by
which the people become aware of their presence in a house. We have
also the cobra ('Naia haje', Smith) of several colors or varieties. When
annoyed, they raise their heads up about a foot from the ground, and
flatten the neck in a threatening manner, darting out the tongue and
retracting it with great velocity, while their fixed glassy eyes
glare as if in anger. There are also various species of the genus
'Dendrophis', as the 'Bucephalus viridis', or green tree-climber. They
climb trees in search of birds and eggs, and are soon discovered by all
the birds in the neighborhood collecting and sounding an alarm.* Their
fangs are formed not so much for injecting poison on external objects
as for keeping in any animal or bird of which they have got hold. In
the case of the 'Dasypeltis inornatus' (Smith), the teeth are small, and
favorable for the passage of thin-shelled eggs without breaking. The egg
is taken in unbroken till it is within the gullet, or about two inches
behind the head. The gular teeth placed there break the shell without
spilling the contents, as would be the case if the front teeth were
large. The shell is then ejected. Others appear to be harmless, and even
edible. Of the latter sort is the large python, metse pallah, or tari.
The largest specimens of this are about 15 or 20 feet in length. They
are perfectly harmless, and live on small animals, chiefly the rodentia;
occasionally the steinbuck and pallah fall victims, and are sucked into
its comparatively small mouth in boa-constrictor fashion. One we shot
was 11 feet 10 inches long, and as thick as a man's leg. When shot
through the spine, it was capable of lifting itself up about five feet
high, and opened its mouth in a threatening manner, but the poor thing
was more inclined to crawl away. The flesh is much relished by the
Bakalahari and Bushmen. They carry away each his portion, like logs of
wood, over their shoulders.

   * "As this snake, 'Bucephalus Capensis', in our opinion, is
   not provided with a poisonous fluid to instill into wounds
   which these fangs may inflict, they must consequently be
   intended for a purpose different to those which exist in
   poisonous reptiles.  Their use seems to be to offer obstacles
   to the retrogression of animals, such as birds, etc., while
   they are only partially within the mouth; and from the
   circumstance of these fangs being directed backward, and not
   admitting of being raised so as to form an angle with the edge
   of the jaw, they are well fitted to act as powerful holders
   when once they penetrate the skin and soft parts of the prey
   which their possessors may be in the act of swallowing.
   Without such fangs escapes would be common; with such they are

   "The natives of South Africa regard the 'Bucephalus Capensis'
   as poisonous; but in their opinion we can not concur, as we
   have not been able to discover the existence of any glands
   manifestly organized for the secretion of poison.  The fangs
   are inclosed in a soft, pulpy sheath, the inner surface of
   which is commonly coated with a thin glairy secretion. This
   secretion possibly may have something acrid and irritating in
   its qualities, which may, when it enters a wound, cause pain
   and even swelling, but nothing of greater importance.

   "The 'Bucephalus Capensis' is generally found on trees, to
   which it resorts for the purpose of catching birds, upon which
   it delights to feed. The presence of a specimen in a tree is
   generally soon discovered by the birds of the neighborhood,
   who collect around it and fly to and fro, uttering the most
   piercing cries, until some one, more terror-struck than the
   rest, actually scans its lips, and, almost without resistance,
   becomes a meal for its enemy.  During such a proceeding the
   snake is generally observed with its head raised about ten or
   twelve inches above the branch round which its body and tail
   are entwined, with its mouth open and its neck inflated, as if
   anxiously endeavoring to increase the terror which it would
   almost appear it was aware would sooner or later bring within
   its grasp some one of the feathered group.

   "Whatever may be said in ridicule of fascination, it is
   nevertheless true that birds, and even quadrupeds, are, under
   certain circumstances, unable to retire from the presence of
   certain of their enemies; and, what is even more
   extraordinary, unable to resist the propensity to advance from
   a situation of actual safety into one of the most imminent
   danger.  This I have often seen exemplified in the case of
   birds and snakes; and I have heard of instances equally
   curious, in which antelopes and other quadrupeds have been so
   bewildered by the sudden appearance of crocodiles, and by the
   grimaces and contortions they practiced, as to be unable to
   fly or even move from the spot toward which they were
   approaching to seize them."--Dr. Andrew Smith's "Reptilia".

   In addition to these interesting statements of the most able
   naturalist from whom I have taken this note, it may be added
   that fire exercises a fascinating effect on some kinds of
   toads.  They may be seen rushing into it in the evenings
   without ever starting back on feeling pain. Contact with the
   hot embers rather increases the energy with which they strive
   to gain the hottest parts, and they never cease their
   struggles for the centre even when their juices are
   coagulating and their limbs stiffening in the roasting heat.
   Various insects, also, are thus fascinated; but the scorpions
   may be seen coming away from the fire in fierce disgust, and
   they are so irritated as to inflict at that time their most
   painful stings.

Some of the Bayeiye we met at Sebituane's Ford pretended to be
unaffected by the bite of serpents, and showed the feat of lacerating
their arms with the teeth of such as are unfurnished with the
poison-fangs. They also swallow the poison, by way of gaining notoriety;
but Dr. Andrew Smith put the sincerity of such persons to the test by
offering them the fangs of a really poisonous variety, and found they
shrank from the experiment.

When we reached the Bamangwato, the chief, Sekomi, was particularly
friendly, collected all his people to the religious services we held,
and explained his reasons for compelling some Englishmen to pay him a
horse. "They would not sell him any powder, though they had plenty; so
he compelled them to give it and the horse for nothing. He would not
deny the extortion to me; that would be 'boherehere' (swindling)." He
thus thought extortion better than swindling. I could not detect any
difference in the morality of the two transactions, but Sekomi's ideas
of honesty are the lowest I have met with in any Bechuana chief, and
this instance is mentioned as the only approach to demanding payment for
leave to pass that I have met with in the south. In all other cases the
difficulty has been to get a chief to give us men to show the way,
and the payment has only been for guides. Englishmen have always very
properly avoided giving that idea to the native mind which we shall
hereafter find prove troublesome, that payment ought to be made for
passage through a country.

All the Bechuana and Caffre tribes south of the Zambesi practice
circumcision ('boguera'), but the rites observed are carefully
concealed. The initiated alone can approach, but in this town I was
once a spectator of the second part of the ceremony of the circumcision,
called "sechu". Just at the dawn of day, a row of boys of nearly
fourteen years of age stood naked in the kotla, each having a pair of
sandals as a shield on his hands. Facing them stood the men of the
town in a similar state of nudity, all armed with long thin wands, of a
tough, strong, supple bush called moretloa ('Grewia flava'), and engaged
in a dance named "koha", in which questions are put to the boys, as
"Will you guard the chief well?" "Will you herd the cattle well?" and,
while the latter give an affirmative response, the men rush forward to
them, and each aims a full-weight blow at the back of one of the boys.
Shielding himself with the sandals above his head, he causes the supple
wand to descend and bend into his back, and every stroke inflicted thus
makes the blood squirt out of a wound a foot or eighteen inches long. At
the end of the dance, the boys' backs are seamed with wounds and weals,
the scars of which remain through life. This is intended to harden
the young soldiers, and prepare them for the rank of men. After this
ceremony, and after killing a rhinoceros, they may marry a wife.

In the "koha" the same respect is shown to age as in many other of their
customs. A younger man, rushing from the ranks to exercise his wand on
the backs of the youths, may be himself the object of chastisement by
the older, and, on the occasion referred to, Sekomi received a severe
cut on the leg from one of his gray-haired people. On my joking with
some of the young men on their want of courage, notwithstanding all the
beatings of which they bore marks, and hinting that our soldiers were
brave without suffering so much, one rose up and said, "Ask him if, when
he and I were compelled by a lion to stop and make a fire, I did not lie
down and sleep as well as himself." In other parts a challenge to try
a race would have been given, and you may frequently see grown men
adopting that means of testing superiority, like so many children.

The sechu is practiced by three tribes only. Boguera is observed by all
the Bechuanas and Caffres, but not by the negro tribes beyond 20 Deg.
south. The "boguera" is a civil rather than a religious rite. All the
boys of an age between ten and fourteen or fifteen are selected to be
the companions for life of one of the sons of the chief. They are taken
out to some retired spot in the forest, and huts are erected for their
accommodation; the old men go out and teach them to dance, initiating
them, at the same time, into all the mysteries of African politics and
government. Each one is expected to compose an oration in praise of
himself, called a "leina" or name, and to be able to repeat it with
sufficient fluency. A good deal of beating is required to bring them
up to the required excellency in different matters, so that, when
they return from the close seclusion in which they are kept, they have
generally a number of scars to show on their backs. These bands or
regiments, named mepato in the plural and mopato in the singular,
receive particular appellations; as, the Matsatsi--the suns; the
Mabusa--the rulers; equivalent to our Coldstreams or Enniskillens; and,
though living in different parts of the town, they turn out at the call,
and act under the chief's son as their commander. They recognize a sort
of equality and partial communism ever afterward, and address each other
by the title of molekane or comrade. In cases of offence against their
rules, as eating alone when any of their comrades are within call, or in
cases of cowardice or dereliction of duty, they may strike one another,
or any member of a younger mopato, but never any one of an older band;
and when three or four companies have been made, the oldest no longer
takes the field in time of war, but remains as a guard over the women
and children. When a fugitive comes to a tribe, he is directed to the
mopato analogous to that to which in his own tribe he belongs, and does
duty as a member. No one of the natives knows how old he is. If asked
his age, he answers by putting another question, "Does a man remember
when he was born?" Age is reckoned by the number of mepato they have
seen pass through the formulae of admission. When they see four or five
mepato younger than themselves, they are no longer obliged to bear arms.
The oldest individual I ever met boasted he had seen eleven sets of boys
submit to the boguera. Supposing him to have been fifteen when he saw
his own, and fresh bands were added every six or seven years, he must
have been about forty when he saw the fifth, and may have attained
seventy-five or eighty years, which is no great age; but it seemed so to
them, for he had now doubled the age for superannuation among them.
It is an ingenious plan for attaching the members of the tribe to the
chief's family, and for imparting a discipline which renders the tribe
easy of command. On their return to the town from attendance on the
ceremonies of initiation, a prize is given to the lad who can run
fastest, the article being placed where all may see the winner run up
to snatch it. They are then considered men (banona, viri), and can sit
among the elders in the kotla. Formerly they were only boys (basimane,
pueri). The first missionaries set their faces against the boguera, on
account of its connection with heathenism, and the fact that the youths
learned much evil, and became disobedient to their parents. From
the general success of these men, it is perhaps better that younger
missionaries should tread in their footsteps; for so much evil may
result from breaking down the authority on which, to those who can not
read, the whole system of our influence appears to rest, that innovators
ought to be made to propose their new measures as the Locrians did new
laws--with ropes around their necks.

Probably the "boguera" was only a sanitary and political measure; and
there being no continuous chain of tribes practicing the rite between
the Arabs and the Bechuanas, or Caffres, and as it is not a religious
ceremony, it can scarcely be traced, as is often done, to a Mohammedan

A somewhat analogous ceremony (boyale) takes place for young women, and
the protegees appear abroad drilled under the surveillance of an old
lady to the carrying of water. They are clad during the whole time in a
dress composed of ropes made of alternate pumpkin-seeds and bits of reed
strung together, and wound round the body in a figure-of-eight fashion.
They are inured in this way to bear fatigue, and carry large pots of
water under the guidance of the stern old hag. They have often scars
from bits of burning charcoal having been applied to the forearm, which
must have been done to test their power of bearing pain.

The Bamangwato hills are part of the range called Bakaa. The Bakaa
tribe, however, removed to Kolobeng, and is now joined to that of
Sechele. The range stands about 700 or 800 feet above the plains, and
is composed of great masses of black basalt. It is probably part of
the latest series of volcanic rocks in South Africa. At the eastern end
these hills have curious fungoid or cup-shaped hollows, of a size
which suggests the idea of craters. Within these are masses of the rock
crystallized in the columnar form of this formation. The tops of the
columns are quite distinct, of the hexagonal form, like the bottom of
the cells of a honeycomb, but they are not parted from each other as in
the Cave of Fingal. In many parts the lava-streams may be recognized,
for there the rock is rent and split in every direction, but no soil is
yet found in the interstices. When we were sitting in the evening, after
a hot day, it was quite common to hear these masses of basalt split and
fall among each other with the peculiar ringing sound which makes people
believe that this rock contains much iron. Several large masses, in
splitting thus by the cold acting suddenly on parts expanded by the heat
of the day, have slipped down the sides of the hills, and, impinging
against each other, have formed cavities in which the Bakaa took refuge
against their enemies. The numerous chinks and crannies left by these
huge fragments made it quite impossible for their enemies to smoke them
out, as was done by the Boers to the people of Mankopane.

This mass of basalt, about six miles long, has tilted up the rocks on
both the east and west; these upheaved rocks are the ancient silurian
schists which formed the bottom of the great primaeval valley, and, like
all the recent volcanic rocks of this country, have a hot fountain in
their vicinity, namely, that of Serinane.

In passing through these hills on our way north we enter a pass named
Manakalongwe, or Unicorn's Pass. The unicorn here is a large edible
caterpillar, with an erect, horn-like tail. The pass was also called
Porapora (or gurgling of water), from a stream having run through it.
The scene must have been very different in former times from what it is
now. This is part of the River Mahalapi, which so-called river scarcely
merits the name, any more than the meadows of Edinburgh deserve the
title of North Loch. These hills are the last we shall see for months.
The country beyond consisted of large patches of trap-covered tufa,
having little soil or vegetation except tufts of grass and wait-a-bit
thorns, in the midst of extensive sandy, grass-covered plains. These
yellow-colored, grassy plains, with moretloa and mahatla bushes, form
quite a characteristic feature of the country. The yellow or dun-color
prevails during a great part of the year. The Bakwain hills are an
exception to the usual flat surface, for they are covered with green
trees to their tops, and the valleys are often of the most lovely green.
The trees are larger too, and even the plains of the Bakwain country
contain trees instead of bushes. If you look north from the hills we are
now leaving, the country partakes of this latter character. It appears
as if it were a flat covered with a forest of ordinary-sized trees from
20 to 30 feet high, but when you travel over it they are not so closely
planted but that a wagon with care may be guided among them. The grass
grows in tufts of the size of one's hat, with bare soft sand between.
Nowhere here have we an approach to English lawns, or the pleasing
appearance of English greensward.

In no part of this country could European grain be cultivated without
irrigation. The natives all cultivate the dourrha or holcus sorghum,
maize, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, and different kinds of beans; and
they are entirely dependent for the growth of these on rains. Their
instrument of culture is the hoe, and the chief labor falls on the
female portion of the community. In this respect the Bechuanas closely
resemble the Caffres. The men engage in hunting, milk the cows, and
have the entire control of the cattle; they prepare the skins, make the
clothing, and in many respects may be considered a nation of tailors.

When at Sekomi's we generally have heard his praises sounded by a
man who rises at break of day, and utters at the top of his voice the
oration which that ruler is said to have composed at his boguera. This
repetition of his "leina", or oration, is so pleasing to a chief, that
he generally sends a handsome present to the man who does it.

JANUARY 28TH. Passing on to Letloche, about twenty miles beyond the
Bamangwato, we found a fine supply of water. This is a point of so much
interest in that country that the first question we ask of passers
by is, "Have you had water?" the first inquiry a native puts to a
fellow-countryman is, "Where is the rain?" and, though they are by
no means an untruthful nation, the answer generally is, "I don't
know--there is none--we are killed with hunger and by the sun." If news
is asked for, they commence with, "There is no news: I heard some lies
only," and then tell all they know.

This spot was Mr. Gordon Cumming's furthest station north. Our house
at Kolobeng having been quite in the hunting-country, rhinoceros and
buffaloes several times rushed past, and I was able to shoot the latter
twice from our own door. We were favored by visits from this famous
hunter during each of the five years of his warfare with wild animals.
Many English gentlemen following the same pursuits paid their guides and
assistants so punctually that in making arrangements for them we had to
be careful that four did not go where two only were wanted: they knew so
well that an Englishman would pay that they depended implicitly on
his word of honor, and not only would they go and hunt for five or six
months in the north, enduring all the hardships of that trying mode
of life, with little else but meat of game to subsist on, but they
willingly went seven hundred or eight hundred miles to Graham's Town,
receiving for wages only a musket worth fifteen shillings.

No one ever deceived them except one man; and as I believed that he was
afflicted with a slight degree of the insanity of greediness, I upheld
the honor of the English name by paying his debts. As the guides of Mr.
Cumming were furnished through my influence, and usually got some strict
charges as to their behavior before parting, looking upon me in the
light of a father, they always came to give me an account of their
service, and told most of those hunting adventures which have since been
given to the world, before we had the pleasure of hearing our friend
relate them himself by our own fireside. I had thus a tolerably good
opportunity of testing their accuracy, and I have no hesitation in
saying that for those who love that sort of thing Mr. Cumming's book
conveys a truthful idea of South African hunting. Some things in it
require explanation, but the numbers of animals said to have been met
with and killed are by no means improbable, considering the amount of
large game then in the country. Two other gentlemen hunting in the same
region destroyed in one season no fewer than seventy-eight rhinoceroses
alone. Sportsmen, however, would not now find an equal number, for as
guns are introduced among the tribes all these fine animals melt away
like snow in spring. In the more remote districts, where fire-arms have
not yet been introduced, with the single exception of the rhinoceros,
the game is to be found in numbers much greater than Mr. Cumming ever
saw. The tsetse is, however, an insuperable barrier to hunting with
horses there, and Europeans can do nothing on foot. The step of the
elephant when charging the hunter, though apparently not quick, is so
long that the pace equals the speed of a good horse at a canter. A young
sportsman, no matter how great among pheasants, foxes, and hounds, would
do well to pause before resolving to brave fever for the excitement
of risking such a terrific charge; the scream or trumpeting of this
enormous brute when infuriated is more like what the shriek of a French
steam-whistle would be to a man standing on the dangerous part of
a rail-road than any other earthly sound: a horse unused to it will
sometimes stand shivering instead of taking his rider out of danger. It
has happened often that the poor animal's legs do their duty so badly
that he falls and causes his rider to be trodden into a mummy; or,
losing his presence of mind, the rider may allow the horse to dash under
a tree and crack his cranium against a branch. As one charge from
an elephant has made embryo Nimrods bid a final adieu to the chase,
incipient Gordon Cummings might try their nerves by standing on railways
till the engines were within a few yards of them. Hunting elephants on
foot would be not less dangerous,* unless the Ceylon mode of killing
them by one shot could be followed: it has never been tried in Africa.

   * Since writing the above statement, it has received
   confirmation in the reported death of Mr. Wahlberg while
   hunting elephants on foot at Lake Ngami.

Advancing to some wells beyond Letloche, at a spot named Kanne, we
found them carefully hedged round by the people of a Bakalahari village
situated near the spot. We had then sixty miles of country in front
without water, and very distressing for the oxen, as it is generally
deep soft sand. There is one sucking-place, around which were
congregated great numbers of Bushwomen with their egg-shells and reeds.
Mathuluane now contained no water, and Motlatsa only a small supply, so
we sent the oxen across the country to the deep well Nkauane, and half
were lost on the way. When found at last they had been five whole days
without water. Very large numbers of elands were met with as usual,
though they seldom can get a sip of drink. Many of the plains here have
large expanses of grass without trees, but you seldom see a treeless
horizon. The ostrich is generally seen quietly feeding on some spot
where no one can approach him without being detected by his wary eye. As
the wagon moves along far to the windward he thinks it is intending to
circumvent him, so he rushes up a mile or so from the leeward, and so
near to the front oxen that one sometimes gets a shot at the silly bird.
When he begins to run all the game in sight follow his example. I have
seen this folly taken advantage of when he was feeding quietly in a
valley open at both ends. A number of men would commence running, as
if to cut off his retreat from the end through which the wind came; and
although he had the whole country hundreds of miles before him by going
to the other end, on he madly rushed to get past the men, and so was
speared. He never swerves from the course he once adopts, but only
increases his speed.

When the ostrich is feeding his pace is from twenty to twenty-two
inches; when walking, but not feeding, it is twenty-six inches; and
when terrified, as in the case noticed, it is from eleven and a half to
thirteen and even fourteen feet in length. Only in one case was I at all
satisfied of being able to count the rate of speed by a stop-watch, and,
if I am not mistaken, there were thirty in ten seconds; generally
one's eye can no more follow the legs than it can the spokes of a
carriage-wheel in rapid motion. If we take the above number, and twelve
feet stride as the average pace, we have a speed of twenty-six miles an
hour. It can not be very much above that, and is therefore slower than
a railway locomotive. They are sometimes shot by the horseman making a
cross cut to their undeviating course, but few Englishmen ever succeed
in killing them.

The ostrich begins to lay her eggs before she has fixed on a spot for a
nest, which is only a hollow a few inches deep in the sand, and about a
yard in diameter. Solitary eggs, named by the Bechuanas "lesetla", are
thus found lying forsaken all over the country, and become a prey to the
jackal. She seems averse to risking a spot for a nest, and often lays
her eggs in that of another ostrich, so that as many as forty-five
have been found in one nest. Some eggs contain small concretions of the
matter which forms the shell, as occurs also in the egg of the common
fowl: this has given rise to the idea of stones in the eggs. Both male
and female assist in the incubations; but the numbers of females being
always greatest, it is probable that cases occur in which the females
have the entire charge. Several eggs lie out of the nest, and are
thought to be intended as food for the first of the newly-hatched brood
till the rest come out and enable the whole to start in quest of food.
I have several times seen newly-hatched young in charge of the cock,
who made a very good attempt at appearing lame in the plover fashion,
in order to draw off the attention of pursuers. The young squat down
and remain immovable when too small to run far, but attain a wonderful
degree of speed when about the size of common fowls. It can not be
asserted that ostriches are polygamous, though they often appear to
be so. When caught they are easily tamed, but are of no use in their
domesticated state.

The egg is possessed of very great vital power. One kept in a room
during more than three months, in a temperature about 60 Deg., when
broken was found to have a partially-developed live chick in it. The
Bushmen carefully avoid touching the eggs, or leaving marks of human
feet near them, when they find a nest. They go up the wind to the
spot, and with a long stick remove some of them occasionally, and, by
preventing any suspicion, keep the hen laying on for months, as we do
with fowls. The eggs have a strong, disagreeable flavor, which only the
keen appetite of the Desert can reconcile one to. The Hottentots use
their trowsers to carry home the twenty or twenty-five eggs usually
found in a nest; and it has happened that an Englishman, intending to
imitate this knowing dodge, comes to the wagons with blistered legs,
and, after great toil, finds all the eggs uneatable, from having been
some time sat upon. Our countrymen invariably do best when they continue
to think, speak, and act in their own proper character.

The food of the ostrich consists of pods and seeds of different kinds
of leguminous plants, with leaves of various plants; and, as these are
often hard and dry, he picks up a great quantity of pebbles, many of
which are as large as marbles. He picks up also some small bulbs, and
occasionally a wild melon to afford moisture, for one was found with a
melon which had choked him by sticking in his throat. It requires the
utmost address of the Bushmen, crawling for miles on their stomachs, to
stalk them successfully; yet the quantity of feathers collected annually
shows that the numbers slain must be considerable, as each bird has
only a few in the wings and tail. The male bird is of a jet black
glossy color, with the single exception of the white feathers, which
are objects of trade. Nothing can be finer than the adaptation of those
flossy feathers for the climate of the Kalahari, where these birds
abound; for they afford a perfect shade to the body, with free
ventilation beneath them. The hen ostrich is of a dark brownish-gray
color, and so are the half-grown cocks.

The organs of vision in this bird are placed so high that he can detect
an enemy at a great distance, but the lion sometimes kills him. The
flesh is white and coarse, though, when in good condition, it resembles
in some degree that of a tough turkey. It seeks safety in flight; but
when pursued by dogs it may be seen to turn upon them and inflict a
kick, which is vigorously applied, and sometimes breaks the dog's back.

Chapter 8.

Effects of Missionary Efforts--Belief in the Deity--Ideas of the
Bakwains on Religion--Departure from their Country--Salt-pans--Sour
Curd--Nchokotsa--Bitter Waters--Thirst suffered by the wild
Animals--Wanton Cruelty in Hunting--Ntwetwe--Mowana-trees--Their
extraordinary Vitality--The Mopane-tree--The Morala--The Bushmen--Their
Superstitions--Elephant-hunting--Superiority of civilized
over barbarous Sportsmen--The Chief Kaisa--His Fear of
Responsibility--Beauty of the Country at Unku--The Mohonono Bush--Severe
Labor in cutting our Way--Party seized with Fever--Escape of our
Cattle--Bakwain Mode of recapturing them--Vagaries of sick Servants--
Discovery of grape-bearing Vines--An Ant-eater--Difficulty of passing
through the Forest--Sickness of my Companion--The Bushmen--Their
Mode of destroying Lions--Poisons--The solitary Hill--A picturesque
Valley--Beauty of the Country--Arrive at the Sanshureh River--The
flooded Prairies--A pontooning Expedition--A night Bivouac--The Chobe--
Arrive at the Village of Moremi--Surprise of the Makololo at our sudden
Appearance--Cross the Chobe on our way to Linyanti.

The Bakalahari, who live at Motlatsa wells, have always been very
friendly to us, and listen attentively to instruction conveyed to them
in their own tongue. It is, however, difficult to give an idea to a
European of the little effect teaching produces, because no one can
realize the degradation to which their minds have been sunk by centuries
of barbarism and hard struggling for the necessaries of life: like most
others, they listen with respect and attention, but, when we kneel down
and address an unseen Being, the position and the act often appear
to them so ridiculous that they can not refrain from bursting into
uncontrollable laughter. After a few services they get over this
tendency. I was once present when a missionary attempted to sing among a
wild heathen tribe of Bechuanas, who had no music in their composition;
the effect on the risible faculties of the audience was such that the
tears actually ran down their cheeks. Nearly all their thoughts are
directed to the supply of their bodily wants, and this has been the case
with the race for ages. If asked, then, what effect the preaching of the
Gospel has at the commencement on such individuals, I am unable to tell,
except that some have confessed long afterward that they then first
began to pray in secret. Of the effects of a long-continued course of
instruction there can be no reasonable doubt, as mere nominal belief
has never been considered sufficient proof of conversion by any body of
missionaries; and, after the change which has been brought about by this
agency, we have good reason to hope well for the future--those I have
myself witnessed behaving in the manner described, when kindly treated
in sickness often utter imploring words to Jesus, and I believe
sometimes really do pray to him in their afflictions. As that great
Redeemer of the guilty seeks to save all he can, we may hope that they
find mercy through His blood, though little able to appreciate the
sacrifice He made. The indirect and scarcely appreciable blessings of
Christian missionaries going about doing good are thus probably not so
despicable as some might imagine; there is no necessity for beginning to
tell even the most degraded of these people of the existence of a God
or of a future state, the facts being universally admitted. Every thing
that can not be accounted for by common causes is ascribed to the Deity,
as creation, sudden death, etc. "How curiously God made these things!"
is a common expression; as is also, "He was not killed by disease, he
was killed by God." And, when speaking of the departed--though there
is naught in the physical appearance of the dead to justify the
expression--they say, "He has gone to the gods," the phrase being
identical with "abiit ad plures".

On questioning intelligent men among the Bakwains as to their former
knowledge of good and evil, of God and the future state, they have
scouted the idea of any of them ever having been without a tolerably
clear conception on all these subjects. Respecting their sense of right
and wrong, they profess that nothing we indicate as sin ever appeared to
them as otherwise, except the statement that it was wrong to have more
wives than one; and they declare that they spoke in the same way of the
direct influence exercised by God in giving rain in answer to prayers
of the rain-makers, and in granting deliverances in times of danger, as
they do now, before they ever heard of white men. The want, however,
of any form of public worship, or of idols, or of formal prayers or
sacrifice, make both Caffres and Bechuanas appear as among the most
godless races of mortals known any where. But, though they all possess a
distinct knowledge of a deity and of a future state, they show so little
reverence, and feel so little connection with either, that it is
not surprising that some have supposed them entirely ignorant on the
subject. At Lotlakani we met an old Bushman who at first seemed to have
no conception of morality whatever; when his heart was warmed by our
presents of meat, he sat by the fire relating his early adventures:
among these was killing five other Bushmen. "Two," said he, counting on
his fingers, "were females, one a male, and the other two calves." "What
a villain you are, to boast of killing women and children of your own
nation! what will God say when you appear before him?" "He will say,"
replied he, "that I was a very clever fellow." This man now appeared to
me as without any conscience, and, of course, responsibility; but, on
trying to enlighten him by further conversation, I discovered that,
though he was employing the word that is used among the Bakwains when
speaking of the Deity, he had only the idea of a chief, and was all
the while referring to Sekomi, while his victims were a party of rebel
Bushmen against whom he had been sent. If I had known the name of God
in the Bushman tongue the mistake could scarcely have occurred. It must,
however, be recollected, while reflecting on the degradation of the
natives of South Africa, that the farther north, the more distinct do
the native ideas on religious subjects become, and I have not had any
intercourse with either Caffres or Bushmen in their own tongues.

Leaving Motlatsa on the 8th of February, 1853, we passed down the
Mokoko, which, in the memory of persons now living, was a flowing
stream. We ourselves once saw a heavy thunder-shower make it assume
its ancient appearance of running to the north. Between Lotlakani and
Nchokotsa we passed the small well named Orapa; and another called
Thutsa lay a little to our right--its water is salt and purgative;
the salt-pan Chuantsa, having a cake of salt one inch and a half in
thickness, is about ten miles to the northeast of Orapa. This deposit
contains a bitter salt in addition, probably the nitrate of lime; the
natives, in order to render it palatable and wholesome, mix the salt
with the juice of a gummy plant, then place it in the sand and bake it
by making a fire over it; the lime then becomes insoluble and tasteless.

The Bamangwato keep large flocks of sheep and goats at various spots on
this side of the Desert. They thrive wonderfully well wherever salt
and bushes are to be found. The milk of goats does not coagulate with
facility, like that of cows, on account of its richness; but the natives
have discovered that the infusion of the fruit of a solanaceous plant,
Toluane, quickly produces the effect. The Bechuanas put their milk into
sacks made of untanned hide, with the hair taken off. Hung in the sun,
it soon coagulates; the whey is then drawn off by a plug at the bottom,
and fresh milk added, until the sack is full of a thick, sour curd,
which, when one becomes used to it, is delicious. The rich mix this
in the porridge into which they convert their meal, and, as it is thus
rendered nutritious and strength-giving, an expression of scorn is
sometimes heard respecting the poor or weak, to the effect that "they
are water-porridge men." It occupies the place of our roast beef.

At Nchokotsa, the rainy season having this year been delayed beyond the
usual time, we found during the day the thermometer stand at 96 Deg.
in the coolest possible shade. This height at Kolobeng always portended
rain at hand. At Kuruman, when it rises above 84 Deg., the same
phenomenon may be considered near; while farther north it rises above
100 Deg. before the cooling influence of the evaporation from rain may
be expected. Here the bulb of the thermometer, placed two inches beneath
the soil, stood at 128 Deg. All around Nchokotsa the country looked
parched, and the glare from the white efflorescence which covers the
extensive pans on all sides was most distressing to the eyes. The water
of Nchokotsa was bitter, and presented indications not to be mistaken
of having passed through animal systems before. All these waters contain
nitrates, which stimulate the kidneys and increase the thirst. The fresh
additions of water required in cooking meat, each imparting its own
portion of salt, make one grumble at the cook for putting too much
seasoning in, while in fact he has put in none at all, except that
contained in the water. Of bitter, bad, disgusting waters I have drunk
not a few nauseous draughts; you may try alum, vitriol, boiling, etc.,
etc., to convince yourself that you are not more stupid than travelers
you will meet at home, but the ammonia and other salts are there still;
and the only remedy is to get away as quickly as possible to the north.

We dug out several wells; and as we had on each occasion to wait till
the water flowed in again, and then allow our cattle to feed a day or
two and slake their thirst thoroughly, as far as that could be done,
before starting, our progress was but slow. At Koobe there was such a
mass of mud in the pond, worked up by the wallowing rhinoceros to the
consistency of mortar, that only by great labor could we get a space
cleared at one side for the water to ooze through and collect in for the
oxen. Should the rhinoceros come back, a single roll in the great mass
we had thrown on one side would have rendered all our labor vain. It was
therefore necessary for us to guard the spot at night. On these great
flats all around we saw in the white sultry glare herds of zebras, gnus,
and occasionally buffaloes, standing for days, looking wistfully toward
the wells for a share of the nasty water. It is mere wanton cruelty to
take advantage of the necessities of these poor animals, and shoot them
down one after another, without intending to make the smallest use of
either the flesh, skins, or horns. In shooting by night, animals are
more frequently wounded than killed; the flowing life-stream increases
the thirst, so that in desperation they come slowly up to drink in spite
of the danger, "I must drink, though I die." The ostrich, even when not
wounded, can not, with all his wariness, resist the excessive desire to
slake his burning thirst. It is Bushman-like practice to take advantage
of its piteous necessities, for most of the feathers they obtain
are procured in this way; but they eat the flesh, and are so far

I could not order my men to do what I would not do myself, but, though I
tried to justify myself on the plea of necessity, I could not adopt this
mode of hunting. If your object is to secure the best specimens for
a museum, it may be allowable, and even deserving of commendation, as
evincing a desire to kill only those really wanted; but if, as has been
practiced by some Griquas and others who came into the country after Mr.
Cumming, and fired away indiscriminately, great numbers of animals are
wounded and allowed to perish miserably, or are killed on the spot
and left to be preyed on by vultures and hyenas, and all for the sole
purpose of making a "bag", then I take it to be evident that such
sportsmen are pretty far gone in the hunting form of insanity.

My men shot a black rhinoceros in this way, and I felt glad to get away
from the only place in which I ever had any share in night-hunting.
We passed over the immense pan Ntwetwe, on which the latitude could
be taken as at sea. Great tracts of this part of the country are of
calcareous tufa, with only a thin coating of soil; numbers of "baobab"
and "mopane" trees abound all over this hard, smooth surface. About
two miles beyond the northern bank of the pan we unyoked under a fine
specimen of the baobab, here called, in the language of Bechuanas,
Mowana; it consisted of six branches united into one trunk. At three
feet from the ground it was eighty-five feet in circumference.

These mowana-trees are the most wonderful examples of vitality in the
country; it was therefore with surprise that we came upon a dead one
at Tlomtla, a few miles beyond this spot. It is the same as those which
Adamson and others believed, from specimens seen in Western Africa,
to have been alive before the flood. Arguing with a peculiar mental
idiosyncracy resembling color-blindness, common among the French of the
time, these savans came to the conclusion that "therefore there never
was any flood at all." I would back a true mowana against a dozen
floods, provided you do not boil it in hot sea-water; but I can not
believe that any of those now alive had a chance of being subjected to
the experiment of even the Noachian deluge. The natives make a strong
cord from the fibres contained in the pounded bark. The whole of the
trunk, as high as they can reach, is consequently often quite denuded of
its covering, which in the case of almost any other tree would cause its
death, but this has no effect on the mowana except to make it throw out
a new bark, which is done in the way of granulation. This stripping of
the bark is repeated frequently, so that it is common to see the lower
five or six feet an inch or two less in diameter than the parts above;
even portions of the bark which have broken in the process of being
taken off, but remain separated from the parts below, though still
connected with the tree above, continue to grow, and resemble closely
marks made in the necks of the cattle of the island of Mull and of
Caffre oxen, where a piece of skin is detached and allowed to hang down.
No external injury, not even a fire, can destroy this tree from without;
nor can any injury be done from within, as it is quite common to find it
hollow; and I have seen one in which twenty or thirty men could lie down
and sleep as in a hut. Nor does cutting down exterminate it, for I saw
instances in Angola in which it continued to grow in length after it
was lying on the ground. Those trees called exogenous grow by means
of successive layers on the outside. The inside may be dead, or even
removed altogether, without affecting the life of the tree. This is the
case with most of the trees of our climate. The other class is called
endogenous, and increases by layers applied to the inside; and when
the hollow there is full, the growth is stopped--the tree must die.
Any injury is felt most severely by the first class on the bark; by the
second on the inside; while the inside of the exogenous may be removed,
and the outside of the endogenous may be cut, without stopping the
growth in the least. The mowana possesses the powers of both. The reason
is that each of the laminae possesses its own independent vitality; in
fact, the baobab is rather a gigantic bulb run up to seed than a tree.
Each of eighty-four concentric rings had, in the case mentioned, grown
an inch after the tree had been blown over. The roots, which may often
be observed extending along the surface of the ground forty or fifty
yards from the trunk, also retain their vitality after the tree is laid
low; and the Portuguese now know that the best way to treat them is to
let them alone, for they occupy much more room when cut down than when

The wood is so spongy and soft that an axe can be struck in so far with
a good blow that there is great difficulty in pulling it out again.
In the dead mowana mentioned the concentric rings were well seen. The
average for a foot at three different places was eighty-one and a half
of these rings. Each of the laminae can be seen to be composed of two,
three, or four layers of ligneous tubes; but supposing each ring the
growth of one year, and the semidiameter of a mowana of one hundred feet
in circumference about seventeen feet, if the central point were in the
centre of the tree, then its age would lack some centuries of being as
old as the Christian era (1400). Though it possesses amazing vitality,
it is difficult to believe that this great baby-looking bulb or tree is
as old as the Pyramids.

The mopane-tree ('bauhinia') is remarkable for the little shade its
leaves afford. They fold together and stand nearly perpendicular during
the heat of the day, so that only the shadow of their edges comes to
the ground. On these leaves the small larvae of a winged insect appear
covered over with a sweet, gummy substance. The people collect this
in great quantities, and use it as food;* and the lopane--large
caterpillars three inches long, which feed on the leaves, and are seen
strung together--share the same fate.

   * I am favored with Mr. Westwood's remarks on this insect as

   "Taylor Institution, Oxford, July 9, 1857.

   "The insect (and its secretion) on the leaves of the bauhinia,
   and which is eaten by the Africans, proves to be a species of
   Psylla, a genus of small, very active Homoptera, of which we
   have one very common species in the box; but our species,
   Psylla buxi, emits its secretion in the shape of very long,
   white, cotton-like filaments. But there is a species in New
   Holland, found on the leaves of the Eucalyptus, which emits a
   secretion very similar to that of Dr. Livingstone's species.
   This Australian secretion (and its insect originator) is known
   by the name of wo-me-la, and, like Dr. Livingstone's, it is
   scraped off the leaves and eaten by the aborigines as a
   saccharine dainty.  The insects found beneath the secretion,
   brought home by Dr. Livingstone, are in the pupa state, being
   flattened, with large scales at the sides of the body,
   inclosing the future wings of the insect. The body is pale
   yellowish-colored, with dark-brown spots. It will be
   impossible to describe the species technically until we
   receive the perfect insect.  The secretion itself is flat and
   circular, apparently deposited in concentric rings, gradually
   increasing in size till the patches are about a quarter or a
   third of an inch in diameter.

   Jno. O. Westwood."

In passing along we see every where the power of vegetation in breaking
up the outer crust of tufa. A mopane-tree, growing in a small chink, as
it increases in size rends and lifts up large fragments of the rock
all around it, subjecting them to the disintegrating influence of the
atmosphere. The wood is hard, and of a fine red color, and is named
iron-wood by the Portuguese. The inhabitants, observing that the
mopane is more frequently struck by lightning than other trees,
caution travelers never to seek its shade when a thunder-storm is
near--"Lightning hates it;" while another tree, the "Morala", which has
three spines opposite each other on the branches, and has never been
known to be touched by lightning, is esteemed, even as far as Angola, a
protection against the electric fluid. Branches of it may be seen placed
on the houses of the Portuguese for the same purpose. The natives,
moreover, believe that a man is thoroughly protected from an enraged
elephant if he can get into the shade of this tree. There may not be
much in this, but there is frequently some foundation of truth in their

At Rapesh we came among our old friends the Bushmen, under Horoye. This
man, Horoye, a good specimen of that tribe, and his son Mokantsa and
others, were at least six feet high, and of a darker color than the
Bushmen of the south. They have always plenty of food and water; and as
they frequent the Zouga as often as the game in company with which they
live, their life is very different from that of the inhabitants of the
thirsty plains of the Kalahari. The animal they refrain from eating is
the goat, which fact, taken in connection with the superstitious dread
which exists in every tribe toward a particular animal, is significant
of their feelings to the only animals they could have domesticated in
their desert home. They are a merry laughing set, and do not tell lies
wantonly. They have in their superstitious rites more appearance of
worship than the Bechuanas; and at a Bushman's grave we once came to on
the Zouga, the observances showed distinctly that they regarded the
dead as still in another state of being; for they addressed him, and
requested him not to be offended even though they wished still to remain
a little while longer in this world.

Those among whom we now were kill many elephants, and when the moon is
full choose that time for the chase, on account of its coolness. Hunting
this animal is the best test of courage this country affords. The
Bushmen choose the moment succeeding a charge, when the elephant is out
of breath, to run in and give him a stab with their long-bladed spears.
In this case the uncivilized have the advantage over us, but I believe
that with half their training Englishmen would beat the Bushmen. Our
present form of civilization does not necessarily produce effeminacy,
though it unquestionably increases the beauty, courage, and physical
powers of the race. When at Kolobeng I took notes of the different
numbers of elephants killed in the course of the season by the various
parties which went past our dwelling, in order to form an idea of the
probable annual destruction of this noble animal. There were parties of
Griquas, Bechuanas, Boers, and Englishmen. All were eager to distinguish
themselves, and success depended mainly on the courage which leads the
huntsman to go close to the animal, and not waste the force of his shot
on the air. It was noticeable that the average for the natives was under
one per man, for the Griquas one per man, for the Boers two, and for
the English officers twenty each. This was the more remarkable, as the
Griquas, Boers, and Bechuanas employed both dogs and natives to assist
them, while the English hunters generally had no assistance from either.
They approached to within thirty yards of the animal, while the others
stood at a distance of a hundred yards, or even more, and of course
spent all the force of their bullets on the air. One elephant was found
by Mr. Oswell with quite a crowd of bullets in his side, all evidently
fired in this style, and they had not gone near the vital parts.

It would thus appear that our more barbarous neighbors do not possess
half the courage of the civilized sportsman. And it is probable that in
this respect, as well as in physical development, we are superior to our
ancestors. The coats of mail and greaves of the Knights of Malta, and
the armor from the Tower exhibited at the Eglinton tournament, may be
considered decisive as to the greater size attained by modern civilized

At Maila we spent a Sunday with Kaisa, the head man of a village of
Mashona, who had fled from the iron sway of Mosilikatse, whose country
lies east of this. I wished him to take charge of a packet of letters
for England, to be forwarded when, as is the custom of the Bamangwato,
the Bechuanas come hither in search of skins and food among the Bushmen;
but he could not be made to comprehend that there was no danger in the
consignment. He feared the responsibility and guilt if any thing should
happen to them; so I had to bid adieu to all hope of letting my family
hear of my welfare till I should reach the west coast.

At Unku we came into a tract of country which had been visited by
refreshing showers long before, and every spot was covered with grass
run up to seed, and the flowers of the forest were in full bloom.
Instead of the dreary prospect around Koobe and Nchokotsa, we had here a
delightful scene, all the ponds full of water, and the birds twittering
joyfully. As the game can now obtain water every where, they become very
shy, and can not be found in their accustomed haunts.

1ST MARCH. The thermometer in the shade generally stood at 98 Degrees
from 1 to 3 P.M., but it sank as low as 65 Deg. by night, so that the
heat was by no means exhausting. At the surface of the ground, in the
sun, the thermometer marked 125 Deg., and three inches below it 138 Deg.
The hand can not be held on the ground, and even the horny soles of the
feet of the natives must be protected by sandals of hide; yet the ants
were busy working on it. The water in the ponds was as high as 100 Deg.;
but as water does not conduct heat readily downward, deliciously cool
water may be obtained by any one walking into the middle and lifting up
the water from the bottom to the surface with his hands.

Proceeding to the north, from Kama-kama, we entered into dense Mohonono
bush, which required the constant application of the axe by three of our
party for two days. This bush has fine silvery leaves, and the bark has
a sweet taste. The elephant, with his usual delicacy of taste, feeds
much on it. On emerging into the plains beyond, we found a number of
Bushmen, who afterward proved very serviceable. The rains had been
copious, but now great numbers of pools were drying up. Lotus-plants
abounded in them, and a low, sweet-scented plant covered their banks.
Breezes came occasionally to us from these drying-up pools, but the
pleasant odor they carried caused sneezing in both myself and people;
and on the 10th of March (when in lat. 19d 16' 11" S., long. 24d 24' E.)
we were brought to a stand by four of the party being seized with fever.
I had seen this disease before, but did not at once recognize it as the
African fever; I imagined it was only a bilious attack, arising from
full feeding on flesh, for, the large game having been very abundant, we
always had a good supply; but instead of the first sufferers recovering
soon, every man of our party was in a few days laid low, except a
Bakwain and myself. He managed the oxen, while I attended to the wants
of the patients, and went out occasionally with the Bushmen to get a
zebra or buffalo, so as to induce them to remain with us.

Here for the first time I had leisure to follow the instructions of my
kind teacher, Mr. Maclear, and calculated several longitudes from lunar
distances. The hearty manner in which that eminent astronomer and frank,
friendly man had promised to aid me in calculating and verifying my
work, conduced more than any thing else to inspire me with perseverance
in making astronomical observations throughout the journey.

The grass here was so tall that the oxen became uneasy, and one night
the sight of a hyaena made them rush away into the forest to the east
of us. On rising on the morning of the 19th, I found that my Bakwain
lad had run away with them. This I have often seen with persons of this
tribe, even when the cattle are startled by a lion. Away go the young
men in company with them, and dash through bush and brake for miles,
till they think the panic is a little subsided; they then commence
whistling to the cattle in the manner they do when milking the cows:
having calmed them, they remain as a guard till the morning. The men
generally return with their shins well peeled by the thorns. Each
comrade of the Mopato would expect his fellow to act thus, without
looking for any other reward than the brief praise of the chief. Our
lad, Kibopechoe, had gone after the oxen, but had lost them in the rush
through the flat, trackless forest. He remained on their trail all the
next day and all the next night. On Sunday morning, as I was setting off
in search of him, I found him near the wagon. He had found the oxen late
in the afternoon of Saturday, and had been obliged to stand by them all
night. It was wonderful how he managed without a compass, and in such
a country, to find his way home at all, bringing about forty oxen with

The Bechuanas will keep on the sick-list as long as they feel any
weakness; so I at last began to be anxious that they should make
a little exertion to get forward on our way. One of them, however,
happening to move a hundred yards from the wagon, fell down, and,
being unobserved, remained the whole night in the pouring rain totally
insensible; another was subjected to frequent swooning; but, making beds
in the wagons for these our worst cases, with the help of the Bakwain
and the Bushmen, we moved slowly on. We had to nurse the sick like
children; and, like children recovering from illness, the better they
became the more impudent they grew. This was seen in the peremptory
orders they would give with their now piping voices. Nothing that we did
pleased them; and the laughter with which I received their ebullitions,
though it was only the real expression of gladness at their recovery,
and amusement at the ridiculous part they acted, only increased their
chagrin. The want of power in the man who guided the two front oxen, or,
as he was called, the "leader", caused us to be entangled with trees,
both standing and fallen, and the labor of cutting them down was even
more severe than ordinary; but, notwithstanding an immense amount of
toil, my health continued good.

We wished to avoid the tsetse of our former path, so kept a course on
the magnetic meridian from Lurilopepe. The necessity of making a new
path much increased our toil. We were, however, rewarded in lat. 18
Degrees with a sight we had not enjoyed the year before, namely, large
patches of grape-bearing vines. There they stood before my eyes; but the
sight was so entirely unexpected that I stood some time gazing at the
clusters of grapes with which they were loaded, with no more thought of
plucking than if I had been beholding them in a dream. The Bushmen know
and eat them; but they are not well flavored on account of the great
astringency of the seeds, which are in shape and size like split peas.
The elephants are fond of the fruit, plant, and root alike. I here found
an insect which preys on ants; it is about an inch and a quarter long,
as thick as a crow-quill, and covered with black hair. It puts its head
into a little hole in the ground, and quivers its tail rapidly; the ants
come near to see it, and it snaps up each as he comes within the range
of the forceps on its tail. As its head is beneath the ground, it
becomes a question how it can guide its tail to the ants. It is probably
a new species of ant-lion ('Myrmeleon formicaleo'), great numbers of
which, both in the larvae and complete state, are met with. The ground
under every tree is dotted over with their ingenious pitfalls, and the
perfect insect, the form of which most persons are familiar with in the
dragon-fly, may be seen using its tail in the same active manner as
this insect did. Two may be often seen joined in their flight, the
one holding on by the tail-forceps to the neck of the other. On first
observing this imperfect insect, I imagined the forceps were on its
head; but when the insect moved, their true position was seen.

The forest, through which we were slowly toiling, daily became more
dense, and we were kept almost constantly at work with the axe; there
was much more leafiness in the trees here than farther south. The leaves
are chiefly of the pinnate and bi-pinnate forms, and are exceedingly
beautiful when seen against the sky; a great variety of the
papilionaceous family grow in this part of the country.

Fleming had until this time always assisted to drive his own wagon, but
about the end of March he knocked up, as well as his people. As I could
not drive two wagons, I shared with him the remaining water, half a
caskful, and went on, with the intention of coming back for him as
soon as we should reach the next pool. Heavy rain now commenced; I was
employed the whole day in cutting down trees, and every stroke of the
axe brought down a thick shower on my back, which in the hard work was
very refreshing, as the water found its way down into my shoes. In the
evening we met some Bushmen, who volunteered to show us a pool; and
having unyoked, I walked some miles in search of it. As it became dark
they showed their politeness--a quality which is by no means confined
entirely to the civilized--by walking in front, breaking the branches
which hung across the path, and pointing out the fallen trees. On
returning to the wagon, we found that being left alone had brought out
some of Fleming's energy, for he had managed to come up.

As the water in this pond dried up, we were soon obliged to move again.
One of the Bushmen took out his dice, and, after throwing them, said
that God told him to go home. He threw again in order to show me the
command, but the opposite result followed; so he remained and was
useful, for we lost the oxen again by a lion driving them off to a very
great distance. The lions here are not often heard. They seem to have
a wholesome dread of the Bushmen, who, when they observe evidence of a
lion's having made a full meal, follow up his spoor so quietly that
his slumbers are not disturbed. One discharges a poisoned arrow from a
distance of only a few feet, while his companion simultaneously throws
his skin cloak on the beast's head. The sudden surprise makes the lion
lose his presence of mind, and he bounds away in the greatest confusion
and terror. Our friends here showed me the poison which they use on
these occasions. It is the entrails of a caterpillar called N'gwa, half
an inch long. They squeeze out these, and place them all around the
bottom of the barb, and allow the poison to dry in the sun. They are
very careful in cleaning their nails after working with it, as a small
portion introduced into a scratch acts like morbid matter in dissection
wounds. The agony is so great that the person cuts himself, calls for
his mother's breast as if he were returned in idea to his childhood
again, or flies from human habitations a raging maniac. The effects
on the lion are equally terrible. He is heard moaning in distress, and
becomes furious, biting the trees and ground in rage.

As the Bushmen have the reputation of curing the wounds of this poison,
I asked how this was effected. They said that they administer the
caterpillar itself in combination with fat; they also rub fat into the
wound, saying that "the N'gwa wants fat, and, when it does not find
it in the body, kills the man: we give it what it wants, and it is
content:" a reason which will commend itself to the enlightened among

The poison more generally employed is the milky juice of the tree
Euphorbia ('E. arborescens'). This is particularly obnoxious to the
equine race. When a quantity is mixed with the water of a pond a whole
herd of zebras will fall dead from the effects of the poison before they
have moved away two miles. It does not, however, kill oxen or men. On
them it acts as a drastic purgative only. This substance is used all
over the country, though in some places the venom of serpents and a
certain bulb, 'Amaryllis toxicaria', are added, in order to increase the

Father Pedro, a Jesuit, who lived at Zumbo, made a balsam, containing a
number of plants and CASTOR OIL, as a remedy for poisoned arrow-wounds.
It is probable that he derived his knowledge from the natives as I
did, and that the reputed efficacy of the balsam is owing to its fatty

In cases of the bites of serpents a small key ought to be pressed
down firmly on the wound, the orifice of the key being applied to the
puncture, until a cupping-glass can be got from one of the natives. A
watch-key pressed firmly on the point stung by a scorpion extracts the
poison, and a mixture of fat or oil and ipecacuanha relieves the pain.

The Bushmen of these districts are generally fine, well-made men, and
are nearly independent of every one. We observed them to be fond of
a root somewhat like a kidney potato, and the kernel of a nut, which
Fleming thought was a kind of betel; the tree is a fine, large-spreading
one, and the leaves palmate. From the quantities of berries and the
abundance of game in these parts, the Bushmen can scarcely ever be
badly off for food. As I could, without much difficulty, keep them well
supplied with meat, and wished them to remain, I proposed that they
should bring their wives to get a share, but they remarked that the
women could always take care of themselves.

None of the men of our party had died, but two seemed unlikely to
recover; and Kibopechoe, my willing Mokwain, at last became troubled
with boils, and then got all the symptoms of fever. As he lay down, the
others began to move about, and complained of weakness only. Believing
that frequent change of place was conducive to their recovery, we moved
along as much as we could, and came to the hill N'gwa (lat. 18d 27' 20"
S., long. 24d 13' 36" E.). This being the only hill we had seen since
leaving Bamangwato, we felt inclined to take off our hats to it. It
is three or four hundred feet high, and covered with trees. Its
geographical position is pretty accurately laid down from occultation
and other observations. I may mention that the valley on its northern
side, named Kandehy or Kandehai, is as picturesque a spot as is to be
seen in this part of Africa. The open glade, surrounded by forest trees
of various hues, had a little stream meandering in the centre. A herd
of reddish-colored antelopes (pallahs) stood on one side, near a
large baobab, looking at us, and ready to run up the hill; while gnus,
tsessebes, and zebras gazed in astonishment at the intruders. Some fed
carelessly, and others put on the peculiar air of displeasure which
these animals sometimes assume before they resolve on flight. A large
white rhinoceros came along the bottom of the valley with his slow
sauntering gait without noticing us; he looked as if he meant to indulge
in a mud bath. Several buffaloes, with their dark visages, stood under
the trees on the side opposite to the pallahs. It being Sunday, all was
peace, and, from the circumstances in which our party was placed, we
could not but reflect on that second stage of our existence which we
hope will lead us into scenes of perfect beauty. If pardoned in that
free way the Bible promises, death will be a glorious thing; but to be
consigned to wait for the Judgment-day, with nothing else to ponder on
but sins we would rather forget, is a cheerless prospect.

Our Bushmen wished to leave us, and, as there was no use in trying to
thwart these independent gentlemen, I paid them, and allowed them to go.
The payment, however, acted as a charm on some strangers who happened to
be present, and induced them to volunteer their aid.

The game hereabouts is very tame. Koodoos and giraffes stood gazing
at me as a strange apparition when I went out with the Bushmen. On one
occasion a lion came at daybreak, and went round and round the oxen. I
could only get a glimpse of him occasionally from the wagon-box; but,
though barely thirty yards off, I could not get a shot. He then began to
roar at the top of his voice; but the oxen continuing to stand still, he
was so disgusted that he went off, and continued to use his voice for a
long time in the distance. I could not see that he had a mane; if he
had not, then even the maneless variety can use their tongues. We heard
others also roar; and, when they found they could not frighten the oxen,
they became equally angry. This we could observe in their tones.

As we went north the country became very lovely; many new trees
appeared; the grass was green, and often higher than the wagons; the
vines festooned the trees, among which appeared the real banian ('Ficus
Indica'), with its drop-shoots, and the wild date and palmyra, and
several other trees which were new to me; the hollows contained large
patches of water. Next came water-courses, now resembling small rivers,
twenty yards broad and four feet deep. The further we went, the broader
and deeper these became; their bottoms contained great numbers of deep
holes, made by elephants wading in them; in these the oxen floundered
desperately, so that our wagon-pole broke, compelling us to work up to
the breast in water for three hours and a half; yet I suffered no harm.

We at last came to the Sanshureh, which presented an impassable barrier,
so we drew up under a magnificent baobab-tree, (lat. 18d 4' 27" S.,
long. 24d 6' 20" E.), and resolved to explore the river for a ford. The
great quantity of water we had passed through was part of the annual
inundation of the Chobe; and this, which appeared a large, deep river,
filled in many parts with reeds, and having hippopotami in it, is only
one of the branches by which it sends its superabundant water to the
southeast. From the hill N'gwa a ridge of higher land runs to the
northeast, and bounds its course in that direction. We, being ignorant
of this, were in the valley, and the only gap in the whole country
destitute of tsetse. In company with the Bushmen I explored all the
banks of the Sanshureh to the west till we came into tsetse on that
side. We waded a long way among the reeds in water breast deep, but
always found a broad, deep space free from vegetation and unfordable. A
peculiar kind of lichen, which grows on the surface of the soil, becomes
detached and floats on the water, giving out a very disagreeable odor,
like sulphureted hydrogen, in some of these stagnant waters.

We made so many attempts to get over the Sanshureh, both to the west and
east of the wagon, in the hope of reaching some of the Makololo on the
Chobe, that my Bushmen friends became quite tired of the work. By means
of presents I got them to remain some days; but at last they slipped
away by night, and I was fain to take one of the strongest of my still
weak companions and cross the river in a pontoon, the gift of Captains
Codrington and Webb. We each carried some provisions and a blanket, and
penetrated about twenty miles to the westward, in the hope of striking
the Chobe. It was much nearer to us in a northerly direction, but this
we did not then know. The plain, over which we splashed the whole of
the first day, was covered with water ankle deep, and thick grass which
reached above the knees. In the evening we came to an immense wall
of reeds, six or eight feet high, without any opening admitting of a
passage. When we tried to enter, the water always became so deep that we
were fain to desist. We concluded that we had come to the banks of the
river we were in search of, so we directed our course to some trees
which appeared in the south, in order to get a bed and a view of the
adjacent locality. Having shot a leche, and made a glorious fire, we
got a good cup of tea and had a comfortable night. While collecting
wood that evening, I found a bird's nest consisting of live leaves sewn
together with threads of the spider's web. Nothing could exceed the
airiness of this pretty contrivance; the threads had been pushed through
small punctures and thickened to resemble a knot. I unfortunately
lost it. This was the second nest I had seen resembling that of the
tailor-bird of India.

Next morning, by climbing the highest trees, we could see a fine large
sheet of water, but surrounded on all sides by the same impenetrable
belt of reeds. This is the broad part of the River Chobe, and is called
Zabesa. Two tree-covered islands seemed to be much nearer to the water
than the shore on which we were, so we made an attempt to get to them
first. It was not the reeds alone we had to pass through; a peculiar
serrated grass, which at certain angles cut the hands like a razor, was
mingled with the reed, and the climbing convolvulus, with stalks which
felt as strong as whipcord, bound the mass together. We felt like
pigmies in it, and often the only way we could get on was by both of us
leaning against a part and bending it down till we could stand upon
it. The perspiration streamed off our bodies, and as the sun rose high,
there being no ventilation among the reeds, the heat was stifling, and
the water, which was up to the knees, felt agreeably refreshing. After
some hours' toil we reached one of the islands. Here we met an old
friend, the bramble-bush. My strong moleskins were quite worn through
at the knees, and the leather trowsers of my companion were torn and his
legs bleeding. Tearing my handkerchief in two, I tied the pieces round
my knees, and then encountered another difficulty. We were still forty
or fifty yards from the clear water, but now we were opposed by great
masses of papyrus, which are like palms in miniature, eight or ten feet
high, and an inch and a half in diameter. These were laced together by
twining convolvulus, so strongly that the weight of both of us could not
make way into the clear water. At last we fortunately found a passage
prepared by a hippopotamus. Eager as soon as we reached the island to
look along the vista to clear water, I stepped in and found it took me
at once up to the neck.

Returning nearly worn out, we proceeded up the bank of the Chobe till we
came to the point of departure of the branch Sanshureh; we then went in
the opposite direction, or down the Chobe, though from the highest trees
we could see nothing but one vast expanse of reed, with here and there
a tree on the islands. This was a hard day's work; and when we came to a
deserted Bayeiye hut on an ant-hill, not a bit of wood or any thing
else could be got for a fire except the grass and sticks of the dwelling
itself. I dreaded the "Tampans", so common in all old huts; but
outside of it we had thousands of mosquitoes, and cold dew began to be
deposited, so we were fain to crawl beneath its shelter.

We were close to the reeds, and could listen to the strange sounds which
are often heard there. By day I had seen water-snakes putting up their
heads and swimming about. There were great numbers of otters ('Lutra
inunguis', F. Cuvier), which have made little spoors all over the plains
in search of the fishes, among the tall grass of these flooded prairies;
curious birds, too, jerked and wriggled among these reedy masses, and we
heard human-like voices and unearthly sounds, with splash, guggle,
jupp, as if rare fun were going on in their uncouth haunts. At one
time something came near us, making a splashing like that of a canoe or
hippopotamus; thinking it to be the Makololo, we got up, listened, and
shouted; then discharged a gun several times; but the noise continued
without intermission for an hour. After a damp, cold night we set to,
early in the morning, at our work of exploring again, but left the
pontoon in order to lighten our labor. The ant-hills are here very high,
some thirty feet, and of a base so broad that trees grow on them; while
the lands, annually flooded, bear nothing but grass. From one of these
ant-hills we discovered an inlet to the Chobe; and, having gone back for
the pontoon, we launched ourselves on a deep river, here from eighty to
one hundred yards wide. I gave my companion strict injunctions to stick
by the pontoon in case a hippopotamus should look at us; nor was this
caution unnecessary, for one came up at our side and made a desperate
plunge off. We had passed over him. The wave he made caused the pontoon
to glide quickly away from him.

We paddled on from midday till sunset. There was nothing but a wall of
reed on each bank, and we saw every prospect of spending a supperless
night in our float; but just as the short twilight of these parts was
commencing, we perceived on the north bank the village of Moremi, one of
the Makololo, whose acquaintance I had made on our former visit, and
who was now located on the island Mahonta (lat. 17d 58' S., long. 24d 6'
E.). The villagers looked as we may suppose people do who see a ghost,
and in their figurative way of speaking said, "He has dropped among
us from the clouds, yet came riding on the back of a hippopotamus! We
Makololo thought no one could cross the Chobe without our knowledge, but
here he drops among us like a bird."

Next day we returned in canoes across the flooded lands, and found that,
in our absence, the men had allowed the cattle to wander into a very
small patch of wood to the west containing the tsetse; this carelessness
cost me ten fine large oxen. After remaining a few days, some of the
head men of the Makololo came down from Linyanti, with a large party
of Barotse, to take us across the river. This they did in fine style,
swimming and diving among the oxen more like alligators than men, and
taking the wagons to pieces and carrying them across on a number of
canoes lashed together. We were now among friends; so going about thirty
miles to the north, in order to avoid the still flooded lands on the
north of the Chobe, we turned westward toward Linyanti (lat. 18d 17' 20"
S., long. 23d 50' 9" E.), where we arrived on the 23d of May, 1853. This
is the capital town of the Makololo, and only a short distance from our
wagon-stand of 1851 (lat. 18d 20' S., long. 23d 50' E.).

Chapter 9.

Reception at Linyanti--The court Herald--Sekeletu obtains the
Chieftainship from his Sister--Mpepe's Plot--Slave-trading Mambari
--Their sudden Flight--Sekeletu narrowly escapes Assassination--
Execution of Mpepe--The Courts of Law--Mode of trying Offenses--
Sekeletu's Reason for not learning to read the Bible--The Disposition
made of the Wives of a deceased Chief--Makololo Women--They work
but little--Employ Serfs--Their Drink, Dress, and Ornaments--Public
Religious Services in the Kotla--Unfavorable Associations of
the place--Native Doctors--Proposals to teach the Makololo to
read--Sekeletu's Present--Reason for accepting it--Trading in
Ivory--Accidental Fire--Presents for Sekeletu--Two Breeds of native
Cattle--Ornamenting the Cattle--The Women and the Looking-glass--Mode
of preparing the Skins of Oxen for Mantles and for Shields--Throwing
the Spear.

The whole population of Linyanti, numbering between six and seven
thousand souls, turned out en masse to see the wagons in motion. They
had never witnessed the phenomenon before, we having on the former
occasion departed by night. Sekeletu, now in power, received us in what
is considered royal style, setting before us a great number of pots of
boyaloa, the beer of the country. These were brought by women, and each
bearer takes a good draught of the beer when she sets it down, by way of
"tasting", to show that there is no poison.

The court herald, an old man who occupied the post also in Sebituane's
time, stood up, and after some antics, such as leaping, and shouting at
the top of his voice, roared out some adulatory sentences, as, "Don't I
see the white man? Don't I see the comrade of Sebituane? Don't I see the
father of Sekeletu?"--"We want sleep."--"Give your son sleep, my lord,"
etc., etc. The perquisites of this man are the heads of all the cattle
slaughtered by the chief, and he even takes a share of the tribute
before it is distributed and taken out of the kotla. He is expected to
utter all the proclamations, call assemblies, keep the kotla clean, and
the fire burning every evening, and when a person is executed in public
he drags away the body.

I found Sekeletu a young man of eighteen years of age, of that dark
yellow or coffee-and-milk color, of which the Makololo are so proud,
because it distinguishes them considerably from the black tribes on
the rivers. He is about five feet seven in height, and neither so
good looking nor of so much ability as his father was, but is equally
friendly to the English. Sebituane installed his daughter Mamochisane
into the chieftainship long before his death, but, with all his
acuteness, the idea of her having a husband who should not be her lord
did not seem to enter his mind. He wished to make her his successor,
probably in imitation of some of the negro tribes with whom he had come
into contact; but, being of the Bechuana race, he could not look upon
the husband except as the woman's lord; so he told her all the men
were hers--she might take any one, but ought to keep none. In fact, he
thought she might do with the men what he could do with the women; but
these men had other wives; and, according to a saying in the country,
"the tongues of women can not be governed," they made her miserable by
their remarks. One man whom she chose was even called her wife, and
her son the child of Mamochisane's wife; but the arrangement was so
distasteful to Mamochisane herself that, as soon as Sebituane died, she
said she never would consent to govern the Makololo so long as she had a
brother living. Sekeletu, being afraid of another member of the family,
Mpepe, who had pretensions to the chieftainship, urged his sister
strongly to remain as she had always been, and allow him to support her
authority by leading the Makololo when they went forth to war. Three
days were spent in public discussion on the point. Mpepe insinuated that
Sekeletu was not the lawful son of Sebituane, on account of his
mother having been the wife of another chief before her marriage with
Sebituane; Mamochisane, however, upheld Sekeletu's claims, and at last
stood up in the assembly and addressed him with a womanly gush of tears:
"I have been a chief only because my father wished it. I always would
have preferred to be married and have a family like other women. You,
Sekeletu, must be chief, and build up your father's house." This was a
death-blow to the hopes of Mpepe.

As it will enable the reader to understand the social and political
relations of these people, I will add a few more particulars respecting
Mpepe. Sebituane, having no son to take the leadership of the "Mopato"
of the age of his daughter, chose him, as the nearest male relative, to
occupy that post; and presuming from Mpepe's connection with his family
that he would attend to his interests and relieve him from care, he
handed his cattle over to his custody. Mpepe removed to the chief
town, "Naliele", and took such effectual charge of all the cattle that
Sebituane saw he could only set matters on their former footing by the
severe measure of Mpepe's execution. Being unwilling to do this, and
fearing the enchantments which, by means of a number of Barotse doctors,
Mpepe now used in a hut built for the purpose, and longing for peaceful
retirement after thirty years' fighting, he heard with pleasure of our
arrival at the lake, and came down as far as Sesheke to meet us. He had
an idea, picked up from some of the numerous strangers who visited him,
that white men had a "pot (a cannon) in their towns which would burn up
any attacking party;" and he thought if he could only get this he would
be able to "sleep" the remainder of his days in peace. This he hoped to
obtain from the white men. Hence the cry of the herald, "Give us sleep."
It is remarkable how anxious for peace those who have been fighting all
their lives appear to be.

When Sekeletu was installed in the chieftainship, he felt his position
rather insecure, for it was believed that the incantations of Mpepe had
an intimate connection with Sebituane's death. Indeed, the latter had
said to his son, "That hut of incantation will prove fatal to either you
or me."

When the Mambari, in 1850, took home a favorable report of this new
market to the west, a number of half-caste Portuguese slave-traders
were induced to come in 1853; and one, who resembled closely a real
Portuguese, came to Linyanti while I was there. This man had no
merchandise, and pretended to have come in order to inquire "what sort
of goods were necessary for the market." He seemed much disconcerted by
my presence there. Sekeletu presented him with an elephant's tusk and
an ox; and when he had departed about fifty miles to the westward,
he carried off an entire village of the Bakalahari belonging to the
Makololo. He had a number of armed slaves with him; and as all the
villagers--men, women, and children--were removed, and the fact was
unknown until a considerable time afterward, it is not certain whether
his object was obtained by violence or by fair promises. In either case,
slavery must have been the portion of these poor people. He was carried
in a hammock, slung between two poles, which appearing to be a bag, the
Makololo named him "Father of the Bag".

Mpepe favored these slave-traders, and they, as is usual with them,
founded all their hopes of influence on his successful rebellion. My
arrival on the scene was felt to be so much weight in the scale against
their interests. A large party of Mambari had come to Linyanti when I
was floundering on the prairies south of the Chobe. As the news of my
being in the neighborhood reached them their countenances fell; and when
some Makololo, who had assisted us to cross the river, returned
with hats which I had given them, the Mambari betook themselves to
precipitate flight. It is usual for visitors to ask formal permission
before attempting to leave a chief, but the sight of the hats made the
Mambari pack up at once. The Makololo inquired the cause of the hurry,
and were told that, if I found them there, I should take all their
slaves and goods from them; and, though assured by Sekeletu that I was
not a robber, but a man of peace, they fled by night, while I was still
sixty miles off. They went to the north, where, under the protection of
Mpepe, they had erected a stockade of considerable size. There, several
half-caste slave-traders, under the leadership of a native Portuguese,
carried on their traffic, without reference to the chief into whose
country they had unceremoniously introduced themselves; while Mpepe,
feeding them with the cattle of Sekeletu, formed a plan of raising
himself, by means of their fire-arms, to be the head of the Makololo.
The usual course which the slave-traders adopt is to take a part in the
political affairs of each tribe, and, siding with the strongest,
get well paid by captures made from the weaker party. Long secret
conferences were held by the slave-traders and Mpepe, and it was deemed
advisable for him to strike the first blow; so he provided himself with
a small battle-axe, with the intention of cutting Sekeletu down the
first time they met.

My object being first of all to examine the country for a healthy
locality, before attempting to make a path to either the East or West
Coast, I proposed to Sekeletu the plan of ascending the great river
which we had discovered in 1851. He volunteered to accompany me,
and, when we got about sixty miles away, on the road to Sesheke, we
encountered Mpepe. The Makololo, though possessing abundance of cattle,
had never attempted to ride oxen until I advised it in 1851. The
Bechuanas generally were in the same condition, until Europeans
came among them and imparted the idea of riding. All their journeys
previously were performed on foot. Sekeletu and his companions were
mounted on oxen, though, having neither saddle nor bridle, they were
perpetually falling off. Mpepe, armed with his little axe, came along
a path parallel to, but a quarter of a mile distant from, that of our
party, and, when he saw Sekeletu, he ran with all his might toward us;
but Sekeletu, being on his guard, galloped off to an adjacent village.
He then withdrew somewhere till all our party came up. Mpepe had given
his own party to understand that he would cut down Sekeletu, either on
their first meeting, or at the breaking up of their first conference.
The former intention having been thus frustrated, he then determined to
effect his purpose after their first interview. I happened to sit down
between the two in the hut where they met. Being tired with riding
all day in the sun, I soon asked Sekeletu where I should sleep, and he
replied, "Come, I will show you." As we rose together, I unconsciously
covered Sekeletu's body with mine, and saved him from the blow of the
assassin. I knew nothing of the plot, but remarked that all Mpepe's
men kept hold of their arms, even after we had sat down--a thing quite
unusual in the presence of a chief; and when Sekeletu showed me the hut
in which I was to spend the night, he said to me, "That man wishes
to kill me." I afterward learned that some of Mpepe's attendants had
divulged the secret; and, bearing in mind his father's instructions,
Sekeletu put Mpepe to death that night. It was managed so quietly, that,
although I was sleeping within a few yards of the scene, I knew nothing
of it till the next day. Nokuane went to the fire, at which Mpepe sat,
with a handful of snuff, as if he were about to sit down and regale
himself therewith. Mpepe said to him, "Nsepisa" (cause me to take a
pinch); and, as he held out his hand, Nokuane caught hold of it, while
another man seized the other hand, and, leading him out a mile, speared
him. This is the common mode of executing criminals. They are not
allowed to speak; though on one occasion a man, feeling his wrist held
too tightly, said, "Hold me gently, can't you? you will soon be led out
in the same way yourselves." Mpepe's men fled to the Barotse, and,
it being unadvisable for us to go thither during the commotion which
followed on Mpepe's death, we returned to Linyanti.

The foregoing may be considered as a characteristic specimen of their
mode of dealing with grave political offenses. In common cases there
is a greater show of deliberation. The complainant asks the man against
whom he means to lodge his complaint to come with him to the chief. This
is never refused. When both are in the kotla, the complainant stands
up and states the whole case before the chief and the people usually
assembled there. He stands a few seconds after he has done this, to
recollect if he has forgotten any thing. The witnesses to whom he has
referred then rise up and tell all they themselves have seen or heard,
but not any thing that they have heard from others. The defendant, after
allowing some minutes to elapse so that he may not interrupt any of the
opposite party, slowly rises, folds his cloak around him, and, in the
most quiet, deliberate way he can assume--yawning, blowing his nose,
etc.--begins to explain the affair, denying the charge, or admitting
it, as the case may be. Sometimes, when galled by his remarks, the
complainant utters a sentence of dissent; the accused turns quietly to
him, and says, "Be silent: I sat still while you were speaking; can't
you do the same? Do you want to have it all to yourself?" And as the
audience acquiesce in this bantering, and enforce silence, he goes on
till he has finished all he wishes to say in his defense. If he has
any witnesses to the truth of the facts of his defense, they give their
evidence. No oath is administered; but occasionally, when a statement is
questioned, a man will say, "By my father," or "By the chief, it is
so." Their truthfulness among each other is quite remarkable; but their
system of government is such that Europeans are not in a position to
realize it readily. A poor man will say, in his defense against a
rich one, "I am astonished to hear a man so great as he make a false
accusation;" as if the offense of falsehood were felt to be one against
the society which the individual referred to had the greatest interest
in upholding.

If the case is one of no importance, the chief decides it at once; if
frivolous, he may give the complainant a scolding, and put a stop to the
case in the middle of the complaint, or he may allow it to go on without
paying any attention to it whatever. Family quarrels are often treated
in this way, and then a man may be seen stating his case with great
fluency, and not a soul listening to him. But if it is a case between
influential men, or brought on by under-chiefs, then the greatest
decorum prevails. If the chief does not see his way clearly to a
decision, he remains silent; the elders then rise one by one and give
their opinions, often in the way of advice rather than as decisions;
and when the chief finds the general sentiment agreeing in one view, he
delivers his judgment accordingly. He alone speaks sitting; all others

No one refuses to acquiesce in the decision of the chief, as he has the
power of life and death in his hands, and can enforce the law to
that extent if he chooses; but grumbling is allowed, and, when marked
favoritism is shown to any relative of the chief, the people generally
are not so astonished at the partiality as we would be in England.

This system was found as well developed among the Makololo as among
the Bakwains, or even better, and is no foreign importation. When at
Cassange, my men had a slight quarrel among themselves, and came to me,
as to their chief, for judgment. This had occurred several times before,
so without a thought I went out of the Portuguese merchant's house in
which I was a guest, sat down, and heard the complaint and defense in
the usual way. When I had given my decision in the common admonitory
form, they went off apparently satisfied. Several Portuguese, who had
been viewing the proceedings with great interest, complimented me on the
success of my teaching them how to act in litigation; but I could not
take any credit to myself for the system which I had found ready-made to
my hands.

Soon after our arrival at Linyanti, Sekeletu took me aside, and pressed
me to mention those things I liked best and hoped to get from him. Any
thing, either in or out of his town, should be freely given if I would
only mention it. I explained to him that my object was to elevate him
and his people to be Christians; but he replied he did not wish to learn
to read the Book, for he was afraid "it might change his heart, and make
him content with only one wife, like Sechele." It was of little use to
urge that the change of heart implied a contentment with one wife equal
to his present complacency in polygamy. Such a preference after the
change of mind could not now be understood by him any more than the
real, unmistakable pleasure of religious services can by those who have
not experienced what is known by the term the "new heart". I assured him
that nothing was expected but by his own voluntary decision. "No, no;
he wanted always to have five wives at least." I liked the frankness of
Sekeletu, for nothing is so wearying to the spirit as talking to those
who agree with every thing advanced.

Sekeletu, according to the system of the Bechuanas, became possessor of
his father's wives, and adopted two of them; the children by these women
are, however, in these cases, termed brothers. When an elder brother
dies, the same thing occurs in respect of his wives; the brother next in
age takes them, as among the Jews, and the children that may be born
of those women he calls brothers also. He thus raises up seed to his
departed relative. An uncle of Sekeletu, being a younger brother of
Sebituane, got that chieftain's head-wife or queen: there is always
one who enjoys this title. Her hut is called the great house, and her
children inherit the chieftainship. If she dies, a new wife is selected
for the same position, and enjoys the same privileges, though she may
happen to be a much younger woman than the rest.

The majority of the wives of Sebituane were given to influential
under-chiefs; and, in reference to their early casting off the widow's
weeds, a song was sung, the tenor of which was that the men alone felt
the loss of their father Sebituane, the women were so soon supplied with
new husbands that their hearts had not time to become sore with grief.

The women complain because the proportions between the sexes are so
changed now that they are not valued as they deserve. The majority of
the real Makololo have been cut off by fever. Those who remain are
a mere fragment of the people who came to the north with Sebituane.
Migrating from a very healthy climate in the south, they were more
subject to the febrile diseases of the valley in which we found them
than the black tribes they conquered. In comparison with the Barotse,
Batoka, and Banyeti, the Makololo have a sickly hue. They are of a light
brownish-yellow color, while the tribes referred to are very dark, with
a slight tinge of olive. The whole of the colored tribes consider that
beauty and fairness are associated, and women long for children of light
color so much, that they sometimes chew the bark of a certain tree in
hopes of producing that effect. To my eye the dark color is much more
agreeable than the tawny hue of the half-caste, which that of the
Makololo ladies closely resembles. The women generally escaped the
fever, but they are less fruitful than formerly, and, to their complaint
of being undervalued on account of the disproportion of the sexes, they
now add their regrets at the want of children, of whom they are all
excessively fond.

The Makololo women work but little. Indeed, the families of that nation
are spread over the country, one or two only in each village, as
the lords of the land. They all have lordship over great numbers of
subjected tribes, who pass by the general name Makalaka, and who are
forced to render certain services, and to aid in tilling the soil; but
each has his own land under cultivation, and otherwise lives nearly
independent. They are proud to be called Makololo, but the other term
is often used in reproach, as betokening inferiority. This species of
servitude may be termed serfdom, as it has to be rendered in consequence
of subjection by force of arms, but it is necessarily very mild. It is
so easy for any one who is unkindly treated to make his escape to
other tribes, that the Makololo are compelled to treat them, to a great
extent, rather as children than slaves. Some masters, who fail from
defect of temper or disposition to secure the affections of the
conquered people, frequently find themselves left without a single
servant, in consequence of the absence and impossibility of enforcing
a fugitive-slave law, and the readiness with which those who are
themselves subjected assist the fugitives across the rivers in canoes.
The Makololo ladies are liberal in their presents of milk and other
food, and seldom require to labor, except in the way of beautifying
their own huts and court-yards. They drink large quantities of boyaloa
or o-alo, the buza of the Arabs, which, being made of the grain called
holcus sorghum or "durasaifi", in a minute state of subdivision, is
very nutritious, and gives that plumpness of form which is considered
beautiful. They dislike being seen at their potations by persons of the
opposite sex. They cut their woolly hair quite short, and delight in
having the whole person shining with butter. Their dress is a kilt
reaching to the knees; its material is ox-hide, made as soft as cloth.
It is not ungraceful. A soft skin mantle is thrown across the shoulders
when the lady is unemployed, but when engaged in any sort of labor
she throws this aside, and works in the kilt alone. The ornaments most
coveted are large brass anklets as thick as the little finger, and
armlets of both brass and ivory, the latter often an inch broad. The
rings are so heavy that the ankles are often blistered by the weight
pressing down; but it is the fashion, and is borne as magnanimously as
tight lacing and tight shoes among ourselves. Strings of beads are hung
around the neck, and the fashionable colors being light green and pink,
a trader could get almost any thing he chose for beads of these colors.

At our public religious services in the kotla, the Makololo women always
behaved with decorum from the first, except at the conclusion of
the prayer. When all knelt down, many of those who had children, in
following the example of the rest, bent over their little ones; the
children, in terror of being crushed to death, set up a simultaneous
yell, which so tickled the whole assembly there was often a subdued
titter, to be turned into a hearty laugh as soon as they heard Amen.
This was not so difficult to overcome in them as similar peccadilloes
were in the case of the women farther south. Long after we had settled
at Mabotsa, when preaching on the most solemn subjects, a woman might be
observed to look round, and, seeing a neighbor seated on her dress, give
her a hunch with the elbow to make her move off; the other would return
it with interest, and perhaps the remark, "Take the nasty thing away,
will you?" Then three or four would begin to hustle the first offenders,
and the men to swear at them all, by way of enforcing silence.

Great numbers of little trifling things like these occur, and would
not be worth the mention but that one can not form a correct idea of
missionary work except by examination of the minutiae. At the risk
of appearing frivolous to some, I shall continue to descend to mere

The numbers who attended at the summons of the herald, who acted as
beadle, were often from five to seven hundred. The service consisted of
reading a small portion of the Bible and giving an explanatory address,
usually short enough to prevent weariness or want of attention. So long
as we continue to hold services in the kotla, the associations of the
place are unfavorable to solemnity; hence it is always desirable to have
a place of worship as soon as possible; and it is of importance, too,
to treat such place with reverence, as an aid to secure that serious
attention which religious subjects demand. This will appear more evident
when it is recollected that, in the very spot where we had been engaged
in acts of devotion, half an hour after a dance would be got up; and
these habits can not be at first opposed without the appearance of
assuming too much authority over them. It is always unwise to hurt
their feelings of independence. Much greater influence will be gained by
studying how you may induce them to act aright, with the impression
that they are doing it of their own free will. Our services having
necessarily been all in the open air, where it is most difficult to
address large bodies of people, prevented my recovering so entirely from
the effects of clergyman's sore throat as I expected, when my uvula was
excised at the Cape.

To give an idea of the routine followed for months together, on other
days as well as on Sundays, I may advert to my habit of treating the
sick for complaints which seemed to surmount the skill of their own
doctors. I refrained from going to any one unless his own doctor wished
it, or had given up the case. This led to my having a selection of
the severer cases only, and prevented the doctors being offended at my
taking their practice out of their hands. When attacked by fever myself,
and wishing to ascertain what their practices were, I could safely
intrust myself in their hands on account of their well-known friendly

The plan of showing kindness to the natives in their bodily ailments
secures their friendship; this is not the case to the same degree in
old missions, where the people have learned to look upon relief as a
right--a state of things which sometimes happens among ourselves at
home. Medical aid is therefore most valuable in young missions, though
at all stages it is an extremely valuable adjunct to other operations.

I proposed to teach the Makololo to read, but, for the reasons
mentioned, Sekeletu at first declined; after some weeks, however,
Motibe, his father-in-law, and some others, determined to brave the
mysterious book. To all who have not acquired it, the knowledge of
letters is quite unfathomable; there is naught like it within the
compass of their observation; and we have no comparison with any thing
except pictures, to aid them in comprehending the idea of signs of
words. It seems to them supernatural that we see in a book things
taking place, or having occurred at a distance. No amount of explanation
conveys the idea unless they learn to read. Machinery is equally
inexplicable, and money nearly as much so until they see it in actual
use. They are familiar with barter alone; and in the centre of the
country, where gold is totally unknown, if a button and sovereign were
left to their choice, they would prefer the former on account of its
having an eye.

In beginning to learn, Motibe seemed to himself in the position of the
doctor, who was obliged to drink his potion before the patient, to
show that it contained nothing detrimental; after he had mastered the
alphabet, and reported the thing so far safe, Sekeletu and his young
companions came forward to try for themselves. He must have resolved to
watch the effects of the book against his views on polygamy, and abstain
whenever he perceived any tendency, in reading it, toward enforcing him
to put his wives away. A number of men learned the alphabet in a short
time and were set to teach others, but before much progress could be
made I was on my way to Loanda.

As I had declined to name any thing as a present from Sekeletu, except a
canoe to take me up the river, he brought ten fine elephants' tusks and
laid them down beside my wagon. He would take no denial, though I told
him I should prefer to see him trading with Fleming, a man of color from
the West Indies, who had come for the purpose. I had, during the eleven
years of my previous course, invariably abstained from taking presents
of ivory, from an idea that a religious instructor degraded himself by
accepting gifts from those whose spiritual welfare he professed to seek.
My precedence of all traders in the line of discovery put me often in
the way of very handsome offers, but I always advised the donors to sell
their ivory to traders, who would be sure to follow, and when at some
future time they had become rich by barter, they might remember me or my
children. When Lake Ngami was discovered I might have refused permission
to a trader who accompanied us; but when he applied for leave to form
part of our company, knowing that Mr. Oswell would no more trade than
myself, and that the people of the lake would be disappointed if they
could not dispose of their ivory, I willingly granted a sanction,
without which his people would not at that time have ventured so far.
This was surely preferring the interest of another to my own. The return
I got for this was a notice in one of the Cape papers that this "man was
the true discoverer of the lake!"

The conclusion I had come to was, that it is quite lawful, though
perhaps not expedient, for missionaries to trade; but barter is the only
means by which a missionary in the interior can pay his way, as money
has no value. In all the journeys I had previously undertaken for wider
diffusion of the Gospel, the extra expenses were defrayed from my salary
of 100 Pounds per annum. This sum is sufficient to enable a missionary
to live in the interior of South Africa, supposing he has a garden
capable of yielding corn and vegetables; but should he not, and still
consider that six or eight months can not lawfully be spent simply
in getting goods at a lower price than they can be had from itinerant
traders, the sum mentioned is barely sufficient for the poorest fare
and plainest apparel. As we never felt ourselves justified in making
journeys to the colony for the sake of securing bargains, the most
frugal living was necessary to enable us to be a little charitable to
others; but when to this were added extra traveling expenses, the wants
of an increasing family, and liberal gifts to chiefs, it was difficult
to make both ends meet. The pleasure of missionary labor would be
enhanced if one could devote his life to the heathen, without drawing
a salary from a society at all. The luxury of doing good from one's own
private resources, without appearing to either natives or Europeans
to be making a gain of it, is far preferable, and an object worthy
the ambition of the rich. But few men of fortune, however, now devote
themselves to Christian missions, as of old. Presents were always given
to the chiefs whom we visited, and nothing accepted in return; but when
Sebituane (in 1851) offered some ivory, I took it, and was able by its
sale to present his son with a number of really useful articles of a
higher value than I had ever been able to give before to any chief. In
doing this, of course, I appeared to trade, but, feeling I had a right
to do so, I felt perfectly easy in my mind; and, as I still held the
view of the inexpediency of combining the two professions, I was glad of
the proposal of one of the most honorable merchants of Cape Town, Mr. H.
E. Rutherford, that he should risk a sum of money in Fleming's hands for
the purpose of attempting to develop a trade with the Makololo. It was
to this man I suggested Sekeletu should sell the tusks which he had
presented for my acceptance, but the chief refused to take them back
from me. The goods which Fleming had brought were ill adapted for the
use of the natives, but he got a pretty good load of ivory in exchange;
and though it was his first attempt at trading, and the distance
traveled over made the expenses enormous, he was not a loser by the
trip. Other traders followed, who demanded 90 lbs. of ivory for a
musket. The Makololo, knowing nothing of steelyards, but supposing that
they were meant to cheat them, declined to trade except by exchanging
one bull and one cow elephant's tusk for each gun. This would average
70 lbs. of ivory, which sells at the Cape for 5s. per pound, for a
second-hand musket worth 10s. I, being sixty miles distant, did not
witness this attempt at barter, but, anxious to enable my countrymen to
drive a brisk trade, told the Makololo to sell my ten tusks on their own
account for whatever they would bring. Seventy tusks were for sale,
but, the parties not understanding each other's talk, no trade was
established; and when I passed the spot some time afterward, I found
that the whole of that ivory had been destroyed by an accidental fire,
which broke out in the village when all the people were absent. Success
in trade is as much dependent on knowledge of the language as success in

I had brought with me as presents an improved breed of goats, fowls, and
a pair of cats. A superior bull was bought, also as a gift to Sekeletu,
but I was compelled to leave it on account of its having become
foot-sore. As the Makololo are very fond of improving the breed of their
domestic animals, they were much pleased with my selection. I endeavored
to bring the bull, in performance of a promise made to Sebituane before
he died. Admiring a calf which we had with us, he proposed to give me a
cow for it, which in the native estimation was offering three times its
value. I presented it to him at once, and promised to bring him another
and a better one. Sekeletu was much gratified by my attempt to keep my
word given to his father.

They have two breeds of cattle among them. One, called the Batoka,
because captured from that tribe, is of diminutive size, but very
beautiful, and closely resembles the short-horns of our own country.
The little pair presented by the King of Portugal to H.R.H. the prince
consort, is of this breed. They are very tame, and remarkably playful;
they may be seen lying on their sides by the fires in the evening; and,
when the herd goes out, the herdsman often precedes them, and has only
to commence capering to set them all a gamboling. The meat is superior
to that of the large animal. The other, or Barotse ox, is much larger,
and comes from the fertile Barotse Valley. They stand high on their
legs, often nearly six feet at the withers; and they have large horns.
Those of one of a similar breed that we brought from the lake measured
from tip to tip eight and a half feet.

The Makololo are in the habit of shaving off a little from one side of
the horns of these animals when still growing, in order to make them
curve in that direction and assume fantastic shapes. The stranger the
curvature, the more handsome the ox is considered to be, and the longer
this ornament of the cattle-pen is spared to beautify the herd. This is
a very ancient custom in Africa, for the tributary tribes of Ethiopia
are seen, on some of the most ancient Egyptian monuments, bringing
contorted-horned cattle into Egypt.

All are remarkably fond of their cattle, and spend much time in
ornamenting and adorning them. Some are branded all over with a hot
knife, so as to cause a permanent discoloration of the hair, in lines
like the bands on the hide of a zebra. Pieces of skin two or three
inches long and broad are detached, and allowed to heal in a dependent
position around the head--a strange style of ornament; indeed, it is
difficult to conceive in what their notion of beauty consists. The
women have somewhat the same ideas with ourselves of what constitutes
comeliness. They came frequently and asked for the looking-glass; and
the remarks they made--while I was engaged in reading, and apparently
not attending to them--on first seeing themselves therein, were
amusingly ridiculous. "Is that me?" "What a big mouth I have!" "My ears
are as big as pumpkin-leaves." "I have no chin at all." Or, "I would
have been pretty, but am spoiled by these high cheek-bones." "See how
my head shoots up in the middle!" laughing vociferously all the time
at their own jokes. They readily perceive any defect in each other, and
give nicknames accordingly. One man came alone to have a quiet gaze at
his own features once, when he thought I was asleep; after twisting his
mouth about in various directions, he remarked to himself, "People say I
am ugly, and how very ugly I am indeed!"

The Makololo use all the skins of their oxen for making either mantles
or shields. For the former, the hide is stretched out by means of pegs,
and dried. Ten or a dozen men then collect round it with small adzes,
which, when sharpened with an iron bodkin, are capable of shaving off
the substance of the skin on the fleshy side until it is quite thin;
when sufficiently thin, a quantity of brain is smeared over it, and
some thick milk. Then an instrument made of a number of iron spikes tied
round a piece of wood, so that the points only project beyond it, is
applied to it in a carding fashion, until the fibres of the bulk of it
are quite loose. Milk or butter is applied to it again, and it forms a
garment nearly as soft as cloth.

The shields are made of hides partially dried in the sun, and then
beaten with hammers until they are stiff and dry. Two broad belts of a
differently-colored skin are sewed into them longitudinally, and sticks
inserted to make them rigid and not liable to bend easily. The shield is
a great protection in their way of fighting with spears, but they
also trust largely to their agility in springing aside from the coming
javelin. The shield assists when so many spears are thrown that it is
impossible not to receive some of them. Their spears are light javelins;
and, judging from what I have seen them do in elephant-hunting, I
believe, when they have room to make a run and discharge them with the
aid of the jerk of stopping, they can throw them between forty and fifty
yards. They give them an upward direction in the discharge, so that
they come down on the object with accelerated force. I saw a man who
in battle had received one in the shin; the excitement of the moment
prevented his feeling any pain; but, when the battle was over, the blade
was found to have split the bone, and become so impacted in the cleft
that no force could extract it. It was necessary to take an axe and
press the split bone asunder before the weapon could be taken out.

Chapter 10.

The Fever--Its Symptoms--Remedies of the native Doctors--Hospitality
of Sekeletu and his People--One of their Reasons for Polygamy--They
cultivate largely--The Makalaka or subject Tribes--Sebituane's
Policy respecting them--Their Affection for him--Products of the
Soil--Instrument of Culture--The Tribute--Distributed by the Chief--A
warlike Demonstration--Lechulatebe's Provocations--The Makololo
determine to punish him--The Bechuanas--Meaning of the Term--Three
Divisions of the great Family of South Africans.

On the 30th of May I was seized with fever for the first time. We
reached the town of Linyanti on the 23d; and as my habits were
suddenly changed from great exertion to comparative inactivity, at
the commencement of the cold season I suffered from a severe attack of
stoppage of the secretions, closely resembling a common cold. Warm baths
and drinks relieved me, and I had no idea but that I was now recovering
from the effects of a chill, got by leaving the warm wagon in the
evening in order to conduct family worship at my people's fire. But on
the 2d of June a relapse showed to the Makololo, who knew the complaint,
that my indisposition was no other than the fever, with which I have
since made a more intimate acquaintance. Cold east winds prevail at this
time; and as they come over the extensive flats inundated by the Chobe,
as well as many other districts where pools of rain-water are now drying
up, they may be supposed to be loaded with malaria and watery vapor, and
many cases of fever follow. The usual symptoms of stopped secretion
are manifested--shivering and a feeling of coldness, though the skin
is quite hot to the touch of another. The heat in the axilla, over the
heart and region of the stomach, was in my case 100 Deg.; but along the
spine and at the nape of the neck 103 Deg. The internal processes were
all, with the exception of the kidneys and liver, stopped; the latter,
in its efforts to free the blood of noxious particles, often secretes
enormous quantities of bile. There were pains along the spine, and
frontal headache. Anxious to ascertain whether the natives possessed
the knowledge of any remedy of which we were ignorant, I requested the
assistance of one of Sekeletu's doctors. He put some roots into a pot
with water, and, when it was boiling, placed it on a spot beneath a
blanket thrown around both me and it. This produced no immediate effect;
he then got a small bundle of different kinds of medicinal woods, and,
burning them in a potsherd nearly to ashes, used the smoke and hot vapor
arising from them as an auxiliary to the other in causing diaphoresis.
I fondly hoped that they had a more potent remedy than our own medicines
afford; but after being stewed in their vapor-baths, smoked like a red
herring over green twigs, and charmed 'secundem artem', I concluded that
I could cure the fever more quickly than they can. If we employ a wet
sheet and a mild aperient in combination with quinine, in addition to
the native remedies, they are an important aid in curing the fever, as
they seem to have the same stimulating effects on the alimentary
canal as these means have on the external surface. Purgatives, general
bleedings, or indeed any violent remedies, are injurious; and the
appearance of a herpetic eruption near the mouth is regarded as an
evidence that no internal organ is in danger. There is a good deal in
not "giving in" to this disease. He who is low-spirited, and apt to
despond at every attack, will die sooner than the man who is not of such
a melancholic nature.

The Makololo had made a garden and planted maize for me, that, as they
remarked when I was parting with them to proceed to the Cape, I might
have food to eat when I returned, as well as other people. The maize was
now pounded by the women into fine meal. This they do in large wooden
mortars, the counterpart of which may be seen depicted on the Egyptian
monuments.* Sekeletu added to this good supply of meal ten or twelve
jars of honey, each of which contained about two gallons. Liberal
supplies of ground-nuts ('Arachis hypogoea') were also furnished every
time the tributary tribes brought their dues to Linyanti, and an ox was
given for slaughter every week or two. Sekeletu also appropriated
two cows to be milked for us every morning and evening. This was in
accordance with the acknowledged rule throughout this country, that the
chief should feed all strangers who come on any special business to
him and take up their abode in his kotla. A present is usually given in
return for the hospitality, but, except in cases where their aboriginal
customs have been modified, nothing would be asked. Europeans spoil the
feeling that hospitality is the sacred duty of the chiefs by what in
other circumstances is laudable conduct. No sooner do they arrive than
they offer to purchase food, and, instead of waiting till a meal is
prepared for them in the evening, cook for themselves, and then often
decline even to partake of that which has been made ready for their use.
A present is also given, and before long the natives come to expect a
gift without having offered any equivalent.

   * Unfortunately, the illustration shown with this paragraph
   cannot be shown in this ASCII file.  It has the following
   caption: 'Egyptian Pestle and Mortar, Sieves, Corn Vessels,
   and Kilt, identical with those in use by the Makololo and
   Makalaka.--From Sir G. Wilkinson's "Ancient Egyptians".'--A.
   L., 1997.

Strangers frequently have acquaintances among the under-chiefs, to whose
establishments they turn aside, and are treated on the same principle
that others are when they are the guests of the chief. So generally is
the duty admitted, that one of the most cogent arguments for polygamy is
that a respectable man with only one wife could not entertain strangers
as he ought. This reason has especial weight where the women are the
chief cultivators of the soil, and have the control over the corn, as
at Kolobeng. The poor, however, who have no friends, often suffer much
hunger, and the very kind attention Sebituane lavished on all such was
one of the reasons of his great popularity in the country.

The Makololo cultivate a large extent of land around their villages.
Those of them who are real Basutos still retain the habits of that
tribe, and may be seen going out with their wives with their hoes in
hand--a state of things never witnessed at Kolobeng, or among any other
Bechuana or Caffre tribe. The great chief Moshesh affords an example to
his people annually by not only taking the hoe in hand, but working hard
with it on certain public occasions. His Basutos are of the same family
with the Makololo to whom I refer. The younger Makololo, who have been
accustomed from their infancy to lord it over the conquered Makalaka,
have unfortunately no desire to imitate the agricultural tastes of their
fathers, and expect their subjects to perform all the manual labor. They
are the aristocracy of the country, and once possessed almost unlimited
power over their vassals. Their privileges were, however, much abridged
by Sebituane himself.

I have already mentioned that the tribes which Sebituane subjected in
this great country pass by the general name of Makalaka. The Makololo
were composed of a great number of other tribes, as well as of these
central negroes. The nucleus of the whole were Basuto, who came with
Sebituane from a comparatively cold and hilly region in the south. When
he conquered various tribes of the Bechuanas, as Bakwains, Bangwaketze,
Bamangwato, Batauana, etc., he incorporated the young of these tribes
into his own. Great mortality by fever having taken place in the
original stock, he wisely adopted the same plan of absorption on a
large scale with the Makalaka. So we found him with even the sons of the
chiefs of the Barotse closely attached to his person; and they say to
this day, if any thing else but natural death had assailed their father,
every one of them would have laid down his life in his defense. One
reason for their strong affection was their emancipation by the decree
of Sebituane, "all are children of the chief."

The Makalaka cultivate the 'Holcus sorghum', or dura, as the principal
grain, with maize, two kinds of beans, ground-nuts ('Arachis hypogoea'),
pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers. They depend for success entirely
upon rain. Those who live in the Barotse valley cultivate in addition
the sugar-cane, sweet potato, and manioc ('Jatropha manihot'). The
climate there, however, is warmer than at Linyanti, and the Makalaka
increase the fertility of their gardens by rude attempts at artificial

The instrument of culture over all this region is a hoe, the iron of
which the Batoka and Banyeti obtain from the ore by smelting. The amount
of iron which they produce annually may be understood when it is known
that most of the hoes in use at Linyanti are the tribute imposed on the
smiths of those subject tribes.

Sekeletu receives tribute from a great number of tribes in corn or
dura, ground-nuts, hoes, spears, honey, canoes, paddles, wooden vessels,
tobacco, mutokuane ('Cannabis sativa'), various wild fruits (dried),
prepared skins, and ivory. When these articles are brought into the
kotla, Sekeletu has the honor of dividing them among the loungers who
usually congregate there. A small portion only is reserved for himself.
The ivory belongs nominally to him too, but this is simply a way of
making a fair distribution of the profits. The chief sells it only with
the approbation of his counselors, and the proceeds are distributed in
open day among the people as before. He has the choice of every thing;
but if he is not more liberal to others than to himself, he loses in
popularity. I have known instances in this and other tribes in which
individuals aggrieved, because they had been overlooked, fled to
other chiefs. One discontented person, having fled to Lechulatebe, was
encouraged to go to a village of the Bapalleng, on the River Cho or Tso,
and abstracted the tribute of ivory thence which ought to have come to
Sekeletu. This theft enraged the whole of the Makololo, because they all
felt it to be a personal loss. Some of Lechulatebe's people having come
on a visit to Linyanti, a demonstration was made, in which about five
hundred Makololo, armed, went through a mimic fight; the principal
warriors pointed their spears toward the lake where Lechulatebe lives,
and every thrust in that direction was answered by all with the shout,
"Ho-o!" while every stab on the ground drew out a simultaneous "Huzz!"
On these occasions all capable of bearing arms, even the old, must turn
out at the call. In the time of Sebituane, any one remaining in his
house was searched for and killed without mercy.

This offense of Lechulatebe was aggravated by repetition, and by a song
sung in his town accompanying the dances, which manifested joy at the
death of Sebituane. He had enjoined his people to live in peace with
those at the lake, and Sekeletu felt disposed to follow his advice; but
Lechulatebe had now got possession of fire-arms, and considered himself
more than a match for the Makololo. His father had been dispossessed of
many cattle by Sebituane, and, as forgiveness is not considered among
the virtues by the heathen, Lechulatebe thought he had a right to
recover what he could. As I had a good deal of influence with the
Makololo, I persuaded them that, before they could have peace, they must
resolve to give the same blessing to others, and they never could do
that without forgiving and forgetting ancient feuds. It is hard to make
them feel that shedding of human blood is a great crime; they must be
conscious that it is wrong, but, having been accustomed to bloodshed
from infancy, they are remarkably callous to the enormity of the crime
of destroying human life.

I sent a message at the same time to Lechulatebe advising him to give
up the course he had adopted, and especially the song; because, though
Sebituane was dead, the arms with which he had fought were still alive
and strong.

Sekeletu, in order to follow up his father's instructions and promote
peace, sent ten cows to Lechulatebe to be exchanged for sheep; these
animals thrive well in a bushy country like that around the lake, but
will scarcely live in the flat prairies between the net-work of waters
north of the Chobe. The men who took the cows carried a number of hoes
to purchase goats besides. Lechulatebe took the cows and sent back an
equal number of sheep. Now, according to the relative value of sheep and
cows in these parts, he ought to have sent sixty or seventy.

One of the men who had hoes was trying to purchase in a village without
formal leave from Lechulatebe; this chief punished him by making him sit
some hours on the broiling hot sand (at least 130 Deg.). This farther
offense put a stop to amicable relations between the two tribes
altogether. It was a case in which a very small tribe, commanded by
a weak and foolish chief, had got possession of fire-arms, and felt
conscious of ability to cope with a numerous and warlike race. Such
cases are the only ones in which the possession of fire-arms does evil.
The universal effect of the diffusion of the more potent instruments of
warfare in Africa is the same as among ourselves. Fire-arms render wars
less frequent and less bloody. It is indeed exceedingly rare to hear of
two tribes having guns going to war with each other; and, as nearly all
the feuds, in the south at least, have been about cattle, the risk which
must be incurred from long shots generally proves a preventive to the

The Makololo were prevailed upon to keep the peace during my residence
with them, but it was easy to perceive that public opinion was against
sparing a tribe of Bechuanas for whom the Makololo entertained the most
sovereign contempt. The young men would remark, "Lechulatebe is herding
our cows for us; let us only go, we shall 'lift' the price of them in
sheep," etc.

As the Makololo are the most northerly of the Bechuanas, we may glance
back at this family of Africans before entering on the branch of the
negro family which the Makololo distinguish by the term Makalaka. The
name Bechuana seems derived from the word Chuana--alike, or equal--with
the personal pronoun Ba (they) prefixed, and therefore means fellows
or equals. Some have supposed the name to have arisen from a mistake of
some traveler, who, on asking individuals of this nation concerning the
tribes living beyond them, received the answer, Bachuana, "they (are)
alike"; meaning, "They are the same as we are"; and that this nameless
traveler, who never wrote a word about them, managed to ingraft his
mistake as a generic term on a nation extending from the Orange River to
18 Deg. south latitude.*

   * The Makololo have conquered the country as far as 14 Deg.
   south, but it is still peopled chiefly by the black tribes
   named Makalaka.

As the name was found in use among those who had no intercourse with
Europeans, before we can receive the above explanation we must believe
that the unknown traveler knew the language sufficiently well to ask a
question, but not to understand the answer. We may add, that the way in
which they still continue to use the word seems to require no fanciful
interpretation. When addressed with any degree of scorn, they reply, "We
are Bachuana, or equals--we are not inferior to any of our nation,"
in exactly the same sense as Irishmen or Scotchmen, in the same
circumstances, would reply, "We are Britons," or "We are Englishmen."
Most other tribes are known by the terms applied to them by strangers
only, as the Caffres, Hottentots, and Bushmen. The Bechuanas alone use
the term to themselves as a generic one for the whole nation. They have
managed, also, to give a comprehensive name to the whites, viz., Makoa,
though they can not explain the derivation of it any more than of their
own. It seems to mean "handsome", from the manner in which they use
it to indicate beauty; but there is a word so very like it meaning
"infirm", or "weak", that Burchell's conjecture is probably the right
one. "The different Hottentot tribes were known by names terminating in
'kua', which means 'man', and the Bechuanas simply added the prefix
Ma, denoting a nation." They themselves were first known as Briquas, or
"goat-men". The language of the Bechuanas is termed Sichuana; that of
the whites (or Makoa) is called Sekoa.

The Makololo, or Basuto, have carried their powers of generalization
still farther, and arranged the other parts of the same great family
of South Africans into three divisions: 1st. The Matebele, or
Makonkobi--the Caffre family living on the eastern side of the country;
2d. The Bakoni, or Basuto; and, 3d. The Bakalahari, or Bechuanas, living
in the central parts, which includes all those tribes living in or
adjacent to the great Kalahari Desert.

1st. The Caffres are divided by themselves into various subdivisions, as
Amakosa, Amapanda, and other well-known titles. They consider the name
Caffre as an insulting epithet.

The Zulus of Natal belong to the same family, and they are as famed
for their honesty as their brethren who live adjacent to our colonial
frontier are renowned for cattle-lifting. The Recorder of Natal declared
of them that history does not present another instance in which so
much security for life and property has been enjoyed, as has been
experienced, during the whole period of English occupation, by ten
thousand colonists, in the midst of one hundred thousand Zulus.

The Matebele of Mosilikatse, living a short distance south of the
Zambesi, and other tribes living a little south of Tete and Senna,
are members of this same family. They are not known beyond the Zambesi
River. This was the limit of the Bechuana progress north too, until
Sebituane pushed his conquests farther.

2d. The Bakoni and Basuto division contains, in the south, all those
tribes which acknowledge Moshesh as their paramount chief. Among them
we find the Batau, the Baputi, Makolokue, etc., and some mountaineers on
the range Maluti, who are believed, by those who have carefully sifted
the evidence, to have been at one time guilty of cannibalism. This
has been doubted, but their songs admit the fact to this day, and they
ascribe their having left off the odious practice of entrapping human
prey to Moshesh having given them cattle. They are called Marimo and
Mayabathu, men-eaters, by the rest of the Basuto, who have various
subdivisions, as Makatla, Bamakakana, Matlapatlapa, etc.

The Bakoni farther north than the Basuto are the Batlou, Baperi, Bapo,
and another tribe of Bakuena, Bamosetla, Bamapela or Balaka, Babiriri,
Bapiri, Bahukeng, Batlokua, Baakhahela, etc., etc.; the whole of which
tribes are favored with abundance of rain, and, being much attached
to agriculture, raise very large quantities of grain. It is on their
industry that the more distant Boers revel in slothful abundance, and
follow their slave-hunting and cattle-stealing propensities quite beyond
the range of English influence and law. The Basuto under Moshesh are
equally fond of cultivating the soil. The chief labor of hoeing, driving
away birds, reaping, and winnowing, falls to the willing arms of the
hard-working women; but as the men, as well as their wives, as already
stated, always work, many have followed the advice of the missionaries,
and now use plows and oxen instead of the hoe.

3d. The Bakalahari, or western branch of the Bechuana family, consists
of Barolong, Bahurutse, Bakuena, Bangwaketse, Bakaa, Bamangwato,
Bakurutse, Batauana, Bamatlaro, and Batlapi. Among the last the success
of missionaries has been greatest. They were an insignificant and filthy
people when first discovered; but, being nearest to the colony, they
have had opportunities of trading; and the long-continued peace they
have enjoyed, through the influence of religious teaching, has enabled
them to amass great numbers of cattle. The young, however, who do
not realize their former degradation, often consider their present
superiority over the less-favored tribes in the interior to be entirely
owing to their own greater wisdom and more intellectual development.

Chapter 11.

Departure from Linyanti for Sesheke--Level Country--Ant-hills--Wild
Date-trees--Appearance of our Attendants on the March--The Chief's
Guard--They attempt to ride on Ox-back--Vast Herds of the
new Antelopes, Leches, and Nakongs--The native way of hunting
them--Reception at the Villages--Presents of Beer and Milk--Eating with
the Hand--The Chief provides the Oxen for Slaughter--Social Mode
of Eating--The Sugar-cane--Sekeletu's novel Test of Character--
Cleanliness of Makololo Huts--Their Construction and Appearance--The
Beds--Cross the Leeambye--Aspect of this part of the Country--The small
Antelope Tianyane unknown in the South--Hunting on foot--An Eland.

Having waited a month at Linyanti (lat. 18d 17' 20" S., long. 23d 50'
9" E.), we again departed, for the purpose of ascending the river from
Sesheke (lat. 17d 31' 38" S., long. 25d 13' E.). To the Barotse country,
the capital of which is Nariele or Naliele (lat. 15d 24' 17" S., long.
23d 5' 54" E.), I went in company with Sekeletu and about one hundred
and sixty attendants. We had most of the young men with us, and many of
the under-chiefs besides. The country between Linyanti and Sesheke
is perfectly flat, except patches elevated only a few feet above
the surrounding level. There are also many mounds where the gigantic
ant-hills of the country have been situated or still appear: these
mounds are evidently the work of the termites. No one who has not
seen their gigantic structures can fancy the industry of these little
laborers; they seem to impart fertility to the soil which has once
passed through their mouths, for the Makololo find the sides of
ant-hills the choice spots for rearing early maize, tobacco, or any
thing on which they wish to bestow especial care. In the parts through
which we passed the mounds are generally covered with masses of wild
date-trees; the fruit is small, and no tree is allowed to stand long,
for, having abundance of food, the Makololo have no inclination to
preserve wild fruit-trees; accordingly, when a date shoots up to seed,
as soon as the fruit is ripe they cut down the tree rather than be at
the trouble of climbing it. The other parts of the more elevated land
have the camel-thorn ('Acacia giraffae'), white-thorned mimosa ('Acacia
horrida'), and baobabs. In sandy spots there are palmyras somewhat
similar to the Indian, but with a smaller seed. The soil on all the flat
parts is a rich, dark, tenacious loam, known as the "cotton-ground" in
India; it is covered with a dense matting of coarse grass, common on
all damp spots in this country. We had the Chobe on our right, with its
scores of miles of reed occupying the horizon there. It was pleasant to
look back on the long-extended line of our attendants, as it twisted and
bent according to the curves of the footpath, or in and out behind the
mounds, the ostrich feathers of the men waving in the wind. Some had the
white ends of ox-tails on their heads, Hussar fashion, and others great
bunches of black ostrich feathers, or caps made of lions' manes. Some
wore red tunics, or various-colored prints which the chief had bought
from Fleming; the common men carried burdens; the gentlemen walked with
a small club of rhinoceros-horn in their hands, and had servants to
carry their shields; while the "Machaka", battle-axe men, carried their
own, and were liable at any time to be sent off a hundred miles on an
errand, and expected to run all the way.

Sekeletu is always accompanied by his own Mopato, a number of young men
of his own age. When he sits down they crowd around him; those who
are nearest eat out of the same dish, for the Makololo chiefs pride
themselves on eating with their people. He eats a little, then beckons
his neighbors to partake. When they have done so, he perhaps beckons
to some one at a distance to take a share; that person starts forward,
seizes the pot, and removes it to his own companions. The comrades of
Sekeletu, wishing to imitate him in riding on my old horse, leaped
on the backs of a number of half-broken Batoka oxen as they ran, but,
having neither saddle nor bridle, the number of tumbles they met with
was a source of much amusement to the rest. Troops of leches, or, as
they are here called, "lechwes", appeared feeding quite heedlessly
all over the flats; they exist here in prodigious herds, although the
numbers of them and of the "nakong" that are killed annually must be
enormous. Both are water antelopes, and, when the lands we now tread
upon are flooded, they betake themselves to the mounds I have alluded
to. The Makalaka, who are most expert in the management of their small,
thin, light canoes, come gently toward them; the men stand upright in
the canoe, though it is not more than fifteen or eighteen inches wide
and about fifteen feet long; their paddles, ten feet in height, are of
a kind of wood called molompi, very light, yet as elastic as ash. With
these they either punt or paddle, according to the shallowness or depth
of the water. When they perceive the antelopes beginning to move they
increase their speed, and pursue them with great velocity. They make the
water dash away from the gunwale, and, though the leche goes off by a
succession of prodigious bounds, its feet appearing to touch the bottom
at each spring, they manage to spear great numbers of them.

The nakong often shares a similar fate. This is a new species, rather
smaller than the leche, and in shape has more of paunchiness than any
antelope I ever saw. Its gait closely resembles the gallop of a dog
when tired. The hair is long and rather sparse, so that it is never
sleek-looking. It is of a grayish-brown color, and has horns twisted
in the manner of a koodoo, but much smaller, and with a double ridge
winding round each of them.

Its habitat is the marsh and the muddy bogs; the great length of its
foot between the point of the toe and supplemental hoofs enables it to
make a print about a foot in length; it feeds by night, and lies hid
among the reeds and rushes by day; when pursued, it dashes into sedgy
places containing water, and immerses the whole body, leaving only the
point of the nose and ends of the horns exposed. The hunters burn
large patches of reed in order to drive the nakong out of his lair;
occasionally the ends of the horns project above the water; but when it
sees itself surrounded by enemies in canoes, it will rather allow
its horns to be scorched in the burning reed than come forth from its

When we arrived at any village the women all turned out to lulliloo
their chief. Their shrill voices, to which they give a tremulous sound
by a quick motion of the tongue, peal forth, "Great lion!" "Great
chief!" "Sleep, my lord!" etc. The men utter similar salutations; and
Sekeletu receives all with becoming indifference. After a few minutes'
conversation and telling the news, the head man of the village, who is
almost always a Makololo, rises, and brings forth a number of large pots
of beer. Calabashes, being used as drinking-cups, are handed round, and
as many as can partake of the beverage do so, grasping the vessels so
eagerly that they are in danger of being broken.

They bring forth also large pots and bowls of thick milk; some contain
six or eight gallons; and each of these, as well as of the beer, is
given to a particular person, who has the power to divide it with
whom he pleases. The head man of any section of the tribe is generally
selected for this office. Spoons not being generally in fashion, the
milk is conveyed to the mouth with the hand. I often presented my
friends with iron spoons, and it was curious to observe how their habit
of hand-eating prevailed, though they were delighted with the spoons.
They lifted out a little with the utensil, then put it on the left hand,
and ate it out of that.

As the Makololo have great abundance of cattle, and the chief is
expected to feed all who accompany him, he either selects an ox or
two of his own from the numerous cattle stations that he possesses at
different spots all over the country, or is presented by the head men of
the villages he visits with as many as he needs by way of tribute. The
animals are killed by a thrust from a small javelin in the region of
the heart, the wound being purposely small in order to avoid any loss
of blood, which, with the internal parts, are the perquisites of the
men who perform the work of the butcher; hence all are eager to render
service in that line. Each tribe has its own way of cutting up and
distributing an animal. Among the Makololo the hump and ribs belong to
the chief; among the Bakwains the breast is his perquisite. After the
oxen are cut up, the different joints are placed before Sekeletu, and he
apportions them among the gentlemen of the party. The whole is rapidly
divided by their attendants, cut into long strips, and so many of these
are thrown into the fires at once that they are nearly put out. Half
broiled and burning hot, the meat is quickly handed round; every one
gets a mouthful, but no one except the chief has time to masticate. It
is not the enjoyment of eating they aim at, but to get as much of the
food into the stomach as possible during the short time the others are
cramming as well as themselves, for no one can eat more than a mouthful
after the others have finished. They are eminently gregarious in their
eating; and, as they despise any one who eats alone, I always poured out
two cups of coffee at my own meals, so that the chief, or some one of
the principal men, might partake along with me. They all soon become
very fond of coffee; and, indeed, some of the tribes attribute greater
fecundity to the daily use of this beverage. They were all well
acquainted with the sugar-cane, as they cultivate it in the Barotse
country, but knew nothing of the method of extracting the sugar from it.
They use the cane only for chewing. Sekeletu, relishing the sweet coffee
and biscuits, of which I then had a store, said "he knew my heart loved
him by finding his own heart warming to my food." He had been visited
during my absence at the Cape by some traders and Griquas, and "their
coffee did not taste half so nice as mine, because they loved his ivory
and not himself." This was certainly an original mode of discerning

Sekeletu and I had each a little gipsy-tent in which to sleep. The
Makololo huts are generally clean, while those of the Makalaka are
infested with vermin. The cleanliness of the former is owing to the
habit of frequently smearing the floors with a plaster composed of
cowdung and earth. If we slept in the tent in some villages, the mice
ran over our faces and disturbed our sleep, or hungry prowling dogs
would eat our shoes and leave only the soles. When they were guilty of
this and other misdemeanors, we got the loan of a hut. The best sort
of Makololo huts consist of three circular walls, with small holes as
doors, each similar to that in a dog-house; and it is necessary to bend
down the body to get in, even when on all-fours. The roof is formed of
reeds or straight sticks, in shape like a Chinaman's hat, bound firmly
together with circular bands, which are lashed with the strong inner
bark of the mimosa-tree. When all prepared except the thatch, it is
lifted on to the circular wall, the rim resting on a circle of poles,
between each of which the third wall is built. The roof is thatched with
fine grass, and sewed with the same material as the lashings; and, as
it projects far beyond the walls, and reaches within four feet of the
ground, the shade is the best to be found in the country. These huts are
very cool in the hottest day, but are close and deficient in ventilation
by night.

The bed is a mat made of rushes sewn together with twine; the hip-bone
soon becomes sore on the hard flat surface, as we are not allowed to
make a hole in the floor to receive the prominent part called trochanter
by anatomists, as we do when sleeping on grass or sand.

Our course at this time led us to a part above Sesheke, called
Katonga, where there is a village belonging to a Bashubia man named
Sekhosi--latitude 17d 29' 13", longitude 24d 33'. The river here is
somewhat broader than at Sesheke, and certainly not less than six
hundred yards. It flows somewhat slowly in the first part of its eastern
course. When the canoes came from Sekhosi to take us over, one of the
comrades of Sebituane rose, and, looking to Sekeletu, called out, "The
elders of a host always take the lead in an attack." This was understood
at once; and Sekeletu, with all the young men, were obliged to give the
elders the precedence, and remain on the southern bank and see that all
went orderly into the canoes. It took a considerable time to ferry over
the whole of our large party, as, even with quick paddling, from six to
eight minutes were spent in the mere passage from bank to bank.

Several days were spent in collecting canoes from different villages on
the river, which we now learned is called by the whole of the Barotse
the Liambai or Leeambye. This we could not ascertain on our first visit,
and, consequently, called the river after the town "Sesheke". This term
Sesheke means "white sand-banks", many of which exist at this part.
There is another village in the valley of the Barotse likewise called
Sesheke, and for the same reason; but the term Leeambye means "the
large river", or the river PAR EXCELLENCE. Luambeji, Luambesi, Ambezi,
Ojimbesi, and Zambesi, etc., are names applied to it at different
parts of its course, according to the dialect spoken, and all possess a
similar signification, and express the native idea of this magnificent
stream being the main drain of the country.

In order to assist in the support of our large party, and at the same
time to see the adjacent country, I went several times, during our stay,
to the north of the village for game. The country is covered with clumps
of beautiful trees, among which fine open glades stretch away in every
direction; when the river is in flood these are inundated, but the
tree-covered elevated spots are much more numerous here than in the
country between the Chobe and the Leeambye. The soil is dark loam, as it
is every where on spots reached by the inundation, while among the trees
it is sandy, and not covered so densely with grass as elsewhere. A sandy
ridge covered with trees, running parallel to, and about eight miles
from the river, is the limit of the inundation on the north; there are
large tracts of this sandy forest in that direction, till you come to
other districts of alluvial soil and fewer trees. The latter soil is
always found in the vicinity of rivers which either now overflow their
banks annually, or formerly did so. The people enjoy rain in sufficient
quantity to raise very large supplies of grain and ground-nuts.

This district contains great numbers of a small antelope named Tianyane,
unknown in the south. It stands about eighteen inches high, is very
graceful in its movements, and utters a cry of alarm not unlike that of
the domestic fowl; it is of a brownish-red color on the sides and back,
with the belly and lower part of the tail white; it is very timid, but
the maternal affection that the little thing bears to its young will
often induce it to offer battle even to a man approaching it. When the
young one is too tender to run about with the dam, she puts one foot
on the prominence about the seventh cervical vertebra, or withers; the
instinct of the young enables it to understand that it is now required
to kneel down, and to remain quite still till it hears the bleating of
its dam. If you see an otherwise gregarious she-antelope separated from
the herd, and going alone any where, you may be sure she has laid her
little one to sleep in some cozy spot. The color of the hair in the
young is better adapted for assimilating it with the ground than that of
the older animals, which do not need to be screened from the observation
of birds of prey. I observed the Arabs at Aden, when making their camels
kneel down, press the thumb on the withers in exactly the same way the
antelopes do with their young; probably they have been led to the custom
by seeing this plan adopted by the gazelle of the Desert.

Great numbers of buffaloes, zebras, tsessebes, tahaetsi, and eland, or
pohu, grazed undisturbed on these plains, so that very little exertion
was required to secure a fair supply of meat for the party during the
necessary delay. Hunting on foot, as all those who have engaged in it in
this country will at once admit, is very hard work indeed. The heat of
the sun by day is so great, even in winter, as it now was, that, had
there been any one on whom I could have thrown the task, he would have
been most welcome to all the sport the toil is supposed to impart. But
the Makololo shot so badly, that, in order to save my powder, I was
obliged to go myself.

We shot a beautiful cow-eland, standing in the shade of a fine tree. It
was evident that she had lately had her calf killed by a lion, for there
were five long deep scratches on both sides of her hind-quarters, as
if she had run to the rescue of her calf, and the lion, leaving it, had
attacked herself, but was unable to pull her down. When lying on the
ground, the milk flowing from the large udder showed that she must have
been seeking the shade, from the distress its non-removal in the natural
manner caused. She was a beautiful creature, and Lebeole, a Makololo
gentleman who accompanied me, speaking in reference to its size and
beauty, said, "Jesus ought to have given us these instead of cattle." It
was a new, undescribed variety of this splendid antelope. It was marked
with narrow white bands across the body, exactly like those of the
koodoo, and had a black patch of more than a handbreadth on the outer
side of the fore-arm.

Chapter 12.

Procure Canoes and ascend the Leeambye--Beautiful Islands--Winter
Landscape--Industry and Skill of the Banyeti--Rapids--Falls of
Gonye--Tradition--Annual Inundations--Fertility of the great
Barotse Valley--Execution of two Conspirators--The Slave-dealer's
Stockade--Naliele, the Capital, built on an artificial Mound--Santuru,
a great Hunter--The Barotse Method of commemorating any remarkable
Event--Better Treatment of Women--More religious Feeling--Belief in a
future State, and in the Existence of spiritual Beings--Gardens--Fish,
Fruit, and Game--Proceed to the Limits of the Barotse Country--
Sekeletu provides Rowers and a Herald--The River and Vicinity--
Hippopotamus-hunters--No healthy Location--Determine to go to Loanda--
Buffaloes, Elands, and Lions above Libonta--Interview with the Mambari--
Two Arabs from Zanzibar--Their Opinion of the Portuguese and the English
--Reach the Town of Ma-Sekeletu--Joy of the People at the first Visit of
their Chief--Return to Sesheke--Heathenism.

Having at last procured a sufficient number of canoes, we began to
ascend the river. I had the choice of the whole fleet, and selected the
best, though not the largest; it was thirty-four feet long by twenty
inches wide. I had six paddlers, and the larger canoe of Sekeletu had
ten. They stand upright, and keep the stroke with great precision,
though they change from side to side as the course demands. The men at
the head and stern are selected from the strongest and most expert of
the whole. The canoes, being flat bottomed, can go into very shallow
water; and whenever the men can feel the bottom they use the paddles,
which are about eight feet long, as poles to punt with. Our fleet
consisted of thirty-three canoes, and about one hundred and sixty men.
It was beautiful to see them skimming along so quickly, and keeping
the time so well. On land the Makalaka fear the Makololo; on water
the Makololo fear them, and can not prevent them from racing with
each other, dashing along at the top of their speed, and placing
their masters' lives in danger. In the event of a capsize, many of the
Makololo would sink like stones. A case of this kind happened on the
first day of our voyage up. The wind, blowing generally from the east,
raises very large waves on the Leeambye. An old doctor of the Makololo
had his canoe filled by one of these waves, and, being unable to swim,
was lost. The Barotse who were in the canoe with him saved themselves
by swimming, and were afraid of being punished with death in the evening
for not saving the doctor as well. Had he been a man of more influence,
they certainly would have suffered death.

We proceeded rapidly up the river, and I felt the pleasure of looking
on lands which had never been seen by a European before. The river is,
indeed, a magnificent one, often more than a mile broad, and adorned
with many islands of from three to five miles in length. Both islands
and banks are covered with forest, and most of the trees on the brink of
the water send down roots from their branches like the banian, or 'Ficus
Indica'. The islands at a little distance seem great rounded masses of
sylvan vegetation reclining on the bosom of the glorious stream. The
beauty of the scenery of some of the islands is greatly increased by the
date-palm, with its gracefully curved fronds and refreshing light green
color, near the bottom of the picture, and the lofty palmyra towering
far above, and casting its feathery foliage against a cloudless sky. It
being winter, we had the strange coloring on the banks which many parts
of African landscape assume. The country adjacent to the river is rocky
and undulating, abounding in elephants and all other large game, except
leches and nakongs, which seem generally to avoid stony ground. The soil
is of a reddish color, and very fertile, as is attested by the great
quantity of grain raised annually by the Banyeti. A great many villages
of this poor and very industrious people are situated on both banks of
the river: they are expert hunters of the hippopotami and other animals,
and very proficient in the manufacture of articles of wood and iron. The
whole of this part of the country being infested with the tsetse, they
are unable to rear domestic animals. This may have led to their skill
in handicraft works. Some make large wooden vessels with very neat lids,
and wooden bowls of all sizes; and since the idea of sitting on stools
has entered the Makololo mind, they have shown great taste in the
different forms given to the legs of these pieces of furniture.

Other Banyeti, or Manyeti, as they are called, make neat and strong
baskets of the split roots of a certain tree, while others excel in
pottery and iron. I can not find that they have ever been warlike.
Indeed, the wars in the centre of the country, where no slave-trade
existed, have seldom been about any thing else but cattle. So well known
is this, that several tribes refuse to keep cattle because they tempt
their enemies to come and steal. Nevertheless, they have no objection to
eat them when offered, and their country admits of being well stocked.
I have heard of but one war having occurred from another cause. Three
brothers, Barolongs, fought for the possession of a woman who was
considered worth a battle, and the tribe has remained permanently
divided ever since.

From the bend up to the north, called Katima-molelo (I quenched fire),
the bed of the river is rocky, and the stream runs fast, forming a
succession of rapids and cataracts, which prevent continuous navigation
when the water is low. The rapids are not visible when the river is
full, but the cataracts of Nambwe, Bombwe, and Kale must always be
dangerous. The fall at each of these is between four and six feet. But
the falls of Gonye present a much more serious obstacle. There we were
obliged to take the canoes out of the water, and carry them more than
a mile by land. The fall is about thirty feet. The main body of water,
which comes over the ledge of rock when the river is low, is collected
into a space seventy or eighty yards wide before it takes the leap, and,
a mass of rock being thrust forward against the roaring torrent, a loud
sound is produced. Tradition reports the destruction in this place of
two hippopotamus-hunters, who, over-eager in the pursuit of a wounded
animal, were, with their intended prey, drawn down into the frightful
gulf. There is also a tradition of a man, evidently of a superior mind,
who left his own countrymen, the Barotse, and came down the river, took
advantage of the falls, and led out a portion of the water there for
irrigation. Such minds must have arisen from time to time in these
regions, as well as in our own country, but, ignorant of the use of
letters, they have left no memorial behind them. We dug out some of an
inferior kind of potato ('Sisinyane') from his garden, for when once
planted it never dies out. This root is bitter and waxy, though it
is cultivated. It was not in flower, so I can not say whether it is a
solanaceous plant or not. One never expects to find a grave nor a stone
of remembrance set up in Africa; the very rocks are illiterate, they
contain so few fossils. Those here are of reddish variegated, hardened
sandstone, with madrepore holes in it. This, and broad horizontal strata
of trap, sometimes a hundred miles in extent, and each layer having an
inch or so of black silicious matter on it, as if it had floated there
while in a state of fusion, form a great part of the bottom of the
central valley. These rocks, in the southern part of the country
especially, are often covered with twelve or fifteen feet of soft
calcareous tufa. At Bombwe we have the same trap, with radiated zeolite,
probably mesotype, and it again appears at the confluence of the Chobe,
farther down.

As we passed up the river, the different villages of Banyeti turned out
to present Sekeletu with food and skins, as their tribute. One large
village is placed at Gonye, the inhabitants of which are required to
assist the Makololo to carry their canoes past the falls. The tsetse
here lighted on us even in the middle of the stream. This we crossed
repeatedly, in order to make short cuts at bends of the river. The
course is, however, remarkably straight among the rocks; and here the
river is shallow, on account of the great breadth of surface which it
covers. When we came to about 16d 16' S. latitude, the high wooded banks
seemed to leave the river, and no more tsetse appeared. Viewed from
the flat, reedy basin in which the river then flowed, the banks seemed
prolonged into ridges, of the same wooded character, two or three
hundred feet high, and stretched away to the N.N.E. and N.N.W. until
they were twenty or thirty miles apart. The intervening space, nearly
one hundred miles in length, with the Leeambye winding gently near the
middle, is the true Barotse valley. It bears a close resemblance to the
valley of the Nile, and is inundated annually, not by rains, but by the
Leeambye, exactly as Lower Egypt is flooded by the Nile. The villages
of the Barotse are built on mounds, some of which are said to have
been raised artificially by Santuru, a former chief of the Barotse, and
during the inundation the whole valley assumes the appearance of a large
lake, with the villages on the mounds like islands, just as occurs in
Egypt with the villages of the Egyptians. Some portion of the waters of
inundation comes from the northwest, where great floodings also occur,
but more comes from the north and northeast, descending the bed of the
Leeambye itself. There are but few trees in this valley: those which
stand on the mounds were nearly all transplanted by Santuru for shade.
The soil is extremely fertile, and the people are never in want of
grain, for, by taking advantage of the moisture of the inundation, they
can take two crops a year. The Barotse are strongly attached to this
fertile valley; they say, "Here hunger is not known." There are so many
things besides corn which a man can find in it for food, that it is no
wonder they desert from Linyanti to return to this place.

The great valley is not put to a tithe of the use it might be. It is
covered with coarse succulent grasses, which afford ample pasturage for
large herds of cattle; these thrive wonderfully, and give milk copiously
to their owners. When the valley is flooded, the cattle are compelled to
leave it and go to the higher lands, where they fall off in condition;
their return is a time of joy.

It is impossible to say whether this valley, which contains so much
moisture, would raise wheat as the valley of the Nile does. It is
probably too rich, and would make corn run entirely to straw, for one
species of grass was observed twelve feet high, with a stem as thick as
a man's thumb. At present the pasturage is never eaten off, though the
Makololo possess immense herds of cattle.

There are no large towns, the mounds on which the towns and villages are
built being all small, and the people require to live apart on account
of their cattle.

This visit was the first Sekeletu had made to these parts since he
attained the chieftainship. Those who had taken part with Mpepe were
consequently in great terror. When we came to the town of Mpepe's
father, as he and another man had counseled Mamochisane to put Sekeletu
to death and marry Mpepe, the two were led forth and tossed into the
river. Nokuane was again one of the executioners. When I remonstrated
against human blood being shed in the offhand way in which they were
proceeding, the counselors justified their acts by the evidence given by
Mamochisane, and calmly added, "You see we are still Boers; we are not
yet taught."

Mpepe had given full permission to the Mambari slave-dealers to trade
in all the Batoka and Bashukulompo villages to the east of this. He had
given them cattle, ivory, and children, and had received in return
a large blunderbuss to be mounted as a cannon. When the slight
circumstance of my having covered the body of the chief with my own
deranged the whole conspiracy, the Mambari, in their stockade, were
placed in very awkward circumstances. It was proposed to attack them and
drive them out of the country at once; but, dreading a commencement of
hostilities, I urged the difficulties of that course, and showed that
a stockade defended by perhaps forty muskets would be a very serious
affair. "Hunger is strong enough for that," said an under-chief; "a very
great fellow is he." They thought of attacking them by starvation. As
the chief sufferers in case of such an attack would have been the poor
slaves chained in gangs, I interceded for them, and the result of an
intercession of which they were ignorant was that they were allowed to
depart in peace.

Naliele, the capital of the Barotse, is built on a mound which was
constructed artificially by Santuru, and was his store-house for grain.
His own capital stood about five hundred yards to the south of that, in
what is now the bed of the river. All that remains of the largest mound
in the valley are a few cubic yards of earth, to erect which cost the
whole of the people of Santuru the labor of many years. The same thing
has happened to another ancient site of a town, Linangelo, also on the
left bank. It would seem, therefore, that the river in this part of the
valley must be wearing eastward. No great rise of the river is required
to submerge the whole valley; a rise of ten feet above the present
low-water mark would reach the highest point it ever attains, as seen in
the markings of the bank on which stood Santuru's ancient capital,
and two or three feet more would deluge all the villages. This never
happens, though the water sometimes comes so near the foundations of
the huts that the people can not move outside the walls of reeds which
encircle their villages. When the river is compressed among the high
rocky banks near Gonye, it rises sixty feet.

The influence of the partial obstruction it meets with there is seen
in the more winding course of the river north of 16 Deg.; and when the
swell gets past Katima-molelo, it spreads out on the lands on both banks
toward Sesheke.

Santuru, at whose ancient granary we are staying, was a great hunter,
and very fond of taming wild animals. His people, aware of his taste,
brought to him every young antelope they could catch, and, among other
things, two young hippopotami. These animals gamboled in the river
by day, but never failed to remember to come up to Naliele for their
suppers of milk and meal. They were the wonder of the country, till a
stranger, happening to come to visit Santuru, saw them reclining in the
sun, and speared one of them on the supposition that it was wild. The
same unlucky accident happened to one of the cats I had brought to
Sekeletu. A stranger, seeing an animal he had never viewed before,
killed it, and brought the trophy to the chief, thinking that he had
made a very remarkable discovery; we thereby lost the breed of cats, of
which, from the swarms of mice, we stood in great need.

On making inquiries to ascertain whether Santuru, the Moloiana, had ever
been visited by white men, I could find no vestige of any such visit;*
there is no evidence of any of Santuru's people having ever seen a white
man before the arrival of Mr. Oswell and myself in 1851. The people
have, it is true, no written records; but any remarkable event here is
commemorated in names, as was observed by Park to be the case in the
countries he traversed. The year of our arrival is dignified by the name
of the year when the white men came, or of Sebituane's death; but they
prefer the former, as they avoid, if possible, any direct reference to
the departed. After my wife's first visit, great numbers of children
were named Ma-Robert, or mother of Robert, her eldest child; others were
named Gun, Horse, Wagon, Monare, Jesus, etc.; but though our names, and
those of the native Portuguese who came in 1853, were adopted, there is
not a trace of any thing of the sort having happened previously among
the Barotse: the visit of a white man is such a remarkable event, that,
had any taken place during the last three hundred years, there must have
remained some tradition of it.

   * The Barotse call themselves the Baloiana or little Baloi, as
   if they had been an offset from Loi, or Lui, as it is often
   spelt. As Lui had been visited by Portuguese, but its position
   not well ascertained, my inquiries referred to the identity of
   Naliele with Lui.  On asking the head man of the Mambari
   party, named Porto, whether he had ever heard of Naliele being
   visited previously, he replied in the negative, and stated
   that he "had himself attempted to come from Bihe three times,
   but had always been prevented by the tribe called Ganguellas."
   He nearly succeeded in 1852, but was driven back.  He now (in
   1853) attempted to go eastward from Naliele, but came back to
   the Barotse on being unable to go beyond Kainko's village,
   which is situated on the Bashukulompo River, and eight days
   distant.  The whole party was anxious to secure a reward
   believed to be promised by the Portuguese government. Their
   want of success confirmed my impression that I ought to go
   westward. Porto kindly offered to aid me, if I would go with
   him to Bihe; but when I declined, he preceded me to Loanda,
   and was publishing his Journal when I arrived at that city.
   Ben Habib told me that Porto had sent letters to Mozambique by
   the Arab, Ben Chombo, whom I knew; and he has since asserted,
   in Portugal, that he himself went to Mozambique as well as his

But Santuru was once visited by the Mambari, and a distinct recollection
of that visit is retained. They came to purchase slaves, and both
Santuru and his head men refused them permission to buy any of the
people. The Makololo quoted this precedent when speaking of the Mambari,
and said that they, as the present masters of the country, had as good
a right to expel them as Santuru. The Mambari reside near Bihe, under
an Ambonda chief named Kangombe. They profess to use the slaves for
domestic purposes alone.

Some of these Mambari visited us while at Naliele. They are of the
Ambonda family, which inhabits the country southeast of Angola, and
speak the Bunda dialect, which is of the same family of languages with
the Barotse, Bayeiye, etc., or those black tribes comprehended under the
general term Makalaka. They plait their hair in three-fold cords, and
lay them carefully down around the sides of the head. They are quite as
dark as the Barotse, but have among them a number of half-castes, with
their peculiar yellow sickly hue. On inquiring why they had fled on my
approach to Linyanti, they let me know that they had a vivid idea of the
customs of English cruisers on the coast. They showed also their habits
in their own country by digging up and eating, even here where
large game abounds, the mice and moles which infest the country. The
half-castes, or native Portuguese, could all read and write, and the
head of the party, if not a real Portuguese, had European hair, and,
influenced probably by the letter of recommendation which I held from
the Chevalier Duprat, his most faithful majesty's Arbitrator in the
British and Portuguese Mixed Commission at Cape Town, was evidently
anxious to show me all the kindness in his power. These persons I feel
assured were the first individuals of Portuguese blood who ever saw the
Zambesi in the centre of the country, and they had reached it two years
after our discovery in 1851.

The town or mound of Santuru's mother was shown to me; this was the
first symptom of an altered state of feeling with regard to the female
sex that I had observed. There are few or no cases of women being
elevated to the headships of towns further south. The Barotse also
showed some relics of their chief, which evinced a greater amount of the
religious feeling than I had ever known displayed among Bechuanas. His
more recent capital, Lilonda, built, too, on an artificial mound,
is covered with different kinds of trees, transplanted when young by
himself. They form a grove on the end of the mound, in which are to be
seen various instruments of iron just in the state he left them. One
looks like the guard of a basket-hilted sword; another has an upright
stem of the metal, on which are placed branches worked at the ends into
miniature axes, hoes, and spears; on these he was accustomed to present
offerings, according as he desired favors to be conferred in undertaking
hewing, agriculture, or fighting. The people still living there, in
charge of these articles, were supported by presents from the chief; and
the Makololo sometimes follow the example. This was the nearest approach
to a priesthood I met. When I asked them to part with one of these
relics, they replied, "Oh no, he refuses." "Who refuses?" "Santuru," was
their reply, showing their belief in a future state of existence. After
explaining to them, as I always did when opportunity offered, the nature
of true worship, and praying with them in the simple form which needs no
offering from the worshiper except that of the heart, and planting some
fruit-tree seeds in the grove, we departed.

Another incident, which occurred at the confluence of the Leeba and
Leeambye, may be mentioned here, as showing a more vivid perception of
the existence of spiritual beings, and greater proneness to worship than
among the Bechuanas. Having taken lunar observations in the morning,
I was waiting for a meridian altitude of the sun for the latitude; my
chief boatman was sitting by, in order to pack up the instruments
as soon as I had finished; there was a large halo, about 20 Deg. in
diameter, round the sun; thinking that the humidity of the atmosphere,
which this indicated, might betoken rain, I asked him if his experience
did not lead him to the same view. "Oh no," replied he; "it is the
Barimo (gods or departed spirits), who have called a picho; don't you
see they have the Lord (sun) in the centre?"

While still at Naliele I walked out to Katongo (lat. 15d 16' 33"), on
the ridge which bounds the valley of the Barotse in that direction, and
found it covered with trees. It is only the commencement of the lands
which are never inundated; their gentle rise from the dead level of the
valley much resembles the edge of the Desert in the valley of the Nile.
But here the Banyeti have fine gardens, and raise great quantities of
maize, millet, and native corn ('Holcus sorghum'), of large grain and
beautifully white. They grow, also, yams, sugar-cane, the Egyptian
arum, sweet potato ('Convolulus batata'), two kinds of manioc or cassava
('Jatropha manihot' and 'J. utilissima', a variety containing scarcely
any poison), besides pumpkins, melons, beans, and ground-nuts. These,
with plenty of fish in the river, its branches and lagoons, wild fruits
and water-fowl, always make the people refer to the Barotse as the land
of plenty. The scene from the ridge, on looking back, was beautiful. One
can not see the western side of the valley in a cloudy day, such as
that was when we visited the stockade, but we could see the great river
glancing out at different points, and fine large herds of cattle quietly
grazing on the green succulent herbage, among numbers of cattle-stations
and villages which are dotted over the landscape. Leches in hundreds
fed securely beside them, for they have learned only to keep out of
bow-shot, or two hundred yards. When guns come into a country the
animals soon learn their longer range, and begin to run at a distance of
five hundred yards.

I imagined the slight elevation (Katongo) might be healthy, but was
informed that no part of this region is exempt from fever. When
the waters begin to retire from this valley, such masses of decayed
vegetation and mud are exposed to the torrid sun that even the natives
suffer severely from attacks of fever. The grass is so rank in its
growth that one can not see the black alluvial soil of the bottom of
this periodical lake. Even when the grass falls down in winter, or is
"laid" by its own weight, one is obliged to lift the feet so high, to
avoid being tripped up by it, as to make walking excessively fatiguing.
Young leches are hidden beneath it by their dams; and the Makololo youth
complain of being unable to run in the Barotse land on this account.
There was evidently no healthy spot in this quarter; and the current of
the river being about four and a half miles per hour (one hundred yards
in sixty seconds), I imagined we might find what we needed in the higher
lands, from which the river seemed to come. I resolved, therefore, to
go to the utmost limits of the Barotse country before coming to a final
conclusion. Katongo was the best place we had seen; but, in order to
accomplish a complete examination, I left Sekeletu at Naliele, and
ascended the river. He furnished me with men, besides my rowers, and
among the rest a herald, that I might enter his villages in what is
considered a dignified manner. This, it was supposed, would be effected
by the herald shouting out at the top of his voice, "Here comes the
lord; the great lion;" the latter phrase being "tau e tona", which, in
his imperfect way of pronunciation, became "Sau e tona", and so like
"the great sow" that I could not receive the honor with becoming
gravity, and had to entreat him, much to the annoyance of my party, to
be silent.

In our ascent we visited a number of Makololo villages, and were always
received with a hearty welcome, as messengers to them of peace, which
they term "sleep". They behave well in public meetings, even on the
first occasion of attendance, probably from the habit of commanding the
Makalaka, crowds of whom swarm in every village, and whom the Makololo
women seem to consider as especially under their charge.

The river presents the same appearance of low banks without trees as
we have remarked it had after we came to 16d 16', until we arrive at
Libonta (14d 59' S. lat.). Twenty miles beyond that, we find forest down
to the water's edge, and tsetse. Here I might have turned back, as no
locality can be inhabited by Europeans where that scourge exists; but
hearing that we were not far from the confluence of the River of Londa
or Lunda, named Leeba or Loiba, and the chiefs of that country being
reported to be friendly to strangers, and therefore likely to be of use
to me on my return from the west coast, I still pushed on to latitude
14d 11' 3" S. There the Leeambye assumes the name Kabompo, and seems to
be coming from the east. It is a fine large river, about three hundred
yards wide, and the Leeba two hundred and fifty. The Loeti, a branch of
which is called Langebongo, comes from W.N.W., through a level grassy
plain named Mango; it is about one hundred yards wide, and enters the
Leeambye from the west; the waters of the Loeti are of a light color,
and those of the Leeba of a dark mossy hue. After the Loeti joins
the Leeambye the different colored waters flow side by side for some
distance unmixed.

Before reaching the Loeti we came to a number of people from the Lobale
region, hunting hippopotami. They fled precipitately as soon as they saw
the Makololo, leaving their canoes and all their utensils and clothing.
My own Makalaka, who were accustomed to plunder wherever they went,
rushed after them like furies, totally regardless of my shouting. As
this proceeding would have destroyed my character entirely at Lobale, I
took my stand on a commanding position as they returned, and forced them
to lay down all the plunder on a sand-bank, and leave it there for its
lawful owners.

It was now quite evident that no healthy location could be obtained in
which the Makololo would be allowed to live in peace. I had thus a fair
excuse, if I had chosen to avail myself of it, of coming home and saying
that the "door was shut", because the Lord's time had not yet come. But
believing that it was my duty to devote some portion of my life to these
(to me at least) very confiding and affectionate Makololo, I resolved
to follow out the second part of my plan, though I had failed in
accomplishing the first. The Leeba seemed to come from the N. and by
W., or N.N.W.; so, having an old Portuguese map, which pointed out the
Coanza as rising from the middle of the continent in 9 Deg. S. lat., I
thought it probable that, when we had ascended the Leeba (from 14d 11')
two or three degrees, we should then be within one hundred and twenty
miles of the Coanza, and find no difficulty in following it down to the
coast near Loanda. This was the logical deduction; but, as is the
case with many a plausible theory, one of the premises was decidedly
defective. The Coanza, as we afterward found, does not come from any
where near the centre of the country.

The numbers of large game above Libonta are prodigious, and they proved
remarkably tame. Eighty-one buffaloes defiled in slow procession before
our fire one evening, within gunshot; and herds of splendid elands stood
by day, without fear, at two hundred yards distance. They were all of
the striped variety, and with their forearm markings, large dewlaps,
and sleek skins, were a beautiful sight to see. The lions here roar much
more than in the country near the lake, Zouga, and Chobe. One evening
we had a good opportunity of hearing the utmost exertions the animal can
make in that line. We had made our beds on a large sand-bank, and could
be easily seen from all sides. A lion on the opposite shore amused
himself for hours by roaring as loudly as he could, putting, as is usual
in such cases, his mouth near the ground, to make the sound reverberate.
The river was too broad for a ball to reach him, so we let him enjoy
himself, certain that he durst not have been guilty of the impertinence
in the Bushman country. Wherever the game abounds, these animals exist
in proportionate numbers. Here they were very frequently seen, and two
of the largest I ever saw seemed about as tall as common donkeys; but
the mane made their bodies appear rather larger.

A party of Arabs from Zanzibar were in the country at this time.
Sekeletu had gone from Naliele to the town of his mother before we
arrived from the north, but left an ox for our use, and instructions for
us to follow him thither. We came down a branch of the Leeambye called
Marile, which departs from the main river in latitude 15d 15' 43" S.,
and is a fine deep stream about sixty yards wide. It makes the whole of
the country around Naliele an island. When sleeping at a village in the
same latitude as Naliele town, two of the Arabs mentioned made their
appearance. They were quite as dark as the Makololo, but, having
their heads shaved, I could not compare their hair with that of the
inhabitants of the country. When we were about to leave they came to bid
adieu, but I asked them to stay and help us to eat our ox. As they had
scruples about eating an animal not blooded in their own way, I gained
their good-will by saying I was quite of their opinion as to getting
quit of the blood, and gave them two legs of an animal slaughtered by
themselves. They professed the greatest detestation of the Portuguese,
"because they eat pigs;" and disliked the English, "because they thrash
them for selling slaves." I was silent about pork; though, had they seen
me at a hippopotamus two days afterward, they would have set me down as
being as much a heretic as any of that nation; but I ventured to tell
them that I agreed with the English, that it was better to let the
children grow up and comfort their mothers when they became old, than to
carry them away and sell them across the sea. This they never attempt
to justify; "they want them only to cultivate the land, and take care
of them as their children." It is the same old story, justifying a
monstrous wrong on pretense of taking care of those degraded portions of
humanity which can not take care of themselves; doing evil that good may

These Arabs, or Moors, could read and write their own language readily;
and, when speaking about our Savior, I admired the boldness with which
they informed me "that Christ was a very good prophet, but Mohammed was
far greater." And with respect to their loathing of pork, it may have
some foundation in their nature; for I have known Bechuanas, who had
no prejudice against the wild animal, and ate the tame without scruple,
yet, unconscious of any cause of disgust, vomit it again. The Bechuanas
south of the lake have a prejudice against eating fish, and allege a
disgust to eating any thing like a serpent. This may arise from the
remnants of serpent-worship floating in their minds, as, in addition
to this horror of eating such animals, they sometimes render a sort
of obeisance to living serpents by clapping their hands to them, and
refusing to destroy the reptiles; but in the case of the hog they are
conscious of no superstitious feeling.

Having parted with our Arab friends, we proceeded down the Marile till
we re-entered the Leeambye, and went to the town of Ma-Sekeletu (mother
of Sekeletu), opposite the island of Loyela. Sekeletu had always
supplied me most liberally with food, and, as soon as I arrived,
presented me with a pot of boiled meat, while his mother handed me a
large jar of butter, of which they make great quantities for the purpose
of anointing their bodies. He had himself sometimes felt the benefit of
my way of putting aside a quantity of the meat after a meal, and had
now followed my example by ordering some to be kept for me. According
to their habits, every particle of an ox is devoured at one meal; and as
the chief can not, without a deviation from their customs, eat alone, he
is often compelled to suffer severely from hunger before another meal is
ready. We henceforth always worked into each other's hands by saving a
little for each other; and when some of the sticklers for use and custom
grumbled, I advised them to eat like men, and not like vultures.

As this was the first visit which Sekeletu had paid to this part of his
dominions, it was to many a season of great joy. The head men of each
village presented oxen, milk, and beer, more than the horde which
accompanied him could devour, though their abilities in that line are
something wonderful. The people usually show their joy and work off
their excitement in dances and songs. The dance consists of the men
standing nearly naked in a circle, with clubs or small battle-axes in
their hands, and each roaring at the loudest pitch of his voice, while
they simultaneously lift one leg, stamp heavily twice with it, then lift
the other and give one stamp with that; this is the only movement
in common. The arms and head are often thrown about also in every
direction; and all this time the roaring is kept up with the utmost
possible vigor; the continued stamping makes a cloud of dust ascend, and
they leave a deep ring in the ground where they stood. If the scene were
witnessed in a lunatic asylum it would be nothing out of the way,
and quite appropriate even, as a means of letting off the excessive
excitement of the brain; but here gray-headed men joined in the
performance with as much zest as others whose youth might be an excuse
for making the perspiration stream off their bodies with the exertion.
Motibe asked what I thought of the Makololo dance. I replied, "It is
very hard work, and brings but small profit." "It is," replied he, "but
it is very nice, and Sekeletu will give us an ox for dancing for him."
He usually does slaughter an ox for the dancers when the work is over.

The women stand by, clapping their hands, and occasionally one advances
into the circle, composed of a hundred men, makes a few movements,
and then retires. As I never tried it, and am unable to enter into
the spirit of the thing, I can not recommend the Makololo polka to the
dancing world, but I have the authority of no less a person than Motibe,
Sekeletu's father-in-law, for saying "it is very nice." They often asked
if white people ever danced. I thought of the disease called St. Vitus's
dance, but could not say that all our dancers were affected by it, and
gave an answer which, I ought to be ashamed to own, did not raise some
of our young countrywomen in the estimation of the Makololo.

As Sekeletu had been waiting for me at his mother's, we left the town
as soon as I arrived, and proceeded down the river. Our speed with the
stream was very great, for in one day we went from Litofe to Gonye,
a distance of forty-four miles of latitude; and if we add to this the
windings of the river, in longitude the distance will not be much less
than sixty geographical miles. At this rate we soon reached Sesheke, and
then the town of Linyanti.

I had been, during a nine weeks' tour, in closer contact with heathenism
than I had ever been before; and though all, including the chief, were
as kind and attentive to me as possible, and there was no want of
food (oxen being slaughtered daily, sometimes ten at a time, more than
sufficient for the wants of all), yet to endure the dancing, roaring,
and singing, the jesting, anecdotes, grumbling, quarreling, and
murdering of these children of nature, seemed more like a severe penance
than any thing I had before met with in the course of my missionary
duties. I took thence a more intense disgust at heathenism than I had
before, and formed a greatly elevated opinion of the latent effects of
missions in the south, among tribes which are reported to have been
as savage as the Makololo. The indirect benefits which, to a casual
observer, lie beneath the surface and are inappreciable, in reference
to the probable wide diffusion of Christianity at some future time, are
worth all the money and labor that have been expended to produce them.

Chapter 13.

Preliminary Arrangements for the Journey--A Picho--Twenty-seven Men
appointed to accompany me to the West--Eagerness of the Makololo for
direct Trade with the Coast--Effects of Fever--A Makololo Question--The
lost Journal--Reflections--The Outfit for the Journey--11th
November, 1853, leave Linyanti, and embark on the Chobe--Dangerous
Hippopotami--Banks of Chobe--Trees--The Course of the River--The
Island Mparia at the Confluence of the Chobe and the Leeambye--
Anecdote--Ascend the Leeambye--A Makalaka Mother defies the Authority of
the Makololo Head Man at Sesheke--Punishment of Thieves--Observance
of the new Moon--Public Addresses at Sesheke--Attention of the
People--Results--Proceed up the River--The Fruit which yields 'Nux
vomica'--Other Fruits--The Rapids--Birds--Fish--Hippopotami and their

Linyanti, SEPTEMBER, 1853. The object proposed to the Makololo seemed so
desirable that it was resolved to proceed with it as soon as the cooling
influence of the rains should be felt in November. The longitude and
latitude of Linyanti (lat. 18d 17' 20" S., long. 23d 50' 9" E.) showed
that St. Philip de Benguela was much nearer to us than Loanda; and I
might have easily made arrangements with the Mambari to allow me to
accompany them as far as Bihe, which is on the road to that port; but it
is so undesirable to travel in a path once trodden by slave-traders that
I preferred to find out another line of march.

Accordingly, men were sent at my suggestion to examine all the country
to the west, to see if any belt of country free from tsetse could be
found to afford us an outlet. The search was fruitless. The town
and district of Linyanti are surrounded by forests infested by this
poisonous insect, except at a few points, as that by which we entered
at Sanshureh and another at Sesheke. But the lands both east and west of
the Barotse valley are free from this insect plague. There, however, the
slave-trade had defiled the path, and no one ought to follow in its wake
unless well armed. The Mambari had informed me that many English lived
at Loanda, so I prepared to go thither. The prospect of meeting with
countrymen seemed to overbalance the toils of the longer march.

A "picho" was called to deliberate on the steps proposed. In these
assemblies great freedom of speech is allowed; and on this occasion one
of the old diviners said, "Where is he taking you to? This white man is
throwing you away. Your garments already smell of blood." It is curious
to observe how much identity of character appears all over the world.
This man was a noted croaker. He always dreamed something dreadful in
every expedition, and was certain that an eclipse or comet betokened
the propriety of flight. But Sebituane formerly set his visions down to
cowardice, and Sekeletu only laughed at him now. The general voice was
in my favor; so a band of twenty-seven were appointed to accompany me to
the west. These men were not hired, but sent to enable me to accomplish
an object as much desired by the chief and most of his people as by me.
They were eager to obtain free and profitable trade with white men. The
prices which the Cape merchants could give, after defraying the great
expenses of a long journey hither, being very small, made it scarce
worth while for the natives to collect produce for that market; and the
Mambari, giving only a few bits of print and baize for elephants' tusks
worth more pounds than they gave yards of cloth, had produced the belief
that trade with them was throwing ivory away. The desire of the Makololo
for direct trade with the sea-coast coincided exactly with my own
conviction that no permanent elevation of a people can be effected
without commerce. Neither could there be a permanent mission here,
unless the missionaries should descend to the level of the Makololo, for
even at Kolobeng we found that traders demanded three or four times the
price of the articles we needed, and expected us to be grateful to them
besides for letting us have them at all.

The three men whom I had brought from Kuruman had frequent relapses of
the fever; so, finding that instead of serving me I had to wait on them,
I decided that they should return to the south with Fleming as soon
as he had finished his trading. I was then entirely dependent on my
twenty-seven men, whom I might name Zambesians, for there were two
Makololo only, while the rest consisted of Barotse, Batoka, Bashubia,
and two of the Ambonda.

The fever had caused considerable weakness in my own frame, and a
strange giddiness when I looked up suddenly to any celestial object, for
every thing seemed to rush to the left, and if I did not catch hold of
some object, I fell heavily on the ground: something resembling a gush
of bile along the duct from the liver caused the same fit to occur at
night, whenever I turned suddenly round.

The Makololo now put the question, "In the event of your death, will
not the white people blame us for having allowed you to go away into
an unhealthy, unknown country of enemies?" I replied that none of my
friends would blame them, because I would leave a book with Sekeletu, to
be sent to Mr. Moffat in case I did not return, which would explain to
him all that had happened until the time of my departure. The book was
a volume of my Journal; and, as I was detained longer than I expected at
Loanda, this book, with a letter, was delivered by Sekeletu to a trader,
and I have been unable to trace it. I regret this now, as it contained
valuable notes on the habits of wild animals, and the request was made
in the letter to convey the volume to my family. The prospect of passing
away from this fair and beautiful world thus came before me in a pretty
plain, matter-of-fact form, and it did seem a serious thing to leave
wife and children--to break up all connection with earth, and enter on
an untried state of existence; and I find myself in my journal pondering
over that fearful migration which lands us in eternity, wondering
whether an angel will soothe the fluttering soul, sadly flurried as it
must be on entering the spirit world, and hoping that Jesus might
speak but one word of peace, for that would establish in the bosom an
everlasting calm. But as I had always believed that, if we serve God
at all, it ought to be done in a manly way, I wrote to my brother,
commending our little girl to his care, as I was determined to "succeed
or perish" in the attempt to open up this part of Africa. The Boers, by
taking possession of all my goods, had saved me the trouble of making
a will; and, considering the light heart now left in my bosom, and some
faint efforts to perform the duty of Christian forgiveness, I felt that
it was better to be the plundered party than one of the plunderers.

When I committed the wagon and remaining goods to the care of the
Makololo, they took all the articles except one box into their huts;
and two warriors, Ponuane and Mahale, brought forward each a fine heifer
calf. After performing a number of warlike evolutions, they asked the
chief to witness the agreement made between them, that whoever of the
two should kill a Matebele warrior first, in defense of the wagon,
should possess both the calves.

I had three muskets for my people, a rifle and double-barreled
smooth-bore for myself; and, having seen such great abundance of game in
my visit to the Leeba, I imagined that I could easily supply the wants
of my party. Wishing also to avoid the discouragement which would
naturally be felt on meeting any obstacles if my companions were obliged
to carry heavy loads, I took only a few biscuits, a few pounds of tea
and sugar, and about twenty of coffee, which, as the Arabs find, though
used without either milk or sugar, is a most refreshing beverage after
fatigue or exposure to the sun. We carried one small tin canister, about
fifteen inches square, filled with spare shirting, trowsers, and shoes,
to be used when we reached civilized life, and others in a bag, which
were expected to wear out on the way; another of the same size for
medicines; and a third for books, my stock being a Nautical Almanac,
Thomson's Logarithm Tables, and a Bible; a fourth box contained a magic
lantern, which we found of much use. The sextant and artificial horizon,
thermometer, and compasses were carried apart. My ammunition was
distributed in portions through the whole luggage, so that, if an
accident should befall one part, we could still have others to fall back
upon. Our chief hopes for food were upon that; but in case of failure,
I took about 20 lbs. of beads, worth 40s., which still remained of the
stock I brought from Cape Town, a small gipsy tent, just sufficient to
sleep in, a sheep-skin mantle as a blanket, and a horse-rug as a bed. As
I had always found that the art of successful travel consisted in taking
as few "impedimenta" as possible, and not forgetting to carry my wits
about me, the outfit was rather spare, and intended to be still more
so when we should come to leave the canoes. Some would consider it
injudicious to adopt this plan, but I had a secret conviction that if
I did not succeed, it would not be for want of the "knick-knacks"
advertised as indispensable for travelers, but from want of "pluck",
or because a large array of baggage excited the cupidity of the tribes
through whose country we wished to pass.

The instruments I carried, though few, were the best of their kind.
A sextant, by the famed makers Troughton and Sims, of Fleet Street;
a chronometer watch, with a stop to the seconds hand--an admirable
contrivance for enabling a person to take the exact time of
observations: it was constructed by Dent, of the Strand (61), for
the Royal Geographical Society, and selected for the service by the
President, Admiral Smythe, to whose judgment and kindness I am in this
and other matters deeply indebted. It was pronounced by Mr. Maclear to
equal most chronometers in performance. For these excellent instruments
I have much pleasure in recording my obligations to my good friend
Colonel Steele, and at the same time to Mr. Maclear for much of my
ability to use them. Besides these, I had a thermometer by Dollond; a
compass from the Cape Observatory, and a small pocket one in addition; a
good small telescope with a stand capable of being screwed into a tree.

11TH OF NOVEMBER, 1853. Left the town of Linyanti, accompanied by
Sekeletu and his principal men, to embark on the Chobe. The chief came
to the river in order to see that all was right at parting. We crossed
five branches of the Chobe before reaching the main stream: this
ramification must be the reason why it appeared so small to Mr. Oswell
and myself in 1851. When all the departing branches re-enter, it is
a large, deep river. The spot of embarkation was the identical island
where we met Sebituane, first known as the island of Maunku, one of
his wives. The chief lent me his own canoe, and, as it was broader than
usual, I could turn about in it with ease.

The Chobe is much infested by hippopotami, and, as certain elderly
males are expelled the herd, they become soured in their temper, and so
misanthropic as to attack every canoe that passes near them. The herd
is never dangerous, except when a canoe passes into the midst of it
when all are asleep, and some of them may strike the canoe in terror. To
avoid this, it is generally recommended to travel by day near the bank,
and by night in the middle of the stream. As a rule, these animals
flee the approach of man. The "solitaires", however, frequent certain
localities well known to the inhabitants on the banks, and, like the
rogue elephants, are extremely dangerous. We came, at this time, to a
canoe which had been smashed to pieces by a blow from the hind foot of
one of them. I was informed by my men that, in the event of a similar
assault being made upon ours, the proper way was to dive to the
bottom of the river, and hold on there for a few seconds, because the
hippopotamus, after breaking a canoe, always looks for the people on
the surface, and, if he sees none, he soon moves off. I have seen
some frightful gashes made on the legs of the people who have had the
misfortune to be attacked, and were unable to dive. This animal uses his
teeth as an offensive weapon, though he is quite a herbivorous feeder.
One of these "bachelors", living near the confluence, actually came out
of his lair, and, putting his head down, ran after some of our men who
were passing with very considerable speed.

The part of the river called Zabesa, or Zabenza, is spread out like a
little lake, surrounded on all sides by dense masses of tall reeds. The
river below that is always one hundred or one hundred and twenty yards
broad, deep, and never dries up so much as to become fordable. At
certain parts, where the partial absence of reeds affords a view of the
opposite banks, the Makololo have placed villages of observation against
their enemies the Matebele. We visited all these in succession, and
found here, as every where in the Makololo country, orders had preceded
us, "that Nake (nyake means doctor) must not be allowed to become

The banks of the Chobe, like those of the Zouga, are of soft calcareous
tufa, and the river has cut out for itself a deep, perpendicular-sided
bed. Where the banks are high, as at the spot where the wagons stood in
1851, they are covered with magnificent trees, the habitat of tsetse,
and the retreat of various antelopes, wild hogs, zebras, buffaloes, and

Among the trees may be observed some species of the 'Ficus Indica',
light-green colored acacias, the splendid motsintsela, and evergreen
cypress-shaped motsouri. The fruit of the last-named was ripe, and the
villagers presented many dishes of its beautiful pink-colored plums;
they are used chiefly to form a pleasant acid drink. The motsintsela is
a very lofty tree, yielding a wood of which good canoes are made;
the fruit is nutritious and good, but, like many wild fruits of this
country, the fleshy parts require to be enlarged by cultivation: it is
nearly all stone.

The course of the river we found to be extremely tortuous; so much so,
indeed, as to carry us to all points of the compass every dozen miles.
Some of us walked from a bend at the village of Moremi to another nearly
due east of that point, in six hours, while the canoes, going at more
than double our speed, took twelve to accomplish the voyage between the
same two places. And though the river is from thirteen to fifteen feet
in depth at its lowest ebb, and broad enough to allow a steamer to ply
upon it, the suddenness of the bendings would prevent navigation;
but, should the country ever become civilized, the Chobe would be a
convenient natural canal. We spent forty-two and a half hours, paddling
at the rate of five miles an hour, in coming from Linyanti to the
confluence; there we found a dike of amygdaloid lying across the

This amygdaloid with analami and mesotype contains crystals, which
the water gradually dissolves, leaving the rock with a worm-eaten
appearance. It is curious to observe that the water flowing over certain
rocks, as in this instance, imbibes an appreciable, though necessarily
most minute, portion of the minerals they contain. The water of the
Chobe up to this point is of a dark mossy hue, but here it suddenly
assumes a lighter tint; and wherever this light color shows a greater
amount of mineral, there are not mosquitoes enough to cause serious
annoyance to any except persons of very irritable temperaments.

The large island called Mparia stands at the confluence. This is
composed of trap (zeolite, probably mesotype) of a younger age than the
deep stratum of tufa in which the Chobe has formed its bed, for, at
the point where they come together, the tufa has been transformed into
saccharoid limestone.

The actual point of confluence of these two rivers, the Chobe and the
Leeambye, is ill defined, on account of each dividing into several
branches as they inosculate; but when the whole body of water collects
into one bed, it is a goodly sight for one who has spent many years
in the thirsty south. Standing on one bank, even the keen eye of the
natives can not detect whether two large islands, a few miles east of
the junction, are main land or not. During a flight in former years,
when the present chief Sekomi was a child in his mother's arms, the
Bamangwato men were separated from their women, and inveigled on to
one of these islands by the Makalaka chief of Mparia, on pretense of
ferrying them across the Leeambye. They were left to perish after seeing
their wives taken prisoners by these cruel lords of the Leeambye, and
Sekomi owed his life to the compassion of one of the Bayeiye, who,
pitying the young chieftain, enabled his mother to make her escape by

After spending one night at the Makololo village on Mparia, we left the
Chobe, and, turning round, began to ascend the Leeambye; on the 19th of
November we again reached the town of Sesheke. It stands on the north
bank of the river, and contains a large population of Makalaka, under
Moriantsane, brother-in-law of Sebituane. There are parties of various
tribes here, assembled under their respective head men, but a few
Makololo rule over all. Their sway, though essentially despotic, is
considerably modified by certain customs and laws. One of the Makalaka
had speared an ox belonging to one of the Makololo, and, being unable to
extract the spear, was thereby discovered to be the perpetrator of the
deed. His object had been to get a share of the meat, as Moriantsane is
known to be liberal with any food that comes into his hands. The culprit
was bound hand and foot, and placed in the sun to force him to pay a
fine, but he continued to deny his guilt. His mother, believing in
the innocence of her son, now came forward, with her hoe in hand, and,
threatening to cut down any one who should dare to interfere, untied the
cords with which he had been bound and took him home. This open defiance
of authority was not resented by Moriantsane, but referred to Sekeletu
at Linyanti.

The following circumstance, which happened here when I was present
with Sekeletu, shows that the simple mode of punishment, by forcing a
criminal to work out a fine, did not strike the Makololo mind until now.

A stranger having visited Sesheke for the purpose of barter, was robbed
by one of the Makalaka of most of his goods. The thief, when caught,
confessed the theft, and that he had given the articles to a person who
had removed to a distance. The Makololo were much enraged at the idea of
their good name being compromised by this treatment of a stranger. Their
customary mode of punishing a crime which causes much indignation is to
throw the criminal into the river; but, as this would not restore
the lost property, they were sorely puzzled how to act. The case was
referred to me, and I solved the difficulty by paying for the loss
myself, and sentencing the thief to work out an equivalent with his hoe
in a garden. This system was immediately introduced, and thieves are
now sentenced to raise an amount of corn proportioned to their offenses.
Among the Bakwains, a woman who had stolen from the garden of another
was obliged to part with her own entirely: it became the property of her
whose field was injured by the crime.

There is no stated day of rest in any part of this country, except the
day after the appearance of the new moon, and the people then refrain
only from going to their gardens. A curious custom, not to be found
among the Bechuanas, prevails among the black tribes beyond them. They
watch most eagerly for the first glimpse of the new moon, and, when they
perceive the faint outline after the sun has set deep in the west, they
utter a loud shout of "Kua!" and vociferate prayers to it. My men, for
instance, called out, "Let our journey with the white man be prosperous!
Let our enemies perish, and the children of Nake become rich! May he
have plenty of meat on this journey!" etc., etc.

I gave many public addresses to the people of Sesheke under the
outspreading camel-thorn-tree, which serves as a shade to the kotla on
the high bank of the river. It was pleasant to see the long lines of
men, women, and children winding along from different quarters of the
town, each party following behind their respective head men. They often
amounted to between five and six hundred souls, and required an exertion
of voice which brought back the complaint for which I had got the uvula
excised at the Cape. They were always very attentive; and Moriantsane,
in order, as he thought, to please me, on one occasion rose up in the
middle of the discourse, and hurled his staff at the heads of some young
fellows whom he saw working with a skin instead of listening. My hearers
sometimes put very sensible questions on the subjects brought before
them; at other times they introduced the most frivolous nonsense
immediately after hearing the most solemn truths. Some begin to pray to
Jesus in secret as soon as they hear of the white man's God, with but
little idea of what they are about; and no doubt are heard by Him who,
like a father, pitieth his children. Others, waking by night, recollect
what has been said about the future world so clearly that they tell
next day what a fright they got by it, and resolve not to listen to the
teaching again; and not a few keep to the determination not to believe,
as certain villagers in the south, who put all their cocks to death
because they crowed the words, "Tlang lo rapeleng"--"Come along to

On recovering partially from a severe attack of fever which remained
upon me ever since our passing the village of Moremi on the Chobe, we
made ready for our departure up the river by sending messages before
us to the villages to prepare food. We took four elephants' tusks,
belonging to Sekeletu, with us, as a means of testing the difference of
prices between the Portuguese, whom we expected to reach, and the white
traders from the south. Moriantsane supplied us well with honey, milk,
and meal. The rains were just commencing in this district; but, though
showers sufficient to lay the dust had fallen, they had no influence
whatever on the amount of water in the river, yet never was there less
in any part than three hundred yards of a deep flowing stream.

Our progress up the river was rather slow; this was caused by waiting
opposite different villages for supplies of food. We might have done
with much less than we got; but my Makololo man, Pitsane, knew of the
generous orders of Sekeletu, and was not at all disposed to allow them
to remain a dead letter. The villages of the Banyeti contributed large
quantities of mosibe, a bright red bean yielded by a large tree. The
pulp inclosing the seed is not much thicker than a red wafer, and is
the portion used. It requires the addition of honey to render it at all

To these were added great numbers of the fruit which yields a variety of
the nux vomica, from which we derive that virulent poison strychnia. The
pulp between the nuts is the part eaten, and it is of a pleasant juicy
nature, having a sweet acidulous taste. The fruit itself resembles a
large yellow orange, but the rind is hard, and, with the pips and bark,
contains much of the deadly poison. They evince their noxious qualities
by an intensely bitter taste. The nuts, swallowed inadvertently, cause
considerable pain, but not death; and to avoid this inconvenience, the
people dry the pulp before the fire, in order to be able the more easily
to get rid of the noxious seeds.

A much better fruit, called mobola, was also presented to us. This
bears, around a pretty large stone, as much of the fleshy part as the
common date, and it is stripped off the seeds and preserved in bags in
a similar manner to that fruit. Besides sweetness, the mobola has the
flavor of strawberries, with a touch of nauseousness. We carried some of
them, dried as provisions, more than a hundred miles from this spot.

The next fruit, named mamosho (mother of morning), is the most delicious
of all. It is about the size of a walnut, and, unlike most of the other
uncultivated fruits, has a seed no larger than that of a date. The
fleshy part is juicy, and somewhat like the cashew-apple, with a
pleasant acidity added. Fruits similar to those which are here found
on trees are found on the plains of the Kalahari, growing on mere
herbaceous plants. There are several other examples of a similar nature.
Shrubs, well known as such in the south, assume the rank of trees as
we go to the north; and the change is quite gradual as our latitude
decreases, the gradations being herbaceous plants, shrubs, bushes,
small, then large trees. But it is questionable if, in the cases of
mamosho, mobola, and mawa, the tree and shrub are identical, though the
fruits so closely resemble each other; for I found both the dwarf and
tree in the same latitude. There is also a difference in the leaves, and
they bear at different seasons.

The banks of the river were at this time appearing to greater advantage
than before. Many trees were putting on their fresh green leaves, though
they had got no rain, their lighter green contrasting beautifully with
the dark motsouri, or moyela, now covered with pink plums as large
as cherries. The rapids, having comparatively little water in them,
rendered our passage difficult. The canoes must never be allowed to come
broadside on to the stream, for, being flat-bottomed, they would, in
that case, be at once capsized, and every thing in them be lost. The men
work admirably, and are always in good humor; they leap into the water
without the least hesitation, to save the canoe from being caught by
eddies or dashed against the rocks. Many parts were now quite shallow,
and it required great address and power in balancing themselves to keep
the vessel free from rocks, which lay just beneath the surface. We might
have got deeper water in the middle, but the boatmen always keep near
the banks, on account of danger from the hippopotami. But, though we
might have had deeper water farther out, I believe that no part of the
rapids is very deep. The river is spread out more than a mile, and
the water flows rapidly over the rocky bottom. The portions only three
hundred yards wide are very deep, and contain large volumes of flowing
water in narrow compass, which, when spread over the much larger surface
at the rapids, must be shallow. Still, remembering that this was the end
of the dry season, when such rivers as the Orange do not even contain a
fifth part of the water of the Chobe, the difference between the rivers
of the north and south must be sufficiently obvious.

The rapids are caused by rocks of dark brown trap, or of hardened
sandstone, stretching across the stream. In some places they form miles
of flat rocky bottom, with islets covered with trees. At the cataracts
noted in the map, the fall is from four to six feet, and, in guiding up
the canoe, the stem goes under the water, and takes in a quantity before
it can attain the higher level. We lost many of our biscuits in the
ascent through this.

These rocks are covered with a small, hard aquatic plant, which, when
the surface is exposed, becomes dry and crisp, crackling under the foot
as if it contained much stony matter in its tissue. It probably assists
in disintegrating the rocks; for, in parts so high as not to be much
exposed to the action of the water or the influence of the plant, the
rocks are covered with a thin black glaze.

In passing along under the overhanging trees of the banks, we often
saw the pretty turtle-doves sitting peacefully on their nests above the
roaring torrent. An ibis* had perched her home on the end of a stump.
Her loud, harsh scream of "Wa-wa-wa", and the piping of the fish-hawk,
are sounds which can never be forgotten by any one who has sailed on
the rivers north of 20 Deg. south. If we step on shore, the 'Charadrius
caruncula', a species of plover, a most plaguy sort of "public-spirited
individual", follows you, flying overhead, and is most persevering in
its attempts to give fair warning to all the animals within hearing to
flee from the approaching danger. The alarm-note, "tinc-tinc-tinc", of
another variety of the same family ('Pluvianus armatus' of Burchell) has
so much of a metallic ring, that this bird is called "setula-tsipi", or
hammering-iron. It is furnished with a sharp spur on its shoulder, much
like that on the heel of a cock, but scarcely half an inch in length.
Conscious of power, it may be seen chasing the white-necked raven with
great fury, and making even that comparatively large bird call out
from fear. It is this bird which is famed for its friendship with the
crocodile of the Nile by the name 'siksak', and which Mr. St. John
actually saw performing the part of toothpicker to the ugly reptile.
They are frequently seen on the sand-banks with the alligator, and, to
one passing by, often appear as if on that reptile's back; but I never
had the good fortune to witness the operation described not only by
St. John and Geoffrey St. Hilaire, but also by Herodotus. However, that
which none of these authors knew my head boatman, Mashauana, stopped the
canoe to tell us, namely, that a water-turtle which, in trying to ascend
a steep bank to lay her eggs, had toppled on her back, thus enabling us
to capture her, was an infallible omen of good luck for our journey.

   * The 'Hagidash', Latham; or 'Tantalus capensis' of Lich.

Among the forest-trees which line the banks of the rocky parts of the
Leeambye several new birds were observed. Some are musical, and the
songs are pleasant in contrast with the harsh voice of the little green,
yellow-shouldered parrots of the country. There are also great numbers
of jet-black weavers, with yellowish-brown band on the shoulders.

Here we saw, for the first time, a pretty little bird, colored dark
blue, except the wings and tail, which were of a chocolate hue. From the
tail two feathers are prolonged beyond the rest six inches. Also,
little birds colored white and black, of great vivacity, and always in
companies of six or eight together, and various others. From want of
books of reference, I could not decide whether they were actually new to

Francolins and Guinea-fowl abound along the banks; and on every dead
tree and piece of rock may be seen one or two species of the web-footed
'Plotus', darter, or snake-bird. They sit most of the day sunning
themselves over the stream, sometimes standing erect with their wings
outstretched; occasionally they may be seen engaged in fishing by
diving, and, as they swim about, their bodies are so much submerged that
hardly any thing appears above the water but their necks. The chief time
of feeding is by night, and, as the sun declines, they may be seen in
flocks flying from their roosting-places to the fishing-grounds. This is
a most difficult bird to catch when disabled. It is thoroughly expert
in diving--goes down so adroitly and comes up again in the most unlikely
places, that the people, though most skillful in the management of the
canoes, can rarely secure them. The rump of the darter is remarkably
prolonged, and capable of being bent, so as to act both as a rudder in
swimming, and as a lever to lift the bird high enough out of the water
to give free scope to its wings. It can rise at will from the water by
means of this appendage.

The fine fish-hawk, with white head and neck, and reddish-chocolate
colored body, may also frequently be seen perched on the trees, and fish
are often found dead which have fallen victims to its talons. One most
frequently seen in this condition is itself a destroyer of fish. It is
a stout-bodied fish, about fifteen or eighteen inches long, of a light
yellow color, and gayly ornamented with stripes and spots. It has a
most imposing array of sharp, conical teeth outside the lips--objects
of dread to the fisherman, for it can use them effectually. One which
we picked up dead had killed itself by swallowing another fish, which,
though too large for its stomach and throat, could not be disgorged.

This fish-hawk generally kills more prey than it can devour. It eats a
portion of the back of the fish, and leaves the rest for the Barotse,
who often had a race across the river when they saw an abandoned morsel
lying on the opposite sand-banks. The hawk is, however, not always so
generous, for, as I myself was a witness on the Zouga, it sometimes
plunders the purse of the pelican. Soaring over head, and seeing this
large, stupid bird fishing beneath, it watches till a fine fish is safe
in the pelican's pouch; then descending, not very quickly, but with
considerable noise of wing, the pelican looks up to see what is the
matter, and, as the hawk comes near, he supposes that he is about to
be killed, and roars out "Murder!" The opening of his mouth enables the
hawk to whisk the fish out of the pouch, upon which the pelican does not
fly away, but commences fishing again, the fright having probably made
him forget he had any thing in his purse.

A fish called mosheba, about the size of a minnow, often skims along the
surface for several yards, in order to get out of the way of the canoe.
It uses the pectoral fins, as the flying-fish do, but never makes a
clean flight. It is rather a succession of hops along the surface, made
by the aid of the side fins. It never becomes large.

Numbers of iguanos (mpulu) sit sunning themselves on overhanging
branches of the trees, and splash into the water as we approach. They
are highly esteemed as an article of food, the flesh being tender and
gelatinous. The chief boatman, who occupies the stem, has in consequence
a light javelin always at hand to spear them if they are not quickly out
of sight. These, and large alligators gliding in from the banks with
a heavy plunge as we come round a sudden bend of the stream, were the
occurrences of every hour as we sped up the river.

The rapids in the part of the river between Katima-molelo and Nameta
are relieved by several reaches of still, deep water, fifteen or twenty
miles long. In these very large herds of hippopotami are seen, and
the deep furrows they make, in ascending the banks to graze during the
nights, are every where apparent. They are guided back to the water by
the scent, but a long continued pouring rain makes it impossible for
them to perceive, by that means, in which direction the river lies, and
they are found bewildered on the land. The hunters take advantage of
their helplessness on these occasions to kill them.

It is impossible to judge of the numbers in a herd, for they are almost
always hidden beneath the waters; but as they require to come up every
few minutes to breathe, when there is a constant succession of heads
thrown up, then the herd is supposed to be large. They love a still
reach of the stream, as in the more rapid parts of the channel they are
floated down so quickly that much exertion is necessary to regain the
distance lost by frequently swimming up again: such constant exertion
disturbs them in their nap. They prefer to remain by day in a drowsy,
yawning state, and, though their eyes are open, they take little notice
of things at a distance. The males utter a loud succession of snorting
grunts, which may be heard a mile off. The canoe in which I was, in
passing over a wounded one, elicited a distinct grunting, though the
animal lay entirely under water.

The young, when very little, take their stand on the neck of the
dam, and the small head, rising above the large, comes soonest to the
surface. The dam, knowing the more urgent need of her calf, comes more
frequently to the surface when it is in her care. But in the rivers
of Londa, where they are much in danger of being shot, even the
hippopotamus gains wit by experience; for, while those in the Zambesi
put up their heads openly to blow, those referred to keep their noses
among water-plants, and breathe so quietly that one would not dream of
their existence in the river except by footprints on the banks.

Chapter 14.

Increasing Beauty of the Country--Mode of spending the Day--The People
and the Falls of Gonye--A Makololo Foray--A second prevented, and
Captives delivered up--Politeness and Liberality of the People--
The Rains--Present of Oxen--The fugitive Barotse--Sekobinyane's
Misgovernment--Bee-eaters and other Birds--Fresh-water
Sponges--Current--Death from a Lion's Bite at Libonta--Continued
Kindness--Arrangements for spending the Night during the
Journey--Cooking and Washing--Abundance of animal Life--Different
Species of Birds--Water-fowl--Egyptian Geese--Alligators--Narrow Escape
of one of my Men--Superstitious Feelings respecting the Alligator--Large
Game--The most vulnerable Spot--Gun Medicine--A Sunday--Birds of
Song--Depravity; its Treatment--Wild Fruits--Green Pigeons--Shoals of

30TH OF NOVEMBER, 1853. At Gonye Falls. No rain has fallen here, so it
is excessively hot. The trees have put on their gayest dress, and many
flowers adorn the landscape, yet the heat makes all the leaves droop at
midday and look languid for want of rain. If the country increases as
much in beauty in front as it has done within the last four degrees of
latitude, it will be indeed a lovely land.

We all felt great lassitude in traveling. The atmosphere is oppressive
both in cloud and sunshine. The evaporation from the river must be
excessively great, and I feel as if the fluids of the system joined in
the general motion of watery vapor upward, as enormous quantities of
water must be drunk to supply its place.

When under way our usual procedure is this: We get up a little before
five in the morning; it is then beginning to dawn. While I am dressing,
coffee is made; and, having filled my pannikin, the remainder is handed
to my companions, who eagerly partake of the refreshing beverage.
The servants are busy loading the canoes, while the principal men are
sipping the coffee, and, that being soon over, we embark. The next two
hours are the most pleasant part of the day's sail. The men paddle away
most vigorously; the Barotse, being a tribe of boatmen, have large,
deeply-developed chests and shoulders, with indifferent lower
extremities. They often engage in loud scolding of each other in order
to relieve the tedium of their work. About eleven we land, and eat
any meat which may have remained from the previous evening meal, or a
biscuit with honey, and drink water.

After an hour's rest we again embark and cower under an umbrella. The
heat is oppressive, and, being weak from the last attack of fever, I
can not land and keep the camp supplied with flesh. The men, being quite
uncovered in the sun, perspire profusely, and in the afternoon begin
to stop, as if waiting for the canoes which have been left behind.
Sometimes we reach a sleeping-place two hours before sunset, and, all
being troubled with languor, we gladly remain for the night. Coffee
again, and a biscuit, or a piece of coarse bread made of maize meal,
or that of the native corn, make up the bill of fare for the evening,
unless we have been fortunate enough to kill something, when we boil
a potful of flesh. This is done by cutting it up into long strips and
pouring in water till it is covered. When that is boiled dry, the meat
is considered ready.

The people at Gonye carry the canoes over the space requisite to avoid
the falls by slinging them on poles tied on diagonally. They place these
on their shoulders, and, setting about the work with good humor, soon
accomplish the task. They are a merry set of mortals; a feeble joke sets
them off in a fit of laughter. Here, as elsewhere, all petitioned for
the magic lantern, and, as it is a good means of conveying instruction,
I willingly complied.

The falls of Gonye have not been made by wearing back, like those of
Niagara, but are of a fissure form. For many miles below, the river is
confined in a narrow space of not more than one hundred yards wide.
The water goes boiling along, and gives the idea of great masses of it
rolling over and over, so that even the most expert swimmer would find
it difficult to keep on the surface. Here it is that the river, when in
flood, rises fifty or sixty feet in perpendicular height. The islands
above the falls are covered with foliage as beautiful as can be seen
any where. Viewed from the mass of rock which overhangs the fall, the
scenery was the loveliest I had seen.

Nothing worthy of note occurred on our way up to Nameta. There we heard
that a party of the Makololo, headed by Lerimo, had made a foray to the
north and up the Leeba, in the very direction in which we were about to
proceed. Mpololo, the uncle of Sekeletu, is considered the head man of
the Barotse valley; and the perpetrators had his full sanction, because
Masiko, a son of Santuru, the former chief of the Barotse, had fled high
up the Leeambye, and, establishing himself there, had sent men down to
the vicinity of Naliele to draw away the remaining Barotse from their
allegiance. Lerimo's party had taken some of this Masiko's subjects
prisoners, and destroyed several villages of the Balonda, to whom we
were going. This was in direct opposition to the policy of Sekeletu, who
wished to be at peace with these northern tribes; and Pitsane, my head
man, was the bearer of orders to Mpololo to furnish us with presents
for the very chiefs they had attacked. Thus we were to get large pots of
clarified butter and bunches of beads, in confirmation of the message of
peace we were to deliver.

When we reached Litofe, we heard that a fresh foray was in
contemplation, but I sent forward orders to disband the party
immediately. At Ma-Sekeletu's town we found the head offender, Mpololo
himself, and I gave him a bit of my mind, to the effect that, as I was
going with the full sanction of Sekeletu, if any harm happened to me
in consequence of his ill-advised expedition, the guilt would rest with
him. Ma-Sekeletu, who was present, heartily approved all I said, and
suggested that all the captives taken by Lerimo should be returned by
my hand, to show Masiko that the guilt of the foray lay not with the
superior persons of the Makololo, but with a mere servant. Her good
sense appeared in other respects besides, and, as this was exactly what
my own party had previously resolved to suggest, we were pleased to hear
Mpololo agree to do what he was advised. He asked me to lay the matter
before the under-chiefs of Naliele, and when we reached that place,
on the 9th of December, I did so in a picho, called expressly for
the purpose. Lerimo was present, and felt rather crestfallen when his
exploit was described by Mohorisi, one of my companions, as one of
extreme cowardice, he having made an attack upon the defenseless
villagers of Londa, while, as we had found on our former visit, a
lion had actually killed eight people of Naliele without his daring to
encounter it. The Makololo are cowardly in respect to animals, but brave
against men. Mpololo took all the guilt upon himself before the people,
and delivered up a captive child whom his wife had in her possession;
others followed his example, till we procured the release of five of the
prisoners. Some thought, as Masiko had tried to take their children by
stratagem, they ought to take his by force, as the two modes suited the
genius of each people--the Makalaka delight in cunning, and the Makololo
in fighting; and others thought, if Sekeletu meant them to be at peace
with Masiko, he ought to have told them so.

It is rather dangerous to tread in the footsteps of a marauding party
with men of the same tribe as the aggressors, but my people were in
good spirits, and several volunteers even offered to join our ranks.
We, however, adhered strictly to the orders of Sekeletu as to our
companions, and refused all others.

The people of every village treated us most liberally, presenting,
besides oxen, butter, milk, and meal, more than we could stow away in
our canoes. The cows in this valley are now yielding, as they frequently
do, more milk than the people can use, and both men and women present
butter in such quantity that I shall be able to refresh my men as we
move along. Anointing the skin prevents the excessive evaporation of
the fluids of the body, and acts as clothing in both sun and shade. They
always made their presents gracefully. When an ox was given, the owner
would say, "Here is a little bit of bread for you." This was pleasing,
for I had been accustomed to the Bechuanas presenting a miserable goat,
with the pompous exclamation, "Behold an ox!" The women persisted in
giving me copious supplies of shrill praises, or "lullilooing"; but,
though I frequently told them to modify their "great lords" and "great
lions" to more humble expressions, they so evidently intended to do
me honor that I could not help being pleased with the poor creatures'
wishes for our success.

The rains began while we were at Naliele; this is much later than usual;
but, though the Barotse valley has been in need of rain, the people
never lack abundance of food. The showers are refreshing, but the air
feels hot and close; the thermometer, however, in a cool hut, stands
only at 84 Deg. The access of the external air to any spot at once
raises its temperature above 90 Deg. A new attack of fever here caused
excessive languor; but, as I am already getting tired of quoting my
fevers, and never liked to read travels myself where much was said about
the illnesses of the traveler, I shall henceforth endeavor to say little
about them.

We here sent back the canoe of Sekeletu, and got the loan of others from
Mpololo. Eight riding oxen, and seven for slaughter, were, according to
the orders of that chief, also furnished; some were intended for our own
use, and others as presents to the chiefs of the Balonda. Mpololo was
particularly liberal in giving all that Sekeletu ordered, though, as
he feeds on the cattle he has in charge, he might have felt it so much
abstracted from his own perquisites. Mpololo now acts the great man,
and is followed every where by a crowd of toadies, who sing songs in
disparagement of Mpepe, of whom he always lived in fear. While Mpepe was
alive, he too was regaled with the same fulsome adulation, and now they
curse him. They are very foul-tongued; equals, on meeting, often greet
each other with a profusion of oaths, and end the volley with a laugh.

In coming up the river to Naliele we met a party of fugitive Barotse
returning to their homes, and, as the circumstance illustrates the
social status of these subjects of the Makololo, I introduce it here.
The villagers in question were the children, or serfs, if we may use the
term, of a young man of the same age and tribe as Sekeletu, who, being
of an irritable temper, went by the nickname of Sekobinyane--a little
slavish thing. His treatment of his servants was so bad that most of
them had fled; and when the Mambari came, and, contrary to the orders of
Sekeletu, purchased slaves, Sekobinyane sold one or two of the Barotse
children of his village. The rest fled immediately to Masiko, and were
gladly received by that Barotse chief as his subjects.

When Sekeletu and I first ascended the Leeambye, we met Sekobinyane
coming down, on his way to Linyanti. On being asked the news, he
remained silent about the loss of his village, it being considered a
crime among the Makololo for any one to treat his people so ill as to
cause them to run away from him. He then passed us, and, dreading the
vengeance of Sekeletu for his crime, secretly made his escape from
Linyanti to Lake Ngami. He was sent for, however, and the chief at the
lake delivered him up, on Sekeletu declaring that he had no intention
of punishing him otherwise than by scolding. He did not even do that, as
Sekobinyane was evidently terrified enough, and also became ill through

The fugitive villagers remained only a few weeks with their new master
Masiko, and then fled back again, and were received as if they had done
nothing wrong. All united in abusing the conduct of Sekobinyane, and no
one condemned the fugitives; and the cattle, the use of which they had
previously enjoyed, never having been removed from their village, they
re-established themselves with apparent gladness.

This incident may give some idea of the serfdom of the subject tribes,
and, except that they are sometimes punished for running away and other
offenses, I can add nothing more by way of showing the true nature of
this form of servitude.

Leaving Naliele, amid abundance of good wishes for the success of
our expedition, and hopes that we might return accompanied with white
traders, we began again our ascent of the river. It was now beginning to
rise, though the rains had but just commenced in the valley. The banks
are low, but cleanly cut, and seldom sloping. At low water they are from
four to eight feet high, and make the river always assume very much the
aspect of a canal. They are in some parts of whitish, tenacious clay,
with strata of black clay intermixed, and black loam in sand, or pure
sand stratified. As the river rises it is always wearing to one side or
the other, and is known to have cut across from one bend to another,
and to form new channels. As we coast along the shore, pieces which are
undermined often fall in with a splash like that caused by the plunge of
an alligator, and endanger the canoe.

These perpendicular banks afford building-places to a pretty bee-eater,*
which loves to breed in society. The face of the sand-bank is perforated
with hundreds of holes leading to their nests, each of which is about
a foot apart from the other; and as we pass they pour out of their
hiding-places, and float overhead.

   * 'Merops apiaster' and 'M. bullockoides' (Smith).

A speckled kingfisher is seen nearly every hundred yards, which builds
in similar spots, and attracts the attention of herd-boys, who dig out
its nest for the sake of the young. This, and a most lovely little blue
and orange kingfisher, are seen every where along the banks, dashing
down like a shot into the water for their prey. A third, seen more
rarely, is as large as a pigeon, and is of a slaty color.

Another inhabitant of the banks is the sand-martin, which also likes
company in the work of raising a family. They never leave this part of
the country. One may see them preening themselves in the very depth of
winter, while the swallows, of which we shall yet speak, take winter
trips. I saw sand-martins at the Orange River during a period of winter
frost; it is, therefore, probable that they do not migrate even from

Around the reeds, which in some parts line the banks, we see fresh-water
sponges. They usually encircle the stalk, and are hard and brittle,
presenting numbers of small round grains near their circumference.

The river was running at the rate of five miles an hour, and carried
bunches of reed and decaying vegetable matter on its surface; yet the
water was not discolored. It had, however, a slightly yellowish-green
tinge, somewhat deeper than its natural color. This arose from the
quantity of sand carried by the rising flood from sand-banks, which are
annually shifted from one spot to another, and from the pieces falling
in as the banks are worn; for when the water is allowed to stand in
a glass, a few seconds suffice for its deposit at the bottom. This is
considered an unhealthy period. When waiting, on one occasion, for the
other canoes to come up, I felt no inclination to leave the one I was
in; but my head boatman, Mashauana, told me never to remain on board
while so much vegetable matter was floating down the stream.

17TH DECEMBER. At Libonta. We were detained for days together collecting
contributions of fat and butter, according to the orders of Sekeletu, as
presents to the Balonda chiefs. Much fever prevailed, and ophthalmia was
rife, as is generally the case before the rains begin. Some of my own
men required my assistance, as well as the people of Libonta. A lion had
done a good deal of mischief here, and when the people went to attack it
two men were badly wounded; one of them had his thigh-bone quite broken,
showing the prodigious power of this animal's jaws. The inflammation
produced by the teeth-wounds proved fatal to one of them.

Here we demanded the remainder of the captives, and got our number
increased to nineteen. They consisted of women and children, and one
young man of twenty. One of the boys was smuggled away in the crowd as
we embarked. The Makololo under-chiefs often act in direct opposition
to the will of the head chief, trusting to circumstances and
brazenfacedness to screen themselves from his open displeasure; and as
he does not always find it convenient to notice faults, they often go to
considerable lengths in wrong-doing.

Libonta is the last town of the Makololo; so, when we parted from it, we
had only a few cattle-stations and outlying hamlets in front, and then
an uninhabited border country till we came to Londa or Lunda. Libonta is
situated on a mound like the rest of the villages in the Barotse valley,
but here the tree-covered sides of the valley begin to approach nearer
the river. The village itself belongs to two of the chief wives of
Sebituane, who furnished us with an ox and abundance of other food. The
same kindness was manifested by all who could afford to give any thing;
and as I glance over their deeds of generosity recorded in my journal,
my heart glows with gratitude to them, and I hope and pray that God may
spare me to make them some return.

Before leaving the villages entirely, we may glance at our way of
spending the nights. As soon as we land, some of the men cut a little
grass for my bed, while Mashauana plants the poles of the little tent.
These are used by day for carrying burdens, for the Barotse fashion is
exactly like that of the natives of India, only the burden is fastened
near the ends of the pole, and not suspended by long cords. The bed is
made, and boxes ranged on each side of it, and then the tent pitched
over all. Four or five feet in front of my tent is placed the principal
or kotla fire, the wood for which must be collected by the man who
occupies the post of herald, and takes as his perquisite the heads of
all the oxen slaughtered, and of all the game too. Each person knows the
station he is to occupy, in reference to the post of honor at the fire
in front of the door of the tent. The two Makololo occupy my right and
left, both in eating and sleeping, as long as the journey lasts. But
Mashauana, my head boatman, makes his bed at the door of the tent as
soon as I retire. The rest, divided into small companies according to
their tribes, make sheds all round the fire, leaving a horseshoe-shaped
space in front sufficient for the cattle to stand in. The fire gives
confidence to the oxen, so the men are always careful to keep them in
sight of it. The sheds are formed by planting two stout forked poles in
an inclined direction, and placing another over these in a horizontal
position. A number of branches are then stuck in the ground in the
direction to which the poles are inclined, the twigs drawn down to the
horizontal pole and tied with strips of bark. Long grass is then laid
over the branches in sufficient quantity to draw off the rain, and we
have sheds open to the fire in front, but secure from beasts behind.
In less than an hour we were usually all under cover. We never lacked
abundance of grass during the whole journey. It is a picturesque sight
at night, when the clear bright moon of these climates glances on the
sleeping forms around, to look out upon the attitudes of profound repose
both men and beasts assume. There being no danger from wild animals in
such a night, the fires are allowed almost to go out; and as there is
no fear of hungry dogs coming over sleepers and devouring the food, or
quietly eating up the poor fellows' blankets, which at best were but
greasy skins, which sometimes happened in the villages, the picture was
one of perfect peace.

The cooking is usually done in the natives' own style, and, as they
carefully wash the dishes, pots, and the hands before handling food,
it is by no means despicable. Sometimes alterations are made at my
suggestion, and then they believe that they can cook in thorough white
man's fashion. The cook always comes in for something left in the pot,
so all are eager to obtain the office.

I taught several of them to wash my shirts, and they did it well, though
their teacher had never been taught that work himself. Frequent changes
of linen and sunning of my blanket kept me more comfortable than
might have been anticipated, and I feel certain that the lessons of
cleanliness rigidly instilled by my mother in childhood helped to
maintain that respect which these people entertain for European ways.
It is questionable if a descent to barbarous ways ever elevates a man in
the eyes of savages.

When quite beyond the inhabited parts, we found the country abounding in
animal life of every form. There are upward of thirty species of birds
on the river itself. Hundreds of the 'Ibis religiosa' come down the
Leeambye with the rising water, as they do on the Nile; then large white
pelicans, in flocks of three hundred at a time, following each other
in long extending line, rising and falling as they fly so regularly
all along as to look like an extended coil of birds; clouds of a black
shell-eating bird, called linongolo ('Anastomus lamelligerus'); also
plovers, snipes, curlews, and herons without number.

There are, besides the more common, some strange varieties. The pretty
white 'ardetta' is seen in flocks, settling on the backs of large herds
of buffaloes, and following them on the wing when they run; while the
kala ('Textor erythrorhynchus') is a better horseman, for it sits on the
withers when the animal is at full speed.

Then those strange birds, the scissor-bills, with snow-white breast,
jet-black coat, and red beak, sitting by day on the sand-banks, the very
picture of comfort and repose. Their nests are only little hollows made
on these same sand-banks, without any attempt of concealment; they watch
them closely, and frighten away the marabou and crows from their eggs
by feigned attacks at their heads. When man approaches their nests, they
change their tactics, and, like the lapwing and ostrich, let one wing
drop and make one leg limp, as if lame. The upper mandible being so much
shorter than the lower, the young are more helpless than the stork in
the fable with the flat dishes, and must have every thing conveyed into
the mouth by the parents till they are able to provide for themselves.
The lower mandible, as thin as a paper-knife, is put into the water
while the bird skims along the surface, and scoops up any little insects
it meets. It has great length of wing, and can continue its flight with
perfect ease, the wings acting, though kept above the level of the body.
The wonder is, how this plowing of the surface of the water can be so
well performed as to yield a meal, for it is usually done in the dark.
Like most aquatic feeders, they work by night, when insects and fishes
rise to the surface. They have great affection for their young,
its amount being increased in proportion to the helplessness of the

There are also numbers of spoonbills, nearly white in plumage; the
beautiful, stately flamingo; the Numidian crane, or demoiselle, some of
which, tamed at Government House, Cape Town, struck every one as most
graceful ornaments to a noble mansion, as they perched on its pillars.
There are two cranes besides--one light blue, the other also light blue,
but with a white neck; and gulls ('Procellaria') of different sizes

One pretty little wader, an avoset, appears as if standing on stilts,
its legs are so long; and its bill seems bent the wrong way, or upward.
It is constantly seen wading in the shallows, digging up little slippery
insects, the peculiar form of the bill enabling it to work them easily
out of the sand. When feeding, it puts its head under the water to
seize the insect at the bottom, then lifts it up quickly, making a rapid
gobbling, as if swallowing a wriggling worm.

The 'Parra Africana' runs about on the surface, as if walking on water,
catching insects. It too has long, thin legs, and extremely long toes,
for the purpose of enabling it to stand on the floating lotus-leaves
and other aquatic plants. When it stands on a lotus-leaf five inches in
diameter, the spread of the toes, acting on the principle of snow-shoes,
occupies all the surface, and it never sinks, though it obtains a
livelihood, not by swimming or flying, but by walking on the water.

Water-birds, whose prey or food requires a certain aim or action in one
direction, have bills quite straight in form, as the heron and snipe;
while those which are intended to come in contact with hard substances,
as breaking shells, have the bills gently curved, in order that the
shock may not be communicated to the brain.

The Barotse valley contains great numbers of large black geese.* They
may be seen every where walking slowly about, feeding. They have a
strong black spur on the shoulder, like the armed plover, and as strong
as that on the heel of a cock, but are never seen to use them, except
in defense of their young. They choose ant-hills for their nests, and
in the time of laying the Barotse consume vast quantities of their eggs.
There are also two varieties of geese, of somewhat smaller size, but
better eating. One of these, the Egyptian goose, or Vulpanser, can not
rise from the water, and during the floods of the river great numbers
are killed by being pursued in canoes. The third is furnished with
a peculiar knob on the beak. These, with myriads of ducks of three
varieties, abound every where on the Leeambye. On one occasion the canoe
neared a bank on which a large flock was sitting. Two shots furnished
our whole party with a supper, for we picked up seventeen ducks and a
goose. No wonder the Barotse always look back to this fruitful valley as
the Israelites did to the flesh-pots of Egypt. The poorest persons are
so well supplied with food from their gardens, fruits from the forest
trees, and fish from the river, that their children, when taken into
the service of the Makololo, where they have only one large meal a day,
become quite emaciated, and pine for a return to their parents.

   * 'Anser leucagaster' and 'melanogaster'.

Part of our company marched along the banks with the oxen, and part went
in the canoes, but our pace was regulated by the speed of the men on
shore. Their course was rather difficult, on account of the numbers of
departing and re-entering branches of the Leeambye, which they had to
avoid or wait at till we ferried them over. The number of alligators is
prodigious, and in this river they are more savage than in some others.
Many children are carried off annually at Sesheke and other towns; for,
notwithstanding the danger, when they go down for water they almost
always must play a while. This reptile is said by the natives to strike
the victim with its tail, then drag him in and drown him. When lying
in the water watching for prey, the body never appears. Many calves
are lost also, and it is seldom that a number of cows can swim over at
Sesheke without some loss. I never could avoid shuddering on seeing my
men swimming across these branches, after one of them had been caught by
the thigh and taken below. He, however, retained, as nearly all of them
in the most trying circumstances do, his full presence of mind, and,
having a small, square, ragged-edged javelin with him, when dragged to
the bottom gave the alligator a stab behind the shoulder. The alligator,
writhing in pain, left him, and he came out with the deep marks of
the reptile's teeth on his thigh. Here the people have no antipathy to
persons who have met with such an adventure, but, in the Bamangwato and
Bakwain tribes, if a man is either bitten or even has had water splashed
over him by the reptile's tail, he is expelled his tribe. When on the
Zouga we saw one of the Bamangwato living among the Bayeiye, who had
the misfortune to have been bitten and driven out of his tribe in
consequence. Fearing that I would regard him with the same disgust which
his countrymen profess to feel, he would not tell me the cause of his
exile, but the Bayeiye informed me of it, and the scars of the teeth
were visible on his thigh. If the Bakwains happened to go near an
alligator they would spit on the ground, and indicate its presence by
saying "Boleo ki bo"--"There is sin". They imagine the mere sight of
it would give inflammation of the eyes; and though they eat the zebra
without hesitation, yet if one bites a man he is expelled the tribe, and
obliged to take his wife and family away to the Kalahari. These curious
relics of the animal-worship of former times scarcely exist among the
Makololo. Sebituane acted on the principle, "Whatever is food for men is
food for me;" so no man is here considered unclean. The Barotse appear
inclined to pray to alligators and eat them too, for when I wounded
a water-antelope, called mochose, it took to the water; when near the
other side of the river an alligator appeared at its tail, and then both
sank together. Mashauana, who was nearer to it than I, told me that,
"though he had called to it to let his meat alone, it refused to
listen." One day we passed some Barotse lads who had speared an
alligator, and were waiting in expectation of its floating soon after.
The meat has a strong musky odor, not at all inviting for any one except
the very hungry.

When we had gone thirty or forty miles above Libonta we sent eleven
of our captives to the west, to the chief called Makoma, with an
explanatory message. This caused some delay; but as we were loaded
with presents of food from the Makololo, and the wild animals were in
enormous herds, we fared sumptuously. It was grievous, however, to
shoot the lovely creatures, they were so tame. With but little skill
in stalking, one could easily get within fifty or sixty yards of them.
There I lay, looking at the graceful forms and motions of beautiful
pokus,* leches, and other antelopes, often till my men, wondering what
was the matter, came up to see, and frightened them away. If we had been
starving, I could have slaughtered them with as little hesitation as I
should cut off a patient's leg; but I felt a doubt, and the antelopes
got the benefit of it. Have they a guardian spirit over them? I have
repeatedly observed, when I approached a herd lying beyond an ant-hill
with a tree on it, and viewed them with the greatest caution, they very
soon showed symptoms of uneasiness. They did not sniff danger in
the wind, for I was to leeward of them; but the almost invariable
apprehension of danger which arose, while unconscious of the direction
in which it lay, made me wonder whether each had what the ancient
physicians thought we all possessed, an archon, or presiding spirit.

   * I propose to name this new species 'Antilope Vardonii',
   after the African traveler, Major Vardon.

If we could ascertain the most fatal spot in an animal, we could
dispatch it with the least possible amount of suffering; but as that is
probably the part to which the greatest amount of nervous influence is
directed at the moment of receiving the shot, if we can not be sure of
the heart or brain, we are never certain of speedy death. Antelopes,
formed for a partially amphibious existence, and other animals of that
class, are much more tenacious of life than those which are purely
terrestrial. Most antelopes, when in distress or pursued, make for the
water. If hunted, they always do. A leche shot right through the body,
and no limb-bone broken, is almost sure to get away, while a zebra, with
a wound of no greater severity, will probably drop down dead. I have
seen a rhinoceros, while standing apparently chewing the cud, drop down
dead from a shot in the stomach, while others shot through one lung
and the stomach go off as if little hurt. But if one should crawl up
silently to within twenty yards either of the white or black rhinoceros,
throwing up a pinch of dust every now and then, to find out that the
anxiety to keep the body concealed by the bushes has not led him to
the windward side, then sit down, rest the elbow on the knees, and aim,
slanting a little upward, at a dark spot behind the shoulders, it falls
stone dead.

To show that a shock on the part of the system to which much nervous
force is at the time directed will destroy life, it may be mentioned
that an eland, when hunted, can be dispatched by a wound which does
little more than injure the muscular system; its whole nervous force is
then imbuing the organs of motion; and a giraffe, when pressed hard by a
good horse only two or three hundred yards, has been known to drop down
dead, without any wound being inflicted at all. A full gallop by an
eland or giraffe quite dissipates its power, and the hunters, aware of
this, always try to press them at once to it, knowing that they have
but a short space to run before the animals are in their power. In doing
this, the old sportsmen are careful not to go too close to the giraffe's
tail, for this animal can swing his hind foot round in a way which would
leave little to choose between a kick with it and a clap from the arm of
a windmill.

When the nervous force is entire, terrible wounds may be inflicted
without killing; a tsessebe having been shot through the neck while
quietly feeding, we went to him, and one of the men cut his throat deep
enough to bleed him largely. He started up after this and ran more than
a mile, and would have got clear off had not a dog brought him to bay
under a tree, where we found him standing.

My men, having never had fire-arms in their hands before, found it so
difficult to hold the musket steady at the flash of fire in the pan,
that they naturally expected me to furnish them with "gun medicine",
without which, it is almost universally believed, no one can shoot
straight. Great expectations had been formed when I arrived among the
Makololo on this subject; but, having invariably declined to deceive
them, as some for their own profit have done, my men now supposed that I
would at last consent, and thereby relieve myself from the hard work of
hunting by employing them after due medication. This I was most willing
to do, if I could have done it honestly; for, having but little of the
hunting 'furore' in my composition, I always preferred eating the
game to killing it. Sulphur is the remedy most admired, and I remember
Sechele giving a large price for a very small bit. He also gave some
elephants' tusks, worth 30 Pounds, for another medicine which was to
make him invulnerable to musket balls. As I uniformly recommended that
these things should be tested by experiment, a calf was anointed with
the charm and tied to a tree. It proved decisive, and Sechele remarked
it was "pleasanter to be deceived than undeceived." I offered sulphur
for the same purpose, but that was declined, even though a person
came to the town afterward and rubbed his hands with a little before a
successful trial of shooting at a mark.

I explained to my men the nature of a gun, and tried to teach them, but
they would soon have expended all the ammunition in my possession. I
was thus obliged to do all the shooting myself ever afterward. Their
inability was rather a misfortune; for, in consequence of working too
soon after having been bitten by the lion, the bone of my left arm
had not united well. Continual hard manual labor, and some falls from
ox-back, lengthened the ligament by which the ends of the bones were
united, and a false joint was the consequence. The limb has never been
painful, as those of my companions on the day of the rencounter with the
lion have been, but, there being a joint too many, I could not steady
the rifle, and was always obliged to shoot with the piece resting on
the left shoulder. I wanted steadiness of aim, and it generally happened
that the more hungry the party became, the more frequently I missed the

We spent a Sunday on our way up to the confluence of the Leeba and
Leeambye. Rains had fallen here before we came, and the woods had put on
their gayest hue. Flowers of great beauty and curious forms grow every
where; they are unlike those in the south, and so are the trees. Many
of the forest-tree leaves are palmated and largely developed; the trunks
are covered with lichens, and the abundance of ferns which appear in the
woods shows we are now in a more humid climate than any to the south of
the Barotse valley. The ground begins to swarm with insect life; and in
the cool, pleasant mornings the welkin rings with the singing of birds,
which is not so delightful as the notes of birds at home, because I
have not been familiar with them from infancy. The notes here, however,
strike the mind by their loudness and variety, as the wellings forth
from joyous hearts of praise to Him who fills them with overflowing
gladness. All of us rise early to enjoy the luscious balmy air of the
morning. We then have worship; but, amid all the beauty and loveliness
with which we are surrounded, there is still a feeling of want in the
soul in viewing one's poor companions, and hearing bitter, impure words
jarring on the ear in the perfection of the scenes of Nature, and a
longing that both their hearts and ours might be brought into harmony
with the Great Father of Spirits. I pointed out, in, as usual, the
simplest words I could employ, the remedy which God has presented to
us, in the inexpressibly precious gift of His own Son, on whom the Lord
"laid the iniquity of us all." The great difficulty in dealing with
these people is to make the subject plain. The minds of the auditors
can not be understood by one who has not mingled much with them. They
readily pray for the forgiveness of sins, and then sin again; confess
the evil of it, and there the matter ends.

I shall not often advert to their depravity. My practice has always been
to apply the remedy with all possible earnestness, but never allow my
own mind to dwell on the dark shades of men's characters. I have never
been able to draw pictures of guilt, as if that could awaken Christian
sympathy. The evil is there. But all around in this fair creation are
scenes of beauty, and to turn from these to ponder on deeds of sin can
not promote a healthy state of the faculties. I attribute much of the
bodily health I enjoy to following the plan adopted by most physicians,
who, while engaged in active, laborious efforts to assist the needy,
at the same time follow the delightful studies of some department of
natural history. The human misery and sin we endeavor to alleviate and
cure may be likened to the sickness and impurity of some of the back
slums of great cities. One contents himself by ministering to the sick
and trying to remove the causes, without remaining longer in the filth
than is necessary for his work; another, equally anxious for the public
good, stirs up every cesspool, that he may describe its reeking vapors,
and, by long contact with impurities, becomes himself infected, sickens,
and dies.

The men went about during the day, and brought back wild fruits of
several varieties, which I had not hitherto seen. One, called mogametsa,
is a bean with a little pulp round it, which tastes like sponge-cake;
another, named mawa, grows abundantly on a low bush. There are many
berries and edible bulbs almost every where. The mamosho or moshomosho,
and milo (a medlar), were to be found near our encampment. These are
both good, if indeed one can be a fair judge who felt quite disposed to
pass a favorable verdict on every fruit which had the property of being
eatable at all. Many kinds are better than our crab-apple or sloe, and,
had they the care and culture these have enjoyed, might take high rank
among the fruits of the world. All that the Africans have thought of has
been present gratification; and now, as I sometimes deposit date-seeds
in the soil, and tell them I have no hope whatever of seeing the fruit,
it seems to them as the act of the South Sea Islanders appears to us,
when they planted in their gardens iron nails received from Captain

There are many fruits and berries in the forests, the uses of which are
unknown to my companions. Great numbers of a kind of palm I have never
met with before were seen growing at and below the confluence of the
Loeti and Leeambye; the seed probably came down the former river. It is
nearly as tall as the palmyra. The fruit is larger than of that species;
it is about four inches long, and has a soft yellow pulp round the
kernel or seed; when ripe, it is fluid and stringy, like the wild mango,
and not very pleasant to eat.

Before we came to the junction of the Leeba and Leeambye we found
the banks twenty feet high, and composed of marly sandstone. They are
covered with trees, and the left bank has the tsetse and elephants. I
suspect the fly has some connection with this animal, and the Portuguese
in the district of Tete must think so too, for they call it the 'Musca
da elephant' (the elephant fly).

The water of inundation covers even these lofty banks, but does not
stand long upon them; hence the crop of trees. Where it remains for any
length of time, trees can not live. On the right bank, or that in which
the Loeti flows, there is an extensive flat country called Manga, which,
though covered with grass, is destitute in a great measure of trees.

Flocks of green pigeons rose from the trees as we passed along the
banks, and the notes of many birds told that we were now among strangers
of the feathered tribe. The beautiful trogon, with bright scarlet breast
and black back, uttered a most peculiar note, similar to that we read
of as having once been emitted by Memnon, and likened to the tuning of
a lyre. The boatmen answered it by calling "Nama, nama!"--meat, meat--as
if they thought that a repetition of the note would be a good omen for
our success in hunting. Many more interesting birds were met; but I
could make no collection, as I was proceeding on the plan of having as
little luggage as possible, so as not to excite the cupidity of those
through whose country we intended to pass.

Vast shoals of fish come down the Leeambye with the rising waters, as
we observed they also do in the Zouga. They are probably induced to make
this migration by the increased rapidity of the current dislodging them
from their old pasture-grounds higher up the river. Insects constitute
but a small portion of the food of many fish. Fine vegetable matter,
like slender mosses, growing on the bottom, is devoured greedily; and
as the fishes are dislodged from the main stream by the force of the
current, and find abundant pasture on the flooded plains, the whole
community becomes disturbed and wanders.

The mosala ('Clarias Capensis' and 'Glanis siluris'), the mullet ('Mugil
Africanus'), and other fishes, spread over the Barotse valley in such
numbers that when the waters retire all the people are employed in
cutting them up and drying them in the sun. The supply exceeds the
demand, and the land in numerous places is said to emit a most offensive
smell. Wherever you see the Zambesi in the centre of the country, it is
remarkable for the abundance of animal life in and upon its waters, and
on the adjacent banks.

We passed great numbers of hippopotami. They are very numerous in the
parts of the river where they are never hunted. The males appear of a
dark color, the females of yellowish brown. There is not such a complete
separation of the sexes among them as among elephants. They spend most
of their time in the water, lolling about in a listless, dreamy manner.
When they come out of the river by night, they crop off the soft
succulent grasses very neatly. When they blow, they puff up the water
about three feet high.

Chapter 15.

Message to Masiko, the Barotse Chief, regarding the Captives--
Navigation of the Leeambye--Capabilities of this District--The
Leeba--Flowers and Bees--Buffalo-hunt--Field for a Botanist--Young
Alligators; their savage Nature--Suspicion of the Balonda--Sekelenke's
Present--A Man and his two Wives--Hunters--Message from Manenko,
a female Chief--Mambari Traders--A Dream--Sheakondo and his
People--Teeth-filing--Desire for Butter--Interview with Nyamoana,
another female Chief--Court Etiquette--Hair versus Wool--Increase of
Superstition--Arrival of Manenko; her Appearance and Husband--Mode
of Salutation--Anklets--Embassy, with a Present from Masiko--Roast
Beef--Manioc--Magic Lantern--Manenko an accomplished Scold: compels us
to wait--Unsuccessful Zebra-hunt.

On the 27th of December we were at the confluence of the Leeba and
Leeambye (lat. 14d 10' 52" S., long. 23d 35' 40" E.). Masiko, the
Barotse chief, for whom we had some captives, lived nearly due east of
this point. They were two little boys, a little girl, a young man, and
two middle-aged women. One of these was a member of a Babimpe tribe, who
knock out both upper and lower front teeth as a distinction. As we had
been informed by the captives on the previous Sunday that Masiko was in
the habit of seizing all orphans, and those who have no powerful friend
in the tribe whose protection they can claim, and selling them for
clothing to the Mambari, we thought the objection of the women to go
first to his town before seeing their friends quite reasonable, and
resolved to send a party of our own people to see them safely among
their relatives. I told the captive young man to inform Masiko that he
was very unlike his father Santuru, who had refused to sell his people
to Mambari. He will probably be afraid to deliver such a message
himself, but it is meant for his people, and they will circulate it
pretty widely, and Masiko may yet feel a little pressure from without.
We sent Mosantu, a Batoka man, and his companions, with the captives.
The Barotse whom we had were unwilling to go to Masiko, since they owe
him allegiance as the son of Santuru, and while they continue with the
Makololo are considered rebels. The message by Mosantu was, that "I was
sorry to find that Santuru had not borne a wiser son. Santuru loved to
govern men, but Masiko wanted to govern wild beasts only, as he sold
his people to the Mambari;" adding an explanation of the return of the
captives, and an injunction to him to live in peace, and prevent
his people kidnapping the children and canoes of the Makololo, as a
continuance in these deeds would lead to war, which I wished to prevent.
He was also instructed to say, if Masiko wanted fuller explanation of my
views, he must send a sensible man to talk with me at the first town of
the Balonda, to which I was about to proceed.

We ferried Mosantu over to the left bank of the Leeba. The journey
required five days, but it could not have been at a quicker rate than
ten or twelve miles per day; the children were between seven and eight
years of age, and unable to walk fast in a hot sun.

Leaving Mosantu to pursue his course, we shall take but one glance down
the river, which we are now about to leave, for it comes at this point
from the eastward, and our course is to be directed to the northwest,
as we mean to go to Loanda in Angola. From the confluence, where we now
are, down to Mosioatunya, there are many long reaches, where a vessel
equal to the Thames steamers plying between the bridges could run as
freely as they do on the Thames. It is often, even here, as broad as
that river at London Bridge, but, without accurate measurement of the
depth, one could not say which contained most water. There are, however,
many and serious obstacles to a continued navigation for hundreds of
miles at a stretch. About ten miles below the confluence of the Loeti,
for instance, there are many large sand-banks in the stream; then you
have a hundred miles to the River Simah, where a Thames steamer could
ply at all times of the year; but, again, the space between Simah and
Katima-molelo has five or six rapids with cataracts, one of which,
Gonye, could not be passed at any time without portage. Between these
rapids there are reaches of still, deep water, of several miles in
length. Beyond Katima-molelo to the confluence of the Chobe you have
nearly a hundred miles again, of a river capable of being navigated in
the same way as in the Barotse valley.

Now I do not say that this part of the river presents a very inviting
prospect for extemporaneous European enterprise; but when we have a
pathway which requires only the formation of portages to make it equal
to our canals for hundreds of miles, where the philosophers supposed
there was naught but an extensive sandy desert, we must confess that
the future partakes at least of the elements of hope. My deliberate
conviction was and is that the part of the country indicated is as
capable of supporting millions of inhabitants as it is of its thousands.
The grass of the Barotse valley, for instance, is such a densely-matted
mass that, when "laid", the stalks bear each other up, so that one feels
as if walking on the sheaves of a hay-stack, and the leches nestle under
it to bring forth their young. The soil which produces this, if placed
under the plow, instead of being mere pasturage, would yield grain
sufficient to feed vast multitudes.

We now began to ascend the Leeba. The water is black in color as
compared with the main stream, which here assumes the name of Kabompo.
The Leeba flows placidly, and, unlike the parent river, receives numbers
of little rivulets from both sides. It winds slowly through the most
charming meadows, each of which has either a soft, sedgy centre, large
pond, or trickling rill down the middle. The trees are now covered with
a profusion of the freshest foliage, and seem planted in groups of such
pleasant, graceful outline that art could give no additional charm. The
grass, which had been burned off and was growing again after the
rains, was short and green, and all the scenery so like that of a
carefully-tended gentleman's park, that one is scarcely reminded that
the surrounding region is in the hands of simple nature alone. I suspect
that the level meadows are inundated annually, for the spots on which
the trees stand are elevated three or four feet above them, and these
elevations, being of different shapes, give the strange variety of
outline of the park-like woods. Numbers of a fresh-water shell are
scattered all over these valleys. The elevations, as I have observed
elsewhere, are of a soft, sandy soil, and the meadows of black, rich
alluvial loam. There are many beautiful flowers, and many bees to sip
their nectar. We found plenty of honey in the woods, and saw the stages
on which the Balonda dry their meat, when they come down to hunt and
gather the produce of the wild hives. In one part we came upon groups of
lofty trees as straight as masts, with festoons of orchilla-weed hanging
from the branches. This, which is used as a dye-stuff, is found nowhere
in the dry country to the south. It prefers the humid climate near the
west coast.

A large buffalo was wounded, and ran into the thickest part of the
forest, bleeding profusely. The young men went on his trail; and, though
the vegetation was so dense that no one could have run more than a few
yards, most of them went along quite carelessly, picking and eating
a fruit of the melon family called Mponko. When the animal heard them
approach he always fled, shifting his stand and doubling on his course
in the most cunning manner. In other cases I have known them to turn
back to a point a few yards from their own trail, and then lie down in
a hollow waiting for the hunter to come up. Though a heavy,
lumbering-looking animal, his charge is then rapid and terrific. More
accidents happen by the buffalo and the black rhinoceros than by the
lion. Though all are aware of the mischievous nature of the buffalo when
wounded, our young men went after him quite carelessly. They never lose
their presence of mind, but, as a buffalo charges back in a forest, dart
dexterously out of his way behind a tree, and, wheeling round, stab him
as he passes.

A tree in flower brought the pleasant fragrance of hawthorn hedges back
to memory; its leaves, flowers, perfumes, and fruit resembled those
of the hawthorn, only the flowers were as large as dog-roses, and the
"haws" like boys' marbles. Here the flowers smell sweetly, while few
in the south emit any scent at all, or only a nauseous odor. A botanist
would find a rich harvest on the banks of the Leeba. This would be his
best season, for the flowers all run rapidly to seed, and then insects
of every shape spring into existence to devour them. The climbing plants
display great vigor of growth, being not only thick in the trunk, but
also at the very point, in the manner of quickly-growing asparagus. The
maroro or malolo now appears, and is abundant in many parts between
this and Angola. It is a small bush with a yellow fruit, and in its
appearance a dwarf "anona". The taste is sweet, and the fruit is
wholesome: it is full of seeds, like the custard-apple.

On the 28th we slept at a spot on the right bank from which had just
emerged two broods of alligators. We had seen many young ones as we came
up, so this seems to be their time of coming forth from the nests, for
we saw them sunning themselves on sand-banks in company with the old
ones. We made our fire in one of the deserted nests, which were strewed
all over with the broken shells. At the Zouga we saw sixty eggs taken
out of one such nest alone. They are about the size of those of a goose,
only the eggs of the alligator are of the same diameter at both ends,
and the white shell is partially elastic, from having a strong internal
membrane and but little lime in its composition. The distance from the
water was about ten feet, and there were evidences of the same place
having been used for a similar purpose in former years. A broad path
led up from the water to the nest, and the dam, it was said by my
companions, after depositing the eggs, covers them up, and returns
afterward to assist the young out of the place of confinement and out of
the egg. She leads them to the edge of the water, and then leaves them
to catch small fish for themselves. Assistance to come forth seems
necessary, for here, besides the tough membrane of the shell, they had
four inches of earth upon them; but they do not require immediate aid
for food, because they all retain a portion of yolk, equal to that of a
hen's egg, in a membrane in the abdomen, as a stock of nutriment, while
only beginning independent existence by catching fish. Fish is the
principal food of both small and large, and they are much assisted
in catching them by their broad, scaly tails. Sometimes an alligator,
viewing a man in the water from the opposite bank, rushes across the
stream with wonderful agility, as is seen by the high ripple he makes
on the surface caused by his rapid motion at the bottom; but in general
they act by stealth, sinking underneath as soon as they see man. They
seldom leave the water to catch prey, but often come out by day to enjoy
the pleasure of basking in the sun. In walking along the bank of the
Zouga once, a small one, about three feet long, made a dash at my feet,
and caused me to rush quickly in another direction; but this is unusual,
for I never heard of a similar case. A wounded leche, chased into any
of the lagoons in the Barotse valley, or a man or dog going in for the
purpose of bringing out a dead one, is almost sure to be seized, though
the alligators may not appear on the surface. When employed in looking
for food they keep out of sight; they fish chiefly by night. When
eating, they make a loud, champing noise, which when once heard is never

The young, which had come out of the nests where we spent the night, did
not appear wary; they were about ten inches long, with yellow eyes, and
pupil merely a perpendicular slit. They were all marked with transverse
slips of pale green and brown, half an inch broad. When speared,
they bit the weapon savagely, though their teeth were but partially
developed, uttering at the same time a sharp bark like that of a whelp
when it first begins to use its voice. I could not ascertain whether
the dam devours them, as reported, or whether the ichneumon has the same
reputation here as in Egypt. Probably the Barotse and Bayeiye would not
look upon it as a benefactor; they prefer to eat the eggs themselves,
and be their own ichneumons. The white of the egg does not coagulate,
but the yolk does, and this is the only part eaten.

As the population increases, the alligators will decrease, for their
nests will be oftener found; the principal check on their inordinate
multiplication seems to be man. They are more savage and commit more
mischief in the Leeambye than in any other river. After dancing long in
the moonlight nights, young men run down to the water to wash off the
dust and cool themselves before going to bed, and are thus often carried
away. One wonders they are not afraid; but the fact is, they have as
little sense of danger impending over them as the hare has when not
actually pursued by the hound, and in many rencounters, in which
they escape, they had not time to be afraid, and only laugh at the
circumstance afterward: there is a want of calm reflection. In many
cases, not referred to in this book, I feel more horror now in thinking
on dangers I have run than I did at the time of their occurrence.

When we reached the part of the river opposite to the village of
Manenko, the first female chief whom we encountered, two of the people
called Balunda, or Balonda, came to us in their little canoe. From them
we learned that Kolimbota, one of our party, who had been in the habit
of visiting these parts, was believed by the Balonda to have acted as
a guide to the marauders under Lerimo, whose captives we were now
returning. They very naturally suspected this, from the facility with
which their villages had been found, and, as they had since removed them
to some distance from the river, they were unwilling to lead us to their
places of concealment. We were in bad repute, but, having a captive
boy and girl to show in evidence of Sekeletu and ourselves not being
partakers in the guilt of inferior men, I could freely express my desire
that all should live in peace. They evidently felt that I ought to have
taught the Makololo first, before coming to them, for they remarked that
what I advanced was very good, but guilt lay at the door of the Makololo
for disturbing the previously existing peace. They then went away to
report us to Manenko.

When the strangers visited us again in the evening, they were
accompanied by a number of the people of an Ambonda chief named
Sekelenke. The Ambonda live far to the N.W.; their language, the Bonda,
is the common dialect in Angola. Sekelenke had fled, and was now living
with his village as a vassal of Masiko. As notices of such men will
perhaps convey the best idea of the state of the inhabitants to the
reader, I shall hereafter allude to the conduct of Sekelenke, whom I at
present only introduce. Sekelenke had gone with his villagers to hunt
elephants on the right bank of the Leeba, and was now on his way back to
Masiko. He sent me a dish of boiled zebra's flesh, and a request that I
should lend him a canoe to ferry his wives and family across the river
to the bank on which we were encamped. Many of Sekelenke's people came
to salute the first white man they ever had an opportunity of seeing;
but Sekelenke himself did not come near. We heard he was offended with
some of his people for letting me know he was among the company. He
said that I should be displeased with him for not coming and making
some present. This was the only instance in which I was shunned in this

As it would have been impolitic to pass Manenko, or any chief, without
at least showing so much respect as to call and explain the objects
of our passing through the country, we waited two entire days for the
return of the messengers to Manenko; and as I could not hurry matters, I
went into the adjacent country to search for meat for the camp.

The country is furnished largely with forest, having occasionally open
lawns covered with grass, not in tufts as in the south, but so closely
planted that one can not see the soil. We came upon a man and his two
wives and children, burning coarse rushes and the stalks of tsitla,
growing in a brackish marsh, in order to extract a kind of salt from the
ashes. They make a funnel of branches of trees, and line it with grass
rope, twisted round until it is, as it were, a beehive-roof inverted.
The ashes are put into water, in a calabash, and then it is allowed to
percolate through the small hole in the bottom and through the grass.
When this water is evaporated in the sun, it yields sufficient salt to
form a relish with food. The women and children fled with precipitation,
but we sat down at a distance, and allowed the man time to gain courage
enough to speak. He, however, trembled excessively at the apparition
before him; but when we explained that our object was to hunt game, and
not men, he became calm, and called back his wives. We soon afterward
came to another party on the same errand with ourselves. The man had a
bow about six feet long, and iron-headed arrows about thirty inches in
length; he had also wooden arrows neatly barbed, to shoot in cases
where he might not be quite certain of recovering them again. We soon
afterward got a zebra, and gave our hunting acquaintances such a liberal
share that we soon became friends. All whom we saw that day then came
with us to the encampment to beg a little meat; and as they have so
little salt, I have no doubt they felt grateful for what we gave.

Sekelenke and his people, twenty-four in number, defiled past our camp
carrying large bundles of dried elephants' meat. Most of them came to
say good-by, and Sekelenke himself sent to say that he had gone to visit
a wife living in the village of Manenko. It was a mere African manoeuvre
to gain information, and not commit himself to either one line of action
or another with respect to our visit. As he was probably in the party
before us, I replied that it was all right, and when my people came up
from Masiko I would go to my wife too. Another zebra came to our camp,
and, as we had friends near, it was shot. It was the 'Equus montanus',
though the country is perfectly flat, and was finely marked down to the
feet, as all the zebras are in these parts.

To our first message, offering a visit of explanation to Manenko, we got
an answer, with a basket of manioc roots, that we must remain where we
were till she should visit us. Having waited two days already for her,
other messengers arrived with orders for me to come to her. After four
days of rains and negotiation, I declined going at all, and proceeded
up the river to the small stream Makondo (lat. 13d 23' 12" S.), which
enters the Leeba from the east, and is between twenty and thirty yards

JANUARY 1ST, 1854. We had heavy rains almost every day; indeed, the
rainy season had fairly set in. Baskets of the purple fruit called mawa
were frequently brought to us by the villagers; not for sale, but from a
belief that their chiefs would be pleased to hear that they had treated
us well; we gave them pieces of meat in return.

When crossing at the confluence of the Leeba and Makondo, one of my men
picked up a bit of a steel watch-chain of English manufacture, and we
were informed that this was the spot where the Mambari cross in
coming to Masiko. Their visits explain why Sekelenke kept his tusks so
carefully. These Mambari are very enterprising merchants: when they mean
to trade with a town, they deliberately begin the affair by building
huts, as if they knew that little business could be transacted without a
liberal allowance of time for palaver. They bring Manchester goods into
the heart of Africa; these cotton prints look so wonderful that the
Makololo could not believe them to be the work of mortal hands. On
questioning the Mambari they were answered that English manufactures
came out of the sea, and beads were gathered on its shore. To Africans
our cotton mills are fairy dreams. "How can the irons spin, weave, and
print so beautifully?" Our country is like what Taprobane was to our
ancestors--a strange realm of light, whence came the diamond, muslin,
and peacocks; an attempt at explanation of our manufactures usually
elicits the expression, "Truly ye are gods!"

When about to leave the Makondo, one of my men had dreamed that Mosantu
was shut up a prisoner in a stockade: this dream depressed the spirits
of the whole party, and when I came out of my little tent in the
morning, they were sitting the pictures of abject sorrow. I asked if
we were to be guided by dreams, or by the authority I derived from
Sekeletu, and ordered them to load the boats at once; they seemed
ashamed to confess their fears; the Makololo picked up courage and
upbraided the others for having such superstitious views, and said this
was always their way; if even a certain bird called to them, they would
turn back from an enterprise, saying it was unlucky. They entered the
canoes at last, and were the better of a little scolding for being
inclined to put dreams before authority. It rained all the morning,
but about eleven we reached the village of Sheakondo, on a small stream
named Lonkonye. We sent a message to the head man, who soon appeared
with two wives, bearing handsome presents of manioc: Sheakondo could
speak the language of the Barotse well, and seemed awestruck when told
some of the "words of God". He manifested no fear, always spoke frankly,
and when he made an asseveration, did so by simply pointing up to the
sky above him. The Balonda cultivate the manioc or cassava extensively;
also dura, ground-nuts, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, and yams, here
called "lekoto", but as yet we see only the outlying villages.

The people who came with Sheakondo to our bivouac had their teeth filed
to a point by way of beautifying them, though those which were left
untouched were always the whitest; they are generally tattooed in
various parts, but chiefly on the abdomen: the skin is raised in small
elevated cicatrices, each nearly half an inch long and a quarter of an
inch in diameter, so that a number of them may constitute a star, or
other device. The dark color of the skin prevents any coloring matter
being deposited in these figures, but they love much to have the whole
surface of their bodies anointed with a comfortable varnish of oil. In
their unassisted state they depend on supplies of oil from the Palma
Christi, or castor-oil plant, or from various other oliferous seeds, but
they are all excessively fond of clarified butter or ox fat. Sheakondo's
old wife presented some manioc roots, and then politely requested to
be anointed with butter: as I had been bountifully supplied by the
Makololo, I gave her as much as would suffice, and as they have little
clothing, I can readily believe that she felt her comfort greatly
enhanced thereby.

The favorite wife, who was also present, was equally anxious for butter.
She had a profusion of iron rings on her ankles, to which were attached
little pieces of sheet iron, to enable her to make a tinkling as she
walked in her mincing African style; the same thing is thought pretty by
our own dragoons in walking jauntingly.

We had so much rain and cloud that I could not get a single observation
for either longitude or latitude for a fortnight. Yet the Leeba does
not show any great rise, nor is the water in the least discolored. It
is slightly black, from the number of mossy rills which fall into it. It
has remarkably few birds and fish, while the Leeambye swarms with both.
It is noticeable that alligators here possess more of the fear of man
than in the Leeambye. The Balonda have taught them, by their poisoned
arrows, to keep out of sight. We did not see one basking in the sun. The
Balonda set so many little traps for birds that few appear. I observed,
however, many (to me) new small birds of song on its banks. More rain
has been falling in the east than here, for the Leeambye was rising fast
and working against the sandy banks so vigorously that a slight yellow
tinge was perceptible in it.

One of our men was bitten by a non-venomous serpent, and of course felt
no harm. The Barotse concluded that this was owing to many of them being
present and seeing it, as if the sight of human eyes could dissolve the
poison and act as a charm.

On the 6th of January we reached the village of another female chief,
named Nyamoana, who is said to be the mother of Manenko, and sister
of Shinte or Kabompo, the greatest Balonda chief in this part of the
country. Her people had but recently come to the present locality, and
had erected only twenty huts. Her husband, Samoana, was clothed in a
kilt of green and red baize, and was armed with a spear and a broadsword
of antique form, about eighteen inches long and three broad. The chief
and her husband were sitting on skins placed in the middle of a circle
thirty paces in diameter, a little raised above the ordinary level of
the ground, and having a trench round it. Outside the trench sat about a
hundred persons of all ages and both sexes. The men were well armed with
bows, arrows, spears, and broadswords. Beside the husband sat a rather
aged woman, having a bad outward squint in the left eye. We put down
our arms about forty yards off, and I walked up to the centre of the
circular bench, and saluted him in the usual way by clapping the hands
together in their fashion. He pointed to his wife, as much as to say,
the honor belongs to her. I saluted her in the same way, and a mat
having been brought, I squatted down in front of them.

The talker was then called, and I was asked who was my spokesman. Having
pointed to Kolimbota, who knew their dialect best, the palaver began
in due form. I explained the real objects I had in view, without any
attempt to mystify or appear in any other character than my own, for
I have always been satisfied that, even though there were no other
considerations, the truthful way of dealing with the uncivilized is
unquestionably the best. Kolimbota repeated to Nyamoana's talker what
I had said to him. He delivered it all verbatim to her husband, who
repeated it again to her. It was thus all rehearsed four times over,
in a tone loud enough to be heard by the whole party of auditors. The
response came back by the same roundabout route, beginning at the lady
to her husband, etc.

After explanations and re-explanations, I perceived that our new friends
were mixing up my message of peace and friendship with Makololo affairs,
and stated that it was not delivered on the authority of any one less
than that of their Creator, and that if the Makololo did again break His
laws and attack the Balonda, the guilt would rest with the Makololo and
not with me. The palaver then came to a close.

By way of gaining their confidence, I showed them my hair, which is
considered a curiosity in all this region. They said, "Is that hair?
It is the mane of a lion, and not hair at all." Some thought that I
had made a wig of lion's mane, as they sometimes do with fibres of the
"ife", and dye it black, and twist it so as to resemble a mass of their
own wool. I could not return the joke by telling them that theirs was
not hair, but the wool of sheep, for they have none of these in the
country; and even though they had, as Herodotus remarked, "the African
sheep are clothed with hair, and men's heads with wool." So I had to
be content with asserting that mine was the real original hair, such as
theirs would have been had it not been scorched and frizzled by the sun.
In proof of what the sun could do, I compared my own bronzed face
and hands, then about the same in complexion as the lighter-colored
Makololo, with the white skin of my chest. They readily believed that,
as they go nearly naked and fully exposed to that influence, we might be
of common origin after all. Here, as every where, when heat and moisture
are combined, the people are very dark, but not quite black. There is
always a shade of brown in the most deeply colored. I showed my watch
and pocket compass, which are considered great curiosities; but,
though the lady was called on by her husband to look, she would not be
persuaded to approach near enough.

These people are more superstitious than any we had yet encountered;
though still only building their village, they had found time to erect
two little sheds at the chief dwelling in it, in which were placed two
pots having charms in them. When asked what medicine they contained,
they replied, "Medicine for the Barimo;" but when I rose and looked into
them, they said they were medicine for the game. Here we saw the first
evidence of the existence of idolatry in the remains of an old idol at a
deserted village. It was simply a human head carved on a block of wood.
Certain charms mixed with red ochre and white pipe-clay are dotted over
them when they are in use; and a crooked stick is used in the same way
for an idol when they have no professional carver.

As the Leeba seemed still to come from the direction in which we wished
to go, I was desirous of proceeding farther up with the canoes; but
Nyamoana was anxious that we should allow her people to conduct us
to her brother Shinte; and when I explained the advantage of
water-carriage, she represented that her brother did not live near the
river, and, moreover, there was a cataract in front, over which it
would be difficult to convey the canoes. She was afraid, too, that the
Balobale, whose country lies to the west of the river, not knowing the
objects for which we had come, would kill us. To my reply that I had
been so often threatened with death if I visited a new tribe that I was
now more afraid of killing any one than of being killed, she rejoined
that the Balobale would not kill me, but the Makololo would all be
sacrificed as their enemies. This produced considerable effect on my
companions, and inclined them to the plan of Nyamoana, of going to the
town of her brother rather than ascending the Leeba. The arrival of
Manenko herself on the scene threw so much weight into the scale on
their side that I was forced to yield the point.

Manenko was a tall, strapping woman about twenty, distinguished by a
profusion of ornaments and medicines hung round her person; the latter
are supposed to act as charms. Her body was smeared all over with a
mixture of fat and red ochre, as a protection against the weather; a
necessary precaution, for, like most of the Balonda ladies, she was
otherwise in a state of frightful nudity. This was not from want of
clothing, for, being a chief, she might have been as well clad as any of
her subjects, but from her peculiar ideas of elegance in dress. When she
arrived with her husband, Sambanza, they listened for some time to
the statements I was making to the people of Nyamoana, after which the
husband, acting as spokesman, commenced an oration, stating the
reasons for their coming, and, during every two or three seconds of the
delivery, he picked up a little sand, and rubbed it on the upper part
of his arms and chest. This is a common mode of salutation in Londa; and
when they wish to be excessively polite, they bring a quantity of ashes
or pipe-clay in a piece of skin, and, taking up handfuls, rub it on the
chest and upper front part of each arm; others, in saluting, drum their
ribs with their elbows; while others still touch the ground with one
cheek after the other, and clap their hands. The chiefs go through the
manoeuvre of rubbing the sand on the arms, but only make a feint at
picking up some. When Sambanza had finished his oration, he rose up,
and showed his ankles ornamented with a bundle of copper rings; had they
been very heavy, they would have made him adopt a straggling walk. Some
chiefs have really so many as to be forced, by the weight and size,
to keep one foot apart from the other, the weight being a serious
inconvenience in walking. The gentlemen like Sambanza, who wish to
imitate their betters, do so in their walk; so you see men, with only
a few ounces of ornament on their legs, strutting along as if they
had double the number of pounds. When I smiled at Sambanza's walk, the
people remarked, "That is the way in which they show off their lordship
in these parts."

Manenko was quite decided in the adoption of the policy of friendship
with the Makololo which we recommended; and, by way of cementing the
bond, she and her counselors proposed that Kolimbota should take a wife
among them. By this expedient she hoped to secure his friendship, and
also accurate information as to the future intentions of the Makololo.
She thought that he would visit the Balonda more frequently afterward,
having the good excuse of going to see his wife; and the Makololo would
never, of course, kill the villagers among whom so near a relative of
one of their own children dwells. Kolimbota, I found, thought favorably
of the proposition, and it afterward led to his desertion from us.

On the evening of the day in which Manenko arrived, we were delighted
by the appearance of Mosantu and an imposing embassy from Masiko. It
consisted of all his under-chiefs, and they brought a fine elephant's
tusk, two calabashes of honey, and a large piece of blue baize, as a
present. The last was intended perhaps to show me that he was a truly
great chief, who had such stores of white men's goods at hand that he
could afford to give presents of them; it might also be intended for
Mosantu, for chiefs usually remember the servants; I gave it to him.
Masiko expressed delight, by his principal men, at the return of the
captives, and at the proposal of peace and alliance with the Makololo.
He stated that he never sold any of his own people to the Mambari, but
only captives whom his people kidnapped from small neighboring tribes.
When the question was put whether his people had been in the habit of
molesting the Makololo by kidnapping their servants and stealing canoes,
it was admitted that two of his men, when hunting, had gone to the
Makololo gardens, to see if any of their relatives were there. As the
great object in all native disputes is to get both parties to turn over
a new leaf, I explained the desirableness of forgetting past feuds,
accepting the present Makololo professions as genuine, and avoiding in
future to give them any cause for marauding. I presented Masiko with an
ox, furnished by Sekeletu as provision for ourselves. All these people
are excessively fond of beef and butter, from having been accustomed to
them in their youth, before the Makololo deprived them of cattle. They
have abundance of game, but I am quite of their opinion that, after all,
there is naught in the world equal to roast beef, and that in their
love for it the English show both good taste and sound sense. The ox was
intended for Masiko, but his men were very anxious to get my sanction
for slaughtering it on the spot. I replied that when it went out of
my hands I had no more to do with it. They, however, wished the
responsibility of slaughtering it to rest with me; if I had said they
might kill it, not many ounces would have remained in the morning. I
would have given permission, but had nothing else to offer in return for
Masiko's generosity.

We were now without any provisions except a small dole of manioc roots
each evening from Nyamoana, which, when eaten raw, produce poisonous
effects. A small loaf, made from nearly the last morsel of maize-meal
from Libonta, was my stock, and our friends from Masiko were still more
destitute; yet we all rejoiced so much at their arrival that we resolved
to spend a day with them. The Barotse of our party, meeting with
relatives and friends among the Barotse of Masiko, had many old tales to
tell; and, after pleasant hungry converse by day, we regaled our friends
with the magic lantern by night, and, in order to make the thing of use
to all, we removed our camp up to the village of Nyamoana. This is a
good means of arresting the attention, and conveying important facts to
the minds of these people.

When erecting our sheds at the village, Manenko fell upon our friends
from Masiko in a way that left no doubt on our minds but that she is
a most accomplished scold. Masiko had, on a former occasion, sent to
Samoana for a cloth, a common way of keeping up intercourse, and, after
receiving it, sent it back, because it had the appearance of having had
"witchcraft medicine" on it; this was a grave offense, and now Manenko
had a good excuse for venting her spleen, the embassadors having called
at her village, and slept in one of the huts without leave. If her
family was to be suspected of dealing in evil charms, why were Masiko's
people not to be thought guilty of leaving the same in her hut? She
advanced and receded in true oratorical style, belaboring her own
servants as well for allowing the offense, and, as usual in more
civilized feminine lectures, she leaned over the objects of her ire, and
screamed forth all their faults and failings ever since they were born,
and her despair of ever seeing them become better, until they were all
"killed by alligators". Masiko's people followed the plan of receiving
this torrent of abuse in silence, and, as neither we nor they had any
thing to eat, we parted next morning. In reference to Masiko selling
slaves to the Mambari, they promised to explain the relationship which
exists between even the most abject of his people and our common Father;
and that no more kidnapping ought to be allowed, as he ought to give
that peace and security to the smaller tribes on his eastern borders
which he so much desired to obtain himself from the Makololo. We
promised to return through his town when we came back from the

Manenko gave us some manioc roots in the morning, and had determined
to carry our baggage to her uncle's, Kabompo or Shinte. We had heard a
sample of what she could do with her tongue; and as neither my men nor
myself had much inclination to encounter a scolding from this black Mrs.
Caudle, we made ready the packages; but she came and said the men whom
she had ordered for the service had not yet come; they would arrive
to-morrow. Being on low and disagreeable diet, I felt annoyed at this
further delay, and ordered the packages to be put into the canoes to
proceed up the river without her servants; but Manenko was not to be
circumvented in this way; she came forward with her people, and said her
uncle would be angry if she did not carry forward the tusks and goods
of Sekeletu, seized the luggage, and declared that she would carry it in
spite of me. My men succumbed sooner to this petticoat government than
I felt inclined to do, and left me no power; and, being unwilling to
encounter her tongue, I was moving off to the canoes, when she gave me
a kind explanation, and, with her hand on my shoulder, put on a motherly
look, saying, "Now, my little man, just do as the rest have done." My
feelings of annoyance of course vanished, and I went out to try and get
some meat.

The only game to be found in these parts are the ZEBRA, the KUALATA or
tahetsi ('Aigoceros equina'), kama ('Bubalus caama'), buffaloes, and the
small antelope hakitenwe ('Philantomba').

The animals can be seen here only by following on their trail for many
miles. Urged on by hunger, we followed that of some zebras during the
greater part of the day: when within fifty yards of them, in a dense
thicket, I made sure of one, but, to my infinite disgust, the gun missed
fire, and off they bounded. The climate is so very damp, from daily
heavy rains, that every thing becomes loaded with moisture, and the
powder in the gun-nipples can not be kept dry. It is curious to mark the
intelligence of the game; in districts where they are much annoyed by
fire-arms, they keep out on the most open spots of country they can
find, in order to have a widely-extended range of vision, and a man
armed is carefully shunned. From the frequency with which I have been
allowed to approach nearer without than with a gun, I believe they know
the difference between safety and danger in the two cases. But here,
where they are killed by the arrows of the Balonda, they select for
safety the densest forest, where the arrow can not be easily shot.
The variation in the selection of standing-spots during the day may,
however, be owing partly to the greater heat of the sun, for here it
is particularly sharp and penetrating. However accounted for, the wild
animals here do select the forests by day, while those farther south
generally shun these covers, and, on several occasions, I have observed
there was no sunshine to cause them to seek for shade.

Chapter 16.

Nyamoana's Present--Charms--Manenko's pedestrian Powers--An Idol--
Balonda Arms--Rain--Hunger--Palisades--Dense Forests--Artificial
Beehives--Mushrooms--Villagers lend the Roofs of their Houses
--Divination and Idols--Manenko's Whims--A night Alarm--Shinte's
Messengers and Present--The proper Way to approach a Village--A
Merman--Enter Shinte's Town: its Appearance--Meet two half-caste
Slave-traders--The Makololo scorn them--The Balonda real Negroes--Grand
Reception from Shinte--His Kotla--Ceremony of Introduction--The
Orators--Women--Musicians and Musical Instruments--A disagreeable
Request--Private Interviews with Shinte--Give him an Ox--Fertility
of Soil--Manenko's new Hut--Conversation with Shinte--Kolimbota's
Proposal--Balonda's Punctiliousness--Selling Children--Kidnapping--
Shinte's Offer of a Slave--Magic Lantern--Alarm of Women--
Delay--Sambanza returns intoxicated--The last and greatest Proof of
Shinte's Friendship.

11TH OF JANUARY, 1854. On starting this morning, Samoana (or rather
Nyamoana, for the ladies are the chiefs here) presented a string of
beads, and a shell highly valued among them, as an atonement for having
assisted Manenko, as they thought, to vex me the day before. They seemed
anxious to avert any evil which might arise from my displeasure; but
having replied that I never kept my anger up all night, they were much
pleased to see me satisfied. We had to cross, in a canoe, a stream which
flows past the village of Nyamoana. Manenko's doctor waved some charms
over her, and she took some in her hand and on her body before she
ventured upon the water. One of my men spoke rather loudly when near the
doctor's basket of medicines. The doctor reproved him, and always spoke
in a whisper himself, glancing back to the basket as if afraid of being
heard by something therein. So much superstition is quite unknown in the
south, and is mentioned here to show the difference in the feelings of
this new people, and the comparative want of reverence on these points
among Caffres and Bechuanas.

Manenko was accompanied by her husband and her drummer; the latter
continued to thump most vigorously until a heavy, drizzling mist set in
and compelled him to desist. Her husband used various incantations and
vociferations to drive away the rain, but down it poured incessantly,
and on our Amazon went, in the very lightest marching order, and at a
pace that few of the men could keep up with. Being on ox-back, I kept
pretty close to our leader, and asked her why she did not clothe herself
during the rain, and learned that it is not considered proper for a
chief to appear effeminate. He or she must always wear the appearance
of robust youth, and bear vicissitudes without wincing. My men, in
admiration of her pedestrian powers, every now and then remarked,
"Manenko is a soldier;" and thoroughly wet and cold, we were all glad
when she proposed a halt to prepare our night's lodging on the banks of
a stream.

The country through which we were passing was the same succession of
forest and open lawns as formerly mentioned: the trees were nearly all
evergreens, and of good, though not very gigantic size. The lawns were
covered with grass, which, in thickness of crop, looked like ordinary
English hay. We passed two small hamlets surrounded by gardens of maize
and manioc, and near each of these I observed, for the first time,
an ugly idol common in Londa--the figure of an animal, resembling an
alligator, made of clay. It is formed of grass, plastered over with
soft clay; two cowrie-shells are inserted as eyes, and numbers of the
bristles from the tail of an elephant are stuck in about the neck. It is
called a lion, though, if one were not told so, he would conclude it to
be an alligator. It stood in a shed, and the Balonda pray and beat drums
before it all night in cases of sickness.

Some of the men of Manenko's train had shields made of reeds, neatly
woven into a square shape, about five feet long and three broad. With
these, and short broadswords and sheaves of iron-headed arrows, they
appeared rather ferocious. But the constant habit of wearing arms is
probably only a substitute for the courage they do not possess. We
always deposited our fire-arms and spears outside a village before
entering it, while the Balonda, on visiting us at our encampment, always
came fully armed, until we ordered them either to lay down their weapons
or be off. Next day we passed through a piece of forest so dense that no
one could have penetrated it without an axe. It was flooded, not by
the river, but by the heavy rains which poured down every day, and kept
those who had clothing constantly wet. I observed, in this piece of
forest, a very strong smell of sulphureted hydrogen. This I had
observed repeatedly in other parts before. I had attacks of fever of the
intermittent type again and again, in consequence of repeated drenchings
in these unhealthy spots.

On the 11th and 12th we were detained by incessant rains, and so heavy
I never saw the like in the south. I had a little tapioca and a small
quantity of Libonta meal, which I still reserved for worse times. The
patience of my men under hunger was admirable; the actual want of the
present is never so painful as the thought of getting nothing in the
future. We thought the people of some large hamlets very niggardly and
very independent of their chiefs, for they gave us and Manenko nothing,
though they had large fields of maize in an eatable state around them.
When she went and kindly begged some for me, they gave her five ears
only. They were subjects of her uncle; and, had they been Makololo,
would have been lavish in their gifts to the niece of their chief. I
suspected that they were dependents of some of Shinte's principal men,
and had no power to part with the maize of their masters.

Each house of these hamlets has a palisade of thick stakes around it,
and the door is made to resemble the rest of the stockade; the door is
never seen open; when the owner wishes to enter, he removes a stake or
two, squeezes his body in, then plants them again in their places, so
that an enemy coming in the night would find it difficult to discover
the entrance. These palisades seem to indicate a sense of insecurity
in regard to their fellow-men, for there are no wild beasts to disturb
them; the bows and arrows have been nearly as efficacious in clearing
the country here as guns have in the country farther south. This was a
disappointment to us, for we expected a continuance of the abundance of
game in the north which we found when we first came up to the confluence
of the Leeba and Leeambye.

A species of the silver-tree of the Cape ('Leucodendron argenteum') is
found in abundance in the parts through which we have traveled since
leaving Samoana's. As it grows at a height of between two and three
thousand feet above the level of the sea, on the Cape Table Mountain,
and again on the northern slope of the Cashan Mountains, and here at
considerably greater heights (four thousand feet), the difference of
climate prevents the botanical range being considered as affording a
good approximation to the altitude. The rapid flow of the Leeambye,
which once seemed to me evidence of much elevation of the country
from which it comes, I now found, by the boiling point of water, was

   * On examining this subject when I returned to Linyanti, I
   found that, according to Dr. Arnott, a declivity of three
   inches per mile gives a velocity in a smooth, straight channel
   of three miles an hour. The general velocity of the Zambesi is
   three miles and three quarters per hour, though in the rocky
   parts it is sometimes as much as four and a half.  If,
   however, we make allowances for roughness of bottom, bendings
   of channel, and sudden descents at cataracts, and say the
   declivity is even seven inches per mile, those 800 miles
   between the east coast and the great falls would require less
   than 500 feet to give the observed velocity, and the
   additional distance to this point would require but 150 feet
   of altitude more.  If my observation of this altitude may be
   depended on, we have a steeper declivity for the Zambesi than
   for some other great rivers.  The Ganges, for instance, is
   said to be at 1800 miles from its mouth only 800 feet above
   the level of the sea, and water requires a month to come that
   distance. But there are so many modifying circumstances, it is
   difficult to draw any reliable conclusion from the currents.
   The Chobe is sometimes heard of as flooded, about 40 miles
   above Linyanti, a fortnight before the inundation reaches that
   point, but it is very tortuous. The great river Magdalena
   falls only 500 feet in a thousand miles; other rivers much

The forests became more dense as we went north. We traveled much more in
the deep gloom of the forest than in open sunlight. No passage existed
on either side of the narrow path made by the axe. Large climbing plants
entwined themselves around the trunks and branches of gigantic trees
like boa constrictors, and they often do constrict the trees by which
they rise, and, killing them, stand erect themselves. The bark of a
fine tree found in abundance here, and called "motuia", is used by
the Barotse for making fish-lines and nets, and the "molompi", so well
adapted for paddles by its lightness and flexibility, was abundant.
There were other trees quite new to my companions; many of them ran up
to a height of fifty feet of one thickness, and without branches.

In these forests we first encountered the artificial beehives so
commonly met with all the way from this to Angola. They consist of about
five feet of the bark of a tree fifteen or eighteen inches in diameter.
Two incisions are made right round the tree at points five feet apart,
then one longitudinal slit from one of these to the other; the workman
next lifts up the bark on each side of this slit, and detaches it from
the trunk, taking care not to break it, until the whole comes from the
tree. The elasticity of the bark makes it assume the form it had before;
the slit is sewed or pegged up with wooden pins, and ends made of coiled
grass-rope are inserted, one of which has a hole for the ingress of the
bees in the centre, and the hive is complete. These hives are placed in
a horizontal position on high trees in different parts of the forest,
and in this way all the wax exported from Benguela and Loanda is
collected. It is all the produce of free labor. A "piece of medicine"
is tied round the trunk of the tree, and proves sufficient protection
against thieves. The natives seldom rob each other, for all believe
that certain medicines can inflict disease and death; and though they
consider that these are only known to a few, they act on the principle
that it is best to let them all alone. The gloom of these forests
strengthens the superstitious feelings of the people. In other quarters,
where they are not subjected to this influence, I have heard the chiefs
issue proclamations to the effect that real witchcraft medicines had
been placed at certain gardens from which produce had been stolen, the
thieves having risked the power of the ordinary charms previously placed

This being the rainy season, great quantities of mushrooms were met
with, and were eagerly devoured by my companions: the edible variety is
always found growing out of ant-hills, and attains the diameter of the
crown of a hat; they are quite white, and very good, even when eaten
raw; they occupy an extensive region of the interior; some, not edible,
are of a brilliant red, and others are of the same light blue as the
paper used by apothecaries to put up their medicines.

There was a considerable pleasure, in spite of rain and fever, in this
new scenery. The deep gloom contrasted strongly with the shadeless glare
of the Kalahari, which had left an indelible impression on my memory.
Though drenched day by day at this time, and for months afterward, it
was long before I could believe that we were getting too much of a good
thing. Nor could I look at water being thrown away without a slight,
quick impression flitting across the mind that we were guilty of wasting
it. Every now and then we emerged from the deep gloom into a pretty
little valley, having a damp portion in the middle; which, though now
filled with water, at other times contains moisture enough for wells
only. These wells have shades put over them in the form of little huts.

We crossed, in canoes, a little never-failing stream, which passes
by the name of Lefuje, or "the rapid". It comes from a goodly high
mountain, called Monakadzi (the woman), which gladdened our eyes as
it rose to our sight about twenty or thirty miles to the east of our
course. It is of an oblong shape, and seemed at least eight hundred feet
above the plains. The Lefuje probably derives its name from the rapid
descent of the short course it has to flow from Monakadzi to the Leeba.

The number of little villages seemed about equal to the number of
valleys. At some we stopped and rested, the people becoming more liberal
as we advanced. Others we found deserted, a sudden panic having seized
the inhabitants, though the drum of Manenko was kept beaten pretty
constantly, in order to give notice of the approach of great people.
When we had decided to remain for the night at any village, the
inhabitants lent us the roofs of their huts, which in form resemble
those of the Makololo, or a Chinaman's hat, and can be taken off the
walls at pleasure. They lifted them off, and brought them to the spot we
had selected as our lodging, and, when my men had propped them up with
stakes, they were then safely housed for the night. Every one who comes
to salute either Manenko or ourselves rubs the upper parts of the arms
and chest with ashes; those who wish to show profounder reverence put
some also on the face.

We found that every village had its idols near it. This is the case all
through the country of the Balonda, so that, when we came to an idol in
the woods, we always knew that we were within a quarter of an hour of
human habitations. One very ugly idol we passed rested on a horizontal
beam placed on two upright posts. This beam was furnished with two loops
of cord, as of a chain, to suspend offerings before it. On remarking to
my companions that these idols had ears, but that they heard not,
etc., I learned that the Balonda, and even the Barotse, believe that
divination may be performed by means of these blocks of wood and clay;
and though the wood itself could not hear, the owners had medicines by
which it could be made to hear and give responses, so that if an enemy
were approaching they would have full information. Manenko having
brought us to a stand on account of slight indisposition and a desire
to send forward notice of our approach to her uncle, I asked why it was
necessary to send forward information of our movements, if Shinte had
idols who could tell him every thing. "She did it only,"* was the reply.
It is seldom of much use to show one who worships idols the folly
of idolatry without giving something else as an object of adoration
instead. They do not love them. They fear them, and betake themselves to
their idols only when in perplexity and danger.

   * This is a curious African idiom, by which a person implies
   he had no particular reason for his act.

While delayed, by Manenko's management, among the Balonda villages, a
little to the south of the town of Shinte, we were well supplied by
the villagers with sweet potatoes and green maize; Sambanza went to his
mother's village for supplies of other food. I was laboring under fever,
and did not find it very difficult to exercise patience with her whims;
but it being Saturday, I thought we might as well go to the town for
Sunday (15th). "No; her messenger must return from her uncle first."
Being sure that the answer of the uncle would be favorable, I thought we
might go on at once, and not lose two days in the same spot. "No, it
is our custom;" and every thing else I could urge was answered in the
genuine pertinacious lady style. She ground some meal for me with her
own hands, and when she brought it told me she had actually gone to a
village and begged corn for the purpose. She said this with an air as if
the inference must be drawn by even a stupid white man: "I know how to
manage, don't I?" It was refreshing to get food which could be eaten
without producing the unpleasantness described by the Rev. John Newton,
of St. Mary's, Woolnoth, London, when obliged to eat the same roots
while a slave in the West Indies. The day (January 14th), for a wonder,
was fair, and the sun shone, so as to allow us to dry our clothing
and other goods, many of which were mouldy and rotten from the
long-continued damp. The guns rusted, in spite of being oiled every

During the night we were all awakened by a terrific shriek from one of
Manenko's ladies. She piped out so loud and long that we all imagined
she had been seized by a lion, and my men snatched up their arms, which
they always place so as to be ready at a moment's notice, and ran to
the rescue; but we found the alarm had been caused by one of the oxen
thrusting his head into her hut and smelling her: she had put her hand
on his cold, wet nose, and thought it was all over with her.

On Sunday afternoon messengers arrived from Shinte, expressing his
approbation of the objects we had in view in our journey through the
country, and that he was glad of the prospect of a way being opened by
which white men might visit him, and allow him to purchase ornaments at
pleasure. Manenko now threatened in sport to go on, and I soon afterward
perceived that what now seemed to me the dilly-dallying way of this lady
was the proper mode of making acquaintance with the Balonda; and much of
the favor with which I was received in different places was owing to
my sending forward messengers to state the object of our coming before
entering each town and village. When we came in sight of a village we
sat down under the shade of a tree and sent forward a man to give notice
who we were and what were our objects. The head man of the village then
sent out his principal men, as Shinte now did, to bid us welcome and
show us a tree under which we might sleep. Before I had profited by the
rather tedious teaching of Manenko, I sometimes entered a village and
created unintentional alarm. The villagers would continue to look upon
us with suspicion as long as we remained. Shinte sent us two large
baskets of manioc and six dried fishes. His men had the skin of a
monkey, called in their tongue "poluma" ('Colobus guereza'), of a jet
black color, except the long mane, which is pure white: it is said to be
found in the north, in the country of Matiamvo, the paramount chief
of all the Balonda. We learned from them that they are in the habit of
praying to their idols when unsuccessful in killing game or in any other
enterprise. They behaved with reverence at our religious services. This
will appear important if the reader remembers the almost total want of
prayer and reverence we encountered in the south.

Our friends informed us that Shinte would be highly honored by the
presence of three white men in his town at once. Two others had sent
forward notice of their approach from another quarter (the west); could
it be Barth or Krapf? How pleasant to meet with Europeans in such an
out-of-the-way region! The rush of thoughts made me almost forget my
fever. Are they of the same color as I am? "Yes; exactly so." And have
the same hair? "Is that hair? we thought it was a wig; we never saw the
like before; this white man must be of the sort that lives in the sea."
Henceforth my men took the hint, and always sounded my praises as a true
specimen of the variety of white men who live in the sea. "Only look at
his hair; it is made quite straight by the sea-water!"

I explained to them again and again that, when it was said we came out
of the sea, it did not mean that we came from beneath the water; but the
fiction has been widely spread in the interior by the Mambari that the
real white men live in the sea, and the myth was too good not to be
taken advantage of by my companions; so, notwithstanding my injunctions,
I believe that, when I was out of hearing, my men always represented
themselves as led by a genuine merman: "Just see his hair!" If I
returned from walking to a little distance, they would remark of some to
whom they had been holding forth, "These people want to see your hair."

As the strangers had woolly hair like themselves, I had to give up the
idea of meeting any thing more European than two half-caste Portuguese,
engaged in trading for slaves, ivory, and bees'-wax.

16TH. After a short march we came to a most lovely valley about a mile
and a half wide, and stretching away eastward up to a low prolongation
of Monakadzi. A small stream meanders down the centre of this pleasant
green glen; and on a little rill, which flows into it from the western
side, stands the town of Kabompo, or, as he likes best to be called,
Shinte. (Lat. 12d 37' 35" S., long. 22d 47' E.) When Manenko thought the
sun was high enough for us to make a lucky entrance, we found the town
embowered in banana and other tropical trees having great expansion of
leaf; the streets are straight, and present a complete contrast to those
of the Bechuanas, which are all very tortuous. Here, too, we first saw
native huts with square walls and round roofs. The fences or walls of
the courts which surround the huts are wonderfully straight, and made
of upright poles a few inches apart, with strong grass or leafy bushes
neatly woven between. In the courts were small plantations of tobacco,
and a little solanaceous plant which the Balonda use as a relish; also
sugar-cane and bananas. Many of the poles have grown again, and trees of
the 'Ficus Indica' family have been planted around, in order to give to
the inhabitants a grateful shade: they regard this tree with some sort
of veneration as a medicine or charm. Goats were browsing about, and,
when we made our appearance, a crowd of negroes, all fully armed, ran
toward us as if they would eat us up; some had guns, but the manner in
which they were held showed that the owners were more accustomed to bows
and arrows than to white men's weapons. After surrounding and staring at
us for an hour, they began to disperse.

The two native Portuguese traders of whom we had heard had erected a
little encampment opposite the place where ours was about to be made.
One of them, whose spine had been injured in youth--a rare sight in this
country--came and visited us. I returned the visit next morning. His
tall companion had that sickly yellow hue which made him look fairer
than myself, but his head was covered with a crop of unmistakable wool.
They had a gang of young female slaves in a chain, hoeing the ground
in front of their encampment to clear it of weeds and grass; these were
purchased recently in Lobale, whence the traders had now come. There
were many Mambari with them, and the establishment was conducted
with that military order which pervades all the arrangements of the
Portuguese colonists. A drum was beaten and trumpet sounded at certain
hours, quite in military fashion. It was the first time most of my men
had seen slaves in chains. "They are not men," they exclaimed (meaning
they are beasts), "who treat their children so."

The Balonda are real negroes, having much more wool on their heads and
bodies than any of the Bechuana or Caffre tribes. They are generally
very dark in color, but several are to be seen of a lighter hue; many of
the slaves who have been exported to Brazil have gone from this region;
but while they have a general similarity to the typical negro, I never
could, from my own observation, think that our ideal negro, as seen
in tobacconists' shops, is the true type. A large proportion of the
Balonda, indeed, have heads somewhat elongated backward and upward,
thick lips, flat noses, elongated 'ossa calces', etc., etc.; but there
are also many good-looking, well-shaped heads and persons among them.

17TH, TUESDAY. We were honored with a grand reception by Shinte about
eleven o'clock. Sambanza claimed the honor of presenting us, Manenko
being slightly indisposed. The native Portuguese and Mambari went fully
armed with guns, in order to give Shinte a salute; their drummer and
trumpeter making all the noise that very old instruments would produce.
The kotla, or place of audience, was about a hundred yards square, and
two graceful specimens of a species of banian stood near one end; under
one of these sat Shinte, on a sort of throne covered with a leopard's
skin. He had on a checked jacket, and a kilt of scarlet baize edged with
green; many strings of large beads hung from his neck, and his limbs
were covered with iron and copper armlets and bracelets; on his head he
wore a helmet made of beads woven neatly together, and crowned with a
great bunch of goose-feathers. Close to him sat three lads with large
sheaves of arrows over their shoulders.

When we entered the kotla, the whole of Manenko's party saluted Shinte
by clapping their hands, and Sambanza did obeisance by rubbing his chest
and arms with ashes. One of the trees being unoccupied, I retreated to
it for the sake of the shade, and my whole party did the same. We were
now about forty yards from the chief, and could see the whole ceremony.
The different sections of the tribe came forward in the same way that we
did, the head man of each making obeisance with ashes which he carried
with him for the purpose; then came the soldiers, all armed to the
teeth, running and shouting toward us, with their swords drawn, and
their faces screwed up so as to appear as savage as possible, for the
purpose, I thought, of trying whether they could not make us take to our
heels. As we did not, they turned round toward Shinte and saluted him,
then retired. When all had come and were seated, then began the curious
capering usually seen in pichos. A man starts up, and imitates the most
approved attitudes observed in actual fight, as throwing one javelin,
receiving another on the shield, springing to one side to avoid a third,
running backward or forward, leaping, etc. This over, Sambanza and the
spokesman of Nyamoana stalked backward and forward in front of Shinte,
and gave forth, in a loud voice, all they had been able to learn,
either from myself or people, of my past history and connection with the
Makololo; the return of the captives; the wish to open the country to
trade; the Bible as a word from heaven; the white man's desire for
the tribes to live in peace: he ought to have taught the Makololo that
first, for the Balonda never attacked them, yet they had assailed the
Balonda: perhaps he is fibbing, perhaps not; they rather thought he was;
but as the Balonda had good hearts, and Shinte had never done harm to
any one, he had better receive the white man well, and send him on his
way. Sambanza was gayly attired, and, besides a profusion of beads, had
a cloth so long that a boy carried it after him as a train.

Behind Shinte sat about a hundred women, clothed in their best, which
happened to be a profusion of red baize. The chief wife of Shinte, one
of the Matebele or Zulus, sat in front with a curious red cap on her
head. During the intervals between the speeches, these ladies burst
forth into a sort of plaintive ditty; but it was impossible for any of
us to catch whether it was in praise of the speaker, of Shinte, or of
themselves. This was the first time I had ever seen females present in
a public assembly. In the south the women are not permitted to enter the
kotla; and even when invited to come to a religious service there, would
not enter until ordered to do so by the chief; but here they expressed
approbation by clapping their hands, and laughing to different speakers;
and Shinte frequently turned round and spoke to them.

A party of musicians, consisting of three drummers and four performers
on the piano, went round the kotla several times, regaling us with their
music. Their drums are neatly carved from the trunk of a tree, and have
a small hole in the side covered with a bit of spider's web: the ends
are covered with the skin of an antelope pegged on; and when they
wish to tighten it, they hold it to the fire to make it contract: the
instruments are beaten with the hands.

The piano, named "marimba", consists of two bars of wood placed side
by side, here quite straight, but, farther north, bent round so as to
resemble half the tire of a carriage-wheel; across these are placed
about fifteen wooden keys, each of which is two or three inches broad,
and fifteen or eighteen inches long; their thickness is regulated
according to the deepness of the note required: each of the keys has a
calabash beneath it; from the upper part of each a portion is cut off to
enable them to embrace the bars, and form hollow sounding-boards to the
keys, which also are of different sizes, according to the note required;
and little drumsticks elicit the music. Rapidity of execution seems much
admired among them, and the music is pleasant to the ear. In Angola the
Portuguese use the marimba in their dances.

When nine speakers had concluded their orations, Shinte stood up, and so
did all the people. He had maintained true African dignity of manner all
the while, but my people remarked that he scarcely ever took his eyes
off me for a moment. About a thousand people were present, according to
my calculation, and three hundred soldiers. The sun had now become hot;
and the scene ended by the Mambari discharging their guns.

18TH. We were awakened during the night by a message from Shinte,
requesting a visit at a very unseasonable hour. As I was just in the
sweating stage of an intermittent, and the path to the town lay through
a wet valley, I declined going. Kolimbota, who knows their customs best,
urged me to go; but, independent of sickness, I hated words of the night
and deeds of darkness. "I was neither a hyaena nor a witch." Kolimbota
thought that we ought to conform to their wishes in every thing: I
thought we ought to have some choice in the matter as well, which put
him into high dudgeon. However, at ten next morning we went, and were
led into the courts of Shinte, the walls of which were woven rods, all
very neat and high. Many trees stood within the inclosure and afforded a
grateful shade. These had been planted, for we saw some recently put
in, with grass wound round the trunk to protect them from the sun. The
otherwise waste corners of the streets were planted with sugar-cane and
bananas, which spread their large light leaves over the walls.

The Ficus Indica tree, under which we now sat, had very large leaves,
but showed its relationship to the Indian banian by sending down shoots
toward the ground. Shinte soon came, and appeared a man of upward of
fifty-five years of age, of frank and open countenance, and about
the middle height. He seemed in good humor, and said he had expected
yesterday "that a man who came from the gods would have approached
and talked to him." That had been my own intention in going to the
reception; but when we came and saw the formidable preparations, and all
his own men keeping at least forty yards off from him, I yielded to the
solicitations of my men, and remained by the tree opposite to that under
which he sat. His remark confirmed my previous belief that a frank,
open, fearless manner is the most winning with all these Africans. I
stated the object of my journey and mission, and to all I advanced the
old gentleman clapped his hands in approbation. He replied through a
spokesman; then all the company joined in the response by clapping of
hands too.

After the more serious business was over, I asked if he had ever seen a
white man before. He replied, "Never; you are the very first I have seen
with a white skin and straight hair; your clothing, too, is different
from any we have ever seen." They had been visited by native Portuguese
and Mambari only.

On learning from some of the people that "Shinte's mouth was bitter
for want of tasting ox-flesh," I presented him with an ox, to his great
delight; and, as his country is so well adapted for cattle, I advised
him to begin a trade in cows with the Makololo. He was pleased with the
idea, and when we returned from Loanda, we found that he had profited by
the hint, for he had got three, and one of them justified my opinion of
the country, for it was more like a prize heifer for fatness than any
we had seen in Africa. He soon afterward sent us a basket of green maize
boiled, another of manioc-meal, and a small fowl. The maize shows by
its size the fertility of the black soil of all the valleys here, and so
does the manioc, though no manure is ever applied. We saw manioc attain
a height of six feet and upward, and this is a plant which requires the
very best soil.

During this time Manenko had been extremely busy with all her people
in getting up a very pretty hut and court-yard, to be, as she said, her
residence always when white men were brought by her along the same path.
When she heard that we had given an ox to her uncle, she came forward
to us with the air of one wronged, and explained that "this white man
belonged to her; she had brought him here, and therefore the ox was
hers, not Shinte's." She ordered her men to bring it, got it slaughtered
by them, and presented her uncle with a leg only. Shinte did not seem at
all annoyed at the occurrence.

19TH. I was awakened at an early hour by a messenger from Shinte; but
the thirst of a raging fever being just assuaged by the bursting forth
of a copious perspiration, I declined going for a few hours. Violent
action of the heart all the way to the town did not predispose me to be
patient with the delay which then occurred, probably on account of
the divination being unfavorable: "They could not find Shinte." When I
returned to bed, another message was received, "Shinte wished to say all
he had to tell me at once." This was too tempting an offer, so we
went, and he had a fowl ready in his hand to present, also a basket
of manioc-meal, and a calabash of mead. Referring to the
constantly-recurring attacks of fever, he remarked that it was the only
thing which would prevent a successful issue to my journey, for he had
men to guide me who knew all the paths which led to the white men.
He had himself traveled far when a young man. On asking what he would
recommend for the fever, "Drink plenty of the mead, and as it gets in,
it will drive the fever out." It was rather strong, and I suspect he
liked the remedy pretty well, even though he had no fever. He had always
been a friend to Sebituane, and, now that his son Sekeletu was in his
place, Shinte was not merely a friend, but a father to him; and if a son
asks a favor, the father must give it. He was highly pleased with the
large calabashes of clarified butter and fat which Sekeletu had sent
him, and wished to detain Kolimbota, that he might send a present back
to Sekeletu by his hands. This proposition we afterward discovered
was Kolimbota's own, as he had heard so much about the ferocity of the
tribes through which we were to pass that he wished to save his skin.
It will be seen farther on that he was the only one of our party who
returned with a wound.

We were particularly struck, in passing through the village, with the
punctiliousness of manners shown by the Balonda. The inferiors, on
meeting their superiors in the street, at once drop on their knees
and rub dust on their arms and chest; they continue the salutation of
clapping the hands until the great ones have passed. Sambanza knelt down
in this manner till the son of Shinte had passed him.

We several times saw the woman who occupies the office of drawer of
water for Shinte; she rings a bell as she passes along to give warning
to all to keep out of her way; it would be a grave offense for any one
to come near her, and exercise an evil influence by his presence on the
drink of the chief. I suspect that offenses of the slightest character
among the poor are made the pretext for selling them or their children
to the Mambari. A young man of Lobale had fled into the country of
Shinte, and located himself without showing himself to the chief. This
was considered an offense sufficient to warrant his being seized and
offered for sale while we were there. He had not reported himself, so
they did not know the reason of his running away from his own chief, and
that chief might accuse them of receiving a criminal. It was curious
to notice the effect of the slave-trade in blunting the moral
susceptibility: no chief in the south would treat a fugitive in this
way. My men were horrified at the act, even though old Shinte and his
council had some show of reason on their side; and both the Barotse
and the Makololo declared that, if the Balonda only knew of the policy
pursued by them to fugitives, but few of the discontented would remain
long with Shinte. My men excited the wonder of his people by stating
that every one of them had one cow at least in his possession.

Another incident, which occurred while we were here, may be mentioned,
as of a character totally unknown in the south. Two children, of seven
and eight years old, went out to collect firewood a short distance from
their parents' home, which was a quarter of a mile from the village, and
were kidnapped; the distracted parents could not find a trace of them.
This happened so close to the town, where there are no beasts of prey,
that we suspect some of the high men of Shinte's court were the guilty
parties: they can sell them by night. The Mambari erect large huts of a
square shape to stow these stolen ones in; they are well fed, but aired
by night only. The frequent kidnapping from outlying hamlets explains
the stockades we saw around them; the parents have no redress, for even
Shinte himself seems fond of working in the dark. One night he sent for
me, though I always stated I liked all my dealings to be aboveboard.
When I came he presented me with a slave girl about ten years old; he
said he had always been in the habit of presenting his visitors with a
child. On my thanking him, and saying that I thought it wrong to take
away children from their parents, that I wished him to give up this
system altogether, and trade in cattle, ivory, and bees'-wax, he urged
that she was "to be a child" to bring me water, and that a great man
ought to have a child for the purpose, yet I had none. As I replied that
I had four children, and should be very sorry if my chief were to take
my little girl and give her away, and that I would prefer this child to
remain and carry water for her own mother, he thought I was dissatisfied
with her size, and sent for one a head taller; after many explanations
of our abhorrence of slavery, and how displeasing it must be to God
to see his children selling one another, and giving each other so much
grief as this child's mother must feel, I declined her also. If I could
have taken her into my family for the purpose of instruction, and then
returned her as a free woman, according to a promise I should have made
to the parents, I might have done so; but to take her away, and probably
never be able to secure her return, would have produced no good effect
on the minds of the Balonda; they would not then have seen evidence of
our hatred to slavery, and the kind attentions of my friends would, as
it almost always does in similar cases, have turned the poor thing's
head. The difference in position between them and us is as great as
between the lowest and highest in England, and we know the effects of
sudden elevation on wiser heads than hers, whose owners had not been
born to it.

Shinte was most anxious to see the pictures of the magic lantern; but
fever had so weakening an effect, and I had such violent action of the
heart, with buzzing in the ears, that I could not go for several days;
when I did go for the purpose, he had his principal men and the same
crowd of court beauties near him as at the reception. The first picture
exhibited was Abraham about to slaughter his son Isaac; it was shown
as large as life, and the uplifted knife was in the act of striking the
lad; the Balonda men remarked that the picture was much more like a god
than the things of wood or clay they worshiped. I explained that this
man was the first of a race to whom God had given the Bible we now held,
and that among his children our Savior appeared. The ladies listened
with silent awe; but, when I moved the slide, the uplifted dagger moving
toward them, they thought it was to be sheathed in their bodies instead
of Isaac's. "Mother! mother!" all shouted at once, and off they rushed
helter-skelter, tumbling pell-mell over each other, and over the little
idol-huts and tobacco-bushes: we could not get one of them back again.
Shinte, however, sat bravely through the whole, and afterward examined
the instrument with interest. An explanation was always added after
each time of showing its powers, so that no one should imagine there was
aught supernatural in it; and had Mr. Murray, who kindly brought it from
England, seen its popularity among both Makololo and Balonda, he would
have been gratified with the direction his generosity then took. It was
the only mode of instruction I was ever pressed to repeat. The people
came long distances for the express purpose of seeing the objects and
hearing the explanations.

One can not get away quickly from these chiefs; they like to have the
honor of strangers residing in their villages. Here we had an additional
cause of delay in frequent rains; twenty-four hours never elapsed
without heavy showers; every thing is affected by the dampness; surgical
instruments become all rusty, clothing mildewed, and shoes mouldy; my
little tent was now so rotten and so full of small holes that every
smart shower caused a fine mist to descend on my blanket, and made me
fain to cover the head with it. Heavy dews lay on every thing in the
morning, even inside the tent; there is only a short time of sunshine in
the afternoon, and even that is so interrupted by thunder-showers that
we can not dry our bedding.

The winds coming from the north always bring heavy clouds and rain; in
the south, the only heavy rains noticed are those which come from the
northeast or east. The thermometer falls as low as 72 Degrees when
there is no sunshine, though, when the weather is fair, the protected
thermometer generally rises as high as 82 Degrees, even in the mornings
and evenings.

24TH. We expected to have started to-day, but Sambanza, who had been
sent off early in the morning for guides, returned at midday without
them, and drunk. This was the first case of real babbling intoxication
we had seen in this region. The boyaloa, or beer of the country, has
more of a stupefying than exciting nature; hence the beer-bibbers are
great sleepers; they may frequently be seen lying on their faces
sound asleep. This peculiarity of posture was ascribed, by no less an
authority than Aristotle, to wine, while those who were sent asleep by
beer were believed "to lie upon their backs."

Sambanza had got into a state of inebriation from indulging in mead,
similar to that which Shinte presented to us, which is much more
powerful than boyaloa. As far as we could collect from his incoherent
sentences, Shinte had said the rain was too heavy for our departure, and
the guides still required time for preparation. Shinte himself was busy
getting some meal ready for my use in the journey. As it rained nearly
all day, it was no sacrifice to submit to his advice and remain.
Sambanza staggered to Manenko's hut; she, however, who had never
promised "to love, honor, and obey him," had not been "nursing her wrath
to keep it warm," so she coolly bundled him into the hut, and put him to

As the last proof of friendship, Shinte came into my tent, though
it could scarcely contain more than one person, looked at all the
curiosities, the quicksilver, the looking-glass, books, hair-brushes,
comb, watch, etc., etc., with the greatest interest; then closing the
tent, so that none of his own people might see the extravagance of which
he was about to be guilty, he drew out from his clothing a string of
beads, and the end of a conical shell, which is considered, in regions
far from the sea, of as great value as the Lord Mayor's badge is in
London. He hung it round my neck, and said, "There, now you HAVE a proof
of my friendship."

My men informed me that these shells are so highly valued in this
quarter, as evidences of distinction, that for two of them a slave
might be bought, and five would be considered a handsome price for
an elephant's tusk worth ten pounds. At our last interview old Shinte
pointed out our principal guide, Intemese, a man about fifty, who was,
he said, ordered to remain by us till we should reach the sea; that I
had now left Sekeletu far behind, and must henceforth look to Shinte
alone for aid, and that it would always be most cheerfully rendered.
This was only a polite way of expressing his wishes for my success. It
was the good words only of the guides which were to aid me from the next
chief, Katema, on to the sea; they were to turn back on reaching him;
but he gave a good supply of food for the journey before us, and, after
mentioning as a reason for letting us go even now that no one could say
we had been driven away from the town, since we had been several days
with him, he gave a most hearty salutation, and we parted with the wish
that God might bless him.

Chapter 17.

Leave Shinte--Manioc Gardens--Mode of preparing the poisonous kind--Its
general Use--Presents of Food--Punctiliousness of the Balonda--
Their Idols and Superstition--Dress of the Balonda--Villages beyond
Lonaje--Cazembe--Our Guides and the Makololo--Night Rains--Inquiries
for English cotton Goods--Intemese's Fiction--Visit from an old
Man--Theft--Industry of our Guide--Loss of Pontoon--Plains covered
with Water--Affection of the Balonda for their Mothers--A Night on an
Island--The Grass on the Plains--Source of the Rivers--Loan of the
Roofs of Huts--A Halt--Fertility of the Country through which the
Lokalueje flows--Omnivorous Fish--Natives' Mode of catching them--
The Village of a Half-brother of Katema, his Speech and Present--Our
Guide's Perversity--Mozenkwa's pleasant Home and Family--Clear Water of
the flooded Rivers--A Messenger from Katema--Quendende's Village: his
Kindness--Crop of Wool--Meet People from the Town of Matiamvo--Fireside
Talk--Matiamvo's Character and Conduct--Presentation at Katema's Court:
his Present, good Sense, and Appearance--Interview on the following
Day--Cattle--A Feast and a Makololo Dance--Arrest of a Fugitive--
Dignified old Courtier--Katema's lax Government--Cold Wind from the
North--Canaries and other singing Birds--Spiders, their Nests and
Webs--Lake Dilolo--Tradition--Sagacity of Ants.

26TH. Leaving Shinte, with eight of his men to aid in carrying our
luggage, we passed, in a northerly direction, down the lovely valley
on which the town stands, then went a little to the west through pretty
open forest, and slept at a village of Balonda. In the morning we had
a fine range of green hills, called Saloisho, on our right, and were
informed that they were rather thickly inhabited by the people of
Shinte, who worked in iron, the ore of which abounds in these hills.

The country through which we passed possessed the same general character
of flatness and forest that we noticed before. The soil is dark, with a
tinge of red--in some places it might be called red--and appeared very
fertile. Every valley contained villages of twenty or thirty huts, with
gardens of manioc, which here is looked upon as the staff of life. Very
little labor is required for its cultivation. The earth is drawn up into
oblong beds, about three feet broad and one in height, and in these are
planted pieces of the manioc stalk, at four feet apart. A crop of beans
or ground-nuts is sown between them, and when these are reaped the land
around the manioc is cleared of weeds. In from ten to eighteen months
after planting, according to the quality of the soil, the roots are fit
for food. There is no necessity for reaping soon, as the roots do not
become bitter and dry until after three years. When a woman takes up the
roots, she thrusts a piece or two of the upper stalks into the hole
she has made, draws back the soil, and a new crop is thereby begun. The
plant grows to a height of six feet, and every part of it is useful: the
leaves may be cooked as a vegetable. The roots are from three to four
inches in diameter, and from twelve to eighteen inches long.

There are two varieties of the manioc or cassava--one sweet and
wholesome, the other bitter and containing poison, but much more
speedy in its growth than the former. This last property causes its
perpetuation. When we reached the village of Kapende, on the banks of
the rivulet Lonaje, we were presented with so much of the poisonous kind
that we were obliged to leave it. To get rid of the poison, the people
place it four days in a pool of water. It then becomes partially
decomposed, and is taken out, stripped of its skin, and exposed to the
sun. When dried, it is easily pounded into a fine white meal, closely
resembling starch, which has either a little of the peculiar taste
arising from decomposition, or no more flavor than starch. When intended
to be used as food, this meal is stirred into boiling water: they put
in as much as can be moistened, one man holding the vessel and the other
stirring the porridge with all his might. This is the common mess of the
country. Though hungry, we could just manage to swallow it with the aid
of a little honey, which I shared with my men as long as it lasted. It
is very unsavory (Scottice: wersh); and no matter how much one may eat,
two hours afterward he is as hungry as ever. When less meal is employed,
the mess is exactly like a basin of starch in the hands of a laundress;
and if the starch were made from diseased potatoes, some idea might be
formed of the Balonda porridge, which hunger alone forced us to
eat. Santuru forbade his nobles to eat it, as it caused coughing and

Our chief guide, Intemese, sent orders to all the villages around our
route that Shinte's friends must have abundance of provisions. Our
progress was impeded by the time requisite for communicating the chief's
desire and consequent preparation of meal. We received far more food
from Shinte's people than from himself. Kapende, for instance, presented
two large baskets of meal, three of manioc roots steeped and dried in
the sun and ready to be converted into flour, three fowls, and seven
eggs, with three smoke-dried fishes; and others gave with similar
liberality. I gave to the head men small bunches of my stock of beads,
with an apology that we were now on our way to the market for these
goods. The present was always politely received.

We had an opportunity of observing that our guides had much more
etiquette than any of the tribes farther south. They gave us food, but
would not partake of it when we had cooked it, nor would they eat their
own food in our presence. When it was cooked they retired into a thicket
and ate their porridge; then all stood up, and clapped their hands, and
praised Intemese for it. The Makololo, who are accustomed to the most
free and easy manners, held out handfuls of what they had cooked to
any of the Balonda near, but they refused to taste. They are very
punctilious in their manners to each other. Each hut has its own fire,
and when it goes out they make it afresh for themselves rather than take
it from a neighbor. I believe much of this arises from superstitious
fears. In the deep, dark forests near each village, as already
mentioned, you see idols intended to represent the human head or a
lion, or a crooked stick smeared with medicine, or simply a small pot of
medicine in a little shed, or miniature huts with little mounds of earth
in them. But in the darker recesses we meet with human faces cut in the
bark of trees, the outlines of which, with the beards, closely resemble
those seen on Egyptian monuments. Frequent cuts are made on the trees
along all the paths, and offerings of small pieces of manioc roots or
ears of maize are placed on branches. There are also to be seen every
few miles heaps of sticks, which are treated in cairn fashion, by every
one throwing a small branch to the heap in passing; or a few sticks are
placed on the path, and each passer-by turns from his course, and forms
a sudden bend in the road to one side. It seems as if their minds were
ever in doubt and dread in these gloomy recesses of the forest, and
that they were striving to propitiate, by their offerings, some superior
beings residing there.

The dress of the Balonda men consists of the softened skins of small
animals, as the jackal or wild cat, hung before and behind from a girdle
round the loins. The dress of the women is of a nondescript character;
but they were not immodest. They stood before us as perfectly
unconscious of any indecorum as we could be with our clothes on. But,
while ignorant of their own deficiency, they could not maintain their
gravity at the sight of the nudity of my men behind. Much to the
annoyance of my companions, the young girls laughed outright whenever
their backs were turned to them.

After crossing the Lonaje, we came to some pretty villages, embowered,
as the negro villages usually are, in bananas, shrubs, and manioc,
and near the banks of the Leeba we formed our encampment in a nest of
serpents, one of which bit one of our men, but the wound was harmless.
The people of the surrounding villages presented us with large
quantities of food, in obedience to the mandate of Shinte, without
expecting any equivalent. One village had lately been transferred hither
from the country of Matiamvo. They, of course, continue to acknowledge
him as paramount chief; but the frequent instances which occur of people
changing from one part of the country to another, show that the great
chiefs possess only a limited power. The only peculiarity we observed in
these people is the habit of plaiting the beard into a three-fold cord.

The town of the Balonda chief Cazembe was pointed out to us as lying to
the N.E. and by E. from the town of Shinte, and great numbers of people
in this quarter have gone thither for the purpose of purchasing copper
anklets, made at Cazembe's, and report the distance to be about five
days' journey. I made inquiries of some of the oldest inhabitants of the
villages at which we were staying respecting the visit of Pereira and
Lacerda to that town. An old gray-headed man replied that they had often
heard of white men before, but never had seen one, and added that one
had come to Cazembe when our informant was young, and returned again
without entering this part of the country. The people of Cazembe are
Balonda or Baloi, and his country has been termed Londa, Lunda, or Lui,
by the Portuguese.

It was always difficult to get our guides to move away from a place.
With the authority of the chief, they felt as comfortable as king's
messengers could, and were not disposed to forego the pleasure of living
at free quarters. My Makololo friends were but ill drilled as yet; and
since they had never left their own country before, except for purposes
of plunder, they did not take readily to the peaceful system we now
meant to follow. They either spoke too imperiously to strangers, or,
when reproved for that, were disposed to follow the dictation of every
one we met. When Intemese, our guide, refused to stir toward the Leeba
on the 31st of January, they would make no effort to induce him to go;
but, having ordered them to get ready, Intemese saw the preparations,
and soon followed the example. It took us about four hours to cross the
Leeba, which is considerably smaller here than where we left it--indeed,
only about a hundred yards wide. It has the same dark mossy hue. The
villagers lent us canoes to effect our passage; and, having gone to
a village about two miles beyond the river, I had the satisfaction of
getting observations for both longitude and latitude--for the former,
the distance between Saturn and the Moon, and for the latter a meridian
altitude of Canopus. Long. 22d 57' E., lat. 12d 6' 6" S.

These were the only opportunities I had of ascertaining my whereabouts
in this part of Londa. Again and again did I take out the instruments,
and, just as all was right, the stars would be suddenly obscured by
clouds. I had never observed so great an amount of cloudiness in any
part of the south country; and as for the rains, I believe that years
at Kolobeng would not have made my little tent so rotten and thin as one
month had done in Londa. I never observed in the south the heavy night
and early morning rains we had in this country. They often continued all
night, then became heavier about an hour before dawn. Or if fair during
the night, as day drew nigh, an extremely heavy, still, pouring rain set
in without warning. Five out of every six days we had this pouring rain,
at or near break of day, for months together; and it soon beat my tent
so thin, that a mist fell through on my face and made every thing damp.
The rains were occasionally, but not always, accompanied with very loud

FEBRUARY 1ST. This day we had a fine view of two hills called Piri
(Peeri), meaning "two", on the side of the river we had left. The
country there is named Mokwankwa. And there Intemese informed us one of
Shinte's children was born, when he was in his progress southward from
the country of Matiamvo. This part of the country would thus seem not to
have been inhabited by the people of Shinte at any very remote period.
He told me himself that he had come into his present country by command
of Matiamvo.

Here we were surprised to hear English cotton cloth much more eagerly
inquired after than beads and ornaments. They are more in need of
clothing than the Bechuana tribes living adjacent to the Kalahari
Desert, who have plenty of skins for the purpose. Animals of all kinds
are rare here, and a very small piece of calico is of great value.

In the midst of the heavy rain, which continued all the morning,
Intemese sent to say he was laid up with pains in the stomach, and must
not be disturbed; but when it cleared up, about eleven, I saw our friend
walking off to the village, and talking with a very loud voice. On
reproaching him for telling an untruth, he turned it off with a laugh by
saying he really had a complaint in his stomach, which I might cure
by slaughtering one of the oxen and allowing him to eat beef. He was
evidently reveling in the abundance of good food the chief's orders
brought us; and he did not feel the shame I did when I gave a few beads
only in return for large baskets of meal.

A very old man visited us here with a present of maize: like the others,
he had never before seen a white man, and, when conversing with him,
some of the young men remarked that they were the true ancients, for
they had now seen more wonderful things than their forefathers.

One of Intemese's men stole a fowl given me by a lady of the village.
When charged with the theft, every one of Intemese's party vociferated
his innocence and indignation at being suspected, continuing their
loud asseverations and gesticulations for some minutes. One of my men,
Loyanke, went off to the village, brought the lady who had presented the
fowl to identify it, and then pointed to the hut in which it was hidden.
The Balonda collected round him, evincing great wrath; but Loyanke
seized his battle-axe in the proper manner for striking, and, placing
himself on a little hillock, soon made them moderate their tones.
Intemese then called on me to send one of my people to search the huts
if I suspected his people. The man sent soon found it, and brought it
out, to the confusion of Intemese and the laughter of our party. This
incident is mentioned to show that the greater superstition which exists
here does not lead to the practice of the virtues. We never met an
instance like this of theft from a white man among the Makololo, though
they complain of the Makalaka as addicted to pilfering. The honesty of
the Bakwains has been already noticed. Probably the estimation in which
I was held as a public benefactor, in which character I was not yet
known to the Balonda, may account for the sacredness with which my
property was always treated before. But other incidents which happened
subsequently showed, as well as this, that idolaters are not so virtuous
as those who have no idols.

As the people on the banks of the Leeba were the last of Shinte's tribe
over which Intemese had power, he was naturally anxious to remain as
long as possible. He was not idle, but made a large wooden mortar and
pestle for his wife during our journey. He also carved many wooden
spoons and a bowl; then commenced a basket; but as what he considered
good living was any thing but agreeable to us, who had been accustomed
to milk and maize, we went forward on the 2d without him. He soon
followed, but left our pontoon, saying it would be brought by the head
man of the village. This was a great loss, as we afterward found; it
remained at this village more than a year, and when we returned a mouse
had eaten a hole in it.

We entered on an extensive plain beyond the Leeba, at least twenty miles
broad, and covered with water, ankle deep in the shallowest parts. We
deviated somewhat from our N.W. course by the direction of Intemese, and
kept the hills Piri nearly on our right during a great part of the first
day, in order to avoid the still more deeply flooded plains of Lobale
(Luval?) on the west. These, according to Intemese, are at present
impassable on account of being thigh deep. The plains are so perfectly
level that rain-water, which this was, stands upon them for months
together. They were not flooded by the Leeba, for that was still far
within its banks. Here and there, dotted over the surface, are little
islands, on which grow stunted date-bushes and scraggy trees. The plains
themselves are covered with a thick sward of grass, which conceals
the water, and makes the flats appear like great pale yellow-colored
prairie-lands, with a clear horizon, except where interrupted here and
there by trees. The clear rain-water must have stood some time among the
grass, for great numbers of lotus-flowers were seen in full blow; and
the runs of water tortoises and crabs were observed; other animals also,
which prey on the fish that find their way to the plains.

The continual splashing of the oxen keeps the feet of the rider
constantly wet, and my men complain of the perpetual moisture of the
paths by which we have traveled in Londa as softening their horny soles.
The only information we can glean is from Intemese, who points out the
different localities as we pass along, and among the rest "Mokala
a Mama", his "mamma's home". It was interesting to hear this tall
gray-headed man recall the memories of boyhood. All the Makalaka
children cleave to the mother in cases of separation, or removal from
one part of the country to another. This love for mothers does not argue
superior morality in other respects, or else Intemese has forgotten any
injunctions his mamma may have given him not to tell lies. The respect,
however, with which he spoke of her was quite characteristic of his
race. The Bechuanas, on the contrary, care nothing for their mothers,
but cling to their fathers, especially if they have any expectation of
becoming heirs to their cattle. Our Bakwain guide to the lake, Rachosi,
told me that his mother lived in the country of Sebituane, but, though
a good specimen of the Bechuanas, he laughed at the idea of going so
far as from the Lake Ngami to the Chobe merely for the purpose of seeing
her. Had he been one of the Makalaka, he never would have parted from

We made our beds on one of the islands, and were wretchedly supplied
with firewood. The booths constructed by the men were but sorry shelter,
for the rain poured down without intermission till midday. There is no
drainage for the prodigious masses of water on these plains, except slow
percolation into the different feeders of the Leeba, and into that
river itself. The quantity of vegetation has prevented the country
from becoming furrowed by many rivulets or "nullahs". Were it not so
remarkably flat, the drainage must have been effected by torrents, even
in spite of the matted vegetation.

That these extensive plains are covered with grasses only, and the
little islands with but scraggy trees, may be accounted for by the fact,
observable every where in this country, that, where water stands for any
length of time, trees can not live. The want of speedy drainage destroys
them, and injures the growth of those that are planted on the islands,
for they have no depth of earth not subjected to the souring influence
of the stagnant water. The plains of Lobale, to the west of these, are
said to be much more extensive than any we saw, and their vegetation
possesses similar peculiarities. When the stagnant rain-water has all
soaked in, as must happen during the months in which there is no rain,
travelers are even put to straits for want of water. This is stated
on native testimony; but I can very well believe that level plains, in
which neither wells nor gullies are met with, may, after the dry season,
present the opposite extreme to what we witnessed. Water, however, could
always be got by digging, a proof of which we had on our return when
brought to a stand on this very plain by severe fever: about twelve
miles from the Kasai my men dug down a few feet, and found an abundant
supply; and we saw on one of the islands the garden of a man who, in
the dry season, had drunk water from a well in like manner. Plains
like these can not be inhabited while the present system of cultivation
lasts. The population is not yet so very large as to need them. They
find garden-ground enough on the gentle slopes at the sides of the
rivulets, and possess no cattle to eat off the millions of acres of fine
hay we were now wading through. Any one who has visited the Cape Colony
will understand me when I say that these immense crops resemble sown
grasses more than the tufty vegetation of the south.

I would here request the particular attention of the reader to the
phenomena these periodically deluged plains present, because they have a
most important bearing on the physical geography of a very large portion
of this country. The plains of Lobale, to the west of this, give rise
to a great many streams, which unite, and form the deep, never-failing
Chobe. Similar extensive flats give birth to the Loeti and Kasai, and,
as we shall see further on, all the rivers of an extensive region owe
their origin to oozing bogs, and not to fountains.

When released from our island by the rain ceasing, we marched on till
we came to a ridge of dry inhabited land in the N.W. The inhabitants,
according to custom, lent us the roofs of some huts to save the men the
trouble of booth-making. I suspect that the story in Park's "Travels",
of the men lifting up the hut to place it on the lion, referred to the
roof only. We leave them for the villagers to replace at their leisure.
No payment is expected for the use of them. By night it rained so
copiously that all our beds were flooded from below; and from this time
forth we always made a furrow round each booth, and used the earth to
raise our sleeping-places. My men turned out to work in the wet most
willingly; indeed, they always did. I could not but contrast their
conduct with that of Intemese. He was thoroughly imbued with the slave
spirit, and lied on all occasions without compunction. Untruthfulness is
a sort of refuge for the weak and oppressed. We expected to move on the
4th, but he declared that we were so near Katema's, if we did not send
forward to apprise that chief of our approach, he would certainly impose
a fine. It rained the whole day, so we were reconciled to the delay; but
on Sunday, the 5th, he let us know that we were still two days distant
from Katema. We unfortunately could not manage without him, for the
country was so deluged, we should have been brought to a halt before
we went many miles by some deep valley, every one of which was full of
water. Intemese continued to plait his basket with all his might, and
would not come to our religious service. He seemed to be afraid of our
incantations, but was always merry and jocular.

6TH. Soon after starting we crossed a branch of the Lokalueje by means
of a canoe, and in the afternoon passed over the main stream by a like
conveyance. The former, as is the case with all branches of rivers
in this country, is called nyuana Kalueje (child of the Kalueje).
Hippopotami exist in the Lokalueje, so it may be inferred to be
perennial, as the inhabitants asserted. We can not judge of the size
of the stream from what we now saw. It had about forty yards of deep,
fast-flowing water, but probably not more than half that amount in the
dry season. Besides these, we crossed numerous feeders in our N.N.W.
course, and, there being no canoes, got frequently wet in the course of
the day. The oxen in some places had their heads only above water, and
the stream, flowing over their backs, wetted our blankets, which we used
as saddles. The arm-pit was the only safe spot for carrying the watch,
for there it was preserved from rains above and waters below. The men on
foot crossed these gullies holding up their burdens at arms' length.

The Lokalueje winds from northeast to southwest into the Leeba. The
country adjacent to its banks is extremely fine and fertile, with
here and there patches of forest or clumps of magnificent trees. The
villagers through whose gardens we passed continue to sow and reap all
the year round. The grains, as maize, lotsa ('Pennisetum typhoideum'),
lokesh or millet, are to be seen at all stages of their growth--some
just ripe, while at this time the Makololo crops are not half grown. My
companions, who have a good idea of the different qualities of soils,
expressed the greatest admiration of the agricultural capabilities of
the whole of Londa, and here they were loud in their praises of the
pasturage. They have an accurate idea of the varieties of grasses best
adapted for different kinds of stock, and lament because here there
are no cows to feed off the rich green crop, which at this time imparts
special beauty to the landscape.

Great numbers of the omnivorous feeding fish, 'Glanis siluris', or
mosala, spread themselves over the flooded plains, and, as the waters
retire, try to find their way back again to the rivers. The Balonda make
earthen dikes and hedges across the outlets of the retreating waters,
leaving only small spaces through which the chief part of the water
flows. In these open spaces they plant creels, similar in shape to our
own, into which the fish can enter, but can not return. They secure
large quantities of fish in this way, which, when smoke-dried, make a
good relish for their otherwise insipid food. They use also a weir of
mats made of reeds sewed together, with but half an inch between each.
Open spaces are left for the insertion of the creels as before.

In still water, a fish-trap is employed of the same shape and plan as
the common round wire mouse-trap, which has an opening surrounded with
wires pointing inward. This is made of reeds and supple wands, and food
is placed inside to attract the fish.

Besides these means of catching fish, they use a hook of iron without a
barb; the point is bent inward instead, so as not to allow the fish to
escape. Nets are not so common as in the Zouga and Leeambye, but they
kill large quantities of fishes by means of the bruised leaves of a
shrub, which may be seen planted beside every village in the country.

On the 7th we came to the village of Soana Molopo, a half-brother of
Katema, a few miles beyond the Lokalueje. When we went to visit him, we
found him sitting with about one hundred men. He called on Intemese to
give some account of us, though no doubt it had been done in private
before. He then pronounced the following sentences: "The journey of the
white man is very proper, but Shinte has disturbed us by showing the
path to the Makololo who accompany him. He ought to have taken them
through the country without showing them the towns. We are afraid of
the Makololo." He then gave us a handsome present of food, and seemed
perplexed by my sitting down familiarly, and giving him a few of our
ideas. When we left, Intemese continued busily imparting an account
of all we had given to Shinte and Masiko, and instilling the hope that
Soana Molopo might obtain as much as they had received. Accordingly,
when we expected to move on the morning of the 8th, we got some hints
about the ox which Soana Molopo expected to eat, but we recommended him
to get the breed of cattle for himself, seeing his country was so well
adapted for rearing stock. Intemese also refused to move; he, moreover,
tried to frighten us into parting with an ox by saying that Soana Molopo
would send forward a message that we were a marauding party; but we
packed up and went on without him. We did not absolutely need him, but
he was useful in preventing the inhabitants of secluded villages from
betaking themselves to flight. We wished to be on good terms with
all, and therefore put up with our guide's peccadilloes. His good word
respecting us had considerable influence, and he was always asked if we
had behaved ourselves like men on the way. The Makololo are viewed as
great savages, but Intemese could not justly look with scorn on them,
for he has the mark of a large gash on his arm, got in fighting; and he
would never tell the cause of battle, but boasted of his powers as the
Makololo do, till asked about a scar on his back, betokening any thing
but bravery.

Intemese was useful in cases like that of Monday, when we came upon
a whole village in a forest enjoying their noonday nap. Our sudden
appearance in their midst so terrified them that one woman nearly went
into convulsions from fear. When they saw and heard Intemese, their
terror subsided.

As usual, we were caught by rains after leaving Soana Molopo's, and made
our booths at the house of Mozinkwa, a most intelligent and friendly man
belonging to Katema. He had a fine large garden in cultivation, and well
hedged round. He had made the walls of his compound, or court-yard, of
branches of the banian, which, taking root, had grown to be a live hedge
of that tree. Mozinkwa's wife had cotton growing all round her premises,
and several plants used as relishes to the insipid porridge of the
country. She cultivated also the common castor-oil plant, and a larger
shrub ('Jatropha curcas'), which also yields a purgative oil. Here,
however, the oil is used for anointing the heads and bodies alone.
We saw in her garden likewise the Indian bringalls, yams, and sweet
potatoes. Several trees were planted in the middle of the yard, and
in the deep shade they gave stood the huts of his fine family. His
children, all by one mother, very black, but comely to view, were the
finest negro family I ever saw. We were much pleased with the frank
friendship and liberality of this man and his wife. She asked me to
bring her a cloth from the white man's country; but, when we returned,
poor Mozinkwa's wife was in her grave, and he, as is the custom, had
abandoned trees, garden, and huts to ruin. They can not live on a spot
where a favorite wife has died, probably because unable to bear the
remembrance of the happy times they have spent there, or afraid to
remain in a spot where death has once visited the establishment. If ever
the place is revisited, it is to pray to her, or make some offering.
This feeling renders any permanent village in the country impossible.

We learned from Mozinkwa that Soana Molopo was the elder brother of
Katema, but that he was wanting in wisdom; and Katema, by purchasing
cattle and receiving in a kind manner all the fugitives who came to
him, had secured the birthright to himself, so far as influence in the
country is concerned. Soana's first address to us did not savor much of
African wisdom.

FRIDAY, 10TH. On leaving Mozinkwa's hospitable mansion we crossed
another stream, about forty yards wide, in canoes. While this tedious
process was going on, I was informed that it is called the Mona-Kalueje,
or brother of Kalueje, as it flows into that river; that both the
Kalueje and Livoa flow into the Leeba; and that the Chifumadze, swollen
by the Lotembwa, is a feeder of that river also, below the point where
we lately crossed it. It may be remarked here that these rivers were now
in flood, and that the water was all perfectly clear. The vegetation
on the banks is so thickly planted that the surface of the earth is not
abraded by the torrents. The grass is laid flat, and forms a protection
to the banks, which are generally a stiff black loam. The fact of canoes
being upon them shows that, though not large, they are not like the
southern rivulets, which dry up during most of the year, and render
canoes unnecessary.

As we were crossing the river we were joined by a messenger from Katema,
called Shakatwala. This person was a sort of steward or factotum to his
chief. Every chief has one attached to his person, and, though generally
poor, they are invariably men of great shrewdness and ability. They
act the part of messengers on all important occasions, and possess
considerable authority in the chief's household. Shakatwala informed
us that Katema had not received precise information about us, but if we
were peaceably disposed, as he loved strangers, we were to come to his
town. We proceeded forthwith, but were turned aside, by the strategy of
our friend Intemese, to the village of Quendende, the father-in-law
of Katema. This fine old man was so very polite that we did not regret
being obliged to spend Sunday at his village. He expressed his pleasure
at having a share in the honor of a visit as well as Katema, though it
seemed to me that the conferring that pleasure required something like a
pretty good stock of impudence, in leading twenty-seven men through
the country without the means of purchasing food. My men did a little
business for themselves in the begging line; they generally commenced
every interview with new villagers by saying "I have come from afar;
give me something to eat." I forbade this at first, believing that, as
the Makololo had a bad name, the villagers gave food from fear. But,
after some time, it was evident that in many cases maize and manioc were
given from pure generosity. The first time I came to this conclusion was
at the house of Mozinkwa; scarcely any one of my men returned from
it without something in his hand; and as they protested they had not
begged, I asked himself, and found that it was the case, and that he had
given spontaneously. In other parts the chiefs attended to my wants,
and the common people gave liberally to my men. I presented some of my
razors and iron spoons to different head men, but my men had nothing to
give; yet every one tried to appropriate an individual in each village
as "Molekane", or comrade, and the villagers often assented; so, if the
reader remembers the molekane system of the Mopato, he may perceive that
those who presented food freely would expect the Makololo to treat them
in like manner, should they ever be placed in similar circumstances.
Their country is so fertile that they are in no want of food themselves;
however, their generosity was remarkable; only one woman refused to
give some of my men food, but her husband calling out to her to be more
liberal, she obeyed, scolding all the while.

In this part of the country, buffaloes, elands, koodoos, and various
antelopes are to be found, but we did not get any, as they are
exceedingly wary from being much hunted. We had the same woodland and
meadow as before, with here and there pleasant negro villages; and being
all in good health, could enjoy the fine green scenery.

Quendende's head was a good specimen of the greater crop of wool with
which the negroes of Londa are furnished. The front was parted in the
middle, and plaited into two thick rolls, which, falling down behind the
ears, reached the shoulders; the rest was collected into a large knot,
which lay on the nape of the neck. As he was an intelligent man, we had
much conversation together: he had just come from attending the funeral
of one of his people, and I found that the great amount of drum-beating
which takes place on these occasions was with the idea that the Barimo,
or spirits, could be drummed to sleep. There is a drum in every village,
and we often hear it going from sunset to sunrise. They seem to look
upon the departed as vindictive beings, and, I suspect, are more
influenced by fear than by love. In beginning to speak on religious
subjects with those who have never heard of Christianity, the great
fact of the Son of God having come down from heaven to die for us is the
prominent theme. No fact more striking can be mentioned. "He actually
came to men. He himself told us about his Father, and the dwelling-place
whither he has gone. We have his words in this book, and he really
endured punishment in our stead from pure love," etc. If this fails to
interest them, nothing else will succeed.

We here met with some people just arrived from the town of Matiamvo
(Muata yanvo), who had been sent to announce the death of the late
chieftain of that name. Matiamvo is the hereditary title, muata meaning
lord or chief. The late Matiamvo seems, from the report of these men, to
have become insane, for he is said to have sometimes indulged the whim
of running a muck in the town and beheading whomsoever he met, until
he had quite a heap of human heads. Matiamvo explained this conduct by
saying that his people were too many, and he wanted to diminish them.
He had absolute power of life and death. On inquiring whether human
sacrifices were still made, as in the time of Pereira, at Cazembe's, we
were informed that these had never been so common as was represented
to Pereira, but that it occasionally happened, when certain charms were
needed by the chief, that a man was slaughtered for the sake of some
part of his body. He added that he hoped the present chief would not
act like his (mad) predecessor, but kill only those who were guilty of
witchcraft or theft. These men were very much astonished at the liberty
enjoyed by the Makololo; and when they found that all my people
held cattle, we were told that Matiamvo alone had a herd. One very
intelligent man among them asked, "If he should make a canoe, and take
it down the river to the Makololo, would he get a cow for it?" This
question, which my men answered in the affirmative, was important,
as showing the knowledge of a water communication from the country of
Matiamvo to the Makololo; and the river runs through a fertile country
abounding in large timber. If the tribes have intercourse with each
other, it exerts a good influence on their chiefs to hear what other
tribes think of their deeds. The Makololo have such a bad name, on
account of their perpetual forays, that they have not been known in
Londa except as ruthless destroyers. The people in Matiamvo's country
submit to much wrong from their chiefs, and no voice can be raised
against cruelty, because they are afraid to flee elsewhere.

We left Quendende's village in company with Quendende himself, and the
principal man of the embassadors of Matiamvo, and after two or three
miles' march to the N.W., came to the ford of the Lotembwa, which flows
southward. A canoe was waiting to ferry us over, but it was very tedious
work; for, though the river itself was only eighty yards wide, the whole
valley was flooded, and we were obliged to paddle more than half a mile
to get free of the water. A fire was lit to warm old Quendende, and
enable him to dry his tobacco-leaves. The leaves are taken from the
plant, and spread close to the fire until they are quite dry and crisp;
they are then put into a snuff-box, which, with a little pestle, serves
the purpose of a mill to grind them into powder; it is then used
as snuff. As we sat by the fire, the embassadors communicated their
thoughts freely respecting the customs of their race. When a chief dies,
a number of servants are slaughtered with him to form his company in the
other world. The Barotse followed the same custom, and this and other
usages show them to be genuine negroes, though neither they nor the
Balonda resemble closely the typical form of that people. Quendende said
if he were present on these occasions he would hide his people, so that
they might not be slaughtered. As we go north, the people become more
bloodily superstitious.

We were assured that if the late Matiamvo took a fancy to any thing,
such, for instance, as my watch-chain, which was of silver wire, and was
a great curiosity, as they had never seen metal plaited before, he would
order a whole village to be brought up to buy it from a stranger. When
a slave-trader visited him, he took possession of all his goods; then,
after ten days or a fortnight, he would send out a party of men to
pounce upon some considerable village, and, having killed the head
man, would pay for all the goods by selling the inhabitants. This has
frequently been the case, and nearly all the visitants he ever had were
men of color. On asking if Matiamvo did not know he was a man, and
would be judged, in company with those he destroyed, by a Lord who is no
respector of persons? the embassador replied, "We do not go up to God,
as you do; we are put into the ground." I could not ascertain that even
those who have such a distinct perception of the continued existence of
departed spirits had any notion of heaven; they appear to imagine the
souls to be always near the place of sepulture.

After crossing the River Lotembwa we traveled about eight miles, and
came to Katema's straggling town (lat. 11d 35' 49" S., long. 22d 27'
E.). It is more a collection of villages than a town. We were led out
about half a mile from the houses, that we might make for ourselves the
best lodging we could of the trees and grass, while Intemese was taken
to Katema to undergo the usual process of pumping as to our past conduct
and professions. Katema soon afterward sent a handsome present of food.

Next morning we had a formal presentation, and found Katema seated on a
sort of throne, with about three hundred men on the ground around, and
thirty women, who were said to be his wives, close behind him. The main
body of the people were seated in a semicircle, at a distance of fifty
yards. Each party had its own head man stationed at a little distance
in front, and, when beckoned by the chief, came near him as councilors.
Intemese gave our history, and Katema placed sixteen large baskets of
meal before us, half a dozen fowls, and a dozen eggs, and expressed
regret that we had slept hungry: he did not like any stranger to suffer
want in his town; and added, "Go home, and cook and eat, and you will
then be in a fit state to speak to me at an audience I will give you
to-morrow." He was busily engaged in hearing the statements of a large
body of fine young men who had fled from Kangenke, chief of Lobale,
on account of his selling their relatives to the native Portuguese who
frequent his country. Katema is a tall man, about forty years of age,
and his head was ornamented with a helmet of beads and feathers. He had
on a snuff-brown coat, with a broad band of tinsel down the arms, and
carried in his hand a large tail made of the caudal extremities of a
number of gnus. This has charms attached to it, and he continued waving
it in front of himself all the time we were there. He seemed in good
spirits, laughing heartily several times. This is a good sign, for a man
who shakes his sides with mirth is seldom difficult to deal with. When
we rose to take leave, all rose with us, as at Shinte's.

Returning next morning, Katema addressed me thus: "I am the great Moene
(lord) Katema, the fellow of Matiamvo. There is no one in the country
equal to Matiamvo and me. I have always lived here, and my forefathers
too. There is the house in which my father lived. You found no human
skulls near the place where you are encamped. I never killed any of the
traders; they all come to me. I am the great Moene Katema, of whom you
have heard." He looked as if he had fallen asleep tipsy, and dreamed of
his greatness. On explaining my objects to him, he promptly pointed out
three men who would be our guides, and explained that the northwest path
was the most direct, and that by which all traders came, but that the
water at present standing on the plains would reach up to the loins; he
would therefore send us by a more northerly route, which no trader had
yet traversed. This was more suited to our wishes, for we never found a
path safe that had been trodden by slave-traders.

We presented a few articles, which pleased him highly: a small shawl,
a razor, three bunches of beads, some buttons, and a powder-horn.
Apologizing for the insignificance of the gift, I wished to know what
I could bring him from Loanda, saying, not a large thing, but something
small. He laughed heartily at the limitation, and replied, "Every thing
of the white people would be acceptable, and he would receive any thing
thankfully; but the coat he then had on was old, and he would like
another." I introduced the subject of the Bible, but one of the old
councilors broke in, told all he had picked up from the Mambari, and
glided off into several other subjects. It is a misery to speak through
an interpreter, as I was now forced to do. With a body of men like mine,
composed as they were of six different tribes, and all speaking the
language of the Bechuanas, there was no difficulty in communicating on
common subjects with any tribe we came to; but doling out a story in
which they felt no interest, and which I understood only sufficiently
well to perceive that a mere abridgment was given, was uncommonly
slow work. Neither could Katema's attention be arrested, except by
compliments, of which they have always plenty to bestow as well as
receive. We were strangers, and knew that, as Makololo, we had not the
best of characters, yet his treatment of us was wonderfully good and

I complimented him on the possession of cattle, and pleased him by
telling him how he might milk the cows. He has a herd of about thirty,
really splendid animals, all reared from two which he bought from the
Balobale when he was young. They are generally of a white color, and are
quite wild, running off with graceful ease like a herd of elands on the
approach of a stranger. They excited the unbounded admiration of the
Makololo, and clearly proved that the country was well adapted for them.
When Katema wishes to slaughter one, he is obliged to shoot it as if
it were a buffalo. Matiamvo is said to possess a herd of cattle in a
similar state. I never could feel certain as to the reason why they do
not all possess cattle in a country containing such splendid pasturage.

As Katema did not offer an ox, as would have been done by a Makololo
or Caffre chief, we slaughtered one of our own, and all of us were
delighted to get a meal of meat, after subsisting so long on the light
porridge and green maize of Londa. On occasions of slaughtering an
animal, some pieces of it are in the fire before the skin is all removed
from the body. A frying-pan full of these pieces having been got quickly
ready, my men crowded about their father, and I handed some all round.
It was a strange sight to the Balonda, who were looking on, wondering.
I offered portions to them too, but these were declined, though they
are excessively fond of a little animal food to eat with their vegetable
diet. They would not eat with us, but they would take the meat and cook
it in their own way, and then use it. I thought at one time that they
had imported something from the Mohammedans, and the more especially as
an exclamation of surprise, "Allah", sounds like the Illah of the
Arabs; but we found, a little farther on, another form of salutation,
of Christian (?) origin, "Ave-rie" (Ave Marie). The salutations probably
travel farther than the faith. My people, when satisfied with a meal
like that which they enjoy so often at home, amused themselves by an
uproarious dance. Katema sent to ask what I had given them to produce so
much excitement. Intemese replied it was their custom, and they meant no
harm. The companion of the ox we slaughtered refused food for two days,
and went lowing about for him continually. He seemed inconsolable for
his loss, and tried again and again to escape back to the Makololo
country. My men remarked, "He thinks they will kill me as well as my
friend." Katema thought it the result of art, and had fears of my skill
in medicine, and of course witchcraft. He refused to see the magic

One of the affairs which had been intrusted by Shinte to Intemese
was the rescue of a wife who had eloped with a young man belonging to
Katema. As this was the only case I have met with in the interior in
which a fugitive was sent back to a chief against his own will, I am
anxious to mention it. On Intemese claiming her as his master's wife,
she protested loudly against it, saying "she knew she was not going back
to be a wife again; she was going back to be sold to the Mambari." My
men formed many friendships with the people of Katema, and some of the
poorer classes said in confidence, "We wish our children could go back
with you to the Makololo country; here we are all in danger of being
sold." My men were of opinion that it was only the want of knowledge of
the southern country which prevented an exodus of all the lower portions
of Londa population thither.

It is remarkable how little people living in a flat forest country like
this know of distant tribes. An old man, who said he had been born about
the same time as the late Matiamvo, and had been his constant companion
through life, visited us; and as I was sitting on some grass in front
of the little gipsy tent mending my camp stool, I invited him to take
a seat on the grass beside me. This was peremptorily refused: "he had
never sat on the ground during the late chief's reign, and he was not
going to degrade himself now." One of my men handed him a log of wood
taken from the fire, and helped him out of the difficulty. When I
offered him some cooked meat on a plate, he would not touch that either,
but would take it home. So I humored him by sending a servant to bear a
few ounces of meat to the town behind him. He mentioned the Lolo (Lulua)
as the branch of the Leeambye which flows southward or S.S.E.; but the
people of Matiamvo had never gone far down it, as their chief had always
been afraid of encountering a tribe whom, from the description given,
I could recognize as the Makololo. He described five rivers as falling
into the Lolo, viz., the Lishish, Liss or Lise, Kalileme, Ishidish, and
Molong. None of these are large, but when they are united in the Lolo
they form a considerable stream. The country through which the Lolo
flows is said to be flat, fertile, well peopled, and there are large
patches of forest. In this report he agreed perfectly with the people of
Matiamvo, whom we had met at Quendende's village. But we never could get
him, or any one in this quarter, to draw a map on the ground, as people
may readily be got to do in the south.

Katema promised us the aid of some of his people as carriers, but his
rule is not very stringent or efficient, for they refused to turn out
for the work. They were Balobale; and he remarked on their disobedience
that, though he received them as fugitives, they did not feel grateful
enough to obey, and if they continued rebellious he must drive them back
whence they came; but there is little fear of that, as all the chiefs
are excessively anxious to collect men in great numbers around them.
These Balobale would not go, though our guide Shakatwala ran after some
of them with a drawn sword. This degree of liberty to rebel was very
striking to us, as it occurred in a country where people may be sold,
and often are so disposed of when guilty of any crime; and we well knew
that open disobedience like this among the Makololo would be punished
with death without much ceremony.

On Sunday, the 19th, both I and several of our party were seized with
fever, and I could do nothing but toss about in my little tent, with the
thermometer above 90 Deg., though this was the beginning of winter, and
my men made as much shade as possible by planting branches of trees
all round and over it. We have, for the first time in my experience in
Africa, had a cold wind from the north. All the winds from that quarter
are hot, and those from the south are cold, but they seldom blow from
either direction.

20TH. We were glad to get away, though not on account of any scarcity
of food; for my men, by giving small presents of meat as an earnest of
their sincerity, formed many friendships with the people of Katema.
We went about four or five miles in a N.N.W. direction, then two in a
westerly one, and came round the small end of Lake Dilolo. It seemed, as
far as we could at this time discern, to be like a river a quarter of
a mile wide. It is abundantly supplied with fish and hippopotami; the
broad part, which we did not this time see, is about three miles wide,
and the lake is almost seven or eight long. If it be thought strange
that I did not go a few miles to see the broad part, which, according
to Katema, had never been visited by any of the traders, it must be
remembered that in consequence of fever I had eaten nothing for two
entire days, and, instead of sleep, the whole of the nights were
employed in incessant drinking of water, and I was now so glad to get on
in the journey and see some of my fellow fever-patients crawling along,
that I could not brook the delay, which astronomical observations
for accurately determining the geographical position of this most
interesting spot would have occasioned.

We observed among the people of Katema a love for singing-birds. One
pretty little songster, named "cabazo", a species of canary, is kept in
very neatly made cages, having traps on the top to entice its still free
companions. On asking why they kept them in confinement, "Because they
sing sweetly," was the answer. They feed them on the lotsa ('Pennisetum
typhoideum'), of which great quantities are cultivated as food for man,
and these canaries plague the gardeners here, very much in the same way
as our sparrows do at home.

I was pleased to hear the long-forgotten cry of alarm of the canaries
in the woods, and observed one warbling forth its song, and keeping in
motion from side to side, as these birds do in the cage. We saw also
tame pigeons; and the Barotse, who always take care to exalt Santuru,
reminded us that this chief had many doves, and kept canaries which had
reddish heads when the birds attained maturity. Those we now see have
the real canary color on the breast, with a tinge of green; the back,
yellowish green, with darker longitudinal bands meeting in the centre; a
narrow dark band passes from the bill over the eye and back to the bill

The birds of song here set up quite a merry chorus in the mornings, and
abound most near the villages. Some sing as loudly as our thrushes, and
the king-hunter ('Halcyon Senegalensis') makes a clear whirring sound
like that of a whistle with a pea in it. During the heat of the day all
remain silent, and take their siesta in the shadiest parts of the
trees, but in the cool of the evening they again exert themselves in the
production of pleasant melody. It is remarkable that so many songbirds
abound where there is a general paucity of other animal life. As we went
forward we were struck by the comparative absence of game and the larger
kind of fowls. The rivers contain very few fish. Common flies are not
troublesome, as they are wherever milk is abundant; they are seen in
company with others of the same size and shape, but whose tiny feet do
not tickle the skin, as is the case with their companions. Mosquitoes
are seldom so numerous as to disturb the slumbers of a weary man.

But, though this region is free from common insect plagues, and from
tsetse, it has others. Feeling something running across my forehead as
I was falling asleep, I put up the hand to wipe it off, and was sharply
stung both on the hand and head; the pain was very acute. On obtaining
a light, we found that it had been inflicted by a light-colored spider,
about half an inch in length, and, one of the men having crushed it with
his fingers, I had no opportunity of examining whether the pain had been
produced by poison from a sting or from its mandibles. No remedy was
applied, and the pain ceased in about two hours. The Bechuanas believe
that there is a small black spider in the country whose bite is fatal.
I have not met with an instance in which death could be traced to this
insect, though a very large black, hairy spider, an inch and a quarter
long and three quarters of an inch broad, is frequently seen, having a
process at the end of its front claws similar to that at the end of
the scorpion's tail, and when the bulbous portion of it is pressed, the
poison may be seen oozing out from the point.

We have also spiders in the south which seize their prey by leaping
upon it from a distance of several inches. When alarmed, they can spring
about a foot away from the object of their own fear. Of this kind there
are several varieties.

A large reddish spider ('Mygale') obtains its food in a different manner
than either patiently waiting in ambush or by catching it with a bound.
It runs about with great velocity in and out, behind and around every
object, searching for what it may devour, and, from its size and rapid
motions, excites the horror of every stranger. I never knew it to do any
harm except frightening the nervous, and I believe few could look upon
it for the first time without feeling himself in danger. It is named by
the natives "selali", and is believed to be the maker of a hinged cover
for its nest. You see a door, about the size of a shilling, lying beside
a deep hole of nearly similar diameter. The inside of the door lying
upward, and which attracts your notice, is of a pure white silky
substance, like paper. The outer side is coated over with earth,
precisely like that in which the hole is made. If you try to lift it,
you find it is fastened by a hinge on one side, and, if it is turned
over upon the hole, it fits it exactly, and the earthy side being then
uppermost, it is quite impossible to detect the situation of the nest.
Unfortunately, this cavity for breeding is never seen except when the
owner is out, and has left the door open behind her.

In some parts of the country there are great numbers of a large,
beautiful yellow-spotted spider, the webs of which are about a yard in
diameter. The lines on which these webs are spun are suspended from one
tree to another, and are as thick as coarse thread. The fibres radiate
from a central point, where the insect waits for its prey. The webs are
placed perpendicularly, and a common occurrence in walking is to get the
face enveloped in them as a lady is in a veil.

Another kind of spider lives in society, and forms so great a collection
of webs placed at every angle, that the trunk of a tree surrounded by
them can not be seen. A piece of hedge is often so hidden by this spider
that the branches are invisible. Another is seen on the inside of the
walls of huts among the Makololo in great abundance. It is round in
shape, spotted, brown in color, and the body half an inch in diameter;
the spread of the legs is an inch and a half. It makes a smooth spot
for itself on the wall, covered with the above-mentioned white silky
substance. There it is seen standing the whole day, and I never could
ascertain how it fed. It has no web, but a carpet, and is a harmless,
though an ugly neighbor.

Immediately beyond Dilolo there is a large flat about twenty miles in
breadth. Here Shakatwala insisted on our remaining to get supplies of
food from Katema's subjects, before entering the uninhabited watery
plains. When asked the meaning of the name Dilolo, Shakatwala gave the
following account of the formation of the lake. A female chief, called
Moene (lord) Monenga, came one evening to the village of Mosogo, a man
who lived in the vicinity, but who had gone to hunt with his dogs. She
asked for a supply of food, and Mosogo's wife gave her a sufficient
quantity. Proceeding to another village standing on the spot now
occupied by the water, she preferred the same demand, and was not only
refused, but, when she uttered a threat for their niggardliness, was
taunted with the question, "What could she do though she were thus
treated?" In order to show what she could do, she began a song, in slow
time, and uttered her own name, Monenga-wo-o. As she prolonged the
last note, the village, people, fowls, and dogs sank into the space now
called Dilolo. When Kasimakate, the head man of this village, came home
and found out the catastrophe, he cast himself into the lake, and is
supposed to be in it still. The name is derived from "ilolo", despair,
because this man gave up all hope when his family was destroyed. Monenga
was put to death. This may be a faint tradition of the Deluge, and it is
remarkable as the only one I have met with in this country.

Heavy rains prevented us from crossing the plain in front (N.N.W.) in
one day, and the constant wading among the grass hurt the feet of the
men. There is a footpath all the way across, but as this is worn down
beneath the level of the rest of the plain, it is necessarily the
deepest portion, and the men, avoiding it, make a new walk by its side.
A path, however narrow, is a great convenience, as any one who has
traveled on foot in Africa will admit. The virtual want of it here
caused us to make slow and painful progress.

Ants surely are wiser than some men, for they learn by experience. They
have established themselves even on these plains, where water stands so
long annually as to allow the lotus, and other aqueous plants, to come
to maturity. When all the ant horizon is submerged a foot deep, they
manage to exist by ascending to little houses built of black tenacious
loam on stalks of grass, and placed higher than the line of inundation.
This must have been the result of experience; for, if they had waited
till the water actually invaded their terrestrial habitations, they
would not have been able to procure materials for their aerial quarters,
unless they dived down to the bottom for every mouthful of clay. Some of
these upper chambers are about the size of a bean, and others as large
as a man's thumb. They must have built in anticipation, and if so, let
us humbly hope that the sufferers by the late inundations in France may
be possessed of as much common sense as the little black ants of the
Dilolo plains.

Chapter 18.

The Watershed between the northern and southern Rivers--A deep Valley--
Rustic Bridge--Fountains on the Slopes of the Valleys--Village of
Kabinje--Good Effects of the Belief in the Power of Charms--Demand
for Gunpowder and English Calico--The Kasai--Vexatious Trick--Want
of Food--No Game--Katende's unreasonable Demand--A grave
Offense--Toll-bridge Keeper--Greedy Guides--Flooded Valleys--Swim the
Nyuana Loke--Prompt Kindness of my Men--Makololo Remarks on the rich
uncultivated Valleys--Difference in the Color of Africans--Reach a
Village of the Chiboque--The Head Man's impudent Message--Surrounds our
Encampment with his Warriors--The Pretense--Their Demand--Prospect of
a Fight--Way in which it was averted--Change our Path--Summer--
Fever--Beehives and the Honey-guide--Instinct of Trees--Climbers--The
Ox Sinbad--Absence of Thorns in the Forests--Plant peculiar to a
forsaken Garden--Bad Guides--Insubordination suppressed--Beset by
Enemies--A Robber Party--More Troubles--Detained by Ionga Panza--His
Village--Annoyed by Bangala Traders--My Men discouraged--Their
Determination and Precaution.

24TH OF FEBRUARY. On reaching unflooded lands beyond the plain, we
found the villages there acknowledged the authority of the chief named
Katende, and we discovered, also, to our surprise, that the almost
level plain we had passed forms the watershed between the southern and
northern rivers, for we had now entered a district in which the rivers
flowed in a northerly direction into the Kasai or Loke, near to which
we now were, while the rivers we had hitherto crossed were all running
southward. Having met with kind treatment and aid at the first
village, Katema's guides returned, and we were led to the N.N.W. by the
inhabitants, and descended into the very first really deep valley we had
seen since leaving Kolobeng. A stream ran along the bottom of a slope of
three or four hundred yards from the plains above.

We crossed this by a rustic bridge at present submerged thigh-deep by
the rains. The trees growing along the stream of this lovely valley were
thickly planted and very high. Many had sixty or eighty feet of clean
straight trunk, and beautiful flowers adorned the ground beneath them.
Ascending the opposite side, we came, in two hours' time, to another
valley, equally beautiful, and with a stream also in its centre. It may
seem mere trifling to note such an unimportant thing as the occurrence
of a valley, there being so many in every country under the sun; but as
these were branches of that in which the Kasai or Loke flows, and both
that river and its feeders derive their water in a singular manner from
the valley sides, I may be excused for calling particular attention to
the more furrowed nature of the country.

At different points on the slopes of these valleys which we now for the
first time entered, there are oozing fountains, surrounded by clumps of
the same evergreen, straight, large-leaved trees we have noticed along
the streams. These spots are generally covered with a mat of grassy
vegetation, and possess more the character of bogs than of fountains.
They slowly discharge into the stream below, and are so numerous along
both banks as to give a peculiar character to the landscape. These
groups of sylvan vegetation are generally of a rounded form, and the
trunks of the trees are tall and straight, while those on the level
plains above are low and scraggy in their growth. There can be little
doubt but that the water, which stands for months on the plains, soaks
in, and finds its way into the rivers and rivulets by percolating
through the soil, and out by these oozing bogs; and the difference
between the growth of these trees, though they be of different species,
may be a proof that the stuntedness of those on the plains is owing
to being, in the course of each year, more subjected to drought than

Reaching the village of Kabinje, in the evening he sent us a present of
tobacco, Mutokuane or "bang" ('Cannabis sativa'), and maize, by the
man who went forward to announce our arrival, and a message expressing
satisfaction at the prospect of having trade with the coast. The westing
we were making brought us among people who are frequently visited by the
Mambari as slave-dealers. This trade causes bloodshed; for when a poor
family is selected as the victims, it is necessary to get rid of the
older members of it, because they are supposed to be able to give
annoyance to the chief afterward by means of enchantments. The belief
in the power of charms for good or evil produces not only honesty, but
a great amount of gentle dealing. The powerful are often restrained in
their despotism from a fear that the weak and helpless may injure them
by their medical knowledge. They have many fears. A man at one of the
villages we came to showed us the grave of his child, and, with much
apparent feeling, told us she had been burned to death in her hut. He
had come with all his family, and built huts around it in order to weep
for her. He thought, if the grave were left unwatched, the witches would
come and bewitch them by putting medicines on the body. They have a more
decided belief in the continued existence of departed spirits than any
of the more southerly tribes. Even the Barotse possess it in a strong
degree, for one of my men of that tribe, on experiencing headache, said,
with a sad and thoughtful countenance, "My father is scolding me because
I do not give him any of the food I eat." I asked where his father was.
"Among the Barimo," was the reply.

When we wished to move on, Kabinje refused a guide to the next village
because he was at war with it; but, after much persuasion, he consented,
provided that the guide should be allowed to return as soon as he came
in sight of the enemy's village. This we felt to be a misfortune, as the
people all suspect a man who comes telling his own tale; but there being
no help for it, we went on, and found the head man of a village on the
rivulet Kalomba, called Kangenke, a very different man from what his
enemy represented. We found, too, that the idea of buying and selling
took the place of giving for friendship. As I had nothing with which to
purchase food except a parcel of beads which were preserved for worse
times, I began to fear that we should soon be compelled to suffer more
from hunger than we had done. The people demanded gunpowder for every
thing. If we had possessed any quantity of that article, we should have
got on well, for here it is of great value. On our return, near
this spot we found a good-sized fowl was sold for a single charge of
gunpowder. Next to that, English calico was in great demand, and so were
beads; but money was of no value whatever. Gold is quite unknown; it
is thought to be brass; trade is carried on by barter alone. The people
know nothing of money. A purse-proud person would here feel the ground
move from beneath his feet. Occasionally a large piece of copper, in the
shape of a St. Andrew's cross, is offered for sale.

FEBRUARY 27TH. Kangenke promptly furnished guides this morning, so
we went briskly on a short distance, and came to a part of the Kasye,
Kasai, or Loke, where he had appointed two canoes to convey us across.
This is a most beautiful river, and very much like the Clyde in
Scotland. The slope of the valley down to the stream is about five
hundred yards, and finely wooded. It is, perhaps, one hundred yards
broad, and was winding slowly from side to side in the beautiful green
glen, in a course to the north and northeast. In both the directions
from which it came and to which it went it seemed to be alternately
embowered in sylvan vegetation, or rich meadows covered with tall grass.
The men pointed out its course, and said, "Though you sail along it for
months, you will turn without seeing the end of it."

While at the ford of the Kasai we were subjected to a trick, of which we
had been forewarned by the people of Shinte. A knife had been dropped by
one of Kangenke's people in order to entrap my men; it was put down near
our encampment, as if lost, the owner in the mean time watching till one
of my men picked it up. Nothing was said until our party was divided,
one half on this, and the other on that bank of the river. Then the
charge was made to me that one of my men had stolen a knife. Certain of
my people's honesty, I desired the man, who was making a great noise, to
search the luggage for it; the unlucky lad who had taken the bait then
came forward and confessed that he had the knife in a basket, which was
already taken over the river. When it was returned, the owner would not
receive it back unless accompanied with a fine. The lad offered beads,
but these were refused with scorn. A shell hanging round his neck,
similar to that which Shinte had given me, was the object demanded, and
the victim of the trick, as we all knew it to be, was obliged to part
with his costly ornament. I could not save him from the loss, as all had
been forewarned; and it is the universal custom among the Makololo and
many other tribes to show whatever they may find to the chief person of
their company, and make a sort of offer of it to him. This lad ought to
have done so to me; the rest of the party always observed this custom. I
felt annoyed at the imposition, but the order we invariably followed in
crossing a river forced me to submit. The head of the party remained to
be ferried over last; so, if I had not come to terms, I would have been,
as I always was in crossing rivers which we could not swim, completely
in the power of the enemy. It was but rarely we could get a head man so
witless as to cross a river with us, and remain on the opposite bank
in a convenient position to be seized as a hostage in case of my being

This trick is but one of a number equally dishonorable which are
practiced by tribes that lie adjacent to the more civilized settlements.
The Balonda farther east told us, by way of warning, that many parties
of the more central tribes had at various periods set out, in order to
trade with the white men themselves, instead of through the Mambari, but
had always been obliged to return without reaching their destination, in
consequence of so many pretexts being invented by the tribes encountered
in the way for fining them of their ivory.

This ford was in 11d 15' 47" S. latitude, but the weather was so
excessively cloudy we got no observation for longitude.

We were now in want of food, for, to the great surprise of my
companions, the people of Kangenke gave nothing except by way of sale,
and charged the most exorbitant prices for the little meal and manioc
they brought. The only article of barter my men had was a little fat
saved from the ox we slaughtered at Katema's, so I was obliged to give
them a portion of the stock of beads. One day (29th) of westing brought
us from the Kasai to near the village of Katende, and we saw that we
were in a land where no hope could be entertained of getting supplies of
animal food, for one of our guides caught a light-blue colored mole and
two mice for his supper. The care with which he wrapped them up in a
leaf and slung them on his spear told that we could not hope to enjoy
any larger game. We saw no evidence of any animals besides; and, on
coming to the villages beyond this, we often saw boys and girls engaged
in digging up these tiny quadrupeds.

Katende sent for me on the day following our arrival, and, being quite
willing to visit him, I walked, for this purpose, about three miles from
our encampment. When we approached the village we were desired to enter
a hut, and, as it was raining at the time, we did so. After a long time
spent in giving and receiving messages from the great man, we were told
that he wanted either a man, a tusk, beads, copper rings, or a shell, as
payment for leave to pass through his country. No one, we were assured,
was allowed that liberty, or even to behold him, without something of
the sort being presented. Having humbly explained our circumstances, and
that he could not expect to "catch a humble cow by the horns"--a proverb
similar to ours that "you can't draw milk out of a stone"--we were told
to go home, and he would speak again to us next day. I could not avoid
a hearty laugh at the cool impudence of the savage, and made the best
of my way home in the still pouring rain. My men were rather nettled at
this want of hospitality, but, after talking over the matter with one of
Katende's servants, he proposed that some small article should be given,
and an attempt made to please Katende. I turned out my shirts, and
selected the worst one as a sop for him, and invited Katende to come and
choose any thing else I had, but added that, when I should reach my own
chief naked, and was asked what I had done with my clothes, I should
be obliged to confess that I had left them with Katende. The shirt was
dispatched to him, and some of my people went along with the servant;
they soon returned, saying that the shirt had been accepted, and guides
and food too would be sent to us next day. The chief had, moreover,
expressed a hope to see me on my return. He is reported to be very
corpulent. The traders who have come here seem to have been very timid,
yielding to every demand made on the most frivolous pretenses. One of my
men, seeing another much like an acquaintance at home, addressed him by
the name of the latter in sport, telling him, at the same time, why
he did so; this was pronounced to be a grave offense, and a large fine
demanded; when the case came before me I could see no harm in what had
been done, and told my people not to answer the young fellow. The latter
felt himself disarmed, for it is chiefly in a brawl they have power;
then words are spoken in anger which rouse the passions of the
complainant's friends. In this case, after vociferating some time, the
would-be offended party came and said to my man that, if they exchanged
some small gift, all would be right, but, my man taking no notice of
him, he went off rather crestfallen.

My men were as much astonished as myself at the demand for payment
for leave to pass, and the almost entire neglect of the rules of
hospitality. Katende gave us only a little meal and manioc, and a fowl.
Being detained two days by heavy rains, we felt that a good stock of
patience was necessary in traveling through this country in the rainy

Passing onward without seeing Katende, we crossed a small rivulet, the
Sengko, by which we had encamped, and after two hours came to another,
the Totelo, which was somewhat larger, and had a bridge over it. At the
farther end of this structure stood a negro, who demanded fees. He said
the bridge was his; the path his; the guides were his children; and
if we did not pay him he would prevent farther progress. This piece of
civilization I was not prepared to meet, and stood a few seconds looking
at our bold toll-keeper, when one of my men took off three copper
bracelets, which paid for the whole party. The negro was a better man
than he at first seemed, for he immediately went to his garden and
brought us some leaves of tobacco as a present.

When we had got fairly away from the villages, the guides from Kangenke
sat down and told us that there were three paths in front, and, if we
did not at once present them with a cloth, they would leave us to take
whichever we might like best. As I had pointed out the direction in
which Loanda lay, and had only employed them for the sake of knowing the
paths between villages which lay along our route, and always objected
when they led us in any other than the Loanda direction, I wished my
men now to go on without the guides, trusting to ourselves to choose
the path which would seem to lead us in the direction we had always
followed. But Mashauana, fearing lest we might wander, asked leave to
give his own cloth, and when the guides saw that, they came forward
shouting "Averie, Averie!"

In the afternoon of this day we came to a valley about a mile wide,
filled with clear, fast-flowing water. The men on foot were chin deep in
crossing, and we three on ox-back got wet to the middle, the weight of
the animals preventing them from swimming. A thunder-shower descending
completed the partial drenching of the plain, and gave a cold,
uncomfortable "packing in a wet blanket" that night. Next day we found
another flooded valley about half a mile wide, with a small and now
deep rivulet in its middle, flowing rapidly to the S.S.E., or toward
the Kasai. The middle part of this flood, being the bed of what at other
times is the rivulet, was so rapid that we crossed by holding on to the
oxen, and the current soon dashed them to the opposite bank; we then
jumped off, and, the oxen being relieved of their burdens, we could pull
them on to the shallower part. The rest of the valley was thigh deep and
boggy, but holding on by the belt which fastened the blanket to the ox,
we each floundered through the nasty slough as well as we could. These
boggy parts, lying parallel to the stream, were the most extensive we
had come to: those mentioned already were mere circumscribed patches;
these extended for miles along each bank; but even here, though the
rapidity of the current was very considerable, the thick sward of grass
was "laid" flat along the sides of the stream, and the soil was not
abraded so much as to discolor the flood. When we came to the opposite
side of this valley, some pieces of the ferruginous conglomerate, which
forms the capping to all other rocks in a large district around and
north of this, cropped out, and the oxen bit at them as if surprised
by the appearance of stone as much as we were; or it may have contained
some mineral of which they stood in need. We had not met with a stone
since leaving Shinte's. The country is covered with deep alluvial soil
of a dark color and very fertile.

In the afternoon we came to another stream, nyuana Loke (or child of
Loke), with a bridge over it. The men had to swim off to each end of the
bridge, and when on it were breast deep; some preferred holding on by
the tails of the oxen the whole way across. I intended to do this too;
but, riding to the deep part, before I could dismount and seize the helm
the ox dashed off with his companions, and his body sank so deep that I
failed in my attempt even to catch the blanket belt, and if I pulled the
bridle the ox seemed as if he would come backward upon me, so I struck
out for the opposite bank alone. My poor fellows were dreadfully alarmed
when they saw me parted from the cattle, and about twenty of them made
a simultaneous rush into the water for my rescue, and just as I reached
the opposite bank one seized my arm, and another threw his around my
body. When I stood up, it was most gratifying to see them all struggling
toward me. Some had leaped off the bridge, and allowed their cloaks to
float down the stream. Part of my goods, abandoned in the hurry, were
brought up from the bottom after I was safe. Great was the pleasure
expressed when they found that I could swim, like themselves, without
the aid of a tail, and I did and do feel grateful to these poor heathens
for the promptitude with which they dashed in to save, as they thought,
my life. I found my clothes cumbersome in the water; they could swim
quicker from being naked. They swim like dogs, not frog-fashion, as we

In the evening we crossed the small rivulet Lozeze, and came to some
villages of the Kasabi, from whom we got some manioc in exchange for
beads. They tried to frighten us by telling of the deep rivers we should
have to cross in our way. I was drying my clothes by turning myself
round and round before the fire. My men laughed at the idea of being
frightened by rivers. "We can all swim: who carried the white man across
the river but himself?" I felt proud of their praise.

SATURDAY, 4TH MARCH. Came to the outskirts of the territory of the
Chiboque. We crossed the Konde and Kaluze rivulets. The former is a
deep, small stream with a bridge, the latter insignificant; the valleys
in which these rivulets run are beautifully fertile. My companions
are continually lamenting over the uncultivated vales in such words as
these: "What a fine country for cattle! My heart is sore to see such
fruitful valleys for corn lying waste." At the time these words were
put down I had come to the belief that the reason why the inhabitants of
this fine country possess no herds of cattle was owing to the despotic
sway of their chiefs, and that the common people would not be allowed to
keep any domestic animals, even supposing they could acquire them; but
on musing on the subject since, I have been led to the conjecture that
the rich, fertile country of Londa must formerly have been infested by
the tsetse, but that, as the people killed off the game on which, in the
absence of man, the tsetse must subsist, the insect was starved out of
the country. It is now found only where wild animals abound, and the
Balonda, by the possession of guns, having cleared most of the country
of all the large game, we may have happened to come just when it was
possible to admit of cattle. Hence the success of Katema, Shinte, and
Matiamvo with their herds. It would not be surprising, though they
know nothing of the circumstance; a tribe on the Zambesi, which I
encountered, whose country was swarming with tsetse, believed that they
could not keep any cattle, because "no one loved them well enough to
give them the medicine of oxen;" and even the Portuguese at Loanda
accounted for the death of the cattle brought from the interior to the
sea-coast by the prejudicial influence of the sea air! One ox, which
I took down to the sea from the interior, died at Loanda, with all
the symptoms of the poison injected by tsetse, which I saw myself in a
district a hundred miles from the coast.

While at the villages of the Kasabi we saw no evidences of want of food
among the people. Our beads were very valuable, but cotton cloth would
have been still more so; as we traveled along, men, women, and children
came running after us, with meal and fowls for sale, which we would
gladly have purchased had we possessed any English manufactures. When
they heard that we had no cloth, they turned back much disappointed.

The amount of population in the central parts of the country may be
called large only as compared with the Cape Colony or the Bechuana
country. The cultivated land is as nothing compared with what might be
brought under the plow. There are flowing streams in abundance, which,
were it necessary, could be turned to the purpose of irrigation with but
little labor. Miles of fruitful country are now lying absolutely waste,
for there is not even game to eat off the fine pasturage, and to recline
under the evergreen, shady groves which we are ever passing in our
progress. The people who inhabit the central region are not all quite
black in color. Many incline to that of bronze, and others are as light
in hue as the Bushmen, who, it may be remembered, afford a proof that
heat alone does not cause blackness, but that heat and moisture combined
do very materially deepen the color. Wherever we find people who have
continued for ages in a hot, humid district, they are deep black, but to
this apparent law there are exceptions, caused by the migrations of both
tribes and individuals; the Makololo, for instance, among the tribes
of the humid central basin, appear of a sickly sallow hue when compared
with the aboriginal inhabitants; the Batoka also, who lived in an
elevated region, are, when seen in company with the Batoka of the
rivers, so much lighter in color, they might be taken for another tribe;
but their language, and the very marked custom of knocking out the upper
front teeth, leave no room for doubt that they are one people.

Apart from the influences of elevation, heat, humidity, and degradation,
I have imagined that the lighter and darker colors observed in the
native population run in five longitudinal bands along the southern
portion of the continent. Those on the seaboard of both the east and
west are very dark; then two bands of lighter color lie about three
hundred miles from each coast, of which the westerly one, bending
round, embraces the Kalahari Desert and Bechuana countries; and then
the central basin is very dark again. This opinion is not given with
any degree of positiveness. It is stated just as it struck my mind in
passing across the country, and if incorrect, it is singular that the
dialects spoken by the different tribes have arranged themselves in a
fashion which seems to indicate migration along the lines of color. The
dialects spoken in the extreme south, whether Hottentot or Caffre, bear
a close affinity to those of the tribes living immediately on their
northern borders; one glides into the other, and their affinities are so
easily detected that they are at once recognized to be cognate. If the
dialects of extreme points are compared, as that of the Caffres and the
tribes near the equator, it is more difficult to recognize the fact,
which is really the case, that all the dialects belong to but two
families of languages. Examination of the roots of the words of the
dialects, arranged in geographical order, shows that they merge into
each other, and there is not nearly so much difference between the
extremes of east and west as between those of north and south, the
dialect spoken at Tete resembling closely that in Angola.

Having, on the afore-mentioned date, reached the village of Njambi, one
of the chiefs of the Chiboque, we intended to pass a quiet Sunday; and
our provisions being quite spent, I ordered a tired riding-ox to be
slaughtered. As we wished to be on good terms with all, we sent the hump
and ribs to Njambi, with the explanation that this was the customary
tribute to chiefs in the part from which we had come, and that we always
honored men in his position. He returned thanks, and promised to send
food. Next morning he sent an impudent message, with a very small
present of meal; scorning the meat he had accepted, he demanded either
a man, an ox, a gun, powder, cloth, or a shell; and in the event of
refusal to comply with his demand, he intimated his intention to prevent
our further progress. We replied, we should have thought ourselves fools
if we had scorned his small present, and demanded other food instead;
and even supposing we had possessed the articles named, no black man
ought to impose a tribute on a party that did not trade in slaves. The
servants who brought the message said that, when sent to the Mambari,
they had always got a quantity of cloth from them for their master, and
now expected the same, or something else as an equivalent, from me.

We heard some of the Chiboque remark, "They have only five guns;"
and about midday, Njambi collected all his people, and surrounded our
encampment. Their object was evidently to plunder us of every thing. My
men seized their javelins, and stood on the defensive, while the young
Chiboque had drawn their swords and brandished them with great fury.
Some even pointed their guns at me, and nodded to each other, as much as
to say, "This is the way we shall do with him." I sat on my camp-stool,
with my double-barreled gun across my knees, and invited the chief to
be seated also. When he and his counselors had sat down on the ground in
front of me, I asked what crime we had committed that he had come armed
in that way. He replied that one of my men, Pitsane, while sitting at
the fire that morning, had, in spitting, allowed a small quantity of the
saliva to fall on the leg of one of his men, and this "guilt" he wanted
to be settled by the fine of a man, ox, or gun. Pitsane admitted the
fact of a little saliva having fallen on the Chiboque, and in proof of
its being a pure accident, mentioned that he had given the man a piece
of meat, by way of making friends, just before it happened, and wiped it
off with his hand as soon as it fell. In reference to a man being given,
I declared that we were all ready to die rather than give up one of our
number to be a slave; that my men might as well give me as I give one
of them, for we were all free men. "Then you can give the gun with which
the ox was shot." As we heard some of his people remarking even now that
we had only "five guns", we declined, on the ground that, as they were
intent on plundering us, giving a gun would be helping them to do so.

This they denied, saying they wanted the customary tribute only. I asked
what right they had to demand payment for leave to tread on the ground
of God, our common Father. If we trod on their gardens, we would pay,
but not for marching on land which was still God's, and not theirs. They
did not attempt to controvert this, because it is in accordance with
their own ideas, but reverted again to the pretended crime of the

My men now entreated me to give something; and after asking the chief
if he really thought the affair of the spitting a matter of guilt, and
receiving an answer in the affirmative, I gave him one of my shirts.
The young Chiboque were dissatisfied, and began shouting and brandishing
their swords for a greater fine.

As Pitsane felt that he had been the cause of this disagreeable affair,
he asked me to add something else. I gave a bunch of beads, but the
counselors objected this time, so I added a large handkerchief. The
more I yielded, the more unreasonable their demands became, and at every
fresh demand a shout was raised by the armed party, and a rush made
around us with brandishing of arms. One young man made a charge at my
head from behind, but I quickly brought round the muzzle of my gun to
his mouth, and he retreated. I pointed him out to the chief, and he
ordered him to retire a little. I felt anxious to avoid the effusion
of blood; and though sure of being able, with my Makololo, who had been
drilled by Sebituane, to drive off twice the number of our assailants,
though now a large body, and well armed with spears, swords, arrows, and
guns, I strove to avoid actual collision. My men were quite unprepared
for this exhibition, but behaved with admirable coolness. The chief
and counselors, by accepting my invitation to be seated, had placed
themselves in a trap, for my men very quietly surrounded them, and made
them feel that there was no chance of escaping their spears. I then
said that, as one thing after another had failed to satisfy them, it
was evident that THEY wanted to fight, while WE only wanted to pass
peaceably through the country; that they must begin first, and bear
the guilt before God: we would not fight till they had struck the first
blow. I then sat silent for some time. It was rather trying for me,
because I knew that the Chiboque would aim at the white man first; but
I was careful not to appear flurried, and, having four barrels ready for
instant action, looked quietly at the savage scene around. The Chiboque
countenance, by no means handsome, is not improved by the practice
which they have adopted of filing the teeth to a point. The chief and
counselors, seeing that they were in more danger than I, did not choose
to follow our decision that they should begin by striking the first
blow, and then see what we could do, and were perhaps influenced by
seeing the air of cool preparation which some of my men displayed at the
prospect of a work of blood.

The Chiboque at last put the matter before us in this way: "You come
among us in a new way, and say you are quite friendly: how can we know
it unless you give us some of your food, and you take some of ours? If
you give us an ox, we will give you whatever you may wish, and then we
shall be friends." In accordance with the entreaties of my men, I gave
an ox; and when asked what I should like in return, mentioned food as
the thing which we most needed. In the evening Njambi sent us a very
small basket of meal, and two or three pounds of the flesh of our own
ox! with the apology that he had no fowls, and very little of any other
food. It was impossible to avoid a laugh at the coolness of the generous
creatures. I was truly thankful, nevertheless, that, though resolved to
die rather than deliver up one of our number to be a slave, we had so
far gained our point as to be allowed to pass on without having shed
human blood.

In the midst of the commotion, several Chiboque stole pieces of meat
out of the sheds of my people, and Mohorisi, one of the Makololo, went
boldly into the crowd and took back a marrow-bone from one of them.
A few of my Batoka seemed afraid, and would perhaps have fled had the
affray actually begun, but, upon the whole, I thought my men behaved
admirably. They lamented having left their shields at home by command
of Sekeletu, who feared that, if they carried these, they might be more
disposed to be overbearing in their demeanor to the tribes we should
meet. We had proceeded on the principles of peace and conciliation, and
the foregoing treatment shows in what light our conduct was viewed; in
fact, we were taken for interlopers trying to cheat the revenue of
the tribe. They had been accustomed to get a slave or two from every
slave-trader who passed them, and now that we disputed the right, they
viewed the infringement on what they considered lawfully due with most
virtuous indignation.

MARCH 6TH. We were informed that the people on the west of the Chiboque
of Njambi were familiar with the visits of slave-traders; and it was the
opinion of our guides from Kangenke that so many of my companions would
be demanded from me, in the same manner as the people of Njambi had
done, that I should reach the coast without a single attendant; I
therefore resolved to alter our course and strike away to the N.N.E.,
in the hope that at some point farther north I might find an exit to the
Portuguese settlement of Cassange. We proceeded at first due north, with
the Kasabi villages on our right, and the Kasau on our left. During
the first twenty miles we crossed many small, but now swollen streams,
having the usual boggy banks, and wherever the water had stood for any
length of time it was discolored with rust of iron. We saw a "nakong"
antelope one day, a rare sight in this quarter; and many new and pretty
flowers adorned the valleys. We could observe the difference in the
seasons in our northing in company with the sun. Summer was now nearly
over at Kuruman, and far advanced at Linyanti, but here we were in the
middle of it; fruits, which we had eaten ripe on the Leeambye, were here
quite green; but we were coming into the region where the inhabitants
are favored with two rainy seasons and two crops, i.e., when the sun is
going south, and when he comes back on his way to the north, as was the
case at present.

On the 8th, one of the men had left an ounce or two of powder at our
sleeping-place, and went back several miles for it. My clothing being
wet from crossing a stream, I was compelled to wait for him; had I been
moving in the sun I should have felt no harm, but the inaction led to
a violent fit of fever. The continuance of this attack was a source of
much regret, for we went on next day to a small rivulet called Chihune,
in a lovely valley, and had, for a wonder, a clear sky and a clear moon;
but such was the confusion produced in my mind by the state of my body,
that I could scarcely manage, after some hours' trial, to get a lunar
observation in which I could repose confidence. The Chihune flows into
the Longe, and that into the Chihombo, a feeder of the Kasai. Those who
know the difficulties of taking altitudes, times, and distances, and
committing all of them to paper, will sympathize with me in this and
many similar instances. While at Chihune, the men of a village brought
wax for sale, and, on finding that we wished honey, went off and soon
brought a hive. All the bees in the country are in possession of the
natives, for they place hives sufficient for them all. After having
ascertained this, we never attended the call of the honey-guide, for
we were sure it would only lead us to a hive which we had no right to
touch. The bird continues its habit of inviting attention to the honey,
though its services in this district are never actually needed. My
Makololo lamented that they never knew before that wax could be sold for
any thing of value.

As we traverse a succession of open lawns and deep forests, it is
interesting to observe something like instinct developed even in trees.
One which, when cut, emits a milky juice, if met with on the open lawns,
grows as an ordinary umbrageous tree, and shows no disposition to be
a climber; when planted in a forest it still takes the same form, then
sends out a climbing branch, which twines round another tree until it
rises thirty or forty feet, or to the level of the other trees, and
there spreads out a second crown where it can enjoy a fair share of
the sun's rays. In parts of the forest still more dense than this, it
assumes the form of a climber only, and at once avails itself of the
assistance of a tall neighbor by winding vigorously round it, without
attempting to form a lower head. It does not succeed so well as
parasites proper, but where forced to contend for space it may be
mistaken for one which is invariably a climber. The paths here were very
narrow and very much encumbered with gigantic creepers, often as thick
as a man's leg. There must be some reason why they prefer, in some
districts, to go up trees in the common form of the thread of a screw
rather than in any other. On the one bank of the Chihune they appeared
to a person standing opposite them to wind up from left to right, on
the other bank from right to left. I imagined this was owing to the sun
being at one season of the year on their north and at another on their
south. But on the Leeambye I observed creepers winding up on opposite
sides of the same reed, and making a figure like the lacings of a

In passing through these narrow paths I had an opportunity of observing
the peculiarities of my ox "Sinbad". He had a softer back than the
others, but a much more intractable temper. His horns were bent downward
and hung loosely, so he could do no harm with them; but as we wended our
way slowly along the narrow path, he would suddenly dart aside. A string
tied to a stick put through the cartilage of the nose serves instead of
a bridle: if you jerk this back, it makes him run faster on; if you
pull it to one side, he allows the nose and head to go, but keeps the
opposite eye directed to the forbidden spot, and goes in spite of you.
The only way he can be brought to a stand is by a stroke with a wand
across the nose. When Sinbad ran in below a climber stretched over the
path so low that I could not stoop under it, I was dragged off and came
down on the crown of my head; and he never allowed an opportunity of the
kind to pass without trying to inflict a kick, as if I neither had nor
deserved his love.

A remarkable peculiarity in the forests of this country is the absence
of thorns: there are but two exceptions; one a tree bearing a species of
'nux vomica', and a small shrub very like the plant of the sarsaparilla,
bearing, in addition to its hooked thorns, bunches of yellow berries.
The thornlessness of the vegetation is especially noticeable to those
who have been in the south, where there is so great a variety of
thorn-bearing plants and trees. We have thorns of every size and shape;
thorns straight, thin and long, short and thick, or hooked, and so
strong as to be able to cut even leather like a knife. Seed-vessels are
scattered every where by these appendages. One lies flat as a shilling
with two thorns in its centre, ready to run into the foot of any animal
that treads upon it, and stick there for days together. Another (the
'Uncaria procumbens', or Grapple-plant) has so many hooked thorns as to
cling most tenaciously to any animal to which it may become attached;
when it happens to lay hold of the mouth of an ox, the animal stands and
roars with pain and a sense of helplessness.

Whenever a part of the forest has been cleared for a garden, and
afterward abandoned, a species of plant, with leaves like those of
ginger, springs up, and contends for the possession of the soil with a
great crop of ferns. This is the case all the way down to Angola, and
shows the great difference of climate between this and the Bechuana
country, where a fern, except one or two hardy species, is never seen.
The plants above mentioned bear a pretty pink flower close to the
ground, which is succeeded by a scarlet fruit full of seeds, yielding,
as so many fruits in this country do, a pleasant acid juice, which,
like the rest, is probably intended as a corrective to the fluids of the
system in the hot climate.

On leaving the Chihune we crossed the Longe, and, as the day was cloudy,
our guides wandered in a forest away to the west till we came to the
River Chihombo, flowing to the E.N.E. My men depended so much on the
sun for guidance that, having seen nothing of the luminary all day, they
thought we had wandered back to the Chiboque, and, as often happens when
bewildered, they disputed as to the point where the sun should rise next
morning. As soon as the rains would allow next day, we went off to the
N.E. It would have been better to have traveled by compass alone, for
the guides took advantage of any fears expressed by my people, and
threatened to return if presents were not made at once. But my men had
never left their own country before except for rapine and murder.
When they formerly came to a village they were in the habit of killing
numbers of the inhabitants, and then taking a few young men to serve as
guides to the next place. As this was their first attempt at an opposite
line of conduct, and as they were without their shields, they felt
defenseless among the greedy Chiboque, and some allowance must be made
for them on that account.

SATURDAY, 11TH. Reached a small village on the banks of a narrow stream.
I was too ill to go out of my little covering except to quell a mutiny
which began to show itself among some of the Batoka and Ambonda of our
party. They grumbled, as they often do against their chiefs, when they
think them partial in their gifts, because they supposed that I had
shown a preference in the distribution of the beads; but the beads I
had given to my principal men were only sufficient to purchase a scanty
meal, and I had hastened on to this village in order to slaughter a
tired ox, and give them all a feast as well as a rest on Sunday, as
preparation for the journey before us. I explained this to them, and
thought their grumbling was allayed. I soon sank into a state of stupor,
which the fever sometimes produced, and was oblivious to all their noise
in slaughtering. On Sunday the mutineers were making a terrible din in
preparing a skin they had procured. I requested them twice, by the man
who attended me, to be more quiet, as the noise pained me; but as
they paid no attention to this civil request, I put out my head, and,
repeating it myself, was answered by an impudent laugh. Knowing that
discipline would be at an end if this mutiny were not quelled, and
that our lives depended on vigorously upholding authority, I seized a
double-barreled pistol, and darted forth from the domicile, looking,
I suppose, so savage as to put them to a precipitate flight. As some
remained within hearing, I told them that I must maintain discipline,
though at the expense of some of their limbs; so long as we traveled
together they must remember that I was master, and not they. There being
but little room to doubt my determination, they immediately became very
obedient, and never afterward gave me any trouble, or imagined that they
had any right to my property.

13TH. We went forward some miles, but were brought to a stand by the
severity of my fever on the banks of a branch of the Loajima, another
tributary of the Kasai. I was in a state of partial coma until late at
night, when it became necessary for me to go out; and I was surprised
to find that my men had built a little stockade, and some of them took
their spears and acted as a guard. I found that we were surrounded by
enemies, and a party of Chiboque lay near the gateway, after having
preferred the demand of "a man, an ox, a gun, or a tusk." My men had
prepared for defense in case of a night attack, and when the Chiboque
wished to be shown where I lay sick, they very properly refused to point
me out. In the morning I went out to the Chiboque, and found that they
answered me civilly regarding my intentions in opening the country,
teaching them, etc., etc. They admitted that their chiefs would be
pleased with the prospect of friendship, and now only wished to exchange
tokens of good-will with me, and offered three pigs, which they hoped I
would accept. The people here are in the habit of making a present, and
then demanding whatever they choose in return. We had been forewarned of
this by our guides, so I tried to decline, by asking if they would eat
one of the pigs in company with us. To this proposition they said that
they durst not accede. I then accepted the present in the hope that
the blame of deficient friendly feeling might not rest with me, and
presented a razor, two bunches of beads, and twelve copper rings,
contributed by my men from their arms. They went off to report to their
chief; and as I was quite unable to move from excessive giddiness, we
continued in the same spot on Tuesday evening, when they returned with
a message couched in very plain terms, that a man, tusk, gun, or even
an ox, alone would be acceptable; that he had every thing else in his
possession but oxen, and that, whatever I should please to demand from
him, he would gladly give it. As this was all said civilly, and
there was no help for it if we refused but bloodshed, I gave a tired
riding-ox. My late chief mutineer, an Ambonda man, was now over-loyal,
for he armed himself and stood at the gateway. He would rather die than
see his father imposed on; but I ordered Mosantu to take him out of the
way, which he did promptly, and allowed the Chiboque to march off well
pleased with their booty. I told my men that I esteemed one of their
lives of more value than all the oxen we had, and that the only cause
which could induce me to fight would be to save the lives and liberties
of the majority. In the propriety of this they all agreed, and said
that, if the Chiboque molested us who behaved so peaceably, the
guilt would be on their heads. This is a favorite mode of expression
throughout the whole country. All are anxious to give explanation of any
acts they have performed, and conclude the narration with, "I have no
guilt or blame" ("molatu"). "They have the guilt." I never could be
positive whether the idea in their minds is guilt in the sight of the
Deity, or of mankind only.

Next morning the robber party came with about thirty yards of strong
striped English calico, an axe, and two hoes for our acceptance, and
returned the copper rings, as the chief was a great man, and did not
need the ornaments of my men, but we noticed that they were taken back
again. I divided the cloth among my men, and pleased them a little by
thus compensating for the loss of the ox. I advised the chief, whose
name we did not learn, as he did not deign to appear except under the
alias Matiamvo, to get cattle for his own use, and expressed sorrow
that I had none wherewith to enable him to make a commencement. Rains
prevented our proceeding till Thursday morning, and then messengers
appeared to tell us that their chief had learned that all the cloth sent
by him had not been presented; that the copper rings had been secreted
by the persons ordered to restore them to us, and that he had stripped
the thievish emissaries of their property as a punishment. Our guides
thought these were only spies of a larger party, concealed in the forest
through which we were now about to pass. We prepared for defense by
marching in a compact body, and allowing no one to straggle far behind
the others. We marched through many miles of gloomy forest in gloomier
silence, but nothing disturbed us. We came to a village, and found
all the men absent, the guides thought, in the forest, with their
countrymen. I was too ill to care much whether we were attacked or not.
Though a pouring rain came on, as we were all anxious to get away out
of a bad neighborhood, we proceeded. The thick atmosphere prevented my
seeing the creeping plants in time to avoid them; so Pitsane, Mohorisi,
and I, who alone were mounted, were often caught; and as there is no
stopping the oxen when they have the prospect of giving the rider a
tumble, we came frequently to the ground. In addition to these mishaps,
Sinbad went off at a plunging gallop, the bridle broke, and I came down
backward on the crown of my head. He gave me a kick on the thigh at the
same time. I felt none the worse for this rough treatment, but would
not recommend it to others as a palliative in cases of fever! This
last attack of fever was so obstinate that it reduced me almost to a
skeleton. The blanket which I used as a saddle on the back of the ox,
being frequently wet, remained so beneath me even in the hot sun, and,
aided by the heat of the ox, caused extensive abrasion of the
skin, which was continually healing and getting sore again. To this
inconvenience was now added the chafing of my projecting bones on the
hard bed.

On Friday we came to a village of civil people on the banks of the
Loajima itself, and we were wet all day in consequence of crossing it.
The bridges over it, and another stream which we crossed at midday, were
submerged, as we have hitherto invariably found, by a flood of perfectly
clear water. At the second ford we were met by a hostile party who
refused us further passage. I ordered my men to proceed in the same
direction we had been pursuing, but our enemies spread themselves out in
front of us with loud cries. Our numbers were about equal to theirs
this time, so I moved on at the head of my men. Some ran off to
other villages, or back to their own village, on pretense of getting
ammunition; others called out that all traders came to them, and that we
must do the same. As these people had plenty of iron-headed arrows and
some guns, when we came to the edge of the forest I ordered my men to
put the luggage in our centre; and, if our enemies did not fire, to cut
down some young trees and make a screen as quickly as possible, but do
nothing to them except in case of actual attack. I then dismounted, and,
advancing a little toward our principal opponent, showed him how easily
I could kill him, but pointed upward, saying, "I fear God." He did the
same, placing his hand on his heart, pointing upward, and saying, "I
fear to kill; but come to our village; come--do come." At this juncture,
the old head man, Ionga Panza, a venerable negro, came up, and I invited
him and all to be seated, that we might talk the matter over. Ionga
Panza soon let us know that he thought himself very ill treated in being
passed by. As most skirmishes arise from misunderstanding, this might
have been a serious one; for, like all the tribes near the Portuguese
settlements, people here imagine that they have a right to demand
payment from every one who passes through the country; and now, though
Ionga Panza was certainly no match for my men, yet they were determined
not to forego their right without a struggle. I removed with my men
to the vicinity of the village, thankful that no accident had as yet
brought us into actual collision.

The reason why the people have imbibed the idea so strongly that they
have a right to demand payment for leave to pass through the country is
probably this. They have seen no traders except those either engaged
in purchasing slaves, or who have slaves in their employment. These
slave-traders have always been very much at the mercy of the chiefs
through whose country they have passed; for if they afforded a ready
asylum for runaway slaves, the traders might be deserted at any moment,
and stripped of their property altogether. They are thus obliged to
curry favor with the chiefs, so as to get a safe conduct from them. The
same system is adopted to induce the chiefs to part with their people,
whom all feel to be the real source of their importance in the country.
On the return of the traders from the interior with chains of slaves,
it is so easy for a chief who may be so disposed to take away a chain of
eight or ten unresisting slaves, that the merchant is fain to give any
amount of presents in order to secure the good-will of the rulers. The
independent chiefs, not knowing why their favor is so eagerly sought,
become excessively proud and supercilious in their demands, and look
upon white men with the greatest contempt. To such lengths did the
Bangala, a tribe near to which we had now approached, proceed a few
years ago, that they compelled the Portuguese traders to pay for water,
wood, and even grass, and every possible pretext was invented for
levying fines; and these were patiently submitted to so long as the
slave-trade continued to flourish. We had unconsciously come in contact
with a system which was quite unknown in the country from which my men
had set out. An English trader may there hear a demand for payment of
guides, but never, so far as I am aware, is he asked to pay for leave
to traverse a country. The idea does not seem to have entered the native
mind, except through slave-traders, for the aborigines all acknowledge
that the untilled land, not needed for pasturage, belongs to God alone,
and that no harm is done by people passing through it. I rather believe
that, wherever the slave-trade has not penetrated, the visits of
strangers are esteemed a real privilege.

The village of old Ionga Panza (lat. 10d 25' S., long. 20d 15' E.) is
small, and embowered in lofty evergreen trees, which were hung around
with fine festoons of creepers. He sent us food immediately, and soon
afterward a goat, which was considered a handsome gift, there being but
few domestic animals, though the country is well adapted for them. I
suspect this, like the country of Shinte and Katema, must have been a
tsetse district, and only recently rendered capable of supporting
other domestic animals besides the goat, by the destruction of the game
through the extensive introduction of fire-arms. We might all have been
as ignorant of the existence of this insect plague as the Portuguese,
had it not been for the numerous migrations of pastoral tribes which
took place in the south in consequence of Zulu irruptions.

During these exciting scenes I always forgot my fever, but a terrible
sense of sinking came back with the feeling of safety. The same demand
of payment for leave to pass was made on the 20th by old Ionga Panza
as by the other Chiboque. I offered the shell presented by Shinte, but
Ionga Panza said he was too old for ornaments. We might have succeeded
very well with him, for he was by no means unreasonable, and had but
a very small village of supporters; but our two guides from Kangenke
complicated our difficulties by sending for a body of Bangala traders,
with a view to force us to sell the tusks of Sekeletu, and pay them with
the price. We offered to pay them handsomely if they would perform their
promise of guiding us to Cassange, but they knew no more of the paths
than we did; and my men had paid them repeatedly, and tried to get rid
of them, but could not. They now joined with our enemies, and so did the
traders. Two guns and some beads belonging to the latter were standing
in our encampment, and the guides seized them and ran off. As my men
knew that we should be called upon to replace them, they gave chase, and
when the guides saw that they would be caught, they threw down the guns,
directed their flight to the village, and rushed into a hut. The doorway
is not much higher than that of a dog's kennel. One of the guides was
reached by one of my men as he was in the act of stooping to get in, and
a cut was inflicted on a projecting part of the body which would have
made any one in that posture wince. The guns were restored, but the
beads were lost in the flight. All I had remaining of my stock of beads
could not replace those lost; and though we explained that we had no
part in the guilt of the act, the traders replied that we had brought
the thieves into the country; these were of the Bangala, who had been
accustomed to plague the Portuguese in the most vexatious way. We were
striving to get a passage through the country, and, feeling anxious that
no crime whatever should be laid to our charge, tried the conciliatory
plan here, though we were not, as in the other instances, likely to be
overpowered by numbers.

My men offered all their ornaments, and I offered all my beads and
shirts; but, though we had come to the village against our will, and the
guides had also followed us contrary to our desire, and had even sent
for the Bangala traders without our knowledge or consent, yet matters
could not be arranged without our giving an ox and one of the tusks.
We were all becoming disheartened, and could not wonder that native
expeditions from the interior to the coast had generally failed to reach
their destinations. My people were now so much discouraged that some
proposed to return home; the prospect of being obliged to return when
just on the threshold of the Portuguese settlements distressed me
exceedingly. After using all my powers of persuasion, I declared to them
that if they returned I would go on alone, and went into my little tent
with the mind directed to Him who hears the sighing of the soul, and was
soon followed by the head of Mohorisi, saying, "We will never leave you.
Do not be disheartened. Wherever you lead we will follow. Our remarks
were made only on account of the injustice of these people." Others
followed, and with the most artless simplicity of manner told me to be
comforted--"they were all my children; they knew no one but Sekeletu
and me, and they would die for me; they had not fought because I did
not wish it; they had just spoken in the bitterness of their spirit, and
when feeling that they could do nothing; but if these enemies begin you
will see what we can do." One of the oxen we offered to the Chiboque had
been rejected because he had lost part of his tail, as they thought that
it had been cut off and witchcraft medicine inserted; and some mirth was
excited by my proposing to raise a similar objection to all the oxen
we still had in our possession. The remaining four soon presented a
singular shortness of their caudal extremities, and though no one ever
asked whether they had medicine in the stumps or no, we were no more
troubled by the demand for an ox! We now slaughtered another ox, that
the spectacle might not be seen of the owners of the cattle fasting
while the Chiboque were feasting.

Chapter 19.

Guides prepaid--Bark Canoes--Deserted by Guides--Mistakes respecting
the Coanza--Feelings of freed Slaves--Gardens and Villages--Native
Traders--A Grave--Valley of the Quango--Bamboo--White Larvae used as
Food--Bashinje Insolence--A posing Question--The Chief Sansawe--His
Hostility--Pass him safely--The River Quango--Chief's mode of
dressing his Hair--Opposition--Opportune Aid by Cypriano--His generous
Hospitality--Ability of Half-castes to read and write--Books and
Images--Marauding Party burned in the Grass--Arrive at Cassange--A good
Supper--Kindness of Captain Neves--Portuguese Curiosity and Questions--
Anniversary of the Resurrection--No Prejudice against Color--Country
around Cassange--Sell Sekeletu's Ivory--Makololo's Surprise at the
high Price obtained--Proposal to return Home, and Reasons--
Soldier-guide--Hill Kasala--Tala Mungongo, Village of--Civility
of Basongo--True Negroes--A Field of Wheat--
Carriers--Sleeping-places--Fever--Enter District of Ambaca--Good Fruits
of Jesuit Teaching--The 'Tampan'; its Bite--Universal Hospitality of
the Portuguese--A Tale of the Mambari--Exhilarating Effects of
Highland Scenery--District of Golungo Alto--Want of good
Roads--Fertility--Forests of gigantic Timber--Native Carpenters--Coffee
Estate--Sterility of Country near the Coast--Mosquitoes--Fears of the
Makololo--Welcome by Mr. Gabriel to Loanda.

24TH. Ionga Panza's sons agreed to act as guides into the territory of
the Portuguese if I would give them the shell given by Shinte. I was
strongly averse to this, and especially to give it beforehand, but
yielded to the entreaty of my people to appear as if showing confidence
in these hopeful youths. They urged that they wished to leave the
shell with their wives, as a sort of payment to them for enduring their
husbands' absence so long. Having delivered the precious shell, we went
west-by-north to the River Chikapa, which here (lat. 10d 22' S.) is
forty or fifty yards wide, and at present was deep; it was seen flowing
over a rocky, broken cataract with great noise about half a mile above
our ford. We were ferried over in a canoe, made out of a single piece
of bark sewed together at the ends, and having sticks placed in it at
different parts to act as ribs. The word Chikapa means bark or skin; and
as this is the only river in which we saw this kind of canoe used, and
we heard that this stream is so low during most of the year as to be
easily fordable, it probably derives its name from the use made of the
bark canoes when it is in flood. We now felt the loss of our pontoon,
for the people to whom the canoe belonged made us pay once when we began
to cross, then a second time when half of us were over, and a third time
when all were over but my principal man Pitsane and myself. Loyanke took
off his cloth and paid my passage with it. The Makololo always ferried
their visitors over rivers without pay, and now began to remark that
they must in future fleece the Mambari as these Chiboque had done to us;
they had all been loud in condemnation of the meanness, and when I asked
if they could descend to be equally mean, I was answered that they
would only do it in revenge. They like to have a plausible excuse for

Next morning our guides went only about a mile, and then told us they
would return home. I expected this when paying them beforehand, in
accordance with the entreaties of the Makololo, who are rather ignorant
of the world. Very energetic remonstrances were addressed to the guides,
but they slipped off one by one in the thick forest through which
we were passing, and I was glad to hear my companions coming to the
conclusion that, as we were now in parts visited by traders, we did not
require the guides, whose chief use had been to prevent misapprehension
of our objects in the minds of the villagers. The country was somewhat
more undulating now than it had been, and several fine small streams
flowed in deep woody dells. The trees are very tall and straight, and
the forests gloomy and damp; the ground in these solitudes is quite
covered with yellow and brown mosses, and light-colored lichens clothe
all the trees. The soil is extremely fertile, being generally a black
loam covered with a thick crop of tall grasses. We passed several
villages too. The head man of a large one scolded us well for passing,
when he intended to give us food. Where slave-traders have been in the
habit of coming, they present food, then demand three or four times its
value as a custom. We were now rather glad to get past villages without
intercourse with the inhabitants.

We were traveling W.N.W., and all the rivulets we here crossed had a
northerly course, and were reported to fall into the Kasai or Loke; most
of them had the peculiar boggy banks of the country. As we were now in
the alleged latitude of the Coanza, I was much astonished at the
entire absence of any knowledge of that river among the natives of
this quarter. But I was then ignorant of the fact that the Coanza rises
considerably to the west of this, and has a comparatively short course
from its source to the sea.

The famous Dr. Lacerda seems to have labored under the same mistake as
myself, for he recommended the government of Angola to establish a chain
of forts along the banks of that river, with a view to communication
with the opposite coast. As a chain of forts along its course would lead
southward instead of eastward, we may infer that the geographical data
within reach of that eminent man were no better than those according to
which I had directed my course to the Coanza where it does not exist.

26TH. We spent Sunday on the banks of the Quilo or Kweelo, here a stream
of about ten yards wide. It runs in a deep glen, the sides of which are
almost five hundred yards of slope, and rocky, the rocks being hardened
calcareous tufa lying on clay shale and sandstone below, with a capping
of ferruginous conglomerate. The scenery would have been very
pleasing, but fever took away much of the joy of life, and severe daily
intermittents rendered me very weak and always glad to recline.

As we were now in the slave-market, it struck me that the sense of
insecurity felt by the natives might account for the circumstance that
those who have been sold as slaves and freed again, when questioned,
profess to like the new state better than their primitive one. They
lived on rich, fertile plains, which seldom inspire that love of country
which the mountains do. If they had been mountaineers, they would have
pined for home. To one who has observed the hard toil of the poor in old
civilized countries, the state in which the inhabitants here live is one
of glorious ease. The country is full of little villages. Food abounds,
and very little labor is required for its cultivation; the soil is so
rich that no manure is required; when a garden becomes too poor for good
crops of maize, millet, etc., the owner removes a little farther into
the forest, applies fire round the roots of the larger trees to kill
them, cuts down the smaller, and a new, rich garden is ready for the
seed. The gardens usually present the appearance of a large number of
tall, dead trees standing without bark, and maize growing between them.
The old gardens continue to yield manioc for years after the owners
have removed to other spots for the sake of millet and maize. But, while
vegetable aliment is abundant, there is a want of salt and animal food,
so that numberless traps are seen, set for mice, in all the forests of
Londa. The vegetable diet leaves great craving for flesh, and I have no
doubt but that, when an ordinary quantity of mixed food is supplied to
freed slaves, they actually do feel more comfortable than they did at
home. Their assertions, however, mean but little, for they always try to
give an answer to please, and if one showed them a nugget of gold, they
would generally say that these abounded in their country.

One could detect, in passing, the variety of character found among
the owners of gardens and villages. Some villages were the pictures of
neatness. We entered others enveloped in a wilderness of weeds, so high
that, when sitting on ox-back in the middle of the village, we could
only see the tops of the huts. If we entered at midday, the owners
would come lazily forth, pipe in hand, and leisurely puff away in dreamy
indifference. In some villages weeds are not allowed to grow; cotton,
tobacco, and different plants used as relishes are planted round the
huts; fowls are kept in cages, and the gardens present the pleasant
spectacle of different kinds of grain and pulse at various periods of
their growth. I sometimes admired the one class, and at times wished I
could have taken the world easy for a time like the other. Every village
swarms with children, who turn out to see the white man pass, and run
along with strange cries and antics; some run up trees to get a good
view: all are agile climbers throughout Londa. At friendly villages they
have scampered alongside our party for miles at a time. We usually made
a little hedge around our sheds; crowds of women came to the entrance of
it, with children on their backs, and long pipes in their mouths, gazing
at us for hours. The men, rather than disturb them, crawled through a
hole in the hedge, and it was common to hear a man in running off say
to them, "I am going to tell my mamma to come and see the white man's

In continuing our W.N.W. course, we met many parties of native traders,
each carrying some pieces of cloth and salt, with a few beads to
barter for bees'-wax. They are all armed with Portuguese guns, and have
cartridges with iron balls. When we meet we usually stand a few minutes.
They present a little salt, and we give a bit of ox-hide, or some other
trifle, and then part with mutual good wishes. The hide of the oxen we
slaughtered had been a valuable addition to our resources, for we found
it in so great repute for girdles all through Loanda that we cut up
every skin into strips about two inches broad, and sold them for meal
and manioc as we went along. As we came nearer Angola we found them of
less value, as the people there possess cattle themselves.

The village on the Kweelo, at which we spent Sunday, was that of a
civil, lively old man, called Sakandala, who offered no objections to
our progress. We found we should soon enter on the territory of the
Bashinje (Chinge of the Portuguese), who are mixed with another tribe,
named Bangala, which have been at war with the Babindele or Portuguese.
Rains and fever, as usual, helped to impede our progress until we were
put on the path which leads from Cassange and Bihe to Matiamvo, by a
head man named Kamboela. This was a well-beaten footpath, and soon after
entering upon it we met a party of half-caste traders from Bihe, who
confirmed the information we had already got of this path leading
straight to Cassange, through which they had come on their way from Bihe
to Cabango. They kindly presented my men with some tobacco, and marveled
greatly when they found that I had never been able to teach myself to
smoke. On parting with them we came to a trader's grave. This was marked
by a huge cone of sticks placed in the form of the roof of a hut, with
a palisade around it. At an opening on the western side an ugly idol was
placed: several strings of beads and bits of cloth were hung around. We
learned that he had been a half-caste, who had died on his way back from

As we were now alone, and sure of being on the way to the abodes of
civilization, we went on briskly.

On the 30th we came to a sudden descent from the high land, indented
by deep, narrow valleys, over which we had lately been traveling. It is
generally so steep that it can only be descended at particular points,
and even there I was obliged to dismount, though so weak that I had to
be led by my companions to prevent my toppling over in walking down. It
was annoying to feel myself so helpless, for I never liked to see a man,
either sick or well, giving in effeminately. Below us lay the valley of
the Quango. If you sit on the spot where Mary Queen of Scots viewed the
battle of Langside, and look down on the vale of Clyde, you may see
in miniature the glorious sight which a much greater and richer valley
presented to our view. It is about a hundred miles broad, clothed with
dark forest, except where the light green grass covers meadow-lands on
the Quango, which here and there glances out in the sun as it wends its
way to the north. The opposite side of this great valley appears like a
range of lofty mountains, and the descent into it about a mile, which,
measured perpendicularly, may be from a thousand to twelve hundred feet.
Emerging from the gloomy forests of Londa, this magnificent prospect
made us all feel as if a weight had been lifted off our eyelids. A cloud
was passing across the middle of the valley, from which rolling thunder
pealed, while above all was glorious sunlight; and when we went down
to the part where we saw it passing, we found that a very heavy
thunder-shower had fallen under the path of the cloud; and the bottom
of the valley, which from above seemed quite smooth, we discovered to be
intersected and furrowed by great numbers of deep-cut streams. Looking
back from below, the descent appears as the edge of a table-land, with
numerous indented dells and spurs jutting out all along, giving it a
serrated appearance. Both the top and sides of the sierra are covered
with trees, but large patches of the more perpendicular parts are bare,
and exhibit the red soil, which is general over the region we have now

The hollow affords a section of this part of the country; and we find
that the uppermost stratum is the ferruginous conglomerate already
mentioned. The matrix is rust of iron (or hydrous peroxide of iron and
hematite), and in it are imbedded water-worn pebbles of sandstone and
quartz. As this is the rock underlying the soil of a large part of
Londa, its formation must have preceded the work of denudation by an
arm of the sea, which washed away the enormous mass of matter required
before the valley of Cassange could assume its present form. The strata
under the conglomerate are all of red clay shale of different degrees of
hardness, the most indurated being at the bottom. This red clay shale
is named "keele" in Scotland, and has always been considered as an
indication of gold; but the only thing we discovered was that it had
given rise to a very slippery clay soil, so different from that which
we had just left that Mashauana, who always prided himself on being an
adept at balancing himself in the canoe on water, and so sure of foot on
land that he could afford to express contempt for any one less gifted,
came down in a very sudden and undignified manner, to the delight of all
whom he had previously scolded for falling.

Here we met with the bamboo as thick as a man's arm, and many new trees.
Others, which we had lost sight of since leaving Shinte, now reappeared;
but nothing struck us more than the comparative scragginess of the
trees in this hollow. Those on the high lands we had left were tall
and straight; here they were stunted, and not by any means so closely
planted together. The only way I could account for this was by
supposing, as the trees were of different species, that the greater
altitude suited the nature of those above better than the lower altitude
did the other species below.

SUNDAY, APRIL 2D. We rested beside a small stream, and our hunger being
now very severe, from having lived on manioc alone since leaving Ionza
Panza's, we slaughtered one of our four remaining oxen. The people of
this district seem to feel the craving for animal food as much as we
did, for they spend much energy in digging large white larvae out of the
damp soil adjacent to their streams, and use them as a relish to their
vegetable diet. The Bashinje refused to sell any food for the poor old
ornaments my men had now to offer. We could get neither meal nor manioc,
but should have been comfortable had not the Bashinje chief Sansawe
pestered us for the customary present. The native traders informed us
that a display of force was often necessary before they could pass this

Sansawe, the chief of a portion of the Bashinje, having sent the usual
formal demand for a man, an ox, or a tusk, spoke very contemptuously of
the poor things we offered him instead. We told his messengers that the
tusks were Sekeletu's: every thing was gone except my instruments, which
could be of no use to them whatever. One of them begged some meat, and,
when it was refused, said to my men, "You may as well give it, for we
shall take all after we have killed you to-morrow." The more humbly we
spoke, the more insolent the Bashinje became, till at last we were all
feeling savage and sulky, but continued to speak as civilly as we could.
They are fond of argument, and when I denied their right to demand
tribute from a white man, who did not trade in slaves, an old
white-headed negro put rather a posing question: "You know that God has
placed chiefs among us whom we ought to support. How is it that you, who
have a book that tells you about him, do not come forward at once to pay
this chief tribute like every one else?" I replied by asking, "How could
I know that this was a chief, who had allowed me to remain a day and a
half near him without giving me any thing to eat?" This, which to the
uninitiated may seem sophistry, was to the Central Africans quite a
rational question, for he at once admitted that food ought to have been
sent, and added that probably his chief was only making it ready for me,
and that it would come soon.

After being wearied by talking all day to different parties sent by
Sansawe, we were honored by a visit from himself: he is quite a young
man, and of rather a pleasing countenance. There can not have been much
intercourse between real Portuguese and these people even here, so close
to the Quango, for Sansawe asked me to show him my hair, on the ground
that, though he had heard of it, and some white men had even passed
through his country, he had never seen straight hair before. This is
quite possible, as most of the slave-traders are not Portuguese, but
half-castes. The difference between their wool and our hair caused
him to burst into a laugh, and the contrast between the exposed and
unexposed parts of my skin, when exhibited in evidence of our all being
made of one stock originally, and the children of one Maker, seemed to
strike him with wonder. I then showed him my watch, and wished to win my
way into his confidence by conversation; but, when about to exhibit
my pocket compass, he desired me to desist, as he was afraid of my
wonderful things. I told him, if he knew my aims as the tribes in the
interior did, and as I hoped he would yet know them and me, he would be
glad to stay, and see also the pictures of the magic lantern; but, as
it was now getting dark, he had evidently got enough of my witchery,
and began to use some charms to dispel any kindly feelings he might have
found stealing round his heart. He asked leave to go, and when his party
moved off a little way, he sent for my spokesman, and told him that, "if
we did not add a red jacket and a man to our gift of a few copper rings
and a few pounds of meat, we must return by the way we had come." I
said in reply "that we should certainly go forward next day, and if he
commenced hostilities, the blame before God would be that of Sansawe;"
and my man added of his own accord, "How many white men have you killed
in this path?" which might be interpreted into, "You have never killed
any white man, and you will find ours more difficult to manage than you
imagine." It expressed a determination, which we had often repeated to
each other, to die rather than yield one of our party to be a slave.

Hunger has a powerful effect on the temper. When we had got a good meal
of meat, we could all bear the petty annoyances of these borderers on
the more civilized region in front with equanimity; but having suffered
considerably of late, we were all rather soured in our feelings, and not
unfrequently I overheard my companions remark in their own tongue, in
answer to threats of attack, "That's what we want: only begin then;" or
with clenched teeth they would exclaim to each other, "These things have
never traveled, and do not know what men are." The worrying, of which
I give only a slight sketch, had considerable influence on my own mind,
and more especially as it was impossible to make any allowance for the
Bashinje, such as I was willing to award to the Chiboque. They saw that
we had nothing to give, nor would they be benefited in the least by
enforcing the impudent order to return whence we had come. They were
adding insult to injury, and this put us all into a fighting spirit,
and, as nearly as we could judge, we expected to be obliged to cut our
way through the Bashinje next morning.

3D APRIL. As soon as day dawned we were astir, and, setting off in a
drizzling rain, passed close to the village. This rain probably damped
the ardor of the robbers. We, however, expected to be fired upon from
every clump of trees, or from some of the rocky hillocks among which we
were passing; and it was only after two hours' march that we began to
breathe freely, and my men remarked, in thankfulness, "We are children
of Jesus." We continued our course, notwithstanding the rain, across the
bottom of the Quango Valley, which we found broken by clay shale rocks
jutting out, though lying nearly horizontally. The grass in all the
hollows, at this time quite green, was about two feet higher than my
head while sitting on ox-back. This grass, wetted by the rain, acted as
a shower-bath on one side of our bodies; and some deep gullies, full of
DISCOLORED water, completed the cooling process. We passed many villages
during this drenching, one of which possessed a flock of sheep; and
after six hours we came to a stand near the River Quango (lat. 9d
53' S., long. 18d 37' E.), which may be called the boundary of the
Portuguese claims to territory on the west. As I had now no change of
clothing, I was glad to cower under the shelter of my blanket, thankful
to God for his goodness in bringing us so far without losing one of the

4TH APRIL. We were now on the banks of the Quango, a river one hundred
and fifty yards wide, and very deep. The water was discolored--a
circumstance which we had observed in no river in Londa or in the
Makololo country. This fine river flows among extensive meadows clothed
with gigantic grass and reeds, and in a direction nearly north.

The Quango is said by the natives to contain many venomous water-snakes,
which congregate near the carcass of any hippopotamus that may be killed
in it. If this is true, it may account for all the villages we saw being
situated far from its banks. We were advised not to sleep near it; but,
as we were anxious to cross to the western side, we tried to induce some
of the Bashinje to lend us canoes for the purpose. This brought out the
chief of these parts, who informed us that all the canoe-men were his
children, and nothing could be done without his authority. He then made
the usual demand for a man, an ox, or a gun, adding that otherwise we
must return to the country from which we had come. As I did not believe
that this man had any power over the canoes of the other side, and
suspected that if I gave him my blanket--the only thing I now had in
reserve--he might leave us in the lurch after all, I tried to persuade
my men to go at once to the bank, about two miles off, and obtain
possession of the canoes before we gave up the blanket; but they thought
that this chief might attack us in the act of crossing, should we do so.
The chief came himself to our encampment and made his demand again. My
men stripped off the last of their copper rings and gave them; but he
was still intent on a man. He thought, as others did, that my men were
slaves. He was a young man, with his woolly hair elaborately dressed:
that behind was made up into a cone, about eight inches in diameter
at the base, carefully swathed round with red and black thread. As I
resisted the proposal to deliver up my blanket until they had placed us
on the western bank, this chief continued to worry us with his demands
till I was tired. My little tent was now in tatters, and having a wider
hole behind than the door in front, I tried in vain to lie down out of
sight of our persecutors. We were on a reedy flat, and could not follow
our usual plan of a small stockade, in which we had time to think over
and concoct our plans. As I was trying to persuade my men to move on
to the bank in spite of these people, a young half-caste Portuguese
sergeant of militia, Cypriano di Abreu, made his appearance, and gave
the same advice. He had come across the Quango in search of bees'-wax.
When we moved off from the chief who had been plaguing us, his people
opened a fire from our sheds, and continued to blaze away some time in
the direction we were going, but none of the bullets reached us. It
is probable that they expected a demonstration of the abundance of
ammunition they possessed would make us run; but when we continued
to move quietly to the ford, they proceeded no farther than our
sleeping-place. Cypriano assisted us in making a more satisfactory
arrangement with the ferrymen than parting with my blanket; and as soon
as we reached the opposite bank we were in the territory of the Bangala,
who are subjects of the Portuguese, and often spoken of as the Cassanges
or Cassantse; and happily all our difficulties with the border tribes
were at an end.

Passing with light hearts through the high grass by a narrow footpath
for about three miles to the west of the river, we came to several neat
square houses, with many cleanly-looking half-caste Portuguese standing
in front of them to salute us. They are all enrolled in the militia, and
our friend Cypriano is the commander of a division established here.
The Bangala were very troublesome to the Portuguese traders, and at last
proceeded so far as to kill one of them; the government of Angola then
sent an expedition against them, which being successful, the Bangala
were dispersed, and are now returning to their former abodes as
vassals. The militia are quartered among them, and engage in trade and
agriculture for their support, as no pay is given to this branch of the
service by the government.

We came to the dwelling of Cypriano after dark, and I pitched my little
tent in front of it for the night. We had the company of mosquitoes
here. We never found them troublesome on the banks of the pure streams
of Londa. On the morning of the 5th Cypriano generously supplied my
men with pumpkins and maize, and then invited me to breakfast, which
consisted of ground-nuts and roasted maize, then boiled manioc roots
and ground-nuts, with guavas and honey as a dessert. I felt sincerely
grateful for this magnificent breakfast.

At dinner Cypriano was equally bountiful, and several of his friends
joined us in doing justice to his hospitality. Before eating, all had
water poured on the hands by a female slave to wash them. One of the
guests cut up a fowl with a knife and fork. Neither forks nor spoons
were used in eating. The repast was partaken of with decency and good
manners, and concluded by washing the hands as at first.

All of them could read and write with ease. I examined the books they
possessed, and found a small work on medicine, a small cyclopaedia, and
a Portuguese dictionary, in which the definition of a "priest" seemed
strange to a Protestant, namely, "one who takes care of the conscience."
They had also a few tracts containing the Lives of the Saints, and
Cypriano had three small wax images of saints in his room. One of these
was St. Anthony, who, had he endured the privations he did in his cell
in looking after these lost sheep, would have lived to better purpose.
Neither Cypriano nor his companions knew what the Bible was, but they
had relics in German-silver cases hung round their necks, to act as
charms and save them from danger by land or by water, in the same way as
the heathen have medicines. It is a pity that the Church to which they
belong, when unable to attend to the wants of her children, does not
give them the sacred writings in their own tongue; it would surely be
better to see them good Protestants, if these would lead them to be so,
than entirely ignorant of God's message to man. For my part, I would
much prefer to see the Africans good Roman Catholics than idolatrous

Much of the civility shown to us here was, no doubt, owing to the
flattering letters of recommendation I carried from the Chevalier Du
Prat, of Cape Town; but I am inclined to believe that my friend Cypriano
was influenced, too, by feelings of genuine kindness, for he quite bared
his garden in feeding us during the few days which I remained, anxiously
expecting the clouds to disperse, so far as to allow of my taking
observations for the determination of the position of the Quango. He
slaughtered an ox for us, and furnished his mother and her maids with
manioc roots, to prepare farina for the four or five days of our journey
to Cassange, and never even hinted at payment. My wretched appearance
must have excited his compassion. The farina is prepared by washing
the roots well, then rasping them down to a pulp. Next, this is roasted
slightly on a metal plate over a fire, and is then used with meat as
a vegetable. It closely resembles wood-sawings, and on that account
is named "wood-meal". It is insipid, and employed to lick up any gravy
remaining on one's plate. Those who have become accustomed to it relish
it even after they have returned to Europe.

The manioc cultivated here is of the sweet variety; the bitter, to which
we were accustomed in Londa, is not to be found very extensively in
this fertile valley. May is the beginning of winter, yet many of the
inhabitants were busy planting maize; that which we were now eating was
planted in the beginning of February. The soil is exceedingly fertile,
of a dark red color, and covered with such a dense, heavy crop of coarse
grass, that when a marauding party of Ambonda once came for plunder
while it was in a dried state, the Bangala encircled the common enemy
with a fire which completely destroyed them. This, which is related on
the authority of Portuguese who were then in the country, I can easily
believe to be true, for the stalks of the grass are generally as thick
as goose-quills, and no flight could be made through the mass of grass
in any direction where a footpath does not exist. Probably, in the case
mentioned, the direction of the wind was such as to drive the flames
across the paths, and prevent escape along them. On one occasion I
nearly lost my wagon by fire, in a valley where the grass was only about
three feet high. We were roused by the roar, as of a torrent, made by
the fire coming from the windward. I immediately set fire to that on our
leeward, and had just time to drag the wagon on to the bare space there
before the windward flames reached the place where it had stood.

We were detained by rains and a desire to ascertain our geographical
position till Monday, the 10th, and only got the latitude 9d 50' S.;
and, after three days' pretty hard traveling through the long grass,
reached Cassange, the farthest inland station of the Portuguese in
Western Africa. We crossed several fine little streams running into
the Quango; and as the grass continued to tower about two feet over our
heads, it generally obstructed our view of the adjacent country, and
sometimes hung over the path, making one side of the body wet with the
dew every morning, or, when it rained, kept me wet during the whole day.
I made my entrance in a somewhat forlorn state as to clothing among our
Portuguese allies. The first gentleman I met in the village asked if
I had a passport, and said it was necessary to take me before the
authorities. As I was in the same state of mind in which individuals are
who commit a petty depredation in order to obtain the shelter and food
of a prison, I gladly accompanied him to the house of the commandant or
Chefe, Senhor de Silva Rego. Having shown my passport to this gentleman,
he politely asked me to supper, and, as we had eaten nothing except
the farina of Cypriano from the Quango to this, I suspect I appeared
particularly ravenous to the other gentlemen around the table. They
seemed, however, to understand my position pretty well, from having all
traveled extensively themselves; had they not been present, I might have
put some in my pocket to eat by night; for, after fever, the appetite
is excessively keen, and manioc is one of the most unsatisfying kinds of
food. Captain Antonio Rodrigues Neves then kindly invited me to take
up my abode in his house. Next morning this generous man arrayed me in
decent clothing, and continued during the whole period of my stay to
treat me as if I had been his brother. I feel deeply grateful to him for
his disinterested kindness. He not only attended to my wants, but also
furnished food for my famishing party free of charge.

The village of Cassange (pronounced Kassanje) is composed of thirty or
forty traders' houses, scattered about without any regularity, on an
elevated flat spot in the great Quango or Cassange valley. They are
built of wattle and daub, and surrounded by plantations of manioc,
maize, etc. Behind them there are usually kitchen gardens, in which
the common European vegetables, as potatoes, peas, cabbages, onions,
tomatoes, etc., etc., grow. Guavas and bananas appear, from the size and
abundance of the trees, to have been introduced many years ago, while
the land was still in the possession of the natives; but pine-apples,
orange, fig, and cashew trees have but lately been tried. There are
about forty Portuguese traders in this district, all of whom are
officers in the militia, and many of them have become rich from adopting
the plan of sending out Pombeiros, or native traders, with large
quantities of goods, to trade in the more remote parts of the country.
Some of the governors of Loanda, the capital of this, the kingdom of
Angola, have insisted on the observance of a law which, from motives
of humanity, forbids the Portuguese themselves from passing beyond the
boundary. They seem to have taken it for granted that, in cases where
the white trader was killed, the aggression had been made by him, and
they wished to avoid the necessity of punishing those who had been
provoked to shed Portuguese blood. This indicates a much greater
impartiality than has obtained in our own dealings with the Caffres, for
we have engaged in most expensive wars with them without once inquiring
whether any of the fault lay with our frontier colonists. The Cassange
traders seem inclined to spread along the Quango, in spite of the desire
of their government to keep them on one spot, for mutual protection in
case of war. If I might judge from the week of feasting I passed among
them, they are generally prosperous.

As I always preferred to appear in my own proper character, I was an
object of curiosity to these hospitable Portuguese. They evidently
looked upon me as an agent of the English government, engaged in some
new movement for the suppression of slavery. They could not divine what
a "missionario" had to do with the latitudes and longitudes, which I was
intent on observing. When we became a little familiar, the questions put
were rather amusing: "Is it common for missionaries to be doctors?" "Are
you a doctor of medicine and a 'doutor mathematico' too? You must be
more than a missionary to know how to calculate the longitude! Come,
tell us at once what rank you hold in the English army." They may have
given credit to my reason for wearing the mustache, as that explains why
men have beards and women have none; but that which puzzled many besides
my Cassange friends was the anomaly of my being a "sacerdote", with
a wife and four children! I usually got rid of the last question by
putting another: "Is it not better to have children with a wife, than
to have children without a wife?" But all were most kind and hospitable;
and as one of their festivals was near, they invited me to partake of
the feast.

The anniversary of the Resurrection of our Savior was observed on the
16th of April as a day of rejoicing, though the Portuguese have no
priests at Cassange. The colored population dressed up a figure intended
to represent Judas Iscariot, and paraded him on a riding-ox about the
village; sneers and maledictions were freely bestowed on the poor wretch
thus represented. The slaves and free colored population, dressed in
their gayest clothing, made visits to all the principal merchants, and
wishing them "a good feast", expected a present in return. This, though
frequently granted in the shape of pieces of calico to make new dresses,
was occasionally refused, but the rebuff did not much affect the

At ten A.M. we went to the residence of the commandant, and on a signal
being given, two of the four brass guns belonging to the government
commenced firing, and continued some time, to the great admiration of
my men, whose ideas of the power of a cannon are very exalted. The
Portuguese flag was hoisted and trumpets sounded, as an expression
of joy at the resurrection of our Lord. Captain Neves invited all the
principal inhabitants of the place, and did what he could to feast them
in a princely style. All manner of foreign preserved fruits and wine
from Portugal, biscuits from America, butter from Cork, and beer
from England, were displayed, and no expense spared in rendering the
entertainment joyous. After the feast was over they sat down to the
common amusement of card-playing, which continued till eleven o'clock at
night. As far as a mere traveler could judge, they seemed to be polite
and willing to aid each other. They live in a febrile district, and
many of them had enlarged spleens. They have neither doctor, apothecary,
school, nor priest, and, when taken ill, trust to each other and to
Providence. As men left in such circumstances must think for themselves,
they have all a good idea of what ought to be done in the common
diseases of the country, and what they have of either medicine or skill
they freely impart to each other.

None of these gentlemen had Portuguese wives. They usually come to
Africa in order to make a little money, and return to Lisbon. Hence
they seldom bring their wives with them, and never can be successful
colonists in consequence. It is common for them to have families
by native women. It was particularly gratifying to me, who had been
familiar with the stupid prejudice against color, entertained only by
those who are themselves becoming tawny, to view the liberality with
which people of color were treated by the Portuguese. Instances, so
common in the South, in which half-caste children are abandoned, are
here extremely rare. They are acknowledged at table, and provided for by
their fathers as if European. The colored clerks of the merchants sit at
the same table with their employers without any embarrassment. The civil
manners of superiors to inferiors is probably the result of the position
they occupy--a few whites among thousands of blacks; but nowhere else in
Africa is there so much good-will between Europeans and natives as here.
If some border colonists had the absolute certainty of our government
declining to bear them out in their arrogance, we should probably hear
less of Caffre insolence. It is insolence which begets insolence.

From the village of Cassange we have a good view of the surrounding
country: it is a gently undulating plain, covered with grass and patches
of forest. The western edge of the Quango valley appears, about twenty
miles off, as if it were a range of lofty mountains, and passes by the
name of Tala Mungongo, "Behold the Range". In the old Portuguese map, to
which I had been trusting in planning my route, it is indicated as Talla
Mugongo, or "Castle of Rocks!" and the Coanza is put down as rising
therefrom; but here I was assured that the Coanza had its source near
Bihe, far to the southwest of this, and we should not see that river
till we came near Pungo Andonga. It is somewhat remarkable that more
accurate information about this country has not been published. Captain
Neves and others had a correct idea of the courses of the rivers, and
communicated their knowledge freely; yet about this time maps were sent
to Europe from Angola representing the Quango and Coanza as the same
river, and Cassange placed about one hundred miles from its true
position. The frequent recurrence of the same name has probably helped
to increase the confusion. I have crossed several Quangos, but all
insignificant, except that which drains this valley. The repetition of
the favorite names of chiefs, as Catende, is also perplexing, as one
Catende may be mistaken for another. To avoid this confusion as much
as possible, I have refrained from introducing many names. Numerous
villages are studded all over the valley; but these possess no
permanence, and many more existed previous to the Portuguese expedition
of 1850 to punish the Bangala.

This valley, as I have before remarked, is all fertile in the extreme.
My men could never cease admiring its capability for raising their corn
('Holcus sorghum'), and despising the comparatively limited cultivation
of the inhabitants. The Portuguese informed me that no manure is ever
needed, but that, the more the ground is tilled, the better it yields.
Virgin soil does not give such a heavy crop as an old garden, and,
judging from the size of the maize and manioc in the latter, I can
readily believe the statement. Cattle do well, too. Viewing the valley
as a whole, it may be said that its agricultural and pastoral riches
are lying waste. Both the Portuguese and their descendants turn their
attention almost exclusively to trade in wax and ivory, and though the
country would yield any amount of corn and dairy produce, the native
Portuguese live chiefly on manioc, and the Europeans purchase their
flour, bread, butter, and cheese from the Americans.

As the traders of Cassange were the first white men we had come to, we
sold the tusks belonging to Sekeletu, which had been brought to test the
difference of prices in the Makololo and white men's country. The result
was highly satisfactory to my companions, as the Portuguese give much
larger prices for ivory than traders from the Cape can possibly give,
who labor under the disadvantage of considerable overland expenses and
ruinous restrictions. Two muskets, three small barrels of gunpowder, and
English calico and baize sufficient to clothe my whole party, with large
bunches of beads, all for one tusk, were quite delightful for those who
had been accustomed to give two tusks for one gun. With another tusk we
procured calico, which here is the chief currency, to pay our way down
to the coast. The remaining two were sold for money to purchase a horse
for Sekeletu at Loanda.

The superiority of this new market was quite astounding to the Makololo,
and they began to abuse the traders by whom they had, while in their own
country, been visited, and, as they now declared, "cheated". They had
no idea of the value of time and carriage, and it was somewhat difficult
for me to convince them that the reason of the difference of prices lay
entirely in what they themselves had done in coming here, and that, if
the Portuguese should carry goods to their country, they would by no
means be so liberal in their prices. They imagined that, if the Cassange
traders came to Linyanti, they would continue to vend their goods at
Cassange prices. I believe I gave them at last a clear idea of the
manner in which prices were regulated by the expenses incurred; and when
we went to Loanda, and saw goods delivered at a still cheaper rate, they
concluded that it would be better for them to come to that city, than to
turn homeward at Cassange.

It was interesting for me to observe the effects of the restrictive
policy pursued by the Cape government toward the Bechuanas. Like all
other restrictions on trade, the law of preventing friendly tribes from
purchasing arms and ammunition only injures the men who enforce it. The
Cape government, as already observed, in order to gratify a company of
independent Boers, whose well-known predilection for the practice of
slavery caused them to stipulate that a number of peaceable, honest
tribes should be kept defenseless, agreed to allow free trade in
arms and ammunition to the Boers, and prevent the same trade to the
Bechuanas. The Cape government thereby unintentionally aided, and
continues to aid, the Boers to enslave the natives. But arms and
ammunition flow in on all sides by new channels, and where formerly the
price of a large tusk procured but one musket, one tusk of the same size
now brings ten. The profits are reaped by other nations, and the only
persons really the losers, in the long run, are our own Cape merchants,
and a few defenseless tribes of Bechuanas on our immediate frontier.

Mr. Rego, the commandant, very handsomely offered me a soldier as a
guard to Ambaca. My men told me that they had been thinking it would
be better to turn back here, as they had been informed by the people of
color at Cassange that I was leading them down to the sea-coast only to
sell them, and they would be taken on board ship, fattened, and eaten,
as the white men were cannibals. I asked if they had ever heard of an
Englishman buying or selling people; if I had not refused to take a
slave when she was offered to me by Shinte; but, as I had always behaved
as an English teacher, if they now doubted my intentions, they had
better not go to the coast; I, however, who expected to meet some of my
countrymen there, was determined to go on. They replied that they only
thought it right to tell me what had been told to them, but they did
not intend to leave me, and would follow wherever I should lead the way.
This affair being disposed of for the time, the commandant gave them
an ox, and me a friendly dinner before parting. All the merchants of
Cassange accompanied us, in their hammocks carried by slaves, to the
edge of the plateau on which their village stands, and we parted with
the feeling in my mind that I should never forget their disinterested
kindness. They not only did every thing they could to make my men and me
comfortable during our stay; but, there being no hotels in Loanda, they
furnished me with letters of recommendation to their friends in that
city, requesting them to receive me into their houses, for without these
a stranger might find himself a lodger in the streets. May God remember
them in their day of need!

The latitude and longitude of Cassange, the most easterly station of the
Portuguese in Western Africa, is lat. 9d 37' 30" S., and long. 17d 49'
E.; consequently we had still about 300 miles to traverse before we
could reach the coast. We had a black militia corporal as a guide. He
was a native of Ambaca, and, like nearly all the inhabitants of that
district, known by the name of Ambakistas, could both read and write.
He had three slaves with him, and was carried by them in a "tipoia", or
hammock slung to a pole. His slaves were young, and unable to convey him
far at a time, but he was considerate enough to walk except when we came
near to a village. He then mounted his tipoia and entered the village
in state; his departure was made in the same manner, and he continued
in the hammock till the village was out of sight. It was interesting
to observe the manners of our soldier-guide. Two slaves were always
employed in carrying his tipoia, and the third carried a wooden box,
about three feet long, containing his writing materials, dishes, and
clothing. He was cleanly in all his ways, and, though quite black
himself, when he scolded any one of his own color, abused him as a
"negro". When he wanted to purchase any article from a village, he would
sit down, mix a little gunpowder as ink, and write a note in a neat
hand to ask the price, addressing it to the shopkeeper with the rather
pompous title, "Illustrissimo Senhor" (Most Illustrious Sir). This is
the invariable mode of address throughout Angola. The answer returned
would be in the same style, and, if satisfactory, another note followed
to conclude the bargain. There is so much of this note correspondence
carried on in Angola, that a very large quantity of paper is annually
consumed. Some other peculiarities of our guide were not so pleasing.
A land of slaves is a bad school for even the free; and I was sorry to
find less truthfulness and honesty in him than in my own people. We were
often cheated through his connivance with the sellers of food, and could
perceive that he got a share of the plunder from them. The food is very
cheap, but it was generally made dear enough, until I refused to allow
him to come near the place where we were bargaining. But he took us
safely down to Ambaca, and I was glad to see, on my return to Cassange,
that he was promoted to be sergeant-major of a company of militia.

Having left Cassange on the 21st, we passed across the remaining portion
of this excessively fertile valley to the foot of Tala Mungongo. We
crossed a fine little stream called the Lui on the 22d, and another
named the Luare on the 24th, then slept at the bottom of the height,
which is from a thousand to fifteen hundred feet. The clouds came
floating along the valley, and broke against the sides of the ascent,
and the dripping rain on the tall grass made the slaps in the face it
gave, when the hand or a stick was not held up before it, any thing but
agreeable. This edge of the valley is exactly like the other; jutting
spurs and defiles give the red ascent the same serrated appearance as
that which we descended from the highlands of Londa. The whole of this
vast valley has been removed by denudation, for pieces of the plateau
which once filled the now vacant space stand in it, and present the same
structure of red horizontal strata of equal altitudes with those of
the acclivity which we are now about to ascend. One of these insulated
masses, named Kasala, bore E.S.E. from the place where we made our
exit from the valley, and about ten miles W.S.W. from the village of
Cassange. It is remarkable for its perpendicular sides; even the natives
find it extremely difficult, almost impossible, to reach its summit,
though there is the temptation of marabou-nests and feathers, which are
highly prized. There is a small lake reported to exist on its southern
end, and, during the rainy season, a sort of natural moat is formed
around the bottom. What an acquisition this would have been in feudal
times in England! There is land sufficient for considerable cultivation
on the top, with almost perpendicular sides more than a thousand feet in

We had not yet got a clear idea of the nature of Tala Mungongo. A
gentleman of Cassange described it as a range of very high mountains,
which it would take four hours to climb; so, though the rain and grass
had wetted us miserably, and I was suffering from an attack of fever
got while observing by night for the position of Cassange, I eagerly
commenced the ascent. The path was steep and slippery; deep gorges
appear on each side of it, leaving but a narrow path along certain spurs
of the sierra for the traveler; but we accomplished the ascent in an
hour, and when there, found we had just got on to a table-land similar
to that we had left before we entered the great Quango valley. We had
come among lofty trees again. One of these, bearing a fruit about the
size of a thirty-two pounder, is named Mononga-zambi.

We took a glance back to this valley, which equals that of the
Mississippi in fertility, and thought of the vast mass of material which
had been scooped out and carried away in its formation. This naturally
led to reflection on the countless ages required for the previous
formation and deposition of that same material (clay shale), then of
the rocks, whose abrasion formed THAT, until the mind grew giddy in
attempting to ascend the steps which lead up through a portion of the
eternity before man. The different epochs of geology are like landmarks
in that otherwise shoreless sea. Our own epoch, or creation, is but
another added to the number of that wonderful series which presents a
grand display of the mighty power of God: every stage of progress in
the earth and its habitants is such a display. So far from this science
having any tendency to make men undervalue the power or love of God,
it leads to the probability that the exhibition of mercy we have in
the gift of his Son may possibly not be the only manifestation of
grace which has taken place in the countless ages during which works of
creation have been going on.

Situated a few miles from the edge of the descent, we found the village
of Tala Mungongo, and were kindly accommodated with a house to sleep in,
which was very welcome, as we were all both wet and cold. We found that
the greater altitude and the approach of winter lowered the temperature
so much that many of my men suffered severely from colds. At this, as
at several other Portuguese stations, they have been provident enough to
erect travelers' houses on the same principle as khans or caravanserais
of the East. They are built of the usual wattle and daub, and have
benches of rods for the wayfarer to make his bed on; also chairs, and
a table, and a large jar of water. These benches, though far from
luxurious couches, were better than the ground under the rotten
fragments of my gipsy-tent, for we had still showers occasionally, and
the dews were very heavy. I continued to use them for the sake of the
shelter they afforded, until I found that they were lodgings also for
certain inconvenient bedfellows.

27TH. Five hours' ride through a pleasant country of forest and meadow,
like those of Londa, brought us to a village of Basongo, a tribe living
in subjection to the Portuguese. We crossed several little streams,
which were flowing in the westerly direction in which we were marching,
and unite to form the Quize, a feeder of the Coanza. The Basongo were
very civil, as indeed all the tribes were who had been conquered by the
Portuguese. The Basongo and Bangala are yet only partially subdued. The
farther west we go from this, the less independent we find the black
population, until we reach the vicinity of Loanda, where the free
natives are nearly identical in their feelings toward the government
with the slaves. But the governors of Angola wisely accept the limited
allegiance and tribute rendered by the more distant tribes as better
than none.

All the inhabitants of this region, as well as those of Londa, may be
called true negroes, if the limitations formerly made be borne in mind.
The dark color, thick lips, heads elongated backward and upward and
covered with wool, flat noses, with other negro peculiarities, are
general; but, while these characteristics place them in the true negro
family, the reader would imbibe a wrong idea if he supposed that all
these features combined are often met with in one individual. All have a
certain thickness and prominence of lip, but many are met with in every
village in whom thickness and projection are not more marked than
in Europeans. All are dark, but the color is shaded off in different
individuals from deep black to light yellow. As we go westward, we
observe the light color predominating over the dark, and then again,
when we come within the influence of damp from the sea air, we find the
shade deepen into the general blackness of the coast population.
The shape of the head, with its woolly crop, though general, is not
universal. The tribes on the eastern side of the continent, as the
Caffres, have heads finely developed and strongly European. Instances of
this kind are frequently seen, and after I became so familiar with the
dark color as to forget it in viewing the countenance, I was struck
by the strong resemblance some natives bore to certain of our own
notabilities. The Bushmen and Hottentots are exceptions to these
remarks, for both the shape of their heads and growth of wool are
peculiar; the latter, for instance, springs from the scalp in tufts with
bare spaces between, and when the crop is short, resembles a number of
black pepper-corns stuck on the skin, and very unlike the thick frizzly
masses which cover the heads of the Balonda and Maravi. With every
disposition to pay due deference to the opinions of those who have made
ethnology their special study, I have felt myself unable to believe that
the exaggerated features usually put forth as those of the typical negro
characterize the majority of any nation of south Central Africa. The
monuments of the ancient Egyptians seem to me to embody the ideal of the
inhabitants of Londa better than the figures of any work of ethnology I
have met with.

Passing through a fine, fertile, and well-peopled country to Sanza,
we found the Quize River again touching our path, and here we had
the pleasure of seeing a field of wheat growing luxuriantly without
irrigation. The ears were upward of four inches long, an object of
great curiosity to my companions, because they had tasted my bread at
Linyanti, but had never before seen wheat growing. This small field was
cultivated by Mr. Miland, an agreeable Portuguese merchant. His garden
was interesting, as showing what the land at this elevation is capable
of yielding; for, besides wheat, we saw European vegetables in a
flourishing condition, and we afterward discovered that the coffee-plant
has propagated itself on certain spots of this same district. It may be
seen on the heights of Tala Mungongo, or nearly 300 miles from the west
coast, where it was first introduced by the Jesuit missionaries.

We spent Sunday, the 30th of April, at Ngio, close to the ford of
the Quize as it crosses our path to fall into the Coanza. The country
becomes more open, but is still abundantly fertile, with a thick crop
of grass between two and three feet high. It is also well wooded
and watered. Villages of Basongo are dotted over the landscape, and
frequently a square house of wattle and daub, belonging to native
Portuguese, is placed beside them for the purposes of trade. The people
here possess both cattle and pigs. The different sleeping-places on our
path, from eight to ten miles apart, are marked by a cluster of sheds
made of sticks and grass. There is a constant stream of people going and
returning to and from the coast. The goods are carried on the head, or
on one shoulder, in a sort of basket attached to the extremities of two
poles between five and six feet long, and called Motete. When the basket
is placed on the head, the poles project forward horizontally, and when
the carrier wishes to rest himself, he plants them on the ground and
the burden against a tree, so he is not obliged to lift it up from the
ground to the level of the head. It stands against the tree propped up
by the poles at that level. The carrier frequently plants the poles on
the ground, and stands holding the burden until he has taken breath,
thus avoiding the trouble of placing the burden on the ground and
lifting it up again.

When a company of these carriers, or our own party, arrives at one of
these sleeping-places, immediate possession is taken of the sheds.
Those who come late, and find all occupied, must then erect others for
themselves; but this is not difficult, for there is no lack of long
grass. No sooner do any strangers appear at the spot, than the women
may be seen emerging from their villages bearing baskets of manioc-meal,
roots, ground-nuts, yams, bird's-eye pepper, and garlic for sale.
Calico, of which we had brought some from Cassange, is the chief medium
of exchange. We found them all civil, and it was evident, from the
amount of talking and laughing in bargaining, that the ladies enjoyed
their occupation. They must cultivate largely, in order to be able to
supply the constant succession of strangers. Those, however, near to the
great line of road, purchase also much of the food from the more distant
villages for the sake of gain.

Pitsane and another of the men had violent attacks of fever, and it
was no wonder, for the dampness and evaporation from the ground was
excessive. When at any time I attempted to get an observation of a star,
if the trough of mercury were placed on the ground, so much moisture
was condensed on the inside of the glass roof over it that it was with
difficulty the reflection of the star could be seen. When the trough was
placed on a box to prevent the moisture entering from below, so much dew
was deposited on the outside of the roof that it was soon necessary, for
the sake of distinct vision, to wipe the glass. This would not have been
of great consequence, but a short exposure to this dew was so sure to
bring on a fresh fever, that I was obliged to give up observations by
night altogether. The inside of the only covering I now had was not much
better, but under the blanket one is not so liable to the chill which
the dew produces.

It would have afforded me pleasure to have cultivated a more intimate
acquaintance with the inhabitants of this part of the country, but the
vertigo produced by frequent fevers made it as much as I could do to
stick on the ox and crawl along in misery. In crossing the Lombe, my ox
Sinbad, in the indulgence of his propensity to strike out a new path for
himself, plunged overhead into a deep hole, and so soused me that I was
obliged to move on to dry my clothing, without calling on the Europeans
who live on the bank. This I regretted, for all the Portuguese were very
kind, and, like the Boers placed in similar circumstances, feel it a
slight to be passed without a word of salutation. But we went on to a
spot where orange-trees had been planted by the natives themselves, and
where abundance of that refreshing fruit was exposed for sale.

On entering the district of Ambaca, we found the landscape enlivened
by the appearance of lofty mountains in the distance, the grass
comparatively short, and the whole country at this time looking gay and
verdant. On our left we saw certain rocks of the same nature with those
of Pungo Andongo, and which closely resemble the Stonehenge group on
Salisbury Plain, only the stone pillars here are of gigantic size. This
region is all wonderfully fertile, famed for raising cattle, and all
kinds of agricultural produce, at a cheap rate. The soil contains
sufficient ferruginous matter, to impart a red tinge to nearly the whole
of it. It is supplied with a great number of little flowing streams
which unite in the Lucalla. This river drains Ambaca, then falls into
the Coanza to the southwest at Massangano. We crossed the Lucalla by
means of a large canoe kept there by a man who farms the ferry from the
government, and charges about a penny per head. A few miles beyond the
Lucalla we came to the village of Ambaca, an important place in former
times, but now a mere paltry village, beautifully situated on a little
elevation in a plain surrounded on all hands by lofty mountains. It
has a jail, and a good house for the commandant, but neither fort nor
church, though the ruins of a place of worship are still standing.

We were most kindly received by the commandant of Ambaca, Arsenio de
Carpo, who spoke a little English. He recommended wine for my debility,
and here I took the first glass of that beverage I had taken in Africa.
I felt much refreshed, and could then realize and meditate on the
weakening effects of the fever. They were curious even to myself;
for, though I had tried several times since we left Ngio to take lunar
observations, I could not avoid confusion of time and distance, neither
could I hold the instrument steady, nor perform a simple calculation;
hence many of the positions of this part of the route were left till
my return from Loanda. Often, on getting up in the mornings, I found my
clothing as wet from perspiration as if it had been dipped in water.
In vain had I tried to learn or collect words of the Bunda, or dialect
spoken in Angola. I forgot the days of the week and the names of my
companions, and, had I been asked, I probably could not have told
my own. The complaint itself occupied many of my thoughts. One day I
supposed that I had got the true theory of it, and would certainly cure
the next attack, whether in myself or companions; but some new symptoms
would appear, and scatter all the fine speculations which had sprung up,
with extraordinary fertility, in one department of my brain.

This district is said to contain upward of 40,000 souls. Some ten or
twelve miles to the north of the village of Ambaca there once stood
the missionary station of Cahenda, and it is now quite astonishing to
observe the great numbers who can read and write in this district. This
is the fruit of the labors of the Jesuit and Capuchin missionaries, for
they taught the people of Ambaca; and ever since the expulsion of the
teachers by the Marquis of Pombal, the natives have continued to
teach each other. These devoted men are still held in high estimation
throughout the country to this day. All speak well of them (os padres
Jesuitas); and, now that they are gone from this lower sphere, I could
not help wishing that these our Roman Catholic fellow-Christians had
felt it to be their duty to give the people the Bible, to be a light to
their feet when the good men themselves were gone.

When sleeping in the house of the commandant, an insect, well known in
the southern country by the name Tampan, bit my foot. It is a kind of
tick, and chooses by preference the parts between the fingers or toes
for inflicting its bite. It is seen from the size of a pin's head to
that of a pea, and is common in all the native huts in this country. It
sucks the blood until quite full, and is then of a dark blue color, and
its skin so tough and yielding that it is impossible to burst it by any
amount of squeezing with the fingers. I had felt the effects of its bite
in former years, and eschewed all native huts ever after; but as I was
here again assailed in a European house, I shall detail the effects of
the bite. These are a tingling sensation of mingled pain and itching,
which commences ascending the limb until the poison imbibed reaches the
abdomen, where it soon causes violent vomiting and purging. Where these
effects do not follow, as we found afterward at Tete, fever sets in; and
I was assured by intelligent Portuguese there that death has sometimes
been the result of this fever. The anxiety my friends at Tete manifested
to keep my men out of the reach of the tampans of the village made it
evident that they had seen cause to dread this insignificant insect.
The only inconvenience I afterward suffered from this bite was the
continuance of the tingling sensation in the point bitten for about a

MAY 12TH. As we were about to start this morning, the commandant, Senhor
Arsenio, provided bread and meat most bountifully for my use on the way
to the next station, and sent two militia soldiers as guides, instead
of our Cassange corporal, who left us here. About midday we asked for
shelter from the sun in the house of Senhor Mellot, at Zangu, and,
though I was unable to sit and engage in conversation, I found, on
rising from his couch, that he had at once proceeded to cook a fowl for
my use; and at parting he gave me a glass of wine, which prevented
the violent fit of shivering I expected that afternoon. The universal
hospitality of the Portuguese was most gratifying, as it was quite
unexpected; and even now, as I copy my journal, I remember it all with a
glow of gratitude.

We spent Sunday, the 14th of May, at Cabinda, which is one of the
stations of the sub-commandants, who are placed at different points in
each district of Angola as assistants of the head-commandant, or chefe.
It is situated in a beautiful glen, and surrounded by plantations of
bananas and manioc. The country was gradually becoming more picturesque
the farther we proceeded west. The ranges of lofty blue mountains of
Libollo, which, in coming toward Ambaca, we had seen thirty or forty
miles to our south, were now shut from our view by others nearer at
hand, and the gray ranges of Cahenda and Kiwe, which, while we were in
Ambaca, stood clearly defined eight or ten miles off to the north, were
now close upon our right. As we looked back toward the open pastoral
country of Ambaca, the broad green gently undulating plains seemed in
a hollow surrounded on all sides by rugged mountains, and as we
went westward we were entering upon quite a wild-looking mountainous
district, called Golungo Alto.

We met numbers of Mambari on their way back to Bihe. Some of them had
belonged to the parties which had penetrated as far as Linyanti, and
foolishly showed their displeasure at the prospect of the Makololo
preferring to go to the coast markets themselves to intrusting them
with their ivory. The Mambari repeated the tale of the mode in which
the white men are said to trade. "The ivory is left on the shore in the
evening, and next morning the seller finds a quantity of goods placed
there in its stead by the white men who live in the sea." "Now," added
they to my men, "how can you Makololo trade with these 'Mermen'? Can you
enter into the sea, and tell them to come ashore?" It was remarkable to
hear this idea repeated so near the sea as we now were. My men replied
that they only wanted to see for themselves; and, as they were now
getting some light on the nature of the trade carried on by the Mambari,
they were highly amused on perceiving the reasons why the Mambari would
rather have met them on the Zambesi than so near the sea-coast.

There is something so exhilarating to one of Highland blood in being
near or on high mountains, that I forgot my fever as we wended our
way among the lofty tree-covered masses of mica schist which form the
highlands around the romantic residence of the chefe of Golungo Alto.
(Lat. 9d 8' 30" S., long. 15d 2' E.) The whole district is extremely
beautiful. The hills are all bedecked with trees of various hues of
foliage, and among them towers the graceful palm, which yields the
oil of commerce for making our soaps, and the intoxicating toddy. Some
clusters of hills look like the waves of the sea driven into a narrow
open bay, and have assumed the same form as if, when all were chopping
up perpendicularly, they had suddenly been congealed. The cottages of
the natives, perched on the tops of many of the hillocks, looked as if
the owners possessed an eye for the romantic, but they were probably
influenced more by the desire to overlook their gardens, and keep their
families out of the reach of the malaria, which is supposed to prevail
most on the banks of the numerous little streams which run among the

We were most kindly received by the commandant, Lieutenant Antonio Canto
e Castro, a young gentleman whose whole subsequent conduct will ever
make me regard him with great affection. Like every other person of
intelligence whom I had met, he lamented deeply the neglect with which
this fine country has been treated. This district contained by the last
census 26,000 hearths or fires; and if to each hearth we reckon four
souls, we have a population of 104,000. The number of carregadores
(carriers) who may be ordered out at the pleasure of government to
convey merchandise to the coast is in this district alone about 6000,
yet there is no good road in existence. This system of compulsory
carriage of merchandise was adopted in consequence of the increase in
numbers and activity of our cruisers, which took place in 1845. Each
trader who went, previous to that year, into the interior, in the
pursuit of his calling, proceeded on the plan of purchasing ivory and
beeswax, and a sufficient number of slaves to carry these commodities.
The whole were intended for exportation as soon as the trader reached
the coast. But when the more stringent measures of 1845 came into
operation, and rendered the exportation of slaves almost impossible,
there being no roads proper for the employment of wheel conveyances,
this new system of compulsory carriage of ivory and beeswax to the coast
was resorted to by the government of Loanda. A trader who requires two
or three hundred carriers to convey his merchandise to the coast now
applies to the general government for aid. An order is sent to the
commandant of a district to furnish the number required. Each head man
of the villages to whom the order is transmitted must furnish from five
to twenty or thirty men, according to the proportion that his people
bear to the entire population of the district. For this accommodation
the trader must pay a tax to the government of 1000 reis, or about three
shillings per load carried. The trader is obliged to pay the carrier
also the sum of 50 reis, or about twopence a day, for his sustenance.
And as a day's journey is never more than from eight to ten miles, the
expense which must be incurred for this compulsory labor is felt to be
heavy by those who were accustomed to employ slave labor alone. Yet no
effort has been made to form a great line of road for wheel carriages.
The first great want of a country has not been attended to, and no
development of its vast resources has taken place. The fact, however,
of a change from one system of carriage to another, taken in connection
with the great depreciation in the price of slaves near this coast,
proves the effectiveness of our efforts at repressing the slave-trade on
the ocean.

The latitude of Golungo Alto, as observed at the residence of the
commandant, was 9d 8' 30" S., longitude 15d 2' E. A few days' rest with
this excellent young man enabled me to regain much of my strength, and
I could look with pleasure on the luxuriant scenery before his door. We
were quite shut in among green hills, many of which were cultivated
up to their tops with manioc, coffee, cotton, ground-nuts, bananas,
pine-apples, guavas, papaws, custard-apples, pitangas, and jambos,
fruits brought from South America by the former missionaries. The high
hills all around, with towering palms on many points, made this spot
appear more like the Bay of Rio de Janeiro in miniature than any scene
I ever saw; and all who have seen that confess it to be unequaled in the
world beside. The fertility evident in every spot of this district was
quite marvelous to behold, but I shall reserve further notices of this
region till our return from Loanda.

We left Golungo Alto on the 24th of May, the winter in these parts.
Every evening clouds come rolling in great masses over the mountains in
the west, and pealing thunder accompanies the fall of rain during the
night or early in the morning. The clouds generally remain on the hills
till the morning is well spent, so that we become familiar with morning
mists, a thing we never once saw at Kolobeng. The thermometer stands at
80 Degrees by day, but sinks as low as 76 Degrees by night.

In going westward we crossed several fine little gushing streams which
never dry. They unite in the Luinha (pronounced Lueenya) and Lucalla. As
they flow over many little cascades, they might easily be turned to good
account, but they are all allowed to run on idly to the ocean. We passed
through forests of gigantic timber, and at an open space named Cambondo,
about eight miles from Golungo Alto, found numbers of carpenters
converting these lofty trees into planks, in exactly the same manner as
was followed by the illustrious Robinson Crusoe. A tree of three or four
feet in diameter, and forty or fifty feet up to the nearest branches,
was felled. It was then cut into lengths of a few feet, and split
into thick junks, which again were reduced to planks an inch thick by
persevering labor with the axe. The object of the carpenters was to make
little chests, and they drive a constant trade in them at Cambondo. When
finished with hinges, lock, and key, all of their own manufacture, one
costs only a shilling and eightpence. My men were so delighted with
them that they carried several of them on their heads all the way to

At Trombeta we were pleased to observe a great deal of taste displayed
by the sub-commandant in the laying out of his ground and adornment of
his house with flowers. This trifling incident was the more pleasing,
as it was the first attempt at neatness I had seen since leaving the
establishment of Mozinkwa in Londa. Rows of trees had been planted
along each side of the road, with pine-apples and flowers between. This
arrangement I had an opportunity of seeing in several other districts of
this country, for there is no difficulty in raising any plant or tree if
it is only kept from being choked by weeds.

This gentleman had now a fine estate, which but a few years ago was
a forest, and cost him only 16 Pounds. He had planted about 900
coffee-trees upon it, and as these begin to yield in three years from
being planted, and in six attain their maximum, I have no doubt but that
ere now his 16 Pounds yields him sixty fold. All sorts of fruit-trees
and grape-vines yield their fruit twice in each year, without any labor
or irrigation being bestowed on them. All grains and vegetables, if only
sown, do the same; and if advantage is taken of the mists of winter,
even three crops of pulse may be raised. Cotton was now standing in the
pods in his fields, and he did not seem to care about it. I understood
him to say that this last plant flourishes, but the wet of one of the
two rainy seasons with which this country is favored sometimes proves
troublesome to the grower. I am not aware whether wheat has ever been
tried, but I saw both figs and grapes bearing well. The great complaint
of all cultivators is the want of a good road to carry their produce to
market. Here all kinds of food are remarkably cheap.

Farther on we left the mountainous country, and, as we descended toward
the west coast, saw the lands assuming a more sterile, uninviting
aspect. On our right ran the River Senza, which nearer the sea takes the
name of Bengo. It is about fifty yards broad, and navigable for canoes.
The low plains adjacent to its banks are protected from inundation by
embankments, and the population is entirely occupied in raising food
and fruits for exportation to Loanda by means of canoes. The banks are
infested by myriads of the most ferocious mosquitoes I ever met. Not one
of our party could get a snatch of sleep. I was taken into the house
of a Portuguese, but was soon glad to make my escape and lie across the
path on the lee side of the fire, where the smoke blew over my body. My
host wondered at my want of taste, and I at his want of feeling; for, to
our astonishment, he and the other inhabitants had actually become used
to what was at least equal to a nail through the heel of one's boot, or
the tooth-ache.

As we were now drawing near to the sea, my companions were looking at
every thing in a serious light. One of them asked me if we should all
have an opportunity of watching each other at Loanda. "Suppose one went
for water, would the others see if he were kidnapped?" I replied, "I see
what you are driving at; and if you suspect me, you may return, for I
am as ignorant of Loanda as you are; but nothing will happen to you but
what happens to myself. We have stood by each other hitherto, and will
do so to the last." The plains adjacent to Loanda are somewhat elevated
and comparatively sterile. On coming across these we first beheld
the sea: my companions looked upon the boundless ocean with awe. On
describing their feelings afterward, they remarked that "we marched
along with our father, believing that what the ancients had always told
us was true, that the world has no end; but all at once the world
said to us, 'I am finished; there is no more of me!'" They had always
imagined that the world was one extended plain without limit.

They were now somewhat apprehensive of suffering want, and I was unable
to allay their fears with any promise of supply, for my own mind was
depressed by disease and care. The fever had induced a state of chronic
dysentery, so troublesome that I could not remain on the ox more than
ten minutes at a time; and as we came down the declivity above the city
of Loanda on the 31st of May, I was laboring under great depression of
spirits, as I understood that, in a population of twelve thousand souls,
there was but one genuine English gentleman. I naturally felt anxious
to know whether he were possessed of good-nature, or was one of those
crusty mortals one would rather not meet at all.

This gentleman, Mr. Gabriel, our commissioner for the suppression of the
slave-trade, had kindly forwarded an invitation to meet me on the way
from Cassange, but, unfortunately, it crossed me on the road. When we
entered his porch, I was delighted to see a number of flowers cultivated
carefully, and inferred from this circumstance that he was, what I soon
discovered him to be, a real whole-hearted Englishman.

Seeing me ill, he benevolently offered me his bed. Never shall I forget
the luxurious pleasure I enjoyed in feeling myself again on a good
English couch, after six months' sleeping on the ground. I was soon
asleep; and Mr. Gabriel, coming in almost immediately, rejoiced at the
soundness of my repose.

Chapter 20.

Continued Sickness--Kindness of the Bishop of Angola and her Majesty's
Officers--Mr. Gabriel's unwearied Hospitality--Serious Deportment of
the Makololo--They visit Ships of War--Politeness of the Officers and
Men--The Makololo attend Mass in the Cathedral--Their Remarks--Find
Employment in collecting Firewood and unloading Coal--Their superior
Judgment respecting Goods--Beneficial Influence of the Bishop of
Angola--The City of St. Paul de Loanda--The Harbor--Custom-house--No
English Merchants--Sincerity of the Portuguese Government in suppressing
the Slave-trade--Convict Soldiers--Presents from Bishop and Merchants
for Sekeletu--Outfit--Leave Loanda 20th September, 1854--Accompanied
by Mr. Gabriel as far as Icollo i Bengo--Sugar Manufactory--Geology
of this part of the Country--Women spinning Cotton--Its Price--Native
Weavers--Market-places--Cazengo; its Coffee Plantations--South American
Trees--Ruins of Iron Foundry--Native Miners--The Banks of the Lucalla--
Cottages with Stages--Tobacco-plants--Town of Massangano--Sugar and
Rice--Superior District for Cotton--Portuguese Merchants and foreign
Enterprise--Ruins--The Fort and its ancient Guns--Former Importance
of Massangano--Fires--The Tribe Kisama--Peculiar Variety of Domestic
Fowl--Coffee Plantations--Return to Golungo Alto--Self-complacency of
the Makololo--Fever--Jaundice--Insanity.

In the hope that a short enjoyment of Mr. Gabriel's generous hospitality
would restore me to my wonted vigor, I continued under his roof; but my
complaint having been caused by long exposure to malarious influences,
I became much more reduced than ever, even while enjoying rest. Several
Portuguese gentlemen called on me shortly after my arrival; and the
Bishop of Angola, the Right Reverend Joaquim Moreira Reis, then the
acting governor of the province, sent his secretary to do the same, and
likewise to offer the services of the government physician.

Some of her majesty's cruisers soon came into the port, and, seeing the
emaciated condition to which I was reduced, offered to convey me to St.
Helena or homeward; but, though I had reached the coast, I had found
that, in consequence of the great amount of forest, rivers, and marsh,
there was no possibility of a highway for wagons, and I had brought
a party of Sekeletu's people with me, and found the tribes near the
Portuguese settlement so very unfriendly, that it would be altogether
impossible for my men to return alone. I therefore resolved to decline
the tempting offers of my naval friends, and take back my Makololo
companions to their chief, with a view of trying to make a path from
his country to the east coast by means of the great river Zambesi or

I, however, gladly availed myself of the medical assistance of Mr.
Cockin, the surgeon of the "Polyphemus", at the suggestion of his
commander, Captain Phillips. Mr. Cockin's treatment, aided by the
exhilarating presence of the warm-hearted naval officers, and Mr.
Gabriel's unwearied hospitality and care, soon brought me round again.
On the 14th I was so far well as to call on the bishop, in company with
my party, who were arrayed in new robes of striped cotton cloth and red
caps, all presented to them by Mr. Gabriel. He received us, as head of
the provisional government, in the grand hall of the palace. He put many
intelligent questions respecting the Makololo, and then gave them free
permission to come to Loanda as often as they pleased. This interview
pleased the Makololo extremely.

Every one remarked the serious deportment of the Makololo. They viewed
the large stone houses and churches in the vicinity of the great
ocean with awe. A house with two stories was, until now, beyond their
comprehension. In explanation of this strange thing, I had always been
obliged to use the word for hut; and as huts are constructed by the
poles being let into the earth, they never could comprehend how the
poles of one hut could be founded upon the roof of another, or how men
could live in the upper story, with the conical roof of the lower one in
the middle. Some Makololo, who had visited my little house at Kolobeng,
in trying to describe it to their countrymen at Linyanti, said, "It is
not a hut; it is a mountain with several caves in it."

Commander Bedingfeld and Captain Skene invited them to visit their
vessels, the "Pluto" and "Philomel". Knowing their fears, I told them
that no one need go if he entertained the least suspicion of foul play.
Nearly the whole party went; and when on deck, I pointed to the sailors,
and said, "Now these are all my countrymen, sent by our queen for the
purpose of putting down the trade of those that buy and sell black
men." They replied, "Truly! they are just like you!" and all their fears
seemed to vanish at once, for they went forward among the men, and
the jolly tars, acting much as the Makololo would have done in similar
circumstances, handed them a share of the bread and beef which they had
for dinner. The commander allowed them to fire off a cannon; and, having
the most exalted ideas of its power, they were greatly pleased when I
told them, "That is what they put down the slave-trade with." The size
of the brig-of-war amazed them. "It is not a canoe at all; it is a
town!" The sailors' deck they named "the Kotla"; and then, as a climax
to their description of this great ark, added, "And what sort of a town
is it that you must climb up into with a rope?"

The effect of the politeness of the officers and men on their minds was
most beneficial. They had behaved with the greatest kindness to me all
the way from Linyanti, and I now rose rapidly in their estimation;
for, whatever they may have surmised before, they now saw that I was
respected among my own countrymen, and always afterward treated me with
the greatest deference.

On the 15th there was a procession and service of the mass in the
Cathedral; and, wishing to show my men a place of worship, I took them
to the church, which now serves as the chief one of the see of Angola
and Congo. There is an impression on some minds that a gorgeous ritual
is better calculated to inspire devotional feelings than the simple
forms of the Protestant worship. But here the frequent genuflexions,
changing of positions, burning of incense, with the priests' back turned
to the people, the laughing, talking, and manifest irreverence of the
singers, with firing of guns, etc., did not convey to the minds of my
men the idea of adoration. I overheard them, in talking to each other,
remark that "they had seen the white men charming their demons;" a
phrase identical with one they had used when seeing the Balonda beating
drums before their idols.

In the beginning of August I suffered a severe relapse, which reduced
me to a mere skeleton. I was then unable to attend to my men for a
considerable time; but when in convalescence from this last attack, I
was thankful to find that I was free from that lassitude which, in my
first recovery, showed the continuance of the malaria in the system. I
found that my men, without prompting, had established a brisk trade in
fire-wood. They sallied forth at cock-crowing in the mornings, and
by daylight reached the uncultivated parts of the adjacent country,
collected a bundle of fire-wood, and returned to the city. It was then
divided into smaller fagots, and sold to the inhabitants; and as they
gave larger quantities than the regular wood-carriers, they found no
difficulty in selling. A ship freighted with coal for the cruisers
having arrived from England, Mr. Gabriel procured them employment in
unloading her at sixpence a day. They continued at this work for upward
of a month, and nothing could exceed their astonishment at the vast
amount of cargo one ship contained. As they themselves always afterward
expressed it, they had labored every day from sunrise to sunset for
a moon and a half, unloading, as quickly as they could, "stones that
burn", and were tired out, still leaving plenty in her. With the money
so obtained they purchased clothing, beads, and other articles to take
back to their own country. Their ideas of the value of different kinds
of goods rather astonished those who had dealt only with natives on the
coast. Hearing it stated with confidence that the Africans preferred the
thinnest fabrics, provided they had gaudy colors and a large extent of
surface, the idea was so new to my experience in the interior that
I dissented, and, in order to show the superior good sense of the
Makololo, took them to the shop of Mr. Schut. When he showed them the
amount of general goods which they might procure at Loanda for a single
tusk, I requested them, without assigning any reason, to point out the
fabrics they prized most. They all at once selected the strongest pieces
of English calico and other cloths, showing that they had regard to
strength without reference to color. I believe that most of the Bechuana
nation would have done the same. But I was assured that the people
near the coast, with whom the Portuguese have to deal, have not so much
regard to durability. This probably arises from calico being the chief
circulating medium; quantity being then of more importance than quality.

During the period of my indisposition, the bishop sent frequently to
make inquiries, and, as soon as I was able to walk, I went to thank him
for his civilities. His whole conversation and conduct showed him to be
a man of great benevolence and kindness of heart. Alluding to my being a
Protestant, he stated that he was a Catholic from conviction; and though
sorry to see others, like myself, following another path, he entertained
no uncharitable feelings, nor would he ever sanction persecuting
measures. He compared the various sects of Christians, in their way to
heaven, to a number of individuals choosing to pass down the different
streets of Loanda to one of the churches--all would arrive at the same
point at last. His good influence, both in the city and the country, is
universally acknowledged: he was promoting the establishment of schools,
which, though formed more on the monastic principle than Protestants
might approve, will no doubt be a blessing. He was likewise successfully
attempting to abolish the non-marriage custom of the country; and
several marriages had taken place in Loanda among those who, but for his
teaching, would have been content with concubinage.

St. Paul de Loanda has been a very considerable city, but is now in a
state of decay. It contains about twelve thousand inhabitants, most of
whom are people of color.* There are various evidences of its former
magnificence, especially two cathedrals, one of which, once a Jesuit
college, is now converted into a workshop; and in passing the other, we
saw with sorrow a number of oxen feeding within its stately walls. Three
forts continue in a good state of repair. Many large stone houses are
to be found. The palace of the governor and government offices
are commodious structures, but nearly all the houses of the native
inhabitants are of wattle and daub. Trees are planted all over the town
for the sake of shade, and the city presents an imposing appearance from
the sea. It is provided with an effective police, and the custom-house
department is extremely well managed. All parties agree in representing
the Portuguese authorities as both polite and obliging; and if ever
any inconvenience is felt by strangers visiting the port, it must be
considered the fault of the system, and not of the men.

   * From the census of 1850-51 we find the population of this
   city arranged thus:  830 whites, only 160 of whom are females.
   This is the largest collection of whites in the country, for
   Angola itself contains only about 1000 whites. There are 2400
   half-castes in Loanda, and only 120 of them slaves; and there
   are 9000 blacks, more than 5000 of whom are slaves.

The harbor is formed by the low, sandy island of Loanda, which is
inhabited by about 1300 souls, upward of 600 of whom are industrious
native fishermen, who supply the city with abundance of good fish daily.
The space between it and the main land, on which the city is built, is
the station for ships. When a high southwest wind blows, the waves of
the ocean dash over part of the island, and, driving large quantities of
sand before them, gradually fill up the harbor. Great quantities of soil
are also washed in the rainy season from the heights above the city,
so that the port, which once contained water sufficient to float the
largest ships close to the custom-house, is now at low water dry. The
ships are compelled to anchor about a mile north of their old station.
Nearly all the water consumed in Loanda is brought from the River Bengo
by means of launches, the only supply that the city affords being from
some deep wells of slightly brackish water. Unsuccessful attempts have
been made by different governors to finish a canal, which the Dutch,
while in possession of Loanda during the seven years preceding 1648, had
begun, to bring water from the River Coanza to the city. There is not
a single English merchant at Loanda, and only two American. This is the
more remarkable, as nearly all the commerce is carried on by means
of English calico brought hither via Lisbon. Several English houses
attempted to establish a trade about 1845, and accepted bills on Rio de
Janeiro in payment for their goods, but the increased activity of our
cruisers had such an effect upon the mercantile houses of that city that
most of them failed. The English merchants lost all, and Loanda got a
bad name in the commercial world in consequence.

One of the arrangements of the custom-house may have had some influence
in preventing English trade. Ships coming here must be consigned to some
one on the spot; the consignee receives one hundred dollars per mast,
and he generally makes a great deal more for himself by putting a
percentage on boats and men hired for loading and unloading, and on
every item that passes through his hands. The port charges are also
rendered heavy by twenty dollars being charged as a perquisite of the
secretary of government, with a fee for the chief physician, something
for the hospital, custom-house officers, guards, etc., etc. But, with
all these drawbacks, the Americans carry on a brisk and profitable trade
in calico, biscuit, flour, butter, etc., etc.

The Portuguese home government has not generally received the credit for
sincerity in suppressing the slave-trade which I conceive to be its due.
In 1839, my friend Mr. Gabriel saw 37 slave-ships lying in this harbor,
waiting for their cargoes, under the protection of the guns of the
forts. At that time slavers had to wait many months at a time for a
human freight, and a certain sum per head was paid to the government
for all that were exported. The duties derived from the exportation of
slaves far exceeded those from other commerce, and, by agreeing to
the suppression of this profitable traffic, the government actually
sacrificed the chief part of the export revenue. Since that period,
however, the revenue from lawful commerce has very much exceeded that on
slaves. The intentions of the home Portuguese government, however good,
can not be fully carried out under the present system. The pay of the
officers is so very small that they are nearly all obliged to engage
in trade; and, owing to the lucrative nature of the slave-trade, the
temptation to engage in it is so powerful, that the philanthropic
statesmen of Lisbon need hardly expect to have their humane and
enlightened views carried out. The law, for instance, lately promulgated
for the abolition of the carrier system (carregadores) is but one of
several equally humane enactments against this mode of compulsory labor,
but there is very little probability of the benevolent intentions of the
Legislature being carried into effect.

Loanda is regarded somewhat as a penal settlement, and those who leave
their native land for this country do so with the hope of getting rich
in a few years, and then returning home. They have thus no motive
for seeking the permanent welfare of the country. The Portuguese law
preventing the subjects of any other nation from holding landed property
unless they become naturalized, the country has neither the advantage of
native nor foreign enterprise, and remains very much in the same state
as our allies found it in 1575. Nearly all the European soldiers sent
out are convicts, and, contrary to what might be expected from men in
their position, behave remarkably well. A few riots have occurred,
but nothing at all so serious as have taken place in our own penal
settlements. It is a remarkable fact that the whole of the arms of
Loanda are every night in the hands of those who have been convicts.
Various reasons for this mild behavior are assigned by the officers,
but none of these, when viewed in connection with our own experience in
Australia, appear to be valid. Religion seems to have no connection
with the change. Perhaps the climate may have some influence in subduing
their turbulent disposition, for the inhabitants generally are a timid
race; they are not half so brave as our Caffres. The people of Ambriz
ran away like a flock of sheep, and allowed the Portuguese to take
possession of their copper mines and country without striking a blow. If
we must have convict settlements, attention to the climate might be of
advantage in the selection. Here even bulls are much tamer than with us.
I never met with a ferocious one in this country, and the Portuguese use
them generally for riding; an ox is seldom seen.

The objects which I had in view in opening up the country, as stated
in a few notes of my journey, published in the newspapers of Angola, so
commended themselves to the general government and merchants of Loanda,
that, at the instance of his excellency the bishop, a handsome present
for Sekeletu was granted by the Board of Public Works (Junta da Fazenda
Publica). It consisted of a colonel's complete uniform and a horse for
the chief, and suits of clothing for all the men who accompanied me.
The merchants also made a present, by public subscription, of handsome
specimens of all their articles of trade, and two donkeys, for the
purpose of introducing the breed into his country, as tsetse can not
kill this beast of burden. These presents were accompanied by letters
from the bishop and merchants; and I was kindly favored with letters of
recommendation to the Portuguese authorities in Eastern Africa.

I took with me a good stock of cotton cloth, fresh supplies of
ammunition and beads, and gave each of my men a musket. As my companions
had amassed considerable quantities of goods, they were unable to carry
mine, but the bishop furnished me with twenty carriers, and sent forward
orders to all the commandants of the districts through which we were to
pass to render me every assistance in their power. Being now supplied
with a good new tent made by my friends on board the Philomel, we left
Loanda on the 20th of September, 1854, and passed round by sea to the
mouth of the River Bengo. Ascending this river, we went through the
district in which stand the ruins of the convent of St. Antonio; thence
into Icollo i Bengo, which contains a population of 6530 blacks, 172
mulattoes, and 11 whites, and is so named from having been the residence
of a former native king. The proportion of slaves is only 3.38 per cent.
of the inhabitants. The commandant of this place, Laurence Jose Marquis,
is a frank old soldier and a most hospitable man; he is one of the few
who secure the universal approbation of their fellow-men for stern,
unflinching honesty, and has risen from the ranks to be a major in the
army. We were accompanied thus far by our generous host, Edmund Gabriel,
Esq., who, by his unwearied attentions to myself, and liberality in
supporting my men, had become endeared to all our hearts. My men were
strongly impressed with a sense of his goodness, and often spoke of him
in terms of admiration all the way to Linyanti.

While here we visited a large sugar manufactory belonging to a lady,
Donna Anna da Sousa. The flat alluvial lands on the banks of the Senza
or Bengo are well adapted for raising sugar-cane, and this lady had a
surprising number of slaves, but somehow the establishment was far from
being in a flourishing condition. It presented such a contrast to the
free-labor establishments of the Mauritius, which I have since seen,
where, with not one tenth of the number of hands, or such good soil,
a man of color had, in one year, cleared 5000 Pounds by a single crop,
that I quote the fact, in hopes it may meet the eye of Donna Anna.

The water of the river is muddy, and it is observed that such rivers
have many more mosquitoes than those which have clear water. It was
remarked to us here that these insects are much more numerous at
the period of new moon than at other times; at any rate, we were all
thankful to get away from the Senza and its insect plagues.

The whole of this part of the country is composed of marly tufa,
containing the same kind of shells as those at present alive in the
seas. As we advanced eastward and ascended the higher lands, we found
eruptive trap, which had tilted up immense masses of mica and sandstone
schists. The mica schist almost always dipped toward the interior of the
country, forming those mountain ranges of which we have already spoken
as giving a highland character to the district of Golungo Alto. The trap
has frequently run through the gorges made in the upheaved rocks, and
at the points of junction between the igneous and older rocks there are
large quantities of strongly magnetic iron ore. The clayey soil formed
by the disintegration of the mica schist and trap is the favorite soil
for the coffee; and it is on these mountain sides, and others possessing
a similar red clay soil, that this plant has propagated itself so
widely. The meadow-lands adjacent to the Senza and Coanza being
underlaid by that marly tufa which abounds toward the coast, and
containing the same shells, show that, previous to the elevation of that
side of the country, this region possessed some deeply-indented bays.

28TH SEPTEMBER, KALUNGWEMBO.--We were still on the same path by which we
had come, and, there being no mosquitoes, we could now better enjoy the
scenery. Ranges of hills occupy both sides of our path, and the fine
level road is adorned with a beautiful red flower named Bolcamaria. The
markets or sleeping-places are well supplied with provisions by great
numbers of women, every one of whom is seen spinning cotton with a
spindle and distaff, exactly like those which were in use among the
ancient Egyptians. A woman is scarcely ever seen going to the fields,
though with a pot on her head, a child on her back, and the hoe over her
shoulder, but she is employed in this way. The cotton was brought to the
market for sale, and I bought a pound for a penny. This was the price
demanded, and probably double what they ask from each other. We saw
the cotton growing luxuriantly all around the market-places from seeds
dropped accidentally. It is seen also about the native huts, and, so far
as I could learn, it was the American cotton, so influenced by climate
as to be perennial. We met in the road natives passing with bundles of
cops, or spindles full of cotton thread, and these they were carrying to
other parts to be woven into cloth. The women are the spinners, and the
men perform the weaving. Each web is about 5 feet long, and 15 or 18
inches wide. The loom is of the simplest construction, being nothing but
two beams placed one over the other, the web standing perpendicularly.
The threads of the web are separated by means of a thin wooden lath,
and the woof passed through by means of the spindle on which it has been
wound in spinning.

The mode of spinning and weaving in Angola, and, indeed, throughout
South Central Africa, is so very like the same occupations in the
hands of the ancient Egyptians, that I introduce a woodcut from the
interesting work of Sir Gardner Wilkinson. The lower figures are engaged
in spinning in the real African method, and the weavers in the left-hand
corner have their web in the Angolese fashion.*

   * Unfortunately, this woodcut can not be represented in this
   ASCII text. The caption reads, 'Ancient Spinning and Weaving,
   perpetuated in Africa at the present day.  From Wilkinson's
   "Ancient Egyptians", p. 85, 86.' The web, or cloth on the
   loom, mentioned, has the vertical threads, or the warp,
   hanging, perhaps five feet, from a horizontal beam. The woof
   is passed through from side to side.--A. L., 1997.

Numbers of other articles are brought for sale to these sleeping-places.
The native smiths there carry on their trade. I bought ten very good
table-knives, made of country iron, for twopence each.

Labor is extremely cheap, for I was assured that even carpenters,
masons, smiths, etc., might be hired for fourpence a day, and
agriculturists would gladly work for half that sum.*

   * In order that the reader may understand the social position
   of the people of this country, I here give the census of the
   district of Golungo Alto for the year 1854, though the numbers
   are evidently not all furnished:

   238 householders or yeomen.
   4224 patrons, or head men of several hamlets.
   23 native chiefs or sovas.
   292 macotas or councilors.
   5838 carriers.
   126 carpenters.
   72 masons.
   300 shoemakers.
   181 potters.
   25 tailors.
   12 barbers.
   206 iron-founders.
   486 bellows-blowers.
   586 coke-makers.
   173 iron-miners.
   184 soldiers of militia.
   3603 privileged gentlemen, i.e., who may wear boots.
   18 vagabonds.
   717 old men.
   54 blind men and women.
   81 lame men and women.
   770 slave men.
   807 slave women.
   9578 free women.
   393 possessors of land.
   300 female gardeners.
   139 hunters of wild animals.
   980 smiths.
   314 mat-makers.
   4065 males under 7 years of age.
   6012 females under 7 years of age.

These people possess 300 idol-houses, 600 sheep, 5000 goats, 500 oxen,
398 gardens, 25,120 hearths. The authorities find great difficulty in
getting the people to furnish a correct account of their numbers. This
census is quoted merely for the purpose of giving a general idea of the
employments of the inhabitants.

The following is taken from the census of Icollo i Bengo, and is added
for a similar reason:

   3232 living without the marriage tie.  (All those who have
   not been married by a priest are so distinguished.)
   4 orphans--2 black and 2 white.
   9 native chiefs.
   2 carpenters.
   21 potters.
   11 tailors.
   2 shoemakers.
   3 barbers.
   5 mat-makers.
   12 sack-makers.
   21 basket-makers.

   The cattle in the district are:  10 asses, 401 oxen, 492 cows,
   3933 sheep, 1699 goats, 909 swine; and as an annual tax is
   levied of sixpence per head on all stock, it is probable that
   the returns are less than the reality.

Being anxious to obtain some more knowledge of this interesting country
and its ancient missionary establishments than the line of route by
which we had come afforded, I resolved to visit the town of Massangano,
which is situated to the south of Golungo Alto, and at the confluence of
the rivers Lucalla and Coanza. This led me to pass through the district
of Cazengo, which is rather famous for the abundance and excellence
of its coffee. Extensive coffee plantations were found to exist on the
sides of the several lofty mountains that compose this district. They
were not planted by the Portuguese. The Jesuit and other missionaries
are known to have brought some of the fine old Mocha seed, and these
have propagated themselves far and wide; hence the excellence of
the Angola coffee. Some have asserted that, as new plantations
were constantly discovered even during the period of our visit, the
coffee-tree was indigenous; but the fact that pine-apples, bananas,
yams, orange-trees, custard apple-trees, pitangas, guavas, and other
South American trees, were found by me in the same localities with the
recently-discovered coffee, would seem to indicate that all foreign
trees must have been introduced by the same agency. It is known that the
Jesuits also introduced many other trees for the sake of their timber
alone. Numbers of these have spread over the country, some have probably
died out, and others failed to spread, like a lonely specimen which
stands in what was the Botanic Garden of Loanda, and, though most useful
in yielding a substitute for frankincense, is the only one of the kind
in Africa.

A circumstance which would facilitate the extensive propagation of the
coffee on the proper clay soil is this: The seed, when buried beneath
the soil, generally dies, while that which is sown broadcast, with no
covering except the shade of the trees, vegetates readily. The agent in
sowing in this case is a bird, which eats the outer rind, and throws
the kernel on the ground. This plant can not bear the direct rays of
the sun; consequently, when a number of the trees are discovered in the
forest, all that is necessary is to clear away the brushwood, and
leave as many of the tall forest-trees as will afford good shade to the
coffee-plants below. The fortunate discoverer has then a flourishing
coffee plantation.

This district, small though it be, having only a population of 13,822,
of whom ten only are white, nevertheless yields an annual tribute to the
government of thirteen hundred cotton cloths, each 5 feet by 18 or 20
inches, of their own growth and manufacture.

Accompanied by the commandant of Cazengo, who was well acquainted with
this part of the country, I proceeded in a canoe down the River Lucalla
to Massangano. This river is about 85 yards wide, and navigable for
canoes from its confluence with the Coanza to about six miles above the
point where it receives the Luinha. Near this latter point stand the
strong, massive ruins of an iron foundry, erected in the times (1768)
and by the order of the famous Marquis of Pombal. The whole of the
buildings were constructed of stone, cemented with oil and lime. The dam
for water-power was made of the same materials, and 27 feet high. This
had been broken through by a flood, and solid blocks, many yards in
length, were carried down the stream, affording an instructive example
of the transporting power of water. There was nothing in the appearance
of the place to indicate unhealthiness; but eight Spanish and Swedish
workmen, being brought hither for the purpose of instructing the
natives in the art of smelting iron, soon fell victims to disease and
"irregularities". The effort of the marquis to improve the mode of
manufacturing iron was thus rendered abortive. Labor and subsistence
are, however, so very cheap that almost any amount of work can be
executed, at a cost that renders expensive establishments unnecessary.

A party of native miners and smiths is still kept in the employment of
the government, who, working the rich black magnetic iron ore, produce
for the government from 480 to 500 bars of good malleable iron every
month. They are supported by the appropriation of a few thousands of
a small fresh-water fish, called "Cacusu", a portion of the tax levied
upon the fishermen of the Coanza. This fish is so much relished in the
country that those who do not wish to eat them can easily convert them
into money. The commandant of the district of Massangano, for instance,
has a right to a dish of three hundred every morning, as part of his
salary. Shell-fish are also found in the Coanza, and the "Peixemulher",
or woman-fish of the Portuguese, which is probably a Manatee.

The banks of the Lucalla are very pretty, well planted with
orange-trees, bananas, and the palm ('Elaeis Guineensis') which yields
the oil of commerce. Large plantations of maize, manioc, and tobacco are
seen along both banks, which are enlivened by the frequent appearance
of native houses imbosomed in dense shady groves, with little boys and
girls playing about them. The banks are steep, the water having cut out
its bed in dark red alluvial soil. Before every cottage a small stage
is erected, to which the inhabitants may descend to draw water without
danger from the alligators. Some have a little palisade made in the
water for safety from these reptiles, and others use the shell of the
fruit of the baobab-tree attached to a pole about ten feet long, with
which, while standing on the high bank, they may draw water without fear
of accident.

Many climbing plants run up the lofty silk, cotton, and baobab trees,
and hang their beautiful flowers in gay festoons on the branches. As we
approach Massangano, the land on both banks of the Lucalla becomes very
level, and large portions are left marshy after the annual floods; but
all is very fertile. As an illustration of the strength of the soil,
I may state that we saw tobacco-plants in gardens near the confluence
eight feet high, and each plant had thirty-six leaves, which were
eighteen inches long by six or eight inches broad. But it is not
a pastoral district. In our descent we observed the tsetse, and
consequently the people had no domestic animals save goats.

We found the town of Massangano on a tongue of rather high land, formed
by the left bank of the Lucalla and right bank of the Coanza, and
received true Portuguese hospitality from Senhor Lubata. The town has
more than a thousand inhabitants; the district has 28,063, with only
315 slaves. It stands on a mound of calcareous tufa, containing great
numbers of fossil shells, the most recent of which resemble those found
in the marly tufa close to the coast. The fort stands on the south side
of the town, on a high perpendicular bank overhanging the Coanza. This
river is here a noble stream, about a hundred and fifty yards wide,
admitting navigation in large canoes from the bar at its mouth to
Cambambe, some thirty miles above this town. There, a fine waterfall
hinders farther ascent. Ten or twelve large canoes laden with country
produce pass Massangano every day. Four galleons were constructed here
as long ago as 1650, which must have been of good size, for they crossed
the ocean to Rio Janeiro.

Massangano district is well adapted for sugar and rice, while Cambambe
is a very superior field for cotton; but the bar at the mouth of the
Coanza would prevent the approach of a steamer into this desirable
region, though a small one could ply on it with ease when once in. It
is probable that the objects of those who attempted to make a canal from
Calumbo to Loanda were not merely to supply that city with fresh water,
but to afford facilities for transportation. The remains of the canal
show it to have been made on a scale suited for the Coanza canoes. The
Portuguese began another on a smaller scale in 1811, and, after three
years' labor, had finished only 6000 yards. Nothing great or useful will
ever be effected here so long as men come merely to get rich, and then
return to Portugal.

The latitude of the town and fort of Massangano is 9d 37' 46" S., being
nearly the same as that of Cassange. The country between Loanda and this
point being comparatively flat, a railroad might be constructed at small
expense. The level country is prolonged along the north bank of the
Coanza to the edge of the Cassange basin, and a railway carried thither
would be convenient for the transport of the products of the rich
districts of Cassange, Pungo Andongo, Ambaca, Cambambe, Golungo Alto,
Cazengo, Muchima, and Calumbo; in a word, the whole of Angola and
independent tribes adjacent to this kingdom.

The Portuguese merchants generally look to foreign enterprise and to
their own government for the means by which this amelioration might
be effected; but, as I always stated to them when conversing on the
subject, foreign capitalists would never run the risk, unless they saw
the Angolese doing something for themselves, and the laws so altered
that the subjects of other nations should enjoy the same privileges in
the country with themselves. The government of Portugal has indeed shown
a wise and liberal policy by its permission for the alienation of the
crown lands in Angola; but the law giving it effect is so fenced round
with limitations, and so deluged with verbiage, that to plain people it
seems any thing but a straightforward license to foreigners to become
'bona fide' landholders and cultivators of the soil. At present the
tolls paid on the different lines of roads for ferries and bridges are
equal to the interest of large sums of money, though but a small amount
has been expended in making available roads.

There are two churches and a hospital in ruins at Massangano; and the
remains of two convents are pointed out, one of which is said to have
been an establishment of black Benedictines, which, if successful,
considering the materials the brethren had to work on, must have been a
laborious undertaking. There is neither priest nor schoolmaster in the
town, but I was pleased to observe a number of children taught by one of
the inhabitants. The cultivated lands attached to all these conventual
establishments in Angola are now rented by the government of Loanda,
and thither the bishop lately removed all the gold and silver vessels
belonging to them.

The fort of Massangano is small, but in good repair; it contains some
very ancient guns, which were loaded from the breech, and must have been
formidable weapons in their time. The natives of this country entertain
a remarkable dread of great guns, and this tends much to the permanence
of the Portuguese authority. They dread a cannon greatly, though the
carriage be so rotten that it would fall to pieces at the first shot;
the fort of Pungo Andongo is kept securely by cannon perched on cross
sticks alone!

Massangano was a very important town at the time the Dutch held forcible
possession of Loanda and part of Angola; but when, in the year 1648,
the Dutch were expelled from this country by a small body of Portuguese,
under the Governor Salvador Correa de Sa Benevides, Massangano was left
to sink into its present decay. Since it was partially abandoned by the
Portuguese, several baobab-trees have sprung up and attained a diameter
of eighteen or twenty inches, and are about twenty feet high. No certain
conclusion can be drawn from these instances, as it is not known at what
time after 1648 they began to grow; but their present size shows that
their growth is not unusually slow.

Several fires occurred during our stay, by the thatch having, through
long exposure to a torrid sun, become like tinder. The roofs became
ignited without any visible cause except the intense solar rays, and
excited terror in the minds of the inhabitants, as the slightest spark
carried by the wind would have set the whole town in a blaze. There is
not a single inscription on stone visible in Massangano. If destroyed
to-morrow, no one could tell where it and most Portuguese interior
villages stood, any more than we can do those of the Balonda.

During the occupation of this town the Coanza was used for the purpose
of navigation, but their vessels were so frequently plundered by their
Dutch neighbors that, when they regained the good port of Loanda, they
no longer made use of the river. We remained here four days, in hopes
of obtaining an observation for the longitude, but at this season of the
year the sky is almost constantly overcast by a thick canopy of clouds
of a milk-and-water hue; this continues until the rainy season (which
was now close at hand) commences.

The lands on the north side of the Coanza belong to the Quisamas
(Kisamas), an independent tribe, which the Portuguese have not been able
to subdue. The few who came under my observation possessed much of the
Bushman or Hottentot feature, and were dressed in strips of soft bark
hanging from the waist to the knee. They deal largely in salt, which
their country produces in great abundance. It is brought in crystals of
about 12 inches long and 1-1/2 in diameter. This is hawked about every
where in Angola, and, next to calico, is the most common medium of
barter. The Kisama are brave; and when the Portuguese army followed them
into their forests, they reduced the invaders to extremity by tapping
all the reservoirs of water, which were no other than the enormous
baobabs of the country hollowed into cisterns. As the Kisama country is
ill supplied with water otherwise, the Portuguese were soon obliged to
retreat. Their country, lying near to Massangano, is low and marshy,
but becomes more elevated in the distance, and beyond them lie the lofty
dark mountain ranges of the Libollo, another powerful and independent
people. Near Massangano I observed what seemed to be an effort of nature
to furnish a variety of domestic fowls, more capable than the common
kind of bearing the heat of the sun. This was a hen and chickens with
all their feathers curled upward, thus giving shade to the body
without increasing the heat. They are here named "Kisafu" by the native
population, who pay a high price for them when they wish to offer them
as a sacrifice, and by the Portuguese they are termed "Arripiada", or
shivering. There seems to be a tendency in nature to afford varieties
adapted to the convenience of man. A kind of very short-legged fowl
among the Boers was obtained, in consequence of observing that such
were more easily caught for transportation in their frequent removals
in search of pasture. A similar instance of securing a variety occurred
with the short-limbed sheep in America.

Returning by ascending the Lucalla into Cazengo, we had an opportunity
of visiting several flourishing coffee plantations, and observed that
several men, who had begun with no capital but honest industry, had, in
the course of a few years, acquired a comfortable subsistence. One of
these, Mr. Pinto, generously furnished me with a good supply of his
excellent coffee, and my men with a breed of rabbits to carry to their
own country. Their lands, granted by government, yielded, without much
labor, coffee sufficient for all the necessaries of life.

The fact of other avenues of wealth opening up so readily seems like a
providential invitation to forsake the slave-trade and engage in lawful
commerce. We saw the female population occupied, as usual, in the
spinning of cotton and cultivation of their lands. Their only instrument
for culture is a double-handled hoe, which is worked with a sort of
dragging motion. Many of the men were employed in weaving. The latter
appear to be less industrious than the former, for they require a
month to finish a single web. There is, however, not much inducement
to industry, for, notwithstanding the time consumed in its manufacture,
each web is sold for only two shillings.

On returning to Golungo Alto I found several of my men laid up with
fever. One of the reasons for my leaving them there was that they might
recover from the fatigue of the journey from Loanda, which had much more
effect upon their feet than hundreds of miles had on our way westward.
They had always been accustomed to moisture in their own well-watered
land, and we certainly had a superabundance of that in Loanda. The
roads, however, from Loanda to Golungo Alto were both hard and dry, and
they suffered severely in consequence; yet they were composing songs to
be sung when they should reach home. The Argonauts were nothing to them;
and they remarked very impressively to me, "It was well you came with
Makololo, for no tribe could have done what we have accomplished in
coming to the white man's country: we are the true ancients, who can
tell wonderful things." Two of them now had fever in the continued form,
and became jaundiced, the whites or conjunctival membrane of their eyes
becoming as yellow as saffron; and a third suffered from an attack of
mania. He came to his companions one day, and said, "Remain well. I am
called away by the gods!" and set off at the top of his speed. The
young men caught him before he had gone a mile, and bound him. By gentle
treatment and watching for a few days he recovered. I have observed
several instances of this kind in the country, but very few cases of
idiocy, and I believe that continued insanity is rare.

Chapter 21.

Visit a deserted Convent--Favorable Report of Jesuits and their Teaching
--Gradations of native Society--Punishment of Thieves--Palm-toddy; its
baneful Effects--Freemasons--Marriages and Funerals--Litigation--Mr.
Canto's Illness--Bad Behavior of his Slaves--An Entertainment--Ideas
on Free Labor--Loss of American Cotton-seed--Abundance of Cotton in
the country--Sickness of Sekeletu's Horse--Eclipse of the Sun--Insects
which distill Water--Experiments with them--Proceed to Ambaca--Sickly
Season--Office of Commandant--Punishment of official Delinquents--
Present from Mr. Schut of Loanda--Visit Pungo Andongo--Its good
Pasturage, Grain, Fruit, etc.--The Fort and columnar Rocks--The
Queen of Jinga--Salubrity of Pungo Andongo--Price of a Slave--A
Merchant-prince--His Hospitality--Hear of the Loss of my Papers
in "Forerunner"--Narrow Escape from an Alligator--Ancient
Burial-places--Neglect of Agriculture in Angola--Manioc the staple
Product--Its Cheapness--Sickness--Friendly Visit from a colored
Priest--The Prince of Congo--No Priests in the Interior of Angola.

While waiting for the recovery of my men, I visited, in company with my
friend Mr. Canto, the deserted convent of St. Hilarion, at Bango, a few
miles northwest of Golungo Alto. It is situated in a magnificent valley,
containing a population numbering 4000 hearths. This is the abode of
the Sova, or Chief Bango, who still holds a place of authority under the
Portuguese. The garden of the convent, the church, and dormitories of
the brethren are still kept in a good state of repair. I looked at the
furniture, couches, and large chests for holding the provisions of the
brotherhood with interest, and would fain have learned something of the
former occupants; but all the books and sacred vessels had lately been
removed to Loanda, and even the graves of the good men stand without any
record: their resting-places are, however, carefully tended. All speak
well of the Jesuits and other missionaries, as the Capuchins, etc., for
having attended diligently to the instruction of the children. They were
supposed to have a tendency to take the part of the people against the
government, and were supplanted by priests, concerning whom no regret
is expressed that they were allowed to die out. In viewing the present
fruits of former missions, it is impossible not to feel assured that,
if the Jesuit teaching has been so permanent, that of Protestants,
who leave the Bible in the hands of their converts, will not be less
abiding. The chief Bango has built a large two-story house close by the
convent, but superstitious fears prevent him from sleeping in it.
The Portuguese take advantage of all the gradations into which native
society has divided itself. This man, for instance, is still a sova
or chief, has his councilors, and maintains the same state as when the
country was independent. When any of his people are guilty of theft, he
pays down the amount of goods stolen at once, and reimburses himself out
of the property of the thief so effectually as to be benefited by the
transaction. The people under him are divided into a number of classes.
There are his councilors, as the highest, who are generally head men of
several villages, and the carriers, the lowest free men. One class above
the last obtains the privilege of wearing shoes from the chief by paying
for it; another, the soldiers or militia, pay for the privilege of
serving, the advantage being that they are not afterward liable to
be made carriers. They are also divided into gentlemen and little
gentlemen, and, though quite black, speak of themselves as white men,
and of the others, who may not wear shoes, as "blacks". The men of all
these classes trust to their wives for food, and spend most of their
time in drinking the palm-toddy. This toddy is the juice of the
palm-oil-tree ('Elaeis Guineensis'), which, when tapped, yields a sweet,
clear liquid, not at all intoxicating while fresh, but, when allowed
to stand till the afternoon, causes inebriation and many crimes.
This toddy, called malova, is the bane of the country. Culprits are
continually brought before the commandants for assaults committed
through its influence. Men come up with deep gashes on their heads; and
one, who had burned his father's house, I saw making a profound bow to
Mr. Canto, and volunteering to explain why he did the deed.

There is also a sort of fraternity of freemasons, named Empacasseiros,
into which no one is admitted unless he is an expert hunter, and can
shoot well with the gun. They are distinguished by a fillet of buffalo
hide around their heads, and are employed as messengers in all cases
requiring express. They are very trustworthy, and, when on active
service, form the best native troops the Portuguese possess. The
militia are of no value as soldiers, but cost the country nothing,
being supported by their wives. Their duties are chiefly to guard the
residences of commandants, and to act as police.

The chief recreations of the natives of Angola are marriages and
funerals. When a young woman is about to be married, she is placed in a
hut alone and anointed with various unguents, and many incantations
are employed in order to secure good fortune and fruitfulness. Here, as
almost every where in the south, the height of good fortune is to bear
sons. They often leave a husband altogether if they have daughters
only. In their dances, when any one may wish to deride another, in the
accompanying song a line is introduced, "So and so has no children,
and never will get any." She feels the insult so keenly that it is not
uncommon for her to rush away and commit suicide. After some days the
bride elect is taken to another hut, and adorned with all the richest
clothing and ornaments that the relatives can either lend or borrow. She
is then placed in a public situation, saluted as a lady, and presents
made by all her acquaintances are placed around her. After this she is
taken to the residence of her husband, where she has a hut for herself,
and becomes one of several wives, for polygamy is general. Dancing,
feasting, and drinking on such occasions are prolonged for several days.
In case of separation, the woman returns to her father's family, and the
husband receives back what he gave for her. In nearly all cases a man
gives a price for the wife, and in cases of mulattoes, as much as 60
Pounds is often given to the parents of the bride. This is one of the
evils the bishop was trying to remedy.

In cases of death the body is kept several days, and there is a grand
concourse of both sexes, with beating of drums, dances, and debauchery,
kept up with feasting, etc., according to the means of the relatives.
The great ambition of many of the blacks of Angola is to give their
friends an expensive funeral. Often, when one is asked to sell a pig, he
replies, "I am keeping it in case of the death of any of my friends." A
pig is usually slaughtered and eaten on the last day of the ceremonies,
and its head thrown into the nearest stream or river. A native will
sometimes appear intoxicated on these occasions, and, if blamed for his
intemperance, will reply, "Why! my mother is dead!" as if he thought it
a sufficient justification. The expenses of funerals are so heavy that
often years elapse before they can defray them.

These people are said to be very litigious and obstinate: constant
disputes are taking place respecting their lands. A case came before the
weekly court of the commandant involving property in a palm-tree worth
twopence. The judge advised the pursuer to withdraw the case, as the
mere expenses of entering it would be much more than the cost of the
tree. "Oh no," said he; "I have a piece of calico with me for the clerk,
and money for yourself. It's my right; I will not forego it." The calico
itself cost three or four shillings. They rejoice if they can say of an
enemy, "I took him before the court."

My friend Mr. Canto, the commandant, being seized with fever in a severe
form, it afforded me much pleasure to attend HIM in his sickness, who
had been so kind to ME in mine. He was for some time in a state of
insensibility, and I, having the charge of his establishment, had thus
an opportunity of observing the workings of slavery. When a master is
ill, the slaves run riot among the eatables. I did not know this until I
observed that every time the sugar-basin came to the table it was
empty. On visiting my patient by night, I passed along a corridor, and
unexpectedly came upon the washerwoman eating pine-apples and sugar. All
the sweetmeats were devoured, and it was difficult for me to get even
bread and butter until I took the precaution of locking the pantry door.
Probably the slaves thought that, as both they and the luxuries were
the master's property, there was no good reason why they should be kept

Debarred by my precaution from these sources of enjoyment, they took to
killing the fowls and goats, and, when the animal was dead, brought it
to me, saying, "We found this thing lying out there." They then enjoyed
a feast of flesh. A feeling of insecurity prevails throughout this
country. It is quite common to furnish visitors with the keys of their
rooms. When called on to come to breakfast or dinner, each locks his
door and puts the key in his pocket. At Kolobeng we never locked our
doors by night or by day for months together; but there slavery is
unknown. The Portuguese do not seem at all bigoted in their attachment
to slavery, nor yet in their prejudices against color. Mr. Canto gave an
entertainment in order to draw all classes together and promote general
good-will. Two sovas or native chiefs were present, and took their
places without the least appearance of embarrassment. The Sova of
Kilombo appeared in the dress of a general, and the Sova of Bango was
gayly attired in a red coat, profusely ornamented with tinsel. The
latter had a band of musicians with him consisting of six trumpeters and
four drummers, who performed very well. These men are fond of titles,
and the Portuguese government humors them by conferring honorary
captaincies, etc.: the Sova of Bango was at present anxious to obtain
the title of "Major of all the Sovas". At the tables of other gentlemen
I observed the same thing constantly occurring. At this meeting Mr.
Canto communicated some ideas which I had written out on the dignity
of labor, and the superiority of free over slave labor. The Portuguese
gentlemen present were anxiously expecting an arrival of American
cotton-seed from Mr. Gabriel. They are now in the transition state from
unlawful to lawful trade, and turn eagerly to cotton, coffee, and sugar
as new sources of wealth. Mr. Canto had been commissioned by them to
purchase three sugar-mills. Our cruisers have been the principal agents
in compelling them to abandon the slave-trade; and our government,
in furnishing them with a supply of cotton-seed, showed a generous
intention to aid them in commencing a more honorable course. It can
scarcely be believed, however, that after Lord Clarendon had been at
the trouble of procuring fresh cotton-seed through our minister at
Washington, and had sent it out to the care of H. M. Commissioner at
Loanda, probably from having fallen into the hands of a few incorrigible
slave-traders, it never reached its destination. It was most likely cast
into the sea of Ambriz, and my friends at Golungo Alto were left without
the means of commencing a new enterprise.

Mr. Canto mentioned that there is now much more cotton in the country
than can be consumed; and if he had possession of a few hundred pounds,
he would buy up all the oil and cotton at a fair price, and thereby
bring about a revolution in the agriculture of the country. These
commodities are not produced in greater quantity, because the people
have no market for those which now spring up almost spontaneously around
them. The above was put down in my journal when I had no idea that
enlarged supplies of cotton from new sources were so much needed at

It is common to cut down cotton-trees as a nuisance, and cultivate
beans, potatoes, and manioc sufficient only for their own consumption.
I have the impression that cotton, which is deciduous in America, is
perennial here; for the plants I saw in winter were not dead, though
going by the name Algodao Americana, or American cotton. The rents paid
for gardens belonging to the old convents are merely nominal, varying
from one shilling to three pounds per annum. The higher rents being
realized from those in the immediate vicinity of Loanda, none but
Portuguese or half-castes can pay them.

When about to start, the horse which the governor had kindly presented
for Sekeletu was seized with inflammation, which delayed us some time
longer, and we ultimately lost it. We had been careful to watch it when
coming through the district of Matamba, where we had discovered the
tsetse, that no insect might light upon it. The change of diet here may
have had some influence in producing the disease; for I was informed by
Dr. Welweitsch, an able German naturalist, whom we found pursuing his
arduous labors here, and whose life we hope may be spared to give his
researches to the world, that, of fifty-eight kinds of grasses found
at Loanda, only three or four species exist here, and these of the most
diminutive kinds. The twenty-four different species of grass of Golungo
Alto are nearly all gigantic. Indeed, gigantic grasses, climbers,
shrubs and trees, with but few plants, constitute the vegetation of this

NOVEMBER 20TH. An eclipse of the sun, which I had anxiously hoped to
observe with a view of determining the longitude, happened this morning,
and, as often took place in this cloudy climate, the sun was covered
four minutes before it began. When it shone forth the eclipse was
in progress, and a few minutes before it should (according to my
calculations) have ended the sun was again completely obscured. The
greatest patience and perseverance are required, if one wishes to
ascertain his position when it is the rainy season.

Before leaving, I had an opportunity of observing a curious insect,
which inhabits trees of the fig family ('Ficus'), upward of twenty
species of which are found here. Seven or eight of them cluster round
a spot on one of the smaller branches, and there keep up a constant
distillation of a clear fluid, which, dropping to the ground, forms a
little puddle below. If a vessel is placed under them in the evening,
it contains three or four pints of fluid in the morning. The natives
say that, if a drop falls into the eyes, it causes inflammation of these
organs. To the question whence is this fluid derived, the people reply
that the insects suck it out of the tree, and our own naturalists
give the same answer. I have never seen an orifice, and it is scarcely
possible that the tree can yield so much. A similar but much smaller
homopterous insect, of the family 'Cercopidae', is known in England as
the frog-hopper ('Aphrophora spumaria'), when full grown and
furnished with wings, but while still in the pupa state it is called
"Cuckoo-spit", from the mass of froth in which it envelops itself.
The circulation of sap in plants in our climate, especially of the
graminaceae, is not quick enough to yield much moisture. The African
species is five or six times the size of the English. In the case of
branches of the fig-tree, the point the insects congregate on is soon
marked by a number of incipient roots, such as are thrown out when a
cutting is inserted in the ground for the purpose of starting another
tree. I believe that both the English and African insects belong to the
same family, and differ only in size, and that the chief part of the
moisture is derived from the atmosphere. I leave it for naturalists to
explain how these little creatures distill both by night and day as
much water as they please, and are more independent than her majesty's
steam-ships, with their apparatus for condensing steam; for, without
coal, their abundant supplies of sea-water are of no avail. I tried
the following experiment: Finding a colony of these insects busily
distilling on a branch of the 'Ricinus communis', or castor-oil plant, I
denuded about 20 inches of the bark on the tree side of the insects, and
scraped away the inner bark, so as to destroy all the ascending vessels.
I also cut a hole in the side of the branch, reaching to the middle, and
then cut out the pith and internal vessels. The distillation was then
going on at the rate of one drop each 67 seconds, or about 2 ounces
5-1/2 drams in 24 hours. Next morning the distillation, so far from
being affected by the attempt to stop the supplies, supposing they had
come up through the branch from the tree, was increased to a drop every
5 seconds, or 12 drops per minute, making 1 pint (16 ounces) in every 24
hours. I then cut the branch so much that, during the day, it broke; but
they still went on at the rate of a drop every 5 seconds, while another
colony on a branch of the same tree gave a drop every 17 seconds only,
or at the rate of about 10 ounces 4-4/5 drams in 24 hours. I finally
cut off the branch; but this was too much for their patience, for they
immediately decamped, as insects will do from either a dead branch or
a dead animal, which Indian hunters soon know, when they sit down on
a recently-killed bear. The presence of greater moisture in the air
increased the power of these distillers: the period of greatest activity
was in the morning, when the air and every thing else was charged with

Having but one day left for experiment, I found again that another
colony on a branch denuded in the same way yielded a drop every 2
seconds, or 4 pints 10 ounces in 24 hours, while a colony on a branch
untouched yielded a drop every 11 seconds, or 16 ounces 2-19/20 drams
in 24 hours. I regretted somewhat the want of time to institute another
experiment, namely, to cut a branch and place it in water, so as to keep
it in life, and then observe if there was any diminution of the quantity
of water in the vessel. This alone was wanting to make it certain that
they draw water from the atmosphere. I imagine that they have some power
of which we are not aware, besides that nervous influence which causes
constant motion to our own involuntary muscles, the power of life-long
action without fatigue. The reader will remember, in connection with
this insect, the case of the ants already mentioned.

DECEMBER 14TH. Both myself and men having recovered from severe attacks
of fever, we left the hospitable residence of Mr. Canto with a deep
sense of his kindness to us all, and proceeded on our way to Ambaca.
(Lat. 9d 16' 35" S., long. 15d 23' E.)

Frequent rains had fallen in October and November, which were nearly
always accompanied with thunder. Occasionally the quantity of moisture
in the atmosphere is greatly increased without any visible cause:
this imparts a sensation of considerable cold, though the thermometer
exhibits no fall of the mercury. The greater humidity in the air,
affording a better conducting medium for the radiation of heat from the
body, is as dangerous as a sudden fall of the thermometer: it causes
considerable disease among the natives, and this season is denominated
"Carneirado", as if by the disease they were slaughtered like sheep. The
season of these changes, which is the most favorable for Europeans, is
the most unhealthy for the native population; and this is by no means
a climate in which either natives or Europeans can indulge in
irregularities with impunity.

Owing to the weakness of the men who had been sick, we were able to
march but short distances. Three hours and a half brought us to the
banks of the Caloi, a small stream which flows into the Senza. This
is one of the parts of the country reputed to yield petroleum, but the
geological formation, being mica schist, dipping toward the eastward,
did not promise much for our finding it. Our hospitable friend, Mr.
Mellot, accompanied us to another little river, called the Quango, where
I saw two fine boys, the sons of the sub-commandant, Mr. Feltao, who,
though only from six to eight years old, were subject to fever. We then
passed on in the bright sunlight, the whole country looking so fresh and
green after the rains, and every thing so cheering, one could not but
wonder to find it so feverish.

We found, on reaching Ambaca, that the gallant old soldier, Laurence
Jose Marquis, had, since our passing Icollo i Bengo, been promoted,
on account of his stern integrity, to the government of this important
district. The office of commandant is much coveted by the officers
of the line who come to Angola, not so much for the salary as for the
perquisites, which, when managed skillfully, in the course of a few
years make one rich. An idea may be formed of the conduct of some of
these officials from the following extract from the Boletin of Loanda of
the 28th of October, 1854:

"The acting governor-general of the province of Angola and its
dependencies determines as follows:

"Having instituted an investigation (Syndecancia) against the commandant
of the fort of----, a captain of the army of Portugal in commission in
this province,----, on account of numerous complaints, which have come
before this government, of violences and extortions practiced by the
said commandant, and those complaints appearing by the result of the
investigation to be well founded, it will be convenient to exonerate the
captain referred to from the command of the fort of----, to which he had
been nominated by the portfolio of this general government, No. 41, of
27th December of the past year; and if not otherwise determined, the
same official shall be judged by a council of war for the criminal acts
which are to him attributed."

Even this public mention of his crimes attaches no stigma to the man's
character. The council of war, by which these delinquents always prefer
to be judged, is composed of men who eagerly expect to occupy the post
of commandant themselves, and anticipate their own trial for similar
acts at some future time. The severest sentence a council of war awards
is a few weeks' suspension from office in his regiment.

This want of official integrity, which is not at all attributable to the
home government of Portugal, would prove a serious impediment in the way
of foreign enterprise developing the resources of this rich province.
And to this cause, indeed, may be ascribed the failure of the Portuguese
laws for the entire suppression of the slave-trade. The officers ought
to receive higher pay, if integrity is expected from them. At present,
a captain's pay for a year will only keep him in good uniform. The high
pay our own officers receive has manifest advantages.

Before leaving Ambaca we received a present of ten head of cattle from
Mr. Schut of Loanda, and, as it shows the cheapness of provisions here,
I may mention that the cost was only about a guinea per head.

On crossing the Lucalla we made a detour to the south, in order to visit
the famous rocks of Pungo Andongo. As soon as we crossed the rivulet
Lotete, a change in the vegetation of the country was apparent. We found
trees identical with those to be seen south of the Chobe. The grass,
too, stands in tufts, and is of that kind which the natives consider to
be best adapted for cattle. Two species of grape-bearing vines abound
every where in this district, and the influence of the good pasturage is
seen in the plump condition of the cattle. In all my previous inquiries
respecting the vegetable products of Angola, I was invariably
directed to Pungo Andongo. Do you grow wheat? "Oh, yes, in Pungo
Andongo."--Grapes, figs, or peaches? "Oh, yes, in Pungo Andongo."--Do
you make butter, cheese, etc.? The uniform answer was, "Oh, yes, there
is abundance of all these in Pungo Andongo." But when we arrived here,
we found that the answers all referred to the activity of one man,
Colonel Manuel Antonio Pires. The presence of the wild grape shows that
vineyards might be cultivated with success; the wheat grows well without
irrigation; and any one who tasted the butter and cheese at the table of
Colonel Pires would prefer them to the stale produce of the Irish dairy,
in general use throughout that province. The cattle in this country are
seldom milked, on account of the strong prejudice which the Portuguese
entertain against the use of milk. They believe that it may be used with
safety in the morning, but, if taken after midday, that it will cause
fever. It seemed to me that there was not much reason for carefully
avoiding a few drops in their coffee, after having devoured ten times
the amount in the shape of cheese at dinner.

The fort of Pungo Andongo (lat. 9d 42' 14" S., long. 15d 30' E.) is
situated in the midst of a group of curious columnar-shaped rocks, each
of which is upward of three hundred feet in height. They are composed of
conglomerate, made up of a great variety of rounded pieces in a matrix
of dark red sandstone. They rest on a thick stratum of this last rock,
with very few of the pebbles in its substance. On this a fossil palm has
been found, and if of the same age as those on the eastern side of the
continent, on which similar palms now lie, there may be coal underneath
this, as well as under that at Tete. The asserted existence of petroleum
springs at Dande, and near Cambambe, would seem to indicate the presence
of this useful mineral, though I am not aware of any one having actually
seen a seam of coal tilted up to the surface in Angola, as we have
at Tete. The gigantic pillars of Pungo Andongo have been formed by a
current of the sea coming from the S.S.E.; for, seen from the top, they
appear arranged in that direction, and must have withstood the surges of
the ocean at a period of our world's history, when the relations of land
and sea were totally different from what they are now, and long before
"the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for
joy to see the abodes prepared which man was soon to fill." The imbedded
pieces in the conglomerate are of gneiss, clay shale, mica and sandstone
schists, trap, and porphyry, most of which are large enough to give
the whole the appearance of being the only remaining vestiges of vast
primaeval banks of shingle. Several little streams run among these
rocks, and in the central part of the pillars stands the village,
completely environed by well-nigh inaccessible rocks. The pathways into
the village might be defended by a small body of troops against an army;
and this place was long the stronghold of the tribe called Jinga, the
original possessors of the country.

We were shown a footprint carved on one of these rocks. It is spoken of
as that of a famous queen, who reigned over all this region. In looking
at these rude attempts at commemoration, one feels the value of letters.
In the history of Angola we find that the famous queen Donna Anna de
Souza came from the vicinity, as embassadress from her brother, Gola
Bandy, King of the Jinga, to Loanda, in 1621, to sue for peace, and
astonished the governor by the readiness of her answers. The governor
proposed, as a condition of peace, the payment by the Jinga of an annual
tribute. "People talk of tribute after they have conquered, and not
before it; we come to talk of peace, not of subjection," was the ready
answer. The governor was as much nonplussed as our Cape governors often
are when they tell the Caffres "to put it all down in writing, and they
will then be able to answer them." She remained some time in Loanda,
gained all she sought, and, after being taught by the missionaries, was
baptized, and returned to her own country with honor. She succeeded
to the kingdom on the death of her brother, whom it was supposed she
poisoned, but in a subsequent war with the Portuguese she lost nearly
all her army in a great battle fought in 1627. She returned to the
Church after a long period of apostasy, and died in extreme old age; and
the Jinga still live as an independent people to the north of this their
ancient country. No African tribe has ever been destroyed.

In former times the Portuguese imagined that this place was particularly
unhealthy, and banishment to the black rocks of Pungo Andongo
was thought by their judges to be a much severer sentence than
transportation to any part of the coast; but this district is now well
known to be the most healthy part of Angola. The water is remarkably
pure, the soil is light, and the country open and undulating, with a
general slope down toward the River Coanza, a few miles distant. That
river is the southern boundary of the Portuguese, and beyond, to the S.
and S.W., we see the high mountains of the Libollo. On the S.E. we have
also a mountainous country, inhabited by the Kimbonda or Ambonda, who
are said by Colonel Pires to be a very brave and independent people,
but hospitable and fair in their dealings. They are rich in cattle, and
their country produces much beeswax, which is carefully collected,
and brought to the Portuguese, with whom they have always been on good

The Ako (Haco), a branch of this family, inhabit the left bank of the
Coanza above this village, who, instead of bringing slaves for sale, as
formerly, now occasionally bring wax for the purchase of a slave from
the Portuguese. I saw a boy sold for twelve shillings: he said that he
belonged to the country of Matiamvo. Here I bought a pair of well-made
boots, of good tanned leather, which reached above the knee, for five
shillings and eightpence, and that was just the price given for one
pound of ivory by Mr. Pires; consequently, the boy was worth two pairs
of boots, or two pounds of ivory. The Libollo on the S. have not so
good a character, but the Coanza is always deep enough to form a line of
defense. Colonel Pires is a good example of what an honest industrious
man in this country may become. He came as a servant in a ship, and, by
a long course of persevering labor, has raised himself to be the richest
merchant in Angola. He possesses some thousands of cattle; and, on any
emergency, can appear in the field with several hundred armed slaves.

While enjoying the hospitality of this merchant-prince in his commodious
residence, which is outside the rocks, and commands a beautiful view of
all the adjacent country, I learned that all my dispatches, maps,
and journal had gone to the bottom of the sea in the mail-packet
"Forerunner". I felt so glad that my friend Lieutenant Bedingfeld, to
whose care I had committed them, though in the most imminent danger, had
not shared a similar fate, that I was at once reconciled to the labor
of rewriting. I availed myself of the kindness of Colonel Pires, and
remained till the end of the year reproducing my lost papers.

Colonel Pires having another establishment on the banks of the Coanza,
about six miles distant, I visited it with him about once a week for the
purpose of recreation.