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Title: Lost in the Jungle - Narrated for Young People
Author: Du Chaillu, Paul B. (Paul Belloni), 1835-1903
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.

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  LOST IN THE JUNGLE.

  NARRATED FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.


  By PAUL DU CHAILLU,

  AUTHOR OF

  "DISCOVERIES IN EQUATORIAL AFRICA," "WILD LIFE UNDER THE EQUATOR,"
  "JOURNEY TO ASHANGO LAND," "STORIES OF THE GORILLA COUNTRY," &c.


  _WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS._


  _NEW YORK:_
  HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
  FRANKLIN SQUARE.

  1875.



  [Illustration: SHOOTING A LEOPARD. [p. 213.]



  By PAUL DU CHAILLU.

    THE COUNTRY OF THE DWARFS. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1 75.
    MY APINGI KINGDOM. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1 75.
    LOST IN THE JUNGLE. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1 75.
    WILD LIFE UNDER THE EQUATOR. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1 75.
    STORIES OF THE GORILLA COUNTRY. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1 75.
    EXPLORATIONS AND ADVENTURES IN EQUATORIAL AFRICA. Illustrated. New
        Edition. 8vo, Cloth, $5 00.
    A JOURNEY TO ASHANGO LAND, and Further Penetration into Equatorial
        Africa. New Edition. Illustrated. 8vo, Cloth, $5 00.

  _Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York._

  _Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
  receipt of the price._


  Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by

  HARPER & BROTHERS,

  In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
  the Southern District of New York.



CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER I. Paul's Letter to his Young Friends, in which he
  prepares them for being "Lost in the Jungle."                     11

  CHAPTER II. A queer Canoe.--On the Rembo.--We reach the
  Niembouai.--A deserted Village.--Gazelle attacked by a
  Snake.--Etia wounded by a Gorilla.                                14

  CHAPTER III. Harpooning a Manga.--A great Prize.--Our Canoe
  capsized.--Description of the Manga.--Return to Camp.             23

  CHAPTER IV. We go into the Forest.--Hunt for Ebony-trees.--The
  Fish-eagles.--Capture of a young Eagle.--Impending Fight with
  them.--Fearful roars of Gorillas.--Gorillas breaking down Trees.  28

  CHAPTER V. Lost.--Querlaouen says we are Bewitched.--Monkeys
  and Parrots.--A deserted Village.--Strange Scene before an
  Idol.--Bringing in the Wounded.--An Invocation.                   37

  CHAPTER VI. A white Gorilla.--Meeting two Gorillas.--The Female
  runs away.--The Man Gorilla shows fight.--He is killed.--His
  immense Hands and Feet.--Strange Story of a Leopard and a
  Turtle.                                                           48

  CHAPTER VII. Return to the Ovenga River.--The Monkeys and their
  Friends the Birds.--They live together.--Watch by Moonlight for
  Game.--Kill an Oshengui.                                          55

  CHAPTER VIII. We are in a Canoe.--Outfit for Hunting.--See a
  beautiful Antelope.--Kill it.--It is a new Species.--River and
  forest Swallows.                                                  62

  CHAPTER IX. We hear the Cry of a young Gorilla.--Start to
  capture him.--Fight with "his Father."--We kill him.--Kill the
  Mother.--Capture of the Baby.--Strange Camp Scene.                70

  CHAPTER X. Jack will have his own way.--He seizes my
  Leg.--He tears my Pantaloons.--He growls at me.--He refuses
  cooked Food.--Jack makes his Bed.--Jack sleeps with one Eye
  open.--Jack is intractable.                                       81

  CHAPTER XI. Start after Land-crabs.--Village of the
  Crabs.--Each Crab knows his House.--Great flight of
  Crabs.--They bite hard.--Feast on the Slain.--A herd
  of Hippopotami.                                                   87

  CHAPTER XII. Strange Spiders.--The House-spider.--How they
  capture their Prey.--How they Fight.--Fight between a Wasp
  and a Spider.--The Spider has its Legs cut off, and is carried
  away.--Burrow Spider watching for its Prey.                       94

  CHAPTER XIII. We continue our Wanderings.--Joined by Etia.--We
  starve.--Gambo and Etia go in search of Berries.--A herd of
  Elephants.--The rogue Elephant charges me.--He is killed.--He
  tumbles down near me.--Story of Redjioua.                        106

  CHAPTER XIV. A formidable Bird.--The People are afraid of
  it.--A Baby carried off by the Guanionien.--A Monkey also
  seized.--I discover a Guanionien Nest.--I watch for the Eagles.  119

  CHAPTER XV. The Cascade of Niama-Biembai.--A native
  Camp.--Starting for the Hunt.--A Man attacked by a
  Gorilla.--His Gun broken.--The Man dies.--His Burial.            127

  CHAPTER XVI. Funeral of the Gorilla's Victim.--A Man's Head
  for the Alumbi.--The Snake and the Guinea-fowl.--Snake
  killed.--Visit to the House of the Alumbi.--Determine to
  visit the Sea-coast.                                             137

  CHAPTER XVII. At Washington once more.--Delights of the
  Sea-shore.--I have been made a Makaga.--Friends object to
  my Return into the Jungle.--Quengueza taken Sick.--Gives a
  Letter to his Nephew.--Taking leave.                             142

  CHAPTER XVIII. Departure.--Arrival at Goumbi.--The People
  ask for the King.--A Death-panic in Goumbi.--A Doctor sent
  for.--Death to the Aniembas.--Three Women accused.--They are
  tried and killed.                                                148

  CHAPTER XIX. Quengueza orders Ilogo to be consulted about
  his Illness.--What the People think of Ilogo.--A nocturnal
  Séance.--Song to Ilogo.--A female Medium.--What Ilogo said.      162

  CHAPTER XX. Departure from Goumbi.--Querlaouen's Village.--Find
  it deserted.--Querlaouen dead.--He has been killed by an
  Elephant.--Arrive at Obindji's Town.--Meeting with Querlaouen's
  Widow.--Neither Malaouen nor Gambo at home.                      167

  CHAPTER XXI. Leave for Ashira Land.--In a Swamp.--Cross the
  Mountains.--A Leopard after us.--Reach the Ashira Country.       175

  CHAPTER XXII. Great Mountains.--Ashira Land is beautiful.--The
  People are afraid.--Reach Akoonga's Village.--King Olenda
  sends Messengers and Presents.--I reach Olenda's Village.        181

  CHAPTER XXIII. King Olenda comes to receive me.--He is very
  old.--Never saw a Man so old before.--He beats his Kendo.--He
  salutes me with his Kombo.--Kings alone can wear the Kendo.      185

  CHAPTER XXIV. They all come to see me.--They say I have an
  Evil Eye.--Ashira Villages.--Olenda gives a great Ball in my
  Honor.--Beer-houses.--Goats coming out of a Mountain alive.      190

  CHAPTER XXV. Ascension of the Ofoubou-Orèrè and Andelè
  Mountains.--The Ashiras bleed their Hands.--Story of a
  Fight between a Gorilla and a Leopard.--The Gorilla and
  the Elephant.--Wild Boars.                                       197

  CHAPTER XXVI. Propose to start for Haunted Mountains.--Olenda
  says it can not be done.--At last I leave Olenda Village.--A
  Tornado.--We are Lost.--We fight a Gorilla.--We kill a
  Leopard.--Return to Olenda.                                      203

  CHAPTER XXVII. Departure for the Apingi Country.--The Ovigui
  River.--Dangerous Bridge to Cross.--How the Bridge was
  built.--Glad to escape Drowning.--On the Way.--Reach the
  Oloumy.                                                          217

  CHAPTER XXVIII. A Gorilla.--How he attacked me.--I kill
  him.--Minsho tells a Story of two Gorillas fighting.--We
  meet King Remandji.--I fall into an Elephant-pit.--Reach
  Apingi Land.                                                     226

  CHAPTER XXIX. First Day in Apingi Land.--I fire a Gun.--The
  Natives are Frightened.--I give the King a Waistcoat.--He
  wears it.--The Sapadi People.--The Music-box.--I must make
  a Mountain of Beads.                                             238

  CHAPTER XXX. A large Fleet of Canoes.--We ascend the
  River.--The King paddles my Canoe.--Agobi's Village.--We
  upset.--The King is furious.--Okabi, the Charmer.--I read
  the Bible.--The People are afraid.                               246

  CHAPTER XXXI. A great Crowd of Strangers.--I am made a
  King.--I remain in my Kingdom.--Good-by to the Young Folks.      258



ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                         PAGE
    SHOOTING A LEOPARD        _Frontispiece._
    THE ROYAL CANOE                        15
    THE MANGA                              25
    THE MPANO                              29
    FELLING EBONY-TREES                    31
    BRINGING IN THE WOUNDED                43
    WATCHING BIRDS AND MONKEYS             57
    SHOOTING THE NEW ANTELOPE              66
    QUERLAOUEN AND HIS IDOL                78
    CAUGHT BY JACK                         82
    GORILLA SLEEPING                       85
    CATCHING THE OGOMBONS                  90
    BIT BY A SPIDER                        99
    DEATH OF THE BULL ELEPHANT            111
    GUANIONIEN CARRYING OFF A MONDI       122
    GAMBO'S FRIEND KILLED BY A GORILLA    133
    BIDDING GOOD-BY TO QUENGUEZA          147
    "CHALLY, CHALLY, DO NOT LET ME DIE"   155
    THE SONGS TO ILOGO                    163
    GIVING BEADS TO QUERLAOUEN'S WIFE     173
    GOING TO ASHIRA LAND                  177
    RECEPTION OF THE KING OF THE ASHIRAS  186
    THE KENDO                             189
    DRINKING PLANTAIN BEER                193
    ATTACK ON THE WILD BOARS              201
    AN ASHIRA IDOL                        202
    CROSSING THE OVIGUI RIVER             222
    THE ELEPHANT-TRAP                     233
    THE MUSIC-BOX                         243
    OKABI AND THE LEOPARD                 252
    MY HOUSEKEEPER                        256



LOST IN THE JUNGLE.



CHAPTER I.

     PAUL'S LETTER TO HIS YOUNG FRIENDS, IN WHICH HE PREPARES THEM
     FOR BEING "LOST IN THE JUNGLE."


My dear Young Folks,--In the first book which I wrote for you, we
traveled together through the Gorilla Country, and saw not only the
gigantic apes, but also the cannibal tribes which eat men.

In the second book we continued our hunting, and met leopards,
elephants, hippopotami, wild boars, great serpents, etc., etc. We were
stung and chased by the fierce Bashikouay ants, and plagued by flies.

Last spring, your friend Paul, not satisfied with writing for young
folks, took it into his head to lecture before them. When I mentioned
the subject to my acquaintances, many of them laughed at the notion of
my lecturing to you, and a few remarked, "This is another of your queer
notions." I did not see it!!! I thought I would try.

Thousands of young folks came to your friend Paul's lectures in Boston,
Brooklyn, and New York; not only did my young friends come, but a great
many old folks were also seen among them.

The intelligent, eager faces of his young hearers, their sparkling eyes,
spoke to him more eloquently than words could do, and told him that he
had done well to go into the great jungle of Equatorial Africa, and that
they liked to hear what he had done and what he had seen.

When he asked the girls and boys of New York if he should write more
books for them, the tremendous cheers and hurrahs they gave him in reply
told him that he had better go to work.

When, at the end of his third lecture, he made his appearance in the old
clothes he had worn in Africa, and said he would be happy to shake hands
with his young hearers, the rush then made assured him that they were
his friends. Oh! how your hearty hand-shaking gladdened the heart of
your friend Paul; he felt so happy as your small hands passed in and out
of his!

Before writing this new volume, I went to my good and esteemed friends,
my publishers in Franklin Square, and asked them what they thought of a
new book for Young Folks.

"Certainly," they said; "by all means, Friend Paul. Write a new book,
for STORIES OF THE GORILLA COUNTRY and WILD LIFE UNDER THE EQUATOR are
in great demand."

I immediately took hold of my old journals, removed the African dust
from them, and went to work, and now we are going to be LOST IN THE
JUNGLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are countries and savages with which you have been made
acquainted in the two preceding volumes of which you will hear no more.
Miengai, Ngolai, and Makinda are not to lead us through a country of
cannibals. Aboko will slay no more elephants with me. Fasiko and
Niamkala are to be left in their own country, and to many a great chief
we have said good-by forever.

If we have left good friends and tribes of savage men, we will go into
new countries and among other strange people. We shall have lots of
adventures; we will slay more wild beasts, and will have, fierce
encounters with them, and some pretty narrow escapes. We will have some
very hard times when "lost in the jungle;" we will be hungry and
starving for many a day; we will see how curiously certain tribes live,
what they eat and drink, how they build, and what they worship; and,
before the end of our wanderings, you will see your friend Paul made
KING over a strange people! It makes him laugh even now when he thinks
of it.

I am sure we will not always like our life in the woods, but I hope,
nevertheless, that you will not be sorry to have gone with me in the
strange countries where I am now to lead you.

Let us get ready to start. Let us prepare our rifles, guns, and
revolvers, and take with us a large quantity of shoes, quinine, powder,
bullets, shot, and lots of beads and other things to make presents to
the kings and people we shall meet. Oh dear, what loads! and every thing
has to be carried on the backs of men! I shudder when I think of the
trouble; but never mind; we shall get through our trials, sickness, and
dangers safely. _En avant!_ that is to say, forward!



CHAPTER II.

     A QUEER CANOE.--ON THE REMBO.--WE REACH THE NIEMBOUAI.--A
     DESERTED VILLAGE.--GAZELLE ATTACKED BY A SNAKE.--ETIA WOUNDED
     BY A GORILLA.


The sun is hot; it is midday. The flies are plaguing us; the boco, the
nchouna, the ibolai are hard at work, and the question is, which of
these three flies will bite us the hardest; they feel lively, for they
like this kind of weather, and they swarm round our canoes.

I wish you could have seen the magnificent canoes we had; they were made
of single trunks of huge trees. We had left the village of Goumbi, where
my good friend Quengueza, of whom I have spoken before, and the best
friend I had in Africa, reigned.

Our canoes were paddling against the current of the narrow and deep
River Rembo. You may well ask yourselves where is the place for which I
am bound. If you had seen us you might have thought we were going to
make war, for the canoes were full of men who were covered with all
their war fetiches; their faces were painted, and they were loaded with
implements of war. The drums beat furiously, and the paddlers, as we
ascended, were singing war-songs, and at times they would sing praises
in honor of their king, saying that Quengueza was above all kings.

Quengueza and I were in the royal canoe, a superb piece of wood over
sixty feet long, the prow being an imitation of an immense crocodile's
head, whose jaws were wide open, showing its big, sharp, pointed teeth.
This was emblematic, and meant that it would swallow all the enemies of
the king. In our canoe there were more than sixty paddlers. At the stern
was seated old Quengueza, the queen, who held an umbrella over the head
of his majesty, and myself, and seated back of us all was Adouma, the
king's nephew, who was armed with an immense paddle, by which he guided
the canoe.

[Illustration: THE ROYAL CANOE.]

How warm it was! Every few minutes I dipped my old Panama hat, which was
full of green leaves, into the water, and also my umbrella, for, I tell
you, the sun seemed almost as hot as fire. The bodies of the poor
paddlers were shining with the oil that exuded from their skin.

If you had closely inspected our canoes you would have seen a great
number of axes; also queer-looking harpoons, the use of which you might
well be curious about. We were bound for a river or creek called the
Niembouai, and on what I may call an African picnic; that is to say, we
were going to build a camp on the banks of that river, and then we were
to hunt wild beasts of the forest, but, above all, we were to try to
harpoon an enormous creature called by the natives _manga_, a huge thing
living in fresh water, and which one might imagine to be a kind of
_whale_.

The distance from Goumbi to Niembouai was about fifteen miles. After
three hours' paddling against a strong current we reached the Niembouai
River. As we entered this stream the strong current ceased; the water
became sluggish, and seemed to expand into a kind of lake, covered in
many places with a queer kind of long tufted reed. For miles round the
country looked entirely desolate. Now and then a flock of pelicans were
seen swimming, and a long-legged crane was looking on the shore for
fish.

At the mouth of the Niembouai, on a high hill, stood an abandoned
Bakalai village called Akaka; the chief, whom I had known, was dead, and
the people had fled for fear of the evil spirits. Nothing was left of
the village but a few plantain-trees; the walls of the huts had all
tumbled down.

How dreary all seemed for miles round Akaka. The lands were overflowed,
and, as I have said before, were covered with reeds. Far off against the
sky, toward the east-northeast, towered high mountain peaks, which I
hoped to explore. They rose blue against the sky, and seemed, as I
looked at them through my telescope, to be covered with vegetation to
their very tops. These mountains were the home of wild men and still
wilder beasts. I thought at once how nice it would be for me to plant
the Stars and Stripes on the highest mountains there.

As we advanced farther up the river the mountains were lost sight of,
and still we paddled up the Niembouai. Canoe after canoe closed upon us,
until at last the whole fleet of King Quengueza were abreast of the
royal canoe, when I fired a gun, which was responded to by a terrific
yell from all the men.

Then Quengueza, with a loud voice, gave the order to make for a spot to
which he pointed, where we were to land and build our camp. Soon
afterward we reached the place, and found the land dry, covered with
huge trees to protect us from the intense heat of the sun, from the
heavy dews of night, and from slight showers.

The men all scattered into the forest, some to cut long poles and short
sticks for our beds; others went to collect palm-leaves to make a kind
of matting to be used as roofing. The first thing to be done was for the
people to make a nice olako for their king and myself.

Our shelter was hardly finished when a terrible rainstorm burst upon us,
preceded by a most terrific tornado, for we were in the month of March.
By sunset the storm was all over; it cooled the air deliciously, for the
heat had been intense. At noon, under the shade of my umbrella while in
the canoe, the thermometer showed 119° Fahrenheit.

We had brought lots of food, and many women had accompanied us, who were
to fish, and were also to cook for the people. The harpoons were well
taken care of, for we fully expected to harpoon a few of the _mangas_.

The manga canoes were to arrive during the night, for the canoes we had
were not fit for the capture of such large game.

In the evening old Quengueza was seated by the side of a bright fire;
the good old man seemed quite happy. He had brought with him a jug of
palm wine, from which he took a drink from time to time, until he began
to feel the effects of the beverage, and became somewhat jolly. His
subjects were clustered in groups around several huge fires, which
blazed so brightly that the whole forest seemed to be lighted by them.

I put my two mats on my bed of leaves, hung my musquito nets as a
protection against the swarms of musquitoes, then laid myself down under
it with one of my guns at my side, placed my revolvers under my head,
and bid good-night to Quengueza.

I did not intend to go right to sleep, but wished to listen to the talk
of the people. The prospect of having plenty of meat to eat appeared to
make them merry, and after each one had told his neighbor how much he
could eat if he had it, and that he could eat more manga than any other
man that he knew, the subject of food was exhausted. Then came stories
of adventures with savage beasts and with ghosts.

We had in company many great men. The chief of them all was good old
Quengueza, formerly a great warrior. After the king came Rapero
Ouendogo, Azisha Olenga, Adouma, Rakenga Rikati Kombe, and Wombi--all
men of courage and daring, belonging to the Abouya, a clan of warriors
and hunters.

We had slaves also; among them many belonged to the king--slaves that
loved him, and whose courage was as great as that of any man belonging
to the tribe. Among them was Etia, the mighty and great slayer of
gorillas and elephants. Etia provided game for Quengueza's table; he was
one of the beloved slaves of the king, and he was also a great friend of
mine. We were, indeed, old friends, for we had hunted a good deal
together.

On a sudden all merriment stopped, for Ouendogo had shouted "let Etia
tell us some of his hunting adventures." This order was received with a
tremendous cheer, and Etia was placed in the centre. How eager were the
eyes and looks of those who knew the story-telling gift of their friend
Etia, who began thus: "Years ago, I remember it as well as if it were
but yesterday, I was in a great forest at the foot of a high hill,
through which a little stream was murmuring; the jungle was dense, so
much so that I could hardly see a few steps ahead of me; I was walking
carefully along, very carefully, for I was hunting after the gorilla,
and I had already met with the footprints of a huge one. I looked on the
right, on the left, and ahead of me, and I wished I had had four eyes,
that is, two more eyes on the back of my head, for I was afraid that a
great gorilla might spring upon me from behind."

We all got so impatient to hear the story that we shouted all at once,
"Go on, Etia, go on. What did you see in the bush? Tell us quick." But
Etia was not to be hurried faster than he chose. After a short pause, he
continued: "I do not know why, but a feeling of fear crept over me. I
had a presentiment that something queer was going to happen. I stood
still and looked all round me.

"Suddenly I spied a huge python coiled round a tree near to a little
brook. The serpent was perfectly quiet. His huge body was coiled several
times round the tree close to the ground, and there he was waiting for
animals to come and drink. It was the dry season, and water was very
scarce, and many animals came to that spring to drink. I can see, even
to this day, its glittering eyes. Its color was almost identical with
that of the bark of the tree. I immediately lay down behind another
tree, for I had come also in search of game, and I could do nothing
better than wait for the beasts to come there and drink.

"Ere long I spied a ncheri 'gazelle' coming; she approached unsuspicious
of any danger. Just as she was in the act of drinking, the snake sprang
upon the little beast and coiled himself round it. For a short time
there was a desperate struggle; the folds of the snake became tighter
and tighter round the body of the poor animal. I could see how slowly,
but how surely the snake was squeezing its prey to death. A few
smothered cries, and all was over; the animal was dead. Then the snake
left the tree and began to swallow the gazelle, commencing at the head.
It crushed the animal more and more in its folds. I could hear the bones
crack, and I could see the animal gradually disappearing down the throat
of the snake."

"Why did you not, Etia, kill the snake at once?" shouted one man, "and
then you would have had the ncheri for your dinner?" "Wait," replied
Etia.

"After I had watched the snake for a short time, I took my cutlass and
cut the big creature to pieces. That night I slept near the spot. I
lighted a big fire, cooked a piece of the snake for my meal, and went to
sleep.

"The next morning I started early, and went off to hunt. I had not been
long in the forest before I heard a noise; it was a gorilla. I
immediately got my gun ready, and moved forward to meet him. I crept
through the jungle flat on 'my belly,' and soon I could see the great
beast tearing down the lower branches of a tree loaded with fruit.
Suddenly he stopped, and I shouted to him, 'Kombo (male gorilla), come
here! come here!' He turned round and gave a terrific yell or roar, his
fierce, glaring eyes looked toward me, he raised his big long arms as if
to lay hold of me, and then advanced. We were very near, for I had
approached quite close before I shouted my defiance to him.

"When he was almost touching me, I leveled my gun--that gun which my
father, King Quengueza, had given me--that gun for which I have made a
fetich, and which never misses an animal--then I fired. The big beast
tottered, and, as it fell, one of his big hands got hold of one of my
legs; his big, thick, huge fingers, as he gave his death-gasp,
contracted themselves; I gave a great cry of pain, and, seizing my
battle-axe, I dealt a fearful stroke and broke its arm just above the
joint. But his fingers and nails had gone deep into my flesh, which it
lacerated and tore."

Etia pointed to his leg, and continued: "I have never gotten over it to
this day, though it is so long ago that very few of you that are here
to-night were born then. I began to bleed and bleed, and feared that the
bone of my leg was broken. I left the body of the gorilla in the woods,
but took its head with me, and that head I have still in my plantation;
and at times," added Etia, "its jaws open during the night, and it roars
and says, 'Etia, why have you killed me?' I am sure that gorilla had
been a man before. That is the reason I am lame to this day. I succeeded
in reaching my pindi (plantation), and my wife took care of me; but from
that day I have hated gorillas, and I have vowed that I would kill as
many of them as I could."

The story of Etia had the effect of awakening every one. They all
shouted that Etia is a great hunter, that Etia had been bewitched before
he started that time, and that if it had not been for Etia having a
powerful monda (fetich), he would have been killed by the gorilla.

Our story-telling was interrupted by the arrival of canoes, just built
for the fishing of the manga. These canoes were unlike other canoes;
they were flat-bottomed, as flat as a board; the sides were straight,
and both ends were sharp-pointed, and, when loaded, with two men, did
not draw in the water, I am sure, half an inch. They glided over the
water, causing scarcely a ripple. There was no seat, and a man had to
paddle standing up, the paddle being almost as long as a man. These
canoes were about twenty-five feet long, and from eighteen to twenty
inches broad. In them were several queer kinds of harpoons, which were
to be used in capturing the mangas.



CHAPTER III.

     HARPOONING A MANGA.--A GREAT PRIZE.--OUR CANOE
     CAPSIZED.--DESCRIPTION OF THE MANGA.--RETURN TO CAMP.


The next morning, very early, if you had been on the banks of the
Niembouai, you would have seen me on one of those long flat-bottomed
canoes which I have described to you, and in it you would likewise have
seen two long manga harpoons.

A man by the name of Ratenou, who had the reputation of being one of the
best manga harpooners, and of knowing where they were to be found, was
with me. He was covered with fetiches, and had in a pot a large quantity
of leaves of a certain shrub, which had been mashed with water and then
dried. This mixture, when scattered on the water, is said to attract the
manga.

When we left the shore, being less of an expert than Ratenou, and not
being able to stand up so easily as he did, I seated myself at the
bottom of the canoe. Ratenou recommended me not to move at all, and
while he paddled I could not even hear the dip of his paddle in the
water, so gently did our boat glide along.

We crossed the Niembouai to the opposite shore, where we lay by among
the reeds. By that time the twilight had just made its appearance, and
you know the twilight is of short duration under the equator; indeed,
there is hardly any at all.

Ratenou threw on the water, not far from where we lay in watch, some of
the green stuff he had in the pot, and we had not waited long before I
saw, coming along the surface of the water, a huge beast, which gave two
or three puffs and then disappeared. My man watched intently, and in the
mean time moved the canoe toward the spot. We came from behind, so that
the animal could not see us, and, just as the manga came to the surface
of the water once more, and gave three gentle puffs, Ratenou sent the
harpoon with tremendous force into his body. The huge creature, with a
furious dash and jerk at the line, made for the bottom of the river.
Ratenou let the line slip, but held back as much as he dared, in order
thus to increase the pain inflicted on the beast. The suspense and
excitement were great. The animal dashed down to the bottom with
impetuous haste, but the harpoon was fast in him, and held him. We
watched the rope going out with the utmost anxiety. The harpoon has
hardly struck the manga when our canoe goes with fearful rapidity. The
native's rope proved too short; there was not enough of it to let it go.
Every moment I fully expected to upset, and did not relish the idea at
all. Finally the rope slackened; the manga was getting exhausted. At
last no strain was observable; the beast was dead. Without apparently
much effort, the line was hauled in, and presently I saw the huge beast
alongside the canoe.

"Let us upset the canoe," said Ratenou.

"What!" said I.

"Let us upset the canoe." The good fellow, who was not overloaded with
clothes, thought that to be an easy task; but I did not look at the
proposal quite in the same light; so I said, "Ratenou, let us paddle the
canoe to the shore, and I will get out." It was hardly said before it
was done. I landed, and then the huge manga was tied to the canoe, the
latter was capsized over its back, and then we turned it over again.

This was a big prize, for there is no meat so much thought of among the
savages as that of the manga. We immediately made for the camp, and were
received with uproarious cheers.

The canoe was upset once more, and the big freshwater monster was
dragged ashore. It was hard work, for the huge beast must have weighed
from fifteen to eighteen hundred pounds.

[Illustration: THE MANGA.]

What a queer-looking thing it was! The manga is a new species of
manatee. Its body is of a dark lead-color; the skin is very thick and
smooth, and covered in all parts with single bristly hairs, from half an
inch to an inch in length; but the hairs are at a distance from each
other, so that the skin appears almost smooth. The eyes are small--very
small; it has a queer-looking head, the upper and lower parts of the
lips having very hard and bristly hair.

The manga is unlike the whale in this, that it has two paddles, which
are used as hands; and, when the flesh or skin is removed, the skeleton
of the paddles looks very much like the bony frame of a hand. I have
named this curious species after my most esteemed friend, Professor
Owen, of London, _Manatus Oweni_.

The skin of the manga, when dried, is of a most beautiful amber color;
the nearer the middle of the back, the more beautiful and intense the
yellow. The skin is there more than one inch in thickness. When fresh it
has a milky color, but when it dries, and the water goes off, it turns
yellow. That part of the back is carefully cut in strips by the natives,
who make whips with it, just in the same way as they do with the
hippopotamus hide, and these whips are used extensively on the backs of
their wives.

The large, broad tail, which is shown in the engraving, is used by them
as a rudder, while their hands are used as paddles. These hands, unlike
those of seals, have no claws or nails. This manga was eleven feet long,
and the body looked quite huge.

Mangas feed entirely on grass and the leaves of trees, the branches of
which fall into the water; they feed, also, on the grass found at the
bottom of the rivers.

In looking at such curious shaped things, I could not help thinking what
queer animals were found on our globe.

The doctor was greatly rejoiced at our success. Then came the ceremony
of cutting up the beast; but, before commencing, Ratenou, the manga
doctor, went through some ceremony round the carcase which he did not
want any one to see. After a little he began to cut up the meat.

It was very fat; on the stomach the fat must have been about two inches
thick. The lean meat was white, with a reddish tinge, and looked very
nice. It is delicious, something like pork, but finer grained and of
sweeter flavor. It must be smoked for a few days in order to have it in
perfection.

We cut the body into pieces of about half a pound each, and put them on
the oralas and smoked Master Manga. The fragrance filled our camp.

The manga belongs to the small but singular group of animals classed as
SIRENIA.

I have often watched these manga feeding on the leaves of trees, the
branches of which hung close to the water. The manga's head only shows
above the water. When thus seen, the manga bears a curious resemblance
to a human being. They never go ashore, and do not crawl even partly out
of the water. They must sometimes weigh as much as two to three thousand
pounds.



CHAPTER IV.

     WE GO INTO THE FOREST.--HUNT FOR EBONY-TREES.--THE
     FISH-EAGLES.--CAPTURE OF A YOUNG EAGLE.--IMPENDING FIGHT WITH
     THEM.--FEARFUL ROARS OF GORILLAS.--GORILLAS BREAKING DOWN
     TREES.


Several weeks have passed since we left the Niembouai. I have been alone
with my three great hunters, Querlaouen, Gambo, and Malaouen. We are
sworn friends; we have resolved to live in the woods and to wander
through them. Several times since we left our manga-fishing we have been
"lost in the jungle."

We have had some very hard times, but splendid hunting; and on the
evening of that day of which I speak, we were quietly seated somewhere
near the left bank of the River Ovenga, by the side of a bright fire,
and, at the same time my men enjoyed their smoke, we talked over the
future prospects of our life in the forest.

That evening I said, "Boys, let us go into the forest and look for
ebony-trees; I want to find them; I must take some of that wood with me
when I go back to the land of 'the spirits.'" Malouen, Gambo, and
Querlaouen shouted at once, "Let us go in search of the ebony-tree; let
us choose a spot where we shall be able to find game." For I must tell
you that good eating was one of the weak points of my three friends.

The ebony-tree is scattered through the forest in clusters. It is one
of the finest and most-graceful among the many lovely trees that adorn
the African forest. Its leaves are long, sharp-pointed, and of a dark
green color. Its bark is smooth, and also a dark green. The trunk rises
straight as an arrow. Queer to say, the ebony-tree, when old, becomes
hollow, and even some of its branches are hollow. Next to the bark is a
white "sap-wood." Generally that sap-wood is three or four inches thick;
so, unless one knows the tree by the bark, the first few blows of an axe
would not reveal to him the dark, black wood found inside. Young
ebony-trees of two feet diameter are often perfectly white; then, as the
tree grows bigger, the black part is streaked with the white, and as the
tree matures, the black predominates, and eventually takes the place of
the white. The wood of the ebony-tree is very hard; the grain short and
very brittle.

[Illustration]

You can see that it is no slight work to cut down such big trees with
the small axes we had, such as represented in the accompanying drawing.
I show you, also, the drawing of a mpano, which is the instrument used
in hollowing out the trunks of trees to make canoes.

After wandering for some hours we found several ebony-trees. How
beautiful they were, and how graceful was the shape of their
sharp-pointed leaves! These trees were not very far from the river, or I
should rather say from a creek which fell into the Ovenga River, so that
it would not be difficult to carry our ebony logs to the banks and there
load them on canoes.

We immediately went to work and built a nice camp. We had with us two
boys, Njali and Nola, who had been sent with a canoe laden with
provisions from one of Querlaouen's plantations, and which his wife had
forwarded to us. Some bunches of plantains were of enormous size. There
were two bunches of bananas for me, and sundry baskets of cassava and
peanuts. There was also a little parcel of dried fish, which
Querlaouen's wife had sent specially to her friend Chally.

We set to work, and soon succeeded in felling two ebony-trees. We
arranged to go hunting in the morning, and cut the wood into billets in
the afternoon. As we were not in a hurry, and it was rather hard work,
we determined to take our time.

By the side of our camp we had a beautiful little stream, where we
obtained our drinking water, and a little below that spot there was a
charming place where we could take a bath.

Not far from our camp there was a creek called Eliva Mono (the Mullet's
Creek), so named on account of the great number of mullets which at a
certain season of the year come there to spawn. Besides the mono, the
creek contained great numbers of a fish called condo. Large and tall
trees grew on the banks of the creek.

[Illustration: FELLING EBONY-TREES.]

This creek was at that time of the year a resort for the large
fish-eagles. These birds could look down from the tops of the high
trees, on which they perched, upon the water below, and watch for their
finny prey.

The waters of the creek were so quiet that half the time not a ripple
could be seen on them. High up on some of the trees could be seen the
nests belonging to these birds of prey.

There were several eagles, and they belonged to two different species.
One was called by the natives _coungou_, and was known all over the
country, for it is found as far as the sea. Its body was white, and of
the size of a fowl, and it had black wings, the spread of which was very
great, and the birds were armed with thick and strong talons. The
females were of a gray color.

Another eagle was also found on the creek. It was a larger bird, of dark
color, and called by the natives the compagnondo (_Tephrodornis
ocreatus_). The shrill cries of this bird could be heard at a great
distance, sounding strangely in the midst of the great solitude. Both
these eagles feed on fish, and two of the coungous had their nest on the
top of a very high tree, and in that nest there were young ones. The
nest was built, like most of the fish-eagles' nests, with sticks of
trees, and occupied a space of several feet in diameter. When once the
nest is built it is occupied a good number of years in succession. It is
generally placed between the forks of the branches, and can be seen at a
great distance. Each year the nest requires repairs, which both the male
and female birds attend to. These coungous seemed very much attached to
each other. After one of a pair had been shot, I would hear the solitary
one calling for its mate, and it would remain day after day near the
spot, and at last would either take another mate or fly off to another
country. When a pair of coungous, male and female, were killed, then the
next year another couple would take possession of their nest.

I often watched the coungous' nest. They were always on the look-out
for fish. Now and then they would dive and seize a fine mullet, which
they would carry up to their young and feed them. How quick they were in
their motion! Sometimes one would catch a fish so big and heavy that it
seemed hardly strong enough to rise in the air with it. The natives say
that sometimes the eagles are carried under the water when they have
caught a fish too big for their strength, and from whose body they can
not extricate their firmly-fixed talons before the fish dives to the
bottom.

When the old birds approached the nest with food the young ones became
very noisy, evincing their impatience for the treat of fresh fish, with
which the parents sometimes hovered over the nest as if desirous of
tantalizing their appetite.

One day I took it into my head to have the tree cut down, so that I
could examine the nest. The old birds were greatly excited, for they saw
that something was wrong. At last the tree fell with a great crash. I
immediately made for the nest, and I can not tell you what a stench
arose from it; it was fearful. Remnants of decayed fish and many other
kinds of offal made a smell which it was surprising the young eagles
could endure. In the mean time the young ones had tumbled out of the
nest, and while we were looking for them, and just after I had captured
one, the parents came swooping down. Goodness! I thought I was going to
be attacked by them, for they hovered round, sometimes coming quite
close to me; once or twice I thought my hat at least would be carried
off. Becoming worried, I raised my gun and fired, and killed the male;
then the female got frightened and flew away. The young were covered
with gray down. They must certainly possess very limited powers of
smell, for I can not see how any living thing could exist in the midst
of such odors.

On one of my excursions up the creek I discovered another coungou nest,
and, as it was not built in a very high tree, I determined to examine
its economy. So, with pretty hard work, I climbed up another tree, from
whence, with the aid of my field-telescope, I could watch all that went
on in the nest, which contained two young eagles. During the first few
days the old birds would feed their young by tearing the flesh of the
fish with their beaks, while their talons held it fast. When the
coungous are young, the male and female have the same gray plumage,
which in the male turns white and black when old.

One fine afternoon I left the camp all alone, Gambo, Malaouen, and
Querlaouen being fast asleep. Before I knew it, I found myself far away,
for I had been thinking of home and of friends, and, walking in a good
hunting path, I had gone farther than I thought, and time had fled
pleasantly. I carried on my shoulder a double-barrel, smooth-bore gun,
intending to take a short walk in the woods. When I looked at my watch,
it was 2 o'clock! I had been gone three hours. Just as I was ready to
turn back, I thought I heard distant thunder. I listened attentively,
and I perceived that the noise was not thunder, but the terrific roar of
a gorilla at some distance. Though it was getting late, I thought I
would go in that direction; so I took out the small shot with which one
of the barrels of my gun was loaded, and put in a heavy bullet instead.
My revolvers were in the belt round my waist, and had been loaded that
very morning. As I approached the spot where the beast was, the more
awful sounded the roar, till at last the whole forest re-echoed with the
din, and appeared to shake with the tremendous voice of the animal. It
was awful; it was appalling to hear. What lungs the monster had, to
enable him to emit so deep and awe-inspiring a noise. The other
inhabitants of the forest seemed to be silent; the few birds that were
in it had stopped their warbling. Suddenly I heard a crash--two crashes.
The animal was in the act of breaking the limbs of trees. Then the noise
of the breaking of trees ceased, and the roar of the monster
recommenced. This time it was answered by a weaker roar. The echoes
swelled and died away from hill to hill, and the whole forest was filled
with the din. The man gorilla and his wife were talking together: they
no doubt understood each other, but I could not hear any articulate
sound. I stopped and examined my gun. Just as I got ready to enter the
jungle from the hunting-path to go after the male gorilla, the roaring
ceased. I waited for its renewal, but the silence of the forest was no
more to be disturbed that day.

After waiting half an hour I hurried back toward the camp. I walked as
fast as I could, for I was afraid that darkness would overtake me. Six
o'clock found me in the woods; the sun had just set, and the short
twilight of the equator which followed the setting of the sun warned me
to hurry faster than ever if I wanted to reach the camp. Hark! I hear
voices. What can these voices be, those of friends or enemies? I moved
from the hunting-path and ascended an adjacent tree, but soon I heard
voices that I recognized as those of Malaouen and Querlaouen shouting
"Moguizi, where are you? Moguizi, where are you?" I responded "I am
coming! I am coming!" and soon after they gave a tremendous hurrah; we
had met.

We soon reached the camp, and I rested my weary limbs by the side of a
blazing fire and dried my clothes, which were quite wet, for I had
crossed several little streams.



CHAPTER V.

     LOST.--QUERLAOUEN SAYS WE ARE BEWITCHED.--MONKEYS AND
     PARROTS.--A DESERTED VILLAGE.--STRANGE SCENE BEFORE AN
     IDOL.--BRINGING IN THE WOUNDED.--AN INVOCATION.


We soon after left the left bank of the Ovenga and crossed over to the
other side, but not before having carefully stored under shelter the
billets of ebony-wood we had taken so much pains to cut, and which I
wanted to take home with me.

The country where we now were was very wild, and seemed entirely
uninhabited. At any rate, we did not know of any people or village for
miles round.

After wandering for many, many days through the forest, we came suddenly
on a path. Immediately Querlaouen, Gambo, Malaouen, and I held a great
council, and, in order not to be heard in case some one might pass, we
went back half a mile farther from the path in the forest. Then we
seated ourselves, and began to speak in a low voice.

Querlaouen spoke first, and said that he did not know the country, and
could not tell what we had better do, except that every one should have
his gun ready, and his powder and bullets handy, his eyes wide open, and
his ears ready to catch even the sound of a falling leaf or the
footsteps of a gazelle.

Gambo said Querlaouen was right.

Then Malouen rose and said: "For days we have been in these woods, and
we have seen no living being, no path; we have fed on wild honey, on
berries, nuts, and fruits, and to-day we have at last come upon a path.
We know that the path has been made by some people or other. It is true
we know that we are in the Ashankolo Mountains; that the tribe of
Bakalai, living there, are a fighting people; but," he said, "he thought
it was better to go back and follow the path until we came to the place
where the people lived."

Querlaouen got up and said: "We have been lost in this forest, and,
though we look all round us, there is not a tree we recognize; the
little streams we pass we know not. The ant-hills we have seen are not
the same as those in our own country. The large stones are not of the
shape of the stones we are accustomed to look upon. We must have been
bewitched before we left the village."

This suggestion of friend Querlaouen was received by a cheer from my two
other fellows, I being the only one that did not believe in what he
said.

"For," continued he, "this has never happened to us before. Yes,
somebody wants to bewitch us."

While he thus talked, his gentle and amiable face assumed a fierce
expression, and the other two said "Yes, somebody wants to bewitch us;
but he had better look out, for surely he will die."

At last I said, "Let us get back to the path, and follow it; perhaps we
will meet some strange adventure."

Just as we rose to move on we heard the chatter of monkeys, and we made
for the spot whence the sound proceeded, in the hope that we might kill
one or two. Carefully we went through the jungle, the prospect of
killing a monkey filling our hearts with joy; for we could already, in
anticipation, see a bright fire blazing, and some part of a monkey
boiling in the little iron pot we carried with us; for myself, I
imagined a nice piece roasting on a bright charcoal fire.

At last we came to the foot of a very high tree, and, raising our heads,
we could see several monkeys. The tree was so tremendously high that the
monkeys hardly appeared larger than squirrels. How could our small shot
reach the top of that tree, which was covered with red berries, upon
which the monkeys were quietly feeding? Although we could not reach
them, they were not to be left in undisturbed possession, for a large
flock of gray parrots, with red tails, flew round and round the tree,
screeching angry defiance at the monkeys, who had at first been hidden
by the thick leaves. The monkeys screamed back fierce menaces, running
out on the slender branches in vain endeavor to catch their feathered
opponents, who would fly off, only to return with still more angry
cries. Both parrots and monkeys being out of reach of our guns, we were
obliged to leave them to settle the right of possession to the rich red
fruit.

How weary we were when we struck the path again! and, having first
passed a field of plantain-trees, we at last arrived at a village.

Not a living creature was to be seen in it. Not even a goat, a fowl, or
a dog, although we found several fires smouldering, from which the smoke
still ascended. We proceeded carefully, for we did not know what kind
of people inhabited this village. But I said, "Boys, let us go straight
through the place."

So we went on until we came to an ouandja (a building), where, in a dark
corner of a room, stood a huge image of an idol. Oh! how ugly it was. It
represented a woman with a wide-open mouth, through which protruded a
long, sharp-pointed iron tongue.

At the foot of the idol we found the skulls of all kinds of animals,
elephants, leopards, hyenas, monkeys, and squirrels--even of crocodiles;
and skins of snakes, intermingled with bunches of dry, queer-looking
leaves, the ashes of burnt bones, and the shells of huge land turtles.

How horribly strange the big idol looked in the corner! It made me
shudder.

The village was deserted, darkness was coming on, and the question now
was, What were we going to do? Should we sleep in that forlorn-looking
village or not? If we staid there the villagers might return when we
were asleep.

For some time we regarded each other in silence; then I said, "Boys, I
think we had better sleep in the forest, away from the path, but not far
from the village." Gambo, Malouen, and Querlaouen shouted with one
voice, "That is so. Let us sleep in the forest, for this village seems
to us full of aniemba (witchcraft)."

So we returned to the jungle, and collected large leaves to be used for
roofing a hut which was quickly built with limbs from dead trees that
lay scattered about, yielding also a plentiful supply of wood for a
rousing fire. When every thing was ready, I pulled my matchbox from my
bag and lighted our fire.

Night came, and all life seemed to go to rest. Now and then I could hear
the cry of some wild night animal, which had left his lair in search of
prey, and was calling for its mate.

Before midnight we were aroused by the muttering of distant thunder; a
tornado was coming. The trees began to shake violently, the wind became
terrific; soon we heard the branches of trees breaking; then the trees
themselves began to fall, and with such a crash as to alarm us greatly.
Suddenly, not far from our hut, one of the big giant trees of the forest
came down with a fearful noise, and crushing in its mighty fall dozens
of other trees, one of them adjoining our camp. We got up in the twinkle
of an eye, frightened out of our wits, for we fancied the whole forest
was going to tumble down. The monkeys chattered; a terrific roar from a
gorilla resounded through the forest, mingling with the howls of hyenas.
Snakes, no doubt, were crawling about. Immediately after the falling of
the great tree near us we heard a novel and tremendous noise in the
jungle, coming from a herd of elephants fleeing in dismay, and breaking
down every thing in their path.

"Goodness gracious!" I shouted, in English, "what does all this mean?
Are we going to be buried alive in the forest?" The words were scarcely
out of my mouth when there came a blinding flash of lightning,
instantaneously followed by a peal of thunder like a volley from a
hundred cannon, that seemed to shake the very earth to its foundation;
and then the rain fell in torrents, and soon deluged the ground.
Happily, we knew what we were about when we built our fires, for we had
started them on the top of large logs of wood, so arranged that it
would have required more than a foot of water on the ground before it
could reach the fires and extinguish them. Then our leaves were so broad
and nicely arranged that they entirely protected us from the storm, and
our shelter was perfected by the branches of the great tree which, in
falling, had apparently threatened our destruction.

The terrible hubbub lasted some hours, the continued lightning and
thunder preventing sleep; but toward 4 o'clock in the morning the storm
ceased, and all again became quiet; only the dripping of the water from
the leaves could be heard; then we went to sleep, but not before having
arranged our fires in such a manner that we could go to rest in
comparative safety.

In the early morning, before dawn, and while we were only half awake, I
thought I heard the sound of a human voice. Listen! We all listened
attentively, and Gambo laid down with his ears to the ground, and then
he declared that he distinctly heard voices in the direction of the
village. There was no doubt--the people had returned.

"Let us go," said I, "and find out what kind of neighbors these are. We
have our guns and plenty of ammunition, so we need not fear them; but
let us act with caution."

This was agreed to. So, leaving our camp, we quietly crept near the
village, until we gained a spot from whence we could see all that was
going on. Men with lighted torches were entering the village, and four
of them bore what, to all appearances, was a dead body, which they
deposited before the huge idol, now moved out into the open street. The
gleam of the torches revealed to us that this prostrate body had been
pierced by many spears, part of which still remained in it.

[Illustration: BRINGING IN THE WOUNDED.]

Every man was armed to the teeth, but not a woman was visible. The scene
was strange and wild. Not a word was uttered after the body of the
wounded man had been laid on the ground. How strange and wild the men
looked by the lurid glare of their torches! Their bodies were painted
and covered with fetiches. Just back of the huts stood the tall trees,
whose branches moved to and fro in the wind. I could hear its whispers
as it passed through the foliage of the trees. The stars were shining
beautifully, and a few fleecy white clouds were floating above our
heads. I wish you could have seen us as we lay flat on the ground. Our
eyes must have been bright indeed as we looked on the wild scene; and
this I know, that our hearts were beating strongly as we lay close
together. If, perchance, one of us had been seized with a fit of
sneezing, or a fit of coughing, it might have been the end of us, for
the savages would have been alarmed, and, believing us to be enemies,
would at once have attacked us; so we had started on a rather risky
business. I had never thought of it before; it was always so with me at
that time. I thought of the danger after I was in it.

Soon another batch of men made their appearance, carrying another
wounded man, who appeared almost dead, and they laid him by the side of
the other, and then the women came in, carrying their babies and leading
their children.

There stood the huge idol looking grimly at the scene. How ugly it
seemed, with its copper eyes and wide-open mouth, which showed two rows
of sharp-pointed teeth! In one of its hands it held a sharp-pointed
knife, and in the other it held a bearded spear. It had a necklace of
leopards' teeth, and its hideous head was decorated with birds'
feathers. One side of its face was painted yellow, the other white; the
forehead was painted red, and a black stripe did duty for eyebrows. I
could not make out whether it represented a male or a female.

By its side stood the people, as silent as the idol itself.

At last a man came in front of the idol, and at once, by the language he
spoke in, we knew him to be a Bakalai.

"Mbuiti," he said, addressing the idol, "we have been to the war, and
now we have returned. There lie before thee two of our number; look at
them. You see the spear-wounds that have gone into their bodies. They
can not talk. When they were strong they went to the jungle and shot
game, and when they had killed it they always brought some to give thee;
many times they have brought to thee antelopes, wild boars, and other
wild beasts. They have brought thee sugar-cane, ground-nuts, plantains,
and bananas; they have given thee palm wine to drink. Oh, Mbuiti, do
thou heal them!" And all the people shouted "Do make them well." How
queer their voices resounded in the forest!

Suddenly all the torches were extinguished, and the village was again in
darkness. Not a voice was heard; complete silence followed. They were
evidently afraid of an attack, and retired quietly to their huts.

I was very glad that we had managed to see all this without having been
discovered; did not think it safe, however, to move away before giving
the villagers time to fall asleep, and then we realized new causes for
apprehension. It was not a very pleasant or safe thing to be out in this
jungle in the early morning before it was light. We might tread on a
snake, or lay hold of one folded among the lower branches of the trees
on which we laid our hands; or a wandering leopard might be prowling
round; and, as there certainly were gorillas in the neighborhood, we
might come on a tree which a female gorilla with a baby had climbed into
for the night, and then we should have the old fellow upon us showing
fight. I confess I did not care to fight gorillas in the dark. Again, a
party of Bashikouay might be encountered, when nothing would be left for
us but flight.

After our breakfast of nuts and berries, the question naturally arose,
Shall we go back to the strange village? "Certainly not," at once said
Querlaouen; "we do not know what kind of Bakalai they are."

When my turn to speak came, I said, "Boys, why not go and learn from
these people the causes which led to their affray, and at the same time
learn exactly in what part of the forest we are?"

For about a minute we were all silent. My three savages were thinking
about my proposal; then Malaouen said, "Chaillie, we had better not go.
Who knows? it may be that the wounded men we saw the people bringing
into the village were found speared in the path, and, if so, we might be
suspected of being the men who speared them. Then," said he, "what a
palaver we should get in! and there would be no other way for us to get
out of our troubles except by fighting. You know that the Bakalai here
fight well." We all gave our assent to Malaouen's wise talk, for I must
tell you, boys, my three men had good common sense, and many a time
have I listened to their counsels. "Besides, we have a good deal of
hunting to do," said Malaouen, "and we had better attend to it."

"Yes," we all said, with one voice. "Let us attend to our hunting. Let
us have a jolly good time in the woods, and kill as many gorillas,
elephants, leopards, antelopes, wild boars, and other wild beasts as we
can." It being settled we should not go back to the village, we all got
up, looked at our guns carefully, and plunged into the woods once more.

If you could have seen us, you would have said, What wild kind of chaps
these four fellows are! Indeed we did look wild. We did not mind it; our
hearts were bound together, we were such great friends. I am sure many
of you who read these pages would have been our friends also, if you had
been there.



CHAPTER VI.

     A WHITE GORILLA.--MEETING TWO GORILLAS.--THE FEMALE RUNS
     AWAY.--THE MAN GORILLA SHOWS FIGHT.--HE IS KILLED.--HIS IMMENSE
     HANDS AND FEET.--STRANGE STORY OF A LEOPARD AND A TURTLE.


Some time has elapsed since that strange night-scene I have described to
you in the preceding chapter. We had gone, as you are aware, into the
woods hunting for wild game. All I can say is, that I wish some of you
had been with us. We had a glorious time! lots of fun, and cleared that
part of the forest of the few wild beasts that were in it: one elephant,
one gorilla, three antelopes, two wild boars were killed, besides
smaller game, and some queer-looking birds. Once or twice we had pretty
narrow escapes.

I wish you had been with us to enjoy the thunder and lightning. It would
have given you an idea of the noise the thunder can make, and the
brightness a flash of lightning can attain; how heavy the rain can fall;
and a tornado would have shown you how strong the wind can blow. For the
thunder we hear and the rains that fall at home can not give us any
conception of what takes place in the mountainous and woody regions of
Equatorial Africa. After all, there is some enjoyment in being "lost in
the jungle" in the country in which I have taken you to travel with me.

Once more I am in sight of the Ovenga. For some time the people
inhabiting the banks of that river had whispered among themselves that a
white gorilla had been seen. At first the story of a white gorilla was
believed in by only a few, but at last the white gorilla's appearance
was the talk of every body. Gambo, Querlaouen, and Malaouen were firm
believers in it.

Both men and women would come back to their villages and assure the
people that they had had a glimpse of the creature. He looked so old he
could hardly walk. His hair was perfectly white, and he was terribly
wrinkled. He must have lived forever in the forest, and was, no doubt,
the great-grandfather of hundreds of gorillas. His wife must have died
long ago. He was a monster in size. Then old men said they remembered,
when they were boys, that a man disappeared from the village; perhaps he
had been caught by that very gorilla.

"How is it," said I to the people, "that I have never seen a white
gorilla?" They would answer, "There are white-headed men, so there are
white-haired gorillas. A white gorilla is not often to be seen, for when
he becomes so old that he turns white, he lives quite alone, and in a
part of the forest where people can not go, for the jungle is too thick
there. He seems to be too knowing, and keeps out of the way of the
hunting-path." "Of course," they would add, "its skin remains black."

Day after day we went through the forest to see if we could get a
glimpse of the white gorilla. We had been a whole week in quest of the
white gorilla, never camping twice in the same spot; often Malaouen and
Querlaouen declared that they would go and hunt alone, while Gambo and
I, with a boy we had with us, should choose our own course, always
appointing a certain place near a hunting-path where we could all meet
at sunset.

On the last day of the week, we had been on the hunt for several hours,
when we came upon tolerably fresh tracks of a gorilla; judging by the
immense footprints he had left on the ground, he must be a monster--a
tremendous big fellow. Was he a white gorilla or not? These tracks we
followed cautiously, and at last, in a densely-wooded and quite dark
ravine, we came suddenly upon two gorillas, a male and a female. The old
man gorilla was by the side of his wife, fondly regarding her. They had
no baby. How dark and horrid their intensely black faces appeared! I
watched them for a few minutes, for, thanks to the dense jungle in which
we were concealed, I was not perceived at once. But, on a sudden, the
female uttered a cry of alarm, and ran off before we could get a shot at
her, being lost to sight in a moment. We were not in a hurry to fire at
her. Of course the male must be killed first; it is ten times safer to
get him out of the way.

The male had no idea of running off. As soon as the female disappeared,
he gazed all round with his savage-looking eyes. He then rose slowly
from his haunches, and at once faced us, uttering a roar of rage at our
evidently untimely intrusion, coming as we had to disturb him and
frighten his wife, when they were quietly seated side by side. Gambo and
I were accompanied by the boy, who carried our provisions and an extra
gun, a double-barrel smooth bore. The boy fell to the rear of us, and we
stood side by side and awaited the advance of the hideous monster. In
the dim half-light of the ravine, his features working with rage; his
gloomy, treacherous, mischievous gray eyes; his rapidly-agitated and
frightful, satyr-like face, had a horrid look, enough to make one fancy
him really a spirit of the damned, a very devil. How his hair moved up
and down on the top of his head.

He advanced upon us by starts, as it is their fashion--as I have told
you in my other books--pausing to beat his fists upon his vast breast,
which gave out a dull, hollow sound, like some great base-drum with a
skin of oxhide. Then, showing his enormous teeth at the same time, he
made the forest ring with his short, tremendous, powerful bark, which he
followed by a roar, the refrain of which is singularly like the loud
muttering of thunder. The earth really shook under our feet--the noise
was frightful. I have heard lions' roars, but certainly the lion's roar
can not be compared with that of the gorilla.

We stood our ground for at least three long minutes--at least it seemed
so to me--the guns in our hands, before the great beast was near enough
for a safe shot. During this time I could not help thinking that I had
heard that a man had been killed only a few days before; and, as I
looked at the gorilla in front of me, I thought that if I missed the
beast, I would be killed also. So I said to myself, "Be careful, friend
Paul, for if you miss the fellow, he won't miss you." I realized the
horror of a poor fellow when, with empty gun, he stands before his
remorseless enemy, who, not with a sudden spring like the leopard, but
with a slow, vindictive look, comes to put him to death.

At last he stood before us at a distance of six yards. Once more he
paused, and Gambo and I raised our guns as he again began to roar and
beat his chest, and just as he took another step forward, we fired, and
down he tumbled, almost at our feet, upon his face--dead. But he was not
the _white gorilla_.

How glad I was. I saw at once that we had killed the very animal I
wanted. His height was five feet nine inches, measured to the tip of the
toes. His arms spread nine feet. His chest had a circumference of
sixty-two inches. His arms were of most prodigious muscular strength.
His hands, those terrible, claw-like weapons, almost like a man's,
having the same shaped nails, and with one blow of which he can tear out
the bowels of a man and break his ribs or arms, were of immense size. I
could understand how terrible a blow could be struck with such a hand,
moved by such an arm, all swollen into great bunches of muscular fibres.

When I took hold of his hands, I shall not say _in_ mine, for his were
so large that my hands looked like those of a baby by the side of his.
How cold his hands were, how callous, how thick and black the nails, as
black as his face and skin. What a huge foot he possessed! Where is the
giant that could show such prodigious feet?

We disemboweled the monster on the spot. Malouen and Querlaouen, who had
heard our guns, joined us, and we built a camp close by. My three
fellows were very fond of gorilla's meat, and they had a great treat.
The brain was carefully saved by them.

In the evening Gambo told us some stories, one of which, the last one, I
will relate to you. It relates to the leopard, and goes to prove that
this ferocious animal has no friend.


THE LEGEND OF CONIAMBIÉ.

Coniambié was a king, who made an orambo (a trap) in which a ncheri
(gazelle) was caught. After it had been caught, it cried and called for
its companion; then a ngivo (another gazelle) was caught. The ngivo
cried, and a wild boar came and was caught; then an antelope came, and
was caught; afterward a bongo and a buffalo came, and all were caught,
and all of them died in the trap. At that time Coniambié was in the
mountains. A leopard was caught also, but did not die. Then came a
turtle, who released the leopard from the trap. Then the leopard wanted
to kill the turtle which had saved him. The leopard got hold of the
turtle to kill it, but the turtle, seeing this, drew her head, legs, and
tail inside her shell, but not before she had managed to get into the
hollow of an old tree, with the leopard after her in the hollow, and he
could not get away. The tree is called ogana, and bears a berry on which
monkeys are fond of feeding. So there came to the tree at this time, for
the purpose of feeding, a miengai, or white-mustached monkey; a ndova,
the white-nosed monkey; a nkago, the red-headed monkey; an oganagana, a
blackish monkey; a mondi, which has very long black hair; a nchegai and
a pondi, who all came to eat the berries. When the leopard heard the
noise of the monkeys, he shouted, "Monkeys, come and release me!" Then
they came and helped the leopard out of the hole. But the leopard,
instead of being grateful, fought with the monkeys, and ate the nkago
and the ndova. Then the monkey called a mpondi said, "_Mai! mai!_ That
is so; that is so! You leopards are noted rogues. The leopard and the
goat do not live together at the same place. We came to help you, and,
as soon as you were helped, you began to kill us. _Mai! mai!_ you are a
rogue."


MORAL.

The reason why the leopard wanders solitary and alone is on account of
his roguery; he is not to be trusted. There are men who can not be
trusted any more than the leopard.

We shouted with one voice, "That is so; there are men who can not be any
more trusted than the leopard, for they are so treacherous and
deceitful."

Then we canvassed the bad qualities of the leopard, and concluded that
he had not a single friend in the forest.

After this story was concluded we gave another look to our fires, and
then went to sleep. This was the way, Young Folks, we spent many of our
evenings when we were not too tired traveling in the great forest.



CHAPTER VII.

     RETURN TO THE OVENGA RIVER.--THE MONKEYS AND THEIR FRIENDS THE
     BIRDS.--THEY LIVE TOGETHER.--WATCH BY MOONLIGHT FOR GAME.--KILL
     AN OSHENGUI.


After wandering through the forest for many days, we reached once more
the banks of the River Rembo Ovenga, the waters of which had fallen
twelve or fifteen feet, for we are in the dry season. The numerous
aquatic birds and waders which come with the dry weather give the river
a lively, pleasant appearance. The white sand which lines many parts of
the shore is beautiful. The mornings are cool, and sometimes foggy. The
dark green of the well-wooded banks had something grand about it. I,
poor and lonely traveler, had a charming scene before me. The stream is
still yellow, but far less so than in the rainy season. Then the rains
were driving down a turbulent tide laden with mud washed down from the
mountains and valleys; now the waters roll on placidly, as though all
was peace and civilization on their borders.

New birds had come. The otters were plentiful, and fed on the fish that
were thick in the stream.

In that great jungle beasts had been scarce for some time, and we had a
hard time to get food.

But what a glorious time we had by ourselves in that forest! Oh how I
enjoyed rambling in that jungle, though toiling hard, and often hungry
and sick! How glad I always was when I returned to the banks of the
Rembo Ovenga! I loved that river, for I knew that its waters, as they
glided down, would disappear in that very ocean whose waves bathed the
shores of both the Old and the New World. At times, when seated on its
banks, I could not help it, I would think of friends absent, but dear to
me. I remembered those I loved--I remembered the boys and girls who were
slowly but surely growing men and women, but who were still young folks
in my memory, though years were flying fast. The lad of the jungle had
become a man also; his mustache had made its appearance, and had grown a
good deal; his face had become older--probably he found it so when
perchance he gazed in the looking-glass he carried with him. Disease,
anxiety, sleepless nights, and traveling under the burning sun had begun
to do their work; but, in despite of all, my heart was still young, and
I loved more than ever those friends I had left behind.

I had come back to Obindji to see if I could get some plantains or
smoked cassada, and then intended to return to the woods in search of
new animals and new insects. King Obindji welcomed me, and was delighted
to see Malaouen, Querlaouen, and Gambo once more, and his wives got food
ready for us. Then we started again for the forest. I took with me lots
of small shot of different sizes for birds, and once more we would get
lost in the jungle, but from time to time we would come back to the
uninhabited banks of the wild Ovenga to look at our river.

One day, wandering in the forest, I spied a queer-looking bird I had not
seen before, and I immediately got ready to chase it. This bird was
called by the natives the monkey-bird (_Buceros albocrystatus_).

[Illustration: WATCHING BIRDS AND MONKEYS.]

As I was looking at that queer bird I spied a monkey, two monkeys, three
monkeys, four, five, six, ten monkeys. These monkeys looked very small,
and were called oshengui by the natives. Then I saw more of the queer
birds, and lo! I perceived they were all playing with these little
monkeys--yes, playing with these oshenguis.

Strange indeed they looked, with their long-feathered tail,
queer-looking body, and strange big beak. They followed those little
monkeys as they leaped from branch to branch; sometimes I thought they
would rest on the backs of the monkeys, but no, they would perch close
to them, and then the monkey and the bird would look at each other. I
never heard a note from the birds--they were as silent as the trees
themselves. The oshengui would look at them and utter a kind of kee,
kee, kee, and then they would move on, and the birds would follow.

Day after day I would meet those birds, and then I would look for the
monkeys, and was sure to see them. No wonder they are called the
monkey-bird. But then I never saw them follow any monkeys but the
oshengui. I wondered why they followed them; I could not imagine the
reason. I never saw them resting on the birds, but I noticed that these
birds were fond of the fruits and berries the oshneguis feed upon. Then
the question arose, Did the birds follow the monkeys, or the monkeys the
birds? I came to the conclusion that the birds followed the monkeys,
whom they could hear telling them, as it were, where they could get food
without searching for it.

I tried to discover where these birds made their nests, but never found
one in the country of the Rembo.

Now let us come to their companions, the monkeys. How small are these
oshenguis! They are the smallest monkeys of that part of Africa. Their
color was of a yellowish tinge; they had long, but not prehensile tails,
for the monkeys with prehensile tails are found in America. It is a
frolicsome and innocent little animal. Strange to say, the common
people, who eat all kinds of monkeys, would not eat that one--why, I
could not tell. His cry is very plaintive and sad, and is not heard far
off, like the cry of other monkeys. As sure as you live, when you meet
them hopping about the branches overhead, you may say that water is not
far off. They always sleep on trees whose branches overhang a
water-course. They all sleep on the same tree. How queer they look, with
their tails hanging down! To see the mother carrying her young, and the
young clinging to the mother, is a sight worth seeing, for these baby
monkeys do not look bigger than rats, and, when quite young, not much
bigger than large mice. Strange to say, though very young monkeys can
not walk, from the very day they are born they seem to be able to cling
with their hands to the breast of their mother; for young monkeys must
help themselves, or they would drop to the ground.

So we may say that the oshengui and the monkey-bird are almost
inseparable friends, and we must let them wander in the great jungle in
search of their food while we look for other birds and animals.

There were also in the forest several varieties of tigercat, the name of
which is very similar to that of the little monkeys, the oshengui, I
have just spoken to you about.

There are several species of these cats, but I am going to speak to you
of the _Genetta Fieldiana_. You will say, "What a queer name!" Not at
all. I have told you that I often remembered him in Africa, and I named
this animal after my friend, Mr. Cyrus W. Field. I described this animal
in the proceedings of the Boston Natural History Society.

These oshenguis are perfect little plagues. They are very sly; they
never sleep at night; they are then wandering in search of prey--of
something to kill. They see better at night than in broad daylight.
During the day they hide in some hollow tree, or in the midst of a
cluster of thick, dead branches, which are so close together that you
can not see what is inside. They will crawl in there and remain till
night comes. The darker the night, the bolder their deeds; for on a dark
night they will come into the villages, knowing that every body is
generally asleep between two or three o'clock in the morning, manage to
get into some poultry-house--I do not know how--and then pounce upon the
poor chickens and strangle them. They will destroy the whole lot of
them, suck their blood, and if they can, they will drag one away. If you
have a parrot they will try to get at it. Sometimes they will climb
trees and get their prey among the birds. The green wild pigeons, the
partridges, the wild ducks and cranes, sleeping on the banks of rivers,
are good food for them, for they are very fond of the feathered tribe.

One morning, on the banks of a creek not far from our camp, I saw the
footprints of an oshengui on the sands. It had been there, I could see,
the night before.

I had two or three chickens, which I kept carefully. I wanted to see if
I could not get a few eggs, for I had not for a long time tasted any,
and I wondered if the oshengui would come and eat my chickens. Poor
chickens! they have to look sharp in that country, for they have many
enemies among the snakes and the species of wild-cats of the forest,
besides the hawks.

The moon was declining, and rose about one o'clock in the morning, and
shone just bright enough to enable me to see. So, towards one o'clock, I
took one of my chickens and tied it to a stick on the bank of the little
creek near our camp, and hid myself, not far off, on the edge of the
forest. I took with me two guns, one loaded with bullets in case I
should meet larger game I did not bargain for, and the other loaded
with shot, which I intended for the oshengui, if it came.

The light from the moon was dim, as I have said, but just enough for me
to see. I hoped that the oshengui would come from the direction opposite
to where I was. The poor fowl began to cackle, frightened at being in a
strange place, and no doubt having an instinctive knowledge of
insecurity. It cackled and cackled from time to time, and then would try
to go to sleep, but could not; it seemed to comprehend impending danger.

At last I saw something coming along the shore whose eyes were like two
bright charcoal fires. It seemed so close to the ground that, if it had
not been for the two fiery eyes, I should have thought it was a big
snake. The legs were so short and so bent that the body touched the
ground. I raised my gun very carefully, and waited. At last I could see
the long muzzle of the oshengui. How sly the animal was! He came on like
a thief, and so carefully looking right and left as he advanced, but
never losing sight of the fowl. The nearer he came, the flatter his body
lay on the ground, until it arrived near the fowl; then there was a
pause; then a sudden spring upon the fowl--there was just one cry; the
fowl was dead. Having aimed carefully, I pulled the trigger--bang! and
down rolled the oshengui on his back, with the fowl in his jaws. A
tremendous shout rose from our camp. Gambo, Querlaouen, and Malaouen
came rushing toward me, and they all cried, "You will kill no more of
our fowls now, Oshengui!" With my prize hung above my head, I went to
sleep, and the next day we made preparations to go up the river.



CHAPTER VIII.

     WE ARE IN A CANOE.--OUTFIT FOR HUNTING.--SEE A BEAUTIFUL
     ANTELOPE.--KILL IT.--IT IS A NEW SPECIES.--RIVER AND FOREST
     SWALLOWS.


We are now ascending the River Rembo Ovenga. We are in a little canoe,
that can be easily hidden in the jungle, and as we ascend the river we
meet strange sights, and I can assure you we enjoy our journey. It is
true that it is hot, but we can not help it. In the bow of the canoe is
a little stick, to which is attached a nice little flag showing the
Stars and Stripes. Querlaouen is at the stern, and using his paddle as a
rudder; Malaouen is at the head, where he keeps a sharp look-out for
wild beasts. I need not say that his gun is close at hand.

Gambo and I have our paddles, and we dip them gently--so gently that, if
you had been on the banks of the river at night, you could not have
heard us. Near the prow is a smooth-bore gun, loaded with shot, in case
we should see some big crane or wild ducks. By my side lies a
double-barreled breech-loader, loaded with very large steel-pointed
bullets, in case of need, for elephants, crocodiles, leopards, wild
buffaloes, and gorillas; or, should we be attacked by the savages
inhabiting the country, they were to be used against them. By the side
of that gun was a heavy war-axe. Malaouen had his gun by him; Gambo
likewise. Our formidable double-barreled breech-loader, with
steel-pointed bullets, would smash, I was sure, an elephant's ribs, if
the opportunity occurred. We had an extra gun, in case one should get
out of order. We had also two cutlasses. We thought we would dispense
with a cooking-pot, for all our food was to be roasted on charcoal--that
is to say, if we were able to kill any game. In a little box made of tin
I had matches, a few flints, and a fire-steel, which were to be used in
case the matches should become worthless.

I had also a lancet, a little bottle of ammonia to be used in the event
of either of us being bitten by a scorpion or some venomous serpent,
some medicine, and a bottle of quinine.

For food we had a few plantains and dried cassada. Then we expected to
find berries, nuts, and fruits, and wild honey. Of course our
imagination ran wild. The idea of Gambo was that the forest would be
full of wild game; antelopes were to be plentiful, and also wild boars.

Our outfit was of the light order. Gambo, Malaouen, and Querlaouen wore
next to nothing, and they had no change of clothes but a wild-cat skin.
They could take it easy in the matter of clothing--shirts, neck-ties,
pantaloons, waistcoats, and coats were superfluities which they can
dispense with.

My outfit was composed of the clothes I wore, and in my hunting-bag I
had an extra pair of thick shoes, in case those I wore should give out,
and a second pair of pantaloons.

Each of us had a flask full of powder, with a goodly number of bullets,
and some small shot.

At last we came to the spot where we wanted to land, and then hauled
our canoe into the jungle, hiding it where we thought no one could see
it. Afterward we advanced a little into the forest, and then made our
camp for the night. As usual, we made large, blazing fires, and, after
they had been fairly started, we laid down on the green branches of the
trees we had cut, and before I knew it my men were fast asleep. The deep
snore of Gambo told me that he was unconscious of what was going on
around; he was soon followed by Querlaouen and Malaouen, and they
snorted a trio which would have well frightened any wild beast which
might come lurking round us. Each of these men held their guns closely
in their arms.

I rose and looked at these three brave and daring savages, who now
slumbered perfectly unconscious and helpless. I looked at them with a
feeling of love, and thought that soon, like themselves, I would fall
asleep, and be as unconscious of all that was round me. I thought of the
wild country I was in, of the wild beasts by which I was surrounded, and
I began to feel so little and so weak, I seated myself and prayed to the
great God, he who had created the white man, and the black man, and all
species of men, and the wild beasts of the forest, to keep me as he had
done before.

Continuing our wanderings in the forest, the next morning I came alone
to a beautiful little stream, and just as I was in the act of stooping
to drink some of its water, which was as clear as crystal, I suddenly
heard a slight noise not far off, which I believed must be made by
antelopes or gazelles. Looking carefully at my gun, I made for that part
of the forest from whence came the sounds, trying to be as nimble and as
noiseless as I could. I had not proceeded far when my eyes opened wide
open, and I became terribly excited, for I saw an animal I had never
seen before--an antelope. It was the most lovely and beautiful creature
of the forest I had ever seen. I stopped. It seemed to me that I had not
eyes big enough to admire it. Oh, I thought, it is too beautiful to be
fired at and killed. How brilliant was his colors! The body was of a
bright yellow, as bright as an orange; then from its back came fourteen
beautiful stripes, as white as snow; a chestnut patch between the horns
and the eyes, below which was a white crescent, having in the middle a
dark brown stripe. That beautiful creature was quietly resting on the
trunk of a dead tree, while beyond, among the trees, were several others
which I could not see so well.

I was so excited I could not breathe, for of all the lovely beasts I had
seen in the forest, this one was the most lovely; none could have
compared with it in beauty. The skin of the leopard was nothing to it.

I raised my gun almost in sorrow, but I felt that I must kill the beast,
in order to bring its skin home; for I knew it was an animal that had
never been seen before.

Just as I raised my gun, the beautiful creature rose up from the tree on
which it had slept, as if to show me its beautiful form, and how
graceful were its motions, before the fatal shot should put an end to
its life. I wish you could have seen this antelope when alive,
surrounded by the green of the forest, which contrasted singularly with
its bright color, and made the animal appear as if it had come from an
enchanted land, where the sun had given to its hair and skin its own
golden color, as it sometimes gives it to the clouds when it is on the
point of disappearing.

[Illustration: SHOOTING THE NEW ANTELOPE.]

I put my finger on the trigger and fired; down came that beautiful
creature from the tree, falling on its back, showing a stomach as white
as milk. The others decamped without my being able to fire at them, on
account of the fallen tree.

As I came near to look at my great prize, I felt that I would like to
put my arm round the nice neck of the animal, whose short groans
betokened it was in the agonies of death, for I felt so sorry, and I
wished I could see it alive again. Then the blood poured from its mouth,
and stained the ground on which it lay gasping for breath, which it
could not get. After a few struggles all became silent; the poor
antelope was dead, killed by the ruthless hand of man.

I looked at it and looked at it, for I could not tire looking at such a
beautiful beast.

The men came, and we cut a heavy branch of a tree, to which we fastened
it, and brought the poor dead antelope to the camp. When I brought the
stuffed animal to a village, the people at once shouted with transports
of the wildest astonishment, "Bongo! bongo!" for such was the native
name given to this antelope.

I need not say how careful I was in preparing its skin, which to me was
precious, and I brought the stuffed specimen back to New York in the
year 1859, and in 1860 it could have been seen among the large
collection I had brought here.[A]

    [A] A description of it can be seen in the report of the Boston
        Natural History Society for 1860.

The collection has left the country.

Since the day I had killed the bongo we had built another camp near
another beautiful stream--the forest was full of them--and not far from
two or three abandoned plantations. Often I would go all alone and watch
the birds. I loved especially to look at the swallows. One which I
discovered was a beautiful species. It is all black, but with a bluish
tinge. When the weather was clear, and there was no prospect of an
approaching storm, they flew high in the air; but if the weather was
threatening, they would almost touch the bushes. When they fly high in
the air, the insects on which they feed, I suppose, are there; but when
a storm is coming the insects no doubt know it, and come down to seek
refuge from the rain under the leaves or blades of grass. These are the
reasons by which I account for the swallows flying high in fine weather,
and low when a storm is coming.

How quickly these little black swallows did fly! None of them had ever
seen our northern clime. They were birds of the equatorial regions of
Africa. The woods are their home, and the open spots where plantations
or villages are built, and where the rivers flow, are the places where
they love to fly in search of their food.

There was another beautiful swallow, a river swallow, black in color,
with a solitary white spot, which looked like silver, on its throat.
What a beautiful little bird it is! Its days were spent flying over the
river. It would take a flight, and then rest on the branches or stumps
of some dead trees which were imbedded in the stream, but the branches
of which were just above the water.

I could not help feeling sorry when killing these little birds, and,
after I thought I had killed enough of them to enrich the museums,
nothing would have tempted me to kill another.

This lovely and dear little swallow has never seen the countries where
the polar star is visible; the silence of the forest is its delight, and
its pleasure is to skim over the waters of rivers which come from
unexplored and unpenetrated mountains, where the name of the white man
has never been heard.

How I loved to look at these little birds, for I do love swallows!

Little wanderers they are. At home they are the heralds of spring. If
they could speak, how many touching stories they would have to tell us
of their wonderful escapes, and of their trials and dangers; what
hardships they have to encounter when they migrate and travel over
distant lands, when they cross over seas and over mountains; how many of
them fall bravely before reaching the land they want to reach; what
stormy and tempestuous weather they often meet in their journey, and how
happy they must feel when they have come to the land of their migration.



CHAPTER IX.

     WE HEAR THE CRY OF A YOUNG GORILLA.--START TO CAPTURE
     HIM.--FIGHT WITH "HIS FATHER."--WE KILL HIM.--KILL THE
     MOTHER.--CAPTURE OF THE BABY.--STRANGE CAMP SCENE.


One very fine morning, just at the dawn of day, when the dew-drops were
falling from leaf to leaf, and could hardly reach the ground; just as
the birds were beginning to sing, the insects to hum, the bee to buzz,
the butterflies to awake, I suddenly heard the cry of a young gorilla
for his mother. Malaouen and Querlaouen were with me. They heard the cry
as well as I did, and immediately gave a kind of _chuck_ for me to
remain still. We listened attentively to ascertain the exact spot in the
forest whence the noise proceeded. Another cry from the young gorilla
told us the precise direction, and we made for the place.

The jungle was so thick that we had to be most careful in order to avoid
arousing the suspicions of the gorilla. Happily, we came to a little
rivulet which seemed to flow from the direction in which we had heard
the noise. So we waded into it and followed its course instead of a
path. The water at times reached as high as our knees; it was cool and
limpid, and the bed of the stream was gravelly.

The noise made by the young gorilla had for some time ceased, and we
wondered if he had gone. When, lo! I heard a heavy chuckle--it was the
mother! We were not far off. We left the stream, passing through the
jungle most carefully. At last we lay flat on our bellies, looking more
like snakes than human beings. I had that morning painted my face and
hands black, so I appeared of the same color as my men. We crawled to a
spot where we remained quite still, for we could then hear the noise the
mother gorilla made in taking the berries from the lower branches of the
trees, or in tearing down some wild kind of cane. We were watching and
peering through the jungle--my eyes were almost sore from the exertion.

By-and-by we heard a noise in our rear. It was the male gorilla! What a
terrific roar he gave as he saw us close by, and watching his wife. The
whole forest resounded with it. Goodness gracious! I thought we ought to
have been more careful. We ought to have considered that perhaps the
male gorilla was with his wife. But in less time than I take to write it
we were facing the gorilla, who advanced toward us, his face convulsed
with rage. Just as he was close upon us we fired, and he fell forward on
his face, uttering a most frightful groan. After a few movements and
twitchings of the limbs, he was silent, for he was dead.

In the mean time the mother and her young had gone off, leaving the "big
fellow" to fight their battles.

It was a good thing that the big gorilla came first, for he might have
come after we had fired, and while we were trying to catch "his child,"
and then pounced upon us.

"The female gorilla and her young have gone; but first," said Malaouen,
"let us hide ourselves close by and wait; perhaps she will come back;
let us see if we can not find them." We hid ourselves on the lower
branches of a tree, not far from the dead body of the big gorilla. We
waited and waited--not a sound--nothing to show that the female gorilla
was coming back to see if her mate was there.

Beginning to feel somewhat tired of waiting, I said, "Boys, let us see
if we can find the gorilla. You know, as well as I do, that female
gorilla are timid--indeed, that most of them are great cowards. The
'men' gorilla fight, but the 'women' gorilla do not."

"That is so," replied Malaouen. "Querlaouen, let us go after the female
and try to capture her."

So we descended the tree upon which we had hidden ourselves. We left the
big gorilla dead on the ground, bidding him good-by, and telling him
that we were coming again; Malaouen adding in a queer way, "Kombo" (that
is the name they give to a male gorilla), "who told you to come and
fight us? If you had not come, perhaps at this time you might have been
by the side of your wife and child, instead of being asleep for all time
to come. The forest is not going to hear your 'talk' any more, and you
are not going to frighten any body." So we left the big fellow dead on
the ground, and went immediately in search of the female gorilla and her
young.

In order not to lose our dead gorilla, as we advanced in the jungle, we
broke, here and there, young branches of the trees, and from time to
time collected leaves in our hands, which we dropped on the ground, and
then, on our return, we would look after the boughs of the trees we had
broken, and the leaves we had scattered, and thus find our way back to
the gorilla.

We traveled on through the jungle for a long time, and no gorilla. At
last we were startled. We heard a roar. It was the female calling for
her mate. It was the female that had escaped from us in the morning. She
was calling for the "old man," who would not hear her any more, for, as
you know, he was dead. She called and called, but there was no answer
for her.

Carefully we went through the jungle, stepping gently on the dead leaves
of the trees till we came near the female gorilla, which we saw just
behind an old tree that had fallen on the ground. There she was, looking
at her babe, giving now and then a kind of chuckle, her old, wrinkled
black face looking so ugly. Her gray eyes followed the young gorilla as
he would move round; then she would pick a berry, giving another kind of
chuckle for the baby to come and get it. After eating it he would climb
on his mother, and she would pass her thick black hand over the little
body. Then he came down and seated himself between her legs, and gazed
at her, his little black face looking so queer. Then he moved off again,
but only to return once more. As I was very intently watching, my gun
slipped from the tree along which it rested, and fell on the ground. The
gorilla heard it, gave a shriek, and, followed by her babe, was starting
to run. The gun of Querlaouen was too quick for her. Bang! The poor
mother fell in her gore, but the little fellow disappeared in the woods.

We leaped over the tree, and did not even take a look at the poor dead
gorilla, but rushed in pursuit of the young fellow, who was the prize we
wanted the most.

At last we saw him; a stream had stopped his flight. He could not get
any farther, and was looking toward the other side. But he soon spied
us, and took to a young sapling, and when he had reached the top he
looked at us with glaring eyes, and--would you believe it?--howled again
and again at us!

There was no way to get at him, so Malaouen took his axe, and down came
the tree, with the gorilla on it, howling and shrieking. At the same
instant Querlaouen threw over his head a little net we carried with us
for the purpose of capturing gorillas, and so we caught him.

We hollaed and shouted also, so our shouts, mixed with the howls and
shrieks of the gorilla, made a charming concert in the jungle. After
giving vent to our joyous feelings by shouts, and had sobered down
again, I wish you could have seen that gorilla kicking under its net.
The question was how to take the fellow from under the net and get it
home. I cried, "Give me the axe; I see a branch close by which will make
a splendid forked stick." The words were hardly uttered before the axe
was in my hands, and in the wink of an eye I had hold of a stick about
five feet long, with a pronged fork. Malaouen had in the mean time cut a
little stick to tie across it, and collected some creepers to be used as
cords.

I wish you could have heard his howls as Querlaouen seized the little
villain by the back of his head, while I put the forked stick on his
neck, holding it fast to the ground while Malaouen was tying the little
stick, now and then taking his hands off for fear of a bite, the little
rascal kicked up such a row. Querlaouen, who had become free to act
after I got the forked stick firm over his neck, had all he could do to
hold the legs of the little fellow on the ground, who kicked up,
hollaed, and shrieked; his muscles worked, and he tried to catch hold of
us with his hands, but the forked stick was too much for him, and then
we succeeded in tying his hands behind his back.

I was sorry to hurt his poor neck, but the first thing the little rascal
attempted as soon as I raised the stick from the ground was to start at
us. But he could not even turn his head round. He had to walk off a
prisoner, and his shouts and shrieks were of no avail. His father and
mother had been killed, and he had no one to defend him from his
enemies.

How proud we felt of our prize! We returned by the way we had come,
being guided by the broken boughs of young trees and the leaves we had
thrown on the ground. As soon as we came to the female gorilla, and the
little fellow saw his mother, he tried to rush toward her. I dropped the
forked stick and let him go. He at once jumped on his mother, and began
sucking her breasts, and then looked in her face, and appeared to feel
quite sorrowful. When he saw she was dead, he gave a howl at us, as if
to say, "You fellows have killed my mother!"

It was utterly impossible for us to carry to our camp all our spoil, so
we concluded to hang her to a branch of a tree, and come for her the
next morning, which we did.

Then we continued our march, and toward sunset came to the large male we
had killed in the morning. We were so tired that we did not wish to do
any thing with the big gorilla that night. I felt I was too tired to
take his skin off. The little fellow did not seem to care for his
father; he looked at him well, and gave only a single plaintive cry. I
could not help thinking of the poor old fellow. How many times he had
slept at the foot of some big tree, and kept watch over his wife and
baby! Now he was dead, nothing but his huge body and his tremendous face
showed the giant strength he once possessed; now a little insect was
stronger than he was.

What had he died for? He had died bravely defending his wife and baby
from an enemy whom he knew had come to do them harm. He was right. May I
and every man of us always have the same motive that big gorilla had!

I could not help feeling sorry. Here lay dead before me a wonderful
beast, one of the most strange creatures of the forest God has created.
His mate lay dead in another part of the forest, and their offspring was
my prisoner.

How strange his huge shadow looked as he hung by the neck to the limb of
a tree near our camp, and how small our bodies looked by the side of
his!

That night I could not sleep. That big gorilla was always before my
eyes. He seemed to grin at me; his long, powerful arm, his huge hands,
appeared as if they were moving and trying to seize me. I could see his
big black nails ready to go into my flesh; his mouth seemed ready to
open and give one of those terrific roars which shake the whole forest.
And then I would see his enormous canines come out from his sharp-cut
lips, and how red his mouth was inside. There were his deep sunken eyes,
wide open, looking at me, and, though dead, he had a scowl of defiance
and intense ferocity on his face. It so happened that his face was
turned toward the bed of leaves on which I lay, and he was hung not far
from me.

The young gorilla during the whole night moaned for his mother. He would
look at the fires before him, then at us, and then give a howl, as if
was saying, "What have I before me?" I decidedly frightened him more
than Malaouen and Querlaouen could, for, in despite of the noise the
young gorilla made, and of the shadow of the big gorilla, they had
fallen sound asleep. But now and then they would awake, look at the
fires, put on more wood to make a blaze, would perhaps smoke a pipe, and
then go to sleep again.

Toward four o'clock in the morning Querlaouen arose, took from his bag a
little idol, and put it on the ground, muttering words I could not hear,
all the time thinking I was sound asleep. Then he took a piece of chalk
of the Alumbi, and rubbed it on his forehead between his two eyes; then
he rubbed it in the hollow of his chest, and along both his arms; then
he chewed a piece of a certain soft cane, which he spat on the idol; and
then he talked to it. Now and then he muttered my name. At last I
understood that the ignorant but good fellow was begging his idol to
take care of me.

Then, with his sharp-pointed knife, he cut his two hands slightly in
many places, and took the blood that fell and rubbed his body with it,
also the idol, and then laid down once more by the fires and took
another sleep.

Gambo had left us to go after wild honey, but not before making us a
solemn promise not to hunt gorilla, for I was afraid that some accident
might happen to him. The next morning when he returned to our camp, and
saw our big gorilla hanging to the tree, and heard that the mother of
the young gorilla had been killed also, he cried, "Why did I go after
wild honey instead of remaining with you!" But he quietly seated
himself, and after a while wanted a piece of gorilla for his breakfast,
for we had to skin the beast, as I wanted his hide and skeleton.

[Illustration: QUERLAOUEN AND HIS IDOL.]

The next evening I saw the shelter of a nshiego-mbouvé (_Troglodytes
calvus_). I crept within shot of the shelter, lay down flat in the
jungle--I am sure a snake or leopard could not have lain more quiet--and
there I waited. My men had covered themselves with dry leaves and brush,
scarce daring to breathe, lest the approaching animal should hear us.

From the calls there were evidently two. It was getting dark in the
forest, and I began to feel afraid that the animals had smelt us, when I
saw a nshiego-mbouvé approach the tree where the shelter was. It
ascended by a hand-over-hand movement, and with great rapidity. Then it
crept carefully under the shelter, seated itself in the crotch made by a
projecting bough, its feet and haunches resting on this bough, then put
one arm round the trunk of the tree for security. Thus they rest all
night, and this posture accounts for some singular abrasions of the hair
on the side of this variety of chimpanzee, which could be seen on the
specimens I brought home.

No sooner was it seated than it began again to utter its call. It was a
male, and was calling for its female. It was answered, when an unlucky
motion of one of my men made a noise, and roused the suspicions of the
ape in the tree. It looked round. It began preparations to descend and
clear out. I fired, and it fell to the ground dead, with a tremendous
crash.

These nshiego-mbouvé are very shy, and far more difficult to approach
than gorillas. How queer they look with their bald heads! The black skin
on the top of the head is quite shiny. They must attain great age, and I
have often wondered how long the gorilla, chimpanzee, kooloo-kamba, and
nshiego-mbouvé live. I should not be surprised if they sometimes live to
be a hundred years old.

All the varieties of chimpanzees often inhabit the same woods as the
gorilla, and they seem to live in harmony with each other. There is food
enough for them all; besides, nuts and fruits are very plentiful. When
they get old they feed on leaves, for a time comes when their teeth are
quite decayed. In one very old nshiego-mbouvé I killed, nearly all of
his teeth had dropped out, and he had but four or five left.



CHAPTER X.

     JACK WILL HAVE HIS OWN WAY.--HE SEIZES MY LEG.--HE TEARS MY
     PANTALOONS.--HE GROWLS AT ME.--HE REFUSES COOKED FOOD.--JACK
     MAKES HIS BED.--JACK SLEEPS WITH ONE EYE OPEN.--JACK IS
     INTRACTABLE.


Now let us follow that young gorilla, whom I called Jack.

Jack, to begin with, was the most untractable little beast one possibly
could get hold of. Jack was a little villain, a little rogue, very
treacherous, and quite untamable. The kinder I was, the worse he seemed
to be. We took him with us in the forest till we returned to our
village, and then many of the women disappeared.

Jack was smart in his wickedness, and was quite as treacherous as any of
the gorillas I had met before. He would not eat any cooked food, and
every day I had to send into the forest for berries and nuts. I wish you
could have seen his eyes glisten, you would have noticed how treacherous
and gloomy they were. Jack was cunning; he would look at me right
straight in the face, and when he did that I learned that he meant
mischief, and, if close at hand, meant an attack upon me.

Of course, once in the camp, the forked stick had been taken away, and a
little chain tied round the neck of Jack; the chain was about six feet
long. Then I had a long pole fastened in the ground, and the chain was
tied to an iron ring which had been used as a bracelet on the upper arm
of a native, by which means he could turn all round without entangling
the chain.

[Illustration: CAUGHT BY JACK.]

One day I had come to offer Jack some tondo (berries) which friend
Malaouen had just collected for him (I wanted always to feed Jack
myself, to see if I could tame him), and I approached the little fellow
to within the distance which I thought the utmost length of his chain
would allow him to go. He looked at me straight in the face, and I
waited for him to extend his arm to get the nice tondo I was offering
him, when, quick as lightning, he threw his body on the ground on one
arm and one leg, the chain drawn to its full length, and then, before I
knew it, he seized my leg, and with his big toe got hold and fast of my
_inexpressibles_, which were rather old, and a portion of them was soon
in his possession. I thought in my fright that a piece of my leg had
also been taken away, which I am glad to say was not the case. Still
holding the piece of my pantaloons, he retreated to his pole, then gave
a howl and started at me again. This time I knew better--I was off. He
held the piece of my pantaloons for a long time, it having passed from
his big toe into his hand.

Jack looked at times almost cross-eyed, and was as ugly a fellow as any
one could wish to see. He was not so strong as friend Joe, the account
of which you have read in "Stories of the Gorilla Country," but he was a
pretty strong chap, and I should not have liked to be shut up in a room
alone with him. Several times I had narrow escapes of a grip from his
strong big toe.

When evening came, Jack would collect the dry leaves I had given him,
and would go to sleep upon them, and sometimes he did look almost like a
child.

How strange that I never saw twin gorillas! The mother gorilla has only
one baby gorilla at a time. My men and I have captured a good many of
their young ones during the time I lived in the great forest of
Equatorial Africa, but I never succeeded in taming one. Some were more
fierce or stubborn than others, but all refused food that was cooked;
the berries, nuts, and fruits must come from the forest. Though these
little brutes were diminutive, and the merest babies in age, they were
astonishingly strong, and, as you have yourselves seen in the different
accounts I have given you, by no means good tempered. When any thing
displeased them they would roar, and bellow, and look wickedly from out
their cunning little eyes, and strike the ground with their feet.

Jack was not so ugly-looking a fellow as friend Joe, neither was he as
strong. Like all the gorillas, his face and his skin were entirely
black. His little eyes, deep and sunken, seemed to be gray; his nose was
more prominent than in the chimpanzee, for gorillas have noses, and
consequently he comes nearer in appearance than the chimpanzee to the
African negro. He had, as we have, eyelashes, and the upper ones were
the longest. His mouth was large, and the lips sharply cut. The gorilla
has no lips like we have; the dark pigment covers them, and when his
mouth is shut no red is seen outside. The ears are small in comparison
with the face, and they are smaller than the ears of man. Their ears are
much smaller than those of the chimpanzee, and look very much like the
ears of man; the chin is short and receding.

The face is very wrinkled; the head is covered with hair much shorter
than that on the body, and in the male gorilla the top of the head has a
reddish crown of hair.

You see how much the arm of the gorilla is like the arm of man--how
short his legs are. The leg is about the same size from the knee to the
ankle, the short thigh decreasing slightly. The leg of the gorilla has
not the graceful curve found in man, it having no calf.

I want you to examine the hands and feet of a young gorilla. You will be
struck at once how short the hand is, and how much it looks like that of
a man. The fingers are short, but how thick they are! the nails are very
much like ours, and project slightly over the tips of the fingers. See
how short the thumb is--how much shorter than the thumb of man; it is
hardly half as thick as the forefinger. The thumb is of very little use
to a gorilla. The palm of the hand is hard, naked, and callous; the back
is hairy to the knuckles, and the short hair grows on the fingers, as in
man.

[Illustration: GORILLA SLEEPING.]

The leg of the gorilla is very short. Look at his foot. Instead of a big
toe he has a thumb, and you see, by the wrinkles and transverse indents,
that the foot is used as a hand. The third toe is a little longer than
the second, and the others follow in the same proportion; and, if you
look at your own feet, you will see that the toes of the gorilla and
those of man keep the same gradation of length, the middle one being the
longest.

Look at the representation of a young gorilla as he sleeps. He certainly
looks almost like a baby; but do not believe that he is so fast asleep
that you need make a great deal of noise to awake him. No; these little
fellows seem to go "to bed" with one eye open, and at the least noise
you see their gray eye twinkle, and immediately they sit up, and look
round to discover what is the matter, and at once are ready for a fight.
As they awake they generally give a howl of defiance.



CHAPTER XI.

     START AFTER LAND-CRABS.--VILLAGE OF THE CRABS.--EACH CRAB KNOWS
     HIS HOUSE.--GREAT FLIGHT OF CRABS.--THEY BITE HARD.--FEAST ON
     THE SLAIN.--A HERD OF HIPPOPOTAMI.


We have come down to the river. We are off in our canoes to hunt for
ogombon (land-crabs), each one of us being provided with a basket and a
short cutlass, and are paddling for some spot not far from the banks of
the river where the land-crabs are found in abundance. There are several
canoes full of women, for catching crabs is the special business of the
women, as hunting is the special work of the men.

The land-crabs burrow in the ground. Their holes are found in very large
numbers in some parts of the country. The burrows form the subterranean
homes of the crabs, into which they retire when alarmed--and the
slightest noise does that. They remain in their burrows until hunger
drives them out in search of food, or when they fancy danger is averted.

We landed at last on a swampy bottom, the soil of which was very black.
I immediately saw an innumerable quantity of crabs running in all
directions--making for their burrows--alarmed at our approach and the
sound of footsteps; and as they ran they displayed the two large claws
with which they were ready to bite any one bold enough to seize them.
The ground was covered with an incredible number of burrows.

These land-crabs are curious creatures. They are found in various parts
of the world, and Equatorial Africa has a fair share of them, in goodly
variety. The natives have any number of wonderful tales to tell about
the ogombons.

There was a wild shout of joy among the people at having come to the
right spot. The baskets were immediately opened, the short heavy sticks
and cutlasses were got in readiness, and we scattered all over the
thickly-wooded island, for it was an island where only mangrove grew.
Not far from the island I could see huge hippopotami playing in the
river, but we had taken it into our heads to come down the river and
make a great haul of these crustaceæ.

There was, as I have said, a general skedaddle of crabs, for at the
least noise they ran away, having a counterpart in the women, who ran to
and fro with great shouts, which were soon taken up by the men, in their
wild excitement after land-crabs.

These crabs were of tremendous size, and were the real ogombons, the
largest species found in the country, and the only ones the natives will
eat. They were gray, almost of the color of the mud on which they walk.
They were armed with tremendous claws, which warned us to be very
careful in handling them, or we should get a good bite.

This island was celebrated as the home of the ogombons, and the whole of
that part on which we landed was entirely covered with their burrows,
which were in many places so thick and so close together as to
communicate with each other. In these retreats the crabs remain in
darkness. They never venture far from home. How Master Land-Crab knows
his own habitation from those of his neighbor I can not tell, but now
and then he would make a mistake and go into "somebody else's house,"
thus getting into the wrong box.

At this time of the year the land-crabs were fat, but the shells were
somewhat hard, but not so hard as later in the season, when the crab is
left to himself, not being so good to eat. Hence, in the season,
land-crab parties start from every village for the spots where they are
to be found.

When the crabs are ready to cast off their shells, they shut themselves
up in their burrow, which they have stocked with leaves, closing the
entrance with mud, and they remain there until their new armor is on.
After quitting its old armor a crab is very soft, but in course of time
the new shell becomes hard, even harder than the preceding one. I was
never able to ascertain the age a land-crab could attain.

So we were racing in every direction after the land-crabs, which fled
with the utmost speed for their burrows. Now and then one would be
caught. We had to be very light of foot when approaching them, for at
the least noise they would go and hide in their dark abodes.

Of the two large claws, one was a tremendous thing, and it was amusing
to watch the crabs walking leisurely round their holes, as if there was
no foe in their neighborhood, but yet holding up one of the large claws
as if they were ready for any thing that might come along. This claw
nodded backward and forward in a very comical manner.

[Illustration: CATCHING THE OGOMBONS.]

I approached one very big fellow without his having perceived me, and,
before he was aware, I laid my stick heavily on his back, and then
seized him with my hand, to place him in the basket which hung at my
side. I roared out with pain, for he had got hold of one of my fingers
with its large claw, and shook it as if he would have torn it off. With
my other hand I quickly seized the crab and twisted the claws from the
body, which I thought would release me; but lo! although the body lay on
the ground, the rascally claws gripped harder than ever. Oh! oh! oh!!! I
shouted--which cries brought two or three of the women to my assistance.
The muscles of the claws had retained their contractile power after they
were separated from the body.

In the mean time the rascal had retired into his burrow, no doubt in a
good deal of pain, but saying to himself, "What do I care; a new limb
will soon come out!" for among the crustaceæ such is the case--a new
limb soon springs out, and takes the place of the one lost; so I was
left without my prize. The women again warned me to be very careful,
instructing me how to catch crabs by seizing the big claw and severing
it from the body; but, before doing this, the stick must be placed on
the middle of the back, where the claws can not reach, as they can not
move backward.

I soon spied another crab, but he heard my footstep, and with the utmost
speed made for his burrow. Then I came suddenly upon another, just in
front of me; he had not time to turn round; so, shoving my stick in
front of him until it nearly touched his two big eyes, I put him into a
furious rage. By-and-by he managed to seize the stick, which he shook,
just as the other crab had done my finger. I was thankful that it was
not my finger this time. The motion of the claw at the junction with the
body was very queer. After some trouble, I managed to secure this
fellow. Then I went after another, which at once took to his burrow and
disappeared; but I was determined to watch and wait for him. I noticed
him every now and then peering slyly out, drawing in his head at the
slightest noise; so I hid behind his burrow, and kept very still. At
last he came out, walking slowly from his hole. I put my foot on his
burrow, upon which he turned round, and ran one way and then another,
and finally made for another burrow, where he met the possessor coming
out from his "castle," when a general fight of claws ensued. The
aggressor, being the stronger, succeeded in winning the battle and
getting in, while the other, in his fright, plunged into a burrow the
owner of which had probably been killed that morning.

Great slaughter of the crabs had already taken place, and so many heavy,
fat fellows had been captured that we were sure of a great feast. It was
well for us that it was so, for at last the ogombons got thoroughly
frightened and remained in their burrows; not one was to be seen; so,
after having captured some thousands of them, we got back into our
canoes and ascended the river again.

The ogombons are peculiar. I think they never go to the sea, but deposit
their eggs on the shores of the island, for I never met them on the
sea-coast. They feed on all kinds of refuse, on black mud, leaves,
berries, etc., etc. The crabs found on the main land are not eaten, the
natives believing that they sometimes visit their cemeteries. On the
white sand of the sea-shore are found innumerable little crabs of the
same color as the sand itself.

Besides the ogombons there are many other land-crabs, but they are much
smaller, and are not eaten by the natives. Many of these crabs are of
the most gorgeous colors, some purple and red, others blue and red; they
are exceedingly wild, and swift of foot. They live close to the sea, and
may be seen on the shore in great numbers during the night.

I wish I had had time to spare to study these crabs more thoroughly than
I have done, but I have told you the little I know about them.

As we returned we had to pass through the midst of the tremendous herd
of hippopotami which I have mentioned. For years that herd had taken
possession of an immense mud-bank lying between the island and the main
land, or rather the tongue of land which separated the sea from the
River Fernand Vaz.

The hippopotami began to grunt, and plunged into the water, remaining
there for some time, and then would come again to the surface, until
gradually the navigation became dangerous, so much so that we had to be
very careful, and paddle along the shore for fear of being upset by
these huge creatures, who would surge from under the water in every
direction, and we knew not where the next one would rise. Two or three
times one rose very near my canoe. I did not want to fire at them, for
they would have sunk to the bottom, and would not have risen for two or
three days after, and then probably they would have been found at the
mouth of the river, or been driven into the sea by the current. By the
kind of groan or hoarse grunt they gave, I made up my mind that they
were becoming enraged at having been disturbed, so we paddled carefully
on until I thought we were at last out of their reach. But we were to
receive a good fright before we had done with them, for I saw a canoe
just ahead of the one in which I was seated rocking and jerking about in
an extraordinary manner, and the people in it shouting at the top of
their voices, and there came up a huge hippopotamus, which gave a
terrific grunt, immediately responded to by the other hippopotami we had
left behind. We paddled hard in order to get out of the way, for the
huge creature seemed to be maddened; and at last, with a thankful heart,
I left all the hippopotami behind, and, after some severe paddling, we
reached a safe place on the bank of the river, where a general and grand
cooking of the crabs began.



CHAPTER XII.

     STRANGE SPIDERS.--THE HOUSE-SPIDER.--HOW THEY CAPTURE THEIR
     PREY.--HOW THEY FIGHT.--FIGHT BETWEEN A WASP AND A SPIDER.--THE
     SPIDER HAS ITS LEGS CUT OFF, AND IS CARRIED AWAY.--BURROW
     SPIDER WATCHING FOR ITS PREY.


Now I must pause a little in that great jungle, and recount to you some
of the queer things which I have seen among the spiders--the burrowing
spiders, the house-spiders, the wall-spiders, and the spiders which
weave their big and far-spreading webs among the trees of the forest or
the tall grass of the open fields. I hope you will feel as interested as
I did when you learn how smart many of them are.

There are a very great variety of spiders in the country I have
explored. Some are of queer shape. Each species has its peculiar habits.
I often wish I had devoted more of my time to the study of their habits,
and to ascertaining the way in which they catch their prey; but what I
have observed I will relate to you. I will speak to you first of the
house-spiders, and what I saw of them.

In many of the little huts where I lived, the walls of which were made
of the bark of trees, there were always several house-spiders, which I
took good care not to kill, for they were seemingly inoffensive, only
they were great enemies to the cockroaches, insects, and flies.
Sometimes in the evening, when I laid down on my acoco (bed of sticks),
by the light of a torch my eyes would rest upon the wall, and I would
see emerging from some crack a queer-looking gray spider, and now and
then cockroaches, which swarm in the African huts, or some other kind of
insect, would come out on the walls. Then the spider would slyly advance
toward the insect, taking great care to approach it from behind, in
order not to be seen by the unsuspecting victim, with which it is soon
to engage in a deadly struggle, for the spider is brave and voracious,
and is not to be easily frightened by the size of its antagonist.

These house-spiders are of a dull gray, which color assists in
concealing its approach. After leaving its lair and getting a good
position, it remains perfectly rigid and motionless, often for half an
hour, waiting for some unlucky cockroach to pass by. At last the
cockroach rushes past. In an instant the spider, with great impetuosity,
pounces upon him. Then ensues a tug and a battle which is of great
interest--a conflict for life on the part of the cockroach, a combat for
food on the part of the spider, which for the time seems more voracious
and ferocious than a tiger or leopard. The battle is often prolonged for
more than half an hour. The great black African cockroach grows to a
large size, and is a very strong and formidable opponent for the spider.
The latter, after pouncing on its victim, fastens on its back, and, to
prevent being borne off, clings with two of his hairy hind legs, which
seem to have little hooks, to the floor or to the wall. All the
cockroach's endeavors and frantic exertions are to escape. He tugs and
jerks, and generally succeeds at first in dragging its enemy off for
some distance. The desperate struggle goes on, the spider using all its
power and strength. It manages again to get a hold with its feet. At
last it succeeds in fastening its head on the body of the cockroach, and
begins sucking away at the juices of the latter, which, at the pain of
the first bite, makes the greatest efforts to escape, for it knows that
the deadly struggle has begun. Then there would be a tremendous fight. I
sometimes thought the cockroach would escape, both being exhausted. Then
would come a pause. Presently the struggle would recommence, the spider
sucking away all the time, and the poor cockroach at last succumbing,
whereupon his enemy drags off the body to some corner or hiding-place
where it can be devoured at leisure.

Once in the daytime, a few days after seeing the fight I have been
describing to you, I saw the same spider, for I knew its place of
hiding, come out after an insect. It was creeping slowly toward its
prey, when a wasp--one of those beautiful, long-legged, and slender
wasps, with striped bodies, which are so common here--came to attack the
spider. Quickly she flew over the spider, her long legs hanging down and
plying between the legs of the poor spider, who was now in as bad a
plight as the cockroach was a few days before. In this latter case,
cunning instead of strength was to be used.

The wasp kept flying above the spider, moving her long legs with great
rapidity between the legs of the spider, while her head was touching
that of her opponent, and giving a bite from time to time. Then the
spider tried to run away, but could not, for the long legs of the wasp
moved between his legs in a backward sort of a way, which prevented the
spider from advancing. The wasp all the time was hovering above the
spider with very quick motions, her legs moving so fast that I could
not see all their movements. Suddenly the wasp turned round, and put her
head down close to the right front leg of the spider, to which it gave
one or two bites, just where it is joined to the body, and the leg
dropped down; then she worked away at the head for a few seconds, then
again turned round and gave a bite or two to the leg next to the one
that had just been cut, and this dropped down also. I had never seen any
thing fly so fast. At last the poor spider seemed perfectly stunned; he
could hardly move. I considered the fight over, and that the wasp was
victor. Another leg dropped down, and then another, all being cut just
where they are attached to the body, till at last they were all cut
down. When the last hind leg dropped, the wasp seized the body of the
spider, and flew away outside of my little hut to devour it.

I missed my spider very much afterwards, and the cockroaches had their
own way for a few days without fear of being devoured, till another
house-spider made its appearance.

In one of my little huts there were other species of spider besides the
one I have spoken to you about, whose little webs would be built in
places where they would be most apt to entangle the flies. After these
had been caught, the spider would immediately come out and suck their
blood. However small the fly might be, the spider would come, and even
when only a musquito had been taken, it would come, but it would give
only one or two sucks, and then would go away. You will agree that there
must be very little to suck out of a musquito that has not been feeding
on a human being.

In the tall grass which sometimes grows round the village, or in the
large open spaces where trees have been cut down, there is found a
tremendous big bright yellow and black spider, whose web spreads over a
space of several feet, and so thick and strong is it that, when I have
got entangled in one, I could certainly feel a slight impediment to my
walk, or the moving of my arm. The threads of the web are yellow, the
same color as one part of the spider. This spider belongs probably to
the genus Mygale. Some of them grow to be of immense size; I have
frequently seen them with a body as large as a sparrow's egg.

Happily, the bite of this spider is not dangerous, for one day, as I was
pursuing a bird and was in the midst of a lot of grass, the blades of
which stuck to my skin and cut me like a razor, and I was watching and
pursuing the bird in order not to lose sight of it, I got entangled in
one of these big webs--by far the biggest web built by any spider I have
ever heard of. I looked round to see and get out of the spider's way,
but before I was aware I got a bite which was almost as painful as the
sting of a scorpion. In my fright I tumbled down. I had no ammonia with
me, consequently I returned at once to the village, where I had some,
but by the time I reached home I felt no ill effect, the pain having
left me a few minutes after the bite.

These big spiders are said by the natives to make these large, spreading
webs in order to catch little birds, the blood of which they suck. I
never saw a bird caught, nor even any remains of feathers in the web,
but from the strength of the web I am certain that many little birds, if
once caught, could not get out, and that this big spider is fully equal
to mastering little birds, for its strength must be very great if it is
as strong in proportion to its size as other spiders are.

[Illustration: BIT BY A SPIDER.]

At any rate, if birds are caught in their webs, it must be very seldom.
But if their webs do not catch birds, they are tremendous traps for
flies, wasps, beetles, and insects of all kinds; for I have never long
watched one of them without seeing some living thing of one kind or
another caught, and then immediately the big, long-legged spider would
come swiftly and suck the blood of the victim; two or three suckings
would finish up a common black fly. They are very voracious, and attack
the prey with great vigor.

They must like the powerful sun, for many of their webs are built in the
open spaces where Master Sol has his own way. The rain can not incommode
them as he does us.

When one of these webs is finished it will remain perfect a long time;
sometimes it will stand for months before the owner begins to make
another.

One day in the forest I spied not far from the ground, just by an old
dead tree, a little bit of a long-legged spider waging a terrible
conflict with a caterpillar, which, without exaggeration, must have been
at least thirty or forty times larger than the body of the little,
slender, and long-legged spider. I immediately took from my pocket my
magnifying-glass, in order to see better; then saw, about four inches
from the ground, spreading from under the dead branch of the tree,
several threads of a web which hung down, embracing a space of four or
five inches, and ending in one thread as it came near the caterpillar.
That single thread was entangled in the hair of the caterpillar and
round its neck, and the caterpillar hung by it. The end of his body
scarcely touched the ground. Then there was a desperate struggle. I
suppose the caterpillar, before being caught, was down on the ground
quietly eating some leaves, and the spider dropped down upon it like a
wild beast would pounce upon its prey.

I lay flat on the ground to look at the conflict. This time the long
legs of the spider were of the same use to it as were those of the wasp
in the other fight I have related.

For a long while there was a great struggle, the caterpillar shaking and
turning round and round as it hung by that single thread; often its
body would twist into a circle, the end touching the head, when
suddenly, at one of these twists, the spider, by some dexterous
movements, spun one of its threads round the caterpillar, binding the
tail to the head. The caterpillar, by a desperate effort, broke the
thread, and freed the lower part of its body. The spider was so small
that I had to use the magnifying-glass all the time in order to watch
its movements. At first the attention of the spider was entirely engaged
in securing its prey. When the caterpillar was struggling hard to
disentangle itself, it would come down and spin thread after thread
round the hairy body of its victim, and then unite them to the single
thread.

Now and then, with its pincers, which appeared through the
magnifying-glass to be very large in comparison with the size of the
body, it would try to cut the large pincers of the caterpillar. The end
of its long legs, as they came round the head and eyes of the
caterpillar, seemed to annoy it terribly, to judge by the struggles of
the worm. At last the spider succeeded in seizing the base of the right
pincer of the caterpillar, and tried to cut it, but in vain. In less
than fifteen seconds it returned to the task, and went at the left
pincer, but with apparently no better success. Then, after a while, its
attacks were directed to a spot between the pincers. He kept at it and
kept at it, apparently sucking the blood, till finally, after
thirty-seven minutes of deadly conflict, the caterpillar, a mammoth in
comparison with the size of the spider, hung dead. Then the spider
finished sucking the blood of its victim. While the spider was carrying
on this deadly combat, it did not mind me when I touched its web with a
little stick: it would just ascend the single thread by which it was
suspended, and then, within a few seconds, would return to the fight.
After the caterpillar had been killed, when I touched the web it would
go up, and remain there for a long time--three or four minutes--before
it came down. Finally I took hold of the caterpillar; down came the
spider, and with him part of his web. The spider ran along the ground
for a few inches, then suddenly rolled itself into a ball and lay
apparently dead, the legs being twisted round the body. It appeared to
me that the spider thought a wasp was going to attack it, and thus
protected itself.

After a little while I came to look at the poor dead caterpillar, and
saw a few ants hard at work carrying it off somewhere to be devoured.

Among the great many species of spiders there are some which are very
curious. Among the most remarkable are those which burrow holes in the
ground and live in them. These ground-spiders are short, and have
powerful fangs and legs.

Several species of spiders have short legs, and flat, oval bodies,
surrounded by pointed spurs, looking, when taken from their webs, more
like bugs than veritable spiders.

The cave in which the burrow spiders live is but a few inches long,
built in the shape of a tube, from the opening of which they watch for
their prey. The interior of the burrow is like felt, and is so arranged
that it forms a tunnel that prevents the earth from falling in.

Some of the burrow spiders are called trap-door spiders, on account of
the curious way in which the entrance of their abode is guarded. A
trap-door closes the entrance. This door is made of the same material as
the interior of the tube, to which it is attached by a kind of hinge,
by which it falls squarely upon it. This trap-door is made to protect
the spider from its enemies, among which are wasps and many species of
ants. These latter sometimes make short work of a spider.

This door is a marvel; the outside is generally covered with earth
similar in color to the ground by which it is surrounded, thus rendering
it difficult to find the burrow.

Trap-door spiders are found in many parts of the world.

But many species of spiders live in burrows that have no doors.

Some of these burrow spiders go out at night as well as in the daytime,
but they hardly ever move far from their burrows. I have often seen them
watching from the entrance of their caves for prey. How queer they look!
They must have a wonderful sense of hearing, for at the least noise they
run back inside of their burrows. They seem to know when the noise does
not come from an enemy, but from some insect upon which they intend to
prey. One day one of these burrow spiders was watching for its food,
when suddenly it pounced upon a big caterpillar which had made its
appearance, and, after a desperate struggle, the poor caterpillar was
carried into the burrow, though still alive.

After half an hour I carefully demolished the burrow, and found the
spider at the bottom; the caterpillar was partly devoured, and I saw the
remains of legs, wings, and heads of insects which had been captured and
eaten up. I took the spider out; it seemed stupefied, and walked to and
fro as if it did not know where to go.

When once a spider has built its burrow it dwells in it for a long
time. These burrows are built in such a manner that when it rains the
water can not get in.

Have you ever thought, when looking at the web of a spider, what an
admirable piece of work it is, and how this thread is manufactured? No
lace is more beautifully worked. The thread is formed by a semi-liquid
secretion, which comes out, at the will of the spider, through minute
apertures, and which hardens into a thread by contact with the
atmosphere.

How strange that is!

Spiders must have a great amount of knowledge, and are, no doubt, good
barometers, for when a storm is impending they never will build or mend
a web. There is a good reason for their not being extravagant in the use
of their silk, for, although they can use at their will the secretion
from which the thread is made, it requires time to reproduce it; so when
you see a spider spinning new webs, it is a sign of fine weather coming.

If you look closely at the web of a spider, you will surely be surprised
at their wonderful skill. First a net-work of strong threads is built;
these are the main beams, and between them the net made of smaller
thread is spun. These webs are exceedingly elastic, for they have to
resist the power of the wind. When the web has been long built, and has
become stretched, they will sometimes go and fetch a little piece of
wood, which they hang by a thread, and haul it to a spot where they
think it will steady their structure.

The threads of spiders are produced from an organ called the
"spinneret," which is placed at the extremity of the body. The
spinnerets are arranged in pairs, and are four, six, or eight in
number.

The spider generally works at its web with its head down, lowering
itself by its thread. The whole is worked by the sense of touch, the
threads being guided by one of the hind legs. If you take the trouble to
watch a spider working, you will see it work just as I have described.

The semi-liquid secretion is forced out through very small apertures,
which may be called miniature tubes; they look very much like very
minute hairs. These tubes cover the spinnerets, which are externally
like little rounded projections, but their shape is not always the same.
The threads become quite strong, for after leaving the tubes they are
united together, and hence are much stronger than if the thread was
composed of a single strand.



CHAPTER XIII.

     WE CONTINUE OUR WANDERINGS.--JOINED BY ETIA.--WE STARVE.--GAMBO
     AND ETIA GO IN SEARCH OF BERRIES.--A HERD OF ELEPHANTS.--THE
     ROGUE ELEPHANT CHARGES ME.--HE IS KILLED.--HE TUMBLES DOWN NEAR
     ME.--STORY OF REDJIOUA.


Now we have left the land-crabs and the spiders, let us continue our
wanderings in the jungle. I am ransacking the forest to discover and
understand all that is in it. We had a lot of fun at that time. I was in
good health and spirits. I was perhaps a little reckless, and did not
seem to care for any thing. When there was danger in an undertaking, I
frequently did not think enough about it, but rather took delight in it,
scorpions, centipedes, and venomous serpents being the exception, for I
rather objected to them, and did not fancy meeting them in my hunt, or
under my bed, nor, indeed, any where else. Whenever I could, I killed
them without mercy.

I delighted to sleep under the trees, in the midst of the thickest part
of the forest, and where savage beasts were plentiful. In that case I
always kept a sharp look-out, and saw that our fires were kept blazing.

Friend Etia had come to meet us, and was going to join us in the woods
for a few days, and we were all glad to see him. One day, while we were
hunting, we came to a spot where large quantities of fern were growing
under the tall trees, and we saw that in the morning a large herd of
elephants had been there, for their heavy footprints were strongly
marked on the ground. Immediately there was great rejoicing, for we knew
that the elephants could not be far off.

How eager were the faces of Malaouen, Querlaouen, and Gambo. They looked
at their guns as if to say, "I hope you will help me to kill an
elephant." The guns I gave them were their great pets.

Gambo and Etia had gone away through the jungle, and were to remain two
days collecting berries and nuts, and then they were to come back to us.
We were in a sorry plight--we were starving. We could not wait for them,
for fear that, while waiting, the elephants would move off. What a pity!
each of us might bag an elephant. By the way, should I say bag? When I
was a boy I used to bag squirrel; that is to say, put them in my bag.

It was about three o'clock when we came upon the tracks of the
elephants. What a number of them must be together! "There must be at
least twenty," whispered Malaouen. "There must be at least thirty," said
Querlaouen. Malaouen insisted there were only twenty. Then I had my say,
and I said I thought there were about twenty-five. We tracked them till
five o'clock, and then concluded that we had better have our camp built
where we were, rather than go too near to them.

Being the dry season, we were not afraid of rain or tornadoes, so we
chose a place to lie down, under a gigantic tree, as there we would only
require a fire in front of us, our backs being protected by the tree,
and the leopards would have less chance at us, and we would not have to
build so many fires.

In the evening we furbished our guns, chose the steel-pointed bullets we
used for elephants, and then went to sleep on the dry ground.

During the night we were awakened by a tremendous crashing of trees all
round us, and we saw elephants bounding in the forest like wild bulls,
tearing every thing before them, and then disappearing through the
darkness. They seemed perfectly mad.

Malaouen shouted, "Chaillie! the bashikouays are coming; let us make a
big fire." He had hardly said this when I heard the tremendous roar of a
male gorilla, then the piercing shrieks of his female, followed by the
cries of a young gorilla.

We immediately scattered the fire-wood we had lighted. It was high time,
for the bashikouay were coming. The insects began flying over our heads.
Happily, we were in the midst of a fortress of fire.

In less than half an hour they had gone on their march, and the forest
became as silent as the night itself.

We had had a narrow escape. If it had not been for the timely warning of
the elephants, we should have been obliged to clear out double-quick
through that jungle in the middle of the night. It would have been no
joke.

"The bashikouay have driven away every thing before them. What will
become of our elephants?" I said. "They may have gone a great distance,
and it may take us five days to overtake them. I wish the bashikouay had
gone somewhere else."

We went to sleep again, and when we awoke it was broad daylight. The
birds were singing, and the sun's rays peeped through the dark foliage.

I was really annoyed, for I was sure the elephants had gone a long way
off. We could not pursue them, I thought, for it would take so much time
that Etia and Gambo might return and not find us. Then Malaouen said
that the elephants had probably gone back among the ferns, and we had
better try to find them there. He was not mistaken, for when we went
back there we saw at once that their footsteps were in that direction.

We traveled slowly in the dense jungle, now and then frightening a
guinea-fowl. At other times we would see a snake running away before us,
or we would meet a strange insect or a queer butterfly. Malaouen, who
this time walked ahead of me, suddenly turned round and made me a sign
to stop, and then he came near me, his feet appearing not to touch the
ground; I could not hear them. He whispered to me the word _njogoo_
(elephant). I started, I looked round, I could not see any, and I could
not understand how Malaouen could have seen them. His quick ear had
heard the sound of the footsteps of one. We advanced carefully. At last
I saw the elephants lying quietly on the ground. I counted twenty of the
huge beasts, and among them I recognized a tremendous bull elephant.
What a sight it was! On a sudden the elephants got up, and they all
retreated slowly through the forest, with the exception of the old bull,
who stood still. I think I still see him, with his long ears, his big
tusks, his thick, wrinkled black skin, covered with scattered and short
hair. Malaouen and I lay flat on the ground, as flat as we possibly
could. It was no child's play. We were to have a little business to
transact with the bull, the fighting one of the herd. If we missed him
he would charge us, and, what made it worse, we could not get a good
shot at the huge and leviathan-like creature. Presently Malaouen
crawled forward; I lay still. How he could crawl without making a noise
I could not tell, but he did it, till at last he almost came under the
elephant's body. The elephant was looking toward me, and Malaouen had
succeeded in approaching from behind. I was thinking that if Malaouen
did not kill the elephant where he stood, I would run the risk of being
charged by him and trampled to death, unless I shot the beast dead upon
the spot. I felt like shouting to Malaouen to be careful, and not to
miss his shot at the elephant. When his gun rose, it rose slowly but
surely; then I heard a tremendous detonation, and down the elephant came
in my direction, close upon me. I fired, and the monster fell just in
front of where I was lying. Three or four yards more, and he would have
tumbled down upon me, and probably made a pancake of your friend.
Querlaouen came rushing to the rescue, but the great beast lay without
motion. Querlaouen had killed him. I had shot the elephant right between
the two eyes, which is not a good spot, while Querlaouen's bullet had
gone right into his body through the lower part of the belly.

We looked like ants by the side of that huge creature. We cut his tail
off, and then returned to our old camp, which was not far distant, where
we were to meet Etia and Gambo.

In the afternoon they came in, and when we showed them the elephant's
tail they looked at us with amazement, as if they did not believe their
own eyes. Then they shouted, "You are men! you are men!" They were
loaded with wild nuts, and thus we were to have plenty of food!

[Illustration: DEATH OF THE BULL ELEPHANT.]

In despite of my best endeavors to prevent it, there must be some
heathen ceremonies to celebrate our victory over the elephant.

The hind quarters were cut off, and, with a piece of the flesh, were set
apart and carried into the forest for the spirit Alombo to feed upon.
Then my men muttered some words that I could not understand, but I did
not care, for we were very much like the man who, when traveling in
India, received an elephant as a present, and did not know what to do
with it.

The next day, after taking as much elephant meat as we could, we moved
away, for the flies were coming pretty thick; and besides, the
bashikouay might return again, and the smell would not be of the
pleasantest after a couple of days' sojourn by the body of the dead
elephant.

So we started for another part of the forest, and built our camp several
miles farther to the north of the place where we had been. Of course we
chose a spot where there was a beautiful little stream, so that we had
plenty of good water to drink. The next morning we were to go hunting,
and we were glad to be all together again, it was so nice. We busied
ourselves smoking our elephant meat, so that we might be sure of having
food for a good many days, though we should not find any berries.

We furbished our guns, and had a real nice day in getting ready for some
grand hunting. Nothing during the night disturbed us, and the next
morning we all felt strong and refreshed. Querlaouen and I went hunting
together, while Malaouen and Gambo went off in another direction.

We were really lost in that great jungle, and yet we appeared to think
that the forest belonged to us. We were to come back toward sundown; no
one was to camp out by himself. That was the law I made that day. The
country was hilly, and under the tall trees the ground was covered with
a dense jungle. That day nothing was seen, and toward night we were glad
to rest our weary limbs by the huge pile of blazing fire, and then we
went to sleep, hoping to be more fortunate the next time. Our supper was
composed of a few wild berries, but chiefly of elephant meat, my men
enjoying the elephant marvelously. After our supper, and before we went
to sleep, Querlaouen got up and said, "Now I am going to tell you a
story."


REDJIOUA, A KING.--AKENDA MBANI.

"Long ago, long before our fathers lived, in a far country there lived a
king called Redjioua. That king had a daughter called Arondo. Arondo
(sweetheart) was beautiful--more beautiful than all the girls of the
country. Redjioua said to the people, 'Though a man would ask my
daughter in marriage, and present me with a great many slaves, goats,
and tusks of ivory, so that he might "soften" my heart to have her, he
can not have her. I want only a man that shall agree that, when Arondo
will be ill, he must be ill also; that when Arondo dies, he must die
also the same day.'

"Years passed by; no one came to ask Arondo in marriage, for all were
afraid of the law the king had made, no one being willing to die when
she died."

I questioned Querlaouen, "Did Arondo ever marry?"

"Wait a little while and you will hear," said friend Querlaouen, as
gently as he could.

"There was a man in that country called Akenda Mbani (never goes twice
to the same place)." Many names among the tribes of Equatorial Africa
have a meaning, and remember that Akenda Mbani's means "Never goes twice
to the same place."

"Akenda Mbani came to the king and said to him, 'I come to marry Arondo,
your daughter, the one you have (_tená coni_) made a law concerning; so
I have brought no ivory, or slaves, or goats. I come without the things,
for I agree to die when Arondo dies.'

"So Redjioua gave his beautiful daughter, the pride of his heart, the
loveliest woman of his dominion, to Akenda Mbani.

"Akenda Mbani was a great hunter, but, as his name implied, he never
went twice to the same place in the forest to hunt. But his name did not
prevent his moving about his own village.

"After he had married Arondo, he went hunting, and one day he killed two
wild boars, after which exploit he returned to the village of his
father-in-law, carrying one of the boars on his back. He went to
Redjioua and said, 'Father, I have killed two wild boars; I bring you
one.' The king said, 'Thank you, my son; go and fetch the other.' Then
Akenda Mbani replied, 'When I was born, my father, in giving me my name
of Akenda Mbani, gave me a coni (a law) never to go twice to the same
place.' So the other wild boar was lost, as no one could tell where it
was to be found in the forest.

"Then he went hunting again, and killed two antelopes. Of course Akenda
Mbani said he could not go and fetch the other."

Then Gambo interrupted the story by saying, "The king knew very well
that Akenda Mbani could not go twice to the same spot; why did he ask
him to go?"

"I can not say why," said Querlaouen; "I tell you the story as it has
come to us from our forefathers."

"Shortly afterward Akenda Mbani killed two beautiful _bongos_, and
brought one back. Then the people came and asked him to show them the
way, so they might fetch the other. But Akenda Mbani said, 'You know
that if we do not keep the coni our father gave us, we are sure to die.
I do not wish to die for a bongo, so I can not go.' He thus went
shooting month after month, but would never go back to the same spot.

"One fine evening, as Akenda Mbani was seated in front of his house, the
people came to him and said, 'A people called Oroungous have come; they
have come to trade, and also to buy ten slaves.'

"Akenda Mbani turned to his wife and said, 'Let us go and meet the
Oroungous, who are still in their canoe on the river-bank, and who have
come to be my guests.'

"Then they went and met the Oroungous. Akenda Mbani took a chest of
goods, and put the chest on the head of his wife, and he himself took a
sword, and they returned to their home, leaving the Oroungous on the
beach.

"A moon (month) passed away since the Oroungous had left, and the chest
which the Oroungous had brought, and which Arondo carried to her house,
had not been opened. One evening Arondo said to her husband, 'Let us go
and see what is in the chest.' So they went and took the cover off, and
inside they discovered the most beautiful things, that had come from the
white man's country. The chest was quite full of beautiful cloths.
Arondo desired her husband to take two fathoms of one beautiful cloth,
as she liked it. So Akenda Mbani cut off two fathoms. The chest was then
closed again, and they left the place.

"Then Akenda Mbani seated himself on an _ebongo_ (stool), and Arondo on
the _acoco_ (bed), and she began to sew. She had only pierced the cloth
four times with her needle when she exclaimed, 'Husband! husband! I
begin to have a headache!' Akenda Mbani replied,'Take care, take care.
Do not be sick if you do not wish me to die;' and he looked her steadily
in the face. Arondo called again, 'Akenda Mbani! Akenda Mbani! my
husband, do tie a string round my head, for I have a great deal of
pain.' Then Arondo tied a string round her husband's head also, though
he had no headache.

"In a short time Arondo began to cry again, for she suffered greatly,
and her headache was getting worse and worse. Akenda Mbani was becoming
frightened, for he did not want to die.

"The news of Arondo's illness spread all over the village, and soon
reached the ears of King Redjioua, her father. The whole people of the
village came to see Arondo, and many were around her when she was crying
and calling on her father. The king said, 'Do not cry, my daughter; you
will not die, my child.' As soon as Arondo heard this, she moaned, 'Ah
father! ah father! why did you say I will not die, for you know that if
you _daga_ (mourn, lament, fear) death it is sure to come.'

"She had hardly uttered these words when she died. The people mourned
and wept, putting their hands over their heads.

"Redjioua said, 'As my daughter is dead, Akenda Mbani must die also.'
Akenda Mbani answered, 'I will die, that I may be buried with Arondo, my
wife.' So Akenda was killed.

"The king ordered a slave to be buried alive with his daughter. There
were also placed in her grave ten dishes, ten jars full of palm wine,
ten baskets, ten tusks of ivory, and many other things, among which was
the chest of the Oroungous."

There was a dead silence among us all, for we wanted to hear the end of
the story. Querlaouen stopped for breath, and then continued:

"The place where the people are buried is called Ndjimai, and here they
laid the bodies of Akenda Mbani and of Arondo, side by side in one
grave, laying over them the spears of Akenda Mbani, his battle-axe, the
bed upon which he and his wife had slept, his cutlasses, and his
hunting-bag. Then the people said, 'Now let us cover the grave with
sand,' which they did until a little mound was formed.

"Then Agambouai (this name means the speaker of the village) said,
'King, there are leopards here.' As soon as Redjioua heard this, he
cried, 'Do not build a mound over the grave of my child, for fear that
leopards may see it, scratch up the earth, and eat the body of my
beautiful daughter.'

"They replied, 'Let us take the things back and dig a deeper grave.'
Then they took away the things, and seated the bodies of Arondo and
Akenda Mbani on two seats. When they had finished their work, and
thought the grave deep enough, they replaced all the things they had
taken out. Then they lifted the body of Arondo and laid her gently in
the grave. Next they took hold of Akenda Mbani, and raised him gently
to place him by the side of his wife; but he opened his eyes and mouth,
and said, 'Don't you know I never go twice to the same place? If any of
you attempt to place me again in the tomb, I will kill him, for you know
I NEVER GO TWICE TO THE SAME PLACE.'

"He then rose, and, accompanied by the people, returned to the village;
and when Redjioua saw him he said, 'How is it that Akenda Mbani has
returned? I thought he had been killed and buried.'

"Up to the time of Redjioua, when a husband or wife died, the survivor
was killed; but Akenda Mbani broke the law by rising again from the
grave. Since then, no one is killed on account of the spouse dying."

       *       *       *       *       *

From this legend, which has been handed down from generation to
generation, I conclude that perhaps at a remote period it was compulsory
for both husband and wife to die at the same time.

After a hearty laugh at the lucky escape of Akenda Mbani, my men thanked
their stars that they were not born at that time, and then we all went
to sleep.



CHAPTER XIV.

     A FORMIDABLE BIRD.--THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF IT.--A BABY
     CARRIED OFF BY THE GUANIONIEN.--A MONKEY ALSO SEIZED.--I
     DISCOVER A GUANIONIEN NEST.--I WATCH FOR THE EAGLES.


Several weeks have passed away since the story of Akenda Mbani was told
us, and we have since been wandering through the forest in the midst of
the intricate hunting-paths which Querlaouen knew so well. At night we
would all meet and recount the adventures of the day, and eat the game
which some of us had been fortunate enough to kill. In case we had
killed no game, then we had our elephant meat to fall back upon.

How silent the forest was! Not a human being besides ourselves was to be
seen. A leaf falling, a bird singing, a wild guinea-fowl calling for its
mate, the footsteps of a gazelle, the chatter of a monkey, the hum of a
bee, the rippling of the water of some beautiful little stream as it
meandered through the forest, were the only noises that ever disturbed
the stillness of this grand solitude.

Now and then we could hear the wind whispering strangely as it passed
gently amid the branches of the tall trees hanging over our heads.

We must have looked strange indeed as we wandered through that great
forest, where God alone could see us. How strange every thing seemed to
me! I was in another world, and novel objects every where met my eyes.

One morning I hear a strange cry high up in the air. I look, and what do
I see?--what do I see yonder up in the sky? An eagle. But what kind of
an eagle? for it appears to me so much larger than any eagle I have ever
met with before. And as I asked this, my men exclaimed, "It is a
_guanionien_; the leopard of the air; the bird that feeds on gazelles,
goats, and monkeys; the bird that is the most difficult of any to find
and to kill." "Yes," said Querlaouen; "in my younger days I remember
that my wife and myself were on our plantation, with some of our slaves,
and one day we heard the cries of a baby, and saw a child carried up
into the sky by one of these guanioniens. The baby had been laid on the
ground, and the guanionien, whose eyes never miss any thing, and which
had not been noticed soaring above our heads, pounced on its prey, and
then laughed at us as he rose and flew to a distant part of the forest."
Then Querlaouen showed me a fetich partly made of two huge claws of this
bird. What tremendous things those talons were! how deep they could go
into the flesh!

Then came wonderful stories of the very great strength of the bird.

The people were afraid of them, and were compelled to be very careful of
their babies. These grand eagles do not feed on fowls; they are too
small game for them. Monkeys are what they like best; they can watch
them as they float over the top of the trees of the forest; but
sometimes the monkeys get the better of them.

"People had better not try to get hold of the guanionien's young if they
want to keep their sight," said Gambo; "for, as sure as we live, the
old bird will pounce upon the man that touches its young."

For a long time I had heard the people talking of the guanionien, but
had never yet had a glimpse of one.

Now, looking up again, I saw several of them. How high they were! At
times they would appear to be quite still in the air; at other times
they would soar. They were so high that I do not see how they could
possibly see the trees; every thing must have been in a haze to them;
monkeys, of course, could not be seen. They were, no doubt, amusing
themselves, and I wonder if they tried to see how near they could go to
the sun. Some at times flew so high that I lost sight of them.

Oh, how I longed to kill a guanionien; but I never was able to do it.
Once I examined one, but it was dead, and had been killed by spears as
it had come down and seized a goat. The natives had kept it for me; but
when I returned to the village it was quite spoiled and decomposed, the
feathers having dropped out.

Several times I was on the point of killing one, but never was in time.

My men went hunting that morning, while I remained alone in the camp,
for I felt tired, and wanted to write up my journal, and to describe all
the things I had seen or heard during the past few days.

In the afternoon I thought I would ramble round. I took a
double-barreled smooth-bore gun, and loaded one side with a bullet in
case I should see large game; the other barrel I loaded with shot No. 2.
Then I carefully plunged into the woods till I reached the banks of a
little stream, and there I heard the cry of the mondi (_Colobus
Satanus_), which is one of the largest monkeys of these forests. From
their shrill cries, I thought there must be at least half a dozen
together. I was indeed glad that I had one barrel loaded with big shot.
If the mondis were not too far off, I would be able to get a fair shot,
and kill one.

I advanced very cautiously until I got quite near to them. I could then
see their big bodies, long tails, and long, jet-black, shining hair.
What handsome beasts they were! what a nice-looking muff their skins
would make! I thought.

Just as I was considering which of them I would fire at, I saw some big
thing, like a large shadow, suddenly come down upon the tree. Then I
heard the flapping of heavy wings, and also the death-cry of a poor
mondi. Then I saw a huge bird, with a breast spotted somewhat like a
leopard, raise itself slowly into the air, carrying the monkey in its
powerful finger-like talons. The claws of one leg were fast in the upper
part of the neck of the monkey; so deep were they in the flesh that they
were completely buried, and a few drops of blood fell upon the leaves
below. The other leg had its claws quite deep into the back of the
monkey. The left leg was kept higher than the right, and I could see
that the great strength of the bird was used at that time to keep the
neck, and also the back of the victim, from moving. The bird rose higher
and higher, the monkey's tail swayed to and fro, and then both
disappeared. It was a guanionien. Its prey was, no doubt, taken to some
big tree where it could be devoured.

The natives say that the first thing the guanionien does is to take out
the eyes of the monkeys they catch. But there must be a fearful
struggle, for these mondis are powerful beasts, and do not die at the
eagle's will. There must be a great trial of strength; for if the monkey
is not seized at an exact place on the neck, he can turn his head, and
he then inflicts a fearful bite on the breast of the eagle, or on his
neck or leg, which disables his most terrible enemy, and then both,
falling, meet their death.

I looked on without firing. The monkeys seemed paralyzed with fear when
the eagle came down upon them, and did not move until after the bird of
prey had taken one of their number, and then decamped. When I looked
for them they had fled for parts unknown to me in the forest. I was
looking so intently at the eagle and its prey that for a while I had
forgotten the mondis. I do not wonder at it, for monkeys I could see
often, but it is only once in a great while that such a scene as I
witnessed could be seen by a man. It was grand; and I wondered not that
the natives called the guanionien the leopard of the air. As I write
these lines, though several years have passed away, I see still before
me that big, powerful bird carrying its prey to some unknown part of the
forest.

Long after the time I have been speaking to you about, I was hunting in
the forest, when I came to a spot where I saw on the ground more than a
hundred skulls of various animals, and of monkeys of all sizes, from
those of baby monkeys to those of large mandrills; and there were two or
three skulls of young chimpanzees. What a ghastly sight it was! Some of
these skulls seemed almost fresh; they were skulls of all the species of
monkeys found in the forest.

What could all this mean? I quickly perceived that these skulls were all
scattered round a huge tree which rose higher than any of the trees
surrounding it. Raising my eyes toward the top, I saw a huge nest made
of branches of trees. I looked and looked in vain. I could not even hear
the cries of any young birds. They had gone; they must have left their
nest, and I wondered if they would come back at night with the _old
folks_; so I concluded that I would lie in wait.

I waited in vain. The sun set, and no guanionien; darkness came, and no
guanionien. Then I took a box of matches from my hunting-bag, and set
fire to a large pile of wood which I had made ready, and then I cooked a
few plantains I had with me.

I was all alone; I had taken no one with me. How quiet and silent every
thing was around me that night! Now and then I could hear the dew that
had collected on the leaves above come down drop after drop. I could see
a bright star through the thick foliage of the trees. I could hear the
music of the musquitoes round me; for I think there is something musical
about the buzzing of a musquito, though there is nothing pleasant about
its bite. I could see now and then a beautiful and bright fire-fly,
which seemed to be like a light flitting through the jungle from place
to place, sometimes remaining still and giving a stream of light all
round as it rested on some big leaves for a while, then moving farther
on.

Now and then I could hear the mournful cry of the owl, and at times I
fancied I could hear the footstep of wild beasts walking in the silence
of night.

I did not sleep at all that night; I did not wish to do so; and, as I
was seated by the fire, I thought of the strange life I had led for some
time past--how strange every thing was from what I had been accustomed
to see at home. There was not a tree in the forest that we had in ours,
and the face of a white man had not been seen by me for a very long
time.

The night passed slowly, but at last the cries of the partridges
reminded me that daylight was not far off. When the twilight came, it
was of very short duration; the birds began to sing, the insects to move
about, the monkeys to chatter, but the hyena, the leopard, and other
night-animals had retired long before the sunlight into their dens.

Then I got up and roasted a plantain, which I ate; forthwith I
shouldered my gun and started back for the village by a hunting-path
that I knew.

Coming to the banks of a stream, where the water was as pure and limpid
as crystal, I seated myself by the charming rivulet, thinking I would
refresh myself by taking a bath, when lo! what do I see? a large snake
swimming in the water. Its body was black, and its belly yellow, with
black stripes. I immediately got up and fired at the disgusting
creature, which I killed; and that water, which appeared to me a few
minutes before so nice, was, to my eyes, no longer so.



CHAPTER XV.

     THE CASCADE OF NIAMA-BIEMBAI.--A NATIVE CAMP.--STARTING FOR THE
     HUNT.--A MAN ATTACKED BY A GORILLA.--HIS GUN BROKEN.--THE MAN
     DIES.--HIS BURIAL.


After wandering through the forest, at times coming back to the Bakalai
village for food, Gambo suggested that we should go and see his father,
who was an Ashira chief, and who had built an olako in the forest not
far from the Bakalai village of Ndjali-Coudie.

We traveled through the forest until we reached a beautiful cascade,
called Niama-Biembai. How gracefully Niama-Biembai wanders through the
hills, falling from rock to rock! Its bed is gravelly, and its water
clear and pure, like some Northern brook. How I loved to look at
Niama-Biembai, and, by the gentle noise its waters made in falling, to
think of friends who were far away!

Just in sight of this charming cascade was the encampment of Gambo's
father, whom I had met before. We were received with great joy by the
people. The evening of my arrival the olako was busy with preparations.
Meat was scarce--very scarce; _gouamba_ (hunger for meat) had seized the
people, and the great hunters were getting ready for the hunt, and the
people were joyful in the belief that plenty of game would be brought
into the camp.

In the evening the hunters spoke with hollow and sonorous voices, and
called upon the spirits of their ancestors to protect them. They covered
themselves with the chalk of the Alumbi, and then bled their hands.

Then we seated ourselves round the fire, and the eleven hunters who were
going with me began to tell their wonderful stories.

The next morning we made for the hunting-paths. Seven men were to go off
in one direction for gazelles, and three others, among whom I was one,
were to hunt for gorillas. Malaouen and Querlaouen went by themselves;
Gambo and another man accompanied me.

Before starting, Igoumba, the chief of the Olako, told us to be careful,
for there were some bad and ferocious gorillas in the woods. After
walking some distance, we finally made toward a dark valley, where Gambo
said we should find our prey. We were soon in one of the most dense
jungles I ever met in Africa. My poor pantaloons received several rents
from the thorns; at last one of the legs was taken clean off, so I was
left with one-leg pantaloons. We were at times in the midst of swamps,
so this was one of the hardest days I had had for a long time.

The gorilla chooses the darkest and gloomiest forest for his home, and
is found on the outskirts of the clearings only when in search of
plantains, bananas, sugar-cane, or pine-apples. Often he chooses for his
peculiar haunt a wood so dark that, even at midday, one can scarcely see
ten yards. Oh young folks! I wish you could have been with me in some
part of that great jungle, then you could have seen for yourselves.

Our little party had separated. My friends Malaouen and Querlaouen said
they were going to seek for elephants. Gambo, his friend, and myself
were to hunt for gorillas. Gambo and I kept together; for really, if I
had lost him, I should never have found my way back. All at once Gambo's
friend left us, saying that he was going to a spot where the _tondo_ (a
fruit) was plentiful, and there might be gorillas there; so he went off.

He had been gone but a short time when I heard a gun fired only a little
way from us, and then I heard the tremendous roar of the gorilla, which
sounded like distant thunder along the sky. The whole forest seemed
filled with the din. Oh how pale I must have looked! A cold shudder ran
through me. When I looked at Gambo, his face looked anxious. We gazed in
each other's faces without saying a word, but instinctively we made for
the spot where we had heard the roar of the gorilla and detonation of
the gun. When I first heard the gun I thought the gorilla had been
slain, and my heart was filled with joy; but the joy was of short
duration, for the roar immediately followed, to tell us that the gorilla
was not dead.

Then through the forest resounded once more the crack of a gun, and
immediately afterward the most terrific roars of the beast. He roared
three times, and then all became silent; no more roars were heard, no
more guns were fired. This time Gambo seized my arm in great agitation,
and we hurried on, both filled with a dreadful and sickening alarm. We
had not to go far before our worst fears were realized. We pressed
through the jungle in search of our companion, and at last found him.
The poor brave fellow, who had gone off alone, was lying on the ground
in a pool of his own blood, and, I at first thought, quite dead. Beside
him lay his gun; the stock was broken, and the barrel bent almost
double. In one place it was flattened, and it bore plainly the marks of
the gorilla's teeth.

Yes; the huge monster, in his rage, had bitten the barrel of the gun,
and his powerful teeth had gone fiercely into that piece of steel. What
a face he must have made as he held the barrel of that gun between his
tremendous teeth! how he must have gnashed them with rage! how the
wrinkles on his old face must have shown out! It must have been one of
the most horrid and frightful pictures that one could ever behold.

Lowering my body and putting my ear to his heart, I remained for a while
pale and speechless. At last I discovered that his heart beat. Oh how
glad I was!

I immediately tore to pieces the old shirt I wore--it was one of the
last I possessed--and the remaining leg of my pantaloons, and began to
dress his wounds. I never was much of a surgeon, so I felt somewhat
awkward and nervous. Then I poured into his mouth a little brandy, which
I took from the small flask I always carried with me in case of need,
which revived him a little, and he was able, with great difficulty, to
speak. And then he told us that he was walking in the jungle just where
the tondo grew, when he suddenly met, face to face, a huge male gorilla.
As soon as the gorilla saw him he was literally convulsed with rage, and
rushed at him. It was a very gloomy part of the wood, and there were a
great many barriers between him and the gorilla. It was almost quite
dark in that thicket, but he took good aim, and fired at the beast when
he was about eight yards off. The ball, he thought, had wounded him in
the side. The monster at once began beating his breast, giving three
most impressive roars, which shook the earth, and, with the greatest
rage, advanced upon him.

To run away was impossible. He would have been caught by the muscular
arm of the gorilla, and held in his powerful and giant hand, before he
could have taken a dozen steps in the jungle. "So," said the poor
fellow, "I stood my ground, and reloaded my gun as quickly as I could,
for the gorilla was slowly but steadily advancing upon me. As I raised
my gun to fire, the gorilla, which was quite close to me, stretched out
his long and powerful arm, and dashed the gun from my grasp. It struck
the ground with great violence and went off. Then, in an instant, and
with a terrible roar, the animal raised his arm and came at me with
terrific force. I was felled to the ground by a heavy blow from his
immense open paw."

Here the poor fellow tried to raise his arm to his abdomen, and
continued: "He cut me in two; and while I lay bleeding on the ground,
the monster seized my gun, and I thought he would dash my brains out
with it. That is all I remember. I know that I am going to die."

This huge gorilla thought the gun was his enemy, so he had seized it and
dashed it on the ground, and then, not satisfied, had taken it up again
and given it a tremendous bite--a bite which would have crushed the arm
of a man more easily than we crush the bones of a young spring chicken.

The great strength of the gorilla seems to lie in that big, long, and
gigantic muscular arm of his, and in his immense hands--which we may
call paws--with which he strikes, the hand always being almost wide open
as it strikes.

When we reached the spot the gorilla was gone, so Gambo blew his
antelope-horn, calling upon the other men to rejoin us. We then made,
with branches of trees, a kind of bed, laying lots of leaves over it,
upon which we carried the poor fellow back to the camp of the Ashiras.

I still remember the heart-rending, piercing wail I heard when I entered
the camp; how his poor wife came rushing out to meet him, holding his
hand and crying, "Husband, do speak to me--do speak to me once more!"
But he never spoke again, for at last his heart ceased to beat, and he
was dead. He had been killed by a gorilla.

How sorry I was. I felt truly unhappy. They entreated me to give the
poor fellow medicine. They seemed persuaded that I could prevent his
dying; but I was far from my head-quarters, where all my medicines were,
and I had nothing to suit his case.

The people declared, with one accord, that it was no true gorilla that
had attacked him, but a man--a wicked man that had been turned into a
gorilla. Such a being no one could escape, for he can not be killed.

The next morning I got up, and, taking my large bag, put into it
provisions for three days, adding two or three pounds of powder, with
forty or fifty large bullets. I took my best gun, and placed, as usual,
my two revolvers in the belt fastened round my waist, then painted my
hands and face with powdered charcoal, mixed with palm oil, so that I
might appear black. I took Querlaouen with me, telling him that I must
kill that gorilla. Querlaouen, at first, did not want to go, "for," said
he, "we will never be able to kill that man gorilla." But Querlaouen
always obeyed me.

[Illustration: GAMBO'S FRIEND KILLED BY A GORILLA.]

We proceeded at once into the thick of the jungle, making for the spot
where the poor man had been mortally wounded. I felt very sorry when I
saw the place where the man had been killed. A flush came over my face.
"Thou shalt be avenged!" I muttered. I looked at my gun with ferocious
joy; I held it up, and fondled it, and I must have looked fierce, for
poor Querlaouen appeared terrified. "Yes," said I to Querlaouen, "I
shall kill that very gorilla."

I followed for a while the tracks of the beast by the marks of blood he
had left on the trunks of the trees, but these became less and less
noticeable as I removed from the scene of that sad catastrophe. Finally
I lost those bloody hand-prints; but then I followed closely, and with
great care, other marks he had left in the jungle as he went along. At
times I would entirely lose these signs of the huge monster, then I
would find them again. I lost them finally, and I searched and searched,
but they were not to be seen. I had evidently gone astray. I was so
annoyed, so disheartened; for I had set my heart on killing that
gorilla, and I was on the point of giving up the chase. Querlaouen kept
a few hundred yards from me, and he could see no traces of the gorilla.

Suddenly, and by sheer carelessness, I had stepped on a dead branch of a
tree, and broke it. Of course, the breaking of that dry limb made a
noise. Immediately I heard a tremendous rush in the jungle, and then saw
an intensely black face peering through the leaves. The deep, gray,
sunken eyes of the great beast seemed to emit fire when they got sight
of me. Then he scattered the jungle with his two hands, raised himself
(for he was on all-fours) on his hind legs, gave from that huge chest
one of his deep, terrific roars, which shook the whole adjacent forest,
and rushed toward me, showing his immense teeth as he opened his mouth.

I had never before seen a gorilla come so quickly to the attack as did
this one. He walked in a waddling manner, his two arms extended toward
me, his body bent in the same direction, and it seemed to me that at any
moment I might see him tumble down on his face. This feeling was caused
by his peculiar walk.

I was calm, but it was the calm that precedes death--the feeling that in
one minute more I might be a dead man. I am sure not a muscle moved in
my face. I was steady, and said to myself, "Paul B. Du Chaillu, you will
never go home if you do not kill that creature on the spot, and before
he has a chance to get hold of your poor body."

As he approached nearer and nearer, I know that I was cool and
determined, but felt that within a few seconds all might be over with
me; for, if the diabolical creature once had me in his grasp, he would
crush me to death.

Here he is, only five yards distant, but the jungle is so thick that if
I fire my bullet may strike the limb of a tree. I wait. I feel that I am
as pale as death. I have raised my gun to my shoulder, and follow the
movements of the beast, all the time with it pointed at his head. Now he
is only four yards distant; I mean his body, for his arms are extended
toward me, and are much nearer.

I wait a little longer. He has made one step more toward me; he is
within three yards and a half of me. In three or four seconds more he
will be a dead gorilla or I a dead man. Just as he opened his mouth to
utter another of his frightful roars, and I could feel his breath on my
face, I fired, and shot him right through the heart.

He gave a leap, and fell, with a fearful groan, quite dead, his long,
powerful arm almost reaching me as he lay extended on the ground, as if
ready to clutch me; but it fell short by a few inches. I drew a heavy
breath, for my respiration had become short through excitement. I had a
narrow escape, for if the gorilla's hands in falling had reached me they
would have lacerated me terribly.

Querlaouen was perfectly wild. While the gorilla was coming to the
attack, he cried out with his powerful voice several times, and with all
his might, "Kombo, come here if you dare! come here!" He gave a
tremendous shout as the gorilla fell, advanced toward the dead monster,
fired right into his body, and then whirled round toward me. I thought
he had become insane, he looked so wild.

When we went up to the gorilla he was quite dead. His eyes were wide
open, his lips shut, and his teeth clinched together. When I took hold
of his hand a cold shiver ran through me, it was so big. The hand of
Goliath, the giant, could not have been any larger.

When we returned to the camp, and told how we had slain the gorilla,
there was immense rejoicing. Soon after a number of men went with
Querlaouen to fetch the monster, and when it made its appearance in the
village the people became intensely excited, and it was all I could do
to prevent them from hacking the body to pieces. I am happy to say,
however, that I was able to bring this big specimen to New York.



CHAPTER XVI.

     FUNERAL OF THE GORILLA'S VICTIM.--A MAN'S HEAD FOR THE
     ALUMBI.--THE SNAKE AND THE GUINEA-FOWL.--SNAKE KILLED.--VISIT
     TO THE HOUSE OF THE ALUMBI.--DETERMINE TO VISIT THE SEA-COAST.


Now the people were to bury the man who had been killed by that big
gorilla. His kindred arrived to get the body to carry it to his village.
Every man had his body and face painted in all sorts of colors. They
also wore their fetiches, and looked like so many devils coming out of
the woods.

After traveling the whole day we came to a strange village on the top of
a hill, at the foot of which there was a beautiful little stream, the
water of which never dried during the season when there was no rain.

As soon as we made our appearance the sounds of wailing and weeping
filled the air. The body was taken to the house of the deceased, where
his widows--for he had three wives--mourned, and wept, and cried so that
I felt the greatest sympathy for them.

At sunset silence reigned in the village. All the women had gone into
their huts, while the men seated themselves on the ground or on their
little stools. But suddenly a great wailing rent the air, and from every
hut came lamentations--sounds that were heart-rending. Then they sang
songs, praising the departed one--songs such as I have described to you
young folks in "Stories of the Gorilla Country."

At last, after two days, six stout men, covered with fetiches and
painted in the most fantastic manner, came to take the body, to leave it
in the woods under some big tree.

As soon as they were ready the tam-tams began to beat, and songs of
sorrow were chanted as they disappeared from the village. I followed the
body, for I wished to see what they would do. After a while we got into
the jungle, and soon came to a spot where the body was left. A fire was
lighted by its side, no doubt with the idea of keeping him warm; then
some boiled plantains, and a piece of cooked elephant and some smoked
fish, were put in a dish of wicker-work and placed at his head. All the
while the men kept muttering words I did not understand.

The day after the funeral, toward sunset, while I was looking for birds
in the forest, trying to obtain some new specimens which I might never
have seen before, I fell in with the brother of the deceased, and saw
that he was carrying something carefully packed--something which I could
not make out. I asked him what it was. At first he replied, "Nothing."
Then I said, "You must tell me." Thinking that I was getting angry, he
then answered, "Moguizi, I will tell you what it is. It is _the head of
my brother_ who was buried yesterday, and I have just been to get it."
"The head of your brother!" I exclaimed; "and why have you cut off the
head of your brother?" "Because," he answered, in a low whisper, "my
brother was a great hunter, a mighty warrior, and I want to put his head
in the house of the Alumbi. Moguizi, do not tell any one that you have
seen me with this head, for we never tell any one when we do this thing,
though we all do it. After we have been in the village I will show you
the house of the Alumbi."

So I let him go back to his village, and I went hunting for my birds.

As I was returning to my home in the village, I stopped on the bank of
the little stream, and there I perceived a very large snake enjoying a
bath. As the water was quite clear, I could see him perfectly. I thought
I would watch his movements rather than kill him.

The back of this snake was black, and his belly striped yellow and
black. It was of a very venomous kind, and one most dreaded by the
natives. I could not help a cold shudder running through me as I looked
at the reptile. By-and-by it came out of the water and remained still
for a little while. Then I saw a beautiful Guinea-fowl coming toward the
stream to drink. How beautiful the bird looked! I have before described
it in "Stories of the Gorilla Country." He came toward the water, and
just as it stood on the brink of the little stream, ready to drink, I
saw the huge snake crawling silently toward the bird. It crawled so
gently that I could not even hear the noise its body made as it glided
over the dead leaves that had fallen from the trees. It came nearer and
nearer, and it certainly did not make the noise that it does when not in
search of prey.

The poor Guinea-fowl, in the mean time, was unaware of the approach of
its enemy, and how greatly its life was in danger. So it lowered its
neck and dipped its bill into the water; once, twice, and the snake was
getting nearer and nearer; thrice, and the snake was close at hand; and
now the snake began to coil itself for a spring. Then the bird took one
drink more, and just as it turned its head back its eyes met those of
the snake, which stood glaring at the bird. The poor Guinea-fowl stood
still, moving not a step, and it was not more than half a yard from the
snake, when suddenly the monster sprang with a dart on the poor bird,
and before I had time to wink, part of its shiny black body was round
the fowl.

How pitiful were the cries of the poor Guinea-fowl! Quick, quick, quick,
and all was over. The snake's mouth distended, for he had begun to
swallow the bird by the head. Just then I fired in such a way as not to
hit the snake, and in his fright he disgorged the bird and left him and
the field, crawling out of the way as quick as possible. This time I
could hear the noise of the leaves. Indeed, it went off very fast, and I
was just on the point of losing sight of it, when I managed to send a
load of shot into its body, breaking the spine, as it was about half way
across the stream. Then I took a look at the dead Guinea-fowl. Toward
the neck the feathers were very slimy from the snake-froth. The snake
was now twisting about in all directions, but could neither advance nor
retreat, for you know that, its spine being cut, it could not swim, and
therefore soon died.

I picked up my Guinea-fowl, cut off the head of the snake, made a parcel
of its body, and took the trophies of my day's sport into the village,
where I gave a treat to some of my friends.

Soon after my return I went to see my friend Oyagui, who told me in a
most mysterious way to wait, and that he would show me the house of the
_Alumbi_ on the next day.

The next morning I did not see Oyagui, but toward sunset he came with
the same mysterious air, and told me to come with him. Then he led me to
the rear of his hut, where there was a little dwarfish house, which we
entered. There I saw three skulls of men resting on the ochre with which
he rubbed his body. One cake was red, another yellow, and another white.
There lay the skull of his father, of an uncle, and of a brother. As for
the fresh head he had cut the day before, it was not to be seen. There
were several fetiches hung above the skulls--fetiches which were famous,
and had led his ancestors to victory, gave them success in the hunt, and
had prevented them from being bewitched. One of these fetiches had two
claws of the eagle called _guanionien_, and three scales of an animal
called _ipi_, an ant-eater, the scales on which are very large and
thick. This ipi I had thus far never been able to see, though I had
heard of it. In the hut was also a plain iron chain, and in the
fore-ground the remains of a burning fire. Oyagui never spoke a word,
and after looking round I left, and he closed the door, which was made
of the bark of trees.

The people of the village were comparatively strange, and regarded me
with some fear. That day there was a new moon. In the evening all was
silent; hardly a whisper could be heard. The men had painted their
bodies, and there was no dancing or singing, so I retired to my hut, and
was soon soundly sleeping.

By this time I began to feel tired of my hard and exciting life, and
thought of gradually returning toward the sea-coast. In the morning I
had made up my mind to leave, and made preparations accordingly, and on
the following day I bade these people good-by, and started on my
return.



CHAPTER XVII.

     AT WASHINGTON ONCE MORE.--DELIGHTS OF THE SEA-SHORE.--I HAVE
     BEEN MADE A MAKAGA.--FRIENDS OBJECT TO MY RETURN INTO THE
     JUNGLE.--QUENGUEZA TAKEN SICK.--GIVES A LETTER TO HIS
     NEPHEW.--TAKING LEAVE.


Time passed away. In the mean time I had returned to Washington, that
beautiful little village I had built near the sea-shore on the banks of
the Fernand Vaz River. I brought down the innumerable trophies of my
wanderings while "lost in the jungle"--gorillas, chimpanzees,
kooloo-kamba, and other animals; also reptiles. The birds could be
counted by thousands, the other specimens by hundreds, all of which I
carefully stored.

Every day I would cross the tongue of land separating the Fernand Vaz
from the sea, and would go and look at the deep water of the ocean. My
eyes would try to look far into the distance, in the hope of spying a
sail. There was no vessel for me. I was still alone on that deserted
coast of the Gulf of Guinea.

I loved to steal away from Washington, and seat myself all alone on the
shore, and look at the big, long, rolling billows of the surf as they
came dashing along, white with foam; the booming sound they gave in
breaking was like music to me. It was so nice to have left that
everlasting jungle; to see prairie land and the wide expanse of the
Atlantic; to look at the sun as it disappeared, apparently under the
water. How grand the spectacle was! I loved to look at the gulls, to
hear their shrill cries, for these cries were so unlike those of the
birds of the great forest. There was also something very invigorating in
that strong sea breeze that came from the south and southwest. Beyond
the breakers I could see now and then the fins of some huge sharks
searching for their prey; sometimes they would hardly appear to move, at
other times they swam very fast.

The time had not yet come for me to return to New York. I must go back
again into the great jungle; I must discover new mountains, new rivers,
new tribes of people, new beasts, and new birds; I must have more fights
with gorillas, more elephant-hunting. I would be so glad to see
Querlaouen, Malaouen, and Gambo.

While I was in the interior, the Commi people, in great council, had
made me a _makaga_, which title only one man, and he generally the best
hunter and bravest, may bear. The office of the makaga is to lead in all
desperate frays. He is the avenger of blood. If any one has murdered one
of his fellow-villagers, and the murderer's townspeople refuse to give
him up (which almost always happens, for they think it a shame to
surrender any one who has taken refuge with them), then it is the office
of the makaga to take the great warriors of the tribe, to attack and
destroy the village, and cut off the heads of as many people as he can.

If any one is suspected of being a wizard, and runs away from his
village, it is the business of the makaga to follow and capture him. In
that case he is a kind of sheriff. In fact, he has to see that the laws
are executed.

It was only among the Commi that I heard of a makaga.

So you may conceive I did not care to be a makaga, and in a great
meeting of the chiefs I declared I could not be. But they all shouted,
"We want you, the great slayer of beasts, to be our makaga; we want you
to stay with us all the time."

I was getting well and strong again, for I had taken a long rest. I
concluded I must go again into the jungle.

My good friend Ranpano said, "Why do you wish to go back into the
forest? If you go again to countries where not one black man has ever
gone before, we shall never see you again. I have heard that the people
want you; they only desire to kill you, for they want to get your skull;
they want to make a fetich of your hair. They have many fetiches, but
they want one from your hair and brain. We love you; you are our white
man. What you tell us to do, we do. When you say it is wrong, we do not
do it. We take care of your house, your goats, your fowls, your parrots,
your monkeys, and your antelopes;" then shouted with a loud voice, "We
love you!"

To which all the people answered, "Yes, we love him. He is our white
man, and we have no other white man."

Then the king continued: "We know that writing talks; write to us,
therefore, a letter to prove to your friends, if you do not come back,
that we have not hurt you; so that when a vessel from the white-man
country comes, we can show your letter to the white men." These poor
people had an idea that every white man must know me like they knew me.

Finally, when they saw I was bound to go once more to the jungle, they
gave me up, all exclaiming in accents of wonder, "Ottangani angani (man
of the white men), what is the matter with you that you have no fear?
God gave you the heart of a leopard; you were born without fear!"

Just as I was making the final preparations for my departure, a great
trial came upon me. Quengueza, who had accompanied me to the coast,
became dangerously ill. There were murmurs among the up-river people.

I began to despair of his life. All the medicine I gave him seemed for a
while to do him no good, and he became thinner and thinner every day,
till at last he looked almost like a skeleton.

How anxious I felt! Was my great and beloved African friend to die? What
would the people say? for I had brought him down from his country. They
would surely say that I had killed their king. I could not make out what
would be the end if so great a misfortune was to happen. The murmurs of
the people, which had already began, caused me sad forebodings of the
future.

But there was still a bright spot.

Quengueza knew that, even if I could, I would not make him ill; he knew
I loved him too well, and every day he would declare that whoever said
that I had made him ill was a liar. And one morning I heard him protest
that the man who would say that his friend Chally had made him ill was a
wizard. Of course, after such talk, the people took good care to keep
their tongues quiet.

Finally he got better and better, and became stronger. What a load of
anxiety was removed from my mind!

I felt that I must go now; the rainy season was coming on. Quengueza
was not strong enough; besides, he wanted to remain, for he had business
to transact with some of the sea-shore chiefs after he was well enough
to go about.

So Quengueza called one of his nephews of the name of Rapero, and as
these people do not write, he gave him "his mouth;" that is to say, he
sent word to his brother, or, as I discovered after, to his nephew, who
reigned in his stead in Goumbi, to give me as many people as I wanted;
and he ordered that his nephew Adouma must be the chief of the party who
were to accompany me in the Ashira country, and to take me to Olenda,
the king of that people.

My dear little Commi boy Macondai was to come with me, and he was the
only one at the sea-side Quengueza would allow to return.

Then, when all was ready for our departure, I went to bid good-by to my
two best friends in Africa, King Ranpano and King Quengueza. I have told
you before how much I loved King Quengueza, the great chief of the Rembo
River. In the presence of all the people, having his idol by his side,
covered with the chalk of the Alumbi, he took my two hands in his, the
palms of our hands touching each other. Then he invoked the spirits of
his ancestor Kombé Ricati Ratenou, and of his mother Niavi, marking me
on the forehead with the _mpeshou_ (ochre) of his mother Niavi; then he
invoked her spirit, for his sake, to protect me, his great friend. He
invoked, also, the spirits of his ancestors who had done great deeds to
follow me once more in the jungle where he and his people had never
been, so that no one could hurt me.

There was a dead silence when the old chief spoke. After pausing a
while, he took a piece of wild cane, which he chewed; then put in his
mouth a little piece of the _mpeshou_, and chewed the two together. He
then spat the stuff he had chewed on me and round me, still holding my
hands, upon which he breathed gently and said, "May the spirits of my
ancestors, as the wind that I have blown upon you, follow you wherever
you go." And then he shouted with a tremendous voice, "Niavi, Kombé
Ricati Ratenou, be with my white man in the jungle where he goes!"

[Illustration: BIDDING GOOD-BY TO QUENGUEZA.]



CHAPTER XVIII.

     DEPARTURE.--ARRIVAL AT GOUMBI.--THE PEOPLE ASK FOR THE KING.--A
     DEATH PANIC IN GOUMBI.--A DOCTOR SENT FOR.--DEATH TO THE
     ANIEMBAS.--THREE WOMEN ACCUSED.--THEY ARE TRIED AND KILLED.


After receiving Quengueza's blessing I jumped in our canoe, and soon the
merry sound of the paddles was heard, and once more I ascended the
river. The breeze was fresh, the tide was coming in, and every thing was
in our favor.

The sickness of Quengueza had delayed me so much that it was now
October. We were in the middle of the rainy season, and it was not very
comfortable weather for traveling.

My outfit was composed chiefly of powder, shot, bullets, beads,
looking-glasses, bracelets of brass and copper, and a lot of trinkets
for presents, and also some fine pieces of prints and silks, with a few
shirts and coats, for the chiefs. I had also a clock and a musical box.

When we reached Goumbi, the head village of Quengueza's dominions, we
were pretty well tired out, for on our way we had encountered two very
heavy rain-storms, preceded each by a tornado. The people, not seeing
him with me, asked after their king, Quengueza, crying out, "Our king
went with you, why have you not brought him back? When he went with you
he was well, why has he been sick?"

Then one of the king's nephews gave me Quengueza's house, and Mombon,
his head slave, came to receive my orders. Old friend Etia came also,
and I was delighted to see him.

Toward sunset I heard a good deal of drumming, and songs being sung to
Abambou and Mbuiri. I knew at once by these songs that somebody was very
sick. It proved to be Mpomo, one of the nephews of the king. Mpomo was a
great friend of mine; his wives and his people had always given me
plenty of food, and if you have not heard of him before, it is because
he was neither a hunter, a man of the jungle, nor a warrior.

I was asked to go and see him. The people had spent the night before
drumming by the side of the bed where he lay, to drive the Abambou and
the aniemba away; that is to say, the devil and witchcraft. On entering
the hut, I was shocked at the appearance of my old friend. I could see,
by his dim eyes, that he was soon to die, and as I took hold of his
wrist and touched his pulse, I found it so weak that I was afraid he
could scarcely live through the approaching night. As he saw me, he
extended his hands toward me (for I had taught these people to shake
hands), and said, in such a pitiful and low voice, "Chally, save me, for
I am dying!"

In his hut and outside of it were hundreds of people, most of them moved
to tears, for they were afraid that their friend, one of the leading men
of the tribe, and one of the nephews of their king, was going to die.
His wives were by his bedside, and watched him intently.

I said to him, "Mpomo, I am not God; I am unable to make a tree turn
into a fish or an animal. I am a man, and my life is in the hands of
God, as yours is. You must ask God, and not your fetiches, to make you
well." Unfortunately, they all thought I could make him well. His
friends insisted that I should give him medicine. At last I gave him
some. In that country I was afraid to give medicine to men who were very
sick. This will seem strange to you, but you will not wonder at it when
I tell you that these savages are very superstitious. If the sick person
got well after I had given him the medicine, it was all right; but if he
got worse, then I was blamed, for they said, "If he had not taken the
medicine of the white man instead of our own, he would have got well."

I warned them that I thought Mpomo could not get well. I loved him as
well as they did, and felt very sorry. But they all replied, with one
voice, "Mpomo will not die unless somebody has bewitched him."

Early the next morning, just before daybreak, the wailings and mournful
songs of the natives rent the air. The whole village was in lamentation.
Poor Mpomo had just died; he had gone to his long rest. He had died a
poor heathen, believing in idols, witchcraft, fetiches, and in evil and
good spirits.

How mournful were their cries! "All is done with Mpomo! We shall never
see him again! He will never speak to us any more! We shall not see him
paddle his canoe any more! He will walk no more in the village!"

At the last moment, when a Commi man is dying, his head wife comes and
throws herself beside him on his bed, and surrounds his body with her
arms, telling him that she loves him, and begging him not to die. As if
the poor man wanted to die!

I immediately went to Mpomo's hut. I saw his poor wives in tears
sitting upon the ground, throwing moistened ashes and dust over their
bodies, shaving their hair, and tearing the clothes they wore into rags.
Now and then they took the lifeless body of poor Mpomo in their arms; at
other times they would kneel at his motionless feet, and implore him to
open his eyes and look at them.

As soon as the news of Mpomo's death spread in the village, there was
great excitement from one end of it to the other. Fear was on every
face; each man and woman thought death was soon to overtake them. Each
one dreaded his neighbor; fathers dreaded their sons and their wives;
the sons their fathers and mothers; brothers and sisters were in fear of
each other. A panic of the wildest kind had spread among the people of
Goumbi; neither men nor women were in their senses. They fancied
themselves surrounded by the shadow of death, and they saw it ready to
get hold of them and carry them away to that last sleep of which they
were so afraid.

The people talked of nothing but witchcraft, of wizards, and witches.
They were sure that Mpomo had been bewitched.

Two days elapsed before Mpomo was buried, and then a large canoe came,
and Mpomo's relatives took the body down the river, where the cemetery
of the Abouya clan was situated. This cemetery was some fifty miles down
the river, beyond Quayombi.

As the body was placed in the canoe, the people of the whole village
mourned. The shrieks of his wives were heart-rending, and it was, who
should show the greatest sorrow among the people; for every one was
afraid of being accused of aniemba (sorcery); for if they did not
appear very sorry, they would be sure to be suspected of being aniembas
(sorcerers).

Immediately after the departure of the funeral procession, every man
came out armed to the teeth, their faces betokening angry fear, all
shouting and screaming, "There are people among us who kill other
people. Let us find them out. Let us kill them. How is it--Mpomo was
well a few days ago, and now Mpomo is dead?" A canoe was then
immediately dispatched among the Bakalai in order to get a celebrated
doctor, who had the reputation of being able to discover wizards at
once.

The excitement of the savages became extreme. They wanted blood. They
wanted to find victims. They wanted to kill somebody. Old and young, men
and women, were frantic with a desire for revenge on the sorcerers.

The doctor came. The people surrounded him, shouting, "We have wizards
among us. We have sent for you to find them. Do find them out, for if
you do not, our people will be dying all the time."

Then the mboundou was prepared. I have described it to you before, and
how it is prepared. The doctor drank a big cup of it in one draught.

Oh how his body trembled; how his eyes afterward became bloodshot, his
veins enlarged. How the people looked at him with bloodthirsty eyes, and
with mouths wide open.

Every man and boy was armed, some with spears, some with swords, some
with guns loaded to the muzzle, some with axes and huge knives, and on
every face I could see a determination to wreak a bloody revenge on
those who should be pointed out as the criminals. The whole people were
possessed with an indescribable fury and horrid thirst for human blood.

I shall never forget the sight. There I stood, alone in the midst of
this infuriated populace, looking at those faces, so frightened, but, at
the same time, so thirsty for blood. A cold shudder ran through me, for
I knew not what would come next. I knew not but the whole village of
Goumbi might be deluged in blood. I am sure you would have felt as I
did.

For the first time my voice was without authority in Goumbi. No one
wanted to hear me when I said that nobody must be killed; that there
were no such things as sorcerers. "Chally, we are not the same people
you are. Our country is full of witchcraft. Death to the wizards!"
shouted they all, in tones which made the village shake. "Death to the
_aniembas_!"

They, were all surrounding the doctor, as I have said before, when, at a
motion from the stranger, the people became at once very still. Not a
whisper could be heard. How oppressed I felt as I looked on. This sudden
silence lasted about one minute, when the loud, harsh voice of the
doctor was heard.

The people did not seem to be able to breathe, for no one knew if his
name would be the one that should be called, and he be accused of the
crime of witchcraft.

"There is a very black woman--a young woman--who lives in a house having
one door only, with a large bunch of lilies growing by the door. Not far
off is a tree to which the _ogouloungou_ birds come every day."

Scarcely had he ended when the crowd, roaring and screaming like so many
beasts, rushed frantically for the place indicated, when, to my horror,
I saw them enter the hut of my good friend Okandaga, and seize the poor
girl, who looked so frightened that I thought she had lost her reason. I
shouted with all the power of my voice, "You are not going to kill the
beautiful and good Okandaga--the pride and beauty of the village? No,"
said I, "you are not to kill her." But my voice was drowned. They
dragged her from her hut, and waved their deadly weapons over her head.
They tore her off, shouting and cursing, and as the poor, good African
girl passed in the hands of her murderers, I thought the big tree behind
which I was looking might hide me from her view. But lo! she saw me, and
with a terrible shriek she cried, extending her arms toward me, "Chally,
Chally, do not let me die. Do not let these people kill me. I am not a
witch. I have not killed Mpomo. Chally, be a friend to me. You know how
I have taken care of you--how I have given you food; how often I have
given you water."

I trembled all over. I shook like a reed. It was a moment of terrible
agony to me. The blood rushed toward my head. I seized my gun and one of
my revolvers which was in my belt. I had a mind to fire into the
crowd--shoot people right and left--send dismay among them--rescue dear
and kind Okandaga, who was now poor and helpless--who had not a friend;
put her in a canoe, and carry her down the river. But then, run
away--where? I too would have murdered people. Perhaps some of the
nephews of my friend Quengueza would be among those I should kill. Then
what should I say to Quengueza? They were too frantic and crazed. The
end would have been, I should have been murdered without saving the life
of Okandaga. How I cried that same evening. I remember it so well. I
cried like a child. I would have given all I had to save Okandaga's
life.

[Illustration: "CHALLY, CHALLY, DO NOT LET ME DIE."]

"After all," said I to myself, "what am I?"

They took her toward the banks of the Rembo and bound her with cords.

Quengueza, as you know, was not in Goumbi. How much I wished he had
been.

Presently silence fell again upon the crowd. Then the harsh and
demon-like voice of the doctor once more rang over the town. It seemed
to me like the hoarse croak of some death-foretelling raven.

"There is an old woman not far from the king's place. She lives in a
long and narrow house, and just in front of the house are plantain-trees
which come from the sprouts which were planted by Oganda, the king's
eldest brother, who is now dead. There is also, back of her house, a
lime-tree which is now covered with fruit. She has bewitched Mpomo."

Again the crowd rushed off. This time they seized a princess, a niece of
King Quengueza, a noble-hearted and rather majestic old woman. As they
crowded about her with flaming eyes and threats of death, she rose
proudly from the ground, looked them in the face unflinchingly, and,
motioning them to keep their hands off her, said, "I will drink the
mboundou, for I am not a witch; and woe to my accusers if I do not die!"

The crowd shouted and vociferated. Then she too was escorted to the
river, but was not bound. She submitted to all without a tear or a
murmur for mercy; she was too proud. Belonging directly to the families
of the chiefs of the Abouya tribes from times of which they had no
record, she wanted to show that she was not afraid of death. Pride was
in her features, and she looked haughtily at her accusers, who left a
strong guard, and then went back to the doctor.

Again, a third time, the dreadful silence fell upon the town, and the
doctor's voice was heard.

Oh how I hated that voice!

"There is a woman with six children--she lives on a plantation toward
the rising sun--she too bewitched Mpomo."

Again there was a furious shout, and the whole town seemed to shake
under the uproar of voices clamoring for vengeance. A large squad of
people rushed toward a plantation not far from the village. They
returned soon after, appearing frantic, as if they were all crazy, and
went toward the bank of the river, dragging with them one of King
Quengueza's slaves, a good woman who many and many a time had brought me
baskets of ground-nuts, bunches of bananas, and plantains. Her they took
to where the two others were.

Then the doctor descended the street of the village. How fierce he
looked! He wore round his waist a belt made from the skin of a leopard;
on his neck he wore the horn of an antelope, filled with charmed powder,
and hanging from it was a little bell. Round his belt hung long feathers
of the ogouloungou bird; on his wrists he wore bracelets made from the
bones of snakes; while round his neck were several cords, to which were
attached skins of wild animals, tails of monkeys, leopards' and monkeys'
teeth, scales of pangolins, and curious-looking dry leaves mingled with
land and river shells. His face was painted red, his eyebrows white, and
all over his body were scattered white and yellow spots. His teeth were
filed to a point, and altogether he looked horrid. I wish I could have
shot that monster; but then they all think alike--they all believe in
witchcraft. He approached the women, and the crowd surrounded them.

Silence again succeeded to that great uproar; the wind seemed to whisper
through the boughs of the trees; the tranquil river glided down, whose
waters were soon to be stained with blood.

In a loud voice the doctor recited the crime of which the three women
were accused. Then, pointing to Okandaga, he said that she had, a few
weeks before, asked Mpomo for some salt, he being her relative. "Salt
was scarce," said he, looking toward the frantic multitude, "and Mpomo
refused her; she said unpleasant words to him, for she was angry that he
had refused her salt. Then she vowed to bewitch him, and had succeeded,
and by sorcery had taken his life."

The people shouted, "Oh, Okandaga, that is the way you do--you kill
people because they do not give you what you ask. You shall drink the
mboundou! That sweet face of yours is that of a witch. Ah! ah! ah! and
we did not know it."

The crime of Quengueza's niece came next to be told. She had been
jealous of Mpomo for a long time because he had children and she had
none. She envied him; therefore jealousy and envy took possession of
her, and she bewitched him.

The people screamed, "How could a woman be so wicked as to kill a man
because he had children and she had none! We will give you mboundou to
drink, and we will see if you are not a witch."

Quengueza's slave had asked Mpomo for a looking-glass. He had refused
her, and therefore she had killed him with sorcery also.

As each accusation was recited the people broke out in curses. Each one
rivaled his neighbor in cursing the victims, fearful lest lukewarmness
in the ceremony should expose him to a like fate. So Okandaga's father,
mother, brother, and sisters joined in the curses. The king's niece was
cursed by her brothers and sons, and the poor slave by every body. It
was a fearful scene to contemplate.

Then a passage was formed in the vast crowd, and the three women were
led to the river, where a large canoe was in waiting. The executioners
went in first, then the women, the doctor, and a number of people well
armed with huge knives and axes.

By this time the sweat ran down my face. I must have been deadly pale as
I followed each motion of these people.

Then the tam-tams beat, and the proper persons prepared the mboundou.

Quabi, Mpomo's eldest brother, who was to inherit all of Mpomo's
property, held the poisoned cup. At sight of it poor Okandaga began
again to cry, and Quengueza's niece turned pale in the face, for even
the negro face at such times attains a pallor which is quite
perceptible. Three other canoes, full of armed men, surrounded that in
which the victims were.

A mug full of mboundou was then handed to the old slave woman, next to
the royal niece, and last to the young and kind Okandaga. As they drank,
the multitude shouted, "If they are witches, let the mboundou kill them;
if they are innocent, let the mboundou go out!"

It was the most exciting scene in my life. My arrival in the cannibal
country was as nothing compared with this. Though horror froze my blood,
my eyes were riveted upon the spectacle. I could not help it. Suddenly
the slave fell down. She had not touched the boat's bottom before her
head was hacked off by a dozen rude swords, the people shouting "Kill
her! kill her!" Next came Quengueza's niece. In an instant her head was
off, and her blood was dyeing the waters of the river.

During all this time my eyes had been riveted on poor Okandaga. I hoped
that she would not fall, but soon she too staggered, and struggled, and
cried, vainly resisting the effects of the poison in her system. There
was a dead silence--the executioners themselves were still--for Okandaga
was the belle of the village, and had more lovers than any body else;
but, alas! she finally fell, and in an instant her head was hewn off.

Then all was confusion. In an incredibly short space of time the bodies
were cut in pieces and thrown in the river.

I became dizzy; my eyes wandered about; the perspiration fell down from
my face in big drops; I could hardly breathe, and I thought I would fall
insensible. One scene more like this, and I should have become mad. The
image of poor Okandaga was before me, begging me to save her. I retired
to my hut, but it felt so hot inside that I could not stay.

When all was over, the crowd dispersed without saying a word; the clamor
ceased, and for the rest of the day the village was silent.

In the evening my friend Adouma, uncle of Okandaga, came secretly to my
house to tell me how sorry he was that Okandaga had been killed. He
said, "Chailly, I was compelled to take part in the dreadful scene. I
was obliged to curse Okandaga, but what my mouth said my heart denied.
If I had acted otherwise I should have been a dead man before now."

I then spoke to Adouma of the true God, and told him that nothing in the
world lasted forever. Men, women, and children died, just as he saw
young and old trees die. Often a young tree would die before an old one.
Hence young men and young women would frequently die before older ones.



CHAPTER XIX.

     QUENGUEZA ORDERS ILOGO TO BE CONSULTED ABOUT HIS ILLNESS.--WHAT
     THE PEOPLE THINK OF ILOGO.--A NOCTURNAL SÉANCE.--SONG TO
     ILOGO.--A FEMALE MEDIUM.--WHAT ILOGO SAID.


What a strange village Goumbi is! It is well that I am the friend of
King Quengueza. The people are so superstitious. We had hardly got over
the affair of witchcraft when the people declared they must find some
means of ascertaining the cause of the king's sufferings. Quengueza had
sent word himself that his people must try to find out from _Ilogo_ why
he was sick, and what he must do for his recovery.

Ilogo is believed by the people to be a spirit living in the moon--a
mighty spirit, who looks down upon the inhabitants of the earth--a
spirit to whom the black man can talk. "Yes," they said, "Ilogo's face
can be seen; look at it." Then they pointed out to me the spots on the
moon which we can see with our naked eye. These spots were the
indistinct features of the spirit.

One fine evening, at full moon (for, to consult Ilogo, the moon must be
full, or nearly so), the women of the village assembled in front of the
king's house. Clustered close together, and seated on the ground, with
their faces turned toward the moon, they sang songs. They were
surrounded by the men of the village. I shall not soon forget that wild
scene. The sky was clear and beautiful; the moon shone in its
brightness, eclipsing by its light that of the stars, except those of
the first magnitude; the air was calm and serene, and the shadows of the
tall trees upon the earth appeared like queer phantoms.

[Illustration: THE SONGS TO ILOGO.]

The songs of the women were to and in praise of Ilogo, the spirit that
lived in ogouayli (the moon). Presently a woman seated herself in the
centre of the circle of singers and began a solo, gazing steadfastly at
the moon, the people every now and then singing in chorus with her. She
was to be inspired by the spirit Ilogo to utter prophecies.

At last she gave up singing, for she could not get into a trance. Then
another woman took her place, in the midst of the most vociferous
singing that could be done by human lips. After a while the second woman
gave place to a third--a little woman, wiry and nervous. She seated
herself like the others, and looked steadily at the moon, crying out
that she could see Ilogo, and then the singing redoubled in fury. The
excitement of the people had at that time become very great; the drums
beat furiously, the drummers using all their strength, until covered
with perspiration; the outsiders shouted madly, and seemed to be almost
out of their senses, for their faces were wrinkled in nervous
excitement, their eyes perfectly wild, and the contortions they made
with their bodies indescribable.

The excitement was now intense, and the noise horrible. The songs to
Ilogo were not for a moment discontinued, but the pitch of their voices
was so great and so hoarse that the words at last seemed to come with
difficulty. The medium, the women, and the men all sang with one accord:

    "Ilogo, we ask thee,
    Tell who has bewitched the king!
    Ilogo, we ask thee,
    What shall we do to cure the king?
    The forests are thine, Ilogo!
    The rivers are thine, Ilogo!
    The moon is thine!
    O moon! O moon! O moon!
    Thou art the home of Ilogo!
    Shall the king die? O Ilogo!
    O Ilogo! O moon! O moon!"

These words were repeated over and over, the people getting more
terribly excited as they went on. The woman who was the medium, and who
had been singing violently, looked toward the moon, and began to
tremble. Her nerves twitched, her face was contorted, her muscles
swelled, and at last her limbs straightened out. At this time the
wildest of all wild excitement possessed the people. I myself looked on
with intense curiosity. She fell on her back on the ground, insensible,
her face turned up to the moon. She looked as if she had died in a fit.

The song to Ilogo continued with more noise than ever; but at last
comparative quiet followed, compelled, I believe, by sheer exhaustion
from excitement. But the people were all gazing intently on the woman's
face.

I shall not forget that scene by moonlight, nor the corpse-like face of
that woman, so still and calm. How wild it all looked! The woman, who
lay apparently dead before the savages, was expected at this time to see
things in the world of Ilogo--that is to say, the moon--to see the great
spirit Ilogo himself; and, as she lay insensible, she was supposed to be
holding intercourse with him. Then, after she had conversed with the
great spirit Ilogo, she would awake, and tell the people all she saw and
all that Ilogo had said to her.

For my part, I thought she really was dead. I approached her, and
touched her pulse. It was weak, but there was life. After about half an
hour of insensibility she came to her senses, but she was much
prostrated. She seated herself without rising, looking round as if
stupefied. She remained quite silent for a while, and then began to
speak.

"I have seen Ilogo, I have spoken to Ilogo. Ilogo has told me that
Quengueza, our king, shall not die; that Quengueza is going to live a
long time; that Quengueza was not bewitched, and that a remedy prepared
from such a plant (I forget the name) would cure him. Then," she added,
"I went to sleep, and when I awoke Ilogo was gone, and now I find myself
in the midst of you."

The people then quietly separated, as by that time it was late, and all
retired to their huts, I myself going to mine, thinking of the wild
scene I had just witnessed, and feeling that, the longer I remained in
that strange country, the more strange the customs of the people
appeared to me. Soon all became silent, and nothing but the barking of
the watchful little native dogs broke the stillness of the night. The
moon continued to shine over that village, the inhabitants of which had
run so wild with superstition.



CHAPTER XX.

     DEPARTURE FROM GOUMBI.--QUERLAOUEN'S VILLAGE.--FIND IT
     DESERTED.--QUERLAOUEN DEAD.--HE HAS BEEN KILLED BY AN
     ELEPHANT.--ARRIVE AT OBINDJI'S TOWN.--MEETING WITH QUERLAOUEN'S
     WIDOW.--NEITHER MALAOUEN NOR GAMBO AT HOME.


After a few days thus spent in Goumbi, we had to get ready to be off.

Adouma made the preparations for our journey; canoes were lying on the
banks of the river, waiting to carry the people Quengueza had ordered to
go with me. These were, for the most part, the king's slaves. Plantains
and cassava had been gathered for our journey. We were to ascend the
river as far as Obindji.

One fine morning we started, several very large canoes being filled with
men who were to escort me.

Adouma was in my canoe, holding a large paddle as a rudder. We were in a
canoe which was chiefly loaded with my outfit and presents.

We left Goumbi silently, for the death of Mpomo made singing out of
order. The people were in mourning.

Some of the men who were to accompany me had most curious names, such as
Gooloo-Gani, Biembia, Agambie-Mo, Jombai, Monda, Akondogo.

The day became exceedingly hot and sultry, and toward evening we were
overtaken by a terrible storm of wind and rain--a real tornado burst
upon us.

The next morning we were on our way for the upper river.

I was glad I was about to see my old friend Querlaouen once more. I was
also to see my other friends, Malaouen and Gambo.

I had nice presents for Querlaouen, and pretty beads for his wife and
children. Among the presents for Querlaouen was a handsome gun and a keg
of powder for shooting elephants, leopards, gorilla, and all sorts of
wild game.

As we ascended the river I recognized the point on the other side of
which was Querlaouen's plantation. I ordered the men to sing, in order
that Querlaouen might thus hear of our arrival. The nearer we came to
the point the louder became the beatings of my heart. To see old
Querlaouen, with whom I had had so many pleasant days; who had bravely
shared all kinds of danger with me, including hunger and starvation;
with whom I had slain gorilla--I was in a hurry to give to him and his
wife their presents. To see such a friend was indeed to have a great
treat.

Our canoes soon passed the point. I was looking eagerly, watching for
somebody on the river bank. No one! Perhaps our songs had not pierced
through the woods. The wind was coming from an opposite direction.

"Sing louder," I exclaimed, for I fancied they did not sing loud enough.
They looked at me as if they would have said, "What's the matter with
Chally, he looks so excited?" Little did they know my feelings, and how
my heart beat for Querlaouen.

They sang louder, till I could hear the echo of their voices among the
hills that surrounded us. I looked, but no one was on the shore.
Querlaouen might have gone hunting, but surely his wife, or brother, or
some of his children must be there. All was silent.

I shouted with all my power, "Querlaouen, your friend Chally has come!
your friend Chally has come!" but the hills sent back the echo of my
voice to me. I fired a gun, and the echo resounded from hill to hill,
and no one came. I began to feel oppressed. A presentiment flashed over
my mind. Was Querlaouen dead?

At last I landed on the very shore where Querlaouen lived. Again I
shouted, "Querlaouen, where are you?" I called his wife. The silence of
death was there.

I advanced, but lo! when I reached the village, it was deserted. Not a
soul was seen. The jungle was the thickest where his little clearing had
been. The houses had tumbled down. Desolation was before me. The grass
had grown to a man's height in the little street.

What a pang of sorrow shot through my heart! I could not help it. I
shouted, "Querlaouen! my friend Querlaouen, what has become of you? You
are not dead, are you?" and I looked with profound sadness on the scene
around. Days that had passed came to my memory.

I retraced my steps, disappointed, and with a foreboding heart. On the
river bank, just as I was on the point of stepping into the canoe, a
Bakalai came out from the jungle. He had recognized me, and came to meet
me.

As soon as I saw him, I cried out, "Where is friend Querlaouen?" His
answer seemed so long in coming--"Dead!"

"Dead!" I exclaimed; "Querlaouen dead!" and, I could not help it, two
tears rolled down my cheeks.

"Querlaouen dead!" I repeated again. The recollection of that good and
noble savage flashed upon me as fast as thought can flash, and once more
and in a low voice I said, "Dead! Querlaouen dead!"

When I became composed again, I asked, "How did he die?"

"One day," said the Bakalai man, "a few _moons_ ago--it was in the dry
season--Querlaouen took his gun and a slave along with him, and went out
into the woods to hunt after an elephant which had the day before
destroyed a whole plantation of plantain-trees, and had trampled down
almost a whole patch of sugar-cane. His slave, who accompanied him, but
had left him for a few minutes to look at one of the plantations close
by, heard the report of Querlaouen's gun. He waited for his return, but
Querlaouen did not come back. He waited so long that he began to feel
anxious, and at last set out to seek him. He found him in the forest
dead, and trampled into a shapeless mass by the beast, which he had
wounded mortally, but which had strength enough to rush at and kill its
enemy. Not far from Querlaouen lay the elephant, dead."

How poor Querlaouen, who was so prudent a hunter, could have been caught
by the elephant, I could not learn.

The man said it was an aniemba (witchcraft) that had killed Querlaouen;
that Querlaouen's brother had bewitched him, and caused, by witchcraft,
the elephant to trample upon him.

The brother was killed by the mboundou which the people made him drink;
for they said his brother made him go hunt that day, when he knew the
elephant would kill him.

That family, who really loved each other, and lived in peace and unity,
was then divided asunder. The brother being killed, the women and
children had gone to live with those to whom they belonged by the law of
inheritance, and were thus scattered in several villages.

With a heavy heart I entered my canoe, but not before giving a bunch of
beads to the Bakalai who had told me the story of the untimely death of
poor Querlaouen.

We ascended the river silently, I thinking of the frailty of human life,
and that perhaps a day might come when some elephant would trample upon
me, or some ferocious leopard carry me away in his jaws, or some gorilla
would, with one blow of his powerful hand, cut my body in two. Perhaps
fever might kill me. I might encounter an unfriendly tribe and be
murdered.

I raised a silent prayer to the Great Ruler of the universe to protect
me, and said, "God, thou knowest that I am guided only by the love of
discovering the wonders of thy creation, so that I may tell to my
fellow-creatures all that I have seen. I am but a worm; there is no
strength in me. What am I in this great forest?" Oh how helpless I felt.
The news of Querlaouen's death had very much depressed my spirits,
casting a heavy gloom over me.

To this day I love to think of friend Querlaouen, of his family, and of
his children, and of the great hunts we have had together.

We finally approached Obindji's town, and soon were landed on the
shore, where his little village was built with the bark of trees.

I need not say what a welcome we received. But lo! what do I see?
Querlaouen's wife! She had come here on a visit. As is customary in that
country for friends who have not seen each other for a long time, we
embraced.

The good woman was so glad to see me. She still wore the marks of her
widowhood. Her hair was shorn, she wore no ornament whatever, and did
not even wash.

She spent the evening with me, telling me all her troubles, and that, as
soon as her season of widowhood was finished, she was to become the wife
of Querlaouen's youngest brother. "But," added she, "I will never love
any one as I loved Querlaouen." She was to live in the mountains of the
Ashankolo.

This was probably the last time I was to see the wife of my good friend
Querlaouen, the Bakalai hunter, and all the friendship I ever had for
her husband was now hers; so I went quietly to one of my chests, and,
taking a necklace of large beads, fixed it round her neck; then put my
hand on the top of her head, and gave her a _bongo_ (a law), which was,
that she must never part with these beads, and that, as years would roll
by, she must say, "These beads came from Chally, Querlaouen's friend."

The old woman was so much touched that she trembled, and tears stood in
her eyes.

After keeping the necklace for two or three minutes round her neck, she
took it off, for a woman in mourning can not wear any ornaments. She
said she would keep the beads till she died, and then they should be
buried with her. I gave her some other presents, which she hid, "for,"
said she, "if the people knew I had such nice things, they might bewitch
me in order to obtain them. Chally, the country is full of aniemba."
These last words she uttered in a very low voice.

[Illustration: GIVING BEADS TO QUERLAOUEN'S WIFE.]

Obindji told me that he had heard Malaouen had gone on some trading
expedition. I had, therefore, only to regret not being able to see him
or Gambo, who had returned to his own country.

I missed them dreadfully, and I left word with Obindji to tell them to
come to the Ashira country after me.

I could not possibly remain, and all the entreaties of friend Obindji
could not make me stay. I must go to the Ashira country.

In the mean time, a new comer is to be one of the chiefs of the party.
Okendjo, an Ashira man, with Adouma, is going to lead us. Adouma
received very positive orders from the king to follow me to the Ashira
country. Wherever I go, he must not return without me.

With Bakalai and Goumbi people, amounting to thirty-two men all told, I
left the morning after my arrival for the Ashira land.

Okendjo was in his glory; he had conceived the brilliant idea of taking
the first moguizi into his country.



CHAPTER XXI.

     LEAVE FOR ASHIRA LAND.--IN A SWAMP.--CROSS THE MOUNTAINS.--A
     LEOPARD AFTER US.--REACH THE ASHIRA COUNTRY.


Early on that morning of my departure for the Ashira Land we were
awakened by the voice of friend Obindji, who was recommending Okendjo to
take great care of his "white man," and see that nothing should hurt
him.

We were soon under way, and, leaving the Ovenga, ascended the Ofoubou
River for three miles and a half, when we unloaded our canoes. Then we
struck off due east.

We had very great trouble in getting through the marshy lands which
border the river, for they were overflowed to the very foot of the
hills.

This was about as hard a piece of traveling as I ever had in my life.
The water was so yellow that I could not see to the bottom, which was
slimy clay, covering the roots of trees.

I hardly entered the swamp before down I seated myself in a manner I did
not like at all. I barely saved my gun from going to the bottom. My foot
had slipped on a root. Then I went tottering along, getting hold of all
the branches or trees I could reach, at the same time saying to myself
that I did not see the use of such a country.

I was in water from my knees to my waist; below my knees I was in mud. I
felt warm enough, for at every step I would go deeper into the sticky
mud, and it was difficult to get my feet out again. I took good care to
have Okendjo and two or three fellows go ahead of me. They had no
clothes, and if they tumbled into the water I did not care; they were
not long in drying off.

Finally we got through, and stood at the foot of a mountain ridge along
which, we may say, lay the route leading to Ashira Land. Here we gave
three cheers, and with cheery hopes I started once more for a _terra
incognita_.

We are lost in the jungle. Under the tall trees a dense jungle covers
the ground; lianas hang gracefully from the limbs and trunks of trees.
Many of them are covered with flowers. Now and then, huge blocks of
quartz rocks are met with. We go along slowly, for we are tired.

Okendjo says that soon we shall reach the promised land, where goats,
fowls, plantain, and palm wine are plentiful.

Mountain after mountain had to be ascended. Oh, how hard we worked! How
we panted after reaching the summit of a hill. How beautiful were the
rivulets, they were so pure, so cool, so nice; their crystalline water
rolled in every direction, tumbling over the rocks in foaming cascades,
or purling along in a bed of white pebbles. Oh how much they reminded me
of the hill-streams and trout-brooks of home; for if the trees I saw had
not the foliage of our trees at home, the stones were the same. The
quartz was similar. Nature there, at least, was alike. The rocks were of
the same formation.

I felt well and happy. I was on my way to discover new lands, new
rivers, new mountains, and new beasts and birds. I was to see new tribes
of men whom I had never seen before.

[Illustration: GOING TO ASHIRA LAND.]

So I trotted along, Okendjo, Adouma, and I leading the way. By-and-by
the country became still more rugged. The blocks of quartz we met were
of larger size, and soon our path led us in the midst of huge masses of
stones. How queer and small we looked as our caravan filed, one by one,
between the ponderous blocks! We looked exactly like pigmies alongside
of the huge boulders.

Quite near us were some large ebony-trees; how beautiful their foliage
looked, contrasting with the blocks of quartz and granite, some of which
were covered with mosses, and others perfectly bare. What could have
brought these huge boulders on those mountains? I should not wonder if
glaciers had accomplished it in ages that are past. The more rocky the
soil, the better ebony-trees appeared to flourish.

How hard the walking was! In many places the rains had washed away the
soil from the immense and wide-spreading roots, which ran along the
ground like huge serpents--indeed, many of them were just like big boa
constrictors.

My feet were so sore by walking on those roots, or rather by stepping
from one to another, for I was obliged to wear thin-soled shoes, so that
I might bend my feet to seize the roots. If I had worn thick shoes I
should have tumbled down at the first jump.

Just before sunset we stopped, and I ordered the camp to be built, the
fire-wood to be collected for the night. There were no large leaves to
be found, so we all hoped that no rain or tornado would come that night.

We all made beds of such leaves as were to be found; for myself, I put
two mats on the top, and lighted, as usual, four fires round me to keep
off the wild beasts.

The Bakalai built a camp for themselves, the Ashira built another, and
my own was between the two. I lay down, feeling very tired, and prayed
to God to take care of me. For a pillow I used the belt which held my
revolvers, and taking one of my guns in my arms, I went to sleep.

Toward one o'clock in the morning I was awakened by the loud roaring of
a leopard which was prowling round our camp. He had smelled human flesh;
probably he had tasted it before, but he dared not approach very close,
for the fires were bright and the men awake. He was afraid of the bright
light, and his howls testified how enraged he was. He was, no doubt,
hungry, but his cowardice kept him back. I ordered some guns to be fired
at random in the direction where we heard his growls.

For a while the forest became silent, and the leopard went off. We
thought we had frightened him; but, just as we were on the point of
going to sleep once more, suddenly the roaring began again, and this
time the beast had come nearer. He wanted, no doubt, to make his
breakfast upon one of us; but his desires were not to be gratified. I
felt mad, as I wanted to sleep, for the next day was to be one of hard
traveling.

If I had dared, I would have ventured into the forest after the beast;
but the risk was too great, it was so dark. The leopard would have done,
no doubt, as cats do, lain flat on the ground and waited for his prey,
and pounced upon me as the smaller animal would do upon a mouse. So, as
the roars of the beast continued, we concluded to keep awake, first
putting more wood on our fires.

The loads we had carried since leaving Obindji had been very heavy, and
the sore backs of the men began to show that they had hard work. I was
loaded as well as any of them, with powder, shot, my own food, bullets
for my gun and my revolvers, which I carried in my belt, an extra pair
of pantaloons, shoes, etc., etc.

Resuming our journey next morning, I discovered that the fellows had
either been eating lots of plantains, or perhaps slyly throwing away a
quantity of them, in order to be relieved of the burden. I warned them
that if we were short of food they would have to starve first.

They replied, "There are plenty of nuts in the forest--there are plenty
of berries in the forest; we can stand being a day without food!"

Toward the evening of that day we began to see signs of a change in the
face of the country. Now and then we would pass immense plantations of
plantains, the trees loaded with fruit. We came at last to one which
gorillas had visited and made short work of, having demolished lots of
trees, which lay scattered right and left. Elephants had also made sad
havoc in some of the plantations. Then we came across patches of
sugar-cane. These plantations were scattered in the great forest, and
grew in the midst of innumerable trunks and dead branches of trees that
had been cut down.

The soil became more clayey, and at last we emerged from the immense
forest. I saw, spread out before me, a new country, the like of which I
had not seen since I had been lost in the great equatorial jungle. It
was Ashira Land. The prairies were dotted plentifully with villages,
which looked in the distance like ant-hills.



CHAPTER XXII.

     GREAT MOUNTAINS.--ASHIRA LAND IS BEAUTIFUL.--THE PEOPLE ARE
     AFRAID.--REACH AKOONGA'S VILLAGE.--KING OLENDA SENDS MESSENGERS
     AND PRESENTS.--I REACH OLENDA'S VILLAGE.


What a beautiful country! How lovely the grass seemed to me! How sweet
it was to see an open space!

"Where are we?" cried I to my Okendjo men.

They answered, in Ashira Land--Otobi (prairie). It seemed to me that
they should have replied in Fairyland, as I had been so long shut up in
the dark forest.

I stood for a long time on a bluff just on the border of the forest. On
the left, in the far distance, loomed up mountains higher than any I had
yet seen. They looked very beautiful against the blue sky. These
mountains were called Nkoumou-Nabouali. No one had ever been on their
summit. On the right, in the distance also, were mountains, but not so
lofty, called Ofoubou-Orèrè and Andelè, and in front of my position were
still other mountains called Okoukoué.

All over the prairies villages were scattered, and the hills and valleys
were streaked with ribbon-like paths, while here and there my eye caught
the silver sheen of a brook winding along through the undulating land. I
could also see groves of banana and plantain trees, with their leaves so
large and beautiful. There were likewise plantations of cassada and
peanuts.

The setting sun shone over the landscape, and the tall green grass
reminded me of home, and my heart at once went over the sea. Do not
think that I was without feeling because I went to Africa and left
civilization--that I never thought of friends. There were girls and boys
of whom I thought almost every day, and whom I loved dearly.

"Fire a gun," said Okendjo; "fire, Moguizi, so that my people may know
you by the thunder you carry in your hand, and that Okendjo brings them
a moguizi."

The good fellow was in a high state of excitement. Adouma was nowhere. I
loaded my guns with heavy charges, and fired, bang! bang! bang!
Immediately I could see the people running out of their villages; they
seemed in the distance like pigmies; they shouted, and were, perhaps,
just a little frightened as they ran to and fro. They had seen the smoke
and heard the noise, and soon they saw me. Okendjo had sent guides to
tell the people not to be afraid; besides, my fame had gone before me,
for many of the Ashira had seen me.

We did not long remain motionless, for it was almost dark, and we must
hurry. Soon every hill-top was covered with people, but as we passed by
they ran away.

Okendjo walked ahead of me, shouting "Ashira! I have brought to you a
great and mighty spirit! He is good, and does no harm! Ashira! I am
Okendjo."

The crowd shouted in reply, "The ntangani has come! The moguizi has come
to see our land--our land which he never saw before. Moguizi, we will
give you plenty to eat! Moguizi, do us no harm! Oh, Moguizi!" Then they
sung songs, and the idols were brought out, so that they might see the
moguizi that had come. The drums beat, but, as I have said, when I came
near, the people ran away, leaving their idols behind to look at me.

Indeed, the Ashira Land was a strange country.

We soon came to a village, the chief of which was Okendjo's brother; his
name was Akoonga. He was at the gate of the village, and trembled with
fear, but he had come to welcome me.

"Am I tipsy with plantain wine? Do tell me, Okendjo, if I see aright, or
is it a hallucination of my mind? Have I not before me the spirit who
makes the guns, the beads, the brass rods, and the copper rings?

"Do I see aright when I see that his hair is long, and as black as that
of the mondi? when I see that his legs are black, and that he has no
toes (I had boots on)? that his face is of a color I never saw? Do tell
me--tell me quick, Okendjo, am I drunk?"

Okendjo replied, "He is the spirit of whom you have heard so much, who
came into the Bakalai country. He comes from the spirit land to visit
us." The people then shouted, "How queer the spirit looks!" My hair was
long, very long, and excited their wonder.

Akoonga soon gave me a house. There the chief came, followed by ten of
his wives, each bearing two bunches of plantains, which, with fear and
trembling, they brought to my feet. Then came four goats, twenty fowls,
several baskets of ground-nuts, and many bunches of sugar-cane.

The chief told Okendjo to say to me that he was glad I was to spend the
night in his village, and that I was the master of every thing in it.

When night came Okendjo walked from one end of the village to the other,
and I heard him say to his people, "Be silent; do not trouble the
spirit; do not speak, lest you awake him, and he might awake in anger,
and smite you, and make the people of our village die. Neither our
forefathers nor ourselves ever saw such a wonder as this."

Next morning immense crowds surrounded the village. They shouted and
shouted, and, not to disappoint them, I walked through the street from
time to time.

Olenda, the king or head chief of the Ashiras, for whose place I was
bound, sent presents of goats and plantains for the spirit by two
messengers, and wanted to know if the arrival of the moguizi was true.
The king also sent word that I should be carried; for why should the
moguizi walk if he is tired?

The messengers went and reported to their king that it was so--a good
moguizi had come. Then a great number of men were sent back to carry my
baggage, and we left Akoonga's village. The men shouted, and from time
to time sung wild songs celebrating my arrival among them. After a walk
of ten miles I reached the village of Olenda. Olenda was the great king
of the Ashira tribe.



CHAPTER XXIII.

     KING OLENDA COMES TO RECEIVE ME.--HE IS VERY OLD.--NEVER SAW A
     MAN SO OLD BEFORE.--HE BEATS HIS KENDO.--HE SALUTES ME WITH HIS
     KOMBO.--KINGS ALONE CAN WEAR THE KENDO.

Olenda village was situated at the top of a high hill. The people, with
the exception of a few, had fled. All were afraid to see the moguizi
close by them.

"How could King Olenda run off, when his great friend Quengueza sent him
a moguizi?" shouted Okendjo; "the people will return when they see
Olenda facing you."

I was led to the onandja, and had scarcely seated myself on a native
stool when I heard the sound of the kendo--the king was coming. The
kendo was ringing, and no one can possess or ring a kendo but a king.
So, at every step the king made the kendo rang, and at last Olenda stood
before me.

[Illustration: RECEPTION OF THE KING OF THE ASIHRAS.]

Never in my life had I seen a man so old; never did I dream that a man
could be so old, and I wondered not that his fame had spread far and
wide on account of his age. He was a man with wool as white as snow, and
his face was a mass of wrinkles. Every rib could be seen, for the skin
was like parchment. His body was bent almost double with age, and the
legs and arms were like sticks, apparently not bigger than
broom-handles. His cheeks were so hollow that the skin seemed to cling
to the bones. He had painted with the chalk of the Alumbi his haggard
old face, red on one side and white on the other, in streaks, and, as he
stood before me, I wondered as much at his appearance as he did at mine.
He carried a long stick or cane to support himself. The like I had never
seen. He seemed the apparition of some man who had lived in our world a
couple of hundred years.

When we had gazed at each other (he looking at me with deep little eyes
for at least five minutes, and beating his kendo all the time with his
palsied hand), he suddenly spoke and said, "I have no bowels; I am like
the Ovenga River--I can not be cut in two. I am also like the Niembai
and Ovenga Rivers, which unite together. Thus my body is united, and
nothing can divide it."

This gibberish had some deep mystic significance. It was the regular and
invariable salutation of the Ashira kings, Olenda's predecessors, time
out of mind. Each chief and important person has such a salutation,
which they call _kombo_.

I will explain Olenda's kombo to you. If you had before you a map of the
countries I have explored in Equatorial Africa, which are published in
my larger works, you would see on it the River Ovenga. Olenda means,
when he says that he can not be cut in two and is like the River Ovenga,
that his body can not be divided any more than the River Ovenga can be
cut in twain. The Niembai and Ovenga unite together and form one river,
called Rembo; so, if his body was cut in two, it could not be separated,
for, as the two rivers unite and form one, so the two parts of his body
would reunite again and form one.

Then he continued, beating his kendo from time to time, "You, the
spirit, have come to see Olenda; you, the spirit, have put your feet
where none like you have ever been. You are welcome."

Here the old king's son, also a very old negro, with white wool on his
head, handed over to the king two slaves, which his majesty formally
presented to me, together with three goats, twenty bunches of plantains,
twenty fowls, five baskets of ground-nuts, and several bunches of
sugar-cane.

"This," said he, "is to salute you. Whatever else you want, tell me. I
am the king of this country; I am older than any tree you see around
you."

I replied that slaves I did not want, but the food and other presents I
would take.

Then more of the old man's children came, all old, and wrinkled, and
white-headed men. They stood before me, regarding me with wonder and
awe, while the people, of whom thousands were gathered from all the
villages of the plain, had returned while their old king was speaking to
me. They looked on in silence, and expressed their surprise in whispers.

At last the old king turned to his people and said, "I have seen many
things in my life--many wonderful things; but now I am ready to die, for
I have received the moguizi spirit, from whom we receive all things. It
will always be said in our nation, by those coming after us, that in the
time of Olenda the spirit first appeared and dwelt among us. You are
welcome (turning to me). Keep this spirit well (to his people); he will
do us good."

I was amazed; my eyes could not keep away from Olenda. I knew not that
men could become so old.

Then Olenda began to beat his kendo again, invoking the spirits of his
ancestors to be with him and his, and, with big body bent double, and
supported by his cane, he returned to his hut, ejaculating "_Ma-mo_,
_ma-mo_, _ma-mo_!"

The kendo is the symbol of royalty in most of the tribes of this part of
the interior of Africa. It is a rude bell of iron, furnished with a long
handle, also of iron, and of the same piece, as shown in the engraving.
The sound, which at home announces the vicinity of a herd of cows or
sheep, in Africa precedes the advent of the sovereign, who uses the
kendo only when on visits of state or on business of importance. When
not beating it they wear it on the shoulder. The bell may vary from six
to eight inches in length, and the handle from twelve to fifteen inches.
When they wear the kendo they fill it with a skin, generally of an
oshengui, which contains monda, or charms, to keep away the aniemba.

A nice little hut was given to me, and I was soon safely housed in it.
One of the chickens given to me by Olenda was killed, and a soup made
with it. It was excellent, and did me good.



CHAPTER XXIV.

     THEY ALL COME TO SEE ME.--THEY SAY I HAVE AN EVIL EYE.--ASHIRA
     VILLAGES.--OLENDA GIVES A GREAT BALL IN MY
     HONOR.--BEER-HOUSES.--GOATS COMING OUT OF A MOUNTAIN ALIVE.


Several days have elapsed since my arrival at Olenda. From more than one
hundred and fifty villages of the plain, the people streamed to Olenda's
town to see "the spirit." They came in the night, slept on the ground
outside the town, and in the morning crowded about me, wondering at my
hair, at my clothes, at my shoes; declaring that my feet were like
elephant's feet, for they did not see the toes; and they would try to
get a glance at my eyes. The moment I looked at them they ran off
screaming, and especially the women and children. The Africans had a
great dread of my look. They believe in the _evil eye_, and often, when
I would look steadily at them, my best friends, with a shudder, would
beg me not to do it.

So I may say that since my arrival the time has been devoted to seeing
and being seen. And I assure you it was no joke to hear that uproarious
crowd and their wild shouts--to have always in my sight a crowd of
people yelling at every movement I made.

I had a Yankee clock, which was an object of constant wonder to them.
They thought that there was a kind of spirit inside that made the noise,
and that watched over me. Its constant ticking, day and night, was
noticed, and they had an idea that the noise could never stop. At night
of course the sound is louder, and this frightened them, and not one
dared to come close to my hut.

Every day Olenda beats his kendo; every day he comes to get a look at
me.

This Ashira prairie seemed to be shut in on all sides by mountains,
which of course were covered with forest. Fancy the forest a sea of
trees, and the Ashira Land an island. Pine-apples grew in great
abundance, and thousands and thousands of them were clustered close
together, and formed otôbi (prairies) by themselves.

This plain is the finest and most delightful country I had thus far seen
in the jungle. The undulations of the prairie, which is a kind of
table-land surrounded on every side by high mountains, gave the
landscape a charming variety. The surrounding mountains, the splendid
peak of the Nkoomoo Nabouali on the north, said by the superstitious
Ashiras to be inhabited by satyrs like men; the Andelè and Ofoubou-Orèrè
to the south, and the Ococoo to the east, are all covered with dense
masses of foliage. In those forests are living tribes of wild men and
wilder beasts, roaming at pleasure.

I have arrived in a country where I could see grass, and see distinctly
the moon, the stars, and the sun without first being obliged to cut the
trees down. Oh, you have no idea how nice it is to see an open space
after you have been shut up in the forest for years.

From Olenda's village I made excursions all over the Ashira country. The
villages were so numerous I could not count them. There were from one
hundred and fifty to two hundred of them. Some were quite small, others
were quite large; and what beautiful villages they were. I had not seen
such pretty ones before. The houses were small, but the neatest I had
met in the jungle. They are built generally in one long street, houses
on each side. The streets are kept clean; and this was the first tribe I
met where the ground at the back of the houses was also cleared off. In
most villages there was, back of the houses, a street where great
numbers of plantain-trees and some lime-trees, for they love lemons,
were growing. The villages are surrounded by thousands of
plantain-trees, and regular footpaths connected one village with
another.

Ball after ball was given to me, and one evening Olenda gave me a very
fine, big one. More than fifty drums beat, besides there were musicians
armed with short sticks, with which they pounded with all their might on
pieces of board. The singing was extraordinary, and the Ashira belles
cut any amount of capers, one time raising their legs one way, then
bending their bodies backward and forward, shaking their heads from one
side to the other, kicking their heels together, the iron or brass
bracelets or anklets adding to the harmony of _the musical instruments_
I have described to you. The singing was as wild as can be imagined.
Olenda's wives--for his majesty was blessed with several scores of
them--danced with fury.

They danced all night, and the next morning there was a general stampede
to the beer or cider-house. I must tell you that the Ashira are very
fond of plantain wine.

I followed, for I wanted to see a beer-house and a general Ashira spree.

After walking for half an hour we came to a cluster of trees, in the
centre of which we found a brewery. A few women had charge of the
premises--the wives of some of the Ashira.

What a sight presented itself to my view! There hung all round hundreds
of large bunches of plantain in different stages of ripening, from the
dark green to the bright yellow, hanging from the limbs of trees. There
were also some red-skin plantains.

[Illustration: DRINKING PLANTAIN BEER.]

It was a large building, under a single roof, supported by numerous
wooden pillars, and on these hung a great many bunches of plantain. In
the middle of the building there were scores of large jars, manufactured
in the country, some of which would hold ten or fifteen gallons. From
the necks of some of them a quantity of rich white froth was running
out. The beer in others was just ripe, and ready for drinking. There
were also many large mugs, looking more like dishes, however, for the
plantain juice to be poured into.

Very soon the men seated themselves, either on the stools that belonged
to them or on mats, and the drinking began. Mug after mug was swallowed
by each man. I think no German could drink the same amount of liquid.
They became, after a while, jolly and boisterous; they began, in fact,
to get tipsy.

Do not believe they were drinking at random. Each jug of wine belonged
to several men, who had clubbed together; that is to say, each had given
a certain amount of plantain to make the beer which the vessel
contained.

The plantain with which the beer or wine is made is a kind of banana,
much larger and coarser, and used, as you have seen, as food; but it
must be cooked, the natives cooking it when it is green. When ripe, it
is yellow like the banana.

The beer is made in the following manner: The plantain must be quite
ripe; then it is cut in small pieces, which are put into the jar until
it is half filled; then the jar is filled with water. After a few days
it ferments; then the froth comes out, and the beer is ready for use.

The bunches of plantain, which were hanging by hundreds, had their
owners, and had been brought from the plantations by their wives, and
were ripening in the shade. As the plantations yield fruit all the year
round, the beer is never lacking among the Ashiras.

After they were sufficiently excited, they began to talk of their
wonderful warlike exploits, and I do believe it was who should lie the
most. The greater the lie, the louder the applause.

I tasted the plantain beer, and found it somewhat sour; I did not like
it at all.

I spent the day in the beer-house, and, when we returned to the village,
the men insisted on having another dance, and they kept hard at work at
it all night, and went all to sleep the next morning. I was glad when
every thing was over, for my head began to ache.

I determined to visit the mountains from which the River Ofoubou takes
its name. King Olenda was to take charge of my luggage, and I took only
a few presents for the Ashira chiefs I was to see, and who had come to
see and invite me to visit their towns in the mountains.

One of Olenda's sons was chief of our party, and Adouma, Quengueza's
nephew, led with him. We did not start before old King Olenda had told
all his people to take great care of the "spirit."

We left the village in the midst of the wildest shouts, and then wended
our way through the beautiful green grass. Within a mile and a half
south from Olenda we came to the foot of Mount Nchondo, one of the
highest points of the prairie. There we all stopped; why, I could not
guess.

When one of the Ashiras said to me, pointing to the mountain, "You see
that mountain, Moguizi?" "Yes," said I. "From that part of the
mountain," continued Oyagui, Olenda's great-grandson, in the most
serious manner, "goats come out. That is a great mountain; a spirit
lives there. Sometimes, when our people want a goat, they will go there,
and a goat will come to them." I said, "That can not be." "Yes,"
insisted Oyagui, "I know plenty of people who get goats there."

Then we passed by numerous villages, skirting most of the hills at
their base, and crowds of people every where cried out, "The moguizi is
coming! the moguizi is coming!"

All these villages were surrounded by groves of plantain and banana
trees.

After a journey of about ten miles, we came, at the foot of the
cloud-capped Mount Andelè, to the village of Mouendi, whose chief,
Mandji, came forth with great joy to meet me, for he was a great friend
of Adouma. He sang, as he came forward with his people, "It is good that
the moguizi comes to see our town."

To the rear of the village, on the slope of the mountain, the forest had
been cleared, and the space occupied by plantations, where tobacco,
peanuts, plantains, yams, and sugar-cane were grown to an extent which
makes this a land of plenty where no man starves. Bushes of wild cotton
were seen now and then, but not in great numbers.

I was glad that I had reached a country where I should not readily
starve--plantains and goats were plentiful. As I stood and cast my eyes
over the scene, the yellow waving grass, with now and then a dark green
patch in low land between the hills, where water stood, and the
cane-fields contrasting with the dark green of the forest, reminded me
of rural scenes at home; but I looked in vain for cattle; none were to
be seen.

I had a great time at Mouendi; Mandji, its chief, was very kind to me. I
had more goats and plantains given to me than my men and myself could
eat. The Goumbi people were in great glee; that was just the country for
them, and, I may now say it, it was just the country for me also. I was
in clover, I thought.



CHAPTER XXV.

     ASCENSION OF THE OFOUBOU-ORÈRÈ AND ANDELÈ MOUNTAINS.--THE
     ASHIRA BLEED THEIR HANDS.--STORY OF A FIGHT BETWEEN A GORILLA
     AND A LEOPARD.--THE GORILLA AND THE ELEPHANT.--WILD BOARS.


The day arrived when we were to ascend the Ofoubou-Orèrè and Andelè
Mountains, which were the highest peaks of that range. Mandji, who is
really a nice chief, had given me the necessary people, and I longed to
reach the summits of these woody regions. We intended to hunt there also
while we looked around.

Every one prepared himself for several days' hard work, and finally,
when every thing was ready, each being loaded with a good stock of
provisions, we bade good-by to the villagers.

The Ashiras, before starting, covered themselves with fetiches, as
usual, and drew blood from their hands by cutting small gashes on them,
in order to insure good luck in the hunt. They were in great spirits,
for the idol of the village had told the people that we should kill much
game. The first night after we camped a tremendous tornado blew from the
northeast, leaving us safely in our leafy shelter, however, and then the
men began to tell stories of the gorilla.

Oyagui was the first to get up. He was a splendid story-teller; but,
before he began, he swore that he was going to tell a true story, part
of which he saw, and a part was seen by his brother, which was the same
as if he himself had seen it. A smile stole over the faces of all
present, for Oyagui was known to tell tremendous big stories, and a
great deal of faith was required before one could believe them.

"One day," said he, "a gorilla was walking in the forest, when he met a
ngègo (leopard). The gorilla stopped, and so did the leopard. The
latter, being hungry, crouched for a spring at his foe, whereat the
gorilla set up a hideous roar. Undismayed by that terrific noise, the
leopard made his leap, but was caught in mid air by the gorilla, who
seized him by the tail, and whirled him round his head till the tail
broke off and remained in his hand, and the animal escaped, leaving his
brush in the big hands of the gorilla. How funny the leopard did look,
as he ran off without his tail!"

"You never saw that," exclaimed one of the party.

"I did," said Oyagui; "I did, as sure as I live. The leopard ran away to
his companions, who, when they saw him, asked, 'What is the matter?'
whereupon the unfortunate beast recounted his defeat."

"How do you know," said another, "that the leopards asked the one
without a tail 'What is the matter?' You can not understand leopard
talk."

"Oh," said Oyagui, undismayed, "they looked at each other, and I am sure
they said what I have told you, or something of the kind, for
immediately the chief ngègo began howling till all the leopards of the
forest came, who, when they saw their brother thus injured, and without
a tail, vowed vengeance, and set out to find the gorilla. This my
brother saw," said Oyagui, talking louder than ever, "and he followed
the leopard, while I was watching the gorilla."

"They had not long to hunt. When the gorilla saw them coming he broke
down a tree, of which he made a club, and then swung it round and round
his head, keeping the troop of leopards at bay. At last, however, the
gorilla grew tired, his efforts began to slacken, and he whirled round
his tree with less force. He stopped, and then the leopards rushed on
him with one accord, and soon killed him. They sprang on his head, on
his breast, on his arms, and on his legs."

"You never saw this!" shouted all the Ashiras together.

"I have!" bawled Oyagui, as loud as he could.

Then they all said, "Oyagui, tell us another story." There was a pause
and a short silence while we gave another start to the fires, for, at
any rate, Oyagui had succeeded in making us think of leopards in telling
us his story. Then Oyagui began again.

"A great gorilla was once walking in the forest with his wife and baby,
when they came upon a huge elephant, who said, 'Let me pass, gorilla;
move off, for these woods belong to me!'

"'Oh, oh!' said the gorilla, 'how do the woods belong to thee? Am I not
the master here? Am I not the Man of the Woods? Do I not roam where I
please?'"

"Oh!" once more exclaimed the Ashiras, "this can not be, for you do not
talk gorilla; you can not understand gorillas' or elephants' talk."

"No," said Oyagui, "I can not understand gorillas' or elephants' talk,
but I can see what they mean, for I have a fetich which makes me
comprehend the talking of the beasts."

Oyagui continued:

"Ordering his wife and baby to move aside, the gorilla broke down a
large limb of a tree, and, brandishing it like a club, made for the
elephant, whom he soon killed by furious blows. The body of the latter I
found a few days afterward, with the club of the gorilla lying by his
side. I got frightened when I saw the big elephant charging at the
gorilla, and the gorilla charging at the elephant, and so I ran away;
but I saw the club by the side of the big elephant."

Soon after the conclusion of this story we went to sleep, I believing,
for one, that Oyagui had most wonderful powers of imagination. I really
do think that he believed all he said, for, as he told the stories, he
got very excited, and his body shone with perspiration.

The next morning, after a good night's rest, I got up very early, and
proceeded a little way into the forest, before our ascent, to see if I
could find some antelope or gazelle, or some other kind of game,
wandering about in search of food, when I unexpectedly heard the grunt
of wild boars. I was alone. I listened, and made sure that they were
coming down the mountain. I knew that I must get shelter in order not to
be seen, for I had discovered that they were coming just in my
direction. A wild boar would not be a bad thing, I thought, especially
if it was fat. Were they yellow wild boars, or black ones? Yellow or
black, one would be welcome.

Looking around, I saw the remains of a tree that had fallen down from
old age. The top of the stump was about three feet above the ground, and
in it was a hollow, into which I could easily get, and there could not
be seen, for the tree, in falling, broke off, carrying away part of the
trunk.

I looked inside to see if there were any snake, or scorpion, or
centipede in it, but saw nothing.

If I had tried, I could not have made a better hiding-place. So I
stepped in, making a peep-hole to see through, and lay in wait. The
grunting became louder. I could hear them uprooting the ground, and
finally four big yellow wild boars were before me. I cocked my gun as
the big fellow of the party approached, unaware of his danger, and
fired, and down he came. His three companions made a leap of about ten
yards--a tremendous leap it was. These wild boars can leap farther than
an antelope. This was a _Potamocherus albifrons_, a species which I have
described to you in a former volume.

[Illustration: ATTACK ON THE WILD BOARS.]

There was great joy when I returned to the camp and told the good news.
They thought I had killed a monkey.

We had part of it for our breakfast, and it was excellent, but not very
fat, as this time of the year is not their fat season.

One of my Ashira men had at home a small idol, which had the reputation
of being an excellent guardian of his vacant house, and to this idol he
was to take a piece of smoked boar's flesh. I succeeded in purchasing
the idol, a likeness of which I here give you.



CHAPTER XXVI.

     PROPOSE TO START FOR HAUNTED MOUNTAINS.--OLENDA SAYS IT CAN NOT
     BE DONE.--AT LAST I LEAVE OLENDA VILLAGE.--A TORNADO.--WE ARE
     LOST.--WE FIGHT A GORILLA.--WE KILL A LEOPARD.--RETURN TO
     OLENDA.


I soon after returned to Olenda's village.

One day I said to Olenda, "Olenda, have you ever been to the
Nkoumou-Nabouali?" The wrinkled old chief looked at me through his small
eyes for some time without saying a word, and then he replied, "Moguizi,
no living man has ever been to the top of those mountains."

"What kind of people live in those mountains?"

"No one lives there," said Olenda, "except a race of people whom you may
perhaps see, but, as soon as you approach their abodes, they vanish
away, and no one can tell which way they have gone, for no one can see
them when they disappear; their villages are made only with branches of
trees."

I remained silent a little while.

Then I said, "Olenda, I want to go there; I want to go to the very top
of the Nkoumou-Nabouali--to the very top," I added, pointing out to him
the highest blue peak I could see from his village--"to the highest top,
so that I may look at all the country round." I thought to myself what a
glorious sight it would be, for, at a single glance, I should see hills,
and plains, and rivers spread all around. My enthusiasm was very great
when thinking of these things. I felt strong--so strong that I thought
it would be nothing to go through that belt of immense forest and climb
those high mountains.

Olenda gave a quiet laugh, which I still recollect, for it came from his
hollow chest, and, if I had believed in witchcraft, I should have
certainly thought Olenda was a sorcerer. His people were afraid of him,
for no one could understand how he could have lived so long; all the
wives he had married when a young man had died long ago; there was not a
living man or woman in the country who knew him when he was a young man.
The mothers of these people he knew when they were babies.

After he had given that laugh, which ended in a sarcastic smile, he
looked me in the face and said, "You can not do it. No one has ever been
there; there is a mighty spirit living in those woods which prevents
people from passing. Besides, there is nothing to eat; there are no wild
beasts, no antelope, no wild boar. At the foot of the mountain there is
a tremendous waterfall, which drowns the roar of the gorilla."

"I must go," said I. So I talked to the Ashiras, and finally I managed,
by making presents and promising more on my return, to get guides enough
among the Ashira freemen to lead me through the impenetrable forests
which lay between the prairie and the mountain top.

Then we prepared ourselves for the journey. I had two fine axes, which I
filed and ground on soft stone in order to make them very sharp; also
several _manchettes_, or cutlasses, to help us to cut our way through
the jungle. I had several boxes of matches to light our fires, besides
fire-steel and flints, in case our matches should get wet. I also took
several wax candles, as it is much more easy to light the fires with
them. Likewise I took one heavy blanket, for I knew not what kind of
weather we should have on the mountains; as for my men, the fires would
be their blankets.

The heavy portion of our luggage was several hundred bullets, about
fifty pounds of shot with which to kill Guinea-fowls and other birds,
and about ten pounds of powder.

For food we had smoke-dried plantains, which had been cooked first, and
then dried on an orala by smoking them. We had also smoked cassada. This
kind of food, prepared in this way, would keep much longer and be much
lighter, so each man could carry a much greater quantity of it. We
wanted plenty of food. It was the first time I had seen plantain
prepared in that way.

We started in the midst of the cheers of the Ashira people, and, as we
disappeared down the hill, I saw Olenda looking after us with his body
half bent, and for all the world like some being of another planet.

We took a northerly direction till the afternoon, when we left the
prairie, and entered at once into as fine a piece of bog land as any one
could wish to be in. It was awful traveling; the ground was soft, and
every step we made took us almost knee-deep into it. Now and then I had
to look at my compass to see that we were going in the right direction,
for there was no path whatever; but the Ashira said we would find one
after passing the marshes; that it was a hunting-path, and that there we
would meet game. The fellows were already thinking of meat.

When night came on we stopped on a hill surrounded by bog; we were so
tired that we had not the strength to build our shelters; besides, there
were no large leaves to be seen. We lighted tremendous fires, but toward
midnight I was awakened by the sound of distant thunder, which gradually
grew louder and louder; then flashes of lightning glared through the
forest, and then terrific claps of thunder rolled along the sky. The
rain began to pour down with a fury that flooded the country in a short
time; our beds of leaves were saturated, compelling us to get up. The
rain kept pouring down with increasing violence. We had not built our
fires sufficiently high, although we had used huge pieces of wood that
ought to have been high enough from the ground to prevent the rain from
putting them out. But they were getting dimmer and dimmer, and at last
we were left in complete darkness. It was pitch dark, and we could not
even see each other except when a flash of lightning would brighten the
forest.

We were in a pretty fix. I began to regret that we had not been more
careful. Leopards and other wild beasts might be prowling about, and get
hold of some of us. What would the Ashiras say if one of their number
should be carried away by a wild beast? They would call me a bad spirit.

We could not even talk, for the thunder was too loud, and drowned our
voices; besides, the rain made a great noise as it fell in torrents upon
the trees, and from their leaves to the ground. We were surrounded by
tall trees, and I was afraid that some of them might be struck by the
lightning, and their heavy broken limbs fall in the midst of us.

In fact, it was as uncomfortable a night as any one could wish to spend
in the jungle, for we knew not what would happen next. Toward four
o'clock in the morning the rain ceased, but then I was wet to the bones;
of course, my Ashiras would soon dry. We lighted our fires once more,
having split in two some pieces of half-rotten logs which lay near by,
and had perhaps lain there for more than a hundred years, the heart
being soft and dry. This is the kind of wood we use to light our fires
with when there has been a heavy rain, and the wood that has fallen from
the trees is wet outside. In these immense forests, which have been
resting in their gloomy solitude for ages, the growths of trees succeed
one after the other. I have often wondered how Africa looked before it
was covered with this dense vegetation, and what kind of animals it had,
for the fauna of that country must have changed like ours. I remembered
that once the immense mastodon roamed through America. With these
thoughts I went to sleep in clothes wet to the skin. I took a large dose
of quinine, however, in order to prevent a chill, which probably might
have ensued from such a severe night.

The next morning I dried my wet clothes, and once more we went bravely
into the great jungle, still taking by my compass a northerly direction
through the dense and thorny forest. The hunting-path was almost a myth,
for only now and then would we get a glimpse of it; but my Ashira men
seemed to know almost every large tree we passed. We advanced slowly,
our manchettes helping to cut the undergrowth. The third day I lost my
only shirt--at least it would not hold together; and one of the legs of
my pantaloons was torn off once, and I had to mend it with the fibre of
the bark of trees. I lost, besides, many patches of skin, and the sharp
thorns tore my flesh. Snakes we would see now and then.

We had hardly entered the jungle that first morning before I heard the
roar of the gorilla. This at once revived my drooping spirits, as also
those of my men, who immediately began to see looming up before them
large pieces of gorilla meat broiled or roasted on charcoal.

A dead silence among ourselves followed the roar of the big monster.
Each Ashira, as if by instinct, came close to me for protection. We had
not far to go. I went off in an easterly direction with friend Gambo,
leaving all the Ashiras together in fear of the gorilla. We had barely
gone a quarter of a mile in the direction from whence the roar proceeded
when we heard what was now a much louder roar, this time quite near. We
stood quite still, for fear of alarming the beast, which was evidently
approaching us unawares. At last we could see the bushes bend toward us.
Gambo and I looked at each other, and inspected our guns; they were all
right. A feeling of safety crept over us of course, for a good gun, with
a steady aim, is a friend in need, and this we thought each of us
possessed.

The fear of alarming the gorilla, however, proved needless. He had come
where he had heard a noise, and when he saw us he at once struck the
intervening bushes, rose to an erect position, made a few steps in a
waddling sort of way, stopped, and seated himself; then beating his vast
breast, which resounded like an old drum, he advanced straight upon us.
His dark gray sunken eyes flashed with rage; his features worked
convulsively; his intensely black face looked horrid. His huge canines,
powerful sinewy hands, and immense arms told us that we must not expect
mercy from the monster. At every few paces he stopped, and, opening his
cavernous mouth, gave vent to his thunderous roars, which the forest
gave back with multiplied echoes until it was full of the din.

He was evidently not a bit alarmed, but quite ready for a fight. We
stood perfectly still. He advanced till he stood beating his breast
within about six yards of us, when I thought it time to put an end to
the scene. My shot hit him in the breast, and he fell forward on his
face, dead. The gorilla seems to die easy if shot in the right place.
This one proved to be a middle-aged male, and a very fine specimen, but
it was utterly impossible to preserve his skin in that great jungle.

In a short time all the Ashira joined us, and soon after the gorilla was
cut to pieces, the hands and feet being thrown away, and the brain being
religiously preserved for fetiches.

There was plenty in the camp, for during the day I killed a nice little
ncheri (gazelle), when I also had a feast.

We were now fairly in the midst of high hills, sometimes going down,
then going up; but, to save me, I could not tell exactly where we were
going. Occasionally we followed the tracks that elephants had made, but
finally lost them. The elephants had evidently often changed their
minds, and retraced their steps from whence they came. I could not tell
exactly where the mountains of the Nkonmou-Nabouali were. The compass
became of no use, for we never followed two minutes the same direction.
At the rate we should have had to go through the forest, taking our
course by the compass, we should have required perhaps a month or more,
as we would have had to go on without making use of the clearings that
we found now and then, or the tracks made by the wild beasts, or the
little streams that came down from the hills. In fact, we would have had
to make a road. The woods were very dense, game was scarce, and at last
we had but one day's provisions left. The berries were not
plentiful--indeed, for two or three days we did not eat to our heart's
content for fear of running through our provisions too fast.

I had with me only the suit of clothes I wore and a spare pair of
pantaloons, for I was getting very poor, and my stock of garments left
at Olenda was small--indeed, it was so small that it was next to
nothing. My poor rags could hardly be kept together. At times we had to
pass through dense and very thorny jungles, where briers were as thick
as grass on a prairie, and the holes in my clothes left so many bare
spots that at every advance my scratched body bore witness of the hard
time we had had, and of the difficulties we should encounter if I
persisted in advancing into these mountains where there were no paths.

It came into my head that the Ashiras did not want to go; so I called
our men together, and, after lighting a bright fire, we talked over "the
situation," and then concluded that we had better return rather than
risk certain death by starvation.

We rested that night in the forest, and the next morning I gave the
order to return, feeling quite disappointed at my non-success. We set
out praying only that we might not starve. We still were in good
spirits, and laughed over our misfortune, although hunger began to
pinch us hard, and I can assure you it is not a very pleasant thing. We
were looking for berries every where, and the Ashiras for rat-holes and
mice-nests, for mice and rats are great dainties among them; squirrels
and monkeys, wild boars and antelopes, Guinea-fowls, parrots, and even
serpents, but nothing was to be seen. To make it worse, we lost our way.
We had been careless in not breaking boughs of trees when we followed
the elephant's tracks, and we got into the wrong track of other
elephants. Once lost in such a forest, the more you try to find your way
the more you generally get bewildered. At last I took my compass, and we
directed our steps, with its help, toward the south.

On a sudden, a cry of joy came from the Ashira. A bee's hive had been
discovered by one of the men. He pointed us to a big tree. "Look," said
he, "just where the branches start from the trunk. Don't you see bees
round there? There is a big hole there, and the bees have their hive in
it." As we saw the spot we all cried out, "Yes, there is a bee-hive."

Immediately the tree was ascended, the bees smoked, not out, but in, for
we wanted plenty of food; the combs were brought down, for the man who
ascended the tree had provided himself with large leaves and native
cords to put the honey in, which he did, tying several parcels round his
neck. As soon as he came down I put my hands on my revolvers and said,
"I would blow out the brains of any one who should touch the honey
before I gave it to him." So every thing was put before me. I unfolded
the large leaves, divided the honey in exactly equal portions for each
of us, not forgetting to put in the mixture the dead smoked bees, the
worms, the comb, the honey, and the dirt that was among it, for in that
way we had more of it. It was delicious! perfectly splendid! dead bees,
honey, wax, dirt, worms, went down as fast as we could possibly eat
them, and when done, I declared, "I wish, boys, we had more of this
honey." This suggestion of mine was responded to by a vigorous hurra,
all shouting, Rovano! rovano! "That is so, that is so."

We got up after our meal, all feeling rather the better for it. I said
to myself, as I rose and felt a good deal more elasticity in my legs,
"After all, honey eaten in the way we have done is far more
strengthening than fine honey, that is so clear and clean." It is
wonderful, Young Folks, how a few days of starvation sharpens the
appetite. You can not understand it till you have gone through the
ordeal of hunger.

In the afternoon, just after descending a hill, we came to a very thick
part of the forest. We were all silent, for we wanted to kill game, when
suddenly one of the men close to me made us a sign to stop and keep
perfectly still, his face showing excitement and fear. I stopped and
looked at him. Without saying a word, he pointed me to a tree. I looked,
and could see nothing; I was looking at the wrong tree. He came close to
me, and whispered the word ngègo (leopard). I looked in the direction
indicated. Truly there was a magnificent leopard resting flat on the
immense horizontal branch of a tree not more than fifteen or twenty feet
from the ground.

We had narrowly escaped, for we had to pass under that tree. The leopard
had seen us, and was looking at us, as if to say, "Why do you disturb me
in my sleep?" for I suppose, as they move but seldom in the daytime, he
intended to remain there for the day. His long tail wagged; he placed
himself in a crouching position, ready to spring on some of us, hoping,
I dare say, thus to secure his dinner. His glaring eyes seemed to look
at me, and, just as I thought he was ready to spring, I fired between
his two eyes, and the shot went right through his head, and down he fell
with a heavy crash, giving a fearful groan. He tried to get up again,
but another shot finished him, and then the tremendous war-shouts of the
Ashiras rang through the forest. I shot that leopard at a distance of
not more than eight or ten yards.[B]

    [B] See Frontispiece.

The leopard was hardly on the ground before we rushed in with our
knives. A heavy blow of the axe partly severed his head from his neck.
We cut off his tail to take it back to town, and then took his claws
off, to give them to Olenda for a necklace. The leopard was cut in
pieces, and we lighted a big fire, or, rather, several big fires.

This leopard was fat--very fat, but smelt very strong--awfully so. The
ribs looking the best, I thought I would try them and have some
cutlets--real leopard cutlets. I flattened them and pounded them with
the axe in order to make them tender. By that time the fire had burned
up well, so I took from it a lot of bright burning charcoal, and put my
cutlets on it. The cutlets soon afterward began to crisp; the fat
dropped down on the charcoal, and a queer fragrance filled the
atmosphere round. Then I put on the cutlets a little salt I had with me,
rubbed them with some Cayenne pepper, and immediately after I began to
go into them in earnest. The meat was strong, and had an odor of musk,
which was very disagreeable. I found it so at the third cutlet, and when
I had done I took some salt in my mouth, mixed with Cayenne pepper, in
order to see if I could not get rid of the taste; I could not. I wished
then that the leopard had been some other animal.

This hard work, starvation, and wet at nights, began to tell upon me.
Besides, I had made no discoveries, and I began to wish that I had
listened to friend Olenda. His sarcastic and hollow laugh came back to
me. His prophetic words, "I tell you, Moguizi, that no one ever ascended
the Nkoumou-Nabouali," were remembered.

I began to feel weaker and weaker, and when I awoke two days after
killing the leopard, I rose with difficulty from my bed of leaves. We
set forward without breakfast. I dared not send men in the forest for
berries; we must be contented with those we should find on our route,
for every hour was precious, and they might not find any, after all. So
we walked on with empty stomachs, longing for a sight of the Ashira
country.

I could not be mistaken; my compass was in good order; I had taken into
account its variation. We were going south, if not right straight, at
least in a general southern direction.

On, and on, and on, through the gloomy jungle, no man saying a word to
the other, and every man looking anxiously for the first sight of
prairie-land, which, with my diseased brain, weakened by hunger, was to
me like a fairy-land.

At last, on the afternoon of a day which I have never forgotten, a
sudden lighting of the forest gloom told us that an open country was
near at hand. With a certain renewal of strength and hope we set off on
a run, caring not how the jungle would tear us to pieces, till we
reached a village at the very bounds of the bush. Here the people were
much alarmed at our appearance and our frantic actions. "Food! food!
food!" shouted the Ashiras. That was all they could say. When they
discovered that we did not mean mischief, they approached. The chief had
seen me at Olenda, and he made haste with his people to supply our
necessities with all manner of food in their possession--plantains,
pine-apples, cassada, yams, fowls, smoked fish. The chief gave me a
royal present of a goat, which we killed in the wink of an eye. I ate so
much that I feared I should be ill from putting too large a share into
my so long empty stomach.

We were so merry during that evening. I told the good old chief to come
and see me at Olenda, and that I would give him a nice present there.

The next morning we reached Olenda. The old chief, of whom I did not
wonder people were afraid, came to meet me at the entrance of the
village, for we had been firing guns to announce our arrival, and, as
soon as he saw me, he said, in his deep, hollow, and piercing voice,
"Moguizi, no Ashira has ever been or will ever go to the top of the
Nkoumou-Nabouali!"

My boy Macondai was very glad to see me again, and came with tears of
joy to welcome me. The people were all pleased to see us.

A child, said to be a sorcerer, was bound with cords, and was to be
killed the next day. After a great deal of talking to Olenda, the boy
was not to be killed. I was glad I had come in time to save his life.

The weather by this time was getting oppressively hot in the prairie.
My long black hair was hanging too heavily on my shoulders. I wore it
very long in order to astonish the natives. Every chief wanted me to
give him a lock of my hair, and this they considered a very great
present. They would immediately go to the Alumbi house to lay it at the
foot of the idol, but more generally it was worn as a fetich.

I resolved to have my hair cut, as it was too long for comfort. I gave
Makondai a large pair of scissors I had with me. Of course I did not
expect him to cut my hair as a Fifth Avenue or fashionable hotel barber
would do, the chief point being that he should cut it tolerably short.
In the interior of Africa I was not obliged to bother myself about the
latest style. Collars and neck-ties were unknown to me. When he had done
he gathered up the hair and threw it in the street.

I was surprised some time after to hear a noise of scuffling and
fighting, accompanied by awful shouting. I came out of my hut to see
what was the matter. They were busily engaged in securing my hair, that
the wind had scattered all around, each man picking up as much as he
could, and trying to prevent his neighbor from getting any, so that he
might have more to himself. Even old King Olenda was in the scramble for
a share. He could not trust his people. He was afraid he would not get
any if he depended upon them, and when I saw him he had a lock which his
head wife had found for him. I never saw such a scramble for hair
before; they looked and looked after a scattered hair all day, and when
they gave up the search I am sure not a hair could have been found on
the ground.



CHAPTER XXVII.

     DEPARTURE FOR THE APINGI COUNTRY.--THE OVIGUI RIVER.--DANGEROUS
     BRIDGE TO CROSS.--HOW THE BRIDGE WAS BUILT.--GLAD TO ESCAPE
     DROWNING.--ON THE WAY.--REACH THE OLOUMY.


Yonder, in a northeasterly direction, lies a country where live a
strange people called Apingi. The Ashira, who now and then visit the
country, say that a large river flows through it, and that the river,
which is called Ngouyai, runs also at the foot of the Nkoumou-Nabouali
Mountains. On the banks of that large stream many strange tribes of men
live, of whom they have heard, but have never seen.

Our evenings were often spent in talking about that strange country. It
was said there was an immense forest between it and Ashira Land, and
that there were paths leading to it through the jungle, which was
believed to be very dense.

One morning I went to Olenda and said to him, "King, I wish to go to the
Apingi country, and I want you to give me people to accompany me." The
old man, with his little deep, sunken eyes, regarded me for a little
while, for he seemed never tired of looking at me, then said, "Moguizi,
you shall go to the Apingi country, and I will give you people who have
been there to accompany you." And then he repeated his _kombo_, which I
have given to you before, and returned to his hut.

If Olenda was not tired of looking at me, I must say that I was never
tired of looking at him, for so old a person I had never seen in my
life. I have often wondered if Olenda was not the oldest person living
in the world. I believe he was.

When the king gave the order to get ready for my departure, great
preparations were made. Food was collected and cooked for my trip,
quantities of ripe plantain were boiled and then smoked, and then, the
food being ready, the people came who had been ordered by the king to
accompany me. Olenda gave me three of his sons, or, I should rather say,
great-grandchildren. They were to be the leaders. Adouma, Quengueza's
nephew, was the only stranger who was allowed to accompany me. This was
a great favor, for the law was very strict in that land that no Commi
should be permitted to go farther than the Ashira Land. Macondai was too
small. I was afraid he would die from the hardships we should encounter
in the jungle. Olenda was to take care of him.

The names of Olenda's three great-grandchildren were Minsho, Iguy, and
Aiaguy. Minsho, being the eldest, was to be the chief.

It was a bad time of the year to start, for we were in the beginning of
December. It rained every day, and tornadoes coming from that very
Apingi country blew over us toward the sea. All the rivers were rising.
In the valleys there was a great deal of water, but the prairie looked
very green and beautiful. For the last few days it had been raining
almost without intermission, and we had to delay our departure on
account of the swollen state of the rivers.

But at last, on the 6th of December, 1858, there was a great commotion
in the village of Olenda, for we were really about to start. Olenda had
come out, and was surrounded by his people. He had called our party, and
admonished his great-grandsons to take care of his moguizi, for the
moguizi was his friend, and had come to him, Olenda. If Olenda had not
been living, he would never have come into the country. The whole people
shouted with one voice, "That is so." Then the old king proceeded
formally to bless us, and to wish us good success, and that no harm
should befall us on the road.

On this occasion his majesty was painted with the chalk or ochre of the
Alumbi, and had daubed himself with the ochres of his most valiant
ancestors, and with that of his mother. He invoked their spirits to be
with us, and afterward took a piece of wild cane, bit off several pieces
of the pith, and spat a little of the juice in the hand of each one of
the party, at the same time blowing on their hands. Then, in his
sonorous and hollow voice, which hardly seemed human, he said, solemnly,
"Let all have good speed with you, and may your road be as smooth
(pleasant) as the breath I blow on your hands."

Then Minsho received the cane, of which he was to take great care, as,
if it were lost, heavy misfortunes would happen to us, but as long as he
kept it all would be well. Minsho was to bring back the cane to Olenda.

Immediately after this we started, taking a path leading toward the
northeast. The prairie in the valleys was very swampy, the heavy rains
having overflowed the lands, and we had to walk through considerable
pools of standing water. In one of these swamps we had to wade up to
our waists in muddy water, and several of the party slipped down and
seated themselves in a manner they did not like, to the great merriment
of the others, whose turn was to come next, and who, when laughing at
their neighbors' misfortunes, fancied they could go through safely. As
for myself, being short in stature, I had the water on several occasions
higher than my waist.

Toward noon we approached the Ovigui River, a mountain torrent which had
now swollen into a river, and before reaching its natural banks we had
to pass through a swamp in the forest for half an hour. The torrent had
overflowed, and its waters were running swiftly down among the trees. I
began to wonder how we were to cross the bridge. The Ashiras had been
speaking of that bridge, and, in fact, we had delayed our start two or
three days because they said the waters were too high.

At last we came to a spot where the ground was dry, and a little way
farther I could see the swift waters of the Ovigui gliding down with
great speed through the forest. I saw at once that even an expert
swimmer would be helpless here, and would be dashed to pieces against
the fallen trees which jutted out in every direction. Not being a very
good swimmer, I did not enjoy the sight. There was one consolation, no
crocodile could stand this current, and these pleasant "gentlemen" had
therefore retired to parts unknown.

I wanted all the time to get a glimpse of the bridge, but had not
succeeded in doing so. I called Minsho, who pointed out to me a queer
structure which he called the bridge. It was nothing but a creeper
stretched from one side to the other.

Then Minsho told me that some years before the bed of the river was not
where we stood, but some hundred yards over the other side. "This," he
said, "is one of the tricks of the Ovigui." I found that several other
of these mountain streams have the same trick. Of course Minsho said
that there was a muiri (a spirit) who took the river and changed its
course, for nothing else could do it but a spirit. The deep channel of
the Ovigui seemed to me about thirty yards wide. Now in this new bed
stood certain trees which native ingenuity saw could be used as "piers"
for a bridge. At this point in the stream there were two trees opposite
each other, and about seven or eight yards distant from each shore.
Other trees on the banks were so cut as to fall upon these, which might
have been called the piers. So a gap had been filled on each side. It
now remained to unite the still open space in the centre, between the
two "piers," and here came the tug. Unable to transport heavy pieces of
timber, they had thrown across this chasm a long, slender, bending limb,
which they fastened securely to the "piers." Of course no one could walk
on this without assistance, so a couple of strong vines (lianas) had
been strung across for balustrades. These were about three or four feet
above the bridge, and about one foot higher up the stream.

I could barely see the vine, and my heart failed me as I stood looking
at this breakneck or drowning concern. To add to the pleasurable
excitement, Minsho told me that, on a bridge below, half a dozen people
had been drowned the year before by tumbling into the river. "They were
careless in crossing," added Minsho, "or some person had bewitched
them." The waters of the Ovigui ran down so fast that looking at them
for any length of time made my head dizzy. I was in a pretty fix. I
could certainly not back out. I preferred to run the risk of being
drowned rather than to show these Ashira I was afraid, and to tell them
that we had better go back. I think I should never have dared to look
them in the face afterward. The whole country would have known that I
had been afraid. The moguizi would have then been nowhere. A coward I
should have been called by the savages. Rather die, I thought, than to
have such a reputation.

[Illustration: CROSSING THE OVIGUI RIVER.]

I am sure all the boys who read this book would have had the same
feelings, and that girls could never look at a boy who is not possessed
of courage.

The engraving before you will help to give a good idea of the bridge I
have just described to you, and of our mode of crossing.

The party had got ready, and put their loads as high on their backs as
they could, and in such a manner that these loads should slip into the
river if an accident were to happen. The crossing began, and I watched
them carefully. They did not look straight across, but faced the
current, which was tremendous. The water reached to their waists, and
the current was so swift that their bodies could not remain erect, but
were bent in two. They held on to the creeper and advanced slowly
side-ways, never raising their feet from the bridge, for if they had
done otherwise the current would have carried them off the structure.

One of the men slipped when midway, but luckily recovered himself. He
dropped his load, among the articles in which were two pairs of shoes;
but he held on to the rope and finished the "journey" by crossing one
arm over the other. It was a curious sight. We shouted, "Hold on fast to
the rope! hold on fast!" The noise and shouting we did was enough to
make one deaf.

Another, carrying one of my guns, so narrowly escaped falling as to drop
that, which was also swept off and lost. Meantime I wondered if I should
follow in the wake of my shoes and gun. At any rate, I was bound to
show the Ashira that I was not afraid to cross the bridge, even, as I
have said, at the risk of being drowned. It would have been a pretty
thing to have these people believe that I was susceptible of fear. The
next thing would have been that I should have been plundered, then
murdered. These fellows had a great advantage over me. Their garments
did not trouble them.

At last all were across but Minsho, Adouma, and myself. I had stripped
to my shirt and trowsers, and set out on my trial, followed by Minsho,
who had a vague idea that if I slipped he _might_ catch me. Adouma went
ahead. Before reaching the bridge I had to wade in the muddy water. Then
I went upon it and marched slowly against the tide, never raising my
feet, till at last I came to the tree. There the current was tremendous.
I thought it would carry my legs off the bridge, which was now three
feet under the water. I felt the water beating against my legs and
waist. I advanced carefully, feeling my way and slipping my feet along
without raising them. The current was so strong that my arms were
extended to their utmost length, and the water, as it struck against my
body, bent it. The water was really cold, but, despite of that,
perspiration fell from my face, I was so excited. I managed to drag
myself to the other side, holding fast to the creeper, having made up my
mind never to let go as long as I should have strength to hold on.
Should my feet give way, I intended to do like the other man, and get
over by crossing one arm over the other. At last, weak and pale with
excitement, but outwardly calm, I reached the other side, vowing that I
would never try such navigation again. I would rather have faced
several gorillas, lions, elephants, and leopards, than cross the Ovigui
bridge.

Putting ourselves in walking order again, we plunged into the great
forest, which was full of ebony, barwood, India-rubber, and other
strange trees. About two miles from the Ovigui we reached a little
prairie, some miles long and a few hundred yards wide, which the natives
called _Odjiolo_. It seemed like a little island incased in that great
sea of trees.

What a nice little spot it would have been to build a camp under some of
the tall, long-spread branches of trees which bordered it! But there was
no time for camping. There were to be no stops during the daytime till
we reached the Apingi country.

A few miles after leaving the Odjiolo prairie we came to a steep hill
called Mount Oconcou. As we ascended we had to lay hold of the branches
in order to help ourselves in the ascent, and we had to stop several
times in order to get our breath. We finally reached a plateau from
which we could see Nkoumou-Nabouali Mountains. Then we surmounted the
other hills, with intervening plains and valleys, all covered with dense
forest, and at last found ourselves on the banks of a most beautiful
little purling mountain brook, which skirted the base of our last hill.
This nice little stream was called the Aloumy or Oloumy. Here we lit our
fires, built shelters, and camped for the night, all feeling perfectly
tired out, and I, for one, thankful for the nice camp we had succeeded
in building, for I needed a good night's rest.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

     A GORILLA.--HOW HE ATTACKED ME.--I KILL HIM.--MINSHO TELLS A
     STORY OF TWO GORILLAS FIGHTING.--WE MEET KING REMANDJI.--I FALL
     INTO AN ELEPHANT-PIT.--REACH APINGI LAND.


The next morning we felt much refreshed, and once more entered the
forest, following a footpath which was sometimes good, but oftener very
bad. The country became more rugged and mountainous. On every side we
met beautiful little streams of water wending their way through the
woods. Very often we had to march in the bed of some purling brook, as
the easiest way we could find. This second day was exceedingly trying to
our feet, for we made our way the greatest part of the time through a
dense and gloomy forest. Several times we heard, at a great distance,
the roar of the gorilla and the heavy footsteps of elephants. We heard
also the cries of the nshiego-mbouvé, and now and then the shrill cry of
a monkey.

In the afternoon I was startled by the roar of a gorilla, and it was
three quarters of an hour before we came near him. He was then close to
the path we were following, and roared incessantly. I find that I can
not get accustomed to the roar of the gorilla, notwithstanding the
number I have hunted and shot; it is still an awful sound to me. The
long reverberations coming from his powerful chest, the vindictive bark
by which each roar is preceded when about to attack, the hollow
monotone of the first explosion, the ugly, ferocious look which he gives
to his enemies, all are awe-inspiring, and proclaim the great beast the
monarch of the forest of Equatorial Africa.

When we came near him, he, in turn, at once made toward us, uttering a
succession of bark-like yells, denoting his rage, and reminding me of
the inarticulate ravings of a maniac. Balancing his huge body with his
arm, the animal approached us, every few moments stopping to beat his
breast, and throwing his head back to utter his tremendous roar. His
fierce, gloomy eyes glared upon us, the short hair on the top of his
head was rapidly agitated, and the wrinkled face was contorted with
rage. It was like a very devil, and I do not wonder at the superstitious
terror with which the natives regard the monster.

His manner of approach gave me once more an opportunity of seeing with
how much difficulty he maintains himself in an erect posture. His short
legs are not able firmly to support the vast body. They totter beneath
the great weight, and the walk is a sort of waddle, in which the long
and prodigiously strong arms are used in a clumsy way to balance the
body, and keep up the ill-sustained equilibrium. Twice he sat down to
roar.

My gun had, of course, been loaded in the morning (I always took care to
reload my guns each day), and could thus be depended upon, so I
shouldered it, feeling easy. I waited till he was close enough, and
then, as he once more stopped to roar, I delivered my fire, and brought
him down on his face--dead.

His huge body proclaimed his giant strength. There is enough humanity in
the beast to make a dead one an awful sight, even to accustomed eyes,
as mine were by this time. It was as though I had killed some monstrous
creature which had something of the man in it.

We could do nothing with the gorilla, so the Ashiras took as much meat
out of his body as they could conveniently carry. We cut his head off
and carried it with us. It was a huge and horrible head. Looking at his
enormous canine teeth, I saw at once that the monster must have had a
tremendous fight a year or two before, for one of them had been broken
off in the socket of the jaw. What a grand sight it must be to see a
gorilla fight! This reminded me of the stories I had sometimes heard
from the natives regarding the fearful conflicts the male gorillas have
among themselves for the possession of a wife. Indeed, the fight that
this one was engaged in must have been a severe one, for not only had
one of his large teeth been broken, but one of his arms was shorter than
the other, and had evidently been broken and united again, not, I am
sure, by a surgeon-gorilla, for I do not believe they have any, but
nature and time were the healing processes. There is a skeleton of a
gorilla in the British Museum, the arm of which had been broken, no
doubt, in some conflict, but when the animal was killed the wound had
healed, and the bones of the arm had united.

Minsho promised to tell us the story of a fight between two gorillas in
the evening by the camp-fire.

How tremendous that blow must have been, I thought, in order to break
that powerful muscular and thick-set bony arm! The forest must have been
filled with the loud yells of the monster as he fought desperately
against his enemy.

We continued our way after fording a stream about one hundred and twenty
feet wide, called the Louvendji, carrying our gorilla's head with us,
and toward dusk built our camp. After we had seated ourselves by the
fireside, and I had taken my own modest meal, Minsho got up, after
filling himself with gorilla meat, and said, "Moguizi, I promised you,
after you had killed this big gorilla this morning, that I would tell
you a gorilla story. Are you ready to hear it?" "I am ready to hear it,"
I said, and all the party shouted "All are ready to hear it."

"Long ago," said he, "before I was born, and in the time of my
father--for the story I am going to tell you is from my father--there
was a terrible gorilla fight in the woods. My father had been cutting
down trees in the forest in order to make a plantation, and was
returning home, when suddenly he heard, not far from him, the yells of
gorillas, and he knew that the beasts were coming quickly toward him.

"Not far from where he stood there was a large hollow tree, into which
he at once entered and hid himself, for he was afraid of the gorillas.
He had with him only his axe, and of course could not dream of fighting
the gorillas, especially as there were two of them. He had hardly
entered his hiding-place before the gorillas made their appearance. My
father trembled with fear lest they should discover where he was, but
they were so enraged at each other that they did not busy themselves
about what surrounded them."

Minsho was getting excited, and his eyes began to sparkle as he came to
the fighting part of his story. There was a pause and a dead silence,
for we wanted to hear about the fight of the two gorillas. Minsho
suddenly gave a tremendous yell in the Ashira fashion. "Now," said he,
"open your ears, for you are going to hear what my father saw.

"The two gorillas seized each other and rolled on the ground, yelling.
One at last gave the other a bite, which made his enemy give an awful
shriek of pain. They then got up, their faces covered with blood, their
bodies lacerated, and, looking fiercely at one another with their
deep-sunken eyes, each gave a yell of defiance, and both slowly advanced
again; then the larger, which was probably the elder, stopped, both
wanting rest in order to breathe, and then they pounced upon each other,
screaming, yelling, bellowing, beating their chests, retreating, and
advancing. At last they both stood on their hind legs a few rods from
each other, their eyes seeming to flash fire, and advanced once more for
a deadly fight, when the older and bigger one raised his hand and gave
his antagonist a most fearful blow, which broke the other's arm.
Immediately the badly-wounded gorilla fled, leaving the old gorilla
master of the field; but then the victor was also covered with blood. My
father still trembled, for he was afraid of being discovered. After a
time, when all was silent, he looked round, and saw that the victorious
gorilla had also gone off."

By this time Minsho was covered with perspiration; he fancied, I
suppose, that he had seen the fight himself. He concluded by saying, "I
have no doubt the gorilla we killed this morning lost one of his big
tusks in a great fight with another gorilla," in which opinion we all
coincided.

After this story we lay down on our beds of leaves, and, surrounded by
blazing fires, all went to sleep, hoping to rest well, for we had a hard
day's work before us on the morrow.

In the morning the songs of birds awoke us from our sleep. After
roasting a ripe plantain and eating it, I started once more, following a
path by which we traveled all day. Again no game was seen; we did not
even meet the footsteps of an elephant; and a little before sunset we
came to a bando or olako, built by the Ashira and Apingi people
especially for the convenience of travelers.

The bando was roofed with peculiar and very large leaves, here called
the shayshayray and the quaygayray. Here we concluded to stop for the
night. Not even the cry of an owl or of a hyena disturbed the stillness;
no elephant's footstep came to awake us from our slumber; the howls of
the leopard were not to be heard.

Several days had been thus spent in the jungle, but we were now
compelled to hurry along, for we had no food. In the mean time we had a
view of some small prairies, and in one of them had seen villages, which
the Ashiras said were those of the Bakalai; but as Minsho and the rest
of the Ashiras did not want to go near them, we reentered the forest.
"The Bakalai here," said Minsho, who I could see was not gifted with any
great amount of bravery, "always stop and fight people." So we managed
to pass their villages unseen.

Minsho said we were approaching the country of the Apingi. He was not
mistaken. In the afternoon, while we were passing through dense woods,
we heard people talking not far from us, and I came suddenly on a man
who turned out to be Remandji, king of the Apingi.

At the sight of me he and his company stood silent and amazed for a few
minutes, when he began to dance about me in a most unroyal and crazy
manner, shouting again and again, "The spirit has come to see me! the
spirit has come to see my country!" He kept looking at me steadfastly,
and for a while I thought his majesty had gone out of his mind.

King Remandji looked like a very fine old negro. The question that arose
in my mind was, "How did the king happen to be in the woods?" His
majesty had come to fish in a neighboring creek, for kings here are
modest in their tastes, and was on his way to meet his wives, who had
been sent on before him. He knew Olenda's sons, and directed them to a
certain spot, and said he would be back that evening and bring his wives
with him.

We parted with the king, rejoicing in the prospect of having fish and
plantain for dinner. Meantime we went on, and when the evening came we
all began to feel somewhat anxious about our quarters. Game was said to
be plentiful in the forest, so I pushed a little out of the path, and,
thinking I had seen something like a gazelle, I stepped forward toward
it, when down into an elephant-trap I went, feeling quite astonished at
finding myself at the bottom of it. It was a wonder my gun did not go
off.

This trap I had fallen into was about ten feet deep, eight feet long,
and six feet wide. As soon as I recovered sufficiently to comprehend my
position, I began to holla and shout for help. No one answered me. I
shouted and shouted, but no reply came. I was in a pretty fix.
"Suppose," said I to myself, "that a huge snake, as it crawls about,
should not see this hole, and tumble down on top of me." The very
thought made me shout louder and louder. At times I would call,
"Ayagui! Ayagui! Minsho! Minsho!" Finally I fired a gun, and then
another, and soon I heard the voices of my men shouting "Moguizi, where
are you? Moguizi, where are you?" "Here I am!" I cried. "Where?" I heard
Minsho repeat. "Close by--here, Minsho, in a big elephant-pit; look out,
lest you fall into it yourself." Minsho by this time knew where I was,
and called all the men. They immediately cut a creeper and let it down.
I fired off my gun, and sent it up first, and then, holding fast to the
creeper, I was lifted out of the pit, and very glad I was too, I assure
you. The wonder to me was that I did not break my neck in getting into
it.

[Illustration: THE ELEPHANT TRAP.]

Finally we reached the place where Remandji had directed Minsho to go.
We lighted our fires, and soon after Remandji made his appearance. He
looked again and again at me. His women were frightened, and did not
show themselves. Happily, his majesty brought some plantains and fish
with him.

I thought I had before known what musquitoes were, but I never saw the
like of those we had in this spot. They certainly must have been a new
kind, for their sting was like that of a bee, and very painful. Hundreds
of them were buzzing around each one of us. My eyes, hands, and legs
were swollen. I had a musquito-net with me, but inside of it they would
get, how I could not tell. Several times I got out of the net, and when
I thought I had shaken it well, and driven every one of them off, I
would get under it again in the twinkle of an eye; but the musquitoes,
which seemed perfectly famished, were like vultures, and would get in at
the same time that I did. The Ashiras declared that they had never
before seen such a place for musquitoes. Smoke and fire seemed to have
no effect upon them. I never suffered such torture in my life. They beat
all I had ever seen in the shape of musquitoes. The next morning I was
so terribly bitten that I looked as if I had the measles or the
chicken-pox.

Remandji, who had built his camp next to ours, came declaring that the
people must have bewitched the place where we had slept, and off he took
us to his village. After a three hours' march, we came at last, through
a sudden opening in the forest, to a magnificent stream, the Rembo
Apingi or Ngouyai. I stood in amazement and delight, looking at the
beautiful and large river I had just discovered, and the waters of which
were gliding toward the big sea, when a tremendous cheer from the
Ashiras announced to the Apingi, Remandji's subjects, who had made their
appearance on the opposite bank, that a spirit had come to visit them.
The latter responded to the cheering, and presently a great number of
exceedingly frail flat canoes and several rafts were pushed across, and
soon reached our side of the river; they had come to ferry us over. The
Apingi people live only on the right bank of this noble river.

I got into a very small canoe, which was managed with great skill by the
Apingi boatman. I did not see how he could keep his equilibrium in the
frail-looking shell.

The shouting on the Apingi side was becoming louder and louder, and when
I landed the excitement was intense. "Look at the spirit!" shouted the
multitude. "Look at his feet! look at his hair! look at his nose!" etc.,
etc.

They followed me till I was safely housed in one of the largest huts in
the town, which was about twelve feet long and seven feet broad, with a
piazza in front. When all my luggage was stored there was hardly room to
move. I had indeed reached a strange country.

Presently Remandji came to me, followed by all the old men of his town
and several chiefs of the neighboring villages. Twenty-four fowls were
laid at my feet; bunches of plantains, with baskets of cassava. And
Remandji, turning toward the old men, said, "I have beheld what our
fathers never saw--what you and I never saw before. I bid thee welcome,
O spirit! I thank your father, King Olenda," said he, turning to Minsho,
"for sending this spirit to me." Then he added, "Be glad, O spirit, and
eat of the things we give thee."

Whereupon, to my great astonishment, a slave was handed over to me,
bound, and Remandji said, "Kill him; he is tender and fat, and you must
be hungry."

I was not prepared for such a present. They thought I was a cannibal--an
eater of human flesh--and there stood before me a fat negro, who during
the night had been caught, for Remandji had sent word to the people of
my coming, and in his forethought determined that I must have a good
meal on my arrival.

Then I shook my head, spat violently on the ground, which is a great way
of showing disgust, the people all the time looking at me with perfect
astonishment. I made Minsho tell them that I abhorred people who ate
human flesh, and that I, and those who were like me in the spirit-land,
never did eat human flesh.

Just fancy! What a fine present! A nice fat negro, ready for cooking. It
was like the presentation of a fat calf.

Remandji then said, "What becomes of all the people we sell, and that go
down the river for you to take away? We hear you fatten them before they
are killed. Therefore I gave you this slave, that you might kill him and
make glad your heart."

A deep blush came over my face, I felt so ashamed. It was true, the
white man had come into their country for hundreds of years and carried
away their people.

After my refusal of the fat negro, who was glad to get free, Remandji's
wives cooked the food for me which had before been presented. The king
tasted of every thing that was laid before me, and drank of the water
which was brought for me to drink. Such is the custom, for the people
are afraid of poison; and the wife always tastes of the food she
presents to her husband before he eats it, and the water he is going to
drink.

The uproar in the village was something terrific. I thought I should be
deafened, and that their wonder at seeing me would never cease.

For a bed I had but a few sticks, but I was glad that night to lay upon
them, and to have one of those little huts to shelter me from rain, for
I had had a hard time, I can assure you, since I had left Olenda's.

Before going to sleep I thanked the kind God who had watched over me and
led me safely into the midst of tribes of men whom no white man had ever
seen before.



CHAPTER XXIX.

     FIRST DAY IN APINGI LAND.--I FIRE A GUN.--THE NATIVES ARE
     FRIGHTENED.--I GIVE THE KING A WAISTCOAT.--HE WEARS IT.--THE
     SAPADI PEOPLE.--THE MUSIC-BOX.--I MUST MAKE A MOUNTAIN OF
     BEADS.


In the morning when I awoke I looked round my room. Of course I did not
have to look far, for the house was small; besides, it was filled with
my baggage. Several fetiches hung on the walls, and in a corner was the
skull of an antelope fastened to the roof. There were no windows, the
floor of pounded yellow clay, and just by the few sticks which formed my
bed were the remains of an extinguished fire. It was daylight, for I
could hear the birds singing. The sun had risen, for I could see the
sunshine through the crevices of the walls, which were made of the bark
of trees, and through these the light came in. I listened to hear voices
in the village; but no, all was silent. I got up, intending to go to the
river to wash my face, and opened the door, which had been made with the
bottom of an old canoe. Every hut in the village had its door, for there
were famished leopards in the forest which often carried away people.

I had hardly stepped out of the house when I saw before me a very large
crowd of people, who gave a loud yell at my appearance. I instinctively
put my hand on one of my revolvers and held my gun in readiness; then
looked at these people, who had been surrounding my hut since daylight,
without saying a word.

Their yells were pretty loud. I knew not what they meant at first. I
looked at them, when most of the women and children, and some of the
men, ran away, although I cried out to them not to be afraid.

King Remandji soon arrived to say good-morning to me, and, while he was
by my side, I raised the double-barreled gun I had with me, which I had
loaded with a very heavy charge of powder, and fired it off. The gun
recoiled on my shoulder, and hurt me slightly. The people fled in
dismay, and the noise of the detonation re-echoed through the forest.

Remandji regarded me with fear and trembling. I reassured him by a
smile, and by putting on his head a most flaming red cap which I had got
ready for him. How he admired the bright red! He shouted to his people
to come back, which they all did.

After washing my face in the river I returned to the village. It was a
beautiful village. The houses were small, most of them being eight or
ten feet long and six or eight feet wide. The walls were built with the
bark of trees, and were about five feet high. The roofs were thatched
either with large leaves or with the leaves of the palm, and at the top
were about seven feet high. At the rear of the houses were large groves
of plantain-trees.

Walking through the street, I came to the big idol, or mbuiti of the
place, which stood under a ouandja (a covered roof), and there kept
guard. That morning a few plantains, ground-nuts, sugar-cane, and a
piece of a deer were before it. There was also a vessel with palm wine.

After walking to the end of the village I came back to Remandji, the
people hollaing and shouting all the time, "The good spirit has come!
the spirit has come!"

I breakfasted outside of my hut, a few roasted plantains and a boiled
fowl being my fare. How wild the shouts of these people were when they
saw me eating! They were perfectly frantic. The fork was an object of
the greatest wonder. They exclaimed, "The spirit does not eat with his
hand; the spirit has a queer mouth; the spirit has teeth that are not
filed sharp to a point; the spirit has a nose; how strange is the hair
of the spirit!"

The crowd was pouring in from all the surrounding villages, and the
excitement was intense. They were afraid, but, in despite of their fear,
they came to see the great spirit who had arrived in their country.

After breakfast I called Remandji, and led him into my hut, and also the
two head men, or graybeards of his village. Then I put on his majesty a
flaming red waistcoat. I could not spare a coat, and I had no pantaloons
to give him; luckily, they never want to wear the latter in this part of
the world. He looked splendid with his waistcoat on. I also put round
his neck a necklace of large blue and white beads, of the size of
sparrow's eggs. I gave him, into the bargain, a looking-glass, and he
was very much frightened when he saw his face in it, and he looked at me
as if to say "What next?"

To the two elders, or graybeards, I gave each a necklace of large beads,
and put on the head of each a red cap. Then we came out. As soon as the
people saw them appear in such great style, they became very wild. I
fired two guns, and Remandji and the two graybeards told the people not
to be afraid. Immediately, guided by the same instinct, they all
advanced toward us in a half-sitting posture, clapping their hands, and
at the same time shouting "Ah! ah! ah!" When they thought they were near
enough, they stopped, looked at me with a queer expression, and then
shouted, "You are a great spirit! you are a great spirit!" and then they
suddenly got up, and ran away to the other end of the village.

"Really the Apingi country is a strange land," said I to myself.

In the afternoon several thousand strangers filled the village. They had
come to look at me, but before sunset almost all of them had returned to
their homes. They had come by water and by land, from the mountains and
from the valleys. The story of the arrival of the spirit in Remandji
Village had spread far and wide, and every one came to see if it was
true, desiring to see for themselves. But how afraid they were when I
looked at them! How fast they ran away, and how quickly they would come
back, but always keeping at a respectful distance!

In the evening there was a grand ball. The noise was horrible, the
dancing was grand, the gesticulations and contortions were funny, the
tam-tams sounded strangely, the singing was powerful, and I, of course,
enjoyed the affair amazingly. I staid out all night to please them, and
they were glad to see me look at them and laugh.

After a few days I became the great friend of a good many. I gave them
beads, especially the women. I handled their little babies, and never
got angry, though sometimes their curiosity annoyed me very much indeed.

Remandji and I became great friends. He was a real nice king, and we
spent hours together. I was obliged to use Minsho as an interpreter, for
I do not understand the Apingi tongue very well. It seems to me like
the language of the Mbinga, a tribe which I have spoken of in "Stories
of the Gorilla Country."

One day a great crowd came and asked me to take my shoes off. When I
asked them why, they said they wanted to know if I had toes like they
had. "You have ears like we have," said they, "and we want to see if you
have cloven feet like an antelope. We want to see if your feet are like
those of a people who live far away from here, of whom we have heard,
and who are called _Sapadi_. Yes," they exclaimed, with one voice, "far
away in the mountains there are Sapadi; they do not have feet like other
people; they have feet like antelopes; they have cloven feet."

I told them that there were no such people. Remandji immediately called
one of his slaves, a man to whose country none of the Apingi had ever
been (the Shimba country), and he declared positively, with a look of
great truthfulness, that he had seen Sapadi. Another man also came
forward and declared the same thing--they were people like the Apingi,
only their feet were like those of antelopes.

To please them, I took off my boots. This was done in the midst of most
vociferous cheers. They took my socks to be my skin. After my socks were
taken off, and my naked feet burst upon their sight, the excitement
became intense. The idol was brought out, the drums began to beat, and
they sang songs to me, shouting and hollaing in the most approved
African manner. Remandji took one of my feet in his lap and touched it,
declaring that it was softer than the skin of a leopard. When his people
saw this they became frantic. "The great spirit has come! the great
spirit has come!" they shouted; "the king holds one of his feet!"
Remandji rose, and, in a half-squatting position, danced and sang before
me, the drums in the mean time beating furiously. The noise was
deafening. They took me for a god.

[Illustration: THE MUSIC-BOX.]

When they had calmed down a little I went into my hut, wound up my large
music-box, and, coming out, set it on an Apingi stool in the midst of
the crowd, who immediately retreated farther off. I then let the spring
go, and at once the music began to play. A dead silence followed the
tumult; the drums dropped down from between the drummers' legs; a leaf
falling on the ground could have been heard; they were perfectly mute.
Remandji and the people looked at me in affright. I went away, but of
course the music continued to go on. They looked from me to the box,
and back again, and finally exclaimed, "Lo! the devil speaks to him." I
disappeared into the woods, and the music continued--the devil continued
to speak.

The town is filled once more with strangers from the countries round,
who have come to see the spirit that is stopping with Remandji. The
forests are full of olakos in which these people sleep. The women appear
hideously ugly; every one of them seems to have three or four children,
and they are tattooed all over. On the bodies of many of them one could
not find a spot as big as a pea that was free from this tattooing. They
think that cutting their bodies in this way is beautifying. It is simply
hideous. They file their teeth sharp to a point, which gives their faces
a frightfully savage appearance; but, with all their ugliness, the
Apingi were kind-hearted, always treated me well, and loved me. I always
tried to do what was right by them.

One day they saw me writing my journal, and they said I was making print
and cloth to give them. During the nights they all believed I did not
sleep, but that I was at work making beads and all the things I gave
them, whereupon ensued a great council of above thirty Apingi chiefs,
who, after due deliberation with Remandji, who was at their head, came
to me, surrounded by thousands of their people, and then their king
delivered the following speech: "Spirit, you are our king; you have come
to our country to do us good." The people, with one accord, repeated
what Remandji had said--"You can do every thing." I wondered what was
coming next. Then, in a loud voice, he added, "Proceed now to make for
us a pile of beads, for we love the beads you make and give us. Make a
pile of them as high as the tallest tree in the village," and he pointed
to a giant tree which could not have been less than two hundred feet in
height, "so that our women and children may go and take as many beads as
they wish. You must give us cloth, brass kettles, copper rods, guns, and
powder."

The people liked the speech of Remandji, and shouted "Yo! yo!" a sign of
approval.

He continued: "The people will come to see you after you have gone; and
when we shall say to them, 'The spirit who came has gone,' they will
say, 'It is a lie! it is a lie! no spirit ever came to visit Remandji.'
But when the whole country shall be filled with the things which we ask
you to make, then, though they do not see you, they will say, 'Truly a
spirit has visited the land of the Apingi, and lived in Remandji's
village.'"

The faces of the crowd were beaming with satisfaction, for they approved
of Remandji's speech. Then there was a dead silence again. I did not
know what to say. I did not want to tell them I was a spirit, nor did I
wish to tell them I was not one, for prestige is a great thing in a
savage country.

They felt grieved when I told them I brought them things, and did not
make them. They did not believe me, and said, "Thy spirit does not wish
to do what we ask of it. Why, spirit, will you not do what we ask you!"
and then the whole crowd began to dance and sing before me, saying,
"Moguizi, do not be angry with us. Moguizi, we love you. Moguizi, you
are good. Moguizi, stay with us."

On my continued refusal they scattered, and I went among them.



CHAPTER XXX.

     A LARGE FLEET OF CANOES.--WE ASCEND THE RIVER.--THE KING
     PADDLES MY CANOE.--AGOBI'S VILLAGE.--WE UPSET.--THE KING IS
     FURIOUS.--OKABI, THE CHARMER.--I READ THE BIBLE.--THE PEOPLE
     ARE AFRAID.


Remandji and I had been talking of traveling together, and I had told
him that I wished to ascend the river. He promised to have a fleet of
canoes prepared, and that his people would turn out _en masse_.

He was as good as his word. The appointed day came. Quite a little fleet
had been brought together. But what canoes! my goodness! what a
difference between them and the canoes of the Commi country! They were
very small--mere nut-shells. Remandji proudly pointed to the fleet he
had collected to take me up. While he was talking to me I was thinking
seriously of the great probability of capsizing, and the prospect was
not exactly cheering, for the current of the river was strong. Though
sometimes I have no objection to a ducking, I had strong objections to
getting it in that manner, with all my clothes on.

Then the order for departure was given by the king. There was no help
for it. I had asked canoes to go up. Remandji had done the thing in
great style. I could not back out.

I was led in front of the royal canoe. Half a dozen of these could have
been easily put inside of one of Quengueza's canoes. The royal canoe was
not much better than any other canoe, though the largest one had been
chosen for me.

I made my preparations against accident--that is to say, ready in case
we capsized. I tied my compass to a cord about my neck; then I tied my
gun fast by a long rope to the canoe, which would float at any rate; and
I had a small box of clothes, a shirt, and two pairs of shoes, which I
tied also. I tied a handkerchief round my head, and put my watch inside
on the top, so that it would not get wet.

There was not a host of people to go in the royal canoe--Remandji, a
paddler, and myself--that was all. No more could get in with safety.
There was not so much royalty and state as you see in the department of
the navy. The admiral of the fleet I could not find.

Rafts are used extensively, but only for crossing the river or in going
down the stream.

Each canoe has two or three men in it. How small they all were! quite
flat on the bottom, and floating only a few inches above the water. They
are very well designed for the swift current of the river, which runs,
at this time of the year (December), at the rate of four miles an hour
after a heavy rain.

Remandji was dressed in the flaming red waistcoat I had given him. The
king paddled the canoe. As for me, I was perfectly satisfied to seat
myself in the bottom, expecting all the time to upset, for steadiness
was not part of our programme. I was quite uncomfortable, and as the
canoe leaked, the part of my pantaloons upon which I was seated was a
little more than damp; but no matter, it was cooling. But I could not
help wishing the Apingi canoes at the bottom of the river; this hard
wish of mine, of course, to be fulfilled when I should not be in one of
them.

Remandji shouted with all his might to the fleet of small canoes to keep
out of our way, for surely if a canoe had knocked against ours we should
have been in the water before we had time to give the fellows our
blessing.

We went gayly up the river, the royal canoe being ahead of all the
others, Remandji and his man paddling as hard as they could. The people
of the villages we passed begged Remandji to stop; but our fleet was
bound for a village whose chief was called Agobi, the father-in-law of
Remandji, and who had made friends with me. We at last reached his
village.

Loud cheers from the villagers welcomed us. Several canoes were upset at
the landing by being knocked against each other; but the Apingi swim
like fish, and the suit of clothes they wore (their own skin) dried so
quickly that a wetting was of very little moment to them.

There was a grand Apingi dance that night, and no sleep for me.

After two days spent at Agobi's village we began to ascend the river
again, but the current was so swift that we hardly seemed to make any
headway. There was a good deal of shouting, hollaing, and cursing in the
Apingi language before we fairly left the shore. The banks of this noble
stream, down to the water's edge, were a mass of verdure. I began to
congratulate myself that there would be no capsizing, and that I was not
going to take a bath in the river. Our canoe was, as I have said, ahead
of all the others, when suddenly a canoe, which was crossing the river
from the left bank, came close to us. We thought, however, that it would
pass above our bow, but it was borne down by the current, and, before we
could get out of the way, swept down upon us in spite of the shouts of
Remandji and his man. The canoe had only an old woman in it. Bang! bang!
and before I had time to say "Look out," both canoes were capsized, and
there we were in the river.

Remandji was perfectly frantic, cursing the old woman while he was
swimming. She did not in the least mind what he said, but swam off down
stream like a buoy, shouting continually, "Where is my bunch of
plantains? Give me back my plantains!" for I must say that, if we were
angry at her, and blamed her for the accident, she was equally angry at
us for the same reason, each thinking it was the other's fault.

The whole fleet was in great excitement, and Remandji was in a fearful
rage at the idea of any one upsetting his moguizi. I was still in the
water, holding on to the canoe as hard as I could, looking after the old
woman, who soon reached the shore, and, climbing out at a bend of the
river, waited for her capsized canoe to float along, which having
secured, she got in and paddled off, full of complaints at losing her
plantains, and, of course, blaming us for it. Remandji kept telling her
all the time (I give you the literal translation, for the negroes do not
mince words) to shut her mouth; but the more he told her to keep still,
the more she talked.

As for me, I at last succeeded in reaching the shore, Remandji securing
the canoe. Nothing was lost, and my gun was safe; it was not loaded, for
which I was thankful.

It was a good thing that we had kept close to the banks of the river,
for if we had capsized in the middle of the stream we should have gone a
mile or two down the river before reaching the shore. I was not sorry
when we got back to Remandji's village, and his people were very glad to
see us return.

I do not know what these Apingis will think about me next. Remandji was
a very intelligent fellow. As I am writing about him, I fancy I see his
face and that I am talking to him. Remandji was not a very tall negro.
He was white-headed, with a mild expression of countenance, very kind to
his people, and respected by all his tribe. If there was any quarrel
among them, they would come to him to settle it.

As you have seen, there was some fine hunting in his country. Leopards
were somewhat plentiful in the forest, and one day I said to the king,
"Remandji, I must go and hunt leopards, for I want their skins." He
immediately asked, pointing to my coat, if I wanted a coat made of
leopard's skin. I said no. Then he left me, and a little while after
came back with a man, and said, "It is of no use for you to go into the
jungle, for we want to see you all the time. Here is a man who has a big
fetich, which enables him to kill all the leopards he wants without the
fear of being killed by them." I burst out laughing. The man said,
"Laugh, O spirit; but you will see."

The next morning, before starting, he came to show himself. When he made
his appearance he began a most curious dance, talking sometimes very
loud, at other times in a whisper, and making as many contortions as it
is possible for a man to do. I could hardly recognize him. He did not
look at all like the man of the day before. He was painted with
ochre--half the body yellow, the other half red; one side of his face
was red, the other white. On his head he had a covering made entirely of
long feathers from the tails of strange birds. Round his neck and
shoulders hung an iron chain, each link being about one inch long, and
oval. To this chain was suspended the skin of an animal which I had
never seen, called ndesha, a species of large wild-cat found in the
forest. It was spotted somewhat like the skin of a leopard, but the
ground part was reddish. The only portion that could be seen was that
part near the tail, which hung down. In this skin was tied a wonderful
fetich, which no other man possessed, and by which he was able, as I
have said, to slay the leopards. The name of the man was Okabi. So I
said, "Okabi, show me this monda." He replied that no one could see that
monda, for if they did they would try to make one like it.

Round his waist he wore a belt made of a leopard's skin, which had been
cut from the head, along the spine, to the tail. They believe that no
spear can go through such belts. They are very much prized, each warrior
placing great value upon his personal safety.

This leopard-charmer started quite alone, and I thought no more about
him during the day.

In the evening I was seated on one of those little round Apingi stools,
and Remandji and I were talking about the back country. I felt very much
interested in the account he gave me of it, as he spoke of a tribe of
people I had never seen, when lo! what did I see? Okabi, carrying on his
back a dead leopard! I rubbed my eyes, thinking it was a mistake. No;
it was Okabi himself, and a dead leopard.

How Okabi got the leopard I could not imagine, but surely he had it, and
there was no mistake about it. He placed the leopard at my feet, saying,
"Did I not tell you I had a fetich to kill leopards?" Remandji also
said, "Did I not tell you I had a man who had a big fetich to kill
leopards?"

[Illustration: OKABI AND THE LEOPARD.]

"I believe," said I to Remandji, "that when he promised to kill a
leopard for me he had a trap set, and he knew that a leopard was in it.
For," said I, "no man can make leopards come to him." "Oh yes," said
Remandji, "there are men who have fetiches which have power to make game
come to them."

I coaxed Okabi to show me his leopard fetich. He promised to do so the
next day. He came, but I have very little doubt that he took something
off from it he did not want me to see.

He entered my hut and then untied the skin, and after he spread it out I
saw the contents which made the fetich. There were ashes of different
plants, little pieces of wood, the small head of a young squirrel, claws
of the wonderful guanionien, feathers of birds, bones of animals I could
not recognize, bones of birds, dried intestines of animals, some dried
brain of young chimpanzee, a very rare land-shell, scales of fishes, a
little bit of scrapings from the skull of one of his ancestors. These
were the things that made the leopards come to him.

"And if one of all these things you see," said he to me, "were missing,
the fetich or monda would be good for nothing."

Time passed pleasantly in that fine country, and one day, as I was
quietly reading my Bible outside of my hut, a crowd assembled and
watched me with wondering eyes. I told them that when I read this book
it taught me that God was the Great Spirit who had made the stars, the
moon, the rivers, the mountains, and all the wild beasts, and every
thing that was in the world.

Then I read some verses aloud to them. I told them that God said people
must not worship that which they had made with their own hands, but any
thing they wanted they must ask of him. They must love him. He said
people must not tell lies--must not kill.

Presently I let the leaves of the book slip through my hands to show
them how many there were. As the leaves slipped quickly from between my
hand they made a slight noise, when, to my great surprise, as soon as
they heard it they fled. In an instant the whole crowd, Remandji and
all, had disappeared, with symptoms of the greatest terror. It was who
should run the fastest. I called them back, but it was in vain. The
louder I shouted, the faster they ran. The whole village was soon
entirely deserted.

I shouted, "Remandji, come back--people, come back. I will do you no
harm."

By-and-by I saw Remandji's face peeping from behind a plantain-tree. I
called him, saying "that he and his people ought to be ashamed of
themselves for leaving me alone in the village." At last they came back,
when Remandji said, "O spirit! we ran away, for the noise made by what
you held in your hand (meaning the Bible) was like that made by Ococoo,
and we knew not what was coming next. We did not know that you and
Ococoo could talk together." Ococoo is one of the chief spirits of the
Apingi.

I told them it was all nonsense, and took the book again, but they
begged me to let it alone.

In my frequent hunting-trips through the jungle, I found a great many
palm-trees of the kind that yields the oil known as palm oil. I had
never before seen such numbers of palms, all hanging full of ripe nuts.
The Apingi eat these nuts. Their women come loaded every day with
baskets full. They eat them roasted or boiled.

The oil is used for the ladies' toilets, either as cold cream for the
skin or pomade for the hair. This cold cream is rather peculiar. The oil
is mixed with clay, and they rub their bodies with this _clean and
delightful mixture_. As a pomade, they sometimes put more than half a
pound of it on their hair. Every few days they oil their heads, often
mixing clay with the oil, and, as they never wash, and soap is unknown,
the fragrance coming therefrom is not of the most odoriferous kind, and
made me often wish that I had a cold, or could not smell.

These ladies wear charming little ear ornaments in the shape of rings
three or four inches in diameter, the wire being often of the size of a
lady's little finger. Of course the hole in the lobe of the ear is quite
large. Their faces are tattooed all over, and, to crown the whole of the
description, they have, as has before been observed, a beautiful mouth,
ornamented in front by two rows of teeth filed to a sharp point.

They have a peculiar form of tattooed lines which is thought by them to
be most beautiful. A broad stripe is drawn from the back of the neck
along the shoulders, and across the breasts, meeting in an acute angle
in the hollow of the chest. The flesh is raised at least two lines from
the level of the skin. Other stripes are drawn in curves along the back,
and from the breast down on the abdomen. The legs and arms are tattooed
all over, and their faces are literally cut to pieces.

I never saw so much tattooing in any of the tribes I visited as among
the Apingi. They seemed to like it; and when I reproached them for
spoiling their bodies in such a manner, they replied, "Why, we think it
is beautiful." And, pointing to my clothes, "Why do you wear garments?"
said they. "These tattooings are like your garments; we think they are
very fine."

Trouble loomed in the distance for me. The people insisted that I must
get married. Remandji said that he must give me a housekeeper to keep
my house and cook food for me. It was so; I must have a cook. The
weather was hot and unpleasant, and it would be rather nice to have some
one to attend to the kitchen. I smiled; it was a good idea. "Yes," I
said, "I want a housekeeper."

Remandji brought me a lot of women. I chose the ugliest, whose pretty
good likeness you have below, and installed her as my housekeeper, cook,
and maid-of-all-work. For two or three days all went well, when, one
fine morning, a deputation of men and women from a neighboring village
came to me, smiling and looking happy. They brought goats, fowls, and
plantains; hailed me as their relative, and said that they came to ask
for presents.

[Illustration: MY HOUSEKEEPER.]

I confess that I lost my temper. I took a stick from my hut, the sight
of which drove my would-be relatives and my housekeeper out of the
village. They fled in the utmost consternation.

"Really," said I to myself, "these Apingi are a strange people."

Remandji laughed heartily at the adventurers, saying to them, "I told
you not to go to the spirit, as he would get angry at you."



CHAPTER XXXI.

     A GREAT CROWD OF STRANGERS.--I AM MADE A KING.--I REMAIN IN MY
     KINGDOM.--GOOD-BY TO THE YOUNG FOLKS.


The village was crowded with strangers once more. All the chiefs of the
tribe had arrived. What did it all mean?

They had the wildest notions regarding me. I was the most wonderful of
creatures--a mighty spirit. I could work wonders--turn wood into iron,
leaves of trees into cloth, earth into beads, the waters of the Rembo
Apingi into palm wine or plantain wine. I could make fire, the matches I
lighted being proof of it.

What had that immense crowd come for? They had met to make me their
king. A kendo, the insignia of chieftainship here, had been procured
from the Shimba people, from whose country the kendo comes.

The drums beat early this morning; it seemed as if a fête-day was
coming, for every one appeared joyous. I was quite unprepared for the
ceremony that was to take place, for I knew nothing about it; no one had
breathed a word concerning it to me. When the hour arrived I was called
out of my hut. Wild shouts rang through the air as I made my
appearance--"Yo! yo! yo!" The chiefs of the tribe, headed by Remandji,
advanced toward me in line, each chief being armed with a spear, the
heads of which they held pointed at me. In rear of the chiefs were
hundreds of Apingi warriors, also armed with spears. Were they to spear
me? They stopped, while the drummers beat their tam-tams furiously. Then
Remandji, holding a kendo in his hand, came forward in the midst of the
greatest excitement and wild shouts of "The moguizi is to be made our
king! the moguizi is to be made our king!"

When Remandji stood about a yard from me a dead silence took place. The
king advanced another step, and then with his right hand put the kendo
on my left shoulder, saying, "You are the spirit whom we have never seen
before. We are but poor people when we see you. You are one of those of
whom we have heard, who came from nobody knows where, and whom we never
expected to see. You are our king. We make you our king. Stay with us
always, for we love you!" Whereupon shouts as wild as the country around
came from the multitude. They shouted, "Spirit, we do not want you to go
away--we want you forever!"

Immense quantities of palm wine, contained in calabashes, were drank,
and a general jollification took place in the orthodox fashion of a
coronation.

From that day, therefore, I may call myself Du Chaillu the First, King
of the Apingi. Just fancy, I am an African king! Of all the wild castles
I ever built when I was a boy, I never dreamed that I should one day be
made king over a wild tribe of negroes dwelling in the mountains of
Equatorial Africa.

I will remain in my kingdom for a while, and see every thing strange
that there is in it. In the mean time, dear Young Folks, I bid you
good-by, promising that, should you like to hear more of the country I
have explored, I will, in another year, bring you back to the strange
land where you and I have had so many adventures together.

[Illustration: FINIS]


       *       *       *       *       *



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