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Title: The Country of the Dwarfs
Author: Du Chaillu, Paul B. (Paul Belloni)
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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  Transcriber's Notes:

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by
  =equal signs=.

  Small uppercase have been replaced with regular uppercase.

  Blank pages have been eliminated.

  Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the
  original.



[Illustration: DU CHAILLU AND KING QUENGUEZA.     [See p. 43.]]



  THE

  COUNTRY OF THE DWARFS.

  BY

  PAUL DU CHAILLU,

  AUTHOR OF

  "ADVENTURES AND EXPLORATIONS IN EQUATORIAL AFRICA," "A JOURNEY TO
  ASHANGO LAND," "STORIES OF THE GORILLA COUNTRY," "WILD LIFE UNDER THE
  EQUATOR," "MY APINGI KINGDOM."


  [Illustration]


  _NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS._


  [Illustration]


  NEW YORK:

  HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,

  FRANKLIN SQUARE.

  1872.



  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by

  HARPER & BROTHERS,

  In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



_TO_

       _FLETCHER HARPER, ESQ._

_DEAR SIR:--I dedicate this volume to you, not only as an
acknowledgment of many kindnesses which I have received from you during
the years in which you have been the publisher of my books, but also as
a token of the personal affection and esteem of_

                         _Your friend_,

                                            _PAUL B. DU CHAILLU._

_North Cape, Norway, August, 1871._



[Illustration]



CONTENTS.


                             CHAPTER I.
  How Paul set out for the Country of the Dwarfs, and what he took
  with him.                                                      Page 11

                             CHAPTER II.
  On the African Coast.--Meeting with old Friends.--Changes in
  Four Years.--The Captain's Misgivings.                              20

                             CHAPTER III.
  Landing Goods.--Among the Breakers.--King Ranpano.--Loss of
  Instruments.--King Quengueza.--A Palaver.--Changing Names.          31

                             CHAPTER IV.
  Honest Africans.--Distributing Presents.--Quengueza's
  Diplomacy.--Another Palaver.--A new Settlement.--Rabolo's
  Monda.--Ranpano's Superstition.                                     41

                             CHAPTER V.
  Departure of the Mentor.--Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Chimpanzee.--Thomas
  in London.--Left alone in Africa.--Departure from Plateau.--A
  Tornado.--Nengué Shika.--Traces of Gorillas.--Nengué Ncoma.--King
  Olenga-Yombi.--The Ipi.                                             52

                             CHAPTER VI.
  Hunting for the Ipi.--Camping out in the Woods.--Capture of an
  Ipi.--Description of the Animal.--A new species of Ant-eater.       64

                             CHAPTER VII.
  Life at Nkongon-Boumba.--Gorillas and Plantains.--Odanga scared
  by a Gorilla.--A captive Gorilla.--Superstitions respecting the
  Leopard.                                                            72

                             CHAPTER VIII.
  Wounded Gorilla and her young ones.--Taking their
  Photographs.--Tom and Minnie.--Arrival of my Vessel.--Hurra for
  Baring Brothers.--A smoking Ship.--King Quengueza goes on
  board.--Preparations for Journey.                                   80

                             CHAPTER IX.
  Down the River in a Canoe.--A strange Passenger.--Talk with a
  Gorilla.--Landing through the Breakers.--Preparing to cross the
  Continent.--The Departure.                                          91

                             CHAPTER X.
  A royal Welcome.--Departure from Goumbi.--The Story of Nchanga
  and Enomo.--Ascending the Ovenga River.--A hostile Barrier
  removed.--The Advice of Quengueza.                                 105

                             CHAPTER XI.
  Bustle in the Camp.--A magic Horn.--Quengueza's Idol.--A living
  Skeleton.--Terrific Thunder-storm.--A Gorilla Family.--Stupendous
  Cataract.                                                          111

                             CHAPTER XII.
  The Death of Remandji.--A singular Superstition.--Outbreak of the
  Plague.--A touching Incident.--Dying off by Scores.--Death of
  Olenda.                                                            112

                             CHAPTER XIII.
  Burial of Olenda.--A desolated Valley.--Suspicions
  aroused.--Robbery.--Paul in perplexing circumstances.--Freeing
  a Man from the Stocks.--Ravages of the Plague.                     131

                             CHAPTER XIV.
  Departure from Ashira Land.--A silent Leave-taking.--Thievish
  Porters.--A cunning old Rascal.--Misfortune on
  Misfortune.--Without Food in the Forest.--A desperate
  Plot.--Feasting on Monkey-meat.--Out of the Woods.                 139

                             CHAPTER XV.
  In the open Country at last.--Interview with Mayolo.--Igala falls
  Sick.--A Mutiny.--The Otando Prairie on Fire.--Return of Macondai
  and Igalo.--Their Adventures.--All together again.                 153

                             CHAPTER XVI.
  Terrible Storms of Thunder.--Days of Anxiety.--Shooting an
  Antelope.--Brighter Prospects.--Mayolo has a hard time with his
  Doctors.--Basket-making.                                           165

                             CHAPTER XVII.
  Departure from the Otando Country.--Talk with Mayolo.--Living on
  Monkey-meat.--Astronomical Studies.--Lunar
  Observations.--Intense Heat.                                       173

                             CHAPTER XVIII.
  Saying Good-by.--A panic-stricken Village.--Pacifying the
  People's Fears.--A tipsy Scene.--Majesty on a Spree.--Lunch by a
  River side.                                                        184

                             CHAPTER XIX.
  Rumors of War.--Through a burning Prairie.--Imminent
  Peril.--Narrow Escape from a horrible Death.--A lonely
  Night-watch.                                                       194

                             CHAPTER XX.
  A Deputation from the Village.--A plain Talk with them.--A
  beautiful and prosperous Town.--Cheerful Character of the
  People.--More Observations.                                        199

                             CHAPTER XXI.
  Great Excitement in the Village.--A deserted Town.--The
  Inhabitants frightened away.--Afraid of the Evil Eye.--The Author
  taken for an Astrologer.--Lost among the Plantations.              206

                             CHAPTER XXII.
  First Sight of a Village of the Dwarfs.--A strange and
  interesting Spectacle.--An abandoned Town.--A Reverie beside a
  Stream.--The Leaf, the Butterfly, and the Bird.--The blessing of
  Water.                                                             214

                             CHAPTER XXIII.
  Grotesque Head-dresses.--Curious fashions in Teeth.--A venerable
  Granite Boulder.--Interior of a Hut.--A warlike race of
  Savages.--Giving them an Electric Shock.                           226

                             CHAPTER XXIV.
  Visit to a Village of the Dwarfs.--Walk through the Primeval
  Forest.--An ancient Account of this strange Race.--A great
  Ashango Dance.--A Watch and a tremendous Sneeze.--First View of
  the Dwarfs.--Queer specimens of Humanity.                          239

                             CHAPTER XXV.
  Making friends with the Dwarfs.--A Surprise Visit.--A gorgeous
  Feast.--Ridiculous Show of Babies.--The Dwarf Language.--A Dwarf
  Dance.--The old Fable of the Cranes and the Pigmies.               252

                             CHAPTER XXVI.
  A modern Traveler's Account of the Dwarfs and their Habits.--Where
  and how they Bury their Dead.--Hunting for the Dwarfs.--How they
  make their Huts.                                                   265

                             CHAPTER XXVII.
  Traveling Eastward.--Measuring Heights.--Instruments used.--Reach
  Mouaou-Kombo.--Apprehensions of the People.--Palaver with the
  Chief.--An unlucky Shot.--Hostilities commenced.                   274

                             CHAPTER XXVIII.
  Retreat from Mouaou-Kombo.--The Attack.--Paul is wounded.--A
  Panic.--The Fight renewed.--The Enemy re-enforced.--Lying in
  Ambush.--The Enemy repulsed.--A poisoned Arrow.--Mouitchi
  safe.--Death of the Dogs.                                          286

                             CHAPTER XXIX.
  Traveling Westward.--A Night in the Forest.--Paul's Speech to his
  Men.--Their Reply.--The Retreat resumed.--Taking Food and
  Rest.--Meeting with Friends.                                       301

                             CHAPTER XXX.
  Conclusion.--Return to the Coast.--Desolation of the
  Country.--Fate of old Friends.--Reach the Settlement.--Departure
  for England.--Au Revoir.                                           312

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                                    PAGE

  DU CHAILLU AND KING QUENGUEZA                          _Frontispiece._

  SKETCH MAP OF PART OF WESTERN AFRICA                     _Title-page._

  DU CHAILLU MEETS HIS OLD FRIEND ADJOUATONGA                         22

  CAPTURE OF THE IPI                                                  67

  PHOTOGRAPHING GORILLAS                                              83

  THE DEPARTURE                                                      101

  SURPRISING A FAMILY OF GORILLAS                                    117

  OLENDA IS DEAD                                                     129

  PRISONER IN NCHOGO                                                 136

  DECISIVE MEASURES                                                  146

  MEETING WITH MACONDAI                                              159

  HUNTING AN ANTELOPE                                                167

  OTAITAI, OR PORTER'S BASKET                                        171

  TAKING AN OBSERVATION                                              180

  APONO AND ISHOGO VILLAGE                                           208

  ISHOGO HOUSES, WITH ORNAMENTAL DOORS                               211

  HUTS OF THE DWARFS                                                 216

  ISHOGO HEAD-DRESSES                                           227, 228

  AFRICAN GOAT, CHICKEN, PARROT, AND IDOL                            231

  SHOCKING THE ASHANGOS                                              236

  DINNER WITH THE DWARFS                                             271

  INSTRUMENTS FOR OBSERVATION                                        275

  THE FIGHT WITH THE ASHANGOS                                        289

  FRIENDS IN THE DARKNESS                                            309



[Illustration]



THE COUNTRY OF THE DWARFS.



CHAPTER I.

HOW PAUL SET OUT FOR THE COUNTRY OF THE DWARFS, AND WHAT HE TOOK WITH
HIM.


IN the month of July, 1863, if you had been in London, you might have
seen in St. Catharine's Dock a schooner called the Mentor, a little
vessel of less than one hundred tons' measurement, and if you had gone
on board you would have encountered your old friend Paul Du Chaillu
busily superintending the taking of the cargo, and getting all things
in readiness for the voyage upon which he is now going to take you.

Captain Vardon, the commander of the vessel, was generally by his side,
and I am sure you would have been happy to make his acquaintance, for
he was a very pleasant man.

Every body was busy on board, either on deck or below deck, storing
away the goods. Boxes upon boxes came alongside the Mentor from morning
till evening. These contained my outfit and the equipment necessary for
the expedition.

Paul Du Chaillu had an anxious look, and you need not wonder at it,
for he was about to undertake a journey of explorations of about five
years' duration, and had to think of many things. It was, indeed, no
small undertaking. What an outfit it was! I will give you some idea of
it.

Clothing for five years was to be provided; the very smallest article
must not be forgotten, even to needles, thread, and scissors.

It would never do again to be left without shoes, as I was in Apingi
Land, so I had seventy-two pairs of Balmoral lace-boots made specially
for journeying in the great forest, with soles flexible enough to allow
me to bend my feet while jumping from rock to rock, or from the base of
one tree to another. Besides these lace-boots I had twenty-four pairs
of shoes and twelve pairs of linen slippers. Twelve pairs of leggins
were to protect my legs from thorns, briers, and the bite of snakes; so
you see my feet and legs were to be well taken care of in that journey,
and for my further comfort I laid in twelve dozen pairs of socks. I
took so many because I do not know how to darn socks, and when a pair
became full of holes they would have to be thrown away.

All my shirts were made of light-colored flannel; these were more
healthy than linen shirts, and, besides economizing soap, it saved me
from the necessity of getting under-garments, and consequently allotted
me space which could be devoted to other articles.

With an eye to the great wear and tear of pantaloons, I had ordered six
dozen pairs made of the strongest twisted blue drill that could be got.
Instead of coats I ordered two dozen blouses, made of durable linen
stuff, of a color not easily seen in the woods. The blouse was a very
convenient garment, admitting of numerous pockets, in which I could
keep many things while on the march. Every thing was made for wear and
not for show, and to go through the thickest and most thorny jungle.

Several dozen pocket-handkerchiefs completed my wearing outfit. Besides
their ordinary use, these were to be worn, generally wet, inside the
three fine soft Panama hats I had provided to protect my head from the
rays of a burning sun. No collars, no neck-ties were necessary.

Clothes must be washed, so I took with me one hundred pounds of the
hardest Marseilles soap. That quantity was not much, but then I would
probably be able some time to make my own soap with palm-oil.

Then came the drugs, and these gave me more embarrassment than any
thing else. If it had been only to take medicines for myself, the
matter would have been simple enough. A compact little medicine-chest,
with an extra quantity of quinine, laudanum, and a few other remedies
used in tropical climates more frequently than in ours, would have
sufficed; but I had to think of my followers and porters--a retinue
that would sometimes number five and six hundred--and accordingly I
purchased

  75 ounce bottles of quinine.
  10 gallons of castor-oil.
  50 pounds of Epsom salts.
   2 quarts of laudanum.

These were the medicines which would be the most needed; but,
besides these, I had pretty nearly all the drugs to be found at the
apothecary's.

Of arsenic I took one hundred pounds, to preserve the skins of animals
and birds I expected to kill in my journeyings.

Most of these and my wearing apparel were packed in japanned tin
boxes, which would be serviceable afterward for the preservation of my
butterflies and stuffed birds. Tin boxes were safer than wooden ones;
the white ants would not be able to pierce through them.

Though I did not set out to make war, I felt that I ought to be
prepared for any emergency. Besides, I was to hunt, and I must have
guns. After a great deal of thinking it over, I came to the conclusion
that, for such a wild country, where I might get short of cartridges,
the greater part of my guns should be muzzle-loaders, so I bought
four splendid English muzzle-loaders, four long muzzle-loading
rifles, two very short smooth-bore muzzle-loaders, and two very short
muzzle-loading rifles.

Then I took a magnificent double-barrel breech-loading rifle which
could throw steel-pointed bullets weighing more than two ounces. I had
Dean and Adams's revolvers, magnificent arms that never got out of
order, and several long, formidable hunting-knives.

These guns were for my own special use, and they were supplied with
moulds for making bullets, etc., etc.

Besides these, I had ordered in Birmingham two hundred and fifty cheap
guns for my body-guard and the native king, to whom I might desire to
give one. Most of them were flint-locks, and of the pattern called the
Tower.

I had great trouble in knowing what quantity of ammunition to take,
for lead is heavy; but, then, what would a man do in a savage country
without powder and bullets?

The great difficulty with rifle muzzle-loaders is, that when the charge
has been driven home the bullets can not be easily withdrawn. So it is
with the revolvers; and a great deal of ammunition would be lost on
that account.

My ammunition consisted of 15,000 cartridges for my revolvers, in
soldered tin boxes of fifties; 15,000 bullets for my guns and rifles,
and lead for 20,000 more, for the practice of my men before starting
into the desert; 1000 pounds of small shot of different sizes, for
birds; 400 pounds of fine powder; 50,000 caps. I also took 200 10-pound
barrels of coarse powder for my body-guard and to give away to my
friends, or as presents.

So you see the warlike and hunting apparatus of the expedition was very
heavy, but we were to depend in a great measure on our guns for food.
Elephants, antelopes, hippopotami, gazelles, crocodiles, and monkeys
would be our chief diet. Then came the scientific instruments:

  4 strong, splendid hunting-case watches, by Brock, London.
  1 watch made by Frodsham, London.
  48 spare watch-keys and 24 spare glasses.
  3 sextants, 8, 6, and 4 inches radius.
  1 binocular yachting-glass.
  1 telescope.
  1 universal sun-dial (a magnificent instrument).
  1 aneroid.
  2 compasses, prismatic, with stand, shades, and reflector three
      inches in diameter, to take the bearings of land, etc., etc.
  2 pocket compasses.
  1 set drawing instruments (German silver).
  2 dozen drawing-pens.
  2 artificial horizons, folding roof, improved iron trough,
      and bottles containing quicksilver, in sling case.
  1 hypsometrical apparatus.
  2 bull's-eye lanterns, copper boiler, three reservoirs for
      spirits, oil, or candles.
  3 thermometers for measuring heights and boiling water.
  2 thermometers for the sun (to know its power).
  2 thermometers graduated Fahrenheit and Centigrade.
  1 thermometer graduated Centigrade and Reaumur.
  1 powerful electro-magnetic machine, with 90 feet of
      conducting wire or cord.
  2 large magnifying-glasses.
  7 pounds of mercury, in a bottle, as a reserve supply.
  Parallel rule (German silver).
  Protractor, circular, with compass rectifier, in a mahogany
      box.
  3 rain-gauges and spare glasses, to tell the amount of
      rain falling at a given time.
  Scale, 18 inches, metal, graduated to inches, and
      sub-divided to tenths and hundredths, in a box.
  Tape, 100 feet, to measure trees.
  75 sheets of skeleton maps, ruled in squares, to mark
      out in the rough my daily route as determined by
      compass.

  4 Nautical Almanacs, 1863, '4, '5, '6, to be used in my
      astronomical observations; and several other scientific
      books.
  12 blank books for keeping my daily journal.
  10 memorandum-books.
  10 quires of paper.
  Ink, pens, pencils, slates.

For illumination I provided 100 pounds of wax candles, 10 gallons of
spirits (alcohol) for lamps, thermometers, etc., etc.; 12 gross of
matches in boxes, each dozen boxes inclosed in a separate soldered tin
box. Though I had fire-steel and flint, the matches could light a fire
much quicker, and they were "big things" with the natives.

So you see I had a complete set of instruments, and in sufficient
number, so that in case of accident I could replace the injured one;
and accidents I knew were sure to happen.

If I did not explain to you why I took five watches, I am sure you
would say that I was foolish to spend so much money in watches. Then
let me tell you that I bought so many because I was afraid that if I
took only one or two, they might stop running, and in this event it
would have been impossible for me to know my longitude, that is to say,
how far east or west I might be, and to ascertain the day and month,
should illness have caused me to forget the calendar. No watch can be
safely depended upon to run for five years in such a climate without
cleaning. But as four of them had been made specially for the journey,
I felt assured that at least one or two out of the five would run till
my return.

But we have not yet done with my equipment. There were 18 boxes
containing photographic apparatus, with tent, and chemicals for 10,000
photographs. The transportation of these alone would require twenty men.

All that I have enumerated to you constituted but a small proportion of
the things that came on board, and were for my special use, with the
exception of the 250 common guns and a great part of the ammunition.

There are yet to be mentioned the presents for my old friends, who
had been so kind to me in my former journeys, and whom I hoped to see
again. These were the chiefs whose hospitality I had enjoyed, and my
dear hunters Aboko, Fasiko, Niamkala, Malaouen, Querlaouen, Gambo, dear
old Quengueza, Ranpano, Rikimongani, and Obindji, the Bakalai chief.
Presents, too, were indispensable for the people who were to take me
from tribe to tribe, and the right of way I knew would often have to
be bought. So more than two months had been spent by me in the London
clothing, hardware, and dry-goods establishments, finding what I wanted.

I bought more than 5000 pounds of beads of different sizes and colors,
several hundred pieces of cotton goods, some pieces of silks, coats,
waistcoats, shirts, 2000 _red caps_, a few umbrellas, files, knives,
bells, fire-steels, flints, looking-glasses, forks, spoons, some
_stove-pipe_ hats for the kings near the sea-shore, straw hats, etc.,
etc.

Then, to impress the wild people with what I could do, I bought several
large Geneva musical boxes, one powerful electrical battery, several
magnets, and six ship clocks, etc., etc.

The abundant results of the sale of my "Adventures in Equatorial
Africa," and the proceeds arising from the disposal of my gorillas,
and my collection of beasts, birds, insects, and shells, alone enabled
me to undertake this new expedition, for not one dollar has ever been
given by any scientific society to help me in any of my travels or
explorations; but I was very happy in expending a part of my means in
the interest of science and for the enlargement of our knowledge of
unknown countries. I only wish now I could have done more, but really I
think that I did the best I could.

Years had passed away since I had gone first to Africa, my parents were
both dead, I was alone in the world and the world was before me, and I
thought I could do nothing better than make another exploration.

I had made up my mind, without confiding my purpose to any one, to
cross the continent of Africa near the equator, from the west to the
head waters of the Nile, and to set out from the Commi country. I knew
my old negro friends would help me. That was the reason my outfit was
on so large a scale.

The only thing that worried me before my departure was our civil war,
but then I thought it was soon to end.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER II.

ON THE AFRICAN COAST.--MEETING WITH OLD FRIENDS.--CHANGES IN FOUR
YEARS.--THE CAPTAIN'S MISGIVINGS.


ON the 5th of August we sailed from London. I will not weary you with
a narrative of the voyage. The days passed pleasantly on board the
Mentor. By the end of the month of August we were not far from the
Tropic of Cancer. September glided away calmly, and on the 7th of
October Captain Vardon said that the following day we should come in
sight of land.

Accordingly, the next morning I heard from the main-top the cry of
"Land! land!" Two hours afterward from the deck I could discern the low
lands of the Commi country. Nearer and nearer the coast we came, until
we could see the white surf breaking with terrific force on the shore,
and hear the booming sound of the angry waves as they dashed against
the breakers. The country was so monotonous in its outlines that we
could not make out exactly where we were; we only knew that we were
south of Cape Lopez, and not very far from it. I thought it strange
that I could not recognize the mouth of the Fernand Vaz or Commi River.

No canoes could ride through the surf, so no natives could come on
board. In the evening we stood off the land and shortened sail, and
afterward we cast anchor.

[Illustration: DU CHAILLU MEETS HIS OLD FRIEND ADJOUATONGA.]

The next morning we sailed again in a southerly direction, and at
last we saw a canoe pass through the breakers; it came alongside, and
the negroes in it shouted in English, "Put down the anchor! Plenty of
ivory, plenty of every thing; load the ship in a fortnight."

We had passed the Fernand Vaz, having sailed too far south. The mouth
of the river itself is very difficult to discover. Perhaps you may
recollect my having formerly described it as discernible only by the
white surf combing over its bar, by large flocks of fish-eating birds
hovering in the air above it, and by a long, white sandy point forming
the extremity of the land on the left bank.[1]

       [1] Explorations in Equatorial Africa.

As we approached the river, two canoes left the shore and made for
the vessel. In the first, as it neared us, I recognized my friend
Adjouatonga, a chief belonging to the clan Adjiéna, whose villages
occupied the mouth of the river. He climbed up the vessel's side, and
went to shake hands with the captain, and then advanced toward me to
do the same. I had not said a word, but upon my raising my hat, which
had been pulled down so as partly to conceal my face, and turning round
upon him, he stepped back in astonishment, and, recognizing me at
once, cried out in his own language, "Are you Chally, or his spirit?
Have you come from the dead? for we have heard you were dead. Tell me
quickly, for I do not know whether I am to believe my own eyes. Perhaps
I am getting a kendé" (an idiot, a fool). And I said, "Adjouatonga, I
am Chally, your friend!" The good fellow embraced me in a transport
of joy, but he hugged me so tight and so long that I wished his
friendship had been less enthusiastic. Four years had nearly gone by
since I had left the Commi country.

As the second canoe came nearer, I ordered Adjouatonga not to say a
word. My heart leaped for joy, for in it were my own people from the
dear, good old African Washington of mine. Sholomba, the nephew of
King Ranpano, was there, and my boy Macondai; all my former canoe-men,
Kombé, Ratenou, Oshimbo, were in that canoe. I longed for them to come
on board. I could hardly restrain myself; but I felt that I must appear
like as if I did not know them, and see whether they would recognize me.

In a moment they were on deck, and a wild shout of joy came from them,
"Our white man has come back! Chally! Chally!" and they all rushed
toward me. Good fellows! in their savage natures they loved me, and
they remembered the friend who had never wronged them. I was seized
and almost pulled to pieces, for they all wanted to hug me at the same
time. Captain Vardon looked with perfect amazement at the scene of
greeting. They seemed to be crazy with joy to see me again.

Then followed a long and confused account of what had taken place since
my departure, all talking at the same time.

When we had come back to our senses, the next subject to be considered
was how I was to get ashore. Of course I wished to go by the mouth of
the river, but Sholomba assured me it could not be done. The mouth of
the Fernand Vaz had changed much for the worse, and it would be less
dangerous to run a canoe through the surf to the beach than to attempt
to cross the bar of the river. It was now the beginning of the rainy
season, when the winds are less violent than in the dry season, but
the surf had not subsided from the agitation of the heavy south winds
of the dry season.

The anchor was cast, and I left the Mentor in Adjouatonga's canoe,
which was a better one than the other.

All was excitement in the canoe, and the men sang. Adjouatonga, looking
more and more anxious as we approached the rollers, rested outside for
a while, and then, at the proper moment, skillfully directed the frail
canoe over the crest of a huge wave, which bore us with lightning speed
to the beach, where I was caught up by the natives that were waiting
for us, and carried safely to dry land. Tremendous huzzas were given.

Once more I stood on African soil.

The people recognized me, and I was hurried along, amidst a crowd of
several hundred savages, all dancing and shouting with frantic joy,
across the sandy tongue of land to the banks of the Commi, my own Commi
River, where canoes were waiting to take us to Washington and to old
King Ranpano.

Time had wrought great changes in the land of my former explorations.
The mouth of the river had altered so much that I could hardly
recognize it. The long, sandy, reed-covered pits, which projected three
miles from the southern point of the river's mouth, and which had been
the scene of many hunting adventures with ducks, cranes, and sea-gulls,
had disappeared, and the sea had washed the sand away, and taken the
greater part of it to the northern side of the village of Elinde, whose
chief, Sangala, had given me so much trouble in former times. The spot
where Sangala's village had stood had become untenanted, and the people
had removed. Many a dear little island, where I used to hide to shoot
birds, had also been submerged or washed away, and I no longer saw the
flocks of sea-fowl which formerly frequented the locality.

I felt sad indeed; a pang of sorrow shot through me. It was like a
dream; the scene of my former hunting had vanished, and nothing but
the record of what I had written about the land was left. I can not
express to you the lonely feeling that came over me. Though every thing
was changed, the former picture of the landscape was before me. I
remembered every island, every little outlet, the herd of hippopotami,
the "Caroline" inside the bar quietly at anchor.

Oh, I would have given any thing if I could have seen the country as it
was when I left it! I had been so happy, I spent so many pleasant days
there, I had so loved to roam on that sandy point, and to lie on its
sand! Now it was nothing but a dream; it had been swept away.

The canoes in the river being ready, I embarked in one, followed by
all the others, the people singing, "Our ntangani (white man) has come
back. Oh, how we love our white man! Oh, how our white man loves us!
for he has come back to us. Yes, we never stole from our white man; our
white man remembers that, and he comes back to us, for he is not afraid
of us."

Paddling up the stream, many, many sights I recognized; many
mangrove-trees I remembered; the old banks of the river were familiar
to me. I looked eagerly at every thing around.

Halloo! what do I see yonder? a herd of hippopotami motionless in the
water, and looking for all the world like old logs stuck in the mud.
Familiar species of cranes stalked about here and there, the pelican
swam majestically, the kingfishers were watching for their prey, with
white cranes and ducks not far from them.

Thus we glided along up the river. My heart was full; I did not speak
a word. Soon we came in front of my old settlement of Washington, of
which I gave you a picture in my Apingi Kingdom.

Oh! what do I see? Nothing but ruins! The houses had all tumbled down;
a few bamboos and rotting poles alone remained to show me where my big
house stood. The four trees between which my house had been built were
still there; the gum copal tree was in front. The little village for my
men was not to be seen; desolation had taken possession of the place.
One single house was still standing. The men stopped their singing;
their faces became sad. A feeling that some misfortune had happened
seized me.

I got up and shouted, looking the men steadily in the face, "Where is
Rikimongani, my friend, he whom I intrusted with the settlement of
Washington?" "Dead, dead," said they. "The people were jealous that you
loved him so well, and they did not want him to see you again, and they
bewitched him; he fell ill, and died."

"Rikimongani dead!" I exclaimed. I took off my hat as we passed the
place, and said, "Oh, how sorry I am, Rikimongani! What shall I do with
the fine old coat I have for you? what shall I do with the nice cane
and the fine hat I have brought for you? Oh, dear Rikimongani, I have
many presents for you. Rikimongani, did you know how much I loved you?"

"See," shouted the men, "how much he loved Rikimongani!"

"Oh yes," said the canoe-men, "he always talked of you, and said he was
sure you would come back, though we all said that you would not, and
that you would forget us. Rikimongani used to say, 'One day we shall
see a white sail, and Chally will be on board, and he will land and
come to see us again.' In the evenings he would talk of you to us boys."

Tears filled my eyes. Then Sholomba whispered to me, "When the wizards
who were accused of having bewitched Rikimongani were about to drink
the mboundou, they said, 'Chally has killed Rikimongani, for he will
never come back here, and he loves Rikimongani so much that he has
killed him, so that he might have his spirit always with him.' And,"
said Sholomba, "many believed them, but many did not."

"We must not land here," said Sholomba. "Chally, you must never build
here; the people are afraid of the place; nobody will dare to come
here, for people die always in this place. Several times villages had
been built, and the people had to leave this spot. Witchcraft is here."

I felt that I had come back to a wild life, full of superstitions and
legends.

We paddled till we came two miles above my place of Washington, which
had brought back so many reminiscences to me. Though I would have
liked to build again there, I could not think of it on account of the
superstitious dread of the natives for the spot.

When we stopped, Sholomba and Djombouai had reached their little
village. Ranpano was away from home, on the Ogobai River. So I resolved
to build a new settlement close to their village.

Messengers were sent to King Ranpano to tell him to come, and the news
spread over the country that Chally had come back, and the people from
all the villages and the country round came trooping by land and water
to see their old friend, and to hear about the stores of good things he
had brought with him. They came pouring in day after day, camping in
the woods, on the prairie, every where. They would endure hunger rather
than go home. Many, many an old face I saw; many a kind-hearted woman
came and told me how glad she was to see me; many boys and girls who
had grown up said they wanted to work for me; many people brought me
presents of food.

How pleased I was! Oh yes, I had tried to do right with these savages,
and they knew it, and they loved me for it. I knew that not one of them
thought unkindly of me.

The day after my landing I dispatched Sholomba with a canoe filled
with paddlers up the river. Those among you who have followed me in my
former adventures must guess where I sent that canoe.

To the village of King Quengueza, that dear old chief. I wanted to see
his face. I had brought great numbers of presents for him, to show him
that in the white man's country I had thought of him. I had brought
presents for many of his people, his nephews, sons, and nieces. His old
faithful slaves were not forgotten--good old Etia among them; and his
head slave Mombon.

So one canoe had gone for friend Ranpano, and another for good old
Quengueza.

Canoes strong enough to go through the surf were coming from all the
villages. Huts were given to me in which to store my goods, and now we
had reached the point of bringing them ashore.

It was necessary for me to go on board the Mentor, and arrange the
mode of disembarkation of my extensive outfit and stock of goods. As
the mouth of the river had become unsafe on account of the breaking-up
of the sandy spit, and was now an uninterrupted line of breakers, we
resolved to land every thing on the beach through the surf, and then
carry them across to the river, and put them in other canoes, which
were to carry them to my new settlement.

So on the 14th I went to the schooner, and slept on board that night.
Captain Vardon was somewhat anxious; he had never been on this wild and
unfrequented part of the coast, so far from any civilized settlements,
and when he saw me he was delighted, and said that he began to think
that the natives had murdered me. He had kept an armed guard on the
watch all the time, for, said he, such a country looked exactly like
one where the natives could pounce upon the unsuspecting vessel, murder
the crew, and rob the ship. I assured him that there was no danger;
that I could do what I wished with the Commi people, as he would be
able to see for himself; and that, though many of the boxes would have
to be opened, and the goods deposited loose in the canoes, not a single
thing would be stolen.

Knowing the negroes of the Coast (for he had been a trader), he seemed
somewhat incredulous at my statement.



[Illustration]



CHAPTER III.

LANDING GOODS.--AMONG THE BREAKERS.--KING RANPANO.--LOSS OF
INSTRUMENTS.--KING QUENGUEZA.--A PALAVER.--CHANGING NAMES.


THE next morning, at daybreak, three canoes came alongside to take off
the cargo. The men brought the news that King Ranpano had arrived, and
was on the beach.

My most precious things were lowered into the canoes, and when every
thing was ready, the captain concluded to go ashore with me.

The captain and I got into the canoe containing all my scientific
instruments, medicines, some of my best guns, my watch chronometers,
five Geneva musical boxes, etc., etc. Before we left the captain
ordered the mate to keep a sharp lookout, and fasten to the anchors
seventy fathoms of chain, for the sea was heavy. The crew came to say
good-by to me, and as our canoes left the side of the Mentor they gave
three cheers for me. Then, as fast as our paddles could propel us, we
made for the beach.

As we approached the breakers, the faces of the canoe-men looked
anxious, for the swells were heavy, and I could hear the roar of the
surf. Nearer and nearer we came. The two other canoes were ahead of us.

The men were watching the swells, resting on their paddles. At last we
hear their cheers; they plunge their paddles into the water, and onward
they go toward the shore, rolling on the top of a heavy, long swell.

My men thought we were too late, as we were behind, and had better
wait for the next lull. In the mean time we watched the two canoes;
they seemed for a while to be buried in the foaming billows. "Surely,"
I said to Captain Vardon, "those canoes will never reach the shore
safely."

"I don't believe they will," was his answer.

"We had reached a point just outside the breakers, where we watch; the
two canoes appear again; they have not capsized; the men are covered
with spray; they are paddling as hard as they can; they are over the
breakers; they land safely; the people on the shore seize the canoes,
and bring them up the beach.

Now our time has come, and the men are watching anxiously. I have the
finest canoe-men of the Commi tribe in my canoe. Oshimbo holds the
steering-paddle. Kombé, Ratenou, Ondonga, Gonwe, Sholomba, and the
others, are not only splendid paddlers, but they all swim like fish--a
very important thing for me if we capsize. My sixteen men are resting
on their paddles; they are all looking outside, and watching the heavy
rollers as they come in. Generally six of these come, and then there
is a kind of a lull. "Get ready! paddle hard!" shouted Oshimbo. The
men gave a terrific Commi hurra, and down went their paddles, and with
heavy strokes we got on what we thought a gentle swell. We had hardly
got on it when the swell became higher and higher, carrying us almost
with lightning speed; then it began to crest itself; we were caught,
and finally were dashed upon a white foaming wave with fearful force.
"Be careful!" shouted Oshimbo. "Have your eyes upon our white man!"

Though we did not upset, our canoe was partly filled with water, and
the rush of the wave had prevented Oshimbo's paddle from acting as a
rudder, and the canoe was now lying broadside at the mercy of the next
wave that should come.

"Hurry!" shouted Oshimbo to the men; "let us bring back the canoe's
head on to the waves!" and the men put forth all their might to rescue
us from our perilous position. Just as we had succeeded in bringing
the canoe round, a second immense roller, coming from far out at
sea, and mounting higher and higher as it approached, threatened our
destruction. We were in fearful suspense. Perhaps we will be able to
ride upon it; perhaps it will break ahead of us. It was a terrific one.
My men cried again with one voice, "Let us look out for our white man!"

These words were hardly uttered when the huge wave broke over the stern
of our canoe with appalling force, instantly upsetting it and hurling
us into the sea, where we were deeply submerged in the spray.

I do not know how I ever got back on the surface of the water, but
when I did I was some forty feet from the canoe, and all the men were
scattered far and wide.

I was almost stunned. Breaker upon breaker succeeded each other with
awful rapidity, sending us rolling about under them, and giving us
hardly time to breathe. The sea all round became a mass of foaming
billows. By this time all my faithful negroes were around me, shouting
to each other, "To our ntangani--our ntangani (white man)!" It was
indeed high time, for I felt myself sinking. A minute more, and I would
have sank helpless to the bottom of the sea, never to rise again. The
Commi swam round me and held me up, till another wave would scatter us
again, and then they came back to my succor.

In spite of all their efforts, I became weaker and weaker. They had
succeeded in ridding me of the greater part of my clothing, but,
notwithstanding this relief, my strength was fast failing me, and I had
drank large quantities of salt water.

I cried, "Where is the captain? Go for him!" My cry was just in time,
for he was in his last struggle for life. Once we had got hold of the
canoe, but the waves had made us loose our grip. Loud shouts came
from the shore; the people were almost frantic. Canoe after canoe was
launched, but only to be swamped in the breakers the next instant.

At length the tumult of the waves subsided; there came a lull, and the
rising tide had driven us toward the beach. We were not far from it,
indeed, and now we rested a little, holding fast to our capsized canoe.

At last a canoe succeeded in leaving the shore, and came to our rescue.
As it reached us the crew jumped into the sea to give us their places,
and, in order not to load it too heavily, they swam alongside, holding
fast to it to keep it steady.

As we neared the shore, the natives did not wait for me to land, but
ran into the water, and, seizing me, carried me off in their arms, in
the midst of deafening cries and cheers, the women wringing their hands
and shouting, "The sea wanted _to eat_ our white man; the sea wanted
_to eat_ our white man."

The people led me into a thicket of trees, where a bright fire was
lighted, and whom should I see but King Ranpano seated on the ground,
his little idol before him, his eyes shining with excitement, and his
body trembling all over. I drew myself up, trying to look haughty and
displeased.

"Ranpano," I said, "if any one had told me that you did not care for
me, I would not have believed them. What!" said I, "every one was on
the shore to see what they could do to save us from drowning; even your
wife, the queen, was there, and went into the sea to catch me as we
landed, and I might have died and been drowned for all that you cared.
You were cold, and you sat by the fire."

"Oh," said Ranpano, "my white man die in the water? Never, while I am
alive! How could it be? how could it be? Oh no, Chally, you could not
be drowned--you could not, my white man; my Chally will never die in
our country. I have a fetich, and as long as I wear it you can not be
drowned. I was talking to my idol; I was invoking before her the spirit
of my father to protect you in the sea. When the waves were around you,
I begged the idol to send the sharks away from you. Oh, Chally, I would
not leave the idol for fear you might perish. Oh!" exclaimed Ranpano,
with a stentorian voice, "there are people already jealous of me and of
my village. Some village has sent an aniemba to upset the canoe."

The wildest excitement prevailed around me. I was partly stunned, and
I had drunk a great deal of salt water. Poor Captain Vardon had a
narrow escape, and, as he said, he was sinking when my boys--my good
boys--clinched him. And once more I thanked silently the great God that
had watched so mercifully over me.

After a while I realized the severe blow I had received when the
great loss I had sustained presented itself to my mind. Scientific
instruments, watch chronometers, medicines, guns, musical instruments,
etc., etc., had gone to the bottom of the sea.

"Oh dear," said I to myself, "I must remain here on this barren and
lonely coast, and wait for a vessel to come back and bring me new
scientific instruments, for without them I can not go across the
continent toward the Nile. I wish to make a good map of the country,
to take accurate astronomical observations, to determine the height of
the mountains, and to be able to ascertain at any time the day and the
month if I should forget their regular succession in the calendar, and,
without my instruments, all this will be impossible."

I can not tell you how sorry I felt. That evening I felt utterly
heart-broken, and I could have cried. "But," said I to myself, "to bear
my misfortune with fortitude is true manhood;" and, though it was hard
to believe it, I knew that all that had happened was for the best.

Captain Vardon felt a sincere sympathy with me. The poor man was
himself an object of commiseration, for he was so exhausted and had
drank so much water that he was quite ill.

My mind was made up, however, that very day as to what I should do.
I must manage to have a letter reach the island of Fernando Po, and
then that letter would be forwarded to London. That letter will be for
Messrs. Baring Brothers, and I will ask them to send me a vessel with
all I need.

The next night, as I lay on my hard bed pondering my wondrous escape
from the deep sea, I could not help thinking bitterly of the heavy loss
I had sustained. It was not so much for the large sum of money that had
been sacrificed, but for the great waste of time this catastrophe had
entailed upon me.

I could not sleep; these thoughts kept me awake. I turned from side to
side in the hope that an easier position would put me to sleep, but it
was of no avail, when suddenly I heard the sound of the natives' bugles
on the river. The people were blowing their bugles made of antelopes'
horns, and then I heard the songs of a multitude of paddlers. The sound
became more and more distinct as the canoes neared my cabin. Then I
could hear distinctly, "Quengueza, our king, comes to see his great
friend Chally--Chally, who has returned from the white man's country."

Soon after the singing stopped, and I knew that they had landed.

All my gloomy fancies were soon forgotten, and I got up and dressed
myself as quickly as possible. As I opened my door, whom should I
see, as quiet as a statue in front of my hut, but King Quengueza, the
venerable chief. He opened his arms to receive me, and we hugged each
other without saying a word. The great and powerful African chief, the
dread of the surrounding tribes and clans, the great warrior, held me
in his arms, and after a while he said, "Chally, I would have staid
before your door all night if I had not seen you. I could not go to
sleep without embracing you, for you do not know how much I love you.
You do not know how many times I have thought of you, and many, many
times I have said to my people, 'We shall not see Chally again.' And
first, when Sholomba told me you had come, and had sent for me, I said,
'Sholomba, this is a lie; Chally has not come. Four rainy seasons and
four dry seasons have passed away, and if he had intended coming he
would have been here long ago. No, Sholomba, why do you come and make
fun of me? It is a lie; Chally has not come--Chally has not come, and
he will not come any more to the country of the black man.'"

"Here I am," I said, "friend Quengueza; your friend Chally is before
you. He has thought of you many and many a time in the white man's
country; he has not forgotten you;" and I whispered in his ears, "He
has brought you a great many fine things which no black man has seen
before, and which no black man will have but yourself."

Then the old chief ordered his attendants to retire, and when he had
entered my little hut I lighted a torch, and he looked at me and I
looked at him without our saying a word. Then I seated myself on the
edge of my bed, and the king seated himself on the little stool close
to me, and filled his pipe with native Ashira tobacco, and we had a
long talk.

I said, "Quengueza, I have come. Since I saw you a great many things
have happened. I have been in different countries of the white man.
Many know you, many love you, for I have told the white man what great
friends we were--how much we loved each other. I have told them how
kind you were to your friend Chally; that every thing he wanted you
gave to him, and that not one of your people ever took any thing from
Chally--if he had he would have had his head cut off or been sold into
slavery. Many white men and white women, boys and girls, know you, and
I have presents from them for you, which you shall see in a few days.
I have told them what we did together, how we went into the woods
together, and how we cut that big ebony-tree"--here I stopped a while,
and presently said, "how I hope to go farther inland than I have ever
been, and will come back again by the sea."

Then I remained silent, and the old chief rose up, the shadow of his
stately form falling behind him. For a few moments he did not utter a
word, and then he said,

"Chally, my town is yours; my forests, my slaves are yours; all the
girls and women of my village are yours; I will have no will of my own
when you are with me. You shall be the chief, and whatever you say
shall be obeyed. You shall never know hunger as long as there is a
plantain-tree on our plantation, or a wild animal in the forests. And,
Chally, when you shall say 'I must go--go far away, where nobody has
been,' I will let you go; I will help you to go, though my heart will
be sad when you depart."

I found Quengueza still in mourning for his brother, whom he had
succeeded, and that he had taken his brother's name, "Oganda," which is
the name taken by every chief of the Abouya clan. What a queer custom
they have! The law of inheritance there is from brother to brother, and
Quengueza's name had been Ratenou Kombé Quengueza, and now came the
last, which he was to carry to his grave, OGANDA.

I said, "Friend Quengueza, it will be hard for me to call you Oganda,
for the name by which I have learned to love you is Quengueza."

"Never mind, Chally, call me Quengueza," said he; and, as he left my
hut, he implored me once more in a whisper not to tell any one that I
had brought him presents, "for," said he, "if the people knew that you
had brought me many fine things, they would bewitch me, and I should
die."

I saw that poor Quengueza was as superstitious as ever.

The old chief then went to the hut that had been prepared for him
during his visit to me. By this time it was four o'clock in the
morning, and the cock in the village had already begun to crow when I
lay down to sleep.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV.

HONEST AFRICANS.--DISTRIBUTING PRESENTS.--QUENGUEZA'S
DIPLOMACY.--ANOTHER PALAVER.--A NEW SETTLEMENT.--RABOLO'S
MONDA.--RANPANO'S SUPERSTITION.


THE day after the arrival of Quengueza, word was sent to me by the
canoe-men on the shore that the surf was quiet, and that canoes could
go to sea and return in perfect safety.

During the day seven large canoes were carried over the narrow tongue
of land to the beach, and twenty-one remained on the river-side to take
to my new settlement the goods that would be landed.

It was important to expedite as much as possible the landing of the
goods, for this would only be safe for a few days, till the change of
the moon.

The next morning, at daylight, seven canoes left for the vessel, and
each canoe made that day three trips, so that twenty-one canoe-loads of
goods were landed and carried across to the canoes on the river. Then
we got ready to go home, but not before hauling high up on the beach
our seven sea-canoes.

After four days' hard work, seventy canoe-loads had been landed, and
the cargo was all ashore. I breathed freely once more; not a load had
been swamped. We had just finished when the breakers became dangerous
again, and in a day or two more it would have been impossible to go
through them.

Not an article was missing. Captain Vardon was amazed. I said to him,
"Did I not tell you that my Commi men would not steal?"

You would have laughed to see the miscellaneous articles which formed
part of the cargo. Many of them were specially manufactured for the
African market, and the heavy goods were to be given to Quengueza,
Ranpano, Olenga-Yombi, Obindji, and the chiefs living on the banks of
the Rembo and Ovenga rivers.

The great trouble was to put all the goods under shelter. They had to
be stored in several huts. There were no locks on the doors, but I was
not afraid of the people, and my confidence was justified, for not an
article was stolen. Captain Vardon wondered at it; he had been a trader
for a good many years on the Coast, and said it was marvelous. So it
was; there is no city in any Christian country where these thousands of
dollars' worth of goods could be as safe. I loved the Commi, and the
Commi loved me.

After every thing had been housed, I thought it was time to make a
distribution of the presents I intended for my friends. Quengueza's
presents will give you a fair idea of the articles I had brought into
the country.

So one afternoon I went for friend Quengueza when every body was taking
their afternoon nap. He followed me, accompanied by several of his
great men, nephews, and wives; for a great king like Quengueza could
not walk alone; he must have a retinue, or escort. Quengueza was very
fond of this sort of thing, but that day he did not like it a bit; he
did not want his people to see what I was going to give him, but he
did not dare to send them away, so he whispered into my ear, "Chally,
send them away when you come to your house, for I do not want any body
inside."

So I dismissed Quengueza's people, and, after Quengueza and I had
entered the hut, he closed the door himself, to make sure, and peeped
through the crevices to see that nobody was trying to look in. Then he
seated himself and awaited developments.

I opened a chest filled with presents for him. The first thing I
displayed before his wide-open eyes was a huge long coat, similar to
those worn by the London beadles. This coat had been made specially for
his majesty, and to fit his tall figure, for Quengueza was over six
feet high. It was of the most glaring colors--blue, with yellow fringe,
and lined with red. There was also a splendid plush waistcoat, with big
brass buttons. His coat fell to his feet. I gave him no pantaloons, for
Quengueza never liked to wear them.

After Quengueza's admiring eyes had looked with amazement on his
splendid coat and bright yellow waistcoat, he must try them on; but,
before doing so, he went again to see that no one was peeping in. I
wondered why his majesty, who was a perfect despot, was so much afraid.

Having put on his robe or morning-gown, I gave him an enormous
drum-major's cane, with a tremendous gilded head, to be used as
a staff.[2] He stiffened himself at the sight, and asked for a
looking-glass, in which he regarded himself with an air of supreme
satisfaction. Then I took out of my trunk my opera hat, which of
course was flat when shut up, and gave it a slight punch, when
the springs immediately threw it out into the shape of a splendid
_stove-pipe hat_, to the utter astonishment and bewilderment of King
Quengueza. Then I put the hat on his head, and his majesty walked to
and fro, drawing himself to his full height. After some minutes he took
off his imperial costume, putting the clothes back in the chest where
they came from, and proceeded to inspect the other presents, among
which were

  6 pieces of silk, of different colors.
  100 pieces of calico prints.
  6 silver spoons, knives, and forks.
  1 silver goblet.
  1 magnificent red, blue, and yellow silk umbrella.
  Among the larger articles were
  1 common brass kettle.
  100 iron bars, 6 feet long, 1-3/4 wide.
  50 large copper plates 24 inches in diameter.
  50 small brass kettles.
  50 iron pots.
  50 guns.
  50 kegs of powder.
  25 wash-basins.
  12 dozen plates.
  6 dozen glasses.
  300 pounds of beads, of different colors and sizes.
  50 pine chests.
  200 pairs of ear-rings for his wives.
  Several chests containing trinkets, mirrors, files, forks,
      knives, etc.
  A chest filled with nice presents sent to him by some of my friends.

       [2] See Frontispiece.

The chests were his delight, for the wealth of a king here is composed
chiefly of chests, which, of course, are supposed to be filled with
goods.

King Quengueza never thought that his friend Chally would have
remembered him so profitably.

After showing him all these things, I made him a speech, and said, in
a low tone, "Quengueza, Chally has a heart (ore'ma); he has a heart
that loves you. When he left you the last time he was poor, and had
nothing to give you, but you loved him the same as if he had possessed
a thousand chests filled with goods. Now he is rich, and has just come
back from the white man's country, and he brings you all these fine
presents, for Chally loves you;" and when I said "loves you" I looked
at him steadily in the face. The sight of all this wealth had almost
dumbfounded the old man, and for a while he could not speak. Finally he
said,

"Do you love me, Chally? If you do, do not tell the people what you
have given me, or they will bewitch me to have my property."

The fear of witchcraft was a great defect in the character of poor
Quengueza. He was always in dread of being bewitched, and consequently
of dying.

Then he knelt down and clasped my feet with his hands, and, with his
face distorted by fear, begged me again not to tell any body in the
country what I had given him. This taking hold of a man's feet is the
most imploring way of asking a favor; it was the first time in his life
that Quengueza, the great chief of the Abouya clan, had done such a
thing. I promised him, of course, never to tell any thing to his people.

After a while he went away, and his subjects crowded round him,
expecting fully to hear what fine things his friend Chally had brought
him, when I heard him shout, with the loudest voice he could summon,

"My friend Chally knows nothing but talk, and has brought me nothing."
Coming toward me, he repeated the statement just as loudly, and looked
at me at the same time with an imploring sort of a look, as if to say,
"Do not say any thing." But Quengueza's people knew me better; they
knew very well that Chally, the great friend of Quengueza, would not
come back from the white man's country without bringing him something,
and they were smiling all the while, for they were well acquainted with
the ways of their beloved old chief, who was a miser, and never wanted
his people to know what he possessed. I kept his presents till his
departure.

I gave presents also to good old Ranpano, to the chiefs that had come
to see me, to their wives, and to my old friends, and then the people
returned to their different villages. Quengueza's people were busy
every day collecting the long bamboo-like branches of palm-trees for my
new settlement, which they were to build for me.

Before the departure of the chiefs, I assembled them, and we held a
grand palaver, at which they agreed that the Mentor should not leave
their country until they had laden her with their products--woods,
India-rubber, ivory, wax, etc.

The night Quengueza took leave his confidential slaves were busy taking
his presents from my hut to the large canoes they had with them,
which having been safely accomplished, they departed before daylight.
Quengueza threatened with death any one of his men who should say a
word of what had passed.

Then, for the first time since my arrival, it looked as if I was going
to have a quiet time. I was glad of it, for I had been ill with fever,
and wanted rest and quiet in order to get well. Old Ranpano would stay
for hours by my bedside, hardly ever uttering a word, but I could see
by his face that the old man felt anxiety on my account. He would say
sometimes, "Chally, Chally, you must not be ill; none of my people want
to see you ill. I love you; we all love you;" and when he went away he
muttered words which no doubt were invocations to spirits, for Ranpano,
like the rest of his people, was very superstitious.

The superstition of the natives being so great about the site of my
old settlement of Washington, I found it was impossible to build there
again. Not far from it there was a nice spot, just on the bank of the
river, which I liked very much; but at that spot there was a little
Commi village, whose chief was called Rabolo. The only thing to be done
was to buy Rabolo out, and I succeeded in purchasing the whole village
for several guns, some kegs of powder, a brass kettle, a few brass
rings and iron bars, and two or three pieces of cloth. I allowed the
people to take the houses away with them, and I set to work immediately
to build my new settlement.

Quengueza's people went at it vigorously, and, with the help of
Ranpano's people, we began building in earnest, Captain Vardon, myself,
and a negro being the carpenters. The doors and windows we made with
the bottoms of large canoes.

The smaller buildings were soon finished, and the people were hard at
work on my large dwelling-house; but when we came to the veranda, and
the posts had to be put in the ground, my men were suddenly seized
with fear.

There was in the ground a formidable _monda_, or fetich, which my
friend Rabolo had buried in his village before I purchased it, and
which happened to be exactly upon the site of my house, and almost in
front of my door.

Poor Rabolo had never dreamed that I would build my house just on that
very spot.

Rabolo was not in town, and the builders did not dare to remove the
monda, declaring that there would be a great palaver if they touched
Rabolo's monda; "for," said they, "Rabolo's monda, which he has put
in the ground, is a very good one; for, since his village has been
established, twelve dry and twelve rainy seasons ago, no one has died
there." This was no great monda after all, for Rabolo's village was
only composed of his family, and there were fifteen inhabitants in all,
not including the dogs, goats, fowls, and parrots.

Rabolo was sent for. He was loth to agree to have the monda removed;
"for," said he, "not one of us has died since I made it. You can not
take it." "Then," said I, "Rabolo, give me back the goods I have given
you; I must go somewhere else." But poor Rabolo had given away the
goods--had bought two more wives--and could not give me back my money.
I knew it, and was firm. I insisted that the whole place belonged to
me; that I bought it, above the ground and under the ground, to the
very water's edge. So at last Rabolo, with a sad face, consented to
have the monda removed.

To enter Rabolo's settlement you had to go under a portal, which was
made of two upright poles and a crossbar. Round the poles grew a
talismanic creeper, which had been planted immediately after the queer
gate had been erected; but at the erection of the gate there were great
ceremonies, for Rabolo's powerful monda was to be buried in the ground,
and that monda was to protect the village, and Rabolo and his family,
from aniemba (witchcraft) and death; so I did not wonder that it was
with a frightened face poor Rabolo allowed me to take away what he
considered the protector of himself and family.

Rabolo was a quiet man--a good man; not a bloodthirsty savage. His
little village lived at peace with all the Commi villages around him.

Rabolo asked to be allowed to take the monda away himself. This I
granted. Then he began to cut the bushes and the creeper, which was of
the same kind that grew on the gate, that in the course of time had
grown over his talisman, and, digging a hole in the ground, soon came
to the spot where the wonderful monda lay. The first thing he turned up
was the skull of a chimpanzee; then came the skull of a man, probably
of one of the ancestors of Rabolo. The people were looking in silence
at the scene before them; they seemed to think that Rabolo was doing a
wonderful thing, and some thought that he would have to pay with his
life for his daring deed. Poor superstitious fellow! around the skulls
were pieces of pottery and crockery of all sorts, which had been put
there as an offering, or to keep company with the skulls.

Then we went to the entrance, and he removed the upright posts of the
gate, and cut away the creeper that twined itself around it. This
creeper was a long-lived species, and the superstition was that as long
as it kept alive the monda would retain its power. Rabolo dug in the
sandy soil of the prairie near where the creeper grew, and turned up
more skulls of chimpanzees and broken pieces of pottery. The two idols
on either side of the gate were removed also.

A few days after, I heard the people say that it was Rabolo's monda
that had made me come to that spot; for they believe, in that far-away
country which is the land of the chimpanzee, that the chimpanzee and
the white man have something to do with each other, the pale yellow
face of the chimpanzee seeming somewhat to resemble ours, while the
dark face of the gorilla leads them to believe that the gorilla sprung
from the black man. Skulls of chimpanzees were just now in great
demand, as mondas were to be made with them in many villages, for they
were fully persuaded that if they had them people from the land of the
white man would come and settle among them.

Four weeks after my arrival in the Commi country my new settlement was
built, and was exactly like my old settlement of Washington, a picture
of which I gave you in my Apingi Kingdom, and I gave to it the name of
Plateau, on account of the country being flat.

After the completion of my house there was great excitement in the
settlement. Ranpano had declared that he could not enter my house; a
doctor had told him that some person who was an aniemba, a wizard, had
made a monda, a charm, and had put it under the threshold of the door
of my house, so that if he entered my hut the witch or aniemba would go
into him, and he would die.

I got furious at Ranpano's superstition, and said to him that, while
he pretended to love me, he insulted me by not coming to see me. His
answer was that he loved me. His people felt badly about it. Doctors
were sent for; they drank the mboundou, and declared that it was true
that some one wanted to bewitch him, and had put a monda under my door
to kill him.

Immediately ceremonies for driving away the witch were begun. For
three days they danced almost incessantly, making a terrible noise
near my premises, which almost set me crazy; drums were beating day
and night. At the end of the third day I heard suddenly a tremendous
noise made with the drums, and a gun was fired at my door. Ranpano
entered muttering invocations, and wild with excitement, and the people
declared that the aniemba under my door that was to kill the king had
been driven away.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER V.

DEPARTURE OF THE MENTOR.--MR. AND MRS. THOMAS CHIMPANZEE.--THOMAS
IN LONDON.--LEFT ALONE IN AFRICA.--DEPARTURE FROM PLATEAU.--A
TORNADO.--NENGUÉ SHIKA.--TRACES OF GORILLAS.--NENGUÉ NCOMA.--KING
OLENGA-YOMBI.--THE IPI.


THE day of departure of the Mentor had come. My heart was heavy; my
good friend and companion, Captain Vardon, was going to leave me. I was
to be left all alone in that wild country, when but a few months before
I had been in the big city of London. How lonely I should feel! My old
life was to come again.

It was the 18th of January, 1864. I remember well the day, for I left
the shore with Captain Vardon to go on board the Mentor, which was to
sail that day for London.

Captain Vardon and I did not talk much--our hearts were too full; but
the good captain kept repeating to me, "My dear good friend, I do not
like to leave you in this wild part of the world all alone; who will
take care of you when you are sick?"

"Captain," I said, "God will take care of me."

Soon after we reached the vessel the anchor was weighed, the sails were
shaken out, the jibs were set, and the schooner began to make a little
headway.

I was loth to part with the dear little schooner Mentor, for I knew I
should never see it again, and perhaps I should never see good Captain
Vardon again.

When the moment of parting arrived, my negroes stood ready to receive
me in their canoe alongside. I took Captain Vardon by the hand for a
little time; we looked each other in the face without saying a word;
our eyes were big--a little more, and tears would have rolled from
them. I went over the vessel's side, Captain Vardon still holding my
hand, and began to descend the stairs into the canoe, when the captain
was obliged to let my hand go. In a minute I was in the canoe; the
canoe and the vessel parted company, and the distance between them
began rapidly to widen. My men gave three cheers for the Mentor; the
sailors responded, all standing by the bulwarks looking at me.

Captain Vardon had on board with him as passengers two chimpanzees,
Thomas, and his wife Mrs. Thomas. Thomas was, I judge, about three
years old, and Mrs. Thomas might have been a year old. Mr. Thomas was a
tricky little rascal, and I had any amount of fun with him. He was very
tame, like all the young chimpanzees.

Thomas's capture was attended with adventures. He was with his mother
in the woods; the mother was killed, and Thomas was seized and brought
to the village two days after. Before he was tamed he escaped into the
forest. The dogs were sent after him, and he was speedily retaken, but
not without his having bitten the dogs and been severely bitten by
them in return. Several of his fingers were broken, and upon knitting
together they left his hand in a distorted condition.

I was compelled to keep Master Tom tied, for after he was quite tame
he became very troublesome, and would go into my hut and disturb every
thing. He would upset the plates, break the glasses, and when he saw
the mischief he had done he would run off, and that was the last seen
of him for the day. So I tied him by a cord to a pole under the veranda
of my hut, and at the foot of the pole I built a little house, into
which he could retire when he pleased. Every day it was filled with
fresh straw from the prairie, and he enjoyed it very much, and loved to
sleep on it.

Every thing I ate Tom would eat; every thing I drank Tom would drink;
tea, coffee, lemonade were drinks he liked very much. He would eat
fish, crocodile, turtle, elephant, hippopotamus, chicken, bananas,
plantains, biscuit, etc., etc.

Among the pets I had with me was a cat. One day the cat came near Tom's
pole, when suddenly Master Tom, who had never seen a cat, flew in
alarm to his pole, and clambered up it, the hair on his body becoming
erect, and his eyes glaring with excitement. He really looked like a
porcupine-chimpanzee, such as I had never seen before.

In a moment, recovering himself, he came down, and, rushing to the cat
before pussy had time to run away, with one of his feet-like hands he
seized the nap of the animal, and with the other pressed on its back,
as if trying to break its neck or spine. He was jerking the poor cat
as hard as he could when I came to the rescue--just in time, for I am
sure, if the struggle had lasted two or three minutes more, the cat
would have been killed. The poor cat could not turn its head and bite,
nor use its paws for scratching, and was, indeed, utterly helpless.

The big chimpanzees and the gorillas are said to fight the formidable
leopard in that manner. It must be a grand sight to see such an
encounter.

One day, while hunting, my dogs captured another young chimpanzee,
which I gave to Master Tom for a wife. He seemed exceedingly fond of
her, and would spend the greater part of his time in embracing her.
Their married life appeared one of unalloyed happiness. Unfortunately,
Mrs. Thomas was never very strong, and she died of consumption on the
passage, to the great sorrow of Mr. Thomas, who felt very sad for a
good many days after her death.

I am happy to say that Mr. Thomas reached London in very good health,
in the beginning of the year 1864, and was presented in my name to the
Crystal Palace at Sydenham, near London, by Captain Vardon.

There he received a complete education; a nice place was built for him
in the conservatory, where the exotic plants grew well, and there, for
the sum of sixpence, he would sell his photograph to any one who chose
to buy it. His principle was, money first, _carte de visite_ afterward;
and if, perchance, any visitor took off his _carte de visite_ without
paying for it, he would rush forward, screaming, to the length of his
tether, to prevent this irregular transaction, and would not cease his
noisy expressions till the money was paid down. Then he would give a
low grunt in sign of satisfaction.

Thomas thrived well there, and there was a prospect of his living many
years; but he met with an untimely end when the Crystal Palace burnt.
The poor fellow met his death in the flames, but not before giving the
most fearful screams of despair, which were unavailing, since no one
could reach him.

The breeze was stiff, and carried the Mentor swiftly away from the
shore as we paddled toward the breakers. I turned my head back now and
then to have a look at the dear little schooner.

We passed safely through the breakers, and after landing I seated
myself to look for the last time at the vessel as she glided away;
fainter and fainter became the sails, till finally I could see nothing
but the horizon.

I tore myself from the shore. How sad I was that evening! "How long,"
thought I, "shall I have to wait for a vessel to come to me? Oh dear, I
hope the Messrs. Baring will send me one, with scientific instruments;
then I shall start on that long journey to the Nile, from which,
perhaps, I shall never come back. Never mind," said I, "friend Paul,
try your best. If you do not succeed, it is no disgrace."

I lay down to sleep sad and dejected indeed. That night I dreamed of
my departed mother and father. I dreamed of dear friends--of girls and
boys, the companions of my school-days, that were no more--of days when
I was happy and without a care. That dream was so pleasurable that it
awoke me. As my eyes opened, the walls of bamboo, the queer bed, told
me that I was in a wild country. I got up feeling feverish and sick at
heart in my loneliness, to which I was not yet accustomed.

That day I said to myself, "Paul, several weary months will pass away
before a vessel can come for you, so take courage, go hunting, visit
the country round, and do the best you can to while away the time.
Keep up your spirits; faint heart has never yet succeeded;" and toward
evening I felt more cheerful, and chatted with my Commi men, and
afterward said to myself, "How grateful I ought to be that I can feel
so safe in such a wild country; that I have so many friends among the
natives; and that there is not a man of them all who would dare to
rob me! Surely," I reflected, "there is not a civilized country where
I could be as safe; the robbers of civilization would break through
these thin walls, and steal every thing I have." The next day I put
into practice the resolution I had formed, and made preparations for a
journey. I wanted to visit many Commi villages.

My premises were filled with goods under the care of the Commi. "Be
without fear," said good old Ranpano; "every thing will be safe
when you come back. Malonga, my brother, will take care of your
premises as did Rikimongani." So I set out and advanced toward Cape
St. Catharine, for I intended to make a visit first to my old friend
King Olenga-Yombi, with whom you have become acquainted in one of my
preceding volumes.

It was a fine evening when we left Plateau. We were now in the height
of the rainy season, and it was so hot in the day that I thought we
might sail more comfortably on the river at night. We were pretty
sure to get a ducking, but I thought it was better to get wet than to
have the rays of a tropical sun pouring down on our heads. Malonga
(Ranpano's brother) and my men had been busy making mondas to keep the
rain off, and as we left the shore old Malonga said we should have
clear weather. In this country, unlike South Africa, the doctors are
unmakers, and not makers of rain.

The evening, indeed, was fine, and I began to think that Malonga, after
all, might be right; the moon shone in an almost cloudless sky; but
after the setting of the moon at 10 o'clock, a thick black cloud rose
in the northeast, and we began to feel not so sure about a dry night.
I was watching all the time anxiously in that northeastern direction,
for I was afraid a tornado was coming. We were in the season of the
tornadoes, and a constant lookout had to be kept, for it would never
have done to have been caught napping. The flashes of lightning became
more and more vivid as we skirted the river bank, paddling as fast as
we could, and looking for a quiet little nook; and we were getting near
one, when suddenly a white patch shone under the black mass in the
heavens. In an instant that black mass overspread the sky; the part
which a little before was blue had become black and lurid; the clouds
drove from the northeast with fearful rapidity, and all above seemed
to be in a blaze with lightning; the thunder pealed incessantly, and
the rain poured down, as it were, by bucketsful. Our canoes were driven
ashore by the force of the terrific wind, and we immediately hauled
them out of water, although it was pitch dark, and we could only see
each other by the glare of the lightning. Near by was a little village
composed of a few huts, and we made for it, but found only a few women,
and not wood enough for a fire, in consequence of which I had to remain
all night wet to the skin.

The next morning the sky was clear and the sun rose beautifully, and
soon after sunrise you could have heard the paddlers sing merry songs
of the Commi. We ascended the river till we came to the island of
Nengué Shika. Nengué, as you know, means an island; you may perhaps
remember Nengué Ngozo. Shika means white, silverlike. After paddling
along the shore of Nengué Shika, which was covered with palm-trees, we
made for the main land, toward the banks of a little creek over which
swallows were flying. It was a sweet spot, of prairie and luxuriant
wood. There a shed had been built for me by our old friend King
Olenga-Yombi, and many of his slaves were waiting for me with a goat, a
few fowls, several bunches of bananas and plantains. The king had sent
these provisions and his best wishes for good luck in my hunts, and a
message that I must come and see him when I was tired of the woods.

Not far from our camp there were several "ivolos"--wooded bogs; there
the vegetation was very rank, and these bogs were known to be the
haunts of the gorilla. That day we rested in camp, and the next morning
we started with two native dogs for the ivolos. It was very hard
work; we had to struggle through the thorny and swampy thickets for
a long time, and now and then we would sink knee-deep in the mud. My
followers were slaves of King Olenga-Yombi. Hark! hark! I hear a noise
as if some one was breaking the branches of trees. I gave a cluck; I
looked at the men behind. This noise was made by gorillas. Silence. My
gun is ready; I advance, but it is all I can do to keep the dogs in
check. The creatures of the woods were tearing down branches to pick
off the berries. Unfortunately, one of the dogs broke from us. I heard
a shriek--a sharp cry; the gorillas fled; they were females, but the
men assured me the males could not be far off. This was, beyond all
doubt, the spot for gorillas. I could see many of their footmarks on
the soft mud; their heels were well marked, but their toes were hardly
seen. Where they had been on all-fours I could see the marks of their
knuckles.

But that day I could not come in sight of gorillas. The following
day I hunted near the sea-shore, from which I then concluded to go to
Amembié to see Olenga-Yombi.

On our way we passed by an island of trees growing in the midst of the
prairie. That island is called "Nengué Ncoma." The people are afraid
of Nengué Ncoma, and at night nobody would dare to pass by it; and,
though we were far away, my men looked at it with superstitious dread,
and quickened their steps. "Oh," said one of my guides, "whoever enters
this island is likely to die suddenly in it; if he does not die he
becomes crazy, and roams about till he dies. There is a woman that we
see now and then, crazy and wandering all over it. In this island of
Nengué Ncoma lives a crocodile, whose scales are of brass, that never
leaves the island; he lives in the centre of it; no gun can kill that
crocodile."

"It is a lie!" I shouted; "how foolish you are, my boys, to believe
such things! To show you that it is a lie, I will enter that island of
Nengué Ncoma," and I rushed, gun in hand, toward the island. A wild
shriek came from the men. They shouted, "Oh, Chally, do not go." They
did not dare to follow me. A little while after I touched the branches
of the trees of Nengué Ncoma, but before I entered I turned back and
looked toward the men, and as I looked at them I saw them mute with
astonishment; and as I turned my back and entered the wood, terrific
cries rent the air. They thought it was the last they should see of me.
Surely the crocodile with brass scales would kill me, who dared to go
into that island of which he was the king and sole inhabitant.

I walked on and explored every part of this small island of trees. I
need not say that I did not meet with the crocodile. When I came out a
wild shout greeted me; it was from my men, who were still at the same
place where I had left them. I came toward them smiling and saying, "Do
you think I am crazy? I tell you I have not seen that crocodile with
scales of brass. I looked every where, and I saw nothing but trees."
They all shouted, "You are a mbuiti"--a spirit.

We continued our way till we came to Amembié. Poor King Olenga-Yombi
was drunk as usual; he was so tipsy, indeed, that he could not stand on
his legs. Nevertheless, he welcomed his friend Chally, and said all his
country belonged to me, and in joy he ordered another calabash full of
palm wine to be brought to him, and drank off about half a gallon of it
at once. This finished him up for the day; he fell back in the arms of
his wives, shouting many times over, "I am a big king! I am a big king!
I am Olenga-Yombi!" and was soon asleep. Poor Olenga-Yombi, he is an
inveterate drunkard; not a day passes by that he is not tipsy.

The next morning I started for a large plantation of the king's before
he was awake. The name of that plantation was "Nkongon-Boumba." There I
found a large number of the king's slaves, and among them were a great
many good hunters. These slaves knew me; they knew that I was their
master's great friend; they knew I was theirs also, and that I had a
good stock of beads for them and their wives. The head slave of the
king, an Ishogo man called Ayombo, welcomed me, and brought me food.

I said to them, "Friends, I have come to live with you." They shouted
"Yo! yo! yo!" "I want to hunt, and kill an ipi." "Yo! yo! yo! You shall
kill an ipi," they shouted. "I want to kill gorillas and chimpanzees."
"Yo! yo! yo! You shall kill gorillas and chimpanzees." "But, above all,
I want to kill an ipi. My heart will go away sad if I do not kill an
ipi." "Yo! yo! yo! You shall kill an ipi. We know where some are. Yo!
yo! yo! You shall see an ipi."

You ask yourself what an ipi is. The ipi was an unknown animal. How did
I come to know that such an animal existed? One day I saw a monda to
which was suspended a large and thick yellow scale, such as I had never
seen before. The pangolin had scales, but they were much smaller. There
was no doubt that this scale belonged to the pangolin family, only I
learned that the animal from which it was taken was of a larger variety.

The ipi, I was told, was very rare. Years had passed away, and no ipi
had been seen by me; but some time ago King Olenga-Yombi had sent me
word that an ipi had been near his plantation of Nkongon-Boumba, and I
had come specially to hunt the ipi.

Many of the king's slaves had come from far-away tribes, and queer and
ugly fellows they were, with lean legs, prominent abdomens, retreating
foreheads, and projecting mouths.

The day of my arrival we rested. The good slaves and their kind wives
brought fowls, plantains, pea-nuts, sugar-cane, some pine-apples,
little lemons, wild honey, dried fish--in fact, they brought to me
the best things they had. I gave them nice beads, and to some of the
leading slaves I gave red caps.

That night there was dancing. The idol or mbuiti was consulted as
to the results of the chase, for these interior people are very
superstitions. They sang songs welcoming me.

The next morning a few of the leading slaves and myself started for an
ipi hunt.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER VI.

HUNTING FOR THE IPI.--CAMPING OUT IN THE WOODS.--CAPTURE OF AN
IPI.--DESCRIPTION OF THE ANIMAL.--A NEW SPECIES OF ANT-EATER.


WE left the plantation at daybreak. Mayombo, the head slave, was the
leader, and some of his children were with us. We all had guns; the
boys carried, besides, two axes. In a little while we were in the
forest. It was an awful day's hunt, and the first time since my return
that I had to rough it in such a manner. We wandered over hills and
dales, through the woods and the streams, now and then crossing a bog,
leaving the hunting-paths, struggling for hours through the tangled
maze and through patches of the wild pine-apple, which tore my clothes
to rags and covered my poor body with scratches. The thorns and cutting
edges of sword-like grass which grew in many places, and the sharp
points of the pine-apple leaves, were not very pleasant things to get
among. It was like the good old time, but I did not fancy the good old
time. I was not yet inured to such tramps; I had forgotten all about
them, but I knew that it was nothing but child's play when compared
with the hardships I had suffered in my former explorations, or with
what I expected to undergo in the future. I knew that I was hardening
myself for what was coming by-and-by, and that it was necessary that
I should go through such a schooling before starting for that long
Nile journey from which I knew not if I should ever come back. I must
get accustomed to sickness, to hunger, to privations of all kinds, to
forced marches; I must be afraid of nothing, and trust in God for the
result.

The end of the day was approaching; the birds gave forth their last
songs, calling their mates, so that they might not be far apart for the
night; the butterflies had ceased to fly, and were hiding themselves
under the large leaves to keep away from the rains.

We had not been successful, but did not despair. We were to sleep
in the woods, for the plantation was too far away. Oh, I was so
tired. Mayombo immediately went off to cut some poles to support the
large leaves which were to protect us from the rains, while his two
sons collected as fast as they could the leaves, and I looked after
firewood. I soon came to a spot where the dead branches lay thick on
the ground, and I shouted, "Come here, boys!" A little after sunset our
camp was built and our fires were lighted; then the boys pulled from
their bags several plantains and a little parcel of dried fish packed
in leaves. Not far from our camp a little rivulet ran meandering toward
the sea; its water was clear and cool, so we had chosen a nice spot
for the bivouac; but fires were to be kept burning brightly all night,
"for," said Mayombo, "leopards are very plentiful here; we can not keep
our goats; and two men have been missing within a month." After that
exhortation, Mayombo, who was a great smoker, filled his pipe and lay
down by the fire. In the mean time my supper had been cooked, but I was
too tired to enjoy it, and I was too tired even to sleep.

The next evening we returned to the plantation, where all were glad to
see us. After a day of rest we started again, for Mayombo swore that I
should not rest till I had an ipi. We went in another direction, and
Mayombo again took his two sons with him. Toward noon Mayombo gave a
cluck, and pointed out to me a dead tree lying on the ground, and a
strange-looking track leading up to it, and whispered into my ears the
word "Ipi!"

That dead tree had been lying there, I suppose, for hundreds of years;
nothing remained of it but the trunk, which was hollow throughout, and
looked like a tube fifty or sixty feet long.

I examined the ground carefully at one end of the trunk, and saw no
footprint there, so the animal had not gone out; at the other end the
tracks were fresh, and it was evident that the animal had hidden inside
the night before. I said to Mayombo, "Perhaps the ipi has gone away."
"Oh no," said he; "don't you see there is only one track? Besides,
it could not turn on itself, and, in order to get out, it has to go
straight on to the other end."

Immediately he took the axe and cut down some branches of a tree, of
which he made a trap to catch the animal if it should come out. The
branch was put firmly in the ground, and the top was bent over with a
creeper attached to it, at the end of which was a ring, through which
the animal would have to pass before he could get out; a little forked
stick held the ring, which the animal would shake as it passed through;
the limb would fly up instantly, and high in the air would the ipi
dangle.

When all this had been done, Mayombo, who had collected wood at
the other end, set fire to it, to smoke the animal out. He was not
mistaken; the ipi was inside, and it made for the opposite extremity
and was caught. There was a short struggle, but we ran up and ended it
by knocking the ipi with all our might on the head.

[Illustration: CAPTURE OF THE IPI.]

I saw at once that the ipi belonged to the pangolin genus (_Manis_ of
the zoologists), which is a very singular kind of animal. They are
ant-eaters, like the Myrmecophaga of South America; but, while the
South American ant-eater is covered with hair like other mammalia, the
pangolins have an armor of large scales implanted in the skin of the
upper surface of the body, from the head to the tip of the tail, each
scale overlapping the other like the slates on the roof of a house.

Like the ant-eater of South America, the pangolins have no teeth, but
they have a long extensile tongue, the extremity of which is covered
with a glutinous secretion so sticky that their prey, after having been
touched, adheres to the tongue and can not get away. The tongue of an
ipi may be extended out several inches. The ipi feeds on ants.

During the day the ipi hides itself in its burrow in the earth, or
sometimes in the large hollows of colossal trunks of trees which have
fallen to the ground, like the tree just described to you; but they
generally prefer to burrow in the soil, and these burrows are usually
found in light soil on the slope of a hill. By the singular structure
of the ipi, it can not turn to the right or to the left at once; in
fact, it is quite incapable of bending its body sideways, so it can not
"right about face" in its burrow. Accordingly, there are two holes in
each burrow, one for entrance and one for exit.

But if the ipi and the pangolin can not bend their bodies sideways,
they are very flexible vertically, their stomachs having no scales; so,
if they are surprised or want to sleep, they roll themselves in a ball,
the head being inside and forming the centre, and they coil and uncoil
themselves in this manner very readily.

The only way you can find the ipi or the pangolin is by the trail they
leave on the soil, and following them till you reach their burrows.

The great trouble in finding the ipi is not only that the animal is
very scarce, but that it never comes out except at night, when the
rattle it makes among the dead leaves is great. The strange creature
must see well with its queer little eyes to be able to perceive the
ants upon which it mostly feeds, and it must take time in satisfying
its appetite, for a great many little ants must be required to fill
its stomach. When the ipi has found a spot where the ants it wants to
eat are plentiful, it stops by them, and with its long tongue, which
protrudes several inches, catches them one by one. When an ant is
caught the tongue goes in again. I wonder how many hundreds of times
the tongue must come out and go in with an ant before the hunger of the
ipi is satisfied!

I was not mistaken; this ipi was a new species, and the scientific name
is Pholidotus Africanus. This large one was a female, and measured four
feet six inches from the head to the tip of the tail. It was very stout
and heavy, the tail very short in comparison with its body, and the
scales very thick, and of a yellow or tawny color. The males are said
to be much larger, and, according to what the negroes say, must reach
the length of six feet. They are very ugly to look at. Their tail,
being very thick, makes a large trail on the ground as they move about.

Though in some respects they may be thought to resemble the lizard, the
pangolins have warm blood, and nourish their young like the rest of the
mammalia.

I need not tell you that I was glad to discover this new species. After
securing the ipi we returned at once to the plantation, and as soon as
I arrived I went to work and took off its skin, and hard work it was, I
assure you, the scales were so thick and big.

When we came into the village with the ipi there was great excitement,
for the animal is so rare that but two or three persons there had ever
seen a specimen.

I went to bed happy, feeling that I had had the good fortune of
discovering a new and most remarkable animal, which God had long ago
created, but which had never before been seen by the white man.

Of course I had a curiosity to see how the ipi tasted, and I had some
for breakfast the next morning, and it was good, but not fat, though
the natives said that at certain seasons they are very fat.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER VII.

LIFE AT NKONGON-BOUMBA.--GORILLAS AND PLANTAINS.--ODANGA SCARED BY A
GORILLA.--A CAPTIVE GORILLA.--SUPERSTITIONS RESPECTING THE LEOPARD.


THE dry season had now fairly begun. We were in the month of June, and
the nights and evenings were quite pleasant. The days were generally
cloudy, and it was a good time of the year for hunting, as most of the
bog-land was drying fast.

Nkongon-Boumba was situated in a charming spot on the summit of a
gentle hill, at the foot of which ran a little stream of clear water.
The country which surrounded it was partly prairie and partly wooded;
the soil on the prairie was sandy, but where the woods grew the soil
was better. In many places the primitive growth had been cut down,
and there the fine plantation of plantain-trees and bananas of King
Olenga-Yombi were flourishing well.

How beautiful the country looked in the morning just before sunrise,
when a veil of mist seemed to hang over it, and when the dew was
still thick on the blades of grass, or was dropping fast from the
plantain-leaves! I would get up just at daylight, and would start with
my gun on my shoulder, in the hope that I might see a gazelle or an
antelope feeding.

Gorillas were very plentiful near Nkongon-Boumba, and were committing
great depredations among the plantain and banana trees; the patches of
sugar-cane were also very much devastated. I heard one afternoon that
the day before gorillas were in the forest not far from the village,
and had already begun to play sad havoc with the plantain-trees.

The morning after the news, if you had been in the village, you would
have seen me, just a little before daybreak, getting ready to go after
the gorillas. I was painting my face and hands with a mixture of
powdered charcoal and oil. After my toilet was done, I put on my old,
soiled Panama hat, took one of my best guns, called Odanga, one of my
boys, to accompany me, and started off. There was just daylight enough
for us to see our way, and in a short time we came to a plantation,
surrounded by virgin forest, covered with plantain and banana trees,
most of which were bearing fruit in different stages of growth. This
plantation had just been made on the skirt of the forest.

It was a lovely morning; the sky was almost cloudless; every thing
was still, and one could only hear the slight rustling of the
tree-tops moved by the gentle land breeze. Before reaching the grove
of plantain-trees I had to pick my way through a maze of tree-stumps,
half-burnt logs, and dead, broken, and half-burnt limbs of trees, where
the land had been prepared for a new plantation. If gorillas are to be
seen in a plantation near a village they most generally come in the
early morning.

By the side of the plantain-trees was a field of cassada, and just as I
was going by it I heard suddenly in the plantain-grove a great crashing
noise like the breaking of limbs. What could this be? I immediately
hid myself behind a bush, and then looked in the direction from which
the sound proceeded. What do I see? A gorilla, then a second gorilla,
and a third one, coming out of a thick bush; then another one made his
appearance--there were four altogether. Then I discovered that one of
the females had a baby gorilla following her.

So do not be astonished when I tell you that my eyes were wide open,
and that I gazed on the scene before me with intense excitement. These
gorillas looked so droll, walking in the most absurd way on all fours,
and now and then walking erect. How impish the creatures seemed! how
intensely black their faces were! how hideous their features! They
looked like men, but like wild men with shaggy hides, and their big,
protuberant abdomens did not make them less ridiculous or repulsive.

The gorillas went immediately at their work of destruction. I did not
stop them, but merely looked on. Plantain-tree after plantain-tree came
down; it seemed to me that they were trying to see which could bring
down the greatest number of trees in the shortest space of time. They
were amusing themselves, I suppose. In destroying a tree, they first
grasped the base of the stem with one of their powerful hand-like feet,
and then with their prodigious long arms pulled it down. This, of
course, did not require much strength with so light a stem as that of
the plantain. Then they would set their big mouths upon the juicy heart
of the tree, and devour it with great avidity; at another time they
would give one bite, or would simply demolish the tree without eating
it.

How strange sounded the chuckle they gave as if to express their
contentment! Now and then they would sit still and look around--and
such a look! Two or three times they looked in the direction where I
was; but I lay so quiet, and was so concealed, they could not see me,
and, as the wind was blowing from them to me, they could not smell
me. How fiendish their look was! A cold shiver ran through me several
times, for, of all the malignant expressions I had ever seen, theirs
were the most diabolical. Two or three times they seemed to be on
the point of running away, and appeared alarmed, but recovered their
composure, and began anew the work of destruction.

The little baby gorilla followed his mother wherever she went.
Gradually, without my taking notice of it, they came to the edge of the
dark forest, and all at once disappeared like a vision--like a dream.
I went to look at the spot where they had made such havoc, and counted
over one hundred plantain-trees down on the ground, which they had
destroyed.

The next morning I went again with Odanga to the same spot, with
no expectation of seeing gorillas again, for I did not think they
would make another visit there with their roving propensities, but I
thought I might see an antelope or two, attracted by the young leaves
of the cassada-tree, of which they are very fond. I carried a light
double-barreled shot-gun, while Odanga carried my heavy double-barreled
rifle, to use in case we should see an elephant.

The part of the plantation upon which we had come extended over two
hills, with a deep hollow between planted with sugar-cane. I was taking
the lead in the narrow path, and just as I was going down the hill
to get over to the other side of the hollow, my eyes suddenly fell
upon a monstrous gray-haired male gorilla standing erect and looking
directly toward me. I really did not know if he was looking at me or
at something else, or if he thought of crossing to my side, in which
case he would have come toward me. Without turning my head (for I did
not dare to lose sight of the gorilla), I beckoned Odanga to come
toward me, so that I might get hold of my rifle and shoot down the huge
monster. I beckoned in vain. I made a quicker motion with my hand for
Odanga to come, but no Odanga was coming. The huge beast stared at me,
or at least seemed to stare at me, for two minutes, and then, without
uttering any roar, moved off into the great forest on all fours. Then
I looked round to see what was the matter with my boy Odanga, but no
Odanga was to be seen; I was all alone. The fellow had bolted, gun and
all; the gorilla had frightened him, and he had fled. I was furiously
angry, and promised myself to give friend Odanga such a punishment as
he would not soon forget, that he might not play me such a trick a
second time.

Odanga had fled to the plantation, and a little after what I have just
related I heard a good many voices. They were the plantation people,
all armed to the teeth, coming to my rescue; but Odanga had taken good
care to remain out of the way, though he had sent the gun. The little
scamp knew very well what was coming, but when I went back he was not
to be seen, and the fellow hid himself for two days. When at last I got
hold of him he made me the most solemn promise never to do such a thing
again, and said, "Chally, Abamboo (the devil) must have made me leave
you."

On my return from Nkongon-Boumba a great surprise awaited me--a _live_
gorilla. An old chief, a friend of mine, named Akondogo, had just
returned from the Ngobi country, situated south of Cape St. Catharine,
and there, with some slaves of Olenga-Yombi, he had killed the mother,
and captured the rascal before me. He was bigger than any gorilla I
had captured, or that had ever been taken alive. Bigger he was than
Fighting Joe, which many of you no doubt remember.

Like Joe, this fellow showed the most ungovernable temper, and to bite
somebody seemed to be the object he was always aiming at. We had no
chain with which to confine him, so that a long forked stick round
his neck was the only means we could employ of keeping him at a safe
distance.

In the evening, as Akondogo and I were seated together, the good
fellow, smoking his huge pipe, said to me, "Chally, I have had a great
deal of trouble since I have seen you. A leopard has killed two of my
people, and I have had a great many palavers with their families on
account of their death."

I said, "Akondogo, you could not help it; you are not chief over the
leopards. But, after the first man had been killed, why did you not
make a trap to catch the leopard?"

"The leopard I mean," said he, "is not one that can be trapped; it was
a man who had changed himself into a leopard, and then, after he had
been a leopard for some time, he changed himself into a man again."

I said, "Akondogo, why do you talk to me in that way? You know I do not
believe that men are turned into beasts, and afterward into men again.
It is stupid for people to believe so, but I can not shake that belief
in you alombè" (black men).

Poor Akondogo said, "Chally, I assure you that there are men who change
into leopards, and from leopards into men again."

Not wishing to argue the question, I said, "Never mind; tell me the
story of your trouble." Then Akondogo once more filled his pipe with
tobacco, gave three or four big puffs of smoke, which rose high in the
air, and thus begun:

"My people and myself had been in the woods several days collecting
India-rubber. One day a man disappeared, and nothing could be found of
him but a pool of blood. The next day another man disappeared, and in
searching for him more blood was found. We all got alarmed, and I sent
for a great doctor; he came and drank the mboundou, so that he might be
able to say how these two deaths came about. After the ouganga (doctor)
had drank the mboundou, and as all the people stood round him asking
him what had killed these two men, and just as we were waiting with
breathless silence for what he was going to say, he spoke to me and
said, 'Akondogo, your own child [his nephew and heir] Akosho killed the
two men.' Immediately Akosho was sent for and seized, and he answered
that it was true that he had killed the two men, but that he could not
help it; he remembered well that that day, as he was walking in the
woods, he suddenly became a leopard; that his heart longed for blood,
and that he had killed the two men, and then, after each murder, he
became a man again.

"There was a great uproar in the village; the people shouted, 'Death to
the aniemba Akosho!'

"But," said Akondogo, "I loved my boy so much that I said to the
people, 'Let us not believe Akosho; he must have become a kendé'
(idiot, fool). But Akosho kept saying he had killed the men, and took
us into the woods where lay the two bodies, one with the head cut off,
and the other with the belly torn open.

"Upon this," said Akondogo, "I ordered Akosho to be bound with cords,
and tied in a horizontal position to a post, and to have a fire lighted
at his feet, and be burned slowly to death, all which was done, the
people standing by until he expired."

The end of the story was so horrid that I shuddered. It was a case of
monomania. Akosho believed that he had been turned into a leopard, and
committed two murders, the penalty of which he paid with his life.
Here, in our country, he would have been sent to the insane asylum.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER VIII.

WOUNDED GORILLA AND HER YOUNG ONES.--TAKING THEIR PHOTOGRAPHS.--TOM AND
MINNIE.--ARRIVAL OF MY VESSEL.--HURRA FOR BARING BROTHERS.--A SMOKING
SHIP.--KING QUENGUEZA GOES ON BOARD.--PREPARATIONS FOR JOURNEY.


A FEW days after my return home, one evening a strange sight presented
itself in front of my house--a sight which I firmly believe had never
before been witnessed since the world began. There was great commotion
and tremendous excitement among the Commi people.

There stood in front of my bamboo house a large female gorilla, bound
hand and foot, and alive, but frightfully wounded. A large gash might
have been seen on her scalp, and her body was covered with clotted
blood. One of her arms had been broken, and she bore wounds upon the
head and chest. Now and then the creature would give a sharp scream of
pain, which lent horror to the darkness by which we were surrounded,
the half dozen lighted torches making the scene still more wild.

This adult female gorilla had been mortally wounded in the morning,
and lay on the ground senseless for a long time. A bullet from one of
my hunters had fractured her skull, and in that state of insensibility
she had been securely tied to a stout stick, and in such an ingenious
manner that there was no chance of her escaping. Her wrists and ankles
had been tied strongly together, while the stick had been adjusted
between her mouth and feet and hands in such a way that she could not
reach out to sever the cords with her teeth.

Hanging from her bosom was a baby gorilla (her child). The little
creature was a female but a few months old, and now and then, after
feeding from its mother's breast, it would give a plaintive wail. By
the side of both stood a young live male gorilla, a fierce-looking
fellow, which seemed afraid of nothing, and looked around with its deep
grayish, fiendish eyes as if to say, "What does all this mean? I have
not seen this sight in the woods before." Not far off lay the corpse
of a large female gorilla, quiet in the embrace of death, her face yet
distorted by the death-agony.

It was dark, as I have told you, and the scene was so strange and so
wild that I will never forget it. The fiendish countenances of the
living calibanish trio, one of them--the wounded one--with a face
distorted by pain, were lit up by the ruddy glare of the native's
torches, and they seemed even more repulsive than their dead companion.
"What a commotion this sight would create," I said to myself, "in a
civilized land!"

There was no sleep for me that night; the terrific screams of the
wounded mother kept me awake. Two or three times I got up and went out
to see what was the matter, for I was in constant dread of the big
gorilla's untying the cords.

The next morning I immediately prepared my photographic apparatus, and
took an excellent photograph of the wounded mother with her child on
her lap. As for Master Tom (I gave that name to the fierce-looking
young male), I could not succeed in taking a very good likeness of
him; he would not keep still long enough. I untied his hands and feet
after putting a chain round his neck, and to show his gratitude he
immediately made a rush at me to the length of his chain, screaming
with all his might. Happily, the chain was too short for him to reach
me, or I should have come off minus a little piece of the calf of my
leg.

The night after I had taken the photograph of the mother her moanings
were more frequent, and in the morning they gradually became weaker
as her life ebbed out, and about ten o'clock she died. Her death was
painfully like that of a human being, and her child clung to her to the
last, and even tried to obtain milk after she was dead. How still was
that fierce, scowling black face! There was something so vindictive in
it, and at the same time so human, that I almost shrunk from the sight
as I contemplated that wonderful creature which God has made almost in
the image of man.

Now all I had to do was to take care of Tom and of Minnie. Tom gave me
no trouble, for he was quite old enough to feed upon the nuts and the
berries that were gathered for him; but with little Minnie it was a
different thing, as she was too young to eat berries. Happily, I had
a goat that gave milk, and I fed her on that milk, but I am sorry to
say that she lived only three days after her mother's death. She died
the fourth day toward noon, having taken an unconquerable dislike to
the goat's milk. She died gently; her tiny legs and arms had become
shriveled, her ribs could all be seen, and her small hands had
wasted almost to nothing. She died on the little bed of straw I made
for her as if she went to sleep, without a struggle.

[Illustration: PHOTOGRAPHING GORILLAS.]

So no one was now left of my family of gorillas but Master Tom, and
he was healthy and strong enough, and ate all the berries, nuts, and
fruits we brought to him. For days I tried to take the little demon's
photograph, but all in vain. The pointing of the camera toward him
threw him into a perfect rage, and I was several times on the point of
giving him a severe thrashing. At last I succeeded in taking two views,
not very perfect; but this was better than nothing.

The place where these gorillas had been captured was about thirty
miles above my settlement, up the river; at this point a low, narrow
promontory projects into the stream. This spot was my favorite
hunting-ground for gorillas, which came there to eat the wild
pine-apple, and it was there I intended to take my good friend Captain
Burton, the great African traveler, the man who made the pilgrimage to
Mecca, for he was now at Fernando Po, and had promised to make me a
visit.

The gorillas were discovered in this way: A woman passing through
that region came to her village and said she had seen two squads of
female gorillas, some of them followed by _their children_; they were
going, she thought, to her plantain field. My hunters were on the spot
where I had left them the day before, and with the villagers, who
armed themselves with guns, axes, and spears, at once sallied forth in
pursuit. The situation was very favorable for the hunters, who formed
a line across the narrow strip of land, and pressed forward, shouting
and driving the animals to the edge of the water, their terrific noise
bewildering the gorillas, which were shot and beaten down in their
endeavors to escape. There were eight adult females together, but not a
single male.

Time now began to weigh heavily upon me, and a weary interval passed
by. I did not know how long it might be before a vessel would come to
me. Had my letter to Messrs. Baring reached them? If it had not, what
should I do?

I begun to feel very lonely despite hunting excursions and the gorilla
scene I have just described to you. I would go almost every day on the
sea-shore and watch for a sail; now and then I would see one, but it
was the sail of a whaler or of a trader, who took good care not to come
to anchor near this wild part of the western coast.

On the 30th of June, as I came down the River Commi from a hunting
excursion, having bade adieu to Olenga-Yombi, and was returning to
my own settlement, expecting to remain there and wait for the coming
vessel, I saw a canoe with sail set coming up the river and making for
us. I immediately ordered my paddlers to go toward the canoe. Soon we
met, when Kombé shouted, "Chally, your vessel has come!" I jumped from
my seat and cried back, "What do you say, Kombé?" He repeated, "Your
vessel has arrived." I was wild; I was crazy with joy; no news could
have been more welcome. I shouted (I could not help it), "Good for you,
Baring Brothers! You have acted like true friends. Three cheers," I
called to the boys, "three cheers for Baring Brothers, who have sent
the ship to me. Let us paddle with all our might," said I; "let us not
stop; I must reach Plateau before morning."

On my arrival at that place, Ranpano handed me two letters which the
captain of the ship had sent for me. One was from the captain himself,
announcing his arrival; the other was from Baring Brothers. Yes, they
had sent me all the goods I wanted--a second supply of scientific
instruments. These great bankers and merchants had taken the trouble
to send to Paul Du Chaillu all he had asked for, and they did not know
when they would be paid. I assure you I was so overjoyed that for a few
minutes I did not know what I was doing.

I ordered at once all the sea-canoes to be ready. I must go on board;
no time must be lost. The next morning it was hardly daylight when I
had left for the mouth of the river. Soon after our canoes were put
over to the sea-side, we passed the surf smoothly, and I was on board
the vessel shaking hands with Captain Berridge, the commander.

Oh, what an enjoyment I had! how many letters from friends told me that
I was not forgotten! Then newspapers came, and my heart became sad when
I saw that the civil war was still raging in America; "but," said the
captain, "there is a prospect that it will soon be over."

My vessel had only arrived two days when a native entered my hut in
great consternation, and said that a smoking vessel with ten guns was
in the river, and they thought it had come to make war. After a while,
a flat-bottomed steamer, forty feet in length, put out her anchor in
front of my settlement, and fired off a gun to salute me.

I need not tell you that there was tremendous excitement among the
natives now that an ouatanga otouton (smoking ship) had entered their
river. The name of this little vessel was the Leviathan.

A few days after I was on board of the Leviathan steaming for Goumbi,
for I wanted Quengueza to see what a steamer was. The appearance of
this little boat, which did not draw more than two feet of water,
created the most intense excitement. The Leviathan was a screw steamer.
"Oh," exclaimed the people, "look! look! the vessel goes by itself,
without sails, without paddles! Oh! oh! oh! what does that mean?" They
would spy us far off, and then would crowd the banks of the river. Many
were stupefied at the sight, and could not make out what it meant,
especially when they recognized me, while others would deny that it
was me, and others exclaimed, "Chally, is that you? Do not our eyes
belie us? Tell us--shout back to us!" and then I would say, "It is
I--Chally." Then they would recognize me, put out in their canoes, and
paddle with all their might in order to catch us.

As we approached Goumbi, where the river, in descending from the
interior, bends in its westerly course, the banks were high and wooded,
and the river very tortuous. Here the steamer puffed its way right up
to the villages before it could be seen, and the alarmed natives, who
heard the strange noise of the steam-pipe and machinery, were much
frightened, and, as we came in sight, peeped cautiously from behind the
trees, and then ran away.

At last we came in sight of Goumbi. The excitement was intense. From
Goumbi the people could see well down the river. The drums began to
beat, and the people were greatly frightened. Then we cast anchor, and
as I landed the people shouted, "It is Chally; so let us not be afraid,
for no one will harm us when Chally is with them."

Captain Labigot and Dr. Touchard, who had landed with me, received an
ovation; guns were fired, and in a short time we found ourselves in the
presence of the great King Quengueza. He did not know what all this
meant, but he felt big. Hundreds of Bakalai and Ashira were around him;
he looked at them, and said, "Do you see? do you see? I am Quengueza;
my fame is great, and the white man comes to see me," and he turned
away without saying another word.

My great desire was to persuade Quengueza to come on board, and I was
afraid I would not be able to effect this. I said, "Quengueza, I have
brought you white people who want to see your river, and I want you to
come on board with us; they want to see the Niembouai and the Bakalai."
The old chief said he would go; "for," said he, "Chally, I know that
no one will hurt me when I am with you." Good Quengueza knew me quite
well; he had perfect faith in me; he knew that I loved him as he loved
me. I said, "Quengueza, you are right."

Early the next morning the steam was up, and, in despite of the
protestations of his people, the old king came on board, and was
received with a royal salute from the two small guns. The excitement
on the shore was intense; the booming of the guns re-echoed from hill
to hill, and lost itself in the immense forest. Many a wild beast must
have been astonished; gorillas must have roared, and thought that
it was strange that there was any thing besides thunder that could
make a noise louder than their own roars. The old African chieftain
accompanied us unattended, and as the anchor was raised and we began
to steam up the river, he looked backward toward his people, who were
dumb with astonishment, as if to say, "Do you see? your old chief is
afraid of nothing." I had induced good Quengueza to wear a coat, though
he was in deep mourning.

You would have liked to see King Quengueza seated on a chair on deck.
As we passed village after village, he looked at the Bakalai with
silent contempt, and they could hardly believe their own eyes. The
crafty old king took care to let the people see him, for it was to give
him great fame: the people would say, "We saw Quengueza on a vessel of
fire and smoke, going up the river without sails or paddles."

After two days we came back to Goumbi, and I said to the people, "I
bring your old chief back to you." A feast was given us by Quengueza,
and we steamed once more down the river. Then I ordered every thing to
be got ready, for I was soon to set out upon my long journey.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER IX.

DOWN THE RIVER IN A CANOE.--A STRANGE PASSENGER.--TALK WITH A
GORILLA.--LANDING THROUGH THE BREAKERS.--PREPARING TO CROSS THE
CONTINENT.--THE DEPARTURE.


ON the 18th of August, 1864, I sent back the vessel to England to the
Messrs. Baring, and early that morning we left my settlement and sailed
down the river in my largest canoe. We had a strange lot of passengers
with us. The most remarkable of them was Master Tom Gorilla; not far
from him, at the bottom of the canoe, alive and kicking, was a yellow
wild boar, which I had raised from a little bit of a fellow; and near
the boar were two splendid fishing eagles. Another canoe contained the
skins and skeletons of several gorillas, the skins of chimpanzees and
other animals, besides a great many insects, butterflies, and shells.

Tom had managed to get on top of the little house I had made for him,
and there he sat screaming. It was a good thing that the chain around
his neck kept him at a safe distance from us. This morning, as we came
down the river, he was fiercer than I had ever before seen him. Tom
was much stronger than Fighting Joe, with whom you became acquainted
in one of my preceding volumes, and consequently a more formidable
fellow to deal with. Happily, he could not come down upon us and bite
any of us. I could not help laughing when I saw him so angry. He could
not understand why he had been disturbed; he did not like the looks of
things around him, and his fierce and treacherous eyes did not bode us
any good.

I said to him, "Tom, you are going to the white man's country; I wish
you health. You are an ugly little rascal; all my kindness to you has
not made you grateful. The day that I am to bid you good-by sees you
as intractable as ever. You always snatch from my hands the food I
give you, and then bolt with it to the farthest corner of your abode,
or as far as the length of your chain will allow. I have to be very
careful with you, for fear of your biting me. Tom, you have a very
bad temper. When you are angry you beat the ground with your hands
and feet, just like a big, grown-up gorilla. I suppose, if you were
a full-grown gorilla, you would beat your chest. Tom," said I, "many
times you have woke me in the night by your sudden screams; often you
have tried to take your own life--I suppose it was because you could
not bear captivity. I have rescued you several times from death in your
attempts to strangle yourself with your chain, through rage at being
kept a prisoner. Oh, Tom, how often you have twisted that chain around
and around the post to which you were attached, until it became quite
short, and then pressed with your feet the lower part of the post,
till you almost succeeded in committing suicide by strangulation, and
would have succeeded if I had not come to your rescue. Tom, I have
been patient with you; I have taken care of you, and you have my best
wishes for a prosperous voyage, and I hope you will reach the white
man's country in safety."

The moment I paused in this address Tom would answer me with a growl.

"Tom, I have laid in a great deal of food for you on shipboard:
there are two hundred bunches of bananas and plantains, a great many
pine-apples, a lot of sugar-cane, and many barrels of berries and nuts;
so you will have plenty of food. But, Tom, you must try to eat the
white man's food, for the bananas and the berries will not last all
the voyage. Thus far I have not been able to cook you any of the white
man's food, though I have nearly starved you, and kept you for days
with hardly any food at all."

Another growl greeted this talk, as if to say, "I know what you say to
me."

"The captain will take you, Tom." Then I looked at Captain Berridge.

"Yes," said he; "Tom, all I ask of you is to keep well, and to reach
safely the country of the white men, so they may see how a young
gorilla looks."

By the time I had ended this queer conversation with Tom we had reached
our place of landing, and on the sea-shore several canoes were waiting
for us. The breakers were high; several canoes had been upset, and
their contents lost.

When I saw the state of the breakers, I concluded not to ship my
photographs, and I tried to prevail on the captain not to go on board
that day; "but," said he, "I have my life-preserver with me, and I
will run the risk." The large surf-canoe was got ready; Tom was put on
board with his house, and the first thing he did was to get on top of
it, where for a moment he yelled in affright at the foaming billows
around him, and then hid himself in his house. The men had to be on the
alert, and in the twinkling of an eye two stout fellows took Captain
Berridge in their arms and put him in the canoe. They started off at
once, passing the first breaker without accident; but the second, a
huge one, broke over the canoe, filling it with water, and very nearly
upsetting it. The wave went right over Master Tom, who gave a most
terrific howl, and the bath, instead of cooling his rage, made him more
violent than ever. The yellow wild boar gave several piercing screams,
and the poor eagles were almost drowned, for the live-stock were all
together.

I could not restrain my laughter at the rage of Tom; he did not seem at
all to like the taste of salt water. When the canoe returned, for upon
this attempt it was found impossible to pass the breakers, he jumped on
the top of his house, shaking himself, and looking fiercely all around.
No one dared to approach him after the canoe had landed, though really
I could not help laughing to see poor Tom in such a plight--it was so
unlike the woods where he had lived. I gave him a fine ripe banana,
which he ate voraciously, and he became more quiet afterward.

In the afternoon, just at low tide, before the sea began to rise again,
the captain, Tom, the wild pig, and the eagles went safely through the
breakers.

I did not go on board. I took a bill of lading for Tom, and gave a
draft for one hundred pounds sterling to the captain, to be paid to him
by Messrs. Baring Brothers on the receipt of a live gorilla.

Would you like to hear the end of the story of Tom, which I heard on my
return?

After three weeks all the bananas, plantains, berries, and nuts which
he had not consumed were spoiled, and there was nothing left to give
Tom but white man's food, though, as long as he could get his native
aliment, the captain had tried in vain to make him eat of it. But
when the fruits had been exhausted Captain Berridge called the cook,
whereupon pies and puddings were made, and rice was boiled, plain and
with molasses, but all these dainties Tom rejected. Crackers were
offered him with no better result. Tom refused all kinds of food for
three days, and the fourth day he died of starvation, and to the day of
his death he was as ugly as the day he was captured.

A few days after the departure of the vessel, all the Commi chiefs met
at my request, for I was ready to leave the country, and we held a
grand palaver.

"I am your friend," said I to them; "I know that you love me. The
vessel has gone, and now I am ready to go to the other side of your
island" (I tried to make them understand that Africa was almost an
island). "The journey will be a long one. I may have to go through
a hundred tribes; there may be war; I may encounter hunger and
starvation. We shall sail and paddle over many rivers; I shall cross
over many mountains, and see many valleys and prairies. I am going
toward the spot where the sun rises."

"Oh! oh! oh!" shouted the chiefs.

"Yes," said I, "I have told you the truth; and now I want some of
your people to go with me. At the end of the long journey they will
find all that they most desire--all the coats, all the hats, all the
shirts, all the beads, all the guns, all the powder they want, and then
a vessel will bring them back to you. It will be a rough journey, and
perhaps some of those who go with me will never return again to you.
But so it is with you when you go trading; one after another dies on
the road, but it is not long before you go trading again. I want no man
to come with me by force--sent by his chief or father; I want free men,
with strong and brave hearts, who have heard all that I have said, so
that when we are pinched for food there may be no grumbling. I do not
go to make war, for war would stop our progress."

"What a talker our white man is!" they shouted. "Yes," said all the
Commi chiefs at once, "we will not forbid any one to go with you. You
have talked to us right; you have told us no lies. If a man comes back,
he will come back rich."

Great excitement prevailed among the Commi for several days after
my speech. Many young men wanted to follow me, but their families
objected. In the mean time I was busy packing up my large outfit.

"I will be satisfied," said I to myself, "if I can get twenty-five
Commi men to accompany me." But many had been frightened at my speech.
Nevertheless, a few days after what I have related to you, there
might have been seen several canoes on the river bank just opposite
my settlement. Among them were two very large war-canoes, the largest
in the country, which sat deep into the water, laden with the bulky
equipment which was to be used by me in crossing the immense wilderness
of Equatorial Africa. We were all ready to leave the country.

Many of the Commi people were to accompany me as far as Goumbi, while
the men who were to follow me were but few; but we were great friends.
My companions for the great expedition were ten altogether.

There was Igala, whom I considered my right-hand man, a warrior of
great repute, one of the most famous hunters of the country. He was
a negro of tall figure and noble bearing, cool and clear-headed in
face of danger, fierce as a lion, but with me docile and submissive.
Igala was to be my leader; he was to be foremost in the fight, if
fighting had to be done. He or I were to lead the van into the jungle,
and he was to keep a sharp lookout and see that the porters did not
run away with their loads. With twenty such men as Igala I would have
been afraid of nothing in Africa. Igala had a great reputation as a
fetich-man, and his war and hunting fetiches especially were thought by
the people to be very potent.

Next to Igala came Rebouka, a big, strapping negro, whose chief fault
was that he always bragged about the amount he could eat; and he had
really sometimes too good an appetite, for the fellow could eat an
enormous quantity of food. But Rebouka had many good qualities, one of
which was that he was a good fighting man, a very important one for me.

Igalo, bearing almost the same name with the fierce Igala, was a tall
young man, full of spirit and dash, impetuous, excitable, and I had
always my eye upon him for fear that he would get us into trouble. He
could fight well too.

My good boy Macondai, a fellow I had almost brought up, the only
sea-shore boy whom Quengueza had allowed to be with me in the country
of the Bakalai in former times, was also of my party.

Then came Mouitchi, a powerful negro, not a Commi, but a slave, who had
come into the Commi country when a mere boy. Mouitchi had been a slave
of Djombouai, Ranpano's nephew, but his freedom had been given him, and
now he wanted to be five years on the road, and to see the white man's
country. Mouitchi was very black, not very tall, a short-necked fellow,
and was the very type of the negro, with thick lips, and a big nose,
almost as flat as that of a gorilla.

Another of my fellows was Rapelina, a short, stout negro, young, but
strong as an ox. One of the chief faults of Rapelina was that he was
sulky and obstinate, but I could always get along with him. He was
a slave of Sholomba, another nephew of Ranpano, who did not want to
be behindhand in manifesting an interest in my expedition, and, as
Rapelina wished to accompany me, Sholomba gave him his freedom.

Retonda, Ngoma, Igala-Yengo, boys, were three other slaves that wanted
to go to the white man's country, and so their freedom was also given
them. Ngoma and Macondai were to be my servants; Ngoma was to be my
cook, and Macondai was to wait upon me while eating.

Igala, Rebouka, Igalo, and Macondai belonged to the best blood of the
country; they were descended from men who had been great in their
tribe, but, as I said to them before we started, "Boys, there are to
be no distinctions among you; we all have stout hearts, and the white
men will thank us all alike if we succeed in our journey." I made Igala
chief over them, and his orders were to be implicitly obeyed.

You have now a pretty good idea of the men and boys who were to follow
me into that great equatorial jungle, and share my perils in countries
so wild that we had not the slightest idea what we should meet with,
either in the people or in the wild beasts.

I had a nice outfit for each one of my boys (for so I called them).
Each one of them had three thick blue woolen shirts, of the best
quality that I could find, and, with care, these would last the whole
of the journey.

They had, besides, each two pairs of thick canvas trowsers, which they
were to wear sometimes on the line of march to protect them against the
stings of insects, from thorns, and many other injuries; but ordinarily
the trowsers were to be worn only when making their appearance in the
villages. At such times the boys were also to wear red worsted caps.

So they were not to look like the olomeiga (bushmen), as they called
the interior people, whom they despised most thoroughly, being, they
said, the class from which the slaves came.

Every man had a good thick blanket to keep him warm at night, and
to protect him from the mosquitoes. I had given to each man a fine
gun; besides, they had each a pair of pistols, a bag to contain their
ammunition, and a huge hunting-knife.

For weeks before our departure I had drilled my men in the use of
their guns, or in practicing target-shooting, so that they might be
splendid shots from the start; and in this, of course, a great deal of
ammunition was wasted.

As the hour for our departure approached, the banks of the river
were crowded with people. It was on the 2d of October, 1864. That
unfortunate shipwreck had caused me a great loss of time, but at last
we were ready, and the people had come to see us off and say good-by.
Many a sad heart was on that shore; many a mother and sister thought it
was the last time they should see the men and boys that were going with
me. I felt the great responsibility I had assumed in taking away my men
from their people.

Every thing was ready, good-by had been said a hundred times, the men
had been in the canoes and had gone ashore again, when I said, "Boys,
let us break off. I know it is hard to leave home. Don't you think it
was hard for me to leave the white man's country?"

Igala, my right-hand man, my warrior, my hunter--Igala, with the heart
of a lion, was the only one left ashore. He could not tear himself
away from his little daughter, whom he tenderly loved, and who clung
closely to her father, the tears streaming from her eyes, and begging
him not to go with the white man on the okili mpolo (long road), for
he would never come back. It was a great trial for Igala. I could see
by the working of his face that his pangs at parting were severe. "Do
not cry, ouana amée (my child); I am coming back; we shall reach the
other side. I am going with Chally; I will bring plenty of beads from
the white man's country." Then, by a sudden effort, he left her and
jumped into my canoe; I gave the order for departure, and in the midst
of tremendous shouting and firing of guns we got in motion. I hoisted
the Stars and Stripes at the stern of my big canoe, and turned my head
toward the mouth of the river as if to catch a glimpse of the sea once
more.

As I looked at my men in that canoe my heart melted with love for them.
What a strong faith they must have had in me! They had left father,
mother, wife, sister, to follow me. I swore to myself that their
confidence in me should not be misplaced; henceforth they were to be
brothers to me.

[Illustration: THE DEPARTURE.]

That night, as we stood by the fire in our camping-ground, I said,
"Boys, you have left fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, your
children, for me, because you would not permit me to go alone from
tribe to tribe; for you said, 'If you get sick, who shall take care of
you? if you are hungry, who shall get food for you? We will follow you
to the end of the journey to the other side of the island, for we know
that if you reach the white man you will bring us back to our country;
we know that, even if one white man should be willing to give ten
ship-loads of goods for one of us, you would not sell us.' Boys, you
have always heeded what I said to you; we are friends. When you come
back and walk in your villages, the people will say, 'Here are the men
with strong hearts; they went with Chally, and have seen what neither
black men nor white men had ever seen before.'"

Where we had stopped for the night lived a celebrated doctor who the
people believed could foretell events. His name was Oune-jiou-e-maré
(head of a bullock); he was about seventy years of age, and a
kind-hearted old man. As he enjoyed the reputation of being a great
prophet, my people asked him whether our journey would be prosperous.
He replied that we should go very far, and that a big chief would ask
Chally to marry his daughter, and then, if Chally married her, and gave
her all she asked, and made her heart glad, she would lead us from
tribe to tribe until we reached the far-off sea where we wished to go.

"Chally, you must marry that girl," they all shouted; "yes, you must."

The next day Ranpano left us, but not before I granted a strange
request of his. He wanted me to take off the garment I wore next to my
skin; "not," said he, "that I want it to wear, but I will keep it, and
then you will be sure to come back."

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER X.

A ROYAL WELCOME.--DEPARTURE FROM GOUMBI.--THE STORY OF NCHANGA AND
ENOMO.--ASCENDING THE OVENGA RIVER.--A HOSTILE BARRIER REMOVED.--THE
ADVICE OF QUENGUEZA.


AFTER a few days we reached the kingdom of Quengueza, and I received
a royal welcome from the sturdy old chief, for he loved me more than
any body else. That evening we remained together all alone, and talked
about my long journey. He said to me, "Chally, every body is afraid;
none of my free men want to follow you. They think they will never come
back; but one of my slaves says he will go with you, and you can depend
upon him.

"To make sure of your success," said the old king, "I want you to go
where you like. I am an old man, but I am strong, and, though more than
forty dry and forty rainy seasons have passed since I have been to the
Ashira country, I will go there with you. I will put you myself in the
hands of my friend Olenda, the Ashira king, and tell him to send you
on."

Thirteen days after my arrival at Goumbi the beating of the kendo (the
royal standard alarum) awoke me just before sunrise, and I heard the
voice of the old chief invoking, in a loud tone, the spirits of his
famous royal ancestors to protect us on our journey. The spirits he
invoked were those of men who had been famous in war or as rulers,
and their names had been handed down from generation to generation.
Igoumbai, Wombi, Rebouka, Ngouva, Ricati, Olenga-Yombi--the skulls of
all these great men were kept in the alumbi house of the king.

Quengueza was prouder than any chief I knew of the powers of his
deceased ancestors, and well might he be, for several had been great
warriors, and some had been wise rulers.

At 10 o'clock on the 28th of October we left Goumbi, followed by a
large array of canoes. We had had some trouble before the start, for
Quengueza's slaves were alarmed, and many had hid in the woods. They
were afraid that their master would give them to me, and they did not
desire to go off into the far country.

"Good-by" shouted the villagers on the shore; "good-by, Chally; come
back to us. Take care of our king; we do not like him to go so far away
with you, for he is old; but he loves you, and will accompany you part
of the way." And just as we disappeared from sight a wild shout rang
through the air. It was the last farewell to me of the Goumbi people.

That evening we reached the junction of the Niembai and Ovenga Rivers,
and resolved to pass the night on the shore. The rivers were low,
for the dry season had been unprecedented in its length--indeed, the
longest that the people could remember. In that country the rainy
season comes from inland, and gradually makes its way to the sea-shore,
while the dry season begins at the sea-shore, and gradually makes its
way inland.

That evening our camp was a merry one, for the men who went out caught
a great many fish (mullets and condos). The number was prodigious, for
at that season of the year these fish ascend the river as the shad do
in spring in America. The smoke of many a camp-fire ascended among the
trees, and jokes, and laughter, and story-telling were carried far into
the night. A negro is never happier than when he has nothing to do and
plenty to eat.

My couch, made of leaves, was by the side of Quengueza's, and my brave
companions were all around us.

Some funny stories were told that night, and one of them I wrote down.
The long dry season was the subject of conversation. A man belonging to
Goumbi got up. Nchanga means the wet, Enomo the dry season. These two
seasons are personified with the African. So the story went:

Nchanga and Enomo had a great dispute as to which was the oldest,
that is to say, which was the first to begin, and finally an assembly
of the people of the air met to decide the question. Nchanga said,
"When I come to a place, rain comes." Enomo retorted, "When I make my
appearance, the rain goes." "Verily, verily," said the people of the
air, who had listened to Enomo and Nchanga, "you must be of the same
age."

These long dry seasons have a special name, and are called _enomo
onguéro_; they last about five months. The showers coming at the close
are very light, and produce no impression on the rivers.

Next morning we ascended the Ovenga, which was very low, being about
twenty feet below the high-water mark. The narrow stream was encumbered
with fallen trees and sand-banks, and the journey was difficult and
slow.

We were getting among the Bakalai villages which lined the river banks
from place to place, when suddenly we came to a spot where the river
had been fenced or obstructed right across on account of some petty
trade quarrel which the people of the village opposite had had with
some other village higher up.

As soon as King Quengueza saw this his countenance changed, and wore
the fiercest expression, and for the first time I could see that the
terrible accounts I had heard of his warlike disposition when younger
were true. The face of the man fairly changed its color. He, the King
of the Rembo, traveling with his ntangani (white man), saw that his
river had been barred.

He got up and shouted, "Where are the axes and the cutlasses? where are
the spears and the guns?" and he took up a gun himself, and fired into
the air.

The fence was demolished in a few seconds, and onward we went. Our
canoe took the lead, and just as we turned a bend in the river I saw
five elephants crossing it, and before I had time to get a shot at
them the huge creatures reached the bank and plunged into the forest,
demolishing all the young trees which stood in the way of their flight.

Finally we reached the junction of the Ovenga River and of the Ofoubou,
and set up our camp there. Quengueza immediately dispatched messengers
to the Ashira king, asking him to send us men. Our camp was close by
the village of friend Obindji, with whom you are already acquainted,
who came to see us every day.

You remember the description I gave you of Obindji, and the fierce
witchcraft-palaver that took place at his cabin, Pende, his brother,
having been accused of stealing dead men's bones, etc.

I had brought with me a nice present for Obindji, besides what I had
sent him by Quengueza on my arrival. The good old Bakalai chief was
delighted.

We remained for several days at our encampment here, till at last the
Ashira people, sent by their King Olenda, arrived.

The water was now so low that from the northern bank of the Ovenga, on
which our camp was placed, there stretched a long point of beautiful
sand, upon which turtles would come during the night and lay their eggs.

We soon found that the large number of men Olenda had sent were not
sufficient for repacking our baggage, and I remained behind with
Quengueza.

Three nephews of Quengueza--Adouma, Ouendogo, and Quabi--went with the
Ashira men, taking with them all that the men could carry. When I saw
that I had really too much luggage, I gave to Quengueza nearly all the
salt I had, a great many brass rings, an additional supply of powder,
etc.

After a few days the Ashiras returned, and we concluded to take our
departure the next morning.

Quengueza, besides being an illustrious warrior, was a man who had
a great deal of common sense, and, after every thing was packed and
ready, he ordered my men to come to him. The old chief's countenance
wore a grave aspect, and, after looking in the fire for some time,
smoking all the while as hard as he could, he said, "You are going into
the bush; you will see there no one of your tribe; look up to Chally as
your chief, and obey him. Now listen to what I say. You will visit many
strange tribes. If you see on the road, or in the street of a village,
a fine bunch of plantains, with ground-nuts lying by its side, do not
touch them; leave the village at once; this is a tricky village, for
the people are on the watch to see what you are going to do with them.

"If the people of a village tell you to go and catch fowls or goats,
or cut plantains for yourselves, say to them, 'Strangers do not help
themselves; it is the duty of a host to catch the goat or fowl, and cut
the plantains, and bring the present to the house which has been given
to the strangers.' When a house is given to you in any village, keep
to that house, and go into no other; and if you see a seat, do not sit
upon it, for you know there are seats upon which nobody but the owners
are permitted to sit.

"But, above all, beware of women; do not get in love with any of them,
for you will be strangers in a strange land. I tell you these things
that you may journey in safety; I want you to have a smooth journey,
and get into no trouble. I need not tell you to take care of Chally."

The speech of the old sage was listened to with great attention, and
Igala said, "_Rera_ (father, king), we will follow your advice, for we
know that when salt or food is left on the road-side it is to catch
people; we know that you must not go into other people's houses, for in
some no one but the owner can go; and as for sitting on somebody else's
seat, we know better. We don't want to be made slaves. Rera (father),
we will remember what you have said to us."

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XI.

BUSTLE IN THE CAMP.--A MAGIC HORN.--QUENGUEZA'S IDOL.--A LIVING
SKELETON.--TERRIFIC THUNDER-STORM.--A GORILLA FAMILY.--STUPENDOUS
CATARACT.


THE next morning after this fine speech of Quengueza all was bustle in
the camp, and every thing was now ready. Quengueza stood by my side,
wearing a coat, and having a green cloth around his loins; from his
shoulder hung his bag, in which there was a large supply of tobacco and
his kendo; close by him stood a slave and one of his nephews, carrying
his gun and the sword I had given him. Adouma, Ouendogo, and Quabi were
also near at hand.

I was in walking trim, with leggins on, carrying by my side a superb
pair of revolvers. I bore also a double-barreled rifle, and in my bag
were 100 cartridges for my revolvers, and 150 bullets for my gun. Every
man of my company was armed to the teeth, and they seemed greatly to
enjoy looking formidable.

A gun is fired, the echo of which reverberates from mountain to
mountain, and then more guns are fired by the Bakalai, who know that
King Quengueza and his friend Chally are now on their journey.

We paddled up the Ofoubou for a little while, when we went ashore,
and pursued our journey overland. That night we slept at the Bakalai
village of Ndjali-Coudie.

The next morning we continued our journey, my dear friend Quengueza and
I sticking close together. We had left Ndjali-Coudie a little before
six o'clock, just at daybreak, and after a little more than two hours
we reached the top of a steep hill (369 feet in height), called by the
people Nomba-Rigoubou, where we stopped for breakfast. Immediately
after breakfast we marched onward, and as toward four o'clock poor
Quengueza appeared tired, I thought it best to stop for the night at
the base of a hill called Ecourou. Here there were the remains of an
Ashira encampment, which was nothing but an old shed, loosely covered
with pieces of bark, in many places of which I could see through. I had
not much faith in its excellence for shelter, and wanted to send the
men to collect leaves, but they were so tired that I let them rest. It
did not rain every evening, and perhaps it would not rain that evening;
besides, we had an Ashira doctor with us, who blew his magic horn to
drive the rain away.

Quengueza was an excellent companion on the march; full of pride,
he would never complain of being tired, and disliked above all
things to appear old. He was, indeed, an odd sort of person, and the
eccentricities of his character were endless. Of course he never
traveled without his idol, which was an ugly, pot-bellied image of
wood, four or five inches in height, with a row of four cowries
imbedded in its abdomen, and was generally carried, when traveling, in
one of his coat pockets or in his bag. Walking or sleeping, the idol
was never suffered to be away from him. Whenever he ate or drank, he
would take the wooden image and gravely pass his tongue and lips over
its abdomen, and before drinking any of the native beer he would
always take it out of his pocket or bag, lay it on the ground, and pour
a libation over its feet. Poor Quengueza! I used to talk enough to him
about his superstitions; I tried to shake his blind faith in them, and
to teach him to adore the true God and Creator. That evening he held a
long parley with the idol.

The next morning old Quengueza appeared to feel stiff as he got up, but
he took care not to tell it to any body, and immediately we started.
That day we reached the Ashira Land, which was the country to which
Quengueza purposed to escort me himself on my way to the interior.
It is a mark of great friendship here to accompany a man part of his
journey, and Quengueza, though a man beyond threescore and ten, went
with me over rough mountains, through rushing streams, and along
thorny, bad roads, to show me how much he loved me.

As we emerged from the forest into the prairies of Ashira Land, the
magnificent mountains of Igoumbi-Andelè and Ofoubou-Orèrè burst
upon our view in the south, while in the north the lofty ridge of
Nkoumou-Nabouali stood out in majestic grandeur against the sky.

Old King Olenda received us with great demonstrations of joy; he came
to meet us beating his kendo, and seemed delighted to meet me again.
How glad he was to see Quengueza! They had not seen each other for
forty dry seasons and forty rainy seasons (forty years).

I have given you before, in two of my works, a description of old
Olenda, the oldest man I ever saw. He was much the same now as when I
last saw him: his cheeks sunken, his legs and arms thin and bony, and
covered with wrinkled skin. He appeared, in fact, a living skeleton,
yet retained his sight and hearing unimpaired.

After we had come to the ouandja (palaver house), Quengueza said, "I
have come to see you again, Olenda; I have come to see you, to bring
you with my own hands my friend Chally, the spirit, and I want you to
provide him with an escort to conduct him on to the next tribe."

Olenda promised every thing. The Ashira came to us in great crowds, for
they wanted not only to greet me, but to see the great Quengueza.

The next day presents of slaves were brought to Quengueza. I begged
the old chief not to take them; but the trouble was, that, according
to the customs of the country, it would be an insult for him to refuse
them, for he was the guest. Nevertheless, I took the responsibility,
and I said I did not desire Quengueza to take away any slaves from the
country. Immense quantities of supplies were brought to us--goats,
plantains, fowls, pea-nuts, sugar-cane, wild pine-apples, berries, and
fruits of all sorts. After a few days I held a palaver, and said, "I
must see the great waterfall of Samba-Nagoshi."

We started in light marching order, the only heavy baggage being my
photographic apparatus, for I wanted to take accurate views of the
splendid scenery which I expected to behold. I took only four of my
faithful Commi boys--Rebouka, Igala, Macondai, and Ngoma. The rest
of my followers were Ashiras; among them were three of Olenda's
grand-nephews--Arangui, Oyagui, and Ayagui.

We pursued a northeast direction till we struck the Ovigui River,
crossing it on an immense tree which had been felled for the purpose,
and which had lodged about fifteen feet from the water. Then we
took a path which was to lead us to the country of the Kambas. The
forest was exceedingly dense. The first evening we had a fearful
thunder-storm--the rainy season had begun in these mountains. The
thunder was terrific, and the flashes of lightning vividly illuminated
the thick woods by which we were surrounded. The next morning we
resumed our march along the western foot of a hilly range, and not a
sound was heard as we trudged steadily along in Indian file. On the
way we passed through a little bit of prairie, the name of which was
Opangano, and before noon we came to a village of Bakalai. The village
was fenced; that is to say, each side of the street was barred with
long poles. The street was very narrow, and none of the houses had
outside doors.

The Ashiras were afraid to go into the villages. They said that after
the people were in, sometimes the gates were shut, and then strangers
were killed or plundered. A great panic seized the Bakalai as I entered
the village, but their fears were somewhat allayed when they recognized
Arangui. We remained but a little while, and continued our march
northward, passing near several villages of the warlike Bakalai, two of
which were entirely abandoned, and before sunset we reached a little
prairie called the Lambengue. We had had a hard day's work; it had been
raining all the afternoon, and we had been compelled to travel through
the mire and over miles of slippery stones; so we built sheds, covering
them with large leaves, and surrounded ourselves with roaring big fires
to keep away the snakes and wild beasts.

The night's rest did little to refresh us, and the next morning we
still felt weary. For myself, I was quite unwell, and found my gun too
heavy to carry. The feet of my men were sore on account of the pebbles
with which the path was filled the day before. So I took the lead to
cheer them up, and we were soon lost again in that great jungle. Oh,
how wild it was! how desolate! how solitary! There was not an elephant
to be seen, nor did the chatter of a monkey break the silence of the
forest. I was ahead of the party, trying to descry the future, when
suddenly I was startled by a loud noise of the breaking of branches
of trees. It was a family of gorillas. They had seen me, and began to
hurry down the trees which they had ascended to pick the berries. How
queer their black faces looked as they peeped through the leaves to
see what was the matter! As they came hastily down, the branches would
bend with their weight. They were of different sizes. "It must be a
family of gorillas," said I to myself. All at once I saw a huge black
face looking through the foliage. There was no mistake--it was a huge
male gorilla. He had caught sight of me, and I could distinctly see his
hideous features, his ferocious eyes and projecting eyebrows. I was
on the point of running away as fast as I could toward my men, when
I heard their voices; they were coming up to the rescue. The shaggy
monster raised a cry of alarm, scrambled to the ground, and disappeared
in the jungle, going, no doubt, where his mate or family had gone
before him.

A few days after meeting the gorillas I was seated on the banks of the
River Rembo-Ngouyai, looking at a very grand and impressive scene. It
was, indeed, a magnificent freak of nature. The great body of water
rushed through a narrow gorge with headlong fury, and the whole stream
was white with foam. To reach this spot we had gone through dense
forests, having been led thither only by the roar of the rushing
waters. We had passed two tribes before gaining the fall--the Kambas
and the Aviia. The latter were our guides, and they said that the
Fougamou, the real fall, was above; so we ascended the steep banks of
the river for about a quarter of an hour, when we came upon the object
of our search. The river here was about 150 yards wide. In the middle
of it was an island, dividing the fall into two parts, and I could only
see the half of the fall on our side. Between the island and the main
land, where I stood, the distance was not more than 70 or 80 yards.
The fall was hardly greater than 15 feet, and that was broken in the
centre by two huge granite boulders, which the water had not succeeded
in wearing away or detaching from the bed of rock over which the
river there descended. The water seemed to rush in an enormous volume
down a steep incline. The cataract itself I thought was not imposing,
but below it was one of the grandest sights I ever saw. A torrent of
fearful velocity and great volume leaped madly along in huge billows,
as though the whole river had dropped into a chasm, and bounded out
again over ridges of rocks. The scene was rendered more magnificent by
the luxuriant tropical foliage of the banks. Nothing could be heard but
the noise of the cataract. The sky was cloudy, a fine rain was falling,
and that day I could not take a photograph of the grand scene. I wanted
to sleep that night near the fall, but my Aviia guides were frightened,
and said that the great spirit Fougamou would come during the night and
roar with such fury in our ears that we could not survive it; besides
which, no one had ever slept there.

[Illustration: SURPRISING A FAMILY OF GORILLAS.]

I gave you, in my Apingi Kingdom, the legend concerning the
Samba-Nagoshi Falls just as I heard it from the Apingi, and the Aviia
repeated it to me. I found that the Apingi had added nothing to it at
all.

I had at last seen the famous Samba-Nagoshi Falls at the base of the
towering Nkoumou-Nabouali Mountains. I was satisfied, and a few days
after I was on my way back to Olenda's village.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XII.

THE DEATH OF REMANDJI.--A SINGULAR SUPERSTITION.--OUTBREAK OF THE
PLAGUE.--A TOUCHING INCIDENT.--DYING OFF BY SCORES.--DEATH OF OLENDA.


WHILE on my way from the Falls of Samba-Nagoshi to Olenda a secret
deputation had been sent to him from the Apingi country, where, as
you are aware, I had been made king, and where the people were so
superstitious about me. The King of Apingi had sent word that Olenda
must endeavor to dissuade me from going into Apingi Land.

It appears that, after I had left the Apingi country, the people could
not comprehend what had become of me. They would come to Remandji and
ask him if he knew where I was. They declared that he had hid me in the
forest for himself; that he was jealous, and did not want his people
to see me. They came and asked for presents, but poor Remandji told
them that the Spirit had not left him many things, and that really he
did not know where I had gone; that they had seen me disappear in the
forest, and had heard me say good-by to the people just as he had.

A few days after my departure Remandji was found dead in his little
hut, on his bed. A cry of anguish rose from one end of the village to
the other when the news of Remandji's death spread; the people felt
sorry, for they loved him. There was mourning and lamentation in the
Apingi tribe.

A party among the people rose and exclaimed that some of the
neighboring people had killed their chief by aniemba (witchcraft),
because they were jealous of him--jealous that he was my great
friend--jealous that he possessed me.

Another party, and a very powerful one, having on its side the great
doctors of the tribe, who had been consulted about Remandji's death,
declared that the Spirit himself, meaning me, had killed Remandji, for
I loved him so much I could not part with him, and I wanted to take his
spirit with me wherever I went.

A few days after Remandji's death his son Okabi died also. Fear seized
upon the Apingi people. "Surely," said they, "the Spirit has killed
Okabi and Remandji," and many were oppressed with a presentiment of
death, for many had been my friends, and from that day they believed
that when I left a country I killed my friends in order not to part
from them. The present chief of the Apingi Land, having heard of my
arrival, sent a deputation to Olenda with the words "I do not want to
see the Spirit. I do not want to follow him, as Remandji and his son
have done, but rather prefer to stop at home and eat plantain. This
present world is good enough for me."

The Apingi messengers were afraid of me, and had gone back to their
own country without waiting for my appearance. So, after the departure
of the Apingi messengers, a great council of all the Ashira chiefs was
held to decide by which route I should be sent into the far country.

It was determined at last that I should go through the Otando country,
and that messengers should be sent at once to the king of that far-off
land, telling him that Olenda was to send me to him. Quengueza then
made his preparations to return to Goumbi.

I sent my men out hunting every day to drill them and accustom them to
fire-arms. I made them practice shooting every day, so that they might
become better marksmen. I do not speak of Igala, who was what might
have been called a dead shot.

A few days after what I have just related to you, a man called
Elanga, a grand-nephew of Olenda, was taken ill with a disease which
the natives had never seen. Elanga lived a long distance from our
village, but his people came to me to see what I could do for him. The
description they gave me was that of the small-pox. I promised to go
and see him the next day, but that day the news came that Elanga had
died. There was a great deal of mourning and wailing among the people;
they all went to Elanga's village except Olenda, my Commi men, and
Quengueza's people.

Elanga had been to our camp to fetch our baggage, so immediately the
people said Elanga had been bewitched. I went to see the body of
Elanga; it could not have been recognized. I was not mistaken; the
worst type of confluent or black small-pox had killed him. So when I
saw the people around him I tried to dissuade them from touching him,
and advised them to burn every thing with which he had ever come in
contact, even the house where he slept. Nevertheless, the mourning
ceremonies took place as usual. My worst fears were realized. Soon
after, two cases occurred among the mourners; then it spread like
wildfire. Pestilence had come over the land. It came from the interior,
and was working its way toward the sea.

The plague broke out with terrible violence all over the country.
Olenda's village was attacked; Olenda's favorite wife was the first
victim. Every body who was attacked died. It was in vain that I begged
them to stop their "mourning" ceremonies. Almost every body who had
attended Elanga's funeral had caught the plague and died. A cry of
anguish rose over the land.

I established a quarantine camp, and forbid my men to move out of it. I
was full of anxiety on account of poor Quengueza.

Half of the people of Olenda had died; half of the Ashira had gone down
to their graves. Olenda is still well.

I implored Quengueza to go back to his country. "If you love me,
Quengueza," I said, "go home." "No," said the old chief; "to leave you
when you are in trouble! I, Quengueza, do such a thing! No, Chally;
the people would laugh at me, and say 'Quengueza had no power to help
Chally on his way.'"

Things had now become gloomy indeed; the storm is threatening. Rigoli,
Quengueza's favorite little slave, had taken the plague, which had at
last invaded our premises. Quengueza took him into his own hut. I was
horror-struck at the idea, and cried, "Do you want to die, Quengueza?"
His answer was beautiful. "I love Rigoli," said he; "he is the child of
an old slave my brother Oganda left me. I can take better care of him
here. If I get the plague it will be God's palaver." I looked at this
savage king, and his noble reply made me love him more than ever. A
few days afterward Rigoli was dead.

Three several times a gang of men had been sent for the transportation
of my baggage to the Otando country; three times within a few days the
plague had carried away the greater number of them.

I succeeded in making Quengueza send a large number of his people back
to Goumbi. Then thirty Ashira men were mustered. I wanted them to go
with my men to the Otando country with part of the luggage. To this my
Commi men demurred. "How can we leave you here? Who, in the midst of
this fearful disease, shall cook for you? Some of us must remain with
you. These Ashira may poison you by putting the gall of a leopard into
your food. Some of us will stay with you, come what may; if we are to
die, we will die by you." Noble fellows!

So, with the thirty men which Olenda could now place at my disposition,
I sent Igala, Rebouka, Mouitchi, Rapelina, Rogueri. Poor Olenda could
only give me thirty men, for his people were either down with the
plague or dead. Olenda promised solemnly to Quengueza that as soon as
the men came back he would send them with me to the Otando.

In the mean time intelligence had been received that the plague had
reached the banks of the Rembo-Ovenga, and that Bakalai and Commi were
dying fast; so old Quengueza took his departure for Goumbi, but not
before I took a good photograph of him.

Before he left us he said, "Chally, when you come back with your
people, bring me a big bell that rings ding, dang, dong, a silver sword
that will never rust, a brass chest, and plenty of fine things."

I accompanied Quengueza part of the way over the prairie. How sad I
felt! for if I ever loved a friend I loved friend Quengueza, and just
before we were to turn our backs upon each other there was a pause.
"Chally, go back to Olenda," said Quengueza to me. Then he took my
two hands in his own, blew upon them, and invoked the spirits of his
ancestors to follow me as they had followed him. We looked in each
other's face once more for an instant, and parted, he going toward
the sea, and I toward the interior. I stood still as the old man
moved away; he turned several times to get a glimpse of me, but soon
disappeared in the tall grass of the prairie. He had but few of his
people with him, for the plague had come heavily on Goumbi, and many
had died of it.

Quengueza had hardly left the country when the plague became yet more
terrible; not a day passed without its hundreds of victims. A cry of
anguish was all over the land; the wailings, the mournful songs were
heard every where.

At last there were not left well people enough to fetch food, and
famine succeeded to the pestilence. My poor Commi men, who went
in search of food in the neighboring villages, were driven back,
threatened with death by the terrified inhabitants, who shouted, "The
Spirit with whom you came has brought this _eviva_ (plague) upon us.
What have we done to him?"

Not one of Olenda's numerous wives was well, but the king remained my
steadfast friend. He said to his sick people that he remembered that
when he was a boy the same thing had come over the land. How glad I was
to have Olenda on my side!

A few days after the departure of Quengueza, if you had been in my
little hut, you would have seen me seated on the side of my bed, my
head resting on my hands, in utter loneliness and desolation of heart.

My boy Retonda had died and been buried that day. How could I feel
otherwise than unhappy when a whole country was cursing me, and the
people were more afraid of me than of the plague itself?

In my own little hut Ngoma was lying near unto death; the crisis had
come to him; his pulse was low. Was he to die also?

After a while I approached Ngoma, and said, "Ngoma, my boy, how do
you feel?" He could hardly speak; the disease had gone also into his
throat; he could not see--he was blind; mortification had set in, and
the smell emanating from him was dreadful, and yet there I had to sleep.

In the next hut to mine lay Igala-Yengo; he too was taken with the
plague. Poor Igala-Yengo was one of Quengueza's slaves, and had said to
his master that he would go with me.

Those were indeed dark days for me. One morning, as I went to ask old
Olenda how he was, he said, "My head pains me, and I am so thirsty."
That day he laid him down on his bed never to get up again. For two
days the fever increased, and part of the time I was by his bedside.
The good chief, seeing my sorrowful countenance, would say, "Chally,
do not grieve. It is not your fault if I am sick. You have not made me
ill."

Oh, these words sounded sweetly to me. I left him toward nine o'clock
in the evening to go to my hut to get a little rest, and found poor
Ngoma a little better. I did not want Macondai to sleep in my hut; he
was the only one besides myself that had not been seized by the plague.

As I lay wide awake on my couch, suddenly I heard a cry of anguish,
a shriek from house to house. A shudder came over me. Olenda was
dead--Olenda, my only friend, was dead.

As soon as that shriek was heard, Macondai, in despite of my former
orders, rushed into my hut and said, "Chally, are your guns loaded? are
your revolvers ready? for I do not know what the Ashira may do, since
the great Olenda is dead."

I confess that I partook of Macondai's apprehensions, but I said to
him, "Be of good cheer, my boy; there is but one God, and he will
battle for us. Men can only kill the body."

This was a terrible blow for me, the consequences of which I could not
foresee. Olenda, before dying, ordered his people to take care of me,
and in a short time passed away as peacefully as if he had gone to
sleep.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: "OLENDA IS DEAD!"]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIII.

BURIAL OF OLENDA.--A DESOLATED VALLEY.--SUSPICIONS
AROUSED.--ROBBERY.--PAUL IN PERPLEXING CIRCUMSTANCES.--FREEING A MAN
FROM THE STOCKS.--RAVAGES OF THE PLAGUE.


THE day of Olenda's burial had come, but there were hardly people
enough left to bury him--such had been the devastations of the plague.
Not far from the village stood in the prairie a little grove of trees,
beneath whose shade the chiefs of the Ademba clan, to which Olenda
belonged, were always buried; but it had been long since an interment
had taken place there, for Olenda had outlived his brothers a score of
years. All the people who could came to the funeral of their chief.

Olenda looked as if he were asleep. They had dressed him in the big
coat I had given him, and came to ask me if I would give to my friend
Olenda the umbrella I had. It was the only one I had, but I could not
well refuse, and I said, "Take it."

They bore Olenda's body to the grove of trees with many manifestations
of deep sorrow, shouting, "He will not talk of us any more; he will not
speak to us any more. Oh, Olenda, why have you left us? Is it because
we are all dying?" I followed the body to the grave, and I saw that
they seated him on his big coat, and put over his head the umbrella
I had given them for him. By his side was placed a chest containing
the presents I had brought for him, and also plates, jugs, cooking
utensils, his favorite pipe, and some tobacco; a fire was kindled,
which was to be kept up from day to day for a long time, and food
and water was brought, which was also to be daily replenished for an
indefinite period.

Before dying, Olenda had told his people that he was not to leave them
entirely; he would come back from time to time to see how they were
getting on; so, for a few days after his death, the people would swear
that they saw Olenda in the middle of the night walking in the village,
and that he had repeated to them that he had not left them entirely.

The once beautiful Ashira, at the sight of which I had fallen into
ecstasies, had now become the valley of death. Crazy men and women,
made crazy only by the plague, wandered about till they died on the
road-side. Every body was afraid of his neighbor; they had found out,
at last, that the disease was contagious, and when one got it he was
left to himself, and the poor creature would die of starvation: his
wife, his father, his mother, his sister, his brother, if any such
relatives had been left to him by the plague, would fly away from him
as from the curse of God.

My Commi men did not come back; I wondered why, and began to feel very
anxious about them. What had become of them? What a blunder I had made
in letting these men go ahead of me! I would have given the world to
see them again with me, for I did not know what those far-away people
would do to them.

Strange rumors came from the Otando country: the news was that the
people did not want me to come, as I carried with me the _eviva_
(plague) wherever I went.

Several weeks passed away; no tidings of my men, no tidings of
Arangui, or of the Ashiras who had gone with them. The plague was now
diminishing in virulence for want of victims, for, except Macondai and
myself, every body had been attacked with it, and those who did not
succumb had recovered or were fast recovering. In the beginning, every
body attacked was sure to die.

I began to feel suspicious, for three Otando men had come to me and
told me they had important intelligence to communicate, but could not
give it just then, and had promised to come back after two days. Three
days had passed away, and I heard one night somebody talking in a hut;
I listened outside, and was rewarded by finding out that the Ashiras
had frightened away the three Otando men, who had gone back to Mayolo.

At length three of my Commi men suddenly made their appearance from
Mayolo by themselves. I was thunderstruck; the Ashiras of the village
were frightened. What did all this mean?

Rebouka, Mouitchi, and Rapelina were the good fellows. Though it had
taken four days to come from the Otando country, they had found their
way back. They were armed to the teeth, and looked like terrible
warriors. Igala, tired of waiting for me, had sent them back to see
what was the matter.

I now learned that the Ashiras had returned long ago, and, though weeks
had passed away, I had seen none of them. I heard also that several of
the loads had never reached Mayolo; that the porters had gone back to
their plantations with them; that Arangui was at the bottom of all
the thieving; and that Igala, with all his threats, could not make the
porters sleep together near him at night. Then, to cap the whole thing,
they told me that Arangui had seized one of the Otando men that had
come to see me, and that this was the reason why the other two had fled.

"What is to be done?" said I to myself. "I must be crafty and cunning,
and as wise as a serpent." It would never have done to get in a rage.

I told my men to keep quiet, and not to say a word about the robbery. I
did not want to frighten them--I wanted more porters.

It did, indeed, require a great amount of self-control for me to keep
cool when I was quite certain that all the men of the village knew
that I had been plundered by their own people, and that probably most
of them had been sharers of the plunder. Even Ondonga, who now was
chief of the village and a cousin of Arangui, knew all about it. It is
wonderful how savages can keep secrets: not a child, not a woman, not a
man in the country had breathed to me the slightest word on the subject.

That night I kept revolving in my mind how I must act to get out of the
scrape. I said to myself, "I must become a hypocrite, and fight cunning
with cunning, in order to win."

The next morning I said to my men, "Tell the Ashiras that you have
not said a word to me about the robbery, for you were afraid that I
might kill some of them if I knew it; and tell Ondonga, Mintcho, and
their people that you know they are too great friends of mine and of
Quengueza to have had any thing to do with the plunder. Tell them that
you were obliged to tell me about Arangui and the seizure of the man
in order to give an excuse for your coming." I then dismissed them with
saying, "Boys, mind and do just as I have told you."

To Ondonga, patting him on the shoulder, though I felt like blowing out
his brains, I said, "Ondonga, I know that you are my friend; I know
that the Olenda people are good people. I know that you never knew of
the return of Arangui; if you had known it you would have surely told
me."

Ondonga swore that it was so; he would have told me at once.

I shouted so that every body could hear me, "Of course, Ondonga; I know
that you would have told me, for you have a heart, and would not tell
a lie. Why did friend Arangui do such a thing as to seize that Otando
man--Arangui, whom I loved so much? The only thing Arangui can do is to
give up the man. Must he not give up the man, Ashiras?" I cried.

"Yes!" exclaimed the people; "Arangui must give up the man."

I knew very well that no Ashira man would dare to go into the Otando
country after having put in nchogo an Otando man, for they would all be
seized, and then who should carry my baggage?

Mintcho and Ondonga said to me, "We will go at once to Arangui's
plantation to see if he is there." "He must have been hiding from us,"
said Mintcho, with a laugh. "Hypocrite," said I to myself, "what a
lying rascal you are!"

They went to Arangui's plantation, and on their return, as soon as
they saw me, they shouted, "That is so; Arangui is back. Arangui is a
_noka_ (rogue, liar), and none of us knew it."

"Ondonga, my friend," I whispered, "a necklace of beads shall be on
your neck to-night" (and I felt very much like putting a rope around
his neck and choking him). "Now tell me the palaver."

Ondonga said, "Two dry and two rainy seasons ago, the Otando people
seized a relative of Arangui because Arangui owed them two slaves and
had not brought the goods, and the man is still kept in nchogo (the
native stocks). Arangui wanted his relative back, and by keeping that
man he thought they would send back his relative."

[Illustration: PRISONER IN NCHOGO.]

I knew that, according to African fashion, this palaver would last
several years. That would never do for me, for I must be off.

My men said that what Ondonga had said was true; they had heard so in
the Otando country; so I sent Mintcho back, and said to him, "Tell
friend Arangui that he must give up the man. If I had not to take care
of my people I would go and see him. Tell him that he must do that
for his friend Chally. Did not Arangui take Quengueza and myself from
Obindji's place to come here?"

The two rascals Mintcho and Ondonga went again, and several days
elapsed before Arangui let the man go. He did not do it until he was
taken ill with the plague; then he became frightened, and thought I
was going to kill him, so he immediately gave up the man, and Ondonga
and Mintcho brought him in triumph to me. Poor fellow! his legs were
dreadfully lacerated.

The plague was in its last stage. Arangui had been the only one who had
not taken it before. The Otando man had not had it, and I was afraid he
would catch it. If he were to die of it in the country of the Ashiras,
not one of them would dare to go into that of the Otandos, and that
would be the end of my trip; so it was necessary that I should hurry my
departure. If it had not been for the rascality of Arangui I would have
been in the Otando country two months ago. The thought of this made my
blood boil, and I felt very much like hanging Arangui to the nearest
tree.

It was the first time that I had been robbed in Africa, and that by
Olenda's people. I knew they would not have done it if their old chief
had been alive.

What a sea of trouble poor Paul Du Chaillu had to contend with! Indeed,
these were days of trial; but I had to face them, and I faced them
manfully, though several times I was on the verge of despair.

By some means news of the death of Olenda had reached Quengueza, and
I was astonished one day to receive a messenger from him with word
that, as Olenda had left no people to carry me and my goods to the
next country, he was coming to take me to another Ashira clan that had
people. This frightened Ondonga, and he tried hard to get porters for
me.

Terrible tidings now came from Goumbi: all the Goumbi people that had
come with Quengueza to the Ashira country had died of the plague;
nearly all the nephews of Quengueza were dead; Obindji had died, and
every Bakalai chief. In some of the Bakalai villages not a human being
had been left. Death had come over the land. But Quengueza had been
spared; the plague had not touched him, though his head slave, good old
Mombon, was no more.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIV.

DEPARTURE FROM ASHIRA LAND.--A SILENT LEAVE-TAKING.--THIEVISH
PORTERS.--A CUNNING OLD RASCAL.--MISFORTUNE ON MISFORTUNE.--WITHOUT
FOOD IN THE FOREST.--A DESPERATE PLOT.--FEASTING ON MONKEY-MEAT.--OUT
OF THE WOODS.


THE threat of Quengueza had the desired effect. At last Ondonga
succeeded in getting porters, who, with my own men, made the number of
our company about thirty. No amount of pay could induce more to come.
They were afraid of trouble. They could not tell what the trouble would
be, but they had a vague fear that something dreadful was impending.

Every thing that we could not take with us I either gave away or
destroyed.

Early in the morning of the 16th of March I left Ashira Land. How I had
suffered in that poor, unfortunate land! The plague had destroyed the
people, and the survivors accused me of having destroyed the victims of
the plague. Then things had looked so dark that many and many a time I
thought the end had come; that no more explorations were to be made,
and I fully expected to be murdered by the infuriated savages.

My party of ten Commi men had been reduced to seven. Retonda had died;
Rogueri, a slave, had run away, and it was he who had advised the
Ashira to rob me, and who had tried to disabuse them of my power. The
plague had disabled Igala-Yengo. He was going back to Goumbi now that
he was much better, and he was to take letters for me.

I felt thankful that God had spared the lives of so many of my men, for
Rebouka, Mouitchi, and Rapelina took it on their return from Otando.

I was anxious about Macondai; he was the only one who had not had the
plague, as you are aware; and, leaving the Ashira country, I knew that
I was going into a country where the plague had not yet disappeared.

This time there was no gun-firing as we left old Olenda's village, no
singing, nothing--we left silently. I had misgivings. I thought of
mischief brewing ahead, and I was not mistaken.

That day we crossed the Ovenga, and followed a path which led to one
of Olenda's large plantations; there I found a considerable village of
Olenda's slaves, a slave himself being chief over the village. His name
was Mayombo.

All the porters did not reach the place that evening. Ondonga himself
had not come. The next morning he came with the news that several of
the porters had run away, leaving their boxes in the path, and that he
had been compelled to go back and fetch more porters.

Then I discovered that three boxes of goods were missing, and I became
furious. Ondonga got frightened; I knew the rascal was at the bottom of
the mischief, and once or twice I felt like making an example of him by
calling a council of war, composed of my men and myself, and, upon the
clear proof of his guilt, shooting him dead on the spot.

Ondonga swore that he would find the thieves; but the boxes came back,
and they had been broken open, and many things were missing. Ondonga
pretended to be in a violent rage, and declared in a loud voice that
there should be war, and that the thieves should be sold into slavery.
It was all I could do to restrain myself from breaking the fellow's
head.

The acting was superb. The old chief and some of the slaves seized
their spears, and shouted, "Let us go after the thieves!" They hurried
out of the place shouting, cursing, and vowing death to the thieves.
They were the thieves themselves; but I kept cool, and thought the day
of reckoning would come.

Misfortune seemed to come upon misfortune. That day Macondai complained
of a violent back-ache. He had the plague; this was one of the first
symptoms.

What could I do? When we left the plantation the dear good fellow tried
to walk with us, but he became so ill that we were forced to come to a
stand in the woods. No greater calamity could have befallen me. I felt
as if I could cry, for my fortitude was on the point of giving way, and
it seemed as though the hand of God was against me.

When any thing very important had taken or was about to take place, it
was always my custom to summon my Commi men, and hold a council to see
what was to be done. So my faithful body-guard were now summoned to my
side. As soon as we were seated together, every one of us wearing an
anxious look, I said, "Boys, you will go ahead; I will remain here and
take care of Macondai."

The men said, "No, Chally." Macondai himself said no. "If we go
without you," said the men, "they will begin stealing again." "If you
do not go," said Macondai at once, "you will not have one porter left,
for I heard to-day some say they were afraid to follow you; they were
afraid on account of those who had robbed you; and if you give them
time to talk together, they will agree to run away. Go now, Chally,"
said Macondai, "for if you do not you will never reach Mayolo. I shall
get well."

After some consultation it was agreed that Igalo should remain with
Macondai on a small plantation near at hand, and Ondonga said the
Ashira would take care of him. I could not bear parting with Macondai.
I knew, of course, that the Ashira would not dare to murder him, but
then he was ill.

After making every possible provision I could for the comfort of the
sick boy, and enjoining upon Igalo never to leave him, and after
weighing out medicine to be given him at stated times, we continued our
march; but I was so wretched that I can not describe to you my feelings.

The traveling was exceedingly toilsome. The men were overloaded,
and I myself carried on my back in my otaitai over sixty pounds of
ammunition, besides having my heavy revolvers slung by my side, and
my most formidable double-barreled breech-loader on my shoulder. The
path--for there was a path--lay through a most picturesque country, and
along a mountain range, extending north and south, which lies between
the country of the Ashira and the Otandos. The hills of this range were
very much broken up, so that we did nothing else than make continuous
ascents and descents. The forest was dense, and impeded with numerous
blocks of quartz which lay strewn along the path nearly all the way,
and quartz crystals covered the beds of the sparkling rivulets that
flowed at the bottom of every valley.

It was very tiresome indeed, and I felt sad, very sad, for I knew not
how things would end. I kept thinking of Macondai. I was not master of
the position; they might rob me. I could do nothing, for two of my men
were left in their hands--Igalo and Macondai.

The second day of our march we came to the River Louvendji, which I had
crossed, if you remember, in former years going to the Apingi country;
and very beautiful the Louvendji is. The banks where we forded the
river were lined with beautiful palm-trees.

The porters began to lag behind under the pretext that the loads were
too heavy for them. For two days I had succeeded in making all the
porters keep up with me and sleep in my bivouac; but there was not much
sleep for me or my men, for we had to keep a sharp look on the porters,
though they were not armed, lest they should have given word to their
people beforehand to hide spears and bows and arrows somewhere in the
forest near where they knew we would camp for the night.

The third night, in despite of all my endeavors, some of the men would
not keep pace with us; so, when I ordered the people to stop for
the night, Mintcho and a few men were missing. I knew at once that
something was wrong, and I said to the Ashira that were with me that if
I saw one of them move off I would shoot him on the spot.

The next morning we waited for Mintcho and the men, and they made their
appearance an hour after sunrise. Mintcho immediately affected to be
very angry with them. "I waited for you," shouted he, "and you did not
come, so I could not come and sleep by the side of my friend Chally.
Where did you sleep? I blew the horn and you did not answer."

He raised some of the boxes from the ground, and cried, "Yes, these
are not as heavy as they were; you have been stealing my white man's
things; you are thieves." At this the culprits got frightened for fear
of punishment from me, and, leaving their loads in the road, fled into
the jungle.

Then came a tremendous excitement. The men openly declared that it was
no use to go farther with the white man, for they would not get any
pay, as some people had robbed him; that they had worked for nothing.

It was a plot; they were all in it. I saw that they wanted to leave me
in the forest. Some had not dared to steal, but Mintcho was the chief
thief. I forgot myself, and accused him of it. It was a mistake on
my part. Mintcho appeared to be terribly angry at my accusing him. I
saw the blunder at once, and I retracted and said that his people had
stolen my property, and I did not see why he should not be responsible
for them; that such was the law of the country. "But," said I,
"Mintcho, I know that you are my friend, and that you would not do such
a thing yourself." As we were talking, more porters ran away, leaving
their loads on the ground.

This strange scene had taken place at a distance from any river. Things
had come to a crisis; something was to be done at once, or I should
be left alone in the woods. Mintcho and a few porters were the only
ones left. I could not allow them to go; so, calling my Commi men,
I said, pointing my gun at Mintcho, "If you make a step one way or
the other, you are a dead man." In the mean time my men, pointing
their guns at the Ashira, shouted, "You are dead men if you move." The
fact was simply that, if Macondai and Igalo had not been left behind,
there would have been bloodshed. Apprehensions for their safety alone
prevented me from resorting to very strong measures.

[Illustration: DECISIVE MEASURES.]

So I said, "Mintcho and you Ashira men must take those loads and carry
them to the river; then you will come back and take what remains to the
same place, till every one of the packages has been carried thither. If
you try to run away you will be shot;" and I ordered all my Commi men,
who had now become furious, to shoot down the first man that tried to
escape into the jungle. "Follow them," said I to Rebouka; "never let
Mintcho move from you more than a step; shoot him dead if he goes two
yards." Rebouka swore that he would shoot him dead. Mouitchi, Ngoma,
and Rapelina followed the other Ashiras.

So they went, I remaining all alone to watch the goods. I had become
furious, and it required all my self-command not to shoot Mintcho as a
robber. I kept the sharpest lookout in every direction; my revolvers
were ready, and all my double-barreled guns were loaded and by me; but
nobody came.

Rebouka, my Commi, and the Ashira came back a short time afterward.
They had left the loads near a stream, and Mouitchi had remained behind
watching them with six guns by his side. His orders were to fire on the
first Ashira that came from the woods. Our blood was up, and we were
getting desperate.

The Ashiras took each another load, and I repeated again to Rebouka and
the Commi men to shoot them down as they would shoot a monkey if any
should try to run away.

At last all the baggage was safely deposited on the margin of a little
stream, where we were to build our camp.

The Ashiras then became really frightened, and began to think they
should never get back to their country. That night I remained awake
with my men, and they saw that they could not escape. I had become
vindictive, and they knew it. Mintcho seized my feet, and shouted,
"Do not kill us; let me go, and keep the other hostages. I will have
all the things that have been stolen restored to you. I will make the
porters come back." "No," said I, "Mintcho, there is no going away for
you; if you move a step you are dead;" and, to frighten him, I fired a
gun at a tree, and he saw that the bullet had made a great gash in the
tree.

Then I ordered Mintcho and an Ashira, with one of my Commi, to go to
Mayolo to get porters. At first they would not do it. They were afraid.
The game they had played had not been quite as successful as they had
expected.

We had no food; it rained every night, and we could find no large
leaves to shelter us from the heavy fall of water. Oh dear! how far off
was Mayolo? It was clear that strong measures must be taken immediately.

There was still with us our Otando prisoner whom Arangui had given
back to me. So I said, "Mouitchi, hurry to Mayolo with that man, and
tell Mayolo to send men and food at once, so that we may go to his
country." Mouitchi departed with the Otando man, taking with him a
necklace of large beads for Mayolo.

I was now left with Mintcho and seven Ashira rascals, and had only
two of my faithful Commi men with me--Rebouka and Ngoma--to keep
watch over them. We were encamped in a small open space in the
loneliest and gloomiest part of the forest, by the path leading to the
Otando country. We were absolutely without food. Rebouka, Ngoma, and
myself agreed to keep watch over our eight Ashiras, who were now our
prisoners. Now and then the rascals would pretend to be asleep, and
snored hard. They lay on one side of the path, and we were on the other
side, with the luggage piled by us. They saw there was no escape, for
two of us were always wide awake, with all our guns by our side ready
to fire into the first man who tried to run away.

The Ashiras felt that they were caught, and began to curse those who
had robbed me. Mintcho was accused by two of them as having been at the
bottom of the whole plot. Mintcho got angry, and swore that it was a
lie. I knew that they had told the truth.

It was very plain that something must be done, or we should die of
hunger, unless the Mayolo men came with food. If it had been the season
of the koola-nut, we should have had plenty to eat. So I determined to
go into the bush in search of food, and ordered an Ashira to follow me
to find berries for his people. I again instructed Rebouka and Ngoma
to shoot Mintcho or the Ashiras if they tried to escape. I was getting
very weak; for, besides the want of food, anxiety had almost killed me.
I really could hardly walk when I left the camp. I came back without
game. I had heard a gorilla, and if I could have killed him we should
have had plenty to eat, but he ran away before I came up with him.

That evening I felt so exhausted that I said to my Commi boys, "I will
rest a little. Keep watch; let not one of these rascals escape. Talk
all the time; tell stories; then I will keep watch after I awake, and
you shall go to sleep."

There was no sleep for me, and I began to think I was getting crazy for
want of food. I thought of home, of dinners, of beef and mutton, and I
recalled the hot turkey, and the fish, and the buckwheat cakes; I could
remember distinctly several dinners that had taken place years before,
and I could have named every dish that came on the table in those days
of plenty.

I sent two Ashiras with Rebouka out to hunt, warning them that if they
tried to run away they would be killed, and that I would put to death
every Ashira that remained in my hands. I assumed a fierce look, and
swore that I would do it.

They were more successful than I had been. They came back with two
monkeys.

Mintcho and the Ashiras put the meat before me, and insisted that I
should eat it all alone, saying that they were accustomed to starving,
and could wait. How strange, I thought, these Ashiras were! They
had tried to leave me in the woods; they had plundered me, no doubt
thinking that I could get other goods; and, in despite of the hard
treatment they were now subjected to, their hearts yearned toward me in
kindness.

I said, "Ashiras, we are all hungry together, and I will divide the
meat in exactly equal portions." This astounded the Ashiras, for with
them the chief had always the lion's share.

Those monkeys made a delicious repast. How I enjoyed my share! they
were so fat and so nice--only we could have eaten ten monkeys instead
of two.

As the Otando people appeared, the allayed fears of the Ashiras
returned; they began to believe that I had sent word by Mouitchi for
the Otandos to come in great force, and that I was to take them captive
for their treachery. Once more some of them wanted to go back. I swore
that they could not go; that I would shoot them down; and that, if any
escaped, Quengueza would make war upon the Ashiras, and capture all
those who had come to trade on the banks of his river, and then would
call on all the Ashira people to destroy the clan of Olenda.

This talk was hardly ended when I thought I heard voices far in the
distance. "Hark!" said I to my Commi, "I hear voices." Were they the
Otando people, or were they the Ashiras coming back to rescue their
men? I immediately placed the Ashiras in a group together, tied their
hands behind their backs, and got the guns in readiness, for I was
getting desperate. If the Ashiras dared to come, they were to be met
with a warm reception of bullets.

I was mistaken; the Otandos were coming. A gun is fired--up bounded
Rapelina to the rescue, followed by a long line of Otando men laden
with food sent by King Mayolo. A wild hurra from every body, including
the Ashiras, welcomed the party. That night we rested and feasted in
order to be strong for the journey. I slept well, and it was the first
good rest I had had for a long time. The next morning I awoke very much
refreshed, and at sunrise the horns of the Otandos blew the signal
for our departure. It had been raining hard during the night, and the
rain-drops on the leaves of the trees glittered in the early sunlight.
We marched off at great speed, for I was determined not to sleep
another night in the forest. On the tramp we crossed a river called the
Oganga, on the banks of which the koola-trees were growing luxuriantly.
Nuts in abundance were lying on the ground, and the men fed on them,
after which we continued our journey. I remember well it was the 10th
of March, in the evening, just at sunset, that we emerged from the
solitude of the forest into the Otando prairie, so called because the
Otandos lived on it. Never shall I forget how glad I felt when I came
on the margin of the forest, and saw the blue sky appearing through the
breaks in the tree-tops.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XV.

IN THE OPEN COUNTRY AT LAST.--INTERVIEW WITH MAYOLO.--IGALA FALLS
SICK.--A MUTINY.--THE OTANDO PRAIRIE ON FIRE.--RETURN OF MACONDAI AND
IGALO.--THEIR ADVENTURES.--ALL TOGETHER AGAIN.


A STRETCH of open undulating country was before me. Guns were fired by
my men, and soon after I entered the first Otando village. It was the
village of Mayolo, who was the only chief that was willing to receive
me. We went right to the ouandja, and I seated myself in the centre of
the building. Soon after, the beating of the kendo was heard; Mayolo,
the chief, his body streaked with alumbi chalk, was coming, muttering
mysterious words as he advanced toward me. When he came nearer, he
shouted, "Here is the great Spirit, with his untold wealth." The
language of the Otando people was the same as that of the Ashiras, so
I had no difficulty in understanding him. He looked at me with perfect
astonishment for a while, and then told me the trouble he had with
his people on my account, since they did not want me to come into the
country; "for," said they, "he brings the plague and death wherever he
goes." "I told them that the plague had killed our people before we
ever heard of you, and that the plague was in our country before it
went to the Ashira Land to kill the people there."

"That was right," said I; "Mayolo, I love you; I kill no people--I
send no plague. I will be your friend, and the friend of your people."

As Mayolo was talking to me, I took a good look at him. He was tall,
broad-shouldered, and almost yellow in color; his eyes were small and
piercing. When young he had gone toward the sea, and in his trading
had succeeded in buying a gun, and, not knowing how to load it, it had
burst and taken off three of his fingers while firing at an elephant.

After Mayolo had retired, a large goat and two enormous bunches of
plantains were brought before me. I wish you could have seen the
faces of my Commi men, the prospect of a good meal made them grin so
complacently.

Immediately after Mayolo had taken leave of me I went to see Igala.
Poor Igala was very sick: the plague had seized him; his body seemed
a mass of putrid flesh. How glad he was to see me! I do believe he
would have died if I had not come to take care of him. There he lay in
a large hut, with all my goods around him. I went to him, took hold
of both his hands, and looked him in the face. He said, "Chally, are
you not afraid to get the plague by taking my hands?" "No," said I;
"Igala, I will take care of you as if you were my brother." Immediately
I warmed some water in a kettle, and then washed him delicately, and he
felt more comfortable.

Poor Igala! he was my right arm, my fighting man. I depended upon him.

The next morning, opening my packages and boxes, I saw the sad havoc
the Ashira thieves had made with my goods. They had stolen a great
deal, but, strange to say, they had left a certain quantity in each
parcel.

I felt furious at the discovery. Oh, how sorry I was that Igalo and
Macondai had remained behind; for, if they had not, the Ashiras would
never have gone back to their own country: I would have made porters of
them.

I boldly accused Mintcho of the robbery, and seized the gun he had. The
hypocritical rascal pretended to be in a rage at the discovery I had
made; he foamed at the mouth, and exclaimed, "Let me go back, Chally; I
will find the robbers, and kill them if they do not give up every thing
you have lost."

Just at this time his brother Ayagui came, with a gun which Rebouka had
foolishly lent him. I ordered him to give up the gun; he was unwilling,
and threatened to shoot the first man who approached him. When I heard
this, I ordered my four Commi men to level their guns at him and shoot
him dead if in an instant he did not lay it on the ground. The gun was
handed to Mayolo.

The Ashiras thought the end of Ayagui had come, and fled in the
direction of the forest. We pursued them, and captured one, whom I
resolved to retain as a hostage for the restitution of my property;
but it so happened that the captive was the son of Adingo, an Ashira
chief who was a good friend of mine. The guilty Ashiras were terribly
frightened, and I shouted, "Bring the things back, and the boy shall be
returned."

Mintcho, in his flight, passed near Igala, who could have seized him,
but, as his shelter was a little way off, Igala did not suspect his
intentions, and let him escape, thinking that he was only going into
the woods.

The Otando people had seen by our prompt action of what stuff we were
made. I regretted the necessity for such measures, but it was the first
time since I began my travels that the natives had dared to rob me on
the road, and the news would spread. All this was Rogueri's doings.

In the mean time, Rebouka had secured our little prisoner so tightly
with ropes that he fairly moaned with pain. As I came up to him, he
said, "Chally, you are my father's great friend. I am but a child;
I can not run away. The Ashiras will come back with all your stolen
goods. I am your boy; I did not leave you in the woods, but followed
you here. Do loosen the cords which hurt me so much." I ordered Rebouka
to slacken the cords, which he did; but he remonstrated firmly, saying
that I was too kind; that I did not know negroes; that negroes were not
children at that age. "Do you think," said he, "that a child could have
come from the Ashira country here with the load this boy has carried?"
We then secured him under the veranda of my hut, and I set a watch over
him during the night. Mayolo recommended me to keep a good lookout on
the boy, "for," said he, "the goods are sure to come back." Adingo was
a powerful chief, and, as soon as he should hear of the cause of his
son's captivity, he would threaten war, and, in order to secure peace,
every thing would have to be returned.

The moon was full, and it was quite light, so that every thing around
could be easily seen.

Rebouka was right; I had loosened the cords too much, and the cunning
little fellow escaped during that first night. I felt sorry, for I knew
now that nothing that had been stolen would ever come back, especially
with Macondai and Igalo in the hands of the Ashiras; but, after all, I
did not feel so badly as if some others of the Ashiras had run away.
If I had only secured Mintcho, I assure you he would never have run
away. Happily I had a great many goods left, and all the scientific
instruments necessary to make astronomical observations.

The next morning Mayolo, being the head man of his clan, ordered the
chiefs of the different villages of the clan to come to see me. They
came, and a grand reception took place. Mayolo made a great speech. I
gave presents to the men who had come to fetch me out of the woods, and
to all the leading men and women. Then Mayolo shouted, pointing to the
goods, "This is the plague the Spirit brings."

We had hardly been four days in Otando Land when Mayolo fell ill. How
sorry I felt! Fear seized upon his people. Surely I was an evil spirit.
Olenda had died; I had killed him, and now I wanted to kill Mayolo.
Night after night I was kept awake with anxiety, for Mayolo was very
unwell. I found that he had a disease of the heart; his sufferings were
intense at times, and his moanings filled me with distress. Surely if
Mayolo was to die I could not advance a step farther inland.

A few days after my arrival I had an uncomfortable fright; the Otando
prairie became a sheet of fire, and threatened the destruction of the
village of Mayolo. Should the fire get into the village, I said to
myself, what a terrible explosion would take place! So I immediately
called the men and moved the powder into the woods. Happily, the
natives prevented the fire from reaching the village.

Time went on slowly, and one day, about noon, as I was wondering
when Igalo and Macondai would come back to us, I heard guns fired in
the forest. My Commi men at that time were round me. Perhaps the
Ashiras were coming back with their plunder! We looked toward the path
which led into the forest, when lo! what should we see but Macondai,
my boy, and Igalo. They were safe. A wild cheer welcomed them, and
they went directly to the olako or hospital, where Igala and Rebouka
were confined with confluent small-pox, for, since my return Rebouka
had been seized with the malady. Igalo left Macondai with them, and
continued his way to our village, to give me mbolo, "good-morning
salutation." The Otando people seemed almost as delighted as ourselves.
We were again all together. I had now learned wisdom, and promised
myself never to divide our party again, happen what might. After I
had heard the news from Igalo, I went to the camp, and there I looked
at my boy Macondai, and took his hand into mine. What a sight! Poor
Macondai was more frightfully disfigured than I could possibly have
imagined, or than I can describe, and I shuddered as I gazed upon him.
A chill ran through me as I thought he might not yet recover, but I
felt so thankful that I had all the medicines necessary for his proper
treatment.

"Macondai, my boy," I said, "you do not know how glad I am to see you.
You do not know how often I have thought of you; indeed, several times
I wanted to go back for you."

I seated myself on a log of wood, and all was silence for a little
while. Then Macondai spoke and said, "Chally, I have been very ill; I
thought I would die." The boy's throat was too full; he could say no
more. Then Igalo, his companion, became the spokesman, and I give you
the whole of his speech just as it was written out by me at the
time. "Chally, after you left us we went to an olako in a plantation
close by, where we slept. Ondonga took us there, saying that the head
man was his ogoï (relation), and that he would take care of us. Then he
said he was going to Ademba (Olenda village), to see how things were
getting along in the village, and that he would return in two days.
He borrowed from us our cutlass, saying that he would return it when
he came back. This was the last we saw of him. Then the next day the
chief came and said he wanted his pay for keeping us, as we staid in
his olako. Finally he agreed that he would wait till Macondai could get
well.

[Illustration: MEETING WITH MACONDAI.]

"Four days after you had gone, some of the boys who had accompanied you
returned. We knew that they could not have gone to the Otando country
and got back in so short a time, and, being well aware themselves that
we knew it, they said at once, 'We have left Chally with Mintcho and
the other people one day's journey from the Otando country, for we have
had palavers with the Otando people, and we were afraid to proceed
farther for fear that the Otando people would seize us;' and they also
went away. Some time afterward Ayagui and Etombi made their appearance.
They said they had left you well, but that you said you would not pay
them until Macondai had come to the Otando; and they added, 'Make
haste, Macondai, and cure yourself, so that we may go. If you were well
now, I would say we must go in two days; that would just give us time
to rest and get food for the journey.' Then, as they were leaving,
they said they would come back in two days. This was the last we saw
of them. Then the chief wanted us to move off. Macondai said he was so
ill that he could not move; 'I would rather die where I am.' I did not
want," said Igalo, "to go back to the plantation or to the village. I
had had enough of Olenda's village. Then the chief took another tack.
'What shall I do?' said he. 'Ondonga, who brought you to me, has not
again shown himself here; he has deserted you.' And he added, 'These
people have come back. Chally has seized two gangs of slaves because
the Ashira stole some of his things, and Mintcho has come to see if he
can get the things back, for one of the gangs seized belongs to him,
and the other to Ondonga.' The chief left us after saying this, telling
us that he was going to see a friend, and would come back in the
evening, and we never saw him again. Three days afterward two old men
and three young lads came; they slept near us, and said, 'Igalo, you
must not stop washing Macondai's body; we see that you wash only his
leg.' By seeing me taking great care of Macondai's leg they thought we
probably intended to leave, which we wanted to do as soon as Macondai
was well enough to walk. Then they added, 'Go to the spring, and fetch
plenty of water, and wash Macondai well, for this disease requires it.'
Then," said Igalo, "I went to the spring, and during the time I was
gone they plundered us of our things, seized the gun I had left behind,
and Macondai's double-barreled gun, a box containing beads and our
clothes, and escaped to the woods, and when I came back with the water
I learned our misfortune. They had come to the plantation under the
pretext of getting plantains.

"When I saw how things stood--that we had not a gun with which to
defend ourselves--mistrusting the Ashiras, I thought best to leave the
place, and said to Macondai, 'Let us go.' Rebouka had told us the road
before you left for the Otando, so we loaded ourselves with plantains
which we got in the plantations, and left at once, with the utmost
speed, the deserted olako, and we have been four nights and four days
on the road."

"Well done!" we shouted with one voice; "well done, boys! Macondai and
Igalo, you are men! you are men!"

"Then," added Igalo, "I forgot to tell you that the man of the olako
had told us that Mintcho and Ondonga had made a plot for a general
robbery, but that you watched them so closely that they could not
accomplish it."

I was so angry that I felt very much like going to the Ashira country,
all of us armed to the teeth, when my followers should have quite
regained their health and strength, and carrying fire and sword through
all the villages that belonged to the clan of Olenda, and raising the
whole country against them. I knew I could have done this easily, but
then I had not come to make war.

After hearing the pitiful story of Macondai and Igalo I went back to
the village, and heated some water in one of my huge kettles; then,
returning to the camp, I gave poor Macondai a tepid bath with a sponge,
and ordered some chicken soup to be prepared for the sufferer.

How poor Macondai enjoyed his soup! It did me good to see him lap it
up. I had forbidden him to eat any thing without my permission, telling
him that I should feed him well, so that he might get strong, but that
it would be some few days before I could let him eat to his heart's
content, for he had been starved so long that I was afraid he would get
ill if he was permitted to indulge his appetite to repletion.

Though filled with anxiety about Macondai, I slept well that night.
We were all together again; it was so nice, for getting all our party
together again gave me a lively satisfaction.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XVI.

TERRIBLE STORMS OF THUNDER.--DAYS OF ANXIETY.--SHOOTING AN
ANTELOPE.--BRIGHTER PROSPECTS.--MAYOLO HAS A HARD TIME WITH HIS
DOCTORS.--BASKET-MAKING.


HOW strange the Otando prairie looks since the fire has burnt the
grass! Tens of thousands of gigantic mushroom-like ant-hills are seen
every where. I had never met such a great number before. I have given
you a picture of these queer ant-hills in my "Apingi Kingdom."

We are in the season of tornadoes, of thunder and lightning. Hardly a
day passes that some terrible storm does not burst upon us; and such
thunder--how terrific! We have not the slightest idea at home of what
thunder is. Among the mountains here it is perfectly appalling and
terrific. It is grand and sublime, and fills one with awe. The whole of
the heavens at times seems entirely illuminated by the lightning; and I
find that it rains quite often during the day. The heaviest tornadoes
in these regions seem to occur in the month of April.

Days pass in the Otando country which are full of anxiety for me.
Mayolo is sick, and some of my Commi men are down with the plague. Oh
dear, how the time is going! How far the head waters of the Nile are!
What a tremendous journey ahead! How many days of hunger do I see
looming before me; how many days of sickness and of anxious care! But
my heart is strong. God has been kind to me. The plague has spared me;
it has been around me; it has lived with me, and in my own dwelling;
and I stand safe amid the desolation that it has spread over the
country. I am surrounded here by savage men. May I live uprightly, so
that, after I have left, the people may think well of me!

But when am I ever to leave this Otando country? Just as I am wondering
over this, and thinking of the principal events that have taken place
since I left the sea-shore, my revery is broken by the barking of my
dogs in the prairie. I look, and what do I see? A beautiful antelope
closely pursued by my six dogs. Andèko, and Commi-Nagoumba, and Rover
cling to the neck of the antelope, with their teeth in the flesh, while
Turk, Fierce, and Ndjègo are barking and biting the poor creature
wherever they can. I run with the villagers in chase. Soon I am on the
spot, and, aiming carefully at the beast, I bring it down with a single
shot. It is a very fine hart. There is great joy in the village, and
I divide the meat among the villagers, giving a big piece to friend
Mayolo, who is delighted, for he says he is very fond of antelope's
meat.

By the end of April things began to look bright. Mayolo was getting
well; Macondai was improving very fast, and Igala and Rebouka were
almost recovered. But, as soon as Mayolo got better, he was more afraid
than ever of witchcraft, and he and his people had a great time in
"pona oganga." Pona oganga is a strange ceremony, which I am about to
describe to you. It was performed because Mayolo wanted to know who
were the people who had bewitched his place, and made the plague
come among his people.

[Illustration: HUNTING AN ANTELOPE.]

A great doctor had been sent for, and, after his arrival, he went into
a hut, carrying with him a large bag. Soon afterward he came out,
looking horribly. He was dressed in a most fantastic manner: his body
was painted with ochre of three different colors--red, white, and
black; he wore a necklace formed of bones, the teeth of animals, and
seeds; around his waist was a belt of leather, from which dangled the
feathers of the ogoloungoo; and his head-dress was made of a monkey's
skin. As he came out he spoke in an unnatural and hollow voice, then
filled a large basin with water, looked intently into it, and shook his
head gravely, as if the signs were bad. Then he lighted a big torch,
and looked steadily at the flame, as if trying to discover something,
moved the torch over the water, shook his body terribly, smoked a
condo-quai, made a number of contortions and gestures, and again spoke
in a loud tone, repeating the same words over and over. The people, in
the mean time, were silent, and looked at the great man attentively.
Then he gazed steadily into the water again, and said, while the
people listened in breathless silence, "There are people in your own
village who want to bewitch it, and bring the plague and kill people."
Immediately a great commotion took place. The crowd shouted, "Death to
the sorcerers!" and rose up and swore vengeance. "The mboundou must
be drunk!" cried Mayolo; "we want no wizards or witches among us."
The paths leading to the village were closed. No strangers were to be
admitted.

The next morning the village was empty; the people had all gone into
the woods. I could hear their voices; they had gone to make some of
their number drink the mboundou.

Poor Mayolo really had a hard time with his different doctors. He
was continually changing them, and they came from all the adjacent
villages. At last he gave up the men doctors, and had a celebrated
female doctor, an old, wrinkled woman, who had gained a great
reputation. The visit of a physician among these people is very unlike
that of a physician at home. This female doctor was a very singular
person. She appeared to be about sixty years of age, and was short,
and tattooed all over. When she came to make her visit she was dressed
for the occasion. Her body was painted, and she carried a box filled
with charms. When Mayolo expected her he was always ready, seated on
a mat, and with a genetta-skin by him. The female doctor would come
in muttering words which nobody could understand; then she would rub
Mayolo's body with her hand, and mark his forehead with the chalk of
the alumbi; then she made a broad mark with the chalk on his chest, and
drew stripes the whole length of his arms, muttering unintelligibly all
the time; she then chewed the leaves of some medicinal plant, and spat
the juice over Mayolo's body, especially on the affected part, near the
heart, still muttering magical words. Afterward she lighted a bunch
of a peculiar kind of grass, and as it burned, made the flames almost
touch the body of poor Mayolo. Two or three times it seemed as if the
fire was burning him. She began the fire-ceremony at the sole of his
foot, gradually ascending to the head, and, when the flames ceased, she
made the smouldering fire touch his person.

When I asked her why she used fire, she said that it was to prevent
disease from coming into Mayolo's body from the outside.

[Illustration: OTAITAI, OR PORTER'S BASKET.]

All this time the Otando people were busy making _otaitais_, or
porters' baskets. The otaitai is a very ingenious contrivance for
carrying loads in safety on the backs of men. I have brought one of
these baskets home, and preserve it as a keepsake. It is long and
narrow; the wicker-work is made of strips of a very tough climbing
plant; the length is about two and a half feet, and the width nine
inches; the sides are made of open cane-work, capable of being expanded
or drawn in, so as to admit of a larger or smaller load. Cords of bast
are attached to the sides, for the purpose of securing the contents.
Straps made of strong plaited rushes secure the basket to the head and
arms of the carrier, as shown in the preceding picture.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XVII.

DEPARTURE FROM THE OTANDO COUNTRY.--TALK WITH MAYOLO.--LIVING ON
MONKEY-MEAT.--ASTRONOMICAL STUDIES.--LUNAR OBSERVATIONS.--INTENSE HEAT.


THE day of my departure from the Otando country was approaching.
Mayolo was getting better and better every day. So, two days after
the ceremony I have described in the preceding chapter, I summoned
Mayolo and his people, and received them in state. I was dressed for
the occasion, as if ready to start, with my otaitai on my back. I was
surrounded by my body-guard, and they also were ready for the start,
each man carrying his otaitai. I spoke to the people in similitudes, in
the African fashion:

"Mayolo, I have called you and your people, that you may have my mouth.
You black people have a saying among yourselves that a man does not
stand alone--that he has friends. You Otando people have friends among
the Apono and Ishogo people." "We will take you there!" shouted the
Otandos. "I come to ask you the road through the Apono country. Come
and show me the road. It is the one I like best; it is the shortest. I
will make your heart glad if you make my heart glad. I have nice things
to give you all, and I want the news to spread that Mayolo and I are
two great friends, so that after I am gone people may say, 'Mayolo was
the friend of the Oguizi.'" The last part of the speech was received
with tremendous shouts of applause, and cries of "Rovano! Rovano!"

Mayolo deferred his answer till the next day. I suppose he wanted to
prepare himself for a great speech. The following morning he came
before my hut, surrounded by his people. Mayolo began:

"When a hunter goes into the forest in search of game, he is not glad
until he returns home with meat; so Chally's heart will not be glad
until he finishes what he wishes to do." Then he continued to speak for
more than an hour, and ended by saying, "Chally, we shall soon be on
the _long road_, and go toward where the sun rises."

As soon as the recovery of Mayolo seemed certain, the people prepared
to celebrate the event. Jar after jar of native beer came in, and in
the evening the people of the village had a grand time. Mayolo was the
most uproarious of all, dancing, slapping his chest, and shouting,
"Here I am, alive! The Otando people said I should die because the
Spirit had come, but here I am! Here I am, Chally, well at last! I tell
you I am well, Oguizi!" and, to show me that he was well, he began to
leap about, and to strike the ground with his feet, saying, "Don't you
see I am well? The Otando people said, the Apono said, as soon as they
heard you had arrived in my village, 'Mayolo is a dead man!' As soon
as I fell ill, they said, 'Mayolo will never get up again! Has not the
Oguizi killed Remandji and Olenda?' But here I am, alive and well! Fire
guns, that the people of the villages around may know that Mayolo is
well!" As he went, he shouted, "I knew that the Oguizi did not like to
see me ill. I am Mayolo! I will take him farther on!"

I never knew how good Mayolo was till I saw him in better health. He
had a good, kind heart, though he was a savage, and we had nice talks
together. He asked me all sorts of questions. When I told him that in
my country we had more cattle than he, but that they remained on our
plantations, just as his goats did, he seemed incredulous. Then I told
him that as I went inland I would meet tribes of blacks who kept tame
cattle. He said he had never heard of such people; he could not believe
what I said. But when I told him that there were countries where
elephants were tamed, and that the people rode on their backs, the
astonishment of Mayolo and of his people became great. Then I showed
him an illustrated paper. "Oh! oh! oh!" they shouted. In the evening
Mayolo presented me with a splendid fat monkey.

I should tell you that all this time I had really splendid food. The
monkeys were delicious, and so plentiful in the woods near Mayolo's
village that we could have them wherever we pleased. It was in the
season when they were fat. The nchègai, the nkago, the miengai, and
the ndova were also abundant, and we enjoyed eating them, for those
creatures seemed, in the months of April and May, to be nothing but
balls of fat. It was the time of the year, too, when the forest trees
bore most fruit, berries, and nuts. The miengai and the ndova were the
species of animals which I preferred for food. I defy any one to find
nicer venison in any part of the world. A haunch grilled on a bright
charcoal fire was simply delicious. "Horrible!" you will say; "the
idea of eating monkeys! It is perfectly dreadful!" and at the same
time I am sure you will make a face so ugly that it would frighten
you if you were to look at yourself in the glass. You may say, "Oh, a
roast monkey must look so much like a roasted little baby! Fy!" Never
mind. I can only say that if you ever go into the forests of Equatorial
Africa, and taste of a monkey in the season when those animals are
fat, you will exclaim with me, "What delicious and delicate food! how
exquisite!" As I am writing these lines, the recollection of those
meals makes me hungry. I wish I had a monkey here, ready for cooking. I
would invite you to partake of it; and I think you could eat the monkey
without being accused of cannibalism.

The first time after my arrival at Mayolo's village that I took my
photographic tent out of its japanned tin box, I called him to look
at it after I had fixed it ready for use, but it was not easy to get
him to come. He had a suspicion that there was witchcraft in it.
Finally I succeeded in getting him to look at the apparatus. I made
him look at the prairie through the yellow window-glass by which the
light came into the little tent while I was working with the chemicals
or the plates. As he looked, the trees, the grass, the sunlight, the
ant-hills, the people, the fowls, the goats, all appeared yellow to
him. The good old fellow was frightened out of his wits. He thought I
was practicing witchcraft. I believe if he had gone into the tent he
would have died of fright. He stepped back, looked at me with fear and
amazement, and went away, raising his hands, and with his mouth wide
open. After a while he said that I had turned the world to another
color. The next day all the people came to see the wonderful thing.

I had so little to do that I gave my whole heart to the contemplation
of the heavens. Many hours of the night were spent by me looking at
the stars. When every one had gone to sleep, I stood all alone on the
prairie, with a gun by my side, watching. There was no place upon our
earth where one could get a grander view of the heavens than that I now
occupied, for I stood almost under the equator, and the months of April
and May in Mayolo were the months when the atmosphere is the purest;
for after the storms the azure of the sky was so intensely deep that it
made the stars doubly bright in the blue vault of heaven.

At that period the finest constellations of the southern hemisphere
were within view at the same time--the constellations of the Ship, the
Cross, the Centaur, the Scorpion, and the Belt of Orion, and also the
three brightest stars in the heavens, Sirius, Canopus, and α Centauri.

How fond I was of looking at the stars! I loved many of them; they were
my great friends, for they were my guides in their apparently ascending
and descending course. How glad I was when one of these lovely friends
again made its appearance after a few months' absence! how anxiously I
watched toward the east for its return! and at last, as it rose from
the dim horizon, and became brighter and brighter in ascending the
heavens, how it delighted my heart! Do not wonder at it when I say I
love the stars, for without them I would not have known where to direct
my steps. I watched them as a tottering child watches his mother.

  "Oft the traveler in the dark
  Thanks you for your tiny spark;
  Would not know which way to go
  If you did not twinkle so."

Venus shone splendidly, and threw her radiance all around; red Mars,
Jupiter, and Saturn were in sight; the Southern Cross (so named on
account of the four bright stars which form a cross); not far from the
cross were the "Coal-sac," like two dark patches. No telescope powerful
enough has ever been made to see any star there. There is no other spot
of the kind in the starry heavens.

The Magellanic clouds were also seen; they were like two white-looking
patches--especially the larger one--brightly illuminated as they
revolve round the starless South Pole. Then, as if the scene was not
beautiful enough, there stood that part of the Milky Way between the
50th and the 80th parallel, so beautiful and rich in crowded nebulæ and
stars that it seemed to be in a perfect blaze; between Sirius and the
Centaur the heavens appeared most brilliantly illuminated, and as if
they were a blaze of light.

At the same time, looking northward, I could see the beautiful
constellation of the Great Bear, which was about the same altitude
above the horizon as the constellation of the Cross and of the Centaur,
some of the stars in the two constellations passing the meridian within
a short time of each other: γ Ursæ Majoris half an hour before α
Crucis, and Benetnasch eleven minutes before β Centauri.

Where could any one have a grander view of the heavens at one glance?
From α Ursæ Majoris to α Crucis there was an arc of
125°; and, as if to give a still grander view of the almost enchanting
scene, the zodiacal light rose after the sun had set, increasing in
brilliancy, of a bright yellow color, and rising in a pyramidal shape
high into the sky, often so bright that the contrast between the
blue sky and this yellow glow was most beautiful. It often became
visible half an hour after the sun had disappeared, and was very
brilliant, like a second sunset; it still increased in brilliancy, and
often attained a bright orange-color at the base, gradually becoming
fainter and fainter at the top. It could be seen almost every night
during the months of April and May. So if, under the equator, I had not
the splendid Aurora Borealis to behold, I had the soft zodiacal light
to contemplate.

[Illustration: TAKING AN OBSERVATION.]

I would take astronomical observations whenever I could, so that I
might know my latitude and longitude, and I took a great many at
Mayolo. In the evening I would bring out my sextant, my policeman's
lantern, my artificial horizon, my thermometer, and would work for
hours.

I will explain to you the use of the artificial horizon. It is so
called on account of being an imitation of the natural horizon.
Quicksilver is the best material. The heavenly bodies are reflected
upon it, and you must lay your artificial horizon in such a way that
the object you are watching is reflected on it, and then, with your
sextant, you bring the direct object to its reflected image on the
quicksilver, and the reading of the sextant gives you the number of
degrees, minutes, and seconds of altitude.

It is always good to take two stars, one north and the other south
of the zenith of the place. While at Mayolo I would often take one
of the stars of the constellation of the Great Bear and one of the
constellation of the Cross the same evening. You have to watch
carefully when the star has reached its highest altitude, that is to
say, when it appears neither to ascend or descend.

But the most difficult observations were those of the lunar distances
for longitude. In those observations I generally used three sextants,
one for the altitude of the moon, another for the altitude of a star,
and another for the distance between the moon and the star. My watch,
my slate, my pencil, and my policeman's lantern were also placed near
me. The two artificial horizons were in front of me, and when every
thing was ready I would take an altitude of the moon, then that of
the star, then look at my watch, and note down the exact time of each
observation; then take four distances, and note the exact time each
distance was taken, and then again the altitude of the star and moon in
the reverse order of the first portion of the observation.

The following example will show you how a lunar distance is taken with
a sextant:

                         OBSERVATIONS FOR LUNAR DISTANCES.

  Date.    Place.     Time.   Object.      Alt. and    Index   Temp  Resulting
                                           Distance.   Error.        Longitude,
                                                                         E.
                    H. M. S.                °  '  "      ' "   Fahr.  °  '  "

  1865.   Máyolo   11  1 30  ☾Alt.        121 12 40  on 6 30        11  7 15
  May 6  (cont^d)
                   11  4 30  Jupiter Alt.   62 44 20  on 5 20        11  7 15

                   11  7 25  Distance       85 43 40  on 0 40        11  7 15

                   11  9 42  Distance       85 42 50  on 0 40        11  7 15

                   11 11 53  Distance       85 42 20  on 0 40        11  7 15

                   11 13 27  Distance       85 42 20  on 0 40        11  7 15

                   11 15 10  Jupiter Alt.   67 31  0  on 0 40        11  7 15

                   11 18  2  ☾Alt.        113  5 10           77.0  Planet E.
                                                                     of Moon.

    "        "     11 19 44  ☾Alt.        112 16  0  on 6 50        11 11 15

                   11 22  7  Jupiter Alt.   70 37 40  on 5 20        11 11 15

                   11 24 24  Distance       85 38  0  on 0 40        11 11 15

                   11 26 18  Distance       85 37 50  on 0 40        11 11 15

                   11 31 43  Distance       85 37  0  on 0 40        11 11 15

                   11 33 10  Distance       85 36  0  on 0 40        11 11 15

                   11 35  8  Jupiter Alt.   76 22  0  on 0 40        11 11 15

                   11 36 40  ☾Alt.        103 59 30          77.0   Planet E.
                                                                      of Moon

Take as many lunar observations as you can east and west of the
moon--the more the better--and you will be able to know your exact
longitude with more certainty. It would be here too complicated to
tell you how to make the calculations, but I am sure that after a while
many of you would be able to make them.

By lunar observations, if sickness or some other cause has made you
forget the day of the month, or even the year, you can find it again.
Several times I lost my days while traveling.

The heat was intense at Mayolo. The rays of the sun were very powerful,
and raised the mercury nearly to 150°. Just think of it! In order
to know the heat of the sun, the thermometer was only a glass tube
supported by two little sticks. I had to take care that the rays of the
sun fell always perpendicularly on the mercury.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XVIII.

SAYING GOOD-BY.--A PANIC-STRICKEN VILLAGE.--PACIFYING THE PEOPLE'S
FEARS.--A TIPSY SCENE.--MAJESTY ON A SPREE.--LUNCH BY A RIVER SIDE.


ON the 30th of May, early in the morning, there was great excitement in
Mayolo's village. That morning we were to leave for the Apono country.
Mayolo himself was to take me there, and we were all getting ready, the
men carefully arranging their otaitais. The horns were blown as the
signal for our departure, and we took the path in single file, Igala
leading, and Mayolo and I bringing up the rear.

"Good-by, Oguizi!" shouted the people. "Don't forget us, Oguizi! Come
back, Oguizi!"

Following a path in the prairie, we traveled directly east. Our road
lay among the ant-hills, which could be counted by tens of thousands,
of which I gave you a description in my "Apingi Kingdom." After a march
of seven miles we came to Mount Nomba-Obana. Mayolo once lived on the
top of this mountain, but moved his village to its base, and afterward
went to the place where I found him. At the foot of Nomba-Obana, on
the somewhat precipitous side, were great quantities of blocks of red
sandstone, and in this neighborhood we saw the ruins of Mayolo's former
village. Mayolo is always changing his home, for he fancies that the
places he occupies are bewitched.

At a distance of about three miles from Nomba-Obana we came to a stream
called Ndooya, which we forded, but in the rainy season it must be a
considerable body of water. We were approaching the Apono villages,
and I felt somewhat anxious, for I did not know what kind of reception
the people would give me. Groves of palm-trees were very abundant, and
I could see numerous calabashes hanging at the tree-tops, ready to
receive the sap, which is called palm wine.

At last we came in sight of the village of Mouendi, where we intended
to stay. The chief was a great friend of Mayolo. As soon as the
inhabitants saw me a shout rent the air. All the people fled, the women
carrying their children, and weeping. The cry was, "Here is the Oguizi!
Oguizi! Now that we have seen him, we are going to die." I saw and
heard all this with dismay.

We entered the village. Not a soul was left in it; it was as still as
death. I could see the traces of hurried preparations for flight as
we continued our march through the street of this silent village till
we came near the ouandja. There I saw Nchiengain, the chief, and two
other men, who had not deserted him. These were the only inhabitants we
could see. The body of the chief was marked, striped, and painted with
the chalk of the alumbi. He seemed filled with fear; but the sight of
Mayolo, his _nkaga_, "born the same day," seemed somewhat to reassure
him.

Mayolo said, "Nchiengain, do not be afraid; come nearer. Do not be
afraid. Come!" Then we went under the ouandja, and seated ourselves.
In the mean time, I had taken a look at Nchiengain. He was a tall,
slender old negro, with a mild and almost timid expression of
countenance.

Then Mayolo said, "I told you, Nchiengain, that I was coming with the
Oguizi. Here we are. The Spirit has come here to do you good--to give
you beads, and many nice things. Then he will leave you after a while,
and go still farther on."

Then I spoke to Nchiengain in his own language, for the Aponos speak
the same language as the Ashira and Otando people. I said, "Nchiengain,
do not be afraid of me. I come to be a friend; I come to do you good.
I come to see you, and then will pass on, leaving beads and fine
things for your women and yourselves. Look here"--pointing to all the
loads which my Otando porters had laid on the ground--"part of these
things will be for your people," and immediately I put around his neck
a necklace of very large beads, and placed a red cap on his head. I
then gave necklaces of smaller beads to the two other men, and said,
"Nchiengain, you will have more things, but your people must come back;
I do not like to live in a village from which all the people have run
away. Mayolo's people did not run away, and you do not know what great
friends we are. Call your people back."

I then went around the village, and hung a few strings of beads to the
trees, and Nchiengain shouted, "Come back, Aponos; come back! Do not be
afraid of the Spirit. As you come back, look at the trees, and you will
see the beads the Spirit has brought for us, and which he will give to
us." The two men then went out upon the prairie and into the woods,
and before sunset a few men and women, braver than the rest, returned
to the village, taking with them the beads which they had seen hanging
from the branches of the trees.

In the evening the bright fires blazing in all directions showed that
the fears of the people had been allayed, and that many of them had
returned to their homes.

How tired I felt that evening! for not only had I been excited all day,
but I had left Mayolo's village in the morning with a heavy load on my
back. Besides my revolvers, I carried a double-barreled gun, and in my
bag I had fifty cartridges for revolvers, ten bullets for a long-range
Enfield rifle, ten bullets for smooth-bore guns, ten steel-pointed
bullets, and more than twenty pounds of small shot, buck-shot, powder,
etc. In all, I carried a weight of over sixty pounds, besides my
food, and my aneroids, barometers, policeman's lantern, and prismatic
compass. I was so weary that I could not sleep. I resolved not to carry
such big loads any more.

But my work was not yet done: in the evening I had to make astronomical
observations. As I was afraid of frightening the people, I had to
do this slyly. I was glad when I had finished it, but I found by my
observations that we had gone directly east from Mayolo's village.

The next morning I walked from one end of the village of Mouendi to
the other. The street was four hundred and forty-seven yards long, and
eighteen yards broad. The soil was clay and not a blade of grass could
be seen. The houses were from five to seven yards long, and from seven
to ten feet broad; the height of the walls was about four feet, and
the distance from the ground to the top of the roof was seven or eight
feet. Back of the houses were immense numbers of plantain-trees. In
the morning many of the people returned. Mayolo and Nchiengain had a
long talk together. Nchiengain was fully persuaded that I could do any
thing I wished; consequently, that I could make any amount of goods and
beads for him. A grand palaver took place, and Mayolo began the day by
making a speech. He said,

"The last moon I sent some of my people to buy salt from you Apono. You
refused to sell salt, and sent word that you did not want the Oguizi
to come into your country, because he brought the plague, sickness,
and death. So I said to the Oguizi, 'Never mind; there is a chief in
the Apono country who is my _nkaga_ (born the same day); I will send
messengers to him; he has big canoes, and I am sure he will let us
cross the river with them.' Then I sent three of my nephews to you,
Nchiengain, my nkaga, with beads and nice things, and I said to them,
'Go and tell Nchiengain that I am coming with the Oguizi, who is on
his way to the country of the Ishogos.' You sent back your kendo,
Nchiengain, with the words, 'Tell Mayolo to come with his Oguizi.' Here
we are, Nchiengain, in your village, and I am sure you and your people
will not slight us" (_mpouguiza_).

I gave to Nchiengain one shirt, six yards of prints, one coat, a red
cap, one big bunch of white beads and one of red, a necklace of very
large beads, files, fire-steels, spoons, knives and forks, a large
looking-glass, and some other trinkets, and then called the leading men
and women, and gave them presents also. This settled our friendship,
for the people were pleased with the wonderful things I gave them.

The news of my untold wealth spread far and wide. People from a
neighboring village, who had been very much opposed to my journey
through their country, made their appearance. When Nchiengain saw them,
he said, "Go away! go away! now you come because you have smelt the
_niva_ (goods and nice things). You are not afraid now."

After two or three days the people of Mouendi began to say, "How is
it that two or three days ago we were so afraid of the Spirit? Now
our fears are gone, and we love him. He plays with our children, and
gives beads to our women." When I heard them utter these words, I said,
"Apono, that is the way I travel. Those fine things that I give you are
the plague I leave behind me! I bring not death, but beads; so do not
be afraid of me." They replied, "Rovano! Rovano!" ("That is so!")

A few days passed away, and then the Apono and I became great friends.
They began to wonder why they had been so frightened by the _Ibamba_
(a new name given me by the Apono), and soon all the people had
returned to the village. Good old Nchiengain and Mayolo had at last
a jolly frolic together, and got quite tipsy with palm wine. I wish
you had heard them talk. The way they were going to travel with me
was something wonderful. Such fast traveling on foot you never heard
of before. Tribe after tribe were to be passed by them. They were not
afraid; they did not care. We were even to travel by night over the
prairie, for the full moon was coming.

After a few days at Mouendi, Nchiengain with his Aponos, and Mayolo
with his own people, took me farther on; but before our departure
Nchiengain and the Apono went out before daylight to obtain the
palm wine which had fallen into their calabashes during the night.
By sunrise they were all tipsy, and Nchiengain was reeling, but he
was full of enthusiasm for the journey; Mayolo also was tipsy, but
not quite so far gone as his friend Nchiengain. When I saw this state
of things I demolished all the _mbomi_ (calabashes), spilling on the
ground the palm wine they contained, to the great sorrow of the Aponos.

"Where is Nchiengain?" I inquired, when we were ready to start. He
could not be found; and, suspecting that he was somewhere behind his
hut, drinking more palm wine before starting, I went to hunt for him.
The old rascal, thinking I was busy engaged in looking after my men,
was quietly drinking from the mbomi itself, with his head up and his
mouth wide open. Before he had time to think, I seized his calabash,
and poured the contents on the ground. Poor Nchiengain! he supplicated
me not to pour it all away, but to leave a little bit for him. "I will
go with you at once," he said; "give me back my mug" (a mug I had
given him); "oh, Spirit, give it back to me!" By this time all the
villagers had gathered about us. I put the mug on the ground, and told
Nchiengain's wife to come and take it; and this gave great joy to the
people, who exclaimed, "Nchiengain, go quick! go quick!"

When we left I went to the rear, to see that all the porters were
ahead; but old Nchiengain lagged behind, for he could not walk fast
enough.

Three quarters of an hour afterward we found ourselves on the banks of
a large river, the same which is described in my "Apingi Kingdom"--that
kingdom being situated farther down the stream than the point at which
we were now to cross. The river could not be seen from the prairie, for
its banks were lined with a belt of forest trees. We found on the banks
of the stream Nchiengain's big canoe waiting for us, together with some
smaller ones. The large canoe was very capacious, but before all my
luggage could be ferried over it was necessary to make seven trips. I
sent Igala, Rebouka, and Mouitchi to the other side with the first load
to keep watch. The canoe had just returned from its seventh trip, and
the men were landing, when suddenly I heard the voice of Nchiengain in
the woods shouting, "I am coming, Spirit! Nchiengain is coming!" It was
half past four P.M. A whole day had been lost.

Not caring to take his majesty Nchiengain reeling drunk into my canoe,
I jumped into it and ordered the men to push from the shore with the
utmost speed. We started in good time, for we were hardly off when
I began to distinguish the king's form through the woods, and when
he reached the shore we were about fifty yards distant. We heard him
shout "Come back! come back to fetch me;" but the louder he called the
more deaf we were. "Go on, boys!" I ordered. As our backs were turned
to the king, of course we could not see him. Finally we landed, and,
taking my glass, I saw poor Nchiengain gesticulating on the other side,
apparently in a dreadful state, thinking that I had left him. The canoe
was sent back for him, and a short time afterward he was landed on our
side of the river, to his great delight. Two or three times during the
passage he lost his equilibrium, but he did not fall. When he joined us
he was about as tipsy as when I left him in the morning.

Poor Mayolo, who had been continually tipsy since we had left his
village, fell ill during the night, and a very high fever punished him
for his sins.

We built our camp where we had landed. A thick wood grew on the bank of
the river, and firewood was plentiful. In the evening Nchiengain was
sober again, and before ten o'clock every body was fast asleep except
three of my Commi men, who were on the watch. The dogs were lying
asleep, and almost in the fire. Every thing now promised well, and I
was anxious to hurry forward as rapidly as possible on the following
day.

At a quarter past six o'clock A.M. we left our encampment, every body
being perfectly sober. Soon afterward we emerged from the woods into
a prairie, and passed several villages, the people of which seemed to
have heard wonderful stories of my wealth. They came out, and followed
me with supplies of goats and plantain, and begged Nchiengain and his
people to remain with the Oguizi. In the villages they went so far as
to promise several slaves to Nchiengain if he would do this. Hundreds
of these villagers, while following us, gazed at me, but if I looked at
them they fled in alarm. Finally, seeing that it was useless to follow,
they went back, shouting to Nchiengain and to Mayolo that it was their
fault if I did not stop. My porters joined them in their grumbling, for
the fat goats tempted them.

About midday we halted in a beautiful wooded hollow, through which ran
a little rivulet of clear water, and by its side we seated ourselves
for breakfast. I was really famished. After spending an hour in eating
and resting, we started again. When we came out of the wood we saw
paths leading in different directions, one going directly east to
several Apono villages. Nchiengain was opposed to our passage through
them, and therefore we struck a path leading in a more southerly
direction, or S.S.E. by compass. For three hours we journeyed over an
undulating prairie dotted with clumps of woods, and then crossed a
prairie called Matimbié irimba (the prairie of stones), the soil of
which was covered with little stones containing a good deal of iron.
The men suffered greatly as they stepped upon them.


[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIX.

RUMORS OF WAR.--THROUGH A BURNING PRAIRIE.--IMMINENT PERIL.--NARROW
ESCAPE FROM A HORRIBLE DEATH.--A LONELY NIGHT-WATCH.


WAR began to loom up as we reached the southeast end of the Matimbié
irimba. We came to a village called Dilolo, the path we were following
leading directly to it, and as we approached we found that the place
had been barricaded, and that it was guarded outside by all its
fighting men. On the path charms had been placed, to frighten away the
Aponos. The men were armed with spears, bows and arrows, and sabres.
When we came near earshot, having left the path with the intention of
passing by the side of the village, they vented bitter curses against
Nchiengain for bringing the Oguizi into their country--"the Oguizi who
comes with the _eviva_ (plague) into villages," they shouted. "Do not
come near us; do not try to enter our village, for there will be war!"
The war-drums were beaten, and the men advanced and retired before
us, spear in hand, as if to drive us away, for they thought we had
come too near. We marched forward, nevertheless. So long as the Apono
porters did not show the white feather, I felt safe; they also had
their spears and their bows, and my men held their guns in readiness.
Suddenly fires appeared in different parts of the prairie. The people
of Dilolo had set fire to the grass, hoping that we might perish in
the flames. The fire spread with fearful rapidity, but we soon came
to a place where our path made a turn by the village, and we reached
the rear of the place. At that moment we observed a body of villagers
moving in our direction, evidently intending to stop our progress.
Presently two poisoned arrows were shot at us. I thought we were going
to have a fight, but ordered my men to keep cool, and not to fire.
Nchiengain walked all along the line to cheer up his men, and shouted
that "Nchiengain's people were not afraid of war," but at the same time
he begged me not to fire a gun unless some of our people were hit with
the arrows.

We continued our march, keeping close together, so that we might help
each other in case of need. My men were outside the path, between
Nchiengain and the Dilolo people, with their guns ready to fire when
I gave the word. The villagers, mistaking our forbearance for fear,
became bolder, and the affair was coming to a crisis. A warrior,
uttering a fierce cry of battle, came toward us, and, with his bow
bent, stood a few yards in front of Rapelina, threatening to take his
life. I could see the poison on the barbed arrow. My eyes were fixed
upon the fellow, and I felt very much like sending a bullet through his
head. Plucky Rapelina faced his enemy boldly, and, looking him fiercely
in the face, uttered the war cry of the Commi, and, lowering the muzzle
of his gun, advanced two steps, and shouted in the Apono language that
if the Dilolo did not put down his bow he would be a dead man before he
could utter another word. By this time all my Commi men had come up,
with the muzzle of their guns pointing toward the Dilolo, awaiting my
order to fire. The bow fell from the warrior's hand, and he retreated.

Nchiengain behaved splendidly. He began to curse the Dilolo people, and
said to them, "You will hear of me one of these days;" and my Aponos
threw down their loads and got ready to fight.

"Let us hurry," I said to the men; "don't you see the country is
getting into a blaze of fire? We must get out of it."

I fired a gun after we had passed the village, and the inhabitants
were terrified at the noise. Nchiengain was furious, and again shouted
to the enemy, "You will see that I am not a boy, and that my name is
Nchiengain!"

The discomfited warriors of Dilolo gradually left us, probably thinking
that the fire, so rapidly spreading, would do the work they could not
perform; and, indeed, while we had escaped a conflict through our good
common sense, we were now exposed to a far greater danger. The fire was
gaining fearfully. The whole country seemed to be in a blaze. Happily,
the wind blew from the direction in which we were going; still the
flames were fast encircling us, and there was but one break in the
circuit it was making. I shouted, "Hurry, boys! hurry! for if we do not
get there in time, we shall have to go back, and then we must fight,
for we will have to get into the village of Dilolo." So we pressed
forward with the utmost speed, and finally our road lay between two
walls of fire, but the prairie was clear of flames ahead. Although the
walls of fire were far apart, they were gaining upon us. "Hurry on,
boys!" I exclaimed; "hurry on!" We walked faster and faster, for the
smoke was beginning to reach us. The fire roared as it went through the
grass, and left nothing but the blackened ground behind it. We began to
feel the heat. The clear space was getting narrower and narrower. I
turned to look behind, and saw the people of Dilolo watching us. Things
were looking badly. Were we going to be burned to death? Again looking
back toward Dilolo, I saw that the fires had united, and that the whole
country lying between ourselves and Dilolo was a sheet of flame.

Onward we sped, Nchiengain exhorting his men to hurry. We breathed the
hot air, but happily there was still an open space ahead. We came near
it, and felt relieved. At last we reached it, and a wild shout from
Nchiengain, the Aponos, and my Commi rent the air. We were saved, but
nearly exhausted.

I said to my Commi men, "Are we not men? There is no coming back after
this! Boys, onward to the River Nile!" They all shouted in reply, "We
must go forward; we are going to the white man's country."

Between four and five o'clock we came to another wood, in the midst of
which was a cool spring of water. We encamped there for the night, and
not far in the distance on the prairie we could see the smoke coming
out of a cluster of Apono villages. They dreaded our approach. In the
silence of the twilight, the wind from the mountains brought to us
the cries of the people. We could hear the shrieks and the weeping
of the women, and the beating of the war-drums. Afterward the people
came within speaking distance, and shouted to us, "Oh, Nchiengain, why
have you brought this curse upon us? We do not want the Oguizi in our
country, who brings the plague with him. We do not want to see the
Ibamba. The Ishogo are all dead; the Ashango have all left; there is
nothing but trees in the forest. Go back! go back!" They yelled and
shouted till about ten o'clock, and then all became silent, and soon
afterward my people were asleep by the fires which they had lighted.
They all suffered from sore feet. Igala, Mouitchi, and Rapelina were to
keep watch with me, while my other Commi men were resting; but they,
too, after a while, went to sleep. Even our poor dogs were tired, and
were also sound asleep.

I stood all alone, watching over the whole camp, so anxious that I
could not sleep. Things did look dark indeed. A most terrible dread
of me had taken possession of the people. Something had to be done to
allay their fears, or my journey would come to an end.

How quiet every thing was! The rippling of the water coming from the
little brook sounded strangely in the midst of the silent night. I
looked at the strange scene around me. Each of my men had his gun upon
his arm, but I thought of how useless the weapons would be in the hands
of men so weary, and sunk in deep sleep. If, that night, any one of
you could have been there, you would have seen Paul Du Chaillu leave
the camp and the woods, and then have seen him all alone upon the
prairie, standing like a statue, no one by him, his gun in one hand,
his revolvers hung by his side. The stars shone beautifully above his
head, as if to cheer him in his loneliness, for lonely and sad enough
he felt. Then, with an anxious feeling, he looked through his spy-glass
in the direction of the Apono villages to see if any thing was going on
there. No. All there, too, was silent as death.

At three o'clock in the morning I awakened Igala and some of my Commi
boys, and told them to keep watch while I tried to get a little sleep.



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XX.

A DEPUTATION FROM THE VILLAGE.--A PLAIN TALK WITH THEM.--A BEAUTIFUL
AND PROSPEROUS TOWN.--CHEERFUL CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE.--MORE
OBSERVATIONS.


BEFORE daylight I arose, and again went out upon the prairie, but saw
no one there from the Apono villages, and heard no war-drumming. After
a while a deputation of three men came from the village to Nchiengain,
and said, "Why have you brought this Oguizi to us? He will give us the
eviva."

"No," said Nchiengain; "months ago the eviva was in the country. I
myself got it; people died of it, and others got over it. The eviva
has worked where it pleased, and gone where it pleased, and that when
the Spirit had never made his appearance. He has nothing to do with
the eviva. Go and tell your people that Nchiengain said so, and that
the Spirit has only been a few days in our country." The men went off
without seeing me, for Nchiengain was afraid they might be frightened.

Toward ten o'clock Nchiengain and Mayolo were sent for, and, a short
time after they had gone, some of Nchiengain's people came for me,
saying that the Aponos wanted to see me, and that Nchiengain was
talking to them; so, followed by all my Commi men, armed to the teeth,
I started. We left the wood and entered the beautiful prairie, and
soon I saw Nchiengain standing up, and by him, seated in rows upon
the ground in a semicircle, were several hundreds of Aponos. As I
approached they began to move backward, each row trying to hide behind
the other. Then Nchiengain said, "Do not be afraid," and they stopped.

Nchiengain said to me, in a loud voice, so that every one could hear,
"The Aponos sent for me this morning to ask me to tell you to come out
of that wood. They want to see you, the great Spirit. Then they want
you to go on the top of that hill" (pointing to it), "and stay there
three days, so that the people may come and look at you, and bring you
food."

"No," said I, in a loud voice, "no, I shall not go on the top of that
hill. I am angry with the Apono people, for they curse me by saying
that I bring the eviva with me. Has not the eviva been here long? Did
not the people die of it long before they ever heard of me?"

"Rovano! Rovano!" ("That is so!") shouted the Aponos.

"Aponos," I resumed, "do not be frightened; I will make you hear a
noise you never heard before," and I ordered my men to discharge their
guns. The Apono chiefs stood by me, and I said to them, "Do not be
afraid." Nevertheless, a good many of the people fled. The chiefs did
not move. Then, putting beads around their necks, I said to them, "Go
away in peace; the Spirit loves the Aponos." The people departed, and I
went back into the wood, for the heat was intense on the prairie.

In the afternoon the Aponos became emboldened, and hundreds of them
came to get a look at me, taking care not to come too near. Presents of
goats, fowls, ground-nuts, sugar-cane, and plantains were sent to me.
Afterward a deputation came to ask me to leave the wood, and to come to
a wood nearer their villages, which I did. Then the different chiefs
of the adjacent Apono villages begged me to become their guest, and to
remain in their villages.

After consultation with Nchiengain, it was arranged that we were to go
to a village called Mokaba, and accordingly we left our encampment,
and were received in the midst of the most intense excitement by the
villagers, who exclaimed, "The Spirit is coming!" How frightened they
seemed to be!

The chief came and walked around me, fanning me with a fan made of
the ear of an elephant, and saying, "Oguizi, do not be angry with me;
Oguizi, do not be angry with me. Oguizi, I never saw thee before; I am
afraid of thee. I will give thee food; I will give thee all I have!"

That night the village of Mokaba was as silent as the grave. The
next morning immense crowds of Aponos came to see me. The noise was
perfectly deafening. The people hid themselves behind the trees, in the
tall grass around the villages, and behind the huts, or wherever they
could see me without being seen by me. If perchance I cast my eyes upon
one of them, he ran away as fast as his legs could carry him.

I spent the evening in making a great number of astronomical
observations. The Aponos, when they saw me do this, were seized with
fear, and the next morning they came to ask me to go back into the
wood, promising that they would bring food to me. I refused, saying,
"I was in the wood, and you told me to come to Mokaba; and now that I
am here, you ask me to go back into the wood. I will not go. Do not be
afraid; I am not an evil spirit. I love to look at the stars and at the
moon."

The chief of Mokaba, named Kombila, seemed to be a nice fellow, of
medium height, black as jet, with several huge scars of sabre wounds
on his back and arms, showing that he was a great fighter, I liked him
very much.

The village of Mokaba was beautiful. It was situated on a hill in the
prairie, just at the foot of the woody mountains which form a part
of the immense equatorial range. From the mountains came a stream of
clear water, which ran at the foot of the hill upon which Mokaba was
built. The mountains in the background seemed to be very high, and the
country was picturesque. The village was not large, but its houses
were nice, and each family possessed a square yard, around which the
dwellings were built. The whole place was adorned with three squares,
in the midst of which grew many gigantic palm-trees. Back of the
village there were also great numbers of palm-trees, which were planted
by the parents of the present inhabitants. Goats and chickens were
abundant. The plantain, however, is the food of the country, and the
hills surrounding Mokaba were covered with plantain groves. Handsome
lime-trees, covered with little yellow blossoms, were also to be seen
every where.

The grass of the prairie was yellow and tall, and reminded me of the
wheat-fields at home when ready for the scythe. Each of the palm-trees
around the village, grown from seeds planted by the people, had its
owner. The palm is a precious tree, for each man draws from it his palm
wine, and makes oil from the nuts, which, when they are ripe, are of a
beautiful rich dark yellow color.

There was an atmosphere of comfort about Mokaba, and the whole country
adjacent to it, which did my heart good. The Mokabans are a jolly
people when they do not fight with their neighbors. They are fond of
dancing, and the ocuya is one of the principal amusements. This is a
queer pastime, and I will try to describe it for you.

One day, while I was quietly seated with Kombila, I heard at the end
of the village a great noise, caused by loud singing, and immediately
afterward saw a crowd of people walking backward, beating their hands
and singing, with their bodies bent almost double, and all shouting,
dancing, and singing at the same time. Then I saw a tall figure
suddenly emerge from behind a house and come into the street, and
Kombila exclaimed, "The ocuya! the ocuya!"

The tall figure seemed to be about twelve feet in height. It wore a
long dress made of grass-cloth, and reaching nearly to the ground. The
creature's face was covered with a white mask painted with ochre. The
lips of the mask appeared to be open, showing that the two upper and
middle incisor teeth were wanting. The funniest part of the costume
was that the mask had a head-dress, looking for all the world like a
lady's bonnet, made of a monkey's skin, with the tail hanging on the
back, while the part of the bonnet around the face was surrounded with
feathers. The figure was a man on stilts.

But troubles and cares again came to destroy the enjoyment I had in
their lively village. Mayolo fell ill once more, and grew worse so
rapidly that his people determined to take him back to his village. A
litter was made on which to carry him. But his own people said he had
become jealous, and did not want any of them to get my fine things; he
wanted them all for himself.

The party left early in the morning. In the afternoon news came that
the chief of the village of Dilolo had died that day. Fortunately, the
people of Mokaba did not like him, and they shouted with joy when they
heard the news. He wanted war when he tried to prevent the Oguizi and
his people from passing, and if war had come at that time he would have
been killed. They all shouted, "He had aniemba, and aniemba has killed
him! He will give us no more trouble; he will prevent no more people
from coming to us! He will not stop the people who come to sell us
salt!"

Two days after the departure of Mayolo, some of the Otandos, with some
of the Mouendi people, came back to Mokaba. They came for Nchiengain.
He was wanted. I never learned the reason. No doubt his people were
afraid to leave him longer with me. Mayolo's life was now despaired of,
and the Otando people told me slyly that they had mpoga-oganga, and
that the oganga had said that the Nchiengain people had put things in
the palm wine Mayolo drank in order to kill him.

Nchiengain came to me with a frightened air to tell me he had to go.
He seemed to be afraid of me. I believe he thought I was going to
kill him, as I had killed Remandji, Olenda, and Mayolo, and that now
his turn had come. I said to him, "We are great friends. Make a good
speech to the Apono for me, and I will give you such nice presents!" He
promised to do it.

So all the Mokaba people were called. Nchiengain came out, and made
a great speech. He said, "Kombila and Mokaba people, let the people
who are to go with the Spirit come before me." They came and seated
themselves on the ground, and I then gave to each a present, or his pay
in goods, beads, trinkets. Then Nchiengain said, "Kombila, the Oguizi
was brought to me by Mayolo, and before he reached Mayolo's village
he passed through many countries of the black man. Now I leave him in
your hands; pass him to the Ishogos. Then, when you leave him with the
Ishogos, tell them they must take him to the Ashongos. After you leave
him with the Ishogos your hands will be cleared, for you will have
passed him over your tribe and clans. I am going; I leave him in your
hands!" They all shouted, "We will take the Oguizi to the Ishogos! we
will start the day the Oguizi wishes to start! We are men! the Mokaba
people are men!"

Then Nchiengain added, "Wherever he goes, let the people give him
plenty of goats, fowls, plantains, and game!" There was a great shout
of "Rovana!"--"That is so! that is so!" "Do not be afraid of him,"
shouted Nchiengain; "see how well he has treated us! At first we were
afraid of him; after a while our fears ceased. He will treat you just
the same. He paid us when we left the village, and when we leave he
gives us a parting present. Take him away to-morrow. Start for the
country of the Ishogos. Hurry, for he does not want to tarry."

Then, in the presence of the people, he returned to me the brass kettle
I had lent him for cooking his food, and the plate I had given him, and
said to me, "Oguizi, good-by! I have not _mpouguiza_ (slighted) you;
I go because I must go." As he disappeared behind the palm-trees he
shouted again, "Oguizi, I have not _mpouguiza_ you!" I answered, "No,
Nchiengain, I am not angry with you; I am only sorry we part."



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXI.

GREAT EXCITEMENT IN THE VILLAGE.--A DESERTED TOWN.--THE INHABITANTS
FRIGHTENED AWAY.--AFRAID OF THE EVIL EYE.--THE AUTHOR TAKEN FOR AN
ASTROLOGER.--LOST AMONG THE PLANTATIONS.


ON the morning of the 10th of June there was great excitement in the
village of Mokaba. The Apono, headed by Kombila, were ready to take me
to the Ishogo country. All the porters wore the red caps I had given
them, and had put on their necklaces of beads. At a quarter past ten
o'clock, just as we started, I ordered guns to be fired, to the immense
delight of the Mokaba people. Kombila gave the word for departure, and
one by one we took the path leading to the hills which lay directly
east of the village, and soon afterward we were in the woods, passing
plantation after plantation that had been abandoned, for they never
planted twice in the same place. We finally arrived at a plantation
called Njavi, where thousands of plantain-trees were in bearing, and
where sugar-cane patches were abundant. Fields of pea-nuts were also
all around us soon afterward. We rested to take a meal, and, as Njavi
was situated on the plateau, I had a good view of the country.

When we resumed our march eastward the Apono were in great glee, for
they had become accustomed to me. Kombila was filled with pride at the
idea that he was going to take the Spirit to the Ishogo country. The
men were talking loudly, and I saw that there was no chance for killing
game. The country was splendid. The hills had been getting higher and
higher till we had reached Njavi, but since leaving that point we had
been going down the slope. We crossed a dry stream with a slaty bottom,
and soon afterward came to a stream called Dougoundo, the Apono porters
walking as fast as they could. Toward four o'clock we reached the large
Ishogo village of Igoumbié, but found it deserted. The few men who saw
us ran into their houses and shut their doors--for they had doors in
Igoumbié. The people reminded me of frightened chickens hiding their
heads in dark corners. A few men had been so alarmed that they had lost
the power of walking, and as I passed did not utter a single word nor
move a step. We walked through the whole length of the street, then
got into the woods, and stopped. Kombila said to me, "Let me, Spirit,
go to the village;" and he went with a few of his men. Soon afterward
an Ishogo man came with Kombila, and asked me to remain in his
village. "The Mokaba people are our friends," he said; "they marry our
daughters; how can we let them pass without giving them food?" Rebouka
being lame (one of my heavy brass kettles having fallen on one of his
feet), I consented.

[Illustration: APONO AND ISHOGO VILLAGE.]

Now I found that I could no more know who was the chief of a village.
Kombila, I began to suspect, was not the chief of Mokaba. The chiefs
had a superstition that if I knew who they were I would kill them.

In the Ishogo village I was among a new people, and, indeed, their
appearance was strange to me. Little by little they came back to the
village, for the Mokaba people were great friends of theirs, and they
told the Ishogos not to be afraid. Many of the villagers, as they had
to pass by me, would put their hands over their eyes so as not to see
me. They were afraid.

I took a walk through the long street of that strange Ishogo village,
and counted one hundred and ninety-one houses. The houses were much
larger than those of many other tribes, and were from twenty to
twenty-two feet in length, and from nine to twelve feet in width. Each
had a door in the middle from two to two and a half feet in width,
and about three and a half feet high. The height of the lower walls
was four and a half feet, and the distance to the top of the roof
eight or nine feet. The doors of the houses were very tasteful. Each
owner seemed to vie with his neighbor in the choice of the prettiest
patterns. Every door was carved and painted in different colors. On the
opposite page is a representation of some of the patterns, so you may
judge for yourself of the taste of the Ishogos.

As I walked through the village, I thought what a great Spirit I must
have seemed to the savage people of the interior of Africa. When I
passed the houses of Igoumbié, some of the people, thinking I was not
looking at them nor at their dwellings, partially opened their doors to
get a peep at me; but if I happened to glance at them they immediately
retired, evidently believing that I had an "evil eye."

I remained a day in the village of Igoumbié to make friends, so that
the news might spread among the Ishogos that I was not an evil spirit;
but most of them were so shy that when they had to pass the door of my
hut they put their hands up to the side of their face so that they
might not see me. Yet, in spite of their shyness, I made friends with
many, and gave them beads.

[Illustration: ISHOGO HOUSES, WITH ORNAMENTAL DOORS.]

One night the village was filled with fear. The people could not
understand my doings. They were unable to discover what I meant by
looking at the stars and at the moon with such queer-looking things
as the instruments I held in my hand, and with dishes of quicksilver
before me in which the moon and the stars were reflected. The aneroids,
barometers, thermometers, boiling barometers, watches, and policemen's
lanterns puzzled them extremely. They could not see why I should spend
the greater part of the night with all those things around me.

I could not afford to lose much time in this village, for I had been
so much detained before by the plague and other impediments, which have
already been described, that it became necessary for me to go. I had
still to pass through the territory of tribe after tribe; the Congo
River was far to the eastward of us; the sources of the Nile were far
away. So I said to Kombila, "Let us hurry. Take me to the farthest
Ishogo village that you can. There we will remain a little while, and
then I shall know all about the Ishogos."

We left Igoumbié, and once more plunged into the great forest. As I
lost sight of the village, I heard the inhabitants crying loudly, "The
Spirit has gone! the Spirit has gone!"

Suddenly, toward midday, the Apono porters stopped. I saw that a
palaver was about to take place. I ordered my Commi men to be in
readiness in case of any trouble. Kombila said, "Spirit, the people of
Igoumbié wanted to have you among them. We said _nèshi_ (no). The loads
you have are heavy, and my people do not want to go farther unless you
give them more beads, for their backs are sore."

I answered, "I have a heart to feel, and eyes to see. I intend to give
to each of you a present before we part. Go ahead." The four elders or
leaders of the party shouted, "It is so! it is so!" So we continued
our march, and passed several villages, but the people were dumb with
astonishment and fear.

In the country through which we were traveling, paths led from village
to village, and when we came to a settlement we had to go through the
whole length of it. Some of the villages in which the people had heard
of my approach were perfectly deserted. In others the inhabitants had
hidden themselves in their huts, and we saw none of them.

Once we lost our way, having taken the wrong path, and, being
bewildered among the plantations of the natives, we had a hard time.
Finally we came to a stream which the men recognized, and ascended it;
but the day was then far advanced, and we concluded to build our camp.
We all felt very tired, the men having sore feet on account of little
ferruginous pebbles which covered the ground. After our fires had been
lighted, and the men had smoked their pipes, and put the soles of their
feet as near the fire as they could without burning them, we began to
have a nice talk, and I asked the Aponos many questions.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXII.

FIRST SIGHT OF A VILLAGE OF THE DWARFS.--A STRANGE AND INTERESTING
SPECTACLE.--AN ABANDONED TOWN.--A REVERIE BESIDE A STREAM.--THE LEAF,
THE BUTTERFLY, AND THE BIRD.--THE BLESSING OF WATER.


EARLY the next morning we started again on our journey through the
great forest, passing many hills and several rivulets with queer names.
Suddenly we came upon twelve strange little houses scattered at random,
and I stopped and asked Kombila for what use those shelters were built.
He answered, "Spirit, those are the houses of a small people called
Obongos."

"What!" said I, thinking that I had not understood him.

"Yes," repeated Kombila, "the people who live in such a shelter can
talk, and they build fires."

"Kombila," I replied, "why do you tell me a story? How can people live
in such little places? These little houses have been built for idols.
Look," said I, "at those little doors. Even a child must crawl on the
ground to get into them."

"No," said Kombila, "the Dwarfs have built them."

"How can that be?" I asked; "for where are the Dwarfs now? There are
no plantain-trees around; there are no fires, no cooking-pots, no
water-jugs."

"Oh," said Kombila, "those Obongos are strange people. They never
stay long in the same place. They cook on charcoal. They drink with
their hands, or with large leaves."

[Illustration: HUTS OF THE DWARFS.]

"Then," I answered, "do you mean to say that we are in the country of
the Dwarfs?"

"Yes," said Kombila, "we are in the country of the Dwarfs. They are
scattered in the forest. Their little villages, like the one you see
before you, are far apart. They are as wild as the antelope, and roam
in the forest from place to place. They are like the beasts of the
fields. They feed on the serpents, rats and mice, and on the berries
and nuts of the forest."

"That can not be," I said.

"Yes, Oguizi, this is so," replied the porters. "Look for yourself;"
and they pointed to the huts.

"Is it possible," I asked myself, "that there are people so small that
they can live in such small buildings as those before me?"

How strange the houses of the Dwarfs seemed! The length of each house
was about that of a man, and the height was just enough to keep the
head of a man from touching the roof when he was seated. The materials
used in building were the branches of trees bent in the form of a
bow, the ends put into the ground, and the middle branches being the
highest. The shape of each house was very much like that of an orange
cut in two. The frame-work was covered with large leaves, and there
were little doors which did not seem to be more than eighteen inches
high, and about twelve or fifteen inches broad. Even the Dwarfs must
have lain almost flat on the ground in order to pass through. When I
say door I mean simply an opening, a hole to go through. It was only
a tiny doorway. But I managed to get inside one of these strange
little houses, and I found there two beds, which were as curious as
every thing else about the premises. Three or four sticks on each side
of the hut were the beds. Each bed was about eight inches, or, at the
most, ten inches in width. One was for the wife and the other for the
husband. A little piece of wood on each bed made the pillows. It was
almost pitch dark inside, the only light coming from the opening or
door. Between the two beds were the remains of a fire, judging by the
ashes and the pieces of burnt wood.

These huts did really look like the habitations of men--the homes of
a race of Dwarfs. But had Kombila told me a falsehood? Were not these
huts built for the fetichs and idols? It was true the great historian
Herodotus had described a nation of Dwarfs as living on the head waters
of the Nile; Homer had spoken of the cranes and of the land of the
Pigmies; and Strabo thought that certain little men of Ethiopia were
the original Dwarfs, while Pomponius Mela placed them far south, and,
like Homer, spoke of their fighting with cranes; but then nobody had
believed these stories. Could it be possible that I had discovered
these people, spoken of thousands of years before, just as I had come
face to face with the gorilla, which Hanno had described many centuries
before?

How excited I became as I thought this strange matter over and over!
Finally, however, my mind became settled, and I said to myself, "No,
these mean shelters could never have been built by man, for the
nshiego-mbouvé builds as good a house. Kombila tells me a story. These
houses are built for a certain purpose, and he does not want to tell me
the reason."

So we left the so-called abandoned village of the Dwarfs, and onward we
traveled toward the east, and soon came to a river called Ogoulou, on
the bank of which was situated an Ishogo village of the name of Yengué.

We entered, but the villagers received us in profound silence. Kombila
all the time said to them, "Do not be afraid. We have come here as
friends." At last we reached the ouandja, and there I seated myself. I
could not find out who the chief was, but the people evidently knew the
Mokaba tribe. The old men, after a while, gave me a house for myself
and my Commi, while my Aponos went to lodge with their friends. I heard
that the chief had fled.

Nothing important took place that day. In the evening, while in my hut,
in the midst of a profound silence, I heard a voice exclaiming "Beware!
We have an oguizi among us! Beware! There is no _monda_ (fetich) to
prevent us from seeing him during the day, but let no one try to see
him in his house at night, for whoever does so is sure to die." So no
one dared to come. After hearing this speech, in order to give the
savages an idea of my great power, I fired a gun. Its report filled the
people with awe.

After resting in Yengué we made preparations to cross the beautiful
Ogoulou River, and when I stood upon its bank I said, "Ogoulou--such is
thy Ishogo name; but, as I am the first white man who sees thy waters,
I call thee Eckmühl, in remembrance of a dear friend!"

We crossed the river in canoes, and then continued our way, and after
about six miles' journeying came to an Ishogo village called Mokenga.
It was the last Ishogo village to which the Apono were to take me.
They had fulfilled their mission, and had led me toward the east as far
as they could go.

Mokenga was a beautiful village, with a wide and clean street; but
as we walked through it we saw that the doors of the houses were all
shut, and there was not one Ishogo to be seen. Nevertheless, we marched
through the village until we came to the ouandja. A few men were then
seen peeping at us from afar with frightened looks. Kombila called to
them, saying, "How is it that when strangers come to your village you
do not hasten to salute them?" Then they recognized some of my porters,
and shouted back, "You are right! you are right!" Some of the elders
came to us, and saluted us in the Ishogo fashion--that is, by clapping
the hands together, and then stretching them out again, showing the
palms.

Kombila made a speech, and other Aponos also spoke. Kombila cried out,
in his stentorian voice, "If you are not pleased, tell us, and we will
take the Spirit to another village where the people will be glad to
welcome us." Then the elders of the village withdrew together, and
presently came back, saying, "We are pleased, and gladly welcome the
Oguizi;" and then huts were given to us.

The Ishogos have really good large huts, many of which were adorned
with roomy piazzas. The forest round the village of Mokenga was filled
with leopards, so that the people could not sleep outside their huts in
very warm weather, and every goat was carefully guarded in order not to
become the prey of those beasts. In the centre of the village were two
goat-houses, built so strongly that the leopards could not get in, and
every evening the goats were shut up. The Ishogos not only have goats,
but also a small species of poultry, and almost every house has a
parrot of the gray variety with red tail. Bee-hives were also plentiful.

Not far from the goat-house were found two large trees that were
planted when the village was built, and upon them were thousands of
birds' nests, with myriads of birds, which made a fearful noise.
These birds lived all the year round in Mokenga. I have given you a
description of their colony in "Wild Life under the Equator."

One morning, before the people were up, I took the road leading to
the spring from which the villagers got their water, for I wanted to
see it. The path led down the hill, and soon a charming sight met my
eye. The landscape was lovely. A rill of water, clear, cold, and pure,
leaped from the lower part of a precipitous hill, and, with a fall
of about nine feet, fell into a crystal basin filled with beautiful
pebbles. From the basin a rivulet crawled along a bed of small pebbles
down to the lower level, winding through a most beautiful forest. The
scene was very beautiful.

One day, when I had seated myself below the fall, the rays of the sun,
peeping through an opening, happened to shine upon the water, and made
it look like running crystal. Below the cascade, the bed of the little
stream, filled with pebbles of quartz, sparkled as if the pebbles had
been diamonds; they might have been taken for gems while the sun was
shining upon them. Water-lilies, white as snow, grew here and there,
and moved to and fro, tossed by the water flowing toward the great
river Rembo. The water looked like the water of life, and so it was.
I said to myself, "When God is good to man, he is good to all; for all
kinds of living creatures come to this stream, and drink of the water
which is life to them."

The gentle ripple of the stream, as it glided down, sounded like music,
and made me think. I could not help it. My thoughts wandered far
over the mountains, and the lands I had crossed and discovered, and
far beyond the sea, to the land where the great Mississippi flows. I
looked intently at the water. Now and then I could see a little pebble
rolling along; then it would stand still for a while, and again roll
on, and every roll wore it away and rounded it. As it kept rolling down
the stream day after day, year after year, it would become daily less
and less in size. I said to myself, "What does keep still? Since the
beginning of the world, nothing has stood still; every thing goes on
and on, and will continue to do so till the end."

Just as I was beginning to think deeply on the subject, a leaf fell
from a tree into the water, and was carried away down the stream. Now
it would strand on the shore, or on some little island which seemed to
have been made for a resting-place, and then it would be carried away
again by the swift current. I wondered what would be the journey of
that little leaf. Would it be carried all the way to the sea? Surely
it could not tell, neither could I tell how long a time it would take
to get to the sea, nor what would happen to it during the passage. Our
life, I thought, is very much like the journey of that little leaf: it
knew not what was before it, nor do we know what will happen to us.

Such is life. From the day we are born we know not how we shall be
carried on by the stream of life. We may strand on the shore, or we
may glide gently down the current; but, like this little leaf, on our
journey we must meet with whirlpools and rocky shores, rapids and
precipices, and many obstacles. Storms may overtake us and strand us,
but the end of the journey is sure to come, and then the great and the
learned, the rich and the poor, the Christian and the heathen, the
Moslem and the Jew, are sure to meet.

I followed the little leaf till it disappeared from my sight forever.
Another came and followed it, and another, and another, and they all
vanished after a while, never to come back to the same spot. So it is
with man, I thought. One disappears from sight--Death has taken him.
Another comes and takes his place; another and another follow each
other, as these leaves did, and all go to the same goal--Death.

I said to myself, "I have drifted away like one of these leaves;
sometimes tossed by the sea, sometimes by the wind, going to and fro,
carried down the journey of life, meeting storms and breakers. I can
not tell where I shall drift, for no man can tell what the future has
in store for him. God alone knows whither the little leaf and I are
drifting."

As I continued my reverie, thinking of life and its mysteries, and of
the future, a beautiful butterfly made its appearance. Its colors were
brilliant--red and white, blue and gold. It went from lily to lily,
caring apparently for nothing but the sweets of life. I could not help
saying to myself, "How many are like this little butterfly! but how
little we know, for I am sure this butterfly has its troubles, and so
have those who have made the world and its pleasures the flowers upon
which they live."

The butterfly had hardly disappeared from sight when a bird came--what
a sweet little bird! I see it still by that little stream of Mokenga,
though years have passed away. Down the tree he came fluttering from
branch to branch, looking at the water, calling for his mate, as if
to say, "I have found water; come and let us drink together;" but the
absent one did not come. Soon afterward the bird was on the shore,
its little feet leaving prints upon the sand. It came to one spot and
stopped, gave a warble of joy, then drank, and between each sip sang,
as if to tell how happy he was, and to thank God for that beautiful
water. After drinking, it spread its wings and bathed its little body
in the spring of Mokenga, then flew away, hid in the thick leaves out
of my sight, and for a while I heard it singing.

"How grateful you seemed to be, little birdie, to that God who gave you
this nice water to drink!" I said; "but, though you are happy just now,
I know that you have your sorrows and troubles,[3] like every creature
which God has made, from man down to the smallest insect."

       [3] See chapter on "The Sorrows of Birds," in "Wild Life under
       the Equator."

After the little bird had gone I went to the spot where it had drank.
Nothing could be seen but its footprints, and even these would remain
but a short time, and after a while no one would ever know where its
feet had been. So it is with the footprints of man--who can tell where
they come upon the highways?

Not far from where I stood the stream was deeper. The little pebbles
looked so pretty, the water so clear, so pure, and so cool, that I
could not withstand the temptation, and, like the little bird, I
drank, and thought there was not a beverage that ever was so good, for
God had made it for man and for his creatures. Many times, in these
grand and beautiful regions of Equatorial Africa, I have exclaimed, on
beholding the beautiful water which abounds every where, and after I
had quenched my thirst, "There is nothing so good and so harmless as
the water that God created!"

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXIII.

GROTESQUE HEAD-DRESSES.--CURIOUS FASHIONS IN TEETH.--A VENERABLE
GRANITE BOULDER.--INTERIOR OF A HUT.--A WARLIKE RACE OF
SAVAGES.--GIVING THEM AN ELECTRIC SHOCK.


HOW strange were those Ishogos! They were unlike all the other savages
I met. What a queer way to arrange their hair! It requires from
twenty-five to thirty years for an Ishogo woman to be able to build
upon her head one of their grotesque head-dresses. The accompanying
pictures will show you how they look. But you will ask how they can
arrange hair in such a manner. I will tell you: A frame is made, and
the hair is worked upon it; but if there is no frame, then they use
grass-cloth, or any other stuffing, and give the shape they wish to the
head-dress. A well-known hair-dresser, who, by the way, is always a
female, is a great person in an Ishogo village, and is kept pretty busy
from morning till afternoon. It takes much time to work up the long
wool on these negroes' heads, but, when one of these heads of hair, or
_chignons_, is made, it lasts for a long time--sometimes for two or
three months--without requiring repair. I need not tell you that after
a few weeks the head gets filled with specimens of natural history. The
Ishogo women use a queer comb: it is like a sharp-pointed needle from
one to eighteen inches in length, and, when the insects bite, the point
is applied with vigor.

[Illustration: HORIZONTAL CHIGNON.]

[Illustration: VERTICAL CHIGNON.]

[Illustration: MALE HEAD-DRESS.]

[Illustration: OBLIQUE CHIGNON.]

A great quantity of palm oil is used in dressing the hair, and, as the
natives never wash their heads, the odor is not pleasant. When a woman
comes out with a newly-made _chignon_, the little Ishogo girls exclaim,
"When shall I be old enough to wear one of these? How beautiful they
are!"

Every morning, instead of taking a bath, the Ishogos rub themselves
with oil, mixed with a red dye made from the wood of a forest tree.

All the people have their two upper middle incisor teeth taken out,
with the two middle lower ones, and often the four upper incisors are
all extracted. They think they look handsome without front teeth. Their
bodies are all tattooed. Their eyebrows are shaved at intervals of a
few days, and their eyelashes are also pulled out from time to time.

Many who can afford it wear round the neck a loose ring of iron of
the size of a finger, and if they are rich they wear on their ankles
and wrists three or four loose iron or copper rings, with which they
make music when they dance. Not an Ishogo woman has her ears pierced
for ear-rings. This is extraordinary, for all savages seem fond of
ear-rings.

The days passed pleasantly while I was in the village of Mokenga. I
loved the villagers, and, besides, the country was beautiful. The
mountains were lovely; the streams of clear water were abundant; around
the village were immense groves of plantain-trees, in the midst of
which, giant-like, rose gracefully a great number of palm-trees; the
lime-trees were covered with ripe yellow limes; wild Cayenne pepper
grew every where; and back of all stood the great tall trees of the
forest, with their dark foliage, and with creepers hanging down from
their branches, while underneath the trees was the thick jungle, into
which man could hardly penetrate. All was romantic and wonderful.

Not far from the village stood a very large solitary boulder of
granite. How did it come there? The people looked at the huge stone
with veneration. They said a spirit brought it there long, long ago.
This boulder stood by the path leading to the spring which supplied
the villagers with drinking water, and the women of the village were
constantly going with their calabashes to get the cool water. When I
ascended the hill in returning from my walks, I was fond of stopping to
rest upon this boulder, and it was a perpetual wonder to me.

But one day there was a great excitement in Mokenga. The people would
go toward the boulder, and then come back with a frightened aspect,
and look toward my hut apparently in great fear. Indeed, they were so
alarmed that they fled from me when I looked at them. The Oguizi, they
said, had got up from his slumber during the night, and had gone to the
boulder, and taken it upon his shoulders and moved it away; for all
said it was not in the same place that it had formerly occupied. "How
strong is the Oguizi!" they said; "he can move mountains!" During the
day they came, covered with the chalk of the alumbi, and danced around
my hut while I was in the forest, shouting, "Great Oguizi, do not be
angry with us!"

The hut which the Mokenga people gave me was quite a sight. The
furniture of an Ishogo house is unique, and I am going to give you an
inside view of it.

My own house was twenty-one feet long and eight feet wide. In the
middle there was a door, with twelve carved round spots, painted black;
the outside ring was painted white, and the background was red. The
door was twenty-seven inches in height. The house had three rooms,
and from the roof were suspended great numbers of baskets and dishes
of wicker-work, made from a kind of wild _rotang_. Baskets and dishes
constitute a part of the wealth of an Ishogo household, and great
numbers of them are given to the girls when they marry. Hung to the
roof were also large quantities of calabashes which had been hardened
by the smoke. A large cake of tobacco had also been hung up, and all
around were earthen-ware pots and jars, used for cooking purposes,
with cotton bags, several looms, spears, bows, arrows, battle-axes,
and mats.

[Illustration: AFRICAN GOAT, CHICKEN, PARROT, AND IDOL.]

The Ishogos and I gradually became very friendly. We had many nice
talks together, and I heard strange tales, and more stories about the
Dwarfs.

"Yes," said the Ishogos, "but a little while ago there was a settlement
of the Dwarfs not far from Mokenga, but they have moved, for they are
like the antelope; they never stay long at the same place."

"You are in the country of the Dwarfs, Oguizi," they continued; "their
villages are scattered in our great forest, where they move from place
to place, and none of us know where they go after they leave."

An Ashango man was in Mokenga on a visit while I staid there. An
Ishogo had married his daughter. He, too, said that there were many
settlements of Dwarfs in his country, and he promised that I should
see them when I went there. The name of his village is Niembouai, and
he said he should tell his people that we were coming; for the Ishogos
were to take me there, and leave me in the hands of the Ashangos, who,
in their turn, were to take me, as the Ishogos often say, where my
heart led me.

After a very pleasant time in Mokenga, we left that place for the
Ashango country, inhabited by the new people who were said by the
Ishogos to speak the same language as the Aponos. The villagers had
begun to love me, for I had given them many things; having too much
luggage, I was rather generous with them, and had given the women great
quantities of beads. There was great excitement in Mokenga before we
left, and, as my Ishogo porters, headed by Mokounga, took up their
loads, the people were wild with agitation.

During the day we crossed a mountain called Migoma, and saw Mount
Njiangala. From Migoma I could see the country all around. As far as
my eye could reach I saw nothing but mountains covered with trees.
"There," said the Ishogos to me, "live gorillas, chimpanzees, Dwarfs,
elephants, and all kinds of wild beasts."

The traveling was hard, but on we went, still toward the east, and
before dark of the first day we came to a mountain called Mouïda. At
its base was a beautiful stream called Mabomina. We encamped for the
night, all feeling very tired. We had to keep watch carefully over our
fires, for leopards were plentiful. The next morning we started, glad
to get out of the haunts of these animals, which had been prowling
around our camp all night.

After some severe traveling we arrived at the bank of a river called
Odiganga. After crossing the stream we came upon a new tribe of wild
Africans called the Ashangos. There was a scream of fear among them
when I made my appearance; but the Ishogos cried out, "Ashango, do not
be afraid; we are with the Oguizi." I could see at a glance that the
Ashangos were a warlike race. The village was called Magonga, meaning
"spear." Back of it was a mountain, towering high in the air, called
Madombo. We spent the night in the village, and after leaving it we had
an awful task in ascending Mount Madombo. The path was so steep that we
had to aid ourselves by using the bushes and creepers hanging from the
trees. It was all we could do to succeed. I would not have liked any
fighting at that spot.

On our journey we found that these wild Ashangos were very numerous in
these mountains. Village after village was passed by us in the midst
of a profound silence, sometimes broken by the people who had heard of
our approach, and were hiding themselves in their huts. At other times,
after we had passed, they would shout, "The Oguizi has black feet and a
white face!" (They thought my boots were my own skin.) "He has no toes!
What queer feet the Oguizi has!"

My seven Commi were perfectly delighted with their journey; our
misfortunes were forgotten.

After a long journey over the mountains and through a wild region,
we came at last to the village of Niembouai. I was glad to reach it,
for there seemed to be no dry season in that part of the world. It
rains all the year round. The people, though shy, did not run away,
but were very difficult of approach. Our Ashango friend, whom we had
met at Mokenga, had done his best to allay their fears, and he and a
deputation of the Niembouai had come to Magonga to meet us, and to take
us to their own country. So every thing was ready for my reception.
When I reached Niembouai the best house of the village was given to me.
It belonged to the elder who had seen me at Mokenga, and who claimed
the right to have me as his guest.

The next day after my arrival the supposed chief came. I had no way of
knowing if he was the true chief. A grand palaver was held, and I gave
presents of beads, trinkets, etc., to him and to forty-three elders,
and to the queen and other women. After the presents had been given I
thought I would show them my power, and ordered guns to be fired. This
filled them with fear. "He holds the thunder in his hand!" they said.
"Oh, look at the great Oguizi! look at his feet! look at his hair!
look at his nose! Look at him! Who would ever have thought of such a
kind of oguizi, for he is so unlike other oguizis?"

[Illustration: SHOCKING THE ASHANGOS.]

After the excitement was over I told the Ashangos to keep still. I then
went into my hut and brought out a Geneva musical box of large size,
and when I touched the spring it began to play. I moved off. A dead
silence prevailed. By instinct the Ashangos moved off too, and a circle
was formed by them around the box. They all listened to "the spirit,"
to "the devil that was inside of that box" talking to me. Fear had
seized upon them. I walked away. They stood like statues, not daring to
move a step. They were spell-bound.

After a few moments I took the box back into my hut, and brought out a
powerful electric battery. Then I ordered the forty-three elders and
the king to come and stand in a line. They came, but were evidently
awed. The people dared not say a word. Every thing being ready, I told
them to hold the ninety feet of conducting wire. "Hold hard!" I cried.

The people looked at the old men with wonder, and could not understand
how they dared to hold that charmed string of the Oguizi. The Ishogos,
my guides, were themselves bewildered, for they had not seen this thing
in their village. My Commi men did not utter a word, but their faces
were as long as if they never had seen any thing.

"Hold on!" I repeated; "do not let the string go out of your hands." I
then gave a powerful continuous shock. The arms of the elders twisted
backward against their will, and their bodies bent over; but they still
held the wire, which, indeed, now they had not the power to drop. Their
mouths were wide open; their bodies trembled from the continuous
electric shock; they looked at me and cried "Oh! oh! oh! Yo! yo! yo!" I
had really given a too powerful shock. The people fled.

In an instant all was over. I stopped the current of electricity. The
wire fell from the elders' hands, and they looked at me in perfect
bewilderment. The people came back. The elders explained their electric
sensation, and then a wild hurra and a shout went up. "There is not
another great oguizi like the one in our village," was the general
exclamation; and they came and danced around me, and sang mbuiti songs,
bending their bodies low, and looking at me in the face as if I had
been one of their idols. "Great Oguizi, do not be angry with us," they
cried repeatedly.

"Don't be afraid, Ashangos," I said. I then ordered my men to fire
their guns again, and, to add to the noise, our dogs began to bark; so
that, with the barking, the shouting, the firing, and the beating of
drums by the natives, Niembouai was very lively for a few minutes.

"Come again!" shouted the Ishogos. "The Oguizi we brought to you has
more things to show you." Then I came out with a powerful magnet, which
held many of the implements of iron used by the Ashangos. Up and down
went the knives; the magnet sometimes held them by the end, sometimes
by the blade. The people were so afraid of the magnet that not one of
them dared to touch it when I asked them to do so.

That night I hung a large clock under the piazza, and the noise it made
frightened the Ashangos very much.

My power was established. The electric battery had been effective.
How droll the sight was when they received the shock! You would have
laughed heartily if you could have seen them.



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXIV.

VISIT TO A VILLAGE OF THE DWARFS.--WALK THROUGH THE PRIMEVAL
FOREST.--AN ANCIENT ACCOUNT OF THIS STRANGE RACE.--A GREAT ASHANGO
DANCE.--A WATCH AND A TREMENDOUS SNEEZE.--FIRST VIEW OF THE
DWARFS.--QUEER SPECIMENS OF HUMANITY.


THE day after I had done before the Ashangos the wonderful things I
have described to you, as I was seated under the veranda of the king
with Mokounga and a few Ashango elders, I began to talk of the country,
and I said to them, "People say that there are Dwarfs living in the
forest. Is it so, Ashangos? How far are they from Niembouai?" "At no
great distance from this spot," said the chief, "there is a village of
them; but, Oguizi, if you want to see them you must not go to them with
a large number of attendants. You must go in a small party. Take one of
your Commi men, and I will give you my nephew, who knows the Dwarfs, to
go with you. You must walk as cautiously as possible in the forest, for
those Dwarfs are like antelopes and gazelles; they are shy and easily
frightened. To see them you must take them by surprise. No entreaty
of ours could induce them to stay in their settlements if they knew
you were coming. If you are careful, to-morrow we shall see them, for
as sure as I live there are Dwarfs in the forest, and they are called
Obongos."

Early the next morning the Ashango chief called one of his nephews and
another Ashango, and ordered them to show me the way to the country of
the Dwarfs. So we got ready to start, I taking three of my Commi men
with me--Rebouka, Igalo, and Macondai. I had put on a pair of light
India-rubber boots in order not to make any noise in the forest. Before
leaving I gave a large bunch of beads to one of the Ashango men, and
told him as soon as we made our appearance in the village to shout,
"Obongos, do not run away. Look here at the beads which the Spirit
brings to you. The Spirit is your friend; do not be afraid; he comes
only to see you."

After leaving Niembouai we walked through the forest in the most
cautious manner, and as we approached the settlement the Ashango man
who was in the lead turned his head toward us, put a finger on his lips
for us to be silent, and made a sign for us to walk very carefully, and
we advanced with more circumspection than ever. After a while we came
to the settlement of the Dwarfs. Over a small area the undergrowth had
been partially cut away, and there stood twelve queer little houses,
which were the habitations of these strange people, but not a Dwarf was
to be seen. They had all gone. "Nobody here," shouted the Ashangos, and
the echo of their voices alone disturbed the stillness of the forest. I
looked around at this strange little settlement of living Dwarfs. There
was no mistake about it. The fires were lighted, the smoke ascended
from the interior of their little shelters; on a bed of charcoal embers
there was a piece of snake roasting; before another were two rats
cooking; on the ground there were several baskets of nuts, and one
of berries, with some large wild fruits that had been gathered by the
Dwarfs in the woods; while near by stood several calabashes filled with
water, and some bundles of dried fish.

There was, indeed, no mistake: the huts I had seen on my way to
Niembouai were the same as these, and had been made surely by the same
race of Dwarfs. The Ishogos had told me no idle stories. I wish you
could have seen the faces of Rebouka, Igalo, and Macondai. "Oh! oh!
oh!" they exclaimed. "Chally, what are we not going to see in the wild
countries you bring us to? These people must be _niamas_ (beasts);
for, look," said they, pointing to their huts, "the shelters of the
nshiego-mbouvé are quite as good."

I lingered a long while in the hope that the Dwarfs would return, but
they did not. We called for them, but our voices were lost; we followed
some of their tracks, but it was of no use. "You can not overtake
them," said the Ashangos, "for they can run through the jungle as fast
as the gazelle and as silently as a snake, and they are far off now.
They are afraid of you." Before leaving their settlement I hung on the
lower branches of trees surrounding their village strings of beads of
bright colors which I carried with me in my hunting-bag, for I always
had some ready to give away whenever I wanted to do so. I had red,
white, and yellow beads with me that day, and the trees looked gay
with these strings hanging from them. We had taken goat-meat for the
Dwarfs, and I hung up three legs of goats also, and several plantains,
and I put a little salt on a leaf near a hut, and we departed. So I
hoped that the dwarfs, seeing what we had left behind us, would become
emboldened, and see that we did not desire to do them harm, and that
the next time they would not be afraid of us.

I was pleased to perceive on our arrival in the evening at Niembouai
that the Ashangos seemed glad to see us again, though the chief was
quite disappointed that we had not seen the little Obongos.

That evening the Ashangos clustered around me, and wanted me to talk
to them, not in their own language, but in the language of the oguizis
(spirits). So I talked to them, and their wonder was great, and I
read to them from a book, all of them listening the while with their
mouths wide open. Then I took my journal, and read to them aloud in
English, and after reading the part which related to what I had done
in the Ishogo village of Mokenga, I translated it to them, to the
great delight of the Ishogos. The part I read related to my arrival
in Mokenga; how the people were afraid of me, and what warm friends
we became, and how the villagers said I had moved the big boulder of
granite. At this there was a tremendous shout. Then I said, "Ashangos,
the oguizis do not forget any thing. What I write will always be
remembered. Now I will read you something we have from an oguizi who
wrote about Dwarfs. The name of that oguizi was Herodotus." "And
yours," shouted the Ishogos, "is Chally!"

"That oguizi, Herodotus," I continued, "wrote about what he heard
and what he saw, just as I do. Long, long ago, before any tree of
the forest round you had come out of the ground" (I could not count
in their language, and say about 2300 years ago), "that oguizi,
Herodotus, traveled just as I am traveling to-day"--"_Oh! oh!_" shouted
the Ashangos. "Mamo! mamo!" shouted the Ishogos. "Listen! listen!"
said my Commi men in English, for they all now could talk a little
English--"and he writes:

"'I did hear, indeed, what I will now relate, from certain natives of
Cyrene. Once upon a time, when they were on a visit to the oracular
shrine of Ammon, when it chanced in the course of conversation with
Etearchus, the Ammonian king, the talk fell upon the Nile--how that
its source was unknown to all men. Etearchus, upon this, mentioned
that some Nasamonians had come to his court, and, when asked if they
could give any information concerning the uninhabited parts of Libya,
had told the following tale (the Nasamonians are a Libyan race who
occupy the Syrtes and a tract of no great size toward the east). They
said there had grown up among them some wild young men, the sons of
certain chiefs, who, when they came to man's estate, indulged in all
manners of extravagances, and, among other things, drew lots for five
of their number to go and explore the desert parts of Libya, and try
if they could not penetrate farther than any had done previously. (The
coast of Libya, along the sea, which washes it to the north throughout
its entire length from Egypt to Cape Soloeis, which is its farthest
point, is inhabited by Libyans of many distinct tribes, who possess
the whole tract except certain portions which belong to the Phœnicians
and the Greeks.) Above the coast-line and the country inhabited by
the maritime tribes, Libya is full of wild beasts, while beyond the
wild-beast region there is a tract which is wholly sand and very scant
of water, and utterly and entirely a desert. The young men, therefore,
dispatched on this errand by their comrades, with a plentiful supply of
water and provisions, traveled at first through the inhabited region,
passing which they came to the wild-beast tract, whence they finally
entered upon the desert, which they proceeded to cross in a direction
from east to west. After journeying for many days over a wide extent of
land, they came at last to a plain where they observed trees growing:
approaching them and seeing fruit on them, they proceeded to gather
it; while they were thus engaged there came upon them some _dwarfish
men under the middle height_, who seized them and carried them off.
The Nasamonians did not understand a word of their language, nor had
they any acquaintance with the language of the Nasamonians. They
were carried across extensive marshes, and finally came to a city in
which all the men were of the height of their conductors, and dark
complexioned. A great river flowed by the city, running from west to
east, and containing crocodiles. Etearchus conjectured this river to be
the Nile, and reason favors this idea.'"

"Oh! oh!" shouted my Commi men. "It is no wonder that the white man
forgets nothing. Chally, will what you write about the strange things
we see be remembered in the same manner with what that man Herodotus
wrote?"

"I do not know," said I. "If the white people think that what we saw
is worthy of preservation, it will be remembered; if not, it will be
forgotten. But never mind," I said; "let us see for ourselves, and
what a tale we shall have to tell to our people on our return; for what
we see no other men have ever seen before us."

After my story of Herodotus the shades of evening had come, and a
great Ashango dance took place. How wild, how strange the dancing
was in the temple or house of the mbuiti (idol)! The idol was a huge
representation of a woman, and it stood at the end of the temple,
which was about fifty feet in length, and only ten feet broad. The
extremity of the building, where the mbuiti was kept, was also dark,
and looked weird by the light of the torches as I entered. It was
painted in red, white, and black.

Along the walls on each side were Ashango men seated on the ground,
each having a lighted torch before him. In the centre were two
mbuiti-men (doctor, priest) dressed with fibres of trees round their
waist; each had one side of his face painted white and the other side
red. Down the middle of the breast they had a broad yellow stripe, and
the hollow of the eye was painted yellow. They make these different
colors from different woods, the coloring matter of which they mix
with clay. All the Ashangos were also streaked and daubed with various
colors, and by the light of their torches they looked like a troop of
devils assembled on the earth to celebrate some diabolical rite. Round
their legs were bound sharp-pointed white leaves from the heart of the
palm-tree; some wore feathers, others had leaves behind their ears, and
all had a bundle of palm-leaves in their hands. They did not stir when
I came in. I told them not to stop; that I came only to look at them.

They began by making all kinds of contortions, and set up a deafening
howl of wild songs. There was an orchestra of instrumental performers
near the idol, consisting of three drummers beating as hard as they
could with their sticks on two _ngomas_ (tam-tams), one harper, and
another man strumming with all his might on a sounding-board. The two
mbuiti-men danced in a most fantastic manner, jumping and twisting
their bodies into all sorts of shapes and contortions. Every time the
mbuiti-men opened their mouths to speak a dead silence ensued. Now and
then the men would all come and dance round the mbuiti-men, and then
they would all face the idol, dance before it, and sing songs of praise
to it.

I could not stand this noise long, so I left my Ashangos to enjoy
themselves, and, as usual before retiring, ordered my men to keep their
watch in a proper manner.

"Don't be disheartened," said the chief of Niembouai to me after my
unsuccessful attempt to see the Dwarfs. "I told you before that the
little Obongos were as shy as the antelopes and gazelles of the woods.
You have seen for yourself now that what I said was true. If you are
careful when you go again to their settlement, you will probably
surprise them, only don't wait long before going again, for they may
move away."

Before sunrise the next morning we started again for the settlement of
the little Dwarfs. We were still more cautious than before in going
through the jungle. This time we took another direction to reach them,
lest perhaps they might be watching the path by which we had come
before.

After a while I thought I saw through the trunks of the trees ahead of
us several little houses of the Dwarfs. I kept still, and immediately
gave a sign to make my guides maintain silence. They obeyed me on the
instant, and we lay motionless on the ground, hardly daring to breathe.
There was no mistake about it; we could see, as we peeped through the
trees, the houses of the Dwarfs, but there seemed to be no life there,
no Obongos. We kept watching for more than half an hour in breathless
silence, when lo! Rebouka gave a tremendous sneeze. I looked at him.
I wish you had seen his face. Another sneeze was coming, and he was
trying hard to prevent it, and made all sorts of faces, but the look I
gave him was enough, I suppose, and the second sneeze was suppressed.
Then we got up and entered the little settlement of the Dwarfs. There
was not one of them there. The village had been abandoned. The leaves
over the little houses were dry, and, while we were looking all round,
suddenly our bodies were covered with swarms of fleas, which drove us
out faster than we came. It was awful, for they did bite savagely, as
if they had not had any thing to feed upon for a whole month.

We continued to walk very carefully, and after a while we came near
another settlement of the Dwarfs, which was situated in the densest
part of the forest. I see the huts; we cross the little stream from
which the Dwarfs drew their water to drink. How careful we are as we
walk toward their habitations, our bodies bent almost double, in order
not to be easily discovered. I am excited--oh, I would give so much to
see the Dwarfs, to speak to them! How craftily we advance! how cautious
we are for fear of alarming the shy inmates! My Ashango guides hold
bunches of beads. I see that the beads we had hung to the trees have
been taken away.

All our caution was in vain. The Dwarfs saw us, and ran away in the
woods. We rushed, but it was too late; they had gone. But as we came
into the settlement I thought I saw three creatures lying flat on the
ground, and crawling through their small doors into their houses. When
we were in the very midst of the settlement I shouted, "Is there any
body here?" No answer. The Ashangos shouted, "Is there any body here?"
No answer. I said to the Ashangos, "I am certain that I have seen some
of the Dwarfs go into their huts." Then they shouted again, "Is there
any body here?" The same silence. Turning toward me, my guides said,
"Oguizi, your eyes have deceived you; there is no one here; they have
all fled. They are afraid of you." "I am not mistaken," I answered.
I went with one Ashango toward one of the huts where I thought I
had seen one of the Dwarfs go inside to hide, and as I came to the
little door I shouted again, "Is there any body here?" No answer. The
Ashango shouted, "Is there any body inside?" No answer. "I told you,
Oguizi, that they have all run away." It did seem queer to me that I
should have suffered an optical delusion. I was perfectly sure that
I had seen three Dwarfs get inside of their huts. "Perhaps they have
broken through the back part, and have escaped," said I; so I walked
round their little houses, but every thing was right--nothing had gone
outside through the walls.

In order to make sure, I came again to the door, and shouted, "Nobody
here?" The same silence. I lay flat on the ground, put my head inside
of the door, and again shouted, "Nobody here?" It was so dark inside
that, coming from the light, I could not see, so I extended my arm in
order to feel if there was any one within. Sweeping my arm from left
to right, at first I touched an empty bed, composed of three sticks;
then, feeling carefully, I moved my arm gradually toward the right,
when--hallo! what do I feel? A leg! which I immediately grabbed above
the ankle, and a piercing shriek startled me. It was the leg of a human
being, and that human being a Dwarf! I had got hold of a Dwarf!

"Don't be afraid; the Spirit will do you no harm," said my Ashango
guide.

"Don't be afraid," I said, in the Ashango language, and I immediately
pulled the creature I had seized by the leg through the door, in the
midst of great excitement among my Commi men.

"A Dwarf!" I shouted, as the little creature came out. "A woman!" I
shouted again--"a pigmy!" The little creature shrieked, looking at me.
"Nchendé! nchendé! nchendé!" said she. "Oh! oh! oh! Yo! yo! yo!" and
her piercing wail rent the air.

What a sight! I had never seen the like. "What!" said I, "now I do see
the Dwarfs of Equatorial Africa--the Dwarfs of Homer, Herodotus--the
Dwarfs of the ancients."

How queer the little old woman looked! How frightened she was! she
trembled all over. She was neither white nor black; she was of a
yellow, or mulatto color. "What a little head! what a little body!
what a little hand! what a little foot!" I exclaimed. "Oh, what
queer-looking hair!" said I, bewildered. The hair grew on the head in
little tufts apart from each other, and the face was as wrinkled as a
baked apple. I can not tell you how delighted I was at my discovery.

So, giving my little prize to one of the Ashangos, and ordering my
Commi men to catch her if she tried to run away, I went to the other
little dwelling where I thought I had seen another of the Dwarfs hide
himself. The two little huts stood close together. I shouted, "Nobody
here?" No answer. Then I did what I had done before, and, getting my
head inside of the hut through the door, again shouted, "Nobody here?"
No answer. I moved my right hand to see if I could feel any body,
when, lo! I seized a leg, and immediately heard a shriek. I pulled
another strange little Dwarf out of the door. It was also a woman, not
quite so old as the first, but having exactly the same appearance.

The two Dwarf-women looked at each other, and began to cry and sing
mournful songs, as if they expected to be killed. I said to them, "Be
not frightened!"

Then the Ashangos called to the last Dwarf who had hid to come out;
that it was no use, I had seen them all. They had hardly spoken when
I saw a little head peeping out of the door, and my Ashangos made the
creature come out. It was a woman also, who began crying, and the trio
shrieked and cried, and cried and shrieked, wringing their hands, till
they got tired. They thought their last day had come.

"Don't be afraid," said the Ashangos; "the Oguizi is a good oguizi."
"Don't be afraid," said my Commi men.

After a while they stopped crying, and began to look at me more quietly.

For the first time I was able to look carefully at these little
Dwarfs. They had prominent cheek-bones, and were yellow, their faces
being exactly of the same color as the chimpanzee; the palms of their
hands were almost as white as those of white people; they seemed
well-proportioned, but their eyes had an untamable wildness that struck
me at once; they had thick lips and flat noses, like the negroes;
their foreheads were low and narrow, and their cheek-bones prominent;
and their hair, which grew in little, short tufts, was black, with a
reddish tinge.

After a while I thought I heard a rustling in one of the little houses,
so I went there, and, looking inside, saw it filled with the tiniest
children. They were exceedingly shy. When they saw me they hid their
heads just as young dogs or kittens would do, and got into a huddle,
and kept still. These were the little dwarfish children who had
remained in the village under the care of the three women, while the
Dwarfs had gone into the forest to collect their evening meal--that is
to say, nuts, fruits, and berries--and to see if the traps they had set
had caught any game.

I immediately put beads around the necks of the women, gave them a leg
of wild boar and some plantains, and told them to tell their people to
remain, and not to be afraid. I gave some meat to the little children,
who, as soon as I showed it to them, seized it just in the same manner
that Fighting Joe or ugly Tom would have done, only, instead of
fighting, they ran away immediately.

Very queer specimens these little children seemed to be. They were, if
any thing, lighter in color than the older people, and they were such
little bits of things that they reminded me--I could not help it--of
the chimpanzees and nshiego-mbouvés I had captured at different times,
though their heads were much larger.

I waited in vain--the other inhabitants did not come back; they were
afraid of me. I told the women that the next day I should return and
bring them meat (for they are said to be very fond of it), and plenty
of beads.

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[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXV.

MAKING FRIENDS WITH THE DWARFS.--A SURPRISE VISIT.--A GORGEOUS
FEAST.--RIDICULOUS SHOW OF BABIES.--THE DWARF LANGUAGE.--A DWARF
DANCE.--THE OLD FABLE OF THE CRANES AND THE PIGMIES.


AFTER several visits to the settlement of the Dwarfs we became friends,
but it took time. My great friend among them was Misounda, an old
woman, the first one I had seen, and whom I pulled out of her own
house; but I had some trouble before I could tame friend Misounda.

One day I thought I would surprise the Dwarfs, and come on them
unawares, without having told my friend Misounda I was coming. When
I made my appearance I just caught a glimpse of her feet as she was
running into her house. That was all I saw of Misounda. At all the
other huts little branches of trees had been stuck up in front to show
that the inmates were out, and that their doors were shut, and that
nobody could get in. These were, indeed, queer doors. I had never seen
the like. They were of little use except for keeping out the dogs and
wild beasts. When I went in Misounda's hut and got hold of her, she
pretended to have been asleep. "So, after all, these little Dwarfs,"
said I, "know how to lie and how to deceive just as well as other
people."

Upon one of my visits to the village I saw two other women, a man, and
two children; all the other Obongos had gone. So I made friends with
them by giving them meat and beads. I saw that the women were not the
mothers of the children. I looked at the doors of all the huts; they
all had branches put at the entrance to signify that the owner was
out. I do not know why, but I begun to suspect that the mother of the
children was in the settlement, and close by where they stood. I had my
eyes upon one of the little houses as the one where she was hiding; so
I put aside the branches at the entrance, and, putting half of my body
into the hut, I succeeded in discovering in the dark something which I
recognized after a while as a human being.

"Don't be afraid," I said. "Don't be afraid," repeated my Ashango
guides. The creature was a woman. She came out with a sad countenance,
and began to weep. She had over her forehead a broad stripe of yellow
ochre. She was a widow, and had buried her husband only a few days
before.

"Where is the burial-ground of the Dwarfs?" I asked of my Ashango
guides. "Ask her," said I to them.

"No, Spirit," said they, "for if you ask them such a question, these
Dwarfs will fear you more than ever, and you will never see them any
more. They will flee far away into the thickest part of the forest.
We Ashango people do not know even where they bury their dead. They
have no regular burial-ground. How could they?" added my guide, "for
they roam in the forest like the gorilla, the nshiego-mbouvé, the
kooloo-kamba, and the nshiego. I believe," said the Ashango, "that all
these Dwarfs have come from the same father and the same mother long,
long ago."

Another time I came to the village of the Obongos with two legs of
goats, a leg of wild boar, ten house-rats which had been trapped, a
large dead snake, and two land turtles, which I intended to give as
a feast to the Obongos. Rebouka, Macondai, and Igalo were with me,
and several Ashango women accompanied us. We had several bunches of
plantain, for I had resolved to give them a regular banquet, and we had
set out to have a good time in their settlement. I had brought beads, a
looking-glass, some spoons, knives, forks, and one of my little Geneva
musical boxes. Guns were also to be fired, for I was going to show
the Dwarfs what the Oguizi could do. When they saw us with food they
received us with great joy. "What a queer language," I thought, "these
Dwarfs have!" There was a wild Dwarf hurra, "Ya! ye! yo! _Oua! oua!_
Ké! ki-ke-ki!" when they saw the good things that were to be eaten.

Nearly all the Dwarfs were here; very few of them were absent.
Misounda, who was my friend, and who seemed to be less afraid of me
than any body else, stood by me, and kept her eyes upon the meat.
There were fifty-nine Dwarfs all told, including men, women, children,
and babies. What little things the babies were! Smoke came out of
every hut, fires were lighted all round, nuts were roasting, berries
and fruits had been collected in great abundance, and snake-flesh
was plentiful, for the Dwarfs had been the day before on a feeding
excursion. Rats and mice had also been trapped.

"Obongos," said I, "we have come to have a good time. First I am going
to give to every one of you beads." Then the Ashangos brought before
them a basket containing the beads, and I asked who was the chief. I
could not find him, and they would not tell me. Among them were several
old people.

The Dwarfs were now eager for beads, and surrounded me, and, though I
am a man of short stature, I seemed a giant in the midst of them; and
as for Rebouka and Igalo, they appeared to be colossal. "Ya! ya! yo!
yo! ye! qui! quo! oh! ah! ri! ri! ké! ki! ké! ki!" seemed to be the
only sounds they could make in their excitement. Their appearance was
singular indeed, the larger number of them being of a dirty yellow
color. A few of them were not more than four feet in height; others
were from four feet two inches to four feet seven inches in height. But
if they were short in size they were stoutly built; like chimpanzees,
they had big, broad chests, and, though their legs were small, they
were muscular and strong. Their arms were also strong in proportion to
their size. There were gray-headed men, and gray-headed, wrinkled old
women among them, and very hideous the old Dwarfs were. Their features
resembled very closely the features of a young chimpanzee. Some had
gray, others hazel eyes, while the eyes of a few were black.

As I have said before, their hair was not like that of the negroes and
Ashangos among whom the Dwarfs live, but grew in little short tufts
apart from each other, and the hair, after attaining a certain length,
could not grow longer. These little tufts looked like so many little
balls of wool. Many of the men had their chest and legs covered with
these little tufts of woolly hair. The women's hair was no longer than
that of the men, and it grew exactly in the same manner.

I could not keep my eyes from the tiny babies. They were ridiculously
small, and much lighter in color than the older people. Their mothers
had a broad string of leather hanging from their shoulders to carry
them in.

There was great excitement among them as I distributed the beads,
and they would shout, "Look at his djivie (nose); look at his mouna
(mouth); look at his diarou (head); look at his nchouié (hair); look
at his mishou (beard)!" and, in spite of my big mustache, they would
shout, "Is he a bagala oguizi (man spirit), or an oguizi mokasho (woman
spirit)?" Some declared that I was a mokasho, others that I was a
bagala. I did not forget my friend Misounda.

After I had given them beads I took out a large looking-glass which
I had hidden, and put it in front of them. Immediately they trembled
with fright, and said, "Spirit, don't kill us!" and turned their heads
from the looking-glass. Then the musical box was shown, and when I had
set it playing the Dwarfs lay down on the ground, frightened by the
brilliant, sparkling music of the mechanism, and by turns looked at me
and at the box. Some of them ran away into their little huts. After
their fears were allayed I showed them a string of six little bells,
which I shook, whereat their little eyes brightened, and their joy was
unbounded when I gave them the bells. One, of course, was for friend
Misounda, who hung it by a cord to her waist, and shook her body in
order to make it ring.

After this I ordered Igalo to bring me the meat, and taking from my
sheath my big, bright, sharp hunting-knife, I cut it and distributed it
among the Dwarfs. Then I gave them the plantains, and told them to eat.
I wish you had seen the twisting of their mouths; it would have made
you laugh. Immediately the little Dwarfs scattered round their fires,
and roasted the food I had given them, and it was no sooner cooked than
it was eaten, they seemed to be so fond of flesh.

When they had finished eating the Obongos seemed more sociable than I
had ever seen them before. I seated myself on a dead limb of a tree,
and they came round me and asked me to talk to them as the spirits
talk. So I took my journal, and read to them in English what I had
written the day before. After speaking to them in the language of the
Oguizis, I said, "Now talk to me in the language of the Dwarfs;" and,
pointing to my fingers, I gave them to understand that I wanted to know
how they counted. So a Dwarf, taking hold of his hand, and then one
finger after another, counted one, moï; two, beï; three, metato; four,
djimabongo; five, djio; six, samouna; seven, nchima; eight, misamouno;
nine, nchouma; ten, mbò-ta; and then raised his hands, intimating that
he could not count beyond ten.

One of them asked me if I lived in the soungui (moon), then another if
I lived in a niechi (star), another if I had been long in the forest.
Did I make the fine things I gave them during the night?

"Now, Obongos," I said to them, "I want you to sing and to dance the
Dwarf dance for me." An old Dwarf went out, and took out of his hut
a ngoma (tam-tam), and began to beat it; then the people struck up a
chant, and what queer singing it was! what shrill voices they had!
After a while they got excited, and began to dance, all the while
gesticulating wildly, leaping up, and kicking backwards and forwards,
and shaking their heads.

Then I fired two guns, the noise of which seemed to stun them and fill
them with fear. I gave them to understand that when I saw an elephant,
a leopard, a gorilla, or any living thing, by making that noise I could
kill them, and to show them I could do it I brought down a bird perched
on a high tree near their settlement. How astonished they seemed to be!

"After all," I said to myself, "though low in the scale of
intelligence, like their more civilized fellow-men, these little
creatures can dance and sing."

"Now, Obongos, that you have asked me about the Oguizis," I said to
them, "tell me about yourselves. Why do you not build villages as other
people do?"

"Oh," said they, "we do not build villages, for we never like to remain
long in the same place, for if we did we should soon starve. When we
have gathered all the fruits, nuts, and berries around the place where
we have been living for a time, and trapped all the game there is in
the region, and food is becoming scarce, we move off to some other part
of the forest. We love to move; we hate to tarry long at the same spot.
We love to be free, like the antelopes and gazelles."

"Why don't you plant for food, as other people do?" I asked them.

"Why should we work," said they, "when there are plenty of fruits,
berries, and nuts around us? when there is game in the woods, and fish
in the rivers, and snakes, rats, and mice are plentiful? We love the
berries, the nuts, and the fruits which grow wild much better than
the fruits the _big people_ raise on their plantations. And if we had
villages," they said, "the strong and tall people who live in the
country might come and make war upon us, kill us, and capture us."

"They do not desire to kill you," I said to them. "See how friendly
they are with you! When you trap much game you exchange it for
plantains with them. Why don't you wear clothing?"

"Why," said they, "the fire is our means of keeping warm, and then the
_big people_ give us their grass-cloth when they have done wearing it."

"Why don't you work iron, and make spears and battle-axes, so that you
might be able to defend yourselves, and be not afraid of war?"

"We do not know how to work iron; it takes too much time; it is too
hard work. We can make bows, and we make arrows with hard wood, and can
poison them. We know how to make traps to trap game, and we trap game
in far greater number than we can kill it when we go hunting; and we
love to go hunting."

"Why don't you make bigger cabins?"

"We do not want to make bigger cabins; it would be too much trouble,
and we do not know how. These are good enough for us; they keep the
rain from us, and we build them so rapidly."

"Don't the leopards sometimes come and eat some of you?"

"Yes, they do!" they exclaimed. "Then we move off far away, several
days' journey from where the leopards have come to eat some of us; and
often we make traps to catch them. We hate the leopards!" the Obongos
shouted with one voice.

"How do you make your fires? tell me;" and I could not help thinking
that, however wild a man was, even though he might be apparently little
above the chimpanzee, he had always a fire, and knew how to make it.

They showed me flint-stones, and a species of oakum coming from the
palm-tree, and said they knocked these stones against each other, and
the sparks gave them fire.

Then, to astonish them, I took a match from my match-box and lighted
it. As soon as they saw the flame a wild shout rang through the
settlement.

"Obongos, tell me," said I, "how you get your wives, for your
settlements are far apart, and you have no paths leading through the
forest from one to another. You never know how far the next settlement
of the Dwarfs may be from yours."

"It is true," said they, "that sometimes we do not know where the next
encampment of the Obongos may be, and we do not wish to know, for
sometimes we fight among ourselves, and if we lived near together we
should become too numerous, and find it difficult to procure berries
and game. Our people never leave one settlement for another. Generation
after generation we have lived among ourselves, and married among
ourselves. It is but seldom we permit a stranger from another Obongo
settlement to come among us."

"How far," said I, pointing to the east, "do you meet Obongos?"

"Far, far away," they answered, "toward where the sun rises, Obongos
are found scattered in the great forest. We love the woods, for there
we live, and if we were to live any where else we should starve."

"As you wander through the forest," I asked, "don't you sometimes come
to prairies?"

"Yes," said they, and here an old Obongo addressed himself to my
Ashango interpreter. "When I was a boy, we had our settlement for a
long time in the forest not far from a big _prairie_, and farther off
there was a big river. Since then," said the old Obongo, "as we moved
we have turned our backs upon where the sun rises, and marched in the
direction where the sun sets" (which meant that they had been migrating
from the east toward the west).

"Did you not see," said I, continuing my questions, "birds with long
legs and long beaks in those prairies?"

"Yes," said all the Obongos; "sometimes we kill them, for we love their
flesh."

I could not but remember the description Homer gave of the cranes and
the Pigmies, and I here give it to you in the translation of a man of
whom every American should be proud as one of the greatest poets of the
age. Mr. William Cullen Bryant's translation reads as follows:

                         "As when the cry
  Of cranes is in the air, that, flying south
  From winter and its mighty breadth of rain,
  Wing their way over ocean, and at dawn
  Bring fearful battle to the Pigmy race,
  Bloodshed and death."--_Iliad_, iii., 3-8.

Of course our friend Homer, the grand old bard that will never die,
did not see the Dwarfs, and only related what he had heard of them,
and, like every thing that is transmitted from mouth to mouth, and from
country to country, the story has become very much exaggerated.

Beyond a doubt, at certain seasons of every year the cranes left the
country of which Homer spoke, for cranes are migratory, and their
migration was toward the Nile; thence they winged their flight toward
the Upper Nile, and spread all over the interior of Africa; and,
as they came to the country of the Dwarfs, the Dwarfs came out to
kill them, instead of their coming to kill the Dwarfs. The dwarfs
of Homer's time killed them for food, as they still kill them in
Equatorial Africa in certain seasons of the year.

I am now going to tell you what I wrote about these big cranes before I
had even heard of the Country of the Dwarfs, or that such people as the
Obongos ever existed:

"This account of Homer has been thought fabulous; for 'How,' it has
been asked, 'could cranes attack a race of men?'

"Where were these pigmies to exist? I will try to show that Homer had
some reason to say what he wrote. In the first book which I published
(called 'Explorations in Equatorial Africa') I did not mention what
Homer had written. I had heard of the Dwarfs, but I dismissed the
account given to me by the Apingi as fabulous. In chap. xiv., p. 260, I
say:

"'The dry season was now setting in in earnest, and I devoted the whole
month of July to exploring the country along the sea-shore. It is
curious that most of the birds which were so abundant during the rainy
season had by this time taken their leave, and other birds in immense
numbers flocked in to feed on the fish, which now leave the sea-shore
and bars of the river mouth, and ascend the river to spawn.'

"In the four paragraphs in advance on the same page I said, 'Birds
flocked in immense numbers on the prairies, whither they came to hatch
their young.

"'The ugly marabouts, from whose tails our ladies get the splendid
feathers for their bonnets, were there in thousands. Pelicans waded
on the river's banks all day in prodigious swarms, gulping down the
luckless fish which came in their way.'

"In the next paragraph, page 261, I continue:

"'And on the sandy point one morning I found great flocks of the _Ibis
religiosa_ (the sacred Ibis of the Egyptians), which had arrived
overnight, whence I could not tell.

"'Ducks of various kinds built their nests in every creek and on every
new islet that appeared with the receding waters. I used to hunt
those until I got tired of duck-meat, fine as it is. Cranes, too, and
numerous other water-fowl, flocked in every day, of different species.
All came, by some strange instinct, to feed upon the vast shoals of
fish which literally filled the river.

"'On the sea-shore I sometimes caught a bird, the _Sula capensis_,
which had been driven ashore by the treacherous waves to which it had
trusted itself, and could not, for some mysterious reason, get away
again.

"'And, finally, every sand-bar is covered with gulls, whose shrill
screams are heard from morning till night as they fly about greedily
after their finny prey.'

"I terminated the description by saying, 'It is a splendid time now for
sportsmen, and I thought of some of my New York friends who would have
enjoyed the great plenty of game that was now here.'

"In chap. xiii. of the same book, p. 199, I wrote:

"'From Igalé to Aniambié was two hours' walk, through grass-fields,
in which we found numerous birds, some of them new to me. One in
particular, the _Mycteria Senegalensis_, had such legs that it fairly
outwalked me. I tried to catch it, but, though it would not take to the
wing, it kept so far ahead that I could not even get a fair shot at it.

"'These _Mycteria Senegalenses_ are among the largest of cranes. They
have a long neck, and a very powerful beak, from eight to ten inches in
length, and I killed several of them, which I brought back. I had grand
shooting with them, and many a time I gave up the chase; but when I
killed one I took good care to see that the bird could not hurt me and
was quite dead before I approached it.'

"Hence I conclude that the description of Homer is correct as regards
the great number of cranes, and that he was right, for you see that
they came in the dry season, and when the rains came they disappeared
from the country.

"The dwarfish race of whom I speak are great hunters, and is it not
probable that during the dry season, when the cranes came, there was
rejoicing in the Pigmean race? for there would be food and meat for
them; and they would fight also with the large crane, the _Mycteria
Senegalensis_, which probably they could not kill at once, and hence
it required on the part of the Dwarfs great dexterity to capture
them. For myself, I was always careful in approaching the _Mycteria
Senegalensis_, whose height is from four to five feet, as I have said,
when quite clear. The natives, as I approached the first that I killed,
shouted to me, 'Take care; he will send his beak into your eye.'"

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CHAPTER XXVI.

A MODERN TRAVELER'S ACCOUNT OF THE DWARFS AND THEIR HABITS.--WHERE AND
HOW THEY BURY THEIR DEAD.--HUNTING FOR THE DWARFS.--HOW THEY MAKE THEIR
HUTS.


NOW that I have told you what Herodotus and Homer wrote about the
Dwarfs, let us come to a more modern account of them. We read the
following in Rev. Dr. Krapf's "Travels and Missionary Labors in East
Africa:"

"Noteworthy are the reports which in the year 1840 were communicated
to me by a slave from Enarea, who, by order of the King of Shoa, was
charged with the care of my house in Angolala during my residence in
Onkobez. His name was Dilbo, and he was a native of Sabba, in Enarea.
As a youth, he had made caravan journeys to Kaffa, and accompanied
the slave-hunters from Kaffa to Tuffte, in a ten-days' expedition,
where they crossed the Omo, some sixty feet wide, by means of a wooden
bridge, reaching from thence to Kullu in seven days, which is but a few
days' journey from the Dokos, a Pigmy race of whom Dilbo told almost
fabulous stories" (p. 50).

Then Dr. Krapf gives an account of Dilbo, which does not bear on the
subject, and then continues:

"He told me that to the south of Kaffa and Sura there is a very
sultry and humid country, with many bamboo woods (meaning, no doubt,
palm-trees), inhabited by the race called Dokos, who are no bigger
than boys ten years old; that is, only four feet high. They have a
dark olive-colored complexion, and live in a completely savage state,
like the beasts, having neither houses, temples, nor holy trees, like
the Gallas, yet possessing something like an idea of a higher being,
called Yer, to whom, in moments of wretchedness and anxiety, they pray,
not in an erect posture, but reversed, with the head on the ground,
and the feet supported upright against a tree or stone. In prayer they
say, 'Yer, if thou really dost exist, why dost thou allow us thus to
be slain? We do not ask thee for food and clothing, for we live on
serpents, ants, and mice. Thou hast made us, why dost thou permit us to
be trodden under foot?' The Dokos have a chief, no laws, no weapons.
They do not hunt nor till the ground, but live solely on fruits, roots,
mice, serpents, ants, honey, and the like, climbing trees and gathering
the fruits like monkeys, and both sexes go completely naked. They have
thick protruding lips, flat noses, and small eyes. The hair is not
woolly, and is worn by the women over the shoulders. The nails on the
hands and feet are allowed to grow like the talons of vultures, and are
used in digging for ants, and in tearing to pieces the serpents, which
they devour raw, for they are unacquainted with fire. The spine of the
snake is the only ornament worn around the neck, but they pierce the
ears with a sharp-pointed piece of wood."

Then Dr. Krapf adds that they are never sold beyond Enarea, and
continues as follows:

"Yet I can bear witness that I heard of these little people not only in
Shoa, but also in Ukambani, two degrees to the south, and in Barava, a
degree and a half to the north of the equator. In Barava a slave was
shown to me who accorded completely with the description of Dilbo. He
was four feet high, very thick set, dark complexioned, and lively, and
the people of the place assured me that he was of the Pigmy race of
the interior. It is not impossible, too, that circumstances, such as
continual rains from May to January, and other means, may contribute to
produce a diminutive people of stunted development in the interior of
Africa. _A priori_, therefore, the reports collected from different and
mutually independent points of Africa can not be directly contradicted,
only care must be taken to examine with caution the fabulous element
mixed up with what may be true by native reporters. In the Suali
dialect 'dogo' means small, and in the language of Enarea 'doko' is
indicative of an ignorant and stupid person."

Now I think, though Dr. Krapf was a long way from where I was, that his
Dwarfs must be the same people as the Obongos, though they do not bear
the same name; but you must remember that the Obongos are called by
three different names by other tribes. It is true the Dwarf he saw was
very black, but then there may be some Dwarfs much darker than others,
just as some negroes are darker than others.

Then I said to the Ashango interpreter, "Ask the little Obongos where
they bury their dead." I wanted to know, though I did not tell him why.
I wanted the skeleton of an Obongo to bring home, and I would have been
willing to give a thousand dollars for one.

"Don't ask such a question of the Obongos," said he.

"And why?" I inquired.

"Because," he answered, "they would be so frightened they would all
run away. Even we ourselves, the Ashangos, who are their friends, know
not where they bury their dead, and I will tell you why: they are
afraid that the Ashangos would steal the skulls of the dead people for
fetiches, and if they could procure but one they would always know
where the Obongos were in the forest."

"Tell me," said I, "how they bury their dead."

"When an Obongo dies," said my Ashango friend, "there is great sorrow
among the Dwarfs, and the men are sent into every part of the forest
to find a tall tree which is hollow at the top. If they find one,
they come back to the settlement and say, 'We have found a tree with
a hollow.' Then the people travel into the forest, guided by the man
who has found the hollow tree, and taking with them the body of the
dead Obongo. When they have reached the spot, some of them ascend the
tree, carrying with them creepers to be used as cords for drawing up
the body, and the corpse is then drawn up and deposited in the hollow,
which is immediately filled with earth, and dry leaves, and the twigs
of trees."

"But," said I, "big hollow trees, such as you have been speaking of,
are not found every day. If they do not find one, what then?"

"It is so, Oguizi. Sometimes they can not find a big hollow tree;
then," said my Ashango guide, "they wander into the forest, far from
paths and villages, in search of a little stream, which they turn from
its natural bed, and then dig in it a big, deep hole, wherein they bury
the body of the Obongo, after which they bring back the water to its
own bed again, and the water forever and ever runs over the grave of
the Obongo, and no one can ever tell where the grave of the Obongo is."

"Why," said I to myself, "this way of burying an Obongo reminds me of
the burial of Attila."

This is all I know of the way the Obongos bury their dead, and this was
told me by the Ashangos. The Obongos, who had seen me holding so long a
talk with the Ashangos, began to appear frightened, and asked what we
had been talking about. The Ashangos answered that we had been talking
about hunting wild beasts. After a while we departed, apparently good
friends with them, but not before promising the Obongos that I would
come again and see them.

The next day I went hunting in order to kill meat and bring it to the
Dwarfs, and their delight was great when I brought them five monkeys. A
little while after I had put the monkeys on the ground I said, "Dwarfs,
let us be good friends. Don't you see that I do not desire to kill you
or capture you? I wish only to know you well. Every time I come to see
you I bring you food and nice things." "That is so," said the Dwarfs,
headed by my friend Misounda.

The hours passed away, and as evening approached I said, "Dwarfs, what
do you say to my spending the night in your settlement, and going
back to-morrow to Niembouai?" "Muiri! muiri!" said the Dwarfs, and
immediately a little house was given me for the night. I was glad, for
I wanted to be able to say when I came back home that I had slept in a
house of the Dwarfs.

The little Dwarfs went into the woods to collect firewood for me, and
to look after their traps. After a while they came back, and they,
too, brought food. Misounda brought me a basket of wild berries, and
the other Obongos presented me game, consisting of three beautiful
fat rats, a nice little mouse, one squirrel, two fish, and a piece of
snake. They laid these things before me. To please them, I ordered the
squirrel to be cooked on a bright charcoal fire, and how delighted they
were to see me eat it! how they shouted when they saw me take mouthful
after mouthful!

The sun went down behind the trees, and soon after it was dark in the
village of the Dwarfs. I could see that they were still afraid of
me. They had an idea that probably I wanted to capture some of them.
At last the time came for me to go to bed. I had some trouble to get
through the door, and when I was inside I lay down on my bed made of
sticks, and put my head on my revolvers as a pillow. I had a little
fire lighted so that the smoke would drive the mosquitoes away, and
before lying down I looked round to see if there were any snakes. You
must always take that precaution in that part of the world. The Dwarfs
kept awake all night outside of their huts, for they were not yet
certain that I had not come to capture some of them.

Their little huts were of a low, oval shape, like gipsy tents. The
lowest part, that nearest the entrance, was about four feet from the
ground; the greatest breadth was also four feet. On each side were
three or four sticks for the man and woman to sleep upon. The huts
were made of flexible branches of trees, arched over and fixed into
the ground, the longest branches being in the middle, and the others
successively shorter, the whole being covered with large leaves.

The next morning the Ashangos and the Dwarfs went into the forest to
look after the traps they had made to capture game.

[Illustration: DINNER WITH THE DWARFS.]

As the time of our departure from Niembouai had arrived, I said to the
Dwarfs that I must bid them good-by, for I was going away toward where
the sun rises. "Now you see," said I, "you have always been afraid
of me. Tell me, have I done harm to any one of you?" "No, no," they
exclaimed; "no, no," said my friend Misounda. So I shook hands with
them, and they said to me in parting, "You will see more little Dwarfs
in the countries where you are going. Be kind to them, as you have been
to us."

As I walked on through the jungle, my mind kept dwelling on the strange
Obongos. "If you want one of them to take away with you," said my
Ashango guide, "we will capture one for you, if you will give us beads
and copper rings." "No, no," said I, "the Spirit does not want to
capture people; he wants only to see people."

Now I must tell you what I think of these Obongos. I think that they
are the very same people of whom Herodotus and Homer had heard; that
they are closely allied to the Bushmen of South Africa, for the hair on
their heads grows in the same way; only they are darker in color, and
in that respect seem to be a shade between the negro and the Bushman.
They are also a little shorter in stature than the Bushmen, and I have
a strong belief that in times past they belonged probably to the same
nation.

And now we must take leave of the Dwarfs, for I am to talk to you of
the great negro tribes in whose country the little creatures live. If
I should learn any thing more about the Dwarfs as I go forward, I will
surely relate it to you.



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXVII.

TRAVELING EASTWARD.--MEASURING HEIGHTS.--INSTRUMENTS USED.--REACH
MOUAOU-KOMBO.--APPREHENSIONS OF THE PEOPLE.--PALAVER WITH THE
CHIEF.--AN UNLUCKY SHOT.--HOSTILITIES COMMENCED.


SEVERAL days have passed away since I have left the Pigmies and the
village of Niembouai, and I am traveling toward the rising sun. The
country is getting more and more mountainous as we advance eastward,
the forests are very thick, the jungle is very dense, and many of the
trees are of immense size. An apparently perpetual mist shrouds the
summit of many of the hills, where it rains almost every day, though on
the sea-shore it is the dry season. Village after village of the wild
Ashango inhabitants of the country have been passed by us; many are
deserted. The people are afraid of me, and do not wish to see me.

Some of the mountains we passed had queer names. One was called
Birougou-Bouanga. I remember well Birougou-Bouanga; it was 2574 feet in
height.

In order to know the elevation of the country as I traveled along,
I had two kinds of instruments with me--aneroids, and an apparatus
for ascertaining at what point water boils. The boiling apparatus
was a queer-looking instrument, and was a great object of fright to
the negroes. The illustration gives you an idea of the instrument.
Here is a policeman's lantern; in it is a lamp, and on the top is a
kind of kettle in which water is put when to be used. To the kettle
is attached by a screw a thermometer, the bulb of which is immersed
in the water. A short time after the lamp is lit, the water boils and
forces the mercury along the tube; then the degrees are read off on the
instrument. With this reading entered on the tables which are made for
this instrument, the height of the place where you are is obtained.

[Illustration: INSTRUMENTS FOR OBSERVATIONS.

1. Iron Bottle for Quicksilver. 2. Aneroid. 3. Thermometer. 4.
Artificial Horizon. 5. Sextant. 6. Glass to measure the cubic inches
of Rain. 7. Rain-gauge and Bottle. 8. Policeman's Lantern with
Thermometer, _a_. 9. Brass Tube in which to keep the Thermometer, _a_.]

The aneroid looks very much like a large watch, but having only one
hand. The higher you ascend, the lower the reading, on account of
the atmospheric pressure. This reading, referred to a table, gives
the height, as by boiling water. Any one of you, procuring these
instruments when going in the country, can amuse himself when he
travels in taking the height of the hills and mountains he passes over.

On my return from the country of the Dwarfs I found improvements in
the boiling apparatus, and also in the artificial horizon. There is now
a very small artificial horizon, invented by my friend Captain George,
of the British Navy, and it is very portable, especially when compared
with the old one travelers had to use. It will be a great boon to
explorers. I doubt that a more useful and safe one to the traveler can
be made. Captain George, I am very happy to say, is the gentleman who
taught me how to take astronomical observations, and how to calculate
them.

At the foot of Birougou-Bouanga was the village of Niembouai-Olomba,
which meant Upper Niembouai. The head men of Niembouai and of Upper
Niembouai were two brothers, so the people consented to receive me,
and we tarried there a few days. The village was situated just at the
junction of two gorges or valleys, one of which ran almost directly
north and south, and the other east and west. From the village, looking
up, I could see the sun as it rose almost from the natural horizon. The
wind during the day blew all the time from the south, and early in the
morning the temperature was quite cool--69° Fahrenheit.

After leaving Niembouai-Olomba, and traveling through the great and
dense forest, we came to a village called Mobana, the inhabitants
belonging to the Ashango tribe, for we were still in the Ashango
territory. The chief of Mobana was called Rakombo. The village was
situated at the summit of a mountain 2369 feet in height, at the foot
of which ran a beautiful stream called Bembo. The Bembo was the first
river I had reached which ran toward the east, toward where the sun
rose. How glad I was! "It no doubt falls into the Congo River," I
said, for I began to hear of a large stream in our line of march going
toward the rising sun.

The great embarrassment now was that the people were so much afraid of
me, not as a spirit who brings the plague, but as a spirit whose evil
eye they dared not meet. I succeeded in leaving Mobana, as I had left
scores of villages before, without trouble, and Rakombo had taken me
to a village farther east with the name of Mouaou-Kombo. The name of
the village proper was Mouaou, and the chief's name was Kombo. If the
people of the wild tribes I had passed before had been afraid of me,
the people of Mouaou-Kombo stood in still greater dread of my coming.
The people of Mobana, who had taken me to that village, had disappeared
one by one, and Rakombo himself, their chief, had deserted me. So I was
left all alone with my Commi men among the Mouaou-Kombo people.

A few days after my arrival at Mouaou-Kombo, if you had sought me or
my Commi men in the village, you would not have found us there. Where
were we? We were encamped by ourselves not far from the village,
from which we had withdrawn to show the people that we were tired of
remaining there, and impatient to take our departure. We had been busy
that day in cutting down trees around our camp to serve as an abatis
and safeguard, so that nobody could approach us without making us aware
of it by their noise in penetrating the dense branches. We passed the
night in reasonable security, though without much fire, for our dogs,
Andèko, Commi-Nagoumba, Rover, Turk, Fierce, and Ndjègo, would have
in an instant apprised us by their barking of any strange visitor
attempting to enter the camp. All our luggage was by us. The path from
Mouaou-Kombo to our retreat was very steep.

I had that day sent Igala, Rebouka, and Mouitchi, armed to the teeth,
along the path leading eastward, telling them to look sharp, and to
ascertain, if they came to a village whether the inhabitants did not
want us to pass through their country; in fact, to learn all the news
they could, and make report to me. After two hours Igala came back
laughing, and saying that he had entered a big village, from which the
people had fled in perfect terror, thinking I had come with him, but
that finally he had succeeded in holding a parley with some of the
inhabitants, and learned that they had trouble with the Mouaou-Kombo
people. Igala told them not to be afraid of me, and that they must not
be alarmed if they should see me come to their village. So far all was
right; we knew exactly what was ahead of us. "Well done," I said, "my
boys."

The next morning a deputation of villagers of Mouaou-Kombo came to our
camp and begged us to come back, saying that if I would return, in two
days they would conduct me by another route to the southeast in order
to avoid the hostile villages. So we returned to the village, the
villagers helping my men in carrying our luggage back. Now I regretted
that I had no more Commi men with me, so that we might have been
independent of strangers for the transportation of our luggage.

As I came back to Mouaou-Kombo, little did I know what a dark cloud was
hanging over us, for my heart was filled with joy at the prospect of
soon continuing our journey. Little did I dream of the storm that in a
short time was to burst upon us. Little did I think, as I ascended the
hill in the midst of the peals of laughter of my Commi men and of the
Ashangos, that there was fighting and bloodshed in store; that I was
soon to be engaged with my men in defending our lives, and in beating
a disastrous retreat along the way we had come, and see the mournful
end of that glorious journey upon which I had set my heart! Like the
little leaf cast upon the stream of Mokenga, I was drifting I knew not
whither. I had no knowledge then of the breakers ahead, and now I am
going to relate to you the sad story.

I had entered again the village of Mouaou-Kombo; our luggage had been
put back in the huts; Kombo, the chief, headed by his elders, had come
to receive me, beating his kendo as he advanced. After a while the
elders departed, and the chief and his queen were seated by my side
in the street. The people were passing to and fro to their accustomed
avocations, and every thing was going on as usual.

"Is it true," said Kombo to me, "that you Oguizis kill people as we
Ashangos kill monkeys and the wild beasts of the forest? We Ashangos
believe you do it, and that is the reason we are afraid of you. We are
even afraid that your eye is an evil one, and that a look of yours can
bring death." Then the chief stopped and looked at me.

"Nèshi, nèshi, nèshi," I repeated three times (no, no, no), and I spat
on the ground to show him how I hated what he had said. "No," said I,
"Kombo, the Oguizi loves people, loves the Ashangos, and kills no one."

As I was speaking, a goat, the peace-offering of the king, stood before
me, and several bunches of plantain lay near by, which had been brought
in a little before by his people. The king said, "Eat these, Spirit.
In two days I will conduct you where you want to go. I am so glad to
hear that you do not kill people, but surely us Ashangos are afraid of
you; but in a day's journey you will reach the Njavi country."

Then the queen said, "I told you, my husband, that the Oguizi did not
kill people as the Ashangos kill monkeys. Now don't you believe me?"
said she, looking at the king right in the face. Then, turning to me,
she said, "Oguizi, I am cooking a pot of _koa_ (a root) for you and
your men; will you eat them?"

"Certainly," said I.

I had hardly uttered those words when there appeared before us four
warriors of a hostile village, who said they would make war on the
Mouaou-Kombo people if they dared to take me through their village;
that they did not want me to pass that way.

Kombo, the chief, said to me, "Oguizi, go in your hut; I do not want
these people to see you," and he asked my men to fire guns to frighten
the warriors. Igala fired, advancing toward the four warriors, who
fled. I could not help laughing. Other guns were fired, when I heard,
back of where the king and queen and myself were seated, the report
of another gun, and I was startled to see the Mouaou villagers, with
affrighted looks and shouts of alarm, running away in every direction.
The king and queen got up, and fled along with the rest.

"Mamo! mamo!" was heard every where.

I got up, and, looking back in the direction where the gun had been
fired, I saw, not far from my hut, the lifeless body of a leading
Ashango man.

Igalo had done the deed. He rushed toward me and shouted, "I did not
do it on purpose; the gun went off before I had raised it."

Now, indeed, I might be sure that the Ashangos would believe that the
Oguizi could kill people as they did monkeys.

What was to be done? I was hundreds of miles away from the sea.

I called the king back. "Do not be afraid," I said.

Kombo cried back to me, "You say you come here to do no harm, and you
do not kill people. Is not this the dead body of a man?" and in an
instant he was out of sight.

Oh, how sorry I felt! but there was but little time for melancholy
reflections.

I shouted back, "Ashango people, I am very sorry. What can I do? I will
pay you the price of twenty men for that man who has been killed."

In the mean time the war-drums began to beat furiously in every part
of this large village, and the warriors came out by hundreds, armed
with spears, bows and poisoned arrows, battle-axes, and other murderous
implements of war.

My men held beads and goods in their hands, and shouted, "Come, we will
pay you for that man that has been killed."

Then suddenly one of the elders, bolder than the rest, shouted, "Let
there be no war; let us have peace. The Oguizi will pay for that man's
life."

There was a lull. Some said, "Let us make war; let us kill the people
who have come with the Oguizi, for they have come to kill us," while
another party shouted, "Let us have peace." The war-drums for a while
ceased to beat, and the horns calling the warriors from the forest had
ceased to blow.

There was a lull--just what I wanted. I knew it was utterly impossible
to make those people believe that that man had been killed by accident.
I might just as well have tried to make them believe that a spear would
go through a man and kill him without being hurled by another man.

That lull was precious time to me, though it was but short. I
encouraged my seven Commi men, who had come close to me for advice.
"Don't be afraid, boys," I said. "We are men; we can fight. Not one of
you will be delivered to the Ashangos for this palaver. We will fight
our way back; get ready. Though they may be inclined for peace, let us
prepare for the worst, and woe to our enemies if they want to fight."
Then, turning toward Igalo, I said to him reproachfully, though kindly,
"See what your carelessness has brought upon us."

In a very short time we had got out an additional supply of ammunition,
two hundred bullets extra for each man, and six one-pound cans of
powder. We could not be taken unawares, for our guns had never left our
hands, and by the side of each man hung always a bag containing one
hundred bullets and two or three pounds of powder; so you see we had
ammunition enough to carry on a desperate fight, and we were bound to
sell our lives dearly, but not before having exhausted every means of
conciliation.

Then, pointing to seven otaitais, I said, "Get ready to put them on at
an instant's notice." They contained my precious things--photographs,
scientific instruments, and valuable notes.

We were ready for our retreat in case war should be decided upon by the
Ashangos.

The appearances were hopeful, and I began to think that the palaver
would be settled satisfactorily, when suddenly a woman, whom afterward
I recognized to be the queen, came wailing and tearing her hair.
Stripping off her garment of grass-cloth, she rolled herself on the
ground before me, crying, "Oguizi, what have I done to you? Why have
you killed my sister? What had she done to you? She gave you food--that
is the harm she has done you. Go and see her body behind the hut," and
she wailed aloud. Then from afar the friendly elder, who did not desire
at first to make war, shouted, "Why have you killed my wife, oh wicked
Oguizi?"

The fatal bullet had gone through the man, and then through a hut,
killing the sister of the queen, who was busy behind her dwelling.

As the sad news spread, a general shout for war arose from the
increasing multitude, and every man who had not his spear or bow rushed
for it, and those who had them brandished them in sign of defiance.
War was declared--there was no help for it. Oh dear, what was to be
done? I had not come into that far country to kill these savages, but
then my men, who had left their homes, their wives, fathers, mothers,
brothers, sisters, children, must not be killed--they trusted in me.
What shall we do? Is Paul Du Chaillu to run away from the enemy? Shall
these savages call him a coward? Such thoughts made the blood rush
to my head. I shall never play the coward, but then there are many
ways besides fighting to show one's courage. My mind was made up; so
I girded my loins for the fight, sad at heart. First I thought I
would set fire to the house where my baggage was, but there was so
much powder there--several hundred pounds--that in exploding it more
Ashangos would be killed. We had shed the first blood; we must be
careful to shed no more without being obliged to do so, and I offered a
silent prayer to God to guide me in what was to be done.

My seven Commi men stood by me, ready to start with their otaitais on
their backs. "Be not afraid, boys," said I; "we are men."

We had to go through the whole length of the village before we could
reach the path by which we had come to Mouaou-Kombo.

I shouted, "Ashangos, all the goods I have I give to you for the people
that have been killed. Now we go away. We did not come here to make
war; we did not come here to kill people. We don't wish to kill you, so
do not compel us to do so."

My Commi boys were cool and steady, and, keeping a firm line, we
marched through the street of the village. A rain of spears and of
poisoned arrows came from behind the huts, and showered all around
us. I am wounded--a sharp-pointed arrow pierces me. Then Igala, my
right-hand man, is wounded. "Don't fire, boys; let us shed no more
blood in this village if we can help it," I said. "Press onward; do not
be afraid. There is but one God, the ruler of the universe; all will be
for the best."

We advance steadily, the crowd ahead of us in the street brandishing
their spears and sending arrows at us; but they keep far away, while,
with guns pointed toward them, we continue to advance, Rebouka and
Mouitchi looking around toward the huts, for our hidden enemies were
the ones we dreaded the most. Another shower of spears and arrows
fell in the midst of us. I look around--no one is wounded; when, lo!
Macondai is struck by an arrow. The infuriated savages, shouting their
terrific war-cries, become bolder, and come nearer. Must more blood be
shed? And now Rebouka is wounded. Five spears fall by me, and a perfect
shower of them fly all around.

Igala says, "Chally, do you think we are going to let these savages
wound you? A man in our country would be put to death if he dared to
raise his hand against you. Don't you see our blood? May we not fire
and kill some of them?"

"Be patient, my boys. Remember we shed the first blood. Wait a little
while; perhaps they will desist. They dare not come too near; when they
do we will kill them."

Oh dear, one of our dogs is killed--poor Andèko! three spears go into
him and lay him prostrate; he gives a shriek of pain, and he is dead.
Our other dogs are by us. Commi-Nagoumba is in a great rage; he barks
furiously at the Ashangos; a spear has just wounded him slightly on
the back. Rover, Fierce, Turk, and Ndjègo are ready to help us; we
have trouble to keep them in check. They are going to be useful in the
forest--they will discover the men in ambush. The Ashangos know this,
and they try to kill them. Just as we reach the end of the village,
Rover and Fierce are wounded, each receiving an arrow in his body.



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXVIII.

RETREAT FROM MOUAOU-KOMBO.--THE ATTACK.--PAUL IS WOUNDED.--A
PANIC.--THE FIGHT RENEWED.--THE ENEMY RE-ENFORCED.--LYING IN
AMBUSH.--THE ENEMY REPULSED.--A POISONED ARROW.--MOUITCHI SAFE.--DEATH
OF THE DOGS.


WE enter the great forest; we are going to leave the village of
Mouaou-Kombo forever. We are on the path which we took on our way
eastward. We are going back. The forest near the village is filled with
savages waiting for us behind the trees.

We can only go single file. I give command. Igala is to take the lead;
then follow Rebouka, Rapelina, Ngoma, Macondai, and Igalo, the cause
of our trouble. I guard the rear; the post of danger, of honor, must
belong to me, their chieftain, for I have sworn to them, and their
people when I left the sea-shore, to protect them.

All at once I remember Mouitchi. I do not see him. He is not with us.
"Mouitchi, where are you?" I cry. "He is dead," replied the Ashangos.
"He will never come to you. We have killed him. You will never see him
again."

Before plunging into the forest we turn back and shout, "Ashangos,
we do not want war. We did not come to your country to kill people.
Beware! We leave your village; do not follow us, for if you do there
will be war." They answer by a fierce war-cry, and hundreds of spears
from afar are thrown at us as in defiance.

"Now," said I, "boys, no more mercy! blood for blood! Fight valiantly,
but kill no women, no old men, no children; for remember, you are with
a white man, and we never make war on these. I would not dare to raise
my head in my country if I had killed women and children."

Three dogs are left. Poor Rover and Fierce have just been killed.
More than fifty spears had been thrown at them. They fell bravely in
our defense. The forest was filled with armed Ashangos. When we got
into the path a large spear was thrown at me from behind a big tree;
Macondai saw the man. "Do not kill him," said I; "he is an old man,
and he is disarmed." He had no other spear with him. At this moment a
poisoned arrow struck into me--a long, slender, bearded arrow, which
first pierced the leather belt that held my revolvers. I had no time
to take the arrow out; the fighting was too terrific. Six savages all
at once rushed upon Macondai from behind a tree. Macondai fired at
them, and I came to the rescue. Bang, bang, bang from my revolvers, and
the miscreants troubled us no more. Igalo now received a wound from a
poisoned arrow, and we were almost surrounded.

My men quickened their speed. "Don't go so fast," I shouted from the
rear; but they went on faster and faster. The shouts of the savages
became more violent, and they were shooting at us from behind every
tree. My Commi ran as fast as they could. Igalo and I remained behind.
"Olome (men)," shouted I, "what are you doing?" A panic seized them;
they ran faster and faster along the path, and I shouted in vain for
them to stop. Wild shouts, and the tramp of scores of infuriated men
thirsting for blood, were heard close behind us, and the Ashangos got
bolder and bolder as they saw that we quickened our steps. They began
to realize that my men were demoralized.

Just as I was raising my gun, an arrow cut the flesh of my middle
finger to the bone, severing the small artery, and causing the blood to
flow copiously on the path. A little after I heard the Ashangos shout,
"Ah! ah! we see your blood on the track; you lose blood. Not one of you
shall see the sun set to-day. We are coming; all the villages in front
of you will fight you. You shall lie dead like the man you killed. We
will cut you to pieces."

I rushed ahead, shouting to my Commi men to stop. Suddenly, as I
advanced to overtake them, I see their loads strewn on the ground along
the path. They had thrown down their baggage. It was now my turn to
be infuriated. I rushed ahead, revolver in hand, and shouted, "I will
shoot the first man of you that dares to move a step." They stopped for
sheer want of breath. My breath was also almost taken away. I said,
"Boys, what have you done? You have run away from the Ashangos. You
have left me behind all alone to fight for you. You are to be called
by those savages cowards; they will say that you do not know how to
fight," and I looked Igala and the other men boldly in the face, and
shook my head sorrowfully. "What have you done?" I added. "Where are my
photographs? where my note-books? where my route maps? where are those
mementos of friends at home? where are my scientific instruments? Gone,
thrown away; the toils of years irrecoverably lost. My boys, what have
you done?"

[Illustration: THE FIGHT WITH THE ASHANGOS.]

The panic had lasted about ten minutes. Their flight had been so
hurried that we had left all the savages somewhat in the rear. "Boys,"
said I, "think a little while, and don't run away any more. Don't you
see that the Ashangos have the disadvantage? They are obliged to stop
every time they want to adjust an arrow and take aim, and as for their
spears they can not manage them in the thick jungle, for they have
not space enough. Besides, we are often out of sight before they can
deliver their shot, and the only people we have to fear are those who
are waiting in ambush for us. Their bravest men will think twice before
they come to us at close quarters, and if they do, have we not guns and
revolvers? have we not guns whose bullets will go through four or five
men, one after another? So be not afraid."

By the time I had finished this little speech, and had just taken
breath, the infuriated savages were again upon us. Their hatred seemed
to be now against Igala, whom they called _malanga_, cursing him. They
dodged about, taking short cuts through the jungle, and surrounding us.
"You have tasted blood," they cried; "you are all dead men. It is no
use for you to try to fight."

My men by this time had recovered from their panic, and sent back the
Commi war-cry, and shouted, "Yogo gou-nou (come here)! We are ready;
come here; we will make you taste death. Many of you will never go
back by the path you came;" and we stood still. "Well done, boys!" I
shouted. "Show the people what you can do," and many Ashangos fell on
the ground never to rise again.

In a little while we came to a village from which the people had fled.
There I discovered the plan of the Ashangos. They wanted to flank us,
while some of them were going forward to rouse the other villages ahead
to fight us. If they could succeed in flanking us, they would soon
finish us; if not, they could make all the population ahead hostile to
us on our way back. There lay our great danger. If they succeeded in
rousing the population against us, it would be impossible for us to
escape. We could not keep fighting forever. I was already beginning
to feel very weak. We had had no food since the day before, for the
trouble came before our breakfast. The poisonous arrows began to show
the effect of the poison in the blood, and I felt a raging thirst. My
men were very much frightened at this. The Commi knew nothing of the
poisoned missiles, but had heard of the dreadful effects of poisonous
wounds from the slaves coming from the interior.

Poor Igala complained of great pain and great thirst. "I shall die,
Chally," said he; "I shall never see my daughter again!"

"If God wills it, you shall not die, Igala," I said.

Let us get ready. The Ashangos are coming silently this time; we
hear their footsteps; they are in sight. We hid at the extremity
of the village, and I shouldered my long-range rifle. The Ashango
leader advanced, and as he was adjusting his bow I fired. His right
arm dropped down broken and powerless by his side, and the next man
behind fell with a crash in the bush in the midst of fallen leaves and
branches. Rebouka fired, and down came another man, and one by one my
men kept up the fire. The Ashangos had now received a momentary check.
The bravest among them had fallen in the dust, and my men shouted to
the Ashangos that fell, "You will never return by the path you came."
The panic was over; my Commi men were ashamed to have acted as they had
done.

We jogged on now leisurely till we came to a rivulet. I could not
stand; I lay flat, and drank, and drank as much as I could. How
fervently I wished Mouitchi was with us! Poor Mouitchi! where was
he killed? His body must have been hacked to pieces. Another dog
was missing; two only were left. They had been killed for being our
friends, and finding out our enemies behind the trees.

The Ashangos began to learn how to fight us. We had not gone far
when suddenly they came again in great numbers without uttering a
war-cry. The path was most difficult when we became aware of their
appearance; steep hill lay beyond steep hill; stream after stream had
to be crossed, and we increased our speed, for we were to be under a
disadvantage; but it was fortunate that we knew the ground by having
been over it before. Suddenly a paralyzing thud, accompanied by a sharp
pain, told me that I had been struck from behind my back or in flank
by an unknown enemy. This time it was in my side that I was wounded.
We were just going up a steep hill, and I turned to see my assailant.
Igalo, the poor good fellow, the unfortunate cause of our woe, was by
my side, and turned round also to see who had launched the missile.
Lo, what do we descry lying flat on the ground among the dry leaves,
still as death? An Ashango, crouched as still as a snake in its coil,
his bright eyes flashing vindictively at me. Igalo, in the twinkling
of an eye, discharged his gun at him, and the too-skillful bowman
lay low, never to rise again. I could not help it--I felt sorry; I
deplored that fight with my whole heart from the beginning. This time
I was wounded badly. The arrow was bearded, small, and slender, and
had gone deeply into my stomach, and if the leather belt which held my
revolvers, and through which it passed, had not weakened its force. I
should have been mortally wounded; but a kind Providence watched over
me, and, though another wound disabled that poor, tired, worn-out body
of mine, I did not grumble. I had reached that state in which I did not
care. The trouble was that I had to go with that arrow in my body, for
there was no time to disengage it.

My men came around me, for they saw that the pain had turned me deadly
pale, and, though not a cry of anguish was uttered by me (for I, their
chief, must teach them how to suffer), they saw that my strength was
gradually giving away.

How painful that little bit of bearded arrow was as part of it lay
inside, and the other part in the leather!

We were now near Mobana, and the Mouaou warriors, and those that had
been added to them, were still pursuing us. Happily, we knew every hill
and every stream. We crossed the Bembo, a stream with which you were
made acquainted on our way east, and the ascent of the steep hill on
the other side was terrible. The Mouaou warriors were shouting all the
time, "Men of Mobana, do not let the Oguizi pass! They have killed our
people!"

Approaching Mobana, we could hear the war-drums beating in the village,
but fortunately the path led us by the end of the street, and as we
passed we saw the Mobanians in battle array, and heard them sending
fierce war-cries at us.

The Mobanians made common cause with the Mouaou people, and they were
like a body of fresh troops coming to the rescue--they were not tired.
The situation was becoming grave, especially if the people ahead of us
were also in sympathy with the Mouaou people.

We recognized the leading Mobana warrior, armed with his bow and
several quivers of arrows. Happily they were at some distance from us,
and I ordered my men not to fire at them, thinking that perhaps when
they saw that we did not desire to make war they might remain quiet in
their village, and not pursue us.

We had no time to lose, for I knew that Mobana was situated on the
top of a very steep and high hill, and of course I did not want to be
taken in the rear by those savages, and subjected to a plunging fire of
spears and arrows from their high elevation, from which they could look
down on us.

"Boys," said I, "let us go down this hill quickly, so that we may reach
the bottom and ascend the other before they come; then we shall have a
great advantage over our enemies. We descended the hill, the multitude
of savages following us, shouting, "Ah! ah! you run away! You do not
know this forest; you shall never leave it; we will kill you all; we
will cut your bodies to pieces!"

My blood was getting up. At last we reached the bottom of the hill,
and began to ascend the other by the path. "Boys," said I, "don't you
remember that there is a big fallen tree near the path up this hill
where the jungle is very thick? We are getting weak; let us lay in
ambush there, and be as silent as if we were all dead, and wait for the
Ashangos."

After a while we came to the place I had spoken of, and in the thick
bushes just by the side of the path, not far from the big fallen tree,
I ordered Igala, Rapelina, and Ngoma to lie down together. On the other
side, in a position which I thought would be a good one, I put Igalo,
Macondai, and Rebouka. I myself kept the centre, facing the path, and
could see tolerably well what was going on around.

We lay almost flat on the ground, nearly hidden by the underbrush,
with our bags of bullets hanging in front, our flasks of powder handy,
and our cartridges ready. We kept as silent as the grave, moving not
a muscle, and hardly daring to breathe, and waited for the slightest
rustling of the leaves as a warning that the Ashangos were coming.

Hark! hark! we hear a very slight distant noise, which seems as if
an antelope or gazelle was passing through the forest. We look at
each other as if to say, "They are coming." As by instinct we look
at our guns and our ammunition, and see that every thing is ready
for the fray. We were indeed desperate, for now we knew it was a
death-struggle--that we must either vanquish the Ashangos or be killed
by them.

The rustling in the midst of the leaves becomes more distinct, and we
glance rapidly in front of us, on the right of us, on the left of us,
and behind us.

We see the sharp-shooters forming the Ashango vanguard advancing
carefully, with their bows and arrows in readiness. They came in almost
a sitting posture. Now and then the leaders would stop to wait for the
men behind, their fierce, savage faces looking all around at the same
time, and their ears erect to catch the slightest sound. Suddenly they
stop, perhaps to listen and know where we are. They look at each other
as if to say, "We don't hear any thing," or perhaps they mistrust the
bush ahead. Then I get a glimpse of the great Mobana warrior, and also
of one of the leading Mouaou warriors. All at once they gave a cluck,
the meaning of which I could not tell. Perhaps it meant danger.

I had been looking intently for a minute at these savages, when I
cast a glance in the direction where Igala, Rapelina, and Ngoma were.
Igala was aiming with an unerring and steady hand at the great Mobana
warrior, and Rapelina was aiming at the Mouaou warrior; whether Ngoma
was aiming at any one I could not see. It took only one glance for me
to see what was going on in that direction. Then, turning in the other
direction, I saw that Macondai, Rebouka, and Igalo were getting ready;
they had also caught sight of some sly and silent enemy. I shouldered
my rifle also. Not twenty seconds had passed after I had looked at
Igala when I heard in his direction, bang! bang! The great Mobana
warrior was shot through the abdomen, and uttered a cry of anguish,
while Rapelina had sent a bullet through the lower jaw of the Mouaou
warrior, smashing it completely. Ngoma fired, but I could not see the
man he fired at. All at once, bang! bang! bang! I hear from Igalo,
Macondai, and Rebouka's side. Bang! bang! bang! three guns from the
other side. Bang! from my own gun.

"Well done, boys!" I cried. "Forward, and charge, and let us show the
Ashangos we are men." We rush through the jungle in the direction from
which the warriors had come. They are surprised; their leading chiefs
are killed. Bang! bang! bang! from revolvers and guns; we are fighting
like lions at bay. We are victorious; our enemies fly in abject terror.

We shouted to the fleeing Ashangos cries of defiance: "Come here! Come
again; not one of you shall go back to your villages. We are coming; we
will kill you all before night. You made war; we did not make it. Come
and look at your dead in the forest. Come and fetch them if you dare!
Tonight we are coming to your villages, and will destroy them!"

The voices of the Ashangos became fainter and fainter, and there were
no more answers to our cries of defiance.

Some of us had been wounded again. As we came to a little stream, my
exhaustion was such that every thing became dim before me; the trees of
the forest seemed to be moving, and finally I fell almost unconscious
to the ground. After a while I drank copiously of the refreshing water
of the stream, for the poisoned arrows had given me an unquenchable
thirst. The men drank also; none of us seemed ever to be satisfied. A
few minutes after, and we drank again. Now we breathed more freely,
and rested a little while, keeping a sharp lookout, however, at the
same time. I examined the wounds of Igala and the others, and said,
"Igala, don't be afraid; you are not going to die from the effects of
the poisoned arrow. I am going to put in your wound something that will
burn you, but do you good." It was ammonia. I applied it, and he gave a
piercing shriek.

The slender, small, sharp-pointed, bearded arrow had remained in my
body the whole of the day; two or three times I tried in vain to pull
it out, but it seemed to stick fast in the flesh; so I took off the
belt of my revolver, and said to Igala, "Pull that arrow out for me."
He tried gently, but it would not come. I said, "Pull it with all your
strength."

Oh how it pained! It was like a little fish-hook--a little bit of
a thing, but it so tore the flesh that I felt like giving a cry of
anguish. I became deadly pale, but did not utter a word; I wanted to
set an example of fortitude to my men. Then I put ammonia in all my
wounds and those of my men, for I always carried a little bottle of
it to use in case of snake-bites. The blood had flowed freely from my
finger, and I was sorry to see that my clothes were quite saturated,
but the effusion of blood had carried off the poison.

I found that the effect of the poison was to bring on mortification
of the flesh, and was not so dangerous as I had been led to believe,
though I was very sick a few days after the fight.

After resting a while, and after equalizing our munitions of war,
we shouldered our empty otaitais. Just as we were ready to start we
heard again a rustling of leaves. Are the Ashangos coming back? We
are silent, and look in the direction of the noise. We see a man--our
guns are directed toward him. I make a sign not to fire, I do not know
why--God directs me. Now and then he hides himself--stops--watches--he
is advancing, not in the path, but a little way from it. The man comes
nearer; we see a gun in his hand--it is Mouitchi! I am the first to
recognize him. "Mouitchi!" I shouted. "I am Mouitchi," the answer was.
He rushes toward us; he is safe; he is not even wounded, and with
tremulous voice I said, "Boys, God is with us; I thank thee, Father." I
could say no more, but this came from the inmost depths of my heart.

Mouitchi's story was this: He had mistaken the path in the panic, and
finally had gone through the jungle and followed us by the halloing of
the fierce Ashangos, but kept at a good distance from them. He heard
them crying out that the great warriors of Mobana and of Mouaou were
killed. They had fled in the utmost terror.

Poor Commi-Nagoumba was the only dog left; all the others had been
killed. If I could have collected their bodies I would have dug a grave
for them at the foot of a big tree, and written on it the words,

               HERE ARE BURIED

                  THE DOGS

  ANDÈKO, ROVER, FIERCE, TURK, and NDJÈGO.

     _They were faithful unto death._

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXIX.

TRAVELING WESTWARD.--A NIGHT IN THE FOREST.--PAUL'S SPEECH TO
HIS MEN.--THEIR REPLY.--THE RETREAT RESUMED.--TAKING FOOD AND
REST.--MEETING WITH FRIENDS.


THIS meeting with Mouitchi revived for a while my failing strength. I
saw in his safety the decree of a kind Providence. My warriors were by
me; though wounded, none of us had been killed.

We continued our journey westward. The forest had resumed its
accustomed stillness, undisturbed by the savage war-cries of the
infuriated Ashangos. I felt so weak that it was with great difficulty
I could walk. I had been obliged to get rid of my splendid formidable
double-barreled breach-loading rifle by breaking the butt-end and
throwing the barrel into the woods. I had tried as hard as I could
to carry two guns, but at last I had to give up. Now I had only a
smooth-bore to carry.

A little after we had resumed our march, as we walked silently in the
forest, we met suddenly two Mobana women. Igala at once was going to
shoot them; I forbid him doing it. Poor Igala said he did not like this
way of making war; he said it was not the white man's country, and we
ought not to fight in the white man's fashion. He was for shooting
every Ashango he saw; and, pointing to our wounds, he said, "Don't
you think they would have killed all of us if they had been able?" I
answered, "Never mind, Igala; they will tell their people that, after
all, we did not want to kill every body."

Poor women! they really thought they were going to be murdered, but
they had no idea of what had taken place.

We went on, though I was becoming weaker and weaker. A high fever had
set in, and my thirst continued to be intense; at the sight of a stream
I thought I could drink the whole of the water. My men were pretty
nearly in the same condition as myself.

Thus we traveled on till near sunset, when at last I said, "Boys, I can
not go any farther; I can not walk, I am so weak, so weary, so ill.
There is that big village of Niembouai-Olomba near us; we are all too
tired to go through it and fight our way if the people want to fight
us. It will soon be dark; let us leave the path, and go into the forest
and rest. At midnight, when the people are asleep, we will go through
the village, and continue our way toward the sea."

"You are right," said the men. "You are our chief; we will do as you
say."

We left the path and plunged into the woods, and after a while we
halted in one of the thickest parts of the forest, where no one could
see us but that good and merciful God whose eye was upon us in that day
of our great trials, and who had given us strength to contend with our
enemies. We were hidden from the sight of man, and hundreds of miles
away from the Commi country--I was thousands of miles away from my own.
It was, indeed, a day of tribulation. The men were afraid to light a
fire, for fear that it might betray our hiding-place. We did not even
dare to speak aloud; we were almost startled at the rustling of the
leaves, for we knew not but that it might be the enemy. Our pride had
left us with our strength. We were helpless, wounded, weak, hungry; the
future before us was dark and gloomy. What a picture of despondency we
presented!

After a while we lay on the ground to sleep, muzzling our only dog,
that he should not betray our hiding-place. Darkness came on, and the
silence of the night was only broken by the mournful cry of a solitary
owl that came to perch near us. In a little time my exhausted men
thought not of leopards, or poisonous snakes, or hostile savages, in
the deep slumber that enwrapped them. Igala alone now and then moaned
from pain. The night air was misty and cold. As I lay awake on the damp
ground, an intense feeling of sadness came over me. There was I, far
from home. I thought of our northern climes, of spring, of summer, of
autumn, of winter, of flakes of snow, of a happy home, of girls and
boys, of friends, of schoolmates. I knew that if any of them could
have been made aware of my forlorn condition they would have felt the
tenderest sympathy with me in my misfortunes, and I thought if I could
see them once more before dying I should die happy.

Hours passed by, and at last I thought it must be time to start. I took
a match from my match-box, and lighted a wax candle (I always kept
one in my bag), and looked at my watch. It was just midnight. We lay
in a cluster, and I awoke my men in a moment. "Boys," said I, "it is
time for us to start, for the hours of the night are passing away; the
people of the village must have retired. Two of you must go as scouts,
and see if the people of Niembouai-Olomba are asleep." Mouitchi and
Igala at once started. "Be as cunning," said I, "as leopards, and
noiseless as snakes."

After a while they came back, telling us that every body was asleep
in the village of Niembouai-Olomba, and that we had better start
immediately, "for," said they, "the first sleep is the deepest."

Then, calling my boys around me, I gave them what I thought might be my
last words of admonition. With dead silence they waited for what I was
going to say:

"Little did we know, boys, at sunrise this morning, what would happen
to us to-day. Men can not look into the future. I was leading you
carefully across that big country of the black man toward the land of
the white man. I did not defeat the journey--one of you has done it.
Poor Igalo is sorry for it, but no one is more sorry than I am, for I
had set my heart on taking you by the okili mpolo. I was leading you on
well to the white man's country. Now all hope of this is over. We are
poor; every thing we had has been left behind, and we have nothing else
to do but go back to the sea, following the road by which we came.

"In a little while we shall start. I have called you around me to give
you advice, for I am ill and weary, and if there is much fighting to be
done I am afraid I shall not have the strength to take part in it. If
perchance you see me fall on the ground, do not try to raise me up; let
me alone; don't be frightened. Stand close together; do not run, each
man his own way. You have guns; you can reach the Commi country if you
are wise as serpents, and then you will behold the beautiful blue sea
and your Commi country once more.

"I have kept my word with your people. I have stood by you to the last.
My boys, I have fought for you as resolutely as I could, but the time
may be at hand when I shall be able to fight no more. I may be killed
to-night, as I have said to you, or I may not be strong enough to raise
my gun. Whatever happens, remain together; listen to Igala, your chief.

"We have lost nearly every thing, but these books (my journal), in
which I have written down all we have done, are yet safe. If I fall,
take them with you to the sea, and when a vessel comes, give them to
the captain, and tell him 'Chally, Chally, our friend, the great friend
of the Commi, is dead. He died far away, calmly, without fear, and he
told us to give these to the white man.'[4] Take also the watch I carry
on my person, and that little box, which contains four other watches,
aneroids, and compass, and give them to the captain. All the other
things and the guns I give you to remember me by. You will give a gun
to Quengueza, and a gun to Ranpano."

       [4] On the first page of each journal I had written, "Copy of
       Du Chaillu's African Journal. Should death overtake me, and
       should these my journals find their way to a civilized country,
       it is my wish that Messrs. John Murray, of London, and Harper &
       Brothers, of New York, shall publish an account of my journey,
       if they feel inclined to do so.

       "P. B. DU CHAILLU."

My men crept close around me as I spoke. I had hardly spoken the last
words when they stretched their arms toward me, and these lion-hearted
negroes wept aloud, and, with voices full of love and kindness, said,
"Chally, Chally, you are not to die. We will take you alive to our
people. No, no; we will all go back to the sea-shore together. You
shall see the deep blue ocean, and a vessel will come and carry you
back home. Do you think that, even if you were killed, we would leave
your body here? No; we would carry it with us, and tarry somewhere and
bury you where nobody could find you, for we do not want the people to
cut off your head for the alumba. Chally, Chally, you are not to die."

"Boys," I answered, in a laughing tone, in order to cheer them up, "I
did not say I expected to die to-night, only that I might die. You know
that Chally is not afraid of death, and many and many times he has told
you that men could kill the body, but could not kill the spirit. Don't
you know that Chally knows how to fight? We are men. If I have talked
to you as I have, it is because I want to prepare you for the worst. Be
of good cheer, and now let us get ready."

We got up and girded our loins for the fight, and swore, if necessary,
to die like brave men. We examined our guns by the light of the candle,
and refilled our flasks with powder, and replaced our cartridges and
bullets. Ncommi-Nagoumba, our last dog, was looking at us. He seemed to
understand the danger, and to say, "Don't kill me; I will not bark."
I looked at him and said, "Ncommi-Nagoumba, don't bark. You have been
our friend. You discovered many of our enemies behind the trees ready
to spear us, and you have warned us of our danger. Our friends, the
other dogs, have been killed; you alone now stand by us, but we are not
ungrateful, and we shall not kill you, Ncommi-Nagoumba. Don't bark,
don't bark," I said to the dog, looking earnestly at him.

Then, shouldering our bundles and guns, we struggled through the
entangled thicket, tearing ourselves with thorns, into the path, and at
last came to the village street. We here paused, and called to each
other in a low tone of voice, to make sure that no one was left behind,
for it was so intensely dark that we could not see a yard before us.
It was necessary to guard against any possible ambush. We then stepped
forward like desperate men, resolved to fight for our lives to the
last, and, entering the village, took the middle of the street, our
feet hardly touching the ground. Igala carried Ncommi-Nagoumba in his
arms, for we were afraid that, if suffered to run loose, he might
possibly bark. I shall never forget that night. We threaded the long
street cautiously, with our guns cocked, and ready at the slightest
warning to defend ourselves. Onward we went, our hearts beating loudly
in our terrible suspense, for we feared a surprise at any moment. Now
and then we could hear the people talking in their huts, and at such
times we would carefully cross to the other side of the street. At one
house we heard the people playing the wombi (native harp) indoors,
and again we crossed lightly to the other side, and passed on without
having alarmed the inmates. Then we came to an ouandja where three men
were lying by the side of a fire stretched out on their mats, smoking
their pipes, and talking aloud. I was afraid Ncommi-Nagoumba would bark
at them, but we passed without being detected. It was no wonder that we
were afraid of every body, for we were so weak and helpless. Thus we
continued our march through that long street, and it seemed as if we
should never reach the end of it.

At last we came to the farthest confine of the village, rejoicing that
we had so successfully avoided creating an alarm, when all at once a
bonfire blazed up before us! As we stood motionless, waiting for the
next move, a kind voice spoke out from the darkness, "It is the Oguizi
people. Go on; you will find the path smooth. There is no more war for
you." It was the voice of the old king of Niembouai-Olomba. But, being
not sure that some treachery was not intended, we passed on without
saying a word in reply to the kind speech of the chief. As it proved,
however, instead of a death-struggle we had found friends.

On we went in the darkness of the night, losing the path at times, and
finding it again; in swamps and water-courses, over stony hills, and
through thorny brakes. Finally, at three o'clock, we came to a field of
cassava. Here we halted, made a fire, gathered some of the roots, and,
having roasted them, ate of them plentifully. This food renewed our
strength. We had been more than thirty-three hours without a particle
of nourishment.

Then, after I had taken my meal, I thought it would be better to burn
some of my clothes which were saturated with blood, so that the natives
might not suspect that I had been wounded, for they all thought I was
a spirit, and consequently invulnerable to the implements of war. So
we lighted a larger fire, and the blood-stained clothes were burned.
After this I laid down to rest a little, but not before I had offered a
silent thanksgiving to that gracious Providence who had so marvelously
preserved my little band of followers and myself.

We rested for the remainder of the night on the hard ground, and at
daylight continued our march, but mistook the path, and finally came to
a plantation belonging to an old man, the next in authority to the king
of Niembouai-Olomba. By that time it was midday. He had heard of our
fight a short time before. We were received kindly by the old man,
and, after we had partaken of the food his people had cooked for us, my
men gave him an account of our deadly encounter with the Ashangos.

[Illustration: FRIENDS IN THE DARKNESS.]

Then the old man said, "What an Oguizi you have had with you! It is no
wonder that none of you were killed, for I have heard by the messenger
that brought the news that sometimes he would hide and change himself
into an elephant, and charge the Ashangos, and throw fire from his
trunk, and would then become a man again. At other times we hear that
the Oguizi turned himself into a leopard, and as the sharp-shooters
came after you he pounced upon them from the branches of the trees, and
that when tired of being a leopard he would transform himself into a
gorilla, and roar till the trees of the forest shook and toppled down
upon your enemies. The Mouaou-Kombo and Mobana people sent us word
that we must fight you, but their quarrels are not ours. We are your
friends."

But there was no time to be lost on the way, and after a little talk we
bade good-by to our kind host, and once more directed our steps toward
the setting sun.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CHAPTER XXX.

CONCLUSION.--RETURN TO THE COAST.--DESOLATION OF THE COUNTRY.--FATE OF
OLD FRIENDS.--REACH THE SETTLEMENT.--DEPARTURE FOR ENGLAND.--AU REVOIR.


I NEED not recount to you our journey back, only that there was no more
fighting, and that we returned by exactly the same road we had taken
going eastward, reached the same villages, and were received every
where with great kindness by the different tribes and their chiefs,
who seemed all so glad to see us. Kombila, Nchiengain, Mayolo, begged
me to come back again. But, when we reached the Ashira country, I did
not go to see Olenda's people, nor did we stop at any village belonging
to his clan, but went and tarried at Angouka's village, where we were
hospitably welcomed, his people saying, "Why did not Quengueza bring
you to us instead of taking you to Olenda?" Then we glided down the now
placid waters of the Ovenga and the Rembo.

From the Ashira country to the sea-shore a picture of desolation every
where met our eyes. The poor Bakalais seemed to have suffered heavily
from the plague; many of their villages were silent, and as we entered
them nothing but grim skeletons was presented to our view. Obindji,
Malaouen, and my hunters were all dead; three men only were left of the
Obindji village.

But when I reached Goumbi the havoc made by the plague seemed the most
terrible of all. Every one of the nephews of the king who had gone to
the Ashira country with us was dead; all my friends were dead. I felt
the sincerest compassion for poor Quengueza: Goumbi had been abandoned,
and all his warriors, his slaves, his wives, his family, his children,
had been taken from him.

This plague had been a fearful visitation, and hundreds of thousands of
people must have been carried off by it.

Finally I reached my settlement on the River Commi, and on my way there
I missed many faces; but I was rejoiced that friend Ranpano's life had
been spared. How glad the good old chief was to see me! He gave me back
the shirt I had given him on my departure. "I knew you would not die,"
said the old chief.

We had all returned safely but one--Retonda. Many of those who had said
of us when we started upon our journey, "We shall see them no more;
they are going into the jaws of the leopards; they are courting death,"
were no more. The plague, which had spared us, had swept them away.

I had gone safely through pestilence, fire, famine, and war, and when I
looked at the sea once more my heart rose in gratitude to that God who
had so marvelously watched over me, the humble traveler in Equatorial
Africa.

I found at the mouth of the river an English trading-vessel ready to
start for London. The name of the vessel was the Maranee, Captain
Pitts, and six days after my arrival on the coast, at the close of the
year 1866, I sailed for England.

And thus I left the shores of Equatorial Africa, followed to the beach
with the blessings and good wishes of its inhabitants.

Since that time years have gone by, but I think often of the fierce
encounters I have had with the wild beasts in that far-off country; of
our camp-fires; of the Dwarfs; of dear, good Quengueza; of my hunters,
Aboko, Niamkala, and Fasiko; of Malaouen, Querlaouen, Gambo; of friend
Obindji, the Bakalai chief of Mayolo; of Ndiayai, the king of the
Cannibals; of Remandji; of my brave boys, Igala, Rebouka, Mouitchi,
Ngoma, Rapelina, Igalo, and dear Macondai, and of other friends, and I
hope that I may meet them again in the Spirit Land.

And now, my dear young friends, let us bid forever adieu to the regions
of Equatorial Africa, whither I have taken you in imagination, and
concerning which I have given you a faithful record of what I did, saw,
and heard there.

I think we have had some pleasant hours together, and, at the same
time, I hope that your knowledge of that unknown part of the world has
been enlarged by the reading of the volumes I have specially written
for your benefit.

Let us always be friends, and when I travel again in distant lands I
shall not fail to tell you what I have seen in my journeyings.

Norway, Sweden, and Lapland are the countries where I am going to take
you next. Meanwhile I say good-by.


[Illustration: FINIS]



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