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´╗┐Title: Ismailia
Author: Baker, Samuel White, Sir
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ismailia" ***

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Major-General of the Ottoman Empire, Member of the Orders of the Osmanie
and the Medjidie, late Governor-General of the Equatorial Nile Basin,
Gold Medallist of the Royal Geographical Society, Grande Medaille d'Or
de la Societe de Geographie de Paris, Honorary Member of the
Geographical Societies of Paris, Berlin, Italy, and America, Author of
"The Albert N'yanza Great Basin of the Nile," "The Nile Tributaries of
Abyssinia," "Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon," "The Rifle and Hound in
Ceylon," etc. etc



I.      Introductory

II.     English Party

III.    The Retreat

IV.     The Camp at Tewfikeeyah

V.      Exploration of the Old White Nile

VI.     The Start

VII.    Arrival at Gondokoro

VIII.   Official Annexation

IX.     New Enemies

X.      Destruction of the Shir Detachment

XI.     Spirit of Disaffection

XII.    Vessels Return to Khartoum

XIII.   Moral Results of the Hunt

XIV.    The Advance South

XV.     The Advance to Lobore

XVI.    Arrival at Patiko

XVII.   The March to Unyoro

XVIII.  March to Masindi

XIX.    Restoration of the Liberated Slaves

XX.     Establish Commerce

XXI.    Treachery

XXII.   The March to Rionga

XXIII.  Build a Stockade at Foweera

XXIV.   No Medical Men

XXV.    I Send to Godokoro for Reinforcements

XXVI.   Arrival of M'Tese's Envoys





An interval of five years has elapsed since the termination of my
engagement in the service of His Highness the Khedive of
Egypt, "to suppress the slave-hunters of Central Africa, and to
annex the countries constituting the Nile Basin, with the object
of opening those savage regions to legitimate commerce and
establishing a permanent government."

This volume--"Ismailia"--gives an accurate description of the salient
points of the expedition. My thanks are due to the public for the kind
reception of the work, and for the general appreciation of the spirit
which prompted me to undertake a mission so utterly opposed to the
Egyptian ideas of 1869-1873; at a time when no Englishman had held a
high command, when rival consulates were struggling for paramount
influence, when the native officials were jealous of foreign
interference, and it appeared that slavery and the slave trade of the
White Nile were institutions almost necessary to the existence of
Egyptian society.

It was obvious to all observers that an attack upon the slave-dealing
and slave-hunting establishments of Egypt by a foreigner--an
Englishman--would be equal to a raid upon a hornets' nest, that all
efforts to suppress the old-established traffic in negro slaves would be
encountered with a determined opposition, and that the prime agent and
leader of such an expedition must be regarded "with hatred, malice, and
all uncharitableness." At that period (1869) the highest authorities
were adverse to the attempt. An official notice was despatched from the
British Foreign Office to the Consul-General of Egypt that British
subjects belonging to Sir Samuel Baker's expedition must not expect the
support of their government in the event of complications. The
enterprise was generally regarded as chimerical in Europe, with
hostility in Egypt, but with sympathy in America.

Those who have read "Ismailia" may have felt some despondency. Although
the slave-hunters were driven out of the territory under my command,
there were nevertheless vast tracts of country through which new routes
could be opened for the slave caravans to avoid the cruising steamers on
the White Nile, and thus defeat the government. The Sultan of Darfur
offered an asylum and a secure passage for all slaves and their captors
who could no longer venture within the new boundaries of Egypt. It was
evident that the result of the expedition under my command was a
death-blow to the slave trade, if the Khedive was determined to persist
in its destruction. I had simply achieved the success of a foundation
for a radical reform in the so-called commerce of the White Nile. The
government had been established throughout the newly-acquired
territories, which were occupied by military positions garrisoned with
regular troops, and all those districts were absolutely purged from the
slave-hunters. In this condition I resigned my command, as the first act
was accomplished. The future would depend upon the sincerity of the
Khedive, and upon the ability and integrity of my successor.

It pleased many people and some members of the press in England to
disbelieve the sincerity of the Khedive. He was accused of annexation
under the pretext of suppressing the vast organization of the White Nile
slave-trade. It was freely stated that an Englishman was placed in
command because an Egyptian could not be relied upon to succeed, but
that the greed of new territory was the actual and sole object of the
expedition, and that the slave-trade would reappear in stupendous
activity when the English personal influence should be withdrawn. Such
unsympathetic expressions must have been a poor reward to the Khedive
for his efforts to win the esteem of the civilized world by the
destruction of the slave-trade in his own dominions.

Few persons have considered the position of the Egyptian ruler when
attacking the institution most cherished by his people. The employment
of an European to overthrow the slave-trade in deference to the opinion
of the civilized world was a direct challenge and attack upon the
assumed rights and necessities of his own subjects. The magnitude of the
operation cannot be understood by the general public in Europe. Every
household in Upper Egypt and in the Delta was dependent upon slave
service; the fields in the Soudan were cultivated by slaves; the women
in the harems of both rich and middle class were attended by slaves; the
poorer Arab woman's ambition was to possess a slave; in fact, Egyptian
society without slaves would be like a carriage devoid of wheels--it
could not proceed.

The slaves were generally well treated by their owners; the brutality
lay in their capture, with the attendant lawlessness and murders; but
that was far away, and the slave proprietors of Egypt had not witnessed
the miseries of the weary marches of the distant caravans. They
purchased slaves, taught them their duties, fed and clothed them--they
were happy; why should the Khedive of Egypt prohibit the traffic and
thus disturb every household in his territory?

There is no Hyde Park or Trafalgar Square in Egypt, there are no
agitators nor open-air meetings, fortunately for the modern ruler, or he
would have had an unpleasant expression of the popular sentiment at the
close of my administration. The break-up of the White Nile slave-trade
involved the depression of trade in Khartoum, as the market had supplied
the large bands of slave-hunters. The ivory of the numerous adventurers
still remained in the White Nile stations, as they feared confiscation
should their vessels be captured with the ever accompanying slave cargo.
Thus little ivory arrived at Khartoum to meet the debts of the traders
to the merchants in Cairo and Alexandria. These owed Manchester and
Liverpool for calicoes supplied, which had been forwarded to the Soudan.

The direct blow at the White Nile slave-trade was an indirect attack
upon the commerce of the country, which was inseparably connected with
the demand of the Soudan employers of brigands.

This slight outline of the situation will exhibit the difficulties of
the Khedive in his thankless and Herculean task of cleansing the Augean
stables. He incurred the wrath of general discontent; his own officials
accused him of deserting the Mahommedan cause for the sake of European
Kudos, and while he sacrificed his popularity in Egypt, his policy was
misconstrued by the powers he had sought to gratify. He was accused of
civilizing "through the medium of fire and sword" by the same English
journals which are now extolling the prowess of the British arms in
Caffraria and the newly-annexed Transvaal!

In this equivocal position it would have been natural either to have
abandoned the enterprise at the termination of my own engagement, or to
have placed a Mahommedan officer in charge of the new provinces. Instead
of this, His Highness adhered most strictly to his original
determination, and to prove his sincerity he entrusted the command to an
English officer of high reputation, not only for military capacity, but
for a peculiar attribute of self-sacrifice and devotion. Colonel C. E.
Gordon, R.E., C.B., was appointed Governor-General of the Soudan and
equatorial districts, with supreme power.

This appointment extinguished the delusions which had been nourished by
the Soudan authorities, "that at the expiration of Baker Pacha's rule
the good old times of slavery and lawlessness would return." There was
no longer any hope; the slave-trade was suppressed, and the foundation
was laid for the introduction of European ideas and civilization. It
will now be interesting to trace an outline of the advance of Egypt
during the last five years.

The main difficulty in my original enterprise was the obstruction of the
White Nile by the accumulation of matted vegetation, which impeded
navigation, and actually closed the river. Upon arrival at Gondokoro,
after the tedious process of cutting through 50 miles of swamp and
vegetable matter, via the Bahr Giraffe, I had requested the
Khedive to issue an order that the Governor of Khartoum should
immediately commence the great work of re-opening the White Nile.

His Highness without delay forwarded the necessary instructions, and in
two years the work was completed by Ismail Ayoob Pacha, with the loss of
several vessels which had been overwhelmed by the sudden bursting of
vast masses of floating swamps and entangled reeds. It had been
necessary to commence operations below stream, to enable the blocks of
vegetation to escape when detached by cutting from the main body.

The White Nile was restored to navigation a few months after my return
to England, and was clear for large vessels by the time that Colonel
Gordon arrived in Khartoum.

I had originally sent up six steamers from Cairo to ply between Khartoum
and Gondokoro; these had been simply employed as far as Fashoda station,
but as the Nile was now open, they at once established a rapid and
regular communication with the equatorial provinces. The terrible
difficulty had vanished, and Gondokoro was linked with the outer world
from which it had been excluded. The appliances which had been prepared
with much care could now be utilized. With the river open, supplies and
reinforcements could be immediately forwarded, and the ivory which had
accumulated in the government stations could be brought to market. In
addition to the physical advantages of restored communication, a great
moral change was effected throughout the officers and troops; they felt
no longer banished from the world, but accepted their position as
garrisons in Egyptian territory.

At Gondokoro I had constructed a steel steamer of 108 tons, and I had
left ready packed for land transport a steamer of the same metal 38
tons, in addition to two steel life-boats of each 10 tons, for
conveyance to the Albert N'yanza. At Khartoum I had left in sections a
steamer of 251 tons. All these vessels had been brought from England and
conveyed with incredible trouble upon camels across the deserts to

Before my arrival in the Soudan the entire river force of steamers upon
the Blue and White Niles was represented by four very inferior vessels.
I had added six from Cairo, and built a seventh; thus I left a force of
eleven steamers working on the river, exclusive of two in sections.

The stations garrisoned by regular troops were--
    1. Gondokoro, N. lat. 4 degrees 54 minutes.
    2. Fatiko, N. lat. 3 degrees 2 minutes.
    3. Foweera, N. lat. 2 degrees 6 minutes.
    4. Fabbo, N. lat. 3 degrees  8 minutes.

By the newly-raised irregulars--
    5. Farragenia.
    6. Faloro.

In this position of affairs Colonel Gordon succeeded to the command in
the spring of 1874. Although the Bari tribe, which had been subdued, was
nominally at peace, it was hardly safe to travel through the country
without an armed escort.

Colonel Gordon's first effort was in favour of conciliation, with the
hope of inspiring a friendly spirit among the chiefs. At the same time
he resolved to offer a chance for reform to the slave-hunter Abou Saood,
who he considered might amend his ways, and from his knowledge of the
people become a useful officer to the government. Unfortunately, the
leopard could not change his spots, and the man, to whom every
opportunity had been given, was dismissed and punished. It was
impossible to have discovered an officer more thoroughly qualified for
the command than Colonel Gordon. By profession a military engineer, he
combined the knowledge especially required for carrying on the
enterprise. He had extended the hand of friendship to the natives, but
when rejected with contempt and opposed by hostility, he was prompt in
chastisement. The wet seasons and attendant high flood of two years were
employed in dragging the 108-ton steel steamer up the various cataracts
which intervened between Gondokoro and Duflli (N. lat. 3 degrees 34
minutes). This portion of the river formed a series of steps caused by a
succession of cataracts at intervals of about 25 miles; between the
obstacles the stream was navigable. The natives of Moogi treacherously
attacked and killed the whole of a detachment, including the French
officer in command, during the absence of Colonel Gordon, who was
engaged in the operation of towing the steamer through the rapids only a
few miles distant. This open hostility necessitated the subjugation of
the tribe, and the establishment of a line of military posts along the
course of the river.

After much trouble, at the expiration of two years the steamer was
dragged to an utterly impassable series of cataracts south of Lobore.
This line of obstruction extended for the short distance of about twelve
miles, beyond which the river was navigable into the Albert N'yanza.

Several vessels had been towed up together with the steamer from
Gondokoro, and the 38-ton steel steamer and two life-boats which had
been thus conveyed, were now carried in sections to the spot above the
last cataracts at Duffli, where they could be permanently reconstructed.

Signor Gessi was entrusted with the command of the two life-boats upon
their completion, and had the honour of first entering the Albert
N'yanza from the north by the river Nile.

The 38-ton steamer was put together, and the 108-ton (Khedive), which
had been left a few miles distant from Duffli, below the cataracts, was
taken to pieces and reconstructed on the navigable portion of the Nile
in N. lat. 3 degrees 34 minutes.

The plan of connecting the equatorial Lake Albert with Khartoum by steam
communication which I had originated, was now completed by the untiring
energy and patience of my successor. The large steamer of 251 tons was
put together at Khartoum, to add to the river flotilla, thus increasing
the steam power from four vessels, when I had arrived in 1870, to
THIRTEEN, which in 1877 were plying between the capital of the Soudan
and the equator. The names of Messrs. Samuda Brothers and Messrs. Penn
and Co. upon the three steel steamers and engines which they had
constructed for the expedition are now evidences of the civilizing power
of the naval and mechanical engineers of Great Britain, which has linked
with the great world countries that were hitherto excluded from all

There is still some mystery attached to the Albert N'yanza. It has been
circumnavigated by Signor Gessi, in the steel life-boats, and
subsequently by Colonel Mason of the American army, who was employed
under Colonel Gordon. Both of these officers agree that the southern end
of the lake is closed by a mass of "ambatch," and that a large river
reported as 400 yards in width flows INTO the Albert N'yanza. On the
other hand, the well-known African explorer Mr. Stanley visited the lake
SOUTH of the ambatch limit, to which he was guided by orders of the King
M'tese;. At that spot it was called the "M'woota N'zige;," the same name
which the lake bears throughout Unyoro, therefore there can be no
reasonable doubt that it is the same water. The description of the
ambatch block and the river flowing into the lake explains the
information that was given to me by native traders, who declared they
had come by canoe from Karagwe;, via the Albert N'yanza, but that
it would be difficult without a guide to discover the passage where the
lake was extremely narrow and the channel tortuous into the next broad

Colonel Gordon has continued the amicable relations established by
myself with the Unyoro chief Rionga, and with M'tese;, King of Uganda.

The commercial aspect of the equatorial provinces is improving, but our
recent experience in South Africa must teach the most sanguine that very
many years must elapse before the negro tribes become amenable to the
customs and improvements of civilized communities.

The expedition of 1869 which His Highness the Khedive entrusted to my
command laid the foundation for reforms which at that time would have
appeared incredible in Egypt. The slave-trade has been suppressed
through the agency of British influence, persistently supported by the
Khedive; Darfur, the hot-bed of slave-hunting, has been conquered and
annexed; Colonel Gordon has the supreme command of the entire Soudan;
Malcolm Pacha is commissioned to sweep the slave traffic from the Red

With this determination to adopt the ideas of Europe, the Khedive has
passed through the trying ordeal of unpopularity in his own country,
but, by a cool disregard for the hostility of the ignorant, he has
adhered to a policy which has gained him the esteem of all civilized
communities. He has witnessed the bloody struggle between Russia and
Turkey, and though compelled as a vassal state to render military
assistance to the Sultan, he has profited by the lesson, and has
determined by a wise reform to avoid the errors which have resulted in
anarchy and desolation throughout the Ottoman Empire.

In the year 1870 the slave-hunting of Central Africa was condemned.
Since that time Englishmen have been honoured with the special attention
of the Khedive, and have been appointed to posts of the highest
confidence. European tribunals were established in the place of consular
jurisdiction, British government officials have been invited to reform
the financial administration, and Mr. Rivers Wilson has been induced to
accept the responsible office of Minister of Finance. Nubar Pacha has
been recalled to office, and he must regard with pride the general
confidence occasioned throughout Europe by his reappointment. The
absolute despotism hitherto inseparable from Oriental ideas of
government has been spontaneously abrogated by the Khedive, who has
publicly announced his determination that the future administration
shall be conducted by a council of responsible ministers.

England has become the great shareholder in the Suez Canal, which is the
important link with our Indian Empire. At the alarm of war we have
already seen the fleet of steam transports hurrying through the isthmus,
and carrying native troops to join the British forces in the
Mediterranean. We have learnt to know, and the Khedive has wisdom to
understand, that the bonds between Egypt and Great Britain are
inseparable. At the same time we have been aided by the cordial alliance
of France in promoting the advance of free institutions and the growth
of European influence in the administration of the country. England and
France, who struggled in hostile rivalry upon the sands and seas of
Egypt, are now joined in the firm determination to uphold the integrity
of the great canal of Suez, and these powers and leaders of civilization
will become the guides and guardians of Egyptian interests. The reforms
already sanctioned with a new era of justice and economy will insure the
confidence of British capitalists; the resources of Egypt will be
developed by engineering skill that will control the impetuosity of the
Nile and protect the Delta alike from the scarcity of drought, and from
the risk of inundation. The Nile sources, which from the earliest times
had remained a mystery, have been discovered by the patience and
industry of Englishmen; the Nile will at no distant period be rendered
navigable throughout its course, and Egypt, which for actual existence
depends alone upon that mighty river, will be restored by British
enterprise, supported by the intelligence and good-will of its ruler, to
the position which it held in the pages of Eastern history.


S. W. B.




In the present work I shall describe the history of the Khedive of
Egypt's expedition, which I have had the honour to command, as the first
practical step that has been taken to suppress the slave trade of
Central Africa.

I shall not repeat, beyond what may be absolutely necessary, that which
has already been published in my former works on Africa, "The Albert
N'yanza" and "The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia," but I shall adhere to
the simple path taken by the expedition. This enterprise was the natural
result of my original explorations, in which I had been an eye-witness
to the horrors of the slave trade, which I determined, if possible, to

In my former journey I had traversed countries of extreme fertility in
Central Africa, with a healthy climate favourable for the settlement of
Europeans, at a mean altitude of 4,000 feet above the sea level. This
large and almost boundless extent of country was well peopled by a race
who only required the protection of a strong but paternal government to
become of considerable importance, and to eventually develop the great
resources of the soil.

I found lands varying in natural capabilities according to their
position and altitudes--where sugar, cotton, coffee, rice, spices, and
all tropical produce might be successfully cultivated; but those lands
were without any civilized form of government, and "every man did what
seemed right in his own eyes."

In this dislocated state of society, the slave trade prospered to the
detriment of all improvement. Rich and well-populated countries were
rendered desolate; the women and children were carried into captivity;
villages were burnt, and crops were destroyed or pillaged; the
population was driven out; a terrestrial paradise was converted into an
infernal region; the natives who were originally friendly were rendered
hostile to all strangers, and the general result of the slave trade
could only be expressed in one word--"ruin."

The slave hunters and traders who had caused this desolation were for
the most part Arabs, subjects of the Egyptian government.

These people had deserted their agricultural occupations in the Soudan
and had formed companies of brigands in the pay of various merchants of
Khartoum. The largest trader had about 2,500 Arabs in his pay, employed
as pirates or brigands, in Central Africa. These men were organized
after a rude military fashion, and armed with muskets; they were divided
into companies, and were officered in many cases by soldiers who had
deserted from their regiments in Egypt or the Soudan.

It is supposed that about 15,000 of the Khedive's subjects who should
have been industriously working and paying their taxes in Egypt were
engaged in the so-called ivory trade and slave-hunting of the White

Each trader occupied a special district, where, by a division of his
forces in a chain of stations, each of which represented about 300 men,
he could exercise a right of possession over a certain amount of assumed

In this manner enormous tracts of country were occupied by the armed
bands from Khartoum, who could make alliances with the native tribes to
attack and destroy their neighbours, and to carry off their women and
children, together with vast herds of sheep and cattle.

I have already fully described this system in "The Albert N'yanza,"
therefore it will be unnecessary to enter into minute details in the
present work. It will be sufficient, to convey an idea of the extended
scale of the slave-hunting operations, to explain that an individual
trader named Agad assumed the right over nearly NINETY THOUSAND SQUARE
MILES of territory. Thus his companies of brigands could pillage at
discretion, massacre, take, burn, or destroy throughout this enormous
area, or even beyond this broad limit, if they had the power.

It is impossible to know the actual number of slaves taken from Central
Africa annually; but I should imagine that at least fifty thousand are
positively either captured and held in the various zareebas (or camps)
or are sent via the White Nile and the various routes overland by Darfur
and Kordofan. The loss of life attendant upon the capture and subsequent
treatment of the slaves is frightful. The result of this forced
emigration, combined with the insecurity of life and property, is the
withdrawal of the population from the infested districts. The natives
have the option of submission to every insult, to the violation of their
women and the pillage of their crops, or they must either desert their
homes and seek independence in distant districts, or ally themselves
with their oppressors to assist in the oppression of other tribes. Thus
the seeds of anarchy are sown throughout Africa, which fall among tribes
naturally prone to discord. The result is horrible confusion,--distrust
on all sides,--treachery, devastation, and ruin.

This was the state of Central Africa and the White Nile when I was first
honoured with the notice of Ismail Pacha, the present Khedive of Egypt.

I had received certain intimations from the Foreign Minister, Nubar
Pacha, concerning the Khedive's intentions, a short time previous to an
invitation with which I was honoured by his Royal Highness the Prince of
Wales to accompany their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess during
their tour in Egypt.

It is almost needless to add that, upon arrival in Egypt, the Prince of
Wales, who represented at heart the principles of Great Britain, took
the warmest interest in the suppression of the slave trade.

The Khedive, thus supported and encouraged in his ideas of reform,
concluded his arrangements for the total abolition of the slave trade,
not only throughout his dominions, but he determined to attack that
moral cancer by actual cautery at the very root of the evil.

I was accordingly requested to draw up a plan for the proposed
expedition to Central Africa.

After some slight modifications, I received from the Khedive the
following firman:--

"We, Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, considering the savage condition of the
tribes which inhabit the Nile Basin;

"Considering that neither government, nor laws, nor security exists in
those countries;

"Considering that humanity enforces the suppression of the slave-hunters
who occupy those countries in great numbers;

"Considering that the establishment of legitimate commerce throughout
those countries will be a great stride towards future civilization, and
will result in the opening to steam navigation of the great equatorial
lakes of Central Africa, and in the establishing a permanent government
. . . . We have decreed and now decree as follows:--

"An expedition is organized to subdue to our authority the countries
situated to the south of Gondokoro;

"To suppress the slave trade; to introduce a system of regular commerce;

"To open to navigation the great lakes of the equator;

"And to establish a chain of military stations and commercial depots,
distant at intervals of three days' march, throughout Central Africa,
accepting Gondokoro as the base of operations.

"The supreme command of this expedition is confided to Sir Samuel White
Baker, for four years, commencing from 1st April, 1869; to whom also we
confer the most absolute and supreme power, even that of death, over all
those who may compose the expedition.

"We confer upon him the same absolute and supreme authority over all
those countries belonging to the Nile Basin south of Gondokoro."

It was thus that the Khedive determined at the risk of his popularity
among his own subjects to strike a direct blow at the slave trade in its
distant nest. To insure the fulfilment of this difficult enterprise, he
selected an Englishman, armed with a despotic power such as had never
been intrusted by a Mohammedan to a Christian.

The slave trade was to be suppressed; legitimate commerce was to be
introduced, and protection was to be afforded to the natives by the
establishment of a government.

The suppression of the slave trade was a compliment to the European
Powers which would denote the superiority of Egypt, and would lay the
first stone in the foundation of a new civilization; and a population
that was rapidly disappearing would be saved to Africa.

To effect this grand reform it would be necessary to annex the Nile
Basin, and to establish a government in countries that had been hitherto
without protection, and a prey to the adventurers from the Soudan. To
convey steel steamers from England, and to launch them upon the Albert
Lake, and thus open the resources of Central Africa; to establish
legitimate trade in a vast country which had hitherto been a field of
rapine and of murder; to protect the weak and to punish the evil-doer,
and to open the road to a great future, where the past had been all
darkness and the present reckless spoliation--this was the grand object
which Ismail, the Khedive of Egypt, determined to accomplish.

In this humane enterprise he was firmly supported by his two Ministers,
Nubar Pacha and Cherif Pacha (an Armenian and a Circassian). The young
princes his sons, who are well-educated and enlightened men, took the
greatest interest in the undertaking; but beyond these and a few others,
the object of the expedition was regarded with ill-concealed disgust.

Having received full powers from the Khedive, I gave orders for the
following vessels to be built of steel by Messrs. Samuda Brothers:--

 No. 1.    A paddle steamer of 251 tons, 32-horse power.
 No. 2.    A twin screw high-pressure steamer of 20-horse power, 108 tons.
 No. 3.    A twin screw high-pressure steamer of 10-horse power, 38 tons.
 Nos. 4, 5. Two steel lifeboats, each 30 ft. by 9--10 tons each.

These vessels were fitted with engines of the best construction
by Messrs. Pond & Co., and were to be carried across the Nubian
desert in plates and sections.

In addition to the steamers were steam saw mills, with a boiler that
weighed 8 cwt. in one piece--all of which would have to be transported
by camels for several hundred miles across the Nubian desert, and by
boats and camels alternately from Alexandria to Gondokoro, a distance of

In the description of this enterprise, which terminated in the
suppression of the slave trade of the White Nile and the annexation of a
large equatorial territory to Egypt, I shall be compelled to expose many
abuses which were the result of misgovernment in the distant provinces
of Upper Egypt. It must be distinctly understood that his Highness the
Khedive was ignorant of such abuses, and that he took prompt and
vigorous measures to reform the administration of the Soudan immediately
upon receiving information of the misgovernment of that extensive
territory. Throughout the expedition his Highness has exhibited a
determination to succeed in the suppression of the slave trade in spite
of the adverse opinion of the public; therefore, when I expose the
abuses that existed, it must be accepted without hesitation that the
Khedive would have been the foremost in punishing the authors and in
rectifying such abuses had he been aware of their existence.

As a duty to the Khedive, and in justice to myself, I shall describe the
principal incidents as they occurred throughout the expedition. The
civilized world will form both judge and jury; if their verdict be
favourable, I shall have my reward. I can only assure my fellow-men that
I have sought earnestly the guidance of the Almighty in the use of the
great power committed to me, and I trust that I have been permitted to
lay a firm foundation for a good work hereafter.



The success of an expedition depends mainly upon organization. From my
former experience in Central Africa, I knew exactly the requirements of
the natives, and all the material that would be necessary for the
enterprise. I also knew that the old adage of "out of sight out of mind"
might be adopted as the Egyptian motto, therefore it would be
indispensable to supply myself with everything at the outset, so as to
be independent of support hereafter.

The English party consisted of myself and Lady Baker; Lieutenant Julian
Alleyne Baker, R.N.; Mr. Edwin Higginbotham, civil engineer; Mr. Wood,
secretary; Dr. Joseph Gedge, physician; Mr. Marcopolo, chief storekeeper
and interpreter; Mr. McWilliam, chief engineer of steamers; Mr. Jarvis,
chief shipwright; together with Messrs. Whitfield, Samson, Hitchman, and
Ramsall, shipwrights, boiler-makers, &c. In addition to the above were
two servants.

I laid in stores sufficient to last the European party four years.

I provided four galvanized iron magazines, each eighty feet long by
twenty in width, to protect all material.

Before I left England I personally selected every article that was
necessary for the expedition; thus an expenditure of about 9,000 pounds
was sufficient for the purchase of the almost innumerable items that
formed the outfit for the enterprise. This included an admirable
selection of Manchester goods, such as cotton sheeting, grey calico,
cotton and also woollen blankets, white, scarlet, and blue; Indian
scarfs, red and yellow; handkerchiefs of gaudy colours, chintz printed;
scarlet flannel shirts, serge of colours (blue, red), linen trowsers,
&c., &c.

Tools of all sorts--axes, small hatchets, harness bells, brass and
copper rods, combs, zinc mirrors, knives, crockery, tin plates,
fish-hooks, musical boxes, coloured prints, finger-rings, razors, tinned
spoons, cheap watches, &c., &c.

All these things were purchased through Messrs. Silber & Fleming, of
Wood Street, Cheapside.

I thus had sufficient clothing for a considerable body of troops if
necessary, while the magazines could produce anything from a needle to a
crowbar, or from a handkerchief to a boat's sail. It will be seen
hereafter that these careful arrangements assured the success of the
expedition, as the troops, when left without pay, could procure all they
required from the apparently inexhaustible stores of the magazines.

In addition to the merchandise and general supplies, I had several large
musical boxes with bells and drums, an excellent magic lantern, a
magnetic battery, wheels of life, and an assortment of toys. The
greatest wonder to the natives were two large girandoles; also the
silvered balls, about six inches in diameter, that, suspended from the
branch of a tree, reflected the scene beneath.

In every expedition the principal difficulty is the transport.

"Travel light, if possible," is the best advice for all countries; but
in this instance it was simply impossible, as the object of the
expedition was not only to convey steamers to Central Africa, but to
establish legitimate trade in the place of the nefarious system of
pillage hitherto adopted by the so-called White Nile traders. It was
therefore absolutely necessary to possess a large stock of goods of all
kinds, in addition to the machinery and steel sections of steamers.

I arranged that the expedition should start in three divisions.

Six steamers, varying from 40 to 80-horse power, were ordered to leave
Cairo in June, together with fifteen sloops and fifteen diahbeeahs--
total, thirty-six vessels--to ascend the cataracts of the Nile to
Khartoum, a distance by river of about 1,450 miles. These vessels were
to convey the whole of the merchandise.

Twenty-five vessels were ordered to be in readiness at Khartoum,
together with three steamers. The governor-general (Djiaffer Pacha) was
to provide these vessels by a certain date, together with the camels and
horses necessary for the land transport.

Thus when the fleet should arrive at Khartoum from Cairo, the total
force of vessels would be nine steamers and fifty-five sailing vessels,
the latter averaging about fifty tons each.

Mr. Higginbotham had the command of the desert transport from Korosko to
Khartoum, and to that admirable officer I intrusted the charge of the
steamer sections and machinery, together with the command of the English
engineers and mechanics.

I arranged to bring up the rear by another route, via Souakim on the Red
Sea, from which the desert journey to Berber, on the Nile, N. lat. 17
degrees 37 minutes, is 275 statute miles.

My reason for this division of routes was to insure a quick supply of
camels, as much delay would have been occasioned had the great mass of
transport been conveyed by one road.

The military arrangements comprised a force of 1,645 troops, including a
corps of 200 irregular cavalry, and two batteries of artillery. The
infantry were two regiments, supposed to be well selected. The black or
Soudani regiment included many officers and men who had served for some
years in Mexico with the French army under Marshal Bazaine. The Egyptian
regiment turned out to be for the most part convicted felons who had
been transported for various crimes from Egypt to the Soudan.

The artillery were rifled mountain guns of bronze, the barrel weighing
230 lbs., and throwing shells of 8-1/4 lbs. The authorities at Woolwich
had kindly supplied the expedition with 200 Hale's
rockets--three-pounders--and fifty snider rifles, together with 50,000
rounds of snider ammunition. The military force and supplies were to be
massed in Khartoum ready to meet me upon my arrival.

I had taken extra precautions in the packing of ammunition and all
perishable goods. The teak boxes for snider ammunition, also the boxes
of Hale's rockets, were lined and hermetically sealed with soldered tin.
The light Manchester goods and smaller articles were packed in strong,
useful, painted tin boxes, with locks and hinges, &c. Each box was
numbered, and when the lid was opened, a tin plate was soldered over the
open face, so that the lid, when closed, locked above an hermetically
sealed case. Each tin box was packed in a deal case, with a number to
correspond with the box within.

By this arrangement the tin boxes arrived at their destination as good
as new, and were quite invaluable for travelling, as they each formed a
handy load, and were alike proof against the attacks of insects and bad

I had long waterproof cloaks for the night sentries in rainy climates,
and sou'-wester caps; these proved of great service during active
operations in the wet season, as the rifles were kept dry beneath the
cloaks, and the men were protected from wet and cold when on guard.

All medicines and drugs were procured from Apothecaries' Hall, and were
accordingly of the best quality.

The provisions for the troops were dhurra (sorghum vulgare), wheat,
rice, and lentils. The supplies from England, and in fact the general
arrangements, had been so carefully attended to, that throughout the
expedition I could not feel a want, neither could I either regret or
wish to have changed any plan that I had originally determined.

For the transport of the heavy machinery across the desert I employed
gun carriages drawn by two camels each. The two sections of steamers and
of lifeboats were slung upon long poles of fir from Trieste, arranged
between two camels in the manner of shafts. Many hundred poles served
this purpose, and subsequently, were used at head-quarters as rafters
for magazines and various buildings.

The No. 1 steamer of 250 tons had not arrived from England. I therefore
left instructions that she was to be forwarded across the desert upon
the same principles as adopted for the transport of the other vessels.

I had thrown my whole heart into the expedition; but I quickly perceived
the difficulties that I should encounter in the passive resistance of
those whose interests would be affected by the suppression of the slave
trade. The arrangements that I had made would have insured success, if
carried out according to the dates specified. The six steamers and the
sailing flotilla from Cairo should have started on 10th June, in order
to have ascended the cataracts of Wady Halfah at the period of high
water. Instead of this, the vessels were delayed, in the absence of the
Khedive in Europe, until 29th August; thus, by the time they reached the
second cataract, the river had fallen, and it was impossible to drag the
`steamers through the passage until the next season. Thus twelve months
were wasted, and I was at once deprived of the invaluable aid of six

In addition to this difficulty was the fact of inevitable delay
necessitated by the festivities attending the opening of the Suez Canal.
The Khedive, with his accustomed hospitality, had made immense
preparations for the reception of visitors, and every available vessel
had been prepared for the occasion.

A train of forty-one railway waggons laden with sections of steamers,
machinery, boiler-plates, &c., &c., arrived at Cairo, and were embarked
on board eleven hired vessels. With the greatest difficulty I procured a
steamer of 140-horse power to tow this flotilla to Korosko, from which
spot the desert journey would commence. I obtained this steamer only by
personal application to the Khedive.

At length I witnessed the start of the entire English party of engineers
and mechanics, together with Mr. Higginbotham and Dr. J. Gedge. The
steamer Minieh, towed the lone line of eleven vessels against the
powerful stream of the Nile. One of the tow-ropes snipped at the
commencement of the voyage, which created some confusion, but when
righted they quickly steamed. out of view. This mass of heavy material,
including two steamers, and two steel lifeboats of ten tons each, was to
be transported for a distance of about 3,000 miles, 400 of which would
be across the scorching Nubian deserts!

The first division of the heavy baggage had started on 29th August,
1869, with the sloops, to ascend the cataracts direct by river to
Khartoum. I dared, not trust any portions of the steamers by this
dangerous route, lest by the loss of one vessel with sections I might
destroy all hope of success.

It was a relief to have started the main branches of the expedition,
after the various delays that had already seriously endangered the
chances of the White Nile voyage. For that river all vessels should
leave Khartoum early in November.

On 5th December, 1869, we brought up the rear, and left Suez on board an
Egyptian sloop of war, the Senaar. In four days and a half we reached
Souakim, after an escape from wreck on the reef of Shadwan, and a close
acquaintance with a large barque, with which we nearly came into

The captain of our sloop was a most respectable man, apparently about
eighty years of age. The first lieutenant appeared to be somewhat his
senior, and neither could see, even with the assistance of a very greasy
and dirty binocular. The various officers appeared to be vestiges from
Noah's ark in point of antiquity; thus a close shave with a reef and a
near rub with a strange vessel were little incidents that might be
expected in the Red Sea.

We anchored safely in the harbour of Souakim; and landed my twenty-one
horses without accident.

I was met by the governor, my old friend Moomtazz Bey, a highly
intelligent Circassian officer, who had shown me much kindness on my
former expedition.

A week's delay in Souakim was necessary to obtain camels. In fourteen
days we crossed the desert 275 miles to Berber on the Nile, and found a
steamer and diahbeeah in readiness. We arrived at Khartoum, a distance
of 200 miles by river, in three days, having accomplished the voyage
from Suez in the short space of thirty-two days, including stoppages.

Khartoum was not changed externally; but I had observed with dismay a
frightful change in the features of the country between Berber and the
capital since my former visit. The rich soil on the banks of the river,
which had a few years since been highly cultivated, was abandoned. Now
and then a tuft of neglected date-palms might be seen, but the river's
banks, formerly verdant with heavy crops, had become a wilderness.
Villages once crowded had entirely disappeared; the population was gone.
Irrigation had ceased. The night, formerly discordant with the creaking
of countless water-wheels, was now silent as death. There was not a dog
to howl for a lost master. Industry had vanished; oppression had driven
the inhabitants from the soil.

This terrible desolation was caused by the governor general of the
Soudan, who, although himself an honest man, trusted too much to the
honesty of others, who preyed upon the inhabitants. As a good and true
Mohammedan, he left his territory to the care of God, and thus, trusting
in Providence, he simply increased the taxes. In one year he sent to the
Khedive his master 100,000 pounds in hard dollars, wrung from the poor
peasantry, who must have lost an equal amount in the pillage that
accompanies the collection.

The population of the richest province of the Soudan fled from
oppression, and abandoned the country; and the greater portion betook
themselves to the slave trade of the White Nile, where, in their turn,
they might trample upon the rights of others; where, as they had been
plundered, they would be able to plunder; where they could reap the
harvest of another's labour; and where, free from the restrictions of a
government, they might indulge in the exciting and lucrative enterprise
of slave-hunting. Thousands had forsaken their homes, and commenced a
life of brigandage on the White Nile.

This was the state of the country when I arrived at Khartoum. The
population of this town, which was about 30,000 during my former visit,
was now reduced to half the number. The European residents had all
disappeared, with the exception of the Austrian Mission, and Mr. Hansall
the Austrian Consul; also an extremely tough German tailor, who was
proof against the climate that had carried off his companions.

I had given the necessary orders for vessels and supplies six months
previous; thus, I naturally expected to find a fleet ready for
departure, with the troops and stores waiting for instructions. To my
surprise, I discovered that my orders had been so far neglected, that
although the troops were at hand, there were no vessels prepared for
transport. I was coolly informed by the governor-general that "it was
impossible to procure the number of vessels required, therefore he had
purchased a house for me, as he expected that I should remain that year
at Khartoum, and start in the following season."

There literally was not one vessel ready for the voyage, in spite of the
positive instructions that had been given. At the same time I found that
the governor-general had just prepared a squadron of eleven vessels,
with several companies of regular troops, for an expedition to the Bahr
Gazal, where it was intended to form a settlement at the copper-mines on
the frontier of Darfur. This expedition had been placed under the
command of one of the most notorious ruffians and slave-hunters of the
White Nile. This man, Kutchuk Ali, originally of low extraction, had
made a fortune in his abominable traffic, and had accordingly received
promotion from the governor; thus, at the same time that the Khedive of
Egypt had employed me to suppress the slave trade of the Nile, a
government expedition had been intrusted to the command of one of the
most notorious slave-hunters.

I at once perceived that not only was my expedition unpopular, but that
it would be seriously opposed by all parties. The troops had been
quartered for some months at Khartoum; during this time the officers had
been intimate with the principal slave-traders of the country. All were
Mohammedans--thus a coalition would be natural against a Christian who
commanded an expedition avowedly to annihilate the slave trade upon
which Khartoum subsisted.

It was a "house divided against itself;" the Khedive in the north issued
orders that would be neutralized in the distant south by his own

As in the United States of America the opinion of the South upon the
question of emancipation was opposed to that of the North,--the
opposition in Soudan was openly avowed to the reform believed to have
been suggested to the Khedive by England.

The season was already far advanced. There is no weapon so fatal as
delay in the hands of Egyptians. I knew the intentions of the
authorities were to procrastinate until the departure of the expedition
would become impossible. It was necessary to insist upon the immediate
purchase of vessels which should have been prepared months before.

None of the steamers from Cairo had passed the cataracts. The fifteen
large sloops upon which I had depended for the transport of camels had
actually given up the attempt and returned to Cairo. Only the smaller
vessels had mounted the cataracts, and they could not arrive at Khartoum
for some months.

The first division, consisting of all merchandise that I had sent from
Cairo, had arrived in Khartoum under the charge of a Syrian to whom I
had given the command. I heard that Mr. Higginbotham, accompanied by Dr.
Gedge and the English party, together with all the Egyptian mechanics,
was on his way across the desert in charge of the steamers and
machinery, carried by some thousand camels. The third division, brought
up by Mr. Marcopolo, arrived from Souakim a few days later than
ourselves, thus every arrangement that had been intrusted to my own
officers was well executed.

After some pressure, the governor began to purchase the vessels. It may
be imagined that a sudden necessity gave a welcome opportunity to
certain officials. Old vessels were purchased at the price of new, and
the government agent received a bribe from the owners to pass the
vessels on survey. We were now fitting out under difficulties, and
working at a task that should have been accomplished months before.
Sailcloth was scarce; hempen ropes were rarities in Khartoum, where the
wretched cordage was usually obtained from the leaves of the date-palm.
The highest prices were paid for everything; thus a prearranged delay
caused an immense expense for the expedition. I studiously avoided any
purchases personally, but simply gave the necessary instructions to be
executed by the governor. It is only fair to admit that he now worked
hard, and took great interest in the outfit of the flotilla. This
governor-general, Djiaffer Pacha, had formerly shown me much kindness on
my arrival at Souakim, during my first journey in Africa. I had
therefore reckoned upon him as a friend; but no personal considerations
could palliate the secret hatred to the object of the expedition.

From morning till night I was occupied in pushing on the work; in this I
was ably assisted by Lieutenant J. A. Baker, R.N., whose professional
experience was of much service. A new spirit seemed to move in Khartoum;
hundreds of men were at work; a row of masts and yards rose up before
the government house; and in a few weeks we had thirty-three vessels of
fifty or sixty tons each, caulked, rigged, and ready for the voyage of
1,450 miles to Gondokoro.

If the same energy had been shown some months ago, I should have found a
fleet of fifty ships awaiting me. I had lost a month at Khartoum at a
season when every day was precious.

I reviewed the troops, about 1,400 infantry, and two batteries of
artillery. The men were in fine condition, but I had no means of
transport for the entire force. I therefore instructed Djiaffer Pacha to
continue his exertions in preparing vessels, so that on Dr.
Higginbotham's arrival he might follow with the remaining detachment.

I reviewed the irregular cavalry, about 250 horse. These were certainly
VERY irregular. Each man was horsed and armed according to his
individual notion of a trooper's requirements. There were lank,
half-starved horses; round short horses; very small ponies; horses that
were all legs; others that were all heads; horses that had been groomed;
horses that had never gone through that operation. The saddles and
bridles were only fit for an old curiosity shop. There were some with
faded strips of gold and silver lace adhering here and there; others
that resembled the horse in skeleton appearance, which had been
strengthened by strips of raw crocodile skin. The unseemly huge
shovel-stirrups were rusty; the bits were filthy. Some of the men had
swords and pistols; others had short blunderbusses with brass barrels;
many had guns of various patterns, from the long old-fashioned Arab to
the commonest double-barrelled French gun that was imported. The
costumes varied in a like manner to the arms and animals.

Having formed in line, they now executed a brilliant charge at a
supposed enemy, and performed many feats of valour in dense clouds of
dust, and having quickly got into inconceivable confusion, they at
length rallied and returned to their original position.

I complimented their officer;--and having asked the governor if these
brave troops represented my cavalry force, and being assured of the
fact, I dismissed them; and requested Djiaffer Pacha to inform them that
"I regretted the want of transport would not permit me the advantage of
their services. `Inshallah!' (Please God!) at some future time," &c.,

I thus got rid of my cavalry, which I never wished to see again. I had
twenty-one good horses that I had brought from Cairo, and these together
with the horses belonging to the various officers were as much as we
could convey.

The flotilla was ready for the voyage. We had engaged sailors with the
greatest difficulty, as a general stampede of boatmen had taken place.
Every one ran from Khartoum to avoid the expedition.

This was a dodge of the slave-traders, who had incited the people to
escape from any connection with such an enterprise. It was supposed that
without boatmen we should be unable to start.

The police authorities were employed, and by degrees the necessary crews
were secured,--all unwilling, and composed of the worst material.

I had taken the precaution of selecting from the two regiments a
body-guard of forty-six men. Their numbers were equal black and white,
as I considered this arrangement might excite an esprit de corps, and
would in the event of discontent prevent a coalition.

The men having been well chosen were fine examples of physique, and
being armed with the snider rifle and carefully drilled, such a body of
picked troops would form a nucleus for further development, and might
become a dependable support in any emergency. This corps was commanded
by an excellent officer, my aide-de-camp, Lieut.-Colonel Abd-el-Kader,
but owing to the peculiar light-fingered character of the men, I gave it
the name of "The Forty Thieves."

Eventually the corps became a model of morality, and was distinguished
for valour and fidelity throughout the expedition.

Six months' rations were on board for all hands, in addition to the
general stores of corn, and cases, bales, &c., innumerable.

On the 8th February, 1870, the bugles announced the departure. The
troops hurried on board their respective transports according to the
numbers painted on their sides and sails. The official parting was
accomplished. I had had to embrace the governor, then a black pacha, a
rara avis in terris, and a whole host of beys, concluding the affecting
ceremony with a very fat colonel whom my arms could not properly

A couple of battalions lined the shore; the guns fired the usual salute
as we started on our voyage; the flotilla, composed of two steamers,
respectively of thirty-two and twenty-four horsepower, and thirty-one
sailing vessels, with a military force of about 800 men, got away in
tolerable order. The powerful current of the Blue Nile quickly swept us
past Khartoum, and having rounded the point, we steamed up the grand
White Nile. The wind blew very strong from the north, thus the entire
fleet kept pace with the steamers, one of which was towing my diahbeeah,
and the other that of the colonel, Raouf Bey. Thank God we were off;
thus all intrigues were left behind, and the future would be under my
own command.

On reference to my journal, I find the following entry upon 8th
February, 1870:--

"Mr. Higginbotham, who has safely arrived at Berber with the steel
steamers in sections for the Albert N'yanza, will, I trust, be provided
with vessels at Khartoum, according to my orders, so as to follow me to
Gondokoro with supplies, and about 350 troops with four guns.

"My original programme--agreed to by his Highness the Khedive, who
ordered the execution of my orders by the authorities--arranged that
six steamers, fifteen sloops, and fifteen diahbeeahs, should leave Cairo
on 10th June, to ascend the cataracts to Khartoum, at which place
Djiaffer Pacha was to prepare three steamers and twenty-five vessels to
convey 1,650 troops, together with transport animals and supplies.

"The usual Egyptian delays have entirely thwarted my plans. No vessels
have arrived from Cairo, as they only started on 29th August. Thus,
rather than turn back, I start with a mutilated expedition, without a

Having minutely described the White Nile in a former work, "The Albert
N'yanza," I shall not repeat the description. In 103 hours and ten
minutes' steaming we reached Fashoda, the government station in the
Shillook country, N. lat. 9 degrees 52 minutes, 618 miles by river
from Khartoum.

This town had been fortified by a wall and flanking towers since I had
last visited the White Nile, and it was garrisoned by a regiment of
Egyptian soldiers. Ali Bey, the governor, was a remarkably handsome old
man, a Kurd. He assured me that the Shillook country was in excellent
order; and that according to the instructions received from the Khedive
he had exerted himself against the slave trade, so that it was
impossible for vessels to pass the station.

Fashoda was well situated for this purpose, as it completely dominated
the river; but I much doubted my friend's veracity.

Having taken on board a month's rations for all hands, we started; and,
with a strong breeze in our favour, we reached the Sobat junction on
16th February, at 12.30 p.m.

There we took in fresh water, as that of the Sobat is superior to the
White Nile. At this season the river was about eight feet below the
level of the bank. The water of the Sobat is yellowish, and it colours
that of the White Nile for a great distance. By dead reckoning I made
the Sobat junction 684 miles by river from Khartoum.

When I saw the Sobat, in the first week of January 1863, it was
bank-full. The current is very powerful, and when I sounded in various
places during my former voyage, I found a depth of twenty-six to
twenty-eight feet. The volume of water brought to the Nile by this river
is immense, and the power of the stream is so superior to that of the
White Nile, that as it arrives at right angles, the waters of the Nile
are banked up. The yellow water of the Sobat forms a distinct line as it
cuts through the clear water of the main river, and the floating rafts
of vegetation brought down by the White Nile, instead of continuing
their voyage, are headed back, and remain helplessly in the backwater.
The sources of the Sobat are still a mystery; but there can be no doubt
that the principal volume must be water of mountain origin, as it is
coloured by earthy matter, and is quite unlike the marsh water of the
White Nile. The expeditions of the slave-hunters have ascended the
river as far as it is navigable. At that point seven different streams
converge into one channel, which forms the great river Sobat. It is my
opinion that some of these streams are torrents from the Galla country,
while others are the continuation of those southern rivers which have
lately been crossed by the slave-hunters between the second and third
degrees of N. latitude.

The White Nile is a grand river between the Sobat junction and Khartoum,
and after passing to the south of the great affluent the difference in
the character is quickly perceived. We now enter upon the region of
immense flats and boundless marshes, through which the river winds in a
labyrinth-like course for about 750 miles to Gondokoro.

Having left the Sobat, we arrived at the junction of the Bahr Giraffe,
thirty-eight miles distant, at 11 a.m. on 17th February. We turned into
the river, and waited for the arrival of the fleet.

The Bahr Giraffe was to be our new passage instead of the original White
Nile. That river, which had become so curiously obstructed by masses of
vegetation that had formed a solid dam, already described by me in "The
Albert N'yanza," had been entirely neglected by the Egyptian
authorities. In consequence of this neglect an extraordinary change had
taken place. The immense number of floating islands which are constantly
passing down the stream of the White Nile had no exit, thus they were
sucked under the original obstruction by the force of the stream, which
passed through some mysterious channel, until the subterranean passage
became choked with a wondrous accumulation of vegetable matter. The
entire river became a marsh, beneath which, by the great pressure of
water, the stream oozed through innumerable small channels. In fact, the
White Nile had disappeared. A vessel arriving from Khartoum in her
passage to Gondokoro would find, after passing through a broad river of
clear water, that her bow would suddenly strike against a bank of solid
compressed vegetation--this was the natural dam that had been formed to
an unknown extent: the river ceased to exist.

It may readily be imagined that a dense spongy mass which completely
closed the river would act as a filter: thus, as the water charged with
muddy particles arrived at the dam where the stream was suddenly
checked, it would deposit all impurities as it oozed and percolated
slowly through the tangled but compressed mass of vegetation. This
deposit quickly created mud-banks and shoals, which effectually blocked
the original bed of the river. The reedy vegetation of the country
immediately took root upon these favourable conditions, and the rapid
growth in a tropical climate may be imagined. That which had been the
river bed was converted into a solid marsh.

This terrible accumulation had been increasing for five or six years,
therefore it is impossible to ascertain or even to speculate upon the
distance to which it might extend. The slave-traders had been obliged to
seek another rout, which they had found via the Bahr Giraffe, which
river had proved to be merely a branch of the White Nile, as I had
suggested in my former work, and not an independent river.

I was rather anxious about this new route, as I had heard conflicting
accounts in Khartoum concerning the possibility of navigating such large
vessels as the steamers of thirty-two horse-power and a hundred feet
length of deck. I was provided with guides who professed to be
thoroughly acquainted with the river; these people were captains of
trading vessels, who had made the voyage frequently.

On 18th February, at 10 A.M., the rear vessels of the fleet arrived, and
at 11.40 A.M., the steamers worked up against the strong current
independently. Towing was difficult, owing to the sharp turns of the
river. The Bahr Giraffe was about seventy yards in width, and at this
season the banks were high and dry. Throughout the voyage on the White
Nile we had had excellent wild-fowl shooting whenever we had halted to
cut fuel for the steamers. One afternoon I killed a hippopotamus, two
crocodiles, and two pelicans, with the rifle. At the mouth of the Bahr
Giraffe I bagged twenty-two ducks at a right and left shot with a No.
10-shot gun.

As the fleet now slowly sailed against the strong, current of the Bahr
Giraffe, I walked along the hank with Lieutenant Baker, and shot ten of
the large francolin partridge, which in this dry season were very
numerous. The country was as usual flat, but bearing due south of the
Bahr Giraffe junction, about twelve miles distant, is a low granite
hill, partially covered with trees; this is the first of four similar
low hills that are the only rising points above the vast prairie of flat

As we were walking along the bank I perceived an animal ascending from
the river, about two hundred yards distant, where it had evidently been
drinking: we immediately endeavoured to cut off its retreat, when it
suddenly emerged from the grass and discovered a fine lion with large
shaggy mane. The king of beasts, as usual, would not stand to show fight
in the open, but bounded off in the direction of the rocky hills.

It will be necessary to give a few extracts from my journal to convey an
exact idea of the Bahr Giraffe. The river was very deep, averaging about
nineteen feet, and it flowed in a winding course, through a perfectly
flat country of prairie, diversified with forest all of which, although
now dry, had the appearance of being flooded during the rainy season:--

"February 23.--Steamed from 6 A.M. till 7 P.M. Vast treeless marshes in
wet season--now teeming with waterfowl: say fifty miles accomplished
to-day through the ever-winding river. The wood from the last forest is
inferior, and we have only sufficient fuel for five hours left upon the
steamer. The diahbeeah in tow carries about twenty hours' fuel: thus,
should we not arrive at some forest in twenty-five hours, we shall be

"The river was exceedingly narrow about fifteen miles from our starting
point this morning. The stream was strong but deep, flowing through the
usual tangled grass, but divided into numerous small channels and
backwaters that render the navigation difficult.

"In this spot the river is quite bank-full, and the scattered native
villages in the distance are in swamps. The innumerable high white
ant-hills are the only dry spots.

"February 24.--Started at 6 A.M. Everybody eaten up by mosquitoes. At 9
A.M. the steamer smashed her starboard paddle: the whole day occupied in
repairing. Saw a bull elephant in the marshes at a distance. Horrible
treeless swamps swarming with mosquitoes.

"February 25.--Started at 7 A.M. At 10 A.M. arrived at a very narrow and
shallow portion of this chaotic river completely choked by drift
vegetation. All hands worked hard to clear a passage through this
obstruction until 2.30, when we passed ahead. At 4 P.M. we arrived at a
similar obstacle; the water very shallow; and to-morrow we shall have to
cut a passage through the high grass, beneath which there is deeper
water. I ordered fifty swords to be sharpened for the work. We counted
seventy elephants in the distance, but there is no possibility of
reaching them through the immense area, of floating vegetation.

"February 26.--Hard at work with forty men cutting a canal about 150
yards long through the dense mass of compressed vegetation.

"February 27.--Working hard at canal. The fleet has not arrived; thus we
are short-handed.

"February 28.--The canal progresses, the men having worked well. It is a
curious collection of trash that seriously impedes navigation. The grass
resembles sugar-canes; this grows from twenty to thirty feet in length,
and throws out roots at every joint; thus, when matted together, its
roots still increase, and render the mass a complete tangle. During the
wet season the rush of water tears off large rafts of this floating
water-grass, which accumulate in any favourable locality. The difficulty
of clearing a passage is extreme. After cutting out a large mass with
swords, a rope is made fast, and the raft is towed out by hauling with
thirty or forty men until it is detached and floated down the stream.
Yesterday I cut a narrow channel from above stream in the hope that the
rush of water would loosen the mass of vegetation. After much labour, at
12.30 p.m. the whole obstruction appeared to heave. There was soon no
doubt that it was moving, and suddenly the entire dam broke up. Immense
masses were carried away by the rush of water and floated down the
river; these will, I fear, cause an obstruction lower down the stream.

"We got up steam, served out grog to all the men, and started at 2 P.M.
In half-an-hour's steaming we arrived at another block vegetation. In
one hour and three-quarters we cleared a passage, and almost immediately
afterwards we arrived at the first piece of dry ground that we have seen
for days. This piece of firm land was a few feet higher than the maximum
rise of the river, and afforded about half an acre. We stopped for the

"March 1.--Started at 6.30 A.M., the river narrowing immediately, and
after a run of half a mile we found ourselves caught in a trap. The
river, although fourteen feet deep, had entirely disappeared in a
boundless sea of high grass, which resembled sugar-canes. There was no
possibility of progress. I returned to our halting-place of last night
in a small rowing-boat, and examined it thoroughly. I found marks of
occupation by the slave-traders, about three months old. Among the
vestiges were the remains of fires, a piece of a lucifer-match box, a
number of cartridge cases--they had been fired--and a piece of raw hide
pierced with bullets, that had evidently been used as a target.

"I shot two geese and five plover, and returned to our vessel. My
opinion is that the slave-hunters have made a razzia inland from this
spot, but that our guide, Bedawi, has led us into a wrong channel.

"I attempted to seek a passage ahead, but it was quite impossible for
the smallest rowing boat to penetrate the dense vegetation.

"An advance being impossible, I ordered the steamer and two diahbeeahs
to return down the river about eighty miles to our old wooding-place at
the last forest, as we are nearly out of fuel. We thus lose time and
trouble, but there is no help for it. For some days there has been no
wind, except uncertain breaths from the south. Unless a change shall
take place, I have no idea how the fleet will be able to come up against
the stream.

"March 2.--At 6.30 a.m. we got under way and ran down stream at eight
miles an hour towards our old wooding-place. Saw a few buffaloes. At 1
p.m. we passed on left bank a branch of the river. At 3.30 sighted the
tall yards of the fleet in the distance. At 4.30 we arrived at the
extreme southern limit of the forest, and met Raouf Bey with the steamer
and twenty-five vessels, with a good supply of wood. The troops were in
good health, but one unfortunate man had been carried off by a crocodile
while sitting on the vessel with his legs hanging over the side.

"March 3.--Filling up with wood from the forest.

"March 4.--Sent the steamer back to the station of Kutchuk Ali, the
trader, to procure some cattle for the troops. In this neighbourhood
there is dry land with many villages, but the entire country has been
pillaged by Kutchuk Ali's people--the natives murdered, the women
carried off, &c.

"Raouf Bey counted the bodies of eighteen natives who had been shot near
the trader's camp. Yesterday I went to a native village, and made
friends with the people, some of whom came down to our boats; they
complained bitterly that they were subject to pillage and massacre by
the traders. These so-called traders are the people of Kutchuk Ali, THE
expedition to the Bahr Gazal!

"Filled up with a large supply of wood ready to start tomorrow.

"March 5.--Great good fortune! A fine north wind for the first time
during many days. All the vessels sailing well. We started at 7 a.m. Saw
a Baleniceps Rex[*]; this is the second of these rare birds that I have

[*Footnote: The whale-headed stork, or Baleniceps Rex, is only met with
in the immense swamps of the White Nile. This bird feeds generally upon
water shellfish, for which nature has provided a most powerful beak
armed with a hook at the extremity.)

"At 1 p.m., as we were steaming easily, I happened to be asleep on the
poop-deck, when I was suddenly awakened by a shock, succeeded almost
immediately by the cry, `The ship's sinking!' A hippopotamus had charged
the steamer from the bottom, and had smashed several floats off her
starboard paddle. A few seconds later he charged our diahbeeah, and
striking her bottom about ten feet from the bow, he cut two holes
through the iron plates with his tusks. There was no time to lose, as
the water was rushing in with great force. Fortunately, in this land of
marsh and floating grass, there were a few feet of tolerably firm ground
rising from the deep water. Running alongside, all hands were hard at
work discharging cargo with great rapidity, and baling out with every
conceivable utensil, until we obtained assistance from the steamer,
whose large hand pump and numerous buckets at length so far overcame the
rush of water, that we could discover the leaks.

"We now found two clean holes punched through the iron as though driven
by a sharp pickaxe. Some hours were occupied in repairing the damage by
plastering white lead upon some thick felt; this was placed over the
holes, and small pieces of plank being laid over the felt, they were
secured by an upright piece of timber tightened with wedges from a
cross-beam. The leaks were thus effectually and permanently stopped.

"By sunset all was completed and the vessel reloaded; but I sent
twenty-eight boxes of snider ammunition on board the tender. This
miserable wood tender has sprung her yard so that she cannot carry sail.
The day was entirely lost together with a fine north wind.

"March, 6.--Brisk wind from the north. Started at 5.45 a.m., but at 7
a.m. something happened to the engine, and the steamer stopped until
eight. After frequent stoppages, owing to the sharp bends in the narrow
river, we arrived at the spot where we had formerly opened the dam;
there the current ran like a rapid.

"March 7.--Much difficulty in ascending the river, but upon arrival at
the dry ground (called the 'dubba'), we found the No. 8 steamer and the
whole fleet assembled, with the exception of six that are in sight.

"March 8.--The other vessels arrived; I have thus thirty-four sail,
including the two steamers. The entire country is swamp, covered with
immensely high water-grass, beneath which the depth is considerable. The
reputed main channel of the river is supposed to come from S.W., this is
only denoted by a stream three or four feet broad, concealed by high
grass, and in places choked by the Pistia Stratiotes. These surface
plants, which resemble floating cabbages with fine thready roots, like a
human beard of sixteen inches in length, form dense masses which are
very difficult to clear

"Our guides are useless, as we cannot depend upon their contradictory
statements. We are in a deplorable position--the whole fleet in a
cul-de-sac; the river has disappeared; an unknown distance of apparently
boundless marsh lies before us; there is no wood, and there is no
possibility of moving without cutting a channel.

"I have ordered thirty vessels to form in line, single file, and to cut
a canal.

"March. 9.--The men worked famously, but I much fear they will be laid
up with fever if kept at such an unhealthy task. To-day a force of 700
men cut about a mile and a half. They are obliged to slash through with
swords and knives, and then to pull out the greater portion of the grass
and vegetable trash; this is piled like artificial banks on either side
upon the thick floating surface of vegetation. I took a small boat and
pushed on for a mile and a half. I found a very narrow stream, like a
small brook, which gave hopes of lighter labour for to-morrow. I shall
therefore try to force the steamer through. Thirty-two men reported on
the sick list this evening.

"March 10.--A fine north wind for about half an hour, when it suddenly
chopped round to the S.E. We cut on far ahead, so that I was able to
push on the steamers and the whole fleet for a distance of about five
miles. I had a touch of fever.

"March 11.--Frightful stinking morass. All stopped at a black muddy pond
in the swamp. The river is altogether lost. We have to cut a passage
through the morass. Hard work throughout the day. One soldier died of
sunstroke. No ground in which to bury him.

"It is a curious but most painful fact that the entire White Nile has
ceased to be a navigable river. The boundless plains of marsh are formed
of floating rafts of vegetation compressed into firm masses by the
pressure of water during floods. So serious is this obstacle to
navigation, that unless a new channel can be discovered, or the original
Nile be reopened, the centre of Africa will be entirely shut out from
communication, and all my projects for the improvement of the country
will be ruined by this extraordinary impediment.

"March 12.--I think I can trace by telescope the fringe of tall papyrus
rush that should be the border of the White Nile; but this may be a
delusion. The wind is S.W., dead against us. Many men are sick owing to
the daily work of clearing a channel through the poisonous marsh. This
is the Mahommedan festival of the Hadj, therefore there is little work

"March 13.--Measured 460 yards of apparently firm marsh, through which
we plumbed the depth by long poles thrust to the bottom.

"Flowing water being found beneath, I ordered the entire force to turn
out and cut a channel, which I myself superintended in the advance boat.

"By 6 p.m. the canal was completed, and the wind having come round to
the north, we sailed through the channel and entered a fine lake about
half a mile wide, followed by the whole fleet with bugles and drums
sounding the advance, the troops vainly hoping that their work was over.
The steamers are about a mile behind, and I have ordered their paddles
to be dismounted to enable them to be towed through the high grass in
the narrow channel.

"March 14.--At 6 a.m. I started and surveyed the lake in a small rowing
boat, and found it entirely shut in and separated from another small
lake by a mass of dense rotten vegetation about eighty yards in width. I
called all hands, and cleared it in fifty-five minutes sufficiently to
allow the fleet to pass through. Upon an examination of the next lake, I
found, to my intense disappointment, that not only was it closed in, but
there was no outlet visible even from the mast-head. Not a drop of water
was to be seen ahead, and the entire country was a perfect chaos, where
the spirit of God apparently had not yet moved upon the waters. There
was neither earth nor clear water, nor any solid resting-place for a
human foot. Now and then a solitary bittern rose from the marsh, but,
beyond a few water-rails, there were no other birds. The grass was
swarming with snakes, and also with poisonous ants that attacked the
men, and greatly interfered with the work.

"It is easier to clear a passage through the green grass than through
the rotten vegetation. The former can be rolled in heaps so as to form
banks, it is then secured by tying it to the strong grass growing behind
it; the rotten stuff has no adherence, and a channel closes up almost as
fast as it is made, thus our labour does no permanent good. I am in
great anxiety about Mr. Higginbotham; it will be impossible for him to
proceed by this route, should he arrive with a comparatively small force
and heavily-laden vessels.

"As the channel closes so rapidly, I must wait until the steamers can
form a compact line with the fleet.

"The black troops have more spirit than the Egyptians, but they are not
so useful in clearing channels, as they are bad swimmers. They
discovered to-day a muddy spot where they had a great hunt for fish, and
succeeded in capturing with their hands about 500 pounds weight of the
Prolypterus, some of which were above four pounds. We caught for
ourselves a number of very delicious boulti (Perca Nilotica) with a

"March 15.--Having probed the marsh with long poles, I found deep water
beneath, which denoted the course of the sub-vegetal stream. All hands
at work, and by the evening we had cut a channel 300 yards in length.
The marsh swarms with snakes, one of which managed to enter the cabin
window of the diahbeeah. The two steamers, now far astern, have become
choked by a general break up and alteration of their portion of the
world. The small lake in which I left them is no longer open water, but
has become a dense maps of compressed vegetable rafts, in which the
steamers are jammed as though frozen in an ice-drift in the Arctic
regions! There is much work required to clear them. The only chance of
progress will be to keep the entire fleet in compact line so as to push
through a new channel as quickly as it is made. I shall send back the
wood tender, if possible, from this spot with a letter to stop Mr.
Higginbotham should he be south of the Sobat, as it will be impossible
for him to proceed until next season. Many of the men are sick with
fever, and if this horrible country should continue, they will all

"March 16.--I went back in a rowing boat, accompanied by Lieutenant
Baker, to the two steamers which we found stuck fast in the drift rafts,
that had closed in upon then. Many men are sick--all are dispirited; and
they worked badly. Having worked all day, we returned at 6.30 p.m., to
my diahbeeah, having the good fortune to shoot seven ducks by a family
shot upon a mud bank on the way home.

"I found that the main body under the colonel, Raouf Bey, had completed
the channel about 900 yards long to lake No. 3. I ordered sail to be
made immediately, and after five hours' hard work, as the channel was
already beginning to close, we arrived in the open lake at 11.15 p.m.,
in which we found the fleet at anchor.

"March 17.--The lake is about 2 1/2 miles long, and varies from 150 to
300 yards in width, with a mean depth of ten feet. I sent men ahead in
the boat to explore the exit; they now report it to be closed by a small
dam, after which we shall enter another lake. Thunder and clouds
threatening in the southeast.

"About half-an-hour before sunset I observed the head of a hippopotamus
emerge from the bank of high grass that fringed the lake. My troops had
no meat--thus I would not lose the opportunity of procuring, if
possible, a supply of hippopotamus beef. I took a Reilly No. 8
breechloader, and started in the little dingy belonging to the
diahbeeah. Having paddled quietly along the edge of the grass for a
couple of hundred yards, I arrived near the spot from which the
hippopotamus had emerged.

"It is the general habit of the hippopotami in these marsh districts to
lie in the high grass swamps during the day, and to swim or amuse
themselves in the open water at sunset.

"I had not waited long before I heard a snort, and I perceived the
hippopotamus had risen to the surface about fifty yards from me. This
distance was a little too great for the accurate firing necessary to
reach the brain, especially when the shot must be taken from a boat, in
which there is always some movement. I therefore allowed the animal to
disappear, after which I immediately ordered the boat forward, to remain
exactly over the spot where he had sunk. A few minutes elapsed, when the
great ugly head of the hippopotamus appeared about thirty paces from the
boat, and having blown the water from his nostrils, and snorted loudly,
he turned round and seemed astonished to find the solitary little boat
so near him. Telling the two boatmen to sit perfectly quiet, so as to
allow a good sight, I aimed just below the eye, and fired a heavy shell,
which contained a bursting charge of three drachms of fine-grained
powder. The head disappeared. A little smoke hung over the water, and I
could not observe other effects. The lake was deep, and after vain
sounding for the body with a boathook, I returned to the diahbeeah just
as it became dark.

"March 18.--A heavy shower of rain fell, which lasted for an hour and a
half. When the rain ceased, the day continued cloudy with variable wind.
The body of the hippopotamus was discovered at daybreak floating near
us, therefore all hands turned out to cut him up, delighted at the idea
of fresh meat. There was about an acre of high and dry ground that
bordered the marsh in one spot; to this the carcase of the hippopotamus
was towed. I was anxious to observe the effects of the explosive shell,
as it was an invention of my own that had been manufactured by Mr.
Reilly, [*] the gunmaker, of London. This shell was composed of
iron, covered with lead. The interior was a cast-iron bottle (similar in
shape to a stoneware Seltzer water bottle); the neck formed a nipple to
receive a percussion-cap. The entire bottle was concealed by a leaden
coating, which was cast in a mould to fit a No. 8, or two-ounce rifle.
The iron bottle contained three drachms of the strongest gunpowder, and
a simple cap pressed down upon the nipple prepared the shell for

[*Footnote: Mr. Reilly, of 502 New Oxford Street, has been most
successful in heavy rifles, with which he has supplied me in
both my African expeditions.]

"On an examination of the head of the hippopotamus, I found that the
shell had struck exactly beneath the eye, where the bone plate is thin.
It had traversed the skull, and had apparently exploded in the brain, as
it had entirely carried away the massive bone that formed the back of
the skull. The velocity of the projectile had carried the fragments of
the shell onwards after the explosion, and had formed a sort of tunnel
which was blackened with burnt powder for a considerable distance along
the flesh of the neck. I was quite satisfied with my explosive shell.

"The hippopotamus having been divided among the men, I sent Raouf Bey
with a large force to assist the steamers, which still remain fixed in
the same spot.

"At 2 p.m. it poured with rain until 9 p.m. Everything is soaking; and I
have great anxiety about our large stores of corn.

"March 19.--Fine day, but all cargo, stores, &c., are wet. The miserable
vessels of the Soudan are without decks, thus one heavy shower creates
much damage. The men are busy drying their clothes, &c. Two soldiers
died. Steamers far astern in the sudd, regularly fixed.

"March 20.--A boy died. I sent fresh men to the assistance of the
steamers, which have to be literally dug out.

"March 21.--Yesterday as the men were digging out the steamers, which
had become blocked by the floating rafts, they felt something struggling
beneath their feet. They immediately scrambled away in time to avoid the
large head of a crocodile that broke its way through the tangled mass in
which it had been jammed and held prisoner by the rafts. The black
soldiers, armed with swords and bill-hooks, immediately attacked the
crocodile, who, although freed from imprisonment, had not exactly fallen
into the hands of the Royal Humane Society. He was quickly despatched,
and that evening his flesh gladdened the cooking pots of the Soudani

"I was amused with the account of this adventure given by various
officers who were eye-witnesses. One stated in reply to my question as
to the length of the animal, `Well, sir, I should not like to
exaggerate, but I should say it was forty-five feet long from snout to
tail!' Another witness declared it to be at least twenty feet; but by
rigid cross-examination I came to the conclusion that it did not exceed

"The steamers and tender, having been released, arrived this morning. At
1 p.m. we started with a light air from the northeast, and travelled
till 3.30 p.m. along the lake, which narrowed to the dimensions of a
moderate river. We at length arrived at a sudd which the advance boats
had cleared for about sixty yards. Having emerged, we were introduced to
a deep but extremely narrow channel flowing through the usual enormous

"The whole fleet ranged in single line to widen the passage. We are now
about twelve miles from the dubba, or raised dry ground, near to which
we first commenced clearing. We have actually cut away about six miles
of vegetation. No dependence whatever can be placed upon the guides: no
place answers to their descriptions. We have now been hard at work for
thirteen days with a thousand men, during which time we have travelled
only twelve miles!

"March 22.--Wind S.W.--foul. The people are all lazy and despairing.
Cleared a sudd. I explored ahead in a small boat. As usual, the country
is a succession of sudds and small open patches of water. The work is
frightful, and great numbers of my men are laid down with fever; thus my
force is physically diminished daily, while morally the men are
heart-broken. Another soldier died; but there is no dry spot to bury
him. We live in a world of swamp and slush. Lieutenant Baker shot a
Baleniceps Rex. This day we opened about 600 yards.

"March 23.--We have been throughout the day employed in tugging the
vessels through the channel. The Egyptians have quite lost heart. The
Soudanis are far more valuable as soldiers; none of them are ill, and
they work with a good will. I serve them out a glass of grog in the
evening. The fanatical fellahs will not touch spirits, thus they succumb
to fever and nervousness when exhausted by the chill occasioned by
working throughout the day in mud and water.

"March 24.--Wind fresh from the S.W. All the vessels assembled last
evening in a small lake. Before us there is as usual simply a narrow
stream closed in by vegetation. I observed marks of the traders' parties
having broken through a few months ago. These people travel without
merchandise, but with a large force of men: thus their vessels are of
light draught of water. My steamers and many of the boats require four
feet six inches. Every vessel is heavily laden, thus they are difficult
to manage unless in open and deep water.

"There is to-day a forest on the east, about two miles distant, beyond
the swamp. After a hard day's work we made about 1,400 yards.

"March 25.--Wind fair and fresh from the N.E. This helped us to make
about a mile through the narrow channel, hemmed in by thick and high
grass. Another soldier died. As usual, this poor fellow was an
artilleryman. These men came direct from Cairo with their guns, and not
being acclimatized, they cannot resist the fever. The Egyptian troops
give in and lose all heart; but there is much allowance to be made for
them, as it is a fearful country, and far beyond my worst experience.
There is no apparent break to the boundless marsh before and behind us,
this is about fifteen miles wide, as forest trees and the tall dolape
palms can sometimes be distinguished upon the horizon.

"What the unfortunate Higginbotham will do I cannot conceive, as there
is no possibility of communicating with him, and he will get into the
rainy season.

"Another soldier died this evening; he was an excellent man, who had
been employed at the arsenal at Cairo. His friend and bosom companion
was a fellow workman, and he was so grieved at the loss that he declared
he should not live beyond a few days. There was no dry ground in which
to dig a grave; it was therefore necessary to cut a hole in the base of
a white ant-hill, as these Babel-like towers were the only dry spots
that rose above the flood.

"This death is the sixth within the last few days, exclusive of one boy.
I think our black doctor assists them in departing from this life, as
they die very suddenly when he attends them. Like Dr. Sangrado, he is
very fond of the lancet, which is usually fatal in this climate. We made
about half a mile today.

"March 26.--Wind fresh from the S.E. The ditch is completely blocked up
with vegetation: thus we made only 250 yards. Before us, as usual, is
the hopeless sea of high grass, along which is a dark streak which marks
the course of the ditch through which we slowly clear a passage. How
many days or months we may require to reach the White Nile is a problem.
One hundred and fifty men are on the sick list; nearly all of them are
fellahs. Upon my own diahbeeah six soldiers out of ten are down with
fever, in addition to two of the sailors. I gave them all a shock with
the magnetic battery, which appeared to have a wonderful effect; one
fellow, who had been groaning with severe pains in his back and limbs,
declared that he was instantly relieved. I made a good shot with the
Dutchman at a Baleniceps Rex, at a distance of upwards of 200 yards.

"There is no rest by night or day for our people, who are preyed upon by
clouds of mosquitoes, which attack like bulldogs.

"March 27.--All hands hard at work clearing the ditch. Wind S.E.--fresh.
The diahbeeah, as usual, leads the way, followed by No. 10 steamer, and
the whole fleet in close line. Most of the men suffer from headache;
this is owing to the absurd covering, the fez, or tarboosh, which is no
protection against the sun.

"In the evening I took a small boat, and in forty-one minutes' poling
and tugging through the narrow channel, I succeeded in reaching a long
narrow lake resembling a river, about 110 yards wide. The mouth of our
effluent was, for a wonder, clear from obstruction; I returned with the
joyful news to the fleet after sunset.

"March 28.--At 7.30 a.m. all hands turned out to clear the channel to
the lake; this was about 500 yards long, and the diahbeeah, leading the
way, entered the lake at 11.30 a.m. Unfortunately a shallow channel near
the entrance prevented the steamers from entering, thus a passage had to
be dug in the tough clay beneath them. The wind strong from the south. I
am afraid the north wind has deserted us for the season.

"Having entered the lake, I went about a mile and a half ahead in my
diahbeeah, and anchored for the night in a broad and shallow portion of
the water, a forest being about a mile distant on the east bank: this
was a good sign of terra firma, but there was no dry spot upon which we
could land.

"The river winds to the S.E., and apparently then turns to the west. The
effluent through which we joined this lake or river meets it at right
angles, and the river continues its course to the N.N.W., as though it
were the main channel of a far more important stream than the horrible
ditch by which we arrived. The guide, however, assures me that it is
blocked up, and loses itself in boundless grass and reeds.

"In the evening I spied a hippopotamus which had just come out of the
high grass into the open river. It snorted loudly at the strange sight
of the handsomely-painted diahbeeah. I took the boat, and upon my near
approach it was foolish enough to swim towards us angrily. A shot from
the Reilly No. 8, with one of my explosive shells, created a lively
dance, as the hippopotamus received the message under the eye. Rolling
over and over, with the legs frequently in the air, it raised waves that
rocked my little boat and made shooting difficult; but upon a close
approach, taking good care to keep out of the reach of its struggles, I
gave it a quietus with a hardened spherical ball from the same rifle,
which passed right through the head. By sounding with the long
boat-hook, I found the body at the bottom in about ten feet of water. My
excellent captain of the diahbeeah, Faddul-Moolah, dived to the bottom,
and secured the leg of the hippopotamus by a rope. We towed it to the
diahbeeah, from the deck of which my wife had had a capital view of the
sport. This is a fine feast for the people. My explosive shell is
frightful in its effects.

"March 29.--Wind strong from the south; the steamer is not yet out of
difficulty. My men are busy cutting up the hippopotamus. I sent off the
iron boat with three quarters of the animal to the troops astern. During
the night a crocodile took away all the offal from the stern of the
diahbeeah. The weather is much cooler, owing to the south wind and the
clear space in which we are now anchored.

"March 30.-The river is now clear and unmistakable. We travelled about
ten miles by poling; this is the best day's work that we have made since
we entered this chaotic region. Lieutenant Baker came on board my
diahbeeah, having brought up the steamers.

"The country began to look more hopeful. A forest at a few miles'
distance on both the right and left bank of the river betokened dry
land. The river flowed between actual honest banks, which although only
a few inches above the water were positive boundaries. The flat plain
was covered with large white ant-hills, and the ground was evidently
firm in the distance, as we could distinguish a herd of antelopes.

"As we were quietly poling the diahbeeah against the sluggish stream, we
observed wild buffaloes that, at a distance of about 400 yards, appeared
to be close to the bank of the river. I accordingly stopped the
diahbeeah, and, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker, I approached them in
the small boat, rowed by two men. A fortunate bend of the river, and
several clumps of high rushes, concealed the boat until by a sudden turn
we came within sixty yards of two bull buffaloes. Having told Mr. Baker
to take the first shot, he sent a spherical No. 8 through the shoulder
of the nearest bull, which, after a few plunges, fell dead. The other,
startled at the shot, dashed off; at the same time he received a shell
from my rifle in the flank, and a shot from the left-hand barrel in the
rear. With these shots he went off about three hundred paces, and lay
down, as we thought, to die. I intended to stalk him from behind the
white ant-hills, but my sailors, in intense excitement, rushed forward,
supposing that his beef was their own, and although badly hit, he again
rose and cantered off till lost in high rushes.

"March 31.-As we proceeded, the banks became drier. The two steamers had
arrived during the night, and the whole fleet is coming up astern. The
river is now about fifty yards wide, but I am getting nervous about the
depth; the water is very shallow in some of the bends, and I fear there
will be great difficulty in getting through with the steamers and heavy
vessels. My diahbeeah, which is of iron, although roomy, is exceedingly
light, and only requires two feet three inches of water. We have been
fifty-one days from Khartoum. Never have I known so miserable a voyage.
Wind fresh from the south."



"April 1.--All the vessels are stuck fast for want of water! This is
terrible. I went on in advance with my diahbeeah, accompanied by Mr.
Baker, for about three miles to explore. Throughout this distance the
greatest depth was about four feet, and the average was under three
feet. At length the diahbeeah, which drew only two feet three inches,
was fast aground! This was at a point where two raised mounds, or
dubbas, were on opposite sides of the river. I left the vessel, and with
Mr. Baker, I explored in the rowing boat for about two miles in advance.
After the first mile, the boat grounded in about six inches of water
upon firm sand. The river, after having deepened for a short space, was
suddenly divided into three separate channels, all of which were too
shallow for the passage of the diahbeeah, and two were even too shallow
to admit the small boat. The boatmen jumped out, and we hauled her up
the shallows until we reached the main stream, above the three channels,
which ran from the S.S.E., but having no greater mean depth than about
two feet six inches.

"We continued for some distance up the stream with the same unfortunate
results. The banks, although flooded during the wet season, were now
dry, and a forest was about a mile distant. Having left the boat and
ascended a white ant-hill, about eight feet high, in order to take a
view of the country, I observed a herd of very beautiful antelopes, of a
kind that were quite un known to me.

"By careful stalking on the flat plain from one ant-hill to another, I
obtained a fair shot at about 140 yards, and killed. Both male and
female have horns, therefore I found it difficult to distinguish the sex
at that distance. I was delighted with my prize; it was a female,
weighing, I should estimate, about twenty stone, clean. The hide was a
deep reddish yellow, with black shoulders and legs, also black from the
hind quarters down the hind legs. It belonged to the species
hippotragus, and had horns that curved backwards, something similar to
the hippotragus niger, but much shorter.[*]

[*Footnote: Vide Appendix. This antelope, which I considered to be a
new species, proved to be the Damalis Senegalensis of Western Africa.]

"We soon cut it into quarters, and carried it to the boat. This little
success in sport had cheered me for the moment; but the happy excitement
quickly passed away, and we returned to the diahbeeah quite
disheartened. It is simply impossible to continue the voyage, as there
is no means of floating the vessels.

"To-morrow I shall explore the channel No. 3, which runs from the W.S.W.

"April 2.--I explored the west channel. This is very narrow, and
overgrown with grass. After about a mile we arrived at a shallow place
only two feet deep. The whole river is absolutely impracticable at this
season. During the rains, and even to the end of December, when the
river is full, the vessels could pass, but at no other time. All my
labour has been useless, but it would be utterly absurd to attempt a
further advance. I have therefore determined to return at once to the
Shillook country, and establish a station. Mr. Higginbotham and party
will then unite with us, and I will collect the entire force from
Khartoum, and start with the expedition complete in the end of November.
Although I am grievously disappointed, I am convinced that this is the
wisest course. During the rainy season the troops shall cultivate corn,
and I shall explore the old White Nile in a steamer, and endeavour to
discover a navigable channel via the original route by the Bahr Gazal.

"I was obliged with a heavy heart to give the sad order to turn back; at
3 p.m. we arrived at the assembled fleet.

"I summoned all the officers, and in the presence of Raouf Bey I
explained the necessity. The vessels immediately commenced the return
voyage, all the officers and men being delighted at the idea of a
retreat which they imagined would take them to Khartoum, and terminate
the expedition; thus I had little sympathy.--However, I determined to
make arrangements for the following season that would enable me to cut
through every difficulty. I kept these intentions to myself, or only
shared them with my wife and Lieutenant Baker.

"April 3.--Washed decks early, and sent off three soldiers, thus
reducing the escort on the diahbeeah to seven men.

"The entire fleet was in full retreat with wind and stream in favour. I
would not permit the diahbeeah that had always led the advance to
accompany them in the retreat; therefore I allowed them to push on

"A shower of rain fell to-day; also yesterday.

"A few minutes after starting, both the steamers stuck fast. As I was
walking the poop of the diahbeeah, I noticed with the telescope an
antelope standing on the summit of an ant-hill about a mile and a
quarter distant. There is no change so delightful as a little sport if
you are in low spirits; thus, taking the rifle, I rowed up the river for
about half a mile in the small boat, and then landing, I obtained the
right wind. It was exceedingly difficult to approach game in these
extensive treeless flats, and it would have been quite impossible, had
it not been for the innumerable hills of the white ants; these are the
peculiar features of these swampy countries, and the intelligence of the
insects directs their architecture to a height far above the level of
the highest floods. The earth used in their construction is the subsoil,
brought up from a considerable depth, as the ant-hills are yellow, while
the surface soil is black. The earth is first swallowed by the insect
and thus it becomes mixed with some albuminous matter which converts it
into a cement that resists the action of rain. These hills were
generally about eight feet high in the swampy districts, but I have
frequently seen them above ten feet. The antelopes make use of such
ant-hills as watch towers, from which lofty position they can observe an
enemy at a great distance. It is the custom of several varieties to
place sentries while the herd is grazing, and upon this occasion,
although the sentry was alone visible, I felt sure that the herd was
somewhere in his neighbourhood. I have noticed that the sentries are
generally bulls. On this occasion I resolved, if possible, to stalk the
watchman. I was shooting with a very accurate express rifle, a No. 70
bore of Purdey's, belonging to my friend, Sir Edward Kerrison, who had
kindly lent it to me as a favourite weapon when I left England. The
grass was very low, and quite green, as it had been fired by the
wandering natives some time since; thus, in places there were patches of
the tall withered herbage that had been only partially consumed by the
fire while unripe: these patches were an assistance in stalking.

"It was, of course, necessary to keep several tall ant-hills in a line
with that upon which the antelope was standing, and to stoop so low that
I could only see the horns of the animal upon the sky-line. In some
places it was necessary to crawl upon the ground; this was trying work,
on account of the sharp stumps of the burnt herbage which punished the
hands and knees. The fine charcoal dust from the recent fire was also a
trouble, as the wind blew it into the eyes. The watermark upon the
ant-hills was about eighteen inches above the base, proving the height
of the annual floods; and a vast number of the large water helix, the
size of a man's fist, lay scattered over the ground, destroyed and
partially calcined by the late prairie fire.

"The sun was very hot, and I found crawling so great a distance a
laborious operation; my eyes were nearly blinded with perspiration and
charcoal dust; but every now and then, as I carefully raised my head, I
could distinguish the horns of the antelope in the original position. At
length I arrived at the base of the last ant-hill from which I must take
my shot.

"There were a few tufts of low scrub growing on the summit; to these I
climbed, and digging my toes firmly into an inequality in the side of
the hill, I planted my elbows well on the surface, my cap being
concealed by the small bushes and tufts of withered grass. The antelope
was standing unconsciously about 170 yards, or, as I then considered,
about 180 yards from me, perfectly motionless, and much resembling a
figure fixed upon a pedestal. The broadside was exposed, thus it would
have been impossible to have had a more perfect opportunity after a long
stalk. Having waited in a position for a minute or two, to become cool
and to clear my eyes, I aimed at his shoulder. Almost as I touched the
trigger, the antelope sank suddenly upon its knees, in which position it
remained for some seconds on the summit of the ant-hill, and then rolled
down to the base, dead. I stepped the exact distance, 169 paces. I had
fired rather high, as the bullet had broken the spine a little in front
of the shoulder-blade. It was a very beautiful animal, a fine bull, of
the same kind that I had killed on 1st April. This antelope was about
thirteen hands high at the shoulder, the head long, the face and ears
black, also the top of the head; the body bright bay, with a stripe of
black about fifteen inches in width extending obliquely across the
shoulder, down both the fore and the hind legs, and meeting at the rump.
The tail was long, with a tuft of long black hair at the extremity. The
horns were deeply annulated, and curved backwards towards the shoulders.

"This was a very large animal, that would have weighed quite thirty
stone when gralloched. My boatman, who had been watching the sport,
immediately despatched a man for assistance to the diahbeeah. I enjoyed
the beauty of this animal: the hide glistened like the coat of a
well-groomed horse.

"I did not reach the diahbeeah until 6 p.m.; we then started without
delay, and reached the fleet at midnight, at the junction of the ditch
through which we had previously arrived at the main river.

"April 4.--The vessels are passing with great difficulty over the
shallow entrance of the ditch.

"April 5.--All the vessels have passed. At 6 p.m. we succeeded, after
much labour, in getting the last of the steamers through. This
accomplished, and having the stream in our favour, we passed along in a
compact line for about a mile and a half, the ditch that we had opened
being clear and in good order.

"April 6.--Another soldier died. This poor man was the companion of him
who, a few days ago, prophesied his own end when he lost his friend.
Curiously enough, he died as he was passing the spot where his friend
was buried, and we had to bury him in the same ant-hill. The Egyptian
troops are very unhealthy. When they first joined the expedition, they
were an exceedingly powerful body of men, whose PHYSIQUE I much admired,
although their MORALE was of the worst type. I think that every man has
lost at least a stone in weight since we commenced this dreadful voyage
in chaos, or the Slough of Despond.

"The boats reached the small lake, and continued their voyage through
the channel, and anchored for the night at the northern extremity of the
five-mile lake. We catch delicious fish daily with the casting-net; the
best are the Nile perch, that runs from a pound to four or five pounds,
and a species of carp. One of my boatmen is a professional fisherman who
understands the casting-net, but he is the only man who can use it.

"April 7.--The channel is again blocked up; all hands clearing into the
next lake. Another soldier died--making a total of nine; with two
sailors and a boy--total twelve.

"April 8.--Passed into lake No. 2, and by the afternoon reached lake No.
3, where we found our old channel blocked up. I set men to work to open
the passage, but there is no chance of its completion until about noon
to-morrow. Since we passed this lake a change has taken place, the
obstruction through which we cut a channel has entirely broken up. Large
rafts of about two acres each have drifted asunder, and have floated to
the end of the lake. It is thus impossible to predict what the future
may effect. There can be no doubt that the whole of this country was at
some former period a lake, which has gradually filled up with
vegetation. The dry land, which is only exposed during the hot season,
is the result of the decay of vegetable matter. The ashes of the grass
that is annually burnt, by degrees form a soil. We are even now
witnessing the operation that has formed, and is still increasing, the
vast tract of alluvial soil through which we have passed. There is not a
stone nor even a small pebble for a distance of two hundred miles; the
country is simple mud.

"April 9.--Passed the old channel at 11.45 a.m., after much labour, and
we found the long five-mile cutting pretty clear, with the exception of
two or three small obstructions. At 5.30 p.m. we reached the Bahr
Giraffe, from which extremely narrow channel we had first commenced our
difficult work of cutting through many miles of country.

"Who could believe the change? Some evil spirit appears to rule in this
horrible region of everlasting swamp. A wave of the demon's wand, and an
incredible change appears! The narrow and choked Bahr Giraffe has
disappeared; instead of which a river of a hundred yards' width of clear
running water meets us at the junction of our cutting. As far as the eye
can reach to the E.S.E., there is a succession of large open sheets of
water where a few days ago we saw nothing but a boundless plain of marsh
grass, without one drop of water visible. These sheets of water mark the
course of a river, but each lake is separated by a dam of floating
vegetation. The volume of water is very important, and a stream is
running at the rate of three miles an hour. Nevertheless, although in
open water, we now find ourselves prisoners in a species of lake, as we
are completely shut in by a serious dam of dense rafts of vegetation
that have been borne forward and tightly compressed by the great force
of this new river. It is simply ridiculous to suppose that this river
can ever be rendered navigable. One or two vessels, if alone, would be
utterly helpless, and might be entirely destroyed with their crews by a
sudden change that would break up the country and inclose them in a trap
from which they could never escape.

"We passed the night at anchor. Many hippopotami are snorting and
splashing in the new lakes.

"April 10.--After a hard day's labour, a portion of the fleet succeeded
in cutting through the most serious dam, and we descended our old river
to the dubba, or dry mound, where we had first discovered vestiges of
the traders. The No. 10 steamer arrived in the evening. The river is
wider than when we last saw it, but is much obstructed by small islands,
formed of rafts of vegetation that have grounded in their descent. I
fear we may find the river choked in many places below stream. No
dependence can ever be placed upon this accursed river. The fabulous
Styx must be a sweet rippling brook, compared to this horrible creation.
A violent wind acting upon the high waving plain of sugar-cane grass may
suddenly create a change; sometimes islands are detached by the gambols
of a herd of hippopotami, whose rude rambles during the night, break
narrow lanes through the floating plains of water-grass, and separate
large masses from the main body.

"The water being pent up by enormous dams of vegetation, mixed with mud
and half-decayed matter, forms a chain of lakes at slightly-varying
levels. The sudden breaking of one dam would thus cause an impetuous
rush of stream that might tear away miles of country, and entirely
change the equilibrium of the floating masses.

"April 11.--I sent a sailing vessel ahead to examine the river, with
orders that she should dip her ensign in case she met with an
obstruction. Thank God, all is clear. I therefore ordered the steamers
to remount their paddles.

"We started at 10 p.m.

"April 12.--At 11.30 p.m. we met five of Ghatta's [*] boats bound for
the White Nile. These people declared their intention of returning,
when they heard the deplorable account of the river.

[*Footnote: one of the principal Khartoum ivory and slave-traders]

"At 2 a.m. we arrived at our old position, close to our former wood
station in the forest.

"April 13.--Started at 11.30 a.m. The river has fallen three feet since
we were here, and the country is now dry. Mr. Baker and I therefore
walked a portion of the way upon the banks as the diahbeeah slowly
descended the stream. There were great numbers of wild fowl; also
hippopotami, and being provided with both shot guns and heavy rifles we
made a very curious bag during the afternoon, that in England or
Scotland would have been difficult to carry home; we shot and secured
two hippopotami, one crocodile, twenty-two geese, and twenty ducks.

"At 7 p.m. we arrived at the station of Kutchuk Ali. I sent for the
vakeel, or agent, commanding the company, to whom I thoroughly explained
the system and suppression of the slave trade. He seemed very
incredulous that it would actually be enforced; but I recommended him
not to make the experiment of sending cargoes of slaves down to
Khartoum, as he had done in previous years. He appeared to be very
confident that because his employer, Kutchuk Ali, had been promoted to
the rank of sandjak, with the command of a government expedition, no
inquiry would be made concerning the acts of his people. No greater
proof could be given of the insincerity of the Soudan authorities in
professing to suppress the slave trade, than the fact that Djiaffer
Pacha, the governor-general of the Soudan, had given the command of an
expedition to this same Kutchuk Ali, who was known as one of the
principal slave-traders of the White Nile.

"April 14.--One of my black soldiers deserted, but was captured. We also
caught a sailor who had deserted to the slave-hunters during our passage
up the river, but as we returned unexpectedly he was discovered. The
colonel, Raouf Bey, reported this morning that several officers and
soldiers had actually purchased slaves to-day from Kutchuk Ali's
station; thus, the Khedive's troops, who are employed under my command
to suppress the slave trade, would quickly convert the expedition into a
slave market. I at once ordered the slaves to be returned, and issued
stringent instructions to the officers.

"I saw this afternoon a number of newly-captured slave women and girls
fetching water under the guard of a scoundrel with a loaded musket. I
know that the station is full of slaves; but there is much diplomacy
necessary, and at present I do not intend to visit their camp.

"April 15.--To prevent further desertions, it was necessary to offer an
example to the troops. I therefore condemned the deserter who was
captured yesterday to be shot at noon.

"At the bugle call, the troops mustered on parade in full uniform. The
prisoner in irons was brought forward and marched round the hollow
square, accompanied by muffled drums.

"The sentence having been declared, after a short address to the men,
the prisoner was led out, and the firing party advanced. He was a fine
young man of about twenty years of age, a native of Pongo, who had been
taken as a slave, and had become a soldier against his will.

"There was much allowance for desertion under the circumstances, and I
was moved by the manly way in which he prepared for death. He cast his
eye around, but he found neither sympathy nor friends in the hard
features of the officers and men. The slave-trader's people had turned
out in great numbers, dressed in their best clothes, to enjoy the fun of
a military execution. The firing party was ready; the prisoner knelt
down with his back towards them, at about five paces distant. At that
moment he turned his face with a beseeching expression towards me; but
he was ordered immediately to look straight before him.

"The order, 'Present,' was given, and the sharp clicking of the locks,
as the muskets were brought on full cock and presented, left but another
moment . . . . .

"At that instant I ordered the firing party to retire, and I summoned
the prisoner, who was brought up in charge of the guard. In the presence
of all the troops I then explained to him the necessity of strict
discipline, and that the punishment of death must certainly follow
desertion, at the same time I made such allowance for his youth and
ignorance that I determined to reduce the punishment to that of
flogging, which I trusted would be a warning to him and all others. I
assured him, and the troops generally, that although I should never
flinch from administering severe punishment when necessary, I should be
much happier in rewarding those who should do their duty. The prisoner
was flogged and kept in irons. The troops formed into sections of
companies and marched past with band playing; each company cheering as
they passed before me; but the crowd of slave-hunters slunk back to
their station, disappointed that no blood had been spilt for their

[Footnote: It was satisfactory to me that this young man, who was
pardoned and punished as described, became one of the best and most
thoroughly trustworthy soldiers of my body-guard; and having at length
been raised to the rank of corporal, he was at the close of the
expedition promoted to that of sergeant. His name was Ferritch Ajoke.]

"No person except Lieutenant Baker and the colonel, Raouf Bey, had been
in the secret that I HAD NEVER INTENDED TO SHOOT THE MAN. I had merely
arranged an impressive scene as a coup de theatre, that I trusted might
benefit the MORALE of the men.

"We were now in the fine clear stream of the Bahr Giraffe, which, having
received numerous affluents from the marsh regions, was united in one
volume. We got up steam and started at 4.30 p.m., and the diahbeeah,
towed by the steamer down stream, travelled at about nine miles an hour
until 8 a.m., making a run of 125 miles.

"We then stopped at a large forest on the west bank to cut wood for the

"April 16.--Went out shooting with Mr. Baker, and shot two Ellipsyprymna
antelopes. The country is beautiful, but game is scarce. The forest is
much broken by elephants, which appear to frequent it during the wet
season. These animals are very useful in preparing wood for the
steamers' fires. They break down the green trees, which dry and become
good fuel. Were it not for the elephants, we should only find dead wood,
which is nearly all either hollow or rotten, and of little use as
firewood. Today we met four vessels from Khartoum that had followed me
with a reinforcement of one company of troops, with letters from
Djiaffer Pacha and Mr. Higginbotham.

"April 17.--We steamed about thirty-seven miles and then halted at a
good forest to fill up our supply of wood. The forest on the left bank
is about thirty-seven miles in length, but it is merely a few hundred
yards in width, beyond which the country is prairie. On the east bank,
where there is no forest, we saw giraffes, buffaloes, and antelopes in
considerable numbers during the day.

"April 18.--Filling up wood in the morning. We then travelled three
hours, and halted eleven miles from the White Nile junction. During the
voyage we saw a lion and lioness with five cubs running off alarmed at
the steamer.

"In the afternoon I went out and shot seven geese and two fine black

"Lieutenant Baker was unfortunately ill with fever. Here we met four
more vessels with a company of soldiers from Khartoum. They of course
remained with us.

"April 19:--In an hour and a half we arrived at the White Nile, and
twenty minutes later we saw three vessels belonging to the mudir, or
governor, of Fashoda. We heard from the people on these boats that the
governor (Ali Bey, the Koordi) was making a razzia on the Shillook
tribe. The banks of the river were crowded with natives running away in
all directions; women were carrying off all their little household
goods, and children were following their parents, each with a basket on
their heads containing either food or something too valuable to be left
behind. I immediately went off in a rowing boat, and, after much
difficulty, I succeeded in inducing some of the natives who could speak
Arabic to stop and converse with me. They declared that the Turks had
attacked them without provocation, and that the Koordi (as the governor
of Fashoda was called) had stolen many of their women and children, and
had killed their people, as he was generally plundering the country. I
begged the natives not to fly from their district, but to wait until I
should make inquiries on the following day; and I promised to restore
the women and children, should they have been kidnapped.

"I halted at a forest about nine miles from the junction of the Bahr
Giraffe, where a bend of the river concealed the steamers and diahbeeah.

"Late at night, when most people were asleep, I sent orders to the chief
engineer of the No. 10 steamer to have the steam up at five on the
following morning.

"April 20.--We started punctually at the appointed hour; my diahbeeah,
as usual, being towed by the steamer. As we rounded the point and
quickly came in sight of the governor's vessels, I watched them with a
powerful telescope. For some time we appeared to be unobserved. I knew
that the troops were not celebrated for keeping a sharp lookout, and we
arrived within three-quarters of a mile before the sound of our paddles
attracted their attention. The telescope now disclosed some of the
mysteries of the expedition. I perceived a considerable excitement among
the troops on shore. I made out one tent, and I distinguished men
hurrying to and fro apparently busy and excited. During this time we
were rapidly approaching, and as the distance lessened, I could
distinctly see a number of people being driven from the shore on board a
vessel that was lying alongside the bank. I felt convinced that these
were slaves, as I could distinguish the difference in size between the
children and adults. In the mean time we were travelling at full speed
(about eight miles an hour) in the broad but slack current of that
portion of the White Nile.

"At 6.35 we ranged up alongside the bank opposite the tent which
belonged to the Koordi governor of Fashoda. We had passed close to the
three vessels, but no person was visible except their crews. My arrival
was evidently quite unexpected, and not very agreeable.

"The governor shortly appeared, and was invited on the poop deck of my
diahbeeah; this was always furnished with carpets and sofas so as to
form a divan.

"After a pipe and coffee, I commenced the conversation by describing the
impossibility of an advance at this season via the Bahr Giraffe,
therefore I had found it necessary to return. He simply replied, `God is
great! and, please God, you will succeed next year.'

"I now asked him how many troops he had with him, as I noticed two brass
guns, and a number of irregular cavalry, in addition to some companies
of infantry. He replied that he had five companies in addition to the
cavalry and mounted Baggara Arabs; and that he was `collecting the

"I begged him to explain to me his system of taxation; and to inform me
whether he had established a poll, or a house tax, or in what special
form the dues were represented. This seemed to be a great puzzle to the
mind of the governor, and after applying to my colonel, to whom he spoke
in Turkish, he replied that the people were very averse to taxation,
therefore he made one annual tour throughout the country, and collected
what he thought just.

"I asked him whether he captured women and children in the same way in
which he annexed the natives' cattle. To this he replied by a distinct
negative, at the same time assuming an expression of horror at such an

"I immediately ordered my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader,
to visit the vessels that were lying a few yards astern. This was a very
excellent and trustworthy officer, and he immediately started upon an
examination. In the mean while the Koordi governor sat rigidly upon the
sofa, puffing away at his long pipe, but evidently thinking that the
affair would not end in simple smoke.

"In a few minutes I heard the voice of my colonel angrily expostulating
with the crew of the vessel, who had denied that any slaves were on
board. Almost at the same time a crowd of unfortunate captives emerged
from below, where they had been concealed, and walked singly along the
plank to the shore; being counted by the officer according to sex as
they disembarked. The Koordi governor looked uncomfortable, as this
happened before our eyes. I made no remark, but simply expressed a wish
to walk round his encampment.

"Having passed through the place of bivouac, where the foulest smells
attacked us from all sides, I thoroughly examined the spot, accompanied
by Lieutenant Baker and a few officers of my staff. There was no
military order, but the place was occupied by a crowd of soldiers,
mingled with many native allies, under the command of an extremely
blackguard-looking savage, dressed in a long scarlet cloak made of
woollen cloth. This was belted round his waist, to which was suspended a
crooked Turkish sabre; he wore a large brass medal upon his breast,
which somewhat resembled those ornaments that undertakers use for giving
a lively appearance to coffins. This fellow was introduced to me by the
Koordi as the `king of the Shillooks.'

"In the rear of the party, to which spot I had penetrated while the
Koordi was engaged in giving orders to certain officers, I came suddenly
upon a mass of slaves, who were squatted upon the ground, and surrounded
by dirty clothes, arranged like a fence, by the support of lances,
pieces of stick, camel saddles, &c. These people were guarded by a
number of soldiers, who at first seemed to think that my visit was one
of simple curiosity.

"Many of the women were secured to each other by ropes passed from neck
to neck. A crowd of children, including very young infants, squatted
among the mass, and all kept a profound silence, and regarded me with
great curiosity. Having sent for my notebook, I divided the slaves into
classes, and counted them as follows:--

Concealed in the boat we had discovered, 71 Those on shore guarded by
sentries were 84 ---- 155

including 65 girls and women, 80 children, and 10 men. The governor of
Fashoda, whom I thus had caught in the act of kidnapping slaves, was the
person who, a few weeks before, had assured me that the slave trade was
suppressed, as the traders dared not pass his station of Fashoda. The
real fact was, that this excellent example of the Soudan made a
considerable fortune by levying a toll upon every slave which the
traders' boats brought down the river; this he put into his own pocket.

"I immediately informed him that I should report him to the Khedive, at
the same time I insisted upon the liberation of every slave.

"At first he questioned my authority, saying that he held the rank of
bey, and was governor of the district. I simply told him that `if he
refused to liberate the slaves, he must give me that refusal in
writing.' This was an awkward fix, and he altered his tone by attempting
to explain that they were not slaves, but only held as hostages until
the people should pay their taxes. At the same time he was obliged to
confess that there was no established tax. I heard that he had received
from one native ten cows for the ransom of his child, thus the stolen
child was sold back to the father for ten cows! and this was the Soudan
method of collecting taxes! If the unfortunate father had been shot dead
in the razzia, his unransomed child would have been carried away and
sold as a slave; or should the panic-stricken natives be afraid to
approach with a ransom for fear of being kidnapped themselves, the women
and children would be lost to them for ever.

"I was thoroughly disgusted. I knew that what I had happened to discover
was the rule of the Soudan, and that the protestations of innocence of
governors was simply dust thrown into the eyes. It was true that the
Shillook country was not in my jurisdiction; but I was determined to
interfere in behalf of the slaves, although I should not meddle with the
general affairs of the country. I therefore told the Koordi that I had
the list of the captives, and he must send for some responsible native
to receive them and take them to their homes. In the mean time I should
remain in the neighbourhood. I then returned to the fleet that I had
left at the forest. In the evening we were joined by most of the rear

"April 21.--At 9.30 a.m. we sighted eleven vessels in full sail,
approaching from Khartoum, with a strong N.E. wind, and shortly
afterwards we were delighted by the arrival of Mr. Higginbotham, Dr.
Gedge, and the six English engineers, shipwrights, &c., all in good

"April 22.--I paid a visit to the Koordi's camp, accompanied by Mr.
Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, as I wished to have European witnesses to
the fact. Upon arrival, I explained to the governor that he had
compromised the Egyptian Government by his act, and as I had received
general instructions from the Khedive to suppress all slave-hunters, I
could only regard him in that category, as I had actually found him in
the act. I must, therefore, insist upon the immediate and unconditional
release of all the slaves. After an attempt at evasion, he consented,
and I at once determined to liberate them personally, which would
establish confidence among the natives.

"Accompanied by Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, and the various
officers of the staff, I ordered the ropes, irons, and other
accompaniments of slavery to be detached; and I explained through an
interpreter to the astonished crowd of captives, that the Khedive had
abolished slavery, therefore they were at liberty to return to their own
homes. At first, they appeared astounded, and evidently could not
realize the fact; but upon my asking them where their homes were, they
pointed to the boundless rows of villages in the distance, and said,
`Those are our homes, but many of our men are killed, and all our cattle
and corn are carried off.' I could only advise them to pack off as
quickly as possible, now that they had the chance of freedom.

"The women immediately took up their little infants (one had been born
during the night), others led the very small children by the hand, and
with a general concert, they burst into the long, quavering, and shrill
yell that denotes rejoicing. I watched them as they retreated over the
plain to their deserted homes, and I took a coldly polite farewell of
the Koordi. The looks of astonishment of the Koordi's troops as I passed
through their camp were almost comic. I shall report this affair to the
Khedive direct; but I feel sure that the exposure of the governor of
Fashoda will not add to the popularity of the expedition among the lower

"April 23.--I started with two steamers and two diahbeeahs to explore a
favourable spot for a permanent station. We reached the Sobat junction
in three hours and a quarter, about twenty-five miles. From the Sobat,
down stream, we steamed for forty minutes, arriving at a forest, on a
high bank to the east, where some extraordinary high dome palms (palma
Thebaica), together with dolape palms (Borassus Ethiopicus), gave an air
of tropical beauty to a desolate and otherwise uninviting spot.

"I fixed upon this place for a station as the ground was hard, the
position far above the level of high floods, and the forest afforded a
supply of wood for building purposes and fuel.

"April 24.--We steamed for half-an-hour down stream to a large village
on the west bank, named Wat-a-jook. Thence I went down stream for one
hour to the grove of dolape palms and gigantic India rubber trees. This
was formerly a large village, known as Hillet-el-dolape, but it has been
entirely destroyed by the governor of Fashoda. After much difficulty, I
induced some natives to come to me, with whom I at length made friends:
they all joined in accusing the Koordi governor of wanton atrocities.

"In the afternoon, not having discovered a spot superior to that I had
already selected for a station, we returned; but we had not travelled
more than an hour and a half when the engine of the No. 10 steamer broke
down. On examination, it appeared that the air pump was broken.
Fortunately the accident occurred close to the spot selected for a

"April 25.--At 12.30 p.m. I sent back the No. 8 steamer to call the
fleet to the station. I soon made friends with the natives, great
numbers of whom congregated on the west bank of the river. All these
people had heard that I had liberated the women and children.

"April 26.--The steamer and entire fleet arrived in the afternoon.

"The natives brought a bullock and a Pongo slave as a present from the
chief. I freed the slave, and sent a piece of cloth as an introduction
to the chief.

"April 27.--This was a busy day passed in measuring out the camp. I set
several companies at work to fell the forest and to prepare timber for

"April 28.--Pouring rain. No work possible.

"April 29.--The Englishmen set up their forge and anvil; and we
commenced unloading corrugated iron sheets to form our magazines.
Fortunately, I had a number of wall-plates, rafters, &c., that I had
brought from Egypt for this purpose, as there is no straight wood in the

"The sheik or head of the Shillook tribe sent envoys with a present of
four bullocks and two small tusks, with a message that he wished to see
me, but he was afraid to come. I accordingly sent the messengers back in
the No. 8 steamer with ten soldiers as an escort to bring him to my

"April 30.--We commenced erecting the iron magazines. Lieutenant Baker,
Mr. Higginbotham, and the Englishmen all actively employed, while Raouf
Bey and his officers, instead of attending to the pressing work of
forming the permanent camp, sit under a tree and smoke and drink coffee
throughout the day.

"The artillerymen are nearly all ill; likewise many of the Egyptian
regiment, while the black troops are well and in excellent spirits.
There is no doubt that for this service the blacks are very superior to
the Egyptians: these are full of religious prejudices combined with
extreme ignorance, and they fall sick when deprived of the vegetable
diet to which they are accustomed in Egypt.

"In the evening the steamer returned with the true Shillook king,
accompanied by two of his wives, four daughters, and a retinue of about
seventy people."



"May 1.--The camp is beginning to look civilized. Already the underwood
has been cleared, and the large trees which border the river have their
separate proprietors. There is no home like a shady tree in a tropical
climate; here we are fortunate in having the finest mimosas, which form
a cool screen. I have apportioned the largest trees among the higher
officers. The English quarter of the camp is already arranged, and the
whole force is under canvas. A few days ago this was a wilderness; now
there are some hundred new tents arranged in perfectly straight rows so
as to form streets. This extensive plot of white tents, occupying a
frontage of four hundred yards, and backed by the bright green forest,
looks very imposing from the river.

"The English quarter was swept clean, and as the surface soil on the
margin of the river was a hard white sand, the place quickly assumed a
neat and homely appearance. I had a sofa, a few chairs, and a carpet
arranged beneath a beautiful shady mimosa, where I waited the arrival of
the true king of the Shillooks--Quat Kare.

"In a few minutes he was introduced by an aide-de-camp, accompanied by
two wives, four daughters, and a large retinue. Like all the Shillooks,
he was very tall and thin. As his wardrobe looked scanty and old, I at
once gave him a long blue shirt which nearly reached to his ankles,
together with an Indian red scarf to wear as a waistband. When thus
attired I presented him with a tarboosh (fez); all of which presents he
received without a smile or the slightest acknowledgment. When dressed
with the assistance of two or three of the soldiers who had volunteered
to act as valets, he sat down on the carpet, upon which he invited his
family to sit near him. There was a profound silence. The king appeared
to have no power of speech; he simply fixed his eyes upon myself and my
wife; then slowly turned them upon Lieutenant Baker and the officers in
attendance. The crowd was perfectly silent.

"I was obliged to commence the conversation by asking him `whether he
was really Quat Kare, the old king of the Shillooks? as I had heard his
death reported.'

"Instead of replying, he conferred with one of his wives, a woman of
about sixty, who appeared to act as prime minister and adviser. This old
lady immediately took up the discourse, and very deliberately related
the intrigues of the Koordi governor of Fashoda, which had ended in the
ruin of her husband. It appeared that the Koordi did not wish that peace
should reign throughout the land. The Shillooks were a powerful tribe,
numbering upwards of a million, therefore it was advisable to sow
dissension amongst them, and thus destroy their unity. Quat Kare was a
powerful king, who had ruled the country for more than fifty years. He
was the direct descendant of a long line of kings; therefore he was a
man whose influence was to be dreaded. The policy of the Koordi
determined that he would overthrow the power of Quat Kare, and after
having vainly laid snares for his capture, the old king fled from the
governor of Fashoda as David fled from Saul and hid in the cave of
Adullam. The Koordi was clever and cunning in intrigue; thus, he wrote
to Djiaffer Pacha, the governor-general of the Soudan, and declared that
Quat Kare the king of the Shillooks was DEAD; it was therefore necessary
to elect the next heir, Jangy for whom he requested the firman of the
Khedive. The firman of the Khedive arrived in due course for the
pretender Jangy, who was a distant connexion of Quat Kare, and in no way
entitled to the succession. This intrigue threw the country into
confusion. Jangy was proclaimed king by the Koordi, and was dressed in a
scarlet robe with belt and sabre. The pretender got together a large
band of adherents who were ready for any adventure that might yield them
plunder. These natives, who knew the paths and the places where the vast
herds of cattle were concealed, acted as guides to the Koordi; and the
faithful adherents of the old king, Quat Kare, were plundered,
oppressed, and enslaved without mercy, until the day that I had
fortunately arrived in the Shillook country, and caught the Koordi in
the very act of kidnapping.

"I had heard this story a few days before, and I was much struck with
the clear and forcible manner in which the old wife described the

"Here we have an average picture of Soudan rule. In a country blessed
with the most productive soil and favourable climate, with a population
estimated at above a million, the only step towards improvement, after
seven years of possession, is a system of plunder and massacre. Instead
of peace, a series of intrigues have thrown the country into hopeless
anarchy. With a good government, this fertile land might produce
enormous wealth in the cultivation of corn and cotton. I arranged with
the king that he should wait patiently, and that I would bring the
affair before the proper authority; in the mean time, his people should
return to their villages.

"After a feast upon an ox, and the entertainment of the magnetic battery
and the wheel of life, I gave Quat Kare, and the various members of his
family, an assortment of presents, and sent them back rejoicing in the
No. 8 steamer. I had been amused by the stoical countenance of the king
while undergoing a severe shock from the battery. Although every muscle
of his arms was quivering, he never altered the expression of his
features. One of his wives followed his example, and resisted a shock
with great determination, and after many attempts she succeeded in
extracting a necklace from a basin of water so highly charged, that her
hand was completely cramped and paralysed.

"I have thoroughly gained the confidence of the natives, as vast herds
of cattle are now fearlessly brought to graze on the large island
opposite the camp. The natives assure me that all the male children that
may be born this year will be called the `Pacha,' in commemoration of
the release given to the captives.

"A soldier was caught this afternoon in the act of stealing a fowl from
a native. I had him flogged and secured in irons for five days. I have
determined upon the strictest discipline, in spite of the old prejudice.
As the greater portion of the Egyptian regiment is composed of felons,
convicted of offences in Cairo, and transported to the White Nile, my
task is rather difficult in establishing a reformation. The good taste
of the authorities might be questioned for supplying me with a regiment
of convicts to carry out an enterprise where a high state of discipline
and good conduct are essential to success."

I gave the name Tewfikeeyah [*] to the new station, which rapidly grew
into a place of importance. It was totally unlike an Egyptian camp, as
all the lines were straight. Deep ditches, cut in every necessary
direction, drained the station to the river. I made a quay about 500
yards in length, on the bank of the river, by which the whole fleet
could lie, and embark or disembark cargo. A large stable contained the
twenty horses, which by great care had kept their condition. It was
absolutely necessary to keep them in a dark stable on account of the
flies, which attacked all animals in swarms. Even within the darkened
building it was necessary to light fires composed of dried horse-dung,
to drive away the these persecuting insects. The hair fell completely
off the ears and legs of the donkeys (which were allowed to ramble
about), owing to the swarms of flies that irritated the skin; but in
spite of the comparative comfort of a stable, the donkeys preferred a
life of out-door independence, and fell off in condition if confined to
a house. The worst flies were the small grey species, with a long
proboscis, similar to those that are often seen in houses in England.

[*Footnote: After the Khedive's eldest son, Mahomed Tewfik Pacha]

In an incredibly short time the station fell into shape. I constructed
three magazines of galvanized iron, each eighty feet in length, and the
head storekeeper, Mr. Marcopolo, at last completed his arduous task of
storing the immense amount of supplies that had been contained in the
fleet of vessels.

This introduced us to the White Nile rats, which volunteered their
services in thousands, and quickly took possession of the magazines by
tunneling beneath, and appearing in the midst of a rat's paradise, among
thousands of bushels of rice, biscuits, lentils, &c. The destruction
caused by these animals was frightful. They gnawed holes in the sacks,
and the contents poured upon the ground like sand from an hour-glass, to
be immediately attacked and destroyed by white ants. There was no lime
in the country, nor stone of any kind, thus it was absolutely impossible
to stop the ravages of white ants except by the constant labour of
turning over the vast masses of boxes and stores, to cleanse them from
the earthen galleries which denote their presence.

I had European vegetable seeds of all kinds, and having cleared and
grubbed up a portion of forest, we quickly established gardens. The
English quarter was particularly neat. The various plots were separated
by fences, and the ground was under cultivation for about two acres
extending to the margin of the river. I did not build a house for
myself, as we preferred our comfortable diahbeeah, which was moored
alongside the garden, from the entrance of which, a walk led to a couple
of large shady mimosas that formed my public divan, where all visitors
were received.

In a short time we had above ground sweet melons, watermelons, pumpkins,
cabbages, tomatoes, cauliflowers, beet-root, parsley, lettuce, celery,
&c., but all the peas, beans, and a very choice selection of maize that
I had received from England, were destroyed during the voyage. Against
my express orders, the box had been hermetically sealed, and the
vitality of the larger seeds was entirely gone. Seeds should be simply
packed in brown paper bags and secured in a basket.

The neighbouring country was, as usual in the White Nile districts, flat
and uninteresting. Forest and bush clothed the banks of the river, but
this formed a mere fringe for a depth of about half a mile, beyond which
all was open prairie.

Although there was a considerable extent of forest, there was a dearth
of useful timber for building purposes. The only large trees were a
species of mimosa, named by the Arabs "kook." We were very short of
small rowing boats, those belonging to the steamers were large and
clumsy, and I wished to build a few handy dingies that would be
extremely useful for the next voyage up the obstructions of the Bahr
Giraffe. I therefore instructed the English shipwrights to take the job
in hand, and during a ramble through the forest they selected several
trees. These were quickly felled, and the sawyers were soon at work
cutting planks, keels, and all the necessary wood for boat-building. It
is a pleasure to see English mechanics at work in a wild country; they
finish a job while an Egyptian workman is considering how to do it. In a
very short time Mr. Jarvis, the head shipwright, had constructed an
impromptu workshop, with an iron roof, within the forest; several sets
of sawyers were at work, and in a few days the keel of a new boat was
laid down.

The chief mechanical engineer, Mr. McWilliam, was engaged in setting up
the steam saw-mills, and in a few weeks after our first arrival in this
uninhabited wilderness, the change appeared magical. In addition to the
long rows of white tents, and the permanent iron magazines, were
hundreds of neat huts arranged in exact lines; a large iron workshop
containing lathes, drilling machines, and small vertical saw machine;
next to this the blacksmith's bellows roared; and the constant sound of
the hammer and anvil betokened a new life in the silent forests of the
White Nile. There were several good men who had received a European
mechanical education among those I had brought from Egypt; these were
now engaged with the English engineers in repairing the engine of the
No. 10 steamer, which required a new piston. I ordered a number of very
crooked bill-hooks to be prepared for cutting the tangled vegetation
during our next voyage. The first boat, about sixteen feet long, was
progressing, and the entire station was a field of industry. The gardens
were green with vegetables, and everything would have been flourishing
had the troops been in good health. Those miserable Egyptians appeared
to be in a hopeless condition morally. It was impossible to instil any
spirit into them, and if sick, they at once made up their minds to die.
It is to be hoped that my regiment of convicts was not a fair sample of
the spirit and intelligence of the Egyptian fellah. Some of them

There is an absurd prejudice among the men that the grinding of flour
upon the usual flat millstone is an unmanly task that should always be
performed by a woman. This is a very ancient prejudice, if we may judge
by the symbols found upon the flat millstones of the ancient Egyptians.
We also hear in the Testament, "two women shall be grinding together;
one shall be taken, the other left." There was a scarcity of women in
our station, and the grinding of the corn would have given rise to much
discontent had I not experienced this difficulty in a former voyage, and
provided myself with steel corn-mills. I had one of these erected for
each company of troops, and in addition to the usual labour, I always
sentenced men under punishment to so many hours at the mill.

Although this country was exceedingly rich in soil, it was entirely
uninhabited on our side (the east) of the river. This had formerly been
the Dinka country, but it had been quite depopulated by razzias made for
slaves by the former and present governors of Fashoda. These raids had
been made on a large scale, with several thousand troops, in addition to
the sharp slave-hunters, the Baggara Arabs, as allies. The result was
almost the extermination of the Dinka tribe. It seemed incomprehensible
to the Shillook natives that a government that had only lately made
slave-hunting a profession should suddenly turn against the

I frequently rode on horseback about the country, and wherever I found a
spot slightly raised above the general level, I was sure to discover
quantities of broken pottery, the vestiges of villages, which had at a
former time been numerous. There was very little game, but now and then
ostriches were seen stalking about the yellow plains of withered grass.
On one occasion I was riding with Lieutenant Baker, accompanied by a few
orderlies, when I distinguished the forms of several ostriches at a
great distance. They were feeding on the flat plain where it was
hopeless to attempt an approach. I was just replacing my telescope, when
I observed an ostrich emerge from behind some bushes, about 400 yards'
distance. This was a male bird, by the black colour, and it appeared to
be feeding towards the scattered bush on my left. We were at the moment
partially concealed by the green foliage. I immediately dismounted, and
leaving the party behind the bushes, I ran quickly forward, always
concealed by the thick thorns, until I thought I must be somewhere
within shot, unless the bird had discovered me and escaped without my
knowledge. I now went cautiously and slowly forward, stooping under the
bushes when necessary, and keeping a good look out on all sides, as I
expected that the ostrich must be somewhere in the jungle. At length, as
I turned round a clump of thick thorns, I sighted the bird racing away
with immense speed straight from me at about 130 yards. I raised the
150-yard sight of the Dutchman, and taking him very steadily, as the
bird kept a perfectly straight course, I fired. The ostrich at once fell
with so great a shock upon the hard, parched ground, that the air was
full of feathers. I stepped 130 long paces, and found that the bullet
had struck the bird in the centre of the back, killing it instantly. My
party came up to my whistle, and I despatched a mounted orderly to camp
to bring men and donkeys.

Although I have been many years in Africa, this was the first and the
last ostrich that I have ever bagged. It was a very fine male, and the
two thighs and legs were a very fair load for a strong donkey.

I have seen erroneous accounts of ostriches designated as two varieties,
the black and the grey. The black, with white feathers in the wings and
tail, is simply the male, and the grey the female. The feathers of this
bird were old and in bad order. The fat is much esteemed by the Arabs as
an external application for rheumatism. I found the stomach rich in
scorpions, beetles, leaves of trees, and white rounded quartz pebbles.
The bird must have come from a considerable distance as there was
neither rock nor pebble in the neighbourhood.

On my return to camp I carved an artificial ostrich head from a piece of
wood, and made false eyes with the neck of a wine bottle. I intended to
stick this head upon a pole, concealed in a linen fishing rod case, and
to dress up my cap with thick plumes of ostrich feathers. I have no
doubt that it would be possible to approach ostriches in grass by this
imitation, as the pole would be carried in the left hand, and all the
movements of the ostriches might be easily imitated. The pole in the
left hand rested on the ground would make a good rest for the rifle when
the moment arrived for the shot.

Heavy rains set in, and the hitherto dry plains became flooded and
swampy, thus I never had an opportunity to try my false ostrich.

The Shillooks were now become our fast friends. The camp was crowded
daily with natives who came by water from a considerable distance to
traffic with the soldiers. Like all negroes, they were sharp traders,
with a Jewish tendency in their bargains. They brought raw cotton and
provisions of all kinds in exchange for cotton manufactures and iron.
Their country consists simply of rich alluvial soil, therefore all iron
must be imported, and it is of great value. The best articles of
exchange for this country would be pieces of wrought iron of about four
ounces in weight and six inches long, and pieces of eight ounces, and
eight inches in length. Also cotton cloth, known as grey calico,
together with white calico, and other cheap manufactures. The cotton
that is indigenous to the country is short in staple, but it grows
perfectly wild. The Shillooks are very industrious, and cultivate large
quantities of dhurra and some maize, but the latter is only used to eat
in a green state, roasted on the ashes. The grain of maize is too hard
to grind on the common flat millstones of the natives, thus it is seldom
cultivated in any portion of Central Africa on an extended scale. I gave
some good Egyptian cotton-seed to the natives, also the seed of various
European vegetables. Tobacco was in great demand by the troops, and I
considered the quality supplied by the Shillooks superior to that
cultivated in the Soudan.

Although the camp was visited by hundreds of natives, including their
women, daily, there were seldom any quarrels over the marketing, and
when a disagreement took place it was generally the fault of a soldier,
who took something on credit, and pleaded inability to pay. I
administered a rough-and-ready justice, and appointed an officer to
superintend the bazaar to prevent squabbles.

I was much struck with the honesty of the natives, who appeared
thoroughly to appreciate the protection afforded them, and the fair
dealing insisted upon on the part of the troops. The river was about 700
yards wide, but the land on the west shore was only a large island,
through which several small streams cut deep channels. This island was
separated from the main western shore by a branch of the White Nile. The
west bank was thickly lined with villages for about 200 miles of river
frontage throughout the Shillook country, thus affording admirable
opportunities for direct trade with vessels from Khartoum. It was a
tedious journey for the natives to visit us daily, as they had to cross
first their western branch of the Nile, then to carry their canoes
across the island for about a mile, and again to cross the main river to
arrive at our camp. The Shillook canoe has often been described. It is
formed of long pieces of the ambatch-wood, which is lighter than cork.
These curious trees, which grow in the swamps of the White Nile, are
thick at the base, and taper to a point, thus a number are lashed
securely together, and the points are tied tightly with cord, so as to
form a bow. These canoes or rafts generally convey two persons, and they
are especially adapted for the marshy navigation of the river, as they
can be carried on the head without difficulty, when it may be necessary
to cross an island or morass.

Our native traders arrived daily in fleets of ambatch canoes from a
considerable distance. The soldiers trusted them with their rations of
corn to grind, rather than take the trouble to prepare it themselves.
The natives took the corn to their homes, and invariably returned with
the honest complement of flour. I never had a complaint brought before
me of dishonesty when a Shillook had been trusted. I have great hopes of
these people, they simply require all assurance of good faith and
protection to become a valuable race.

From the Shillook country to Khartoum the river is superb and can be
navigated at all seasons. The northern end of this country is rich in
forests of the Acacia Arabica (Soont), a wood that is invaluable as fuel
for steamers, and is the only really durable wood for ship-building in
the Soudan. The rains begin in May, and are regular throughout four
months, thus cotton may be cultivated without the expense of artificial
irrigation; at the same time the dry summer offers an inestimable
advantage for gathering the crop.

The Dinka country on the east bank would have been of equal value, but,
as I have already described, it has been depopulated.

There was an old blind sheik who frequently visited us from the other
side, and this poor old fellow came to an untimely end when returning
one day with his son from marketing at Tewfikeeyah. I was walking on the
quay, when I heard a great commotion, and I saw a splashing in the
river, the surface of which was covered with the ambatch fragments of a
native canoe. There were many canoes on the river, several of which
immediately went to the assistance of two men who were struggling in the
water. A hippopotamus had wantonly charged the canoe, and seizing it in
his mouth, together with the poor old blind sheik who could not avoid
the danger, crunched the frail boat to pieces, and so crushed and
lacerated the old man that, although he was rescued by his comrades, he
died during the night.

As peace and confidence had been thoroughly established among the
Shillooks, I determined to send for the governor of Fashoda, and to
introduce him personally to the old king, Quat Kare, whom he had
officially reported to be dead. I therefore summoned Quat Kare, and
having informed him of my intention, I sent the steamer to Fashoda
(sixty-five miles), and invited the Koordi to pay me a visit.

When he arrived, I received him beneath the tree which formed my divan,
and after a preliminary pipe and coffee, we proceeded to business. I
told him that he must have been in error when he reported the death of
the old king, as I had proved him to be still alive. He replied that he
did not believe the real Quat Kare was in existence, as he had heard on
the best authority that he was dead. I gave an order to an aide-de-camp,
and in a few minutes the tall and stately figure of the old king was
seen approaching, accompanied by his wives, ministers, and a crowd of
most orderly retainers, including several of his sons. The king sat down
upon a carpet in a dignified manner, without taking the slightest notice
of the Koordi governor. His two wives sat down by him, but his sons
stood with his followers a few yards distant.

The Koordi, who was a remarkably handsome old man, with a snow-white
beard, sat equally unmoved, smoking the long chibook, without apparently
regarding the king or his people. The chibook is a most useful
instrument for a diplomat. If the situation is difficult, he can puff,
puff, puff, and the incorrigible pipe will not draw; in the mean time,
he considers a reply. At length the pipe draws, a cloud of smoke issues
from the mouth. "I beg your pardon," says the embarrassed diplomat,
evidently relieved by the little unreal difficulty with his pipe, "what
were we talking about?" and having considered his reply, he is ready for
argument. The pipe then draws leisurely, the smoke ascends in steady
clouds, while he listens to the arguments of the other side. There is no
necessity for a too sudden reply. Even if the conversation has ceased,
the pipe may be calmly smoked, while the facts of the case are arranged
in the owner's mind before he commits himself to an answer.

In the present instance nobody spoke, but the Koordi governor of Fashoda
smoked steadily. Presently Quat Kare fixed his eyes upon him with a
steady and determined stare, but with his usual immovable features, and
he thus silently regarded him during several minutes. "Have I found
thee, O mine enemy?" might have been the Shillook king's idea, but he
kept silence.

How long this tableau vivant would have continued it is impossible to
say, therefore I proceeded to business by asking the governor if he knew
Quat Kare by sight? He only replied "yes."

At this reply, the king, without altering his position or expression,
said, "Then who am I?"

The Koordi raised his eyes for the first time, and looked at Quat Kare,
but said nothing; he only puffed--the pipe did not seem to draw well. At
length a fair volume of smoke was emitted, and the Koordi answered by a
question: "If you are Quat Kare, why did you hide yourself? why did you
not present yourself before me at Fashoda? then I should have known that
you were alive."

Quat Kare regarded him fixedly, and he replied slowly, "Where are all my
cattle that you stole? where are the women and children that you
kidnapped? I considered that if you took my cattle and captured my
people, you might probably take ME, therefore I declined the

The Koordi puffed and puffed vigorously, but the long pipe did not draw;
something had evidently choked the tube.

It would be tedious to describe the whole dialogue, but there was no
question that the old Shillook king had the best of the argument;
therefore, after a long discussion, during which the king was
continually prompted by his favourite wife, in excited whispers that
every one could hear, I examined both the governor and the king upon
various points; and came to the conclusion that the governor was a great
scoundrel, and the king a very cunning fellow; at the same time he had
been shamefully treated. The Koordi had reported him as dead, and
obtained a firman conferring the title of Sheik of the Shillooks upon an
impostor, who had been a brand enemy of Quat Kare. Since that time the
adherents of Quat Kare had been subject to constant raids and pillage,
and the old king was a fugitive, who, if caught by the Koordi, would
assuredly have been quietly put OUT OF THE WAY.[*]

[*Footnote: Eventually the old king, Quat Kare, was imprisoned at
Fashoda,  and died in a mysterious manner. There are no coroners'
inquests in Central Africa.)

I decided that the affair must be settled in the following manner:--I
explained that I had no jurisdiction in the Shillook country, which was
under the government of Ali Bey, the Koordi; but as I held the positive
and special orders of the Khedive to suppress the slave trade, I had
been compelled to interfere and to release those captives who had been
thus shamelessly kidnapped.

With regard to the general pillage of the country instead of direct
taxation, the governor would explain his conduct to the Khedive.

With regard to the false report of Quat Kare's death, there could be no
doubt that the firman for his rival Jangy had been obtained from the
Khedive under false pretences.

I therefore recommended Quat Kare and his sons to go direct to Khartoum,
and plead his cause at the divan of Djiaffer Pacha, who was the
governor-general of the Soudan, which included the Shillook country;
thus the whole affair was within his jurisdiction. I also explained that
I should send an official despatch to the Khedive of Egypt, and also to
Djiaffer Pacha, describing the general state of the Shillook country and
the special case of Quat Kare, with a direct report upon the kidnapping
of slaves by the government's representative.

At the same time, I assured Quat Kare and his people that the Khedive
had only one object in forming a government: this was to protect the
natives and to develop the resources of the country. I persuaded the
Koordi and Quat Kare to become friends and at once to declare peace;
thus, all hostilities having ceased, the responsibility for further
disturbance would rest with him who should recommence a breach of the

I advised the Shillook king to forget the past, where there had
evidently been a mistake, and he should trust to his application to
Djiaffer Pacha, who would speedily give him justice. The Shillook king
then replied, without moving a muscle of his features, "If I forget the
past, what is to become of all my cattle that the Koordi has stolen from
me? Is he going to return them, or keep them himself, and forget the
past? I can't forget my cows."

This practical question was difficult to answer. The Koordi's pipe was
out: he therefore rose from his seat and retired, leaving the stoical
Quat Kare master of his position, but not of his cattle. I advised him
to say nothing more until he should see Djiaffer Pacha, and he would
receive a direct reply from the Khedive.

Quat Kare, with his wives and daughters and general retinue, determined
to pass the night in our station.

I therefore ordered an ox to be killed for their entertainment. I gave
the king a large Cashmere scarf, also one of red printed cotton, and a
dozen small harness bells, which he immediately arranged as anklets. His
usually unchangeable countenance relaxed into a smile of satisfaction as
he took leave, and the bells tinkled at every footstep as he departed.

Quat Kare never eats or drinks in the presence of his people, but his
food is taken to him either within a hut or to a lonely tree.

On the following morning both the governor of Fashoda and the old king
returned to their respective homes.

On the 10th May, a sail was reported by the sentries in the south.  None
of the slave-traders had any intelligence of my station at Tewfikeeyah.
The people of Kutchuk Ali, on the Bahr Giraffe, were under the
impression that we had returned direct to Khartoum. I was rather curious
to know whether they would presume to send slaves down the White Nile
during this season, knowing that the Khedive had sent me expressly to
suppress the trade. I could not believe that the Koordi governor of
Fashoda would have the audacity to allow the free passage of slave
vessels after the stringent orders that had been given. Although I had
heard that this governor had amassed a considerable fortune by the
establishment of a toll per head for every slave that passed Fashoda, I
imagined that he would this year make up his mind that the rich harvest
was over.

If any vessels should attempt to descend with slave cargoes, they must
pass my new station, of which they were ignorant, and the fact would
prove the complicity of the governor of Fashoda, as it would
substantiate all the reports that I had heard concerning his connivance
with the slave-traders. The strange sail now reported was rapidly
approaching on her route to Khartoum, without the slightest suspicion
that a large military station was established within four miles of the
Sobat junction. If guilty, she was thus approaching the jaws of the

As she neared the station, she must have discovered the long row of
masts and yards of the fleet moored alongside the quay. Of these she
appeared to take no notice, and keeping well in the middle of the river,
she would have passed the station, and continued on her voyage. This
looked very suspicious, and I at once sent a boat to order her to halt.

When she was brought alongside, I sent my trusty aide-de-camp, Colonel
Abd-el-Kader, on board to make the necessary inquiries. She was quite
innocent. The captain and the vakeel (agent and commander of station)
were amazed at my thinking it necessary to search their vessel. She had
a quantity of corn on board, stowed in bulk. There was not a person
beside the crew and a few soldiers from Kutchuk Ali's station.

The vakeel was the same whom I had seen at the station at the Bahr
Giraffe, to whom I had given advice that he should not attempt to send
slaves down the river again. All was in order. The vessel belonged to
Kutchuk Ali, who now commanded the government expedition sent by
Djiaffer Pacha to the Bahr Gazal. She was laden with ivory beneath the
corn, which was for the supply of the crew and soldiers.

Colonel Abd-el-Kader was an excellent officer; he was one of the
exceptions who took a great interest in the expedition, and he always
served me faithfully. He was a fine powerful man, upwards of six feet
high, and not only active, but extremely determined. He was generally
called "the Englishman" by his brother officers, as a bitter compliment
reflecting on his debased taste for Christian society. This officer was
not the man to neglect a search because the agent of Kutchuk Ali
protested his innocence, and exhibited the apparently naked character of
his vessel. She appeared suspiciously full of corn for a boat homeward
bound. There was an awkward smell about the closely-boarded forecastle
which resembled that of unwashed negroes. Abd-el-Kader drew a steel
ramrod from a soldier's rifle, and probed sharply through the corn.

A smothered cry from beneath, and a wriggling among the corn, was
succeeded by a woolly head, as the strong Abd-el-Kader, having thrust
his long arm into the grain, dragged forth by the wrist a negro woman.
The corn was at once removed; the planks which boarded up the forecastle
and the stern were broken down, and there was a mass of humanity
exposed, boys, girls, and women, closely packed like herrings in a
barrel; who under the fear of threats had remained perfectly silent
until thus discovered. The sail attached to the mainyard of the vessel
appeared full and heavy in the lower part; this was examined, and upon
unpacking, it yielded a young woman who had thus been sewn up to avoid

The case was immediately reported to me.  I at once ordered the vessel
to be unloaded. We discovered one hundred and fifty slaves stowed away
in a most inconceivably small area. The stench was horrible when they
began to move. Many were in irons; these were quickly released by the
blacksmiths, to the astonishment of the captives, who did not appear to
understand the proceeding.

I ordered the vakeel, and the reis or captain of the vessel, to be put
in irons. The slaves began to comprehend that their captors were now
captives. They now began to speak, and many declared that the greater
portion of the men of their villages had been killed by the

Having weighed the ivory and counted the tusks, I had the vessel
reloaded; and having placed an officer with a guard on board, I sent her
to Khartoum to be confiscated as a slaver.

I ordered the slaves to wash, and issued clothes from the magazine for
the naked women.

On the following day I inspected the captives, and I explained to them
their exact position. They were free people, and if their homes were at
a reasonable distance they should be returned. If not they must make
themselves generally useful, in return for which they would be fed and

If any of the women wished to marry, there were many fine young men in
the regiments who would make capital husbands. I gave each person a
paper of freedom, signed by myself. This was contained in a hollow reed
and suspended round their necks. Their names, approximate age, sex, and
country were registered in a book corresponding with the numbers on
their papers.

These arrangements occupied the whole morning.  In the afternoon I again
inspected them. Having asked the officer whether any of the negresses
would wish to be married, he replied that all the women wished to marry,
and that they had already selected their husbands!

This was wholesale matrimony, that required a church as large as
Westminster Abbey, and a whole company of clergy!

Fortunately, matters are briefly arrranged in Africa.  I saw the loving
couples standing hand in hand. Some of the girls were pretty, and my
black troops had shown good taste in their selection. Unfortunately,
however, for the Egyptian regiment, the black ladies had a strong
antipathy to brown men, and the suitors were all refused. This was a
very awkward affair. The ladies having received their freedom, at once
asserted "woman's rights."

I was obliged to limit the matrimonial engagements, and those who were
for a time condemned to single blessedness were placed in charge of
certain officers to perform the cooking for the troops and other
domestic work. I divided the boys into classes; some I gave to the
English workmen to be instructed in carpenter's and blacksmith's work;
others were apprenticed to tailors, shoemakers, &c., in the regiment,
while the best looking were selected as domestic servants. A nice little
girl, of about three years old, without parents, was taken care of by my

When slaves are liberated in large numbers there is always a difficulty
in providing for them. We feel this dilemma when our cruisers capture
Arab dhows on the east coast of Africa, and our government becomes
responsible for an influx of foundlings. It is generally quite
impossible to return them to their own homes, therefore all that can be
done is to instruct them in some useful work by which they can earn
their livelihood. If the boys have their choice, they invariably desire
a military life; and I believe it is the best school for any young
savage, as he is at once placed under strict discipline, which teaches
him habits of order and obedience. The girls, like those of other
countries, prefer marriage to regular domestic work; nevertheless, if
kindly treated, with a due amount of authority, they make fair servants
for any rough employment.

When female children are about five years old they are most esteemed by
the slave-dealers, as they can be more easily taught, and they grow up
with an attachment to their possessors, and in fact become members of
the family.

Little Mostoora, the child taken by my wife, was an exceedingly clever
specimen of her race, and although she was certainly not more than three
years old, she was quicker than most children of double her age. With an
ugly little face, she bad a beautifully shaped figure, and possessed a
power of muscle that I have never seen in a white child of that age. Her
lot had fallen in pleasant quarters; she was soon dressed in convenient
clothes and became the pet of the family.

On June 17, 1 sent the No. 9 steamer to Khartoum with the post, together
with three sons of Quat Kare, who were to represent their father at the
divan of Djiaffer Pacha. The old man declined the voyage, pleading his
age as an excuse. Mr. Wood also returned, as his health required an
immediate change to Egypt. On the 25th, four vessels arrived from the
south, two belonging to Kutchuk Ali, one to Agad, and one to a trader
named Assaballa, from the Bahr Gazal. The latter had thirty-five slaves
on board. The others had heard, by some vessels that had gone up from
Khartoum, that I had formed a station near the Sobat, and had captured
the vessel and slaves of Kutchuk Ali, thus they had landed their slaves
at the Bahr Giraffe station. The Bahr Gazal vessel having arrived from a
different direction had not received the information. I seized the boat
and cargo, and liberated the slaves.

On board the diahbeeah of Kutchuk Ali were four musicians, natives of
Pongo, on the river Djoor. Their band consisted of two iron bells, a
flageolet and an instrument made of hard wood that was arranged like the
musical glasses of Europe. The latter was formed of ten pieces of a
metallic sounding-wood suspended above long narrow gourd shells. Each
piece of wood produced a separate note, and the instrument was played by
four sticks, the ends of which were covered with india-rubber. The
general effect, although a savage kind of harmony, was superior to most
native attempts at music.

The station of Tewfikeeyah had now assumed an important aspect, and I
much regretted that when the time should arrive for our departure to the
south it would be abandoned: however, I determined to keep all hands
employed, as there is nothing so demoralizing to troops as inaction. At
the same time there was a general dislike to the expedition, and all
trusted that something might happen that would prevent another attempt
to penetrate the marshes of the Bahr Giraffe. There was much allowance
to be made for this feeling. The seeds of dangerous disorders, that had
been sown by the malaria of the swamps, had now exhibited themselves in
fatal attacks of dysentery, that quickly formed a cemetery at

The Egyptian troops were generally sickly and dispirited, and went to
their daily work in a slouching, dogged manner, that showed their
passive hatred of the employment.

I arranged that the sailors should cultivate a piece of ground with
corn, while the soldiers should be employed in a similar manner in
another position. The sailors were all Nubians, or the natives of
Dongola, Berber, and the countries bordering the Nile in the Soudan.
These people were of the same class as the slave-hunter companies, men
who hated work and preferred a life of indolence, lounging sleepily
about their vessels. I quickly got these fellows into order by dividing
them into gangs, over which I placed separate headmen, the captains of
vessels; one superior officer commanded, and was responsible for the

They only worked six hours daily, but by this simple organization I soon
had thirty acres of land cleaned. The grass and roots were burnt in
piles, the ashes spread, and the entire field was dug over and sown with
barley, wheat, and dhurra. There is a civilizing influence in
cultivation, and nothing is so cheering in a wild country as the sight
of well-arranged green fields that are flourishing in the centre of the
neglected wilderness. I had now a promising little farm of about thirty
acres belonging to our naval brigade; and a very unpromising farm, that
had been managed by my Colonel, Raouf Bey. The soldiers had never even
cleared the rough native grass from the surface, but had turned up the
soil in small lots at intervals of about a foot, into which they had
carelessly dropped a few grains of corn.

We now found agricultural enemies that were unexpected. Guinea-fowl
recognized the importance of cultivation, and created terrible damage.
Small birds of the sparrow tribe infested the newly-sown land in clouds,
but worse than these enemies were the vast armies of great ants.

These industrious insects, ever providing for the future, discovered the
newly sown barley and wheat, and considering that such an opportunity
should not be neglected, they literally marched off with the greater
portion of the seed that was exposed. I saw them on many occasions
returning in countless numbers from a foray, each carrying in its mouth
a grain of barley or wheat. I tracked them to their subterranean nests,
in one of which I found about a peck of corn which had been conveyed by
separate grains; and patches of land had been left nearly barren of

The large crimson-headed goose of the White Nile quickly discovered that
barley was a food well adapted for the physical constitution of geese,
and great numbers flocked to the new farm. The guinea-fowl were too wild
to approach successfully; however, we shot them daily. I set little boys
to scream from daylight till sunset to scare the clouds of small birds;
but the boys screamed themselves to sleep, and the sparrows quickly
discovered the incapacity of the watchers. Wild fowl were so numerous on
an island opposite the farm that we not only shot them as we required,
but on one occasion Lieutenant Baker and myself bagged in about two
hours sixty-eight ducks and geese, most of which were single shots in
flight overhead.

I found the necessity of re-sowing the land so thickly that there should
be sufficient grain to allow for the depredations of our enemies. I set
vermin traps and caught the guinea-fowl. Then the natural enemy appeared
in the wild cats, who took the guinea-fowls out of the traps. At first
the men were suspected of stealing the birds, but the unmistakable
tracks of the wild cats were found close to the traps, and shortly after
the wily cats themselves became victims. These were generally of the
genus Herpestris.

When the crops, having resisted many enemies, appeared above ground,
they were attacked by the mole crickets in formidable numbers. These
destructive insects lived beneath the small solid clods of earth, and
issuing forth at night, they bit the young shoot clean off close to the
parent grain at the point of extreme sweetness. The garden suffered
terribly from these insects, which destroyed whole rows of cucumber

I had brought ploughs from Cairo. These were the native implements that
are used throughout Egypt. There is always a difficulty in the first
commencement of agricultural enterprise in a wild country, and much
patience is required.

Some of my Egyptian soldiers were good ploughmen, to which employment
they had been formerly accustomed; but the bullocks of the country were
pigheaded creatures that for a long time resisted all attempts at
conversion to the civilized labour of Egyptian cattle. They steadily
refused to draw the ploughs, and they determined upon an "agricultural
strike." They had not considered that we could strike also, and
tolerably hard, with the hippopotamus hide whips, which were a more
forcible appeal to their feelings than a "lock-out." However, this
contest ended in the bullocks lying down, and thus offering a passive
resistance that could not be overcome. There is nothing like arbitration
to obtain pure justice, and as I was the arbitrator, I ordered all
refractory bullocks to be eaten as rations by the troops. A few animals
at length became fairly tractable; and we had a couple of ploughs at
work, but the result was a series of zigzag furrows that more resembled
the indiscriminate ploughings of a herd of wild boar than the effect of
an agricultural implement. Nothing will ever go straight at the
commencement, therefore the ploughs naturally went crooked; but the
whole affair forcibly reminded me of my first agricultural enterprise on
the mountains of Ceylon twenty-five years earlier. [*]

[*Footnote: See "Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon," published by
Longman & Co.]

The mean temperature at the station of Tewfikeeyah had been:

In the month of May, at 6 a.m. 73 degrees Fahrenheit
         "           at Noon   92 degrees    "
         "     June, at 6 a.m. 72 degrees    "
         "           at Noon   86 degrees    "
         "     July, at 6 a.m. 71 degrees    "
         "           at Noon   81 degrees    "

During May we had heavy rain during 3 days.
  "      "        light  "     "    4   "   7 days.

During June we had heavy rain during 5 days.
   "     "         light   "    "    6   "   11 days
   "   July        heavy   "    "   10   "
   "     "         light   "    "    4   "   14 days

Sickness increased proportionately with the increase of rain, owing to
the sudden chills occasioned by the heavy showers. The thermometer would
sometimes fall rapidly to 68 degrees Fahr. during a storm of rain,
accompanied by a cold rush of air from the cloud. Fortunately I had
provided the troops with blankets, which had not been included in their
kit by the authorities at Khartoum.



I had long since determined to explore the sudd, or obstructions of the
main Nile, in the hope of discovering some new passage which the stream
might have forced through the vegetation. A Shillook, named Abdullah,
closely connected with Quat Kare, had promised to accompany me, and to
supply the necessary guides. The river was full--thus I started on 11th
August, 1870.

The engines of the No. 10 steamer had been thoroughly repaired during
our stay at Tewfikeeyah. I had loaded her to the maximum with well-cut
"Soont" (Acacia Arabicce), which is the best fuel; and knowing, by the
experience of former years, that a scarcity of wood existed near the
Bahr Gazal, I had loaded one of the largest vessels (about seventy tons)
with a supply, to accompany us as a tender. I had also filled my
diahbeeah with selected fuel.

We steamed thirteen hours from Tewfikeeyah, with the tender and
diahbeeah in tow, and reached the old sudd about twelve miles beyond the
Bahr Giraffe junction. The water below the sudd was quite clear from
floating vegetation, as it had been filtered through this extraordinary

I will not fatigue the reader by a description of this voyage. We were
as usual in a chaos of marshes. We found a small channel, which took us
to the Bahr Gazal. This swampy and stagnant lacustine river was much
changed since I had last seen it in 1865. It was now a succession of
lakes, through which we steamed for several hours, but without
discovering any exit, except the main passage coming from the west,
which is the actual Bahr Gazal.

This was the third time that I had visited this river. Upon the former
occasions I had remarked the total absence of current; this was even
still more remarkable at the present time, as the river was not only
full, but the surface, formerly clogged and choked with dense rafts of
vegetation, was now clear. I sounded the depth of the lakes and main
channel, which gave a remarkable mean of seven feet throughout, showing
that the bottom was remarkably flat, and had not been subjected to the
action of any stream that would have caused inequalities in the surface
of the ground.

When the vessels lay at anchor, the filth of the ships remained
alongside, thus proving the total absence of stream. It has always
appeared to me that some western outlet concealed by the marsh grass
must exist, which carries away the water brought down by the Djour, and
other streams, into the lacustrine regions of the Bahr Gazal. There is
no doubt that the evaporation, and also the absorption of water by the
immense area of spongy vegetation, is a great drain upon the volume
subscribed by the affluents from the south-west; nevertheless, I should
have expected some stream, however slight, at the junction with the
Nile. My experience of the Bahr Gazal assures me that little or no water
is given to the White Nile by the extraordinary series of lakes and
swamps, which change the appearance of the surface from year to year,
like the shifting phases of a dream.

Our lamented traveller, Livingstone, was completely in error when he
conjectured that the large river Lualaba that he had discovered
south-west of the Tanganyika lake was an affluent of the Bahr Gazal. The
Lualaba is far to the west of the Nile Basin, and may possibly flow to
the Congo. I have shown in former works, in describing the system of the
Nile, that the great affluents of that river invariably flow from the
south-east--vide, the Atbara, Blue Nile, Sobat; and the Asua, which is
very inferior so the three great rivers named.

We have lastly the Victoria Nile of the Victoria N'yanza, following the
same principle, and flowing from the south-east to the Albert N'yanza.
This proves that the direct drainage of the Nile Basin is from the
south-east to the north-west; it is therefore probable that, as the
inclination of the country is towards the west, there may be some escape
from the lake marshes of the Bahr Gazal in the same direction.

On 21st August, having been absent ten days, during which we had been
very hard at work, exploring in the unhealthy marshes of the Bahr Gaza],
we returned hopelessly to Tewfikeeyah.

The great river Nile was entirely lost, and had become a swamp, similar
to the condition of the Bahr Giraffe. It was impossible to guess the
extent of the obstruction; but I was confident that it would be simply a
question of time and labour to clear the original channel by working
from below the stream. The great power of the current would assist the
work, and with proper management this formerly beautiful river might be
restored to its original condition. It would be impossible to clear the
Bahr Giraffe permanently, as there was not sufficient breadth of channel
to permit the escape of huge rafts of vegetation occupying the surface
of perhaps an acre; but the great width of the Nile, if once opened,
together with the immense power of the stream, would, with a little
annual inspection, assure the permanency of the work.

I came to the conclusion that a special expedition must be sent from
Khartoum to take this important work in hand, as it would be quite
useless to annex and attempt to civilize Central Africa, unless a free
communication existed with the outer world by which a commercial channel
could be opened. My exploration, in which I had been ably assisted by
Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, had proved that for the present
it was impossible to penetrate south by the main river, therefore I must
make all preparations for an advance by the Bahr Giraffe, where I hoped
that our past labour might have in some degree improved the channel.

The close of August showed a mean temperature of 73 6/10 degrees at 6
a.m., and 85 degrees Fahrenheit at noon, with seven days of heavy and
seven of light rain. Although the station was admirably drained, the
climate acted unfavourably upon the people. On 9th September it was
necessary for the unfortunate Dr. Gedge, my chief medical officer, to
return to Khartoum, as his state of health required immediate change.

Just as the diahbeeah was leaving the station, a vessel arrived from the
Bahr Gazal, by which I received a letter from the German traveller, Dr.
Schweinfurth. This gentleman, to whom I was quite unknown personally,
had the extreme courtesy and generosity to intrust me with all the
details of his geographical observations, collected in his journey in
the Western Nile Basin.

It was necessary for me to return personally to Khartoum to assure
myself that my arrangements should be carried out without delay. I had
determined that the expedition should start for the south from
Tewfikeeyah on 1st Dec., at which time the Nile would be full, and the
wind strong from the north. As Tewfikeeyah was nearly half way in actual
distance from Khartoum to Gondokoro, I trusted that we should have time
to accomplish the work of cutting through the marshes, and be enabled to
pass the shallows before the river should begin to fall. I therefore
sent Mr. Higginbotham to Khartoum to engage vessels; I followed on 15th
September, with the No. 10 steamer towing my diahbeeah--and ten empty
vessels to bring up a supply of corn.

We reached Khartoum on the 21st Sept. at 9.30 a.m., to the astonishment
of the governor and population, who could not understand why I had
returned. I now met for the first time the Vicomte de Bizemont, who was
to accompany the expedition. This gentleman had been intrusted by the
Empress of the French with a very gracious token of her interest in the
expedition, which he presented as a gift from her Majesty to my wife. I
now heard for the first time the startling news of the war between
France and Prussia. I found Dr. Gedge alive, but in a deplorable state
of health. It was impossible for him to travel north, therefore he was
carefully attended by the Greek physician to the forces, Dr. Georgis. I
at once saw that there was no hope of recovery. Mr. Higginbotham had
been exceedingly kind and attentive to his wants.

I was very well received by my old friend, Djiaffer Pacha, the
governor-general, but as usual the work was all behind-hand, and Mr.
Higginbotham had been in despair until my arrival. Only seven vessels
were forthcoming. I had expected thirty! Thus, it would again be
impossible to transport the camels that were indispensable for the
transport of the steamers from Gondokoro. This was very heart-breaking.
Instead of completing the expedition by a general direct move south with
all material, transport animals, store, &c., in travelling order, the
operation would extend over some years, for the simple reason that the
government had not the means of transport. Even now the steamers had not
arrived from Cairo. The fifteen large sloops had failed to pass the
cataract; thus, I was reduced to the miserable open vessels of Khartoum,
and even these were of an inferior description and few in number.
Fortunately I had brought ten empty vessels with me from Tewfikeeyah,
otherwise we should not have had sufficient transport for the necessary
supply of corn. However, now that I had arrived, things began to move a
little faster. I find this entry in my journal, dated "1st October,
1870. Thermometer, 6 a.m., 80 degrees; noon, 94 degrees. Wind, north.
The fact of my having captured the boats of Kutchuk Ali and Agad with
slaves on board, has determined a passive, but stubborn, resistance in
Khartoum to the expedition. This is shared by the officials.

"Although I wrote to Djiaffer Pacha months ago requesting him to send me
thirty vessels, there is not one actually ready, neither are there more
than seven to be obtained. Even these are not prepared for the journey.
The object appears to be to cause such delay as shall throw me back
until the river shall be too low for the passage of the Bahr Giraffe.

"October 2.--I wrote an official letter to Djiaffer Pacha, protesting
against delay, and reminding him of the Khedive's instructions."

The only authority who, I believe, takes a real interest in the
expedition is Ismail Bey, who is a highly intellectual and clever man.
This Bey is the President of the Council, and I have known him during
many years. He speaks excellent French, and is more European in his
ideas than any of my acquaintances.[*]

[*Footnote: Since this was written Ismail Bey has become Pacha, and
is governor of the Khartoum province.]

The action that I had taken against the proceedings of the governor of
Fashoda was very distasteful to the Khartoum public. I much regretted
the necessity, but I could not have acted otherwise. This complication
placed my friend, Djiaffer Pacha, in a most unpleasant position, as the
Koordi of Fashoda was his employee; it would therefore appear that no
great vigilance had been exercised by the governor-general at Khartoum,
and suspicions might be aroused that the character and acts of the
Fashoda governor must have been previously known to the Khartoum

The curtain began to rise, and disclosed certain facts of which I ought
to have been informed many months ago, when I first arrived at Khartoum.
I heard from Mr. Higginbotham that the principal trader of the White
Nile (Agad) had a contract with the government, which gave him the
exclusive right of trading throughout certain distant countries. This
area comprised about NINETY THOUSAND SQUARE MILES! Thus, at the same
time that I was employed by the Khedive to suppress the slave trade, to
establish commerce, and to annex the Nile Basin, the White Nile
countries that were to be annexed had already been leased by the
governor-general of the Soudan for several thousand pounds sterling per
annum, together with the monopoly of the ivory trade.

A country that was in no way connected with Egypt, and over which Egypt
had no more authority than England has over China, had actually been
leased-out to adventurers of the class known as merchants at Khartoum,
but thoroughly well known to the authorities as slave-hunters.

It was hardly credible that such dust should be thrown in the eyes of
the Khedive, after the stringent orders he had given; but Egypt is
celebrated for dust; the Soudan is little else but dust, therefore we
must make some allowance for the blindness of the authorities. My eyes
had evidently been filled with Khartoum dust, for it was only now upon
my return from Tewfikeeyah that I discovered that which should have been
made known to me upon my first arrival from Cairo to command the
expedition. It was the trader and lessee, Achmet Sheik Agad, who had
applied to Mr. Higginbotham as a mediator, and he stated clearly a case
of great hardship. He had paid annually about 3000L for the sole right
of trading. Thus, if he paid rent for a monopoly of the ivory, and the
government then started as traders in ivory in the country leased to
him, he would be in the same position as a man who rented a cow at a
fixed sum per week, but the owner, nevertheless, insisted upon a right
to her milk.

It would be a hard case upon the traders at any rate, even should they
trade with equal rights to the government.

There was no actual bartering of merchandise for ivory, neither was any
merchandise shipped from Khartoum, except that required as clothing for
the people who belonged to the slave-hunters' companies. If an honest,
legitimate trade were commenced by the government, and law and order
thoroughly established, it would become impossible for the slave hunters
to exist in the White Nile districts. Their so-called trade consisted in
harrying one country to procure cattle and slaves, which they exchanged
for ivory in other districts. If a government were established, such
razzias must cease at once--and the Khartoum traders would be without an

I had originally proposed that the districts of the White Nile south of
latitude 14 degrees N. should be placed under my command; this, for some
unexplained reason, was reduced to latitude 5 degrees N., thus leaving
the whole navigable river free from Gondokoro to Khartoum, unless I
should assume the responsibility of liberating slaves and seizing the
slavers wherever I might find them. This power I at once assumed and
exercised, although I purposely avoided landing and visiting the
slave-hunters' stations that were not within my jurisdiction. I regarded
the river as we regard the high seas.

It was clearly contrary to all ideas of equity that the government
should purchase ivory in countries that had been leased to the traders.
I was therefore compelled to investigate the matter with the assistance
of Djiaffer Pacha, who had made the contract in the name of the
government. It was then explained that the entire White Nile was rented
by the traders. The government had assumed the right and monopoly of the
river, and in fact of any part of Africa that could be reached, south of
Khartoum; thus no trader was permitted to establish himself, or even to
start from Khartoum for the interior, until he should have obtained a
lease from the government. If Central Africa had been already annexed,
and the Egyptian government had been established throughout the country,
I should not have complained; but I now found that my mission from the
Khedive placed me within "a house divided against itself." I was to
annex a country that was already leased out by the government.

My task was to suppress the slave trade, when the Khartoum authorities
well knew that their tenants were slave-hunters; to establish legitimate
commerce where the monopoly of trade had already been leased to traders;
and to build up a government upon sound and just principles, that must
of necessity ruin the slave-hunting and ivory-collecting parties of

It was easy to conceive that my mission was regarded as fatal to the
interests of the Soudan. Although the actual wording of the contracts
was pure, and the lessees bound themselves to abstain from
slave-hunting, and to behave in a becoming manner, it was thoroughly
understood that they were simply to pay a good round sum per annum
punctually, and that no questions would be asked. There were no
authorities of the government in those distant countries, neither
consular agents to send home unpleasant reports; thus, when fairly away
from all restraint, the traders could act as they pleased. It appears
hardly credible that although the wording of the contracts was almost
holy, no examination of the vessels was made before their departure from
Khartoum. Had the Soudan government been sincere in a determination to
lease out the White Nile for the purpose of benefiting the country by
the establishment of legitimate commerce, surely the authorities would
have convinced themselves that the traders' vessels contained cargoes of
suitable merchandise, instead of being loaded with ammunition, and
manned by bands of armed pirates.

If the owner of a pack of wolves were to send them on a commission to
gather wool from a flock of sheep, with the simple protection of such
parting advice as "Begone, good wolves, behave yourselves like lambs,
and do not hurt the mutton!" the proprietor of the pack would be held
responsible for the acts of his wolves. This was the situation in the
Soudan. The entire country was leased out to piratical slave-hunters,
under the name of traders, by the Khartoum government; and although the
rent, in the shape of large sums of money, had been received for years
into the treasury of the Soudan, my expedition was to explode like a
shell among the traders, and would at once annihilate the trade. I now
understood the reason for the alteration in my proposed territorial
limit from the 14 degrees N. lat. to the 5 degrees. Khartoum is in lat.
15 degrees 35' N. Gondokoro is N. lat. 4 degrees 54', thus, if my
jurisdiction should be reduced to the south of Gondokoro, the usual
traffic of the White Nile might continue in the north during my absence
in the south, and the original contracts would be undisturbed.

It is a duty that I owe to the Khedive of Egypt to explain these
details. It would at first sight appear that the expedition to suppress
the slave-trade was merely a theatrical announcement to court the
sympathy of Europe, but which, in reality, had no solidity. I am
perfectly convinced that the Khedive was thoroughly sincere in his
declared purpose of suppressing the slave-trade, not only as a
humanitarian, but as an enlightened man of the world, who knew, from the
example of the great Powers of Europe, that the time had arrived when
civilization demanded the extinction of such horrors as were the
necessary adjuncts of slave-hunting. The Khedive had thus determined to
annex the Nile Basin, and establish his government, which would afford
protection, and open an immense country to the advantages of commerce.
This reform must be the death-blow to the so-called traders of
Khartoum, who were positively the tenants of the governor-general of the

The expedition of the Khedive, launched with admirable determination on
his part, was thus inimical to every local interest, and was in direct
opposition to public opinion. It was therefore a natural consequence
that pressure should be exerted by every interest against the
governor-general of the Soudan. Djiaffer Pacha was an old friend of
mine, for whom I had a great personal regard, and I regretted the false
position in which both he and I were placed. My title and position as
governor-general of Central Africa to a certain extent weakened his

He had by the force of circumstances, and according to former usages, so
far tolerated the acts of the White Nile traders as to acknowledge them
as contracting parties with his own government. The most important
lessee had no less than ten stations situated within the territory under
my jurisdiction, for which he was paying a large annual rent. I knew,
and the lessee, Achmet Sheik Agad, well knew, that his so-called trade
was simply brigandage. My former travels, as described in "The Albert
N'yanza," had led me behind the curtain, and the traders were well aware
that I knew every secret of their atrocities; thus my reappearance upon
the scene with rank of pacha and major-general, at the head of a small
army, together with the possession of absolute and supreme power, threw
the entire population into a state of consternation. The traders, as
Mohammedans and subjects, trusted to the protection of their own
governor-general. Already I had captured their vessels, imprisoned their
agents, liberated their slaves, and confiscated the ivory, subject to
the decision of the Khedive. Already I had caught the governor himself
(Ali Bey of Fashoda) in the act of kidnapping helpless women and
children, whom I had immediately insisted upon liberating, although I
had no legal jurisdiction in his province. I simply depended upon the
personal support of the Khedive, whose sincerity I never doubted; thus I
acted as I firmly believed the Khedive would have desired me to act
under the circumstances. The Khedive proved that my confidence in his
sincerity was well founded. He at once dismissed from his service and
disgraced the governor of Fashoda. These facts cast shadows of coming
events. The Soudan authorities were compromised; my interference in the
Shillook country was naturally distasteful to the governor-general. Both
the government of the Soudan and the traders at Khartoum perceived that
I should act in strict accordance with the instructions I had received
from the Khedive. There was no hope left, except in delays, that might
render an advance impossible with a heavily-laden fleet through the
obstructions of the river.

It was necessary to modify the terms of the contract entered into
between the governor-general and Sheik Achmet Agad. This trader
represented his case to me as one of considerable injustice, which I was
forced to acknowledge. As a mark of respect to Djiaffer Pacha, who had
originally entered into the contract, I requested him to arrange the
terms of the new agreement together with myself in the public divan. It
was argued by Sheik Achmet Agad that the fact of the government being
established in countries where he had been independent would cause a
great loss to his trade, as it would upset the confidence of the
natives, and they would cease to bring ivory for sale. In reality, this
argument should be interpreted: "If the government is established, there
will be an end to our razzias, and we shall have neither slaves nor
cattle to offer in exchange for ivory."

He also justly argued that "it would be unfair should the government
purchase ivory from countries already leased for trading purposes to the

I therefore arranged that, until the expiration of his original
contract, no ivory should be purchased by the government.

Also, that instead of the money payment now annually made to the
government, the rent should be paid in ivory, at the rate of two-fifths
of the amount collected. The ivory was to be delivered and weighed in
Gondokoro, at which place the rent was to be paid to the government in

The original contract would expire on April 9, 1872.

My hands were to a certain extent tied by these engagements, but I
resolved that at the expiration of the term I should assume a monopoly
of the ivory trade for the government, on the principle of the fur trade
of the Hudson's Bay Company; as it would be impossible to permit the
acts of the Khartoum traders, who, I was convinced, would never deal
honestly with the natives.

The working representative of Achmet Sheik Agad was his son-in-law--a
man named Abou Saood: I had seen this person when at Tewfikeeyah; he had
arrived in charge of several vessels from Gondokoro during the rainy
season, when the flooded river and strong south wind had allowed the
passage of his boats. At that time he had no slaves on board, but I
subsequently discovered that upon hearing that I had formed a station
near the Soba, he had discharged a large cargo of slaves at the station
of Kutchuk Ali on the Bahr Giraffe, so as to pass Tewfikeeyah in a state
of innocence and purity, and thus save the confiscation of his ivory.
This man was present at the divan when the final agreement was signed by
myself and his principal. He vowed fidelity in so forcible a manner that
I entertained serious doubts of his sincerity. An arrangement was
entered into, that he was to supply the government troops with beef,
mutton, butter, &c., together with the native carriers for the transport
of baggage, stores, &c., at an established rate then agreed upon; the
provisions were to be delivered from the resources at his command at his
various stations. In the event of any native war, he was to furnish
assistance when called upon by the government for irregular troops, of
which he had about 1,800 in the districts included in my territory.

I did not admire the personal appearance of Abou Saood. A judge of
physiognomy would have objected to the downcast look of humility, the
un-certain squint of one eye, the furtive expression of countenance,
added to the ultra-holiness of his ejaculations when called upon for an
answer, and the pious cant of his protestation against all wrong-doings.
At the same time that he was acting the part of saint, I knew him to be
a bird of the same feather as the rest of the White Nile slave-hunters.

Some little diplomacy was necessary to smooth the troubled waters of
Khartoum. I made every allowance for the passive obstructiveness of the
authorities; it was perfectly natural under the circumstances of a
sudden reform that affected materially the interests of the entire
population, both high and low. At the same time, it was necessary to win
the game. I was much attached to Djiaffer Pacha in his unofficial
capacity, as I could never forget the kindness that I had received from
him at Souakim when he welcomed my wife and myself on our return from a
long and arduous expedition. He was a perfectly honest man in his
dealings, and most generous to all around him. His great desire was to
earn a good reputation, thus he was not sufficiently vigilant or severe
with the sub-officials throughout the vast territory which he governed.

He had formerly been an admiral in the Egyptian navy, and he had visited
England, where he had learnt to respect the English name of "gentleman."
To be considered a "gentleman" (which he pronounced in English), was
in his estimation a great honour.

I was delighted with the lasting impression that had been made by the
manners of our country; and certainly, in courtesy and hospitality,
Djiaffer Pacha thoroughly represented the qualities of the name he
coveted. Whenever we differed in opinion upon official matters, we were
always cordial in our private capacity.

On 6th October the post arrived from Cairo with the astounding news of
the battle of Sedan; the capture of the Emperor Napoleon; the revolution
in Paris; and the fall of the Napoleon dynasty! Never were so many
grave events condensed in one despatch. I felt much for de Bizemont: he
had become a general favourite, and I had received him con amore as one
of our party. This was a blow too terrible even for his high spirit. He
had received the greatest kindness from the emperor and empress, and his
loyalty was shown by the deepest grief, and an immediate resolve to give
up the expedition, and to return to share the trembling fortunes of his
country. We had ourselves received much kindness from the empress. Only
a few days before this grave news arrived, my wife had received a token
from her Majesty, graciously bestowed when she was in power and
prosperity; this was now more deeply prized since adversity had fallen
so heavily upon her.

De Bizemont had vigorously commenced his work as a member of the
expedition by accompanying the sections of the third steamer from Cairo
to Berber. The desert journey was intrusted to the great sheik of the
Arabs, Hussein Halifa, who had already so notably distinguished himself
in the transport of the two steamers that had arrived with Mr.
Higginbotham. I was very sorry to say good-bye, and I parted with de
Bizemont and his companion, Le Blanc, with sincere regret.

I had now set everything in order; the vessels were loaded.
On 10th October, 1870, I find this entry in my journal:-

"Started for Tewfikeeyah. Thankful to be free from that hateful spot,
Khartoum. Nothing can exceed the misery of the place at this season. No
drainage--mud--dense population, with exaggerated stench. These enemies
to civilization have at length vanquished the European settlers.

"Djiaffer Pacha, accompanied by all the big people, came on board to
take an official farewell: embracing--bands of music--salutes of
cannon--steam up, and off, thank God!--I with a horrid cold and Julian
with nasty fever."

We were short of hands for wood-cutting, thus we only arrived at
Tewfikeeyah on 22d October. The river was now at its maximum, and had
risen at this spot from the lowest level of the dry season, fourteen
feet and one inch.

We were now busily employed, as I had arranged to start the first
division of the fleet for Gondokoro on the 1st December.

On 25th October several vessels attempted to pass the station with
slaves. All were captured and the slaves liberated.

"Many of the women slaves who were released from the slave vessels at
the first capture seemed thoroughly to realize the principle of
'liberte, fraternite, egalite,' as they ran away during the night, not
only with their new clothes recently given them by the government, but
they also stole some of the soldiers' kit. It is very difficult to
manage these people. The fact of their having been kidnapped by the
slave-hunters destroys all confidence, and they cannot understand their
true position. It is difficult to persuade them that the government has
interfered in their behalf simply with a view to their welfare; they
imagine that we have some ulterior object in their release; and many
have a strong suspicion that they may at some future time be transported
to some distant country and sold. They have been so often deceived that
they cannot understand the truth; and having been accustomed to brutal
treatment, they cannot comprehend the intention of kindness, which they
attribute to a wish to deceive them. This is a dreadful state of moral
degradation, which nothing but time and patience will overcome."

On the 23rd November the wind began steadily from the north. I was
nearly ready. Every vessel had been thoroughly repaired, but many were
so rotten that the caulking was considered by the English shipwrights as
quite unreliable for a long voyage. I had dragged the iron diahbeeah out
of the water, and had substituted new plates in many places where the
metal was honeycombed with rust. The plate that had been pierced by the
tusks of the hippopotamus was removed, as it proved to be very
defective, and could be broken through with the blow of a heavy hammer,
therefore it was not astonishing that it had been easily penetrated by
the sharp ivory of so powerful an animal.

When the diahbeeah was re-launched, I had her thoroughly painted inside
and out. In the mean time, I had formed a Robinson-Crusoe-like house,
comprising two small rooms, open on the river-side, but secured at night
and morning by simple Venetian blinds. The three sides were closed with
planks. I had paved the floor with the cast-iron plates of the steamer's
engine room, thus it was both level and proof against the white ants.
The two rooms were separated by a partition with a doorway, but no door.

I had not resided in a house since I first occupied the diahbeeah, ten
months ago, as the vessel was more convenient.

On the 29th November, at about four A.M., I was awakened by a noise in
the adjoining room. My bedstead was exactly opposite the partition
doorway; that of my wife was on the other side of the room. At first I
thought the sound proceeded from rats scampering over the tin boxes; but
upon listening attentively, I distinctly heard the lid of a metal box
opened by some person, and again carefully closed.

After a few moments, I heard another box open, and a sound as though
some one was searching among the contents.

Unfortunately my bedstead was the most horrible creaker, in which it was
impossible to turn without producing a noise that would create an alarm,
should a thief be on the alert.

I always slept with a pistol under my pillow, therefore, I gently
grasped the revolver in my hand, and endeavoured quietly to get out of
my noisy bed.

The wretched piece of furniture gave the most alarming creak; this was
immediately succeeded by a sound in the next room of the sudden closing
of a box, and the movement of some person. I could not be sure that it
was not Lady Baker, who had perhaps required something from a box, and
did not wish to disturb me. This was not likely, and I felt that no time
must be lost, as my bedstead had given the alarm. I therefore sprang out
of bed and rushed through the open doorway, just in time to see some
person jump through the Venetian blinds on the river side of the house.

To cry out "Who's there?" and to fire a shot was the work of an instant,
and jumping after him in pursuit I found myself in darkness, and no one
visible outside my house. Where was the sentry? Nowhere!

At the cry of "Guard!" not a soul appeared; the sentry was not to be
found. At length, after a search, he turned up in the wrong place,
looking confused, and confessed that he had been asleep, but awakened by
the sound of a shot. By this time a number of non-commissioned officers
had arrived, who had been alarmed by the pistol-shot and the cry of
"Guard!" The sentry was put under arrest. A search was made everywhere,
but no trace of the thief could be found. On making an examination of
the premises, we found a dirty shirt that the thief had in his hurry
left behind him; this was evidently intended to receive the spoil in
lieu of a bag. I could not find the trace of a bullet-mark either upon
the planks or upon the Venetian blinds, therefore, I considered that the
thief must have been hit, or if missed, the ball must have passed out as
he pushed the blinds aside when in the act of springing through.

I suspected the sentry, who was an Egyptian belonging to the "Forty
Thieves." He was stripped and examined, but there was no wound. All the
shirts were alike, therefore the shirt in my possession was no clue. My
wife had been startled, but she quickly recovered herself; the sentry
was flogged, and there the matter ended; we had no London detectives.



December 11.--The first division of the fleet, composed of eight
vessels, had started, according to my previous arrangement, on 1st inst.
Every third or fourth day another division followed the advance, until
on the 11th I brought up the rear, and completed the departure with
twenty-six vessels, including the No. 10 steamer and my diahbeeah. The
wind was fair from the north.

The extensive and neat station of Tewfikeeyah was completely dismantled.
The iron magazines and their contents were now safely stowed in the
various ships, and were already on their voyage towards Gondokoro. The
horses were shipped and the stables had been pulled down, and the wood
cut up for fuel. The long rows of white tents had vanished, and little
remained of the station except a few rows of deserted huts. It seemed
extraordinary that so large a place could be packed up and stowed away
among the fifty-nine vessels of the fleet.

The English shipwrights had constructed three very useful boats, each
exactly the same size, about 16 ft. x 5 ft.; thus we had a total of
seven small boats to assist in the explorations of the obstructed river.

I left the Shillook country at peace. Djiaffer Pacha had paid much
attention to the sons of Quat Kare at Khartoum, and the Khedive, in
reply to my representations, had appointed him chief of the country in
place of the pretender Jangy. The governor of Fashoda had been condemned
to disgrace. I left a handsome present for the old king Quat Kare, and
we departed excellent friends. The English party had been reduced by the
departure of Mr. Wood, Dr. Gedge, and two servants.

We had been deeply grieved by the sad news of the death of Dr. Gedge, at
Khartoum, a few days before we broke up the station of Tewfikeeyah. This
unfortunate gentleman was a great loss to the expedition, as he was not
only my chief medical officer, but combined the scientific attainments
of a botanist and naturalist.

I had made every preparation for cutting through the sudd, and we were
well prepared with many hundred sharp bill-hooks, switching-hooks,
bean-hooks, sabres, &c. I had also some hundred miners' spades, shovels,
&c., in case it might be necessary to deepen the shallows. While the
whole English party were full of spirit and determined to succeed, I
regret to say there was a general feeling of disappointment among the
Egyptian troops (including officers) that the expedition was once again
in full sail towards the south. Their hearts were either at Khartoum, or
sighing for the flesh-pots of Egypt. I had lost many men from sickness
during our sojourn at Tewfikeeyah, and the men were disheartened and
depressed. This feeling was increased by the unfortunate recurrence of
the fast of Ramadan, during which month the Mohammedans will neither
eat, drink, nor smoke from sunrise till sunset. The Koran exempts them
from the observance of this pernicious fast when on a long journey, but
my people preferred to keep it religiously, as it would be a plausible
excuse for neglecting work.

The Nile was full and unusually high; this was in favour of the voyage,
as success depended upon our crossing the shallows during the flood; it
was, therefore, necessary to push on with all speed so as to reach the
shallows which had been impassable last April, before the river should

It will now be necessary to refer to my original journal, as it would be
difficult to convey an idea of the voyage by a general description. A
few hours after starting, on 11th December 1870, I find this
entry:--"Thank goodness, we are off, and in good time, as the river is
exceedingly high, although it has already fallen about five inches from
its maximum. Mr. Higginbotham has been ill for a long time.
Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, my first aide-de-camp, although an
excellent officer, is almost useless from ill-health; thus the whole
work falls on myself and Julian (Lieutenant Baker) personally, and had I
not driven the officers forward from sunrise to sunset, we should not
have been off for another two months. These miserable people do not
understand energy, and the Ramadan increases their incapacity.

"December 12.--At 2.30 A.M., we were hailed when ten minutes within the
Bahr Giraffe, by two noggurs (vessels) in distress. Stopped the steamer
immediately, and then heard that the No. 15 noggur, their consort, had
sunk in deep water, close to this spot.

"At day-break I searched the river, and discovered the wreck in eighteen
feet depth of water. Two good divers worked for about two hours, and
recovered three muskets and several copper cooking pots belonging to the
soldiers. The story of the reis (captain) is, that she sprang a plank
at about 4 A.M., six days ago, while under sail with a light wind, and
she filled and sank immediately, the men having barely time to save
themselves. Unfortunately, she had on board, in addition to one hundred
urdeps of corn (450 bushels), a section of one of Samuda's steel
lifeboats; this was placed upon the corn, before the mast, but having an
air-tight compartment, it must have floated away in the dark without
being noticed.

"The story of the reis is false; there can be no doubt that the crew and
soldiers were fast asleep, and the vessel was run into by one of her
consorts. Had the people been awake, the least movement of the helm
would have run the vessel high and dry in this narrow river, as the
banks are flooded, and she was close to the side. As the collision
occurred, the people, suddenly awakened from sleep, were seized with
panic, and only thought of saving themselves; thus the noggur lies in
three-fathom water, and the invaluable section of a lifeboat is lost.
The worry and disappointment, together with the loss of property,
occasioned by these people, is beyond all description. Every man detests
the expedition. The boats are nearly all old and rotten, and with such
wretched material I have to conduct this fleet with 30,000l. worth of
property. I dread the probable loss of some vessel laden with sections
of the lake steamers, in which case the expedition would be ruined in
spite of all my care. I trust that the floating portion of the life boat
may be picked up by some of Agad's vessels in the rear.

"Leaving the hopeless wreck, we continued the voyage at 10.50 A.M., in
company with the two noggurs, with a brisk north wind. At 5.20 P.M., we
stopped at a forest to collect firewood.

"December 14.--Started at 7.30 A.M. Thermometer, Fahrenheit, at 6 A.M.,
67 degrees; noon, 85 degrees. This is the lowest temperature we have

"Passed a number of our vessels, one having broken her yard. At 12.5
stopped at a forest to fill up with wood. While looking for wood, a
soldier found a dead elephant with tusks that weighed about 120 lbs. I
gave him a present of five dollars, also one dollar to Saat for having
recovered from the sunken vessel the cooking pots and muskets.

"Wind very strong from north. The north wind always commences at about 7
A.M. and increases in power as the sun rises. It sinks together with the
setting sun. Although the country is all that we could wish, there is no
game. The water-marks upon the trees show that the maximum of the river
has been a foot above its present level.

"December 16.--Suleiman Effendi's diahbeeah with six horses passed this
morning; he left in company with us, as did also the new noggur that
passed us yesterday morning; thus there must be gross negligence on the
part of the twenty-one vessels still remaining in the rear. Thermometer,
6 A.M., 69 degrees; noon, 88 degrees. We shot seven guinea-fowl.

"December 17.--I see four vessels about six miles ahead that are only
now making sail! thus they have been stopping for two days. In the
afternoon the two diahbeeahs of the Englishmen came up, and gave us the
terrible news that one of the vessels had sunk near the mouth of the
river Sobat on the day of our departure from Tewfikeeyah; this vessel
was laden with portions of the 38-ton steamer.

"I immediately ordered steam to be got up, and at 4.20 P.M. we started
to return 120 miles to the wreck. It appears that Raouf Bey, with many
other vessels, was in company with the lost noggur. To work in this
country is simply heart-breaking; the material is utterly worthless,
boats, officers, and men are all alike. The loss of invaluable time is
ruinous, and the ignorance of the people is such that they can do
nothing by themselves; thus I must be everywhere and superintend
everything personally.

"The boatmen say the rats drag out the rags with which the vessels are
caulked from within, thus occasioning sudden and dangerous leaks; but in
such a case, why does not the captain run his vessel ashore to prevent

"Before starting, I despatched a letter by a vessel to Suleiman Effendi
at the sudd, with orders to commence clearing the channel without loss
of time.

"At 7.40 P.M. made out a light ahead, and shortly afterwards we met
Raouf Bey's diahbeeah tied to the bank alongside of Achmet Effendi, the
bimbashi's vessel. Raouf Bey came on board and confirmed the bad news.
They describe the sunken vessel as lying with her stem about a foot
below the surface, but her stern is in very deep water. I gave orders
for steam to be up at daylight, and we halted for the night, as it is
dangerous to travel down stream with a steamer in this narrow winding

"December 18.--Started at 6.25 A.M. Then, 68 degrees; noon, 81 degrees.
At noon we met Colonel Tayib Agha and twelve vessels. I ordered three of
these vessels to turn back immediately to the wreck, as I am determined
to raise her, if possible.

"At 12.37 P.M. we reached the spot where we had passed the first wreck
in the Bahr Giraffe. At exactly 2 P.M. we reached the Nile junction. At
6.50 P.M. we distinguished the mast of the wreck above water, almost
opposite the Sobat junction, on the west side of the river. Having
passed the wreck we reached our old station Tewfikeeyah at 7.30 P.M.
Here we found a number of Shillooks, with Quat Kare's counsellor,
Abdullah, who were guarding a quantity of corn that I had left in the
king's charge, as our vessels were too heavily laden to carry it.

"December 19.--Thermometer, 6 A.M., 64 degrees; noon, 79 degrees. I sent
Abdullah with orders to the king, Quat Kare, to collect all his people
with their ambatch canoes to assist us in raising the wreck.

"The Shillooks have already taken possession of our old station, and
have divided it into lots for planting.

"December 20.--Thermometer at 6 A.M. 66 degrees; noon, 78 degrees; the
water in the goolah (cooler), 59 degrees. The wind blows a gale from the
north daily.

"I have just heard that Raouf Bey and the two colonels, Tayib Agha and
Achmet Effendi, together with about 400 men, actually abandoned, not
only the wrecked vessel and her invaluable cargo, but they also left a
section of one of the lifeboats upon the mud bank of the river and
forsook it. Such conduct is incredible, and could only be found in this

"At 3.15 P.M., the steamer having replenished her wood, we started and
arrived at the wreck at 4.35 P.M. After a careful examination we passed
the night at the high ground near the Sobat junction.

"The section of the lifeboat is no longer on the mud, but I have no
doubt it has been secured by the governor of Fashoda, together with the
yard and sail. This entails the necessity of my sending him a letter
seventy miles distant to order the return of the boat section

"December 21.--Thermometer at 6 A.M., 63 degrees; water in goolah, 52
degrees. I sent Abdullah Uz Bashi to Tewfikeeyah with a letter to the
governor of Fashoda, which the Shillooks were to forward immediately.
The letter demands eight oxen, ten sheep, the section of lifeboat saved
from the wreck, together with the yard and sail.

"I shot two small antelopes, also some guinea-fowl, francolin partridge,
and five pelicans.

"December 22.--Waiting for the arrival of Quat Kare and his Shillooks.
Shot two geese and knocked over a large antelope, but lost him in the
high grass. The country is all flooded, except for a space of about a
mile from our little camp on the Sobat dubba, which is the highest
ground for a great distance, being about fourteen feet above the maximum
level of the river. A few Shillooks started off after my wounded
antelope, and quickly brought me the head: it was a fine specimen of the
new species of Hippotragus.

"December 23.--I sent the steamer up the White Nile to bring down the
wind-bound kyassas (vessels). When she returned with them, all hands
were immediately employed in discharging cargo and taking down masts and
yards in readiness for operations on the sunken vessel.

"December 21.--Thermometer, 6 A.M., 67 degrees; noon, 82 degrees.
Abdullah, the Shillook, arrived. The natives have not forwarded my
letter to the governor of Fashoda, as they fear to pass certain villages
with which they have been lately quarrelling. To-day is the close of the
Ramadan fast, and the first of the Bairam, therefore it is kept as a
holiday. All my people have turned out in new clothes.

"December 25.--Christmas Day. Thermometer, 6 A.M., 65 degrees. We began
work at the sunken vessel. By filling the barges with water and sinking
them within a foot of the surface, and then securing them by chains to
the wreck, we obtained a firm hold. The water having been baled out of
the barges, they gradually rose and lifted the vessel several feet.
Having thus raised her, we hauled her a few feet nearer the bank, and
the day's work concluded by proving that with care and additional force
we shall be able to manage her.

"December 26.--We continued the same operations as those of yesterday.
Having lashed the masts of the barges transversely across the gun-wales,
to these we attached chains secured by divers beneath the bottom of the
wreck. This was not possible yesterday until we had lifted her from the
ground. At the same time that we were thus engaged, the men, by diving;
secured ropes to the heavier pieces of iron sections, and we saved
several tons of her cargo, which we placed upon the steamer and upon my
diahbeeah. This lightened the wreck, and we then prepared a bed for her
by cutting away the abrupt bank, and forming a shelf on the flooded
shore in a depth of three feet of water, upon which we might be able to
haul her when floated to the surface. We laid out the steamer's purchase
with an anchor secured upon the shore, and the day ended successfully by
hauling the wreck exactly parallel to the bank, with her stem and
stern-post above the surface. As the current was very powerful, the bow
of the wreck had throughout the operation been firmly secured by two
anchors laid out up stream. It is very hard work, as we are in the sun
from early morning till night. Julian (Lieutenant Baker), being a
sailor, is just the fellow for this sort of work, and no other person
knows how to make fast the ropes and chains so that they shall not slip.
Higginbotham, as usual, is very energetic. Colonel Abd-el-Kader, who is
my only reliable Egyptian officer, has been diving all day like a wild
duck, and bringing up heavy boxes of rivets which few men but himself
can lift. Altogether the men have worked famously, especially the black

"December 27.--Julian is laid up with fever to-day; this is the effect
of daily exposure to the sun. I laid out the steamer's second purchase
at right angles fastened to the bow of the wreck; we thus had her bow
and stern secured in the same manner. Having manned both purchases, we
could manage her as she became lighter. About 250 Shillooks came to
assist us under the command of old Quat Kare, who sat in his canoe and
directed his people. Having lightened the vessel by taking out more
cargo, I divided the labour; Higginbotham sinking two kyassas and making
them fast as lifters, while other men cut away the flooded bank with
spades and improved the shelf.

"After breakfast, the sunken kyassas being well-secured to the wreck
with chains, we baled them out for the last time, and the vessel thus
supported came bodily to the surface. All hands now hauled on the
purchases, while the Shillooks, with screams and yells, tugged at four
ropes fastened amidships, and we succeeded in dragging the vessel from
the river's bed, and placing her upon the new shelf that we had prepared
for her in little more than three feet of water. During this time many
men had been baling out with large buckets, and now that she was safe, a
general rush was made on board to empty the water with every conceivable
utensil--gourd-shells, basins, cooking pots, &c.

"When baled out, we discovered and stopped the leaks, and floated her.
She was one of the largest and finest vessels of the fleet, perfectly
new, and was laden with steamer sections and machinery, the loss of
which would have been fatal to the object of the expedition.

"I ran a flag up the mast as a signal to those at the station that she
was safe. I then ordered the steamer to light her fires, and the wreck,
together with the two kyassas and my diahbeeah, were taken in tow, and
delivered at the bank that we had made our head-quarters. Thus we have
happily saved the vessel and cargo that had been so disgracefully
abandoned, when a large force was at hand to have assisted her.

"During the morning, a vessel arrived from Khartoum, laden with goods on
speculation, from a French trader of my acquaintance, Monsieur Jules
Poncet. She also brought the section of the lifeboat which my officers
had neglected on the wreck, and which the governor had taken to Fashoda.

"December 28.--I sent the steamer to Fashoda for the sail and yard of
the wrecked vessel. All hands are engaged in caulking ship, re-hoisting
yards, rigging, &c., and refitting. Thermometer, 6 A.M., 66 degrees;
noon, 81 degrees.

"December 29.-Thermometer, 6 A.M., 66 degrees; noon, 81 degrees. Julian
and Higginbotham both ill with fever. Vessels progressing.

"December 30.--I shot a water-buck at daybreak (Redunca Ellipsyprimna).
Yesterday evening, Quat Kare and his two favourite wives came to take
leave. I gave him a musical box and a meerschaum pipe, with a lovely
woman's face carved on the bowl. He was very much amused with the idea
of the smoke issuing from the head. I also gave his wives some grey
calico, red handkerchiefs, and gaudy ear-rings. They went away

"At 9 P.M., the steamer's boat came up to report her arrival at
Tewfikeeyah. I immediately sent off a kyassa to join her for a cargo of

"December 31.--The steamer arrived with the kyassa in tow at 11 A.M.,
with an immense supply of wood, together with ten oxen and ten sheep
from Fashoda. The wreck will be taken in tow by the steamer, as her yard
was taken on the day of the accident by Colonel Tayib Agha. She is now
the most valuable vessel in the fleet. The new year 1871 commences well.

"January 1st, 1871.--At 1.30 P.M., I started the kyassas, having kept
back twenty men from their complement of troops to man the vessel we
have saved. Abdullah, the Shillook, came, and I gave him an order to
receive half the corn that I left at Tewfikeeyah. This is a reward for
Quat Kare, for having assisted to raise the sunken vessel with his
people. The extraordinary rise in the river this season has destroyed a
large portion of the Shillook crops, therefore the present of corn will
be most acceptable to the old king.

"January 2.--At 8.35 A.M., we started in tow of the steamer. Wind fresh
from the north. At 2.40 P.M. we passed the second of the three noggurs
that sailed yesterday, and at 3 P.M. we passed the third exactly at the
Giraffe junction. We have thus been six hours and twenty-five minutes
from the Sobat to the Giraffe junction. Thermometer, 6 A.M., 66 degrees;
noon, 86 degrees.

"January 3.--Last midnight stopped at a forest cutting wood; we started
at 3.50 P.M. One of the rear boats came in sight at 11 A.M., which
reached us at 3.40 P.M.

"January 4.--At 5.50 A.M. we actually overtook the nine vessels with
Tayib Agha that we had left seventeen days ago; these miserable people
have thus been wasting their time. The trading vessel of Jules Poncet,
that left the Sobat only six days ago, is in sight ahead; thus she has
in six days passed the boats that have been twenty-four days from the
same starting-point. I took the sail belonging to the wrecked noggur
from one, and passed ahead of all, except one that I kept back for
repairs while we cut wood at the forest.

"January 5.--Arrived at Kutchuk Ali's station at 10.30 A.M., and took in
wood. The country is all flooded, and both the natives and the traders
are without corn, the crops having been destroyed by the extraordinary
rise of the river. The people have no other grain than the scanty supply
yielded by the seeds of the lotus, which they collect from the river. I
met several men who had formerly served under Ibrahim, when we
accompanied Khoorshood Agha's party to Unyoro many years ago.

"January 6.--Cutting wood. I wrote to Colonel Tayib Agha, desiring him
to take in as much fuel as his vessels can stow, as there is no wood
ahead. The vakeel of the station supplied five cows and six goats. I
gave him five urdeps of dhurra (22 bushels). We started at 4 P.M.

"January 7.--During the night, at 12.40 A.M., to my intense disgust, we
passed a great number of our vessels with Raouf Bey. Shortly after, we
passed others, together with the boat of Achmet Effendi, bimbashi. These
officers and people are incorrigible; they have idled their time on the
road to such an extent that I can only conclude it is done purposely. We
wasted about an hour during the night in stopping to make inquiries.

"At 11.30 A.M., we passed the solitary ambatch bush on the west bank
where the steamer smashed her paddle last year. The wind is strong from
the north. Last year we were five hours from the ambatch bush to the
dubba. We shall therefore arrive to-day at about 4 P.M. We have been
exactly 19 1/2 hours steaming from Kutchuk Ali's station to the ambatch.
We left Tewfikeeyah at 11 o'clock; we have therefore been twenty-seven
days to the spot at the dubba that we should reach this evening. Last
year we left Khartoum on 8th February, and we arrived at the station in
the following order:--

"February 15th--Fashoda. 16th--Sobat junction. 18th--Bahr Giraffe
junction. March 2nd--arrived at the forest beyond Kutchuk Ali's station.
This is the same spot where we overtook Raouf Bey last night, he having
left Tewfikeeyah on 11th December. Thus he has been twenty-six days from
Tewfikeeyah in reaching the spot this year which he arrived at from the
great distance of Khartoum in our former voyage in twenty-two days! Last
year the fleet was fourteen days on the voyage from the Sobat to the
above spot; this year they have been twenty-six days! I believe
thoroughly that they delay purposely, in the hope of thwarting the

"Last year the whole fleet assembled at the dubba in twenty days from

"We arrived at the dubba at 5.30 P.M., having been delayed two hours by
obstructions and rapids.

"January 8.--We cut through a horrid accumulation of floating rafts that
have filled the open space of last year between the dubba and the mouth
of our old channel. This being completed, I ordered the boats to keep in
close line until the arrival of the main body, otherwise the floating
rafts would again block up the channel should the boats proceed.

"January 9.--Hauled the dingy over the marsh, and explored the old
channel for a distance of fifty minutes. Thank goodness, this was clear
to that point, a distance of about two miles; but at length we were
stopped by vegetation. The latter is of a light character, and can be
easily removed. Clouds of mosquitoes; the dew very heavy at night.

"Shot a Baleniceps Rex, with rifle.

"January 10.--At day-break we distinguished eight sail on the northern

"January 11.--Brisk north wind. Raouf Bey arrived in the evening.

"January 12.--Started and passed the choked river with much difficulty,
and entered the channel of last year's clearing.

"January 13.--We only made about two miles yesterday and to-day, being
stopped by vegetation.

"January 14.--Cutting partially, but the channel is much improved since
last year. Made two and a half miles.

"January 15.--Made three-quarters of a mile, and having reached the lake
Timsah (crocodile lake) we found the river blocked up; we therefore cut
our way into an open but shallow channel which last year was impassable
from want of depth.

"January 16.-The diahbeeah went ahead, but the steamer and heavy vessels
were much delayed by shallows. I went on and determined upon the
passage, the open lake being visible about 600 yards distant.

"January 17.-Made about 300 yards of heavy cutting through rafts of
vegetation. The lake of last year nearly choked up; about 100 acres of
rafts having completely destroyed it.

"January 18.-Cut about 350 yards, and at 3.30 p.m. we entered the lake.
From the mast-head it appears that an unbroken sheet of water now exists
for some miles. I trust this may be true, and that no mirage deceives

"January 19.-Sailed four miles, at which place we found a new channel
coming from the south, while our channel of last year from south-east
appeared to be closed at half a mile distance. Explored the new channel
for about two miles; in appearance it was a river of 200 or 300 yards
wide. At length we arrived at a sudd of small dimensions with open water
beyond. We returned to the junction, and passed the night at a sudd half
a mile up our old channel.

"January 20.-At 7 a.m. I took the dingy, and with much difficulty pushed
about a mile through the grass until I found the whole country closed by
vegetation. I think the river has opened a new channel, and that the
passage of yesterday will take us to nearly the same spot above the sudd
that we reached by another route last year.

"Many vessels having arrived, I visited the Englishmen and physicked
Ramsall and Mr. Higginbotham. At 4.15 p.m. we started, poling round the
angle to enter the new channel discovered yesterday. In the evening we
all sailed with a light breeze, and found the river open for three and a
half miles ahead. Halted for the night.

"January 21.-The river being closed ahead, I took the dingy, and after
much trouble succeeded in reaching our old channel in the clear river.
Having started at 7 a.m., I returned at 1 p.m. I had sounded the channel
the whole distance, and I have determined to cut a passage through

"January 22.-Cut 350 yards through heavy sudd. Last year this piece was
600 yards. We at length reached the small lake where we last year buried
the two artillerymen in an ant-hill.

"January 23.-I took the diahbeeah a mile and a quarter up  the river,
while the fleet was being squeezed through our spongy channel.

"January 24.-Yesterday the five vessels that were left behind by Raouf
Bey arrived, and the fleet assembled.

"I am in great anxiety about Tayib Agha who has twelve vessels with him,
none of which are yet in sight.

"This black colonel is not clever, and should an accident occur, he will
be at a loss how to act. Julian is unwell with fever, but Higginbotham
is better.

"I went a long way in the dingy, and succeeded in finding the true
channel of the stream by probing with the twelve-foot pole through the
grass. To-morrow we shall begin cutting, as the whole country is closed.

"The tree that marks the open water of last year is about a mile and a
half distant. There is a solitary dry spot near this, the heart of
desolation--a tumulus of about half an acre, like the back of a huge
tortoise, is raised about five feet above the highest water level. Upon
this crocodiles love to bask in undisturbed sleep.

"January 25.-The men cut about 300 yards.

"January 26.-We again accomplished about 300 yards, and pushed the
vessels within the channel.

"January 27.-We are thankful for a comparatively open ditch, deep, but
covered with grass, through which the diahbeeah cut her path by sailing
before a strong breeze, and we entered the lake at 11.20 a.m. There is
no change here since last year. The steamer and fleet are close up, but
there is a little deepening necessary at the mouth of the channel. The
diahbeeah went ahead for six miles along the lake and broad river, and
anchored for the night.

"January 28.-With a light breeze, the diahbeeah sailed four miles, and
stopped at the three dubbas, whence we turned back last year. Even now
there is only three feet and a half of water, and we shall have great
trouble. Our fisherman, Howarti, caught a great haul of fine boulti with
the casting-net.

"January 29.-I shot some ducks and geese. A slight shower fell in early
morning. I explored about seven miles of the river in advance. The depth
is very unsatisfactory, varying from shallows to deep channels.

"January 30.-The fleet joined in sections during last night and to-day.
Set to work with the long-handled hoes, and cut a channel through the
shallows for fifty yards, and took the vessels forward.

"January 31.-Cut a channel through the shallows, but we could not get
the steamer along.

"February 1.-About 1,200 men at work cutting a channel and towing the
steamer and noggurs through. The diahbeeah and two noggurs passed ahead
for about a mile. We then stopped to await the steamer and other vessels
that were delayed by the powerful current.

"February 2.-Stopped all day waiting for the steamer about a mile ahead
of the noggurs. When we left the dubba, I had left a letter in a bottle,
addressed to Tayib Agha, to order him to come on without delay, and
deepen the channels we have cut, should it be necessary.

"February 3.-The steamer came up at 10 a.m. At 10.45 the diahbeeah made
sail, and after two miles was delayed by a small sudd. Care must be
taken to sail by the west branch of the two streams, as there is no
water in the east channel.

"For six miles we have had nothing but shallows. Even at this season
there is only a depth of four feet in many places, and a month hence the
river will be impassable.

"Tayib Agha's boats are in sight, about four miles distance, bearing
north. We cut through the small sudd, and in a quarter of a mile, we
arrived at an open water, very shallow: in many places only three feet
deep. Stopped for the fleet, and upon arrival of the steamer and others,
I had marked out the channel to be cleared. The men set to work
immediately. I then passed ahead with the diahbeeah for about a mile and
a half, the depth of water, as usual, varying, but often as low as four
feet. We were at length stopped at the confluence of two channels, each
shallow. The sun was setting, therefore we halted for the night. A
buffalo crossed the river about 200 yards ahead.

"February 4.-I took the dingy early in the morning and explored both
channels; that on the right has no water beyond a depth of about two
feet. The left is the true stream, but the depth in some places is only
three feet; thus there is more work for the men upon their arrival. Had
we arrived here a month earlier, we could have just passed the shallows,
as our vessels draw an average of a little over four feet. No vessels
should arrive here later than 1st of January; the entire river is a
ridiculous imposition; a month later, the bed will be nearly dry. A mile
ahead, both channels are closed by a sudd of vegetation, we must thus
await until the boats arrive. Altogether the entire journey by the Bahr
Giraffe is a painful absurdity, and my expedition will be fruitless in
all but geographical results unless the authorities of the Soudan will
clear the main channel of the White Nile.

"February 5.-None of the vessels arrived yesterday. I went back and
found them in a terrible fix, as the water is leaving us rapidly, and we
must cut a fresh channel through the sand, about one hundred yards long.

"February 6.-I took the diahbeeah a mile and a quarter ahead to a sudd,
passing over several shallows of only two feet eight inches, and three
feet, which will again cause great delay and labour. I returned to the
fleet and assisted in the tedious work of dragging the vessels over the
shallows. In the evening I returned to the diahbeeah, and having dragged
the dingy across the sudd, I explored the channel ahead for an hour, for
about three miles; passed over distressing shallows for a space of a
quarter of a mile ahead of the diahbeeah, after which I entered a deep,
narrow channel with very rapid current.

"It is quite impossible to say where we are as the professed guides seem
to know nothing of this horrible chaos, which changes its appearance
constantly. It is most harassing.

"February 7.-Last evening I brought the diahbeeah back to the fleet, so
as to push the work forward personally. The soldiers and officers hope
we shall return as failures, in the same manner as last year. I have,
therefore, informed them and Raouf Bey officially, that no boats shall
retreat, but that should the river run dry, they shall remain here until
the rise of the water during the next wet season, when they shall go on
to Wat-el-Shambi. This decision has frightened them, and they are
working to-day with better spirit.

"I unpacked and served out a hundred spades for digging channels; and I
have ordered them to commence to-morrow morning and dig out a straight
passage for the thirty one vessels that still remain in the shallows.

"February 8.-This is the date of departure last year from Khartoum; an
inconceivable madness had any one known the character of the river. All
hands as usual tugging, hauling, and deepening the river with spades and
hoes; but the more we dig, the faster the water runs out of the bed,
which threatens to leave us high and dry.

"February 9-The work as usual. All hands thoroughly disgusted. I am
obliged to lighten the vessels by discharging cargo in the mud. Our
waggons make excellent platforms for the luggage. Even with this
assistance we only drew seven vessels through the shallows into the true
river channel.

"To-morrow we must discharge more cargo.

"The anxiety of leading 1,600 men, and fifty-eight vessels with heavy
cargoes, through this horrible country is very distressing.

"When I shall have succeeded in dragging the vessels into the true
channel, I shall construct a dam in the rear, so as to retain the water
at a higher level. I have no doubt that a series of such dams will be
required to enable us to reach the Nile. Should it be impossible to
proceed with the heavy vessels, I shall leave them thatched over as
floating stores, with a small guard, until the next wet season shall
raise the river level.

"February 10.-I gave orders to discharge all cargoes, so that no vessel
should draw more than three feet. All hands are now employed at this
work, as it is impossible to cut a channel through the sand, which fills
in as fast as it is deepened.

"February 11.-Twenty-seven vessels passed the diahbeeah, having
lightened their cargoes; these vessels must discharge everything at
Khor, one and a half mile ahead, and return to fetch the remaining
baggage. The work is tremendous, and the risk great. The damage of
stores is certain, and should a heavy shower fall, which the cloudy
state of the weather renders probable, the whole of our stores, now
lying on the soft mud, will be destroyed.

"To-day I cut a deeper channel near the diahbeeah, and divided the men
into gangs on the various shallow spots, to tow each boat past as she
may arrive. The steamer is hard and fast, although she has discharged
everything, and she must be literally dug out of the passage."

March 9.-From Feb. 11 to this date we had toiled through every species
of difficulty. The men had cut one straight line of canal through a
stiff clay for a distance of 600 yards. Many were sick, some had died;
there appeared to be no hope. It was in vain that I endeavoured to cheer
both officers and men with tales and assurances of the promised land
before them, should they only reach the Nile. They had worked like
slaves in these fetid marshes until their spirits were entirely
broken,--the Egyptians had ceased to care whether they lived or died.

The enormous quantity of machinery, iron sections of steamers, supplies,
&c., had actually been discharged from fifty-eight vessels. The river
had fallen still lower, and upon the quickly sun-baked surface I made a
road, and having set up my waggons, I conveyed the great mass of cargo
across the land by a short cut, and thus reached my long line of
vessels, and reloaded them after great labour. The waggons were then
taken to pieces and re-shipped. It would be wearying to give the journal
of every incident during this trying period, but from the description
already given, the fatigue and anxiety may be imagined. Thank God, I
seemed to bear a charmed life. From morning till night I was exploring
in a small boat through mud and marsh, but I was completely fever-proof.
My wife was also well. Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham had
suffered frequently from fever, but these energetic officers rendered me
most important service. While I was ahead exploring, sounding, and
planning out the route, Lieutenant Baker was commanding and directing
the steamer, which appeared more like a huge stranded whale among the
rushes than an object adapted for the navigation of this horrible
country. I had a first-rate crew on my diahbeeah, and some picked men of
the "Forty Thieves" who always accompanied me. The best and most devoted
man that I have ever seen was a corporal of the "Forty Thieves" named
Monsoor. This man was a Copt (Christian descendant of the true
Egyptians); he was rather short, but exceedingly powerful; he swam and
dived like an otter, and never seemed to feel fatigue. He was always in
good health, very courageous, and he accompanied me like my own shadow;
he seemed to watch over me as a mother would regard an only child. In
fact, this excellent man appeared to have only one thought and object.

I had been as usual exploring far ahead of the toiling and labouring
fleet, when, after pulling our little boat with the aid of fourteen men
for several hours over a great mass of high floating grass, we suddenly
emerged upon open water. We at once took to our boat, and hoisted the
sprit-sail. The men stowed themselves as ballast in the bottom. The wind
was strong from the north, and we travelled at about five miles per
hour, the lake expanding as we rounded a promontory until it attained a
width of about half a mile. Following the course of the lake for about
five miles, we found a river flowing directly into the long-sought
channel. Only one mile and a quarter from the lake, by this small river,
we entered the great White Nile! I cannot describe my joy and
thankfulness. My men shared my feelings. We all drank water from the
turbid river, so unlike the marsh-filtered water of the swamps; and as
each man washed his hands and face in the noble stream, he ejaculated
from his heart, "El hambd el Illah!" ("Thank God!") I also thanked God.
It was an hour after dark when we returned that night, after much
difficulty, to my diahbeeah, to which we were guided by a lantern at the
mast-head, thoughtfully placed there by my wife's orders. The good news
made all happy. We had actually that day drunk water from the White

The great difficulty remained of bringing the larger vessels into the
lake that communicated with the river. After all the labour of the last
two months, I had succeeded in assembling the entire fleet in a sort of
shallow pond, from which there was actually no exit. I had certainly
escaped from this place by dragging the little dingy over about a mile
of frightful sudd; but although this sudd covered deep water, it
appeared to be shut out from us by solid mud, through which numerous
streams percolated, the largest of which was about three feet broad and
six inches deep. These small drains concentrated in a narrow ditch,
which was the principal feeder of the pond, in which, with such infinite
trouble, the fleet had been assembled. It was an anxious moment, as it
would be necessary to cut a canal through solid mud for a great distance
before we could reach the lake; and as we had made a free exit for the
water behind us, while it only slowly oozed through before us, we stood
a fair chance of being left helplessly around.

On the following morning, the good news of the discovery of the White
Nile flew through the expedition. Many did not believe it, but
considered it was a dodge to induce them to extra exertion. I
immediately gave orders for a channel to be opened through the mud and
large obstruction into the lake. After some days' hard work, a passage
was completed that was sufficiently deep to admit the diahbeeah. It
required a whole day to force her through this narrow channel, and in
the evening we entered the lake, and hoisted the flag at the end of the
tall yard, as a signal to the fleet that we had accomplished the

It was now only necessary to work hard and improve the channel
sufficiently to admit the passage of the steamer and heavier vessels.

Unfortunately my fears had proved correct; the fleet was hard and fast
aground! The steamer was so helplessly deserted by the water, that she
would have served for a Nilometer upon which to mark the level, like the
rock at Assouan. It was simply impossible to move her, as she was as
solidly fixed as a church. Every other vessel of the fleet stood high
out of the water, which had run out by the clear channel we had opened
in the rear.

The officers and men were in consternation. With the prize within our
grasp, it would be physically impossible to proceed Those sort of people
are soon disheartened, and I made great allowance for them, as the work
of the last two months had been sufficient to destroy all energy.

I at once determined to make a dam behind the vessels so as to inclose
the position in which we lay like a mill pond. Common sense assured me
that this must succeed in raising the level, provided we could construct
a dam of sufficient strength to bear the pressure of water.

I had a great quantity of fir timber in the shape of beams and rafters
for building purposes. I therefore instructed Mr. Higginbotham to
prepare two rows of piles which were to be driven across the river. This
able engineer set to work with his usual energy, assisted by Lieutenant
J. A. Baker and the Englishmen, together with all the mechanics that had
been brought from Cairo.

The piles were driven with some difficulty, and diagonal struts were
fastened from the top of the front row to the base of the rear.
Horizontal beams then secured the entire line of skeleton bridge.

For two days 1,500 men were employed in making fascines of long, thick
reeds tied in large bundles, in the centre of which was concealed a mass
of about fifty pounds of stiff clap. These bundles were firmly lashed
with twisted rushes. I had 500 corn sacks filled with sand and clay,
these were to form the foundation of the dam, and to prevent the water
from burrowing beneath.

Every company of troops had to prepare a certain number of fascines,
which were piled on the side of the river, which had now exposed solid
banks overgrown with the high reedy grass. This immensely long and thick
grass, resembling sugar-canes, was exactly the material that we
required. It was this gratis that created natural obstructions, and
would therefore assist us in our artificial obstruction or dam. The
sailors of the fleet worked in divisions under separate officers.

On March 13, all the preparations were completed for the work of filling
in the dam. Great piles of solid balls of clay, of about 40 lbs. each,
had been arranged in convenient places to stop up any leaks that should

I stood on one of the stranded boats only a few yards from the row of
piles. The men were all in their places. The buglers and drummers stood
upon another vessel ready to give the signal.

At the first bugle, every two men lifted the sacks of sand and clay. At
once all the drums and bugles then sounded the advance, and 500 heavy
sacks were dropped into the row of piles, and firmly stamped down by the
men. The troops now worked with intense energy. It was a race between
the Soudanis and the Egyptians; this was labour to which the latter were
accustomed in their own country. The sailors worked as vigorously as the
troops; piles of fascines and clay balls were laid with extraordinary
rapidity, while some stamped frantically and danced upon the entangled
mass, all screaming and shouting in great excitement, and the bugles and
drums kept up an incessant din. A long double line of men formed a
transport corps, and passed a never-failing supply of fascines to the
workers who stood in the water and kneaded firmly the adhesive mass.

At 2.15 P.M. the river was completely shut in, and the people with
increased energy worked at the superstructure of the dam, which now rose
like a causeway for about one hundred and ten yards from shore to shore.

At 3.30 the water had risen to an extent that obliged the men in some
places to swim. The steamer that had been hopelessly stranded, and the
entire fleet, were floating merrily in the pond. Thank God, I had
forgotten nothing in the preparatory arrangements for the expedition.
Without the spades, hoes, grass-knives, bill-hooks, timber, &c., &c.,
we never could have succeeded in this journey.

My diahbeeah was in the lake waiting for the fleet to accomplish the
passage. I had made an excursion one day in the dingy to examine the
south end of the lake, which I found to be about eight miles in length.
On returning, I was rather anxious for the small boat, as a bull
hippopotamus made a hostile demonstration. The water was not more than
five feet six inches deep; thus as the hippo, after having snorted and
sunk, continued to approach the boat, I could distinguish the path of
his advance by the slight wave raised upon the surface. He presently
raised his head about twenty yards from the boat, but at the same time
he received a Reilly explosive shell under the eye which ended his
worldly cares.

There were many hippopotami in this lake, and, very shortly after I had
killed the first, I shot a second much in the same manner. I always
carried a harpoon in the boat with the rope and ambatch float. The
latter was painted red, so that it could be easily observed. I
therefore, stuck the harpoon in the dead hippopotamus as a mark, and
hastened back to my diahbeeah for assistance, as the flesh of two
hippopotami would be very welcome to the people, who had not received
rations of butcher's meat for many weeks. On arrival at the diahbeeah we
quickly made sail, and soon returned to the hippopotamus. By the time we
had cut up this large animal and secured the flesh, the sun was so low
that I considered it would be better to fasten the other hippo by a rope
attached to the hind legs, and tow it bodily astern of the diahbeeah. It
could then be divided on the following day.

In this manner we returned to our anchorage at the tail of the lake,
close to the entrance of the new channel. By the time we arrived, the
moon was up. The diahbeeah was close to a mud-bank covered with high
grass, and about thirty yards astern of her was a shallow part of the
lake about three feet deep. A light boat of zinc was full of strips of
hippopotamus' flesh, and the dingy was fastened alongside.

After dinner and a pipe, the usual arrangements were made for the night.
There were many servants, male and female, on board; these began to
suspend their mosquito curtains to the rigging and to creep beneath; the
sailors, after chatting for a considerable time, dropped off to
sleep--until the sentry was the only man on board who was on the alert.
I always slept on the poop-deck, which was comfortably arranged with
sofas and carpets.

The night was cold, and the moon clear and bright. Every one was wrapped
up in warm blankets, and I was so sound asleep, that I cannot describe
more until I was suddenly awoke by a tremendous splashing quite close to
the diahbeeah, accompanied by the hoarse wild snorting of a furious
hippopotamus. I jumped up, and immediately perceived a hippo which was
apparently about to attack the vessel. The main deck being crowded with
people sleeping beneath their thick mosquito curtains, attached to the
stairs of the poop-deck, and to the rigging in all directions, rendered
it impossible to descend. I at once tore away some of the ties, and
awakened the sleepy people. My servant, Suleiman, was sleeping next to
the cabin door. I called to him for a rifle. Before the affrighted
Suleiman could bring the rifle, the hippopotamus dashed at us with
indescribable fury. With one blow he capsized and sank the zinc boat
with its cargo of flesh. In another instant he seized the dingy in his
immense jaws, and the crash of splintered wood betokened the complete
destruction of my favourite boat. By this time Suleiman appeared from
the cabin with an unloaded gun in his hand and without ammunition. This
was a very good man, but he was never overburdened with presence of
mind; he was shaking so fearfully with nervousness, that his senses had
entirely abandoned him. All the people were shouting and endeavouring to
scare the hippo, which attacked us without ceasing with a blind fury
that I have never witnessed in any animal except a bull-dog.

By this time I had procured a rifle from the cabin, where they were
always kept fixed in a row, loaded and ready for action, with bags of
breechloading ammunition on the same shelf.

The movements of the animal were so rapid as he charged and plunged
alternately beneath the water in a cloud of foam and wave, that it was
impossible to aim correctly at the small but fatal spot upon the head.

The moon was extremely bright, and presently, as he charged straight at
the diahbeeah, I stopped him with a No. 8 Reilly shell. To my surprise,
he soon recovered, and again commenced the attack.

I fired shot after shot at him without apparent effect. The diahbeeah
rocked about upon the waves raised by the efforts of so large an animal;
this movement rendered the aim uncertain. At length, apparently badly
wounded, he retired to the high grass; there he lay by the bank, at
about twenty-five yards' distance, snorting and blowing.

I could not distinguish him, as merely the head was above water, and
this was concealed by the deep shadow thrown by the high grass. Thinking
that he would die, I went to bed; but before this I took the precaution
to arrange a white paper sight upon the muzzle of my rifle, without
which, night shooting is very uncertain.

We had fallen asleep; but in about half an hour we were awoke by another
tremendous splash, and once more this mad beast came charging directly
at us as though unhurt. In another instant he was at the diahbeeah; but
I met him with a ball in the top of his head which sent him rolling over
and over, sometimes on his back, kicking with his four legs above the
surface, and again producing waves which rocked the diahbeeah. In this
helpless manner he rolled for about fifty yards down the stream, and we
all thought him killed.

To our amazement he recovered, and we heard him splashing as he moved
slowly along the river through the high grass by the left bank. There he
remained snorting and blowing, and as the light of the moon was of no
service in the dark shadows of the high grass, we waited for a
considerable time and then went to bed, with the rifle placed in
readiness on deck.

In a short time I heard louder splashing. I again got up, and I
perceived him about eighty yards distant, walking slowly across the
river in the shallows. Having a fair shot at the shoulder, I fired right
and left with the No. 8 Reilly rifle, and I distinctly heard the bullets
strike. He nevertheless reached the right bank, when he presently turned
round and attempted to re-cross the shallow. This gave me a good chance
at the shoulder, as his body was entirely exposed. He staggered forward
at the shot, and fell dead in the shallow flat of the river.

He was now past recovery.  It was very cold: the thermometer was 54
degrees Fahrenheit, and the blankets were very agreeable, as once more
all hands turned in to sleep.

On the following morning I made a post-mortem examination.  He had
received three shots in the flank and shoulder; four in the head, one of
which had broken his lower jaw; another through his nose had passed
downward and cut off one of his large tusks. I never witnessed such
determined and unprovoked fury as was exhibited by this animal--he
appeared to be raving mad. His body was a mass of frightful scars, the
result of continual conflicts with bulls of his own species; some of
these wounds were still unhealed. There was one scar about two feet in
length, and about two inches below the level of the surface skin, upon
the flank. He was evidently a character of the worst description, but
whose madness rendered him callous to all punishment. I can only suppose
that the attack upon the vessels was induced by the smell of the raw
hippopotamus flesh, which was hung in long strips about the rigging, and
with which the zinc boat was filled. The dead hippopotamus that was
floating astern lashed to the diahbeeah had not been molested.

We raised the zinc boat, which was fortunately unhurt.  The dingy had
lost a mouthful, as the hippopotamus had bitten out a portion of the
side, including the gunwale of hard wood; he had munched out a piece
like the port of a small vessel, which he had accomplished with the same
ease as though it had been a slice of toast.

I sent the boat to the English shipwrights for repair, and these capital
workmen turned it out in a few days nearly as good as new.

The success of the dam was most complete.  The river rose so as to
overflow the marshes, which enabled us to push all the vessels up the
channel without the necessity of deepening it by spade labour.

"March 14.--Should we succeed in reaching Gondokoro without serious
loss, it will be the greatest possible triumph over difficulties, which
no one can understand who has not witnessed the necessities of the

"A diahbeeah arrived in the lake, breaking her yard in a sudden shift of
wind, and giving a man a fall from aloft, which was fatal.

"The steamer and fleet are coming through the sudd as fast as the troops
clear the channel.

"March 15.--The steamer arrived in the lake at 3.30 P.M.

"March 16.--Thermometer, 6 A.M., 61 degrees; noon, 82 degrees. Eleven
vessels entered the lake last night. The wind has been very variable for
the last few days, and the true north wind appears to have deserted us;
the absence of a fair breeze delays us sadly in pushing through the
narrow channels against the stream.

"Dysentery and scurvy are prevalent among the Egyptians. Four Egyptian
soldiers and two Soudanis have deserted. Where these wretched fools
intend to wander is quite a speculation;--they appear to have yielded
to a temptation to run away upon the first dry land that they have seen
for months.

"The fleet assembled in the lake.  The Egyptian troops cut a passage for
fifty yards through a sudd in a channel through which the fleet must
pass, as there is a shallow that will prevent them from taking the main
course of the lake.

"To-morrow the whole force will turn out and cut the remaining portion
of about 300 yards; there will then be no difficulty except a sudd of
about three quarters of a mile between the lake and the White Nile.

"March 17.--We cut through the sudd, and all the vessels entered the
broad waters of the lake and anchored in the evening opposite some
native huts, close to the channel that we must open to-morrow. These
huts are the first habitations that we have seen for more than two
months;--they are now deserted by the frightened fishermen who had
occupied them.

"March 18.--The diahbeeah led the way at 7.30 A.M. through the channel
that is closed by grass and the Pistia Stratiotes. At 10.15 we arrived
in the White Nile. There is plenty of water throughout the closed
channel, but there was some heavy work to clear the vegetation.

"March 19.--All the vessels came through into the White Nile, and there
was great rejoicing throughout the fleet. At length the men really
believed that a country of dry land might lie before them, and that they
were delivered from the horrible chaos or 'Slough of Despond' in which
they had now laboured for sixty days.

"I served out new tow-ropes to the fleet, and ordered No. 13 transport
to discharge and divide her cargo among other vessels, and to take on
board thirty soldiers to accompany the steamer to-morrow. We remounted
the steamer's paddles and tautened all the rigging of the diahbeeah;
mended sails, and thoroughly repaired for a start to-morrow. No. 31
being a rotten vessel, I ordered her cargo to be divided among the
lighter boats. I gave stringent orders to the officers to protect all
ammunition and bales of goods with galvanized iron plates in case of

"March 20.--All the vessels got away by 9 A.M. with a rattling breeze.
The steamer started at 10.8 A.M., but was delayed one hour and twenty
minutes by her stupidly dragging the nogger ashore in rounding a sharp

"At 5.15 P.M. we arrived at a forest on the west bank.  At 6.45 P.M. we
stopped, as I was afraid we might pass the station of Wat-el-Shambi in
the dark.

"March 21.--At 8.25 A.M. we started.  Three natives came to the vessel
and reported the zareeba to be close ahead.

"I served out fifteen rounds of snider ammunition per man to the 'Forty
Thieves,' thus filling up their pouches to thirty rounds. The banks are
now dry, and about two feet six inches above the river's level. The
country is as usual flat, but covered with forest on the west. Cattle
numerous, and bellowing in all directions.

"At 9.15 A.M. we arrived at Wat-el-Shambi.  The forest is distant from
the river, therefore at 10 we started with light south-east wind, and at
10.30 we returned to a good station for cutting fuel in the forest about
four miles below Wat-el-Shambi.

"The few representatives of Ali Amouri, the trader at the latter
station, declared that they could not supply us with cattle, they being
hard up for provisions themselves. Their looks belied the excuse. Wind
south all day, but changed to north at 6.30 P.M. The boat of the French
trader, Jules Poncet, that had accompanied the fleet, arrived in the

"A number of natives, stark naked, and smeared with wood ashes, came as
usual to beg for corn. I have given strict orders that on no account
shall corn be exchanged in purchases from the natives--otherwise our
supply will be stolen wholesale. This order was broken through by
Mustapha Ali, who therefore received a hundred lashes, as I was
determined to enforce obedience.

"March 22.--Much lightning and wind from the south during the night.  I
fear rain. At daybreak we found Raouf Bey's vessel close up, and many
others near. The north wind of last night must have aided them. The
natives came in some numbers.

"March 23.--All hands yesterday and to-day busied in cutting wood for

"March 24.--Poor Jusef, one of the horsekeepers, died.

"March 25.--Started, with the steamer towing a noggur and my diahbeeah
with about fifty hours' fuel on board, at 12.50 P.M.

"There has been wholesale theft of stores on No. 50 noggur. I caught and
punished the captain in the act of selling our ammunition to the slave
traders' people in their zareeba.

"March 26.--We travelled throughout last night; the stream is nearly
three miles per hour. We lost an hour last evening in taking wood from
the noggur in tow, as she leaks dangerously. I took six men and their
effects from her, and placed them on the steamer, as she is quite

"Arrived at the station of Abou Kookah at 10.25 A.M., having travelled
badly against the strong south wind, and our bottom dirty. At 3.10 P.M.
we left Abou Kookah, and at 9.50 P.M. we arrived at the forest, close to
the deserted mission station of St. Croix, where we halted for the
night. There were vast herds of cattle and many natives on the east



After the usual voyage upon the White Nile, during which we passed the
Bohr and the Shir tribes, and had excellent sport in antelope shooting
when the steamer stopped at forests to cut fuel, we arrived opposite the
old mission station at Gondokoro on April 15, 1871.

I found a great change in the river since my last visit.  The old
channel, which had been of great depth where it swept beneath the
cliffs, was choked with sand-banks. New islands had formed in many
places, and it was impossible for the vessels to approach the old
landing-place. We therefore dropped down the stream to a spot where high
ground and a few trees invited us to the east bank. At this place the
traders had founded a new settlement that was now without in habitants,
and was represented by half-a-dozen broken-down old huts.

"The country is sadly changed; formerly, pretty native villages in great
numbers were dotted over the landscape, beneath shady clumps of trees,
and the land was thickly populated. Now, all is desolate: not a village
exists on the mainland; they have all been destroyed, and the
inhabitants have been driven for refuge on the numerous low islands of
the river; these are thronged with villages, and the people are busily
cultivating the soil.

"I sent for the chief, Allorron, who, upon arrival with some other
natives, explained that his country had been destroyed by the attacks of
the people of Loquia at the instigation of the traders. I promised him
protection if he and his people would return to the mainland and become
true subjects to the Khedive. At the same time I informed him that, in
return for protection, his people must cultivate corn, and build the
huts required for the troops upon arrival. This he promised to do, and I
arranged that he should summon a general meeting of the headmen and
their people to-morrow, or as soon as possible.

"I at once cleared a small plot of ground and sowed some garden seeds on
the new soil now annexed to Egypt. My soldiers took a great interest in
the operation, and as we covered the seeds with light earth, we
concluded the sowing with the usual ejaculation-'Biamillah!' (in the
name of God).

"I walked up to the old mission station. Not one brick remains upon
another--all is totally destroyed. The few fruit-trees planted by the
pious hands of the Austrian Missionaries remain in a tangled wilderness
by the river's bank. The beautiful avenue of large lemon trees has been
defaced by the destruction of many boughs, while the ground beneath is
literally covered by many thousands of withered lemons that have fallen
neglected from the branches without a hand to gather them. The natives
will not eat them, thus the delicious fruit has been wasted; perhaps
sixty or eighty bushels have rotted on the earth. I trust that the seeds
I have already sown will have a more useful result than the lost labour
of the unfortunate missionaries. It would be heartbreaking to them could
they see the miserable termination of all their good works.

April 16. --The mileage from the junction of the Bahr Giraffe I have
calculated at 364 to this point (Gondokoro); but I deduct 10 per cent.,
as we took several wrong turns of the river. The distance may be about
330 miles.

From Bahr Giraffe, junction to Gondokoro           330 miles
Upper Nile junction to Dubba on Bahr Giraffe        48 miles
Dubba to Lower Nile junction                       300 miles
Lower Nile junction to Sobat                        38 miles
Sobat to Khartoum                                  693 miles
                                                 1,409 miles to Gondokoro."

The chief Allorron arrived with a number of his people, and asked for
"araki and cognac!" He is a big and savage-looking naked brute of the
lowest description, his natural vices having been increased by constant
associations with the slave-hunters. This man declared that his people
could not prepare materials for the camp, as the neighbouring tribes
were hostile; and he could not venture to collect bamboos.

I told him that if my orders were not obeyed, the troops would be
obliged to be sheltered in his villages upon arrival, as I could not
allow them to be exposed to the rains.

Both Allorron and his people looked extremely sullen, and although I
always knew the Baris to be the worst tribe in the Nile basin, I was not
prepared for such a morose welcome. I explained to him the object of the
expedition. He seemed quite incredulous, and made some remark to his
followers in his own language with a contemptuous smile. He rather
approved of the idea that slave-taking would be suppressed in his own
tribe, but he could not sympathize with the general principle, and he
asked "What will the slave-traders do?" Colonel Abd-el-Kader replied to
the question by explaining to him my exact position, and the relative
position of the traders. At this he burst out laughing in the rudest
manner. He had seen me and my wife on our former voyage, and he well
remembered that in those days we had been not only helpless in
Gondokoro, but that the traders had spoken of all Europeans with
contempt. He had already hoard from Abou [*] Saood's people of my
expected arrival, by whom he had been incited against the expedition. It
had been explained to him, that if baffled, we should soon become
disgusted, and return to Khartoum. He also remembered that many
Europeans had visited Gondokoro like myself, but none had remained. It
was therefore natural that a brutal savage, whose people were allied
with the slave-traders, to attack and pillage outlying countries, should
not regard with favour a new government that would establish law and
order. For many years Allorron's tribe had been associated with the
slavers, and now that the entire country had been leased to one man,
Abou Saood, he had become the vakeel, or representative of this
individual, by whom he had been thoroughly prepared for our arrival. We
had been expected long ago, but, as already described, the delays
attending the opening of the Suez canal had prevented us from starting.

[*Footnote: The agent of the great company of Agad & Co., who
farmed the district from the government.]

I quickly perceived the real state of affairs. A great number of
Allorron's people were absent in the interior, employed by Abou Saood's
companies as mercenary soldiers. The Baris are a most warlike tribe, and
would make excellent troops; thus they were valuable allies of the
slave-hunters, as the geographical position of Gondokoro rendered it the
only spot that was adapted for an important station. The traders now
possessed of the monopoly of the ivory trade, found no necessity for a
permanent station at Gondokoro, as their interests were watched during
their absence in the interior by their ally Allorron; they accordingly
only visited Gondokoro when they returned periodically from the interior
with their ivory and slaves to meet the vessels from Khartoum.

Allorron was in the habit of despatching messengers to their various
camps (seven or eight days' march for a running negro) to give the
vakeels notice of the arrival of the expected vessels. Many hundreds of
his people had been armed with guns by the traders, therefore his tribe
and the companies of Abou Saood were thoroughly incorporated, brigands
allied with brigands, and Gondokoro had become the nucleus to which the
spoil was concentrated.

These were people by whom the blessings of a good government were hardly
to be understood.

Unfortunately for Allorron, he had joined the slave-hunters of Abou
Saood against neighbours that were unpleasantly close to Gondokoro. The
Loquia, a most powerful tribe, only three days' march to the south-east,
had lost slaves and cattle by these depredations; thus, when the
slave-hunters' parties had quitted Gondokoro and returned to their
station in the interior, Loquia had invaded the unprotected Allorron,
and had utterly destroyed his district on the eastern mainland. For many
miles the country now resembled a very lovely park. Every habitation had
disappeared, and this formerly populous position was quite deserted by
the surviving inhabitants, who had taken refuge in the islands, or on
the west side of the river. At this season the entire country was
covered with a tender herbage--that species of fine grass, called by the
Arabs "negheel," which is the best pasturage for cattle. Allorron's
people dared not bring their herds to pasture upon this beautiful land
from whence they had been driven, as they were afraid that the news
would soon reach Loquia, who would pounce unexpectedly upon them from
the neighbouring forest.

I had therefore arrived in a country from which the original possessors
had been banished by superior force: there was not a single
representative of the tribe upon the mainland, neither could their
cattle venture across the river to pasture upon the beautiful herbage,
that was now entirely neglected except by a few herds of antelopes. At
the same time, the pasturage on the islands, being insufficient for the
large herds of cattle, was consumed, and the animals were dependent upon
the rank grass, which they could only reach by wading into the water;
thus many were taken by crocodiles.

It would have been natural to suppose that Allorron and his people would
have welcomed the protection now offered by the new government. I
invited them to return to their old country, from which they had been
expelled, and to rebuild their villages on their old sites, where they
could recommence their cultivation, and form a new settlement under the
wing of our headquarters.

It was easy to perceive by the manner of the chief, Allorron, and his
people that they had been incited by Abou Saood and his companies
against the expedition. My delay in starting from Egypt had been of
immense advantage to the slave-traders, as it had given them time to
organize a resistance to the expedition. The negroes are easily misled;
naturally vicious and treacherous, they are ready to believe any tales
of evil: and as a young child may be frightened by a ghost story, they
also may by a few words be rendered suspicious of their best friend.
Their interests were the same as those of the slave-traders.

My "Forty Thieves" [*] were excellent fellows, and all the men who
were constantly about me were very different from those who formed
the bulk of the military force. I now commenced a small station and
a large garden.

[*Footnote: The bodyguard of picked men, armed with snider rifles.]

I had chosen a pretty spot for my station, as I did not intend to reside
at head-quarters, which would be the site originally occupied by the
Austrian mission, and was well adapted for a large town.

My position was a rising knoll of about six acres upon which grew a few
shady trees. This spot had been the station of a missionary known by the
natives under the name of "Suleiman;" his was the only name remembered
by the Baris, and his body had been buried here, but nothing marked the
spot. He had passed away, like all the rest of these good and
self-sacrificing people, without leaving one trace of good works among
this barbarous tribe except the lemon-trees; theirs was the only seed
that appeared to have fallen on good ground.

In a few days my men had made a large garden, in which I sowed onions,
radishes, beans, spinach, four varieties of water melons, sweet melons,
cucumbers, oranges, custard apples, Indian corn, garlic, barmian,
tobacco, cabbages, tomatoes, chilis, long capsicums, carrots, parsley,
celery. I arranged the daily labour so that the soldiers and sailors
should work at the cultivation from 6 A.M. till 11; after which they
might have the day to themselves, to construct their own huts.

At this season, 20th April 1871, the river was extremely low; I
therefore fixed a pole with marked inches to register the rise of

By the 23rd April all my men had arranged gardens parallel with the
lines of their camp. I gave them various seeds, with a promise of prizes
for the finest specimens of vegetables that might be produced. I had
always endeavoured to create a taste for agriculture among my people,
and they had now learnt that the commencement of a new settlement was
the signal for cultivation. I believe that no employment engenders such
a love of a particular locality as that of farming, provided always that
the soil and climate are favourable. Thus, in an expedition to a distant
land, it is necessary to induce the feelings of HOME among the people.
The hut by itself is simply shelter, but the same hut surrounded by a
neat and productive garden, the result of industry, becomes a settled
residence. It is pleasant to watch the blossoms of home flowers and
vegetables that you may have yourself introduced and planted. A good
English cabbage or carrot may not be introduced in poetry so generally
as the rose, but in a new settlement in a wild country, the success of a
cabbage or carrot is of more importance to the expedition than bouquets
of flowers.

Even the women and boys that were domestic servants, originally slaves
that I had liberated from the traders, had learnt to take a great
interest in cultivation. Each had a garden, and a day never passed
without permission being asked for a few hours' recreation with the
spade or hoe, the latter being the favourite implement, as the want of
shoes rendered the management of the spade extremely difficult, except
in very light soil.

I believe that a taste for gardening has a most civilizing influence
among savages; and if I were a missionary, I should commence with such
practical teaching, thus proving in your joint labour with the natives
the principle that industry and peace will create prosperity.

A few extracts front my journal will describe the gradual progress of
the settlement:

"Mr. Higginbotham shot a waterbuck during an exploratory ramble that we
took through the forest, in search of large timber for building
purposes. The main forest begins about two miles from this station, in
which is an unlimited supply of wood, including the most magnificent
tamarind-trees. These beautiful specimens are dotted about the country,
like park timber in England. There is a tamarind-tree about a mile from
this station, beneath which about a thousand cattle might find
shade. (It must be remembered that the Bari cattle are very small.)

"There is a native, named Tomby, who speaks excellent Arabic. This
fellow has been twice to Khartoum, and he wears clothes, instead of
walking about in a state of absolute nudity like his countrymen. He has
an excellent rifle that was given to him by his old master, a French
trader, Monsieur Bartholome. Tomby has been employed as interpreter; and
having been born and bred in these parts, he is a perfect chronicler. It
appears that Abou Saood treacherously murdered the sheik of Belinian, a
country about twelve miles distant from this station. He feared the
sheik of Belinian, who was a powerful neighbour: he therefore,
professing friendship, invited him and his family to an entertainment at
Gondokoro. The sheik and his people, not suspecting evil, arrived,
bringing with them the usual presents. Abou Saood received them very
politely, and when they were seated, and had entered into conversation,
he had them seized by his people, and murdered them on the spot in cold
blood. Owing to this treacherous conduct, the entire neighbourhood is
hostile, and anarchy prevails throughout the country; thus I cannot send
a letter to the traders' camp at Latooka, as no one dares to travel.

"April 24. --Thermometer, 6 A.M., 74 degrees F; noon, fell to 72 degrees
F. We had a picnic at the old mission station, where I went accompanied
by Lieutenant Baker, Mr. Higginbotham, and my wife, to measure out the
camp and fort. As usual in England, the picnic brought on heavy rain,
which lasted from 9.30 a.m. till 2 p.m., to the great benefit of the

"April 25. --Thermometer, 6 A.M., 69 degrees F; noon, 80 degrees F. We
completed the large garden; the soldiers' allotments are also complete.
The camp of the "Forty Thieves" is very neat; a spirit of industry has
seized upon the whole party. The women have made gardens around their
huts, and agriculture appears to be the prevailing fashion. I am
surrounding the cultivation with a live fence of euphorbia. Julian has
been unwell for some time past.

"The natives appear to have gained confidence, as they are bringing
their cattle across the river from the islands to our fine pasturage. It
is curious to see the manner in which the herd follows the man who swims
before them as their guide, while other natives direct them while
swimming by striking them upon the horns with long bamboos.

"Yesterday the river rose about two feet, but it fell almost as
suddenly, showing that the rise was only the effect of the heavy rain
upon the mountain ranges throughout the country.

"One of the boys, Said, caught three fish, weighing about eight, ten,
and twenty pounds each. These were of the Siluras species, and are
excellent eating.

"The white ants are now issuing from the ground in vast numbers in the
winged state, and are taking flight. Myriads of the black and white tern
and the white storks are following them. The lizards are also at work in
the general persecution.

"April 26, 27. --Made new garden beds. All the seeds sown by the troops
are above ground, to the great delight of the men. We cleared and sowed
about an acre with Indian corn to-day."

We thus continued working and improving, until we had in a comparatively
short time produced a great result. About ten acres of corn were above
ground, as a few showers had started the seeds like magic. My men were
comfortably housed in a neat station on the high ground, while my
servants had a pretty little village of their own situated on the knoll,
by the river side, about fifty yards from my diahbeeah. This vessel was
moored alongside the bank, the fine grass of which was kept closely cut,
so as to resemble a lawn, that extended for about thirty yards; this was
bounded by prickly pears and ornamented by a large and showy
butter-nut-tree, which formed our out-door drawing room.

It was all very well to establish a government, and to commence the
civilization of Central Africa, but we were very hungry, and we could
procure nothing from the natives. We had no butchers' meat, neither
would the Sheik Allorron or his people sell us either sheep or cattle.

For several days we lived upon sparrows, which Monsoor shot by
sprinkling corn upon the ground and firing into the assembled flock of
hundreds. The country was swarming with these small birds, which are no
doubt delicacies; but if you have a good appetite they are a little too
light on the stomach. In the mean time, although the natives could now
venture to drive their cattle to the rich pasturage under our
protection, which they could not before enjoy for fear of their enemies
the Loquia, they absolutely refused to sell, or to supply us in any
manner. In spite of my explanations to the sheik by the interpreter
Tomby, he refused to bring either grass or wood for the expected
soldiers' huts, or in fact to do anything to serve us.

Upon one occasion, as my men were sowing and clearing the land for
planting, he employed natives to work at the same kind of cultivation in
front of the troops, in order to claim a right to the soil. On this
occasion he came himself, prepared with a cup formed of a small
gourd-shell slung by a string upon his neck. He explained that this was
his cup for drinking araki, with which he requested to be supplied.

"How long are you going to remain here?" he asked. He continued, "You
had better go back to Khartoum, and I will eat the corn you have planted
when it becomes ripe."

I explained that Gondokoro would be head-quarters, and that troops would
always remain there, and we should cultivate a large extent for corn. He
replied: "Then who does this land belong to?--to you or to me?" I
explained that his people had been driven out by a superior force, and
that we had found it abandoned; at the same time, neither he nor his
people dare remain here without my protection, therefore the land
belonged to the Khedive of Egypt; but if the natives wished to re-settle
I would give them their original property.

He simply replied, "Who does this tree belong to?" (we were standing
beneath its shade). "It belongs to the Khedive of Egypt," I replied,
"who is now protector of the whole country, and I am his representative
to establish his government."

He replied: "Then you had better be off to Khartoum, for we don't want
any government here."

There can be no doubt that in the abstract of people's rights, any
annexation of the territory of another is an infringement. Had this
principle been adhered to throughout the history of the world, there
would have been no progress. Savages of all countries are prone to
strife; and a state of chronic warfare with neighbouring tribes is the
example of African politics. A strong government is a necessity.

I had always expected trouble with the Baris, as I had known them during
my former journey as a tribe of intractable savages. The Austrian
missionaries had abandoned them as hopeless, after many efforts and a
great expenditure of money and energy.

The natives had pulled down the neat mission house, and they had pounded
and ground the bright red bricks into the finest powder, which mixed
with grease formed a paint to smear their naked bodies. Thus the only
results of many years' teaching were the death of many noble men, the
loss of money, the failure of the attempt; and instead of the enterprise
leaving a legacy of inward spiritual grace to these "men and brethren,"
the missionary establishment itself was converted into an external
application for the skin: the house of God was turned into "pomade
divine." This was a result that might have been expected by any person
who had practical experience of the Baris.

The extent of country occupied by this tribe was about ninety miles in
length from north to south, and seventy in width. Although the people
who inhabited this district were all Baris, there was no cohesion among
them. They were divided into numerous small chiefdoms, each governed by
its sheik or head man. Thus Allorron represented Gondokoro, while every
petty district was directed by a similar sheik. The Bari country was
thickly inhabited. The general features of the landscape were rolling
park-like grass lands;--very little actual flat, but a series of
undulations, ornamented with exceedingly fine timber-forests of
considerable extent, and mountains rising to about 2,500 or 3,000 feet
above their base. From these mountains numerous streams drained to the
Nile: these were generally dry in the summer season. The soil was poor
in the neighbourhood of Gondokoro, but at a distance from the river, the
country was fertile; the rocks were throughout granitic; the mountains
yielded the finest iron ore, especially those of Belinian, twelve miles
from Gondokoro, where the natives were expert black smiths. Cultivation
was carried on to a large extent throughout the country; the corn
generally used was the common dhurra (Sorghum vulgare). This was usually
the dark-red variety, which, being rather bitter, has a chance of escape
from the clouds of small birds which ruin the crops. Sesame was common
throughout all portions of Central Africa, and throve well upon the poor
and light soil of Gondokoro.

The Baris were exceedingly neat in their dwellings, and their villages
were innumerable. Each hut was surrounded by a small court composed of
cement made from the clay of the white-ant hills mixed with cow-dung and
smeared with ashes: these courts were always kept scrupulously clean.
The Bari hut differs from that of other tribes, as it contains an inner
circle, which can only be used by creeping on the hands and knees-first
through the entrance, which is only twenty-four inches high, and
secondly from the passage formed by the inner circle. The inner walls
are formed of wattles and clay neatly smeared or plastered with cement.
They are quickly attacked by the white ants, which destroy the wattles,
but the clay is sufficiently tenacious to form a wall when the wood or
reeds may have disappeared.

The granaries are formed of wicker-work supported upon upright pedestals
of either hard wood or of stone, to resist the white ants; the
wicker-work is smeared with clay and cow-dung, and the roof is thatched
in a manner similar to the house.

The Baris are a great pastoral people, and possess immense herds of
cattle. These are generally small active animals with humps; white is
the prevailing colour. The sheep are small and the mutton is good; but
although the fine pasturage of the Bari country is eminently adapted for
sheep and goats, these animals are delicate, and require much attention
during the heavy rains, at which time they are always kept beneath a
roof at night, with fires composed of dry cow-dung to create a smoke
that will drive away flies or mosquitoes.

Like most of the tribes of the White Nile, the Baris have a strong
objection to sell their cattle; thus you may be surrounded by plenty,
but you may starve in the midst of beef.

Their large herds are confined at night within zareebas or kraals. These
are formidable defences. The cattle zareeba is a circular stockade
formed of a hard wood called by the Arabs abou-noos or abdnoos (ebony).
This is an intensely hard black wood somewhat resembling ebony. Piles as
thick as a man's thigh are sunk in the earth, so as to leave a fence or
stockade of about eight feet high above the surface; these piles are
placed as close as possible together, and interlaced by tough hooked
thorns, which when dry and contracted bind the stockade into a very
compact defence. The entrance to this fort is only sufficiently large to
admit one animal at a time; thus the herd can be easily counted. Within
the stockade are several houses, in addition to a few large circular
sheds for the protection of young calves. The sheep and goats are kept
in a separate zareeba.

All the operations of the Baris are conducted by signals given by the
drum, precisely as our military movements are directed by bugle-calls.
The great drum that belongs to the headman or sheik, is suspended
beneath an open shed, so that it is always protected from weather, and
at the same time the sound could travel unchecked. These drums are cut
and scooped with great labour from a peculiar wood, which is exceedingly
tough and will not easily split. The Bari drum is exactly the shape of
an egg with a slice taken off the thicker end. Some of these instruments
are very large, and as much as two men could carry on a pole. Both ends
are hollowed through and secured with hide; but the broad end forms the
actual drum. This is beaten with two short sticks of hard wood. In the
early morning, shortly before sunrise, the hollow sound of the big drum
is always heard giving the signal by a certain number of beat's for the
milking of the cows. The women and young men then commence, and when the
operation is completed, the drum beats again, and the large herds are
driven to pasturage. The signal is repeated in the evening. Should an
enemy attack the country, the sheik's big drum gives the alarm by a
peculiar series of beats, which if once heard can easily be remembered.
In a few seconds this loud alarm will be re-echoed by every drum
throughout the numerous villages, and the news of the attack will thus
spread by signal as fast as sound can travel. A certain beat of the
sheik's big drum is the call for a general assembly, in which case,
should an enemy appear, the whole forces of the district can be
concentrated in one point.

The weapons of the Baris are finely-wrought lances, and bows with
horribly barbed arrows. They seldom carry shields, as they are difficult
to manage together with the bow, and they impede the rapid movements'
which are the chief feature in Bari tactics.

The men are generally tall and powerful, always naked and smeared with
ashes, or on great occasions with red ochre and grease. The women are
not absolutely bad-looking, but real beauties are extremely rare. They
wear an apron before and behind of tanned leather, extending nearly to
the knees, which is only the outer garment, beneath which they wear a
neatly-made fringe of innumerable strings, formed of finely-spin cotton
thread, suspended from a leather belt. Some of the wealthy possess
fringe composed of iron rings, neatly worked, so as to form a kind of
shirt of mail.

Every man is a warrior from his childhood, as the Baris are always at
war. They are extremely clever in the use of the lance, which they can
throw with great accuracy for a distance of thirty yards, and they can
pitch it into a body of men at upwards of fifty yards. From early
childhood the boys are in constant practice, both with the lance and the
bow and arrow; thus, although their weapons are inferior to fire-arms
properly used, they are dangerous in the hands of proficients against
men who, like my troops, were utterly ignorant of the art of shooting.

Fortunately for my expedition, the warlike Baris were not united
throughout their territory. Nevertheless, I discovered that the Baris of
Gondokoro had made an alliance with those of Belinian, twelve miles from
head-quarters. I observed that women were constantly passing to and fro
with baskets on their heads, carrying salt from Gondokoro, and each
returning with a goat, led by a string. Excellent salt is found at
Gondokoro, real chloride of sodium; and this article enables the natives
of that district to trade with the interior, where salt is extremely
rare and of great value. I had remarked that women, and sometimes men,
were met in my rambles through the forest, on their way to Belinian by
this concealed route, instead of taking the open path; this aroused my
suspicion, as the chief, Allorron, and his people declared that they
were enemies of the Belinian natives.

The position had become intolerable. The fact could no longer be
concealed that the Baris were hostile. No positive outbreak had
occurred, but the natives were sullen in their demeanour, and generally
avoided the new settlement. Butchers' meat was exceedingly scarce, as we
had only a few cows that had been given during the voyage by the vakeel
of the Bohr station. The troops were without rations of meat. At the
same time there were thousands of cattle on the islands before their
eyes, not one of which could be purchased from the natives. Although the
natives refused to assist us in any way, or to supply us with cattle at
any price, they drove their herds across from the island to the mainland
to fatten on the fine pasturage under the government protection. This
pasturage, having been abandoned by them and occupied by the government
troops, had naturally become the property of the Khedive. The natives
had no more right to the soil from which they had been driven, than the
French would have to Alsace and Lorraine, should those provinces be
occupied by a foreign Power which had driven out the Germans.

The last vessels having arrived, terminated the voyage from Tewfikeeyah,
which had occupied five months and twenty-two days. The troops, who had
suffered much by fatigue in cutting through the marshes, had not been
absolutely relieved by their arrival in the clear White Nile. The north
wind changed suddenly to the south, in which unfavourable quarter it
continued steadily for a month; thus my unfortunate men had to tow the
vessels along the banks against wind and stream for about 300 miles from
Wat-el-Shambi to Gondokoro. Upon arrival at that station, which I had
described to them as the "Promised Land," they found a lovely park, but
without a single dwelling. Instead of being received as deliverers by a
friendly and grateful population, they met with neglect and ill-will
from a tribe of robbers, allies of the traders, who fattened upon the
spoil of weaker neighbours.

After all their hard work and suffering in attaining the promised
paradise, they found only additional labour awaiting them, as they had
to wander several miles in search of long thatch-grass and timber to
construct the new station, in which fatigue they were entirely
unassisted by the sullen inhabitants.

Added to these disappointments, the men were hungry, and no cattle could
be purchased from my new subjects, who were obstinate and refractory.

I had a serious conversation with Sheik Allorron, during which I clearly
defined our relative positions, and represented to him in the strongest
terms the folly of trusting to the support of Abou Saood and his people
against the government, as they were all subjects of the Khedive and
bound to obey my orders. At the same time I informed him of the absolute
necessity of cattle for the supply of the troops, which I promised to
pay for.

I clearly saw that the miserable policy of these people was to starve
the troops into the supposed necessity of evacuating the position, and
returning to Khartoum. I represented to Allorron the danger of trifling
with a hungry lion, at which he grinned, as a good joke, and immediately
replied: "If you want cattle, I will give you some of my people as
guides, and you can attack a neighbour of mine, and capture his herds,
which will last you for a long time." I replied, that I could not injure
any one who had not committed an offence, but as he for the last time
refused assistance, I should not permit his herds to graze upon my
pasturage; therefore I begged they might be confined to the island.

At the same time I officially invited Allorron and all the headmen of
the country, including the sheik of Belinian, to an entertainment. I
intended, formally and officially, to annex the country to Egypt.

On May 26, 1871, all was in order. A flag-staff about eighty feet high
had been neatly erected by Lieut. Baker on the highest point of land
overlooking the river. Every small bush had been cleared away, and the
position in the centre of an open park-like country would have formed an
admirable race-course. The troops, having had two days' rest to wash
their clothes and burnish up their arms and accoutrements, marched from
the station at Gondokoro at 6 A.M.

I had 1,200 men on the ground, including ten mountain rifled guns
throwing 8 and 1/4 lbs. shell.

In their clean white uniforms, with the neat koofeeia or sun-cloth,
which, covering the head, drooped gracefully upon the shoulders, the
troops showed to great advantage, as they marched with the band playing
from head-quarters to the flagstaff above my station. As they filed
through the green trees, and then formed into sections of companies as
they emerged into the open ground, the effect was exceedingly good, and
the sheik, Allorron, and his friends, the headmen of many villages,
looked with amazement upon a scene that was altogether new to them.

Having arrived opposite the flag-staff, the troops formed in line two
deep on the flat grassy surface of the heights above my station. The
long row of glittering bayonets and the gay uniforms of the officers
bewildered the astonished natives. All the sailors, servants, and
camp-followers were dressed in their best clothes. The prevailing
colours, white and red, looked exceedingly gay upon the close and even
surface of the green turf. My staff was composed of my aides-de-camp,
Lieutenant Baker, R.N., Lieut.-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, together with three
other officers, and Mr. Higginbotham. At that time the horses were all
in excellent condition.

Having ridden along the line and halted beneath the flag, the troops
formed three sides of a square with the flag-staff in the centre. The
fourth side, facing the river, was then occupied by the artillery, with
ten guns.

The formality of reading the official proclamation, describing the
annexation of the country to Egypt in the name of the Khedive, then took
place at the foot of the flag-staff. At the termination of the last
sentence, the Ottoman flag was quickly run up by the halyards and
fluttered in the strong breeze at the mast-head. The officers with drawn
swords saluted the flag, the troops presented arms, and the batteries of
artillery fired a royal salute.

This ceremony being completed, the troops marched past; after which,
they formed in order for a supposed attack upon an imaginary enemy, and
fired away about ten thousand rounds of blank cartridge in the advance
down the long slope which led to the temporary camp and tents erected
for the entertainment. Here the bugle sounded "disperse," and all the
men immediately set to work to light fires and prepare the food that had
been already supplied for their dinners. I believe this was the only day
of real enjoyment that the troops had had. The hours passed in rest and
sleep until sunset.

I had invited fourteen of the officers to dine with me, and our party of
eighteen was easily accommodated on the roomy poop-deck of my diahbeeah.

The Englishmen had a table to themselves in the garden, and were regaled
with roast beef and real English plum-pudding, that, having been brought
out in tins for Christmas Day, could not be found during the voyage;
therefore it added to the feast of the "day of annexation," and was
annexed accordingly by English appetites. This was washed down and
rendered wholesome by a quantity of pure filtered water from the river
Nile, which was included in the annexation; and was represented in the
Nile Basin mixed with Jamaica rum, sugar, nutmeg, and lemon-juice from
the fruit of the trees planted by the good Austrian missionaries at
Gondokoro. Little did they think, poor fellows, of the jollification to
which their lemons would subscribe when they first sowed the good seeds.

When dinner was over, we repaired to the large divan tents, where
refreshments were arranged, and the magic lantern was prepared for the
amusement of officers and men. This was an admirable machine, and was
well explained by Lieutenant Baker. No one had ever seen such an
exhibition before, therefore it caused immense satisfaction. One of the
representations that was most applauded, was, Moses going through the
Red Sea with the Israelites, followed by Pharaoh. The story being well
known to all Mohammedans, the performance was encored with such energy
that Moses had to go through the Red Sea twice, and they would have
insisted upon his crossing a third time, had the slide not been rapidly
exchanged for another subject.

The formal ceremony of annexation was over, and it was necessary to
decide upon the future.

I had issued the following Camp Regulations:--

1. "No person shall cut or in other ways destroy any tamarind or oil
tree under any pretext whatever. Neither shall any tree whatsoever be
either cut or damaged within a distance of 2,000 paces from the
flag-staff or camp.

2. "No person shall stray beyond 2,000 paces of the flag-staff or camp
without permission either from the Pacha or Raouf Bey.

3. "No person shall trade in ivory, neither shall any person accept
ivory as a present or in exchange; neither shall any person shoot, or
cause to be shot, elephants: all ivory being the property and monopoly
of the government of His Highness the Khedive of Egypt.

4. "No person shall either purchase or receive slaves as presents or in

"Any person transgressing by disobedience of the above laws will be
punished as the will of Baker Pacha may direct. "S. W. BAKER."

My men were hard at work erecting magazines and building the station,
and had I not issued the above regulations, they would have cut down
every ornamental tree in the neighbourhood. Although the mission-house
had disappeared, the foundations remained; I dug them up and procured
sufficient sound bricks to build a powder-magazine, which I covered with
a galvanized iron roof and protected my ammunition.

Several of the Egyptian soldiers deserted. These people, who were for
the most part convicts, although professing Islamism preferred to live
with the natives, to the steady discipline of military life.

One evening, the sentry, on guard before the house of Lieutenant Baker
and Mr. Higginbotham, was observed by Mr. Baker's soldier servant (a
black) to lay his rifle on the ground and to enter stealthily the
doorway of his hut. Abdullah Maseri, the servant, lost no time in
running towards the hut, which he quietly entered in the dusk, without
being perceived by the thief within, who in the absence of Mr. Baker was
pillaging his boxes.

Abdullah quietly crept up behind him, pinned him by the back of the
neck, and held him until he obtained assistance. There was no escape
from conviction, therefore I sentenced the thief to receive 100 lashes
and to be, confined in irons.

While he was undergoing the punishment he yelled for mercy, saying, "I
will confess-I will confess all. It was I who entered the Pacha's room
at Tewfikeeyah. It was at me that the Pacha fired the pistol! Put me in
irons, but don't flog me; I will confess all."

This man was an Egyptian belonging to the "Forty Thieves," and he now
confessed his former delinquency. He was secured in irons and placed
under a guard. The fellow had been a professional thief, and during the
night he managed to slip off his irons and make his escape, no doubt
with the connivance of the sentry.

The fact of the natives receiving the deserters was enough to suggest
the suspicion that they were tampering with the troops. Although the
Baris would neither work nor assist in any manner, they continued, in
spite of my warning, to swim their cattle across to the pasturage on the
mainland occupied by the troops.

I again gave the sheik Allorron notice, that if he continued to drive
his cattle to the forbidden pasture, they would be confiscated.

On the following morning they returned to the mainland as usual, not the
slightest notice having been taken of my repeated and official warning.

I gave orders to secure them. About ten men of the "Forty Thieves"
quietly explained the order to the natives who guarded the cattle, and
without any remonstrance they drove them to my station, and stood guard
around the herd.

The natives returned to the island, and reported the affair to the sheik
Allorron and his people.

Early on the following morning, the sheik, accompanied by fifteen
headmen of villages and a number of natives, together with Tomby the
interpreter, attended and formed a deputation. I received them beneath
the shady tree near my diahbeeah. They looked very sheepish, and asked
me, "Why had I confiscated their cattle?"

I explained the reason: and they at length acknowledged that they had no
positive right of pasturage, as they had been driven from their country
by the Loquia, and were it not for my presence they could not venture to
drive their cattle to the mainland. At the same time they explained,
that the extreme dryness of the season had exhausted the grass upon the
island after the close grazing of the large herds; thus they had
imagined I should not have any real objection to their pasturing upon
the east banks, which, as I had no cattle, would otherwise be neglected.

I explained that the government must be obeyed, and that, as they had
disobeyed every order, I should take charge of their cattle (about 200)
until they showed a disposition to accept the Khedive's authority. At
the same time, if the natives would bring thatch grass and assist the
troops in forming the station (a work which they had always performed
annually for Abou Saood's people), I would return them their cattle.

A long conversation ensued among the headmen, several of whom rose in
succession, and addressed the meeting with great energy and fluency.
They declared that there had been a general misunderstanding, but that
they now began to comprehend their position. I informed them that they
must themselves appoint a responsible sheik or headman, as many had
refused to obey Allorron. I should regard one chief as their
representative, and they as headmen must elect him at the present
assembly. I should also place the power in the hands of the chief, whose
orders must be obeyed by the headmen of the villages. This chief would
be responsible to me for the acts of those beneath him, and I should
punish all those who refused to acknowledge his authority.

The meeting ended most satisfactorily. The natives explained, that,
although Allorron had been the ostensible sheik for a great length of
time, the true sheik by actual descent was a chief named Morbe; but as
his cattle had been carried off by the Loquia, he had lost his property,
and also his influence among the people. In those savage countries the
possession of property is considered absolutely necessary to a man in a
high position.

Morbe was elected unanimously as the sheik responsible to the
government. All headmen declared they would obey his orders; even
Allorron appeared pleased that he had shifted his responsibility upon
the shoulders of another. The headmen all promised that they would beat
their drums and summon their people on their return to their villages,
and that on the morrow they would collect bamboos and thatch-grass for
any purpose we might require. The meeting ended by their agreeing to
deliver a certain number of bundles in a given period: they also
promised to supply the troops with oxen at a stipulated price. Morbe,
the new sheik, then addressed me in the name of the assembly, and begged
me to establish confidence and goodwill by returning them their cattle.
I had expected this request. I therefore replied, that as they had
attended my summons and promised obedience, I would test their sincerity
by returning them not only their own cattle, but I would trust them with
the care of my three large breeding cows which I had brought from the
Rohr country; at the same time, I gave them fair warning, that if they
broke the agreement now entered upon, I should not be in a hurry to
return their cattle on a future occasion. They seemed to be, quite
satisfied, and the meeting broke up.

They drove off the herd, together with my three cows, while my soldiers
looked on with utter amazement and regarded me as thought I had lost my

Although I had entered into this agreement, the natives had not the
slightest idea of carrying out their promises. A few bundles of bamboos
were brought, also some thatch-grass, but not an ox was given to the
troops. The sheik of Belinian had refused to appear; and he alleged as
an excuse that he feared treachery, since his father and family had been
murdered when guests of Abou Saood. The Baris of Gondokoro had regained
their cattle, and they did not trouble themselves about their contract,
as they inwardly hoped that by starving us they might succeed in
disgusting the troops, which would necessitate the abandonment of the

A few days after the breach of contract, Tomby, the interpreter,
appeared, and told me that the Baris had refused to work, and that the
government would not succeed in that country. The people wished me to
join them with my troops, and to attack their old enemy, Loquia. I
should then obtain cattle and sheep in the razzia, and the government
would be independent.

This was the regular negro system which had originally introduced the
slave trade throughout the White Nile. One tribe invariably requests the
alliance of a superior force to attack some powerful neighbour: the
prisoners of war become slaves. When trading adventurers first commenced
on the White Nile, the natives sold ivory for beads and copper
bracelets; and trade was fairly established. The armed companies of the
traders were immediately invited to become allies, and attacks were made
upon various tribes. The cattle and slaves became the property of the
captors. The traders quickly discovered that it was far easier and more
profitable to steal cattle and slaves to exchange for ivory, than to
import goods from Khartoum. They commenced the system of cattle-lifting
and slave-hunting, which rapidly increased until it arrived at the
immense scale already described.

I preached morality hopelessly to the Baris; they were mere ruffians,
and they longed for the arrival of Abou Saood, who would once more give
them an opportunity of joining his people to plunder and enslave the
tribes of the interior. It was in vain that I assured them of the
impossibility of such proceedings, and that Abou Saood's people would
not be permitted by the government to continue these atrocities. They
ridiculed the idea, and declared that the traders would always continue
in their old customs, notwithstanding the presence of the Khedive's
officers. They said that no business could be done in any other way in
those countries; they advised me to "take women and cattle, and then the
natives would listen to my advice, but not otherwise."

It was utter folly to attempt negotiations with these people; they were
the most brutal and obtuse savages. They had been abandoned by the
missionaries as hopeless, and they would acknowledge nothing but force.

The troops were discontented. After all their fatigues, the promised
land was starvation. There was still much work to be done, as the
expedition was in fact only commencing. By degrees the Baris absented
themselves entirely from our camp, and we were left to ourselves as
utter strangers. The cattle were driven over to our fine pasturage
daily, and returned at night to their island; but not an ox, or even a
goat, was ever offered for sale, and all communication between us and
the natives had apparently ceased.

It was quite impossible to allow this to continue. I gave the order, and
once more the soldiers quietly surrounded the herd of cattle, and drove
them to head-quarters as before. The old scene was re-enacted. The new
sheik, Morbe, together with Allorron and many headmen, arrived. Again a
long palaver took place, through the medium of Tomby, the interpreter,
and the promises of good behaviour were renewed.

I informed them that I should not confiscate their cattle, but I should
keep them as hostages for their good behaviour; at the same time, I
should select a certain number of oxen as food for the troops, which
should be paid for.

The meeting terminated with fresh assurances of goodwill . . . A few
days elapsed, but the Baris did not return; we were completely

On June 29th the camp was disturbed at night by an attempt of the
natives to drive off some of the cattle. The sentry fired, but without
effect. I foresaw trouble.

On June 1st I issued a General Order to the troops--

"The natives of the Bari having disobeyed the summons of the government,
and having refused compliance with the regulations established, it has
become necessary to compel them to obedience by force.

"In the event of hostilities, I specially forbid the capture of women,
or children of either sex. Any officer or soldier disobeying this order
will suffer death. "S. W. BAKER."

I felt certain that a breach of the peace was at hand, and I made
arrangements accordingly. The troops were daily engaged in building the
station, in which they were assisted by the sailors, all of whom were
obliged to carry the material from a distance of two miles from the
forest. A party of sawyers with a small escort of soldiers were settled
in a camp about three miles from my station, as the distance was too
great for a daily return from their work. One night they were attacked
by the natives, who shot arrows and yelled for about an hour, but
fortunately did not succeed in wounding any of the men, who were well
protected by the trunks of some very large trees. The soldiers had fired
away a considerable amount of ammunition in return, until they managed
to escape during the darkness, and run away to head-quarters.

On 3rd June, at about 3 P.M., when the cattle were grazing in the
beautiful park-like ground about a mile from head-quarters, some Baris,
who had stealthily approached the herd by stalking from bush to bush,
without being observed by the sleepy guards, made a sudden rush with
loud yells among the cattle, and succeeded in driving off ten cows with
which they swam the river without a shot being fired by the unready
soldiers. (On this occasion the guards must have run away at the first
onset of the natives.)

On the night of the 4th June two natives were captured by the sentries.
These people had crept in the pitch darkness, until they had succeeded
in entering the cattle zareeba. One of them confessed that a large body
of natives was assembled in the high grass near the banks of the river,
with the intention of attacking the camp during the night.

I immediately took eighteen men, and posted them in three parties of six
at various points about a quarter of a mile from my station. They were
to lie concealed in these positions, which commanded every approach to
the camp.

At 10.30 P.M. I was aroused by the sound of firing, and upon arrival at
the shot I found that the sentries had fired into the advanced party of
natives, some of whom they declared to be wounded, but I could find no
trace of blood.

Open war had commenced. The natives had deserted their villages on the
portion of the island opposite to my camp. This was about seven miles in
length, therefore, in return for the attacks made upon my people on our
mainland, I determined to pay the Baris a visit.

I issued the necessary orders. At 3 A.M., on June 5th, five boats with
sixty men dropped silently down the east channel of the river, with
orders to land at the extreme end of the island. At the same time two
companies of troops landed opposite my station, where they waited in the
dark until the steamer, with myself and two companies on board, had
rounded the head of the island, and had obtained a position in the west
channel. The troops then advanced while the steamer ran easily down the
strong current. Everything went well, but the noise of the paddles
quickly gave the alarm, and the sound of a big drum in the distance was
almost immediately responded to by many others from various points.

The steamer now ran at half speed along the river, the intention of
cutting off any native canoes, or intercepting any herds of cattle that
might be passing to the west mainland. Every arrangement was well
carried out; but, unfortunately, as we were running at about nine miles
an hour, the steamer suddenly struck upon a sand-bank, where she
remained fixed.

After some vain attempts to float her, I instructed Raouf Bey to do his
best with her, and act, according to circumstances, at his own
discretion, while I left the steamer in the dingy, accompanied by
Lieutenant Baker and six soldiers of the "Forty Thieves," with the
intention of joining the two companies under Lieutenant-Colonel
Abd-el-Kader, who were marching down the island from south to north.

We rowed down the stream for forty-five minutes along the west bank of
the island. I had calculated the distance by time, and having allowed
for the delay on the steamer and the pace at which the troops under
Abd-el-Rader would march, I concluded that we should now land somewhere
near them. This turned out correct, as we joined his party a few minutes
after we had left the boat. I immediately detached a sergeant and
nineteen men to march along the east bank until they should meet my
boat, which had been ordered to continue along the west bank until it
should turn round the tail of the island, when it was to return home by
the east channel, that would lead direct to my station.

We had not seen any Baris upon the island, which appeared to be quite
deserted. The character of the ground had changed. We had left the dry
portion, which had been lately sown with dhurra, and we had arrived
among scattered masses of tall reeds growing from mud lately hardened by
the sun and full of deep cattle-ruts.

I threw out skirmishers, as we shortly entered a bad piece of country.
At this moment wo heard shots fired at the tail of the island, about two
miles in our front.

We pushed on at the double, until stopped by a deep channel of the river
about thirty yards wide. On the other side we now heard the horns of the
natives and the lowing of cattle. It was necessary to skirt the banks of
the channel through thick forest; thus, following the stream, we shortly
arrived at the main river, just in time to see the natives at a distance
of a quarter of a mile swimming a large herd of cattle across the stream
to the east shore, where they landed and safely gained the forest. They
were quickly pursued by the troops who, having landed at the tail of the
island, were in chase; and being supplied with boats, they crossed over
the river and followed hard upon the track of the retreating cattle.

The Baris did not suspect that they would be followed to the main shore;
thus upon reaching the forest they continued their retreat leisurely. My
black troops were wonderful runners; thus, when once upon the track of
the herd, they went along like hounds and overtook the Baris, who had no
idea of the pursuit until the soldiers were among them. The affair ended
by the capture of a portion of the herd, and the return to camp at 5.30
P.M. We had eaten nothing since the previous evening, as the boat
containing our breakfast had not yet appeared. We had been on our legs
in the sun for fourteen hours, thus we were ready for dinner on the
return to camp. I was anxious about the missing boat. On the following
day, June 6, at 4.40 P.M., the lost dingy arrived with her crew all
safe. They had missed their way by taking a wrong channel of the river,
which led them into a labyrinth of high reeds, where they were obliged
to pass the night among clouds of mosquitoes.

On the following day they began the tedious journey by rowing homeward
against the stream. They came suddenly upon a large body of natives, who
immediately attacked them with arrows, one of which went through the
trousers of a soldier. My men told a long story, and made themselves out
to be perfect heroes; but my servants and the boatmen told a very
different tale, and declared that they had thrown themselves down in the
bottom of the boat to avoid the arrows, and my servant, Mohammed Haroon,
had himself fired my heavy gun loaded with mould shot at the enemy.

On 7th June I discovered that the Baris of Gondokoro had leagued
themselves with the natives of Belinian against us.

They had attacked conjointly on several occasions. On this day the
natives in force having, as usual, crept stealthily from bush to tree
without being perceived by the soldiers, made a sudden rush upon the
cattle guards, and shot one soldier with an arrow and wounded another
with a lance. I immediately gave orders for an attack on Belinian that
night. At 12.30 A.M. I left my station on horseback, accompanied by
Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, together with Lieutenant-Colonel
Abdel-Kader and twenty men of the "Forty Thieves." Not a word was
spoken, as it was important to march without the slightest noise that
might alarm the native scouts who were generally prowling about
throughout the night. We arrived at head-quarters, a mile and a half
distant, where four companies with one gun had been ordered to be in
readiness. (My little station, Hellet-et-Sit, was a mile and a half
north from the camp of Gondokoro, on the river's bank.) At 1 A.M. We
started with a Bari guide named Sherroom, who had volunteered to serve
me, together with his friend Morgian, at the commencement of the war.
These men spoke Arabic, and since the flight of Tomby, the interpreter
(who had joined our enemies), these two Baris were our invaluable

The route to Belinian lay for the first two miles through open park-like
country. We then entered the forest, where the darkness made it
difficult to drag the gun, the wheels of which constantly stuck in the
stumps and roots of trees. Several times we had to halt, for the rear to
come up with this unmanageable gun, and I feared the delay might destroy
our chance of taking the enemy by surprise.

To make matters worse, the route became swampy. Sometimes the horses
sank nearly hock-deep in mud, which in the pitch darkness they could not
avoid. In such places it required the force of thirty men to drag the
gun, and the delays became serious. Lieutenant-Colonel Tayib Agha
commanded the three companies of Soudani troops who escorted the
field-piece, and took it in turns to assist the artillerymen in the
weary work of dragging the gun through swamps and bush.

The night wore on; it began to rain. I was riding in advance with
Lieutenant Baker, Mr. Higginbotham, and twenty of the "Forty Thieves,"
while Raouf Bey followed me with fifty Egyptian troops. It was
absolutely necessary to push on. Tayib Agha had a native guide,
therefore he and his gun could take care of themselves. Accordingly I
pushed on ahead as an advanced guard, delighted to be quit of the
impediment of artillery.

In about an hour we arrived at firm ground, and the country became more
open and undulating. The clouds began to break and the rain ceased. We
pushed briskly forward until, after marching at the pace of four miles
per hour, the guide, Sherroom, suddenly halted. We were now in a clear
space where a few large trees grew in a clump upon our right. Sherroom,
who evidently knew every inch of the country, whispered that we must
wait here in silence, as there were villages not far off, and the
stockade that we were to attack was in the immediate neighbourhood. It
was nearly 5 A.M., and although we had marched since one o'clock, we
were not more than nine miles from Gondokoro. I trusted that our halt
would allow the rear to join us with the gun which had caused so much

We waited for about half-an-hour in perfect silence. There was not a
star upon the sky, which was dark and murky, thus we could distinguish
nothing. At length the black night began to grow more grey, and we could
just make out some dark masses, that appeared to be villages, upon the
right and left. We now marched rapidly, but without the slightest noise.
The morning grew greyer, and birds began to whistle. We could
distinguish trees and the tall crops of dhurra.

There was no sign of Tayib Agha and his detachment, but it was
absolutely necessary to push forward.

We were thus hurrying on, sometimes through cultivated fields, at others
through strips of forest, when we suddenly heard the long shrill cry
that is the native signal of danger. This was from a Bari watchman, who,
more awake than those by whom we must have passed unobserved, now gave
the alarm. This cry was immediately repeated in various directions.
There was no time to be lost. Sherroom bounded forward like an antelope,
at a pace that kept our horses at a hand gallop. In a couple of minutes
we saw a large circular stockade in a clear space, but within fifty
yards of the forest on our left. We galloped up, followed closely by the
"Forty Thieves," who ran like hounds. I immediately surrounded the
stockade, from which the natives had commenced to shoot their arrows.
The Egyptian troops were close up, and in the uncertain light it was
impossible to see the arrows in their flight; thus one soldier was
immediately wounded; another received a shot through his trousers. An
arrow stuck in Mr. Higginbotham's saddle, and they began to fly about
very viciously. The "Forty Thieves" now opened fire, while the Egyptians
were drawn up in a line about fifty yards from the stockade. It was
rather awkward, as the defence was a circle: thus as the troops fired
into a common centre, the bullets that passed through the intervening
spaces between the uprights of hard wood came pinging about our ears.
The sky had become grey, and there was sufficient light to discover the
doorway of the stockade. I ordered the bugles to sound "cease firing,"
and prepared to force the entrance. This was a narrow archway about four
feet six inches high, constructed of large pieces of hard wood that it
was impossible to destroy. The doorway was stopped by transverse bars of
abdnoos, or Bari ebony, and protected by a mass of hooked thorn that had
been dragged into the passage and jammed beneath the cross-bars.

I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader to force the gateway. This he
immediately commenced, assisted by Lieutenant Baker and Mr.
Higginbotham, together with a party of the "Forty Thieves," while others
of the same corps closed up to the stockade on either side of the
entrance, and kept up a heavy fire to protect the attack.

In the mean time the immense drum within the stockade was thundering out
the summons to collect the whole of the neighbourhood for war. This
signal was answered by the heavy booming sound of innumerable drums
throughout the district far and near; and as it had now become light, I
could distinguish the natives collecting from all parts and evidently
surrounding our position. I therefore posted men as skirmishers around
the circle about eighty yards distant from the stockade, facing
outwards, while the small party forced the gateway.

The fire of the snider rifles and the steady shooting of the "Forty
Thieves" quickly reduced the number of arrows, and the natives, finding
that it was getting too hot, suddenly made a dash by a secret entrance
and rushed through the troops, now of necessity widely scattered, and
they gained the forest.

At the same time the gateway was forced, and we found a prize within of
upwards of six hundred cows. The stockade, or zareeba, was immensely
strong, formed of massive logs of ironwood deeply imbedded in the earth,
and arranged so closely together that not one bullet out of ten would
have found its way through the crevices if fired from a distance. The
proper way to attack the circular strongholds is to make a sudden rush
close up to the defence, and to lay the rifle between the openings; the
stockade then becomes a protection to the attacking party, as there is
no flank fire to enfilade them.

The natives were now gathering on all sides; but we were in possession,
and although our party consisted of only seventy men, we had an
impregnable position, which I could hold until joined by Tayib Agha. I
accordingly took a few of the "Forty Thieves" to a distance of about 150
paces away from the centre, and concealed them as sharpshooters,
wherever I found a convenient cover. The fire of the sniders kept the
enemy at a respectful distance.

There were no signs of Tayib Agha. The sun was risen, and clouds of
steam began to rise from the wet ground and the dripping trees. I
ordered some grass huts to be fired, as the volume of smoke might
attract the attention of Tayib Agha's detachment, which had evidently
gone astray. If near, they must have heard the sound of our rifles.

The huts were soon in flames, and the smoke rose high in air, which
would be a signal to be seen from a great distance.

I sent two buglers to the top of a tall tree, from which elevated post
they blew the call for the lieutenant-colonel and his three companies
continually for about half-an-hour.

We were hungry, therefore a fat calf was killed, and cooking immediately
commenced. I had a little box of salt and pepper, together with some
biscuits; thus we were in luxury. My good Monsoor was a fair cook;
therefore the fat, kidneys, and liver having been cut into pieces about
two inches square, and arranged on a steel ramrod, were well salted and
peppered, and laid on the red-hot embers when the flame and smoke had
subsided. There is nothing so good as kabobs thus simply prepared: the
ramrod is then stuck upright in the ground, and you sit down and cut off
the pieces as required. Salt should always be carried mixed with black
and red pepper in proper proportions; it saves much trouble.

We were enjoying our breakfast; the cows lately captured gave plenty of
milk, which our servants had boiled in the Baris' earthen pots, and we
were discussing the possibility of Tayib Agha having lost his way, when
we heard distant shots fired on the open hills at the foot of Belinian
mountain, about a mile and, a half to our right. We shortly
distinguished smoke, which was a reply to our signal. It was evident
that Tayib Agha had strayed far to the south, but it was satisfactory to
know that he had seen our position.

We could now distinguish the troops with the telescope, and even make
out the gun that was dragged by about twenty men. They were on their
direct way to join us.

My men had captured three young girls, whom they brought to me. The
oldest was about fifteen, and was pretty and intelligent: she had
formerly been a slave of the traders, and was marked, according to their
custom, by several scars on either cheek. The girl spoke good Arabic,
and did not appear to show the slightest alarm.

I asked her why the Belinian Baris had attacked us, and taken cattle
from the station at Gondokoro, without the slightest provocation? She
replied that they had been invited by the sheik Allorron to become
allies, therefore they had attacked us and driven off the cows, some of
which were now among the cattle we had that morning captured.

I told her that we never took slaves, therefore she and her companions
might return to the Baris, and inform them that I had come upon the
tracks of the cattle which they had driven off from Gondokoro. If they
desired peace, I should be happy to treat with them, but if they should
return to attack us at head-quarters, I should not spare them, but I
would utterly root them out of the neighbourhood. The girls laughed and
started off, not in the least disturbed by the scene around them.

At length, Tayib Agha's detachment arrived. They were very angry with
Morgian, the guide, who, they declared, had purposely misled them. This
was not the fact; the man had lost his way in the dark in the endeavour
to seek a better path for the gun. However, we were now united, and I
ordered the men to breakfast.

The sniders had cleared the natives from the vicinity, and now that we
had been reinforced by Tayib Agha's party, there was no fear of the
Baris. They kept aloof, and merely watched our movements from the tops
of high trees, where they perched like cormorants, and saw the enjoyment
of the troops engaged in roasting beef that had lately been their own.

I fully expected a difficulty with the natives when we should attempt to
drive the herd of strange cattle through the jungle path to Gondokoro. I
therefore determined to make a reconnaissance of the neighbourhood when
the men should have finished their breakfast, in order to drive the
Baris from the vicinity, and thus obtain a fair start for the cattle.

Leaving one company to protect the stockade and captured cattle, I took
the remaining three companies and the gun, and extending the line in
open order, with skirmishers thrown out in front and the gun in the
centre, we advanced through the country.

A large river bed, now almost dry, with very abrupt banks, lay on our
left. The wood became thinner, and we suddenly emerged upon a broad,
open valley or plain, which was bounded on our right by the high
mountain of Belinian, about a mile and a half distant.

The plain was covered with villages, and the entire country was green
with cultivation, the dhurra being then about two feet high. The
gun-carriage ran easily over the flat ground, and we advanced rapidly
forward, the Baris clearing out of their villages and gathering on our
flanks as we approached. A shot from the gun sent an eight-pound shell
which exploded in the air above a group about 700 yards distant. This
was sufficient notice to quit. The enemy dared not stand upon open
ground; thus, after we had driven them forward for about two miles. we
faced about and returned to the stockade.

We now opened the gateway and drove out the hungry cattle. They looked
very wild, and I rather feared a stampede; it was necessary to leave
them in the hands of our two allies, Sherroom and Morgian, as the cattle
neither understood Arabic nor the manners or customs of the Egyptians.
After a little whistling and coaxing in the Bari language, the herd
started, well protected by troops on both flanks, and an advance guard
at 150 paces' distance. The rear was brought up by the gun and the
"Forty Thieves."

The natives appeared to be under the impression that we were going to
pass the night at the zareeba; thus they had no knowledge of our start,
and we arrived at Gondokoro and entered the station about an hour after
sunset, having been out nineteen hours.

I now learnt that the Baris of Gondokoro had imagined that the greater
portion of the troops had gone to Belinian for an excursion of some
days; they had accordingly beaten their big drums and gathered together
from all quarters to attack the camp, but discretion overcame their
valour when they found a large force still at head-quarters.

On June 9, eight vessels of Agad's hove in sight, and with a fair breeze
they arrived opposite the island at 2.30 p.m.

Abou Saood was in one of these vessels.

June 10, Abou Saood presented himself to me this morning. His vessels,
being without cargoes, benefited much by our work in the sudd. He found
all our cuttings open, therefore he had no difficulty until he arrived
at the dam, through which his people cut a passage. The great rush of
water scoured a deep channel, and his squadron of light vessels came on
without difficulty. I ordered Abou Saood's people to camp on the west
bank of the river, as I did not wish them to be in constant
communication with my troops, who would quickly become contaminated by
their morals.

The news brought by Abou Saood from Khartoum informed me of the death of
Agad; therefore the representation of the firm of Agad & Co. had now
devolved upon Abou Saood, his son-in-law.

I now heard that the people of Abou Saood, who numbered about 500 men,
had brought with them a large herd of cattle which they had driven along
the west bank of the river; thus in direct defiance of the government
authority, he had made a razzia upon some tribe during his voyage, and
he had not scrupled to present himself to me with the herd of stolen
cattle staring me in the face on the other side of the water.

On my way up from the Bahr Giraffe I had left a Turkish major, Achmet
Rafik Effendi, with a corporal and five men, in the Shir tribe, about
forty miles from Gondokoro, with a friendly sheik named Niambore. This
sheik was the tallest and most powerful man that I ever saw in Africa,
and he was a trustworthy and good fellow. He had promised to cultivate a
farm for the government, therefore I had given him ten bushels of dhurra
for seed, and I had left with him at his request the officer and
soldiers, to represent the government and to superintend the

I now discovered that Abou Saood had attacked the natives without any
provocation, and had carried off the cattle from the country adjoining
Niambore's district.

The natives would naturally imagine that my officer and six men were
spies who had directed Abou Saood to their cattle, and there would be a
great chance of a conflict between Niambore, their protector, and his
neighbours who had been robbed.

I observed with the telescope that the people of Abou Saood who arrived
with the herd of cattle were accompanied by a great number of natives,
and the Baris of Gondokoro, who were at open war with us, flocked to
welcome the new comers as old friends who had been long absent. The
brigands had as usual arrived with a large herd of cattle, which in
Africa is always the best introduction; thus the robber tribe of
Allorron was delighted at the return of those who had always led them to
plunder, and had enriched them with the spoil of cows and slaves. I find
the following entry in my journal, dated--

"June 12, 1871.--The natives who are at war with us have been gathering
in large numbers to the spot on the west bank occupied by Abou Saood's
people. The latter are actually holding friendly intercourse with them,
and the Baris are quite at home assisting these rascals in erecting
their camp, although they positively refused to work for the government
upon our first arrival. This is the treasonable conduct of Abou Saood,
who knows perfectly well that we are at open war with the Baris.

"His large herd of about 1,400 fat cattle were driven along in triumph,
followed by the admiring population of thieving niggers, who hail his
arrival as the harbinger of fat times, Gondokoro being the general depot
for all stolen cattle, slaves. &c., and the starting point for every
piratical expedition.

"In the afternoon I started in a dingy, accompanied by Colonel
Abd-el-Kader, Lieutenant Baker, Monsoor, and four soldiers, to visit the
traders' camp on the west side of the river.

"Seeing me approach, a great number of Baris left the traders, and
taking to a precipitate flight they disappeared in the high reeds. The
traders' people received me without the slightest mark of respect, and
one insolent fellow swaggered up and stared me in the face with a pipe
in his mouth as a studied insult.

"I went to the cattle pens and immediately placed my four soldiers as
sentries over the herd, which I confiscated, as a warning to these
ruffianly slave-hunters.

"It would be a disgrace to tolerate these thieves, as Gondokoro is
rendered a perfect hell, and the natives will naturally abhor any lawful
government so long as they can consort and share spoils with such
brigands as these so-called traders of Khartoum."

Upon my return home I wrote an official letter to Abou Saood of which
the following is a copy :--

"ISMAILIA, or GONDOKORO, June 12, 1871.

"To Abou Saood, vakeel of the firm of Agad & Co.


"You arrived here on the 10th inst. with a large number
of cattle stolen by you and your people.

"You, knowing that the Baris were at war with the government,
have nevertheless been in daily and friendly communication
with them.

"The Baris of this country are rendered hostile to all honest
government by the conduct of your people, who, by stealing
slaves and cattle from the interior, and delivering them here,
have utterly destroyed all hope of improvement in a people
naturally savage, but now rendered by your acts thieves of the
worst description.

"It is impossible that I can permit the continuance of such acts.

"I therefore give you due notice that at the expiration of
your contract you will withdraw all your people from the district
under my command. At the same time I declare the forfeiture
to the government of the cattle you have forcibly captured under
the eyes of my authority.


The only error that I can acknowledge throughout the expedition was my
present leniency. I should at once have placed Abou Saood in irons, and
have sent him to Khartoum, instead of leaving him at large to carry on
his intrigues against the government.

I intended on the first opportunity to send notice to the Shir tribe of
the safety of their cattle, but an incident shortly occurred that
altered my determination. (These cattle were kept in a separate pen or
zareeba, and were guarded when at pasturage by special soldiers for some
weeks, in order that they should be returned to the Shir tribe upon the
first opportunity.)

At the same time that Abou Saood was in disgrace, he was a bosom friend
of the colonel, Raouf Bey, who commanded my troops. They dined together
constantly in the house of the latter officer, and their friendship had
originally commenced in Khartoum during the long interval that the
regiments were awaiting my arrival from Cairo. It was during that
interval that the officers of the expedition had fraternized with the
White Nile traders who resided at Khartoum.

The result of such intimacy might be imagined.

The object of the expedition had always been distasteful to both
officers and men. The traders had already seen by the, examples made at
Tewfikeeyah that I should actually destroy their cherished slave-trade.
It was therefore natural that Abou Saood should exert himself to ruin
the expedition. Having friend in Raouf Bey, he was in a position to
create division of opinion. He constantly associated with this officer,
in order that it should be generally known that he was supported by an
influential person in the government service. The scandal of the camp
quickly assumed that the opinions concerning the slave-traders between
myself and Raouf Bey were at variance.

The officers of the expedition had, contrary to my express orders,
purchased 126 slaves from the stations of the traders during the White
Nile voyage! I had only learnt this on arrival at Gondokoro; thus when
corn was so scarce that the rations were reduced, while those of meat
were increased, we had an addition of 126 mouths!

The policy of the slave-traders was identical with the feelings of the
officers and men, all of whom wished to abandon the expedition and
return to Khartoum. Abou Saood worked molelike in his intrigues. He
fraternized secretly with Allorron and his Baris. Many of his men
purchased tobacco from the natives in exchange for ammunition. The
natives from Belinian were in daily communication with Abou Saood's
camp, and their spies obtained information of our proceedings, and
carried the news throughout the country that "they would be supported by
Abou Saood against my authority."

I learnt everything that occurred through trustworthy agents. It quickly
became known that Raouf Bey was desirous to terminate the expedition.
The contagion spread rapidly, and the men worked languidly and without
the slightest interest: they had made up their minds that the expedition
was a failure, and that a scarcity of corn would be their excuse for a
return to Khartoum. Abou Saood fanned the flame among the officers, and
discontent became general.

In the mean time the Baris were very active in annoying the camp at
night. Although these natives could not stand against the troops in the
open, they harassed them by necessitating a perpetual vigilance both by
night and day. It was necessary to have strong patrols in two parties at
all hours; and I regret to say the Egyptian officers and men did not
appear to enjoy a state of war where activity and good discipline were
absolutely necessary. The Soudani officers and men, although ignorant,
were far superior to the Egyptians in activity and courage.

Unfortunately the camp was sickly. The men now suffered from the fatigue
of the long voyage through slush and marsh. Many had fever and
dysentery. Ulcerated legs were prevalent; and this disease appeared to
be contagious. Many men died from these malignant ulcers, which in some
cases entirely destroyed the foot. The women did not suffer from this
complaint. It originated from a poisonous grass that festered the wound
it gave, and rapidly produced an incurable sore. As the women had not
been exposed to the work in the marshes, they had escaped the scourge
inflicted by the sharp edges of the grass.

There was no rest for the people; they had to build their camp and fight
the Baris at the same time. A scarcity of corn stared them in the face.
The officers and men were well aware that we could not hope for regular
supplies of corn and reinforcements of troops from Khartoum in the
dreadful state of the river: thus they felt their position keenly, as
sick, dispirited, in the midst of enemies, with approaching famine of
corn, and no communication with the Soudan. All these difficulties were
to be endured for the sake of an object which they detested--"the
suppression of the slave trade."



Our enemies were not confined to the land only: the crocodiles in the
neighbourhood of Gondokoro were exceedingly ferocious. As the natives
were so much in the habit of swimming to and fro with their cattle,
these wily creatures had been always accustomed to claim a toll in the
shape of a cow, calf, or nigger. Two of Abou Saood's sailors were
carried off on two consecutive days. One of my soldiers, while engaged
with many others in water, only hip deep, was seized by a crocodile. The
man, being held by the leg below the knee, made a good fight, and thrust
his fingers into the creature's eyes; his comrades at the same time
assisted and rescued him from absolute destruction; but the leg-bone was
so mashed and splintered in many places that he was obliged to submit to

One of my sailors had a narrow escape. He and many others were engaged
in collecting the leaves of a species of water-convolvulus that make an
excellent spinach; this plant is rooted on the muddy bank, but it runs
upon the surface of the water, upon which its pink blossoms are very

The sailor was stooping from the bank to gather the floating leaves,
when he was suddenly seized by the arm at the elbow-joint; his friends
immediately caught him round the waist, and their united efforts
prevented him from being dragged into the water. The crocodile, having
tasted blood, would not quit its hold, but tugged and wrenched the arm
completely off at the elbow-joint, and went off with its prize. The
unfortunate man, in excruciating agony, was brought to the camp, where
it was necessary to amputate another piece slightly above the lacerated

I made a point of carrying a rifle at all times, simply to destroy these
terrible reptiles. There never was a better rifle than "the Dutchman,"
made by Holland, of Bond Street. This little weapon was a
double-barrelled breechloader, and carried the Boxer bullet of
government calibre, with a charge of three drachms of powder. The
accuracy of both barrels was extraordinary; it was only sighted up to
250 yards, but by taking the head very full, it carried with great
precision up to 300. I could generally make certain of crocodiles if
basking on a sandbank within a hundred yards, as I could put the bullet
exactly in the right place, either behind the eye, or right through the
centre of the shoulder. This handy rifle weighed 9-3/4 lbs., and
throughout the expedition it was almost as much one of my component
parts as a bone of my body. I had a large supply of ammunition; thus I
never lost an opportunity of shooting at a crocodile's head if I saw one
above the surface. On many occasions they never moved from the shot when
basking on sand-banks, but were simply extinguished.

One of our women went to the river to wash, but never returned. This was
close to our diahbeeah; and the water being shallow, there is no doubt
that she was seized by a crocodile.

I was one day returning from head-quarters to my station, a distance of
a mile and a half along the river's bank, when I noticed the large head
of a crocodile about thirty yards from the shore. I knew every inch of
the river, and I was satisfied that the water was shallow. A solitary
piece of waving rush that grew upon the bank, exactly opposite the
crocodile, would mark the position; thus, stooping down, I quietly
retreated inland from the bank, and then running forward, I crept gently
towards the rush. Stooping as low as possible, I advanced till very near
the bank (upon which grew tufts of grass), until, by slowly raising my
head, I could observe the head of the crocodile in the same position,
not more than twenty-six or twenty-eight yards from me. At that
distance, the Dutchman could hit a half-crown; I therefore made sure of
bagging. The bank was about four feet above the water; thus the angle
was favourable, and I aimed just behind the eye. Almost as I touched the
trigger, the crocodile gave a convulsive start, and turning slowly on
its back, it stretched its four legs above the surface, straining every
muscle; it then remained motionless in this position in water about two
feet deep.

My horse was always furnished with a long halter or tethering-rope:
thus I ordered the syce and another man to jump into the river and
secure the crocodile by a rope fastened round the body behind the
fore-legs. This was quickly accomplished, and the men remained knee-deep
hauling upon the rope to prevent the stream from carrying away the body.
In the mean time Monsoor had mounted my horse and galloped off for
assistance to the camp of the "Forty Thieves."

Crocodiles are very tenacious of life, and although they may be shot
through the brain and be actually dead for all practical purposes, they
will remain motionless at first, but they will begin instinctively to
move the limbs and tail a few minutes after receiving the shot. If lying
upon a sand-bank, or in deep water, they would generally disappear
unless secured by a rope, as the spasmodic movements of the limbs and
tail would set upon the water, and the body would be carried away.

The crocodile, that had appeared stone dead, now began to move its tail,
and my two men who were holding on to the rope cried out that it was
still alive. It was in vain that I assured the frightened fellows that
it was dead. I was on the bank, and they were in the water within a few
feet of the crocodile, which made some difference in our ideas of its
vivacity. Presently the creature really began to struggle, and the
united efforts of the men could hardly restrain it from getting into
deeper water. The monster now began to yawn, which so terrified the men
that they would have dropped the rope and fled had they not been afraid
of the consequences, as I was addressing them rather forcibly from the
bank. I put another shot through the shoulder of the struggling monster,
which appeared to act as a narcotic until the arrival of the soldiers
with ropes. No sooner was the crocodile well secured than it began to
struggle violently; but a great number of men hauled upon the rope, and
when it was safely landed, I gave it a blow with a sharp axe on the back
of the neck, which killed it by dividing the spine.

It was now dragged along the turf until we reached the camp, where it
was carefully measured with a tape, and showed an exact length of 12
feet 3 inches from snout to end of tail.

The stomach contained about five pounds' weight of pebbles, as though it
had fed upon flesh resting upon a gravel bank, and had swallowed the
pebbles that had adhered. Mixed with the pebbles was a greenish, slimy
matter that appeared woolly. In the midst of this were three undeniable
witnesses that convicted the crocodile of wilful murder. A necklace and
two armlets, such as are worn by the negro girls, were taken from the
stomach! The girl had been digested. This was an old malefactor that was
a good riddance.

I have frequently seen crocodiles upwards of eighteen feet in length,
and there can be little doubt that they sometimes exceed twenty; but a
very small creature of this species may carry away a man while swimming.
The crocodile does not attempt to swallow an animal at once, but having
carried it to a favourite feeding-place, generally in some deep hole,
it tears it limb from limb with teeth and claws and devours it at

The camp of the "Forty Thieves" had been finished some time since: the
gardens were flourishing, and I erected a "shadoof," or Egyptian double
bucket and lever for irrigation. Two men could lift and throw out 3,600
gallons per hour. I made the calculation as nearly as possible: the iron
buckets contained slightly more than four gallons each; thus, two men
with the double shadoof lifted eight gallons every eight seconds (or one
lift in eight seconds): a gallon per second gave 3,600 per hour.

I never allowed the "Forty Thieves" to work at the general
head-quarters, but kept them as my personal escort. When at Tewfikeeyah
I had been particular in their drill, and I had endeavoured to teach
them to shoot accurately. The Egyptians became better shots than the
Soudanis, but I much preferred the latter; by degrees I drafted out all
the Egyptians excepting four, and filled their places with well-selected
blacks, mostly taken from the grenadier company of the regiment.

At the commencement of the expedition this small body of men had well
earned the title of the "Forty THIEVES" by which they were always known
among the English party, although publicly in the camp they were only
designated as "The Forty."

I had taken great personal care of this little corps, and the result was
most satisfactory. The thieves had been got rid of. I never forgave a
fault until after punishment had been received; I never allowed the
doctor to attend them when ill, but invariably attended to them myself.
I had endeavoured to instil a feeling of pride among them, and
encouraged them with an idea of their superiority to the other
regiments. I actually succeeded in establishing a code of honour
throughout the corps, until it was considered a disgrace to "The Forty"
that a theft should be committed. "Is he not one of 'The Forty'?" was
the usual exclamation if any doubt was thrown on the character of a
soldier. The fact of his belonging to "The Forty" was a sufficient

The regimental arrangements at head-quarters had been sadly neglected,
as the men were necessarily so much engaged in other work that they had
no time for drill except on Fridays. The "Forty Thieves" were well
officered, having the advantage of a lieutenant-colonel and a captain,
together with two most active and courageous lieutenants, who had lately
received their promotion for good conduct: these were my faithful
Monsoor Agha, and Ferritch Agba. The young soldier, who had been
condemned to be shot for desertion the previous year, had shown such
devotion and activity that he was promised the next vacancy in the rank
of corporal. The non-commissioned officers were soldiers who had seen
much service, and the corps was in a highly efficient state with the
exception of the rifle practice.

While at Tewfikeeyah, having paid much attention to this all-important
point, I had instructed the officers and men personally, and I had
established prize-shooting to give an additional interest to the work.
Both officers and men now took an immense pleasure in rifle practice,
but it appeared almost impossible to make them good shots. Out of
forty-eight officers and men, I had only fifteen who could be called
real hitters; the others were only shooters.

The great difficulty was to instruct them in distances. I frequently
took them away from camp and made them guess the distance in paces from
some particular object, such as a tree, or white-ant hill. Very few of
the men had the slightest idea of this important subject; but at the
commencement, even the officers were perfectly ignorant. At length, by
constant practice at the target, varying the range from 100 to 300
yards, about a third of the corps became fair shots, and these few were
tolerably good judges of distance up to 400 yards. The colonel, Abd-el-
Kader, became an excellent shot, as he was an officer who took great
interest in his profession. The remainder of the corps shot as well as
they could, and took great pains; but although they were considered
crack marksmen by the line-regiments, their reputation would have
suffered if their deficiencies had been exposed. At any rate, they were
very dangerous with such a weapon as the snider, when firing into masses
of the enemy.

I distinguished "The Forty" from the line regiment by a scarlet uniform;
this was a simple red flannel shirt, worn outside their Zouave trouser,
and secured by a belt, with ammunition-pouches, round the waist. This
uniform, with linen gaiters, and with a head-dress of the scarlet fez,
bound by a turban of cobalt blue, looked remarkably well.

In active service, the officers carried sniders; thus, the corps
complete consisted of forty-eight sniders; but together with Lieutenant
Baker and myself, it comprised fifty rifles.

The high state of discipline and the fine morale of this little force
was a good example of what may be effected, even with a material of so
low a reputation as the negro. My men were natives of various tribes
scattered over an immense extent of Central Africa. Each had a certain
love of the country from which he had been originally stolen by the
slave-traders when a boy, before he found his way into government
service. I always endeavoured to keep up this feeling, and to create
emulation among the men of different tribes; thus, a native of Pongo
would assume a superiority over a Dinka, although the Dinka considered
himself of a higher class than a Pongo. A Noba regarded himself as
superior to all others. But by degrees I established a principle that
was generally accepted by them all--that an old soldier with a good
reputation should take precedence of all others, without reference to
caste or tribe. Thus, the aim of all young privates would be to become
old soldiers, and to rise in rank according to their merits. There were
several excellent examples of good soldiers in "The Forty," among whom
stood first Mohammed-el-Feel, sergeant of the body-guard. The latter
comprised ten men, selected from "The Forty" as creme de la creme;
these men were exempted from all labour, and they formed the guard of
two sentries by night, and one by day.

The discipline of this picked corps--"Abd-el-Kader and the Forty
Thieves"--was the commencement of a great moral reform, that resulted in
an improved tone throughout the force, which ultimately did the great
work of the expedition.

The efficiency of "The Forty" was an established fact of what could be
accomplished where officers and men were governed by that peculiar
confidence that bound them together as one man. Throughout the
expedition, after this confidence had been once established, I never for
an instant doubted the fidelity of my men; they would have followed me
through fire or water, without the slightest hesitation. In action, "The
Forty" were always in advance, and they were watched with eagerness and
even pride by the other regiments: when thrown out as skirmishers they
climbed rocks, pushed through jungles, and cleared the enemy from the
country with irresistible activity. Promotion from the line to "The
Forty" was considered as an honour, and so perfect was the esprit de
corps, that in the event of a vacancy being caused by sickness, or other
cause, the men reported to me the character of the new-comer before he
was admitted, and respectfully declined to receive him if he bore a
doubtful reputation; virtually he was "black-balled."

A corps of this character was a nucleus for an extension of military
morality. The "Forty Thieves" would not admit a thief; and they became
generally accepted as a model of what government soldiers should become.

I believe that if it were possible to convert the greater portion of
African savages into disciplined soldiers, it would be the most rapid
stride towards their future civilization. The fact of obedience being
enforced, and the necessity of order, industry, and discipline, together
with clothing and cleanliness, is all that is absolutely required to
bring a savage within the bounds of good management. A savage who has
led a wild and uncontrolled life must first learn to obey authority
before any great improvement can be expected. A soldier must obey, and
he learns to respect his officers as his superiors; thus, a savage who
has learnt all that he knows from his officers, whom he admits as his
superiors, will quickly adopt their religion, as he has been obliged to
adopt their military rules. My soldiers were all Mohammedans, simply
because they had been taught by their officers that good soldiers should
be true believers.

As I have already described, my station was a mile and a half distant
from head-quarters, and the arrangements under my personal inspection
were very different from the lax discipline of the officers at

The natives of Belinian had disregarded the warning they had received,
and now, having leagued themselves with the Baris of Gondokoro, they
were constantly on the watch for an opportunity of surprising the cattle
guards. Concealing themselves behind thick foliage, they stalked the
careless sentries with the adroitness of American Indians, and sometimes
succeeded in making a dash and driving off a few head of cattle.

I was obliged to take extra precautions during the night, as my little
station was dependent only upon "The Forty," while the camp at
head-quarters was occupied by 1,100 men, in addition to about 400
sailors, and the six Englishmen.

The natives disturbed us every night, and were constantly fired at by
the sentries. I served out cartridges containing eight-mould shot, each
to be rammed down over the ball in the muskets for the night sentries:
these would be more likely to hit a thief in the dark than a single
bullet. The muskets were given to the sentries in addition to their

I placed my men every night, concealed by cover so as to command the
various approaches. The station was conveniently situated, as a large
and deep lake completely defended the north flank for a distance of
about 400 yards. The river defended the east face: thus we were only
open on two sides, one of which was commanded by the camp of "The

On 28th June it rained steadily during the night. The Baris considered
that our sentries would be under cover, or would most likely not expect
an attack; they therefore resolved to attempt a surprise. Their advanced
scouts approached warily in the dark, but long before they had reached
the sentries, they passed within a few feet of a party of guards
concealed behind a white-ant hill. A shot from a musket stretched one
Bari dead. The guards pounced upon another and seized him by the throat.
This was a native of Belinian; he was accordingly hanged on the
following morning to a tree in the pathway by which the Belinian Baris
arrived through the forest to attack the camp. This it was hoped would
be a warning that might deter others. (Throughout the expedition this
was the only native who was hanged. Neither was any native shot or
otherwise executed when taken prisoner, except a spy at Belinian.)

On 5th July the natives made an attempt on the cattle, and shot a sentry
with an arrow.

On 7th July the Baris attacked the camp during the night.

On 8th July I sent a company to take possession and to hold the island.
They met the natives; and Monsoor and Achmet Bash Choush had a narrow
escape from lances. The Baris lost three killed and two prisoners.

On that day the river rose four feet six, which was the highest flood
during the wet season.

On 10th July, at mid-day, several hundred Baris, having cautiously
approached the grazing cattle unobserved, made a sudden rush from the
bushes upon the guards, killing one soldier and wounding another. The
soldiers belonged to the line, and must have behaved badly, as the
musket and cartouche-box and belt were stolen and carried off from the
dead man. The shots from the guard immediately alarmed the camp. The
horses were saddled, and, attended by Lieutenant Baker, I rode hard in
pursuit. The natives had gained the forest and had scattered, but we
rode a red-painted savage to bay, who fought to the last, shooting two
arrows at me, which I avoided by dropping quickly on my horse's neck,
and a third arrow stuck deeply in Mr. Baker's saddle as he escaped the
well-aimed shot by spurring his horse across the line of sight. These
arrows were shot at a distance of a very few yards. The native was

On 12th July the Baris attempted to surprise both my station and the
camp at head-quarters.

On the 13th the natives repeated the attempt; but one was shot dead by
the sentry at Gondokoro; also another met the same fate at my station.

Nearly every night we were subject to attempts at surprise. This was
excellent practice for the troops, as it taught them the, necessity of
keeping a good look-out; at the same time it was very wearying, as the
men had to work hard all day, and they were kept awake at night.

The Baris were irrepressible vermin that gave us no rest. My men were
all occupied in building the station, therefore it was impossible for me
to take a flying column and give the Baris a severe lesson; but I made
up my mind that when the work should be finished, I would take the fight
out of them most thoroughly. They now considered us fair game, that they
might insult as they thought proper; and I heard from our two faithful
allies, Sherroom and Morgian, that they imagined we should become afraid
of them, and then return to Khartoum.

They teased us at night like rats, but they lost many men. I rather
admired them for their persistence, as the scouts must have been
adventurous fellows. Whenever these people were taken prisoners, they
confessed that they were the spies of the main body that was concealed
at some distance in the rear. The favourite method of a Bari attack is
during the night, when the darkness reduces the danger of fire-arms. On
such occasions they generally halt either in forest or high grass,
according to circumstances, about half a mile from the camp they propose
to attack. Scouts are sent forward to ascertain the position and
vigilance of sentries before the advance of the main body. The scouts,
being quite naked, crawl upon their hands and knees until the darkness
permits them to approach within a few yards of the sentries. They then
lie flat upon their bellies unobserved until they can retreat to the
expectant body in their rear.

The attacking force now advances in perfect silence, and approaching
upon hands and knees in the same manner as the scouts, they suddenly
spring upon the sentries, and with wild yells make a general rush upon
the camp. This sudden attack would be extremely dangerous unless
provided against; and in this manner large parties of the slave-hunters
have been completely destroyed.

Our passive resistance to the numerous native attempts at surprise had
been misconstrued by the Baris into timidity. The news had spread
throughout the country that we should not venture far inland: thus a
grand alliance had been made among the tribes. The Baris desired to make
friends with their powerful enemy, the Loquia: they accordingly invited
this tribe to form an alliance and to join in a combined attack upon
Gondokoro, by which means they hoped to overpower and destroy our force,
and to become possessed of many thousand cattle which were now at

The Loquia consented; thus we were exposed to a grand coalition. In the
mean time Abou Saood and his people, in their camp on the west side of
the river, continued to be most friendly with the enemies of the
government, and supplied the Belinian natives with ammunition.

At 1.30. a.m., on July 21, I was awakened by the sound of firing at

I was dressed and armed in a few minutes. The bugle sounded the alarm,
and "The Forty" fell into position.

I heard the bugles at head-quarters, together with a confused din of
native drums, horns, and yells. The first shots had appeared to proceed
from the sentries, but these were shortly succeeded by heavy file-firing
from the whole force at the camp. An attack had evidently been made, and
a regular fight was going on: it was therefore to be expected that my
small force would soon have to act on the defensive. Spare ammunition
was quickly in readiness, and we were well prepared.

In the mean time, a general action was growing hotter every moment; the
yells of the natives and the din of their horns became louder. I was
momentarily expecting to hear the sound of cannon, and I was speculating
upon the effect that the fire of ten guns loaded with case shot would
have among such a crowd of enemies; but to my astonishment not a gun was
fired. Simply the roll of musketry continued.

In about half an hour the native yells grew fainter, the noise of their
horns and drums was reduced, and the heavy firing dwindled to dropping
shots. I heard the bugles sound "cease firing." I then heard "the
advance." Again firing commenced, this time in volleys; then I heard
once more "cease firing," and then "the retreat:" the attack was

I could not understand why my little station had not been attacked; but
I subsequently heard that the natives were more afraid of the "Forty
Thieves" than of the entire force. Added to this was the powerful reason
that I had only a few cows for milk, while the attraction of many
thousand head of cattle induced an attack on the camp at Gondokoro.

On the following morning before sunrise I rode up to camp to hear the
news. It appeared that the natives had actually surprised the sentries.
We had lost a corporal, killed; and a lieutenant and one soldier were
wounded by arrows.

The Baris and the Loquia had attacked in large force with the intention
of burning the station, as many were provided with flaming firebrands,
with which they had advanced bravely to the edge of the thorn fence. Had
the station not been protected by this defence it is probable that the
enemy might have succeeded in firing the houses.

As usual, the troops had fired badly. Such a fusilade as I had heard
should have covered the plain with dead. The officers and men declared
that great numbers of the enemy were killed, but their comrades had
carried off the bodies. This was true to a certain extent, as I saw
blood in many directions, and we found one Loquia lying dead with two
bullet wounds, through the head and thigh.

There can be no doubt that the camp was surprised through the neglect of
the patrol and the sleepiness of sentries, and it was only saved by the
thorn fence and the fire of so large a force as 1,100 men. The colonel
in command of the troops, Raouf Bey, could give no satisfactory
explanation for the silence of the artillery, but he subsequently told
me they HAD FORGOTTEN ITS EXISTENCE in the excitement of the moment.
Another officer told me they had brought up one gun, but could not find
the key of the ammunition. I remembered what David said in his haste,
and I came to the conclusion that they had been disgracefully surprised.

I determined to lose no time in protecting the station by a ditch and
earthwork, so that I could leave a garrison without risk, and I would
then attack the country in every direction.

The iron magazines were completed, and all goods and supplies were
stored. The camp was so far finished that the men were housed. I
therefore drew a plan for the fort, which I intrusted to the care of Mr.
Higginbotham, the chief engineer, for execution. I gave orders that all
hands, including the sailors, should immediately be employed to dig the
fosse. The expedition was well supplied with tools, and the work was
commenced with vigour, as the officers and men did not object to have a
deep ditch between them and the enemy.

I also planned a triangular fort as a protection to my small herd of
about a hundred milch cows at my own station. The "Forty Thieves" did
not require a fort, but the cattle might be carried off by a sudden rush
that would induce a stampede unless they were well secured.

"The Forty" set to work, assisted daily by thirty men from
head-quarters, and we soon had a strong fort, with ditch and rampart,
that defied attack.

A short time after the grand surprise of the camp at head-quarters, the
last attempt was made upon my little station, which ended as usual in my
men being well on the alert, and in the death of one of the scouts, shot
by the outlying guard through the thigh. Before he died, he confessed
that the Belinian and the Loquia, together with the Baris of Gondokoro,
had united in the general attack on the camp on the 21st; but that they
had lost many men, who, being badly wounded, had died on the road during
the retreat.

My little station from this date went out of fashion, and the Baris
declined to attack, as they subsequently declared that my sentries were
never asleep like those at head-quarters.

"The Forty" had earned a reputation that increased their self-respect.
Not only were they nearly sure to kill the wily scouts, but patrols at
night searched out the natives, and generally came upon them with fatal



On July 30, 1871, I was astonished by the arrival of the tall sheik,
Niambore, with whom I had left an officer and six men in the Shir tribe,
to superintend the cultivation of corn. This fine-looking fellow was
introduced, accompanied by five of his principal advisers. He shortly
told me his story. He had been four nights on the road, as he had not
dared to travel by day, fearing the Baris: thus, in the dark, he had
frequently wandered from the track. In the daytime he had slept in the
concealment of forests.

He had run this risk in order to be the first to give me the bad news,
lest I should suspect him of foul play. All my soldiers were killed,
except the major, Achmet Rafik, and a corporal!

When Abou Saood had passed his country some weeks since, his people had
attacked a neighbouring sheik, and had carried off a large number of
cattle, although he was aware of the presence of a government officer
with a very small detachment. Abou Saood had sent three of the captured
cows as a present to the officer in command, Achmet Rafik, who, instead
of protesting against the razzia, had, Turk-like, actually accepted the
present, and thus had fallen into the snare.

The natives, smarting under the unprovoked attack, visited Niambore, and
desired him to send my men out of the country, as they were evidently
leagued with those of Abou Saood. The sheik Niambore refused, and
declared that he should protect them until he received further orders
from me. This implicated Niambore, and the neighbours then insisted upon
the sacrifice of Achmet Rafik and his few soldiers in revenge for their
lost cattle. Niambore, with a chivalry that is rare among negroes,
declared his determination of sheltering my people until he should
communicate with me. He was attacked at night by the neighbouring
sheiks; and my soldiers assisted him in the defence. The attack was
repulsed, and he determined to return the compliment on the following
day, with the assistance of the soldiers. After a long march across many
deep channels, the battle went against him, and in a precipitate
retreat, the soldiers could not swim the deep channels like Niambore's
people; they were accordingly overtaken and killed, with the loss of
their arms and accoutrements, now in possession of the natives.

Major Achmet Rafik and a corporal were safe, as they were both ill, and
had therefore not accompanied the five soldiers in the attack. Niambore
had faithfully exposed himself to great danger in order to secure their
protection, and they were now in his keeping, concealed in a forest
about a day's march from the village which had been their station.

On the following day I sent the steamer off at 9 p.m. with Niambore and
twenty men, the moon being full. The river had risen about four feet six
inches, therefore there was no fear of her touching a sand-bank. At the
same time I wrote to Abou Saood, giving him notice of his responsibility
for the loss of the government troops, caused by his unprovoked and
unjustifiable aggression. (From that time, I of course gave up all
ideas of returning the cattle that had been captured by Abou Saood, as I
had originally intended. Such an act, after the destruction of my men,
would have been received by the Shir as a proof of fear.)

All my anticipations of successful cultivation had been fruitless. The
drought of this year had caused a general scarcity. The months of July
and August should have the heaviest rainfall; July had just expired with
a rainfall of only 1.13 inch. The mean temperature had been 71 degrees F
at 6 a.m.; at noon, 84 degrees F.

I was very anxious about our supply of dhurra, which would not last much
longer. On 1st August I ordered the troops to receive fifteen days'
rations of rice, so as to save the small stock of dhurra until the crops
should be ripe upon the island. These were guarded by a company of
troops. I extract the following entry from my journal:-

"August 2, 1871. --The Soudani soldiers are discontented with their
rations of dhurra; and to-day I was addressed by an unreasonable mob,
demanding an increase of corn which does not exist. These people never
think of to-morrow, and during the long voyage from Tewfikeeyah they
have been stealing the corn, and drinking merissa heedless of the

"The black colonel, Tayib Agha, is much to blame for the discontent, as
he has, upon several occasions, in THE PRESENCE OF THE TROOPS, told Mr.
Higginbotham and myself that 'the men could not work well because they
were hungry.' This foolish remark, made before the soldiers by their own
lieutenant-colonel, is certain to create bad feeling.

"I went across to the island to examine the corn: the greater portion of
the crop will be ready in about eight days, but the Baris, in spite of
the guards, are stealing large quantities during the night.

"The terrible difficulty in this country is the want of corn; and now
that all direct communication with Khartoum is cut off by the
obstructions in the Nile, the affair is most serious. The natives are
all hostile, thus a powerful force is absolutely necessary, but the
difficulty is to feed this force.

"I wrote an official letter to Raouf Bey to caution Lieutenant-Colonel
Tayib Agha against making remarks in the presence of his troops."

On August 3 the steamer returned, bringing Achmet Rafik and the sole
surviving soldier from the Shir. This officer declared his men to have
been insubordinate, and that they joined the natives against his orders
to make an attack upon their enemies in return for attacks on their

Two witnesses, the surviving soldier and the wife of one that was
killed, declared that Achmet Rafik himself gave the men orders to fight
the tribe, in company with the people of Niambore; but fearing
responsibility for the result, he now laid the onus of failure upon the
insubordination of the men. (The fact remained that in consequence of
the razzia made by Abou Saood's orders the natives attacked Niambore and
my people. In self-defence, Niambore and my few men returned the
attack, and my soldiers were killed. The Shir were thus rendered hostile
with the exception of Niambore.)

My people were so obtuse that they could not understand the true
position of affairs. The harvest was commencing. I had jealously guarded
the corn upon the island, which should have produced at least 500
urdeps; but the officers and men did not wish to see the granaries
filled, as that fact would destroy the excuse for a return to Khartoum;
thus, instead of labouring with heart and soul to gather the harvest,
they worked so lazily, that in nine days they only reaped 237 urdeps, or
not one half that was actually upon the fields. They permitted the
natives to steal by night, and the swarms of small birds destroyed an
incredible quantity by day. These innumerable and ruinous pests do not
consume the entire grain, but they nibble the soft sweet portion from
the joint of each seed, neatly picking out the heart; thus the ground
beneath is strewed with their remnants of destruction.

I had not visited Belinian since their unprovoked attack, for two
reasons. First, we were engaged in fortifying the station; and,
secondly, I did not wish to raise the suspicion among the Baris that I
might come down suddenly upon their crops. Up to the present time we had
acted mainly on the defensive, and the natives had no fear for their
harvest. I knew that about 2,000 acres of dhurra would be at our service
by a sudden attack on Belinian, if the troops would work earnestly to
secure it. At the same time I was afraid to mention the subject, lest
some intrigue might destroy the possibility of success.

If Abou Saood or his people had possessed a knowledge of my intentions,
they would at once have given warning to our enemies, and would have
destroyed my plans. Both Abou Saood and the greater number of the
officers were anxiously watching the close of the drama, as they
imagined that with the disappearance of supplies, the curtain would fall
upon the last act.

I possessed information that would render me independent of corn from
Khartoum, if the troops would only work honestly. We were at open war
with the Baris, and we had been constantly subjected to their attacks. I
had arranged my plans to complete my forts so as to be ready for a
campaign at the commencement of the harvest, when the country would be
full of corn. My two rich harvests would be Belinian--twelve miles
distant and the fruitful islands beyond the mountain Regiaf, about
fourteen miles south of Gondokoro. The latter would be easily collected,
as the vessels could load at the islands, and convey the cargoes down
stream direct to head-quarters.

Everything depended upon the officers and men. Raouf Bey, who commanded
the troops, was in daily communication with Abou Saood, who was exerting
himself to the utmost to ruin the expedition by promoting discontent,
and persuading the officers that they would die of starvation, and that
the Baris were most dangerous enemies, who would exterminate the troops
should I weaken the force by taking a detachment to form stations in the

It was thus pre-arranged by my own people that, even if in the midst of
plenty, the corn should not be collected in any larger quantity than
would suffice to feed the expedition during the return voyage from
Gondokoro to Khartoum.

In that case, the expedition would be broken up and abandoned. The
authorities would piously ejaculate, "El hambd el Allah!" (Thanks be to
God!) The country would once more fall into the hands of Abou Saood by
contract with the government of the Soudan. The good old times of
slave-hunting would return and remain undisturbed. The Christian would
have been got rid of by an ignominious failure. Abou Saood would have
boasted of the success of his diplomacy; and Allorron and his Baris,
once freed from the restraint of a government, would have fraternized
again with their allies the slave-hunters, to pillage, kidnap, and
desolate the productive countries of Central Africa.

I determined that the expedition should succeed, and, with God's help, I
would overcome every opposition.

The forts were completed. Gondokoro, or, as I had named it, Ismailia,
was protected by a ditch and earthwork, with bastions mounting ten guns.
My little station was also fortified; thus I could commence a campaign
against the whole Bari tribe, without fearing for the safety of my base.

On August 30, 1871, I started with a force of 450 men, with one gun, and
one rocket-trough for Hale's three-pounder rockets.

I left twenty of the "Forty Thieves" at my little station, together with
a reinforcement of thirty men. I had ordered the captain of the
diahbeeah, upon which my wife resided, to push the vessel off the bank
and to anchor in the stream every night.

The Baris of the Belinian Mountain were well provided with guns and
ammunition, which they had taken in various massacres of the
slave-traders' parties some years before. On one occasion they had
killed 126 of the traders in one day, and had possessed themselves of
their arms, with many cases of cartridges.

On several occasions they had destroyed smaller parties with the same
result, and they had never been at peace with Abou Saood since he had
treacherously murdered their Sheik and his family. Recently having
allied with Abou Saood's friends (the Baris of Gondokoro), against the
government, some of the Belinian people had ventured to trade, and had
established a communication with Abou Saood's people, from whom they
purchased ammunition in exchange for tobacco.

Having given orders on the previous evening that the men were to be
under arms ready for the march at 1 a.m., I was annoyed to find that
neither officers nor men were prepared when I arrived punctually at the
hour appointed at head-quarters. The colonel, Raouf Bey, was fast
asleep, and had to be roused by the sentry. This was a breach of
discipline that cost Major Achmet Rafik his life. After some annoying
delay I started for Belinian. At that time, in the dark night, I was not
aware that Achmet Rafik was absent. This officer was a thorough-bred
Turk, and he had seen much service, having been through the Crimean war,
and also in that of Arabia, under Abbas Pacha. He ought to have known
better, but he shared the prevalent feeling of discontent; thus, instead
of being on the alert and at his post, he was asleep when the troops
started on their night march.

When awakened, he hastily dressed, buckled on his sword and revolver,
and taking a double-barrelled gun in his hand he endeavoured to follow
the troops, but mistook the direction, and lost his way in the dark.

We arrived at the open valley of Belinian at day-break, but native
scouts had already given the alarm of our approach. There were some
hundred villages situated in the vale and on the heights along the base
of the mountain; but at this season only the tops of the huts were
visible above the high dhurra, which was just ripened, although the
general harvest had not yet commenced.

There is no covert so much in favour of native warfare as the high
dhurra, which perfectly conceals their movements, at the same time that
it is easily passed through at speed.

The Bari drums were beating throughout the country, and their horns were
sounding in all directions. Clearing the way with skirmishers, we
marched along a good path for about four miles parallel with the base of
the mountain, until we arrived at a plain or bottom, which bore the
marks of cattle-hoofs in great numbers. This spot was about thirteen
miles from head-quarters at Gondokoro.

There was no dhurra cultivation on the right, near the base of the
mountain, as the soil was poor and sandy: we thus had a clear view of
the country. The cattle had been driven off, and we were only in time to
see them disappearing over the distant high ground. The natives had
collected in large numbers, and seemed disposed to dispute the advance
of the troops.

The ground was perfectly clean, as the cattle had fed off the grass
until it was as smooth as a garden lawn. From the position we occupied,
the country inclined upwards towards the base of the mountain, about a
mile and a half distant; this interval abounded in villages, all of
which were defended by stockades. At the base of the mountain were
broken hills, composed of huge granite rocks, the foundations of
mountains that had long since decayed. Upon all these strong positions
were the usual stockaded villages.

I ordered the troops to extend in two lines, supported by a reserve with
the field-piece and rocket-trough. With the "Forty Thieves" in the
front, we advanced along the plain towards the mountain.

The Baris now opened fire upon us from their villages, from which they
were driven in succession, until no enemy remained to oppose us except
those upon the high ground.

Our right was now protected by an exceedingly deep ravine, which was a
watercourse cut by the torrents from the mountain. I accordingly took a
party of the "Forty Thieves," and following along the edge of the
ravine, ascended the slope that led to the stockades upon the heights.
Great numbers of natives had assembled, and were shouting the most
abusive epithets in Arabic until we arrived at about a hundred yards
from the foremost stockade. This now opened fire upon us, the natives
being concealed within, and aiming with their muskets between the
interstices of the upright piles.

My riflemen now knelt down and fired at the puffs of smoke as they
issued from the impenetrable ironwood zareebas. This was just the work
that the Baris understood, as their position enabled them to fight
unseen among the numerous stockades and high rocks clothed with bush.

The bullets were whistling merrily, and presently a soldier by my side
was shot through the fleshy part of the hip. I examined him, and saw
that the bullet bad passed through,--therefore he continued firing. A
wife of one of the soldiers was shot through the calf of the leg. She
had accompanied him with a small parcel of cooking-pots and food from
Gondokoro that morning and thus came under fire.

The main body was delayed in the rear, replying to the fire of the Baris
on the other side of the impassable ravine. I had only twenty men with
me in addition to Lieutenant Baker. I therefore ordered the bugler to
sound the "assembly," as I determined to attack the stockades with the
whole force.

In a few minutes the main body arrived, and formed for the attack. The
bugles and drums sounded the advance, and the troops, having fired
several volleys, rushed on at the double and stormed the position. This
was well executed, and the rush was so unexpected by the Baris, that the
stockades were taken at the point of the bayonet; Captain Morgian
Sherreef [*] distinguishing himself by the gallant manner in which he
led his company; he was the first man to break through the gateway.

[*Footnote: This officer was a Soudani who had served under Marshal
Bazaine for four years in Mexico.]

This attack was something that the Baris did not comprehend. They had
only been accustomed to face the slave-hunters' irregular companies, and
they had never seen a charge borne with the bayonet. They now began to
clamber up the rocks and ascend the mountain with the activity of
baboons, while a sharp fire from the snider rifles acted like a spur
upon their movements. A shell from the gun now burst over a number of
the enemy who had collected about 800 yards in our rear. This was an
unmistakable notice to quit. We set fire to the stockades, and the Baris
having disappeared, I selected a position for a night's bivouac.

There was a bad supply of water, and we could procure, nothing but a
muddy mixture which smelt strongly of goats. We had found a number of
fat calves and sheep; thus, having fixed upon a site in the flat open
plain, the men collected firewood, and when the evening set in, the camp
fires were blazing and every man was well supplied with food.

I doubled the sentries for the night, but we remained undisturbed.

I was very anxious about the major, Achmet Rafik, as Raouf Bey and the
officers declared that he would have certainly endeavoured to follow the
troops rather than run the risk of disobeying the orders he had
received. The Baris never take prisoners, and should they meet him,
which would be most probable, his death was certain.

On the following morning I ordered an advance towards the north side of
the plain, where I had observed a line of zareebas upon elevated ground
that commanded a view of the plain and the base of the mountain that we
had attacked yesterday.

On arrival upon the higher ground, I found the country perfectly flat
and completely covered with heavy crops of ripe dhurra, in which the
zareebas were concealed, with the exception of the tops of the huts.
Drums were beating and horns blowing in all these stockades.

I had a suspicion that the Baris might have stationed sharp-shooters in
ambush among the high dhurra. I therefore directed a couple of rockets
through the corn. The rush of these unknown projectiles produced a great
effect, as they burst through the stockade, and buzzed and whizzed about
the huts within the defence. An eight-pound shell from the gun now
crashed through the stockade and went howling along through the dense
fields of dhurra, until it exploded about 500 yards in the rear.

The bugle immediately sounded the advance with the bayonet, and the
troops made a rush forward through the corn and captured the stockade.

We now found no less than six of these powerful inclosures within an
area of about four acres. These would form an admirable position. I
therefore gave orders that the corn should be immediately cleared away
so as to leave an open space. Guards were posted in various places;
sentries were placed on the summits of the tallest huts to keep a good
look-out, while the remainder of the force set to work and commenced
clearing. By sunset we had cut down about six acres.

I gave orders to Raouf Bey to divide the troops in four stockades, which
formed a sort of quadrilateral. This officer suggested that the men
might all be massacred by a Bari night-attack if thus divided, and he
proposed to inclose the whole force of 450 men within one zareeba, like
sheep or cattle! In spite of our successes, the officers had a wholesome
dread of the Baris, that relieved me from all apprehensions of their
erring by an excess of rashness.

I divided the soldiers of the line in three zareebas, while I occupied
the fourth with Lieutenant Baker and twenty men of the "Forty Thieves."

Every day was now passed in collecting corn, but the soldiers as usual
worked badly. In the mean time the natives worked most energetically
during the night, and carried off ten times the amount gathered by the
troops. There was so bad a feeling among the officers, that it was easy
to perceive they were predetermined to neglect this opportunity of
filling our granaries.

The Baris were excellent diplomatists, and, seeing that we were too
powerful to resist by open force, they sent women to treat for peace.
This was simply a manoeuvre to gain time, as during the truce they could
carry off the corn by day as well as night. I always leant towards
peace, although the war had been wantonly forced upon me; thus we soon
established friendly relations with an old sheik named Jarda, about two
miles from the Belinian mountain. This old fellow had an exceedingly
clever sister who would have made a good foreign minister. She explained
just as much of the Belinian politics as would suit her purpose, and
very properly declared that the women were all in favour of the
government, and they would use their influence with the men, some of
whom she asserted had very "hard heads."

Old Jarda, who was about eighty and had sufficient worldly experience to
appreciate the value of a good counsellor, left the diplomatic
arrangements to his sister, who became extremely active, and ran about
the country to collect the principal headmen.

We had many palavers, which as usual ended in nothing but assurances of
goodwill, and an explanation that the attacks on Gondokoro were made by
certain districts, but that Jarda's people were not responsible. In the
mean time thousands of women and children were engaged in carrying off
the corn. The country seemed alive with baskets, as these useful
articles were seen gliding about in all directions on the heads of
natives that were invisible in the high grass.

I returned to Gondokoro for reinforcements, and I collected 200 armed
sailors. With this additional force my wife also accompanied me to our
camp at Belinian. We had now 650 men to collect the corn. I noticed an
extraordinary diminution in the crop during my absence of only two days,
but not a corresponding increase in the store collected by the troops
left under the command of Raouf Bey.

I had occupied the valley by a line of three stockaded positions, at
intervals of about a mile and a half; thus a very large area of corn was
commanded, and if the patrols had done their duty, it would have been
impossible for the natives to have carried it off.

Nothing had been heard of the missing major, Achmet Rafik; he had not
returned to Gondokoro as I had hoped. I now discovered, through the
native women, that he had been killed by the Baris on the same day that
we had arrived at Belinian. It appeared that the unfortunate officer had
steered his course for the Belinian mountain peak, in the hope of
overtaking the troops. This route through the forest led him to the
extreme end of the valley at the foot of the mountain, quite in the
wrong direction. Having arrived at the nearly dry bed of the Belinian
river, he sat beneath a tree to rest. The natives quickly observed him,
and stalked him as though he had been a wild animal.

It appeared that, when attacked, he had wounded one native in the head
with his "little gun," as the Baris termed his revolver; and this man
was still alive with the bullet in his skull, which the women declared
was swollen as large as a pumpkin.

Achmet Rafik was thus overpowered and killed, with the gain to the Baris
of his arms and ammunition.

I immediately started off with a company of troops, led by a Bari guide,
to the west end of the plain, where my officer had been killed. I had
not yet visited this spot, but the guilty natives were wide awake, and
they had concealed the arms, which I had hoped to recover. The forest
was tolerably open, and was full of small villages concealed by the
trees. I spread out my men and regularly drove the covert. Suddenly we
came upon a herd of cattle and a number of natives who had imagined
themselves secure in the depths of the forest.

I immediately dashed into them on horseback, accompanied by Lieutenant
Baker, Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and Monsoor, followed by the troops. The
cattle, seeing the red shirts of the "Forty Thieves," had gone off in a
regular stampede through the forest; this precipitate flight had been
quickened by the report of the rifles. It was difficult work to manage
the herd with only four horses. No one who has not hunted African, and
especially Bari cattle, can have an idea of the activity of these
animals. They go along at a tremendous pace, and never appear to get
blown: thus we were spurring hard through the forest in order to
overtake the herd, when to my great satisfaction we arrived at the broad
bed (nearly dry) of the Belinian river. This checked the pace, and we
reined up our horses, and quietly waited for the troops, who were
excellent runners.

A few men of "The Forty" were the first up, and we managed to drive the
cattle across the river on to the open plain. Hardly had we arrived on
the level ground, when they started off in another stampede, and kept us
going for about three miles, as though we were following hounds.

With a horse on each flank and in the rear of the herd we at length
managed to control their movements. Fortunately we had been running
towards our camp.

A herd of cattle generally depends upon a few of its members, which are
usually followed by the others. Upon this occasion there were two cows
that appeared to direct their movements. These wild creatures refused to
enter our cattle kraal upon arrival at the camp, when the troops, having
seen our approach, came out to render assistance. With skilful
management the herd was secured within the kraal, with the exception of
the two undisciplined cows, which started off at full speed along the
plain, followed by Abd-el-Kader and myself. A black and white cow was
exceedingly vicious, and being hard pressed for about a quarter of a
mile, she turned to bay on the open plain. I was riding my best horse,
named "The Pig," who was very powerful and fast, and understood
cattle-driving thoroughly. "The Pig," accordingly avoided the charge of
the infuriated cow, which dashed at him like a wild buffalo. I
immediately shot her in the shoulder with a revolver, which had no other
effect than to turn her towards Colonel Abd-el-Kader, who was riding a
large, clumsy chestnut called "Jamoos" (the buffalo). This horse
remained perfectly still when the cow rushed at him, and Abd-ed-Kader
instead of firing his rifle, received the charge full upon his left leg,
into which the cow drove her sharp horn, making a serious wound nearly
through the calf. I then shot the cow through the head, but Abd-el-Kader
was in great pain and quite disabled.

Upon counting our cattle we found 165.  This was a very small herd, but
they had been difficult to capture.

Our new ally, old Jarda, with his diplomatic sister, came to visit us
upon hearing of our success, and immediately asked for a calf, which I
gave him.

Jarda's sister now informed me that the sheik of the mountain wished for
peace, and requested permission to visit me. On the following day he
appeared. He was a fine powerful fellow, but with a bad expression. I
had already heard that Jarda and he were not friends, therefore I looked
upon this introduction with suspicion.

After the usual declaration of friendship by the new sheik, and an
apology for past misdemeanours, presents were requested. A fat calf was
given--then a sheep was demanded; this was also supplied. We now came to
business. It appeared that the Belinian Baris had been called upon by
Allorron to become allies, at the same time that Loqiua had been invited
to join in the general attack that had been made upon Gondokoro.

Loquia had hesitated, but had at length joined Belinian, as the
government troops had been reported as great cowards who were afraid to
venture far from their head-quarters. The many thousand cattle known to
be at Gondokoro, and the fabulous amount of stores and material, at
length tempted the Loquia to join forces.

On the night of the attack, it now appeared that Loquia had lost many
men killed; others who were wounded dropped on the way, and died on the
route through Belinian. This loss so enraged Loquia (who considered that
he had been only used as a cat's-paw), that he was determined not to
return home empty-handed. He therefore revenged himself upon his allies,
and captured about 2,000 head of cattle from Belinian, with which he
returned to his mountains two days' distant.

On the day following my interview with the sheik of the mountain,
"Wani," I received information which made me suspect that he was not the
real sheik, and that some trick was intended.

Once more I was waited upon by old Jarda, with his female minister of
foreign affairs, in company with Wani, the reputed sheik of the
mountain, together with a number of headmen.

I now received a direct proposal to form a general alliance. The
Belinian Baris declared allegiance to the government, and proposed to
join all their forces to make a great attack, in conjunction with the
troops, upon a country about sixteen miles distant, governed by a sheik
named Lokko. They described this country as abounding in corn, and
sesame, in addition to great wealth in cattle. They also declared that
they had already sent spies into the land, who had returned with the
news that the harvest was over, and all the grain was stowed in the
granaries; thus the troops would have no trouble in collecting the corn.

They also promised that if I would make the attack, they would collect
all their women and transport the corn to head-quarters at Gondokoro;
thus the soldiers would have no fatigue. At the same time they described
the people of Lokko as very powerful, and declared that I should require
nearly all my force, as very few troops would be now necessary to
protect my camp at Belinian, as we WERE ALL FRIENDS!

This kind regard for my military arrangements confirmed my suspicions.
It was intended to draw off the greater portion of the troops to a
distance, in company with the pretended allies. The attack was really to
be made on Lokko, but my troops were also to be overpowered when
unsuspectingly returning by a night march with the spoil. The cattle
captured from Lokko would then fall into the hands of Belinian, and my
camp, protected by a weak force, was to be surprised.

I pretended to enter into this scheme, but I expressed a doubt whether
they would perform their part of the engagement, and convey the corn
from Lokko to Gondokoro. This they declared emphatically they would do
without failing.

I proposed, that if they could convey such an enormous quantity so great
a distance from Lokko to Gondokoro, they should first prove their
fidelity by transporting the few hundred urdeps from our Belinian camp
to head-quarters. If they would assist us in this manner, they should be
paid for their trouble, and I should then believe in their sincerity. On
the other hand, if they refused, I should be perfectly certain that they
would also decline to transport the corn from Lokko, and that every
individual would merely scramble for spoil, and return to Belinian with
a load of plunder for his own use.

We should then be left at Lokko in a foolish position.

After much discussion, they promised to carry the corn to Gondokoro
before commencing operations against Lokko; but I at once perceived by
their manner, that they had not the slightest intention of performing
any such contract. They felt that their scheme had been found out.

Although Africans are notoriously cunning and treacherous, they have not
sufficient patience or self-sacrifice to enable them to carry out a
perfect scheme. If the Belinians had wished to succeed in their plan,
they should have willingly carried the corn to Gondokoro, and thus have
established confidence. In all my experience with African tribes, I have
observed this want of organization in their plans. Like ignorant
chess-players, they only think of the first few moves, and thus are at a
loss when suddenly checked.

Of course I had no intention of attacking Lokko, as I had no complaint
against him; and although a Bari, he was a chief who had always behaved
well to the Austrian missionaries. This portion of the Bari tribe,
instead of being sixteen miles, was at least thirty from the north of
Belinian, and was situated on the White Nile, where the sheik, Lokko,
was known to the traders as "Oom Nickla."

The following extracts from my journal will at once explain the state of
affairs. The natives had lost their chance, and feeling that their
treachery had been discovered, they never came to me again:--

"September 22, 1871.--No natives will come near us.  Abou Saood arrived
with forty men to ask my permission that he might start for Khartoum.

"September 23.--The natives, disappointed in their trick, will have
nothing to say to us."

On the 25th September the natives treacherously attacked an unarmed
soldier. This man had strayed a few hundred yards from the camp, against
orders, to search for wild thyme. A native met him and accosted him by
the welcome "Adotto julio." The soldier advanced close, when the
treacherous Bari immediately shot an arrow into him. This passed through
his arm with such force that more than half the length of the arrow
protruded on the other side. The soldier shouted for help, and the Bari
decamped as he saw others running to the rescue.

On the same day, two women were attacked when they went to fetch water,
and their clothes were stolen by the natives.

On September 27, an artilleryman went to the river about 400 yards
distant to fetch water, alone. This was quite contrary to orders. The
thoughtless fellow left his musket on the bank while he descended to the
sandy bed, through which trickled a clear stream.

He was watched by the natives who were lying in wait, concealed by the
high dhurra. These rascals suddenly rushed out and speared him to death.
The man screamed so loudly before he died, that a number of soldiers
rushed to his assistance from the camp, but they were only in time to
bring in his body.

This was at 4 P.M., and I observed natives armed, who were hovering
about on all sides.

I sounded the bugle, and attacked them without delay, destroying several
stockades. It is impossible to come to any terms with such treacherous
people. In spite of my kindness and wish to do good and to benefit their
country, they requite me with the murder of any unarmed man whom they
can find.

"September 29.--I attacked a position on the mountain. Having fired
several rockets from the base, into a station about 350 feet above, I
ordered the troops to advance from two sides. My men scrambled quickly
up the rocks and destroyed the station.

"September 30.--A few days ago, the soldiers purposely burnt several
granaries full of corn, and threatened to kill Sherroom and Morgian, my
Bari interpreters, if they should report the act to me, saying, 'If the
corn is finished, we shall all go back to Khartoum.'"

"This proves that the old spirit against the expedition still exists.
The men take their cue from the officers."

In spite of the general discontent, I could place the greatest reliance
upon the "Forty Thieves" and their officers. This little corps performed
nearly all the active service. Their red shirts had become so well
known, that the colour was enough to keep the natives at a distance; but
although the Baris were now afraid to risk a stand-up fight, they
troubled us by their stealthy tactics. It was impossible to say where
they were concealed. They were spread all over the country: some hidden
in the tall dhurra, others behind bushes. Their favourite place was in
the grass and scattered bush on the banks of the river, where they lay
in wait for any unlucky soldier whose disobedience of orders led him to
tempt his fate.

It seemed almost as impossible to clear the country of these people, as
to purge Africa from snakes. Patrols were of little service, as the
natives lay as closely concealed as hares in form.

I determined at length to meet them with their own tactics:

They occupied the neighbourhood in ambush. . .I would also lie in
ambush. This system of ambuscade employed so generally by the Baris had
created a wholesome alarm among the troops, which tended to obedience.
They now began to appreciate the orders that no one should stray alone
from the camp, and that the watering party should consist of a powerful
guard. At the same time, the surprises that had occurred had somewhat
shaken their confidence.

I called the "Forty Thieves" together.  These fine fellows always took
a great interest in their work.

I explained to them the difficulty of fighting against an enemy whose
tactics would not permit a battle; at the same time, I should now
operate against them somewhat upon their own principle; by establishing
a series of sharpshooters who should occupy the neighbourhood, and
render it impossible for the Baris to remain in the country.

My corps was now complete, as I had brought up those who had remained at
Gondokoro; I had thus forty-eight officers and men. To this force I now
added fifty selected men from the line, and marched them away from camp.

Upon arrival at the broad bed of the river, I explained to them the
plan. The natives generally approached unperceived by means of this
winding trench, which entirely concealed them. The banks of this river
were in most places nearly perpendicular, and were about nine feet deep.
The river was about sixty or seventy paces broad, and was nearly dry, as
a very shallow stream flowed through the centre of its bed.

If the high banks were occupied for a distance of several miles by small
parties of sharpshooters concealed in high dhurra, or behind an
ant-hill, or crouched in high grass or bush, or in anything that would
serve as a protection, it would be impossible for the Baris to approach
by the favourite river-bed, without being exposed to a deadly fire from
the long line of sentries.

I therefore selected a position commencing far beyond my line of posts,
and entirely commanding the river-bed for a distance of several miles.
The soldiers were delighted with the plan suggested. I arranged that
before daylight on the following morning, they should occupy the
positions assigned in parties of two men if sniders, or three if
muskets, at intervals of one hundred paces; thus the country would be
protected by a chain of guards perfectly concealed from view.

I gave orders to the officers commanding the two stockades to carry out
this system throughout the neighbourhood, so that it would be impossible
for any enemy to move without falling into an ambuscade.

At daybreak I was up, and as usual drank my coffee and smoked the
morning pipe. At that time my wife and I occupied a tent outside the
stockade, beneath the most magnificent tamarind-tree that I have ever
seen. From this spot we had a clear view of the country. On the west of
the plain, two miles distant, rose the mountain of Belinian. On the east
was park-like land interspersed with fine ornamental timber, through
which the river winded. For about a hundred acres around the camp, the
high dhurra had been cut down; therefore the view was uninterrupted.

Everything was perfectly still at this early hour; the birds were only
beginning to chirp, and the vultures were just lazily assembling to see
if they could discover one more morsel at the slaughtering-place of the
preceding day.

No one would have suspected that the entire neighbourhood was occupied
by sharpshooters, for a distance of some miles. The wily Baris had
delighted in their leopard-like tactics, which had given them several
opportunities of inflicting loss upon the troops. They now commenced
their daily occupation, and started in small but numerous parties from
their distant villages, for the purpose of waylaying any stragglers. The
sun rose, and with my telescope I observed natives about half a mile
distant on the other side of the river; sometimes these people
disappeared in the high dhurra; every now and then they reappeared; then
again they were lost to view. They were stealthily approaching for the
purpose of occupying their positions for concealment. These wily Baris
imagined that we were, as usual, keeping on the alert around the camp,
but they had no idea that the leopard was himself so near the hidden

Suddenly a puff of white smoke shot rip from the bright green grass on
the other side of the river-bed--then another, followed by the reports
of two rifles! I saw natives running at full speed to the left. Another
and another puff of smoke issued from a different quarter, as the
astonished Baris in their hasty retreat stumbled over the next
ambuscade. I now saw a native running like a deer, but chased like a
good deerhound by one of the "Forty Thieves." The native was so hard
pressed by this good runner, who was encumbered with clothes, rifle, and
ammunition, that he had been obliged to throw away his bow and arrows,
together with his lance. He now gained upon the soldier slightly, but
they were not five paces apart when they disappeared in the high dhurra.
That soldier was Ali Nedjar, of the "Forty Thieves," the strongest man,
the best shot, and the fleetest runner of the force. Presently I heard a

Throughout that day occasional shots were heard in every conceivable
quarter. I took a walk through the country, attended by a few of my men,
and upon several occasions I was challenged from a bush, or tump of high
grass, showing that the men were all in position and well concealed.
When the bugle recalled the sharpshooters in the evening, each had some
adventure to recount, and the whole camp rejoiced in the success of the
manoeuvre; it was a case of "the biter bit."

The men now looked forward to this employment, and starting at daybreak,
they took their supply of food for the day.

Some of them were very clever at this kind of service, especially Ali
Nedjar. Ali was a native of Bongo--a broad-shouldered, muscular fellow,
with thighs like a grasshopper. It was a pleasure to see him run, and to
witness the immense power and speed with which he passed all competitors
in the prize races, in which I sometimes indulged my men. Ali Nedjar was
a good soldier, a warm lover of the girls, and a great dancer; thus,
according to African reputation, he was the ne plus ultra of a man.
Added to this, he was a very willing, good fellow, and more courageous
than a lion.

I had several men of Ali Nedjar's stamp in "The Forty," among which were
the three Ferritch--Ferritch Agha Suachli, Ferritch Ajoke (formerly
condemned to be shot), and Ferritch Baggara; and it may be easily
imagined that a corps composed of such material was an awkward enemy for
the Baris.

After a few days, the ground became almost too hot for the natives. They
now ascended high trees, from which they could survey the country and
direct the movements of their scouts. Ali Nedjar was too much for them
even with this precaution. He had observed them like rooks in a large
tree at a great distance. The tree grew wild in a field of high dhurra,
and while the wily Baris were looking out from their lofty post,
expecting to discover us in the distance, the still more wily Ali Nedjar
had crept on hands and knees through the corn, and was actually beneath
the tree!

The report of a snider rifle under their feet, and the fall of one of
their party, was the first intimation they received of the soldier's

This plan of occupying the country was most successful, and in a short
time the Baris entirely abandoned the neighbourhood. They confessed
afterwards, that it was useless to attempt to fight with such people, as
the earth was full of soldiers who sprang up out of the ground beneath
their feet.

We had been thirty-five days at Belinian, and the enemy had been
entirely subdued. I explained to them my determination of paying them
another visit should we ever be disturbed again at Gondokoro; thus if
they wished for peace, they must remain quiet.

The soldiers and sailors, including all the women of the camp, were
employed for some days in conveying the corn to head-quarters. If our
people had worked well, we should have had a supply for twelve months.
Instead of which, a force of 650 men had actually delivered in the
magazine only 150 urdeps, or about 670 bushels.

I have naturally omitted many military incidents, and have only given an
outline of the Belinian campaign, but the moral effect was good on all
sides. The soldiers had learnt their own superiority to the natives, and
had gained experience and confidence; and the Baris of Belinian had
learnt the truth: and in future we should sleep in peace at



The amount of corn collected by the troops, now in the magazines, was
only sufficient for two months' consumption at full rations.

There was a spirit of general disaffection among the officers and

Although I had worked with them in every difficulty and led them
invariably to success, there was a general dislike, not to me
personally, but to the system of rigid discipline that I was determined
at all hazards to enforce, and to the general object of the expedition.

Neither officers nor men could understand why, during open war, I should
forbid the capture of women and children, who, by all Mohammedan rules,
were lawful prizes!

It was not slave-hunting: they were simple prisoners of war that God had
delivered into their hands; and it was a hard case that, after all the
trouble and difficulties which had been encountered, they should be
debarred from taking a few prisoners.

This was the argument of the military force, to which, had I yielded,
the expedition would have quickly relapsed into the original
slave-hunting of the White Nile, which I was bound to suppress. I have
already described the direct disobedience of the officers in having
purchased 126 slaves secretly from the slave-hunters' station during the
voyage. A slave trade would quickly spring up between the Khedive's
officers and the slave-hunters of Abou Saood, unless I enforced the
strictest discipline. The expedition would represent a government slave
market for the reception of slaves captured by the Khartoum companies.

It may easily be imagined, that my determination to enforce obedience to
the newly-instituted reform caused bitter disappointment and disgust.
The government I had established afforded justice and protection to all,
whether freeman or slave. I had not interfered with the slaves that had
been the property of officers prior to my taking the command of the
expedition; these remained in their original position, with the simple
improvement, that they could not be ill-treated with impunity.

A poor little Abyssinian boy, about eleven years of age, had one day
crawled through the high river grass to escape the observation of the
sentries, and suddenly appeared on the deck of my diahbeeah to claim
protection. He was streaming with blood, and had been shamefully
ill-used by his master, who was a captain in the Egyptian regiment. The
boy demanded his freedom, and I immediately granted his release (This
boy, named Amam, was a great example to others in his general good
conduct and integrity. He accompanied us throughout the subsequent
trials of the expedition with much devotion, and he is now one of our
household in England).

This forfeiture of this child was a warning that had an excellent effect
in favour of the slaves, but was very unpopular among the force.

Although I regretted the ill feeling which existed on all sides, I
considered the position with patience; and I could not help admitting
that this was a natural and inevitable consequence of a sudden reform
which threatened so many interests.

At the same time, I was determined to carry out my mission without
shrinking from any consequences. I was ordered to suppress the slave
trade; therefore that slave trade should be suppressed; and I trusted
that time would eventually give me so improved a control over the
feelings of my people, that I might succeed in a reform and yet banish
all ill-will.

In the midst of anxieties, there was one lasting satisfaction in my
position. I had the power to execute absolute justice, and I wished for
no other reputation among my people, whether slaves or freemen, than the
confidence of pure equity to be obtained without delay. At all hours I
was accessible, and even the complaints of little children were attended
to with the same attention that was bestowed upon more important
appeals. I hoped by this line of conduct to be able at length to
incorporate myself with the expedition, and to gain the affection of my
people; without which, success would be impossible.

The terrible absence of discipline among the troops was a great
difficulty, but I had already improved them greatly. Since the mutiny of
the black division at Taka, in the year 1865, when they murdered their
officers, and committed many atrocities, the Egyptian officers had
always distrusted them.

I was told by the colonel, Raouf Bey, that if a black soldier were
punished, his comrades would probably mutiny, should he be a general
favourite. The extreme laxity of discipline was the result of a want of
vigour on the part of the officers.

At the commencement of the Bari war, the conduct of the troops, both
back and white, was disgraceful. I have seen them, in the presence of
the enemy, rush into a village and commence indiscriminate pillage: the
officers mingled with their men in a race for plunder. Several soldiers
had been killed by the natives upon such occasions, when separated from
the rest in search of spoil. The colonel had assured me that it was
impossible to prevent this sacking of villages, as it was the reward the
troops expected after a victory.

Fortunately my model corps, the "Forty Thieves," were always with me,
which enabled me to act decidedly. My lieutenant-colonel, Abd-el-Kader,
and the faithful Monsoor, were ready to carry out my orders on the spot.

When I caught the troops in disorderly pillage, I had the principal
actors seized and laid down on the instant in the centre of the men, and
administered fifty apiece with a stout bamboo.

The Soudani soldiers quickly perceived that the reins were tighter than
formerly; and I followed up the principle of stern punishment until I
obtained an absolute control, without the slightest attempt at
resistance to my authority.

I had learnt to like the Soudanis; there was an untiring energy in their
movements very unlike the Egyptians; they only required European
officers to become first-rate troops.

Although the force had much improved by the increase of discipline, they
would have much preferred the good old times of plunder and prisoners.
The officers had always looked forward to the glorious opportunity of
procuring a few slaves in Central Africa, although they could not
exactly define the manner of obtaining them: thus my severe orders upon
this subject caused a serious heart-burning, and a desire to give up so
barren an expedition.

The station was now complete, and well fortified by a ditch and
earthwork. My own little station was the picture of neatness. I had two
acres of the finest Egyptian cotton (galleen). Every inch of the knoll
was highly cultivated, the lawn was closely cut, and the diahbeeah,
which was our home, lay snugly alongside the bank, close to which was a
little summer-house, surrounded by a prolific garden. This was a little
gem of civilization set in the middle of savage Africa. My "Forty
Thieves" were perfect gentlemen in comparison with the line regiments.
The sanitary arrangements of the station were good; there was very
little sickness, at the same time that upwards of 400 men suffered from
ulcerated legs at head-quarters.

Our domestics were much improved. Those who had been slaves liberated by
me from the traders' vessels at Tewfikeeyah, had learnt their duties,
and had become very useful. My wife had trained some nice girls of
seventeen or eighteen to household duties, in addition to half a dozen
excellent boys, who were all neatly clothed, and kept in admirable
discipline. Among these was the Abyssinian boy, "Amam," who had lately
received his freedom. He was a pretty little lad, and his brown
complexion looked quite light in comparison with his coal-black
comrades. The Abyssinian blood showed in strong contrast to the negro
type around him, and he was far superior in intelligence to any of the
Central Africans.

The girls were under old Karka, who had been with us throughout our
former journey. This old woman was very proud because I had given 12 to
purchase her freedom in Khartoum. She was a good old soul, but
wonderfully fond of fine clothes; and on great occasions she always
turned out in clouds of snowy muslin with red edges and fringe, like a
young Abyssinian beauty. It was amusing to see her emerge from her hut
in full costume, her broad, flat face beaming with smiles in happy
consciousness of universal admiration.

Old Karka was a sort of duenua to watch over the morals of the younger
girls, and to see that they did not become too "fast"; but I believe
that even the heart of Karka beat high when a certain corporal of the
gallant "Forty Thieves" passed by. Old Karka was actually accused of
sending presents of food, carefully cooked by her own hands, to the
house of this same corporal, Abdullah, thus appealing to his stomach,
which is the direct road to the heart, in African courtship. The younger
girls and the boys of the establishment exclaimed, "Mashallah! Old
Karka! who would have believed it?"

It was curious to observe the difference between my station and that of
head-quarters at Gondokoro: at one, all was contentment and good order;
in the other, discontent and disorder.

I had constant complaints from Mr. Higginbotham that my orders, that he
should be supplied with men for public works, were disobeyed, and that
every obstacle was thrown in his way.

My Englishmen had been, as usual, very industrious and having erected
the iron magazines, they were now engaged in building a flat-bottomed
barge to assist in transporting corn from the islands south of Regiaf.
They had not been in the best health, but they nevertheless continued to
work with an energy and spirit that were a delightful contrast to the
sluggishness and apathy of the Egyptians.

Immediately on my return from Belinian, I had given orders that thirty
vessels should be prepared to return to Khartoum.

I had not returned these vessels earlier, as I required all the sailors
to assist in building the station, and in collecting corn for the
troops. At this season (October) the Nile was at its maximum, therefore
I hoped there would be no difficulty in the return voyage to Khartoum
with empty vessels, and the stream in their favour. Had I returned them
earlier, I should have been obliged to victual them for a four months'
voyage, at a time when corn was extremely scarce. The sailors had now
assisted us in our work, and they would not require provisions for more
than two months, as the Nile was full.

Every arrangement that I had made had been most carefully considered.
There can be no doubt that the greatest enemy to the expedition was the
White Nile. This adverse river had given a serious check. The work and
fatigue in cutting through the obstructions had killed many men, and had
laid the seeds of fatal complaints among many others. The men's hearts
had been broken at the onset. There was even now a feeling of despair of
the possibility of receiving supplies and reinforcements by river from
Khartoum. We appeared to have forsaken the known world, and, having
passed the river Styx, to have become secluded for ever in a wild land
of our own, where all were enemies, like evil spirits, and where it was
necessary either to procure food at the point of the bayonet, or to lie
down and die.

If the White Nile had been the fine, navigable river that I had known in
former years, I believe I should have had no difficulty, as I could have
quickly overcome the scruples of my officers by direct reports of their
conduct to the Khedive; but we were lost to the world almost as
absolutely as though quartered in the moon.

I had proposed, when in Cairo, that steamers should run monthly between
Khartoum and Gondokoro, with the post and all necessary supplies. In
former days this would have been a matter of course, and the fact of a
connection with the Soudan government would have supported discipline;
but the frightful obstructions of the river rendered communication
impossible, except by a regular expedition in large force.

My own heart felt heavy sometimes; but I said nothing. I could easily
appreciate the feelings of others, whose hearts were not actually in
favour of the enterprise.

Nevertheless I commanded, and no matter what the obstacles might be, I
had only one duty.

A new and sad calamity had attacked us. The well-known African
horse-sickness broke out. In spite of every precaution, my horses died.
The disease commenced by an appearance of languor, rapid action of the
heart, scantiness of urine, costiveness, swelling of the forehead above
the eyes, which extended rapidly to the whole head; stiffness and
swelling of the neck, eyes prominent and bloodshot, running at the nose
of foul greenish matter in extraordinary quantities,--convulsions,

My favourite Horse, "The Pig," was attacked. I had anxiously watched him
daily, and one morning I fancied that the usual hollow above the eyes
was rather full. This fatal symptom was too true a warning. He passed
through the usual stages of the complaint, and died on the same day that
he was first attacked.

I had only seven horses remaining out of twenty-one that had started
with me from Cairo. In addition to these, were two horses belonging to
the officers.

The fact of the horses dying added to the unfavourable impression
already in the minds of the officers and troops. In addition to this
calamity, the drought at Gondokoro had been unprecedented. The native
cultivation, and that of the troops, had all perished on the light sandy
soil of Gondokoro. Rain had fallen in the vicinity; but this unfortunate
locality is very subject to droughts, as the rain-clouds are attracted
by neighbouring mountains, where they expend themselves. The rich soil
of the river islands will always insure a crop, as the roots penetrate
to a depth where they obtain moisture from the river. As already
described, the troops had worked so badly, that one half of the island
crop had been carried away by birds. Thus, when the harvest was in their
hands, they neglected to gather it; they now complained that nothing
would succeed in Gondokoro.

Abou Saood had not gone to Khartoum, therefore his journey to Belinian
to request my permission to depart, was only a ruse for some purpose at
present unknown.

I shall now extract verbatim from my journal the entry upon October 13,

"October 13, Friday.--The truth has burst out at last. As I have long
expected, the evil spirit has brooded mischief."

Late last night I received a letter from Raouf Bey inclosing two others:
one from the regimental officers, addressed to their respective
lieutenant-colonels; the other from the lieutenant-colonels, inclosing
the letters, and seconding the declaration with a petition embodying the
same request to the full colonel. The letter from Raouf Bey supported
the petitions and seconded the general complaint. The burden of this
lengthy and carefully-arranged correspondence, was the determination of
the officers and troops to abandon the expedition and return to
Khartoum. The seals of every officer were attached, with the exception
of those belonging to the "Forty Thieves."

I noticed that although there were three separate letters upon several
immense sheets of paper, they were all written in the same handwriting.
This proved that they were the result of dictation from a superior, and
I at once traced the conspiracy to the colonel, Raouf Bey, the friend of
Abou Saood.

It had been pre-arranged in this fashion, without a hint of such an
intention having been given to me, that the officers should sign a
round-robin to their lieutenant-colonels; the latter should support and
forward the petition, together with a letter from themselves; the
colonel should then forward this general and irresistible expression of
public opinion to me, together with a long epistle from himself,
explaining the absolute necessity of a general abandonment of the
expedition, and a return to Khartoum.

I find these words in my journal:--"These letters from the officers
declare, that the expedition must return to Khartoum, as there is no
corn in the country, and the soldiers would die of starvation.

"Although these people complain of want, they actually purchased 126
slaves during the journey from Tewfikeeyah, thus adding to the number of
mouths, and at the same time acting against my positive orders.

"They say there is no corn in the country, but as yet they know nothing
of the neighbourhood, with the exception of Belinian; and when in the
midst of plenty they _will not collect it._ Thus the Khedive's officers
would actually abandon the expedition, and forsake the immense amount of
stores, merchandise, &c., which would fall into the hands of the

"By God, not a man shall go back, except by my orders! no matter whether
they mutiny or not. I shall forward the officers' letters to the

This conspiracy would have played the game of Abou Saood, and he would
have revelled in his success. I made no remarks upon the conduct of
Raouf Bey, but the chain of facts will speak for themselves.

For the first half-hour after the receipt of these letters, I was
disgusted through every bone. It appeared as though all hope of success
was gone. What could be done with such wretched and treacherous

I would not condescend a reply to the letters I had received. I rode up
to head-quarters; Mr. Higginbotham was ill, as were also some of the
Englishmen and Mr. Marcopolo. Nevertheless all were unanimous in their
resolve to stand by the expedition at any risk.

I sent Lieutenant Baker, R.N., to Raouf Bey, with instructions not to
mention the letters, but to convey the following order:--

"Colonel Raouf Bey, with six companies of troops, to be under arms at 2
A.M., to await me at head-quarters."

Mr. Higginbotham had the entire charge of the vessels. I ordered three
noggurs to be prepared, together with one small diahbeeah, to pass the
troops across the river at 2 A.M.

All troops and sailors were to take two days' provisions. I had
determined to push straight for the Bari islands, south of Regif hill.
Should I be able to procure the supply of corn that I expected, it would
at once checkmate the conspiracy.

The Baris of Regiaf and south of that hill had been allied with those
of Belinian, and had taken charge of their great herds during the
month's campaign in that country.

We started punctually at the time appointed, and sailed for about seven
miles up the river, which at this season could be navigated without
difficulty. We now crossed over to the west bank, and the wind being
foul, the soldiers turned out and hauled the vessels against the stream
by tow-ropes.

The country was perfectly lovely. The high, rocky hills, a few miles
distant, sloped in beautiful undulations of open, park-like land to the
river's bank. Here and there fine ornamental trees were dotted about the
surface; but the absence of forest would have rendered the locality
unfit for a large station.

The villages were innumerable: but there was not a sign of friendship
among the numerous population. The natives poured out of their various
stations leaping, brandishing their spears, and gesticulating with
unmistakable actions of hostility.

The river was about 500 yards wide, and in several places the dull, grey
heads of rocks protruded from the surface. We therefore continued to tow
the vessels close to the bank, with a party marching parallel to protect
the flank in case of a sudden attack.

The natives evidently intended to oppose us. I always gave the Baris a
fair chance, and allowed them to make the first hostile move before I
proceeded to forcible measures. I therefore landed and advanced a few
hundred paces inland. There were many curious rocks in this
neighbourhood, some of which were clean blocks of granite in masses of
forty or fifty feet high, piled roughly as though arranged artificially.

The natives, as we advanced, moved gradually towards this shelter, in
which they squatted until we arrived within a hundred and twenty paces.
My interpreter now conversed with them, saying that I had not come to
fight, but to purchase corn, that I would give them a cow for each
googoo full of unthrashed dhurra: this was the usual price when the
natives traded among themselves.

In reply to this polite assurance, they used most insulting language,
and said--"You need not offer us your cattle, as we intend to take them
by force; therefore, be off to Khartoum!"

By this time I had advanced with the interpreter to within a hundred
yards of them. They were completely in my power, but I resisted the
temptation. This is the disadvantage in treating with savages. I always
afforded them every opportunity for peaceful arrangements, and returned
civil replies to their abusive and coarse insults. This gave them the
advantage of selecting their own convenience for an attack. A hundred
times I have had them in my grasp, as upon this occasion, when a
well-directed volley would have created a terrible effect; but I have
always been patient, and allowed them to strike the first blow.

I now explained to them my position. I gave them the instance of their
friends at Belinian, and begged them to avoid a similar necessity. I
must have corn. Their granaries were overflowing, while mine were empty.
I had many thousand cattle in addition to all kinds of merchandise. I
desired fair dealing, which would give satisfaction to all parties. They
simply shouted a derisive reply, coupled with most disgusting and
insulting language.

"Won't you have a shot, sir, at that fellow on the rock?" said my
shadow, Monsoor, who was always at my elbow. I declined the invitation,
to the great disappointment of my men; at the same time I explained to
these pig-headed Baris that they must accept the consequences of their

I ordered the bugler to sound the assembly.

With great readiness the troops left the vessels, and having formed,
they marched up the slope with drums and bugles. I now made a display of
force, and once more addressed the natives, explaining that the men were
hungry and would take their corn gratis unless they would agree to sell
a portion.

The natives sullenly withdrew to a greater distance, and commenced
blowing their whistles, and making a peculiar shrill cry which is used
by them generally in derision and contempt of an enemy. The last words
we distinguished as they increased their distance, were a threat to
exterminate us during the night, if we dared to remain in their country.

It appeared hopeless to attempt a peaceful communication with the Baris.
This portion of the country to the south of Regiaf was immensely
populous, and the natives were more dreaded by the slave-traders than
any other. I now determined to examine some of the villages.

Having extended the men in line so as to cover about half a mile, I
ordered the advance towards the hill of Regiaf, with strict orders that
no soldier was to enter a hut; but they were simply to examine the
villages as they passed through, by tapping the numerous wicker googoos
or granaries with their hands, to prove whether they were full, These
neat little granaries contained generally about forty bushels, but they
varied in size: some would have held more than double that quantity.

The natives watched us in considerable numbers from all points. In this
manner we examined twenty or thirty villages, each of which contained at
least fifteen googoos, nearly all of which were quite full of corn. The
entire country was overflowing with dhurra and sesame. As far as the eye
could reach were innumerable villages, all of which we knew were stores
of abundance, by the samples we had already examined.

From the high land of Regiaf, we looked down upon a long series of rich
islands in the river, that appeared to be nothing but a line of
granaries, as I could distinguish with the telescope the numerous clumps
of googoos and small villages that fringed the fertile banks of these
welcome retreats.

I felt as the Israelites, when the manna and the quails appeared in the
desert. Thank God, we were delivered from the danger of famine, and we
had at length arrived at the Promised Land.

Even the officers, all of whom had signed the declaration "that there
was no corn in the country, therefore they must return to Khartoum,"
looked delighted, and exclaimed "Mashallah!"

I felt the relief, for I had suffered much anxiety; but outwardly I took
it very coolly, and quite as a matter of course. I explained to the
officers and men, that of course they were ignorant of the country, but
that if they relied upon me, I should always lead them ("Inshallah!")
into a land of plenty. The black officers now began to exclaim,
"Wah-Illai! the Pacha knows the country well! Who would have believed
when at Gondokoro that there was corn enough for a couple of years
within a day's march?"

"A couple of years!" cried another; "we couldn't eat this corn in ten

"We might drink merissa every day in this country," exclaimed others of
the soldiers.

Sailors who have been in danger of shipwreck, with a rocky shore close
on the lea in a heavy gale, may understand the relief offered by a
sudden shift of wind in the moment of extremity. Such experience alone
can allow an appreciation of the mental reaction after a great strain of
anxiety that I had suffered for some time past.

A certain knowledge of human nature determined me to improve, without a
moment's delay, the opportunity, while the troops were under the first
impulse of astonishment and delight.

I addressed myself to the "Forty Thieves" in particular, and to the line
generally, and explained "the pleasure that I felt in now being able to
increase their rations of corn, that had been reduced by half. At the
same time I had been much dissatisfied with the small collection they
had made from the harvest at Belinian. I knew the country, and this was
the only true granary that admitted of river transport to Gondokoro. If
they neglected this opportunity, the rations would again be reduced; but
upon no account whatever should I permit the return to Khartoum of any
officers or men, except those who could present a medical certificate of
chronic bad health. I should thus get rid of the useless mouths, which
would relieve the strong men from the work of gathering corn to feed the
weak, who could not perform their share of the labour."

I concluded by recommending them "to thank God, and to set to work with
good will."

I marched my men to several villages deserted by their inhabitants,
which I occupied in force, and anchored the vessels close to the bank
beneath them. Having sent for Raouf Bey, I made no other remark, than to
give the orders necessary for the night. This melancholy officer looked
more miserable than usual, and his expression reminded me of one of
Dante's damned souls, as illustrated by Gustave Dore.

The sun sank, and I had not tasted food for twenty-four hours. I was
without my wife, therefore I was not very particular; my good Monsoor
having foraged, produced some pumpkin soup, as he termed it, which was
composed of a very watery pumpkin boiled in water without salt. The next
dish was the very simple native luxury of dhurra flour boiled into a
thick porridge. I was very hungry and very happy, thus I ate the plain
fare with a good appetite.

Monsoor had made a fire with dry cattle-dung, and spread a native mat on
the ground, close to the smoke, upon which I could sleep if the
mosquitoes would allow me. I lay as close to the smoke as possible, with
a comfortable log of wood for a pillow, and pondered over the events of
the day, feeling very thankful for the change of circumstances, and
making plans for the morrow until I fell asleep.

No sooner had the bugles sounded the morning call, than I was up and
off. I instructed Raouf Bey to take a company of troops with the
vessels, and occupy the islands. At the same time, I marched through the
country to the south, and having passed about three hours in
exploration, I formed two stations in excellent positions, and divided
my men equally under Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet and Major Abdullah. These
stations were about a mile apart, upon high ground, and commanded a view
of Raouf Bey's vessels, that were already anchored at the island about a
mile and a half below them. The three positions formed a triangle, in
the very heart of the greatest abundance.

Having concluded these arrangements and established my positions, with
the necessary instructions to the officers in command, I returned to the
river, and prepared to start for Gondokoro in the little dingy. I did
not wish to take a large vessel, therefore I ordered Raouf Bey to fill
the noggurs with corn as rapidly as possible, and to start them off when
full to Gondokoro. The granaries on the islands were all full, and close
to the banks; therefore the vessels lay alongside, as though in a dock,
and could load with great ease.

I started in the dingy with two boatmen to row, accompanied by Monsoor
and two soldiers of "The Forty."

The stream ran at three miles and a half per hour: thus, with good
pulling, we reached head-quarters in one hour and thirty-two minutes, a
distance of about ten miles and a half.

I believe it is common to human nature to love to carry good news. The
sight of the little dingy approaching Gondokoro alone, had given rise to
all kinds of surmises, and when I reached the shore, a crowd of
officers, soldiers, sailors, and women were standing in expectation upon
the cliff. My men immediately recounted all particulars.

Great was the joy of the English party at the news of our success. This
flew through the station, and the Egyptian officers and soldiers slunk
away; whereas, the black wives of the Soudani regiment were delighted,
as they did not wish to go to Khartoum. These women were slaves that I
had liberated, and they always imagined that if they should arrive at
Khartoum, they would be sold. This home influence was of service to me.
In conversation with my "Forty Thieves" I had suggested, that perhaps on
their arrival at Khartoum, the government might not permit them to
retain so many wives in the regiment. The Soudanis are always happy if
they have a wife and plenty to eat and drink; therefore Central Africa
was preferable to their taste, where they could enjoy domestic bliss
with a young wife, instead of sitting in the sultry barracks of Khartoum
as melancholy bachelors.

I now determined to devote myself specially to the work of collecting
corn. I therefore placed all my luggage in the magazine, cleared out the
diahbeeah, and towed her up stream from my little station to
head-quarters, ready to start on the following day.

On 17th October I started at 6 a.m., and reached the island at 4 p.m.
There I found Raouf Bey, and the vessels that I had left in his charge.
He had only occupied one island, and the natives were hard at work
carrying off their corn from the islands to the south. I immediately
sent troops to take possession.

On 18th October I sent Raouf Bey to Gondokoro, with orders to despatch
to Khartoum all the really sick and incapable, but upon no account to
permit any man to return unless he was hopelessly invalided.

On 19th October, having noticed that the stream brought down numerous
stems of dhurra, I concluded that cultivated islands existed further up
the river. I therefore instructed Lieutenant Baker to sail up and
explore; at the same time he was to take possession should such islands
be discovered.

On 21st the dingy returned with a letter from Lieutenant Baker, who had,
with only ten men of "The Forty," driven out the enemy, and occupied an
island, rich in corn, further south. The dingy had been attacked on her
way by the Baris, who had shot arrows, all of which had fallen short. I
immediately started with my diahbeeah and reinforcements, and united
with Lieutenant Baker. I had now three large islands in possession. The
fertility of the soil was extraordinary. The cultivation was confined to
the rim or sides of the islands, as the centre was swampy in the wet
season, but the extreme richness of the soil produced the heaviest
crops, and the granaries were full throughout the very numerous little
villages, that were stationed around the islands.

Having worked for twelve days, during which time numerous vessels had
enlivened the river by passing to and fro heavily laden with corn,
between our granaries and Gondokoro, I received notice from the mainland
that the work of the two stations under Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet and
Major Abdullah was concluded. Achmet had thrashed out all his corn, and
was waiting for boats to convey it; and Abdullah had shipped all that he
had collected, and was waiting for orders.

I sent instructions, that Abdullah should march his detachment along the
mainland, towards the south, and occupy the villages on the high land,
exactly opposite my vessels. The country was beautifully open, like a
fine park, in long, rolling undulations, which terminated in rocky
hills, about four or five miles from the river.

On 24th October, having loaded a line of vessels that lay alongside the
island as snugly as though by an artificial quay, I was amusing myself,
together with Lieutenant Baker, in shooting ducks, which swarmed in the
neighbouring ponds and swamps. At about 4.30 p.m. I heard rapid
file-firing in the distance, and I concluded that Major Abdullah's
detachment, that was hourly expected, was attacked by the natives. I at
once returned to the diahbeeah, where my wife was stationed on the high
poop-deck, having a good view of a very pretty little engagement.

The troops were about a mile distant, and while steadily on the march
according to my instructions, they were suddenly attacked by the natives
in great force. This was a fair stand-up fight in the open. The big
drums and horns were sounding throughout the country, and the natives
were pouring from all directions to the battle.

The white uniforms of the soldiers formed a strong contrast to the black
figures of the naked Baris; thus we could see the affair distinctly. We
could also hear the orders given by bugle.

Major Abdullah had prudently secured his rear by the occupation of one
of the small villages, fortified by a hedge of impenetrable euphorbia.
He then threw out skirmishers in line, supported by the force that held
the village. The natives were yelling in all directions, and I never
before saw them make such a good fight upon the open ground. They not
only outflanked, but entirely surrounded Abdullah's detachment of ninety
men. The troops were keeping up a heavy fire, which did not appear to
produce any decided result, as the natives thronged to the fight and
advanced close up to the fire of the soldiers, whom they attacked with
bows and arrows.

I ordered our solitary field-piece to be dismounted, and placed in the
large rowing-boat, together with a rocket-trough, and the requisite
ammunition, in readiness to support Abdullah with a flank attack upon
the natives, by crossing the river, should it be necessary. As our
vessels were in close view, I waited for the signal by bugle should
Abdullah require assistance.

I had only twenty-two men of the "Forty Thieves" with me, together with
the eight artillerymen belonging to the gun. The remainder of "The
Forty" were holding the second island, about four miles in our rear.

Just before dark, I noticed that the Baris were giving way: they had
evidently suffered some loss, which caused a sudden retreat. I heard the
bugle sound "the advance," and we could see the troops advancing and
firing in pursuit. The Baris ceased blowing their horns, and collected
in dense bodies at a great distance from the troops, who had halted and
now held the position.

Only occasional shots were now fired, and the sun having set, darkness
gradually dissolved the view.

I fully expected that the Baris would renew the attack during the night,
but I knew that Abdullah was safe in his strong position within a
village, surrounded by the high and dense hedge of euphorbia; the thick,
fleshy branches of this tree are the best protection against arrows. I
ordered the boat with the gun to remain in readiness, so as to start at
a moment's notice should we hear firing renewed during the night. I
should then be able to land the gun, and take them unexpectedly on the
flank with case shot.

Morning broke without any night alarm. I had filled the vessels with the
last of the corn upon the island, therefore I determined to cross over
with my force, and to meet the detachment under Major Abdullah. This was
not easy to accomplish, as there were some awkward sand-banks in the
middle of the river. It was therefore necessary to pass up stream
between two islands, and then, by rounding the head of a point, to
descend through a channel about a hundred yards wide between the western
island and the mainland. This occupied about an hour, and we dropped
down the channel and took up an excellent position against a high shore
that formed a convenient landing-place. From this point the land rose
rapidly, and the entire landscape was covered with villages abounding in
corn. The natives appeared to have deserted the country.

Having given the necessary orders, I took my shot gun, and, accompanied
by Lieutenant Baker, Monsoor, and two soldiers of "The Forty," I walked
along the river's bank towards the village occupied by Major Abdullah's
detachment, who I imagined might have found a large quantity of corn,
which accounted for their delay in commencing the morning march.

There were great numbers of ducks and geese on the river's bank: thus as
we walked towards Abdullah's village, about a mile and a half distant,
we made a tolerable bag.

We had at length arrived within half a mile of the village, which was
situated upon high ground, about 600 yards from the river, when I
noticed a number of people issuing from the gate way carrying large
baskets upon their heads.

"The soldiers have found plenty of corn," remarked Monsoor; "they are
carrying it from the googoos."

My eyes were better than Monsoor's. I at once perceived that the people
thus employed were Baris!

We were only five guns, now separated from our vessels by about a mile,
and the troops under Major Abdullah had evidently evacuated their

Where upon earth had they gone? and for what reason? Certainly we had
the river on our right flank, but we might have been attacked and cut
off from our vessels, had the Baris the pluck to assume the offensive.

It was time to retreat, but as I wished the Baris to believe that we
felt quite at our ease, we accomplished the move very leisurely, and
strolled quietly homewards, shooting ducks and snipe as we walked along.

The moment I arrived at the vessels, I despatched a party in the
steamer's large boat, under Captain Mohammed Deii, of the "Forty
Thieves," to row down the river, and to recall Abdullah's detachment,
that must have retreated for some inconceivable reason. The current ran
at nearly four miles per hour; thus the boat would be sure to overtake

I was exceedingly annoyed. A force of ninety men had evidently been
cowed by their engagement with the natives on the previous evening, and
had retreated upon Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet's position, instead of
joining me according to orders. At the same time my vessels had been in
sight only a mile and a half distant! I was thus left with a small party
of thirty men, while ninety men had fallen back.

This was an example of the utter helplessness of the officers and men
when left to themselves. If the natives had repeated the attack, they
would most probably have got into dire confusion.

Having started the boat, I took ten men of "The Forty," and, accompanied
by Lieutenant Baker, I marched along the bank in order to meet the
detachment on their return, when recalled by Mohammed Deii. During the
march I continued to shoot ducks, as this amusement would deceive the
natives respecting the retreat of Major Abdullah, which might then be
attributed to some other cause than fear.

In about an hour, I distinguished a sail coming round the point of Gebel
(Mount) Regiaf. The wind was fair, and she quickly ran up the stream. I
now discovered that she was towing the boat that I had sent down the
river to recall Abdullah's detachment. (This was a vessel from
Gondokoro on her way for a cargo of corn. She had met the retreating
party of Abdullah, and had brought them on by the river.)

Upon her near approach, I hailed the vessel and ordered her to land the
troops (with which she was crowded) upon the west shore.

In a short time, Major Abdullah and his gallant company had landed and
formed in line.

His excuse for the precipitate retreat which he had commenced at
daybreak was, that he feared a renewed attack, and he was short of
ammunition. He had therefore determined to fall back on the station
occupied by Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet.

He appeared to have forgotten that he could have communicated with me by

I inspected the men's pouches, and found that most of them had eighteen
or twenty rounds of cartridge, while the minimum contained eleven
rounds; this is what the major considered a short supply of ammunition
for a march of a mile and a half along beautiful open country to my

He described the overwhelming number of the natives, and their extreme
bravery in the attack, which his troops had repelled without any loss to
themselves either killed or wounded. At the same time the troops under
his command had killed twenty Baris, whose bodies he had himself

I now ordered them to advance to the village, as I wished to examine the
position. Upon arrival at the spot where the battle had taken place,
there were a number of vultures settled in various spots where the
ground was marked with blood, and the cleanly-picked skeleton of a man,
lying close to the euphorbia hedge, showed that the Baris had really
come to close quarters. (The officer declared that twenty of the enemy
were slain, while the soldiers admitted that only five were killed.
There was always a gross exaggeration in the reports.)

The natives had carried off their dead, with the exception of the body
that had been cleaned by the vultures; this must have been a stranger
who had no friends, as the Baris are very particular in the interment of
their people.

I now marched my men along the high ground towards the south, and
examined the numerous habitations, until I arrived at a little colony
comprising six villages, all of which were full of corn. Here I left
Major Abdullah and his detachment, with orders to collect all the dhurra
from the neighbouring villages, and to form a central depot at his
present station, after which, the corn could be thrashed out and carried
to the vessels. I stationed a noggur by the bank exactly opposite his
position, about half a mile distant.

The natives had abandoned the neighbourhood: and hundreds of villages
remained without an inhabitant.

On 3rd November, I sent off vessels heavily laden with corn to
Gondokoro, under the command of Lieutenant Baker, with instructions that
the detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet should join me as soon as
possible, and that empty vessels should at once be sent to my corn

On 4th November, I sent fifteen of the "Forty Thieves" to the south,
where I had discovered large quantities of corn in the villages that had
been until now undisturbed. To arrive at these villages, it was
necessary to pass over very high ground, which obscured them from our
view when on the diahbeeah.

My men had built themselves huts, and had formed a nice little camp, on
the hard, stony bank, close to the spot where my diahbeeah and other
vessels lay alongside. My horses were picketed in the centre, and we had
transported and erected a great number of granaries, which I had filled
with cleanly-thrashed corn, to await the arrival of the return vessels
from Gondokoro.

I was superintending the arrangements of the camp, when my attention was
attracted by exceedingly steady firing in single shots at a distance, in
the direction taken by my small party of "The Forty." Nothing could be
seen, owing to the high ground on the south.

I immediately ordered my horse, and accompanied by Monsoor and three
soldiers of "The Forty" I rode at a trot towards the direction of the
firing. I had left a small guard with the boats, as nearly all the men
were absent in the interior collecting the ` dhurra.

After riding for about a mile and a half over high ground covered with
fine turf, from the summit of which I had a beautiful view of the
undulating country before me, with the White Nile flowing through the
valley, and high mountains in the distance, I came suddenly upon a
village, where I observed two of my "Forty" mounted as sentries upon the
summits of the tallest huts. A little in advance of this position, I
found the remainder of my party. It appeared that they had been
suddenly, attacked, but the sentries on the house-tops had given timely

There could not have been a more suitable country for rifle-practice,
as it was completely open and almost devoid of trees. The fine, swelling
undulations were intersected with deep rocky ravines at right angles to
the river, which after heavy rains brought down the torrents from the

My arrival on the summit, on a white horse, attended only by Monsoor and
three soldiers, was a signal for a great blowing of horns and beating of
drums. Immense numbers of natives were to be seen in all parts of the
view before us. They ran eagerly from their villages, and collected from
every quarter, evidently bent upon a fight with my little party.

I ordered my men to cease firing, as they were wasting their ammunition
uselessly, and destroying the prestige of the rifles by missing at long

I ordered a general advance in open order, about four yards apart; thus
twenty men covered a line of about seventy-six paces. This front, with
the men in scarlet uniform, made a tolerable show. I rode at the lead on
a very beautiful Arab, "Greedy Grey," which was the most perfect of all
the horses I had brought from Egypt: excelling in breed, speed, beauty,
and temper.

My little company marched forward in quick time. This was a signal for a
chorus of yells upon all sides; the big drums sounded louder than
before, and the horns of the Baris bellowed in every direction.

Great numbers of natives now advanced with their bows and arrows,
gesticulating and leaping from side to side in their usual manner, so as
to prevent the possibility of a steady aim.

As yet, they were about 600 yards distant, and I continued the march
forward as though no enemy were present. As we descended a ravine and
marched up the opposite incline, I found that the natives retired over
the next undulation. Their line of front extended about a mile and a
quarter, while we occupied at the most eighty paces.

Having marched about a mile without firing a shot, and finding that the
natives invariably fell back as we advanced, at the same time that they
kept the same interval between us, I at once understood their tactics.
It was now five o'clock; the sun would set within an hour, and their
intention was to draw us forward until darkness would reduce the power
of the rifles. They would then be able to surround us, and very possibly
over power our little force during our retreat to the vessels in the

I halted my men, and explained to them the Baris' dodge. I now ordered
the retreat after this manner: we should hurry down-hill and march
quickly up the next undulation, so as to deceive the enemy with the idea
of a precipitate retreat. This would induce an advance on their side.
The Baris would be certain to follow us at full speed if they supposed
we were afraid of them.

It was my intention to cross rapidly the first undulation where my men
would for a few minutes be out of view of the enemy, and there to
conceal them in a deserted village which I had noticed during our
advance. This would be an ambush that would take the Baris by surprise,
as they would imagine that we had passed ahead: they would therefore
come near the village.

The order to the "right about" was given, and my men, who took a keen
interest in the plan, commenced so precipitate a march down the hill
that my horse was forced into a jog-trot. I heard the savage yells of
the enemy, who, as I had expected, now followed us with the hope of
cutting off our retreat to the vessels.

We crossed the dry rocky bed of the torrent in the bottom, and ascended
the hill-face rapidly. Looking back, I saw the natives running at full
speed in pursuit. They began to descend the hill just as we had crossed
the summit of the high ground; thus they lost sight of us, as we quickly
concealed ourselves behind the huts and granaries of a deserted village.
I hid my horse behind a hut, and the men, having surrounded the
position, crouched low on the ground behind the most convenient cover.

Unfortunately, the natives, who were on the high ground on our right
flank as we faced about, perceived the snare, and endeavoured to give
the alarm by blowing upon their whistles of antelope's horn.

This was either misunderstood, or unheeded by the enemy in our rear, who
quickly made their appearance.

I had ordered my men to reserve their fire, and not to expend any
ammunition until the command should be given. The natives on our right
flank now passed forward, which would bring them in our rear. At the
same time, those in our front appeared in very loose and open order,
evidently looking for us in all directions.

I observed a man painted red, like a stick of sealing-wax, with large
ivory bracelets upon his arms. This fellow was in advance, and he
ascended a small ant-hill to obtain a better view.

A puff of smoke and the sharp crack of a rifle startled the enemy, as
the red sheik rolled over. The yells increased on all sides, the
whistles of the antelopes' horns now sounded a shrill alarm, during
which the leading Baris shot off their arrows, but they fell short.

Another quick shot cracked upon the body of a native, who was caught in
the arms of his comrades and dragged away as they precipitately
retreated in all directions from the dangerous locality.

My men now begged me to allow them to charge and to capture the man, who
was endeavouring to escape. I gave them leave, and a body of fifteen
dashed out in pursuit, with loud yells, after the retreating natives.
For about a minute the natives faced them and shot their arrows, but the
gallant fifteen coolly knelt upon the clear ground, and taking steady
rests upon their knees, opened a fire that drove the enemy before them.
The fifteen immediately charged forward and bayoneted a fugitive, and
returned with his bow and arrows in triumph.

The enemy had quickly the worst of it. They were now standing in all
directions at distances varying from 400 to 1,000 paces. Many of them
were actually in our rear, but I noticed that these fellows were already
opening to the right and left, as though they faltered in their
determination to resist our retreat to the vessels.

The Baris would not stand in the open ground before the sniders.

The ground was dry and dusty, thus each bullet marked its bit as the
puff of dust rose from the earth, like a jet of smoke.

Some of the enemy were knocked over at very long ranges; others were so
scared by the close practice, as the bullets either struck the ground at
their feet, or pinged close to their ears, that they cleared off as
quickly as possible. Their noisy drums had ceased, and suddenly I
perceived a general skedaddle, as those upon our right flank started off
in full speed, shouting and yelling to alarm the rest. I now
distinguished a body of troops hurrying at the double down the hill-side
in the distance. These were commanded by an active Soudani officer
(lieutenant) who had been in Mexico under Marshal Bazaine. He had heard
the firing as he was returning with his day's collection of corn to the
vessels, he had therefore dropped the corn, and hurried on with his
party to our support.

I ordered the bugler to sound the retreat: and having joined forces, we
marched without further opposition.

We reached the diahbeeah and my little camp about half an hour after



ON 6th November, 1871, Lieutenant Baker returned from Gondokoro with
four noggurs, and the entire detachment of Lieutenant-Colonel Achmet.
The news was as follows:-

After the departure of Major Abdullah, the natives had attacked the camp
of Colonel Achmet, and had wounded him in the back with a barbed arrow,
which had to be cut out. Another arrow had passed through the heart of
his servant, killing him on the spot. Several soldiers had been wounded,
but not seriously. The corn had been delivered from his station to the
magazines at Gondokoro.

On 3rd November, thirty vessels had left Gondokoro for Khartoum, taking
about 1,100 people, including children, women, sailors, soldiers, and

In spite of my positive orders, that none but the really sick should be
sent to Khartoum, Raouf Bey had in my absence sent away great numbers of
troops who were in sound health, thus reducing the entire force of the
expedition to 502 officers and men, including buglers, drummers, clerks,
&c., exclusive of fifty-two sailors.

Thus an expedition that should have comprised 1,645 men was reduced to
so insignificant a force, that it appeared impossible to proceed into
the interior. The Baris were at war with us; the slave-hunters'
companies were treacherous; and yet I was to suppress the slave trade,
and annex the equatorial districts with less than one-third of the force

Abou Saood had apparently gained his point, and the expedition was
paralyzed. It was considered that with so small a force I could not
travel far from headquarters: thus as my term of service would expire on
1st April 1873, I had only one year and four months remaining, and in
this short time it would be impossible to accomplish my object.

In the dreadful state of the river we could not speculate upon the
arrival of reinforcements from Khartoum. Our cuttings and canals in the
Dalir Giraffe might have closed up; or they might have improved: of this
we were ignorant.

I had sent off my letters to England, also those to the Khedive,
complaining of the conspiracy of the officers, and inclosing the
documents. At the same time I had impressed upon his Highness the
imperative necessity of opening the channel of the great White Nile
without delay.[*]

[*Footnote: His Highness lost no time in sending the necessary orders
for the clearing of the main channel of the White Nile to the governor
of the Soudan. This energetic officer, Ismail Ayoob Pacha, worked with a
large force during two consecutive years and restored the river to its
original character--completing the work after I had returned to England,
but before the arrival of my successor. Colonel Gordon was thus enabled
to make use of the six powerful steamers which I had sent up from Cairo
to Khartoum, and the expedition continued without hindrance.]

I had written to Djiaffer Pacha for reinforcements [*] to be sent
from Khartoum immediately, together with a large supply of dhurra.

[*Footnote: These reinforcements were thirteen months actually on the
river from Khartoum to Gondokoro, and they only arrived at the close
of the expedition.)

I had very little hope of receiving anything from the Soudan. It was
therefore necessary to make my arrangements for the future,
independently of all extraneous assistance. With 502 officers and men,
and fifty-two armed sailors, I had to accomplish the work.

The force at present with me consisted of 251 officers and men; thus I
had exactly half of the troops. Gondokoro was well fortified, and the
Belinian had been thoroughly cowed, therefore I had nothing to fear in
that quarter.

I had more than filled one of the great magazines with corn: therefore,
including the dhurra now on board several vessels, I had about twelve
months' supply for the expedition.

Although my force was terribly reduced in numbers, the men who remained
were strong and healthy. I did not despair; but I determined that this
reduction of military force should NOT paralyze the activity of the
expedition, and that in spite of every intrigue, I would succeed in the
main objects of the enterprise; the slave trade should be suppressed,
and the territory should be annexed to the equator.

On 10th November I took a hundred and fifty men in order to make a
reconnaissance of the country, at the last cataracts of the White Nile,
about six miles south of our position.

We started early, and marched along the high ground parallel with the
river, passing the spot where the natives had attacked us some days
previous. Nothing could exceed the beauty of this country as an
agricultural settlement. The long, sloping undulations were ornamented
with innumerable villages, in all of which were overflowing granaries.
On arrival at the dry bed of a broad stream, we ascended a slope, and to
my astonishment I noticed a considerable body of natives who neither ran
away nor appeared hostile in their demeanour. Leaving my rifle with
Monsoor, I rode up within fifty yards of them, apparently unarmed, but I
had a pair of breech-loading pistols in my holsters.

My Bari interpreter, Morgian, now explained, that I was only on an
exploration, and that I had no intention of disturbing their property; I
only desired to communicate with their sheik.

For the first time I received a civil answer from the Baris. They
explained, that although they were Baris, they had no connection with
the people who had fought us. They were governed by a great sheik named
Bedden, whose territory was bounded by the torrent bed that we had just
crossed. They promised that he should pay me a visit on the morrow: in
the mean tine, if we required any corn, they would supply us. This was a
politeness to which I was quite unaccustomed. I therefore thanked them,
but declined their offer, saying that I wanted nothing from them except

I now discovered, that these people had never had any communication with
the slave-traders, who were afraid to molest so powerful a tribe.

At parting, I gave them a white handkerchief as a signal to our
sentries, when they should arrive.

We then returned to our station, the troops sharing the satisfaction
that I felt in having at length discovered friends.

On the following day at about 3 p.m. the sentry on the hill called to
the guard, that a very large body of natives was approaching the

I presumed that these were the followers of Bedden. I therefore ascended
the slope and examined them with the telescope.

My suspicions were aroused from the extraordinary number of people; at
least 700 natives were accompanying their sheik.

I returned to camp, and made arrangements to receive his visit with a
guard of honour. I drew up a hundred men parallel with the river, about
fifty yards from the bank, near the bow of my diahbeeah. Fifty men were
in line at right angles with the river: thus the lines formed two sides
of a square.

In the front I placed the fieldpiece loaded with canister shot. I
intended to receive Bedden with due honour in the hollow square thus
protected. In the event of treachery, his force could be almost
annihilated by one discharge.

The hill sentry now reported the arrival of a messenger, who waved a
white handkerchief on the end of a bamboo. This was the signal agreed
upon, and the messenger was allowed to pass. He communicated the fact of
Bedden's approach: in a few minutes later the great sheik arrived.

He was very tall and gaunt; and without any delay, both he and his
people were ushered into the hollow square, where they all stuck their
lances in the ground and sat down.

I now sent for Bedden and a few of his principal men to the poop deck of
my diahbeeah, which, being covered with carpets, and arranged with sofas
and chairs, was something very astonishing to the great sheik, who had
never seen anything but a vessel in the distance.

I explained the objects of the expedition; at the same time I presented
him with a long Egyptian blue shirt that reached to his ankles, and made
him look more respectable. A crimson sash round his waist, and a red
tarboosh (fez) upon his head, improved his appearance wonderfully, and
he began to feel at home.

I presented him with six pounds of beads of various colours, together
with some strings of harness bells. Brass bugles and a large mirror
attracted more attention than any other curiosities.

I gave him a brass bugle, to his great delight. The use of the cannon
was then explained to him, and the effects of the shell were pardonably
exaggerated to produce a respect for the weapon.

He gave us six pots of merissa and some fowls, promising to come again

All these people believe in sorcery, and each sheik possesses spells and
conjurers. Tortoise shells, scales of the manis, lions' claws, and those
of the leopard, roots, knots of trees of peculiar shape, and many other
things, are worn as talismans.

My wife's parrot was supposed to be a cojoor, or fetish. This was the
grey bird of West Africa, that was unknown in these parts. The
interpreter explained that "it could speak like a human being, and that
it flew about the country and listened to what people said--all of
which it repeated to its mistress and myself; thus we knew everything
that occurred, and the natives could not deceive us." This parrot was
exceedingly tame, and was never confined. It was now walking about the
deck, and while its extraordinary powers were being described by my Bari
interpreter, Morgian, to the amazement and fear of the natives, it
advanced stoutly to the sheik Bedden, and would have bitten his big toe
had he not quickly jumped up and taken leave.

The magnetic battery and the large musical box were also believed to be

At sunset, the great sheik departed in the best of spirits, with all his
people, as he had drunk a tumbler of Marsala before he started, in order
to try the quality of our merissa.

The population of this country is very large, and the natives are good
agriculturists. Although the soil is stony, it is very productive, as
the cultivation is carefully attended to. Dhurra, sesame, dochan, and
beans, in addition to a species of Hibiscus which produces an edible
seed and also a fine fibre, are sown in exact oblongs or squares
resembling the plots in allotment-grounds in England. Near the villages
are large heaps of manure, collected from the cattle zareebas. These are
mixed with the sweepings of the stations, and the ashes from the
cattle-fires, and are divided when required among the proprietors of the

Each cow of the zareeba is entitled to a certain measure of manure at
the commencement of the rains, when all hands turn out to cultivate;
thus the owner of many cows is enabled to farm a large area.

The cows are all herded in one or two pens; thus the whole manure is
heaped, and, when divided, is measured in large baskets. It is then
distributed very thickly over the field, and is roughly hoed with the
iron molote, the seed been thrown upon the manure broadcast, previous to
the hoeing.

The geological appearance of the country would suggest the presence of
precious metals. Large masses of rose-coloured and icy-white quartz
project from the surface in dikes. These run for miles in tolerably
direct lines, like walls, from west to east. Generally the rocks are
granitic, consisting of syenite and gneiss, with micacious schist in the
lower valleys. Occasionally, dikes of basalt break through the surface,
which is generally much denuded, and the rocks are weather-worn and

I have frequently washed for gold in the most likely spots among the
deep holes of ravines, where the torrents have worn away the bed, but I
have found no sign of either precious stones or metals. Magnetic iron
ore in large quantities is the only metal to be discovered in the

On 13th November, at sunrise, Lieutenant Baker started with the troops
to convey corn from a distant village. I was sitting on the poop-deck of
the diahbeeah, enjoying a pipe and a cup of coffee, when he suddenly
galloped back with the news that a herd of bull elephants was
approaching from the west. I was not prepared for elephant-shooting, and
I recommended him to return to the troops, who would otherwise waste
their time. I had no suspicion that elephants would approach our
position after having been disturbed by the soldiers, in a country that
was perfectly open.

Lieutenant Baker cantered back to his men, while I commenced to write up
my daily journal according to my daily custom.

In about a quarter of an hour, the sentry reported a herd of elephants.
All my people clambered up upon the googoos and buts to obtain a good
view of the herd, which from the high poop-deck of the diahbeeah we
could see distinctly.

There were eleven bulls, and they were marching in close order along the
bank of the river, approaching us at about 400 yards' distance.

I should have thought it almost as likely to meet a herd of elephants in
Hyde Park as to find them in this open and thickly-populated country. I
now distinguished natives along the distant heights, all of whom were
attracted by the uncommon occurrence.

In the mean time the elephants approached, swinging their trunks and
huge ears to and fro, apparently unconscious of the presence of the
vessels and people.

I always kept my guns and ammunition in beautiful order, arranged on a
rack in the cabin. On the left-hand side were the shotguns, i.e., two
breechloading No. 12; four muzzleloading No. 10. On the right, the
rifles: the little "Dutchman," two breechloading Reilly No. 8, two
muzzleloading Holland half-pounders, that carried an iron lead-coated
explosive shell, containing a bursting charge of half an ounce of fine
grain powder. These two elephant rifles were very hard hitters, and
carried twelve drachms of powder. The ammunition for the rifles was on a
shelf that formed the rack, contained in a small bag with a simple
reload, and a large bag with a considerable supply. The small bag was
intended for the deck, should I call suddenly for a rifle.

Seeing that the elephants were so near, I at once ordered my horse,
"Greedy Grey," to be saddled, and the rifles and ammunition to be sent
after me. My servant, Suleiman, who had started with me from Alexandria,
was an honest, good creature, but so exceedingly nervous that he was
physically useless in any sudden emergency. The climate of the marshes
during our long voyage had so affected his nervous system, that any
alarm or start would set him trembling to such an extent, that his teeth
chattered as though he had been bathing in iced water. However, there
was no time to lose, as I expected that should the elephants observe our
vessels, and the troops in their scarlet uniform, they would immediately
wheel round and be off, at the pace which an African elephant knows so
well how to use.

I quickly mounted "Greedy Grey" and told Suleiman to send on my rifles
directly, with ammunition.

I ordered my men to run up the heights, and to come down at about 200
paces in the rear of the elephants, where they were to form a line as
though in skirmishing order. This line of red shirts would most probably
check the elephants from rushing back. My men had orders to fire at the
elephants, and to endeavour to turn them should they attempt a retreat.

I was now on "Greedy Grey;" the sloping ground was as clean as a
race-course, I therefore galloped up the incline so as to keep above the
elephants. The horse flew along at full speed. At this moment, a chorus
of shouts from great numbers of natives who had collected on the east
bank of the river was raised in admiration of the white horse, which
they probably thought would in some manner seize the elephants.

In a very few seconds I reined up on the slope, about a hundred yards
above the herd, which had now halted close to the river's bank. They
regarded the horse with some curiosity, and massed themselves together.

In the meantime, my "Forty," who were capital runners, were moving
rapidly along the heights, and they presently came down, and formed in a
long, open line from the edge of the river up the slope. During this
operation, the elephants only moved their ears and trunks, but remained
in the same position. They were now completely surrounded; the diahbeeah
and my people were in their front, I was above them on one flank, and
the servants were coming up with the rifles. In their rear was a line of
about twenty soldiers, and on the other flank was the deep river, about
110 yards wide from the mainland to the island.

Just as the rifles were within a few yards of me and I was preparing to
dismount, the elephants wheeled suddenly round, and took to water.

They had been standing in a low, swampy spot that was frequently
overflowed: thus they had no difficulty in descending to the river.
Close to this place, the banks were perpendicular, and as hard as brick.

I ran down to the river, but by the time of my arrival, the elephants
had gained the opposite bank; there, however, they were in a difficulty.
The water was deep, and the shore of the island was perpendicular, and
about six feet above the water. They could not get out without breaking
down the bank so as to form an incline. Already these enormous
creatures, which are accustomed to such difficulties, were tearing down
the earth with their tusks and horny-toed feet; still it was a work of
time, that gave me a good opportunity.

It was difficult to obtain a shot, as the elephants were end on. The
distance was about 110 yards, which is very uncertain for so large an
animal, that must be struck exactly in the right place.

I fired several shots with the No. 8 breechloader, aimed at the back of
their heads, but none of these were successful.

Monsoor had the ammunition, and reloaded for me. The stunning effect of
the heavy metal confused the animals and caused one to fall backward
into the scrambling herd. This turned an elephant sideways. The bank had
already given way and had fallen in large masses into the water, which
reduced the depth. The elephants, which had now gained a muddy footing,
ploughed and tore down the yielding earth with redoubled vigour, as my
men in great excitement opened a hot fire upon them with the snider
rifles. These had about as much effect as though they had been pelted
with stones.

Presently, as the depth was lessened by the falling bank, the elephants
showed more body above the surface. The splashing and scrambling was
extraordinary; at length a large bull half ascended the bank, and for a
moment exposed his flank; I fired a quick right and left shot with a
Reilly No. 8 behind his shoulder, and he fell backwards into the river,
where he commenced a series of wild struggles that brought him within
twenty yards of me, and I sent a ball into his head which killed him.
The powerful stream at once carried away the floating carcase.

The bank had now completely given way, and an elephant was nearly on the
summit. I fired at him with one of the Holland half-pounders, which by
the recoil flew out of my hands for a distance of several yards; this
was loaded with twelve drachms of fine-grain powder. The elephant fell
on his knees on the steep incline, and was bagged to all intents and
purposes, but believing that I had plenty of ammunition at hand, I fired
another half-pounder into his shoulder, which killed him on the spot,
and he rolled into the water, and the current took him away.

I immediately sent a man to order boats, with ropes and axes, to follow
the carcases.

In the mean time I fired my last No. 8 into the shoulder of an elephant
that had just climbed the bank and gained the island. I now had a
glorious opportunity of a shoulder-shot at every animal as it should
ascend the steep incline.

My ammunition was exhausted! My servant, Suleiman, had sent the little
bag that contained only one reload for the breech-loaders, and no
powder flask or shells for the half-pounders. I had now the annoyance of
witnessing the difficult ascent of the elephants in single file,
exposing their flanks in succession to the shoulder-shot, while I
remained a helpless looker-on.

I had thus bagged only two out of eleven, but these were killed at very
long shots (about 110 yards).

The half-pounder rifles were the same calibre and pattern as that
described in "The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia" as "the Baby." These
were made by Mr. Holland of Bond Street, and are the most overpowering
rifles I ever used. They were certain to kill the elephant, and to half
kill the man who fired them with twelve drachms of fine-grain powder. I
was tolerably strong, therefore I was never killed outright; but an Arab
hunter had his collar-bone smashed by the recoil, when the rifle was
loaded with simple coarse-grain powder. If he had used fine grain, I
should hardly have insured his life.

The elephants having gained the island, remained some time exposed,
before they made up their minds to cross to the other side.
Unfortunately, the boats had followed the carcases of the elephants down
the river, which were two miles distant before they could be secured;
therefore we had no means of reaching the island. Our vessels could not
have crossed, as there were many rocks below stream.

I therefore took a few shots with Hale's rockets, one of which just
grazed the rump of an elephant, and sent them off in great astonishment.
We then tried a few shots with the fieldpiece, but the gun made bad
practice, and the shells exploded very wildly and not according to the
distances regulated by the fuses.

The specific gravity of the elephant differs considerably from that of
the hippopotamus. The latter animal invariably sinks when killed, and
the body rises to the surface in about two hours, when the gas has
distended the stomach. The body of an elephant floats on the surface
immediately that it is killed, and is capable of supporting one or more
persons. The cavity of the carcase is much larger in the elephant than
in the hippopotamus; the latter is a dense mass of flesh, covered by an
exceedingly thick and heavy skin, the specific gravity of which is
considerably greater than water.



The moral result of the elephant hunt was very satisfactory, at the same
time most unexpected.

The sound of cannon had been heard by the natives for many miles; this
had awakened their curiosity, and numbers had sped from the surrounding
heights and satisfied themselves that several elephants had been killed.
The natives of Bedden flocked to our little camp in hundreds, and were
delighted at receiving permission to take as much elephant's flesh as
they required. They raced along the bank for a couple of miles to the
spot where the two elephants had been secured by my people, and towed
upon a sand-bank.

I had sent down a noggur to make sure of the heads, as the opportunity
of obtaining entire skulls seldom offered. These two heads had now been
brought safely to camp, and the natives were employed in cleaning every
atom of flesh from the bone.

In the mean time, great numbers of our enemies were to be seen squatting
upon the heights, watching the happier Baris of Bedden, who had
congregated like vultures in the river, and were quarrelling and
scrambling over the immense carcases of the elephants. The temptation
was too great to withstand. Who could resist flesh? The mouths of our
enemies were watering, as they watched the heavy loads of red meat
carried upon the heads of the rival Baris. In the afternoon, a messenger
hailed the sentry to say that one of the sheiks wished to present
himself to me to crave a cessation of hostilities. Shortly after the
disappearance of this man with a courteous answer, a batch of messengers
arrived to beg that their chief might be received, as they all desired

On the following morning I held a general levee. About twenty headmen,
or sheiks of principal villages, attended by many of their people, came
to present themselves and to sue for peace. I received the chiefs on my
diahbeeah, and each received a present of a long blue shirt as he
stepped on board. They now seated themselves by Bedden, and a general
explanation took place.

I assured them of my regret that they had forced me into war, as my
mission to the country had been one of peace; at the same time they must
have seen how impossible it was to resist the troops who were armed with
weapons of precision, and drilled in a manner very different from the
companies of slave-hunters.

I told them that I had many thousand cattle, and that had they agreed to
sell me the corn that was absolutely needed for the troops, I should
have paid for it punctually with cows, as I had promised them when I
first entered their district. I also explained that, as they must have
observed, I had never taken a single head of cattle from them, although
I had frequently heard the lowing of their oxen. I had adopted this
conduct, although in actual war, merely to impress upon them the fact
that they might depend upon my word. I had offered to exchange my cattle
for their corn; thus had I taken their cattle, they might have
disbelieved my sincerity.

They replied, that "it must be expected that little differences would
occur at the beginning." They had been incited against us by the Baris
of Belinian, and the war was entirely their own fault. At the same time
they laughed, and said that "hunger was a very bad thing, and that
hungry men would always fill their stomachs, if they could, therefore we
had been quite right to take their corn." They declared that it did not
in the least matter, as the islands were very fertile, and would produce
another crop very quickly; in the mean time they had a good supply
concealed, and their loss only necessitated a little extra labour.

They continued this peaceable conversation by saying, that "the
elephants were seldom seen in this district, and that the Baris did not
understand such hunting, but they had heard the cannons, and they knew
that we should be able to kill them." The meeting concluded by a request
for meat; and the sheiks having given instructions to certain
messengers, despatched them to summon their people to the sand-bank,
where the remains of the elephants were lying.

In a short time, swarms of natives, lately our enemies, were collecting
from all quarters, and hurrying towards the attractive spot, as though
they were going to a fair.

I gave the headmen [*] a present of beads, and took them to admire
themselves in the large glass within the cabin of the diahbeeah. I
scrambled some pounds of beads among their people, and got up foot-races
for prizes.

[*Footnote: The superior chief was presented with a costume which
delighted him. This was a long blue shirt with red waist-band, a bright
tin funnel inverted to form a helmet with a feather in the tube, and a
pair of spectacles. He declared that he would be "the admiration of the

The natives selected some of their best runners; but although they ran
well, they were all beaten by Ali Nedjar of the "Forty Thieves," who was
the champion runner of the expedition.

The sheiks requested that the cannon might be fired for their amusement.
A shot with blank cartridge made them look very serious. They then went
to look at the two elephants' heads, which they believed had been blown
off by the cannon on the day of the hunt.

They returned to the diahbeeah, and ordered their people to bring the
present they had prepared for me. This consisted of thirty-one jars of
merissa, each of which was duly tasted by themselves as a proof of the
absence of poison.

Before they departed, I was assured, not only of their regret that any
misunderstanding should have taken place, but that after their bean
crop, which would be in about two months, they would unite with Bedden
and carry all my baggage into the interior. They took leave and went off
in the direction of the dead elephants.

Here was a sudden change in the politics of the country! Peace had been
effected by the sacrifice of two elephants!

This peace was the result of greediness and envy. The natives had pined
for the flesh, and envied the Baris of Bedden who were carrying it away;
therefore they sued for peace.

At the same time, they had originally declined my offer of a large herd
of cattle that would have been worth a hundred elephants. Thus they had
courted war, in which they had lost some of their people, together with
much corn, all of which they might have sold for cows; and they now
desired peace, only to join in the scramble, like vultures, over the
flesh of two elephants.

African negroes are incomprehensible people, and they cannot be judged
by the ordinary rules of human nature. It was easy to understand, that
if they desired peace upon so frivolous a pretext, they would plunge
into war with the same frivolity--with a "coeur leger."

As each division of the district quickly followed the example of another
in desiring peace, in like manner would they follow an evil example in
provoking hostilities.

They had now professed friendship for the sake of a few steaks. They had
promised to carry our baggage into the interior. If they would only be
true to this offer, I should be able to transport the steamer, as the
natives could easily drag the two-wheeled carts. Although I doubted
their professions, I had some secret hopes of success, and I resolved to
do all in my power to establish confidence. I therefore invited two very
intelligent natives to pay me a visit, and to reside some time at
Gondokoro, where they would witness the general management of the
station, and see the workshops, &c. They would also see the vast herds
of cattle belonging to the government, the spoil of the Bari war. This
would be a sight most interesting to the eyes of Baris, as it would be a
lesson of the great power of the government to either punish or reward.

In the afternoon I was visited by other native headmen from the east
side of the Nile. These people had swum the river, and had followed the
example of the other natives to sue for peace, and to beg for elephant's

This extraordinary craving for flesh would suggest that the Baris were
devoid of cattle. On the contrary, there are countless herds throughout
the country; but the natives have a great objection to kill them, and
merely keep the cows for their milk, and the bullocks to bleed.

The cows are also bled periodically, and the blood is boiled and eaten,
much in the same manner that black pudding is used throughout Europe. A
herd of cattle will thus provide animal food without the necessity of

The great traveller, Bruce, was discredited for having described a fact
of which he was an eye-witness. This was the vivisection of a cow,
driven by natives, who cut a steak out of her hind-quarters.

I had a bull with a very large hump. (This bull was left at Fort
Fatiko.) This animal was very handsome, and was kept for stock. I
observed that the skin of the hump showed a long jagged scar from end to
end, and my people assured me that this bull had frequently been
operated upon. It had been the property of one of the slave-hunters'
parties, and they had been in the habit of removing the hump (as a
surgeon would a tumour). This is the most delicate portion of the meat,
and I was assured that the hump would always be replaced by a similar
growth after each operation.

On 18th November, I commenced the march homewards. The natives were now
friendly throughout the route, and my men were strictly forbidden to
enter a village. There was a great change in my officers and troops;
they had fallen into my ways and obeyed every order with alacrity. They
had learned to place thorough reliance upon any plans that were
arranged; and, now that they knew the necessity of obedience and
discipline, they had, imperceptibly to themselves, changed from ruffians
into very orderly soldiers.

On the march homewards, upon arrival at the foot of a mountain, I made
an excursion inland, as this was a portion of the country that I had not
yet visited, though only six miles from Gondokoro. The natives were very
shy, but I at length succeeded in obtaining an interview with their
sheik, a tall powerful fellow, named Meri. I explained that I required
no corn, nor any supplies, except stone. (This sheik Meri and his
people always remained faithful to the government from that day.)

The country abounded with pieces of gneiss with a very straight
cleavage, that suited them admirably for building purposes. All the
granaries of this country were supported upon pillars formed of single
stones, about three feet long. The houses were also protected by large
flat stones arranged like tiles around the base, and thus securing the
sides from the driven storms of rain.

On 19th November, I returned to Gondokoro highly satisfied with the
result of the campaign. Not only were my magazines all filled with more
than twelve months' supply of corn, but I had established peace
throughout a large and powerful district, and I had received promises of
assistance, and an assurance of allegiance to the government.

Abou Saood, who had received permission to go to Khartoum, had only gone
down the river as far as his station at the Bohr. There he had made
arrangements with his people that the ivory from Latooka station, 100
miles east of Gondokoro, should avoid my head-quarters, and be conveyed
by an oblique course to the Bohr. By this swindle, the government would
be cheated out of the share of two-fifths of the ivory which belonged to
them by contract with Agad & Co.

Abou Saood having personally witnessed the departure of the troops to
Khartoum, considered his game as won, and that the expedition, now
reduced to only 502 officers and men, would be compelled to centralize
at Gondokoro, without the possibility of penetrating the interior. He
had thus started for his stations in the distant south, where he
intended to incite the natives against the government, to prevent me
from following out my plans with the small force at my disposal.

This was the first time in the career of Abou Saood that he had ever
travelled inland. He had for many years been in the habit of arriving at
Gondokoro from Khartoum with the annual vessels from Agad & Co.,
bringing new levies of brigands together with fresh supplies of arms and
ammunition. He then remained at Gondokoro for several weeks, and
received the ivory and slaves collected from his various stations in the
interior with which he returned to Khartoum.

The necessity of the occasion induced him to use much personal activity.
Knowing well the date when my term of service would expire, he had only
one object, in which he had already nearly succeeded,--this was to
prevent the possibility of my advance within the given period.

It was therefore necessary for him to visit his stations, and to warn
his people to hold both their slaves and ivory until I should be
withdrawn from Gondokoro by the expiration of my term of service; after
which, he had no doubt that things would quickly return to their former
happy state. By these means he would be able to cheat the government out
of the two-fifths of all ivory; he would preserve his slaves; and a
judicious present to some high official would reinstate him in his
original position as the greatest slave-hunter of the White Nile; with
the additional kuilos of having battled the Christian Pacha.

I had already written to assure the Khedive that, should my work not be
satisfactorily accomplished at the expiration of my term of service, I
should continue at my post until I could honourably resign the command,
when the government should be firmly established in the interior.

I now devoted every energy to the preparations for starting, together
with the English engineers and the steamer. Having given the necessary
instructions to the engineer in chief, Mr. Higginbotham, I had no
anxiety, as I felt sure that everything would be in order.

The carts were to be thoroughly examined, and the No. 3 steamer of 38
tons was to be divided in parcels; the small work secured in loads of
fifty pounds, each sewn up in raw hide, and the heavier portions divided
among the carts.

The officers were now perfectly resigned to their lot. The remnant of
the Egyptian force had been converted into artillery-men, and all the
Soudanis formed one regiment.

While Mr. Higginbotham was engaged in the work of arranging and packing,
my masons were busy in making bricks, as I wished eventually to build
the barracks of this solid material, instead of trusting to the
dangerously inflammable straw-huts. I had already written to England for
sufficient galvanized iron for 3,000 feet of building in actual length.

Although galvanized iron is hot in a tropical climate, it can easily be
protected from the sun by a light framework of canes slightly thatched.
My Soudanis were never overpowered by heat, as they had been born in a
high temperature.

On my return to Gondokoro, I found that Meri's natives had collected a
large quantity of stones, and they had sent to request a vessel to
transport them. I gave them a cow, and they had a general dance. This
reception seemed to delight them, and they returned to their villages,
accompanied by a noggur with an officer and twenty men. I gave strict
orders that no soldier should enter a native hut under any pretext.

The Bari war was over. Upon every side the natives had been thoroughly
subdued. I now heard from our Bari interpreters, Sherroom and Morgian,
that the Sheik Allorron was willing to sue for peace, and to declare his
allegiance to the government.

Abou Saood and his people had departed; thus the evil spirit was
withdrawn that had hitherto covertly incited the natives against the
government, and the effect of his absence was immediately apparent.

I devoted my attention to the final preparations for the start, and to
the necessary instructions for the command of the station during my
absence. The officers found that it was now impossible to resist their
destiny; and Raoul Bey, the colonel, who had, against orders, sent off
so many troops to Khartoum who were in good health, now discovered that
he would be left with a comparatively small force to hold the important
position at head-quarters.

The troops who had been employed under my personal command, were very
anxious to accompany me into the equatorial district.

There was no more fighting. All my hopes of peace were at length
realized. The nights were always undisturbed, and the sentries might
have indulged in sleep without the slightest danger. A dead calm had
succeeded to the excitement of constant watchfulness.

I now employed the "Forty Thieves" in making salt. There were peculiar
surface mines within a mile of my little station. These were situated
upon a sandy loam on the banks of a brackish lake, that swarmed with

The salt always showed upon the surface after a shower of rain had been
evaporated by the sun. This efflorescence, together with sand and other
impurities, was scraped from the earth with large mussel shells. It was
then placed in earthen-ware vessels containing about five gallons. There
were pierced with holes in the bottom, which were covered with a wisp of
straw as a strainer. The jars, being full of salt and sand, were watered
occasionally, and the brine accordingly filtered through to a receiver.
The contents were boiled, and produced the finest chloride of sodium.

The natural productions of the neighbourhood were salt, iron, tamarinds,
the oil-nut tree; and the cultivation of the natives was principally
Hibiscus hemp, tobacco, varieties of beans, sesame, dhurra, and dochan
(millet). I endeavoured to persuade the Baris to cultivate and prepare
large quantities of the Hibiscus hemp, which would be extremely valuable
in the Soudan. The Baris used it for nets and fishing-lines.

The tamarinds were of two varieties, and were produced in extraordinary
quantities. About two miles from head-quarters, there was an extensive
portion of the forest composed almost exclusively of these magnificent

The forest was also rich in the tree known by the Arabs as "heglik" This
bears a fruit about the size of a date (lalobe), which is a combination
of sweet, bitter, and highly aromatic. My men collected several
hundredweight, as I wished to try an experiment in distilling. There was
an excellent copper still in the magazine, and I succeeded in producing
a delicious spirit somewhat resembling kirschenwasser.

My cotton was now ripe, and I cleaned it with a small hand gin that
could be worked by two men. This greatly interested the Bari visitors,
who, by my special invitation, had been residing for some time at

The dry season had been very unfavourable for cotton; nevertheless, the
quality was good, and proved that it would thrive in the locality. The
species that was indigenous grew to a great size, and seemed to defy the
drought. This bore a red blossom, and the pod was small. The native
cotton was of short staple, and adhered strongly to the seed.

On 29th November, two Arabs arrived from Abou Saood's Latooka station,
100 miles east of Gondokoro: they had travelled at night, and were
deserters from the vakeel. One of these fellows turned out to be my old
follower during my former journey, Mohammed the camel-driver, and he
literally cried with joy when he saw my wife and me again. He gave me
all the news from the slave-traders' camp, which was full of slaves, and
they were afraid that I might arrive, as they were aware that I knew the
road. The vakeel of Latooka had received and harboured two of my
Egyptian soldiers, who had deserted from Gondokoro and joined the
slave-hunters under the guidance of a Bari.

On 1st December, Lieutenant Baker shot a fine bull elephant, with very
large tusks; this was within four miles of head-quarters. At this
season they were very numerous in the neighbourhood of Gondokoro. During
my absence to the south of Regiaf, there had been a curious nocturnal
alarm in the station.

Upon a fine moonlight night the sentries were astonished by the
appearance of two immense bull elephants, that, having marched along the
cliff, took the fort in the rear on the river side.

The fort was a redan, open at the river base; thus, unheeding the
sentry, the elephants coolly walked into the centre. The sentry's musket
was immediately responded to by the guard; the buglers, startled by a
sharp fire of musketry, blew the alarm.

The elephants, now alarmed in their turn, rushed onwards, but upon
ascending the earthwork, they were met by a deep yawning ditch, which
they could not cross. The whole force turned out, and the attack on the
thick-skinned intruders became general. The bullets flew so wildly that
it was more dangerous for bystanders than for the elephants.

In the mean while, the panic-stricken animals charged wildly in all
directions, but were invariably stopped by the ditch and rampart, until
at last they happened to find the right direction, and retreated by
their original entrance, most probably not much the worse for the

Mr. Higginbotham, who gave me this account, described the excitement of
the troops as so intense, that they let their muskets off completely at
random: and so thick were the bullets in his direction, that he was
obliged to take shelter behind a white-ant hill.

I had no time to devote to elephant-shooting, otherwise I might have
killed a considerable number in the neighbourhood of Gondokoro. The
Baris are not good hunters, and they merely catch the elephants in
pitfalls; therefore, being free from attack, these animals are
exceedingly daring, and easy to approach.

They are generally attracted by the ripe lalobes, the fruit already
described of the heglik (Balanites Egyptiaca). The trees, if of medium
size, are frequently torn down for the sake of this small production,
that would appear too insignificant for the notice of so huge an animal.

I once had an opportunity of witnessing an elephant's strength exerted
in his search for this small fruit. I was in the Shir country, and one
evening, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker, I strolled into the forest,
about half a mile from our vessels, to watch for waterbuck (Redunca
Ellipsiprymna) in a small glade where I had shot one on the previous

We had not long been concealed, when I heard a peculiar noise in the
thick forest that denoted the approach of elephants.

We at once retreated to some rising ground about 150 paces distant, as
our small rifles would have been useless against such heavy game. In a
short time several elephants appeared from various portions of the
covert, and one of extraordinary size moved slowly towards us, until he
halted beneath a tall, spreading heglik. This tree must have been nearly
three feet in diameter, and was about thirty feet high from the ground
to the first branch; it was therefore impossible for the elephant to
gather the coveted fruit. To root up such a tree would have been out of
the question. The elephant paused for a short time, as though
considering; he then butted his forehead suddenly against the trunk. I
could not have believed the effect: this large tree, which was equal in
appearance to the average size of park-timber, quivered in every branch
to such a degree, that had a person taken refuge from an elephant, and
thought himself secure in the top, he would have found it difficult to
hold on.

When the lalobes fall, they must be picked up individually and although
the trouble appears disproportioned to the value of the fruit, there is
no food so much coveted by elephants.

Near this spot, on the following day, I had a close adventure with a
hippopotamus. I had gone to the same place where I had seen the
elephants, and I was returning through the forest within a few yards of
the river margin, when, upon suddenly turning round a dense thorn-bush,
I came within four or five paces of a large bull hippopotamus. This
animal had left the river for an evening ramble on the shore, and was
munching some succulent grass with such gusto that he had not heard my
approach. Unfortunately, I had come upon him exactly at right angles,
which restricted my shot to the temple. This is the most difficult of
penetration in the hippopotamus.

I only had the "Dutchman," and my attendant Monsoor carried a snider
rifle; thus we were badly armed for so impenetrable a beast. I fired
just in front of the ear, certainly within fifteen feet. The only effect
produced was a shake of his head, and he appeared rather stupid, as
though stunned. The left-hand barrel followed quickly upon the right.
Monsoor fired with his snider. The "Dutchman," being a breechloader, was
ready again, and we fired into this stupid-looking brute as though he
had been a target, and with about the same effect.

Suddenly, as though we had just awakened him, he turned round and bolted
into a dense mass of thorns, about thirty paces before us.

In the mean time, the troops at the vessels, that were within about 300
paces, having heard the rapid and continued firing, supposed that I had
been attacked by the natives. The "Forty Thieves" rushed to the rescue.
I heard the bugle, and presently the voices of the men as they
approached, running through the bush at full speed. The hippopotamus had
moved from his thorny retreat, and was walking slowly forward, when he
was stumbled against by "The Forty," some of whom literally ran against

The animal appeared quite stunned and stupid, and he merely stood and
stared at his new assailants. The sight was perfectly ridiculous. Every
rifle was fired into him; but the hollow bullets of the sniders had no
penetration, and we might as well have peppered the stone bulls of
Nineveh, in the British Museum. At length, after having been the centre
of a blaze of fireworks, as every man did his best to kill him during
the space of about a minute, he coolly approached the edge of the cliff,
which was quite perpendicular and about eighteen feet high.

A tremendous splash was the end of the encounter, as the hippo committed
himself to the deep, with a clumsy jump from the midst of the
disappointed soldiers.

I was constantly annoyed by the want of penetration of the Boxer hollow
bullets. The "Dutchman" carried three drachms of No. 6-grain powder,
which should have driven a solid bullet through a large antelope; but
the hollow Boxer projectile invariably disappeared in small fragments
upon striking a bone; or it expanded, and had no further penetrating
power after striking a thick hide.

The sniders, although admirable military weapons, possessed a very small
power of penetration. I have frequently seen the bodies of natives with
only one bullet-mark; and I have extracted bullets that ought to have
passed completely through.

My "Forty Thieves" were now proud of themselves as experienced in
various sports, and they were terribly disgusted at the escape of the
hippopotamus. They were never idle for a single day. If no other work
was on hand, I practised them at the target, or they were treated to a
few hours' drill.

Sometimes I took them fishing: this was always a great amusement, as the
expedition was well furnished with nets.

There was a small lake near my station that abounded in fish. One of my
sailors belonging to the diahbeeah was a professional fisherman,
descended from a race of this calling. I had therefore intrusted him
with the charge of the nets. All the sailors of the diahbeeah were good
men, but the fisherman, Howarti, was the best of the picked crew. He was
a Nubian, born in Khartoum, and of an exceedingly light colour. His
style of beauty was rather spoiled by the loss of one eye, and
altogether his personal appearance was not attractive; but he was very
strong, although a small man, and in any case of emergency he was the
most active and intelligent sailor. Howarti was always the first man to
leap overboard with the tow rope, when it became necessary to drag the
vessel against wind and stream: he was, like all Nubians, an admirable

Our comfort had depended much upon this man throughout the expedition,
as he was the only person who could properly throw a casting-net. Thus
he had always supplied us with excellent fish. I often admired his
perseverance, when, after twenty or thirty barren casts, he rested for a
while, cleaned his net, and waded, in spite of crocodiles, to seek a
more likely spot to catch fish for breakfast, at a time when this meal
would depend entirely upon his success. At such times I frequently
advised him as a good Mohammedan to say "Bismillah" (in the name of God)
before he threw the net. On the first occasion, before I gave him this
advice, he had had extremely bad luck, and he told me that "something
was wrong with the fish;" as he had thrown his net for an hour without
catching anything, except a few uneatable spike-fish.

I advised him to come with me in the dingy; and having rowed a short
distance, we arrived at a sand-bank in the bend of the river. Here we
landed, and I found fault with Howarti for omitting to say "Bismillah!"

"Will it do any good?" asked the profane Howarti. "Try," I replied; "you
know the opinion of Mohammedans; now then, Howarti, say 'Bismillah,' and
throw just in that hole close to the weeds. Spin your net so that it
shall fall perfectly round, and advance very quietly to the edge, so
that your shadow shall not disturb the fish."

"Bismillah!" ejaculated Howarti, and he crept cautiously forward to a
very likely-looking hole. "Bismillah!" and with a dexterous throw, the
net described an exact circle as it fell evenly upon the water.

No sooner had the fisherman commenced to tighten the crown line, when
the rapid and powerful jerks showed that he had something good within
his net. "Now, Howarti, look sharp! the bottom is clean sand: haul away,
and don't give them time to burrow beneath the leads."

Howarti hauled away, and as the net came near the shore, there was such
a splashing and jumping as he had rarely seen. The net came in upon the
clean sand-bank, and we counted upwards of forty fine boulti, several of
about four pounds, and the smallest about half a pound weight.

Howarti, having counted his fish, exclaimed, piously,
"Elliambd-el-Illah!" and added: "In future I shall always say

Howarti cleaned his net: the fish were placed in a basket, and were
covered with some river-weed to keep them fresh.

Once more the fisherman arranged his net upon his arm, and cautiously
approached a most inviting little nook, where some large lotus leaves
floating on the surface denoted a medium depth.

"Now then, Howarti, throw very carefully, so as to spread your net in
that open space among the lilies, and take care to avoid the leaf stems
that would lift the leads."

"Bismillah!" away flew the net, which fell in a circle, exactly in the
spot desired.

It was amusing to watch the usually stolid countenance of Howarti, that
was now expressive of intense curiosity.

The crown-line jerked and tugged even more than at the first lucky
throw. Howarti cleverly and cautiously landed his net. It contained a
regular "miraculous draught," including a Nile carp of about nine

"That will do, Howarti," I exclaimed; "we have fish enough for all the
people on the diahbeeah, as well as for the officers of 'The Forty.'"
The basket would not contain them; therefore the larger fish were laid
upon grass in the bottom of the boat, and we returned home.

Howarti now divided the fish according to orders, and explained to the
delighted crowd the extraordinary effect of the word "Bismillah," which
insured a netful at every cast.

On the following morning, at sunrise, the now pious Howarti went out as
usual with his casting-net accompanied by a sailor, who carried the
largest basket he could procure.

We had moved our position, and there was no sand-bank in the

After an absence of about two hours, Howarti returned, together with his
companion and the large basket. This contained a few small fish hardly
sufficient for our breakfast.

"Ah, Howarti!" I exclaimed, "you are a bad Mussulman--you have
forgotten to say 'Bismillah.'"

"Indeed," replied the dejected fisherman, "I repeated 'Bismillah' at
every cast; but it's of no use saying 'Bismillah' in deep water; nothing
will catch them in the deep, and I can catch them without 'Bismillah' in
the shallows."

Howarti was not a fanatical Mohammedan. Poor fellow he never lived to
return with us to Khartoum: his melancholy death will be described

In fishing in the lake at Gondokoro Howarti had the usual charge of the
proceedings. We dragged a boat across the neck of land from the river,
and having launched it, we first laid a stop net 140 yards in length
along the bank of bulrushes that grew in water about five feet deep;
this was to stop the fish from running into the rushes on the advance of
the drag-net.

We now dragged a portion of the lake towards the stop-net, intending to
land it upon an incline where the water was extremely shallow.

The "Forty Thieves" hauled away steadily enough until the net came close
in. At that moment several immense fish dashed about within the narrowed
inclosure; these created such excitement, that the men rushed into the
water to secure them, which ended in the escape of the greater portion
of the fish.

The next haul was very successful, and after fishing for  about two
hours, we caught 434 fine fish, one of which weighed 40 lbs. and another
26 lbs. I sent 200 to head-quarters for the troops.

The greater number of these fish were boulti and baggera, both of which
are species of perch, and are delicious eating. I have never caught a
boulti larger than five pounds, but the baggera grows to an immense
size, and I have seen them about 150 lbs. or more. I once weighed a
baggera upwards of 130 lbs., but they are said to attain a weight of
several hundreds.

I have formerly described the beauty of this salmon-coloured fish in
"The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia."

It is well known that in all countries the same species of fish differs
in flavour and quality according to the water in which it is caught;
thus the boulti and baggera are almost worthless in the lower Nile,
compared with the same fish of the upper river.

Travellers may often unjustly condemn a fish as worthless, because it
may have been out of season when they had the opportunity of eating it.

I never tasted any fresh-water fish superior to a boulti, slightly
salted, and smoked for twelve or eighteen hours.

In hot climates all fish should be split down the back, and laid open;
they should then be salted and should lie for a few hours to drain;
after which they should be hung over the smoke of a dry-wood fire. This
treatment renders them delicious for immediate use, but if required to
keep, they must be smoked for a couple of days, and then be highly dried
in the sun.

The 14th December was the Mohammedan holiday called the "Ume el Ete," on
which day every person, however poor he or she may be, is supposed to
dress in new clothes.

We had now been upwards of twelve months without communication with
Khartoum. The soldiers' clothes were reduced to rags, as they had
suffered much from hard work and fighting in thorny bush. The whole
force was in despair: they were in arrears of pay, they were without
clothes; the festival was close at hand, and instead of turning out in
finery, they would be dirty, dingy, and ragged.

Every one was downcast. The troops could not possibly start with me to
the interior, to represent the government in a state of rags or nudity.

On 13th December, the day preceding the festival, I summoned the
officers to the magazine, in which I fortunately had all that could be
required. The merchandise and general stores that I had purchased in
England had no connection with the army clothing and stores which should
have been supplied for the troops from Khartoum. This supply had been
impossible owing to the state of the river.

I served out new clothing for the entire expedition. I arranged that 212
officers and men should accompany me to the interior. To these I gave
scarlet flannel shirts and white trousers. The officers received all
that they required, and the men were allowed to purchase from the
government stores any articles that they considered necessary for
themselves or their wives.  (There was no cash at Gondokoro; thus, in
the absence of pay, the soldiers were contented with the supplies from
the magazine which furnished all their wants.)

On 14th December the cannons fired at sunrise to proclaim the holiday. I
rode up to head-quarters and inspected the troops on parade, all in
their new uniforms. Every man was in a good humour, and they burst out
into three cheers as I completed the inspection and addressed a few
words to them.

The men's wives were decked out with gaudy colours, and were happy in
proportion to the amount of red and yellow.

The troops and sailors were astonished at the unfailing contents of the
magazines, which established confidence that should we be positively cut
off from all communication with Khartoum, we were nevertheless
independent of supplies.

Everything was in order at Gondokoro. The natives were at peace; food
was abundant; the station securely fortified.

I now determined to penetrate into the south, and to carry a steamer in
sections to N. lat. 3 degrees 32 minutes, where she would be constructed
by the Englishmen, and launched on the navigable river above the last
cataracts, to open the communication with the Albert N'yanza.

All intrigues and opposition to the expedition had been overcome.
Although my force was small, the men were full of confidence, and
promised to follow wheresoever I might lead.



Military critics will condemn my arrangements for an advance south.

My original plans had been well laid. A line of fortified posts was to
have been established throughout the country at intervals of three days'
march. This would have assured an open communication with Gondokoro.

Unfortunately, my force had been 350 men short of the number stipulated;
and the 1,200 men that had once been reviewed at Gondokoro had been
reduced to 500.

I could not leave a smaller force at head-quarters than 340 men,
including the 52 sailors; thus I was left with only 212 officers and men
to commence a long and uncertain journey directly away from my base,
without the power of communication in the event of unforeseen

I had already experienced the treachery of natives, upon whom no
reliance could be placed.

My intention was to leave the Englishmen, with the steamer sections, at
a station to be formed at Ibrahimeyeh (Afuddo on the map) on the
navigable Nile, N. lat. 3 degrees 32 minutes, together with a small

I should then endeavour to form an irregular corps of some of Abou
Saood's men, who would be thrown out of employment at the expiration of
the contract. This was near at hand.

An irregular corps of 600 men would, in addition to my 200, enable me to
complete the annexation of the country, and to finish my work before the
reinforcements should arrive from Khartoum.

On the other hand, the men of Abou Saood might refuse to enlist in
government service. Already they had been rendered passively hostile by
the influence of Abou Saood. They had secretly encouraged the Baris in
their war against the government; they might repeat this conduct, and
incite the tribes against us in the interior.

Should this occur, I should be placed in a dangerous position with so
small a force, as it would be necessary to detach half the little body
to march to Gondokoro for supports.

I could not defer my departure in the hope of receiving reinforcements
from Khartoum, as their arrival would be quite uncertain, owing to the
state of the river.

Should I delay at Gondokoro, the dry season would pass by; the ground,
now baked hard by the sun, would become soft, and would render transport
by carts impossible.

The torrents would become impassable during the rains, especially the
river Asua, which in the wet season cuts off all communication with the
south. This dangerous river was very important, as it would prevent a
retreat should such a movement be necessary during the rainy season.

I was well aware of the difficulties of the position, but I had only the
choice of two evils. If I remained at Gondokoro, my term of service
would expire fruitlessly. I should simply have reduced the Baris, and
have established the station. Abou Saood would remain in the interior
among his numerous slave establishments, to ridicule my impotence, and
to defy my orders that he should quit the country. He would thus
continue in the heart of Africa until I should have returned helplessly
to England. He would then have resumed his original work of spoliation.
The expedition would have been a failure.

On the other hand, should my small force meet with defeat or
destruction, both the military and the civil world would exclaim, "Serve
him right! the expedition to the interior made under such circumstances
showed a great want of judgment; a total ignorance of the first rules in
military tactics. What could he expect, without an established
communication, at a distance of three or four hundred miles from his
base? Simple madness !--not fit to command!" &c. &c. &c.

I knew the risks and the responsibility; but if I remained passive, I
should be beaten. I had often got through difficulties, and if risks are
to be measured in Africa by ordinary calculations, there would be little
hope of progress.

I determined to carry as large a supply of ammunition as could be
transported, together with sufficient merchandise, carefully assorted,
to establish a legitimate ivory trade in my old friend Kamrasi's
country, Unyoro (The Unyoro country is called by the traders

The Englishmen would be occupied in the construction of the steamer at
Ibrahimeyeh, while I should accomplish my mission farther south.

I selected my officers and men, carefully avoiding Egyptian officers,
with the exception of my true friends and aides-de-camp,
Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, Captain Mohammed Deii of the "Forty
Thieves," and the faithful Monsoor.

The Soudani officers that had served in Mexico under Marshal Bazaine
were--Major Abdullah; Captain Morgian Sherriff; Captain Abdullah;
Lieutenants Morgian and Ferritch; and several sergeants, corporals, &c.

I also included three sailors belonging to my diahbeeah, as they would
be useful in the event of boating excursions. These men were Jali,
Mohammed, and Howarti; all of whom were armed, and fell into the line of
rank and file as soldiers.

The No. 3 steamer had been packed with much care. The carts had been
loaded with the heavy portions that could not be transported by
carriers, and we had proved our capability of travelling provided the
Baris of Bedden would remain faithful to their promise. Every cart had
therefore been dismounted, and the material for the expedition was
stowed on board six vessels.

Our servants had much improved. The negro boys who had been liberated
had grown into most respectable lads, and had learned to wait at table
and to do all the domestic work required. First of the boys in
intelligence was the Abyssinian, Amarn. This delicate little fellow was
perfectly civilized, and always looked forward to accompanying his
mistress to England. The next was Saat, who had received that name in
memory of my good boy who died during my former voyage. Saat was a very
fine, powerful lad, who was exceedingly attached to me; but he was not
quick at learning. Bellaal was a thick-set, sturdy boy of fourteen, with
rather a savage disposition.

My favourite was Kinyon (the crocodile), the volunteer.

This was a very handsome negro boy of the Bari tribe, who, being an
orphan, came to my station, and volunteered to serve me at the
commencement of the Bari war.

Kinyon was tall and slight, with a pair of very large, expressive eyes.
The name Kinyon, or crocodile in the Bari language, had been given him
because he was long and thin. Both he and Amarn were thoroughly good
boys, and never received either chastisement or even a scolding
throughout a long expedition.

Jarvah was also a good lad, who went by the name of the "fat boy." I
should like to have exhibited him at Exeter Hall as a specimen of
physical comfort.

Jarvah had a good berth--he was cook's mate. His superior was a great
character, who, from the low position of a slave presented by the King
of the Shillooks, Quat Kare, had risen from cook's mate to the most
important position of the household.

Abdullah was now the cook! He had studied the culinary art under my
first-rate Arab cook, who, having received his discharge, left the
management of our stomachs to his pupil. Abdullah was an excellent cook
and a very good fellow; but he was dull at learning Arabic. He
invariably distinguished cocks and hens as "bulls" and "women."

The last and the smallest boy of the household was little Cuckoo (or

Cuckoo was a sturdy child of about six years old: this boy had, I
believe, run away from his parents in the Bari during the war, and had
come to Morgian our interpreter, when food was scarce among the tribe.
Following the dictates of his appetite, he had been attracted by the
savoury smell of Abdullah's kitchen, and he had drawn nearer and nearer
to our establishment, until at length by playing with the boys, and
occasionally being invited to share in their meals, Cuckoo had become
incorporated with the household.

Abdullah and the six boys formed the native domestic corps. My wife, who
was their commanding officer, had them all dressed in uniform. They had
various suits of short, loose trousers reaching half-way down the calf
of the leg, with a shirt or blouse secured at the waist with a leather
belt and buckle. These belts were made in England, and were about six
feet long; thus they passed twice round the waist, and were very useful
when travelling, in case of a strap and buckle being required suddenly.

Each boy wore the fez or tarboosh. The uniforms were very becoming.
There was dark blue trimmed with red facings; pure white with red
facings, for high days and holidays; scarlet flannel suits complete; and
a strong cotton suit dyed brown for travelling and rough wear.

The boys were trained to change their clothes before they waited at the
dinner table, and to return to their working dresses after dinner when
washing up was necessary. In this habit they were rigidly particular,
and every boy then tied his dinner suit in a parcel, and suspended it to
the roof of his hut to be ready for the next meal.

There was a regular hour for every kind of work, and this domestic
discipline had so far civilized the boys that they were of the greatest
possible comfort to ourselves.

The washing up after dinner was not a very long operation, as half a
dozen plates and the same number of knives and forks, with a couple of
dishes, were divided among six servants.

Directly after this work, play was allowed. If the night were moonlight,
the girls were summoned, and dancing commenced. During the day, their
games were either playing at soldiers, or throwing lances at marks, &c.

Thieving was quite unknown among the boys, all of whom were scrupulously
honest. The sugar might be left among them, or even milk; but none of
the boys I have mentioned would have condescended to steal. They had
been so well instructed and cared for by my wife, that in many ways they
might have been excellent examples for lads of their class in England.

The girls and women did not appear to so much advantage. These comprised
old Karka, young Dam Zeneb, Sallaamto, Fad-el-Kereem, Marrasilla, and
Faddeela. They had learnt to wash, but could never properly fold the
linen. Ironing and starching were quite out of the question, and would
have been as impossible to them as algebra. Some of these girls were
rather pretty, and they knew it. In moral character Dam Zeneb and
Sallaamto were the best. Fad-el-Kereem was the most intelligent, but she
was a young woman of strong passions, either for love or war, and
required peculiar management.

They were all dressed in similar uniforms to the boys, with only a
slight difference in the length of their blouses.

We had sent little Mostoora to the care of Djiaffer Pacha at Khartoum to
be educated, before we left Tewfikeeyah. That clever little creature had
learnt English and Arabic sufficiently to converse, and although not far
removed from infancy, she was more intelligent than any of the adults.
She was much too young for a long voyage . . . Everything was ready for
the start. I left written instructions with the colonel, Raouf Bey, also
with Mr. Higginbotham, respecting the conduct of the works during my
absence. I also gave the necessary orders to Mr. Marcopolo; thus all
heads of departments knew their positions.

I sent off a detachment of 150 men to drive a herd of several thousand
cattle and sheep to a well-known rocky ravine, about six miles south,
which was to be the rendezvous.

Before leaving, I made rather a pretty shot with the "Dutchman" from the
poop-deck of my diahbeeah at a crocodile basking on a sand-bank. The
first shot through the shoulder completely paralyzed it. A second bullet
from the left-hand barrel struck only three inches from the first.
Lieutenant Baker determined to measure the distance; thus he took the
boat with the end of a long line, and we found it exactly 176 yards.

The "Dutchman" was the best rifle I ever shot with, and was quite
invaluable throughout the expedition.

I had served out a month's rations to the men, and my last instructions
to Raouf Bey were to look well after Livingstone, and provide for his
comfort should he appear during my absence.

On 22nd January, 1872, we started at 8 a.m., when I took leave of my
good friend and excellent engineer-in-chief, Mr. Edwin Higginbotham. I
little thought that we should never meet again.

The wind was light and variable, and my diahbeeah soon overtook the
heavier vessels. In the evening we all joined and concentrated our
forces at the rocky ravine, with the detachment that protected the

On the following day, the 23rd January, we all started in excellent
spirits. The soldiers knew the country, and every one appeared to share
the enjoyment of adventure. The people had learnt to depend upon my
guidance, and although the interior of the country was unknown to them,
they were quite contented that I had had a personal experience of the
far south, and they were safe in my hands.

The stream was very powerful, and the wind was so variable that it was
necessary to tow the vessels. This would have been easy work if the
river had been deep in all parts, but unfortunately the water was rather
low, and many extensive sandbanks necessitated long detours.

The men were then obliged to wade hip-deep, and to tow the vessels round
the banks.

I never saw the people in such high spirits. They were not contented
with a walking pace, but they raced with each other, splashing through
the water, and hurrying round the points of the sand-banks, until they
once more reached dry ground. Then even the women and boys jumped
ashore, and laying hold of the tow-rope, joined the men in singing; and
running forward along the hard bank they made the diahbeeah surge
through the water.

This fun had continued for some hours, and I rejoiced that all hearts
seemed to have at length united in the work. I had no fanatics with me.
The black officers were excellent fellows now that they were relieved
from a certain influence at head-quarters. Abd-el-Kader was as true as
gold. Monsoor was a Christian,--and my "Forty Thieves" were stanch,
brave fellows who would go through fire.

Ali Nedjar was, as usual, revelling in strength and activity, and was
now foremost in the work of towing the diahbeeah.

A sudden bend in the river had caused a small sand-bank. It was
necessary to descend from the high shore to tow the vessel round the

Men, women, and children, jumped down and waded along the edge of the

As the diahbeeah turned the sharp point, I noticed that the water was
exceedingly deep close to the sand-bank, and the stream was running like
a mill race.

Fearing some accident to the children, I ordered all who could not swim
to come on board the diahbeeah. At that time the bow of the vessel was
actually touching the sand, but the stern, having swung out in the
stream, might have been about fifteen feet from the edge of the bank in
very deep water.

When the order was given to come on board, many of the people, in the
ebullition of spirits, leapt heedlessly into the water amidships,
instead of boarding the vessel by the fore part, which touched the sand.
These were dragged on board with considerable difficulty.

The boy Saat would have been drowned had not Monsoor saved him. In the
confusion, when several were struggling in the water, I noticed Ali
Nedjar, who could not swim, battling frantically with his hands in such
a manner that I saw the poor fellow had lost his head. He was not three
feet from the vessel's side.

My four life-buoys were hung on open hooks at the four corners of the
poop-deck; thus, without one moment's delay, I dropped a buoy almost
into his hands. This he immediately seized with both arms, and I, of
course, thought he was safe: the buoy naturally canted up as he first
clutched it, and, instead of holding on, to my astonishment he
relinquished his grasp!

The next moment the strong current had hurried the buoyant safeguard far
away. A red tarboosh followed the life-buoy, floating near it on the
surface. . . . . . Ali Nedjar was gone!--drowned! He never rose again.
. . .

I was dreadfully shocked at the loss of my good soldier--he had been
much beloved by us all. We could hardly believe that he was really gone
for ever. Who would now lead the song in the moonlight nights? or be the
first in every race?

I had quickly thrown every life-buoy into the river, as Howarti,
Mohammed, and others of the best swimmers had vainly plunged after Ali,
and were now searching fruitlessly for his body, carried away by the
powerful current. The boat was sent after them immediately, and they
were brought on board.

The mirth of the diahbeeah had vanished; the general favourite had so
suddenly disappeared from among us, that no one spoke, The women sat
down and cried.

His knapsack and rifle were brought to me, and a list having been taken
of his clothes and ammunition, I cut his name, "Ali," upon the stock of
his snider, which I reserved for the best man I should be able to
select. There was no better epitaph for so good a soldier than his name
engraved on his trusty rifle.

That evening every one was sad, and my people all refused their
food. . . .

On the following day, the wind and stream being adverse, we had much
trouble in avoiding the sand-banks, and our progress was so slow that we
only reached the base of the rocky hill Regiaf. Here I resolved to wait
for the heavier vessels, which were far behind.

The natives were now friendly, and on the 25th January, Lieutenant Baker
accompanied me to the summit of Regiaf to take observations of compass
bearings of all the various mountains and prominent points of the

At the western base of Regiaf there is a very curious rock supported
upon a pedestal, that forms a gigantic table.

This great slab of syenite is one of many that have detached and fallen
as the original mountain decomposed.

I obtained my measuring tape from the diahbeeah, which gave the
following results:--

                                    Feet.    Inches.
Length of slab . . . . . . . . .      45          4
Breadth of slab  . . . . . . . .      45          8
Thickness of slab  . . . . . . .       4          9
Height from ground . . . . . . .      10          5
Circumference of clay pedestal .      69          0

This rock must have chanced to fall upon a mass of extremely hard clay.
The denudation of the sloping surface, caused by the heavy rains of many
centuries, must be equal to the present height of the clay pedestal, as
all the exterior has been washed away and the level reduced. The clay
pedestal is the original earth, which, having been protected from the
weather by the stone roof, remains intact.

The Baris seemed to have some reverence for this stone, and we were told
that it was dangerous to sleep beneath it, as many people who had tried
the experiment had died.

I believe this superstition is simply the result of some old legends
concerning the death of a person who may have been killed in his sleep,
by a stone that probably detached and fell from the under surface of the

I examined the rock carefully, and found many pieces that gave warning
of scaling off. Several large flakes, each weighing some hundredweight,
lay beneath the table rock,-upon the under surface of which could be
distinctly traced the mould of the detached slab.

On 27th January, we arrived with all the vessels at the foot of the
cataracts, in N. lat. 4 degrees 38'. This is a very lovely spot, as the
rocky islands are covered with rich, green forest; the verdure being
perpetual, as the roots of the trees are well nourished by water.

Our old friend Bedden met us with a number of his people, and came on
board the diahbeeah. He professed to be quite ready to convey our
baggage to the south, and I proposed that his people should go as far as
Lobore, about sixty miles from this spot, where I knew we could procure
carriers, as during my former journey the natives of Lobore were the
only people who could be depended upon.

Bedden seemed determined to help us, and I really believed that our luck
had arrived at last, and that I should be able to convey the carts,
together with the steamer, to the navigable portion of the Nile in N.
lat. 3 degrees 32'.

I determined to be very civil to the great sheik, Bedden; I therefore
arranged with him that the work should be entirely in his hands, and
that he should represent the government as my vakeel. At the same time,
I gave him a grand cloak of purple and silver tissue, together with a
tin helmet, and turban of cobalt-blue serge; also a looking-glass, and a
quantity of beads of various colours.

The country was dried up, and there was only scant herbage for my large
herd of cattle, the half of which I promised to give Bedden if he would
carry our baggage to Lobore.

The sheik returned to his village to make arrangements with his people
for the journey.

Somehow or other, as he took leave and marched off in his grand cloak of
silver and purple, I had certain misgivings of his sincerity.

Although great numbers of natives thronged the country, and came down to
the vessels, there was not one woman or child. The absence of women and
children is a sure sign of evil intentions. My wife, whose experience
was equal to my own, at once expressed her suspicions. Had the natives
been honest and sincere, their women would assuredly have come to visit
her from simple curiosity.

Not only was there an absence of women and children, but the cattle had
been driven from the country. There were several small cattle zareebas
within half a mile of the vessels, situated upon the high ground. I went
to visit them, as though simply strolling for my amusement; the dung of
cattle was fresh, showing that the zareebas had been occupied during the
past night, but the herd had evidently been driven far away.

Bedden's people had never been attacked by the slave-traders, as his
tribe was considered too powerful; he had therefore no cause for

Unfortunately, my past experience of the Bari natives had proved that
kindness was thrown away upon them, and that nothing could be done with
them until their inferiority had been proved by force of arms.

Bedden had never suffered. He had promised to assist; but no promise of
a native is worth more than the breath of his mouth. If he failed me
now, the object of my enterprise would be lost. I should not be able to

All my care and trouble would have been thrown away.

I was very anxious; but, without mentioning my suspicions, I ordered all
the heavy vessels to cross over to the east side of the river, to
prepare for disembarking the carts and general effects.

On the following morning the sheik, Bedden, arrived to visit me, with
many of his people. I had erected a tent on shore in which I could
receive him.

I was struck with a peculiar change in his manner, and after a short
conversation he asked me, "Why I had sent the vessels to the east side?"

I replied that they would begin to unload and prepare for the journey.

"Who is going to carry all your baggage?" continued Bedden, as though
the idea had occurred to him for the first time.

I was perfectly aghast at this cool and prostrating question. My
suspicions had been well founded.

I explained to Bedden that I had arrived according to his express
invitation, given some time before, when he had promised that his men
should convey my things as far as Lobore. I pretended that his question
had now been asked simply to amuse me, and I begged him in earnest to
lose no time in collecting his people, as I should require at least
2,000 carriers.

Bedden continued in a cold, stoical manner, and declared that his people
were determined not to work for me; they had never before carried for
"The Turks," and nothing would induce them to engage in such a labour.

I begged him to remember the importance of his promise, upon which I had
depended when making all my arrangements for the journey. If he failed
me now, I should be entirely ruined; whereas if he assisted me, as I had
relied upon his honour, we should always remain the firmest friends, and
he would be benefited by a grand herd of cattle, and would receive most
valuable presents.

He now declared "that his people had taken the matter into
consideration, and they were quite determined. They would not listen to
him, or be persuaded to anything they disliked. They never had carried,
and they never would."

I had the two natives with me who had resided for some time in our
station at Gondokoro. One of these men, named Pittia, endeavoured to
persuade Bedden to beat his nogara (big drum) and to summon his tribe;
he might then, in my presence, explain the work proposed, and his people
would see the cows which they would receive as payment for their labour.

Bedden looked very ill at his ease; but after some delay, he rose from
his seat, and declared his intention of immediately beating his nogara.
He took leave and departed with his people.

From my experience of Baris, I felt sure that I should never see Bedden

He had hardly left the tent, when Pittia exclaimed, "I will follow him
and listen to what he says to his people. I believe he will tell them
NOT to carry the loads." Pittia immediately disappeared.

Many natives had collected on the east side of the river, where my
vessels had now formed a line alone the bank; I therefore crossed over
in the dingy to converse with them in the faint hope of securing

The natives were squatting about in small groups, and they listened
coldly to all I had to say. The only answer I could obtain was, "that
they belonged to Bedden, and if he told them to carry our things, they
would obey; but without his order they could do nothing."

This is the regular African diplomacy when work is required. The people
say, "We must receive orders from our sheik." The sheik says, "I am
willing, but my people will not obey me." It is this passive resistance
that may ruin an expedition.

My first exploration in Africa must necessarily have failed had I not
been provided with transport animals. The readers of "The Albert
N'yanza" may remember that I could not obtain a single native, and that
I started from Gondokoro by moonlight without even an interpreter or

The horrible state of the White Nile had prevented all possibility of
conveying camels from Khartoum. My carts and camel harness were
prepared, but the invaluable animals could not be transported. I was
thus dependent upon such rotten reeds as native promises.

No one who is inexperienced in African travel can realize the hopeless
position of being left with a mass of material without any possibility
of transporting it.

The traveller may sit upon his box until he stiffens into a monument of
patience and despair, but the box will not move without a carrier. There
is only one method of travelling successfully, and this necessitates the
introduction of transport animals, where the baggage is heavy and upon
an extensive scale.

I felt perfectly helpless. My colonel, Abd-el-Kader, advised me to seize
the sheik, Bedden, and to tie him up until his people should have
delivered all the effects at Lobore.

This I might have done, but it might also have occasioned war, which
would prevent the possibility of securing carriers. I should also incur
the responsibility of having provoked the war by an act which, although
necessary, could hardly be justified according to civilized ideas.

I had very little hope, but I had so frequently seen a sudden ray of
good fortune when all had looked dark and cloudy, that I went to bed at
night trusting that something might turn up in our favour to-morrow.

On 29th January, 1872, Pittia returned with bad news. Bedden had sent me
a laconic message that "he should not call again, and that his people
declined to carry the baggage."

Pittia explained that the natives had all left the neighbourhood
together with their sheik, therefore it would be well not to allow the
soldiers to stray far from camp.

This was the gross ingratitude exhibited by Bedden and his people. Not
only had I scrupulously respected all their property, but I had even
placed sentries over their tobacco gardens to prevent the possibility of

The absence of the women and children had been a certain sign of

It was necessary to consider what should be done. We were perfectly

I had about 2,500 head of cattle and 1,800 sheep. These animals were
driven every evening to the margin of the river, and were only protected
at night by a line of soldiers who slept around them.

The conduct of the natives filled me with suspicions. The sight of so
large a herd without protection might have excited their cupidity. They
had expected my arrival with this grand supply of cattle, and instead of
finding their villages occupied, I had observed that their own herds had
been driven off for concealment; not a woman or child was to be seen in
the country; the natives had refused to carry; and, lastly, their sheik
and his people had absolutely absconded.

In the mean time my cattle were unprotected at night, thus, should the
natives make a sudden attack in the darkness, there would be a regular
stampede, as the large herd would be seized with a panic at the red
flashes of the muskets during the attack, and they would scatter all
over the country, and never be seen again.

The natives had probably considered that, instead of carrying our loads,
and thereby earning a cow per man, it might save them much trouble
should they possess themselves of our cattle without the necessity of
carrying the baggage.

From my knowledge of the brutal character of all Baris, I arrived at the
above conclusion.

I at once gave orders to secure the cattle. At a distance of about half
a mile, there were three small villages on the high sloping ground,
situated about eighty yards apart, and forming a triangle. I instructed
my men to make an inclosure, by connecting each village with a strong
hedge of thorns.

The country was generally bare of trees, but fortunately there was a
grove of heglik not far distant; and the troops at once began to fell
these trees, and to form fences by laying the prickly branches in the
position I had selected.

The "Forty Thieves" were all provided with small and sharp Canada axes,
which they carried under the strap of their knapsacks; thus forty-eight
axes were at work, in addition to the heavier instruments belonging to
the expedition.

All the officers and men shared my suspicions, and they worked with
great alacrity.

It was just dark by the time that the three fences were completed, and
the herd of cattle were driven and secured within the inclosure.

I arranged a guard of sixty men: twenty upon each side of the triangle.
They were to remain outside the fence, and to keep a vigilant look-out.

This work being over, I returned at night to the diahbeeah together with
Lieutenant Baker. We found dinner ready on the poop-deck, where my wife
had been rather anxiously expecting us. I sent for Colonel Abd-el-Kader,
and gave him the necessary orders for the night.

My diahbeeah was a charming vessel, that had originally been sent from
Cairo to Khartoum, when the former Viceroy of Egypt, Said Pacha, visited
the Soudan.

The poop-deck was lofty and very spacious. This comfortable boat had
been my home for two years, and she was kept in admirable order.

There were no mosquitoes during this season in Bedden's country,
although they were very numerous at all seasons at Gondokoro, therefore,
being relieved from these pests, the enjoyment of the evening was

The night was calm, as usual in these latitudes. Dinner was concluded. I
was enjoying my evening chibouque with the best Ghebbelli tobacco, that
soothes many anxieties. The troops were for the most part asleep, and
all was quiet. My wife was sitting on the sofa or divan, and Lieutenant
Baker had been recalling some reminiscence of the navy, when several
musket shots in the direction of the cattle kraal suddenly startled
every soldier from his sleep.

The shots were almost immediately succeeded by heavy firing from the
whole force stationed at the cattle zareeba. The bugles sounded the
alarm, and every man was quickly under arms.

Having arranged the men in position to defend the vessels in case of a
general attack, I took twenty men of the "Forty Thieves," together with
a supply of rockets. I was accompanied by Lieutenant Baker and most of
the Englishmen, and we pushed rapidly forward towards the cattle
zareeba, where the flashes of muskets were distinctly visible.

As we approached the position, I ordered my bugler to sound "cease
firing," as I expected to receive a few bullets intended for the enemy.

We were quickly challenged upon arrival at the zareeba. We found the
cattle all safe; only a few sheep had been killed by the heavy attempt
at a stampede when the cows took fright at the musketry.

I was informed that the natives in considerable force had made a sudden
rush upon the zareeba, and had thrown showers of stones in order to
create a panic among the cattle, which they expected would break through
the fence and scatter over the country.

It was fortunate that I had taken the precaution of securing them.

I was determined to clear the neighbourhood before the attack should be
renewed. The night was dark. I was provided with matches and port-fires,
and I quickly made an excursion and sent several rockets into the
nearest villages. The Hale's rockets, as usual, rushed through the
houses without igniting them; but a few of the powerful Egyptian rockets
that are used as fireworks, rapidly lighted up the scene, as the
descending fire-balls ignited the thatched roofs.

These rockets were fired from an inclined rest of a soldier's fixed

Having cleared the neighbourhood, I returned to the diahbeeah at

I find this entry in my journal:-

"January 29, 1872.-All the googoos or granaries abound with corn. The
natives are so rich, both in dhurra and cattle, that they will not work,
but they are only ready to sleep or steal. After all my kindness, they
have wantonly attacked my cattle without the plea either of hunger or

"What can be accomplished with such people? I shall be obliged to return
the steamer to Ismailia (Gondokoro). It is heartbreaking work after all
my trouble in having brought her to this distant point.

"Nothing can be done without camels, and these animals cannot be
brought from Khartoum in the closed state of the river.

"My original plan included 200 camels, 200 cavalry, and fifteen large
decked sloops. None of these necessary items have been sent from
Khartoum, thus I am paralyzed."



I determined upon a new plan. I knew the direction of Lobore, as I had
been there during my former expedition; the distance could not exceed
sixty miles.

If the soldiers could draw the carts, I might yet manage to advance, as
I should be able to procure carriers on arrival at Lobore; provided
always that the natives were as friendly as when I left them some years

It would be impossible to convey the steamer, as I could not expect to
provide 2,000 carriers; but I might be able to penetrate south, suppress
the slave-hunters, establish the government, and open up a legitimate

The first step necessary was to convey the large herd of cattle across
the river, which was about 400 yards in width, with a very rapid stream.
I fully expected that we should be attacked by the natives in great
force during this operation, which necessitated a division of my force
upon both banks of the Nile.

The sheep were taken across in vessels, but the cows were obliged to
swim. This passage was very tedious, as the animals were necessarily
taken in small batches, guided by men who swam by their side in the
manner already described at Gondokoro.

Although the natives were avowedly hostile, they dared not face us in
the open. They made another attempt by night to surprise the cattle
kraal, but Colonel Abd-el-Kader immediately set fire to a few villages
as a response and warning.

We were occupied four days in passing the cattle across the river.
During the passage, we lost one taken by a crocodile, and three cows
were wantonly seized and drowned by hippopotami. A herd of these
creatures happened to be in the way as the cows were floating in large
numbers down the stream, and several were seen to attack the cattle and
seize them in their jaws. As the hippopotamus is not carnivorous, this
was an unexpected attack.

My Englishmen had been busily engaged in erecting the carts, greasing
the wheels, and attaching the ropes necessary for hauling. They were all
loaded, and were arranged to be drawn by fifteen men each.

On the evening of the 5th February, while we were at dinner, I was
astonished by the unexpected mustering of my whole force, excepting the
"Forty Thieves." The men were without arms or officers, but they marched
to the margin of the river and formed a line two deep alongside the
diahbeeah, which lay close against the bank.

I knew at once what all this meant, but I pretended to take no notice,
and I continued eating my dinner.

I was quickly interrupted by loud cries from the men. "We can't draw the
carts! that's not the work for soldiers; we'll fight, or do anything
else you may desire, but we are not camels to drag the waggons."

The "Forty Thieves" immediately seized their arms, and marching quickly
to the spot, they formed in line upon the bank, between the diahbeeah
and the men who thus mutinously had appeared without their officers.

I at once ordered the bugle call for all officers, and at the same time
I sent for the Englishmen to come to the diahbeeah.

When all had arrived, and the shouts still continued, I rose from the
table and addressed the troops in Arabic, from the poop-deck of the

I recalled to their recollection how I had always led them successfully
through every difficulty, and I assured them that the distance to Lobore
was trifling, and that we should find good and willing natives to convey
the baggage, if we could only once reach the desired tribe.

Cries of "there are no good negroes-they are all bad," interrupted my
discourse. I nevertheless continued; but having a thorough knowledge of
the African character, and knowing that if a negro gets an idea into his
head, that idea can only be eradicated by cutting the head off, I was
not fool enough to persist in swimming against a torrent. The "Forty
Thieves" now joined the tumult by declaring that "THEY would draw the
carts, or do anything that I should command."

I took immediate advantage of the occasion, and exclaimed, "You SHALL do
all that I command. I have changed my plans, and I order you to take the
carts to pieces at sunrise to-morrow morning. All those who are afraid
to follow me shall return with the vessels and carts to Gondokoro. I
never turn back; and my lady and I will go on alone with Mr. Baker. I
only require orderly soldiers, who know their duty; if you have
forgotten your duty, you shall return at once to Gondokoro."

This declaration was followed by loud shouts--"We won't let you go
alone; the natives are treacherous; we will follow wherever you lead.
Are we not soldiers of the Sultan? are you not the Sultan's Pacha?"

I had them in hand; therefore I at once terminated the scene by
commanding silence. I then gave an order aloud to the officers: "Return
carts and all baggage on board vessels at sunrise to-morrow. All troops
to be ready for the advance."

"Bugler! sound the retreat."

That peculiar habit of discipline yielded instinctively to the sound of
the bugle. The officer gave the order, "Right, turn," and the late
tumultuous crowd marched quietly to their quarters. This was ended; at
the same time it was not cheering.

My Englishmen, who had been witnesses of this scene, were filled with
indignation. They were men who thoroughly represented English
determination, and they at once volunteered to carry their own baggage
if I would only permit them to accompany me.

How often my heart has beaten with pride when I have seen the
unconquerable spirit of the country burst forth like an unextinguishable
flame in any great emergency!

I now had to quell the eagerness of my own good fellows, as I knew that
if "the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak," and it would be
impossible for Englishmen to carry loads through a journey in a tropical

I saw the necessity of the occasion at a glance; and I gave the
necessary orders.

The Englishmen, together with the steamer sections, machinery, &c., must
return to Gondokoro. They must immediately commence the construction of
the No. 2 steamer of 108 tons and 20-horse power, as this vessel, being
provided with twin screws instead of paddles, would be able to pass
through the narrow channels of the Bahr Giraffe, and communicate with

I gave the order to prepare to-morrow for a return to Gondokoro.

On 6th February, at sunrise, all hands were at work dismounting the
carts, and returning on board the vessels all material connected with
the steamer, &c. I altered the loads, and made arrangements for a new
plan of action.

I had determined to push on to Lobore with one hundred men, in heavy
marching order, if I could only engage a few natives to carry the
necessaries for the road. At Lobore I might be able to engage a few
hundred porters that I should send back to the vessels with an escort of
fifty soldiers, to bring up sufficient ammunition and material for an
advance south. I knew the route.

It was therefore necessary to assort the baggage: much had to be
returned to Gondokoro with the Englishmen.

I had a small invoice-book that had been carefully prepared by Mr.
Marcopolo, which gave the numbers and contents of every box; therefore
the difficulty of assortment was not great.

All the boxes were of block tin, painted; thus they could be piled like
bricks one upon the other to form a wall. I arranged about 400 loads
which were set apart for the carriers, should I be fortunate in
procuring that number from Lobore.

On 7th February the carts were shipped. All the loads were perfected and
ready for a start on the following day. Some of my men were endeavouring
to train a few oxen to carry their baggage.

On 8th February the Englishmen, in very low spirits, started for
Ismailia (Gondokoro) in two vessels, with ninety urdeps of dhurra
consigned to Mr. Marcopolo.

I had arranged that twenty-two boatmen should accompany me to Lobore,
carrying such loads as were absolutely necessary for our party. They
would then return together with the fifty soldiers who would escort the
native carriers to the vessels.

I had given the Englishmen instructions to commence the building of the
steamer immediately, and to confine their work to this vessel until she
should be completed.

Having counted all the loads that were left in charge of Major Abdullah,
I took a receipt for them, and gave that officer both clear and positive
orders for his conduct.

I left with him 120 men, together with the field-piece and eight
artillerymen. In addition to these men was the crew of the No. 10
steamer, all of whom were trained as soldiers. Thus with the armed crews
of the different vessels he would have a force of about 145 muskets. It
was highly probable that the natives would attack the vessels and the
cattle in my absence, as they would have remarked the great reduction of
force. Although the country was perfectly open, the ground was high and
rocky, and rapidly rose to about 200 feet above the level of the river
within a distance of a mile; thus the natives scattered about the
heights could always observe our proceedings.

Before I quitted the vessels, I made every preparation for their
security. All the metal boxes were built into a quadrangular breastwork,
that would form a little fort for a dozen people.

I moored the vessels in line close to the mouth of a deep flat-bottomed
ravine, which, although now dry and about thirty paces wide, had formed
the bed of a river during the wet season. The perpendicular banks of
this fosse would make a grand protection for the cattle; I therefore
ordered a fence of thorns to be constructed across the ravine about a
hundred yards from the river, so as to form a kraal, in which the cows
would be confined below the level of the country.

Sixty men were to guard the cattle at night; thirty upon either bank. As
this ravine ran at right angles with the river, the sixty men would
enfilade an enemy attacking the vessels, and the guard of the vessels
would at the same time enfilade an enemy should he attack the cattle on
the north side.

I placed the gun in a convenient position about twenty yards from the
margin of the river, on a piece of hard, flat ground, exactly opposite
the centre of the line of vessels. This would sweep the approach in
front and upon the left flank.

I ordered the officer to load with canister containing 250 small musket
balls. Having served out a dozen Woolwich tubes, instead of the
uncertain Egyptian articles, I gave positive orders that the gun was to
be laid for a point-blank range of 200 yards every evening at sunset,
with the tube in its place, the lanyard attached and coiled. A piece of
raw hide was to cover the breech of the gun to protect it from the night

Having given every instruction, and impressed upon officers and men the
necessity of vigilance, I ordered Major Abdullah, in command, to remain
in charge of the vessels and cattle until I should either send him
carriers for an advance, or fall back myself, should I be unable to
obtain them.

A tall old man of about seventy, or perhaps eighty years, had paid us a
visit. From his appearance, and the numerous spells hung about his
person, I judged him to be a rain-maker. His face was smeared with wood
ashes, and there was a good deal of the ideal demon in his personal

I gave him a blue shirt, and a glass of Marsala wine, thus appealing at
once to his exterior and interior.

It is always advisable to make friends with the rain-makers, as they are
regarded by the natives as priests, and are considered with a certain
respect. I therefore give him another glass of wine; or, to be correct,
he drank it from a tin that had contained preserved provisions.

This caused him to blink his eyes and smack his lips, and the old
rain-maker grinned a ghastly smile of admiration. His wood ash-smeared
features relaxed into an expression that denoted "more wine." I thought
he had enough, and there was none to spare; therefore, having opened his
heart, I began to ask him questions.

That unfailing key, liquor, had established a confidential flow of
conversation. The old fellow explained that he knew the entire country,
and he had no objection to accompany us to Lobore for a small
consideration in the shape of a cow. He assured me that if he were with
us, the natives would be civil throughout the journey. Bedden had
behaved very badly, but he had got the worst of it, and the news had
spread up the country.

I asked him whether he would keep the rain away during the journey, as
it would be very unpleasant should the soldiers' kits get wet. He
immediately blew his rain-whistle that was suspended to his neck, and
looked at me as though I could no longer doubt his capability. I then
sent for a German horn from my cabin. This was a polished cow's horn,
fitted with brass, which I think had cost a shilling. I begged the old
rain-maker's acceptance of this instrument, which might be perhaps
superior to his whistle.

The wine had now so far warmed his old blood, that the ancient sorcerer
was just in that state of good-will with all mankind which made him
doubly grateful for so interesting a present. He blew the horn!--again,
and again! He grinned till the tears ran down his eyes, and at once
suspended the glittering toy around his neck. He now said, "I am a great
sheik; there is no rain-maker so great as I; you will travel with me,
and this horn shall keep you dry. Don't trouble yourself about the
Baris, they won't molest you; but start as soon as you can."

We had thus gained a valuable ally and guide. Although I knew the
direction of Lobore, I should have been obliged to travel by compass,
therefore I was overjoyed that we had obtained so experienced an old
fellow as the rain-maker. His name was Lokko.

At 3 p.m., on 8th February, we started, old Lokko leading the way, and
waving a couple of thin, peeled sticks at a refractory black cloud that
appeared determined to defy his rain-ruling powers. A few loud blasts
upon the new horn, and a good deal of pantomime and gesticulation on the
part of old Lokko, at length had the desired effect; the cloud went off
about its business, and Lokko, having given his face an extra rub of
fresh wood-ashes before starting, looked ugly enough to frighten any
rain-devil out of his wits.

My people were heavily laden. At the commencement of the journey, an ox
that Monsoor had been training, kicked off its load, and went off at
full gallop like a wild animal, and we never saw it again. Poor Monsoor
now shouldered the load that the ox had left helpless, and marched thus
heavily laden up the hill.

My wife rode "Greedy Grey," which carried as much as could be hung upon
the saddle. I rode the powerful chestnut "Jamoos." Lieutenant Baker
mounted a very handsome light chestnut "Gazelle," and Colonel
Abd-el-Kader rode the Zafteer. The latter was a fine old Arab that I had
purchased of a zafteer (mounted police) in Cairo. I had ten donkeys
which carried officers' effects, spare ammunition, flour, &c. The
twenty-two boatmen carried boxes.

My wife and I, with Lieutenant Baker and an advanced guard of five of
"The Forty," followed old Lokko, who led the way; and Colonel
Abd-el-Kader and Captain Mohammed Deii were with the rear-guard, which
drove 1,000 cows and 500 sheep. The cattle were in the charge of the
Bari interpreter, Morgian.

Our boys and girls all carried loads. Amarn looked like a small Robinson
Crusoe, with a tanned sheepskin bag of clothes upon his back, upon which
was slung the coffee-pot, an umbrella, and various smaller articles,
while he assisted himself with a long staff in his hand. Little Cuckoo,
who, although hardly seven years old, was as strong as a little pony,
strode along behind my horse, carrying upon his head my small travelling

Everybody was in the best spirits, as the reaction from despair
to success was delightful. We were really off at last, and were actually
on the march to the interior.

That evening we halted at a village on the heights, only three miles
from the vessels. The natives had deserted their habitations on our
approach, and would not come near us. I ordered the troops to save their
flour, and to eat from that discovered in the village, for which on the
following morning I left two cows as a present. They were tied up in the
native zareeba. The cows were worth at least fifty times the flour we
had consumed; but I wished to adopt this plan throughout the journey to
Lobore, in order to establish confidence, and to open up the road for
the future.

On 9th February we started at 5.35 a.m., and marched two hours and a
half through a very beautiful undulating country, diversified with
rocks, streams, and handsome park-like timber.

We halted at a village called Koojok, beneath a large fig-tree (Ficus
Indica). Our old friend Lokko appeared to be perfectly well known, and
he at once introduced us to the natives, who received us without fear or
suspicion. At this village I was able to hire five natives for as many
cows, to ease my people (especially Monsoor) of their loads.

Thus relieved, we started at 2 p.m., and halted for the night at a
village named Gobbohr. The day's march was twelve miles. North latitude,
by observation, 4 degrees 28 minutes.

At this spot the natives brought us a great curiosity, which they had
purchased from the Baris of Belinian. This was no less than a shell of 8
1/4 lbs. that had been fired at the Baris by our cannon, but the fuze
had not ignited. It had been sold to the natives of Gobbohr as a piece
of iron.

I inquired the use of such a lump of metal to them. "Oh!" they replied,
"we are going to hammer it into molotes (hoes)."

I explained to them that it was a loaded shell, that would explode and
blow the blacksmith and his people to pieces, if he were to place it on
the fire. They went away with their shell, evidently doubting my

On the 10th February, having as usual presented the natives with two
cows, we started at 6 a.m., and marched ten miles. The country was even
more lovely than before, comprising fine rocky scenery and beautiful
park-like views. The undulations terminated in stony bottoms or
water-courses; the rocks were all syenite, gneiss, and large masses of
snow-white quartz.

Although at this season the ground was parched, the trees were all
vividly green: the contrast of this bright green with the yellow turf
was very remarkable.

At 2.50 p.m. we again started, and marched three miles, arriving at a
village on high ground called Marengo, in N. lat. 4 degrees 18 minutes.
Here I met an old acquaintance, who, of course, asked me for a cow. This
was a very respectable man, named Nersho, who had, when a boy, been
brought up by the Austrian missionaries at Gondokoro. I had met him
during my former journey when in company with Koorshood's vakeel,
Ibrahim. We slept at Marengo. The soldiers borrowed the natives' mats,
cooking pots, &c., but scrupulously returned everything according to

February 11. --Nersho received his cow; and I left two in addition for
the headman of the village.

We started at 5.35 a.m., and marched ten miles, and halted at a small
ravine of running water among wooded hills.

Our old guide, Lokko, was at fault. After much trouble we succeeded in
obtaining two natives, who told us, that in this spot they had killed a
large number of the slave-hunters' people.

Other natives soon joined us, and we were led by a difficult rocky path
through thick forest among the hills for five miles, to the pretty open
country of Mooge.

Throughout the journey from the Nile, the country had been thickly
populated. At Mooge we camped in a large village on the hill.

February 12. --We started at 5.25, and marched straight to Lobore, a
distance of fourteen miles. The road was through forest, intersected at
right-angles with deep watercourses from the mountain, called Forke,
about a mile distant upon our left. This fine, rocky, and almost
perpendicular hill is 2,000 feet high.

On arrival at Lobore we halted beneath a large tree, and waited for the
cattle, which were some distance in the rear, owing to the difficulty in
crossing the numerous steep ravines. Some work would be necessary on
this road to render it possible for carts.

We had thus marched fifty-seven miles from our vessels without the
necessity of firing a shot, although we were accompanied by so tempting
a prize as a large herd of cattle and sheep.

The natives of Lobore soon began to collect, and the dragoman, Wani,
shortly appeared, who proved to be an old acquaintance in my former
journey. This man, who had been an interpreter when a boy among the
traders, spoke good Arabic, and we soon felt quite at home. Abbio, the
old sheik of Lobore appeared. This old fellow was half-blind; but he
seemed very willing to assist, and, after I had explained the object of
my visit, he assured me that his people would go to the vessels if
accompanied by my soldiers, and that I need not be uneasy about my

The Lobore are not Bari. I was delighted to have passed the southern
frontier at Mooge, and to have quitted that incomprehensible tribe. The
language of the Lobore is a dialect of the Madi.

In the evening, the cattle arrived with the rear-guard. I had requested
the old sheik to have a zareeba prepare, for them; this was quickly
accomplished, therefore an ox was slaughtered as a reward for all those
who had worked at the inclosure.

On 13th February "we held a regular market for the purchase of flour in
exchange for sheep and goats. Many of these useful little animals were
sickly, owing to the marches in the hot sun, which had created intense
thirst. Upon arrival at streams upon the route, they had drunk too
greedily, and some had died of inflammation.

"The natives purchased live goats at the rate of about 30 lbs. of flour.
This was an equal exchange in live weight of the animal; a pound of
flour for a pound of goat.

"February 14.--The whole country turned out to hunt, and the natives
returned in the evening, having only killed two buffaloes and a few
small antelopes. Even the small boys are armed in this country with bows
and barbed arrows, with which they shoot remarkably well.

"February 15.--The old sheik, Abbio, accompanied by Wani, appeared
early, together with a considerable number of natives. They selected 396
cows from my zareeba, and a similar number of men promised to start
to-morrow with fifty soldiers to convoy the material from the vessels.

"February 16.--After some delay the natives assembled, and with horns
blowing and much shouting and whistling, they at length started,
together with our return sailors, and an escort of fifty soldiers.

"I shall thus, after much care and anxiety, be able to push on with a
quantity of goods sufficient to open the path and to establish relations
with the equatorial countries. I shall have 212 troops and a good supply
of ammunition, goods, and cattle: thus there should be no insurmountable

"I wrote to Mr. Higginbotham, also to Mr. Marcopolo, and sent the
letters inclosed in a bottle.

"February 17. A slight shower fell this morning. The sheik of Mooge
arrived to see me last evening, and presented a fat goat.

"I am trying to persuade him and old Abbio to join in cutting the
cart-road through the forest from Mooge. I gave Abbio a mixture of
sulphate of zinc for his eyes, and put a mustard plaster on Wani the
interpreter's stomach. At first he said it was of no use, as it only
felt like cold water, but when it began to burn, he was greatly amazed,
and said the cold water had turned to fire.

"I then physicked Colonel Abd-el-Kader and Monsoor, both of whom were

"A judicious present of a few blue shirts to certain headmen put every
one in good humour.

"February 18.--I took a stroll for some miles in the forest accompanied
by Lieutenant Baker. Game was very scarce, but we at length came upon a
fine herd of tetel (Antelope Babalis). These having been disturbed by
the noise we had made in walking over loose stony ground, dashed through
the open forest, about 120 paces in my front. I shot one through the
shoulder, and upon running up I found it in the act of falling.

"I then heard a shot from Lieutenant Baker on my left, to whom my shot
had turned the antelopes. He had killed a very large bull by a good shot
in the neck.

"This luck was a windfall for the Lobore natives who had accompanied us;
and a man immediately started off for assistance, as many men were
required to transport the flesh and hides of such large animals.

"February 19.-The natives begged that we would accompany them to hunt,
and they started with a considerable party.

"Having formed a long line like skirmishers, with intervals of about ten
yards between each, they advanced with their bows prepared, and the
arrows on the string, ready for a shot on the instant should game start
on foot. There were many boys of about twelve years old, all of whom
were armed with bows and arrows, and they advanced in the same line with
the men. There were too many people, and the game became scared; so that
after a long walk, we returned to camp without having fired a shot.

"I found some very curious flowers, which issued from the ground in
pods, without leaves; these burst and threw out beautiful compact silk
balls in great numbers, not half of which could be returned to the pod
that had scattered them.

"On 22nd February we had purchased and stored, in expectation of the
arrival of the troops, 3,740 lbs. of flour.

"I was determined to carry a large supply to the south, as the country
had in some places been depopulated by the slave-hunters.

"February 23.--I went out with Lieutenant Baker, accompanied by some
natives, and travelled over very likely ground, composed of forest,
glades, ravines full of bamboos, &c., until we reached the base of Gebel

"We had passed over several miles and had only seen a few small
antelopes, when upon ascending some rising ground in the very open
forest, we caught sight of a herd of tetel bounding along through some
high grass towards some low, rocky hills, a few hundred yards distant.
There were many large trees growing out of the clefts of the rocks, and
I proposed that Lieutenant Baker should go round the hill on my right,
while I should creep quietly over the summit of the rocks, as I expected
we should find the antelopes standing in some sheltered glade.

"When I arrived at the base of the small hill, which was not higher than
seventy or eighty feet, and was composed of large masses of granite, I
carefully ascended, without making the slightest noise.

"On arrival at the denuded summit, I was well concealed by a detached
block of granite that lay upon a flat weather-worn surface of the same

"I raised my head, and looked in vain for the antelopes. The ground was
a beautiful park, characterized by numerous masses of granite, like
ruined castles, among trees of all shades of green. The ground was
covered with young grass about six inches high, which had sprung up
after the annual fire that had destroyed the last year's dry herbage.

"I could see no game. Presently I observed the native, who was a few
yards on my left, making eager gestures, and pointing with his finder in
order to direct my attention. I at once perceived a family of wild pigs
which had emerged from some bush, and were quietly feeding along the
glade, so that they would shortly pass in front of me within sixty

"The natives love pork beyond all other flesh, thus I had a good
opportunity for showing them a little treat. With a quick right and left
shot I knocked over two pigs, and reloading the "Dutchman" in a few
instants, I rolled over a boar that had galloped off to about 120 yards'
distance. This animal recovered itself and got away to some place of

"Upon the arrival of Lieutenant Baker and the natives, we tracked the
blood for about 300 yards to a small plot of high grass that had escaped
the fire. I knew that we must find the wounded boar in this retreat. I
therefore ordered the natives to beat it out. The boar soon broke cover
and galloped off along the open, but quickly rolled over as a shot from
the "Dutchman" struck it behind the shoulder. The natives were delighted
with the success of the rifle, as it had produced three fine pigs for
their service within a few minutes."

"February 24. --The whole of the troops and baggage from the vessels
arrived safely to-day, together with the cattle and sheep, thus all my
arrangements have, thank God, speeded, and I am now in possession of my
force and material."

Major Abdullah delivered his report. As I had expected, he had been
attacked in great force by the natives after my departure. The Baris, as
usual, had employed treachery, which had very nearly succeeded.

A day or two after I had left the vessels, several natives had desired
to communicate with Major Abdullah. These men declared that they had
nothing to do with Bedden, and that all the Baris of the east side of
the Nile desired peace.

It would have been natural to suppose that after so recent an example of
treachery on the part of Bedden, Major Abdullah would have been keenly
suspicious; he was nevertheless deceived by the specious promises of the
wily Baris. This officer knew my wish for peace and good-will, and he
trusted to be able to assure me, that after my departure he had been
able to establish amicable relations with our late enemies.

The messengers returned to their villages, and natives visited the camp
with fowls, tobacco, and various articles for sale. The soldiers were
ready purchasers, as they were well supplied with beads, zinc mirrors,
and various trifles which they had recently obtained from the government
magazines. The fault of my men lay in their extravagance, and they
usually spoiled a market by offering too much. The trade commenced
vigorously, and the now peaceable Baris thronged to the vessels, and
mixed freely with the officers and troops.

On the night of February 17, 1872, the troops were fast asleep.
Confidence had been thoroughly established, and there was no
apprehension of coming danger. My officers and men were careless of
precautions; the sentries were nearly all asleep. The cannon had been
loaded with shell instead of canister. The Woolwich tubes had been put
away so safely that they could not be found when wanted. The gun had not
been sighted for close distance, neither had any of my most positive
instructions been carried out. The artillerymen were sound asleep upon
their mats around their neglected gun.

I have already described the tactics of Bari night attacks. There can be
no doubt that their scouts must have crept close to the camp, and must
have returned to the main body without having been observed by the
sentries. The report that all were asleep, or off their guard, had been

It is supposed that some thousands of the enemy moved cautiously
forward, concealed by the darkness, upon ground that otherwise could not
have admitted a stealthy approach.

Fortunately for the expedition, one or two of the cattle sentries were
awake, otherwise the entire force must have been massacred.

The Baris crept forward without being observed, until they arrived near
the silent and sleepy camp. Then with sudden shrieks and yells they
rushed forward in a mass upon the unsuspecting troops!

A slight impediment may check an assault during the darkness of night.
The only protection to the position was a simple line of thorn branches
laid in a row about twenty paces in the front, running parallel with the
river. The naked legs of the first line of the enemy must have become
entangled in this unseen obstruction for a few seconds, which caused
sufficient confusion to destroy the momentum of the first rush forward.

The sentries by the ravine immediately fired, and the sixty men who
formed the cattle guard quickly responded, and poured a fire into the
enemy's flank.

The delay caused by the thorns was only momentary, but it had been
sufficient to allow the troops to awaken and to clutch their muskets.
Here was a glorious opportunity for the gun, if loaded with canister and
ready at point-blank range!

The enemy were already at the muzzle. The Egyptian artillerymen forsook
their piece and fled ignominiously to the vessels for protection. Only
one fine fellow had stood by the gun, and he pulled the lanyard when the
crowd of natives were almost upon him. Where were the unfailing English
tubes? An Egyptian tube had been placed in the vent in spite of all my
orders. It MISSED FIRE!

The gun that should have swept a clear road through the enemy was
silent, and the gallant soldier who alone had stood faithful at his post
was immediately speared through the body, and fell dead. The gun was in
the hands of the Baris.

The troops, seized with a panic, fled on board the vessels, where they
were with difficulty rallied by their officers so as to open fire from
the protection of the banks of the river.

The Baris were prepared with fire to burn the ships; which they not only
succeeded in throwing within the vessels, but they killed an unfortunate
woman with a lance, who was on the fore part of a noggur.

Troops had rushed into the cabins and upon the poop-deck of my
diahbeeah, from which they now opened fire upon the enemy who were at
the same time exposed to a flank fire from the sixty cattle guards. Thus
checked the advance, and the major, Abdullah, succeeded in leading his
men forward and recapturing the gun. At length a tube was found and
fitted in the vent. Fortunately the Baris were ignorant, and the lanyard
was lying by the gun. Another tube failed, but after some delay, the gun
at length spoke, but unfortunately not with canister.

It was already too hot for the Baris, who were between two fires, and a
few shots from the cannon settled the affair and determined the retreat.

I could not have believed in such negligence and folly had I not had a
long experience of Egyptian troops, whether brown or black. These people
can generally be surprised, unless their commanding officer is vigilant
and most severe. Little or no dependence can be placed on the
non-commissioned officers; these are ignorant, thoughtless people, who
having learnt from their Mohammedan teachers to trust themselves to God,
would seldom remain awake unless kept to their duty by their superior

On the morning following this attack, the big drums of the natives were
sounding in all directions upon both sides of the river. Thousands of
Baris had congregated upon the various heights, and it appeared that a
general attack would be renewed upon the camp.

It was not considered safe to drive the cattle out to pasturage.

There can be no doubt that with a force of 145 men, Major Abdullah
should have anchored his vessels a few yards from the shore, and have
then made a vigorous attack upon the Baris. He was provided with Hale's
rockets in addition to the field-piece; and he should have given the
enemy a severe example.

Instead of assuming the offensive, he remained inactive, which so
encouraged the enemy that they gathered from every quarter, and
naturally concluded that the troops had received a panic from the night

At this critical time, the scarlet uniforms of my fifty men appeared in
the rear of the natives, together with 400 of the Lobore. Some of my men
belonged to the "Forty Thieves;" and the Baris upon seeing the arrival
of so powerful a reinforcement, immediately dispersed, with much blowing
of horns and whistles in defiance of Major Abdullah.

It was declared that the Baris had suffered severely during the night
attack; but I had ceased to pay much attention to the official reports
of the enemy's losses, which were always exaggerated.

Between the river and Lobore, the troops had marched without opposition,
and they had followed my instructions by leaving cows for payment at
every night's halting-place.

I now divided the flour into loads of sixty pounds each, packed in
baskets covered with raw hide.

I thus carried 3,600 lbs. by sixty porters. My troops were now relieved
from much weight, as I engaged 500 natives for the journey to the
interior; at the same time I ordered every soldier to carry six pounds
of flour in addition to his knapsack and accoutrements. Every one of my
men was provided with a small tanned goatskin stripped from the animal
(like a stocking from the leg) and secured at one end like a bag. These
little chorabs, or travelling sacks, were most convenient, and were well
adapted for carrying flour, as they were easily strapped to the top of
the knapsack.

I lost no time in preparing for a move forward. Wani the interpreter was
invaluable, as he superintended all the arrangements necessary for
collecting the carriers.

The cattle were confined within the kraal waiting for selection. About
1,000 natives assembled, and they were allowed to enter the zareeba and
choose their cows, in parties of four at one time, to prevent confusion.

This was a tedious operation, as the Lobore carriers were almost as
particular in their selection of cattle as ladies are supposed to be in
the choice of their dresses.

February 27.--The Lobore were exceedingly quiet and orderly in their
conduct, and 500 cows having been received by as many natives, they
returned to their homes to make arrangements for the journey to Fatiko.
I find the following extract in my journal of this date :--

"The Lobore will be useful allies as they are enemies of the Bari, and
their country is well situated, lying between Bari and Madi, on the
route to Fatiko; thus they will be ready as carriers for both ends of
the line.

"If I can obtain eighty camels from Khartoum, I can get the steamer
along without any serious difficulty, as the Lobore natives can be
engaged to make the road; but nothing can prosper until a regular camel
transport service shall be established.

"I am sadly in want of troops and European officers. There should be 200
men in four parties stationed at intervals along the line to direct the
natives in opening the road.

"A soldier deserted and ran away with his arms and ammunition to some
distant village. I immediately called Wani and the old sheik Abbio, to
whom I explained that I should hold them responsible if the deserter
were not captured. They sent out natives in all directions in search.

"February 28.--The natives returned, saying they had found the deserter
about half a march distant, but they could not seize him alive, as he
threatened to shoot them; at the same time they were afraid to kill him,
as he was my soldier.

"I immediately sent a sergeant and three men of 'The Forty' to take him

"In the evening the soldiers returned, having captured the deserter. I
left him in irons to be kept at hard labour by the sheik Abbio at
Lobore, until I should return to the country. This is a good lesson to
the troops.

"The natives had a grand dance to-day; the men and women as usual naked,
leaping, and yelling wild songs to an extraordinary accompaniment of
music, produced by beating a long stick of extremely hard wood with a
short stick of the same substance. Some of the girls were pretty, but
being smeared with red ochre and fat, they were not attractive. The
natives were very civil, and although at least a thousand were present,
they immediately made room for me upon my arrival; that I might have a
good place to witness their performance."

I was much struck with a simple arrangement made use of by the old
people to support the back in lieu of an arm-chair. Each person had a
cord knotted by the ends so as to form an endless loop or hoop. The size
depended upon the measurement required, so that if the hoop were thrown
over the body when in a sitting posture upon the ground, with the knees
raised, the rope would form a band around the forepart of the knees and
the small of the back, which would thus be supported.

The Lobore are great workers in iron, which is used generally in the
manufacture of ornaments. Large rings of this metal are worn round the
neck, and upon the arms and ankles. Many of these ankle-rings are of
extreme thickness, and would suffice for the punishment of prisoners. I
was interested with the mechanical contrivance of the Lobore for
detaching the heavy metal anklets, which, when hammered firmly together,
appeared to be hopeless fixtures in the absence of a file.

I required several irons to construct the manacles for the deserter,
thus I had purchased the massive ornaments which had to be detached from
the ankles of the owner.

The man sat upon the ground. A stick of hard, unyielding wood was thrust
through the ring beneath the ankle, so that each end of the stick rested
on the earth. A man secured one end by standing upon it, while another
placed a stone upon the stick thus secured, which he used as a fulcrum.
The lever employed was a piece of abdnoos, which worked upon the stone,
and pressed down the base of the ring at the same time that it opened
the joint sufficiently to allow it to be passed over the thin portion of
the leg.

I never saw this ingenious application of the lever among other tribes
than the Lobore. The usual method among the Madi is far more simple, but
requires a certain number of men, and places the patient in an
uncomfortable position. A rope is fastened to each side of the ring,
upon which a number of men haul in opposite directions until they have
opened the joint sufficiently to detach it from the leg.

On 29th February we were ready for the start. The loads were all
prepared and arranged in separate divisions of twenty each, under the
charge of selected officers and men.

The big nogara had sounded, the natives collected, and each man stood by
his load; thus twenty-five gangs of twenty each should have stood in

I now discovered that the vaunted honesty of the Lobore was of the same
order as that of other negroes. Five hundred cows had been given to as
many natives, for all of which the sheik Abbio had declared himself
responsible. The big nogara sounded in vain. After waiting for some
hours, and sending numerous messengers to as many villages, only 433
carriers could be mustered; thus sixty-seven had eloped with as many

No one can imagine the trouble of such a journey with so long a retinue
of carriers, most of whom are dishonest, and only seek an opportunity to
abscond upon the road.

The Lobore are immensely powerful men, and they carried the boxes of
Hale's rockets as single loads, although weighing upwards of seventy-two
pounds. At the same time they quarrelled among themselves as to the
choice of parcels, and I could with difficulty prevail upon them to
carry the zinc boat, although it did not exceed 130 lbs. Four men
actually refused to touch it, as it sat uneasily upon their heads.

This handy little vessel was made of zinc upon an iron framework, and
would contain four people upon a pinch, but would easily convey three
across a river. I had arranged it upon two stout bamboos so adjusted
that four men should have carried it with ease. The natives demanded
eight, but I at length compromised for six.

The delay caused by the non-appearance of the sixty-seven carriers was
extremely dangerous, as it increased the chance of desertions. Already
many had volunteered to search for their missing friends, which would
have resulted in a search for them also, until my body of carriers would
have melted away.

Fortunately I had made a considerable allowance for desertions on the
road, and I could manage to start with the assistance of the soldiers
and their wives, among whom I divided many baskets of flour.

At 3.25 P.M. we started.

There was no danger now that we had passed the Bari tribe, therefore we
could push on with an advance guard of five picked men of "The Forty,"
who always accompanied us, and leave the charge of the march and baggage
to Colonel Abd-el-Kader and the various officers.

We accordingly marched, at four miles an hour, through a rocky and hilly
country, generally wooded, which would have been an awkward position if
held by an enemy.

At 6 P.M. we halted at a rocky ravine where water had been expected by
our guide. To our dismay we found it nearly dry, and it was necessary to
dig temporary wells in the sand to procure a supply for ourselves, while
the horses were forced to content themselves with the impure pool.

It quickly became dark, and the troops and baggage were far behind. We
therefore gathered wood and made a blazing fire to show our position; at
the same time a bugler and drummer who had accompanied us, made as much
noise as possible from the summit of a small hill.

At 7.30 P.M. the cattle arrived by torchlight, together with the troops
and baggage. Some of the Lobore carriers had already deserted on the
road, which had caused much delay.

We had marched nine miles, but it was absolutely necessary to send four
men back to Lobore, to insist upon fresh carriers being immediately sent
to replace the runaways.

On March 1 we started at half-past six A.M., after a terrific scramble
for loads by 400 Lobore carriers, who rushed in and tugged and wrestled
for their packages like wolves over a carcase. Boxes were turned upside
down, and carried in that manner with an utter disregard for the

The inverted canteen was discovered upon the head of a brutal Lobore,
whose body was being basted with Cognac and gin that showered from the
loosened stoppers of the decanters.

I never saw such a wild pack of savages; they were only fit to carry the
elephants' tusks of the traders; but any civilized baggage ran a risk of
instant destruction.

The old sheik, Abbio, had given me his son to keep order among the
people. This young man was about twenty-seven years of age, but,
although respectable in appearance, he did not appear to have the
slightest control over his people, and he regarded their desertions with
seeming indifference.

I had a strong suspicion that he might quietly abscond at night, in
which case every man might instantly follow his example. I therefore
ordered a light thong of leather to be attached to the iron collar worn
as an ornament upon his neck, and I trusted him to the surveillance of a
couple of soldiers told off as his guard of honour.

We marched south for sixteen miles through a fine country of hills and
low forest, where the villages of the Madi had been mostly destroyed by
the slave-hunting parties of Abou Saood.

We passed large tracts of land that had formerly been in a high state of
cultivation, and the charred remains of numerous villages bespoke the
desolation caused by these brigands of the White Nile. The road was well
watered by many small streams in deep gorges, until we descended to the
Asua river. This was just twenty-five miles from our camp at Lobore, in
latitude N., by observation, 3 degrees 43 minutes.

We happened to arrive at the spot where the river Atabbi joined the
Asua. At this junction the Atabbi was perfectly clear, while the Asua
was muddy, which proved that heavy rain had fallen in the Madi and
Shooli countries, while the weather was dry in the mountains of Obbo.

The Asua flowed through a fine forest, but although the water was muddy
from recent rains, the volume at this season was confined to a portion
of the bed, in the deepest parts of which it did not exceed two feet six
inches. The bed from bank to bank was about 120 yards in width, and the
maximum rise of the river was about twelve feet. During the wet season
this is a frightful torrent that acts as a barrier to any advance or
retreat of troops encumbered with baggage.

Having waded through the river, we halted under the shady trees on the
south side; here there was excellent herbage for the cattle, as the
young grass after the annual fires was now about eight inches high, upon
the rich soil near the river's bank.

Whenever we halted during daylight, I took a stroll with the rifle,
accompanied by Lieutenant Baker.

We walked for some time along the banks of the river up stream without
seeing any game, and I was struck with the absence of tracks of the
larger animals, which coincided with my remarks on the Asua river many
years previous, when I crossed it about thirty miles higher up, on my
route from Latooka to Shooa.

I expected to return without seeing game, when we suddenly spied a few
waterbuck in the sandy bed of the river, about 300 paces distant.

We made a good stalk, but I only wounded the animal at which I fired at
about 150 yards, and they galloped off through the open forest. I heard
the bullet from the left hand barrel strike a tree stem, which saved the
antelope, but having quickly reloaded, I had a clear and steady shot at
a long range as the large buck suddenly stopped and looked back. I put
up the last sight for 250 yards and took a full bead. To my great
satisfaction the waterbuck with a fine set of horns dropped dead. I
could not measure the distance accurately as we had to descend a rocky
bank, and then, crossing the bed of the Asua, to ascend the steep north
bank before we arrived at tolerably level ground.

Upon reaching the animal, I found the bullet in the neck, where it had
divided the spine. I guessed the distance at about 240 yards. Some of
our Lobore natives, who had kept at a distance behind us, now came up,
and in a short time the noble waterbuck was cut up and the flesh carried
into camp. This species of antelope, when in good condition, weighs
about thirty stone (cleaned).

On March 2 we started at 6 A.M., and marched at a rapid rate along a
hard and excellent path, which inclined upwards from the river for about
eight miles.

The bush was very open, and in many portions the country was a
succession of deep dells, which in the wet season were covered with high
grass, but at this time the young grass was hardly three inches high,
having sprouted after the recent fires.

From an altitude of about 1,000 feet above the Asua river, we had a
splendid view of the entire landscape.

On the east, at about fifty miles distant, was the fine range of lofty
mountains that stretched in a long line towards Latooka. On the west, on
the left bank of the White Nile, which now flowed almost beneath our
feet, was the precipitous mountain Neri, known by the Arab traders as
Gebel huku. This fine mass of rock descends in a series of rugged
terraces from a height of between three and four thousand feet to the
Nile, at a point where the river boils through a narrow gorge between
the mountains. It is in this passage that the principal falls take place
which I witnessed in my former journey. At that time our path led along
the rocky bank of the river, and was both difficult and dangerous.

Eight miles from the Asua river now brought us to the top of the pass,
and having stopped for a few moments to take compass bearings, we began
the somewhat steep descent.

Walking was preferable to riding, and after a distance of a couple of
miles had been accomplished, we rounded the rocky hill by crossing a
ravine upon our right, and the view of the promised land burst upon us.

The grand White Nile lay like a broad streak of silver on our right as
it flowed in a calm, deep stream direct from the Albert N'yanza; at this
spot above all cataracts. No water had as yet been broken by a fall; the
troubles of river-life lay in the future; the journey to the sea might
be said to have only just commenced. Here the entire volume flowed from
the Albert N'yanza, distant hardly one degree; and here had I always
hoped to bring my steamers, as the starting-point for the opening of the
heart of Africa to navigation. (This has since been proved correct by
the efforts of my successor, Colonel Gordon, who carried the 38-ton
steamer which I had left at Gondokoro to this point above the cataracts,
and constructed her at Duffle on the opposite bank. This vessel steamed
into the Albert N'yanza without any difficulty, and corroborated my
assertion that the river was navigable. It may be remembered that many
geographers had contested the fact that the Nile was an effluent from
the Albert N'yanza.)

I was deeply mortified when I gazed upon this lovely view, and reflected
upon the impossibilities that had prevented my success. Had the White
Nile been open as formerly, I should have transported the necessary
camels from Khartoum, and there would have been no serious difficulty in
the delivery of the steamers to this point. Two or three strong pioneer
parties, with native assistance, would quickly have bridged over the
narrow water-courses and have cleared a rough road through the forests
as the carts advanced.

It was useless to repine. I still hoped to accomplish the work.

We now descended into the beautiful plain, to which I had given the name
Ibrahimeyah, in honour of the father of his Highness the Khedive
(Ibrahim Pacha).

This point is destined to become the capital of Central Africa.

The general depot for the steamers will be near the mouth of the
Un-y-Ame river; which, after rising in the prairies between Fatiko and
Unyoro, winds through a lovely country for about eighty miles, and falls
into the White Nile opposite to Gebel Kuku. The trade of Central Africa,
when developed by the steamers on the Albert N'yanza, will concentrate
at this spot, whence it must be conveyed by camels for 120 miles to
Gondokoro, until at some future time a railway may perhaps continue the
line of steam communication.

It is a curious fact that a short line of 120 miles of railway would
open up the very heart of Africa to steam transport--between the
Mediterranean and the equator, when the line from Cairo to Khartoum
shall be completed!

The No. 10 steamer that I had brought up to Gondokoro from Khartoum was
originally built in England for the mail service (per Nile) between
Alexandria and Cairo, at the time when the overland route was made by
vans across the desert to Suez. This steamer had sailed from London, and
had arrived complete at Alexandria.

It appears almost impossible that she is now floating at an altitude of
nearly 2,000 feet above the sea level; to which great elevation she has
actually steamed from the Mediterranean. Thus, starting from a base
line, and producing a line perpendicular to the sea level of 2,000 feet,
she has climbed up the Nile to her present high position.

Accepting the approximate length of the Nile in all its windings from
the Mediterranean to N. lat. 4 degrees 38 minutes, at 3,000 miles in
round numbers; this will give an average rise or fall in the river of
nine inches per mile; which easily explains the position of the steamer
at her most remote point below the last cataracts.

I revelled in this lovely country. The fine park-like trees were clumped
in dark-green masses here and there. The tall dolape-palms (Borassus
Ethiopicus) were scattered about the plain, sometimes singly, at others
growing in considerable numbers. High and bold rocks; near and distant
mountains; the richest plain imaginable in the foreground, with the
clear Un-y-Ame flowing now in a shallow stream between its lofty banks,
and the grand old Nile upon our right, all combined to form a landscape
that produced a paradise.

The air was delightful. There was an elasticity of spirit, the result of
a pure atmosphere, that made one feel happy in spite of many anxieties.
My legs felt like steel as we strode along before the horses, with rifle
on shoulder, into the broad valley, in which the mountain we had
descended seemed to have taken root.

The country was full of game. Antelopes in great numbers, and in some
variety, started from their repose in this beautiful wilderness, and
having for a few moments regarded the strange sights of horses, and
soldiers in scarlet uniform, they first trotted, and then cantered far
away. The graceful leucotis stood in herds upon the river's bank, and
was the last to retreat.

I selected a shady spot within a grove of heglik-trees for a bivouac,
and leaving my wife with a guard, and the horses, I at once started off
with Lieutenant Baker to procure some venison.

We returned after a couple of hours, having shot five antelopes. The
native name for this part of the country is Afuddo. Our present halting
place was thirty-seven miles from Lobore. Formerly there were villages
in this neighbourhood, but they had been destroyed by the slave-hunters.
Fortunately I had prepared a stock of flour sufficient for the entire
journey to Fatiko.

In my last visit to this country I had thoroughly studied its features;
thus I felt quite at home, and I knew my route in every direction. The
mountain of Shooa was distinctly visible, where I had camped for four or
five months, thus it would be impossible for the Lobore people to
deceive me.

Abou Saood had four stations throughout this lovely district, i.e.,
Fatiko, Fabbo, Faloro, and Farragenia. I was now steering for Fatiko, as
it was a spot well known to me, and exactly on my proposed road to

On 3rd March, we marched at 6 A.M., and continued along the plain
towards the rising ground that led to Shooa. At six miles from the
halting place we took bearings:

Shooa hill, about 35 miles distant, bearing 162 1/2 degrees Akiko hill
about 16 miles distant, bearing 321 1/2 degrees Gebel Kuku about 9 miles
distant, 299 1/2 degrees

Our course lay towards the S.S.E., beneath a wall-like range of
precipitous rocky hills upon our left, in no place higher than 200 feet.
The guides were at fault, and no water could be found upon the road.

A herd of tetel (Antelope Bubalis) upon our right tempted me, and,
jumping off my horse, I made a fair stalk and killed a fine beast with
the "Dutchman" at 210 yards.

Every one was thirsty, as the sun was hot, and the wall-like, rocks upon
our left reflected the heat. At length we discovered natives squatting
upon the very summits of the perpendicular cliffs, and after some
trouble we succeeded in coaxing them down. Two of these people
volunteered to lead us to water, and they took us to a steep rocky
ravine, in the bottom of which was a pool of dirty liquid that had been
bathed in by wild buffaloes. My men quickly began to dig sand-wells with
their hands, until the main body of the troops and cattle arrived.

In about an hour, I heard a great hubbub, with a noise of quarrelling
and shouting; every one was running towards the spot. It appeared that a
wild buffalo, being ignorant of our arrival, had suddenly visited his
drinking-place, and had thoughtlessly descended the deep and narrow
gorge to drink his evening draught. The Lobores had espied him, and they
immediately rushed down and overwhelmed him with lances from the cliffs
above. There was now an extraordinary scene over the carcase; four
hundred men scrambling over a mass of blood and entrails, fighting and
tearing with each other, and cutting off pieces of flesh with their
lance-heads, with which they escaped as dogs may retreat with a stolen

On 4th March we started at 6.25 A.M. The advent of the buffalo was a sad
misfortune, as it had supplied the natives with sufficient flesh to feed
them on the road home; thus thirty Lobores had absconded during the

Fortunately we had already consumed many loads of flour. I was now
obliged to divide two days rations among the troops as extra weight. The
light loads were then doubled. Brandy boxes of twelve bottles were now
lashed together, so as to form a load of twenty-four. Several boxes of
gin had been entirely destroyed by the savage carriers, who had allowed
them to fall upon the rocks.

Having crossed the bends of the Un-y-Ame river twice, we halted for the
night in fine open forest on the south bank, beneath a large
tamarind-tree, that yielded an abundant supply of fruit for all hands.

We had only marched ten miles, owing to the delay occasioned by the
desertion of the carriers.

On 5th March I led the way, as the Lobore guide professed ignorance of
the route to Fatiko. The fact was, that the Lobores had wished on the
previous day to take me to Farragenia, which is two days nearer than
Fatiko. Had I been ignorant of the country, we should have been

I steered through low open forest, the leaves of which had been scorched
off by the fire that had cleared the country. Neither a village nor the
print of a human foot could be seen. This beautiful district that had
formerly abounded in villages had been depopulated by the slave-hunters.

Having taken the Shooa mountain for a steering point, we reached the
spot where in former years I had passed five months in the camp of
Ibrahim. This also had been destroyed, in addition to all the numerous
villages of the mountain. We had marched fourteen miles.

I gave orders that on the morrow all the troops were to appear in their
best uniforms, as we were only six miles from Fatiko, the principal
station, where I fully expected to meet Abou Saood himself.



ON 6th March, 1872, we started from the bivouac at the base of the Shooa
mountain at 6.10 A.M.

The troops were in excellent spirits, the air was fresh and cool in this
elevated country, the horses had been well groomed, and the arms and
accoutrements had been burnished on the previous afternoon, in order to
make a good appearance before my old friends the natives of Fatiko and

The bright scarlet uniforms and snow-white linen trousers of 212 men
looked extremely gay upon the fresh green grass, which had lately sprung
up throughout this beautiful park.

There was no enemy in this country. From a former residence of five
months at Shooa, both my wife and myself were well known to the
inhabitants, and I felt sure that our arrival would be hailed with
gladness. In my former visit I had been a successful hunter, and had
always given the flesh to the natives; thus, as the road to a negro's
heart is through his stomach, I knew that my absence must have been
felt, and that the recollections of past times would be savoury and

I had with me a herd of 1,078 cows and 194 sheep. No guard was
necessary, and I intrusted the stock to the care of the three boatmen,
and my Bari interpreter, Morgian.

The line of march was thus arranged:--Myself, with my wife and
Lieutenant Baker, on horseback in advance, preceded by the guard of five
of the "Forty Thieves." Then came Colonel Abd-el-Kader and the remaining
forty-three, composing the gallant "Forty." After which came the
regiment, all necessarily in single file. Then came the baggage with 400
carriers, followed by the herd of cattle.

All our boys were dressed in their scarlet uniforms, and the girls and
women generally had dressed in their best clothes. Little Cuckoo as
usual carried my small travelling-bag upon his head, and kept his line
with the other boys, all of whom assumed an air that was intended to be
thoroughly regimental.

In this order the march commenced. The distance was only six miles. This
was as lovely a route as could be conceived.

Magnificent trees (acacias), whose thick, dark foliage drooped near the
ground, were grouped in clumps, springing from the crevices between huge
blocks of granite. Brooks of the purest water rippled over the time-worn
channels cut through granite plateaux, and as we halted to drink at the
tempting stream, the water tasted as cold as though from an European

The entire country on our left was a succession of the most beautiful
rocky undulations and deep verdant glades, at the bottom of which flowed
perennial streams. The banks of these rivulets were richly clothed with
ornamental timber, the green foliage contrasting strongly with the dark
grey blocks of granite resembling the ruins of ancient towers.

We travelled along a kind of hog's back, which formed the watershed to
the west. As we ascended, until we reached a large plateau of clean
granite of about two acres, we broke upon a magnificent panorama, which
commanded an extensive view of the whole country.

On the west, we looked down upon the plains through which we had
arrived, and the view stretched far away beyond the Nile, until it met
the horizon bounded by the grey outline of the distant mountains.

No one could feel unhappy in such a scene. I trod upon my old ground,
every step of which I knew, and I felt an exhilaration of spirits at the
fact that I was once more here in the new capacity of a deliverer, who
would be welcomed with open arms by the down-trodden natives of this

Having descended from the clean plateau of rock, we carefully rode
across a slippery channel that had been worn by the sandy torrents of
the rainy season, and once more arrived at level ground. We were now on
the great table-land of Fatiko.

Upon our left, a mass of bold ruins, the granite skeleton remains of a
perished mountain, which formed a shelter from the morning sun, tempted
us to halt.

We had thus suddenly appeared upon the greensward of the plateau without
the slightest warning to the inhabitants of Fatiko. About a mile before
us stood the large station of Abou Saood, which occupied at least thirty
acres. On our right we were hemmed in by a wall of granite, sloped like
a huge whale, about three-quarters of a mile long and 100 feet high. The
southern extremity of this vast block of clean granite was the rocky and
fantastic hill of Fatiko crested with fine timber. To our left, and
straight before us, was a perfectly flat plain like a race-course, the
south end being a curious and beautiful assemblage of immense granite
blocks, and groups of weeping acacia.

A large village occupied the base of Fatiko hill ... The bugles and
drums sounded "the advance." The echoes rang from the hard granite rock
as the unusual sound gave the first warning of our presence.

I had dismounted from my horse, and was watching the slaver's camp with
a powerful telescope, as the bugles sounded and the men fell into order.

A number of people ran out of the camp, and stared at the blaze of
scarlet uniforms, which must have appeared as a larger force than the
reality, owing to the bright contrast of red with the green turf.

In an instant there was confusion in the camp. I soon distinguished
immense numbers of slaves being driven quickly out, and hurried away to
the south. The slaver's drum beat, and a number of crimson flags were
seen advancing, until they halted and formed a line close to the
entrance of the village. I now saw natives rushing wildly to and fro in
all directions armed with spears and shields.

Some time elapsed before the cattle and baggage arrived. In the meantime
I waited, perched on a block of granite, with my telescope, watching
every movement. There was no doubt that our sudden appearance had caused
intense excitement. I saw men running from the trader's station to the
large village opposite, at the foot of the hill.

At length, I observed two men approaching.

We were not yet ready for a general advance, therefore, as the servants
and carriers, cattle, &c., fell into order, the band struck up some
Turkish airs, which sounded extremely wild and appropriate to the
savagely-beautiful scenery around us.

In the meantime the two messengers drew nearer. They were both filthy
dirty, and appeared to be clad in dark-brown leather. One man seemed to
hesitate, and stood about sixty yards distant, and demanded who we were.
Upon hearing from Colonel Abdel-Kader that it was "the Pacha," and that
"he need not be afraid," he told us that Abou Saood was at the station,
and that he would run back with the news.

The other messenger came timidly forward, until he stood close beneath
me. My wife was on horseback by my side.

Can it be possible? MOHAMMED, my old Cairo servant of former years?

The grand dragoman of the lower Nile reduced to this! My wife exclaimed,
"Ah, Mohammed, I am very glad to see you; but how wretched you appear!"

This was too much for the prodigal son; he seized my wife's hand to
kiss, and burst into tears.

Poor Mohammed! he had gone through many trials since we last met. When I
left him in Khartoum ill with guinea-worm in the leg, he was on his way
to Cairo; but after my departure he had been tempted by the
slave-traders to re-engage in the infamous but engrossing career, and he
too had become a slave-hunter. He had never received any pay, as the
custom of the slavers was to pay their men in slaves. Mohammed had never
been fortunate in his domestic affairs; he was not a favourite of the
ladies; thus his female slaves had all run away; his fortune had walked
off, and he was left a beggar, with an overdrawn account in slaves.

Mohammed had never been a good English scholar, but want of practice
during many years had almost obscured the light of his former learning,
which was reduced to the faintest glimmer.

The bugles now sounded the "advance," and we marched forward in
admirable order, with the band playing.

In the meantime, several natives had approached, and having recognized
Lady Baker and myself, they immediately raced back to the village with
the news.

My men looked remarkably well, and the advance into Fatiko was a sight
that was entirely new to Central Africa. We were in magnificent order
for work, with a hardy disciplined force of 212 men, and a stock of
cattle and merchandise that would carry us to any direction I might

This arrival, in such perfect organization, was a fatal blow to the
hopes and intrigues of Abou Saood. I was actually among them, in the
very nest and hotbed of the slavers, in spite of every difficulty.

Abou Saood came to meet me, with his usual humble appearance, as we
neared his station; and he cringingly invited us to rest in some huts
that had just been prepared for our reception.

I declined the invitation, and prepared to camp beneath some grand
acacias, among the granite rocks, about a quarter of a mile beyond,
where I had rested some years ago. I accordingly led the way, until we
arrived at a very beautiful spot, among some immense granite blocks,
shaded by the desired foliage. Here the word was given "Halt!" and the
tent was quickly pitched in a favourable locality.

We were now distant from the junction of the Un-y-Ame river 48 miles,
from Lobore 85 miles, and from Gondokoro 165 miles.

Abou Saood ordered his people to bring a number of straw-roofs from his
station, to form a protection for the officers. The men quickly housed
themselves in temporary huts, and the cattle were placed for the night
in a regular amphitheatre of rock, which formed an excellent position.

On 8th March, I reviewed the troops, and having given the natives
warning of my intention, I had a sham-fight and attack of the Fatiko
mountain. Having fired several rockets at a supposed enemy, the troops
advanced in two companies to the north and south extremities of the
mountain, which they scaled with great activity, and joined their forces
on the clean plateau of granite on the summit of the ridge. The effect
was very good, and appeared to delight the natives, who had assembled in
considerable numbers. After firing several volleys, the troops descended
the hill, and marched back, with the band playing.

The music of our band being produced simply by a considerable number of
bugles, drums, and cymbals, aided by a large military bass-drum, might
not have been thought first-rate in Europe, but in Africa it was

The natives are passionately fond of music; and I believe the safest way
to travel in those wild countries would be to play the cornet, if
possible without ceasing, which would insure a safe passage. A London
organ-grinder would march through Central Africa followed by an admiring
and enthusiastic crowd, who, if his tunes were lively, would form a
dancing escort of the most untiring material.

As my troops returned to their quarters, with the band playing rather
cheerful airs, we observed the women racing down from their villages,
and gathering from all directions towards the common centre. As they
approached nearer, the charms of music were overpowering, and, halting
for an instant, they assumed what they considered the most graceful
attitudes, and then danced up to the band.

In a short time my buglers could hardly blow their instruments for
laughing, at the extraordinary effect of their performance. A fantastic
crowd surrounded them as they halted in our position among the rocks;
and every minute added to their number.

The women throughout the Shooli are entirely naked, thus the effect of a
female crowd, bounding madly about as musical enthusiasts, was very
extraordinary. Even the babies were brought out to dance, and these
infants, strapped to their mothers' backs, and covered with pumpkin
shells, like young tortoises, were jolted about without the slightest
consideration for the weakness of their necks, by their infatuated

As usual, among all tribes in Central Africa, the old women were even
more determined dancers than the young girls. Several old Venuses were
making themselves extremely ridiculous, as they sometimes do in
civilized countries when attempting the allurements of younger days.

The men did not share in the dance, but squatted upon the rocks in great
numbers to admire the music, and to witness the efforts of their wives
and daughters.

The men of Shooli and Fatiko are the best proportioned that I have seen;
without the extreme height of the Shillooks or Dinkas, they are muscular
and well knit, and generally their faces are handsome.

The women were inclined to a short stature, but were very strong and
compact. It was singular, that throughout the great Shooli country, of
which Fatiko is simply a district, while the women are perfectly naked,
the men are partially clothed with the skin of an antelope, slung across
the shoulders, and covering the lower part of the body life a scarf. In
other countries that I had passed, the men were quite naked, while the
women were more or less covered.

After the dance, I was visited by several natives who had known me in
former years, among whom was my old guide, Gimoro, who had first led me
to Unyoro. Another excellent man named Shoeli now gave me all the
intelligence of the country. Both these men spoke Arabic.

It was a repetition of the old story. The country was half-ruined by the
acts of Abou Saood's people. The natives were afraid to resist them in
this neighbourhood, as every adjacent country had been plundered, and
the women and children carried off. Abou Saood had not expected that I
could leave Gondokoro; but he had told the Shooli natives to attack me
if I should arrive; thus on the day of my appearance, the natives, being
ignorant of my presence, had considered the dreaded Pacha must be an
enemy, until they had recognized my wife and myself as their old

Upon that day, when I had observed the natives running to and fro with
spears and shields, Abou Saood had told them to resist me at once, and
he had promised that his people should assist the Fatikos; but when the
natives saw our powerful force, they had known that an attack would be
useless; they had accordingly sent men to discover our intentions, and
these messengers had reported my return to their country in the capacity
of Pacha commanding the expedition.

My old friends now assured me, in reply to my explanation of the
Khedive's intentions, that the whole country would rally around a good
government, and all that the poor people desired was protection and
justice. The fact of my return would give confidence throughout the
country; and the news had already been carried to the great sheik, Rot
Jarma, who had never visited Abou Saood or his people, but who would
quickly tender his allegiance to me as the representative of the

I told Gimoro and Shooli to inform the headmen, and the people generally
throughout the country, of my pacific intentions, and to have no fear
now that the government was represented, as it would be impossible that
the atrocities committed by the slave-hunters of Abou Saood should
recur. At the same time I explained, that in about twenty days the
contract entered into between Agad and Co. with the Soudan government
would expire, and Abou Saood would be compelled to withdraw all his
people from the country, which would then remain solely in the hands of
the Khedive.

Throughout the subsequent expedition, I could always rely upon the
fidelity of these two men, Gimoro and Shooli.

After their departure to spread the good news far and wide, I had a long
conversation with my old servant, Mohammed, who I knew would give me
every information respecting the acts of Abou Saood and his people, as
he had been among them in these parts for many years.

He told me that my arrival at Fatiko was supposed to be improbable, as
the Gondokoro natives were known to be hostile to the government;
therefore it would be impossible to transport the baggage. Although the
Baris were at war with the government, Abou Saood had about seventy of
these natives at Fatiko, armed with muskets, in his employ; thus he was
openly in league with the enemies of the Khedive's government.

The report among the slave companies asserted that Abou Saood had been
in league with Raoul Bey to frustrate the expedition; thus the
conspiracy of the officers headed by Raouf Bey, which I had checkmated,
was the grand move to effect a collapse of the expedition, and to leave
a clear field for the slave-traders.

"Up to the present time, my arrangements have been able to overpower all

The success of the corn collection at the moment of the conspiracy was
fatal to the machinations of Raouf Bey, and secured me the confidence of
the troops.

"The success of every attack that I have personally commanded has
clinched this confidence.

"The trader's people are discontented with their leaders; they are
without clothes or wages.

"Their parties have been massacred in several directions by the natives.
Nearly 500 loads of ivory have been burned, together with one of their
stations, by a night attack of the Madi, in which the slave-hunters lost
thirty-five killed, and the rest of the party only escaped in the
darkness, and fled to the forests.

"Thus I come upon them at a moment when they are divided in their
feelings. A dread of the government is mingled with confidence in the
arrival of a strong military force, which would be auxiliary in the
event of a general uprising of the country."

I found several of my old men engaged as slave-hunters. These people,
who had behaved well on my former voyage, confided all the news, and
were willing to serve the government. Kamrasi, the former king of
Unyoro, was dead, and had been succeeded by his son, Kabba Rega.

Some few of the people of Abou Saood had been on a visit to the king
M'tese at Uganda. This powerful ruler had been much improved by his
personal communication with the traders of Zanzibar. He had become a
Mohammedan, and had built a mosque. Even his vizier said his daily
prayers like a good Mussulman, and M'tese no longer murdered his wives.
If he cut the throat of either man or beast, it was now done in the name
of God, and the king had become quite civilized, according to the report
of the Arab envoys. He kept clerks who could correspond, by letters, in
Arabic, and he had a regiment armed with a thousand guns, in addition to
the numerous forces at his command.

The Arab envoys of Abou Saood had been treated like dogs by the great
M'tese, and they had slunk back abashed, and were only glad to be
allowed to depart. They declared that such a country would not suit
their business: the people were too strong for them; and the traders
from Zanzibar purchased their ivory from M'tese with cotton stuffs,
silks, guns, and powder, brass-coil bracelets, beads, &c. The beads were
exchanged by equal weight for ivory.

"Even at Fatiko the brass-coil bracelets from Zanzibar are now common.
Some of Abou Saood's people are actually dressed in Manchester
manufactures that have arrived via Zanzibar at Unyoro. This is a
terrible disgrace to the Soudan authorities; thus the Zanzibar traders
are purchasing by legitimate dealing ivory that should, geographically
speaking, belong to Cairo.

"While fair dealing is the rule south of the equator, piracy and ruin
are the rule of the north.

"Abou Saood and his people are now in a dilemma. For many years they
have pillaged the country, and after having taught the natives to regard
cows as the only medium of exchange for ivory, they have at length
exhausted the cattle. Thus the transport of their large stock of ivory
has for a time become impossible, as sufficient cows cannot be collected
for the purpose.

"Every load from Fatiko to Ismailia (Gondokoro) requires two cows; one
to Lobore, and another thence to the journey's end.

"By the Nile traders' arrangements, the companies of Abou Saood receive
as their perquisite one-third of all the cattle that may be stolen in
successful razzias.

"The consumption of cattle by these brigands is enormous. All flour is
purchased in exchange for flesh, while flesh is also necessary for food;
thus the cow is being eaten at both ends.

"The frightful drain upon the country may be imagined by
the following calculation, which is certainly below the truth:--

"If 1,000 loads of ivory must be carried to Ismailia,
    2,000 cows are required as payment of carriers;

        To capture in a razzia 3,000 cows,
1000    belong to the brigands as their perquisite;
 300    are necessary to feed the native carriers and soldiers
_____   during the journey;
3,300   cows are required to deliver 1,000 loads of ivory a
        distance of 165 miles, from Fatiko to Ismailia (Gondokoro).

        A station of 350 men consumes
        daily  .  .  .  .                  700 lbs.
        In addition, they require to
        exchange for flour  .  .  .  .     350 lbs.
        Daily consumption of flesh  .  .  1,050 lbs.

        "The oxen of the country do not average more
        than 170 lbs. cleaned.
2,255   beasts are thus required annually.
5,555   oxen are necessary to feed and pay for the transport
        from a station only 350 strong; according to the
        customs of White Nile brigandage.

"It must be remembered that at least a thousand, and sometimes double
that number of slaves, are prisoners in each station. All these must be
fed. The same principle is adopted in the exchange of flesh for flour;
thus the expenditure of cattle is frightful. Not only oxen, but all the
breeding cows and young calves are killed without the slightest
reflection. No country can support such wilful waste; thus after many
years of ravage, this beautiful province has become almost barren of
cattle. The central districts occupied by the slave-traders having been
denuded of cattle, it has become necessary to make journeys to distant

The slave-hunters of Abou Saood had recently suffered a terrible defeat,
at the hands of the warlike tribe of Umiro, which was a just reward for
the horrible treachery of their party.

A man named Ali Hussein was a well-known employee of Abou Saood. This
ruffian was an Arab. He was a tall, wiry fellow, with a determined but
brutal cast of countenance, who was celebrated as a scoundrel among
scoundrels. Even his fellows dreaded his brutality. There was no crime
that he had not committed; and as his only virtue was extreme daring,
his reputation was terrible among the native population.

This fellow had waited upon my orders daily since my arrival at Fatiko.

At the death of the former vakeel of Fatiko, Ali Hussein had succeeded
to the command of the station.

He had arranged to make a descent upon the Umiro tribe, about six days'
march to the south-east.

He accordingly sent natives as spies, with specious messages to the
Umiro, announcing his intention of visiting them to purchase ivory.

With a party increased by volunteers from other stations to a force of
about 300 men, he arrived at Umiro.

The simple natives received him gladly, and showed extreme hospitality.
The country was thickly populated, and abounded with vast herds of the
finest cattle.

After a week's sojourn among the Umiro, during which he had received
large presents of elephants' tusks, and seventy head of oxen from the
confiding natives, the treacherous ruffian gave an order to his brigands
at sunset. They were to be under arms an hour before daybreak on the
following morning, to set fire to the adjacent villages of their
generous hosts, and to capture their large herds of cattle, together
with their women and children.

At the time appointed, while every Umiro slept unconscious of
approaching danger, several villages were surrounded, and volleys of
musketry were poured upon the sleeping inmates. The straw huts were
ignited, and the flames rapidly spread, while a massacre commenced
similar to the butcheries to which the slave-hunters were so well

The Umiro, thus taken by surprise, and appalled by so dastardly a
treachery, were easily defeated. Their children and wives were captured,
together with large herds of cattle, which are celebrated for their
size. All these were driven in triumph to Fatiko.

The success of this infernal scheme, raised the reputation of Ali
Hussein to the highest pitch. The reports of the vast pastoral wealth of
the Umiro excited the cupidity of the various companies in the stations
of Abou Saood.

It was determined to make a grand attack upon a people, who, in spite of
their warlike character, had exhibited a total want of power to resist.

Ali Hussein sent an expedition of about 350 men, in addition to a large
number of Fatiko allies. They arrived on the borders of Umiro, within
about an hour's march of the villages doomed to pillage. The party was
under the command of a notorious ruffian named Lazim, whom I had known
during my former exploration.

Upon arrival in the Umiro country, during the night after a forced
march, he sent a detachment of 103 men, together with about 150 natives,
to attack the villages by a surprise at dawn, and to capture the slaves
and cattle in the usual manner.

The party started at the early hour of first cock-crow, while the main
body under Lazim waited for the result.

Hours passed, but the company did not return. A few shots had been heard
in the distance.

The country was clear and open, but nothing could be seen. There was no
lowing of cattle, neither did the heavy clouds of smoke, usual on such
occasions, point out the direction of burning villages.

Presently, drums were heard in every direction, the horns and whistles
of the Umiro sounded the alarm, and large bodies of natives rushed
across the plain to the attack of Lazim's main body.

They had just time to form, and to post the men around the strong cattle
kraal, which they had occupied, when the stream of enemies came down
upon them.

Upon the open plain, the Umiro had no chance in attacking so well
defended a position, and the muskets, loaded with heavy mould shot, told
with great effect upon the naked bodies of the assailants.

The Umiro were beaten back with some loss, and the slave-hunters held
the position, although in a state of terror, as they felt that some
terrible calamity must have befallen the party which had started to
surprise the villages.

After dark, a Bari native cried out to the sentries to let him pass.
This was a wounded man of their own people, the only survivor of all
those who had left the main body on that morning.

The Bari described, that the Umiro, having gained information of the
intended attack, had lain in ambush within high withered grass, in which
they had awaited the arrival of their assailants.

The slave-hunters were advancing as usual, in single file, along the
narrow track through the high grass, unsuspicious of an enemy, when the
Umiro rushed from both sides of the ambuscade upon them.

Taken by surprise, a panic seized the slave-hunters, very few of whom
had time to fire their muskets before they were speared by the pitiless
Umiro, who wreaked wholesale vengeance by the massacre of 103 of Abou
Saood's men and about 150 of their allies.

The main body under Lazim were completely cowed, as they feared an
overwhelming attack that might exhaust their ammunition. The Umiro had
now become possessed of 103 guns and several large cases of cartridges,
in addition to those in the pouches of the soldiers.

Night favoured the retreat, and the remnant of the expedition under
Lazim returned by forced marches to Fatiko.

The defeat had spread consternation among the various stations, as it
followed closely upon the destruction of a station belonging to Abou
Saood in the Madi country.

This zareeba had been under the command of a vakeel named Jusef, who had
exasperated the natives by continual acts of treachery and
slave-hunting. They had accordingly combined to attack the station at
night, and had set fire to the straw huts, by shooting red-hot arrows
into the inflammable thatched roofs.

These calamities had happened since the arrival of Abou Saood in the
Shooli country, and it was he who had given the order to attack the
Umiro. His own people, being naturally superstitious, thought he had
brought bad luck with him.

It appeared that when Abou Saood had first arrived at Fatiko from
Gondokoro, the vakeels of his different stations were all prepared for
the journey to deliver the ivory. They had given the cattle obtained in
the first attack upon Umiro to the native carriers of Madi and Shooli,
and the tusks had been arranged in about 2,000 loads for transport.

The sudden arrival of Abou Saood changed all their plans, as he
immediately gave orders to return the ivory to the store huts; he did
not intend to deliver it at Gondokoro that year. He also sent a letter
to his Latooka station, nine days' march to the north-east, together
with a party of eighty men, with instructions to his vakeel to deliver
the ivory at the Bohr station below Gondokoro.

He thus hoped to defraud the government out of the two-fifths due to
them by contract with Agad. At the same time, he had intended to remain
concealed in the interior of the country until I should have returned to
England; after which he had no doubt that affairs would continue in
their original position.

It may be imagined that my sudden arrival at Fatiko had disconcerted all
his plans.

In spite of his extreme cunning, he had over-estimated his own power of
intrigue, and he had mismanaged his affairs.

According to the agreement with Agad & Co., the representative of that
firm, Abou Saood, had contracted to supply the government troops with
all provisions at a given price, including even sheep and butter, as he
declared that he was in possession of these articles in his various
stations. He was also to assist the government expedition in every
manner, and to supply not only carriers, but even troops, should they be

I read this contract to some of his principal men, who fairly laughed
outright at the audacity of Abou Saood in subscribing to such utter

Not only had he secretly fraternized with the enemy, instead of
assisting the government, but he had cautioned the Baris not to carry
our loads, and he had incited the Fatiko natives to attack us. The
supply of food was too ridiculous. Instead of giving to the troops, he
had been obliged to borrow corn from the government magazines at
Gondokoro for his own people, and I had given him 200 cattle to save his
men from famine.

The deceit and treachery of this man were beyond belief. He now came to
me daily at Fatiko, and swore by the eyes of the Prophet, eternal
fidelity. He wished to kiss my hand, and to assure me how little his
real character had been understood, and that he felt sure I had been
influenced against him by others, but that in reality I had no servant
so devoted as himself. He declared that he had only attacked the Shir
and stolen their cows in order to supply the government troops with
cattle according to contract. (Thus he had the audacity to assert that
the government would become the purchaser of cattle stolen expressly for
their use.)

In spite of these protestations, he could not explain his reason for
having returned the ivory to store, instead of transporting it to
Gondokoro. He therefore met the difficulty by a flat denial, as usual,
calling upon the Prophet as a witness.

Only a few days of his contract remained, at the expiration of which he
should have withdrawn his establishments from the country, according to
my written orders that had been given many months ago.

He had entirely ignored these orders, as he had never expected my
arrival; therefore he had concealed all such instructions from his
people, in the hope that my terms of service would expire fruitlessly at
Gondokoro, and that, after my departure, he would have little difficulty
in arranging for the future with his friend Raouf Bey, who would most
probably succeed to the command.

I at once issued written orders to the vakeels of his different
stations, that, at the end of the month Mohurram, the contract with Agad
would cease, and that all future action would be illegal.

I gave all employees of Abou Saood due notice, that they must either
quit the country, or become respectable subjects.

I granted them permission to settle at Gondokoro, and to commence farms
on the fertile islands of the Nile free of all taxation.

Or, should they wish to enter the government service as irregular
troops, I offered the same pay as the regulars, with the advantage of an
annual engagement.

I met several headmen whom I had known in my former journey. These men
found fault with Abou Saood for having left them in the dark respecting
the contract with the government; and they at once declared that they
should be happy to serve as irregulars at the expiration of the

There was a great difficulty respecting the ivory, which comprised in
all the stations 3,200 tusks.

The cattle that had been given to the native carriers for the transport
of the ivory to Gondokoro had only partially been returned by the
disappointed Madi. Many of these people had killed and eaten the beasts,
and had declared that they had died, when they found the necessity of
restoring them.

It was now necessary to move the ivory, together with all the
establishments, to Gondokoro. This would require at least 6,000 cows. It
was a complete fix. There were no cattle in any of Abou Saood's
stations; they had all been consumed; and he now came to me with a
request that I would lend him eighty oxen, as his people had nothing to

It was clearly impossible to move the ivory. Thus, in spite of my orders
given to Abou Saood about ten months previous, the opportunity of moving
had been lost, and the time of departure was reduced to sine die. This
was a hopeless condition of affairs. There were no cattle in Abou
Saood's possession, and without cows the ivory could not be moved. At
the same time, it would be impossible for me to permit him to make
razzias upon distant countries, as I had arrived to establish
government, and to afford protection to all tribes that would declare
their allegiance.

I now discovered that the principal vakeel of Abou Saood, named Mohammed
Wat-el-Mek, had only recently started with a large force, by Abou
Saood's orders, to invade the Kooshi country on the west side of the
White Nile, close to its exit from the Albert N'yanza.

This was a tribe that could not possibly have interfered with Abou
Saood; but as the cattle had been exhausted on the east bank of the
river, he had commenced a series of razzias upon the west. The Koshi
were people with whom friendship should have been established, as they
were on the navigable Nile that would eventually be traversed by the
steamer, when constructed at Ibrahimeyah. It was thus that all tribes
were rendered hostile by the slave-hunters.

Mohammed Wat-el-Mek (son of the king) was the man who had first
discovered and opened up the countries south of Gondokoro. This person
was a curious but useful character that I had always wished to employ,
as he had great power with the natives, and he knew every nook and
corner of the country.

I had known him during my former journey, and it appears that he had
always wished to serve me in the present expedition. The slave-traders
of Khartoum had been determined to prevent Wat-el-Mek from communicating
with me; thus, when I had arrived in Khartoum, this important personage
was actually there; but he was quickly sent by Abou Saood under some
frivolous pretext up the Blue Nile, to keep him out of the way.

On arrival at Gondokoro, he had studiously been retained on the west
bank of the river, and his name had been kept so secret, that I had
never heard it mentioned. Thus, although both at Khartoum and at
Gondokoro Wat-el-Mek had been within a few hundred paces of me, I had
always supposed that he was in Central Africa.

Abou Saood now declared that Wat-el-Mek had started many days ago from
Fatiko to Koshi; but I subsequently discovered that he had only left
Fatiko on the morning of my arrival, and that he was kept waiting at
Fabbo station, only twenty-two miles west of Fatiko, for several days,
while I had been told by Abou Saood that he had gone to Koshi.

Mohammed Wat-el-Mek was the son of a petty king far away up the Blue
Nile, beyond Fazokle.

He had in early life been a serjeant or choush in the Egyptian army; but
having an adventurous disposition, he had taken to the White Nile, as
the vakeel of Andrea Debono, a Maltese ivory merchant.

Mr. Debono, being a British subject, retired from the trade when the
slave-hunting arrived at such a pitch that it became impossible for
Europeans to continue business on the White Nile. (The slave trade
arrived at such a maximum that all European traders in ivory were driven
from the White Nile, including Mr. Petherick, British Consul.)

Debono had amassed a considerable fortune entirely through: the energy
of Wat-el-Mek, who had pushed into the interior, and had established his
stations with considerable forethought and skill throughout the formerly
unvisited Madi country.

Wat-el-Mek was an exceedingly black man, about the middle height, and
much pitted with the small-pox. While in the service of Debono, he had
commanded the station of Faloro, where he had most hospitably received
Speke and Grant on their arrival from Zanzibar. These great travellers
were entertained at Faloro during many weeks, and were afterwards
conducted by their host to Gondokoro, where I had the good fortune to
meet them.

Wat-el-Mek was a very courageous fellow; and although he would not
perhaps have been considered a good character at London police court, he
was a man who would be most useful to an expedition in Central Africa,
where his vicious propensities could be restrained by the discipline of

When Speke parted from him at Gondokoro, he presented him with a
beautiful double-barrelled gun by Blissett, in addition to other

The worst vice of this man was drinking. When drunk, he could be induced
to yield to any absurdity.

However, with all his faults, I should have been glad of Wat-el-Mek to
command the irregular force.

In the days when Debono was the proprietor of the Madi station,
Wat-el-Mek had been the sole vakeel; and although he was a tyrant, he
was not disliked by the natives. Since Debono had sold his stations to
the firm of Agad & Co., every separate camp was governed by an
independent vakeel; thus there were many tyrants instead of one.

These numerous agents acted in opposition to each other in the purchase
of ivory. If a native of Fatiko should take a tusk to sell at the
station of Fabbo, he would run the chance of being shot upon his return.
This system of attempted monopoly was carried out throughout the
country, and naturally resulted in anarchy. Although all the vakeels and
companies belonged to one firm, they acted as rival traders. Thus, if
slaves ran away from one station and took shelter with the natives of a
village belonging to the people of another vakeel, an attack would be
made upon the village that harboured the runaways, and their women and
children would be immediately captured.

This onslaught on the village under the protection of a certain station
would be quickly returned by a counter-attack upon a village belonging
to the encroaching vakeel. This system was purposely adopted, as it
served to divide the country into opposing sections, which prevented the
natives from forming a general coalition.

It may readily be imagined that my arrival was hailed with satisfaction
by the natives throughout the country. Should a stranger have filled my
position, there might have been some suspicion in the minds of the
natives, but I had been so well known during my former journey, that the
people accepted the new government with thorough confidence.

Wat-el-Mek, who was always the discoverer of unknown lands, had lately
visited a new country in the east.

It may be remembered by the readers of "The Albert N'yanza," that
shortly before my return from Shooa (only six miles from Fatiko) a new
country named Lira had been discovered by the vakeel of Koorshad
Agha--"Ibrahim." Poor Ibrahim was dead, otherwise I should have had a
good and dependable man.

The Lira country was rich in ivory, but the greatest prize discovered
was the presence of donkeys, which are quite unknown in the White Nile

Wat-el-Mek had now penetrated beyond Lira, and had reached the country
of Langgo, which was exceedingly interesting.

From the description of the people, it appeared that the portion of the
Langgo visited by them was entirely different from the country between
Gondokoro and Unyoro.

The expedition HAD CROSSED THE SOBAT RIVER, and had arrived in the
Langgo about 130 miles due east of Fatiko. They described the country as
similar to portions of the Soudan. Generally, flat plains of the rich
grass known as negheel, which never grows high, and is the finest
pasturage. The trees were for the most part Soont (Acacia Arabica),
which is not met with in the White Nile countries south of the Sobat

The Langgos were an immense tribe, but were, like the Baris, divided
under many chiefs. These people were exceedingly large and powerful, and
were esteemed as great warriors. They seldom ate flour, but lived upon
the milk and flesh of their innumerable herds.

The cattle were as large as those of England, and were celebrated for
the extreme size of their horns.

Wat-el-Mek had made a razzia with a very powerful force, collected from
all the stations of Abou Saood, and he had succeeded in capturing an
enormous number of these fine animals, together with a large herd of

These strange cattle would not live at Fatiko, as the herbage was quite
different to that to which they had been accustomed. They died in such
numbers, that in three months only three or four remained out of as many
thousand. Thus all these beautiful beasts were wasted.

The river Sobat was described as flowing from the south, and was known
as the Chol. The Asua river is only one day's march or about twenty
miles, east of Fatiko. The Sobat is never dry and is reported to be a
noble river; this suggests that Speke Victoria N'yanza, or the Bahr
Ingo's eastern corner, must have an effluent in addition to the Victoria
Nile, that flows from M'tese's capital of Uganda.

Beyond Langgo there is a country called Lobbohr, which is said to
possess camels. In the Lobbohr there is a river called Jooba. This is, I
believe, the Juba that flows into the Indian Ocean, as the report
continues that: "Arabs arrive at Lobbohr mounted upon camels, and armed
with swords and pistols, but without guns." Horses and donkeys are also
reported to exist in Lobbohr.

There can be no doubt that most important countries lie to the east of
Fatiko, and should the story of camels prove correct, there will be no
difficulty in opening up a commercial route.

It appears that at Langgo the demand for beads is very great, as the
natives work them into patterns upon their matted hair. Ivory has little
or no value, and exists in large quantities.

The natives refuse to carry loads, and they transport an elephant's tusk
by boring a hole in the hollow end, through which they attach a rope; it
is then dragged along the ground by a donkey. The ivory is thus
seriously damaged . . . . .

Such was the position of affairs at Fatiko in March, 1872. New and
important countries had been investigated, not by explorers or traders,
but by the brigands of Abou Saood, whose first introduction was the
unprovoked attack and carrying off of slaves and cattle.

Such conduct could only terminate in an extension of the ruin which a
similar course had determined in every country that had been occupied by
the traders of the White Nile.

I trusted that my arrival would create a great reform, and restore
confidence throughout the country. The news had spread far and wide. The
scarlet soldiers were regarded as a distinct species, and the report
quickly circulated, that the "Pacha's troops were entirely different
from any that had hitherto been seen, as their clothes were red, and
their muskets were loaded from the wrong end."

I now determined to establish a station at Fatiko, to represent the
government during my absence in the south.

Abou Saood had sworn fidelity. Of course I did not believe him, but as
the natives had welcomed the government, I could not leave them without

It was therefore arranged with Abou Saood that after the expiration of
the contract, all operations should cease. He would simply remain on
sufferance in the country, until he should be able to transport his
ivory to Gondokoro. This could only be effected by the arrival of
carriers from his stations, about 180 miles west of the Nile, in the
Makkarika country. His first step would therefore be to communicate with
the vakeel Atroosh, who commanded about 600 men in the west station.

I ordered Abou Saood to disarm the seventy Baris who were in his service
at Fatiko, as I would not allow muskets to be placed in the hands of
natives who were hostile to the government.

This he promised to do, but of course he evaded the order, by returning
the arms to the Baris the instant I had departed.

It may appear to the public that having "absolute and supreme power," I
was absurdly lenient towards Abou Saood, whom I knew to be so great a
villain. I confess to one fault. I should have arrested and transported
him to Khartoum when he first arrived at Gondokoro with the cattle
stolen from the Shir; which caused the subsequent massacre of the five
soldiers of the government.

At the same time that I admit this error, it must be remembered that I
was placed in an awkward position.

"Absolute and supreme power" is a high-sounding title; but how was I to
exert it?

I was an individual possessing a nominal power, the application of which
required extreme delicacy. I was determined to win, and with God's help
I did win, but every step necessitated the coolest judgment. Had I
adopted severe or extreme measures against Abou Saood, I might have
ruined the expedition at commencement.

It was impossible to know who was faithful. There was a general leaning
towards his favour among all the officers, with whom he had been in
close connection when in Khartoum. He was a man in a high social
position in the Soudan, the partner of the great firm of Agad & Co., who
commanded about 2,500 armed men. He had worked for many years in company
with the government, according to his connection by agreement with the

I knew that I had him in my power, provided I should be supported by the
authorities in Egypt; therefore I gave him line, and occasionally held
him tight, as though he had been a salmon on a single gut; but I was
determined to land him safe at last, in such a manner that his greatest
supporter should be obliged to acknowledge that he had received the
fairest play. Abou Saood's Fatiko station was crowded with slaves. His
people were all paid in slaves. The stations of Fabbo, Faloro, and
Farragenia were a mass of slaves.

I did not enter a station to interfere with these wretched captives, as
I knew that such an act would create irretrievable confusion.

I had only 212 men, and I wished to advance to the equator.

Fatiko was in north latitude 3 degrees 01 minutes, and 165 miles from
headquarters. Had I attempted to release some thousand slaves from the
different stations, I should have required a large military force to
have occupied those stations, and to have driven out the whole of the
slave-hunters bodily.

If the slaves had been released, it would have been impossible to have
returned them to their homes, as they had been collected from every
quarter of the compass and from great distances. If I had kept them, I
could not have procured food for so large a number: as the stations
contained several thousand.

Under the circumstances, I took the wiser course of non-interference
with the stock in hand, but I issued the most severe orders respecting
the future conduct of Abou Saood's companies. I arranged to leave a
detachment of 100 men, under the command of Major Abdullah, to form a
station adjoining that of Abou Saood in Fatiko, together with the
heavier baggage and the greater portion of the ammunition.

The government would be thus represented by a most respectable and
civilized officer, who would give confidence and protection to the
country; as I concluded that the prestige of the Khedive would be
sufficient to establish order among his subjects, by the representation
of one of his officers and a detachment of 100 troops.

I gave orders to Gimoro and Shooli to prepare carriers for the journey
to Unyoro.

An untoward occurrence had taken place shortly after our arrival at

As has already been described, the Lobore natives had not only cheated
us out of many cows that had been received, for which the carriers had
not been forthcoming, but numbers had deserted on the road, which had
caused the troops great trouble and fatigue, as they had been obliged to
divide among them the abandoned loads. Upon our arrival at Fatiko, the
son of sheik Abbio, of Lobore, would have absconded with all his people,
had he not been retained by the troops. This man was responsible for the
natives who had engaged themselves for the journey.

It would have been the height of imprudence to have permitted the
immediate departure of our carriers before I had arranged for the
future, thus about eighty were secured by the soldiers, including the
sheik's son, from a general stampede that took place.

I ordered them to be disarmed, as I considered that if unarmed, they
would not venture alone through the Madi country.

In the evening they were secured by a slight line tied round each man's
neck, and connected in gangs of five. A guard was placed over them in
addition to the usual sentries.

At about 4 a.m. a signal was given by one of their people. Every man had
gnawed through his cord with his teeth during the darkness, and at the
concerted cry in a language that no one understood, the entire party, of
upwards of eighty men, knocked down the astonished guard, also the
sentries, and rushed headlong over the rocks in the direction of Lobore.

It was a natural impulse and a soldier's duty to fire in the direction
of the assailants, as the overturned sentries quickly recovered and
joined the guard in a volley.

I was up in an instant, and upon arrival at the spot I was informed of
the occurrence. It was pitch dark, therefore a lantern was brought, and
after a search, three bodies were discovered of the rash and unfortunate
Lobore. I was exceedingly sorry that such an event had happened, at the
same time I could hardly blame the sentries. I was much afraid that if
three were shot dead, others must have escaped wounded, and altogether
the affair would have a bad effect at Lobore.

The sheik of Fatiko was named Wat-el-Ajoos. This name had been given him
by the slave-hunters, meaning "Son of the old man." His village was not
quite half a mile from our camp, and he frequently came to see me with
his interpreter, accompanied by his wives.

Upon his first visit I gave him a long blue shirt, together with some
yards of Turkey red cambric, to form a waist sash; also a red fez and
two razors, with a quantity of beads for his wives.

Fatiko is merely a district of the great country of Shooli, which is
governed by the sheik, Rot Jarma. This person had sent word that he
intended to visit me, to tender his allegiance to the government.

On 16th March, a wild sound of many horns was the first introduction,
and shortly after, a number of his people advanced chanting a peculiar
low song, and dancing a solemn slow step. The great sheik came behind
them. He was quickly ushered into my presence beneath a shady acacia,
close to my tent door. He was perfectly red from head to toes, having
been freshly smeared with red ochre and grease for the interview. A
well-dressed skin of an antelope was slung across his shoulder, and
descending across his loins it constituted his scanty clothing.

His conversation was merely a repetition of the old story being a series
of complaints against the slave-hunters. He declared that he had never
visited Abou Saood or any of his people, but that when he had heard of
my arrival, he had determined at once to offer his allegiance, and he
and all adjacent countries would serve the government faithfully, in
return for protection and justice.

I assured him that he had nothing to fear from the slave-hunters in
future, as I should leave Major Abdullah and a detachment of troops to
represent the government during my absence. He was to supply them with
corn, and to yield the same obedience to Major Abdullah as he would to
me. I gave him nine yards of red cotton cloth, six pounds of beads, two
razors, one comb, two horn snakes in boxes, one knife, one burning
glass, one zinc mirror, two nickel spoons, three rods of thick brass
wire, two finger rings, two pair of ear-rings, two red and yellow cotton

The total value of this extensive present was about twenty-one

Before he had arrived, he had requested that a goat might be sent to be
slaughtered at a stream before he should cross over; otherwise bad luck
would attend his visit. Of course this was acceded to, and the goat was
sacrificed and eaten by his people.

I gave him, according to my usual custom with all sheiks and headmen,
seeds of the best Egyptian cotton, tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers,
water-melons, sweet-melons, barmian, maize, &c., &c.

Before parting, I amused and shocked him with the magnetic battery, and
he went away surprised and delighted.

I subsequently discovered that a large quantity of flour, together with
some fowls which he had forwarded to me, had been stopped and
appropriated by the renowned Ali Hussein. The intriguing spirit of these
slave-hunters was extraordinary. It is their custom never to receive a
sheik unless he brings a present. He therefore considered that if Rot
Jarma should appear for the first time before me empty-handed, I should
either not admit him, or perhaps be prejudiced against him; thus he had
stolen the customary gift of introduction in order to create ill-will on
my part towards Rot Jarma, who had never yet condescended to visit the
station of Abou Saood . . . . .

Wat-el-Ajoos, with the assistance of Shooli and Gimoro, had collected
200 carriers, all of whom had received each a cow.

I had assorted the luggage, and although I had not the slightest
suspicion of any fighting, nevertheless my ammunition formed a
considerable portion of the heavier baggage.

Major Abdullah had received his instructions, and a site had been chosen
for his station within a hundred yards of the south extremity of that of
Abou Saood. This position was backed by a high rock, upon which I had
already commenced to build a powder magazine of solid masonry.

Abou Saood having as usual sworn upon the eyes and head of the Prophet
to do all that was right and virtuous, and the natives throughout the
country being confident of protection, I prepared for the journey to
Unyoro--a distance across the uninhabited prairies of seventy-eight
miles from Fatiko, due south.

Our excellent and trusty friend Shooli was to be our guide. Gimoro was
prevented from accompanying us owing to a wounded foot.



On 18th March, 1872, we were all in order for the march to the south,
under the direction of our guide, Shooli.

Having taken leave of Major Abdullah, I left him a good supply of sheep
and cattle for his detachment, and at 2 p.m. we started for the prairie
march to Unyoro.

The descent from the table land of Fatiko was rapid for the first seven
miles, at which point we reached a stream of clear running water, which
is one of the channels of the Un-y-Ame river.

The limit of the inhabited country is about three miles from the camp at
Fatiko, after which all is wilderness to Unyoro.

This fertile country has been left uninhabited, on account of the
disturbance occasioned by the diversity of tribes. On the east it is
bounded by Umiro, on the south by Unyoro, and on the west by Madi. This
large tract of land, about eighty miles from north to south, is
accordingly the resort of wild animals, and it forms the favourite
hunting-ground of the various tribes, who generally come into conflict
with each other during their excursions in pursuit of game.

We halted for the night at the clear stream of the Un-y-Ame, as the
native carriers expected their wives to bring them provisions for the
journey. It was only five o'clock, therefore I strolled along the banks
of the stream accompanied by Shooli, and shortly came upon game.

At this season the country was very lovely, as the young grass was
hardly a foot high. Stalking was extremely difficult, as the land was
clear of trees, and the long sweeping undulations exposed every object
to view when upon the face of the inclines. I managed at length to get a
tolerable shot at one of the beautiful teel antelopes (Leucotis), by
creeping up the broken bed of a water-course until I arrived at a
white-ant hill. On my way home I shot a gazelle, thus the natives all
had flesh from the two animals on the first night of the march.

The wives appeared to be excellent women, as they arrived in great
numbers with a quantity of hard porridge made of dhurra flour, which was
to form the commissariat for a journey of nearly 160 miles to Unyoro and

If a native travels through wilderness, he will always make forced
marches, thus the Fatikos would only sleep one night upon the road of
seventy-eight miles when on the return journey.

On the following morning, we were rather late in starting, as more women
arrived with food, and certain farewells took place. The Fatiko natives
appeared to be very superior to the Lobore, as not one man absconded. In
fact, one native who had a swollen leg which prevented him from walking,
actually sent back his cow with an explanation of the cause of absence.

On 19th March we started at 6.50 a.m., all our carriers being well
provided with food. The country was as usual a well-watered undulating
prairie, abounding in game. At this season the journey was very
delightful, but when the grass is about nine feet high it is simply
detestable travelling.

On the march, we, as usual, led the way. Lieutenant Baker dismounted for
a shot at a splendid buck (Leucotis), which he wounded somewhere behind,
and the animal made off in evident discomfort. This was a signal for the
natives, who immediately put down their loads and started off in
pursuit, like a pack of hounds.

Although the animal was badly hit, the pace was very great, and it went
along the face of the opposite undulation followed by the extraordinary
runners, who, with their long springing strides, kept up a speed for
about three-quarters of a mile that at length brought the leading native
sufficiently near for throwing his lance. The next moment a crowd of
hungry fellows fell upon the welcome name like starving wolves.

After a march of twelve miles we arrived at a rocky stream of clear
water, which is another channel of the Un-y-Ame river, that carries off
the main drainage of this country. We halted to refresh the people and
to have our breakfast on the clean rock that bordered the stream, and
started for the afternoon march at 2 p.m.

During the march I endeavoured to stalk a large bull tetel (Antelope
bubulis), but there was very little chance in so open a country. The
animal galloped off exactly in a straight line from me at about 200
yards. I put up the last leaf of the sight, and I distinctly heard the
bullet strike. The next moment I saw the animal was wounded. It was just
disappearing over the next undulation, and upon arriving at the spot, I
saw the wounded bull standing about 200 yards before me.

I approached from behind until within 100 paces, without being observed
by the tetel, who was evidently very bad. Moving slightly to my right, I
was quickly seen, and the animal turned its flank preparatory to making
off. A shot from the "Dutchman" through the shoulder killed it on the

I now found that my first bullet had struck the spine exactly above the
root of the tail. This large animal was a good supply for the people,
who quickly divided it and continued the march, until, having crossed
another stream, we left the open prairie gad entered a low forest.
Halted for the night. The march during this day bad been nineteen miles.

On the 20th we marched, from 6 A.M. till 9.45, through undulating
forest, and halted upon high ground, which commanded a fine view of the
mountain that borders the west shore of the Albert N'yanza, opposite
Magungo, about fifty-five miles S. S. W. From our elevated point we
looked down over a fine extent of country, and the Fatiko natives
pointed out the course of the White Nile from the great lake, along
which was a line of smoke, caused, according to their accounts, by the
fishermen who were at this season burning the high reeds on the river's

The natives were thoroughly conversant with the country, as they had on
several occasions accompanied the slave-hunters in razzias along the
river to Foquatch and Magungo. Just as we halted, a party of Umiro
hunters came across our path, but immediately took to flight, as they
supposed we were enemies.

The day's march had been thirteen miles, and we were requested by our
guide, Shooli, to halt for the night, as there was no water for a
considerable distance to the south.

I immediately employed the soldiers in the construction of a cattle
kraal, lest the prowling Umiro should endeavour to scare the animals
during the night.

On 21st March we started at 6 A.M., and marched thirteen miles through
forest. We at length reached water, but it was so thick with mud that
the horses refused to drink it.

On the 22nd we were compelled to march twenty-three miles, as the water
was quite undrinkable, the few muddy pools having been stirred into
paste by the buffaloes and elephants.

We now reached the grand Victoria Nile, flowing beneath cliffs of
seventy or eighty feet in depth, through magnificent forest. It was
refreshing for all parties to obtain pure water after the miserable
fluid we had lately been compelled to drink.

In the evening a sheik and several people, who had known me formerly,
crossed the river from the Unyoro side, and desired an interview. They
reported that the Khartoum traders had almost destroyed the country, and
they begged me simply to judge with my own eyes.

I must now extract from my journal the entry of the date, as, although
briefly written, it will convey the impression of the moment:--

"March 23, 1872.--We marched three miles east, along the banks of the
beautiful Victoria Nile, through fine open forest, until we halted on a
high cliff exactly opposite, the last station of Abou Saood, commanded
by a vakeel named Suleiman.

"It is impossible to describe the change that has taken place since I
last visited this country. It was then a perfect garden, thickly
populated, and producing all that man could desire. The villages were
numerous; groves of plantains fringed the steep cliff's on the river's
bank; and the natives were neatly dressed in the bark cloth of the

"The scene has changed!

"All is wilderness! The population has fled. Not a village is to be

"This is the certain result of the settlement of Khartoum traders. They
kidnap the women and children for slaves, and plunder and destroy
wherever they set their foot.

"Seleiman and Eddrees, two vakeels, who were well known to me as forming
a portion of Ibrahim's party on my former journey, now came across the
river to visit me.

"The cunning Abou Saood has never told them of the expiration of the
government contract with Agad & Co., neither had they any warning of my
expected arrival.

"I explained the exact state of affairs.

"The principal sheik of the district, with many people, came to see me.
The chief, Quonga, was one of my old acquaintances, and was formerly the
favourite adviser of Kamrasi.

"Kamrasi died about two years ago. His sons fought for the succession,
and each aspirant sought the aid of the traders. This civil strife
exactly suited the interests of the treacherous Khartoumers. The several
companies of slave-hunters scattered over the Madi, Shooli, and Unyoro
countries represented only one interest, that of their employers, Agad
and Co.

"Each company, commanded by its independent vakeel, arrived in Unyoro,
and supported the cause of each antagonistic pretender to the throne,
and treacherously worked for the ruin of all, excepting him who would be
able to supply the largest amount of ivory and slaves.

"The favourite sons of Kamrasi were Kabba Rega and Kabka Miro, while the
old enemy of the family, Rionga, the cousin of Kamrasi, again appeared
upon the scene.

"The companies of Abou Saood supported all three, receiving ivory and
slaves from each as the hire of mercenary troops; and at length they
played out their game by shooting Kabka Miro, and securing the throne to
Kabba Rega.

"They arranged with Rionga that he should be ostensibly banished to a
convenient distance, to be ready as a trump card, should occasion
require, against the new king, Kabba Rega.

"I explained the new reform to Quonga, and I gave him the following
presents for Kabba Rega, who resides about six days' march south-west of
this spot:--

"One piece entire of Turkey red cloth, one piece grey calico, twelve
pounds of beads of the finest varieties, three zinc mirrors, two razors,
one long butcher's knife, two pair scissors, one brass bugle, one German
horn, two pieces of red and yellow handkerchiefs, one piece of yellow
ditto, one peacock Indian scarf, one blue blanket, six German silver
spoons, sixteen pairs of various car-rings, twelve finger-rings, two
dozen mule harness bells, six elastic heavy brass spring wires, one
pound long white horsehair, three combs, one papier-mache tray, one
boxwood fife, one kaleidoscope.

"I proclaimed upon all sides that the reign of terror was ended. As I
formerly, when alone, had defended Kamrasi, and driven out the invaders
under Wat-el-Mek, by hoisting the English ensign, so now I would take
the country under my protection with a powerful force.

"I gave Quonga and all his sheiks presents of beads, and shocked them
powerfully with the magnetic battery, leaving a strong impression.

"March 24.-I wrote officially to Suleiman, the vakeel of Agad & Co., to
give him warning 'that sixteen days hence the contract would expire, and
that he and all his people must be ready to evacuate the country and
return to Khartoum on that day. That any person who should remain after
this notice would be imprisoned. That, should he or any of his people
wish to enlist in the service of the government as irregular troops,
their names must be handed in before the expiration of two days.'

"Suleiman declared his willingness to enlist together with Eddrees and
several others.

"He told me that nothing could be procured in the country. Thank God I
left a good reputation here seven years ago; thus I shall be able to
purchase food.

"This morning my old acquaintance, Keedja, formerly chief of Atada, came
to see me with many of his people, and with perfect confidence they
commenced a trade, bringing provisions in exchange for beads. They
promised to arrive to-morrow, and to establish a daily market at our

"Keedja explains that he and his people have been obliged to fly from
the depredations of the companies of Abou Saood, thus they have settled
in the forest on the north side of the river, and have cultivated farms.
They have very few clothes, as their bark-cloth trees are on the south
side of the river in their old plantations.

"All the people declare they will now return to their old habitations
and re-cultivate the land as in former days.

"I found that the natives who ran from us on the march, and dropped
their elephant spears, were Keedja's people, thus I returned to them the
three spears and an axe, to their great astonishment. (A party of
native hunters had been scared during our march by our sudden

"The elephant spears were of a kind used from trees. The blade is about
twenty inches long, the handle about twenty-four inches. The end of the
handle is heavily weighted with a lump of several pounds, composed of
clay, cow-dung, and chopped straw, and the weapon, beautifully
sharpened, is dropped upon the elephant's back by a hunter from the
branches of a tree. The constant movement of the heavy handle as it
strikes the boughs when the elephant rushes through the forest, cuts the
animal so terribly that it bleeds to death. The hunters follow on the
blood track until they find the dying animal.

"March 25. --Suleiman, the vakeel, summoned his men to volunteer for the
government service as irregular troops.

"I issued a written proclamation, that should volunteers enlist, the
term of service would be annual, subject to three months' notice, should
any officer or private wish to retire at the expiration of twelve

"The rank of the vakeel would be equivalent to that of major in the
regular army.

"The pay would be equal to that of regular troops.

"If I can form a regiment of 600 irregulars I shall be independent of
troops from Khartoum.

"March 26. --Quonga and many other sheiks arrived, and were quite
delighted with the wheel of life.

"The natives are selling sweet potatoes and tobacco for beads, but flour
is brought in very small quantities.

"March 27. --Provisions are coming in so slowly that we shall be short
of food. Upon the arrival of Quonga and his sheiks, I make a hot
complaint; he coldly told me that it would be better if the soldiers
were to forage for themselves.

"I explained to him the rigid discipline that I enforced, and that,
should I once permit thieving, the troops' character would be entirely
ruined, and they would pillage throughout the route.

"He replied that this neighbourhood was in a state of anarchy; that many
of the inhabitants were hostile to Kabba Rega, and they would not obey
his orders.

"I told him that my troops were lambs if well fed, but they were like
lions if hungry, and to prove their number I would summon them before

"The bugle sounded the 'taboor,' and upwards of 100 men immediately fell
in with bayonets fixed, to the no small dismay of Quonga and his sheiks,
who began to look very uneasy at the scarlet uniforms. By a coup de
theatre, I marched the men, with bugles and drums playing, round the
numerous huts, so that they reappeared twice before the tent, and thus
doubled their real number.

"At the halt and dismissal, they shouted their usual wild cry in
Turkish, in honour of their commander.

"'Do you understand what they say?' I asked Quonga. To his negative
reply, I answered, 'They say they will eat from the country if
provisions are not supplied to-morrow!'

"Quonga and his sheiks started off immediately to give the necessary

"Upon his return I told him 'to advise Kabba Rega to behave in a
different manner to the conduct of his father, the late Kamrasi. I had
returned to this country to bestow prosperity upon the land; that if
Kabba Rega meant fair dealing and legitimate trade, he must act
honourably and sincerely; if I should find any signs of unfairness, I
should pass on direct to Uganda, the Country of M'tese, and he would
receive the goods I had intended for Unyoro.'

"Negroes are great deceivers, especially the natives of Unyoro. I have
beads, cattle, merchandise, and every article necessary to purchase
flour and potatoes: nevertheless, our wants are not supplied. The cattle
are dying, as the change of herbage does not agree with them; this is a
sad loss.  (One of the African difficulties consists in the mortality
of the cattle when changing districts.)

"March 28. --The great sheik, Lokara, who is the commander-in-chief of
Kabba Rega's forces, arrived. This man has left a large army on the
banks of the Nile, a few hours' march up stream, ready to attack Rionga,
who is settled, with his people, on an island in the river. Of course he
is come to request military aid. This is the old story. Upon my last
visit I was bored almost to death by Kamrasi, with requests that I would
assist him to attack Rionga. I have only been here for a few days when I
am troubled with the old tune.

"March 29. --Provisions are very scarce; the people have been fighting
for so many years that cultivation has been much neglected, and the
natives live principally upon plantains.

"I gave Suleiman, the vakeel, five cows yesterday. He declares that Abou
Saood told him that my term of service with the Egyptian government had
expired, therefore the entire country was now in his hands. This liar,
Abou Saood, will some day reap the fruits of his treachery.

"I ordered the government flag to be hoisted in Suleiman's camp, and the
vakeel, Suleiman, called upon all those who were willing to enlist in
the service of the Khedive to assemble beneath the ensign. Sixty-one men
registered their names.

"The only difficulty is the rate of wages. I offer the privates sixty
piastres  (the piastre equals twopence-halfpenny) per month, i.e.,
thirty piastres as equal pay to that of the regulars, and thirty
piastres in lieu of clothes. Formerly these brigands nominally received
fifty and fifty-five piastres, in addition to one third of all cattle
that might be captured in razzias.

"Should I be able to establish a small irregular corps as a
commencement, the expense would be considerable in proportion to the
actual proceeds in ivory. The position is difficult.

"A radical change throughout the country is absolutely necessary. The
companies have hitherto purchased ivory with slaves and cattle; thus all
countries in which this custom has been established, must be abandoned
until the natives will sell ivory in exchange for goods.

"The expenses will continue, or perhaps augment, while the ivory produce
must decrease for the first twelve months, or until the people will
understand and accept the reform.

"Without an irregular force it will be impossible to hold the country,
and at the same time to carry on the work of government. The force that
I originally proposed, of 1,650, is absolutely required to occupy a
chain of stations from Gondokoro.

"March 30.--The cows are dying in great numbers, and the natives are
bringing large quantities of potatoes in exchange for the flesh, but
there is no corn in the country.

"The days and nights are now cloudy and showery.

"Lokara and Quonga came this morning, but no messenger has yet arrived
from Kabba Rega.

"I gave Lokara a blue shirt, a long red sash, and a crimson fez, to his
great delight. The chiefs were much struck with the present intended for
Kabba Rega; this consisted of three rows of roman pearls as large as
marbles, with a gilt shield, and onyx-pendant tied up with green satin

"March 31.--I sent all the cattle across the river in charge of Quonga;
two were carried off by crocodiles while in the act of swimming.

"The great sheiks paid me a visit, together with many of inferior rank.
Lokara, Quonga, Matonse, and Pittia, were among the principal chiefs of
the country. As they were sitting before me, Lokara lighted a huge pipe
and immediately commenced smoking. This is a great breach of etiquette,
as smoking is strictly forbidden in the presence of Kabba Rega.

"My old Cairo dragoman, Mohammed, who was now thoroughly installed as
one of the expedition, was well up in the customs of the country, and he
quietly resented the insult of the pipe.

"He gently approached with a bottle of water, which he poured politely
into the bowl, as though he was conferring a favour; at the same time,
he explained that in my presence every one smoked water instead of
tobacco. The hint was immediately taken, and the huge pipe, thus
summarily extinguished, was handed to a slave in attendance.

"We now entered upon geographical discussions. All the chiefs declared
that the M'wootan N'zige extends beyond Karagwe, and that it exceeds the
Victoria N'yanza in size. The native name, in Unyoro, for the Victoria
N'yanza is simply N'yanza, and for the White Nile, Masaba.

"There is a country called Barega on the Albert N'yanza, south-west of
Uganda, governed by a powerful king whose people are armed with bows,
and arrows that are feathered. I have never yet seen feathered arrows
among the White Nile tribes.

"The great mountain Bartooma is again mentioned, as on my former
journey. I imagine it must be identical with the M'fumbiro of Speke.

"I shall send an expedition front Magungo to Ibrahimeyah by river to
prove the capabilities of the route. I shall form a station at Magungo
to trade with Malegga on the opposite shore. I shall then thoroughly
explore the Albert N'yanza in boats, and afterwards proceed to King
M'tese of Uganda . . . .

"It rained last evening and during the night. Seven cows died. I have
erected a comfortable stable for the horses.

"April 1.--The people belonging to Suleiman hesitate to accept the
government pay, although a day or two ago they enlisted. I fear that
these people can never be trusted. I shall give them a little time to
consider, after which, if they refuse to serve, I shall turn them out of
the country. Every camp or zareeba is course full of slaves.

"There is a curious custom throughout Unyoro: a peculiar caste are
cattle-keepers. These people only attend to the herds, and the
profession is inherited from past generations. They are called Bohooma,
and they are the direct descendants of the Gallas who originally
conquered the country, and, like the reigning family, they are of an
extremely light colour. If the herds are carried off in battle, the
Bohooma, who never carry arms, accompany; them to their new masters, and
continue their employment. Nothing but death will separate them from
their cattle.

"April 2.--The natives built a zareeba yesterday for the cattle; but
they are dying as rapidly as upon the north side of the river.

"I tried to do a little geography with the sheik, Pittia. He was the man
who, some years ago, first gave me the information respecting the
distance of the Albert N'yanza from M'rooli. He would say nothing
without orders from the king, beyond telling me that you might travel
for months upon the lake.

"It is very annoying in this country that no information can be
obtained, neither can any work be commenced, without the direct order of
the king. My patience is sorely tried. No reply has as yet been
delivered to my message sent to Kabba Rega, although ten days have

"My desire is to benefit the country by opening the road for legitimate
commerce; but the difficulties are great, as the king will endeavour to
monopolize the market, and thus prevent free trade.

"April 3.--I sent for all the great sheiks to complain of Kabba Rega's
conduct. This young fellow was evidently aping the manners of his
father, Kamrasi, and attempting to show his own importance by keeping me
waiting. The sheiks explained, that before my arrival, Suleiman had
agreed to furnish soldiers to assist the forces of Kabba Rega in a
united attack upon Rionga; and the army was now only a short distance
from this spot, expecting the promised aid. My arrival had upset all
their plans, as I had forbidden all action until I should have had a
personal interview with Kabba Rega.

"The military operations were in abeyance until a reply should be
received from the king. The return messengers were expected this

"The sheiks declare that the ruling class in this country are all
exceedingly light in complexion 'because they do no work, but sit in the
shade and drink abundance of milk.'

"The natives of Unyoro are very inferior in PHYSIQUE to the Fatiko. This
is the result of vegetable food without either cereals or flesh. None of
the general public possess cattle; thus the food of the people from
infancy, after their mothers' milk has ceased, is restricted to
plantains and the watery sweet potatoes. The want of milk is very
detrimental to the children. The men generally exhibit a want of muscle,
and many are troubled with cutaneous diseases.

"April 4.--The messengers are reported to have arrived from Kabba Rega.
Last evening, at 8 P.M., we had a very heavy storm of rain with thunder.
Fifteen cows died to-day, and I fear we shall lose the greater portion
of the herd. All cattle that may be brought from the countries of Bari,
Madi, and Langgo, are said to die on arrival in Unyoro.

"April 5.--The great sheiks, Rahonka and Kittakara, arrived, together
with Lokara and Quonga, and the smaller fry, Pittia and Mallegge. The
latter was my guide to the Albert N'yanza many years ago.

"The 'Forty Thieves' and the band received them on arrival. The band
was, of course, encored, all being delighted with the big drum and the
cymbals. The latter were examined as great curiosities.

"Rahonka is Kamrasi's maternal uncle, and is great-uncle to Kabba Rega;
and he can give more information than any man concerning the
neighbouring countries.

"In reply to my inquiries about Livingstone, he says that two persons
are living in a large house in Karagwe, which they have constructed in a
different form to those of the natives. These people have no military
escort, but they possess a large quantity of goods. This does not sound
like Livingstone, unless he may have joined some Arab merchant.

"There are natives of Karagwe now visiting Kabba Rega at Masindi; thus I
shall have a good opportunity of making inquiries. There are likewise
envoys from M'tese in this country; therefore I shall be able to send
him a valuable present, and beg him to search for Livingstone in all

"April 6.--Kabba Rega's messengers presented themselves, with an
offering of two cows, a parcel of salt, and some plantains.

"One of these cows is a splendid animal from Umiro. She is the size of a
fair Durham--bright red colour--with immensely long and massive horns.

"Had I not had former experience in this country, and provided myself
with a herd of cattle, eve should have been half-starved, as there is
nothing to be procured but beans, sweet potatoes, and plantains.

"April 7.--We all crossed the river in canoes. A heavy shower fell this
morning. My improvident men have torn all their waterproof cloaks and
blankets just as we have arrived in a country where they will be most

"April 8.--It now rains daily, more or less. The order was given by
Kabba Rega that we were to be supplied with carriers for the journey to
Masindi, which is to be under the charge of Rahonka. Suleiman and
Eddrees have arranged with their men, all of whom now present in the
camp have agreed to accept the government rate of pay, and to enlist for
twelve months. I accordingly issued serkis, or certificates, for each
man, with his name, date of engagement, and rate of wages.

"This is very satisfactory, as I shall now have a station in my rear on
the river, with the command of boats, while I march up the country to
Masindi. The irregulars in this station, which is in the district of
Foweera, number sixty-five men. If they remain faithful, they will form
a nucleus for the irregulars who will most probably follow their
example. I understand that a small party of seventeen men are now
staying with Kabba Rega. These people will join their comrades under
Suleiman, and raise the strength of the Foweera station to eighty-two
men. I shall thus be able to keep up a communication with my detachment
at Fatiko.

"April 9.--At the expiration of Agad's contract there were 188
elephants' tusks in the zareeba of Suleiman. These will remain in his

"The natives collected were insufficient to convey all the loads. I
therefore sent off a division, escorted by Morgian Agha with ten men, to
await my arrival at the village of Deang. The sheik, Rahonka, killed a
man who attempted to evade the order to carry baggage.

"April 10.--Rain fell throughout the night, which makes everybody
miserable. During the middle watch, having been awakened by the heavy
shower, I heard the sentry outside my tent muttering a kind of low
chant:--'This is the country for rain and potatoes; this is the place
for potatoes and rain. Potatoes and rain, potatoes and rain; rain and
potatoes, rain and potatoes.'

"Neither the rain nor the potatoes were esteemed by the troops. The
roots were almost as watery as the rain, and their sweetness was
excessive. A very uncomfortable result from this vapid food was extreme
flatulence. The waist-belts of the boys were obliged to be let out by
several holes at the buckles. As my men justly declared, 'They were
uncomfortably full after a meal; but half-an-hour's march made them feel
as though they had fasted for a day.'

"During the afternoon I was sitting beneath a shady tree, with my wife
and Lieutenant Baker, when a naked native rushed wildly past the
sentries, and, before he could be restrained threw himself on the ground
and embraced my feet, at the same time begging for mercy by the Arabic
ejaculation, 'Aman! aman!'

"He was immediately seized. On examination through an interpreter, it
appeared that he was a native of Koitch, near Fatiko, and that he had
attached himself to Suleiman's party at some former time, but now he had
just escaped from the Foweera station, as Suleiman wished to kill him.

"In a few minutes Suleiman himself appeared: he was pale with rage.

"Suleiman was a thorough brigand in appearance. His father was a Kurd:
thus his complexion would have been white had he not been for many years
exposed to the African climate. He was a powerful dare-devil-looking
fellow, but even among his own people he was reputed cruel and

"He was so overpowered with passion that he approached and kissed my
hand at the same time imploring me, 'as a favour, to allow him to cut
off the native's head with his sabre.'

"Upon a trial of the case, I found that the native was a thief, and that
upon a former occasion he had stolen a gun and two pistols from the
camp, which, after some trouble, had been recovered. He was now accused
of aiding and abetting at the escape of five female slaves from the
zareeba during the past night, therefore he was to be beheaded without

"As this was not my form of punishment, especially for the crime of
_releasing slaves_ that had been captured by force, I ordered the native
to be secured in the zareeba until further orders, but on no account
should he be injured.

"Although I had heard from my old Cairo dragoman, Mohammed, that the
prisoner was a bad character, I did not wish to punish him severely, as
the effect among the natives of the country would be disastrous. He had
run to me for protection, therefore, should he suffer, a precedent would
be established that would deter others from appealing to me for mercy.

"The man was led away under a guard and was secured in the zareeba.
Suleiman acknowledged that he was in an inexcusable rage, but that I had
been just in my decision, and he would keep the prisoner in safe custody
until further orders. Suleiman was to accompany me on the journey to
Masindi on the following morning, as Rahonka had collected the native

"That evening, after a heavy shower, we witnessed one of those
remarkable appearances of the winged white ants that issued from a mound
within a few yards of our tent. Millions of these large fat insects
struggled into their ephemeral flight, and were quickly caught by our
people with lighted wisps of straw. The ant disengages its wings a few
minutes after its appearance from the parent mound.

"The exodus from the ant-hill takes place annually at the commencement
of the rainy season, and the collection of the insects is considered to
be an important harvest throughout all Central Africa. The white ant, in
this stage of its existence, is esteemed as a great delicacy when fried
in a little butter.

"We tasted a considerable number, and found them tolerably good, but
with a slight flavour of burnt feathers.

"On April 11 we were ready to start, but at the last moment the vakeel,
Suleiman, who was to accompany us, excused himself until the next day,
as he had some important business to transact with his people. I
accordingly gave him permission to remain, but I ordered him to follow
me quickly, as it would be necessary to present him to Kabba Rega in his
new position as vakeel of the government." . . . .

It will now be necessary to explain the true position of affairs, which
at that time I did not suspect.

Upon my first arrival at the river, when I had explained my views to
Suleiman, he had immediately despatched a letter to Abou Saood at
Fatiko. His party had travelled fast, and they returned with an answer.

I could never discover the actual contents of the letter in reply, but I
heard that it cautioned Suleiman not to part with the slaves, and to
join Abou Saood with his ivory and all his people at the station of
Fabbo, a day's march west of Fatiko.

Suleiman was in an awkward position. He had always held a high place in
the eyes of Kabba Rega and his chiefs, and his alliance had been courted
and obtained for a combined attach upon the old enemy, Rionga. The army
of Kabba Rega had been waiting at the rendezvous in expectation of
Suleiman's assistance. A fleet of large canoes had been concentrated at
a given point for the invasion of the island; and Kabba Rega and his
sheiks considered that at length their old enemy was in the snare.

My unexpected arrival had ruined the project, as I strictly forbade
Suleiman to attack Rionga.

This disappointed Kabba Rega and his people, who could not understand
how I could be the friend of his late father Kamrasi, and at the same
time protect his enemy Rionga.

The attack on the island was a dangerous adventure, as it was surrounded
by dense masses of papyrus rush that would prevent canoes from landing,
except at certain places were narrow passages had been cleared. A few
men concealed among the papyrus could massacre an attacking party at
discretion, as they struggled through the narrow entrance in canoes. It
had been proposed that Suleiman's people were to attack in boats and
clear out the enemy by a sharp fire into the papyrus to cover the
general advance.

Suleiman was in a dilemma, as he had already promised alliance, and had
received a quantity of ivory in payment for his services. He had
accordingly made the following secret arrangement with Rahonka and
Lokara:--"Let the Pacha and his soldiers start for Masindi, and he will
suppose that Suleiman will follow on the morrow; instead of which, he
will at once join Kabba Rega's forces, and attack Rionga, when the Pacha
shall be several days' journey distant from the river."

On his return to Foweera from a successful invasion of Rionga's island,
the commanders of the forces, Lokara and Rahonka, were at once to
furnish carriers to transport Suleiman with all his people and ivory to
the Fabbo station, according to the instructions received from Abou

I should thus be deceived, and be left at Masindi, 160 miles distant
from my detachment at Fatiko, without the power of communication.

At 8.30 A.M. we were in the saddle, and started from Foweera. Suleiman
came to kiss my hand at my departure. We rode at once into the low
forest, and as the last man of our party disappeared from view, Suleiman
returned to his zareeba. He then prepared for vengeance, which through
my presence had long been delayed.

He and his ferocious people dragged the prisoner (whose life I had
protected) from the camp, until they arrived at a thick grove of
plantains about 200 paces from the station. Rahonka, Lokara, Quonga,
Matonse, and other principal chiefs, were summoned to witness the
impotence of the Pacha's power to save; and to see with their own eyes
the defiance that Suleiman would exhibit to the orders of a Christian.

"Now let the natives clasp the knees of the Pacha and defy the power of

The ruffian drew his sabre, and with his own hand, in the presence of a
crowd of witnesses, he hacked off the head of the unfortunate prisoner,
and thus publicly ridiculed my authority.

In the mean time, while this murder was being committed, we were
travelling onward without a suspicion of treachery. (It will be seen how
by degrees I became acquainted with the crime and designs of Suleiman,
who had already secretly forwarded instructions to his men at Masindi at
the same time that he had communicated in his rear with Abou Saood at

Accompanied by Lady Baker, I rode at the head of the party with my usual
advanced guard of five picked men of "The Forty." Lieutenant Baker
walked on foot, as he wished to save his horse's back that was slightly

We rode far in advance, as there was no danger to be apprehended in this
country, and my five guards with knapsacks, small axes, and general
accoutrements, kept the pace of four miles an hour for about twenty-one
miles to Kisoona. The march had been through forest, and grass about
four feet in height, which was now growing vigorously after the recent
showers. The large trees were covered with orchids, among which I
noticed a peculiar species which hung from the boughs like an apron.
This was exceedingly pretty, as the leaf was about eighteen inches in
breadth, the edges were scalloped and of a copper-brown colour, while
the upper portion was dark green.

The whole country had been desolated by civil war, in which the
companions of Abou Saood had taken a prominent part, and had carried off
a great number of the women.

Kisoona was a poor straggling place in the centre of the forest; but
although the beehive-shaped huts were far apart, there was the usual
amount of filth and ashes that disgrace the villages of Unyoro. A very
large plantation of bananas afforded food for the inhabitants, all of
whom seemed to have disappeared.

Throughout Unyoro the soil is exceedingly rich; the tobacco gardens
exhibited an extreme luxuriance, and the size of the leaves formed a
great contrast to the plants in the hot soil of the Bari country.

I placed a sentry over the tobacco, and cautioned the troops against
stealing or in any way damaging the crops.

A native of Umiro travelled as our interpreter. This man was a
confidential slave belonging to Kabba Rega, and formed one of his
regiment. Umbogo (or the "Buffalo") was a highly intelligent fellow, and
spoke good Arabic, as he had been constantly associated with the Arab
slave-traders. I had supplied him with clothes, and he looked quite
respectable in a blue shirt belted round the waist, with a
cartouche-pouch of leopard's skin, that had been given him by the people
of the zareeba. Umbogo carried a musket, and was altogether a very
important personage, although a slave.

The long march of twenty-one miles, through forest, along a rough and
narrow path, had delayed the carriers and the cattle. Although my men
had stepped along so briskly, the rear-guard did not arrive until the
evening. A tremendous downpour of rain deluged the ground. This was a
godsend to us, who were well housed and tented, as we caught a good
supply of water with the mackintosh camp-sheets that was very superior
to the contents of a small pool, which usually sufficed for the village

I always travelled with a large sponging bath, which was one of the
household gods of the expedition. This was now full of pure rain water.
The value of this old friend was incalculable. In former years I had
crossed the Atbara river in this same bath, lashed upon an angareb
(stretcher), supported by inflated skins. Without extra flotation it
would support my weight, and it was always used when crossing a small
stream, assisted by two men wading, one of whom held it on either side
to prevent it from overturning. Thus we could travel without the
necessity of plunging into deep mud and water.

Such a utensil was invaluable for watering the horses; also for washing
clothes, or for receiving a supply of rain-water during a shower, from
the camp-sheets suspended above the bath.

The neighbourhood of Kisoona was very populous, but the villages were
all concealed in the forest, amidst vast groves of bananas.

There was a large tract of potato cultivation; a supply of these welcome
roots was with difficulty obtained from the natives.

It appeared to be a repetition of my former experience in this country,
which unpleasantly reminded me of the scarcity of food during my first
exploration of Unyoro.

On the following morning (12th April), when the horses were saddled and
we were ready to start, not a single native was forthcoming. Every man
of about 200 carriers had absconded!

"Although Rahonka had assured me, previous to starting from the river,
that food would be ready for the troops at every halting-place, nothing
has been prepared. We are thus left as much neglected as during my
former voyage in this detestable country. There is not one sheik with
us, although three principal chiefs were told off to accompany us to
Masindi. I therefore told our friend Pittia that I should not proceed
farther, as I would have nothing to do with so miserable a king as Kabba

"I immediately sent Colonel Abd-el-Kader back to Foweera with thirty
men, and a letter to Suleiman, ordering him to collect 300 men at once
to return my effects to his zareeba. I tied Pittia, the guide, by a
small cord attached to the neck, as I feared he also might escape. What
can be done with these treacherous people?

"There is a report, now confirmed by the dragoman, Umbogo, that a plan
had been arranged between Suleiman and Rahonka that I should be led out
of their way, and they would then join their forces and attack Rionga.

"I do not believe that Suleiman would place his head in such a halter.

"Very heavy rain at 1 P.M.

"April 13.--The soil is wonderfully fertile--this is a chocolate-
coloured vegetable loam. Among the crops is a species of esculent
solanum, with large orange-coloured berries; both the fruit and leaves
are eaten by the natives.

"I repaired my boots to-day with the milk from the india-rubber-tree.
Julian (Lieutenant Baker) had fever. Colonel Abd-el-Kader and party
returned at 2.40 P.M., having marched rapidly, and accomplished their
mission and a journey of forty-two miles in twenty-seven hours and forty

"This excellent officer brought with him, secured by a small leather
thong, by the neck, the great sheiks Kittakara, Matonse, and several
smaller fry.

"The royal sheik, Rahonka, escaped by breaking through the side of his

"The report was as follows:--

"Colonel Abd-el-Kader and his party of thirty men had arrived at
Suleiman's zareeba at about 8 P.M. He found the vakeels, Suleiman and
Eddrees, surrounded by many of their men, apparently in consultation.

"Upon Abd-el-Kader's appearance, the men moved off, one by one, and
quietly packed up their effects, preparatory to a general flight.

"Abd-el-Kader informed Suleiman of the desertion of our carriers. He
then at once proceeded to the native zareeba, about 200 yards from the
camp. He there found the principal sheiks in the hut of Rahonka.

"Abd-el-Kader immediately informed them of the purport of his arrival,
and requested the sheiks to accompany him to the zareeba of Suleiman.
Rahonka begged to be left alone for a short time to enable him to dress.

"Abd-el-Kader waited outside the door of the hut, and, becoming tired of
so long a delay, he re-entered, and to his astonishment found the
dwelling _empty._ Rahonka had escaped by a hole in the straw wall.

"Suspicion being raised by the incomprehensible flight of Rahonka, the
colonel placed the remaining sheiks under a guard, and led them to
Suleiman's zareeba. He then applied to Suleiman for a guard of eight men
to watch the sheiks during the night, as his own party required rest.

"Suleiman now informed him that he could not supply the men, as all his
people had absconded from fear (of Abd-el-Kader).

"On the following morning the colonel perceived, from the smoke above
our old camp on the opposite side of the river (which in this part is
500 yards broad), that Suleiman's people had escaped during the night,
and had crossed the river with all their slaves and effects.

"This was the first act of my new irregular levy--they had positively
run away from the colonel like a parcel of hostile natives!

"Suleiman and Eddrees declared that they could not control their men,
who were afraid that I had ordered my officer to release the slaves that
were in their possession. (The truth was they considered that I had
heard of the murder of the prisoner committed to the care of Suleiman,
and that I had sent the colonel and his party to make inquiries.)

"Abd-el-Kader ordered Suleiman to accompany him to my halting-place at
Kisoona. Suleiman declined upon the excuse that he had some business,
but that he would present himself to-morrow."

"I can stand these scoundrels' conduct no longer. I have tried lenient
measures, and I had hoped that by forming Suleiman's party into an
irregular corps I might be able, by degrees, to change their habits, and
to reduce them by good discipline into useful troops, but 'Can the
Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?'

"I immediately released and examined the captive sheiks, who one and all
declared that the fault lay with Suleiman, who had previously arranged
the plan with Rahonka: that when I should be led away a distance of two
days' journey, he would assemble his men and attack Rionga in
conjunction with Rahonka's army.

"The report of Umbogo, the dragoman, is thus corroborated by
overwhelming evidence. This man, Umbogo, declares that Abou Saood wrote
to Suleiman, instructing him to wait until I should have passed on, and
then to bring all his slaves to Fabbo.

"I immediately sent Captain Mohammed Deii with fifty men, including
twenty-five of the 'Forty Thieves,' with orders to liberate all slaves
that might be discovered within the zareeba. He was to summon all the
people of Suleiman, and to disarm those who had run away from the
colonel, Abd-el-Kader.

"In the event of resistance, he was to use the force at his disposal,
and at all hazards to prevent the escape of the slavers across the

"Suleiman and Eddrees were to be brought before me.

"A heavy shower fell just after the troops started.

"April 14.--Julian's horse, Gazelle, died last night; the poor animal
had been ill for some days.

"Quonga, who is the sheik of this district, came this morning and
excused his absence in rather a lame fashion, by saying that he had been
collecting food for the troops, together with carriers, who are now
ready to transport the baggage to Masindi. He declared that Kabba Rega
was impatient, and had sent three of Suleiman's people to deliver the
message to me, but these rascals had passed on this morning direct to
the zareeba of Suleiman, without communicating with us on the way.

"Quonga not only corroborated the testimony of the sheiks and the
dragoman, Umbogo, against Suleiman, as having conspired to attack Rionga
after my departure, but he gave additional evidence, that 'Suleiman had
told Rahonka and the great sheiks that I, the Pacha, knew nothing about
war, that none of the government troops could shoot, and that I should
only travel and subsist upon the country, but that he (Suleiman) would
join them and kill Rionga after I should have departed.'

"This I believe to be true, as a few days ago, when speaking of the
troops, I told Suleiman that the Soudanis were very hardy soldiers for
marching and resisting climate, but that generally they were bad shots.
Thus, in a treacherous manner, he has informed the natives that the
soldiers of the government cannot shoot. In the afternoon, fresh reports
reached me that Suleiman had, with his own hands, murdered the native to
whom I had given protection. He had committed this horrible act the
instant that my back was turned, and he had exhibited the crime before
the great sheiks in derision of my authority!

"At 4.30 P.M. Captain Mohammed Deii returned with his party of fifty
men, together with the vakeels, Suleiman and Eddrees, with six of their
men who had been met upon their road from Masindi, and eight slaves.

"As I had expected, the greater number of Suleiman's people had escaped
with their slaves to Fabbo, when the Colonel, Abd-el-Kader, had suddenly
appeared among them; his arrival had disconcerted all Suleiman's
arrangements, and my detention at Kisoona had completely upset all his
plans respecting an alliance with Rahonka's army. That cunning general
had gone off straight to Kabba Rega after his escape through the wall of
his hut.

"I summoned the great sheiks, Kittakara, Quonga, together with Pittia,
and several others. These men gave their evidence most clearly as
witnesses to the plan arranged by Suleiman for the attack upon Rionga;
and as eye-witnesses to the murder of the prisoner, whom they saw
dragged by Suleiman and his men to the grove of bananas, where he was

"I ordered Suleiman and his people to be disarmed; and secured both him
and Eddrees in shebas.

"The sun had set, and, the sky being over-cast, it had become extremely

"I proceeded at once to the trial of Suleiman and Eddrees, as the
witnesses were all present.

"The bugler sounded the 'taboor' (assembly), and the officers and troops
quickly appeared, and formed in line two deep, facing the table at which
we sat. I ordered half-a-dozen large port-fires to be brought; these
were lighted and held by six men who stepped forward from the ranks. The
blaze of red light illumined the whole neighbourhood, and cast a
peculiar glow upon the dark foliage of the bananas and the forms of the
dusky chiefs who sat in a line opposite the troops.

"Suleiman and Eddrees were led by the guard, and appeared before the
tribunal. Suleiman, although pinioned, retained the same haughty swagger
that had always distinguished him. The charges against him were as

"1. For having conspired to attack Rionga, in direct opposition to my
positive orders.

"2. For treasonably speaking against the government of the Khedive to
the native chiefs.

"3. For arranging and abetting the escape of the irregular new levy, who
had enlisted in the government service, together with that of the

"4. For having murdered, with his own hands, a native whom I had
confided to his care.

"After a careful trial the prisoner was found guilty upon every charge;
and the second vakeel, Eddrees, was proved to have been an accomplice.

"I immediately sentenced Suleiman to receive 200 lashes upon the spot,
as a first instalment of future punishment. Blue lights had been
substituted for the port-fires that had burned out, and the haughty
brigand, Suleiman, was laid upon the ground by the ready troops to
receive his punishment.

"My ever-present attendant, Monsoor, volunteered to be one of the
whippers, and the pride and audacity of the prisoner were soon exchanged
for effeminate cries for pardon. It was this same man, Suleiman, who had
flogged a poor boy nearly to death during my former journey, and the
life of the child had with difficulty been saved by the kind attention
of my wife. When he now cried for mercy, I recalled to his recollection
the unfortunate boy whose posterior he had literally CUT OFF with a whip
of hippopotamus' hide. . . .

"Eddrees was sentenced to receive 100 lashes, but when thirty strokes
had been administered, the native chiefs interceded in his behalf,
saying that the great blame rested upon Suleiman, and that Eddrees was
not a bad man, but that he was obliged to obey the orders of his

"They now continued, 'that Suleiman had ruined the country, that he had
kidnapped all the women and children, and that the natives had fled from
their homes as the result.'

"I was much struck with the straightforward, at the same time moderate
behaviour of the native chiefs. I accordingly spared Eddrees, who at
once turned evidence against Suleiman, together with two of his own

"They signed a declaration as witnesses of the murder of the native by
Suleiman. This paper was formally witnessed and signed by Lieutenant
Baker, Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and Captain Mohammed Deii.

"The punishment having been awarded and the prisoners withdrawn, but
secured in shebas by the guard, I addressed the native chiefs, assuring
them of my protection; and that in future the country should be governed
with perfect justice; that property and the rights of women and children
would be respected, and that any transgressor of the law would be
punished. I explained that the object of the expedition was to bring
prosperity; but, on the other hand, I should expect fidelity from Kabba
Rega and his people. I told them that I should lead the prisoners in
shebas to Kabba Rega, he must then summon a general assembly of his
chiefs to hear and witness the truth.

"I now ordered the bugler to sound the 'destoor' (retreat), and the
troops marched back to their quarters.

"The trial was over; the blue lights had burnt out, and we were now in
comparative darkness beneath the banana foliage, with a feeble lamp
glimmering on the table.

"The native chiefs declared their perfect confidence in the government,
and that we should start on the following morning direct for Masindi."



"April l5.--The latitude of Kisoona was 2 degrees 2 minutes 36 seconds
N. We started at 11 A.M. till 1 P.M., reaching Kasiga--eight miles--
through interminable forest full of fine ripe yellow plums and unripe
custard apples.

"April 16.--Started at 8.20 A.M. till 12--arriving at Koki--thick
forest throughout the march. We passed several small villages, and made
twelve miles, N. lat. 1 degree 59 minutes. I gave various seeds of
European vegetables to the headman; and I myself sowed the seeds of
water-melons and sweet melons in his garden, and explained their

"April 17.--All the carriers have absconded. There is extensive
cultivation in this district, and the tobacco is well attended, as the
tops of the plants are carefully nipped off to prevent them from running
too much into stalk.

"The chief, Kittakara, who is a kind of prime minister to Kabba Rega,
gave me this afternoon the history of the country.

"Kabba Rega is the sixteenth king since the original conquest of Unyoro
by the Gallas. These invaders arrived from the East, beyond the country
of the Langgos.

"To this day a peculiar custom is observed. Before a new king can ascend
the throne, he is compelled to sleep during two nights on the east of
the Victoria Nile. He then marches along the path by which his
victorious ancestor invaded Unyoro, and upon reaching the river, he
takes boat and crosses to the exact landing-place where the original
conqueror first set his foot upon the frontier.

"April 18.--I purchased a quantity of excellent tobacco and divided it
among the soldiers as a reward for their having respected the native
gardens during the march.

"Kittakara is the only gentleman that I have seen in the country, and he
never asks for presents, thus forming an extraordinary exception to the
rule of Unyoro society.

"I gave him a blue blanket, a zinc mirror, a spoon, comb, and four red
and yellow handkerchiefs. To Quonga I gave a tarboosh (fez), and four
yards of turkey red cloth.

"April 19.--Fresh carriers arrived, and we started at 10.45 A.M., and
halted at 4 P.M.--twelve miles. Forest and high grass as usual
throughout the route, which would render this country highly dangerous
in case of hostilities.

"The lofty mountains on the west shore of the Albert N'yanza are now in
view about fifty miles distant. We halted at a populous district, and
occupied a village at Chorobeze.

"There is an impression of general ruin in passing through this
wonderfully fertile country. The slave-hunters and their allies have
produced this frightful result by ransacking the district for slaves.
"The civil dissensions after Kamrasi's death were favourable for the
traders' schemes. The two sons, Kabba Rega and Kabka Miro, contended for
the throne. The latter was royally born by sire and mother, but Kabba
Rega was a son by a shepherdess of the Bahoomas. The throne belonged by
inheritance to Kabka Miro, who, not wishing to cause a civil war, and
thus destroy the country, challenged his brother to single combat in the
presence of all the people. The victor was to be king.

"Kabba Rega was a coward, and refused the challenge. The chivalrous
Kabka Miro again offered terms:--Kabba Rega, as the son of the
shepherdess, should take all the flocks and herds; and Kabka Miro would
occupy the throne.

"Kabba Rega, like most cowards, was exceedingly cunning and treacherous,
and, with the alliance of Suleiman's people, he shot his gallant
brother, and secured both the throne and his father's flocks."

April 20.--All the native carriers have, as usual, absconded. We are now
about twenty-seven riles from Masindi, the head-quarters of Kabba Rega,
and yet there are no signs of control.

"I ascended a small hill near the village, and sighted the waters of the
Albert N'yanza, due west, about twenty miles distant.

"April 21.--About fifty natives collected. I sent off Colonel
Abd-el-Kader with the prisoners to Kabba Rega to complain of the want of
carriers and provisions. I ordered him to disarm all the traders'
people, and the Baris in their employ, who might be at Masindi; as the
news has arrived that the men belonging to Suleiman have returned to
Foweera and are actually taking slaves in the neighbourhood.

"April 22.--More natives collected. I sent off 140 loads in charge of
Morgian Agha, with an escort of twenty soldiers, and the herd of cattle.
The latitude of Chorobeze was 1 degrees 57 minutes N.

"April 23.--The natives having collected, we started at 10.5 a.m. I was
obliged to walk, as my good horse, 'Greedy Grey,' is sick.

"The route was through forest and high grass as usual. We marched
seventeen miles, and halted at immense groves of bananas at a place
called Jon Joke.

"The baggage and cattle arrived after sunset, Morgian Agha having been
deserted yesterday by all the carriers. As usual, throughout the route
the water is bad.

"Alas! my poor horse, `Greedy Grey,' died to-day. He was the most
perfect of all the horses I had brought from Cairo.

"April 24.-As usual, the native carriers have all bolted! Last night a
sergeant arrived with a letter addressed to me from Abd-el-Kader, who
has carried out my orders at Masindi by disarming the traders' party.

"April 25.-It rained throughout the night. The carriers sent by Kabba
Rega arrived early. We started at 8.15 a.m., and marched ten miles,
arriving at last at the capital of Unyoro--Masindi.

"This large town is situated on high undulating land with an extensive
view, bounded on the west by the range of mountains bordering the Albert
N'yanza, about fifty miles distant. The country is open, but covered
with high grass. A succession of knolls, all more or less ornamented
with park-like trees, characterize the landscape, which slopes gradually
down towards the west, and drains into the Albert N'yanza, which is
about twenty miles distant.

"The town of Masindi is, as usual throughout Unyoro, exceedingly
neglected, and is composed of some thousand large beehive-shaped straw
huts, without any arrangement or plan.

"I selected a position beneath a large banian-tree, from the base of
which I cleared the herbage, and having pitched the tent, the natives
tore up about an acre of the high grass, and we encamped upon the clean

"Kabba Rega sent a present of twenty-nine loads of tullaboon (a small
seed, Eleusine Coracan), a quantity of plantains and potatoes, and six

"This spot is in N. lat. 1 deg. 45 min., and is seventy-nine miles, by
our route, from the river at Foweera. We are thus 322 miles by route
from Ismailia (Gondokoro).

"April 26.-I visited Kabba Rega officially, with the officers and troops
in full uniform, and the band playing.

"I found him sitting in his divan; this was a large neatly-constructed
hut, ornamented with some very common printed cotton cloths, which had
arrived via Zanzibar. Kabba Rega was very well clad, in beautifully made
bark-cloth striped with black; he was excessively neat, and appeared to
be about twenty years of age. He gave me the same account of the
atrocious proceedings of Abou Saood's companies that I had already
received from his chiefs, and he expressed his delight at my arrival,
and that I had captured Suleiman and some of his people.

"I explained the intentions of the Khedive of Egypt, at the same time I
lamented the terrible change that had occurred throughout his country
since my former visit. I assured him that the future would be
prosperous, and that, under the protection of Egypt, he would never have
further cause for alarm. I then summoned the prisoners that had been
captured and disarmed by Colonel Abd-el-Kader; and having explained the
charges against them, they were publicly flogged in the presence of a
multitude of Kabba Rega's people, while Suleiman and Eddrees were led
away in shebas, to the astonishment and delight of all beholders.

"The slaves that had been discovered in the possession of Suleiman's
people were now brought forward, and having been identified by Kabba
Rega and his people as belonging to Unyoro, they were at once released,
and I returned both young girls and boys to their country. One woman did
not wish to leave the traders, as she had been married to one of the
company for some years, and had several children.

"I explained that they were actually FREE--to remain with their captors,
or to return to their homes, as they thought proper.

"This was a good opportunity for assuring both Kabba Rega and this
people that I should restore all the slaves that had been carried out of
their country to the various stations of Abou Saood at Fatiko, Fabbo,
Faloro, &c.

"I described to the young king and his chiefs that I was determined to
suppress the slave trade, and that I had hitherto forborne to interfere
in the release of the slaves at the various stations, as it would have
been impossible to have returned them to their distant homes, neither
could I have supplied them with food. I was now at Masindi, beyond the
farthest station of Abou Saood, and I should certainly insist upon the
return of every slave that had been kidnapped from this country. This
would at once prove to the inhabitants of Unyoro the benefit of the
Khedive's protection. (The subsequent attack made by the slave-traders
upon the government troops and myself at Fatiko was due to this
declaration that all slaves should be taken away from their captors and
returned to their homes. It will be seen later that I sent orders to the
commandant of my station at Fatiko to release all slaves, and this
command was resisted by Abou Saood and his people.)

"April 27.-Kabba Rega had arranged to return my visit.

"I had ordered a broad roadway to be cleared from Kabba Rega's divan to
my tent, which was pitched beneath an enormous fig-tree or banian (Ficus
Indica). The troops were lined on either side of this approach in their
best uniforms.

"The band was stationed near the tent, which was spread with skins and
small carpets, all the sides being open.

"An hour and a half passed away after the first messenger had arrived
from Kabba Rega to announce his visit. One after another, messengers had
hurried to assure me that the king was just now approaching; but still
the troops remained in expectation, and no king made an appearance.

"At length, after this long delay, he sent Rahonka to say that 'if it
was all the same to me, he would rather see me at his own house.'

"This unmannerly young cub was actually suspicious of foul play, and was
afraid to enter my tent!

"I immediately told Rahonka that his king was evidently not old enough
to have learnt good manners, therefore I should at once dismiss the
troops, who had already been waiting for nearly two hours to do him

"I ordered the bugler to sound the 'destoor,' and the troops at once
obeyed the signal.

"Terrified at the sound of the bugle, which was known to be some
mysterious order, Rahonka implored me not to be angry, and he would at
once bring Kabba Rega to the tent. The troops resumed their position.

"In a few minutes a great din of horns, drums, and whistles announced
his approach, and we observed him walking down the road with an
extraordinary gait. He was taking enormous strides, as though
caricaturing the walk of a giraffe. This was supposed to be an imitation
of M'tese, the king of Uganda, whose ridiculous attempt to walk like a
lion has been described by Speke.

"Kabba Rega thus stalked along, followed by his great chiefs, Kittakara,
Matonse, Rahonka, Quonga, and a number of others. Upon arrival opposite
the band, the bugles and drums suddenly commenced with such a clash of
cymbals that he seemed rather startled, and he entered the tent in the
most undignified manner, with an air of extreme shyness half concealed
by audacity.

"He was trembling with nervous anxiety, and with some hesitation he took
his seat upon the divan that had been prepared for him. His principal
chiefs sat upon skins and carpets arranged upon the ground.

"A crowd of about 2,000 people had accompanied him, making a terrific
noise with whistles, horns, and drums. These were now silenced, and the
troops formed a guard around the tent to keep the mob at a respectful
distance. Every now and then several men of Kabba Rega's body-guard
rushed into the crowd and laid about them with bludgeons five feet long,
hitting to the right and left. This always chased the people away for a
few minutes, until, by degrees, they resumed their position. Everybody
was dressed up for a grand occasion, mostly in new clothes of bark-
cloth, and many were in skins of wild animals, with their heads
fantastically ornamented with the horns of goats or antelopes. The
sorcerers were an important element. These rascals, who are the curse of
the country, were, as usual, in a curious masquerade with fictitious
beards manufactured with a number of bushy cows' tails.

"Kabba Rega was about five feet ten inches in height, and of extremely
light complexion. His eyes were very large, but projected in a
disagreeable manner. A broad but low forehead and high cheek-bones,
added to a large mouth, with rather prominent but exceedingly white
teeth, complete the description of his face. His hands were beautifully
shaped, and his finger-nails were carefully pared and scrupulously
clean. The nails of his feet were equally well attended to. He wore
sandals of raw buffalo-hide, but neatly formed, and turned up round the

"His robe of bark-cloth, which completely covered his body, was
exquisitely made, and had been manufactured in Uganda, which country is
celebrated for this curious production.

"This was Kabba Rega, the son of Kamrasi, the sixteenth king of Unyoro,
of the Galla conquerors, a gauche, awkward, undignified lout of twenty
years of age, who thought himself a great monarch. He was cowardly,
cruel, cunning, and treacherous to the last degree. Not only had he
ordered the destruction of his brother, Kabka Miro, but after his death,
he had invited all his principal relations to visit him; these he had
received with the greatest kindness, and at parting, he had presented
them with gifts, together with an escort of his body-guard, called
bonosoora, to see them safe home. These men, by the young king's
instructions, murdered them all in the high grass during their return
journey. By these means he had got rid of troublesome relations, and he
now sat securely upon the throne with only one great enemy; this was
Rionga, the stanch and determined foe of his father, who had escaped
from every treachery, and still lived to defy him in the north-eastern
provinces of Unyoro.

"It was easy to understand that he would welcome my arrival with a force
sufficiently large to assist him against Rionga, and at the same time to
rid him of Suleiman's party. He made use of the latter force as
mercenary troops, to which he was obliged to allow boundless license;
otherwise he might be invaded by the whole power of the combined
companies of Fabbo, Faloro, Fatiko, and Farragenia. These companies
might at any time change sides and ally themselves with Rionga, thus,
could I clear the country of such doubtful allies, he would be relieved
from all cause of alarm."

Notwithstanding these advantages, the young king sat uneasily upon his
divan, and appeared timid and suspicious. According to Turkish
etiquette, a handsome chibouque, trimmed with blue silk and gold, was
handed to him. He examined the amber mouth-piece but declined to smoke,
as "tobacco would blacken his teeth;" this was a curious excuse from a
Central African dandy.

I begged him to accept the long pipe as a reminiscence of my arrival.
Coffee and sherbet were then handed to him, but he declined both, and
insisted upon two of his chiefs drinking the whole; during which
operation he watched them attentively, as though in expectation of some
poisonous effect.

This was conduct that boded no good for future relations. My wife tried
to converse with him through the interpreter, Umbogo. Kabba Rega then
explained that he recollected us both, as he was one of a crowd when a
boy on the day we started from M'rooli for the Albert N'yanza.

The conversation quickly turned upon Rionga, whom he declared must be
either captured or killed, before any improvement could take place in
the country. The young king assumed that it was already arranged that I
should assist him in this laudable object. I now changed the
conversation by ordering a large metal box to be brought in. This had
already been filled with an assortment of presents, including a watch. I
explained to him that the latter had been intended for his father,
Kamrasi; in the recollection of his constant demands for my watch during
my former visit. The new toy was ticking loudly, and it was of course
handed round and held to the ear of each chief before it was replaced in
the box.

Kabba Rega replied that he knew I had been a great friend of his father,
Kamrasi, and that I had now brought many valuable presents for him; but
I must not forget, that, although the father was dead, the son (himself)
was still alive, therefore I might at once hand over to him all that I
had intended for his parent.

This was a true son of his father in the art of begging. I replied, that
"hens did not lay all their eggs in one day, but continued one by one;
and that I hoped, when I should know him better, he would discover the
advantage of commerce, as the various goods that had now been introduced
were intended to exhibit the manufactures of my own country. These would
continue to arrive in Unyoro to be exchanged for ivory."

I then exhibited the large musical box with drums and bells. This was
one of the best instruments of its kind, and it played a remarkably good
selection of airs, which quite charmed the audience. Among the presents
I had given to Kabba Rega was a small musical snuff box. This was now
wound up and exhibited, but the greedy young fellow at once asked "Why I
did not give him the large box?"

I gave him a regular lecture upon the advantages of commerce that would
introduce an important change in this extraordinary country; at the same
time I recalled to his recollection, that I had promised his father to
open up a commercial route by which the productions and manufactures of
the north should arrive in Unyoro, and render that country even more
prosperous than Uganda. I had now arrived, as the lieutenant of the
Khedive, according to my promise, and the whole of the equatorial Nile
basis would be taken under his protection. No unnecessary wars would be
permitted, but he (Kabba Rega) would remain as the representative of the
government, and the affairs of the country would be conducted through
him alone.

I assured him that no country could prosper without industry and a good
government; that agriculture was the foundation of a country's wealth;
and that war or civil disturbance, which interfered with agricultural
employment, would ruin the kingdom. He replied that "Rionga was the sole
cause of war; therefore it would be necessary to destroy him before any
improvements could be made. If Rionga were killed and the slave-hunters
expelled from the country, there might be some hope of progress; but
that it was wasting breath to talk of commerce and agriculture until
Rionga should be destroyed."

This was Kamrasi's old tune once more dinned into my ears. In my former
journey I had been deserted by my carriers and starved for three months
at Shooa Moru, simply to induce me to yield to this repeated demand:
"Kill Rionga; or give me your men to assist me against him."

From what I had heard I considered that Rionga must be a very fine
fellow, and much superior to either Kamrasi or his son.

In my former journey I had accomplished a long and difficult exploration
without firing a shot at a human being; and I had studiously avoided
meddling in native politics, which is certain to involve a traveller in
difficulty. It had always been a source of great satisfaction when I
looked back to my past adventures, and reflected that I had never pulled
a trigger at a native; thus the arrival of a white man in these
countries would be regarded without suspicion.

In my present expedition I had always endeavoured to preserve peace,
but, as this work will show, I was in every instance forced to war in
absolute self-defence. I was therefore determined not to attack Rionga,
unless he should presume to defy the government.

In reply to Kabba Rega and his chiefs, who all had joined in the
argument, I declared that I would find means to establish peace, and
that Rionga would assuredly come to terms. Nothing would induce me to
use force against him or any other person, unless absolutely necessary.
I suggested to Kabba Rega that he should for a moment change positions
with Rionga. What would his feelings be should I wantonly attack him,
simply because I had been requested to do so by his enemy?

No argument was of any avail. Kabba Rega replied, "You were my father's
friend and brother: your wife was the same. You drove back the
slave-hunters under Wat-el-Mek by hoisting your flag. Since you left us,
the slave-hunters have returned and ruined the country. My father is
dead; but Rionga is still alive. Now you are my father, and your wife is
my mother: will you allow your son's enemy to live?"

It was quite useless to attempt reason with this hardened young fellow,
who had not an idea of mercy in his disposition. As he had murdered his
own relatives by the foulest treachery, so he would of course destroy
any person who stood in his way. I therefore changed the conversation to
Abou Saood.

Kabba Rega and his sheiks all agreed that he had arrived here some time
ago in a very miserable plight, exceedingly dirty, and riding upon a
donkey. He was without baggage of any kind, and he introduced himself by
giving a present to Kabba Rega of an old, battered metal basin and jug,
in which he washed, together with a very old and worn-out small carpet,
upon which he was accustomed to sit. With these magnificent presents he
declared that he was "the son of a sultan, who had come to visit the
king of Unyoro."

Kabba Rega had replied that "he did not believe it, as he had heard that
he was simply a trader."

Reports had reached Unyoro that I had arrived at Gondokoro, and that I
was on my way to visit Kamrasi, and to explore the Albert N'yanza;
therefore Kabba Rega had questioned Abou Saood concerning me.

"Oh," Abou Saood replied, "that man whom we call 'the traveller'? Oh
yes, he was a very good fellow indeed; but he is dead. He died long ago.
The Pacha is a very different person; and I hope he will never be able
to reach this country. If he does, it will be a bad time for YOU."

"Indeed!" replied Kabba Rega. "I heard that the Pacha and the traveller,
the friend of my father, were the same person."

"You have been deceived," said Abou Saood. "The Pacha is not like the
traveller, or any other man. He is a monster with three separate heads,
in each of which are six eyes--three upon each side. Thus with
eighteen eyes he can see everything and every country at once. He has
three enormous mouths, which are furnished with teeth like those of a
crocodile, and he devours human flesh. He has already killed and eaten
the Bari people and destroyed their country. Should he arrive here, he
will pull you from the throne and seize your kingdom. You must fight
him, and by no means allow him to cross the river at Foweera. My
soldiers will fight him on the road from Gondokoro, as will all the
natives of the country: but I don't think he will be able to leave
Gondokoro, as he has a large amount of baggage, _and I have told the
Baris not to transport it:--thus he will have no carriers."

This was the actual report that Abou Saood had given to Kabba Rega, as
the dragoman Umbogo had been the interpreter, in the presence of
Mohammed, my old Cairo dragoman.

I laughed outright at this absurdity: at the same time it corroborated
all that I had already heard of Abou Saood's treachery. I immediately
asked Kabba Rega if he was satisfied now that he had seen me? He
replied, "Abou Saood is a liar, and you are Kamrasi's friend, and my
father: therefore you will, I am sure, assist me, and relieve me from my
great enemy, Rionga. I shall then know that you are indeed my true

Once more it was necessary to change the conversation. A number of
buffoons that were kept about the court for the amusement of the young
king now came forward. The crowd was driven back, and an open space
having been thus cleared, they performed a curious theatrical scene,
followed by a general fight with clubs, until one man, having knocked
down all the party, remained the victor. The scene terminated with an
act of disgusting indecency, which created roars of laughter from the
immense crowd, who evidently considered this was the great joke of the

"Kabba Rega now took leave, and retired as he had before arrived, with
drums, whistles, horns, flageolets, making a horrid din . . . ."

The spot that I had selected for a station was at the southern edge of
the town, from which site the land sloped into a valley about a hundred
feet below. I had at once commenced clearing away the high grass, and,
as usual when first settling, I had broken up a few small plots, and had
already sown seeds of English cucumbers, sweet melons, &c.

The soil was wonderfully rich, at the same time it was very easily
worked. When the tall rank grass was torn out by the roots, a fine
surface was exposed that resembled dark chocolate. This was a vegetable
loam, with a minimum of two feet thickness, resting upon a bright red
quartz gravel.

The quartz was not rounded, and appeared to be only the residue of
decayed rock that had never been subjected to the action of running
water. When washed, a handful remained of sharp and clear white

With such a subsoil the country must be healthy, as the heaviest shower
drained rapidly through the gravel.

I employed the prisoners in clearing the grass, while the soldiers
commenced cultivation, and dug up the ground with a number of hoes that
I borrowed from Kabba Rega.

These implements are nearly the same in shape as those in Gondokoro and
throughout the Madi country, but smaller, and the iron is very brittle
and inferior. They are not used like the Dutch hoe, with a long handle,
but are fixed upon a piece of wood with a bend of natural growth, so the
hoe can be used with a downward stroke like a pick-axe.

On 29th April I commenced building a government house and public divan.

The king of Uganda (M'tese) has envoys throughout the countries which
surround his dominions. One of these chiefs, who represented M'tese at
Masindi, paid me a visit, and gave me a good deal of information.

He described the M'wootan N'zige (Albert N'yanza) as forming the western
frontier of Karagwe, from which point it turned westward for a distance
unknown. This was a similar description to that given by Kamrasi some
years ago.

I gave the envoy a red and yellow handkerchief to tie around his head.
The man was neatly dressed in Indian clothes that had arrived from
Bombay via Zanzibar.

On 30th April, Kabba Rega sent a present of twelve elephants' tusks,
forty-one loads of tullaboon, twelve pots of sour plantain cider, and
thirty-four cows. At the same time, he complained that some of Abou
Saood's people were taking slaves in the neighbourhood of Foweera and

The principal chiefs, together with Kabba Rega, assured me that Abou
Saood's people had been in the habit of torturing people to extract from
them the secret of the spot in which their corn was concealed.
Throughout Unyoro there are no granaries exposed at the present time, as
the country has been ravaged by civil war; thus all corn is buried in
deep holes specially arranged for that purpose. When the slave-hunters
sought for corn, they were in the habit of catching the villagers and
roasting their posteriors by holding them down on the mouth of a large
earthen water jar filled with gloving embers. If this torture of
roasting alive did not extract the secret, they generally cut the
sufferer's throat to terrify his companion, who would then divulge the
position of the hidden stores to avoid a similar fate. This accusation
was corroborated by Mohammed, the Cairo dragoman.

It is difficult to conceive the brutality of these brigands, who, thus
relieved from the fear of a government, exhibit their unbridled passions
by every horrible crime.

Umbogo, the interpreter, was now regularly installed in a hut within
call of my tent. This man appeared to be exceedingly fond of us, and he
was the main source of information.

He had a very lovely wife, a Bahooma, who was a light brown colour, with
beautiful Abyssinian eyes; she had been given to him by Kabba Rega, with
whom he was a great favourite.

Umbogo was very intelligent, and he took a great interest in all my
plans for establishing free trade throughout the country: but he told me
privately that he thought the idea would be opposed secretly by Kabba
Rega, who would wish to monopolize all the ivory trade, in order to keep
up the price, and to obtain the whole of the merchandise.

The great variety of goods much astonished him, and he advised me
strongly to send for a large supply of soap, for which there would be a
great demand, as a light complexion was greatly admired in Unyoro. He
said that Mohammed, the Cairo dragoman, was several shades lighter since
I had supplied him with soap; this was true, as he had been very filthy
before my arrival; but Umbogo was persuaded that the difference between
white and black people was caused by the fact of our ancestors having
always used soap, while the blacks used only plain water. This
ethnological fact having been established, I gave him a small piece, to
his great delight, as he expressed his intention to become a white man.

I was always chatting with Umbogo and the various chiefs, especially
with my favourite, Kittakara, who was Kabba Rega's most confidential
counsellor. They gave me a graphic account of the royal funeral that had
taken place a few months ago, when Kamrasi has interred.

When a king of Unyoro dies, the body is exposed upon a framework of
green wood, like a gigantic gridiron, over a slow fire. It is thus
gradually dried, until it resembles an over-roasted hare.

Thus mummified, it is wrapped in new bark-cloths, and lies in state
within a large house built specially for its reception.

The sons fight for the throne. The civil war may last for years, but
during this period of anarchy, the late king's body lies still unburied.

At length, when victory has decided in favour of one of his sons, the
conqueror visits the hut in which his father's body lies in state. He
approaches the corpse, and standing by its side, he sticks the butt-end
of his spear in the ground, and leaves it thus fixed near the right hand
of the dead king. This is symbolical of victory.

The son now ascends the throne, and the funeral of his father must be
his first duty.

An immense pit or trench is dug, capable of containing several hundred

This pit is neatly lined with new bark-cloths.

Several wives of the late king are seated together at the bottom, to
bear upon their knees the body of their departed lord.

The night previous to the funeral, the king's own regiment or body-guard
surround many dwellings and villages, and seize the people
indiscriminately as they issue from their doors in the early morning.
These captives are brought to the pit's mouth.

Their legs and arms are now broken with clubs, and they are pushed into
the pit on the top of the king's body and his wives.

An immense din of drums, horns, flageolets, whistles, mingled with the
yells of a frantic crowd, drown the shrieks of the sufferers, upon whom
the earth is shovelled and stamped down by thousands of cruel fanatics,
who dance and jump upon the loose mould so as to form it into a compact
mass; through which the victims of this horrid sacrifice cannot grope
their way, the precaution having been taken to break the bones of their
arms and legs. At length the mangled mass is buried and trodden down
beneath a tumulus of earth, and all is still. The funeral is over.

Upon my return to Egypt I was one day relating this barbarous custom to
a friend, when Mr. Kay, of Alexandria, reminded me of the curious
coincidence in the description of the travels of Ibn Batuta, written
A.D. 1346.

I am indebted to Mr. Kay for the following extract from the work of Ibn
Batuta, which will go far to prove the extreme conservatism of Africans
in all that regards their rites and customs.

On his arrival at Khan Balik (Pekin), Ibn Batuta found that the khan, or
emperor, was absent. His cousin had risen against him, and had been
joined by most of the ameers, who accused the khan of having broken the
laws of the Yassak, and had called upon him to abdicate.

The emperor marched against the rebels at the head of an army (which,
Ibn Batuta says, consisted of a million cavalry and half a million
infantry). A battle was fought, in which the khan was defeated and

"This news reached the capital a few days after our arrival. The city
was decorated, drums and trumpets were sounded, and games and rejoicings
instituted, which continued for the space of a month.

"The dead body of the khan was then brought, together with the bodies of
about a hundred men, his relations and followers.

"A large vault was constructed underground. It was spread with
magnificent carpets, and the body of the khan was laid in it, along with
his weapons and with the gold and silver vessels that were used in his

"Four female slaves and six memluks were led into the vault, each
provided with a drinking vessel filled with liquid.

"The entrance of the vault was walled up, and earth was heaped on the
top until it resembled a large hillock.

"Four horses were then brought and made to gallop in the neighbourhood
of the tomb until they stood still with fatigue. A large beam of wood
was erected over the tomb, and to this the horses were attached, being
impaled with wooden pales, passed longitudinally through their bodies
and projecting through their mouths.

"The bodies of the khan's relatives, whom I have previously mentioned,
were likewise deposited in vaults, each with his weapons and with the
vessels used in his house.

"Those of highest rank were ten in number. Over each of their tombs
three horses were impaled, and one horse over each of the others.

"The day was one of public solemnity, and no one abstained from its
observance, neither man nor woman, Moslem nor infidel. All arrayed
themselves in funeral garments--the infidels wearing white tailasans,
and the Moslem white gowns.

"The empresses, wives of the khan, and his chief followers remained in
the neighbourhood of the tomb for forty days, living in tents. Some
prolonged their stay up to a year, and a market was established at which
provisions and every other necessary were sold.

"These are practices of the existence of which among any other people in
these present times I have no personal knowledge.

"The Indian infidels and the people of China burn their dead. Others
bury them, but without burying living men or women along with the

"But I was informed in the Soudan, by persons upon whose word full
reliance may be placed, that among certain infidels in these countries,
on the death of the king, a vault is constructed in which the corpse is
laid, and along with it a certain number of his courtiers and servants;
as also thirty persons, sons and daughters of the most distinguished men
of the country. The fore-arms of these persons are first broken, as also
their legs, below the knees, and drinking vessels are deposited with
them in the tomb.

"I was informed by a person, one of the chief men of the Masuffahs, who
dwelt in the country of Koobar, in the Soudan, and who was a favourite
with the sultan, that on the death of the latter the people wished to
bury my informant's son in the tomb along with those of their own
children who had been chosen for the same purpose. He added: 'I
remonstrated, saying, "How can ye do this? The lad is not of your faith,
neither is he one of your children." Finally, I ransomed him,' he
continued, 'with a heavy payment.'". . . .

This is an interesting fact, that so long ago as the year 1346 such a
practice was known to exist in Central Africa.

When the funeral rites of Kamrasi were over, Kabba Rega ascended the
throne, and succeeded to all his father's wives, with the exception of
his own mother. This is the invariable custom in Unyoro.

The throne is composed partly of copper and of wood. It is an
exceedingly small and ancient piece of furniture, and has been handed
down for many generations and is considered to be a cojoor, or talisman.
There is also an ancient drum, which is regarded with reverence as
something uncanny, and the two articles are always jealously guarded by
special soldiers, and are seldom used.

Should the throne be lost or stolen, the authority of the king would
disappear, together with the talisman, and disorder would reign
throughout the country until the precious object should be restored.



The work had now fairly commenced, and Kabba Rega and his chiefs were
assured of a grand reform. Already the slave-hunters had been punished:
the vakeel, Suleiman, was secured in the stocks, and the slaves that had
been kidnapped had been restored to their homes in Unyoro. I now
determined to insist upon the restoration of all the Unyoro slaves that
had been carried away from this country, and were captives in the
zareebas of Fatiko, Fabbo, Faloro, and Farragenia. From the descriptions
of Kabba Rega and his chiefs, I considered that these prisoners amounted
to about a thousand persons--women and children.

Umbogo, the interpreter, declared that Abou Saood's companies would
attack the government troops, should I insist upon the liberation of the
slaves. He had lived with these slave-hunters, and he had frequently
heard them declare, that, "should the Pacha ever arrive in this country,
and insist upon the suppression of slavery, they would shoot him rather
than lose their slaves." I treated this idea as an absurdity.

At the same time that Kabba Rega and his people were eager for the
restoration of the numerous women and children that had been stolen from
Unyoro, they were themselves great slave-dealers.

M'tese, the powerful King of Uganda, on the southern frontier of Unyoro,
was in the habit of purchasing ivory in that country for the merchants
of Zanzibar.

These purchases were made by an exchange of slaves, brass-coil
bracelets, and long cotton shirts; which were either of British or
Indian manufacture, that had arrived via Zanzibar.

M'tese, with his usual sagacity, did not permit the merchants of that
country to enter Uganda in force, but he received from them both slaves
and merchandise, which he sent into the surrounding countries for the
purchase of ivory. He thus monopolized the trade, and kept the price at
a minimum.

In Unyoro there was an established value for a healthy young girl. Such
a person was equal to a single elephant's tusk of the first class, or to
a new shirt. Thus a girl could be purchased for a shirt, and she might
be subsequently exchanged for a large elephant's tusk.

In the country of Uganda, where the natives are exceedingly clever as
tailors and furriers, needles are in great demand. A handsome girl may
be purchased for thirteen English needles! Thus for slave-traders there
existed an excellent opening for a profitable business. A girl might be
bought for thirteen needles in Uganda, to be exchanged in Unyoro for an
elephant's tusk that would be worth twenty or thirty pounds in England.

Abou Saood's brigands had been far too lawless even for this innocent
traffic, and in default of the merchandise necessary for such profitable
exchanges, they had found it more convenient to kidnap young girls,
which saved much trouble in bargaining for needles and shirts.

In every African tribe that I have visited, I found slavery a natural
institution of the country. I had at length discovered that it was bad
policy to commence a dissertation against the slave trade generally;
this attacked local interests, therefore it was more diplomatic to speak
against the capture of women and children that belonged to my hearers,
but to avoid a discussion upon the moral aspect of the slave trade.

The negro idea of the eighth commandment is: "Thou shalt not steal--from
ME;" but he takes a liberal view of the subject when the property
belongs to another.

I had been rather startled in the year of my arrival at Gondokoro, when,
during the voyage, I landed and conversed with some sheiks of the Shir
tribe. One of these headmen was loud in his complaints against the
slave-hunters and against the slave trade in particular, from which his
tribe had suffered. Many of the women and children had been carried off
by a neighbouring tribe, called the Berri, on the east of the Nile. The
sheik therefore proposed that I should join him with my troops and
capture all the women and children that belonged to his enemies. This
was natural enough, and was a simple example of the revenge that is
common to uneducated human nature. The sheik and I got on famously, and
I found a good listener, to whom I preached a touching sermon upon the
horrors of the slave trade, which I was resolved to suppress.

The good man was evidently moved at the allusion to the forcible
separation of children from their parents.

"Have you a son?" he asked.

"My sons are, unfortunately, dead," I replied.

"Indeed!" he exclaimed. "I have a son--an only son. He is a nice boy--a
very good boy; about so high (showing his length upon the handle of his
spear). I should like you to see my boy--he is very thin now; but if he
should remain with you he would soon get fat. He's a really nice boy,
and always hungry. You'll be so fond of him; he'll eat from morning till
night; and still he'll be hungry. You'll like him amazingly; he'll give
you no trouble if you only give him plenty to eat. He'll lie down and go
to sleep, and he'll wake up hungry again. He's a good boy, indeed; and
he's my only son. I'll sell him to you for a molote! (native iron

The result of my sermon on the slave trade, addressed to this
affectionate father, was quite appalling. I was offered his only son in
exchange for a spade! and this young nigger knave of spades was
warranted to remain always hungry.

I simply give this anecdote as it occurred without asserting that such
conduct is the rule. At the same time, there can be no doubt that among
the White Nile tribes any number of male children might be purchased
from their parents--especially in seasons of scarcity.

Girls are always purchased, if required, as wives. It would be quite
impossible to obtain a wife for love from any tribe that I have visited.
"Blessed is he that hath his quiver full of them" (daughters). A large
family of girls is a source of wealth to the father, as he sells each
daughter for twelve or fifteen cows to her suitor. Every girl is certain
to marry; thus a dozen daughters will bring a fortune of at least 150
cows to their parents in all pastoral countries.

In Unyoro, cattle are scarce, and they belong to the king; therefore the
girls are purchased for various commodities--such as brass-coil
bracelets, bark-cloths, cotton shirts, ivory, &c.

I was anxious to establish a new and legitimate system of trade in this
country, which would be the first step towards a higher civilization. I
accordingly devoted every energy to the completion of the station, in
which we were assisted by the natives, under the direction of their
various headmen.

The order and organization of Unyoro were a great contrast to the want
of cohesion of the northern tribes. Every district throughout the
country was governed by a chief, who was responsible to the king for the
state of his province. This system was extended to sub-governors and a
series of lower officials in every district, who were bound to obey the
orders of the lord-lieutenant. Thus every province bad a responsible
head, that could be at once cut off should disloyalty or other signs of
bad government appear in a certain district.

In the event of war, every governor could appear, together with his
contingent of armed men, at a short notice.

These were the rules of government that had been established for many
generations throughout Unyoro.

The civil war had ceased, and Kabba Rega having ascended the throne, the
country had again fallen into the order that a previous good
organization rendered easy.

The various headmen of the district now appeared daily, with their men
laden with thatch grass and canes for the construction of the station.

I commenced a government house, and a private dwelling adjoining for

On my first arrival at Masindi I had begged Kabba Rega to instruct his
people to clear away about fifty acres of grass around our station, and
to break up the ground for cultivation, as I wished my troops to sow and
reap their own corn, instead of living at the expense of the natives.

The system, both in Uganda and Unyoro, is bad and unjust.

Should visitors arrive, they are not allowed to purchase food from the
people, but they must be fed by the king's order at the cost of the
inhabitants. This generally results in their not being fed at all, as
the natives quit the neighbourhood.

I had suffered much from hunger in Unyoro, during my former visit, in
the reign of Kamrasi; therefore I wished to protect myself against
famine by a timely cultivation of the surrounding fertile land, which
was now covered with rank grass about nine feet high.

In a military point of view it was impolitic to sit down within a
station incircled by a dense grass covert, and although I had not the
most remote suspicion of hostility in this country, I preferred a
situation whence we could enjoy an extensive landscape.

The Albert N'yanza lay distant about twenty miles on the west, in the
deep basin which characterizes this extraordinary sheet of water.
Immense volumes of cloud rose in the early morning from the valley which
marked the course of the lake, as the evaporation from the great surface
of water condensed into mist, when it rose to the cooler atmosphere of
the plateau 1,500 feet above the level.

The proposal of farming did not appear to please Kabba Rega. It was
explained that the men were not accustomed to labour in the fields, as
agricultural work was performed by the women, all of whom were now
absent and engaged in preparing their own land.

Although Masindi was a large town, I was struck by the absence of
females. The only women that I saw were two, one of whom was the pretty
wife of Umbogo the dragoman. It has already been explained, that the
absence of women generally denotes hostility, but as the rainy season
necessitated hard work, I accepted the explanation.

The corn for the supply of Masindi was brought from a distance of two
days' journey, and numbers of people were daily employed in going to and
fro for the general provisions of the station.

The slave-hunters belonging to Suleiman, who were now prisoners under a
guard, numbered twenty-five men: I employed these people daily to clear
away the high grass, which was piled and burnt, the ashes were then
spread, and the ground was hoed up and thoroughly prepared by the

It was in vain that I urged upon Kabba Rega and his chiefs the necessity
of cultivation for the supply of corn requisite for the troops. Every
day they promised to clear away the grass, provided the soldiers would
then dig and prepare the ground. This I agreed to do, but the natives
showed no intention of working.

I began to suspect that Kabba Rega had an objection to a large open
clearing. The tactics of all natives are concealment; if a man is
frightened, he hides in the grass; in case of hostilities, the high
grass is a fortress to the negro. It became evident that we were to
remain surrounded by this dense herbage, which not only obstructed the
view, but rendered the station damp and dreary.

I explained to the chiefs the folly of Kabba Rega in thus neglecting
such magnificent soil, which, with a little labour, would produce all
that we could require, and would save both him and his people the
trouble of feeding us. At the same time I set all hands of my own people
to clear a large space and to make gardens.

Unyoro had always been a country of cowardice and suspicion, and I could
plainly see that we were narrowly watched. Kabba Rega usually sat in his
public divan from about two p.m. till 4 daily, to transact public
business. This large circular building was extremely neat, and the
ground was carefully strewed with the long fringes of the papyrus rush,
after the fashion of our ancestors in England, who, before the
introduction of carpets, strewed the floor with rushes.

The young king informed me that, as he wished to be in constant
communication with me personally, he should build a new divan within a
few yards of my residence, so that we could converse upon all occasions
without being watched by his people.

This was merely an excuse for erecting a building within fifty yards of
my house, from which his guards could watch all that happened, and
report everything to their master.

The new building was constructed with wonderful quickness, and prettily
walled with canes inside to resemble basket-work.

Kabba Rega came to his new divan, attended by a number of his guards, or
bonosoora, armed with guns. To give him confidence, I went to see him
unattended, except by Lieutenant Baker and my ever-faithful attendant,
Monsoor, who did not at all approve of my going unarmed.

The conversation quickly turned upon guns. Kabba Rega was delighted with
the mechanism of Monsoor's snider rifle, which he at once understood and
explained to his body-guard. He appeared to have quite lost his shyness;
and he begged me to consider him simply in the light of my own son, and
to give him all the merchandise AT ONCE that I had brought with me to
establish a new trade.

I told him that fathers did not give their sons all their property at
once; but that if I saw that he performed his duty to the Khedive, he
need not fear. I had both the power and the good-will to reward him.

He continued the conversation precisely according to his late father
Kamrasi's style: "I have no one but yourself to regard. Does not a
father consider the interests of his son? You were my father's friend;
and I have always looked for your return. I knew that Abou Saood was a
liar when he spoke against you; I knew that he was an impostor when he
announced himself as the son of a sultan. Would the son of a sultan only
give me a present of an old carpet and a dirty washing-basin? I always
said, 'Wait till the Pacha comes', Mallegge, (Mallegge, or the Man with
the Beard, was my nickname in Unyoro during my former journey.) my
father's friend. He is truly a great man, who does not travel
empty-handed; and he will bring me presents worth my acceptance--things
that the impostor, Abou Saood, does not understand the use of.' By the
by, there was a magic instrument with which you could find your way
without a guide in strange countries, that you PROMISED to send to my
father; you have, of course, brought it for me?"

This demand amused me much, as I well remembered how Kamrasi had
bothered me for my compass. I pretended that he meant a watch, which I
had already given him.

At length I was obliged to promise that if he would clear away the grass
and cultivate the neighbouring ground, I would give him a compass.

I now explained the advantages of free trade, and I begged him to order
his men to complete the government house without delay, as I could not
unpack my numerous boxes until I had some place where I could exhibit
the contents. I described the difficulties of the route from Khartoum,
and the expense of transport from Gondokoro, owing to the unwillingness
of the Baris to carry loads, and I explained my intention of erecting
steamers on the Nile which would bring all kinds of merchandise to
Unyoro via the Albert N'yanza in exchange for ivory, thus the Zanzibar
trade would turn towards the north and the elephants' tusks that were
now purchased by M'tese, would remain in Unyoro, until delivered to the
Khedive's government in barter for manufactured goods.

The name of M'tese seemed to make him uncomfortable.  He replied: "You
are my father, and you will stand by your son against his enemies. This
M'tese troubles me. In my father Kamrasi's lifetime he frequently
attacked us, and carried off our herds together with our women and
children. He is too strong to resist single-handed, but now that you are
hero I shall have no fear. Don't let us talk about merchandise, that
will come in due time; never mind trade; let us talk about guns and
gunpowder. You must give me muskets and ammunition in large quantities;
I will then arm all my bonosoora (soldiers) and with your assistance I
will fight M'tese. I will then fill your large new house with ivory for
the Khedive."

"There is no time to lose; you PROMISED to fight Rionga; my troops are
all ready, your men have nothing to do. Keep a few here, and send the
main force with my army to attack him at once, before he has time to
escape to the Langgos."

I could almost have imagined that I had been speaking with Kamrasi, so
thoroughly did his son resemble him in his diplomacy.

I answered him with caution, declaring that I could not allow any
reckless acts that would plunge the country in confusion. He (Kabba
Rega) had nothing to fear; but time was required to ripen my plans. I
had promised that I would dismiss Suleiman and his people from Unyoro:
at the same time I should liberate all the slaves that had been stolen
by Abou Saood's companies, and restore them to their homes. This was my
first duty, that would assure the natives of my sincerity, and establish
general confidence in the government.

Fatiko was 160 miles distant.  I should therefore send Suleiman and his
people under an escort direct to Major Abdullah, the commandant, with
orders to recover from Abou Saood all the slaves that had been captured
from Unyoro.

Major Abdullah would then break up his camp at Fatiko, and march in
charge of the slaves, with his detachment of 100 men, together with all
effects, and join me at Unyoro. He would, upon arrival at the Victoria
Nile, occupy the now deserted station of Suleiman at Foweera; thus he
would be within a march of Rionga.

The old enemy of the family (Rionga) would then have an opportunity,
either of declaring his allegiance and remaining at peace, or, should he
become turbulent, a government force would be at hand to control him.

I therefore arranged that Kabba Rega should supply me with 300 carriers,
who would accompany my escort to Fatiko and transport all stores,
ammunition, &c., &c., so as to concentrate my force in Unyoro.

This plan seemed to delight Kabba Rega; he declared that the first step
necessary was the banishment of Suleiman and his people from the
country. The next move would be the attack upon Rionga. I explained to
him that it would be quite useless for any enemy to retreat for security
to the river islands, as the rockets would search them out in the middle
of the dense canes, and they would be only too glad to escape; but at
the same time, I should hope that Rionga would come to terms and avoid
the necessity of a resort to force.

That evening, after we had dined, and I was smoking my customary
chibouque, Kabba Rega astonished me by an impromptu visit; he was as
usual attended by some of his followers armed with muskets. He sat down
at the table, and having felt the table-cloth, he wished to know "why
the table was covered;" he then examined the tumblers, and everything
that was present, all of which he seemed to admire. I offered him some
gin and water. This he smelt but would not taste, as he suspected
poison; accordingly he poured it into wine glasses, and divided it among
three of his people, who were obliged to drink it, while their master
watched them attentively, in expectation of some ill effects. His people
rather approved of the poison, and asked for more. Kabba Rega seemed to
think that a larger dose was necessary; but as we could not afford to
waste Geneva by experiments upon numerous attendants, all of whom were
to be poisoned with our good liquor for the amusement of the king, I
sent the bottle away and turned the subject.

Kabba Rega now minutely examined the lamps and glass shades. The
principle was explained to him, and the candle was withdrawn from the
tube and spring, and again replaced. He expressed a wish to have one,
saying that he intended to have everything precisely as I had.

I assured him that this was my object; I wished to create new wants
among his people and himself, which would tend to develop commerce. He
might have everything in European style, and live in a civilized manner,
now that the route was open from the north. Ivory was abundant in this
country, and this would provide him with the means of purchasing all
that he could desire.

I had ordered Monsoor to arrange a stake in the ground, with a large
nail driven in the top at right angles to form a rocket-stand. I now
asked Kabba Rega if he would like to see a rocket fired.

The idea delighted him, and a few rockets having been brought, together
with port-fires and blue lights, we exhibited the fireworks. There was
no wind, thus the rockets did no damage, as they were inclined towards
the north, in which direction there were no buildings.

Kabba Rega himself ignited a rocket with a port-fire, and although
rather nervous at the great rush of fire, he seemed interested at the
fact that a town composed of straw huts could be destroyed from a
distance . . . .

On the following morning, Umbogo, the dragoman, told me that the natives
had been very much frightened at the rockets, as they said, "the Pacha
was going to set the sky on fire."

The station was progressing rapidly. The soil was of such extraordinary
richness that the seeds sprang up like magic. On the third day after
sowing, the cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and cotton seeds, showed
themselves above ground.

I had made a broad walk of red gravel from Kabba Rega's new divan, to
the government house. The roads and approaches were finished, and all
neatly laid with fresh gravel stamped firmly down. The borders of all
paths and roads were sown with the best quality of Egyptian cotton,
known in Egypt as galleen. My large tent was pitched beneath an immense
banian-tree, close to which was the new government house. This
grand-sounding name was given to a very solid construction of a most
simple character. The divan was a building containing only one room
twenty-eight feet long by fourteen wide, and about twenty feet high. It
was carefully thatched with overhanging eaves, which formed a narrow
verandah, and it was entered by a commodious porch; this was arched in
the native fashion, and was so large that it formed a lobby, in which we
sometimes dined. The inside walls of the divan were neatly made with
canes closely lashed together.

There was a back door to this public room which communicated with a
separate house by a covered way.

This was our private residence, which also consisted of only one room;
but I had arranged it with extreme neatness, in order to excite the
admiration of Kabba Rega and his chiefs, who would, I hoped, imitate the
manners and customs of civilized life, and thus improve trade.

The room was twenty-four feet long by thirteen wide. The walls were as
usual made of canes, but these were carefully hung with scarlet
blankets, sewn together and stretched to the ground, so as to form an
even surface. The floor was covered with mats. Upon the walls opposite
to each other, so as to throw endless reflection, were two large oval
mirrors (girandoles) in gilt metal frames. A photograph of her Majesty
the Queen stood on the toilet table.

At the extreme end of the room was a very good coloured print, nearly
life size, of her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales. The scarlet
walls were hung with large coloured prints, life size, of very beautiful
women, with very gorgeous dresses, all the jewelry being imitated by
pieces of coloured tinsel. A number of sporting prints, very large, and
also coloured, were arranged in convenient places on the walls. There
were fox-hunting scenes, and German stag-hunts, together with a few
quiet landscapes, that always recalled the dear old country now so far

The furniture was simple enough: two angarebs, or Arab stretchers,
which, during the day, were covered with Persian carpets and served as
sofas, while at night they were arranged as beds. The tables were made
of square metal boxes piled one upon the other and covered with bright
blue cloths. These were arranged with all kinds of odd trinkets of gaudy
appearance, but of little value, which were intended to be asked for,
and given away. Two native stools curiously cut out of a solid block
formed our chairs. The guns and rifles stood in a row against a rack
covered with red Turkey cloth; and a large Geneva musical box lay upon a
table beneath the Princess of Wales.

Altogether the room was exceedingly pretty. It would have been vulgar if
in England; but it was beautifully clean, and it shortly became the
wonder of Central Africa.

I had brought the large gilt mirrors from England specially for M'tese,
the king of Uganda, and for Kamrasi. I knew that if they were arranged
in my own house, the news would be carried to M'tese immediately; and
the fact of so great a curiosity and treasure being on the road to him
would at once open a communication.

On 8th May, the prisoners of Suleiman's company, numbering twenty-five
persons, came to the divan, headed by Ali Genninar, and supplicated
forgiveness. They all declared their desire to be registered on the
government books as irregular troops.

I had already witnessed an example of their duplicity, therefore I had
no confidence in their professions, but at the same time I did not know
what to do with them. The fact of their being in custody required twenty
soldiers to relieve the necessary guards. I therefore determined to be
magnanimous, as I was only too happy to be rid of such bad bargains
should they run away. The only man that I trusted was Ali Genninar; he
was a clever and plucky fellow that I had known in my former African
journey, at which time he belonged to the company of Ibrahim.

After a good lecture I forgave them, and they all received their serkis
(certificates) as members of the irregular corps. Ali Genninar was to
have the rank of lieutenant.

I told them that it was my intention to hoist the Ottoman flag, and to
officially annex the country in the presence of Kabba Rega and his
people, therefore I did not wish any subjects of the Khedive to be in
disgrace upon such an occasion, excepting only Suleiman, who would be
sent to Cairo on the first opportunity, to answer for the murder of the
prisoner at Foweera. I therefore divided a few pounds of beads among
them for the purchase of new bark-cloths, as I could not allow them to
appear in their dirty clothes on the day of the ceremony.

They all went away rejoicing, and swearing fidelity, at the same time
confessing their sins, and vowing that I had treated them better than
they had deserved.

As usual, our proceedings were narrowly watched by the guards stationed
at Kabba Rega's new divan, within fifty yards of my house. These spies
immediately ran off to their master with the report that I had forgiven
the slave-hunters who were lately prisoners, and that I had actually
made them presents of beads. (At that time I had not the slightest
idea that the liberation of the prisoners would excite suspicion in the
minds of Kabba Rega and his people, but there can be no doubt that this
act of clemency on my part destroyed the confidence which had previously

This report was quickly confirmed, as the new and dirty members of the
irregular corps, who were now at liberty, presented themselves in the
town with their hands full of beads to purchase the necessary
bark-cloths. These cloths are prepared from the bark of a species of
fig-tree in a very simple manner, which I have personally witnessed.

A piece of bark about six feet long, and as wide as possible, is
detached from the trunk of the tree. The outside rind is pared off by a
lance-head used with two hands, like a cooper's drawing-knife. The bark
is then laid upon a beam of wood on the ground, on which it is hammered
with a mallet grooved in fine cuts, so that the repeated blows stamp the
bark with lines somewhat resembling corduroy. This hammering expands the
bark, which is repeatedly turned and hammered again, until at length it
is beaten into a cloth of rather fine texture. The action of the air
colours the material, which, although white when first stripped from the
tree, quickly assumes a delicate shade of brown, as a slice of an apple
oxydizes upon exposure in our own climate.

The finest cloths are ornamented with patterns in black. These are
simply produced by drawing the design with water from iron springs,
which combining with the tannin of the bark immediately stains it.

The sheets of bark-cloth are frequently dyed this colour by immersing
them for a short time in springs of the same water.

The finest cloths are produced in Uganda, and all that are used for
royal wear are brought from that country in exchange for ivory.

My new men, the late slave-hunters, who I hoped were "wicked men that
had turned away from their wickedness," had succeeded in purchasing a
quantity of new cloths ready for the day of annexation.

That night, at about nine o'clock, just before we were going to bed, we
had remarked an extraordinary stillness in the town of Masindi. There
was not a whisper to be heard throughout the capital, where generally
the night was passed in the uproar of drunken singing and blowing of

Suddenly this extraordinary silence was broken by the deep notes of a
nogara or drum. This sounded for a second or two, and ceased. Again all
was still as death.

A sudden burst of hellish noise, such as I have never heard before or
since, now startled every soldier to his feet, and without orders, every
man armed and fell into position!

Colonel Abd-el-Kader, with his sword belted on and a rifle in his hand,
came to me for orders on the instant. The ever-ready Monsoor was armed
and by my side.

In the mean time the din of very many thousands continued, yelling and
shrieking as though maniacs; I should imagine that at least a thousand
drums were beating, innumerable horns were blowing, with whistles,
fifes, and every instrument that would add to the horrible uproar.

At the same time not a human being was visible.

Mohammed, the dragoman, appeared, together with Umbogo. In reply to my
question as to the cause of such a sudden irruption of noise, Umbogo
laughed, and said it was "TO MAKE ME AFRAID, and to exhibit the great
numbers of people that were collected at Masindi."

This was all. I therefore at once ordered the band to play, as I
determined to accept the carefully planned surprise as a compliment that
I would return.

The band struck up, the cymbals clashed, the big drum thundered, and the
buglers blew their loudest, while the regimental drums rattled away as
hard as the sticks could roll upon the skins.

In a short time the noise of the town ceased, and the only sound was
occasioned by our own band.

I ordered them to cease playing. Once more there was perfect stillness.

I ordered the sentries to keep a sharp look-out, and we all went to bed.

This was a practical joke that did not please me, as it smacked of
distrust and defiance. It took place on the same day upon which I had
liberated the slave-hunter's people, and engaged them as irregular

On the following morning I sent several messengers to Kabba Rega to beg
him to pay me a visit. They all returned, some saying that he was
asleep--others, that he was drunk. It was the usual habit of this young
man to get very drunk every night, and to sleep until about 2 p.m., when
he dressed and attended at his public divan.

I now heard that native messengers had arrived from the country of
Faieera, which formed one of the districts within nine miles of Fatiko,
under the charge of the great sheik, Rot Jarma, who had sworn allegiance
to the government, and was under the protection of Major Abdullah.

These messengers had brought some guns and ammunition to sell to Kabba
Rega. They wished particularly to see me, as they had important news.

When they appeared in the divan, I at once recognized them as people
that I had seen at Fatiko.

They informed me that since my departure, Abou Saood and his people had
ridiculed the authority of my commandant, Major Abdullah; and to prove
to the natives how powerless he was to protect them, Abou Saood had sent
his men to attack Rot Jarma, and they had carried off his cattle and

The messengers declared that both Rot Jarma and all the natives were
delighted with Major Abdullah and his troops, as they were very
different from the slave-hunters, but the latter were too numerous and
strong for Abdullah to contend against.

I told them that Abdullah was only waiting for orders; but if such was
the state of things "why had he not written a letter by this

The natives asserted that the slave-hunters of Abou Saood had lost five
of their party, killed in the attack upon Rot Jarma; therefore they (the
messengers) were afraid to go near the station of Major Abdullah. They
had accordingly travelled fast to bring me the news (160 miles), at the
same time they brought the guns for sale to Kabba Rega.

It was the old story of deception and rebellion. Before my face Abou
Saood would cringe to the earth, but he became an open rebel in my
absence. It was absolutely necessary to place this man under arrest.
When the Baris were at open war with the government, he had not only
associated with their chief, but he had armed parties of these natives
with muskets, which he employed in his zareebas.

He now attacked, in defiance of government protection, those friendly
natives of Faieera who had become peaceable subjects of the Khedive.
This was the same spirit of defiance that had been exhibited by Suleiman
when he slaughtered the prisoner to whom I had granted an asylum.

Unless I should arrest Abou Saood, it would be ridiculous to attempt the
establishment of a government. This scoundrel knew the weakness of my
military force. He had himself requested Kabba Rega to attack me upon my
arrival in his country. He was now plundering and kidnapping in the
districts that were under government protection; this would immediately
be known to Kabba Rega and his people, who would naturally conclude that
my assurances of protection were valueless, and that Abou Saood was
stronger than the government of the Khedive.

I determined to send orders to Major Abdullah to arrest Abou Saood if
the reports were true concerning Faieera, at the same time he was to
insist upon the liberation of all the Unyoro slaves, which he was to
escort with his detachment to Foweera on the Victoria Nile.

There was no doubt that this fellow, Abou Saood, was confident of
support from some Egyptian authority behind the scenes; he had therefore
determined to be humble before my face, to avoid being pounced upon at
once, but to have his own way when my back was turned, as he trusted
that after the advice he had given to Kabba Rega I should never return
from Unyoro. It would then be said that I had been killed by the
natives, the affair would be ended, and the official supporters of Abou
Saood would reinstate him in his original business for a sufficient

I made arrangements for the departure of my new irregulars. After many
invitations I at length succeeded in allaying Kabba Rega's
apprehensions, and he promised to pay me a visit on the 11th May.
Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader went to meet him, and escorted him to
the new house.

On arrival in the divan he was much astonished and delighted. The room,
twenty-eight feet by fourteen, was arranged with double rows of metal
boxes on all sides, so closely packed that they formed either low tables
or seats, as might be required. These were all covered with blue
blankets, which gave a neat appearance, upon which, at the east end of
the room, were exhibited samples of the various goods that I had brought
for the establishment of a regular trade in Unyoro. There were tin
plates as bright as mirrors, crockery of various kinds, glasses, knives
of many varieties, beautiful Manchester manufactures, such as Indian
scarfs, handkerchiefs, piece-goods, light blue serge, chintzes, scarlet
and blue blankets, blue and crimson cotton cloth, small mirrors,
scissors, razors, watches, clocks, tin whistles, triangles, tambourines,
toys, including small tin steamers, boats, carriages, Japanese spinning
tops, horn snakes, pop-guns, spherical quicksilvered globes, together
with assortments of beads of many varieties.

"Are these all for me?" asked Kabba Rega.

"Certainly," I replied, "if you wish to exchange ivory. All these things
belong to the Khedive of Egypt, and any amount remains in the magazines
of Gondokoro. These are simply a few curiosities that I have brought as
an experiment to prove the possibility of establishing a trade."

Among other things, the wheel of life attracted his attention. This had
frequently been exhibited, but neither Kabba Rega nor his chiefs ever
tired of the performance.

The magnetic battery was now called for, and Kabba Rega insisted upon
each of his chiefs submitting to the operation, although he was afraid
to experiment upon himself. He begged Lieutenant Baker, who managed the
instrument, to give as powerful a shock as he could, and he went into
roars of laughter when he saw a favourite minister rolling on his back
in contortions, without the possibility of letting the cylinders fall
from his grasp.

Every individual of his headmen had to suffer, and when all had been
exhausted, the ministers sought outside the divan among the crowd for
any particular friends that might wish to try "the magic."

At length one of the wires of the instrument gave way, as a patient
kicked and rolled frantically upon the ground; this was a good excuse
for closing the entertainment.

Kabba Rega now requested permission to see our private residence. I told
him that only himself together with four of his chiefs and the
interpreter, Umbogo, could be permitted to enter. These were Rahonka
(his maternal uncle), Neka (his uncle, Kamrasi's brother), Kitakara, and
Quonga. On that occasion the tall chief, Matonse, endeavoured to push
his way through, but was immediately turned back by the sentry and
Monsoor. (This little incident must be remembered, as the man took a
dislike to Monsoor from that moment.) The first exclamation upon
entering the room was one of surprise--"Wah! Wah!"--and Kabba Rega and
his chiefs covered their mouths with one hand, according to their custom
when expressing astonishment.

The large looking-glasses were miracles. Kabba Rega discovered a great
number of Kabba Regas in the endless reflections of the two opposite
mirrors. This was a great wonder that attracted particular attention.

It was then discovered that every person was multiplied in a similar
manner! This was of course "cojoor" (magic). It was difficult to draw
them away from the looking glasses, but at length the pictures were
examined. The Queen was exhibited and explained, and I described her
subjects to be as numerous as the white ants in Unyoro. The Princess of
Wales was a three-quarter face; and they immediately asked "why she had
only one ear?" The same question of unity was asked respecting the leg
of a man in a red coat on a white horse.

Every lady's portrait was minutely examined, but to our great
satisfaction, that of the Princess was declared by general consent to be
the most lovely.

I was much struck with this exhibition of good taste, as the other
portraits were pretty faces, but the hair and dresses were gaudily
ornamented, whereas that of the Princess of Wales was exceedingly
simple; the dress being an evening gown of white satin.

I should have suspected that natives would have preferred the gaudy
attire, without bestowing sufficient admiration on the features.

Kabba Rega now asked "why the women in the various portraits all looked
at him?" wherever he moved, their eyes followed him.

His chiefs now discovered that the faces in the pictures were also
looking at them; and the eyes followed them whether they moved to the
right or left! This was cojoor, or magic, which at first made them feel

One of my wife's female servants, Wat-el-Kerreem, would never remain by
herself in this room, for fear of "the eyes that stared at her."

Everything that we possessed was now minutely scrutinized. The guns and
rifles of various breechloading mechanism were all displayed and
admired. Kabba Rega thoughtfully asked "which of them I had intended for
him?" His uncle, Rahonka, exclaimed--"You have done wisely in bringing
all those guns as presents for Kabba Rega." My visitors were quite
charmed. The musical box played various delightful airs, and it was
remarked that it would be more convenient than an instrument which
required the study of learning, as "you might set this going at night to
play you to sleep, when you were too drunk to play an instrument
yourself; even if you knew how to do it."

This was my young friend Kabba Rega's idea of happiness--to go to sleep
drunk, assisted by the strains of self-playing melody.

Of course, the large musical box was asked for; and, of course, I
promised to give it as a present from the Khedive of Egypt, if I found
that Kabba Rega conducted himself properly.

My wife's trinkets, &c., were now begged for; but it was explained that
such things were private property belonging to the Sit (lady). "The Sit!
the Sit! the Sit!" the young cub peevishly exclaimed; "everything that
is worth having seems to belong to THE SIT!"

A small and beautifully-made revolver, with seven chambers, now
attracted his attention. "Does this also belong to the Sit?" inquired
Kabba Rega. "Yes, that is the Sit's own little revolver," was the reply;
at which the young king burst out laughing, saying, "Do women also carry
arms in your country? I see everything belongs to the Sit!"

My wife now gave him some of the finest Venetian beads, of which we only
had a few dozen. These were much prized. He was then presented with a
handsome gilt bracelet, set with four large French emeralds. This was a
treasure such as he had never seen. He also received a few strings of
fine imitation pearls.

After much delay and vexatious demands for everything that he saw, we at
length got rid of our visitor.

I had explained to Kabba Rega the intended ceremony of hoisting the flag
in the name of the Khedive, and that the country would be in future
under the protection of Egypt, but that he should remain as the
representative of the government. He seemed highly pleased at the idea
of protection and presents, and expressed himself as very anxious to
witness the ceremony. . . . . . . On the 14th May, 1872, I took formal
possession of Unyoro in the name of the Khedive of Egypt.

I recalled to the recollection of Kabba Rega and his chiefs the day
when, many years ago, I had hoisted the British flag, and thus I had
turned back the invading force of Wat-el-Mek, and saved Unyoro. I now
declared that the country and its inhabitants would be protected by the
Ottoman flag in the same manner that it had been shielded by the Union
Jack of England.

There was a tall flag-staff fixed at the east end of the government

The bugle sounded the "taboor," the troops fell in, the irregulars (late
slave-hunters) formed in line with that charming irregularity which is
generally met with in such rude levies.

Kabba Rega had received due notice, and he quickly appeared, attended by
about a thousand people.

The band played; Kabba Rega's drums and horns sounded, and the troops
formed a hollow square to listen to a short address.

Kabba Rega was invited within the square; and the men faced about with
fixed bayonets, as though prepared to receive cavalry. It was now
explained to the young king that this formation defended all sides from
attack at the same time. He seemed more interested in getting out again,
than in the explanation of military tactics. He evidently had suspicions
that he was fairly entrapped when he found himself in the middle of the

The flag was now hoisted with due formality; the usual military salutes
took place; volleys were fired; and the crowd at length dispersed,
leaving the Ottoman flag waving in a strong breeze at the head of the

As a proof of his satisfaction, Kabba Rega immediately sent me a present
of twelve goats.

One of the soldiers had been caught in the act of stealing potatoes from
a native. This having been proved conclusively against him, I sent word
to Kabba Rega to summon his people to witness the punishment of the

A great crowd of natives assembled, and the thief having received
punishment in their presence, was confined in the stocks, and was
condemned to be sent back to Gondokoro. This strict discipline had a
strong moral effect upon my men; as thefts, which had formerly been the
rule, had now become the exception. The natives were always assured of
justice and protection.

On 19th May, my people were ready to start, with the post and the
prisoner Suleiman, to Fatiko. Kabba Rega declared that the 300 carriers
were in readiness with fifty loads of flour for the journey; and he said
that he had already sent orders to Foweera to prepare the deserted
zareeba of Suleiman for the reception of Major Abdullah and his
detachment on their arrival.

The party was to consist of a serjeant and ten men (regulars), together
with twenty-five irregulars under the charge of my old Cairo dragoman,

Ali Genninar had the military command in the place of the second vakeel,
Eddrees, who was suffering from chronic dysentery. I had arranged that
the party should start on the following day.

In the afternoon I had an interview with Kabba Rega in his private
divan, within our garden. I was suddenly interrupted by Ali Genninar and
a few of his men, who presented themselves in the face of Kabba Rega, to
inform me that they could not start without their guns!

It appeared that on the day that Abd-el-Kader had ordered Kabba Rega to
disarm the people of Suleiman upon his first arrival at Masindi, the
young king had certainly ordered their disarmament, but he had himself
retained their arms and ammunition, in addition to a goatskin bag with
about 300 rounds of ball-cartridge. This had never been reported to me.

The mendacious young king had the audacity to deny this, in face of
several witnesses; and he would at once have retired from the divan (and
probably I should never have seen him again) had I not insisted upon his
remaining until the affair had been thoroughly explained.

It was then discovered that he had returned all the muskets to
Abd-el-Kader, except five; which were not forthcoming.

I requested him in future to adhere more strictly to the truth; as it
was a disgrace for a man in his position to tell a falsehood, which
would render it impossible for me to place implicit confidence in him;
at the same time I insisted upon the immediate return of the guns,
together with the cartouche-belts and ammunition.

The young king retired in great confusion and stilled anger, with a
promise that everything should be restored!

In the afternoon he sent five wretched old muskets that had been injured
in the stocks, and repaired with the raw hide of crocodiles. These had
never belonged to the irregulars; but he had kept their good guns, and
hoped to exchange these wretched weapons, which had been given some
years ago to Kamrasi by the vakeel, Ibrahim.

I spoke very strongly to Kittakara, his favourite minister; and
explained to him the folly and discredit of such conduct.

Kittakara replied: "Is not Kabba Rega your son? Do you begrudge him a
few good guns and ammunition taken from your late enemies, the

It was in vain that I endeavoured to explain that these people were
subjects of the Khedive, and had now received forgiveness: therefore, as
they were engaged as irregulars they must receive their arms. Kittakara
simply replied: "Do you believe in these people? Do you think that,
because they have now enlisted through fear, they will ever change their

I asked him "if soap would wash the black spots from a leopard's skin?"
but I explained that I could strip the skin at once off the leopard, and
should quickly change their natures.

Day after day passed, and the ammunition was only returned in driblets,
after constant and most urgent demands.

On 21st May I sent word to Kabba Rega (who had declined to appear in
public or private) that if he persisted in this deception I should
myself be compelled to return to Fatiko, as it would be impossible for
me to hold communications with any person in whom I could place no

In the event of my departure from Unyoro he knew the consequences. He
would be ridiculed by Rionga, who would join the slave-hunters and
attack him should I withdraw my protection. On the south he would be
invaded by M'tese, who would imagine that Kabba Rega had prevented me
from visiting him; thus his country would be utterly ruined.

The chiefs, Neka, Kittakara, and Matonse, to whom I spoke, appeared
thoroughly to comprehend the position.

During the day the five missing guns were returned, together with the
goatskin bag (chorab), containing much of the missing ammunition--some
of which had been abstracted.

On 23rd May I sent off the party to Fatiko, together with the
post--including letters to Egypt, Khartoum, and England, to be forwarded
by first opportunity. (These never arrived in England.)

I wrote to Wat-el-Mek to offer him the command of an irregular corps of
400 men, which he was to raise immediately from those companies that
were now thrown out of employment by the termination of the contract
with Agad & Co.

I sent written instructions to Major Abdullah to arrest Abou Saood, and
to liberate all the Unyoro slaves in the possession of his people. He
was then to forward Abou Saood, together with Suleiman, as prisoners, to
the care of Raouf Bey at Gondokoro; and to march himself with his
detachment and all effects, together with the liberated slaves, to

Three hundred natives accompanied my party from Unyoro to transport the
baggage of Major Abdullah.

I had not seen Kabba Rega since the day when he had lied concerning the
possession of the muskets and ammunition. Whether from shame or anger I
could not tell, but he declined to appear.

The party started with the post, thus reducing my force by the departure
of thirty-six men, including eleven regulars and twenty-five of the new
irregular levy.

I was now left with one hundred regulars, four sailors, and four armed



For some time past the natives had commenced a brisk trade with ivory in
exchange for all kinds of trifles, which left a minimum profit for the
government of 1500 per cent. A few beads, together with three or four
gaudy-coloured cotton handkerchiefs, a zinc mirror, and a fourpenny
butcher's knife, would purchase a tusk worth twenty or thirty pounds. I
calculated all the expenses of transport from England, together with
interest on capital. In some cases we purchased ivory at 2,000 per cent.
profit, and both sellers and buyers felt perfectly contented.

I am not sure whether this is considered a decent return for an
investment of capital among the descendants of Israel; but I am
convinced that at the conclusion of a purchase in Unyoro each party to
the bargain thought that he had the best of it. This was the perfection
of business.

Here was free trade thoroughly established: the future was tinged with a
golden hue. Ivory would be almost inexhaustible, as it would flow from
both east and west to the market where such luxuries as twopenny
mirrors, fourpenny knives, handkerchiefs, ear-rings at a penny a pair,
finger signet-rings at a shilling a dozen, could be obtained for such
comparatively useless lumber as elephants' tusks.

Manchester goods would quickly supersede the bark-cloths, which were
worn out in a month, and, in a few years, every native of Unyoro would
be able to appear in durable European clothes. Every man would be able
to provide himself with a comfortable blanket for the chilly nights, and
an important trade would be opened that would tend to the development of
the country, and be the first step towards a future civilization.
Unfortunately for this golden vision, the young king, Kabba Rega,
considered that he had a right to benefit himself exclusively, by
monopolizing the trade with the government. He therefore gave orders to
his people that all ivory should be brought to him; and he strictly
prohibited, on pain of death, the free trade that I had endeavoured to

The tusks ceased to arrive; or, if any individual was sufficiently
audacious to run the risk of detection, he sent word beforehand, by
Monsoor (who was known to be confidential), that he would bring a tusk
for sale during the darkness of night.

This was a troublesome affair. Annexation is always a difficult question
of absolute right, but, as I trust my readers will acknowledge, I had
done all that lay in my power for the real benefit of the country. I had
to make allowance for the young king, who now had become a vassal, and I
determined to observe the extreme of moderation.

It was generally acknowledged that the conduct of the troops was most
exemplary. No thefts had been allowed, nor even those trifling
annexations of property which are distinguished from stealing by the
innocent name of "cribbing." Not a garden had been disturbed; the
tempting tobacco plantations had been rigidly respected, and the natives
could only regard my troops as the perfection of police. They were
almost as good as London police--there were no areas to the houses,
neither insinuating cooks or housemaids, nor even nursemaids with babies
in perambulators, to distract their attention from their municipal

Among my troops there was an excellent young man, named Ramadan, who was
the clerk of the detachment. This intelligent young fellow was a general
favourite among our own men, and also among the natives. He had a great
aptitude for languages, and he quickly mastered sufficient of the Unyoro
to make himself understood.

I arranged that Ramadan should become the schoolmaster, as it would be
useless to establish commerce as a civilizing medium without in some way
commencing a system of education.

Ramadan was proud at the idea of being selected for this appointment.

There was a son of Kittakara's, of about nine years old, named
Cherri-Merri. This nice little boy had paid us many visits, and had
become a great favourite of my wife's. He usually arrived after
breakfast, and was generally to be found sitting on a mat at her feet,
playing with some European toys that were his great delight, and gaining
instruction by conversation through the interpreter.

Although Cherri-Merri was a good boy, he possessed the purely commercial
instinct of Unyoro. He seldom arrived without a slave attendant, who
carried on his head a package of something that was to be SOLD.

He was told that it was bad taste to bring articles for sale to people
who had shown him kindness, at the same time no presents would be
received. The little trader quickly relieved himself of this difficulty
by marching off with his slave and package to the soldiers' camp, where
he exchanged his flour or tobacco for metal buttons, which they cut off
their uniforms; or for beads, or other trifles which they possessed.

Cherri-Merri was a general favourite, and he was to form the nucleus for
the commencement of a school.

The station was now in perfect order. Altogether, including the
soldiers' gardens, about three acres had been cleared and planted.
Everything was well above ground, and was growing with that rapidity
which can only be understood by those who have witnessed the vegetation
of the tropics on the richest soil.

English cucumbers, varieties of melons, pumpkins, tomatoes, Egyptian
radishes, onions, Egyptian cotton, &c., were all flourishing. Also a
small quantity of wheat.

Every cottage was surrounded by a garden; the boys had formed
partnerships, and, having been provided with seeds, they had beds of
pumpkins already nearly a foot above the ground.

The girls and women-servants were as usual extremely industrious; they
also had formed little companies, and the merits of the rival gardens
were often warmly discussed.

Three acres of land, thus carefully cultivated, made a very civilized
appearance. The cucumber plants had grown wonderfully, and had already
formed fruit. Not a leaf was withered or attacked by insects, and both
the soil and climate of Masindi were perfection for agricultural
experiments. The thermometer generally stood at 62 degrees F at six
a.m., and at 78 degrees F at noon. The air was always fresh and
invigorating, as the altitude above the sea-level was nearly 4,000 feet.

An industrious population would have made a paradise of this country,
but the Unyoro people are the laziest that I have ever seen. The days
were passed either in sleep, or by the assembly of large crowds of
idlers, who stood at the entrance of the broad, gravelled approach, and
simply watched our proceedings.

The only excitement was produced by the sudden rush of Kabba Rega's
guards (bonosoora) with big sticks among the crowd, whom they belaboured
and chased, generally possessed themselves of the best garments of those
who were captured, with which they returned to their quarters, as lawful

This daring system of thieving was considered as great fun by all those
members of the crowd who had escaped; and the unfortunates who had been
reduced to nudity by the loss of their garments were jeered and
ridiculed by the mob with true Unyoro want of charity.

These bonosoora were an extraordinary collection of scoundrels.

The readers of "The Albert N'yanza" may remember the "Satanic Escort,"
with which I was furnished by Kamrasi for my journey from M'rooli to the
lake; these were bonosoora. I could never learn the exact number that
formed Kabba Rega's celebrated regiment of blackguards, but I should
imagine there were above 1,000 men who constantly surrounded him, and
gained their living by pillaging others.

Any slave who ran away from his master might find an asylum if he
volunteered to enlist in the bonosoora. Every man who had committed some
crime, or who could not pay his debts, could find a refuge by devoting
himself to the personal care of the young king, and enrolling within the
ranks of the royal guards. The general character of these ruffians may
be easily imagined. They lounged away their time, and simply relieved
the monotony of their existence by robbing passers-by of anything that
attracted their cupidity.

Umbogo belonged to this celebrated corps, and he informed me that hardly
a night passed without some person being murdered by these people, who
would always kill a man after dark, unless he yielded up his property
without resistance. The great number of vultures that continually
hovered over Masindi were proofs of Umbogo's story, as these birds
generally denote the presence of carrion. My men had, on several
occasions, found bodies lying in the high grass, neatly picked to the
bone, which had only recently died.

There was much to be done before the brutal customs of Unyoro could be
reformed: and I was by no means satisfied with the conduct exhibited by
Kabba Rega. He had promised faithfully that he would send a large force
to clear away the high grass by which our station was surrounded; this
was never fulfilled, neither could I engage the natives to work for

I had observed for some time past that his people were rapidly extending
the town of Masindi, by erecting new buildings upon both our flanks,
which, although only a few yards from our clearing, were half obscured
by the high grass; thus it appeared that we were being gradually

Since the departure of the post with my escort and the irregular levy,
nothing was done by the natives, except the usual lounging by day, and
drinking and howling, with drums and horns as an accompaniment,
throughout the night.

Kabba Rega had always declared that the natives would work for me and
obey every order when the slave-hunters should have been expelled from
the country. Although the people who were lately a portion of the
slave-hunter's company had now been enlisted in the service of
government, not one man remained in Masindi, as I had sent them all away
to Fatiko, at the particular request of Kabba Rega.

The real fact was, that so long as the slave-trader's people were in the
country, both the king and his people knew that we were independent of
native guides, as Suleiman's men knew all the paths, from their long
experience of the country when engaged in the civil wars. It was
considered that in the absence of the new levy of irregulars we should
be perfectly helpless to move, as we were dependent upon Kabba Rega for

From the general conduct of the people since the departure of my party
with the post to Fatiko, I had a strong suspicion that some foul play
was intended, and that, when the 300 native carriers should have taken
the people across the Victoria Nile, they would desert them in the
night, and return with the boats. I therefore wrote a letter addressed
to the second vakeel, Eddrees, ordering him to return at once to Masindi
with the entire party if he had any suspicion of treachery.

I concealed this note in a packet of blue cloth, together with a few
little presents for Shooli and Gimoro, at Fatiko; but I had written on
the brown paper cover of the parcel, instructions that Eddrees or
Mohammed, the dragoman, should search the contents, as a letter was
hidden within. I gave this packet to Umbogo, telling him that it was a
present for Shooli, and begging him to despatch a messenger without
delay to overtake the party before they should have crossed the Victoria
Nile. The native messenger, to whom I gave a small gratuity, immediately
started; thus I should be able to forewarn my people in the event of

In the afternoon Kabba Rega sent for me to repair the small musical box
that I had given him, which was slightly deranged. I replied that, until
he fulfilled his agreement to clear the high grass from the
neighbourhood, I could not think of attending to any request, as he had
broken all his promises.

In half an hour after this answer he sent forty men, under Kittakara, to
commence the clearing, as he was in despair about his musical box.

Two native merchants from the distant country of Karagwe, who had been
sent by their king, Rumanika, to purchase ivory from Unyoro, had arrived
at Masindi. These people were brought to me on 26th May, accompanied by
Kittakara, together with Umbogo, the interpreter. I observed that
Kittakara was acting the part of spy, to overhear and to report the
substance of the conversation. Some excitement had been caused by the
report that two travellers were residing with Rumanika, and that these
people had arrived from the M'wootan N'zige. I was in hopes that one of
these travellers might be Livingstone.

The Karagwe merchants were well-dressed, and very civilized-looking
people. They stared upon arrival in the divan, and were shortly seated
upon a mat before me.

After some conversation, I questioned them concerning the travellers,
and I immediately wrote both questions and replies in my journal, which
I now give verbatim.

"Have you personally seen the travellers?"

Answer: "Yes; one is tall, with a long beard and white hair. The other
is a very black man (an African), and short."

Question: "How do they eat?"

Answer: "With a knife and fork and plate."

Question: "Have they a compass" (Compass exhibited)?

Answer: "No; but they have a small mirror like those in your

Question: "Do they purchase ivory?"

Answer: "Yes. We are now sent by Rumanika to buy ivory for them."

Question: "Have they a large quantity?"

Answer: "An immense quantity. They have a large house, which is quite

Question: "How will they transport it?"

Answer: "They are building a vessel of iron on the M'wootan N'zige, upon
the borders of which they are now staying."

Question: "Do they know that I am commanding this expedition?"

Answer: "Yes; they have frequently asked `whether you had arrived;' and
they wish to go to Khartoum."

"There is no trace of poor Livingstone in their description. I imagine
that some enterprising Portuguese trader is building a ship to trade
upon M'wootan N'zige. God help him if he tries to transport his ivory by
this route.

"I shall write to Livingstone by the first opportunity. Like all other
of my informants, these native merchants told me that the M'wootan
N'zige extended to Karagwe, after a long turn to the west. It varied
much in width, and at Karagwe it was narrow."

For some days I had conversations with these intelligent people. They
brought me two elephants' tusks to sell, as they wished to show Rumanika
the quality of goods that were now introduced from the north. I made
them a few presents, after the bargain, to create a favourable
impression, and I once more cross-examined them upon geographical

Their description of the east shore of the M'wootan N'zige was as

Geographical Information:

"South of Unyoro    is a country   Kabboya;
   "  "   Kabboyu     "     "      Tambooki;
   "  "   Tambooki    "     "      M'Pororo;
   "  "   M'Pororo    "     "      Ruanda;
   "  "   Ruanda      "     "      Baroondi;
   "  "   Baroondi    "     "      Chibbogora;
   "  "   Chibbogora  "     "      Watuta;
   "  "   Watuta      "     "      Manchoonda;"

"Beyond the Machoonda they knew nothing, except that the lake extends
for an enormous and unknown distance.

"On the west shore, opposite Kabboyu and Tambooki, is situated the
cannibal country of Booamba.

"The route to Karagwe from Masindi, via the M'wootan N'zige (Albert
N'yanza), is--take boat from Chibero (a day's long march from Masindi)
to M'Pororo--at which spot you leave the boat, and proceed overland in
one day to the Karagwe frontier.

"The Kittangide river passes through M'Pororo, N'Kole, and Kishakka,
and, after a very winding course, it cuts through Karagwe, and falls
into the Victoria N'yanza.

"'Baroondi' must be Speke's 'Urundi;' as I find that many names that he
has prefixed with 'U' are here pronounced as 'B.'

"By Speke's map Urundi is in about 3 degrees south latitude. The
M'wootan N'zige is therefore known to pass through Ruanda, Baroondi, and
the Watuta--or beyond the north end of the Tanganyika Lake.

"This looks as though the Tanganyika and the M'wootan N'zige were only
one vast lake bearing different names according to the localities
through which it passes."

I have extracted this from my journal, as it was written at the moment
that the information was given. I have no theory, as I do not indulge in
the luxury of geographical theories; but I shall give my information in
the same words in which I received it from the natives. Speculative
geographers may then form their own opinions.

From the day when Kabba Rega had denied the possession of the guns and
ammunition belonging to the irregular levy, he had never appeared at his
new divan, neither had I seen him.

Upon many occasions I had sent to request his attendance, but he was
always in the sanctuary of his own private house, or rather
establishment of houses; these were a series of enormous beehive-shaped
straw and cane dwellings in a courtyard of about an acre, surrounded by
a fence, and guarded by many sentries, each of whom had a small but
built in the middle of the hedge.

Since the departure of the irregular levy, I had noticed a decided
change in the demeanour of the chiefs. Kittiakara, who had been our
greatest friend, could never look me in the face, but always cast his
eyes upon the ground when speaking or listening.

The food for the troops was obtained with the greatest difficulty, after
constant worry and endless applications. It was in vain that I insisted
upon the right of paying for a supply of corn; the chiefs replied: "Is
not Kabba Rega your son? can a son sell corn to his own father"

At the same time we never had two days' provisions in store, and we were
simply living from hand to month. This looked suspicious, as though the
troops were to be rendered helpless by the absence of supplies in the
event of hostilities.

My few Baris consisted of my good interpreter Morgian, together with
three other natives, who had been for some years in the employ of
Suleiman. I had kept these people with me, as they knew something about
the country and the Unyoros. They were all armed and were tolerably good
shots. One of these fellows (Molodi), a native of the Madi country, was
extremely useful and intelligent. He now told me that I could never
depend upon Kabba Rega, and that he had simply begged me to send the
irregulars out of the country in order that I should not hear the truth
of his former conduct from them; also, in their absence, I should be
quite ignorant of the paths that were now completely overgrown with
immensely high grass throughout the country.

An incident occurred on the 31st May which caused me serious anxiety.

The station was in complete order: the cultivation was thriving, and the
general appearance of the government settlement was a strong contrast to
the surrounding wilderness of high grass, and the large and dirty town
of Masindi.

My troops were now without occupation, therefore I instructed Colonel
Abd-el-Kader to drill them every morning.

It had been the daily practice of the band to march up and down the
broad approach, and to perform nearly opposite Kabba Rega's public

There was no clear place in which the troops could be drilled, except in
the public square at the back of Kabba Rega's divan; this was about the
centre of the town.

The square was an open space of about two acres, and was the spot at
which all public festivities were held, and where, upon many occasions,
Kabba Rega delighted to sit, in a large open shed, to witness the absurd
performance of his buffoons.

This open space was well adapted for the exercise of a company of
troops. I therefore ordered the men on parade, and I accompanied them
myself together with Lieutenant Baker.

The band played, as usual, at the head of the company, and we marched
through the town to the open square.

Here the troops were put through their musketry drill, and commenced
various evolutions.

To my astonishment, I saw the natives hurrying off in all directions. I
was perfectly unarmed, as were also the officers (excepting their side
arms) and Lieutenant Baker.

Almost immediately the huge war-drum sounded in the house of Kabba Rega,
and the dull hollow notes continued to beat the alarm!

In less than ten minutes, horns were blowing and drums were beating in
all directions, and with extraordinary rapidity, some five or six
thousand men came pouring down from every quarter, fully armed with
spears and shields, in a state of frantic excitement, and at once
surrounded the troops. Fresh bands of natives, all of whom were in their
costume of war, continued to concentrate from every side. The crowd of
warriors leapt and gesticulated around my little company of men as
though about to attack.

I immediately gave the order to form a square with fixed bayonets. This
manoeuvre puzzled the natives extremely.

They danced around the square, within a few feet of the glistening row
of bayonet-points, which were lowered so as to form an impenetrable

The officers were of course inside the square. I gave the men strict
orders not to fire under any provocation, unless I gave the word of
command, and attended by Lieutenant Baker and Monsoor, the latter with
his sword drawn, I left the square, and walked into the middle of the
crowd, towards the three chiefs, Rahonka, Kittakara, and Matonse, who
were all standing with lances in their hands, and apparently prepared
for action.

Although the situation was full of meaning, I thought the best policy
was to appear amused. At this moment Monsoor struck up with his sword, a
lance, which one of the frantic warriors, in the midst of his wild
gesticulations, had advanced within a few inches of my back.

The interpreters (many of whom I knew well) were all armed with muskets,
and the bonosoora were dressed in their usual fantastic manner when
prepared for war; a considerable number were provided with guns.

The slightest accident would have caused a general outbreak of
hostilities. I had eighty men on the ground; the remainder of the force
were at the station, about three hundred yards distant, where Lady
Baker, and all stores and ammunition, would have been in extreme danger,
had an attack become general.

I at once walked up to Rahonka and Kittakara, and calling an
interpreter, named Kadji-Barri, who was standing near them, dressed in
Arab clothes, with his musket in his hand, and his cartouche-belt on his
waist, I burst out laughing, and exclaimed: "Well done, Kadji-Barri!
this is famously managed; let us have a general dance. Ash Kitiakitri if
my band shall play, or will you dance to your own music?"

This was immediately translated to the chiefs, and my demeanour seemed
to cause some hesitation. I at once ordered our band to strike up.

The instant that a well-known lively air commenced, I begged them to
exhibit some native dance to amuse us. Seeing their hesitation, I
inquired whether they would wish to see my men perform? After a few
words between Kittakara and Rahonka, the former agreed that it would be
better for my men to commence the dance first.

I lost no time in explaining to Kittakara. At that he must at once
address the crowd and assure them that the performance about to commence
was intended for their amusement, and there was no cause for fear. At
the same time, I begged him to order the crowd to stand back, and to
afford space for my troops, who were about to advance with the bayonet.

In a loud voice Kittakara gave the necessary explanation.

I ordered the bugler to sound the advance, and the whole band sounded
the charge with the bayonet (sinjatre doran).

At the inspiriting call, each side of the square advanced at the double
with bayonets at the charge. The crowd, lately so demonstrative, fell
quickly back, and, having thus cleared the square, I told Kittakara to
order every individual of the crowd to sit down upon the ground.

The great mass of people obeyed the order with the discipline of
soldiers, and my troops fell back and re-formed their square as before.
The little square, with a single line of front of twenty men, now
occupied the centre of the clear space.

I lost no time in inquiring for Kabba Rega, whom I insisted upon seeing.
After a short delay he appeared, in company of some of his bonosoora. He
was in a beastly state of intoxication, and, after reeling about with a
spear in his hand, he commenced a most imbecile attempt at warlike

Had my eighty men been armed with breech-loaders, I could have mown down
hundreds by a fire from the square, had hostilities been forced upon us;
but, as the greater portion were armed with old muskets, we might have
been overwhelmed by a general rush, when reloading after the first

Kabba Rega was so drunk that he did not appear to recognize me, but he
continued to reel about for a short time, and thus to expose his idiotic
condition, until his chiefs at length recommended him to retire.

Kittakara now explained that, if I wished to have a general dance, they
would prepare a grand entertainment at some future time; but he now
begged me to withdraw the troops, as the sun was very hot, and the
natives were fatigued.

I assured Kittakara and the chiefs that the people had no cause for
fear, and that now that my station was completed I should frequently
bring the troops to the public square for musketry drill, as there was
no other open space, unless Kabba Rega would order his people to clear
away the high grass, which he had so often promised to do.

The band now struck up, and the troops, in single file, marched through
the narrow lanes of the crowded town. I walked at their head, and I was
much pleased by seeing my little friend, Cherri-Merri, who ran out of
the crowd, and taking my hand, he marched with us as a volunteer, and
accompanied us to the station.

Upon arrival at the government quarters, I found all hands armed and
well stationed for the defence of the divan and powder-magazine, by my
wife, who was commandant in my absence. She had placed rockets in
readiness to fire the town on the instant of a volley of musketry being
heard. My good little officer had also laid out a large supply of spare
ammunition, together with every gun, rifle, and pistol, all of which
were laid on a table in the divan, ready to repel an attack.

I now sent for Rahonka, who was supposed to be the general of Kabba
Rega's forces.

The conduct of little Cherri-Merri was very gratifying, as he had
adhered to his true friends in a moment of great uncertainty.

Rahonka shortly appeared.  My interpreter, Umbogo, was absent on leave
for two days to visit his farm; thus Rahonka was accompanied by
Kadji-Barri, who was well accustomed to us, and had often received

I now insisted upon an explanation concerning the sudden beating of the
war-drum and the extraordinary assembly of the people armed for war.
Rahonka looked foolish and nervous, as though he doubted the chance of a
safe retreat. He could not give any satisfactory reason for the hostile
display we had so recently witnessed, but he attributed it to the
drunken state of Kabba Rega, who had sounded the alarm without any

I assured Rahonka that such conduct would not be permitted; and that if
such a scene should occur again, I should not allow the troops to be
surrounded by thousands of armed men, in hostile attitudes, without
immediately taking the initiative.

Rahonka retired, and in a few minutes we received twenty loads of corn
for the troops, as a peace-offering.

Thus ended the month of May, which had nearly closed in bloodshed.

There could be no doubt that an attack upon the troops had been
intended; and I could not help admiring the organization of the people,
that enabled so large a force to be concentrated upon a given point in a
few minutes after the alarm had sounded. My wife, upon whose cool
judgment I could always depend, described vividly her apprehensions of
treachery. She had witnessed the extraordinary energy which the natives
had exhibited in rushing from the neighbouring villages, almost
immediately when the war-drum had sounded. They had poured in streams
past the station, and had brandished their lances and shields at her as
they thronged at full speed within fifty yards of the government

Fortunately, when the big nogara had sounded, both she and the troops
understood the signal, and with praiseworthy speed she had placed every
man in position to defend the station. Even the servants and our black
boys were armed, and occupied the posts assigned to them. Without these
precautions it is highly probable that the station would have been
attacked, in which case it might have been at once overwhelmed by so
immense a superiority of force.

I felt that on the whole we had narrowly escaped from ruin. My
intention, when in the open square, had been to seize a rifle from a
soldier, and at once to shoot Kabba Rega had hostilities commenced after
his appearance; but, even had we been able to hold our own, with a party
of eighty men, we should have lost the entire station, together with all
our ammunition, and every soul would have been massacred.

I had serious misgivings for the future. This demonstration looked
extremely bad after the departure of my thirty-six men with the post to
Fatiko. If Kabba Rega and his people were treacherous, they could easily
murder the party whom they were pretending to escort as friends.

On the other hand, I could not conceive why Kabba Rega or his people
should be ill-disposed, unless he harboured resentment on account of the
discovery of his theft of the muskets and ammunition from the
irregulars, which I had forced him to restore.

My Baris and Molodi all declared that he was suspicious because I had
pardoned the slave-hunters and received them into government service.
This merciless young villain, who had so treacherously murdered his own
kith and kin, had no conception of forgiveness; thus he could not
understand why I had not killed the slave-hunters when they were once in
my power.

There was no doubt that discontent rankled deeply in his heart for some
cause or other; as he had never appeared, or received visits, for many
days, but had sulkily shut himself up within his own court.

He only went out daily, at a certain time, to collect subscriptions for
the pay of his beloved rascals, the bonosoora; but this led him through
the town in the opposite direction to our camp, therefore we never saw

The collection of alms was a most undignified proceeding. At the hour of
his exit from his house, a band of fifes or flageolets struck up a
peculiar air which was well known as the signal for preparing to pay for
the king's visit. The few notes they played was a monotonous repetition
of :--

As his pipes played before him, Kabba Rega called at any houses that he
thought proper to select, and received from the inmates of each, a few
cowrie shells, which are used as the smallest coin in Unyoro. These
shells were afterwards divided among his bonosoora as their daily pay.

My station had not been arranged for defence, as I considered that
hostilities in this country could not be possible. Although black human
nature is the darkest shade of character, I never could have believed
that even Kabba Rega could have harboured treacherous designs against
us, after the benefits that both he and his people had received from me.
The country had been relieved from the slave-hunters, and my people were
actually on the road to Fatiko to liberate and restore to their families
about 1,000 women and children of Unyoro. I was about to establish a
school. No thefts had taken place on the part of the troops. The rights
of every native had been respected. The chiefs had received valuable
presents, and the people had already felt the advantage of legitimate

At the same time that hostility appeared impossible, I could not blind
myself to the fact of the late demonstration; it would therefore be
absolutely necessary to construct a small fort, for the security of the
ammunition and effects, which could no longer be exposed in simple straw
huts, without protection.

I explained this necessity to my officers and men, all of whom were
keenly alive to the evil spirit of Kabba Rega, from whom they expected
future mischief.

This miserable young fellow was nearly always drunk; his time was passed
in sucking plantain cider through a reed, until he became thoroughly
intoxicated. We were, therefore, subject to any sudden order that he
might give in a fit of drunkenness.

His people obeyed him implicitly, with that fanatical belief that is
held in Unyoro respecting the person who occupies the magic throne

There could be no doubt that he was offended and insulted: therefore,
according to the principle in vino veritas, he might pluck up courage to
surprise us when least expected.

I determined to build a fort immediately.

I drew a plan of a circular stockade, surrounded by a ditch and earthen
parapet. The ditch ten feet wide by seven deep. The diameter from scarp
to scarp, sixty feet; diameter of inner circular court, thirty-six feet.

With the assistance of Lieutenant Baker I drew the plan on the ground,
and my troops set to work with that vigour which always distinguished

There were numerous large trees of the fig tribe in the immediate
neighbourhood. This wood was exactly adapted for the purpose, as it was
easy to cut, and at the same time it was undying when once planted in
the ground. Any log of the bark-cloth tree will take root if watered.

The axes with which the men were provided now came into play, and the
clicking of so many tools at work at once surprised the natives.
Rahonka, Kittakara, and other chiefs came to inquire concerning our

I explained the necessity of storing the gunpowder in a fireproof
building. Only a few days ago several native huts had been burnt; such
an accident might endanger our station, therefore I should construct an
earthen roof over a building of strong palisades. I explained that
should the whole of the ammunition explode, it might ignite and destroy

My men thoroughly understood their work. Immense logs, nine feet in
length, and many upwards of two feet in diameter, were planted, close
together, in holes two feet deep. Any interstices were filled up with
smaller posts sunk firmly in the ground. The entrance to the little fort
was a projecting passage, about twelve feet long, and only three feet
wide, formed of two rows of enormous palisades, sunk two feet six inches
in the earth, which was pounded closely down with heavy rammers. This
passage was an important feature in the power of defence, as it added to
the flanking fire. A reference to the plan will show that the
arrangement of this small fort gave us three fireproof rooms for the
protection of stores and ammunition, and for the accommodation of the
necessary guard. Each of these rooms was formed of the strongest
palisades, upon which I arranged a flat roof of thick posts, laid
parallel, which were covered with tempered earth and chopped straw for
the thickness of a foot.

The earth from the ditch would lie against the outside face of the
stockade, at an angle of about 40 degrees from the edge of the ditch to
within eighteen inches of the projecting roof: thus the defenders could
fire from the strong rooms through the interstices of the upright

We commenced this fort on the morning of 2nd June, and every palisade
was in its place and firmly rammed down by the evening of the 5th; thus,
in four days' hard work we had an impregnable protection in a position
nearly half-way between the entrance of the main approach and the
government divan.

The digging of the ditch was commenced, but this was a longer operation,
as we were provided with the light Unyoro hoes, which were not
sufficiently powerful to cut through the hard gravel subsoil.

The interpreter, Umbogo, returned on 3rd June. He could not in the least
explain the hostile demonstration of 31st May. This added to my
suspicion, as Umbogo must have known more than he chose to tell.

On the 4th June envoys arrived direct from M'tese, the king of Uganda,
with a letter of welcome, written in Arabic, addressed to myself.

The principal messenger was one of M'tese's headmen, named Waysooa. The
commander-in-chief, Congow, had also sent a representative, named
Bonneggesah; these people were accompanied by an interpreter named

The envoys were remarkably well-dressed, in Indian clothes, and they
appeared quite civilized, as though native merchants of Bombay.

They now delivered their credentials from King M'tese: these were
objects that had been given to him many years ago by Speke and Grant. A
printed book (Kaffre laws), several water-colour drawings, including a
picture of a guinea-fowl and a yellow-breasted pigeon; also a little
folding-book with sketches of British soldiers of various regiments.
These I carefully examined and returned to the envoys, who wrapped them
neatly in a piece of calico as great treasures. (I must acknowledge
the important assistance rendered by the King M'tese, which was the
result of the good reputation left by my precursors, Speke and Grant.)

The general, Congow, had sent a tusk to SELL! I declined the offer, but
I sent him a scarlet blanket as a present. I also packed up an
assortment of handsome articles for M'tese, including many yards of
orange-coloured gold brocade, sufficient for a large flowing robe.

I gave presents to the envoys, and they appeared delighted, bowing
frequently to the ground while upon their knees, with their hands
clasped together, and repeating the word, "N'yanzig," "N'yanzig,"

In reply to my inquiries, nothing had been heard of Livingstone. I sent
M'tese a letter in Arabic, begging him to use every exertion in a search
for the great traveller, and to forward him to me, should he be so
fortunate as to discover him. At the same time I wrote two letters,
which I addressed to Livingstone; in these I gave him the necessary
information. I consigned them to the care of M'tese, to be forwarded to
any travellers who might be heard of, far or near.

In my letter to M'tese, I complimented him upon the general improvement
of his country, and upon his conversion from heathenism to a belief in
the Deity. I explained, that owing to his kindness to Speke and Grant,
his name had become known throughout the world, and I begged him to show
the same attention to Livingstone.

I described the object of the expedition, in opening up a trade from the
north that would bring merchandise of every description to his kingdom;
but I advised him to send his own carriers, as I felt sure that Kabba
Rega was already jealous, and would endeavour to prevent the opening of
the commercial road to M'tese, as he would himself wish to monopolize
the trade.

This was a little stroke of diplomacy that I felt sure would open a
direct communication without delay, as M'tese looked down with contempt
upon Kabba Rega, and would at once feel insulted at opposition from such
a quarter. (The good effect of this policy will be seen towards the
close of the expedition.)

Should I have any open rupture with Kabba Rega, M'tese would at once
attribute the cause to the obstructive and selfish character of the
ruler in Unyoro.

I explained to the envoys all that I had written to M'tese, and having
exhibited the varieties of merchandise that belonged to the expedition,
I took them into the wonderful private house, where they were introduced
to the Queen, and the Princess of Wales, and the gaudy ladies, together
with the fox-hunters and hounds, the large mirrors, the wheel of life,
&c.; all of which were duly explained to them. A good shock with the
magnetic battery wound up the entertainment, and provided them with much
material for a report to their royal master upon their return to Uganda.

The geographical information afforded by these people I shall extract
verbatim from my journal, in which it was written at that particular
time: thus, geographers will hear all that I heard, and they may form
various opinions, which will perhaps add still further to the interest
pertaining to the mysteries of Central Africa.

"The native name for the Victoria N'yanza is Nerraa Bali: There are two
lakes adjoining each other, one is Nerraa Bali, the other Sessi; both of
which are very large, and they are separated by a neck of land about a
day's march across.

"On the Sessi Lake the natives live on floating islands, and subsist by
fishing; exchanging their fish for flour, &c., upon the main land.

"There is a narrow water-communication through the neck of land or
isthmus, which can be passed through by a canoe in one day."

On the 5th June the envoys returned towards Uganda, having been highly
gratified with their visit. They had appeared much concerned at hearing
of poor Speke's death; and continued to exclaim for some minutes, "Wah!
Wah! Speekee! Speekee! Wah! Speekee!"



For some days past, Kabba Rega had frequently sent his interpreters with
messages, that he wished to sell the ivory which he had collected for
the government. We had noticed on several occasions many people laden
with large elephants' tusks, who invariably marched towards the same
direction. The dragoman, Kadji-Barri, daily brought ivory for sale for
the account of his master; and exchanged tusks for all kinds of trifles,
such as porcelain cups and saucers, small musical boxes, &c., &c.

On 6th June, twenty-one tusks were purchased from the messengers of
Kabba Rega, and I thought that the young king was getting tired of his
sulky fit, and that we should be once more friends.

The supply of food was always a trouble. Every day was passed in
repeated applications to the authorities for supplies, which were at
length grudgingly bestowed.

On 7th June, there was nothing for the troops to eat. Although on 31st
May we had received twenty loads of corn, these were simply the long
narrow packages which are so neatly made of the plantain bark throughout
Unyoro, but which contain very little.

Several times during the day Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, together
with Monsoor, had been sent to the divan of Kabba Rega, to impress upon
his chiefs the necessity of a supply of food. They explained my great
annoyance, as this was precisely the result that I had foretold when
Kabba Rega had neglected to clear the ground for cultivation.

At about 3 P.M., the tall chief Matonse appeared, together with Umbogo,
and several natives, who carried five large jars of plantain cider.
These were sent to me from Kabba Rega, with a polite but lying message,
that "he much regretted the scarcity of corn; there was positively none
in Masindi, but a large quantity would arrive to-morrow from Agguse." In
the mean time he begged I would accept for the troops a present of five
jars of cider.

I declined to accept the present, as I did not require drink, but solid
food for the troops. The jars were therefore returned.

About sunset Matonse again appeared, accompanied by Umbogo and natives
with SEVEN jars of cider, and two large packages of flour, which he
assured me had been borrowed from Rahonka. He was exceedingly polite,
and smiled and bowed, beseeching me to accept the cider, as plenty of
corn would be sent on the following day, when better arrangements would
be made for future supplies.

I could no longer refuse the cider, therefore I sent for Abd-el-Kader,
and gave him five jars for the officers and troops.

It was at this time about seven o'clock, and we sat down to dinner in
the divan, as it was too chilly to dine outside.

We had just finished dinner, when Abd-el-Kader suddenly entered the
divan in a state of troubled excitement, to inform me that "many of the
troops appeared to be dying, and they had evidently been POISONED by the
plantain cider!"

I inquired "how many men had drunk from the jars?" He could not tell,
but he feared that at least half the company had taken some portion,
more or less. He had himself drunk a tumblerful, and he already felt
uncomfortable, with a tightness of the throat, and a burning pain in his

I at once flew to my medicinal arms. Independently of the large
medicine-chest, I had a small box, about nine inches by five, which
contained all that could be desired for any emergency. This little chest
had been my companion for twenty-five years.

I begged my wife to get as much mustard and strong salt and water ready
as she could mix in a hurry, and I started off with Abd-el-Kader and
Lieutenant Baker. I immediately sent Monsoor to find Umbogo.

On arrival at the camp, which was about 120 yards distant, my first
order was to double all the sentries.

I found the men in a terrible state. Several lay insensible, while about
thirty were suffering from violent constriction of the throat, which
almost prevented them from breathing. This was accompanied by spasms and
burning pain in the stomach, with delirium, a partial palsy of the lower
extremities, and in the worst cases, total loss of consciousness.

I opened the jaws of the insensible, and poured down a dessert-spoonful
of water, containing three grains of emetic tartar, and, in about ten
minutes, I dosed everybody who had partaken of the poisoned cider with
the same emetic, while I insisted upon a flood of mustard and salt and
water being swallowed. Fortunately we had everything at hand. The
soldiers who were sound were all nursing the sick, and they poured down
gallons of brine, until the patients began to feel the symptoms of a
rough passage across the British Channel.

My servants always kept the lanterns trimmed--this was a positive
order. The lights were now moving to and fro, and having seen all the
poisoned under the full effect of a large dose of tartarised antimony,
with an accompaniment of strong brine and mustard, I returned to the
divan, where I found Umbogo had just arrived with Monsoor, who had met
with him at his own hut.

I sat quietly at the table as though nothing had occurred.

"Are you fond of merissa, Umbogo?"

"Yes," he replied.

"Would you like to drink some that you brought from Kabba Rega, this

"Yes, if you have any to spare," replied Umbogo.

I ordered Monsoor to fill a gourd-shell that would contain about a
quart. This was handed to him, together with a reed.

Umbogo began to suck it vigorously through the tube. My wife thought he
was shamming.

"Drink it off, Umbogo!" I exclaimed.

He drank with enjoyment--there was no mistake.

"Stop him!--that's enough, Umbogo! Don't drink it all." The man was
evidently not guilty, although he had been employed to bring the
poisoned stuff.

Umbogo had only to leave the divan and turn the corner, before he fell
to the ground, with the same symptoms that had been exhibited among the
men. He had drunk more than the others. His eyes were blood-stained, and
nearly started from his head, as he strove wildly upon the ground and
wrestled with those who endeavoured to assist him, in a state of total

I was by his side immediately, and administered the same remedies.

I now ordered all the sick men to be either carried or led within the
fort, from which they could not escape. Those who were slightly better,
now endeavoured to wander about in delirium, and they would have been
lost in the high grass unless I had thus secured them.

All that was possible had been done; the sick, were secured, and the
night guards for relief were at their posts with double sentries awake
and on duty; thus no man would sleep within the station.

I sent Monsoor to call the chief, Matonse, whose house was within 200
yards of the government divan.

Monsoor shortly returned without Matonse. He had brought an interpreter
from this chief, in lieu of Umbogo, who was incapacitated; and Matonse
had sent a message "that he could not come to me in the dark, but he
would call on the following day."

In the mean time an ominous stillness reigned throughout the usually
boisterous population of Masindi. Not a sound was to be heard, although
the nightly custom of the people was singing, howling, and blowing

My arms and ammunition were always in readiness, but I filled up my
pouches to the maximum of fifty cartridges, and at midnight I went to

I woke frequently to listen, as I was anxious, and therefore slept
lightly. The faithful Monsoor was under arms, and was pacing throughout
the whole night before my door; he never slept.

At about 2 A.M. there was a sound throughout the town of fowls cackling,
as though they were being disturbed and caught while at roost.

At about 3 A.M. the lowing of cattle was heard, as though Kabba Rega's
cows were being driven off.

A little after 5 A.M. I got up, and went out at daybreak to visit the
sick within the fort. I found Monsoor waiting by my door.

The emetics had counteracted the poison, and my patients, although
weakly, were quite out of danger.

Having examined them, I ordered the men to their quarters, and they all
left the fort, with the exception of the night guard.

The two interpreters, Umbogo and Aboo Kooka, were secured by a thin cord
fastened round their necks.

Having given all the necessary instructions, I ordered Monsoor to go to
the chief Matonse, with a message that I wished to see him, as the men
had been ill after drinking the cider, and although now recovered, it
would be satisfactory if he would examine the remaining jars.

Monsoor took his rifle, and accompanied by a corporal, Ferritch Baggara,
one of the best soldiers of the "Forty Thieves," started on his mission.
Matonse's house, as already described, was within 200 yards of the
government divan.

It was now about 5.45 A.M. I noticed that Kabba Rega's divan, within
fifty yards of the government house, seemed full of people, some of whom
were washing their faces, as though they had just risen from sleep.

My wife had now joined me, and, according to my usual habit, I strolled
up and down the broad gravelled approach and smoked a short pipe. We
were conversing together about the present state of affairs, and were
anxiously expecting the return of Monsoor with Matonse, who would
perhaps throw some light on the matter.

I was followed closely by a bugler and a choush (sergeant). The main
entrance of the approach from the town was bordered upon either side by
a dense plantation of castor-oil trees, which continued in a thick
fringe along the edge of the garden, so as to screen the huts from our
view, although they were within twenty paces of the entrance of the

The castor-oil bushes were within five yards of the entrance, and
gradually increased the distance, as they turned obliquely towards the
private divan of Kabba Rega.

We little suspected that sharpshooters were already concealed within
this dense covert.

My wife and I had reached the entrance of the approach. Nothing seemed
to denote hostility on the part of the natives, no person being visible,
except those guards who occupied the king's divan.

Suddenly we were startled by the savage yells of some thousand voices,
which burst unexpectedly upon us!

This horrible sound came from the direction of Matonse's house, and was
within 120 yards from the spot on which we stood; but the town was not
visible, owing to the thick covert of oil bushes.

The savage yells were almost immediately followed by two rifle shots in
the same direction.

"Sound the taboor!" Fortunately I gave this order to the bugler by my
side without one moment's delay.

I had just time to tell my wife to run into the divan and get my rifle
and belt, when the sharpshooters opened fire at me from the bushes,
within a few yards.

I had white cotton clothes, thus I was a very clear object. As I walked
towards the divan to meet my rifle, the serjeant who followed close
behind me fell shot through the heart. Poor fellow, the shot was aimed
at me!

The troops had fallen into position with extraordinary rapidity, and
several ascended the roof of the fort, so as to see clearly over the
high grass. A soldier immediately fell, to die in a few minutes, shot
through the shoulder-blade. Another man of the "Forty Thieves" was shot
through the leg above the knee. The bullets were flying through the
government divan, and along the approach.

A tumultuous roar of savage voices had burst from all sides, and the
whole place was alive a few instants after the first two shots had been
heard. Thousands of armed natives now rushed from all directions upon
the station.

A thrill went through me when I thought of my good and devoted Monsoor!

My wife had quickly given me my belt and breechloading double rifle.
(This beautiful weapon, I have already mentioned, was made by Mr.
Holland, of Bond Street, London.) Fortunately I had filled up the
pouches on the previous evening with fifty rounds of cartridge.

The troops were now in open order, completely around the station, and
were pouring a heavy fire into the masses of the enemy within the high
grass, which bad been left purposely uncleared by Kabba Rega, in order
to favour a treacherous attack.

The natives kept up a steady fire upon the front from behind the
castor-oil bushes and the densely thronged houses.

With sixteen men of the "Forty Thieves," together with Colonel
Abd-el-Kader and Lieutenant Baker, R.N., I directed a heavy fire into
the covert, and soon made it too hot for the sharpshooters. I had
ordered the blue lights at the commencement of the attack. My black
boys, Saat and Bellaal, together with some soldiers, now arrived with a
good supply.

Covering their advance with a heavy fire from the sniders, the boys and
men rushed forward, and immediately ignited Kabba Rega's large divan.

These active and plucky lads now ran nimbly from hut to hut, and one
slight touch of the strong fire of the blue lights was sufficient to
insure the ignition of the straw dwellings.

I now sent a party of fifteen sniders, under Lieutenant Ferritch Agha,
one of my most courageous officers, with a supply of blue lights, to set
fire, to the town on our left flank, and to push on to the spot where
the missing Monsoor and Ferritch had fired their rifles.

Every arrangement having been rapidly carried out, the boys and a few
men continued to fire the houses on our right flank; and giving the
order to advance, our party of sixteen rushed forward into the town.

The right and left flanks were now blazing, and the flames were roaring
before the wind. I heard the rattling fire of the sniders under Ferritch
Agha on our left, and knowing that both flanks were now thoroughly
secured by the conflagration, we dashed straight for Kabba Rega's
principal residences and court, driving the enemy before us. Colonel
Abd-el-Kader was an excellent officer in action. We quickly surrounded
Kabba Rega's premises, and set fire to the enormous straw buildings on
all sides.

If he had been at home he would have had a warm reception, but the young
coward had fled with all his women before the action had commenced,
together with the magic bamba or throne, and the sacred drum.

In a few minutes the conflagration was terrific, as the great court of
Kabba Rega blazed in flames seventy or eighty feet high, which the wind
drove in vivid forks into the thatch of the adjacent houses.

We now followed the enemy throughout the town, and the sniders told with
sensible effect wherever they made a stand. The blue lights continued
the work; the roar of flames and the dense volumes of smoke, mingled
with the continued rattle of musketry, and the savage yells of the
natives, swept forward with the breeze, and the capital of Unyoro was a
fair sample of the infernal regions.

The natives were driven out of the town, but the high grass was swarming
with many thousands, who, in the neighbourhood of the station, still
advanced to attack the soldiers.

I now ordered "The Forty" to clear the grass, and a steady fire of
snider rifles soon purged the covert upon which the enemy had relied.

In about an hour and a quarter the battle of Masindi was won. Not a
house remained of the lately extensive town. A vast open space of smoke
and black ashes, with flames flickering in some places where the
buildings had been consumed, and at others forked sheets of fire where
the fuel was still undestroyed, were the only remains of the capital of

The enemy had fled. Their drums and horns, lately so noisy, were now

I ordered the bugle to sound "cease firing." We marched through the
scorching streets to our station, where I found my wife in deep

The bugle sounded the assembly, and the men mustered, and fell in for
the roll-call. Four men were missing.

Lying on the turf, close to the fort wall, were four bodies arranged in
a row and covered with cloths.

The soldiers gathered round them as I approached. The cloths were

My eyes rested on the pale features of my ever faithful and devoted
officer, Monsoor! There was a sad expression of pain on his face. I
could not help feeling his pulse; but there was no hope; this was still.
I laid his arm gently by his side, and pressed his hand for the last
time, for I loved Monsoor as a true friend.

His body was pierced with thirty-two lance wounds; thus he had fought
gallantly to the last, and he had died like a good soldier; but he was
treacherously murdered instead of dying on a fair battle-field.

Poor Ferritch Baggara was lying next to him, with two lance wounds
through the chest.

The other bodies were those of the choush that had fallen by my side,
and the soldier who had been shot on the parapet.

We were all deeply distressed at the death of poor Monsoor. There never
was a more thoroughly unselfish and excellent man. He was always kind to
the boys, and would share even a scanty meal in hard times with either
friend or stranger. He was the lamb in peace, and the lion in moments of
danger. I owed him a debt of gratitude, for although I was the general,
and he had been only a corporal when he first joined the expedition, he
had watched over my safety like a brother. I should "never see his like

Monsoor was the only Christian, excepting the European party.

The graves were made. I gave out new cloth from the stores in which to
wrap the bodies of four of my best men, and they were buried near the

My heart was very heavy. God knows I had worked with the best intentions
for the benefit of the country, and this was the lamentable result. My
best men were treacherously murdered. We had narrowly escaped a general
massacre. We had won the battle, and Masindi was swept from the earth.
What next?

I find these words, which I extract from my journal, as they were
written at that moment:-

"Thus ended the battle of Masindi, caused by the horrible treachery of
the natives. Had I not been quick in sounding the bugle and immediately
assuming a vigorous offensive, we should have been overwhelmed by

"Since we have been in this country, my men have been models of virtue;
nothing has been stolen, except a few potatoes on one occasion, when the
thief was publicly punished, and the potatoes restored to the owner,
neither have the natives been interfered with in any manner. I have
driven the slave-hunters from their country, and my troops from Fatiko
are ordered to restore to Unyoro all the slaves that have been stolen by
the traders. The disgusting ingratitude and treachery of the negro
surpasses imagination.

"What is to become of these countries? all my good-will brings forth
evil deeds."

In the battle of Masindi nothing could have exceeded the cool,
soldier-like bearing of both officers and men. Every man had done his
duty. In the first onset, when about seven or eight thousand natives had
suddenly attacked the station, the men had not only fallen into position
for the defence of the camp with extraordinary alacrity, but they had
behaved with extreme steadiness and coolness, and not a man had moved
from his post without orders.

The attacking parties, formed exclusively of the "Forty Thieves," had
exhibited an activity and elan for which this gallant little corps was
eminently distinguished; and had they been European troops, their
conduct upon this occasion, against such overwhelming odds, would have
covered them with glory.

We had no newspaper correspondents, therefore I must give the due praise
to my officers and men.

During the day I established patrols throughout the now cleared space
lately occupied by the town.

In the afternoon Umbogo was able to call some natives who were within
earshot. These men explained that the chief, Matonse, was the cause of
the outbreak, and that it was his people who, by his orders, had killed
Monsoor and Ferritch.

Umbogo had been set at liberty during the fight, but I now secured him
by the neck to a leathern thong in the hand of a sentry; for, although a
good man, I could not afford to lose him, and the devil might have
tempted him to run away.

In the afternoon some natives cried out that Kittakara was coming, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, with a few men, immediately went out to
meet him.

Kittakara would not approach within less than about a hundred yards, but
he assured Abd-el-Kader that the outbreak was not the fault of Kabba
Rega, but that the responsibility lay with Matonse, who had escaped, and
that he should be captured and delivered up to me.

He continued to assure Abd-el-Kader that Kabba Rega had already ordered
provisions and a large number of elephants' tusks to be collected for
us, and that, although for the present he was hiding through fear in the
high grass, he would quickly rebuild his divan close to my own, so as to
live in friendship.

It was impossible to credit one syllable in Unyoro. On the other hand,
should I be unable to bring the enemy to terms, I should be chained to
the spot, as it would be impossible to transport my baggage.

It was an awkward position. The treachery had been frightful, and I
could only attribute it to Kabba Rega's orders, in spite of the
protestations of Kittakara. If I should be right in my suspicions, what
would become of Major Abdullah and his detachment?

Nothing would be easier for the 300 natives who had accompanied my
people with the post, than to behave well on the route to Fatiko, in
order to establish confidence. They could then carry all the effects and
ammunition, in company with Abdullah and his troops, from Fatiko to
Unyoro, and in the prairie wilderness, they might murder every man at
night when asleep, and possess themselves of the arms, ammunition, and
effects, with which they would rejoin Kabba Rega.

This was a frightful idea; and there could be no doubt that such
treachery had been planned, if Kabba Rega were guilty of the attempt to
poison the troops and attack us by surprise. It was hard to disbelieve
his guilt.

There were no means possible of communication with Abdullah. In case of
necessity, there was only one move; this was to march to the Victoria
Nile, and form an alliance with Rionga, the old enemy of Kamrasi's
family, whom I had always refused to attack. I was sure that he must
have heard of my refusal to ally myself with Kabba Rega against him:
thus he would be favourable to the government.

I resolved that, if hostilities should continue, I would proclaim Rionga
representative of the government, as vassal-chief of Unyoro, in the room
of Kabba Rega, deposed.

Rionga would send a letter to warn Major Abdullah at Fatiko; but how was
I to convey my baggage and ammunition from Masindi to Foweera, without a
single carrier, or even a guide?

It was the height of the rainy season, and the grass was about nine or
ten feet high, throughout a country of dense and tangled forest.

I had no interpreter of my own; Umbogo was Kabba Rega's slave, and
although I fancied that he was fond of us, I had no faith in any one of
these detestable people. This want of confidence was keenly felt at a
time when I required an interpreter in whom I could absolutely trust. I
was obliged to confide my plan to Umbogo, as I wished him to find some
man among the natives who would take a message to Rionga.

I knew that many people hated Kabba Rega. Umbogo had frequently assured
me that Mashudi, which was only two days distant from Masindi, to the
south-east, had always been Rionga's stronghold; and that the natives of
that district would rise in favour of their chief, should any reverse
befall Kabba Rega.

The news of the defeat of his army, and the complete destruction of his
capital, would run through the country like wild-fire. It was well known
that Rionga had spies, who were disguised as friends, even at the court
of Kabba Rega; these agents sent him information of all that occurred.

If Umbogo could communicate with one of these people, I might send off
to Rionga, and beg him to send 300 men to Fatiko, with a letter from
myself to Major Abdullah. Rionga's people would transport the effects
instead of Rabba Rega's carriers, who would be seized and held as
hostages. This would save Abdullah from the intended treachery, if it
were done at once; but there was not a moment to lose.

Already fifteen days had elapsed since my party with the post had
started, and by this time they should be near Fatiko, (at that time they
had already been treacherously attacked.) unless they had been delayed
upon the road, as was usual in Unyoro.

If I could depend upon Rionga, he would at once save Abdullah's party,
and he would send a large force to communicate with me at Masindi.

Had I provisions, I could have held my now fortified position against a
whole world of niggers; but with only a hundred men, I should be unable
to forage in this country of high grass, and at the same time defend the

All depended upon the possibility of my communication with Rionga.

Umbogo declared that if I would only march to Mashudi, the natives would
rise in his favour and join me.

I told him that if this were true, he could surely find some person who
would run to Mashudi, and raise the malcontents, who would at once carry
my message to Rionga.

Umbogo promised to do his best: at the same time he expressed an opinion
that Rionga would not wait long in inaction, but that he would invade
Kabba Rega directly that he should hear of the war. From my experience
of natives, I did not share his opinion.

As Kittakara had apologized for the attack to Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and
a truce had been arranged, a great number of natives spread themselves
over the ruins of the town, to search for the iron molotes, which are
generally concealed in the earth, beneath the floor of the huts. The
natives were all prodding the smoking ground with the iron-tipped
butt-ends of their lances to discover the treasures.

Umbogo now went among them with his guard, and conversed upon the cause
of the late attack.

In the evening, Umbogo declared that he was not quite certain of the
truth; he evidently suspected the sincerity of Kabba Rega. It was quite
impossible to procure any messenger at present that could be trusted
with a message to Rionga.

The memorable 8th of June happened to be my birthday. It had been the
day of death to my lamented follower, Monsoor; but we had well avenged

Umbogo reported that the natives had given him the names of nine
matongales (chiefs) killed in the action, together with a large number
of common people. A great many were still missing: these were probably
lying in the high grass which had been raked by the hot fire of the
sniders. Vultures were collected in immense numbers over many spots in
this dense covert, which denoted the places where the "missing" had

I ordered the troops to abandon their undefended camp, and to sleep
within the fort that night.

The morning of the 9th of June arrived--the night had passed in perfect

My troops set to work with their sharp sword-bayonets, swords, knives,
&c., to cut down all the high grass in the neighbourhood, so as to throw
open the view, and prevent the enemy from attacking us by another
surprise. They worked for many hours, and soon found a number of the
missing, who were lying dead. Five bodies were discovered close
together, as though they had been killed by a shell. This was in a spot
where the "Forty Thieves" had been at work.

One unfortunate creature was found in the high grass with a smashed leg.
He had been lying, thirsty and in pain, for about thirty hours in the
same spot. My men gave him water and food, and his friends came and took
him away. The wounded man seemed very grateful, and he told my soldiers
that they were "better men than the Unyoros, who would certainly murder
a wounded enemy instead of giving him food and water."

I had told Umbogo to make inquiries as to the safety of little
Cherri-Merri. The boy was unharmed, as he had been taken away before the

It was now proved that the cows had also been removed during the night
previous to the attack, as I had suspected.

During the day, vast number of people were collected at a large village,
situated on a knoll, about 700 yards from our station in a direct line.
This place, we were informed, was now occupied by Kabba Rega. The knoll
was about eighty feet lower than our high position; therefore, as we had
roughly cut down the grass, we looked directly upon the village.

We lost no time in erecting the large astronomical telescope upon its
stand. This was placed upon the flat gravel approach in front of the
government divan, and through the powerful glass we could distinguish
each feature, and the expression of every individual countenance of the
crowd within the village.

During the day, messengers arrived from Kabba Rega with an official
explanation of the misunderstanding. They declared that it was entirely
the fault of Matonse, who would be soon captured; that Kabba Rega
desired them to express his deep regret; "Was he not my son? Did he not
depend upon the protection of his father?" He only begged for peace. The
natives had been killed in great numbers; therefore "if we had lost a
few soldiers, the Unyoro had lost many--so the affair was settled."

I told them that nothing could ever compensate for the loss of Monsoor,
who had been so treacherously killed; at the same time, if Kabba Rega
could prove that the guilt really lay with Matonse, the simple plan
would be to deliver him up to me.

I recalled to their recollection how I had passed ten months in Unyoro
in the reign of Kamrasi, at which time I had only an escort of thirteen
men, and no misunderstanding had ever occurred. I explained that the
fault was not on my side. An attempt had been made to poison us
collectively; we had then been surprised by a thoroughly organized
attack, at a time when the troops were supposed to have been disabled by
the poison.

Kabba Rega must clear his character.  If he were innocent, I should be
only too happy.

The matongale, or sheik, who was the principal messenger, assured me
that Kabba Rega was quite in despair, and that he had given orders for
provisions and a large quantity of ivory to be collected, which would be
sent to us on the day following, in charge of Rahonka and Kittakara.

The want of provisions was sorely felt; fortunately, as our cows had
been dying daily, the troops had some sweet potatoes that had been
purchased in exchange for flesh. These would last for a few days.

A short time before the attack, I had promised to send Kabba Rega a
porcelain cache-pot. I therefore took the opportunity of reminding the
sheik of my promise, and I begged him to deliver the piece of china to
Kabba Rega as a proof of my peaceful intentions, should he really be
innocent of the treachery.

The handsome present was wrapped up in red Turkey cloth, and the
messengers departed.

I watched them through the telescope, and, upon their arrival at the
village below us, I distinctly witnessed, not only their reception by
the expectant crowd, but the cache-pot was unpacked and held at arm's
length above the head, to be exhibited to the admiring people.

This looked well.  My officers began to believe in peace; and, although
I still had strong suspicions, I hoped that the signal defeat which
Kabba Rega's army had sustained had so far cowed them as to induce a
termination of hostilities, that would enable me to communicate with
Major Abdullah.

The luggage from the government divan had all been carried to the fort.
This was now returned to our original quarters; my wife and her black
maids were working hard at rearranging the rooms.

The night passed quietly.

On 10th of June a matongale and several natives arrived from Kabba Rega,
with a most polite message and friendly assurances, accompanied by a
present of two beautiful white cows.

The messengers corroborated the statement of the preceding day, that
large quantities of provisions were being prepared for us, together with
twenty elephants' tusks, which were to be delivered as a peace-offering
by Rahonka and Kittakara in person.

Affairs looked brighter.  It was my best policy to secure peace if

I determined to send Kabba Rega, in return for his present of cows, the
large Geneva musical box, with drums and bells, which he had always

No one knew how to wind it up; and it was necessary that some person
should accompany it with the native messengers.

The clerk of the detachment, Ramadan, who has already been mentioned as
a favourite with the natives, and a good linguist, at once volunteered
to be the bearer of the present. Since the battle of Masindi, Ramadan
had been in frequent personal communication with the natives, and he
assured me that there was a general desire for peaceful relations. He
was supposed to be a favourite of Kabba Rega's, and it was therefore
arranged that he should accompany the musical box, which was a good load
for a fast-travelling native.

Hafiz, the farrier, whose occupation was nearly gone by the death of all
the horses but two, volunteered to accompany Ramadan. I ordered them to
go unarmed, as their peaceful mission would be at once understood; this
fact would establish confidence among the natives.

It was about 3 P.M. when they started, and we watched their arrival in
the village with the telescope, where they appeared to be well received.

In the evening they both returned with the musical box, accompanied by
the sheik who was to be their guide, as Kabba Rega had retired to a town
at which he had a residence, about half a day's march distant. It was
arranged that they should start on the following morning.

On the 11th June, Ramadan and Hafiz, together with the musical box,
started, and we watched their reception at the village with the
telescope. I had released Umbogo, whom I had sent to Kabba Rega to
explain all that he had seen of the outbreak, as he was one of those
that had been poisoned by the plaintain cider. Umbogo promised to return
as soon as possible. The dragoman, Abou Kooka, remained with us in the
place of Umbogo. This was a sullen-looking brute who had been a slave
stolen from the Madi tribe.

I must now take an extract verbatim from my journal, that was written on
the day of the incident. Any warm expressions in this extract must be
excused as a natural consequence, for which I trust due allowance will
be granted:--

"I walked round the burnt town of Masindi, accompanied by Julian
(Lieutenant Baker), Abd-el-Kader, and two guards of 'The Forty.' Neither
Abd-el-Kader nor I carried guns, as I wished to establish confidence
among the natives who were searching among the ashes for molotes.

"I sent for the dragoman, Abou Kooka, and conversed with the natives,
assuring them of peace, and that I had no ill-will against Kabba Rega,
if Matonse was the cause of the outbreak. At the same time, I told them
to bring provisions for sale.

"They seemed very shy, and replied that 'all would be right when the
messengers should arrive from Kabba Rega. One by one they went away,
until only two were left. Julian gave his gun to one of the guards.

"The two natives were standing on the edge of the high grass, close to
the ashes of the town, and they appeared more confident, as they
conversed with us at about twelve yards' distance.

"Presently they said they would come close to us, were it not for their
fear of the two sentries with their rifles, who were about forty yards
in our rear.

"I turned round to order the sentries to retire a little.  The instant
that my back was turned, one of the treacherous brutes hurled his spear
at me, which struck quivering in the earth at my feet! At the same
moment they bolted into the high grass, accompanied by our dragoman,
Abou Kooka, and disappeared at once like fish in water!

"The treachery of the negro is beyond belief; he has not a moral human
instinct, and is below the brute. How is it possible to improve such
abject animals? They are not worth the trouble, and they are only fit
for slaves, to which position their race appears to have been condemned.

"I believe I have wasted my time and energy, and have uselessly
encountered difficulties, and made enemies by my attempt to suppress the
slave trade, and thus improve the condition of the natives.

"It is now 4.40 P.M., and I am anxious about Ramadan and Hafiz, who have
not returned.

"My men have been on half rations since the 8th inst., and we have
supplies only for to-morrow, after which we shall be obliged to forage,
unless Kabba Rega sends the promised provisions. "It is impossible to
believe one word in this accursed country. At the same time that Kabba
Rega declares peace and good-will, he may be planning a surprise. I do
not think, however, that his people will be in a hurry to fight after
the lesson they received on the 8th inst.

"Nevertheless, fighting is dangerous work in this country of high grass,
where troops cannot see to manoeuvre, and where the ground is everywhere
favourable for native ambuscades."

When I returned to the divan with the spear that had so narrowly missed
me, through the cowardice of the assailant (who should have made sure of
me, had he not been nervous), my wife was not cheered by the little
incident. She had had the same experience as myself in African natures,
and she immediately declared against the pretended sincerity of Kabba

I had serious misgivings.  Nothing can happen in Unyoro without the
order of the king. The superstitious veneration for the possessor of the
magic throne produces a profound obedience.

On the other hand, this attempt at murder might have been only the
revenge of an individual who had perhaps lost his house and property in
the conflagration of Masindi.

The evening arrived without tidings of either Ramadan or Umbogo.  I was
now without an interpreter.

The troops, and their wives and effects, occupied the fort, and the
officers' quarters and camp had been abandoned.

It was about 8 P.M., and dinner being over, I was smoking my pipe in the
divan, conversing with my wife and Lieutenant Baker upon the situation
of affairs, when a sudden bright glare attracted my attention.

An officer immediately reported that the abandoned quarters were in a
blaze of fire!

I was of course ready in an instant, and armed, and accompanied by my
wife and Mr. Baker, I really enjoyed the beauty of the scene in that
moment of anxiety.

Without the slightest noise, or even an audible whisper, the troops were
all in position, kneeling on the ground in open order around the fort
and the divan, keeping the most vigilant watch for the appearance of an
enemy. The flames from the camp rose about seventy feet high. There was
not a breath of air; thus the fire danced and leapt up to its extreme
height, and illumined the neighbourhood for a great distance.

Not an enemy was to be seen. The soldiers were like statues, and there
was no sound except the roaring of flames.

Suddenly loud yells broke out from a distance of about 200 yards from
the farthest side of the fort, as though from a considerable body of
men. Not a soldier stirred or spoke.

I had cleared the grass around the fort and station, therefore it was
impossible to approach us unobserved.

The natives must have crept up stealthily, and fired the abandoned camp
in the expectation that the troops would have rushed down to extinguish
the flames, and thus the fort and the divan would have been at the mercy
of an attack from the dark side.

I immediately sent a strong patrol around the station, but not a soul
was visible. The attempt had failed.

Once more the luggage, with beds, boxes, &c., was transported from the
divan to the fort.

The night passed quietly. On 12th June, I watched the natives with the
telescope, and I observed that many of the crowd were gesticulating in
an excited manner.

I was almost convinced that we were again subjected to the foulest
treachery, and I was extremely anxious about Ramadan and Hafiz. I could
hardly believe it possible that these poor men, unarmed, and carrying a
valuable present, would be cruelly murdered.

The day passed in hope and expectation of their return. Late in the
evening, the act of incendiarism of the preceding night was renewed, and
the deserted house of Colonel Abd-el-Kader was in a bright blaze without
a native being visible.

No yells were heard, nor any other sound. The troops turned out with
their usual quiet discipline, but not a shot was fired.

The 13th June arrived.--Still there were no tidings of either Umbogo,
Ramadan, or Hafiz. I now felt convinced that the young villain, Kabba
Rega, had played me false, and that he was only gaining time to collect
and organize the whole force of Unyoro to attack us, and to line the
path to the river with ambuscades.

It is impossible to this day to say whether Umbogo was true or false.  I
never saw him again; and the unfortunate Ramadan and Hafiz were wantonly

At about 10 A.M., 13th June, we were let into the secret of Kabba Rega's
villainy. A sudden rush of natives was made upon the cattle, which were
grazing within sixty yards of the fort! Poisoned arrows were shot, and a
general attack was made upon the station. Guns fired; the bullets
whistled over our heads, and I thought I recognized the crack of our
lost sniders (those of Monsoor and Ferritch), that were employed against

The curtain had now risen.  When the actual fighting arrived, there was
some little relaxation from the intense anxiety of mind that I had
suffered for some days.

I at once ordered the men into line, and the bugles and drums sounded
the charge with the bayonet.

The gallant "Forty Thieves" led the way, with drums beating and a hearty
cheer, and dashed through the ruins of the town and straight into the
high grass on the other side, from which the cowardly enemy fled like

On our return to the station, I at once ordered Colonel Abd-el-Kader to
take eighty men and some blue lights, and to destroy every village in
the neighbourhood. The attack was made on the instant. The large
village, about 700 yards distant, which I had raked with the fire of a
few sniders, while Abd-el-Kader descended the slope to the attack, was
soon a mass of rolling flames. In an hour's time volumes of smoke were
rising in various directions.

My active and gallant colonel returned, having driven the enemy from
every position, and utterly destroyed the neighbourhood.

I had made up my mind.  There could be no longer any doubt of the
diabolical treachery of Kabba Rega. He had only endeavoured to gain time
by specious assurances of good-will, combined with presents, in order to
organize the whole country against us. The natives who shot arrows must
have come from Magungo, as none of the other districts were armed with
bows. The arrows that had been shot at us, which my men had collected,
were thickly poisoned with a hard gummy matter.

It was now rendered certain that a snare had been laid for the massacre
of Major Abdullah's party.

Kabba Rega had no doubt ordered the various routes towards Rionga's
province to be ambuscaded.

I determined at once to push straight for the camp at Foweera on the
Victoria Nile, as Rionga's island was about fifteen miles from that

Among the men of the "Forty Thieves", there was a soldier named
Abdullah, who had an extraordinary instinct for finding his way. This
man never forgot a path if he had ever travelled upon the same route.

I also depended upon my Baris and Molodi; although they had not long
experience of the path by which we had arrived from Foweera with the
cattle, they were clever as guides.

Unfortunately, the country had changed terribly by the immense growth of
the grass and tangled creepers.

I felt sure that the route would be occupied by the enemy throughout the
whole distance, and that we should have to fight every mile of the path
at a grave disadvantage.

The question of a supply of food was vital.  The men had mostly
exhausted their provisions.

At this critical moment, when every man of the expedition felt the fatal
truth, my wife confided her secret, that she had hitherto concealed,
lest the knowledge of a hidden store should have made the men
extravagant. She now informed them that in past days of plenty, when
flour had been abundant, she had, from time to time, secreted a
quantity, and she had now SIX LARGE IRON BOXES FULL (about twelve
bushels). This private store she had laid by in the event of some sudden

"God shall give her a long life!" exclaimed both officers and men.  We
had now enough flour for the march of seven days to Foweera, at which
place there were regular forests of plantains.

My herd of cattle had been reduced to seventy, and I much doubted the
possibility of driving them in a high grass country, as they would
scatter and make a stampede should we be attacked; they would be scared
by the guns.

I mustered my force and spoke to my men, to whom I explained their exact
position, and my plan of action.

I should immediately divide among them, as presents, all the cotton
stuffs that belonged to the expedition.

Each man would carry three pounds of beads in his knapsack, one-third of
which should subsequently belong to him.

The line of march would be thus arranged--a Bari, who professed to know
the path, would lead the advance-guard of fifteen sniders, commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, supported by myself with ten sniders in
charge of the ammunition, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker, my wife, and
two servants, carrying double breechloading elephant rifles. The
rear-guard would consist of fifteen sniders. The few remaining sniders
would be distributed along the line.

Neither the advance; nor rear-guard would carry any loads beyond their
knapsacks and a small bag of flour. Five of the sniders with me would
also be exempted from carrying loads; but every other soldier, and every
woman and boy, would carry either one of the metal boxes or some other

I explained to the men that they would be attacked throughout the route
at a great disadvantage, but that success would depend upon the strict
observance of orders for the march combined with the utmost coolness.

Each man was to keep just near enough to be able to touch with his
outstretched hand the knapsack of the man before him, and upon no
account to widen this distance, but to keep the line intact. Should it
be broken by the sudden rush of the enemy, we should at once be lost.

Should the attack be made simultaneously on both sides, alternate files
would face to right and left, place their loads upon the ground, and
fire low down in the grass, as the natives always crouched after
throwing a spear from covert.

A bugler would accompany the colonel commanding the advance-guard, in
addition to buglers with myself and the rear-guard; thus we should be
able to communicate along the line, which would be concealed from view
by the high grass.

On arrival at water, and in crossing either swamps or streams, no man or
woman was to stop to drink unless the bugle of the advance-guard sounded

No woman would be allowed to speak during the march, as profound silence
must be observed.

The officers and men received their instructions, merely declaring that
wherever I should lead them, they would follow and obey.

I at once divided the effects that could be carried, into the requisite
number of loads, which were carefully packed in metal boxes by my wife
and her black maids. It was hard and anxious work. The strongest men
were selected to carry the boxes of snider cartridges, which weighed 64
lbs. each.

All the rest of the baggage I arranged in piles, and distributed in the
government divan and the various houses. I spread my large tent over the
luggage in the divan, and poured over it a quantity of nitrous ether,
spirits of wine, lamp-oil, spirits of turpentine, and all the contents
of the large medicine-chest.

I filled up my small chest, and took a good roll of adhesive plaster, a
number of bandages, and a packet of lint.

Upon the tent-cloth, rendered highly inflammable by the saturation of
spirits and oil, I laid about sixty rockets.

My two horses and three donkeys would be loaded with baggage.

I gave orders for the march early on the following morning. The
rear-guard was to set fire to the station; this was the sad result of
our industry and labour in a land of detestable savages.



On the morning of the 14th of June, 1872, at 9.30, the advance-guard
filed along the gravel path, and halted at the extremity of the station
at Masindi. The line was complete, according to the orders for the
march. Not a word was spoken. A light, drizzling rain fell, and the sky
was a dull grey.

I looked back, and waited for the destruction of my favourite station.
In our little house we had left pictures of my own children, and
everything that was not absolutely necessary to our existence. Even the
Queen and the Princess of Wales were to perish in the conflagration,
together with much that was parted with in this moment of exigency.

The smoke now curled in thick, white folds from the government divan and
our own private house.

Lieutenant Baker's new house was ignited. O ne by one every hut was
fired. The rear-guard, having done their duty, closed up in the line of

I did not give the word "Forward!" until the flames had shot up high in
the air, and the station was in the possession of the fire. At this
moment a loud report announced that all the rockets had exploded. The
advance-guard moved forward, and the march commenced.

We soon entered the high grass, which was reeking with the light rain,
and we were wet through in an instant.

My wife was walking close behind me with a quantity of spare ammunition
for the "Dutchman" in her breast. She had a Colt's revolver in her belt.
Lieutenant Baker was heavily loaded, as he carried a Purdy rifle slung
across his back, together with a large bag of ammunition, while he held
a double breechloader smooth-bore in his hand, with a bag of heavy
buckshot cartridges upon his shoulder.

Suleiman and Mohammed Haroon (our servants) were close by with my two
breechloading No. 8 elephant rifles. These carried picrate of potash
shells that were immensely powerful. Very little would have been left of
the body of a man had one of such shells struck him in the chest.

The cattle began to cause much trouble as soon as the march commenced,
and we slowly descended the knoll upon which the station stood, and in
single file entered the extremely narrow path which led down to a small

Crossing the swamp, through deep mud, we arrived on firm ground, and
continued to march slowly, on account of the cattle. I felt sure they
would have to be abandoned. The cows strayed to the right and left, and
Morgian the Bari, and Abdullah Djoor the cook, who were the drovers,
were rushing about the grass in pursuit of refractory animals, that
would shortly end in being speared by the enemy.

We thus marched for about a mile before a hostile sound was heard. We
then distinguished the tumultuous voices of the natives in the rear, who
had been attracted to the station by the general conflagration.

The slow march continued, through grass about eight feet high, and
occasional forest. The rain now descended steadily, and I feared that
the old muzzle-loading muskets would miss fire.

The sound of drums and horns was now heard throughout the country, as
the alarm spread rapidly from village to village. We could hear the
shouts of natives, and drums that were now sounding in the forest upon a
hill on our right. These people were evidently in possession of a path
unknown to us, which ran parallel to our route.

For seven hours the march continued with such frequent halts, owing to
the straying of the cattle, that we had only progressed the short
distance of ten miles, when, at 4.40 P.M., we entered the valley of Jon
Joke. We saw before us the hill covered with plantain groves where we
had slept when upon the march to Masindi.

The grass was very high, and the path hardly a foot wide, only
resembling a sheep run. Suddenly the advance-guard opened a hot fire,
and the bugle sounded "halt!"

A few paces in front of me, my favourite sailor and fisherman, Howarti,
was in the line, carrying a metal box upon his head. In addition to his
musket, which was slung across his shoulders, I had given him one of my
double breechloading pistols, which he carried in his belt.

The word was suddenly passed that "Howarti was speared!"

Lances now flew across the path, and the line opened fire into the grass
upon our right, according to orders.

I immediately went up to Howarti.  I found him sitting upon the ground
by the side of his box, in the act of reloading his pistol with a Boxer
cartridge. A lance had struck him in the fleshy part of the right arm,
just below the point of junction with the shoulder, and, passing through
his body, it had protruded from his stomach. Upon feeling the wound,
Howarti had dropped his load, and drawing his pistol, he shot the native
dead, as he leapt from his ambush to recover the lance which was
sticking in the poor fellow's body.

Here was another of my best men sacrificed.  Howarti had always been a
true, good man, and he had just exhibited his cool courage. He had
himself pulled the spear from his body.

My wife had followed me immediately upon hearing that Howarti was
injured. He had reloaded his pistol, but in reply to my question whether
he could sit upon a donkey, he fainted. I roughly bandaged him for the
present moment, and we laid him upon an angareb (stretcher-bedstead),
but the men were so heavily laden that it was difficult to find
supporters. Lieutenant Baker kindly took one end upon his shoulder, and
with the assistance of the guard, we carried him forward. The bugle
sounded the "advance."

Again the lances flew across the path, but a few shots with the sniders
cleared the way, and leaving the narrow route, we broke our way through
the tangled grass, and ascended the slope to the plantain forest. Here,
thank goodness, there was no grass. The bugle sounded "halt" in the
middle of the plantains.

Sentries having been posted, every man was now employed in felling the
tall plantain trees, and in arranging them to form a wall around the

One blow of a sharp, heavy sabre will cut through the stem, thus in a
short time, as we all worked, a clearing of about an acre was made, and
by sunset we had piled them so as to form a tolerable protection from

Throughout the day it had never ceased raining, thus every one was
soaking and miserable. Of course we had no tent, but some invaluable
mackintosh camp sheets. I had examined Howarti's wounds, which I knew
were mortal. The air as he breathed was rattling through the gash in his
stomach. I washed and bandaged him carefully, and gave him a dose of
brandy and laudanum.

No one had a drop of water to drink, neither did any one know the
direction of the well; but, as all were cold and wet through, no person
suffered from thirst. Fortunately, we had matches in a small silver case
that had resisted the damp; and after some difficulty and delay, fires
were blazing through the little bivouac, and the soldiers and women were
crouching round them.

We were comfortable that night, as we had beds to lie upon; but I felt
sure it would be for the last time, as it would be necessary to destroy
much luggage, the men being too heavily laden.

All was at length still; the soldiers, who were tired, went to sleep,
with the exception of the sentries, who were well on the alert.

As I lay on my bed, I thought of the morrow.  I knew we should have a
trying time, as the whole country would now be thoroughly organized
against us. Our start from Masindi had taken them by surprise--thus we
had not met with much resistance; but to-morrow would be a fighting day,
and I made up my mind to leave the cattle to themselves, as it would be
simply impossible to drive them.

The night passed without an attack.

On the following morning, 15th June, poor Howarti was evidently about to
die, but the plucky fellow faintly said that he could ride a donkey if
assisted. It was impossible to carry him as the path was too narrow for
four people to walk beneath a stretcher. He was placed upon a donkey,
and supported with difficulty by a man at his side.

I was obliged to pile upon the fire a number of things that we could not
carry, including the large oaken stand of the astronomical telescope.

It was 7.30 A.M. before we started.

The troublesome cattle at once began to stray, and I immediately ordered
them to be abandoned. I felt certain that in the event of a general
attack they would have created great confusion, by probably rushing down
the line and overturning the men.

It was the greatest relief to be rid of the animals: thus we marched on
merrily at about two and a half miles an hour, through the usual narrow
path amidst gigantic grass (now about nine feet high) and thick forest.

In about an hour and a half we arrived at a descent, towards a bottom in
which there was a broad, open swamp, with a stream running through the

The advance-guard was not more than a hundred yards from the bottom, and
the line was descending the hill in close order, when a sudden uproar
broke out, as though all the demons of hell were let loose. Yells,
screams, drums, horns, whistles from many thousand concealed enemies,
for an instant startled the troops! A tremendous rush in the grass gave
notice of a general attack from an immensely powerful ambuscade. The
officers did their duty.

Every load was upon the ground, and in a moment alternate files were
facing to the right and left, kneeling just as the lances began to fly
across the path. The bugles rang out "fire," and the fight commenced on
our side.

I saw several lances pass within an inch or two of my wife's head;
luckily we were kneeling on one knee. The file-firing was extremely
good, and the sniders rattled without intermission. The grass was so
dense, that simple buck-shot would be reduced to a very limited range,
although excellent at close quarters. The servants quickly handed the
elephant breechloaders, and a double shot to the right and left was
followed by the loud explosion of the picrate of potash shells against
some unseen objects, either men or trees.

A quick repetition of the picrate shells seemed to affect the spirit of
the attack. I imagine that the extremely loud explosion of the shells in
the midst, and perhaps also in the rear of the enemy, led them to
suppose that they were attacked from behind.

It is difficult to say how long the attack continued, but a vast amount
of ammunition was expended before the lances ceased to fly through the
line, and the drums and horns were at length heard at a greater distance
in the rear. The bugle at once sounded the "advance," and I marched the
men forward, crossing the stream at the bottom, and gained the open,
where we found ourselves in a kind of swampy field of about ten acres.
"Ha!" exclaimed many of the soldiers, "if we could only get them on a
clear space like this."

The men were mustered.  Poor Howarti was dead, and they had left him in
the grass by the roadside, as it was impossible to transport him.

The rear-guard had been hotly pressed, and the natives had rushed upon
the path close to the sniders, which had punished them severely. Had we
depended upon muzzle-loading muskets, the party would have been quickly
destroyed; the sharp fire of the sniders at close quarters must have
caused immense loss at the first onset.

I now determined to lighten the loads considerably.  It was difficult to
carry the angarebs, as the leas caught in the high grass. I spoke a few
words to my men, who declared that they were not afraid of the natives
if they were not so heavily laden.

We collected wood and made a fire, upon which I ordered everything to be
burnt that was really cumbersome. The bedsteads were broken up; a case
of good French cognac was committed to the flames; Lieutenant Baker's
naval uniform, with box, &e.; the cocked hat frizzled up on the top of
the bonfire.

The men were provided with raw hides, upon which they slept at night;
these were now wet through and cumbersome: I therefore ordered them to
be thrown into the high grass and abandoned.

The brandy bottles burst upon the fire.  A sergeant of the "Forty
Thieves," named Fadlullah, had been attending to the heap of burning
materials, and I saw him stoop over the flames, as though intending to
save one of the liquor bottles for himself. At this moment several burst
and saturated his loose cotton trousers with blazing spirit. The man
vainly endeavoured to extinguish the fire, and he danced wildly about,
until I seized and threw him down in the swamp, and quickly drew the wet
green grass over him and subdued the flames. He was severely burnt about
the legs, from which the skin slipped off in large flakes.

I now had to doctor him, when every man's legs ought to have been in the
best order. Fortunately I had a little oil (for the lamp), and the
wounds were quickly dressed and bandaged with cotton wool and lint.

The force was now much relieved, as the loads had been lightened.
During the operation of burning the supplies, the best shots of the
"Forty Thieves" had been stationed to pick off any natives who attempted
to spy our movements by ascending the lofty trees.

I now gave the order for the advance, and the march recommenced. In a
few minutes we were once more buried in the gigantic grass jungle.

We had hardly entered the covert when the shouts and blowing of horns
and beating of drums once more commenced. This was the signal to
ambuscades in front that we were moving forward.

In the course of an hour's march, the rear bugle had sounded "halt" at
least half a dozen times, as two of the donkeys were weakly, and could
not be driven on without difficulty.

Again the rear bugle sounded "halt!" I immediately sent the sergeant of
the bodyguard, Mohammed-el-Feel, to shoot the donkeys, and to throw
their loads into the high grass. Two shots announced their end.

The bugle sounded "advance", and we at length travelled comfortably.
The weather was fine: we rejoiced in the sun, as it dried our reeking

Suddenly the advance-guard opened fire! then the rear-guard was closed
upon by a sudden rush of the enemy, and the whole line commenced
file-firing into the thick covert.

I ordered the bugler to sound "forward," and "cease firing," as the men
were getting a little wild.

One of "The Forty", Ali Goboor, had been wounded by a lance through the
leg, but he managed to limp along.

We now began to understand the places at which we were sure to meet an
ambuscade. Whenever we descended a slope towards a marshy bottom, there
was certain to be a large force concealed behind the lofty reeds that
grew in the swamp. I ordered the advance-guard to fire a few shots low
down in the reels whenever they should approach these places. By this
plan we generally induced the enemy to throw their spears before we were
in the midst; in which case we opened a heavy fire into the grass, and
marched straight forward.

The ambuscades had been carefully planned.  A row of grass of perhaps
two or three yards in thickness was left standing in its natural
position along the path; behind this vegetable wall, the grass had been
either cut down or torn up, so as to afford a clear space for the
natives to take a good run when throwing their lances. They accordingly
waited until we should enter the snare, and they calculated their
opportunity for making a combined attack when they considered that our
line of march was exactly opposite. Of course they could not see us
through the thick screen of brass any more than we could distinguish

We were at an additional disadvantage, as we were always exposed to
attacks from fresh enemies; the route was occupied throughout, thus they
were not cowed by the defeats of every ambuscade in the rear.

Considering the great numbers of spears that had flown like flashes of
light through the line, it was astonishing that we had not had more
numerous casualties. Several men had been struck on their knapsacks,
which had served as shields.

We at length came to an exceedingly awkward place, that I felt sure
would be well occupied. Upon our right lay a row of rocky hills, to
which we were marching parallel. We had to descend through forest to low
ground. To reach this it was necessary to pass between numerous blocks
of granite that completely commanded the path. Each block was about
twenty or twenty-five feet high, and several much exceeded this height.
The base was the usual high grass and forest.

I ordered the men not to fire unless they should see the enemy, and to
take a good aim.

Presently, as we descended through the pass, the attack commenced. Two
spears struck Colonel Abd-el-Kader, one in the fore-arm; the second
ripped his tough leather gaiter, and glanced off.

The sniders were ready, as the enemy were obliged to show their heads
above the rocks, and one fellow, who was exactly above us, either lost
his nerve, or received a bullet, which allowed his lance to come
rattling down the rocks as a complete failure. I ordered the bugler to
continue to sound "forward" (Illah Reh), as it was advisable to push
through this awkward place as quickly as possible.

Directly that we were out of the pass, I tied up Abd-el-Kader's arm, and
we continued the march until we halted at 2.5 P.M., in a piece of open
cultivated ground, where I determined to bivouac for the night.

I had resolved always to finish the day's journey by one march, as it
would afford time for erecting a protection of thorns and branches of
trees to prevent a sudden night attack.

Fortunately the weather was fine.  Abd-el-Kader was now faint and weak
from loss of blood. I attended to his wound, which was an ugly gash, and
gave him a good dose of brandy, and advised him to go to sleep.

Lieutenant Baker and the other officers assisted in erecting the defence
of thorns. All the wet clothes were spread out to dry in the sun, and
everything was got ready for the night. I did not care for myself, but I
was sorry for the hardship that my wife must endure, without a bed or
tent. My men cut two forked poles, upon which they lashed a horizontal
bar, which supported a camp-sheet to protect her from rain or dew. A
pile of long green grass was laid on the ground beneath, upon which was
stretched a mackintosh camp-sheet, and a good thick blanket.

We had been most fortunate in having only a loss of one killed and two
wounded since we left Masindi.

My men had fired away an enormous amount of ammunition during the march,
as they appeared to become more and more nervous as they advanced. Every
thick clump of reeds that rose a few feet higher than the surrounding
grass was supposed to conceal an enemy, and it was immediately raked by
a hot fire from the advance-guard.

On 16th June, the night having passed quietly, we started at 6.30 A.M.,
and marched silently.

There was a curious feeling upon first waking in the morning, when we
rose and buckled on the ammunition-belts. Every one was aware that his
nerves must be upon the stretch, and that his finger must be ready for
the trigger, from the commencement till the end of the march, to act
against unseen enemies.

Upon arrival at a stream in a muddy bottom, we were immediately attacked
by a strong force in ambuscade. Some of the enemy exposed themselves
boldly, and rushed upon the soldiers just in front of the rear-guard.
Several were shot by the sniders, but one fellow, with unusual pluck,
speared a soldier whose musket had missed fire, through the chest. This
poor fellow, thus mortally wounded, grappled with his assailant, and
tugging the spear from his own wound, he drove it through the native's

The rear bugle sounded "halt," while the knapsack and cartouche-belt
were detached from the gallant soldier, whose body was left by the side
of his enemy.

We marched until 10.15 A.M., having fought nearly the whole way, and
expended a frightful amount of ammunition. We had now arrived at our old
halting-place, Chorobeze twenty-seven miles from Masindi.

My men had become so extravagant of their cartridges that I was forced
to interfere. If this nervousness should continue, we should be soon
left without ammunition, and every soul would be massacred.

I therefore mustered the troops, and examined all their pouches. Some of
the advance-guard had fired away eighty rounds each, only during the
morning's march!

Many had fired fifty rounds! The muskets had not used so many, owing to
the greater difficulty of loading, but they also had been frightfully

The men had come to the conclusion that the only plan of marching in
safety through the high grass, which was full of unseen enemies, was to
constitute themselves into a sort of infernal machine, that would be
perpetually emitting fire and bullets on all sides.

This was all very well with an unlimited supply of ammunition, but we
had no idea of what might still be in store for us. We were now slightly
more than fifty miles from Foweera. Fortunately, in our journey from the
river to Masindi, I had timed every march within five minutes, and I had
all particulars in my note-book; therefore I could guess the position
pretty closely during the morning's advance.

Having mustered all the men, I turned out all the ammunition from their
pouches. The cartridges were counted.

I examined all the reserve ammunition.

The total, including that from the men's cartouche-boxes, was cartridges
for snider rifles 4,540 and cartridges for muskets 4,330, making a total
of 8,870 rounds.

I now addressed the men, and abused them most forcibly, calling them
"old women," and several other uncomplimentary epithets for soldiers. I
divided among them forty rounds each, and I swore solemnly by their
prophet, "that I would not give them another cartridge from this spot
(Chorobeze) until we should reach Major Abdullah's detachment at

I explained that if any man should fire away his ammunition, he should
continue the march with an empty pouch--Wah Illahi! Illahi !

I gave the most positive command, that in future not a shot should be
fired without orders, unless spears actually were thrown; on which
occasions the troops would fire a few shots exactly into the spot from
which the weapons had arrived; but on no account was a bullet to be
fired at random.

I dismissed the men with this warning, and set them to work to construct
a night defence as usual.

It was a most fortunate peculiarity of the Unyoros that they did not
attack at night-time. This was a grievous fault upon their side. If they
had surrounded us every night, they would have kept us awake, and not
only would have tired the men out, but they would have caused a useless
expenditure of ammunition.

On 17th of June, we started at 6.15 A.M., with the intention of reaching
Koki. I recognized several villages, but we passed them without halting.
We at length arrived at a fine, broad route, that was sufficiently wide
for a dog-cart. This had evidently been recently prepared, and there
could be no doubt that it was arranged as a snare that would lead us
into some powerful ambuscade. At the same time, the compass showed that
the broad path led in the right direction.

I halted the force, and went to the front to examine the road. There was
no other path. It was therefore incumbent upon us to keep to the broad
route, although we knew that it must lead us to a trap prepared for our

It was like walking upon ice that was known to be unsafe. We advanced.

For about half an hour we marched without opposition.  This was a longer
interval than usual to be free from an attack. At length we arrived
where the broad road suddenly terminated. The advance-guard halted.

We searched for a path, and at length discovered the original narrow
route a few paces to our left.

This had been purposely concealed by grass and boughs.

We had hardly entered this path when we were suddenly attacked.  A
horsekeeper was wounded by a spear, which passed through his leg, behind
the knee, and cut the sinew, thus rendering him helpless. He was
immediately placed upon a donkey. The unfortunate lad who led the horse
a few paces before me now uttered a wild shriek, as a spear passed
completely through his body. The poor boy crept to me on his hands and
knees, and asked, "Shall I creep into the grass, Pacha?-where shall I
go?" He had not another minute to live.

A spear struck another horsekeeper on the hip, and the soft iron point
turned up against the bone in a curve like a fish-hook.

A sharp fire dispersed the enemy, who retired to a distance,  yelling
and blowing their whistles. The wounded horsekeeper could manage to walk

There is a peculiar bird in the forests of Unyoro which utters a shrill
cry, with these notes.

The natives imitate this cry with their whistles of antelope's horn.  I
had noticed that previous to an attack from an ambuscade, we had always
heard the call of this bird.

My Baris declared that the bird warned us of the danger, and cried,
"Co-co-me! Co-co-me!" which in their language means, "Look out! look

My soldiers said that the birds exclaimed, "Shat-mo-koor! Shat-mo-koor!"
which is the order, "Make ready;" They accordingly always brought their
rifles on full cock when they heard the signal.

There was something puzzling this day respecting the distance. According
to my calculation, we should leave reached Koki. Still we marched on
through high forest and the interminable grass. My wife was dreadfully
fatigued. The constant marching in wet boots, which became filled with
sand when crossing the small streams and wading through muddy hollows,
had made her terribly foot-sore. She walked on with pain and difficulty.
I was sure that we had passed the village of Koki, which was surrounded
by much open ground and cultivation; and I now felt certain that the
broad road, which had been constructed to mislead us, had taken us by
the rear of Koki, which we had thus over-shot.

We were marching forward in perfect silence, when I heard a bird cry
"Co-co-me! Co-co-me"!

That instant the spears came among us, and the rifles replied as quick
as lightning!

The bugle of the advance-guard sounded "halt".  I never liked to hear
that order, as something must have gone wrong.

I immediately walked forward, and found that Lieutenant Mohammed
Mustapha had been wounded. The spear had struck him just behind the
shoulderjoint of the left arm, and had passed over the blade-bone and
spine previous to making its exit by the right arm. This was a very
nasty wound, and he was bleeding profusely. I made a couple of pads,
and, placing one upon each hole, we bandaged him tightly.

I now went up to my poor old horse, "Zafteer".  The unfortunate animal
was carrying a heavy load, and a large hunting spear had struck him just
behind the saddle. The weapon was so sharp and heavy, and had been
thrown with such force, that it had penetrated a double blanket, and had
not only passed clean through the horse's body, but had also cut through
a blanket-fold upon the other side.

A large portion of the bowels protruded, and were hanging a foot below
the horse's belly. The intestines were divided, thus death was certain.

As the old horse could still walk, and did not know its own danger, I
ordered the advance. I intended to halt at the first convenient point.

In about a quarter of an hour we saw increased light in the distance,
and we presently emerged upon a large open vale surrounded by forest.
This cheerful space extended over about ten acres, in the centre of
which was a well of good water, about fourteen feet deep, and so wide
that a man could descend by steps hewn out of the gravel. This was a
grand place for the halt.

My first duty was to remove the load, together with the saddle, from my
good old horse. I returned the bowels, and having placed a strong pad
over the wounds, I passed the roller round his body, and buckled it
tight over the pads.

This operation was hardly completed, when a severe shivering fit seized
the poor animal, and he fell to the ground to die.

With great sorrow I placed my pistol to the forehead of the faithful old
Zafteer, and he died, having carried and laid down his load, together
with his life, at the end of the day's march.

I was much distressed at this loss.  It seemed that I was to lose all my
best and most faithful followers--the good Monsoor, whom to this hour I
regret as a brother; the ever-ready and true Howarti; Ferritch Baggara;
the unfortunate Ramadan, besides others who were very valuable; and now
my old horse was gone.

We slept that night by his body, and warmed ourselves by a fire that
consumed his load--for there was no one to carry it. My despatch-box
helped to cook our scanty dinner. We had marched sixteen miles.

My troops had behaved remarkably well.  The scolding that I had given
them had produced a good effect. Very little ammunition had been
expended, and the firing had been exceedingly steady.

Although we had not been attacked at night, I never omitted the
precaution of a defence of strong thorns and branches of trees.

Had this march through a frightful route of forest and high grass been
made in the Bari tribe, we should not have had a night's rest.

We started at 6 A.M., with sunrise, on 18th June. The weather had been
fine since the first day of soaking rain on the start from Masindi: we
were thankful for this blessing, as there was no shelter for any one.

It would be fatiguing to narrate the incidents of the continual
ambuscades. Every day we were attacked, and the enemy was repulsed many
times. "Co-co-me! Co-co-me!" was now well understood by the troops; and
although we had men wounded, the enemy invariably got the worst of the
encounter. Up to the present we had been most fortunate in bringing on
all our people, but I was anxious lest some should receive wounds that
would actually incapacitate them from marching. Should a man be killed
outright, how much soever he might be regretted, still there was an end
of him; but there was no end to the difficulty of transporting wounded
men in our helpless condition, without carriers.

We had rather hot work during this day's march, and four soldiers had
been wounded by spears.

My wife was dreadfully tired, and sometimes the pace was too severe for
her. At length she was so fatigued that she declared she must rest, if
only for a few minutes. It was impossible to halt in the thick jungle
and grass; therefore, as I had observed a large grove of plantains on
the crest of the hill before us, I gave her my hand to assist in the
ascent, and we shortly entered the dark forest of bananas, which was, as
usual, clear and free from grass.

All the women were glad to rest, as the poor things were carrying heavy
loads. We halted in the midst of the plantains, and every one sat down,
except the numerous sentries whom I placed in concealment in various
positions. I fully expected that natives might be following us, in the
hopes of picking up the load of some wounded man that had been left

Not a word was spoken, or even whispered.

My men were very bloodthirsty.  They had been atrociously treated by the
natives, and had suffered much. They longed to get their enemies fairly
before them, and the "Forty Thieves" were now keenly looking out for the
approach of the wily Unyoros.

We heard distant voices; they were coming nearer.  A sharp clicking of
locks might be heard, as the men got ready.

All Sadik was one of my best shots in "The Forty."  I now saw him taking
a steady aim. Saat Choush, who was the champion shot of "The Forty", had
also raised his rifle, and almost immediately several shots were fired,
and the troops rushed forward! Two natives had been knocked over, and
some of the men returned, dragging in a body by the heels.

I now scoured the immediate neighbourhood, and discovered a quantity of
dhurra that was just ripened. This was immediately gathered as a great

During this interval, my men had been engaged in a most barbarous
ceremony, that perfectly disgusted me.

These superstitious people had an idea, that every bullet they might
fire would kill an Unyoro, if they could only devour a portion of their
enemy's liver.

They had accordingly cut out the liver of the dead man, and having
divided it among them, they positively HAD EATEN IT--raw! They had then
cut the body into pieces with their sword-bayonets, and had disposed
them upon the limbs of various bushes that overhung the path, as a
warning to any Unyoros who should attempt to follow us.

I would not have believed that my "Forty Thieves", whom I had considered
to be nearly civilized, could have committed such a barbarity. The truth
was, that in the high grass they could not see the effect of their
shots; therefore they imagined that the horrid rite of eating an enemy's
liver would give a fatal direction to a random bullet.

We marched, and having had several encounters with the enemy in jungle,
if possible worse than before, we halted at Kaseega.

One of my best men, Serroor, had a narrow escape; a lance went through
his neck, almost grazing the jugular vein.

On 19th June, we marched at 6.5 A.M. This was one of the worst journeys,
as the ravines were numerous, and the forest dark and tangled. It was
difficult for our solitary horse (Jamoos) to carry his load, as it
became continually hooked in the hanging loops of the wild vines. We
were quickly attacked by various ambuscades, in one of which my wife
suffered the loss of a great favourite. This was poor little Jarvah, who
went by the name of the "fat boy." Two spears struck the unhappy lad at
the same moment one of which pinned both his legs as though upon a spit;
the other went through his body. This loss completely upset my wife, as
the unfortunate Jarvah had upon several occasions endeavoured to protect
her from danger. He was killed only a few paces behind her.

In one of the ambuscades, just as the enemy had been repulsed, Faddul,
the strongest man in the "Forty Thieves", who was close to me, carrying
his knapsack on his back, his rifle slung across his shoulders, and a
box of 500 snider cartridges (64 lbs.) upon his head, walked up to me
during the halt and reported himself as badly wounded.

A spear had struck him obliquely in the posterior, and had taken a
direction towards the groin. The nian was literally bathed in blood,
which ran from him in such a stream that a large pool was formed at his
feet as he stood before me.

The instant that the box of snider ammunition was taken from his head,
he fell apparently lifeless to the ground.

I thought that he had bled to death.

His rifle and knapsack were removed, and I examined his pulse and heart!
I could not feel any movement. All I could do was to pour some brandy
very slowly down his throat, and to leave him on the side of the path as
another good man lost to the expedition.

We marched forward, and in about ten minutes we arrived at an open field
of sweet potatoes. The change from dark jungle and dense grasses of
giant height to the fresh and clear space cannot be understood, unless
by those who experienced the difficulties of the march.

I halted the advance-guard in the centre of the open field, and waited
for the rear to close up.

As it arrived, I saw a man staggering forward, supported by two
soldiers. Upon nearer approach, I recognized my strong friend, Faddul,
thus risen front the dead! The brandy had revived him sufficiently to
show some signs of life, and the rear-guard had thus brought him along
with them. We laid him down to rest beneath a tree that grew in the
middle of the cultivation.

We were now in a sad difficulty.  There were numerous roads, or rather
very narrow paths, which converged from all quarters upon this potato
ground. No one knew the direction. The Baris were completely at fault.
The farther the people explored the immediate neighbourhood, the more
helpless they became.

This was a serious matter.  Up to the present time we had been most
fortunate in keeping to the right path.

I now called my renowned pathfinder, Abdullah, of "The Forty".

Abdullah made a survey of the surrounding tracks, and then returned to
me with the news that he had discovered the route. This he immediately
pointed out.

A general exclamation of derision from the officers and many of the men
was the only reward Abdullah received for his important discovery, as
his path was in quite an opposite direction to the route they had

The compass corroborated Abdullah's road, but before I adopted it, I
asked him why he declared so positively that he knew the way? He
replied, that when on the march from Foweera, he had observed a
peculiarly-shaped tree, upon which was fastened a native cojoor, or
spell. That tree was on rising ground above a ravine, and he could now
show me both the ravine and the magic tree.

I accompanied him to the spot, and certainly the tree was there, with
some pieces of ragged bark-cloth and some grass tied to the stem. I had
often seen talismans that were fastened to the trees, and I suggested to
Abdullah that there were many of them along the road. He was so
confident in accepting every responsibility as guide, that I followed
him without hesitation, and the march continued. The wounded Faddul was
supported as before.

In a short time I myself recognized the path as being very near to
Kisoona, which place we suddenly entered after a march of thirty-five
minutes from the potato field. The advance-guard fired a volley at some
natives, who rushed into the grass upon our unexpected arrival.

We were now in open ground, with good native huts for shelter, and a
large extent of cultivation, where an unlimited supply of potatoes could
be obtained.

As the rear-guard closed up, I mustered all officers and men. Having
spoken a few words of encouragement, and complimented them upon their
extreme steadiness since I had lectured them at Chorobeze, I
congratulated them upon having advanced so far, under God's protection,
through such numberless enemies, with comparatively so little loss. We
were now only twenty-one miles from Foweera, and we knew the road. The
news of our arrival would almost immediately reach Rionga, and I should
fortify this spot and remain here for some days to allow my wounded to
recover their strength. During this time all hands would be employed in
preparing potatoes for store, by cutting them in slices and drying them
in the sun.

I now ordered the band to strike up with the greatest vigour, to show
the natives who might be within hearing, that we were in the best of

My officers and men were all delighted, and overwhelmed me with
compliments. I only replied by begging them always to trust in God, and
to do their duty.

I immediately started off a party to dig potatoes, while Lieutenant
Baker and myself, with a number of men, slashed down with sabres the
extensive grove of plantain trees, so as to have a perfectly clear space
around the camp.

We made a strong defence at Kisoona, and the rest of several days was
invigorating to the wounded men, and enabled my wife's feet to recover
sufficiently to continue the march on the 23rd June.

I had arranged that the drums and bugles should sound the morning call
at 5 A.M. daily, as though in a permanent camp. This was to assist me in
a plan for avoiding ambuscades on the day of marching from Kisoona.

On the 22nd I gave orders that every man should be ready to march
punctually at 5 A.M., the instant that the morning call should have

The natives, hearing the call to which they had been daily accustomed,
would have no suspicion of our intended departure; therefore they would
not have sufficient time to organize and man their ambuscades.

On the morning of the 23rd June we silently evacuated the camp in the
semi-darkness, the instant that the drums and bugles had ceased, and
thus obtained an excellent start that saved us much trouble. The attacks
later in the day were feebler than usual, and after a march of fourteen
miles we arrived at a well of water at 2.5 P.M., at which spot we halted
for the night. During this march we had only one man wounded.

We were now within Rionga's country, but I nevertheless made a defence
of thorns and branches of trees for the night.

On 24th June we started at 6.5 A.M., and after a march of seven miles,
during which we were undisturbed, we arrived at the old camp of
Suleiman's company at Foweera on the Victoria Nile, where we had
expected to find shelter and good houses.

Everything had been destroyed by fire!  Nothing remained but blackened



MY losses from the 8th June to the 24th had been ten killed and eleven
wounded. Every officer and soldier had thoroughly done his duty, having
displayed admirable coolness and courage upon many trying occasions.
None but black troops could have endured the march of about eighty miles
with heavy weights upon their heads, in addition to their usual

I at once set to work to build a new station, and with the old wood that
had formed the fence of Suleiman's zareeba, I commenced a defensive

There was very little heavy timber that was adapted for a stockade.  I
therefore formed a protection by sinking deep in the ground, at
intervals of three feet, two strong posts about seven feet above the
surface. These upright timbers, standing opposite to each other at a
distance of about ten inches, were filled with long poles laid one over
the other horizontally. At two corners of the square fort were flanking
works of the same construction, which would sweep each face of the

In a few days my men had completed a strong and neat stockade around a
number of small temporary huts which formed our new station.

Having thus housed my troops, it was necessary to prepare for the
future. I fully expected that Major Abdullah had fallen into the snare
prepared for him by Kabba Rega: thus I should have no other force to
rely upon, except the few men that now formed my small but tough little
party. If so terrible a calamity should have occurred as the destruction
of Abdullah's detachment, I should not only have lost my men, but I
should become short of ammunition; as my stores and arms would have
fallen into the hands of the enemy. This doubt caused me much grave

It was strange that we had not received some communication from Rionga,
whose island was only fifteen or sixteen miles above stream from
Foweera. Our side of the river appeared to be quite uninhabited, and
simply consisted of the interminable groves of bananas, that had
belonged to the inhabitants at a time when the district had been thickly

The Victoria Nile, opposite the Foweera station, was about 500 yards
wide. At this season the river was full. The huts that we had erected on
the north side, upon our arrival from Fatiko, had been destroyed by the
natives. This did not look as though much friendship existed.

Upon hearing our drums and bugles on the day of our arrival at Foweera,
a few natives had come to the high rock opposite, and had commenced,
bawling conversation, and that was only slightly understood by one of
our women and Molodi the Madi.

Molodi knew Rionga, as he had visited him at a former time, together
with a party of Abou Saood's people. His very slight knowledge of the
language was sufficient to explain to the natives across the river that
I wished to communicate with Rionga.

The people on the north happened to belong to Kabba Rega, and they were
enemies of Rionga; thus we were addressing the wrong parties.

It was highly necessary to make some arrangements for crossing the
river. There are no canoes on this side, and it would be dangerous to
trust to rafts, as there were waterfalls about three or four hundred
yards below upon our left. I determined to construct boats.

We felled three large dolape palms (Borassus ethriopicus), which were
the only trees of that species in this neighbourhood. These palms are
well adapted for canoes, as the bark, or rather the outside wood, is
intensely hard for about an inch and a half, beneath which the tree is
simply a pithy, stringy substance, that can be rapidly scooped out.

Two of the logs, when shaped, were each twenty-six feet in length; the
third was smaller.

Throughout the march from Masindi we had managed to carry an adze, a
hammer, and a cold chisel. The adze now came into play, together with
the Bandy little axes of the "Forty Thieves".

Among my troops was a Baggara Arab, who was a "canoe-builder". This was
one of the best men of "The Forty", and it was now for the first time
that I heard of his abilities as a boat-builder. This man, Said Bagara,
has since accompanied Colonel Long with great fidelity to the court of
King M'Tese.

The men took an immense interest in the work; but as too many volunteers
might interfere with the principal shipwright, I sent them all into the
forest to collect plantains. I gave orders that every man should prepare
14 lbs of plantain flour for the journey, in case it should be necessary
to march to Fatiko.

The canoes progressed, and a slice of about a foot wide having been
taken off horizontally from stem to stern, the soft inside was scooped
out with an adze, and with lance-heads bent to form a half circle.

In a few days the logs were neatly hollowed, and were then carried down
and launched upon the river. The long, narrow canoes would have been
very dangerous without outriggers, therefore I determined to adopt the
plan that I had seen in Ceylon; and as Lieutenant Baker well represented
the omniscience of naval men in everything that concerns boats, nautical
stratagems, incomprehensible forms of knots, rigging, &e., &e., I left
all the details of the canoes to his charge. In a short time we
possessed three admirable vessels that it was quite impossible to upset.
I now required a few rafts for the transport of baggage, as it would be
awkward to cross the river by small sections should an enemy oppose our
landing on the precipitous bank on the opposite shore. I therefore
arranged that we should cross in two journeys. The party now consisted
of 97 soldiers including officers, 5 natives, 3 sailors, 51 women, boys,
and servants, and 3 Europeans; total, 158 persons.

There was no ambatch wood, but I thought we might form rafts by cutting
and then drying in the sun the long tough stems of the papyrus rush.
These, if lashed together in small bundles, could be shaped into rafts
similar to those used by the Shillook tribe.

Lieutenant Baker took the three sailors and a few intelligent soldiers,
and set to work.

The 29th June had arrived without any news of Rionga.  The country
appeared to be quite devoid of inhabitants on the south banks, neither
did the natives show themselves on the north. We were masters of the
situation, but there was an uncomfortable feeling of loneliness in our
position of outcasts. We were very hungry, as we had not tasted animal
food since the 14th inst.; there was no game, neither were there any
doves or birds of any kind, except occasional vultures, which, after
sitting upon a dead tree and regarding us for some time, went off with a
low opinion of our respectability.

We lived upon boiled plantains and red peppers, together with various
wild plants that are wholesome, but not nice, when boiled as spinach.
Unfortunately, our small supply of salt was exhausted, therefore we were
obliged to burn grass and make potash from the ashes as a substitute.

We had a small quantity of brandy, but we reserved this in case of
illness or other necessity.

My men generally made two journeys daily, together with the women, to
collect green plantains, and they immediately commenced peeling and
drying them in the sun upon their return to camp.

On the evening of the 29th they came home in great spirits, having
captured a prisoner. They had tied his arms cruelly behind his lack, and
had led him to camp by a cord secured to his neck.

This man had been discovered in company with two others who had escaped
to the other side of the river in a canoe.

I ordered his arms to be released, and cross-examined him, Molodi acting
as interpreter.

The prisoner seemed quite confident upon seeing my wife and myself.
"Don't you remember me" he exclaimed; "was it not I who many years ago
carried the travelling-bag for the lady on your journey to Fatiko? Was
it not you that shot the antelopes on the march, and gave me meat to eat
when I was hungry?"

Here was an extraordinary piece of good luck! My men had actually
captured an old friend in the thickets, who had formerly marched with us
in the reign of Kamrasi!

This fellow now gave us the news. Rionga wished to see me, but he had
been so cheated and deceived by the slave-hunting companies of Abou
Saood, that he was afraid to trust himself among us; he was friendly
disposed, but he did not know my intentions concerning himself.

The prisoner declared that the treachery of Kabba Rega had been planned
from the beginning. The 300 natives who had accompanied my party from
Masindi, with the post to Fatiko, had attacked and killed some of my
men, but he knew no particulars; only that they had not gone on to
Fatiko with my people. This was a great relief to my anxiety, as in that
case Abdullah must be safe with his detachment. I ordered the prisoner
to be retained, but to be well treated.

We had rain nearly every day.

At daybreak on 1st July, after a heavy night's rain, a voice from the
high wet grass, about a hundred yards distant, cried out to the sentries
in Arabic, "Don't fire! I am a messenger from Rionga to Malegge!" (my
former nick-name).

The man, cold and shivering, was brought before me.  He had travelled by
canoe during the night, but had been afraid to approach the sentries
until daylight.

Being assured of my good-will, he informed me that a nephew of Rionga's
was in the grass waiting for my reply. He immediately ran out, and soon
returned to the camp with his companion.

As these people spoke Arabic, I now explained the whole affair, and
assured them of my repeated refusal to attack Rionga, when I had been
pressed to do so both by Kamrasi, and by his son, Kabba Rega. There
could be little doubt that, had I allied with him against Rionga, the
battle of Masindi would never have taken place; and the lives of some of
my best men would have been spared.

I would now depose Kabba Rega, and appoint Rionga as the vakeel or
representative of the Egyptian government, provided he would swear

I sent a present to Rionga of entire pieces of Turkey red cloth, blue
twill, and four handkerchiefs; at the same time I explained that we were
very hungry, and required cattle and corn.

Before the messengers returned, I inspected the troops, who marched
round the camp in their best scarlet uniforms, to the sound of the drums
and bugles. This exhibition appeared to create quite an impression on
Rionga's people, who would report us fit for service on their return to
their chief.

Thirty of the men were suffering from ulcerated legs, caused by the
sharp, poisonous edges of the high grass.

In a couple of days, two large canoes arrived from Rionga with presents
of some corn, sweet potatoes, and a cow and sheep. We killed the beef
immediately, as we were ravenously hungry.

On 16th July, we started, in nine canoes that had been supplied by
Rionga, to visit him at his station. The troops marched by land on the
south bank.

After paddling for about fifteen miles along the grand Victoria Nile,
which in the narrowest part was at least 300 yards wide, we arrived at 5
P.M. at a desolate spot, exactly opposite to the tail of the large
island upon which Rionga resided.

Nothing had been prepared for our reception, therefore we landed in the
forest, and my men set to work to collect firewood for the night. The
troops who had marched overland had not arrived. Fortunately we had some
flour and a bottle of curry-powder; therefore we dined off
dhurra-porridge and curry, and lay down on our camp-sheets to sleep.

This was a thorough negro welcome; nothing to eat!

The next morning, at about 7 A.M., the troops with Colonel Abd-el-Kader
arrived; they had suffered much from high grass and thorns, as they had
been obliged to break their way through the jungle, in the total absence
of a path.

A number of Rionga's natives now arrived to assist in making our camp.
All hands set vigorously to work building huts, in an excellent position
that I had selected on the river's bank.

On 18th July, messengers came early to inform me that Rionga would
arrive that morning to give me a warm welcome.

I had already sent him, from Foweera, a beautiful cloak of gold brocade,
together with a new tarboosh and sky-blue turban.

At about 8 A.M., drums were beating on the island, and horns were
blowing in all directions; these were signals that the renowned Rionga
was on the move. We shortly perceived numerous large canoes pushing off
from the island, and making for our landing place, which I had already

A cow, sheep, and a load of corn were first delivered as a present.
These were followed by Rionga, and a large staff of his principal

He was a handsome man of about fifty, with exceedingly good manners.  He
had none of the stiffness of Kamrasi, nor the gauche bearing of Kabba
Rega, but he was perfectly at his ease. He at once thanked me for the
handsome suit in which he was dressed, without which, he assured me that
it would have been difficult for him to have appeared before me in a
becoming manner. The troops were drawn out to receive him, and the
conversation at once turned upon Kabba Rega and Abou Saood.

He had an intimate knowledge of all that had taken place; which had been
reported to him by his spies; and he declared that Abou Saood had long
ago arranged a plan with Kabba Rega for our destruction should we arrive
from Gondokoro.

Rionga was well aware how often I had refused to attack him, and he
confessed that I had been his saviour by the arrest of Suleiman, who
would have joined the forces of Kabba Rega to have crushed him.

I took a great fancy to Rionga, as he was so perfectly free and easy in
his manner. He told me several anecdotes of the escapes he had had from
snares laid for him by Kamrasi; and he seemed quite rejoiced that I, who
had always declined to molest him before I had known him personally,
should now have taken him by the hand.

He declared that he would always remain the faithful representative of
the Khedive's government, but at the same time we must IMMEDIATELY
EXCHANGE BLOOD; without which ceremony, the people would not rise in his
favour. He said, "If the natives of this country, and also the Langgos
and the Umiros, shall hear that I have exchanged blood with the Pacha,
they will have thorough confidence, as they will know that he will
always be true to me, and I to him; but without this irrevocable
contract, they will always suspect some intrigue, either upon your side
or mine."

Rionga proposed that we should drink blood on the following morning, as
no time should be lost; he revelled with childish delight in the despair
that would seize Kabba Rega and his chiefs when they should hear the
news that the Pacha, and his friend Rionga had exchanged blood.

The preparation for the ceremony was to commence that evening. We were
to drink a large quantity of plaintain cider. "Not such stuff as Kabba
Rega gave you," exclaimed Rionga; "but a drink such as a friend will
partake with you." I was not to eat anything on the morrow, until the
sun should be in a certain position in the heavens, at which time he
would call upon me. I was to exchange blood with Rionga; Colonel
Abd-el-Kader and Lieutenant Baker were to go through the same
interesting ceremony with his minister and his son at the same time.

I recommended him at once to summon the chiefs of the Langgos and the
Umiros, as I should wish to secure their alliance and allegiance without
loss of time.

Many large jars of the best quality of plantain cider were now brought
from the island.

The night passed in nothing but singing and dancing as Rionga gave an
entertainment in honour of our arrival, and as a preliminary to the
ceremony of exchanging blood on the following morning.

At about 9 A.M. the unpleasant task was to be performed. Rionga arrived
and begged me to accompany him within a tent, together with Lieutenant
Baker, Colonel Abd-el-Kader, Karmissua, and Majobi.

Several of his first-class people were admitted as witnesses; these were
Inqui, Kimata, Ulendu, Singoma, Kibera, and some others.

Fortunately I had a small lancet in the handle of my knife; therefore I
made a slight incision on my left fore-arm, from which a few drops of
blood flowed. Rionga immediately seized my arm and greedily sucked the
scratch. I had to perform upon his arm, and I took care to make so
slight a puncture that only a drop of blood appeared; this was quite
enough for my share of the ceremony. We were now friends for ever, and
no suspicion of foul play could possibly be entertained. Lieutenant
Baker and Abd-el-Kader went through the same operation with their
respective partners, and cemented an indissoluble friendship.

It was rather a disgusting performance, but at the same time it was
absolutely necessary for the success of the expedition. I had now really
secured a trustworthy man, who would act as my vakeel.

When we emerged from the hut, a minstrel appeared, who played upon a
species of harp, and sang praises of myself and Rionga; and, of course,
abused Kabba Rega with true poetical licence.

I gave the minstrel a considerable present of beads, and he went away
rejoicing, singing and twanging his instrument to the discomfiture of
all our enemies.

It was fortunate that I had been able to carry so much as 300 lbs. of
beads. The soldiers could now purchase fish and potatoes.

On the 23rd July, two great sheiks were introduced by Rionga: "Gonah",
the chief of a Langgo district, and "Okooloo", a renowned warrior of the

The naked body of Okooloo was covered with small tattoo marks, each of
which I was assured represented a victim to his lance.

If he had really killed half that enormous number of men, he must have
considerably reduced the population, and he could have been doing little
else during his life. Samson's feat of killing 1,000 men was hardly to
be compared to the slaughter that had been accomplished by Okooloo.

The prospect of a general attack upon Kabba Rega with fire and lance was
delightful to the taste of this warlike old chief, who would, at the end
of the campaign, have no more room on his own skin, and would have to
keep the list of his game either upon the back of a son or a favourite

I soon made friends with these tribes.  A few red and yellow
handkerchiefs, and two or three pounds of red and white beads, were
sufficient to gain their alliance. I proclaimed Rionga as the vakeel of
the government, who would rule Unyoro in the place of Kabba Rega,
deposed. Rionga was accepted by acclamation; and if the young traitor,
Kabba Rega, could have witnessed this little projet de traite, he would
have shivered in his shoes.

Rionga was a general favourite, and the natives were sincerely glad to
see him at length supported by the government. Throughout his life he
had striven bravely against every species of treachery and persecution;
the day of his revenge had arrived.

I did not wish to overrun Unyoro until the grass should be fit to burn;
this would not be until the end of November.

I therefore arranged that I would leave Abd-el-Kader with sixty-five men
in a powerful stockade that I had constructed on the edge of the river
in this spot, N. lat. 2 degrees 6' 17", to support Rionga, and to
organize the native forces, while I would take forty men (sniders) and
march to Fatiko, to inquire into all that had happened during my
absence. It would be necessary to form a corps of irregulars under the
command of Wat-el-Mek, which I should immediately send to occupy Unyoro.

Rionga told me that he should attack M'rooli in company with the Langgos
and Umiros, who would quickly overrun the country now that Kabba Rega
was unsupported by the slave-hunters.

He at once collected fifty natives to carry our loads to Fatiko.

On 27th July, having left all beads, &c., with Colonel Abd-el-Kader for
the purchase of provisions, we took a cordial leave of Rionga, and
started, in six canoes, at 12.30 P.M.; paddling down the stream, we
arrived at our deserted zareeba at 3.12 P.M. We found the camp quite
undisturbed; no one appeared to have entered it since we had left it
some days ago. The palm outrigger canoes were lying in the same spot,
secured to the rushes; and all that had belonged to us was rigidly

Rionga had given us a sheep to eat during our march of seventy-nine
miles from Foweera to Fatiko. This did not seem very generous, but his
cattle had been mostly carried off by the slave-hunters under Suleiman.

Fortunately, just as we entered our old station, I shot a guinea-fowl,
which made a good curry, and saved our store of dried fish for the
uninhabited wilderness before us.

The best fish (as I before mentioned in "The Albert N'yanza") is the
Lepidosiren annectens, and this fat and delicate meat is excellent when
smoked and dried.

We slept in our old camp, and early on the following morning we prepared
to cross the river.

Rionga's people did not quite trust the inhabitants on the other side; I
accordingly sent a strong party of rifles across first to occupy the
high rocky landing-place.

On the return of the canoes, we were just preparing to cross with the
remainder of the party, when I observed eight natives walking very fast
along the forest-covered cliff on the other side. We immediately gave
the alarm to our men who occupied the rocks. The telescope now
discovered that the arrangement of the hair of these natives was the
fashion of Shooli and Fatiko.

The eight strangers, who had not before observed us, now halted in
astonishment, and presently they shouted in good Arabic--

"Are you the Pacha's soldiers? We are sent by Abdullah to look for the

This was great good fortune; then Abdullah was alive, and I hoped my
detachment was all right!

We crossed the broad river, and upon close arrival, we discovered that
two of the messengers were well known to us, one of whom was Iarro, the
interpreter of the great sheik, Rot Jarma.

The first gleam of pleasure with which I had welcomed these messengers
quickly changed to considerable anxiety.

I was now informed that the attempt to destroy us by poison, and
subsequently by a treacherous attack at Masindi, was mainly due to the
intrigues of Abou Saood, who had originally advised Kabba Rega to resist
me should I arrive in his country. This traitor Abou Saood had
considered that we should be certainly massacred when once in the heart
of Unyoro. He had therefore assumed a despotic command of Fatiko and all
the neighbouring countries shortly after my departure; and he had given
orders ` to the natives and to the sheik, Rot Jarma, that "no supplies
of corn should be provided for Major Abdullah's troops."

Rot Jarma had been faithful to the government, and his people had
carried corn to Major Abdullah. Abou Saood had therefore ordered his men
to attack Rot Jarma. They had accordingly surprised him while believing
in the protection of the government, and had captured his cattle,
together with a number of slaves. In that attack the brigands had lost
five men, whose guns had been subsequently taken to Kabba Rega for sale
by the natives we had seen at Masindi.

Abou Saood then, enraged at the loss of five men, together with their
guns, had sent for Wat-el-Mek from Faloro, and had given him the command
above the well-known Ali Hussein, with orders to carry fire and sword
through the country.

Major Abdullah had vainly expostulated.  Abou Saood had personally
threatened him; and Ali Hussein and an officer named Lazim, with some
others, had gone armed into the government camp, and had actually seized
natives who had taken refuge with Abdullah, from whose house they were
thus dragged by force in defiance of authority.

When the news arrived from Foweera that I had punished Suleiman for the
murder of the prisoner, both Abou Saood and his people had declared,
that they "would secure Major Abdullah in a forked pole, or sheba, and
treat hiin in a similar manner." They had also threatened to attack the
government camp.

Major Abdullah had written to me at Masindi requesting instructions; he
had intrusted the letter to a native of Faieera. This man had most
unfortunately arrived at Masindi late in the evening upon which the
troops had been poisoned. On the following morning he was a witness to
the murder of poor Monsoor and Ferritch Bagara; and when the general
action commenced, he climbed up a tree at no great distance from the
station, and cried out that "he was the bearer of a letter from

The bullets whizzed so thickly about him that he descended from his
post, and then, being alarmed lest he might be killed by the natives
should his mission be discovered, he had run away as fast as possible,
and returned 160 miles to Fatiko. Thus I never received Major Abdullah's

The letter-carrier having seen our handful of men surrounded by many
thousands of the enemy in Masindi, and knowing that the perfect
organization of Unyoro would bring countless enemies upon us, who would
occupy the routes by ambuscades, had considered our position hopeless.

The report was spread "that we were all destroyed:" thus Abou Saood was

Some days later, my party arrived at Fatiko that had left Masindi on the
23rd May with the post, together with the prisoner Suleiman.

These people had suffered terribly, and had lost eleven men killed,
exclusive of one who had died on the way from fatigue.

The treacherous plan arranged by Kabba Rega had failed, and the natives
had attacked them before the time appointed. This will be described

Suleiman was no longer a prisoner, but he commanded the Fabbo station
for Abou Saood.

Wat-el-Mek had received my letter, and he wished to serve the
government; but Abou Saood had prevented him; and now that I was
supposed to be dead, it would be impossible.

This man, Wat-el-Mek, had nevertheless behaved well, as he had
immediately demanded 100 men from Abou Saood, and fifty men from
Abdullah, in order to march to Unyoro, join Rionga, and with a native
army he would have searched for us throughout the country.

Abou Saood had refused to give the 100 men, therefore we had been left
to our fate.

The result of the story was that I must hurry on to Fatiko; Rot Jarma
had sent his messengers to discover me whether dead or alive, and should
I not march quickly, Abdullah might be attacked and overpowered, and the
slave-hunters would possess themselves of all the ammunition and stores.

. . . This was not very refreshing news, after all the troubles we had
gone through.

Had I received this important intelligence during my stay with Rionga, I
should not have left Colonel Abd-el-Kader with sixty men behind me. It
would not do to waste time by halting: and should I send to recall
Abd-el-Kader immediately after my departure, the effect upon Rionga
would create suspicion. The withdrawal of the troops would destroy all
confidence on the part of his native allies.

I gave the order to march forward at once.

My horse, Jamoos, now the only survivor of all those that I brought from
Cairo, was in good condition, but he suffered from a woeful sore back,
occasioned by the heavy load that he had carried from Masindi. My wife
was therefore obliged to walk, as the mud was too deep for the solitary
donkey, who was weak and ill.

For more than a mile and a half we had to wade through flooded marshes
nearly hip deep; the heavy rains had made the country boggy and

We had one sheep for the journey of seventy-nine miles, but this was
missing upon the second day's march, and we subsequently discovered that
it had been stolen and eaten by our guide and the carriers supplied by
Rionga. We were thus reduced to dried fish in the place of our lost
mutton, for which we felt inclined to go into mourning.

Although we had been badly fed of late, and for twenty-three days had
been without solid animal food (since the march from Masindi), we were
nevertheless in excellent health; and always hungry.

We marched well through the uninhabited wilderness of forest, high
grass, and swamps, and arrived at the village of Sharga, ten miles from
Fatiko, on August 1st, 1872.

The people had collected in considerable numbers to receive us, and we
were presented with a fat ox for the troops, thirteen large jars of
merissa, and a very plump sheep for ourselves.

The soldiers were delighted, poor fellows; and we likewise looked
forward with no small pleasure to a good stew.

Numerous sheiks had collected to receive us, and a formal complaint and
protest was made against Abou Saood and his people.

An attack had been planned by the slavers, and Abdullah and his small
detachment of 100 men would be overpowered. They were already
disheartened, as they believed that we were dead, and they had been
daily taunted with this fact by the brigands, who asked them, "what they
were going to do now that the Pacha was killed."

Abou Saood, having given his orders to Wat-el-Mek, and to the ruffian
Ali Hussein, had withdrawn to the station of Fabbo, twenty-two miles
west of Fatiko, to which place he had carried all the ivory. He was not
fond of fighting, PERSONALLY.

The natives corroborated the information I had received from Rot Jarma's
messengers. They declared that not only had women and children been
carried off, but that the slave-hunters under Ali Hussein had cut the
throats of many of their women before their eyes, and had dashed the
brains of the young children upon the rocks in derision of my power;
saying, "Now see if the Nuzzerani (Christian) can protect you!"

They declared that Wat-el-Mek really wished to join the government, but
that when he got drunk, both Abou Saood and others could induce him to
behave badly.

There were several hundred people present at this meeting; and the
sheiks wound up in a cool and temperate manner, by advising me "not to
judge from what they had told me, but simply to march early on the
following morning to Fatiko, and to receive the report direct from my
own commandant, Major Abdullah.

"If he contradicts us, you may say that we are liars; then never believe
us again."

This was the conclusion of the palaver.

The morning of 2nd August arrived, and we started at 6.20 A.M., and
marched fast over a beautiful country of dells, woods, and open
park-like lands, until we ascended the hill that rose towards the high
plateau at Fatiko.

As we passed the numerous villages we were joined by curious bands of
natives, who by degrees swelled our party to nearly a thousand persons.
There was no doubt that these people expected to witness a row, as they
knew that Abdullah had been threatened. It was therefore highly probable
that we might be attacked, as the slave-hunters would imagine that my
small force of forty men was the last remnant of my detachment.

No one at Fatiko had an idea of my existence: thus we should arrive as
though risen from the dead.

I halted the men on a large flat rock about a mile and a half south of
Fatiko. Here they changed their clothes, and dressed in their best
scarlet uniforms and white linen trousers.

We again marched forward, until, upon gaining the racecourse--like
plateau, we perceived the station in the distance.

The bugles now sounded the "assembly", to apprise Major Abdullah of our
approach. We then marched, while the natives, who delight in music,
struck up an accompaniment on their whistles. My wife was riding the
horse, as his back was nearly recovered.

With the telescope, I now perceived a great stir in Major Abdullah's
camp. The men were running to and fro; presently red clots appeared;
these rapidly increased, until a thin line of scarlet showed me that his
troops were drawn up outside the camp to receive us.

We arrived at 9.30 A.M.  The first formalities having been gone through,
the troops embraced their friends; and I shook Major Abdullah warmly by
the hand, and asked him for immediate news. He merely replied: "Thank
God, sir, you are safe and arrived here; all will go well now that you
are alive again. I have kept a journal, and when you have rested, I will
hand you my report in writing."

My old dragoman, Mohammed, had burst out crying with joy at our arrival;
and he assured me that it was most fortunate that I had appeared, as
affairs had become worse than ever.

The natives that had accompanied us had ascended the large flat rock
which commanded the station (and which now forms the citadel), upon
which they had squatted down like a flock of cormorants, to observe all
that passed.

No one had come to salute me from Abou Saood's station, which was almost
a portion of that belonging to the government, as it was only separated
by a level turf ninety yards across.

The absence of the vakeel and his people was a studied insult, as it was
his duty to have at once appeared, with his men in line to receive us.

A hut having been swept out, I entered to change my dress, as I wished
to inspect the troops. I never wore a uniform in this country, except
upon state occasions; but a simple Norfolk shirt of thick white cotton,
and trousers of the same material. This, with an Egyptian silk coffeeah
arranged over my own old helmet hat was sufficient for Central Africa.

I ordered Major Abdullah to form the troops in line, as I wished to
inspect them.

At the sound of the bugle, they formed two deep on the beautiful turf
outside the slight fence which surrounded the camp. My horse, having
been rubbed down and quickly saddled, was led through the narrow wicket;
having mounted, I rode down the line and made a short inspection of the
troops, who appeared to be in excellent health.

I was just returning to the camp, and was about to dismount, as I could
not ride through the extremely narrow wicket, when I was begged by Major
Abdullah to wait a little longer, as the people of Wat-el-Mek were now
approaching with their numerous flags, to salute me according to the
usual custom.

Seven large silk crimson flags upon tall staffs headed with lance
points, and ornamented with balls of black ostrich feathers, marked the
intervals of the advancing line of ruffians.

They were about 270 strong, and, they formed a line in very open order,
exactly facing the government troops, at about forty yards' distance.
Two principal officers, Wat-el-Mek and the celebrated Ali Hussein, were
exceedingly busy running up and down the line, and forming their men, so
as to make the greatest display of force. Wat-el-Mek was dressed in
bright yellow with loose flowing trousers. Ali Hussein was in a
snow-white long robe with black trousers. The officers were
distinguished by clean clothes, but the men were clad in various
costumes, generally formed of tanned leather.

By way of complimenting me, they had brought out two LARGE CASES OF
AMMUNITION--each a load for a native!

These boxes were placed with a guard beneath a tree.  My wife, who had
as usual come to watch the proceedings, now begged me to dismount, as
she had noticed the cases of cartridges, and she feared I might be
treacherously shot.

Of course I remained on horseback until the company had completed their
arrangements. They now stood in position with their officers in their
respective places, but no one moved forward.

I could not believe that they would have the audacity to attack the
government troops; but having waited for some time face to face, without
the slightest "salaam" having been made by the officers of Abou Saood, I
ordered Major Abdullah to retire to the camp with his troops, and to

I then requested him to send for Wat-el-Mek, as I wished to speak with
him immediately.

With much patience, I waited within the station for about half an hour;
during which time, five different officers had gone to call Wat-el-Mek,
and each had returned with a message that "he would come presently."

At length, two of his people, who had in my absence insulted and
threatened to attack Major Abdullah, arrived in the camp with a message
"that both the vakeels WERE SICK." I ordered these men to be detained.

I could no longer stand this insolence, as I at once understood that
they refused to appear. Accordingly, I instructed Major Abdullah to go
himself with a few soldiers, and should Wat-el-Mek refuse to obey my
order to accompany him, he should put him under arrest.

The bugle summoned the men who had dispersed, and they immediately
formed two deep in a small open space within the camp, to receive
instructions. At this time, Lieutenant Baker volunteered to go and speak
to Wal-el-Mek, who would (he thought) be more likely to listen to him
than to Major Abdullah, who had so frequently been insulted by the
slave-hunters during my absence.

I agreed that it would be advisable; at the same time he must be
accompanied by some troops. I therefore began to address the men who
were standing before me, and I instructed them to obey Lieutenant Baker
implicitly, and upon no account to--

My instructions were interrupted by a volley of musketry concentrated
upon the mass of scarlet uniforms!

Without the slightest provocation we were thus treacherously attacked,
and heavy file-firing continued upon the station. The bullets were
whistling through the straw huts, and seven of my men, including Molodi,
were struck within a few seconds.

My wife, who was always ready in any emergency, rushed out of her hut
with my rifle and belt.

The soldiers had already commenced firing by the time that I was armed
and had reached the front, by the edge of the light fence of wattles.

I now observed the enemy about ninety yards distant; many of them were
kneeling on the ground and firing, but immediately after taking a shot,
they retired behind the huts to reload. In this manner they were keeping
up a hot fire.

I perceived a man in white upper garments, but with black trousers: this
fellow knelt and fired. I immediately took a shot at him with the

We should have lost many men if this hiding behind huts and popping from
cover had been allowed to continue. I therefore called my "Forty
Thieves" together, and ordered the bugler to sound the charge with the

Pushing through the narrow wicket gateway, I formed some thirty or forty
men in line and led them at full speed with fixed bayonets against the

Although the slave-hunters had primed themselves well with araki and
merissa before they had screwed up courage to attack the troops, they
were not quite up to standing before a bayonet charge. The "Forty
Thieves" were awkward customers, and in a quarter of a minute they were
amongst them.

The enemy were regularly crumpled up! and had they not taken to flight,
they would have been bayoneted to a man.

I now saw Wat-el-Mek in his unmistakable yellow suit; he was marching
alone across a road about 180 yards distant.

He was crossing to my right; and I imagined, as he was alone, that he
intended to screen himself behind the houses, and then surrender.

To my surprise, I observed that when he recognized me, he at once raised
his gun and took a steady aim.

I was at that moment reloading; but I was ready the instant that he had
fired and missed me.

He now walked towards a hut across to my right.  I allowed about half a
foot before him for his pace, and the "Dutchman" had a word to say.

The bullet struck his right hand, taking the middle finger off at the
root, and then striking the gun in the middle of the lock plate, it cut
it completely in halves as though it had been divided by a blow with an
axe. He was almost immediately taken prisoner. One of "The Forty"
(Seroor) was so enraged that he was with difficulty prevented from
finishing Wat-el-Mek with a bayonet thrust.

I now ordered a general advance at the double; and the troops spread out
through the extensive town of huts, which occupied about thirty acres.

As we ran through the town, I observed about 150 of the enemy had
rallied around their flags, and were retreating quickly, but steadily,
in the direction of the Shooa hill. They continued to turn and fire from
the rear of their party.

Having reduced the distance to about 150 yards, the crimson silk banners
afforded excellent marks for rifle practice. They fell to the right and
left, as the shots were directed a little low so as to hit the bearers.
In a few minutes not a flag was to be seen! The fatal sniders poured
bullets into the dense body of men, who, after waving two and fro as the
shots thinned their number, at length ran off without any further effort
to maintain a formation.

For upwards of four miles Lieutenant Baker and I chased these ruffians
with the "Forty Thieves". Many were killed in the pursuit; and upon our
return to the camp at Fatiko at 2 P.M., we had captured a herd of 306
cattle, 130 slaves, 15 donkeys, 43 prisoners, 7 flags, together with the
entire station.

The enemy had suffered the loss of more than half their party killed.

The actual fighting had been done by the "Forty Thieves"; and the men of
Abdullah's detachment had behaved disgracefully. Instead of following
the enemy in the retreat, they had fraternized with a crowd of natives
in pillaging the extensive station.

I now had to clear all these fellows out.  The officers appeared to have
quite lost their heads; and the natives had carried off all the guns and
ammunition from the dead men, and had sacked and plundered the powder

My wife had placed sentries on the high rocks which commanded a view of
the entire country; she also had the cattle driven within the fence; and
had secured the prisoners, including Wat-el-Mek, in two large huts, over
which she had placed a guard. The officers bad been so completely
bewildered by the suddenness of the affair, that their wits had been
exercised in an extraordinary direction. They had commenced firing
Hale's rockets while we were in advance pursuing the enemy, and a couple
of these screeching projectiles had actually passed over my head.

We had neither eaten nor drunk since the preceding evening, with the
exception of some water that we had procured from a stream at the
extreme limit of the pursuit; where we had lost the enemy, who had
scattered in the forest.

With her usual forethought, my wife had ordered the cook to have
breakfast ready; and having washed hands and faces, we sat down to a
good curry of mutton, and excellent cafe-au-lait, the milk having been
obtained from the captured cows.

We had worked fairly that morning, having marched ten miles from Sharga,
then fought the rebels and run four miles in pursuit, and four miles on
our return, through an exceedingly rough country.

My old friends, Gimoro and Shooli, were delighted to see us again.  The
native sheiks thronged round the entrance of our hut to congratulate us
on the defeat of the rebels; and messengers had been already sent off to
Rot Jarma and all the principal headmen of the country.

Wat-el-Mek was safe.  I knew that most of the principal officers were
either killed or wounded; but I was anxious to be assured of the fate of
the arch-ruffian, Ali Hussein.

"Where is Ali Hussein?" I asked the natives.

"DEAD!" cried a number of voices.

"Are you certain?" I asked.

"We will bring you his head, for he is not far off," they replied; and
several men started immediately.

We were very hungry; and as curry is quickly eaten, we were not long at
breakfast; this was hardly concluded when some natives rushed to the
open door, and throwing something heavy on the floor of the hut, I saw
at my feet the bloody head of Ali Hussein!

There was no mistake in the person.  The villainous expression was as
strongly marked upon the features in death as it had been in life.

The natives had appropriated his clothes, which they described as "a
long white robe and black trousers." Ali Hussein had been struck by two
bullets; one had broken his arm, and the other had passed through his
thigh. He was alive when the natives discovered him; but as he had been
the scourge of the country, he, of course, received no mercy from them.



The death of the unfortunate Dr. Gedge, my chief medical officer at
Tewfikeeyah, added to the retirement of one of the Egyptian surgeons
from Gondokoro, had left me with so weak a medical staff that I had been
unable to take a doctor from head-quarters. I therefore was compelled to
perform all necessary operations myself, and to attend personally upon
the wounded men. In the late encounter, although I had not actually lost
a soldier, seven were badly wounded. One had a broken thigh, and the
bullet remained in the leg. Two had smashed ankle-joints, in one of
which the ball remained fixed among the bones. Some of the prisoners
were also wounded and one shortly died.

Wat-el-Mek's hand was much lacerated, in addition to the loss of the
middle finger.

I dressed all the wounds with a weak solution of carbolic acid. After
some trouble, I extracted the bullet from the broken thigh, and set the
bone. (This man was one of "The Forty"; and about two months after the
wound he was again on duty, and only slightly lame.)

Wat-el-Mek had two excellent English double-barrelled guns. That
destroyed by the "Dutchman" was a gun by Blissett of London, which had
been given to him by Captain Speke when he parted at Gondokoro: the
other was my own old gun, that I had given to Ibrahim when I travelled
with him during my first journey in Africa.

On the 3rd August I took evidence against Abou Saood. Mohammed
Wat-el-Mek, and a prisoner named Besheer, who was an officer in the same
company, both swore upon the Koran, that in firing at me "they had only
obeyed the orders of Abou Saood, who had instructed them to attack me
and the government troops should I attempt to interfere with their

Wat-el-Mek declared upon oath that he had always wished to serve me, but
he had been prevented by Abou Saood and others; and he had now been
rightly punished. This, he said, was "God's hand." He had been in
countless fights with natives during many years, and he was possessed of
powerful charms and spells, including numerous verses from the Koran
suspended from his arms: these had always protected him until the day
when he had raised his hand against the government. His charms had at
once failed him, and he had lost both his finger and the gun with which
he had fired at me.

My officers and soldiers really believed that I had purposely cut his
finger off, and smashed his gun by a rifle shot, to prove to him what I
could accomplish with a rifle; and thus to warn a man who would be
useful to me, instead of killing him.

Wat-el-Mek now offered to swear upon the Koran fidelity and allegiance
if I would pardon him; and he would at once prove his sincerity by
raising an irregular corps.

This man was a curious character; his superstitious nature had been
seized with the conviction that his present position was a special
visitation of divine wrath. He was a courageous fellow, and he knew the
country and the natives better than any man living. I had always wished
to engage his services, and I considered this an excellent opportunity.

The o