CHAPTER II. BAD RECEPTION AT GONDOKORO
At the first blush on meeting them I had considered my expedition as terminated by having met them, and by their having accomplished the discovery of the Nile source; but upon my congratulating them with all my heart, upon the honour they had so nobly earned, Speke and Grant with characteristic candour and generosity gave me a map of their route, showing that they had been unable to complete the actual exploration of the Nile, and that a most important portion still remained to be determined. It appeared that in N. lat. 2 degrees 17 minutes, they had crossed the Nile, which they had tracked from the Victoria Lake; but the river, which from its exit from that lake had a northern course, turned suddenly to the WEST from Karuma Falls (the point at which they crossed it at lat. 2 degrees 17 minutes). They did not see the Nile again until they arrived in N. lat. 3 deg. 32 min., which was then flowing from the W.S.W. The natives and the King of Unyoro (Kamrasi) had assured them that the Nile from the Victoria N'yanza, which they had crossed at Karuma, flowed westward for several days' journey, and at length fell into a large lake called the Luta N'zige; that this lake came from the south, and that the Nile on entering the northern extremity almost immediately made its exit, and as a navigable river continued its course to the north, through the Koshi and Madi countries. Both Speke and Grant attached great importance to this lake Luta N'zige, and the former was much annoyed that it had been impossible for them to carry out the exploration. He foresaw that stay-at-home geographers, who, with a comfortable armchair to sit in, travel so easily with their fingers on a map, would ask him why he had not gone from such a place to such a place? why he had not followed the Nile to the Luta N'zige lake, and from the lake to Gondokoro? As it happened, it was impossible for Speke and Grant to follow the Nile from Karuma: - the tribes were fighting with Kamrasi, and no strangers could have got through the country. Accordingly they procured their information most carefully, completed their map, and laid down the reported lake in its supposed position, showing the Nile as both influent and effluent precisely as had been explained by the natives.
Speke expressed his conviction that the Luta N'zige must be a second source of the Nile, and that geographers would be dissatisfied that he had not explored it. To me this was most gratifying. I had been much disheartened at the idea that the great work was accomplished, and that nothing remained for exploration; I even said to Speke, "Does not one leaf of the laurel remain for me?" I now heard that the field was not only open, but that an additional interest was given to the exploration by the proof that the Nile flowed out of one great lake, the Victoria, but that it evidently must derive an additional supply from an unknown lake as it entered it at the NORTHERN extremity, while the body of the lake came from the south. The fact of a great body of water such as the Luta N'zige extending in a direct line from south to north, while the general system of drainage of the Nile was from the same direction, showed most conclusively, that the Luta N'zige, if it existed in the form assumed, must have an important position in the basin of the Nile.
My expedition had naturally been rather costly, and being in excellent order it would have been heartbreaking to have returned fruitlessly. I therefore arranged immediately for my departure, and Speke most kindly wrote in my journal such instructions as might be useful. I therefore copy them verbatim: