CHAPTER X. LIFE AT OBBO.

For months we dragged on a miserable existence at Obbo, wrecked by fever; the quinine exhausted; thus the disease worried me almost to death, returning at intervals of a few days. Fortunately my wife did not suffer so much as I did. I had nevertheless prepared for the journey south; and as travelling on foot would have been impossible in our weak state, I had purchased and trained three oxen in lieu of horses. They were named "Beef," "Steaks," and "Suet." "Beef" was a magnificent animal, but having been bitten by the flies, he so lost his condition that I changed his name to "Bones." We were ready to start, and the natives reported that early in January the Asua would be fordable. I had arranged with Ibrahim that he should supply me with porters for payment in copper bracelets, and that he should accompany me with one hundred men to Kamrasi's country (Unyoro), on condition that he would restrain his people from all misdemeanours, and that they should be entirely subservient to me. It was the month of December, and during the nine months that I had been in correspondence with his party I had succeeded in acquiring an extraordinary influence. Although my camp was nearly three-quarters of a mile from their zareeba, I had been besieged daily for many months for everything that was wanted; my camp was a kind of general store that appeared to be inexhaustible. I gave all that I had with a good grace, and thereby gained the goodwill of the robbers, especially as my large medicine chest contained a supply of drugs that rendered me in their eyes a physician of the first importance. I had been very successful with my patients; and the medicines that I generally used being those which produced a very decided effect, both the Turks and natives considered them with perfect faith. There was seldom any difficulty in prognosticating the effect of tartar emetic, and this became the favourite drug that was applied for almost daily; a dose of three grains enchanting the patient, who always advertised my fame by saying, "He told me I should be sick, and, by Allah! there was no mistake about it." Accordingly there was a great run upon the tartar emetic. Many people in Debono's camp had died, including several of my deserters who had joined them. News was brought that, in three separate fights with the natives, my deserters had been killed on every occasion, and my men and those of Ibrahim unhesitatingly declared it was the "hand of God." None of Ibrahim's men had died since we left Latooka. One man, who had been badly wounded by a lance thrust through his abdomen, I successfully treated; the trading party, who would at one time gladly have exterminated me, now exclaimed, "What shall we do when the Sowar (traveller) leaves the country?" Mrs. Baker had been exceedingly kind to the women and children of both the traders and natives, and together we had created so favourable an impression that we were always referred to as umpires in every dispute. My own men, although indolent, were so completely disciplined that they would not have dared to disobey an order, and they looked back upon their former mutinous conduct with surprise at their own audacity, and declared that they feared to return to Khartoum, as they were sure that I should not forgive them.

I had promised Ibrahim that I would use my influence with the King of Unyoro to procure him the ivory of that country; - I had a good supply of beads, while Ibrahim had none; thus he was dependent upon me for opening the road. Everything looked fair, and had I been strong and well I should have enjoyed the future prospect; but I was weak and almost useless, and weighed down with anxiety lest I might die and my wife would be left alone.

The rains had ceased, and the wild grapes were ripe the natives brought them in great quantities in exchange for a few beads. They were in extremely large bunches, invariably black, and of a good size, but not juicy - the flavour was good, and they were most refreshing, and certainly benefited my health. I pressed about two hundred pounds of grapes in the large sponging bath, but procured so little juice, and that so thick, that winemaking proved a failure; it fermented, and we drank it, but it was not wine. One day, hearing a great noise of voices and blowing of horns in the direction of Katchiba's residence, I sent to inquire the cause. The old chief himself appeared very angry and excited. He said, that his people were very bad, that they had been making a great noise and finding fault with him because he had not supplied them with a few showers, as they wanted to sow their crop of tullaboon. There had been no rain for about a fortnight.

"Well," I replied, "you are the rainmaker; why don't you give your people rain?" "Give my people rain!" said Katchiba. "I give them rain if they don't give me goats? You don't know my people; if I am fool enough to give them rain before they give me the goats, they would let me starve! No, no! let them wait - if they don't bring me supplies of corn, goats, fowls, yams, merissa, and all that I require, not one drop of rain shall ever fall again in Obbo! Impudent brutes are my people! Do you know, they have positively threatened to kill me unless I bring the rain? They shan't have a drop; I will wither the crops, and bring a plague upon their flocks. I'll teach these rascals to insult me!"

With all this bluster, I saw that old Katchiba was in a great dilemma, and that he would give anything for a shower, but that he did not know how to get out of the scrape. It was a common freak of the tribes to sacrifice the rainmaker, should he be unsuccessful. He suddenly altered his tone, and asked, "Have you any rain in your country?" I replied that we had, every now and then. "How do you bring it? Are you a rainmaker?" I told him that no one believed in rainmakers in our country, but that we understood how to bottle lightning (meaning electricity). "I don't keep mine in bottles, but I have a houseful of thunder and lightning," he most coolly replied; "but if you can bottle lightning you must understand rainmaking.

"What do you think of the weather today?" I immediately saw the drift of the cunning old Katchiba; he wanted professional advice. I replied, that he must know all about it, as he was a regular rainmaker. "Of course I do," he answered, "but I want to know what YOU think of it." "Well," I said, "I don't think we shall have any steady rain, but I think we may have a heavy shower in about four days." (I said this as I had observed fleecy clouds gathering daily in the afternoon). "Just my opinion!" said Katchiba, delighted; "in four or perhaps in five days I intend to give them one shower; just one shower; yes, I'll just step down to them now, and tell the rascals, that if they will bring me some goats by this evening, and some corn tomorrow morning, I will give them in four or five days just one shower." To give effect to his declaration he gave several toots upon his magic whistle. "Do you use whistles in your country?" inquired Katchiba. I only replied by giving so shrill and deafening a whistle on my fingers that Katchiba stopped his ears; and relapsing into a smile of admiration he took a glance at the sky from the doorway to see if any sudden effect bad been produced. "Whistle again," he said; and once more I performed like the whistle of a locomotive. "That will do, we shall have it," said the cunning old rainmaker; and proud of having so knowingly obtained "counsel's opinion" on his case, he toddled off to his impatient subjects.

In a few days a sudden storm of rain and violent thunder added to Katchiba's renown, and after the shower, horns were blowing and nogaras were beating in honour of their chief. Entre nous, my whistle was considered infallible.

The natives were busy sowing the new crop just as the last crop was ripening. It did not appear likely that they would reap much for their labour, as the elephants, having an accurate knowledge of the season, visited their fields nightly, and devoured and trampled the greater portion. I had been too ill to think of shooting, as there was no other method than to watch in the tullaboon fields at night; the high grass in which the elephants harboured being impenetrable. Feeling a little better I took my men to the field about a mile from the village, and dug a hole, in which I intended to watch.

That night I took Richarn, and we sat together in our narrow grave. There was no sound throughout the night. I was well wrapped up in a Scotch plaid, but an attack of ague came on, and I shivered as though in Lapland. I had several rifles in the grave; among others the "Baby," that carried a half-pound explosive shell. At about 4 A.M. I heard the distant trumpet of an elephant, and I immediately ordered Richarn to watch, and to report to me their arrival. It was extremely dark, but Richarn presently sank slowly down, and whispered, "Here they are!"

Taking the "Baby," I quietly rose, and listening attentively, I could distinctly hear the elephants tearing off the heads of the tullaboon, and crunching the crisp grain. I could distinguish the dark forms of the herd about thirty paces from me, but much too indistinct for a shot. I stood with my elbows resting on the edge of the hole, and the heavy rifle balanced, waiting for an opportunity. I had a papersight arranged for night shooting, and I several times tried to get the line of an elephant's shoulder, but to no purpose; I could distinguish the sight clearly, but not the elephant. As I was watching the herd I suddenly heard a trumpet close to my left, and I perceived an elephant quickly walking exactly towards my grave. I waited with the rifle at my shoulder until he was within about twelve paces; I then whistled, and he stopped, and turned quickly, exposing his side. Taking the line of the foreleg, I fired at the shoulder. The tremendous flash and smoke of ten drachms of powder completely blinded me, and the sudden reaction of darkness increased the obscurity. I could distinguish nothing; but I heard a heavy fall, and a few moments after I could hear a rustling in the grass as the herd of elephants retreated into the grass jungles. Richarn declared that the elephant had fallen; but I again heard a rustling in the high grass jungle within eighty yards of me, and this sound continued in the same place. I accordingly concluded that the elephant was very badly wounded, and that he could not move from the spot. Nothing could be seen.

At length the birds began to chirp, and the "blacksmith" (as I named one of the first to wake, whose two sharp ringing notes exactly resemble the blows of a hammer upon an anvil) told me that it was nearly daybreak. The grey of morning had just appeared when I heard voices, and I saw Mrs. Baker coming along the field with a party of men, whom she had brought down from the village with knives and axes. She had heard the roar of the heavy rifle, and knowing the "Baby's" scream, and the usual fatal effects, she had considered the elephant as bagged. The natives had also heard the report, and people began to accumulate from all quarters for the sake of the flesh. The elephant was not dead, but was standing about ten yards within the grass jungle; however, in a short time a heavy fall sounded his knell, and the crowd rushed in. He was a fine bull, and before I allowed him to be cut up, I sent for the measuring tape; the result being as follows:

From tip of trunk to fleshy end of tail . . . 26 feet 0.5 inches Height from shoulder to forefoot in a perpendicular line 10 ft 6.5 in Girth of forefoot .. . . . . . . . . . 4 ft 10.25 in Length of one tusk in the curve . . . . . . . 6 ft 6 in Ditto of fellow tusk (el Hadam, the servant) . . . . 5 ft 11 in Weight of tusks, 80 lbs. and 69 lbs. = 149 lbs.

The ridiculous accounts that I have read, stating that the height of elephants attains FIFTEEN feet, is simply laughable ignorance. A difference of a foot in an elephant's height is enormous; he appears a giant among his lesser comrades. Observe the difference between a horse sixteen hands high and a pony of thirteen hands, and the difference of a foot in the height of a quadruped is exemplified. The word being given, the crowd rushed upon the elephant, and about three hundred people were attacking the carcase with knives and lances. About a dozen men were working inside as though in a tunnel; they had chosen this locality as being near to the fat, which was greatly coveted.

A few days later I attempted to set fire to the grass jungle, but it would not burn thoroughly, leaving scorched stems that were rendered still tougher by the fire. On the following evening I took a stroll over the burnt ground to look for game. No elephants had visited the spot; but as I was walking along expecting nothing, up jumped a wild boar and sow from the entrance of a large hole of the Manis, or great scaled anteater. Being thus taken by surprise, the boar very imprudently charged me, and was immediately knocked over dead by a shot through the spine from the little Fletcher rifle, while the left-hand barrel rolled over his companion, who almost immediately recovered and disappeared in the grass jungle; however, there was pork for those who liked it, and I went to the camp and sent a number of natives to bring it home. The Obbo people were delighted, as it was their favourite game, but none of my people would touch the unclean animal. The wild pigs of this country live underground; they take possession of the holes made by the Manis: these they enlarge and form cool and secure retreats.

A bad attack of fever laid me up until the 31st of December. On the first day of January, 1864, I was hardly able to stand, and was nearly worn out at the very time that I required my strength, as we were to start south in a few days.

Although my quinine had been long since exhausted, I had reserved ten grains to enable me to start in case the fever should attack me at the time of departure. I now swallowed my last dose, and on 3d January, I find the following note in my journal: "All ready for a start tomorrow. I trust the year 1864 will bring better luck than the past, that having been the most annoying that I have ever experienced, and full of fever. I hope now to reach Kamrasi's country in a fortnight, and to obtain guides from him direct to the lake. My Latooka, to whom I have been very kind, has absconded: there is no difference in any of these savages; if hungry, they will fawn upon you, and when filled, they will desert. I believe that ten years' residence in the Soudan and this country would spoil an Angel, and would turn the best heart to stone."

It was difficult to procure porters, therefore I left all my effects at my camp in charge of two of my men, and I determined to travel light, without the tent, and to take little beyond ammunition and cooking utensils. Ibrahim left forty-five men in his zareeba, and on the 5th of January we started. Mrs. Baker rode her ox, but my animal being very shy, I ordered him to be driven for about a mile with the others to accustom him to the crowd: not approving of the expedition, he bolted into the high grass with my English saddle, and I never saw him again. In my weak state I had to walk. We had not gone far when a large fly fastened upon Mrs. Baker's ox, just by his tail, the effect of which was to produce so sudden a kick and plunge, that he threw her to the ground and hurt her considerably: she accordingly changed the animal, and rode a splendid ox that Ibrahim very civilly offered. I had to walk to the Atabbi, about eighteen miles, which, although a pleasant stroll when in good health, I found rather fatiguing. We bivouacked on the south bank of the Atabbi.

The next morning, after a walk of about eight miles, I purchased of one of the Turks the best ox that I have ever ridden, at the price of a double-barrelled gun - -it was a great relief to be well mounted, as I was quite unfit for a journey on foot.

At 4.30 P.m. we arrived at one of the villages of Farajoke. The character of the country had entirely changed; instead of the rank and superabundant vegetation of Obbo, we were in a beautiful open country, naturally drained by its undulating character, and abounding in most beautiful low pasturage. Vast herds of cattle belonged to the different villages, but these had all been driven to concealment, as the report had been received that the Turks were approaching. The country was thickly populated, but the natives appeared very mistrustful; the Turks immediately entered the villages, and ransacked the granaries for corn, digging up the yams, and helping themselves to everything as though quite at home. I was on a beautiful grass sward on the gentle slope of a hill: here I arranged to bivouac for the night.

In three days' march from this point through beautiful park-like country, we arrived at the Asua river. The entire route from Farajoke had been a gentle descent, and I found this point of the Asua in lat N. 3 degrees 12 minutes to be 2,875 feet above the sea level, 1,091 feet lower than Farajoke. The river was a hundred and twenty paces broad, and from the bed to the top of the perpendicular banks was about fifteen feet. At this season it was almost dry, and a narrow channel of about six inches deep flowed through the centre of the otherwise exhausted river. The bed was much obstructed by rocks, and the inclination was so rapid that I could readily conceive the impossibility of crossing it during the rains. It formed the great drain of the country, all its waters flowing to the Nile, but during the dry months it was most insignificant. The country between Farajoke and the Asua, although lovely, was very thinly populated, and the only villages that I saw were built upon low hills of bare granite, which lay in huge piles of disjointed fragments.

On arrival at the river, while the men were washing in the clear stream, I took a rifle and strolled along the margin; I shortly observed a herd of the beautiful Mehedehet antelopes feeding upon the rich but low grass of a sandbank in the very centre of the river. Stalking them to within a hundred and twenty paces they obtained my wind, and, ceasing to graze, they gazed intently at me. I was on the high bank among the bushes, and I immediately picked out the biggest, and fired, missing my mark. All dashed away except the animal at which I fired, who stood in uncertainty for a few moments, when the second barrel of the Fletcher 24 rifle knocked him over, striking him through the neck. Hearing the quick double shot, my people came running to the spot, accompanied by a number of the native porters, and were rejoiced to find a good supply of meat; the antelope weighed about five hundred pounds, and was sufficient to afford a good dinner for the whole party.

The Mehedehet is about 13 hands high, with rough, brown hair like the Samber deer of India. Our resting-place was on the dry, rocky bed of the river, close to the edge of the shallow but clear stream that rippled over the uneven surface. Some beautiful tamarind trees afforded a most agreeable shade, and altogether it was a charming place to bivouac. Although at Obbo the grass was not sufficiently dry to burn, in this country it was reduced to a crisp straw, and I immediately set fire to the prairies; the wind was strong, and we had a grand blaze, the flames crackling and leaping about thirty feet high, and sweeping along with so mad a fury that within an hour the entire country was a continuous line of fire. Not a trace of vegetation remained behind; the country appeared as though covered with a pall of black velvet. Returning from my work, I found my camping place well arranged - beds prepared, and a good dinner ready of antelope soup and cutlets. On waking the next morning, I found that the Turks had all disappeared during the night, and that I was alone with my people. It was shortly explained that they had departed to attack some village, to which they were guided by some natives who had accompanied them from Farajoke.

I accordingly took my rifle and strolled along the margin of the river to look for game, accompanied by two of my porters. Although it was a most likely country, being a natural park well timbered, with a river flowing through the midst, there was a great scarcity of wild animals. At length, in crossing a ravine that had stopped the progress of the fire, an antelope (water buck) jumped out of a hollow, and, rushing through the high grass, he exposed himself for an instant in crossing the summit of a bare knoll, and received a ball from the little Fletcher in the hindquarters. Although badly wounded, he was too nimble for my natives, who chased him with their spears for about a quarter of a mile. These fellows tracked him beautifully, and we at length found him hiding in a deep pool in the river, and he was immediately dispatched.

After a long walk, during which I did not obtain another shot, I returned to my resting-place, and, refreshed by a bathe in the cool river, I slept as sound as though in the most luxurious bed in England. On the following morning I went out early, and shot a small species of antelope; and shortly after my return to breakfast, the Turks' party arrived, bringing with them about three hundred head of cattle that they had captured from the Madi tribe. They did not seem at all in good spirits, and I shortly heard that they had lost their standard-bearer, killed in the fight, and that the flag had been in great peril, and had been saved by the courage of a young Bari slave. The ensign was separated from the main party, and was attacked by four natives, who killed the bearer, and snatched away the flag: this would inevitably have been lost, had not the Bari boy of about fifteen shot the foremost native dead with a pistol, and, snatching the flag from his hands, ran with it towards the Turks, some of whom coming up at that instant, the natives did not think it wise to pursue their advantage. A number of slaves had been captured; among others, several young children, one of whom was an infant. These unfortunate women and children, excepting the infant, were all tied by the neck with a long leathern thong, so as to form a living chain, and guards were set over them to prevent escape.

The Bari natives would make good soldiers, as they are far more courageous than most of the savage tribes. The best men among the party of Ibrahim are Baris; among them is a boy named Arnout; he is the drummer, and he once saved his master in a fight by suddenly presenting his drumstick like a pistol at several natives, who had attacked him while unloaded. The natives, seeing the determined attitude of the boy, and thinking that the drumstick was a firearm, ran off. We started at daybreak on 13th January, and, ascending the whole way, we reached Shooa, in latitude 3 degrees 4 minutes. The route throughout had been of the same parklike character, interspersed with occasional hills of fine granite, piled in the enormous blocks so characteristic of that stone.

Shooa was a lovely place. A fine granite mountain ascended in one block in a sheer precipice for about 800 feet from its base, perfectly abrupt on the eastern side, while the other portions of the mountain were covered with fine forest trees, and picturesquely dotted over with villages. This country formed a natural park, remarkably well watered by numerous rivulets, ornamented with fine timber, and interspersed with numerous high rocks of granite, which from a distance produced the effect of ruined castles.

The pasturage was of a superior quality, and of the same description as that of Farajoke. The country being undulating, there was a small brook in every valley that formed a natural drain. Accordingly, the more elevated land was remarkably dry and healthy. On arrival at the foot of the abrupt mountain, we camped beneath an immense india-rubber tree, that afforded a delightful shade, from which elevated spot we had a superb view of the surrounding country, and could see the position of Debono's camp, about twenty-five miles to the west by north, at the foot of the Faloro hills.

By Casella's thermometer, I determined the altitude of Shooa to be 3,877 feet - 1,002 feet above the Asua river, and 89 feet lower than Farajoke. These observations of the thermometer agreed with the natural appearance of the country, the Asua river forming the main drain in a deep valley, into which innumerable rivulets convey the drainage from both north and south. Accordingly, the Asua, receiving the Atabbi river, which is the main drain of the western face of the Madi mountains, and the entire drainage of the Madi and Shooa countries, together with that of extensive countries to the east of Shooa, including the rivers Chombi and Udat, from Lira and Umiro, it becomes a tremendous torrent so long as the rains continue, and conveys a grand volume of water to the Nile; but the inclination of all these countries tending rapidly to the northwest, the bed of the Asua river partakes of the general incline, and so quickly empties after the cessation of the rains that it becomes nil as a river. By the mean of several observations I determined the latitude of Shooa 3 degrees 04 minutes, longitude 32 degrees 04 minutes E.

We were now about twelve miles south of Debono's outpost, Faloro. The whole of the Shooa country was assumed to belong to Mahommed Wat-el-Mek, the vakeel of Debono, and we had passed the ashes of several villages that had been burnt and plundered by these people between Farajoke and this point; the entire country had been laid waste.

There was no great chief at Shooa; each village had a separate headman; formerly the population had occupied the lower ground, but since the Turks had been established at Faloro and had plundered the neighbouring tribes, the natives had forsaken their villages and had located themselves among the mountains for security. It was the intention of Ibrahim to break through the rules accepted by the White Nile traders, and to establish himself at Shooa, which, although claimed by Debono's people, would form an excellent point d'appui for operations towards the unknown south.

Shooa was "flowing with milk and honey;" fowls, butter, goats, were in abundance and ridiculously cheap; beads were of great value, as few had ever reached that country. The women flocked to see Mrs. Baker, bringing presents of milk and flour, and receiving beads and bracelets in return. The people were precisely the same as those of Obbo and Farajoke in language and appearance, exceedingly mild in their manner, and anxious to be on good terms.

The cultivation in this country was superior to anything that I had seen farther north; large quantities of sesame were grown and carefully harvested, the crop being gathered and arranged in oblong frames about twenty feet long by twelve high. These were inclined at an angle of about sixty - the pods of the sesame plants on one face, so that the frames resembled enormous brushes. In this manner the crop was dried previous to being stored in the granaries. Of the latter there were two kinds - -the wicker-work smeared with cow dung, supported on four posts, with a thatched roof; and a simple contrivance by fixing a stout pole about twenty feet long perpendicularly in the earth. About four feet from the ground a bundle of strong and long reeds are tied tightly round the pole; hoops of wicker-work are then bound round them at intervals until they assume the form of an inverted umbrella half expanded; this being filled with grain, fresh reeds are added, until the work has extended to within a few feet of the top of the pole; the whole is then capped with reeds securely strapped: the entire granary has the appearance of a cigar, but thicker in proportion about the middle.

Two days after our arrival at Shooa, the whole of our Obbo porters absconded: they had heard that we were bound for Kamrasi's country, and having received exaggerated accounts of his power from the Shooa people, they had determined upon retreat: thus we were at once unable to proceed, unless we could procure porters from Shooa. This was exceedingly difficult, as Kamrasi was well known here, and was not loved. His country was known as "Quanda," and I at once recognised the corruption of Speke's "Uganda." The slave woman, "Bacheeta," who had formerly given me in Obbo so much information concerning Kamrasi's country, was to be our interpreter; but we also had the luck to discover a lad who had formerly been employed by Mahommed in Faloro, who also spoke the language of Quanda, and had learnt a little Arabic. I now discovered that the slave woman Bacheeta had formerly been in the service of a chief named Sali, who had been killed by Kamrasi. Sali was a friend of Rionga (Kamrasi's greatest enemy), and I had been warned by Speke not to set foot upon Rionga's territory, or all travelling in Unyoro would be cut off. I plainly saw that Bacheeta was in favour of Rionga, as a friend of the murdered Sali, by whom she had had two children, and that she would most likely tamper with the guide, and that we should be led to Rionga instead of to Kamrasi. There were "wheels within wheels." It was now reported that in the past year, immediately after the departure of Speke and Grant from Gondokoro, when Debono's people had left me in the manner already described, they had marched direct to Rionga, allied themselves to him, crossed the Nile with his people, and had attacked Kamrasi's country, killing about three hundred of his men, and capturing many slaves. I now understood why they had deceived me at Gondokoro; they had obtained information of the country from Speke's people, and had made use of it by immediately attacking Kamrasi in conjunction with Rionga.

This would be a pleasant introduction for me on entering Unyoro, as almost immediately after the departure of Speke and Grant, Kamrasi had been invaded by the very people into whose hands his messengers had delivered them, when they were guided from Unyoro to the Turks' station at Faloro; he would naturally have considered that the Turks had been sent by Speke to attack him; thus the road appeared closed to all exploration, through the atrocities of Debono's people.

Many of Ibrahim's men, at hearing this intelligence, refused to proceed to Unyoro. Fortunately for me, Ibrahim had been extremely unlucky in procuring ivory; the year had almost passed away, and he had a mere nothing with which to return to Gondokoro. I impressed upon him how enraged Koorshid would be should he return with such a trifle; already his own men declared that he was neglecting razzias, because he was to receive a present from me if we reached Unyoro; this they would report to his master (Koorshid), and it would be believed should he fail in securing ivory. I guaranteed him 100 cantars (10,000 lbs.) if he would push on at all hazards with me to Kamrasi, and secure me porters from Shooa. Ibrahim behaved remarkably well. For some time past I had acquired a great influence over him, and he depended so thoroughly upon my opinion that he declared himself ready to do all that I suggested. Accordingly I desired him to call his men together, and to leave in Shooa all those who were disinclined to follow us.

At once I arranged for a start, lest some fresh idea should enter the ever-suspicious brains of our followers, and mar the expedition.

It was difficult to procure porters, and I abandoned all that was not indispensable - our last few pounds of rice and coffee, and even the great sponging-bath, that emblem of civilization that had been clung to even when the tent had been left behind.

On the 18th January, 1864, we left Shooa. The pure air of that country had invigorated us, and I was so improved in strength, that I enjoyed the excitement of the launch into unknown lands. The Turks knew nothing of the route south, and I accordingly took the lead of the entire party. I had come to a distinct understanding with Ibrahim that Kamrasi's country should belong to ME; not an act of felony would be permitted; all were to be under my government, and I would insure him at least 100 cantars of tusks.

Eight miles of agreeable march through the usual parklike country brought us to the village of Fatiko, situated upon a splendid plateau of rock upon elevated ground with beautiful granite cliffs, bordering a level tableland of fine grass that would have formed a racecourse. The high rocks were covered with natives, perched upon the outline like a flock of ravens.

We halted to rest under some fine trees growing among large isolated blocks of granite and gneiss. In a short time the natives assembled around us: they were wonderfully friendly, and insisted upon a personal introduction to both myself and Mrs. Baker. We were thus compelled to hold a levee; not the passive and cold ceremony of Europe, but a most active undertaking, as each native that was introduced performed the salaam of his country, by seizing both my hands and raising my arms three times to their full stretch above my head. After about one hundred Fatikos had been thus gratified by our submission to this infliction, and our arms had been subjected to at least three hundred stretches each, I gave the order to saddle the oxen immediately, and we escaped a further proof of Fatiko affection that was already preparing, as masses of natives were streaming down the rocks hurrying to be introduced. Notwithstanding the fatigue of the ceremony, I took a great fancy to these poor people: they had prepared a quantity of merissa and a sheep for our lunch, which they begged us to remain and enjoy before we started; but the pumping action of half a village not yet gratified by a presentation was too much; and, mounting our oxen, with aching shoulders we bade adieu to Fatiko.

Descending the picturesque rocky hill of Fatiko, we entered upon a totally distinct country. We had now before us an interminable sea of prairies, covering to the horizon a series of gentle undulations inclining from east to west. There were no trees except the dolape palms; these were scattered at long intervals in the bright yellow surface of high grass. The path was narrow, but good, and after an hour's march we halted for the night on the banks of a deep and clear stream, the Un-y-ame; - this stream is perennial, and receiving many rivulets from Shooa, it forms a considerable torrent during the rainy season, and joins the Nile in N. lat. 3 degrees 32 minutes at the limit reached by Signor Miani, 1859, the first traveller who ever attained a point so far south in Nile explorations from Egypt. There was no wood for fires, neither dung of animals; thus without fuel we went supperless to bed. Although the sun was painfully hot during the day, the nights were so cold (about 55 degrees F) that we could hardly sleep.

For two days we marched through high dry grass, (about ten feet), when a clear night allowed an observation, and the meridian altitude of Capella gave latitude 2 degrees 45 minutes 37 seconds. In this interminable sea of prairie it was interesting to watch our progress south. On the following day our guide lost the road; a large herd of elephants had obscured it by trampling hundreds of paths in all directions. The wind was strong from the north, and I proposed to clear the country to the south by firing the prairies. There were numerous deep swamps in the bottoms between the undulations, and upon arrival at one of these green dells we fired the grass on the opposite side. In a few minutes it roared before us, and we enjoyed the grand sight of the boundless prairies blazing like infernal regions, and rapidly clearing a path south. Flocks of buzzards and the beautiful varieties of flycatchers thronged to the dense smoke to prey upon the innumerable insects that endeavoured to escape from the approaching fire.

In about an hour we marched over the black and smoking ground, every now and then meeting dead stumps of palm trees blazing; until we at length reached another swamp. There the fire had terminated in its course south, being stopped by the high green reeds, and it was raging to the east and west. Again the tedious operation had to be performed, and the grass was fired in many places on the opposite side of the swamp, while we waited until the cleared way was sufficiently cool to allow the march. We were perfectly black, as the wind brought showers of ashes that fell like snow, but turned us into Ethiopians. I had led the way on foot from the hour we left Fatiko, as, the country being uninhabited for five days' march between that place and Kamrasi's, the men had more faith in my steering by the compass than they had in the native guide. I felt sure that we were being deceived, and that the woman Bacheeta had directed the guide to take us to Rionga's. Accordingly that night, when Canopus was in the meridian, I asked our conductor to point by a star the direction of Karuma Falls. He immediately pointed to Canopus, which I knew by Speke's map should be the direction of Rionga's islands, and I charged him with the deceit. He appeared very much astonished, and asked me "why I wanted a guide if I knew the way?" confessing that Karuma Falls were "a little to the east of the star." I thanked Speke and Grant at that moment, and upon many other occasions, for the map they had so generously given me! It has been my greatest satisfaction to have completed their great discovery, and to bear testimony to the correctness of their map and general observations.

The march was exceedingly fatiguing: there was a swamp at least every half hour during the day, at each of which we had the greatest difficulty in driving the oxen, who were above the girths in mud. One swamp was so deep that we had to carry the luggage piecemeal on an angarep by about twelve men, and my wife being subjected to the same operation was too heavy, and the people returned with her as impracticable. I accordingly volunteered for service, and carried her on my back; but when in the middle of the swamp, the tenacious bottom gave way, and I sank, and remained immoveably fixed, while she floundered froglike in the muddy water. I was extricated by the united efforts of several men, and she was landed by being dragged through the swamp. We marched for upwards of ten hours per day, so great were the delays in crossing the morasses and in clearing off the grass jungle by burning.

On the fourth day we left the prairies, and entered a noble forest; this was also so choked with high grass that it was impossible to proceed without burning the country in advance. There had been no semblance of a path for some time; and the only signs of game that we had seen were the tracks of elephants and a large herd of buffaloes, the fire having scared all wild animals from the neighbourhood. An attack of fever seized me suddenly, and I was obliged to lie down for four or five hours under a tree until the fit had passed away, when, weak and good for nothing, I again mounted my ox and rode on. On the 22d January, from an elevated position in the forest at sunrise, we saw a cloud of fog hanging in a distant valley, which betokened the presence of the Somerset river. The guide assured us that we should reach the river that day. I extract the note from my journal on that occasion:

"Marched, 6h. 20m., reaching the Somerset river, or Victoria White Nile. I never made so tedious a journey, owing to the delays of grass, streams, and deep swamps, but since we gained the forest these obstacles were not so numerous. Many tracks of elephants, rhinoceros, and buffaloes; but we saw nothing. Halted about eighty feet above the river; altitude above sea level, by observation, 3,864 ft. I went to the river to see if the other side was inhabited; saw two villages on an island; the natives came across in a canoe, bringing the BROTHER OF RIONGA with them; the guide, as I had feared during the journey, has deceived us, and taken us direct to Rionga's country. On the north side the river all is uninhabited forest, full of buffalo and elephant pitfalls, into which three of our cattle have already fallen, including my beautiful riding ox, which is thus so sprained as to be rendered useless. "The natives at first supposed we were Mahommed Wat-el-Mek's people, but finding their mistake they would give no information, merely saying that the lake was not far from here. They said 'they were friends of Mahommed's people who attacked Kamrasi, and Rionga being his enemy became their ally.' I must now be very careful, lest the news should reach Kamrasi that I am in Rionga's country, which would cut off all chance of travelling in Unyoro. "The slave woman, Bacheeta, secretly instructed the guide to lead us to Rionga instead of to Kamrasi, precisely as I had suspected. The Karuma Falls are a day's march east of this, at which point we must cross the river. Obtained a clear observation of Capella, meridian altitude showing latitude 2 degrees 18 minutes N."

We could get no supplies from Rionga's people, who returned to their island after their conference with Bacheeta, promising to send us some plantains and a basket of flour; but upon gaining their secure retreat they shouted, "that we might go to Kamrasi if we liked, but that we should receive no assistance from them." Early in the morning we started for Karuma. This part of the forest was perfectly open, as the grass had been burnt by the natives about three weeks ago, and the young shoots of the vines were appearing from the scorched roots; among other plants was an abundance of the prickly asparagus, of which I collected a basketful. Nothing could exceed the beauty of the march. Our course through the noble forest was parallel with the river, that roared beneath us on our right in a succession of rapids and falls between high cliffs covered with groves of bananas and varieties of palms, including the graceful wild date - -the certain sign of either marsh or river. The Victoria Nile or Somerset river was about 150 yards wide; the cliffs on the south side were higher than those upon the north, being about 150 feet above the river. These heights were thronged with natives, who had collected from the numerous villages that ornamented the cliffs situated among groves of plantains; they were armed with spears and shields; the population ran parallel to our line of march, shouting and gesticulating as though daring us to cross the river.

After a most enjoyable march through the exciting scene of the glorious river crashing over innumerable falls - and in many places ornamented with rocky islands, upon which were villages and plantain groves - we at length approached the Karuma Falls, close to the village of Atada above the ferry. The heights were crowded with natives, and a canoe was sent across to within parleying distance of our side, as the roar of the rapids prevented our voices from being heard except at a short distance. Bacheeta now explained, that SPEKE'S BROTHER had arrived from his country to pay Kamrasi a visit, and had brought him valuable presents."

"Why has he brought so many men with him?" inquired the people from the canoe.

"There are so many presents for the M'Kamma (King) that he has many men to carry them," shouted Bacheeta.

"Let us look at him!" cried the headman in the boat: having prepared for the introduction by changing my clothes in a grove of plantains for my dressing room, and altering my costume to a tweed suit, something similar to that worn by Speke, I climbed up a high and almost perpendicular rock that formed a natural pinnacle on the face of the cliff, and, waving my cap to the crowd on the opposite side, I looked almost as imposing as Nelson in Trafalgar Square.

I instructed Bacheeta, who climbed up the giddy height after me, to shout to the people that an English lady, my wife, had also arrived, and that we wished immediately to be presented to the king and his family, as we had come to thank him for his kind treatment of Speke and Grant, who had arrived safe in their own county. Upon this being explained and repeated several times, the canoe approached the shore.

I ordered all our people to retire, and to conceal themselves among the plantains, that the natives might not be startled by so imposing a force, while Mrs. Baker and I advanced alone to meet Kamrasi's people, who were men of some importance. Upon landing through the high reeds, they immediately recognized the similarity of my beard and general complexion to that of Speke; and their welcome was at once displayed by the most extravagant dancing and gesticulating with lances and shields, as though intending to attack, rushing at me with the points of their lances thrust close to my face, and shouting and singing in great excitement.

I made each of them a present of a bead necklace, and explained to them my wish that there should be no delay in my presentation to Kamrasi, as Speke had complained that he bad been kept waiting fifteen days before the king had condescended to see him; that, if this occurred, no Englishman would ever visit him, as such a reception would be considered an insult. The headman replied that he felt sure I was not an impostor; but that very shortly after the departure of Speke and Grant in the previous year, a number of people had arrived in their name, introducing themselves as their greatest friends: they had been ferried across the river, and well received by Kamrasi's orders, and had been presented with ivory, slaves, and leopard skins, as tokens of friendship; but they had departed, and suddenly returned with Rionga's people, and had attacked the village in which they had been so well received; and upon the country being assembled to resist them, about three hundred of Kamrasi's men had been killed in the fight. The king had therefore given orders that, upon pain of death, no stranger should cross the river. He continued: that when they saw our people marching along the bank of the river, they imagined them to be the same party that had attacked them formerly, and they were prepared to resist them, and had sent on a messenger to Kamrasi, who was three days' march from Karuma, at his capital M'rooli; until they received a reply, it would be impossible to allow us to enter the country. He promised to despatch another messenger immediately to inform the king who we were, but that we must certainly wait until his return. I explained that we had nothing to eat, and that it would be very inconvenient to remain in such a spot; that I considered the suspicion displayed was exceedingly unfair, as they must see that my wife and I were white people like Speke and Grant, whereas those who had deceived them were of a totally different race, all being either black or brown.

I told him that it did not much matter; that I had very beautiful presents intended for Kamrasi; but that another great king would be only too glad to accept them, without throwing obstacles in my way. I should accordingly return with my presents.

At the same time I ordered a handsome Persian carpet, about fifteen feet square, to be displayed as one of the presents intended for the king. The gorgeous colours, as the carpet was unfolded, produced a general exclamation before the effect of astonishment wore off, I had a basket unpacked, and displayed upon a cloth a heap of superb necklaces, that we had prepared while at Obbo, of the choicest beads, many as large as marbles, and glittering with every colour of the rainbow. The garden of jewels of Aladdin's wonderful lamp could not have produced more enticing fruit. Beads were extremely rare in Kamrasi's land; the few that existed had arrived from Zanzibar, and all that I exhibited were entirely new varieties. I explained that I had many other presents, but that it was not necessary to unpack them, as we were about to return with them to visit another king, who lived some days' journey distant. "Don't go; don't go away," said the headman and his companions. "Kamrasi will - ."

Here an unmistakeable pantomimic action explained their meaning better than words; throwing their heads well back, they sawed across their throats with their forefingers, making horrible grimaces, indicative of the cutting of throats. I could not resist laughing at the terror that my threat of returning with the presents had created, they explained, that Kamrasi would not only kill them, but would destroy the entire village of Atada should we return without visiting him, but that he would perhaps punish them in precisely the same manner should they ferry us across without special orders. "Please yourselves," I replied; "if my party is not ferried across by the time the sum reaches that spot on the heavens (pointing to the position it would occupy at about 3 P.M.), I shall return." In a state of great excitement they promised to hold a conference on the other side, and to see what arrangements could be made. They returned to Atada, leaving the whole party, including Ibrahim, exceedingly disconcerted - having nothing to eat, an impassable river before them, and five days' march of uninhabited wilderness in their rear.

Karuma Falls were about three hundred yards to our left as we faced Atada; they were very insignificant, not exceeding five feet in height, but curiously regular, as a ridge of rock over which they fell extended like a wall across the river. The falls were exactly at the bend of the river, which, from that point, turned suddenly to the west. The whole day passed in shouting and gesticulating our peaceful intentions to the crowd assembled on the heights on the opposite side of the river, but the boat did not return until long after the time appointed; even then the natives would only approach sufficiently near to be heard, but nothing would induce them to land. They explained, that there was a division of opinion among the people on the other side; some were in favour of receiving us, but the greater number were of opinion that we intended hostilities; therefore we must wait until orders could be sent from the king.

To assure the people of our peaceful intentions, I begged them to take Mrs. Baker and myself ALONE, and to leave the armed party on this side of the river until a reply should be received from Kamrasi. At this suggestion the boat immediately returned to the other side.

The day passed away, and as the sun set we perceived the canoe again paddling across the river; this time it approached direct, and the same people landed that had received the necklaces in the morning. They said that they had held a conference with the headman, and that they had agreed to receive my wife and myself, but no other person. I replied, that my servants must accompany us, as we were quite as great personages as Kamrasi, and could not possibly travel without attendants. To this they demurred; therefore I dropped the subject, and proposed to load the canoe with all the presents intended for Kamrasi. There was no objection to this, and I ordered Richarn, Saat, and Ibrahim to get into the canoe to stow away the luggage as it should be handed to them, but on no account to leave the boat. I had already prepared everything in readiness; and a bundle of rifles tied up in a large blanket, and 500 rounds of ball cartridge, were unconsciously received on board as PRESENTS. I had instructed Ibrahim to accompany us as my servant, as he was better than most of the men in the event of a row; and I had given orders, that in case of a preconcerted signal being given, the whole force should swim the river, supporting themselves and guns upon bundles of papyrus rush.

The men thought us perfectly mad, and declared that we should be murdered immediately when on the other side; however, they prepared for crossing the river in case of treachery.

At the last moment, when the boat was about to leave the shore, two of the best men jumped in with their guns; however, the natives positively refused to start; therefore, to avoid suspicion, I ordered them to retire, but I left word that on the morrow I would send the canoe across with supplies, and that one or two men should endeavour to accompany the boat to our side on every trip.

It was quite dark when we started. The canoe was formed of a large hollow tree, capable of holding twenty people, and the natives paddled us across the rapid current just below the falls. A large fire was blazing upon the opposite shore, on a level with the river, to guide us to the landing place. Gliding through a narrow passage in the reeds, we touched the shore and landed upon a slippery rock, close to the fire, amidst a crowd of people, who immediately struck up a deafening welcome with horns and flageolets, and marched us up the steep face of the rocky cliff through a dark grove of bananas. Torches led the way, followed by a long file of spearmen; then came the noisy band and ourselves - I towing my wife up the precipitous path, while my few attendants followed behind with a number of natives who had volunteered to carry the luggage.

On arrival at the top of the cliff, we were about 180 feet above the river, and after a walk of about a quarter of a mile, we were triumphantly led into the heart of the village, and halted in a small courtyard in front of the headman's residence.

Keedja waited to receive us by a blazing fire. Not having had anything to eat, we were uncommonly hungry, and to our great delight a basketful of ripe plantains was presented to us; these were the first that I had seen for many years. A gourd bottle of plantain wine was offered, and immediately emptied; it resembled extremely poor cider. We were now surrounded by a mass of natives, no longer the naked savages to whom we had been accustomed, but well-dressed men, wearing robes of bark cloth, arranged in various fashions, generally like the Arab "tope," or the Roman toga. Several of the headmen now explained to us the atrocious treachery of Debono's men, who had been welcomed as friends of Speke and Grant, but who had repaid the hospitality by plundering and massacreing their hosts. I assured them that no one would be more wroth than Speke when I should make him aware of the manner in which his name had been used, and that I should make a point of reporting the circumstance to the British Government. At the same time I advised them not to trust any but white people, should others arrive in my name, or in those of Speke and Grant. I upheld their character as that of Englishmen, and I begged them to state "if ever they had deceived them?" They replied, that "there could not be better men." I answered, "You MUST trust me, as I trust entirely in you, and have placed myself in your hands; but if you have ever had cause to mistrust a white man, kill me at once! - either kill me, or trust in me; but let there be no suspicions."

They seemed much pleased with the conversation, and a man stepped forward and showed me a small string of blue beads that Speke had given him for ferrying him across the river. This little souvenir of my old friend was most interesting; after a year's wandering and many difficulties, this was the first time that I had actually come upon his track. Many people told me that they had known Speke and Grant; the former bore the name of "Mollegge" (the bearded one), while Grant had been named "Masanga" (the elephant's tusk), owing to his height. The latter had been wounded at Lucknow during the Indian mutiny, and I spoke to the people of the loss of his finger; this crowned my success, as they knew without doubt that I had seen him. It was late, therefore I begged the crowd to depart, but to send a messenger the first thing in the morning to inform Kamrasi who we were, and to beg him to permit us to visit him without loss of time.

A bundle of straw was laid on the ground for Mrs. Baker and myself, and, in lieu of other beds, the ground was our resting place. It was bitterly cold that night, as the guns were packed up in the large blanket, and, not wishing to expose them, we were contented with a Scotch plaid each. Ibrahim, Saat, and Richarn watched by turns. On the following morning an immense crowd of native thronged to see us. There was a very beautiful tree about a hundred yards from the village, capable of shading upwards of a thousand men, and I proposed that we should sit beneath this protection and hold a conference. The headman of the village gave us a large hut with a grand doorway of about seven feet high, of which my wife took possession, while I joined the crowd at the tree. There were about six hundred men seated respectfully on the ground around me, while I sat with my back to the huge knotty trunk, with Ibrahim and Richarn at a few paces distant.

The subject of conversation was merely a repetition that of the preceding night, with the simple addition some questions respecting the lake. Not a man would give the slightest information; the only reply, upon my forcing the question, was the pantomime already described, by passing the forefinger across the throat, and exclaiming "Kamrasi!" The entire population was tongue-locked.

I tried the children; to no purpose, they were all dumb. White-headed old men I questioned as to the distance of the lake from this point: they replied, "We are children, ask the old people who know the country." Never was freemasonry more secret than the land of Unyoro. It was useless to persevere. I therefore changed the subject by saying that our people were starving on the other side, and that provisions must be sent immediately. In all savage countries the most trifling demand requires much talking. They said that provisions were scarce, and that until Kamrasi should give the order, they could give no supplies. Understanding most thoroughly the natural instincts of the natives, I told them that I must send the canoe across to fetch three oxen that I wished to slaughter. The bait took at once, and several men ran for the canoe, and we sent one of our black women across with a message to the people that three men, with their guns and ammunition, were to accompany the canoe and guide three oxen across by swimming them with ropes tied to their horns. These were the riding oxen of some of the men that it was necessary to slaughter, to exchange the flesh for flour and other supplies.

Hardly had the few boatmen departed, than some one shouted suddenly, and the entire crowd sprang to their feet and rushed towards the hut where I had left Mrs. Baker. For the moment I thought that the hut was on fire, and I joined the crowd and arrived at the doorway, where I found a tremendous press to see some extraordinary sight. Everyone was squeezing for the best place; and, driving them on one side, I found the wonder that had excited their curiosity. The hut being very dark, my wife had employed her solitude during my conference with the natives in dressing her hair at the doorway, which, being very long and blonde, was suddenly noticed by some natives - a shout was given, the rush described had taken place, and the hut was literally mobbed by the crowd of savages eager to see the extraordinary novelty. The Gorilla would not make a greater stir in London streets than we appeared to create at Atada.

The oxen shortly arrived; one was immediately killed, and the flesh divided into numerous small portions arranged upon the hide.

Blonde hair and white people immediately lost their attractions, and the crowd turned their attention to beef - we gave them to understand that we required flour, beans, and sweet potatoes in exchange.

The market soon went briskly, and whole rows of girls and women arrived, bringing baskets filled with the desired provisions. The women were neatly dressed in short petticoats with a double skirt-many exposed the bosom, while others wore a piece of bark cloth arranged as a plaid across the chest and shoulders. This cloth is the produce of a species of fig tree, the bark of which is stripped off in large pieces and then soaked in water and beaten with a mallet: in appearance it much resembles corduroy, and is the colour of tanned leather; the finer qualities are peculiarly soft to the touch, as though of woven cotton. Every garden is full of this species of tree, as their cultivation is necessary for the supply of clothing; when a man takes a wife he plants a certain number of trees, that are to be the tailors of the expected family.

The market being closed, the canoe was laden with provisions, and sent across to our hungry people on the other side the river.

The difference between the Unyoro people and the tribes we had hitherto seen was most striking. On the north side of the river the natives were either stark naked, or wore a mere apology for clothing in the shape of a skin slung across their shoulders: the river appeared to be the limit of utter savagedom, and the people of Unyoro considered the indecency of nakedness precisely in the same light as among Europeans.

The northern district of Unyoro at Karuma is called Chopi, the language being the same as the Madi, and different to the southern and central portions of the kingdom. The people are distinct in their type, but they have the woolly hair of negroes, like all other tribes of the White Nile.

By astronomical observation I determined the latitude of Atada at Karuma Falls, 2 degrees 15 minutes; and by Casella's thermometer, the altitude of the river level above the sea 3,996 feet.

After the disgusting naked tribes that we had been travelling amongst for more than twelve months, it was a delightful change to find ourselves in comparative civilization: this was evinced not only in the decency of clothing, but also in the manufactures of the country. The blacksmiths were exceedingly clever, and used iron hammers instead of stone; they drew fine wire from the thick copper and brass wire that they received from Zanzibar; their bellows were the same as those used by the more savage tribes - but the greatest proof of their superior civilization was exhibited in their pottery.

Nearly all savages have some idea of earthenware; but the scale of advancement of a country between savagedom and civilization may generally be determined by the example of its pottery. The Chinese, who were as civilized as they are at the present day at a period when the English were barbarians, were ever celebrated for the manufacture of porcelain, and the difference between savages and civilized countries is always thus exemplified; the savage makes earthenware, but the civilized make porcelain - thus the gradations from the rudest earthenware will mark the improvement in the scale of civilization. The prime utensil of the African savage is the gourd; the shell of which is the bowl presented to him by nature as the first idea from which he is to model. Nature, adapting herself to the requirements of animals and man, appears in these savage countries to yield abundantly much that savage man can want. Gourds with exceedingly strong shells not only grow wild, which if divided in halves afford bowls, but great and quaint varieties form natural bottles of all sizes, from the tiny phial to the demijohn containing five gallons. The most savage tribes content themselves with the productions of nature, confining their manufacture to a coarse and half-baked jar for carrying water; but the semi-savage, like those of Unyoro, affords an example of the first step towards manufacturing art, by the fact of COPYING FROM NATURE: the utter savage makes use of nature - the gourd is his utensil; and the more advanced natives of Unyoro adopt it as the model for their pottery. They make a fine quality of jet black earthenware, producing excellent tobacco-pipes most finely worked in imitation of the small egg-shaped gourd; of the same earthenware they make extremely pretty bowls, and also bottles copied from the varieties of the bottle gourds: thus, in this humble art, we see the first effort of the human mind in manufactures, in taking nature for a model; precisely as the beautiful Corinthian capital originated in a design from a basket of flowers.

A few extracts from my journal will describe the delay at Atada: -

"JAN. 26th, 1864. - The huts are very large, about 20 feet in diameter, made entirely of reeds and straw, and very lofty, looking in the interior like huge inverted baskets, beehive shaped, very different to the dog-kennels of the more northern tribes. We received a message today that we were not to expect Kamrasi, as 'great men were never in a hurry to pay visits.' None of the principal chiefs have yet appeared. Kidgwiga is expected today; but people are flocking in from the country to see the white lady. It is very trying to the patience to wait here until it pleases these almighty niggers to permit our people to cross the river."

"JAN. 27th. - Time passing fruitlessly while every day is valuable. The rains will, I fear, commence before my work is completed; and the Asua river, if flooded, will cut off my return to Gondokoro. In this district there is a large population and extensive cultivation. There are many trees resembling the Vacoua of Mauritius, but the leaves are of a different texture, producing a species of flax. Every day there is a report that the headman, sent by Kamrasi, is on the road; but I see no signs of him."

"JAN. 28th. - Reports brought that Kamrasi has sent his headman with a large force, including some of Speke's deserters. They are to inspect me, and report whether I am really a white man and an Englishman. If so, I believe we are to proceed; if not, I suppose we are to be exterminated. Lest there should be any mistake I have taken all necessary precautions; but, having only eight men on this side the river, I shall be certain to lose my baggage in the event of a disturbance, as no one could transport it to the canoe."

"JAN. 29th. - Plantains, sweet potatoes, and eggs supplied in great quantities. The natives are much amused at our trying the eggs in water before purchase. Plantains, three for one small bead. The headman is expected today. A polite message arrived last night from Kamrasi inviting us to his capital, and apologizing for being unable to come in person. This morning the force, sent by Kamrasi, is reported to be within an hour's march of Atada. "In midday the headman arrived with a great number of men, accompanied by three of Speke's deserters, one of whom has been created a chief by Kamrasi, and presented with two wives.

"I received them standing; and after thorough inspection I was pronounced to be 'Speke's own brother,' and all were satisfied. However, the business was not yet over: plenty of talk, and another delay of four days, was declared necessary until the king should reply to the satisfactory message about to be sent. Losing all patience, I stormed, declaring Kamrasi to be mere dust; while a white man was a king in comparison. I ordered all my luggage to be conveyed immediately to the canoe, and declared that I would return immediately to my own country; that I did not wish to see any one so utterly devoid of manners as Kamrasi, and that no other white man would ever visit his kingdom.

"The effect was magical! I rose hastily to depart. The chiefs implored, declaring that Kamrasi would kill them all if I retreated: to prevent which misfortune they secretly instructed the canoe to be removed. I was in a great rage; and about 400 natives, who were present, scattered in all quarters, thinking that there would be a serious quarrel. I told the chiefs that nothing should stop me, and that I would seize the canoe by force unless my whole party should be brought over from the opposite side that instant. This was agreed upon. One of Ibrahim's men exchanged and drank blood from the arm of Speke's deserter, who was Kamrasi's representative; and peace thus firmly established, several canoes were at once employed, and sixty of our men were brought across the river before sunset. The natives had nevertheless taken the precaution to send all their women away from the village."

"JAN. 30th. - This morning all remaining men and baggage were brought across the river, and supplies were brought in large quantities for sale. We are to march tomorrow direct to Kamrasi's capital; they say he will give me a guide to the lake.

"The natives of this country are particularly neat in all they do; they never bring anything to sell unless carefully packed in the neatest parcels, generally formed of the bark of the plantain, and sometimes of the inner portions of reeds stripped into snow-white stalks, which are bound round the parcels with the utmost care. Should the plantain cider, 'maroua,' be brought in a jar, the mouth is neatly covered with a fringe-like mat of these clean white rushes split into shreds. Not even tobacco is brought for sale unless most carefully packed. During a journey, a pretty, bottle-shaped, long-necked gourd is carried with a store of plantain cider: the mouth of the bottle is stopped with a bundle of the white rush shreds, through which a reed is inserted that reaches to the bottom: thus the drink can be sucked up during the march without the necessity of halting; nor is it possible to spill it by the movement of walking.

"The natives prepare the skins of goats very beautifully, making them as soft as chamois leather; these they cut into squares, and sew together as neatly as would be effected by a European tailor, converting them into mantles which are prized far more highly than bark cloth, on account of their durability: they manufacture their own needles, not by boring the eye, but by sharpening the end into a fine point and turning it over, the extremity being hammered into a small cut in the body of the needle to prevent it from catching.

"Clothes of all kinds are in great demand here, and would be accepted to any amount in exchange for ivory. Beads are extremely valuable, and would purchase ivory in large quantities, but the country would, in a few years, become overstocked. Clothes being perishable articles would always be in demand to supply those worn out; but beads, being imperishable, very soon glut the market. Here is, as I had always anticipated, an opportunity for commencing legitimate trade."

"JAN. 31st. - Throngs of natives arrived to carry our luggage GRATIS by the king's orders. Started at 7 A.M. and marched ten miles and a half parallel with the Nile, south; the country thickly populated, and much cultivated with sesame, sweet potatoes, beans, tullaboon, dhurra, Indian corn, and plantains.

"The native porters relieved each other at every village, fresh men being always in readiness on the road. The river is here on a level with the country, having no high banks; thus there is a great fall from Karuma towards the west. Halted in a grove of plantains near a village. The plantains of this country are much higher than those of Ceylon, and the stems are black, rising to 25 or 30 feet. The chief of the district came to meet us, and insisted upon our remaining at his village today and tomorrow to 'eat and drink,' or Kamrasi would kill him; thus we are delayed when time is precious. The chief's name is 'Matta-Goomi.' There is now no secret about the lake. Both he and all the natives say that the Luta N'zige lake is larger than the Victoria N'yanza, and that both lakes are fed by rivers from the great mountain Bartooma. Is that mountain the M'fumbiro of Speke? the difference of name being local. According to the position of the mountain pointed out by the chief, it bears from this spot S. 45 degrees W. Latitude of this place by meridian altitude of Capella, 2 degrees 5 minutes 32 seconds.

"F. (my wife) taken seriously ill with bilious fever."

"FEB. 1st. - F. dreadfully ill; all the natives have turned out of their villages, leaving their huts and gardens at our disposal. This is the custom of the country should the king give orders that a visitor is to be conducted through his dominions.

"The natives of Unyoro have a very superior implement to the molote used among the northern tribes; it is an extremely powerful hoe, fitted upon a handle, similar to those used on the sugar estates in the West Indies, but the blade is heart-shaped: with these they cultivate the ground very deep for their beds of sweet potatoes. The temperature during the day ranges from 80 degrees to 84 degrees, and at night it is cold, 56 degrees to 58 degrees Fahr. It is very unhealthy, owing to the proximity of the river."

"FEB. 2d. - Marched five miles. F. carried in a litter, very ill. I fell ill likewise. Halted."

"FEB. 3d. - F. very ill. Carried her four miles and halted."

"FEB. 4th. - F. most seriously ill. Started at 7:30 A.M., she being carried in a litter; but I also fell ill upon the road, and having been held on my ox by two men for some time, I at length fell in their arms, and was laid under a tree for about five hours; getting better, I rode for two hours, course south. Mountains in view to south and southeast, about ten miles distant. The country, forest interspersed with villages: the Somerset generally parallel to the route. There are no tamarinds in this neighbourhood, nor any other acid fruit; thus one is sorely pressed in the hours of fever. One of the black women servants, Fadeela, is dying of fever."

"FEB. 5th. - F. (Mrs. Baker) so ill, that even the litter is too much for her. Heaven help us in this country! The altitude of the river level above the sea at this point is 4,056 feet."

"Feb. 6th. - F. slightly better. Started at 7 A.M. The country the same as usual. Halted at a village after a short march of three miles and a half. Here we are detained for a day while a message is sent to Kamrasi. Tomorrow, I believe, we are to arrive at the capital of the tyrant. He sent me a message today, that the houses he had prepared for me had been destroyed by fire, and to beg me to wait until he should have completed others. The truth is, he is afraid of our large party, and he delays us in every manner possible, in order to receive daily reports of our behaviour on the road. Latitude by observation at this point, 1 degree 50 minutes 47 seconds N."

"FEB. 7th. - Detained here for a day. I never saw natives so filthy in their dwellings as the people of Unyoro. Goats and fowls share the but with the owner, which, being littered down with straw, is a mere cattle-shed, redolent of man and beast. The natives sleep upon a mass of straw, upon a raised platform, this at night being covered with a dressed skin. Yesterday the natives brought coffee in small quantities to sell. They have no idea of using it as a drink, but simply chew it raw as a stimulant. It is a small and finely-shaped grain, with a good flavour. It is brought from the country of Utumbi, about a degree south of this spot."

"FEB. 8th. - Marched eight miles due south. The river makes a long bend to E.N.E., and this morning's march formed the chord of the arc. Halted; again delayed for the day, as we are not far from the capital, and a messenger must be sent to the king for instructions before we proceed. I never saw such abject cowardice as the redoubted Kamrasi exhibits. Debono's vakeel having made a razzia upon his frontier has so cowed him, that he has now left his residence, and retreated to the other side of a river, from which point he sends false messages to delay our advance as much as possible. There is a total absence of dignity in his behaviour; no great man is sent to parley, but the king receives contradictory reports from the many-tongued natives that have utterly perplexed him. He is told by some that we are the same people that came with Ras-Galla (Debono's captain), and he has neither the courage to repel or to receive us. Our force of 112 armed men could eat the country in the event of a fight, provided that a large supply of ammunition were at hand. The present store is sixty rounds for each man, which would not be sufficient."

"FEB. 9th. - After endless discussions and repeated messages exchanged with the king, he at length sent word that I was to come ALONE. To this I objected; and, upon my starting with my men, the guide refused to proceed. I at once turned back, and told the chief (our guide) that I no longer wished to see Kamrasi, who must be a mere fool, and I should return to my country. This created a great stir, and messengers were at once despatched to the king, who returned an answer that I might bring all my men, but that only five of the Turks could be allowed with Ibrahim. The woman Bacheeta had told the natives that we were separate parties.

"A severe attack of fever prevented me from starting. This terrible complaint worries me sadly, as I have no quinine."

"FEB. 10th. - The woman Fadeela died of fever. I am rather better, and the chief is already here to escort us to Kamrasi. After a quick march of three hours through immense woods, we reached the capital - a large village of grass huts, situated on a barren slope. We were ferried across a river in large canoes, capable of carrying fifty men, but formed of a single tree upwards of four feet wide. Kamrasi was reported to be in his residence on the opposite side; but, upon our arrival at the south bank, we found ourselves thoroughly deceived. We were upon a miserable flat, level with the river, and in the wet season forming a marsh at the junction with the Kafoor river with the Somerset. The latter river bounded the flat on the east, very wide and sluggish, and much overgrown with papyrus and lotus. The river we had just crossed was the Kafoor; it was perfectly dead water, and about eighty yards wide, including the beds of papyrus on either side. We were shown some filthy huts that were to form our camp. The spot was swarming with mosquitoes, and we had nothing to eat except a few fowls that I had brought with me. Kamrasi was on the OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER: they had cunningly separated us from him, and had returned with the canoes. Thus we were prisoners upon the swamp. This was our welcome from the King of Unyoro! I now heard that Speke and Grant had been lodged in this same spot."

"FEB. 10th. - Ibrahim was extremely nervous, as were also my men; they declared that treachery was intended, as the boats had been withdrawn, and they proposed that we should swim the river and march back to our main party, who had been left three hours in the rear. I was ill with fever, also my wife, and the unwholesome air of the marsh aggravated the disease. Our luggage had been left at our last station, as this was a condition stipulated by Kamrasi: thus we had to sleep upon the damp ground of the marsh in the filthy hut, as the heavy dew at night necessitated shelter. With great difficulty I accompanied Ibrahim and a few men to the bank of the river where we had landed yesterday, and, climbing upon a white ant hill to obtain a view over the high reeds, I scanned the village with a telescope. The scene was rather exciting; crowds of people were rushing about in all directions, and gathering from all quarters towards the river: the slope from the river to the town M'rooli was black with natives, and I saw about a dozen large canoes preparing to transport them to our side. I returned from my elevated observatory to Ibrahim, who, on the low ground only a few yards distant, could not see the opposite side of the river owing to the high grass and reeds. Without saying more, I merely begged him to mount upon the ant hill and look towards M'rooli. Hardly had he cast a glance at the scene described, than he jumped down from his stand, and cried, 'They are going to attack us!' 'Let us retreat to the camp and prepare for a fight!' 'Let us fire at them from here as they cross in the canoes,' cried others; 'the buckshot will clear them off when packed in the boats.' This my panic-stricken followers would have done, had I not been present.

"'Fools!' I said, 'do you not see that the natives have no SHIELDS with them, but merely lances? - would they commence an attack without their shields? Kamrasi is coming in state to visit us.' This idea was by no means accepted by my people, and we reached our little camp, and for the sake of precaution we stationed the men in positions behind a hedge of thorns. Ibrahim had managed to bring twelve picked men instead of five as stipulated; thus we were a party of twenty-four. I was of very little use, as the fever was so strong upon me that I lay helpless on the ground."

In a short time the canoes arrived, and for about an hour they were employed in crossing and recrossing, and landing great numbers of men, until they at length advanced and took possession of some huts about 200 yards from our camp. They now hallooed out that Kamrasi had arrived! and seeing some oxen with the party, I felt sure they had no evil intentions. I ordered my men to carry me in their arms to the king, and to accompany me with the presents, as I was determined to have a personal interview, although only fit for a hospital.

Upon my approach, the crowd gave way, and I was shortly laid on a mat at the king's feet. He was a fine-looking man, but with a peculiar expression of countenance, owing to his extremely prominent eyes; he was about six feet high, beautifully clean, and was dressed in a long robe of bark-cloth most gracefully folded. The nails of his hands and feet were carefully attended, and his complexion was about as dark a brown as that of an Abyssinian. He sat upon a copper stool placed upon a carpet of leopard skins, and he was surrounded by about ten of his principal chiefs.

Our interpreter, Bacheeta, now informed him who I was, and what were my intentions. He said that he was sorry I had been so long on the road, but that he had been obliged to be cautious, having been deceived by Debono's people. I replied, that I was an Englishman, a friend of Speke and Grant - that they had described the reception they had met with from him, and that I had come to thank him, and to offer him a few presents in return for his kindness, and to request him to give me a guide to the Lake Luta N'zige. He laughed at the name and repeated it several times with his chiefs, - he then said, it was not LUTA, but M-WOOTAN N'zige - but that it was SIX MONTHS' journey from M'rooli, and that in my weak condition I could not possibly reach it; that I should die upon the road, and that the king of my country would perhaps imagine that I had been murdered, and might invade his territory. I replied, that I was weak with the toil of years in the hot countries of Africa, but that I was in search of the great lake, and should not return until I had succeeded; that I had no king, but a powerful Queen who watched over all her subjects, and that no Englishman could be murdered with impunity; therefore he should send me to the lake without delay, and there would be the lesser chance of my dying in his country.

I explained that the river Nile flowed for a distance of two years' journey through wonderful countries, and reached the sea, from which many valuable articles would be sent to him in exchange for ivory, could I only discover the great lake. As a proof of this, I had brought him a few curiosities that I trusted he would accept, and I regretted that the impossibility of procuring porters had necessitated the abandonment of others that had been intended for him.

I ordered the men to unpack the Persian carpet, which was spread upon the ground before him. I then gave him an Abbia (large white Cashmere mantle), a red silk netted sash, a pair of scarlet Turkish shoes, several pairs of socks, a double-barrelled gun and ammunition, and a great heap of first-class beads made up into gorgeous necklaces and girdles. He took very little notice of the presents, but requested that the gun might be fired off. This was done, to the utter confusion of the crowd, who rushed away in such haste, that they tumbled over each other like so many rabbits; this delighted the king, who, although himself startled, now roared with laughter. He told me that I must be hungry and thirsty, therefore he hoped I would accept something to eat and drink: accordingly he presented me with seventeen cows, twenty pots of sour plantain cider and many loads of unripe plantains. I inquired whether Speke had left a medicine chest with him. He replied that it was a very feverish country, and that he and his people had used all the medicine. Thus my last hope of quinine was cut off. I had always trusted to obtain a supply from the king, as Speke had told me that he had left a bottle with him. It was quite impossible to obtain any information from him, and I was carried back to my hut, where I found Mrs. Baker lying down with fever, and neither could render assistance to the other.

On the following morning the king again appeared. I was better, and I had a long interview. He did not appear to heed my questions, but he at once requested that I would ally myself with him, and attack his enemy, Rionga. I told him that I could not embroil myself in such quarrels, but that I had only one object, which was the lake. I requested that he would give Ibrahim a large quantity of ivory, and that on his return from Gondokoro he would bring him most valuable articles in exchange. He said that he was not sure whether "my belly was black or white," - by this he intended to express "evil or good intentions;" but that if it were white I should of course have no objection to exchange blood with him, as a proof of friendship and sincerity. This was rather too strong a dose! I replied that it would be impossible, as in my country the shedding of blood was considered a proof of hostility; therefore he must accept Ibrahim as my substitute. Accordingly the arms were bared and pricked; as the blood flowed, it was licked by either party; and an alliance was concluded. Ibrahim agreed to act with him against all his enemies. It was arranged that Ibrahim now belonged to Kamrasi, and that henceforth our parties should be entirely separate.

It rained in torrents, and our hut became so damp from the absorption of the marsh soil, that my feet sank in the muddy floor. I had fever daily at about 3 P.M. and lay perfectly helpless for five or six hours, until the attack passed off; this reduced me to extreme weakness. My wife suffered quite as acutely. It was a position of abject misery, which will be better explained by a few rough extracts from my journal: -

"FEB. 16th. - ALL MY PORTERS HAVE DESERTED, having heard that the lake is so far distant; I have not one man left to carry my luggage. Should we not be able to cross the Asua river before the flood, we shall be nailed for another year to this abominable country, ill with fever, and without medicine, clothes, or supplies.

"FEB. 17th. - Fever last night; rain, as usual, with mud accompaniment. One of Kamrasi's headmen, whose tongue I have loosened by presents, tells me that he has been to the lake in ten days to purchase salt, and that a man loaded with salt can return in fifteen days. God knows the truth! and I am pressed for time, while Kamrasi delays me in the most annoying manner.

"Kamrasi came today; as usual, he wanted all that I had, and insisted upon a present of my sword, watch, and compass, all of which I positively refused. I told him that he had deceived me by saying that the lake was so distant as six months' journey, as I knew that it was only ten days. He rudely answered, 'Go, if you like; but don't blame me if you can't get back: it is twenty days' march; you may believe it or not, as you choose.' To my question as to the means of procuring porters, he gave no reply, except by asking for my sword, and for my beautiful little Fletcher rifle.

"I retired to my hut in disgust. This afternoon a messenger arrived from the king with twenty-four small pieces of straw, cut into lengths of about four inches. These he laid carefully in a row, and explained that Speke had given that number of presents, whereas I had only given ten, the latter figure being carefully exemplified by ten pieces of straw; he wished to know 'why I did not give him the same number as he had received from Speke?' This miserable, grasping, lying coward is nevertheless a king, and the success of my expedition depends upon him."

"FEB. 20th. - Cloudy, as usual; neither sun, moon, nor stars will show themselves. Fortunately, milk can be procured here. I live upon buttermilk. Kamrasi came, and gave twenty elephants' tusks as a present to Ibrahim. There is a report that Debono's people, under the command of Ras-Galla, are once more at Rionga's; this has frightened him awfully."

Feb. 21st.-This morning Kamrasi was civil enough to allow us to quit the marsh, the mosquito-nest and fever-bed where we had been in durance, and we crossed to the other side of the Kafoor river, and quartered in M'rooli. I went to see him, and, after a long consultation, he promised to send me to the lake tomorrow. I immediately took off my sword and belt, and presented them to him, explaining that, as I was now convinced of his friendship, I had a pleasure in offering my sword as a proof of my amicable feeling, as I thus placed the weapon of self-defence in his hand, and I should trust to his protection. As a proof of the temper of the blade, I offered to cut through the strongest shield he could produce. This delighted him amazingly. I now trust to be able to reach the junction of the Somerset with the M-wootan N'zige at Magungo, and from thence to overtake Ibrahim at Shooa, and to hurry on to Gondokoro, where a boat will be waiting for me from Khartoum.

"Ibrahim and his men marched this morning, on their return to Karuma, leaving me here with my little party of thirteen men.

"Should I succeed in discovering the lake I shall thank God most sincerely. The toil, anxiety, the biting annoyances I have daily been obliged to put up with in my association with the Turks, added to our now constant ill-health, are enough to break down the constitution of an elephant. Every day I must give! - to the Turks, give! - to the natives, give! If I lend anything to the Turks, it is an insult should I ask for its return. One hasty word might have upset my boat; and now, for twelve months, I have had to talk, to explain, to manage, and to lead the brutes in this direction, like a coachman driving jibbing horses. Hosts of presents to Ibrahim, combined with a vivid description of the advantages that he would secure by opening a trade with Kamrasi, at length led him to this country, which I could not have reached without his aid, as it would have been impossible for me to have procured porters without cattle. The porters I have always received from him as far as Karuma for a payment of six copper rings per head for every journey. I have now arranged that he shall leave for me thirty head of cattle at Shooa; thus, should he have started for Gondokoro before my arrival at Shooa, I shall be able to procure porters, and arrive in time for the expected boat.

"Up to this day astronomical observations have been impossible, a thick coat of slate colour obscuring the heavens. Tonight I obtained a good observation of Canopus, giving latitude 1 degree 38 minutes N. By Casella's thermometer I made the altitude of the Somerset at M'rooli 4,061 feet above the sea, showing a fall of 65 feet between this point and below the falls at Karuma in a distance of 37 miles of latitude.

"Just as Ibrahim was leaving this morning I was obliged to secure the slave Bacheeta as interpreter, at the price of three double-barrelled guns to purchase her freedom. I explained to her that she was now free, and that I wished her to act as interpreter during my stay in Unyoro; and that I would then leave her in her own country, Chopi, on my return from the lake. Far from being pleased at the change, she regretted the loss of the Turks, and became excessively sulky, although my wife decked her out with beads, and gave her a new petticoat to put her in a good humour."

"Feb. 22d. - Kamrasi promised to send me porters, and that we should start for the lake today, but there is no sign of preparation; thus am I delayed when every day is so precious. Added to this trouble, the woman that I have as an interpreter wall not speak, being the most sulky individual I ever encountered. In the evening Kamrasi sent to say he would give a guide and porters tomorrow morning. It is impossible to depend upon him."

After some delay we were at length honoured by a visit from Kamrasi, accompanied by a number of his people, and he promised that we should start on the following day. He pointed out a chief and a guide who were to have us in their charge, and who were to see that we obtained all that we should require. He concluded, as usual, by asking for my watch and for a number of beads; the latter I gave him, together with a quantity of ammunition for his guns. He showed me a beautiful double-barrelled rifle by Blissett, that Speke had given him. I wished to secure this, to give to Speke on my return to England, as he had told me, when at Gondokoro, how he had been obliged to part with that and many other articles sorely against his will. I therefore offered to give him three common double-barrelled guns in exchange for the rifle. This he declined, as he was quite aware of the difference in quality. He then produced a large silver chronometer that he had received from Speke. "It was DEAD," he said, "and he wished me to repair it." This I declared to be impossible. He then confessed to having explained its construction, and the cause of the "ticking," to his people, by the aid of a needle, and that it had never ticked since that occasion. I regretted to see such "pearls cast before swine," as the rifle and chronometer in the hands of Kamrasi. Thus he had plundered Speke and Grant of all they possessed before he would allow them to proceed.

It is the rapacity of the chiefs of the various tribes that renders African exploration so difficult. Each tribe wishes' to monopolize your entire stock of valuables, without which the traveller would be utterly helpless. The difficulty of procuring porters limits the amount of baggage thus a given supply must carry you through a certain period of time; if your supply should fail, the expedition terminates with your power of giving. It is thus extremely difficult to arrange the expenditure so as to satisfy all parties, and still to retain a sufficient balance. Being utterly cut off from all communication with the world, there is no possibility of receiving assistance. The traveller depends entirely upon himself, under Providence, and must. adapt himself and his means to circumstances.