Chapter V. Unyamuezi
31st. - To-day, Jafu, who had lost many ivories at Khoko when Mohinna was attacked there, prepared 100 slaves, with Said bin Osman, Mohinna's brother, with a view to follow down Snay, and, combining forces, attack Hori Hori, hoping to recover their losses; for it appeared to them the time had now come when their only hope left in carrying their trade to a successful issue, lay in force of arms. They would therefore not rest satisfied until they had reduced Khoko and Usekhe both, by actual force, to acknowledge their superiority, "feeding on them" until the Ramazan, when they would return with all the merchants detained in Ugogo, and, again combining their forces, they would fall on Usui, to reduce that country also.
When these men had gone, a lunatic set the whole place in commotion. He was a slave of Musa's, who had wounded some men previously in his wild excesses, and had been tied up; but now, breaking loose again, he swore he would not be satisfied until he killed some "big man." His strength was so great no one could confine him, though they hunted him into a hut, where, having seized a gun and some arrows, he defied any one to put hands on him. Here, however, he was at last reduced to submission and a better state of his senses by starvation: for I must add, the African is much give to such mental fits of aberration at certain periods: these are generally harmless, but sometimes not; but they come and they go again without any visible cause.
1st. - Musa's men now started for Rungua, and promised to bring all the porters we wanted by the first day of the next moon. We found that this would be early enough, for all the members of the expedition, excepting myself, were suffering from the effects of the wilderness life - some with fever, some with scurvy, and some with ophthalmia - which made it desirable they should all have rest. Little now was done besides counting out my property, and making Sheikh Said, who became worse and worse, deliver his charge of Cafila Bashi over to Bombay for good. When it was found so much had been stolen, especially of the best articles, I was obliged to purchase many things from Musa, paying 400 per cent, which he said was their value here, over the market price of Zanzibar. I also got him to have all my coils of brass and copper wire made into bracelet, as is customary, to please the northern people.
7th. - To-day information was brought here that whilst Manua Sera was on his way from Ugogo to keep his appointment with me, Sheikh Snay's army came on him at Tura, where he was ensconced in a tembe. Hearing this, Snay, instead of attacking the village at once, commenced negotiations with the chief of the place by demanding him to set free his guest, otherwise they, the Arabs, would storm the tembe. The chief, unfortunately, did not comply at once, but begged grace for one night, saying that if Manua Sera was found there in the morning they might do as they liked. Of course Manua bolted; and the Arabs, seeing the Tura people all under arms ready to defend themselves the next morning, set at them in earnest, and shot, murdered, or plundered the whole of the district. Then, whilst Arabs were sending in their captures of women, children, and cattle, Manua Sera made off to a district called Dara, where he formed an alliance with its chief, Kifunja, and boasted he would attack Kaze as soon as the travelling season commenced, when the place would be weakened by the dispersion of the Arabs on their ivory excursions.
The startling news set the place in a blaze, and brought all the Arabs again to seek my advice for they condemned what Snay had done in not listening to me before, and wished to know if I could not now treat for them with Manua Sera, which they thought could be easily managed, as Manua Sera himself was not only the first to propose mediation, but was actually on his way here for the purpose when Snay opposed him. I said nothing could give me greater pleasure than mediating for them, to put a stop to these horrors, but it struck me the case had now gone too far. Snay, in opposition to my advice, was bent on fighting; he could not be recalled and unless all the Arabs were of one mind, I ran the risk of committing myself to a position I could not maintain. To this they replied that the majority were still at Kaze, all wishing for peace at any price, and that whatever terms I might wish to dictate they would agree to. Then I said, "What would you do with Mkisiwa? you have made him chief, and cannot throw him over." "Oh, that," they said, "can be easily managed; for formerly, when we confronted Manua Sera at Nguru, we offered to give him as much territory as his father governed, though not exactly in the same place; but he treated our message with disdain, not knowing then what a fix he was in. Now, however, as he has seen more, and wishes for peace himself, there can be no difficulty." I then ordered two of my men to go with two of Musa's to acquaint Manua Sera with what we were about, and to know his views on the subject; but these men returned to say Manua Sera could not be found, for he was driven from "pillar to post" by the different native chiefs, as, wherever he went, his army ate up their stores, and brought nothing but calamities with them. Thus died this second attempted treaty. Musa then told me it was well it turned out so; for Manua Sera would never believe the Arabs, as they had broken faith so often before, even after exchanging blood by cutting incision in one another's legs - the most sacred bond or oath the natives know of.