CHAPTER XII. LIVINGSTONE'S OWN STORY OF HIS JOURNEYS, HIS TROUBLES, AND DISAPPOINTMENTS.
"If there is love between us, inconceivably delicious, and profitable will our intercourse be; if not, your time is lost, and you will only annoy me. I shall seem to you stupid, and the reputation I have false. All my good is magnetic, and I educate not by lessons, but by going about my business." - Emerson's 'Representative Men'.
I woke up early next morning with a sudden start. The room was strange! It was a house, and not my tent! Ah, yes! I recollected I had discovered Livingstone, and I was in his house. I listened, that the knowledge dawning on me might be confirmed by the sound of his voice. I heard nothing but the sullen roar of the surf.
I lay quietly in bed. Bed! Yes, it was a primitive four-poster, with the leaves of the palm-tree spread upon it instead of down, and horsehair and my bearskin spread over this serving me in place of linen. I began to put myself under rigid mental cross-examination, and to an analyzation of my position.
"What was I sent for?"
"To find Livingstone."
"Have you found him?"
"Yes, of course; am I not in his house? Whose compass is that hanging on a peg there? Whose clothes, whose boots, are those? Who reads those newspapers, those 'Saturday Reviews' and numbers of 'Punch' lying on the floor?"
"Well, what are you going to do now?"
"I shall tell him this morning who sent me, and what brought me here. I will then ask him to write a letter to Mr. Bennett, and to give what news he can spare. I did not come here to rob him of his news. Sufficient for me is it that I have found him. It is a complete success so far. But it will be a greater one if he gives me letters for Mr. Bennett, and an acknowledgment that he has seen me."
"Do you think he will do so?"
"Why not? I have come here to do him a service. He has no goods. I have. He has no men with him. I have. If I do a friendly part by him, will he not do a friendly part by me? What says the poet? -
Nor hope to find A friend, but who has found a friend in thee. All like the purchase; few the price will pay And this makes friends such wonders here below.
I have paid the purchase, by coming so far to do him a service. But I think, from what I have seen of him last night, that he is not such a niggard and misanthrope as I was led to believe. He exhibited considerable emotion, despite the monosyllabic greeting, when he shook my hand. If he were a man to feel annoyance at any person coming after him, he would not have received me as he did, nor would he ask me to live with him, but he would have surlily refused to see me, and told me to mind my own business. Neither does he mind my nationality; for 'here,' said he, 'Americans and Englishmen are the same people. We speak the same language and have the same ideas.' Just so, Doctor; I agree with you. Here at least, Americans and Englishmen shall be brothers, and, whatever I can do for you, you may command me freely."
I dressed myself quietly, intending to take a stroll along the Tanganika before the Doctor should rise; opened the door, which creaked horribly on its hinges, and walked out to the veranda.
"Halloa, Doctor! - you up already? I hope you have slept well? "
"Good-morning, Mr. Stanley! I am glad to see you. I hope you rested well. I sat up late reading my letters. You have brought me good and bad news. But sit down. "He made a place for me by his side. "Yes, many of my friends are dead. My eldest son has met with a sad accident - that is, my boy Tom; my second son, Oswell, is at college studying medicine, and is doing well I am told. Agnes, my eldest daughter, has been enjoying herself in a yacht, with `Sir Paraffine' Young and his family. Sir Roderick, also, is well, and expresses a hope that he will soon see me. You have brought me quite a budget."
The man was not an apparition, then, and yesterday's scenes were not the result of a dream! and I gazed on him intently, for thus I was assured he had not run away, which was the great fear that constantly haunted me as I was journeying to Ujiji.
"Now, Doctor," said I, "you are, probably, wondering why I came here?"
"It is true," said he; "I have been wondering. I thought you, at first, an emissary of the French Government, in the place of Lieutenant Le Saint, who died a few miles above Gondokoro. I heard you had boats, plenty of men, and stores, and I really believed you were some French officer, until I saw the American flag; and, to tell you the truth, I was rather glad it was so, because I could not have talked to him in French; and if he did not know English, we had been a pretty pair of white men in Ujiji! I did not like to ask you yesterday, because I thought it was none of my business."
Well," said I, laughing, "for your sake I am glad that I am an American, and not a Frenchman, and that we can understand each other perfectly without an interpreter. I see that the Arabs are wondering that you, an Englishman, and I, an American, understand each other. We must take care not to tell them that the English and Americans have fought, and that there are `Alabama' claims left unsettled, and that we have such people as Fenians in America, who hate you. But, seriously, Doctor - now don't be frightened when I tell you that I have come after - YOU!"
"Well. You have heard of the `New York Herald?'"
"Oh - who has not heard of that newspaper?"
"Without his father's knowledge or consent, Mr. James Gordon Bennett, son of Mr. James Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of the `Herald,' has commissioned me to find you - to get whatever news of your discoveries you like to give - and to assist you, if I can, with means."
"Young Mr. Bennett told you to come after me, to find me out, and help me! It is no wonder, then, you praised Mr. Bennett so much last night."