CHAPTER XVII. THE MARCH TO UNYORO.
"Suleiman and Eddrees were led by the guard, and appeared before the tribunal. Suleiman, although pinioned, retained the same haughty swagger that had always distinguished him. The charges against him were as follows:
"1. For having conspired to attack Rionga, in direct opposition to my positive orders.
"2. For treasonably speaking against the government of the Khedive to the native chiefs.
"3. For arranging and abetting the escape of the irregular new levy, who had enlisted in the government service, together with that of the slaves.
"4. For having murdered, with his own hands, a native whom I had confided to his care.
"After a careful trial the prisoner was found guilty upon every charge; and the second vakeel, Eddrees, was proved to have been an accomplice.
"I immediately sentenced Suleiman to receive 200 lashes upon the spot, as a first instalment of future punishment. Blue lights had been substituted for the port-fires that had burned out, and the haughty brigand, Suleiman, was laid upon the ground by the ready troops to receive his punishment.
"My ever-present attendant, Monsoor, volunteered to be one of the whippers, and the pride and audacity of the prisoner were soon exchanged for effeminate cries for pardon. It was this same man, Suleiman, who had flogged a poor boy nearly to death during my former journey, and the life of the child had with difficulty been saved by the kind attention of my wife. When he now cried for mercy, I recalled to his recollection the unfortunate boy whose posterior he had literally CUT OFF with a whip of hippopotamus' hide. . . .
"Eddrees was sentenced to receive 100 lashes, but when thirty strokes had been administered, the native chiefs interceded in his behalf, saying that the great blame rested upon Suleiman, and that Eddrees was not a bad man, but that he was obliged to obey the orders of his superior.
"They now continued, 'that Suleiman had ruined the country, that he had kidnapped all the women and children, and that the natives had fled from their homes as the result.'
"I was much struck with the straightforward, at the same time moderate behaviour of the native chiefs. I accordingly spared Eddrees, who at once turned evidence against Suleiman, together with two of his own soldiers.
"They signed a declaration as witnesses of the murder of the native by Suleiman. This paper was formally witnessed and signed by Lieutenant Baker, Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and Captain Mohammed Deii.
"The punishment having been awarded and the prisoners withdrawn, but secured in shebas by the guard, I addressed the native chiefs, assuring them of my protection; and that in future the country should be governed with perfect justice; that property and the rights of women and children would be respected, and that any transgressor of the law would be punished. I explained that the object of the expedition was to bring prosperity; but, on the other hand, I should expect fidelity from Kabba Rega and his people. I told them that I should lead the prisoners in shebas to Kabba Rega, he must then summon a general assembly of his chiefs to hear and witness the truth.
"I now ordered the bugler to sound the 'destoor' (retreat), and the troops marched back to their quarters.
"The trial was over; the blue lights had burnt out, and we were now in comparative darkness beneath the banana foliage, with a feeble lamp glimmering on the table.
"The native chiefs declared their perfect confidence in the government, and that we should start on the following morning direct for Masindi."