CHAPTER XVIII. MARCH TO MASINDI.
"April l5. - The latitude of Kisoona was 2 degrees 2 minutes 36 seconds N. We started at 11 A.M. till 1 P.M., reaching Kasiga - eight miles - through interminable forest full of fine ripe yellow plums and unripe custard apples.
"April 16. - Started at 8.20 A.M. till 12 - arriving at Koki - thick forest throughout the march. We passed several small villages, and made twelve miles, N. lat. 1 degree 59 minutes. I gave various seeds of European vegetables to the headman; and I myself sowed the seeds of water-melons and sweet melons in his garden, and explained their cultivation.
"April 17. - All the carriers have absconded. There is extensive cultivation in this district, and the tobacco is well attended, as the tops of the plants are carefully nipped off to prevent them from running too much into stalk.
"The chief, Kittakara, who is a kind of prime minister to Kabba Rega, gave me this afternoon the history of the country.
"Kabba Rega is the sixteenth king since the original conquest of Unyoro by the Gallas. These invaders arrived from the East, beyond the country of the Langgos.
"To this day a peculiar custom is observed. Before a new king can ascend the throne, he is compelled to sleep during two nights on the east of the Victoria Nile. He then marches along the path by which his victorious ancestor invaded Unyoro, and upon reaching the river, he takes boat and crosses to the exact landing-place where the original conqueror first set his foot upon the frontier.
"April 18. - I purchased a quantity of excellent tobacco and divided it among the soldiers as a reward for their having respected the native gardens during the march.
"Kittakara is the only gentleman that I have seen in the country, and he never asks for presents, thus forming an extraordinary exception to the rule of Unyoro society.
"I gave him a blue blanket, a zinc mirror, a spoon, comb, and four red and yellow handkerchiefs. To Quonga I gave a tarboosh (fez), and four yards of turkey red cloth.
"April 19. - Fresh carriers arrived, and we started at 10.45 A.M., and halted at 4 P.M. - twelve miles. Forest and high grass as usual throughout the route, which would render this country highly dangerous in case of hostilities.
"The lofty mountains on the west shore of the Albert N'yanza are now in view about fifty miles distant. We halted at a populous district, and occupied a village at Chorobeze.
"There is an impression of general ruin in passing through this wonderfully fertile country. The slave-hunters and their allies have produced this frightful result by ransacking the district for slaves. "The civil dissensions after Kamrasi's death were favourable for the traders' schemes. The two sons, Kabba Rega and Kabka Miro, contended for the throne. The latter was royally born by sire and mother, but Kabba Rega was a son by a shepherdess of the Bahoomas. The throne belonged by inheritance to Kabka Miro, who, not wishing to cause a civil war, and thus destroy the country, challenged his brother to single combat in the presence of all the people. The victor was to be king.
"Kabba Rega was a coward, and refused the challenge. The chivalrous Kabka Miro again offered terms: - Kabba Rega, as the son of the shepherdess, should take all the flocks and herds; and Kabka Miro would occupy the throne.
"Kabba Rega, like most cowards, was exceedingly cunning and treacherous, and, with the alliance of Suleiman's people, he shot his gallant brother, and secured both the throne and his father's flocks."
April 20. - All the native carriers have, as usual, absconded. We are now about twenty-seven riles from Masindi, the head-quarters of Kabba Rega, and yet there are no signs of control.
"I ascended a small hill near the village, and sighted the waters of the Albert N'yanza, due west, about twenty miles distant.
"April 21. - About fifty natives collected. I sent off Colonel Abd-el-Kader with the prisoners to Kabba Rega to complain of the want of carriers and provisions. I ordered him to disarm all the traders' people, and the Baris in their employ, who might be at Masindi; as the news has arrived that the men belonging to Suleiman have returned to Foweera and are actually taking slaves in the neighbourhood.
"April 22. - More natives collected. I sent off 140 loads in charge of Morgian Agha, with an escort of twenty soldiers, and the herd of cattle. The latitude of Chorobeze was 1 degrees 57 minutes N.
"April 23. - The natives having collected, we started at 10.5 a.m. I was obliged to walk, as my good horse, 'Greedy Grey,' is sick.
"The route was through forest and high grass as usual. We marched seventeen miles, and halted at immense groves of bananas at a place called Jon Joke.
"The baggage and cattle arrived after sunset, Morgian Agha having been deserted yesterday by all the carriers. As usual, throughout the route the water is bad.
"Alas! my poor horse, `Greedy Grey,' died to-day. He was the most perfect of all the horses I had brought from Cairo.
"April 24.-As usual, the native carriers have all bolted! Last night a sergeant arrived with a letter addressed to me from Abd-el-Kader, who has carried out my orders at Masindi by disarming the traders' party.
"April 25.-It rained throughout the night. The carriers sent by Kabba Rega arrived early. We started at 8.15 a.m., and marched ten miles, arriving at last at the capital of Unyoro - Masindi.