The success of an expedition depends mainly upon organization. From my former experience in Central Africa, I knew exactly the requirements of the natives, and all the material that would be necessary for the enterprise. I also knew that the old adage of "out of sight out of mind" might be adopted as the Egyptian motto, therefore it would be indispensable to supply myself with everything at the outset, so as to be independent of support hereafter.

The English party consisted of myself and Lady Baker; Lieutenant Julian Alleyne Baker, R.N.; Mr. Edwin Higginbotham, civil engineer; Mr. Wood, secretary; Dr. Joseph Gedge, physician; Mr. Marcopolo, chief storekeeper and interpreter; Mr. McWilliam, chief engineer of steamers; Mr. Jarvis, chief shipwright; together with Messrs. Whitfield, Samson, Hitchman, and Ramsall, shipwrights, boiler-makers, In addition to the above were two servants.

I laid in stores sufficient to last the European party four years.

I provided four galvanized iron magazines, each eighty feet long by twenty in width, to protect all material.

Before I left England I personally selected every article that was necessary for the expedition; thus an expenditure of about 9,000 pounds was sufficient for the purchase of the almost innumerable items that formed the outfit for the enterprise. This included an admirable selection of Manchester goods, such as cotton sheeting, grey calico, cotton and also woollen blankets, white, scarlet, and blue; Indian scarfs, red and yellow; handkerchiefs of gaudy colours, chintz printed; scarlet flannel shirts, serge of colours (blue, red), linen trowsers,

Tools of all sorts - axes, small hatchets, harness bells, brass and copper rods, combs, zinc mirrors, knives, crockery, tin plates, fish-hooks, musical boxes, coloured prints, finger-rings, razors, tinned spoons, cheap watches,

All these things were purchased through Messrs. Silber Fleming, of Wood Street, Cheapside.

I thus had sufficient clothing for a considerable body of troops if necessary, while the magazines could produce anything from a needle to a crowbar, or from a handkerchief to a boat's sail. It will be seen hereafter that these careful arrangements assured the success of the expedition, as the troops, when left without pay, could procure all they required from the apparently inexhaustible stores of the magazines.

In addition to the merchandise and general supplies, I had several large musical boxes with bells and drums, an excellent magic lantern, a magnetic battery, wheels of life, and an assortment of toys. The greatest wonder to the natives were two large girandoles; also the silvered balls, about six inches in diameter, that, suspended from the branch of a tree, reflected the scene beneath.

In every expedition the principal difficulty is the transport.

"Travel light, if possible," is the best advice for all countries; but in this instance it was simply impossible, as the object of the expedition was not only to convey steamers to Central Africa, but to establish legitimate trade in the place of the nefarious system of pillage hitherto adopted by the so-called White Nile traders. It was therefore absolutely necessary to possess a large stock of goods of all kinds, in addition to the machinery and steel sections of steamers.

I arranged that the expedition should start in three divisions.

Six steamers, varying from 40 to 80-horse power, were ordered to leave Cairo in June, together with fifteen sloops and fifteen diahbeeahs - total, thirty-six vessels - to ascend the cataracts of the Nile to Khartoum, a distance by river of about 1,450 miles. These vessels were to convey the whole of the merchandise.

Twenty-five vessels were ordered to be in readiness at Khartoum, together with three steamers. The governor-general (Djiaffer Pacha) was to provide these vessels by a certain date, together with the camels and horses necessary for the land transport.

Thus when the fleet should arrive at Khartoum from Cairo, the total force of vessels would be nine steamers and fifty-five sailing vessels, the latter averaging about fifty tons each.

Mr. Higginbotham had the command of the desert transport from Korosko to Khartoum, and to that admirable officer I intrusted the charge of the steamer sections and machinery, together with the command of the English engineers and mechanics.

I arranged to bring up the rear by another route, via Souakim on the Red Sea, from which the desert journey to Berber, on the Nile, N. lat. 17 degrees 37 minutes, is 275 statute miles.

My reason for this division of routes was to insure a quick supply of camels, as much delay would have been occasioned had the great mass of transport been conveyed by one road.

The military arrangements comprised a force of 1,645 troops, including a corps of 200 irregular cavalry, and two batteries of artillery. The infantry were two regiments, supposed to be well selected. The black or Soudani regiment included many officers and men who had served for some years in Mexico with the French army under Marshal Bazaine. The Egyptian regiment turned out to be for the most part convicted felons who had been transported for various crimes from Egypt to the Soudan.

The artillery were rifled mountain guns of bronze, the barrel weighing 230 lbs., and throwing shells of 8-1/4 lbs. The authorities at Woolwich had kindly supplied the expedition with 200 Hale's rockets - three-pounders - and fifty snider rifles, together with 50,000 rounds of snider ammunition. The military force and supplies were to be massed in Khartoum ready to meet me upon my arrival.

I had taken extra precautions in the packing of ammunition and all perishable goods. The teak boxes for snider ammunition, also the boxes of Hale's rockets, were lined and hermetically sealed with soldered tin. The light Manchester goods and smaller articles were packed in strong, useful, painted tin boxes, with locks and hinges, Each box was numbered, and when the lid was opened, a tin plate was soldered over the open face, so that the lid, when closed, locked above an hermetically sealed case. Each tin box was packed in a deal case, with a number to correspond with the box within.

By this arrangement the tin boxes arrived at their destination as good as new, and were quite invaluable for travelling, as they each formed a handy load, and were alike proof against the attacks of insects and bad weather.

I had long waterproof cloaks for the night sentries in rainy climates, and sou'-wester caps; these proved of great service during active operations in the wet season, as the rifles were kept dry beneath the cloaks, and the men were protected from wet and cold when on guard.

All medicines and drugs were procured from Apothecaries' Hall, and were accordingly of the best quality.

The provisions for the troops were dhurra (sorghum vulgare), wheat, rice, and lentils. The supplies from England, and in fact the general arrangements, had been so carefully attended to, that throughout the expedition I could not feel a want, neither could I either regret or wish to have changed any plan that I had originally determined.

For the transport of the heavy machinery across the desert I employed gun carriages drawn by two camels each. The two sections of steamers and of lifeboats were slung upon long poles of fir from Trieste, arranged between two camels in the manner of shafts. Many hundred poles served this purpose, and subsequently, were used at head-quarters as rafters for magazines and various buildings.

The No. 1 steamer of 250 tons had not arrived from England. I therefore left instructions that she was to be forwarded across the desert upon the same principles as adopted for the transport of the other vessels.

I had thrown my whole heart into the expedition; but I quickly perceived the difficulties that I should encounter in the passive resistance of those whose interests would be affected by the suppression of the slave trade. The arrangements that I had made would have insured success, if carried out according to the dates specified. The six steamers and the sailing flotilla from Cairo should have started on 10th June, in order to have ascended the cataracts of Wady Halfah at the period of high water. Instead of this, the vessels were delayed, in the absence of the Khedive in Europe, until 29th August; thus, by the time they reached the second cataract, the river had fallen, and it was impossible to drag the `steamers through the passage until the next season. Thus twelve months were wasted, and I was at once deprived of the invaluable aid of six steamers.

In addition to this difficulty was the fact of inevitable delay necessitated by the festivities attending the opening of the Suez Canal. The Khedive, with his accustomed hospitality, had made immense preparations for the reception of visitors, and every available vessel had been prepared for the occasion.

A train of forty-one railway waggons laden with sections of steamers, machinery, boiler-plates, arrived at Cairo, and were embarked on board eleven hired vessels. With the greatest difficulty I procured a steamer of 140-horse power to tow this flotilla to Korosko, from which spot the desert journey would commence. I obtained this steamer only by personal application to the Khedive.

At length I witnessed the start of the entire English party of engineers and mechanics, together with Mr. Higginbotham and Dr. J. Gedge. The steamer Minieh, towed the lone line of eleven vessels against the powerful stream of the Nile. One of the tow-ropes snipped at the commencement of the voyage, which created some confusion, but when righted they quickly steamed. out of view. This mass of heavy material, including two steamers, and two steel lifeboats of ten tons each, was to be transported for a distance of about 3,000 miles, 400 of which would be across the scorching Nubian deserts!

The first division of the heavy baggage had started on 29th August, 1869, with the sloops, to ascend the cataracts direct by river to Khartoum. I dared, not trust any portions of the steamers by this dangerous route, lest by the loss of one vessel with sections I might destroy all hope of success.

It was a relief to have started the main branches of the expedition, after the various delays that had already seriously endangered the chances of the White Nile voyage. For that river all vessels should leave Khartoum early in November.

On 5th December, 1869, we brought up the rear, and left Suez on board an Egyptian sloop of war, the Senaar. In four days and a half we reached Souakim, after an escape from wreck on the reef of Shadwan, and a close acquaintance with a large barque, with which we nearly came into collision.

The captain of our sloop was a most respectable man, apparently about eighty years of age. The first lieutenant appeared to be somewhat his senior, and neither could see, even with the assistance of a very greasy and dirty binocular. The various officers appeared to be vestiges from Noah's ark in point of antiquity; thus a close shave with a reef and a near rub with a strange vessel were little incidents that might be expected in the Red Sea.

We anchored safely in the harbour of Souakim; and landed my twenty-one horses without accident.

I was met by the governor, my old friend Moomtazz Bey, a highly intelligent Circassian officer, who had shown me much kindness on my former expedition.

A week's delay in Souakim was necessary to obtain camels. In fourteen days we crossed the desert 275 miles to Berber on the Nile, and found a steamer and diahbeeah in readiness. We arrived at Khartoum, a distance of 200 miles by river, in three days, having accomplished the voyage from Suez in the short space of thirty-two days, including stoppages.

Khartoum was not changed externally; but I had observed with dismay a frightful change in the features of the country between Berber and the capital since my former visit. The rich soil on the banks of the river, which had a few years since been highly cultivated, was abandoned. Now and then a tuft of neglected date-palms might be seen, but the river's banks, formerly verdant with heavy crops, had become a wilderness. Villages once crowded had entirely disappeared; the population was gone. Irrigation had ceased. The night, formerly discordant with the creaking of countless water-wheels, was now silent as death. There was not a dog to howl for a lost master. Industry had vanished; oppression had driven the inhabitants from the soil.

This terrible desolation was caused by the governor general of the Soudan, who, although himself an honest man, trusted too much to the honesty of others, who preyed upon the inhabitants. As a good and true Mohammedan, he left his territory to the care of God, and thus, trusting in Providence, he simply increased the taxes. In one year he sent to the Khedive his master 100,000 pounds in hard dollars, wrung from the poor peasantry, who must have lost an equal amount in the pillage that accompanies the collection.

The population of the richest province of the Soudan fled from oppression, and abandoned the country; and the greater portion betook themselves to the slave trade of the White Nile, where, in their turn, they might trample upon the rights of others; where, as they had been plundered, they would be able to plunder; where they could reap the harvest of another's labour; and where, free from the restrictions of a government, they might indulge in the exciting and lucrative enterprise of slave-hunting. Thousands had forsaken their homes, and commenced a life of brigandage on the White Nile.

This was the state of the country when I arrived at Khartoum. The population of this town, which was about 30,000 during my former visit, was now reduced to half the number. The European residents had all disappeared, with the exception of the Austrian Mission, and Mr. Hansall the Austrian Consul; also an extremely tough German tailor, who was proof against the climate that had carried off his companions.

I had given the necessary orders for vessels and supplies six months previous; thus, I naturally expected to find a fleet ready for departure, with the troops and stores waiting for instructions. To my surprise, I discovered that my orders had been so far neglected, that although the troops were at hand, there were no vessels prepared for transport. I was coolly informed by the governor-general that "it was impossible to procure the number of vessels required, therefore he had purchased a house for me, as he expected that I should remain that year at Khartoum, and start in the following season."

There literally was not one vessel ready for the voyage, in spite of the positive instructions that had been given. At the same time I found that the governor-general had just prepared a squadron of eleven vessels, with several companies of regular troops, for an expedition to the Bahr Gazal, where it was intended to form a settlement at the copper-mines on the frontier of Darfur. This expedition had been placed under the command of one of the most notorious ruffians and slave-hunters of the White Nile. This man, Kutchuk Ali, originally of low extraction, had made a fortune in his abominable traffic, and had accordingly received promotion from the governor; thus, at the same time that the Khedive of Egypt had employed me to suppress the slave trade of the Nile, a government expedition had been intrusted to the command of one of the most notorious slave-hunters.

I at once perceived that not only was my expedition unpopular, but that it would be seriously opposed by all parties. The troops had been quartered for some months at Khartoum; during this time the officers had been intimate with the principal slave-traders of the country. All were Mohammedans - thus a coalition would be natural against a Christian who commanded an expedition avowedly to annihilate the slave trade upon which Khartoum subsisted.

It was a "house divided against itself;" the Khedive in the north issued orders that would be neutralized in the distant south by his own authorities.

As in the United States of America the opinion of the South upon the question of emancipation was opposed to that of the North, - the opposition in Soudan was openly avowed to the reform believed to have been suggested to the Khedive by England.

The season was already far advanced. There is no weapon so fatal as delay in the hands of Egyptians. I knew the intentions of the authorities were to procrastinate until the departure of the expedition would become impossible. It was necessary to insist upon the immediate purchase of vessels which should have been prepared months before.

None of the steamers from Cairo had passed the cataracts. The fifteen large sloops upon which I had depended for the transport of camels had actually given up the attempt and returned to Cairo. Only the smaller vessels had mounted the cataracts, and they could not arrive at Khartoum for some months.

The first division, consisting of all merchandise that I had sent from Cairo, had arrived in Khartoum under the charge of a Syrian to whom I had given the command. I heard that Mr. Higginbotham, accompanied by Dr. Gedge and the English party, together with all the Egyptian mechanics, was on his way across the desert in charge of the steamers and machinery, carried by some thousand camels. The third division, brought up by Mr. Marcopolo, arrived from Souakim a few days later than ourselves, thus every arrangement that had been intrusted to my own officers was well executed.

After some pressure, the governor began to purchase the vessels. It may be imagined that a sudden necessity gave a welcome opportunity to certain officials. Old vessels were purchased at the price of new, and the government agent received a bribe from the owners to pass the vessels on survey. We were now fitting out under difficulties, and working at a task that should have been accomplished months before. Sailcloth was scarce; hempen ropes were rarities in Khartoum, where the wretched cordage was usually obtained from the leaves of the date-palm. The highest prices were paid for everything; thus a prearranged delay caused an immense expense for the expedition. I studiously avoided any purchases personally, but simply gave the necessary instructions to be executed by the governor. It is only fair to admit that he now worked hard, and took great interest in the outfit of the flotilla. This governor-general, Djiaffer Pacha, had formerly shown me much kindness on my arrival at Souakim, during my first journey in Africa. I had therefore reckoned upon him as a friend; but no personal considerations could palliate the secret hatred to the object of the expedition.

From morning till night I was occupied in pushing on the work; in this I was ably assisted by Lieutenant J. A. Baker, R.N., whose professional experience was of much service. A new spirit seemed to move in Khartoum; hundreds of men were at work; a row of masts and yards rose up before the government house; and in a few weeks we had thirty-three vessels of fifty or sixty tons each, caulked, rigged, and ready for the voyage of 1,450 miles to Gondokoro.

If the same energy had been shown some months ago, I should have found a fleet of fifty ships awaiting me. I had lost a month at Khartoum at a season when every day was precious.

I reviewed the troops, about 1,400 infantry, and two batteries of artillery. The men were in fine condition, but I had no means of transport for the entire force. I therefore instructed Djiaffer Pacha to continue his exertions in preparing vessels, so that on Dr. Higginbotham's arrival he might follow with the remaining detachment.

I reviewed the irregular cavalry, about 250 horse. These were certainly VERY irregular. Each man was horsed and armed according to his individual notion of a trooper's requirements. There were lank, half-starved horses; round short horses; very small ponies; horses that were all legs; others that were all heads; horses that had been groomed; horses that had never gone through that operation. The saddles and bridles were only fit for an old curiosity shop. There were some with faded strips of gold and silver lace adhering here and there; others that resembled the horse in skeleton appearance, which had been strengthened by strips of raw crocodile skin. The unseemly huge shovel-stirrups were rusty; the bits were filthy. Some of the men had swords and pistols; others had short blunderbusses with brass barrels; many had guns of various patterns, from the long old-fashioned Arab to the commonest double-barrelled French gun that was imported. The costumes varied in a like manner to the arms and animals.

Having formed in line, they now executed a brilliant charge at a supposed enemy, and performed many feats of valour in dense clouds of dust, and having quickly got into inconceivable confusion, they at length rallied and returned to their original position.

I complimented their officer; - and having asked the governor if these brave troops represented my cavalry force, and being assured of the fact, I dismissed them; and requested Djiaffer Pacha to inform them that "I regretted the want of transport would not permit me the advantage of their services. `Inshallah!' (Please God!) at some future time,"

I thus got rid of my cavalry, which I never wished to see again. I had twenty-one good horses that I had brought from Cairo, and these together with the horses belonging to the various officers were as much as we could convey.

The flotilla was ready for the voyage. We had engaged sailors with the greatest difficulty, as a general stampede of boatmen had taken place. Every one ran from Khartoum to avoid the expedition.

This was a dodge of the slave-traders, who had incited the people to escape from any connection with such an enterprise. It was supposed that without boatmen we should be unable to start.

The police authorities were employed, and by degrees the necessary crews were secured, - all unwilling, and composed of the worst material.

I had taken the precaution of selecting from the two regiments a body-guard of forty-six men. Their numbers were equal black and white, as I considered this arrangement might excite an esprit de corps, and would in the event of discontent prevent a coalition.

The men having been well chosen were fine examples of physique, and being armed with the snider rifle and carefully drilled, such a body of picked troops would form a nucleus for further development, and might become a dependable support in any emergency. This corps was commanded by an excellent officer, my aide-de-camp, Lieut.-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, but owing to the peculiar light-fingered character of the men, I gave it the name of "The Forty Thieves."

Eventually the corps became a model of morality, and was distinguished for valour and fidelity throughout the expedition.

Six months' rations were on board for all hands, in addition to the general stores of corn, and cases, bales, innumerable.

On the 8th February, 1870, the bugles announced the departure. The troops hurried on board their respective transports according to the numbers painted on their sides and sails. The official parting was accomplished. I had had to embrace the governor, then a black pacha, a rara avis in terris, and a whole host of beys, concluding the affecting ceremony with a very fat colonel whom my arms could not properly encircle.

A couple of battalions lined the shore; the guns fired the usual salute as we started on our voyage; the flotilla, composed of two steamers, respectively of thirty-two and twenty-four horsepower, and thirty-one sailing vessels, with a military force of about 800 men, got away in tolerable order. The powerful current of the Blue Nile quickly swept us past Khartoum, and having rounded the point, we steamed up the grand White Nile. The wind blew very strong from the north, thus the entire fleet kept pace with the steamers, one of which was towing my diahbeeah, and the other that of the colonel, Raouf Bey. Thank God we were off; thus all intrigues were left behind, and the future would be under my own command.

On reference to my journal, I find the following entry upon 8th February, 1870: -

"Mr. Higginbotham, who has safely arrived at Berber with the steel steamers in sections for the Albert N'yanza, will, I trust, be provided with vessels at Khartoum, according to my orders, so as to follow me to Gondokoro with supplies, and about 350 troops with four guns.

"My original programme - agreed to by his Highness the Khedive, who ordered the execution of my orders by the authorities - arranged that six steamers, fifteen sloops, and fifteen diahbeeahs, should leave Cairo on 10th June, to ascend the cataracts to Khartoum, at which place Djiaffer Pacha was to prepare three steamers and twenty-five vessels to convey 1,650 troops, together with transport animals and supplies.

"The usual Egyptian delays have entirely thwarted my plans. No vessels have arrived from Cairo, as they only started on 29th August. Thus, rather than turn back, I start with a mutilated expedition, without a SINGLE TRANSPORT ANIMAL."

Having minutely described the White Nile in a former work, "The Albert N'yanza," I shall not repeat the description. In 103 hours and ten minutes' steaming we reached Fashoda, the government station in the Shillook country, N. lat. 9 degrees 52 minutes, 618 miles by river from Khartoum.

This town had been fortified by a wall and flanking towers since I had last visited the White Nile, and it was garrisoned by a regiment of Egyptian soldiers. Ali Bey, the governor, was a remarkably handsome old man, a Kurd. He assured me that the Shillook country was in excellent order; and that according to the instructions received from the Khedive he had exerted himself against the slave trade, so that it was impossible for vessels to pass the station.

Fashoda was well situated for this purpose, as it completely dominated the river; but I much doubted my friend's veracity.

Having taken on board a month's rations for all hands, we started; and, with a strong breeze in our favour, we reached the Sobat junction on 16th February, at 12.30 p.m.

There we took in fresh water, as that of the Sobat is superior to the White Nile. At this season the river was about eight feet below the level of the bank. The water of the Sobat is yellowish, and it colours that of the White Nile for a great distance. By dead reckoning I made the Sobat junction 684 miles by river from Khartoum.

When I saw the Sobat, in the first week of January 1863, it was bank-full. The current is very powerful, and when I sounded in various places during my former voyage, I found a depth of twenty-six to twenty-eight feet. The volume of water brought to the Nile by this river is immense, and the power of the stream is so superior to that of the White Nile, that as it arrives at right angles, the waters of the Nile are banked up. The yellow water of the Sobat forms a distinct line as it cuts through the clear water of the main river, and the floating rafts of vegetation brought down by the White Nile, instead of continuing their voyage, are headed back, and remain helplessly in the backwater. The sources of the Sobat are still a mystery; but there can be no doubt that the principal volume must be water of mountain origin, as it is coloured by earthy matter, and is quite unlike the marsh water of the White Nile. The expeditions of the slave-hunters have ascended the river as far as it is navigable. At that point seven different streams converge into one channel, which forms the great river Sobat. It is my opinion that some of these streams are torrents from the Galla country, while others are the continuation of those southern rivers which have lately been crossed by the slave-hunters between the second and third degrees of N. latitude.

The White Nile is a grand river between the Sobat junction and Khartoum, and after passing to the south of the great affluent the difference in the character is quickly perceived. We now enter upon the region of immense flats and boundless marshes, through which the river winds in a labyrinth-like course for about 750 miles to Gondokoro.

Having left the Sobat, we arrived at the junction of the Bahr Giraffe, thirty-eight miles distant, at 11 a.m. on 17th February. We turned into the river, and waited for the arrival of the fleet.

The Bahr Giraffe was to be our new passage instead of the original White Nile. That river, which had become so curiously obstructed by masses of vegetation that had formed a solid dam, already described by me in "The Albert N'yanza," had been entirely neglected by the Egyptian authorities. In consequence of this neglect an extraordinary change had taken place. The immense number of floating islands which are constantly passing down the stream of the White Nile had no exit, thus they were sucked under the original obstruction by the force of the stream, which passed through some mysterious channel, until the subterranean passage became choked with a wondrous accumulation of vegetable matter. The entire river became a marsh, beneath which, by the great pressure of water, the stream oozed through innumerable small channels. In fact, the White Nile had disappeared. A vessel arriving from Khartoum in her passage to Gondokoro would find, after passing through a broad river of clear water, that her bow would suddenly strike against a bank of solid compressed vegetation - this was the natural dam that had been formed to an unknown extent: the river ceased to exist.

It may readily be imagined that a dense spongy mass which completely closed the river would act as a filter: thus, as the water charged with muddy particles arrived at the dam where the stream was suddenly checked, it would deposit all impurities as it oozed and percolated slowly through the tangled but compressed mass of vegetation. This deposit quickly created mud-banks and shoals, which effectually blocked the original bed of the river. The reedy vegetation of the country immediately took root upon these favourable conditions, and the rapid growth in a tropical climate may be imagined. That which had been the river bed was converted into a solid marsh.

This terrible accumulation had been increasing for five or six years, therefore it is impossible to ascertain or even to speculate upon the distance to which it might extend. The slave-traders had been obliged to seek another rout, which they had found via the Bahr Giraffe, which river had proved to be merely a branch of the White Nile, as I had suggested in my former work, and not an independent river.

I was rather anxious about this new route, as I had heard conflicting accounts in Khartoum concerning the possibility of navigating such large vessels as the steamers of thirty-two horse-power and a hundred feet length of deck. I was provided with guides who professed to be thoroughly acquainted with the river; these people were captains of trading vessels, who had made the voyage frequently.

On 18th February, at 10 A.M., the rear vessels of the fleet arrived, and at 11.40 A.M., the steamers worked up against the strong current independently. Towing was difficult, owing to the sharp turns of the river. The Bahr Giraffe was about seventy yards in width, and at this season the banks were high and dry. Throughout the voyage on the White Nile we had had excellent wild-fowl shooting whenever we had halted to cut fuel for the steamers. One afternoon I killed a hippopotamus, two crocodiles, and two pelicans, with the rifle. At the mouth of the Bahr Giraffe I bagged twenty-two ducks at a right and left shot with a No. 10-shot gun.

As the fleet now slowly sailed against the strong, current of the Bahr Giraffe, I walked along the hank with Lieutenant Baker, and shot ten of the large francolin partridge, which in this dry season were very numerous. The country was as usual flat, but bearing due south of the Bahr Giraffe junction, about twelve miles distant, is a low granite hill, partially covered with trees; this is the first of four similar low hills that are the only rising points above the vast prairie of flat plain.

As we were walking along the bank I perceived an animal ascending from the river, about two hundred yards distant, where it had evidently been drinking: we immediately endeavoured to cut off its retreat, when it suddenly emerged from the grass and discovered a fine lion with large shaggy mane. The king of beasts, as usual, would not stand to show fight in the open, but bounded off in the direction of the rocky hills.

It will be necessary to give a few extracts from my journal to convey an exact idea of the Bahr Giraffe. The river was very deep, averaging about nineteen feet, and it flowed in a winding course, through a perfectly flat country of prairie, diversified with forest all of which, although now dry, had the appearance of being flooded during the rainy season: -

"February 23. - Steamed from 6 A.M. till 7 P.M. Vast treeless marshes in wet season - now teeming with waterfowl: say fifty miles accomplished to-day through the ever-winding river. The wood from the last forest is inferior, and we have only sufficient fuel for five hours left upon the steamer. The diahbeeah in tow carries about twenty hours' fuel: thus, should we not arrive at some forest in twenty-five hours, we shall be helpless.

"The river was exceedingly narrow about fifteen miles from our starting point this morning. The stream was strong but deep, flowing through the usual tangled grass, but divided into numerous small channels and backwaters that render the navigation difficult.

"In this spot the river is quite bank-full, and the scattered native villages in the distance are in swamps. The innumerable high white ant-hills are the only dry spots.

"February 24. - Started at 6 A.M. Everybody eaten up by mosquitoes. At 9 A.M. the steamer smashed her starboard paddle: the whole day occupied in repairing. Saw a bull elephant in the marshes at a distance. Horrible treeless swamps swarming with mosquitoes.

"February 25. - Started at 7 A.M. At 10 A.M. arrived at a very narrow and shallow portion of this chaotic river completely choked by drift vegetation. All hands worked hard to clear a passage through this obstruction until 2.30, when we passed ahead. At 4 P.M. we arrived at a similar obstacle; the water very shallow; and to-morrow we shall have to cut a passage through the high grass, beneath which there is deeper water. I ordered fifty swords to be sharpened for the work. We counted seventy elephants in the distance, but there is no possibility of reaching them through the immense area, of floating vegetation.

"February 26. - Hard at work with forty men cutting a canal about 150 yards long through the dense mass of compressed vegetation.

"February 27. - Working hard at canal. The fleet has not arrived; thus we are short-handed.

"February 28. - The canal progresses, the men having worked well. It is a curious collection of trash that seriously impedes navigation. The grass resembles sugar-canes; this grows from twenty to thirty feet in length, and throws out roots at every joint; thus, when matted together, its roots still increase, and render the mass a complete tangle. During the wet season the rush of water tears off large rafts of this floating water-grass, which accumulate in any favourable locality. The difficulty of clearing a passage is extreme. After cutting out a large mass with swords, a rope is made fast, and the raft is towed out by hauling with thirty or forty men until it is detached and floated down the stream. Yesterday I cut a narrow channel from above stream in the hope that the rush of water would loosen the mass of vegetation. After much labour, at 12.30 p.m. the whole obstruction appeared to heave. There was soon no doubt that it was moving, and suddenly the entire dam broke up. Immense masses were carried away by the rush of water and floated down the river; these will, I fear, cause an obstruction lower down the stream.

"We got up steam, served out grog to all the men, and started at 2 P.M. In half-an-hour's steaming we arrived at another block vegetation. In one hour and three-quarters we cleared a passage, and almost immediately afterwards we arrived at the first piece of dry ground that we have seen for days. This piece of firm land was a few feet higher than the maximum rise of the river, and afforded about half an acre. We stopped for the night.

"March 1. - Started at 6.30 A.M., the river narrowing immediately, and after a run of half a mile we found ourselves caught in a trap. The river, although fourteen feet deep, had entirely disappeared in a boundless sea of high grass, which resembled sugar-canes. There was no possibility of progress. I returned to our halting-place of last night in a small rowing-boat, and examined it thoroughly. I found marks of occupation by the slave-traders, about three months old. Among the vestiges were the remains of fires, a piece of a lucifer-match box, a number of cartridge cases - they had been fired - and a piece of raw hide pierced with bullets, that had evidently been used as a target.

"I shot two geese and five plover, and returned to our vessel. My opinion is that the slave-hunters have made a razzia inland from this spot, but that our guide, Bedawi, has led us into a wrong channel.

"I attempted to seek a passage ahead, but it was quite impossible for the smallest rowing boat to penetrate the dense vegetation.

"An advance being impossible, I ordered the steamer and two diahbeeahs to return down the river about eighty miles to our old wooding-place at the last forest, as we are nearly out of fuel. We thus lose time and trouble, but there is no help for it. For some days there has been no wind, except uncertain breaths from the south. Unless a change shall take place, I have no idea how the fleet will be able to come up against the stream.

"March 2. - At 6.30 a.m. we got under way and ran down stream at eight miles an hour towards our old wooding-place. Saw a few buffaloes. At 1 p.m. we passed on left bank a branch of the river. At 3.30 sighted the tall yards of the fleet in the distance. At 4.30 we arrived at the extreme southern limit of the forest, and met Raouf Bey with the steamer and twenty-five vessels, with a good supply of wood. The troops were in good health, but one unfortunate man had been carried off by a crocodile while sitting on the vessel with his legs hanging over the side.

"March 3. - Filling up with wood from the forest.

"March 4. - Sent the steamer back to the station of Kutchuk Ali, the trader, to procure some cattle for the troops. In this neighbourhood there is dry land with many villages, but the entire country has been pillaged by Kutchuk Ali's people - the natives murdered, the women carried off,

"Raouf Bey counted the bodies of eighteen natives who had been shot near the trader's camp. Yesterday I went to a native village, and made friends with the people, some of whom came down to our boats; they complained bitterly that they were subject to pillage and massacre by the traders. These so-called traders are the people of Kutchuk Ali, THE OFFICER EMPLOYED BY THE GOVENOR-GENERAL OF THE SOUDAN to command his expedition to the Bahr Gazal!

"Filled up with a large supply of wood ready to start tomorrow.

"March 5. - Great good fortune! A fine north wind for the first time during many days. All the vessels sailing well. We started at 7 a.m. Saw a Baleniceps Rex[*]; this is the second of these rare birds that I have seen.

[*Footnote: The whale-headed stork, or Baleniceps Rex, is only met with in the immense swamps of the White Nile. This bird feeds generally upon water shellfish, for which nature has provided a most powerful beak armed with a hook at the extremity.)

"At 1 p.m., as we were steaming easily, I happened to be asleep on the poop-deck, when I was suddenly awakened by a shock, succeeded almost immediately by the cry, `The ship's sinking!' A hippopotamus had charged the steamer from the bottom, and had smashed several floats off her starboard paddle. A few seconds later he charged our diahbeeah, and striking her bottom about ten feet from the bow, he cut two holes through the iron plates with his tusks. There was no time to lose, as the water was rushing in with great force. Fortunately, in this land of marsh and floating grass, there were a few feet of tolerably firm ground rising from the deep water. Running alongside, all hands were hard at work discharging cargo with great rapidity, and baling out with every conceivable utensil, until we obtained assistance from the steamer, whose large hand pump and numerous buckets at length so far overcame the rush of water, that we could discover the leaks.

"We now found two clean holes punched through the iron as though driven by a sharp pickaxe. Some hours were occupied in repairing the damage by plastering white lead upon some thick felt; this was placed over the holes, and small pieces of plank being laid over the felt, they were secured by an upright piece of timber tightened with wedges from a cross-beam. The leaks were thus effectually and permanently stopped.

"By sunset all was completed and the vessel reloaded; but I sent twenty-eight boxes of snider ammunition on board the tender. This miserable wood tender has sprung her yard so that she cannot carry sail. The day was entirely lost together with a fine north wind.

"March, 6. - Brisk wind from the north. Started at 5.45 a.m., but at 7 a.m. something happened to the engine, and the steamer stopped until eight. After frequent stoppages, owing to the sharp bends in the narrow river, we arrived at the spot where we had formerly opened the dam; there the current ran like a rapid.

"March 7. - Much difficulty in ascending the river, but upon arrival at the dry ground (called the 'dubba'), we found the No. 8 steamer and the whole fleet assembled, with the exception of six that are in sight.

"March 8. - The other vessels arrived; I have thus thirty-four sail, including the two steamers. The entire country is swamp, covered with immensely high water-grass, beneath which the depth is considerable. The reputed main channel of the river is supposed to come from S.W., this is only denoted by a stream three or four feet broad, concealed by high grass, and in places choked by the Pistia Stratiotes. These surface plants, which resemble floating cabbages with fine thready roots, like a human beard of sixteen inches in length, form dense masses which are very difficult to clear

"Our guides are useless, as we cannot depend upon their contradictory statements. We are in a deplorable position - the whole fleet in a cul-de-sac; the river has disappeared; an unknown distance of apparently boundless marsh lies before us; there is no wood, and there is no possibility of moving without cutting a channel.

"I have ordered thirty vessels to form in line, single file, and to cut a canal.

"March. 9. - The men worked famously, but I much fear they will be laid up with fever if kept at such an unhealthy task. To-day a force of 700 men cut about a mile and a half. They are obliged to slash through with swords and knives, and then to pull out the greater portion of the grass and vegetable trash; this is piled like artificial banks on either side upon the thick floating surface of vegetation. I took a small boat and pushed on for a mile and a half. I found a very narrow stream, like a small brook, which gave hopes of lighter labour for to-morrow. I shall therefore try to force the steamer through. Thirty-two men reported on the sick list this evening.

"March 10. - A fine north wind for about half an hour, when it suddenly chopped round to the S.E. We cut on far ahead, so that I was able to push on the steamers and the whole fleet for a distance of about five miles. I had a touch of fever.

"March 11. - Frightful stinking morass. All stopped at a black muddy pond in the swamp. The river is altogether lost. We have to cut a passage through the morass. Hard work throughout the day. One soldier died of sunstroke. No ground in which to bury him.

"It is a curious but most painful fact that the entire White Nile has ceased to be a navigable river. The boundless plains of marsh are formed of floating rafts of vegetation compressed into firm masses by the pressure of water during floods. So serious is this obstacle to navigation, that unless a new channel can be discovered, or the original Nile be reopened, the centre of Africa will be entirely shut out from communication, and all my projects for the improvement of the country will be ruined by this extraordinary impediment.

"March 12. - I think I can trace by telescope the fringe of tall papyrus rush that should be the border of the White Nile; but this may be a delusion. The wind is S.W., dead against us. Many men are sick owing to the daily work of clearing a channel through the poisonous marsh. This is the Mahommedan festival of the Hadj, therefore there is little work to-day.

"March 13. - Measured 460 yards of apparently firm marsh, through which we plumbed the depth by long poles thrust to the bottom.

"Flowing water being found beneath, I ordered the entire force to turn out and cut a channel, which I myself superintended in the advance boat.

"By 6 p.m. the canal was completed, and the wind having come round to the north, we sailed through the channel and entered a fine lake about half a mile wide, followed by the whole fleet with bugles and drums sounding the advance, the troops vainly hoping that their work was over. The steamers are about a mile behind, and I have ordered their paddles to be dismounted to enable them to be towed through the high grass in the narrow channel.

"March 14. - At 6 a.m. I started and surveyed the lake in a small rowing boat, and found it entirely shut in and separated from another small lake by a mass of dense rotten vegetation about eighty yards in width. I called all hands, and cleared it in fifty-five minutes sufficiently to allow the fleet to pass through. Upon an examination of the next lake, I found, to my intense disappointment, that not only was it closed in, but there was no outlet visible even from the mast-head. Not a drop of water was to be seen ahead, and the entire country was a perfect chaos, where the spirit of God apparently had not yet moved upon the waters. There was neither earth nor clear water, nor any solid resting-place for a human foot. Now and then a solitary bittern rose from the marsh, but, beyond a few water-rails, there were no other birds. The grass was swarming with snakes, and also with poisonous ants that attacked the men, and greatly interfered with the work.

"It is easier to clear a passage through the green grass than through the rotten vegetation. The former can be rolled in heaps so as to form banks, it is then secured by tying it to the strong grass growing behind it; the rotten stuff has no adherence, and a channel closes up almost as fast as it is made, thus our labour does no permanent good. I am in great anxiety about Mr. Higginbotham; it will be impossible for him to proceed by this route, should he arrive with a comparatively small force and heavily-laden vessels.

"As the channel closes so rapidly, I must wait until the steamers can form a compact line with the fleet.

"The black troops have more spirit than the Egyptians, but they are not so useful in clearing channels, as they are bad swimmers. They discovered to-day a muddy spot where they had a great hunt for fish, and succeeded in capturing with their hands about 500 pounds weight of the Prolypterus, some of which were above four pounds. We caught for ourselves a number of very delicious boulti (Perca Nilotica) with a casting-net.

"March 15. - Having probed the marsh with long poles, I found deep water beneath, which denoted the course of the sub-vegetal stream. All hands at work, and by the evening we had cut a channel 300 yards in length. The marsh swarms with snakes, one of which managed to enter the cabin window of the diahbeeah. The two steamers, now far astern, have become choked by a general break up and alteration of their portion of the world. The small lake in which I left them is no longer open water, but has become a dense maps of compressed vegetable rafts, in which the steamers are jammed as though frozen in an ice-drift in the Arctic regions! There is much work required to clear them. The only chance of progress will be to keep the entire fleet in compact line so as to push through a new channel as quickly as it is made. I shall send back the wood tender, if possible, from this spot with a letter to stop Mr. Higginbotham should he be south of the Sobat, as it will be impossible for him to proceed until next season. Many of the men are sick with fever, and if this horrible country should continue, they will all sicken.

"March 16. - I went back in a rowing boat, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker, to the two steamers which we found stuck fast in the drift rafts, that had closed in upon then. Many men are sick - all are dispirited; and they worked badly. Having worked all day, we returned at 6.30 p.m., to my diahbeeah, having the good fortune to shoot seven ducks by a family shot upon a mud bank on the way home.

"I found that the main body under the colonel, Raouf Bey, had completed the channel about 900 yards long to lake No. 3. I ordered sail to be made immediately, and after five hours' hard work, as the channel was already beginning to close, we arrived in the open lake at 11.15 p.m., in which we found the fleet at anchor.

"March 17. - The lake is about 2 1/2 miles long, and varies from 150 to 300 yards in width, with a mean depth of ten feet. I sent men ahead in the boat to explore the exit; they now report it to be closed by a small dam, after which we shall enter another lake. Thunder and clouds threatening in the southeast.

"About half-an-hour before sunset I observed the head of a hippopotamus emerge from the bank of high grass that fringed the lake. My troops had no meat - thus I would not lose the opportunity of procuring, if possible, a supply of hippopotamus beef. I took a Reilly No. 8 breechloader, and started in the little dingy belonging to the diahbeeah. Having paddled quietly along the edge of the grass for a couple of hundred yards, I arrived near the spot from which the hippopotamus had emerged.

"It is the general habit of the hippopotami in these marsh districts to lie in the high grass swamps during the day, and to swim or amuse themselves in the open water at sunset.

"I had not waited long before I heard a snort, and I perceived the hippopotamus had risen to the surface about fifty yards from me. This distance was a little too great for the accurate firing necessary to reach the brain, especially when the shot must be taken from a boat, in which there is always some movement. I therefore allowed the animal to disappear, after which I immediately ordered the boat forward, to remain exactly over the spot where he had sunk. A few minutes elapsed, when the great ugly head of the hippopotamus appeared about thirty paces from the boat, and having blown the water from his nostrils, and snorted loudly, he turned round and seemed astonished to find the solitary little boat so near him. Telling the two boatmen to sit perfectly quiet, so as to allow a good sight, I aimed just below the eye, and fired a heavy shell, which contained a bursting charge of three drachms of fine-grained powder. The head disappeared. A little smoke hung over the water, and I could not observe other effects. The lake was deep, and after vain sounding for the body with a boathook, I returned to the diahbeeah just as it became dark.

"March 18. - A heavy shower of rain fell, which lasted for an hour and a half. When the rain ceased, the day continued cloudy with variable wind. The body of the hippopotamus was discovered at daybreak floating near us, therefore all hands turned out to cut him up, delighted at the idea of fresh meat. There was about an acre of high and dry ground that bordered the marsh in one spot; to this the carcase of the hippopotamus was towed. I was anxious to observe the effects of the explosive shell, as it was an invention of my own that had been manufactured by Mr. Reilly, [*] the gunmaker, of London. This shell was composed of iron, covered with lead. The interior was a cast-iron bottle (similar in shape to a stoneware Seltzer water bottle); the neck formed a nipple to receive a percussion-cap. The entire bottle was concealed by a leaden coating, which was cast in a mould to fit a No. 8, or two-ounce rifle. The iron bottle contained three drachms of the strongest gunpowder, and a simple cap pressed down upon the nipple prepared the shell for service.

[*Footnote: Mr. Reilly, of 502 New Oxford Street, has been most successful in heavy rifles, with which he has supplied me in both my African expeditions.]

"On an examination of the head of the hippopotamus, I found that the shell had struck exactly beneath the eye, where the bone plate is thin. It had traversed the skull, and had apparently exploded in the brain, as it had entirely carried away the massive bone that formed the back of the skull. The velocity of the projectile had carried the fragments of the shell onwards after the explosion, and had formed a sort of tunnel which was blackened with burnt powder for a considerable distance along the flesh of the neck. I was quite satisfied with my explosive shell.

"The hippopotamus having been divided among the men, I sent Raouf Bey with a large force to assist the steamers, which still remain fixed in the same spot.

"At 2 p.m. it poured with rain until 9 p.m. Everything is soaking; and I have great anxiety about our large stores of corn.

"March 19. - Fine day, but all cargo, stores, are wet. The miserable vessels of the Soudan are without decks, thus one heavy shower creates much damage. The men are busy drying their clothes, Two soldiers died. Steamers far astern in the sudd, regularly fixed.

"March 20. - A boy died. I sent fresh men to the assistance of the steamers, which have to be literally dug out.

"March 21. - Yesterday as the men were digging out the steamers, which had become blocked by the floating rafts, they felt something struggling beneath their feet. They immediately scrambled away in time to avoid the large head of a crocodile that broke its way through the tangled mass in which it had been jammed and held prisoner by the rafts. The black soldiers, armed with swords and bill-hooks, immediately attacked the crocodile, who, although freed from imprisonment, had not exactly fallen into the hands of the Royal Humane Society. He was quickly despatched, and that evening his flesh gladdened the cooking pots of the Soudani regiment.

"I was amused with the account of this adventure given by various officers who were eye-witnesses. One stated in reply to my question as to the length of the animal, `Well, sir, I should not like to exaggerate, but I should say it was forty-five feet long from snout to tail!' Another witness declared it to be at least twenty feet; but by rigid cross-examination I came to the conclusion that it did not exceed ten.

"The steamers and tender, having been released, arrived this morning. At 1 p.m. we started with a light air from the northeast, and travelled till 3.30 p.m. along the lake, which narrowed to the dimensions of a moderate river. We at length arrived at a sudd which the advance boats had cleared for about sixty yards. Having emerged, we were introduced to a deep but extremely narrow channel flowing through the usual enormous grass.

"The whole fleet ranged in single line to widen the passage. We are now about twelve miles from the dubba, or raised dry ground, near to which we first commenced clearing. We have actually cut away about six miles of vegetation. No dependence whatever can be placed upon the guides: no place answers to their descriptions. We have now been hard at work for thirteen days with a thousand men, during which time we have travelled only twelve miles!

"March 22. - Wind S.W. - foul. The people are all lazy and despairing. Cleared a sudd. I explored ahead in a small boat. As usual, the country is a succession of sudds and small open patches of water. The work is frightful, and great numbers of my men are laid down with fever; thus my force is physically diminished daily, while morally the men are heart-broken. Another soldier died; but there is no dry spot to bury him. We live in a world of swamp and slush. Lieutenant Baker shot a Baleniceps Rex. This day we opened about 600 yards.

"March 23. - We have been throughout the day employed in tugging the vessels through the channel. The Egyptians have quite lost heart. The Soudanis are far more valuable as soldiers; none of them are ill, and they work with a good will. I serve them out a glass of grog in the evening. The fanatical fellahs will not touch spirits, thus they succumb to fever and nervousness when exhausted by the chill occasioned by working throughout the day in mud and water.

"March 24. - Wind fresh from the S.W. All the vessels assembled last evening in a small lake. Before us there is as usual simply a narrow stream closed in by vegetation. I observed marks of the traders' parties having broken through a few months ago. These people travel without merchandise, but with a large force of men: thus their vessels are of light draught of water. My steamers and many of the boats require four feet six inches. Every vessel is heavily laden, thus they are difficult to manage unless in open and deep water.

"There is to-day a forest on the east, about two miles distant, beyond the swamp. After a hard day's work we made about 1,400 yards.

"March 25. - Wind fair and fresh from the N.E. This helped us to make about a mile through the narrow channel, hemmed in by thick and high grass. Another soldier died. As usual, this poor fellow was an artilleryman. These men came direct from Cairo with their guns, and not being acclimatized, they cannot resist the fever. The Egyptian troops give in and lose all heart; but there is much allowance to be made for them, as it is a fearful country, and far beyond my worst experience. There is no apparent break to the boundless marsh before and behind us, this is about fifteen miles wide, as forest trees and the tall dolape palms can sometimes be distinguished upon the horizon.

"What the unfortunate Higginbotham will do I cannot conceive, as there is no possibility of communicating with him, and he will get into the rainy season.

"Another soldier died this evening; he was an excellent man, who had been employed at the arsenal at Cairo. His friend and bosom companion was a fellow workman, and he was so grieved at the loss that he declared he should not live beyond a few days. There was no dry ground in which to dig a grave; it was therefore necessary to cut a hole in the base of a white ant-hill, as these Babel-like towers were the only dry spots that rose above the flood.

"This death is the sixth within the last few days, exclusive of one boy. I think our black doctor assists them in departing from this life, as they die very suddenly when he attends them. Like Dr. Sangrado, he is very fond of the lancet, which is usually fatal in this climate. We made about half a mile today.

"March 26. - Wind fresh from the S.E. The ditch is completely blocked up with vegetation: thus we made only 250 yards. Before us, as usual, is the hopeless sea of high grass, along which is a dark streak which marks the course of the ditch through which we slowly clear a passage. How many days or months we may require to reach the White Nile is a problem. One hundred and fifty men are on the sick list; nearly all of them are fellahs. Upon my own diahbeeah six soldiers out of ten are down with fever, in addition to two of the sailors. I gave them all a shock with the magnetic battery, which appeared to have a wonderful effect; one fellow, who had been groaning with severe pains in his back and limbs, declared that he was instantly relieved. I made a good shot with the Dutchman at a Baleniceps Rex, at a distance of upwards of 200 yards.

"There is no rest by night or day for our people, who are preyed upon by clouds of mosquitoes, which attack like bulldogs.

"March 27. - All hands hard at work clearing the ditch. Wind S.E. - fresh. The diahbeeah, as usual, leads the way, followed by No. 10 steamer, and the whole fleet in close line. Most of the men suffer from headache; this is owing to the absurd covering, the fez, or tarboosh, which is no protection against the sun.

"In the evening I took a small boat, and in forty-one minutes' poling and tugging through the narrow channel, I succeeded in reaching a long narrow lake resembling a river, about 110 yards wide. The mouth of our effluent was, for a wonder, clear from obstruction; I returned with the joyful news to the fleet after sunset.

"March 28. - At 7.30 a.m. all hands turned out to clear the channel to the lake; this was about 500 yards long, and the diahbeeah, leading the way, entered the lake at 11.30 a.m. Unfortunately a shallow channel near the entrance prevented the steamers from entering, thus a passage had to be dug in the tough clay beneath them. The wind strong from the south. I am afraid the north wind has deserted us for the season.

"Having entered the lake, I went about a mile and a half ahead in my diahbeeah, and anchored for the night in a broad and shallow portion of the water, a forest being about a mile distant on the east bank: this was a good sign of terra firma, but there was no dry spot upon which we could land.

"The river winds to the S.E., and apparently then turns to the west. The effluent through which we joined this lake or river meets it at right angles, and the river continues its course to the N.N.W., as though it were the main channel of a far more important stream than the horrible ditch by which we arrived. The guide, however, assures me that it is blocked up, and loses itself in boundless grass and reeds.

"In the evening I spied a hippopotamus which had just come out of the high grass into the open river. It snorted loudly at the strange sight of the handsomely-painted diahbeeah. I took the boat, and upon my near approach it was foolish enough to swim towards us angrily. A shot from the Reilly No. 8, with one of my explosive shells, created a lively dance, as the hippopotamus received the message under the eye. Rolling over and over, with the legs frequently in the air, it raised waves that rocked my little boat and made shooting difficult; but upon a close approach, taking good care to keep out of the reach of its struggles, I gave it a quietus with a hardened spherical ball from the same rifle, which passed right through the head. By sounding with the long boat-hook, I found the body at the bottom in about ten feet of water. My excellent captain of the diahbeeah, Faddul-Moolah, dived to the bottom, and secured the leg of the hippopotamus by a rope. We towed it to the diahbeeah, from the deck of which my wife had had a capital view of the sport. This is a fine feast for the people. My explosive shell is frightful in its effects.

"March 29. - Wind strong from the south; the steamer is not yet out of difficulty. My men are busy cutting up the hippopotamus. I sent off the iron boat with three quarters of the animal to the troops astern. During the night a crocodile took away all the offal from the stern of the diahbeeah. The weather is much cooler, owing to the south wind and the clear space in which we are now anchored.

"March 30.-The river is now clear and unmistakable. We travelled about ten miles by poling; this is the best day's work that we have made since we entered this chaotic region. Lieutenant Baker came on board my diahbeeah, having brought up the steamers.

"The country began to look more hopeful. A forest at a few miles' distance on both the right and left bank of the river betokened dry land. The river flowed between actual honest banks, which although only a few inches above the water were positive boundaries. The flat plain was covered with large white ant-hills, and the ground was evidently firm in the distance, as we could distinguish a herd of antelopes.

"As we were quietly poling the diahbeeah against the sluggish stream, we observed wild buffaloes that, at a distance of about 400 yards, appeared to be close to the bank of the river. I accordingly stopped the diahbeeah, and, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker, I approached them in the small boat, rowed by two men. A fortunate bend of the river, and several clumps of high rushes, concealed the boat until by a sudden turn we came within sixty yards of two bull buffaloes. Having told Mr. Baker to take the first shot, he sent a spherical No. 8 through the shoulder of the nearest bull, which, after a few plunges, fell dead. The other, startled at the shot, dashed off; at the same time he received a shell from my rifle in the flank, and a shot from the left-hand barrel in the rear. With these shots he went off about three hundred paces, and lay down, as we thought, to die. I intended to stalk him from behind the white ant-hills, but my sailors, in intense excitement, rushed forward, supposing that his beef was their own, and although badly hit, he again rose and cantered off till lost in high rushes.

"March 31.-As we proceeded, the banks became drier. The two steamers had arrived during the night, and the whole fleet is coming up astern. The river is now about fifty yards wide, but I am getting nervous about the depth; the water is very shallow in some of the bends, and I fear there will be great difficulty in getting through with the steamers and heavy vessels. My diahbeeah, which is of iron, although roomy, is exceedingly light, and only requires two feet three inches of water. We have been fifty-one days from Khartoum. Never have I known so miserable a voyage. Wind fresh from the south."