CHAPTER VII. ARRIVAL AT GONDOKORO.

After the usual voyage upon the White Nile, during which we passed the Bohr and the Shir tribes, and had excellent sport in antelope shooting when the steamer stopped at forests to cut fuel, we arrived opposite the old mission station at Gondokoro on April 15, 1871.

I found a great change in the river since my last visit. The old channel, which had been of great depth where it swept beneath the cliffs, was choked with sand-banks. New islands had formed in many places, and it was impossible for the vessels to approach the old landing-place. We therefore dropped down the stream to a spot where high ground and a few trees invited us to the east bank. At this place the traders had founded a new settlement that was now without in habitants, and was represented by half-a-dozen broken-down old huts.

"The country is sadly changed; formerly, pretty native villages in great numbers were dotted over the landscape, beneath shady clumps of trees, and the land was thickly populated. Now, all is desolate: not a village exists on the mainland; they have all been destroyed, and the inhabitants have been driven for refuge on the numerous low islands of the river; these are thronged with villages, and the people are busily cultivating the soil.

"I sent for the chief, Allorron, who, upon arrival with some other natives, explained that his country had been destroyed by the attacks of the people of Loquia at the instigation of the traders. I promised him protection if he and his people would return to the mainland and become true subjects to the Khedive. At the same time I informed him that, in return for protection, his people must cultivate corn, and build the huts required for the troops upon arrival. This he promised to do, and I arranged that he should summon a general meeting of the headmen and their people to-morrow, or as soon as possible.

"I at once cleared a small plot of ground and sowed some garden seeds on the new soil now annexed to Egypt. My soldiers took a great interest in the operation, and as we covered the seeds with light earth, we concluded the sowing with the usual ejaculation-'Biamillah!' (in the name of God).

"I walked up to the old mission station. Not one brick remains upon another - all is totally destroyed. The few fruit-trees planted by the pious hands of the Austrian Missionaries remain in a tangled wilderness by the river's bank. The beautiful avenue of large lemon trees has been defaced by the destruction of many boughs, while the ground beneath is literally covered by many thousands of withered lemons that have fallen neglected from the branches without a hand to gather them. The natives will not eat them, thus the delicious fruit has been wasted; perhaps sixty or eighty bushels have rotted on the earth. I trust that the seeds I have already sown will have a more useful result than the lost labour of the unfortunate missionaries. It would be heartbreaking to them could they see the miserable termination of all their good works.

April 16. - The mileage from the junction of the Bahr Giraffe I have calculated at 364 to this point (Gondokoro); but I deduct 10 per cent., as we took several wrong turns of the river. The distance may be about 330 miles.

From Bahr Giraffe, junction to Gondokoro           330 miles
Upper Nile junction to Dubba on Bahr Giraffe 48 miles
Dubba to Lower Nile junction 300 miles
Lower Nile junction to Sobat 38 miles
Sobat to Khartoum 693 miles
1,409 miles to Gondokoro."

The chief Allorron arrived with a number of his people, and asked for "araki and cognac!" He is a big and savage-looking naked brute of the lowest description, his natural vices having been increased by constant associations with the slave-hunters. This man declared that his people could not prepare materials for the camp, as the neighbouring tribes were hostile; and he could not venture to collect bamboos.

I told him that if my orders were not obeyed, the troops would be obliged to be sheltered in his villages upon arrival, as I could not allow them to be exposed to the rains.

Both Allorron and his people looked extremely sullen, and although I always knew the Baris to be the worst tribe in the Nile basin, I was not prepared for such a morose welcome. I explained to him the object of the expedition. He seemed quite incredulous, and made some remark to his followers in his own language with a contemptuous smile. He rather approved of the idea that slave-taking would be suppressed in his own tribe, but he could not sympathize with the general principle, and he asked "What will the slave-traders do?" Colonel Abd-el-Kader replied to the question by explaining to him my exact position, and the relative position of the traders. At this he burst out laughing in the rudest manner. He had seen me and my wife on our former voyage, and he well remembered that in those days we had been not only helpless in Gondokoro, but that the traders had spoken of all Europeans with contempt. He had already hoard from Abou [*] Saood's people of my expected arrival, by whom he had been incited against the expedition. It had been explained to him, that if baffled, we should soon become disgusted, and return to Khartoum. He also remembered that many Europeans had visited Gondokoro like myself, but none had remained. It was therefore natural that a brutal savage, whose people were allied with the slave-traders, to attack and pillage outlying countries, should not regard with favour a new government that would establish law and order. For many years Allorron's tribe had been associated with the slavers, and now that the entire country had been leased to one man, Abou Saood, he had become the vakeel, or representative of this individual, by whom he had been thoroughly prepared for our arrival. We had been expected long ago, but, as already described, the delays attending the opening of the Suez canal had prevented us from starting.

[*Footnote: The agent of the great company of Agad Co., who farmed the district from the government.]

I quickly perceived the real state of affairs. A great number of Allorron's people were absent in the interior, employed by Abou Saood's companies as mercenary soldiers. The Baris are a most warlike tribe, and would make excellent troops; thus they were valuable allies of the slave-hunters, as the geographical position of Gondokoro rendered it the only spot that was adapted for an important station. The traders now possessed of the monopoly of the ivory trade, found no necessity for a permanent station at Gondokoro, as their interests were watched during their absence in the interior by their ally Allorron; they accordingly only visited Gondokoro when they returned periodically from the interior with their ivory and slaves to meet the vessels from Khartoum.

Allorron was in the habit of despatching messengers to their various camps (seven or eight days' march for a running negro) to give the vakeels notice of the arrival of the expected vessels. Many hundreds of his people had been armed with guns by the traders, therefore his tribe and the companies of Abou Saood were thoroughly incorporated, brigands allied with brigands, and Gondokoro had become the nucleus to which the spoil was concentrated.

These were people by whom the blessings of a good government were hardly to be understood.

Unfortunately for Allorron, he had joined the slave-hunters of Abou Saood against neighbours that were unpleasantly close to Gondokoro. The Loquia, a most powerful tribe, only three days' march to the south-east, had lost slaves and cattle by these depredations; thus, when the slave-hunters' parties had quitted Gondokoro and returned to their station in the interior, Loquia had invaded the unprotected Allorron, and had utterly destroyed his district on the eastern mainland. For many miles the country now resembled a very lovely park. Every habitation had disappeared, and this formerly populous position was quite deserted by the surviving inhabitants, who had taken refuge in the islands, or on the west side of the river. At this season the entire country was covered with a tender herbage - that species of fine grass, called by the Arabs "negheel," which is the best pasturage for cattle. Allorron's people dared not bring their herds to pasture upon this beautiful land from whence they had been driven, as they were afraid that the news would soon reach Loquia, who would pounce unexpectedly upon them from the neighbouring forest.

I had therefore arrived in a country from which the original possessors had been banished by superior force: there was not a single representative of the tribe upon the mainland, neither could their cattle venture across the river to pasture upon the beautiful herbage, that was now entirely neglected except by a few herds of antelopes. At the same time, the pasturage on the islands, being insufficient for the large herds of cattle, was consumed, and the animals were dependent upon the rank grass, which they could only reach by wading into the water; thus many were taken by crocodiles.

It would have been natural to suppose that Allorron and his people would have welcomed the protection now offered by the new government. I invited them to return to their old country, from which they had been expelled, and to rebuild their villages on their old sites, where they could recommence their cultivation, and form a new settlement under the wing of our headquarters.

It was easy to perceive by the manner of the chief, Allorron, and his people that they had been incited by Abou Saood and his companies against the expedition. My delay in starting from Egypt had been of immense advantage to the slave-traders, as it had given them time to organize a resistance to the expedition. The negroes are easily misled; naturally vicious and treacherous, they are ready to believe any tales of evil: and as a young child may be frightened by a ghost story, they also may by a few words be rendered suspicious of their best friend. Their interests were the same as those of the slave-traders.

My "Forty Thieves" [*] were excellent fellows, and all the men who were constantly about me were very different from those who formed the bulk of the military force. I now commenced a small station and a large garden.

[*Footnote: The bodyguard of picked men, armed with snider rifles.]

I had chosen a pretty spot for my station, as I did not intend to reside at head-quarters, which would be the site originally occupied by the Austrian mission, and was well adapted for a large town.

My position was a rising knoll of about six acres upon which grew a few shady trees. This spot had been the station of a missionary known by the natives under the name of "Suleiman;" his was the only name remembered by the Baris, and his body had been buried here, but nothing marked the spot. He had passed away, like all the rest of these good and self-sacrificing people, without leaving one trace of good works among this barbarous tribe except the lemon-trees; theirs was the only seed that appeared to have fallen on good ground.

In a few days my men had made a large garden, in which I sowed onions, radishes, beans, spinach, four varieties of water melons, sweet melons, cucumbers, oranges, custard apples, Indian corn, garlic, barmian, tobacco, cabbages, tomatoes, chilis, long capsicums, carrots, parsley, celery. I arranged the daily labour so that the soldiers and sailors should work at the cultivation from 6 A.M. till 11; after which they might have the day to themselves, to construct their own huts.

At this season, 20th April 1871, the river was extremely low; I therefore fixed a pole with marked inches to register the rise of floods.

By the 23rd April all my men had arranged gardens parallel with the lines of their camp. I gave them various seeds, with a promise of prizes for the finest specimens of vegetables that might be produced. I had always endeavoured to create a taste for agriculture among my people, and they had now learnt that the commencement of a new settlement was the signal for cultivation. I believe that no employment engenders such a love of a particular locality as that of farming, provided always that the soil and climate are favourable. Thus, in an expedition to a distant land, it is necessary to induce the feelings of HOME among the people. The hut by itself is simply shelter, but the same hut surrounded by a neat and productive garden, the result of industry, becomes a settled residence. It is pleasant to watch the blossoms of home flowers and vegetables that you may have yourself introduced and planted. A good English cabbage or carrot may not be introduced in poetry so generally as the rose, but in a new settlement in a wild country, the success of a cabbage or carrot is of more importance to the expedition than bouquets of flowers.

Even the women and boys that were domestic servants, originally slaves that I had liberated from the traders, had learnt to take a great interest in cultivation. Each had a garden, and a day never passed without permission being asked for a few hours' recreation with the spade or hoe, the latter being the favourite implement, as the want of shoes rendered the management of the spade extremely difficult, except in very light soil.

I believe that a taste for gardening has a most civilizing influence among savages; and if I were a missionary, I should commence with such practical teaching, thus proving in your joint labour with the natives the principle that industry and peace will create prosperity.

A few extracts front my journal will describe the gradual progress of the settlement:

"Mr. Higginbotham shot a waterbuck during an exploratory ramble that we took through the forest, in search of large timber for building purposes. The main forest begins about two miles from this station, in which is an unlimited supply of wood, including the most magnificent tamarind-trees. These beautiful specimens are dotted about the country, like park timber in England. There is a tamarind-tree about a mile from this station, beneath which about a thousand cattle might find shade. (It must be remembered that the Bari cattle are very small.)

"There is a native, named Tomby, who speaks excellent Arabic. This fellow has been twice to Khartoum, and he wears clothes, instead of walking about in a state of absolute nudity like his countrymen. He has an excellent rifle that was given to him by his old master, a French trader, Monsieur Bartholome. Tomby has been employed as interpreter; and having been born and bred in these parts, he is a perfect chronicler. It appears that Abou Saood treacherously murdered the sheik of Belinian, a country about twelve miles distant from this station. He feared the sheik of Belinian, who was a powerful neighbour: he therefore, professing friendship, invited him and his family to an entertainment at Gondokoro. The sheik and his people, not suspecting evil, arrived, bringing with them the usual presents. Abou Saood received them very politely, and when they were seated, and had entered into conversation, he had them seized by his people, and murdered them on the spot in cold blood. Owing to this treacherous conduct, the entire neighbourhood is hostile, and anarchy prevails throughout the country; thus I cannot send a letter to the traders' camp at Latooka, as no one dares to travel.

"April 24. - Thermometer, 6 A.M., 74 degrees F; noon, fell to 72 degrees F. We had a picnic at the old mission station, where I went accompanied by Lieutenant Baker, Mr. Higginbotham, and my wife, to measure out the camp and fort. As usual in England, the picnic brought on heavy rain, which lasted from 9.30 a.m. till 2 p.m., to the great benefit of the garden.

"April 25. - Thermometer, 6 A.M., 69 degrees F; noon, 80 degrees F. We completed the large garden; the soldiers' allotments are also complete. The camp of the "Forty Thieves" is very neat; a spirit of industry has seized upon the whole party. The women have made gardens around their huts, and agriculture appears to be the prevailing fashion. I am surrounding the cultivation with a live fence of euphorbia. Julian has been unwell for some time past.

"The natives appear to have gained confidence, as they are bringing their cattle across the river from the islands to our fine pasturage. It is curious to see the manner in which the herd follows the man who swims before them as their guide, while other natives direct them while swimming by striking them upon the horns with long bamboos.

"Yesterday the river rose about two feet, but it fell almost as suddenly, showing that the rise was only the effect of the heavy rain upon the mountain ranges throughout the country.

"One of the boys, Said, caught three fish, weighing about eight, ten, and twenty pounds each. These were of the Siluras species, and are excellent eating.

"The white ants are now issuing from the ground in vast numbers in the winged state, and are taking flight. Myriads of the black and white tern and the white storks are following them. The lizards are also at work in the general persecution.

"April 26, 27. - Made new garden beds. All the seeds sown by the troops are above ground, to the great delight of the men. We cleared and sowed about an acre with Indian corn to-day."

We thus continued working and improving, until we had in a comparatively short time produced a great result. About ten acres of corn were above ground, as a few showers had started the seeds like magic. My men were comfortably housed in a neat station on the high ground, while my servants had a pretty little village of their own situated on the knoll, by the river side, about fifty yards from my diahbeeah. This vessel was moored alongside the bank, the fine grass of which was kept closely cut, so as to resemble a lawn, that extended for about thirty yards; this was bounded by prickly pears and ornamented by a large and showy butter-nut-tree, which formed our out-door drawing room.

It was all very well to establish a government, and to commence the civilization of Central Africa, but we were very hungry, and we could procure nothing from the natives. We had no butchers' meat, neither would the Sheik Allorron or his people sell us either sheep or cattle.

For several days we lived upon sparrows, which Monsoor shot by sprinkling corn upon the ground and firing into the assembled flock of hundreds. The country was swarming with these small birds, which are no doubt delicacies; but if you have a good appetite they are a little too light on the stomach. In the mean time, although the natives could now venture to drive their cattle to the rich pasturage under our protection, which they could not before enjoy for fear of their enemies the Loquia, they absolutely refused to sell, or to supply us in any manner. In spite of my explanations to the sheik by the interpreter Tomby, he refused to bring either grass or wood for the expected soldiers' huts, or in fact to do anything to serve us.

Upon one occasion, as my men were sowing and clearing the land for planting, he employed natives to work at the same kind of cultivation in front of the troops, in order to claim a right to the soil. On this occasion he came himself, prepared with a cup formed of a small gourd-shell slung by a string upon his neck. He explained that this was his cup for drinking araki, with which he requested to be supplied.

"How long are you going to remain here?" he asked. He continued, "You had better go back to Khartoum, and I will eat the corn you have planted when it becomes ripe."

I explained that Gondokoro would be head-quarters, and that troops would always remain there, and we should cultivate a large extent for corn. He replied: "Then who does this land belong to? - to you or to me?" I explained that his people had been driven out by a superior force, and that we had found it abandoned; at the same time, neither he nor his people dare remain here without my protection, therefore the land belonged to the Khedive of Egypt; but if the natives wished to re-settle I would give them their original property.

He simply replied, "Who does this tree belong to?" (we were standing beneath its shade). "It belongs to the Khedive of Egypt," I replied, "who is now protector of the whole country, and I am his representative to establish his government."

He replied: "Then you had better be off to Khartoum, for we don't want any government here."

There can be no doubt that in the abstract of people's rights, any annexation of the territory of another is an infringement. Had this principle been adhered to throughout the history of the world, there would have been no progress. Savages of all countries are prone to strife; and a state of chronic warfare with neighbouring tribes is the example of African politics. A strong government is a necessity.

I had always expected trouble with the Baris, as I had known them during my former journey as a tribe of intractable savages. The Austrian missionaries had abandoned them as hopeless, after many efforts and a great expenditure of money and energy.

The natives had pulled down the neat mission house, and they had pounded and ground the bright red bricks into the finest powder, which mixed with grease formed a paint to smear their naked bodies. Thus the only results of many years' teaching were the death of many noble men, the loss of money, the failure of the attempt; and instead of the enterprise leaving a legacy of inward spiritual grace to these "men and brethren," the missionary establishment itself was converted into an external application for the skin: the house of God was turned into "pomade divine." This was a result that might have been expected by any person who had practical experience of the Baris.

The extent of country occupied by this tribe was about ninety miles in length from north to south, and seventy in width. Although the people who inhabited this district were all Baris, there was no cohesion among them. They were divided into numerous small chiefdoms, each governed by its sheik or head man. Thus Allorron represented Gondokoro, while every petty district was directed by a similar sheik. The Bari country was thickly inhabited. The general features of the landscape were rolling park-like grass lands; - very little actual flat, but a series of undulations, ornamented with exceedingly fine timber-forests of considerable extent, and mountains rising to about 2,500 or 3,000 feet above their base. From these mountains numerous streams drained to the Nile: these were generally dry in the summer season. The soil was poor in the neighbourhood of Gondokoro, but at a distance from the river, the country was fertile; the rocks were throughout granitic; the mountains yielded the finest iron ore, especially those of Belinian, twelve miles from Gondokoro, where the natives were expert black smiths. Cultivation was carried on to a large extent throughout the country; the corn generally used was the common dhurra (Sorghum vulgare). This was usually the dark-red variety, which, being rather bitter, has a chance of escape from the clouds of small birds which ruin the crops. Sesame was common throughout all portions of Central Africa, and throve well upon the poor and light soil of Gondokoro.

The Baris were exceedingly neat in their dwellings, and their villages were innumerable. Each hut was surrounded by a small court composed of cement made from the clay of the white-ant hills mixed with cow-dung and smeared with ashes: these courts were always kept scrupulously clean. The Bari hut differs from that of other tribes, as it contains an inner circle, which can only be used by creeping on the hands and knees-first through the entrance, which is only twenty-four inches high, and secondly from the passage formed by the inner circle. The inner walls are formed of wattles and clay neatly smeared or plastered with cement. They are quickly attacked by the white ants, which destroy the wattles, but the clay is sufficiently tenacious to form a wall when the wood or reeds may have disappeared.

The granaries are formed of wicker-work supported upon upright pedestals of either hard wood or of stone, to resist the white ants; the wicker-work is smeared with clay and cow-dung, and the roof is thatched in a manner similar to the house.

The Baris are a great pastoral people, and possess immense herds of cattle. These are generally small active animals with humps; white is the prevailing colour. The sheep are small and the mutton is good; but although the fine pasturage of the Bari country is eminently adapted for sheep and goats, these animals are delicate, and require much attention during the heavy rains, at which time they are always kept beneath a roof at night, with fires composed of dry cow-dung to create a smoke that will drive away flies or mosquitoes.

Like most of the tribes of the White Nile, the Baris have a strong objection to sell their cattle; thus you may be surrounded by plenty, but you may starve in the midst of beef.

Their large herds are confined at night within zareebas or kraals. These are formidable defences. The cattle zareeba is a circular stockade formed of a hard wood called by the Arabs abou-noos or abdnoos (ebony). This is an intensely hard black wood somewhat resembling ebony. Piles as thick as a man's thigh are sunk in the earth, so as to leave a fence or stockade of about eight feet high above the surface; these piles are placed as close as possible together, and interlaced by tough hooked thorns, which when dry and contracted bind the stockade into a very compact defence. The entrance to this fort is only sufficiently large to admit one animal at a time; thus the herd can be easily counted. Within the stockade are several houses, in addition to a few large circular sheds for the protection of young calves. The sheep and goats are kept in a separate zareeba.

All the operations of the Baris are conducted by signals given by the drum, precisely as our military movements are directed by bugle-calls. The great drum that belongs to the headman or sheik, is suspended beneath an open shed, so that it is always protected from weather, and at the same time the sound could travel unchecked. These drums are cut and scooped with great labour from a peculiar wood, which is exceedingly tough and will not easily split. The Bari drum is exactly the shape of an egg with a slice taken off the thicker end. Some of these instruments are very large, and as much as two men could carry on a pole. Both ends are hollowed through and secured with hide; but the broad end forms the actual drum. This is beaten with two short sticks of hard wood. In the early morning, shortly before sunrise, the hollow sound of the big drum is always heard giving the signal by a certain number of beat's for the milking of the cows. The women and young men then commence, and when the operation is completed, the drum beats again, and the large herds are driven to pasturage. The signal is repeated in the evening. Should an enemy attack the country, the sheik's big drum gives the alarm by a peculiar series of beats, which if once heard can easily be remembered. In a few seconds this loud alarm will be re-echoed by every drum throughout the numerous villages, and the news of the attack will thus spread by signal as fast as sound can travel. A certain beat of the sheik's big drum is the call for a general assembly, in which case, should an enemy appear, the whole forces of the district can be concentrated in one point.

The weapons of the Baris are finely-wrought lances, and bows with horribly barbed arrows. They seldom carry shields, as they are difficult to manage together with the bow, and they impede the rapid movements' which are the chief feature in Bari tactics.

The men are generally tall and powerful, always naked and smeared with ashes, or on great occasions with red ochre and grease. The women are not absolutely bad-looking, but real beauties are extremely rare. They wear an apron before and behind of tanned leather, extending nearly to the knees, which is only the outer garment, beneath which they wear a neatly-made fringe of innumerable strings, formed of finely-spin cotton thread, suspended from a leather belt. Some of the wealthy possess fringe composed of iron rings, neatly worked, so as to form a kind of shirt of mail.

Every man is a warrior from his childhood, as the Baris are always at war. They are extremely clever in the use of the lance, which they can throw with great accuracy for a distance of thirty yards, and they can pitch it into a body of men at upwards of fifty yards. From early childhood the boys are in constant practice, both with the lance and the bow and arrow; thus, although their weapons are inferior to fire-arms properly used, they are dangerous in the hands of proficients against men who, like my troops, were utterly ignorant of the art of shooting.

Fortunately for my expedition, the warlike Baris were not united throughout their territory. Nevertheless, I discovered that the Baris of Gondokoro had made an alliance with those of Belinian, twelve miles from head-quarters. I observed that women were constantly passing to and fro with baskets on their heads, carrying salt from Gondokoro, and each returning with a goat, led by a string. Excellent salt is found at Gondokoro, real chloride of sodium; and this article enables the natives of that district to trade with the interior, where salt is extremely rare and of great value. I had remarked that women, and sometimes men, were met in my rambles through the forest, on their way to Belinian by this concealed route, instead of taking the open path; this aroused my suspicion, as the chief, Allorron, and his people declared that they were enemies of the Belinian natives.

The position had become intolerable. The fact could no longer be concealed that the Baris were hostile. No positive outbreak had occurred, but the natives were sullen in their demeanour, and generally avoided the new settlement. Butchers' meat was exceedingly scarce, as we had only a few cows that had been given during the voyage by the vakeel of the Bohr station. The troops were without rations of meat. At the same time there were thousands of cattle on the islands before their eyes, not one of which could be purchased from the natives. Although the natives refused to assist us in any way, or to supply us with cattle at any price, they drove their herds across from the island to the mainland to fatten on the fine pasturage under the government protection. This pasturage, having been abandoned by them and occupied by the government troops, had naturally become the property of the Khedive. The natives had no more right to the soil from which they had been driven, than the French would have to Alsace and Lorraine, should those provinces be occupied by a foreign Power which had driven out the Germans.

The last vessels having arrived, terminated the voyage from Tewfikeeyah, which had occupied five months and twenty-two days. The troops, who had suffered much by fatigue in cutting through the marshes, had not been absolutely relieved by their arrival in the clear White Nile. The north wind changed suddenly to the south, in which unfavourable quarter it continued steadily for a month; thus my unfortunate men had to tow the vessels along the banks against wind and stream for about 300 miles from Wat-el-Shambi to Gondokoro. Upon arrival at that station, which I had described to them as the "Promised Land," they found a lovely park, but without a single dwelling. Instead of being received as deliverers by a friendly and grateful population, they met with neglect and ill-will from a tribe of robbers, allies of the traders, who fattened upon the spoil of weaker neighbours.

After all their hard work and suffering in attaining the promised paradise, they found only additional labour awaiting them, as they had to wander several miles in search of long thatch-grass and timber to construct the new station, in which fatigue they were entirely unassisted by the sullen inhabitants.

Added to these disappointments, the men were hungry, and no cattle could be purchased from my new subjects, who were obstinate and refractory.

I had a serious conversation with Sheik Allorron, during which I clearly defined our relative positions, and represented to him in the strongest terms the folly of trusting to the support of Abou Saood and his people against the government, as they were all subjects of the Khedive and bound to obey my orders. At the same time I informed him of the absolute necessity of cattle for the supply of the troops, which I promised to pay for.

I clearly saw that the miserable policy of these people was to starve the troops into the supposed necessity of evacuating the position, and returning to Khartoum. I represented to Allorron the danger of trifling with a hungry lion, at which he grinned, as a good joke, and immediately replied: "If you want cattle, I will give you some of my people as guides, and you can attack a neighbour of mine, and capture his herds, which will last you for a long time." I replied, that I could not injure any one who had not committed an offence, but as he for the last time refused assistance, I should not permit his herds to graze upon my pasturage; therefore I begged they might be confined to the island.

At the same time I officially invited Allorron and all the headmen of the country, including the sheik of Belinian, to an entertainment. I intended, formally and officially, to annex the country to Egypt.

On May 26, 1871, all was in order. A flag-staff about eighty feet high had been neatly erected by Lieut. Baker on the highest point of land overlooking the river. Every small bush had been cleared away, and the position in the centre of an open park-like country would have formed an admirable race-course. The troops, having had two days' rest to wash their clothes and burnish up their arms and accoutrements, marched from the station at Gondokoro at 6 A.M.

I had 1,200 men on the ground, including ten mountain rifled guns throwing 8 and 1/4 lbs. shell.

In their clean white uniforms, with the neat koofeeia or sun-cloth, which, covering the head, drooped gracefully upon the shoulders, the troops showed to great advantage, as they marched with the band playing from head-quarters to the flagstaff above my station. As they filed through the green trees, and then formed into sections of companies as they emerged into the open ground, the effect was exceedingly good, and the sheik, Allorron, and his friends, the headmen of many villages, looked with amazement upon a scene that was altogether new to them.

Having arrived opposite the flag-staff, the troops formed in line two deep on the flat grassy surface of the heights above my station. The long row of glittering bayonets and the gay uniforms of the officers bewildered the astonished natives. All the sailors, servants, and camp-followers were dressed in their best clothes. The prevailing colours, white and red, looked exceedingly gay upon the close and even surface of the green turf. My staff was composed of my aides-de-camp, Lieutenant Baker, R.N., Lieut.-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, together with three other officers, and Mr. Higginbotham. At that time the horses were all in excellent condition.

Having ridden along the line and halted beneath the flag, the troops formed three sides of a square with the flag-staff in the centre. The fourth side, facing the river, was then occupied by the artillery, with ten guns.

The formality of reading the official proclamation, describing the annexation of the country to Egypt in the name of the Khedive, then took place at the foot of the flag-staff. At the termination of the last sentence, the Ottoman flag was quickly run up by the halyards and fluttered in the strong breeze at the mast-head. The officers with drawn swords saluted the flag, the troops presented arms, and the batteries of artillery fired a royal salute.

This ceremony being completed, the troops marched past; after which, they formed in order for a supposed attack upon an imaginary enemy, and fired away about ten thousand rounds of blank cartridge in the advance down the long slope which led to the temporary camp and tents erected for the entertainment. Here the bugle sounded "disperse," and all the men immediately set to work to light fires and prepare the food that had been already supplied for their dinners. I believe this was the only day of real enjoyment that the troops had had. The hours passed in rest and sleep until sunset.

I had invited fourteen of the officers to dine with me, and our party of eighteen was easily accommodated on the roomy poop-deck of my diahbeeah.

The Englishmen had a table to themselves in the garden, and were regaled with roast beef and real English plum-pudding, that, having been brought out in tins for Christmas Day, could not be found during the voyage; therefore it added to the feast of the "day of annexation," and was annexed accordingly by English appetites. This was washed down and rendered wholesome by a quantity of pure filtered water from the river Nile, which was included in the annexation; and was represented in the Nile Basin mixed with Jamaica rum, sugar, nutmeg, and lemon-juice from the fruit of the trees planted by the good Austrian missionaries at Gondokoro. Little did they think, poor fellows, of the jollification to which their lemons would subscribe when they first sowed the good seeds.

When dinner was over, we repaired to the large divan tents, where refreshments were arranged, and the magic lantern was prepared for the amusement of officers and men. This was an admirable machine, and was well explained by Lieutenant Baker. No one had ever seen such an exhibition before, therefore it caused immense satisfaction. One of the representations that was most applauded, was, Moses going through the Red Sea with the Israelites, followed by Pharaoh. The story being well known to all Mohammedans, the performance was encored with such energy that Moses had to go through the Red Sea twice, and they would have insisted upon his crossing a third time, had the slide not been rapidly exchanged for another subject.

The formal ceremony of annexation was over, and it was necessary to decide upon the future.

I had issued the following Camp Regulations: -

1. "No person shall cut or in other ways destroy any tamarind or oil tree under any pretext whatever. Neither shall any tree whatsoever be either cut or damaged within a distance of 2,000 paces from the flag-staff or camp.

2. "No person shall stray beyond 2,000 paces of the flag-staff or camp without permission either from the Pacha or Raouf Bey.

3. "No person shall trade in ivory, neither shall any person accept ivory as a present or in exchange; neither shall any person shoot, or cause to be shot, elephants: all ivory being the property and monopoly of the government of His Highness the Khedive of Egypt.

4. "No person shall either purchase or receive slaves as presents or in exchange.

"Any person transgressing by disobedience of the above laws will be punished as the will of Baker Pacha may direct. "S. W. BAKER."

My men were hard at work erecting magazines and building the station, and had I not issued the above regulations, they would have cut down every ornamental tree in the neighbourhood. Although the mission-house had disappeared, the foundations remained; I dug them up and procured sufficient sound bricks to build a powder-magazine, which I covered with a galvanized iron roof and protected my ammunition.

Several of the Egyptian soldiers deserted. These people, who were for the most part convicts, although professing Islamism preferred to live with the natives, to the steady discipline of military life.

One evening, the sentry, on guard before the house of Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, was observed by Mr. Baker's soldier servant (a black) to lay his rifle on the ground and to enter stealthily the doorway of his hut. Abdullah Maseri, the servant, lost no time in running towards the hut, which he quietly entered in the dusk, without being perceived by the thief within, who in the absence of Mr. Baker was pillaging his boxes.

Abdullah quietly crept up behind him, pinned him by the back of the neck, and held him until he obtained assistance. There was no escape from conviction, therefore I sentenced the thief to receive 100 lashes and to be, confined in irons.

While he was undergoing the punishment he yelled for mercy, saying, "I will confess-I will confess all. It was I who entered the Pacha's room at Tewfikeeyah. It was at me that the Pacha fired the pistol! Put me in irons, but don't flog me; I will confess all."

This man was an Egyptian belonging to the "Forty Thieves," and he now confessed his former delinquency. He was secured in irons and placed under a guard. The fellow had been a professional thief, and during the night he managed to slip off his irons and make his escape, no doubt with the connivance of the sentry.

The fact of the natives receiving the deserters was enough to suggest the suspicion that they were tampering with the troops. Although the Baris would neither work nor assist in any manner, they continued, in spite of my warning, to swim their cattle across to the pasturage on the mainland occupied by the troops.

I again gave the sheik Allorron notice, that if he continued to drive his cattle to the forbidden pasture, they would be confiscated.

On the following morning they returned to the mainland as usual, not the slightest notice having been taken of my repeated and official warning.

I gave orders to secure them. About ten men of the "Forty Thieves" quietly explained the order to the natives who guarded the cattle, and without any remonstrance they drove them to my station, and stood guard around the herd.

The natives returned to the island, and reported the affair to the sheik Allorron and his people.

Early on the following morning, the sheik, accompanied by fifteen headmen of villages and a number of natives, together with Tomby the interpreter, attended and formed a deputation. I received them beneath the shady tree near my diahbeeah. They looked very sheepish, and asked me, "Why had I confiscated their cattle?"

I explained the reason: and they at length acknowledged that they had no positive right of pasturage, as they had been driven from their country by the Loquia, and were it not for my presence they could not venture to drive their cattle to the mainland. At the same time they explained, that the extreme dryness of the season had exhausted the grass upon the island after the close grazing of the large herds; thus they had imagined I should not have any real objection to their pasturing upon the east banks, which, as I had no cattle, would otherwise be neglected.

I explained that the government must be obeyed, and that, as they had disobeyed every order, I should take charge of their cattle (about 200) until they showed a disposition to accept the Khedive's authority. At the same time, if the natives would bring thatch grass and assist the troops in forming the station (a work which they had always performed annually for Abou Saood's people), I would return them their cattle.

A long conversation ensued among the headmen, several of whom rose in succession, and addressed the meeting with great energy and fluency. They declared that there had been a general misunderstanding, but that they now began to comprehend their position. I informed them that they must themselves appoint a responsible sheik or headman, as many had refused to obey Allorron. I should regard one chief as their representative, and they as headmen must elect him at the present assembly. I should also place the power in the hands of the chief, whose orders must be obeyed by the headmen of the villages. This chief would be responsible to me for the acts of those beneath him, and I should punish all those who refused to acknowledge his authority.

The meeting ended most satisfactorily. The natives explained, that, although Allorron had been the ostensible sheik for a great length of time, the true sheik by actual descent was a chief named Morbe; but as his cattle had been carried off by the Loquia, he had lost his property, and also his influence among the people. In those savage countries the possession of property is considered absolutely necessary to a man in a high position.

Morbe was elected unanimously as the sheik responsible to the government. All headmen declared they would obey his orders; even Allorron appeared pleased that he had shifted his responsibility upon the shoulders of another. The headmen all promised that they would beat their drums and summon their people on their return to their villages, and that on the morrow they would collect bamboos and thatch-grass for any purpose we might require. The meeting ended by their agreeing to deliver a certain number of bundles in a given period: they also promised to supply the troops with oxen at a stipulated price. Morbe, the new sheik, then addressed me in the name of the assembly, and begged me to establish confidence and goodwill by returning them their cattle. I had expected this request. I therefore replied, that as they had attended my summons and promised obedience, I would test their sincerity by returning them not only their own cattle, but I would trust them with the care of my three large breeding cows which I had brought from the Rohr country; at the same time, I gave them fair warning, that if they broke the agreement now entered upon, I should not be in a hurry to return their cattle on a future occasion. They seemed to be, quite satisfied, and the meeting broke up.

They drove off the herd, together with my three cows, while my soldiers looked on with utter amazement and regarded me as thought I had lost my senses.

Although I had entered into this agreement, the natives had not the slightest idea of carrying out their promises. A few bundles of bamboos were brought, also some thatch-grass, but not an ox was given to the troops. The sheik of Belinian had refused to appear; and he alleged as an excuse that he feared treachery, since his father and family had been murdered when guests of Abou Saood. The Baris of Gondokoro had regained their cattle, and they did not trouble themselves about their contract, as they inwardly hoped that by starving us they might succeed in disgusting the troops, which would necessitate the abandonment of the expedition.

A few days after the breach of contract, Tomby, the interpreter, appeared, and told me that the Baris had refused to work, and that the government would not succeed in that country. The people wished me to join them with my troops, and to attack their old enemy, Loquia. I should then obtain cattle and sheep in the razzia, and the government would be independent.

This was the regular negro system which had originally introduced the slave trade throughout the White Nile. One tribe invariably requests the alliance of a superior force to attack some powerful neighbour: the prisoners of war become slaves. When trading adventurers first commenced on the White Nile, the natives sold ivory for beads and copper bracelets; and trade was fairly established. The armed companies of the traders were immediately invited to become allies, and attacks were made upon various tribes. The cattle and slaves became the property of the captors. The traders quickly discovered that it was far easier and more profitable to steal cattle and slaves to exchange for ivory, than to import goods from Khartoum. They commenced the system of cattle-lifting and slave-hunting, which rapidly increased until it arrived at the immense scale already described.

I preached morality hopelessly to the Baris; they were mere ruffians, and they longed for the arrival of Abou Saood, who would once more give them an opportunity of joining his people to plunder and enslave the tribes of the interior. It was in vain that I assured them of the impossibility of such proceedings, and that Abou Saood's people would not be permitted by the government to continue these atrocities. They ridiculed the idea, and declared that the traders would always continue in their old customs, notwithstanding the presence of the Khedive's officers. They said that no business could be done in any other way in those countries; they advised me to "take women and cattle, and then the natives would listen to my advice, but not otherwise."

It was utter folly to attempt negotiations with these people; they were the most brutal and obtuse savages. They had been abandoned by the missionaries as hopeless, and they would acknowledge nothing but force.

The troops were discontented. After all their fatigues, the promised land was starvation. There was still much work to be done, as the expedition was in fact only commencing. By degrees the Baris absented themselves entirely from our camp, and we were left to ourselves as utter strangers. The cattle were driven over to our fine pasturage daily, and returned at night to their island; but not an ox, or even a goat, was ever offered for sale, and all communication between us and the natives had apparently ceased.

It was quite impossible to allow this to continue. I gave the order, and once more the soldiers quietly surrounded the herd of cattle, and drove them to head-quarters as before. The old scene was re-enacted. The new sheik, Morbe, together with Allorron and many headmen, arrived. Again a long palaver took place, through the medium of Tomby, the interpreter, and the promises of good behaviour were renewed.

I informed them that I should not confiscate their cattle, but I should keep them as hostages for their good behaviour; at the same time, I should select a certain number of oxen as food for the troops, which should be paid for.

The meeting terminated with fresh assurances of goodwill . . . A few days elapsed, but the Baris did not return; we were completely abandoned.

On June 29th the camp was disturbed at night by an attempt of the natives to drive off some of the cattle. The sentry fired, but without effect. I foresaw trouble.

On June 1st I issued a General Order to the troops -

"The natives of the Bari having disobeyed the summons of the government, and having refused compliance with the regulations established, it has become necessary to compel them to obedience by force.

"In the event of hostilities, I specially forbid the capture of women, or children of either sex. Any officer or soldier disobeying this order will suffer death. "S. W. BAKER."

I felt certain that a breach of the peace was at hand, and I made arrangements accordingly. The troops were daily engaged in building the station, in which they were assisted by the sailors, all of whom were obliged to carry the material from a distance of two miles from the forest. A party of sawyers with a small escort of soldiers were settled in a camp about three miles from my station, as the distance was too great for a daily return from their work. One night they were attacked by the natives, who shot arrows and yelled for about an hour, but fortunately did not succeed in wounding any of the men, who were well protected by the trunks of some very large trees. The soldiers had fired away a considerable amount of ammunition in return, until they managed to escape during the darkness, and run away to head-quarters.

On 3rd June, at about 3 P.M., when the cattle were grazing in the beautiful park-like ground about a mile from head-quarters, some Baris, who had stealthily approached the herd by stalking from bush to bush, without being observed by the sleepy guards, made a sudden rush with loud yells among the cattle, and succeeded in driving off ten cows with which they swam the river without a shot being fired by the unready soldiers. (On this occasion the guards must have run away at the first onset of the natives.)

On the night of the 4th June two natives were captured by the sentries. These people had crept in the pitch darkness, until they had succeeded in entering the cattle zareeba. One of them confessed that a large body of natives was assembled in the high grass near the banks of the river, with the intention of attacking the camp during the night.

I immediately took eighteen men, and posted them in three parties of six at various points about a quarter of a mile from my station. They were to lie concealed in these positions, which commanded every approach to the camp.

At 10.30 P.M. I was aroused by the sound of firing, and upon arrival at the shot I found that the sentries had fired into the advanced party of natives, some of whom they declared to be wounded, but I could find no trace of blood.

Open war had commenced. The natives had deserted their villages on the portion of the island opposite to my camp. This was about seven miles in length, therefore, in return for the attacks made upon my people on our mainland, I determined to pay the Baris a visit.

I issued the necessary orders. At 3 A.M., on June 5th, five boats with sixty men dropped silently down the east channel of the river, with orders to land at the extreme end of the island. At the same time two companies of troops landed opposite my station, where they waited in the dark until the steamer, with myself and two companies on board, had rounded the head of the island, and had obtained a position in the west channel. The troops then advanced while the steamer ran easily down the strong current. Everything went well, but the noise of the paddles quickly gave the alarm, and the sound of a big drum in the distance was almost immediately responded to by many others from various points.

The steamer now ran at half speed along the river, the intention of cutting off any native canoes, or intercepting any herds of cattle that might be passing to the west mainland. Every arrangement was well carried out; but, unfortunately, as we were running at about nine miles an hour, the steamer suddenly struck upon a sand-bank, where she remained fixed.

After some vain attempts to float her, I instructed Raouf Bey to do his best with her, and act, according to circumstances, at his own discretion, while I left the steamer in the dingy, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker and six soldiers of the "Forty Thieves," with the intention of joining the two companies under Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, who were marching down the island from south to north.

We rowed down the stream for forty-five minutes along the west bank of the island. I had calculated the distance by time, and having allowed for the delay on the steamer and the pace at which the troops under Abd-el-Rader would march, I concluded that we should now land somewhere near them. This turned out correct, as we joined his party a few minutes after we had left the boat. I immediately detached a sergeant and nineteen men to march along the east bank until they should meet my boat, which had been ordered to continue along the west bank until it should turn round the tail of the island, when it was to return home by the east channel, that would lead direct to my station.

We had not seen any Baris upon the island, which appeared to be quite deserted. The character of the ground had changed. We had left the dry portion, which had been lately sown with dhurra, and we had arrived among scattered masses of tall reeds growing from mud lately hardened by the sun and full of deep cattle-ruts.

I threw out skirmishers, as we shortly entered a bad piece of country. At this moment wo heard shots fired at the tail of the island, about two miles in our front.

We pushed on at the double, until stopped by a deep channel of the river about thirty yards wide. On the other side we now heard the horns of the natives and the lowing of cattle. It was necessary to skirt the banks of the channel through thick forest; thus, following the stream, we shortly arrived at the main river, just in time to see the natives at a distance of a quarter of a mile swimming a large herd of cattle across the stream to the east shore, where they landed and safely gained the forest. They were quickly pursued by the troops who, having landed at the tail of the island, were in chase; and being supplied with boats, they crossed over the river and followed hard upon the track of the retreating cattle.

The Baris did not suspect that they would be followed to the main shore; thus upon reaching the forest they continued their retreat leisurely. My black troops were wonderful runners; thus, when once upon the track of the herd, they went along like hounds and overtook the Baris, who had no idea of the pursuit until the soldiers were among them. The affair ended by the capture of a portion of the herd, and the return to camp at 5.30 P.M. We had eaten nothing since the previous evening, as the boat containing our breakfast had not yet appeared. We had been on our legs in the sun for fourteen hours, thus we were ready for dinner on the return to camp. I was anxious about the missing boat. On the following day, June 6, at 4.40 P.M., the lost dingy arrived with her crew all safe. They had missed their way by taking a wrong channel of the river, which led them into a labyrinth of high reeds, where they were obliged to pass the night among clouds of mosquitoes.

On the following day they began the tedious journey by rowing homeward against the stream. They came suddenly upon a large body of natives, who immediately attacked them with arrows, one of which went through the trousers of a soldier. My men told a long story, and made themselves out to be perfect heroes; but my servants and the boatmen told a very different tale, and declared that they had thrown themselves down in the bottom of the boat to avoid the arrows, and my servant, Mohammed Haroon, had himself fired my heavy gun loaded with mould shot at the enemy.

On 7th June I discovered that the Baris of Gondokoro had leagued themselves with the natives of Belinian against us.

They had attacked conjointly on several occasions. On this day the natives in force having, as usual, crept stealthily from bush to tree without being perceived by the soldiers, made a sudden rush upon the cattle guards, and shot one soldier with an arrow and wounded another with a lance. I immediately gave orders for an attack on Belinian that night. At 12.30 A.M. I left my station on horseback, accompanied by Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, together with Lieutenant-Colonel Abdel-Kader and twenty men of the "Forty Thieves." Not a word was spoken, as it was important to march without the slightest noise that might alarm the native scouts who were generally prowling about throughout the night. We arrived at head-quarters, a mile and a half distant, where four companies with one gun had been ordered to be in readiness. (My little station, Hellet-et-Sit, was a mile and a half north from the camp of Gondokoro, on the river's bank.) At 1 A.M. We started with a Bari guide named Sherroom, who had volunteered to serve me, together with his friend Morgian, at the commencement of the war. These men spoke Arabic, and since the flight of Tomby, the interpreter (who had joined our enemies), these two Baris were our invaluable allies.

The route to Belinian lay for the first two miles through open park-like country. We then entered the forest, where the darkness made it difficult to drag the gun, the wheels of which constantly stuck in the stumps and roots of trees. Several times we had to halt, for the rear to come up with this unmanageable gun, and I feared the delay might destroy our chance of taking the enemy by surprise.

To make matters worse, the route became swampy. Sometimes the horses sank nearly hock-deep in mud, which in the pitch darkness they could not avoid. In such places it required the force of thirty men to drag the gun, and the delays became serious. Lieutenant-Colonel Tayib Agha commanded the three companies of Soudani troops who escorted the field-piece, and took it in turns to assist the artillerymen in the weary work of dragging the gun through swamps and bush.

The night wore on; it began to rain. I was riding in advance with Lieutenant Baker, Mr. Higginbotham, and twenty of the "Forty Thieves," while Raouf Bey followed me with fifty Egyptian troops. It was absolutely necessary to push on. Tayib Agha had a native guide, therefore he and his gun could take care of themselves. Accordingly I pushed on ahead as an advanced guard, delighted to be quit of the impediment of artillery.

In about an hour we arrived at firm ground, and the country became more open and undulating. The clouds began to break and the rain ceased. We pushed briskly forward until, after marching at the pace of four miles per hour, the guide, Sherroom, suddenly halted. We were now in a clear space where a few large trees grew in a clump upon our right. Sherroom, who evidently knew every inch of the country, whispered that we must wait here in silence, as there were villages not far off, and the stockade that we were to attack was in the immediate neighbourhood. It was nearly 5 A.M., and although we had marched since one o'clock, we were not more than nine miles from Gondokoro. I trusted that our halt would allow the rear to join us with the gun which had caused so much delay.

We waited for about half-an-hour in perfect silence. There was not a star upon the sky, which was dark and murky, thus we could distinguish nothing. At length the black night began to grow more grey, and we could just make out some dark masses, that appeared to be villages, upon the right and left. We now marched rapidly, but without the slightest noise. The morning grew greyer, and birds began to whistle. We could distinguish trees and the tall crops of dhurra.

There was no sign of Tayib Agha and his detachment, but it was absolutely necessary to push forward.

We were thus hurrying on, sometimes through cultivated fields, at others through strips of forest, when we suddenly heard the long shrill cry that is the native signal of danger. This was from a Bari watchman, who, more awake than those by whom we must have passed unobserved, now gave the alarm. This cry was immediately repeated in various directions. There was no time to be lost. Sherroom bounded forward like an antelope, at a pace that kept our horses at a hand gallop. In a couple of minutes we saw a large circular stockade in a clear space, but within fifty yards of the forest on our left. We galloped up, followed closely by the "Forty Thieves," who ran like hounds. I immediately surrounded the stockade, from which the natives had commenced to shoot their arrows. The Egyptian troops were close up, and in the uncertain light it was impossible to see the arrows in their flight; thus one soldier was immediately wounded; another received a shot through his trousers. An arrow stuck in Mr. Higginbotham's saddle, and they began to fly about very viciously. The "Forty Thieves" now opened fire, while the Egyptians were drawn up in a line about fifty yards from the stockade. It was rather awkward, as the defence was a circle: thus as the troops fired into a common centre, the bullets that passed through the intervening spaces between the uprights of hard wood came pinging about our ears. The sky had become grey, and there was sufficient light to discover the doorway of the stockade. I ordered the bugles to sound "cease firing," and prepared to force the entrance. This was a narrow archway about four feet six inches high, constructed of large pieces of hard wood that it was impossible to destroy. The doorway was stopped by transverse bars of abdnoos, or Bari ebony, and protected by a mass of hooked thorn that had been dragged into the passage and jammed beneath the cross-bars.

I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader to force the gateway. This he immediately commenced, assisted by Lieutenant Baker and Mr. Higginbotham, together with a party of the "Forty Thieves," while others of the same corps closed up to the stockade on either side of the entrance, and kept up a heavy fire to protect the attack.

In the mean time the immense drum within the stockade was thundering out the summons to collect the whole of the neighbourhood for war. This signal was answered by the heavy booming sound of innumerable drums throughout the district far and near; and as it had now become light, I could distinguish the natives collecting from all parts and evidently surrounding our position. I therefore posted men as skirmishers around the circle about eighty yards distant from the stockade, facing outwards, while the small party forced the gateway.

The fire of the snider rifles and the steady shooting of the "Forty Thieves" quickly reduced the number of arrows, and the natives, finding that it was getting too hot, suddenly made a dash by a secret entrance and rushed through the troops, now of necessity widely scattered, and they gained the forest.

At the same time the gateway was forced, and we found a prize within of upwards of six hundred cows. The stockade, or zareeba, was immensely strong, formed of massive logs of ironwood deeply imbedded in the earth, and arranged so closely together that not one bullet out of ten would have found its way through the crevices if fired from a distance. The proper way to attack the circular strongholds is to make a sudden rush close up to the defence, and to lay the rifle between the openings; the stockade then becomes a protection to the attacking party, as there is no flank fire to enfilade them.

The natives were now gathering on all sides; but we were in possession, and although our party consisted of only seventy men, we had an impregnable position, which I could hold until joined by Tayib Agha. I accordingly took a few of the "Forty Thieves" to a distance of about 150 paces away from the centre, and concealed them as sharpshooters, wherever I found a convenient cover. The fire of the sniders kept the enemy at a respectful distance.

There were no signs of Tayib Agha. The sun was risen, and clouds of steam began to rise from the wet ground and the dripping trees. I ordered some grass huts to be fired, as the volume of smoke might attract the attention of Tayib Agha's detachment, which had evidently gone astray. If near, they must have heard the sound of our rifles.

The huts were soon in flames, and the smoke rose high in air, which would be a signal to be seen from a great distance.

I sent two buglers to the top of a tall tree, from which elevated post they blew the call for the lieutenant-colonel and his three companies continually for about half-an-hour.

We were hungry, therefore a fat calf was killed, and cooking immediately commenced. I had a little box of salt and pepper, together with some biscuits; thus we were in luxury. My good Monsoor was a fair cook; therefore the fat, kidneys, and liver having been cut into pieces about two inches square, and arranged on a steel ramrod, were well salted and peppered, and laid on the red-hot embers when the flame and smoke had subsided. There is nothing so good as kabobs thus simply prepared: the ramrod is then stuck upright in the ground, and you sit down and cut off the pieces as required. Salt should always be carried mixed with black and red pepper in proper proportions; it saves much trouble.

We were enjoying our breakfast; the cows lately captured gave plenty of milk, which our servants had boiled in the Baris' earthen pots, and we were discussing the possibility of Tayib Agha having lost his way, when we heard distant shots fired on the open hills at the foot of Belinian mountain, about a mile and, a half to our right. We shortly distinguished smoke, which was a reply to our signal. It was evident that Tayib Agha had strayed far to the south, but it was satisfactory to know that he had seen our position.

We could now distinguish the troops with the telescope, and even make out the gun that was dragged by about twenty men. They were on their direct way to join us.

My men had captured three young girls, whom they brought to me. The oldest was about fifteen, and was pretty and intelligent: she had formerly been a slave of the traders, and was marked, according to their custom, by several scars on either cheek. The girl spoke good Arabic, and did not appear to show the slightest alarm.

I asked her why the Belinian Baris had attacked us, and taken cattle from the station at Gondokoro, without the slightest provocation? She replied that they had been invited by the sheik Allorron to become allies, therefore they had attacked us and driven off the cows, some of which were now among the cattle we had that morning captured.

I told her that we never took slaves, therefore she and her companions might return to the Baris, and inform them that I had come upon the tracks of the cattle which they had driven off from Gondokoro. If they desired peace, I should be happy to treat with them, but if they should return to attack us at head-quarters, I should not spare them, but I would utterly root them out of the neighbourhood. The girls laughed and started off, not in the least disturbed by the scene around them.

At length, Tayib Agha's detachment arrived. They were very angry with Morgian, the guide, who, they declared, had purposely misled them. This was not the fact; the man had lost his way in the dark in the endeavour to seek a better path for the gun. However, we were now united, and I ordered the men to breakfast.

The sniders had cleared the natives from the vicinity, and now that we had been reinforced by Tayib Agha's party, there was no fear of the Baris. They kept aloof, and merely watched our movements from the tops of high trees, where they perched like cormorants, and saw the enjoyment of the troops engaged in roasting beef that had lately been their own.

I fully expected a difficulty with the natives when we should attempt to drive the herd of strange cattle through the jungle path to Gondokoro. I therefore determined to make a reconnaissance of the neighbourhood when the men should have finished their breakfast, in order to drive the Baris from the vicinity, and thus obtain a fair start for the cattle.

Leaving one company to protect the stockade and captured cattle, I took the remaining three companies and the gun, and extending the line in open order, with skirmishers thrown out in front and the gun in the centre, we advanced through the country.

A large river bed, now almost dry, with very abrupt banks, lay on our left. The wood became thinner, and we suddenly emerged upon a broad, open valley or plain, which was bounded on our right by the high mountain of Belinian, about a mile and a half distant.

The plain was covered with villages, and the entire country was green with cultivation, the dhurra being then about two feet high. The gun-carriage ran easily over the flat ground, and we advanced rapidly forward, the Baris clearing out of their villages and gathering on our flanks as we approached. A shot from the gun sent an eight-pound shell which exploded in the air above a group about 700 yards distant. This was sufficient notice to quit. The enemy dared not stand upon open ground; thus, after we had driven them forward for about two miles. we faced about and returned to the stockade.

We now opened the gateway and drove out the hungry cattle. They looked very wild, and I rather feared a stampede; it was necessary to leave them in the hands of our two allies, Sherroom and Morgian, as the cattle neither understood Arabic nor the manners or customs of the Egyptians. After a little whistling and coaxing in the Bari language, the herd started, well protected by troops on both flanks, and an advance guard at 150 paces' distance. The rear was brought up by the gun and the "Forty Thieves."

The natives appeared to be under the impression that we were going to pass the night at the zareeba; thus they had no knowledge of our start, and we arrived at Gondokoro and entered the station about an hour after sunset, having been out nineteen hours.

I now learnt that the Baris of Gondokoro had imagined that the greater portion of the troops had gone to Belinian for an excursion of some days; they had accordingly beaten their big drums and gathered together from all quarters to attack the camp, but discretion overcame their valour when they found a large force still at head-quarters.

On June 9, eight vessels of Agad's hove in sight, and with a fair breeze they arrived opposite the island at 2.30 p.m.

Abou Saood was in one of these vessels.

June 10, Abou Saood presented himself to me this morning. His vessels, being without cargoes, benefited much by our work in the sudd. He found all our cuttings open, therefore he had no difficulty until he arrived at the dam, through which his people cut a passage. The great rush of water scoured a deep channel, and his squadron of light vessels came on without difficulty. I ordered Abou Saood's people to camp on the west bank of the river, as I did not wish them to be in constant communication with my troops, who would quickly become contaminated by their morals.

The news brought by Abou Saood from Khartoum informed me of the death of Agad; therefore the representation of the firm of Agad Co. had now devolved upon Abou Saood, his son-in-law.

I now heard that the people of Abou Saood, who numbered about 500 men, had brought with them a large herd of cattle which they had driven along the west bank of the river; thus in direct defiance of the government authority, he had made a razzia upon some tribe during his voyage, and he had not scrupled to present himself to me with the herd of stolen cattle staring me in the face on the other side of the water.

On my way up from the Bahr Giraffe I had left a Turkish major, Achmet Rafik Effendi, with a corporal and five men, in the Shir tribe, about forty miles from Gondokoro, with a friendly sheik named Niambore. This sheik was the tallest and most powerful man that I ever saw in Africa, and he was a trustworthy and good fellow. He had promised to cultivate a farm for the government, therefore I had given him ten bushels of dhurra for seed, and I had left with him at his request the officer and soldiers, to represent the government and to superintend the cultivation.

I now discovered that Abou Saood had attacked the natives without any provocation, and had carried off the cattle from the country adjoining Niambore's district.

The natives would naturally imagine that my officer and six men were spies who had directed Abou Saood to their cattle, and there would be a great chance of a conflict between Niambore, their protector, and his neighbours who had been robbed.

I observed with the telescope that the people of Abou Saood who arrived with the herd of cattle were accompanied by a great number of natives, and the Baris of Gondokoro, who were at open war with us, flocked to welcome the new comers as old friends who had been long absent. The brigands had as usual arrived with a large herd of cattle, which in Africa is always the best introduction; thus the robber tribe of Allorron was delighted at the return of those who had always led them to plunder, and had enriched them with the spoil of cows and slaves. I find the following entry in my journal, dated -

"June 12, 1871. - The natives who are at war with us have been gathering in large numbers to the spot on the west bank occupied by Abou Saood's people. The latter are actually holding friendly intercourse with them, and the Baris are quite at home assisting these rascals in erecting their camp, although they positively refused to work for the government upon our first arrival. This is the treasonable conduct of Abou Saood, who knows perfectly well that we are at open war with the Baris.

"His large herd of about 1,400 fat cattle were driven along in triumph, followed by the admiring population of thieving niggers, who hail his arrival as the harbinger of fat times, Gondokoro being the general depot for all stolen cattle, slaves. and the starting point for every piratical expedition.

"In the afternoon I started in a dingy, accompanied by Colonel Abd-el-Kader, Lieutenant Baker, Monsoor, and four soldiers, to visit the traders' camp on the west side of the river.

"Seeing me approach, a great number of Baris left the traders, and taking to a precipitate flight they disappeared in the high reeds. The traders' people received me without the slightest mark of respect, and one insolent fellow swaggered up and stared me in the face with a pipe in his mouth as a studied insult.

"I went to the cattle pens and immediately placed my four soldiers as sentries over the herd, which I confiscated, as a warning to these ruffianly slave-hunters.

"It would be a disgrace to tolerate these thieves, as Gondokoro is rendered a perfect hell, and the natives will naturally abhor any lawful government so long as they can consort and share spoils with such brigands as these so-called traders of Khartoum."

Upon my return home I wrote an official letter to Abou Saood of which the following is a copy : -

"ISMAILIA, or GONDOKORO, June 12, 1871.

"To Abou Saood, vakeel of the firm of Agad Co.

"Sir,

"You arrived here on the 10th inst. with a large number of cattle stolen by you and your people.

"You, knowing that the Baris were at war with the government, have nevertheless been in daily and friendly communication with them.

"The Baris of this country are rendered hostile to all honest government by the conduct of your people, who, by stealing slaves and cattle from the interior, and delivering them here, have utterly destroyed all hope of improvement in a people naturally savage, but now rendered by your acts thieves of the worst description.

"It is impossible that I can permit the continuance of such acts.

"I therefore give you due notice that at the expiration of your contract you will withdraw all your people from the district under my command. At the same time I declare the forfeiture to the government of the cattle you have forcibly captured under the eyes of my authority.

"SAMUEL W. BAKER."

The only error that I can acknowledge throughout the expedition was my present leniency. I should at once have placed Abou Saood in irons, and have sent him to Khartoum, instead of leaving him at large to carry on his intrigues against the government.

I intended on the first opportunity to send notice to the Shir tribe of the safety of their cattle, but an incident shortly occurred that altered my determination. (These cattle were kept in a separate pen or zareeba, and were guarded when at pasturage by special soldiers for some weeks, in order that they should be returned to the Shir tribe upon the first opportunity.)

At the same time that Abou Saood was in disgrace, he was a bosom friend of the colonel, Raouf Bey, who commanded my troops. They dined together constantly in the house of the latter officer, and their friendship had originally commenced in Khartoum during the long interval that the regiments were awaiting my arrival from Cairo. It was during that interval that the officers of the expedition had fraternized with the White Nile traders who resided at Khartoum.

The result of such intimacy might be imagined.

The object of the expedition had always been distasteful to both officers and men. The traders had already seen by the, examples made at Tewfikeeyah that I should actually destroy their cherished slave-trade. It was therefore natural that Abou Saood should exert himself to ruin the expedition. Having friend in Raouf Bey, he was in a position to create division of opinion. He constantly associated with this officer, in order that it should be generally known that he was supported by an influential person in the government service. The scandal of the camp quickly assumed that the opinions concerning the slave-traders between myself and Raouf Bey were at variance.

The officers of the expedition had, contrary to my express orders, purchased 126 slaves from the stations of the traders during the White Nile voyage! I had only learnt this on arrival at Gondokoro; thus when corn was so scarce that the rations were reduced, while those of meat were increased, we had an addition of 126 mouths!

The policy of the slave-traders was identical with the feelings of the officers and men, all of whom wished to abandon the expedition and return to Khartoum. Abou Saood worked molelike in his intrigues. He fraternized secretly with Allorron and his Baris. Many of his men purchased tobacco from the natives in exchange for ammunition. The natives from Belinian were in daily communication with Abou Saood's camp, and their spies obtained information of our proceedings, and carried the news throughout the country that "they would be supported by Abou Saood against my authority."

I learnt everything that occurred through trustworthy agents. It quickly became known that Raouf Bey was desirous to terminate the expedition. The contagion spread rapidly, and the men worked languidly and without the slightest interest: they had made up their minds that the expedition was a failure, and that a scarcity of corn would be their excuse for a return to Khartoum. Abou Saood fanned the flame among the officers, and discontent became general.

In the mean time the Baris were very active in annoying the camp at night. Although these natives could not stand against the troops in the open, they harassed them by necessitating a perpetual vigilance both by night and day. It was necessary to have strong patrols in two parties at all hours; and I regret to say the Egyptian officers and men did not appear to enjoy a state of war where activity and good discipline were absolutely necessary. The Soudani officers and men, although ignorant, were far superior to the Egyptians in activity and courage.

Unfortunately the camp was sickly. The men now suffered from the fatigue of the long voyage through slush and marsh. Many had fever and dysentery. Ulcerated legs were prevalent; and this disease appeared to be contagious. Many men died from these malignant ulcers, which in some cases entirely destroyed the foot. The women did not suffer from this complaint. It originated from a poisonous grass that festered the wound it gave, and rapidly produced an incurable sore. As the women had not been exposed to the work in the marshes, they had escaped the scourge inflicted by the sharp edges of the grass.

There was no rest for the people; they had to build their camp and fight the Baris at the same time. A scarcity of corn stared them in the face. The officers and men were well aware that we could not hope for regular supplies of corn and reinforcements of troops from Khartoum in the dreadful state of the river: thus they felt their position keenly, as sick, dispirited, in the midst of enemies, with approaching famine of corn, and no communication with the Soudan. All these difficulties were to be endured for the sake of an object which they detested - "the suppression of the slave trade."