CHAPTER XVIII. MARCH TO MASINDI.

"April l5. - The latitude of Kisoona was 2 degrees 2 minutes 36 seconds N. We started at 11 A.M. till 1 P.M., reaching Kasiga - eight miles - through interminable forest full of fine ripe yellow plums and unripe custard apples.

"April 16. - Started at 8.20 A.M. till 12 - arriving at Koki - thick forest throughout the march. We passed several small villages, and made twelve miles, N. lat. 1 degree 59 minutes. I gave various seeds of European vegetables to the headman; and I myself sowed the seeds of water-melons and sweet melons in his garden, and explained their cultivation.

"April 17. - All the carriers have absconded. There is extensive cultivation in this district, and the tobacco is well attended, as the tops of the plants are carefully nipped off to prevent them from running too much into stalk.

"The chief, Kittakara, who is a kind of prime minister to Kabba Rega, gave me this afternoon the history of the country.

"Kabba Rega is the sixteenth king since the original conquest of Unyoro by the Gallas. These invaders arrived from the East, beyond the country of the Langgos.

"To this day a peculiar custom is observed. Before a new king can ascend the throne, he is compelled to sleep during two nights on the east of the Victoria Nile. He then marches along the path by which his victorious ancestor invaded Unyoro, and upon reaching the river, he takes boat and crosses to the exact landing-place where the original conqueror first set his foot upon the frontier.

"April 18. - I purchased a quantity of excellent tobacco and divided it among the soldiers as a reward for their having respected the native gardens during the march.

"Kittakara is the only gentleman that I have seen in the country, and he never asks for presents, thus forming an extraordinary exception to the rule of Unyoro society.

"I gave him a blue blanket, a zinc mirror, a spoon, comb, and four red and yellow handkerchiefs. To Quonga I gave a tarboosh (fez), and four yards of turkey red cloth.

"April 19. - Fresh carriers arrived, and we started at 10.45 A.M., and halted at 4 P.M. - twelve miles. Forest and high grass as usual throughout the route, which would render this country highly dangerous in case of hostilities.

"The lofty mountains on the west shore of the Albert N'yanza are now in view about fifty miles distant. We halted at a populous district, and occupied a village at Chorobeze.

"There is an impression of general ruin in passing through this wonderfully fertile country. The slave-hunters and their allies have produced this frightful result by ransacking the district for slaves. "The civil dissensions after Kamrasi's death were favourable for the traders' schemes. The two sons, Kabba Rega and Kabka Miro, contended for the throne. The latter was royally born by sire and mother, but Kabba Rega was a son by a shepherdess of the Bahoomas. The throne belonged by inheritance to Kabka Miro, who, not wishing to cause a civil war, and thus destroy the country, challenged his brother to single combat in the presence of all the people. The victor was to be king.

"Kabba Rega was a coward, and refused the challenge. The chivalrous Kabka Miro again offered terms: - Kabba Rega, as the son of the shepherdess, should take all the flocks and herds; and Kabka Miro would occupy the throne.

"Kabba Rega, like most cowards, was exceedingly cunning and treacherous, and, with the alliance of Suleiman's people, he shot his gallant brother, and secured both the throne and his father's flocks."

April 20. - All the native carriers have, as usual, absconded. We are now about twenty-seven riles from Masindi, the head-quarters of Kabba Rega, and yet there are no signs of control.

"I ascended a small hill near the village, and sighted the waters of the Albert N'yanza, due west, about twenty miles distant.

"April 21. - About fifty natives collected. I sent off Colonel Abd-el-Kader with the prisoners to Kabba Rega to complain of the want of carriers and provisions. I ordered him to disarm all the traders' people, and the Baris in their employ, who might be at Masindi; as the news has arrived that the men belonging to Suleiman have returned to Foweera and are actually taking slaves in the neighbourhood.

"April 22. - More natives collected. I sent off 140 loads in charge of Morgian Agha, with an escort of twenty soldiers, and the herd of cattle. The latitude of Chorobeze was 1 degrees 57 minutes N.

"April 23. - The natives having collected, we started at 10.5 a.m. I was obliged to walk, as my good horse, 'Greedy Grey,' is sick.

"The route was through forest and high grass as usual. We marched seventeen miles, and halted at immense groves of bananas at a place called Jon Joke.

"The baggage and cattle arrived after sunset, Morgian Agha having been deserted yesterday by all the carriers. As usual, throughout the route the water is bad.

"Alas! my poor horse, `Greedy Grey,' died to-day. He was the most perfect of all the horses I had brought from Cairo.

"April 24.-As usual, the native carriers have all bolted! Last night a sergeant arrived with a letter addressed to me from Abd-el-Kader, who has carried out my orders at Masindi by disarming the traders' party.

"April 25.-It rained throughout the night. The carriers sent by Kabba Rega arrived early. We started at 8.15 a.m., and marched ten miles, arriving at last at the capital of Unyoro - Masindi.

"This large town is situated on high undulating land with an extensive view, bounded on the west by the range of mountains bordering the Albert N'yanza, about fifty miles distant. The country is open, but covered with high grass. A succession of knolls, all more or less ornamented with park-like trees, characterize the landscape, which slopes gradually down towards the west, and drains into the Albert N'yanza, which is about twenty miles distant.

"The town of Masindi is, as usual throughout Unyoro, exceedingly neglected, and is composed of some thousand large beehive-shaped straw huts, without any arrangement or plan.

"I selected a position beneath a large banian-tree, from the base of which I cleared the herbage, and having pitched the tent, the natives tore up about an acre of the high grass, and we encamped upon the clean ground.

"Kabba Rega sent a present of twenty-nine loads of tullaboon (a small seed, Eleusine Coracan), a quantity of plantains and potatoes, and six goats.

"This spot is in N. lat. 1 deg. 45 min., and is seventy-nine miles, by our route, from the river at Foweera. We are thus 322 miles by route from Ismailia (Gondokoro).

"April 26.-I visited Kabba Rega officially, with the officers and troops in full uniform, and the band playing.

"I found him sitting in his divan; this was a large neatly-constructed hut, ornamented with some very common printed cotton cloths, which had arrived via Zanzibar. Kabba Rega was very well clad, in beautifully made bark-cloth striped with black; he was excessively neat, and appeared to be about twenty years of age. He gave me the same account of the atrocious proceedings of Abou Saood's companies that I had already received from his chiefs, and he expressed his delight at my arrival, and that I had captured Suleiman and some of his people.

"I explained the intentions of the Khedive of Egypt, at the same time I lamented the terrible change that had occurred throughout his country since my former visit. I assured him that the future would be prosperous, and that, under the protection of Egypt, he would never have further cause for alarm. I then summoned the prisoners that had been captured and disarmed by Colonel Abd-el-Kader; and having explained the charges against them, they were publicly flogged in the presence of a multitude of Kabba Rega's people, while Suleiman and Eddrees were led away in shebas, to the astonishment and delight of all beholders.

"The slaves that had been discovered in the possession of Suleiman's people were now brought forward, and having been identified by Kabba Rega and his people as belonging to Unyoro, they were at once released, and I returned both young girls and boys to their country. One woman did not wish to leave the traders, as she had been married to one of the company for some years, and had several children.

"I explained that they were actually FREE - to remain with their captors, or to return to their homes, as they thought proper.

"This was a good opportunity for assuring both Kabba Rega and this people that I should restore all the slaves that had been carried out of their country to the various stations of Abou Saood at Fatiko, Fabbo, Faloro,

"I described to the young king and his chiefs that I was determined to suppress the slave trade, and that I had hitherto forborne to interfere in the release of the slaves at the various stations, as it would have been impossible to have returned them to their distant homes, neither could I have supplied them with food. I was now at Masindi, beyond the farthest station of Abou Saood, and I should certainly insist upon the return of every slave that had been kidnapped from this country. This would at once prove to the inhabitants of Unyoro the benefit of the Khedive's protection. (The subsequent attack made by the slave-traders upon the government troops and myself at Fatiko was due to this declaration that all slaves should be taken away from their captors and returned to their homes. It will be seen later that I sent orders to the commandant of my station at Fatiko to release all slaves, and this command was resisted by Abou Saood and his people.)

"April 27.-Kabba Rega had arranged to return my visit.

"I had ordered a broad roadway to be cleared from Kabba Rega's divan to my tent, which was pitched beneath an enormous fig-tree or banian (Ficus Indica). The troops were lined on either side of this approach in their best uniforms.

"The band was stationed near the tent, which was spread with skins and small carpets, all the sides being open.

"An hour and a half passed away after the first messenger had arrived from Kabba Rega to announce his visit. One after another, messengers had hurried to assure me that the king was just now approaching; but still the troops remained in expectation, and no king made an appearance.

"At length, after this long delay, he sent Rahonka to say that 'if it was all the same to me, he would rather see me at his own house.'

"This unmannerly young cub was actually suspicious of foul play, and was afraid to enter my tent!

"I immediately told Rahonka that his king was evidently not old enough to have learnt good manners, therefore I should at once dismiss the troops, who had already been waiting for nearly two hours to do him honour.

"I ordered the bugler to sound the 'destoor,' and the troops at once obeyed the signal.

"Terrified at the sound of the bugle, which was known to be some mysterious order, Rahonka implored me not to be angry, and he would at once bring Kabba Rega to the tent. The troops resumed their position.

"In a few minutes a great din of horns, drums, and whistles announced his approach, and we observed him walking down the road with an extraordinary gait. He was taking enormous strides, as though caricaturing the walk of a giraffe. This was supposed to be an imitation of M'tese, the king of Uganda, whose ridiculous attempt to walk like a lion has been described by Speke.

"Kabba Rega thus stalked along, followed by his great chiefs, Kittakara, Matonse, Rahonka, Quonga, and a number of others. Upon arrival opposite the band, the bugles and drums suddenly commenced with such a clash of cymbals that he seemed rather startled, and he entered the tent in the most undignified manner, with an air of extreme shyness half concealed by audacity.

"He was trembling with nervous anxiety, and with some hesitation he took his seat upon the divan that had been prepared for him. His principal chiefs sat upon skins and carpets arranged upon the ground.

"A crowd of about 2,000 people had accompanied him, making a terrific noise with whistles, horns, and drums. These were now silenced, and the troops formed a guard around the tent to keep the mob at a respectful distance. Every now and then several men of Kabba Rega's body-guard rushed into the crowd and laid about them with bludgeons five feet long, hitting to the right and left. This always chased the people away for a few minutes, until, by degrees, they resumed their position. Everybody was dressed up for a grand occasion, mostly in new clothes of bark- cloth, and many were in skins of wild animals, with their heads fantastically ornamented with the horns of goats or antelopes. The sorcerers were an important element. These rascals, who are the curse of the country, were, as usual, in a curious masquerade with fictitious beards manufactured with a number of bushy cows' tails.

"Kabba Rega was about five feet ten inches in height, and of extremely light complexion. His eyes were very large, but projected in a disagreeable manner. A broad but low forehead and high cheek-bones, added to a large mouth, with rather prominent but exceedingly white teeth, complete the description of his face. His hands were beautifully shaped, and his finger-nails were carefully pared and scrupulously clean. The nails of his feet were equally well attended to. He wore sandals of raw buffalo-hide, but neatly formed, and turned up round the edges.

"His robe of bark-cloth, which completely covered his body, was exquisitely made, and had been manufactured in Uganda, which country is celebrated for this curious production.

"This was Kabba Rega, the son of Kamrasi, the sixteenth king of Unyoro, of the Galla conquerors, a gauche, awkward, undignified lout of twenty years of age, who thought himself a great monarch. He was cowardly, cruel, cunning, and treacherous to the last degree. Not only had he ordered the destruction of his brother, Kabka Miro, but after his death, he had invited all his principal relations to visit him; these he had received with the greatest kindness, and at parting, he had presented them with gifts, together with an escort of his body-guard, called bonosoora, to see them safe home. These men, by the young king's instructions, murdered them all in the high grass during their return journey. By these means he had got rid of troublesome relations, and he now sat securely upon the throne with only one great enemy; this was Rionga, the stanch and determined foe of his father, who had escaped from every treachery, and still lived to defy him in the north-eastern provinces of Unyoro.

"It was easy to understand that he would welcome my arrival with a force sufficiently large to assist him against Rionga, and at the same time to rid him of Suleiman's party. He made use of the latter force as mercenary troops, to which he was obliged to allow boundless license; otherwise he might be invaded by the whole power of the combined companies of Fabbo, Faloro, Fatiko, and Farragenia. These companies might at any time change sides and ally themselves with Rionga, thus, could I clear the country of such doubtful allies, he would be relieved from all cause of alarm."

Notwithstanding these advantages, the young king sat uneasily upon his divan, and appeared timid and suspicious. According to Turkish etiquette, a handsome chibouque, trimmed with blue silk and gold, was handed to him. He examined the amber mouth-piece but declined to smoke, as "tobacco would blacken his teeth;" this was a curious excuse from a Central African dandy.

I begged him to accept the long pipe as a reminiscence of my arrival. Coffee and sherbet were then handed to him, but he declined both, and insisted upon two of his chiefs drinking the whole; during which operation he watched them attentively, as though in expectation of some poisonous effect.

This was conduct that boded no good for future relations. My wife tried to converse with him through the interpreter, Umbogo. Kabba Rega then explained that he recollected us both, as he was one of a crowd when a boy on the day we started from M'rooli for the Albert N'yanza.

The conversation quickly turned upon Rionga, whom he declared must be either captured or killed, before any improvement could take place in the country. The young king assumed that it was already arranged that I should assist him in this laudable object. I now changed the conversation by ordering a large metal box to be brought in. This had already been filled with an assortment of presents, including a watch. I explained to him that the latter had been intended for his father, Kamrasi; in the recollection of his constant demands for my watch during my former visit. The new toy was ticking loudly, and it was of course handed round and held to the ear of each chief before it was replaced in the box.

Kabba Rega replied that he knew I had been a great friend of his father, Kamrasi, and that I had now brought many valuable presents for him; but I must not forget, that, although the father was dead, the son (himself) was still alive, therefore I might at once hand over to him all that I had intended for his parent.

This was a true son of his father in the art of begging. I replied, that "hens did not lay all their eggs in one day, but continued one by one; and that I hoped, when I should know him better, he would discover the advantage of commerce, as the various goods that had now been introduced were intended to exhibit the manufactures of my own country. These would continue to arrive in Unyoro to be exchanged for ivory."

I then exhibited the large musical box with drums and bells. This was one of the best instruments of its kind, and it played a remarkably good selection of airs, which quite charmed the audience. Among the presents I had given to Kabba Rega was a small musical snuff box. This was now wound up and exhibited, but the greedy young fellow at once asked "Why I did not give him the large box?"

I gave him a regular lecture upon the advantages of commerce that would introduce an important change in this extraordinary country; at the same time I recalled to his recollection, that I had promised his father to open up a commercial route by which the productions and manufactures of the north should arrive in Unyoro, and render that country even more prosperous than Uganda. I had now arrived, as the lieutenant of the Khedive, according to my promise, and the whole of the equatorial Nile basis would be taken under his protection. No unnecessary wars would be permitted, but he (Kabba Rega) would remain as the representative of the government, and the affairs of the country would be conducted through him alone.

I assured him that no country could prosper without industry and a good government; that agriculture was the foundation of a country's wealth; and that war or civil disturbance, which interfered with agricultural employment, would ruin the kingdom. He replied that "Rionga was the sole cause of war; therefore it would be necessary to destroy him before any improvements could be made. If Rionga were killed and the slave-hunters expelled from the country, there might be some hope of progress; but that it was wasting breath to talk of commerce and agriculture until Rionga should be destroyed."

This was Kamrasi's old tune once more dinned into my ears. In my former journey I had been deserted by my carriers and starved for three months at Shooa Moru, simply to induce me to yield to this repeated demand: "Kill Rionga; or give me your men to assist me against him."

From what I had heard I considered that Rionga must be a very fine fellow, and much superior to either Kamrasi or his son.

In my former journey I had accomplished a long and difficult exploration without firing a shot at a human being; and I had studiously avoided meddling in native politics, which is certain to involve a traveller in difficulty. It had always been a source of great satisfaction when I looked back to my past adventures, and reflected that I had never pulled a trigger at a native; thus the arrival of a white man in these countries would be regarded without suspicion.

In my present expedition I had always endeavoured to preserve peace, but, as this work will show, I was in every instance forced to war in absolute self-defence. I was therefore determined not to attack Rionga, unless he should presume to defy the government.

In reply to Kabba Rega and his chiefs, who all had joined in the argument, I declared that I would find means to establish peace, and that Rionga would assuredly come to terms. Nothing would induce me to use force against him or any other person, unless absolutely necessary. I suggested to Kabba Rega that he should for a moment change positions with Rionga. What would his feelings be should I wantonly attack him, simply because I had been requested to do so by his enemy?

No argument was of any avail. Kabba Rega replied, "You were my father's friend and brother: your wife was the same. You drove back the slave-hunters under Wat-el-Mek by hoisting your flag. Since you left us, the slave-hunters have returned and ruined the country. My father is dead; but Rionga is still alive. Now you are my father, and your wife is my mother: will you allow your son's enemy to live?"

It was quite useless to attempt reason with this hardened young fellow, who had not an idea of mercy in his disposition. As he had murdered his own relatives by the foulest treachery, so he would of course destroy any person who stood in his way. I therefore changed the conversation to Abou Saood.

Kabba Rega and his sheiks all agreed that he had arrived here some time ago in a very miserable plight, exceedingly dirty, and riding upon a donkey. He was without baggage of any kind, and he introduced himself by giving a present to Kabba Rega of an old, battered metal basin and jug, in which he washed, together with a very old and worn-out small carpet, upon which he was accustomed to sit. With these magnificent presents he declared that he was "the son of a sultan, who had come to visit the king of Unyoro."

Kabba Rega had replied that "he did not believe it, as he had heard that he was simply a trader."

Reports had reached Unyoro that I had arrived at Gondokoro, and that I was on my way to visit Kamrasi, and to explore the Albert N'yanza; therefore Kabba Rega had questioned Abou Saood concerning me.

"Oh," Abou Saood replied, "that man whom we call 'the traveller'? Oh yes, he was a very good fellow indeed; but he is dead. He died long ago. The Pacha is a very different person; and I hope he will never be able to reach this country. If he does, it will be a bad time for YOU."

"Indeed!" replied Kabba Rega. "I heard that the Pacha and the traveller, the friend of my father, were the same person."

"You have been deceived," said Abou Saood. "The Pacha is not like the traveller, or any other man. He is a monster with three separate heads, in each of which are six eyes - three upon each side. Thus with eighteen eyes he can see everything and every country at once. He has three enormous mouths, which are furnished with teeth like those of a crocodile, and he devours human flesh. He has already killed and eaten the Bari people and destroyed their country. Should he arrive here, he will pull you from the throne and seize your kingdom. You must fight him, and by no means allow him to cross the river at Foweera. My soldiers will fight him on the road from Gondokoro, as will all the natives of the country: but I don't think he will be able to leave Gondokoro, as he has a large amount of baggage, _and I have told the Baris not to transport it: - thus he will have no carriers."

This was the actual report that Abou Saood had given to Kabba Rega, as the dragoman Umbogo had been the interpreter, in the presence of Mohammed, my old Cairo dragoman.

I laughed outright at this absurdity: at the same time it corroborated all that I had already heard of Abou Saood's treachery. I immediately asked Kabba Rega if he was satisfied now that he had seen me? He replied, "Abou Saood is a liar, and you are Kamrasi's friend, and my father: therefore you will, I am sure, assist me, and relieve me from my great enemy, Rionga. I shall then know that you are indeed my true friend."

Once more it was necessary to change the conversation. A number of buffoons that were kept about the court for the amusement of the young king now came forward. The crowd was driven back, and an open space having been thus cleared, they performed a curious theatrical scene, followed by a general fight with clubs, until one man, having knocked down all the party, remained the victor. The scene terminated with an act of disgusting indecency, which created roars of laughter from the immense crowd, who evidently considered this was the great joke of the piece.

"Kabba Rega now took leave, and retired as he had before arrived, with drums, whistles, horns, flageolets, making a horrid din . . . ."

The spot that I had selected for a station was at the southern edge of the town, from which site the land sloped into a valley about a hundred feet below. I had at once commenced clearing away the high grass, and, as usual when first settling, I had broken up a few small plots, and had already sown seeds of English cucumbers, sweet melons,

The soil was wonderfully rich, at the same time it was very easily worked. When the tall rank grass was torn out by the roots, a fine surface was exposed that resembled dark chocolate. This was a vegetable loam, with a minimum of two feet thickness, resting upon a bright red quartz gravel.

The quartz was not rounded, and appeared to be only the residue of decayed rock that had never been subjected to the action of running water. When washed, a handful remained of sharp and clear white fragments.

With such a subsoil the country must be healthy, as the heaviest shower drained rapidly through the gravel.

I employed the prisoners in clearing the grass, while the soldiers commenced cultivation, and dug up the ground with a number of hoes that I borrowed from Kabba Rega.

These implements are nearly the same in shape as those in Gondokoro and throughout the Madi country, but smaller, and the iron is very brittle and inferior. They are not used like the Dutch hoe, with a long handle, but are fixed upon a piece of wood with a bend of natural growth, so the hoe can be used with a downward stroke like a pick-axe.

On 29th April I commenced building a government house and public divan.

The king of Uganda (M'tese) has envoys throughout the countries which surround his dominions. One of these chiefs, who represented M'tese at Masindi, paid me a visit, and gave me a good deal of information.

He described the M'wootan N'zige (Albert N'yanza) as forming the western frontier of Karagwe, from which point it turned westward for a distance unknown. This was a similar description to that given by Kamrasi some years ago.

I gave the envoy a red and yellow handkerchief to tie around his head. The man was neatly dressed in Indian clothes that had arrived from Bombay via Zanzibar.

On 30th April, Kabba Rega sent a present of twelve elephants' tusks, forty-one loads of tullaboon, twelve pots of sour plantain cider, and thirty-four cows. At the same time, he complained that some of Abou Saood's people were taking slaves in the neighbourhood of Foweera and Kisoona.

The principal chiefs, together with Kabba Rega, assured me that Abou Saood's people had been in the habit of torturing people to extract from them the secret of the spot in which their corn was concealed. Throughout Unyoro there are no granaries exposed at the present time, as the country has been ravaged by civil war; thus all corn is buried in deep holes specially arranged for that purpose. When the slave-hunters sought for corn, they were in the habit of catching the villagers and roasting their posteriors by holding them down on the mouth of a large earthen water jar filled with gloving embers. If this torture of roasting alive did not extract the secret, they generally cut the sufferer's throat to terrify his companion, who would then divulge the position of the hidden stores to avoid a similar fate. This accusation was corroborated by Mohammed, the Cairo dragoman.

It is difficult to conceive the brutality of these brigands, who, thus relieved from the fear of a government, exhibit their unbridled passions by every horrible crime.

Umbogo, the interpreter, was now regularly installed in a hut within call of my tent. This man appeared to be exceedingly fond of us, and he was the main source of information.

He had a very lovely wife, a Bahooma, who was a light brown colour, with beautiful Abyssinian eyes; she had been given to him by Kabba Rega, with whom he was a great favourite.

Umbogo was very intelligent, and he took a great interest in all my plans for establishing free trade throughout the country: but he told me privately that he thought the idea would be opposed secretly by Kabba Rega, who would wish to monopolize all the ivory trade, in order to keep up the price, and to obtain the whole of the merchandise.

The great variety of goods much astonished him, and he advised me strongly to send for a large supply of soap, for which there would be a great demand, as a light complexion was greatly admired in Unyoro. He said that Mohammed, the Cairo dragoman, was several shades lighter since I had supplied him with soap; this was true, as he had been very filthy before my arrival; but Umbogo was persuaded that the difference between white and black people was caused by the fact of our ancestors having always used soap, while the blacks used only plain water. This ethnological fact having been established, I gave him a small piece, to his great delight, as he expressed his intention to become a white man.

I was always chatting with Umbogo and the various chiefs, especially with my favourite, Kittakara, who was Kabba Rega's most confidential counsellor. They gave me a graphic account of the royal funeral that had taken place a few months ago, when Kamrasi has interred.

When a king of Unyoro dies, the body is exposed upon a framework of green wood, like a gigantic gridiron, over a slow fire. It is thus gradually dried, until it resembles an over-roasted hare.

Thus mummified, it is wrapped in new bark-cloths, and lies in state within a large house built specially for its reception.

The sons fight for the throne. The civil war may last for years, but during this period of anarchy, the late king's body lies still unburied.

At length, when victory has decided in favour of one of his sons, the conqueror visits the hut in which his father's body lies in state. He approaches the corpse, and standing by its side, he sticks the butt-end of his spear in the ground, and leaves it thus fixed near the right hand of the dead king. This is symbolical of victory.

The son now ascends the throne, and the funeral of his father must be his first duty.

An immense pit or trench is dug, capable of containing several hundred people.

This pit is neatly lined with new bark-cloths.

Several wives of the late king are seated together at the bottom, to bear upon their knees the body of their departed lord.

The night previous to the funeral, the king's own regiment or body-guard surround many dwellings and villages, and seize the people indiscriminately as they issue from their doors in the early morning. These captives are brought to the pit's mouth.

Their legs and arms are now broken with clubs, and they are pushed into the pit on the top of the king's body and his wives.

An immense din of drums, horns, flageolets, whistles, mingled with the yells of a frantic crowd, drown the shrieks of the sufferers, upon whom the earth is shovelled and stamped down by thousands of cruel fanatics, who dance and jump upon the loose mould so as to form it into a compact mass; through which the victims of this horrid sacrifice cannot grope their way, the precaution having been taken to break the bones of their arms and legs. At length the mangled mass is buried and trodden down beneath a tumulus of earth, and all is still. The funeral is over.

Upon my return to Egypt I was one day relating this barbarous custom to a friend, when Mr. Kay, of Alexandria, reminded me of the curious coincidence in the description of the travels of Ibn Batuta, written A.D. 1346.

I am indebted to Mr. Kay for the following extract from the work of Ibn Batuta, which will go far to prove the extreme conservatism of Africans in all that regards their rites and customs.

On his arrival at Khan Balik (Pekin), Ibn Batuta found that the khan, or emperor, was absent. His cousin had risen against him, and had been joined by most of the ameers, who accused the khan of having broken the laws of the Yassak, and had called upon him to abdicate.

The emperor marched against the rebels at the head of an army (which, Ibn Batuta says, consisted of a million cavalry and half a million infantry). A battle was fought, in which the khan was defeated and killed.

"This news reached the capital a few days after our arrival. The city was decorated, drums and trumpets were sounded, and games and rejoicings instituted, which continued for the space of a month.

"The dead body of the khan was then brought, together with the bodies of about a hundred men, his relations and followers.

"A large vault was constructed underground. It was spread with magnificent carpets, and the body of the khan was laid in it, along with his weapons and with the gold and silver vessels that were used in his household.

"Four female slaves and six memluks were led into the vault, each provided with a drinking vessel filled with liquid.

"The entrance of the vault was walled up, and earth was heaped on the top until it resembled a large hillock.

"Four horses were then brought and made to gallop in the neighbourhood of the tomb until they stood still with fatigue. A large beam of wood was erected over the tomb, and to this the horses were attached, being impaled with wooden pales, passed longitudinally through their bodies and projecting through their mouths.

"The bodies of the khan's relatives, whom I have previously mentioned, were likewise deposited in vaults, each with his weapons and with the vessels used in his house.

"Those of highest rank were ten in number. Over each of their tombs three horses were impaled, and one horse over each of the others.

"The day was one of public solemnity, and no one abstained from its observance, neither man nor woman, Moslem nor infidel. All arrayed themselves in funeral garments - the infidels wearing white tailasans, and the Moslem white gowns.

"The empresses, wives of the khan, and his chief followers remained in the neighbourhood of the tomb for forty days, living in tents. Some prolonged their stay up to a year, and a market was established at which provisions and every other necessary were sold.

"These are practices of the existence of which among any other people in these present times I have no personal knowledge.

"The Indian infidels and the people of China burn their dead. Others bury them, but without burying living men or women along with the corpse.

"But I was informed in the Soudan, by persons upon whose word full reliance may be placed, that among certain infidels in these countries, on the death of the king, a vault is constructed in which the corpse is laid, and along with it a certain number of his courtiers and servants; as also thirty persons, sons and daughters of the most distinguished men of the country. The fore-arms of these persons are first broken, as also their legs, below the knees, and drinking vessels are deposited with them in the tomb.

"I was informed by a person, one of the chief men of the Masuffahs, who dwelt in the country of Koobar, in the Soudan, and who was a favourite with the sultan, that on the death of the latter the people wished to bury my informant's son in the tomb along with those of their own children who had been chosen for the same purpose. He added: 'I remonstrated, saying, "How can ye do this? The lad is not of your faith, neither is he one of your children." Finally, I ransomed him,' he continued, 'with a heavy payment.'". . . .

This is an interesting fact, that so long ago as the year 1346 such a practice was known to exist in Central Africa.

When the funeral rites of Kamrasi were over, Kabba Rega ascended the throne, and succeeded to all his father's wives, with the exception of his own mother. This is the invariable custom in Unyoro.

The throne is composed partly of copper and of wood. It is an exceedingly small and ancient piece of furniture, and has been handed down for many generations and is considered to be a cojoor, or talisman. There is also an ancient drum, which is regarded with reverence as something uncanny, and the two articles are always jealously guarded by special soldiers, and are seldom used.

Should the throne be lost or stolen, the authority of the king would disappear, together with the talisman, and disorder would reign throughout the country until the precious object should be restored.