CHAPTER XXIV. NO MEDICAL MEN.

The death of the unfortunate Dr. Gedge, my chief medical officer at Tewfikeeyah, added to the retirement of one of the Egyptian surgeons from Gondokoro, had left me with so weak a medical staff that I had been unable to take a doctor from head-quarters. I therefore was compelled to perform all necessary operations myself, and to attend personally upon the wounded men. In the late encounter, although I had not actually lost a soldier, seven were badly wounded. One had a broken thigh, and the bullet remained in the leg. Two had smashed ankle-joints, in one of which the ball remained fixed among the bones. Some of the prisoners were also wounded and one shortly died.

Wat-el-Mek's hand was much lacerated, in addition to the loss of the middle finger.

I dressed all the wounds with a weak solution of carbolic acid. After some trouble, I extracted the bullet from the broken thigh, and set the bone. (This man was one of "The Forty"; and about two months after the wound he was again on duty, and only slightly lame.)

Wat-el-Mek had two excellent English double-barrelled guns. That destroyed by the "Dutchman" was a gun by Blissett of London, which had been given to him by Captain Speke when he parted at Gondokoro: the other was my own old gun, that I had given to Ibrahim when I travelled with him during my first journey in Africa.

On the 3rd August I took evidence against Abou Saood. Mohammed Wat-el-Mek, and a prisoner named Besheer, who was an officer in the same company, both swore upon the Koran, that in firing at me "they had only obeyed the orders of Abou Saood, who had instructed them to attack me and the government troops should I attempt to interfere with their proceedings."

Wat-el-Mek declared upon oath that he had always wished to serve me, but he had been prevented by Abou Saood and others; and he had now been rightly punished. This, he said, was "God's hand." He had been in countless fights with natives during many years, and he was possessed of powerful charms and spells, including numerous verses from the Koran suspended from his arms: these had always protected him until the day when he had raised his hand against the government. His charms had at once failed him, and he had lost both his finger and the gun with which he had fired at me.

My officers and soldiers really believed that I had purposely cut his finger off, and smashed his gun by a rifle shot, to prove to him what I could accomplish with a rifle; and thus to warn a man who would be useful to me, instead of killing him.

Wat-el-Mek now offered to swear upon the Koran fidelity and allegiance if I would pardon him; and he would at once prove his sincerity by raising an irregular corps.

This man was a curious character; his superstitious nature had been seized with the conviction that his present position was a special visitation of divine wrath. He was a courageous fellow, and he knew the country and the natives better than any man living. I had always wished to engage his services, and I considered this an excellent opportunity.

The officers now begged me to forgive him. He was led away to a stream of clear water, where he went through the process of washing with a cake of soap, which was sorely needed. He was then dressed in clean clothes that were lent to him for that purpose, and the Koran was brought and laid open at a particular passage.

Placing his wounded hand upon the page, he repeated with great devotion the formal oath. (Wat-el-Mek always behaved well from that time.)

I now gave him a few words of good advice, encouraging his preconceived idea that God had chastised him specially, and that the future would depend upon his own conduct.

Having thus secured this valuable man, whom I had always wished to engage at the commencement of the expedition, there was much to be done, and it will be necessary to make a few extracts from my journal that will better explain the position: -

"August 5, 1872. - I ought to hang Abou Saood, but much diplomacy is necessary. The rebels in their three stations, Fabbo, Faloro, and Farragenia number about 600, exclusive of armed Baris.

"I have with me 146 men, including officers. Should I raise the whole country, the difficulty would be to prevent the natives from exterminating Abou Saood and the whole of his forces. Should such an event occur, how should I be able to occupy this extensive country with so small a force? I have lately had a painful lesson in the treachery of Kabba Rega, who, when I had relieved him of his enemies, the slave-traders, immediately turned against ME. These natives might probably do the same. Negroes respect nothing but force; and the force that now exists, if removed, will leave them free to act against the government. Already they have benefited by the fight with the slave-hunters, by running off with the arms and ammunition, together with a number of cattle, while our troops were engaged with the enemy."

I came to the conclusion that it would be unwise to get rid of the slave-hunters by physical force. Although I felt that they were entirely in my power, as I could bombard their stations with Hale's rockets, if they should refuse to turn out, the natives would, in the event of a flight, most assuredly possess themselves of the guns and ammunition.

With 146 men, I could not take more than eighty men to act against 600, as the small force of sixty-six would be the minimum that I could leave to protect the Fatiko station. If with eighty men, together with a wild army of natives, I should attack Fabbo (in which I had heard that Abou Saood was concentrating his people from the other stations), every one of the slave-traders would be massacred. It would be impossible for eighty men to fight, and to secure at the same time the 600 stand of arms that would be in the hands of the rebels. These, together with the muskets belonging to the Baris, would all fall into the possession of my native allies, who would immediately scatter and disappear with their prize.

Should I attack Fabbo, the result would simply arm the natives with 800 or 900 stand of muskets, together with a large amount of ammunition, which they might probably use against me at some future time.

I resolved to work diplomatically, and to keep the slave-hunters' party as a rod above the backs of the natives, until I should discover their real character.

It had been necessary to establish a corn tax [*] for the support of the troops. Possibly the natives, if entirely relieved from their oppressors, might refuse to acknowledge government taxation! At all events I determined to proceed cautiously.

[*Footnote: The corn tax was thus established. Each house was taxed to pay a small basket of corn every full moon. All old and infirm people and also strangers were exempted from taxation. The headman of each village was responsible for the tax, and he delivered a bundle of small pieces of reed, the size of drawing pencils which represented the number of houses belonging to able-bodied men. This tax was always paid cheerfully, in gratitude for the protection afforded by the government.]

The first step was to summon Abou Saood and to hear his defence from his own mouth.

I had given the prisoners their choice, of either enlisting in the government service, or returning to Khartoum.

Of course they ought to have been shot in a batch; but I could not afford to shoot them. I had to catch and tame my wild beasts instead of destroying them.

A considerable number agreed to serve under Wat-el-Mek.

I wrote, on 5th August, a letter addressed to Abou Saood, summoning hum to appear instantly at Fatiko: at the same time I promised him a free exit; without which written assurance I might as well have summoned the "man in the moon".

It was difficult to procure natives who would accompany the new irregulars with the letter, as news had arrived that Abou Saood's people were plundering and laying waste the neighbourhood of Fabbo.

At length I arranged that eight of the new levy, together with the native blacksmith and several others from Fatiko, who were well known in the Madi country, should go to Fabbo (22 miles) with my letter to Abou Saood. The blacksmith would protect the irregulars by explaining their new position to any natives who might desire to molest them.

I also sent a proclamation to be read publicly in the zareeba, summoning all subjects of the Khedive to declare their allegiance to the government.

On the following day (6th August) the blacksmith and his people returned to Fabbo thoroughly disgusted. Upon their arrival near the zareeba of Abou Saood they had cried out to the slave-hunters that they had brought "a letter from the Pacha to Abou Saood!" The slave-hunters had replied with a well-known form of abuse in that country, and had immediately fired a volley into the blacksmith and the eight men of their own people!

The blacksmith and his natives had lost no time in running back to Fatiko; and the eight irregulars having thrown themselves on the ground, had (the blacksmith supposed) at length explained who they were.

The patience and forbearance that I was obliged to assume were far more trying to my feelings than the march from Masindi.

It has always been an intense satisfaction to me that I had reliable witnesses to every incident of the expedition; otherwise, I might perhaps have been suspected of some prejudice against Abou Saood and certain Egyptian authorities that, unknown to myself, might have discoloured the true aspect of affairs. I can only refer to Lieutenant Baker, R.N., and that gallant officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and many others, including all soldiers and servants who belonged to the detachment at Fatiko.

These persons subsequently gave their evidence, which they will be ready at all times to repeat.

On 7th August, at about 5 P.M., Abou Saood appeared with about forty of his men. He was afraid to enter my camp without a second assurance in writing that he should not be made prisoner.

Of course he swore that he had not given orders to fire at me; and he declared that his people of Fatiko had only fired because they were afraid that the natives who had accompanied me were about to attack them.

I asked him, "If that were the case, why had they not communicated with me, as I was only ninety yards distant?" He said his people had not fired at the government troops, but only at the natives who were upon the rock.

He could not quite explain in that case "how it was that 1,000 natives perched upon the rock close together, had escaped without a man being wounded, while not only were seven of the government troops knocked down by bullets, but the huts and furniture of our camp, including boxes in the magazine, had been completely riddled with balls." He then began to lay the blame on Wat-el-Mek, and even had the audacity to declare that "he had nothing to do with slaves, but that he could not restrain his people from kidnapping." I never heard any human being pour out such a cataract of lies as this scoundrel. His plausibility and assurance were such that I stood aghast; and after he had delivered a long speech, in which he declared that "he was the innocent victim of adverse circumstances, and that every one was against him," I could merely reply by dismissing him with the assurance that there was "only one really good and honest man in the world, who invariably spoke the truth; this man was ABOU SAOOD. All other men were liars."

On the following morning Abou Saood came to take leave. He pretended to devote himself to my service, and declared that he should now at once return to Fabbo and organize the best of his people into an irregular corps for the government, and he should act with energy as my vakeel, and assist me in every manner possible. He begged me not to believe a word that any one might say EXCEPT HIMSELF, and he swore by the eyes and head of the Prophet (this was his favourite oath whenever he told the biggest lie) that there was no one so true to me as he, which he would prove by his acts. He then went back to Fabbo.

This is the last time that I ever saw Abou Saood. He took 200 men upon his arrival at Fabbo, and after having told his men to cut the throat of the sheik Werdella, who was a prisoner in the Fabbo camp under my special orders for protection, he went straight to Gondokoro to his friend Raouf Bey.

This officer, who commanded at head-quarters during my absence, although he heard from Abou Saood's people of the attack made upon me at Fatiko, and Abou Saood had arrived without either a passport or letters from myself, positively allowed him to depart to Khartoum.

At Khartoum Abou Saood spread every conceivable false report. Thence he travelled to Cairo, expressly to complain to the Khedive's government of the manner in which he had been treated by me.

Thus the greatest slave-trader of the White Nile, who was so closely connected with the Soudan government that he was a tenant who had rented a country WHICH DID NOT BELONG TO EGYPT, now applied to that government for protection against my interference with his murders, kidnapping, and pillaging, which were the accompaniments of his slave-hunting in Central Africa.

The fact of this renowned slave-hunter having the audacity to appeal to the Egyptian authorities for assistance, at once exhibits the confidence that the slave-traders felt in the moral support of certain official personages who represented public opinion in their hatred to the principal object of the expedition.

The various links in the chain which united the interests of Abou Saood with certain officers who were opposed to the spirit of the enterprise will be at once perceived.

From the very commencement, this man had been the chief intriguer who had endeavoured to ruin the expedition. He had fraternized with the Baris when they were at open war with the government. He had incited the tribes to attack me, and at length his own companies had fired at me by his orders. HE NOW SOUGHT THE PROTECTION OF THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT AT CAIRO.

We shall now leave Abou Saood in Cairo, where he spread the false report of the massacre of Lady Baker and myself, which reached England and appeared in the newspapers in April 1873.

After Abou Saood's departure from Fabbo, the influence of Wat-el-Mek began to be felt, and many men flocked to the government standard. Nevertheless, that station was a scene of anarchy. The slave-hunters were divided among themselves. The party that followed Wat-el-Mek were nearly all Soudanis, like himself, but the Arabs were split up into companies, each of which had elected a separate leader. This dissension was exactly what I desired, and I played the game accordingly. As I have before stated, I wished to avoid physical force.

Ali Genninar, whom I had engaged at Masindi, was an excellent fellow, and before Abou Saood deserted the country, he had been the first man to arrive at Fatike and unite with the government. He now collected sixty-five men, whom I at once enrolled, and having given them their government flags, I started them off without delay to support Rionga in Unyoro, and recalled Abd-el-Kader and his troops to Fatiko. At the same time I sent Rionga many valuable presents.

There were several terrible scoundrels at Fabbo, among whom was Salim-Wat-Howah, who, together with Lazim, had threatened to shoot Major Abdullah in his own camp during my absence in Unyoro.

I had Lazim in irons at Fatiko, but Salim-Wat-Howah had escaped on the day of attack. This man Salim was the head of the greatest villains at Fabbo, and he and his band of about one hundred men daily sallied out of the zareeba and plundered and burnt the neighbourhood in open defiance of Wat-el-Mek.

When these ruffians captured women, they now cut their throats and threw them into the Un-y-Ame river, explaining to the natives that they defied me to "liberate" them when their throats were cut.

Every day the natives flocked to me from Fabbo with the most dreadful tales of atrocities.

The time had now arrived when I could make the move that I felt sure would reduce the country to order.

The slave-hunters were in this position. I had sent Ali Germinar with sixty-five men to Unyoro, 200 had gone off with Abou Saood, 100 reprobates clung to Salim-Wat-Howah, and the remainder were true to Wat-el-Mek.

I therefore sent a message to Fabbo, which Wat-el-Mek would make public in the zareeba: "that, having received daily complaints from the natives of outrages committed by Salim-Wat-Howah and his company, it was my intention in forty eight hours to visit Fabbo with the troops, together with the native witnesses to the outrages complained of."

I ordered "all those men who had enlisted in the government service, together with all others who were true to the Khedive, to retire from the Fabbo station to Faloro: thus Fabbo alone would represent the malcontents."

I felt sure that the dissension which had existed among the various parties would now break out anew, and that Salim-Wat-Howah, fearing a personal visit from me, would follow the example of his master, Abou Saood, and fly from the country.

The hint that I had given respecting the retirement of the loyal people to Faloro, so that Fabbo would represent the disloyal, would be sufficient warning that physical force was intended, should other means fail.

The day upon which Wat-el-Mek published the proclamation was one of general consternation in Fabbo.

Wat-el-Mek left the station with his Soudanis.

Salim-Wat-Howah and his men suddenly sprang upon the vakeel, Suleiman, and having secured him, while others broke open the powder-magazine, they possessed themselves of three cases (1,500 rounds) of ball-cartridge, together with the flags of the station. With this prize they marched out of the zareeba with their slaves, who carried their luggage, and took the road towards Latooka, about nine days' march distant.

Without firing a shot, I had thus won the game. All the bad people had found the country too hot for them. The remaining men received certificates, and raised the corps of irregulars to 312 officers and men; all of whom were nominally under Wat-el-Mek, although Ali Genninar held a separate command in Unyoro. I now strengthened his party by a reinforcement.

From this date, the victory was gained, and I could only thank God for the great success that had attended all my efforts. The slave-hunting was now at an end throughout an immense district, as the slave-hunters had ceased to exist south of Gondokoro. Excepting Unyoro, the days of bloodshed were past. The "Forty Thieves", who had so gallantly stood by me through every difficulty, never again had an enemy before them. I was devoutly thankful for days of peace. (All readers will share my deep regret, that since my departure from Central Africa this gallant body of men, together with the French officer in command, Monsieur Linant de Bellefonds, fell victims to a surprise by the Baris in the district of Moogi. Colonel Gordon, who was engaged in towing a steamer through the rapids, had sent M. Linant de Bellefonds with forty sniders to make a reconnaissance in the immediate neighbourhood, as the Moogi natives had become hostile. The force was supplied with thirty rounds of ball-cartridge in their pouches together with two boxes (1000 rounds) of spare ammunition. Only four soldiers escaped to tell the tale of destruction.)

My task was now full of pleasure and gratification. I had established perfect confidence among the natives throughout the large country of Shooli. The Lira tribe had declared their allegiance, and we had friends upon all sides.

I had as usual planted gardens at Fatiko, which were flourishing. The natives no longer concealed their stores of corn; but dancing and rejoicing had taken the place of watchfulness and insecurity.

The children and women flocked to our camp; and marketing upon a large scale was conducted without a squabble. The two good men, Shooli and Gimoro, who were daily visitors, assured me that there was only one feeling throughout the country, of gratitude and good-will. This was a great reward to me for the many difficulties we had undergone; but now that the calm days of peace had arrived, I looked back with keen regret upon the good men that I had lost, especially to the memory of poor Monsoor. There was no person who would have enjoyed my success so much as that worthy man.

It is now time to speak of Suleiman and the party who had left Masindi on 23rd May with the post for Fatiko, together with the 300 Unyoro carriers who were to have transported Abdullah's detachment to Foweera.

The letter (concealed in a package) that I had sent to Eddrees, with orders that "the party might return at once to Fatiko should they suspect foul play," had reached them before they had crossed the Victoria Nile.

Mohammed, the Cairo dragoman, had strongly suspected treachery, owing to the unaccountable tardiness of the natives in pushing straight for Fatiko. Every day messengers had arrived from Masindi, and others had been returned in reply by the sheik Pittia, who had charge of the 300 Unyoro carriers.

When my letter had been received, Mohammed advised Eddrees to return at once to Masindi; but the latter, finding himself about fifty miles on the journey, concluded that it would be better to continue the march.

They had delayed so many days on the road, that the stock of flour intended for the whole journey would have failed, had they not spared their supply, and fed upon potatoes whenever they halted near cultivated ground.

On one occasion, a number of their men had as usual gone off to forage, and were employed in digging sweet potatoes, when they were suddenly attacked by the natives concealed in the high grass, and eleven men were speared; five of my troops, and six of the irregulars. Fortunately some of these men had fired their muskets before they died, and the reports alarmed the remainder of the party, who were in a small village. There was not a native to be seen, but the drums and horns were sounding, and as the Victoria Nile was close at hand, they considered it would be advisable to cross the river before the natives should attack them in force.

It was necessary to release Suleiman, who was secured in a sheba. This man had been committed to the charge of Mohammed. Before Mohammed cut the raw hide strip which secured the forked pole, he made Suleiman swear by the prophet not to escape, but that he would deliver himself up to Major Abdullah at Fatiko.

The party, now reduced to twenty-five men, immediately started. Upon arrival at the banks of the river, they happened to come suddenly upon a native, whom they seized.

They soon observed a canoe on the other side of the river, in which were two men. They now made an arrangement for the capture of the canoe, which was to them a case of life or death.

The prisoner was dressed in the usual flowing robe of bark-cloth. His hands were tied behind him, and one of the party who could speak the language now concealed himself behind the bark-cloth robe, and holding the native tightly by the arms, he threatened him with instant death unless he called the two natives in the canoe.

At first he hesitated, but fearing the knife at his back, the point of which just pricked him to let him know that it was ready, he shouted to the men in the boat.

"Say you have a number of plantains, and you want to take them across the river," whispered his invisible prompter from behind.

The natives in the canoe hesitated. "Say you will give them each a bunch of plantains if they will ferry you over," again whispered the cunning Arab.

The canoe now pushed off from the bank, and paddled towards the apparently solitary native.

The irregulars were concealed in the high grass close to the bank, and as the canoe touched the shore, they shot the two natives dead, and immediately secured it.

They now unlashed the arms of the prisoner, and insisted upon his paddling the canoe across the river. Two journeys were necessary. The first was successful, and the regular troops, together with the post and Suleiman and others, were safely landed. During the second journey, as the canoe was passing a rock above some dangerous rapids, the native suddenly upset the boat by throwing his weight quickly to one side, and plunged the whole party in the river. Some of them were carried over the cataracts and drowned. The others, including Ali Genninar, were good swimmers, and they reached the shore.

Although the irregulars thoroughly knew the country, they now found themselves in the immense wilderness that separates Unyoro from the Shooli and Madi tribes.

In this sea of high grass they wandered for some days, lost; until they at length discovered the regular path, and, after great suffering, reached Fatiko.

Eddrees, who had been appointed vakeel, became a traitor, and upon meeting Abou Saood and his people, who had come out to receive the party upon their arrival, he cried out, "Look sharp for your neck, Abou Saood: the Pacha has sent an order to arrest you."

A short time after this, Eddrees died of dysentery. Suleiman behaved in an honourable manner. Instead of going into Abou Saood's camp, he immediately presented himself before Major Abdullah, and confessed his sins, acknowledging that he had been justly punished. He surrendered himself into the hands of the commandant, according to the oath he had taken on the road.

Although Major Abdullah had now received the post, together with my orders, he thought it advisable, considering the danger of a collision with Abou Saood's people, to allow Suleiman his liberty on parole, and he had returned to his position of vakeel at Fabbo. Ali Genninar had at once offered to continue his duties as a government soldier.

A few days after the arrival of the post, the news was brought of the battle of Masindi, and that our escape from Unyoro was impossible.

The almost open hostility of Abou Saood and his numerous forces had paralyzed Major Abdullah, who, fearing the responsibility of an outbreak, kept quiet, and trusted in Providence, until I had fortunately appeared.

There can be no doubt that the plan laid by Kabba Rega for securing the arms and effects of Major Abdullah and his detachment broke down through a premature attack on the part of the natives, who had neither the courage nor the patience to go to Fatiko on the chance of success in such a distant enterprise.

Suleiman had written me a letter imploring forgiveness. Wat-el-Mek arrived at Fatiko after the seizure of the ammunition by Salim-Wat-Howah, and he begged pardon for Suleiman, assuring me that he was truly penitent; that the devil had misled him, and Abou Saood was that devil. If I would grant him a free pardon, no man would be more faithful; and the irregular force now established would be delighted at such an act of clemency.

Although Suleiman was a great ruffian, he was like everybody else in that respect. If I had refused the enlistment of all immoral characters in the middle of Africa, I should have had what is now known in England as a "skeleton regiment." I had already punished him severely. In every case of defiance of the government, the people had seen that so small an organized force as 200 regulars, amongst innumerable enemies, and without any communication with head-quarters, had been able to beat down and crush every enemy, whether native or rebel. In times of real weakness, it is frequently necessary to be severe, that a grave example may establish authority; but after victory and success, I felt that an act of clemency might, even among half savages, be more binding than fetters.

I therefore told Wat-el-Mek that I could not give any promise until Suleiman should present himself before me at Fatiko. It was his duty to deliver himself up as a prisoner upon parole.

On 3rd October Wat-el-Mek arrived at Fatiko accompanied by Suleiman, who came to surrender.

The prisoner was dressed in a filthy brown woollen cloak, and his head was covered with a greasy and almost black tarboosh he had the appearance of having slept on a dust-heap. This beggarly outside was a token of repentance and humiliation.

Suleiman was brought before me, and he immediately rushed forward and knelt to kiss my feet, exhibiting at the same time considerable emotion; which surprised me, as he was notorious as a stern, hard-hearted Kurd.

I said a few words to him, explaining that he must not think me impenetrable if I doubted his sincerity, as I had been already deceived, after having shown him much kindness; yet the same time I did not wish to exert severity, if I could win him to obedience by good advice. (Suleiman always remained faithful from that moment, and became a dependable officer.) I offered him a free pardon if he would swear upon the Koran fidelity to the Khedive. Should he deceive me, and become a rebel after this, he knew the consequences.

Suleiman now declared, and swore upon the Koran, that he had acted only upon orders he had received from Abou Saood. It was he who, in spite of my written command that the sheik Werdella should be spared, had ordered two of his slaves to take him from the Fabbo zareeba, and to cut his throat.

Both Wat-el-Mek and Suleiman, as late vakeels of Abou Saood, swore to their written evidence, to which they attached their seals in the presence of witnesses, that Abou Saood had given orders to his vakeels to harry the country and to capture slaves and cattle; that none of the people employed by him received wages in money, but that they were invariably paid in slaves, valued at a certain sum.

"All the opposition that I had met with had been caused by Abou Saood."

Suleiman, having received a written pardon, made his salaam and retired. An hour later he was washed beautifully clean, and was gorgeously dressed in a Turkish costume of light blue woollen cloth, trimmed with gold and black braid, with a new tarboosh, a handsome silk shawl in thick folds around his waist, and his sabre dangling by his side. This sudden metamorphosis from dirt and ashes to dazzling attire was symbolical of disgrace and humiliation succeeded by pardon and restoration to office.

Suleiman was to continue as vakeel of the Fabbo station, under the command of Wat-el-Mek. In the magazines of Fabbo were 3,200 elephants' tusks. These, I had no doubt, would be confiscated by the Khedive.

A short time before the arrival of Suleiman, an extraordinary incident had occurred at the Fatiko camp.

One morning, when the bugles blew the usual call, it was discovered that the prisoner Lazim had escaped, although he had been secured in irons.

Fortunately, it had rained slightly during the night; thus it would not be difficult to track his footsteps. I immediately sent for Shooli and Gimoro, whose village was only 700 yards distant, to whom I promised a reward of a cow, should they succeed in capturing the escaped felon. They quickly got upon the track of the fugitive, and followed like bloodhounds.

I have already described this fellow Lazim as having been one of the ringleaders in the rebellion of the slave-hunters; and he was almost as notorious a character as Ali Hussein. He was originally himself a slave, and had escaped from his master at Khartoum many years ago, after which he became one of the most determined slave-hunters.

I felt sure that it would have been impossible for him to have escaped without the connivance of the sentry. I therefore ordered all the soldiers that had formed the various night-guards over the prisoner to be brought before me. As they stood in line, I simply told them that "the prisoner had escaped, and that one of the men now present was guilty of aiding and abetting. I could discover the fellow who had thus disgraced himself as a soldier by simply looking at his face."

Having carefully examined the countenance of each man, I felt confident that I had fixed upon the guilty person, as one individual quailed beneath my eye, and at length looked down upon the ground. This happened to be one of the worst characters in the force. I therefore at once ordered him to be flogged.

During the infliction of punishment, this fellow not only confessed that he had assisted in the escape of Lazim, but he made a clean breast of several other delinquencies. He was accordingly put in irons, and condemned to break stones for the new roads.

In the evening Shooli returned, but without the prisoner. Before he gave his report, he begged me "not to be angry." He then described that he had tracked Lazim's footsteps for a long way along the Fabbo road until he had at length met several natives, who were coming towards him. These men declared that they had met Lazim, who had managed to get rid of his irons; but as he was unarmed, they knew that he must have run away. They accordingly asked him for his pass from me, as it was well known that I never allowed a man to go alone without a written order.

Lazim of course was unable to produce a paper. The natives, therefore, insisted upon his returning with them to Fatiko, and upon his remonstrating they seized him. A struggle ensued, and they at length knocked him upon the head with au iron mace and killed him. Thus ended one of the greatest scoundrels, and the government was relieved by his escape from custody, which had so quickly terminated his career.