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   Chapter 16 THE MARCH TO UNYORO.

Ismailia By Sir Samuel White Baker Characters: 54508

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:03

On 18th March, 1872, we were all in order for the march to the south, under the direction of our guide, Shooli.

Having taken leave of Major Abdullah, I left him a good supply of sheep and cattle for his detachment, and at 2 p.m. we started for the prairie march to Unyoro.

The descent from the table land of Fatiko was rapid for the first seven miles, at which point we reached a stream of clear running water, which is one of the channels of the Un-y-Ame river.

The limit of the inhabited country is about three miles from the camp at

Fatiko, after which all is wilderness to Unyoro.

This fertile country has been left uninhabited, on account of the disturbance occasioned by the diversity of tribes. On the east it is bounded by Umiro, on the south by Unyoro, and on the west by Madi. This large tract of land, about eighty miles from north to south, is accordingly the resort of wild animals, and it forms the favourite hunting-ground of the various tribes, who generally come into conflict with each other during their excursions in pursuit of game.

We halted for the night at the clear stream of the Un-y-Ame, as the native carriers expected their wives to bring them provisions for the journey. It was only five o'clock, therefore I strolled along the banks of the stream accompanied by Shooli, and shortly came upon game.

At this season the country was very lovely, as the young grass was hardly a foot high. Stalking was extremely difficult, as the land was clear of trees, and the long sweeping undulations exposed every object to view when upon the face of the inclines. I managed at length to get a tolerable shot at one of the beautiful teel antelopes (Leucotis), by creeping up the broken bed of a water-course until I arrived at a white-ant hill. On my way home I shot a gazelle, thus the natives all had flesh from the two animals on the first night of the march.

The wives appeared to be excellent women, as they arrived in great numbers with a quantity of hard porridge made of dhurra flour, which was to form the commissariat for a journey of nearly 160 miles to Unyoro and back.

If a native travels through wilderness, he will always make forced marches, thus the Fatikos would only sleep one night upon the road of seventy-eight miles when on the return journey.

On the following morning, we were rather late in starting, as more women arrived with food, and certain farewells took place. The Fatiko natives appeared to be very superior to the Lobore, as not one man absconded. In fact, one native who had a swollen leg which prevented him from walking, actually sent back his cow with an explanation of the cause of absence.

On 19th March we started at 6.50 a.m., all our carriers being well provided with food. The country was as usual a well-watered undulating prairie, abounding in game. At this season the journey was very delightful, but when the grass is about nine feet high it is simply detestable travelling.

On the march, we, as usual, led the way. Lieutenant Baker dismounted for a shot at a splendid buck (Leucotis), which he wounded somewhere behind, and the animal made off in evident discomfort. This was a signal for the natives, who immediately put down their loads and started off in pursuit, like a pack of hounds.

Although the animal was badly hit, the pace was very great, and it went along the face of the opposite undulation followed by the extraordinary runners, who, with their long springing strides, kept up a speed for about three-quarters of a mile that at length brought the leading native sufficiently near for throwing his lance. The next moment a crowd of hungry fellows fell upon the welcome name like starving wolves.

After a march of twelve miles we arrived at a rocky stream of clear water, which is another channel of the Un-y-Ame river, that carries off the main drainage of this country. We halted to refresh the people and to have our breakfast on the clean rock that bordered the stream, and started for the afternoon march at 2 p.m.

During the march I endeavoured to stalk a large bull tetel (Antelope bubulis), but there was very little chance in so open a country. The animal galloped off exactly in a straight line from me at about 200 yards. I put up the last leaf of the sight, and I distinctly heard the bullet strike. The next moment I saw the animal was wounded. It was just disappearing over the next undulation, and upon arriving at the spot, I saw the wounded bull standing about 200 yards before me.

I approached from behind until within 100 paces, without being observed by the tetel, who was evidently very bad. Moving slightly to my right, I was quickly seen, and the animal turned its flank preparatory to making off. A shot from the "Dutchman" through the shoulder killed it on the spot.

I now found that my first bullet had struck the spine exactly above the root of the tail. This large animal was a good supply for the people, who quickly divided it and continued the march, until, having crossed another stream, we left the open prairie gad entered a low forest. Halted for the night. The march during this day bad been nineteen miles.

On the 20th we marched, from 6 A.M. till 9.45, through undulating forest, and halted upon high ground, which commanded a fine view of the mountain that borders the west shore of the Albert N'yanza, opposite Magungo, about fifty-five miles S. S. W. From our elevated point we looked down over a fine extent of country, and the Fatiko natives pointed out the course of the White Nile from the great lake, along which was a line of smoke, caused, according to their accounts, by the fishermen who were at this season burning the high reeds on the river's bank.

The natives were thoroughly conversant with the country, as they had on several occasions accompanied the slave-hunters in razzias along the river to Foquatch and Magungo. Just as we halted, a party of Umiro hunters came across our path, but immediately took to flight, as they supposed we were enemies.

The day's march had been thirteen miles, and we were requested by our guide, Shooli, to halt for the night, as there was no water for a considerable distance to the south.

I immediately employed the soldiers in the construction of a cattle kraal, lest the prowling Umiro should endeavour to scare the animals during the night.

On 21st March we started at 6 A.M., and marched thirteen miles through forest. We at length reached water, but it was so thick with mud that the horses refused to drink it.

On the 22nd we were compelled to march twenty-three miles, as the water was quite undrinkable, the few muddy pools having been stirred into paste by the buffaloes and elephants.

We now reached the grand Victoria Nile, flowing beneath cliffs of seventy or eighty feet in depth, through magnificent forest. It was refreshing for all parties to obtain pure water after the miserable fluid we had lately been compelled to drink.

In the evening a sheik and several people, who had known me formerly, crossed the river from the Unyoro side, and desired an interview. They reported that the Khartoum traders had almost destroyed the country, and they begged me simply to judge with my own eyes.

I must now extract from my journal the entry of the date, as, although briefly written, it will convey the impression of the moment:-

"March 23, 1872.-We marched three miles east, along the banks of the beautiful Victoria Nile, through fine open forest, until we halted on a high cliff exactly opposite, the last station of Abou Saood, commanded by a vakeel named Suleiman.

"It is impossible to describe the change that has taken place since I last visited this country. It was then a perfect garden, thickly populated, and producing all that man could desire. The villages were numerous; groves of plantains fringed the steep cliff's on the river's bank; and the natives were neatly dressed in the bark cloth of the country.

"The scene has changed!

"All is wilderness! The population has fled. Not a village is to be seen!

"This is the certain result of the settlement of Khartoum traders. They kidnap the women and children for slaves, and plunder and destroy wherever they set their foot.

"Seleiman and Eddrees, two vakeels, who were well known to me as forming a portion of Ibrahim's party on my former journey, now came across the river to visit me.

"The cunning Abou Saood has never told them of the expiration of the government contract with Agad & Co., neither had they any warning of my expected arrival.

"I explained the exact state of affairs.

"The principal sheik of the district, with many people, came to see me. The chief, Quonga, was one of my old acquaintances, and was formerly the favourite adviser of Kamrasi.

"Kamrasi died about two years ago. His sons fought for the succession, and each aspirant sought the aid of the traders. This civil strife exactly suited the interests of the treacherous Khartoumers. The several companies of slave-hunters scattered over the Madi, Shooli, and Unyoro countries represented only one interest, that of their employers, Agad and Co.

"Each company, commanded by its independent vakeel, arrived in Unyoro, and supported the cause of each antagonistic pretender to the throne, and treacherously worked for the ruin of all, excepting him who would be able to supply the largest amount of ivory and slaves.

"The favourite sons of Kamrasi were Kabba Rega and Kabka Miro, while the old enemy of the family, Rionga, the cousin of Kamrasi, again appeared upon the scene.

"The companies of Abou Saood supported all three, receiving ivory and slaves from each as the hire of mercenary troops; and at length they played out their game by shooting Kabka Miro, and securing the throne to Kabba Rega.

"They arranged with Rionga that he should be ostensibly banished to a convenient distance, to be ready as a trump card, should occasion require, against the new king, Kabba Rega.

"I explained the new reform to Quonga, and I gave him the following presents for Kabba Rega, who resides about six days' march south-west of this spot:-

"One piece entire of Turkey red cloth, one piece grey calico, twelve pounds of beads of the finest varieties, three zinc mirrors, two razors, one long butcher's knife, two pair scissors, one brass bugle, one German horn, two pieces of red and yellow handkerchiefs, one piece of yellow ditto, one peacock Indian scarf, one blue blanket, six German silver spoons, sixteen pairs of various car-rings, twelve finger-rings, two dozen mule harness bells, six elastic heavy brass spring wires, one pound long white horsehair, three combs, one papier-mache tray, one boxwood fife, one kaleidoscope.

"I proclaimed upon all sides that the reign of terror was ended. As I formerly, when alone, had defended Kamrasi, and driven out the invaders under Wat-el-Mek, by hoisting the English ensign, so now I would take the country under my protection with a powerful force.

"I gave Quonga and all his sheiks presents of beads, and shocked them powerfully with the magnetic battery, leaving a strong impression.

"March 24.-I wrote officially to Suleiman, the vakeel of Agad & Co., to give him warning 'that sixteen days hence the contract would expire, and that he and all his people must be ready to evacuate the country and return to Khartoum on that day. That any person who should remain after this notice would be imprisoned. That, should he or any of his people wish to enlist in the service of the government as irregular troops, their names must be handed in before the expiration of two days.'

"Suleiman declared his willingness to enlist together with Eddrees and several others.

"He told me that nothing could be procured in the country. Thank God I left a good reputation here seven years ago; thus I shall be able to purchase food.

"This morning my old acquaintance, Keedja, formerly chief of Atada, came to see me with many of his people, and with perfect confidence they commenced a trade, bringing provisions in exchange for beads. They promised to arrive to-morrow, and to establish a daily market at our camp.

"Keedja explains that he and his people have been obliged to fly from the depredations of the companies of Abou Saood, thus they have settled in the forest on the north side of the river, and have cultivated farms. They have very few clothes, as their bark-cloth trees are on the south side of the river in their old plantations.

"All the people declare they will now return to their old habitations and re-cultivate the land as in former days.

"I found that the natives who ran from us on the march, and dropped their elephant spears, were Keedja's people, thus I returned to them the three spears and an axe, to their great astonishment. (A party of native hunters had been scared during our march by our sudden appearance.)

"The elephant spears were of a kind used from trees. The blade is about twenty inches long, the handle about twenty-four inches. The end of the handle is heavily weighted with a lump of several pounds, composed of clay, cow-dung, and chopped straw, and the weapon, beautifully sharpened, is dropped upon the elephant's back by a hunter from the branches of a tree. The constant movement of the heavy handle as it strikes the boughs when the elephant rushes through the forest, cuts the animal so terribly that it bleeds to death. The hunters follow on the blood track until they find the dying animal.

"March 25. -Suleiman, the vakeel, summoned his men to volunteer for the government service as irregular troops.

"I issued a written proclamation, that should volunteers enlist, the term of service would be annual, subject to three months' notice, should any officer or private wish to retire at the expiration of twelve months.

"The rank of the vakeel would be equivalent to that of major in the regular army.

"The pay would be equal to that of regular troops.

"If I can form a regiment of 600 irregulars I shall be independent of troops from Khartoum.

"March 26. -Quonga and many other sheiks arrived, and were quite delighted with the wheel of life.

"The natives are selling sweet potatoes and tobacco for beads, but flour is brought in very small quantities.

"March 27. -Provisions are coming in so slowly that we shall be short of food. Upon the arrival of Quonga and his sheiks, I make a hot complaint; he coldly told me that it would be better if the soldiers were to forage for themselves.

"I explained to him the rigid discipline that I enforced, and that, should I once permit thieving, the troops' character would be entirely ruined, and they would pillage throughout the route.

"He replied that this neighbourhood was in a state of anarchy; that many of the inhabitants were hostile to Kabba Rega, and they would not obey his orders.

"I told him that my troops were lambs if well fed, but they were like lions if hungry, and to prove their number I would summon them before him.

"The bugle sounded the 'taboor,' and upwards of 100 men immediately fell in with bayonets fixed, to the no small dismay of Quonga and his sheiks, who began to look very uneasy at the scarlet uniforms. By a coup de theatre, I marched the men, with bugles and drums playing, round the numerous huts, so that they reappeared twice before the tent, and thus doubled their real number.

"At the halt and dismissal, they shouted their usual wild cry in

Turkish, in honour of their commander.

"'Do you understand what they say?' I asked Quonga. To his negative reply, I answered, 'They say they will eat from the country if provisions are not supplied to-morrow!'

"Quonga and his sheiks started off immediately to give the necessary orders.

"Upon his return I told him 'to advise Kabba Rega to behave in a different manner to the conduct of his father, the late Kamrasi. I had returned to this country to bestow prosperity upon the land; that if Kabba Rega meant fair dealing and legitimate trade, he must act honourably and sincerely; if I should find any signs of unfairness, I should pass on direct to Uganda, the Country of M'tese, and he would receive the goods I had intended for Unyoro.'

"Negroes are great deceivers, especially the natives of Unyoro. I have beads, cattle, merchandise, and every article necessary to purchase flour and potatoes: nevertheless, our wants are not supplied. The cattle are dying, as the change of herbage does not agree with them; this is a sad loss. (One of the African difficulties consists in the mortality of the cattle when changing districts.)

"March 28. -The great sheik, Lokara, who is the commander-in-chief of Kabba Rega's forces, arrived. This man has left a large army on the banks of the Nile, a few hours' march up stream, ready to attack Rionga, who is settled, with his people, on an island in the river. Of course he is come to request military aid. This is the old story. Upon my last visit I was bored almost to death by Kamrasi, with requests that I would assist him to attack Rionga. I have only been here for a few days when I am troubled with the old tune.

"March 29. -Provisions are very scarce; the people have been fighting for so many years that cultivation has been much neglected, and the natives live principally upon plantains.

"I gave Suleiman, the vakeel, five cows yesterday. He declares that Abou

Saood told him that my term of service with the Egyptian government had

expired, therefore the entire country was now in his hands. This liar,

Abou Saood, will some day reap the fruits of his treachery.

"I ordered the government flag to be hoisted in Suleiman's camp, and the vakeel, Suleiman, called upon all those who were willing to enlist in the service of the Khedive to assemble beneath the ensign. Sixty-one men registered their names.

"The only difficulty is the rate of wages. I offer the privates sixty piastres (the piastre equals twopence-halfpenny) per month, i.e., thirty piastres as equal pay to that of the regulars, and thirty piastres in lieu of clothes. Formerly these brigands nominally received fifty and fifty-five piastres, in addition to one third of all cattle that might be captured in razzias.

"Should I be able to establish a small irregular corps as a commencement, the expense would be considerable in proportion to the actual proceeds in ivory. The position is difficult.

"A radical change throughout the country is absolutely necessary. The companies have hitherto purchased ivory with slaves and cattle; thus all countries in which this custom has been established, must be abandoned until the natives will sell ivory in exchange for goods.

"The expenses will continue, or perhaps augment, while the ivory produce must decrease for the first twelve months, or until the people will understand and accept the reform.

"Without an irregular force it will be impossible to hold the country, and at the same time to carry on the work of government. The force that I originally proposed, of 1,650, is absolutely required to occupy a chain of stations from Gondokoro.

"March 30.-The cows are dying in great numbers, and the natives are bringing large quantities of potatoes in exchange for the flesh, but there is no corn in the country.

"The days and nights are now cloudy and showery.

"Lokara and Quonga came this morning, but no messenger has yet arrived from Kabba Rega.

"I gave Lokara a blue shirt, a long red sash, and a crimson fez, to his great delight. The chiefs were much struck with the present intended for Kabba Rega; this consisted of three rows of roman pearls as large as marbles, with a gilt shield, and onyx-pendant tied up with green satin ribbon.

"March 31.-I sent all the cattle across the river in charge of Quonga; two were carried off by crocodiles while in the act of swimming.

"The great sheiks paid me a visit, together with many of inferior rank. Lokara, Quonga, Matonse, and Pittia, were among the principal chiefs of the country. As they were sitting before me, Lokara lighted a huge pipe and immediately commenced smoking. This is a great breach of etiquette, as smoking is strictly forbidden in the presence of Kabba Rega.

"My old Cairo dragoman, Mohammed, who was now thoroughly installed as one of the expedition, was well up in the customs of the country, and he quietly resented the insult of the pipe.

"He gently approached with a bottle of water, which he poured politely into the bowl, as though he was conferring a favour; at the same time, he explained that in my presence every one smoked water instead of tobacco. The hint was immediately taken, and the huge pipe, thus summarily extinguished, was handed to a slave in attendance.

"We now entered upon geographical discussions. All the chiefs declared

that the M'wootan N'zige extends beyond Karagwe, and that it exceeds the

Victoria N'yanza in size. The native name, in Unyoro, for the Victoria

N'yanza is simply N'yanza, and for the White Nile, Masaba.

"There is a country called Barega on the Albert N'yanza, south-west of Uganda, governed by a powerful king whose people are armed with bows, and arrows that are feathered. I have never yet seen feathered arrows among the White Nile tribes.

"The great mountain Bartooma is again mentioned, as on my former journey. I imagine it must be identical with the M'fumbiro of Speke.

"I shall send an expedition front Magungo to Ibrahimeyah by river to prove the capabilities of the route. I shall form a station at Magungo to trade with Malegga on the opposite shore. I shall then thoroughly explore the Albert N'yanza in boats, and afterwards proceed to King M'tese of Uganda . . . .

"It rained last evening and during the night. Seven cows died. I have erected a comfortable stable for the horses.

"April 1.-The people belonging to Suleiman hesitate to accept the government pay, although a day or two ago they enlisted. I fear that these people can never be trusted. I shall give them a little time to consider, after which, if they refuse to serve, I shall turn them out of the country. Every camp or zareeba is course full of slaves.

"There is a curious custom throughout Unyoro: a peculiar caste are cattle-keepers. These people only attend to the herds, and the profession is inherited from past generations. They are called Bohooma, and they are the direct descendants of the Gallas who originally conquered the country, and, like the reigning family, they are of an extremely light colour. If the herds are carried off in battle, the Bohooma, who never carry arms, accompany; them to their new masters, and continue their employment. Nothing but death will separate them from their cattle.

"April 2.-The natives built a zareeba yesterday for the cattle; but they are dying as rapidly as upon the north side of the river.

"I tried to do a little geography with the sheik, Pittia. He was the man who, some years ago, first gave me the information respecting the distance of the Albert N'yanza from M'rooli. He would say nothing without orders from the king, beyond telling me that you might travel for months upon the lake.

"It is very annoying in this country that no information can be obtained, neither can any work be commenced, without the direct order of the king. My patience is sorely tried. No reply has as yet been delivered to my message sent to Kabba Rega, although ten days have elapsed.

"My desire is to benefit the country by opening the road for legitimate commerce; but the difficulties are great, as the king will endeavour to monopolize the market, and thus prevent free trade.

"April 3.-I sent for all the great sheiks to complain of Kabba Rega's conduct. This young fellow was evidently aping the manners of his father, Kamrasi, and attempting to show his own importance by keeping me waiting. The sheiks explained, that before my arrival, Suleiman had agreed to furnish soldiers to assist the forces of Kabba Rega in a united attack upon Rionga; and the army was now only a short distance from this spot, expecting the promised aid. My arrival had upset all their plans, as I had forbidden all action until I should have had a personal interview with Kabba Rega.

"The military operations were in abeyance until a reply should be received from the king. The return messengers were expected this evening.

"The sheiks declare that the ruling class in this country are all exceedingly light in complexion 'because they do no work, but sit in the shade and drink abundance of milk.'

"The natives of Unyoro are very inferior in PHYSIQUE to the Fatiko. This is the result of vegetable food without either cereals or flesh. None of the general public possess cattle; thus the food of the people from infancy, after their mothers' milk has ceased, is restricted to plantains and the watery sweet potatoes. The want of milk is very detrimental to the children. The men generally exhibit a want of muscle, and many are troubled with cutaneous diseases.

"April 4.-The messengers are reported to have arrived from Kabba Rega.

Last evening, at 8 P.M., we had a very heavy storm of rain with thunder.

Fifteen cows died to-day, and I fear we shall lose the greater portion

of the herd. All cattle that may be brought from the countries of Bari,

Madi, and Langgo, are said to die on arrival in Unyoro.

"April 5.-The great sheiks, Rahonka and Kittakara, arrived, together with Lokara and Quonga, and the smaller fry, Pittia and Mallegge. The latter was my guide to the Albert N'yanza many years ago.

"The 'Forty Thieves' and the band received them on arrival. The band was, of course, encored, all being delighted with the big drum and the cymbals. The latter were examined as great curiosities.

"Rahonka is Kamrasi's maternal uncle, and is great-uncle to Kabba Rega; and he can give more information than any man concerning the neighbouring countries.

"In reply to my inquiries about Livingstone, he says that two persons are living in a large house in Karagwe, which they have constructed in a different form to those of the natives. These people have no military escort, but they possess a large quantity of goods. This does not sound like Livingstone, unless he may have joined some Arab merchant.

"There are natives of Karagwe now visiting Kabba Rega at Masindi; thus I shall have a good opportunity of making inquiries. There are likewise envoys from M'tese in this country; therefore I shall be able to send him a valuable present, and beg him to search for Livingstone in all directions.

"April 6.-Kabba Rega's messengers presented themselves, with an offering of two cows, a parcel of salt, and some plantains.

"One of these cows is a splendid animal from Umiro. She is the size of a fair Durham-bright red colour-with immensely long and massive horns.

"Had I not had former experience in this country, and provided myself with a herd of cattle, eve should have been half-starved, as there is nothing to be procured but beans, sweet potatoes, and plantains.

"April 7.-We all crossed the river in canoes. A heavy shower fell this morning. My improvident men have t

orn all their waterproof cloaks and blankets just as we have arrived in a country where they will be most required.

"April 8.-It now rains daily, more or less. The order was given by Kabba Rega that we were to be supplied with carriers for the journey to Masindi, which is to be under the charge of Rahonka. Suleiman and Eddrees have arranged with their men, all of whom now present in the camp have agreed to accept the government rate of pay, and to enlist for twelve months. I accordingly issued serkis, or certificates, for each man, with his name, date of engagement, and rate of wages.

"This is very satisfactory, as I shall now have a station in my rear on the river, with the command of boats, while I march up the country to Masindi. The irregulars in this station, which is in the district of Foweera, number sixty-five men. If they remain faithful, they will form a nucleus for the irregulars who will most probably follow their example. I understand that a small party of seventeen men are now staying with Kabba Rega. These people will join their comrades under Suleiman, and raise the strength of the Foweera station to eighty-two men. I shall thus be able to keep up a communication with my detachment at Fatiko.

"April 9.-At the expiration of Agad's contract there were 188 elephants' tusks in the zareeba of Suleiman. These will remain in his care.

"The natives collected were insufficient to convey all the loads. I therefore sent off a division, escorted by Morgian Agha with ten men, to await my arrival at the village of Deang. The sheik, Rahonka, killed a man who attempted to evade the order to carry baggage.

"April 10.-Rain fell throughout the night, which makes everybody miserable. During the middle watch, having been awakened by the heavy shower, I heard the sentry outside my tent muttering a kind of low chant:-'This is the country for rain and potatoes; this is the place for potatoes and rain. Potatoes and rain, potatoes and rain; rain and potatoes, rain and potatoes.'

"Neither the rain nor the potatoes were esteemed by the troops. The roots were almost as watery as the rain, and their sweetness was excessive. A very uncomfortable result from this vapid food was extreme flatulence. The waist-belts of the boys were obliged to be let out by several holes at the buckles. As my men justly declared, 'They were uncomfortably full after a meal; but half-an-hour's march made them feel as though they had fasted for a day.'

"During the afternoon I was sitting beneath a shady tree, with my wife and Lieutenant Baker, when a naked native rushed wildly past the sentries, and, before he could be restrained threw himself on the ground and embraced my feet, at the same time begging for mercy by the Arabic ejaculation, 'Aman! aman!'

"He was immediately seized. On examination through an interpreter, it appeared that he was a native of Koitch, near Fatiko, and that he had attached himself to Suleiman's party at some former time, but now he had just escaped from the Foweera station, as Suleiman wished to kill him.

"In a few minutes Suleiman himself appeared: he was pale with rage.

"Suleiman was a thorough brigand in appearance. His father was a Kurd: thus his complexion would have been white had he not been for many years exposed to the African climate. He was a powerful dare-devil-looking fellow, but even among his own people he was reputed cruel and vindictive.

"He was so overpowered with passion that he approached and kissed my hand at the same time imploring me, 'as a favour, to allow him to cut off the native's head with his sabre.'

"Upon a trial of the case, I found that the native was a thief, and that upon a former occasion he had stolen a gun and two pistols from the camp, which, after some trouble, had been recovered. He was now accused of aiding and abetting at the escape of five female slaves from the zareeba during the past night, therefore he was to be beheaded without delay.

"As this was not my form of punishment, especially for the crime of releasing slaves that had been captured by force, I ordered the native to be secured in the zareeba until further orders, but on no account should he be injured.

"Although I had heard from my old Cairo dragoman, Mohammed, that the prisoner was a bad character, I did not wish to punish him severely, as the effect among the natives of the country would be disastrous. He had run to me for protection, therefore, should he suffer, a precedent would be established that would deter others from appealing to me for mercy.

"The man was led away under a guard and was secured in the zareeba. Suleiman acknowledged that he was in an inexcusable rage, but that I had been just in my decision, and he would keep the prisoner in safe custody until further orders. Suleiman was to accompany me on the journey to Masindi on the following morning, as Rahonka had collected the native carriers.

"That evening, after a heavy shower, we witnessed one of those remarkable appearances of the winged white ants that issued from a mound within a few yards of our tent. Millions of these large fat insects struggled into their ephemeral flight, and were quickly caught by our people with lighted wisps of straw. The ant disengages its wings a few minutes after its appearance from the parent mound.

"The exodus from the ant-hill takes place annually at the commencement of the rainy season, and the collection of the insects is considered to be an important harvest throughout all Central Africa. The white ant, in this stage of its existence, is esteemed as a great delicacy when fried in a little butter.

"We tasted a considerable number, and found them tolerably good, but with a slight flavour of burnt feathers.

"On April 11 we were ready to start, but at the last moment the vakeel, Suleiman, who was to accompany us, excused himself until the next day, as he had some important business to transact with his people. I accordingly gave him permission to remain, but I ordered him to follow me quickly, as it would be necessary to present him to Kabba Rega in his new position as vakeel of the government." . . . .

It will now be necessary to explain the true position of affairs, which at that time I did not suspect.

Upon my first arrival at the river, when I had explained my views to

Suleiman, he had immediately despatched a letter to Abou Saood at

Fatiko. His party had travelled fast, and they returned with an answer.

I could never discover the actual contents of the letter in reply, but I heard that it cautioned Suleiman not to part with the slaves, and to join Abou Saood with his ivory and all his people at the station of Fabbo, a day's march west of Fatiko.

Suleiman was in an awkward position. He had always held a high place in the eyes of Kabba Rega and his chiefs, and his alliance had been courted and obtained for a combined attach upon the old enemy, Rionga. The army of Kabba Rega had been waiting at the rendezvous in expectation of Suleiman's assistance. A fleet of large canoes had been concentrated at a given point for the invasion of the island; and Kabba Rega and his sheiks considered that at length their old enemy was in the snare.

My unexpected arrival had ruined the project, as I strictly forbade

Suleiman to attack Rionga.

This disappointed Kabba Rega and his people, who could not understand how I could be the friend of his late father Kamrasi, and at the same time protect his enemy Rionga.

The attack on the island was a dangerous adventure, as it was surrounded by dense masses of papyrus rush that would prevent canoes from landing, except at certain places were narrow passages had been cleared. A few men concealed among the papyrus could massacre an attacking party at discretion, as they struggled through the narrow entrance in canoes. It had been proposed that Suleiman's people were to attack in boats and clear out the enemy by a sharp fire into the papyrus to cover the general advance.

Suleiman was in a dilemma, as he had already promised alliance, and had received a quantity of ivory in payment for his services. He had accordingly made the following secret arrangement with Rahonka and Lokara:-"Let the Pacha and his soldiers start for Masindi, and he will suppose that Suleiman will follow on the morrow; instead of which, he will at once join Kabba Rega's forces, and attack Rionga, when the Pacha shall be several days' journey distant from the river."

On his return to Foweera from a successful invasion of Rionga's island, the commanders of the forces, Lokara and Rahonka, were at once to furnish carriers to transport Suleiman with all his people and ivory to the Fabbo station, according to the instructions received from Abou Saood.

I should thus be deceived, and be left at Masindi, 160 miles distant from my detachment at Fatiko, without the power of communication.

At 8.30 A.M. we were in the saddle, and started from Foweera. Suleiman came to kiss my hand at my departure. We rode at once into the low forest, and as the last man of our party disappeared from view, Suleiman returned to his zareeba. He then prepared for vengeance, which through my presence had long been delayed.

He and his ferocious people dragged the prisoner (whose life I had protected) from the camp, until they arrived at a thick grove of plantains about 200 paces from the station. Rahonka, Lokara, Quonga, Matonse, and other principal chiefs, were summoned to witness the impotence of the Pacha's power to save; and to see with their own eyes the defiance that Suleiman would exhibit to the orders of a Christian.

"Now let the natives clasp the knees of the Pacha and defy the power of


The ruffian drew his sabre, and with his own hand, in the presence of a crowd of witnesses, he hacked off the head of the unfortunate prisoner, and thus publicly ridiculed my authority.

In the mean time, while this murder was being committed, we were travelling onward without a suspicion of treachery. (It will be seen how by degrees I became acquainted with the crime and designs of Suleiman, who had already secretly forwarded instructions to his men at Masindi at the same time that he had communicated in his rear with Abou Saood at Fatiko.)

Accompanied by Lady Baker, I rode at the head of the party with my usual advanced guard of five picked men of "The Forty." Lieutenant Baker walked on foot, as he wished to save his horse's back that was slightly galled.

We rode far in advance, as there was no danger to be apprehended in this country, and my five guards with knapsacks, small axes, and general accoutrements, kept the pace of four miles an hour for about twenty-one miles to Kisoona. The march had been through forest, and grass about four feet in height, which was now growing vigorously after the recent showers. The large trees were covered with orchids, among which I noticed a peculiar species which hung from the boughs like an apron. This was exceedingly pretty, as the leaf was about eighteen inches in breadth, the edges were scalloped and of a copper-brown colour, while the upper portion was dark green.

The whole country had been desolated by civil war, in which the companions of Abou Saood had taken a prominent part, and had carried off a great number of the women.

Kisoona was a poor straggling place in the centre of the forest; but although the beehive-shaped huts were far apart, there was the usual amount of filth and ashes that disgrace the villages of Unyoro. A very large plantation of bananas afforded food for the inhabitants, all of whom seemed to have disappeared.

Throughout Unyoro the soil is exceedingly rich; the tobacco gardens exhibited an extreme luxuriance, and the size of the leaves formed a great contrast to the plants in the hot soil of the Bari country.

I placed a sentry over the tobacco, and cautioned the troops against stealing or in any way damaging the crops.

A native of Umiro travelled as our interpreter. This man was a confidential slave belonging to Kabba Rega, and formed one of his regiment. Umbogo (or the "Buffalo") was a highly intelligent fellow, and spoke good Arabic, as he had been constantly associated with the Arab slave-traders. I had supplied him with clothes, and he looked quite respectable in a blue shirt belted round the waist, with a cartouche-pouch of leopard's skin, that had been given him by the people of the zareeba. Umbogo carried a musket, and was altogether a very important personage, although a slave.

The long march of twenty-one miles, through forest, along a rough and narrow path, had delayed the carriers and the cattle. Although my men had stepped along so briskly, the rear-guard did not arrive until the evening. A tremendous downpour of rain deluged the ground. This was a godsend to us, who were well housed and tented, as we caught a good supply of water with the mackintosh camp-sheets that was very superior to the contents of a small pool, which usually sufficed for the village people.

I always travelled with a large sponging bath, which was one of the household gods of the expedition. This was now full of pure rain water. The value of this old friend was incalculable. In former years I had crossed the Atbara river in this same bath, lashed upon an angareb (stretcher), supported by inflated skins. Without extra flotation it would support my weight, and it was always used when crossing a small stream, assisted by two men wading, one of whom held it on either side to prevent it from overturning. Thus we could travel without the necessity of plunging into deep mud and water.

Such a utensil was invaluable for watering the horses; also for washing clothes, or for receiving a supply of rain-water during a shower, from the camp-sheets suspended above the bath.

The neighbourhood of Kisoona was very populous, but the villages were all concealed in the forest, amidst vast groves of bananas.

There was a large tract of potato cultivation; a supply of these welcome roots was with difficulty obtained from the natives.

It appeared to be a repetition of my former experience in this country, which unpleasantly reminded me of the scarcity of food during my first exploration of Unyoro.

On the following morning (12th April), when the horses were saddled and we were ready to start, not a single native was forthcoming. Every man of about 200 carriers had absconded!

"Although Rahonka had assured me, previous to starting from the river, that food would be ready for the troops at every halting-place, nothing has been prepared. We are thus left as much neglected as during my former voyage in this detestable country. There is not one sheik with us, although three principal chiefs were told off to accompany us to Masindi. I therefore told our friend Pittia that I should not proceed farther, as I would have nothing to do with so miserable a king as Kabba Rega.

"I immediately sent Colonel Abd-el-Kader back to Foweera with thirty men, and a letter to Suleiman, ordering him to collect 300 men at once to return my effects to his zareeba. I tied Pittia, the guide, by a small cord attached to the neck, as I feared he also might escape. What can be done with these treacherous people?

"There is a report, now confirmed by the dragoman, Umbogo, that a plan had been arranged between Suleiman and Rahonka that I should be led out of their way, and they would then join their forces and attack Rionga.

"I do not believe that Suleiman would place his head in such a halter.

"Very heavy rain at 1 P.M.

"April 13.-The soil is wonderfully fertile-this is a chocolate- coloured vegetable loam. Among the crops is a species of esculent solanum, with large orange-coloured berries; both the fruit and leaves are eaten by the natives.

"I repaired my boots to-day with the milk from the india-rubber-tree. Julian (Lieutenant Baker) had fever. Colonel Abd-el-Kader and party returned at 2.40 P.M., having marched rapidly, and accomplished their mission and a journey of forty-two miles in twenty-seven hours and forty minutes.

"This excellent officer brought with him, secured by a small leather thong, by the neck, the great sheiks Kittakara, Matonse, and several smaller fry.

"The royal sheik, Rahonka, escaped by breaking through the side of his hut.

"The report was as follows:-

"Colonel Abd-el-Kader and his party of thirty men had arrived at

Suleiman's zareeba at about 8 P.M. He found the vakeels, Suleiman and

Eddrees, surrounded by many of their men, apparently in consultation.

"Upon Abd-el-Kader's appearance, the men moved off, one by one, and quietly packed up their effects, preparatory to a general flight.

"Abd-el-Kader informed Suleiman of the desertion of our carriers. He then at once proceeded to the native zareeba, about 200 yards from the camp. He there found the principal sheiks in the hut of Rahonka.

"Abd-el-Kader immediately informed them of the purport of his arrival, and requested the sheiks to accompany him to the zareeba of Suleiman. Rahonka begged to be left alone for a short time to enable him to dress.

"Abd-el-Kader waited outside the door of the hut, and, becoming tired of so long a delay, he re-entered, and to his astonishment found the dwelling empty. Rahonka had escaped by a hole in the straw wall.

"Suspicion being raised by the incomprehensible flight of Rahonka, the colonel placed the remaining sheiks under a guard, and led them to Suleiman's zareeba. He then applied to Suleiman for a guard of eight men to watch the sheiks during the night, as his own party required rest.

"Suleiman now informed him that he could not supply the men, as all his people had absconded from fear (of Abd-el-Kader).

"On the following morning the colonel perceived, from the smoke above our old camp on the opposite side of the river (which in this part is 500 yards broad), that Suleiman's people had escaped during the night, and had crossed the river with all their slaves and effects.

"This was the first act of my new irregular levy-they had positively run away from the colonel like a parcel of hostile natives!

"Suleiman and Eddrees declared that they could not control their men, who were afraid that I had ordered my officer to release the slaves that were in their possession. (The truth was they considered that I had heard of the murder of the prisoner committed to the care of Suleiman, and that I had sent the colonel and his party to make inquiries.)

"Abd-el-Kader ordered Suleiman to accompany him to my halting-place at Kisoona. Suleiman declined upon the excuse that he had some business, but that he would present himself to-morrow."

"I can stand these scoundrels' conduct no longer. I have tried lenient measures, and I had hoped that by forming Suleiman's party into an irregular corps I might be able, by degrees, to change their habits, and to reduce them by good discipline into useful troops, but 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?'

"I immediately released and examined the captive sheiks, who one and all declared that the fault lay with Suleiman, who had previously arranged the plan with Rahonka: that when I should be led away a distance of two days' journey, he would assemble his men and attack Rionga in conjunction with Rahonka's army.

"The report of Umbogo, the dragoman, is thus corroborated by overwhelming evidence. This man, Umbogo, declares that Abou Saood wrote to Suleiman, instructing him to wait until I should have passed on, and then to bring all his slaves to Fabbo.

"I immediately sent Captain Mohammed Deii with fifty men, including twenty-five of the 'Forty Thieves,' with orders to liberate all slaves that might be discovered within the zareeba. He was to summon all the people of Suleiman, and to disarm those who had run away from the colonel, Abd-el-Kader.

"In the event of resistance, he was to use the force at his disposal, and at all hazards to prevent the escape of the slavers across the river.

"Suleiman and Eddrees were to be brought before me.

"A heavy shower fell just after the troops started.

"April 14.-Julian's horse, Gazelle, died last night; the poor animal had been ill for some days.

"Quonga, who is the sheik of this district, came this morning and excused his absence in rather a lame fashion, by saying that he had been collecting food for the troops, together with carriers, who are now ready to transport the baggage to Masindi. He declared that Kabba Rega was impatient, and had sent three of Suleiman's people to deliver the message to me, but these rascals had passed on this morning direct to the zareeba of Suleiman, without communicating with us on the way.

"Quonga not only corroborated the testimony of the sheiks and the dragoman, Umbogo, against Suleiman, as having conspired to attack Rionga after my departure, but he gave additional evidence, that 'Suleiman had told Rahonka and the great sheiks that I, the Pacha, knew nothing about war, that none of the government troops could shoot, and that I should only travel and subsist upon the country, but that he (Suleiman) would join them and kill Rionga after I should have departed.'

"This I believe to be true, as a few days ago, when speaking of the troops, I told Suleiman that the Soudanis were very hardy soldiers for marching and resisting climate, but that generally they were bad shots. Thus, in a treacherous manner, he has informed the natives that the soldiers of the government cannot shoot. In the afternoon, fresh reports reached me that Suleiman had, with his own hands, murdered the native to whom I had given protection. He had committed this horrible act the instant that my back was turned, and he had exhibited the crime before the great sheiks in derision of my authority!

"At 4.30 P.M. Captain Mohammed Deii returned with his party of fifty men, together with the vakeels, Suleiman and Eddrees, with six of their men who had been met upon their road from Masindi, and eight slaves.

"As I had expected, the greater number of Suleiman's people had escaped with their slaves to Fabbo, when the Colonel, Abd-el-Kader, had suddenly appeared among them; his arrival had disconcerted all Suleiman's arrangements, and my detention at Kisoona had completely upset all his plans respecting an alliance with Rahonka's army. That cunning general had gone off straight to Kabba Rega after his escape through the wall of his hut.

"I summoned the great sheiks, Kittakara, Quonga, together with Pittia, and several others. These men gave their evidence most clearly as witnesses to the plan arranged by Suleiman for the attack upon Rionga; and as eye-witnesses to the murder of the prisoner, whom they saw dragged by Suleiman and his men to the grove of bananas, where he was beheaded.

"I ordered Suleiman and his people to be disarmed; and secured both him and Eddrees in shebas.

"The sun had set, and, the sky being over-cast, it had become extremely dark.

"I proceeded at once to the trial of Suleiman and Eddrees, as the witnesses were all present.

"The bugler sounded the 'taboor' (assembly), and the officers and troops quickly appeared, and formed in line two deep, facing the table at which we sat. I ordered half-a-dozen large port-fires to be brought; these were lighted and held by six men who stepped forward from the ranks. The blaze of red light illumined the whole neighbourhood, and cast a peculiar glow upon the dark foliage of the bananas and the forms of the dusky chiefs who sat in a line opposite the troops.

"Suleiman and Eddrees were led by the guard, and appeared before the tribunal. Suleiman, although pinioned, retained the same haughty swagger that had always distinguished him. The charges against him were as follows:

"1. For having conspired to attack Rionga, in direct opposition to my positive orders.

"2. For treasonably speaking against the government of the Khedive to the native chiefs.

"3. For arranging and abetting the escape of the irregular new levy, who had enlisted in the government service, together with that of the slaves.

"4. For having murdered, with his own hands, a native whom I had confided to his care.

"After a careful trial the prisoner was found guilty upon every charge; and the second vakeel, Eddrees, was proved to have been an accomplice.

"I immediately sentenced Suleiman to receive 200 lashes upon the spot, as a first instalment of future punishment. Blue lights had been substituted for the port-fires that had burned out, and the haughty brigand, Suleiman, was laid upon the ground by the ready troops to receive his punishment.

"My ever-present attendant, Monsoor, volunteered to be one of the whippers, and the pride and audacity of the prisoner were soon exchanged for effeminate cries for pardon. It was this same man, Suleiman, who had flogged a poor boy nearly to death during my former journey, and the life of the child had with difficulty been saved by the kind attention of my wife. When he now cried for mercy, I recalled to his recollection the unfortunate boy whose posterior he had literally CUT OFF with a whip of hippopotamus' hide. . . .

"Eddrees was sentenced to receive 100 lashes, but when thirty strokes had been administered, the native chiefs interceded in his behalf, saying that the great blame rested upon Suleiman, and that Eddrees was not a bad man, but that he was obliged to obey the orders of his superior.

"They now continued, 'that Suleiman had ruined the country, that he had kidnapped all the women and children, and that the natives had fled from their homes as the result.'

"I was much struck with the straightforward, at the same time moderate behaviour of the native chiefs. I accordingly spared Eddrees, who at once turned evidence against Suleiman, together with two of his own soldiers.

"They signed a declaration as witnesses of the murder of the native by

Suleiman. This paper was formally witnessed and signed by Lieutenant

Baker, Colonel Abd-el-Kader, and Captain Mohammed Deii.

"The punishment having been awarded and the prisoners withdrawn, but secured in shebas by the guard, I addressed the native chiefs, assuring them of my protection; and that in future the country should be governed with perfect justice; that property and the rights of women and children would be respected, and that any transgressor of the law would be punished. I explained that the object of the expedition was to bring prosperity; but, on the other hand, I should expect fidelity from Kabba Rega and his people. I told them that I should lead the prisoners in shebas to Kabba Rega, he must then summon a general assembly of his chiefs to hear and witness the truth.

"I now ordered the bugler to sound the 'destoor' (retreat), and the troops marched back to their quarters.

"The trial was over; the blue lights had burnt out, and we were now in comparative darkness beneath the banana foliage, with a feeble lamp glimmering on the table.

"The native chiefs declared their perfect confidence in the government, and that we should start on the following morning direct for Masindi."

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