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AT last, much to my relief, we found ourselves ready for the road. Most of the men were looking longingly back towards the coast, and I with equal eagerness towards the setting sun and the unknown. The beads had been all strung, the cloths made up, and food collected for the desert march round [73] the base of Kilimanjaro. Goods and men were alike overhauled, with the result of leaving no less than three men behind as utter incapables. On the march to Taveta two men had been left at Bura, of whom one had subsequently died; and two others had deserted. At Taveta one of the mission boys died of some disease of a nature beyond my ken; and thus we were reduced by eight men.

On the evening of the 17th of April the last paragraph was added to my letters, and the final farewells written. After a night of constant watchfulness over my men, and a short snooze in the early morning, I sprang out of bed, and feverishly plunged into the bustle of striking camp. There was the usual worry over the light loads, and the usual obstinate resistance to carrying the boxes and more unpleasant packages, necessitating the application of the birch in more than one instance. At last matters were finally arranged, and in the still dewy morning we left Taveta amid many expressions of regret. We squeezed ourselves once more through the narrow gate, and after passing the outside leafy tunnel through the sombre forest, we emerged on its western side. We could only cross the Lumi and camp. Time would not allow us to proceed further that day; besides, there were a few final touches of preparation which could only be done after striking camp.

By way of a little relaxation, I strolled up the bank of the Lumi in the hope of shooting something for the pot. The country, however, was too open, and the game too wild. Though I sighted a bush–buck, a herd of hartebeest, and a wart–hog, I did not succeed in shedding blood. A slightly ridiculous episode, however, gave us a spurt of excitement. Sighting some large animal in the bush, which in the gathering darkness I took for a rhinoceros, I proceeded warily to stalk it, paying all due attention to the wind. After much crawling and creeping from bush to bush with sundry scratches, I got pretty near to my quarry. My excitement was rapidly rising over the dangers and anticipated triumph, when suddenly a loud "Hee! haw! lice! haw!" broke with extraordinary effect from my supposed rhinoceros. I felt decidedly foolish, and inwardly confessed that I must be as stupid as the venerable animal which thus saluted my approach with heaving sides and elevated ears, as it poured forth its asinine ridicule. I returned crestfallen to camp, only to hear roars of laughter from my men as the story got afloat. [74]

I now called a council of war with Martin and my headmen, as to the steps to be taken to prevent desertion. The most anxious night of all had now arrived. Those who might have resolved to desert would certainly do so to–night, as they well knew that if once they left Taveta one or two marches behind, there would then be no chance again. During their stay in the forest the men had heard so many dreadful stories about the murderous propensities of the Masai that they were electrically charged with fear. It required therefore but a leader, or the occurrence of some slight accident, to cause a general stampede. Thanks to the stories about the Masai being on the war–path, the seizure of their guns, and our constant watchfulness, we had hitherto not lost more than two men through desertion. If we could only put a couple of marches between us and Taveta, we were safe. Till then we were relying on a breaking reed, which might give way at any moment, with irretrievable ruin as the consequence. We adopted the same precautions as those we put in force on leaving Rabai, and happily next morning, after a night of incessant care, we found ourselves on the march with the loss of only one man, though a general stubbornness and sulkiness told the feelings of a large number who resentfully felt that I had been "one too many" for them this time.

Full of buoyant hopes and sanguine expectations, I pushed on merrily through the tall grass, laden with the dew of the morning, till we struck the proper road which leads to Chaga, and thence round the southern aspect of Kilimanjaro to the Masai country.

On nearing the base of the mountain, we passed between two small hills of metamorphic rock cropping out from beneath a series of beds of volcanic ash. Keeping almost due west, we traversed a stony tract from which protruded every here and there trachytic lavas, light in colour, but dense and compact, along with beds of the fragmentary volcanic materials.

The men moved on with excessive slowness, requiring the utmost patience on my part. They took nearly eight hours to accomplish what they should have done easily in five. At last, however, we reached the Habali stream at a point where it forms a pretty cascade. This waterfall has been caused by the occurrence of an easily weathered volcanic agglomerate overlaid by a hard and very compact lava. We camped in the small gorge formed by the wearing back of the rocks. [75] The day, however, which commenced so hopefully, ended in gloom. The astounding news reached our ears that a great war–party of Masai, about 2000 strong, were in front of us. This alarming intelligence produced no small consternation in our minds. It would be bad enough, in all conscience, to come in contact with them in their own country. But to meet them on the war–path, with heated blood and without any restraint, was a matter still more serious. How were we to meet the emergency? To retreat meant the desertion of the men. To advance would be to fight and be dispersed like so many hares, if nothing worse happened to us. The only other course open was to stand our chance with the notorious chief, Mandara. This course was obviously not without serious risks of its own, but as it seemed to involve the least of three evils, I resolved to adopt it.

No time had to be lost in preparing to camp. Every man seized the axe with alacrity, and soon the thud of the iron, the swish of the falling trees, and the half–suppressed calls told that the men were working with a will. In less than an hour we were safely surrounded by a strong boma or thorn fence, behind which we could bid defiance to as many Masai as pleased to come up against us, and (what was just as important) through or over which none of my own men could go in the darkness of night..

Next day I took care to send a few of my best head–men forward as an advance–guard, to warn us in time if the Masai were seen, that we might retreat into the jungle. Early in the morning we reached the fine river known as the Himu, at a point where it runs through a deep channel cut out of very coarse volcanic debris–many of the ejected blocks being several tons in weight. A little farther on we crossed the Mto–Kilema, a smaller stream. At this point there are noticeable three small, parasitic, volcanic cones. At 10,30 a.m. we reached the Kirua stream. There we met with our scouts, who reported that as yet they had seen no signs of the Masai. We pressed on through an open, much broken forest country to the Chora, our fourth stream for the day, and there we camped at midday. After seeing the boma (thorn fence) constructed round our camp some distance from the pathway, I determined to interview Mandara, of whom I had heard so much both favourable and unfavourable.

Taking only Muhinna and Brahim with me, and going empty–handed, I started off. After a hot march of four hours through a dense bush, where we lost our way, we entered [76] upon a cultivated part, and were put in the right road. Reaching a blacksmith’s shed, we fired the customary three guns which announces a stranger from the coast, and then waited till told the chief was ready to receive us. After a short time we were called. Traversing a rich banana grove, and crossing an open space, in which were several cows feeding, we found ourselves face to face with a group of fine–looking, aristocratic Wa–chaga. They were sitting under a shed, enveloped in voluminous lengths of cotton dyed in ochre. As no one spoke when I entered, or rose to shake hands with me, I uttered a general salutation, and sat down on a log of wood. Compelled at last to relieve my awkward reception, I asked which was Mandara. A powerfully–built man, of princely bearing, was pointed out to me. With a face which for a negro might be called intellectual and capable of expressing every emotion, he had an eye like an eagle’s but only one–the other had lost its light for ever. These characteristics I noted in a glance, and then commenced my speech. I explained where I had come from, and where I was going; I stated that, having been compelled to leave the trade–route owing to the Masai, I proposed to camp at the boundary of his domains, and that, having heard so much about his great achievements as a warrior, of his princely character, and his delight in receiving strangers from the coast, I could not possibly pass so near him without giving myself the pleasure of coming to see him.

In the midst of this eloquent harangue, I was rather taken aback by seeing his eye suddenly becoming fixed on my foot. Then his mouth took a well–known shape, and I was startled to hear a familiar sound generally employed by vulgar little boys to express unbounded astonishment or incredulity In short, Mandara emitted a long–drawn whistle. Thinking he had discovered a snake in unpleasant proximity to my foot, I suddenly drew it back, and began also staring at the same place. Seeing nothing, I looked up. Then we both laughed –why, I don’t know–and a period was put to my speech by a series of questions about my boots, which had drawn forth the expression of astonishment. Whistling in that manner was his customary expressive manner of showing wonder or admiration. Our interview, which turned out pleasant, was accompanied by continual ejections of saliva, squirted with great skill from between his teeth, and by a continual quaffing of beer. I was much impressed by Mandara’s evident intelligence. Our interview did not cease till [77] after sunset, when we were left alone to pass the night in the shed, amply provided with all the good things that Moschi (the country) could produce.

Mandara’s residence consists of a number of conical, well–built huts, in which are housed his fifty or more wives. His own private abode is a quadrangular house built after the Swahili type, and plastered with dung and clay. Here it is that he receives his favoured guests and stows away his valuables. These buildings, together with a number of sheds for sheep and goats, and enclosures for fowls (which the Wa–chaga will on no account eat), are surrounded by a triple palisade of tree trunks of great strength, while outside are about eight more large huts, each holding eight young women, who form his stock in hand of damsels for the slave–market, or as rewards to the soldiers for services done. When the moon is bright, and the chief’s spirits high, and his heart gladsome within him, these damsels dance on the dewy grass, waking the echoes of the neighbouring glens with their weird, ear–piercing screams, and looking witch–like in the ruddy glare of the bonfires. Mandara, however, does not depend entirely upon his palisades. A hundred warriors nightly keep watch and ward round the compound, ever ready to raise the war–cry, and rush upon all intruders.

The village occupies the top of a narrow ridge formed by a deep glen on either side. From the upper part of the small streams miniature canals, constructed with great skill, lead off the water and spread it over the entire ridge, thus supplying moisture throughout the entire year. A more rich and varied scene I have nowhere looked upon in Africa. The rich carpet of grass alternated or intermingled with banana groves, fields of beans, millet, Indian corn, sweet potatoes, yams, &c. Here and there, like sentinels, stood small groves of stalwart trees. The banks and the irrigation channels were rich with tender maiden–hair ferns, and others of familiar aspect. Lazy cattle lay about the huts, or browsed knee–deep in the succulent grass. Goats, lively and frisksome, skipped about the banks, or with fierce aspect tried the mimic fight. Sheep loaded with enormous fat tails wobbling about their legs, looked as if aweary of existence, and ready to welcome the knife. Moschi, as it lay before me, had all the rich fertility and pleasing aspect of Taveta, with the advantage of a beautiful interchange of hill and glen. There was an unbounded prospect towards the south, east, and west; while to the north towered, sovereign, [78] majestic, awful in its silent calm, the snow–clad peak of Kibo. There was no feeling of confinement, and the blood coursed more warmly through the veins, stimulated by the bracing mountain air, till one felt inclined to shout "Excelsior" and climb the mountain heavenward. In Moschi one had none of that spirit of delicious lotus–eating indolence induced by the dreamy, poetic life of Taveta: yet it was not without its pleasing nature–music in the distant sound of the cascade or the dreamy "sugh" of the stream deep down in the glen, brought to our ears on the downy wings of the cool wind. Such were our more immediate surroundings. But let us look somewhat afield from our point of vantage on the Chaga platform.

Gazing eastward, the eye roams over the Tavetan forest, and over the yellow, burnt–up plain beyond, till the view is bounded by the range of Bura and the peak of Kadiaro rising above the horizon like dangerous black rocks from a muddy sea. Turning to the south–east, we note in the foreground the hills and dales at our feet, carved out by numerous noisy torrents. Here a "gallery" forest arches over a rushing stream; there a bush–clad ridge. Now a beautiful glade, anon a piece of park–like country. Such is Chaga, if you add curling columns of smoke, and parti–coloured plantations. In the same direction, but beyond the base of the mountain, the eye takes in a rich expanse of forest and jungle, dotted here and there with strange little sugar–loaf peaks, which tell of former fiery vents of Vulcan’s forge below. Attention is finally arrested by a glimpse of the silvery, shimmering sheet of Jip� seen past the edge of the Ugono Range, though far away beyond, in the haze of distance, may faintly be traced the Pare and U–sambara mountains. To the south the view extends over the well–watered depression of the Kah� country to the interesting mountains of Sogonoi. This whole district, one of the richest in Africa, is practically uninhabited, except in some dense forest patches, owing to the terror with which the Masai are regarded. The expanse towards the west is most picturesque and varied, for there, looking over Macham� (a Chaga state), we see the clear sweep of the sunny slopes of Kilimanjaro from top to bottom, with the Shira flanking its shoulder scarred and rugged, its black gloomy rocks and narrow gorges contrasting with the smiling aspect of Macham� at its base. Behind are the magnificent though simple outlines of the wonderful volcanic cone of Meru, which springs [79]

[80] up to a height of nearly 9000 feet from the surrounding plain, and stands in all the severe and placid dignity of a cyclopean pyramid. Of the scene on the north, which closes in this glorious panorama, I will not attempt to give any description, so inadequate is my vocabulary to convey any worthy conception of the effect which the sight of Kibo and Kimawenzi have on the mind.

In the calm stillness of the night, however, as I lie awake in my open shed, wrapped cosily in my blanket, and as I see, under the mild effulgence and mellow light of a full moon, Kibo standing out clear and bright, it seems to me in no way strange that the untutored savage, ever waging a fierce war with nature, and with a strong tendency to the worship of nature–spirits, should see in this majestic mountain something more than a material existence, or, at least, should recognize it as the chosen –abode of the Supreme Being.

Next morning I hurried down to camp, and was pleased to find all right. We then moved on to the base of Moschi, and, after we had once more strongly fortified ourselves, I resolved to utilize this new delay in making an ascent of Kilimanjaro, as far as that could be done in a single day, for the purpose of making a collection of plants at the higher altitudes, which botanists considered would be of great value in elucidating certain puzzles regarding the distribution of African plants. Accompanied by some of my best men, I set off in the afternoon for Mandara’s, where we were once more treated hospitably, being housed in one. of the gourd sheds, and mindfully supplied with a roaring fire–for the nights on the mountain wore cold. Next morning, guided by an M–chaga, who was most annoying in his behaviour, we set off at a killing pace up the mountain side. In a couple of hours we had reached the limit of cultivation. Then we crossed a small stream blocked up with several dams, intended to carry the water along the narrow valleys at higher levels and to spread it along their slopes. We then plunged into the forest region, principally composed of a provoking tangle; trees doing duty largely as supports to creepers, and being covered with moss, various kinds of ferns, parasites, and orchids. The occurrence of brambles, bracken, male and lady ferns, various spleenworts, maidenhair, and mountain polypody, would have made us imagine we were in Europe, but for the unusual profusion and rank luxuriance.

By 9 a.m. we had got little over 5000 feet, for we had to traverse a great distance horizontally as well as vertically. [81 The men were lagging fearfully, and were sadly blown. Waiting to rest ourselves, we saw that we had reached a great rib or buttress of the mountain, formed by the deep gorges of the Kirua on the one side, and that of the Urn on the other.

We could now see to much advantage the great platform of Chaga, which forms a basement to the mountain. From 9 to 9.30, after leaving all but three of the men quite done up, we by another grand spurt succeeded in reaching a small open space where a war–party of the Wa–kwafi), of Arusha–wa–juu (Mount Meru), in company with Mandara’s men, had camped on their way across the depression between Kibo and Kimawenzi to attack Us�ri. Here we found arborescent heather and splendid tree ferns. The greater amount of moisture and rainfall is here plainly evidenced by the great abundance of the long grey–beard moss which weirdly envelops every branch and twig, waving to every breeze, and giving, the trees a most venerable appearance. The trees also are much larger, and vegetation still more luxuriant. We had now reached a region of almost continual cloud. The manner in which the sides of the mountain at this height are cut and carved into deep gorges and glens, compared with what is seen in the lower platform, strikingly suggested the idea that we were now on a very much older part of the mountain, and that Chaga proper has in reality been formed at a later date by the breaking out of numerous parasitic cones and craters when the height of the main crater became too great for the under. ground agents to force the molten material or ashes to the top.

From the camp of the Wa–kwafi), we again pushed on; but we found it difficult and killing work to force our way through the forest. Now we were climbing over huge fallen trees, anon sinking up to the ankles in marshy hollows, and almost sticking in the mud. At last we reached the upper waters of the Himu, which we had crossed as a fine stream at the base of the mountain. My three remaining men now finally gave in, and I had to resume my weary climb with the guide alone. At I p.m., finding myself rather short of 9000 feet in altitude, after seven hours of climbing, the most severe I have ever experienced, I myself was reluctantly compelled to desist and give up my intention of penetrating above the forest region.

As I had made no preparation for camping on the mountain, I had to lose no time in making a small collection of the plants around me. These included gladiolus and tritoma [82] heaths, and various species allied to our buttercups, docks, &c. There was little in the aspect of my floral surroundings to suggest that I was in the tropics, a fact difficult to conceive with a wind blowing from the mountain with freezing influence.

So hurried was I that I had not even time to set up my George’s barometer, or to find the altitude with my hypsometer. I had therefore to be content with the approximate reading of my aneroid, and to rush down the mountain at a headlong pace, picking up at intervals my broken–down followers, who, now that their faces were towards Mandara’s, stepped out with alacrity. As the sun set we reached the village, to find that the chief, with a thoughtfulness beyond all praise, had provided for our delectation eggs, goats, fresh milk, bananas, &c., and soon with rare enjoyment we were making havoc on these comestibles as we gathered round the grand roaring camp fire. These little excursions, when I could get away from tents and the worries of a caravan and rough it in the most thorough fashion, were always the most enjoyable and romantic. If I had my choice, and circumstances would permit, and enjoyment only was to be aimed at, I would infinitely prefer a very few followers and almost no impedimenta of any kind. The best sauce to my meat that night, however, was the news that the Masai had broken up camp and passed out of our way.

Next morning, with a thoughtlessness for which there could be no excuse, I pressed Mandara to come down to camp and see my guns, &c., in which he took so much delight. Up

to that time he had never asked me for a single article, and I was so charmed by his princely ways, his great intelligence, and other unusual qualities, that I could not resist the desire to show some little attention to him. He had not intended to go down, but after some importunity on my part he consented. Going off in front to prepare for his reception, I found all well in camp. The Wa–chaga, on hearing that their chief was coming, scuttled off in great trepidation, as if it was his habit to chop off the heads of all who came in his way–and indeed, it was one of his greatest delights to see the abject terror of his subjects, over whom he wielded the most absolute authority. On his arrival I showed him all my guns, instruments, &c. The galvanic battery threw him into fits of astonishment, till his eagle eye gleamed with covetousness, and he spat and whistled [83] himself dry, requiring incessant libations of pomb� to sustain him. He intensely enjoyed ordering his chiefs and warriors to submit to the electric current, and lie simply gloated over their evident though suppressed terror, while they with difficulty kept themselves from yelling out or wriggling on the ground. They stood the trial, however, admirably, with the self–control proper to warrior chiefs. Mandara himself refused to experiment, afraid of being bewitched. Neither would he stand to be photographed, although he ordered his warriors to submit to the operation. These warriors affect the weapons of the Masai–namely, great shovel–headed spears, the sim�, knobkerry, and the large elliptically shaped buffalo–hide shield ornamented with an heraldic device in colours. These were all beautiful specimens of native workmanship, the Wa–chaga of Moschi being quite unrivalled as blacksmiths in Africa.

Now, in making this exhibition, as my knowledge of the native character might have told me, I was simply arousing [84] Mandara’s cupidity, and soon I found I had to reckon with mine host. Of course I quite understood that in bringing him down I could not possibly send him off empty–handed; so I made up a present, consisting of a Snider, a revolver, four flasks of gunpowder, one piece of American cotton, one of blue cloth, and several gaudy–coloured cloths. Thinking I had done very handsomely, I called him into the tent and with much satisfaction showed him my present An ominous whistle, as he brought his eye to bear upon my treasures, and an expression of contempt on his face soon brought me to my senses. " Were these, "he scornfully inquired, "the presents for his askari who had accompanied him I or did I mean to offer him a Zanzibar–made gun only fit for a porter" Having thus unburdened himself, he turned his back and marched out of the tent, leaving me staring blankly at the rejected gift. To my men outside he said, "Why had I shown him all my things, if I did not mean to give him some I What did he care for coast goods? He had plenty of them I What he wanted was European articles befitting his greatness!" I sent Muhinna and Makatubu after him, with a government Snider and some more cloth, but though they returned without these articles, they brought only veiled threats that unless he received satisfaction he would play the deuce with us in a manner that would not please us. He had brought down a fat bullock with him in the morning, and he took care to let us know that we had better not touch it.

Here was a proper quandary to get into! For well I knew that Mandara’s threats were not empty words. He could, without a doubt irretrievably "smash up" the caravan in the dense forests of the Kahe if we attempted to go on without his leave, and without a guide. At that moment he had over 1000 Wa–kwafi), his allies from Mount Meru, staying with him, preparing for an attack on a neighbouring state; combining his own men with these, he could place over 2000 of the most daring warriors in all that region in the field.

Next morning, therefore, perceiving the gravity of the situation, I with much reluctance got out my own trusty double–barrelled smooth–bore, which I had carried on my two previous expeditions, a steel box, a suit of thick tweed complete, a pair of shoes which I mentally wished I could compel him to wear, and a few more articles. Feeling in a very unamiable mood at thus being made involuntarily the instrument for introducing the manifold blessings of European civilized [85] garments and good weapons, I started off for Mandara’s, and, on reaching his residence and remonstrating with him on his high–handed proceedings, I was fortunate enough to smooth matters over, and to part on friendly terms, getting from him his own spear and sim� (sword) besides several minor articles, all splendid specimens of Wa–chaga workmanship. As we were leaving, some of his scouts returned, and on their firing their guns from the opposite side of the Chora valley, in token of success, he jumped and danced about like a boy released from school, yelled out his war–cry, and, twirling a knobkerry in the air, looked the very incarnation of war. Laden with presents, amongst which was an enormously fat sheep, with a tail of abnormal dimensions and huge dewlaps, we returned to camp and prepared to start on the morrow, having lost four days by the Masai scare.

In the evening three guides arrived from Mandara, and Muhinna consulted the oracle to find out what awaited us ahead. Taking eighteen small sticks about two inches in length, he placed them on a piece of paper in a particular order outside the camp. After sprinkling some flour and reciting an incantation in Ki–zeguha over them, he put some bushes on the top to prevent their being disturbed, After a certain interval, if two have advanced forward, then the road is good, and their is nothing to fear. If they have remained as they were laid down, the oracle has nothing good or bad to say about the route or prospects; but if they are all scattered, then the look–out is gloomy in the extreme.

In the morning we found that the oracle had remained neutral, though the rain came down in torrents, and the guides struck for prepayment. Not to be deterred by either rain or guides, I struck camp, and hurried away from the hateful place more lightly both in a mental and physical sense, for had we not been relieved of a load of care as well as one of very valuable goods?

This was the first march in drenching rain we had yet experienced. It was made all the worse by the tall grass through which we had to force our way. An hour after leaving camp we crossed a small stream, and then plunged into a gloomy forest, made dangerous by the numerous treacherous game–pits, into which one or two of the men got some nasty falls. Though Muhinna’s oracle had predicted nothing bad, we speedily lost our way among the numerous bewildering paths, and were hieing merrily towards Uru of Chaga, when our refractory guides, who meanwhile had returned [86] to their senses, stopped us, and, taking the load, conveyed us through the labyrinthine forest, preventing what might have been a very awkward mistake. In fact it would have been quite impossible to get through without a guide, as I was forcibly reminded by the adventures of Rebmann, who, running away from the chief of Macham�, when plundered by him, lost his way in this very same forest, and wandered about for several days nearly starved.

At 10.30 we reached the Kahe river, where it is formed by the junction of the Rau, from the north of Moschi, and the Uraru, which rises at the base of the mountain. With some difficulty we crossed, and then, seeing the men looking excessively miserable in the wet morning, I took pity on them, and gave orders to camp.

In the evening I went out hunting, but only saw one giraffe. In other respects, however, the stroll was very enjoyable. I have never seen a more charming, park–like scone. It makes one quite melancholy to see such rich tracts lying thus deserted, when tribes like the Wa–teita on their barren mountains, and the still more miserable Wa–duruma, are ever struggling with but poor success to eke out a wretched existence.

On the following day we crossed the river Karanga where it is formed by the junction of three streams, the Ukambari to the east, the Karanga in the middle, and the Umbo on the west. Ten minutes farther on we crossed the Shili stream from Kindi, then a fine large stream, the Seri, and a few minutes later the largest river we had yet passed, the Weri–weri. We found the country literally ploughed up by the tracts of enormous herds of buffalo. Two hours’ tramp through a more bush–clad, broken country (strewed with prodigious ejected blocks of a trachytic rock, composed to a large extent of sanidine crystals an inch long, porphyritically dispersed through the mass), brought us to a rapid river–torrent of considerable dimensions, flowing in a deep channel cut in coarse agglomerate. The Kikayo (for such is its name) was crossed with much difficulty, owing to the rapidity of the current and the stony character of the bed, and we again camped. On reaching camp I was seized with a violent fever, which, after passing through a cold and dry, and then a hot and sweating stage, left me considerably done up, and unable to eat.

The country next day was characterized by astonishing numbers of game, especially buffalo, pallah, and a species of [87] hartebeest, which I take to be new. These last gave much pleasing animation to the scene, as they were observed playing or grazing in the grassy plots, or scuttling away with great leaps through the bushes on our approach. The buffaloes added a not inconsiderable element of danger to our movements, as they galloped excitedly across our pathway. Roused from their deep midday sleep, in some dense clump of bush, they would rush wildly out, heedless where they were going. More than once they tree’d several of the men, and caused a general scatter. My fever would not allow me to hold the gun firmly, so I prudently kept out of the way. Besides, at this time we were compelled to observe the utmost caution in all our movements, as we might at any moment stumble upon another Masai war–party. It behoved us, therefore, to attract no danger unnecessarily, and to keep a strict look–out and allow no stragglers. On camping also, we had to be careful at once to rush up a boma of great strength, and always be ready for any emergency.

This evening I had again a violent return of the fever; and during the night a lively chorus. of hyenas, followed by a concert of lions, added to the amenities of the situation.

On the 28th of April we reached the eastern flanking buttress of Kibo, forming the district of Shira, though on its southern aspect lies the important state of Macham�. From the manner in which this great buttress is carved into deep, gloomy gorges running north and south by the Karanga, the Weri–weri, and the Kikavo, we may assume that it is one of the older parts of the mountain.

At one place we observed an ejected block which would weigh little less than twenty tons. It was here noticeable that the agglomerate of this district contained fewer blocks of sanidine rock, and more of a very compact, black, basalt–like rock, usually with glazed surfaces.

We crossed this day two small streams and camped at a third, the Fuoko, after a seven hours’ march. Next day we moved up to the camp, near Kibonoto. Here all the caravans bound for or coming front the Masai country stop to collect food, as it is cheap and abundant, whereas once the frontier is crossed, no more vegetable food can be procured, and cattle, sheep, and goats are only obtainable at exorbitant prices.

We found a boma and huts ready prepared, and we were thus soon in a state to receive the Wa–chaga of Shira, who [87] speedily arrived to settle the question of a present before granting liberty to buy food. I was much struck by the decorous way in which the matter was discussed, there being none of the fierce wrangling like cats and dogs, so characteristic of such proceedings among the natives further south.

I now learned, to my great annoyance, that after all I had fallen on Fischer’s route. The very line I had marked out for myself, on the assumption that he was going to proceed via Matumbato to Kenia, was appropriated, and I must now either follow in his tracks, or attempt the extremely hazardous route by Donyo Erok. This, however, was a small matter compared with the further news, that only a few days before he had had a fight with the Masai, with the result of bloodshed on both sides, and that the country had been thrown into a state of profound excitement.

This unpleasant news awoke in my men the utmost consternation. The look–out was gloomy enough in all conscience. The problem presented to us was one of remorseless hardness. How should we be able to get into the country with only 150 men, when Fischer, with some 300, in company with a second caravan of 200, had had to fight? I could give no satisfactory answer. Only one thing I was clear about. Though determined on no account to enter upon a policy of adventure, I yet must make the attempt to pass the threshold before I turned my back and confessed myself beaten.

On the day after our arrival, a Swahili runaway came as a messenger of the chief to make friends and brothers with me. A goat was brought, and, taking it by one ear, I was required to state where I was going, to declare that I meant no evil, and did not work in uchawi (black magic), and finally, to promise that I would do no harm to the country. The other ear was then taken by the sultan’s ambassador, and he made promise on his part that no harm would be done to us, –that food would be given, and all articles stolen returned. The goat was then killed, and a strip of skin out off the forehead, in which two slits were made. The M–swahili, taking hold of this, pushed it on my finger by the lower slit five times finally pushing it over the joint. I had next to take the strip still keeping it on my own finger, and do the same for the M–swahili, through the upper slit. This operation finished, the strips had to be out in two, leaving the respective portions on our fingers, and the sultan of Shira and I were sworn brothers. [89]

Fortified by this ceremony, the chief visited me in the afternoon, and proved to be a tall, lubberly fellow who had not a word to say. Our interview was not, therefore, very diverting. We sat and stared at each other, till, losing patience at the irksome solemnity of the interview, I had to devise means to get rid of him. In this I succeeded, after giving him a dose of Eno’s fruit salt, backed up by a shock from the magnetic machine, as an infallible medicine of a kind more commonly asked for at home than in eastern countries.

We were now kept in expectation of hearing from the Masai as to what reception they proposed giving us. It was not, however, till the evening of the third day that any reliable news was received.

Several Masai women who had been to Kibonoto to buy food from the Wa–chaga, came into our camp on their return. They entered with a mincing, half–dancing step and peculiar motion of the body, chanting a salutation all the time. Each one carried a bunch of grass in the hand, in token of peace and good–will. On seeing Sadi with his venerable aspect and attractive manner, they ambled up to him and seized his hand, still chanting away with a curious, undulating movement of the body. The men had crowded out to see and hear this to them new and unwonted sight, and they literally roared with laughter at my embarrassment, as the women laid hold of me, on being informed that I was the "big man" of the caravan. The chant finished, we were informed that the Masai had been holding many consultations about us, but that after much quarrelling, they had concluded to send a deputation to interview me on the morrow Next day, therefore, we were kept in an excitable and anxious condition till we learned our fate. In the afternoon this reached its climax, when from the labyrinths of the surrounding forest a fine musical chant was raised. The word was passed round that the Masai had come. Seizing a tuft of grass in one hand, and our guns in the other, in token that we meant peace, but were prepared to fight, we proceeded outside to hear our fate. Passing through the forest, we soon set our eyes upon the dreaded warriors that had been so long the subject of my waking dreams, and I could not but involuntarily exclaim, "What splendid fellows!" as I surveyed a band of the most peculiar race of men to be found in all Africa.

After a most ceremonious greeting performed with much [90] gravity and aristocratic dignity, their great shovel–headed spears were stuck in the ground, their bullock’s–hide shields rested against them on their sides, and then the oil–and–clay–bedaubed warriors assumed a sitting posture, with their knees drawn up to their chins, and their small neat kid–skin mantles enveloping them. We on our part took position opposite them, holding our guns in our hands. I, of course, as became my dignity, occupied a camp–stool.

After a few words among themselves in a low tone, a spokesman arose, leisurely took a spear in his left hand to lean upon, and then using his knobkerry as an orator’s baton, he proceeded to deliver his message with all the ease of a professional speaker. With profound astonishment I watched this son of the desert, as he stood before me, speaking with a natural fluency and grace, a certain sense of the gravity and importance of his position, and a dignity of attitude beyond all praise. With much circumlocution, he sketched the story of Fischer’s arrival, of the fight, its causes and results, more especially laying stress on the fact that a woman–had been killed, an unheard–of event in the annals of their quarrels with the Lajomb� (Wa–swahili). He then went on to tell how the news of our arrival reached them, and to describe the excitement produced thereby; how a meeting if the married men and the El–moran or warriors was called to discuss the way in which we were to be received; and how, finally, they came to the conclusion, not. without blows among themselves, to allow us to pass peaceably; in consequence of which decision, he with his companions were sent to bid us welcome and conduct us to their kraals. During this harangue the knobkerry was not idle, but employed with much oratorical effect to emphasize his remarks.

Sadi on our part, taking also a knobkerry, and with hand resting on his gun, proceeded to reply, and as he has an unrivalled knowledge of the Masai language and modes of speech, besides a "natural gift of the gab," he–inspired by me–told our story. Two or three others of the Masai then spoke to the same effect as their leading orator–no two, however, rising at once, or if they did so, a few words between themselves settled who was to have the ear of the meeting, while not a word was said by the others beyond inarticulate expressions of assent or dissent.

Till the formal speech–making was over each one had sat with unmoved countenance, betraying by neither word nor sign a consciousness that the second white man they had everseen [91] in their lives was sitting before them. On the completion, however, of that necessary preliminary, their features relaxed, and they allowed themselves to show as much curiosity as the dignity of Masai El–moran (warriors) would permit.

We now adjourned to camp on the best of terms. There, though greatly delighted with everything we showed them, they still carefully preserved their aristocratic demeanour. They indulged in none of the obstrusive, vulgar inquisitiveness or aggressive impertinence which make the traveller’s life a burden to him among other native tribes. Of course a present was given to them and they stayed in camp all night.

In the evening we got a fine glimpse of Kilimanjaro, alternately hidden or revealed as great massive cumulus clouds rolled and tumbled across the face of the mountain. The snow extends much farther down on this side of the mountain than on any other. This is probably owing to the fact that the prevalent winds are from the east. These arriving

warm, melt the snow, but get cooled in return, so that on reaching the western aspect their melting powers are considerably reduced. There seem to be many precipices on the upper region, for numerous black patches assert them. selves among the snow, as if the latter was unable to find a footing. The Shira shoulder of the mountain appears here as a distinct range running across our line of view, and northward rises to a height of little short of 14,000 feet.

On the 3rd of May we proceeded to take the important step of crossing the threshold of the dangerous region, carrying with us about eight days’ food. Leaving the forest country round the base of Kibonoto, and traversing a rich and varied scene, we suddenly emerged, at a height of 6000 feet, on a great treeless plain covered with a close and succulent coating of grass quite undistinguishable from the pasture of more temperate climates. In the immediate foreground. the country spread out before us in gently waving plains diversified by low, rounded ridges, small humpy hills or volcanic cones, well described in the lines of Bryant, extending, as they do–

"In airy undulations far away,
As if the ocean in his gentlest swell
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fix’d,
And motionless for ever."

Such is the country: but see its inhabitants! There, towards the base of Kilimanjaro, are three great herds of [92] buffalo slowly and leisurely moving up from the lower grazing–grounds to the shelter of the forest for their daily snooze and rumination in its gloomy depths. Farther out on the plains enormous numbers of the harmless but fierce. looking wildebeest continue their grazing, some erratic members of the herd gambolling and galloping about, with waving tail and strange uncouth movements. Mixed with these are to be seen companies of that loveliest of all large game, the zebra, conspicuous in their beautiful striped skin, here marching with stately step, with heads down bent, there enjoying themselves by kicking their heels in mid–air or running open–mouthed in mimic fight, anon standing as if transfixed, with heads erect and projecting ears, watching the caravan pass. But these are not all. Look I Down in that grassy bottom there are several specimens of the great, unwieldy rhinoceros, with horns stuck on their noses in a most offensive and pugnacious manner. Over that ridge a troop of ostriches are scudding away out of reach of danger, defying pursuit, and too wary for the stalker. See how numerous are the herds of hartebeest; and notice the graceful pallah springing into mid–air with great bounds, as if in pure enjoyment of existence. There also, among the tall reeds near the marsh, you perceive the dignified waterbuck, in twos and threes, leisurely cropping the dewy grass. The wart–hog, disturbed at his morning’s feast, clears off in a bee–line with tail erect, and with a steady military trot truly comical. These do not exhaust the list, for there are many other species of game. Turn in whatever direction you please, they are to be seen in astonishing numbers, and so rarely hunted, that unconcernedly they stand and stare at us, within gunshot.

Look, now, farther ahead. Near a dark line of trees which conspicuously mark out the course of the Ngare N’Erobi (cold stream) in the treeless expanse around, you observe in the clear morning air columns of curling smoke, and from the vicinity strange long dark lines are seen to emerge like the ranks of an advancing army. The smoke marks the kraals of the Masai and the advancing lines are their cattle moving towards the pasture–ground. If you will now imagine a long line of men moving in single file across this prairie region, carrying boxes, bales, packages of iron wire, &c., headed by myself, and brought up in the rear by Martin, while a cold, piercing wind blows with the freezing effect suggestive of an early spring in Scotland, you will be [93] able to form a picture of the scene which presented itself on that memorable morning in April. In order to find a frame for the picture, just glance round at the circle of mountains. There to the right rises Mount Meru, now seen in all its simple but grand proportions, forming a fitting pillar to the "door" of the Masai. On your left stands the second great pillar, Kibo. From these circles an apparently almost unbroken range of mountains, rising into the picturesque masses of Donyo Erok and Ndapduk in the north, and finally sweeping round in the less conspicious ranges of the Guaso N’Ebor (white water) in the direction of Nguruma–ni and the cold heights of Gelei, behind which lies unseen the still active volcano of Donyo Ngai.

Let us now hurry forward, for the day is big with fate As we stride on, continually tempted to try our shooting skill, the Masai begin to appear. First a woman, well–dressed in bullock’s hide and loaded with wire, beads, and chains, appears driving a donkey before her as she wends her way fearlessly towards Kibonoto to buy the vegetable food eaten by the married people and children. It is war to the death between the male Masai and Wa–chaga, but a treaty allows the women to go unhurt and without protection. Next, two or three poor men are descried engaged in the menial task of herding and tending the cattle. As we near the kraals the El–moran (warriors or unmarried men) begin to turn out in parties to see the "latest thing" in men. They do not hurry themselves, however. They survey us leisurely, and by neither word nor sign betray any feelings of astonishment. As we pass them in succession we pluck some grass and gravely shake hands. Addressing them as El–moran, we wait till an inarticulate sound intimates they have cars. Then we say "Subai," to which they reply "Ebai," and our introduction is over. Greatly struck by the unusual manners of these savages, so different from the notion we have formed of them, we move on, not a bit inconvenienced by crowding or annoyed by rude remarks.

Before noon we had all reached the ice–cold waters of the snow–fed Ngare N’Erobi, which rises in its full volume at the base of the mountain. We camped in a sharp bend of the stream where it almost surrounds a bit of level sward. Our first care, of course, was to make the boma, and thoroughly fortify ourselves. So far everything had gone on swimmingly, though I was quite bewildered by my unexpected reception, and felt as if there was something portentous in the whole affair. [94]

The news of our arrival soon spread. The Masai men and women began to crowd into camp, and we mutually surveyed each other with equal interest. The women had all the style of the men. With slender, well–shaped figures, they had brilliant dark eyes, Mongolian in type, narrow, and with an upward slant. Their expression was distinctly lady–like (for natives), and betrayed their ideas in more ways than one. Obviously they felt that they were a superior race, and that all others wore but as slaves before them.

I purposely do not enter at this point into any special details regarding this remarkable people. A full description of their appearance and manners and customs will fall more naturally into a later chapter. At present we have to deal simply with events.

Tents having been pitched, and goods stacked, properly covered from peering eyes, and surrounded with a strong guard, the more serious business of the day commenced. Wire, beads, and cloth were taken into the tent, so that we might prepare to dole out the black mail–the "chango" of this district, the "hongo" of the region further south. We had not long to wait. A war–chant was heard in the distance, and soon a party of El–moran, in all the unctuous glory of a new plastering of grease and red clay, appeared, marching in single file, and keeping step to their song, their murderous spears gleaming in the sun as they gave them now and then a rotatory movement. They carried their heavy shields by their side, on which was seen the newly–painted heraldic device of their particular clan. As they neared our camp they halted, and proceeded to go through a variety of evolutions distinctly military. This finished, Muhinna advanced, and held a consultation with them in the decorous manner already described.

This conversation settled the amount we were required to pay. For each party (and there were, six of them) we had to make up six seneng� (a seneng� is a coil of twenty rings of iron wire about fifteen inches in diameter, which forms one leg ornament when coiled round from ankle to knee), five cloths (nailers), thirty iron chains, and one hundred strings of beads. The scene that ensued on the division of the spoil was more after my preconceived notion of their ways, but was not encouraging. The El–moran, having laid aside their spears and shields, stand ready in a hollow group. My men, advancing with the hongo, suddenly throw it into the midst, and run for their lives out of the way. With a grand [95] yell the warriors precipitate themselves upon the articles, on the principle of "every one for himself and the devil take the hindmost." A few of the boldest get the lions share. In some cases two have seized the same article. It may be a bunch of beads, and the matter is settled by the strings being torn in twain, each one carrying off a handful, leaving a large number strewed on the ground. If, however, the disputants have seized a seneng�, then the matter becomes more serious. They rave and tear like a couple of dogs over a bone, and if somewhat equally matched the blood gets heated and SIMMs are drawn, or knobkerries wielded. Two men thus received some very ugly flesh–wounds, which, however, did not draw forth any comment from the on–lookers. A pack of half–starved wolves suddenly let loose on small animals could not have made a more ferocious and repulsive exhibition.

Party after party, each from its own district, arrived and received this tribute, and lily spirits sank as I saw load after load disappear. How could we ever hope to travel many days further, if such was to be our fate? Then the El–moruu (or married men) had to receive their share, which was much smaller and more peacefully divided. Finally the important Lybons (medicine men), Lengob�, Mbaratien, and Lambarsacout, had also to be attended to individually.

Towards evening the camp was crowded, and in response to repeated cries for the white Lybon, backed lip by insolent attempts to tear open the door of lily tent, I had to step out and bow my acknowledgments, though inwardly muttering maledictions upon them, as I was still weak, ill, and irritable from the repeated attacks of fever, the effects of which still hung about me. Submitting to the inevitable, I sat down on a box, the cynosure of every eye. They had now lost their calm and dignified bearing, and had become rude and obtrusive; the Ditto (young unmarried women) being the most insolent, and not showing the slightest trace of fear.

For some time I endured with patience their annoying attentions, let them touch me on the face, feel my ]lair, push up the sleeve of my coat, and examine with intense curiosity my boots. At last, however, growing bilious and irritable, especially at the repeated attempts of one ferocious–looking warrior to turn lip my trousers to see the natural integument below, I gave him a push With my foot. With fury blazing in his face, and presenting the most diabolical aspect, he sprang back a few steps, drew his sim�, and was about to launch himself upon me. I slipped aside, however, and was speedily surrounded by the [96] guard, while some of the El–moruu laid hold of him, and, as he would not be pacified, led him away.

Matters were further enlivened by a Masai picking up an axe in. the centre of the camp, and clearing off with it. This caused a dangerous rush, which, being misunderstood, made my men seize their guns. A very slight accident would have caused bloodshed and a general fight at this moment, but I contrived to yell out to them in time not to fire; and so ended the events of the day, the summing up of which did not increase my cheerfulness, though I was of too sanguine a temperament to despair.

On peeping out of the tent next morning with the bracing feeling incidental to a temperature of only 61�, I was much impressed by the sight of Sadi marching round the camp with gun held at the salute, and a white flag raised aloft, on which were written some verses of the Koran, which were supposed to have some magical influence. As he moved along in the stilted manner of an army recruit learning his paces, he recited aloud in the Masai language intimation to all whom. it might concern that we had peaceable intents, but, if they stole or did us any harm, we had medicines of such a potent kind that they would not escape scathless, as disease would decimate them and their cattle, and manifold evils fall upon the country.

Taking a peep outside the camp, I got a view of Kilimanjaro –now almost due east of us–in the clear morning air. The great eastern shoulder of Shira, now bulked largely in view, springing abruptly from the Sigirari plain, with black, uninhabited forest at the base and upper. barren region, fluted and scaured into the appearance of a cyclopean file. The snow cap of Kibo could be seen away behind, like an enormous truncated cone rising from some more ancient remnant of an immense crater ring. Before the Masai cattle left their kraals, I went out and supplied our larder by shooting two fine zebras. On my return to camp after this risky step, I was thunderstruck by the unexpected news that the whole country ahead of us was up in arms to oppose our further progress, and to take revenge on us for the Fischer affray. They had accepted blood–money from him., because he was too strong to be fought with, but now their opportunity had come, and they resolved to take full advantage of it. The young men of the surrounding country, ever ready for a bit of military excitement, flocked to join their friends, though the chiefs and soldiers of Ngare N’Erobi were against [97] any such action,–a fortunate thing, for us, as we were made aware what was going on. The comfort of my position was not enhanced by a strong suspicion which now forced itself upon me that Muhinna and Sadi were not acting in good faith, but were in fact doing their best to ruin the caravan. With bitter feelings of disappointment and chagrin, I saw no other course open to me but to retreat to Taveta. We were quite equal to any number while we were in camp; but what could we do, spread out in single file, and loaded with goods before an enemy like the Masai? Then to fight at one place, even if we were successful, would mean fighting ever after, with the result of finding ourselves in a very few days irretrievably hors de combat. This would be a fine chance for sensationalism and adventure, but that was not what I was sent out for. I had great faith also in the Italian proverb, "He who goes gently goes safe; he who goes safe goes far, "and I never doubted for a moment that, to use Mr. Micawber’s sanguine words, "something would turn up."

An ominous silence pervaded the camp, contrasting with the hubbub of the previous day. Spies were set to watch us, but we put on a bold face, and talked coolly about going on next day, declaring that if we were not allowed to pass peaceably we would try the persuasive influence of gunpowder. Prompt action, however, was required. Information was brought us that an attack would probably be made on us next day, and therefore, to avoid a fight, I resolved to anticipate them by retreating during the night. All the usual preparations were made in the way of lighting fires, cooking, &c. Nothing was disturbed till darkness set in, and the last Masai out of camp. Word was then quietly passed round that for the first time we were about to run away, and that all preparation was to be made without bustle. The night set in gloomy and dark. A black pall of clouds overspread the heavens. Some rain sputtered, and with intense satisfaction we saw that a storm was brewing.

Two hours after sunset, the word was given to pack up. Not a sound broke the stillness as each man buckled on his belt, caught up his gun, and shouldered his load by the light of the numerous camp fires. Then, when all was ready, more wood was thrown on the fires, and we glided out into the blackness of night. Not an object could be seen to guide our steps, so I had to take the lead, with compass in hand and a bull’s–eye lantern under my coat to enable me to [98] read the card. The men kept touch of each other, while Martin with the head–men and a party of Askari brought up the rear.

The first half–mile was the most dangerous, as we hail to pass close to the kraal of Lengob�, and if our donkeys should take a notion to bray, it was impossible to foretell the consequences. As I led the way, I got the worst of it, in the matter of tripping over stones, tearing my legs among the thorns, or getting sad shocks to the system, as more than once I dropped into holes. On these occasions the word "Maw�!" (stones), "Miiba!" (thorns), "Shimo!"(hole) passed quietly along the line, to direct those behind. The anxious moment at last arrived when we must pass close to the kraal, and if the caravan had been one of ghosts it could not have moved more silently, though now and then a half–suppressed exclamation of "Allah!" told that a man had fallen or got a thorn in his foot. We passed safely; and then we stepped out quicker, though in the intense darkness our onward progress was one of painful straining and stumbling. Now and then we stopped, to let the men close up and make sure that all were safe, as it was now impossible to see a yard ahead.

The amenities of the night were not enhanced by the occasional glare of lightning and the muttering of thunder near Kibo. Game started away almost from our very feet. Zebras thundered past in squadrons. Hyenas raised their horrible yells, or made us feel still more "creepy" by their laugh. We did not know but that we might run at any moment into the very centre of a herd of buffalo, or have to encounter the charge of some wild rhinoceros. The bull’s–eye now proved of great service, and directed the men how to go. About midnight we reached the forest we had left three days before. Here our perplexities became worse, and it seemed as if we would have to wait till daylight. Rain, however, now beginning to come down, and the thunder to approach more near, while the lightning was perfectly dazzling, we made a determined spurt, and finally, limp, footsore, scratched and torn, we groped our way into camp just as the storm broke with terrific violence. We crawled into any hut.,, that came handy, feeling devoutly thankful that we had escaped such imminent danger to the lives of the men and the fortunes of the Expedition.

Next day the men were in such a state of panic that at daybreak they were actually for continuing the flight to Taveta [99] without a particle of food. This I would not hear of, and, after adding some additional thorns to the boma, I took a party of men, and visited the people up the mountain, where I collected sufficient food to keep us alive.

On the following morning, though it was raining heavily, no one proposed to remain in camp, and we started off accordingly; but it proved to be so cold, and the men had become so benumbed and paralyzed that I had to halt sooner than I had intended. Several of the men were so devoid of stamina that they would actually have laid themselves down and died rather than exert themselves, but for the warming influence of a stick.

Continuing, our march, we reached the Kikavo, not however without adventure. I had got separated from my men, and was pushing on alone, when suddenly I emerged from a clump of bush, and stood facing a rhinoceros. In a twinkling my gun was at my shoulder, and bang it went, followed by a yell from myself–caused by the trigger–guard striking in its recoil a finger suffering from whitlow–a matter which I had at the moment forgotten till reminded in this painful manner. As I squirmed about in pain, I was heedless of rhinoceros or any other thing; I could only notice that like myself the animal twirled round as if dazed by the effect of the ball, till, recovering itself, it made slowly off. I did not attempt to follow it, but went on with twitching face, to rejoin my men, who on seeing my lugubrious expression, and my arm in nursing, thought some more serious mishap had befallen me.

On nearing the Kikavo our attention was absorbed, and my finger forgotten, by a sound, so completely resembling the low growling of lions that we all stood transfixed, plainly saying "Lions!" by our features. Fired at once by the thought of shooting one of their majesties, we proceeded to stalk them with all due caution. Nearer and nearer we got as we dodged from stone to stone, or bush to bush, our faces streaming with perspiration, and our hearts palpitating with excitement.

At last we seemed to be with in a few feet of the royal animals, but we began to think this was rather too good a thing as we could not see our quarry. I was canvassing my companions with inquiring look as to what should be done, when we were instantaneously upset by a tremendous rush of over a hundred buffaloes. We had almost got right among them without seeing them. Disappointed in our expectations, [100] and unable to get a shot in the dense bush, we proceeded to camp.

In the evening Bedu�, when out hunting, saw and fired at a small herd of elephants. Taking Brahim with me, I started off next day in the hope of coming upon the elephants. Following their tracks made on the previous day, we wandered about for over an hour without seeing anything. We sighted a buffalo, however, and I gave it one shot which was evidently sufficient for it, as it went off slowly, with low, deep moans. We had to follow it very warily, as there is no more dangerous animal when wounded. At last we lost its spoor among the numerous new tracks, and having no time to devote to it, I went on to the Weri–weri, where I found my men had encamped. I made them, however, strike at once, and forward we hastened again. At the crossing–place of the Karanga I shot a waterbuck dead through the heart, and half a mile farther on a hartebeest by a ball in the eye from a distance of 200 yards.

We camped at the Kah� river, which we found nearly neck–deep. The day before it had evidently been swollen to the brim, and must have been quite impassable. The next march brought us to the Himu, and on the 12th of May we re–entered Taveta.

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