HAVING given a full description of the curious customs and re-
markable character of the tribes among whom Livingstone
spent many years, we are now prepared to take up the thread of
the narrative and follow him through his various fortunes, his
trials and his remarkable successes. The chief of the Bakwains,
Sechele, renounced his heathenism, became a much better man than he
had been before, restored his wives to their fathers, and lived in every
respect a thoroughly consistent life.
The Dutch Boers, who had pushed forward to the confines of the
country, proved, however, most adverse to the success of the mission by
carrying off the natives and compelling them to labor as slaves. By
advice Sechele and his people moved to Kolobeng, a stream about, two
hundred miles north of Kuruman, where Dr. Livingstone formed a
He here built a house with his own hands, having learned carpentering
and gardening from Mr. Moffatt, as also blacksmith work. He had now
become handy at almost any trade, in addition to doctoring and preach-
ing, and, as his wife could make candles, soap, and clothes, they
possessed what might be considered the indispensable accomplishments
of a missionary family in Central Africa.
Among the gentlemen who had visited the station was Mr. Oswell, in
the East India Company's service. He deserves to take rank as an Af-
rican traveller. Hearing that Dr. Livingstone purposed crossing the
Kalahara Desert in search of the great Lake N'gami; long known to
exist, he came from India on purpose to join him, accompanied by Mr.
Murray, volunteering to pay the entire expenses of the guides.
The Kalahara, though called a desert from being composed of soft sand
and being destitute of water, supports prodigious herds of antelopes,
while numbers of elephants, rhinoceros, lions, hyaenas, and other wild
animals roam over it. They find support from the astonishing quantity
of grass which grows in the region, as also from a species of watermelon,
and from several tuberous roots, the most curious of which is as large as
the head of a young child, and filled with a fluid like that of a turnip.
Another is an herbaceous creeper, the tubers of which, as large as a man's
head, it deposits in a circle of a yard or more horizontally from the stem.
On the watermelons especially, the elephants and other wild animals
Starting on a Hazardous Journey.
Such was the desert Livingstone and his party proposed to cross when
they set out with their wagon on the first of June, 1849, from Kolobeng.
Instead, however, of taking a direct course across it, they determined to
take a more circuitous route, which, though longer, they hoped would
Continuing on, they traversed three hundred miles of desert, when, at
the end of a month, they reached the banks of the Zouga, a large river,
richly fringed with fruit-bearing and other trees, many of them of gigantic
growth, running north-east towards Lake N'gami. They received a
cordial welcome from the peace-loving inhabitants of its banks, the
Leaving the wagons in charge of the natives, with the exception of a
small one which proceeded along the bank, Livingstone embarked in one
of their canoes. Frail as are the canoes of the natives, they make long
trips in them, and manage them with great skill, often standing up and
paddling with long light poles. They thus daringly attack the hippo-
potami in their haunts, or pursue the swift antelope which ventures to
swim across the river. After voyaging on the stream for twelve days,
they reached the broad expanse of Lake N'gami. Though wide, it is
excessively shallow, and brackish during the rainy season. They here
heard of the Tamunacle and other large rivers flowing into the lake.
Livingstone's main object in coming was to visit Sebituane, the great
chief of the Makololo, who hve about two hundred miles to the north-
ward. The chief of the district, Sechulatebe, refused, however, either to
give them goods or to allow them to cross the river. Having in vain
attempted to form a raft to ferry over the wagon, they were reluctantly
compelled to abandon their design. The doctor had been working at the
raft in the river, not aware of the number of crocociles which swarmed
around him, and had reason to be thankful that he escaped their jaws.
These creatures are the foes of the traveller, and even the natives
entertain for them a peculiar dread. Once in their ferocious jaws all hope
is gone. Livingstone had many narrow escapes from the crocodiles which
infest many of the rivers of Africa. A graphic account from the writings
of a traveller in Africa shows the dangers sometimes met with by Trop-
ical explorers. The account is as follows
Suddenly the scene became startling. I heard an exclamation of hor-
ror from the natives, who, with eyes starting from their sockets, pointed
eastward toward the nearer tree clumps.
" What is it ? " said I, straining my eyes in the same direction, but in vain.
I repeated the word mechanically, my heart sinking within me as I,
too, began to distinguish the black points which indicated to the natives'
quick eyes the approaching enemy.
Face to Face witli tlie Monsters.
"Are you sure ?" I wihispered hoarsely, the cold sweat pouring off
"Yes, Sahib, certain; there are four of them."
I had only six explosive-ball cartridges, and, in spite of their terrible
effectiveness, I could but remember that the crocodile in the water is
well-nigh invulnerable, with only his armor-plated back exposed. How-
ever, the terrible foe was still some way off, and I should not myself have
detected them but for the natives' quick instinct. There was nothing left
us but to try, at any cost, to reach the nearest of the tree islands, avoid-
ing by guess the bottomless mud-holes that beset the path.
The unfortunate native who was responsible for our position headed
the line again, sounding to right and left, as he advanced, with his spear.
It is impossible to describe this adventure marching through the water,
pursued by crocodiles, not daring to put down one's foot until assured by
sounding that it would reach something solid. Although the island grew
perceptibly nearer, our hungry neighbors did too, and at an increasing
pace. Still we were distancing them for over many of the shoals they
could not swim, and wading, for a crocodile, is a slow process when,
without warning, and as quick as lightning, we felt the ground sink
beneath our feet, and we were all four precipitated simultaneously into the
swamp. Instinctively, my attendant and I raised our weapons and am-
munition high over our heads, for when we touched bottom that is, a
fairly solid layer of vegetable matter the water reached our arm-pits.
" We might as well give up," said I, in despair ; " this time we are lost ! "
" Oh, don't give up yet. Sahib. We are so low that, with this head
wind, the crocodiles cannot see us and will perhaps be unable to find us
at all. Let us cover our heads with these marsh grasses and leaves and lie low."
Struggling for Dear Liife.
His advice was so evidently good that instead of a vain attempt to
reach the firm land with its inevitable exposure to the hungry eyes of our
terrible pursuers, we acquiesced at once. After several minutes of suspense,
the native raised himself slightly on a hummock, and glanced cautiously
toward the spot where we had last seen them. His face cleared at once,
and he cheered us with
" They have lost us, and have separated to search for us. Three are
going almost directly from this place, and one only knows enough to keep
on in the first course."
" And he is headed for us ? "
"In a straight line !"
"Then do not lose sight of him for an instant. With one enemy we
may be able to cope, and then there is a chance that he may lose the scent."
When I asked him again where the animal was for I dared not raise
my own head to look he replied that he was still coming straight toward
us, and I saw that a meeting was inevitable and made my preparations
I took my rifle and loaded it with an explosive ball.
"Now then," said I, "listen to my instructions. The native says the
crocodile is sure to find us. I shall let him get within ten yards of us,
and then I shall fire at whatever vulnerable part I can his eye or his
belly. Of course I may miss him, or the bullet may glance off his back
without wounding him."
The black's eyes rolled with horror.
" Then, without an instant's hesitation and yet without haste, you, who
must stand just behind me, must take my rifle and hand me my other gun
for a second shot. Do you understand ? "
"And I can depend on you?"
"We will try to make it less bad than that, and your courage shall meet, its reward."
"A Shudder of Horror Kan through Me."
I knew what he said was true, for the fellow had been devoted to me
ever since I saved his life in the jungle when the gorilla grappled him,
and I felt I could rely upon him.
Raising myself as high as I could, I took a good look at the slowly
approaching monster, and, I confess, a shudder of horror ran through me
at his immense size. He was farther off than I expected, and evidently
quite unconscious of our neighborhood, into which he had come by chance,
following the raised path on which Ave ourselves had been travelling when
the tide overtook us. I immediately changed my plan of attack. I
ordered my attendant to wade off to the left so that the smoke from his
gun should not blow across me, and told him to fire at the crocodile and
try to wound him, if only slightly.
As this would make the latter raise his head and look round, I hoped
to get a shot at some vulnerable spot, and land an explosive ball where it
would do most good. I had hardly taken up my position, with rifle lifted,
when my attendant's gun cracked sharp and clear, and I saw blood fly
from the eye of the crocodile, whose advance ceased immediately. I
could scarcely restrain a cry of joy, but catching sight of a yellow piece
of neck, I fired at it and shut my eyes. A great splash and the shouts of
triumph of the natives encouraged me to open them, and I found the suc-
cess of the shot greater than I had hoped.
A Hard Death.
The crocodile lay on his side on a little island with his neck blowti
open the entire length of the jaw, while the natives who made a break for
land without regard to me, capered round him. I called them, and »the)r
helped me on shore to where the animal lay in his last agony for these
brutes die as hard as a snake. He was a very large specimen, with a
head twice as long as it was broad, his eyes set close together above his
long snout, of which only the under jaw was movable. His front feet
had five toes armed with claws, and his hind feet but four, and webbed to
allow him to swim easily. His whole body was shingled with plates of
a shell-like membrane that made him a fine coat of mail nearly bullet-
proof. Green on the back, his color gradually shaded off into yellow
and he was a terrible foe to meet in the water, where we should not have-
come off so well had not our good luck stood by us just as it did.
I was duly thankful to regain the bank, which I had never expected to
touch again, and had not the heart to blame the native who was respon-
sible for our narrow escape; but I resolved to place less reliance on the
natives in future.
It is interesting to see what changes take place in the Animal Kingdom
with the lapse of ages. For instance, the early crocodile, the great
monster that lived thousands of years ago had larger jaws, more terrible
teeth, and a fiercer look than the crocodile of to-day. We present a
striking illustration of this ancient monster reproduced from his remains
which have been found.
Returning to Livingstone, the season being far advanced, they deter-
mined to return to Kolobeng, Mr. Oswell generously volunteering to go
down to the Cape and bring up a boat for next season. Half the royal
premium for the encouragement of geographical science and discoveries
was awarded by the council of the Royal Geographical Society to Dr.
Livingstone for the discoveries he made on this journey.
Sechele, the Christian chief of the Bakwains, who was eager to assist
him in reaching Sebituane, offered his services, and with him as a guide,,
accompanied by Mrs. Livingstone and their three children, he set
out, in April, 1850, taking a more easterly course than before. They
again reached the lake, but the greater number of the party being at-
tacked by fever, he was compelled to abandon his design of visiting
Sebituane. He here heard of the death of a young artist, Mr. Rider who
had shortly before visited the lake for the purpose of making sketches.
Hunting the Hippotamus.
The natives inhabiting the banks of the rivers falling into Lake N'gami
are famed for their skill in hunting the hippopotamus. In perfect silence
they approach in their light canoes, and plunge their sharp spears, with
thongs attached, into the back of one of the huge creatures, which dashes
down the stream, towing the canoe at a rapid rate. Thus the animal con^
tinues its course, the hunters holding on to the rope, till its strength is ex-
hausted when, other canoes coming up, it is speared to death.
Frequently, however, the hippopotamus turns on its assailants, bites the
canoe in two, and seizes one of them in its powerful jaws. When they
can manage to do so, they tow it into shallow water, and carrying the
line oh shore, secure it to a tree, while they attack the infuriated animal
with their spears, till, sinking exhausted with its efforts, it becomes their
Mr. Oswell. who had arrived too latefor the journey, spent the remain-
der of the season in hunting elephants, Lierally presenting Dr. Living-
stone with the proceeds of his sport, for the outfit of his children.
The third journey was commenced in the spring of 185 1, when, rejoined
by Mr. Oswell, he set out once more, accompanied by Mrs. Livingstone
and their children.
First travelling north, and then to the north-east, through a region
covered with baobab-trees, abounding with springs, and inhabited by
Bushmen, they entered an arid and difficult country. Here, the supply
of water became exhausted, great anxiety was felt for the children, who
suffered greatly from thirst. At length a small stream, the Mababe, was
reached, running into a marsh, across which they had to make their way.
During the night they traversed a region infested by the tsetse, a fly not
much larger than the common house-fly, the bite of which destroys cattle
A Terrible Pest.
It is remarkable that neither man, wild animals, nor even calves as long
as they continue to suck, suffer from the bite of this fearful pest. While
some districts are infested by it, others in the immediate neighborhood
are free, and, as it does not bite at night, the only way the cattle of travel-
lers can escape is by passing quickly through the infested district before
the sun is up. Sometimes the natives lose the whole of their cattle by its
attacks, and travellers frequently have been deprived of all means of moving
with their wagons, in consequence of the death of their animals; some,
indeed, have perished from' being unable to proceed.
Having reached the Chobe, a large river, which falls into the Zambesi,
leaving their attendants encamped with their cattle on an island, Living-
stone and his family, with Mr. Oswell, embarked in a canoe on the former
river, and proceeded down it about twenty miles to an island, where
Sebituane was waiting to receive them.
The chief, pleased with the confidence the doctor had shown in bring-
ing his wife and children, promised to take them to see his country, that
they might choose a spot where they might form a missionary station.
He had been engaged in warfare nearly all his life, under varying fortunes,
with the neighboring savage tribes, and had at length established himself
in a secure position behind the Chobe and Leeambye, whose broad
streams guarded him from the inroads of his enemies. He had now a
larger number of subjects and was richer in cattle than any chief in that
part of Africa.
The rivers and swamps, however, of the region produced fever, which
had proved fatal to many of his people. He had long been anxious for
intercourse with Europeans, and showed every wish to encourage those
who now visited him to remain in his territory. Unhappily, a few days
after the arrival of his guests the chief was attacked with inflammation
of the lungs, originating in an old wound, and, having listened to the
gospel message delivered by the doctor, he in a short time breathed his
Dr. Livingstone says that he was decidedly the best specimen of a
native chief he had ever met. His followers expressed the hope that the
English would be as friendly to his children as they intended to have
been to himself.
The chieftainship devolved at his death on a daughter, who gave the
visitors leave to travel through any part of the country they chose. They
accordingly set out, and traversing a level district covered with wild date-
trees, and here and there large patches of swamp, for a distance of a
hundred and thirty miles to the north-east, they reached the banks of the
Zambesi, in the centre of the continent.
From the prevalence of the tsetse, and the periodical rise of its nu-
merous streams causing malaria. Dr. Livingstone was compelled to
abandon the intention he had formed of removing his own people thither
that they might be out of reach of their savage neighbors, the Dutch
Boers. It was, however, he at once saw, the key of Southern and Central
The magnificent stream, on the bank of which he now stood, flows
hundreds of miles east tq the Indian Ocean a mighty artery supplying,
life to the teeming population of that part of Africa. He therefore deter-
mined to send his wife and children to England, and to return himself
and spend two or three years in the new region he had discovered, in the
hope of evangelizing the people.
He accordingly returned to Kolobeng, and then set out with his family
a journey of a thousand miles, to Cape Town. Having seen them aboard
a homeward bound ship, he again turned his face northward, June, 1852.
The Explorer's House Kotobed.
Having reached Kuruman, he was there detained by the breaking of a
wagon-wheel. During that time the Dutch Boers attacked his friends,
the Bakwains, carrying off a number of them into slavery, the only excuse
the white men had being that Sechele was getting too saucy in reality
because he would not prevent the English traders from passing through
his territory to the northwa:rd. The Dutch plundered Livingstone's
house, and carried off the wagons of the chief and that of a trader who
was stopping in the place. Livingstone therefore found great difficulty
in obtaining guides and servants to proceed northward. Poor Sechele
set out for Cape Town, intending as he said, to lay his complaint before
the Queen of England, but was compelled by want of funds to return to
his own country, where he devoted himself to the evangelization of his
Parting with the chief, Livingstone, giving the Boers a wide berth, pro-
ceeded across the desert to 'Linyanti, the capital of the Makololo, where
he had visited the Chief Sebituane in 1851. The whole population,
amounting to nearly seven thousand souls, turned out to welcome him.
He found that the princess had abdicated in favor of her brother Se-
keletu, who received him with the greatest cordiality. The young king,
then only nineteen, exclaimed: " I have now got another father instead
of Sebituane." The people shared this feeling, believing that by the
residence of a missionary among them they would obtain some important,
benefits, though of the real character of the blessing they might receive
they were totally ignorant.
A rival of the young king existed in the person of a cousin, Mpepe,
who had been appointed by the late king chief over a portion of
his subjects, but whose ambition made him aim at the command of the
Half-caste Portuguese slave-traders had made their way to Linyanti
and one, who pretended to be an important person, was carried about in
a hammock slung between two .poles, which looking like a bag, the
natives called him " the father of the bag." Mpepe favored these scoun-
drels, as he hoped by their means to succeed in his rebellion. The
arrival of Livingstone, however, somewhat dampened their hopes.
Living-stone Saves a Chief from an Assassin.
As the chief object of the doctor was to select a spot for a settlement, he
ascended, accompanied by Sekeletu, the great river Zambesi, which had
been discovered in the year 1851. The doctor had taught the Makololo
to ride on their oxen, which they had never before done, though, having
neither saddles or bridles, they constantly fell off.
He and Sekeletu were riding along side by side, when they encoun-
tered Mpepe, who, as soon as he saw them, ran towards the chief with
his axe uplifted; but Sekeletu, galloping on, escaped him. On their
arrival at their camp, while the chief and the doctor were sitting to-
gether, Mpepe appeared, his men keeping hold of their arms. At that
moment the rebel entered ; but the doctor, unconsciously covering
Sekeletu's body, saved him from the assassin's blow. His cousin's inten-
tion having been revealed to Sekeletu, that night Mpepe was dragged
off from his fire and speared. So quietly was the deed done that
Livingstone heard nothing of it till the next morning.
Livingstone was soon after this attacked by fever, when his hosts
exhibited the interest they felt for him by paying him every attention in
their power. His own remedies of a wet sheet and quinine were more
successful than the smoke and vapor baths employed by the natives.
It is important that the position of Linyanti should be noted, as from
it Livingstone set out on his journey westward to Loanda, on the West
Coast, and, returning to it, commenced from thence that adventurous
expedition to the East Coast, which resulted in so many interesting
A Picturesque Company.
Having recovered from his fever, Livingstone, accompanied by Sekeletu,
and about one hundred and sixty attendants, mostly young men, asso-
ciates of the chief, set out for Sesheke. The intermediate country was
perfectly flat, except patches elevated a few feet only above the sur-
rounding level. There were also numerous mounds, the work of ants,
which are literally gigantic structures, and often as tall as wild date trees
at their full height.
The party looked exceedingly picturesque as, the ostrich feathers of the
men waving in the air, they wound in a long line in and out among the
mounds. Some wore red tunics or variously-colored prints, and their
heads were adorned with the white ends of ox tails or caps made of lions'
manes. The nobles walked with a small club of rhinoceros horn in their
hands, their servants carrying their shields; while the ordinary men bore
burdens, and the battle-axe men, who had their shields on their arms,
were employed as messengers, often having to run an immense distance.
The Makololo possess numerous cattle, and the chief, having to feed
his followers, either selected oxen from his own stock or received them
from the head men of the villages through which they passed, as tribute.
Reaching the village of Katonga on the banks of the Leeambye, some
time was spent there in collecting canoes. During this delay Living-
stone visited the country to the north of the village, where he saw enor-
mous numbers of buffaloes, zebras, elans, and a beautiful small antelope.
He was enabled, by this hunting expedition, to supply his companions
with an abundance of food.
At length, a sufficient number of canoes being collected, they com-
menced the ascent of the river. His own canoe had six paddles, while
that of the chief had ten. They paddled standing upright, and kept
stroke with great exactness. Being flat-bottomed, they can float in very
shallow water. The fleet consisted altogether of thirty-three canoes and
one hundred and sixty men.
Most of the Makololo are unable to swim, and a canoe being upset,
one of the party, an old doctor, was lost, while the Barotse canoe-men
easily save themselves by swimming.
Numerous villages were seen on both banks of the river, the inhabitants
of which are expert hunter of the hippopotamus, and are excellent handi-
craftmen. They manufacture wooden bowls with neat lids, and show
much taste in carving stools. Some make neat baskets, and others excel in
pottery and iron. On their arrival at the town of the father of Mpepe,
who had instigated his son to rebellion, two of his chief councilors were
led forth and tossed into the river.
Naliele, the capital of the Barotse, the tribe inhabiting the district in
which they now were, is built on an artificially-constructed mound, as are
many other villages of that region, to raise them above the overflowing
river. From finding no trace of European names amongthem, Livingstone
was convinced that the country had not before been visited by white men ;
whereas, after he had come among them, great numbers of children were
named after his own boy, while others were called Horse, Gun, Wagon, etc.
Here again numbers of large game were seen. Eighty-one buffaloes
defiled in slow procession before the fire of the travellers one evening
within gunshot, and herds of splendid elans stood at two hundred yards'
distance, without showing signs of fear. Lions, too, approached and
roared at them. One . night, as they were sleeping on the summit of a
large sandbank, a lion appeared on the opposite shore, who amused him-
self for hours by roaring as loudly as he could. The river was too broad
for a ball to reach him, and he walked off without suffering for his imper-
tinence. Livingstone saw two as tall as common donkeys, their manes
making their bodies appear of still greater size.
Lions are in the habit of preying upon cattle, and the natives have to
contrive all manner of ways for protecting their herds. These formida-
ble beasts have been known to carry off young cattle as large as
On their journey they visited the town of Ma-Sekeletu, or the Mother
of Sekeletu, where, as it was the first visit the king had paid to this part of
his dominions, he was received with every appearance of joy. A grand
dance was got up, the men moving in a circle, with spears and small
battle-axes in their ha,nds, roaring at the loudest pitch of their voices.
The arms and head were thrown about in every direction, the roaring
being kept up with the utmost vigor, while the dust ascended in clouds
Wild Men of the Jungle.
Returning down the stream at a rapid rate, they quickly reached
Linyanti. During this nine weeks' tour. Dr. Livingstone had been in.
closer contact with heathenism than ever before, and though, including
the chief, everyone had been as attentive as possible, yet the dancing,
roaring, singing, jesting, quarreling, added to the murdering propensities
of these children of nature was painful in the extreme.
The chief and his followers, agreeing that the object of Livingstone's
proposed expedition to the west was most desirable, took great pains to
assist him in the undertaking. A band of twenty-seven men was ap-
pointed to accompany him by the chief's command, whose eager desire
was to obtain a free and profitable trade with the white men, and this,
Livingstone was convinced, was likely to lead to their ultimate elevation
and improvement. Three men whom -he had brought from Kuruman
having suffered greatly from fever, he sent them back with Fleming, a
trader, who had followed his footsteps. His new attendants he named
Zambesians, for there were only two Makololo men the rest consisting
of Barotse, Batoka, and other tribes. His wagon and remaining goods
he committed to the charge of the Makololo, who took all the articles-
into their huts. He carried only a rifle and a double-barrelled smooth-
bore gun for himself, and gave three muskets to his people, by means of
which he hoped game might be obtained for their support.
Wishing also to save his followers from having to carry heavy loads,
he took for his own support but a few biscuits and a pound of tea and
sugar, about twenty of coffee, a small tin canister with some spare shirting,
trousers, and shoes, another for medicines, and a third for books, while a
fourth contained a magic lantern. His ammunition was distributed in
portions among the whole luggage, that, should an accident occur to one,
the rest might be preserved. His camp equipage consisted of a gipsy
tent, a sheep-skin mantle, and a horse-rug as a bed, as he had always
found that the chief art of successful travelling consisted in taking as few
impediments as possible. His sextant, artificial horizon, thermometer,
and compasses were carried apart.
Carry as little as he would, Livingstone found that he was compelled
to take more baggage than could be conveniently transported through
African forests and jungles. Some people in civilized countries when
they travel appear to take everything they need and everything they do
not need ; it cannot be said of our great explorer, however, that he took
anything which was not needed. His box of medicines was, of course,
a constant companion ; we shall see farther on that this box was lost or
stolen and that the expedition was left entirely without medical remedies.
Often large parts of the baggage would have to be exchanged with the
natives for food, or paid out as tribute to unfriendly chiefs. This was
one of the unpleasant experiences and severe hardships which the great
It will be seen through all these journeys that Livingstone was per-
fectly willing to share the fate of his men. He asked nothing for him-
self better than he was willing to grant for them. If they slept on the
hard ground, he was willing to sleep there too ; if they waded rivers, he
was willing to go in as deep as they went; if they had unwholesome
food, and little of it, he was ready to divide with them his last crust.
By his own self-sacrificing and generous spirit he attached himself
strongly to his followers. This was one great secret of his magnificent
achievements in the Dark Continent
Continued at ERBzine 6099_06