AFTER spending rather more than a year in England, Dr. Living-
stone again set out, on the loth of March 1858, on board Her
Majesty's Ship "Pearl," at the head of a government expedition
for the purpose of exploring the Zambesi and neighboring regions. He
was accompanied by Dr. Kirk, his brother Charles Livingstone, and Mr.
Thornton ; and Mr. T. Baines was appointed artist to the expedition.
A small steamer, which, was called the " Ma-Robert," in compliment to
Mrs. Livingstone, was provided by the government for the navigation of
the river. The East Coast was reached in May. Running up the river
Luawe, supposed to be a branch of the Zambesi, the " Pearl " came toan
anchor, and the " Ma-Robert," which had been brought out in sections,
was screwed together. The two vessels then went together in search of
the real mouth of the river, from which Quillimane is some sixty miles
distant, the Portuguese having concealed the real entrance, if they were
acquainted with it, in order to deceive the English cruisers in search of
The goods for the expedition brought out by the " Pearl " having been
landed on a grassy island about forty miles from the bar, that vessel sailed
for Ceylon, while the little "Ma-Robert" was left to pursue her course
alone. Her crew consisted of about a dozen Krumen and a few
At Mazaro, the mouth of a creek communicating with the QuiUimane
or Kilimane River, the expedition heard that the Portuguese were at war
with a half-caste named Mariano, a brother of Bonga, who had built a
stockade near the mouth of the Shire, and held possession of all the inter-
mediate country. He had been in the habit of sending out his armed
bands on slave-hunting expeditions among the helpless tribes to the north-
west, selling his victims at QuiUimane, where they were shipped as free
emigrants to the French island of Bourbon.
An Inhuman Monster.
As long as his robberies and murders were restricted to the natives at
a distance, the Portuguese did not interfere, but when he began to carry
off and murder the people near them, they thought it time to put a stop
to his proceedings. They spoke of him as a rare monster of inhumanity.
He frequently killed people with his own hand in order to make his name
dreaded. Having gone down to Quillimane to arrange with the governor,
or, in other words, to bribe him, Colonel De Silva put him in prison and
sent him for trial to Mozambique. The war, however, was continued
under his brother Bonga, and had stopped all trade on the river.
The expedition witnessed a battle at Mazaro, between Bonga and the
Portuguese, when Livingstone, landing, found himself in the sickening
smell and among the mutilated bodies of the slain. He brought off the
governor, who was in a feyer, the balls whistling about his head in all
directions. The Portuguese then escaped to an island opposite Shupanga,
where, having exhausted their ammunition, they were compelled to remain.
There is a one-storied house at Shupanga, from which there is a mag-
nificent view down the river. Near it is a large baobab-tree, beneath
which, a few years later, the remains of the beloved wife of Dr. Living-
stone were to repose.
On the 17th of August the "Ma-Robert" commenced her voyage up
the stream for Tete. It was soon found that her furnaces being badly
constructed, and that from other causes she was ill-adapted for the work
before her. She quickly, in consequence, obtained the name of the
"Asthmatic." Senna, which was visited on the way, being situated on
low ground, is a fever-giving place. The steamer, of course, caused
great astonishment to the people, who assembled in crowds to witness
her movements, whirling round their arms to show the way the paddles
Tete was reached on the 8th of September. No sooner did Living-
stone go on shore, than his Makololo rushed down to the water's edge,
and manifested the greatest joy at seeing him. Six of the young men
had foolishy gone off to make money by dancing before some of the
neighboring chiefs, when they fell into the hands of Bonga, who, de-
claring that they had brought witchcraft medicine to kill him, put them
all to death.
Hardships of Overland Travel.
The Portuguese at this place keep numerous slaves, whom they treat
with tolerable humanity. When they can they purchase the whole of a
family, thus taking away the chief inducement for running off.
The expedition having heard of the Kebrabasa Falls, steamed up the
river to Panda Mokua, where the navigation ends, about two miles below
them. Hence the party started overland, by a frightfully rough path
among rocky hills, where no shade was to be found. At last their guides
declared that they could go no further ; indeed, the surface of the ground
was so hot that the soles of the Makololos' feet became blistered. The
travellers, however, pushed on. Passing round a steep promontory, they
beheld the river at their feet, the channel janimed in between two moun-
tains with perpendicular sides, and less than fifty yards wide. There is a
sloping fall of about twenty feet in height, and another at a distance of
thirty yards above it. When, however, the river rises upwards of eighty
feet perpendicularly, as it does in the rainy season, the cataract might be
passed in boats.
After returning to Tete, the steamer went up the Shire, January, 1859.
The natives, as they passed them, collected at their villages in large num-
bers, armed with bows and poisoned arrows, threatening to attack them.
Livingstone, however, went on shore, and explained to the chief, Tingane,
that they had come neither to take slaves nor to fight, but wished to open
up a path by which his countryman could ascend to purchase their cot-
ton. On this Tingane at once became friendly.
Their progress was arrested, after steaming up a hundred miles in a
straight line, although, counting the windings of the river, double that
distance, by magnificent cataracts known to the natives as those of the
Mamvira, but called by the expedition the Murchison Falls, Rain pre-
vented them making observations, and they returned at a rapid rate
down the river.
A second trip up it was made in March of the same year. They here
gained the friendship of Chibisa, a shrewd and intelligent chief, whose
village was about ten miles below the cataracts. He told the doctor that
a few years before his little daughter was kidnapped, and was now a
slave to the padre at Tete, asking him, if possible, to ransom the child.
From this point Drs. Livingstone and Kirk proceeded on foot in a
northerly direction to Lake Shirwa. The natives turned out from their
villages, sounding notes of defiance on their drums ; but the efforts to
persuade them that their visitors came as friends were successful, and the
lake was discovered on the 18th of April. From having no outlet, the
water is brackish, with hilly islands rising out of it. The country around
appeared very beautiful and clothed with rich vegetation, with lofty
mountains eight thousand feet high near the eastern shore.
They returned to Tete in June, and thence, after the steamer had been
repaired, proceeded to the Kongone, where they received provisions from
Her Majesty's Ship "Persian," which also took on board their Krumen,
as they were found useless for land journeys. In their stead a crew was
picked out from the Makololo, who soon learned to work the ship, and
who, besides being good travellers, could cut wood and require only
Searching for a Great Lake.
Frequent showers fell on their return voyage up the Zambesi, and the
vessel being leaky, the cabin was constantly flooded, both from above
and below. They were visited on their way up by Paul, a relative of the
rebel Mariano, who had just returned from Mozambique. He told them
that the Portuguese knew nothing of the Kongone before they had dis-
covered it, always supposing that the Zambesi entered the sea at Quilli-
mane. A second trip up the Shire was performed in the middle of
August, when the two doctors set out in search of Lake Nyassa, about
which they had heard. The river, though narrow, is deeper than the
Zambesi, and more easily navigated.
Marks of large game were seen, and one of the Makololo, who had
gone on shore to cut wood, was suddenly charged at by a solitary buffalo.
He took to flight, pursued by the maddened animal, and was scarcely six
feet before the creature when he reached the bank and sprang into the
river. On both banks a number of hippopotamus-traps were seen.
The animal feeds on grass alone, its enormous lip acting like a mow-
ing machine, forming a path before it as it feeds. Over these paths the
natives construct a trap, consisting of a heavy beam, five or six feet long,
with a spear- head at one end, covered with poison. This weapon is hung
to a forked pole by a rope which leads across the path, and is held by a
catch, set free as the animal treads upon it. A hippopotamus was seen
which, being frightened by the steamer, rushed on shore and ran imme-
diately under one of these traps, when down came the heavy beam on
The leaks in the steamer increased till the cabin became scarcely hab-
itable. The neighborhood of Chibisa's village was reached late in August.
Failure to Recover a Kidnapped Child.
The doctor had now to send word to the chief that his attempts to
recover his child had failed, for, though he had offered twice the value of
a slave, the little girl could not be found, the padre having sold her to a
distant tribe of Bazizulu. Though this padre was better than the average,
he appeared very indifferent about the matter.
On the 28th of August, an expedition consisting of four whites, thirty-
six Makololo, and two guides left the ship in hopes of discovering Lake
Nyassa. The natives on the road were very eager to trade. As soon as
they found that the strangers would pay for their provisions in cotton,
cloth, women and girls were set to grind and pound meal, and the men
and boys were seen chasing screaming fowl over the village. A head man
brought some meal and other food for sale ; a fathom of blue cloth was
got out, when the Makololo head man, thinking a portion was enough,
was proceeding to tear it. On this the native remarked that it was a
pity to cut such a nice dress for his wife, and he would rather bring more
meal. " All right/' said the Makololo, " but look, the cloth is very wide,
so see that the basket which carries the meal be wide too, and add a
chicken to make the meal taste nicely."
The highland women of these regions all wear the pelele, or lip-ring,
before described. An old chief, when asked why such things were worn,
replied : "For beauty ; men have beards and whiskers, women have
none. What kind of creature would a woman be without whiskers and
without the pelele?"
The Fearful Cry from the River.
When, as they calculated, they were a day's march from Lake Nyassa,
the chief of the village assured them positively that no lake had ever been
heard of there, and that the river Shire stretched on, as they saw it, to a
distance of two months, and then came out between two rocks which
-towered to the skies. The Makololo looked blank, and proposed return-
ing to the ship. "Never mind," said the doctor, " we will go on and see
.these wonderful rocks."
Their head man, Massakasa, declared that there must be a lake,
because it was in the white men's books, and scolded the natives for
speaking a falsehood. They then admitted that there was a lake. The
chief brought them a present in the evening. Scarcely had he gone
when a fearful cry arose from the river ; a crocodile had carried off his
principal wife. The Makololo, seizing their arms, rushed to the rescue;
but it was too late.
Many of the natives show great courage and skill in capturing these
formidable monsters which infest the rivers of Africa. The following
graphic narrativ^e by a traveller connected with an exploring party in the
Tropics relates the manner in which the natives sometimes take their
" You come and see Igubo kill de crocodile," I heard Timbo say to Leo
and Natty. These were names of natives accompanying our expedition.
Igubo had provided himself with a piece of one of the animals which
he had brought home, and which had become no longer eatable. He
had fastened it to the end of a long rope, and his sons carried it down to
the water. Timbo and Leo, with the two boys, set off after them; and,
taking my rifle, I followed to see what would happen.
On reaching the river, Igubo threw in the meat as far as he could, fas-
tening the end of the rope to the trunk of a tree. Then, on his making
a sign to us to hide ourselves, we retired behind some bushes. In a short
time the rope was violently tugged, and Igubo, throwing off his scanty
garments, drew his sharp knife from its sheath, and sprang into the water.
I could not refraim from crying out, and entreating him to come back;
but he paid no heed to me, and swam on.
Close Combat with a Crocodile.
Presently he disappeared, and I felt horror-struck at the thought that
a crocodile had seized him ; but directly afterwards the snout of the huge
monster appeared above the water, Igubo rising at the same time directly
behind it. The creature, instead of attempting to turn, made towards
the bank, at a short distance off. Igubo followed ; and I saw his
hand raised, and his dagger descend into the side of the crea-
ture. Still the crocodile did not attempt to turn, but directly after-
wards reaching the bank, climbed up it. Igubo followed, and again
plunged his knife into the monster's side. Every instant I expected to
see him seized by its terrific jaws ; but the creature seemed terror-stricken,
and made no attemipt at defence.
Again and again the black plunged in his knife, while the crocodile
vainly endeavored to escape. The next instant Igubo was on its back,
and the creature lay without moving. A few minutes only had passed.
It opened its vast jaws, each time more languidly than before, till at
length it sank down, and, after a few struggles, was evidently dead.
Igubo, springing up, flourished his knife over his head in triumph. Leo,
running to the canoe, began to launch it. We all jumped in, and pad-
dled off to the bank, Timbo bringing the rope with him. We fastened
it round the crocodile's neck, and towed the body in triumph to the shore,
up which we hauled it.
Strange Creatures Hatclied from Eggs.
"Igubo say we find eggs not far off," said Timbo, as if doubting it.
Natty and his brother, at a sign from their father, began at once
hunting about, and in a short time called us to them. There was a large
hole in the bank concealed by overhanging bushes. It was full of eggs,
about the size of those of a goose. On counting them we found no less
than sixty. The shell was white and partially elastic, both ends being
exactly the same size. The nest was about four yards from the water.
A pathway led up to it ; and Igubo told Timbo, that after the crocodile
has deposited her eggs, she covers them up with about four feet of earth,
and returns afterwards to clear it away, and to assist the young out of the
shells. After this, she leads them to the water, where she leaves them to
catch small fish for themselves.
At a little distance was another nest, from which the inmates had just
been set free ; and on a sandbank a little way down we caught sight of a
number of the little monsters crawling about. They appeared in no way
afraid of us as we approached, and Natty and his brother speared several.
They were about ten inches long, with yellow eyes, the pupil being merely
a perpendicular slit. They were marked with transverse stripes of pale
green and brown, about half an inch in width. Savage little monsters
they were, too ; for though their teeth were but partly developed, they
turned round and bit at the weapon darted at them, uttering at the same
time a sharp welp like that of a small puppy when it first tries to bark.
Igubo could not say whether the mother crocodile eats up her young
occasionally, though, from the savage character of the creature, I should
think it very likely that she does, if pressed by hunger.
As it is well known, the ichneumon has the reputation on the banks
of the Nile of killing young crocodiles ; but Igubo did not know whether
they ever do so in his part of the world. He and his boys collected all
the eggs they could find, declaring that they were excellent for eating.
They however told us that they should only consume the yolk, as the
white of the egg does not coagulate. When it is known what a vast
:number of eggs a crocodile lays, it may be supposed that the simplest
way of getting rid of the creatures is to destroy them before they are
hatched. It would seem almost hopeless to attempt to exterminate them
by killing only the old ones. However, I fancy they have a good many
enemies, and that a large number of the young do not grow up.
As we were walking along the bank, we saw, close to the water, a
young crocodile just making his way into it; and Mango, leaping down,
captured the little creature. Even then it showed its disposition by at-
tempting to bite his fingers. On examining it, we found a portion of
yolk almost the size of a hen's egg fastened by a membrane to the
abdomen, which was doubtless left there as a supply of nourishment,
to enable the creature to support existence till it was strong enough
to catch fish for itself Igubo declared that they caught the fish by
means of their broad scaly tails. The eggs, I should say, had a
strong internal membrane, and a small quantity only of lime in their
We had some difficulty in inducing our friends to believe the account
we gave them of Igubo's exploit. He however undertook, if they were
not satisfied, to kill a crocodile in the same way another day.
Livingstone Discovers Lake Nyassa.
The expedition moving forward, on the 16th of September, 1859, the
long-looked-for Lake Nyassa was discovered, with hills rising on both
sides of it. Two months after this the lake was visited by Dr. Roscher,
who was unaware of Drs. Livingstone and Kirk's discovery; unhappily
he was murdered on his road back towards the Rovuma.
The travellers were now visited by the chief of a village near the con-
fluence of the lake and the river, who invited them to form their camp
under a magnificent banyan-tree, among the roots of which, twisted into
the shape of a gigantic arm-chair, four of the party slept. The chief told
them that a slave party, led by Arabs, was encamped near at hand ; and in.
the evening a villainous set of fellows, with long muskets, brought several-
young children for sale; but, finding that the travellers were English,,
they decamped, showing signs of fear. The people of the Manganja
tribe, amidst whom they were now travelling, showed much suspicion of
their object, saying that parties had come before with the same sort of
plausible story, and had suddenly carried off a number of their people
To allay these suspicions, Livingstone thought it best at once to return,
to the ship.
Soon afterwards Dr. Kirk and Mr. Rae, the engineer, set off with
guides to go across the country to Tete, the distance being about one
hundred miles. From want of water they suffered greatly, while the
tsetse infested the district.
Livingstone had resolved to visit his old friend Sekeletu; but, finding:
that before the new crop came in, food could not be obtained beyond the
Kebrabasa, he returned in the "Ma-Robert" once more to the Kongone^
They found Major Sicard at Mazaro, he having come there with tools,
and slaves to build a custom-house and fort.
A Bare-faced Fraud.
After this trip, the poor "Asthmatic" broke down completely; she was
therefore laid alongside the island of Kanyimbe, opposite Tete, and placed
under the charge of two English sailors. They were furnished with a
supply of seeds to form a garden, both to afford them occupation and
Active preparations were now made for the intended journey westward;
cloth, beads, and brass wire were formed into packages, with the bearers
name printed on each.
The Makololos who had been employed by the expedition received
their wages. Some of those who had remained at Tete had married
and resolved to continue where they were. Others did not leave with,
the same good will they had before exhibited, and it was doubtful,
if attacked, whether they would not run to return to their lately formed
All arrangements had been concluded by the 15th of May, 1860, and
the journey was commenced. As the Banyai, who hve on the right
bank, were said to levy heavy fines, the party crossed over to the left.
Livingstone was stopping near the Kebrabasa village, when a man ap-
peared, who pretended that he was a pondoro; that is, that he could;.
change himself into a lion whenever he chose a statement his country-
men fully believed. Sometimes the pondoro hunts for the benefit of the-
villagers, when his wife takes him some medicine which enables him to
change himself back to a man. She then announces what game has
been killed, and the villagers go into the forrest to bring it home. The-
people believe also that the souls of the departed chiefs enter into lions-
One night, a buffalo having been killed, a lion came close to the camp,,
when the Makololo declared that he was a pondoro, and told him that he-
ought to be ashamed of himself for trying to steal the meat of strangers..
The lion, however, disregarding their addresses, only roared louder thart.
ever, though he wisely kept outside the bright circle of the camp-fires.
A little strychnine was placed on a piece of meat and thrown to him,
after which he took his departure, and was never again seen.
A Hostile Chief Conciliated.
Again passing Kebrabasa, the travellers enjoyed the magnificent moun-
tain scenery in this neighborhood, and came to the conclusion that not
only it, but the Morumbwa could, when the river rises, be passed, so as
to allow of a steamer being carried up to run on the upper Zambesi.
On the 20th of June they reached the territory of the chief Mpende,
who had, on Livingstone's journey to the East Coast, threatened to attack
him. Having in the mean time heard that he belonged to a race who
love black men, his conduct was now completely changed, and he showed
every desire to be friendly. Game was abundant, and lions were especi-
After visiting Zumbo, Dr. Kirk was taken dangerously ill. He got
better on the high ground, but immediately he descended into the valleys
he always felt chilly. In six days, however, he was himself again, and.
able to march as well as the rest. Again abundance of honey was ob-
tained through the means of the " honey guide." The bird never de-
ceived them, always guiding them to a hive of bees, though sometimes.
there was but little honey in it. On the 4th of August the expedition,
reached Moachemba, the first of the Batoka villages, which owe allegiance
to Sekeletu. From thence, beyond a beautiful valley, the columns of
vapor rising from the Victoria Falls, upwards of twenty miles away^
could clearly be distinguished.
At the village opposite Kalai the Malokolo head man, Mashotlane,
paid the travellers a visit. He entered the hut where they were seated,
a little boy carrying a three-legged stool. In a dignified way the chief
took his seat, presenting some boiled hippopotamus meat. Having then
taken a piece himself, he handed the rest to his followers. He had lately
TDeen attacking the Batoka, and when the doctor represented to him the
wrongfulness of the act he defended himself by declaring that they had
killed some of his companions. Here also they found Pitsane, who had
heen sent by Sekeletu to purchase horses from a band of Griquas.
Famous Batoka Tribe.
A description of the Batokas will be of interest in this connection.
There are two distinct varieties; of whom those living on low-lying sands
such as the banks of the Zambesi, are very dark, while those of the higher
-lands are light brown. Their character seems to differ with their com-
plexions, the former variety being dull, stupid, and intractable, while the
latter are comparatively intellectual.
They do not improve their personal appearance by an odd habit of
depriving themselves of their upper incisor teeth. The want of these
teeth makes the corresponding incisors of the lower jaw project outward,
and force the lip with them; so that even in youth they all have an
aged expression of countenance. Knocking out these teeth is part of a
ceremony which is practiced on both sexes when they are admitted into
the ranks of men and women, and is probably the remains of some
religious rite. The reason which they give is absurd enough, namely,
that they like to resemble oxen, which have no upper incisors, and not
to have all their teeth like zebras'. It is probable, however, that this state-
ment may be merely intended as an evasion of questions which they think
themselves bound to parry, but which may also have reference to the
extreme veneration for oxen which prevails in the African's mind.
In spite of its disfiguring effect, the custom is universal among the
"various sub-tribes of which the Batoka are composed, and not even the
definite commands of the chief himself, nor the threats of punishment,
could induce the people to forego it. Girls and lads would suddenly
make their appearance without their teeth, and no amount of questioning
could induce them to state when, and by whom, they were knocked out.
fourteen or fifteen is the usual age for performing the operation.
Hair Done Up in Style.
Their dress is a little remarkable, especially the mode in which some of
them arrange their hair. The hair on the top of the head is drawn and
plastered together in a circle some six or seven inches in diameter. By
dint of careful training, and plenty of grease and other appliances, it is
at last formed into a cone some eight or ten inches in height, and slightly
leaning forward. In some cases the cone is of wonderful height, the head
man of a Batoka village wearing one which was trained into a long spike
that projected a full yard from his head, and which must have caused
him considerable inconvenience. In this case, evidently other materials
were freely mixed with the hair; and it is said that the long hair of
various animals is often added, so as to mingle with the real growth, and
aid in raising the edifice. Around the edges of this cone the hair is
shaven closely, so that the appearance of the head is very remarkable, and
One of this tribe named Mantanyani accompanied Dr. Livingstone
He was a singularly skilful boatman, and managed an ordinary whaling-
boat as easily as one of his own canoes. The ornament which he wears
in his hair is a comb made of bamboo. It was not manufactured by him-
self, but was taken from Shimbesi's tribe on the Shire, or Sheereh River.
He and his companions forced the boat up the many rapids, and, on being-
interrogated as to the danger, he said that he had no fears, for he could
swim like a fish, and that, if by any mischance he should allow Mr. Baines
to fall overboard and be drowned, he should never dare to show his face
to Livingstone again.
Mr. Baines remarks in his notes, that Mantanyani ought to have made
a good sailor, for he was not only an adept at the management of boats
but could appreciate rum as well as any British tar. It so happened that
at night, after the day's paddling was over, grog was served out to the men,,
and yet for two or three nights Mantanyani would not touch it. Accord-
ingly one night the following colloquy took place :
" Mantanyani, non quero grog ?" (That is, cannot you take grog ?)
" Non quero." (I cannot.)
" Porquoi non quero grog ?" (Why cannot you take grog ?)
" Garaffa poco, Zambesi munta." (The bottle is little and the Zambesi
The hint was taken, and rum unmixed with water was offered to Man-
tanyani, who drank it off like a sailor.
No Talking nor Whistling Allowed.
A spirited account of the skill of the natives in managing canoes is
given by Livingstone in " The Zambesi and its Tributaries." The canoe
belonged to a man named Tuba-Mokoro, or the "Canoe-smasher," a
rather ominous, but apparently undeserved title, inasmuch as he proved
to be a most skilful and steady boatman. He seemed almost to be modest,,
for he took no credit to himself for his management, but attributed his
success entirely to a certain charm or medicine which he had, and which
lie kept a profound secret. He was employed to take the party through
the rapids to an island close to the edge of the great Smoke Sounding
Falls, now called the Victoria Falls. This island can only be reached
when the water happens to be very low, and, even in that case, none but
the most experienced boatmen can venture so near to the Fall, which is
double the depth of Niagara, and a mile in width, formed entirely by a
"vast and sudden rift in the basaltic bed of the Zambesi.
Before entering the race of water, we were requested not to speak, as
our talking might diminish the value of the medicine, and no one with
such boiling, eddying rapids before his eyes would think of disobeying
the orders of a "canoe-smasher." It soon became evident that there
Avas sound sense in the request of Tuba, though the reason assigned
was not unlike that of the canoe man from Sesheke, who begged one of
our party not to whistle, because whistling made the wind come.
It was the duty of the man at the bow to look out ahead for the proper
course, and, when he saw a rock or a snag, to call out to the steersmaip.
Tuba doubtless thought that talking on board might divert the attention
of his steersman at a time when the neglect of an order, or a slight mis-
take, would be sure to spill us all into the chafing river. There were
places where the utmost exertions of both men had to be put forth in
order to force the canoe to the only safe part of the rapid and to prevent
it from sweeping broadside on, when in a twinkling we should have found
ourselves among the plotuses and cormorants which are engaged in div-
ing for their breakfast of small fish.
"We Struck Hard."
At times it seemed as if nothing could save us from dashing in our
headlong race against the rocks, which, now that the river was low,
jutted out of the water; but, just at the very nick of time. Tuba passed
the word to the steersman, and then, with ready pole, turned the canoe a
little aside, and we glided swiftly past the threatened danger. Never
was canoe more admirably managed. Once only did the medicine seem
to have.lost something of its efficacy.
We were driving swiftly down, a black rock over which the white foam
lay directly in our path, the pole was planted against it as readily
as ever, but it slipped just as Tuba put forth his strength to turn
the bow off. We struck hard, and were half full of water in a moment.
Tuba recovered himself as speedily, shoved off the bow, and shot the
canoe into a still, shallow place, to bail the water out. He gave us to
understand that it was not the medicine which was at fault that had lost
none of its virtue; the accident was owing to Tuba having started with-
out his breakfast. Need it be said that we never let Tuba go without that
Among the Batokas is a body of men called in their own language
the Go-nakeds. These men never wear an atom of any kind of clothings
but are entirely naked, their only coat being one of red ochre. These
Go-nakeds are rather a remarkable set of men, and why they should
voluntarily live without clothing is not very evident. Some travellers
think that they are a separate order among the Batoka, but this is not at
all certain. It is not that they are devoid of vanity, for they are extremely
fond of ornaments upon their heads, which they dress in various fantastic
ways. The conical style has already been mentioned, but. they have
many other fashions. One of their favorite modes is, to plait a fillet of
bark, some two inches wide, and tie it round the head in diadem fashion.
They then rub grease and red ochre plentifully into the hair, and fasten
it to the fillet, which it completely covers. The head being then shaved
as far as the edge of the fillet, the native looks as if he were wearing a
red, polished forage-cap.
Rings of iron wire and beads are worn round the arms ; and a fash-
ionable member of this order thinks himself scarcely fit for society unless
he carries a pipe and a small pair of iron tongs, with which to lift a coal
from the fire and kindle his pipe, the stem of which is often ornamented
by being bound with polished iron wire.
Very Polite Savages.
The Go-nakeds seem to be as devoid of the sense of shame as their
bodies are of covering. They could not in the least be made to see that
they ought to wear clothing, and quite laughed at the absurdity of such
an idea; evidently looking on a proposal to wear clothing much as we
should entertain a request to dress ourselves in plate armor.
The pipe is in constant requisition among these men, who are seldom
seen without a pipe in their mouths, and never without it in their posses-
sion. Yet, whenever they came into the presence of their white visitors,
they always asked permission before lighting their pipes, an innate
politeness being strong within them. Their tobacco is exceedingly
powerful, and on that account is much valued by other tribes, who will
travel great distances to purchase it from the Batoka. It is also very
cheap, a few beads purchasing a sufficient quantity to last even these
inveterate smokers for six months.
Their mode of smoking is very peculiar. They first take a whiff after
the usual manner, and puff out the smoke. But, when they have expelled
nearly the whole of the smoke, they make a kind of catch at the last
tiny wreath, and swallow it. This they are pleased to consider the very
essence or spirit of the tobacco, which is lost if the smoke is exhaled in
the usual manner.
The Batoka are a polite people in their way, though they have rather
an odd method of expressing their feelings. The ordinary mode of sal-
utation is for the women to clap their hands and produce that undulating
sound which has already been mentioned, and for the men to stoop and;
clap their hands on their hips. But, when they wish to be especially
respectful, they have another mode of salutation. They throw them-
selves on their backs, and roll from side to side, slapping the outside
of their thighs vigorously, and calling out " Kina-bomba ! kina-bomba !"
with great energy, which has already been described. Livingstone says,
that he never could accustom his eyes to like the spectacle of great naked
men wallowing on their backs and slapping themselves, and tried to stop
them. They, however, always thought that he was not satisfied with the
heartiness of their reception, and so rolled about and slapped themselves,
all the more vigorously. This rolling and slapping seems to be reserved
for the w^elcoming of great men, and, of course, whenever the Batoka
present themselves before their chief, the performance is doubly vigorous
Blacks who Stand on Ceremony.
When a gift is presented, it is etiquette for the donor to hold the present
in one hand, and to slap the thigh with the other, as he approaches the
person to whom he is about to give it. He then delivers the gift, claps-
his hands together, sits down, and then strikes his thighs with both hands.
The same formalities are observed when a return gift is presented; and so
tenacious are they of this branch of etiquette, that it is taught regularly
to children by their parents.
They are an industrious people, cultivating wonderfully large tracts of
land with the simple but effective hoe of their country. With this hoe,
which looks something like a large adze, they not only break up the
ground, but perform other tasks of less importance, such as smoothing
the earth as a foundation for their beds. Some of these fields are so large,
that the traveller may walk for hours through the native corn, and scarce-
ly come upon an uncultivated spot. The quantity of corn which is grown
is very large, and the natives make such numbers of granaries, that their
villages seem to be far more populous than is really the case. Plenty, in
consequence, reigns among this people. But it is a rather remarkable
fact that, in spite of the vast quantities of grain, which they produce, they
cannot keep it in store.
The corn has too many enemies. In the first place, the neighboring-
tribes are apt to send out maurading parties, who prefer steaHng the corn
which their industrious neighbors have grown and stored to cultivating
the ground for themselves. Mice, too, are very injurious to the corn.
But against these two enemies the Batoka can tolerably guard, by tying
up quantities of corn in bundles of grass, plastering them over with clay,
and hiding them in the low sand islands left by the subsiding waters of
But the worst of all enemies is the native weevil, an insect so small that
Tio precautions are available against its ravages, and which, as we too
often find in this country, destoys an enormous amount of corn in a very
;short time. It is impossible for the Batoka to preserve their corn more
than a year, and it is as much as they can do to make it last until the
next crop is ready.
As therefore, the whole of the annual crop must be consumed by them-
selves or the weevil, they prefer the former, and what they cannot eat
they make into beer, which they brew in large quantities, and drink
abundantly; yet they seldom, if ever, intoxicate themselves, in spite of
the quantities which they consume. This beer is called by them either
" boala " or " pombe," just as we speak of beer or ale ; and it is sweet in
flavor, with just enough acidity to render it agreeable. Even travellers
soon come to like it, and its effect on the natives is to make them plump
.and well nourished. The Batoka do not content themselves with simply
growing corn and vegetables, but even plant fruit and oil-bearing trees
a practice which is not found among the other tribes.
Possibly on account of the plenty with which their land is blessed,
they are a most hospitable race of men, always glad to see guests, and
receiving them in the kindest manner. If a traveller passes through a
village, he is continually hailed from the various huts with invitations to
eat and drink, while the men welcome the visitor by clapping their hands,
and the women by " lullilooing." They even feel pained if the stranger
passes through the village without being entertained. When he halts in
a village for the night, the inhabitants turn out to make him conifortable;
some running to fetch fire-wood, others bringing jars of water, while
some engage themselves in preparing the bed, and erecting a fence to
keep off the wind.
They are skilful and fearless hunters, and are not afraid even of the
elephant or buffalo, going up closely to these formidable animals, and
killing them with large spears. A complete system of game-laws is in
operation among the Batoka, not for the purpose of prohibiting the chase
of certain game, but in order to settle the disposal of the game when
killed. Among them, the man who inflicts the first wound on an animal
has the right to the spoil, no matter how trifling may be the wound which
he inflicts. In case he does not kill the animal himself, he is bound to
give to the hunter who inflicts the fatal wound both legs of one side.
As to the laws which regulate ordinary life, there is but little that calls
for special notice, except a sort of ordeal for which they have a great
veneration. This is called the ordeal of the Muave, and is analogous to
the corsned and similar ordeals of the early ages of England. The dread
of witchcraft is very strong here, as in other parts of Southern Africa;
but among the Batoka the accused has the opportunity of clearing him-
self by drinking a poisonous preparation called muave. Sometimes the
accused dies from the draught, and in that case his guilt is clear ; but in
others the poison acts as an emetic, which is supposed to prove his
innocence, the poison finding no congenial evil in the body, and therefore
No one seems to be free from such an accusation, as is clear from Living-
stone's account. Near the confluence of the Kapoe the Mambo, or chief,
with some of his head-men, came to our sleeping-place with a present,
Their foreheads were smeared with white flour, and an unusual serious-
ness marked their demeanor. Shortly before our arrival they had been
accused of witchcraft: conscious of innocence, they accepted the ordeal,
and undertook to drink the poisoned muave. For this purpose they made
a journey to the sacred hill of Nehomokela, on which repose the bodies
of their ancestors, and, after a solemn appeal to the unseen spirit to attest
the innocence of their children, they swallowed the muave, vomited, and
were therefore declared not guilty.
Belief in Future Existence.
It is evident that they believe that the soul has a continued existence,
and that the spirits of the departed know what those they have left be-
hind them are doing, and are pleased or not, according as their deeds are
good or evil. This belief is universal. The owner of a large canoe re-
fused to sell it because it belonged to the spirit of his father, who helped
him when he killed the hippopotamus. Another, when the bargain for
his canoe was nearly completed, seeing a large serpent on a branch of a
tree overhead, refused to complete the sale, alleging that this was the
spirit of his father, come to protest against it.
Some of the Batoka believe that a medicine should be prepared which
would cure the bite of the tsetse, that small but terrible fly which makes
such destruction among the cattle, but has no hurtful influence on man-
kind. This medicine was discovered by a chief, whose son Moyara
showed it to Livingstone. It consisted chiefly of a plant, which was ap-
parently new to botanical science. The root was peeled, and the peel'
sliced and reduced to powder, together with a dozen or two of the
tsetse themselves. The remainder of the plant is also dried. When an
animal shows symptoms of having been bitten by the tsetse, some of the
powder is administered to the animal, and the rest of the dried plant is-
burned under it so as to fumigate it thoroughly. Moyara did not assert
that the remedy was infallible, but only stated that if a herd of cattle were
to stray into a district infested with the fly, some of them would be saved
by the use of the medicine, whereas they would all die without it.
Sweet Sounds of Music.
The Batoka are fond of using a musical instrument that prevails, with
some modifications, over a considerable portion of Central Africa. In its-
simplest form it consists of a board, on which are fixed a number of flat
wooden strips, which, when pressed down and suddenly released, pro-
duce a kind of musical tone. In fact, the principle of the sansa is exactly
that of our musical-boxes, the only difference being that the teeth, or
keys, of our instrument are steel and that they are sounded by little pegs
and not by the fingers. Even among this one tribe there are great dif-
ferences in the formation of the sansa.
The best and most elaborate form is that in which the sounding-board
of the sansa is hollow, in order to increase the resonance; and the keys-
are made of iron instead of wood, so that a really musical sound is pro-
duced. Moreover, the instrument is enclosed in a hollow calabash, for
the purpose of intensifying the sound; and both the sansa and the cala-
bash are furnished with bits of steel and tin, which make a jingling-
accompaniment to the music. The calabash is generally covered with
carvings. When the sansa is used, it is held with the hollow or orna-
mented end toward the player, and the keys are struck with the thumbs
the rest of the hand being occupied in holding the instrument.
This curious instrument is used in accompanying songs. Livingstone-
mentions that a genuine native poet attached himself to the party, and
composed a poem in honor of the white men, singing it whenever they
halted, and accompanying himself on the sansa. At first, as he did not
know much about his subject, he modestly curtailed his poem, but ex-
tended it day by day, until at last it became quite a long ode. There was
an evident rhythm in it, each line consisting of five syllables. Another
native poet was in the habit of solacing himself every evening with an
extempore song, in which he enumerated everything that the white men
had done. He was not so accomplished a poet as his brother improvisa-
tore, and occasionally found words to fail him. However, his sansa
helped him when he was at a loss for a word, just as the piano helps out
an unskilled singer when at a loss for a note.
The Batoka are remarkable for their clannish feeling ; and, when a
large party are travelling in company, those of one tribe always keep
together, and assist each other in every difficulty. Also, if they should
happen to come upon a village or dwelling belonging to one of their own
tribe, they are sure of a welcome and plentiful hospitality.
The Batoka appear from all accounts to be rather a contentious people,
quarrelsome at home and extending their strife to other villages. In
domestic fights that is in combats between inhabitants of the same
village the antagonists are careful not to inflict fatal injuries. But when
village fights against village, as is sometimes the case, the loss on both
sides may be considerable. The result of such a battle would be exceed-
ingly disagreeable, as the two villages would always be in a state of deadly
feud, and an inhabitant of one would not dare to go near the other.
The Batoka, however, have invented a plan by which the feud is
stopped. When the victors have driven their opponents off the field, they
take the body of one of the dead warriors, quarter it, and perform a series
of ceremonies over it. This appears to be a kind of challenge that they
are masters of the field. The conquered party acknowledge their defeat
by sending a deputation to ask for the body of their comrade, and, when
they receive it, they go through the same ceremonies; after which peace
is supposed to be restored, and the inhabitants of the villages may visit
each other in safety.
Livingstone's informant further said, that when a warrior had slain an
enemy, he took the head, and placed it on an ant-hill, until all the flesh
was taken from the bones. He then removed the lower jaw, and wore it
as a trophy. He did not see one of these trophies worn, and evidently
thinks that the above account may be inaccurate. Indeed, Livingstone
expressly warns the reader against receiving with implicit belief accounts
that are given by a native African. The dark interlocutor amiably desires
to please, and, having no conception of truth as a principle, says exactly
what he thinks will be most acceptable to the great white chief, on whom
he looks as a sort of erratic supernatural being.
Ask a native whether the mountains in his own district are lofty, or
gold is found there, and he will assuredly answer in the affirmative. So
he will if he be asked whether unicorns live in his country, or whether
he knows of a race of tailed men, being only anxious to please, and not
thinking that the truth or falsehood of the answer can be of the least
consequence. If the white sportsman shoots at an animal, and makes a
palpable miss, his dusky attendants are sure to say that the bullet went
through the animal's heart and that it only bounded away for a short
distance. " He is our father," say the natives, " and he would be dis-
pleased if we told him that he had missed." It is even worse with the
slaves, who are often used as interpreters ; and it is hardly possible to
induce them to interpret with any modicum of truth.
The Expedition Halts.
The travellers landed at the head of Garden Island, and, as the doctor
had done before, peered over the giddy heights at the further end across
the chasm. The measurement of the chasm was now taken ; it was
found to be eighty yards opposite Garden Island, while the waterfall itself
was twice the depth of that of Niagara, and the river where it went over
the rock fully a mile wide. Charles Livingstone, who had seen Niagara,
pronounced it inferior in magnificence to the Victoria Falls.
The Batokas consider Garden Island and another further west as
sacred spots, and here, in days gone by, they assembled to worship the
Livingstone, on his former visit, had planted a number of orange-
trees and seeds at Garden Island, but though a hedge had been placed
round them, they had all been destroyed by the hippopotami. Others
were now put in. They, as was afterwards found, shared the same
They now proceeded up the river, and very soon met a party from
Sekeletu, who was now at Sesheke, and had sent to welcome them.
Afterward they entered his town. They were requested to take up their
quarters at the kotlar, or public meeting-place tree. During the day
visitors continually called on them, all complaining of the misfortunes
they had suffered. The condition of Sekeletu, however, was the most
lamentable. He had been attacked by leprosy, and it was said that his
fingers had become like eagles' claws, and his face so fearfully distorted
that no one could recognize him.
One of their head men had been put to death, it being supposed that
he had bewitched the chief The native doctor could do nothing for
him, but he was under the charge of an old doctress of the Manyeti
tribe, who allowed no one to see him except his mother and uncle. He,
however, sent for Dr. Livingstone, who gladly went to him. He and Dr.
Kirk at once told him that the disease was most difficult to cure, and that
he might rest assured that he had not been bewitched. They applied
lunar caustic externally and hydrate of potash internally, with satisfactory
results; so that in the course of a short time the poor chief's appearance
How a Chief Thought to Get Rid of the Falls.
Although the tribe had been suffering from famine, the chief treated
his visitors with all the hospitality in his power. Some Benguela traders
had come up to Sesheke, intending probably to return from the Batoka
country to the east with slaves ; but the Makololo, however, had secured
all the ivory in that region. As the traders found that the trade in slaves
without ivory did not pay, they knew it would not be profitable to obtain
them, for Sekeletu would allow no slaves to be carried through his terri-
tory, and thus by his means an extensive slave-mart was closed.
Sekeletu was greatly pleased with the articles the doctor brought him
from England, and enquired whether a ship could not bring up the
remainder of the things which had been left at Tete. On being told that
possibly a steamer might ascend as far as Sinainanes, he enquired whether
a cannon could not blow away the Victoria Falls, so as to enable her to
The Makololo, who had been sent down to Benguela, came to pay the
travellers a visit, dressed in v/ell-washed shirts, coats and trousers, patent
leather boots, and brown wide-awakes on their heads. They had a long
conversation with their men about the wonderful things they had all seen.
Sekeletu, who took a great fancy to Dr. Kirk, offered him permission to
select any part of the country he might choose for the establishment of
an English colony. Indeed, there is sufficient uncultivated ground on
the cool unpeopled highlands for a very large population.
A Tribe of Cattle Stealers.
The Makololo are apt to get into trouble by their propensity to steal
cattle ; for if their marauding is sanctioned by the chief, they do not look
upon it as dishonorable.
The expedition left Sesheke on the 17th of September, 1860, convoyed
by Pitsane and Leshore. Pitsane was directed to form a hedge round
the garden at the falls on his way. When navigating the river, the canoe-
men kept close to the bank during the day for fear of being upset by the
hippopotami, but at night, when those animals are found near the shore,
they sailed down the middle of the stream. The canoes were wretched,
and a strong wind blew against them, but their Batoka boatmen man-
aged them with great dexterity. Some of these men accompanied the
expedition the whole way to the sea.
On their passage down the river, in approaching Kariba Rapids, they
came upon a herd of upwards of thirty hippopotami. The canoe-men
were afraid of venturing among them, asserting that there was sure to be
an ill-tempered one who would take a malignant pleasure in upsetting
the canoes. Several boys on the rocks were amusing themselves by
throwing stones at the frightened animals. One was shot, its body float-
ing down the current. A man hailed them from the bank, advising them
to let him pray to the Kariba gods that they might have a safe passage
down the rapids, for, without his assistance they would certainly be
drowned. Notwithstanding, having examined the falls, seeing that canoes
might be caried down in safety, they continued their voyage. The na-
tives were much astonished to see them pass in safety without the aid of
the priest's intercession.
Recovering the Prize.
Here they found the hippopotamus which had been shot, and, taking
it in tow, told the villagers that if they would follow to their landing-
place, they should have most of the meat. The crocodiles, however,
lugged so hard at it, that they were compelled to cast it adrift and let the
current float it down. They recovered the hippopotamus, which was cut
up at the place where they landed to spend the night. As soon as it was
dark, the crocodiles attacked the portion that was left in the water, tear-
ing away at it and lashing about fiercely with their tails.
A day or two afterwards they encamped near some pitfalls, in which
several buffaloes had shortly before been caught, and one of the animals
ihad been left. During the night the wind blew directly from the dead
buffalo to their sleeping-place, and a hungry lion which came to feed on
the carcass so stirred up the putrid mass and growled so loudly over his
feast, that their slumbers were greatly disturbed.
They reached Zumbo by the first of November. Here their men had
a scurvy trick played them by the Banyai. The Makololo had shot a
hippopotamus, when a number of the natives came across, pretending to
assist them in rolling it ashore, and advised them to cast off the rope,
saying that it was an encumbrance. All were shouting and talking, when
suddenly the carcass disappeared in a deep hole. The Makololo jumped
in after it, one catching the tail, another a foot, but down it went, and
they got but a lean fowl instead. It floated during the night, and was
found about a mile below, on the bank. The Banyai, however, there
disputed the right to it, and, rather than quarrel, the Makololo, after
taking a small portion, wisely allowed them to remain with the rest.
Saved by Grasping the Rock.
Believing that there was sufficient depth of water, they ventured down
the Kebrabasa Rapids. For several miles they continued onward till,
the river narrowing, navigation became both difficult and dangerous.
Two canoes passed safely down the narrow channel with an ugly whirl-
pool, caused by the water being divided by a rock in the centre. Living-
stone's canoe came next, and while it appeared to be drifting broadside
into the vortex, a crash was heard, and Kirk's canoe was seen dashed
against the perpendicular rock by a sudden boiling-up of the river, which,
occurs at regular intervals. Kirk grasped the rock and saved him-
self, while his steersman, holding on to the same ledge, preserved the
canoe, but all its contents were lost, including the doctor's notes of the
journey, and botanical drawings of the fruit-trees of the interior. After
this the party, having had enough of navigation, performed the remainder
of the journey on shore.
Tete was reached on the 23d of November, the expedition having been
absent rather more than six months. They were glad to find that the two
English sailors were in good health, and had behaved very well; but their
farm had been a failure. A few sheep and fowls had been left with them;
they had purchased more of the latter, and expected to have a good
supply of eggs, but they unfortunately also bought two monkeys, who
ate up all their eggs. Oae night a hippopotamus destroyed their vege-
table garden, the sheep ate up their cotton-plants, while the crocodiles
carried off the sheep, and the natives had stolen their fowls.
Having discovered that the natives have a mortal dread of the chame-
leon, one of which animals they had on board, they made good use of
their knowledge. They had learned the market price of provisions, and
determined to pay that and no more. When the traders, therefore, de-
manded a higher price and refused to leave the sheep till it was paid, the
chameleon was instantly brought out of the cabin, when the natives sprang
overboard, and made no further attempt to impose upon them. A re-
markable reptile this is, and we subjoin an accurate description of it.
The Famous Chameleon.
One character of the chameleon consists in the tongue being cylindri-
cal, worm-like, capable of being greatly elongated, and terminating in
fleshy tubercle, lubricated with a viscid saliva. Another appears in the
surface of the skin being covered with horny granules, instead of scales.
A third is seen in the deep and compressed form of the body, which is
surmounted by an acute dorsal ridge ; a fourth, in the tail being round,
tapering, and capable of grasping ; and a fifth, in the parrot-like structure
of the feet, which have each five toes, divided into two opposing sets
three being placed outwardly and two inwardly, connected together as
iar as the second joint, and armed with five sharp claws.
The head of these animals is very large; and from the shortness of the
neck, it seems as if set upon the shoulders. The upper part generally
presents an elevated central crust ; and a ridged arch is over each orbit
to the muzzle. The internal organ of hearing is entirely concealed. The
mouth is very wide ; the teeth are sharp, small, and three-lobed. The
whole of the ball of each eye, except the pupil, is covered with skin, and
ibrms a single circular eyelid, with a central orifice. The furrow between
the ball of the eye and the edge of the orbit is very deep; and the eye-
lid, closely attached to the ball, moves as it moves. As each eye has an
independent power of motion, the axis of one eye may be seen directly
upwards or backwards, while that of the other is in a contrary direction
giving to the creature a strange and most ludicrous appearance.
The chameleon was once said to live on air ; but insects, slugs, and
such like creatures form its food. For their seizure its tongue is especially
adapted. With the exception of the fleshy tubercle forming its tip, it
consists of a hollow tube, which, when withdrawn into the throat, is
folded in upon itself, somewhat in the way in which a pocket telescope is
shut up. When fully protruded, it reaches to a distance at least equal to
the chameleon's body; and is launched forth and retracted with equal
rapidity. An insect on a leaf at an apparently hopeless distance, or a
drop of water on a twig, is gone so instantaneously, that the spectator is
astonished. " I never knew," said an acute observer, " a chameleon I
long kept miss his aim but once, and then the fly was on the other side
of the glass."
Curious Shifting Colors.
The remote cause, says Weissenborn, of the difference of color in the
two latteral halves of the chameleon may, in most cases, be distinctly
referred to the manner in which the light acts upon the animal.
The statement of Murray, that the side turned towards the light is always
of a darker color, is perfectly true. This rule holds good as well with
reference to the direct and diffused light of the sun, or moon, as to
artificial light. Even when the animal was moving in the walks of my
garden, and happened to come near enough to the border to be shaded
lay the box edging, that side (so shaded) would instantly become less
darkly colored than the other. Now, as the light in these cases seldom
illumines exactly one lateral half of the animal in a more powerful manner
than the other, and as the middle line is constantly the line of demarca-
tion between the two different shades of color, we must evidently refer
the different effects to two different centres, from which the nervous cur-
rents can only radiate.
Over these centres, without doubt, the organ of vision immediately pre-
sides; and, indeed, we ought not to wonder that the action of light has
such powerful effects on the highly irritable organization of the chameleon,
considering that the eye is most highly developed. The lungs are but
secondarily affected ; but they are likewise more strongly excited on the
darker side, which is constantly more convex than the other.
An Animal Like Two Glued Together.
Notwithstanding the strictly symmetrical structure of the chameleon,
as to its two halves, the eyes move independently of each other, and con-
vey different impressions to their respective centres of perception. The
consequence is that, when the animal is agitated, its movements appear
like those of two animals glued together. Each half wishes to move its
own way, and there is no concordance of action. The chameleon, there-
fore, is not able to swim, like other animals: it is so frightened, if put into
water, that the faculty of concentration is lost, and it tumbles about as if
in a state of intoxication. On the other hand, when the creature is undis-
turbed, the eye which receives the strongest impression propagates it to
the common centre, and prevails upon the other eye to follow that impres-
sion, and directs itself to the same object. The chameleon, moreover, may
be asleep on one side and awake on the other. When cautiously approach-
ing a specimen at night, with a candle, so as not to awaken the whole
animal, by the shaking of the room, the eye turned towards the flame
will open, and begin to move, and the corresponding side to change
color; whereas the other side will remain for several seconds longer in
its torpid and unchangeable state, with its eye shut.
It was this singular creature that produced such an effect upon the
natives. It was regarded as something supernatural.
Livingstone found that the sailors at Tete had performed a gallant act.
They were aroused one night by a fearful shriek, when they immediately
pushed off in their boat, supposing, as was found to be the case, that a
crocodile had caught a woman and was dragging her across a shallow
bank. Before they reached her, the reptile snapped off her leg. They
carried her on board, bandaged up her limb, bestowed Jack's usual
remedy for all complaints, a glass of grog, on her, and carried her to a
hut in the village. Next morning they found the bandages torn off and
the poor creature left to die, their opinion being that it had been done
by her master, to whom, as she had lost a leg, she would be of no further
use, and he did not wish the expense of keeping her.
The following account is taken from the diary of an explorer in the
Kafifir country: "Yesterday, as the men were digging out the steamers,
which had become jammed by the floating rafts, they felt something
struggling beneath their feet. They immediately scrambled away in time
to avoid the large head of a crocodile that broke its way through the
tangled mass in which it had been jammed and held prisoner by the rafts.
The black soldiers, armed with swords and bill-hooks, immediately
attacked the crocodile, who, although freed from imprisonment, had not
exactly fallen into the hands of the Humane Society. He was quickly dis-
patched, and that evening his flesh gladdened the cooking-pots of the party.
"I was amused with the account of this adventure given by various
officers who were eye-witnesses. One stated, in reply to my question as
to the length of the animal, ' Well, sir, I should not like to exaggerate
but I should say it was forty-five feet long from snout to tail ! ' Another
witness declared it to be at least twenty feet ; but if one were seized by
such a creature he would be disposed to think that, whatever might be
its length, it is made up mostly of jaws."
From the graphic narrative of Mr. Grout, the missionary, we take the
following description of an exciting adventure:
Mr. Butler, a member of our mission, narrowly escaped from one of the
savage creatures with which the rivers abound. In going to one of the
stations, it was necessary for him to cross the Umkomazi. No natives
being at hand to manage the boat, he ventured to cross on horseback,
though the water was deep and turbid. As he went over safely, when he
returned the next day he again ventured into the river in the same way.
When about two-thirds of the was across, his horse suddenly kicked
and plunged, as if to disengage himself from his rider; and the next
moment an alligator seized Mr. Butler's leg with his horrible jaws.
The river at this place is about one hundred and fifty yards, wide, if
measured at right angles to the current ; but from the place we enter to
the place we go out, the distance is three times as great. The water at
liigh tide, when the river is not swollen, is from four to eight or ten
feet deep. On each side the banks are skirted with high grass and reeds.
Mr. Butler, when he felt the sharp teeth of the crocodile, clung to, the
mane of his horse with a death-hold. Instantly he was dragged from
the saddle : and both he and the horse were floundering in water, often
dragged entirely under, and rapidly going down stream. At first the
alligator drew them again to the middle of the river ; but at last the horse
gained shallow water, and approached the shore. As soon as he was
within reach, natives ran to his assistance, and beat off the crocodile with
spears and clubs.
Horse and Rider Frightfully Mangled.
Mr. Butler was pierced with five deep gashes, and had lost much
blood. He left all his garments, except shirt and coat, on the opposite
shore with a native who was to follow him ; but when the struggle
commenced, the native returned, and would not venture into the water
again. It was now dark ; and, without garments and weak from loss
of blood, he had seven miles to ride before he could reach the station of
a brother missionary. He borrowed a blanket of a native ; and after two
hours succeded in reaching the station, more dead than alive.
His horse also was terribly mangled ; a foot square of the flesh and
skin was torn from his flanks. The animal, it is supposed, first seized
the horse ; and when shaken ofl", he caught Mr. Butler, first below the
knee, and then in the thigh, making five or six wounds, from two to four
inches long, and from one-half to two and a half inches wide. After a
severe illness, Mr. Butler recovered, but will not soon lose the marks of
this fast and loving friend's hold upon him.
BATTLING WITH DIFFICULTIES AND DANGERS.
Continued in ERBzine 6099_09