OUR traveller was looked upon at Gondokoro with suspicion. Sev-
eral attempts were made to shoot him, and a boy was killed by
shot from the shore, on board his vessel. His men were imme-
diately tampered with by the traders, and signs of discontent soon
appeared among them. They declared that they had not sufficient meat
and that they must be allowed to make a razzia upon the cattle of the
natives to procure oxen. This demand being refused, they became more
insolent, and accordingly Mr. Baker ordered the ringleader, an Arab, to
be seized and to receive twenty-five lashes.
Upon approaching to capture the fellow, most of the men laid down
their guns and, seizing sticks, rushed to his rescue. Mr. Baker, on this
sprang forward, sent their leader by a blow of his fist into their midst
and then, seizing him by the throat, called for a rope to bind him. The
men, still intent on their object, surrounded Mr. Baker, when Mrs. Baker,
landing from the vessel, made her way to the spot. Her sudden appear-
ance caused the mutineers to hesitate, when Mr. Baker shouted to the
drummer-boy to beat the drum, and then ordered the men to fall in.
Two-thirds obeyed him, and formed in line, while the remainder retreated
with their ringleader.
At this critical moment Mrs. Baker implored her husband to forgive
the mutineer, if he would kiss his hand and beg his pardon. This com-
promise completely won the men, who now called upon their ringleader
IN A WILD COUNTRY. 457
to apologize, and all would be right. This he did, and Mr, Baker made
them rather a bitter speech and dismissed them. This, unhappily, was
only the first exhibition of their mutinuous disposition, which nearly
ruined the expedition, and might have led to the destruction of the trav-
A few days afterwards guns were heard in the distance, and news came
that two white men had arrived from " the sea " ! They proved to be
Grant and Speke, who had just come from the Victoria Nyanza. Both,
looked travel-worn. Speke, who had walked the whole distance from
Zanzibar, was excessively lean, but in reality in good tough condition.
Grant's garments were well-nigh worn out, but both of them had that
fire in the eye which showed the spirit that had led them through many
They had heard of another lake to the westward of the Nyanza, known
as the Luta Nzige, which Speke felt convinced was a second source of
the Nile. Accordingly, he and Grant having generously furnished him
with as perfect a map as they could produce, Baker determined to explore
the lake, while his friends, embarking in his boats, sailed down the Nile
on their voyage homeward.
His men, notwithstanding the lesson they had received, still exhibited
a determined mutinous disposition, and in every way neglected their
duties. Happily for him, he had among his attendants a little black
boy, Saati, who, having been brought as a slave from the interior, had
been for a time in the Austrian mission, from which, with many other
slaves, he was turned out. Wandering about the streets of Khartoum,
he heard of Mr. and Mrs. Baker, and, making his way to their house,
threw himself at the lady's feet, and implored to be allowed to follow
them. Hearing at the mission that he was superior to his juvenile com-
panions, they accepted his services, and, being thoroughly washed, and
attired in trousers, blouse, and belt, he appeared a different creature.
From that time he considered himself as belonging entirely to Mrs.
Baker, and to serve her was his greatest pride. She in return endeavored
to instruct him, and gave him anecdotes from the Bible, combined with,
the first principles of Christianity.
Down With Your Guns This Moment!
Through the means of young Saati, Mr. Baker heard of a plot among
the Khartoum escort, to desert him with their arms and ammunition, and
to fire at him should he attempt to disarm them. The locks of their
guns had, by his orders, been covered with pieces of mackintosh. Direct-
ing Mrs. Baker to stand behind him, he placed outside his tent, on his
travelling bedstead, five double-barrelled guns loaded with buck-shot, a
Tevolver, and a naked sabre. A sixth rifle he kept in his own hands,
while Richarn and Saati stood behind him with double-barrelled guns.
He then ordered the drum to beat, and all the men to form in line of
marching order while he requested Mrs. Baker to point out any man
who should attempt to uncover his lock when he gave the order to lay
down their arms. In the event of the attempt being made, he intended
to shoot the man immediately. At the sound of the drum only fifteen
assembled. He then ordered them to lay down their arms. This, with
insolent looks of defiance, they refused to do.
" Down with your guns this moment ! " he shouted.
At the sharp click of the locks, as he quickly capped the rifle in his
Jhand, the cowardly mutineers widened their line and wavered ; some
retreated a few paces, others sat down and laid their guns on the ground,
while the remainder slowly dispersed, and sat in twos or singly under
the various trees about eighty paces distant. On advancing they capi-
tulated, agreeing to give up their arms and ammunition on receiving a
written discharge. They were immediately disarmed. The discharge
'was made out, when upon each paper Mr. Baker wrote the word " muti-
neer" above his signature. Finally, nearly the whole of the escort
deserted, taking service with the traders.
Heroism in the Face of Danger.
Not to be defeated, Baker obtained a Bari boy as interpreter, deter-
mined at all hazards to start from Gondokoro. A party of traders under
one Koorshid, who had lately arrived from Latooka and were about to
return, not only refused to allow the travellers to accompany them, but
declared their intention of forcibly driving them back, should they attempt
to advance by their route. This served as an excuse to the remainder of
Jiis escort for not proceeding. Saati discovered another plot, his men
having been won over by Mahomet Her, another trader.
Notwithstanding the danger he was running, Mr. Baker compelled his
men to march, and by a clever manoeuvre got ahead of the party led
by Ibrahim, Koorshid's guide. Finally, by wonderful tact, assisted by
Mrs. Baker, he won over Ibrahim, and induced him to render him all the
assistance in his power.
Aided by his new friend, he arrived at TarrangoUe, one of the princi-
pal places in the Latooka country, a hundred miles from Gondokoro,
"which, though out of his direct route, would, he hoped, enable him
with great ease finally to reach Unyoro, the territory of Kamrasi. In
the meantime, however, several of his men had deserted and joined
Mahomet Her. He had warned them that they would repent of their
folly. His warnings were curiously fulfilled.
News soon arrived that Mahomet Her, with a party of a hundred and
ten armed men, in addition to three hundred natives, had made a raid
upon a certain village among the mo-untains for slaves and cattle. Hav-
ing succeeded in burning the village and capturing a number of slaves,
as they were re-ascending the mountain to obtain a herd of cattle they
had heard of, they were attacked by a large body of Latookas, lying in
ambush among the rocks on the mountain side.
Driven Over a Precipice.
In vain the Turks fought ; every bullet aimed at a Latooka struck a
rock, while rocks, stones, and lances were hurled at them from all sides
and from above. Compelled to retreat, they were seized with a panic,
and took to flight. Hemmed in by their foes, who showered lances and
stones on their heads, they fled down the rocky and perpendicular
ravines. Mistaking their road, they came to a precipice from which
there was no retreat.
The screaming and yelling savages closed round them. All was use-
less ; not an enemy could they shoot, while the savages thrust them for-
ward with wild yells to the very verge of a precipice five hundred feet
high. Over it they were driven, hurled to destruction by the mass of
Latookas pressing onward. A few fought to the last ; but all were at
length forced over the edge of the cliff, and met the just reward of their
atrocities. No quarter had been given, and upwards of two hundred of
the natives who had joined the slave-hunters in the attack, had fallen
Mahomet Her had not accompanied his party, and escaped, though
utterly ruined. The result of this catastrophe was highly beneficial to
" Where are the men who deserted me ? " he asked of those who still
remained with him.
Without speaking, they brought two of his guns covered with clotted
blood mixed with sand. Their owners' names were known to him by
the marks on the stocks. He mentioned them.
" Are they all dead ? " he asked.
" All dead," the men replied.
" Food for the vultures," he observed. " Better for them had they
remained with me and done their duty." He had before told his men
that the vultures would pick the bones of the deserters.
Notwithstanding the dangers of his position, Mr. Baker frequently
went out shooting, and, among other animals, he killed an enormous ele-
phant. He was among the well-known Latooka tribe, whose fantastic
funeral dance has been described in a previous chapter.
Baker gives the following graphic account of his adventures in pursuit
of the game in which this part of Africa abounds :
I started at 5 a. m. with my three horses and two camels, the latter
carrying water and food. After a march of two or three hours through
the beautiful hunting-grounds formed by the valley of Latooka, with its
alternate prairies and jungles, I came upon the tracks of rhinoceros,,
giraffes, and elephants, and shortly moved a rhinoceros, but could get
no shot, owing to the thick bush in which he started and disappeared
quicker than I could dismount. After a short circuit in search of the
rhinoceros, we came upon a large herd of buffaloes, but at the same
moment we heard elephants trumpeting at the foot of the mountains.
Not wishing to fire, lest the great game should be disturbed, I contented
myself with riding after the buffaloes, wonderfully followed on foot by
Adda, one of my men, who ran like a deer, and almost kept up to my
horse, hurling his three lances successively at the buffaloes, but without
I had left the camels in an open plain, and returning from the gallop
after the buffaloes, I saw the men on the camels beckoning to me in great
excitement. Cantering towards them, they .explained that a herd of bull
elephants had just crossed an open space, and had passed into the jungle
beyond. There was evidently abundance of game ; and calling my men
together, I told them to keep close to me with the spare horses and rifles,,
while I sent the Latookas ahead to look out for the elephants : we fol-
lowed at a short distance.
In about ten minutes we saw the Latookas hurrying towards us, and
almost immediately after, I saw two enormous bull elephants with
splendid tusks about a hundred yards from us, apparently the leaders of
an approaching herd. The ground was exceedingly favorable, being tol-
erably open, and yet with sufficient bush to afford a slight cover. Pres-
ently, several elephants appeared and joined the two leaders — there was
evidently a considerable number in the herd, and I was on the point of
dismounting to take the first shot on foot, when the Latookas, too eager,,
approached the herd; their red and blue helmets at once attracted the
attention of the elephants, and a tremendous rush took place, the whole
herd closing together and tearing off at full speed. "Follow me!" I
hallooed to my men, and touching my horse with the spur, I intended to
dash into the midst of the herd.
Just at that instant, in his start, my horse slipped and fell suddenly
upon his side, falling upon my right leg and thus pinning me to the
ground. He was not up to my weight, and releasing myself, I immedi-
ately mounted my old Abyssinian hunter, " Tetel," and followed the
tracks of the elephants at full speed, accompanied by two of the Latookas
who ran like hounds. Galloping through the green but thornless bush^
I soon came in sight of a grand bull elephant, steaming along like a loco-
motive engine straight before me. Digging in the spurs, I was soon
within twenty yards of him ; but the ground was so unfavorable, being
full of buffalo holes, that I could not pass him. In about a quarter of an
hour, after a careful chase over deep ruts and gullies concealed in high
grass, I arrived at a level space, and shooting ahead, I gave him a shoul-
der shot. I saw the wound in a good place, but the bull rushed along
all the quicker, and again we came into bad ground that made it unwise
to close. However, on the first opportunity I made a dash by him, and
fired my teft-hand barrel at full gallop. He slackened his speed, but I
could not halt to reload, lest I should lose sight of him in the high grass
The Huge Beast Faces His Foes.
Not a man was with me to hand a spare rifle. My cowardly fellows,,
although light-weights and well mounted, were nowhere ; the natives
were outrun, as of course was Richarn, who, not being a good rider, had
preferred to hunt on foot. In vain I shouted for the men ; and I followed
the elephant with an empty rifle for about ten minutes, until he suddenly
turned round, and stood facing me in an open spot in grass about nine
or ten feet high. " Tetel" was a grand horse for elephants, not having
the slightest fear, and standing fire like a rock, not even starting under
the discharge of the heaviest charge of powder. I now commenced re-
loading, when presently one of my men, Yaseen, came up upon my
horse " Filfil." Taking a spare gun from him, I rode rapidly past the
elephant, and suddenly reining up, I made a good shot exactly behind
the bladebone. With a shrill scream the elephant charged down upon
me like a steam-engine. In went the spurs. " Tetel " knew his work,
and away he went over the ruts and gullies, the high dry grass whistling
in my ears as we shot along at full speed, closely followed by the enraged
bull for about two hundred yards.
The elephant then halted; and turning the horse's head, I again faced
him and reloaded. Just at this moment I heard the rush of elephants
advancing through the green bush upon the rising ground above the
hollow formed by the open space of high withered grass in which we
were standing facing each other. My man Yaseen had bolted with his
fleet horse at the first charge, and was not to be seen.
Presently, the rushing sound increased, and the heads of a closely-
packed herd of about eighteen elephants showed above the low bushes
and they broke cover, bearing down directly upon me, both I and my
horse being unobserved in the high grass. I never saw a rhore lovely
sight; they were all bulls with immense tusks. Waiting until they were
within twenty yards of me I galloped straight at them, giving a yell that
turned them. Away they rushed up the hill, but at so great a pace, that
upon the rutty and broken ground I could not overtake them, and they
completely distanced me. " Tetel," although a wonderfully steady
hunter, was an uncommonly slow horse, but upon this day he appeared
to be slower than usual, and I was not at the time aware that he was
By following three elephants separated from the herd I came up to
them by a short cut, and singling out a fellow with enormous tusks, I
rode straight at him. Finjiing himself overhauled, he charged me with
such qickness and followed me up so far, that it was with the greatest
difficulty that I cleared him. When he turned, I at once returned to the
attack; but he entered a thick thorny jungle through which, no horse
could follow, and I failed to obtain a shot.
I was looking for a path through which I could penetrate the bush,
when I suddenly heard natives shouting in the direction where I had left
the wounded bull. Galloping towards the spot, I met a few scattered
natives ; among others, Adda. Aft^r. shouting for some time, at length
Yaseen appeared upon my horse " Filfil ; " he had fled as usual when he
saw the troop of elephants advancing, and no one knows how far he had
ridden before he thought it safe to look behind him. With two mounted
gun-bearers and five others on foot I had been entirely deserted through
the cowardice of my men.
The elephant that I had left as dying, was gone. One of the Latookas
had followed upon his tracks, and we heard this fellow shouting in the
distance. I soon overtook him, and he led rapidly upon the track
through thick bushes and high grass. In about a quarter of an hour we
came up with the elephant ; he was standing in bush, facing us at about
fifty yards' distance, and im.mediately perceiving ws, he gave a saucy
jerk with his head, and charged most determinedly. It was exceedingly
difficult to escape, owing to the bushes which impeded the horse, while
the elephant crushed them like cobwebs : however, by turning my horse
sharp round a tree, I managed to evade him after a chase of about a hun-
dred and fifty yards.
Disappearing in the jungle after his charge, I immediately followed
"him. The ground was hard, and so trodden by elephants that it was
difficult to single out the track. There was no blood upon the ground,
but only on the trees every now and then, where he had rubbed past
them in his retreat. After nearly two hours passed in slowly following
upon his path, we suddenly broke cover and saw him travelling very
quietly through an extensive plain of high grass. The ground was gently
inclining upwards on either side the plain, but the level was a mass of
deep, hardened ruts, over which no horse could gallop. Knowing my
friend's character, I rode up the rising ground to reconnoitre : I found it
tolerably clear of holes, and far superior to the rutty bottom. My two
mounted gun-bearers had now joined me, and far from enjoying the
sport, they were almost green with fright, when I ordered them to keep
?close to me and to advance. I wanted them to attract the elephant's
-attention, so as to enable me to obtain a good shoulder shot.
Elephant Screaming Like a Steam Whistle.
Riding along the open plain, I at length arrived within about fifty
yards of the bull, when he slowly turned. Reining " Tetel " up, I imme-
diately fired a steady shot at the shoulder. For a moment he fell upon
his knees, but, recovering with wonderful quickness, he was in full charge
upon me. Fortunately I had inspected my ground previous to the
attack, and away I went up the inclination to my right, the spurs hard at
work, and the elephant screaming with rage, gaining on me.
My horse felt as though made of wood, and clumsily rolled along in a
sort of cow-gallop ; — in vain I dug the spurs into his flanks, and urged
him by rein and voice; not an extra stride could I get out of him, and
he reeled along as though thoroughly exhausted, plunging in and out of
the buffalo holes instead of jumping them. Hamed was on my horse
?*' Mouse," who went three to " Tetel's " one, and instead of endeavoring
to divert the elephant's attention, he shot ahead, and thought of nothing
but getting out of the way. Yaseen, on " Filfil," had fled in another
direction; thus I had the pleasure of being hunted down upon a sick and
I kept looking round, thinking that the elephant would give in : — we
had been running for nearly half a mile, and the brute was overhauling
me so fast that he was within ten or twelve yards of the horse's tail, with
his trunk stretched out to catch him. Screaming like the whistle of an
engine, he fortunately so frightened the horse that he went his best,
although badly, and I turned him suddenly down the hill and doubled
back like a hare. The elephant turned up the hill, and entering the
jungle he relinquished the chase, when another hundred yards' ' run.
would have bagged me.
In a life's experience in elephant-hunting, I never was hunted for such
a distance. Great as were " Tetel's " good qualities for pluck and steadi-
ness, he had exhibited such distress and want of speed, that I was sure
he failed through some sudden malady. I immediately dismounted, and
the horse laid down, as I thought, to die.
Whistling loudly, I at length recalled Hamed, who had still continued
his rapid flight without once looking back, although the elephant was
out of sight. Yaseen was, of course, nowhere; but after a quarter of an
hour's shouting and whistling, he reappeared, and I mounted " Filfil,'"
ordering " Tetel " to be led home.
The sun had just sunk, and the two Latookas who now joined me-
refused to go farther on the tracks, saying, that the elephant must die
during the night, and that they would find him in the morning. We
were at least ten miles from camp ; I therefore fired a shot to collect my
scattered men, and in about half an hour we all joined together, except
the camels and their drivers, that we had left miles behind.
Tales of Narrow Escapes.
No one had tasted food since the previous day, nor had I drunk
water, although the sun had been burning hot ; I now obtained some
muddy rain water from a puddle, and we went towards home, where we
arrived at half-past eight, everyone tired with the day's work. The
camels came into camp about an hour later.
My men were all now wonderfully brave ; each had some story of a
narrow escape, and several declared that the elephants had run over
them, but fortunately without putting their feet upon them.
The news spread through the town that the elephant was killed ; and,,
long before daybreak on the following morning, masses of natives had
started for the jungles, where they found him lying dead. Accordingly,,
they stole his magnificent tusks, which they carried to the town of Wak-
kala, and confessed to taking all the flesh, but laid the blame of the ivory
theft upon the Wakkala tribe.
There was no redress. The questions of a right of game are ever pro-
lific of bad blood, and it was necessary in this instance to treat the matter
lightly. Accordingly, the natives requested me to go out and shoot
them another elephant; on the condition of obtaining the meat, they
were ready to join in any hunting expedition.
The elephants in Central Africa have very superior tusks to those of
Abyssinia. I had shot a considerable number in the Base country on.
the frontier of Abyssinia, and few tusks were 30 lbs. weight ; those in
the neighborhood of the White Nile average about 50 lbs. for each tusk
of a bull elephant, while those of the females are about 10 lbs. I have
seen monster tusks of 160 lbs., and one was in the possession of a trader
that weighed 172 lbs.
It is seldom that a pair of tusks are fac-simile. As a man uses the
right hand in preference to the left, so the elephant works with a particu-
lar tusk, which is termed by the traders " el Hadam " (the servant) ; this
is naturally more worn than the other, and is usually about ten pounds
lighter ; frequently it is broken, as the elephant uses it as a lever to
uproot trees and to tear up the roots of various bushes upon which he
Elephants in War.
The African elephant is not only entirely different from the Indian
species in his habits, but he also differs in form.
There are three distinguishing peculiarities. The back of the African
elephant is concave, that of the Indian is convex; the ear of the African
is enormous, entirely covering the shoulder when thrown back, while the
ear of the Indian variety is comparatively small. The head of the Afri-
can has a convex front, the top of the skull sloping back at a rapid incli-
nation, while the head of the Indian elephant exposes a flat surface a
little above the trunk. The average size of the African elephant is larger
than those of Ceylon, although I have occasionally shot monster rogues
in the latter country, equal to anything that I have seen in Africa.
The English forces in India were not slow in discovering the practical
aid to be derived from this enormous beast. Its vast strength, its un-
common intelligence, its spirit of obedience, its ability to swim the deep-
est rivers and push through the thickest jungles, rendered it available for
service where no other animal would have answered the purpose.
Frequently, in India, guns have been transported on the backs of ele-
phants, and have thus been carried where no gun-carriage could have
made its way on account of the obstructions to travel. The cannon is
strapped on the back of the huge beast, and might even be fired from
that high perch, except for the difficulty the gunner finds in taking sure
The Explorers at Obho.
It became dangerous for Baker to remain longer in the countiy, in
consequence of the abominable conduct of the Turks in his party, which
so irritated the natives that an attack from them was daily expected.
They were therefore compelled to return to Obbo, the chief of which, old
Katchiba, had before received them in a friendly manner. Here, in con-
sequence of their exposure to wet, Mr. and Mrs. Baker were attacked
with fever. By tliis time all their baggage animals as well as their horses
Katchiba laid claim to intercourse with the unseen world, and to
authority over the elements ; rain and drought, calm and tempest, being
supposed by his subjects to be equally under his command. Sometimes,
if the country had been afflicted with drought beyond the usual time of
rain, Katchiba would assemble his people, and deliver a long harangue,
inveighing against their evil doings, which had kept off the rain. These
evil doings, on being analyzed, generally proved to be little more than a
want of liberality toward himself. He explained to them that he sin-
cerely regretted their conduct, which " has compelled him to afflict them
with unfavorable weather, but that it is their own fault. If they are so
greedy and so stingy that they will not supply him properly, how can
they expect him to think of their interests? No goats, no rain ; that's
our contract, my friends," says Katchiba, " Do as you like: /can wait;
I hope you can." Should his people complain of too much rain, he
threatens to pour storms and lightning upon them forever, unless they
bring him so many baskets of corn. Thus he holds his sway.
Crafty Old Chief.
No man would thmk of starting on a journey without the blessing of
the old chief, and a peculiar " hocus-pocus " is considered necessary from
the magic hands of Katchiba, that shall eharm the traveller, and preserve
him from all danger of wild animals upon the I'oad. In case of sickness
he is called in, not as M. D. in our acceptation, but as Doctor of Magic,
and he charms both the hut and patient against death, with the fluctuat-
ing results that must attend professionals, even in sorcery. His subjects
have the most thorough confidence in his power; and so great is his
reputation, that distant tribes frequently consult him, and beg his assist-
ance as a magician. In this manner does old Katchiba hold his sway
over his savage but credulous people ; and so long has he imposed upon
the public, that I believe he has at length imposed upon himself, and that
he really believes that he has the power of sorcery, notwithstanding
Once, while Baker was in the country, Katchiba, like other rain-
makers, fell into a dilemma. There had been no rain for a long time,
and the people had become so angry at the continued drought, that they
assembled round his house, blowing horns, and shouting execrations
against their chief, because he had not sent them a shower which would
allow them to sow their seed. True to his policy, the crafty old man
made light of their threats, telling them that they might kill him if they
liked, but that, if they did so, no more rain would ever fall. Rain in the
country was the necessary result of goats and provisions given to the
chief, and, as soon as he got the proper fees, the rain should come. The
rest of the story is so good, that it must be told in the author's own
" With all this bluster," says Baker, " I saw that old Katchiba was in
a great dilemma, and that he would give anything for a shower, but that
he did not know how to get out of the scrape. It was a common freak
of the tribes to sacrifice their rain-maker, should he be unsuccessful. He
suddenly altered his tone, and asked, ' Have you any rain in your coun-
try ? ' I replied that we had every now and then. ' How do you bring
it? Are you a rain-maker ? ' I told him that no one believed in rain-
makers in our country, but that we knew how to bottle lightning (mean-
ing electricity). ' I don't keep mine in bottles, but I have a house full of
thunder and lightning,' he most coolly replied; ' but if you can bottle
lightning, you must understand rain-making. What do you think of the
weather to-day ? '
Trouble to Get Kain.
"I immediately saw the drift of the cunning old Katchiba; he wanted
professional advice. I replied that he must know all about it, as he was
a regular rain-maker. 'Of course I do,' he answered; 'but I want to
know what you think of it.' ' 'Well,' I said, ' I don't think we shall have
any steady rain, but I think we may have a heavy shower in about four
days' (I said this, as I had observed fleecy clouds gathering daily in the
afternoon). ' Just my opinion,' said Katchiba, delighted. ' In four, or
perhaps in five, days I intend to give them one shower — just one shower;
yes, I'll just step down to them, and tell the rascals that if they will give
me some goats by this evening, and some corn by to-morrow morning, I
will give them in four or five days just one shower.'
" To give effect to his declaration, he gave several toots on his magic
whistle. ' Do you use whistles in your country ? ' inquired Katchiba. I
only replied by giving so shrill and deafening a whistle on my fingers,
that Katchiba stopped his ears, and, relapsing into a smile of admiration,
he took a glance at the sky from the doorway, to see if any effect had
been produced. ' Whistle again,' he said ; and once more I performed
like the whistle of a locomotive. ' That will do ; we shall have it,' said
the cunning old rain-maker ; and, proud of having so knowingly obtained
counsel's opinion ' in his case, he toddled off to his impatient subjects.
In a few days a sudden storm of rain and violent thunder added to
Katchiba's renown, and after the shower horns were blowing and nogaras
beating in honor of their chief. Between ourselves, my whistle was
When his guests were lying ill in their huts, struck down with the
fever which is prevalent in hot and moist climates such as that of Obbo,
Katchiba came to visit them in his character of magician, and performed
a curious ceremony. He took a small leafy branch, filled his mouth
with water, and squirted it on the branch, which was then waved about
the hut, and lastly stuck over the door. He assured his sick guests that
their recovery was now certain ; and, as they did recover, his opinion of
his magical powers was doubtless confirmed.
After their recovery they paid a visit to the chief, by his special desire,
and were entertained in princely style.
Spirited Dance of Obbos.
Among other things the natives held a great consultation, and ended
with a war-dance ; they were all painted in various patterns, with red
ochre and white pipe-clay ; their heads adorned with very tasteful orna-
ments of cowrie-shells, surmounted by plumes of ostrich feathers, which
drooped over the back of the neck. After the dance, the old chief
addressed them in a long and vehement speech ; he was followed by
several other speakers, all of whom were remarkably fluent, and
expressed their exceeding gratification on account of the visit of the
Mr. Baker purchased from the Turks some good riding oxen for him-
self and his wife, and, having placed his goods under the care of old
Katchiba and two of his own men, he set out in January, 1864, with a
small number of attendants, to proceed to Karuma, the northern end of
Xamrasi's territory, which Speke and Grant had visited.
The Shooa country, through which he passed, is very beautiful, con-
sisting of mountains covered with fine forests trees, and picturesquely
dotted over with villages. Several portions presented the appearance of
a park watered by numerous rivulets and ornamented with fine timber,
while it was interspersed with rocks of granite, which at a distance looked
like ruined castles. Here they found an abundance of food : fowls,
butter, and goats were brought for sale.
They had obtained the services of a slave woman called Bacheeta,
belonging to Unyoro, and who, having learned Arabic, was likely to
prove useful as an interpreter and guide. She, however, had no desire
to return to her own country, and endeavored to mislead them, by taking
them to the country of Rionga, an enemy of Kamrasi. Fortunately,
Mr. Baker detected her treachery, and he and his Turkish aUies reached
the Karuma Falls, close to the village of Atada.
A number of Kamrasi's people soon crossed the river to within parley-
ing distance, when Bacheeta, as directed, explained that Speke's brother
had arrived to pay Kamrasi a visit, and had brought him valuable
presents. Kamrasi's people, however, showed considerable suspicion on
seeing so many people, till Baker appeared dressed in a suit similar to
that worn by Speke, when they at once exhibited their welcome, by
dancing and gesticulating with their lances and shields in the most ex-
travagant manner. The party, however, were not allowed to cross till
permission was obtained from Kamrasi.
Trying to Trade Wives.
That very cautious and cowardly monarch sent his brother, who pre-
tended to be Kamrasi himself, and for some time Baker was deceived,
fully believing that he was negotiating with the king. Notwithstanding
his regal pretensions, he very nearly got knocked down, on proposing that
he and his guest should exchange wives, and even Bacheeta, understand-
ing the insult which had been offered,. fiercely abused the supposed king.
Baker's Obbo porters had before this deserted him, and he was now
dependent on Kamrasi for others to supply their places. The king,
however, ultimately became more friendly, and gave orders to his people
to assist the stranger, granting him also permission to proceed westward
to the lake he was so anxious to visit.
A few women having been supplied to carry his luggage, he and his
wife, with their small party of attendants, at length set out.
Says Baker : The country was a vast flat of grass land interspersed
with small villages and patches of sweet potatoes ; these were very in-
ferior, owing to the want of drainage. For about two miles we continued
on the bank of the Kafoor river; the women who carried the luggage
were straggling in disorder, and my few men were much scattered in
their endeavors to collect them. We approached a considerable village ;
but just as we were nearing it, out rushed about six hundred men with
lances and shields, screaming and yelling like so many demons. For the
moment, I thought it was an attack, but almost immediately I noticed
that women and children were mingled with the men. My men had not
taken so cool a view of the excited throng that was now approaching us
at full speed, brandishing their spears, and engaging with each other in
mock combat. " There's a fight ! there's a fight!" my men exclaimed;.
" we are attacked ! fire at them, Hawaga."
However, in a few seconds, I persuaded them that it was a mere parade,
and that there was no danger. With a rush, Hke a cloud of locusts, the na-
tives closed around us, dancing, gesticulating, and yelling before us,
feinting to attack us with spears and shields, then engaging in sham fights
with each other, and behaving like so many madmen. A very tall chief
accompanied them ; and one of their men was suddenly knocked down,
and attacked by the crowd with sticks and lances, and lay on the ground
covered with blood : what his offence had been I did not hear. The en-
tire crowd were most grotesquely got up, being dressed in either leopard
or white monkey skins, with cows' tails strapped on behind, and ante-
lopes' horns fitted upon some of their heads, and carrying large shields
and savage-looking spears.
Altogether, I never saw a more unearthly set of creatures ; they were
perfect illustrations of my childish ideas of devils — horns, tails, and all,
excepting the hoofs ; they were our escort ! furnished by Kamrasi to ac-
company us to the lake. Fortunately for all parties the Turks were not
with us on that occasion, or the satanic escort would certainly have been
received with a volley when they so rashly advanced to compliment us b"
their absurd performances.
We marched till 7 p.m. over flat, uninteresting" country, and then halted
at a miserable village which the people had deserted, as they expected our
arrival. The following morning I found much difficulty in getting our
escort together, as they had been foraging throughout the neighborhood ;
these " devil's own " were a portion of Kamrasi's troops, who considered
themselves entitled to plunder ad libitum throughout the march ; how-
ever, after some delay, they collected, and their tall chief approached me,
and beggcid that a gun might be fired as a curiosity. The escort had
crowded around us, and as the boy Saat was close to me, I ordered him
to fire his gun! This was Saat's greatest delight, and bang went one bar-
rel unexpectedly close to the tall chiefs ear. The effect was charming
The tall chief, thinking himself injured, clasped his head with both hands,
and bolted through the crowd, which, struck with a sudden panic, rushed
away in all directions, the " devil's own " tumbling over each other, and
utterly scattered by the second barrel which Saat exultingly fired in
derision as Kamrasi's warlike regiment dissolved before a sound.
Serious Illness of Mrs. Baker.
Mr. Baker, however, soon got rid of his satanic escort. Poor Mrs.
Baker was naturally alarmed, fearing that it was the intention of the king
to waylay them and perhaps carry her off.
Soon after this, while crossing the Kafue river, the heat being exces-
sive, what was Mr. Baker's horror to see his wife sink from her ox as
though shot dead. He, with his attendants, carried her through the
yielding vegetation, up to their waists in water, above which they could
just keep her head, till they reached the banks. He then laid her under
a tree, and now discovered that she had received a sunstroke. As there
was nothing to eat on the spot, it was absolutely necessary to move on.
A litter was procured, on which Mrs. Baker was carried, her husband
mechanically following by its side. For seven days continuously he thus
proceeded on his journey. Her eyes at length opened, but, to his
infinite grief, he found that she was attacked by brain fever.
One evening they reached a village. She was in violent convulsions.
He believed all was over, and, while he sank down insensible by her
side, his men went out to seek for a spot to dig her grave. On awaken-
ing, all hope having abandoned him, as he gazed at her countenance her
chest gently heaved; she was asleep. When at a sudden noise she
opened her eyes, they were calm and clear; she was saved.
Having rested for a couple of days, they continued their course, Mrs.
Baker being carried on her litter. At length they reached the village of
Parkani. To his joy, as he gazed at some lofty mountains, he was told
that they formed the western side of the Luta Nzige, and that the lake
was actually within a march of the village. Their guide announced that
if they started early in the morning, they might wash in the lake by
noon. That night Baker hardly slept.
The following morning, the 14th of March, starting before sunrise, on
ox-back, he and his Avife, with their attendants, following his guide, in a
few hours reached a hill from the summit of which " he beheld beneath
him a grand expanse of water, a boundless sea horizon on the south and
southwest, glittering in the noonday sun, while on the west, at fifty or
sixty miles distant, blue mountains rose from the bosom of the lake to a
height of about seven thousand feet above its level."
Hence they descended on foot, supported by stout bamboos, for two
hours, to the white pebbly beach on which the waves of the lake were
rolling. Baker, in the enthusiasm of the moment, rushed into the lake,
and, thristy with heat and fatigue, Avith a heart full of gratitude, drank
•deeply from what he supposed to be one of the sources of the Nile, not
dreaming of the wonderful discoveries Livingstone was making at that
very time many degrees to the southward. He now bestowed upon this
lake the name of the Albert Nyanza.
The dwellers on the borders of the lake are expert fishermen, and in one
of their villages, named Vakovia, the travellers now established themselves.
His followers, two of whom had seen the sea at Alexandria, and who
believed that they should never reach the lake, were astonished at its
appearance, unhesitatingly declaring that though it was not salt, it must
be the sea.
Salt, however, is the chief product of the country, numerous salt-pits
existing in the neighborhood, and in its manufacture the inhabitants are
chiefly employed. Vakovia is a miserable place, and, in consequence of
its damp and hot position, the whole party suffered from fever.
Travelling in Canoes.
Here they were detained eight days waiting for canoes, which Kamrasi
had ordered his people to supply. At length several were brought,
but they were merely hollowed-out trunks of trees, the largest being
thirty-two feet long. Baker selected another, twenty-six feet long, but
wider and deeper, for himself and his wife and their personal attendants,
while the luggage and the remainder of the people embarked in the
former. He raised the sides of the canoe, and fitted up a cabin for his
wife, which was both rain and sun-proof
Having purchased some provisions, he started on a voyage to survey
the lake. Vakovia is about a third of the way from the northern end of
the lake. His time would not allow him to proceed further south. He
directed his course northward, towards the part out of which the Nile
was supposed to flow.
The difficulties of the journey were not yet over. The first day's voy-
age was delightful, the lake calm, the scenery lovely. At times the
mountains on the west coast were not discernible, and the lake appeared
of indefinite width. Sometimes they passed directly under precipitous
cliffs of fifteen hundred feet in height, rising abruptly out of the water,
while from the deep clefts in the rocks evergreens of every tint appeared,
and wherever a rivulet burst forth it was shaded by the graceful and
feathery wild date. Numbers of hippopotami were sporting in the
water, and crocodiles were numerous on every sandy beach.
Storm on the Lake.
Next night, however, the boatmen deserted, but, not to be defeated^
Baker induced his own people to take to the paddles. He fitted a paddle
to his own boat, to act as a rudder, but the men in the larger boat
neglected to do as he directed them.
A tremendous storm of rain came down while he was at work. His
own canoe, however, being ready, he started. He was about to cross
from one headland to another, when he saw the larger canoe spinning:
round and round, the crew having no notion of guiding her. Fortu-
nately, it was calm, and, on reaching the shore, he induced several natives
to serve as his crew, while others went off in their own boats to assist
the large canoe.
He now commenced crossing a deep bay, fully four miles wide. He
had gained the centre when a tremendous storm came on, and enormous
waves rolled in over the lake. The canoe labored heavily and occasion-
ally shipped water, which was quickly bailed out. Had this not been
done, the canoe would inevitably have been swamped. Down came the
rain in torrents, while the wind swept over the surface with terrific force,
nothing being discernible except the high cliffs looming in the distance.
The boatmen paddled energetically, and at last a beach was seen ahead.
A wave struck the canoe washing over her. Just then the men jumped
out, and though they were rolled over, they succeeded in hauling the
boat up the beach.
Delays and Difficulties.
The shore of the lake, as they paddled along it, was thinly inhabited,
and the people very inhospitable, till they reached the town of Eppigoya.
Even here the inhabitants refused to sell any of their goats, though they
willingly parted with fowls at a small price. 'At each village the voy-
agers changed their boatmen, none being willing to go beyond the
village next them. This was provoking, as delays constantly occurred.
Such delays, however, are incident to all travelling in Africa. One of
the great advantages of old countries is that there are means of transpor-
tation which never fail. Possibly once in a great while the traveller is
detained by floods, by washouts, by railway accidents, or from some
other cause, yet considering the number of railways and the multitudes
of people who journey from one place to another, it is surprising that
there are so few delays and accidents. This, however, does not apply to
Africa. There a journey of ten or fifteen miles a day for a caravan is
considered very good progress, and we have already seen that some of
the explorers were detained in various localities for weeks, months, and,
in one or two instances, for even years. Mr. and Mrs. Baker bore their
liindrances with becoming fortitude and downright Anglo-Saxon pluck.
THE NIAGARA OF AFRICA.