CAPTAIN SPEKE, who had ah-eady made two expeditions inta
Africa — on the second of which he discovered the great lake,
Victoria Nyanz^ — started, on the 30th of July, 1858, on a third
expedition, in the hopes of proving that the Nile has its source
in that lake. He was accompanied by an old Indian brother officer
Having reached the island of Zanzibar, where some time was spent in
collecting a sufficient band of followers, they left Zanzibar on the 25th of
September, in a corvette placed at their disposal by the sultan, and
crossed over to Bagamoyo, on the mainland.
They had, as their attendants, ten men of the Cape Mounted Rifles,
who were Hottentots ; a native commandant. Sheikh Said ; five old black
sailors, who spoke Hindostanee; in addition to Bombay, Speke's former
attendant, factotum, and interpreter, a party of sixty-four Wagnana
blacks, emancipated from slavery; and fifteen porters of the interior.
The two chief men, besides Said, were Bombay and Baraka, who com-
manded the Zanzibar men. Fifty carbines were distributed among the
elder men of the party, and the sheikh was armed with a double-barrelled
rifle, given to him by Captain Speke. The sultan also sent, as a guard
of honor, twenty-five Beloochs, with an officer, to escort them as far as
Uzaramo, the country of the Wazaramo. They had also eleven mules to
carry ammunition, and five donkeys for the sick.
Their whole journey was to be performed on foot. As there were no
roads, their luggage was carried on the backs of men.
Red Flannel and Wooly Heads.
Some time was spent among the porters in squabbling, and arranging
their packs. Their captain, distinguishable by a high head-dress of
ostrich plumes stuck through a strip of scarlet flannel, led the march,
flag in hand, followed by his gang of wooly-haired negroes, armed with
spears or bows and arrows, carrying their loads either secured to three-
pronged sticks or, when they consisted of brass or copper wire, hung at
each end of sticks laid on the shoulder. The Waguana followed in
helter-skelter fashion, carrying all sorts of articles, next came the Hot-
tentots, dragging the mules with the ammunition, whilst lastly marched
the sheikh and the Belooch escort, the goats and women, the sick and
stragglers bringing up the rear.
One of the Hottentot privates soon died, and five others were sent back
sick. About thirty Seedees deserted, as did nearly all the porters, while
the sheikh also soon fell sick.
On the 2d of October, having bid farewell to Colonel Rigby, the Brit-
ish consul at Zanzibar, who took deep interest in the expedition, and
afforded it every assistance in his power, the march began.
They had first before them a journey of five hundred miles to Caze,
the capital of the country of the Moon. This was a small portion, how-
ever, only of the distance to be performed.
Captains Speke and Grant divided the duties of the expedition
between them, the first mapping the country, which is done by timing
the rate of march, taking compass-bearings, noting the water-shed, etc.
Then, on arriving in camp, it was necessary to boil the thermometer to
ascertain the altitude of the station above the sea-level, and the latitude
by the meridional altitude of a star ; then, at intervals of sixty miles,
lunar observations had to be taken to determine the longitude ; and,
lastly, there was the duty of keeping a diary, sketching, and making
geological and zoological collections. Captain Grant made the botanical
collections and had charge of the thermometer. He kept the rain-gauge
and sketched with water colors, for it was found that photography was
too severe work for the climate.
The march was pursued before the sun was high, then came breakfast
and a pipe before exploring the neighborhood, and dinner at sunset, then
tea and pipe before turning in at night. Scarcely had they commenced
the journey than the petty chiefs demanded tribute, which it was neces-
sary to pay. The porters also struck for higher wages ; but, the leaders
going on, they thought better of the matter, and followed.
The poor Hottentots suffered much from the climate, and were con-
stantly on the sick-list. The Waguana treated them with great contempt,
and one day, while a little Tot was trying to lift his pack on his mule, a
large black grasped him, pack and all, in his muscular arms, lifting them
above his head, paraded him around the camp amid much laughter, and
then, putting him down, loaded his mule and patted him on the back.
" A day's march being concluded, the sheikh and Bombay arrange the
camp, issuing cloths to the porters for the purchase of rations, the tents
are pitched, the Hottentots cook, some look after the mules and donkeys,
others cut boughs for huts and fencing, while the Beloochs are supposed
to guard the camp, but prefer gossiping and brightening their arms,
while Captain Grant kills two buck antelopes to supply the larder."
The country through which they were passing belongs to the tribe of
Wazaramo. It is covered with villages, the houses of which are mostly
of a conical shape, composed of hurdle-work and plastered with clay, and
thatched with grass or reeds. They profess to be the subjects of the
Sultan of Zanzibar. They are arrant rogues, and rob travellers, when
they can, by open violence. They always demand more tribute than
they expect to get, and generally use threats as a means of extortion.
One of their chiefs, the Lion-Claw, was very troublesome, sending back
the presents which had been made him, and threatening dire vengeance
if his demands were not complied with. Further on, Monkey's-Tail,
another chief, demanded more tribute ; but Speke sent word that he
should smell his powder if he came for it ; and, exhibiting the marks-
manship of his men, Monkey's-Tail thought better of it, and got nothing.
Excessive Politeness to Women.
The people, though somewhat short, are not bad-looking. Though
their dress is limited, they adorn themselves with shells, pieces of tin
and beads, and rub their bodies with red clay and oil, till their skins
appear like new copper. Their hair is wooly, and they twist it into a
number of tufts, each of which is elongated by the fibres of bark. They
have one good quality, not general in Africa : the men treat the women
with much attention, dressing their hair for them, and escorting them to
the water, lest any harm should befall them.
Kidunda was soon reached. Hence the Belooch escort was sent back
the next day, with the specimens of natural history which had been col-
lected. Proceeding along the Kinganni River they reached the country
of the Usagara, a miserable race, who, to avoid the slave-hunters, build
their villages on the tops of hills, and cultivate only just as much land
among them as will supply their wants. Directly a caravan appears,
they take to flight and hide themselves, never attempting resistance if
overtaken. Their only dress consists of a strip of cloth round the waist.
Captain Grant was here seized with fever, and the sickness of the Hot-
tentots much increased. A long day's march from the hilly Usagara
country led the party into the comparatively level land of Ugogo. Food
was scarce, the inhabitants living on the seed of the calabash to save
their stores of grain.
The country has a wild aspect, well in keeping with the natives who
occupy it. The men never appeared without their spears and shields.
They are fond of ornaments, the ordinary one being a tube of gourd
thrust through the lower lobe of the ear. Their color is somewhat like
that of a rich plum. Impulsive and avaricious, they forced their way into
the camp to obtain gifts, and thronged the road as the travellers passed by,
jeering, quizzing, and pointing at them.
Later they encamped on the eastern border of the largest clearing in
Ugogo, called Kanyenye, stacking their loads beneath a large gouty-
limbed tree. Here eight of the Wanyamuezi porters absconded, carry-
ing off their loads, accompanied by two Wagogo boys.
Speke went to shoot a hippopotamus at night. Having killed one, two
more approached in a stealthy, fidgety way. Stepping out from his
shelter, with the two boys carrying his second rifle, he planted a ball in
the largest, which brought him round with a roar in the best position for
receiving a second shot ; but, on turning round to take his spare rifle
Speke found that the black boys had scrambled off like monkeys up a
tree, while the hippopotamus, fortunately for him, shuffled away without
He hurried back to let his people know that there was food for them
that they might take possession of it before the hungry Wagogo could
find it. Before, however, they had got the skin off the beast, the natives
assembled like vultures, and began fighting the men. The scene, though
grotesque, was savage and disgusting in the extreme ; they fell to work
with swords and hatchets, cutting and slashing, thumping and bawling,
up to their knees in the middle of the carcass. When a tempting morsel
was obtained by one, a stronger would seize it and bear off the prize —
right was now might. Fortunately no fight took place between the
travellers and the villagers. The latter, covered with blood, were seen
scampering home, each with a part of the spoil.
Hunter Tossed Skyward.
A dangerous brute to encounter is the rhinoceros. He is ferocious,
swift, strong, with a very tough hide, and whether his foe is man or beast,
he is not likely to come out second best in a combat. The following
account of what befel a party of travellers will show the fury of this
The narrator says : "As meat was wanted, several of the party pro-
posed to set off at an early hour to bring in some from the animals we
had killed. As I did not like to be left behind, I begged to be allowed
to mount a horse and to ride with them. I should have been wiser to
have remained quietly at the camp, but I wanted to revisit the scene of
our encounter the previous day. Several of the blacks followed behind, who
were to be loaded with our spoils. As we neared the spot, I heard my friends
exclaiming in various tones : ' Where is it ? What has become of the
creature ? and, pushing forward, I caught sight of the elephant and the
dead lion at a distance, but nowhere was the rhinoceros to be seen.
It was very evident that it could not have been killed as we had sup-
posed, and that, having only been stunned, it, at length, recovered itself,
and had made off.
" Toko, one of the party, cried out that he had discovered its trail,
and I saw him hurrying forward, evidently hoping to find the creature.
The other blacks meanwhile set to work to cut out the tusks, and select
a few slices off such parts of the body as were most to their taste, includ-
ing the feet, the value of which we knew from experience.
"While they were thus occupied, my three white friends were busy in
flaying the lion. I kept my eye on Toko, expecting that, should he dis-
cover the rhinoceros, he would summon some of the party to his assist-
ance. I saw him look suspiciously into a thicket, then he turned to fly.
The next moment a huge beast rushed out, which I had no doubt was
the rhinoceros we fancied that we had killed on the previous day. Toko
made for a tree behind which he could shelter himself. I called to my
friends to draw their attention to the danger in which he was placed, but
to my dismay before he could reach .the tree the rhinoceros was upon
him. There was no time to leap either to the one side or the other, but
as the animal's sharp horn was about to transfix him, he made a spring-
as if to avoid it, but he was not in time, and the animal, throwing up his
head, sent him and his rifle floating into the air to the height of several feet.
" The rhinoceros then charged on towards the men cutting up the
elephant, when my uncle and his companions, having seized their rifles,
began blazing away at it. Fortunately, one of their shots took effect
and before it had reached the blacks, down it sank to the ground.
" I had ridden up to the native, expecting to find every bone in his
body broken. As I approached, to my satisfaction, I saw him get up ;
and though he limped somewhat, after shaking himself and picking up
his rifle, he declared that he was not much the worse for the fearful toss
he had received, and was as ready as ever for work.
" He soon rejoined the rest of the men, and assisted in packing the
oxen with the tusks and meat. Some of the flesh of the rhinoceros was
also cut off, and with the lion-skin packed up. Rhinoceros meat, though
tough, is of good fl.avor. The portions we carried off were from the
upper part of the shoulder and from the ribs, where we found the fat and
lean regularly striped to the depth of two inches. Some of the skin was
also taken for the purpose of making some fresh ox-whips. We of
course carried away the horns, which are about half the value of ivory.
Altogether, the adventure which at one time appeared likely to prove so
disastrous, afforded us no small amount of booty."
An Extraordinary Animal.
The following description of the rhinoceros, as seen by Speke and
Grant, may appropriately be given here :
Both varieties of the African black rhinoceros are extremely fierce and
dangerous, and rush headlong and unprovoked at any object which
attracts their attention. They never attain much fat, and their flesh is
tough, and not much esteemed. Their food consists almost entirely of the
thorny branches of the "wait-a-bit " thorns. Their horns are much shorter
than those of the other varieties, seldom exceeding eighteen inches in
length. They are finely polished by constant rubbing against the trees.
The skull is remarkably formed, its most striking feature being the tre-
mendous, thick ossification in which it ends above the nostrils. It is on
this mass that the horn is supported. The horns are not connected with
the skull, being attached merely by the skin, and they may thus be sep-
arated from the head by means of a sharp knife. They are hard, and
perfectly soHd throughout, and are a fine material for various articles,
such as drinking-cups, mallets for rifles, and handles for turners' tools.
The horn is capable of a very high polish.
The eyes of the rhinoceros are small and sparkling, but do not readily
observe the hunter, provided he keep to leeward of them. The skin is
extremely thick, and only to be penetrated with bullets hardened with
solder. During the day, the rhinoceros will be found lying asleep, or
standing indolently in some retired part of the forest, or under the base
of the mountains, sheltered from the power of the sun by some friendly
grove of umbrella-topped mimosas. In the evening they commence their
nightly ramble, and wander over a great extent of country. They usually
visit the fountains between the hours of nine and twelve o'clock at
night, and it is on these occasions that they may be most successfully
hunted, and with the least danger.
The black rhinoceros is subject to paroxysms of unprovoked fury, often
plowing up the ground for several yards with its horn, and assaulting
large bushes in the most violent manner. On these bushes they work for
hours with their horns, at the same time snorting and blowing loudly ;
nor do they leave them in general until they have broken them into
pieces. All the four varieties delight to roll and wallow in the mud, with
which their rugged hides are generally encrusted.
A Matcli for the Swiftest Horse.
Both varieties of the black rhinoceros are much smaller and more
active than the white, and are so swift that a horse with a rider on its
back can rarely overtake them, yet they are often hunted with horses.
Both attain an enormous size, being the animals next in magnitude to the
elephant. They feed solely on grass, carry much fat, and their flesh is
excellent, being preferable to beef They are of a much milder and more
inoffensive disposition than the black rhinoceros, rarely charging their
pursuer. Their speed is very inferior to that of the other varieties.
If we examine the skull of a rhinoceros, we shall find that just under the
place where the root of the horn lies, there is a peculiar development of
the bone on which the weight of the horn rests. Now, it is well known
that of all forms intended to support great weight, the arch is the strong-
est. Such, then, is the form of the bone which supports the horn ; and
in order to prevent the jar on the brain which would probably injure the
animal when making violent strokes with the horn, one side of the arch is
left unsupported by its pillar ; so that the whole apparatus presents the
appearance of a strong bony spring, which, although very pow^erful, would
yield sufficiently on receiving a blow to guard the animal from the shock
which would occur, were the horn to be placed directly on the skull.
Such a structure as this is not needed in the case of the elephant, as that
animal never strikes violently with its tusks, as the rhinoceros does with
That such is the intention of the structure is well shown by a curious
circumstance that took place during a rhinoceros-hunt, and which shows
that the animal can suffer severely from a blow on the horn, if that blow
is given in a different method from that which the creature is in the habit
A Hot Pursuit.
Some hunters were engaged in the pursuit of the rhinoceros, and
had roused one of the animals from the thicket in which it was
engaged in rubbing itself against the trees, after the usual fashion of the
The skin, although thick, is very sensitive between the folds, and suffers
much from the attacks of the mosquitoes and flies. The rhinoceros, to
allay the irritation, rubs against trees, and has a curious custom of grunting
loudly while performing this operation, and thus guides the hunter to its
place of refuge. They are thus enabled to steal through the underwood
unperceived, as the animal is too much engaged rubbing his sides to pay
any attention to sounds which would at any other time send him off in
alarm. By crawling along the ground, after the manner of serpents, they
generally contrive to inflict a mortal wound before he is aware of their
In the present case, the hunters were endeavoring to act in the same
manner, but the intended victim became alarmed, broke through the wood,,
and made the best of his way towards a large cane-brake about two miles
distant. The whole party pursued him, and the poor animal was speedily
The number and severity of the wounds appear to have confused his
brain, for instead of keeping his straight course towards the canes, he
turned off short, and dashed into a narrow gully without any exit. The
ravine was so narrow that he broke to pieces many of the protruding
spears as he rushed in, and when he had fairly entered, there was barely
room to turn. The assailants now had it all their own way, and one of
them standing on the brink of the ravine took aim at his head, and
stretched him on the ground apparently lifeless. But scarcely had they
done this when the animal recovered from his wound, and struggled
upon his knees. Out went the hunters as fast as they could, and had it
not been for the presence of mind of one of them, who hamstrung the
rhinoceros before he ran away, in all probability several of the men would
have forfeited their lives.
Curiosity induced the hunters to search for the wound that had thus
stunned the animal, and they naturally expected to find the track of a
ball through the brain, or, at all events, a wound on the skull ; but after
some search, they found that the ball had only struck the point of the
foremost horn, and had carried off about an inch of it.
This is a very curious circumstance, because the blow was a compara-
tively slight one, and the shocks which the animal inflicts upon itself in
the daily occurrences of life must be very severe indeed. But the whole
structure of the head and horn is intended to resist heavy blows, while it
is not capable of sustaining a sharp, smart shock without conveying the
impression to the brain.
About a hundred and fifty years ago, one of these big beasts was
brought to London from Bengal. He was a very costly animal ; though
only two years old five thousand dollars were expended in providing him
with food and drink. Every day he ate seven pounds of rice mixed with
three pounds of sugar, divided into three portions. He also ate plenti-
fully of hay, but he much preferred fresh vegetables, grass and herbs.
He drank a great deal of water. He was so quiet and well-behaved
that he let people handle him, unless he was annoyed, or wanted his
breakfast. The well-known specimen in the Zoological Gardens in
London couldn't bear the noise of the roller used in keeping the gravel
pathway in order which adjoined his den; his hearing was very quick,
so that even while enjoying his dinner he stopped, and started aside, to
Bingley gives the following account of a rhinoceros brought to Eng-
land in 1790. It was then about five years old. It was somewhat
tamed ; it would walk about when desired to do so by its keeper ; it
would let visitors pat its back. Its daily allowance was twenty-eight
pounds of clover, the same quantity of ship biscuit, and an enormous
amount of greens. It was fond of sweet wines, and would drink four or
five bottles in a few hours. He made nothing of drinking fifteen pails of
water in the course of a day. If he saw a person with fruit or any food
that he was fond of, he would ask for a share, in a very pretty manner
for so huge a beast, making a noise somewhat like the bleating of a calf.
He died of inflammation, caused by slipping the joint of one of his fore
legs. Some doctors made openings in his skin, in order to relieve his
pain. These were always found quite healed up in the course of twenty-
There is no doubt that the elephant and rhinoceros sometimes fight to-
gether madly when they are in a wild state. Some years ago there was
'a specimen in the Regent's Park Gardens, that contrived to get into the
den of an old elephant there. They were afterwards the best friends in
the world, and it was amusing to see how quiet the rhinoceros would
stand while his great friend scrubbed his back with his trunk, and occa-
sionally gratified himself by a sly pull at his tail, to make the rhinoceros
turn his head, if his attention was taken off by visitors.
We have said that the horn is not fastened to the skull, but simply
connected with his skin. It is not generally known that it can be removed
by passing a sharp knife round its base. The skin is so strong and thick,
that it can only be pierced by bullets of a peculiar make. The Negroes
of Africa know this perfectly well, and make it into shields and bucklers.
His playful antics are somewhat useful ; thus he will poke his horn into
the ground, and then driving it along at a great rate, pushing with all his
mighty force and strength, he will make a furrow broader and deeper
than that of a plough. Those who have watched his habits tell us that
he does this, not because he is in a passion, but in the pure enjoyment
of health and spirits ; just as when a little boy or girl, or dog or kitten,
scampers about a lawn.
Some species of this animal are wild, and can be easily tamed ; the
powerful Indian rhinoceros is the shyest, and the double-horned the
wildest. Mason, in his work, entitled "Burmah," remarked that the
common single-horned rhinoceros is very abundant. The double-horned
is not uncommon in the southern provinces; and then he alludes to the
fire-eater of the Burmans, as distinguished from the common single-
horned kind. The fire-eating rhinoceros, he tells us, is so called from
its attacking the night fires of travellers, scattering the burning embers,
and doing other mischief, being attracted by unusual noises, instead of
fleeing from them as most wild animals do. Professor Oldham's camp-
fire was attacked by a rhinoceros, which he fired at with a two-ounce
ball ; and three days afterwards the body was found, and proved to be of
the two-horned species. The skull of that individual is now in the mus-
eum of Trinity College, Dublin. The commonest of the African rhinoc-
eroses has been known to manifest the same propensity, and so has even
the ordinary American tapir. In general, however, the Asiatic two-
horned rhinoceros is an exceedingly shy and timid animal, and one of
the largest size has been seen to run away from a single wild dog.
The Explorers Meet a Kogue.
Returning to our narrative of Speke and Grant, we find that the Sheikh
Magomba did his utmost to detain them, sending his chief, Wazir, in an
apparently friendly manner, to beg that they would live in his palace.
The bait, however, did not take — Speke knew the rogue too well. Next
day the sheikh was too drunk to listen to anyone, and thus day after
day passed by. The time was employed in shooting, and a number of
animals were killed. Magomba, however, induced nearly all of the
porters to decamp, and there was great difficulty in obtaining others to
take their places. An old acquaintance, whom they met in a caravan,
urged them not to attempt to move, as he thought that it would be
impossible for them to pass through the wilderness depending only on
Speke and Grant's guns for their support.
Still Speke resolved to push on, and most of the men who had deserted
came back. To keep up discipline, one of the porters, who had stolen
seventy-three yards of cloth, which was found in his kit, received three
dozen lashes, and, being found to be a murderer and a bad character, he
was turned out of camp.
They spent New Year's Day at Round Rock, a village occupied by a
few Wakimbu, who, by their quiet and domestic manners, made them
feel that they were out of the forest. Provisions were now obtained by
sending men to distant villages ; but they were able to supply the camp
with their guns, killing rhinoceros, wild boar, antelope and zebra.
In January they entered Unyamuezi, or the country of the moon,
inferior in size to England, but cut up into numerous petty states. The
name is abreviated to Weezee.
Next day they reached Gaze, where Speke had remained long on a
former visit. His old friend, Musa, came out to meet them, and escorted
them to his "tembe," or house, where he invited them to reside till he
could find porters to carry their property to Karague, promising to go
there with tliem himself. They found here also Sheikh Snay, who with
other Arab merchants, came at once to call on them. Snay told him
that he had an army of four hundred slaves prepared to mai'ch against
the chief, Manua Sera, who was constantly attacking and robbing their
caravans. Speke advised him not to make the attempt, as he was likely
to get the worst of it. The other Arab merchant agreed that a treaty of
peace would be better than fighting.
Musa gave him much information about the journey northward, and
promised to supply him with sixty porters from his slave establishment,
by which arrangement Speke would have a hundred armed men to form
his escort. Musa loudly praised Rumanika, the King of Karague,
through whose dominions the expedition was to pass.
Some time, however, was of necessity spent at Caze in making prepa-
rations for the journey, the two travellers employing themselves during it
in gaining information about the country.
The Wanyamuezi, among whom they were residing, are a polite race,
having a complete code of etiquette for receiving friends or strangers;
?drums are beat both on the arrival and departure of great people. When
one chief receives another, he assembles the inhabitants of the village,
with their drums and musical instruments, which they sound with all
their might, and then dance for his amusement. The drum is used, like
the bugle, on all occasions; and, when the travellers wished to move, the
drums were beaten as a sign to their porters to take up their burdens.
The women courtesy to their chief, and men clap their hands and bow
themselves. If a woman of inferior rank meets a superior, she drops on
one knee and bows her head ; the superior then places her hand on the
shoulder of the kneeling woman, and they remain in this attitude some
momerts, whispering a few words, after which they rise and talk freely.
The Wanyamuezi, or, as they are familiarly called, the Weezee, are
great traders, and travel to a considerable distance in pursuit of their
When a husband returns from a journey, his favorite wife prepares to
receive him in a peculiar manner. Having put on all her ornaments, to
which she adds a cap of feathers, she proceeds, with her friends, to the
principal wife of the chief, when, the lady coming forth, they all dance
before her, taking care to be thus occupied when the husband makes
his appearance, a band of music playing away and making as much noise
as possible with their instruments.
In February news was brought that Sheikh Snay had carried out his
intention of attacking Manua Sera, whom he found esconced in a house
at Tura. Manua, however, made his escape, when Snay plundered the
whole district, and shot and murdered every one he fell in with, carrying
off a number of slaves. The chief, in consequence, threatened to attack
Caze as soon as the merchants had gone off on their expeditions in
search of ivory. Soon after this it was reported that Snay and other
Arabs had been killed, as well as a number of slaves. This proved to be
Finding that nothing more could be done at Caze, the travellers,
assembling their caravan, commenced their march northward. At Min-
inga they were received by an ivory merchant named Sirboko. Here
one of Sirboko's slaves, who had been chained up, addressed Speke, pit-
ebtisly exclaiming : " Oh, my lord, take pity on me ! When I was a
frdd man, I saw you on the Tanganyika Lake; my people were there
attacked by the Watuta, and, being badly wounded, I was left for dead,
when, recovering, I was sold to the Arabs, If you will liberate me, I
will never run away, but serve you faithfully." Touched by this appeal,
Speke obtained the freedom of the poor man from his master, and he was
christened Farham, or Joy, and enrolled among the other free men.
The abominable conduct of the Arabs, who persisted in attacking the
natives and devastating the country, placed the travellers in an awkward
position. The Hottentots, too, suffered so much from sickness that, as
the only hope of saving their lives, it was necessary to send them back
to Zanzibar. Speke therefore found it necessary to return to Caze,
which he reached in May, leaving Grant, who was ill, behind at Mininga.
He here heard of a tribe of cannibals, who, when they cannot get
human flesh, give a goat to their neighbors for a dying child, considering
such as the best flesh. They are, however, the only cannibals in that
They were still in the country of the Weezee, of whose curious customs
they had an opportunity of seeing more. Both sexes are inveterate
smokers. They quickly manufacture their pipes of a lump of clay and a
green twig, from which they extract the pith. They all grow tobacco,
the leaves of which they twist up into a thick rope like a hay-band, and
then coil it into a flattened spiral, shaped like a target. They are very
fond of dancing. Meantime, the elders sit on the ground drinking
" pomba." On one of these occasions the chief, who was present, drank
more "pomba" than any of the people.
While the party were thus engaged, two lads, with zebra manes tied
over their heads, and two bark tubes, formed like huge bassoons, in their
hands, leaped into the centre of the dancers, twisting and turning and
blowing their horns in the most extraordinary manner. The men,
women and children, inspired by the sound of the music, on this began
to sing and clap their hands in time.
" Pomba " is a sort of spirituous liquor, produced from a kind of grain'
grown in the country, which is cultivated by women, who nearly entirely
superintend the preparation of the drink.
They received a visit from Sultan Ukulima, of Unyamuezi, a fine hale
old man, who was especially fond of this beverage, drinking it all day
long. He was pleasant enough in manner, and rather amusing when he
happened not to be tipsy. Being fond of a practical joke, he used to
beg for quinine, which he would mix slyly with "pomba," and then offer
it to his courtiers, enjoying the wiy faces they made when partaking of
the bitter draught. He used to go round to the houses of his subjects,
managing to arrive just as the " pomba-"brewing was finished, when he
would take a draught, and then go on to the next. He sometimes sucked
it through a reed, just as a sherry cobbler is taken, while one of his
slaves held the jar before him.
How "Pohiba" is Made.
The women and men do not drink it together. It is the custom
of the ladies to assemble in the house of the sultana, and indulge in it in
The women, as has been said, are employed in the cultivation
of the grain from which it is made. When it is green, they cut off
the ears with a knife. These are then conveyed to the village in
baskets, and spread out in the sun to dry. The men next thrash out the
grain with long, thin flails. It is afterwards stacked in the form of corn-
ricks, raised from the ground on posts, or sometimes it is secured round
a tall post, which is stuck upright in the ground, swelling out in the
centre somewhat in the shape of a fisherman's float. When required for
use, it is pounded in wooden mortars, and afterwards ground between
Speke reached Mininga again, where he found Grant greatly recov-
ered. During his absence three villagers had been attacked by a couple
of lions. The men took to flight, and two gained the shelter of their
hut, but the third, just as he was about to enter, was seized by the
monsters and devoured.
Difficulties of all sorts beset them : the chief was obtainmg porters ;
Musa, too, who pretended to be so friendly, did not keep faith with
them ; but, rather than be delayed, Speke paid the beads demanded, and
once more set off.
At length he obtained a leader with a droll name, which may be
translated the Pig. He had frequently conducted caravans to Karague,
and knew the languages of the country. He proved to be what his
name betokened — a remarkably obstinate and stupid fellow.
Speke was still detained by the difficulty of procuring porters, some
being engaged in harvest, while others declared that they feared the
Watuta and other enemies in the districts through which they would
have to pass. An Arab caravan which had followed them was in the
At length, having obtained a part of the number he required, a camp
was formed at Phunze, where Grant, with Bombay to attend on him.
remained in charge of part of the baggage, while Speke, with the Pig as
his guide and Baraka as his attendant, pushed on ahead. The chiefs of
every district through which they passed demanded tribute, without
which the travellers could not move forward. This caused numberless
provoking delays, as the chiefs were often not content with what was
offered to them.
Early in June he arrived in a district governed by a chief called
Myonga, famed for his extortions and infamous conduct, in consequence
of which no Arabs would pass that way. On approaching his palace,
war-drums were heard in every surrounding village. The Pig went
forward to obtain terms for the caravan to pass by. Myonga replied
that he wished to see a white man, as he had never yet set eyes on one.
and would have a residence prepared for him. Speke declined the favor,
but sent Baraka to arrange the tribute. Baraka amused himself, as
usual, for some hours, with firing off volleys of ammunition, and it was
not till evening that the palace drums announced that the tribute had
been settled, consisting of six yards of cloth, some beads, and other
articles. On this Speke immediately gave orders to commence the
march, but two cows had been stolen from the caravan, and the men
declared that they would not proceed without getting them back.
Speke knew that if he remained more cloths would be demanded, and as
soon as the cows arrived he gave them to the villagers.
This raised a mutiny among his men, and the Pig would not show the
way, nor would a single porter lift his load. Speke would not enter the
village, and his party remained, therefore outside all night. The next
morning, as he expected, Myonga sent his prime minister, who declared
that the ladies of his court had nothing to cover their nakedness, and
that something more must be paid. This caused fresh difficulties, the
drums beat, and at length, much against his inclination, Speke paid some
more yards of cloth for the sake of Grant, who might otherwise have
been annoyed by the scoundrel.
The Pig's Dishonest Tricks.
This is a specimen of some of the lighter difficulties which the trav-
ellers had to encounter on their journey. Having passed a number of
villages, they entered a tract of jungle in which a stream formed the
boundary between the great country of the Moon and the kingdom of
Uzinga. The district Speke next entered was ruled by two chieftains
descended from Abyssinians. They were as great extortioners, however,
as any of the pure Negro race.
The Pig continued his tricks, and the travellers were heavily taxed and
robbed at every step. The porters, too, refused to advance, declaring
that they should be murdered, as the Watuta, their great enemies, were
out on a foray ; finally, they ran away and hid themselves. These
Watutu, they said, were desperate fellows, who had invaded their coun-
try and killed their wives and children, and had despoiled them of every-
thing they held dear. Baraka also showed the white feather. Speke,
however, put on a bold front, and declared that he would return to Caze
and collect men who would not be afraid to accompany him to Usui. He
carried his plan into execution, rejoined Grant, and obtained two fresh
guides, Bui and Nasib, a steady old traveller. Still he was unable to
obtain fresh porters to carry on his baggage, and he was once more
obliged to part from Grant.
Having gone some way, Speke was taking seriously ill, while, again,
his guides refused to proceed. This occurred while he was in the dis-
trict of a chief, named Lumeresi, who insisted on his coming to his vil-
lage, feeling jealous that he had remained in that of another inferior
chief. Lumeresi was not in when Speke arrived, but on his return, at
night, he beat all his drums to celebrate the event, and fired a musket ;
in reply to which Speke fired three shots. The chief, however, though
he pretended to be very kind, soon began to beg for everything he saw.
Speke, who felt that his best chance of recovering from his illness was
change of air, ordered his men to prepare a hammock in which he might
be conveyed. Although he had already given the chief a handsome
tribute, consisting of a red blanket, and a number of pretty, common
cloths for his children, no sooner did he begin to move than Lumeresi
placed himself in his way and declared that he could not bear the idea of
his white visitor going to die in the jungle. His true object, however,
was to obtain a robe which Speke had determined not to give him.
However, at length, rather than be detained, he presented the only one
which he had preserved for the great chief, Rumanika, into whose terri-
tories he was about to proceed. Scarcely had the chief received it, than
he insisted on a further tribute, exactly double what had previously been
given him. Again Speke yielded, and presented a number of brass-wire
bracelets, sixteen cloths, and a hundred necklaces of coral beads, which
were to pay for Grant as well as himself
When about to march, however, Bui and Nasib were not to be found.
On this, Speke determined to send back Bombay to Caze for fresh guides
and interpreters, who were to join Grant on their return.
In the meantime, while lying m a fearfully weak condition, reduced
almost to a skeleton, he was startled, at midnight, out of his sleep by
hearing the hurried tramp of several men. They proved to be Grant's
porters, who, in short excited sentences, told him that they had left
Grant standing under a tree with nothing but a gun in his hand; that
his Wanguana porters had been either killed or driven away, having
been attacked by Myonga's men, who had fallen upon the caravan, and
shot, speared, and plundered the whole of it.
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