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Volume 6099_32
Another major book which prepared the advent of
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs


The War of the False Prophet Goes On

The War of the False Prophet Goes on — Emin's Concern for Amadi — Sends Mes-
sengers to Obtain News — Stirring Reports From the Scene of Conflict — Heroic
Spirit of Some of Emin's Soldiers — Contemptible Treachery of a Part of Emin's
Forces — Presumptuous Letter From the Commander-in Chief of the Mahdist's
Army — Intelligence of Gordon's Death — Exultation Among Moslem Arabs Over
the Death of Gordon — Emin Summons His Officers to a Council of War — Reso-
lution Passed by the Council — General Recommendation of a Retreat South-
ward -Emin's Personal Supervision of the Southward March — Manner in Which
Emin Received the Summons to Surrender— The Equatorial Provinces in a
Perilous Situation -Emin's Letter to Dr. Felkin — News From England of a Pro-
posed Expedition for Emin's Relief^Thanky for Heartfelt Sympathy — Emin's
Expressed Resolve to Remain With His People — Gordon'5 Self-sacrificing Work
Must be Carried on — Emin's Statement of What He Wants From England —
Disreputable Arabs — Emin Anxiously Awaiting the Outcome of Present
Troubles — Destructive Fire and the Loss of the Station at Wadelai — The Station
Re-built — Emin's Estimate of His Own Supporters — Emphatic Determination
Not to Evacuate the Territory.
STANLEY'S latest expedition into Africa was undertaken as the
necessary result of Gordon's death and the fall of Khartoum.
The conquest of the Soudan and the building up of a genuine
civilization in Equatorial Africa was undertaken by Gordon in
1874. He wrested the country from the Arab slave-hunters and sent
Emin Pasha to Lado as Governor, under himself, of the southern prov-
ince. This was in 1876, and Emin has lived and ruled in that region
ever since, until brought away by Stanley. He possessed in the highest
degree the true spirit of adventure, and for ten years, until he met Gor-
don, -he was wandering about in Turkey, Armenia, Syria and Arabia,
under the name of Dr. Emin, having assumed a Turkish identity and
professed, it is said, the Mahoinetan faith.

Gordon sent him to Lado almost as soon as he entered the Egyptian
service, and his administration from the very first, and, indeed, until
Selim Bey and his rebel following deposed him, early in 1889, was a great
moral and financial success. He maintained an army of 2,000 Egyptian
and native soldiers, exterminated the slave-hunters from his province,
established schools and missions, and gave an enlightened, progressive
and powerful government to a country of 6,000,000 theretofore savage
and ignorant people.

Meanwhile Gordon had left Khartoum, and his successor was unable
to cope with the slave-dealers. The Mahdi, claiming to be a second
Wahomet, had created an Arab uprising, and was conducting a spirited
rebellion against the Anglo-Egyptian government of the Soudan. He
massacred Hicks Pasha's army and created havoc generally. Gordon
was induced by the English government to go to Khartoum and restore

Gordon's Untimely Death,

He was not supported by an efficient military force, however, and
while a relief expedition was slowly crawling up the Nile, his garrison
rebelled and murdered him, giving over the city and the Soudan wholly
to the Mahdi. This left Emin and his province, south of the Soudan, in
the greatest danger ; in fact, quite at the mercy of the Arabs. Their
extermination was merely a question of Avhen the Mahdi should
feel disposed to attack them. Internal disorders in the prophet's forces
delayed the intended blow, and, while allaying them and preparing for
new conquests, the Mahdi died — probably by violence. His place was
not long vacant. Another Mahdi, claiming divine inspiration, promptly
assumed command of the Arab forces and Emin's situation was rendered
as desperate as before.

We will let Emin relate, with his own pen, the startling events which
placed him and his scattered army in such extreme peril. For greater
safety he removed from Lado to another station, namely Wadelai,
and from there, in Decegiber, 1885, he sent the following thrilling narra-
tive in a letter to his friend, Dr. Schweinfurth, at Cairo. The reacier will
understand that Amadi was one of Emin's stations. The Mahdist forces,
already referred to, were bent on conquest.

Being anxious, he says, at the absence of news from Amadi, I sent an
official there to bring me a true report of the state of affairs. Before his
arrival, or rather because they heard he was .coming, the officers resolved
on a sortie, which was so successfully carried out that the entrenchments
of the Danagla (the Danagla were part of the Mahdi's forces) were
stormed, their huts burnt, and part of their ammunition destroyed.
Instead, however, of taking advantage of the victory, the commanding
officer ordered a retreat, and though the soldiers and officers urged him
to complete the work on the next day, nothing was done ; the officers
caroused, the men suffered hunger. All that was left of money and goods
in the magazine was wasted, and the fate of Amadi can no longer be

I had written many times to the officer in command, ordering him to send
the sick and wounded to Lado, and the women and childfen to Makraka,
and finally, should the enemy's forces become too large, to retreat in
good time to Lado, which is well and strongly fortified, or to enter Mak-
raka, where there is plenty of corn. But I had received either no answer
at all to my letters, or they were so worded that it was evident that sor-
did self-interest had pushed into the background all thoughts of the wel-
fare and troubles of the province, and of the honor of the Government
we serve. In any case, I gave orders to the chief of Makraka to take
corn and reinforcements to Amadi as quickly as possible, even though
the letter should consist only of armed Negroes ; but he did not
carry out my orders, for he could not leave the wretched Makraka

On the 2 1st and 22d of February I at last received more news from
Amadi. Keremallah (commander of the Mahdi's forces) had arrived there
in person with a large following of clerks — including those that had been
sent from here — soldiers, and Danagla. He had written to Murjan Aga,
the commandant of Amadi, summoning him to surrender. A Soudanese
officer from the Bahr-el-Ghazal (a district in Emin's province), attended
by some soldiers, had also paid a visit to Murjan Aga, and invited him
to join the champion of the faith, but had not uttered a word about
Khartoum, and Murjan Aga had been so accommodating as to let him
withdraw unmolested. I can give the remaining incidents concerning
Amadi in a few words. In a very short time the station was surrounded
on all sides, and cut off even from the river, though the distance from it
is very short, and then the brave soldiers had to endure days of
great hardship.

Evacuation of Amadi.

When the chief of Makraka did at last come up with reinforcements,
and when men, hastily collected from all the neighboring stations,
appeared before Amadi, they were too late too break through the block-
ade. I cannot even yet understand why the commandant of Amadi,
knowing, as he did, that relieving forces had arrived within two hours'
march of the station, never attempted a sortie. The soldiers before
Amadi were again and again led to the attack by their officers, but lost
their courage, and at last ran away. The chief of Makraka, instead of
sticking to his post, collected his scattered men, and went back to Mak-
raka and his spirits. All was then given up for lost.

Three soldiers from Amadi came into Lado on March 29. They
related that the soldiers had repeatedly urged their officers to make a
sortie and cut their way through, but that the latter had always hung
back, and probably intended to yield to the enemy. At last the men
became desperate, and, led by six brave officers, left against the will of
their superiors, cut their way through the Danagla, inflicting heavy
losses on them, and took the road (at least most of them did) to Mak-
raka. Murjan Aga followed them at last when he found himself deserted.
All the soldiers had taken their arms and ammunition with them. The
commandant of Amadi and two of his officers had actually planned a
surrender, and had addressed a letter to Keremallah with this intention,
but the greater part of the officers retained their honor amidst many
faults, and the soldiers in particular behaved splendidly, though for nine-
teen days they lived on cow-hides, and at last ate their sandals, while
their superiors drank spirits and made themselves comfortable.

A Desperate Move.

On April 1 the civil and military officers in Lado handed me a docu-
ment, wherein they petitioned that all the stations in the south should be
given up, and that we should restrict ourselves to the line from Lado to
Kiri, Suicidal as such a suggestion was, for we should then be confined
to the most unfruitful part of the province, and consequently throw our-
selves into the jaws of famine, besides cutting ourselves off from the only
way of retreat which would at last be open to us — unfortunate as this
motion was, persuasion would have effected little, and so I had to give at
least an apparent consent, and issue the necessary orders.

According to the last news that had reached us, the Danagla had sent
off skirmishing parties to within two days' march of Lado, in order to
incite the Negroes against us, and had then concentrated themselves in
Amadi. Letters also arrived from Keremallah. The first, a kind of
official dispatch, told me of the events that had taken place in and
around Amadi, said that the garrison, though summoned five times to
surrender, had refused, that then the siege was commenced, and that
finally the soldiers had forced their way through, and had taken the road
to Makraka. Murjan Aga, the commander of Amadi, accompanied by
the lieutenant Rabih Aga, had been overtaken on the way, and both had
been slain, their heads being taken to Amadi,

More than two hundred deserters, Dragomans, were in Amadi, besides
many soldiers and officers. The letter concluded with a summons to
appear at Amadi with the higher officials of the province within ten days ;
otherwise he, Keremallah, would march from Amadi against Lado ;
whatever might then happen would be my own fault.

The second, also from Keremallah, but directed to me privately,
informed me that he was only coming to support me ; no harm should
happen to me if I would come and surrender. The third letter is signed
by some of our own people, who have joined the Danagla in Amadi.
These informed me that the officers in Amadi were drunk night and day,
while the soldiers ate old leather and hides to appease their hunger, and
they invited me to give myself up, for that they, the writers, had not
received any bad treatment from the rebels. As Khartoum is not even
mentioned in any of these letters, we may almost conclude that our oppo-
nents had also. received no news from there for a long time. The bearers^
of the letters were two Negroes of Amadi.

Meanwhile the Danagla had not remained idle, but had pushed forward
their outposts again to within three days' march of Lado, and had insti-
gated the Negroes to slay unmercifully any stragglers from Amadi, and
to close the road to Makraka. A detachment of the enemy had dis-
persed the few officers and soldiers in Kamari, near Wandi (another mili-
tary station), and then marched against Wandi, which was untenable
owing to its position. The soldiers therefore retired in good order
towards Rimo, intending to take the road from thereto Rejaf But before
they reached it, the Danagla attacked them fiercely, and were thoroughly
defeated, losing a large number of men, and flying precipitately. The
march forward was then commenced, and detachment after detachment
arrived safely at Beden, with their sick men and followers. I sent some
clerks and officials from Lado, where scarcity of corn prevailed, to the
south and to Gondokoro, where they could find food, and I was myself
engaged in an inspection of the fortifications, when, on April 18, I was
again honored by despatches from Keremallah.

Gordon and His Men Slain.

The letters contained the usual invitations to us all to join the cham-
pions of the faith, but the most important communication was the news
that Khartoum had fallen. I should find the details, he said, in an
enclosed copy of a letter from the Mahdi. This letter contained the
news that Khartoum was taken by storm on the morning of Monday,
January 25, and that everyone in it was slain except the women and chil-
dren. Gordon, the enemy of God, had refused to surrender, and he and
his men had fallen ; the Mahdi had lost ten men only. The letter, writ-
ten in old-fashioned Arabic, and imitating in its expressions the older
chapters of the Koran, concluded with an injunction to Keremallah to
act in a similar manner here and in the Bahr-el-Ghazal. I returned no
answer at all to these letters.

On the 2d of April a reinforcement of 130 men marched into Lado,
and on the 24th I called together a council of all the officers to discuss
the measures to be adopted to save us from famine, and to guard against
unnecessary exposure to danger. After mature deliberation, and when I
had retired for half an hour, resigning the chair to Major Rihan Aga, in
order that the decision might be quite impartial, the following resolution
was carried, in the presence of Captain Casati, an Italian officer : " Con-
sidering that there is not corn enough in northern stations to support the
men that have come from Kakraka as well as our own people, that the
next harvest is still far off, that by sending out foraging parties we should
exhaust our meagre supply of ammunition and be left at the mercy of
the Negroes, while, on the other hand, it is impossible to procure corn
by any other means — having regard to all these circumstances, it is
resolved that the women and children shall be sent to the south, that the
stations shall be occupied by soldiers only, to the exclusion of all civil-
ians, and that they shall be given up if needful, so that all our strength
may be concentrated in the south. The line of retreat to be chosen
towards the south, because the route northwards beyond Bor is impassa-
ble, and, further, we do not know whether Khartoum has not actually
fallen, while we possess strong points of support in the south at Dufile
and Wadelai, where there is plenty of corn and rich lands in the rear.
Fmally, we should have a chance of sending letters and men to Zanzibar
and Egypt, or, if everything went against us, of throwing ourselves into
the arms of Kabrega or Mtesa's son." The requisite orders were issued
immediately ; three compinies remained in Lado under the command of
Major Rihan Aga. All, the civil functionaries had already been sent
south ivards, while I only and three clerks were left.

Emin's Heroism.

It will be seen from the foregoing account that Emin was driven from
one point to another, and that very dangerous enemies were resolved to
overturn his government. It is one of the surprising features of the sit-
uation that he never once thought of his own peril, never gave up the
hope of holding his province, was not slain by any murderous hand, did
not count his own toils and dangers, and with each repulse only nerved
himself to greater courage and effort, and still fondly clung to his cher-
ished purpose. He proved himself to be a heroic soul, and history will
write his name high on the scroll of honor.

In a very interesting letter to his friend and former traveller, Dr. R. W.
Felkin, of Scotland, dated at Wadelai, April 17, 1887, Emin says :

Some English newspapers, from which I learn that it has been pro-
posed to send us help, have been received. You can imagine yourself
better than I can tell you that the heartfelt sympathy which has been
expressed for me and my people in England, and the many friends we
appear to have made, have given me extreme pleasure, and have richly
repaid me for many of the sorrows and hardships I have undergone. I
•could never have believed that I, a stranger, and my poor people, could
have received such generous thoughts, and that any one would be ready
to make such sacrifices for us. If, however, the people in Great Britain
think that as soon as Stanley or Thomson comes I shall return with
them, they greatly err. I have passed twelve years of my life here, and
would it be right of me to desert my post as soon as the opportunity
for escape presented itself? I shall remain with my people until I see
perfectly clearly that both their future and the future of our country is safe.

Gordon's Self-sacrificing Work.

The work that Gordon paid for with his blood, I will strive to carry
on, if not with his energy and genius, still according to his intentions
and in his spirit. When my lamented chief placed the government of
this country in my hands, he wrote to me : " I appoint you for civiliza-
tion and progress' sake." I have done my best to justify the trust he
'had in me, and that I have to some extent been successful and have won
the confidence of the natives is proved by the fact that I and my hand-
ful of people have held our own up to the present day in the midst of
hundreds and thousands of natives. I remain here the last and only rep-
resentative of Gordon's staff. It therefore falls to me, and is my bounden
duty, to follow up the road he showed us. Sooner or later a bright
future must dawn for these countries ; sooner or later these people will
•be drawn into the circle of the ever-advancing civilized world. For
twelve long years I have striven and toiled, and sown the seeds for future
harvest — laid the foundation stones- for future buildings. Shall I now
give up the work because a way may soon open to the coast ? Never!

If England Avishes really to help us, she must try, in the first place, to
conclude some treaty with Uganda and Unyoro, by which the condition
of those countries may be improved both morally and politically. A safe
road to the coast must be opened up, and one which shall not be at the
mercy of the moods of childish kings or disreputable Arabs. This is
all we want, and it is the only thing necessary to permit of the steady
development of these countries. If we possessed it, we could look the
future hopefully in the face. May the near future bring the realization
of these certainly modest wishes, and may we be permitted, after all the
trials which God has seen fit to bring us through, to see a time of peace
.and prosperity in Central Africa.

You can imagine with what anxiety I look for the outcome of things,
and how I count the days which must still pass before I receive definite
news. I thank God that I am still able to work and to keep my people
well in hand. As long as I have plenty to occupy me, I seem to forget
all trials, of which we have, unfortunately, only too many. I had only
just returned here from Rejaf, when, owing to the stupidity of the
Negroes living near this station in burning the grass during a gale of
wind, the flames spread, and Wadelai was burned to the ground. With,
the help of the neighboring Negro chiefs, I have been able to rebuild'
the station, which is now much handsomer than before. It was only by
tremendous exertions that we were able to save our arms and ammuni-
tion, but all else became a booty to the flames. It is true that we had
not much to lose, but what little we had was very precious, and its loss'
all the more grievous.

Things go on with us in the same way as before. We sow, we reap,
we spin, and live day after day as usual; but February was an unlucky
month, for in nearly every station fires broke out. . This was due to the
exceptionally strong winds in that month, and to the carelessness of the
natives in burning the grass. We have docked our steamers, and
renewed them as much as possible ; and, besides this, we have built
several boats, so you see we have plenty to do. I have been obliged to
evacuate Lado, as it was impossible for me to supply the garrison there
with corn ; but, as a set-off to the loss of this station, I have been able
to reoccupy the district of Makraka.

At present, therefore, we occupy nearly all the stations which were
originally entrusted to me by General Gordon ; and I intend and expect
to keep them all. I should like here again to mention that if a relief
expedition comes to us, I will on no account leave my people. We have
passed through troublous times together, and I consider it would be a
shameful act on my part were I to desert them. They are, notwithstand-
ing all their hardships, brave and good, with the exception of the Egyp-
tians. We have known each other many years, and I do not think it
would be easy at present for a stranger to take up my work and to win
at once the confidence of the people. It is therefore out of the question
for me to leave, so I shall remain. All we would ask England to do, is
to bring about a better understanding with Uganda, and to provide us
with a free and safe way to the coast. This is all we want. Evacuate
our territory ? Certainly not !

It has already been stated that Emin was much averse to abandoning
his 'province. In one of the preceding chapters Dr. Felkin reiterates this
purpose which is freely expressed in the foregoing letter.



William Hillman
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