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The Discover of the Source of the Nile By John Hanning Speke - Chapter 19


The Discover of the Source of the Nile

By John Hanning Speke

Chapter XIX

The March to Madi


Sail down the Kafu--The Navigable Nile--Fishing and Sporting Population--The Scenery on the River--An Inhospitable Governor-- Karuma Falls--Native Superstitions--Thieveries--Hospitable Reception at Koki by Chongi.

After giving Kamrasi a sketching-stool, we dropped down the Kafu two miles in a canoe, in order that the common people might not see us; for the exclusive king would not allow any eyes but his won to be indulged with the extraordinary sight of white men in Unyoro! The palace side of the river, however, as we paddled away, was thronged with anxious spectators amongst whom the most conspicuous was the king's favourite nurse. Dr K'yengo's men were very anxious to accompany us, even telling the king, if he would allow the road to be opened to their countrymen, all would hongo, or pay customs-duty to him; but the close, narrow-minded king could not be persuaded. Bombay here told us Kamrasi at the last moment wished to give me some women and ivory; and when told we never accepted anything of that sort, wished to give them to my head servants; but this being contrary to standing orders also, he said he would smuggle them down to the boats for Bombay in such a manner that I should not find out.

We were not expected to march again, but being anxious myself to see more of the river, before starting, I obtained leave to go by boat as far as the river was navigable, sending our cattle by land. To this concession was accompanied a request for a few more gun-caps, and liberty was given us to seize any pombe which might be found coming on the river in boats, for the supplies to the palace all come in this manner. We then took boat again, an immense canoe, and, after going a short distance, emerged from the Kafu, and found ourselves on what at first appeared a long lake, averaging from two hundred at first to one thousand yards broad before the day's work was out; but this was the Nile again, navigable in this way from Urondogani.

Both sides were fringed with the huge papyrus rush. The left one was low and swampy, whilst the right one--in which the Kidi people and Wanyoro occasionally hunt--rose from the water in a gently sloping bank, covered with trees and beautiful convolvuli, which hung in festoons. Floating islands, composed of rush, grass, and ferns, were continually in motion, working their way slowly down the stream, and proving to us that the Nile was in full flood. On one occasion we saw hippopotami, which our men said came to the surface because we had domestic fowls on board, supposing them to have an antipathy to that bird. Boats there were, which the sailors gave chase to; but, as they had no liquor, they were allowed to go their way, and the sailors, instead, set to lifting baskets and taking fish from the snares which fisherman, who live in small huts amongst the rushes, had laid for themselves.

After arrival, as we found the boatmen wished to make off, instead of carrying out their king's orders to take us to the waterfall, we seized all the paddles, and kept their tongues quiet by giving them a cow to eat. The overland route, by which Kidgwiga and the cattle went, was not so interesting, by all accounts, as the river one; for they walked the whole way through marshy ground, and crossed one drain in boats, where some savages struggled to plunder our men of their goats.

With a great deal of difficulty, and after hours of delay, we managed to get under way with two boats besides the original one; and, after an hour and a half's paddling in the laziest manner possible, the men seized two pots of pombe and pulled in to Koki, guided by a king's messenger, who said this was one of the places appointed by order to pick up recruits for the force which was to take us to Gani. We found, however, nothing but loss and disappointment--one calf stolen, and five goats nearly so. Fortunately, the thief who attempted to run off with the goats was taken by my men in the act, tied with his hands painfully tight behind his back, and left, with his face painted white, till midnight, when his comrades stole into Bombay's hut and released him. After all these annoyances, the chief officer of the place offered us a present of a goat, but was sent to the right-about in scorn. How could he be countenanced as a friend when the men under him steal from us?

The big boat gave us the slip, floating away and leaving its paddles behind. To supply its place, we took six small boats, turning my men into sailors, and going as we liked. The river still continued beautiful; but after paddling three hours we found it bend considerably, and narrow to two hundred yards, the average depth being from two to three fathoms. At the fourth hour, imagining our cattle to be far behind, we pulled in, and walked up a well-cultivated hill to Yaragonjo's, the governor of these parts. The guide, however, on first sighting his thorn-fenced cluster of huts, regarding it apparently with the awe and deference due to a palace, shrank from advancing, and merely pointed, till he was forced on, and in the next minute we found ourselves confronted with the heads of the establishment. The father of the house, surprised at our unexpected manner of entrance--imagining, probably, we were the king's sorcerers, in consequence of our hats, sent to fight "the brothers"--without saying a word, quietly beckoned us to follow him out of the gate by the same way as we came. Preferring, however, to have a little talk where we were, we remained.

The eldest son, a fine young man considerably above six feet high, with large gashes on his body received in war during late skirmishes with the refractory brothers, now came in, did the honours, and, on hearing of the importance of his visitors, directed us to some huts a little distance off, where we could rest for the night, for there was no accommodation for such a large party in the palace. The red hill we were now on, with plantain-gardens, fine huts neatly kept, and dense grasses covering the country, reminded us of our residence in Uganda. The people seemed of a decidedly sporting order, for they kept hippopotamus-harpoons, attached to strong ropes with trimmers of pith wood, in their huts; and, outside, trophies of their toil in the shape of a pile of heads, consisting of those of buffalo and hippopotami. The women, anything but pretty, wore their mbugu cut into two flounces, fastened with a drawing-string round the waist; and, in place of stockings, they bound strings of small iron beads, kept bright and shining, carefully up the leg from the ankle to the bottom of the calf.

Kidgwiga with our cattle arrived in the morning. A bundle of cartridges, stolen from one of the men's pouches, which we knew could only have been done by some comrade, was discovered by stopping the rations of flesh. The guilty person, to save detection, threw it on the road, and allowed some of the natives to pick it up. Strange as it may appear, the only motive for this petty theft was the hope of being able to sell the cartridges for a trifle at Gani. Yaragonjo brought us a present of a goat and plantains. He was sorry he sent us back yesterday from his house; and invited us to change ground to another village close by, where he would make arrangements for our receiving other boats, as the ones we had in possession must go back. Presuming this to be a very fair proposition, and thinking we would only have to walk across an elbow of land where the river bends considerably, we gave him a return-present of beads, and did as we were bid; but, after moving, it was obvious we had been sold. We had lost our former boats, and no others were near us; therefore, feeling angry with Yaragonjo, I walked back to his palace, taking the presented goat with me, as I knew that would touch the savage in the most tender part; then flaring up with the officer for treating the king's orders with contempt, as well as his guests, by sending us into the jungles like a pack of thieves, whose riddance from his presence was obviously his only intent, I gave him his goat again, and said I would have nothing more to say to him, for I should look to the king for redress.

This frightened him to such an extent that he immediately produced another and finer goat, which he begged me to accept, promising to convey all my traps to the next governor's, where there would be no doubt about our getting boats. He did not intend to deceive us, but committed an error in not informing us he had no boats of his own; and, to show his earnestness, accompanied us to the camp. Here I found the missing calf taken at Koki, and a large deputation of natives awaiting our arrival. They told me that the Koki governor had taken such fright in consequence of my anger when I refused his proffered goat, that he had traced the calf back to Kitwara, and now wished to take Kidgwiga a prisoner to Kamrasi's for having seized five cows of his, and a woman from another governor. As yet I had not heard of this piece of rough justice; and, on inquiry, found out that he had been compelled to do as he had done, because those officers, on finding we had gone ahead in boats would not produce the complement of men required of them by the king's orders for escorting us to Gani; but now they sent the men, the woman and cows could not be returned, as they had been sent overland by the ordinary route to the ferry on the Nile.

Of course we would not listen to this reference for justice with Kamrasi, as the woman and cows were still all alive; commended Kidgwiga for carrying out his orders so well, and told the officers they had merited their punishment--as how could the affairs of government be carried on, when subordinate officers refused immediate compliance? The submkungu of Northern Gueni, Kasoro, now proffered a goat and plantains, and everything was settled for the day.

With a full complement of porters, travelling six miles through cultivation and jungle, we reached the headquarters of governor Kaeru, where all the porters threw down their loads and bolted, though we were still two miles from the post. We inquired for the boats at once, but were told they were some distance off, and we must wait here for the night. Four pots of pombe were sent us, and Kaeru thought we would be satisfied and conform. We suspected, however, that there was some trick at the bottom of all; so, refusing the liquor, we said, with proper emphasis, "Unless we are forwarded to the boats at once, and get them on the following morning, we cannot think of receiving presents from any one." This served our purpose, for a fresh set of porters was found like magic, and traps, pombe, and all together, were forwarded to the journey's end--a snug batch of huts imbedded in large plantain cultivation surrounded by jungle, and obviously near the river, as numerous huge harpoons, intended for striking hippopotami, were suspended from the roof. Kaeru here presented us with a goat, and promised the boats in the morning.

After fighting for the boats, we still had to wait the day for Kidgwiga and his men, who said it was all very well our pushing ahead, indifferent as to whether men were enlisted or not, but he had to prepare for the future also, as he could never recross the Kidi wilderness by himself; he must have a sufficient number of men to form his escort, and these were now grinding corn for the journey. Numerous visitors called on us here, and consequently our picture-books were in great request. We gave Kaeru some beads.

After walking two miles to the boats, we entered the district of Chopi, subject to Unyoro, and went down the river, keeping the Kikunguru cone in view. On arrival at camp, Viarwanjo, the officer of the district, a very smart fellow, arrived with a large escort of spearmen, presented pombe, ordered fowls to be seized for us, and promised one boat in the morning, for he had no more disposable, and even that one he felt anxious about lest the men on ahead should seize it.

I gave Viarwanjo some beads, and dropped down the river in his only wretched little canoe--he, with Grant and the traps, going overland. I caught a fever, and so spent the night.

Here I halted to please Magamba, the governor, who is a relation of the king. He called in great state, presented a cow and pombe, was much pleased with the picture-books, and wished to feast his eyes on all the wonders in the hut. He was very communicative, also, as far as his limited knowledge permitted. He said the people are only a sub-tribe of the Madi; and the reason why the right bank of the river is preferred to the left for travelling is, that Rionga, who lives down the river, is always on the look-out for Kamrasi's allies, with a view to kill them. Magamba also, on being questioned, told us about Ururi, a province of Unyoro, under the jurisdiction of Kimerziri, a noted governor, who covers his children with bead ornaments, and throws them into the N'yanza, to prove their identity as his own true offspring; for should they sink, it stands to reason some other person must be their father; but should they float, then he recovers them. One of Kamrasi's cousins, Kaoroti, with his chief officer, called on us, presenting five fowls as an honorarium. He had little to say, but begged for medicine, and when given some in a liquid state, said his sub would like some also; then Kidgwiga's wife, who was left behind, must have some; and as pills were given for her, the two men must have dry medicine too, to take home with them. Severe drain as this was on the medicine-chest, Magamba and his wife must have both wet and dry; and even others put in a claim, but were told they were too healthy to require physicking. Many Kidi men, dressed as in the woodcut, crossed the river to visit Kamrasi; they could not, however, pass us without satisfying their curiosity with a look. Usually these men despise clothes, and never deign to put any covering on except out of respect, when visiting Kamrasi. Their "sou'-wester"-shaped wigs are made of other men's hair, as the negro hair will not grow long enough. A message came from Ukero, the governor-general of Chopi, to request we would not go down the river in boats to-morrow, lest the Chopi ferrymen at the falls should take fright at our strange appearance, paddle precipitately across the river, hide their boats, and be seen no more.

We started, leaving all the traps and men to follow, and made this place in a stride, as a whisper warned me that Kamrasi's officers, who are as thick as thieves about here, had made up their minds to keep us each one day at his abode, and show us "hospitality." Such was the case, for they all tried their powers of persuasion, which failing, they took the alternative of making my men all drunk, and sending to camp sundry pots of pombe. The ground on the line of march was highly cultivated, and intersected by a deep ravine of running water, whose sundry branches made the surface very irregular. The sand-paper tree, whose leaves resemble a cat's tongue in roughness, and which is used in Uganda for polishing their clubs and spear-handles, was conspicuous; but at the end of the journey only was there anything of much interest to be seen. There suddenly, in a deep ravine one hundred yards below us, the formerly placid river, up which vessels of moderate size might steam two or three abreast, was now changed into a turbulent torrent. Beyond lay the land of Kidi, a forest of mimosa trees, rising gently away from the water in soft clouds of green. This, the governor of the place, Kija, described as a sporting-field, where elephants, hippopotami, and buffalo are hunted by the occupants of both sides of the river. The elephant is killed with a new kind of spear, with a double-edged blade a yard long, and a handle which, weighted in any way most easy, is pear-shaped.

With these instruments in their hands, some men climb into trees and wait for the herd to pass, whilst others drive them under. The hippopotami, however, are not hunted, but snared with lunda, the common tripping-trap with spike-drop, which is placed in the runs of this animal, described by every South African traveller, and generally known as far as the Hametic language is spread. The Karuma Falls, if such they may be called, are a mere sluice or rush of water between high syenitic stones, falling in a long slope down a ten-feet drop. There are others of minor importance, and one within ear-sound, down the river, said to be very grand.

The name given to the Karuma Falls arose from the absurd belief that Karuma, the agent or familiar of a certain great spirit, placed the stones that break the waters in the river, and, for so doing, was applauded by his master, who, to reward his services by an appropriate distinction, allowed the stones to be called Karuma. Near this is a tree which contains a spirit whose attributes for gratifying the powers and pleasures of either men or women who summon its influence in the form appropriate to each, appear to be almost identical with that of Mahadeo's Ligna in India.

20th.--We halted for the men to collect and lay in a store of food for the passage of the Kidi wilderness. Presents of fish, caught in baskets, were sent us by Kija. They were not bad eating, though all ground animals of the lowest order. At the Grand Falls below this, Kidgwiga informs us, the king had the heads of one hundred men, prisoners taken in war against Rionga, cut off and thrown into the river.

21st and 22d.--The governor, who would not let us go until we saw him, called on the 22d with a large retinue, attended by a harpist, and bringing a present of one cow, two loads flour, and three pots of pombe. He expected a chair to sit upon, and got a box, as at home he has a throne only a little inferior to Kamrasi's. He was very generous to Bombay on his former journey to Gani; and then said he thought the white men were all flocking this way to retake their lost country; for tradition recorded that the Wahuma were once half-black and half-white, with half the hair straight and the other half curly; and how was this to be accounted for, unless the country formerly belonged to white men with straight hair, but was subsequently taken by black men? We relieved his apprehensions by telling him his ancestors were formerly all white, with straight hair, and lived in a country beyond the salt sea, till they crossed that sea, took possession of Abyssinia, and are now generally known by the name of Hubshies and Gallas; but neither of these names was known to him.

On the east, beyond Kidi, he only knew of one clan of Wahuma, a people who subsist entirely on meat and milk. The sportsmen of this country, like the Wanyamuezi, plant a convolvulus of extraordinary size by the side of their huts, and pile the jaw-bones and horns of their spoils before, as a means of bringing good-luck. This same flower, held in the hand when a man is searching for anything that he has lost, will certainly bring him to the missing treasure. In the evening, Kidgwiga, at the head of his brave army, made one of their theatrical charges on "Bana" with spear and shield, swearing they would never desert him on the march, but would die to a man if it were necessary; and if they deserted him, then might they be deprived of their heads, or of other personal possessions not much less valuable.

Just as we were ready for crossing the river, a line of Kidi men was descried filing through the jungle on the opposite side, making their way for a new-moon visit to Rionga, who occasionally leads them into battle against Ukero. The last time they fought, two men only were killed on Kamrasi's side, whilst nine fell on Rionga's. There was little done besides crossing, for the last cow was brought across as sunset--the ferrying-toll for the whole being one cow, besides a present of beads to the head officer. Kidgwiga's party sacrificed two kids, one on either side the river, flaying them with one long cut each down their breasts and bellies. These animals were then, spread-eagle fashion, laid on their backs upon grass and twigs, to be steeped over by the travellers, that their journey might be prosperous; and the spot selected for the ordeal was chosen in deference to the Mzimu, or spirit--a sort of wizard or ecclesiastical patriarch, whose functions were devoted to the falls.

After a soaking night, we were kept waiting till noon for the forty porters ordered by Kamrasi, to carry our property to the vessels wherever they might be. Only twenty-five men arrived, notwithstanding the wife and one slave belonging to a local officer, who would not supply the men required of him, were seized and confiscated by Ukero, of Wire. We now mustered twenty Wanguana, twenty-five country porters, and thirty-one of Kidgwiga's "children"--making a total, with ourselves, of seventy-eight souls. By a late arrival a message came from Kamrasi. Its import was, that we must defer the march, as it was reported the refractory brother Rionga harboured designs of molesting us on the way, and therefore the king conceived it prudent to clear the road by first fighting him. Without heeding this cunning advice, we made a short march across swamps, and through thick jungle and long grasses, which proved anything but pleasant--wet and labouring hard all the way.

It was a rainy day, and we had still to toil on fighting with the grasses. We marched up the wet margin of swamp all day, crossing the water at a fork near the end. The same jungle prevails on all sides, excluding all view; and the only signs of man's existence in these wilds lay in the meagre path, which is often lost, and an occasional hut or two, the temporary residence of the sporting Kidi people.

After toiling five miles through the same terrible grasses, and crossing swamp after swamp, we were at last rewarded by a striking view. The jungles had thinned; we found ourselves unexpectedly standing on the edge of a plateau, on the west of which, for distance interminable, lay apparently a low flat country of grass, yellowed by the sun, with a few trees or shrubs only thinly scattered over the surface; while, from fifteen to twenty miles in the rear, bearing south by west, stood conspicuously the hill of Kisuga, said to be situated in Chopi, not far from the refractory brothers. But this view was only for the moment; again we dived into the grasses and forced our way along. Presently elephants were seen, also buffalo; and the guide, to make the journey propitious, plucked a twig, denuded it of its leaves and branches, waved it like a wand up the line of march, muttered some unintelligible words to himself, broke it in twain, and threw the separated bits on either side of the path.

Immediately after starting, the guide ran up on an ant-hill and pointed out to us all the glories of the country round. In our rear we could see back upon Wire and the hill of Kisuga; to the west were the same low plains of grass; east and by south, the jungles of Kidi; and to the northward, over downs of grass, the tops of some hills, which marked the neighbouring village of Koki, which we were making for. Its appearance in the distance warned us that we were closing on the habitations of men, and we were told that Bombay had drunk pombe there. Then plunging through grass again over our heads, and crossing constant swamps, we arrived at a stream which drains all these lands to westward, and rested a while that the men might bathe, and also that they might set fire to the grass as a telegraph to the settlement of Koko, to apprise the people of our advance, and be ready with their pombe ere our arrival. Shortly after, towards the close of the day's work, as a solitary buffalo was seen grazing by a brook, I put a bullet through him, and allowed the savages the pleasure of despatching him in their own wild fashion with spears.

It was a sight quite worthy of a little delay. No sooner was it observed that the huge beast could not retire, than, with springing bounds, the men, all spear in hand, as if advancing on an enemy, went top speed at him, over rise and fall alike, till, as they neared the maddened bull, he instinctively advanced to meet his assailants with the best charge his exhausted body could muster up. Wind, however, failed him soon; he knew his disadvantage, and tried to hide by plunging in the water,--the worst policy he could have pursued, for the men from the bank above him soon covered him with bristling spears, and gained their victory. Now, what was to be done with this huge carcass? No one could be induced to leave it. A cow was ordered as a bribe on reaching camp; but no, the buffalo was bigger than a cow, and must be quartered on the spot; so, to gain our object, we went ahead and left the rear men to follow, thus saving a cow in rations, for we required to slaughter one every day.

By dint of hard perseverance we accomplished ten miles over the same downs of tall grass with occasional swamps. We saw a herd of hartebeest, and reached at night a place within easy run of Koki in Gani.

The weather had now become fine. At length we reached the habitations of men--a collection of conical huts on the ridge of a small chain of granitic hills lying north-west. As we approached the southern extremity of this chain, knots of naked men, perched like monkeys on the granite blocks were anxiously awaiting our arrival. The guides, following the usages of the country, instead of allowing us to mount the hill and look out for accommodation at once, desired us to halt, and sent on a messenger to inform Chongi, the governor-general, that we were visitors from Kamrasi, who desired he would take care of us and forward us to our brothers. This Mercury brought forth a hearty welcome; for Chongi had been appointed governor by Kamrasi of this district, which appears to have been the extreme northern limit of the originally vast kingdom of Kittara. All the elite of the place, covered with war-paints, and dressed, so far as their nakedness was covered at all, like clowns in a fair, charging down the hill full tilt with their spears, and, after performing their customary evolutions, mingled with our men, and invited us up the hill, where we no sooner arrived than Chongi, a very old man, attended by his familiar, advanced to receive us--one holding a white hen, the other a small gourd of pombe and a little twig.

Chongi gave us all a friendly harangue by way of greeting; and taking the fowl by one leg, swayed it to and fro close to the ground in front of his assembled visitors. After this ceremony had been also repeated by the familiar, Chongi then took the gourd and twig, and sprinkled the contents all over us; retired to the Uganga, or magic house--a very diminutive hut--sprinkled pombe over it; and, finally, spreading a cow-skin under a tree, bade us sit, and gave us a jorum of pombe, making many apologies that he could not show us more hospitality, as famine had reduced his stores. What politeness in the midst of such barbarism!!! Nowhere had we seen such naked creatures, whose sole dress consisted of bead, iron, or brass ornaments, with some feathers or cowrie-beads on the head. Even the women contented themselves with a few fibres hung like tails before and behind. Some of our men who had seen the Watuta in Utambara, declared these savages to resemble them in every particular, save one small specialty in their costume, alluded to in the description of the Zulu Kafir's dress. The hair of the men was dressed in the same fantastic fashion, and the women placed half-gourds over the baby as it rode on its mother's back. They also, like the Kidi people, whom they much fear, carry diminutive stools to sit upon wherever they go.

Their habitat extends from this to the Asua river, whilst the Madi occupy all the country west of this meridian to the Nile, which is far beyond sight. The villages are composed of little conical huts of grass, on a framework of bamboo raised above low mud walls. There are no sultans here of any consequence, each village appointing its own chief. The granitic hills, like those of Unyamuezi, are extremely pretty, and clad with trees, contrasting strangely with the grassy downs of indefinite extend around, which give the place, when compared with the people, the appearance of a paradise within the infernal regions. From the site of Koki we saw the hills behind which, according to Bombay, Petherick was situated with his vessels; and we also saw a nearer hill, behind which his advanced post of elephant-hunters were waiting our arrival.

I tried to ascertain if there were any prefixes, as in the South African dialects, by which one might determine the difference between the people and the country; but I was assured that both here and in the adjacent countries these people saw Chopi, Kidi, Gani, Madi, Bari, alike for person and place, though Jo in their language is the equivalent for Wa in South Africa, and Dano takes the place of Mtu. All the words and system of language were wholly changed-- as for example, Poko poko wingi bongo, means "we do not understand"; Mazi, "fire"; Pi, "water"; Pe, "there is none; Bugra, "cow." In sound, the language of these people resembles that of the Tibet Tartars. Chongi considers himself the greatest man in the country, and of noble descent, his great-grandfather having been a Mhuma, born at Ururi, in Unyoro, and appointed by the then reigning king to rule over this country, and keep the Kidi people in check.

30th.--We halted at the earnest solicitation of Chongi, as well as of the Chopi porters, who said they required a day to lay in grain, as the Wichwezi, or mendicant sorcerers--for so they thought fit to designate Petherick's elephant-hunters--had eaten up the country all about them, and those who went before with Bombay to visit their camp could get no food.

1st.--We halted again at the request of all parties, and much to the delight of old Chongi, who supplied us with abundant pombe, promised a cow, that we should not be put to any extra expense by stopping, and said that without fail he would furnish us with guides who knew a short cut across country, by which we might reach the Wichwesi camp in one march, instead of going by the circuitous route which Bombay formerly took. The cow, however, never came, as the old man did not intend to give his own, and his officers refused to obey his orders in giving one of theirs.

We left Koki with difficulty, in consequence of the Chopi porters refusing to carry any loads, leaving the burden of lifting them on the country people, as they said, "We have endured all the trouble and hardships of bringing these visitors through the wilderness; and now, as they have visited you, it is your place to help them on." The consequence was, we had to engage fresh porters at every village, each in turn saying he had done all the work which with justice fell to his lot, till at last we arrived at the borders of a jungle, where the men last engaged, feeling tired of their work, pleaded ignorance of the direct road, and turned off to the longer one, where villages and men were in abundance, thus upsetting all our plans, and doubling the actual distance.

To pass the night half-way was now imperative, as we had been the whole day travelling without making good much ground. From the Gani people we had, without any visible change, mingled with the Madi people, who dress in the same naked fashion as their neighbours, and use bows and arrows. Their villages were all surrounded with bomas (fences), and the country in its general aspect resembled that of Northern Unyamuezi. At one place, the good-natured simple people, as soon as we reached their village, spread a skin, deposited a stool upon it, and placed in front two pots of pombe. At the village where we put up, however, the women and children of the head man at first all ran away, and the head man himself was very shy of us, thinking we were some unearthly creatures. He became more reconciled to us, however, when he perceived we fed like rational beings; and, calling his family in by midnight, presented us with pombe, and made many apologies for having allowed us to dine without a drop of his beer, for he was very glad to see us.

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