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A WHITE WOMAN IN CENTRAL 
AFRICA 



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MITE WOMAN IN 
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THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE ^ , 

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A WHITE WOMAN IN 
CENTRAL AFRICA 



HELEN CADDICK 



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LONDON 
T. FISHER UNWIN 



NEW YORK 

CASSELL COMPANY, LTD, 



UBRARY OF 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY fOfi THE ^.^^^^^ 

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THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

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ASTOR, LENOX AWD 

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 

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PREFACE 



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During the last few years, Africa has 
been very much in the minds of people 
everywhere ; especially has It been in the 
minds of the British people, therefore I 
hope it will be thought that no apology 
is necessary for my writing this brief 
account of a lady's journey from the 
mouth of the Zambesi to the great Lake 
Tanganyika, which divides German East 
Africa from the Congo Free State. 

The journey was full of interest to 
me, and, having been undertaken through 
love of travel, and for the purposes of 
observation only, has presented to me 
aspects and incidents of native life in 
British Central Africa which, I hope, will 
interest and amuse those who have neither 
time nor inclination to travel so fan Also, 
I should like them to know how kind 
and attentive the natives^ who are spoken 
of in England as ' savages,' can be to a 
lady travelling absolutely alone with them. 



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Huts in Angoniland 24 

Native Grain Stores 29 

A Machila 43 

Pounding and Sifting Corn 80 

Unloading * Domira * at Karonga 108 

Men Sewing 147 

Ant Hill 149 

Stockade 151 

Beating out Beans and Making Grain Stores . . .154 

Sausage Tree 184 

Wnkonde Hut 188 

Bamboo Bridge 203 

Descending Bamboo Bridge 204 

Goats going to Bed 206 

Store at Kondowe 219 

African Face on the Rock ...... 224 

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CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

Up the Zambesi— Chinde— The * Pious Paddler' — The 
Zambesi Sport on the River — Mrs Livingstone's Grave 
^-The Baobab Tree .-*.,,,, 1-19 






CHAPTER II 

On the Shire River^—* Wooding * Stations — Excursions to 
Native Villages — The Shire River — The Native Camps- 
British Central Africa — Port Herald — Chiromo ^ . . 20-38 

CHAPTER III 

Overland — The Shire to Blantyre — Katnnga— The Mur- 
chison FaKs and Rapids— Natives Carriers^- My First 
Experience of a &Iachila — The Sclater RoBid — Arrival at 
Blantyre— Blantyre ......*. 39-59 



CHAPTER IV 

Blantyre to Liwonde — My Carriers — Journey to Zoniba— 
Society in Zomba— Zomba Mountain — Domasi^ Native 
Fashions round Domasi^Songani — Native Paths on the 
Way to Uwonde — The Grass Fire — Sifting Corn , 60-81 

CHAPTER V 

Voyage on the *LmnEstone' and the 'Domira" — ^Lake Pa- 
Mlombe — Fort Johnston— The 'Domira* — Lake Nyasa- 
Reli|rious Beliefs and Customs — Kota Kota — Universities' 
Mission— Eandawe—^Kungo Fly^Natives at their Toilet 
^Karonga , S2-109 



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Contents 



CHAPTER VI 

From Karonga across the Plateau to Fife — Karonga — 
Natives — Preparations for Journey to Tanganyika — My 
English-speaking Boy — Bark Cloth — Musical Instruments 
— Camp at Mpata — Visit to the Cook — Games with the 
Children — Native Food — My Carriers — Fort Hill — Mwenzo 
— Fife 1 10-136 

CHAPTER VII 

From Fife to Lake Tanganyika — Start with Fresh Carriers 
— Interview with a Chief — Camp by One of the Sources 
of the Congo — Mambwe French Fathers — Division of 
Work among Natives — Birds — Kawimbe — Amusing Re- 
ception at the Mission Station — Mbala — Kituta . . .137-158 



CHAPTER VIII 

Return Journey from Lake Tangan)dka to Karonga — 
Kituta — The *Good News' — Day on the Lake — Crowd 
from the Native Village — Copper Wire Drawing — Native 
Dance — Disagreement among my Men — Kawimbe — Native 
Games — Rats — Plagues of Africa — Chiefs Stool — Funny 
Scene : Natives' love of Pombe — Karonga. . . .159-181 

CHAPTER IX 

Karonga again — Lion Story — Start for German Kondeland 
— Crossing the Songwe— The Kabira River — Ipiana — Salt 
Making — Rutenganyo — Weaving — Basket Work — Rungwe 
— Native Dance — Makarere — Bamboo Bridge over Lufirio 
River — Manow — Legend of a Lake — Native Counting — 
Ipiana — 'Ngerenge — Karonga for the Third Time . . 182-213 

CHAPTER X 

Leave Karonga with a Poor Team — Encounter with a 
Chief— Native Style of Ironing Clothes — Pottery — Climb 
to Kondowe — Kbndowe Mission — Lion Tale — Cave Dwell- 
ings — Mount Chiombi — Descent to Lake Nyasa — * Domira ' 
again — Fort Johnston — ^The * Guendolen ' — Matope — Run 
away again — Blantyre — Mlanje — Adventures of a Horse 
— No Luggage — Ruo Falls — Chiromo — Chinde — Home by 
Zanzibar and the Suez Canal 214-242 



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A White Woman in 
Central Africa 

CHAPTER I 

UP THE ZAMBESI 

I LEFT England for Capetown early in 
January 1898, and after arranging some 
personal affairs there, I travelled to Pretoria j 
Johannesburg, Kimberley, Bulawayo, the 
ruins of Zimbabwe, and thence to Beira. I 
had intended going home to England from 
Beira, but was persuaded to visit the region 
of the Great Lakes. The warning with 
which every account of the journey con- 
cluded » namely, that I must not go alone, 
made me the more desirous to set out. 
While thinking about it, i learned that the 
steamer *Matabele' was going from Beira 



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A White Woman 

to Quilimane, a place some way north of the 
Zambesi, and on her return would call at 
Chinde, which is the starting-point for the 
Great Lakes. I at once took passage for 
Chinde, and, after a pleasant sea trip, arrived 
there at the beginning of June. 

Chinde is a small place built on a low 
sandbank at one of the four mouths of the 
Zambesi. The Portuguese, I was told, had 
granted to the British, a concession of a 
certain area of land on this sandbank, on 
which to build the houses and warehouses 
necessary in connection with the steamboat 
traffic on the Zambesi, and its tributary, the 
Shir6. Only nine people are allowed to 
live on the concession; two belonging to 
each steamer's company, and one belong- 
ing to the missionary boat. Everything is 
admitted duty free, if landed direct from 
the steamers ; but nothing can be taken 
outside the gates of the concession into 
Portuguese territory without paying a certain 
tax. The land is being rapidly washed 
away by the river, and several * stores ' have 

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in Central Africa 

had to be moved back to the extreme h'mit. 
The original area granted was about five 
acres in extent, and the Portuguese admin- 
istration have now decided to make good, 
by a grant of additional land, that part 
which has been carried away by the river. 

The British Consul lives on what is 
called the 'Outer Concession,' where he 
has a pleasant house with a delightfully 
wide, cool-looking verandah. For me, one 
of the most interesting attractions of the 
place was a splendid fish eagle that lived 
in a large cage close by the entrance gate. 
It was amusing to watch the bird throw 
back its head and utter piercing cries the 
moment a stranger entered. It was an 
excellent watch, and gave good warning of 
the approach of a visitor. 

Anchored in the middle of the river, 
opposite Chinde, was an old hulk on 
which a family lived. They had made a 
very pretty and comfortable home of it, 
and appeared to be very happy there. It 
always seems to me as if there were 

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A White Woman 

something uncanny about such a residence. 
I suppose one gets an impression that it is 
derelict and may go under any moment. 

I just missed the African Lakes 
steamer that goes up the Zambesi from 
Chinde to Katunga, and had to wait in 
Chinde for nearly three days for the 
missionary boat, which was the next to 
go up the river. It was rather a weary 
wait, as there was absolutely nothing 
to do. The sand on which Chinde is 
built is so soft and deep that walking is 

^ almost impossible; and yet it is necessary, 

as there is no other means of getting 

*f about. To reach the seashore involves 

a great struggle, but when one has got 
there the difficulty is at an end. Here 
you find good hard sand on which you 
can walk for miles, or bicycle, if you are 
the fortunate possessor of a machine. 
The heat during my stay was great, and 
as I had little to do but think about it, 
I suffered all the more on that account. 
Therefore I was very glad when the 

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steamer was ready to start. This boat 

was named the * Henry Henderson/ but 

as it was the only paddle boat on the 

river, and belonged to the missionaries, 

it was generally called the * Pious Paddler, ' 

The other boats were all stern wheelers. 

When I got on board I felt repaid 

for the time I had spent in waiting, for 

I found it was very comfortable, and I 

was told, and I have no doubt correctly, 

that it was the most comfortable of the 

river boats, and that it provided the cleanest 

accommodation and the best food. At first 

I thought it very insecure, as there was 

no taffrail or protection of any kind round 

it^ and I felt certain I should step out 

of my cabin into the river, or roll off 

from the little upper deck where we sat 

under an awning. But, of course, being 

in the river, the boat was perfectly 

steady, and did not roll and pitch as a 

steamer does in the open sea, and after 

a little while the feeling of insecurity 

passed away, 

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A White Woman 

During part of the voyage we had on 
each side of our boat a large barge full of 
cargo. These added to our sense of security, 
as there are crocodiles in the river, but they 
were detrimental both to our speed and 
appearance. Also, they made the navigation 
more difficult, as we were going up at a 
time when the river was getting very low, 
and the channels were constantly altering 
and were not very easy to find. Naturally, 
in many places where the steamer could 
have got through alone, one or other of 
the barges was sure to bump on the 
sand. 
f f When this happened there was great fun 

and excitement ; in an instant the whole 
crew of natives jumped over into the water, 
shouting and yelling to each other to haul 
and shove the boat off the sand, while the 
captain, a white man, danced up and down 
shouting directions and inciting them to 
greater exertions. Thanks to the vigorous 
measures that were immediately taken, we 
never had a really bad * stick,' neither were 

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in Central Africa 

those we had as bad as they might have 
been, as boys were always at each side of the 
boat with long poles trying the depth of the 
water, and there was an excellent pilot in 
charge of the wheel. 

This pilot was a native, and a very funny- 
looking fellow. His ordinary dress was the 
customary loin-cloth of white calico, called a 
'Nsaru/ beads and wire ornaments on his 
wris:s and ankles, a comb stuck in his hair, 
and an old black frock coat, of which he was 
intensely proud, feelings I am sure, that it 
added greatly to his dignity and importance. 
In hB spare moments he occupied himself 
in combing his hair and frizzing it out, 
making a thick mass of it, and greatly in- 
creasing the apparent size of his head. His 
hair, like that of many of the natives, grew 
in tight little separate curls all over his head, 
showing the skin between, and reminding me 
of the South African Karroo, with its tufts 
of little bushes. 

Tbs natives take great interest and pride 
in their hair, and their ways of dressing it 



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A White Woman 

are many and wonderful. It was always an 
intense amusement to me, when I came in 
contact with a fresh set of men, to study 
the new fashions. Some shaved one side 
of the head completely, leaving the other, 
a thick bush ; sometimes both sides were 
shaved, leaving only a thick ridge like the 
crest of a helmet. Another very charming 
style was a sort of garden arrangement, 
in which little pathways were shaved, 
winding in and out in all directions 
among and around beds of hair. When 
the whole head was shaved, a tiny banch 
of hair was always left just on the top. 
Mohammedans are said to leave a tuft 
for Mahomet to pull them up to heaven 
by ; the reason why these natives leave 
one I could not discover. Probably they 
have borrowed the idea from Mohajmme- 
dans whom they have seen, or it miy be 
that they have simply devised it for the 
sake of variety. I was told that jwhen 
the whole head was shaved it was ai sign 
of mourning ; but though that may ie so 

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in Central Africa 

among some tribes^ I do not think it is in 
the case of all, as many of the men I 
afterwards employed shaved their heads 
just when the fancy seized them. 

With the exception of myself (English), 
the captain, his wife, the engineer, and 
my one fellow-passenger, all of whom were 
Scotch, the rest on board were natives. 
The work of the boat seemed to be done 
easily and wellj and without more noise 
than is usual on a steamen The cooking 
was excellent, but that was, I believe, the 
result of the supervision of the captain's 
wife, for, when later I was left to the 
mercy of the native cook, I did not 
experience the same satisfaction in eating 
my meals. 

There were on the boat four little 
cabins, each with two bunks, for the 
passengers, and a large cabin for the 
captain, and as there were only two 
passengers, we travelled in a most 
comfortable manner* We had our meals 
at a table set across the stern of the boat, 

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A White Wcman 

Generally speaking, we spent the day on 
the upper deck, which was really the roof 
of the boat and was covered with an 
awning, and furnished with comfortable 
lounging basket chairs. From this point 
of vantage we could see well over the 
banks, and had a good view of the sur- 
rounding country. 

For some distance above Chinde the river 
is not very wide, and its windings are num- 
erous, while the banks are thickly wooded to 
the water's edge. This made the navigation 
difficult, and the steering, in consequence 
of the sharp bends, was most interesting to 
watch. The scenery, though it can hardly 
be called picturesque, is certainly pretty. 

A few hours* journey from Chinde brought 
us into the Zambesi proper. Here the river 
widened out considerably, often to a width of 
three to four miles, though it never looked so 
wide, owing to the number of channels into 
which it was broken up by the numerous 
islands. The banks in this part were usually 
flat and low, and were covered with quite a 

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in Central Africa 

jungle of grass and reeds from eight to ten 
feet high. Here and there were patches of 
a kind of waving Pampas grass mixed with 
papyrus, the appearance of which was very 
charming. In striking contrast to these were 
the gloomy-looking mangrove swamps which 
we came upon at intervals. 

Not a day passed without our seeing 
numbers of hippos, great^ unwieldy monsters, 
thrusting their huge heads out of the water 
to see what was coming to disturb their peace. 
Sometimes there were several on the sand- 
banks ; and a most amusing sight it was to 
see them 'galumplng* along to get into the 
water out of our way. * Galumping ' seems 
the only word that in the least expresses their 
ponderous mode of progression^ which was 
too clumsy by far to be called 'bounding/ 
They are marvellous creatures, with an 
ugliness that impresses and fascinates as 
long as you are safely out of the way. 
To meet them would be extremely awk- 
ward and uncomfortable J if you were in a 
little native boat, as they have a way of 



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A White Woman 

popping up unexpectedly, and should they 
choose to come up under your boat, you 
would get a sudden shock, an upset, and 
a bath. Of steamers they seem to have a 
wholesome dread. They kept out of our 
way very cleverly, ducking to escape the 
shots that were fired off at them as soon 
as they were seen. Sometimes they would 
give a great yawn, displaying a huge cavern 
that looked as if they might easily have 
swallowed us, boat and all. 

Another curious, and in a sense fascinat- 
ing, creature to look out for and to watch 
was the crocodile — and crocodiles abounded. 
They were all sizes and colours. We 
often saw a number of them lying on a 
bank in a heap together fast asleep, or at 
all events not taking the least notice of us 
until a shot came and sent them tumbling 
into the water, one confused mass of 
heads, feet and tails. Even when not 
shot at, the least alarm will send them off 
wriggling and scuttling into the water 
with incredible swiftness. Some of the 

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crocodiles had handsome skins, green with 
spots, others were difficult to distinguish, 
as they looked like logs of old wood lying 
on the banks ; but we never had much 
chance of observing them, as the boys 
were much quicker at seeing them than 
we were ; and the moment they shouted 
'Crocs,' and pointed to where they were 
lying, guns were instantly fired and the 
crocodiles disappeared. 

The crocodiles were, of course, fair 
game ; but I most strongly objected to the 
way the birds were fired at. The reeds 
on both sides of the river were full of 
birds of every sort, size and colour. King- 
fishers, reedmartins, and tiny birds of rose, 
green and scarlet colours. Of larger birds 
there were fish eagles, African cuckoos, 
black and white ibis, divers, herons, saddle- 
billed storks, egrets, and quantities of duck 
and guinea-fowl. When I remonstrated 
with the men for shooting at the birds, I 
was laughed at for not liking 'sport.' 
Where the * sport' of the proceeding lay 

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A White Woman 

I could not discover, for there was nothing 
of skill about the shooting. It was just 
like firing into a poultry yard, and when 
a bird was killed, it could not be picked 
up, as the steamer did not stop. Often a 
number of wounded and helpless birds 
were left to die. One of the men who 
took part in the * sport' belonged to the 
'Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals' at home, and was, moreover, 
proud of his active work for the society. 

One day another man wounded a heron. 
As it flew off with its broken leg dangling, 
the natives shrieked with laughter and 
began to imitate it ; upon this, the man, 
boiling over with righteous indignation, 
came up to me and said he could not 
stand the cruelty of the natives. *The 
way they enjoyed seeing anything in 
pain,' etc., etc. When he had finished, I 
told him I thought the man who shot 
the bird for his own amusement was 
infinitely more cruel than the natives, at 
which he looked much astonished. I 

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discussed the subject with the captain, 
who seemed to think the wounding of 
birds and animals of very little con- 
sequence where there were so many, and 
it was not until I told him I should 
leave the boat at the next station that 
he promised to have the shooting stopped- 
He kept his word, and during that journey, 
at least, the birds had a peaceful time. 
So had I in watching them, for the boat 
was often quite close to the banks, 
giving me a good chance to see them 
and their nests. 

Among the many practices of white men 
out here which tend to retard the civilising 
of the natives, this is a prominent onCp The 
missionaries endeavour to impress them with 
a sense of the gentleness and tenderness of 
Christianity, and yet they see professing 
Christians indulge In wanton cruelty of this 
nature. Birds and animals of all kinds are 
shot at, wounded, and left to die in great 
pain. In many parts of Africa the native 
fauna are fast disappearing, owing to the 

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A White Woman 

* sporting' proclivities of the white man. 
The tendency is to pass laws for their pro- 
tection, when there is no longer any to 
protect. 

Life on the boat was never in the least 
monotonous. The villages we passed always 
offered something curious to interest and 
amuse us. It was delightfully comfortable 
to lie lazily on a long cane chair on the 
upper deck and watch the way the 
steamer crossed from^ side to side of the 
river, in order to follow the current 
and dodge the sandbanks. The river 
was falling very fast, the channels were 
constantly altering, and a very sharp 
look-out had to be kept. 

We had two goats on board, which 
supplied us with exceptionally good milk. 
This, for me, was a great treat, as I had 
had none for some time. The goats were 
well fed with grass, which the boys cut 
from the banks of the river as we went 
along. One or other of the barges some- 
times got among the reeds, and then 

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there was great excitement, while they 
all cut and pulled as much green stuff 

as possible without stopping the boat 

If in their excitement any of the boys 
tumbled into the water, they did not mind in 
the least, and were soon on the boat again. 
One afternoon we had a great fright; 
suddenly we heard the anchor chain 
running out, the engineer rushed down 
and stopped the boat, and then it was dis> 
covered that one of the boys had tumbled 
off the deck, and in falling had clutched 
at the chain and pulled the anchor over. 
Fortunately, in dropping over, it did not 
fall on him, and he escaped with a good 
scare, followed by a scolding. 

As we approached Shipanga, the country 
became more thickly wooded, and we saw 
one large forest which was said to extend 
to Beira. Judging by what we could see 
of it from the boat, it appeared to be very 
dense. At Shipanga itself we saw Mrs 
Livingstone's grave, and the house, or 
rather the remains of the house, where she 

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A White Woman 

died. A huge baobab tree marks the spot, 
and can be seen in going up and down the 
river. 

As this was the first time I had come across 
one of these trees, I was much struck by 
its remarkable appearance. It is indeed a 
curious and wonderful kind of tree, and 
looks as if it belonged to the days before 
the Flood. It appears as strange on the 
land as the hippo does in the water. One 
of these trees often measures seventy feet 
or more in circumference. The thick trunk 
gradually tapers towards the top. It has 
no waving branches covered with foliage, 
but at intervals thick boughs project from 
the main trunk, and are covered with little 
twigs and leaves. These branches are 
exact fac-similes of the trunk. The fruit 
is large, that is to say, about the size of 
a shaddock, with a hard but velvety 
green shell, full of small nuts of cream-of- 
tartar. The natives make a hole in the 
shell, fill it with water, and use it as a drink- 
ing cup, the cream-of-tartar giving the water 

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a pleasant flavoun They fill it again and 
again with water till all the taste of cream- 
of-tartar is gone, then they throw it away 
and get a fresh one. These trees are 
found chiefly on the plains ; I do not 
remember to have seen any growing on 
the high lands. 



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CHAPTER II 

ON THE SHIRfi RIVER. 

During the voyage we stopped pretty 
often at 'wooding' stations — places where 
the supply of wood for fuel for the 
steamers was stacked ready to be put on 
board; a large supply is needed to keep 
them all going. 

One is constantly hearing about the 
way the natives spoil the timber, and of 
their wasteful method of cutting it down 
to make their fires and to clear the 
ground for their gardens. Both charges 
are true; but nothing is ever said about 
the immense amount of timber we have 
felled for burning on our steamers. In 
Africa we always appear to consider the 

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A White Woman in Central Africa 

country ours and the natives the 

intruders. 

While stopping at the stations^ I was 
always glad to go on shore and have a 
look round the native villages, and in 
these little tours I found plenty of 
amusement, and saw many new and 
curious things. 

At one village the Portuguese collector 
was having a new house built The 
ground had been marked out and the 
floor was being made first. Its prepara- 
tion was a very curious, not to say 
amusing, proceeding. A number of women^ 
with babies tied on their backs, were 
down on their knees smearing mud on 
the floor with their - hands. The mud 
used is made from the old ant-hills^ and 
is of a peculiar hardness, and therefore 
suitable for floors. The hardness appears 
to be owing to some kind of excretion 
which the ants mix with the mould of 
which they make their hills. The clay 
of the ant - hills is pounded up and 

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sprinkled on the ground, then the women 
dip their hands in water and smooth it 
over. The process certainly looked nasty, 
but the effect produced was good. 

When the floor was finished, another 
mixture, in which cow-dung is an in- 
gredient, was smeared over in the same 
way, in order to keep off the insects. 
The ants in Africa cannot be overlooked, 
they are a wonderful power for good and 
evil. They are splendid scavengers, but 
they are also destructive. In a house it 
is most difficult to keep eatables out of 
their reach. If the food is on a table, 
its legs must stand on ' glasses or in 
bowls of water, and it must be well 
away from a wall, or anything else that 
the ants can climb up. They are very 
clever at finding a bridge to help them 
across to the food, and once found, the 
table is soon swarming with them. Some- 
times, when you wake in the morning, 
you will find an ant-heap one or two 
feet high by the side of your bed. I 

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in Central Africa 

heard of one unfortunate man, who, on 
going to put on his shoes in the morning, 
found the tops come off in his hand. The 
ants had eaten all round them in the 
night. 

At another village I watched the 
natives making a large ' dug-out,' or native 
canoe. It was made from the trunk of 
a large tree, with the inside burnt out. 
The trunk was chopped into shape with 
their small axes. The axes were much 
smaller and lighter than those our people 
use at home, but they seemed to do 
the work as quickly and as well 

Close to the place where they were 
working at the boat was a wonderful 
blacksmiths forge- The bellows were 
made of a goat*s skin. The head of the 
goat had been cut oflf^ and into the neck 
there had been fixed a clay pipe which 
went into the furnace. Round this pipe 
the skin was firmly fastened. The wide 
end of the goat skin was cut across, and 
to each side was fixed a bamboo stick, 

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A White Woman 

A native sat on the ground, and taking 
these sticks in his hands, drew the sides 
of the skin apart until it was filled 
with air. Then placing the sticks together, 
so as to close the aperture, he pressed 
the skin downwards, and thus forced the 
air through the pipe into the fire. The 
contrivance was crude, but produced 
good results. 

Some of the villages were very pretty. 
They consisted of round huts made of 
bamboo and thatched with grass. They 
were beautifully made with deep over- 
hanging eaves, and had a sort of outer 
wall of grass and bamboo to enclose the 
hut and yard. Most of the villages were 
fairly clean ; but all had a very peculiar 
smell, arising from the native com, of 
which the villagers cook so much, and 
the bhang they smoke. Bhang is sup- 
posed to have a soothing effect, but it 
makes those who smoke it extremely silly. 
I could always tell when they had been 
smoking it, for after sneezing loudly they 

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continued to make foolish, idiotic noises 
until, to my intense joy, they fell asleep. 

Three days* journey from Chinde we 
came in sight of the Morambala Mountain ; 
and on the fourth day we turned out 
of the Zambesi into the Shir^ River, 
which is much narrower and has higher 
banks. The scenery became more in- 
terestingj and we had lovely views of the 
mountains in the Shire Highlands. 

The river winds a good deal, and 
for one whole day we were going round 
Morambala, It is a beautiful mountain, 
covered with bush to the top ; but the 
marsh all round, through which the 
river runs, is a most unhealthy spot, 
and swarms with mosquitoes and insects 
of many kinds. Consequently, we did 
not much enjoy the time we had to 
spend there. During the night we 
heard noises made by varions wild 
animals, and the splash of crocodiles 
in the water; but fortunately no animal 
paid us a visit on the boat 

25 

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A White Woman 

The steamer was always tied up to the 
bank for the night soon after sunset, about 
six-thirty or seven o'clock, and we started 
again in the morning about five or six. 

Directly the work of tying up the boat 
was completed, there was an exodus of 
all the natives^ They infinitely preferred 
sleeping on the bank to remaining on the 
boat ; and they set to work at once to 
make large fires, at which to cook their 
evening meal, and round which to gather 
for a good chat. Soon numbers of other 
natives joined them, and a curiously weird 
and picturesque sight it was to see them 
all squatting round their big fires, chatter- 
ing as only natives can. Their voices 
never ceased all night, at least, whenever 
I woke up, I always heard them^ At 
these festive gatherings the indispensable 
pipe played, of course, a great part. Men 
of all races and colour seem to derive great 
joy and comfort from smoking. These 
natives, evidently thinking they could not 
have too much of a good thing, carried a 

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in Central Africa 



huge pipe with thenij which, whenever we 
stopped, and they had time to thoroughly 
enjoy it, was always passed round, each 
taking a few whiffs. The stem of the pipe, 
and the bowl to hold waten were made of 
one of the curiously-shaped and long- 
stalked gourds, which they grow and use 
for so many purposes. A hole is made in 
the top part of the bowl and a small 
piece of bamboo firmly inserted, then 
a large clay bowl for the tobacco is fixed 
on to the bamboo. The tobacco is lighted 
with a bit of wood from the fire, and 
then they suck up the smoke through the 
water and the long stem. It is in fact 
a kind of ' hubble-bubble ; ' many of the 
clay bowls are well ornamented, and 
curious patterns are drawn on the stem 
and bowl of the gourd. I have one 
pipe whose clay bowl is five and a half 
inches in diameter and nineteen inches 
long. The stem measures twenty inches 
in length, while the bowl for water 
measures eighteen inches in circum- 

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A White Woman 

ference. It was the largest I saw in use, 
and I had considerable difficulty in 
persuading its owners to part with it, 
and even more difficulty in packing and 
bringing it safely home. It has adorned 
the wall of my room for more than 
six months, and it is more than 
twelve months since it has been used; 
but the odour of the tobacco still clings 
to it, and indeed pervades the room 
if it is shut up for a time. 

We had been travelling for six days 
after leaving Chinde, going all the time 
through Portuguese territory, when one 
morning we spied a large notice board 
erected on the river bank, like a warning 
that * trespassers will be prosecuted.' 
But this was not the sort of notice we 
found. We could make out the words 
painted in large letters upon it — * Here 
commences B. C. A. territory and reaches 
to' ... we could not make out the rest, 
as the letters were worn or rubbed off. 
It was presumably thought unnecessary or 

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in Central Africa 

imprudent at present to paint them in 
again, and to say how far British territory 
extends. 

About there the land was very fairly 
cultivated. The natives had planted 
quantities of bananas and large patches of 
mealies and native corn near their villages- 
These villages were larger and more 
frequent than those we had hitherto seen ; 
and> in addition to the huts for living in, 
there were always a number of huts for 
storing grain* These last were round in 
shape, and were built on piles to keep 
the corn safe from the rats, with which 
the country abounds. 

The first British station that we came 
to was called Port Herald. Behind it 
is a fine range of mountains, on which 
there are said to be some large coffee 
plantations, which are doing extremely well. 
Port Herald itself is a well-laid-out place. 
Its straight roads have been planted on 
each side with trees, which cast a pleasant 
shade ; and there are two or three neat- 

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A White Woman 

looking hpuses with well-thatched roofs 
and wide verandahs. Here the Europeans 
live ; but most of the inhabitants of the 
place are Banyans, as the Indian traders 
are called. It seems to me a great pity 
to encourage so many of them to come 
and settle in B. C. A., as they are filling 
up the places wanted for our own surplus 
population. The Banyans can work for 
less money, and can live on considerably 
less than the ordinary white man. They 
have even fewer scruples as to correct 
weights and measures, and consequently 
can get on and flourish where a European 
would starve. The Banyans have already 
become a great difficulty in Durban, just 
as the Chinese have become in America; 
and surely^ when we have so many 
difficulties to contend with in Africa, it 
is, to say the least, unwise to introduce 
another. 

Two or three hours further up the 
river is Chiromo — a delightful station. 
The former consul took great pride in 

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in Central Africa 

the place and laid it out exceedingly welK 
Of course, the roads were made perfectly 
straight and crossed each other at right 
angles. All had trees planted on each 
side for shade* A fine old baobab tree 
stands just at the end of the principal 
road, and is a very picturesque object 
There are a good many houses for 
Europeans, and all stand well back from 
the roads and are surrounded by good 
gardens. 

The consulate is a very pretty residence^ 
with a charming view from the verandah 
overlooking the river Ruo, which runs 
into the Shir^ at Chiromo, It was a 
very lively house, as there were three or 
four British officials living there together. 
Indeed, all the inhabitants of Chiromo 
seemed to get on extremely well together, 
and to have a very good time. Many 
people might think there was a great 
drawback to their happiness on hearing 
that there was not a European lady in the 
place. Although deprived of the charm 

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A White Woman 

of their fellow-country-women's society, they 
were, they assured me, extremely happy. 
Still, they did not appear to object to 
a visit from a lady, just for a change, 
and they kindly asked me up to dinner, 
an invitation which I was very pleased to 
accept. 

When I arrived at the consulate and 
was crossing the verandah, I was met by 
a cat flying for its life. Then I heard 
shouts of laughter. It seemed that I was 
the first European woman the cat had 
seen, and that she was terrified at the 
sight. But before I left we became good 
friends. I learnt from the consul that 
though a good many missionary ladies, 
both German and English, go up the 
river, I was the first lady who had been 
to call ; indeed, I was the first Planet 
Pilgrim to travel that way. Somebody 
called me the 'first vagrant,' as I had 
no business to do and no connection 
with any work in that part. Of course, 
during dinner, I heard a number of lion 

32 



in Central Africa 

tales ; and the very night I arrived at 
Chiromo, a man was brought in having 
been terribly mauled by a lion, but owing 
to the good care the doctor took of him 
he recovered. The consurs immediate 
predecessor had had a delightful adven- 
ture. One evening he was walking home 
from the river in the dusk, when he saw 
something coming slowly along "the path 
towards him. He politely stepped aside 
to allow it to pass, and as it did so he 
saw that it was a lion. For a moment 
he was too frightened to move* Then it 
occurred to him that he had better * make 
tracks' for home, as the probability was 
that, after the lion had quenched his thirst 
at the river, he would wish for something 
to eat. 

My hosts were much horrified at the 
idea of my going alone to Lake Tan- 
ganyika, and many and terrible were 
the consequences they foretold. They 
also made many kind and wonderful 
suggestions for the preservation of my 
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A White Woman 

health, and for keeping off the much- 
dreaded attacks of fever. Probably my 
immunity from fever was due to the 
fact that I did not adopt any of the 
suggestions. During my journey I was 
frequently asked, * How many grains of 
quinine do you take daily?' and my 
questioners were much astonished to 
hear that I took no more than I should 
do at home, but followed the advice once 
given me by an old traveller, only to 
take quinine when I felt 'cheap.' Twice 
I thought I really was going to have 
an experience of fever, but on these 
occasions it was only that I was over- 
fatigued or suffering from a chill caused 
by the sudden change of temperature 
experienced in passing from the lake to 
the high land, for I was all right again 
next day. 

I was in B. C. Africa from June until 
November, and I never once was stopped 
by illness, or had to give up any ex- 
pedition I had planned. Of course, it 
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in Central Africa 

was the healthiest time of the year, but 
a good many people were ill with fever 
during that time. From what I heard 
and saw, I feel sure there would be a 
erreat deal less fever if those whose lot 
it is to live out there would learn to be 
more careful of their health. They do 
things that would make them ill in any 
country, and then put it down to the 
climate. Of course, working so much in 
the sun causes fever, and also working in 
houses with those detestable corrugated iron 
roofs. Some of these have nothing under the 
roof to keep out the heat ; but surely it is 
not right to expose yourself in either way. 
Directors of companies at home might 
give more care and thought to the com- 
fort and health of their agents and clerks 
out there ; but their chief care seems to 
be about the dividends. I certainly 
did long to see a few directors of the 
luxurious sort popped down in one of 
the offices at Chiromo^ when the ther- 
mometer was lie*" in the shade, the 

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A White Woman 

sun pouring down on the iron roof, 
striking on the heads of those within, 
and making the chairs so hot that one 
could hardly sit on them. On the 
verandah, too, you had to sit with your 
sunshade up, or a wet cloth on your head, 
as that also had an iron roof. Imagine 
having to do brain work in such a heat. 
How soon the directors would have all 
this put right and made comfortable, even 
at the risk of having no dividend at all 
for a year or two, if they had to work 
under such conditions. 

Another terrible bane is whisky drinking. 
Everyone knows what an immense amount 
of harm it does and how much fever it 
causes, yet nothing is done to stop it; 
while endless trouble and expense is in- 
curred to find out other causes of fever. 

My stay at Chiromo had been so 
interesting, and I had met with so much 
kindness, and had found so much amuse- 
ment, that I was quite sorry when the 
* Pious Paddler' was ready to continue 
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in Central Africa 

her journey up the river; but I- had the 
pleasure of thinking I should probably call 
there again on my way down, and in my 
turn have plenty of adventures to relate 

After leaving Chiromo, the river was 
still very winding, and the views of the 
mountains in the Shir^ Highlands were 
lovely. The sandbanks were getting 
more frequent, and, of course, we stuck 
many times, but never badly. I think we 
should have felt that the day was too 
monotonous if we had not had the excite- 
ment of striking on a sandbank These 
incidents gave rise to very amusing scenes, 
and were always sufficiently varied to 
excite interest. Besides, there was always 
the possibility of getting firmly fixed. 

At one of the villages near a place 
where we tied up for the night, the 
captain bought a quantity of fowl and 
Muscovy duck. I went with him to buy 
them, and was highly amused at the 
bargaining. Of course, it was a long 
business, as it always is in the East, and 

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A White Woman in Central Africa 

it resulted in his getting the fowls for 
twopence each and the ducks for five- 
pence. This seemed wonderfully cheap, 
but I found that it was quite a good 
price as markets go there, and the natives 
were glad to part with them for the price 
mentioned. 

From Chiromo to Katunga was only 
two days' journey, and here the river part 
of the expedition ended. 



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CHAPTER III 

OVERLAND THE SHIRfi — -TO ELANTYRE. 

Katunga is SO called after the chief to 
whom that part of the country which sur- 
rounds the station belonged. Indeed, most 
places are named after chiefs, and many 
of the names have a very musical sound, 
and serve to recall some fact in the 
history of the country. Therefore it seems 
a pity that so many English and Scotch 
names are now being substituted when 
they have no meaning out there, and do 
not commemorate any special deed, either 
religious, civil or military. 

Katunga is a curious and, in some ways, 
an interesting place. There is one large 
store with the buildings belonging to it, 
and all around, at the time of my visit, 
there was a confused mass of goods of 

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A White Woman 

every description, piled up .just as they 
were left when unloaded from the river 
steamers — huge iron plates, parts of 
steamers, boilers, railway and telegraph 
stuff, and cases of every shape and size 
were all waiting to be carried off by the 
natives either up to Blantyre, a distance of 
about thirty miles, or to another station 
on the river at a place called Matope, 
some sixty miles off. 

The Murchison Falls and Rapids are 
but a little way above Katunga, and of 
course they make- it impossible for boats 
to go further. The river Shir^ has here a 
drop of about twelve hundred feet in some 
thirty-five miles. Were it not for these 
rapids, the journey up from the coast to 
Lake Nyasa would be extremely simple, but 
not nearly so interesting. 

It was almost dark when we arrived at 
Katunga, and I did not go on shore until 
next morning. I was not sorry to find I 
should have to stay until the following 
(Jay, because all the natives about ^q 

4Q 



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in Central Africa 

station were employed in carrying loads, 
and, in order to have me and my 
luggage conveyed to Blantyre, others 
had to be sent for from the villages 
near. 

Around Katunga there was plenty to 
see that was amusing and interesting. 

For a long time I sat and watched 
the natives going off with their loads. 
A man sometimes carried as much as 
sixty pounds, though fifty-six pounds 
was the usual weight of a load for a 
single carrier. When the package was 
heavier, bamboo poles were fastened to 
it, and two or more men carried it I 
was astonished to see how well they 
contrived to carry even very unwieldy 
things across the mountain, A good 
many of their loads consisted of the 
iron plates for the new gunboat, the 
' Guendolen,' which was being built at 
Fort Johnston when I was there. These 
things were not only heavy, but they 
were also, owing to their shape, extremely 

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difficult to carry. The angles of the 
plates were sharp and rough, and must 
have been exceedingly irksome when 
borne on bare shoulders. Yet they were 
wonderfully quiet and patient in going 
off with these awkward loads; but it 
was not a pleasant sight, and I was 
always glad when a load was such that 
they could put it on their heads, for, so 
placed, it seemed quite easy for them 
to manage it, and they always walked 
off with it quite cheerfully. 

Here I saw several new styles of 
dressing the hair. One, which was very 
much in favour, was to have the tufts 
of hair twisted with wire or cotton, so 
that they stuck up in hard points all 
over the head. Some of the women 
had beads twisted in their hair, produc- 
ing the effect of a bead fringe to a 
mat, which flopped and jingled as they 
ran. 

On the following morning I was able 
to engage some men, and by eleven 

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in Central Africa 

o'clock I was ready to start. The start 
was a most exciting and interesting 
performance, though just at first I was 
rather appalled at the array of wild-look- 
ing men. There were fourteen of them, 
twelve to carry me and two to carry 
my luggage, which weighed just sixty 
pounds, so that it was an easy load for 
two. I was to be carried in a machila, 
which is really a hammock made of 
strong sailcloth and slung on a bamboo 
pole. It was carried by two men, one 
at each end. Sometimes there is a 
cover all along the top of the pole, to 
make a shade, but as I found it inter- 
fered with the view, I only had curtains 
at the head, that I could draw or push 
back as . I wished. A very important 
item in the make-up of the machila is 
the pillows. These, when well arranged, 
add greatly to the travellers comfort. 
Much, too, depends on having them the 
right size and shape. I was miserably 
uncomfortable at first, but after a time 

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A White Woman 

I learnt how to ride with perfect • ease ; 
and next, after a Japanese jinrikisha, I 
consider machila travelling the most 
delightful mode of progression in a hot 
country. 

Having inspected my conveyance, I 
proceeded to get in, but as I was not 
used to a hammock, when I got in on 
one side I promptly rolled out on the 
other. The boys shrieked with laughter 
and rushed to pick me up. Then when 
I tried again to get in, they formed up 
in a row on the off-side to prevent the 
possibility of a repetition of the accident. 
This time I succeeded in getting in, but 
my cushions were most uncomfortable, 
and I was afraid of moving much lest I 
should again roll out. Then, as the 
carriers got warm, the ' Bouquet d'Afrique ' 
became almost unbearable, and when we 
came to the foot of the mountain I was 
thankful to get out and walk. 

The men, when carrying the machila, 
go at a kind of trot, and travel at the 

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in Central Africa 

rate of about four miles an hour. There 
is a wonderful difference in the way 
different men carry you. Some contrive 
to jolt most miserably, but, as a rule, 
they go very easily and change without 
stopping. In lifting the pole over their 
heads, just to change shoulders, they often 
give their heads an awful knock, but it 
does not trouble them, their skulls seem 
too thick for them to mind such a 
trifling blow. 

The men who were carrying me were 
a happy lot, and sang and shouted at 
the top of their voices. The words of 
their songs were generally improvised 
about the * Ulendo ' (the journey), and 
the person they were carrying, and all 
the extraordinary things he or she had 
done or said. One man led off, a few 
more joined in, and they all ended up 
with a powerful chorus. Then, at intervals, 
without any provocation, they clapped the 
machila pole violently with their hands 
and uttered piercing shrieks and yells. 

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The men whose turn it was next to 
carry the machila would run by the side, 
and when the time came for them to take 
their part, they just slipped their shoulders 
under the pole and the others retired to 
the back to rest and walk quietly. 

The road to Blantyre is called the 
Sclater road, after the man who made 
it, and it is a wonderfully good one. The 
first part out from Katunga was planted 
on both sides with limes, lemons and 
oranges. There was a good deal of fruit 
on some of the trees, and the scent was 
delicious. I often wished they had been 
continued further along the road. For 
some distance the way was very level 
and kept to the plain. By-and-by we 
came to the foot of the mountain, and 
there I got out and walked, as the ascent 
was very steep. The road went up in 
long zig-zags, while the native paths took 
short cuts, and as they were more in the 
shade of the trees, I preferred going up 
them, stopping often to enjoy the lovely 

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in Central Africa 

view over the plain, along which we 
could see the river Shird winding for a 
great distance. In this way it took us 
nearly an hour to reach the top of the 
Pass. Then, as the men wanted to go 
more quickly, I got into the machila 
again ; but before we got to a kind of 
rest - house at 'Mbami, half - way to 
Blantyre, I had another hour's walk and 
climb. It was half-past two o'clock when 
I arrived at 'Mbami. At this rest-house 
I found a native who could speak a few 
words of English, and what was even a 
greater joy, he knew how to make tea, 
and had a tin of nice biscuits. The men 
were glad of a rest, and we remained 
about an hour before we set off again. 

We journeyed on and on, the sun set, 
and I began to feel rather anxious. I 
was getting tired, and of course could 
not speak to the men to find out how 
much further we had to go, so I had to 
cultivate patience, and trust we should 
soon get to the end of our journey. 

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Fortunately there was a lovely moon to 
light us, and the men relieved the mo- 
notony of the journey by their singing, 
shouting and funny antics. 

At last, about half-past seven, we stopped. 
All that I could discern were some high 
gates, a wall and a round tower. The 
men made signs for me to get out of 
the machila, which I did, though very 
much puzzled as to the place, which 
seemed to me to be a prison. After some 
hammering at the doof-s, a native inside 
came and unlocked and unbarred them, 
had a long confabulation with my men, 
and finally let us all in. We found our- 
selves in a large open space with build- 
ings all round. I discovered at last that 
we had reached Blantyre, and that this place 
belonged to the African Lakes Company. 
Their stores and offices were built round 
this large square in order to afford protec- 
tion and defence against the natives in case 
of a rising, and also to serve as a laager 
for the Europeans of the neighbourhood. 

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in Central Africa 

The managers house was at one end, 
and there I received a very kind welcome, 
and an invitation to stay. The house 
was a grand one, for that part of the 
world ; it was two storeys high, which is 
most unusual, and it had a splendid 
verandah all round. It is called * Mandala,' 
the native word for glasses. The builder 
and first occupier of the house wore 
glasses, and of course it was named after 
him, as the natives have their own names, 
taken from some peculiarity, for all 
Europeans and for European things. 

When I went up to my room I found a 
large white owl in possession. The natives, 
who are very superstitious, were horrified, 
as they consider them very unlucky. For- 
tunately, they have a firm belief that owls 
cannot be killed, so they do not attempt to 
destroy them. A curious thing happened 
once to confirm that belief. A European 
raised his gun and aimed at an owl, the 
natives said they were certain he could not 
shoot it, and sure enough something had 
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A White Woman 

happened to the gun and it declined to go 
off. Of course, before it could be put 
right, the owl had quietly flown away. 

I was told here, that another creature 
of which the natives have a great horror 
is the chameleon, but of those they kill 
all they can find. They say the chameleon 
and the lizard were sent into the world as 
messengers of life and death. The lizard 
went off at a great rate, but the chameleon 
loitered on the way, and when he arrived 
he found the lizard had been on the earth 
for some time and had instituted Death, 
and therefore, because of his laziness, the 
natives destroy all the chameleons they 
come across. 

Blantyre is cool, and should be healthy. 
It is three thousand feet above the sea, 
and the air was quite bracing after the heat 
of the plains. The scenery round is good, 
and there are some lovely mountains, which 
are four to five thousand feet in height, 
as well as numerous hills of less altitude. 
It is a curiously-arranged place, and each 
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hill seems to have its own settlement. 
Mandala is on one, the mission station on 
another, the civil Boma, with the post and 
telegraph offices, on a third. 'Boma' is 
the native word for stockade, and as there 
is always one round the collector's house, 
the *seat of government' has acquired the 
name of * Boma.' On yet another hill is 
the hospital, which did not appear to be 
much used, despite its many comforts and 
lovely situation. The reason for this seems 
to be, that people prefer being nursed in 
their own homes whenever that is possible. 
Certainly the advent of trained nurses in 
that part of the world has been an immense 
blessing, and now that several have been 
sent out by the missions and the govern- 
ment, who are at liberty to go to the 
homes of the patients, there are many more 
recoveries from bad attacks of fever than 
formerly. In old days there was very little 
chance of recovery for anyone down with 
fever, who was left only to the care of the 
natives. These, though anxious to do their 

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A White Woman 

best, knew very little of the wants of 
Europeans. Doctors, too, were fewer in 
number, and were extremely difficult to get 
at. They often arrived too late to be of 
use, as the distances are so great. 

It was Livingstone's idea to found a 
Scotch colony in the Shir6 Highlands, and 
after his death this was done, and it has 
been named Blantyre, after his birthplace. 
The inhabitants, apart from the natives, 
are almost entirely Scotch ; and, indeed, the 
whole way from Chinde to Lake Tanganyika, 
you meet Scotchmen, and nearly every- 
one's name begins with * Mac' All kinds 
of things seem to flourish about Blantyre, 
roses and many other home flowers, wheat, 
maize, rice, potatoes, sugar-cane, tobacco, 
and, of course, coffee. There are many 
large coffee plantations doing extremely 
well. The first plant was brought over 
from the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, 
and was planted in the Blantyre Mission 
garden, where it flourished for many years, 
and is the parent of all the plantations. 

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Nyasaland coffee commands the best price 
in the London market, and is certainly 
most excellent in flavour ; but, unfortunately, 
I seldom had the pleasure of tasting it in 
Nyasaland, owing to the trouble of roasting 
and grinding it. Tea is so much more 
easily made, that you get a great deal 
more of it. 

The coffee plantations were very inter- 
esting to go through, and they were a very 
pretty sight, for when I was there, at the 
end of July, the bushes were loaded with 
the bright red fruit, and the natives were 
all busy picking it into baskets. After 
seeing the picking, we followed the berries 
to the pulpers and saw the soft outer 
covering taken off, and then watched all the 
various processes, till finally we saw some of 
the coffee put in sacks ready to be shipped 
off to England. Certainly it appeared to me 
to be the finest coffee I had ever seen, and I 
have seen coffee growing in many countries. 

Another day I went to see a tobacco 
plantation. There is, of course, plenty of 

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tobacco used in B. C. Africa, and as the 
plant seems to flourish well, the growing 
of it ought to be a paying industry. I 
was astonished to see the number of 
processes the leaf has to go through before 
it is ready for smoking. 

A visit to the mission took up another 
and a most interesting day, as there were 
so many kinds of work going on. Of course, 
it is quite an old settlement. Having been 
started, I believe, in 1875, everything is 
well established, and the work goes on 
regularly and well. The church is a 
wonderful building. It would attract at- 
tention and admiration anywhere, but seen 
in a part of the world that at home we 
consider far away from all civilisation, it 
excites amazement. It took about three 
years to build, and is entirely native work. 
The missionary was the architect, the 
natives made and laid the bricks, and did 
all the wood - carving and ornamentation. 
The design of the church is most elaborate ; 
it has towers and domes, and a circular 

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east end with good stained glass. In the 
nave there are two stained windows. The 
glass, of course, has come from home. The 
pulpit is of native wood well carved, and 
there is a good deal of carving about the 
doors. The church stands in a large, open 
square, and there is a beautiful avenue of 
eucalyptus trees, nearly a mile long, leading 
up to it. The trees are from sixty to a 
hundred feet high, and were planted in 1879. 
Near the church are good schools. In 
addition to the ordinary school instruction, 
carpentering, printing, gardening, etc., are 
taught to the boys, and needlework, laundry, 
dairy and housework to the girls. All this 
instruction makes them very useful servants 
for us ; but I sometimes wondered how 
much is for ourselves and how much is 
honestly and solely for the good of the 
natives. We are certainly creating in the 
native a desire, and even greed, for money, 
and with that a wish for finery and clothing 
such as they had not before, and that 
certainly is not for their good. They look 

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K far better and are healthier with only their 

nsaru, or loin cloth, made of native cloth, 
or even of the poor calico we send out 
^* to them, than when wearing old soldiers' 

coats, and the shabby things they are 
\ tempted to buy at the stores — clumsy boots 

[; that deform their feet and make them walk 

I badly, and horrid old hats stuck on their 

I heads. They never wore hats formerly, 

and the sun is no hotter now, so that they 
cannot be necessary, and are certainly dirty 
and untidy. Moreover, if we are teaching 
them many of our own industries, they are 
forgetting their own. The native iron and 
copper work was excellent, and their axes, 
hoes, spears and knives were all beautifully 
made and ornamented. All the things they 
use were carved, or had brass, copper or 
iron wire tastefully twisted round them. 
The gourds for drinking were adorned 
with all kinds of quaint designs, and their 
ntangas, or baskets for holding their posses- 
sions, were much prettier than the ugly 
boxes in which we keep ours. They had 

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decidedly an idea of making their things 
tasteful as well as useful, and of course had 
plenty of time to spend on decoration. 
The native weaving and the bead-work, 
too, is dying out as, now money is earned, 
all these things can be obtained more 
cheaply at the stores. Architecturally, we 
are not improving the look of the country. 
Red brick houses are certainly not pretty ; 
while the Wankonde huts at the north end 
of Lake Nyasa are most picturesque and 
beautifully clean and neat. They have a 
framework of bamboo, then clay pressed 
into different shapes is placed in patterns 
between the bamboo, or sometimes the 
bamboo is plaited in patterns and the clay 
is plastered on inside. Then with a good 
thatch, and provided with well overhanging 
eaves, they have a delightfully ^ool house 
and a very pretty one. If the difficulty is 
that the huts are not roomy enowh, surely 
it cannot be difficult to teach tSfe natives 
to make them larger and with better ac- 
commodation. It seems a pity we cannot 

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develop and improve all the good in the 
natives without having to teach them all 
our own fads and customs, many of which 
have certainly not proved entirely satis- 
factory at home. We English are an odd 
mixture, we send out large sums for missions, 
and then permit and encourage such a show 
in London as ' Savage Africa/ which must 
thoroughly demoralise the natives, and undo 
years of patient work. It would be curious 
to know what the natives think of a nation 
that goes in crowds to see a representation 
of such a terribly sad incident as * Wilson's 
last stand,' in which possibly some of the 
very same natives who took part in the 
slaughter are being employed to act it 
over again, just for the amusement of 
Wilson's countrymen. It surely will be 
counted one of the disgraces of the nineteenth 
century that such a show was permitted 
and supported. It is most earnestly to be 
hoped that no more shows of the same 
kind will ever be allowed. The great hold 
we have over the natives in Africa is on 

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account of the respect, and almost awe, fthey 
have for the white man, and their belief in 
his superiority ; but such shows must lessen 
their respect for us, and do incalculable 
harm. 



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. CHAPTER IV 

BLANTYRE TO LIWONDE 

Atfer Spending some days in Blantyre, I 
started off in my machila, with seventeen 
boys, to see something of the surrounding 
country. I had again two boys for my 
baggage, but this time I took fourteen to 
carry the machila, as I was going longer 
distances. Of course, there was a * capitao,' 
as the head man is called, to look after the 
others. He generally walked along in a 
most dignified manner, carrying a quite 
useless gun. Each of the others carried a 
spear, a small axe and a knobkerry — a stick 
with a heavy knob at the end, which is 
useful in helping to support the load on 
their shoulder. It is also used as a weapon, 
and with it the native can give a deadly blow. 
They were a picturesque-looking crew, with 

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their cat-skin bags filled with food and slung 
on their arms, and looking like stuffed 
animals. 

The skins of some wild cats are very 
handsome. When they have killed the cat, 
the natives just cut off the head, and then 
literally * let the cat out of the bag.' The 
inside of the skin is then rubbed with stones 
to get it clean, and is afterwards dried in the 
sun. It is next turned with the fur outside 
again, and it makes a perfect bag, never 
having been cut anywhere, except at the 
neck. The legs make useful and separate 
pockets for snuff, of which the natives take 
a great deal, and for tobacco, etc. 

The men's clothing consisted of a loin 
cloth, and plenty of necklaces, armlets, and 
anklets, made of beads and twisted copper 
and brass wire. Their hair was trimmed, 
of course, in all sorts of amusing fashions ; 
and their bodies were well rubbed with oil, 
which shone in the sun, and polished up 
the colour of their skins, which is a dark 
chocolate. They were happy and noisy, 

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just like a lot of children, and seemed to be 
as easily amused. 

My destination that day was Zomba, which 
was forty- two miles off; too far to travel 
comfortably in one day. As I did not want 
to camp on the way, a relay of men had 
been sent on the night before to relieve 
the others when we got about half-way, and 
enable them to return home. I started about 
seven a.m., and did not reach Zomba till 
nearly seven p.m. Of course, we often 
stopped for a rest, and I did a good deal of 
walking, which is not such a quick way of 
getting on as being carried ; but I got so 
tired of riding in the machila, that I was glad 
to get out and walk occasionally, by way of 
a change. It was rather disconcerting to be 
unable to speak to my carriers, but they were 
uncommonly clever at making themselves 
understood by signs, and as no difficulties 
arose on the way, there was no real necessity 
to talk to them. 

The only mishap was the loss of my mid- 
day meal. I was to have stopped at a coffee 

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planter's on the way, but I could not discover 
where he lived. Either the boys did not 
know, or they did not wish to stop there, 
and I arrived at Zomba very hungry and 
tired. One is made wise by experience, and 
after that day I always carried a small stock 
of biscuits, and a bottle of tea, in the machila 
with me. The road was a very good one all 
the way from Blantyre to Zomba, though it 
was rather hilly ; but a bicycle could easily 
go along it. There was a great deal of the 
usual scrubby kind of forest; the trees, of 
course, looked worse at that time of the year, 
as many had no leaves on them. 

At last I reached Zomba, and was surprised 
to find it such a remarkably civilised place. 
I had known that it was the Seat of Govern- 
ment, but at home one thinks of everyone 
in B. C. Africa as struggling with hardships, 
so that I was quite unprepared to find so 
much of comfort, and almost luxury, as I 
did here. 

It is prettily situated at the foot of a 
high mountain of the same name, which 

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overlooks a big plain, with Lake Shirwa 
in the middle, and the mountains of Mlanje \ 

in the distance. The residency is a fine •- 

building, and has beautifully laid-out grounds ; 
but the interior of the house had a rather '\ 

forlorn appearance. The place is not con- 
sidered very healthy, and a new residency \ 
is to be built in a better situation. The 
Government and post and telegraph offices j 
are close by ; and, dotted about among the P 
trees on the hillside, are pretty one-storied 
houses occupied by the European residents. J 
There is a good store belonging to the 
A. L. C, where all ordinary wants can be 
supplied, a large tennis ground, that seems 
to be well used, and a military station, where 
about three hundred natives were, at this 
time, being drilled. 

When I was at Zomba, there were only 
four ladies living there, two married ladies 
and the two Government nurses. They 
were all made much of, and seemed to be 
having a thoroughly good time, indeed the 
whole settlement struck me as being a very 

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happy one. It was amusing to hear of the 
fuss that was made over the * Zomba baby/ 
the first white child born in that part of the 
world. It was just a year old, and, a few 
days before I arrived there, had held a 
grand reception on its birthday. Everyone 
called on it, and the amount of cake eaten 
on that occasion was considered responsible 
for all the illness for some time after. 

Zomba mountain is a lovely place, and 
puts thoughts of picnics into one's mind. 
The plateau on the top ought to be a grand 
* health resort ' for the people living on the 
plains, when the heat there becomes too 
intense. It is about four thousand feet high, 
and we found the ascent long and steep. 
The views obtained on the way up were 
glorious ; and as the friends who went with 
me up the mountain had arranged to start 
early, there was plenty of time to enjoy the 
climb and the prospect before the heat 
became too great. From the top, you look 
over a large, well-wooded plain, with Lake 
Shirwa in the centre, the Mlanje mountains 
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opposite, and Mount Chiradzulu on one 
side. 

July is not the best month for the 
flowers, but we found a great variety, and 
some of very brilliant colours. The ferns, 
too, were splendid, especially those near 
the streams. The top of the mountain is 
charming country, where one can walk for 
miles, up and down hills, across streams and 
up mountains almost as high as Zomba 
itself. In one place we came upon a 
lovely waterfall, where the water dashed 
over great ledges of granite, and here we 
found large patches of osmunda, maidenhair, 
and other varieties of fern. Many of the 
trees were flat-topped — the kind one sees 
so often in Central and South-East Africa. 
Game seemed abundant. We saw a good 
many bok in the distance, and the boys 
showed us the spoor of wild cats, leopards, 
etc. We boiled our kettle and had tea 
by a lovely stream, and felt very loath to 
leave the plateau and go down again to 
the plain. In descending the mountain the 

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views were even more lovely, as a slight 
haze made the light softer and the colouring 
more beautifuL 

When I left Zomba I went on to 
Domasi, another Scotch mission station, 
only two hours and a half distant My 
boys left the road and took me by native 
paths, going round to the other side of 
Mount Zomba J which is totally different, and 
very much finer — a precipice of grey rock. 

The first view of Domasi is very pretty. 
The mission buildings are all thatched, the 
church has a deep red roof, and the wooded 
mountains and grey rocks at the back 
formed a charming picture. Here again 
I received a most kindly welcome, and 
much enjoyed a stay of a day or two ; 
though the manse is, without exception, 
the most draughty place I ever was in. 
The rooms are large and lofty, no door 
or window fits, and there are brick floors. 
This all sounds as if it ought to be de- 
lightful in British Central Africa, But 
Domasi stands high, and it happened to 
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be very cold weather, 'exceptionally cold/ 
of course. I had just come up from the 
heat of the plains, and most heartily 
wished I had brought warmer clothing 
with me. The natives seemed to feel the 
cold very much too, and went about in 
the early morning well wrapped up in 
their arms, which is their method of 
keeping themselves warm. They cross 
their arms in front, and clutch their 
shoulders with their hands. 

There was a funny little native boy 
about the manse. He was only four years 
old, and was found two years ago by 
Colonel Manning during some fighting up 
country. He was the only living creature 
left in a native village, and he had two 
bad wounds, one of them on his head. 
The child was brought to the manse, to 
be taken care of, and of course has been 
made a great pet, and is becoming a sharp, 
amusing little lad. 

Many of the native women round Domasi 
wear * Peleles ' in their upper lip, making 

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it stick out like a pig's snout The largest 
one I saw there was of solid ivory, two 
inches long, and three and a half inches 
in circumference, A slit is cat in the upper 
lip, just under the nose, and a piece of wood 
or ivory is inserted to prevent it healing, 
then gradually larger and larger pieces are 
put in till they reach the fashionable size. 
Further up coul!^ I got a very large and 
queer one ; it was of tin, hollow like a dish, 
and was five inches in circumference and 
rather more than one inch deep. It was 
quite the most ugly * ornament ' I have 
ever seen. It puzzled me to understand 
how the women talked and ate with such 
decorations in their HpSj but apparently use 
was second nature, for it was only when 
the * Pelele ' was taken out that they ex- 
perienced a difficulty in talking. The two 
women whom I persuaded, by liberal offers 
of beads and salt, to let me have the very 
large ones they were wearing^ had to get 
thick pieces of wood to put in at once 
when they took the others out. The 

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younger women are not following this 
fashion, but as they must have some orna- 
ment, they put a thick piece of lead or 
ivory in one side of the nose. In the lobe 
of each ear they wear large discs, the size 
of a five-shilling piece, made of ivory or 
wood ornamented with brass nails. Some- 
times, in addition, the whole ear is studded 
round with brass or ivory. The men, too, 
do not disdain to wear large and solid 
pieces of ivory or wood in the lobes of 
their ears, and sometimes the large hole 
thus made is found useful to carry other 
things, such as snuff boxes, or trifles of 
that sort 

The faces and bodies of both men and 
women are often tattooed in wonderful 
patterns, and they always have a tribal 
mark. The tattooing in B. C. A. is done 
quite differently from the way it is done 
in Japan, and from the way our sailors do 
it. The patterns are formed by means of 
raised lumps. These are made on the 
skin by cutting it, and rubbing something 

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in to raise it up. This is done on the 
face or any part of the body, in all sorts 
of patterns, and sometimes in rows of 
wonderfully straight parallel lines. 

I noticed, too, that there were many 
fashions in teeth. Teeth do not seem to 
lend themselves to fashion's caprices, but 
the natives have discovered the possibility 
of considerably altering their appearance. 
Some have all of them filed to points, 
looking like the teeth of a saw ; others have 
the upper front teeth notched, and some 
have the two front teeth taken out. Of 
course, all this may have been the result 
of other motives than a desire to become 
'advantageously varied,' but I could not 
discover them. 

Many of the women adorned themselves 
wonderfully, and looked very gay and 
picturesque. Round their heads they wore a 
band of beadwork, beautifully made, loads 
of bead necklaces adorned their necks, 
bead arrangements swathed their waists, 
and on arms and ankles they wore a 

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number of copper, iron and brass bangles. 
I much admired the colour of their skin. 
It is a rich chocolate, and, when well kept, 
has a beautifully clear, smooth look, almost 
like satin. Out in Africa it looks infinitely 
handsomer than the yellowish white skin 
of the Europeans ; for out there, a really 
lovely English complexion is not to be 
found, and ' white ' people are usually 
either red, yellow or brown ; shades which 
certainly do not harmonise as well with the 
surroundings as does the native colour. 

The making of these bead ornaments 
was an interesting process to watch ; it 
was almost as intricate as lace -making. 
The women make the cotton they use as 
thread. They have no needles, but make 
a fine point to the cotton and thread each 
bead separately ; most of the patterns they 
invent themselves, but they are delighted 
to be shown new ones. 

From Domasi I went to see a coflTee 
plantation at Songani. It seemed to me 
a rather amusing proceeding to take my 

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machila and my seventeen men about 
with me wherever I went. At first I was 
troubled as to what would become of them 
when I stayed a few days at a station ; 
but I found it was the custom, and no 
one objected to my arriving with that 
number of men, and the men themselves 
were perfectly content and happy. They 
always took themselves off to the nearest 
native village, and waited with the most 
absolute indifference just as long as I 
wished. It was perfectly delightful to 
meet with beings who had so much spare 
tinie. 

As we approached Songani, the men 
gave ample warning of our arrival, and, for 
fully a quarter of an hour before reaching 
the house, they began to sing at the top 
of their voices, then they gave vent to 
yells, shrieks and every imaginable sort 
of noise. I tried to make them be quiet. 
I saw it was a nice house we were coming 
to, and I felt terribly ashamed to arrive 
in such, a fashion with such a horde of 

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lunatics, but my efforts to make them 
quieter were, I think, construed into ap- 
proval of the noise, and only incited them 
to greater exertions. When my hostess 
came out to welcome me, I immediately 
poured forth my apologies, but she only 
laughed, and said that it was the custom, 
and they rather liked it, as it let them 
know that friends were coming, and also 
showed that the men were happy and 
getting on well. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Son- 
gani\ The house was extremely pictur- 
esque. Its broad verandah, with its 
tempting lounging chairs and pleasant 
shade, gave it an air of comfort. The 
garden was bright with flowers, and 
beyond was the steep granite side of 
Mount Zomba. The road up to the house 
led through a large nursery of young 
coffee plants, all looking strong and 
healthy, and the ground was so beauti- 
fully kept, that there was not a weed to 
be seen. When, after a rest, I went 

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round the estate, I found the large coffee 
plantations equally well cared for ; and, 
indeed, the whole place was so wonder- 
fully neat, that it was difficult to believe 
one was in Africa. 

During^ my stay there we went for a 
walk through two of the adjacent native 
villages, and watched the women pound- 
ing corn in tall mortars made of wood. 
They use a long, heavy pole, about six 
feet long and four inches thick, to pound 
with. Two women pound at the same 
time, and they lift the poles with such 
regularity that, though the mortar is 
very narrow, they seldom clash. When 
the pounding is done, they crush the 
corn quite fine, by rubbing it between 
two stones, one small stone over another 
big flat one. This sometimes makes the 
flour very gritty, as the stones are often 
not very hard, and a good deal gets 
rubbed off into the flour. 

While I was at Songani, the natives 
came in with balls of rubber for sale. 

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They collect it from a kind of vine that 
grows wild in Nyasaland ; they cut the 
rind of the vine in places, and as the 
juice oozes out, they smear it over their 
hands, arms and bodies. Then, on their 
way home, when it has set a little, they 
roll it off into balls. 

From Songani I started off to reach 
the river again at Liwonde. There was, 
I believe, a good road most of the way, 
but the natives preferred the paths, and 
I was very pleased when they turned 
off the road. Then the way became much 
more interesting, though at times it was 
terribly rough. I had constantly to get 
out and walk ; and many times when I 
was riding I found why it was neces- 
sary to have the hammock made of 
strong sail cloth instead of netting, for 
the machila caught on the tops of thorn 
bushes, stumps roughly chopped off, and 
sharp rocks sticking up by the pathways. 
A native path is said to go as direct 
as possible from one village to another, 

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but the windings and turnings, to avoid 
a stone or a fallen tree, are endless, and 
I am sure increase the distance at least 
one mile in four. Still, I thought it 
pleasanter and more amusing than going 
straight on, and time was no object to 
me or my boys. 

The path through the high grass and 
thorn bushes was only wide enough for a 
native, and while traversing it, I had to 
take great care to avoid a creeping-plant 
called the ' Cowitch,' the proper name of 
which is, I believe, the macuna bean. It 
has bunches of pods, which look like 
lovely old-gold plush, but the * plush ' 
consists of tiny spines, which, if you touch 
them, cause a terrible irritation, that 
drives you nearly frantic with pain. The 
only relief seems to come from getting 
into water, and that is not always at 
hand. The thorns, too, were very bad, 
many of them being from four to four and 
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We crossed several streams, sometimes 
on queer bridges made of bamboo, but 
more often on a pole thrown across, and 
much more suited to an acrobat than to 
me. The boys seemed thoroughly to 
enjoy the fun of getting me over, and 
and never once let me tumble. 

As we went along, I had noticed a 
good deal of smoke, which I knew came 
from a big grass fire. I rather wondered 
if we should get caught in it, but the 
boys went on, so I supposed it was all 
right. Presently, however, I heard the 
curious crackling sound of the fire, and a 
sudden turn brought us into full view of 
it. On both sides of the path the flames 
were blazing up as high as the trees, and 
coming towards us. The boys ran back 
with me to where the path was wider, 
and the grass not so high, then they each 
got a stick, and we waited till the fire 
came nearer and there seemed a good 
chance of getting through. As we waited 
we saw hares flying for their lives, and 

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poor beetles and frogs scurrying along in 
hope of escape. Then four of the boys 
seized the machila and simply flew through 
the burning grass, while the others on 
each side beat the flames back as well 
as they could. How they escaped getting 
badly burned was a marvel. I was very 
thankful when we were through, for the 
heat and smoke were stifling, and I was 
well covered with bits of burnt grass. 
For a long distance the heat from the 
smouldering wood was very great. 

As we got nearer to the river, we saw 
again a great many of the large, strange- 
looking baobab trees, then the river came 
in sight, and, to my astonishment, I found 
the station was on the other side. I was 
wondering how the crossing would be 
accomplished, when the * Collector ' caught 
sight of me, and most kindly came across 
in his canoe to fetch me. The boys and 
the machila went over in native * dug-outs.' 
Then, as I intended going further up the 
river to Lake Nyasa, I had to part with 

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my cheery team of boys, and they went off, 
rejoicing greatly over the few yards of calico 
which I gave them in addition to their pay. 

I had timed my arrival at Liwonde on 
the day on which I had been told the 
river steamer, the * Livingstone,' would be 
waiting for me, but there was no sign of 
it, and it did not arrive until two days 
later. Things are, of course, very casual in 
that part of the world, and the only 
possible way to have any happiness is just 
to take things as they come, and forget 
such evil habits as keeping appointments, 
or fixing times for anything. 

While waiting I always found plenty of 
amusement in strolling about a village and 
watching the women employed at their 
beadwork, or in sifting corn — work which 
they do with great quickness and much 
grace of movement. They shake the corn 
in an open basket, and as the coarse grains 
come to the top, they send them out with 
a little toss on the mat below. It looked 
such an easy process, that, to their great 

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amusement, I had a try, but of course I 
could not manage it at all. However, 
before I left Africa, I was able, after re- 
peated trials, to do it after a fashion. 



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CHAPTER V 

VOYAGE ON THE 'LIVINGSTONE* AND * DOMIRA ' 

When at last the * Livingstone ' arrived at 
Liwonde, it had on board so many people 
who were going up to various stations, that 
I was thankful I had not to spend a night 
on the steamer. We started from Liwonde 
at seven a.m., and at eight p.m. we reached 
Fort Johnston, which is within a few miles 
of the point where the river leaves the lake. 
The journey had been a very pleasant one. 
All our meals were served on the upper 
deck, and there was the usual excitement 
of seeing hippos and crocs, of stoppages 
at * wooding ' stations, and of visits to native 
villages. It was the season for gathering 
the castor-oil berries, and many of the 
natives were busy drying and crushing 
them, in order to extract the oil, which 

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they appear to make use of in a great 
variety of ways. They apply it both ex- 
ternally and internally. It puts a splendid 
gloss on. their skin, but it has a decidedly 
unpleasant odour. 

We crossed Lake Pa-Mlombe^ which is 
supposed to have been formerly part of 
Lake Nyasa, and to have been divided 
from it by the silting- up of the sand, ' 

which has in this manner formed a separ- J 

ate lake* Lake Pa-Mlombe has nothing ^ 

of the picturesque about it ; it is about 
twelve or fifteen miles long and ten to f 

twelve broad. The water is of a dirty ji 

colour, and carried a great deal of mud 
and sand in solution ; while the navigation 
appeared to be very difficult, owing to its 
shallowness. 

As it was quite dark when we got to 
Fort Johnston, I could see nothing of the 
place that evening. Next morning, how- 
ever, I had a good look round, and was 
astonished to see what a large and well- 
arranged station it was. The whole place 

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has only quite lately been planned and 
laid out. The old Fort Johnston was 
I nearer the lake, in a low-lying spot. The 

j ground round it was very swampy, and 

^ in consequence of its unhealthiness, arising 

from this fact, had to be abandoned, and a 
; site for a new station selected in a more 

j sanitary locality. Accordingly the new 

station is in a much better position, which 
\ is raised above the river, and commands 

a lovely view of the wooded mountains 
opposite. It made the place look quite 
gay and pretty when several of the lake 
and river steamers and the gunboats 
happened to be anchored opposite the 
station at the same time. The new gun- 
boat for Lake Nyasa, the *Guendolen,' 
was being built while I was there. She was 
the first boat to be built on a proper * slip,' 
and the noise made by the workmen ham- 
mering on the iron plates reminded one 
of the Clyde. 

There are people who say it was a 
serious mistake to build Fort Johnston in 

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its present position. They say it should 
have been built on the lake instead of 
nearly five miles down the river, because, 
in the dry season, the bar is often impass- 
able for the lake steamers. The con- 
sequence of this is, that, in dry seasons, the 
cargo has to be sent up and down in 
barges, with the result that unnecessary 
expense, trouble and delay is caused. 
Also, they complain that it is not on the 
line of the proposed railway ; and their last, 
but most important objection is, that it is 
unhealthy. Poor Fort Johnston! If all 
these complaints are well founded, there is 
probably another move in prospect for it. 

There are a number of government 
officials living at Fort Johnston, and the 
commander was lucky enough to have 
his wife out with him. This made a 
wonderful difference to the social life of 
the place. If others would follow his 
example, and bring their wives out too, it 
would certainly make an immense and much- 
to-be-desired social improvement ; though, 

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possibly, it might not be the happy lot of 
everyone to have a wife who would so 
thoroughly enjoy the life out there, and 
manage everything so well as the com- 
mander's wife. I was sorry when, having 
spent nine delightful days, the lake steamer, 
* Domira,' arrived, and bore me off. But 
I was made happy by the thought that I 
should have to call there again on my 
return to the coast 

The * Domira ' was a curious little steamer 
of about eighty tons. Its highest part was 
the middle, and it looked very much like 
an old ' Noah's Ark.' Down below was 
a tiny cabin with two bunks. It was just 
like a cupboard with two shelves. This 
cabin was allotted to me, and, of course, I 
called it my * State Room.' The rest of 
the space below was intended for a saloon, 
but part of it was curtained off to make 
extra separate sleeping places when wanted ; 
and when the boat was full, mattresses 
were laid on the rest of the floor. We 
had our meals on the upper deck. The 

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first two days it was impossible to move 
about on deck, as there were ten 
passengers, and we could hardly find room 
for our chairs in addition to the table. 
This state of things, however, only lasted 
two days ; the rest of the way there were 
only two passengers besides myself* The 
lower deck for ard, where the engines, the 
galley and the crew were, was covered 
with steel, and was so hot and slippery, 
that I wondered there were no accidents 
to the men when going backwards and 
forwards, and sometimes carrying awkward 
loads. ; 

The * Domira ' turned out to be a much 
better boat than she looked, and she was ; 

uncommonly plucky in a storm. She had ] 

an excellent captain, a kind and amusing { 

man, who contributed a great deal to my 
entertainment. He told me much about 
the natives and their ways, and, what was 
very useful to me afterwards, he taught 
me many of their words. 

On our way up Lake Nyasa we saw the 

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old * Ilala * lying up for repairs. She is a 
tiny little steamer, no bigger than a steam- 
launch, and was the first European steam- 
boat that was ever on Lake Nyasa. She 
was brought out from England in pieces, 
and put together there, and the natives 
were intensely astonished to see her go 
along without rowers. They eould not 
understand how such a thing was possible ; 
but they have now become quite accus- 
tomed to the sight of steamers, and they 
very much enjoy going on one. Just after 
we had crossed the bar, and got into the 
lake, a large barge came alongside with 
about a hundred natives, who wanted to be 
taken on board. They had been down to 
the south end of the lake to do some 
work, in order to earn money to pay their 
hut tax, and they were now going back 
home. The ' Domira * reminded me still 
more of Noah's Ark when the natives 
were all climbing up the side and packing 
themselves in. 

I had a great shock the first night, 
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* 

when, on taking possession of my ' state 
room/ I found that I would have to share 
it with an enormous number of cock- 
roaches- They were the largest I had 
ever seen, and the most voracious. Some 
of them greedily ate all the kid off my 
shoes, while others, who were not so 
engaged, ran races over my bunk and 
nibbled my hain The next night I had a 
mosquito curtain put up and tucked well 
in. It kept me safe from the cockroaches, 
but it made the bunk very hot and stuffy. 
It was a choice of evils, and the heat was 
the lesser one. 

The day after we left Fort Johnston 
we stopped at Monkey Bay, a lovely 
' wooding ' station, with splendid granite 
rocks coming down on either side to the 
water, and behind them wooded mountains 
inhabited by numbers of monkeys. We 
made a stay of two or three hours here, 
while the crew were engaged in taking 
wood on board, and this gave me an 
opportunity of having a good walk round. 

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A White Woman 

The captain had told me of a curious 
native burial ground a little distance away 
from the bay, and after some searching I 
found it. There were small grass huts put 
up near to the graves, on which were 
baskets and pots of food, and several 
broken pots and gourds. I was told after- 
wards by someone who had lived for some 
time in Nyasaland, that the little grass 
huts were for the spirits of the deceased, 
and that they might be consulted there, 
and would receive gifts. The natives have 
a kind of ancestor worship, and always 
offer food and presents to the spirits of 
their dead relatives who, they believe, can 
help them on special occasions. They 
also believe in many spirits, good and 
evil, which they imagine inhabit air^ 
earth and water. These they propitiate 
from time to time with offerings of food 
and drink. When anyone dies, all his 
cooking utensils, water-pots and cala- 
bashes are put in or on the grave after 
having been broken, or 'killed,' as they 

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call it. An official once asked a native ♦ 

why he put such oflFerings of food and * 

drink on the grave, adding, 'You know the 

dead cannot eat or see these things.^ The 

native gave the excellent answer^ * Of 

course, we know they do not eat them, 

but even you don't know that they cannot 

see them, and are not pleased at finding 

that we still think of them,' 

I was in the country too short a time 
to learn much for myself of their religious 
customs and observances; but, ofcoursej I 
heard a great deal about the witch doctors 
and the ' Mfiti/ which last seems to be an 
evil spirit that takes possession of some 
man in a village or tribe, and makes him 
work all kinds of evil. When trouble 
arises in a village, it is the witch doctor's 
business to discover the man who has 
caused it Generally two people are 
accused, and they have to go through the 
ordeal of drinking poisonous Mwavi* If 
the poison acts as an emetic they are 
innocent, but if either dies there is great 

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A White Woman 

rejoicing, because they think the evil spirit 
has been discovered and driven away. In 
some cases fowls are chosen to represent 
the suspected people, and the Mwavi is 
administered to them instead. If a native 
has only a headache, he thinks one of his 
ancestors is angry with him for something 
that he has done. Accordingly he makes 
an offering. But he does not confide only 
in their assistance. He resorts to the very 
human and primitive plan of tightly bind- 
ing his aching head with a piece of cloth 
or rag. 

Domira Bay was our next stopping-place, 
and there seven of the passengers landed. 
The shore here was very flat and swampy, 
and all of them had to be carried by 
natives from the boats to the dry land. 
This method of landing resulted in a rather 
amusing procession, in which, after a time, 
I had to take part. The natives always 
carried me on their shoulders, and I found 
it by no means easy to keep my balance, 
with nothing to hold on to, while my 

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bearer floundered about through the water 
on very uneven ground. While on the 
* Domira/ a splendidly big, strong fellow 
carried me, and brought me safely to the 
shore and boat each time I landed, but 
I often *had my doubts' on the way. 
The natives always carried the male 
passengers * pick - a - back/ which was a 
much easier and more secure way of cross- 
ing the water, but was not as dignified 
as riding on the shoulder. 

We reached Kota-Kota at dusk, and 
I did not go on shore till the next 
morning. When I did land, I had a very 
enjoyable time. The shore is low and 
uninteresting, but this is compensated for 
by the large number of trees, and the 
beautifully green appearance which their 
foliage gives to the place. The collector 
is very particular about the trees, and 
does not allow them to be cut down or 
destroyed. Formerly Kota-Kota used to 
be a great stronghold of the Arabs, and 
had an enormous population. Though the 

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population has greatly diminished, a sort 
of census that has lately been taken 
shows that it still numbers 8700. Jumbe 
used to be the great chief of that part, 
and his widow still lives there. She is 
delighted to receive a call from any 
visitor, and is a fine-looking woman, with 
brilliant eyes and beautifully white teeth. 
I asked the collector, who kindly went 
with me to visit her, to tell her how 
much I admired them. She was greatly 
pleased at the expression of my admiration, 
and replied that, as regards the teeth, the 
English, even at her age, would have 
quite as beautiful ones if they would not 
eat their food so hot. She showed me 
all her silver and ivory ornaments, some 
of which were very handsome. She wore 
a good many of them on her neck, wrists 
and ankles. She had several women in 
attendance, and they, too, wore many 
ornaments, and had their ears studded all 
round with ivory. When I left, she and 
her women accompanied me as far as the 

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gate of the stockade which surrounded the 
compound, in which was her own spacious 
hut, and the huts of her attendants. 

At Kota-Kota the Universities' Mission 
has a station. Having an impression that 
a university mission must show signs of 
its superiority, I was much disappointed at 
seeing the uncomfortable and untidy way 
in which the missionaries hve there. The 
house looked wretched, and its want of 
neatness could not be a good example to 
the natives. The health of the missionaries 
must, I am sure, suffer from living under 
such depressing conditions. The church, 
on the other hand, was very prettily built 
in native style. It had a thatched roof, 
and its rafters were made of the ribs of 
the palm. Its walls were of mud and 
wattle, with a dado of mud inlaid with 
bits of quartz, which looked like bright 
mosaic, and the floor was spread with mats 
for the natives to squat on. New schools 
are being built, and when they are finished 
a new mission-house will probably be erected, 

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and a chance given to the missionaries of 
taking better care of their health. 

At Bandawe — another mission station on 
the lake — the inhabitants were greatly 
puzzled when they saw a lady coming 
ashore, and wondered to what mission I 
belonged. Then when I had landed, and 
they heard that I did not belong to any 
mission, but was only travelling for pleasure, 
they seemed to look upon me as a lunatic, 
and were thankful I was harmless. 

Bandawe is a very pretty place, but is 
said to be very unhealthy. It has a long 
stretch of sandy beach, and, in one place, 
a rocky point juts out into the lake ; also, 
there are rocky islands near the shore. It 
took me about ten minutes to walk from 
the landing-place up to the station. The 
dispensary was the first building I came 
to. This has, in addition to the dispensing 
room, three rooms for native patients. A 
little further on was the house of one of 
the missionaries, then the doctor s house, 
and, last in the row, the house of the 

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head missionary. All were good houses, 
with well-thatched roofs and wide verandahs. 
Their front view is on to lovely mountains, 
which stretch beyond the forest far into 
the distance, and their back and side views 
are towards the lake, which looked just 
like the sea. Its water was a deep blue, 
almost indigo in colour, and it had waves 
which came splashing on to the rocks and 
sandy beach. It w?ls very lovely, and 
looked such a paradise, that it was difficult 
to believe that fever or any other ill ever 
came there. Yet of one of the lesser 
disagreeables to which it was subject, I 
had already seen something. Just before 
reaching Bandawe, we had noticed tiny 
flies rising in great clouds out of the lake. 
The captain had kept the steamer out of 
their way as well as he could, as he 
knew by experience how suffocating these 
clouds of flies were. As they rise the 
wind blows them on shore, where they 
completely smother the shrubs and trees. 
Then the women come out with baskets 
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or mats, into which they shake them off 
the trees. Having collected them, they 
mix them with native flour, and bake it 
into cakes, which are said to be delicious, 
and to taste of fish. I had a cake given 
me, but I never could make up my mind 
to taste it ; the smell and the sight of 
the flies at Bandawe were sufficient for 
me. Everything was covered with them, 
and had a horribly nasty fishy smell. 
These fly-cakes are made round and thick, 
and are very dark in colour. I still possess 
mine, and consider it a most interesting 
relic. It is quite safe to leave it about, 
for I do not think anyone would dare to 
touch It. The fly is called * Kungo,' and 
\ just at the season at which I visited 

j Bandawe, great clouds of them were 

] constantly rising up out of the water. 

There had lately been rather a scare 
at Bandawe, about some leopards that 
were said to have killed a number of 
goats. Accordingly two white men, ac- 
companied by some natives, set off" to hunt 

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them. Presently they found a place in 
the long grass where, it was evident, one 
of them had recently lain, as the ground 
was still warm. The boys formed a ring 
round it, and the men got their guns 
ready. After a little while the leopard 
emerged from the long grass, and was 
fired at and wounded, but not fatally. 
With a great bound he sprang on one of 
the white men, bringing him to the ground. 
Holding his victim he turned and growled 
savagely at the others. The boys gave 
a wild yell of fear, and then like a shot 
the leopard sprang away. He had not 
been the least frightened by the guns, 
but was terrified at the yell. The man 
attacked by the leopard was ill for a long 
time, and finally had to go home to Eng- 
land, as one of his eyes was badly injured. 
After leaving Bandawe, the scenery 
became very lovely, high mountains and 
well-wooded hills coming right down to 
the water. Between the hills were deep, 
dark-looking ravines, whose dark shadows 

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were here and there relieved by bright 
silver lines, which marked the course of 
tumbling cascades. Now and then we 
came upon a beautiful little bay, with a 
white beach studded with native huts. 
We called at one of these, Ntaka Bay, 
where there is an administration and a 
telegraph station, and also at Florence 
Bay, the station for Kondowe. Here is 
Dr Laws Mission, which is already well 
up on its way to heaven, for it takes 
three hours' hard climbing to reach it, 
situated, as it is, on the top of the moun- 
tain. The pleasure of a visit there was 
deferred until my return journey. Near 
to Florence Bay is Mount Chiombi, or, as 
it is now called, Mount Waller, which is 
nearly 6000 feet high, and of a formation 
that is different from any mountain we had 
hitherto seen. It rises in four distinct 
terraces, and has a long flat top. 

From the steamer we could catch 
glimpses of the telegraph line, and I 
realised the difficulties that must have 
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been encountered in making it. Many of 
the places that had to be crossed were so 
steep, that the men had to be let down 
by ropes in order to fix the line. 

Whenever we stopped to take in wood, 
or for any other purpose, I went on shore 
for a good walk, and hunted for shells and 
strange plants. I did not succeed in find- 
ing many varieties of shells. Either I 
was not lucky, or there are not many to 
be found by the lake-side. But I got 
some queer beans, and found the lovely 
jacquerity growing in greater perfection 
than I had ever seen it before. It was 
climbing all over the bushes and brambles, 
and the bunches of pods had burst open 
and showed the brilliant little scarlet seeds 
with their black heads. I was almost afraid 
of gathering them lest the seeds should 
fall out, and their beauty be lost, but I 
ventured, and succeeded in getting several 
bunches, which I brought home, where 
they still delight my eyes, and recall the 
lovely scene in the midst of which I 

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gathered them. The day on which I 
collected these was a glorious one, and 
just perfect in the shade. Numbers of 
fish eagles could be seen in the trees look- 
ing out for their food, and uttering their 
extraordinary cry. They live well, for 
there is plenty of fish in Lake Nyasa, 
and that is one reason why the lake croco- 
diles are not so much feared by the people 
who live on its shores, for they say that 
where the crocodiles get plenty of fish 
they seldom attack man. 

On the verandah of a trader's house 
near the lake I saw the lufah growing. 
This, too, is a creeper, and the ripe pods 
hang down just like large brown cucumbers, 
and when a bit of the brown outer cover- 
ing is chipped off, the well-known net- 
work of the lufah appears. The Kaffir 
orange that grows so plentifully in Mata- 
bele and Mashonaland grows here too. 
The fruit is smooth and of a dark green 
colour, which turns rather yellow when 
ripe. It is about the size of a large 
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orange, but has a hard shell instead of a 
rind. The natives like the fruit and find 
it refreshing, but I did not care for it ; 
indeed, there is very little native fruit for 
which Europeans do care. 

There was another lovely bean, of which 
I do not know the proper name, but out 
there it goes by the name of the 
* Mahogany Bean.' The, tree is large and 
spreading, and the pod is of a deep 
mahogany colour, and in size about five 
inches long and three broad. Inside it 
has a row of lovely beans, shaped like 
acorns, bright black with brilliant scarlet 
cups. I do not know if they are edible ; 
I never heard of anyone eating them, and 
I did not try them. 

As *we approached Karonga, it was 
great fun to watch the natives making 
preparations for landing. Their bundles 
were unpacked and the most wonderful 
finery was produced. Some of them had 
worked at Blantyre two or three months, 
and having received their pay, had bought 

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and brought back most extraordinary gar- 
ments, in order to excite the envy and 
admiration of their friends. Two had 
selected old scarlet coats belonging to a 
Highland regiment. Very proud, but fear- 
fully hot they looked in them when, with 
great difficulty, they had discovered the way 
to put them on. Of course, besides the coat, 
they only wore their Nsaru and plenty of 
beads and copper wire. The girls had 
bought brilliantly-coloured calico, in which 
they swathed themselves. Having accom- 
plished their toilet so far, both men and 
girls proceeded to dress their hair. Con- 
cerning this, a great many consultations 
were held in order to determine the exact 
width and direction of the little path that 
had to be shaved, and the height of the 
forehead ; for some of them wore their 
hair shaved quite a long way back, while 
others were content to leave it as it had 
grown. In shaving they used no soap, 
the native head supplying sufficient grease. 
During the whole voyage it had been 
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of great interest to me to watch the 
natives, especially the women with their 
tiny babies. The washing of the babies 
was a very simple process. The mother 
just dipped her hand in water and drew 
it over the child, but occasionally she 
poured a gourd full of water over it, and 
this always brought piercing screams from 
the infant. Then followed massage, I don't 
mean smacking, but really good gentle 
massage, which must have been splendid 
for the children. The feeding was the 
most remarkable proceeding. , In addition 
to their natural food, the babies, from the 
time they are a day or two old, have one 
meal a day of native corn ground very 
fine and mixed with water in the form of 
gruel. This the mother stuffs into the 
baby's mouth, and no matter how it 
struggles and cries, a certain amount has 
to be swallowed. Curiously enough the 
babies seem to thrive on this treatment ; 
and indeed, when a white baby dies, the 
natives say that the mother wished it to 
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die, because she gave it nothing but 
milk. 

The natives were as much interested in 
me as I was in them, and they especially 
enjoyed watching me knit. They had 
never seen any knitting before, and it 
quite took their fancy. Sometimes I used 
to sit on the step just above their deck, 
and then two or three of them would creep 
along as close as they dared and squat 
down and watch me. I tried hard to 
make one or two of the girls do a bit of 
knitting just for fun. But they would not 
attempt it while so many were watching, 
and I had not a second set of pins with 
me to let them try by themselves. Some 
of the natives were busy making orna- 
ments for their wrists of beautifully fine 
drawn copper wire. Of these they gave 
me several ; and the captain persuaded 
one of them to make me a bangle of 
elephant's hair;, an ornament which they 
are very fond of wearing, as it is sup- 
posed to give them strength. It had a 
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wonderful fastening, which had to be made 
while it was on the arm, and very much I 
wished someone had had a kodak at hand 
to take a picture of me and the native 
while he was doing it. 

The voyage up Lake Nyasa was draw- 
ing to a close. From Fort Johnston to 
Karonga it takes eight days, as the stop- 
pages for wood are frequent, and the 
steamer is often delayed by rough water 
caused by head winds. Livingstone called 
Nyasa the *lake of storms,' and very 
bad the storms often are, especially in 
September and October, which are the 
roughest months. It is a big lake, three 
hundred and sixty miles long, and varying 
from fifteen to fifty miles in width. It is 
very deep, but in many places the sand 
stretches out such a long distance, that it 
is difficult for the steamer to anchor near 
the shore. The water is quite sweet and 
good for drinking. On the voyage we 
saw several large waterspouts ; one, just 
like the trunk of a huge palm tree, 
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straight and thick, until it ended in a 
feathery mass in the clouds. 

The day before we reached Karonga 
the country became flatter, and the hills 
more distant. The lake was very rough, 
and I felt glad the voyage was coming 
to an end. When, finally, we did arrive, 
it was quite too rough to allow of the 
unloading of the cargo. To put out the 
cargo, the * Domira ' had to go round to a 
little bay about two miles from Karonga; 
but first the passengers were put off into 
a large canoe which came out to fetch 
them. When this canoe reached the boat, 
the pilot ladder was put over the side, 
and down that we had to scramble as well 
as we could while the steamer rolled and 
the canoe bobbed up and down in the 
most annoying and alarming manner. 
The A. L. C. agent had come out to fetch 
us, and I am sure he must have suffered 
terribly, as I know I crashed down upon 
him in anything but a fairy-like manner. 
He hid his sufferings valiantly, and to my 
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in Central Africa 

joy he did not have to be invalided home. 
Of course, the canoe could not get quite 
up to the shore, so the natives had to 
carry us off. I was mounted on the 
shpulder of a native, as usual, and when 
the man started I was not properly 
balanced. Perhaps on this account, or 
on account of the waves, which were 
very strong and rolled in with great 
force, we went along very unsteadily, and 
but that another native came to our 
assistance, we should both have had a 
tumble into the water. Fortunately, with 
his help, I was safely landed, none the 
worse for my perilous ride. 



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CHAPTER VI 

FROM KARONGA ACROSS THE PLATEAU TO FIFE 

Karonga is a flat and very sandy place ; 
and the sand which lies between the 
shore and the large ' Boma/ belonging to 
the A. L. C, is so loose and disagree- 
able to walk through, that I was glad the 
distance was not great. The * Boma ' 
looks a most imposing place. A high 
brick wall is built all round, with gun- 
holes in it, and a wide moat surrounds it. 
It is therefore well protected, and I be- 
lieve that, some time back, the protection 
was much needed. The house is large, 
and has a beautifully wide verandah, and 
there are several stores and out-buildings, 
all, of course, inside the protecting wall. 

The administration ' Boma,' with the 
post and the new telegraph office, is just 
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a mile distant from the company's station, 
and the mission station is about as far on 
the other side. ^ 

The agent was much amused and sur- 
prised to hear that a 'tourist' had arrived, 
and he was somewhat appalled when he 
heard that I wanted men and an outfit to 
go alone to Lake Tanganyika. He kindly 
arranged to put me up for two or three 
days, as I wanted to re-pack and get 
various things at the store; also, I wanted 
to talk over my journey, and to have a 
little rest. There was no need for hurry, 
and the natives and their villages in that 
part being considerably different from 
those I had seen in other places, I was 
able to spend some time pleasantly in 
visiting them. They were a much wilder- 
looking set, tall and very strongly made, 
and wore nothing much save their orna- 
ments and the skins of wild cats. They 
had belts made of copper wire twisted 
round hair, which were made to fit them 
very tightly. Often they wore five of 
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these * Many etas,' as they were called. 
The brightly-polished copper contrasted 
well with their dark skins and looked 
quite handsome. The manyetas are very 
difficult to buy, and I was much puzzled 
as to why the natives objected to parting 
with them. After a time, I came to 
understand that the belts, being so small, 
were extremely difficult to get off; and 
the reason I had not been able to get one 
was, that at first I was always in too 
great a hurry. The poor men required 
time, and were obliged to use a good 
deal of oil before they could wriggle out 
of them. When they found I was staying 
some days at Karonga, they promised to 
bring me some, and before I left I be- 
came the happy possessor of four. They 
are very heavy, and the weight and size 
greatly astonished me, as natives usually 
seem to dislike wearing anything tight or 
heavy. But it seems that, for the sake 
of fashion, here, as elsewhere, almost any- 
thing will be endured. The women wear 

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thick brass wire, coiled round and round 
their arms, till it forms a long cuff reach- 
ing nearly to their elbows, and in the 
same way round their necks, till it forms 
a deep collar, which must be heavy and 
uncomfortable, but in the brilliant sun- 
shine looks bright and attractive. In the 
lobes of their ears they wear stoppers 
as large as draughtmen, and similar in 
shape. 

A large cloud of flies, like those we had 
seen at Bandawe, had been blown on 
shore just before we arrived, and the air 
and trees were full of them, but, fortun- 
ately, the natives and the birds soon 
cleared them off. 

I found great amusement in making the 
preparations necessary for my further 
journey. I was anxious to get a new hat, 
as the one I had, had become very 
dilapidated, and did not give me sufficient 
protection from the sun. I hunted the 
store over and could only find one that 
was at all suitable, and that was a large 
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hat of grey felt, very like a cowboy's. 
It was hideous, of course; but that I did 
not mind : what I did mind was that it 
was too large for my head and tumbled 
too easily down over my eyes. At last 
I found a small brown felt hat that 
fitted my head and went inside the other 
most comfortably. The two together 
formed an excellent protection from the 
sun. 

Then I had to find a boy who could 
speak a little English, as they told me it 
was absolutely necessary that I should 
take one with me, in case of any difficulty 
arising with the carriers. I only knew 
at the very most about a dozen words of 
their language. So a boy was engaged 
for me, who had been brought up at a 
mission station, and was supposed to 
speak English. On the journey I dis- 
covered that his English was distinctly 
limited in quantity and peculiar in quality, 
and the boy himself was seldom to be 
found when specially wanted. Still he was 
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of some little use, and his English, which 
he had chiefly learnt from the Bible, was 
often extremely amusing and quaint. One 
morning, soon after we set off, I called 
him several times without any result ; at 
last I heard a scratching on my tent and 
a voice, * It is I ; behold I am come.' At 
other times he would use the words 
* verily ' and Mo ' in a droll way. 

After securing a boy, I had to get a 
cook, and then to select the food I wished 
to take with me. I took a small stock of 
tinned meat in case of need, but never 
used it, as I object to all tinned things, 
and in such heat I did not care for meat 
at all. Native fowls can be had nearly 
everywhere ; they are small, but if well 
cooked are good eating, and are certainly 
not expensive. One yard of calico, worth 
about threepence, purchases two. I took 
Californian pears, apricots and peaches, 
even though they were in tins, and 
thoroughly enjoyed them. I also took a 
good supply of rice, marmalade and jam, 

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many tins of biscuits, some cocoa, and, of 
course, plenty of tea. I took for barter 
calico, both blue and white, beads in great 
variety, and salt, for money is not used or 
wanted. Then my cooking utensils had 
to be selected, but they were very simple. 
A kettle was the most necessary posses- 
sion, as all the water for drinking had to 
be boiled. In addition to a few articles 
of crockery, besides the kettle, one or two 
saucepans were, I think, all. Everything 
was packed in baskets and made up into 
loads of about fifty pounds. 

One morning there came the excite- 
ment of choosing the men who were 
to go with me. The doors leading into 
the * Boma ' had been opened, as they 
were every morning, to let in men in 
want of work. These squatted on the 
ground, patiently waiting till something 
was found for them to do. A number 
of them were called up, and ten men 
were chosen to carry my machila : they 
were selected in pairs about the same 
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height and build, and their names were 
all taken down. Then the * tenga-tenga/ 
as the load-carriers are called, were 
picked out, each was given his load, 
and his name and the weight of his load 
were written down. I had to take 
eleven men to carry the luggage, two 
for my own personal baggage, and the 
rest to carry the tent, camp-bed, bedding, 
food and cooking utensils, etc. In addition 
to these, I had my boy, cook and 
sukambali (washer-up), and a capitao 
over all, making in all twenty-five men. 
When the selection of the men, and 
the apportioning of the loads had been 
satisfactorily concluded, each man had 
*posho,' that is, one yard of cloth, 
given to him to provide him with food 
for a week. This they took to the 
native village where they made their 
purchases, and in about an hour returned 
ready to start. Nearly all of them came 
armed with a spear and a small axe, 
some had a knobkerry as well, and 
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A White Woman 

their food was slung on their arms in 
the skins of wild cats and other animals. 
The * tenga-tenga ' had been chosen as 
much as possible from different tribes, 
as that made it less likely that they 
would all put down their loads at once 
and go off and leave me. 

All this had, of course, taken a 
considerable time, and as I did not get 
fairly started till nearly twelve o'clock, 
we did not go far the first day. It was 
tremendously hot, so we went along 
very quietly and often stopped to rest 
under any shade-trees we came to. We 
soon reached a river that was rather 
deep, and had very steep banks, which 
were difficult to get down without 
tumbling into the water, but the boys 
were used to taking loads across and 
managed uncommonly well. After crossing 
the river, the country, which had been 
very flat, became more hilly and wooded, 
and the scenery more interesting. Then 
we crossed another stream, and about 
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four o'clock came to our stopping place 
at Mpata. There we camped for the 
night. It was a pretty village, but my 
tent was surrounded by bananas, and 
the mosquitoes were terrible. My mos- 
quito net had not been well put up, and 
the wretched insects kept getting inside 
the net and worrying me. 

While my tent was being put up I 
wandered round the village to have a 
look at the natives. I heard the old 
' tap, tap, ' that one hears so much of 
in the South Sea Islands, and I found 
the women busy at the same kind of 
work they do there — hammering out 
bark to make cloth for wearing or for 
wrapping things up in. This bark is 
the inner bark of the hibiscus and other 
trees ; they soak it for some time in 
water, then lay it on a pi.ece of wood, 
or the trunk of a fallen tree, and beat 
it with a small hammer made of horn, 
and usually notched in a pattern at the 
flat end. They hammer it out to about 
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double the original width, then do the 
same to another strip and, after more 
soaking, hammer the two edges together, 
and so on till they get it the desired 
width and thickness. Then they dye 
it in patterns according to fancy, with 
different coloured dyes made from bark. 

The boys in the village had several 
kinds of musical instruments entirely of 
native make. Indeed, all natives seem 
fond of music. On the *sansi,' or native 
hand piano, they play really sweet tunes. 
These pianos are made of an oblong 
piece of wood, and the one I have is 
about eight inches long and six wide. 
A narrow bar of iron is fastened across 
the top of the wood to hold in place 
the strips of iron, which are of different 
lengths and form the keys. Across the 
lower end of the wood is a piece of thin 
iron or tin to which are fastened pieces 
of shell, which make a jingling and 
buzzing sound when the keys are being 
played. The *sansi' is held in both 
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hands, the fingers being underneath and 
the thumbs being used to press the tips 
of the iron notes, which vary in number 
from sixteen to thirty, or, as I have been 
told, even more. Many different kinds of 
instruments are made with gourds cut 
in two. The gourd acts as a sounding 
board, and to it is attached a piece of 
wood, to which are fastened from one to 
four strings. These are played either 
with the fingers or a bit of bamboo. 
They also have drums of every conceiv- 
able size and shape, and queer sorts of 
rattles. I was never short of music 
the whole way, but the *sansi' was 
decidedly the pleasantest to listen to. 
I often play on my own when I am 
alone, and like it quite as well as many 
pianos I hear; but then I am not 
musical. 

When night fell and the moon rose, 
there was a fine noise in Mpata village, 
made by the drums and the singers. 
It was really a very lovely and pic- 

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turesque scene ; the brilliant moonlight, 
the huts dotted about and half-hidden in 
a grove of bananas, the natives squatting 
round their fires, chattering and smoking 
their large pipes, the mountains, looking 
more imposing in the moonlight, and the 
shining river flowing peacefully on ; and 
my enjoyment of it all was added to 
considerably by the fun of being alone 
there. 

Next morning I started off in good 
time, a little before six o'clock, having 
had a cup of cocoa and some biscuits, 
while the boys were packing up the tent 
and all the things we had used. This 
they did with wonderful quickness. As 
it Avas much pleasanter to travel in the 
morning while it was cool, we all started 
very briskly. We crossed the river again 
twice, and for some distance found the 
way rather rough. It lay along the stony 
bed of an old river-course. Then we 
began to go up hill and had a long, stiff 
climb, for which we were rewarded by 

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an extensive view from the top. All 
day the road went up and down, fre- 
quently crossing streams and the dry 
beds of rivers, and nearly always through 
forest, where the trees were mostly 
stunted and scrubby, for the only fine 
ones grew in the hollows or near the 
water. Many of the trees had leaves 
which reminded me of the fronds of the 
common polypody, and there were acacias, 
fig trees of various kinds, and a quantity 
of bamboo. 

About ten o'clock we came to a stream, 
and there I rested for an hour or more, 
and had my breakfast. The water was very 
muddy-looking, but as it was the best we 
could get, I ventured to use it for making 
tea. Then we went on again till about 
two o'clock, when, having found a good 
place in the forest not far from a stream, 
where we could camp for the night, we 
made a halt. 

This division of the day suited me, 
and seemed to suit the men. I much 



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A White Woman 

preferred going on quietly till the day's 
journey was ended, and then having 
plenty of time to visit a village or to 
search for curiosities, to resting in the 
middle of the day and going on again 
in the afternoon. We generally came to a 
good place for our camp about two or three 
o'clock, and when once my tent was put 
up, work for the day was over for every- 
body, except the cook. His work was 
almost too trivial to be so called. 

Getting the camp in order was done 
with remarkable quickness, and with a 
total absence of confusion, for each boy 
had his special work to do. Some 
pitched the tent, some fetched water, 
and others made the fires, while the 
arrangement of my personal baggage was 
allotted to my English-speaking boy. 
Before starting, it had been suggested 
to me that I might like to superintend 
the cook a little, and instruct him in 
the art of making such nice dishes as 
might be managed with our limited 
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means. Accordingly, on the second day 
of our journey, I boldly ventured into 
the improvised kitchen, but I aoon came 
away somewhat horrified at the state of 
things I found there. The cook held a 
plucked fowl in one hand, and was beat- 
ing it with the other — black, I feared, in 
both senses — to make it tender. As I 
wished to be able to eat my dinner, I 
never went on a tour of inspection 
again. As far as possible throughout 
the journey, I ate everything with my 
fingers, being doubtful of the knives, as 
I once saw the sukambali cleaning them 
in the manner in which an unsophisti- 
cated school-child will clean his slate. I 
do not suppose for a moment my cook 
was worse than many of the native 
cooks, but I do not think visits to the 
kitchen are a wise proceeding on the 
part of those who want to enjoy their 
meals. 

My ten o'clock meal was one which 
invariably provided me with considerable 
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amusement. I had it, of course, picnic 
fashion, on the ground, and though, as 
a rule, when we made our halt, there 
was not a human being outside our own 
party to be seen, yet before the break- 
fast was ready I never failed to find 
myself the centre of an admiring crowd 
of natives, men, women and children, 
who had gathered from all points of the 
compass, and who squatted on the 
ground at a respectful distance, and 
watched me with the most vigilant and 
curious attention. After a time this per- 
sistent scrutiny became embarrassing, and 
I made an attempt to produce a diver- 
sion by starting a game to amuse the 
children. This was a matter of consider- 
able difficulty, for it was not easy to 
make the children understand what I 
wanted them to do, and if I moved the 
least bit towards them, they screamed with 
fright and ran off as fast as they could. 
At last I got them to stand in rows, 
and hold out their hands to catch the bits 

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of gingerbread and biscuits I threw to 
them. They were very much frightened 
and very shy at first, but soon they 
entered into the fun and were delighted 
whenever there was a good catch, and I 
clapped my hands as a mark of approba- 
tion. The men thoroughly enjoyed it 
too, and helped me to start them in 
races, etc. I was pleased, and not a 
little surprised, to find that the children 
were not in the least greedy. Those 
who were successful saved their biscuits, 
and at the end divided them with those 
who had been less fortunate. A game 
with the children became a regular adjunct 
to the morning meal, for, to my amuse- 
ment, I found that my boys at each 
morning halt initiated the children into 
the mysteries of the proceedings, and I 
found them quite ready for a game. 
Dinner was a more solemn meal, which 
I generally had at dusk. Sometimes I 
had to have it by candle-light, though 
the light of my candles was considerably 
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dimmed by the cloud of mosquitoes, moths 
and other insects, which circled round the 
flame until they fell a singed mass into 
the tallow. My attendants, meanwhile, were 
usually busy in preparing their own meals, 
and their friends were interested in watch- 
ing them. 

The natives, as a rule, only eat one big 
meal a day, but then they devour a per- 
fect mountain of food. They make a 
sort of thick porridge of native corn, 
which they boil until it is very stodgy. 
This done, they cut a large piece of bark 
from a tree to serve as a^ dish, turn the 
stuff out of the pot on to it, and then 
they all sit round, taking pinches off the 
heap, with which they stuff themselves, 
until they attain to the proportions of 
an alderman. They are very fond, too, 
of roasting Indian corn, making pop-corn 
of it. Then they have several kinds of 
beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, 
ground-nuts, and rice. They are fond 
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meal of freshly-killed meat makes them 
almost as intoxicated as if they had had 
.too much to drink. During the day they 
satisfy themselves with smoking their 
big pipe, which is passed round for each 
to take a whiff, with nibbling at Indian 
corn, or perhaps a handful of stodge left 
from the night before, and with constant 
drinks of water. Their native-made drink is 
called pombd It is made from native corn, 
and it is said to be intoxicating if drunk 
in large quantities. I do not think my 
men ever got hold of any; at all events 
they were always sober and well behaved. 
As we got higher on to the plateau, 
the nights and mornings became much 
cooler, in fact, the early mornings were 
quite cold. And when we started a little 
before sunrise, about six o'clock, I was quite 
glad of a good sharp walk with a cape 
over my shoulders. At this early hour 
the boys, too, would . walk quickly, and 
they always went along with their arms 
crossed in front, and a hand on each 
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shoulder. They were very quiet, and had 
not a bit of cheeriness or fun in them 
until the sun was well up. Then they^ 
would sign for me to get into the machila 
and off they went, singing and ready for 
all sorts of games. They were a happy 
set of boys, just like a lot of children, 
and I often wished I could talk more to 
them. But, perhaps, had I been able to 
do so, I should not have liked them so 
well. The natives have any amount of 
patient endurance, and also a keen sense 
of humour — two very excellent qualities on 
a journey. I invariably found them per- 
fectly honest, and I am certain white men 
would not have been more careful of me, 
or have behaved better, while they cer- 
tainly would not have been so entertain- 
ing. The boys were very good, too, at 
calling my attention to game, of which, 
in the early morning, we often saw a 
great quantity. At times we saw large 
flocks of guinea-fowl. 

On one occasion they were most 
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anxious for me to see some game which 
was a good distance off". I got out my 
field-glasses, and after I had had a good 
look, I offered them to the boys. A 
funnier sight I have seldom seen. Each 
in turn took the glasses, screwed up first 
one eye and then the other, stood on one 
leg and danced about for joy, before pass- 
ing on the glasses to the next one. Whether 
they really saw anything, or only pre- 
tended, I do not know, but they were 
always anxious to look through whenever 
I used them. Their own sight is mar- 
vellously good, and they can see and re- 
cognise objects and people far more 
quickly than a European. 

Another day, when I was walking, we 
came on a long procession of ants cross- 
ing the path and each carrying its load. 
I stopped a while to watch them, and 
then pointing to the ants I said to the boys, 
* tenga-tenga,' load-carriers. They saw at 
once what I meant, and enjoyed the joke 
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A White Woman 

On the third day of our journey from 
Karonga, we came to a painfully well- 
made road; all the green growth had been 
cleared off", and ditches had been cut on 
each side in a way that made it horribly 
monotonous, it was like a turnpike road, 
and, from the glare of the white fground, 
almost unendurable in such bright sun- 
light. I think the boys disliked it as 
much as I did, for whenever there was 
a chance of taking a native path they 
did so. 

That evening we came to Fort Hill, 
an imposing - looking place. The house 
was large, had a good verandah, and 
round it was a big stockade and ditch. 
A sentry was at the gate, but no one 
appeared to be living there. Accordingly, 
I had my tent pitched just inside the 
stockade. Two large hornbills were walk- 
ing about and making the most melancholy 
noise. When I gave them food they took 
it with apparently no enjoyment, and in 
just the manner one takes pills. Alto- 
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gether it was a wofuUy depressing place, 
and I was glad to move on next morning. 
I was told afterwards that a white man 
had been stationed there, but had died, 
at which I did not wonder. Now a native 
is the occupant. 

Next morning we passed Nyala, another 
deserted station, where two white men 
had died, one rather recently, I should 
imagine, as there were several unopened 
cases with his name on, standing in one 
of the rooms. From this place, too, I 
hurried away without regret, as it only 
filled me with sad thoughts, and made 
me wonder painfully about the occupants 
to whom death had come in this lonely 
place, so far from friends and home. 

After Nyala, the road was not so dis- 
tressingly good, and we had a lovely 
journey over a pass, the name of which, 
unfortunately, I did not hear. The road 
was rough for walking, and we had to 
make many sharp ascents and descents 
before reaching the top of the pass, but 
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once there, I had an extensive view over 
endless forest, hill-tops and plains. On 
the way we had crossed several streams, 
many almost dry ; but whenever there 
was a little water to be found my boys 
stopped for a wash and a bath. These 
lake natives and those on the Tanganyika 
plateau are much cleaner in their habits 
than those about Blantyre and Zomba; 
and on the journey from Karonga, I did 
not suffer nearly so much from the 
' Bouquet d'Afrique/ I may, of course, 
have got a little more used to it, but 
at the same time I am quite sure it 
was not nearly so bad. 

On the fifth day out from Karonga we 
reached the Collector's house at Ikawa, 
where I saw the first white people since 
leaving Karonga, The Collector himself 
was away, but had left most hospitable 
orders with his native servants. They 
had been told that anyone who arrived 
was to be made welcome. I was very 
thankful for a rest here, for I had had 
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rather a long day, and had been walking 
too much in the hot sun. As a conse- 
quence, I did not feel very well. Instead 
of being able to talk to the Europeans 
who, like myself, were availing themselves 
of the Collector's hospitality, I went off 
to my room, taking with me some papers 
and magazines, of which there was a 
splendid supply, but I was too tired even 
to enjoy these. Next morning, not wish- 
ing again to travel in the heat of the sun, 
I started off early before anyone was 
about, in order to reach the mission 
station at Mwenzo while it was fairly 
cool. 

At Mwenzo I had a very kindly wel- 
come from the missionary and his wife. 
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a lady again, 
and having a *real good talk,' as for 
nearly a week I had not had an oppor- 
tunity of communicating my thoughts to 
anyone. The house was a perfect picture ; 
everything was so prettily arranged and 
so bright and clean, that it became 
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evident at a glance that there was a 
lady at the head of it. I spent a de- 
lightful day there, stayed the night, and 
went on early the next morning, feeling 
refreshed and fit for anything. 

It took only about an hour to go from 
Mwenzo to Fife, as the African Lakes 
Station is called, and I arrived there 
about eight o'clock in the morning, after 
an easy journey over a good road, run- 
ning through rather uninteresting country, 
covered with scrubby forest most of the 
way. 



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CHAPTER VII 

FROM FIFE TO LAKE TANGANYIKA 

When I arrived at Fife, the A. L. C. 
agent advised my going on at once to 
Lake Tanganyika, as he thought it pos- 
sible I might just catch the little steamer, 
the 'Good News,' before she left Kituta. 

My boys had only been engaged to go 
as far as Fife; and though some of them 
wanted to go on the whole way, it was 
considered better to take others, who be- 
longed to the country we had to traverse, 
and I was quite sorry to have to say 
good-bye to the old hands, they had 
been so cheery and attentive to me, 
and had carried me so well. After the 
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A White Woman 

business of paying them off" had been 
completed, I had to look over my pro- 
visions and belongings, to re-pack them, 
and then to choose a fresh lot of twenty- 
two boys. My own boy, the cook and 
sukambali, all went on with me. I always 
found the engaging of the boys a very- 
interesting proceeding, and on this occasion 
I derived as much amusement as before 
from watching the natives as they were 
called up by the agent and his head 
boy, who selected those who were con- 
sidered suitable for the machila and load 
carrying. When the list of names was 
given me, I found it hard work to pro- 
nounce them, though, when spoken by 
the natives, the names all had a musical 
sound. 

By twelve o'clock the same day all 
was ready for a fresh start, and I set 
off* once more. This was, of course, 
the hottest part of the day ; but it seemed 
better to start then than to wait until next 
morning, as probably even then, owing 

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to having the new set of men, there 
would have been some delay which 
would have prevented our starting at 
the usual early hour. We were not 
under the necessity of going very far 
that day, and, indeed, we only went on 
until four o'clock and then camped for 
the night. 

Very soon after leaving Fife I came 
upon some tents pitched near the road ; I 
found that they belonged to the English 
members of the British and German 
Boundary Commission. I stayed long 
enough to have a most interesting chat 
with two of them, and then I went on 
my way feeling that I had suddenly 
come into quite civilised regions, as 
during the last two days I had been 
constantly meeting Europeans. 

My new lot of men were even madder 
than the last ones ; they sang and danced 
most of the time, but were quiet directly 
they thought I had had enough noise ;, 
and when one day I fell asleep in my 
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A White Woman 

machila, they walked along as quietly as 
mice till they saw I was awake again. 
The capitao was a tall, well-made man, 
with much better features than most of 
the natives, and he kept all the boys in 
excellent order. 

The day after leaving Fife I passed 
another empty house, which had been in- 
habited by a white man ; but I think the 
owner was only away on a journey. I 
stayed there for my breakfast, and had 
some delicious fresh milk, the first I had 
had for some time; for usually, when the 
chief of a village sent me milk as a present, 
it was quite sour; I think the natives pre- 
fer sour milk. 

The interviews I had with the chiefs 
were always very comical. At each halt- 
ing place the chief of the adjacent village 
would arrive after my tent was pitched, 
and when, having had all my things com- 
fortably arranged, I was sitting in my 
camp-chair in the shadiest spot I could 
find, watching my boys and waiting until 
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the kettle boiled for tea. Sometimes, as 
soon as he made his appearance, the 
natives who had collected to watch us, 
and were squatting on the ground near 
our camp, clapped their hands in a solemn 
manner, continuing to do so until he had 
taken his seat. As this was not always 
done, possibly it had something to do 
with the rank of the chief, or was only a 
custom of particular parts. The chief 
seated himself opposite to me, and we 
gazed solemnly at each other, until the 
women folk arrived with gourds contain- 
ing milk which, to my disappointment, I 
always found was sour, and presents of 
eggs, which certainly were not new-laid. 
In one village, indeed, I saw a woman 
take some eggs from under a sitting hen 
and then she offered them to me. These 
choice gifts I received and passed on to 
my boy, and in return presented the woman 
with a few beads and a little salt, which is 
a great luxury to the natives. They were 
made wildly happy if, in addition to these, 
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A White Woman 

I gave them an empty biscuit tin or a few 
matches in a box. When this exchange 
of gifts was completed the chief took his 
departure ; but the other natives waited 
to watch me have my tea, and were 
greatly interested to see me pour it out 
and drink it from a cup with a handle. 
One day, for fun, I poured some tea into 
an enamelled tin cup, and when it was 
cool enough sent it by the boy for the 
natives to taste. It had neither milk nor 
sugar in it, but was just as I was drinking 
it myself. They tasted it eagerly, then 
made horrid faces and spat it out again. 
I gave them some more with a lot of 
sugar in, but though that seemed to please 
them better, they evidently did not think 
much of my beverage. 

That night I had the prettiest camping 
place I had had so far. It was in the 
forest, and had big grey rocks all round, 
and near it was a narrow, deep ravine, 
down which was running a lovely stream 
of pure water, one of the many sources of 
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in Central Africa 

the Congo. The colours of the trees were 
very varied. They were putting forth 
their new leaves, and these showed every 
variety of tint, brown, pale red, pink, and 
a fresh light green. One was a perfect 
glory of scarlet leaves, and many that 
flowered before the leaves appeared were 
brilliant with blossoms of white, scarlet 
and yellow. I went for a good scramble 
among the rocks and came on the source 
of the stream where the water bubbled up 
from under the rocks. It was a great treat 
to have a good drink of fresh water, after 
the boiled water to which I had of late 
been limited. 

I was wandering on, thoroughly enjoy- 
ing myself, when I saw some of the boys 
coming to fetch me back. I could not 
understand why, until my English-speaking 
boy tpld me they had seen the spoor of 
a lion, and that it was not safe to wander 
far away. This, and watching the pre- 
parations for making fires all round my 
tent, was very exciting, though I began 

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A White Woman 

to feel a little alarmed lest, in their desire 
to protect me from the Hon, they should 
set the tent on fire. In the night I got 
up several times to look out of my tent. 
It was a very picturesque sight to see the 
fires blazing away and the groups of men 
squatting and lying by them. They 
seemed to be awake and talking the whole 
night; but I am told that they usually 
take turns to watch and keep up the fires 
when lions are about. I heard lots of 
jackals that night, and all sorts of noises 
of other beasts, but did not hear the roar 
of a lion. 

In the early morning, when I was up 
and ready to start, I was again impressed 
with the loveliness of the place, as the 
morning light added a fresh beauty to the 
colouring. 

All the way from there to Mambwe, one 
of the B. C. A. stations, the road was 
very hilly and pretty. Mambwe used to 
belong to the French Fathers, but after 
the making of the Stevenson Road, as the 
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in Central Africa 

road we were on was called, they deter- 
mined to move to a place less easy of 
access, and accordingly sold the station. 
They had made a beautiful garden, as 
they do at all their settlements, and had 
planted it with orange and lemon trees, 
papaws and bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, 
and various kinds of fruits and vegetables, 
of which the official now living there, and 
who bestows considerable pains on keeping 
up the garden, reaps the benefit. The 
French Fathers seem to be a fine set of 
men, clever at adapting themselves to the 
country, and at making the very best of it. 
Our people are at last becoming more alive 
to the benefits which arise from a good 
garden, and the improvement to their health 
which comes from having plenty of vege- 
tables and fruit, instead of having to eat so 
many 'tinned' horrors. In several places 
when I asked about the garden, the answer 
was that there had not been time to make 
one, or that it was too difficult to manege. 
Yet what the French Fathers have done 
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A White Woman 

at all their stations, we ought to be able 
to do too. 

That night I camped at a place called 
Mpanga, where again there was an empty 
house. It was quite a large one, with a 
high stockade all round. The poles of 
the stockade were adorned at the tops 
with queer and very roughly-carved birds 
and animals, and, after a native fight, the 
heads of the vanquished were doubtless stuck 
up there in addition. 

I visited the large native village near. 
It was also surrounded by a stockade, and 
both it and the inhabitants were interest- 
ing. The women were wearing more than 
usually enormous stoppers in the lobes of 
their ears, some carved, and others covered 
with tin and ornamented with brass nails. 
They and the men wore round their 
necks a great deal of the hair from the 
elephant's tail, which they suppose gives 
them strength ; and most of them wore 
also the little horn from a small bok, 
given them as a charm or cure for illness 
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in Central Ajfrica 

by the 'medicine man.* At one place an 
old chief gave me one to wear, *to give 
me a good heart ' ; but whether he meant 
a kind or a strong one, I could not dis- 
cover. In all the villages the people 
seemed busily occupied with their work ; 
the ground was kept swept round the 
huts, and they were cleaner and less 
malodorous than our courts and alleys 
at home. The women's work is to 
grind and sift the corn, pick the beans, 
etc., for food, collect the firewood, fetch 
the water, cook, hoe the ground, and 
gather in the crops. They also do all 
the bead-work, and in the parts where 
pottery is made, that is also their work. 
The men do all the sewing and mending 
of what little clothing they have, and they 
repair the gourds used for household pur- 
poses. They clear the ground for plant- 
ing — a process in the course of which 
they cut off all the branches from the 
trees and place them round the trunks, 
where they leave them till quite dry. 
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A White Woman 

Then they set fire to the whole, and, 
with the wood-ashes that remain, they 
fertilise the ground. The men also do 
all the weaving and basket-making. They 
get iron and smelt it, and make all their 
implements, spears, arrows, knives, etc. 
They build the huts, leaving only the 
floors to be made by the women. Then, 
of course, they do all the hunting, fighting, 
and most of the talking. 

In some parts of the country the native 
marriage laws are rather amusing. Separa- 
tions are very easily obtained. If either 
speak disrespectfully of the other's friends, 
or if the husband neglects to mend any- 
thing belonging to his wife, or if the wife 
does not hoe, cook, or do her work dili- 
gently, the marriage can be dissolved. 
The price paid for a wife seemed to vary 
in different parts ; usually the price is so 
many cows, or hoes, or so much cloth of 
native weaving. 

A short distance from Mpanga, I had 
a splendid view from the top of a hill 
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ANT HILL. 



[Page 149. 



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in Central Africa 

over a big plain. There were very few 
trees, most of the long grass was burnt, 
and the ground was covered with enormous 
ant-hills. Some of the old ones were so 
large, that they had trees and bush grow- 
ing on them. Most of them were from 
eight to ten feet high, and some of them 
were more. The outside of these was 
extremely hard, owing to a secretion the 
ants use in preparing the earth for their 
hills. These were of different shapes, 
mostly conical, while some had additions 
in the shape of extra spires or towers. 
Where the ant - hills are smaller and 
rounder, the disused ones can be utilised 
as ovens when hollowed out, and they 
serve splendidly for boiling a kettle over, 
assuming that they are properly hollowed 
out, so that a good fire can be lighted 
inside. 

On descending into the valley, which 

lay in front of me, I found I had to 

cross a very long bridge, built of sticks 

and mud, which stretched for quite a 

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A White Woman 

quarter of a mile over a marsh and a 
river. The bridge was terribly broken 
and rotten, as it had not been repaired 
since the last rains. I had to get out of 
the machila and walk over, not a very 
easy matter, as in places there were great 
gaps wider than I dare jump. However, 
the men were quite equal to the occasion, 
and scrambled down into the mud and 
water and lifted me safely over. 

Kasanvu, a village close to which we 
stopped for breakfast, was very picturesque. 
It stood on the side of a hill, with a 
good view across the valley to the 
ridge opposite, which was covered with 
boulders, great square blocks of rock, 
with bush growing round and about 
them. I had to do a good deal of 
walking, as the road was very steep, and 
went over rocks and loose stones ; but 
the views were good, and I preferred 
walking, as I could see so much more, 
and could stop at will to examine any- 
thing curious. 

150 
LIBRARY OF 
<^THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE 
PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO A**^"'^^!-^^^]^ 



I —-^ —.->-„ 



-AHY 



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in Central Africa 

I saw and heard many more birds than 
I expected. Most of them had very 
brilliant plumage, some had crimson wings, 
and there were lovely grass-green birds 
with crests and red beaks and cheeks. 
The gaily-coloured birds generally had 
loud, shrill cries, but often in the early 
morning, and also about sunset time, I 
heard very sweet notes, and imagined 
their owners were much plainer in appear- 
ance, as they were difficult to catch sight 
of. One quite small bird was decorated 
with a very long feather in each wing. 
I picked up several of these, and they 
measure twenty-six inches in length. 

That day, as we passed a native village, 
which, as usual, had a high stockade all 
round it, my boys began to sing vigor-y 
ously, and marched along on each side of 
my machila. The men from the village 
all came out and sang too, and followed 
us, singing and shouting, to the top of the 
next hill. It was most exciting and 
amusing, and I longed to know why they 
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A White Woman 

did it I was anxious to find out whether 
the inhabitants of the village were special 
friends of any of my boys, or if it was 
just their way of greeting a European 
traveller. 

At length I arrived at Kawimbe, a 
London Mission Station, and on our arrival 
my men shouted and yelled their loudest. 
On hearing the noise, the missionary came 
out and greeted me most warmly. He 
said that they had been expecting me for 
some time, and that my room was all 
ready for me. I was much astonished, and 
replied, that I was sure it was not for me, as 
they could not have heard I was coming. 
Just then his wife came out and greeted 
me in the same kind and hearty way. I 
again protested, but was assured that they 
had heard I was coming, and wondered 
why I had been so long on the way. 
Then came the question, * But where is 
your husband ? ' I replied, * I have not 
the least idea.* * But where did you leave 
him?' I assured them I had never done 
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in Central Africa 

anything so unkind as to leave him. See- 
ing that they in their turn were quite 
puzzled, I asked them to tell me who 
they took me for. Then they told me 
that they had been expecting some new 
missionaries. I at once cleared up their 
misgivings by informing them that these 
missionaries were still at Fife, resting on 
account of fever, and that they hoped to 
come on in a few days. Of course, they 
had not heard of me, and they were 
greatly amused and interested to meet 
someone who had come merely to see 
the land and the people, and they gave 
me the kindest possible welcome, although 
I was not the expected visitor. After 
my. return home I discovered that we had 
many mutual friends, of whom we should 
have enjoyed talking, had we only known 
at the time. 

Close to the mission house is a large 

native village, and the land round it is 

wonderfully well cultivated. Wheat is 

grown, and excellent flour made for sale, 

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A White Woman 

as they have hand-mills for grinding the 
corn, a great improvement on the old 
way of crushing and rubbing the corn 
between stones, which method makes the 
flour so very gritty. There was a splendid 
garden belonging to the mission station, 
where they grew most excellent potatoes, 
tomatoes, peas, beans, cabbages, onions ; 
in fact, nearly everything that is to be 
found in an English garden. Also, there 
was a large farm-yard with quite a number 
of cows, and we had delicious fresh milk 
and butter^— a rare and delightful luxury 
in these parts. Here, again, I saw and 
appreciated the advantage of having a 
lady to superintend the household. 

Roaming about the place were three 
lovely crested cranes, charmingly dainty- 
looking birds, which I found most fascinat- 
ing to watch. These birds are easily 
tamed and are very intelligent and useful 
in a garden, as they live chiefly on insects 
and grubs. They do not seem to wander 
far away, when once they have settled in 
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in Central Africa 

a place. I tried hard to get a young one 
to bring home with me, but could not find 
one ; all I saw were too old and large to 
take away. 

The village by the mission station was 
a particularly pretty one, especially in the 
evening light at sunset. Then the colours 
of the thatch on the huts grew beautiful, 
showing every shade of brown, and making 
one long to be able to paint such a picture 
of it as would convey its beauty to the 
eyes of friends at home. Photographs, 
though very delightful, and splendid re- 
minders to those who have seen the 
places, convey but a poor idea of the 
beauty of scenery — the chief charm of which 
lies in the colouring — to those who have 
not seen it. The huts of this village were 
as usual round, and the doors were so low 
that I had to crawl in almost on my 
hands and knees. In the middle of the 
hut is a semi-circular screen made of mud 
and wattle, behind which the natives sleep, 
and where they can have a fire when 

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A White Woman 

required. In the space between this screen 
and the wall of the hut they have a fire 
at which they do their cooking. The wide 
overhanging thatch, which is supported 
on poles, forms an excellent verandah, 
which shades them from the sun or rain 
while they work, talk, or take their mid- 
day siesta. It is the colouring of the 
smoke from the fires that gives the thatch 
such lovely shades. In the village I saw 
a native being cupped for fever. On each 
temple was put a horn, the end of which 
was stopped with bee's-wax, the blood that 
is drawn out is thrown on the ground, and 
that gets rid of the disease. 

About three hours from Kawimbe is 
the B, S. A. Station of Mbala, or Aber- 
corn, as it is now called. Just before 
reaching Mbala, we passed a lovely little 
lake. Lake Kilwa, which the Collector 
told me was dry ground only a few years 
ago. He had many times walked over 
the part where the lake is now. 

I only stayed at Mbala for the men to 

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have a rest, and then, as they were willing, 
and indeed anxious, to get to Kituta that 
night, we set off for our journey of five 
hours. On the way we went up and down 
several steep rocky hills, and then, for the 
last hour before reaching Kituta, the road 
went steadily down, making a descent of 
three thousand feet. Parts of the way 
were very rocky and parts very sandy. 
From many points along it I had lovely 
peeps of Lake Tanganyika. 

As soon as the boys caught sight of the 
lake, they began to sing and dance most 
excitedly. They had been very amusing 
and very mad most of the time. One 
favourite game of theirs seemed to be to 
pretend that enemies were hiding in the 
bush ; they would creep and crouch about 
in the most stealthy manner, then spring 
out with wild shouts. Once they all 
vanished, except the two who were carry- 
ing me; then suddenly they came yelling 
and springing from either side of the path, 
brandishing their spears and axes at me. 

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A White Woman in Central Africa 

I clapped my hands and called out their 
native word for 'good/ at which they were 
delighted ; but, at the same time, I confess, 
it had been a little alarming, and I was 
glad to find that it was only pretence and 
done for my amusement. They were a 
capital lot of boys, very good-tempered 
and very happy, and I was sincerely sorry 
to have to part with them at Kituta. The 
journey from Karonga to Kituta had only 
taken me eleven days. The usual time 
allowed is a fortnight, but the boys had 
carried me well, and we had not been 
hindered by illness, as so many people are. 



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CHAPTER VIII 

RETURN JOURNEY FROM LAKE TANGANYIKA 
TO KARONGA 

My arrival at the African Lakes Station at 
Kituta caused great excitement. The agent 
there had not heard I was coming, and such 
an event as the arrival of a lady travelling 
alone, and for pleasure, had never been 
known in those parts before. 

Kituta was quite the best A. L. C. 
Station I had seen. The house is a long 
one, with one storey, a good wide veran- 
dah, and a well-thatched roof. It stands 
on a raised piece of ground, with steps 
up to it, and has a lovely view down on 
to the lake. The various stores are all 
in separate buildings, and the whole is sur- 

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A White Woman 

rounded by a high, strong stockade. Along 
the front of the house is a tall row of cotton 
trees, the forest at the back, beautifully 
wooded, mountains on each side, and the 
lovely lake in front. It was an ideal place, 
viewed externally, but the inside was dread- 
fully comfortless, and I felt heartily sorry for 
the agent stationed there. He had sole 
charge of the place, and was the only 
white man in it, save on those occasions 
when the ' Good News ' was at that end of 
the lake, and then the captain stayed with 
him. It did not seem right to place a man 
by himself in such a remote spot. When 
he had attacks of fever, it must have been 
miserable for him to have only natives 
round him, and to be burdened with the 
anxiety he would naturally feel on such 
occasions about the large quantity of ivory, 
cloth and goods of all descriptions for 
which he was responsible. The house was 
wretchedly fitted up, and there was scarcely 
a book about the place. It seemed hard 
that a company which stationed a man so 
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in Central Africa 

far away from his fellows did not keep him 
supplied with papers and literature from 
home. I had only a few magazines with 
me, and for these the agent was most 
thankful. 

The garden was a little distance away 
from the house, and near to a stream, so 
that it was easily watered. It was not a 
very good time to see it, as it was look- 
ing very bare ; but they told me that a 
great variety of fruit and vegetables grow 
there. 

We had a very exciting time the night 
that I arrived. The native watchman fired 
off his gun twice, and everyone rushed 
out ; but it was only a hyena, which, of 
course, escaped uninjured. 

Before arriving at Kituta, I had seen that 
the little steamer was on the lake, and I 
was in a state of great joy, thinking I had 
come just at the right time. But, alas! a 
sad disappointment was in store for me ; 
the * Good News ' certainly was there, but 
the fire-bars were burnt out, and until fresh 
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A Wliite Woman 

ones came, she could not be used for a 
long journey. As there was no chance of 
getting to the north end of the lake on 
the steamer, I enquired about a dhow on 
which I could perhaps have gone to Ujiji. 
But there was not one to be had, and the 
agent absolutely refused to let me have a 
native boat, as there had just been a very 
sad accident with one on the lake. Two 
members of the Belgium Commission, who 
thought that they could get themselves and 
their loads more quickly to the other side 
of the lake by water than by land, had 
engaged two large canoes, with some 
thoroughly experienced native rowers ; but, 
unfortunately, they had insisted on round- 
ing a headland, against the wishes of the 
capitao and the natives, who, of course, 
understood both the canoe and the lake 
best, had been struck by a heavy sea and 
overturned. Though they were all good 
swimmers, the surf dashing against the 
stones was too much for them, and the 
two Europeans, together with the five 
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natives, were drowned. It was a terribly 
sad affair, and the agent rightly refused to 
give any assistance to Europeans afterwards 
who wanted to cross the lake in a native 
boat. The lake is very treacherous, sudden 
and bad storms often come on. It is the 
longest fresh-water lake in the world, being 
four hundred miles long. The width varies 
from thirty to sixty miles ; the depth is, I 
believe, unknown. 

When the captain of the 'Good News* 
found how terribly disappointed I was at 
not being able to go on the lake, he spent 
a whole day in patching up the fire-bars, 
and doing all he could to get the steamer 
into working order, and on the following 
morning he got up steam and took me out 
to the widest part of the lake, so that I could 
get a good view of the south end, which is 
said to be the most beautiful. Kituta lies 
at the end of a long narrow bay ; and once 
you get beyond that, the lake widens con- 
siderably, until it attains a breadth of sixty 
miles. In the rainy season it is possible to 
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A White Woman 

see both sides, but when I was there in 
September, the weather was too hazy; 
there had ' been no rain since April. 
Directly the rain begins, usually in 
November, the whole appearance of the 
country changes ; the smoke-like haze goes, 
and the air becomes so clear that you can 
see for very great distances. The moun- 
tains round the south end of the lake were 
high and thickly wooded. One of them 
was in shape very like Mount Chiombi, 
on Lake Nyasa, and had terraces up to 
the top. 

While on the lake we saw a great number 
of hippos and crocodiles, which, of course, 
are much less disturbed there than on the 
Shir6 River. It afforded me the greatest 
satisfaction to be on the lake, and I was 
very sorry when we had to turn back ; but 
it had been hard work all the time to keep 
the steam up, and it was quite impossible 
to go on any longer. The captain, in 
trying to console me for the disappointment 
I felt at not being able to go the whole 
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length of the lake, told me that there were 
only four other ladies living who had been 
on Tanganyika. That, I fear, instead of 
consoling me, only made me feel more 
vexed that, having got so far, I could not go 
farther still. At one time I had thoughts 
of waiting until the boat was repaired, but 
that meant staying until the rainy season 
had begun. I have since heard that the 
*Good News* was not got into working 
order till the December following, so that, as 
things turned out, I was lucky in deciding 
to return at once. 

There was a very large native village 
close by the A. L. C. Station, and the 
inhabitants appeared to have found me 
extremely interesting; more so, in fact, 
than was quite agreeable to me, for I 
could scarcely go for a walk without 
being followed by a large crowd of women 
and children, who watched and imitated 
all that I did. I was anxious to find 
some shells, and every time I picked 
one up, all rushed to do the same and 
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A White Woman 

brought them to me in handfuls. Though 
rather annoying, it was not a little amus- 
ing to be pursued by such a crowd, 
all of them whispering and giggling- 
The children kept running on in front, 
and then turning round and coming back, 
in order to get a good look at me. I 
tried hard not to mind them, for I knew 
how -queer I must seem to them; and 
I thought of how we Britishers, in 
much the same way, mob any special 
hero or heroine. But, notwithstanding 
my efforts not to feel disconcerted, the 
annoyance gained on me, and at last I 
put on a very grave look, and turning 
round slowly, almost solemnly, faced 
them, raised my hand, and pointing 
towards their village, said quietly, but 
with emphasis, *Go!' The effect was 
magical. They did not stop to 'go,* they 
simply fled, tumbling over one another in 
their wild haste to get away. Then, for 
a time, I had a little peace, and a thoroughly 
happy hunt for shells along the shore. 
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in Central Africa 

The mountains and lake looked very 
beautiful in the afternoon sunshine, and 
as I sat on an old boat taking in the 
scenery around me, I revelled in the 
thought of being there by myself, such 
an immense distance from home, and 
abandoned myself to peaceful reverie. 
But this peaceful meditation was not to 
last long. Presently I heard a subdued 
murmuring, as of human voices, and 
looking round I saw that the curiosity 
of the crowd had overcome their fears, 
and that they had returned to watch 
me. This time, as I could not find it 
in my heart to send them away again, 
I made the girls come and show me all 
their wonderful bangles and ornaments. 
Their copper-wire bangles were beautifully 
made from native copper, which they 
manufacture themselves. They draw it out 
into the finest possible wire, which they 
twist on hair. The drawing of the wire 
is cleverly done^ The men cut a hole 
through a tree, into which they put a 
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A White Woman 

piece of iron with a small hole in it. 
The strip of copper is tapered to a point 
and put through the hole in the iron. 
The natives catch hold of the end with 
a kind of pincers, then a good number 
of them hang on to it and pull it through. 
This process is repeated through smaller 
holes in the iron again and again till 
the wire is fine enough. Each of six 
girls gave me one of these bangles, 
another gave me one of copper and brass 
finely twisted, and another, one of copper 
and iron. They are all beautifully made, 
and the wire is extremely fine and 
flexible. Of course, when I got back to 
the house, I gave the girls beads in ex- 
change. 

There happened to be a full moon 
while I was at Kituta, and that is always 
the time for a grand native dance. 
When we heard the drums beginning, off 
we went to look on. The men had 
coloured themselves with red, white and 
yellow powder, and looked hideous. They 

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formed a large circle, and danced, shouted 
and waved axes, spears and knobkerries ; 
while four men stood in the centre, wildly- 
beating two large drums with their hands. 
In their dance they jumped up in the 
air every now and then and came down 
with a tremendous thud on the ground ; 
and all of them moved their muscles in 
a wonderful way and went through 
marvellous contortions. They were danc- 
ing a very exciting war dance, and how 
they managed to escape injuring each 
other severely was a puzzle to me. The 
excitement became greater as the dance 
went on, and long after we left them 
we heard the noise of the drums and the 
shouting; indeed, it lasted far into the 
Jiight 

I stayed four or five days at Kituta, • 
and enjoyed the rest, and some lovely 
expeditions into the surrounding country. 
When I set off on my return journey I 
was attended for quite a distance by the 
girls and women of the village, who ran 

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by the side of the machila, laughing and 
chattering in the friendliest manner. 

All the carriers had been engaged the 
night previous to my departure, and their 
loads apportioned, and for once I was 
able to make an early start. I was 
anxious to do so, on account of the long, 
steep climb up from the lake, which 
would have been very trying to do later 
in the day. Accordingly, we set off soon 
after seven ; but I did not much like 
the look of some of the machila boys or 
of the * tenga-tenga ; * and before I had 
gone very far, I heard a great row going 
on. The capitao came up to me gesticu- 
lating violently, and dancing about in 
great excitement. But his excitement was 
such that I could not in the least under- 
stand what was the matter. I thought 
that possibly he wanted me to do some- 
thing, and I tried various things without 
success. As I could not discover the 
cause of the disturbance, and as my boy 
was nowhere to be seen, I walked on 

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in Central Africa 

in despair and left them to settle th6 
matter as best they could. It was not 
until I reached the mission station that 
night that I discovered that two of the 
men had put down their loads and run 
away, and the capitao had had to make 
the other men carry their loads in ad- 
dition to their own. I made it all right 
with those who had carried the extra 
loads, and I got two more men ; but 
they were all rather tiresome, and not 
nearly so amusing as my former men had 
been. I was not sorry to get to Mwenzo 
again and to change them. 

This time I stayed for a few days at 
Kawimbe, and was much interested in the 
natives and their work. They find a 
quantity of ironstone, and smelt it in curious 
little erections that I thought were made 
for storing grain: They are small, round 
buildings like wide chimneys, about six feet 
high and two to three feet in diameter, 
made of fire-hardened clay. The ground 
inside is hollowed out and lined with clay, 

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A White Woman 

and the iron is put in it. The fires, which 
are made of charcoal, are blown up by 
air from the goatskin bellows, to which 
are attached clay tubes through which the 
air passes into the furnace. All the spears, 
hoes, axes and knives are their own 
make, and very strong and well-made 
they are, and possess good edges. 

While I was staying at Kawimbe, on 
September 15, the first rain fell. We had 
heard distant thunder for several days, and 
the clouds had looked very threatening. 
At last we had two very heavy showers. 
As I went on my journey afterwards, I 
was astonished at the difference that a 
little rain had made to the look of the 
country; flowers seemed to be springing 
up all about, and the rain had brought 
out the brilliant tints of the young leaves. 

At Kawimbe I had a good opportunity 
of seeing the natives play a curious game, 
which is a favourite pastime in Nyasaland. 
I could not make it out at all, though I 
often watched them play. They make 

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in Central Africa 

two rows of holes in the ground, about 
sixteen holes in each row, then they chuck 
pieces of stone into the holes, and pick 
them out again, till, finally, one boy grabs 
them all. Only two boys play at it at 
once. Another favourite game that I saw 
them playing was, spinning very tiny tops, 
about the size of acorns. They made a 
smooth, square place with a low rim round 
it, and the game seemed to consist in 
throwing in a spinning-top in such a way 
that it knocked the opponents out. It 
seemed to be a very exciting game, and 
there were always plenty of onlookers, 
and much shouting and noise over it. 

At Kawimbe the rats in the house were 
terrible at night. They raced about my 
room and scampered over my bed in a 
thoroughly happy manner. I could not 
sleep at first, but at last I got used to 
them, and dropped off only to wake up 
and find a rat with his foot in my ean 
One night, at another station, something 
larger 'than a rat dropped from the rafters 
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A White Woman 

on my bed and awoke me. I lighted the 
candle, and saw it was a lemur. They 
are lovely little animals, and are covered 
with thick fur like chinchilla, and have 
beautiful, large, round eyes. It looked 
most fascinating ; but not being sure what 
it would do next, I thought I would try 
to send it out. I opened the door which 
led on to the verandah, and proceeded 
gently to drive it out, but, alas! it objected 
to going, and sprang straight on to my 
shoulder, gripping my arm with its sharp 
little teeth, and refusing to let go, till I 
well pinched its tail. As it turned round 
to bite my hand, I tossed it out on to the 
verandah, and shut the door. I had fewer 
animals in my tent than in a house ; but 
even in my tent I was apt to wake up 
and find all sorts bf creepy, crawly things 
about my pillow. 

Africa, indeed, seems as full of plagues 

now as it was in the time of Moses. The 

jigger, or matakynia, is horrible. It is a 

small flea, that, instead of biting, bores a 

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in Central Africa 

hole, usually under the toe nail, and lays 
its eggs there. If not discovered and 
taken out quickly, it causes ulcers, and all 
sorts of trouble. The natives, who get 
plenty of practice, are very clever at taking 
them out, and do it without causing pain ; 
whereas, if you try to do it yourself, you 
often make a large hole and a very sore 
place. For a long time I escaped the 
pest, but at last fell a victim like every- 
one else. The Arabs are supposed to 
have brought the matakynia across from the 
west coast, and it has gradually spread to 
Chinde, and, indeed, all over B. C. Africa. 
Then there is a sort of bluebottle fly that 
penetrates through your clothes, and kindly 
lays its egg in your back ; the egg soon 
becomes a grub, and I saw quite a large 
one taken out of a child's back. There 
is, too, a particularly nasty, fat, light- 
coloured fly, that is said to be blind, and 
it comes against you with a great flop, 
and holds on so firmly with its feet that 
it is difficult to get rid of it. 

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A White Woman 

On my return journey from Mambwe 
to Mwenzo, I found the road had been 
altered in two places by the Boundary 
Commissioners, and I had to go by a 
longer and much prettier route. The new 
road was being made, and, indeed, was 
nearly finished. Making a road is not a 
very arduous task, when once it has been 
marked out, as it is only necessary to cut 
away the scrub and the trees for a certain 
width. Natives were stationed at each 
end of the old road where it had been 
altered, with a note from the Collector, 
headed, *To all whom it may concern.' 
Following these words were orders that 
on no account were you to go along the 
old road. 

On the way I passed a native wearing 
as a hat the skin of a zebra's head. I 
tried to buy it from him, but for some 
time could not persuade him to part with 
it. However, while we were camping, he 
came up again, and the sight of beads 
and calico proved too much for him, and 

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! in Central Africa 

! I became the happy possessor of the skin, 

which is a very good one. 

I I always enjoyed the fun of bartering, 

j it is so much more amusing than giving 

a fixed price in money. At Ikomba I 

i bought a splendid stool belonging to a 

I chief. It was chopped out of a solid piece 

' of wood, and was beautifully polished by 

[ use. The owner was sitting on it, and 

the first thing to be done was to persuade 

I him to rise. Then I picked up the stool 

I and offered him calico ; at which he shook 

his head, and took hold of a leg of the 

stool. I held on to the other, and made 

my boy unroll more calico, till at last he 

gave in. The chief greatly enjoyed the 

joke, as, of course, I gave him a good deal 

more than the stoci' was worth; but I 

wanted it, as it was quite the best one I 

had seen. We were mutually happy and 

satisfied. It will take the old fellow some 

time to get another stool up to such a 

high state of polish, 

At Mwenzo I stayed two days and 
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A White Woman 

made a short excursion in the machila, to 
look at the new bouitdary which is marked 
only about three-quarters of an hour from 
the A. L. C. Station. This was marked by 
a beacon with a tall pole, which was well 
fixed in, and from it I could see three or 
four other beacons on distant hills. 

In travelling along the road between 
Karonga and Kituta, it is interesting to 
notice how many boys you meet carrying 
letters. They carry them in a split 
bamboo stick, and offer them to any 
European they meet, in case the letter 
should be for him. The boys run along 
very quickly with the letters ; and no one 
thinks anything of sending a boy off with 
a letter or parcel thirty miles or more. 

The day I left Ikawa it was intensely 
hot, and towards afternoon, when my boys 
were getting tired, we passed six or eight 
natives walking along without any loads. 
They began to chaff my boys and jeer and 
laugh at them. Suddenly, two of them 
made a rush at the machila pole, pushed 

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in Central Africa 

my boys away, and ran ofif with me as 
fast as they could, up and down steep 
* dongas,' so steep, that I should have had 
to walk down them with the greatest care. 
The rest of them came alongside, shouted 
and sang all the time, and, without stopping, 
a fresh pair took the machila pole, changing 
as they ran. They kept up this pace for 
more than an hour, until we came to a 
stream where there was shelter from the 
sun. Then they popped me down, and 
truly thankful I was, for what with the 
shaking and the laughing, which their con- 
duct had provoked, I was nearly as tired 
as they were. It was the funniest sight 
to see my boys running their hardest to 
keep up, and all streaming with perspira- 
tion, but thoroughly enjoying the fun. 
Of course, this helped us over the ground 
splendidly, and after a rest we went on 
more calmly, leaving our lively crew 
behind. 

I tried hard to get someone to show me 
another way back to Karonga, but I do not 
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A. White Woman 

think my carriers approved of the idea, 
for, at each village, they told me no one 
knew such a way ; and, finally, I gave up 
trying, for it was too hot to worry, and I 
did not want to spoil the pleasure of my 
journey. 

One day I witnessed another delight- 
fully entertaining scene. We met some 
native women carrying huge calabashes on 
their heads, full of pomb^, the native beer. 
My boys stopped one of the girls, and 
after much talking, she consented to let 
him put his hand in the jar and take out 
all he could. It was in the early stages 
of making, and was thick and rather solid ; 
accordingly he plunged his hand in and 
drew it out full. His arm, nearly up 
to the elbow was thickly covered with 
pomb4 and when the others saw it, they 
rushed at him and began to lick his arm, 
while he ate what he had in his hand. It 
was the queerest sight I had ever seen, 
and they most thoroughly enjoyed it, 
laughing and shouting all the time. 

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in Central Africa 

The last day we journeyed by a differ- 
ent route to the one I had taken on my 
way up. It lay through Mlosi's village, 
where, quite recently, there had been a 
good deal of fighting. The skulls and 
bones of the killed had all been thrown 
into an enclosed piece of ground, which 
the natives are now afraid to go near, 
because they believe there are spooks 
there. The old village had been com- 
pletely burnt, but already a good many 
new huts had been put up. 

When, at last, I reached Karonga again, 
I had a most hearty and kindly welcome, 
and all were interested in hearing of my 
adventures. I was astonished to find so 
many Englishmen there, and then I was 
told that the telegraph line had just 
reached Karonga, and that they were 
getting it into working order. While I 
was there the first message was sent off. 



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CHAPTER IX 

FROM KARONGA THROUGH GERMAN 
KONDELAND. 

As I was going into the house at Karonga, 

I was horrified to hear most melancholy 

groans. I was told, in answer to enquiries, 

that the night before an Indian servant 

had been brought in after having been 

terribly mauled by a lion. One of the 

B. S. A. officials, who was camping in the 

hills some distance from Karonga, had 

been told that there were lions about, and 

had ordered good jfires to be kept blazing, 

and the men to be on the lookout The 

men were sitting in a circle round the 

fire, and this Indian, whose groans I had 

heard, was sitting inside the circle close 

to the fire, when the lion suddenly sprang 

over the men, seized him and sprang back 

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again. He yelled terrifically, and when 
the officer, on hearing the screams, rushed 
out of his tent, he saw the lion standing 
with the man in his mouth, looking actually 
scared at the noise the Indian was making. 
They all charged the lion with burning 
sticks, and he dropped his prey and fled. The 
Indian was carried down to the A. L. C. 
Station, and was cared for with the greatest 
kindness by the agent. It requires more 
than ordinary skill and kindness to attend 
properly anyone who has been bitten by 
a lion, as the wounds are terribly disagree- 
able and nasty to dress. The poor man 
used to scream with fright when he fell 
asleep, and his illness was long and 
tedious, but ultimately he got quite well 
again. 

As I had been disappointed in my 
journey to the north of Lake Tanganyika, 
and had, consequently, returned sooner 
than I intended, I decided to spend a fort- 
night or three weeks at the north of Lake 
Nyasa, in German Kondeland, which part 

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A White Woman 

of the country, I was told, was very lovely 
and very little visited. This I found to 
be quite true, and during the whole time 
I was there I never saw any European 
except the missionaries. At present no 
traders go there, and the missionaries are 
very thankful to be left so much alone. 

In preparation for going to Kondeland, 
I had to get a fresh lot of carriers and 
provisions. All being ready, I set out on 
September 30th. I started soon after eight 
a.m., and was told I should reach Ipiana 
that evening. The distance was really too 
great to get over comfortably in one day, 
and I had one or two battles on the way 
with my boys. Accordingly, I did not 
arrive until six p.m., and I was much 
amused to find that our first stop was at 
a place where there were a number of 
German sausage trees — clearly a sign we 
were approaching German territory. The 
fruit is curiously like a German sausage; 
it is very thick, eighteen inches or more 
in length, and hangs from the branch by 
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in Central Africa 

a thin stalk quite three feet in length. 
The fruits are very heavy, and the only 
use that I saw them put to was as seats 
and pillows for the natives. I broke one 
open, but found only a sort of white pith 
inside and some unripe seeds. It was 
useless to attempt to bring it home, which 
was disappointing, as I should have liked 
to show it to my friends. I was told 
afterwards that the natives sometimes cook 
and eat the seeds when ripe ; but I do 
not think they cared much for them. The 
flower was fairly handsome, of a deep 
maroon colour, and somewhat like the 
hibiscus in shape. 

For several hours our way took us close 
to the edge of the lake, and most of 
the time the boys preferred walking in 
the water, as the sand there was firmer, 
and, of course, it was cooler to their 
feet. Also, it was pleasanter for me in 
my machila, and the splashing of the 
water made by the feet of my carriers 
sounded delightfully refreshing. The 
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A White Woman 

colour of the lake was lovely — a bright 
deep blue. A good deal of the sand at 
the north end was quite black and 
sparkled in the sunshine ; and there was 
a quantity of pumice lying about — 
remains of once active volcanoes, of 
which there are several in that part 
of the country. A little before two 
o'clock we came to the Songwe River. 
This appeared to be difficult to cross, 
as there was a great deal of water 
in it, and the banks were very steep. 
My boy came up to me and said we 
must camp where we were for the 
night. I asked if it were ' Ipiana,' 
to which he replied, * Oh, no ; that is 
much too far.' However, I had been 
told we ought to get there, and I 
insisted that they must take me on. 
After a good deal of talk among the 
natives, preparations were made to cross 
the river. Some of the boys got down 
into the water and held the machila, 
while I scrambled down the bank and 
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got in, not a very easy matter. Then 
I had to cling to the pole with my 
hands and feet, so as to raise myself 
as high above the water as possible. 
Then the boys hoisted the pole on to 
their heads, instead of carrying it on 
their shoulders, and the rest held up 
the hammock part of the machila well 
under me to keep it out of the water. 
This was up to the men's waists, and 
the stream was fairly strong. It was 
not a very easy matter to get me 
across, but they managed it splendidly. 
I felt very thankful at the time that 
no one was about with a kodak to 
take a snap shot, though now I should 
rather like to have one as a memento. 

At the next village we came to, the 
boys made another attempt to stop; but 
as I persisted that we were to go to 
Ipiana, and refused to get out of the 
machila, they went on again. For 
a time they were very cross, and 
bumped and banged me against every 

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A White Woman 

tree stump and rock that we had to 
pass. I said nothing, but waited till 
they seemed in a happier frame of 
mind, and then got out and walked 
a good distance to give them a rest 

After crossing the Songwe, it was 
one succession of villages, banana groves, 
and cultivated patches all the way to 
Ipiana. The villages were the nicest 
I had seen. The huts were beautifully 
built, well thatched, neat and well kept; 
they were almost hidden in banana 
groves, and in each village grew tall 
trees with dark leaves that made a 
splendid shade. The natives of that 
part, the Wnkonde, are the least warlike 
of any of the tribes, and are more 
given to agriculture. Also, they are 
very fond of decorative art. • 

At last we came to another river, 
the Kabira, and for some time could 
not find any place where we could 
cross. We were just opposite the 
mission station at Ipiana, and presently 

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in Central Africa 

the people there heard my boys shout- 
ing, and came out to tell us where 
to find the ford. We had to go a long 
way up the river to it, and then had 
to repeat the performance at the 
Songwe. Both rivers are full of 
crocodiles, and the natives do not care 
to go in, unless there are a good 
many of them together; then they make 
so much noise and splashing, that there 
is no danger at all from the * crocs/ 

About six p.m. we reached Ipiana, and 
again I had a very kind and hearty re- 
ception from the missionaries, who were 
full of astonishment at my travelling alone. 
Two married missionaries and their wives 
were living there ; indeed, it seems to be 
the rule among the Germans (and a good 
one too) always to have two married 
couples on a station, as they consider it too 
lonely for one. To save the boys the 
trouble of putting up my tent, as they 
had had a long day, my bed was 
put into an empty room. This had a 

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door which opened in two halves, above 
and below, like a village shop door. I 
fastened it as firmly as I could and was 
soon sound asleep. I had not been asleep 
long when I was awakened by a noise. 
Looking up, I saw that the upper half of 
the door was open, and sitting on the 
under half, in the moonlight, which 
streamed in, was an awful-looking animal, 
seemingly just ready to jump into the 
room. I yelled and threw a pillow at it, 
but before the pillow reached the door 
the animal had vanished. I do not suppose 
it was anything more than a wild cat; 
but waking up suddenly and seeing it in 
the moonlight, it had all the horror of the 
unknown. I did not feel very happy 
about going to sleep again ; but while I 
was arranging to keep awake, I dozed off, 
and did not open my eyes again until my 
boy came in the morning, to bring me a 
delicious cup of tea with milk in it. 

I spent the morning in strolling about 
the village and watching the people. 
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Many of their implements and orna- 
ments were very different from those I 
had seen before. The women wore a 
curious head-band, made of a piece of 
dried banana leaf, dyed in patterns, and 
tied round their heads with the bow 
in front. 

One of the German missionaries was 
a naturalist, and a most interesting man. 
He was collecting specimens for the 
Berlin Museum, and I spent a delightful 
evening looking over his beetles, butter- 
flies, and snakes. They were most ad- 
mirably prepared, and very neatly put up. 
Each label gave the name of the species, 
and when and where it had been found. 
I spent two very happy days at Ipiana, 
and heard a great deal that was full of 
interest for me, about the country and 
the natives I was going to visit. My 
carriers, meantime, had had a good rest; 
and when I wanted to start, they were 
quite cheerful and ready to go forward. 
We had to cross the Kabira River again 
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A White Woman 

in the same style as before, we reached 
our camping place in Mwantipura about 
two-thirty p.m. The carriers with the loads 
had gone on first, and, to my delight, on 
arriving, I found the tent up and the 
kettle boiling, ready for tea. The boys 
were always intensely amused at the 
pleasure I displayed when I found that 
tea was ready. It puzzled them very 
much to know why I liked it, for when 
they tasted it, it gave them no pleasure 
at all. While camping here I noticed 
that the fashionable head-dress for the 
young natives of this part was made of 
bunches of brown cock-feathers, tied on 
to a sharp-pointed piece of wood and 
stuck in the hair. I had a delightful 
capitao with this lot of boys, and he was 
very good at getting me queer ornaments, 
and anything that took my fancy. 

The Kabira winds so much, that next 

day we had to cross it again, so that we 

got quite used to the performance. Soon 

after crossing it for the last time, we came 

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to a large swamp, crusted all ' round with 
salt. It was amusing to see the eager- 
ness with which they collected as much 
salt as they could, and licked their hands 
so as not to lose a grain. 

The process of extracting the salt from 
the earth, which is employed by the 
natives, is interesting. They take the 
earth from the dried bed of a lake or 
stream, and put it into curious funnels, 
shaped like a tun-dish, which are made 
of bamboo or closely-woven grass rope. 
Then they pour water over the salt earth 
and stir it up. The water drains through 
the funnels into the pots below, and is 
then boiled or evaporated in the sun until 
only cakes of salt are left. They also 
extract salt from plants as well as from 
the earth. Salt is an article which all 
the natives value highly. My boys often 
used to come in the evening to beg a 
little salt to put in their food. 

Most of the morning, after passing the 
swamp, we went through forest, broken 
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square-shaped native hut. One piece of 
the rock overhung and looked exactly 
like the thatch. The natives have many 
legends about it, and it is quite a land- 
mark. The boys plunged into the water 
in an instant, to have a good wash and 
bathe. Then we set ofif again with a big 
climb before us, for the hills seemed never 
ending, and when we reached the top of 
one ridge, it was only to find that we 
had to go down and then climb another 
still higher. All the way the views were 
beautiful, and when, finally, we reached 
the highest point, there was compensation 
for our exertions in the glorious view that 
we obtained. We could see the river 
winding along among wooded hills and 
valleys, and, in the far distance, was 
the glisten of Lake Nyasa. 

The boys always seemed pleased when 
I enjoyed the view; and they always 
pointed out what they thought interesting. 
At one place they drew my attention to a 
curious natural stone bridge, that looked 

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like masonry — smooth and well built on 
one side, but very rough on the other. 
The natives say the people who live on 
the smooth side are good workmen, the 
others are bad. They had many more 
tales abput it, but my English-speaking 
boy could not understand much of their 
language, as they came from a different 
part of the country ; moreover, he was 
not equal to much translations, as he 
only knew the most ordinary English 
words and sentences. 

We had not seen a village all the 
day after leaving Mwantipura quite early, 
and when at last we reached one we 
were glad to camp and rest, as we had 
had a hard, though a very enjoyable, 
journey. This village, like most of them 
in Kondeland, was surrounded by banana 
plantations, and I was able to get plenty 
of the fruit, which, either cooked or raw, 
made a pleasant change in my rather 
monotonous bill of fare. 

We did not start very early next 
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morning, but before mid-day we reached 
Rutenganyo, another mission station. 
Again there were two married couples, 
and I had the usual kind reception. 
They were very much puzzled about the 
way I had come. We had clearly taken 
a different route from the one the 
missionaries knew; but if longer, it had 
probably been much more lovely, and I 
came to the conclusion that, though 
my boys had a great knack of always 
choosing the wrong path, they had an eye 
for fine scenery. From each village a 
number of paths diverge. Whenever we 
came to a place where the road divided, 
the boys, as soon as they had decided 
which road to take, drew a line, or put 
the branch of a tree across the other, 
in order to show the carriers who were 
following which way we had gone. 

The further we got north the cleverer 
the natives seemed to be. At Otengule, 
the big chief, * Merere,' used to have a 
quantity of good linen work done by the 

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women of his tribe ; but, unfortunately, 
Merere could not get on with the 
Germans, and he and his people left that 
part of the country. At present there is 
no more of this useful work being done, 
and it is difficult to get good specimens. 
I have one that is an excellent sample of 
their weaving. They used to make their 
own looms in a very primitive fashion, 
sticking pieces of wood in the ground, 
fastening the thread to them, working a 
roughly-made shuttle backwards and for- 
wards. They grew the cotton, and made 
their own thread, the patterns and the 
dyes. Basket-work, too, they were very 
clever at, and it was so firmly done, that 
milk or water could be carried in the 
baskets without a drop being lost Many 
of the natives, for carrying milk, use bamboo, 
ornamented with painting or carving. Some 
of their patterns are very effective, and well 
done. Over the top they stretch a piece of 
banana leaf, like a piece of bladder, to 
keep out flies and other insects. 

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Another station that I came to was 
* Rungwe.' It is in a very volcanic part 
of the country, just at the foot of the 
Rungwe Mountain, an extinct volcano, 
which must have been extremely active 
once, for it is quite easy to trace 
where the streams of lava ran down. 
Some of the lava tracks are over- 
grown with grass, while, in other places, 
the black lava is plainly visible above 
the ground. A cutting shows the dark 
volcanic dust at the top, and ashes and 
pumice below. The ground, owing to its 
volcanic origin, was of course very dry 
and dusty, and a thorough system of 
irrigation had to be constructed in the 
garden at the mission station, in order 
to get good crops. By this means they 
contrived to grow most of the home 
vegetables, and plenty of strawberries, 
which were small, but good. 

A short distance away from Rungwe, 
I had an extremely pretty view of the 
station, with its church, its schoolhouse 

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and outbuildings. The whole journey 
I that day was delightful; up and down 

i steep gullies and across noisy rushing 

streams, the banks of which were covered 
with maidenhair and other ferns. There 
was hardly a level piece of ground all 
*. the way. We crossed one stream where 

J the water tasted just like 'Selters 

Wasser.' I walked most of the way, as 
it was very steep, and much too interest- 
; ing to ride through in a machila. 

i At the village near to which I camped 

for the night, there was a great beating 
t of drums and a general uproar. After I 

f had had my tea, I went on a tour of 

inspection, and found a very grand dance 
going on — a larger one than I had yet 
seen — and the natives were most wonder- 
fully dressed up. About one hundred men 
^ were dancing, holding in their hands their 

well-polished spears and axes, and having 
splendidly bright copper manyetas round 
their waists. Their bodies had been well 
y rubbed with oil, and most of them had 

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in Central Africa 

tufts of feathers in their hair. Two had 
very high plumes of black cock's feathers 
standing up quite two feet above their 
heads ; another had a fringe of cow*s teeth 
plaited into his hair; others, again, had 
their faces, backs and legs coloured red, 
grey, yellow and white. The children, 
too, were similarly decorated. It was a 
wonderful dance. They pranced about on 
their toes, and wriggled after the usual 
fashion, then, while some were dancing, 
surprise parties crept out of the banana 
grove and sprang on them, producing a 
general scrimmage ; and while this was 
going forward others, again, stole away 
and came springing back with wild yells 
and shrieks. As time went on the dance 
got wilder, and fresh parties joined in 
the festivity from time to time. How it 
was that nobody was hurt, seeing that 
they all carried their spears, is more than 
I can tell. The singing was wonderful, 
sometimes very wild, sometimes very 
musical, and occasionally reminded me of 

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A White Woman 

some of Wagner's choruses. Long after 
I was in my tent the noise continued, 
and I was beginning to think, with 
horror, that it would last all night, when 
suddenly the singing and shrieking and 
howling rose with a violent crescendo, 
and the next moment ceased altogether. 
It was the last flourish — the finale — and in 
the silence that followed I could hear the 
patter of their feet as they instantly 
turned and flew off homewards. 

The next day the way was even more 
difficult, and I wondered much how the 
boys with the loads managed to get up 
and down some of the declivities. The 
machila carriers had awkward work in 
taking me across the streams ; the stones 
were exceedingly slippery, and the water 
rushed with considerable force. But, ex- 
cept in crossing streams, they did not have 
much work to do for • me, as I preferred 
walking and stopping to look about me. 

The views of the Livingstone range 
were very fine. The station I was going 

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to, Makarere, was at the foot of the moun- 
tains, and from a distance had a most 
picturesque appearance. From the valley 
below Makarere to the top of the range 
is one succession of peaks, mountain after 
mountain; and at sunset, and in the early 
morning, the lights and shadows on the 
mountains are very lovely. Around 
Makarere the flowers were coming out 
fast, and the * Kaffir Boom ' trees were 
one blaze of scarlet. About here I saw 
a large tree with dark green leaves that 
bore a fruit in shape like a pine-apple. 
This fruit, however, was very sour, though 
refreshing; and each little division in it 
had a stone. I stayed at Makarere — one 
of the most beautiful places I have seen — 
two whole days, in order to give my boys 
a good rest and to enjoy the place myself. 
I engaged another lot of machila boys 
during the time I was there, for local ex- 
cursions, and went with them on some 
lovely expeditions. These boys were 
used to the hills, and rushed me up and 
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A White Woman 

down them at break-neck speed. One 
charming picnic I had in company with 
the missionaries was at a deep gorge, 
through which the Lufirio River rushes, 
winding between high-wooded mountains. 
There was a wonderful old bamboo bridge 
across this river, and I did not much enjoy 
going over it, as I had to cross alone. It 
shakes too much if two are on it at the 
same time. As an inducement to cross, 
they promised me breakfast on the other 
side, so, with fear and trembling, I got 
across, and then we sat in a cool, shady 
spot, and during our meal watched enormous 
eagles hovering overhead. They are said 
to carry off sheep and small children, and 
they looked to me quite equal to doing it 
In the trees were very handsome, but very 
savage-looking, monkeys, with long black 
hair, a white ruff round their necks, and 
very long tails with white tips. 

On another day we went to some lovely 
waterfalls on the Lufirio and the Matesi ; 
the two rivers make almost an island of the 

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station. Had I had time, I might have 
^ made any number of beautiful excursions 

among the mountains, but, unfortunately, I 
could not gratify my wishes in this respect. 
About Makarere there are a great many 
bees. The natives put boxes in the trees 
for them, and in that way get plenty of 
honey. Of this they are very fond ; and 
they make what is considered a very de- 
licious kind of beer from honey and water 
fermented. Cows were plentiful, too, so 
that this part of Africa might truly be 
called *a land flowing with milk and honey.* 
The cows have a hump like the Indian 
cattle, and they are made to carry bells 
roughly made of native iron. The sound, 
as the animals moved about, reminded me 
of the * ranz des vaches ' in a Swiss valley. 
The cows are brought up and stalled for 
the night in long grass huts. There were 
also numbers of goats and sheep, the latter 
having broad, fat tails, which sometimes 
weigh as much as nine and even twelve 
pounds. 

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A White Woman 

At the mission station there was one little 
white boy, the son of the missionary. He 
was about four years old, and it was the 
prettiest sight possible to see him march- 
ing along attended by five or six little 
black boys, his most devoted admirers, 
who patiently followed him wherever he 
went, and were only too delighted when 
he permitted them to do anything for 
him. 

The only new thing I noticed in use 
among the natives here was a curious 
stick which the women use in walking. 
It has a top like a shepherd's crook and 
is only used by women. It was so beauti- 
ful at Makarere, that I was very much 
disinclined to leave. It was with many 
regrets, but with many pleasant memories, 
that I at length resumed my journey. The 
Livingstone Mountains are not volcanic ; 
but soon after leaving them I began to 
get into volcanic country again, and I 
passed some very deep sulphur pits, all 
overgrown with lovely ferns. At one of 
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these the boys stopped for me to get out 
of my machila, and listen to * the noise the 
devil was making down there ; ' that was 
how my boy translated their statement. 
Soon after that we crossed a very dreary- 
looking black lava field. The lava had 
come down from Kiedyo, an extinct volcano 
near to Mano, where I stayed. 

The country all round Mano was in 
marked contrast with the well-wooded 
district round the Livingstone Mountains. 
At Mano there are good views, but they 
are over mountains that are quit^bare. 
At a little distance from the mission station 
there is a large lake in a deep hollow 
among the bare-looking hills. The lake 
is nearly square, and is very deep. The 
natives say that the fish in it have hair 
on their heads. Unfortunately, they did 
not seem willing to try to catch any while 
I waited, though they knew that I should 
very much have liked to see some. The 
legend about the lake is, that one of the 
gods came and asked for water at a village, 
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A White Woman 

but the people said they could not be 
bothered, and that he must get it himself. 
But a widow and her son brought him 
some, and then, sending them off to a safe 
place, he told the others that as they said 
they had a difficulty in finding water, they 
should now have plenty. Upon this the 
water rushed in from all sides, swamped 
the village, and formed the lake Kyungulalu. 
The legend sounds like a version of the 
story of the Flood. 

At the place where I stopped for break- 
fast, I was told there was a wonderful 
dancer. I requested him to give me a 
performance, and a very funny one it was. 
He crept along almost like a serpent, 
stepped about on the tips of his toes, 
wriggled and waved his spear most 
curiously. The natives have marvellously 
lithe bodies, and seem able to twist them- 
selves about in any shape or way. 

When I started on again a crowd of at 
least fifty women and children escorted me 
for quite a long distance, running by the 

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in Central A^-ica 

side of the machila laughing and talking 
all the time. I learnt a very curious thing 
here, namely, that if you beckon to a 
native in the way we do, he will run away 
instead of coming to you. The native 
way of beckoning is to point your fingers 
towards the earth and to pull them 
towards you. In counting, a native puts 
his finger to his lips for one, and again 
for two. He holds up three fingers for 
three, and for four, two fingers of each 
hand. Five, is the hand closed with the 
thumb poking out between the second and 
third fingers, and ten is the two closed 
fists, on the top of each other. 

The natives tell the time, of course, by 
the sun. If I asked them when I should 
arrive at a camping place, they pointed to 
the position the sun would be in at that 
time, and they were always wonderfully 
correct. One day, for a joke, I pointed 
to where I thought the sun would be, a 
performance which they hailed with shouts 
of laughter, as I had inadvertently pointed 
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A White Woman 

to the wrong side, t.e,^ the east, instead of 
to the west — a mistake no native would 
ever be guilty of making. 

On our journey, we came upon three 
more lakes, some distance apart, and all 
hidden away in the forest. They were 
very deep down, with high banks all round. 
One afternoon we had to cross a pool and 
then a swamp, where the water was very 
black. There were dark trees all round, 
and the ground had been trampled by 
large animals, hippos or rhinos. The 
jungle was very nasty to get through, 
there was so much bamboo grass and 
prickly stuff, all dripping wet, as if there 
had been rain, or very heavy dew. It was 
the first time I had been wet through, 
and I did not like it. I was obliged to 
walk, as they could not possibly get the 
machila through with me in it. The 
carriers had to turn and twist it about in 
many ways in order to get through. We 
next came to the Mbaka River, which 
winds so much that we had to cross it 

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three times. Its banks were very steep, 
but I was getting well used to scrambling 
down and getting into the machila, while 
it hung over the water. 

At last, after a fortnight's wandering, I 
got back to Ipiana, and stayed two nights, 
in order to give my boys a rest, pack a 
few curios, and relate my adventures to 
the missionaries. Then I set off for 
Karonga, taking on my way back a 
different route, which led by 'Ngerenge. 
It was a longer and a more tiring way for 
the boys than that by which we had come, 
as it lay for a considerable distance through 
soft sand. But though I twice suggested 
that we should camp for the night, if they 
were tired, they declared they could quite 
easily get back to Karonga, and wished 
to do so. Of course, they were in much 
better practice at walking and carrying 
than they had been at the beginning of 
the fortnight, and there was a difference 
going from home and returning to it, 
which difference was in their favour. 

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They got me to Karonga about half- 
past six o'clock, running, shouting and 
singing during the last part of the journey 
as if they had only just started. 

It seemed like home to get back to 
Karonga, as it was my third visit there, 
and the natives and Britishers had got 
quite used to seeing me about, and almost 
considered me as belonging to the place. 
I received a present there of some croco- 
dile eggs, and was told a lovely tale 
about them. One day one of the telegraph 
men met a native with a fine lot of eggs 
that looked clean and fresh and were 
unusually cheap. So he had them sent to 
his tent, and told his boy to cook them. 
The boy usually cooked eggs extremely 
well, but these came to table looking 
rather disagreeable. However, the English- 
man and his friend ate away and enjoyed 
them, though they thought the eggs had 
a peculiar flavour. Next day the boy was 
reproved for cooking them so badly, and 
was told to do the remainder better. The 

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boy said he could not, and when asked 
why, replied that * those eggs were croc's, 
not hen's eggs, and will never look nice 
when cooked.' The horror of the poor 
men who had eaten them was great, and 
the boy was not required to try his skill 
on the remainder. 

I had a busy time for some days in 
packing all my treasures, which I was 
sending by steamer down the lake. Then 
I finally took leave of Karonga, and all 
who had been so kind to me there, and 
with another team I set off for Kondowe, 
Dr Laws's Mission Station. 



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CHAPTER X 

KARONGA TO KONDOWE 

When I left Karonga on this occasion, I 
had a very poor set of carriers, Wnkonde 
boys. There were very few to be had, 
as a great many had been taken for the 
telegraph works, the Boundary Com- 
mission, and other expeditions. The 
Wnkonde are bad machila carriers, but 
I had to be satisfied and thankful that 
I could get any at all to take me. I 
did not wish to wait longer at Karonga, 
as I feared I might miss seeing Dr Laws, 
who was thought to be going on an 
expedition into the country just about 
that time. 

I started early in the morning, but the 
boys dragged along very slowly through 
the soft sand, and when we stopped for 

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a mid-day rest one of them put down his 
load and departed. I got another boy to 
replace him quite easily, but they all 
went very badly, and seemed to find it 
such hard work that, when we camped 
for the night, I determined to get two 
more to help. Accordingly, I told the 
capitao to ask the chief of a neighbour- 
ing village to let me have two boys to 
go on with me next morning. He did 
so, but returned from the village saying 
that the chief would not let me have 
any. I told him that was nonsense. I 
must have them and of course was 
willing to pay for them. However, he 
returned again, saying that the chief 
quite refused to send any. I told him 
to show me the chief and I would speak 
to him myself. My boy wished to come 
with me, saying, * I could not make the 
chief understand, as he did not know 
my language;' but I told him to stay 
where he was, and off I marched alone 
to try the effect of a little English. 

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A White Woman 

Arrived at the village, I walked very 
solemnly up to the chief, held up two 
fingers, and told him he must get me 
two boys at once. To my joy and 
amazement he went off promptly and 
brought back two capital boys, who 
helped well all the rest of the way. I 
gave the old chief some salt as a present, 
and we parted excellent friends. My boy 
was much astonished at my success, and 
wanted to know how I managed it, as 
'behold the chief, he speak not English.' 
I preserved a discreet silence, and did not 
divulge the secret. Indeed, I could not 
have told it had I wished. 

The road was better next day, there 
was not so much heavy sand, and the 
boys were happier, and things went 
more cheerfully and well. I travelled for 
some distance along the road, which had 
been cut for the telegraph line, and 
met one of the telegraph men bringing 
back to Karonga the last party of 
natives who had been working on the 
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line. They were carrying all their 
ladders, implements, etc. He was much 
amused at meeting me, and said I was 
the first white woman he had seen for 
an age, and he could hardly remember 
when he had last seen a starched collar. 
I was greatly delighted at that being 
noticed, as it was the last one I possessed, 
and my general appearance was now so 
forlorn-looking, that that morning I had 
felt obliged to put on my last outward 
and visible sign of respectability — a clean 
collar. My boy had done all my wash- 
ing, and cotton blouses did not look too 
beautiful after his way of ironing. He 
spread a mat on the ground, smoothed 
out the clothes as well as he could on 
it, then spread a towel or something 
large over them, and slid his feet up 
and down till he thought the smoothing 
process was complete. He then hung 
the clothes in the sun to dry, and when 
dry they were ready to put on. It was 
a very simple process, and quite enough 

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A White Woman 

for most things; but I had not as suitable 
an outfit as I could have wished for. I 
had, of course, no idea, even when I 
left Chinde, that I should be so long in 
the wilds. 

In one of the villages we passed 
through, the women were busy making 
pottery. They pound the dark red bark 
of a tree, mix it with hot water and 
spread it over the baked pottery while 
hot. When the pot is cold it has a 
good red brown glaze outside. Round 
the neck of the pot they make a very 
pretty border, the pattern of which is 
marked out with a piece of stick. The 
inside usually has a good black glaze. 

On our way we saw a good many 
baobab trees. One of them was enormous. 
As it was on the line of the telegraph, 
the branches had all been cut off", but the 
trunk, on account of its size, was left 
standing. There was a quantity of the 
fruit lying about, which my boys were 
glad to pick up, and when we got down 

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to the lake again, we had nice refreshing 
drinks of water flavoured with the cream- 
of-tartar acid of the fruit. 

The road we traversed on the day 
before reaching Kondowe was very hilly, 
and finally became tremendously steep. I 
felt as if they were taking me up the 
side of a house — not a pleasant feeling 
when you are lying in a hammock with 
your head down hill. The first chance I 
had I got out and walked the rest of the 
way. In the heat the climb was some- 
what trying, and I was glad to hold one 
end of a stick and let a native do a bit 
of pulling at the other end. It was a 
good help up the steepest places. Of 
course, I stopped frequently to admire the 
view over the lake, which really was very 
beautiful. The plateau at the top of this 
ascent was very varied, and on it were 
hills, some of which might be called 
mountains. 

It is only four years since Dr Laws 
received permission to settle on this 

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station, yet it is wonderful to observe 
what he has accomplished in the time. 
But of course there is much still to be 
done before it is all that he has planned, and 
wishes it to be. He and his wife have 
been in B. C. A. for twenty-five years. 
He understands the natives, and they 
thoroughly respect and trust him — which 
is what the natives should always be 
able to do to the white man. But there 
are obstacles in the way, and besides 
other evils there is often too much 'diplo- 
macy' in our dealings with them. They 
are led to believe one thing when another 
is meant, a thing which, when found out, 
destroys their faith in us. 

Dr Laws is a doctor of medicine as 
well as a missionary — a combination 
which always seems to have good re- 
sults. At Kondowe there were two ex- 
cellent trained nurses, and when I arrived 
they were greatly excited, as they had 
just had a most delightful adventure 
with a lion* They had been nursing 

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a case some distance off, and, on their 
return journey, started one morning very 
early from their camp. When they had 
gone some distance, one of the nurses, 
who was in front, was stopped by the 
natives who were with her, saying, *Lion! 
lion!' And sure enough the growl of a 
lion was heard not very far away. 

One of the missionaries, who had gone 
out to meet them and bring them home, 
quickly got his gun ready,, and together 
with the nurse and some of the natives, 
who were armed wath spears and sticks, 
went in search of the lion. They followed 
the growling sound for some time, but 
when that ceased, they could not tell 
whereabouts in the long grass the lion 
was, and they decided to give up the 
search and turn back. The lion had 
evidently been watching them, for the 
moment they turned, out he came with 
a great bound. At first they took to 
their heels, but when he was about thirty 
yards off they turned and faced him, 

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which brought him to a standstill. Quick 
as thought the man with the gun shot 
him, and over he went into the long 
grass. As they could not tell if he were 
killed or only wounded, the nurse, at the 
suggestion of the natives, climbed into a 
tree, while the men went cautiously in 
search of the wounded beast Presently 
they found his spoor. He was evidently 
badly wounded, as he was dragging him- 
self along. But on hearing the roar of 
another lion, or, more probably, the 
lioness, they thought discretion the better 
part of valour, and returned to the lady 
up the tree and the rest of their party. 
The other nurse they found standing with 
her back to a tree and surrounded by a 
score or so of natives ; she had heard the 
roars, but had missed the excitement of 
seeing the lion. They all got back safely 
to the mission station, and the nurses 
thoroughly enjoyed telling their story, con- 
sidering themselves very lucky to have 
been the heroines of such a thrilling ad- 

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venture when they had been less than a 
year in the country. 

While I stayed at Kondowe, the nurses 
took me some beautiful walks, one to a 
lovely waterfall, where the water pours 
over a projecting rock, under which you 
can walk or sit, and have your tea, as 
we did. In the same ravine there were 
a number of cave dwellings, old huts and 
kraals, hidden away down among the 
rocks and on the sides, where the natives 
were living when Dr Laws came to that 
part. They used to be afraid of the 
Angoni tribe, who came down and raided 
them ; but now that things are quiet and 
more orderly, they are living up on the 
plateau. The remains of the stockade 
across the narrow entrance to the ravine, 
and a quaint ladder of monkey ropes 
twisted about for the natives to climb up 
and keep a look-out, are still to be seen. 
The whole ravine was very wild and 
lovely ; glorious maidenhair and other ferns 
grew all about the rocks, and near the 

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waterfall, by which we had tea, was a 
second, equally beautiful, fpr each of the 
two rivers, which join in the valley below, 
takes a splendid leap over the rocks here. 
Another day, the two nurses and I had 
a delightful expedition to Mount Chiombi. 
It was about a two hours' ride in a machila 
to the foot of the mountain, and then we had 
to climb about three-quarters of an hour in 
order to reach the top, where we got a lovely 
view over the lake and the country round. 
Here there is a large plateau, and we had 
quite a long walk to the other end of it to 
see the sphinx — a rock with a perfect re- 
semblance to an African face — looking out 
east over the lake. I hoped at first it was 
looking towards the sphinx in Egypt, but, 
unfortunately, the direction is wrong. The 
grass on the plateau was very long and . 

dry, so, before coming down, we set it on ' 

fire. It burned grandly, and as it became 
dark there was a glorious blaze, lighting up 
the whole of the top of the mountain, and 
making little rivers of fire down the sides. 

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It was the right time of the year for burning 
the grass, and it caused the new grass to 
come up beautifully fresh and green after- 
wards. 

One day, much sooner than I could 
have wished, a messenger came up from 
the lake to say that the 'Domira' had 
arrived. There was so much at Kondowe 
that was interesting to see and hear, and 
so many delightful walks and expeditions 
to make, that I was loath to leave; but 
the steamer was there, and I had to go 
on board next morning. 

On my way to the lake I set off in a 
machila to the top of the descent, and 
then had to walk the rest of the way 
down. It was very rough and steep, and 
there was so much loose rock and stone, 
that it was hard to get a foothold, and I 
soon had an unpleasant tumble. After this 
I held on to a native. With their bare 
feet, the natives walk firmly and well. 
We got down to the lake safely about 
mid-day, almost melted by the great heat, 
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The sun had been shining directly on me 
the whole way down, and there was not 
the least bit of shade. 

The captain of the ' Domira ' had been 
watching our descent, and had very kindly 
provided a good supply of tea for us — a 
service which I highly appreciated. It 
was pleasant to be back on the old 
* Domira ' again, and there was a homelike 
feeling about it too, though, alas ! the 
cockroaches, as well as my * state room,' 
were ready for me. 

We had rough weather going down the 
lake. While we were anchored at Kota- 
Kota, the wind got up so strongly, that all 
the awnings had to be taken down, and 
the steamer dragged her anchors three 
times, the last time landing so firmly on 
the sand, that it was a difficult business to 
get her off. On our way we met the 
A. L. C. steamer, the ' Queen Victoria,' on 
her first trip. She looked a fine boat, 
with good passenger accommodation, and 
was going along at a good pace on her 

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way to Karonga. It will make a wonder- 
ful difference to have another and a larger 
steamer on the lake. There is now so 
much large and heavy cargo to be taken 
up for the telegraph, besides, of course, an 
increase in goods and personal belongings 
for the residents, that a second steamer 
was much needed. 

I was glad to reach Fort Johnston 
again, and I was much struck by the 
wonderful additions and improvements that 
had been made during the few months I 
had been away. The new house and 
store for the A. L. C. were finished, and 
appeared quite fine from the river. Their 
roofs were painted red — a, colour which 
looks well — and is said to resist the heat 
very well. Several other houses had just 
been finished, and the whole place looked 
neat and well laid out. Excellent roads 
were being made and trees planted. At 
first there was an idea of having 
verandahs only in the front of the houses, 
JDut, happily, that idea was abandoned, and 
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all have good verandahs which run com 
pletely round. The houses are like most 
European houses, not at all picturesque ; 
but they would have been positively ugly 
with a verandah only In front, and the 
poor inhabitants would have had hot, un- 
comfortable homes. 

The ' Guendolen ' was making splendid 
progress, and I much regretted not being 
able to stay for the launching ; but the 
rainy season was coming on, and I had 
only about eighteen days left in which to 
catch the steamer at Chinde, if I would 
reach home in time for Christmas. The 
water, too, was getting very low ; we 
just grazed on the two bars as we came 
out of the lake into the river, and I had 
to allow time for a chance * stick ' in going 
down the river to Matope. 

It was very hot at Fort Johnston, io6^ 
in the shade, and the mosquitoes were very 
tiresome, too ; but, in spite of all, I was 
sorry to leave and to say good-bye to the 
kind and hospitable friends there. I was 

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the only passenger on the ' Monteith ' going 
down the river. It is a comfortable boat, 
with good cabins, and I much enjoyed my 
journey down, and had a peaceful view of 
all the birds, duck and wildfowl, and a last 
look at the hippos and crocodiles. We tied 
up for the night at Liwonde, starting next 
morning at three a.m., and as that part of 
the river was new to me, I dressed and went 
on deck. The moonlight was brilliant, and 
I could see everything clearly. The river 
winds a great deal, and some of the turns are 
so sharp, we had to run into the bank and 
swing round so as to keep in the channel. 
The banks are high in some places, and 
full of the holes of a reed martin, a lovely 
bird, red and bluish grey in colour. The 
trees, too, were full of baboons, springing 
from branch to branch and making their 
queer noises. 

We reached Matope before ten a.m., 
and, with the kind help of the captain and 
the A. L. C. atgent, I got a machila team 
and boys to carry my luggage, which had 

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of late much increased in weight, and by 
eleven o'clock I was off again on my 
way to Blantyre, But the heat! It was 
almost unbearable. It was something to 
have made a start, but, at the first water 
and shade we came to, we stopped and 
had a good rest. Matope lies very low 
and flat, and all the heat in the country 
seems to concentrate there. When I was 
in the machila, I seemed to be between 
two fires, the sun shining down, and the 
heat striking up from the ground. I found 
it cooler to get out and walk. My shoes 
protected my feet, but, to the bare feet 
of the men, the heat was terrible. I tried 
it with my hand. 

We passed on the way numbers of 
baobab and German sausage trees, and 
some very tall trees with trunks of a 
yellowish green, almost sulphur colour. 
None of the trees had many leaves on, 
so we got very little shade, except near 
to water. 

We were crawling along very quietly, 
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without any singing or shouting, when 
the same thing happened that I had 
experienced once before. My boys were 
Angoni, and not very good carriers, and 
when we came on eight Yao boys going 
along without loads, the latter began to 
laugh at them and tease them. At last, 
with derisive yells of * Angoni, Angoni,' 
the Yaos seized the machila and tore 
off with me at a furious pace, laughing 
and shouting all the time, till they came 
to another stream, and there they popped 
me down in the shade, and went off for 
a good wash and a smoke. It had been 
a splendid help, and the Yao boys seemed 
perfectly happy, and apparently considered 
it a great joke. When my boys came up 
%I was able to give them some salt as a 
present, and this pleased them greatly. 

By this time it was getting cooler, but 
had begun to thunder heavily. The light- 
ning was very brilliant, and fear of a 
storm made my boys trot on as fast as 
they could. I quite thought that at last 

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A White Woman 

I should be caught in a bad storm, but 
though there was plenty of noise and 
lightning, very little rain fell. After the 
sun set, it was very dark till the moon 
came out of the clouds; I had been 
wondering how we should get on, as 
the men stumbled so much over stumps 
and rocks in the path. However, they 
pluckily kept going forward, and, just 
before ten p.m., we reached the mission 
station at Blantyre. Lights were still in 
the windows, and I was received with 
the kindest and heartiest welcome. It 
had been a long day, as I had been up 
since three a.m. I was fairly tired, and 
glad to get a good night's rest. 

At Blantyre I had again the delightful 
feeling of being among old friends, and 
had much to hear and relate. While 
staying there we had some heavy storms. 
One was very curious, it thundered heavily, 
then down came a furious hail-storm. The 
stones were enormous, not rounded, but 
simply rough pieces of ice, and while 
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they were falling the thermometer was 
98*" in the shade. 

I had plenty to do and see during a 
three days* stay which I made at Blantyre, 
and had to settle up for my journey and 
pack all my luggage, which I sent to Chinde 
by river, while I went round by Mlanje 
and the Ruo Falls to join the river at 
Chiromo. This turned out a very beauti- 
ful expedition, but a terrible experience. 
Everything hitherto had gone so well, 
that I suppose I was careless, and did not 
make sufficient enquiries and proper ar- 
rangements. Altogether, I had trusted too 
much to luck. It was a long day's journey 
from Blantyre to Mlanje, and I understood 
it had been arranged for me to stay at 
the latter mission station for the night. 
I started with one team of machila men, 
and another had been sent on to wait for 
me half way, and carry me to Mlanje. 

I set off very early, and got on all right 
until I met my new lot of men. As I 
could not see any signs of men carrying 

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bedding or cooking utensils, I concluded 
that they had gone on, as I should not 
be likely to want them until the next day. 
It seemed an interminable journey, and it 
was not till six-thirty that we arrived at a 
house, I asked if it were the mission 
station, but the gentleman who came 
out looked greatly amused, and said we 
had come nine miles beyond the mission, 
and that I had arrived at the house of 
Mr Moir. He added, also, that he was 
the manager of the estate, and that Mr 
and Mrs Moir were away staying up in 
the mountain. I was in despair. Where 
my luggage had gone I could not imagine, 
most probably to the mission station, and 
it was too far to go back there that 
night. There was nothing for it but to 
wait for the things to turn up, and I 
gladly accepted the managers hospitable 
invitation to stay there for the night. 
The boy, with my own personal belongings, 
arrived about nine o'clock ; but all declared 
there was no more luggage on the road. 
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Rather puzzled as to how I should manage 
the rest of the journey to Chiromo, I went 
to my room and was soon asleep. 

The journey all day had been across 
the plain, through pretty country, with lots 
of bracken and wild asparagus, and we 
had a grand view of the Mlanje Mountains, 
which looked lovely in the evening light 
as we got nearer to them. Mr Moir*s 
house is in a charming situation, just at 
the foot of the fountain, which is an 
extinct volcano. The crater is very fine; 
two peaks, rather like the Matterhorn, 
form a sort of gateway through which the 
lava formerly poured, and down which a 
strong stream of water now rushes. 

Mr and Mrs Moir kindly sent to ask 
me to come and stay with them, in order 
to enjoy the lovely scenery up the mountain, 
but as it took a whole day to get to their 
place, and as I did not want to risk missing 
my steamer, I had reluctantly to decline 
their invitation. The Mlanje Mountains 
are about ten thousand feet high, and on 
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the plateau are again other mountains two 
or three thousand feet high. It is a most 
splendid health resort, and will in time 
become much more valued and used. 

The coffee plantations on Mr Moir's 
estate were beautiful. The plants were 
in full bloom, the flowers at a distance 
looked like snow against the dark leaves. 
The scent, too, was delicious. 

I saw a horse there that had had an 
interesting adventure. The manager had 
brought it up from Durban, being the 
first person who had successfully brought 
a horse to that part in spite of the Tsetze 
fly. It was landed all right at Chiromo, 
then one evening, after they had camped, 
something frightened the animal and it 
broke away with the saddle on its back. 
The boys followed it for some time, but 
at last lost it, and had to return to the 
camp and then on to Mlanje. From there 
natives were sent out to search for the 
horse; but it was quite a fortnight before 
a message reached the manager asking 

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him to go and fetch it. When the natives 
had at last found the animal, it seemed 
tired out, very hungry and very much 
frightened. Its saddle was still on, but 
was turned underneath it. They dared not 
touch it, for it was the first animal of the 
kind they had seen ; but as it seemed 
hungry, they gave it a great heap of native 
corn, and while it was eating that, they 
put a fence round it, then made a sort of 
roof to shade it from the sun, and sent 
off for the owner to come quickly. The 
horse was a long time before it got 
over the fright and fatigue, and the sore 
places caused by the saddle ; but when 
I saw it, it was looking very well and 
fit. 

I arranged to start early the next morn- 
ing, the manager kindly offering to lend 
me a camp bed if I would send the boys 
back with it the next day, which I gladly 
promised to do. He said I should find a 
sort of rest-house half-way to Chiromo, 
where I could stay ; so, with a fowl and 

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some tea, by way of provisions, I set off, 
trusting I should manage all right 

The journey was rather pretty, especially 
where we stopped for the mid-day rest, at 
the junction of the Ruo and the Luchirio 
Rivers. The * rest-house ' was reached soon 
after five o'clock, and turned out to be a 
corrugated iron shanty, the floor inches 
thick with dust and wood ashes, and full 
of natives with their loads. Of course, when 
I arrived, they all turned out, and while 
they swept the place and the dust was 
settling down, I went off to the river and 
ate sparingly of my chicken, I was very 
hungry, but the chicken was all I had to 
eat during the next day. I saved some 
also, but was so thirsty that, before I could 
go to sleep, I was tempted to finish it. 
Having dined, my thoughts turned towards 
a wash, and then I realised the horrible 
fact that I had nothing to wash in. I 
could therefore only paddle about in a 
rather muddy place in the stream, and 
wash my face and hands after a fashion, 

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On the whole, I succeeded in making myself 
more wet than clean. The mosquitoes 
were more pleased to have me there than 
I was to stay; so I wandered back to my 
uncomfortable home. 

I woke up pretty early next morning, 
had the bedding packed, and sent it back 
with a grateful message. I should indeed 
have been miserable without it. Then 
having had another apology for a wash, 
I thought about having my breakfast. I 
unwrapped the chicken carefully, and * be- 
hold,' as my boy used to say, it was black 
with ants. I tossed it to the boys, who 
thought that I only wanted the ants re- 
moved. Accordingly, after much blowing 
and shaking they brought it back to me. 
But I generously presented it to them! 
Hungry as I was, I could not bring myself 
to eat that piece of chicken, and I was 
left to regret the economy I had practised 
in saving it from my meal the night before. 
I was now without anything to eat, nor 
could I get anything to drink, as I was 

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afraid to drink the water in the stream 
without having first boiled it. 

The whole of our journey that day was 
through very pretty country ; up and 
down hill, through bush, and often near 
the river. But, of course, there was not 
much shade, the leaves not being fully 
out yet. By half-past ten the ground was 
so hot that the boys could not go on any 
longer, and we had to stop. Where we 
stopped there was an old grass hut, and 
I lay outside in what shade there was, the 
boys bringing me calabashes of water from 
the river to cool my head and wrists. 
They, lucky mortals! went and sat in the 
river, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. 
We stayed there until about four o'clock, 
and then set off again. The Ruo Falls 
were not far from the grass hut, and were 
very fine and well worth a visit. A jour- 
ney from Chiromo to see them makes a very 
pleasant excursion. 

We reached Chiromo about six o'clock, 
and when I got to the A. L. C. house, I felt 

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exceedingly tired, and could hardly speak. 
The heat had been intense all day, and I 
had not had anything to drink ; however, a 
bath and innumerable cups of tea soon put 
me right again. The A. L, C. house at 
Chiromo was intensely hot even at night, the 
beds and pillows felt as if they had been run 
over with an old-fashioned warming-pan. 
The place was full, no less than fifteen 
passengers were waiting for the steamers, 
some of them having been there for a week 
or longer. 

At last two steamers arrived. The first 
to leave was, of course, packed, and was 
so uncomfortable, that I thought I would 
risk my chance of catching the ocean 
steamer at Chinde, and go down a day 
later on the second boat. At last, after 
three days' boiling and baking, the other 
steamer started, and a very comfortable trip 
I had down the river. On the way I 
amused myself by counting up the number 
of miles I had been in a machila, and found 
it was well over a thousand miles. During 
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the whole journey I had only one fall, and 
certainly the natives took the greatest 
possible care of me. 

I was fortunate enough to catch the 
'Peters' at Chinde; I had only just time 
to get my luggage and myself on board, 
as the vessel started off as soon as possible 
after the river steamer had arrived. At 
Mozambique I changed on to a larger 
German steamer and came home by 
Zanzibar, Mombasa, and the Suez Canal. 
The voyage is an extremely interesting 
one; but the German line is certainly not 
to be recommended, if the vessel I came 
home on is typical. I was glad to leave 
the boat at Marseilles, from which place, 
travelling overland. I reached home a few 
days before Christmas, feeling that I had 
had a glorious time, and had gone through 
most interesting experiences. 

THE END 

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