UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
THE CONGO ARABS
THE CONGO ARABS
SIDNEY LANGFORD HINDE
CHEVALIER DE l'oRDRE ROVAL DU LION
MEMBRE HONORAIRE DE LA SOCi6t6 BELGE DE GEOGRAPHIE
MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE INTERIOR, BRITISH EAST AFRICA
LATE CAPTAIN, CONGO FREE STATE FORCES
METHUEN & CO.
36 ESSEX STREET, W.C.
Introduction ....... 1
Introductory ....... 21
Arrival at Banana — Description of a Caravan — Journey from
tlie Coast Inland — Skirmish with Natives of Interior , 26
Bangala Cannibals — Voyage up the Kasai and Sankuru
Rivers — Arrival at Lusambo — Defeat by Commandant
Dhanis of Tippu Tib's Slave-raiding Agent, Gongo
Lutete — Basongo Cannibals . . " . .51
Proposals of Peace and Alliance with the State Forces from
Gongo Lutete — Visit to Gongo Lutete at his capital,
N'Gandu— The Little People of the Forest . . 70
Gongo Lutete finally leaves the Arabs and allies himself
with the State Forces— Arrival at Kabinda, capital of
Lupungu, Great Chief of the Baluba — Movements of
the Enemy headed by Tippu Tib's son, Sefu — Prepara-
tions for an Encounter . . . . .92
First Encounter with the Arabs — Capture of two of their
Forts ....... 112
Skirmishes with the Enemy — Return of Sefu to the Attack . 126
More Arab Defeats — The Commandant decides to take the
initiative and to lead an Attack upon Sefu's Forces . 141
The State Forces camp opposite the town of Nyangwe, on
the other side of the River Lualaba — Description of the
Water-people — Surprise Encounter with two columns of
advancing Arabs . . . . . .153
Account of the Fall of Nyangwe . . . .169
Arrival of Ambassadors from Sefu with offers of Peace— The
Commandant postpones his March on Kasongo — Rein-
forcement of the State Forces— March on Kasongo : its
Fall — Description of tlie Luxuries found in the Town —
Kelics of Emin Pasha — Insubordination in the conquered
town of Nyangwe . . . . . .178
The State Forces settle down at Kasongo — Superstitions of
the Natives : their Habits and Mode of Living . .194
Our ally, Gongo Lutete, accused of Treachery and executed
at N'Gandu — Arrival at Kasongo of five Officers from
Europe — Continued Encounters with the Enemy — The
Arabs decamp from the town of Stanley Falls, leaving
it at the mercy of the State Troops — The State Forces
are joined by Captain Lothaire from Bangala, and follow
the Arabs up the River — After severe Fighting, the River
cleared of Arabs and their Hordes as far as Nyangwe —
Reverses of the State Forces — Attack by Commandant
Dhanis on Rumaliza's Fort, eight hours' march from
Kasongo ....... 206
Transference of the State Forces from Kasongo to Bena
Musua — The Commandant divides his Forces in order
to cut off the Arab Communication — Extra Forces
stationed at Bena Quia, on the main road to Kabam-
bari, at Bena Kalunga, and at Bena Musua — Reinforce-
ment of the Enemy — The State Troops form a semicircle
round the Arab Forts and cut off their Food Supply —
Arrival of Captain Lothaire with contingent of Soldiers
from Bangala — Explosion in the Arab Camp — Capitula-
tion of the Enemy — The Taking of Kabambari — Arab
Chiefs made Prisoners by Lothaire . . . 233
viii ' CONTENTS
Description of Expedition to explore the Upper Waters of
the Lualaba River ...... 248
The Return Journey to the Coast .... 272
Note on Cannibalism ...... 282
Note on Congo Lutete's Bodyguard .... 285
Note on Exploration of section of Lualaba River by Captain
Hinde ....... 287
Vincent BrooUs^Da/ 1 Son (iLh
The year 1892 marks tlie crisis of a struggle in
Central Africa between the conflicting forces of the
East and the West. Between these forces, repre-
sented on the one hand by the Arabs from Zan-
zibar, and on the other by the Europeans from
the mouth of the Congo, a collision had long been
pending ; and since each was bent upon supre-
macy within the same area, it was evident that
the extinction of one power or the other could
alone solve the problem.
A body of Arab traders, hunters of slaves and
ivory, had long striven to gather to Zanzibar the
entire trade of Central Africa ; while the Belgians
of the Congo Free State, later in the field, sought
to divert the commerce of the Interior to the
Congo mouth, and thence, ultimately, to Europe.
2 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
During the present century, many circumstances
have combined to make the Zanzibar Arabs the
most noted slave-hunters and slave-dealers in the
world. Of their earlier history little is definitely
known, beyond the fact that already in the tenth
century there were Arab settlements along the
East Coast of Africa.
After the discovery of the Cape Road to the
Indies, most of these settlements were conquered
by the Portuguese, and were then gradually re-
conquered in the eighteenth and beginning of the
nineteenth centuries by the Imams of Muscat.
Of this second Arab dominion the most im-
portant centres were the islands of Zanzibar and
Pemba ; and from these islands, as the result of the
mingling of Arab and negro blood, a race of black
Arabs has sprung. Yet, despite their long occupa-
tion of the Zanzibar coast and neighbouring dis-
tricts, it is only within recent times that the Arabs
have advanced into the Interior.
Some two generations ago the island of Pemba
developed into a great clove-plantation, worked by
slaves in the manner of the cotton and sugar
plantations of America. A little later, certain
merchants of Zanzibar, becoming involved with
their creditors, migrated to Central Africa to
prospect for ivory. Owing to the destruction of
their beasts of burden by the tsetse fly, they found
it necessary to employ the natives as porters ; and
thus it arose that blacks were shipped to the
Zanzibar slave-market, as a by-product of the
ivory-trade, at the very time when there was a
strong demand for their laliour in the clove-planta-
tions of Pemba. The supply of slaves ultimately
became such as to permit of a large export across
the seas to the Mohammedan countries of Asia.
Many of the ivory and slave hunters, failing to
make their fortunes, or drawn by the spell of a
nomadic life, remained in the Interior ; and hence
there grew up a system of Arab trade-routes and
trade-centres, controlled by certain well-known
Arab chiefs. It was along these routes, and with
the aid, or at times the obstruction, of the Arabs,
that the European explorers of the Lake country,
and of the sources of the Congo and the Nile,
travelled. Thus the great trunk-route from Baga-
4 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
moyo (opposite to Zanzibar), by Tabora in Unyan-
yembe, to Ujiji on Tanganyika, was followed
successively by Burton and Speke, Livingstone
and Stanley, Cameron, and, in part, by Speke
and Grant. An extension of this route from Ujiji,
across Tanganyika, led through the Manyema
country, by Kabambari and Kasongo, to Nyangwe
on the Lualaba River.
So far, European discovery had followed in the
track of the Arabs from Zanzibar as a basis. But
the serious occupation of Central Africa by the
Europeans began with Stanley's expedition under
the International Association, from the mouth of
the Congo up the river ; and from that moment
a conflict, however postponed, was certain. Nor
was it less certain in what region, and along w^hat
strategical lines, the struggle would take place.
The Europeans had access for their ocean steamers
to Matadi, just below the Yellala Falls, and thence
by portages, far removed from Arab interference,
up to Stanley Pool. From the Pool, their river
steamers could navigate without interruption, on
the one hand, eastwards, along the main river to
Stanley Falls, and, on the other, from the Kwa
mouth, southwards, along the Kasai and Sankuru
systems. Since the Falls are to the north, and the
Sankuru is to the west, of the Manyema country,
the Belgians had two separate lines of advance,
converging from two distinct bases upon Nyangwe,
the head of the road from Zanzibar. The Man-
yema country was therefore the natural centre,
both offensive and defensive, of the Arabs.
When the Belgian expedition of which Captain
Hinde was a member, passed from the Kasai,
southwards, to the copper country of Katanga, it
exposed itself to a flank attack from the east, at a
time when the Arabs wxre secure on the side of
the Falls ; for they had destroyed the State station
there in 1886. Reinforced by Commandant
Dhanis, the expedition turned eastwards to face
the Arabs, and advanced upon Nyangwe, crossing
tributaries of the Congo and driving the Arabs
from river-line to river-line. Successive encounters
took place at the Lubefu and the Lualaba, ending,
in each case, in the successful passage of the
6 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
On the Lualaba the Arabs made a long stand
at Nyangwe, the two forces occupying the two
banks of the river, firing across it, and occa-
sionally attempting the passage by a flank
At a later stage of the campaign, when the
fighting had been carried still farther eastward, to
Kasongo, the Belgians, having recovered their
position in the Falls country, brought reinforce-
ments from the north — thus illustrating the second
line of advance that was open to the forces
of the Free State.
In summing up the results of the Belgian cam-
paign, Captain Hinde says ^ : —
"The political geography of the Upper Congo Basin has been
completely changed, as a result of the Belgian canipaign among
the Arabs. It used to be a common saying, in this j^art of Africa,
that all roads led to Nyangwe. This town, visited by Living-
stone, Stanley, and Cameron, until lately one of the greatest
markets in Africa, has ceased to exist ; and its site, when I last saw
it, was occupied by a single house. Kasongo, a more recent though
still larger centre, with perhaps 60,000 inhabitants, has also been
swept away, and is now represented by a station of the Free State
nine miles away, on the river bank.
1 Paper entitled " Three Years' Travel in the Congo Free State,"
read before the Koyal Geographical Society, 11th March 1895.
"In harmony with this political change the trade-routes have
been completely altered, and the traffic which used to follow the
well-beaten track from Nyangwe and the Lualaba, across Tan-
ganyika to Ujiji, or round the lake to Zanzibar, now goes down the
Congo to Stanley Pool and the Atlantic.
" Despite their slave-raiding propensities during the forty years
of their domination, the Arabs have converted the Manyema and
Malela country into one of the most prosperous in Central Africa.
The landscape, as seen from high hills in the neighbourhood of
Nyangwe and Kasongo, reminds one strongly of an ordinary English
arable country. There is nothing similar, that I am aware of, in
any other part of the Congo Basin ; and yet the Arabs have left the
Malela perhaps the most inveterate cannibals on the face of the
Chief of the Arabs who organised this imperium
in imperio — for the Manyema country was wholly
within the treaty frontiers of the Congo Free State
— was the great slave-raider Tippu Tib. So closely
are the events of the last thirty-five years inter-
woven with this man's personality that it is im-
possible to realise their full significance without
some conception of the moving force from which
they resulted. Tippu Tib's career supplies the key
to the Arab position before the collision of forces
which led to the transfer of power in Central
Hamed ben Mohammed ben Juna, known to
8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the world by his nick-name of Tippu Tib/ is
descended from a line of wealthy and influential
merchants settled at Zanzibar. ^ His father was a
half-caste Arab, and his mother a full-blooded
negro slave - woman. Yet, despite the strong
element of negro blood in his veins, Tippu Tib is,
in most of his mental characteristics, essentially
Arab ; and it is from this side of his descent that
the indomitable will, which raised him from a
Zanzibar merchant to the position of potentate
over a vast tract of country, has doubtless its
At an early age Tippu Tib struck out an
independent line for himself, and, having gathered
round him a band of a hundred fighting men,
entered the African mainland in quest of ivory and
slaves. After plundering several large districts,
and forcing the inhabitants into bondage, he re-
^ Tippu Tib, or " the gatherer together of wealth.'"' According
to some theories the name originated in the frequent use he made
of his guns, which the natives described as sounding like
2 Since Mr. Stanley in 1876 describes Tippu Tib as "about forty-
four years of age," he was presumably born somewhere about the
turned to Zanzibar to realise on his captured ivory
and to recruit his forces. This he successfully
accomplished, and his second entry into Africa was
at the head of a large armed following.
With this increase of strength Tippu Tib was
able to extend his raids, and to penetrate into
regions hitherto unexplored and presenting rich
possibilities of ivory. His tactics, based upon and
shaped by the ruling motive of his life — an in-
satiable greed for riches — were of wider scope than
those of his fellow slave-traders ; and although the
policy most generally adopted by him was the
ordinary system of attack and plunder, he was
sufficiently statesmanlike to be guided by the
special circumstances he had to deal with. Thus,
on more than one occasion, he employed the
method of stirring up discontent and jealousy
among rival native chiefs, and, through bringing
about a condition of strife which resulted in war,
gained his ends by identifying himself with the
victorious side and claiming a large share of the
booty. Of his resourcefulness in furthering his
own interests many instances testify. It is told
10 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
of him that, at a time when his ammunition
was at too low an ebb for summary measures to
be advisable, he pacifically gained entrance, for
himself and his following, to a strongly-fortified
town by impersonating the king's nephew, who
had been carried into slavery years before in a time
of war. So successful was this strategy that the
king abdicated in his favour, and Tippu Tib
suddenly found himself reigning sovereign over
some thirty or forty thousand people. From this
position of vantage he conquered the neighbouring
chiefs, and annexed their spoils and ivory ; and
by these means, together with the establishment
of his allies in strongholds in the surrounding
districts, his influence extended so widely that
he became practically unassailable. On various
occasions the native chiefs of adjacent tribes,
goaded by his brutality, united in making an
attack upon him ; but each time Tippu Tib
routed his enemies, to the complete destruction
both of their forces and of their villages. Such
was the terror inspired by his name that many
of the chiefs voluntarily tendered their stores of
ivory to him, seeking by means of these bribes to
ensure safety against his raids. But though Tippu
Tib appropriated the gifts, he remained unin-
fluenced by them, and continued to drain the
district of its most valuable product.
At the end of some years, during which time he
had amassed great wealth and almost unbounded
influence, this life of raiding began to pall upon
Tippu, and he resolved to make a journey to the
Arab settlements of Kasongo and Nyangwe. At
Nyangwe, which he reached in the year 1874, he
fell in with Cameron, who already had knowledge
of the great slave-raider through Livingstone.
Tippu Tib had crossed Livingstone's path as early
as 1867, in the interval between which date and
his meeting with Cameron he had trebled his
influence and importance. After escorting Cam-
eron across the Lualaba as far as Utotera, and
providing him with escort sufficient to enable
him to continue his journey, Tippu Tib proceeded
to Kasongo. Here, in recognition of his position
as the most powerful Arab of the Interior, he
was elected governor. But a stationary life held
12 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
few attractions for the restless slaver, and, placing
his son Sefu in command of the settlement, he
diverted his energies to raiding the surrounding
districts, and to the further increasing of his
wealth and strength.
In the year 1876 Stanley arrived at Nyangwe,
on his great expedition down the Congo Kiver,
and there met Tippu Tib. It is from this meet-
ing at Nyangwe that dates the connection between
the organisers of the rival powers — the Congo
Free State and the Arab dominion at Kasongo.
Tippu Tib was at this time, as described by
Stanley, " about forty-four years of age, of middle
stature and swarthy complexion, with a broad face,
black beard just greying, and thin-lipped." His
manners were those of a well-bred Arab, and
his presence conveyed a sense of great power and
energy. With considerable difliculty Stanley
succeeded in persuading Tippu Tib and a large
following of his people to accompany him part-
way on his expedition. The agreement between
them stipulated that Tippu Tib and his people
should, on certain specified conditions of Tippu's
own making, act as escort for a distance of sixty
camps, for which service he was to receive the
sum of 5000 dollars.
The expedition started from Nyangwe on the
5th November 1876, but, from the first, so
great were the difficulties encountered that before
many days were over Tippu Tib lost heart, and,
after some weeks of vacillating between his desire
for the 5000 dollars and his conviction that the
undertaking was an impossible one, he finally
deserted Stanley at Vinga Njara on the 28th
From this point Tippu Tib made his way across
the country — raiding and plundering as he went —
to Ujiji, where he made a halt of some length
before continuing his journey to Zanzibar. There,
and at Tabora (at which place he extended his
acquaintance with European travellers by meet-
ing the explorer Wissmann), he established trusted
vassals, whose business it was to receive and
forward his goods, and to keep the road open.
By a great stroke of diplomacy, he succeeded in
making peace between the Arab settlers at Ujiji
14 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and a hostile native chief who had for years
blocked the trade-road. This achievement secured
to Tippu Tib the favour both of the Sultan and
of the British Consul at Zanzibar ; and in the
light of their approval he made a protracted stay in
the island, utilising the opportunity by investing a
considerable portion of his fortune in firearms
When Tippu Tib again returned to the Interior
it was as uncrowned king over a vast territory,
and at the head of a following of many
thousands. He struck out in the direction of
Stanley Falls, where he had decided to make
his headquarters ; and there he arrived soon after
the founding of the Free State, and the establish-
ment of the Falls station, by Stanley.
From the Falls as a basis, Tippu began a fresh
system of operations. He erected small fortified
camps in the surrounding districts ; wdiile bands
of his Arabs made organised incursions into wide
regions beyond, capturing slaves which they
bartered back to their tribes in return for ivory.
This state of affairs continued until 1886, when,
for reasons of his own, Tippu Tib resolved upon
another expedition to Zanzibar. On the way he
inspected his settlements along the trade-route,
and chanced to fall in with Dr. Lenz and Dr.
Junker, whom he accompanied back to Zanzibar.
It was during this absence of Tippu Tib that
the Arabs attacked and destroyed the Falls station
of the Free State. Though Tippu was himself
absent from the scene, it is inconceivable that
the attack should have been planned without his
knowledge, and it is probable that he was the
instigator of this fresh development of Arab
Hostile relations had from the first existed
between the officer in command of the station
and the Arab chiefs in the neighbourhood, who
strongly resented the white man's authority. On
his departure for the coast, Tippu Tib had left as
deputy in control of his people, his partner, Bwana
N'Zigi ; and N'Zigi, with his son Raschid, exercised
unlimited sway over the natives, and interfered
largely in matters connected with the manage-
ment of the station. Perpetual friction between
i6 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the European officer and N'Zigi culminated in an
open contest of authority, which presented to the
Arabs the excuse, long sought by them, for an
attack upon the station. As they fully realised,
the opportunity was one not likely to recur ;
the station was cut off from all possibility of
reinforcement, and was at the mercy of an
attacking force overwhelmingly greater than its
power of resistance. From the outset, notwith-
standing the desperate defence made by the com-
manding officer, Deane — who with a handful of
men kept his opponents at bay for four days —
the fall of the station was inevitable.
No immediate attempt was made by the State
to retake the position, and the Arabs were for
some time left in undisputed mastery of it.
After the overthrow of the Falls station
Tippu Tib and Stanley again met — this time at
Zanzibar, where Stanley was organising the Emin
Pasha Belief Expedition. The position to be
faced was one of extreme difficulty'; and it is
unnecessary here to enter into the motives which
induced Stanley to adopt the policy of installing
the chief instigator of the attack, and the most
renowned slave-raider of the Interior, as State
Governor of the Falls. As was to be expected,
Tippu Tib gave a ready assent to his proposal,
and thus, in the year 1887, the notorious slave-
trader climaxed a life of adventure as the repre-
sentative of law and order on behalf of a recognised
The anomaly of the situation was, from the
first, distasteful to the State officials, who found
it hard to reconcile Tippu Tib's professions of
good faith with his known characteristics.
In order, therefore, to strengthen their de-
fences in the event of Arab treachery, the Free
State Government despatched a Belgian officer,
with a small force, to occupy the abandoned
island' of Stanley Falls. This slight Tippu Tib
had the wisdom outwardly to ignore, though at
the same time he quietly set about increasing his
strongholds, which were beginning to assume for-
^ The State station was built upon an island in the river,
just below the cataracts. Most of the Arabs were established
upon the mainland, but some occupied a village on the island
i8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
midable dimensions. Both within and without
the limits assigned to him by the State his
Arab allies had established themselves, and from
all sides, in districts hitherto uninvaded, their
usurpation was reported.
Parallel with this Arab advance was the gradual
extension of European influence ; and as each force
realised that the contest was drawing to greater
significance, hostilities assumed a more definite
character. The Belgians, who had erected fortified
camps on the Aruimi, the Lomami, and the San-
kuru Rivers, began to push back the Arab out-
posts, and sought by occupation of the country to
prevent further encroachment. Meanwhile the
Arabs, recognising to the full the largeness of the
stakes at issue, and foreseeing that the impending
struggle would be the final one, resolved to take
the initiative. To this end they allied to them-
selves, as vassals of Tippu Tib, many powerful
chiefs in the surrounding districts, among whom
Lupungu and Gongo Lutete were of widest influence.
These two chiefs, and Gongo Lutete in especial,
were largely instrumental in shaping the subse-
quent course of events. The defeat of Gongo in
an attack led by him against the State, and his
subsequent desertion to the Free State, brought
on the Arab invasion in force, headed by Tippu
Tib's son, Sefu ; and this opened the campaign
narrated in the following pages by Captain Hinde.
Had the attempt of the Arabs succeeded, it is
probable that the Free State would have been
replaced by a Mohammedan Empire analogous
to that of the Khalifa in the Soudan. But cir-
cumstances combined against the Arabs ; and in
their attempt to obliterate the white man's influ-
ence in Central Africa they precipitated their
own downfall, and brought about the destruction
of a power which, though not so indicated in
our maps, was virtually an independent rival of
the Congo Free State.
E. C. M.
THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Within the limits of the Congo Free State, as
arranged by the Berlin Congress, was a great
district often marked Kasongo or Many em a in
the map of Africa, over which the Government
of the Congo Free State had no control, except
through Tippu Tib, Raschid, and one or two other
Arabs, who were appointed officials in their own
country by the Congo Free State Government.
In this great district a powerful Arab organisation
was established, w^hich was in constant communi-
cation with Zanzibar by the direct road through
Ujiji, and by other more roundabout routes.
This Arab power recognised that as soon as the
European influence was sufficiently strong in the
22 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Congo Basin a collision between the two forces was
inevitable. The Arabs, moreover, realised that, in
the event of a European success, the greater part
of the ivory and rubber trade would be taken out of
the hands of the Mohammedans, and would, instead
of going to the east coast, go down the Congo to
the Atlantic. The great country, which was then
their hunting-ground for forays and slave-raiding,
would thus be lost to them for ever. Anticipating
this, they chose their moment well, at a time when
the Free State was utterly unprepared for war.
With the success of the Mahdi, in founding an
empire from which he had ousted Europeans, before
them, they were encouraged to hope that they
might do likewise in the Congo Basin. Their
first move was to murder Hodister's expedition,
together with the white men left in the two
trading stations he had formed within their
territory ; they then murdered Em in Pasha, who
was at the time a harmless traveller through
their country, and under the protection of a
powerful Arab chief. Lastly, they organised a
large army, and attacked the expedition to which
I was attached ; the object of which was to
establish stations in Katanga, a district not
under Arab influence. Had they succeeded in
annihilating us, it would have been easy for them
to continue by land to Stanley Pool ; at the same
time they hoped that their attack on Stanley Falls
Station would be successful, in which case they
would have descended the Congo itself with
another column, and would have found small
difiiculty in ousting the remaining Europeans,
and in subsequently establishing a Mohammedan
Empire. As will be seen from the following pages,
extraordinary luck, together with good leading,
was the cause of our first success. Realising what
was at stake, and fully recognising the gravity
of the position, the Mohammedans fought to the
bitter end, returning again and again to the
attack, even when there was no hope of success.
An almost incredibly large loss of life was the
result. To the casual reader unfamiliar with
African history, this might, on the surface, appear
to have been a curious little war, with a dozen
white officers and four hundred regular black
24 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
troops on the one side, and a couple of hundred
Arab chiefs, supported by a few hundred half-bred
Arabs and commanding large numbers of irregular
soldiery, on the other. But it must be borne in
mind that, unlike the Soudan struggle, this war
took place in a thickly-populated country, whose
whole population, used to savage warfare, took
part in the fighting, and that large bodies of men
were constantly changing sides as the prestige of
one or other party increased or diminished. As the
Arabs were driven back towards Tanganyika, they
succeeded in enrolling all the fighting men of fresh
tribes under their banners. This was the easier,
since for thirty years they had been the sole power;
Europeans were also unknown, and the credulous
natives readily believed the tales spread among
them by the Arabs of European cruelties to their
subordinates. Though large our losses and those
of our allies, the Arab loss was immensely greater ;
it is, in fact, estimated at seventy thousand men.
This great struggle is, without doubt, a turning-
point in African history. It is impossible to even
surmise what would have been the efiect on the
future of Africa had another great Mohammedan
Empire been established in the Congo Basin. As
things now are, with the Arab power in Central
Africa crushed out of existence, the result to the
country is difficult to prophesy.
In our present state of ignorance, colonisation,
as opposed to settlement, by Europeans is out of
the question. Increased knowledge of diseases,
and of the treatment of those peculiar to tropical
climates, may some day render it possible for a
healthy European colony to spring up in this
rich land, in which migratory traders with some
sort of military occupation form now the sole
ARRIVAL AT BANANA — DESCRIPTION OF A CARAVAN
— JOURNEY FROM THE COAST INLAND —
SKIRMISH WITH NATIVES OF INTERIOR
The Congo Free State, as most people now know
(though four or five years ago few knew of
more than its existence), is, roughly speaking, a
country from which the Congo and its tributaries
draw their water supply. It extends from the
Congo mouth, on the Atlantic coast, to the western
shore of Lake Tanganyika ; and from the fifth
degree north latitude to the thirteenth degree
south latitude. All the important tributaries
of the Congo, with one exception in the district
known as French Congo, are within these bound-
aries. Large tracts of this enormous space of
country in equatorial Africa are covered by the
great Congo forest. Of the world's great tropical
forests, one may say that there are three only —
ARRIVAL AT BANANA 27
the Amazon, tlie Malay Archipelago, and the
Congo. From the coast to Stanley Pool, a dis-
tance of about two hundred and eighty miles, the
Congo lies between great cliffs, and forms a series
of rapids and cataracts which render the com-
munication by water with the interior absolutely
impossible. Once arrived at Stanley Pool, com-
munication with the interior is easy. Stanley
Falls, a thousand miles up the river, can be
reached by steamer, since between it and Stanley
Pool there are no rapids. Nearly all the tribu-
taries of the Congo are navigable, and some of
them for hundreds of miles. As may be easily
imagined, the country in the immediate neigh-
bourhood of any of these tributaries is now fairly
well known, though at a very short distance
away from a river bank it is still entirely
unexplored. The fact that unknown country
and as yet unknown races are to be found in
the Congo Basin gives it a curious fascina-
tion to many people. From my boyhood,
everything connected with the mysterious con-
tinent interested me ; and I determined to see
28 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
something of it if ever circumstances gave me
The possibility of doing so arose in the follow-
ing manner : —
My friend, Dr. Park, of the Emin Pasha Relief
Expedition, had several times asked me to go out
to Africa in the service of His Majesty the King
of the Belgians ; and at last, after holding several
resident appointments in hospitals, I decided to
do so. I went down to Netley on the 26th of
October 1891, and, after an hour's conversation
with Park, left for Brussels the same night. On
the following day I accepted a commission as
medical ofhcer in the Congo Free State forces, and
duly arrived at Banana, at the mouth of the
Congo, in December 189L Taken into conside-
ration with the reputation the West Coast of
Africa has, the entrance to Banana creek is not
encouraging. The first thing noticeable is that
the head of the little strip of sand on which
the station is built is entirely occupied by a
crowded cemetery. Yet this strip of sand, not
many inches above high-water mark, with man-
ARRIVAL AT BANANA 29
grove swamps and lagoons on the landward side,
has the Atlantic rollers on the other, and is a
very good sanatorium for many of the enfeebled
Europeans who come down from the far interior.
My reception at Boma was, for the first few days,
not of the pleasantest. The hotel was crowded ;
and as it seemed nobody's business to find me
a lodging, I slept on board the steamer at the
quay. The Custom House arrangements, also,
strike one as peculiar. An ofticer has to pay duty
on his guns, ammunition, and even on his service
revolver. After a short time, however, orders to
proceed to Lusambo on the Sankuru reached me,
and I accordingly took the next boat to Matadi,
from which point the caravan route starts for
Stanley Pool. As the river Congo for upwards
of three hundred miles from Stanley Pool to
Matadi consists of a series of cataracts, this part
of the journey had to be done on foot, though
matters will soon be facilitated by the railway,
which is now well on its way. Just below Matadi
the scenery is magnificent ; the mighty Congo —
the second largest river in the world — has to force
30 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
itself through a narrow gorge less than a mile wide,
and known as the " Chaudron Infernal." Though
the ocean steamers go up to Matadi regularly, they
have never yet succeeded in getting soundings in
this gorge. It is probably only a matter of time
for one of these boats to break its steering-gear or
other machinery, and for a fearful catastrophe to
take place. Matadi — as its name in the native
language implies, meaning " stone " — is a bare, arid,
rocky plateau, where the heat is intense. After
a week's futile waiting here (during which time
I was supplied with neither house, bed, nor tent,
but had to sleep in my overcoat on the verandah
of the commissary's house), I, in company with
three officers since dead, was given a few dozen
porters to carry my baggage, and we started on
the caravan road.
A caravan, as most people know, is a number of
people travelling together for mutual comfort and
protection : that it should contain the proper
elements and equipment is indispensable for the
success of its mission. As I shall often have
occasion to mention a caravan, and as this my
DESCRIPTION OF A CARAVAN 31
first was in no sense typical, I will describe ours of
some months later, leaving Lusambo for Katanga.
It was composed as follows : —
White officers and their servants ; gun-bearers
and porters ; regular soldiers, and a certain
number of additional porters to carry the extras
which are indispensable to the health, well-being,
and contentment of the men. The porters carry
all loads — including food, ammunition, and water
— for the caravan en route, together with the loads
pertaining to the special object of the expedition,
such as the forming of stations, exploration, trade,
or war. Most of the expeditions with which I
was connected included all four elements. A few
extra men — such as a carpenter, blacksmith,
armourer, tailor, and cook — add largely to the
general comfort ; and all expeditions in Central
Africa should be accompanied by one or two
hunters by trade, and at least half a dozen good
canoe and general water men. Commandant
Dhanis instituted a new departure in African
travel by allowing every soldier to take his
wife, or wives as the case might be, along with
32 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
him ; and even the porters were generally
followed by their women. Only by personal
experience of caravan-travelling with and without
women is it possible to realise the enormous
advantages gained by allowing the men full
liberty in this respect. Among the most indis-
putable of these advantages is the avoidance of
trouble with native villages, or peoples, on the
subject of w^omen. The annoyance and danger
due, despite the strictest discipline, to what
every African traveller knows as "woman palaver"
is ]3ractically done away with when the men are
accompanied by their wives. On the road, too,
the women form extra porters — it being much
easier for a soldier to carry his food, mat, cooking-
pot, blanket, ammunition and rifle, with a wife to
help him ; and if she has a servant or two in
addition, it makes things easier still for him.
It must be borne in mind that among the races
of which I am speaking the women are all used
to hard work ; and I have rarely heard of a case
in which they preferred to stay in a comfortable
station to following their men on the road.
DESCRIPTION OF A CARAVAN 33
Arriving at the camp, each man immediately
sets to and builds a small hut for himself and
his family, and while he is thus occupied the
women forage for and cook the food. As a
consequence the men are comfortably housed and
well fed, and are not affected by the changes of
weather. At the end of a long and weary
march, it is almost impossible to get the men
to take care of themselves : after carrying a
heavy load all day, they refuse to take the
trouble of looking after themselves properly, and
in the case of bad weather, or short commons,
soon become ill. If a man falls sick on the road,
though he may still be able to walk well, the first
thing he throws away is his supply of food —
often a heavy and cumbersome bundle — in the
hope that on the following day he will be able
to beg, borrow, or steal another supply. The good
health enjoyed by our caravans, as a consequence
of this system, was most remarkable. On one
occasion we were on the road for seven months,
with four hundred soldiers and a caravan com-
prising eighteen hundred souls, and during the
34 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
whole of this time did not lose one man from sick-
ness or desertion. The expedition included seven
days' marching through a district recently raided
by Arab parties, in which it was impossible to
find an atom of food of any kind, and during
which time we saw no living thing, the natives
having all been taken prisoners or destroyed.
They had previously exterminated the game ; and
the pigeons and guinea-fowl, which prefer the
neighbourhood of man, had taken themselves off
into other districts. Knowing what was in store
for us, the whole caravan had loaded itself
beforehand with food, the women in many
cases carrying more than an average man could.
Caravans in Africa usually march in single file,
the paths through the country being seldom
more than ten inches wide. Our formation was
generally headed by a strong advance-guard of
soldiers, who were not allowed to carry anything
but their rifles and ammunition ; after them came
the loads with the guard, then the women, and
lastly a strong rear-guard. The white ofiicers,
each with a good bodyguard, were distributed
DESCRIPTION OF A CARAVAN 35
along the whole line, which was sometimes two
or three miles in length. The officer in command
of the advance - guard halted the head of the
caravan for perhaps twenty minutes after passing
even so small an obstacle as a fallen tree. All
auxiliary forces and camp followers were sent on
in front of the caravan, and if overtaken had to
withdraw from the road, since they were not
allowed to mingle with or interfere in any way
with the main caravan. With the rear-guard the
available extra porters and prisoners marched,
whose duty it was to collect and bring in any
loads or sick that had fallen out of the ranks.
The caravan road itself merits some descrip-
tion. It is seldom more than ten inches wide,
and wherever it goes the width never varies :
whether crossing rocky uplands or traversing
forests, descending mountains or the steep sides
of ravines, it is always the same monotonous
track. It is wearying enough to follow for a
few hours, but when the hours grow into days,
and the days into weeks, one comes to regard it
almost in the light of a personal enemy. After
36 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
crossing a scorching sandy plain, with its dry
blades of grass a foot or two apart — so drear
and lonely that the insects do not even hum —
one perhaps emerges on a rising rocky ground
(for hours before seen as a grey streak in the
distance), from whence the unending path stretches
away in a yellow line towards the horizon. It
may be that away to the northward, though the
course has been a north-easterly one, a blue line
of mountains is visible, and you know that, how-
ever hard they may be to climb, the path will
turn aside and scale them at their steepest point.
If it has led you into a fertile country, it winds
about like a snake, forming itself into letter S's,
and succeeds in doubling the distance to the
village, apparently quite close an hour or two
before. The hostile native looks upon this path
as his friend. He digs holes in it a foot in
diameter, and places sharp spikes or poisoned
arrow-heads in them, laying dust-covered leaves
over the opening, into which the unwary among
the barefooted porters puts his foot, and becomes
useless or dies on the road. A fallen tree across
DESCRIPTION OF A CARAVAN 37
the way also serves the enemy : he places a spear
in the grass or brushwood overhanging the track
on the other side, in such a position that the first
man who steps over or jumps across the tree is
impaled. When a man dies on the caravan road
he is not buried, and the path takes a little turn
aside two or three yards from the body, and
returns to its course at the same distance on the
other side of it. The loop thus formed remains
for ever — once having left the straight course, the
path never returns to it again. A small thorny
bush, a fallen tree, or a stone may be sufficient
to turn it, and if a precipice or a ford forces it
into a detour of yards or miles, it invariably
returns to the point opposite to, and never very
far from, the obstruction. Rivers and ravines the
path usually ignores : whatever the difficulty of
crossing them may be, it winds its way up the
bank on the opposite side, neither larger nor
smaller for the fact that, though the river is per-
haps fordable in the dry season, a bridge or canoe
is often the only means of crossing during the
38 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
But to return to the journey to Lusambo.
Before we were many days on the road we came
to the conclusion that something unusual must
be the matter. Dead bodies in every state of
decomposition were lying on the path just as they
had fallen, and loads of all kinds and descrip-
tions were hanging from the trees, often within
a few feet of the bodies of the men who had
evidently placed them there. It is a habit with
native porters to hitch a load in a forked branch
of a tree, or, with the help of the six-foot walking-
stick which all of them carry, to balance it on
some excrescence. By this means they are saved
the trouble of lifting the load from the ground
when they wish to resume their journey. All the
way to Lukungu — the half-way station to Stanley
Pool — we found this horrible state of affairs.
Several times we had difficulty in obtaining water,
as a dead body was lying in the stream or spring
which we had been making for as a good camping
neighbourhood. We saw no one to tell us what
was the matter, or to warn us of the then danger-
ous state of the district. Arriving at Lukungu,
JOURNEY FROM THE COAST INLAND 39
we found that, owing to an epidemic, said to be
dysentery, practically all communication with the
coast had ceased, the natives refusing to go
through the infected district. This epidemic
spread like wildfire through the caravans, chiefly
because of the filthy habits of the natives of these
especial districts. It was, in addition, the rainy
season (which is also the tornado season), and we
had altogether many uncomfortable experiences.
Having been forewarned, I always sank the
poles of my tent six or eight inches lower than is
usually considered necessary into the soil, and saw
to the driving of each individual tent-peg myself
In consequence of the poles being sunk, the flap
at the lower edge of the tent was on the ground,
and, with earth thrown up upon it, formed an
extra security. This, with a trench dug round the
tent and my baggage piled in front of the most
exposed side, gave even a tornado some difliculty
in shifting my habitation. Several times in the
night, with little or no warning, the tents of one
or other of my companions, who were too lazy to
superintend things themselves, were whirled away
40 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
from over them, and occasionally even deposited
in the surrounding trees.
After travelling for some time with them, I
eventually grew tired of the slow and haphazard
manner in which my companions proceeded on the
road ; I therefore left them, and, forging ahead,
arrived at Leopoldville, on Stanley Pool, on the
7th of February 1892. At Stanley Pool, which
was extremely short of provisions, an order had been
issued to the effect that every officer must in
turn go hippo-hunting to supply the troops with
meat. This seemed a delightful break in the
monotony of station life, and I immediately
volunteered to hunt whenever or whatever was
desired. There had, unfortunately, been one or
two accidents during elephant hunts, and antelope
and hippopotamus hunting was therefore the
only sport then allowed. My first experience of
hippo-shooting, though in itself unnoteworthy,
serves to illustrate the foolish things that ignor-
ant men may do. I had camped on a sand-
bank near the head of Stanley Pool — a place, as I
discovered to my cost, usually the camping-ground
JOURNEY FROM THE COAST INLAND 41
for natives. On turning in for the night I found,
in addition to the sandflies and mosquitoes, my
tent so infested with vermin that sleep or rest was
alike impossible. My Bangala canoe-men, who
were huddled in groups enveloped with the thickest
smoke they could make by putting damp grass on
the fire, were no better ofi", and the constant slap
slap on their bare bodies as they disposed of some
audacious biter was very irritating. Sleep being
out of the question, I determined to try hunting
by moonlight. After an hour or two's silent
paddling, the Bangala intimated that on an island
close to us hippos were to be found, and, running
the canoe into the rank vegetation fringing its
edge, we forced our way some distance up a
narrow slippery path. This led to an open space,
where the grass had evidently been trampled
down or eaten, and almost immediately I found
myself face to face with a pair of hippopotami not
twenty yards distant. I had only a Mannlicher
and the five cartridges in its magazine with me.
As the trampled and broken grass was still nearly
up to my shoulders, I had no difficulty in working
42 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
my way round the open space, which enabled me
to get a fair shot at the nearer animal. I fired at
the shoulder, and, as he swung round, a second
time, at the head. The other hippo meanwhile
advanced towards me, and I fired, as I thought,
between his ears. As he still advanced, I fired
again, and he dropped on to his knees, but
immediately afterwards got up. This interval
enabled me to make a bolt for the narrow path
by which I had come, it being almost impossible
for a man to break a path for himself through the
grass, where every grass stem is from half an inch
to an inch in diameter and ten or twelve feet
high. I arrived at the path first, fired my last
cartridge at the old bull, and, rushing down the
narrow track, jumped into the Congo, to find that
my boatmen had already embarked, and had
departed in the canoe to a safe distance. No
sooner was I swimminsr in the Congo than I
remembered the crocodiles. I seized the first
clump of big reeds I came to, and, lying still,
shouted till the canoe returned and picked me up.
Taking a fresh supply of cartridges, we returned,
JOURNEY FROM THE COAST INLAND 43
and found my first hippo dead, but the second one
had apparently rolled down a steep place into the
water, and was nowhere to be seen. From the
amount of blood about I was sure that he was in
his death struggles, but could not persuade the
men — who were quite satisfied with the prospect
of gorging themselves that the one hippo aff'orded
— to help me to look for him. We loaded the
canoe with as much meat as it would hold, and
towed the remainder down the river to Leopold-
ville. The other hippo was picked up the next
day lower down the river, stone dead. When
wounded on land a hippopotamus generally
charges, but it is a very easy matter, with a
certain amount of space, to get out of its way, since
it is only able to turn slowly. A hippo almost
invariably returns to the water, when alarmed, by
the same road from which he left it, and one
should therefore never run down or stand in the
trail left by a hippo when on shore. It is unwise
to approach big game, especially in a circumscribed
space, with a small-bore rifle such as the Mann-
licher, since, however great its accuracy and
44 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
penetration may be, its stopping power is practi-
cally nil. In this particular case my shoulder-shot
at the first hippo passed through both shoulder
blades and a rib, in each case leaving only a small
hole, through which it would have been difficult
to force an ordinary cedar pencil. My second
bullet had entered just above the right eye and
had penetrated the brain. It is fairly safe^ as I
afterwards often found, to fire at the head of big
game with the new small-bore rifles ; for though it
is improbable that the game will be bagged, except
by accident, the animal is too stunned to know
what he is doing, and his mad charges are without
method. The use of a small-bore rifle for big
game seems, however, hardly sportsmanlike, since
the number of animals wounded in this way com-
pared with those killed outright must always be
enormous. Some two years after this I had nine
close careful shots with a Mauser rifle at a big
bull elephant, the bullet used being within half a
grain of the same weight as our Lee-Metford
rifle ; yet I did not succeed in bagging him, and
eventually he made off" at a pace wliich defied
JOURNEY FROM THE COAST INLAND 45
pursuit. The poor beast probably died in the
depths of the jungle before many hours were over.
My stay at Stanley Pool, though it involved
some most unpleasant work, taught me much
which was afterwards of use. The doctor was
generally ill, and his duties devolved almost
entirely upon me. The station was badly
supplied with provisions, and, as a consequence,
both the white and black men were thoroughly
out of health. More than half the black soldiers
were suffering from ulcerated legs and feet — huge
gangrenous sores, which at first resisted all treat-
ment. Later on, I found that the probable cause of
this state of things was a want of salt ; for, when
some months afterwards we were in the Lualaba
district, in which salt is plentiful, these ulcers were
never seen except in troops arriving from down-
river. On several occasions a whole contingent
suffering from these loathsome ulcers joined us,
and within a month were perfectly well, with no
other treatment than a large ration of salt daily
with their food.
Punishment for offenders of the black race is a
46 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
very difficult matter to arrange. In the Congo
Free State the men are supplied with rations while
up-country, and are only paid on returning to the
coast after the expiration of their term of service.
Certain advances on their pay during their service
are allowed, and it is almost impossible to stop
this advance as a punishment, since the few things
obtainable up-country are necessary to their health.
Prisons, in the present state of the country,
are almost an impossibility, and the substitute
used of chaining the men in gangs is not only
detrimental to health, but is in every way per-
nicious and abominable in the extreme, and should
certainly not be used for any but dangerous
criminals. When half a dozen or a dozen men
are chained in a row, and have to work, rest, eat,
and sleep without being ever free of the chain for
weeks and sometimes months together, their health
naturally gives way. Commandant Dhanis was so
convinced of the harm done by this treatment,
which often incapacitated a man from work for
months afterwards, that he practically abolished
the chain in his district. During my stay at
JOURNEY FROM THE COAST INLAND 47
the Pool I managed to keep in health, partly-
through taking plenty of exercise, and also by
contriving to get a pigeon or two, or some
other kind of game, almost every day. Con-
tinuous living on tinned food seemed to damage
everybody's physique, and a little fresh food daily-
has an extraordinary effect on a white man's
health and strength in this climate. The question,
too, of suitable clothing should, I am convinced,
be emphasised much more than it is. Woollen
clothing should always be worn, and an extra wrap
in the evening is indispensable. The white popu-
lation in the Congo district are gradually coming
to the conclusion that a house, or station, set on
a hill is always a danger to health. A house
situated on higher ground than the surrounding
country is exposed to every wind that blows, and
the difference of temperature is sufficient to make
it dangerous for anyone in a heated condition to
return in the evening to the cooler situation. The
statistics of sickness and death rates of the stations
in the Congo on high altitudes, compared with
those in valleys or actually on river banks, are
48 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
found to be enormously in favour of those low
down, despite the accepted theory with regard
to malaria. There seems to be little doubt
amongst those who have been on the Congo, that
the healthiest class of men in the whole country
are the officers, mechanics, and engineers employed
on the steamers and boat services ; and this not-
withstanding the fact that they live on the water,
and are every night moored to the river bank
in the immediate neighbourhood of the forest, in
order that they may be able to procure fuel for
the following day.
In the beginning of April some natives in the
interior murdered one of the station soldiers, and
their chief, calling his people together, attacked
and routed one of our friendly chiefs within three
or four hours' march of Leopold ville, killing his
two sons and many of his people. An expedition,
which I accompanied, consisting of a hundred and
fifty men with a couple of officers, was sent to
punish the offender. The marauders declined to
enter into open action, and we were nearly worn
out at the end of a week by chasing an invisible
SKIRMISH WITH NATIVES OF INTERIOR 49
foe, whose villages when we climbed the palisades
were always empty, though our arrival five
minutes before in front of the defence was invari-
ably saluted by a volley. They also made their
presence felt when we were on the march, by occa-
sional shots. All the paths in the district had
traps arranged in them — small dug-out holes, with
a spike or arrow fixed point upwards in the bottom,
and the whole covered over with a plantain leaf
sprinkled with dust or sand, so that it was indis-
tinguishable from the surrounding soil. Every
bush or tuft of grass which obstructed the path
had a spear placed in it in such a manner that any
person pushing through was sure to be wounded.
After a week of this amusement we returned to
Leopoldville, very doubtful whether we had not
sufi'ered as much as the enemy in actual casualties,
though we had brought back with us a flock of
goats and a number of fowls. The blacks with us
were all young soldiers, most of whom had been
recruited, and who were terribly afraid of what
they termed " bush niggers." Charging into the
jungle or scouting in twos or threes they point-
50 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
blank declined to do, and they were afraid to
move a dozen yards from the main body unless
accompanied by a white man. It was curious,
however, to find how quickly many of these men
developed into good soldiers some months after-
wards, when we had a serious war with the Arab
BANGALA CANNIBALS — VOYAGE UP THE KASAI AND
SANKURU RIVERS — ARRIVAL AT LUSAMBO —
DEFEAT BY COMMANDANT DHANIS OF TIPPU
TIB's SLAVE-RAIDING AGENT, GONGO LUTETE —
On the 29th of April I embarked on the Stanley^
a thirty-ton stern-wheel paddle-steamer, towing
two large whaleboats full of men. Her crew
consisted of sixty Bangala and three white
The Bangala, a very intelligent useful people,
are a sort of Kru boy of the interior, and are
largely employed on the steamers. They dress
their hair fantastically, allowing one or more pig-
tails to grow a foot long, and stiffening the plaits
with wax to give them the appearance of horns.
They also cut and re-cut the skin from the root
of the nose upwards to the hair, the cicatrix
52 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
thus formed being often an inch high, and re-
sembling a cock's-comb. Upon the steamers they
are invaluable. They are at once hunters, soldiers,
and sailors. When the boat approaches the bank
with the intention of mooring, two or three of
them tumble overboard, and hanging on to the
flukes of the anchor, run along the bottom in
several fathoms of water, till they come up at the
bank, and are able to hook the anchor into the
root of a tree. They are, however, cannibals, and
are constantly giving trouble in this respect.
When I was returning from Stanley Falls on my
homeward journey, over two years afterwards, six
of the crew were in irons on board the ship, whom
the captain delivered up to justice at Bangala for
having eaten two of their number during the
voyage up to the Falls. I was not at the trial,
but the captain told me that two of the crew had
fallen ill on the upward voyage, and had been
given a day or two's rest. On the next ration
day these two were missing, and, upon making
inquiries, the captain was informed that they had
died in the night and had been buried on shore.
BANGALA CANNIBALS 53
This, however, did not satisfy him, and having
his own suspicions he searched the ship, and dis-
covered parts of the men smoke-dried, and hidden
away in the lockers of the six Bangala, whom he
was then handing over to the authorities.
Leopoldville, as the chief port of the Upper
Congo, has large numbers of these Bangala con-
stantly coming and going, and has, as a conse-
quence, to keep a guard on the cemetery, several
cases of body - snatching having been proved
against them. This practice became at one time
so inveterate that capital punishment had to be
resorted to as the only means of putting it down.
The Bangala have themselves told me when,
on shooting parties, I remonstrated with them
for only breaking the wings and legs of the
wounded game instead of killing it outright, that
it was better to let the bird linger, as it made
the flesh more tender. This led to conversation,
in which they explained that, when at home and
about to prepare a feast, the prisoner or slave who
was to form the piece de resistance had always
his arms and legs broken three days beforehand,
54 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and was then placed in a stream, or pool of water,
chin-deep, with his head tied to a stick to prevent
him committing suicide, or perhaps falling asleep
and thus getting drowned. On the third day he
was taken out and killed, the meat then being
very tender. Though I cannot vouch for the truth
of this story, I have heard it from different men
at different times, and it is curious that they
always break the legs and wings, or arms, as
the case might be, of birds and monkeys before
During this voyage on the Stanley we stopped
every evening, and, putting all the crew and soldiers
on shore, formed a camp. Half of the men were em-
ployed in cutting up timber and carrying it on board
before five o'clock the following morning, when
we resumed our voyage. A steam launch, with
a lieutenant and his men on board, accompanied
us. This was deemed advisable, since a trading
station, established only a short time previously on
the Kasai River, had just before this been burned,
and its occupants murdered by the district natives.
On the 7th of May we moored opposite the charred
VOYAGE UP THE KASAI RIVER 55
remains of the trading station, but were not
attacked during the night. The day following
all the troops were landed, and operations com-
menced with the intention of punishing the
natives who had committed the outrage. The
Bangala crew of the steamer departed in a canoe
on their own account, and returned the same
evening with about forty other canoes, and a
great deal of the cloth and tinned food which
had been taken from the trading station. They
also brought with them a few prisoners, and the
heads of those they had killed. Later on, the
regular troops returned, several of them being
wounded, though they had seen very few natives.
The Bangala proved splendid men for this sort
of work. They seemed to know by instinct where
the natives hid their canoes in the swamps, and,
when attacked, immediately opened out, each
individual hunting an enemy through the bush
until he either caught him, or, what rarely hap-
pened, was himself killed. At the end of some
two or three days, having, thanks to the Bangala,
collected nearly all the canoes (which we broke
56 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
up for firewood) in the swamps, we proceeded on
our way, and the launch returned to Stanley Pool.
Almost daily when, owing to sandbanks or other
obstructions in the river, we had to approach the
bank, we were fired at by the natives, who, how-
ever, seemed to have very few guns ; and as their
arrows usually either fell short or stuck in the
sun-deck overhead, no one was wounded. At
night the woodcutters were on several occasions
attacked, or had their axes stolen by the natives,
who were on the watch for anything they could
While steaming up the Kasai one day at noon,
the air was suddenly darkened by bats in such
numbers that the crew of the steamer knocked
some of them down with sticks. Upon every tree
on the islands and river banks the bats were con-
stantly settling, and flying ofi" again when some-
thing alarmed them, such as the breaking of a
branch by their own weight. I measured some
that were killed, and found that they averaged
from eighteen inches to two feet six, from wing-
tip to wing-tip. The boys on board and the
VOYAGE UP THE SANKURU RIVER 57
crew of the steamer cooked and ate them, and
maintained that they were very good eating. On
one occasion I saw myriads of bats behaving in
the same way near Stanley Falls, and I have also
seen them in large numbers on the Lualaba.
The whole of the Kasai district teems with game
— elephant, buffalo, buck, and hog in the forest and
swamps ; and hippopotami, crocodiles, and birds
of every description on the islands and banks, and
in the river itself.
At this time — 18th May 1892 — there were no
other stations on the Kasai, though now there are
several dozen on this river and its tributaries.
The natives, too, have become friendly, and bring
in great quantities of indiarubber, which is found
everywhere in the forest, to trade. At Benabendi,
at the mouth of the Sankuru, we stopped a couple
of days. Here a Frenchman was established, who
was doing a roaring trade in rubber and ivory.
The Sankuru River is only from half a mile to a
mile wide, and is very deep, with a slow current.
It is in every respect a marked contrast to the
Kasai ; there are few islands in it, and the banks
S8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
are clothed with forest down to the water's edge.
Hippopotami are rare, and all other game, with
the exception of monkeys, is, owing to the dense-
ness of the forest, invisible ; as there are no islands
or open spaces, birds also are not to be seen. At
one place on the Sankuru I noticed a small kind
of hippopotamus in a herd of twenty-three, none of
which were larger than an Alderney cow. Some
time later in the Lualaba district I saw a herd
of seventeen of these small hippos. To anyone
acquainted with the habits of this animal, it is
impossible to suppose that these could have all
been young hippos together, and leads to the
conclusion that they must have been an, as yet,
undescribed species. They were considerably larger
than the slightly-known Liberian hippopotamus,
and not half the size of the common hippopotamus.
On both occasions I could easily have shot some,
but since, except by great luck, I should have been
unable to pick them up I refrained from firing,
hoping to come across them again under more
Up the Sankuru we found ourselves always ex-
ARRIVAL AT LUSAMBO 59
pected, the steamer having been signalled two or
three days in advance. When we arrived at our
destination we found that the whole native popula-
tion at Lusambo had known that we were coming,
a couple of days before our arrival. Here, as else-
where in Africa, the natives have such a perfect
system of telegraphing, or signalling, by means of
their drums that they are able to make any
communications as far as a drum can be heard,
which is often several miles. As the information
is usually repeated by all the drummers who hear
it, a whole district knows of an event a very
few minutes, or hours, after it has occurred.
This system of telegraphing is most interesting.
Though different tribes and parts of tribes have
their own codes, there seems to be some method
running through all the codes ; for, when inter-
rogating a drummer on the subject of another
chiefs signal, he often replied that he had
never heard that particular drum, or would of
course know it. We were, by means of these
drums, able to keep up a constant communication,
day and night, with our allies and natives for
6o THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
miles round the camp. Every evening some
member of our company would amuse himself
by rapping out abuse at the enemy, which was
returned with zest from the hostile camp. Occa-
sionally a friendly gossip would be kept up, one
side telling the other news of its respective
harems, what food they had to eat, and how
many hours the chief had slept that day. The
native instinct for boasting and exaggeration
generally became a predominant feature on these
occasions, and the conversation would almost in-
variably degenerate into a lying match, each
drummer trying to cap his opponent's last message.
Everything that happened was so well known
in both camps, that by simply telling a piece
of news to one's servant it immediately spread
throughout the whole Arab camp.
Our arrival at Lusambo was the signal for
tremendous rejoicing ; for we not only brought
the first intelligence from the coast, but were the
bearers of the only letters that had been received
for seven months. I was heartily welcomed by
de Wouters and de Heusch, two of the nicest
DEFEAT OF CONGO LUTETE 6i
men I had met in the Congo Free State. A few
hours after our arrival the Commandant Dhanis
appeared, having just finished a most successful
little campaign against Tippu Tib's slave-raiding
agent, Congo Lutete. He brought with him over
two thousand prisoners of war and freed slaves.
A fete, lasting three days, celebrated the Com-
mandant's successful return ; at the end of which
period of rejoicing I had most of the station
on the sick-list. There were also occasional cases
of smallpox in the town, and I vaccinated some
hundreds of people with vaccine I had brought
from Europe, but unfortunately none of it took.
After the defeat of Congo Lutete by Dhanis
and Descamps, the Arab authorities at Stanley
Falls refused to take any action in the matter.
Upon the State officials demanding satisfaction
for the incursion, they replied that they were
not responsible for Congo Lutete, who was acting
independently of them, and that the Free State
officials must take what steps they pleased in the
With us orders had arrived from Europe to
62 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
form at the earliest date possible a large ex-
pedition to explore Katanga; and before many-
days had passed we were all engaged in drilling
men, sorting stores, and making up loads to last
a caravan of four hundred men for a year. No
load was allowed to exceed forty pounds, which
did away with the likelihood of delay on the road
through the lagging behind of overloaded porters.
On the 5th of July, just as we were ready to start,
one of our most energetic men, named Smit,
died suddenly, and two other men sickened with
hsematuric fever. This threw a gloom over the
station, which arrested work for some days.
It was during this time that the commissary
of the district found that a regular human traffic
was being carried on ; the people on the upper
river — the Basongo — themselves cannibals, being
in the habit of selling slaves and children lower
down the river to the Basongo Meno for food.
He therefore ordered the sentries on the river to
take, or fire on, any canoes descending the river
with children on board, and, after catching a few,
succeeded in stopping the traffic. Some of the
BASONGO CANNIBALS 63
people belonging to Pania Mutumba (the chief of
the tribe in question up the river) accompanied
the Commandant in an attack on Gongo Lutete,
One of these men was on "sentry go" for a
night, and, having shot a man, came in to report
what he had done, and despatched someone else
to bring in the body. When it was brought
in, he found, to his astonishment, that he had
shot his own father. He immediately went to
Dhanis and complained that the spy he had
shot was his father, and that it was very hard
lines, since he was unable to eat him. The
Commandant ordered him to bury the body pro-
perly, but discovered afterwards that, though the
man would not eat the body himself, he had
given it to his friends to eat. That same week
a young Basongo chief came to the Commandant
while at his dinner in his tent, and asked for the
loan of his knife, which, without thinking, the
Commandant lent him. He immediately dis-
appeared behind the tent and cut the throat of
a little girl-slave belonging to him, and was in
the act of cooking her, when one of our soldiers
64 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
saw him, and reported what he was doing. This
cannibal was put in irons, but some two months
later I found him in such a wretched condition that,
fearing he would die, I took him out of the chains,
and gave him his liberty with a warning. Scarcely
a fortnight had passed, when he was brought in
by some of our Hausa soldiers, who said that he
was eating the children in and about our canton-
ments. He had a bag slung round his neck,
which on examining we found contained an arm and
a leg of a young child. As three or four children
had disappeared within the fortnight, and there
had been no deaths amongst them in camp, this
was at the trial considered sufficient evidence
against him, and he was taken out and shot, as
the only cure for such an incorrigible.
Shortly after this a number of the prisoners of
war took to deserting, and, finding out in which
direction they went, we demanded of the great
chief of the district that they should be given
up to us. He replied that, with the exception of
one prisoner, they had all been eaten, and sent
thirty-seven slaves in exchange. The one he
BASONGO CANNIBALS 65
returned proved to be a little boy-servant of
mine who had been persuaded to run away by
some of the deserters. By a lucky chance, how-
ever, he had found a friend in the village, and
was the only one of the party not eaten. His
descriptions of what he had seen at the time
were quite sickening.
Prisoners or servants have often spoken to me
in this manner: "We want meat; we know you
have not enough goats and fowls to be able to
spare us some, but give us that man [indicating
one of their number] ; he is a lazy fellow, and
you'll never get any good out of him, so you
may as well give him to us to eat."
The question of cannibalism in Africa has been
very little discussed ; the great travellers, such as
Livingstone, Cameron, Stanley, and Wissmann,
frequently refer in their works to the simple
fact that the peoples they passed through were
cannibals, but all details or statement of the
causes that led to these references have usually
been omitted. As travellers through an unknown
continent, accompanied by an alien race or races,
66 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
they were naturally not in touch with the people
through whose countries they passed, who, when
not actually hostile, remained in a state of armed
neutrality. So far as I have been able to discover,
nearly all the tribes in the Congo Basin either are,
or have been, cannibals ; and among some of them
the practice is on the increase. Races who until
lately do not seem to have been cannibals, though
situated in a country surrounded by cannibal
races, have, from increased intercourse with their
neighbours, learned to eat human flesh ; for since
the entry of Europeans into the country greater
facilities for travelling and greater safety for
travellers have come about. Formerly the people
who wandered from their own neighbourhood
among the surrounding tribes were killed and
eaten, and so did not return among their people
to enlighten them by showing that human flesh
was useful as an article of food.
Soon after the station of Equator was estab-
lished, the residents discovered that a wholesale
human traffic was being carried on by the natives
of the district between this station and Lake
BASONGO CANNIBALS 67
M'Zumba. The most daring of these natives
were the tribes about Irebo, whose practice was
to ascend the river Luluno;u with large armed
parties, and raid among the natives on its
banks. These people, though a well-built sturdy
race, were not fighting people. When the
raiders had collected a sufficient number of
people to fill their canoes, they returned to the
Congo, and carried them up the Oubangi, where
they were sold to the natives to serve as food.
Even now, though since the establishment of the
Government stations some years ago this traffic
has been stopped, it is almost impossible for the
steamers that go up the Oubangi to buy meat.
The captains of the steamers have often assured
me that, whenever they try to buy goats from the
natives, slaves are demanded in exchange, and the
natives often come on board with tusks of ivory or
other money with the intention of buying a slave,
complaining that meat is now scarce in their
Judging from what I have seen of these people,
they seem fond of eating human flesh ; and though
68 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
it may be an acquired taste, there is not the
slightest doubt in my mind that they prefer
human flesh to any other. During all the time
I lived among cannibal races I never came across
a single case of their eating any kind of flesh raw ;
they invariably either boil, roast, or smoke it. This
custom of smoking flesh to make it keep would
have been very useful to us, as we were often
without meat for long periods. We could, how-
ever, never buy smoked meat in the markets, it
being impossible to be sure that it was not
The preference of difl"erent tribes, more than
diff'erent individuals of a tribe, for various parts
of the human body, is interesting. Some cut
long steaks from the flesh of the thighs, legs,
or arms ; others prefer the hands and feet ; and
though the great majority do not eat the head,
I have come across more than one tribe which
prefers the head to any other part. Almost all
use some part of the intestines on account of
the fat they contain ; for even the savages of
Central Africa recognise, in common with our
BASONGO CANNIBALS 69
own cooks, that fat in some form is a necessary
ingredient of different dishes.
During the war in which we were engaged for
two years, with our enormous crowds of camp
followers we reaped perhaps the only advantages
that could be claimed for this diso^usting custom.
In the night following a battle or the storming
of a town, these human wolves disposed of all the
dead, leaving nothing even for the jackals, and
thus saved us, no doubt, from many an epidemic.
A man with his eyes open has no difficulty in
knowing, from the horrible remains he is obliged
to pass on his way, what people have preceded
him on the road or battlefield ; — with this differ-
ence : that on a battlefield he will find those parts
left to the jackals which the human wolves have
not found to their taste ; whereas on the road —
generally by the smouldering camp fire, or the
blackened spot indicating where the fire has been
— are the whitening bones, cracked and broken,
which form the relics of these disgusting banquets.
These form a diary by the way, which •' he who runs
may read," if he know the habits of these peoples.
PROPOSALS OF PEACE AND ALLIANCE WITH THE STATE
FORCES FROM GONGO LUTETE VISIT TO GONGO
LUTETE AT HIS CAPITAL, n'gANDU — THE LITTLE
PEOPLE OF THE FOREST
On the 19th of July, Gongo Lutete had in-
formation conveyed to us that he was sending
ambassadors with a large present, hoping to make
peace. De Wouters and I received orders to
proceed on the way to meet them, and at five
o'clock the following morning started up the river
in a large canoe. Our canoe was a very good
one, of the usual kind used by the Bakuba — the
Sankuru water-people — who are not nomadic, but
are a fine race of traders and farmers. The canoe
was flat-bottomed, with sides about ten inches
high, and tapering to a point fore and aft. The
paddles used by these people are about nine
feet long, and are well made, many of them
PROPOSALS OF PEACE AND ALLIANCE 71
having a small knob at the upper end which is
held in the hand. While paddling, the water-
people chant, and take a step forward as they
catch the beginning of the stroke, and draw the
foot back as they pull through. They keep the
most perfect time. Ten of them paddle in an
ordinary canoe. On this occasion we had two-
and-twenty paddles, as the canoe was a specially
large one. We arrived at Pania Mutumba's at
the end of the second day — a very rich village,
well built in straight lines, and with about three
thousand inhabitants. The huts were square, but
with roofs of the ordinary beehive shape. They
were larger than the usual native hut, being
thirty or forty feet high, and fifteen feet square
on the ground. The only sanitary arrangements
the village could boast of were a herd of pigs,
which was turned loose morning and evening to
dispose of the dirt in and about the village. All
the sick who die, and some before they are dead,
I fancy, are thrown into the river, which passes
in front of the village. Those who die violent
deaths are generally eaten.
72 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Here we found five envoys from Gongo, in a
very nervous condition, not knowing how we should
treat them. They showed their pluck in coming to
us at all, though of course the fear of death was
behind them if they had returned to their chief
with their mission unfulfilled. They had brought
with them a present of some ivory and a flock of
goats, and said that Gongo had been badly treated
by the Arabs, and, having been beaten whenever he
had attacked the State forces, had now determined
to make terms for himself, and, if allowed to,
would become our friend and auxiliary. This
seemed satisfactory, and we sent the envoys with
their present, under a strong guard, to Lusambo.
The guard was necessary as a protection against our
own natives, who were far from friendly to Tippu
Tib's people, their raiding propensities being
known far and wide. De Wouters and I re-
turned to Lusambo by water. Gongo's terms
were so favourable that his emissaries, after
having been feted at Lusambo, were sent back to
him with presents, and a promise that we would
visit him and arrange the final terms of the
VISIT TO CONGO LUTETE 73
agreement. Immediately afterwards two officers
were sent with a strong guard to visit Gongo ; the
Commandant, as a result of this new arrangement,
wdiich had upset many of his plans, being unable
to start for another fortnight. At this time we
found that a fetisher, or " medicine man," in
the immediate neighbourhood of Lusambo was
poisoning people in the district, and several
suspicious cases among our own people decided
the Commandant to arrest him. He was brought
in for trial, much to the surprise of the native
population, who arrived by hundreds to see what
would happen to us for having interfered with
him. Upon being found guilty, he was sen-
tenced by the tribunal to receive a flogging.
Before his sentence was carried out, however, the
Commandant told him publicly that he was going
to be flogged, but that he would be allowed to
make medicine first, in order that he should not
feel it. He replied that he had nothing to make
medicine with, his materials being all in his hut.
Some men were accordingly sent to his village,
and returned to the compound with the hut itself
74 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and everything it contained. He was thereupon
put inside it, and given half an hour to make
medicine, after which he was taken out and
publicly flogged. His squeals soon convinced
the assembled multitude that the white man's
" medicine " was stronger than his, and when
liberated afterwards we were obliged to give him
a guard as protection against the natives over
whom he had so long tyrannised, and who would
otherwise have torn him to pieces. The follow-
ing day there was a tornado accompanied by a
hailstorm, some of the hailstones being as large
as hens' eggs. Hail is a most unusual occurrence
in this district — in fact, numbers of natives said
they had never seen it before ; and it was
immediately supposed by the native population
to be a vengeance brought on us by the
" medicine man " for having interfered with him.
As we, however, all rushed out and collected the
hailstones, with which we made iced drinks, this
feeling soon wore off, the natives tersely remark-
ing that it was no good making medicine against
the white man, who only ate it.
VISIT TO CONGO LUTETE 75
Lusambo was blessed with a half-wild herd of
cattle, the bulls from which herd we broke in
without much difficulty and used for riding.
For this purpose they are most useful, as their
huge horns enable them to push through thick
grass or light bush with comparative ease. They
are not at all afraid of swampy ground, but
plunge and struggle through it without hesita-
On the 18 th of August I started with the
Commandant on an expedition to visit Gongo
Lutete and Lupungu, on the way to Katanga in
the south. On the following day, having crossed
the Sankuru, I had my first experience of travel-
ling in the great forest.
There is, despite the myriad difficulties it
presents at every hand, an element of fascination
about a tropical forest unlike anything else,
though perhaps the chief pleasure lies in looking
forward to getting out of it. A great silence
hangs over everything, and seems only greater
for the extraordinary and often unaccountable
sounds which break in upon it at intervals,
ye THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
mingled with those more familiar, such as the
harsh shriek of the toucan, the chatter of an
occasional monkey, or the crash of a falling
branch or tree. Still, despite all its strange
sounds, the forest silence is oppressive, and makes
itself so much felt that the different members of
a caravan generally speak in whispers, or in low
tones, and the slightest noise on either side of
the way will turn instinctively every head. There
seems a complete absence of life everywhere — no
whir of insects or twitter of birds ; and though
everywhere but in the forest each blade of grass
and every inch of soil is teeming with life of
some sort, here there is no sound or movement.
The dank heavy smell which pervades everything
is unrelieved by other odours, or even breezes ;
for in a tropical forest a very strong wind only
can make itself felt. There are no flowers, and
no birds sing. Miles and miles of sombre greens
and browns stretch unrelieved by a single blossom.
Of the life, the flower-wonders, the brilliance told
of tropical forests, there is no sign. It has been
said that these may all be found on the tree
VISIT TO CONGO LUTETE yy
tops, a hundred feet or more overhead ; but
though on several occasions I climbed to the
summit of a spur of rock rising out of the forest
into the sunlight, and commanding a full view of
the tree tops, and from there watched the great
undulating sea of green for hours together, the
same monotony of colour and of soundlessness
was above us as in the depths below. Every
now and then a solitary toucan or a flock of
green pigeons would pass, but even these were
only to be seen in the evening or the morning.
Here and there, perhaps half a mile apart, a tree
top was entirely covered with blossom, usually
dead white in hue, and sometimes a tree with
scarlet leaves gave the efii"ect of flowers in the
distance. These notes of colour were, however,
so rare that they could hardly be said to relieve
the uniformity of sombre green stretching on
every side as far as eye could reach. Camps in
a forest are most melancholy aff'airs. Everything
is damp, and the only wood that will burn is a
newly-dead log or branch, from which half an
inch or an inch of the sodden exterior has to be
78 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
cut away first. The ordinary cheery signs of
camp life are absent, and everyone moves about
noiselessly — the many layers of sodden and decay-
ing veo-etation under foot deadenine; all sound.
Even the porters and soldiers lie quietly round
the fires, and do not laugh and chatter and sing
We arrived at Pania Mutumba's village on the
24th, and here rearranged the caravan. In reply
to our demand that fifty men should be sent
with us to serve as guides or extra porters, Pania
raised many difficulties, but eventually said we
could have the men if we paid for them. The
Commandant thereupon bought sixty-three men
for two cups of white beads each. A few of
these men afterwards ran away, but many of
them were promoted, and became good soldiers
when they recognised the advantages of freedom.
The advantage to be derived from freedom is one
of the hardest things it is possible to explain to
the ordinary negro slave. His powers of reason-
ing never seem to get beyond this : " If I am
free and don't get work, who is going to feed me ?
VISIT TO CONGO LUTETE 79
Whereas, if I have a master, he has to find me
work, and when there is no work he has still to
On crossing the Sankuru we marched through a
deserted district for five days, in which it was very
difficult to feed the caravan. As we had, how-
ever, been forewarned, the men, and the women
who accompanied them, had as much food with
them as they could carry, and we got through
the desert in comparative comfort, arriving at
Mono Kialo's village on the 1st of September.
Mono Kialo was a sub-chief of the Baluba race,
the great chief being Lupungu, four days' march
to the southward, whom we afterwards visited.
The Balubas are a fine, healthy, industrious race,
the products of whose industries are to be found
immense distances outside their own district.
They are agriculturists, iron-workers, and cloth-
makers ; the cloth made in this district being the
money used by a great portion of the Arab settle-
ments to the westward. Until quite lately they
were not cannibals, and even now the men only
eat their enemies who fall in battle. All the
8o THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Balubas, both men and women, have their teeth
filed and pointed ; but though this is often
considered a habit peculiar to cannibal races,
I have noticed that it is by no means an
invariable custom amongst them, and that many-
inveterate cannibal tribes do not make it a
practice. The Baluba women are graceful, lively,
gay, and industrious. The whole Baluba race,
and the women more especially, are no darker
than the Egyptians. They have very good
features, with the exception of the nose, which is
flat ; though even this is more prominent, and has
a more pronounced bridge, than is common amongst
negro races. The lips are thin and well formed,
the face oval, and the eyes large and brilliant.
Most of the women of the Baluba race use a
pigment to blacken the upper and lower lids, as do
many European women, though this custom is not
peculiar to them alone, but is common wherever
Arab influence has penetrated in the Congo Basin.
Nearly all the natives of this region are brown
or dark yellow in colour, a really black person
being very rare. The front teeth are all filed,
VISIT TO GONGO LUTETE 8i
though, strange to say, this is hardly a disfigure-
ment. Their many good qualities and high moral
standard make them very valuable, and they are
much sought after by Arab and even native chiefs
for their harems.
Another point that struck me among the
Balubas within the Arab sphere of influence was
their extreme personal cleanliness. A thorough
bath half a dozen times a day was the rule rather
than the exception.
Amongst most of the natives in these districts
it is customary for girls and boys to marry at the
ages of seven and eight or nine respectively, yet
it is an indisputable fact that the negroes are both
a healthy and prolific race. The women are middle-
aged at fourteen or fifteen, and the men, with the
exception of the chiefs, do not live to old age, the
accidents of life among these savage tribes being
so common that a man is usually killed before he
is out of his prime.
While resting a couple of days at Mono Kialo's
village, two large presents arrived, one from
Gongo Lutete and one from Lupungu, each of
82 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
whom begged us to visit liim first. As Gongo
Lutete's present was the larger, the Commandant
turned north-east to pay him the first visit. Our
march for some days lay through tracts of forest,
and here, for the first time, I saw the Batwa, the
interesting "little people of the forest." Through
the influence of a guide, who was on friendly terms
with them, they did not disappear from sight as
they usually do at the approach of a caravan, and
I had therefore opportunities of observing them
more closely than would otherwise have been
What first impressed me was that, despite the
fact that their average height is under four feet,
they are both sturdy and independent. They are,
as a rule, nomadic, and I have never met anyone
who has seen them in large numbers in a settle-
ment. Being hunters, they follow the game in
small parties, changing their locality with the
migration of the game. Since they are the only
real hunters in the Congo Basin, and are versed
in all the science of woodcraft, the ordinary
traveller (European or native) may pass within a
THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE FOREST 83
few yards of them and be utterly unaware of their
presence, though they meanwhile may be watching
him. Their short stature enables them to run
along a game-path with perfect ease, which to an
ordinary man would be impassable unless bent
nearly double. In fact, it is as difficult for an
ordinary man to find, or to see, them in the forest
as it is for a town-bred person in this country to
discover mice in a cornfield. I can remember
on more than one occasion, while marching in a
shower of rain, walking over their little footprints,
which were still dry but which in a few moments
became wet, thus showing that the small people
must have passed within a few yards of me,
though I had seen and heard nothing ; the silence
of the great forest seeming, from the presence of
human beings, more unbroken than usual. For
though man may frequently be unaware of the
proximity of his fellow-man, nature, whether
animal or insect, seems often instinctively to know
when the arch-enemy is in the vicinity.
The pygmies possess an intimate knowledge of
poisons, and their bows and arrows, which have
84 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the appearance of harmless toys that children in
Europe would disdain as playthings, are as deadly
engines in hunting or war as have ever been in-
vented. The action of some of these poisons is
so rapid that a man will die in from three to ten
minutes after having been scratched. An elephant
in one of our stations, which was scratched on
the haunch by a poisoned spear, fell down dead
before going a hundred yards ; and on another
occasion a poisoned arrow, which had passed
through my corduroy coat at a distance of
thirty yards, killed a fowl I scratched with it
in about two minutes. One trick the little
forest people have in common with the bushman
(which though often mentioned by travellers yet
stated in black and white sounds impossible),
namely, the shooting of three, or even four, arrows
so rapidly that the last is discharged before the
first reaches its mark. They are also able to throw
a lance so that it goes in at one side of a man and
out at the other. The Arab slave-raiders and
ivory-hunters have often sent expeditions into the
great forest, which have suffered to such an extent
THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE FOREST 85
at the hands of these small demons, that few, and
sometimes none, have returned to tell the tale of
how they died, without even seeing who smote
them. Occasionally the dwarf people attack a
caravan in the openings of the forest, and so agile
are they in their movements that defence is practi-
cally impossible. On seeing the flash of the firing
gun, they drop, and running in, hidden by the
grass, spear their opponent while he is in the act
of reloading. This system, though answering very
well with ordinary expeditions armed with muzzle-
loading guns, did not succeed against us and our
breechloaders. Many of us were, however, scared
by the seemingly magical appearance of these
gnome-like beings within three or four yards of us,
with their murderous little spears pointed for our
destruction. And, indeed, their success was often
extraordinary enough to make one almost doubt
their being human.
Our march from here to N'Gandu, Gongo's
capital on the Lomami River, was through a
country devastated by the slave-raiders in Tippu
Tib's employ. Ever since we left Pania Mutum-
86 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
ba's, with the exception of the small district in
which Mono Kialo's village was situated, this
vacancy, devoid alike of men and food, surrounded
us. Every height was covered with splendid
palm plantations ; and the remains of villages,
whose precise extent was indicated by the bomas,
or palisade fortifications, which had taken root
and grown into ring fences. Our caravan did not
suff'er hunger, for the Commandant had allowed
every man to take at least one woman and a boy,
who acted as transport, and who looked after the
commissary's arrangements. On the 13th of
September we arrived at N'Gandu, and received
a splendid reception by Gongo Lutete : thousands
of his people turned out to welcome us, firing
guns, and dancing and yelling as if they were
Gongo Lutete was born in Malela, and was by
blood a Bakussu. He had himself been a slave,
having as a child fallen into the hands of the
Arabs. While still a youth, as a reward for his
distinguished conduct and pluck on raiding ex-
peditions, he was given his freedom. Starting
AT N'GANDU 87
with one gun, at eighteen years of age, he gradu-
ally collected a band of brigands round him, whom
he ruled with a rod of iron, and before long became
Tippu Tib's chief slave and ivory-hunter.
He established himself at N'Gandu on the
Lomami, holding part of Malela for Sefu, and
by raiding gradually extended his influence to the
westward, which brought him into conflict with
the State. Captain Descamps first, and Baron
Dhanis afterwards, defeated him. After the de-
feat by Dhanis, in April 1892, he came to the
conclusion that it was no use fighting any longer
against the State ; and since the Arabs for some
time past had paid him neither for his work
nor for the ivory he sent them, he determined if
possible to make peace with the State on his own
account. This was a wise decision, as there is no
doubt that the Arabs were both afraid and jealous
of his power, and would probably before long
have assassinated him.
At this time Gongo Lutete was perhaps thirty
years of age. He was a well-built intelligent-
looking man of about 5 ft. 9 in. in height, with
88 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
a brown skin, large brown eyes with very long
lashes, a small mouth with thin lips, and a
straight, comparatively narrow nose. His hands
were his most remarkable characteristic ; they
were curiously supple, with long narrow fingers,
which when outstretched had always the top joint
slightly turned back. One or both hands were
in constant movement, opening and shutting rest-
lessly, especially when he was under any strong
influence. His features meanwhile remained ab-
solutely immovable. Though very familiar and
friendly with some of us, he had a way of never
letting anyone forget that he was a chief, and his
manners were extremely dignified. One had to
see this man on the warpath to realise the different
aspects of his character. The calm haughty chief,
or the genial and friendly companion, became on
the battlefield an enthusiastic individual with a
highly nervous organisation, who hissed out his
orders one after another without a moment's hesi-
tation. He was capable of sustaining intense
fatigue, and would lead his warriors through the
country at a run for hours together.
AT N'GANDU 89
The band of brigands with which Gongo had sur-
rounded himself were mostly of the Batetela race.
These Batetela, and more particularly one tribe
called the Bakussu, are, as far as I could ascertain
from making inquiries in every direction, the most
inveterate cannibals. During excursions in the
neighbourhood of their towns, I on more than one
occasion saw a public execution. When the chief
of the town — who is of course an absolute monarch
— decides that a man must die, he hands him over
to the people. He is immediately torn to pieces,
and disappears as quickly as a hare is broken up
by a pack of hounds. Every man lays hold of him
at once with one hand, and with the other whips off
the piece with his knife ; no one stops to kill him
first, for he would by doing so lose his piece.
More than once, after a drum-head court-martial,
when a spy or deserter was shot, the onlookers
have said to us, " Why do you bury him ? It's
no use — when you are gone, we shall of course dig
him up." Hanging fetishes over the grave, with
a view to preventing the people from touching
it for fear of magic, had no efi'ect. These people
90 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
seem to have no form of religion whatever, and
no fecar of death or evil spirits. Through the
whole of the Batetela country, extending from the
Lubefu to the Luiki, and from the Lurimbi north-
wards for some five days' march, one sees neither
grey hairs, nor halt, nor blind. Even parents are
eaten by their children on the first sign of
approaching decrepitude. It is easy to under-
stand that, under the circumstances, the Batetela
have the appearance of a splendid race. These
cannibals do not, as a rule, file their front teeth,
nor do they tattoo the face.
I explored the Lomami for some six or eight
hours above N'Gandu. The river is about two
hundred yards wide, rapid in many places, and
rocky, and navigation even in a canoe is very
difficult. Northwards, eastwards, and southwards
of N'Gandu extends a vast palm forest, containing
great patches of indiarubber creepers.
N'Gandu itself, as I first saw it, was situated on
an open plain, one side of which was separated
from the left bank of the Lomami by a strip of
swamp and forest one or two hundred yards in
AT N'GANDU 91
width. This village — containing from ten to fifteen
thousand inhabitants — was oval in form, and
strongly fortified by a double ditch and loop-
holed earthwork, the whole being surrounded by
a palisade. The top of every tree in this palisade
was crowned with a human skull. Six gateways
defended the village ; and, after passing through
each gate, it was necessary to traverse a tunnel,
some thirty yards long, made out of piles of large
timber, and loopholed throughout its whole length.
On the top of this tunnel was a guardhouse, the
floor of which was honeycombed into holes, through
which the guard above could spear an unsus-
pecting passenger on the road below. The ap-
proach to each of these six gates was ornamented
by a pavement of human skulls, the bregma being
the only part that showed above the ground.
This pavement was of a snowy whiteness, and
polished to the smoothness of ivory by the daily
passage of hundreds of naked feet. I counted
more than two thousand skulls in the pavement
of one of the gates alone.
GONGO LUTETE FINALLY LEAVES THE ARABS AND
ALLIES HIMSELF WITH THE STATE FORCES —
ARRIVAL AT KABINDA, CAPITAL OF LUPUNGU,
GREAT CHIEF OF THE BALUBAS MOVEMENTS
OF THE ENEMY HEADED BY TIPPU TIB'S SON,
SEFU — PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER
For a whole month we were regally entertained
at N'Gandu. Almost every day Gongo sent us a
present, and as he seemed to count everything by
hundreds — a hundred sheep one day, a hundred
goats another, a hundred baskets of corn, or a
hundred bunches of bananas — we fared well. To-
wards the end of the month Gongo Lutete
announced that he would leave the Arabs and come
over to us, providing we would keep faith with
him, and, in the event of his being attacked by
the Arabs, help him to defend himself. In proof
of his own fidelity he gave a large present of
GONGO LUTETE ALLIES HIMSELF 93
ivory, and obtained leave from the Commandant
to remain in the territory in which he was estab-
lished, and which, according to a treaty arranged
by Mr. Stanley for the Congo Free State, at
Zanzibar, was outside the Arabs' sphere of in-
fluence. Gongo told us that the Arabs had
massacred M. Hodister's whole expedition, and
the " white Pasha from the East," whom we
guessed to be Emin. He also told us that they
had murdered the Stairs and Delcommune ex-
peditions in the south ; but this, though we did
not then know it, was of course incorrect. We
left two officers with a guard at N'Gandu, and
resumed our march towards Katanga, following
the ridge of the watershed between the Lomami
and the Lubefu. During this march we came
across hundreds of human skeletons — according
to our Batetela guides, the victims of a smallpox
epidemic. But there were bullet-holes in some of
the skulls, and the epidemic had probably been
a Batetela slave-raid.
After six days' march we arrived at Kabinda,
Lupungu's capital. Lupungu was the great chief
94 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
of the Balubas, with an influence extending
northwards to Lulua, and southwards to Katanga.
The people in this district are olive-coloured, with
thin lips, and, even from a European point of view,
are good - looking. De Heusch was appointed
resident, and immediately set to work to build
a station at Kabinda.
At this point Dhanis was obliged to return to
Lusambo. There were many affairs in the district
to arrange, and this was the last place from which
it was possible to communicate with Lusambo,
before resuming our march to Katanga.
In the neighbourhood of Kabinda — a fine, rich,
healthy country — I constantly made exploring and
shooting expeditions during my stay, and had very
On the 16tli October Scherlink and I decided
to start for Kolomoni's town on the Lurimbi
River. Our reasons for making this decision
were several : food was, we heard, very plentiful
there, and our host Lupungu either had no
supplies or was unwilling to give us any. The
men, too, were complaining ; and de Heusch,
ARRIVAL AT KABINDA 95
having finished the big house he was making,
all but the floor and walls, had begun to
bring into camp large quantities of freshly-
dug sandy clay for this purpose. As a conse-
quence of the newly-turned soil being in our
vicinity, we were all out of health, and several
of the blacks, with Scherlink and Cerkel, had
fever. The injurious effect of newly-turned soil
is probably due in a large measure to the fact
that it has not been exposed to the influence of
light, this being apparently instrumental in
destroying the bacilli with which untilled earth
teems. In support of this theory, the outbreak
of malaria in Antwerp, which followed upon the
excavations made in that city during the building
of the new fortifications, may be cited. This red
sandy clay, which, when wet and dry, becomes
as hard as a brick, is found all over the district
at a depth of from one to two yards.
We took eighty men with us, and on the fourth
day arrived at Kolomoni's. At about an hour's
distance from the town, two fine straightforward-
looking young chiefs, Kolomoni and Makipula by
96 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
name, met us with a thousand men, many of whom
were armed with guns. These people danced
round us, firing their guns and giving vent to
extravagant expressions of delight at seeing us.
It was hard to imagine what prompted them,
but it spoke well for the Delcommune expedition,
which passed about a year before. During a
talk with the chiefs, who had given us, amongst
other things, presents of pigs and goats and forty
baskets of flour, we learnt that Makipula was a
personal friend of Kolomoni's, and, though a
good agriculturist, no warrior. They had, it
appeared, decided to live in the same town and
make common cause, as Kolomoni was good
only for fighting. This arrangement seemed to
have worked well, for the whole country was
cultivated, and the large town itself one of the
best built I had seen.
On the 22nd October a letter arrived from
Sub-Lieutenant Debruyne, a Belgian officer, who,
with Commandant Lippens, was resident at Sefu's
court at Kasongo. In it he told us that he was a
prisoner, and Tippu Tib's son, Sefu, accompanied by
MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 97
ten thousand men armed with guns and swords,
had marched from Kasongo with the intention
of destroying us. This was, however, only part of
a general Arab rising, the Arabs having already
murdered the Hodister - Emin expeditions. The
letter went on to say that Sefu's plan was, after
killing us, to take all the country as far as Leopold-
ville ; and that the only thing to save us and pro-
pitiate Sefu would be, either to give up our friend
Gongo Lutete, or else to send his head as a
present, and then depart out of the country, which
Sefu maintained was his. Unless these two con-
ditions were immediately complied with, Sefu would
cross the Lomami River and fight us. We wrote a
temporising letter, and, as soon as the carriers had
started, broke camp and followed them, hoping to
arrive at Goimuyasso's on the Lomami before the
Arabs — to reach the river before the Arab forces
succeeded in crossing, being our only chance of
checking their advance. The first day's march
nearly wore out the energies of the caravan. We
crossed no fewer than twenty-five rivers and
streams, all running into the Lurimbi, glimpses
98 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
of which river we sometimes caught to the north-
ward. Unluckily for us, there had been several
storms during the previous week, and every stream
had become a torrent. At 5 p.m. we camped, quite
tired out, having marched without stopping for
Goimuyasso's town, which we reached on 26th
October 1892, has a grand situation on the fertile
banks of the Lomami River, here about two
hundred yards wide, with the current running
at about three knots. After great difficulty we
found a fairly good place for a camp, with planta-
tions belonging to Goimuyasso all round us, and
commanding the river for about a mile above and
below our position. Goimuyasso, a great greasy
chief, brought us a quantity of flour and goats, but
gave us little or no information, either from the
usual African apathy, or else incredulous that the
Arabs were within four hours' march of us, and
that at any hour of the day or night he might
have to run for his life. Possibly, the most likely
solution of his incommunicativeness was that he had
then not decided whether he would join us or the
MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 99
Arabs. The following day our spies reported that
Sefu had ordered Gongo Muchufa and Nyar Gongo
— two chiefs on opposite sides of the river, five or
six hours' march to the northward — to hold their
canoes in readiness to ferry his forces over, as in a
few days he intended to cross the river in their
neighbourhood. We also heard that a big chief
named Dibui, though unwilling to fight, had been
compelled by Sefu to join his forces. The same
afternoon a niece of Goi's, a chieftainess from up
the river, brought me news that Mahomedi and
Dibui were trying to cross the river opposite to
her village, but that she had driven back the first
canoes. On hearing this. Lieutenant Scherlink
and I decided to march at night. To anyone
who has not experienced a night-march through
an unknown part of tropical Africa, it is almost
impossible to explain the difiiculties that this
entails. The ordinary ten-inch-wide trail through
swamp and forest, which, without warning, leads
the traveller up and down ant-hills or rocks, down
ravines, and into streams and game-traps, is in the
daytime, with plenty of light, trying enough to
lOO THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
temper and physique. But to follow one of these
trails in the dead of night, dodging thorn-bushes
and ant-hills, with the risk of being strangled by
"monkey-ropes" or tripped up by roots at every
turn, verges almost upon impossibility.
After three hours of stumbling about in the forest,
it was a great relief to meet a messenger from our
friendly princess, who told us that her people had
crossed the river in the dark, and had lifted all the
canoes from the right bank, so that there was no
immediate danger of the enemy crossing. We
thereupon retraced our steps, heartily glad to get
back to camp. The next few days were occupied
in constructing a boma — which consisted of a
thorn fence with a double ditch — to surround
the whole camp. This was a very poor defence
compared with those contact with the enemy after-
wards taught us to build. As these Arab fortifica-
tions formed an important element in our subsequent
dealings with the enemy, it may be well to describe
one in detail.
An Arab force on the march employs a large
number of its slaves in cutting down, and carrying
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER loi
with them, trees and saplings from about twelve to
fifteen feet in length and up to six feet in diameter.
As soon as a halting-place has been fixed on, the
slaves plant this timber in a circle of about fifty-
yards in diameter, inside which the chiefs and
ofiicers establish themselves. A trench is then dug
and the earth thrown up against the palisades, in
which banana stalks, pointing in difi"erent direc-
tions, are laid. Round the centre, and following
the inequalities of the ground, a second line of
stakes is planted, this second circle being perhaps
three or four hundred yards in diameter. Another
trench is then dug in the same way, with bananas
planted, as before, in the earthwork. The in-
terval between the two lines of fortification is
occupied by the troops. If the boma is only to
be occupied for two or three days, this is all that
is usually done to it ; but if it is intended for a
longer stay, a trench is dug outside the palisades.
The object of using banana stalks in this manner
is ingenious. Within four or five hours they shrink,
and on being withdrawn from the earth leave
loopholes, through which the defenders can fire
102 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
without exposing themselves. Little huts are
built all over the interior of the fort, and these
huts are also very ingeniously devised, and are
furthermore bomb-proof. They consist of a hole
dug a yard and a half deep, and covered with
wood. This wood forms a ceiling, over which the
earth from the interior is placed to the depth of a
couple of feet, and a thatched roof placed over all
to keep off the rain. In many of the bomas we
found that the defenders had dug holes from the
main trenches outwards, in which they lived, having
lined them with straw. The whole fort is often
divided into four or more sections by a palisade
and trenches, so that if one part of it is stormed
the storming party finds itself in a cross fire — a
worse position than when actually trying to effect
an entrance. We found that the shells from the
7 '5 Krupps did little or no damage to these
On the 29th October we received another letter
from Debruyne, saying that the Arabs had divided
forces with the intention of crossing the river
in three places at the same time, and thus com-
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER 103
pelling us to divide up. In the event of this
succeeding, they anticipated no difficulty in
destroying us in detail. Debruyne begged us to
abandon the idea of fighting, which he maintained
was hopeless, and, instead, to cross the river and
hold a friendly palaver with Sefu. He added,
as a warning, that Sefu, although not anxious to
fight, had told him the night before that his
patience was nearly exhausted, and that he would
spare none of us if we did not give in at once.
The first men he intended to kill were Lippens
and the writer of the letter. We naturally de-
cided not to throw ourselves on Arab generosity,
and sent to say so, at the same time despatching
more than half our stores to Debruyne. That
evening we had a letter from de Heusch, saying
that he and forty men would arrive next day
On the 2nd November definite information con-
cerning Gongo Muchufa reached us. He held his
canoes in readiness for the passage of Sefu's
forces. As we knew that de Heusch must soon
arrive, I took forty men and marched down the
104 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
river bank, my object being, if possible, to cut
out the canoes — if not, to attempt to check the
Arab forces while in the act of crossing the river.
Six hours' marching brought me to the river
bank, which the high ground, however, compelled
me to leave again, the dry and open space a
mile or two from the river affording much better
walking. I found the ferry village deserted, and
all the canoes gone. As there was no open space
near the river, and the forest was dangerously
thick, I retired to some high ground about a
mile off. A tornado was raging, and there
being nothing else to do, we lay down, hungry,
wet, and cold, and waited for the wind and rain to
stop. My men built a little house of palm
branches for me, and grass ones for themselves.
With the additional luxury of a fire I felt warm
and comfortable, and, in spite of the storm, slept
quietly until roused by a leopard sneaking into
the camp and scaring the sentries nearly out
of their wits. The following morning I was
honoured by a visit from Nyan Gongo, a
muscular man about six feet two inches in
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER 105
height, and one of the finest -built natives I
ever met. His village, the capital of the
district, was near ; and after the usual talk — in
which he showed his familiarity with Arab
customs — I requested him to bring food for sale,
which he did, but asked so high a price for it
that we bought very little. It was, however, a
mistake to offer to buy food, the Arab custom
being to supply travellers with it gratis. For two
days after this Nyan Gongo showed no signs of
life, at the end of which time, our supplies being
completely exhausted, I sent a native to him,
requesting an interview. He responded by
swaggering into my camp at the head of his
harem and a large following of his people, preceded
by a band composed of girls singing and men
beating tum-tums, and with several hundred armed
men. He insolently demanded what present I had
for him. I temporised by asking what he supposed
we were going to feed on if he had brought us no
food, to which he replied that he could not afi'ord
to feed us, as we paid him too little, and that
before we began to talk I must give him my coat
io6 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and boots. The Arabs, he said, had more cloth
and presents for him than I had, which was un-
pleasant, the more so because it was probably
true. The Arabs also were on the other side of
the river and anxious to cross, whereas I was
on his side and had nothing to gain. It was,
however, imperative that we should get food
somehow. I therefore whistled my men round
us, and in a moment, before they knew what was
happening, we had disarmed and taken prisoner
the unaccommodating chief and half a dozen of
his head men. I then explained to him that it
would be better to send away all his armed
men, as if one of them forgot himself the con-
sequences would be to his disadvantage, and
that the sooner his people brought me food the
better, since I had no intention of dying of
starvation unless he and his chief men died too.
After some time he appeared convinced, and
sent for food, which came into camp in enormous
quantities the same evening. He was then set
at liberty, with a small present to soothe his
ruffled dignity. He seemed more surprised at
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER 107
the idea of a man, in whose power he was, giving
him his liberty and a present, than he was at
being disarmed and kidnapped while he thought
himself monarch of all he surveyed. Nyan
Gongo and I were from that time always friends.
Months afterwards, when he was only an indi-
vidual in a crowd of petty chiefs — who were
indebted to us for their very existence, and who
were not expected to pay tribute in any shape
or form except through Lupungu — he used to
bring me little presents himself; I suppose from
the same instinct which causes a dog to fawn
on the person who has punished him.
For three or four days I patrolled up and down
the river, which, my spies told me, Sefu was
actually trying to cross in this neighbourhood.
At this time I received a letter from Duchesne,
at N'Gandu, enjoining us to be very careful — his
spies having discovered that Sefu really meant
to attack us where w^e were, and that our so-
called friendly natives had arranged to assist the
Arabs. Lieutenant Scherlink arrived in my camp
on the 7tli November, having left dc Heusch
io8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
in charge of Goimuyasso's. I was delighted to
see him, as I had had little or no rest, night or
day, sifting false news and marching on " reliable
information" to meet an enemy who had never
even crossed the river, and who, as we afterwards
discovered (knowing that I was there), had no
intention of crossing. On the evening of the 9th
November we got a hurried note from de Heusch,
saying that by the time it reached us he would
probably be cut off from us. A prisoner he had
taken, gratuitously informed him that Sefu would
make an attack on the morning of the 11th. We
struck camp when the moon gave light enough,
and, without finding any signs of the enemy,
arrived at Goimuyasso's. Simultaneously with
our arrival, a number of prisoners, caught by
Goi's people in the act of stealing canoes, were
brought in. They said that Sefu had sent them
across the river to get him canoes, and this seemed
to have been the whole source of the alarm. One
of these prisoners, a " witch-doctor," calmly told us
that he changed himself into a duck whenever he
wanted to cross a river. This man was afterwards
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER 109
caught in our camp and shot as a spy. Every
native, and even some of our own regulars, firmly
believed he had passed the sentry changed into
the form of some animal, and told us it would be
useless to try and kill him. He was, however,
given ample warning, and we demonstrated that
his witchcraft was not proof against lead.
In preparation for the reported attack on the
11th we put up some rests for the rifles, and placed
them in a position to command the chief roads round
the camp. Our men, who were mostly Hausas,
were such appallingly bad shots, that, left to them-
selves, they would not have been likely to hit a
man at thirty yards. Letters from Commandant
Dhanis reached us on the 11th, saying that
he hoped to arrive on the 14th with about ten
thousand native allies, and giving us orders not
to cross the river on any pretext whatever until
then. Hearing that there were a number of canoes
higher up the river, which the Arabs were trying
to get hold of, we sent a detachment under de
Heusch up the river bank to bring them down to
us if possible, or, failing this, to destroy them.
no THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
De Heusch, who was known as the most reckless
of dare-devils, had been told not to cross the river.
He surprised the town where the canoes had been
found, and discovered that the Arab forces had
already taken them to the other side. Having
come across one half of an old canoe, he patched
this with clay, and, taking two men with him in
this apology for a boat, crossed the river and set
about to hunt for the canoes, which were hidden in
the long grass. The Arab allies lined the bank
by hundreds, and amid a shower of balls and
arrows de Heusch beat a retreat, strange to say
unhurt, and left, " apres les avoir envoyes quelques
prunneaux" as he expressed it to me. During his
absence Sefu had despatched Debruyne with a strong
escort to the river, his object being to persuade
us to cross over and visit him, escorted by not
more than half a dozen men. Our own spies had
warned us that Sefu intended by some pretext to
persuade us to cross over, and then either to kill
us or make us prisoners. Being forewarned we
refused, and explained that we had the Com-
mandant's orders not to pass the Lomami, at the
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ENCOUNTER iii
same time mentioning that we expected the Com-
mandant Dhanis to be with us in a day or
two. I did my best to persuade Debruyne to
swim over to us, but as things then stood he
refused to. Some months afterwards, when we
opened the poor fellow's grave at Kasongo, we
found that he had been cut into pieces about a
foot long, though happily, as we discovered from
his murderers and from independent witnesses,
this was post-mortem mutilation.
On the 20th November the Commandant arrived,
having with him one 7 '5 Krupp gun, and
accompanied by Captain de Wouters, Cerkel,
Lupungu, Kolomoni, and a great following. On
the way, hearing that the Arabs had appeared
lower down the river opposite N'Gandu, Dhanis
had sent Captain Michaux with eighty men to
reinforce Lieutenant Duchesne, who was with
Congo Lutete at N'Gandu. This detachment
became eventually a second of attack.
FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE ARABS — CAPTURE OF
TWO OF THEIR FORTS
The day following tlie Commandant's arrival at
the Lomami we heard that some of Sefu's people
had crossed the river about eight hours' march
below us. Not thinking it a very serious matter,
we sent a detachment of forty men under a black
sergeant named Albert Frees and a corporal called
Benga, together with Lupungu, Kolomoni, and
their people, to reconnoitre and, if necessary, fight.
Albert Frees, a Monorovian by birth, was a
wiry little man of about five feet six, who spoke
English with a strong American twang and much
volubility. His energy and intelligence were ex-
traordinary in a man who had had no education.
Benga was a native of Sierra Leone, a thick-set
heavy-faced negro, who seldom spoke unless he had
something very important to say. His reticence
FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE ARABS 113
was most remarkable, and for hours together he
would not open his lips. These two were sworn
friends ; and as each of them had more pluck in his
body than all the other blacks I have ever met
with put together, and both were capital shots,
they succeeded during the campaign in successfully
accomplishing the most daring exploits possible
for anyone to undertake. After a day's fighting
they habitually got their men together, and
followed the retreating enemy far into the night.
How they came out alive from some of their
undertakings was always a marvel to us.
The next evening a man rushed into the camp
carrying an Arab gun, and bringing a message
to the eflfect that the Arabs were in force, and
that after severe fighting the position had not
been carried. The Commandant immediately
started for the scene of action, Scherlink and I
accompanying him with a detachment of all the
best men. We marched half the night, when,
getting into a dense forest, where it was too dark
and dangerous to move on, we lay down in our
tracks and waited for dawn. We were only about
114 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
three hours on the road next morning when we
met a number of natives sent to us with a letter
from Michaux. Tliey were carrying several Win-
chester repeating rifles, and escorting prisoners —
tokens of a victory over the Arab forces. Gongo
Lutete, it seems, had found that the Arabs were
already across the river ; whereupon he and all his
people, ahead of Michaux and Duchesne, together
with the regulars, had marched to find the Arabs,
and had arrived at the two forts just as the sun
went down. Albert Frees, meanwhile, had been
skirmishing round these forts for some hours.
Arriving at dark, Michaux and Gongo Lutete
withdrew their men and encamped about an
hour's march distance from Albert Frees and Lup-
ungu, who lay down in front of the smaller fort.
[The diagram on page opposite shows the position.]
A tornado came on, followed by rain, which
lasted all night, and at dawn Albert Frees recom-
menced to attack. The Arabs charged out in
force, but very few of their cap guns (which re-
presented the great bulk of their armament) went
off, the night's rain having thoroughly soaked the
FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE ARABS 115
powder. Albert Frees was quick to see the
dilemma they were in, and, taking advantage of it,
charged them home with Lupungu, and carried
the smaller fort just as Michaux and Gongo Lutete
came up. The Arabs retreated to the larger fort,
which did not long resist the combined attack.
A panic, of which no one knows the cause, started
among the Arab forces, and the whole crowd
jumped into the river, here about a hundred yards
wide, with a four-mile current. The regulars and
friendly natives killed them by hundreds in the
ii6 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
water. Sefu himself had recrossed before the
fighting began, and so escaped. On counting the
Arab loss, we found it to be over 600 on the field
of battle, and between 2000 and 3000 killed or
drowned in the river. We took about 30 good
repeating rifles and upwards of 2000 cap guns,
with large quantities of powder and cartridges.
Sergeant Albert Frees and Corporal Benga were
the first to get to the palisades of the fort, Albert
being three times touched by balls. Benga, who
was a great athlete, managed, by running hard and
flinging himself against the palisade, to start two or
three posts ; this gave an opening, through which
he and Albert, quickly followed by their men,
managed to efiect an entry. Here we took three
chiefs prisoners, one of whom, Sadi by name, had
served with Stanley. Both his arms were broken
and his thigh and scalp were ripped open by
bullets, yet he lingered on in this state for three
The Commandant now decided to follow the
Arabs into their country. He was at liberty to
do this, since they, by crossing the Lomami and
CAPTURE OF TWO OF THEIR FORTS 117
attacking us, with Sefu, an officer of the State,
at their head, had broken the Treaty of Zanzibar.
Scherlink and I were in charofe of the advance-
guard. We crossed the Lomami River on the
26th of November and camped in a plain about
half a mile from the river bank. After two days of
inactivity, while waiting for the main body to cross
the river, we, to satisfy the men — who were dis-
contented and hungry — started foraging. We
rushed a fortified village named Chile, the most
tastefully built and beautifully planted town I
have seen in Central Africa. The houses were
built on platforms raised about two feet from the
ground, and were made of wood, thatched with
the ordinary grass. On the inside, the walls were
plastered with white clay, grotesquely ornamented
in yellow, black, and red. Nearly all of these
houses were furnished with regular-made fireplaces
and seats. Windows or openings of any form in
the sides of his hut are things the African native
never dreams of arranging. A small hole in the
roof is occasionally left for the smoke to escape
by, though even this is by no means a general
ii8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
practice, and, more often than not, a small low
doorway is the only means of ventilation, with
the exception of any stray chinks that may have
been left through careless thatching of the roof.
I frequently noticed among African natives a
certain brown, and often bloodshot, condition of
the conjunctiva, though, on opening the lid a
little wider than normal, the white of the eye
not usually exposed was found to be clean and
clear. This condition of things was, I came to
the conclusion, produced by smoke. It will be
easily understood that the atmosphere inside a
hut of this description, with a fire in it, is so
thick with smoke that an ordinary European,
unused to the life, would be almost suffocated. The
natives are, however, accustomed to it from their
earliest days, and when sitting by a fire in the
open air generally choose to place themselves to
leeward, the smoke being a protection against
the attacks of mosquitoes and other noxious
It was here that the cannibal propensities
of our friendlies and camp followers were first
CAPTURE OF TWO OF THEIR FORTS 119
brought before me. On returning through the
town after following the inhabitants a mile or two
beyond, I found that the killed and wounded had
all disappeared, and some of my men volunteered
the information that the friendlies had cut them
up and carried them off for food. This I did not
believe. On our way home, however, we were
again attacked. The friendlies, who were dancing
along in front, promptly broke and fled, leaving
amongst the other loot scattered about the road,
several human arms, legs, and heads, which the
men whose information I had doubted took care
to point out to me as proof that they had not
lied. This skirmish was curious, for another
reason. I mounted an ant-hill to see how
things were going, and how the enemy were
posted ; straight in front of me, on another hill
about sixty yards off", the opponent chief with
his staff was posted. On seeing me he promptly
commenced emptying his Winchester in my
direction, till I knocked him off his perch with
a Mauser bullet in his chest. A year afterwards
Scherlink met this man ; and the chief, quite proud
I20 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
of them, showed him the scars that the bullet
had left in his breast-bone and back, after which
it had passed through the abdomen of one of his
men, who died some days after from the wound.
My brother officers used to suggest that the bullet
had become septic in passing through the chiefs
chest, and that the second man had probably died
After much experience with different patterns
of the newest small-bore rifles, we all lost faith
in their killing and stopping power, and preferred
to arm our men with the old chassepots used in
the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.
On our way back from the skirmish we met the
Commandant, with de Wouters, the white sergeant
Cerkel, and all the available force he could muster.
We immediately camped, and that evening the
Commandant repeated what he had before told us
when he asked who would go with him — namely,
that he had no intention of returning alive from
the campaign if it were unsuccessful, and that
if any of us were unfortunate enough to be
taken prisoners by the enemy he would consider
CAPTURE OF TWO OF THEIR FORTS 121
us as dead, and would not risk a man to save
The next day we took Kitenge's town. Albert
Frees had been sent on in front to reassure the
chief and his people. As they were natives, we
had no intention of fig-hting with them, our
quarrel being, of course, only with the Arab slave-
raiders and their allies. He succeeded in tranquil-
lising them, and was quietly talking to the chief
when our forces appeared on the hill above the
town, at the sight of which the entire population
was seized with panic and fled. Kitenge himself
dodged through the crowd ; but Albert, realising his
intention, gave chase into the jungle, and brought
him back to us just as we had taken possession
of the town. Upon being asked by the Com-
mandant what had happened, Albert vouchsafed as
answer, " I catched man plenty wild passed him
before." We took our whole force into the
town and gave them quarters in Kitenge's harem,
which he had emptied. It contained about two
hundred separate houses, and was surrounded by a
strong palisade, the whole forming a very efiicient
122 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
camp for our people. The situation possessed the
additional advantage of being separated from the
natives and the town, and thus lessened the chance
of collision between the two parties. The country
round this town is exceedingly rich. Our people
brought in prodigious quantities of bananas, differ-
ent kinds of corn, pineapples, potatoes, sugar-
cane, and other food.
On the 3rd of December we commenced march-
ing in a N.N.E. direction. Though our way lay
through swamps, there were fortunately no forests.
We arrived at Kabamba's on the 5th, and were
met by the chief, who assured us that he had no
quarrel with us, and that he had already refused
to join the Arabs against us, though he had no
intention of joining us against the Arabs. He
boasted that he had never yet been drawn into
war. Living as he did amongst almost inter-
minable swamps, it is probable that even the
Arabs had found it useless to try to coerce him.
He presented us with a splendid bullock left in
his charge by Wissmann four years before, but he
brought us no other present, nor did he ask for
CAPTURE OF TWO OF THEIR FORTS 123
any. After a week's stay there news reached us
that Michaux and Gongo Lutete were advancing
to meet us, which made the Commandant doubt-
ful whether to meet them at Dibui's or at Lusuna.
After some days' waiting, during which our camp
was fixed on a small space of dry ground about
a foot above the level of the surrounding morass,
we heard that Michaux's column was advancing on
Lusuna, whereupon, to the great delight of every-
one, the Commandant gave orders to start on the
morrow. On the 11th we arrived at Lusuna, and
there found Michaux, who had taken the town by
storm three or four days before. He gave us
sugar, tobacco, and salt, which were great luxuries
after three weeks with no other food than the
flesh of the tough goats taken in some of the
skirmishes, and rice boiled in the stinking swamp
water. Of the many hardships encountered
during the expedition, I think we all agreed
that the worst was the deprivation of salt. During
the whole time spent in these swamps the health
of the caravan was excellent, although the water
drunk by everyone varied in colour from red,
124 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
green, and yellow to black. The officer of the
day who had the rearguard, and more particularly
the gunguard, under supervision, was invariably
ten or twelve hours on his feet, often without food,
and working the greater part of the day up to his
waist, or even neck, in the swamps. I can only
attribute the absence of fever in the caravan to
the effect of light, since there were no forests
in the immediate neighbourhood, and all the
swamps were open to the sun's direct rays.
At Lusuna we found that Michaux had brought
Gongo Lutete, with between 5000 and 10,000
auxiliaries with him ; and as we were accom-
panied by Lupungu, Kolomoni, and Goimuyasso,
our camp at this time numbered about 25,000
natives, 400 regulars, and 6 white officers. The
old Lusuna — or Rusuna as Cameron calls him
— had died a few months before our arrival, and
his successor was a mild man of very different
The fact that both sides were cannibals, or
rather that both sides had cannibals in their
train, proved a great element in our success.
CAPTURE OF TWO OF THEIR FORTS 125
The teaching of the Mohammedan religion does
not allow that a man whose body has been
mutilated can enter into the highest heaven,
where only perfect men are admitted. As a con-
sequence of this belief, the white Arabs and other
faithful followers of Islam would, after a rebuff,
instead of trying to retrieve the fortunes of the
day, fly from the field with all possible speed — not
so much in order to save their lives, as through
fear lest their carcasses, in the event of their
falling, should be torn to pieces. Notwithstanding
this, however, on the occasions on which they
were practically cornered, the desperate valour
generally attributed to the Arabs showed itself
in full force.
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY — RETURN OF SEFU
TO THE ATTACK
The Commandant instituted a very good system
which we afterwards often felt the benefit of, namely,
the supplying of every white man, at the State
expense, with as many boy-servants as he chose to
employ. These were generally savage little rascals,
lately -freed slaves, and either the children of
prisoners of war, or presents sent from native
chiefs. Their business being to attend to the
personal comfort of the whites, they rapidly ac-
quired a certain amount of civilisation, and an
absolute confidence in white men. While still
quite small, they acted as interpreters in the ordi-
nary business with natives. As soon as they were
old enough and sufficiently strong — often, with
good feeding, a matter of only a few months — they
were given guns, and taught how to use them ;
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 127
thus forming a sort of bodyguard for their
masters when visiting friendly native chiefs.
Very quickly after having arms in their hands
they asked to be allowed to become soldiers, and
were then drafted into the regular force. Eventu-
ally, what was called a " boy company " was
formed, and it became the smartest set of soldiers
we had. Their chief amusement when off duty
was to go through their drill. The boy corporals
had generally a few natives, or prisoners, who had
been given into their charge to look after ; these
recruits they used to drill for the pleasure of
drilling them, and many of them also became
soldiers. One great advantage in connection with
these boys was, that, when in action they got into
trouble or retreated, they invariably rallied round
the nearest white man, their sole idea of safety
being to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of
It having been decided that we should count the
auxiliary forces, in order that some idea of how
much powder to give to the different chiefs might
be arrived at, we proceeded to do so in the usual
128 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Arab manner. A wild animal's skin was placed
on the ground, and the whole number of forces to
be counted walked over it one by one. We found
that Gongo Lutete had little over two thousand
guns ; Lupungu and the tribes with him, over three
thousand. Gongo Lutete and Lupungu were old
enemies ; Lutete having represented the Arab
power, whereas Lupungu was grand chief of the
native powers. Lupungu at this juncture coolly-
announced that he was afraid to advance any
farther ; that his people would desert if he did so,
as dysentery and smallpox were rife towards the
Lualaba, and that all would die if they advanced.
As the question of feeding this enormous multitude
had also to be considered, Commandant Dhanis
sent Lupungu with all his people home, giving
out that we had a large enough force at our dis-
posal without him. This was a bluff which rather
scared the Arabs advancing against us. While at
Lusuna's we heard that Delcommune and Frankie
had returned from their expedition to Katanga,
and the Commandant requisitioned them to come
to us or to send what help they could. News also
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 129
reached us here of the murder of Lippens and
Debruyne, two officers representing the Free State
Government, resident at Sefu's court in Kasongo.
We found out later that, after the defeat of Sefu
on the Lomami (which resulted in the death of
his cousin and several other noted chiefs), an
advance party of the retreating Arabs arrived at
Kasongo, and, by way of individual revenge, mur-
dered the two Residents. It is probable, since we
have no actual proof to the contrary, that this
was done without Sefu's orders. Twelve of these
people, armed with knives hidden in their clothing,
made some trivial pretext for visiting Lippens at
the Residency, who, however, refused to come out
and interview them. They then said that news
of a big battle had come to them from Sefu ; on
hearing which Lippens came out, and, while talking
in the verandah, was promptly and silently stabbed.
Some of the murderers entering the adjoining
room, found Debruyne writing, and killed him
before he had learned the fate of his chief. When
Sefu returned to Kasongo, a day or two afterwards,
he gave orders that the pieces of Debruyne's body
130 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
should be collected and buried with Lippens, whose
body, with the exception of the hands (which had
been sent to Sefu and Mohara of Nyangwe as
tokens), was otherwise unmutilated. The strong
innate respect for a chief had protected Lippens'
body, while that of his subordinate had been
hacked to pieces. A curious fatality followed
these twelve murderers. The chief of the band,
Kabwarri by name, was killed by us in the battle
of the 26 th of February with Lippens* Martini
express in his hand. Of the others — all of whom
were the sons of chiefs, and some of them impor-
tant men on their own account — four died of
smallpox, one was killed at Nyangwe, one in the
storming of Kasongo, and the remaining six we
took prisoners at Kasongo. During the trial they
one day, though in a chained gang, succeeded
in overpowering the sentry, and thus escaped.
One was drowned in crossing a river ; three more
were killed, either fighting or by accident, within
a month or two of their escape ; and the two
remaining we retook and hanged ; — which brings
to me a curious point. Of the many men I have
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 131
seen hanged nearly all died by strangulation, and
not by having the neck broken. As compared
with shooting, hanging seems to me the less pain-
ful death ; the wretched being becomes insensible
in a very few seconds, whereas a man shot will
often require a coup de grdce, no matter how care-
fully the firing party is placed.
During this time I made several excursions
through the country in search of game, and also as
a means of getting to know the district What
struck me most in these expeditions was the
number of partially cut-up bodies I found in
every direction for miles around. Some of them
were minus the hands and feet, and some with
steaks cut from the thighs or elsewhere ; others
had the entrails or the head removed, according to
the taste of the individual savage, though, as I
afterwards discovered, this taste is more tribal
than individual. Neither old nor young, women
or children, are exempt from the possibility of
serving as food for their conquerors or neighbours.
Many rumours reached us that Mohara of
Nyangwe was advancing against us. We had
132 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
several false alarms of night attacks, and were
very glad when, on the 29th of December, these
rumours became so definite that Gongo Lutete
oftered to bet the Commandant that if we marched
on the morrow we should meet the Arabs. Dhanis
was still unbelieving, and took up the bet for ten
bales of cloth, hoping that he would lose it, as the
uncertainty and false alarms were wearing out
the temper of our caravan.
At five o'clock on the morning of the 30th we
marched, with Gongo and his thousand guns
scouting in front of us. After six hours and a
half's severe marchino; we heard firino' in front.
The Commandant and I raced on, and emerged
on a plain covered with short grass in time to see
Gongo and his men in full flight before the vic-
torious Arabs, not four hundred yards ofi" in front
of us. Michaux soon came up with his company,
and the Commandant gave orders to charge. As
we started he ordered me to draw ofi" my men,
and to stay behind to guard the women and bag-
gage. He also charged me to send on the other
companies with the Krupp as soon as they arrived.
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 133
At this moment the Haiisas started their war-cry.
My men were all Hausas, and no sooner had they
heard it than they bolted into the fight, leaving
me alone with the chief corporal. Perched on the
top of an ant-hill, with my corporal at my side,
I had certainly as good a view of a battle as
any man could wish for. I saw the Commandant
and Michaux disappear apparently into the ground
— the cause being, what neither they nor I knew
till they were in it, that a swamp, some hundred
yards wide, intervened between us and the enemy.
It was a most curious effect to see our men up to
their necks in mud and water firing on the Arabs.
As they advanced the Arabs retired, and Gongo,
seeing that help had arrived, i-allied his retreating-
forces, and, in conjunction with our own forces,
drove the Arabs across the plain and into their
entrenched camp, which the regular troops then
stormed. A large body of Arabs were gathered on
our left wing, though apparently neither our
troops nor Gongo had noticed this, and to my
horror I saw our forces commence driving the main
body into the scrub, and following them out of
134 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
sight. Soon the crack of the rifles became almost
inaudible, and I was left as a target for the four or five
hundred Arabs who were now between me and the
Commandant, at less than four hundred yards from
my ant-hill. The only thing I can think of that saved
me is, that these Arab troops must have mistaken
the baggage and women by whom I was surrounded,
for a reserve. After about twenty minutes Scher-
link arrived, and, proceeding to join the Com-
mandant, was quickly followed by Captain de
Wouters with the gun. We then followed as
rapidly as possible, skirting the swamp. I saw on
this battlefield the only case I can remember of a
native putting love before fear or danger. In a
bare spot my comrades had just swept over, I
passed a woman seated on the ground by a dead
chief, quietly crying with his head in her lap,
while the bullets whizzed round her, sometimes
only missing her by inches. A little later on,
when recrossing the battlefield, the only signs
left were bloodstained spots here and there,
marking the place where the victims of the fight
had been cut up to furnish a banquet in the even-
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 135
ing to the victorious survivors. Our disgust may
be better imagined than expressed, for we found
that the camp followers and friendlies made no
difference in this respect between the killed and
wounded on their own side or the enemy's. One
of Gongo Lutete's wives was killed during the
progress of the battle, and was cut up and eaten by
his own men, on whom, however, he took summary
vengeance the day following by handing them over
to form a repast for their comrades. Several of
our people had been taken prisoners during the
Arab successes earlier in the day, and when the
Arabs were retreating they killed some of them,
and frightfully mutilated others without killing
them, leaving them on the road. This was not
a wise proceeding, as it did not tend to make our
people more tender in their dealings with the
retreating perpetrators of these outrages.
The Arab camp which we took was situated on
a rising ground in and around the village of
Kasongo Luakilla. Being a strong position, it
served us well for headquarters. In the camp
we took powder, cartridges, rifles, and other
136 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
ammunition ; and we also found Arab tents and
paraphernalia, with a tent made by Edison, which
had probably belonged to a member of Hodister's
unfortunate expedition. We discovered from
prisoners and some of the papers taken in the
camp, that Muni Pembe (the son of Mohara)
and Mahomedi commanded the Arabs. Their loss
was difficult to estimate, but we imagined must
have amounted to over two hundred killed. Our own
loss amounted to eighty-two killed and wounded.
On the 1st of January we broke camp to look
for food. A fearful storm overtook us, and, as
it showed no signs of abating, we were forced
to camp on a hillside. Everybody was very
miserable and bad-tempered, food was scarce,
cooking impossible, and all things were wet and
cold. The next day we advanced under a hot
sun, and found the heat delightful after the cold
and wet of the previous day and night. A couple
of hours brought us to the Mwadi Eiver, which,
with its rapid current and twenty-five feet depth of
water, was a difficult obstacle for the caravan to cross.
With four hours' hard work we succeeded in making
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 137
a bridge, and everyone crossed in safety, with the
exception of some half a dozen of Gongo Lutete's
people, who were drowned. After another two
hours' march we camped on a plateau called
Goio Kapopa, about three hundred feet above the
surrounding plain, in which the courses of three
moderately large rivers could be easily made out.
Opposite us, to the eastward, was a high range of
One evening, while lying in camp at Goio Kapopa,
some of the superstitious among our men came as a
deputation to the Commandant and begged him as
a favour to "make medicine," to show what the
result of the next conflict with the enemy would
be. The Arabs, they said, had been trying every
form of fetish known to them, but their oracles
were dumb (the Arab method most usually
practised is, after certain forms and ceremonies
have been gone through, to kill a goat or fowl,
from the appearance of whose entrails the witch-
doctor pretends to be able to read the future).
They had never seen the white man experiment,
and were very anxious that we should comply with
138 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
their request. The Commandant gave out that he
would test the fates at eight o'clock that evening,
and told them that if his medicine, after due pre-
paration, became red, the Arab forces in the next
battle would be annihilated ; if it became white,
the battle would be drawn ; but if green should be
the colour, we should have to avoid battle for a
couple of months, as the result would be uncertain.
By the evening every soul in our and the native
camps around had turned out to see what would
happen, and Sefu's hosts on the opposite hills
were also eagerly watching. We had a few dozen
signal rockets with us, of which, however, only a
dozen were in good order, and which had been
kept in the event of a great emergency. When
the Commandant ordered three of the red signal
rockets to be fired, the yell of joy that rang
through the camp was perfectly appalling. As
the onlookers realised that the "medicine" was
red, three times repeated, they danced round us in
a perfect frenzy of joy, and demanded that powder
should be given to them to make a night of it.
It is a characteristic of Arab followers and natives
SKIRMISHES WITH THE ENEMY 139
to let off their guns at every opportunity — ^joy or
sorrow, arrival or departure, serving as an excuse
for the discharge of firearms. Even a shower of
rain causes a reckless waste of powder, and every
man fires his gun " for fear the powder should get
wet." When the rain stops and the sun reappears,
he fires another charge "to make sure that the gun
has not got damp." On this special occasion they
asked for powder, and were made happy with a
couple of barrels, when with yells and dances and
the constant discharge of firearms they made night
hideous. A corresponding silence reigned in the
enemy's camp, who, I believe, had we been able to
attack them, would have stampeded then and there.
On the 5th of January three or four hundred
women, who had been left behind at the Lomami
River with the soldiers' private baggage, came to
us, and there was great rejoicing in camp. The
men having been without their extra blankets, and
not having had their women to look after them,
had been out of condition and ill-nourished. The
women also brought a note from the Lomami,
saying that Delcommune had responded to the
I40 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Commandant's requisition by sending a white
officer named Cassar, some soldiers, and all his
rifles and ammunition, but that he could not send
the bulk of his soldiers. They would, he said,
have to be re-engaged at Lusambo, so that we
could not expect to see them for a couple of
months. From Frankie's expedition there was no
response whatever. That same evening we saw
camp fires on the hills opposite, and heard drums
rolling and great shouting. The next day we
could see, with glasses, a very large camp covering
upwards of a mile. This turned out to be Sefu,
with the other princes of Kasongo, who had
returned to the attack in spite of his overwhelm-
ing defeat at the Lomami. The Commandant
determined to let them cross the river, or at all
events to land part of their force on our side,
before attackinoj them.
MORE ARAB DEFEATS — THE COMMANDANT DECIDES
TO TAKE THE INITIATIVE AND TO LEAD AN
ATTACK UPON SEFU's FORCES
On the morning of the 9 th of January, at about
6 o'clock, we heard firing behind our camp. On
inquiring from Gongo Lutete, he suggested that
some of his people might have become involved in
a quarrel with the natives. After a few minutes,
however, we distinctly heard volley -firing, and,
since it was not possible that this could be from
natives, the Commandant sent Michaux and de
Wouters to reconnoitre. They returned without
having discovered what it was. A few minutes
later a man rushed breathless into the camp,
and, holding up a breechloader and half a dozen
cartridges, shouted, " The white man is attacked
and wants help," and fell down fainting. When
he could give a coherent account of himself, he
142 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
said that the white man was still fighting, but was
very hard pressed, and had sent for help. Michaux,
de Wouters, and Scherlink promptly started off
with their companies and a contingent of Gongo
Lutete's, leaving the Commandant, with myself
and Cerkel, in a horrid state of suspense. We got
the camp ready to resist an attack ; Sefu's force
being camped in front of us, and, according to the
report we had just received, Mohara of Nyangwe
fighting in our rear. This, at the time, seemed
scarcely credible, though it turned out to be true.
At midday the firing commenced a few hundred
yards from our camp, in the grass. Just as we
thought the fight would begin, Cassar marched into
the camp with all his baggage — wounded, but
having extricated himself from the dilemma he
was in without even seeing the force we had sent
to help him. His first words amused us : " Com-
mandant," said he, " I was all but taken, and I
have burnt an awful lot of cartridges." " Oh,"
said the Commandant, " you're alive, and that's the
main thing. I suppose you've lost all the baggage
and ammunition you were bringing us," But the
MORE ARAB ATTACKS 143
plucky little man had not; and this, from the
account he gave us, is what had taken place.
He had, the evening before, camped about two
hours and a half's march in our rear, and, suspect-
ing nothing, had slept well. He was bringing
us about 50,000 rounds of ammunition, and
40 chassepot rifles tied up in bundles; and his
caravan consisted of 26 regular soldiers, and 250
of Gongo Lutete's men as porters. While washing
himself at his tent door at a quarter to six in
the morning, he was astonished by a volley fired
into the camp from the surrounding scrub. He
found that the bush on every side of him was full
of turbaned forces. Getting his men in hand
immediately, he returned the fire. Those of his
porters who were not armed with muzzleloaders,
broke open the ammunition boxes, and, taking the
chassepots, kept up an erratic fire in every direction
but the one most necessary. This ill -directed fire
was, however, enough to prevent the Arabs from
rushing the camp, and Cassar charged out with his
soldiers at any point where the enemy approached
too closely. This continued for over four hours,
144 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
when, for a reason unknown to Cassar at the time,
the Arabs withdrew for an hour and twenty
minutes. The explanation, as we afterwards
discovered, was that Mohara had been wounded
in the leg by a chance shot. During this pause
Cassar dismounted his tent, got his loads and
wounded on the road, and retired in our direction.
The bush was very thick, and when the Arabs
followed him in force he managed to hold them in
check till all his own force had crossed a deep river,
which, fortunately for him, was on his road. As
the only means of crossing the river was by a
single enormous tree, which had been felled across
it, he had no difficulty in keeping the Arabs at
bay till the main part of his caravan had got a
long start. He then raced after them, and arrived
at our camp as I have described.
While we were still talking, firing commenced
again almost in the same direction as we had heard
it in the morning. In the evening one of our
soldiers came in, bringing with him Mohara's
head, and a note from de Wouters saying that
they had fought the Arabs' main body, which they
MORE ARAB ATTACKS 145
had defeated, and had killed Mohara, whose head
he was sending for identification. Our troops
arrived in the early morning, bringing with them
great quantities of food, donkeys, and a large
bundle of Arab despatches, in addition to prisoners
and tents. De Wouters' report said that on
taking the Arab camp they had found enormous
numbers of wounded, and many freshly-made
graves, which testified to the severity of Cassar's
fighting in the morning. He had, he said, suc-
cessfully carried the position through the Arabs
having mistaken our force for an envoy from
Sefu and his guard, whom they were expecting.
Through this mistake, they had allowed de
Wouters' party to march through the swampy
valley which defended one side of their position,
and to gain the high ground on which the camp
stood, without molestation. As soon as they had
crossed the swamp, they got into high grass and
cassada fields, which hid their real character from
the enemy until they had formed line and broken
cover within a hundred yards of the nearest Arab
line. Though the Arabs had seen the arrival of
146 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
our people, they were to all intents and purposes
surprised. Mohara, who had been wounded in
the morning, was, luckily for us, killed very
early in the fight ; and the loss of their chief,
as is usual with any but European soldiers, spread
dismay among the ranks. . '
The nearest river to us to the eastward was the
Lufubu. After our successes on the 9th, the
Commandant decided that there was no reason
why we should not attack Sefu's forces, who were
still in front. On the 11th, therefore, Michaux
and his company were sent as a guard to Lutete's
people, who were ordered to build a bridge over
the Lufubu. This they accomplished in about
three hours, at a point where the river was only
forty yards wide and about ten feet deep. When
the bridge was finished Michaux crossed over, and
after a couple of hours' march found himself on
the banks of the Kipango, not a mile from Sefu's
camp, which was pitched on a height about three-
quarters of a mile from the river. The enemy, on
discovering our troops so near them, came down
in force to prevent our people crossing the river
THE COMMANDANT LEADS AN ATTACK 147
Kipango, which they naturally supposed was our
intention. There seems to have been a sharp
skirmish across the river. Wordy war, which also
raged, had more effect than even our rifles.
Mahomedi and Sefu led the Arabs, who were
jeering and taunting Lutete's people, saying that
they were in a bad case, and had better desert the
white man, who was ignorant of the fact that
Mohara with all the forces of Nyangwe was
camped in his rear. Lutete's people replied :
*' Oh, we know all about Mohara ; we ate him the
day before yesterday." The news of Mohara's
defeat had not then reached Sefu, as our camp
lay between, and Mohara was defeated and slain
before communication had been established be-
tween the Arab armies.
Michaux retired, leaving Lutete's people, masked
by the forest and unknown to the enemy, to build
a bridge across the river higher up. On the
12th we crossed the Lufubu, and coming to the
Kipango found that the bridge, made in the night
by our allies, had been carried away. Three hours'
steady work enabled us to build another, strong
148 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
enough to bear the passage of our regulars and
baggage, part of Lutete's force having crossed
the river before the bridge was carried away. A
great many of the remainder of his force succeeded
in passing by climbing the trees on the bank, and
swinging across by the creepers. Though in some
places the boughs of the trees were interlocked, the
most frightful scenes nevertheless occurred. We,
who were working lower down stream, saw many a
face, arm, or leg in the boiling flood, which was
tearing like a mill-race past us. Help it was
impossible to render. Our own men had many
narrow escapes, and one was carried away and
drowned. Just as the sun went down our forces
crossed, and after forty minutes' marching we
rushed into the Arab camp, and were surprised
to find it deserted. We spent a miserable night,
as the baggage and provision porters were unable
to find their way into the camp in the dark. From
information volunteered by some prisoners the
next day, it appeared that Sefu had been some-
what perturbed ; one of his favourite wives had
been killed by a stray shot fired during Michaux's
THE COMMANDANT LEADS AN ATTACK 149
skirmisli on the river bank, wliile sitting in his
tent with him a mile away from the scene of
combat. Shortly after Michaux had retired, a
messenger confirmed what our allies had already
told them — namely, that Mohara was killed and
his forces dispersed.
The hill on which the Arabs had made their
camp, and which we now occupied, rose abruptly
out of the plain, and formed a plateau about a
mile and a half square, surrounded on every side
by nearly perpendicular grassy slopes. No better
position for defence could possibly have been
found. Had Sefu only defended this position, I
doubt if we should ever have been able to take it ;
but he was still smarting after his rout at the
Lomami, and was much alarmed by hearing of
the death of Mohara, who was known to be the
grandest old warrior west of Lake Tanganyika.
A saying of Mohara's was well known in the
country : " I have never lost a battle which I
personally conducted ; I would rather die on the
field than go home after it was lost." One cannot
help admiring this grand old slave-raider, who,
I50 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
after years of victory, preferred to die rather than
leave the scene of his first defeat.
On the 20th January the Commandant struck
camp, having suggested the night before that we
might have a look at the Lualaba, in order that
we might be able to say that we had seen it — we
having received definite information that all the
Arab forces had retired to the right bank of the river.
Our caravan was heavily laden with food, everybody
who pretended to know anything about it seeming
to agree that between us and the river there was
only a desert, and that it would be impossible to
nourish the caravan for more than a day or two.
While in this camp we had had a great deal of sick-
ness — chiefly colic and slight fevers — which I attri-
buted to the exposed position of the plateau. The
nights were really cold — with a fall in temperature
from 100" to about 50° — though we were only some
three hundred feet above the surrounding plain.
Notwithstanding this, however, our caravan was
in a great state of jubilation, as we were now in
the Salt District, several large saline marshes being
within an hour's march. These salt marshes
THE COMMANDANT LEADS AN ATTACK 151
extend from tte Lufubu to the westward, to the
Lualaba to the eastward. The salt from this
district supplies the whole country from Tan-
ganyika to Kasai. I visited, among others, a rather
curious salt-pit at the bottom of a dark narrow
gorge of triangular shape. Through this marsh,
hot black brine was bubbling out of the ground
over almost the whole surface ; yet down the
middle ran a stream of pure cold water, which
had been banked up by the natives to prevent
the fresh water diluting the brine.
Two eagles on the cliff above looked as if they
were stuffed ; everything was hot and still ; and
even the men spoke only in whispers. In the
middle of the silence half a dozen bullets suddenly
hissed round, and the far side of the gorge filled
almost instantaneously with Arabs. In a moment
the most terrific din filled the place — everyone
was shouting and firing. I noticed that even one
of the eagles shrieked. The echoes were tre-
mendous, and caught up and doubled the confusion.
When we had cleared the gorge I sat down and
rested. The whole place, pervaded with the smell
152 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
of sulphur and hung with clouds of smoke, sug-
gested the gateway to the Inferno. One of my
men, an American nigger from Liberia, who was
quietly hacking the hand off a dead body as the
simplest method of removing the bracelets, said,
" I guess they ain't had such a dust up in this hole
since creation." At this I blew the retreat — the
echo of which went on sounding for over two
minutes — and left.
THE STATE FOPwCES CAMP OPPOSITE THE TOWN OF
NYANGWE ON THE OTHER SIDE OP THE RIVER
LUALABA — DESCRIPTION OF THE WATER-
PEOPLE — SURPRISE ENCOUNTER WITH TWO
COLUMNS OF ADVANCING ARABS
At midday on the 21st of January 1893, on coming
out of a dense belt of forest, we saw Nyangwe
spread out before us. Between us and it was a
plain some two miles wide and the river Lualaba,
which we knew to be about a thousand yards
across ; yet so clear was the air that we felt as if we
were within rifle-range of the city. We had not
been many minutes in the open before we could
detect with our glasses tremendous commotion in
the streets of Nyangwe. It was evident that we
had been seen. The Commandant halted our
forces in order to get the different divisions into
position. At this point a tornado commenced,
154 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
but the line being formed we advanced forces, and,
as soon as we had descended from the heights,
the long grass with which the plain was covered
prevented any individual from being able to see
more than ten or fifteen yards ahead. When
nearly opposite to the south end of Nyangwe, and,
as it proved, at least a mile and a half from the
river bank — though at the time it seemed much
nearer — we came upon a knoll of ground rising
out of the half-dry swamp in which we were
marching. From this situation we saw a long
line of men advancing towards us through the
grass, not more than half a mile away. We
promptly laagered, and the Commandant ordered
off two companies to check the supposed advance
of the enemy. When we were within hailing
distance, it was discovered that they were a
detachment of Lutete's force who had lost their
way, and had, to their great surprise, struck the
Lualaba just in front of the town. A volley or
two, fired at them from the opposite river bank,
sent them flying in our direction as fast as their
legs could carry them. This precipitance was
CAMP OPPOSITE NYANGWE 155
within an ace of costing them dearly, and, had
they not been in open order, we should certainly
have shelled them before finding out who they
were. On and by this knoll we camped, the highest
part of which was only a few inches above the
surrounding swamp ; and daily for five or six
weeks some part of our force waded through the
swamp, in the latter days having to swim part of
the way to the bank of the Lualaba. Opposite
the main part of the town of Nyangwe was an
island about three-quarters of a mile long, and
strongly fortified by the Arabs. It took us some
time every morning to silence the trenches com-
manding our favourite position on the bank of
the river for annoying the town itself. In
the daily interchange of civilities there were many
interesting incidents. One of the favourite
ruses of the Arab chiefs was to ask for a few
moments' quiet in which to talk with one of
the white officers ; and on several occasions an
officer — believing in the good faith of the enemy
— while holding conversation with the chief, and
thoroughly exposed, was, without warning, fired
156 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
on simultaneously by a dozen or two of men.
It seemed to us curious that the Arab allies using
muzzleloaders made good practice from the other
side of the river, their bullets being iron,
hammered round, or pieces of copper about an
inch long and nearly half an inch in diameter.
These pieces of copper scared our men consider-
ably at first, for the muskets from which they
were fired were not rifles, and the bullets arrived
on our side of the river with a horrid shriek. From
the island, which was only four hundred yards off,
these bolts were very efi'ective ; and some of them
fired from the town itself occasionally dropped in
among us, though the nearest point across the
river was over nine hundred yards.
A large herd of cattle we could see in Nyangwe
sometimes afi'orded us sport. On one occasion
when they were brought down to the river bank
to drink (their herdsmen being unaware that we
were lying in the reeds opposite them), we killed
or wounded a number of them. The herd became
enraged, and seemed further annoyed by their
masters, who were returning our fire from the
DESCRIPTION OF THE WATER-PEOPLE 157
trenches in their neighbourhood. They charged
into them, and in a very few seconds emptied the
trenches. The flying soldiers, turning round and
firing on the infuriated beasts, were quickly dis-
persed by one or two volleys from us. But for
some hours afterwards we could see the cattle
racing after terror-stricken wretches through the
streets of the town.
We should have done much better during the
siege with smokeless powder. As it was, the
Arab soldiers dropped down in the trenches at
first sight of a puff of smoke, and could of course
not be hit. Our marksmen made big grass fires
behind them, and, firing in front of the thick
smoke, bettered their chance of getting the shot
During the whole of this time, the Waginia, who
are the water-people, and who do all the transport
on the river, were constant visitors in our camp.
The Waginia are in every respect a peculiar
race. Though they are all free men they have
no slaves, and in most of their characteristics they
are curiously contradictory. They never walk.
IS8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
yet — water-people as they are — those with whom
I came in contact were very bad swimmers. All
the ferrying and up and down transport, both for
us and for the Arabs, was done by them, without
any other payment than their food during the
time they worked. Their villages are made of
grass only, and change position almost daily. All
the Waginia know each other. When any member
of the tribe happens to want a canoe, he helps
himself to any he chances to come across, and
returns it perhaps months afterwards. These
canoes are dug out of the trunks of trees, and
hold from one to fifty men ; but, though always
used by the Waginia, they are unable to make
them themselves, and buy them from the little
forest people with fish and pottery. Neither do
they fight, and, at the first sign of disturbance in
a district near to them, they drop down the river
one or two hundred miles, and are within an hour
hopelessly beyond chase. They constantly brought
us information about the doings of the Arabs
(for which, of course, we paid them), and then
went direct from us back to the town, and told
DESCRIPTION OF THE WATER-PEOPLE 159
the Arabs all about us. Though we knew this,
and taunted them with double-dealing, they were
After we had been some time in camp, Dhanis
ordered Lutete to build a canoe. In addition to
this a boat was on the road to us from Lusambo,
and with these two we hoped to be able to get
together some of the canoes from the other side
of the river. The boat was, however, lost in
crossing the Lufubu River, and the canoe when
finished would only hold six men. Before we
could build another, circumstances were so changed
that we had no need of them. The Commandant
despatched Lutete and his people to fight to the
northward, with instructions to be back in a fort-
night. Lutete departed, leaving behind him, as a
guard for over five thousand women whom he left
in his camp, two hundred muzzleloaders and the
men who carried them. Shortly after his departure,
the Waginia, who were as usual spying about the
camp, had an interview with the Commandant, in
which they told him that provisions were very
scarce in Nyangwe. In the course of the con-
i6o THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
versation they inquired how soon Lutete would
be back, to which the Commandant replied
that he expected him in a fortnight or so. He
furthermore added that it would be a grand
chance for the Arabs to attack him then, and
suggested that they should inform Sefu of his
opportunity. " Give him my compliments," said
Dhanis, "and tell him I hear he is hungry, so
am sending him half a dozen fowls. You see we
have plenty. When we have eaten all the food
on this side of the river, we shall cross over to
the other." And he gave them the last half
dozen fowls we had in camp. The Waginia, how-
ever, seem to have reported this conversation
faithfully on the other side of the river, and it
had its effect. A few days later we heard that
the Arabs had crossed the river, a couple of hours*
march below us. This information we treated
with the contempt that rumours in Africa ordi-
narily merit. Next day, however, a runaway slave
came to us, declaring that he had been brought
across the river by his master, and had been
engaged for the last two days in building bomas ;
SURPRISE ENCOUNTER i6i
the whole free population of Nyangwe with
the ordinary Arab forces would, he said, attack
us in a day or two. That same evening eight of
our people, while fetching water from a spring
within two hundred yards of the camp, were carried
off by an Arab scouting party. As the plot seemed
to be thickening, everyone was on the alert.
Towards midnight a tremendous uproar took place :
the women of Lutete's camp stampeded and over-
ran the corner of our camp in which Michaux's
lines were situated. With great difficulty we got
rid of them, but in less than an hour they again
were panic-stricken, by the accidental discharge
of a rifle, and a second time spread confusion
throughout our camp. We then made them lie
down on the ground, and put sentries over them,
with orders to shoot if anyone stood up. Nothing,
however, happened during the night ; and as the
Arabs, contrary to their custom, did not attack
at dawn, the Commandant decided to take the
initiative. De Wouters and I were given the
advance-guard, with which we had a Krupp gun ;
the camp being left in charge of two officers and
i62 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
half the men. After three-quarters of an hour's
march the road forked : the right-hand branch,
the guides told us, led direct to the Arab bomas ;
the left-hand branch we followed, the guides
explaining that by so doing we should take the
Arab force in the rear. On our right, we had
now a strip of forest which separated us from
the other road. Hearing a hum at this point,
which sounded like a large body of men in our
immediate neighbourhood, we mounted the Krupp
gun and advanced. Before very long we heard
firing on our right flank rear. After a consulta-
tion, we came to the conclusion that it must be
the Commandant, who had taken the direct road
to the bomas with the object of attacking them
in front, and who was to have followed us within
half an hour. It being then too late to turn
back, we advanced at the double, hoping to arrive
in time to attack the rear of the force before he
had effected an entry. To our astonishment, how-
ever, on arriving in a sort of cul de sac of open
ground — at no point more than four hundred yards
wide, and surrounded on three sides by forest — we
SURPRISE ENCOUNTER 163
were hailed by volleys on both flanks and in front
at the same time. We had run in between two
columns of advancing Arabs, who, hearing us
arrive, or warned by their scouts, had formed in
open order, and had posted large bodies of men
in the wood on each side of the road by which we
were arriving. These first volleys, being fired at
from thirty to one hundred yards from our line, did
more damage to each other than to us, most of the
bullets passing over our heads. How de Wouters
escaped on this and subsequent occasions it is hard
to imagine : six feet five inches in height, and
nearly always dressed in white, he was the man
of all others who served as a mark for the Arab
riflemen. On this occasion, a body of Arabs
charged into our line between de Wouters and
me, in the hope of taking Kirongo — " the Heron,"
as he was called both by our men and the enemy.
Their orders were to take "the Heron," alive or
dead, and to use their knives, since bullets were
useless against his fetish's witchcraft. I was
lucky enough to be able to stop this rush before
they had effected their object. The left-hand
i64 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
column of Arabs broke and fled after about an
hour's fighting. De Wouters and I then turned
to attack the right-hand column, which was the
stronger. Just as the movement was completed, we
were delighted to find Michaux on our right flank,
he having come up at full speed upon hearing
the firing in front. It was fortunate for us that he
decided on this line of action, instead of returning
to find out what the firing was, which he had also
noticed in the rear. This was now the position : —
ihri AH the blank Spares
The grass was certainly twelve feet high, and
rendered our charge most rafjged and irreo;ular.
SURPRISE ENCOUNTER 165
This, however, was of small consequence, as the
Arabs broke and retired. De Wouters, owing to
some inequalities in the ground, and confused by
the smoke, led his men from the left flank across
to the right flank, where he and Michaux attacked
small numbers of the enemy, who had posted
themselves in the forest. I followed the main
body, and found myself suddenly on the enemy's
rear, posted in a belt of forest. Making a charge,
I found that the only way through this belt was
by a path not five feet wide. The sensation of
going through this undergrowth, with the enemy
all the time firing apparently from out of the
ground, from the tree tops and in every direction,
was not a pleasant one. I, however, got safely
through the forest, and, halting my men on the
other side, tried to get them into something like
order. There I was rejoined by de Wouters and
Michaux, who had hardly found an Arab in the
wood : as they had not succeeded in stopping
me, they realised that they would have been
caught between two fires had they remained. As
soon as we had collected sufficient men we again
i66 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
charged the main body of Arabs, and were sur-
prised at their stubborn resistance ; for it is
generally easy to keep a body of men moving
who have once started retreating. During this
part of the engagement our right flank was
attacked. The enemy kept up a well-sustained
steady fire, which approached yet seemed to
advance on our front obliquely ; then the main
body, which we were attacking in front, gave
way, and we continued to fire on the troops
advancing on the right flank. Presently we
heard a drum, which we recognised as belongingr
to our allies, and immediately ceased fire. [The
diagram shown above explains what happened.]
SURPRISE ENCOUNTER 167
The Commandant had taken the other road, and
had immediately fallen in with the enemy, whom
after some severe fighting he drove back. We,
in making our way through the belt of forest, had
driven the enemy in front of us across his column,
which checked them, and we advanced at a right
angle. When the Arab forces dispersed, we were
left firing into each other, the grass being very
long and neither of our columns numerous.
Fortunately, only one of our men was killed and
three or four wounded by this unpleasant accident.
Our buglers, on both sides, were blowing their
best, but could of course not be heard more than
twenty yards distant in the din of battle, whereas
the drum could be heard above everything. As
soon as we could get a large enough number of
men into order we followed the retreating Arabs,
and came upon their advanced fort, which, after
about two minutes' sharp work, we stormed.
The Arabs, not having had time to organise
after their defeat in the open, seemed unable
to rally, and their other holds quickly fell. As
they commenced to re-form on the plain between
i68 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the forts and the Lualaba, we again advanced
against them, and they retreated to the river
bank. At about an hour and a half's march
from the forts, the Lufubu River empties itself
into the Lualaba, and is here about one hundred
yards wide and very deep. The enemy gathered
in solid masses in the angle formed by the junction
of the two rivers. On our approach something
started a panic in the re-formed lines of the enemy ;
and as Sefu and Miserera were crossing the Lufubu
(filling all the canoes with their own staff), the
rank and file tried to swim across by hundreds at
a time, and great numbers were drowned.
On this occasion we might claim to have unin-
tentionally surprised the Arab forces. It seems that
they left their forts at the same hour at which we
left our camp, with the intention of attacking us
in camp on three sides at once. The three columns,
taking different roads, were intended to arrive at
the same time ; but two of them, owing to the
bad state of the ground, were forced within two
hundred yards of each other, just at the moment
when de Wouters and I marched in between.
ACCOUNT OF THE PALL OF NYANGWE
On the 1st of March the Waginia offered to give
us their canoes, if we, in return, would give them
an escort past the Arab camps on the islands
down the river. The impression made on them
by our victory was so great that they were quite
confident in the result of our attack on Nyangwe,
and were even willing to lend us their canoes to
cross the river. Their hope was, if we succeeded,
to be able to do some looting in the town ; and on
the other hand, if by chance we failed, to gather
a considerable amount of booty in our camp. The
Commandant sent Scherlink and Cerkel down the
river bank, and, after a smart skirmish or two, they
succeeded in arriving at our landing-place opposite
the camp with a hundred large canoes.
On the 3rd of March letters and despatches of
great interest reached us from Inspector Fivd
170 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and others. We had heard nothing of what had
been going on outside our own little world for
months. The Inspector gave us good news too,
and his despatches informed us that he had
ordered Commandant Chalian of Basoko to form
junction with us, and to bring with him artillery
and supplies. Commandant Gillian, he said, would
join as soon as possible with all the available
men from the Sankuru-Kasai districts. He hoped
that with these forces arrayed against them the
enemy would not be able to hold out long. On
talking affairs over, it occurred to us that Chaltin
might take Nyangwe by marching up on the right
bank of the river. This idea took hold of us,
and we all rushed out from mess with our glasses,
to make sure that the Arab flag was still flying
over Nyangwe. It would have been a disappoint-
ment if, after all our trouble and discomfort,
somebody else had had the honour of taking
Nyangwe. This notion had, I think, a great deal
to do with Commandant Dhanis' prompt attack
on the town within an hour of our having the
canoes which made it possible.
THE FALL OF NYANGWE 171
During the morning of the 4th March we struck
camp and immediately formed on the river bank.
The canoes started loaded with soldiers, each white
officer having in his charge about thirty or forty
men. It was certainly a grand sight to see over
a hundred canoes in open order, full of yelling
demons, dashing down the stream on the doomed
city. We succeeded in landing and in taking
the greater part of the town, scarcely firing a
shot. By ten o'clock that evening we had fortified
ourselves in the higher part of the town. The
Waginia withdrew as soon as we landed, and it
was not until they were assured of our success
that they consented to continue ferrying over the
camp followers, women, baggage, and friendlies.
We were established in a not altogether enviable
position, with hardly a footing on the hostile
bank of the Lualaba, an enormous river behind
us, no means of retreat, and no possibility of
receiving either a reinforcement or a fresh supply
of ammunition. All, however, went well. The
following day Albert Frees was sent off with a
detachment and some of Lutete's people to attack
172 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the camp which Muni Pembi — who was supposed
to have two of Hodister's children as prisoners —
had formed at a few hours' march from Nyangwe.
After marching all night in a storm, the expedition
succeeded in surprising the Arab camp, and brought
back Hodister's children. Muni Pembi's harem, and
large quantities of powder, arms, and other loot.
An envoy from Sefu at Kasongo had meanwhile
come to us with ofTers of peace. Dhanis replied
that he could make no conditions whatever until
Lutete's two children, whom Sefu held as hostages,
were returned to us, after which, he said, he would
see what could be done. The envoy, who had
been Lippens' body-servant, had since the death
of his master been an Arab slave ; he was not
afraid to return to Sefu, and, on being questioned,
naively remarked, " I will lie to him if necessary,
till he sends me here on another mission, and then
I need not return." This was what eventually
took place. Large numbers of splendid-looking
natives came in offering their submission to the
Commandant. Many were men who acknowledged
themselves to be defeated Arab soldiers, and many
THE FALL OF NYANGWE 173
were chiefs with large followers, but they all had
the same story ready : " They would give up their
arms and become the white man's men."
On the 9 th of March Nyangwe was discovered to
be overrun by armed men. I was strolling about
in some gardens at a distance from our part of
the town, when I came across hundreds of people
gathered together. Our men became uneasy, and
flocked round us. Suddenly the whole town
seemed to wake up at once, and several of our
people were seized upon and murdered by the
Mohammedans. The Commandant sent for Lutete
and told him that there was treachery in the town.
Lutete, who was camped outside the south end
of the town, fancied that the Arabs must be
arriving from the north side ; he therefore
followed the river bank to the northward till he
reached the outside of the town, when, steady
firing having commenced inside, he turned, and,
coming across the town towards our quarters, took
the Mohammedans in the rear. When the attack
commenced, every man, white or black, fought where
he stood. It was so sudden that there was no
174 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
time for any plan of action, and it was not for
a couple of hours that we had any idea of how
the tide of battle was turning. Then, with one
accord, the masses of the enemy seemed to break
up. They continued to fight only in isolated
knots in the squares, or defended individual houses
in different parts of the town. After another hour
or two of patrolling the streets, and occasionally
engaging in small fights, the town was cleared.
Our loss was very heavy, but might have been
much greater, and many of our own and Lutete's
casualties had been caused by wild shooting on the
part of our own men. The town was set fire to in
several places, and hundreds of houses were burnt
during the night. On the following day the whole
force was sent out with instructions to bury the
dead, or rather to throw them into the river, it
being impossible to deal otherwise with them.
Matters were, however, simplified for us, since
only a few hundred heads were to be found,
all the bodies having been carried off for
food. The Commandant then ordered the greater
part of what remained of the town to be burned,
THE FALL OF NYANGWE 175
as it was impossible for our small force to keep
such an enormous number of buildings under
proper supervision, and we were also thus guarded
against a second outbreak of treachery. This
might be said to be the last stand of Mohara's
army, the few who escaped being entirely dis-
organised. For three days we saw nothing of
Lutete, and I learned afterwards, when talking
over affairs with him, that during this time he
had not left his own quarters ; the sights in his
camp were so appalling that even he did not care
to put himself in the way of seeing them unneces-
sarily. He told us that everyone of the cannibals
who accompanied him had at least one body to
eat. All the meat was cooked and smoke-dried,
and formed provisions for the whole of his force
and for all the camp followers for many days after-
wards. A volunteer drummer who had been with
us for some time disappeared, and we imagined
had been killed. A day or two afterwards he was
discovered dead in a hut by the side of a half-
consumed corpse — he had apparently over-eaten
himself, and had died in consequence.
176 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Now began the worst time we had known during
the campaign. A very virulent form of influenza
broke out in the camp. On the first day there were
thirty cases of it, on the day following nearly
seventy, and before the end of the week almost
all our men were down — the few who were still fit
having double duty, both mounting guard and
attending the sick. For the ensuing fortnight 1
spent my time going round the camp and insisting
on the survivors burying the dead. The great
bulk of the dead or dying were thrown out on
to the open street by the other inhabitants of
each hut. At about this time, also, the Arabs and
their friends began sending into what was left of
the town all the smallpox cases in the district.
This ruse succeeded, and influenza was followed by
an epidemic of smallpox. In connection with the
smallpox outbreaks during the whole expedition
there are some curious facts. Our Hausas were,
with one exception, all vaccinated, and this man was
the only one in the company who caught smallpox,
and he died of it. In the Elmina company there
were only two men unvaccinated, both of whom
THE FALL OF NYANGWE 177
got smallpox, and one of whom died of it. Of our
Lower Congo porters very few had had smallpox,
and only some half dozen had been vaccinated.
Among this body of two hundred men rather over
two-thirds took smallpox, and there were sixty-
five deaths amongst them. The mortality both
from smallpox and influenza among Lutete's
people and the other friendlies and camp fol-
lowers was frightful. A great deal of it is easily
accounted for by the fact that, in spite of the
most stringent orders to the contrary, after the
third day of the fever, when they were beginning
to feel a little better, they insisted on bathing.
The Mohammedans and Manyema natives had
learnt from the Arabs (who had not got vaccine)
to inoculate with smallpox. Though on several
occasions vaccine was sent to me from Europe,
and packed in a dozen different ways, in no single
instance could I get it to take. This was most
unfortunate, since, if I could have got but one
successful case, we should have been able to
vaccinate the whole population.
ARRIVAL OF AMBASSADORS FROM SEFU WITH
OFFERS OF PEACE — THE COMMANDANT POST-
PONES HIS MARCH ON KASONGO — REINFORCE-
MENT OF THE STATE FORCES — MARCH ON
KASONGO: ITS FALL — DESCRIPTION OF THE
LUXURIES FOUND IN THE TOWN — RELICS OF
EMIN PASHA — INSUBORDINATION IN THE CON-
QUERED TOWN OF NYANGWE
While we were in this predicament Sefu sent
ambassadors to us from Kasongo, bringing with
them Lutete's son and daughter, whom the Arabs
had held as hostages, and making offers of peace.
After much palavering, the Commandant agreed not
to march on Kasongo for five days, on condition
that Sefu sent him all Lippens' effects, and also
his servants, who had been made slaves. Within
five days the ambassadors reappeared with all
that was demanded, and the Commandant granted
MARCH ON KASONGO POSTPONED 179
Kasongo another respite of five days, on condition
that all the ivory that had been taken from
Lippens should be delivered up to us. This they
also complied with, and brought an additional
present of some thirty magnificent tusks, praying
us to wait another four or five days. The Com-
mandant assumed a magnanimous pose and gave
way to their supplications, casually remarking that
he supposed Sefu wanted to finish the fortifica-
tions of Kasongo. To this, he said, he had no
objection, as he wished to teach his soldiers how
to take a properly-fortified town. All this was
the more amusing as, during the time these
negotiations were proceeding, we had not more than
thirty or forty available men at our disposal. In
this afiair Omari, an old soldier of Stanley's, was
the chief ambassador ; he protested all the time
that he loved the white man, and that he intended
to throw in his lot with us, but when it came to
fighting again he joined our enemies. On the
23rd of March we again received letters repeating
that the Inspector Five had ordered the camp of
Basoko, with guns and at least five hundred men,
i8o THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
to march to our support (thus confirming what we
had heard on the other side of the river) ; and
also stating that the Commandant Gillian was
coming to our support with reinforcements from
Lusambo, and might be expected to arrive a day
or two after the despatches.
We allowed for an African day or two, which
usually means a fortnight at least — and were not
far out ; for though Commandant Gillian arrived
on the 5th of April, the whole of his caravan did
not reach us until the 13th, which gave our people
a chance of recovering from the effects of their
sickness. By the 14th of April we were in march-
ing order and in very good spirits, a large supply
of ammunition and reinforcements making every
one feel confident that better days were in store.
On the 17th Commandant Dhanis gave orders to
march towards Kasongo, leaving de Wouters with
a white sergeant and fifty men in command of
Nyangwe, which in six short weeks had been
reduced from a well-built town of about thirty
thousand inhabitants to one large fortified house
with a soldiers' camp round it. Commandant
MARCH ON KASONGO i8i
Gillian and Lieutenant Doorme with their men
formed the advance-guard; the Commandant
Dhanis, Lieutenant Scherlink, and myself the
main body ; and Sergeant Cerkel the rear. We
marched very slowly, and it was not until the
morning of the 22nd that we came in sight of
Kasongo. The Commandant — as w^as usual when
there was anything to be done — had left the main
body and was well in advance, when he was
attacked by Sefu's skirmishers, whom he drove in.
Meanwhile Doorme charged Said - ben - a - Bedi's
fort. This fort defended the end of the town at
which we entered, and was by a great piece of
fortune carried in the first rush by Doorme, though
his men had never engaged an Arab force before.
He then followed the retreating garrison through
the town. Kasongo was built in a valley and on
the hill-slopes on two sides of it. Doorme, in his
charge, went across the valley, and appeared on
the opposite hill just as our whole force deployed.
This altogether upset the calculations of the de-
fenders : in the first instance, owing to the fact
that we had lost our way, we arrived by a detour
i82 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
instead of by the direct road, and took all their
defences in the rear. Ten minutes after the
fighting had commenced, Doorme appeared on
the other side of the town, and the enemy were
thus caught between two fires. As we advanced
through the maze of streets the Arabs steadily
retreated before us, impeded in their movements
by enormous numbers of unarmed slaves and by
the crowd of women and children. After a while
the non-combatants became panic-stricken, and in
their flight spread further confusion among the
Arab ranks. We allowed them no time to steady
themselves again, and within an hour and a half
were masters of all the main points and chief
fortified places in the city. Our auxiliary forces
and camp followers, encouraged by the position,
became very brave, and followed the retreating
Arabs through the open country — knowing well
that nothing is easier than to keep a retreating
body on the move. With the retreat the panic
became greater, and enormous numbers were
drowned in trying to cross the rivers which lay
in their road. One large body of men was driven
THE FALL OF KASONGO 183
by Lutete to the Lualaba, about three hours
distant. Here they were cornered ; and the
Waginia, under pretence of ferrying them over
the river, either carried them off as prisoners or
threw them overboard, and the whole force, with
the exception of the women and children — many
of whom also suffered — was annihilated.
Soon after the chars^e through the town all the
different companies were separated, and the Com-
mandant, with four men, was not only separated
from everyone else, but also from his own company.
While looking for his men he was all but shot from
the watch-tower of one of the finest houses in the
town, which he supposed to be vacant ; and on
approaching the loopholed wall he again narrowly
escaped being killed. The place, however, capitu-
lated when I came up with about a dozen men.
He had just taken five white Arab prisoners, one
of whom was, I believe, a very large merchant at
Zanzibar, named Said-ben-Halfan.
Kasongo was a much finer town than even the
grand old slave capital Nyangwe. During the
siege of Nyangwe, the taking of which was more
i84 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
or less expected, the inhabitants had time to carry
off all valuables, and even furniture, to places of
safety. At Kasongo, however, it was different.
We rushed into the town so suddenly that every-
thing was left in situ. Our whole force found new
outfits, and even the common soldiers slept on
silk and satin mattresses, in carved beds with silk
mosquito curtains. The room I took possession of
was eighty feet long and fifteen feet wide, with a door
leading into an orange garden, beyond which was
a view extending over five miles. It was hard, on
waking, to realise that I was in Central Africa,
but a glance at the bullet - holes in the doors
and shutters, and a big dark red stain on the wall,
soon brought back the reality. Here we found
many European luxuries, the use of which we had
almost forgotten : candles, sugar, matches, silver
and glass goblets and decanters were in profusion.
We also took about twenty-five tons of ivory ;
ten or eleven tons of powder ; millions of caps ;
cartridges for every kind of rifle, gun, and revolver
perhaps ever made ; some shells ; and a German
flag, taken by the Arabs in German East Africa.
LUXURIES FOUND IN THE TOWN 185
The granaries throughout the town were stocked
with enormous quantities of rice, coffee, maize,
and other food ; the gardens were luxurious and
well planted ; and oranges, both sweet and bitter,
guava, pomegranates, pineapples, and bananas
abounded at every turn.
One of the first visits we paid — and it was a sad
one — was to the house occupied by Lippens and
Debruyne, our poor brother officers, sometime
ambassadors at Sefu's court Strange to say
(though they had been murdered and mutilated),
they were buried opposite their own front door,
with a neat little tomb built over them by their
murderers. On disinterring their bodies we found
that, owing to the nature of the soil in which
they had been buried seven months before, they
were not decomposed. We re-buried them with
Our men brought in, among the other spoils,
several ten-bore double breechloaders, sixteen-bores,
twelve-bores, about fifteen Winchester expresses,
and the same number of ordinary Winchesters.
They also found dozens of Martini — ordinary
i86 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and express — and innumerable cap guns ; thirty
or forty watches and chains in silver, gold, and
nickel ; and several of Emin Pasha's relics, in-
cluding his diary from January to October 1892,
and two decorations — the Crown Royal of Prussia
and Francis Joseph of Austria. Even our Arab
prisoners told us that Emin was the most inojQfen-
sive man that was ever seen in Africa. They
had, according to their own accounts, no other
reason for murdering him except that a general
massacre of white men had been decided on, and,
coming into a district in which all the white
men had already been killed, he shared their fate.
The herd of cattle we found in Kasongo was com-
posed of three distinct breeds : the small Indian
cattle — large-humped, and extremely docile — gave
the best milk, though for eating purposes the half-
Portuguese long-horned variety was best. Where
the third variety originally came from I have not
been able to find out. They were weedy medium-
sized cattle, usually white or piebald in colour, and
not very good either for fattening or as milkers.
We also took two fine breeds of donkeys — the
STATE FORCES AT KASONGO 187
large white Syrian ass, and the cross between this
and the small donkey, in appearance very like the
coster's donkey of this country. The Syrian ass,
though a fine animal, with one or two exceptions,
did not turn out so useful as either of the other
varieties. The cross between the common kind
and the Syrian ass was enormously strong, and,
though often bad-tempered, was certainly the most
useful animal of the donkey class I have ever seen.
When running away, the Arabs shot many of their
best asses and some of the cattle, to prevent their
falling into our hands alive.
During the time spent at Kasongo I made a
point of getting to know the surrounding country,
and was constantly astonished by the splendid
work which had been done in the neighbourhood
by the Arabs. Kasongo was built in the corner
of a virgin forest, and for miles round all the
brushwood and the great majority of trees had
been cleared away. Certain trees, such as the
gigantic wild cotton-tree, had been left at regular
intervals, whether as landmarks or for the shade
they afforded I do not know. In the forest-
i88 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
clearing splendid crops of sugar-cane, rice, maize,
and fruits grew ; and some idea of the extent of
this cultivation may be gathered from the fact
that I have ridden through a single rice-field for
an hour and a half. When placing groups of
people about this country to form villages, these
villages became self-supporting within three or four
months. Rice yielded two or three crops between
the planting in October and the commencement of
the dry season in May ; and maize could often be
eaten six or seven weeks after planting. Game
had naturally been driven out of the neighbour-
hood — except on the Lualaba, where I often went
on small shooting expeditions. All kinds of water-
fowl and small game might be shot on the banks
of the river in quantities — in greatest number
during the wet season ; though on the Lower Congo,
Kasai, and other rivers the best shooting season
is the dry (from May to October), when the
sandbanks are bare, and the swamps and streams
of the interior are all dried up. On the Lualaba,
however, when the river is low, during a long
day's canoeing one rarely sees even a duck or a
STATE FORCES AT KASONGO 189
goose, and never a wader. Hippopotami, for a
hundred miles or so above and below Kasongo,
are scarce and very vicious, constantly attacking
unprovoked either canoes or people who approach
them. The natives are so afraid of the hippos
here that it is a matter of difficulty to get a crew
to approach a herd ; the most extravagant pro-
mises of unlimited meat having no effect, even
with men who have already been present at a
successful hunt. It was while on the road from
Kasongo to Nyangwe, on my way to visit de
Wouters — which I was in the habit of doing as
often as possible — that I shot the largest hippo 1
have ever seen. The sight of his four feet in the
air fifty yards from the canoe, instead of reassur-
ing my crew, so scared them that they all jumped
overboard and swam ashore. Luckily, I had three
or four soldiers with me, by whose help I managed
to secure him. His curved teeth, measured on the
convex, were thirty-two and a half inches long, and
one of his straight lower teeth eighteen and a half
inches — the other, which was broken, measuring
IQO THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
The best way of securing a hippo is to approach
him as near as possible in the canoe directly he is
wounded. Provided with a long sounding pole and
in deep water, he can be approached without danger,
and a cord made fast to him while still struggling.
What is not generally recognised with regard to
the hippopotamus is that his short legs and small
feet, compared with the enormous bulk of his body,
render him a very indifferent swimmer ; in fact, he
can only just swim enough to keep his head above
water while breathing or looking round. His
usual mode of progression, owing to the fact that
he displaces a weight of water less than his own
weight, is to run along the bottom. I remember
seeing a herd of hippopotami trying to work up
stream in ten fathoms of water : it was comical
to see the bound and explosion with which
they arrived at the surface after each dive — the
greater part of which was spent in getting a footing
at the bottom — having gained only some four or
five yards during the whole time.
It was on this occasion of visiting Nyangwe in
July 1893 that I found de Wouters somewhat
INSUBORDINATION IN NYANGWE 191
awkwardly situated. Within the town a number
of small Arab chiefs and vassals, who had sub-
mitted and sworn fidelity to us, were established.
Of these, a desperate rascal named Ali gave de
Wouters a great deal of trouble. After many
acts of insubordination and petty treacheries,
matters culminated in the discovery by de
Wouters' faithfuls of a plot arranged by Ali to
murder the entire garrison in the swamp and
long grass within a hundred yards of de Wouters'
house. Ali had intended to post his men — of
whom he had three or four hundred in the town —
close to the garrison and hidden in the grass,
when, by raising an alarm, he hoped to draw de
Wouters and some of his men into the snare ; de
Wouters' energetic way of looking into every
question himself being well known. On hearing of
the plot, de Wouters despatched his interpreter,
Selimani, alone to All's camp, which was situated
at the end of the swamp above mentioned. Seli-
mani's business was to inquire into the affair, and
to tax Ali with it, who it was thought, knowing
that his trick was discovered, would be afraid to
192 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
carry it out. Selimani had hardly started when
de Wouters repented of having sent him alone.
Fearing lest Ali might take it into his head that
Selimani was the only man who knew of the plot,
and might murder him on the spot, he quickly
sent a corporal with five-and-twenty Hausas into
the grass after him. The Hausas, passing the
word round in their own language (which even
their wives could not understand), slipped into the
grass on different sides of the town, and, completely
hidden by it, joined the corporal one by one in
the swamp, from which they were able, unobserved,
to approach All's camp to within twenty-five yards.
Selimani meanwhile, accompanied only by his boy,
approached the camp by the main road. When
Selimani was within fifty yards of the camp,
Ali called out to him to remain where he was and
not to enter his camp : if he had a message to
deliver, Ali himself would come to him. Then,
without any warning, Ali ordered his men to fire
a volley on Selimani, who, strange to say, was
untouched, though his boy was killed. The Hausas
immediately realised the position, and, running
INSUBORDINATION IN NYANGWE 193
into the camp, fired a volley into the rear of All's
force, who were rushing out to catch Selimani.
This created such confusion amongst them that
the Hausas managed to hold their own with their
long knives till de Wouters and the rest of his
force — who had heard the firing — arrived, and
drove All's force into the Lualaba. Ali himself
and a few of his men succeeded in swimming across
the river, and thus escaped. Some time afterwards,
having collected together a fresh band of men, he
attacked another party of our people, but was
taken prisoner and shot, after a drum-head court-
THE STATE FORCES SETTLE DOWN AT KASONGO —
SUPERSTITIONS OP THE NATIVES : THEIR HABITS
AND MODE OP LIVING
While arranging the country after having
settled down at Kasongo, we found it advisable to
make use of those native and Arab slaves who
were capable of teaching the others. All the
masons, brickmakers, agriculturists, carpenters,
armourers, and ironworkers found among the
prisoners were given charge of the intelligent lads
among the prisoners or volunteers from the native
tribes, and set to work, with the intention of event-
ually forming colonies in suitable districts for these
trades. We even employed their elephant-hunters,
who had been taken fighting, and left them their
arms on condition that they hunted for us, and
taught everyone who chose to go with them what
to do. The elephant-hunters were very super-
THE STATE FORCES AT KASONGO 195
stitious, and used to spend a week before the new
moon rose in " making medicine " to ensure the suc-
cess of the ensuing expedition. As a consequence
they could only be induced to go hunting every
second new moon, and nothing would persuade
them to start on an expedition (which generally
lasted a month) under any other conditions. They
were armed with old long ten-bore muskets, and
refused to use either lead or iron as bullets, saying
that copper made the best missile. We used to
buy all the copper bracelets and anklets obtainable
from the women, and hammer them into balls. I
had always my suspicions, however, that copper,
being very valuable throughout the country, was
found a convenient form of money. I was sorry
never to have had time to accompany one of these
expeditions. Their mode of procedure seems to
have been to set up a camp in a district where
elephants were common, and for the slaves, in the
first instance, to watch and follow a troop of ele-
phants. The head hunter, accompanied by a
dozen or so armed freemen, was then sent for, and,
choosing his elephant, approached quite close and
196 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
fired a shot. If he was lucky enough to kill the
animal, which rarely happened, matters were sim-
plified ; if not, he returned to camp, and the re-
mainder of the detachment followed the wounded
animal for a day or a week, as the case
might be, till they succeeded in killing him.
The tusks were handed over to us, the sale of the
meat alone making these hunters the wealthiest
people in the district.
We were at this time having a good deal of
trouble with the natives to the westward of the neigh-
bourhood of Kasongo, who had been attacking our
friendlies, and even our own people, whenever they
went out to look for food. The caravans of friendly
natives bringing food to sell in the town had been
stopped and dispersed. Lieutenant Doorme and
Sub-Lieutenant Cerkel were sent by the Com-
mandant to punish them, and at the same time to
explore the country. Within six hours' march of
Kasongo the expedition entered a virgin forest,
in which they wandered about for a week. The
undergrowth was very dense, forming a kind of
wall on each side of the path ; and in this dense
THE STATE FORCES AT KASONGO 197
bush paths had been cut at right angles to the
main road, which was hidden by a single bush on
each side at the point of intersection. The natives
stationed themselves on one side of the main road,
and as the caravan passed (in Indian file, with occa-
sional long gaps between the men) jumped across
the road, seized the first man they could lay
hold of, and disappeared with him into the dense
bush on the other side. In this way it would often
happen that, without anyone knowing what had
taken place, every straggler would be killed. Spears
were launched out of the dense jungle, and trans-
fixed the men without warning. The by-paths and
game-paths were known only to the natives, and they
were thus enabled to accompany the caravan and
to watch their opportunity for attack. On several
occasions the assailants fired from trees, within ten
or fifteen yards of the path, and, dropping down
iminediately, were safe from pursuit with ten or
fifteen yards of impenetrable jungle between them
and our people. The villages in this district were
all fortified, and were practically hidden by the
forest, which had only been cleared sufficiently to
198 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
allow the necessary building space. Most of the
villages in this district were burnt before Doorme
arrived. When camping in the few which he
managed to surprise, he was subjected the whole
night to volleys of arrows, spears, and bullets
from the surrounding forest, to which it was
useless even to reply. He, however, succeeded
in taking some twenty-five or thirty important
prisoners, and returned to Kasongo after perhaps
the most unpleasant ten days he had ever spent.
From the time that we crossed the Lualaba
we were continuously worried by the native and
Arab superstition concerning what they call
" Kim - putu " — " Kim - putu " being in reality
nothing more than a common tick. I have
often had one brought for my inspection by the
people, who always declared that if this insect
bit an individual he was sure to waste away and
die. As a consequence of this belief, all cases of
poisoning, tubercular disease, or indeed any form
of death for which their ignorance could not see
an exact cause, were attributed to "Kim-putu."
So strong is this feeling, that once a native (and
SUPERSTITIONS OF THE NATIVES 199
even some of our own men became infected with
the superstition) had made up his mind that he
was in the clutches of the " Kim-putu " fiend, it
was practically impossible to save him.
In Kasongo and its neighbourhood the inhabit-
ants, both Arab and native, have a firm belief in
ghosts. They believe that the spirits of the dead
haunt not only certain places, but individual people
also, and that one of these spirits may appear to a
living man and call him, after which he is certain
to die. This belief had, we found, influenced our
own people to such an extent that even intelligent
well-educated men from the coast were afraid
to move about at night. Several people came
to me with stories of havins; been called or
attacked by an invisible being ; and one case
in especial I remember, of a soldier who came
with his sergeant, Albert Frees. This man
declared that, towards evening, while sitting
with three or four people round a fire, a
" thing " which he could not see had come up
behind him and had smacked his face and boxed
his ears. He wanted to know if I could catch
200 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the spirit for him, for if I could not, he said,
he would surely die. I tried to laugh him out
of his belief, expecting to be supported by the
sergeant, but he astonished me by requesting
that I would not treat the matter lightly, and
assured me that if I did not do something for him
the man would die. Though I used every argu-
ment I could think of, I was unable to shake their
belief. The sergeant, however, came back and
begged me to take things seriously, as the man
was valuable and we could not afford to lose
him. I explained that I could do nothing, and
told them both to come up and talk it over
in a couple of days. The following evening I
was called to the man, who was in a very
weak condition and apparently dying. He was
convinced that he would have to die, and the
next day was dead. When the average black
man makes up his mind to die, die he will, and
it is almost impossible to do anything for him.
I mention this as one out of many instances
recorded in my diary of similar cases.
Both in Kasongo and Nyangwe every large
HABITS AND MODE OF LIVING 201
house was fitted with one or more bathrooms,
the arrangements of which were very ingenious.
A large hollow log, or an old canoe with a small
hole drilled through the bottom and closed by
a plug when not in use, was suspended from
the roof. When filled with water, it formed a
most convenient shower-bath, and half a dozen
logs, laid side by side in a depression in the
ground, made a clean platform for the bather.
The water was conveyed away by a trench, in
which a hollowed log, carrying the waste water
through the wall of the house to the exterior,
was placed. Every house or hut, however small,
had an enclosure attached to it containing the
same arrangements for cleanliness, with the ex-
ception only of the shower-bath. The Arabs
have also introduced soap-making, and, as a con-
sequence, in every large establishment or market,
soap of a coarse but useful kind can be bought.
This soap is made by mixing potash — generally
obtained by burning banana stalks and leaves —
with palm oil.
During the first few months we occupied
202 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Kasongo, we were constantly worried by alarming
fires, which always occurred at night. We found
that the conflagrations on the far side of the river
were due to Lutete's people, who were in the
habit of setting fire to the houses as a means
of driving out the rats, which they were very
fond of as food. This was eventually put a
stop to by Lutete in a somewhat summary
manner. After this, fires were seen on our
side of the river, and, as they always started
up - wind from our own quarters, we concluded
that there was treachery somewhere, and dis-
covered that they were caused by people in
our camp who were friendly to the Arabs. On
several occasions we had very narrow escapes,
and eventually decided to pull down all the houses
in our immediate neighbourhood. When we had
left a ring of about two hundred yards wide
round our headquarters the fires ceased. It was
curious to notice the attitude of our men on these
occasions. When an alarm was given, I have
often rushed out to find myself immediately
surrounded by a voluntary guard of a dozen
HABITS AND MODE OF LIVING 203
or more armed soldiers, who refused to allow
me to approach the crowd, or indeed to move a
yard in any direction unaccompanied. The other
officers were, I believe, treated in the same way,
as the men explained that it was easy to stick
a knife even into a white man at night or in a
During these months we had great difficulty
in separating, arranging, and organising the
enormous numbers of people — male and female
— who considered themselves our slaves, and who,
since the Arabs had been driven out, were like
sheep without a shepherd. Thousands of Arab
slaves, and native freemen and slaves with their
herds of women, were daily coming to ask what
they were to do. We selected the petty chiefs
who still existed (and in cases where the chiefs
had been killed, made new ones), and these, in
turn, selected their own people ; one of us then
marched this party out into the surrounding
country, and, choosing a convenient place for
them, gave orders that they should build a
village and start planting. AVe supplied these
204 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
colonies with maize, rice, and other seeds ; and
so successful was this method that within three
or four months they became self-supporting, and
later on supplied our whole forces with food.
At about an hour's march to the north of Kasongo,
I found a splendidly rich country, with beautiful
clearings in the forest and a good water supply.
Traces of former villages abounded, and I should
much have liked to raise up a thriving colony
in so convenient a district. Two or three times
I established villages, witli invariably the same
result : the whole population decamped, and either
took up their abode elsewhere, or arrived in
Kasongo clamouring to be placed in some other
district. The leopards in their neighbourhood,
they said, were so numerous, and so big and
courageous, that any man going out of his hut
after five in the evening or before seven in the
morning was certain to be carried off by them.
These people never seemed to have the pluck
or energy either to hunt or trap the leopards.
While at Kasongo a flight of locusts passed
over the country in a south-south-easterly direc-
HABITS AND MODE OF LIVING 205
tion, and continued to pass for upwards of a
month. The Arabs and natives told us that this
was the first time they had ever seen a locust
pest, though they had heard of them many years
before. It would be interesting to know if the
cause of this might not be looked for in the fact
that the greater part of the Central African Basin
had been, owing to war, in a disturbed state for
nearly three years. It is a custom all over the
Congo Basin for the natives to burn the grass
during the dry season ; when occupied by war
they naturally did not continue to do so ; and
there is no doubt that other pests, such as rats
and snakes, in consequence of this habit, never
become a plague except in the forest districts.
May it not be that the locust larvae, owing to the
plain fires, are under ordinary circumstances
never allowed to come to maturity ?
OUR ALLY, GONGO LUTETE, ACCUSED OF TREACHERY
AND EXECUTED AT n'gANDU — ARRIVAL AT
KASONGO OF FIVE OFFICERS FROM EUROPE —
CONTINUED ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ENEMY —
THE ARABS DECAMP FROM THE TOWN OF
STANLEY FALLS, LEAVING IT AT THE MERCY
OP THE STATE TROOPS — THE STATE FORCES ARE
JOINED BY CAPTAIN LOTHAIRE FROM BANGALA,
AND FOLLOW THE ARABS UP THE RIVER —
AFTER SEVERE FIGHTING, THE RIVER CLEARED
OF ARABS AND THEIR HORDES AS FAR AS
NYANGWE — REVERSES OF THE STATE FORCES —
ATTACK BY COMMANDANT DHANIS ON RUMAL-
IZA's fort, EIGHT HOURS* MARCH FROM KAS-
In the last week in August tlie Commandant
started for Nyangwe from Kasongo. For some
time previously rumours had been arriving from
CONGO LUTETE ACCUSED 207
the Malela and Lomami districts, showing that
Duchesne's rule was not altogether successful.
The natives were in a quarrelsome turbulent
state, and our ally, Gongo Lutete, had been sent
back to his capital, N'Gandu, to arrange matters.
As there seemed no chance of active service, or
any immediate prospects of an expedition to Lake
Tanganyika, I determined to volunteer for the
district of N'Gandu, and with this intention
went down to Nyangwe to interview the Com-
mandant. While at Nyangwe despatches arrived
from Duchesne, saying that he had discovered,
among other charges, that Gongo Lutete was a
traitor, and that he had made him a prisoner.
This seemed to us a most extraordinary proceed-
ing, and the rumour that Gongo was plotting to
assassinate the Commandant Dhanis himself we
placed no faith in whatever.
Taking twelve men and two hundred of Lutete's
people under a petty chief named Kitenge, I
started at five o'clock on the morning of September
11th. My interview with the Commandant had
lasted the whole night. Six days' rapid marching,
2o8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
with an average of eight hours a day, brought
us to N'Gandu — too late, however, to save our
brave and faithful ally, who had been shot forty-
eight hours before our arrival. I was perhaps the
first to feel the effects of this ill-conceived policy.
While yet two days from Lomami, and only a
few hours after the death of Gongo Lutete, the
natives, by means of the drum telegraph, all knew
of what had taken place at N'Gandu, and,
as their great chief was dead, considered them-
selves at liberty to murder and eat all his personal
followers and outposts. This particular tribe had
seven of Gongo's men billeted on them, whose
duty it was to forward all communications between
the Lualaba and the capital N'Gandu. After the
news of Gongo's death, these seven men were set
upon and killed and eaten by the inhabitants
of the town belonging to the chief Wembe.
Wembe, collecting all his forces together,
attacked my camp, under the impression that it
was a party of Gongo Lutete's soldiers going
home ; he, however, immediately withdrew on
discovering that I was present. The following
CONGO LUTETE ACCUSED 209
morning some men from the capital came in
with news that Congo Lutete had been shot by
the white men ; and later that same day we
heard that, after the death of their chief, the
Bakussu had attacked the State station, and were
then besieging it. This was anything but re-
assuring news, as I had made a forced march,
hoping to arrive before the fall of the station.
Later in the day we heard that the station had
fallen. This report, however, I did not believe,
since it seemed impossible that it should not have
been able to hold out a week or two at least. As
we approached the Lomami River, however, I
noticed that my dozen Hausas kept very close.
They had given everything, with the exception of
their rifles and ammunition, to their women to
carry, and would not allow any of Kitenge's people
to come within thirty yards of me : a somewhat
futile precaution, even supposing the station to
have fallen, since, though we might have routed
for the moment the body of Congo's people with
us, our position — six days from help — would have
been an absolutely hopeless one. This was
2IO THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
another instance of what I have often noticed,
that the Hausas always meant to die game, and
would stick to their white officers as long as
they were able to stand.
On surmounting the hills on the east side of
the Lomami, I was delighted to see by the help
of my glasses that the State flag was still flying,
three miles off" across the valley. Arriving in
the station, the cause of the disquieting rumours
which had reached me became apparent. The
whole population of N'Gandu and the surrounding
districts (deprived as they were of their head)
had split up into factions, which were fighting
amongst each other, raiding each other's quarters,
and murdering whoever they came across. A
few shots had even been fired at the State station,
probably by drunkards or men in a fighting
During the ten days following my arrival, the
unfriendly attitude of the white officers and the
anarchy in the district made my position any-
thing but an enviable one ; and I was very pleased
when, ten days after, Commandant Gillian arrived
GONGO LUTETE ACCUSED 211
to hold an inquiry. He settled himself in the
town, at about a mile's distance from the station
(in which I remained), and we soon had Lupungu
established in place of his father, and his authority
Gongo Lutete exceeded his compact with us,
and it is due in a great measure to his care and
pluck that we were successful during the first
half of the campaign. More than half of our
transport department was under his charge, and
with everything entrusted to his care he was so
successful that we never lost a single load. After
we had conquered Malela and Samba he held
them for us, and established regular communica-
tion between Nyangwe and Lusambo. All letters
and loads were simply handed to him, without
even one of our own men accompanying them, and
were always safely delivered at their destination.
One thing ought not to be forgotten with regard
to him. When war broke out the Arabs held
two of his children — a son and a daughter — as
hostages, and when he threw in his lot with us
he thought that he could never hope to see them
212 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
again. The Commandant, however, as may be
remembered, ransomed them from Sefu, in ex-
change for postponing our attack on Kasongo for
five days. When the children arrived and were
presented to Lutete, his transports of delight
were quite affecting to everyone present. Though
this was his eldest son, since he had been five years
with the Arabs, Gongo would not allow him to
succeed him, but made his second son, Lupungu,
his heir, and sent him to live in one of our
stations to be educated by us. When, after the
court-martial, poor Gongo was told that he would
be shot the following morning at eight o'clock,
he appointed Lupungu his successor, and when left
in his cell hanged himself with a rope plaited
from part of his clothing, to avoid the disgrace
of a public execution. Unfortunately, he was dis-
covered before life was extinct, and was cut
down and resuscitated, and, as soon as he was
sufficiently recovered, marched out and shot.
At Dhanis suggestion he had relaxed his
discipline, and had pardoned so many offenders —
who before his alliance with us would have been
GONGO LUTETE EXECUTED 213
handed over to the others for food — that at one
time his power was in danger, and we had to
interfere on his behalf. His great idea was to
visit Europe, and before his death he had made
arrangements to send his eldest son, N'Zigi, to
Europe to undo the evil effects of his Arab teach-
ing. The lad is now at school in Belgium.
This was perhaps the hardest-worked month
I had known during the expedition, — there were
palavers to be arranged, cases to be tried, and
much galloping about the neighbourhood, to and
fro between the town and station, as fast as my
donkeys (a magnificent pair, imported into the
country by the Arabs from Muscat) could carry
me. The sight of a white man riding seemed
to be an unfailing source of interest to the natives
of this district, who had seldom seen anything of
the kind. On one occasion, I remember, I was
going fast across an open space in the town,
where two large expeditions, just having returned
from a foray, were drawn up and had formed a
line to see me pass. As we went about un-
guarded, not to appear afraid of them, I always
214 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
rode as fast as I could, so that, if any mal-
content took it into his head to fire or to
throw a spear, I was more likely to be missed.
I was just returning the chiefs salute when my
ass put his foot in a hole, and turning a complete
somersault sent me flying. My boy, who was
carrying a spare revolver, seeing everybody
laughing at my discomfiture, promptly emptied
it in their faces, which, though it stampeded the
whole mass, luckily did not touch anybody. 1
noticed that in my subsequent gallops through
the town everyone seemed to get out of my
neighbourhood, having apparently urgent business
inside the houses or behind the trees.
Just as things had begun to settle down, five
officers arrived from Europe and proceeded to
join the Commandant at Kasongo, where he was
supposed to be preparing for an attack on
Rumaliza, who had left Ujiji and had crossed
Tanganyika, and established himself with Sefu,
and what was left of his forces, at Kabambari.
During the preceding month, rather important
movements had taken place to the northward.
FIVE OFFICERS FROM EUROPE 215
In March 1893, by order of the Inspector of
State (Fiv^), Captain Chaltin, commander of the
military camp at Basoko, was ordered to join us
with all his available forces at the seat of war.
He was in a particularly good position to give us
every succour, as the camp at Basoko had been
established by the Free State as a precaution, in
the event of a quarrel with the Arabs at Stanley
Falls. He, with two steamers, went up the
Lomami, and occupied the former Arab post, Bena
Kamba. From this point he had only three days'
march to the large Arab town, Riba Riba, on the
Lualaba ; but owing to bad weather he was de-
layed, and when he arrived at Riba Riba the town
had been burnt and deserted by the natives.
Miserera and Boina Loisi, the Arab governors,
had left the town with their forces some time
previously, and at the very moment were engaged
in fighting us at Nyangwe. Chaltin returned to
Basoko, as smallpox had broken out in his
caravan. He arrived at Stanley Falls on the 18th
of May, where Captain Tobback and Lieutenant
Van Lint had for five days been resisting the
2i6 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
attacks of the Arabs under Raschid, the rebel
governor and State officer of Stanley Falls. On
the landing of the troops from Basoko at Stanley
Falls, the Arabs decamped, leaving the town, with
all its riches, at the mercy of the State troops.
After this everything remained quiet till the
25th of June 1893, when Commandant Ponthier
arrived at the Falls from Europe. He imme-
diately collected all the troops he could, and, taking
Commandant Lothaire and some men from Bangala
with him, followed the Arabs, who had fled from
the Falls up the river. After some severe fighting
and many skirmishes, he cleared the river, and its
neighbourhood, of Arabs and their hordes as far
as Nyangwe, where he arrived a day after I left
Meanwhile we at N'Gandu had received several
despatches from the front at the same time — the
sum-total of which amounted to this : that the
attacks on the forts of Rumaliza had failed ; that
during a fortnight's severe fighting Commandant
Ponthier had been killed ; and that the supplies
of ammunition had nearly run out. A powerful
REVERSES OF THE STATE FORCES 217
auxiliary chief, named Kitumba Moya, half an
hour after hearing of the execution of Gongo, had
gone over to the Arabs with six hundred guns.
His example was naturally followed by many
others. We were, the despatches said, to join
with all possible speed, bringing all the ammuni-
tion and men with us. The latest despatch was ten
days old, and we could not hope to reach Kasongo in
less than ten days, when in all human probability
we should be too late. We started on the 4th
of November, four officers, of whom two — Com-
mandant Gillian and Lieutenant Augustin — had
to be carried in hammocks. Our force consisted
of fifty soldiers, and all that was left of Gongo
Lutete's forces — a thousand indifferently-armed
This was a most trying time, and at times I
almost despaired of getting the two sick officers
alive to Kasongo. We had infinite trouble, too,
in trying to keep Gongo's people and their petty
chiefs (now without a leader) in hand. They had
taken it into their heads that they were at liberty
to plunder the whole country through which we
2i8 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
passed, under the impression that I was not
sufficiently strong to enforce my orders to the
contrary. We arrived at Kasongo on the 14th
of November, to find that, the day before, the
Arabs had abandoned their bomas and had com-
menced what appeared to be a retreat towards
the east. This is what had taken place : —
On the 13th of October 1893, there being now
no further doubt that Rumaliza had formed a
camp not more than eight hours' march from
Kasongo, the State troops, under the command of
Baron Dhanis, commenced the advance against
this new enemy. The troops were divided as
follows : — A reserve under Commandant Dhanis,
and another under Commandant Ponthier; six
companies under Lieutenants Lange, Doorme, and
Hambursin, and Sergeants Collet and Van Kiel ;
the whole force of regulars, consisting of four
hundred men ; and a 7*5 Krupp, for which we
had only forty-four shells and a dozen rounds of
canister left. They were accompanied by irregular
troops armed with muzzleloaders, to the number
of over three hundred. The first march of ten
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 219
miles was made to the village of Piani Mayenge.
The next day a dozen miles brought the column
to Mwana Mkwanga, when the enemy were
supposed to be within a couple of hours' march.
On the 15th of October, with the auxiliaries
scouting in front, the column started with the
intention of getting a position in the rear of the
Arab positions ; the enemy being established in
several forts, two of which were situated between
the Lulindi and Luama — tributaries of the Lualaba
— and were very large, splendidly built, and well
defended. Our experience had taught us that the
Arab fortifications were generally weaker in what
they considered their rear, and the Commandant,
moreover, wished to be on the enemy's natural
line of retreat in the event of a successful attack.
In spite of the severe lessons we had already
taught them, the Arabs seemed unable to grasp
the fact that we were as likely as not to make a
detour before attacking.
Having completely turned the enemy's flank,
at about two o'clock in the afternoon the column
approached a large fort, hidden by the high grass.
220 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and not visible until within a quarter of a mile
of the enemy. The line having been formed, the
companies of Doorme and Lange advanced slowly
in skirmishing order, the signal to charge being
a shell thrown into the fort. They charged up to
within twenty yards of the boma without firing
a shot, the enemy's fire not doing material damage.
When within twenty yards, the enemy's fire
became so hot that the rush was checked, and
the men commenced to return the fire. The
supports arrived almost immediately, and the men
lay down within a few yards of the fort. It was
some time before the officers could make the men
cease firing. Luckily, the enemy's loopholes were
placed at such an angle that our men were under
the line of fire, and the enemy, to ensure an
efi'ective fire, had to expose themselves over the
top of their earthworks. Lieutenant Lange was
badly wounded during the first few minutes of
this his first battle, but he nevertheless succeeded
in directing his company until the end of the day.
Despite the reckless energy of the Commandant
and all the officers, it was found impossible to
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 221
induce the men to climb the obstacles, in the face
of such a well-sustained fire, into the fort. The
gun was ordered up, to try to stop the enemy's
fire with canister ; but so many of the porters on
the drag ropes were hit that a panic started, and
they bolted precipitately, leaving the gun in the
hottest of the fire. Commandant Ponthier,
Hambursin, and Collet dragged the gun nearly
into position themselves, and, with the timely help
afi'orded by Doorme and a few of his men, the
gun was got into position within a hundred yards
of the fort. Protected by the effective fire of the
piece, the men were withdrawn from under the
walls of the fort with comparatively little loss.
At this very moment a large body of the enemy
appeared on the right flank, having come out of
a much larger fort, so masked by the bush that
until the appearance of their troops no one had
noticed its existence. The great bulk of the
troops faced this new enemy, leaving only sufiicient
forces in front of fort No. 1 to check any attempt
at a sortie that might be made by the garrison.
The main body had a much pleasanter time now
222 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
with the enemy in the open, and soon drove them
back to their shelter, their return being consider-
ably more rapid than their advance. A small
plateau, about a mile from the big fort and half a
mile from the lesser fort, was then chosen, and, with
the exception of a skirmish in the morning, the
night passed quietly. After a good deal of re-
connoitring, Commandant Ponthier found a better
position for the camp closer to the forts. During
his absence Doorme drove in the enemy — who had
come out of the lesser fort to attack the Krupp —
keeping, meanwhile, the larger fort quiet with a
few shells. As soon as the troops commenced to
take up the position, prior to forming a new
camp, the enemy attacked on all sides, but,
directly the new position was occupied and
shelter thrown up for the men, they withdrew
to their forts. During the following two or three
days several small attacks on the camp were
repulsed, and the remaining shells thrown into
Captain de Wouters, meanwhile, joined us from
Kasongo with seventy men, leaving a young Ger-
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 223
man sergeant named Mercus, with twenty men
and the sick, as a guard at Kasongo. A few days
later, the Commandant sent an order to Mercus to
send every cartridge that could be spared vid the
Lualaba and Luama Rivers, and thus to his camp
by the rear, the Arab forces being between him
and Kasongo. What was his horror, a couple of
days later, to see Mercus himself arriving with the
ammunition, having left Kasongo absolutely unde-
fended, and knowing that, by the means of drums
and spies, Rumaliza would instantly be aware of
the position !
De Wouters immediately started with a detach-
ment, hoping to be able to get between Rumaliza
and Kasongo before it was too late. Thanks to a
terrific tornado, which stopped the Arabs but
which did not check de Wouters, who knew it to
be a case of life or death, he managed to get before
them on the road, and, turning round, attacked
them in front. Finding that they had been out-
manoeuvred, the Arabs retired to their fort, and
de Wouters entrenched himself in the position he
had taken up. De Heusch, who arrived a few days
224 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
later, was ordered to take up a position to the
eastward of de Wouters. As will be seen from
the accompanying sketch-map, the Arabs were in
an awkward position — the Commandant Dhanis
cutting off their retreat, de Wouters and de Heusch
on each side of their advanced fort in front, the
Lualaba, a mile wide, to the westward, and almost
inaccessible and arid mountains to the eastward.
The whole plain, in the neighbourhood of de Wou-
ters and de Heusch, and from there to Kasongo,
was cultivated — immense fields of rice, plantains,
and cassada being ripe and ready for food, so that
our forces had plenty to eat; whereas the Arabs
could only draw their supplies from the narrow
strip between their forts and the Lualaba. Nearly
all the skirmishes during the following ten days
took place in this district, and innumerable Arab
foraging parties were cut up. As the Arab slaves
— who of course felt the famine first — were begin-
ning to die of hunger, Rumaliza made a tremendous
attack on Dhanis' position, which he nearly suc-
ceeded in turning. At one time he actually suc-
ceeded in occupying a portion of the camp, and
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 225
here our brave Ponthier was killed. Captain
Doorme, whose part of the camp it was, had been
surrounded, whereupon Ponthier, seeing his posi-
tion from a distance, with his pipe in his mouth
and not even a revolver in his hand, called on a
dozen men who were standing near to follow him.
The enemy tried to take him alive, but, fearing
they would fail, shot him. He lingered for three
or four days, and was buried under his tent, which
was left standing, food being carried in regularly,
and a confidential guard placed over the tent.
The morale of our force would have suflfered had
they known of the death of so important an officer,
and Rumaliza would have been in a corresponding
Five hours' heavy fighting saw the Arabs re-
pulsed all along the line, the Commandant Dhanis
himself leading the last and most successful charge
of the day right up to Rumaliza's gates. Review-
ing our position that night, we found it a deplor-
able one ; for besides the large number of killed
and wounded, there were only forty rounds per
head for the regular troops left, and no powder or
226 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
caps for the auxiliaries and friendlies, and, what
was worse, they could not expect us to arrive from
1^'Gandu with supplies in less than a fortnight.
But the Arabs had also had enough fighting for
the time being, and remained quiet in their bomas
for the next few days. Spies informed us that a
caravan from Ujiji was expected by the Arabs, with
powder and other supplies, and small expeditions
were sent out to try and discover its whereabouts.
An auxiliary chief surprised it, and, beating a
retreat, it came on our sergeant Albert Frees, who
was out in the same neighbourhood, and between
them they cut the caravan to pieces. Albert
marched proudly into the camp the same evening
with over 2^ tons of splendid German powder
and 60,000 caps, the greater part of which was
immediately distributed among the auxiliaries and
friendlies. These latter, day and night, prowled
round the whole neighbourhood, and attacked any
small parties of the enemy who ventured out of
their fortifications in search of food. During these
times Captain Doorme selected numbers of natives
and Arab slaves from among the prisoners, and
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 227
drilled them as soldiers with most successful results.
In the subsequent fighting he frequently led a
hundred of them himself into action. The idea
occurred to him in a somewhat singular manner.
He had an intense objection to writing reports,
and whenever a man was killed in his company he
reported the death, and immediately filled his
place by one of these recruits, giving the recruit
the dead man's name, number, rifle, and accoutre-
ments. This was not discovered for a long time,
till the Commandant one day, on looking over the
reports of effectives, found that Captain Doorme,
though he had had 50 per cent, killed, had appa-
rently his company identically the same, in names
and numbers, as it was three or four months before.
On the 16th of November the Arab forces, who
had suffered severely from famine, abandoned
all their positions and fled to the eastward, with
our irregular forces and auxiliaries following on
their trail. The Commandant returned to Kasongo
with his own guard and Ponthier's men, leaving
all the rest with de Wouters at Mwana Mkwanga.
A light column was immediately organised by
228 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Captain de Wouters, with which he followed the
retreating Arabs. For two hours' march the
road was strewn with dead bodies, showing how
precipitate had been the flight of the Arabs, and
what destruction had been worked by the irregulars
and other natives in their rear. De Wouters heard
from the natives that the Arabs were entrenched
not very far in front of him, so, leaving all natives
and irregulars to follow in the rear (to avoid the
inevitable recoil when face to face with the Arabs),
he advanced with the regulars, hoping to take the
position in the first rush. The route was bad :
there were no roads, and only the broad trail left
by the flying enemy to follow. While advancing
through the forest, which lay across their route, they
could hear the enemy in every direction cutting
wood for their fortifications. They were, however,
lucky enough to approach the enemy's position
without being discovered, and the advance-guard
was only fired upon after holding conversation
with the enemy in camp, whom they had mistaken
for natives. The irregulars had reported the
enemy to be encamped on a large plain, whereas
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 229
they had taken possession of an opening in the
forest ; this they had surrounded by a palisade,
which, as it subsequently turned out, was in some
places still unfinished. Outside the palisade were
many grass huts, showing that the enemy had only
formed the inner circle of the fort (see description,
p. 101). Many of the enemy thus surprised fled
into the surrounding forest, and the rest took up
their position inside the fort. Outside the fort
large numbers of guns and caps, bales of cloth, and
other loot fell into our hands. The other com-
panies became successively engaged, taking up
their position by their right. Lieutenant de
Heusch led his company round the fort and
attacked it in the rear, hoping to find a weak place.
In this he was successful : the palisade not having
been finished, there were openings of two or three
yards wide in several places, and de Heusch, find-
ing that he could probably effect an entrance
before the Arabs had recovered from their surprise,
led his company up to the very ditch, where he
fell, shot through the breast. His men retreated,
leaving their gallant leader and many of their
230 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
number on the ground, marking the position they
had occupied. The black sergeant Albert Frees
and a native corporal named Badilonga saw him
fall, and alone rushed up to try to save him from
falling into the hands of the enemy. De Heusch's
fall gave courage to some of the enemy, who
charged out of the gap in the palisade a few yards
distant, but were driven back by the two blacks,
who kept up a steady fire across their leader's
body. Albert sent the corporal for help, and, upon
his return with Captain de Wouters and half a
dozen men, they found the sergeant still in position.
He had not only prevented the enemy from getting
the body, but, though exposed to a terrific fire, was
himself untouched. De Wouters carried off his
comrade, who was already dead. When de Wouters
had time to review the position, he found that de
Heusch's company and all the irregulars and auxiliary
troops had disappeared, the white man's fall having
had such an effect on their morale. Only civilised
troops can stand the strain of a leader's fall. As
the regular troops had themselves to carry the
dead and wounded — and they were numerous — de
ATTACK ON RUMALIZA'S FORT 231
Wouters decided to beat a retreat. No sooner,
however, was the movement understood by the
enemy than they took the offensive, and it was
only with the greatest difficulty, and by a series of
attacks and retreats, that he succeeded in burying
the dead and in getting the wounded, together
with the guns and ammunition taken in the early
part of the engagement, safely out of action.
During one of the Arab charges, Sefu (Tippu
Tib's son, and the first great Arab chief who
attacked us on the Lomami) was mortally wounded,
and died a few days afterwards. The Arabs con-
tinued to attack the retreating column until it was
within a couple of miles' march of our position at
Mwana Mkwanga. Commandant Dhanis never
decided whether this was a victory or a defeat ;
for though we failed to take the fort and lost de
Heusch, the Arabs lost Sefu, many men, and a
quantity of guns and ammunition.
For ten days no further operations were under-
taken, when, Rumaliza having crossed the Lulindi
(in reality another advance on Kasongo), de
Wouters, with Doorme and Hambursin estab-
232 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
lished himself at Bena Musua, on the road
between Rumaliza's new position and Kasongo.
Lange, whose wound was now nearly healed, was
left at Mwana Mkwanga with two other officers.
By the 4th of December we had been reinforced
by one hundred and eighty men, under the com-
mand of Captains Collignon and Rom, and two
other officers, and a good supply of ammunition
with three hundred new breechloading rifles. The
Commandant thus found himself again in position
to assume the offensive.
TRANSFERENCE OF THE STATE FORCES FROM KASONGO
TO BENA MUSUA THE COMMANDANT DIVIDES
HIS FORCES IN ORDER TO CUT OFF THE ARAB
COMMUNICATION EXTRA FORCES STATIONED
AT BENA GUIA, ON THE MAIN ROAD TO KABAM-
BARI, AT BENA KALUNGA, AND AT BENA
MUSUA — REINFORCEMENT OF THE ENEMY
THE STATE TROOPS FORM A SEMICIRCLE ROUND
THE ARAB FORTS, AND CUT OFF THEIR FOOD
SUPPLY ARRIVAL OF CAPTAIN LOTHAIRE
WITH CONTINGENT OF SOLDIERS FROM BANGALA
— EXPLOSION IN THE ARAB CAMP — CAPITULA-
TION OF THE ENEMY — THE TAKING OF KABAM-
BARI ARAB CHIEFS MADE PRISONERS BY
By the 20tli of December the Commaiidant had
transferred all the available officers and men from
Kasongo to Bena Musua, and himself joined us on
234 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the 23rd. Rumaliza, who had also been reinforced,
was in a very strong position, having a large and
well-built fort on the right bank of the Lulindi
Kiver, and three smaller advanced forts in the
direction of Kasongo. He had direct communi-
cation by a small bridge (which he had succeeded
in building over the Lulindi) with the fort where
de Heusch was killed, and had thus a safe line of
communication with the large fortified town of
Kabambari. Kabambari was at this time held
by Bwana N'Zigi, who, it may be remembered,
commanded the attack on Stanley Falls station,
which ended in Deane and Dubois being driven
out, and the establishment of the Arab dominion
on the Congo proper. This Arab success was after-
wards ratified by Mr. Stanley, who placed Tippu
Tib, the greatest Arab slave-raider, there as gover-
nor with almost absolute power.
On the 23rd of December a council of war was
held, as a result of which Commandant Dhanis
decided to divide his forces in order to cut off the
Arab communications as much as possible. He
had fairly authentic information that Raschid and
THE STATE FORCES DIVIDE 235
the other Arabs from Stanley Falls, who had been
driven south by the Commandant Ponthier (in his
campaign at Kirundu and on the Lowa River)
before he joined us, were now reunited and march-
ing from the north-east to join Rumaliza. Every
effort was to be made to turn the natives of the
whole district to co-operate with us and to supply
us with food, and thus starve out Rumaliza's forces.
Many of the natives had informed us that certain
of the tribes who had already joined Rumaliza were
willing to come over to us to carry out this policy.
Commandant Gillian and Captains Collignon and
Rom were detached with a strong force of the new
troops, and started on the 24th of December for
Bena Guia, on the main road to Kabambari. The
same day Captain de Wouters and other officers,
with two hundred and fifty regulars and four
hundred irregulars, departed to establish them-
selves at Bena Kaluuga, an hour to the south-east-
ward and about three thousand yards from the
main fort of Rumaliza. The Commandant and I
meanwhile held Bena Musua, on the main road to
Kasongo, which was the intermediate position
236 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
between the other two. We had been joined by-
Mr. Mohun, the United States commercial agent,
who had arrived the day before our departure
from Kasongo. He had also taken part in the
march by Captain Chaltin on Riba Eiba, eight
months before, and had very kindly taken charge
of some supplies for us which he brought through
from Lusambo to Kasongo. Our position was
now as follows : — Lemery was in command at
Nyangwe, and in a very dangerous position, since
Raschid and his forces from the north might at
any moment, instead of attempting to form a
junction with Rumaliza, turn aside and attack
Nyangwe ; Kasongo was held by Lieutenant
Middagh ; on our extreme right Lange was at
Mwana Mkwanga with one hundred and twenty
men and a Krupp gun, in a very strong position ;
de Wouters and the Commandant Dhanis and my-
self were in the centre ; and Commandant Gillian
occupied the extreme left at Bena Guia. We, in
the centre, had two 7*5 Krupps, and, for thefirst time
during the war, plenty of ammunition.
De Wouters found that, owing to the nature
THE STATE FORCES DIVIDE 237
of the ground and a very thick bush, he could
approach one of Rumaliza's forts to within three
hundred yards, without the enemy being able to
see them. He therefore determined to try to make
a breach, and hoped to carry the fort. At six
o'clock on the morning of the 28th he commenced.
Having nothing in particular to do, I climbed
to the top of a mountain which commanded a
view of the scene of operations, and was in the
tantalising position of seeing the fight going on,
though unable to know" with what result. After
steady cannonading till nine o'clock there was
very heavy musketry fire on two sides of the fort,
and this ceasing led me to suppose that the fort had
been carried, whereas the real state of affairs was
quite diflferent. De Wouters had only succeeded
in making a breach of not more than a yard square,
although he had advanced the gun to within a
hundred yards of the fort. While thus engaged,
Commandant Gillian had, unknown to him, attacked
the main fort in the rear, and after twenty minutes'
hard fighting had been repulsed with very heavy
loss. De Wouters and Doorme then led the men
238 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
up to the fort, but nothing they could do could
persuade the men to mount the breach, though
some of them followed actually into the ditch.
De Wouters eventually retired. When we took
the fort we found that the Arab loss on this day
had not been more than a dozen men killed, so
well protected were they by their earthworks and
the holes in the ground beneath their huts.
The Commandant had now fresh difficulties to
contend with, as we had definite information that
Bwana N'Zigi, with a large reinforcement from
Tanganyika and quantities of ammunition, was
marching from Kabambari to join Rumaliza, and
that he was then situated at Kitumba Moyo.
Lieutenant Hambursin was detached with as strong
a column as could be spared to cut Bwana N'Zigi
oflf or to drive him back. He had to make a
detour, the country on the left bank of the
Lulindi — with the exception of that on our
extreme right at Mwana Mkwanga — being held
by the Arabs. The natives in the district were
also hostile to us. After a week's continuous
fighting with N'Zigi — who was entrenched at
STATE FORCES FORM A SEMICIRCLE 239
Kitumba Moyo — Hambursin was forced to retire.
He had lost many men as the result of the fight-
ing and of a bad epidemic of smallpox which broke
out in his troop. N'Zigi had, however, suffered
so severely that, instead of trying to advance
and join Rumaliza, as soon as Hambursin was
recalled he returned to Kabambari, and shortly
afterwards, when Kabambari was taken, fled to
On the 30th of December, despatches, in answer
to the Commandant's demand for reinforcements,
arrived from Commandant Chaltin at Basoko, and
also from the Falls, to the effect that none would
be forthcoming. Mr. Mohun volunteered to go
down the river to Basoko and bring us up what-
ever reinforcements he could raise, and he
accordingly left us on the 1st of January. On
the 8th, Captain Collignon was detached from
Gillian and established at Bena Bwesse, in front
of the Arabs' two advanced forts. Our semicircle
was thus completed ; and as patrols could now pass
with comparative safety between our different
positions, the Arabs could only draw their supplies
240 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
of food from the left bank of the Lulindi. They
soon began to find difficulty in feeding their men,
as, in accordance with their usual practice, they had
devastated most of the country through which
they had marched. On the 8th of January we
were surprised and delighted by the arrival of
Commandant Lothaire with a strong contingent of
soldiers from Bangala and two smart officers. He
had outrun the courier ; in fact, Dhanis had not
even hoped to get an answer to the requisition he
had sent to him for another fortnight. One need
hardly emphasise the contrast between Chaltin's
action and Lothaire's, the same demand having
been sent to both. Lothaire immediately departed
with two hundred men to join de Wouters, and
within two days they had established themselves
in a position three hundred yards from Rumaliza's
own boma and between it and his first advanced
boma, our men being thus in a position to annoy
both. Rumaliza, under the impression that they
were simply reconnoitring, did not attack them
until their camp was established, and partly forti-
fied, in a deserted village, the huts of which, being
EXPLOSION IN THE ARAB CAMP 241
made with clay walls, were a very useful protection
from rifle fire.
On the 14th of January, Hambursin, having
returned from his expedition against N'Zigi, joined
Lothaire, bringing with him a Krupp. The gun
was placed in position, and Hambursin fired a
shell to measure the distance, in order that all
should be ready for the bombardment, which was
intended to take place on the morrow. This trial
shot, however, efi'ected other results than were
intended : it blew up the magazine and set the
Arab fort on fire. Being the wet season, all the
huts, trenches, and retiring holes in the fort were
very heavily thatched. A few rounds of canister
prevented the enemy from extinguishing the fire,
and in a few minutes the whole fort, covering three
or four acres, was a roaring fiery furnace, with
ammunition exploding in every direction. Our
troops were not idle, and, taking advantage of the
disorder that prevailed among the enemy, climbed
the fortifications in every direction and poured in
a most destructive fire with their rifles. The heat
inside became so intense that the Arabs heaved
242 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
immense quantities of cartridges, powder, and caps
over their defences to prevent them exploding.
They broke out of the fort and fled precipitately
to the river, being forced into this direction by the
position of our forces between them and their
other bomas. On arriving at the river, they
crowded on to the bridge in such numbers that it
broke : the irregulars, natives, and even their own
auxiliaries, harassed them, and as the panic became
complete they jumped into the river, and, in trying
to cross, drowned each other. What with the
falling of the bridge, crammed with humanity, and
those killed by native arrows or drowned, their
losses at the river alone must have been several
hundreds. The official report for the day was
"Enemy's loss over a thousand." Our gain in
ammunition was small, most of it having exploded
during the fire, and the greater number of guns
and repeating rifles were so badly burned as to be
useless. Without following the flying enemy,
Lothaire turned his attention to the other fort in
his immediate neighbourhood, and partially in-
vested it. The following day Commandant Dhanis,
CAPITULATION OF THE ENEMY 243
leaving me in command of the centre at Bena
Musua, joined Lothaire, and, taking command,
completed the circle round the boma. The line
was advanced so that our men were established
actually between the enemy and the brook from
which they drew their water supply. These
positions were maintained for three days and
nights, the enemy during this time keeping up a
well-sustained fire, which our men did not return ;
in fact, for these three days and nights hardly a
shot was fired on our side, except when the enemy
attempted a sortie. On the third day, under a
flag of truce, the Arab chiefs sent ten men to the
Commandant offering ten guns for a bowl of water.
The Commandant ordered a bowl of water to be
brought to him, and poured it on the ground before
them, after which he sent them back into the fort
with their guns. This ruse succeeded. In half an
hour the fort capitulated — the men having seen
water, there was no holding them. They piled arms
in our camp, after which the fort was searched, for
fear of treachery, and the thirsty wretches were
allowed to rush down to the brook, into which they
244 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
plunged. This affair was liardly finished when a
tornado came on, and rain enough fell in ten
minutes to have supplied the garrison with water
for a month had they still held out. With this
capitulation 2000 prisoners, 600 guns, 20 repeat-
ing rifles and ammunition fell into our hands.
During this time Commandant Gillian had left
Bena Guia and had joined Collignon in attacking
the two advanced forts, both of these officers
having been rather severely handled by the
defenders. The intermediate fort having now
fallen, all our troops marched with Commandant
Dhanis to invest the remaining positions of the
enemy ; but before this was accomplished the
forts capitulated. Captain Rom did a plucky but
(with our knowledge of the Arab character) foolish
thing. Bwana N'Zigi, the commander of the Arab
forts, sent a messenger into Commandant Gillian's
camp carrying a Koran, who said that if a white
man would come to the fort with the same Koran
in his hand no harm should happen to him, and
Bwana N'Zigi would himself arrange terms with him.
While discussing the question, Captain Rom seized
THE TAKING OF KABAMBARI 245
the Koran and started off with it, saying that this
would probably save bloodshed. He went to the
fort, arranged the terms of capitulation with Bwana
N'Zigi, and at the end of the palaver exchanged
a State flag with Bwana N'Zigi for his standard.
On the 18th of January a column was despatched
after Rumaliza, under Commandant Lothaire and
Captains de Wouters and Doorme. By a forced
march they surprised Kabambari on the 25th
of January, arriving at the outskirts of the town
at four o'clock in the afternoon, and rushing into
it before the Arabs had time even to shut the
gates. The natives and slaves in the surrounding
fields were, meanwhile, looking on in apathetic
indifference at their arrival. This easily achieved
success may be attributed to the excellent policy
which the Commandant Dhanis had pursued
throughout the whole campaign, in never allowing
the natives to be interfered with or molested,
unless they actually attacked us under the Arab
flag. The natives throughout the whole country
had got to know this, and, on Lothaire's approach,
instead of flying terror-stricken into the town, they
246 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
simply watched with curiosity our troops passing.
Rumaliza is said to have escaped into the great
forest, accompanied by only four men. De Wouters
and his company marched to Tanganyika, to open
communication with the forces of the Anti-Slavery
Society, who had lain inactive during the whole
of our campaign. He met Captain Descamps on
the road, twenty miles from Albertville. Descamps
had just taken command of the Anti- Slavery
troops, and immediately organised an expedition
and took the field. De Wouters returned with
him, and they joined Commandant Loth aire, who
was marching towards the north-east on the Ujiji
road, this being the direction in which the relics of
the Arab force had fled. They took four forts on
the road, which the defenders on each occasion
deserted as soon as our troops came in sight,
without firing a shot. Arriving at the Lake, a
station was formed at Bakari on Burton's Gulf, of
which Lieutenant Lange was left in command ;
the troops meanwhile returning to Kabambari,
where a large fortified camp was immediately
formed in the event of a return of the Arabs from
ARAB CHIEFS MADE PRISONERS 247
the south or east. All the natives, and small
detached bands of Arabs, submitted ; and Lothaire
took Raschid, Said-ben-a-Bedi, Miserera, and Amici
prisoners. Said-ben-a-Bedi had conducted Emin
Pasha from the Equatorial province to the neigh-
bourhood of Kabungi, where Emin was murdered
by the Chief Kibungi, and was accused of being
himself concerned in the murder. After trial by
court-martial he was acquitted, and afterwards
came to Europe with us.
On the 12th of March, Mr. Mohun, the American
Consul, returned from Basoko, having collected
about a hundred men, who were following him
under the command of Lieutenant Baldwin. It
will be remembered that after the refusal of Com-
mandant Chaltin to send us help, on the 1st of
January, the Consul had offered to go down the
river and get together what men he could, we being
very hard pressed at the time. He returned hav-
ing successfully accomplished this voluntary work,
though, fortunately for us, the danger was then
already averted. Lieutenant Baldwin arrived with
the men in due course.
DESCRIPTION OF EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE THE
UPPER WATERS OF THE LUALABA RIVER
The country being for the moment practically
quiet, and a road open to Tanganyika, the Com-
mandant was anxious to find out if a water-
way to the Great Lake were possible to discover.
On the old caravan road through Kabambari
everything had to be carried on men's heads,
which was naturally a very expensive method, and
a water-way for even part of the road would mean
enormous advantages. I received an order to
take over Baldwin's men and to form a caravan
to explore the upper waters of the Lualaba, which
till then were unknown to Europeans.
My instructions were in the following terms : —
Kasongo, le 16 Mars, 1894.
Monsieur le Docteur,— J'ai I'hoiineur de vous faire savoir que
je vous charge de conduire une expedition de reconnaissance vers
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 249
M. le Consul Mohiin exprime le dosir de vous accompagner ;
vous lui rendrez tous les services que vous pouvez.
Vous partirez avec le detachement de Basoko.
Votre but sera de suivre le Lualaba et le Lukuga, et d'examiner
la navigabilite de ces cours d'eau jusqu'au Lac. Vous devez surtout
marquer les noms des villages, des chefs, indiquer leur importance,
dire le cas echeant de quels Arabes ils dependaient, indiquer le plus
exactement possible jusqu'ou s'etendait I'influence Arabe. Je joins
d'ailleurs h cette lettre une instruction concernant les itineraires.
Vous irez jusqu'a M'pala ou Albertville. Si vous le jugez
necessaire vous pouvez aller en tout autre endroit ou se trouve le
Comt. de la Region Administrative. Si ce n'est pas trop loin.
Dans tous les cas, 11 faudra lui donner communication de votre
rapport et de votre carte de Kasongo au Lac. II ne faudra rester au
Lac que le temps strictement necessaire pour reposer votre troupe
ou pour achever vos relations officielles.
II faudra rapporter si possible du Lac des pommes de terre
d'Europe et des semences de ble ; vous en donnez une petite partie
J'enverrai votre correspondance k Albertville et vos colis postaux
Le Commandt. de la Zone Arabe
Monsieur le Docteur Hinde.
Thomson, Stanley, and others had suggested
that the Lukuga, flowing out of Tanganyika,
emptied itself into the Lualaba, or indirectly
into the Lualaba through Lake Lanchi. It had
also been suggested that the Lukuga flowed into
Tanganyika, and not out of it. These were,
naturally, important points to be solved. The
250 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
United States agent, Mohun, wished to accompany
me, and we started arranging the caravan. After
carefully eliminating the worst men from Bald-
win's detachment, I found sixty - five sturdy
fellows to take with me. They proved, however,
the most undisciplined disobedient set of thieves
I had ever to deal with. In addition to their
general worthlessness, they could neither swim
nor paddle — an exceptional disadvantage in an
expedition by water, since, in the matter of trans-
port, it left us entirely in the hands of the
natives through whose districts we passed.
Among these men were five Abyssinians, the
only survivors out of a band of seventy-five who
had started from Boma to join us, the rest having
died on the way, unable to withstand the bad
climate, bad feeding, and want of care to which
they had been subjected. These five Abyssinians
were in a wretched condition and sufi'ering from
fever when they joined us, but it seemed to me
that something might be made of them ; and so
it proved, for with proper care and feeding they
became the most useful, hard-working, and faith-
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 251
ful men in the whole detachment. On several
occasions, when the detachment was on the verge
of mutiny, these Abyssinians kept close to Mohun
and myself, and, in fact, usually insisted on sleep-
ing within a yard or two of our tents.
On the 14th of March I distributed a hundred
cartridges per head and a new suit of uniform
to each man. That night I was wakened by an
alarm of fire on our side of Kasongo, and rushing
out found that the section of the camp in which
the Kwangolas (my new company) were quartered
was in flames. A whirlwind, or small tornado,
had unluckily at that moment sprung up, and the
whole of that section of the camp was quickly in
a blaze. My men, though supposed to have been
soldiers for more than six months, were absolutely
useless, and, as a consequence, I lost three rifles
and over seven hundred cartridges, and had also
two very narrow escapes from cartridges exploding
when I was trying to save them. Notwithstand-
ing this, the Commandant severely reprimanded
me for the loss of ammunition, and on the follow-
ing day I had to start without being allowed to
252 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
replace my losses. We marclied to Farrhagis
on the Lualaba, where we were to be supplied
with canoes. Mohim had six men of his own,
and a Hausa cook named Philip, who was a
useful interpreter and a good cook when he was
not drunk. At Farrhagis we lost a whole day
hunting up canoes which were supposed to be
ready for us. The Waginia, true to their instincts,
had made away with, and hidden in the lagoons
and swamps, all the best and biggest canoes they
could lay their hands on. We, however, eventually
got together a dozen canoes, which were sufficient
to carry our whole party. These canoes, though
simply dug out from a single tree, are a grand
means of transport. The largest one, which
belonged to Mohun, carried sixty men to paddle ;
twelve soldiers with their kit and food ; Mohun,
his bed and luggage, in a house built on the canoe ;
the cook Philip and two or three other servants ;
together with a kitchen fire and a couple of milk
goats, besides half a ton of stores. This canoe passed
through the most extraordinary adventures without
damage. Coming down rapids at the rate of
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 253
twenty miles an hour, it was often suddenly
arrested in full career by a rock, the shock send-
ing half the paddlers flying overboard. (In this
region the men all paddle standing up, both the
bow and stern being flattened into a platform,
three or four feet square, on which numbers of the
men stand while at work.) After some months
of the roughest work, which I do not think any
other kind of boat could have withstood, I left
this canoe at Stanley Falls, apparently as good as
On the 17th of March we started, and within
an hour were poling and dragging the canoes up
the first rapids. The whole day was spent in
this work. When the current was too strong,
or when there was an actual fall of two or
three feet to be mounted, we cut long creepers
of monkey ropes, and, attaching them to the
canoes, set a couple of hundred men hauling, and
in this way dragged them up by main force.
For a present of a few yards of cloth or a handful
or two of beads, we generally got as much help
as we Wanted from the fishing villages on the
254 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
river bank. Occasionally, the only passable part
of a cataract or rapid was blocked by enormously
strong weirs, some of which were made of whole
trees, and had evidently been placed there by
the natives when the water was low. Holes,
two or three feet square, were left in these
weirs, over which fish-traps, formed like an
ordinary lobster-pot and made of wicker-work,
were placed. The mouths of these traps were
always placed down river, in order to catch the
fish mounting the stream while on the feed. In
one of these traps, which measured over eight
feet in diameter, I found a kind of carp about
twenty-five pounds weight. This carp is of a
golden brown colour, and is the most delicious
fish I have tasted from Congo waters.
The rocks in these rapids were a very dark
brown — almost black — streaked with red, and
apparently exceedingly rich in iron. As a con-
sequence, we had great difficulty in mapping this
part of the river, our compasses being practically
useless, and always pointing towards the nearest
rock. Game was very plentiful, especially in the
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 255
rapids. Herons, of various colours and sizes,
abounded, from flocks of snowy egrets to enormous
solitary birds. One of these latter, which I shot,
measured eight feet six inches from wing-tip to
wing-tip, and six feet nine inches from the point
of his bill to his toe-nails. A species of grey
plover, and ducks of half a dozen different colours
and sizes, were to be seen in every direction. I shot
many sperm-wing geese, which, though rather out
of season, were much liked by the caravan. Hip-
popotami were comparatively scarce, the natives
having learnt how to kill them by spearing, or
with the ordinary hippo trap. This consists of
a spear fixed in a beam, suspended in a likely
place near the river bank, the suspending cord
being fastened to a trigger placed in the hippo's
way. In the villages in which we camped w^e
often found the heads and teeth of hippos, wart
hogs, and wild pigs, and occasionally a buffalo or
antelope horn. Although elephants and buff'alo
are numerous all over this district, they are
seldom molested, as the natives stand in great
awe of them.
256 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
On the 20th of March, after a very hard day's
work, we arrived at Mona Tambui's village. It
was situated on an island, surrounded and inter-
spersed by rapids and streams, with the main river
passing in front of the village — a most beautiful
situation, and one which completely commanded
the surrounding country. Mohun and I sat by
the front of the village and amused ourselves by
shooting duck, which were constantly passing and
repassing overhead, to and from their feeding-
grounds. The whole population turned out, mani-
festing intense surprise and delight to find that
it was possible to kill birds on the wing, flocks
of which they were in the habit of seeing pass
before them every day of their lives.
Whenever it was possible, instead of sleeping
in the boats or putting up our tents, we slept in
native villages. Most of these villages were
hostile, though throughout a great part of the
district the natives did not know what a gun
was, and, under the impression that we were
only armed with clubs, even twenty or thirty
of them were willing to attack us with their
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 257
arrows and spears. I found the best way of
approaching a village (the warriors of which were
usually all grouped on the beach, with their
arrows on the string) was to leave the rest of the
flotilla at some distance, and to exhibit, from
my canoe, handkerchiefs and strings of beads as
I drew near — as soon as possible throwing a few
handfuls of beads on shore. If anyone in the
village could speak Swahili, or one of the
other languages known to us, I then put
myself into communication with the chief.
After giving him a present, and promising a
bigger one the next day, I allowed him half an
hour to clear the village of all the women,
goods, and chattels, explaining that my men were
bad, and would probably take anything that he
left behind. In this way I generally succeeded
in passing through the country without disturb-
ances with the natives. As soon as we took
possession of a village, and such food as was left
in it, we started a market and bought whatever
more was necessary. This greatly astonished the
natives, who always consider that they must feed
258 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
travellers for nothing, if the said travellers are
strong enough to demand it. We generally
brought our marketing transactions to a close by
scrambling a few handfuls of beads, handkerchiefs,
or wire ; or by starting races, for which a handker-
chief or a small bell, fixed on the top of a tree or
a hut, was the prize. The whole population would
race and fight for the prize, often bringing the
establishment, on the top of which it was sus-
pended, to the ground in their efi'orts to secure it.
Having established these relations with the natives,
we had usually little difficulty in getting men to
paddle us on our way the following morning.
If our camp the next evening happened to be
situated among people of the same tribe, or among
a tribe friendly to our former host, we found that
our reputation had preceded us, and we were
received with open arms. Occasionally, however,
the other side to the question presented itself,
and all did not proceed so smoothly, the trouble
usually arising through the disobedience of my own
men. On one or two occasions when I was on
shore arranging matters with the chief, and accom-
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 259
panied by only two or three of the Abyssinians,
several canoes sneaked into the bank lower
down, and, led by the native paddlers — who, like
most natives, rob or murder their own kith and
kin without hesitation — took the village in the
rear and commenced looting. This placed me
many times in most uncomfortable and dangerous
positions, and, though I made example of several of
the worst blackguards, I had trouble almost to the
end of the chapter. As soon as we got above Fam-
busi village we found no more Waginia, the water
race here being called Waujabillio. And a very
fine race they are — tall, almost handsome, brown
men, w4th the most fantastic methods of dressing
the hair ; though, curiously enough, the men only
pay attention to this part of their appearance, "and
I rarely saw a woman who seemed to have taken
any trouble at all- about her headdress. This,
however, may have been owing to the fact that
we saw only slaves — the free women and chief's
wives being kept out of the way. The men wore
festoons of fetishes suspended round their necks
and waists, some of which, representing figures of
26o THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
men and women, were beautifully carved in ivory
or wart hogs' teeth. They all wore round their
waists a piece of native cloth, woven from palm
fibre, called madeba. They were armed with
fairly powerful bows and arrows, the arrows
being well made, barbed and tipped with iron, and
coated with poison. This poison was not, however,
invariably fatal, probably owning to the fact that,
in common with most of the native poisons I
have seen in the Congo Basin, it loses its virulence
when not fresh. One of my men who had his thigh
transfixed by an arrow, thickly coated with so-
called poison, did not die, though the only remedy
I used was a drink of ammonia and water, with
a couple of drops of ammonia poured into each
of the wounds. This pained him so much, and
stung his nose, throat, and eyes to such an extent
that he concluded the white man's medicine must
be more powerful than native poison, and so made
up his mind to live. Almost every "Waujabillio
that I saw carried a curious razor with a triangular
blade fixed on a handle, and stuck in a sheath
suspended from the waist-belt or neck. These
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 261
razors were, for some unaccountable reason, always
carried handle down, the blade being jammed so
tightly in the sheath that it did not drop out.
Their carving in wood and ivory is really beautiful,
and I was fortunate in beinsj able to o;et to England
some fine specimens in the shape of paddles, walk-
ing-sticks, and axe handles, which are now in the
British Museum. The houses of this race are
curious : they are built of mud, and consist of two
rooms, the front one about seven feet square, and
the back one — which is the main part of the house
— of circular shape and about ten feet in diameter.
The entire hut is thatched, the circular portion
having a beehive roof, and the square part a lean-
to. In the interior were always twenty or thirty
balks of timber thickly covered with soot. Some
of these were evidently used as beds, but for what
the others served I could never discover, though
the general idea in the caravan was that they were
used for forming platforms, on which to smoke fish
or flesh. This seems almost incredible, with the
far simpler alternative of using lighted sticks. In
both the outer and inner rooms were placed raised
262 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
platforms of clay, about a yard long and two feet
wide, which served as fireplaces. On these hearths
three or four conical lumps of clay, shaped like an
ordinary flower-pot and inverted, were always
found. Three of these, placed close togetlier with
the fire between, formed a capital stand for a
cooking-pot. This system is common all over the
Lualaba and Lomami districts. In other parts of
the Concro I have seen the common mushroom-
shaped ants' nests used for this purpose. All the
houses were infested b}^ myriads of rats, which
were fearfully and horribly tame. Enormous
numbers of them used, nightly, to swarm up and
down the sides of my mosquito net, and on
more than one occasion broke the strings
and descended in a solid mass upon me in bed.
We eventually became so accustomed to them that
they ceased to disturb us, unless they were of the
musk variety — a grey long-nosed animal about
the size of our own drain rat, with the abominable
peculiarity that wherever it goes or whatever it
touches is infected with the stench of musk for
days afterwards. One only of these rats in a hut,
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 263
if I did not succeed in catching it, was sufficient
to necessitate a change of dwelling. The extra-
ordinary numbers of rats found in these districts
led me to suppose that the natives, unlike those of
other parts of the Congo Basin, do not make use
of them as food.
Once free of the Waginias our daily worries
increased — and with reason, for we were outside
the sphere of Arab influence. I have always found
that peoples and tribes who have had to do with
the Arabs are civil and obliging, having doubtless
learned that the best way to get rid of both
pleasant and unpleasant visitors is to help them
on their way. One of the most difficult people
we had to deal with was a chief named Kitenge,
a powerful and unruly vassal of a good-natured
timid old patriarch named Kongolo, whom we
afterwards visited. Kitenge's headquarters were
on a large island in the middle of the river. The
greater part of this island was formed of a beauti-
ful white quartz, and the approach to it was one
of the finest pieces of scenery I have ever seen.
At the lower end of the island were a series of
264 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
falls and rapids called Nyangi. On the left bank
of the river, at this point, a magnificent cliflf of
quartz rose abruptly ; at the foot of which, huge
blocks, piled up into fantastic shapes, stretched out
into the river. In the middle of the rapid a great
cone-shaped block of quartz, thirty-five or forty
feet high, stood, crowned with a little grass plateau
and two or three trees, round which flocks of white
and black eagles were circling. On the left side
the hill -slope rose sharply from the river bank,
forming almost perpendicular cliff's sparsely covered
Kitenge promised us both food and men to
proceed on our journey, and left us without either,
to starve on the island. On the following day he
renewed his promises, but protested that he had
no men handy ; he had, he said, sent for some to
the interior, but since he possessed neither boats
nor paddles we would have to lend him our own
to bring the people from the mainland. While so
talking, we saw three canoes quietly crossing over
to the lower end of the island. Keeping the chief
engaged in conversation, I despatched some of my
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 265
men with orders to seize the canoes, which they
succeeded in doing and in bringing them up to
our end of the island, much to the chief's chagrin.
In one of the canoes was a fine cat-fish weighing
perhaps two hundred pounds, which was very
acceptable to the hungry troops. With these
canoes, Omarri the interpreter and a few men
crossed over to the mainland, the chief meanwhile
being detained by us on the island. After a couple
of hours they returned with all that we wanted,
and we started, under the impression that we had
done with Kitenge ; we had, however, not seen the
last of him. Later in the day, as I had just
passed a difficult piece of rapid, and was waiting
at the tail of the next one for the rest of the
boats to come up, I saw the natives deliberately
overturn one canoe in the middle of the stream.
Though it was in comparatively smooth water,
as the Kwangola were unable to swim, they were
all drowned. The canoe fortunately contained
only eight men — one of whom was the interpreter
Omarri, who swam ashore with his rifle in pur-
suit of the natives. From my perch on a rock
266 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
I could of course do nothing, the roar of the cata-
ract above preventing anyone from hearing the
directions I shouted. The catastrophe occupied
only a few seconds : I saw a head and two hands
appear, and the great river swept on, leaving no
sign of what had taken place. Omarri returned
to me, but the native paddlers all disappeared into
the bush, and I saw none of them again.
Towards evening we were still in the rapids, and,
since there was great difficulty in getting Mohun's
big canoe along, I joined him in it. At dusk,
having only succeeded in getting half the canoe
over a ridge of rocks, all the natives jumped over-
board and swam to the shore half a mile away
in the gloom. By an unfortunate chance the
provisions and bedding had preceded us in the
other canoes, and we were left in the unenvi-
able position of passing the night in a wet canoe,
worried by myriads of mosquitoes, hungry, and
drenched by a dense fog. The following morning
our servants, the interpreter, and the Abyssinians
returned and helped us out of the predicament ;
the remainder of our men, thinking themselves
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 267
quit of us, amusing themselves meanwhile to the
annoyance of the natives. We afterwards dis-
covered that Kongolo, to whose village we next
came — and who was grand chief of the whole
district — had given orders that we were not to be
allowed to land. His village was situated above
the rapids, and when, in spite of his orders, we
put in our appearance, he made the best of what
he considered to be a bad job, and treated us very
welh From him we learned that we could con-
tinue paddling up the river for another three
weeks without encountering any more rapids. This
was probably not true, and I am sorry that we
were unable to test its accuracy; for on the 31st
of March, four days afterwards, we reached the
mouth of the Lukuga, up which we turned. Before
getting there I had rather an unpleasant experience.
At Kiembenema village, which was situated half a
mile from the shore on which we were encamped,
a number of my men broke loose and started off
looting into the village. The chief came to me
complaining of the treatment his people were
receiving, but was pacified when, after following
268 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the men, I took from them the fowls, goats, and
other things they had looted, and returned them
to him. One of my rascals, however, seeing the
position of affairs, bolted with his prey, and when
I came up with him dodged behind a bush. I
heard his breech-block snick as he opened it.
Springing through the bush with a revolver in
hand, I was just in time to fell him with the butt-
end as he closed the breech and before he had
time to draw on me. As he was rather badly
injured by the blow, I disarmed him and let him
continue the rest of the journey without further
punishment. The moral effect of this incident on
the men was very marked, and there were never
afterwards any open signs of insubordination when
I was in the neighbourhood.
The Lukuga, or, as the natives at its mouth call
it, the Lumbridgi, was at this time — early in April
— not within many feet of the highest water-
mark. This river empties itself directly into
the Lualaba. There is no sign whatever of Lake
Lanchi, which is marked in so many maps at this
point. Nor is there even a broadening of the
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 269
Lualaba which could be mistaken for a lake either
above or below the mouth of the Lukuga. We
found the mouth of the river, which here forked,
partially blocked by a delta about half a mile
wide and a mile and a half long. The river above
the delta was about ten feet deep, with perfectly
clear water, and varied from a mile and a quarter
to a mile in width, with the same depth right
across. Long grass was growing in a great
portion of it, and there were no signs of swamp
about its banks. Some miles up the river we
were brought almost to a standstill by the grass,
which was six or seven feet above the water and
blocked all outlook. The water at this point
being more than five or six feet deep, we had
great difficulty in paddling, poling, and pushing
the canoes through. We felt absolutely lost in
this trackless wilderness of grass, and could only
follow the course of the river by going against
the current, the bank being completely hidden.
After several miles of this unpleasant travelling
we found an open stretch of water about forty
yards wide, which led us up to the village of
270 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Angoma. It has been suggested that, by the
growth of this rank grass and other vegetation,
together with the debris deposited in it by the
percolating water, the Lukuga is sometimes
dammed, and that this may be a cause for the
extraordinary variation of the level which has
been noticed on Tanganyika. Sir Francis de
Winton told me that in one year when he was
at Vivi, near the mouth of the Congo, the river
rose over fourteen feet in a single night. On
subsequent inquiry he succeeded in getting a
report from Stanley Pool to the efifect that a great
lake had broken out above. There are only two
things to be said with regard to this. First,
that it is always open to doubt whether the
bursting of a dam in the Lukuga would affect
the great river sixteen hundred miles lower
down to the extent of raising its level fourteen
feet in a night ; secondly, that what applies in
this respect to Tanganyika might also apply to
Lake Leopold II., the latter lake being com-
paratively near to the coast.
When we were in this neighbourhood the spur-
EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE 271
wing geese seemed to be flocking preparatory to
migrating. For hours on end I paddled through
the largest flock of birds I have ever seen. The
river and river banks, islands, and plains, as far
as the eye could see, were literally covered with
geese, and no other birds but geese were to be
We reached M'Burri, or M'Bulli as the natives
(who cannot articulate the letter " r ") pronounce
it, on the 4th of April. This was the farthest
point, from the eastward on the Lukuga, to which
either Thomson or Delcommune had penetrated.
I am thankful to say that I did not break down
until the exploration of the unknown parts of the
river had been accomplished. For some days I
had been feverish, and here became delirious.
THE RETURN JOURNEY TO THE COAST
On the 11th of April Mr. Mohun took command
of the expedition, and returned down the river,
hoping to get me back to Kasongo alive, where
there was some chance of finding the necessary
medicines and light food. The very first night
(when landing on a strip of sand under a high
clifi" covered with bush) the natives attacked us,
under the impression that we were afraid to
proceed, and were not really so strong as they
had first thought us when going up the river.
I was too weak to sit up, and lay helpless while
the skirmish raged around ; everyone was engaged,
and I could get no information as to what was
happening even on the sandbank, on the edge of
which my canoe was drawn up. It ended in the
natives being driven oft', leaving some prisoners, as
well as their dead and dying, in Mohun's hands.
THE RETURN JOURNEY 273
To each of the prisoners he gave a present, and
dismissed them in the morning after trying to
explain to them that we had not come there to
fight. When we got back to the Lualaba we
found that the waters had risen many feet, and, as
a consequence, were able to shoot down many
of the rapids, which would otherwise have neces-
sitated disembarking to negotiate. The journey
was not a pleasant one to me, for besides being ill
and being unable to eat goat's flesh, which was
the staple food, I was several times more than
half drowned by the canoe filling with water in
shooting the rapids. Of the rest of the journey I
have little recollection. We reached Kasongo on the
25th of April, to find that Baron Dhanis had gone
down the river to Stanley Falls on his way home ;
and my great friend, the Chevalier de Wouters
d'Oplinter, arrived from Tanganyika in a dying
condition. I was carried to see him, and on
examination found that he was sufl'ering from an
abscess in his liver. This set me thinking ; and
the next day, when a little rested after the
journey, on examining myself as well as I could,
274 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
I found that I also was suffering from the same
complaint. There was, however, nothing to be
done, as we were without instruments ; and even
had we possessed them, there was no one near us
capable of using them. Poor de Wouters died
two or three days afterwards. Commandant
Lothaire, whose kindness nothing could exceed,
on talking over my condition with me, decided
that I had better try to get down to Basoko,
below Stanley Falls, where there was a doctor.
There was still a chance that I could get there
in time to be operated on ; but since it depended
on my keeping alive, in the weak condition I had
been in for three weeks, the chance was a small one.
I, however, agreed with him that it was better
to take it, together with the risks of the road.
Commandant Lothaire despatched Captain Rom
to convoy me, and, notwithstanding all the trials
and worries of looking after a sick man, I can
only say that he treated me as if I had been a
brother instead of a stranger and a foreigner.
On the 29th of April, two days after the death
of poor de Wouters, I left Kasongo, comfortably
THE RETURN JOURNEY 275
installed in the big canoe I have already mentioned.
I arrived at Nyangwe on the 1st of May. Here
Lieutenant Lemerie, who was in command, insisted
on our remaining for two or three days, urging
that the cows' milk he had succeeded in obtaining
from the herd at Nyangwe would go a long way
towards giving me strength to bear the journey.
He had, after many difficulties — for the herd of
cattle was practically wild — succeeded in getting
sixteen cows that were possible to milk, and had
established a dairy. He was very proud of being
able to make butter, though the milk from the
sixteen cows gave him only enough cream to
make three or four ounces of butter a day. It
had until then always been an accepted theory in
the Congo, that, owing to the climate, it was im-
possible to make butter either from cows' or goats'
milk. This idea had most probably originated
from the fact that the milk, partly owing to the
climate and partly to the rank vegetation on
which the animals feed, contains so little fat that
no one had before succeeded in getting a sufficient
quantity from which it was possible to extract
276 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
enough, cream, before it became solid, to get any
result at all.
From Nyangwe to Riba Riba 1 suffered a great
deal, but on arriving there the abscess in my liver
burst successfully, and so saved my life. Lieu-
tenant Rue was established at Riba Riba, and had
built three or four houses on the site of the old
town, which was burnt by the natives after the
Arabs had left, and just before the arrival of
Captain Chaltin many months before. It was
here that Miserera and the other Beloochies,
established as Arab chiefs, had flogged Noblesse and
Michels to death, afterwards cutting them up and
dividing them among their slaves for food. These
were the only two officers of Hodister's ill-fated
expedition who were unfortunate enough to fall
into the hands of the Arabs alive. One of the
only relics of the original town left intact was
pointed out to me as the identical sugar-cane
crusher to which these wretched men were bound
while being tortured to death. Of the instigators
of the outrages, Mohara, the great chief of Nyangwe
(who had ordered the extermination of the white
THE RETURN JOURNEY 277
men), was killed by us in battle on the 9th of
January 1892; Boina Losa, one of the chiefs
of Riba Riba, was also killed by us, in the
battle of the 26th of February 1892 ; and
Miserera and his son were taken prisoners at
Kirundu, and hanged after trial by Baron Dhanis.
On the 9th of May we arrived at Kirundu,
where we found Dhanis established. He had
found the district in so disturbed a state that,
instead of starting direct for Europe, he had re-
mained behind to arranoje matters. With him I
spent a most delightful though painful evening,
for he, determined that I should have one more
good laugh before I died, gave such a ridiculous
description of his doings, and of the state of the
district, that he kept me laughing the whole
evening. It proved the best thing that could
have been done, for the constant shaking, it
appears, so effectively emptied the abscess that I
got rapidly better from that day forward.
It was at Kirundu that retribution overtook
most of the murderers of Emin Pasha and his men.
Mohara of Nyangwe had, after the murder of
273 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
Hodister and his company, given orders that
all the white men in his dominions were to
be slaughtered. Said-ben-a-Bedi, an intelligent
well - educated young Arab chief (who had
accompanied Emin Pasha from the Equatorial
province, through the great forest, to within two
days' march of the Lualaba, in the neighbourhood
of Kirundu), received orders through Kibungi, the
chief of Kirundu, to murder the Pasha. Instead
of doing so, he immediately went to Nyangwe and
begged of Mohara to spare Emin's life. The old
tyrant was, however, immovable in his determina-
tion, and Said returned, still hoping to be able
to save Emin on his own responsibility. When
yet a day or two from Kirundu, Kibungi and
his company took upon themselves to carry out
Mohara's orders. Emin Pasha and his soldiers
were shown every mark of friendship, and treated
with the greatest hospitality, till any suspicion
they may have entertained towards their host
was lulled. After establishing relations of trust
between Emin and his caravan, each individual
— being surrounded by a little group of appar-
THE RETURN JOURNEY 279
ently the most friendly persons — was, at a given
signal, slaughtered where he stood. This, so far
as I can remember, is the story told to me by
two or three members of Emin's harem whom
we rescued. At the tribunal, Said-ben-a-Bedi
was acquitted of any participation in Emin's
murder, he having apparently done all in his
power to save him. Eleven of those actually
concerned in the massacre, together with Miserera
and his son, were hanged the same morning at
Kirundu for the murder of Noblesse and Michels.
Kibungi himself escaped into the great forest, and
it was not until nearly nine months later that he
was caught by Captain Lothaire, and tried by
court-martial and shot.
We reached Stanley Falls on the 15th of May,
and the same day Captain Cock arrived from
Stanley Pool in the Ville de Bruges. With him
I went down to Basoko, where the doctor inclined
to think that, though out of danger, it was advis-
able for me to return to Europe without loss of
time, to recruit. Captain Jasen arriving with his
ship a few days after, I took a passage with him
28o THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
to Stanley Pool. I was much struck on the way
by the fact that, the farther we descended the
river from Stanley Falls, the more savage, uncouth,
and dirty the natives seemed to be, though Bomba,
on the main river, is the only place where the
natives are absolutely naked. Arriving at Leo-
poldville I found myself so much better, that
since both doctors had told me if I chose to take
the responsibility I might return to Stanley Falls,
I decided to do so. My good friend Captain
Jasen was taking his ship up to the Falls again ;
so after a few days' rest I embarked with
him, not caring to go home without Baron
Dhanis, who had also been through the whole
campaign and still considered that he had
some work to do. Our voyage to Stanley Falls
was, excepting for one small scrimmage with the
natives in Itimberie, uneventful. To my immense
disgust I found, on arriving at the Falls, that,
while we were in the Itimberie River, Dhanis had
passed us on his way home. A despatch from
him awaited me with orders to join him at
once, he having heard on his way down that I
THE RETURN JOURNEY 281
had gone up again. This I was only too delighted
to do, and we joined him at Stanley Pool — Jasen
having made a record passage from Stanley Pool
to the Falls and back, including a trip to Ibembo,
in thirty days. After a few days at Stanley Pool,
spent in organising a caravan, the Commandant
and I started for the coast, in company with
Monseigneur van Aertzlaer, and Pere de Deken,
the celebrated Asiatic traveller of the Belgian-
Chinese African Mission.
On arriving at Congo de Lemba we found a
special train awaiting our arrival. I, however,
preferred to continue the march, rather than trust
myself to the railway in its then insecure state ;
and having arrived at Matadi a couple of days
later, on the 1st of September 1894, a few weeks
afterwards took ship for Europe.
Note on Cannibalism
Tlie Manyema country, which was the scene
of the Belgian campaign, lies mid-way between
the Arab centre at Zanzibar and the Belgian
settlement at the mouth of the Congo. Living-
stone, in his endeavours to find the Great River
of which the Arabs brought him word, was the
first European to cross Many em aland ; and it was
under the protection of a party of Arab slave-
traders that he entered the country in the year
1869. Travelling with the Arabs, and compelled
to follow their erratic course, he was enabled, by
the delays this involved, to observe more closely
than would otherwise have been possible the
habits of the people. Though the cannibalistic
propensities of the Manyema were well known,
and a subject of great terror to his followers, it
was some time before Livingstone himself accepted
the fact, and it was with great reluctance that he
became convinced that their cannibalism was the
outcome of gourmandise, and, from whatever cause
it might originally have resulted, had then little to
do either with religious ceremony or with supersti-
tion. The Manyema freely admitted their practice
of eating human flesh, which they described as
" saltish in flavour, and requiring little condiment,"
though certain parts, such as the heart, were some-
times mixed up in a mess of goat's flesh ; and on
one occasion, after a fight, Livingstone saw the
bodies " cut up and cooked with bananas."
In summing up the question of cannibalism,
Livingstone finally came to the conclusion that,
amongst the Manyema at any rate, a depraved
appetite could alone account for the custom, since
the country was rich and full of foods (both animal
and farinaceous), and starvation, or want of animal
matter, could not be urged as a defence. " And
yet," said Livingstone, " they are a fine-looking
race ; I would back a company of Manyema men
to be far superior in shape of head, and generally
in physical form too, against the whole Anthropo-
logical Society. Many of the women are very
light-coloured and very pretty."
The practice of cannibalism would seem to be
less a matter connected with civilisation than the
result of a definite perversion of taste ; and it is
284 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
frequently the case that cannibal races are less
cruel and bloodthirsty than many tribes not ad-
dicted to the practice. Mr. Herbert Ward, in his
Five Years tvith the Congo Cannibals, says : " It
must not be supposed that the cannibal tribes of
the interior are altogether brutal in every action
of life. On the contrary, I have observed more
frequent traits of affection for wife and children
among them than are exhibited in the conduct of
domestic affairs among the people of the lower, or
Ba Congo, country, Avho are not cannibals, nor ad-
dicted to the shedding of blood, save in religious
A note on the " Origin and Distribution of
Cannibalism " in the Geographical Jouryial for
July 1893 says, that while some writers have
attributed the origin of cannibalism to religious
motives, others consider that " hunger was the
original incentive to the practice, which was after-
wards persisted in from choice, the superstitious
and religious aspects being later developments.
Cannibalism seems to have prevailed to a con-
siderable extent among the primitive inhabitants
of Europe, and still more in America. The fact
that no traces of it have been found dating back
to palaeolithic times, while the lower animals rarely
devour their own species, seems to show that a
certain degree of intelligence was first attained.
With this may be compared the remark of Peschel,
that the custom is most prevalent among tribes
distinguished by a certain social advance. . . .
While instances of resort to human flesh as food
in times of famine are widely diff'used, the most
common motive seems to be the well-known super-
stition that by eating the heart or other part of an
enemy — to which the practice is often restricted —
his prowess is acquired. In Polynesia and in
Central America it occurs most frequently in con-
nection with religious rites. In the former region,
special preference is given to the eye of the victim.
Human sacrifices, however, do not always lead to
cannibalism. . . . While in many cases the flesh of
relatives especially is eaten, this was viewed with
abhorrence among the Maoris, who also forbade
human flesh to women." E, C. M.
Note on Gongo Lutete's Bodyguard
Gongo Lutete's bodyguard consisted of about
600 men, who, as the only members of all his
people in whom he could place trust, held special
privileges. A day or two after the execution of
Gongo, these men, who were devoted to their chief,
showed a disposition to avenge his execution. For
286 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
his own safety, and the greater security of the
station, Lieutenant Scherlink despatched them to
Lusambo, and from thence on to Luluaburg, since
it was thought that outside their own district they
would be less likely to cause trouble.
I arrived at N'Gandu from Nyangwe on the day
on which they were ordered to leave ; and, angry
at their power being broken, they vowed vengeance
against the white man and the rest of Gongo's
people, whom they had ruled with brutal
severity. As they marched out of N'Gandu they
fired on the townspeople, killing and wounding a
few, and shouting through the streets that they
would come back some day and would kill and eat
everyone they found there.
Shortly after their arrival at Luluaburg, they
were enlisted as soldiers in the State service, and
in this capacity distinguished themselves for intelli-
gence, willingness, and pluck against a rebellious
slave-raiding tribe in the Kasai district.
Some two years later they revolted, and, after
murdering their officers at Luluaburg, marched
through the country, killing white men and raid-
ing natives, till eventually, having raised the whole
country against the Government, they arrived at
N'Gandu. In the battles that followed, Com-
mandant Lothaire and Captain Doorme were
wounded, and many officers, including Lieuten-
ants Collet, Franken, Augustin, and Sandrad, and
also Said-ben-a-Bedi — who came to Lothaire's
assistance — were killed. Captain Collignon died
of fever, and Captain Bauduin was drowned in
Stanley Pool. S. L. H.
Note on Exploration of Section of Lualaba
River by Captain Hinde
As the geographical aspect of Captain Hinde's
work has been somewhat hurriedly dealt with in
his account of the Belgian campaign, the follow-
ing epitome of a paper entitled " Three Years'
Travel in the Congo Free State," read before the
Royal Geographical Society on 11th March 1895,
is given : —
Towards the close of the campaign I received
orders to survey the Lualaba and Lukuga, from the
neighbourhood of Kasongo upwards. This mission
was successfully accomplished as far as M'Bulli on
6th March 1894. It will be remembered that the
river below Kasongo had been explored by Stanley,
and by others since his time, and that the Lukuga
from Tanganyika as far as M'Bulli had been made
known by Thomson and Delcommune. My work,
therefore, was to connect the surveys of Thomson
288 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
and Delcommune with those of Stanley and his
The United States commercial agent, Mr. Mohun,
obtained leave to accompany me.
The journey up the river from the coast, by
Leopoldville to the station of Lusambo on the
Sankuru, has been frequently described, and I need
only draw attention to one or two points concern-
ing the path from Matadi up to Stanley Pool — a
way which is now so far a made road that there are
bridges over most of the rivers, and the pathway
is cleared of trees and all large obstructions.
Shelters have been built at intervals of three hours
over the whole distance. The porters employed
for the carriage of goods belong to the Manyanga
and kindred tribes. There is a marked difference
between these people and the carriers used by the
Arabs in the Manyema district : the latter are
slaves, forced to work, but fed on a sufficient meat
diet ; the former are free men, but indifferently
nourished. The Manyemas are able to carry 80 or
90 lb. without much difficulty, while the Man-
yangas are rarely equal to a burden of more than
After three months spent in the neighbourhood
of Stanley Pool, I received instructions to proceed
to the district of Lualaba on the Sankuru. I left
Stanley Pool in the Stanley, with 500 soldiers and
porters, and after four days' steaming we reached
the mouth of the Kasai, up which we turned. We
were now in the land of plenty. Goats could be
bought for a handful of blue beads, or for cloth or
handkerchiefs if blue. Wood for the steamer was
difficult to obtain, the edge of the forest being
usually a mile or so from the river bank, and
we repeatedly steamed a whole day without being
able to replenish our stock. The marshes and
grassy plains along the river border, and the sand-
banks and islands in its course, literally teemed
with game : there were vast flocks of egrets,
pelicans, geese, and many other species. On one
occasion we counted 230 hippopotami in a line,
looking like a ridge of black rocks. The Kasai
natives seem to be dangerous. On several occasions
when we were passing close to the land, at points
where the scrub on the banks was sufficiently thick
to hide them, the natives fired into the steamer
with arrows and muskets, apparently from pure
love of mischief ; for, at the time of which I am
speaking, there had not been enough traffic on the
river for steamers to have given general cause of
After twenty -two days' steaming we arrived at
Benabendi — the Belgian Commercial Company's
290 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
station, where the Sankuru joins the Kasai. Three
years ago this was the only station on the Kasai,
though at the present moment there are, I believe,
fourteen belonging to different companies.
We now turned from the racing Kasai to the
placid Sankuru, whose banks, in marked contrast
to those of the Kasai, are clothed with forest to the
water's edge. At this time the Sankuru was without
a single station ; there are now twelve stations
engaged in the collection of large quantities of
Ten days more of steaming took us to Lusambo,
the capital of the Lualaba district, situated, accord-
ing to Lemarinel, in 23° east longitude, latitude 4°
south. The station is built on a sandy plain, on
the right bank of the Sankuru, opposite the mouth
of the Lubi, and was founded to check the Arab
advance from the east. It consisted of a garrison
of 13 white men and 400 black soldiers. There
having been little fighting, the whole station had
been occupied for two years in making large planta-
tions of cassava, maize, and rice, which were in
such splendid condition that the station was self-
The Stanley had brought up orders for the
despatch of an exploring expedition to Katanga,
and I was at once directed by the Commandant to
join the caravan, which consisted of 7 officers (white
men), 300 soldiers, and 200 porters, besides camp
followers and women. The Commandant himself
took command. Each of the seven officers had
three trained bulls to ride, which eventually served
for food on the road.
We started on 17th July for Pania Mutumba's
village, three days' march from Lusambo. Crossing
the Sankuru, we marched up its left bank through
an extensive forest, in every part of which were
wild coffee, indiarubber, and elephants. In all
parts of the virgin Congo forest I have visited,
wild coflfee is so abundant, and so excellent, that
we left our tins of imported coffee unopened. For
five days south-eastwards to Mona Chellios we
found practically no food on the road — the vacancy
of this district, devoid alike of men and food,
having been created by slave-raiders in Tippu Tib's
Two or three hours beyond Mona Chellios, to the
eastward, we came on two villages in clearings,
freshly constructed, and inhabited by Baquas, or
pygmies, from the surrounding forest.
Immediately beyond the last dwarf village we
came to the Lubefu, an extremely rapid stream 200
yards wide, which took the caravan two days to
cross. The water was at this time red, a small
292 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
tributary higher up, wliidi flows through red
clay, being in flood. At this point, ambassadors
came to us from Gongo Lutete with proposals
of peace, and requesting the white man to
visit him at his capital, N'Gandu. Commandant
Dhanis decided to do so, at the cost of a long
deviation north-north-east from the direct road to
Among the hills, about four hours' march from
Mulenda on the Ludi, we found a small circular
lake of about a mile in diameter. This lake is
supposed by the natives to be haunted. It is, they
say, dangerous to sleep near it, drink of it, or bathe
in it, and, thanks to this superstition, it is inhabited
by two of the largest bull - hippopotami I have
ever seen. The water of the lake is perfectly pure.
On a subsequent occasion many of our people
drank of it, and bathed in it for a couple of days,
without any ill eff'ects.
We halted for a month at N'Gandu, at the end
of which period, leaving a post with two ofiicers
behind us, we resumed our march towards Katanga,
following the ridge of the watershed between the
Lomami and the Lubefu. We passed the Two
Mountains, seen from a distance by Wissmann.
Seen from a point a mile away, it is almost impos-
sible to believe that one of them is not a castle
built by human hands, the vast square blocks of
grey rock having all the look of old masonry.
After six days' march we arrived at Kabinda,
Lupungu's capital, at which point Dhanis was
obliged to return to Lusambo.
Kabinda is in 6° south and 24° 35' east, and is
built on a hill. Its chief industry is the making of
native cloth out of palm fibre. Pieces of this cloth,
about eighteen inches square, called Madebas, serve
as money at Kasongo on the Lualaba, where there
are no palms. Iron is also a source of riches to
these people, and some of their work is very beauti-
ful, especially the axes and arrow - heads. We
hunted and shot in this neighbourhood, and found
that the Lukassi, a tributary of the Lomami, dis-
covered by Wissmann, rises in a lake about twelve
miles south of Kabinda. This lake, though only
about two miles square, is full of hippopotami.
For six weeks we encamped in the swamps
described by Cameron, on the left bank of the
Lualaba, opposite to Nyangwe.
On returning to Kasongo I received instructions
to try to discover a road from Kasongo, by water if
possible, to Lake Tanganyika, the caravan road
by Kabambari being one full of difficulties. The
United States commercial agent, Mr. Mohun, had
requested to accompany me, and I had orders to
294 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
assist him in any way in my power, since he was
anxious to get through to Zanzibar.
We started on 16th March and struck the Lualaba
at a commanding bluff just below the first of the
Kasongo rapids. Here we managed to obtain
twelve canoes. We pulled up the rapids, and
stopped at Luntumba's, on the left bank, the
country we passed being low and rich, and culti-
vated by the Arabs. The river above the rapids
was very fine, running like the tail of a mill-race
for several miles. Twenty minutes' above Lun-
tumba's village we came to other rapids, through
which the natives dragged our canoes. This they
did by attaching creepers to the canoes, by which
means sixty or seventy men hauled them one by
one up the rapids. In one place I calculated
the fall to be about twenty feet. The rocks in this
second series of rapids are dark in tint, in places
nearly black, and streaked with deep red. They
are very rich in iron — so much so that all this
day our compasses were of no use. In going
twenty yards in a straight line, with no rock visible
above the water, the needle would turn halfway
round the box.
Immediately above the second rapids, the
Lualaba, here a mile wide, is joined on the right
bank by the Lulindi. In the upper angle formed
by the Lualaba and Lulindi are fine mountains,
covered with forest, and called the Mountains of
Bena Twiti. Some distance higher up, the Lualaba
is joined by another tributary from the east — the
Luama. Between the Luama and the Lulindi the
main river describes a right angle, flowing west-
ward to the village of Sekabudi, then northwards
to the confluence of the Lulindi. We camped on
the left bank of the Luama, this river at its con-
fluence with the Lualaba being about 250 yards
wide, with a very rapid current. On the right
bank of the Luama the Mountains of Bena Twiti
seem to be about ten miles distant. Passino; two
more small rivers on the right bank — the Kasima
and the Kalambija — we came to the rapids of
M'Toka. These rapids were formed by a whitish
rock, which broke up the river into small streams.
The main current was about 100 yards wide,
churned into froth, and apparently not very deep.
The difficulty of seeing the banks, and of following
the course of the river, made it impossible to say
what its exact width here was ; but I should think
that from the mainland on the one hand to the
mainland on the other must be about two miles,
though this would, to a great extent, depend on
the season. We saw large flocks of geese and
some hippopotami here. The mountains, com-
296 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
mencing about a mile from the river bank on either
side, are, as far as the next falls, called Simbi ;
they are not very high, and are thickly wooded.
After having ascended these rapids we arrived at
Mutetele ; here the Lualaba narrows, and just above
the falls is not more than 100 yards across. From
this point we could see high blue mountains to the
south-west, apparently about twenty miles off. One
of these mountains, now called Mount President,
was of a curious shape — something like an elephant
with the head pointing eastwards. Enormous
quantities of geese and duck were shot, with which
the entire caravan was fed. Palm-trees were fairly
common, though the natives refused to give us
palm wine, alleging, as the excuse, that it was
habitually stolen by the elephants.
At the falls of Simbi the native chief Tamwe
had a couple of hundred men ready, when we
arrived, to haul us up. The natives at this place
were very kind — probably because they were
anxious to get rid of us. The Lualaba here
narrowed considerably ; the river banks were
thickly wooded, and there seemed to be large
numbers of buffalo on the plains. The hills were
only 200 to 300 feet high, and commenced about
a mile from the river side. The river itself varies
from 100 to 200 yards wide, is very rapid, and
has a rocky bottom. When the river is at its
fullest it is evidently at least 400 yards in width,
and deep enough to cover all the rocks. Palm-
trees abound, but natives are scarce, this country
having frequently been raided in days gone by.
At the top of the rapids we came to the village
of Fambusi, at which point there is a sort of pool ;
it is not a lake, but a mere broad in the river. The
mountains are wooded, and are covered with game,
and grassy plains run for about two or three miles
inland from the river banks. The natives here are
of a new race, the Waujabillio, and speak a dialect
of the Batetele language. Here, at Fambusi, we
saw the elephant-like Mount President, about twenty
miles off, to the westward. For the next three hours
the river was not difficult of navigation. We then
came to fresh rapids, where I saw, for the first
time, a quantity of grey plover, and also large
flocks of wild geese, which were very acceptable to
the caravan. We slept in the villages of the
The next rapids were those of Lukalonga, formed
of dark-coloured rocks. In the middle of the river
was a very large island, thickly populated by a
settlement of a vassal of Sefu's. There we arrived
on 23rd March, and were told that this was the
last point at which the Arabs had posts. We went
298 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
on to Kinsali, and then to Kufi. The country
seemed very thickly populated in this district,
having apparently never been raided. Forests
came down to the river banks, in which enormous
troops of monkeys were to be seen. To the east,
apparently about ten miles ofif, were some very fine
mountains. This stretch of the river is about one
mile wide at high water, not improbably two miles
if the grass islands be included. The next reach
of the river came from the westward, with very
high mountains on the left bank, and was free
from rapids, very slow, and apparently very deep.
I found no bottom at thirty-five feet.
We passed the mouth of the Mukalli, an appar-
ently insignificant tributary, on the right bank.
In the angle between the left bank of the Mukalli
and the Lualaba there was a high range of hills,
and here the rapids again began. After working
up them for many hours we came to a specially
difficult one called Nyangi. The fall here cannot be
less than fifteen feet. A curious cone-shaped rock,
about forty feet high, apparently of white quartz,
juts out in the middle of the river, on both sides of
which are enormous blocks of quartz, while on the
left bank is a cliff" of quartz about ninety feet high.
We camped on an island, which seemed to be a
solid block of quartz, with only scrubby grass
growing on it. This island is called Kitenge, after
the chief who owns it, and is about three miles long,
and from half a mile to a mile wide.
We had great trouble with the natives here, and,
after working all day to make an advance of three-
quarters of a mile, Kitenge refused us food, and
was very ferocious. From our position on an island
we should have starved, but that my men were
fortunate enough to catch a cat-fish weighing 200 lb.
"We had further difficulties when we left, for the
chief would find us neither canoes nor men.
When at last w^e got started, w^e found the country
very thickly populated, the people turning out in
thousands to see us off". Kongolo, the great chief
in this region, had apparently given orders that we
were not to proceed. Our paddlers told us that it
was impossible to mount the rapids, but, despite
the impossibility, we succeeded in persuading them
to do so. Kongolo's village was situated at
the head of the rapids, where the river forms a
pool, and looks almost like a lake : here we were
told that there were no more rapids, and that we
could travel for three weeks or a month up the
Lualaba without finding any obstruction. I am
sorry I could not verify this ; but it is probably
We now paddled for a couple of days past islands.
300 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
the stream running only about two knots an hour.
As far as we could see into the interior, village
followed village, the river banks being densely
covered with people, brought out by curiosity to
see the white man. They were a fine race called
Jambulus, fairly well clad in native cloth, the hair
of the men being arranged fantastically in various
forms. Two splendid ranges of hills rose, one on
each bank of the Lualaba ; those on the right bank
are called Muambo, and those on the left bank
Kaloni. As the people speak a bastard Batetele,
which we could not understand, it is possible that
these are not the names of the mountains at all,
but only those of the chiefs of the districts.
On the 31st we came to the mouths of the
Lukuga, which form a delta. The northern mouth
is about thirty yards wide, the southern about eighty
yards. The latter has a very rapid current. The
Lualaba, at the confluence with the Lukuga, is about
400 yards wide, and about half a mile higher must
be nearly a mile wide. It runs in the direction
north 20° west for several miles, and there is no
sign whatever of Lake Lanchi, which is marked on
so many maps. The Lualaba runs from the mouth
of the Lukuga southward, and is so straight that,
except for a few palm-tops, sky and water touch
at the horizon. As soon as we got into the
Lukuga, the natives told us this was Tanganyika
water. This is interesting, since I see Mr. H. H.
Johnston has said that he has never been able
to find any natives who call Tanganyika by its
The Lukuga above the delta is about ten feet
deep, and was at this season perfectly clear, vary-
ing from one and a quarter to a mile wide, with the
same depth right across. A great part of it had
long grass growing in it. There was no sign of
swamp about its banks. Some miles up we were
blocked by grass, but were able to follow the
course of the river by going against the current,
though we could not see the banks. After three
or four miles through the grass we came to an open
stretch of water forty yards wide. The whole ex-
panse of water from bank to bank was about a
mile. We stopped at a village called Angoma.
The country is very densely populated, but the
people did not seem to know anything about the
Arabs. They speak a kind of patois of the Batetele
language, which a man from Lusuna, in the Malela,
whom we had with us, could understand. We
reached M'Bulli (passed by Delcommune a year and
a half previously) on the 5th, and here I was taken
ill. Opposite M'Bulli was a high range of hills, which
seemed to grow higher towards the east. M'Bulli
302 THE FALL OF THE CONGO ARABS
told me that he sent his ivory to be sold at Tan-
ganyika, a journey of six days.
Mr. Mohun here took command of the expedi-
tion, and returned down the river to Kasongo.
S. L. H.
Anti-slavery Society, 246
Arab attacks upon the State
forces, 143, 144
Arab bomas, 100, 101, 102
Arab camp, explosion in, 241
Arab fortifications (see Bomas),
100, 101, 102
Arab habits, 201
Arab prisoners, 183
Arabs, 7, 13, 216
Arabs, appearance of, at N'Ganda,
Arabs at Stanley Falls, 215
Arabs at Zanzibar, 1, 2
Arabs, first encounter with, 113
Arabs, encounter with, at Ka-
songo Luakilla, 133, 134
Arabs, flight of, from Stanley
Arab rising at Nyangwe, 173
Arab soldiers, 24
Arab trade-routes, 3, 7
Arab usurpation, 18
Augiistin, Lieutenant, 217, 287
Bakuba, Sankuru water-people,
Baldwin, Lieutenant, 247
Baluba, people, 79, 80, 81, 94
Banana, town of, 28
Bangala, people, 51, 52, 53, 55
Basoko, camp at, 215
Basongo, people, 62, 63
Batetela, people, 89, 90
Batwa, dwarf people, 82
Belgians, 1, 5, 6, 18
Belgians, King Leopold ii. of, 28
Belgians, erection of forts by, 18
Benaljendi, trading-station of,
Bena Musua, 232, 233, 235, 243
Bena Twiti, Mountains of, 295
Benga, Corporal, 112, 113, 116
Berlin Congress, 21
Boina Loisi, Arab chief, 215
Boma, town of, 29
Bomas, Arab, 100, 101, 102
Boy companies, 126, 127
Burton, Sir Richard, 4
Bwana, N'Zigi, 15, 16, 234, 238,
Cameron, Commander, 4, 11, 65,
Cannibalism, 65, 60, 67, 68, 69,
118, 119, 124, 131, 135, 175,
283, 284, 285
Cannibals, Baluba, 79
Cannibals, Bangala, 52, 53, 54
Cannibals, Basongo, 62, 63, 64, 65
Cannibals, Batetela, 89, 90
Canoes, native, 70, 71, 252
Caravan, description of, 30, 31,
32, 33, 34, 35
Caravan road, 35, 36, 37
Cassar, Lieutenant, 140, 142, 143,
Cerkel, Sergeant, 95, 111, 142,
169, 181, 196
Chaltin, Commandant, 170, 215,
236, 240, 247
Chaudron Infernal, 30
Clothing, in tropics, 47
Cock, Captain, 279
Coffee, wild, in Congo Forest, 291
Collet, Sergeant, 218, 221, 287
Collignon, Captain, 232, 235,
239, 244, 287
Congo Free State, 1, 12, 21, 20
Congo River, 4, 12, 27, 29
Deane, the late Mr. Walter, 16, 234
Debruyne, Lieutenant, 96, 102,
Debruyne, Lieutenant, murder
Debruyne, Lieutenant, disinter-
ment of body at Kasongo, 185
Delcommune Expedition, 93, 128,
139, 271, 287, 288
Descamps, Captain, 61, 87, 246
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
abolition of chain punishment
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
advance against Rumaliza by,
Dhanis Baron (Commandant),
at Kirundu, 277
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
attack on Nyangwe by, 1 70, 171
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
arrival at Lusuna, 123
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
campaign against Congo
Lutete by, 61
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
conditions made with his
officers by, 120
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
decision to attack Sefu's forces
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
defeat of Congo Lutete by, 87
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
defeat of Rumaliza by, 225
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
division of forces by, 234
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
encampment opposite Nyang-
we of, 153
Dlianis, Baron (Commandant),
escape during the taking of
Kasongo of, 183
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
interview with Sefu's envoy,
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
journey from Kasongo to
Nyangwe of, 206
Dlianis, Baron (Commandant),
makes "medicine," 137
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
march against Mohara of
Nyangwe by, 132, 133, 134
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
new departure in caravan
travelling by, 31
Dlianis, Baron (Commandant),
march on Kasongo hy, 180
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
organisation of boy companies
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
position in attack on Ruma-
liza of, 236
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
return to Lusambo of, 94
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
attack on Arabs of Nyangwe
Dhanis, Baron (Commandant),
system of boy servants adopted
Doorme, Captain (Lieutenant),
181, 182, 196, 198, 218, 220,
221, 222, 225, 227, 231, 237,
Drum-signalling, 59, 60
Dubois, Lieutenant, 234
Duchesne, Lieutenant, 107, 111,
Emin Pacha, 16, 22, 93, 186,
Falls, Stanley, 5, 14, 23, 27,
Falls Station, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16
Fetishes, 73, 74, 89, 137, 138
Fivd, Inspector, 169, 179, 215
Forests, tropical, 26
Franken, Lieutenant, 287
Free State, Congo, 1, 7, 14, 16
Free State, defences of, at Stan-
ley Falls, 17
Frees, Sergeant Albert, 112, 113,
114, 115, 116, 121, 171, 199,
Gillian, Commandant, 170, 180,
181, 210, 217, 235, 237, 239,
Goio Kapopa, 137
Gongo Lutete, 18, 19, 61, 70, 72,
75, 81, 82, 86, 87, 88, 89, 97,
111, 114, 123, 124, 128, 132,
133, 141, 173, 175, 183, 207,
208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 285,
286, 287, 292
Grant, Captain, 4
Hambursin, Lieutenant, 218,
221, 231, 238, 239, 241
Hanging, death by, 131
Hausas, 109, 133, 176, 192, 193,
Heusch, Lieutenant de, 60, 94,
103, 107, 108, 109, 110, 223,
224, 229, 231, 234
Hippopotamus hunting, 41, 42,
43, 44, 189, 190
Hippopotamus, Liberiau, 58
Hippopotamus, small unde-
scribed species, 58
Hodister Expedition, 22, 93
Hodister-Emin Expeditions, 97
Houses, native, 117
Influenza epidemic, 176
Ivory, 3, 8, 4
Jambulas, race of, 300
Jasen, Captain, 279, 280
Jolmston, Sir H. H., 301
Junker, Dr., 15
Kabambari, 234, 235, 238, 239,
Kabinda, 93, 94, 293
Kalarabija Kiver, 295
Kasai natives, 289
Kasai River, 5, 7, 289, 290
Kasai River, stations on, 57
Kasima River, 295
Kasongo, 6, 7, 11, 21, 217, 218,
223, 227, 234, 236, 287, 293,
Kasongo, fall of, 182, 183
Kasongo, life of State forces at,
Kasongo, luxuries found in town,
Kasongo, march on, by State
forces, 180, 181
Kasongo, murder of Lippens and
Debruyne at, 129, 130
Kasongo, postponement of attack
on, by Commandant Dhanis,
Kasongo, spoils found by State
forces in, 185, 186
Kasongo, surrounding districts
of, 187, 188, 189
Katanga, 5, 23, 62, 75, 290,
Kibungi, Chief, 247, 278, 279
Kitenge, Chief, 299
Kitenge, village of, 299
Kirundu, 277, 278, 279
Kolomoni, Chief, 96, 112
Kolomoni, village of, 94, 95
Kongolo, Chief, 299
Kongolo, village of, 299
Lanchi, Lake, 249, 268, 300
Lange, Lieutenant, 218, 220, 232,
Lemery, Lieutenant, 236, 275
Lenz, Dr., 15
Leopold II., Lake, 270
Leopoldville, 40, 48, 49, 53, 288
Liberian hippopotamus, 58
Lippens, Commandant, 96
Lippens, Commandant, murder
Lippens, Commandant, disinter-
ment of body at Kasongo, 185
Livingstone, Dr., 4, 65, 282, 283
Locusts, flight of, 204, 205
Lomami River, 85, 90, 93, 97, 98,
112, 117, 129, 139, 140, 208,
Lothaire, Commandant (Major),
216, 240, 241, 242, 243, 245,
Lualaba River, 5, 6, 7, 11, 154, 155,
168, 171, 188, 213, 248, 268,
287, 294, 295, 296, 299, 300
Luama River, 295
Lubefu River, 5, 93, 291
Lufubu River, 168
Lukalonga, rapids of, 297
Lukassi River, 293
Lukuga River, 267, 268, 269,270,
Lukuga River, mouth of, 300
Lulindi River, 294, 295
Lupungu, Chief, 18, 75, 81, 82,
93, 94, 111, 112, 114, 124, 128
Lurimbi River, 97
Lusambo, 29, 38, 60, 72, 73, 75,
288, 290, 291
Lusuna, 123, 124, 128
Malela, 7, 86, 87
Manyanga carriers, 288
Manyema country, 4, 5, 7, 21
Manyema people, cannibalism
of, 182, 183
Manyema country, 282
Manyema porters, 288
Marriage amongst natives, 81
Matadi, 4, 29, 30, 288
M'Bulli or M'Burri, 271, 301
M'Bulli's village, 287
Micliaux, Captain, 111, 114, 123,
132, 133, 141, 142, 146, 147,
149, 164, 165
Middagh, Lieutenant, 236
Miserera, Arab chief, 168, 215,
247, 276, 277, 279
Mohammedan religion, in connec-
tion with cannibalism, 125
Mohara of Nyangwe, 130, 131,
142, 144, 146, 147, 149
Mohun, Mr., U.S. commercial
agent, 236, 239, 247, 250, 251,
256, 272, 288, 293, 302
Mono Kialo, 79, 81
M'Toka, rapids of, 295
Mukalli River, 298
Muscat, Arabs from, 2
Mwana Mkwanga, 227, 231, 232,
N'Ganda, 85, 86, 87, 90, 91, 92,
207, 208, 216, 292
Nyangi, rapids of, 264, 298
Nyangwe, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 189,
Nyangwe, arrival of State forces
at, 153, 154, 155, 156
Nyangwe, attack upon, by State
forces, 170, 171
Nyangwe, battle with Arabs in,
Nyangwe, meeting between
Stanley and Tippu Tib at, 12
Nyangwe, ruined condition of, 180
N'Zigi, Bwana, 15, 16, 234, 238,
Oubangi River, 67
Pania Mutumba, Chief, 78
Pania Mutumba, village of, 71,
Park, Dr., 28
Peniba, island of, 2, 3
Ponthier, Commandant, 216, 218,
221, 222, 225, 235
President, Mount, 296, 297
Pygmies, 82, 83, 84, 85
Raschid, Arab chief, 15, 21, 216,
234, 236, 247
Riba Riba, 215, 236, 276
Rom, Captain, 232, 235, 244
Rue, Lieutenant, 276
Rumaliza, 214, 216, 218, 222,
223, 224, 225, 231, 234, 235,
238, 239, 246
Said-ben-a-Bedi, 181, 247, 279
Salt, deprivation of, 123
Salt district, 151
Sankuru River, 5, 29, 57, 58, 270
Scherlink, Lieutenant, 94, 95,
99, 107, 113, 117, 119, 134,
142, 169, 181, 186
Sefu, 12, 19, 87, 96, 97, 99, 103,
107, 108, 110, 116, 117, 129,
130, 140, 147, 148, 149, 168,
172, 178, 214, 231
Simbi, Falls of, 296
Simbi Mountains, 296
Slaves, 8, 14
Smallpox epidemic, 176, 177
Speke, Captain, 4
Stairs Expedition, 93
Stanley, Mr. H. M., 4, 8, 12, 13,
14, 16, 65, 93, 116, 179, 234,
249, 287, 288
Stanley Falls, 5, 14, 23, 27
Stanley Falls, flight of Arabs
Stanley Pool, 4, 7, 23, 27, 40
Superstitions, native, 198, 199,
Sultan of Zanzibar, 14
Swamps, 123, 124
Tabora, 4, 13
Tanganyika, Lake, 24, 26, 270,
293, 301, 302
Thomson, the late Mr. Joseph,
249, 271, 289
Tippu Tib, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,
14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 234
Tobback, Captain, 215
Trade routes, 3, 7, 15
Tropical forest, description of a,
75, 76, 77
Two Mountains, the, 292
Ujiji, 4, 7, 13, 21, 214, 226
Ulcers, caused through depriva-
tion of salt, 45
Vaccination, eftects of, amongst
natives, 176, 177
Van Lint, Lieutenant, 215
Van Rial, Sergeant, 218
Waginia, water-people, 157, 158,
159, 169, 171, 183, 252
Waujabillio, race, 259, 297
WaujabiUio, carving of, 260
Winton, Sir Francis de, 270
Wissmann, Dr., 13, 65, 122, 292,
Witch doctor, 108
"Wouters, Chevalier d' Oplinter
de, 60, 70, 72, 111, ,120,
134, 141, 142, 144, 163, 164,
165, 180, 189, 190, 191, 192,
193, 222, 223, 224, 227, 228,
230, 231, 235, 236, 237, 238,
240, 245, 246, 273, 274
Zanzibar, 2, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16,
Zanzibar, Arabs from, 1, 2
Zanzibar, Arab centre at, 1, 2, 8
Zanzibar, British Consul at, 14
Zanzibar, Sultan of, 14
Zanzibar, Treaty of, 93, 117
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This book consists of a number of Studies in Economics and Industrial and Social
MARIE CORELLI'S ROMANCES
FIRST COMPLETE AND UNIFORM EDITION
Large crown Svo. 6s.
Messrs. Methuen beg to announce that they have commenced the pub-
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This Edition is revised by tlie Author, and contains new Prefaces. The
volumes are being issued at short intervals in the following order : —
I. A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS. 2. VENDETTA.
3. THELMA. 4. ARDATH.
5. THE SOUL OF LILITH. 6. WORMWOOD.
7. BARABBAS. 8. THE SORROWS OF SATAN.
Messrs. Methuen's Announcements 7
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English literature has hitherto produced.' — Ai/temeunt.
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This edition contains a carefully collated Text, numerous Notes, critical and textual,
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THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF TRISTRAM SHANDY.
By Lawrence Sterne. With an Introduction by Charles
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THE COMEDIES OF WILLIAM CONGREVE. With
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the adventures of hajji baba of ispahan.
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BERT, AND SANDERSON. By Izaak Walton. With an
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Jane Barlow. THE BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE,
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in honest, simple style the old stories that delighted the childhood of " our fathers
and grandfathers." We do not think he has omitted any of our favourite stories
the stories that are commonly regarded as merely ' ' old fashioned." As to the form
of the book, and the printing, which is by Messrs. Constable, it were difficult to
commend overmuch. — Saturday Review.
S. Baring Gould. OLD ENGLISH FAIRY TALES. Col-
lected and edited by S. Baring Gould. With Numerous Illustra-
tions by F. D. Bedford. Second Edition. Crown%vo. Buckram. 6s.
' A charming volume, which children will be sure to appreciate. The stories have
been selected with great ingenuity from various old ballads and folk-tales, and,
having been somewhat altered and readjusted, now stand forth, clothed in Mr.
Baring Gould's delightful English, to enchant youthful readers. All the talcs
are good.' — Guardian.
S. Baring Gould. A BOOK OF NURSERY SONGS AND
RHYMES. Edited by S. Baring Gould, and Illustrated by the
Birmingham Art School. Buckram, gilt top. Crow7i 2>vo. 6s.
' The volume is very complete in its way, as it contains nursery songs to the number
of 77, game-rhymes, and jingles. To the student we commend the sensible intro-
duction, and the explanatory notes. The volume is superbly printed on soft,
thick paper, which it is a pleasure to touch ; and the borders and pictures are, as
we have said, among the very best specimens we have seen of the Gaskin school."
— Birmingham Gazette.
12 Messrs. Methuen's List
H. C. Beeching. A BOOK OF CHRISTMAS VERSE. Edited
by H. C. Beeching, M.A., and Illustrated by Walter Crane,
Crown 8vo, gilt top. ^s.
A collection of the best verse inspired by the birth of Christ from the Middle Ages
to the present day. A distinction of the book is the large number of poems it
contains by modern authors, a few of which are here printed for the first time.
' An anthology which, from its unity of aim and high poetic excellence, has a better
right to exist than most of its fellows.' — Guardian.
Gibbon. THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN
EMPIRE. By Edward Gibbon. A New Edition, Edited with
Notes, Appendices, and Maps, by J. B. Bury, M.A., Fellow of
Trinity College, Dublin. In Seven Volumes. Demy 8vo. Gilt top.
85. dd. each. Also crown %vo. 6s. each. Vol. I.
' The time has certainly arrived for a new edition of Gibbon's great work. . . . Pro-
fessor Bury is the right man to undertake this task. His learning is amazing,
both in extent and accuracy. The book is issued in a handy form, and at a
moderate price, and it is admirably printed.' — Times.
' The edition is edited as a classic should be edited, removing nothing, yet indicating
the value of the text, and bringing it up to date. It promises to be of the utmost
value, and will be a welcome addition to many libraries.' — Scotsman.
' This edition, so far as one may judge from the first instalment, is a marvel of
erudition and critical skill, and it is the very minimum of praise to predict that the
seven volumes of it will supersede Dean Milman's as the standard edition of our
great historical classic' — Glasgow Herald.
' The beau-ideal Gibbon has arrived at last.' — Sketch.
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nineteenth century could produce.' — Manchester Guardian.
FUndersPetrie. A HISTORY OF EGYPT, fromthe Earliest
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Petrie, D.C.L., LL.D., Professor of Egyptology at University
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Petrie. Second Edition.
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supply a vacant place in the English literature of Egj-ptology.' — Tivtes.
Flinders Petrie. EGYPTIAN TALES. Edited by W. M.
Flinders Petrie. Illustrated by Tristram Ellis. In Two
Volumes. Crown 2>vo. 3^. 6d. each.
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' Invaluable as a picture of life in Palestine and Egypt." — Daily Ncjus.
Messrs. Methuen's List 13
Flinders Petrie. EGYPTIAN DECORATIVE ART. By
W. M. Flinders Petrie, D.C.L. With 120 Illustrations. Crown
8vo. y. 6d.
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student of comparative archaeology. In these lectures, delivered at the Royal
Institution, he displays both qualifications with rare skill in elucidating the
development of decorative art in Egypt, and in tracing its influence on the
art of other countries. Few experts can speak with higher authority and wider
knowledge than the Professor himself, and in any case his treatment of his sub-
ject is full of learning and insight.' — Times.
S. Baring Gould. THE TRAGEDY OF THE C^SARS.
The Emperors of the Julian and Claudian Lines. With numerou^
Illustrations from Busts, Gems, Cameos, etc. By S. Baring Gould,
Author of ' Mehalah,' etc. Third Edition. Royal Zvo. 155.
' A most splendid and fascinating book on a subject of undying interest. The great
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A. Clark. THE COLLEGES OF OXFORD : Their History,
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Perrens. THE HISTORY OF FLORENCE FROM 1434
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2>vo. i2s. 6d.
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R. L. Stevenson. VAILIMA LETTERS. By Robert Louis
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other Illustrations. Second Edition. Crown Svo. Buckram, ys.bd.
' The Vailima Letters are rich in all the varieties of that charm which have secured
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and boys."' — The Times.
' Few publications have in our time been more eagerly awaited than these " Vailima
Letters," giving the first fruits of the correspondence of Robert LouisStevenson.
But , high asthetideof expectation has run, no reader can possibly be disappointed
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tions. Crown 8vo. "js. 6d.
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prominent position on account of the many services he rendered to the art.' —
' This book has been undertaken in quite the right spirit, and written with sympathy,
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W. G. Collingwood. THE LIFE OF JOHN RUSKIN. By
W. G. Collingwood, M.A., Editor of Mr. Ruskin's Poems. With
numerous Portraits, and 13 Drawings by Mr. Ruskin. Second
Edition. 2 vols. Svo. 325.
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0. Waldstein. JOHN RUSKIN : a Study. By Charles
Waldstein, M.A., Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. With a
Photogravure Portrait after Professor Herkomer. Post 2,vo. 55.
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W. H. Hutton. THE LIFE OF SIR THOMAS MORE. By
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M. Kaufmann. CHARLES KINGSLEY. By M. Kaufmann,
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A biography of Kingsley, especially dealing with his achievements in social reform.
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Sheffield Daily Telegraph.
A. F. Robbing. THE EARLY PUBLIC LIFE OF WILLIAM
EWART GLADSTONE. By A. F. Robbins. With Portraits.
Crown Svo. 6s.
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Clark RusseU. THE LIFE OF ADMIRAL LORD COL-
LINGWOOD. By W. Clark Russell, Author of ' The Wreck
of the Grosvenor.' With Illustrations by F. Brangwyn. Third
Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s.
' A most excellent and wholesome book, which we should like to see in the hands of
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Soutbey. ENGLISH SEAMEN (Howard, Clifford, Hawkins,
Drake, Cavendish). By Robert Southey. Edited, with an
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' Admirable and well-told stories of our naval history.' — Army and Navy Gazette.
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S. Baring Gould. OLD COUNTRY LIFE. By S. Baring
Gould, Author of ' Mehalah,' etc. With Sixty-seven Illustrations
by W. Parkinson, F. D. Bedford, and F. Masey. Large
Crown 8vo. \Qs. 6d. Fifth and Cheaper Edition. 6s.
"Old Country Life," as healthy wholesome reading, full of breezy life and move-
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i6 Messrs. Methuen's List
S. Baring Gould. HISTORIC ODDITIES AND STRANGE
EVENTS. By S. Baring Gould. Third Edition. Crown^vo. 6s.
' A collection of exciting and entertaining chapters. The whole volume is delightful
reading.' — Times.
S. Baring Gould. FREAKS OF FANATICISM. By S. Baring
Gould. Third Edition. Crown Svo. 6s.
' Mr. Baring Gould has a keen eye for colour and effect, and the subjects he has
chosen give ample scope to his descriptive and analytic faculties. A perfectly
fascinating book.' — Scottish Leader.
S. Baring Gould. A GARLAND OF COUNTRY SONG :
English Folk Songs with their Traditional Melodies. Collected and
arranged by S. BARING Gould and H. Fleetwood Sheppard.
Demy £,to. (ys.
S. Baring Gould. SONGS OF THE WEST: Traditional
Ballads and Songs of the West of England, with their Traditional
Melodies. Collected by S. Baring Gould, M.A., and H. Fleet-
wood Sheppard, M. A. Arranged for Voice and Piano. In 4 Parts
(containing 25 Songs each). Parts /., //., ///., 3^. each. Fart
IV,, 5^-. In one Vol., French morocco, l^s.
'A rich collection of humour, pathos, grace, and poetic fancy.' — Saturday Revieiu.
S. Baring Gould. YORKSHIRE ODDITIES AND STRANGE
EVENTS. Fourth Edition. Crowji 8vo. 6s.
S. Baring Gould. STRANGE SURVIVALS AND SUPER-
STITIONS. With Illustrations. By S. Baring Gould. Cro-cun
Szio. Secoiid Edition. 6s.
' We haveread Mr. Baring Gould's book from beginning to end. It is full of quaint
and various information, and there is not a dull page in it.' — Notes and Queries.
S. Baring Gould. THE DESERTS OF SOUTHERN
FRANCE. By S. Baring. Gould. With numerous Illustrations
by F. D. Bedford, S. Hutton, etc. 2 vols. De/fiy %vo. 325.
This book is the first serious attempt to describe the great barren tableland that
extends to the south of Limousin in the Department of Aveyron, Lot, etc., a
country of dolomite cliffs, and canons, and subterranean rivers. The region is
full of prehistoric and historic interest, relics of cave-dwellers, of mediaeval
robbers, and of the English domination and the Hundred Years' War.
' His two richly-jllustrated volumes are full of matter of interest to the geologist,
the archasologist, and the student of history and manners.' — Scotsman.
' It deals with its subject in a manner which rarely fails to arrest attention.' — Times.
R. S. Baden-Powell. THE DOV^NFALL OF PREMPEH. A
Diary of Life with the Native Levy in Ashanti, 1895. By Lieut. -Col.
Baden-Powell. With 21 Illustrations, a Map, and a Special
Chapter on the Political and Commercial Position of Ashanti by Sir
George Baden-Powell, K.C.M.G., M.P. Demy Svo. los. 6d.
' A compact, faithful, most readable record of the campaign.' — Daily News.
'A bluff and vigorous narrative.' — Glasgo%u Herald.
' A really interesting \)QQ\i.' —Yorkshire Post.
Messrs. Methuen's List \y
W. E. Gladstone. THE SPEECHES AND PUBLIC AD-
DRESSES OF THE RT. HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P.
Edited by A. W. HuTTON, M.A., and H. J. Cohen, M.A. With
Portraits. 2>vo. Vols. IX. and X. \zs. 6d. each.
Henley and Whibley. A BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE.
Collected by W. E. Henley and Charles Whibley. Cr. ^vo. 6s.
'A unique volume of extracts — an art gallery of early prose.' — Binningham Post.
' An admirable companion to Mr. Henley's " Lyra Heroica." ' — Saturday Revie7v.
' Quite delightful. The choice made has been excellent, and the volume has been
most admirably printed by Messrs. Constable. A greater treat for those not well
acquainted with pre-Restoration prose could not be imagined.' — Athcnauvt.
J. Wells. OXFORD AND OXFORD LIFE. By Members of
the University. Edited by J. Wells, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of
Wadham College. Ci-own %vo. 35. M.
This work contains an account of life at Oxford — intellectual, social, and religious —
a careful estimate of necessary expenses, a review of recent changes, a statement
of the present position of the University, and chapters on Women's Education,
aids to study, and University Extension.
' We congratulate Mr. Wells on the production of a readable and intelligent account
of Oxford as it is at the present time, written by persons who are possessed of a
close acquaintance with the system and life of the University.' — AthetuEtnn.
W. M. Dixon. A PRIMER OF TENNYSON. By W. M.
Dixon, M.A., Professor of English Literature at Mason College.
Crown %vo. 2s. 6d.
' Much sound and well-expressed criticism and acute literary judgments. The biblio-
graphy is a boon.' — SJ>eaker.
' No better estimate of the late Laureate's work has yet been published. His sketch
of Tennyson's life contains everything essential ; his bibliography is full and con-
cise ; his literary criticism is most interesting.' — Glasgow Herald.
W. A. Craigie. A PRIMER OF BURNS. By W. A. Craigie.
Crown Sfo. 2S. 6d.
Tills book is planned on a method similar to the ' Primer of Tennyson.' It has also
' A valuable addition to the literature of the poet.' — Times.
' An excellent short account. ' — Pall Mall Gazette.
'An admirable introduction.' — Glohc.
L. Whibley. GREEK OLIGARCHIES : THEIR ORGANISA-
TION AND CHARACTER. By L. Whibley, M.A., Fellow
of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Crown %vo. ds.
'An exceedingly useful handbook : a careful and well-arranged study of an obscure
subject. ' — Times.
' Mr. Whibley is never tedious or pedantic.'— /"«// ^fall Gazette.
W. B. Worsfold. SOUTH AFRICA : Its History and its Future.
By W. Basil Worsfold, M.A. IVzl/i a Map. Crown 8vo. 6s.
'An intensely interesting book.' — Daily Chronicle.
' A monumental work compressed into a very moderate compass.' — World.
1 8 Messrs. Methuen's List
C. H. Pearson. ESSAYS AND CRITICAL REVIEWS. By
C. H. Pearson, M.A., Author of 'National Life and Character.'
Edited, with a Biographical Sketch, by H. A. Strong, M.A.,
LL.D. With a Portrait. De7ny %vo. los. 6d.
'These fine essays illustrate the great breadth of his historical and literary sym-
pathies and the remarkable variety of his intellectual interests.' — Glasgow Herald.
' Remarkable for careful handling, breadth of view, and thorough knowledge.' — Scots-
'Charming essays.' — Spectator.
Ouida. VIEWS AND OPINIONS. By Ouida. Crown %vo.
Second Edition, ds.
' Ouida is outspoken, and the reader of this book will not have a dull moment. The
book is full of variety, and sparkles with entertaining matter.' — Speaker.
J. S. Shedlock. THE PIANOFORTE SONATA: Its Origin
and Development. By J. S. Shedlock. Crozvtt 8vo. 55.
' This work should be in the possession of every musician and amateur, for it not
only embodies a concise and lucid history ot the origin of one of the most im-
portant forms of musical composition, but, by reason of the painstaking research
and accuracy of the author's statements, it is a verj' valuable work for reference.'
— A thencEum.
E. M. Bowden. THE EXAMPLE OF BUDDHA : Being Quota-
tions from Buddhist Literature for each Day in the Year. Compiled
by E. M. Bowden. With Preface by Sir Edwin Arnold. Third
Edition. i6mo. 2s. 6d.
J. Beever. PRACTICAL FLY-FISHING, Founded on
Nature, by John Beever, late of the Thwaite House, Coniston. A
New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author by W. G. CoLLiNGWOOD,
M.A. Crown %vo. -^s. 6d.
A little book on Fly-Fishing by an old friend of Mr. Ruskin.
Freudenreich. DAIRY BACTERIOLOGY, A Short Manual
for the Use of Students. By Dr. Ed. von Freudenreich.
Translated from the German by J. R. AiNSWORTH Davis, B.A.,
F.C.P. Crown 8vo. 2s. dd.
Chalmers MitclieU. OUTLINES OF BIOLOGY. By P.
Chalmers Mitchell, M.A., F.Z.S. Fully Illustrated. Crown
A text-book designed to cover the new Schedule issued by the Royal College of
Physicians and Surgeons.
G.Massee. A MONOGRAPH OF THE MYXOGASTRES. By
George Massee. With 12 Coloured Plates. Royal %vo. i8s.net.
' A work much in advance of any book in the language treating of this group of
organisms. It is indispensable to every student of the Myxogastres. The
coloured plates deserve high praise for their accuracy and execution.' — Nature.
Messrs. Methuen's List 19
L. T. Hobhouse. THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE. By
L. T. Hobhouse, Fellow and Tutor of Corpus College, Oxford.
Demy 8vo. 2is,
' The most important contribution to English philosophy since the publication of Mr.
Bradley's " Appearance and Reality." Full of brilliant criticism and of positive
theories which are models of lucid statement.' — Glasgow Herald.
' An elaborate and often brilliantly written volume. The treatment is one of great
freshness, and the illustrations are particularly numerous and apt.' — Times.
W. H. Fairbrother. THE PHILOSOPHY OF T. H. GREEN.
By W. H. Fairbrother, M.A., Lecturer at Lincoln CoUet^e,
Oxford. Crown 8vo. ^s. 6d.
This volume is expository, not critical, and is intended for senior students at the
Universities and others, as a statement of Green's teaching, and an introduction to
the study of Idealist Philosophy.
' In every way an admirable book. As an introduction to the writings of perhaps the
most remarkable speculative thinker whom England has produced in the present
century, nothing could be better than Mr. Fairbrother's exposition and criticism. ' —
F. W. BusseU. THE SCHOOL OF PLATO : its Origin and
its Revival under the Roman Empire. By F. W. BussELL, M. A.,
Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford. Demy Zvo. Two
volumes, los. 6d. each. Vol. I.
' A highly valuable contribution to the history of ancient thought.'— Glasgow Herald.
' A clever and stimulating book, provocative of thought and deserving careful reading.'
— Manchester Guardian.
F. S. Granger. THE WORSHIP OF THE ROMANS. By
F. S. Granger, M.A., Liit.D., Professor of Philosophy at Univer-
sity College, Nottingham. Crown 8vo. 6.f.
The author delineates that group of beliefs which stood in close connection with the
Roman religion, and among the subjects treated are Dreams, Nature Worship,
Roman Magic, Divination, Holy Places, Victims, etc. Thus the book is also
a contribution to folk-lore and comparative psychology.
' A scholarly analysis of the religious ceremonies, beliefs, and superstitions of ancient
Rome, conducted in the new instructive light of comparative anthropology.'—
20 Messrs. Methuen's List
E. C. S. Gibson. THE XXXIX. ARTICLES OF THE
CHURCH OF ENGLAND. Edited with an Introduction by E.
C. S. Gibson, D.D., Vicar of Leeds, late Principal of Wells
Theological College. In Two Vohinies. Deviy ?>vo. ys. 6d. each.
Vol. I. Articles I.- VIII.
' The tone maintained throughout is not that of the partial advocate, but the faithful
exponent. ' — Scotsman.
'There are ample proofs of clearness of expression, sobriety of judgment, and breadth
of view. . . . The book will be welcome to all students of the subject, and its sound,
definite, and loyal theology ought to be of great service.' — National Observer.
' So far from repelling the general reader, its orderly arrangement, lucid treatment,
and felicity of diction invite and encourage his attention.' — Yorkshire Post.
R. L. Ottley. THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION.
By R. L. Ottley, M.A., late fellow of Magdalen College, Oxon.,
Principal of Pusey House. In Two Volumes. DeniyZvo. 155.
' Learned and reverent : lucid and well arranged.' — Record.
' Accurate, well ordered, and judicious.' — National Observer.
' A clear and remarkably full account of the main currents of speculation. Scholarly
precision . . . genuine tolerance . . . intense interest in his subject — are Mr.
Ottley's merits.' — Guardian.
S. R. Driver. SERMONS ON SUBJECTS CONNECTED
WITH THE OLD TESTAMENT. By S. R. Driver, D.D.,
Canon of Christ Church, Regius Professor of Hebrew in the Uni-
versity of Oxford. Crown Svo. 6s.
' A welcome companion to the author's famous ' Introduction.' No man can read these
discourses without feeling that Dr. Driver is fully alive to the deeper teaching of
the Old Testament.' — Guardian.
T. K. Cheyne. FOUNDERS OF OLD TESTAMENT CRITI-
CISM : Biographical, Descriptive, and Critical Studies. By T. K.
Cheyne, D.D., Oriel Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scrip-
ture at Oxford. Large crown Svo. Js. 6d.
This important book is a historical sketch of O. T. Criticism in the form of biographi-
cal studies from the days of Eichhorn to those of Driver and Robertson Smith.
It is the only book of its kind in English.
'Avery learned and instructive woTk.'— Times.
C.H.Prior. CAMBRIDGE SERMONS. Edited by C.H. Prior,
M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Pembroke College. Crown Svo. 6s.
A volume of sermons preached before the University of Cambridge by various
preachers, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop Westcott.
'A representative collection. Bishop Westcott's is a noble sermon.' — Guardian.
H. C. Beeching. SERMONS TO SCHOOLBOYS. By H. C.
Beeching, M.A., Rector of Yattendon, Berks. With a Preface by
Canon ScOTT Holland. Crown %vo. 2s. 6d.
Seven sermons preached before the boys of Bradfield College.
Messrs. Methuen's List 21
E. B. Layard. RELIGION IN BOYHOOD. Notes on the
Religious Training of Boys. With a Preface by J. R. Ii.i.ing-
WORTH. By E. B. Layard, M. A. iSmo. is.
IVzi/i Full-page Illustrations. Fcap. ?>vo. Buckram. 35. 6d.
Padded morocco, K^s.
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST. By Thomas a Kempis.
With an Introduction by Dean Farrar. Illustrated by C. M.
Gere, and printed in black and red. Second Edition.
'Amongst all the innumerable English editions of the " Imitation," there can have
been few which were prettier than this one, printed in strong and handsome type
by Messrs. Constable, with all the glory of red initials, and the comfort of buckram
binding.' — Glasgozu Herald.
THE CHRISTIAN YEAR. By John Keble. With an Intro-
duction and Notes by W. Lock, M. A., Sub- Warden of Keble College,
Ireland Professor at Oxford, Author of the ' Life of John Keble.'
Illustrated by R. Anning Bell.
' The present edition is annotated with all the care and insight to be expected from
Mr. Lock. The progress and circumstances of its composition are detailed in the
Introduction. There is an interesting Appendix on the Mss. of the "Christian
Year," and another giving the order in which the poems were written. A " Short
Analysis of the Thought" is prefixed to each, and any difficulty in the text Is ex-
plained in a note. — Guardian.
' The most acceptable edition of this ever-popular v/ovk.'— Globe.
Leaders of Religion
Edited by H. C. BEECHING, M.A. With Portraits, crown 8vo
A series of short biographies of the most prominent leaders
of religious life and thought of all ages and countries.
The following are ready —
CARDINAL NEWMAN. By R. H. Hutton.
JOHN WESLEY. By J. H. OvERTON, M.A.
BISHOP WILBERFORCE. By G. W. Daniel, M.A.
CARDINAL MANNING. By A. W. Hutton, M.A.
CHARLES SIMEON. By H. C. G. MOULE, M.A.
JOHN KEBLE. By Walter Lock, M.A.
THOMAS CHALMERS. By Mrs. Oliphant.
LANCELOT ANDREWES. By R. L. Ottley, M.A.
22 Messrs. Methuen's List
AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY. By E. L. Cutts, D.D.
WILLIAM LAUD. By W. H. Hutton, M.A.
JOHN KNOX. By F. M'CUNN.
JOHN HOWE. By R. F. HORTON, D.D.
BISHOP KEN. By F. A. CLARKE, M.A.
GEORGE FOX, THE QUAKER. By T. Hodgkin, D.C.L.
Other volumes will be announced in due course.
SIX SHILLING NOVELS
Marie Corelli's Novels
Crown Svo. 6s. each.
A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS. Fourteenth Edition.
VENDETTA. Eleventh Edition.
THELMA. Fourteenth Edition.
ARDATH. Tenth Edition.
THE SOUL OF LILITH. Ninth Edition.
WORMWOOD. Eighth Edition.
BARABBAS : A DREAM OF THE WORLD'S TRAGEDY.
' The tender reverence of the treatment and the imaginative beauty of the writing
have reconciled us to the daring of the conception, and the conviction is forced on
us that even so exalted a subject cannot be made too familiar to us, provided it be
presented in the true spirit of Christian faith. The amplifications of the Scripture
narrative are often conceived with high poetic insight, and this "Dream of the
World's Tragedy " is, despite some trifling incongruities, a lofty and not inade-
quate paraphrase of the supreme climax of the inspired narrative.' — Dublin
THE SORROWS OF SATAN. T-wenty-ninth Edition.
' A very powerful piece of work. . . . The conception is magnificent, and is likely
to win an abiding place within the memory of man. . . . The author has immense
command of language, and a limitless audacity. . . . This interesting and re-
markable romance will live long after much of the ephemeral literature of the day
is forgotten. ... A literary phenomenon . . . novel, and even sublime.' — W. T.
Stead in the Review of Revieius.
Messrs. Methuen's List 23
Anthony Hope's Novels
Crown Zvo. 6s. each.
THE GOD IN THE CAR. Seve?tth Edition.
' A very remarkable book, deserving of critical analysis impossible within our limit ;
brilliant, but not superficial ; well considered, but not elaliorated ; constructed'
with the proverbial art that conceals, but yet allows itself to be enjoyed by readers
to_ whom fine literary method is a keen pleasure ; true without cynicism, subtle
without affectation, humorous without strain, witty without ofience, inevitably
sad, with an unmorose simplicity.'— The World.
A CHANGE OF AIR. Fourth Edition.
'A graceful, vivacious comedy, true to human nature. The characters are traced
with a masterly hand.' — Times.
A MAN OF MARK. Third Editio7i.
' Of all Mr. Hope's books, " A Man of Mark " is the one which best compares with
"The Prisoner of Zenda." The two romances are unmistakably the work of the
same writer, and he possesses a style of narrative peculiarly seductive, piquant,
comprehensive, and — his own.' — National Observer.
THE CHRONICLES OF COUNT ANTONIO. Third
'It is a perfectly enchanting story of love and chivalry, and pure romance. The
outlawed Count is the most constant, desperate, and withal modest and tender of
lovers, a peerless gentleman, an intrepid fighter, a very faithful friend, and a most
magnanimous foe. In short, he is an altogether admirable, lovable, and delight-
ful hero. There is not a word in the volume that can give offence to the most
fastidious taste of man or woman, and there is not, either, a dull paragraph in it.
The book is everywhere instinct with the most exhilarating spirit of adventure,
and delicately perfumed with the sentiment of all heroic and honourable deed.s of
history and romance.' — Guardian.
S. Baring Gould's Novels
Crown Sifo. 6s. each.
' To say that a book is by the author of " Mehalah " is to imply that it contains a
story cast on strong lines, containing dramatic possibilities, vivid and sympathetic
descriptions of Nature, and a wealth of ingenious imagery.' — Speaker.
' That whatever Mr. Baring Gould writes is well worth reading, is a conclusion that
may be very generally accepted. His views of life are fresh and vigorous, his
language pointed and characteristic, the incidents of which he makes u.se are
striking and original, his characters are life-like, and though somewhat excep-
tional people, are drawn and coloured with artistic force. Add to this that his
descriptions of scenes and scenery are painted with the loving eyes and skilled
hands of a master of his art, that he is always fresh and never dull, and under
such conditions it is no wonder that readers have gained confidence both in his
power of amusing and satisfying them, and that year by year his popularity
widens. ' — Court Circular.
ARM I NELL : A Social Romance. Fourth Editio7i.
URITH : A Story of Dartmoor. Fourth Edition.
' The author is at his best.' — Times.
' He has nearly reached the high water-mark of " Mehalah." ' — National Observer.
24 Messrs. Methuen's List
IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA. Fifth Edition.
'One of the best imagined and most enthralling stories the author has produced.'
— Saturday Review.
MRS. CURGENVEN OF CURGENVEN. Fourth Edition.
' A novel of vigorous humour and sustained power.' — Graphic.
' The swing ofthe narrative is splendid.' — Sussex Daily News.
CHEAP JACK ZITA. Third Edition.
' A powerful drama of human -pViSiXon.' ^Westntinster Gazette.
' A story worthy the author.' — National Observer.
THE QUEEN OF LOVE. Fourth Edition.
' The scenery is admirable, and the dramatic incidents are most striking.' — Glasgmv
' Strong, interesting, and clever.' — Westminister Gazette.
' You cannot put it down until you have finished it.' — Punch.
' Can be heartily recommended to all who care for cleanly, energetic, and interesting
fiction.' — Sussex Daily News.
KITTY ALONE. Fourth Edition.
' A strong and original story, teeming «'ith graphic description, stirring incident,
and, above all, with vivid and enthralling human interest.' — Daily Telegraph.
' Brisk, clever, keen, healthy, humorous, and interesting.' — National Observer.
' Full of quaint and delightful studies of character.' — Bristol Mc7-ciiry.
NOEMI : A Romance of the Cave-Dwellers. Illustrated by
R. Caton Woodville. Third Edition.
' " No^mi " is as excellent a tale of fighting and adventure as one may wish to meet.
All the characters that interfere in this exciting tale are marked with properties
of their own. The narrative also runs clear and sharp as the Loire itself.' —
Pall Mall Gazette.
' Mr. Baring Gould's powerful story is full of the strong lights and shadows and
vivid colouring to which he has accustomed us.' — Standard.
THE BROOM -SQUIRE. Illustrated by Frank Dadd.
' A strani of tenderness is woven through the web of his tragic tale, and its atmosphere
is sweetened by the nobility and sweetness of the heroine's character.' — Daily News.
' A story of exceptional interest that seems to us to be better than anything he has
written of late.' — Speaker. 'A powerful and striking story.' — Guardian.
' A powerful piece of work.' — Black and White.
pilbert Parker's Novels
Croiun 8vo. 6s. each.
PIERRE AND HIS PEOPLE. Third Editio7i.
' Stories happily conceived and finely executed. There is strength and genius in Mr.
Parker's style.' — Daily Telegraph.
Messrs. Methuen's List 25
MRS. FALCHION. Third Edition.
' A splendid study of character.' — Athetiaum.
' But little behind anything that has been done by any writer of our time. ' — Pall
' A very striking and admirable novel.' — St. Javicss Gazette.
THE TRANSLATION OF A SAVAGE.
' The plot is original and one difficult to work out ; but Mr. Parker has done it with
great skill and delicacy. The reader who is not interested in this original, fresh,
and well-told tale must be a dull person indeed.' — Daily Ckrcniclc.
' A strong and successful piece of workmanship. The portrait of Lali, strong,
dignified, and pure, is exceptionally well drawn.' — Manchester Guardian.
THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD. Fourth Edition.
'Everybody with a soul for romance will thoroughly enjoy "The Trail of the
Sword." ' — St. James's Gazette.
' A rousing and dramatic tale. A book like this, in which swords flash, great sur-
prises are undertaken, and daring deeds done, in which men and women live and
love in the old straightforward passionate way, is a joy ine.xpressible to the re-
viewer, brain-weary of the domestic tragedies and psychological puzzles of every-
day fiction ; and we cannot but believe that to the reader it will bring refreshment
as welcome and as keen.' — Daily Chronicle.
WHEN VALMOND CAME TO PONTIAC : The Story of
a Lost Napoleon. Third Edition.
' Here we find romance — real, breathing, living romance, but it runs flush with our
own times, level with our own feelings. Not here can we complain of lack of
inevitableness or homogeneity. The character of Valmond is drawn unerringly ;
his career, brief as it is, is placed before us as convincingly as history itself. The
book must be read, we may say re-read, for any one thoroughly to appreciate
Mr. Parker's delicate touch and innate sympathy with humanity.' — Pall Mall
' The one work of genius which 1895 has as yet produced.' — New Age.
AN ADVENTURER OF THE NORTH: The Last Adven-
tures of ' Pretty Pierre.'
'The present book is full of fine and moving stories of the great North, and it will
add to Mr. Parker's already high reputation.' — Glas^07u Herald.
' The new book is very romantic and very entertaining — full of that peculiarly
elegant spirit of adventure which is so characteristic of Mr. Parker, and of that
poetic thrill which has given him warmer, if less numerous, admirers than even
his romantic story-telling gift has done.' — Sketch.
THE SEATS OF THE MIGHTY. Illustrated. Fourth
' The best thing he has done ; one of the best things that any one has done lately.'—
St. James's Gazette.
' Mr. Parker seems to become stronger and easier with every serious novel that he
attempts. . . . In " The Seats of the Mighty " he shows the matured power which
his former novels have led us to expect, and has produced a really fine historical
novel. . . . The great creation of the book is Doltaire. . . . His character is
drawn with quite masterly strokes, for he is a villain who is not altogether a villain,
and who attracts the reader, as he did the other characters, by the extraordinary
brilliance of his gifts, and by the almost unconscious acts of nobility which he
performs. . . . Most sincerely is Mr. Parker to be congratulated on the finest
novel he has yet written.' — Athenxum.
26 Messrs. Methuen's List
'Mr. Parker's latest book places him in the front rank of living novelists. "The
Seats of the Mighty" is a great book.' — Black and White.
' One of the strongest stories of historical interest and adventure that we have read
for many a day. . . . Through all Mr. Parker moves with an assured step, whilst
in his treatment of his subject there is that happy blending of the poetical with the
prosaic which has characterised all his writings. A notable and successful book.'
' The story is very finely and dramatically told. ... In none of his books has his
imaginative faculty appeared to such splendid purpose as here. Captain Moray,
Ali.xe, Gabord, Vauban— above all, Doltaire — and, indeed, every person who takes
part in the action of the story are clearly conceived and finely drawn and indivi-
dualised. — Scotsman.
' An admirable romance. The glory of a romance is its plot, and this plot is crowded
with fine sensations, which have no rest until the fall of the famous old city and
the final restitution of love.' — Paii Mall Gazette.
Conan Doyle. ROUND THE RED LAMP. By A. Conan
Doyle, Author of 'The White Company,' 'The Adventures of
Sherlock Holmes,' etc. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s.
' The book is, indeed, composed of leaves from life, and is far and away the best view
that has been vouchsafed us behind the scenes of the consulting-room. It is very
superior to " The Diary of a late Physician.'" — I Ihistrated London News.
Stanley Weyman. UNDER THE RED ROBE. By Stanley
Weyman, Author of ' A Gentleman of France.' With Twelve Illus-
trations by R. Caton Woodville. Eighth Edition. Crown %vo. bs.
'A book of which we have read every word for the sheer pleasure of reading, and
which we put down with a pang that we cannot forget it all and start again.' —
' Every one who reads books at all must read this thrilling romance, from the first
page of which to the last the breathless reader is haled along. An inspiration of
"manliness and courage." — Daily Chronicle.
' A delightful tale of chivalry and adventure, vivid and dramatic, with a wholesome
modesty and reverence for the highest.' — Globe.
Mrs. Clifford. A FLASH OF SUMMER. By Mrs. W. K.
Clifford, Author of ' Aunt Anne,' etc. Second Editiott. Crown
' The story is a very sad and a very beautiful one, exquisitely told, and enriched with
many subtle touches of wise and tender insight. It will, undoubtedly, add to its
author's reputation — already high — in the ranks of novelists.' — Speaker.
' We must congratulate Mrs. Clifford upon a very successful and interesting story,
told throughout with finish and a delicate sense of proportion, qualities which,
indeed, have always distinguished the best work of this very able writer.' —
Emily Lawless. HURRISH. By the Honble. Emily Law-
less, Author of ' Maelcho,' etc. Fifth Edition. Crown Svo. 6s.
A reissue of Miss Lawless' most popular novel, uniform with ' Maelcho.'
Emily Lawless. MAELCHO : a Sixteenth Century Romance.
By the Honble. Emily Lawless, Author of ' Grania,' etc. Second
Edition. Crown Svo. 6s.
' A really great book.' — Spectator.
' There is no keener pleasure in life than the recognition of genius. Good work is
commoner than it used to be, but the best is as rare as ever. All the more
gladly, therefore, do we welcome in " Maelcho " a piece of work of the first order,
which we do not hesitate to describe as one of the most remarkable literary
achievements of this generation. Miss Lawless is possessed of the very essence
of historical genius.' — Manchester Guardian.
Messrs. Methuen's List 27
J. H. Findlater. THE GREEN GRAVES OF BALGOWRIE.
By Jane H. FiNDLATER. Third Edition. Cro7vn 8vo. 6s.
'A powerful and vivid story." — Standard.
' A beautiful story, sad and strange as truth itseW—Faniiy Fair.
' A work of remarkable interest and originality.' — National Observer.
' A really original nov^V— Journal oj Education.
'A very charming and pathetic tale.' — Pall Mall Gazette.
' A singularly original, clever, and beautiful story." — Guardian.
' " The Green Graves of Balgowrie " reveals to us a new Scotch writer of undoubted
faculty and reserve force.' — Spectator.
' An exquisite idyll, delicate, affecting, and beautiful.'— 5/n!c/t- and White.
' Permeated with high and noble purpose. It is one of the most wholesome stories
we have met with, and cannot fail to leave a deep and lasting impression.' —
E. F. Benson. DODO : A DETAIL OF THE DAY. By E. F.
Benson. Sixteenth Editiott. Crow7i Svo. 6s.
' A delightfully witty sketch of society." — Spectator.
' A perpetual feast of epigram and paradox.' — Speaker.
' By a writer of quite exceptional ability.' — A t/tenaum.
■ Brilliantly written.' — ll^'orld.
E. F. Benson. THE RUBICON. By E. F. Benson, Author of
'Dodo.' Fifth Edition. Crown %vo. 6s.
' Well written, stimulating, unconventional, and, in a word, characteristic' —
' An exceptional achievement ; a notable advance on his previous ■work.'— National
M. M. Dowie. GALLIA. By M^nie Muriel Dowie, Author
of 'A Girl in the Carpathians.' Thij-d Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s.
' The style is generally admirable, the dialogue not seldom brilliant, the situations
surprising in their freshness and originality, while the subsidiary as well as the
principal characters live and move, and the story itself is readable from title-page
to colophon." — Saturday Review.
' A very notable book ; a very sympathetically, at times delightfully written book.
— Daily Graphic.
Mrs. Oliphant. SIR ROBERT'S FORTUNE. By Mrs.
Oliphant. Crown 8vo. 6s.
' Full of her own peculiar charm of style and simple, subtle character-painting come
her new gift, the delightful story before us. The scene mostly lies in the moors,
and at the touch of the authoress a Scotch moor becomes a living thing, strong
tender, beautiful, and changeful." — Pall Mall Gazette.
Mrs. Oliphant. THE TWO MARYS. By Mrs. Oliphant.
Second Edition. Crown ?>z'o. 6s.
W.E.Norris. MATTHEW AUSTIN. By W. E. Norris, Author
of ' Mademoiselle de Mersac,' etc. Fourth Edition. Crown Sz'O. 6s.
' "Matthew Austin " may safely be pronounced one of the most intellectually satis-
factory and morally bracing novels of the current year.' — Daily Telegraph.
W. E. Norris. HIS GRACE. By W. E. Norris. Third
Editiott. Crown 8vo. 6s.
' Mr. Norris has drawn a really fine character in the Duke of Hurstbourne, at once
unconventional and very true to the conventionalities of life, weak and .strong ui
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