Skip to main content
li MY '
G. E. BUTT.
To face Title Page.
MY TRAVELS IN
OR A MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF
SIXTEEN THOUSAND MILES
THE REV. G. E. BUTT
Eighteen Years Missionmy in South Africa
President of the Primitive Methodist Conference, kj5
E. DALTON, 48 TO 50, ALDERSGATE STREET,
Liverpool TO Cape Town.
Busy Pier- Head — Leave Taking — Sunday on Board Ship— •
Concert— A Dance — Ladies' Cricket— Pillow Fight — Early
Morning View — King Neptune — Liberal Bill of Pare —
Fancy Dress Ball — Landing — Meeting of Friends .,. 1
Cape Town to Bulawayo.
Northward— Mode of Travel — The Hex River Mountain —
Kiinberley — Sunday at Vryburg — A Native Service —
Tiger's Kloof — Bible Society — Own Church Represented —
Difficulties — Prospects — Send Off — Change of Scene —
Lonely Farmers — In Bulawayo — The Town— The Matopos
—"The World's View." 14
The Victoria Falls and Broken Hill.
The Hotel — Family Party — First Impressions — The Bridge-
North Bank — Livingstone Island — Palm Grove — Rain
Forest— The Falls— The Gorge— Up the River— Pig Island
— Shooting the Rapids — Hippos at Play — Leaving the Falls
— No Shops- Sleeping on the Track — The Hunter — The
.-!'^? Kafue — The Young Wife— New to the Country — The
Sources of the Zambesi— Game on the Way Up — Broken
Hill ... ... 42
Broken Hill to Nambala.
First Camp— Drink !— First Night in Forest— My First Shot-
Market in the Forest— A Fine Antelope— New Stores —
Character of the Forest— Bringing the Tree to the Tent—
A Lion in the Grass — The Mumba Camp — The
Work at Nambala.
Buildings — Church — ^Nlahowany Seats — Medical AYork — Brick-
Making — Garden — Worship at Sun-Down — Sunday
Services — More Medical Work — Brass Buttons for Money
— Training Oxen — Six Months for Attempting Life of
Native AVorker— A Fire— The Man Who Failed to Get a
Nambala to the Kafue.
Monos — Kakiao — Hunting — An Evening Market — Fig Trees
— A Sunday with the Heathen — A White Wonder— Fine
Herd of Antelope — River at Last 112
Kafue to N'Kala.
An Early " Trek "—Stuck in Sand-High Wind— A Chief to
Lead — Lions and Leopards — A New Leader — A Hunting
Party — A Trader in Cattle— Crossing the Kafue— In Sight
of NKala Mission — Missed the Way ... 127
Work at N'Kala.
Site and Buildings — Our Feelings — First Mission to Heathen
— First House — In Charge of Evangelist— His Devotion —
Sunday Services — Interview with the Natives — The Graves
of N'Kala 137
A Week at Nanzela.
Journey on Mule — Reception — Mission House — Mr. Smith's
Work — River- — Gardens — Buildings — Men at School —
Children Boarders — Sewing Class — Class Meeting — Sun-
rise — Child Saved — Influence of the Mission 154
A Sunday at Naxzela.
The Quiet of the Day— Call of Messenger and Bell— Congre-
gation— Service — An Advantage of no Windows in Church
— The Lord's Supper — A Church in the Desert — Native
Missionary Zeal — A Great Opportunity of Expansion —
The True Method 172
Nanzela to Kasanga.
Medicine for Cattle— Blind Chief — Road Missed — The Chief
Shaloba — His Village — People — Nannvala Camp —
Lagoonof Kaf ue — BoileaCheese — Downthe Kaf lie — Native
Fishers — A Lion in the Way — \\ ithin Sight of
Kasanga as a Site for New Mission.
Chief — Head-Men— Evening- Service — Wives — Camp Fire —
Beyond the Light — An Early Visit— Dressing under Ob-
servation — Presents — A Day of Inspection — A Fine Oppor-
tunity * 204
Return to Nanzela.
Lion Tracks — A Place for Out-Station — Our Old Friends of
tlie Camp — Shaloba finds us Carriers — On the ^Var-Patll —
Home Again 214
Nanzela to Kalomo.
An Early Start — Sunday Evening in Heathen Village — Man
^Mauled by Hj-ena — How the Villages are Protected — A
Leopard's Howl — A Great Wind— An Unpleasant Day —
Dry Pits — AVater ! Water 1 !— Carriers Foot Sore— The
Trader and Lion — Wild Pig and Feast — Breakfast with
Magistrate — Old Seat of Government — The Station at
Last — Last Camp Fire — Why did Missionaries bring
Magistrates — Why Pay Taxes — Government brings Peace
— Railways and Cattle — Own Case — White Men and
Taxes— Want Two Years' Rest 222
Some Native Habits and Views.
Trades— Basket- Work — Pottery — Wood-Work — Smelting—
Forge- Work — Bellows — ^lusic — The Great Organ — The
Drum-Dancer — "Ditzee" — Serpents — Dry House in River
— Men — Lions — Leopards and Dogs — "(Jry" ... 246
New Livingstone and the Government.
Town Badly Laid Out — Administration — New Map — Govern-
ment Friendly — Medical Work — Prohibition of Drink —
The Late so-called Rising — What about the Future — Is it
to be Peace ? — Litsea — A Commercial Who Knew (?) — A
Trader's Testimony — Servants to be Trusted — Post Office
Scene — Justice and Peace 268
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
G. E. Butt Frontispiece.
The "Persic" Facing Page I
Principal's House, Tigere Kloof
Panoramic View of Falls
Above the Falls
My First Camp
Washing-Day on Journey
Crossing the Chibila
Staff at Nambala
Brick- Yard, Nambala
Medical Work at Nambala
Building at Nambala
Boy with Sore Legs
Luse and Her Husband
Crossing the Kafue
Building NcAV Church at N'Kala
First Mission House at N'Kala
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
The Graves at N'Kala ...
Staff at Nanzela ...
The Motherless Child ...
Mission House, Nanzela
Mission Church, Nanzela
Early Breakfast at Kasanga
On the Koad in the Mashila
Raniathe and Keniuel . . .
Native Organ and Dance
Loading Coal at Wankie
T T will be known to many of my readers
that I spent about eighteen years on our
South African Mission. That Mission was
seventeen years old when I went to it ; and it
v»ras felt the time had come when we should
be training our own native workers. It was
known to the Home Committee that I had a
technical training before coming into the
ministry; and as they wished the Training
School at Aliwal North to be conducted on
industrial lines, they called me to undertake
At this time plans for our new Mission north
of the Zambesi were being matured. And
it was hoped our new departure at Aliwal
would result in finding native workers for that
Mission. We began in a small way with only
four pupils. But the numbers soon increased.
Our aim was to produce self-helpful teaching-
evangelists; young men who would be able
not only to teach a school, lead a class, and
preach; but assist also in the industrial work
of the Mission, even to the extent of building
their own house. The students, therefore,
were prepared for the teachers' examination
under the Cape Government; they received
careful Scripture instruction and lessons in
elementary sermonising; and their afternoons
were spent in learning brick-making, car-
pentry and the various branches of building.
This gave them their handiness, and with what
results will be seen in some of the following
At first it was very difficult to get students
willing to go to the Zambesi. The country
seemed far away and strange to them, and,
indeed, dangerous. Later developments in
Africa have been so great and rapid that it is
already difficult to realise how distant the
Zambesi seemed at the time of which I write.
It took our first Mission party eleven months
to make the journey in their ox-waggons. I
recently covered the same ground in a train
de luxe in a less number of days. But
gradually their missionary zeal prevailed, and
first one, and then another offered himself
for the work. Having thus been associated
with the training of the men, I could not be
indifferent to their work.
But I had a further ground of interest in our
South Central Missions. The European
Missionaries usually spent a time at Aliwal
North before going forward to the scene of
their work. The first party spent six months
with us; the next wa^s with us during the
whole period of the Boer war ; for just as they
were ready to go forward the war broke out,
and all the roads were closed. Some of them
came to us on furlough. So we not only got
to know the men but their work also.
We could not, therefore, help feeling a
great interest in our Zambesi Mission ; and had
we been a few years younger we should have
offered ourselves for work there. But failing
this we conceived a great desire to visit the
country; and often told both Europeans and
natives that we should surely come some day
and see them at their work.
My hands were too full of service while in
charge of Aliwal Mission, to admit of any
holidays, excepting when I came home on
furlough. I had, therefore, to wait for the
realisation of my desire until the time had
come to retire from the work in Africa. And
even then, the calls at home held me for three
years without a break. But the time came at
last, and I started on my great holiday with
an eagerness it would be hard foi* a school
boy to beat.
Writing a book on my journey had never
entered my thoughts. I have a somewhat
wide circle of friends, Missionary and other,
and I decided to write copious notes of my
journey from day to day, and send them home
as a circular letter. But by the time I
reached Broken Hill I began to realise that I
should be able to give information concerning
the country, the people and our work, that
would help the Missionary interest at home.
Henceforth I wrote with that end in view. As
the form will indicate, the paragraphs were
written from day to day; while the objects
described were before my eyes ; and the views
set forth were warm in my thoughts. Only
revision has been done since returning home.
I offer no apology for writing chiefly from
the point of view of a Missionary. I could
do no other. Mine has been a Missionary
life. It was a Missionary journey I under-
took; and in publishing this book my motive
The pictures in the first three chapters are
lent by the White Star Co., the Bi-itish South
African Co., and mv friend Mr. Willoughbv,
of the Tiger's Kloof Institution; to all of
whom I tender my best thanks. I am indebted
for the remaining pictures to Mr. Kerswell
and Mr. Price who, together with their wives,
did so much to make my journey both a
pleasure and a success. I must also mention
the great courtesy of the Government officials.
I visited four Government Camps, and was
made to feel at home at each, and received
assistance that money could not have pur-
Liverpool to Cape Town.
/^N Thursday, July 2nd, 1908, I left
^^ Liverpool in the good ship " Persic " for
my long projected journey to South Central
Africa. The pier-head presented a picture
full of movement and interest. Leave-taking
is not a pleasant exercise — the last few
moments reaching near to agony. This will be
my seventh time across the Atlantic. It has
always been kind to ine. I have never missed
a meal. The " Persic " is a fine and steady
ship. We are settling to the voyage splendidly.
Sunday, July 5.
A lovely morning — quiet, bright, and just
warm enough to be pleasant. The passengers
are dressed in their best — some of the men
even have their top hats on. What the sailors
are obliged to do in working the ship is done
in a more subdued way than on other days.
There was a large gathering at morning ser-
vice ; and in the evening we had sacred singing
in the library.
A fortnight on board ship, with many people
2 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST EHODESIA.
you have never seen before, is a good oppor-
tunity for the study of human nature. And it
is not long before they begin to classify them-
selves. The more studious exchange books
and papers; and this is often followed by the
exchange of views on men and things. Others
are after fun and sport. Drink and gambling
get more and more in evidence as the days go
by, and the restraints of strangeness wear
The entertainments included many things.
We had several evening concerts — one on
deck — but beyond three or four fine voices
there was nothing remarkable. Cricket
matches are being played most days. English
V. Colonials, Married v. Single, and so on.
And they really do seem to get a lot of fun out
Tuesday, July 7.
This evening we passed near the Canary
Islands, which was our first sight of land since
leaving our own shores. We were too far off
to see very distinctly, and the atmosphere was
rather hazy. The Peak of Teneriffe seemed
to rise majestically out of the sea. We could
only see the general out-line ; our glasses even
failed to show us the snow-clad top.
LIVERPOOL TO CAPE TOWN. 3
A considerable section of our little company
seems to depend on dances for any pleasure
they are to find during the voyage. It is easy
to give them facilities, as there is a good band
Thursday, July 9.
We are having delightful :weather, and we
are making good even running each day —
varying from 320 to 326 miles each 24
Even the ladies have had a cricket match
with the men to-day; but the latter can only
use their left hand. It afforded much amuse-
ment. Then there was a pillow fight. This
is great fun. The method is very simple.
The combatants sit on a pole facing each
other. Each is supplied with a pillow, and
they belabour each other till one loses his
seat. Beds are placed under the pole to break
the fall. There were many other events; but
I only saw the above two, as a little of this
kind of thing is enough for me.
Friday, July 10.
We are well in the Tropics. My cabin
companion this morning complained very
much of the heat, and wanted me to join him .
4 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
But I had to report a good night's rest. Two
things are in my favour — he is very stout, and
you know how I am; and then I have the top
berth, which is the more airy. There is a
little labour in reaching it, but to a light
weight like myself this is nothing.
I was up early this morning, and went on
the highest deck to enjoy the cool breeze.
The heavens were a httle over-cast, the sun
not yet being able to break through. Far
away beyond the general sky-line the sun was
shining behind the clouds; and for about a
mile wide illumined the waters for a long
distance beyond. It was like a broad path of
light along which the play of the sun could be
seen on the rising and falling waves, making
the movement of the sea a wonderful revela-
tion of shade and colour.
Tuesday, July 14.
As far as the sports are concerned, the
great event of the voyage took place to-day.
The great Trial of Neptune. This was new
to me. They do not have it on the mail ships ;
and some of the Captains on this line do not
allow it. But ours gave permission under
certain restrictions, the chief of which was
T-JE DINING ROOil.
To face page 4.
LIVERPOOL TO CAPE TOWN. 7
that all who took their trial should be
volunteers. This is the idea : — King Neptune
holds a court for the punishment of offenders.
There is a public prosecutor, police, and
imaginary charges are prepared against the
prisoners. The sentences vary. The
heaviest included to be shaven and dropped
into the tank. The barber was furnished with
a huge wooden razor. He had many
assistants, one of whom did the lathering by
means of a bucket and white-wash brush.
Then, at the end, all who had taken part in the
trial were raided by the prisoners, and had to
face the tank. It caused great amusement.
A number of things on this voyage are quite
new to me. There is only one class. We
do not all pay alike; the cabins are classified,
and that governs the pay. But this is the only
difference; there is only one table. The food
is abundant, and in great variety, and well
cooked. The serving could be improved.
Friday, July 17.
This evening, what, to the ladies, is the event
of the voyage, took place — a fancy-dress ball.'
According to report it was a great success.
But I had heard enough about it previously to
8 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
sicken me ; so I retired to the library and had
a good read.
Tuesday, July 21.
We have now reached our last complete day
on the ship. The weather has been lovely,
and the ship the steadiest I have ever been on.
To-night we shall pass near where we were
wrecked when coming home during the Boer
Wednesday, July 22.
Most of us were on deck soon enough to see
the sun rise. It was a glorious sight. There
was a high range of mountains running in a
line with the coast, and the sun came up from
behind them. The sea was quiet. The
heavens were bright. The gradually increas-
ing light gave us a revelation of beauty never
to be forgotten. Table Mountain seemed to
emerge from the sea in all its impressive
grandeur of size, shape, and shade ; and when
a closer view brought out the details of the
gcene the picture was complete ; for we could
see the city itself extending along the base of
the mountain as though supplicating its pro-
tection. The view was worth the 6,000 miles
we bad voyaged to see it. The exclamations
io face paye S.
LIVERPOOL TO CAPE TOWN. 11
of those who saw it for the first time Were full
of grateful surprise.
By 9 o'clock all was ready for landing.
These Australian liners do not enter the dock.
When it is rough the passengers are slung
over the sides of the ship in a basket, which
is more exciting than comfortable. To-day
we were able to pass quietly down the ladder
to the tug.
Mr. and Mrs. Legg kindly entertained me
during my stay in Cape Town. Mrs. Legg is
daughter of my old steward and friend, Mr.
Knight, of Aliwal. Mr. Legg was able to help
me in preparing for my up-country journey.
Cape Town to Bulawayo.
Friday, July 24.
T EFT Sea Point for town shortly after
breakfast, as I had to arrange to get
my things to the station, and make a few fresh
purchases for the journey. Called on my old
friend Col. Crewe. I expect to see him again
at Christmas at Aliwal. He was Colonial
Secretary in the late Progressive Government,
and is now one of the Leaders of the Opposi-
tion. He gave me a letter of introduction
to the Secretary of the Chartered Company
at Bulawayo. It is likely to be of great
service to me.
At 11,30 I said good-bye to my friend Legg
and oui train steamed out of Cape Town for
the North. The first part of the journey was
through vine-yards, — what is called the wine-
farming district, but by bed time we had
reached a part of the country which is very
bare both of trees and grass.
Mr. Legg was able to render me a great
service just at the last. I was put into a com-
partment with four others. When Mr. Legg
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 15
saw this he went and spoke to the conductor.
He pleaded my age and the length of my
journey, and not in vain, for he secured a
small compartment for me that, when filled,
only holds three, and I am likely to have it
all to myself. There is a nice little table in
it, and I am able to write with as much com-
fort as though in my own study, always, of
course, excepting the motions of the train.
Saturday, July 25.
I had a good night in the train. After a
wash and good breakfast, felt fit for a good
read and some writing. The weather is
delightful, not a cloud to be seen. The nights
and mornings, however, are rather cold. It
is winter, but to those who have never been
here before, it is a brilliant summer.
We have a long heavy train, and have been
losing time. We are now running 90
minutes late, and I fear it may be more before
we reach Kimberley, where we are due at
There is a good bit of novelty in train
travel in South Africa. It is a single track,
and the line keeps to the surface of the
country, going up hill and down, like ordinary
16 MY TRAVELS IN NOETH WEST RHODESIA.
roads. It is a narrow gauge, and the curves
are very sharp. The coaches are put on the
wheels Hke the tram cars at home. This
secures that the curves are taken with ease
and safety. There are no separate sleeping
coaches, but each compartment is fitted up to
sleep four persons. The seat on either side
draws out, forming two good beds; and a
part of the back above each seat lifts up ; thus
forming two other beds. The fast through
trains, called fast because they run less slowly
than other trains, are furnished with a kitchen
and dining car ; and you can be supplied with
good food at moderate charges, when all
things are considered. The attendance is
very good, and the officials are obliging. The
comfort of a journey compares favourably
with homi travel ; we say nothing of the speed.
We came up the Hex Eiver Mountain early
this morning. We had two powerful engines
— one in front and one behind. This is safer
than both in front, because if any of the
couplings broke it would prevent a terrible
accident. It is 2,400 feet above the sea ; and
the gradient in some places is so steep that
the two engines could only reach a walking
speed. It would be difficult to say how many
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 17
times we described the letter S. The maze
of peaks was very wonderful to look upon;
and shortly after we reached the top the sun
began to rise from behind one of the spurs.
For a long time the vast plains appeared
oppressed with shadow, while the lofty peaks
were bathed in sunshine. We had an artist
on board the ship and I wished he could have
seen the vast expanse of Hght and shade.
We reached Kimberley safely in the even-
ing, where I had to change. This town is in
a bad way. Eetrenchment at the mines has
been the order of the day for some time, and
now they are closing down. I had a talk with
a gentleman who boarded the train here, and
seemed to know a good bit about the
unsoundness of business in Kimberley. I
'asked him, amongst other things, if he really
thought De Beers would close down for any
length of time, or if they were only trying to
bluff the Government. He quite thinks it is
a duel between the Government and the Com-
pany, and is intended to secure better terms
for the lattei*.
Sunday, July 26.
Eeached Vryburg this morning at 4 o'clock,
an hour late. The station is a mile from the
1 8 MY TEAVELS IN NOETH WEST EHODESIA.
town and 7 miles from Tigers Kloof, the place
I was wanting to visit. It was very dark, and
bitterly cold, so I took the hotel trap and,
getting into a comfortable bed when the town
clock struck 5, I slept till 9.30, and then got
a good breakfast and enquired what churches
were in the town. There is no Methodist
Church but there is a Congregational. It is
near the hotel. The Rev. Mr. Heath is the
Minister. He hails from the Midlands, and
has a brother a local preacher with us in the
old land. He invited me to take the service,
but as I was still tired, I stipulated that he
should take the first part of the service, then
T preached and pronounced the Benediction.
Nothing would do but I must go home with
him. I did not need much persuasion, as I
dislike hotels, especially on Sundays. It was
in my plan to go out to Tigers Kloof in the
afternoon at 4 o'clock by train, but after
dinner one of Mr. Heath's laymen, a leading
merchant in the town, came in and offered to
put me up till morning and then drive me out.
This was arranged and later he suggested that
Mr. and Mrs. Heath should go out with me
for a drive. Mr. Heath invited me to preach
in the evening, but I asked to be excused as
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 19
I was feeling very tired. He therefore went
to get ready for the service, and I had a good
sleep. After a cup of tea I was much
refreshed. I went down to the hotel to get
my overcoat and pay my account, and in the
street I met the Wesleyan native minister, for
the Wesleyans, I found, have a native church
here. He knew me years ago at Aliwal, when
he was working with the Wesleyans in the
Herschal District, and I could remember him
after we had conversed a little. He pressed
me to preach at the evening service. I could
not refuse, as it is over three years since I was
in a native service. He called for me after
supper, and I went out to the native town, a
mile and a half. It was a delightful service.
Their simple devotion, beautiful singing, and
deep attention were like a spiritual breeze
from the old Aliwal days. I got back soon
enough to hear Mr. Heath's sermon.
Monday, July 27.
We had a beautiful drive out to Tigers
Kloof. Here a very fine Training School is
being built up. It belongs to the London
Missionary Society, and is in charge of my old
friend the Eev. Mr. Willoughby, who, it will
20 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
be remembered, was King Khami's Missionary
and accompanied him to England, and was
his friend and interpreter. Mr. Willoughby
is not only an experienced Missionary, but a
well-read cultured gentleman, and he is
rendering a very important service to his
Society in putting the top stone to the work
begun by Livingstone and Mofiat.
I heard from the native Minister of Vryburg
that two of our own old students are in the
neighbourhood, one is a Wesleyan Minister;
and the other, I am sorry to say, is a Minister
of the Ethiopian Church in Vryburg itself.
Had I known this earlier, I should have called
Tuesday, July 28.
I have been much interested in going over
the Institution. It is being developed much
on our own lines at Aliwal, only is more
extensive. It is religious, educational and
industrial. The aim is to produce workers
who shall be able to help and improve the
people in the whole scope of their life.
The Eev. Mr. Lowe, Wesleyan Minister
of Johannesburg, called to-day on his way
down from the Falls, where he has attended
a meeting of Missionaries on behalf of the
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 23
Bible Society, in whose interests he is at pre-
sent working by permission of liis Conference.
He expressed his regret that our Missions
were not represented at the Conference. I
was able to tell him what Messrs. Smith and
Chapman had done in the work of translation
and what his Society (the British and Foreign
Bible Society) had done for us in printing the
Gospel of Mark. It was news he was glad to
hear. I met Mr. Lowe some years since in
Johannesburg, and it was a pleasure to meet
him again and spend a day together at Tigers
Wednesday, July 29.
Took prayers this morning in the Institution
and gave a brief exposition of the parable of
Made a more extended survey of the work
of the Institution than I was able to do yester-
day. They have about 50 in residence — only
half the number of last year. This is the
result of trade depression, especially De
Beers retrenchments. It has made many
thousands of pounds difference in the spend-
ing power of the natives in this district. And
then, they have to contend with another
difl&culty, which, I fear, will take much time
24 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
to remove — the low educational status of their
students when they enter school. The
L.M.S. have not made education a strong
point in their work in this country, hence the
great backwardness of their people. The
Institution has been at work four years and
they only have one pupil teacher at present.
They are really doing the work of an elemen-
tary school, because they cannot get students
sufficiently advanced to put forward in the
So far as buildings are concerned, Mr.
Willoughby has started with elaborate and
complete plans and is putting them up in
sections as he has time and means. He has
half the class-rooms up, a little more than half
the dormitories, and the carpenter's shop is
completed and furnished with a steam saw and
cutter. He is now building a very fine dining
hall and principal's house. He has both plan
and funds for teachers' quarters. The walls
are of stone and brick — very substantial, and
the whole, when finished, will have a noble
appearance. May the work greatly prosper
and prove in every way worthy of the noble
men who laid the foundations of Christ's
Kingdom in Bechuanaland.
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 25
Here also I found our own church much
represented. The office work is in the hands
of Mr. Willoughby, Junr., one of our local
preachers from Redruth, and Mr. Gillender,
the Head-master, is a son of the Eev. R.
Gillender, the Superintendent of our Lymm
Circuit. He is a very efficient local preacher,
and deeply interested in mission work. The
Principal thinks himself very fortunate in
having such an excellent head-master. I
took tea with them (he is just married) this
afternoon. At present tliey occupy a little
house of three rooms, which only need the
roses and woodbine to secure the ideal of
" love in a cottage," but they have a much
more elaborate house looming in the near
Thursday, July 30.
Tigers Kloof is a siding. My train was due
to leave this morning at 2.7. The guest room
— a one roomed detached house near the rail-
way is fitted with a wood stove. My host
kindly had the fire lit and a supply of wood
laid in in case the train should be late. This
proved a pleasant precaution, for the train
was 90 minutes late. I had a clock in the
26 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
room timed to run down at 1.15. I was there-
fore able to sleep till the last minute. It was
my wish quietly to leave at such an unearthly
hour without breaking anyone's rest, but Mr.
Gillender would insist on seeing the Ex-
president off "in due f orm^^' ' as he expressed
it, so I had his company during the long wait,
and his kind help in getting my belongings into
the train, and I shall long cherish grateful
memories of the hospitality of the brave
workers of Tigers Kloof.
The first part of my journey to-day is
through a flat, bare country, which looks
sufficiently poor to make one wonder how
cattle can live and men grow rich. Then
about noon we entered the region of a range
of mountains, which presented a very agree-
able change of scene, but by three o'clock we
have reached the flats again; and nothing is
within view but a dead monotony of bushy
Five o'clock. We are now passing through
a sandy country. My coach is towards the
back — last but one — of the train and the very
paper I am now writing on is covered with a
fine dusty sand. The steward has just been
with afternoon tea — not before it was needed.
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 29
Friday, July 31.
I am now in Bulawayo. We steamed into
the station true to time^ 9.40. We had made
up the hour we were behind during the night.
Early this morning a gentleman and lady
and their little three-year-old girl came into
my compartment. They were very chatty and
kind, and gave me a good bit of information
about the part of the country we were passing
through. They have been out three years,
and came from near Manchester. They have
a farm through which the train passes, and
they also keep a store. They came out for
his health, and he is quite well here, but it is
a lonely life — 50 miles south of Bulawayo and
their nearest neighbours a long way off, but
they seemed happy and hopeful, and glad to
have some one to talk their plans over with.
The land is good here both for cattle and corn.
The woman told me she had a brother a
Primitive Methodist. Wherever I go I find
the influence of our Church.
My nephew, Mr. Halse, was at the station
waiting for me, and has kindly put me up and
is showing great hospitality.
I am surprised at Bulawayo — both the size
and beauty of the town are quite beyond my
30 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
expectations. I have not seen much of it yet,
but I can see at a glance that it consists of two
parts — the business part which is near the
station, and the residential part, which is
half an hour's walk away on gently rising
ground, and hidden away among trees and
shrubs, many of the latter in flower. All the
streets are very wide, and even the business
places stand off at a respectful distance from
each other. The whole town is lighted by
The business atmosphere of the place is
bright and brisk — a great gain on the present
state of Cape Colony. People also are coming
up in great numbers from down country —
glad to get away from the influence of the
Dutch. Rhodesia, I think, has before it a
great future. It is in the hands of the British,
perhaps, more than any other part of Africa.
Saturday, August 1.
Another glorious morning. I have been
watching the heavens ever since I landed at
Cape Town, but have not yet seen h cloud.
As you breathe the lovely air, it seems to give
you new life. Eemember this is winter, yet
MR. RHODES' STATUE, BULAWAYO.
To face paye 30.
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 33
I am sitting on the verandah finishing my
English mail, which must be posted to-day.
Sunday, August 2.
I had a quiet day of rest. Mrs. Harrison
and I had a cab and went to Church in the
morning. Our Wesleyan friends have a large
church but small congregation. It wag a
bright little service — over in 7 minutes under
the hour. The sermon lasted only 15 minutes.
No one could complain that the service was
We did not go out at night. We were about
3 miles from Church. We had a quiet even-
ing together and retired early.
Monday, Augtist 3.
My nephew, Mr. Halse, had arranged a
visit to the Matopo Hills, the last resting
place of Cecil John Rhodes. The party con-
sisted of Mrs. Harrison (Mr. Halse 's sister,
who for several years was a member of my
choir at Aliwal) a friend from Johannesburg
and myself. We had a fine 16 horse power
motor car, driven by a man who had been at
the business for many years. The car was
like a thing of life under his direction. Where
34 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
the roads were good we went at the rate of
30 miles an hour. The distance was 30 miles
It was a glorious day — not a cloud to be
seen, yet not too hot. The road on the whole
was very good, a few rough places, but
nothing to grumble about. The country
through which we passed is a combination of
grass, bush and forest, with here and there
Native and European farms. About 18 miles
on the road we came to the finest dam I have
seen in Africa. It was formed by building a
head- wall to a natural basin among the hills.
Land extending for many miles below the dam
is under water, and is thus rendered very
fruitful. Rhodes spen^ £30,000 in building
the dam. In approaching the Matopos we
passed through several miles of lovely park
and nursery grounds, where nature and art
join in yielding a profusion of beauty I have
seen in no other part of the country. Here
is a stretch of primeval forest the hand of
man has never touched; yonder is an
expanse of well-ordered beauty of gum trees,
pines, and many others, interspersed with a
great variety of flowering shrubs; and yet
further on we came to extensive nursery
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 37
gardens, full of choice fruit trees — the orange
and lemon trees laden with fruit.
We reached the foot of the "World's
View," about eleven o'clock. We first
kindled a fire and made a delicious cup of tea,
rendered the more grateful and refreshing by
our hot and dusty ride. We now started on
our stiff climb of 25 minutes to the grave. It
took us much longer than this, however, as
we had often to stop and admire the scene of
rugged grandeur that was open to view as we
ascended. At last we reached the grave and
with bared and bowed heads stood around it,
and tried to realise its significance. There is
not much to see beyond the natural formation
of the place. A field of bare granite, around
the outer edge a series of huge boulders —
some of them far exceeding in size the blocks
at Stonehenge, and in the centre the grave
blasted out of the solid granite. It is covered
by ai roughly wrought slab on which is fixed
a bronze plate, with the plain inscription
"Here lies the remains of Cecil John
Rhodes "; that is all, excepting the view —
the " World's View " ; and who can describe
it with either pen or brush, or both? East,
West, North, South, as far as the eye can'
38 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
reach, and beyond, an unbroken succession
of granite peaks, irregular in size and shape,
but all joining to complete the massive
grandeur of the scene.
A little way from the grave is the monument
built at Rhodes' expense in honour of
Wilson's brave party. This is built of care-
fully worked granite blocks, many of which
are 7 ft. by 3 ft., 6 in. by 3 ft. A large
bronze panel is built into each of its four sides,
bearing life size figures of the party. It bears
the simple inscription "To the Brave." It
was only a little way from this spot that
Rhodes took his life in his hand and met the
warlike Matebele to secure peace. No one
should come to Bulawayo and leave without,
if possible, seeing the Matopos.
After descending to a suitable place near
the base of the mountain, we had an open air
lunch and a little rest, which was much needed
after our climb. Then we made a little
further survey of the neighbourhood, taking
note of many wild fig and plum trees; just to
add to the wild character of the scene, shortly
before leaving, we saw a troop of monkeys
under a big fig tree. I judge they were com-
mencing their early supper, but seeing our
To face page 31
CAPE TOWN TO BULAWAYO. 4i
approach and not realising the relationship,
they took refuge in the rocks.
The homeward journey was very delightful
and we were safely in town by five o'clock.
Victoria Falls to Broken Hill.
Tuesday, August 4.
T3 ESUMED my up-country journey this
morning at 10.15. My stay in
Bulawayo was an unbroken pleasure. My
friends spared neither time nor labour to
promote this. The Wesley an Minister was at
the station to see me off and bid me God-
speed. He also wished me to give him a
Sunday on my return journey. I have
promised, if I am able to spend a Sunday in
town, to give him at least one service.
That part of the country between Bulawayo
and the Falls, which we did during the day, is
mostly forest, with a tendency for the timber
to grow bigger as we proceed. But the top
half of the journey, including Wankies, was
done during the night. I shall hope to see
this on the return journey.
Wednesday, August 5.
Eeached the Falls at 7 o'clock in the morn-
ing. Coffee was brought round a little earlier
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKEN HILL. 43
than usual to give us time to dress and pack
before the train stopped.
The hotel is about 50 yards from the
station; it is capable of accommodating 200
guests, and is quite up to date, not, however,
in its buildings; they are one-storey iron
erections, lined with wood and matting.
There are no less than four distinct buildings ;
but they are so arranged as to form a main
centre, and two wings, with verandahs and
covered ways. The whole place is lighted
with electricity. Everything is clean. The
tables are splendidly served. The sitting and
dining rooms are liberally fitted with air-fans,
but this is winter, and these are not needed
I was fortunate in falling in with a
nice family, Wesleyans from East London
(father, mother, and two daughters) and
two gentlemen known to them; so we
made a party of seven and agreed to
go together. Mr. Brown lives at the
hotel, and keeps boats and a motor-launch.
He gave us his terms, and we engaged him to
take us up the river to-morrow. Meantime
he offered to be our guide in seeing the Falls
to-day. This greatly added to our comfort
44 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
and enabled us to make more of our time.
We started out for the day, it being arranged
for our lunch to be sent over the bridge to the
north side of the river.
We left the hotel at 9 o'clock, and pro-
ceeded to the bridge which spans the Gorge.
This bridge was made at Darlington and
brought here in sections. It has the distinc-
tion of being the highest in the world. The
work was carried out with such care that not
a life was lost in its erection, and yet it was
built without a scaffold. It was built out
from the opposite sides of the Gorge till it met
in the middle. The bridge is 650 feet long,
the centre arch has a span of 500 feet; its
foundations are in the solid rock of the sides
of the Gorge 250 feet down. The height from
water to the rails is 350 feet. It is 30 feet
wide; double rails are laid, though only one
set is needed at present. We paid a shilling
toll to cross this bridge.
We went round to the North Bank, and took
a boat (an American canoe) for Livingstone
Island; so named because Livingstone landed
on it, and crept down on his hands and knees
and looked over the Falls. He also cut his
name on a tree; the only time, he saysj he
To face imt/e t4.
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKEN HILL. 4;
ever indulged in such a piece of vanity. The
tree is still there, carefully fenced, and I
noticed a beautiful orchid growing on one of
the highest limbs. Livingstone speaks of
having seen the footprints of a hippopotamus.
In this respect we were like him, for we could
see the huge creatures had been there very
After returning from the island, we
descended into the Palm Kloof or Grove. The
road is fairly good. We descended 400 feet,
and then we reached the waters of the Gorge.
The palms, many of them, are over 50 feet
high, and they stand so thick on the ground
ytou cannot pass between them. There is
also here and there, some very fine timber in
the Kloof. When we reached the top again
we were tired and needed rest and lunch.
Both were within reach; and left us ready
for a further inspection.
The afternoon was spent in passing through
the Eain Forest; so named because it is con-
stantly being deluged by the spray of the
Falls. This rises, often, to a distance of
2,000 feet, and descends on the forest in
heavy rain. We had to protect ourselves
with umbrellas and macintoshes; and even
48 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
then we were wet. A good road has been
made through the dense fern and tree life of
the forest; and at points of advantage short
roads have been cut out to the brink of the
Gorge to give a better view of the Falls.
I do not know how to describe the Falls.
You cannot see them till you get close to
them; and then there is no point from which
you can see the whole extent of them at once.
This lessens the first impression. But after
you have taken it in sections, the awful
grandeur of it possesses you and you feel as
though you can see and hear the great
Creator in His works. Let us in imagination
go up the river about four miles to a point
where both banks of the river can be seen —
the only one for many miles — as islands
generally obstruct the view. Here the river
is two miles wide. From this point to the Falls
it gradually narrows and is broken into
channels by islands. At the Falls the river
is one and a quarter miles wide. Here the
water suddenly drops 400 feet into a gorge
which runs at a right angle to the river. The
water in the Gorge cannot be fathomed, but
it has been calculated that it can be a little,
if any, less than 1,000 feet deep. The first
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKEN HILL. 51
stretch of the Gorge, that which runs the width
of the river, is fairly straight. Then it flows
towards the East, but in such a way as to be
running alternately North and South ; and this
continues 40 miles down, when the Gorge
gradually opens out into a wide river again.
This is a very rough description, but it will
help you to understand more fully the wonder
of the whole thing. Along the edge of the
precipice the water is broken by islands and
boulders, but this is the dry season. Mr.
Brown told us that when the river is in flood
the falls are nearly continuous, and that in
the Gorge below the water rises 50 feet.
Thursday, August 6.
Shortly after breakfast we started for the
motor-launch — our party of seven, Mr.
Brown and two native boys. We went about
eight miles up the river to an island that is a
favourite place for picnics. A French
Mission Station is near — Old Livingstone, in
charge of one of the Jalla Brothers. As I
wished to call and pay my respects, Mr.
Brown rowed me over in an American canoe.
During our conversation, Mr. Jalla asked
which island we were on. I said "The
52 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Zambesi Island." Said he, "I never heard
of that island before." I explained where it
was. He laughed and said " They must
have changed the name." It had always been
called "Pig Island," from the fact that his
predecessor on the Mission had trouble with
his pigs, and put them on the island that they
should not stray, and then the Brother
shrugged his shoulders and smiled and said
he soon had no more trouble with his pigs for
the crocodiles ate them. I found from Mr.
Brown the island had recently been named
The scenery up tlie river is very lovely.
We passed many beautiful islands — one three
miles long, and very fruitful. Many cattle
were on it ; the natives having them in charge
living there. Mr. Brown took us in his little
boat up to the first rapids above the Falls.
The boys carried the boat above the rapids.
The whole party could not enjoy the
privilege, so I and the three ladies were
selected for the honour of shooting the rapids.
The boat was guided by the owner and two
natives, who are very expert. It was a most
exciting experience. What they fix up in
London is nothing to the real thing. We all
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKEN HILL. 55
got a little wet, of course; and one of the
young ladies was drenched, and after we
returned to the island she had to get away
from us and take her outer garments off and
dry them in the sun. This was soon done and
she said, laughing, she would not have missed
the experience for anything.
We commenced our return voyage about
5.30 and were reaching the end about sun-
down. We had been hoping all day we
should see a hippopotamus, and began to fear
the pleasure would be denied, when we were
lucky enough to see five sporting in the water
before coming out to feed. Mr. Brown
turned the boat in their direction to give us a
closer view. It was a fine sight to see these
huge creatures — one weighs two tons — play-
ing in the water like school boys. The whole
day was full of pleasure.
Friday, August 7.
I felt it right to devote this day to duty.
New Livingstone, the seat of Government, is
seven miles away. The train goes at ten and
returns at 4.30. I took the journey to call on
the Administrator. It would not have been
respectful to have passed into his country
56 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
without doing this. He received me
courteously, and gave me an open letter to
any of their representatives, requesting them
to give me any help I may need. Govern-
ment House is a fine place. They speak of
the North Western Government as very poor,
but I could see no token of it as far as the
Administration is concerned.
I got back at 4.30 and went and had a final
look at the Falls, as I have to leave "at 7
to-morrow morning. It was delightful to sit
on the verandah in the evening surrounded
with all the advantages of civilisation, and yet
the hippopotami feeding a hundred yards
away. Only a few evenings ago two gentle-
men went beyond the grounds of the hotel
for a walk. One of them struck a match to
light his pipe. This attracted a hippo-
potamus, and if the man had not climbed a
tree he would have been killed.
Saturday, 'August 8.
We should have left the Falls for Broken
Hill this morning at 7.15; but we were an"
hour late. This last part of my rail journey
is a little over 400 miles. There is no pro-
vision for food on the way, and we are to be
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKER HILL. 51
in the train till Monday afternoon — two and
a half days, and two nights. There are no
shops at the Falls, so there was nothing for
it but to get the hotel people to put me up a
box of provisions.
During the day I had a companion in my
compartment — a gentleman going up country
hunting; it was said at the Falls that he w^as
an English Duke, travelling under an assumed
name. At any rate, he was a very nice fellow,
and when we had lunch he gave me a lettuce
and a bottle of mineral water, which were
very acceptable. In the evening the gentle-
men in the next compartment left the train,
and I was able to take it for our better accom-
modation in sleeping.
Sunday, August 9.
The train stopped last night about 9 o'clock.
There was no station. It just stood still on
the track, where there was a water supply.
This is not done because it is dangerous to
travel in the night, but to give the men work-
ing the train an opportunity of getting rest.
The same men have to take the train through.
This is done, of course, to save the cost of a
double set of men.
58 MY TEAVELS IN NOETH WEST EHODESIA.
This morning I was up early, between five
and six, before the sun; and got out and
collected wood to boil my little kettle, and
make a cup of tea. It was delicious, like most
of our other comforts and pleasures, all the
more enjoyable because earned. I was able
to return the hunter's kindness by giving him
a cup of tea. We exchanged notes a little
during the day. He told me he was on a
hunting expedition; and when I told him
where I was going; he said, " It is very brave
of you, at your time of life." I am sure he
is not more than ten years my junior, and yet
he seemed to think nothing of the courage of
his own expedition, though attended with
greater danger than my own. I told him that
in this journey, I was simply realising a
pleasure that I had looked forward to for
years ; and felt I was making as little sacrifice
as he was in pursuing it. But he shook his
head and held to his own view of the case ; so
difficult is it for us to understand each others
pleasures. Had I been obliged to undertake
his expedition, which will cost him many
hundreds of pounds, and many deprivations
before he reaches home, that would indeed
have been a hardship ; but my own mission is
is ° §
•^ ^ "=>
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKEN HILL. 61
the crowning joy of my life. When he left
the train in the evening to join his waggon,
he lifted his hat, and grasped my hand and
bid me God-speed in my work as though
taking leave of a martyr; I reciprocated his
kind interest, and hoped he would find all
the sport he wished and reach home in safety.
This afternoon we crossed the Kafue. It
is a beautiful river, larger than the Orange at
Aliwal. The railway crosses by means of a
very fine bridge; nothing like the Falls
bridge; but still fine of its kind. Its iron
supports stand on cement blocks well bedded
in the river. It consists of 13 spans of 100 ft.
each. I was greatly surprised to find a river
so wide and full.
When we reached our destination for the
day, some distance North of the Kafue,
several people left the train; among them
a gentleman and lady who, if certain
tokens, which shall be nameless, can be
trusted, have recently been married. I
believe he had been down country to
fetch his young wife. A lot of natives
met them as carriers. His first care was
about his wife — to get her loaded up
and on the road. He called up the stretcher-
62 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
bearers. They came forward with the
hammock. When she saw it, I heard her ask
her husband, " Have I to go in that thing? "
When her husband, for answer, assured her it
would be " all right," she seemed to
experience a great revulsion of feeling, and
I could see tears coming in her eyes, as she
said : " I can never go in that thing." Just
then, in making his arrangements, her
husband had to go a little distance from her,
and I moved near the poor soul and said to
her: '* Don't be frightened; you must not
think of walking. This is the only mode of
travelling up here. It is perfectly safe. I
have 200 miles to do in that way." She tried
to smile, and thanked me, and the next I saw
was that she was loaded up, and being borne
away at a trot.
We stopped for the night this evening at
6 o'clock. I quickly got my evening meal,
and did two hours' writing. It is very
difficult in this part of the journey to write
when the train is in motion, it rocks so much.
Monday, August 10.
Up early again this morning, but had not
time to boil my kettle outside, as the train
VICTORIA FALLS TO BROKEN HILL. 65
started at 6 o'clock. I boiled it, therefore,
with the spirit stove, and made a good break-
I forgot to mention on Saturday morning
that I met some returning Missionaries at
Livingstone, on their way down from 600
miles north of Broken Hill ; that is to say, they
had already come 1,000 miles on their way
home, and they had 7,600 still to go to reach
Southampton — a Missionary and his wife and
two children, and a lady worker. They are
Brethren. They told me their mission is near
the sources of the Zambesi, that it is at first
a tiny stream bubbling out of the ground ; that
their little four year old girl had stood
across it, with a foot on either bank, and yet
I had just seen it where it is two miles wide.
And the Kefue, the beautiful river I have just
described, is one of its tributaries. The
wonders of this country are constantly
The general character of the country all the
way up from the Falls is forest, with here and
there a little open country ; but the forest, that
is, most of it, is not so dense but what grass
can grow. There is much game, but it is not
often seen from the train. I saw a buck one
66 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
morning, and some others saw a wild pig ; but
the noise of the train causes them to move out
We reached Broken Hill at 2 this afternoon.
The 'arrival of the train is a great event, for it
only happens once a week. A great crowd
was at the station. Among them I soon found
Mr. and Mrs. Kerswell, who received me with
great kindness, and evident pleasure. Mrs.
Kerswell had not been feeling very well, and
when it was decided to fetch me with the
waggon, it was arranged for Mrs. Kerswell
to come, as a means of improving her health,
and she is already much better. Their camp
is pitched about a mile from the station, just
outside the township. They have been here
since Saturday to give the oxen a good rest
and attend to business. This is the base for
the Mission, though 120 miles away, and they,
I was glad to find, are combining business
with pleasure in thus fetching me.
My 2,000 miles rail journey is now finished.
Broken Hill to Nambala.
T WISH you could look around, this
■^ my first camp. You would see the
waggon as larder and store ; 'a little
tent for myself, with a nice stretcher or
camp bed in it; and a larger one for Mr.
and Mrs. Kerswell, which is also the living
room during the day. Then we have camp
tables and chairs. I am now sitting in the
door of my tent at one of these tables, writing
Our first business is to sit and have a good
talk; nothing can be done till this is over —
the old friends, the old and new countries,
the journey by sea and land, the Mission, etc.,
etc. Then came the evening meal, and it was
a surprise to me. Mr. Kerswell is a good
shot it turns out, and our table was the richer.
So after the make-shift of the train, I made a
royal meal ; and after evening worship, I went
to my new quarters prepared to enjoy the
night in a tent bed.
68 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
I may say we used the new native hymn
book, and sang two hymns — one written by
Eobert Moalosi, native teacher, and 6ne by
I have now had the opportunity of testing
our camp by a night experience. And I must
say it stands the test well. I had a splendid
night's rest. It was a great treat to be able
to take off all my day clothing, and at once
get into my night suit and my bed. After a
good meal I was able to look round, and still
further survey the situation.
Broken Hill is only a small township, and
only the shadow of its former self. While it
was the head of the railway construction, and
the mines were in full swing, there were many
people and much doing. But now the rail-
way is finished to here there is a pause, a
further section not being organised as yet.
The mines are all closed, waiting, they say,
for more complete machinery ; but I fear their
money is gone, and no return has been
received yet. Whatever the cause the
disastrous fact is indisputable — no work is to
be had, and many are waiting for it; and the
white people out here are almost as bad as the
blacks in this respect. They spend their
WASHING DAY ON OUR JOlltNEY. To face page 68.
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 71
money as fast as they can get it. Drink !
Drink ! ! That is the trouble The late Post-
master here, only a fortnight -since, blew his
brains out in the office — a bright clever young
fellow, a colonial, educated for the Dutch
Church, an M.A., a good servant of the
Government, but a drunkard. He was under
notice for this cause alone ; and although they
were giving him a lower appointment down
country, the disgrace was too much for him
so he took his life. His accounts and moneys
were found in perfect order.
I got a letter from the Post Office during
the evening, the first that had reached me
since leaving home. I also had business at
the store, laying in tinned food for the
journey. All this had to be done at once, as
we were to leave at four in the afternoon for
our first "trek."
During the incoming journey Mr. Kerswell
had killed 7 head of game — 6 buck and a wild
pig — enough to supply their own needs, and
use for barter to get other things at the native
villages. But as one cannot always depend
on so good a supply, they brought a dozen
cock:erels with them in case of need. These
are let loose during the day; but the waggon
72 MY TEAVELS IN NOETH WEST EHODESIA.
is their home, and they will not stray. At
sun-down they return to their box for, the
night. But as we were striking tents at four
they had to be caught, and they did not wish
it, so there was some fun. All hands, includ-
ing the dogs, assisted. At four all was ready.
The great two-handed whip cracked like a
gun, and we commenced our waggon journey
of 120 miles, through the forest.
Before leaving Broken Hill I may mention
there are only three European ladies here —
two who are wives and mothers, and one who
is the Hospital nurse — perhaps the most
courted lady in the country. The South
African Lakes Co., is the leading store in the
place. It is in the hands of Scotsmen. It
does not matter how far you travel, you find
" Sandy " in evidence, and usually gather-
ing in the " bawbees " with great facility.
The Scotch make the best of Colonists.
Very scant provision is made for the
religious needs of the people of Broken Hill.
A Church clergyman comes up very occasion-
ally from Bulawayo — about three or four
times a year ; and the sad thing about it is that
this seems to be quite enough for them. The
Sabbath is spent chiefly in hunting and other
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 73
pastimes. Nothing is done for the natives.
Surely the fields are white to the harvest, and
Wednesday, August 12.
I have had my first night in the forest. We
" trekked " last evening about five hours.
Our first business was to get our evening
meal, as we had had nothing but a cup of tea
and slice of cake since dinner. It is no
trouble to make a big fire, as the forest is
everywhere full of dead wood. The kettle
soon boils. We have a cup of cocoa and fried
buck, and, of course, bread — the latter made
on the journey. While we are making and
enjoying this meal (for we get very hungry),
the boys are putting up the tents, by which
time their own supper is cooked. We turn
in about ten; and we sleep the sleep of the
tired. The oxen remain tied to the trek-
chain; and they lie down almost as soon as
they stop. Safety for man and beast is
secured by two big fires — one near the oxen,
and one near the tents. The boys roll them-
selves up in their blankets, and sleep round
these fires; the smell of which is enough to
keep off the wild beasts,
7* MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
At three in the morning the signal is given
to resume the "trek." All hands are at
work to strike tents and pack up. We are
able to get a little sleep in the waggon dur-
ing this " trek." It will last to about 9.0,
when we out-span for the day, and the oxen
are put to graze. The tents are again
pitched, and for the day rest, we try to have
them under a tree, as the sun gets very hot.
We prepare a shady kitchen, and by 10
o'clock we have a good breakfast served.
We always have porridge; the meat varies
according to what the gun supplies. After
breakfast each does according to his
bent — read, write, sleep, or sometimes
take a sun-shade and have a walk.
You are fairly safe in the forest during
the day; it is at night the wild beasts
come forth. We get a good dinner about
two, of soup, vegetables, meat, and some-
times fruit. Then a short rest, and at 4
another " trek."
I have given a full description of this first
day, because most of the other days v/ill be
like it. The " treks " vary a little in length
because of the water supply. The day rest
always has to be where there is water for the
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 75
oxen, so sometimes we travel a little longer
or shorter than we otherwise would do. Of
course, these journeys are timed for the dry
season. It is a little rough sometimes in the
waggon because of the roads, as wdien the
wheels strike the stump of a tree. But with
a few drawbacks, we have all the comforts of
home in an out-door movable life. My
health, so far, is excellent; and it is doing
my friends much good.
Another delightful and restful night in the
forest. The sun-sets and the sun-rises are
beyond description. The hunting is done at
the beginning of the evening " trek," and at
the end of the morning's; as the game feed at
those times, and hide themselves during the
heat of the day. Our larder was get-
ting short, and Mr. Kerswell went out
with his rifle to get a buck. After
tramping about seven miles, and seeing
nothing, we had to make our evening meal of
tinned stuff. This was not appreciated after
feasting on venison and partridge.
As our need was great, I also went out
next morning with the shot gun, hoping to
get some bush doves, or guinea-fowls. I
did get a chance at some doves ; but not hav-
76 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
ing a dog, I lost my game in the long grass.
I saw no guinea-fowls, but I did shoot two
big birds. But when I got back to the waggon
I was vexed to find they would not do for
our breakfast. The natives, however, feasted
on them, so the labour was not all lost.
Friday, August 14.
Mr. Kerswell started out this morning early
in search of game. He has a boy with
wonderful sight. We call him the hunter.
He can see the game in the long grass where
a European can see nothing. They had not
been gone ten minutes before we heard the
gun. This was followed by a loud whistle,
and we knew he had killed. We sent out
two natives, and they brought in a fine doe,
as much as the two could carry. By eight
o'clock they had also secured a fine buck.
Now it transpired that we were short of
meal for the boys. We, therefore, sent out
to the village, not far away, to say if they
would bring a present of meal, we would
give a present of meat. This brought us our
first market on the outward journey. Some
brought meal, some maize, some fowls. The
buying, or rather, exchange, is conducted by
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 77
the cook, who has charge of supphes. The
natives all sit round in a circle^ with their
goods in front of them. The cook goes
round and selects what he is willing to accept.
If there is anything not up to the standard
required (and they are not over particular
:what they bring), it is rejected. He is dis-
posed to drive a hard bargain, and his master
has sometimes, for his own credit, to ask
him to be a little more liberal. When the
transaction is over they salute by giving a
clap, and retire. We were now set up for a
day or two, and did no hunting in the even-
ing; for we do not hunt for the love of it,
but when we need meat.
By Saturday we had the dust and grime of
our forest journey on us; and during the
morning we all had a lovely bathe — I a warm
one, and it proved a great refreshment.
The cook reported that our meal would
not hold out till Monday, and we had but
little meat to buy with. Then there was the
difficulty of Sunday, and although the natives
hereabouts do not know one day from
another, we wished to avoid buying on Sun-
day. So we decided to get through our first
*' trek" as early as possible; and to be so
78 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
far in touch with civiHzation as to do our
shopping late Saturday night. We therefore
started as near four in the afternoon as pos-
sible. Mr. Kerswell and his boy went for-
ward with the rifle. It is our habit to walk
three or four miles every evening, when the
heat of the sun has abated a little. It relieves
the load, and gives us exercise. Now we
had not been walking more than half-an-hour
before we could see Mr. Kerswell and his boy
had game in view. Then a little later we
heard the gun and the whistle, and we knew
they were successful. Then we had a pretty
sight. Five beautiful antelopes ran along the
brow of the hill away from our friends. And
when they were iiot more than 250 yards from
them, they stood and looked back — a sign to
us that one of their number was left behind.
This proved to be the case. Mr. Kerswell
had shot a fine young buck, not quite full
grown, judging from its horns, but quite as
big as a two-year old ox at home. The
waggon had to wait on the road while the boys
dressed and cut up the meat. Mr. Kerswell
could easily have had another shot; but, as I
have said before, he only shoots to supply our
needs; and we now had enough meat to last
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 79
several days for use, barter, and presents on
the road. We are constantly meeting people,
Government servants, and others, who are
glad to get a piece of meat. One of the boys
went on to the village where we were to out-
gpan, and gave them notice of our coming,
and that we had meat, and wanted meal, eggs,
sweet-potatoes etc. When we reached the
place many were waiting for us with their
goods. Quietly teUing the cook to be liberal
in his prices our shopping commenced;
orthodox at least in this, that it w'as now ten
o'clock. Our meal bags were well filled, and
we went to bed with our fears removed.
Sunday, August 16.
We had an earlier " trek " than usual, and
resumed our journey later in the afternoon,
so as to have the day quiet. We were near a
village, and sent to invite the people to come
to the camp for service. We were sorry to
find a trader was at a village a few miles off,
and the people had gone there for trade. All
days are alike to them as yet, and I am sorry
to say the traders, when they are out for
trade, that is, visiting the villages, as in this
case, make no difference.
80 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
We had a service with our own people :
sang several hymns from the new hymn-book,
had the ten Commandments, and prayer.
Mr. Kerswell cannot preach yet in the
language, but thanks to Mr. Smith's book,
and the help of the native assistants, he can
converse with some ease, and read fluently.
I was surprised to find what good head-way
he has made in the time.
We commenced our ' ' trek ' ' early to
make up a little for the short run of yester-
day. We did not trouble to look after game,
as we were well supplied with meat, and also
food for the boys.
I noticed the forest varies a good bit,
especially in the size of its timber. For a
few miles it will be small, but high, not much
bigger than scaffold poles, but nearly all
hard wood, nothing in the nature of deal.
Then we come to a part that will look very
much like an old-fashioned orchard at home,
and you would think the country was rich in
fruit trees, only there is but little fruit.
Then, again, there is a stretch of fine timber ;
but, as a rule, not so near together but that
grass can grow for the game. This is winter,
and there has been no rain since last March;
WOMEN GRINDING CORN AT KAAVANGAS.
CROSSING CHIBILA AT MUMBWA. To face pays SO.
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 83
and yet many of the trees are as green as we
should expect to see them in spring, and
there are tokens of new fresh life everywhere ;
in bushes, shrub, flowers, and grasses; and
all the game I have seen have been sleek and
The country so far has been flat, but Mr.
Kerswell tells me it will be hilly and even
mountainous further on.
The days are very hot. We usually find
shade for our tents under the trees; but to-
day this was not easy. I began to feel very
hot as I sat in the tent writing. Presently 1
noticed an unusual movement outside; and
in a little while a delightful shade fell on the
tent. I looked out and found the boys had
cut leafy boughs of trees and planted them
round the tent. So if they could not place
the tent under a tree, these children of the
forest knew how to bring the tree to the tent.
It was smart, and mine was the comfort.
To-day we were able to see the Nambala
mountains. It is a fine range about three
miles from our Mission station. But it is
a long way off yet. We shall not get there
till Friday evening. We can see a great dis-
tance in this climate.
84 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Wednesday, August 18.
We reached camp rather early this morn-
ing; and, as on Friday morning we were to
call at the Magistrate's Camp at Mumba,
Mr. Kerswell was anxious to get a buck to
make a present of meat. They often send
such a present to the Missionary, and he,
naturally, likes to return the compliment
when he has the chance. As it was a cool
morning, and the country looked likely, I
thought I would have a turn round with the
shot gun. But I was less lucky than the time
before when I went out ; for now I shot some-
thing which not even the natives would eat.
I thought it was a veiy fine pigeon ; but when
I picked it up I became doubtful. Its beak
and claws were the wrong shape, and sure
enough it was a kind of pigeon-hawk — it had
just the colour and markings of the wood-
pigeon. I also came upon a pair of very
small buck. Indeed, I saw them at a distance
before I fired at the hawk ; but I had no idea
I could get near enough to them with a shot
gun. But presently I came upon them again,
in a quiet grassy spot, and only 60 yards
away. My charge, "as the event proved, was
really too light, but I let go and hit one. It
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 85
staggered, but did not fall, and reached some
reeds before I could catch it, where I could
not stalk it without a dog. I was sorry to
think the hyenas would get it. Mr. Kerswell
returned without having fired a shot.
We are now in a hilly region. Indeed, it
began yesterday. The views we get are very
beautiful ; and there are many signs that game
is very plentiful. But the game is wild, the
result of being so near the Magistrate's Camp,
I judge; for his people, like the Missionaries,
have to use the gun to get meat.
The lions in this neighbourhood have been
rather threatening of late. Mr. and Mrs.
Kerswell saw one when they were coming into
Broken Hill. It was during their night
" trek." He jumped out of the grass at the
dog; and followed them along the road. He
did not come very near the waggon, but they
could see his eyes in the darkness shining like
small fires. They had a good bit of meat in the
waggon, and some of it was rather '* high."
This, no doubt, was the attraction. Night
.after night, we had the hyenas about our
camp. But then we are safe from their fear
of the fires. One night, just after getting
into bed, I heard a confusion among the boys
86 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
outside, and then Mr. Kerswell's voice. I
called out to know what was up, and they had
seen a lion creeping through the grass, not
towards, but away from the waggon. The
fires had frightened it.
Friday, August 20.
After breakfast and a good wash to rid our-
selves of some of the grime of the forest, we
called at the Camp; but were sorry to find
only one European, the Postmaster, in
charge. The Magistrate, and Captain of
Police, with their staff, were away in the
District, which is a large one, attending to
outside duties. I am glad to find all the
authorities are very friendly to our work,
and ready to do all they can to strengthen
the hands of the missionaries. Mr. Hindes,
the Postmaster, received us with great kind-
ness, and showed us round both the Civil and
Police Camps. The Magistrate's Camp con-
sists of a series of large round huts with high
roofs. The roofs extend over the walls about
five feet, and are supported with posts from
the ground. This acts pretty much as an
open air room, and helps to keep the hut
cool. The Post Office, the Court House, as
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 87
well as the dwellings of the staff, are all huts
of this kind. The walls of the huts are
formed by fixing posts in the ground at short
intervals. The spaces between are filled in
with reeds; and then the whole is carefully
plastered inside and out. The walls inside
are plastered to a smooth face and colour-
washed. The ceilings are of canvas or very
cheap calico. We had dinner in one of these
huts. It was cool and pleasant. The huts
stand off at a good distance from each other;
and plantains, orange, lemon, and other trees
are planted around; and away in the back-
ground were smaller huts for offices, and for
the native attendants. The whole was beauti-
fully clean and orderly.
After this inspection we went round the
Police Camp. The Captain is an amateur
builder, and in consequence his camp is more
ambitious. There are two square houses;
one of them was built by the previous Captain.
This is now being renovated and improved in
other ways ; and the magistrate is to occupy it
when he returns from his present journey.
The Captain has just built himself a better
house. Its walls are of well-burnt bricks;
and it has a verandah on three sides. The
88 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
rooms are high. All the carpentry is home
made, of local timber; and the workmanship
is really good. The other houses are round
huts. There are 70 native poHce. There is
a fort, and prison, and the usual offices. The
Camp is ten miles from Nambala.
They have a number of pets about the
Camps — such as a wart-hog, bush pigs, etc.
One of the latter was carried away not long
since by a lion.
About two o'clock we left for the last stage
of our journey; and it proved a new experi-
ence. It was by means of the Mashila; that
is the thing I saw the lady carried away in
along the line. It is really a strong can-
vas hammock suspended on a pole, which
projects at each end sufficiently to rest on a
native's shoulder. Ten boys are a proper
number for a Mashila; and they take turns;
and they are very expert in changing. They
can do it without stopping, and, indeed, with-
out checking the speed. It is ten miles from
Mumba to Nambala ; but they did it in a little
over two hours. They have a Mashila song
which they sing often on the journey, without
fail when they are passing a village. I have
not been able to get the full meaning of it,
BROKEN HILL TO NAMBALA. 89
but it Bounds like a musical dialogue and
responses; and, like the natives in the south,
the men have fine voices, and their harmony
is perfect. I feared the motion of the
Mashila would be unpleasant; but this is 3,
mistake. It was very agreeable, and I felt
no ill effects.
Work at Nambala.
Saturday, August 21.
1\ /T Y first night and day at Nambala have
been full of interest. I had not
slept under a roof for fourteen nights, and
it was very grateful to be in a walled room
The new Mission House, as compared with
the magistrate's quarters, even the im-
proved ones he is to occupy when he returns
from his present journey, is, indeed, a
palace; and there is nothing at mine or camp,
in all North West Rhodesia to compare with
it, excepting the Governor's residence at
New Livingstone, and that is not much in
advance of it. The rooms are large and lofty
and well-furnished; the walls are of well-
burnt bricks ; two of the rooms have bay win-
dows with French doors; and there is a
spacious verandah on three and a half sides
of the house. The roof is high and thatched
in the most approved way. The teacherg
live in huts similar to those at the Mumba
WORK AT NAMBALA. 91
Camp; and those who are working, or are
being trained on the Mission, occupy huts of
the same general character, but smaller.
The church has been opened only about 6
months. For two years and a half the ser-
vices were held under a big tree near the
carpenter's shop. The church was built by
Eobert, the Teaching Evangelist, who got his
training at Aliwal. The walls are formed in
the same way as the huts are built. (See my
description in Chapter IV.) The roof is high
and well thatched, and open to the ridge.
There are window openings, but not glazed; a
porch, but no door; there is a pretty rostrum,
and the floor is well supplied with plain seats
made of native mahogany, and it looks very
nice. The church will seat from 250 to 300.
Mr. Kerswell hopes to build a much more
substantial church before long. Then a
partition will be placed in the present one,
and one end will be used for a workshop, and
the other for a school room.
This morning Mr. Kerswell had to give a
good deal of attention to medical work. This
had got a little behind during his absence.
I was glad to find the magistrate and his staff
are kind to the natives in this way. This is
92 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
not included in their duties, but they do it
from interest. After breakfast I went round
the Mission. We visited the brick-fields, and
saw about 20 boys making bricks; some
digging clay, others mixing it, some bringing
water, others working at the moulds and
others placing the newly made bricks on the
floor to dry. It was a busy scene. We also
visited the garden and helped to pick green
peas for to-morrow's dinner. And this is
winter, remember. The garden is near the
river, and can therefore be freely watered.
I think, when the Mission is a little more
developed they will be able to grow most of
what they need.
Just before sun-down the bell was rung for
worship. All on the Mission are expected to
attend. To me it was an impressive service.
The church was half filled. A hymn was
sung, and a prayer offered, with the Lord's
prayer and benediction; and then a retiring
hymn. The full dress of the Mission boys is
a white shirt. Those who are hired on the
Mission simply wear a loin cloth. And this,
be it remembered, is a great advance on
nothing, which is the dress of many in the
WORK AT NAMBALA. 95
Sunday, August 22.
This will be my only Sunday at Nambala.
As far as the Mission is concerned, the
Sabbath is well observed. All unnecessary
labour is set aside. There is a quiet restful
air about the place, and all are in their
best clothes, and on their best behaviour.
At 10.30 church begins. One of the teachers
had gone round to the nearest villages yester-
day to tell the people that to-morrow would
be the Sabbath, and invite them to church.
And he was careful to tell them that Maruti
Makanda (the old or chief of the
missionaries) would speak to them. They
began to approach the Mission rather early
for 10.30, for they only have the sun
to guide them as to time. The church
was quite filled. Two chiefs, and a
number of head-men, were in the congrega-
tion. Mr. Kerswell read the hymns, the Com-
mandments, and a portion of Scripture; Mr.
Diphooko offered prayer, and Robert Moalosi
interpreted for me. So we all had a hand in
the service. Order and reverence prevailed
throughout; the attention to the address was
very marked; and the general demeanour of
the people left nothing to be desired. It is
96 MY TEAVELS IN NOETH WEST EHODESIA.
evident our staff here are gaining the con-
fidence and respect of the people ; and in due
time they must reap if they faint not.
In the afternoon I held an English service
for the Mission staff. The Postmaster came
down from the Camp and joined us; and said
with some feeling, as we returned to the
house : ' ' That is the first service I have
attended for two years." I noticed in the
service he seemed greatly interested. May
it be made a blessing to him.
We spent a quiet evening together. I felt
very tired. The climate is hard to work in;
and by nine o'clock I was glad to retire.
Monday was a busy day. Before breakfast
I was at the surgery to see the medical cases
treated. There were eight in all — some of
them very bad, one poor boy about half
grown, with great sores on his legs. He has
been hke this for years, and no doubt but for
the help he is getting at the Mission it would
have claimed him as its victim. He is now in
a fair way of being cured. In another case a
great toe had become so rotten as to
expose the bone. Here the decay had been
arrested, and new flesh is growing. They
seem very liable to sores. Their flesh readily
WORK AT NAMBALA. 97
decomposes. In the early stages of the work
in this country medicine must play an im-
portant part ; and I would urge that every man
sent here should have at least one year's
medical training, more if possible, but never
We had many callers to-day — people who
came to pay their respects to the visitor.
Their salutation is peculiar. They sit on the
ground and clap their hands. Among others,
two chiefs and a head-man came. I made
them a present of a small looking-glass. It
was painful to see their delight, so completely
are they little children in knowledge and
experience. They looked at themselves in
the glass, touching their hair and eyes, and
their little beards, to satisfy themselves that
they were real ; and then they looked at each
other, and made many exclamations of won-
der, and fell to clapping in thanks for the gift.
They are tall finely-made people, and behind
the child-like mind I feel sure there are fine
powers waiting to be developed. Our Mission
here is full of opportunity and promises high
To-day I have made a thorough inspection
of the whole station. There are two saw pits,
98 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
a carpenter's shop, blacksmith's forge, the
church before described, and about 25 huts.
There are also two granaries for storing corn.
This consists of maize and Kaffir corn. It is
bought from the natives at low cost — about
four shillings a bag.
All kinds of work have to be done on the
Mission. To-day the waggon driver was
breaking in oxen. This is not an easy matter.
A pair of them are yoked in behind a pair
of broken oxen. They are first walked about
without anything to draw, to get them used
to the yoke. And then later they are attached
to a log which they have to draw. But from
the first they will often lie down and refuse
to move. The boys will get hold of them,
and lift them up, and even then they will
refuse to use their legs, and fall down again
as though dead. The whip is brought into
play, but it is no good. As a last resort one
of the boys will get the end of its tail between
his teeth, and give it a nip. This acts like
magic. The seeming dead thing comes very
much to life, and springs up and rushes for-
ward to some purpose.
Mr. Kerswell is having a good many thorn
trees cut down. They are no good for tim-
WORK AT NAMBALA. 99
ber, but useful to burn the bricks ; and it gives
the grass a chance to grow. He wanted a
rope to assist in this. It would have cost
£5 out here. He has had one made from
the bark of a certain tree. It has only cost
5s. and it answers well. It is refreshing to
find a Missionary so resourceful, and able to
save the church's money by utilising what
he finds on the ground.
Wednesday, August 25.
The conduct of some of the English traders
came under my notice this morning. I find
it is much the same as in the early days down
country. They meanly take advantage of the
ignorance of the people as to the true
value of their corn and cattle ; as also the value
of money. For example, one was buying an
ox. He said to the owner : " That is a fine
ox, it is worth two pounds; but as I want it
very badly I will give you three pounds."
The man was delighted, and received, as he
thought, three pounds. But it was three
bright brass buttons. Another, passed a
bright penny telling the people it was a big
sovereign. He got a pound's worth for it.
And when Robert our teacher explained to
100 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
the man it was not equal to a "tickey," a
threepenny piece, you can judge of the man's
surprise. He had never seen a penny before.
There is no copper in circulation up here. I
am glad to know the Magistrate does not spare
these men when they come before him; and
for this reason the Europeans say of him :
" He is a good enough man, but a d — sight
too friendly to the ' niggers.' "
A case was brought to the Mission to-day
which throws a sad light on the social, and,
indeed, moral condition of the people. A
woman had been married to a man in another
village some distance from her own. Things
went fairly well for a time, until one of her
brothers-in-law began to thrash her. While
she was prepared to recognise the husband's
right to do this, she drew the line at brothers-
in-law. So she left her husband to return to
her own people. On the road she met a man,
a perfect stranger to her. He asked her
where she was going. She told him.
** No;" he said, ''that is not true, you are
wandering, you are lost, and I have found
you. You are my slave," And he took her
to a village, and sold her and her baby for
corn. The woman watched her opportunity,
BRICK YARD AT NAMBALA.
MEDICAL WORK AT NAMBALA.
To face page 100.
WORK AT NAMBALA. 103
and ran away, and reached home; but was
obliged to leave her baby behind. Now they
want to get the baby. Her brother has taken
up the case for her, and brought her to the
Mission for help. Before there were Magis-
trates in the country the Missionaries them-
selves had to settle such cases, and the people
still come to them for advice, as in this case.
Mr. Kerswell advised them to take their case
to court, and gave them a letter in which he
set forth the strong points. The woman will
get her child in the end, and the man who did
it will be punished if the Police can trace him.
The Government sets its face against all
kinds of slavery. Only it so happens that this
village is in another district, and these poor
people will have to travel 20 miles each way
to get justice. But apart from the Missionary
and the Government they would have no
redress. To them it is a great gain on what
they before had.
There were 18 cases at the surgery to-day.
In one case an operation. The more I see of
this work the more I am convinced of its
utility. Henceforth I shall be even a much
stronger advocate of the medical training for
our men who come to the Zambesi; and this
104 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WE3T RHODESIA.
strongly in preference to a medical mission-
ary. The stations are so far apart, and
travelling is so difficult and slow, that one
man would be of little use. The work presses
and is constant on each Mission. Besides, a
year's good training, such as they get at
Livingstone College, is a fine equipment for
practice out here; and gives the Missionary a
medical status relatively equal to a fully
trained doctor at home.
Another interesting medical case. One of
the boys who works on tlie Mission went
to his village 13 miles away in connec-
tion with the death of one of his people.
A woman in the village had been
suffering a long time from three sores
on her foot — one of them a half inch deep.
He told her of the great medicine man at the
Mission. He gave medicine to all who came.
She started off on foot, with her two year old
child at her back, and walked the 13 miles.
She arrived this morning in a pitiful condition,
and received her first aid; Mr. Kerswell is
confident he will be able to heal her. She
was in a very dirty condition beyond what the
journey implied. He told her she would have
to wash, and keep herself clean, or he could
WORK AT NAMBALA. 105
not help her. She pleaded she had lost a
child, and she could not wash while she was
I had a long talk with Diphooko to-day
about the trouble he had on the road when he
went to bring his wife and family up to Nam-
bala. It happened two and a half days from
here. He was walking on in front of his boys,
who stayed to eat some wild fruit on the way.
He came to a village, and enquired of some
women sitting outside their huts the way to
the water. They told him in a civil way. He
passed on, and next met a native man per-
fectly naked. He saluted him, and asked :
' ' How is this that you are not dressed ? ' *
The man did not answer him, and he saw by
this that he was angry. He therefore passed
on without saying more. In a minute or so
he looked back, but cannot tell why unless
it was God inclined him to do it for his own
defence; for he saw the man creeping after
him, and aiming a blow at his head with a
big stick. He was able to ward off the blow.
Then he came at him with his spear. Now
he found other men were closing in upon him
with spears, and he received many stabs in
his hands and arms while warding them off.
106 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
He thinks they would have killed him, and
that their motive was robbery, but just before
he was quite exhausted, two other natives
ran up and stopped them, saying to the man
who led the attack, in their own language,
of course, which was known to Diphooko;
" What! you up to your old game, are you?
Just out of jail, and you want the life of this
stranger to bring trouble on us all." With
this they stopped, and his life was saved.
These two men insisted on going to the
Camp, that innocent people should not be
blamed. Diphooko was there under the
doctor and could not proceed with his journey
for a fortnight. The man got six months.
Diphooko seems a very nice fellow. He is
a mason and bricklayer; and also makes the
bricks. Mr. Smith got him from Kimberley.
He was a Wesleyan local preacher; and is
.always ready to help in the evangelistic work
of the Mission. Mr. Chapman has been most
fortunate in having two such men to help him
do the heaviest work in founding the Mission.
This brother has had another trouble, as
the natives call it. It happened here on the
Mission. His kitchen caught fire one day,
when his wife was ill in bed, and he was at
BUILDING AT NAMBALA.
THE noY "WITH sore legs at nambala.
To face page ine.
WORK AT NAMBALA. 109
work on the new house. And befoi:e he could
get there the place was completely burnt out.
The huts consist chiefly of reeds and grass;
so a fire is only a question of a few minutes.
He was left very bare after the fire, but is get-
ting a few things together again now. But
notwithstanding his " troubles," I was greatly
pleased with the view he took of them, and
also with his great interest in the work of the
Mr. Kerswell speaks in the highest terms of
the work and devotion of these men ; and Says
he would be helpless without them. And I am
glad to notice he treats them as brethren and
co-workers; and he is finding his reward in
the yeoman service they are rendering. I
ought to say Diphooko takes the services
every third Sunday, and assists Eobert in lead-
ing the class Sunday afternoons.
The boys who work with Diphooko in the
brick yard are mostly hired, and, of course,
are all heathen. But even as hired servants
they are in the way of being evangeHsed, for
they live on the Mission for the time being,
and attend daily prayers, and Sunday services.
One of them came to day to ask permission to
fetch his wife. As the result of a httle
110 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
enquiry it was found that he had not lived
with his wife yet. She was retained in the
village of her people, till he was able to pay
the dowiy. How much was it? A full grown
cow. He was now ready, and wanted to go
and fetch his wife from her village to his own
village. It would take him three days. Per-
mission was given; and the next we saw of
him he was dressed out in a number of fine
things, including a red cap, all of which he
had borrowed, and wa§ off like a chieftain to
fetch his wife. He will not be so amply
clothed again, it is to be feared, for many
This young man four days later returned
a sadder, if not a wiser man ; for he found the
girl married to another, the reason assigned
being that he had been too long in coming.
But worse than this, his fine " togs " aroused
their envy, and they followed him into the
forest with their spears with the intention of
robbery with violence, which is likely would
have meant death. But fear lent swiftness to
his heels, and he made good his escape. We
enquired with some anxiety as to his darkened
prospects, but were soon relieved by being
told of his new plans for comfort. The
WORK AT NAMBALA. Ill
prudent man had called at his own village on
his way back, and referred the case to his
own people. They had their eye on another,
girl whom he hoped to get in a few days. As
is usual with them, he was wonderfully
philosophical over the whole business.
We spent the afternoon in preparing for our
journey to Nanzela. Mr. Kerswell is going
with me, which will enable me to hold a con-
ference with them on the work. It is a great
thing to prepare for a journey here. You
can depend on nothing on the road but meat
and meal; and, of course, the meat supply
depends on your success in hunting. It is
conceivable this may be very uncertain.
Many things may contribute to this. If,
for example, a party has passed just before
you, the game will be wild and hard to get;
whereas, if they have not been disturbed for
some time you can approach them much
Name ALA to the Kafue.
A BOUT eleven in the morning, August 27,
we said good-bye to Nambala, and com-
menced our south-west journey towards
Nanzela — Mr. Kerswell on his bike, and Mrs.
Kerswell and I each in a mashila. We had a
15 mile journey to do, to reach the waggon,
which had been travelling during the previous
I need say nothing of this part of my
journey, beyond this, we rested twice on the
road for about 15 minutes, and got there
about four o'clock. And after having a brief
meal, we commenced our evening " trek,"
and went on to a late hour .
About eight miles out of Nambala we came
to the largest and best village I have seen in
North West Rhodesia. It is called Mono's;
that being the name of the chief. The huts
are large and well-built, and they have exten-
sive gardens. They have no cattle, as this is
in the fly belt, but they can keep goats and
NAMBALA TO THE KAEUE. 113
fowls. I have noticed that where the people
can keep cattle they do not look much after
gardens, and vice versa. About four miles
further on we came to another large village —
Kakoa's. This chief is the father of Mono ;
and both father and son have a number of
head-men under them. Here they are out of
the fly belt, and have many cattle.
I have suggested to Mr. Kerswell that now
the school is well in hand, it would be a good
thing to give Mono's an occasional Sunday
service. Three or four school boys could go
out to assist in the singing; and, perhaps, it
could be extended also to Kakoa's. As there
are three of them, a monthly service would not
come very often for each, and there would
yet be at least two at home each Sabbath for
the services. I have also suggested to Mr.
Kerswell that an occasional service at Mumba
Camp say once a quarter would be a good
thing, without being a great tax. At present
they get no service whatever, and although
there are only five Englishmen, their needs
should not be forgotten. Besides, they
are all friendly to the Mission and its work
and ready to do what they can to help. There
are also about 70 native police and messengers
114 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
in Camp who could be given a brief service
during the same visit.
Saturday, August 28.
This morning at sun-rise I went out for a
little shooting. I came upon a small herd of
reet-buck. They are about the size of a year
old calf, only longer in the legs, and they can
run, I hit one at a very long range, that is,
long for me — about 200 yards, but it got
away into the long grass, and having no dog,
we were unable to stalk it. I had a shot-gun
with me, as well as a rifle; and on my way
back to the waggon I shot two eagles and a
wood-pigeon. The boys have skinned the
former for me, and the latter will figure in to-
morrow's dinner. By this time we were very
short of meat, as we only brought a little of
a buck Robert had shot to give us a start.
We had tinned meat with us, as a last resource,
but it seems a shame to be using this, a small
tin of which costs 2s. 6d., while the plains and
forests are full of game. When we com-
menced our evening " trek," therefore, about
five, Mr. Kerswell and I both took our rifles;
and just before sun-set, in about an hour,
we came on a small herd of reet-buck, four
LUSE AND HER HUSBAND.
Lvise was a slave rescued from Portuguese
Raiders and handed to the Missionary
by a Government Official during Mr.
Baldwin's time at X'Kala.
To face page 114.
NAMBALA TO THE KAFUE. 117
or five. Mr. Kerswell shot and missed, when
the leader of the herd stood out before me at
150 yards distant, broad side on. I let go
and it fell like a log. But judge my humilia-
tion when I found that Mr. Kerswell had shot
at the same moment. I was a little in front,
and the two shots so entirely coincided that
I heard but one. Mr. Kerswell in his
generosity wanted to call it my shot ; but as he
had a superior rifle, and was in good practice,
I felt the chances were against me, and would
not have it. On our way back we got two
more pigeons, so to-morrow's dinner is
We camped for the night near a village.
The people came out in great numbers to
salute and trade. It was a weird scene.
The young moon already gone down. The
heavy looking forest timber around us. Our
waggon, tents, and blazing fires in the centre of
a small clearing, and the dusky forms of these
scantily clothed wild people standing out in
the fire-light, all sitting or crouching on the
ground, some with sweet-potatoes, some
with eggs and fowls , and a few with corn and
meal. The latter is not easy to get on this
*' trek," as their crops were poor last year.
118 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Although we had meat to offer in exchange,
they all wanted cloth, that is calico. One
yard of this makes them a full dress. We
spent about 15 yards. I think I have men-
tioned before, that our native cook does the
buying. As it was late he did not stop to test
the eggs; and when he did this next morning
it was found that nearly half of them were
bad — some having live chicks in them. They
bring their meal in little baskets the shape of a
deep dish. It is their own work. One man
in handling his basket let it fall, and, behold,
the bottom was filled with sweet-potatoes
instead of meal. Our boys, and even his own
people laughed at him very much. He had
the grace to appear very ashamed of what he
had done. I fear he had come into contact
at some time with a trader who had left his
conscience in England or Germany.
On Sunday morning we pitched our camp
early near a large village, and under the finest
wild fig tree I have yet seen. I measured it,
and found it to be 15 feet in circumference.
Its head was in fine proportion to its body,
and covered a circle which measured 90 feet
across. We found ample room for our
waggon and two tents under its grateful shade.
NAMBALA TO THE KAFUE. 119
This proved a delightful camping ground in
more ways than one, Our first and greatest
need in travelling in this country is water.
Here we found a considerable river, so we
had plenty of clean water; and also a good
supply of grass for the oxen, our second
great need. Then, the quantity of human life
was great for this country. The chief and
many of his people came out to greet us ; and
before the sun was very high we invited them
to join us in a service; which consisted in
much singing; each verse of the hymn being
read out, and repeated by our boys, and,
I was delighted to notice, before we had
reached the end of our first hymn, the people
also were joining in the repetition. I think
Mr. Smith has done a work greater than even
he realises in reducing the language of the
people to a system. Here is a Missionary,
Mr. Kerswell, new to the work, he has only
been in the country a few months, he has had
no assistance in the language but what Mr.
Smith's book and his native helpers have
given him; and yet he can read the hymns.
Scripture stories, and even the Scriptures
themselves, in such a way that the heathen —
who do not know, till we tell them, what a
120 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
missionary is, or that their language is in a
book — can understand him. I thank God for
this great achievement, and see in it a great
promise of success in this Mission. We all
joined in repeating the Lord's prayer, also in
the native language. The Ten Command-
ments were read, a gospel story, a prayer
from one of the books, and, tlii^ough one
of our boys who understands English better
than he can speak it, a few words of explana-
tion and exhortation were spoken, in which
they were told who we were, where we were
going, and what was being done on the
Mission Stations. All this was interspersed
with much singing; and it was a source of
great pleasure to me to notice, that what is
true in the South, is true here. The natives
are naturally very musical, in proof of which
I need only mention that a number of them,
before we reached the end of a hymn, had not
only caught the words, but were joining in the
tune, especially when it consisted of a simple
measure. At the close of the service we had
a little free conversation. We asked ques-
tions, the people ask:ed questions; we
answered theirs, and they answered ours; and
we thus found they would like to have a
NAMBALA TO THE KAFUE. 121
Missionary and a school. Here is another
splendid opening : A big village on the
banks of a river, with smaller villages within
easy reach. It is a great opportunity.
The rest of the day we spent in quiet
converse and reading, and we felt we had
worshipped God under our own " fig tree,"
with none to make us afraid, though hundreds
of wild people were all around us.
I had quite forgotten to mention a little
incident which touched me very much.
Mrs. Kerswell had not been out in the open,
but sat in the tent, as she had a little head
trouble, during the time of service. When
the people had moved away we noticed a
company of women sitting at some distance,
and staring with a fixed gaze that was pain-
ful to see. We went out to ascertain the
cause ; and found that in passing the tent they
had caught sight of Mrs. Kerswell, and had
dropped on the ground as though transfixed.
They told us they had never seen a white
woman before ; and might they sit and look at
her; would we drive them away if they did?
No. They were quite welcome. She was a
woman hke themselves. They were invited
to come nearer. And I must own that what
122 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
they saw was calculated to impress them.
Mrs. Kerswell is a tiny lady with a sweet
face, large eyes, and an abundance of fair
hair. She had on a simple, neatly fitting, white
dress; and as she sat in her folding chair,
with these scantily dressed black figures
before her on the ground, she presented as
complete a contrast as the most lively fancy
could picture. And yet, I believe, in my
soul, that in her graces of character and life
she is a beautiful prophesy of what these, hei;
sisters, may become. She stepped forward,
and spoke a few words to them in their own
language. They held their breath from
eagerness, and looked ! and looked ! again
and again. Knowing what a great treat it is
to them, and wishing to send them away with
something in their hand, Mrs. Kerswell got
a tin of salt and gave each woman a tea-
spoonful; and after further looking, they
slowly moved away to their own poor huts,
with what to them was a strange vision of
grace and beauty they will never forget. I
have no doubt they will spend hours in think-
ing and speaking of what they have seen and
On Monday we stayed where we saw many
NAMBALA TO THE KAFUE. 125
indications of the presence of big game. And
just as we were preparing to pack up one of
the boys reported a herd of roan antelope in
the plain behind us. We went through the
trees, and sure enough there was the
prettiest sight we had yet seen — from 15 to
20 fine creatures. I selected the largest bull
I could see; but the range was long, 300
yards; that is long for me, who am out of
practice, with failing sight; many sportsmen
would have taken it easily at 600 yards, and
more than that. I missed the vital spot and
succeeded only in breaking one of its fore
legs. A wounded animal at once separates
from the herd, as though to give them a
chance of getting off; and a humane sports-
man will not shoot at anything else till he has
secured the wounded. In stalking this huge
creature my ammunition gave out, and I
should have lost him, but for the help of Mr.
Kerswell, who having dropped one, as the
result of half-a-dozen shots, took up the chase
for me. We gave one to the villagers, and
kept one for our own use, and to barter for
meal. We made the chief a good present at
our next camping place, and secured some
things we much needed.
126 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
We reached the river about 6.30. Found
a trader's station here — a few huts; one for
shop; one for store; one to live in, and two
or three near the cattle compound for his
native boys. I think he is a German- Jew;
intelligent and civil, and much in favour of
Missions, because they improve trade. Mr.
Smith's proposed new mission will be about
20 miles from this; but he thinks it would be
well to set up several instead of one, and that
on both sides of the river. His candour was
quite delightful. The people would soon buy
cloth and blankets, if only the Missionaries
would come; whereas he is now very much
shocked to see the women around their fires
with nothing on.
^e invited him to supper. But he had
just eaten a cold fowl — they are not much
larger than partridges — but he sat and had a
cup of tea with us. He gave us particulars
about the road, and left us at bed-time, with
the renewed hope we should fix up many
Mission Stations on both sides of the river.
I forgot to mention he gave us sweet milk for
our supper and breakfast, which is always a
great addition to our comfort in the forest.
Kafue to N'Kala.
Wednesday, September 2.
AJIT'E were moving early this morning
hoping to do a good ' ' trek ' ' to-
wards the Drift, which is 20 miles further
up the river. But we soon began to
encounter delays. In the first place we
could not find the track; or, rather, we
could find too many, some made by
the trader's cattle, and some by the big
game, of which the country hereabouts is
full; and we were perplexed, not knowing
which was the right track. We had at last
to call up one of the trader's native boys to
show us the road. Then we went forward
and made fine speed for about two hours;
when we found our leader had left the path,
and taken us across some mealie gardens.
We got into a stretch of deep sand, where
the oxen stuck fast. There was nothing for
it but to out-span for the day, as the sun was
now high. We found good water and plenty
of grass, which is generally the case where
128 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
To-day brought us a still further dis-
comfort; it proved to be the first real windy
day I have experienced since reaching the
country. We were camped in a stretch of
recently burnt grass, and everything was soon
covered with the ash. But you get to accept
this kind of thing as a matter of course; and
(vhether in your food, or clothes, or bed, or
wherever it gets, it is all the same — a part
of your experience.
When we started for our evening ** trek "
we got a chief to lead us into the right path.
He had to take us about three miles, but he
did it cheerfully, and we made him a present
of a yard of calico and a piece of meati — a
saddle of buck. He was well satisfied, and
left us in great good humour. Now we were
sure of the road, and made good headway,
till we came to a place where we had to
remove the stump of one tree and lop the
head of another to get through. A waggon
passes along this road at such wide intervals
that in places it becomes overgrown, and has
to be cut out afresh. This helps to make
patience the chief condition of travel in this
land of dense forests, and vast plains. About
9.30 we reached a lonely spot where the road
KAFUE TO N'KALA. 129
was bad, and the oxen could go no further.
We had our supper, and in the security of a
big fire went to bed, for we are in the land
of Hons and leopards, creatures not to be
despised by weary travellers.
On September 3 we camped for the day
under two beautiful wild fig trees, in front
of a big native village. These villages con-
sist, usually, of a set of squares, each square,
I judge, under a head-man; but this one is a
half circle. There is no crowding. In a
number of places the huts are only one deep ;
in a few places two deep; and in only two or
three places, three deep. It is 300 yards
across the half circle. The trees under which
we are camped are in the centre. It is really
a pretty sight stretched out before us as far
as nature is concerned — ** only man is vile "
— some of the huts are spacious, and look to
be well built.
Our arrival at eight this morning caused
great excitement. Men, women and chil-
dren came out in great numbers to greet us,
and watch our doings. Every movement
seemed full of novelty and interest to them.
My beard and long dressing gown came in for
much remark; one would point from behind
130 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
anotiher ; a child would run to fetch an adult ;
and an old mother would bring a little one to
behold the wonder; and so it went on. Mr.
Kerswell was eyed with seeming respect,
because of the authority he was exercising in
issuing orders; but the wonder of wonders
was still awaited. It came presently. Break-
fast was ready, and Mrs. Kerswell stepped
from the waggon to pass to the tent. They
could not control their exclamations; and
their gesticulations carried them out of them-
selves. The men were no-where, and nothing
when the "better-half " appeared.
The chief was one of the first to approach
us. He brought with his own hand a basket
of sweet milk, just warm from the cow, as a
present. He went back with a leg of buck,
and a beaming face.
During yesterday's ** trek " we fell in with
a boy of this village, who was returning from
the trader's, where he had been to make
purchases for his people. He '* trekked " with
us during the night, and slept with our boys,
and I have no doubt they fed him. He
became very friendly; and as the road was
bad to find, and we feared losing our way
again, we asked him to go on with us and
KAFUE TO N'KALA. 131
show US the Drift. He was quite willing ; and,
indeed, seemed pleased to go. But when
we were ready to make a start, an elder
brother turned up, and objected. It now
became apparent that he belonged to the
chief's family; and, they, thinking we needed
him very much, wanted to make a big thing
of it. It is wonderful how much the world
seems akin where selfishness is concerned.
What would we give? Would we shoot them
meat, or give them skins ? No ! We would
giVe them a present. This did not satisfy
them. Then Mr. Kerswell took his pocket
compass out and showed them ; and explained
that if there was no road we could find our
way by that. It could speak even in the
night. This greatly impressed them, and they
were content to let him go.
Friday, September 4.
A hunting party passed us to-day — Lord
somebody. I did not take the trouble to
enquire which of the noble families of Great
Britain he represented; but he belongs to the
'Army, I believe; so has nothing mucH to do,
and is out here with a friend for a few months'
shooting, to fill in time, and, perhaps, to kill it.
132 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Their equipment was ample — the finest span
of oxen, 18 — I have seen out of Cape Colony;
tents, etc., three horses, and many servants.
Their aim is record heads, and the slaughter
they make is something dreadful.
We also passed a trader, visiting the
villages to buy oxen. His average price is
£2 per head. This is sometimes paid in
money, and at otheic times in calico.
The Kafue is a fine river. Where we cross
to-day is about 200 miles higher up than the
railway station. Here from bank to bank is
about 500 yards; but the river is low at this
season, as there has been no rain since last
March. On the north side quite 50 yards of
the bed is dry sand. Then the water begins ;
shallow at first, then about knee deep; and on
the south side to the bed of our waggon.
The bottom is at first coarse sand; then it
thickens until it is fine gravel. Where we
entered the river the approach is easy.
Indeed, the natives have made gardens down
to the water's edge ; but on the south side the
bank is deep and steep; at least one in two.
Our oxen passed over the dry sand with great
labour. They took the water bravely; but
when about 20 yards in they stuck fast.
KAFUE TO N'KALA. 135
There was nothing for it but to unload the
waggon. Accordingly all the boys were
called up, and everything had to be carried
on their heads to the other side. This took
nearly two hours, and the sun was getting
low, and we began to feel anxious that we
should not extricate the waggon before dark.
We now made a good start, and after many
tries reached the south side. Now our real
trouble began. The front wheels ran into the
soft bank, and would not rise. A council of
war was called. The last thing that meant
weight was carried ashore. When all our
effects were cleared out, first Mrs. Kerswell,
and then myself, were carried high and dry
on a sturdy native's shoulders; and even then
the waggon still stuck, and we began to think
we should have to take it to pieces, and carry
it up bit by bit. By this time the sun was
down, and out here darkness soon follows.
There was still time for a final effort. An
ox had fallen sick earlier in the day. This
meant a pair had been out-spanned. These
were brought up and added to the team.
Eopes were attached to various parts of the
waggon, and a last supreme effort made by
all the human and brute force at our com-
136 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
mand. I am not even sure that Mrs. Kerswell
did not add to the shout of it, when out came
the waggon, and, without a stop — for that
would have been disastrous — it was safely
brought to the top of the steep bank. The
load was soon replaced, and we quickly
resumed our evening " trek," which was con-
tinued till ten o'clock.
From this point we sent a runner to Mr.
Price, to tell him we should spend Sunday at
N'Kala, and suggesting that, if convenient, he
should meet us there.
We started our morning ** trek" at five,
hoping to reach N'Kala by eight. But here,
again, the way proved longer and heavier
than we anticipated, and we did not arrive at
our destination till ten. Within three miles
of the Mission we missed our way, and got into
some native gardens, which resulted in
another stick. Some natives, judging who we
were, came and pointed out our mistake, and
we found ourselves, to our great joy, pre-
sently approaching our N'Kala Mission.
Work at N'Kala.
npHE N'Kala Mission is situated on slightly
■^ rising ground, on the side of a grassy
plain with a river running through it; and
forest spreading out at its back. When we
emerged from the forest on the opposite side
of the plain the Mission presented a very
pretty picture. In the fore-ground, as the
most prominent feature, a,s I think should
always be the case, is the large well-built
Church. It is the best church I have yet
seen in the country — not so nicely finished as
the one at Nambala, but larger, and much
more substantially built. The walls are of
sun-dried bricks, two feet thick, with a
verandah all round. This verandah greatly
adds to the coolness of the building, and is a
protection to the walls. Then the Mission
house comes into view, and a number of
superior looking huts. As you get nearer,
you can distinguish the carpenter's shop, the
saw pit, and other indications that it is a
centre of many activities, which, in travelling
138 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
over a hundred miles, you have seen no sign
of till now.
Before we reached the station, Ramathe,
the Teaching Evangelist in charge, was out to
receive us; and we did not need speech to
proclaim our welcome, his beaming face was
sufficient. We were soon out-spanned, tents
pitched, open-air kitchen arranged ; aild while
break^fast was beiiug prepared we simply
revelled in our morning ablutions. It was
between eleven and twelve before we got our
first meal ; but when was a meal ever so sweet?
Travel and hunger are a grand preparation for
a good breakfast.
Early in the afternoon Mr. Price arrived
from Nanzela, and the remaining hours of the
day were spent in fellowship, for which the
loneliness of the life out here is a sad prepara-
I have now had time to carefully look
round the Mission. I need not say I have
done so with great interest, and for several
reasons. This was really our first Mission to
a purely heathen people. I knew its
honoured founders — Messrs. Buckenham and
Baldwin. They had spent six months with
me at Aliwal on their way up. I had assisted
WORK AT N'KALA. 139
them in their outfit, followed them in thought
and prayer on their lonely and difficult
journey, and now I have had actual
experience of travel in the country which
enables me still further to understand the toil
and sacrifice of their life here. And now I
am standing on the very ground where, with
their lives in their hands, they laboured and
suffered. For at the beginning the people were
very unfriendly, and treated them with great
suspicion. Here is the first little square hut
Mr. Buckenham built. It has recently been
re-thatched, but in other respects it is as he
left it. It has a very high roof, which greatly
added to its comfort, or rather lessened its
discomfort; for if it had been low as well as
small, it would have been intolerable. It
was from this roof the poor fellow fell and
received hurt, which, I have no doubt,
hastened the end.
Two houses have disappeared from the
station — the one occupied by Robert Moalosi
fell into decay, from the ravages of the white
ants, and the house Mr. Chapman occupied
was dismantled when he removed to Nambala.
There is a well-built house of two rooms with
a verandah, built by Mr. Baldwin for a study
140 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
and surgery. It is occupied by Mr. Price
.when he visits the station, and during my brief
stay I have the convenience and comfort of
A part of the plan of extension, three years
ago, when Nambala was opened, was to make
N'Kala an out station of Nanzela, with a
Teaching Evangelist in charge. Since then
the work has been in the hands of D.
Ramathe, one of the young men sent from
Aliwal. He was never a very quick student,
but a nice fellow of excellent character. I
am glad to find that the experiment (for this is
the first station to be thus treated), has so far
been a success. He was not one of my most
successful men in the shop work, but since
being thrown on his own resources, he has
developed fair aptitude. He has built the
house he lives in. It has three good rooms.
It stands in an enclosure which secures it
against the lions. He is now building a
kitchen, and guest chamber, that he may have
a room for a friend or brother teacher when
he comes along. All this is the property of
the Church. Mr. Price tells me that Eamathe
has done the chief work in building the
church, which reflects great credit on him and
WORK AT N'KALA. 143
his helpers. There is an aspect of the
devotion of this young native worker, which
touches me very much. As in the case of the
Europeans, the women and children suffer
most here. He has lost two children, and his
wife has had to go down country twice,
because of her health. ^e has been in
Basutoland now for some months, and to bear
the medical and other expenses thus involved
he is living on the coarse and common food
of the people here. He has had neither bread
nor meat for months. He cannot afford to
buy flour; and although game is all about
him, and he has a gun and rifle, he cannot get
cartridges, and yet, without a murmur, the
brave fellow sticks to his post. We invited
him to dinner with us, and our bread ran
short. I asked him if he could lend us a
piece till our cook had baked ; then he had to
tell me of his position. It will never be
known how much our work owes to these
men. They bear great privations, and say
nothing about it.
At eleven o'clock Sunday morning we held
service. The church was not crowded, but it
was a good congregation. The church leaves
room for growth, as all new churches should.
144 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
It has three aisles, one in the centre and one
on either ,side. The seats consist of walls
built of sun-dried bricks, the height of a seat.
This may sound very primitive, but it is a
great advance on what the people are used to,
for in their huts they sit on the floor. Most
of the churches in Basutoland are thus seated.
The window openings are filled in with well-
made frames, but not glazed. The church
is lofty and open to the roof. It was a hot
day, and a good congregation, but no discom-
fort from heat.
The service was very impressive — no con-
fusion — even the heathens are well behaved in
God's House. The school children were in
front, and they formed the choir, but the
whole congregation joined in the singing.
The sermon fell to my lot. Mr. Price, in
their own language, told them that I was an
old missionary, and had come to give them
my blessing in their work. I gave a short
address before preaching; told them I had
always felt a great interest in their Mission;
had known Mr. Buckenham and Mr. Baldwin,
a'nd all the men who had come to them; and
that I had trained at Aliwal all the native
workei^s that bad come to them. Then
WORK AT N'KALA. 145
followed the good old story of ' ' Jesus and
His love." " My own son," as I called him,
Eamathe, interpreted for me.
After service they all gathered at our
waggon. They wanted to speak to the
' ' Maruti Makanda ' ' (the great or chief
Missionary). I was the oldest Missionary they
had ever seen, and with them age is greatness.
Mr. Price facetiously observed, he wished my
grey beard was in the market, it would be a
great asset to him. Well, they began their
talk. The chiefs and head men were in the
front; and the people formed a big and wide
circle. The front people did the talking. At
first one chief did most of the talking; but as
they warmed to the work, others lent a hand,
until the whole of the front rank were taking
a fair share. They began by thanking me for
coming. They now saw a great (old) chief
for the first time ; and they knew he would be
able to do what they wanted, etc. They all
possess a lot of native diplomacy. When
they begin to flatter you can be sure they are
going to blame, or ask for some great thing.
It was soon apparent they had a grievance,
and that they could nurse it well. The policy
of working this station was changed at the
146 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
time Nambala was started. Till then a
native and European agent had been in
charge; that is, in residence. It was felt by
the men on the spot that the time had come
when a good native agent would be sufficient.
Accordingly, Mr. Chapman was released for
Nambala, and Ramathe placed in charge,
with what assistance could be given him from
Nanzela, only 16 miles away — very near for
this country. The results show that the
change d|id not prejudice the work. The
N'Kala Station has never been more promising
than now. I was cognisant of these facts
before the interview began, and was, there-
fore, ready with my answer. Their first com-
plaint, came at the tail of a long speech in
which had been mentioned the names of all
the missionaries who had been here; their
white missionary had been taken away, and
they wanted another in his place. I replied
with a speech equally long. I had known
each of the honoured men they had men-
tioned. Indeed, they had all been with me
at Aliwal before they came to them, etc. But
this was a big country ; I had already travelled
more than 200 miles in it, and everywhere I
saw many villages and people without
WORK AT N'KALA. 147
missionaries; and they were all equally our
children, and we wanted them to have the
Gospel; besides, they had been very slow to
receive the Gospel. (The people making
these complaints are still heathen.) The
missionaries had worked hard and long, and
they would not leave their old bad life.
Mr. Chapman naturally felt he would like to
try somewhere else, as there were so many
people still waiting for the Gospel. And then
they had not been left without help,
Missionary Ramathe was with them. He
was one of my own sons. I had trained
him since he was a youth. He was a
good teacher and preacher, and if they
followed him he would lead them in the
right way. And, then, Mr. Price was
coming over from Nanzela, and his wife, too,
to help them occasionally. So that they were
still well provided for. Now this proved a
wise reply, for it placed them on the horns
of a, dilemma; either tkey must accept the
change, or go against my own gift in the
person and work of Ramathe. Their
natural courtesy would not allow them to
do the latter, their inclination was dead
against the former. But they are clever
148 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
talkers, and so they found a way out.
Yes. They had nothing to say against
Ramathe. His work was good. But
there was much he could not do. They
wanted a store on the Mission like they used
to have in the white missionaries' time ; so that
they could bring their corn and get cloth to
clothe their children for school, etc.
Now I had to explain that the conditions in
the country had changed; that when the
Missionaries first came, and for years after-
wards, there was no Government and no
Traders in the country. Now there were
both, and the Missionaries could no longer
keep a store. Here I may mention that the
change is not quite to the advantage of the
native. The Missionary used trade to supply
his own needs; the trader to make profit, and
a small one does not satisfy him, and this is
at the cost of the native, and he knows it.
So they said the store was far away, and the
arrangement was not satisfactory. Here
Mr. Price chimed in and reminded them that
the Mission still bought its corn from them,
and that they were in need now, and would
take all that was brought to them. This
proved an unlucky reference. Yes. They
WORK AT N'KALA. 149
could bring their corn, but could not get their
pay. This I much resented. When had the
Mission failed to pay? Now, in several parts
of the crowd they declared debts had been
standing since last May. I appealed to Mr.
Price. Yes. He was very sorry to say it
was true tliat they had not been able to pay
ready cash. When pushing on the work of
the new church, rendered the more urgent
because the old church had fallen in, they ran
out of cloth, and there was none at the time
to be had at the store. Accordingly, they
had to go into debt, or stop the work of the
church. There was a surprise in all this for
Mr. Price. He had secured cloth some time
since, and sent it over to pay this debt, as he
thought; but, as by this time Ramathe was in
need of more corn, he had let the old debt
stand, and used the cloth for present need.
Meantime, in the thought of the natives, this
debt, the first they had ever experienced, was
put to the credit of the new management. As
a new supply of cloth is on the way, I made
a full explanation of the case to them, and
assured them they would be shortly paid in
full, and in future ready cash. They are
real children. A little thing pleases them.
150 MT TEJk-VELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
This was the only grain of real comfort they
could have got out of the interview; and yet
they went away greatly pleased, and giving
me much credit.
We were now able to get our dinner in
peace, after which I had a final walk around
the Station. To me the most pathetic spot is
the little graveyard. It is at the back of the
Station, and under a fine tree, that, I am
sorry to say, is dying branch by branch. The
sacrifice of life on this Mission has been
great. Dear little Elsie Buckenham was the
first. The first Mrs. Pickering renders the
spot still further sacred to us. But as far as
numbers are concerned, however, the chief
sacrifice has been made by our Aliwal native
workers. Robert Moalosi has two children
buried here; and the present Teacher,
Ramathe, two; and, then Josaph, whose story
of suffering and devotion I have often told,
buried his wife here. The dear soul came
over from Nanzela to nurse Mrs. Moalosi.
She developed black-water fever and died in
a few days after her arrival. I stood bare-
headed at these graves and thanked God for
the devout lives which had been given for the
redemption of the heathen of this part of
THE FIRST MISSION" HOUSE AT N KALA, FROM THE ROOF OF
WHICH THE LATE REV. H. BUCKENHAM FELL.
THE GRAVES AT N KALA.
To face page 150.
WORK AT N'KALA. 163
Africa. It is a beautiful sacrifice, complete
in its scope, for Christian England and
Christianised Africa join hands in making it;
and therein is typical of the final triumph of
Christ, when all nations, and kindred, and
people ''shall crown Him Lord of all."
These graves seal the country as ours, and are
a pledge that the worst in the land may be
saved. The forefathers of both races lying
in those graves were more degraded than the
poor blind souls around here; and what the
dear old Gospel has done, it will do, and all
Africa shall be saved.
A Week at Nanzela.
( \ N Sunday afternoon we bid adieu to the
^^"^ friends at N'Kala and started for
Nanzela — Mrs. Kerswell in a mashila, I on a
mule, and Messrs. Price and Kerswell on
foot. I had not been in a saddle for
at least six years, perhaps much longer,
but we did not make more than five
miles an hour; so no discomfort was
to be expected. The boys with the mashila
led, I followed, and we soon left the
gentlemen behind ; for although they are both
strong fellows and good walkers, they could
not do more than four miles an hour, as the
road was very sandy. We reached home an
hour before them. But they had their rifles
and were perfectly safe.
We did not reach Nanzela till after sun-
down. The people of the station heard us
approaching; for, as usual, the mashila boys
were singing ; and they all came down the road
to meet and greet us. We found Mrs. Price
awaiting us — a little lady of gentle speech and
A WEEK AT NANZELA. 155
gracious smiles; but, I am sorry to say, suffer-
ing much from the cUmate; and yet, abound-
ing in courage, as in capacity for cheerful
suffering. Her thoughtful kindness had pro-
vided a warm bath for each of us. It was a
grateful advance on the ancient hospitality,
in which only the feet of visitors received
such attention. After the heat of the day,
and the dust of the journey, it was equal to
hours of rest.
Monday morning I was up early anxious to
inspect the Mission. I began with the
Mission House. The present one is the second
in succession, and was built by Mr. Smith.
It reflects great credit on him. One wonders
how he was able to combine so much
practical work with so much literary work.
His grammar is a monument of research and
industry; I go into the schools and find the
children reading the Scripture stories he
wrote; and in the services they use mostly
hymns he composed; and then his greatest
work of all is the translation of the Scriptures.
And yet I am being entertained in a model
Mission house built by him.
The house is lofty, spacious and convenient.
It will be sufficient for the next 20 years. The
156 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
doors and windows were imported ; all the rest
has been created on the spot. And then, he
made much of the furniture. I am sitting at
a study table which would adorn any study at
home; there are convenient and well-finished
book-shelves on three sides of the study, and
in the dining-room there is quite a handsome
side-board, stained and varnished, beside
which there are ornamental tables and
cabinets. Most of these things are made from
the timber of his packing-cases. The house
has a verandah all round it, and looks what it
really is — a home of convenience and
The church is old and not very good. It
is built of sun-dried bricks, but the walls are
thin and low. Its roof is in fair repair, and
it will last a few years yet. But I feel sure
the growth of the station, after a time, will
demand a larger and better church.
The old Mission house is now used as a
surgery, and a spare room; I have suggested
to Mr. Price that if a little was spent on the
spare room, it would make a good guest
chamber. They are short of bedrooms in the
new house. A round hut, a good one, is used
as a store.
A WEEK AT NANZELA. 159
There is a carpenter's shop. No station
could be complete without this. Also a saw-
pit under a big tree, where the trees are cut
into the size and shape required. A cart
house, and a few small huts for ofl&ces, com-
plete the home cluster of buildings. The
whole is enclosed by a strong stake fence,
which helps to give protection against the wild
Tuesday, September 8.
This morning Mr. Price and I had a walk
round the grounds. A few hundred yards
from the station there is an extensive plain
headed by the river. Many parts of it at
present are rather bare; but in the rainy
season it is under water, and then, later, full
of long grass. The river is from 30 to 40 feet
wide, and in some places very deep. It has
in it plenty of fish, a good many croks,
and a few hippo. It could be easily
utilised for garden purposes by means of a
wind-mill pump. We also walked round the
garden. Some of the native people of the
station have gardens near the river. They
grow maize, Kaffir-corn, and cassava — a kind
of root which does not require much cultiva-
tion^ and can stand the dry season. It is
160 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
dried, then reduced to flour by stamping, and
made into cakes or porridge. Mr. Price's
garden is between the river and the house.
He is going in extensively for fruit trees —
oranges, lemons, plums, apples, grapes, and
others. Mi^s. Price has a taste for flowers,
and these are being cultivated. We are
now approaching the end of winter, but
the spring has not commenced. The time of
flowers and fruits, is not yet; and before then
I shall be gone. But I can imagine what it
will be like — a very paradise.
Wednesday, September 9.
This morning Mr. Price took me round to
some of the out-buildings.
The school children live on the station.
They vary in age from five to thirty. Eight
are married, and have their own homes.
Until recently they have been living in the
usual round hut. Mr. Price has made a new
departure by starting them to build square
houses, I went round to-day and had a
look at them. One is finished; a good
house of three rooms, with a good roof.
The roof is extended beyond the walls,
and supported from the ground by posts.
A WEEK AT NANZELA. 161
thus forming a covered way, or verandah
around the house. Even in this the
influence of the Missionary's example is
seen; for the house is really a baby
Mission house. Then the element of healthy
rivalry comes in; for the boy who has most
recently begun to build is evidently bent on
building the best house. It looks as though
this house, in some respects, will be equal to
that occupied by the teacher. This, to those
at a distance, may seem a small matter, but
it is really very great, and shows that they
have left the indecencies of their old life
leagues behind. The younger children live
together — the boys on one side of the teacher,
the girls on the other. The girls, until
recently, occupied some old huts. Now they
have a nice square house, well thatched, and
carefully enclosed, with ample yard space.
The boys still occupy an old house built
long ago by the teacher Joseph. But a new
house for them is Mr. Price's next move.
The present is not only dilapidated beyond
repair, but is too small. Twenty boys
crowded into a small space is not healthy.
The young men among the pupils are the
servants of the Mission, and support them-
162 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
selves while they are getting their education.
The children, until recently, had to feed and
clothe themselves. This meant that they had
occasionally to go home to fetch their food,
and it happened as often as not that they did
not return. For it must be remembered that
many of the parents do not want them to be
in school, and are often opposed to it. Mr.
Price found that he could feed them for a
penny per day, and, of course, their clothing
is very slight; although it is made up so
tastefully by Mrs. Price, that they look very
nice. The extra cost is already partly, and
will eventually, be fully recouped by the work
they do; for both boys and girls work out of
school hours. But the gain to the proper
work of the Mission is immense. It secures
regular attendance, it keeps them from their
heathen associations in the evenings; and,
instead, retains them in sweet and wholesome
physical and moral environment. I believe
the arrangement will greatly conserve the
higher results of our work.
When a teacher was wanted for this school
four years ago, we had not one ready to leave
the school at Aliwal ; but through the influence
of Eamathe, who was then down for his health.
A WEEK AT NANZELA. 163
I was able to secure one from Basutoland.
Kemuel is his name. He is still here and
doing a good work. He had no industrial
training, and felt this a great disadvantage at
first; and even now he is not of the same
service he would be if he had been thus
trained. He takes no part in the work out of
school hours; whereas Eobert and Eamathe
take the direction of it, and do a good deal
themselves. The defect is also seen in his
own house. He built it himself, and tells me
Mr. Smith helped him in the roof; but, while
it is fairly good, it is much inferior to that built
by Eamathe at N'Kala. He is, however, a
good teacher and evangelist.
There has been no European on this station
for several years who had received a technical
training. Mr. Smith received a good deal of
help in this respect at Aliwal, and signs of it
are present in every room of the house he
built; but he did not receive enough to make
him an expert. Mr. Price has received none
whatever, though showing great handiness.
Their tools, therefore, especially their saws,
have got into a bad condition. We are put-
ting them in good order — Mr, Kerswell the
pit-saws, and I the hand-saws. It was a work
164 MT TEAVELS IN NOETH WEST EHODESIA.
of time, and I may add, a work of love. So
we have a turn in the work-shop each morn-
I used one morning in visiting the School.
59 were in attendance. They were divided
into four classes. I went carefully through
their work. The text books are in their own
language. I could only judge of the fluency
of their reading, and this was very good. I
saw the slate and copy-book work, and heard
their singing. The order and conduct of the
school is excellent, and the work I could judge
was very satisfactory. The register is well
kept, and the average of attendance high.
Seven of the top boys are taken in English
three times a week by Mr. Price. This is a
new arrangement, but three of them are show-
ing that they are apt pupils.
Towards evening we had a sail down the
river. It is a native boat — what is called a
"dug out "; that is, they take a solid tree
the right size and length, and by means of
their small axes they hollow them out, and
bring them to the right shape. The one we
went in is about 20 ft. long. The natives do
the paddling standing, and they can go at a
great rate. These are the kind of boats used
A WEEK AT NAKZELA. 166
by the natives on the Zambesi ; and it was one
of these a hippo, upset when poor Buckenham
lost his camera, and came near losing his life.
This afternoon tlie weekly class meeting
was held. As in other services, singing takes
a prominent place. We opened by singing
two hymns, sitting. The only attitudes
throughout were sitting and kneeling. Two
of the women offered prayer. Then another
hymn, and a portion of Scripture on prayer,
in which occurs: " Ask and receive, &c."
Another hymn, and an address by one of the
two young men who help in the outside work,
Samuel, by name. The address lasted about
ten minutes, and was delivered with surprising
ease, grace and fluency. It was founded on
the portion read. Another hymn, two more
prayers, and the Benediction. It was a
beautiful little service, highly calculated to
promote spiritual life and fellowship. I
ascertained that their prayers are very simple
and direct, and full of beautiful confidence.
I have seen many sunrises and sunsets
in this country. The former is what many
people do not often see at home ; and I do not
want to take too much credit for it out here.
But when travelling you often get it without
166 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
choice. It comes about in this way. We do
two ' ' treks ' ' a day — one in the early morn-
ing, starting an hour or two before sun-
rise; and the other in tlie evening, starting
two hours before sun-down. So you get
abundant opportunity to observe both the
beginnings and endings of the days. This
I have done with great interest. This is the
long dry season up here. I have seen no
cloud since coming to the country. The
sun is never obscured. We often have
very lovely sunsets down in the south;
but there is a feature of beauty here I have
never seen before; for half an hour or so,
before the sun disappears below the horizon,
it ceases to cast a shadow, and you can look
steadily into its face. It is Uke a ball of
deep red fire, and often appears as big as a
waggon wheel. Its colour gradually deepens,
until the whole western sky is glorified by the
reflection. The same is true of the sunrise,
when the eastern sky is equally beautiful.
Saturday afternoon Mr. Price was printing
some photos. This has to be done in the
shade. I had previously called his attention
to the above feature of the sun-set; and he
now noticed that although the sun was still
A WEEK AT NANZELA. 167
quite high above the horizon, there was not
hght enough to print-
Mrs. Price holds a sewing class on her
verandah once a week. Most of them are
married women. They have their babies with
them; but even the babies seem to give but
little trouble. I was sitting in the study
writing, and did not know they were there,
until, just before they finished their work,
Mrs. Price came and asked if I would like to
see them. Then I went out and saw fourteen
of them busy at work. I went round and
looked at what they were doing. As far as I
could judge, they were making great progress.
Mrs. Price has taught one of the women to
work the sewing machine. And when they
put a new calico ceiling in the dining room,
this woman did the seams. This means a
revolution in their social life.
News came during the week of the death
of a young mother, who had been living
on the Mission, but had gone to her people
to be confined. She was a fine, healthy
woman, and her death comes as a great
surprise. Mr. and Mrs. Price are very con-
cerned about the child. They do not know
whether it is alive or not ; but all the chances
168 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
are against it. They do not under such cir-
cumstances, openly murder the child, as
before the Missionaries came, but it is
neglected, and allowed to pine away and die.
Mrs. Price has sent out to the village, hoping
to rescue the child, if yet alive. The women
were just in time, and early one morning
Mrs. Price came into the study with a beam-
ing face to show me a little black mite rolled
up in her apron. It is a little boy, and if it
had been her own it is difficult to see how she
could have been more excited. While I am
writing she is giving it its first bath, and it is
lifting up its strong voice in stout protest;
but it is only the beginning of a life that will
be physically clean, at all events; and I pray
it may grow up under the fostering care of
the Mission to be * ' a seed to serve Him, and
a generation to call Him blessed."
As the result of careful enquiries, I have no
doubt the child owes its life to the influence
of the Mission. Mr. Kerswell tells me that if
the case had happened at Nambala the child
would have been buried with its mother before
they would have known anything about it.
It has been the custom of generations. In
their wild state they have no idea, of artificial
A WEEK AT NANZELA. 171
feeding. To them, therefore, nothing is more
natural than that mother and child should be
together in death. The Mission at Nambala
is only three years old; and while those in
immediate touch with it are being influenced
for good, especially in the elementary
decencies of Hfe, those in the remote districts
are as yet scarcely touched. Whereas, in the
case of the older Missions, as here at Nanzela,
the whole district has been lifted to some
extent; with the result that many of their
more shameful heathen practices have been
discontinued, and others are observed as by
stealth. While this is far from all we wish,
it is a great gain, and a preparation for some-
thing better. This child is a case in point.
The fa ther has been sometime on the Mission,
and pleaded that they were the children of the
Moruti, and thus the child was saved.
A Sunday at Nanzela.
O UNDAY, September 12, was a great day at
Nanzela. I wish I could fully describe it.
I was up early. The whole atmosphere of
the morning was rest and quiet. This in itself
is a great result. I have spent two Sabbaths
in villages, and among people where every day
is alike ; and I am able to appreciate the differ-
ence. I have been here now six working
days, and have noticed that they are very
busy. They begin at sun-rise by the ringing
of the bell which calls the people to work,
and they do not work quietly. They sing at
their work, and shout in concert; so that
there is not only activity, but noise, and
sometimes more noise than activity. But this
morning every one was quiet, clean, and
dressed in their best, and I was delighted to
notice there was no needless work in the
Mission House. The necessary cooking had
been done the previous day. Saturday after-
noon had been a time of preparation for the
Sabbath. I am old fashioned enough to
A SUNDAY AT NANZELA. 173
think this is as it should be. The Evangelists
came to supper with us after the day's work
was done. We spent the evening together
on the verandah. Ramathe spoke of his
Aliwal days; asked why I did not bring the
old Mrs., his mother, with me. I explained
to him the trouble of the Mexican, and that
the sea gave her trouble. He said I must
give him her address, and he would write to
her. And then he mentioned a very little
thing which had ever since influenced him.
He said Mrs. Butt found him one Sunday
morning washing his handkerchief which he
should have done the previous afternoon. She
looked at him, and said : " Dionysius, is this
what you are going to teach those poor people
to do at the Zambesi." He had never for-
gotten it, and he said he had never dis-
regarded it. And from the feeling with
which he spoke I quite believe him.
As a part of the preparation for the Sabbath,
after prayers Saturday evening, the bell rang
for a long time. Indeed, the boy was sing-
ing a hymn while he rang, and he rang till he
had finished the hymn, I had to enquire
what this meant, as it was new, and I found
that this is done to let the people know that
174 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
to-morrow is Sunday. Messengers go round
on Saturday to warn the villagers; but the
bell is used as a further help, in case
travellers should be passing within sound,
they also may know and carry the news. No
stone is left unturned to help the people who
have no clocks, no calendars, and, without
the Missionary, no knowledge of the day.
At ten o'clock this morning the bell rang
for the first time. This was an hour before
service time, and was to tell the people they
should be getting ready. Some of the
villagers had begun to arrive long before this.
Many of them take the opportunity of com-
ing early to visit their friends on the station.
At eleven the church was packed. The
women sit on the right and men on the left,
as you enter the church. This church has
three aisles — one in the centre, and one on
either side. All the seats were full, and
people sitting along each of the side aisles.
It was the best balanced congregation I have
seen. Generally, there are more men than
women ; but at Nanzela they are "about equal ;
a sign, I hope, that the women are coming
to their own through the gospel.
The Christians, the school children, and
A SUNDAY AT NANZELA. 175
the seekers, I was glad to notice, were nicely
clothed. But many of the heathen, includ-
ing some of the head-men, were dressed only
in a small skin or piece of cloth. The cloth-
ing is a great problem. They do not need
much to secure their comfort, and to secure
even a little is very difiicult and costly at
Good order and reverence characterised
the whole service. One little peculiarity I
noticed. There are no windows to the
church — only framed openings. When any-
one wanted to spit or relieve his or her nose,
they would quietly move towards the nearest
window opening, and leaning far out so as to
hide the head, would take the relief they
needed. I could mention a European race
down South, many of whom would not take
this trouble to be decent, even in church.
It is well to avoid long exercises in the
service. So the prayers, lessons, and two
addresses, were all interspersed with hymns.
Most of the latter are short, and the tunes
are quick and bright. Their singing is very
good; and I was pleased to notice that the
heathen took their full share in this part of
the service. We had two addresses. Mr.
176 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Kerswell took the first — a gospel address;
then I addressed them. I think I have
before explained that my age and grey hair
stands for much with them. I have tried to
use this to enhance their value of the work
that is being done for them, and of the oppor-
tunities that are within their reach. For
example, I told them of my visit to the
school on Thursday, and to the class on
Friday, and how delighted I was with what I
saw in each case. Then I went on to tell
them how sorry I was that more of them were
not using these privileges; that as I went
through their villages I saw many children
running wild that ought to be in school; that
some before me even were, like myself, get-
ting old and grey, and had not yet received
the gospel. Then I appealed to the chiefs
and headmen to be the true fathers of their
people by accepting the gospel and sending
their own children to school. It is along
these lines chiefly that I am hoping my visit
will strengthen the hands of the Missionaries.
At the close of my sermon at N'Kala., last
Sunday, I made a similar appeal; and
Ramathe, the teacher, has reported that it has
already brought him more scholars.
A SUNDAY AT NAN2ELA. 177
I shall not soon forget the service — the
crowd of eager faces; the strained attention;
and the very evident presence and power of
God. Most of the people here are Barotse;
and I must say they are a fine, good looking
people. Many of them have very nice
features, and the tJbick lips and flat nose are
not much in evidence. It is easy to see that
many who are yet heathen are much influ-
enced by the Mission. As a recent token, I
may mention that three or four young fellows
come over from a village two miles away
to attend evening worship. Sometimes they
come riding their oxen, which they tie to a
tree a little way from the Mission, and some-
times they walk. It is a pleasing sign, and
may be a forerunner of much that will cheer
At four o'clock w^e had a combination ser-
vice — an English service and the Lord's
Supper. And we tried to make one prepare
for the other. I preached in English on the
great love of God as seen in the gift of Jesus.
Then I had the great joy of presiding at the
Lord's Supper. We had the Commandments,
suitable scriptures, and hymns in the
language of the people; and then the
178 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
emblems. This is really a church in the
desejit. For hundreds of miles round, these
are the only baptised Christians. They are
ten in number, but they are the earnest of
tens of hundreds, yea, thousands; that will
follow, as surely as the sun will rise in the
morning. I could not help remember that
37 years ago, the membership of our Aliwal
Native Church was smaller; now it is 680.
How ever long a kind Providence may spare
me, I shall always be able to see the scene of
this afternoon. The five native women, one
with a baby in her lap, all of them well
dressed; the five native men, all able to use
their hymn-book, and read the Scriptures;
and at least two of the women were doing
this. Their devout attitude, the intense
feeling depicted on their expressive faces,
and at the close, their offering placed on the
plate, an amount, as compared with their
income — a shilling — which was at once a
rebuke and inspiration to those of us who had
inherited a thousand years of Christian nur-
ture. There were also present the two native
agents, Mr. and Mrs. Price, and Mr. and
Mrs. Kerswell. I think we all felt it to be a
most gracious season.
MISSION HOUSE, NANZELA.
MISSION CHUKCH, NANZELA.
To face intye 178.
A SUNDAY IT NANZBLA. 181
After supper, the Evangelists said they
would like to speak with Mr. Price and myself
about the work. We went out on the
verandah, and spent two hours with them in
the cool of the evening. Eamathe was the
spokesman, perhaps because he knows me
best, and has a little advantage in the matter
of English. We had noticed that they were
much moved at the Lord's Supper this after-
noon. Eamathe now said that the condition
of the people was on their hearts. They felt
they were not doing enough for the heathen
outside. They had come to ask that they
might be allowed each to go and settle in some
heathen village, to live and work among the
people. They both named a village — one
about 20 miles from here, and another still
further, where they knew some of the people,
and where they had reason to beheve the
people would be willing to receive them.
We were both touched by their spontaneous
expression of true missionary zeal; Mr. Price
was especially pleased, because some such
plan had been in his own mind, and when,
sometime ago, he named it to Kemuel, he had
shrunk from it, and much preferred the
safety and comfort of Nanzela. They must
182 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
be under a great pressure of duty and interest
to make such an offer.
In the first place they are in greater danger
from the people than Europeans are. The
simple folk up here think a white man knows
everything, and can do everything. He is
regarded with a certain measure of super-
stition. This is a protection to him. They
do not thus regard an educated black man,
as our friend Diphooko found to his cost,
when he came near losing his life, at the
hands of natives. Our native agents know
this. Their offer, therefore, is not without a
measure of courage. Then, too, it means
that they are willing to leave good homes,
and settled conditions of life and work; and
commence where there is nothing but wild
people and heathen conditions. They will
have to build their own house, church, and
whatever else is needed. Service has
evidently fitted them for higher and fuller
We said all we could to encourage their
plan. But, of course, had to show them that
their present posts must be filled first. This
means the employment of two new native
agents; and this cannot be done without the
A SUNDAY AT NAN2ELA. 183
sanction of the General Missionary Committee
•as it means additional outlay; but we shall
both strongly recommend it to the Committee.
It would constitute a new departure in our
work here. We have a case where a station
founded by a European is manned by a
native, and as an experiment it is far from
being a failure. It is Ramathe and N'Kala.
But we have no example of a station
founded by a native agent; that is, up here;
we have plenty such in the south, and a num-
ber on our Ahwal Mission; and I do not
know one that has not been successful. If
it can be made a success here it will greatly
help the solution of our great problem,
which is largely one of expense; for where
one European can be supported, four well-
trained native agents can be supported.
I was glad to find there are two young men
at Nanzela who help in evangehstic work ; and
Mr. Price is doing his best to help them in
their preparation for the work. In the study
of the Scriptures, in elementary sermonising,
and in the general direction of their readings,
he is giving them regular assistance; keeping
well in view the ultimate goal — their full
equipment for the work. But meantime we
ISi MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
must still get help from the south, and the
more of this the better. In most things it is
quite as efficient as European agency, and
very much cheaper; so that in this way our
money is made to cover very much more
ground. To a church of our limited means
this should be a first consideration. The
founding of Missions, and the general over-
sight, should be in the hands of Europeans,
and the more experienced they can be the
better. But the chief of the work should be
done by these trained natives, and experience
shows that they only need to be treated with
respect and confidence, as brothers and co-
workers, to make trustworthy and successful
agents. Both Mr. Price and Mr. Kerswell
tell me they would have been helpless in their
work, but for the glad co-operation of their
Nanzela to Kasanga.
Wednesday, September 16.
T T was a part of my plan to visit Sejobas ; but
news had reached me here that they are
short of food in the district ; and that I should
need to take food enough for the return
journey of my carriers. This would greatly
increase the labour and cost of the journey,
and as the danger is that Mr. Fell will have
to stop work and pay off his people, my chief
purpose in going would be prevented. It
was to help him in the finish of his house and
church. I have, therefore, been obliged to
decide it would be unwise for me to attempt
Before leaving England, Mr. Smith much
pressed me to visit the neighbourhood of his
proposed new Mission — Kasanga. I am now
able to make this visit. We made a start
this morning. Mr. Price has been wanting
to make an Evangelistic visit in that direc-
tion foE some time, and he is taking advantage
of my presence to make it now. He promised
186 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST EHODESIA.
Mr. Smith some time ago that he would try
to get over, and explain to them why his
coming had been delayed. Because they
expected him about last March — or at the
end of the rainy season. Mr. Price is on
mule back, and I am in the mashila. The
distance from Nanzela to Kasanga is about
60 miles. We expect to do from 18 to 20
miles a day.
We commenced the journey by crossing a
vast plain, most of which is under water in
the rainy season, and which is soon after
covered with grass seven feet high. What
was left of this after the feeding of the
summer, has recently been burnt. The plain
is now covered with short grass of recent
growth. I have before mentioned that
although there has been no rain since last
March, there are tokens everywhere of
returning spring, End this young grass is one
Our first halt was a village about six miles
on our way. We rested under a fine fig tree
in the centre of the village. The chief and
his head men were soon in evidence to salute
and welcome us. We did not stay long, as
we had not yet reached the place of our noon-
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 187
day rest. When he knew that I was the
" Maruti Makanda," he at once became
extravagant in his requests. He asked that
I would give him medicine to keep his oxen
from dying. They make no provision for
feeding their cattle in winter; and, as a
result, they lose many of them .at this
season. I told him I had no medicine that
would prevent them from dying; but I could
tell him a way that would be much better.
Instead of burning the grass to get ^t the
game, they should cut it at the end of the
Summer, and bring it home near their kraals ;
and then in winter, when the cattle came
home from the veldt at sun-down, they were
to give them a little; and this would keep
them in good condition, and they would not
die. They died not for the want of medicine,
but for the want of sufficient food. I backed
up this by telling him what I had seen in
Southern Rhodesia ; where they not only thus
secured food for the cattle, but sent much
away down country, and made a market of
it. I strongly advised Mr. Price to set the
example in providing for the mission cattle
in this way. Hundreds of tons are burnt
every year in the plain alone referred to.
188 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
If only a small fraction of it was carefully
made into hay the cattle could be well fed.
At noon we reached another large village,
and camped for three hours. We had a light
meal, cake and tea, which is to take us
through to the end of the day's " trek."
The head men came out to see us; but their
chief is old and blind. After we had rested
a time, we went into the village to see him.
He came to the door of his hut to speak to us.
As he sat there on his haunches, he was a
palthetic figure — old, grey, feeble, and his
shrunken limbs and face drawn out of their
original shape. He was also hard of hear-
ing, so that his chief wife, who sat at his
side, had to repeat to him what was said.
Mr. Price gave him a little English tobacco,
which greatly delighted him. He asked a
small present of calico to complete his dress.
The huts were very poor, and the surround-
ings of the village were everything that one
would not desire. The kraal for the cattle
was in the centre, and this seemed the
cleanest part of the place. I have no doubt
the "age and feebleness of the chief have
something to do with this, but while left to
themselves they do not show much desire for
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 189
We were late in reaching our camping
place this evening. I never thought I was
so heavy as since I have been travelling in the
raashila. I have only six boys, and I ought
to have at least eight, and better still if there
w^ere ten. But we were disappointed just at
the last of four boys, so we have to do the
best we can. Whether travehing by
mashila or waggon, I always aim at doing
two hours on foot — one in the early morning,
and one in the evening. We started this
afternoon at tw^o, and at four I alighted,
expecting we should reach the end of our
day's journey by five. But it proved longer
than we thought, and the roads were very
sandy; so that at five we were a long way
off, and I was tired and hot; and as the sun
was near the horizon, I put on an extra
garment, and entered the mashila. The
road got worse for sand, and so narrow that
I had to watch for the thorns to save my
face and hands. It was long after dark when
we reached our camping ground — it was near
a village, and under two fine trees — one a fig,
the other a thorn tree. Our kitchen boys
missed the track in the darkness, and did not
reach us till eight o'clock. We could get
190 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
nothing to eat or drink till they came ; and we
were in a very bad way: "Dead with
hunger," as the natives say; for we had only
had a cup of tea and small veldt cake since
our seven o'clock breakfast. However, our
cook can make things hum, when his own
hunger, as well as his master's need, urge
him on. We made a huge supper; which,
after a tarry around the camp fire, and sing-
ing and prayers, was followed by bed. The
wind had gone down with the sun, and as the
night was warm we slept with our tent doors
open. I hope we slept the sleep of the just;
we certainly did of the tired.
Next morning we made a start at 6. I
began with an hour's walk. It was cool and
lovely. At 8 we reached h big village I
was anxious to see. It is 23 miles from
Nanzela, and our people had been giving it
services as an out-station for the last six
months. They visit it about once a month.
It is where, I think, the teacher, Kemuel,
should be placed.
The village is about three-fourths of a vast
circle. A very fine thorn tree is near the
middle. We chose this as our camping
ground, for an hour or so, as we wanted to
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 191
interview the chief and head men. They
soon came to salute us. The chief, Shaloba,
is about 50, a tall, good-looking man, with
clean cut features. The magistrate, Mr.
Dale, thinks well of him, and so do the
Missionaries and Evangelists. There are
many indications about the village that he is
above the average as a ruler. Their huts
are superior; and many of them are new,
and others comparatively new; showing that
he will not allow them to live in tumble down
places. His own huts are very large. We
went into his last new one; it is only half
thatched as yet, but is already occupied; but
this does not mean much in a country where
from choice we sleep with one end of our
tent open. If they get the roof covered by
the time the rains come that will be sufficient.
This hut is 30 ft. in diameter. It is lofty and
airy. He has one chair, the gift of the
Magistrate. This he placed at my service
with great pride. I noticed that over the
door way, inside, he had suspended two rings
made of bark. They were neatly made, and
linked together. I belcame feuspicious and
enquired what they were for. In all serious-
ness he told me they were " medicine" to
192 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
give him power with the people. We told
him that the only power worth having as a
ruler was that which belonged to his own
character and hfe. But I fear this was too
abstract and ideal for his comprehension,
and he would still use his long-tried medicine.
And after all, he is not so far behind the
people who in good faith place horse-shoes
over their doors to bring them good luck;
and these abound in the civilised parts of
This chief has shown his friendship to the
Mission, by sending four of his children to
the Nanzela School — three boys and a girl.
I told him I was glad to hear he had children
at school ; that I strongly approved his having
a teacher near his village; and that I should
recommend it to our Church at home. He
said the great chief had brought him " good
news to-day "; that he would send his own
children, and use his influence with his people
to send theirs; and then, to the surprise of
myself and Mr. Price, he said he would see
that the children were fed. At Nanzela, and
Nambala and, indeed, at N'Kala, too, we
have to feed the children to retain them in
school. They have to work out of school
NANZELA TO KASANGTA. 195
hours, which may be regarded as an equiva-
lent for their food. The promise of the chief,
therefore, in this matter of food indicates a
great advance in the interest of the people
in getting their children educated. This will
make a good place for Kemuel, who gets on
well with chief and head men, and would be
accepted by the people. There are smaller
villages within easy reach; and these would
be influenced by the attitude and example of
Our next " trek " was only four miles. We
would not have taken our noon rest so soon,
but there is no water at a convenient distance
beyond. We camped under another fig tree.
It measured 26 ft. 6 in. ; and the head extends
from the trunk 50 ft. all round. This village
is not large, but compact. The chief came
out. We told him of the prospect of a
school at Shalobas. He was much pleased,
and said they should be able to send their
children, and sometimes attend the services.
We did a long afternoon's " trek " of four
hours. The last hour I walked. We reached
the Camp (Magistracy) at sun-down, and were
received with great hospitality.
196 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Friday, September 18.
This morning we had a good look round
the camp. It is pleasantly situated on
rising ground, covered with park-like
trees and shrubs. The soil is very
sandy, but so far as any cultivation has
been done, it is fruitful. It is near the south
bank of a lagoon of the Kafue. This extends
about six miles from the river, and in several
places it is fully 500 yards wide. Crocodiles,
hippopotami, and fish are plentiful. It is a
fine stretch of water.
We were unfortunate in missing the
Magistrate. He was away for a fortnight up
his district, which is a very large one. Mr.
Watson, his assistant, was in charge, and
did the honours for us. We spent a day and
two nights in camp, End resumed our journe]^
greatly refreshed and rested.
The camp, in most respects, resembles the
Mumba camp, which I have previously
described; with this difference, there are not
so many police and no forts. It is just a
magistracy; there are not therefore so many
huts. There is no square house in the camp.
There is one, however, in course of erection;
but this is for a stable.
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 197
The court-house is the most primitive I
have seen. It consists simply of a roof sup-
ported with stakes, and a fourth of the circle,
that portion behind the bench, is filled in with
reeds, and plastered. The court, therefore,
is open to view on all sides, excepting the
back. The residential huts are nicely built
in the usual inexpensive way, with a reed
enclosed verandah around them. They are
cool, and healthy. I remarked to Mr.
Watson that the roof of his hut was nicely
done. The spaces between the rafters had
been nicely filled in with reeds, and the thatch
neatly laid on and dressed. He said, " Yes,
it is a very good roof, but a calico ceiling
would be a great comfort." The Govern-
ment in North-west Rhodesia cannot be
charged with extravagance.
Most of the police are married men, and
hiJve their wives and families with them.
Natives though they be, this is the most home-
hke part of the camp, for women and chil-
dren were in evidence. The Europeans are
all bachelors, and live a very solitary life.
Their servants are the rough native boys of
the country ; and have only received the train-
ing in house and kitchen work, which their
198 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
masters have been able to give. Our host
was in the trying position of having a new
cook, or rather, a new boy, who was trying
to cook. Some of his mistakes were at once
laughable and vexatious. For example, his
master told him the other day to open a tin
of cheese. He did so forthwith, and put it
in the pot and boiled it. In honour of our
breakfast a tin of fresh butter was opened.
It was then placed in the kitchen, where the
sun could shine on it all day, with the result
that when we came to our evening meal it
was a pot of oil. The astonished and inno-
cent look on the boy's face was worth the loss
of the butter. But in spite of these little
irregularities we received royal entertain-
ment at the Namwala Camp.
We could have resumed our journey by
land or water. We were able to choose the
latter, through the kindness of Mr. Watson,
who not only placed his boat at our service,
but accompanied us.
It was rather a stiff day — 24 miles, but
was relieved a Httle by being down the river.
We had a Canadian canoe paddled by four
boys; and a dug-out paddled by two. We
started at 6.30, and went till 9.30, when we
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 199
landed at a trading station, and had break-
fast. By tliis time we were both hungry and
thirsty; and I think we must have given our
cook great satisfaction; for we cleared up
everything he brought on tlie table excepting
the bread, and there was so httle of that left
he said he would have to bake in the evening.
We now made another good stage down
river, and then came to about a mile of rapids,
where I and the cook landed, and walked to
the further end, and where we made a fire
and got tea ready. The others had to take
to the water, and pilot and drag the boats
between the rocks. As we were now within
an hour's row of our camping place, we
decided to rest till about four.
The river varies a good bit in width, from
two hundred and fifty to five hundred yards.
Its banks are mostly covered with a great
wealth of vegetation and timber; some of the
scenery is beautiful beyond comparison.
The river abounds in all kinds of wild fowl —
cranes in great variety, ducks, and geese in
countless flocks. We had no shot gun with
us, or we could have filled the boat. Mr.
Watson is an expert shot, and knocked over
two birds with his big game rifle — one a fine
200 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
spur-wing goose, which would be at least
20 lbs. Crocodiles and hippopotami are
plentiful. A fine old bull of the latter
class showed his head very near to us
towards the end of our voyage. There
was a scramble for the rifles. The
boat was stopped ; and a wait made for
him; but the old fellow had evidently caught
sight of us, and was in no mood to be caught
napping. For although he can remain under
only a given time, when he had perforce to
come to the surface, he did it so cautiously
that only the slightest eddy could be seen in
the water, and there was no chance of a shot.
As we approached the end of our voyage
we saw two natives in a dug-out boat fishing.
They both stand up in the boat, one to
paddle, the other to fish. The fisher stands
at the head of the boat, and watches for the
fish. As the boat is moving forward at a
moderate rate, he throws his spear — one made
expressly for this sport, thin and barbed —
into the shoal of fish. They had not been at
it long when we came up to them. They had
already caught three. We bought them for
We reached our camping place shortly
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 201
before sun-down, and found my mashila
bearers and the rest of the carriers had been
there long enough to have the tents up, beds
made, wood collected for the cook and every-
thing ready for our night's rest. While
dinner was being prepared, we got a good
wash; and heard from our boys the news of
the neighbourhood. This proved to be a
little exciting; for we found that in addition
to being near the crocodiles and hippo-
potami, a lion was prowhng round, and
had bitten an ox, and a shepherd had
seen him on the plain this very day.
Presently, the head man came to salute
us, and make a present. We! sought
further information, and got another, and, I
judge, the true version. No ox had been
bitten, but the lion passes this way to the
river to drink most evenings. But this did
not prevent us sleeping with our tent doors
open, or our sleeping soundly during the
Without exception, the fig tree under which
the boys had pitched our tents is the largest
I have yet seen. It measured 36ft. in circum-
ference; its limbs and head are in proportion.
The trunk is not very high. The Magistrate,
202 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
when on circuit, and has to hold a court at
this village, holds it under this tree. It
must have been like coming home to Mr.
Sunday, September 20.
We are about eight miles from Kasanga,
and as we are anxious to hold service there
this evening, we decide to rise early, and do
most of the journey before the heat of the
day comes ofl,. Accordingly, we make a
good breakfast, and are on the road by 6.30.
We are now camped at a small village,
where we shall have lunch, and rest awhile,
and then go into Kasanga soon enough to get
our tents pitched for the night, and hold an
evening service. We cannot get them during
the day, unless they knew we were coming;
they are in their fields, and out in the forest
during the day ; but in the evening, when they
know of our arrival, they will gather in great
We left our camping ground about three
o'clock, and reached Kasanga at four-thirty.
In approaching the village, we had to cross
a vast open plain, with a grove of palms
stretching along one side of it. The village
is behind this grove; or rather, it is a series
NANZELA TO KASANGA. 203
of villages, extending the whole length of a
sandy rise, with gardens interspersed
between them. There are more people near
together than I have seen in any other part
of the country. I have a letter from the
Magistrate, in which he says that a mission
here would touch 10,000 people. Of course,
this would include out-stations.
Kasanga as Site for a New Mission.
" I "HE news of our arrival at Kasanga
soon spread ; and the chiefs and head
men, of whom there are many, came to salute
us. The head chief is a man of about 55,
turning a little grey. He has an air of refine-
ment about him, supported by the smallest
hands I have ever seen a native to possess,
and clean-cut fine features, with a slight
ascetic cast, and very plausible manners.
His present was a very small quantity of corn,
about enough for our mule's supper. The
second in command was a slightly stout man,
with bald head, and round mild face. He
appeared kind and motherly; and his present
showed his generosity — a good basket of
nicely ground meal. The next in order was a
tall bony man, deeply pock-marked, with big
eyes, and an intense eager temperament.
Moreover, he seemed to lead in the honesty
of his expression, and the straighforward-
ness of his manner. The next man was full
of health and strength, but much younger
KASANGA AS SITE FOR A NEW MISSION. 205
than the before named. The head men pre-
sented nothing very remarkable beyond their
number. But they were all of fine physique.
Our interview was full of interest. They
could remember Mr. Price had come with
Mr. Smith; and they could remember a part
of the hymn Mr. Smith tried to teach them.
They had not forgotten that Mr. Smith had
promised to come and live among them, and
they had been looking for him. We
explained the delay, and told them if all went
well he would come after the next rains.
Hearing this, they became very excited, and
said we had brought them very good news. I
told them that when the Mission was estab-
lished they would have a church and learn to
pray, like the Nanzela people, that they would
also have a school in which their children
would learn to read and write, and many other
things. This, they said, would be very good,
and they would send their children. We
said nothing of the material advantages that
would accrue as they get their eye on these
In the evening, as we expected, the people
gladly accepted our invitation to attend
service. It was a weird scene. A camp fire
206 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
in front of our tent ; the people sitting around
us on the ground; the chiefs and head men
formed the inner circle; the people, tier after
tier, forming wider circles; until they passed
out beyond the reach of the fire light, and
we were unable to gauge the full extent of
our congregation. The head chief was the
first to arrive, with his women, and some of
his children. I do not know the exact
number of his wives; but he had seven or
eight with him; fine, Strapping women,
liberally dressed in skins of various wild
animals. The children looked healthy and
happy. Some of the little girls had pretty
features and figures; and if cleaned and
dressed would be really beautiful. They
have well-formed heads and the forehead that
crowns the face is in fine proportion. I called
Mr. Price's attention to this feature, and he
readily agreed that the proportion is very
fine. I feel sure they possess high mental
and moral possibilities ; and as they sat before
me I could not help asking myself : Will our
Mission be soon enough to rescue the bigger
boys and girls from the life to which they
have been born? I could not but bitterly
regret the previous year that had been already
KASANGA AS SITE FOR A NEW MISSION. 207
lost ; and if only my visit can be made to help
our people to realise the sacred obligations
and high possibilities of the work out here,
then there will be no more delay.
The service consisted of singing, prayer,
and a short exhortation. We sang only two
hymns, but sang each several times, especially
one that goes to the tune of ' ' Precious
Name." Each verse was repeated twice to
help them to remember the words, and was
sang several times to help them to the tune.
The women were not well behaved. As soon
as the singing stopped they would begin talk-
ing; and when we came to the prayer, and
bowed our heads and closed our eyes,
" Now," said they, " they are dead "; and
began to laugh. The Christian native that
was with us rebuked them, and asked, " Were
they dogs to act in such a way?" The old
chief, too, told them to be quiet. When the
singing was started again they chimed in as
though nothing had gone amiss. The
women impress me as being very frivolous,
and I fear they will be very slow to respond
to higher things. The men conducted them-
selves with dignity, and self-restraint; and
appeared to disapprove of the conduct of the
208 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
women. In spite of this sad defect, we had
an excellent service, and even the women, I
believe, will remember it and talk about it
Next morning we were up early, anxious
to get the whole length of the sandy rise, and
see all the villages, before the sun was too
high. Early as we were, 5 o'clock, the
head chief was at our tent door soon enough
to see us get out of bed. He sat and quietly
made a study of our toilet, and when it came
to combing and brushing my hair and beard,
his exclamations were many. Wherever I
go these children of the forest are thus
impressed. The Government officials and
missionaries shave. It is likely I am the
first man any of them have seen with a long
beard, In our journey this morning Mr.
Price heard one man say : "He is a
lion." Now this should be a great
compliment; for they hold the lion in
high respect. My dressing-gown, too,
was a great attraction to the chief,
especially the girdle, which he asked me to
give him. I told him it was the only one I
had, and a chief would not like to deprive me
of it. But I was giving him credit for high
KASANGA AS SITE FOR A NEW MISSION. 211
feeling which he did not care to own. The
second chief came a little later, and was
interested in seeing us feed. We did not
make any presents last evening in acknow-
ledgment of theirs; but did so this morning.
The first chief got a piece of calico; we gave
the second some salt. It was not enough to
please him, but he did not say so. He
simply said: " This is strong salt, it is a
portion for a child." We gave him more,
and he was satisfied, and made a fine salute.
I made him a present of a small looking-glass.
I doubt if he had ever seen his poor old pock-
marked face before. He had a cone at the
back of his head, and a feather stuck in it.
He shook his head, and was greatly amused
at the feather shaking up and down. He
further said: "I see Mingalo in it."
" Yes," said Mr. Price, " that is really you
yourself that you see." His women are away
working in the fields; so when he had done
with himself he thought of his women, and
said that when they came home they would
never stop looking at themselves.
The head chief accompanied us along the
villages. We did not go quite the whole
length, but we went far enough to see that
212 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
the villages extend over four miles. They
are fairly well built, and in several, repairs
and re-erections were going forward. The
people at each village seemed glad to see us.
The old chief told them who we were, and
explained that they were likely to have a
mission among the villages. And then he
grew eloquent about the material advantages
to be expected. There would be plenty of
work — some would hoe, some would build,
and there would be a store, and they would
get what they wanted. And not a word of
higher things; and why should we expect it,
or be disappointed because it is not there.
These poor people are rich in human nature;
and the material advantages of a mission
touch them at every point of their limited life ;
and, after all, this heathen chief is not so far
behind the trader I met the other day, who
wanted lots of new mission stations because
of the business they would bring to his store ;
and he has behind him a long course of
religious teaching, for he was a Jew. The
fact is we must take the heathen just where
we find them, and be thankful that they have
an eye to the material advantages, and
through these we must try to lift them to
KASANGA AS SITE FOR A NEW MISSION. 213
higher things. And it is not without signifi-
cance that we find the same principle in tlie
Scriptures : First, the natural, and after-
wards, the spiritual. Even in the old chief's
eager putting of the case, there was room
for comfort ; they were to work for what they
were to get.
I have written the above account while
sitting under a spacious mimosa thorn tree,
with several of these villages within sight,
and many of the people coming and going
before my eyes, and I want to say that I have
seen no finer site for a mission station since
I entered the country. Given time and
labour, and moderate expense, and Mr.
Smith should be able to put in the foundations
of a strong and fruitful mission. I envy him
his glorious opportunity; and even now, if
ten years younger, would be a competitor in
this hopeful field of labour for our Church
and this people.
Eeturn to Nanzela.
Monday, September 21.
W/ E left this afternoon at 2.30. And as
the result of three hours' "trek,"
covered 10 miles. Thunder was in the air,
a dust-storm overtook us, and I felt the first
spot of rain since landing in the country. It
was intensely hot, and when we reached our
camping ground we were all very tired, and
hungry. Our mid-day meal is usually rather
light; but morning and evening we do great
justice to anything in the shape of food.
We again saw the tracks of lions, one of
them, the boys decided, was a very large one.
This knowledge led to our seeing the rifle was
in good order, and in a handy place, but did
not suffice to close our tent doors. Our
dog barked in the night, and woke me up. I
sat up in bed to look for the lion, and sure
enough there it seemed to be. But when I
rubbed my eyes, and looked again, it was
a palm bush, which in general outline re-
sembled the figure of a lion. Another dis-
appointment. It is tantalising to see they are
RETUBN TO NANZELA. 216
in your neighbourhood, and have even pre-
ceded you along the road, yet not get a siglit
We were up early next morning. We had
made a good breakfast, and were on ' ' trek
by 5.30; but early as we were, the old
chief and some of his people were up to see
us off. The wind was already high, and we
were troubled with dust on our journey. We
called at a village about eight miles on the
road, named Kokebells. It will most likely
be one of Mr. Smith's out-stations — the one
that will bound his station on the Nanzela
side. It is 18 miles from Kasanga, or
Maria, as it is often called locally. We were
disappointed in finding the chief and most of
his people away at their gardens and cattle
kraals. It is a large village, and looked a
very suitable place for church and school as
We did not stay at Kokebells more than
half-an-hour, and pushed on, four more miles,
to the Namwala Camp, where our friend Mr.
Watson received us with his usual kindness,
and gave us a good lunch, which, after our
early breakfast, and 12 miles heavy *' trek,"
216 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Mr. Watson pressed us to stay for the
night, but we thanked him and explained
our anxiety to get to Nanzela to-morrow,
about 3.30, therefore, we made a start to do
a " trek " of six hours.
We have not been fortunate in the matter
of game on this journey. In a general way
the carriers seldom have meat, but when they
are on a journey they expect the master's gun
to help them. Until this evening they have
not had a bite of meat. We have seen game,
but it has been far away, and wild. This
evening we shot a small buck; so they got a
grand supper, and they made merry over it.
We did not reach our camping ground till
after dark. But our tent was soon up, and
dinner cooked. Through getting no game
we have had to depend chiefly on tinned
foods, but our prudent cook had bought
some fish this afternoon, so we had an agree-
able change in the shape of a fresh fish
dinner. The chief and his people soon came
to greet us. He is the man who told us we
had brought him good news, when we told
him a school and church were likely to be
built three miles away. He now felt
honoured that we should choose to sleep at
RETURN TO NANZELA. 219
his village, and said: "I have found good
fortune to-day in your tarrying here to
sleep." Mr. Price said, "We are glad to
find our friends thus." The chief further
said: " You have come to visit me; now I
shall some day visit you at Nanzela." Mr.
Price replied, " He would be glad to see and
welcome him there." He supported his
professions of friendship by bringing a liberal
present of sour milk and meal. The former
is a great luxury to the natives, and, indeed,
to many Europeans out here.
We arranged for a very early start from
this village. If we get through, which we
hope to do, it will be 26 miles. We started
at 5 — quite half an hour before sunrise.
We are now resting under a large thorn tree
while breakfast is being cooked. We have
only six carriers for the mashila. I have
been easing them a good bit by walking, but
it is still hard work for theni. As to-day is
to be a very long journey, Mr. Price called
at Shalobas, to get an extra carrier or two.
The old chief was full of excuses, many of
which, I have no doubt, were genuine.
Many of his people were away hunting, others
were at the gardens. Mr. Price at last
220 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
appealed to his vanity. Said he : " Our old
chief will be returning to England. He will
tell the people about the great chief Shaloba;
and, then, if he has to tell them he could not
find him a few carriers the people will
naturally think what kind of a chief is that
who cannot find a missionary a few carriers
when he is in trouble on the road." This
put him on his mettle, and he found us three,
not without real difficulty as so many of his
people were away. Before the interview
closed it came out that he was hurt because
we had slept at the village of an inferior
chief, and yet only three miles from him.
Mr. Price explained that we started intending
to reach his village, but it got very dark, and
we were tired, and had to turn in at the nearer
one. This reason seemed to satisfy him, and
he recovered his old civility.
After lunch to-day we came n^ar having a
fight among our carriers. And, as is usual,
even among civilised people, in such cases, it
was about a very small matter. We had just
finished with a fruit tin, and it was thrown
away. Two boys rushed to get it, and in a
moment they were at each other's throats.
If we had not intervened, blood would have
RETURN TO NANZELA. 221
been flowing in a second or two, for the other
boys were taking sides, and we had a number
from two tribes with us. While everything
runs smoothly they agree very well; but as
soon as any friction arises, their tribal blood
is hot, and there is trouble.
We reached Nanzela this afternoon at four.
This is the longest "trek" I have made in
one day since leaving Broken Hill — 26 miles,
and a very hot day. We were not expected
till to-morrow, but, I think, we were none the
less welcome fof that. On the whole we
had a very pleasant journey, and I have been
much interested in what I have seen of people
and country. To cover the journey, I
travelled about 160 miles — 20 by boat,
walked about 30, and did the remainder in
the mashila. My health is keeping wonder-
fully good. Indeed, the visit so far has been
a fine pleasure trip, thanks, largely, to the
kindly help of the missionaries, and, I must
not omit, Government officials.
Nanzela to Kalomo.
T HAVE spent the week quietly at Nanzela,
joining our friends in their daily life.
Have done a little work in the carpenter's
shop, with the result that some of the Mission
furniture is stronger in its joints, and will last
the longer. It has been a great joy to help
our friends in some of these things.
We are now putting the finishing touches
to the preparations for my departure. I
have a five days' journey to Kalomo, by
carriers. Our plan is to Siart early in the
morning, and reach a village 17 miles away,
where we hope to hold an evening service.
We have sent on three boys with loads to-day
to give the people notice.
Before closing my visit here I wish to
place on record my high appreciation of the
great kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Price. They
received me as one of themselves, and placed
their best at my service. I shall long remem-
ber them and their work. Their difficulties
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 22g
are many, but the joy and honour of their
work are great.
Made an early start and reached the
village at 3.30. The boys sent on had
gone to the wrong village; so we had
to send for them, which took an hour
and a half. Another thing was against our
meeting : there was a beer drink at a village
some distance off, and many of the people
had left to attend it before our messengers
arrived. We feared at first we should get no
service. But the people left in the villages
came, and we had a good gathering. Two
of the chiefs brought me a small present of
meal, and said they were very glad I had
come so far to see them, and that I had
arranged to give them a service in passing
We did not hold a long service, for the sun
was just setting, and some of the people had
to go to other villages, and there were women
and children present. Kemuel, the teacher,
conducted. We opened by prayer, had only
a little singing, and I gave an address.
Kemuel closed with a few words. I noticed
the women were much better behaved here
224 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
than at Kasanga. Perhaps, the reason is
they have been having occasional services
much longer. At Kasanga they had only two
services before, the last of which had been
nearly two years since.
The road to Kalomo is infested with lions,
and other wild beasts. We are now approach-
ing the end of the dry season, and our camp-
ing ground to-night is near a great watering
station. There is no water between here and
Nanzela, so all the game of this great dis-
trict — 17 miles — are divided between this
place and Nanzela for drinking, and the wild
animals follow the game. We laid our plans
accordingly. My tent was pitched in an open
place, and four fires made around it, of
course, at a long distance, as it is very hot
now without fires. Our self-possession was
not increased by the fact that I have a native
carrier who was once mauled by a hyena. He
has about his face and neck many deep scars,
and one side of his mouth is gone, and yet he
can carry a load like any other man. It
shows the vitality of his race, that without
medical help he could recover from such a
mauling, and grow strong again. The way
the villages are built along this road shows
NANZEIJ^ TO KALOMO. 226
the people's conception of their danger.
They are enclosed within very strong fences,
made of tough long poles. These are set
deep in the ground, and lean outwards at an
angle of about forty-five degrees. This gives
an effective defence.
Long enough before the camp was quiet I
was off in my first sleep, from which I was
aroused near mid-night by the nerve-splitting
howls of a leopard. There was a dead silence
in the camp, excepting for the snoring of the
tired carriers, but what was much worse than
the silence was the darkness which prevailed ;
for the fires had burnt low. I called the
Teacher, and asked him if he had heard the
leopard, and found that his sleep had been
too sound. He was quite awake now, and
soon had the camp astir, and the fires
replenished. The ruddy glow lit up the
heavens; but only small snatches of sleep fell
to my lot afterwards. I often heard
Kemuel caUing for the fire to be renewed.
We had another unpleasant change during
the night. In the evening we sat at supper
in the open air, with a naked candle burning
on the table. The air was so quiet that the
candle burnt as steadily as it would have done
226 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
in a room with door and windows shut. I
went to bed with the doors of my tent opened.
Towards early morning a tempest of wind
arose, which threatened to unroof me. Some
boys had to hold the ropes, while the others
tightened the pegs of the tent. I had, so to
speak, to be battened down to keep my little
ship in the desert in safety. As soon, how-
ever, as the wind had abated a little, I opened
the door of my tent again, for I could
scarcely breathe for heat.
The second day was the most trying of my
experience, since coming into the country.
To begin with, there was no water supply for
20 miles. So that we had to do that " trek "
before we could finish our day. Two of our
carriers turned foot-sore, a thing that often
happens, but had not fallen to my lot till now.
The boy with our kitchen appliances lagged
behind, so that I got no breakfast till twelve
o'clock. And, then, it has been the hottest
day of my experience. During the four hours
we had to rest in the forest we could get but
little shade, only a mimosa thorn, and their
foliage is not very thick. Even the trunk
of the tree gives you no shade, for at this
time of the day the sun is directly over your
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 227
head. I sat under the tree with an umbrella
over my head; and, then, I could do nothing
but drink; but, unfortunately, I had little to
drink, for the supply of water we started out
with was nearly exhausted, and we had nine
miles to do before we could get more.
Travel in this country helps you to under-
stand the figures of the Bible taken from thirst.
The first result of the great heat is thirst, and
this heightens your sense of the importance
of water. The natives are none too provident
in this respect, and will often start on a long
dry "trek" with an inadequate supply on
the off chance of getting some where not
expected. Their conduct often becomes a
study. There are many places along the road
where water can be found for at least three-
fourths of the year, and if they are dry at
all it is just now. When the carriers are
approaching one of these they quicken their
steps, and rush in among the reeds hoping to
find water. The expression of grieved dis-
appointment on their faces is pitiable to see
when there is none. Yesterday they had a
surprise which made them almost dance for
joy. They did laugh and sing. They were
approaching a pit where water could usually
228 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
be found. One ran on ahead, and had a
look, and then turned towards us and shook
his head. As we got up to the place another
turned aside and looked at the dry hole. As
he looked his countenance lighted up, and he
shouted, "Menzhi! Menzhi!!" (the native
word for water). I went and had a look.
The pit was about ten feet across, and five feet
deep, hke a huge dry pan. But in the centre
someone had dug a small hole about five feet
deep, and at the bottom there was water.
The first in his hurry had overlooked this. I
shall not soon forget the spectacle. Eight or
ten of the boys who had already come up,
were sitting round the sides of the pit, pant-
ing. I wondered at their patience, until I
noticed a movement among the tall reeds a
little way off. There I saw one of the boys
cutting down a veiy long reed. He cut a
piece about six feet long out of the middle of
the reed. Then he took a length from the
small end of the reed to use as a ram rod.
With this he cleared the knots out of
the larger piece, until it was a perfect
tube. He carefully blew the dust out
and handed it to the boy nearest the
hole. He had rightly judged the depth.
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 229
Each in his turn got a good drink from
this primitive artesian well in the desert,
and then happened a little stroke that
touched and surprised me ; the reed was care-
fully laid at the side of the hole for the use of
any other thirsty traveller that should come
In our evening " trek " I relieved the sore-
footed carriers by lending two of my mashila
boys, and to make it up to them I walked for
an hour. We did not reach camp till after
dark. What with the heat, and walk, and
worry, I was about done up; and had a dish
of hot bovril, and a little fruit, and went to
bed. We spent the night near a village where
their water supply is from a hole that is not
accessible to game. We were therefore free
from wild beasts; and I slept from eight till
three, and commenced the new day as fit as
At four next morning we had our roll call,
and found our two boys quite unfit to carry
further. We tried to hire two in the village,
but found all the fit men were away, having
been called by the Commissioner for some ser-
vice. Of course, they will get paid, but for
the time being they are beyond our reach.
230 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
There was only one way out of the difficulty,
so that way I proceeded to take. I paid the
sick boys half their wages. They had only
done two of their six days' work, but I
thought it best to err on the side of liberality.
Then I took two of my mashila boys and
gave them the loads of the two sick ones.
Now this left me with only six mashila boys,
whereas I should have at least eight. Indeed,
Mr. Smith and Mr. Price, both heavy men,
are obliged to have ten, or better still, twelve.
The advantage of my light weight is that I
can do a journey the same class at from 15s.
to £1 less than they can. If we had to travel
at home according to weight what a revision
of fares would be necessary. I told the brave
six that I should relieve them by walking
morning and evening, and at the end should
pay them for the extra work. On the strength
of this we have made one of our best '* treks
this morning. Last night and this morning
there is a nice change in the weather. It is
not nearly so hot.
Towards the end of this morning's " trek "
we came upon the trader I have previously
referred to. He is also on his way to Kalomo,
so we are travelling together. We told him
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 231
of our trouble from the wild beasts Sunday
night. But soon found he thought but little
of it. It is a case of familiarity breeding con-
tempt. He asked if I fired when I heard the
leopard so near. I said; "No! why should
I when I could not see it? " " Oh," said he,
"to frighten it. They all clear when they
hear a shot." And then he proceeded to tell
me what happened to him last week. His ser-
vant woke him up one night, and told him
there was a lion round the kraal, and the cattle
were frightened. He took his rifle, and went
out. The night was very dark — no moon — he
could see nothing. So he fired two or three
shots. Next morning he went out very early
to shoot some meat for his boys. 400 yards
from his house he came upon a hartebeest
killed by a lion. There had been a desperate
fight. One horn of the hartebeest was broken.
But the victory was with the lion. The harte-
beest had been ripped open and left. His
explanation was that this stage of the conflict
had been reached when he fired his shots, and
that the lion had been so frightened that it left
its prey. The trader had the hartebeest, and
would need no more meat for a few days.
Towards evening, as we were travelling
232 MT TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
together, we sighted a herd of wild pigs. We
were anxious to get one, as neither lot of our
boys had tasted meat yet, on this journey.
Now the trader is the best shot, but he had the
poorest rifle. He had no cartridges for his
own, and had to borrow what he called an old
" calabash," which was really an out-of-date
rifle, such as are sold to the natives of the
country at fancy prices. It was decided he
should use our rifle, and the result should be
shared. After a little clever stalking the
second biggest of the herd was brought
down — young and fine. It was carried in
triumph to our camping ground. He
explained to his boys it had to be equally
divided. This did not please them. Their
master shot it, and it was fairly theirs. He
explained further, that if he wished to give his
friends half, that would be a sufficient reason
for the division; but that in this case, it was
their rifle and cartridge that secured the meat ;
and therefore half was justly theirs. They
were convinced against their desire. For in
addition to their innate selfishness, they
belonged to a different tribe to our boys. He
stood by to see the division made. All went
well till they came to the head, when they
To face page 232.
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 235
made an elaborate explanation that they could
not split the head. The trader knew that this
was a subterfuge to get the whole head
for themselves, and so have the best of
the bargain, which would have been the
cause of great exultation. *' Well," said
he "I am rather sorry, for I wanted
the division to be equal. Give the whole
of the head to my friend's boys." This
was a fine stroke. It really split the
head ; for in two seconds a small axe had done
the needful, and the division was complete.
A royal supper in both camps left much for the
journey this morning; and while I am writing
this under a thorn tree, my boys are seated in
the forest, within earshot, discussing another
meal, their appetite sharpened by a twelve
mile " trek " which took them from 5 to 10.
Thursday morning at five o'clock we com-
menced the final stage of our journey. Seven
miles on the road we came to the Kalomo
Police Camp. There is a Post and Telegraph
Office. I had a little business to do for Mr.
Price. The Magistrate insisted on my taking
breakfast with him. He was very civil and
kind. But as soon as I could decently do so,
I excused myself, and resumed my journey.
236 MT TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
Another three miles brought us to the station.
About a mile and a half out we passed the site
of the old seat of Government. It was found
to be very unhealthy; and although much
labour and money had been expended there, it
was removed about 18 months since to New
Livingstone. The buildings are still there, but
in ruins. Windows and doors, and other fix-
tures, have been removed to use elsewhere;
but sufficient remains to show that some of the
buildings were very substantial and fine. The
gardens too, were nicely laid out, and were
rich in flowers. One cannot but feel sorry for
We reached the station at 10.30. The
train did not pass till 9.30 in the morning. I
am camped under a thorn tree near the station.
Here change is seen. When the Government
Camp was a mile and a half away this was a
busy centre. The buildings are still here,
but all closed. No one is in charge. When
the train comes along I shall be picked up by
those working it, and the guard at some
time during the journey down country will
come to the compartment and offer to supply
me with a ticket. And thus very slowly
North West Rhodesia is being developed — two
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 237
steps forward, and one backward, and so on,
slow but sure.
This afternoon has been a busy time. I had
to settle with my carriers, as they wanted to
spend their money at the store. After pay-
ing them their money I gave each carrier a
double handful of salt as a present. This is
a great luxury to them. Eough salt is 3d.
per pound and not easy to get at that. They
gave me warm thanks, and went away to spend
their money at the store, like a lot of happy
children. They are easily pleased, and not
difficult to satisfy in the matter of pay. They
brought me and my belongings 80 miles for
5s. per head, and fed themselves. They
shared with us any meat we shot on the road ;
but that did not happen to be much on this
journey. I have since heard from Mr. Price
that they reached home in good time, and
were well satisfied with their journey ; although
the most of them were foot-sore.
After business was done we spent a long
evening around the camp fire. I usually
enjoyed these times — the day's tramp done,
and bed-time approaching. It was the best
time for conversation with the natives; and
as this was our last night together, all seemed
238 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
inclined to make the best of it. I had 15
carriers, and Kemuel, the teacher; so we were
17, all told. They varied in age from about
20 to 50. The chief spokesman was one of
the older men — a tall, big, bony man, with a
wide mouth and strong face, but not lacking
indications of kindness.
His first question pointed to a prevalent
mistake among them, which is not to the
advantage of the Missionaries. "Would
* Moruti ' tell them why the Missionaries
brought the Magistrates into the country? "
They were glad to have Missionaries, but did
not want Magistrates. There is one aspect
of the case which is quite sufficient to con-
firm them in this belief. Our Missionaries
were the first white men in the country, and
for several years they had to be both Magis-
trates and Missionaries. And even yet many
of the people prefer to have their disputes
settled by the Missionaries. The position is
not without an element of danger. The
Magistrates are naturally jealous of their
prerogatives, and the Missionaries are glad
to be peace-makers. Like most cases of
transition there need to be care and conces-
sion on both sides.
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 9*9
Now I explained to the natives that the
Missionaries did not bring the Magistrates.
That it was owing to their anxiety to bring
them the Gospel that they were in the country
first. That if the Missionaries had not been
there the Magistrates would have come just
the same. And, then, I in my turn asked a
question. "Why did they object to the
Magistrates?" The answer, as I expected, was
near at hand, and promptly given. " Because
they taxed the people." So I had to explain
that there could be no Government without
taxation. The taxes were not taken out of
the country, the Magistrates did not have
them; they were spent for the good of the
country. And that although the taxes did
not come back to them directly, yet indirectly
they received much more than they gave.
** How can that be? " they enquired. " We
can see the ten shilhngs we have to pay the
Government every year. It is a handful of
money, and it is very hard to get." But they
could not see anything that came to them in
return. Then I would help them to see.
Earlier in the day the spokesman had given
me a bit of his own history. He was a
Barotse ; and when quite a young boy he had
240 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
been stolen by a native who dealt in gun-
powder, and he had carried him away into
North-East Africa and sold him as a slave.
After a few years he met some men who were
going West, so he ran away from his slave-
master, and got as far as Nanzela, where he
settled as a free man. " Now," said I,
" that can never happen to any of your boys
and girls; because the Government is against
slavery, and are strong enough to protect
your children against it. Is not that some-
thing worth having in return for your taxes? "
Their faces all brightened, and they answered,
*' That is very good."
Remembering that it is well to make them
think for themselves a little, I said, ** There
are many more advantages ; but I do not want
to point them all out myself. I want you to
find some of them for yourselves. Just think,
and see if you can name to me something in
which you are better off now than you were
before the Government came." They looked
at each other and began to speak among them-
selves. I did not trouble the Teacher to trans-
late what they said. But after a short time,
one spoke for the others: "Yes, we do
remember one thing that is a great gain to
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 241
US. It is peace. We now live in peace.
But before the Government came we were
constantly fighting, and killing each other. If
we had a dispute about our cattle, or lands,
oi: women, or children, we always fought
about it. Now we take the case to the Magis-
trate, and he settles it for us." Then I took
the opportunity of pointing out to them that
one of these fights would cost them in property
many taxes, not to speak of the lives which
But I had not done with them yet. It is
always more impressive to them if you can
give them something in the nature of an
object-lesson. They are just little children
in knowledge. The abstract is difficult to
them. They want it in the concrete; to see
it as it were on the black-board. So I took
next the railway, which was right there before
them. During the afternoon they had been
much interested in seeing a herd of cattle
loaded into two big trucks ready for the morn-
ing train. They were still standing within a
stone's throw of our camp. I recalled the
scene to their minds, and asked them where
those cattle came from. " Oh, they had
been bought from the natives." "Just so,"
242 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
I said. " Before the railway came you had
scarcely any market for your cattle and
corn. Now you find a ready sale and good
prices; and it was the Government who
brought the railway, and they kept it going."
This again, they said, was good.
Again, like children, they need " line upon
line," to impress it on their minds. So I
finished with my own case. " You have
been serving me for four days. I have just
paid you for your service, more than half the
amount of your tax for a whole year. You
see I am an old man, and could not have come
into the country without the help of the rail-
way, so here again, is another advantage of
having the Government." I was about ready
for bed now, and intended the foregoing to
close the interview. But the spokesman
came up as fresh as ever with another ques-
tion re taxation: " Were the white men in
the country taxed? " " Yes, they are taxed
much more heavily than the natives, and in
more ways than one. For example : they had
to pay a heavy tax for shooting game, rang-
ing from £5 to £50 per year, according to the
kind of game they wanted to kill. But the
natives were free to kill what they like and as
NANZELA TO KALOMO. 243
many as they liked, and had nothing to pay."
This appeared to be very satisfactory. But
out came another question. " Did we pay
taxes in England? " " Oh yes! We all paid
taxes in England. Even the poor people, who
had no cattle, and no land to grow corn; only
had what they could earn with their hands.
All paid taxes. No country could be great
and strong without. Therefore, they must
not grumble about their taxes."
At this point they converse a little among
themselves; and then their spokesman said
they wished to thank Moruti for his words of
wisdom; and they could now see that taxes
were good. And when in their own villages
the people were grumbling about the taxes,
they would not fail to remember what Moruti
had said, and they would tell the people.
They hoped I would have a safe journey home,
and come and see them another day. We
had our evening worship, and after sitting a
little while with Kemuel, I went to my tent
for bed. But in a few minutes the spokesman
was standing at the door of my tent with a
beaming face. A brilliant thought had struck
someone among them, and he had come to
get it executed at once. They had been pay-
244 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
ing taxes now, I think, they said for six years.
It was a long time, and they were very tired.
They wanted Moruti to help them by writing
to the Government, and telling them to let the
people rest for two years, and in that time
they would be strong again, and be ready to
pay the taxes. I had to show them that this
was an impossible request. That Govern-
ment had to go on all the time, and therefore
taxes could not stop. My friends will think
all this very elementary. But I must remind
you that every thing here is elementary. The
people are elementary; their conditions of
life are elementary; their needs are elemen-
tary. They need elementary knowledge, and
elementary Government, and elementary
Gospel. Our greatest blunders and failures
arise from forgetting this — we attempt and
expect too much.
Only two of my carriers had seen the rail-
way. When the train came in sight they
were very excited. A good bit of shunting
had to be done. This was also a source of
great interest to them — the engine with equal
ease running either way, and putting ofi and
taking on trucks — all this was very wonderful
to them. The last I saw of them as the train
NANZELA TO KALQMO. 245
moved off south, they were all standing in a
line, with their hands extended and mouths
open, like one transfixed. We had a pleasant
run down, and reached Livingstone at four in
Some Native Habits and Views.
T HAVE often referred to the life of the
people of the country. But there are a
few outstanding features I would like
especially to set forth.
In a rough way they have trades among
them. They are clever at basket work of
various kinds. Many of their vessels are
made of reeds and grass; some as plates and
dishes for domestic use. They weave them
so closely that they are water-tight. An old
chief brought me a present of sweet milk in
one. They make mats the missionaries and
civil servants are glad to use.
They work in potteiy too — make pots
and pans and pipes, the latter beautifully
finished. In wood work they are in advance
of any natives I have seen. Perhaps the
presence of timber has helped to produce this.
They make combs, spoons, bowls, stools, and
many other things. Their spears and bows
and arrows, and even their axe handles are
works of art. They use the bow for hunting,
SOME NATIVE HABITS AND VIEWS. 247
but the spear is their constant companion.
They are very expert in throwing it, and they
use it for many things; for defence, for hunt-
ing, to skin and dress an animal; even in my
travels I came to have a lot of confidence in
it, and felt all the safer because my carriers
were thus armed. Next to the spear, both
for defence and service, comes the axe. It
is not a big thing — about 2 in. by 6 in. in the
blade. Its shank passes through the end of
the handle, which is about 18 in. long. With
these small things they cut down big trees, cut
out their boats, clear the forest for their
gardens, and most of their carpentry is done
by it; it acts as a plane, a spoke-shave, and
many other tools.
Most of the above depends on their black-
smithing, and in this they are very clever.
They smelt their own ore by means of
charcoal. This morning I had the good
fortune to see a smith at work. His outfit is
simple, all his own creation. A large flat
stone is his forge. He has two hammers — one
large and heavy, the other small and light.
They are both of the same pattern — one end
has a flat face, the other end is much like a
very blunt axe. The handle, in each case is
248 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
only a foot long. It takes, therefore, a
strong hand to use the big hammer. They
have tongs made on the same principle as
sugar tongs, only, of course, much longer and
stouter. The bellows took my attention
most; it is really a very ingenious contrivance.
Imagine two wooden bowls with long handles,
the bowls attached to each other, and the
handles bored to make them tubes. Each
bowl is covered with a piece of nicely dressed
skin, not tight but baggy, with a handle
attached to the centre. These are worked
up and down alternately, which sends the
wind evenly through the handle-like tubes.
So far the bellows are all of wood and leather ;
and must not, therefore, be brought too near
the fire. To complete the connection, and
yet keep the necessary distance, a clay fire-
proof pipe is prepared — bell shaped at one
end, and tapering down to the required size
at the other. The two wooden tubes of the
bellows rest in the bell-shaped end, the other
is in the fire. Thus an even blast is suppKed.
The same appliance is used for smelting.
They always work in pairs — it takes one to
manipulate the bellows, both hands being
required; and the other to work at the forge.
SOME NATIVE HIBITS AND VIEWS. 251
They use stones as files. Some of their work
is beautifully finished. Mr. Price employs
one of these smiths to make his garden hoes.
They stand much better than anything he can
get from England.
On another occasion I saw two men mak-
ing axes and preparing handles for them.
They were using an iron anvil let into
a block of wood. I tried to buy a
small axe, but we could not agree about the
price. He wanted a piece of calico for it;
but our waggon was a long way off. A yard
costing 2|d. in England, would have satisfied
him. But he would not take a shilhng; he
wanted two, and I woud have given them, but
my boy said : "No; too much. Will buy in
The natives here, like those in the South,
are very musical. They have their own
musical instruments, as also their own war
songs, and festive music. One day I saw a
native dance. It was evidently a big affair,
for the music was led by the King's musician
— a tall, straight, grey, dreamy looking man.
He had, what I suppose I must call the
organ of the country, for it is much more a
wind than stringed instrument. Its native
252 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
name is Budemba. It is about four feet wide,
and has fourteen keys. These are of hard
wood 2 in. by 18 in. ; they are held together
by strings of gut, and suspended over the
pipes. The pipes consist of calabashes, which
they grow freely in their gardens. They
grow in various shapes and sizes; some like
a cup, others like a basin, and some long,
like huge cucumbers. They are opened at
the end they were attached to the vine, the
inside taken out, and dried in the sun. The
skin is thin, but dries out hard and tough. A
selection is made with great care to get them
the right length and size. I noticed in the case
before me the two longest had been joined;
a piece had been taken from one a size larger.
The smaller part had been put into the larger,
and fixed and made air-tight by some kind of
natural gum. The pipes ranged in length
from about 18 in. to 9 in., and from four to
two inches in diameter. They were carefully
suspended so that the mouth of each pipe
came under a key. I noticed that each pipe
had a round opening near the bottom. It
would be about three-quarters of an inch.
This was covered with a very thin white sub-
stance, which pulsated when the music waj"
SOME NATIVE HABITS AND VIEWS. 253
being made. On enquiring, I found this was
made of spider's web. The instrument was
suspended from the shoulders of the per-
former by a rope of skin, and kept clear of
his person by a curved stick. It was thus
completely suspended, and yet his hands were
free. To produce music he used two sticks
very like drum sticks, only the knob at the
end is formed of native rubber. He has a
stick in each hand, and strikes the note he
wants with great certainty and quickness.
He often plays before the King, and I must
say he produces real music. He is supported
by three drummers.
The drum is cut out of solid timber. It
looks like an old fashioned cannon — 18 in.
at one end, and tapering off to 6 in. at the
other. It is hollowed out so as to leave the
walls an inch thick. The outside is orna-
mented with a kind of dog-toothing and
carving. The big end is covered with parch-
ment of their own make, and the small end
left open. This also is suspended at their
side by means of a skin rope. They do not
use a stick, but play it with their hands and
The music is sometimes supported, or
254 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
rather it supports a kind of recitation, which
is in good time and tune. But this is
generally between the dances. The whole
performance wonderfully confirmed my idea
of the musical aptitude of the native races of
Africa. Here we are among the most wild
people our Church has touched, and they are
found to be naturally as musical as the more
advanced tribes in the South.
The dance is much more difficult to
describe. The people, young and old, are
round in a ring. They clap their hands,
keeping time with the music. The dancer
comes out in the ring, and begins the dance,
also keeping time. At first, it is chiefly a
leg and foot performance, with certain toe
and heel scrapings on the ground, which
sends the dust flying. Then he becomes
more excited, until he throws himself on the
ground; and sometimes sitting and sometimes
prone on hands and feet like a four-footed
beast, he works his body till he is like a man
in convulsions, and yet still keeping time to
the music. This goes on till he is exhausted;
and then another takes his place ; and in their
endurance they seek to out-do each other.
The women also join in the dance ; but in this
SOME NATIVE HABITS AND VIEWS. 257
case only one entered the ring, perhaps,
because Europeans were present, and she
kept on her feet. But we saw enough to show
us that in their pleasures, even, they are very
degraded. The only touch of higher things
was the music, and that was coarse and rude.
Then comparative quiet was restored, and
we saw a war dance. The organ now retired,
and only one drum was used. The young
braves came out looking very wild, brandish-
ing their spears, and striking them into
imaginary enemies, and as they returned, sent
the dust and stones back from their feet as a
token of contempt of their enemies. Some
used an axe, some a club, and some both. But
I could not see that the brutality typified was
really any worse than that of the battle of
Aliwal, where Christian was pitted against
Christian, and the din of battle was as hell
let loose. The women were not without their
share in this dance. They clapped their
hands and shouted to lead the men on ; and if
one seemed more fierce than the others he
secured the most clapping and cheers.
It was altogether a sad spectacle; and,
perhaps, to me the saddest part of all was
that the little children entered into it with
268 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
such abandon. So entirely did it captivate
them, that after the music and dancing had
ceased, I saw some of the little naked figures
still working their bodies. Indeed, after the
dance had broken up, and the people dis-
persed, I still saw an odd child here and
there doing it. It shows how far down and
back our agents have to go to save this people,
and it leaves no wonder the work is slow, and
results so long delayed.
One morning Mr. Price had before him a
case of " Ditza " ; that is, a case of the wife
leaving her husband, and going to another
man for protection. When she has done that
she can be redeemed or brought back only
by giving an ox. This is their own strange
law. The reason the case was brought to
Mr. Price is that the couple have been living
on the Mission. The woman is quite young
and good looking. She has a little girl of
two years old — a bright little thing, who was
playing in the sun while the case was heard.
The man claiming the ox first stated his case.
He lived in a village about three miles away.
On a certain day this woman had come and
claimed his protection by throwing ashes over
him. So many days after the husband and
SOME NATIYE HABITS AND VIEWS. 269
his friend came to fetch her back. He said
to them : ' ' There she is ; take her ! ' ' But
she ran from them and threw more ashes over
him. Now she was his, and must be
redeemed. Then the woman made a long
story, which did not at first seem to have much
bearing on the case, about other women com-
ing to the hut ; but at last it began to appear
that she had failed to get her husband's food
ready; that when he came home from work
the pot was still cold; but she made a great
virtue of this; that when he ordered her to
do it, she set about it at once. Then,
presently, it app'eared also, that when the
other women were with her in her husband's
absence, the child was playing about, and put
her hand in the fire; and sure enough there
were the marks on the little hand and arm.
When the husband came home he used swear
words at her and threatened to flog her. In
the night she slipped away, and slept in the
forest; and in the morning she went to the
village, and saw a woman working in her
garden. She went to her and told her story.
The woman took her home and fed her and
her child, and suggested she should go and
claim the protection of the man in question.
260 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
She did so, and his claim was the result. Now
the husband objected to nothing she said.
But this was not the only trouble she had
made. She had been a bad wife. Some time
ago she had committed adultery, but had been
given another chance. In the end she was
ordered to leave the station, and the man
was told he would get no ox. He was very
angry, and said the case was not settled yet.
Of course, he can keep the woman, but it
seemed pretty clear he would sooner have an
ox. Mr. Price told him if he was not satisfied
with the decision he could go to the Magis-
The whole case throws a sad light on their
social life. The husband is not a Christian;
but he has worked and lived on the Mission a
long time, and is a respectable man. His
wife is his only trouble. The young women
, seemed to think they have nothing to do but
nurse children. They neglect their homes,
and defy, and some of them even thrash
*heir husbands. The older women work.
'The women need the Gospel here, not so much
to save them from the tyranny of the men,
as from their own degradation.
The chiefs at Kasanga told us of an
SOME NATIVE HA'BITS AJ?D VIEWS. 261
accident on the river in which two
natives had been drowned. They were
carrying corn for the Government in a
dug-out boat. They told us a long water
serpent had upset the boat. The chiefs knew
all about it they said, and vied with each other
in giving us the information. The whole
thing turned out to be one of their many
fables, excepting the drowning of the young
men. That was a sad reality. This is the
story. The boat had been upset by a ser-
pent about ten yards long. It has many
heads; and lives in a dry house under the
water. When it catches a person it takes
him to that house, and it licks him over the
face and body, and he becomes like itself, and
is never again seen. They so evidently
believed what they said that it would
have been cruel to have laughed at
them, and every difficulty that we sug-^
gested, was promptly met by something
equally impossible; and we were sorry
to notice that a baptised native we had with
us — the very one that gave Mr. Smith such
invaluable help iii his language-work — also
believed in the whole story. And yet I do
not know that this should surprise us very
362 MT TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
much; it is not so long ago that witchcraft
and other equally absurd things were believed
in in the Home Land. And we do not forget
that not alone in heathen mythology does the
serpent: do duty for the evil one. Their
witch-doctors claim to give them medicine
against this serpent, and those who take it are
While we were away at Kasanga, our
people at Nanzela had some lively times with
lions. It happened one Monday night. Four
passed close to the Mission House. Their
roar is described as awful. It awoke all the
villagers; and they were out beating their
drums and shouting for all they were worth.
This is not to frighten them away, but to give
them notice of danger. It is connected with
another of their fables. I have just had a talk
with Kemuel, the teacher, and the people,
since the lions came, have been telling him all
about it. They believe they can choose what
animal they will enter when they die. The
witch-doctor can give them medicine to
secure their wish. He puts certain things in
water. They after a time decay, and worms
come in them. Then the people who want
the medicine are called. They choose a
SOME NATIVE ETABITS AND VIEWS. 263
worm that is the most hke the animal they;
want to enter at death, and swallow it.
Henceforth they are not to take anything very
hot or the worm will die. When the person
dies he is buried leaning on his side, and a
reed is placed in his ear that is uppermost,
which reaches to the top of the ground. This
is to let the worm come up at the right time.
It first becomes about the size of a rat, then
as big as a cat, if it is to be a tiger or lion.
They say one of their head men died about
nine months ago, who had taken medicine to
be a lion ; and their belief is that the lions the
other night came to fetch him away from the
grave, so that he can go to the forest, and be
a real lion. They beat the drums and shouted
to give them notice there was danger, because
white men have guns. When the late head
man died, he was carried in a given direction
to be buried. The lions, they say, passed
along this path. They have their own way of
distinguishing whether a lion is a man or a
lion. If it comes prowling about, without
warning, then it is a real lion, and they will
kill it if they can. But if it roars, as those
did the other night, it is not a lion but a man.
One of the four they beheve to be an old chief
264 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
who died about three years ago. He is a full
grown lion now with a big voice, and it was
he who spoke so loudly. They are as sure of
all this as of their own existence, and have
told it to Kemuel without a doubt.
It is now getting near the end of the dry
season, and water is very short. The lions
had evidently come from a distance to the
river to drink.
Leopards are often here. Mr. Price tells a
good story about one. It came one night
after the fowls. The dogs rushed out at it.
Two of them went too near. The tail only
of one was seen next morning; and the other
was found up a tree. There was a white
visitor here at the time, and he set his mind
on shooting the leopard. So he had the dead
dog carefully tied fast in the tree where it had
been left by the leopard. He set some boys
to watch, and prepared himself a bed in a hut
close by. He woke up during the night and
thought he would go out and report progress
for himself. The dog was gone. He went to
his boys, and asked, " Where is the dog?"-
*' Still up the tree," say they. Either they
had gone to sleep, or the leopard had out-
manoeuvred them. The language in which
SOME NATIVE HABITS AND VIEWS. 265
the visitor expressed his disappointment is
not recorded. It takes a clever huntsman to
trap a leopard.
Funerals among the heathen are almost as
costly as they are at home. When their
people die they make a great feast. They call
it a *' cry." Wherever the near relations
are when they hear of the death they must
return home. The finest oxen in the land are
kept for these funeral feasts. While we were
camping in a village not far from the Kafue
one of these " cries " took place. The hut
is towards the end of the village, and not more
than a hundred and fifty yards from my tent.
The grave of the young man is in front of the
hut, and is marked by a number of newly-
planted poles. As near as we can make out
from a neighbour, the death took place about
three months ago; but a brother of the
deceased was a long way off, and returned this
morning shortly after our arrival, bringing
a two-year old ox for sacrifice. The " cry
at once be^an. We wondered at first what it
was. But the thing soon became clear. The
man from the journey, and the local men of
the family began to rush up and down in front
of the hut and grave, making a great ciy, or
266 MT TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
lamentation; and making as though driving
their spears into the ground. This is to drive
awaj; the death spirit, and free the hut from
further danger. While the crying is going
on, a number of youths — I judge members of
the same family — are hunting the young ox
round and round in the neighbourhood of the
gi'ave, and at every convenient turn giving it
a spear thi:ust, and sometimes leaving the
spear for a time sticking into the poor brute.
The ox^ becoming exhausted through loss of
blood, gradually ceased its moaning and lay
near the hut and died. Presently, the men
ceased crying, and went and dressed the ox,
and I saw it joint by joint, carried into the hut
for the feast. The crying will be resumed
this evening, and will go on day after day
till the meat is done. This scene has filled
me with an overwhelming sadness.
We have entered this country in the name
of Christ and our Church. How long is it to
be before we bring the light to these dark
villages? Even while this scene was being
enacted, some women came from another part
of the village to " look " at Mrs. Kerswell in
the next tent. She spoke kindly to them;
she told them who we were, and why we were
SOME NATIVE HABITS AND VIEWS. 367
in the country ; and asked them if they would
like a missionary to visit them. The answer
was the same we always get: " Yes, they
would like one." There is the same readi-
ness wherever we go. I have travelled now
about 200 miles in the country, and have
called at many villages, and wherever I have
enquired there has come the same answer.
We are just scratching the moral soil, at three
centres only in this vast North West Ehodesia ;
and yet there is not a spiritual garden-patch
in all England that would yield anything like
so ample a harvest as could be gathered any-
where in this vast countiy. I could covet
no greater honour in the service of Christ's
Kingdom than to be able to help our people at
home to the realisation of the splendid oppor-
tunities for service ready to our hand in this
New Livingstone and the Government.
' I ^HE township of Livingstone is very dis-
appointing, not in the site, nor the
character of its buildings, but in the way it is
laid out. The streets are narrow, and the
building plots small. Government House is
a nice place, and the grounds in front are
spacious, and well laid out. But at the back
and ends it is crowded. The Standard Bank
has been allowed to build close up at one end,
and it is bounded by a road at the other end,
and by a narrow street and small buildings
at the back. Then the Livingstone Hotel is
close by — a very nice place. I and a friend
had dinner, bed, and breakfast there. The
cost was reasonable and we never wish to be
better served. The proprietor is making a
heroic effort to extend his borders, and is
putting up some really good buildings. But
he is cramped for room. The offices and
stables are unpleasantly near the best
verandah, and there is scarcely room to turn
a wagonette in the yard. In leaving Bula-
NEW LIVINGSTONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 269
wayo you feel you have left behind you
the man who thought in continents, and in
reaching Livingstone you do not feel that you
have found a man that can think even in
decent townships. And yet there are thou-
sands of acres of land all round waiting the
convenience of the people.
All the missionaries speak well of the
Government of the country; and all I saw of
its administration confirms their good opinion.
I visited four magistracies, one or two of
which I have described in previous chapters.
I called on the administrator on my way up,
to pay my respects and explain the purpose of
my mission. I was sorry to find him in poor
health; but he received me with great kind-
ness, and showed a lively interest in our work,
especially the industrial part of it. He
assured me that whatever the Government
could do to help the extension of our Mission
would be done with great heartiness. He
gave me a new map of the country. It is
only tentative; but it is a good beginning.
Maps, like everything else that is worth any-
thing, have to grow from less to more; and
when I was coming down country I made the
acquaintance of a gentleman who has just
270 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
been engaged to complete the survey of
North- West Ehodesia. He has been
employed in this kind of work for many years
in other parts of Africa. The work therefore
is likely to be well done. The administrator
also gave me a letter; of introduction to the
officials, asking them to do all they could to
promote the success of my visit; but I am
glad to say I never had to use this. Wher-
ever I went I was received and treated as a
At all the magistracies visited, I was
pleased to notice the interest taken in the
natives. The officials are not merely ser-
vants of their Government. While they
would be themselves the first to disown being
in any sense missionai'ies, they do freely and
effectively one part of a missionary's work :
They care for the health of the people. Quite
late one evening at the Namwala Camp, while
we were there, a man brought a little boy who
had been fishing, and had thrust the fish-
spear through his foot. He was promptly
and kindly treated. It is no mean advantage
to have the administration of justice associated
with such generous service. We called again
aft this Camp a week later on our return
NEW LTVINGSrONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 271
journey. We found this little fellow, with
his foot carefully bandaged installed as house
boy or page. Mr. Watson, the assistant
magistrate, had taken a fancy to him, and had
retained him at 2s. 6d. per month, and food
and clothing. We did not at first know him,
he was so changed. When we first saw him,
the skin of a small wild animal was all the
clothing he wore ; now he was rigged out in a
striped shirt, and a fine loin cloth, and
looked like a little chieftain. He waited on
us at table, and was really very handy. Of
course, as a servant, he is in the process of
making; but I can see he is quick to learn.
He stands in the room where he can keep
his eye on his master, and promptly responds
to any indications that come from that
quarter. But you will do well to keep your
eye on him also; or you will get salt when
you want sugar, and find your plate whisked
away before you have finished with it. I
gave him, as I thought, twice over, dis-
tinctly to understand that I wanted no more
tea; but presently I found another brimming
cup placed at my side. And as a cup of tea,
more or less, especially more, makes but
little difference in that clima'te, I quickly
272 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
drank it, and said nothing about it. I have
no doubt the little fellow will have a good
time in his new station.
One splendid feature of the Government is
the absolute prohibition of the Drink Traffic.
As contrasted with the West Coast, and,
indeed, many parts in the South, this is a
huge advantage. The natives make a drink
of their own which is fairly strong. But they
use it only on special occasions. They do
not booze. When travelling you have no fear
your carriers will be incapacitated by drink.
The people are sober, respectful, and peace-
I have been asked: " What about the late
reported rising in North- West Ehodesia? "
And have to answer, that after passing
through the supposed affected area, I am
obliged to take the official view: *' That the
trouble did not exist in fact." One of the
officials received from a native a cock-and-bull
story about what was taking place a hundred
miles away in another man's district, how the
natives had refused to pay the tax, and were
holding secret meetings, etc. This official had
an attack of nerves — perhaps he was in bad
health — and became an alarmist; and where
NEW LIVINGSTONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 273
Europeans are few and distant from each
other, it is easy to see such reports would
gather weight. But the irony of the position
is this; that his Camp was one of the most
distant from the seat of the supposed trouble ;
he possessed the only fort in the country,
with a mounted maxim and 70 armed men;
and yet he and his immediate friends were
the only ones who became agitated. He
advised all the missionaries to take their wives
out of the country, and did other wild things.
And yet there was not a word of truth in the
reported refusal to pay tax, and not a sign of
unrest could be traced anywhere. The burn-
ning of our store at Nambala is believed to
have been the result of an accident — perhaps
some combustible in the store itself, exploded
by the great heat. The so-called rising has
become a by- word throughout the country;
you have only to name it to cause a smile, and
call forth not complimentary remarks respect-
ing those who believed in it.
Again, I have been asked : '* What are the
probabilities of a war in North-West
Rhodesia? Is the history of Southern
Ehodesia likely to be repeated up there?"
I had of necessity to spend a good bit of time
274 MT TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
at hotels, and to meet many people other than
missionaries and officials; and I must confess
that I heard much loose talk about coming
trouble, especially when Lewanika, the pre-
sent King, dies. My own view is that no
importance is to be attached to this loose talk.
In most cases the wish is father to the thought.
War brings money and trade into the country ;
and it means the hurried and brutal subjuga-
tion of the natives; and that harmonises with
their own desire to kick and hammer them
As a sample of the above I will relate the
substance of what I heard while sitting on the
verandah of the Livingstone Hotel. A tall,
well-dressed, nice-looking native came along
the street. Two or three other natives of
decent appearance were with him. It was
easy to see he was someone above the ordi-
nary run of natives. A gentleman whose
acquaintance I had made in the train, said to
the gentleman sitting next to him : " Yonder
is a smart looking native, who is he?"
** Oh! " said the other, " that is Letsea,
the King's son." " Indeed," said my friend,
" what kind of a man is he? " "A bad
lot," said the other. " He is a sly, cunning,
NEW LIVINGSTONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 27fi
vicious, restless, ambitious fellow. There
will be a big trouble when his father dies."
*' I am sorry to hear that," said my friend.
"He does not look such a terrible fellow."
" That is the mischief of it," replied the
other. " He has very plausible manners
which makes him only the more dangerous."
I thought to myself, here is a man that speaks
with the confidence of personal knowledge.
He must have hved in Letsea's village ; he not
only has a general, but special knowledge of
the man. He seems to know his secret
thoughts. I am not one to receive such
testimony without testing its value. So I
took the trouble to find out who this man was.
And can you believe it? He was a com-
mercial traveller, just out from England, and
coming up country for the first time, and,
therefore, knew absolutely nothing first hand.
He was simply retailing what he had gathered
from hotel gossip.
Next day I gained some first-hand know-
ledge which is a complete answer to the above
mischievous rubbish. While sitting on the
verandah of the hotel I had noticed another
gentleman whose attitude towards the natives
seemed to be very friendly. For I saw him
276 MY TRAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
go across the street and shake hands with the
whole party, and talk several minutes with
Letsea, and then walk away with one of the
party to a refreshment stall within sight, and
stand treat with coffee and cakes. Now it so
happened that next day this gentleman and I
travelled in the same compartment down to
Bulawayo. We had to spend the whole day
and night together. We, therefore, at once
set about knowing each other. After some
general conversation, I said: "I noticed at
Livingstone yesterday you seemed to know
Letsea and his party? " " Yes," he said, " I
am a trader in his country, I have been there
for five or six years. My head-quarters are
near his village. I know both he and his
people well." " I have heard," said I,
*' very conflicting views of Letsea since I have
been in the country. I should deem your
candid opinion of him a great favour."
" Well," he replied, "he is a man and a
native; and, therefore, has his faults. But I
have always found him a fair-minded, reason-
able, and just man; and as a ruler he is
splendid. He has greatly improved the
general condition of his people during recent
years ; and he gives warm support to the work
tOADl-NG TRAIN AT WANKIE COALFIKLDS.
To face page :^"C.
NEW LIVINGSTONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 279
of the missionaries." " Then," I enquired,
"you do not think that Letsea will give
trouble, should he survive his father." His
answer was prompt and emphatic. " Letsea
give trouble ! The thing is unthinkable. He
is as peaceable and law-abiding as any man in
the country, not excepting the administrator
himself. There will be no trouble in North-
West Rhodesia while the people are treated
I further said to him, " I noticed yesterday
that you seemed especially friendly with one
of Letsea's followers." " Yes, I have good
reason to be. He is one of Letsea's head-
men. Some two years ago I fell ill with fever
at his village. He and his people nursed me
through it, and when I was sufficiently
recovered carried me to my own place. I
shall never forget their great kindness."
" And may I infer that you think well of the
people as well as their rulers? " He
answered me as it were in the concrete. For
he said; " You will see shortly what I think
of the people. For I have a grazing farm
between this and Wankies; and 400 head of
cattle are running there. They are simply
in charge of two natives. They make
280 MY TRAVELS IN NOETH WEST RHODESIA.
excellent servants when properly treated. I
treat them, and pay them well ; and they risk
their life for me. Indeed, they often do in
defending my cattle against wild beasts."
Presently we passed through his farm. Some
of the cattle were within sight fat and sleek.
And when we stopped at the nearest station,
sure enough there was one of his servants to
greet his master, report, and receive orders.
Just a heathen native, with a loin cloth as his
complete dress, and a spear and dog for his
defence. Primitive people who can thus
honour and repay just treatment are not the
people to give trouble while they are treated
And this is the ground of any real uncer-
tainty that may exist with regard to the future.
If we could be sure the natives would always
be treated justly, then we should feel quite
sure there would be no war. But the
possibilities of injustice are always present,
even when the Government is friendly.
While the superior officers are just, and
many of them, even generous, it often hap-
pens that the subordinates are less scrupulous ;
and when beyond the ken of their superiors
will cuff and abuse the natives. In a Post-
NEW LIVINGSTONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 281
office, which shall be nameless, between
Broken Hill and Bulawayo, I saw what is
typical of much the natives have to bear. It
was English mail dispatch day. There was
no one at the counter; and from the sounds
that came from adjoining rooms, it was
evident all hands were engaged with the mail.
It was a very hot day, and the roads were
deep in sand; so that when I reached the
grateful shade of the office I was glad to lean
against the high counter which runs across
the office. During the minute or two I was
waiting, a native, a Government messenger; in
uniform, came in with his arms full of letters
and papers; and placed them on the counter,
with his arms still round them, as if to keep
them together. In a few seconds a junior
clerk came forward, and caught sight of the
attitude of the native. He rushed towards
him, and hissed through his teeth: '* Take
your arms from the counter and stand back."
It was not so much what was said, though that
was bad enough, as the tone of the voice, and
the violence of the movement when the rush
was made towards the counter. I promptly
left the counter, and stood beside the
frightened native as a protest against such
282 MY TEAVELS IN NORTH WEST RHODESIA.
brutal treatment. The young fellow evidently
felt the rebuke, for he coloured to the roots
of his hair, but said nothing. To some this
may seem a very small matter, but it is typical
of a general system. Subordinates are
generally very young out here. Authority
turns their heads; and the poor defenceless
natives have to suffer in consequence.
While the above conduct is regrettable, and
often much resented by the natives, it is not
in itself sufficient to cause war. The natives
are a long-suffering, patient people; quietly
accepting in their own country, at the hands
of strangers, many hard knocks, and much
bad treatment. Should it ever become the
policy of the Chartered Company to have war,
the war will come. History points to the
possibility. It has happened before. It
would be difficult to find a native war that was
not provoked by the aggression or oppression
of some Government. The trouble in Natal
is a case in point. The Europeans there are
m a very small minority. They fear the
natives; and instead of trusting them they
oppress them. They are following the same
policy of repression which the late President
Kruger pursued towards the Uitlanders.
NEW LIVINGSTONE AND THE GOVERNMENT. 283
While heavily taxed, the people are carefully
shut away from all participation in the
Government of the country. They may hang
Dinizulu and a few of his head-men, but the
trouble will still grow until the policy is
changed. In the Cape there is no trouble.
Why? Because the Government's policy is
just. Native education and self-government,
are promoted, and, as the people qualify,
they are freely admitted to the Franchise.
And while the Chartered Company's Policy
remains what it is — peaceable and progres-
sive — there will be no war in North- West
AA 000 976 319
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.
'NOV 18 19^
r im 2^ ^^?
PLEA-^ DO ftOT REMOVE
THIS BOOK GARD^T
g University Research Library